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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.

2013 Photos of the Year

Photos of the Week

Here’s my pick for Photo of the Year:

Carlos Arredondo, 52, and two others help rush Jeffrey Bauman Jr., 27, of Chelmsford, to get medical aid after Bauman was severely wounded in the Boston Marathon bombings in April. Photo: Charles Krupa, Associated Press

Here are other great 2013 photos from

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Michigan State just beat Stanford to win the Rose Bowl

Only one team beat Michigan State  this season.

Was it Wisconsin?


Ohio State?


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There's taking a plunge...

And there's taking a plunge.

Today, New Year's Day at Milwaukee's lakefront, the annual Polar Bear dive into Lake Michigan.

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Great news for Green Bay Packer fans!

I'm not talking about this weekend's playoff game.

I'm talking long-term future.

The WI State Journal has some tweets of fan reaction.

Southridge dumping bus stop the right route to go

To some, the Simon Property Group was Simon Legree.

The private owner of the Southridge Mall announced last fall that a bus stop near Sears would be removed and replaced with a stop near the edge of the property, some 1,000 feet from the mall entrance. Simon cited safety concerns.

The knee-jerk reactions were predictable.

"This will be a huge inconvenience for shoppers, some of whom are elderly, others who may have disabilities or are parents of small children," Milwaukee County supervisors Mark Borkowski and Michael Mayo wrote in a news release.

"When you're talking about seniors and disabled people having to walk through traffic, in the winter weather — I mean, are you kidding me?" Supervisor Steve Taylor said at a Franklin Town Hall meeting.  "What's safer: Seeing a big bus and knowing where it is or (seeing) some person walking through the parking lot, maybe without all their faculties and being slow?"

Supporters of private property rights obviously were mean and cruel. Meanwhile opponents of Simon’s move engaged in a lot of name-calling but offered no alternative.

Research done by George Mason University shows Simon’s decision was a good one. They studied what the impact would be if bus routes were eliminated in the community that service the university. reports:

“They concluded the system could reduce travel times by 23 percent and cut operating costs by about same amount if it scrapped 43 percent of its bus stops. That may seem dramatic, but they say it wouldn't drastically reduce the number of community members served by the system.

“When bus stops are frequent, not only do buses have to stop more often to pick up and drop off passengers, they also use value time accelerating and decelerating. Those two factors alone can take up to 26 percent of total bus travel times. All that stopping and starting can also increase emissions.”

There’s more:

“…such a reduction in travel times would likely encourage more people to use the system since it could be more useful for them. Moreover, the transit system could use the savings to fund things that might encourage transit use, like cheaper fares or upgraded bus shelters.”

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Seriously, how foolish can you be?

It's amazing the difficulty educators have in exercising common sense.

UPDATE:  My my, what took them so long? I post after 11:00 Friday night. Franklin finally cancels school on Monday. No timestamp on the announcement, so we’re not sure exactly when the light bulb finally went on for school officials to make the correct decision. 

Zero sympathy...none

Tonight, after the taping of InterCHANGE was finished at Milwaukee Public Television, one of the members of the studio crew, with a bit of consternation I might add, mentioned that he still needed to find a place to watch Sunday’s Packer playoff game against San Francisco.

“Oh, there are plenty of places to see the game” I said hoping to offer reassurance.

Or so I thought.

Not in Central America.

That’s where he’s headed this weekend.

Belize to be exact.

And earlier today on Waikiki Beach...

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Goodnight everyone, and have a memorable weekend!


“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”

Haruki Murakami,
Kafka on the Shore

It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night music feature on This Just In.

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Disappointing, once again, the Big Ten Conference in bowl games

2-5 in bowl games:

Orange Bowl

No. 12 Clemson 40, No. 7 Ohio State 35


Rose Bowl

No. 4 Michigan State 24, No. 5 Stanford 20

Capital One Bowl

No. 8 South Carolina 34, No. 19 Wisconsin 24


Outback Bowl

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The best cartoons of the week (01/04/14)

Best Cartoons of the Week

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

142401 600 2014 Advice cartoons

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

The Barking Lot-America's Finest Dog Blog (01/04/14)

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In
Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me. It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then its DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY: A chance of snow showers. Windy. High of 29.  "F"

SUNDAY: Cloudy. High of 8. "F"



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Week-ends (01/04/14)


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...


Shane Linehan

Ralph Sustaita

Tafadzwa Kachere

Jaxxyn Wood

Every day heroes of 2013


Megan Garland

The Washington Post

Alexis Hidalgo

New York's new mayor

Brookfield mall cops



“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department.”
Detroit Police Chief James Craig speaking at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7 percent drop in violent crime in 2013. He also said if more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them.

“It’s a huge, radical departure for the police chief to say good people should have access to firearms. I’m not ready to say he’s pro-gun just yet, but it’s vastly different from what police chiefs have said in the past.”
Rick Ector of the Firearm Academy of Detroit, which teaches gun safety classes, said Craig’s comments are unusual for a police official.

“A lot of police officers have no problem at all with law-abiding citizens having guns. I think it’s probably like the citizenry: Some are for it, some are against it. But most police chiefs don’t want to talk about the subject. It’s a divisive issue, and a lot of times chiefs are reluctant to get in the middle of those debates. Gun control, the death penalty — most chiefs try to stay out of those discussions. Craig speaks his mind; you’ve got to give him credit for that.”

Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police director Robert Stevenson

“It was a year (2013) that started with great expectations but a few months later, a trio of controversies quickly threatened to detail President Obama’s second-term agenda. Revelations the IRS was targeting conservative groups. And that the Justice Department was seizing the phone records of journalists. Plus the ongoing fallout from the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

“One of President Obama 's biggest policy goals – enacting stiffer gun laws in the Newtown tragedy – failed to go anywhere after a bipartisan bill was narrowly defeated in the Senate.

“And his other big priority – immigration policy – didn’t get much further. But it was the president's signature achievement -- health care reform – that ended up becoming his biggest headache. The president forced to apologize over and over for the botched rollout.”

NBC reporter Kristen Welker during a report looking back at President Obama’s year in 2013. A screen graphic read: “A YEAR TO FORGET?”

“I made my kids sign up (for ObamaCare).Because I just said this is your patriotic duty.”

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC's chief medical editor

“ABC's Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts came out as gay Sunday.

“She did so in a lengthy Facebook post commemorating the one year anniversary of her successfully surviving 100 days following her bone marrow transplant in 2012.

“Makes you wonder if the President was also aware of this and that aided in his to give Roberts an exclusive interview in May 2012 wherein he famously flip-flopped on his position on gay marriage.”
Noel Sheppard of NewsBusters

“The mainstream media have done their best to help spread the word that Barack Obama puts his pants on one leg at a time. Take a story from Sunday’s New York Times that addresses his TV viewing preferences…The clear sense of the article is that despite the pomp and circumstance that are perks of the job that used to be designated as ‘leader of the free world,’ Barack Obama is just another couch potato, no worse and no better than the denizens of the middle class he claims he wants to help.

“No one is criticizing the president’s tastes in viewing, but his TV habits — or at least the number of series, most with running times of one hour, that he professes to watch — do raise a question: When does he find time to play golf?”
Howard Portnoy, NewsBusters

“I’m talking about global warming, er, climate change. Or what us common folks still call it… the weather.

“The great thing about the weather is that it happens every day and, as Mark Twain said, everyone talks about it, but nobody ever does anything about it.

“That’s because, as Twain’s deadpan implies, you can’t actually do much about the weather.

“There’s always going to be a tornado, or hurricane or a drought that will hurt folks-- which for a liberal means that there are votes for sale. They can stump about it and talk about how poor people are more exposed to the weather, and how rich people use more energy, and all the other eye wash liberals sell to pit one group against the other as they drive their SUVs and retire to their big houses that use more carbon than anyone else.”

John Ransom, Townhall Finance

“Does it make sense to allow someone who has broken our immigration laws to be admitted to the practice of law? Most people would answer ‘no,’ but then not much makes sense when it comes to the morass of immigration policy these days. This is why the decision by the California Supreme Court this week to admit (illegal immigrant) Sergio Garcia to the practice of law in the state should come as no surprise.

“I am happy for Garcia, who seems by all accounts to be a smart, talented and dedicated man who will contribute to the state and country he calls home. And the state Supreme Court appears to have correctly interpreted both state and federal law. Nonetheless, I am troubled by the contortions in common sense the decision entailed, most of which are the result of a broken immigration system.”
Linda Chavez, chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity

"I'm not gay. I really, really like women. That's all I can say about that.

"There's always going to be silly stuff out there in the media. You can't worry too much about it. I don't. There should be 'professional is professional and personal is personal.' That's the way I'm going to keep it."

Packer QB Aaron Rodgers


What about the baby?

ObamaCare confusion


This irony ... the numbers.


The weather...rightfully so.


The FDA is seeking a gum chewing tester.

We need more female trains.

The end of men?

Isaac Asimov was darn close.

Recommended Reading (01/04/14)

Recommended Reading

Here are interesting articles from the past week that are worth a read:

Should schools cancel based on the forecast?

"My children were supposed to go back to school Thursday, the day after New Year’s Day, while some nearby districts extended the winter break until Monday. School was already canceled Thursday. It is hard to believe they would even want the children for a single day after two weeks of vacation. So why not cancel already? Why wait to call me Friday morning at 5:45 (again)?"

Enough pot happy talk

"There was way too much giddiness in the media about the first day of legal pot selling in Colorado. Instead of all the happy talk, I think it’s time for some sober discussion and a strong dose of education about the addiction risks of smoking marijuana -- particularly among young people. It may start out as a party, but it often ends up as something much, much worse."

An open letter to the Obama Administration and American Citizens

"The Affordable Care Act is leaving my children uninsured as of January – so how can this law have the word Care in it?"

If you like your Prez...

"...a term that began with heady pledges and apparent momentum is in wreckage. Confidence in Obama has sunk like a cinder block hurled into the East River.

"The embarrassing showing centers on his bungled implementation of Obamacare, raising doubts about its very viability, and extends to disastrous international zigs and zags that have sapped U.S. credibility among allies and foes. Call it the very worst year of this presidency."

The year Washington fled reality

"The past year may go down not only as the least productive ever in Washington but as one of the worst for the republic.

"In both the executive branch and Congress, Americans witnessed an unwinding of the country's founding principles and of their government's most basic responsibilities. The rule of law gave way to the rule of rulers. And the rule of reality—in which politicians are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts, as Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan liked to say—gave way to some politicians' belief that they were entitled to both their own opinions and their own facts. It's no wonder the institutions of government barely function."

The ObamaCare we deserve (By Michael Moore)

"Obamacare is awful. That is the dirty little secret many liberals have avoided saying out loud for fear of aiding the president’s enemies, at a time when the ideal of universal health care needed all the support it could get."

My New Year's resolution

"...for 2014 I am dead set to morph from being a pretty good conservative gadfly to the lunatic Left to becoming an even more annoying source of angst for the progressives amongst us. Why? Well, the stakes are too high for conservatives to remain nice.”

Thinking for ourselves: The rewards of independence and common sense are many

"By keeping large groups of Americans complacent and afraid of challenging authority, the position, wealth and status of those in power is secure. The last thing they want is for independent-thinking citizens to realize that this country was designed for them and not for an arrogant ruling class. They dread the possibility of people scrutinizing their words and deeds, and holding them accountable for the same. By using strong-arm tactics and a sheepishly compliant news media, the supposed guardians of truth, they have become very successful at pawn control."

Awaiting a season for civility

"Do you think it’s too late for a Christmas gift idea? Not for the one I have in mind. It’s something you can give right now to anyone you like. It’s something that’s sorely needed in policy circles and political debates; namely, civility.

"Alas, what we’re seeing in the marketplace of ideas today is a disturbing growth of incivility. This breakdown isn’t a failing of either the political left or right exclusively. It spreads from one end of the spectrum to the other."

How close to reality was Back to the Future Part II?

"This year, the sequel to the 1985 classic turns 25 years old. While the Robert Zemeckis film starring Michael J. Fox was never as popular as its predecessor, the film is a cult favorite among sci-fi geeks and children of the 1980's, largely due to its colorful predictions about what America would look like in the year 2015. "


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Photos of the Week (01/05/14)

Photos of the Week

1) Nick warms himself on a steam grate with three other homeless men by the Federal Trade Commission, just blocks from the Capitol, during frigid temperatures in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. A winter storm that swept across the Midwest this week blew through the Northeast on Friday, leaving bone-chilling cold in its wake. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

2) Ice floats on the surface of Lake Michigan Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Chicago. Single-digit temperatures are hitting Illinois after the state was blanketed in snow. Meanwhile, residents are bracing for a deep freeze. Highs early next week likely won't reach zero and wind chills could sink to 45 below. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

3) Cheyenne Fox attaches radio frequency tracking tags, required by law, to maturing pot plants inside a grow house, at 3D Cannabis Center, in Denver, Tuesday Dec. 31, 2013. Colorado made final preparations for marijuana sales to begin Jan. 1, a day some called "Green Wednesday." 3D Cannabis Center opened as a recreational retail outlet on New Year's Day. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

4) Sean Azzariti, a former Marine who served in the Iraq war and has post-traumatic stress disorder, smiles as he makes a cash transaction, the first to buy retail marijuana at 3D Cannabis Center, which opened as a legal recreational retail outlet in Denver, on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. Colorado began retail marijuana sales on Jan. 1, a day some are calling "Green Wednesday." (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

5) In this Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013 photo, teenage girls cool off in a water fountain in Buenos Aires, Argentina. An intense heat wave is plaguing Argentina as temperatures soar above 100 degrees. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

6) A rainbow arches across the horizon during New Year's Eve festivities on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. Sugar Loaf is pictured on left. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

7) Paul Burnip, of Roosevelt Park, Mich., left, and Wes Starr, of Ravenna, Mich., brave the cold as they ice fish, on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/The Muskegon Chronicle, Madelyn P. Hastings)

8) Two-month-old Jack Hsi takes a nap sheltered in his baby carrier while snow falls in Boston, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. Up to 14 inches of snow is forecast for the Boston area. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

9) Morning commuters walk against blowing snow Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Chicago. As much as a foot of snow or more was forecast for some areas in the Northeast overnight Thursday into Friday, and temperatures were expected to plummet, with some areas seeing highs just above zero, according to the National Weather Service. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

10) A man dressed as a Viking takes part in the torchlight procession as it makes its way through Edinburgh for the start of the Hogmanay celebrations on December 30, in Scotland. Around 80,000 people were expected in the city for the traditional New Year celebrations, which run over three days. Tickets have been bought for the event by people from over sixty different countries. (Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

11) A worker takes a break while arranging "wishing spheres" along Marina Bay in Singapore, December 30, 2013. People penned their wishes for the New Year onto the spheres before placing them into the river. (Low Youjin/Reuters)

12) Veronica Boshen and Brittany Wells, of Allentown, Pa., pose for a photo with their 2014 glasses while waiting for the celebration to begin in Times Square on New Year's Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

13) Passengers enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride near Central Park on New Year's Eve day, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in New York. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who was sworn in New Year's Eve, supports ending the practice of horse-drawn carriages. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

14) Laser lights shoot from a tower during a New Year's Eve count down to 2014 held at the Great Wall of China in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

15) A reveler writes "2014" with sparklers in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, December 30, 2013. (Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

16) People gather at daybreak on the top steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking toward the Washington Monument to watch the first sunrise of the New Year in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

17) The icy waters of Lake Michigan await people taking the annual New Year’s Day plunge in Milwaukee. Journal Sentinel photo: Mike De Sisti

18) Brent Emery (left) of Menomonee Falls and Severo Benavides of Milwaukee use shovels to clear a patch of ice for people to jump in. Journal Sentinel photo: Mike De Sisti

19) With emergency responders close by, a woman is overcome by the cold during her plunge at Milwaukee's lakefront on New Year's Day.  Journal Sentinel photo:  Mike De Sisti

20) A woman is drenched in freezing water after her New Year’s Day dip. Journal Sentinel photo: Mike De Sisti

21) Bud Fox of Brookfield is overcome with cold as he lies in the waves. Journal Sentinel photo:  Mike De Sisti

22) Dana Kenney of Fox Point screams from the cold as she exits the lake after a short dip. Journal Sentinel photo:  Mike De Sisti

23) Resl Weigel of Milwaukee screams as she leaves the icy water. Journal Sentinel photo: Mike De Sisti

24) Swimmers in fancy dress participate in the New Year's Day Looney Dook swim in the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry, Scotland, on Jan. 1, 2014. Photo: Russell Cheyne / Reuters

25) Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw (14) celebrates his touchdown reception with wide receiver Bruce Ellington (23) in the second quarter against Wisconsin. South Carolina's Shaw had a hand in five different touchdowns as the Gamecocks beat the Badgers, 34-24. Shaw passed for three scores, ran for one and caught another in the Capital One Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl. It was Wisconsin's 4th straight bowl defeat. Photo: Reuters

26) Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers hits Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) in the second quarter at Soldier Field. The fumble was recovered by a Packers player for a touchdown on the play. Photo: Jose M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune, Dec. 29, 2013

27) Packers QB Aaron Rodgers signals touchdown as wide receiver Jarrett Boykin picks up a fumble and walks it into the end zone for a touchdown in the second quarter last Sunday against the Bears in Chicago. Journal Sentinel photo: Rick Wood

28) Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb catches a ball in front of cornerback Zack Bowman before running in for the game-winning touchdown.  Photo:  Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune, Dec. 29, 2013

29) Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers reacts after he throws the game-winning touchdown to wide receiver Randall Cobb in the fourth quarter. Photo: Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune, Dec. 29, 2013

30) Brandon Marshall lies on the turf at end of a 33-28 loss to the Packers.  Photo:  Scott Strazzante / Chicago Tribune, Dec. 29, 2013


Photographer Dave Martin, center, works during an NFL football game between the Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons, in Atlanta on Dec. 29, 2013. Martin, 59, died after collapsing on the Georgia Dome field two days later.  Photo: John  Bazemore, AP

Dec. 31, 2013: One of the last photographs taken by Dave Martin shows Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin as he is dunked in the closing seconds of a 52-48 win over Duke in the the Chick-fil-A Bowl NCAA college football game in Atlanta.

The story.

Culinary no-no #360

Culinary no-no's


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What dangerous cold temperatures?

Look, I fully support the many closings today, especially the schools.

Still, I can’t help but recall
this old article from the Journal Sentinel.

My Most Popular Blogs (01/06/14)

Most popular

Here are
my most popular blogs from last week, Sunday - Saturday:

1) Southridge dumping bus stop the right route to go

2) Photos of the Week (12/29/13)

3) Culinary no-­no #359





8) The latest pro-­life news (12/30/13)

9) Seriously, how foolish can you be?

10) The Barking Lot-America's Finest Dog Blog (01/04/14)


My friend Tom Skibosh gives a brutal, but accurate assessment of this year's Packers.

UPDATE: Photos of the Week (01/05/14)

Photos of the Week

Previously on This Just In...check out #1.

The update.

The latest pro-life news (01/06/14)

Pro-Life news

From Pro-Life Wisconsin.

Also, from WI Right To Life:

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From the Steve Olson for Franklin Facebook page

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UPDATE: 2013 Photos of the Year

Photos of the Week

Previously on This Just In
… I gave my selection for Photo of the Year:

Carlos Arredondo, 52, and two others help rush Jeffrey Bauman Jr., 27, of Chelmsford, to get medical aid after Bauman was severely wounded in the Boston Marathon bombings in April. Photo: Charles Krupa, Associated Press

The update: Upon further review (and researching previous 2013 blogs) I want to also include the following:

Chizema Najika, 80, shows her card as she leaves in a cart after voting at a polling station in Harare on July 31, 2013 during Zimbabwe's presidential election. Remember, a photo ID requirement to vote in America is just too much of a hassle. Photo: Alexander Joe / AFP - Getty Images

Suzy's Cream Cheesecakes Inc., wants to move...guess where?

If you thought Franklin (insert hearty laugh here), you must be crazy!

C'mon, don't be silly.
The correct answer, of course, is…

He took his heart to San Francisco


Frigid Appleton, Wisconsin was the last place you’d expect to find a stylin' and profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin' n' dealin' son of a gun this past weekend. But that’s where pro wrestling superstar Ric Flair turned up.

“The Nature Boy” made a surprise visit to the San Francisco 49ers’ hotel the day before their playoff battle against the Green Bay Packers to give a pre-game pep talk. No surprise that many 49ers are Flair fans. So they were ecstatic when Flair walked into the room accompanied by his customary entrance music, the Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

On the controversy-meter this hardly registers, a story sportscasters can chuckle about on set. However, the flamboyant multi-champion of the squared circle made a remark that did register thousands of miles away.

“Ric Flair’s heart is with the 49ers all the way to the end.”


He didn’t really say that, did he?

Ric Flair?

Backing the 49ers?

To the end?

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Is it a dog? A squirrel? A rabbit? No, it's a ....

Interesting things seem to happen to my friend Tricia Sieg, aide to state Senator Mary Lazich.

On January 3, she posted a picture on her Facebook page taken just outside her office window.