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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Week-ends

Week-ends

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...

HEROES OF THE WEEK

Charlie Sykes and his entire family for what they've had to endure this week.

The jurors who came back with a verdict in just 22 minutes in this case.

Also, George.


VILLAIN OF THE WEEK

Michael McGee Sr.

McGee has no regrets. Click the play button on the video to see the Channel 6 report.

Here’s the Channel 12 video.

You can hear the complete audio of McGee’s vile comments, courtesy of our colleague Patrick at BadgerBlogger.com.


QUOTES OF THE WEEK

"I'm the reliable conservative. I vetoed 1,900 things. I reduced taxes by $16.5 billion. I'm from Wisconsin, a blue state, and I won four consecutive times. I still have a very high popularity appeal. And I'm the one that started welfare reform, reduced the welfare caseload in the United States and the state of Wisconsin by 93 percent. And I believe that kind of a record will attract Democrats and independents, if you stand up and start talking on principles and ideas."
Tommy Thompson at a debate Thursday night featuring Republican Presidential candidates.

“He is going to pay, and he will die."
Mitt Romney on Osama bin Laden at the Republican Presidential candidate debate.

"I'll follow him to the gates of hell."
John McCain on bin Laden, at the same debate.

" Governor Thompson, If a private employer finds homosexuality immoral, should he be allowed to fire a gay worker?”
GOP debate moderator Chris Matthews, posing a question to Tommy Thompson.

“I think that is left up to the individual business. I really sincerely believe that that is an issue that business people have got to make their own determination as to whether or not they should be.”
Tommy Thompson’s response to Matthews’ question.

"I made a mistake. I misinterpreted the question. I didn't hear the question properly and I apologize. It's not my position. There should be no discrimination in the workplace."
Tommy Thompson explaining that he misspoke when he answered Chris Matthews’ question. Thompson lost most of his hearing in one ear several years ago.

”As governor, he signed into law more anti-discrimination provisions that protected the rights of gays and lesbians than any governor in Wisconsin history. He never to my knowledge stood in the way of a major piece of legislation."
Former state Representative David Clarenbach, a Democrat, on Tommy Thompson. Clarenbach spent 18 years in the Legislature and wrote Wisconsin's 1982 Fair Employment Law. It was the first state law in the nation banning employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Clarenbach says Thompson made sure the bill got through the Legislature.

"This makes no sense to me whatsoever. Deadbeat parents will be laughing all the way to the grocery store on this one."
State Representative Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford), during Joint Finance Committee debate over Governor Doyle’s budget provision to repeal current law and allow parents who fail to pay child support to receive food stamps. The Committee vote was 8-8, so the provision stays in the budget for now.

“After hearing what Senate Democrats believe should be the legislative agenda for this session, I’ve had a change of heart on the value of a ‘Do-Nothing’ Senate. In fact, doing nothing in the Senate may be the best thing for the taxpayers of Wisconsin!”
State Senator Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn).

"If (a sex offender) has paid back his debt to society, is gainfully employed and has the support of family and friends, it's the best way to prevent a recurrence."
Allouez Trustee Bill Sweasy, asking the Allouez Village Board to take an official stance opposing Assembly Bill 260, which allows employers to fire or refuse to hire people convicted of violent or sex crimes. The move to oppose the Assembly bill failed on a 3-3 vote.


OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK

Michael McGee Sr.’s despicable comments about Charlie Sykes and his mother who died in a fire.


MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK

MPS School Board member Jennifer Morales’ flip-flop on her vote on the handcuff policy at MPS. First she voted for it, then was threatened with a recall, and when the School Board took up the issue a second time, she voted against it.

Usually when an elected official flip-flops, it’s big news, the official comes under heavy scrutiny and has a lot of explaining to do. Just ask George Petak.

Not so in the case of Jennifer "flip-flop" Morales.


MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK

Brittany Spears apparently is having a comeback……
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK

From the Janesville Gazette:


OWNER LAY DEAD WHILE PAIR TOURED HER HOME
By Shelly Birkelo
Gazette staff

A Janesville real estate agent can't believe she didn't realize that a form on the bed at a house she showed Monday night was a woman who apparently had been dead for two weeks.

"I've smelled death. I know what death smells like," she said. "I can't believe my sinuses were that bad."

Linda Chabucos-Galow, a realtor with Shorewest, was showing the east side house at 1160 N. Claremont Drive to Justin and Colleen McKeen.

Chabucos-Galow stood in the dining room while the couple walked through the house. She heard Colleen scream as the couple stood at the doorway of the front bedroom.

"I thought, 'What's wrong?' Maybe it was a dead mouse or something," Chabucos-Galow said.

But when Chabucos-Galow peered into the bedroom, she saw what looked like a dummy on the bed.

"It looked like a Halloween prop,'' Chabucos-Galow said.

It wasn't.

It was the body of Linda L. O'Leary, 55, the owner of the home.

The small, uncovered body was wearing dark shorts. Chabucos-Galow said the legs were wrapped in material that appeared similar to cheesecloth or support hose.

"If we spent five minutes in there, I'd be stretching it. 'We need to leave. This is not right. We need to get out of here,'" Chabucos-Galow said she told the couple.

She thought it was a hoax, she said.

Rock County Coroner Jenifer Keach this morning confirmed that she pronounced O'Leary dead at 11 p.m. Monday.

The police department's overnight log lists the incident as a sudden death, which Capt. Dan Davis said indicates to him that there was no foul play.

Keach would not comment on whether the death was suspicious or if foul play was involved, but she did say an autopsy had "not been scheduled yet."

A patrol supervisor at the police department said this morning that the coroner called to the scene estimated the homeowner had been dead for two weeks.

Gale Kent, the Coldwell Banker First United Realty agent who listed the house, said the property has been for sale "for awhile," but she declined to say how many times the home had been shown in recent weeks.

"I don't want to say anything because I haven't talked to the police yet," Kent said.

Chabucos-Galow set up the Monday evening showing without knowing the homeowner's identity. After entering the house, she noticed a faint odor but thought it was from the mess in the house or the countertop full of dishes. She saw unopened mail.

"It was just very untidy. I thought that was odd,'' Chabucos-Galow said.

Justin McKeen encouraged Chabucos-Galow to call someone. She called Kent.

McKeen notified police later Monday night.

Responding officers found the body, a police sergeant said.



REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

Week-ends

Week-ends

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...

HEROES OF THE WEEK

Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf who is asking some very serious questions about the actions of Franklin school officials during the recent failed school referenda.

The Franklin students who volunteered to help create taped books for special education students, and the Franklin teachers who came up with the program.

The legendary Les Paul.

Derek Fisher of the Utah Jazz.

Jeff Ruby


VILLAINS OF THE WEEK

The punks who called in 10 bomb threats to Sheboygan schools since April 20.


QUOTES OF THE WEEK

"Why do we need to have free samples at grocery stores? You've got families going shopping, little kids. To me, it's sending a bad message to kids. And will there be licensed bartenders there to distribute the samples and check IDs?"
Green Bay Alderman and fussbudget Steven Deneys, complaining about the new state law that allows retailers statewide to offer two free three-ounce samples of beer to legal adults between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

“It certainly takes away any parental discretion. I think the parents are probably the best one to judge whether they should have a life preserver on.”
Bob Hume, who lives on Lake Altoona, about a bill approved by the state Senate requiring that children 12 and under must wear life preservers whenever a boat is in motion.

"I mean, he admitted that he used steroids. I mean, there's no gray area. He admitted to cheating on his wife, cheating on his taxes and cheating on the game, so I think the reaction around the league, the game, being what it is, in the case of what people think. Hank Aaron not being there. The commissioner trying to figure out where to be. It's sad. And I don't care that he's black, or green, or purple, or yellow, or whatever. It's unfortunate … there's good people and bad people. It's unfortunate that it's happening the way it's happening."
Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, ripping San Francisco Giant slugger Barry Bonds. Schilling would apologize later for his comments, though I thought an apology was unnecessary.


OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK

We Energies seeks whopping rate increase.


MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK

The campaign of Mark Green, the Republican candidate for governor in 2006, did not violate federal law when it transferred $1.2 million from his congressional account to his state fund.

Jim Doyle and the Democrats who screamed bloody murder during the entire gubernatorial campaign: DEAD WRONG

Mark Green: EXONERATED.

Remember, it was Doyle who had his henchmen on the State Elections Board rule against the transfer of funds so Green would have far less money to get his message out.

This was a campaign issue for months. Now that Green was ruled right and his detractors, including the Governor, wrong, there was barely a peep about it.

The Journal/Sentinel dedicated all of 4 short paragraphs to the story.


MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK

Oh no!!!! Paris Hilton might have to go to jail!!!!


STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK

Our wonderful state government orders a gas station to increase its prices. Here’s the story.

A few days later, a state official denied the report, claiming the state only informed the station owner to follow state law.


REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

Week-ends

Week-ends

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...

HEROES OF THE WEEK

Fallen Kenosha County Sheriff’s Deputy Frank Fabiano.

Ivory Spann.

Becky Cooke.

Franklin High School student John Roark.


VILLAINS OF THE WEEK

Whoever shot and killed 4-year old Jasmine Owens.

Ezequiel Lopez (or whatever his name is)

Father of the Year in Greenfield.


QUOTES OF THE WEEK

"A 4-year-old girl died last night. A 4-year-old girl was shot and killed last night in our city. ... Some gutless thug decided he would solve his problem by shooting a 4-year-old girl. What a tough guy. He can brag about that to all of his buddies, that he took out a 4-year-old girl."
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett


“If We Energies doesn't slow down — and there's no indication it would — quick math says state residents' electric bills could double in a 16-year period. That would mean the average household, which uses about 750-kilowatt-hours per month and would be paying $94 a month in 2009, would be paying close to $140 every bill in 2017. Anyone think the average state income will keep up with that? Interest rates? Inflation?”
The Appleton Post-Crescent, editorializing on We Energies’ request of the state Public Service Commission to allow it to raise its rates 15.6 percent over the next two years.


"I am not predicting it's going to pass. I'm kind of fooling around with holy water here.”
State Representative and ultra-liberal Terese Berceau (D-Madison), about her proposal to boost the $2 tax on beer to $10 a barrel to fight drunken driving and treat alcohol addiction and mental illness.


” The best thing we could do would be to ignore the governor's budget and work from the current budget, limiting our spending to our natural revenue growth. Just like any family must do, Wisconsin government must learn to live within its means. We shouldn't spend any more than we're taking in under our current tax system.”
State Senator Mike Ellis (R-Neenah).



”They're going to be stuck. The city is really sprawled out -- people need a car to get to work. They need to be able to drive to get groceries."
Ben Winter of the East Isthmus Neighborhoods Planning Council, based in Madison. Winter is also an immigration law para-legal. Winter commented on Wisconsin’s new law requiring that applicants for driver’s licenses show proof that they’re legal citizens in the United States.


"We should not be in the business of making it easier for illegals to be here.”
State Senator Alan Lasee, (R-De Pere) a sponsor of the new law requiring proof of legal status to obtain a driver’s license. Lasee said that if the law makes life difficult for undocumented immigrants, that's too bad.


"I hope we don't take a thousand page bill written in secret and try to ram it through the Senate in a few days. This is a very important issue for America and we need time to debate it.

But the little we do know about the bill is troubling. According to reports, the bill contains a new 'Z Visa' that allows those who entered our country illegally to stay here permanently without ever returning home. This rewards people who broke the law with permanent legal status, and puts them ahead of millions of law-abiding immigrants waiting to come to America.

I don't care how you try to spin it, this is amnesty."

Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on the immigration compromise struck by Congressional leaders.


"Some members of Congress argue that no one who came to this country illegally should be allowed to continue living and working in our country, and that any plan to allow them to stay equals amnesty, no matter how many conditions we impose. Listen, I appreciate the members that are acting on deeply felt principles. I understand that. Yet I also believe that the approach they suggest is wrong and unrealistic."
President Bush responding to those in the Republican Party who advocate a get-tough only approach on immigration reform.


“We should all bike to work? It is supposed to be 87 degrees today.

This just in. If you bike more than a mile to work, I have news for you. You STINK. As in you smell. Real bad. Your sweat-soaked clothes reek like a high school locker room. Your slicked back hair isn’t fooling anyone. We know it’s not gel keeping your locks swept back, it’s just sweat.

Oh, and you stink. Most of you who bike to work are damn menaces on busy city streets, too. You demand rights and access to the roadways, but you zigzag through traffic and ignore signs, signals and the basic rules of the road.

Senator Sullivan, just how much work are you going to get done once you reach Madison after an 80 mile voyage? Perhaps you’ll hold a press conference? But will you do anything constructive today, like try to stop your party from raising taxes on my house, my car, my hunting licenses, the fuel for my car? My Ipod?

You should have driven to work instead, and used that extra time to thwart your party’s attempts to make this tax hell even hotter.”

WauwatosaNOW.com blogger Brian Fraley, ripping state Senator Jim Sullivan of Wauwatosa who biked 80 miles from Tosa to the state Capitol this past Monday as part of National Bike to Work Week. I must admit I liked the way Brian used the title of my blog in his piece.


Regarding a father who left his two-month old baby in the back seat of his car in the hot sun while he and his 9-year old son went shopping in Greenfield for a Mother's Day gift: "You have to give him the benefit of the doubt. We all do it, we misplace our car keys or our wallets. The father deserves our empathy."
A caller to my program on WISN this week, defending the father.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK

The senseless killing of 4-year old Jasmine Owens.



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK

There has been a great deal of reporting on Governor Doyle’s bloated state budget that contains a preposterous increase in taxes and fees totaling $1.75-billion.

That budget is unacceptable and there’s been a tremendous outpouring of vocal opposition.

Here’s what hasn’t been reported.

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee has been going over the Governor’s budget, line by line. The committee has about two weeks left in its process.

As bad as Doyle’s budget is, and it’s horrendous, the Joint Finance Committee as of today has increased spending by about $17.4 million over the levels proposed by Governor Doyle. The committee is split with 8 Democrats and 8 Republicans.

The news media, in the interest of taxpayers and in their appropriate role of watchdog, should be doing a frequent, if not daily scorecard of what the tab is for the people who pay the bills.

Meanwhile, the Joint Finance Committee’s response should be to reduce the massive tax and fee increases Doyle proposed. The committee, instead, has taken the opposite and highly irresponsible approach.



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK

Brett Favre is mad.

Favre wants to be traded.

Favre doesn’t want to be traded.

Favre won’t come to mini-camp.

Favre is coming to mini-camp.

Favre won’t practice at mini-camp.

Favre might practice, a little.

Favre might shave today.

Favre might not shave after all.


It seemed as though Brett Favre made BREAKING NEWS every ten minutes this week. But this is one of those “over-hyped” stories I believe was warranted. Because of the religious fervor people have about the Packers, they, of course, want to know and hear about everything they can about beloved #4.

Favre agreed to return to the Packers this year with expectations the team would surround him with high-caliber players. The Packers’ inept management, especially clueless General Manager Ted Thompson responded by drafting players on DEFENSE, and refusing to make deals to get Favre somebody to hand the ball off and throw to.

I don’t blame Favre for being angry. He owes the Packers nothing. They owe him more.



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK

The Cedarburg Strawberry Festival it ain’t.



REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

Week-ends

Week-ends

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...

HEROES OF THE WEEK

All of our veterans.

This is a weekend we remember and say “thank you” to the men and women who fought for our country. No one says thank you quite like Bert Brady.

ABC News reports that just about every morning for over a year, Brady has been getting up, having a cup of coffee and heading over to the Dallas Fort Worth Airport. But this ritual has nothing to do with travel. He's at the terminal to welcome home American troops as they return from Iraq and Afghanistan. I blogged about Brady in April, but this weekend, his story is worth another look.



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK

These people.

Just fill up your tanks, be quiet, and don’t take it out on the gas station employees.

Freshmen Democratic Senators John Lehman (Racine), Pat Kreitlow (Chippewa Falls), Jim Sullivan (Wauwatosa) and Kathleen Vinehout (Alma).

They announced this week that they are introducing legislation to eliminate legislators’ ability to accumulate unused sick leave balances.

Say what???

Senate Democrats had a golden opportunity back in April to kill sick leave, but refused.

Senate Democrats on several occasions have rejected bringing a bill to kill sick leave to the Senate floor for debate and a vote. Now four of their members are posing for holy pictures, hoping to grab headlines and votes?

State Representative Jeff Wood (R-Chippewa Falls) said he was surprised at the Democrats' proposal considering all four Democratic senators voted against suspending the rules May 9 to withdraw a similar proposal from committee and take it up for a vote.

"This hypocrisy is why people hate legislators," said Wood, who supported the previous proposal approved by the Assembly, which would have barred legislators, Supreme Court justices, court of appeals or circuit court judges and other state elected officials from receiving sick leave while in office.

State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) also was correct in calling out the Democrats. Darling wrote in a press release:

“After months of stonewalling, dodging debate and specifically voting against ending their sick leave perks, Senate Democrats made a transparent attempt to save face today. Four months ago, Republicans introduced Assembly Bill 31, which eliminates the accumulated sick leave credit program for state elected officials.

Senate Democrats announced today they plan to introduce a watered-down sick leave bill of their own soon. After Democrats ran away from debating the sick leave issue on the Senate floor twice before, they officially voted against eliminating their sick leave perks on May 9. Apparently embarrassed that they publicly chose their perks over the best interest of taxpayers, Senate Democrats are trying to convince middle-class Wisconsinites that eliminating their sick leave benefits is actually a priority for them.”


Not only are the 4 freshmen Democrats who are now saying they’ll kill sick leave an embarrassment, the entire Senate Democrat caucus deserves criticism for their unanimous effort to prevent earlier votes on this issue.

And finally, Kimberly Prude



QUOTES OF THE WEEK

"It's been said that the only people that won't like my budget are oil executives who smoke three packs a day.”
Governor Doyle at an appearance in Manitowoc.


"I think consumers will pay it."
Jeff Schoepke, director of tax and corporate policy for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce about Governor Doyle's proposed new tax on oil companies that would amount to a 7-cent increase in the gas tax. The conventional wisdom is that the tax would be passed on to consumers.


"The way I see it is, I'm doing all the work of providing the labor, the wages, the electricity, the lighting, the maintenance of the pumps, the repairs and the insurance, which is quite substantial. I'm doing all the work, and somebody else is getting fat on me."
Jeff Curro, who stopped selling gas this week at his station at 124th and Burleigh.


"I finally had to just pull the plug on it and say, 'I can't afford to do it anymore.' Then you listen to the public, and they say we're gouging them. Who needs to listen to that? I'd need to have my head examined."
Casey O’Gorman, who no longer sells gas at his station at 84th and Greenfield.


”What did McBride do that was so awful? She pretended to interview liberal Journal Sentinel columnist Eugene Kane by asking him a number of questions he’d have trouble answering. She played the sound of a chicken clucking when it came time for the absent Kane to speak. One of the "questions" dealt with the murder of a little girl in a drive-by shooting. The playing of the "clucking" sound was the horrid "offense" that got McBride sacked. Give me a break. The bit wasn’t very funny but it’s hardly offensive. McBride was making fun of the refusal of urban liberals to acknowledge the severity of the crime problem. She wasn’t mocking the little girl. WTMJ knows that.”
WISN’s Mark Belling, on WTMJ’s firing of Jessica McBride.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK

You think I’m going to mention gas prices, don’t you? I might have because motorists are so angry. But apparently they’re not that upset.

So I offer another driving-related story that raised the temperature this week.


MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK

As you read this story, think about what the media coverage would be if the story involved the chairman of the REPUBLICAN party……think there wouldn’t be negative coverage each and every day?


MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK

Yes, gas prices are bad. I don’t need a TV camera in the face of someone every night telling me they’re bad.

And American Idol is done for the season. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a national crisis.


STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK

Apparently crime has been wiped out in Port Washington because the Port Washington cops have nothing better to do.

Also….it seems the Click it or Ticket press release never got to the White House.

You’ve got to hand it to the President. He can “handle” just about anything that’s ”dumped” on him.

And finally this week…………He’s 60, she’s 29. Democrat Dennis Kucinich’s British bride is quite…..AHEM…….interesting. She says this about her President wannabe husband:

“Can you imagine what it would be like to have real love in the White House and a true union between the masculine and the feminine?”

Oh, there’s more.



REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.



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