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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.

John McCain in his own words, and now, a video

John McCain lies in a hospital bed in Hanoi, North Vietnam, after being taken prisoner of war.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been closing out many of my blogs with a link to a first-hand account written by John McCain for US News & World Report about his captivity in Vietnam.

Now, a French television archive, INA has posted online a video that contains four and a half minutes of McCain being interviewed after being shot down in Hanoi in 1967. You’ll see McCain in bed smoking a cigarette.

French reporter Francois Chalais conducted the interview. The footage is considered to be the longest portion of the interview ever shown, and will be available for one week.

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A great week in Franklin

Today, Northwestern Mutual Life held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its major expansion in Franklin. In spite of today’s economic perils, Northwestern Mutual Life continues to be a phenomenal success story.

There’s more good news. Carma Laboratories is also expanding, as reported by John Neville. Carma’s prosperity is part of a continuing pattern of growth.

Looks like there’s a lot to be proud of going on in our fine city, unlike a certain breathless, doomsday assessment issued by another Franklin blogger this past spring.

Ratchet Watch: Minnesota-bound

I received the following news release today from the SPCA, updating the story about Ratchet that we've been following on The Barking Lot and other blogs:


Washington, DC October 22 – Ratchet, Spc. Gwen Beberg’s dog who gained worldwide attention after being forcibly held in Iraq by the military, will board his final plane home to Minneapolis, MN today.   Ratchet was rescued from Iraq on October 19 by SPCA International’s Operation Baghdad Pups program manager, Terri Crisp.

After arriving at Dulles International Airport on October 20, Ratchet was given a full examination by veterinarian, Dr. Chris Carskaddan.  Carskaddan gave Ratchet a clean bill of health, explaining that all the Operation Baghdad Pups dogs he has seen have been in exceptional health and appear very well cared for by U.S troops serving in Iraq.  After the veterinarian visit, Ratchet spent a day and a half resting in Sterling, VA.

The Operation Baghdad Pups waiting list still includes 16 animals (14 dogs and 2 cats) that must be rescued from Iraq before their soldiers redeploy home for the holidays.   Without more financial support for Operation Baghdad Pups, U.S. soldiers’ dogs and cats may parish on the cruel streets of Iraq.  SPCA International is requesting public donations in support of U.S. troops and their animals be made at

Hundreds of U.S. soldiers in the Middle East befriend animals in the war zone to help themselves cope with the hardship and terror they face every day. These dogs and cats become their lifeline - saving them from deep depression and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The military refuses to help or formally recognize the lifeline these animals give to our mentally wounded.  Veterans returned from Iraq are committing suicide at twice the rate of average Americans.  It is time that Americans ask the Veterans Administration and the military to embrace all measures to ensure the mental health of every one of our soldiers returning from war.  Operation Baghdad Pups’ dogs and cats can help fight this silent killer.

Here's more.

UPDATE: Ratchet lands in Minneapolis


UPDATE: More video

Thank you, Shari Hanneman

A good friend and a tremendous asset to the Franklin community, Shari Hanneman has decided to step down from the Franklin Plan Commission. Her hard work and dedication will be missed. It's a decision I respect and fully understand. Today's hectic lifestyles and family commitments make volunteering for local commissions and boards rather difficult.

Thank you, Shari for all you have done and continue to do. Good luck to Mayor Taylor in his search for a replacement. I am confident the mayor will make a fine choice.

Here is Shari Hanneman's letter to Mayor Taylor:

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REMINDER: Hit Quizno's today...

And help Lauren Molitor.

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