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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.

This Just In hopes you all get ...


that very special gift from Santa.

Merry Christmas!


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THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2008: #8

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2008


2007 was not a good year for the Franklin School Board and the Franklin Public School District for essentially two reasons:

1) They made horrible decisions.

2) An alert public
, led by blogger watchdogs was paying more attention and being more critical. It was no longer business as usual.

Board members (most, not all) tried to ram two referenda totaling over $78 million down the taxpayers’ throats. They failed miserably as over 60% of voters rejected the massive property tax increase.

Through diligence and the use of open records, Franklin blogger Janet Evans obtained embarrassing e-mail exchanges between Franklin school officials about the failed referenda before and after they went down in flames. Shortly after the election in spring 2007, the Franklin superintendent, whose job it was to shepherd the referenda across the finish line to victory, was instead designated the scapegoat. He was fired and a new superintendent who coincidentally had a positive record on getting buildings built was hired.

Quietly, the Franklin School Board dumped its president and chose another.

The most egregious kick in the teeth to taxpayers came at budget time when Franklin School Board members swore they approved a property tax levy increase of just under 6%. It was actually (taxpayers be damned) just under 13%. They didn’t tell you that. I did in on my blog. Taxpayers never got so much as an, “I’m sorry.”

That was 2007.

The shameless antics of the Franklin School Board led to four candidates running for two open seats in April 2008. The winners were David Works and Linda Witkowski.

Franklin blogger Janet Evans sat down and conducted lengthy interviews with all the candidates. Their answers appeared on Evans’ blog and mine (you can still see them in my tags section).

Here’s an excerpt from Janet Evans’ blog about her interview with David Works prior to the election:


David conveyed to me he has a strong passion for “educational excellence” and, if elected to the position for School Board member, he would want to work to improve our standards whenever possible, to prepare our students for the future.

As a School Board member, he would be there to represent the best interests of every student and taxpayer, and do so in a professional and ethical manner, establishing better trust and communication within the school district.  David also thinks it is essential to exercise sound financial judgment, only after the review of convincing data, also in a professional manner.

Some items of importance to David that he would like to see accomplished as a member of the Franklin Board are:

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More music of Christmas: Sacred is the best

More music of Christmas


This is my final night of Christmas musical selections that if I could be a radio program director for one day, I’d slide into the format.

Christmas music is love and Santa and reindeer and hippopotamuses and chipmunks and marshmallows and winter wonderlands and your favorite things. But the best and true Christmas music reminds us of why we celebrate, as they’ve been saying in recent times, “the reason for the season.”

Every year, Hallmark puts out a special Christmas CD featuring guest artists, normally backed by the London Symphony Orchestra. The great Diana Ross loved to tell the story of that first Christmas in, “It’s Christmas Time.”

Diana Ross is a contemporary artist lending her voice to that contemporary song. Let’s go back in time to a traditional French Christmas carol done in recent years by Michael Gettel. Sit back, relax, and enjoy Il Est Ne.

I close with the greatest Christmas carol of them all.

Christmas historian Bill Egan, a retired Navy photojournalist and resident of Flagler Beach, Florida, is a staff writer for Year 'Round Christmas Magazine and provides Christmas research for Charles Osgood of "The Osgood File" on the CBS Radio Network. Gabriele Wolf of ANTO Media Relations says that Bill Egan is the foremost "Silent Night" scholar in the U.S. and the Daytona Beach News-Journal says that he is one of the world's leading experts on the origins of this carol.

Egan wrote this piece, “The Song Heard ‘Round the World.”

(190) years ago the carol "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht" was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria. The congregation at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church listened as the voices of the assistant pastor, Fr. Joseph Mohr, and the choir director, Franz Xaver Gruber, rang through the church to the accompaniment of Fr. Mohr's guitar. On each of the six verses, the choir repeated the last two lines in four-part harmony.

On that Christmas Eve, a song was born that would wing its way into the hearts of people throughout the world. Now translated into hundreds of languages, it is sung by untold millions every December from small chapels in the Andes to great cathedrals in Antwerp and Rome.

Today books, films and Internet sites are filled with fanciful tales purporting to tell the history of "Silent Night." Some tell of mice eating the bellows of the organ creating the necessity for a hymn to be accompanied by a guitar. Others claim that Joseph Mohr was forced to write the words to a new carol in haste since the organ would not play. A recent film, created for Austrian television places Oberndorf in the Alps and includes evil railroad barons and a double-dealing priest, while a recent book by a German author places a zither in the hands of Franz Gruber and connects Joseph Mohr with a tragic fire engulfing the city of Salzburg. You can read claims that "Silent Night" was sung on Christmas Eve in 1818 and then forgotten by its creators. Of course, the latter are easily discounted by manuscript arrangements of the carol by both Mohr and Gruber which were produced at various times between 1820 and 1855.

In this age of tabloid journalism, it's not surprising that some feel it necessary to invent frivolous anecdotes and create fables for a story that is quite beautiful in its simplicity.

You can read the entire article here about the history of this beloved, sacred hymn.

Here is a lovely rendition in a lovely setting of Silent Night by Andre Rieu. Goodnight, FranklinNOW. I wish you and yours a very joyous Christmas!



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