Sue Ramsett's Blog

By: Susan Ramsett Email
By: Susan Ramsett Email

Dear Bloggers,
Recently I received an email from an organization called "Snowmobilers Against Drunk Riders (S.A.D.R.).
If you are interested in learning more about their efforts to keep Wisconsin trails safe - here is their website:
S.A.D.R. gave me permission to include the following letter submitted to their feedback page. Names and dates of this crash were omitted at the request of the family.

"My husband died due to injuries sustained in a snowmobile crash during the 2005-2006 snowmobile season. He was 46 years old. He was a loving husband to me and a loving father to our two daughters who are 17 and 25. He was a wonderful grandfather to his two grandchildren who are 3 and 5. He was looked up to by all of the children at the school where he worked. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed many activities that our state has to offer. Unfortunately alcohol was a part of most all of these pass-times, not just snowmobiling. And he was not alone. There is a whole culture of people who think that drinking and having a good time go hand in hand. It will be very difficult for you to shake this mentality from the riders of Wisconsin. The worst thing is that it's getting passed on down to the children of these riders. I was not a rider, but both of our daughters love it. When their dad was out on the trails with them, he drove responsibly. When he was without them he drank. It's common for these riders to go from bar to bar having several drinks at each stop. My girls have both seen it first hand and so have I. It's a problem not just for those who drink, but also for those who don't. Add speed and night riding to it and you have the worst possible combination. They call these situations accidents. I'm not so sure. An accident is when something happens that's beyond your control. You have the ability not to drink, so I'm not sure how it can be considered an accident.

He leaves behind a daughter that won't have her dad with her when she graduates high school this spring, goes to college this fall, walks down the aisle and has children. He leaves behind a daughter that won't have her dad with her when she needs him. He leaves behind two grandchildren who will only remember him from photographs because they were so young when he died. He leaves behind a wife who won't have him around for all the things that she took for granted all these years. He leaves behind friends who will miss his great sense of humor and the fact that you could count on him for any favor. He leaves behind a school full of children that will miss his easy smile and friendly demeanor. He leaves behind a life not fully lived and the all the unknown possibilities that went with it.

My deepest wish is that your organization will make a difference. Even if only one person heeds your warning all your efforts will be worth it for their family. I wish it wasn't too late for ours.


Name Withheld Upon Request"


Dear Sue,Have you seen today's WDH story about the man who crashed his vehicle and was found to be 5 times over the legal limit?What should be done about the bartender that kept on serving him and then let him drive home? Thankfully,no one was injured!If you are 5 times over the limit,I'm sure someone had to notice.Why didn't anyone take his keys or call him a cab?BTW,the bar was not mentioned in the article.I'm very curious who is serving these people? Thank you for your time.Laura Miller,Wausau

Sue, It is about time for individuals to take responsibility for there own actions. If someone chooses to drink and drive--ANY Mortorized vehicle, the consiquenses should lay upon them. As for the newsman from IL that died. Yes it is sad when anyone looses their life too early when it could have been prevented. Did he choose poorly in getting onto a sled with a person that he knew full well had been drinking? It appears yes he did. Just because he was a newsman don't put him on such a pedistal or above all others. He use to put his pants on one leg at at time just like anyone else.
My husband and I have been snowmobilers for 30+ years. Active in our local snowmobile club that grooms in an area near Minocqua. As stated in another letter, the majority of the sleddars that are trying to drink the bars dry are those that come from out of state or Southern part of Wisconsin. They have 400 miles they want to drive in 2 days or less and want to party hard while doing it, no matter the cost.
Many of the locals just don't ride on the weekends because of the mentality of these type of riders. They like to ride reckless.
We choose not to drink alcohol while riding. We work too hard to afford the snowmobiles to put them (or ourselves) into a tree.
We snowmobile to enjoy the outdoors and see places that you can't see by car.
We are upset that your news story appears to be putting ALL snowmobilers in the same category. That all snowmobilers do nothing but drink & drive. Don't you see that as stereo typing?
Yes the groomed trails go from bar to bar. Where else are people suppose to stop for bathroom breaks, a meal, soda or any hot beverage such as hot cocco? It's not like there are Starbucks at every road crossing along the trail.
And these bars and resturants. They depend on the winter business they get to help them keep open and make a living. Many of them support the local clubs by taking out map ads or sponsorship/donations. By supporting the clubs, the clubs are able to continue to groom the trails for all to enjoy.
As for the OWI proposal to apply the points for OWI onto your personal drivers record and surcharge the points. This sounds good in theory.
Problem is, there aren't enough law inforcement people to go around to enforce it.
With luck and prayers, the DNR won't take anymore funding away from clubs to pay for law enforcment to patrol the trails more.
In regards for the clubs: so that you understand the clubs get a small portion from the snowmobile registrations from the state to build, sign, maintain the trails (summer and winter)groom the trails while the season is open. Because the state only sends out the money coming to the clubs in 2 or 3 payments throughout the year, clubs need to hold fundraisers in order to afford the expensive equipment, maintain and repair the equipment as needed, insurance and fuel. It is important for all snowmobilers do their fair share by joining a club and become an active working member.

Happy trails to all our fellow riders.

Yes there should be stricter laws on drinking & snowmobiling. It's just as dangerous as driving a car.

Hi Sue,
well I just wanted to say that I have lived in wausau for the last 7 years and have recently moved back to [my hometown which is down by madison and i was watching the news and low and behold who do i see on the t.v but the Z man Matt Zahn on channel 47 sports i could not believe it I new that he was leaving but didnt know where he went well now i do...I really do miss wausau but i am better now that i get to watch matt every night..Hope things are going good up there...Ur former viewer Bobbie Jo


The death of Chicago news anchor Randy Salerno is receiving national attention after a snowmobile accident in Vilas County. The 45-year old Salerno died January 24 after a crash near Sayner. The driver he was riding with, Scott Hirschey is now facing charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. A criminal complaint says Hirschey's blood alcohol level was .22% four hours after the crash. The legal limit to drive in Wisconsin is .08.

So far this season 15 people have died in snowmobile accidents in Wisconsin - and alcohol is believed to have been a factor in 10 of those 15 deaths.

Whenever the topic of drinking and snowmobiling comes up - fingers point in lots of different directions.
Should there be stricter laws and stiffer penalties?
Should there be more authorities patrolling the trails?
Can we blame the bartenders who serve the drinks?
Or is it a matter of personal responsiblity - resting entirely on the shoulders of those who drink and drive?
Maybe think drinking and snowmobiling isn't a problem at all.

Please type your thoughts below - and we'll share some of your responses and solutions during our special series of reports on NewsChannel 7 this week.

*Please note: responses do not appear automatically and must be posted manually by our staff. Thanks in advance for your patience!


I've been snowmobiling since 1964 and the trails have never been better for seeing our beautiful winter wonderland. The bars who support the sport are doing their best to provide their clients with food, hot drinks,gas, and a place to warm up and rest for a while. People who choose to drink and drive their snowmobiles are the ones who might do the same in a car, on a motorcyle, and even a bicycle. The cities need to make it more accessible for snowmobilers to get to restaurants, gas, motels. All we've seen on reporting is negative reporting. Clubs donate thousands of dollars in fund raisers, the sport employes thousands of people, we've seen families of 3 and 4 generations out snowmobiling. When snows are deep you'd be surpized on how many deer can walk on a trail and fill their bellies. Go for a drive past some bars and see how many drove in a car and how are they getting home after being there a few hours. We as a people have to be resposible for our own actions and by the time we are 21 years of age we should know when to drink and how much we can drink. Sharyn Thompson, Medford, WI

I don't mean to sound cold or uncaring and if I come across that way, I will apologize ahead of time to those who have lost someone in a snowmobiling accident and anyone else who may take offense to my comments. As for this discussion, I find it absolutely ridiculous that people are actually discussing this. A reporter from Illinois dies and we have to overhaul our laws because of it? First of all more people get killed in years like this because there is finally a decent amount of snow allowing trails to stay open longer and be in good condition to attract more riders. Making more laws does absolutely nothing. Laws must be enforced in order for them to be effective. The truth is the penalty is already quite stiff for those who get ticketed for driving drunk on a snowmobile and after they pay their fine and possibly get caught again and fined, I'm sure they are going to think twice about driving drunk. Linking DUI on snowmobile to your vehicle drivers license is unacceptable, it will do no good because as I said, I won't be enforced any better than the current laws. I for one am not willing to have my taxes go up to provide more police to watch after people who have very little common sense. Especially when I believe there are to many police in some of these small towns in the first place. People are just going to have to get used to the fact that accidents happen and people die, it happens more when poor judgement comes into play, but last I looked it was still a free country, though less and less everyday. If we allow the government to make all of our choices for us, this would no longer be a democracy, which it seems to me is what some of the liberals out there are after. Also I take offense to peoples comments about use rednecks up north here having no other passtimes than going out drinking and raising hell, it seems to me that if I go out on the weekends to a busy bar that most of the people being loud and getting out of hand are the tourists that flock up here to ride. Believe me walk into a local tavern on any weekend and they will outnumber the locals. And last but not least, channel 7 used to be my favorite news channel, I watched it religiously. I have now changed my mind, I will stop watching this channel due to what I see as media bias. It is not the media's responsibility to push their liberal views onto the public, we are capable of making our own decisions, and that is what you are doing by running this campaign. Hey, why don't we just lower the DUI limit from .08 to absolute sobriety, then noone will ever die again, hell it may even bring about world peace.

We all need to take responsibility for our actions. I also believe that if this fella hadn't been a TV celebrity this would not be so "visable". He was sober, he should have realized his friends condition, yet HE made the choice to get on the snowmobile with the drunk man. I don't feel as though the driver should be held responsible. As far as bartenders being responsible, give me a break. If you're old enough to be in a bar, you should be held reponsible for yourself. It is not up to others to monitor your behaviour or conditon.

As a 40+ yr old snowmobiler on an awesome "fast" snowmobile, I felt compelled to write in. Yes, it's fast but only to the extent I CHOOSE to squeeze the throttle. Even better, I can CHOOSE to squeeze the brake when needed. Yes, I do stop at taverns for food and beverages and CHOOSE to drive accordingly. To that end, I can CHOOSE whether I get on the back of a single passenger snowmobile with my buddy who I have been drinking with all day. (By the way, what was the blood alcohol level of the individual who died? Which means nothing without more facts on how this person handles alchohol). For the individual who died and for all friends and family of anyone who has died involving snowmobiles, they have my sincerest sympathies. But, we can't make laws limiting the entertainment and livelihood of millions to save the lives of a few poeple making bad choices. In addition, think of the costs to enforce all these laws to make sure no on ever dies on a snowmobile (or other recreational activity - down hill skiing!!!!!). Where do we station police and at what sacrifie (less police elsewhere or more taxes) to prevent these isolated incidents? This is a basic principle for all activities where there are some risks. If we had a law prohibiting two passengers on a single passenger sled, would that solve our problem? Would handcuffing the snwomobile manufacturers with "slower" sleds help? What is the politically correct, gov't limited, top speed of a new snowmobile to ride double while drunk? At what blood alchohol level? Why not limit speed so even the inexperienced sledder won't get hurt? Better yet, we should require the machines performance to be throttled back as the machine gets older because something may wear out. Let's also get a law that makes it illegal to cross the center of a trail when cornering, that's what scares me during the day! And, after a warm period when the corners get icy, we should have a law that every one must have carbides and studs to help them control their sleds better. Or reduce the speed limt because I won't slow down for worsening conditions without a law telling me. As with all other aspects of life that involve risks, you can only limit the equipment or fun factor of the activity with laws so much before you make it no fun or too costly too enjoy. At some point you have to understand, those who except the responsibility for their actions tend to succeed. Those who don't rely on luck, prayer, and others for their safety/health. I CHOOSE to accept the responsibility of my safety and everyone else's every time I ride. (I often ride alone.) By CHOOSING the Then I won't use up all my luck or run out of prayers!

Mike - Wausau

There appears to be many similarities in the responses posted here. First, many people feel that the entire snowmobiling community is being "punished" for the actions of the few. Second, it should be a matter of personal choice or "responsibility" to drink and operate a snowmobile. Third, the freedom to drink, operate a snowmobile and kill yourself is your right, and that no one else should care or be concerned with it. As a snowmobiler, I have no problem with OWI legislation being tied to a snowmobile, boat or ATV. The majority of snowmobilers, including myself, have nothing to lose and everything to gain from the law. I don't feel that I should have to share the public trail (or waters) with an intoxicated operator. Sure, the majority of the time the intoxicated operator is the one injured or killed, but rest assured, that will change. Maybe not this year or next, but someone who is not drinking and/or operating will become a victim one day.

I really don't want to gamble with my life or my family's life in trusting the supposed personal "responsibility" of another who may choose to drink to excess and operate a recreational vehicle.


I'm glad you are asking advise and/or input from the general public on this issue. I have hit the trails myself in northern Wisconsin, with people that seem thrive on the drinking and driving fast on their snowmobiles. I myself, know enough to stay sober while on my sled. Some of us have to watch for the trouble ahead. I came across a pretty severe accident that truly scared the daylights out of me several years ago. The one gentleman (from out of state) was severely injured, and the other fellow, who happened to be a friend of ours, wasn't as bad, but still injured nonetheless, when they hit head on. I've also lost a friend in a snowmobile accident a few years ago. If people could just use a bit of common sense and maturity (although hard to to when intoxicated), I doubt we've have the problems we do. But I do agree that Wisconsin is probably one of the worst states to try and have a handle on this concern. Something definitely has to be done. Watching the segment on Channel 7 with the gentleman from Illinois, and his 'undercover investigation', I have to say I totally agree with what was presented. In northern Wisconsin, that is exactly how it works. Watching that, I found myself to be very ashamed and embarassed to be from this state for that reason. Maybe the snowmobile manufacturers need to start making the snowmobiles alot slower, huh?

Robin - Wausau

I do not believe the driver should be at fault for someone who willingly gets on a snowmobile to ride as a passenger with someone who's been drinking alcohol. That was the PASSENGERS CHOICE! (Unless the driver kidnapped the passenger and strapped him on for the ride). I am also aware of the fact that "southern" visitors frequent the Northwoods of Wisconsin to barhop and snowmobile. That also is a CHOICE.

First of all, what were two grown men doing on the same snowmobile to start out with? Anyone with a LITTLE experience on driving a snowmobile knows it is very difficult to handle a sled with two adults on the same machine. It is a little different when it is a child as a passenger. Where does the back adult passenger hang on? Obviously to the driver, The driver hit the throttle to increase speed, the passenger hangs on to the driver, which in turn pulls on the driver making it next to impossible to properly control the snowmobile. I think riding two adults on one sled had as big of an influence on the accident as did the alcohol. Should only be allowed if the passenger is a child or an adult if the adult passenger's sled broke down and needs to go for help or something.How many experienced riders do you see riding with two adults on one sled? As far as the bartenders being responsible, is a bunch of bologna. Visit the bars and observe the patrons once. There is some people that act drunk before the even consumed any alcohol, and then theres people who can consume way over the legal limit and you would have a hard time telling that they were even drinking. So trying to put the blame on the bartender is like trying to put the blame on the guy that planted the tree that killed the snowmobiler. Seems like a lot of the snowmobile deaths are people from out of state, so maybe some kind of training should be reqiuired, like a "LOGIC'S" class or something. Who would be the blame if both would have died in the accident? Mark D., Medford, WI


I am so sick of hearing about this snowmobile accident. First of all, everyone wants the laws changed.. the laws are not the problem. It is the people and your not going to change them. Second... take a long hard look at the accidents and deaths that have happened. Are they local people???? No they are people from out of area and even out of state. These accidents that are happening are from a few different reasons. Like the one in Three Lakes. He hit a snow bank?? Snow banks are not on trails. So he went off the trail, watch the signs and they tell you to please stay on the trails. This just upsets me so much that everyone is making it sound like ALL snowmobilers are the same. They come here to ride, and they want to get the most miles of trails they can as fast as they can. We have more locals on our trails then we do out of area, but how many actual locals are the ones in accidents? My husband and I just bought ATV's and we took a free safety course from Polaris. One of the things they taught us was know your trails good, and watch the signs good. They even said most accidents happen from not knowing the trails or going off the trails.

As for the news anchor that lost his life, if he knew his buddy was drunk.. why did he not act in a responsible manner and not get on with him? His friend did not tie him on the back of that machine and take off. The other reason we have more accidents this year, is we have much more time to hit the trails. So over all.. the accidents are not up.

My family has been enjoying snowmobiling for 35 years. I'll agree, there is truth in the matter that there are those individuals who do drink excessively and then chose to drive a snowmobile, but then there are how many more of the same type individuals who chose to drive a car. All snowmobilers are not this way. Additionally, many snowmobile clubs are involved in fund raising events for their communities. It seems no one has the time to broadcast these efforts. The good of the snowmobiling sport should be treated just as fairly as your report of the bad side.

I feel it is all about personal responsibility. You make the decision to drink and then get on your snowmobile. It's unfortunate that accidents have to happen for people to realize the consequences, but I think way too big a deal is now being made because someone "important" was killed. What about all the others that are hurt or killed in accidents? It's not splattered all over the news, etc. because people didn't know them. I think if it's going to be made a big deal of, then it needs to be made a big deal over every accident and show a little respect to all victims and their families, not just one. I think news channels need to start looking over their news content and choosing the more important and positive stories to tell their viewers. And I'm not saying drinking and driving isn't important, but rather than focus on who this guy was and how important he was in the news, maybe focus on the positive aspects of snowmobiling and the others that chose to be safe on the trails. This whole publicized story really irks me.

First of all I do not snowmobile, I cant understand why everytime there is
a problem we have to have a law against it. To tie a snowmobile offense with
a drivers license makes no sense. The OWI law works so well that people
get caught 4 or 5 times before any real sanctions are placed against them.
Enforce the laws we have on trails and leave the drivers license out of it.
The bottom line is you cant legislate common sense
David L Kincaid

Sue -
I think the entire series is misleading and in poor taste. It is sad when any fellow snowmobiler loses their life or gets hurt, but it seems when this happens to someone in the spotlight it is an epidemic.

I have been snowmobiling for over 35 years, both with my parents and now my children. The fact of the matter is it comes right down to personal responsibilities of your own actions. I see all over that the driver of the snowmobiler's BAC was published, but what about the anchor's BAC? He chose to get on the back of the snowmobile that night.

You segment had hidden cameras into bars and resorts showing people drinking alcohol. You eluded that everyone was drunk and out of control? How do you know that those people, who were drinking heavy, were not staying at that resort, in a cabin a few feet away? Your segment stated that every trail ends at a tavern or bar, which is not entirely true. Yes most stops are, but there are gas stations, motels, fast food restaurants, etc... All on the trail maps. Snowmobiling is recreation, not primary transportation, so the stops on the trail are to have fun and relax.

Wisconsin has taken strides into keeping it safer, last year the 55 MPH speed limit at night was put into effect. Wisconsin trail systems are the best signed and organized system in the entire US, because of the WI Trails Association and many volunteer hours (by snowmobilers).

You could take hidden cameras into any town in the US, and see the same activity on a night of dart, pool, bowling, or horseshoes leagues. Maybe we should ban the sale of horseshoes or bowling balls? This year is the best year for snow conditions, so there are more and more people out on the trails as well. Enough is enough with this segment, isn't there other news that can be reported?

While the snowmobile season is coming to a close and my rental property is empty again due to your one sided reporting of drinking and snowmobiling that you and your station has decided was the top story. Why not also somehow put in on the news that all of the northwoods benefits from all of the tourism it brings in. The most important part that you fail to bring up during this entire segment is that all the riders either killed or hurt are of leagal age to have that drink and that not one bartender has forced them in any way to have that drink. All I can hope is that I will have a good summer with the rental of my property or for some reason you and your station will find a reason for the summer tourism to stay away.
St. Germain,Wi

HI SUSAN; This a response to your blog about snowmobiling and drinking. My opinion is DRINKING AND SNOWMOBILING IS PLAIN (MORONIC).IF they want to kill themselves let them. Just don't take anyone (innocent bystander)with them. But remember how much your families will be affected by your STUPID act. I used to be married to one these idiots, so I know what I talking about.(By the way, he hasn't changed.) These people are only responsible for themselves, NOT ANYONE ELSE. There is more to snowbiling than drinking, how about eating and drinking sodas and just having fun with your friends . thanks R. B.

I thought professional journalism was supposed to be fair, impartial and accurate. Dave Savini's undercover report was a complete witchhunt and nothing more. I believe there is a problem with (some) people's attitude when on a snowmobile, but his attempt to villainies the tavern and bar industry is disguisting and very transparent. During his report Dave says "luring rider's and there wallets off the trails..." Disgusting. Hearing that I would conclude that the bars just want the snowmobilers money, thats it, regardless of anyone's safety. Do you really believe thats accurate?? Never once does Dave mention that 99% of all those bars on his map sell some sort of food, soda, coffee, or other non-alchoholic beverages. He also fails to mention anything about the taverns belonging to the Tavern League who use the "safe ride home" program. If a customer feels they might have had too many, all they have to do is ask and a free cab ride will be provided. I hate to break it to you, but the 2 bartenders you showed drinking a shot (one at closing time) are not imparred after drinking 1 shot. There are people that can drink in moderation and never have a problem. But you can make anything look a certain way with the right editing job right?? If people cannot take responsibility for there own actions or decisions, and friends your with won't, how can you honestly expect someone else too. I just hope this station starts looking at the accuracy of it's reports so uninformed (plantlife) people such as Susan Louise (blog page 1) can get a clue that working in the hospitality industry is a "real job"
pin head

As an EMS worker for 25 years, 14 of which was spent working as a Critical Care Paramedic in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. It is not the SPEED that kills, it is the STOPPING, (the stationary object you hit could care less). Adding alcohol, all this adds up to is.... "IGNORANCE". Seen this too many times in the past. It breaks my heart to have to watch families and friends torn apart.

Central Wisconsin School of Ballet Students Impress

I had the pleasure of attending a couple of rehearsals for the Central Wisconsin School of Ballet's annual production of "The Nutcracker". In one word... WOW! This is a holiday treat you won’t want to miss.

If you didn’t get to see our stories about the production on NewsChannel 7 you can watch them here on our website. Videographer Erik Cieslewicz really captured all the hard work and determination behind the scenes. As you will see, these young dancers are well-trained and passionate. Even when their feet hurt and they feel out of breath, they clearly love dancing! That joy shines through in their performance.

I also had the pleasure of interviewing Carlos Lopez, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, who will be playing the Nutcracker Prince. Carlos raves about the production and Wausau’s historic Grand Theatre – which is a high compliment coming from someone who has performed all over the world.

Thank you to the cast and crew of “The Nutcracker” for this beautiful start to the holiday season. Your production is truly a treasure. Enjoy!

Dear SUE, I am your neighbor and thought you might find the following story interesting. My son Matt was a Marine who served a very dangerous tour of duty in Iraq on the front lines. One day Matt and his fellow Sergeant asked about and discussed the long and awful 12 hour days Matt's mother put in working back home and were sincerely concerned about her well being. Here they were under the most dangerous and trying conditions and yet they were truely worried about Matt's mother. Judy and I now whine about alot less these days and we think of this story often .

In response to the wonderful fiance whom helped someone in need, the perfect valentine would be a heart shaped pizza! The old saying is true, The way to his heart is through his stomach!

Though a small act, one day my then fiance and I were at the local grocery store waiting in line with only a few things when a man a few people ahead of us was struggling to find some change. After a few seconds of him scrounging and others huffing impatiently, my fiance asked what the problem was when the clerk answered that the man was unable to pay for the 3 items he wanted and needed to put something back. The man did look a little homely like he may have been going through some difficult times. My fiance asked what the difference in change was and helped the man pay. I thought he was going to jump over the few people in front of us to thank him. He was so grateful and it was only 50 cents or so. Anyway, it hit my fiance as well and was so happy he could help someone. It's amazing that even the smallest thing can warm a heart.

"BAD WEATHER" - It all depends on your Perspective:

With all the shivering and complaining around here - you'd think none of us had ever spent a winter in Wisconsin! We were reminded recently during one of our "Our Local Heroes" segments just how lucky we are to live in a part of the world where the seasons change. We wondered how beautiful snow flurries might look to someone who is preparing for military duty in the Middle East. The soldier's family confirmed that for us - sharing his wife took a picture of him in the flurries just before he left for Iraq.

The same thing occurred to me a few weeks earlier when I was walking into a convenience store with my family. It started to sprinkle. You would have thought acid was falling from the sky - as all of us shoppers grimaced, covered our heads and started jogging to the front doors!

As we were running one way - we passed a young soldier dressed in desert camouflage who was walking out of the store. He moved slowly through the rain - thoughtfully - and with a half-smile on his face. He must have thought we all looked very silly.

Whenever I'm tempted to complain about the cold this winter - I'm going to try to think about our troops overseas who are no doubt sick and tired of sand, and dryness and hot weather. I'm going to think about that soldier walking happily through the rain - and a local Lieutenant having his photograph taken in the flurries. I can't promise I'll become a "cold-weather person" - but I can promise I'll TRY!

If you've found a way to maintain a sunny disposition all year round - please share with the rest of us:)

Hello Sue!
I'm very impressed from your trip to Australia. My dream is, that I can go there one time to. It is unbelievable, that you could learn see something of the Aborigines or to live in the rainforest for a time. Also unbelievable is, that you can do such a lot of things in such a short time, for example holding a koala bear and visiting Sydney and living in the Olympic City of 2000.
Anne from Germany

NewsChannel 7 "Office Romance" Ends Happily Ever After...

Do these happy faces look familiar? NewsChannel 7 viewers will probably recognize former NewsChannel 7 anchors Paige Lambrecht and Justin Ware... who are now Mr. & Mrs. Ware!

Paige and Justin met on the job here at WSAW-TV a few years ago. I still remember the night Paige beamingly told me they were dating. I would have been more suprised if they *hadn't* fallen in love. They had a ton in common and were great together from the start.

Although they were "an item", their romance never got in the way of their work or made anyone else uncomfortable. I think "office romances" get a bad rap. In this case the workplace brought two people together who were destined to be together.

Like to share some good wishes with Paige and Justin? Or share an office romance story of your own? Just hit the respond button...

Congratulations, Paige and Justin! Paige you look soooo stunning in your wedding photos. And Justin -- you look striking, too. :) I wish you both the very best.
Sue -- hope all is well! Thinking of you in good old Green Bay ..

I remember a Christmas party where nobody knew they were dating. But the looks in their eyes told me the chemistry between the two was growing. When I asked them, they confirmed it. And you're right, they were both very professional. Good people I'm thrilled to see "hook up." Now, if we could just get them to cheer for the Packers instead of the Vikings ;)

Please Share a "Random Act of Kindess" you've witnessed or experienced...
Here's mine:

I've been meaning to share this story for a while now. It's about something that happened at the post office in downtown Wausau recently... and yes, it actually made me cry.

An elderly woman was trying to send a package and was dismayed at the additional cost of insuring the box. I didn't mean to listen in to her conversation with the woman behind the counter - but I believe she was a bit hard of hearing so it was unavoidable. Although my heart went out to her - I stood in line with several other strangers and tried to pretend I heard nothing. I was worried she'd be embarassed if she thought we were listening.

I'm not sure how he got the postal worker's attention - but somehow a man in line behind me quietly arranged to pay for the woman's postage.
The next thing I heard was the woman exclaim in suprise, "what? really?!" as she pressed her hands to her cheeks. When the worker pointed to the man in line, the elderly woman thanked him from across the room.

The kind man looked embarassed and a little uncomfortable at having been identified. I felt embarassed for a different reason - I was trying desperately to hide the tears that welled up in my eyes. I was relieved to see the woman next to me was crying too. That's when I realized the power of what we had just witnessed - a "Random Act of Kindness".

When she finished her transaction - the elderly woman came to the back of the line to thank the man again. She told him the package was a gift for her granddaughter's wedding - a wedding she would not be able to attend. She said no-one had ever done anything like that for her before - and he had made her day. More tears - this time I just let them fall.

I think about that day at the post office often and wonder why I didn't make the same offer. I have a feeling everyone else in line that day wonders the same thing. It definitely crossed my mind - but I froze, worried that I'd embarass her or appear to be trying to draw attention to myself. I admire that man's courage - and will try to be more like him in the future.

If you've experienced a random act of kindness - I'd love to hear about it...


Cheryl - Bravo to you for leading by example. I hope others will follow your lead and take an active role in their own health and wellness. It is ultimately our own responsibility to make sure we're getting the care we need. We only get one shot - and pleading ignorance won't turn back the hands of time. I wish you peace, health and happiness!
Enjoy the day:)


I am a volunteer firefighter in Wittenberg. I responded to the fatal car accident on 10/24. I was one of the firemen dfiverting traffic for 6 1/2 hours that day. While we we turning cars around many of them went to the gas station and came back with coffe and doughnuts for my partner and myself. It just amazed me at how a lot of people respond to things like that.

Many said "I could never handle your job"

Dear Volunteer Firefighter,
It's true - many people could not handle your job. That's why its important to show our appreciation for all that you do! I'm glad to hear about the kindness you and your partner experienced on the job. I do believe many people feel that appreciation - but aren't sure how to show it. Offering a warm drink and something to eat is simple but right on target.
Imagine how our communities would suffer if we didn't have members willing to work - and volunteer - for our local fire departments. We truly are lucky to have all of you!

Hi Sue! I would like you to know that I really enjoy the "Our Local Heroes" that Channel 7 is showing. It is a great thing for the families, friends and community members to see local heroes being recognized. We do not have to know the military member shown to send out a prayer for that person and his/her family and be thankful for all that he/she is doing for our country. I hope pictures keep coming in so you can keep recognizing these amazing people. Thank you!
Now second, I miss Art Show so you and Chris need to call me up soon so I can babysit my cute little cousin!
Love you!

Hi J.M.! We will definately keep the "Our Local Heroes" segments coming! It feels really good to recognize those who are sacrificing so much. For that reason "Our Local Heroes" has quickly become a favorite project of the news staff. Chris and I could use a "date night" - and Arthur loves his "quality cousin time" - so we'll call you SOON.
Love, Sue

My family has known about my cancer since the 1st of March and I am such a lucky person to have such a wonderful close family and friends behind me. Susie has taken off so many weekends to bring our grandson to LaCrosse to visit grandma and grandpa making the time leading up to my procedure go so much faster and then taking off extra time to be with me during and after my procedure, until she knew I was O.K.
I have really enjoyed reading your blogs dear and hope now that you will have time to start again.
Love, your MOM

To my amazing Mom - there is no place else I'd be than at your side during the past several months. Congrats on becoming a cancer survivor!
All my love,
PS - You're not supposed to call me "Susie" in public - remember? (ha)

August 16, 2007


Hi Cheryl - Bless you for trying to encourage your family members to be pro-active about their health. Since my Mom's recent (and successful!) battle with esophageal cancer, I am more aware than ever of the importance of early detection in ALL cancers.

Unfortunately many people avoid regular check-ups and/or seeing their doctor when they suspect a problem. This can be for a number of reasons including financial concerns - or fear of what the diagnosis might be. I'll share with you some wise advice about Doctor's appointments from my Mom. She says, "Don't put off. If there IS something wrong - you don't want to hear your doctor say you came in too late." That sums it up for me!

Good luck to you - and best wishes :)

Dear Sue,
Yes you have a cute family and you are a fantastic reporter, but I was wondering if you could find out any further information regarding the government and the ensuing govermental response to this crisis. The money they are about to spend on lowering bathroom stalls seems to me to be just another way of burying tax payers money in idiotic govt. escapades. So Minneapolis airport will be safe from lecherous govt. officials but what about the rest of the nation? The way I see it the government by the time all is said and done will spend millions on lowering all the bathroom stalls at all the airports a govt. employee may land at. Couldn't this money be funneled into education, poverty issues, or maybe even greenhouse solutions? Am I the only one out there that thinks this is idiotic? Please let me know.
Kathy, Kronenwetter, Wi.

Hi Kathy -
I think it's safe to say you aren't the only viewer who thinks that lowering bathroom stalls should be LESS of a priority than funding education or programs to help the environment or ease poverty. Your posting actually made me chuckle. I can see why the proposal has you rolling your eyes. I'll try to find out if there is anything else behind the proposal...
Thanks for blogging!

hay Sue love your blog. there is a aids walk on the 28th of this month our team, the langlade county peers would love to have u walk with us. if u would like to pleaz regester at and emal me and i'll get u ticket for the bus

Bravo for your efforts in supporting a worthy cause! Please email us some photos of your journey to share with viewers. It might encourage others to participate next year.

I would like to know why there has been nothing reported locally about the US DOT's push to open the Mexican Border for semi's from Mexico to have free rein on our highways. This will most definately affect us here in Wi. These truckers will be hauling domestic US freight and taking jobs away from American citizens. Their wage scale is lower so those compinies will be able to undercut Us Compinies on the rate. This action is opposed by Owner-Operator Indendent Drivers Ass., the Teamasters, Public
Citizen and others but the DOT has chosen to ignore all the concerns that have been voiced. Besides the wage issue is the fact that the old worn out semis and trailers in this country are bought up by Mexican trucking compinies so there is a very big question of safety on our highways. It would be nice if this action could be addressed here so people would know what is in store and not just the drivers and their families.
Jayne Kepner

Hi Jayne,
Your concern has been forwarded for consideration as a local news story. It's not always immediately clear how national controversies can affect us locally. Thank you for making us aware of this one - your concern certainly seems valid.
Best to you -

Your litle guy is so cute!! Hope he had a great birthday!

Thanks to all who wrote or called to send wishes for a Happy Birthday. The big "2" hasn't been too terrible so far - but other Mommies tell me it's coming. I'll keep you posted...

Wow!!! Your little one is adorable. Like
I told Jeff that my mom dad are on one of there trips to canadian Rockies for the Polka Productions they went to see the Packers when they played Miami Dolfins. Dad told me he saw Jeff when there.
So how was your trip Hawaii you had great time too.
I have never been there as of yet but I plan on it soon. Do plan on going next
year again? Maybe I will be next year.
My friend Joyce Adamski Brother Wayne
lives there. Adamski is her married by the way.
I think she might go to as well to see if she can find her brother.
Lynn D.


Happy 2nd birthday to your little buddy. I can't decide if he looks like you or Kiter more. Your eyes for sure. So cute and such a little boy he looks like. They don't stay babies for long that is for sure.
I hope you and Kiter are doing super fabulous and maybe we will see you in fall sometime. Take care and say "hi" to Kiter and your little buddy.

Original Entry: 5/7/07
(as published in SCOPE, Central Wisconsin's Guide for a Healthier Lifestyle)

Sunday is Mother’s Day. It’s traditionally a time to show our moms, grandmothers and all the significant women in our lives just how much they mean to us. But after a recent scare involving my mom’s health, a card and flowers just won’t be enough this year.
Like most sons and daughters who have a close and loving relationship with their parents, the possibility of losing them has been one of my greatest fears since childhood. After what feels like several weeks of holding my breath, I’m relieved to learn that my mom is going to be okay. With her permission, I’m sharing this story to make sure others who suffer from long-standing acid reflux disease will be okay too.
My mom, Marilou, was diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) a few years ago and has been taking a daily over-the-counter medication to help control the symptoms. Unlike many who deal with acid reflux, she hadn’t experienced regular heartburn since she was pregnant with my younger brother more than 30 years ago. Instead, she was plagued with what she called a “tickly cough” in her throat that persisted throughout the day.
In February after a severe episode of coughing and choking, Mom went to the walk-in-clinic at Gundersen Lutheran in my hometown of La Crosse and was diagnosed with Bronchitis. But the Physician’s Assistant who treated her was concerned about that recurring cough and suggested someone take a closer look at it. That referral to the Gastroenterology Department probably saved her life.
In March my mom was diagnosed with a condition I had never heard of, called “Barrett’s Esophagus”. Her doctor was referring her to the nearby Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN where they specialize in treating the condition. He said a biopsy of tissue from her esophagus identified an area of high-grade dysplasia, which meant some of the cells were becoming or had already become cancerous.
Did he say cancer?!
The “C-word” wrapped itself so tightly around my head that I couldn’t hear or see anything. After years of reporting on hundreds of medical breakthroughs I knew I shouldn’t assume that a cancer diagnosis was a death sentence. Still the possibility was terrifying. My parents were worried sick, and so was I.
After a frantic search of the Mayo website, I learned that Barrett’s is the result of years of damage to the lining of the esophagus caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Only about 5 percent of people with GERD will develop Barrett’s, but those who do have a high risk of developing esophageal cancer. It’s a cancer that moves quickly and can be deadly if it’s not detected early. In fact, esophageal cancer arising from Barrett’s Esophagus is the most rapidly increasing cancer in the U.S.
The standard treatment for this type of cancer is to surgically remove all or a portion of the esophagus. The stomach is moved up higher into the chest cavity and attached to the remaining esophagus so patients can still swallow. But the Mayo Clinic physician my mother was referred to, Dr. Kenneth Wang, specializes in an alternative treatment that doesn’t involve invasive surgery. It’s called Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) and it uses a laser light to destroy diseased cells in the lining of the esophagus.
After a series of tests at Mayo, my mother and I met with Dr Wang’s right hand, a Nurse Practitioner named Lynn Borkenhagen (Kinney) who coincidentally is a Wausau native. With compassion and clarity, she explained my mother’s condition and helped us understand her options for treatment.
Lynn told us my mother’s condition had already developed into early-stage cancer. The good news was that it was a relatively small area of cancer and it didn’t appear to have spread to any lymph nodes or other organs in her body. That was the moment I took my first deep breath in weeks.
The next day Dr. Wang performed a new procedure called Endoscopic Mucosal Resection. Using a special scope inserted through her mouth, Dr Wang was able to lift up the damaged lining of my mother’s esophagus, pinch together the cancerous area and clip it off.
Just like that, my mom’s cancer was gone.
I wish I could tell you that’s the end of her treatment, but that’s not the case. In a few weeks we’ll return to the Mayo Clinic where she’ll undergo the same procedure to remove another small area of diseased tissue. The next step will be undergoing Photodynamic Therapy to remove the rest of the pre-cancerous cells in her esophagus before they become cancerous too.
Lynn told my mother to expect moderate to severe pain for several days after the treatment – especially when swallowing. She’ll also be extremely sensitive to light for approximately four weeks. That sensitivity is similar to the actual vampire-like condition which causes the skin to swell severely at even the shortest exposure to sunlight or a standard indoor light bulb. She’ll have to cover every inch of her skin on the way home and stay in darkened rooms for the first two weeks. After that she can gradually expose her skin to light until the medication works its way out of her system.
It’s still hard for me to believe a condition as common as acid reflux can result in something so life-threatening. It’s strange to watch the confused expressions when I explain this leading edge treatment that my mom will undergo. But most of all I’m just grateful she has that option. Lynn reminded us that my mom is one of the lucky ones. Sadly, many cases of esophageal cancer are diagnosed in late stages because there are no obvious symptoms.
Here’s what I hope you will take away from this story: Don’t ignore the signs of acid reflux or stop taking the medicine that’s been prescribed for you. Don’t put off seeing your doctor or having diagnostic tests like the upper endoscopy that discovered my mother’s condition while it was still treatable.
And finally, don’t take your mom – or your healthcare providers - for granted this Mother’s Day.

There is more Information on the Mayo Clinic website, including the following:
The best strategy for treatment of Barrett’s esophagus is to prevent the disease by controlling GERD. Doctors may prescribe drugs that block the production of acid and heal irritated tissue and recommend lifestyle changes and self-care steps, including:
Getting more exercise
Losing weight
Avoiding foods that aggravate heartburn
Stopping smoking
Taking antacids
Elevating the head of the bed to prevent reflux during sleep.

Learn more at:

How tall are you Sue?



HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUE! Love you so much- Jill :)

Did you know that Barretts Esphogus is found mostly in men and only about 5% in women?

Thank you for a wonderful Mothers Day weekend and the fun of celebrating your birthday at the same time. I hope you finished all the ice cream cake.
On a serious note: Now that your May Scope article is out I'm hoping your bloggers understand why you haven't had time the last couple months to keep up.
Your Dad and I have so appreciated having you with us those weekends and also I can't tell you how much it meant to me to have you with me at Mayo for those three days of procedures. Your Dad and I could not ask for a more loving and caring daughter then our Susie. I'm hoping your article will reach people all over and make t hem realize how important it really is to have symptoms of acid relex checked by their doctor and more important if they are diagnosed and feel they do not have heartburn to make sure they are tested further because that is what happened in my case no symptoms just occasionally choking on food and if it had not occurred I would not have had any reason to approach my doctor to schedule more testing. I am so very thankful that my cancer was found at an early stage because I have no idea how long it would have taken before there would have been no procedure for them to try.
Love you to pieces, MOM

I hope you had a Happy Birthday, and a wonderful Mother's Day, shared with those that are important to you.

Yay! Sue has a new blog! I'm glad to hear your mother is doing okay after her health scare. All my best to her, your family, and the whole Channel 7 gang! Miss you guys!

A former Channel 7 reporter, now living (and producing) in the Twin Cities :)


I am rather disappointed with Channel 7 on reporting the Green Acre's and Paul Knoblock. What was the purpose of "keeping the camara's rolling?" What was so news worthy about this situation? I am sure it is a common that news reporters are threaten in one way or another, so what made this situation "news worthy?"

Why is it not reported how many soldiers are maimed and permently disabled in the war along with the ones that have died? The public should be made aware of just how many soldiers will never walk, talk, hear, or live a life independently any more.

Also, why are suicde bombers called
"Suicide Bombers"? They are murderers. They kill themselves in the operation, but they are firts murderers and then suicidal.

Are you 40 years old?

yes - but not for long. I'll be 41 on 5/13:)

Just curious as to why you have a blog if you don't blog or respond to someone??????

I plead guilty as charged. Finding time to blog has been more difficult lately because of family demands and increased responsibility at work.
However I really enjoy it - so I'll keep trying!

I broke my leg 2 months ago and most of the big store have the scooters and great customer service for the temp. handicap. Menards only has two wheelchairs that don't work well ( I hurt myself on one) Is there a law that if you have a large sq footage of store you have to have a scooter, or something more user friendly.(I am still in alot of pain) In one month I am lucky and get the cast off but, what about someone that has breathing problems or can't afford a scooter. The store's aren't as small as they use to be and are getting to be bigger and bigger, almost like a little town. These stores need to get in the equipment that they provide and go from one end of the store to the other. Then have the cashier tell the person that they have to take the wheel chair back to the enterence.(Menards enternce is on the other end of the store). Please let me know if their is a law or what I can do to help the desablied.

I'll look for a link to somplace that can help and get back to you...

I was taken in by a new check scam.
Is there any help?

What is it with these people who keep track of every news anchor's hair style? Lol! Maybe I'm blind or something, cuz I never notice their hair (But if Jeff Thelen ever grows a mustache I would probably be ; )

I'd be traumatized too! (thanks for the laugh)

Sue, I see some of your viewers are disappointed that Raymond is off at 6:30, but they can buy the shows, all the season's up to the seventh are out. The earlier seasons are quite cheap now. My children buy them for me for Christmas gifts.

Thanks for sharing the information with other viewers.

Is your husband going on the trip again this year too????

Yes - Chris will be joining me on our Hawaiian tour in March. We're looking forward to some time away - and some sunshine!

Hi Sue! Artshow is so adorable, can't wait to see you all again:)
Love you,

Hi Jill - it was great to see you too! Thanks for all the fun and TLC you shared with Arthur:) Hope he didn't wear you out too much!
(Jill is a beloved family member - and a wonderful babysitter. Arthur had so much fun that he refused to fall asleep - and stayed up playing/running around the house 2 hours past his bedtime!)

On the story of overdrawn debit cards. If a person uses a debit and a credit card from his bank, it can be set up that if you overdraw your debit card, it will automatically bleed over to your credit card, with no penality fee. Gert

Hi Gert,
Thanks for the tip:)

Sue, I really like your new do. Trendy yet still professional. I have enjoyed watching the evening news and had a dream the other night that you were canned after wanting to work more part-time to be with your family. Odd dream, eh? I hope you continue to stay with the and Jeff are like family and a part of my day every weekday. Have a great day! JB

Hi JB,
Thanks for the compliment. The new do is taking a little getting used to - but I really like it too. (And it takes 1/2 the time to style - which is a BIG plus) The note about your dream made me laugh out loud - I thought I was the only one troubled by dreams about my workplace (ha). Usually my dreams about work include me trying to read a live newscast from a set of scripts that have printed in some strange language - or I'm rushing down the hall at 2-minutes to 6pm and find that someone has moved the studio to another part of the building!
Rest assured, I have no plans to leave the station. NewsChannel 7 is very family-friendly and I have a good balance between work/home.
Thanks for watching - and enjoy the day:)

like your new hairdo

Thanks! Amber at Fashion Villa gets the credit. Her work and her idea:)


Hi All,
Thanks for your comments. My responses have been limited for the past several weeks as I've taken on the responsibilities of Interim News Director. As the title implies - I'm just filling in until the position can be filled permanently. While I'm enjoying the challenges of management, I'm missing the extra time to blog or even check my e-mails some days. You'll hear much more from me as soon as our new News Director is hired. (I promise some new Arthur photos too!)

Meanwhile, I'd love to hear what you think about what you're seeing on NewsChannel 7 these days. We've added a few new employees to replace those who've moved on to other positions, including NewsChannel 7 This Morning co-Anchor, Bao Vang - Weekend Sports Anchor Matt Blanchette and Sports Reporter John Allee. We're also keeping busy with a new 24/7 digital channel to provide our viewers with local, state, and national weather information 24 hours a day - 7 days a week. More info on that coming soon...

Meanwhile, enjoy your holidays!!

hey its your mini sue here. i havent blogged in awhile. but... i think the pictures above are adorable!! --mini sue.

I agree with Helen....why did we lose Raymond at 6:30?????

Thank you for your concern regarding Raymond. We will be losing that show in June 2008 and felt it has been played out. We have seen all the episodes numerous times and felt new fresh programming would be more appreciated by our viewers. Raymond is still on our air, late night at 12:37 a.m.

Why did we lose Raymond at 6:30? Helen

Sue--Happy Holidays to you and Kiter and little Arthur. He is getting so big and the Christmas card is adorable. Hopefully we will get to see you in the New Year so our little guys can play together. Take care and have a fabulous 2007. T2

Bao is doing a super job. She is very professional and brings a breath of fresh air to your station. What happened to your other morning crew? Were they fired? b

how are you


Hi Sue\,

On a totally unrelated topic\, I'd like to ask if there is a website where we could track Santa this year. I thought WSAW used to give one out closer to Christmas but I could be wrong. If there is such a site\, could you post it on the website? I thought it may be fun for my six year old (who still believes) to see where Santa will be heading this year. Thanks for any information you could provide.
Dawn in Medford

Hi Friends,

On Tuesday, November 7th Wisconsin voters will head to the polls to decide a number of races and referendums. One of those that may be the most difficult to answer, is the question of whether to re-instate the Death Penalty for those convicted of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide with supporting DNA evidence. It's a non-binding state referendum, which means your vote will be for advisory purposes only. But the results could still have a big impact on the future of our justice system.

When we're outraged about a violent crime, it can be pretty easy to call for the death penalty. We may wonder if someone who takes a life deserves to live? But when it comes right down to it - we have to decide if that's really a vote we can cast. It's a question many of us will struggle with between now and election day. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this very controversial topic...
Thanks in advance for your responses!

Well\, I got the answer about the woman in wausau so disregard those and thank you! We do miss hearing from you though?!?!?!

Hi Sue\,
I know you are probably pretty busy but I had blogged earlier here about the death of Angela Colby\, could you refer to that and possibly answer? Thanks a ton.

Why no responses lately?


Rumor has it that you really miss me. I just wanted to let you know that the feeling is mutual. Remember the great chats we used to have between the 6 and 10 newscasts? Really good times. When are you gonna invite me up to Wausau for a visit??

-Your favorite former Sports Guy (that would be Greg)

I had a great time watching you\, Chad\, and Jeff interact together earlier this week. You all seem to get along well even though I doubt you know each other because of your different shows. Are all tv peoples' relationships like that? Keep up the good job!

Hi Sue-

I was wondering why in your updates early in the evening you kept saying that voters were going to "Redefine Marriage." The Marriage Amendment simply states that marriage is what it has been since the beginning of time\, one man and one woman. That doesn't sound like redefining anything to me.


i say befor you say yes or no you should ask yourself what if it was one of you family members or a friend that was facing death how would you fell about it then

When it comes to dollars and cents\, supporting the death penalty is too costly. It's cheaper to keep inmates in for life rather than pay the fees for all the legal wars that follow putting someone on death row. Vote "no" if you want to save tax dollars. b

Hi Sue. will the death penlty is big. but I am confused about the marage between a man and a woman. ant that what it is now? then I think I will vote no. don't change anything. hope I am making the right chioce.

How about posting a picture of Arthur in his Halloweem Costume? I think he is adorable and love seeing pics of him on here.

I am against the death penalty. Only God can decide when life should end or begin. A person could commit a horrific crime but them turn their lives around in prison and affect others around them in a positive way. Some of us need more time than others to save our souls; that is why we are here. I feel that our Creator is in charge of life and death.

Hi Sue\,
Totally off topic but I haven't heard an update on Angela Colbys death...the girl found in an appartment in Wausau? Have you guys gotten any reports about the toxicology results? Or what has happened? Just wondering; if you haven't will you guys broadcast it when there is more info? Thanks.

One of the pros of the death penalty is that it is supposed to deter crime. Back in history these executions used to be a public gathering for everyone to see. Pretty horrific to see someone hung or beheaded. I think to actually witness a person put to death in this manner was a great deterrent to the crime that they committed. By no longer allowing executions to be a public affair or social gathering\, you are taking away the greatest reason to why it was a deterrent to crime. The death penalty had it place in history but it does not apply to modern times.

Who are we to take another person's life?? By bringing back the death penalty we are being just as bad as the person that killed someone!!! Yes\,don't get me wrong there needs to be punishment for those kinds of actions but we do not have the right to play GOD with someone else's life!!! Can you sit back knowing that you had a part in killing someone?!?!?!? I know I can't So NO WE DO NOT NEED THE DEATH PENALTY!!!

I feel that Wi should have the death penalty. When the evidence is 100% accurate. Why should we waste our tax money for them.. Such as the shaken baby. That poor child had no way to defend themselves. Or the Avery story. I know he hasn't been found innocent or guilty yet\, but that brings up another story. DNA found him innocent. Than after years in prison\, and being released. He has found himself in trouble. Prison doesn't rehabilitate. It is just a place to hide them and keep them away from society. So why spend all the tax payers dollars on someone that is going to spend a life sentence anyway. When we could spend it on our homeless. The people without medical insurance. And on our schools. These poor children are being cut short on the education that they deserve. Than maybe they wouldn't feel the need to go out and cause trouble. Give them a Chance at education... Give them a Chance at Life!

Wisconsin has executed only 1 person in
over 150 years! I have often felt this action gives us the chance of being an eye-for-an-eye christian or a 7x70 Christian. There is a lot of valuable information about the subject in or the Wisconsin www namely
Marathon County Public LIbrary has many
good resources (pro and con) on the subject. There has been some thought provoking news articles lately about the
Amish tradegy and their feelings on forgiveness and healing! I hope we will not become a regressive state but maintian an atmosphere of FORWARD in keeping with our state motto.

need the death penalty!!!!!!

I think the death penalty should be a law and once more I think the government shouldn't be wasting the taxpayers money to be keeping them on death row. Why do they have to wait to die\, and we pay for them to live. The government should line them up one by one and whoever is there 1st should die 1st and so on\, within days of their sentencing. If they are willing to do that and not keep these predators and killers in prison for years ya I am for the death penalty.

Adventures in the "Land Down Under"
Highlites from our trip to Australia!

G’day mates! It’s so good to be home – but my husband Chris and I had a wonderful time on our recent trip to Australia! We spent 10 incredible days seeing the Rainforest, touring the Gold Coast, and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea.

The rest of our tour group stayed 14 days and finished the trip in Sydney. We planned a shorter trip because we couldn’t bear the thought of spending 2 weeks away from our son. Although we missed him every day, we enjoyed every minute of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

One of the things that struck me most was how committed residents are to caring for this exotic and beautiful land and the animals that live there. I’ve included some photos because it’s hard to do it justice with words.

Here are some of the hilights:

We learned about the Aboriginal culture and saw the rainforest from above the trees on a sky-rail. Then we headed down the mountain on a 130-year old train system. During our stay in the rainforest we had a few gorgeous tropical birds eat from our hands. (I still have the scratches to prove it!)

On one of our more adventurous days, we slid down a cable called “The Flying Fox” - an incredible way to enjoy the view (for those who aren’t afraid of heights)! During a trip to a sanctuary we learned about Australia’s unique wildlife and were able to hold a koala and feed kangaroos.

Our final days were spent on South Stradbroke Island at a resort built for the 2000 Olympics. We spent our last night there enjoying the sunset from our balcony. We listened to the birds, watched wallabies on the beach below, and tried to describe it all on the postcards we finally got around to writing.

However, what makes these trips so special is getting to experience it all in good company with the new friends we make. Chris and I had so many interesting conversations, hearty laughs and amazing adventures with the wonderful folks we traveled with. Cheers!

Hi Susan\,

I miss seeing you with Jeff at 10pm\, but Angela is going a nice job. Here's my question\, why don't Wendy and Bill have a blog? I see they the most out the the newscasters because I am getting the kids off to school and getting ready to go to work. They make a great team and could share a blog. I would love to know there opinion on things that are going on. I think the am show should be represented here as well.

Thanks\, Lee

Sue\, I was just wondering if you had stopped the What's Going Around segment or if I just am not seeing it??? If you did is there any chance of bringing it back? Great job anyways!! Thanks JJ from Weston

wow looks like you had a wonderfull time. good to have you back home
again. jim

Thanks Jim - It's good to be back home!

Just a quick question regarding your pics up there....may I ask what kind of camera you use? I am assuming its digital. Just had to ask...they look like poster prints! The color is so crisp and the people in them are beautiful...oh ;) Just wanted to know how you get such crisp prints! Thanks\, Krista.

Hi Krista - glad you like the photos - it's hard to go wrong with that beautiful scenery (and, of course, our attractive travel-mates - ha!)
Our digital camera is the basic Kodak Easy Share. We bought it with the money we received at our wedding 4 years ago - so it's probably not the latest model. I'm always happy with the pics it takes - even though I've dropped it on the pavement more than once!
Thanks for your comments

I was just wondering\, why no mention of Steve Irwin's Memorial? It was very touching and I think he certainly deserves it.

Hi - There's no mention of Steve's memorial in my original blog posting about our trip because the accident that led to his death happened more than a week after we returned. However, I assure you we have featured numerous stories about Steve Irwin's death and memorials in our newscasts during the past few weeks. I agree his life and legacy are definitely newsworthy. Hope that answered your question.
Thanks for blogging -

Whatever happened to Amanda Lutz\, I suppose she moved on?

Yes - Amanda left NewsChannel 7 in June. She accepted a job as a newscast producer at a station in the Twin Cities. I'm told she's doing very well - and checks out from time to time. I'm sure she'll appreciate your question:)

A bunch of us here at work are checking out your photos and wishing we could see Australia in person some day. How long is the flight down under? (we heard it was like over 24 hours) Did the time differnce make you tired? Love reading your blog and checking for new pictures of your adorable little boy.
-Hard Working Wausau Moms

Dear Hard Working Moms - So glad you could take a break and stop by The flight from Los Angeles to Sydney was about 14 hours. It's long - but I wouldn't give back a minute of it. After a year of being on baby call 24/7 I enjoyed every minute of my Qantas experience. 14 hours of doing whatever I wanted - I read the prequel to the DaVinci Code, watched 4 movies, had a couple of glasses of wine and slept A LOT. The flight attendants even brought us warm footies, sleeping masks, and hot chocolate before they turned the lights off. I did get up to stretch often - but those 14 hours were like a mini vacation for me. The first day was the toughest for us because we arrived in the afternoon when it felt like the middle of the night. We just stayed up as long as we could - and felt pretty good by the next morning. The adjustment coming home was much easier.
Thanks for checking out the blog -

Hi Sue! Loved the picture's of your trip. You and Chris look like you had a great time. I also love your blog because I can keep up on what adorable
Arthur is upto. As well as that handsome husband of yours. (even if I have a spcial fondness for him!) Thank's for the alway's interesting\, fun\, and entertaining blog. I look forward to it daily. Love Aunt Marsha

Hi Marsha -
It's great to hear from you. Thanks for the laugh - I'm pretty fond of those boys too!! We'll have to bring him by for a visit in person soon.
The 1 year molars are trying to come in right now - so he hasn't been his usual cheerful self the past few days. As soon as those teeth arrive we'll start filling up his social calendar again (ha!)
Love to you and your wonderful family:)

Just wanted to say "Welcome Back" How was Arthur while you were gone? I bet he missed you terribly. When my husband and I left for our 1st vacation since our son was born (2 yr), it was the hardest thing in the world. The hug he gave me when we got home was the best feeling ever. Anyway--welcome back!! Jessica

Hi Jessica:)
You're right - coming home was a wonderful feeling! Arthur was definitely happy to see us - but didn't seem to mind that we were gone. Our Pediatrician assured us that he'd be fine as long as he was getting plenty of love and attention. As you can imagine he got more than enough from Grandma and Grandpa. They planned their entire vacation around things they could all do together. About halfway through the trip when I called home my mom said "I'd like to tell you he's missing you too - but he's having a great time!" That was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. It's nice to get away with our hubbies once in awhile isn't it? We really enjoyed the "us" time.

Sue Australia looks so beautiful. It is a dream of mine to go there some day. Thanks for the pitcures. They are awesome. I imagine it was very hard to leave the little one. Dont know if I could do that. Thanks again for the pitcures

Glad you liked the pictures - Australia is an amazing place. I hope you can make your dream of seeing it come true some day. You won't be disappointed. It was very hard to leave Arthur - but I think I agonized about it so much during the months before the trip that it wasn't as bad as I expected. I cried at home when I kissed him goodbye - cried when my dad dropped us off at the airport - and cried once on the plane when we were halfway there. (Just a few misty moments after that)- One thing that helped was writing a journal for him - filled with stories about all of our adventures and how much we missed him. I hope he'll read it one day and be inspired to see as much of the world as he can!

ENTRY: Thursday, August 17th.

Our wonderful little boy turned one on Wednesday!
So many people have told me to expect time to fly - and they were SO right. It seems impossible that a year has passed already. (I took the day off work just to savor it.) Life has changed SO much since Arthur was born. It wasn't always easy, but it was the best year of my life - so far!
We'll be leaving for Australia soon - so I won't be back on the air until Tuesday, August 29th. Until I return from the land down under - I've included a few recent photos of my birthday boy.
G'day mates!

When Arthur is a teenager he's REALLY going to love that photo with Angela and Wendy! What a lucky little guy to be the center of attention with two beautiful young women. Keep up the great work on and off the air! Channel 7 is our favorite.

And Arthur adores them both! He always has big smiles for Auntie Angela and Auntie Wendy:)
Thanks for watching!

Not to change the suject, but aren't young girls clothings getting alittle out of hand. I went school shopping for my 8 yr old daughter today, and OMG! Pants are no longer cut to fit. They hang down their hips to show their butt cracks.. Shirts,,, There is nothing there. How do you send your child to school wanting to fit in? Because they don't have the right "clothes". The 8 ish 9 ish girls want to fit in with the others.. When I was 8 - 9 impressing the boys was not one of my problems. Any mothers going threw this, Please let me know.. Signed, Growing up to early!

Yikes! Sounds like back-to-school shopping was a bit of a nightmare for you this year. I haven't shopped for anything except boys' clothes for the past year - so I can't say I've noticed what's in stores. I believe schools have all gotten pretty strict about his type of clothing. You could probably find out more by requesting a copy of your daughter's school dress code.
Good luck!

Sue I can't believe little Arthur is one year old either. They grow up way to fast. I hope he had a super wonderful first birthday. We enjoyed our visit with you and Kiter and seeing the boys interact together was very cute.
Also Aden said daa daa dadda first too. He only says mumma when he is sad. Oh well;)
Have a very fun trip down under and we hope to see you very soon again.
Take care and safe travels to you both.

Hi T2. It was so fun having you guys over - so glad our little guys finally got the chance to meet. I'm sure they'll be good buddies as they get older! (And by the way, thanks for all the goodies. LOVE the sippy cups!) Chris called me at work on Labor Day to tell me he finally got Arthur to say "Mama" during lunch. I still haven't heard it though. Whenever I try to coax him with "say mama... mama... Ma-Ma!" He just laughs. I'm convinced he's just messing with me now. (ha!)
See you soon:)

I've got to say that being an only child of an only child is not what it's cracked up to be. I would have loved to have had a sibling when it came time to prepare for mom's funeral and for my grandmother's funeral. It would have been great to have someone to talk to when there is something on your mind you wouldn't feel comfortable telling your parents. That being said - I had three of my own and am glad I did. I want them to be able to be there for one another when things get tough. They are independent but are in touch with each other all the time. In the end - the decision is yours and your husbands and good luck with whatevery you choose.

Dear Sharon,
Thanks for sharing your experience as a second-generation only child.
Even if it's not intentional, I'm sure you've instilled in your children not to take each other for granted. Even though siblings don't always get along - they can be such a blessing to each other.
Best to you all:)

UPDATES AS OF: Monday, August 14

A friend actually e-mailed me the link to Helen Kirwan-Taylor’s article, “Sorry, but my children bore me to death” last week. It’s been bothering me ever since.
When I first read the article, I was shocked. I kept waiting for a punch line – as if it was some kind of a joke. My shock soon gave way to anger. I wondered how anyone could be so self-absorbed.

Look, I know being a parent isn’t all fun and games – and it’s not always convenient. Believe me, I need adult-conversation too. And I enjoy a break from the responsibility of parenting now and then (like when the Grandparents visit!). But I can’t imagine being “bored to death” by my son. He constantly amazes me. He is my joy!

Today my anger is replaced by sadness. Eventually Kirwan-Taylor’s beautiful little boys will read what she wrote. I wonder how their mother’s words will make them feel?

LINK TO HELEN KIRWAN-TAYLOR’S ARTICLE: “Sorry, but my children bore me”

who are we to say she shouldnt have children. come on give her a break. just because she made that remark doent mean she dont love her children. i have rasied two of my own children and i also help raise my sisters two children also. there was alot of trying times in those years. if you what to pick on some one pick on the parents that leave there children at home while they go to the bars or to a drug party. dont forget about the children that have to go with out clothes and other things they need so the parents can suport there drinking or drug habit. now those are the parents we should be talking about. wouldnt you say. james

Dear James - thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that neglecting children because of a drug or alcohol problem is a tragedy. Our children need to know that they are loved, valued, and always the most important thing in our lives. It takes more than words... it takes actions - like spending time with them and taking an interest in what they're doing. If that's not happening - for ANY reason - I think it's very sad. Hopefully other families dealing with an overwhelmed parent have someone like you to help.

That woman should have never had children... I feel bad for her boys

I wonder what she thought motherhood was going to be like? I just hope her boys get extra encouragement from teachers and other family members. Litte ones' self esteem can be so fragile.

the woman that wrote that article is just saying what she beleives, it doesnt make a horrible person. let it go, there are some really whacked out people in the world who abuse there children and then claim they love them so much, go after them instead

You make a very interesting point - thanks for sharing it.

This woman should not have allowed herself to have children. I am similar to her in many ways, which is why I don't have children. (I like kids, I just like them better knowing that they aren't mine!!) ) How unfair to those poor kids, having a mom like that. Some people shouldn't be allowed to reproduce!

I have a girlfriend who feels the same way as you do about children. She also loves kids - but has chosen not to have any of her own. She's a wonderful "Auntie" because she has this amazing positive energy that lights up around little ones - and they really respond to her!
(Although she does get tired of those accusing questions, "what do you mean you're not having kids!!")

Hi Sue.I sent a message to you last December that we put our cat"Bucky to sleep.We still had Sassy for comfort. Well,in May she got pneumonia and we had to put her down as well. We went to the Marathon County Humaine Society and found (2) cats that we fell for and brought them home.We can't say enough good things about the people at the humaine society.What great, caring people.We love our new (kids).Simba is a orange tabby,15 pounds of "I don't care attitude,and Nitro is a Ebony Oriental,7 pounds of energy. Thanks for suggesting we try the humaine society. I urge anyone reading this to do the same if you need a pet.Thanks again.....CB,Loyal,WI

Dear CB - I'm so sorry to hear about your Sassy. I know how painful losing a pet is. However, I'm glad to hear that you're giving a home to two cats from the shelter.
What a great combination those two must be. I've always been a push-over for a big orange tabby - just ask the girls at the shelter! I'm positive they will have a loving home with you in Loyal!
Thanks so much for sharing your news -

PLEASE, can you help?? Many residents of the Marshfield area heard a lot of VERY LOUD booming noises on Sat. evening (8/5/06) beginning around 9:55 pm. These loud "booms" had people turning off their TVs and walking outside only to find their neighbors doing the same, with everyone confused about the cause of such noises. This morning, Sunday, and throughout the day, I continued to encounter people who are all wondering the same, what is the cause of the very loud booms that took people out of their homes at 10:00 at night? These noises were loud even with TV sets on, air condtioning running, and all windows closed. The sounds were heard in the city of Marshfield, and 10 miles south of Marshfield. The "booms" sounded like bombs exploding in the distance. Where does one begin to search for this kind of info???

-I hadn't heard anything about this. Have you talked to your local police department?

I feel sad for her poor children! I will agree that being a mom can be overwhelming, challenging and difficult at times, but the good certaintly outweigh the hard times for me. I can't imagine waking up in the morning and not having three pairs of hugs and kisses, not making breakfast, and all the things that three young children require. I am actually dreading the start of school. I will have one in 1st grade, one in kindergarten and my "baby" (he's almost 4!) in pre school. I am not sure how I will manage being all alone!! The story makes me wonder why she decdied to have children in the first place if she knew she wouldn't be able to find any time in her life for them, and they are such an inconvience?

I completely agree with you - being a mom can be difficult but it's worth every tear, major clean-up job, and sleepless night! It sounds like mornings are wonderful at your house:) I've heard parents say if you can get through the first day of Kindergarten - you can get through anything. Best of luck this fall - hope you can enjoy some "Mommy appreciation time" while your little ones are all in class!

This article brought tears to my eyes!! This poor woman! I wonder what her parents were like? I am the proud momma of a beautiful 2 year old and EVERY day he amazes the daylights out of me. I am also a working mom, which makes my nights with him so much more active. We seem to play more at night then if I were home all day long. My world revolves around my son, not my son around me. This "jouranlist" needs to take some time in the real world. My heart would break if my son ever told me that "he knows I would get bored with him" WOW, what a shock that should have been. Have a great mommy day with your son--I know I will be going home after work and hugging the stars out of my son, maybe if I hug him hard enough, this poor woman's children will feel it way over there. Jessica

Your response just brought tears to my eyes Jessica - thank you!

Hi Sue,
When I heard about this story on Channel 7, I thought to myself "Wow, I feel sorry for this woman." Children are children for such a short time, and nothing is more EXCITING than seeing every day life through the eyes of a child. If this woman is bored by her children, think how bored her poor children must be with her. What is really sad is that in this day and age, there is probably a lot of parents that feel the same way. Fortunately, most don't have the audacity to say it out loud.
Susan Jurries, Mom & Teacher, Rhinelander WI

Susan, no doubt your children - and your students - are lucky to have you! If only every parent (and teacher) believed there's nothing more exciting than seeing life through the eyes of a child. I hope this woman's two boys have teachers who fill that gap - and make them feel like wonderful and interesting little people.
Thanks for blogging!

Sue--I couldn't agree MORE! YES, being a Mommy can be exasperating & frustrating (though I honestly can't recall being "bored"), but it's also exhilarating, fascinating, all-encompassing....well, you get the point! I guess the fact that this woman has a (live-in?) NANNY read her children their bed-time stories should make the rest of her comments less surprising. She is having someone else do her PARENTING for her. My children (ages 5 & 7) watched the newscast with us tonight; when the segment came up, my daughter (the 7-year-old) looked at me wide-eyed and asked if being a Mom bored ME. I told her (very honestly), "Little love, from the minute you were born, Daddy and I couldn't take our eyes off you. NOTHING is more exciting than being YOUR MOM." No, being a parent is all sunshine and roses. In fact, it's a lot MORE work than I had ever anticipated! But I wouldn't trade one second of it for ANYTHING--and someday Ms. Kirwin-Taylor is going to REGRET how much time she didn't spend with her boys. I truly pity her!!

Your response just brought tears to my eyes! You may have just showed us the good that could come from the article - family discussions like the one you just had with your daughter. I hope other parents will be inspired to tell their kids how much they love being parents.

(What do you mean, "Da-da"?!)

I love waking up to the sound of my little boy cooing and babbling happily in his crib. I’m not sure exactly what he’s trying to say – but I can’t wait to find out. Like most new parents we’ve been waiting to see whether he’ll say “Mama” or “Da-da” first.
And the winner is… “Da-da”! (Actually it’s Da-da-da-da-da, but it definitely all about Chris.) I hoped that “Mama” would be next, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case. Arthur is working very hard on “Dog” (which is coming out “Duh – guh” so far.) Third on his list – “Vooh”, an attempt at “Vinnie”, our cat. I guess it doesn’t surprise me since he’s been fascinated by our pets since he was just a few months old.
So am I disappointed? No way. I’m sure hearing Arthur call me Mama for the first time will be worth the wait. Meanwhile, when he wakes up at 6AM on Saturdays and calls out Da-da-da-da, I get to say “honey – Arthur needs you”, and go back to sleep!
Any other Mommies out there playing second (or third) fiddle in the name game?

**UPDATE: Tuesday, August 2nd
As we expected - Arthur is now calling our Golden Retriever "Dah-Gh"
(yes - in 2 syllables.) But his favorite new word is "Vee-Nee!" Yep- that's our cat. Not only does he call Vinnie by name - he chases the cat all around the house. Fortunately, he hasn't caught him yet - probably because he's shouting "Vee-Nee!" and "aaaaaggghhh!" while he's crawling towards him. As you can imagine, the cat is not nearly as excited as we are to see how fast the baby can move!
Arthur has also added "ba-ba" (bottle) to his vocabulary - but still no "Mama". (sigh) ;)

Sue, my daughters only word for the last month was Da da. sometimes I think I'm chopped liver but then she calls the garbage and everything else Dada. So I guess I don't feel so bad. I especially like it after he comes home from work and I desperately need a break. Then I get to say, Daddy, your daughter wants you! (ha)
I also wanted to comment on you speaking about your child, I'm glad to hear that you love your son. It's nice to know that you don't have to be embarrassed or act like your kids don't exist just because someone else doesn't like to hear about it. There is a lot of Mommies and Daddies out here that love your stories. It's wonderful to hear a loving mother talk about her son! Keep up the good work.

Thanks - I love to hear from other parents too! I'm kind of an information junkie when it comes to reading books and magazines about baby stuff - but it's the stories I hear from other parents that make the biggest impression on me. I hope my blog will continue to be a place we can share opinions and ideas. I really enjoy trying to keep the discussion going!

Sue, my daughter is only about 5 months now and the first sounds she made were "mmmaa" sounds so unfortunatly I hope that Mama will be frist but I wouldn't be suprised if "choo choo" comes first (daddy's favorite hobby). We will have to wait and see.

Ha - I'll bet your husband would love to hear "choo choo"! My little guy says a lot of "mmmmm" - but usally when he's eating! It made me realize how often Chris and I use that sound to convince him how yummy baby food is. (So far he seems to agree - except for peas!)
Best to you and your little princess:)

I think his next word will be "Jeff".
Your favorite co-anchor

Ha! That wouldn't suprise me - although you have some big competition from Katie O'Brien. He started jumping up and down during her forecast last weekend!

Sue Tell Chris he just has to all the work with Aurthur when he calls out for DADA. Just wait until he really starts to talk and then it will be why,no, What. Just a few enjoy him now they just grow to fast.C.J.B

Yes - my wonderful husband has been encouraging Arthur to say "ma-ma" - but he just laughs instead! We think he said "ba-ba" (his bottle) a few times last weekend. So I figure "Ma-ma" can't be far behind.
You're so right about "why?" and "no!" - some words I'm happy to wait for.
Thanks for the smile:)

Dear Sue, I see you too are an animal lover. I enjoy seeing the dogs, cats & etc. that you show us on the broadcasts. I am so saddened when I see dogs tied outside and ignored, some in the hot summer sun and cold of winter. Cats/kittens roaming the streets and we human beings are supposed to care for them. I wish there could be a better way to educate people about animals, especially that they really give it some thought before they acquire a pet. Dogs aren't loners and abandoning it to the yard all alone is just plain cruel. Thanks for all you do. Jean

Dear Jean -
I feel the same sadness when I see neglected and stray pets. Too many people wrongly believe that dogs and cats will do just fine if they ddrop them off along a rural road. The lucky ones are eventually rescued by area humane societies - but I've seen the toll it takes on them. Many rescued animals suffer physical injuries - but it's the injury to their spirit that breaks my heart. I'll keep telling people - and hope you will too!
Thanks for caring.

All three of my kids said Ma-ma first. Da-da came a close second as well as key-key when they wanted the cats to come by them. The cats soon learned to run and hide since the kids started calling to them and a few weeks later were able to chase them! As wonderful as it was to hear them calling for me the thing that melted my heart is the first time I heard each of them say "I Love You, Mommy!" I cried after each one said it for the first time, as it made it hit home just how important I am to them.

Just as I was chuckling about the hide and seek between your children and your cats - your entry made my eyes mist over! Is there any sweeter sound in the world than hearing your little one say "I love you"?
My heart melts just thinking about it.
Thanks for sharing the smile:)

Sue: Was there an antry on your blog that was critical of you and made a tongue in cheek suggestion that you stay home with Arthur? Was it removed? Why? I would hate to think that only positive comments are considered okay

Hi. Thanks for your concern, but rest assured - this blog is clearly open to comments that are not positive. However, the deleted entry was the latest from an unhappy viewer whom I have already responded to in past blogs. I don't think it's in anyone's best interest to continue that dialogue.
Okay - for those of you who are now curious about that entry - it simply suggested that I stay home and raise my son, reminded me that he/she did not like the fact that I suggested they watch another station if they do not like ours, and asked how the comment made me feel. For the record, it made me feel like deleting it. Not because I was insulted - but because it seemed like the best way to encourage this person to let it go and seek out another outlet for his/her frustration. Think it worked?

(What happened to 'Blister in the Sun'?!)
Entry: Friday, July 14th

What a great turnout at the Violent Femmes concert Wednesday night! Glad to see so many people taking advantage of the opportunity to enjoy live music under the stars. Some organizers estimate the crowd was even bigger than the Sara Evans concert in June. Hopefully that's a sign that these concerts are catching on. Thanks to Kinzie Benefit Concerts for all their work in organizing this summer series - and for arranging to donate a portion of the proceeds to area scouts. Bravo!

I heard good things about the performances by Carbon Leaf and BetterThan Ezra - but unfortunately Chris and I didn't get to the park in time to hear them. Loved seeing the Violent Femmes back in Wisconsin - but sad to realize I didn't need my glasses to see the stage when I first heard their music 20 years ago! For those of you not familiar with the band, don't let the name scare you.. They're not violent - just a lot of fun.

NewsChannel 7's Carrie Hutton and Alison Struve - Marathon Park July 12th

NewsChannel 7 was one of the sponsors of the concert - so you probably saw our Carrie Hutton and Alison Struve there (see photo). They introduced the second act - then stayed to enjoy the music too. I learned that Alison's brother is a professional drummer in New York - so she was able to fill us in on all the nuances of the Femmes' percussion styles. Thanks Alison!
Let us know your thoughts about the show...

I havent looked at your blogs in awhile so I thought I would comment on some. I went to the Better then Erza concert and All those other bands play. It was amazing. I have to say I would go again. Have a good week/weekend.
Your Mini Me.

This is kinda off topic but I have to say, the other day you wore a whit jacket with a pale or pastel colored shirt and it looek beautiful on you! Not that you look bad in dark colors or anything....just thought I would share that with you! :)

That's the kind of "off topic" I don't mind a bit. Thanks! We just had a discussion about wearing white on the air in the newsroom a couple of weeks ago. It's one of the things we were all told to avoid - but we like it too. (and with this weather, it's hard to reach for anything black or navy that's hanging in the closet!)

While traveling for work in the WSAW viewing area I was very happy to see your comments on having another child? I am a father of 4 children, 19, 14, 12 and 8. After the first one I was not sure how I could ever love another one like my oldest, but as nature would have it, it is with out a doubt a remarkable thing to be able to share those same emotions and love for as many children as you want.
I am not suprised to hear your thoughts, as I remember over 20 years ago, you were just as caring as I am sure you are now!
Keep up the good work Sue.
>From an old friend back in Holmen, WI.
Dave Rocco!!!!

Dearest Rocco,
What a nice suprise... it's great to hear from you! Sorry to disappoint, but I'm a real jerk now. (ha!)
Wow - is your oldest really 19? Doesn't seem possible - until I do the math. (I also tend to forget I'm 40) It's been several years since I bumped into you and your beautiful family at the mall in La Crosse - hope everyone is still doing well. Let me know next time you're passing through the area - maybe we can catch up and share "brag books"!
Enjoy the day:)

sue what does it take and what kind of schooling do you need to become a part of channel 7 i often think about it and what like to see how some things work and what you need to do if you could help me that would be great Bobbie Jo in wausau

Hi Bobbi Jo,
Most of our reporters/anchors have degrees in Journalism, Broadcasting, or a related major. Above all else you need strong writing skills and the ability to work under deadline pressure. Two other qualities I find either make or break newcomers are common sense and a sense of urgency. If you have any questions about employment opportunities, I would direct you to our News Director, Gil Buettner. Best to you!

UPDATES: July 13th (Original entry: 6/28)

Hi Friends!
As my son's first birthday approaches (coming up in August) I'm getting this question more and more often, "are you planning to have another?"
Most recently it came from a blogger who inspired me to write about it.

There was a time when I would have considered this inquiry way too personal. But since I've become part of this sisterhood of mommies, it seems like a natural question. I'm just as curious to learn how and why other couples made their own decisions.

I should start by telling you that I loved being pregnant! I know not all women feel this way, but for me it was a magical experience that I would gladly do again. However, Chris and I sometimes wonder if we could do it without sacrificing any of the time and energy we now lavish on our one and only. He is the center of our universe - and we can't bear the thought of taking anything away from him. On the other hand, a good friend recently gave me a piece of advice that's been playing over and over again in my head. She said having another child would be like giving our son a precious gift - a brother or sister to grow up with.
So to the question at hand - will we have another child? Since I change my mind every other day - that depends on when you ask me. Some days I think, "yes definitely!" (we even have some names picked out - just in case) Other days, I'm not so sure.
Either way - I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, I'd love to hear from other parents.... please share your thoughts and experiences below !
By the way - this is a "yes" day!

Sue in response to your blog about having another child first you have to do what you think is right and i think that every child should have someone in their lives as a sibling you always have someone to share things with. did you tell your parents EVERYTHING???? its always nice to have a sibling i have two childern that are only 18 months apart and they both are boys and i think that if i would have had only one it might have pretty boring for him alone i also think that they both are really happy with each other and having each other to do boy stuff because i am the mom and we dont know boy stuff they now are 7 and 9. good luck Bobbie Jo in Wausau

Thanks Bobbie Jo! I agree - having a sibling to share life with can be a very good thing. It's nice to hear about brothers who get along well together. Figuring out all that "boy stuff" is definitely one of my insecurities. However, I'm amazed at how well I'm adapting so far. By the time Arthur is 7 - I could be way out of my league!
Thanks for blogging:)

After our first baby, we wondered, 'how could we possibly love another child the way that we love this one?; how could we take love away from the first to give to the next?' Let me tell you - love is NOT divided it is MULTIPLIED. We have five children now. Good Luck from Birnamwood

What a great way to look at things! I really have been asking myself those questions. Your statement - "love is not divided - it is multiplied", hit me sqare in the heart - and it will definately stay with me.
Thanks Birnamwood:)

((Note to the blogger who submitted his/her views about the same-sex marriage survey in Wisconsin. While I respect your right to have a strong opinion on the matter, I will not respond to any postings that describe groups of people using offensive or derogatory terms. Disagreement doesn't have to be disrespectful. Your comments have been deleted.))

Life is to short and kids grow up fast....You have enough love in your heart for a 2nd child...We lost a daugher to Leukemia when she was 4 and we were so glad we had another child....

My deepest sympathies on the loss of your little girl. Just thinking about it makes my heart ache. I'm sure she brought so much love and joy to your life. Best to you and your family - and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

About having another baby, the main thing is to do what's best for YOUR family and not what every one says. We have one child and are very happy with that, it's other people who give us a hard time about it. Our son just got out od third grade, his teacher sent a note home saying how resectful, kind and willing to help he is, we've never had a teacher say he was selfisha nd just wanted things for himself or first. My Dad was an only child and has no problems with that. As far as having siblings to have all your life...a friend of mine has two brothers that he no longer talks to because of things they did(stole money, only came by when they needed something) and it has really caused a lot of pain for him in his life. So no one really knows what is going to happen, but if you make the decision for what is best for your family that really is all that matters!

Dear bp,
It's good to hear your perspective. It's true, many only children grow up without any regrets... and having siblings doesn't guarantee a close or loving relationship. It sounds like your little boy is developing lots of great qualities. I think being described as a "kind" child is probably the nicest compliment I can imagine. I'm sure that's a reflection on what he learns at home. You have good reason to be proud:)
Thanks for joining in the discussion!

Bill Cosby says that having only one child is like not really being a parent at all, because you know who broke the lamp! hehe

Ha! Thanks for the laugh:) I needed a break from all this thinking about life's big decisions.

Hi Sue,just like you we were a little older when we became parents for the first time. Getting pregnant and being pregnant was not really easy for me (morning sickness at different times during the day and throughout the entire 9 months)! However, when our beautiful daughter was born we were smitten! She became everything to us. We thought long and hard and decided we would like to try for one more. We weren't sure if that would be possible due to the amount of time it took the first time and our ever increasing ages. Just this past November we were blessed with an adorable son. Our three and a half year old loves him to death (as we do too)! I couldn't imagine not having either one of our children. I think the arrival of our son has made our daughter more patient and loving. I am so glad that God has given us two special human beings to care for, teach, and love. Speaking from the stand point of a teacher, I can often times tell when a student is an only child. Sometimes they tend to have a "me first" attitude and always want things to go there way. This isn't always the case, but in my many years of teaching I have seen it quite often. I remember getting teary eyed when our daughter came to visit us in the hospital when our son was born. I thought, "Will we have enough time to do all the fun things we did before?" The answer to that question is yes. Sometimes it gets juggled around a bit or doesn't happen exactly as it did before but you make it work. Our son has been to parades, parks, story time at the library, etc.. We have double the fun watching both of their reactions to things! You are in our thoughts and prayers as you make your decision. :)

I think you just eased all of my fears in one response! (I even asked my husband to log on to check it out.) We're realizing that WE'RE prepared to make sacrifices - but we don't want Arthur to. I also worry about taking time and attention away from him. It's so reassuring to hear how your daughter has embraced her little brother - and it occurs to me that he will learn so much tagging along on the things she enjoys. Congratulations on the birth of your son! Parenting is quite the adventure isn't it?

I haven't made it here for a while but had to make a comment about the "unhappy viewer" who seems to have found a place to express him/herself. First of all, how lucky you are that Channel 7 provides a venue such as this for you to express your concerns, although I scrolled down and don't really understand what they were...perhaps you were having a bad day. But, I agree with Sue that there are other choices in programming and blogs for you to find something to make you happy. Sue was not being disrespectful, simply offering you a solution to your dilemma. I can't help but wonder...if watching news makes you so mad, why would you EVER watch? Sue, keep up the good work, and let the rest of the crew know this viewer thinks they are top-notch!

THANK YOU! I'll be sure to pass along your nice comments:)

Sue - just a quick comment thankfully off the subject of pregnancy/ only children etc.. With all due respect ( have just read Jeff's admonition about being 'nice') I find your news segement on 'what's going around' pretty lame, even the doctors appear to me to be a bit uncomfortable & they have seemed to struggle lately to come up with 'what's going a around'. Maybe nothing is going around. Actually I am fed up with the so-called news really being an oftentimes info-mercial enterprise. A relative visiting from overseas recently burst out laughing when instructions on what to do when the weather turns hot came on!!. How did we mothers deal with all these situations years ago - we used common sense, we used our brains, that's what we did. Thank you.
Hi. I'm sorry to hear you're not a fan of our "What's Going Around" segment. With allergy and cold/flu season behind us, clinics probably aren't as busy right now as they are during other times of the year. However, the fact is that heat-related illnesses and sunburns are a problem this time of year. Both can be very serious. With a number of hot days ahead, I hope this advice from our area physicians pays off for someone. Unfortunately, using sunscreen and avoiding heat stroke isn't common sense to everyone. Thanks for watching!

My husband & I just started talking about having another child. Our daughter is 18 mos and originally we were going to wait another year since she is at this incredibly fun age. I can't wait until the second one is born. Everytime my daughter sees a baby, a picture or is playing with her baby doll, she shouts "Baby! Baby!" She loves her doll and cradles her in her arms even. That right there told us that she would be more than happy to have a brother or sister. With us, it eas never a question of having a second child, just when. So we are now trying again and I hope it doesn't take to long! I miss holding a little baby that wants to cuddle all the time, but it is so nice that when she falls down or something scares her, it's Mama she runs to!! Just melts your heart(as I am sure you already know!!) Happy thinking on planning an addition to your family. Whatever decision you make, I'm sure you'll never look back and say you regretted it!! I love reading all the responses to your topics, quite interesting what people have to say(or complain about!).

Best of luck to you! I hope you'll have good news soon:) Meanwhile, I'm sure you're enjoying the anticipation of adding to your family. Soon you'll be explaining to your little girl that there's a baby in your belly - what fun!
My son is almost 11months old now - and fortunately he still loves to snuggle. However he's getting more and more independent (and mobile!) every day. I will miss our cuddle time so much when he outgrows it! It really is important to appreciate those wonderful moments - while we can. Thanks for the good wishes:)

Sue, can you believe our babies are going to be one. It seems like it was just yesterday stopped by to see you and Kiter to compare notes on our pregnancy's. What a popular question it is are you going to have another? At times I say YES at times no. It also depends on the day. Sometimes I think another would take away from Aden and I also worry about terrible two's coming up too and adding another can sometimes add to not getting enough attention and acting out. But on the other hand I don't know???
So today we say maybe to another. Tomorrow it will be yes and since Aaron is a only child we should have another but he said "I made it through being the only one".
We can't wait to see you guys in July hopefully it will work out that we can stop by for a bit and so our little buddies can meet:) Tracy (T2)
Hi Tracy! We'd love to see you - and meet Aden. I just love watching Arthur's reaction to other children. Isn't it amazing how they can spot each other in a crowded store or while passing in their strollers? Sounds like you and Aaron are working through many of the same questions we are about when/if to have another child. By the way, just when we'd forgotten how difficult those first few months without sleep were - we got a reminder last night. Arthur woke up at 12:30 and didn't go back to sleep until quarter to four. Guess tooth number 8 is on the way! Hope to see you soon:)

My two siblings are 10 and 14 years older than I am, so growing up I felt like an only child. At a young age I had already decided I was going to have more than one child. I was thinking one when I was about 23, and then waiting for a couple years. My plans didn't work out quite how I had thought they would. I had my first daughter 4 months before I graduated from high school. That ws the hadest thing I have ever went through, but with a lot of help I graduated on time. I then decided I will spend as much time with her while she is little and if the time is right maybe have another in a few years. So I was very careful...only to find out when she was 6 months old that number two was on the way. And to add to my surprise when she was 7 months old, I went to the Dr. for a regular check up only to find out that we were being blessed a thrid time. A week after my son was born, my husband (and father of all three) decided to have a vasectomy done, since the two youngest were conceived while I was on birth control. As crazy as my house can be with three kids that are only 31 months apart, I wouldn't change it for the world!! The endless hugs and kisses are awesome! And they actually do play well together, most of the time. Good luck in whatever decision you make for yourselves and your son.

Thanks for sharing your story. My favorite part of your post is: "The endless hugs and kisses are awesome!" - What a wonderful way to describe your children! Even if the timing wasn't what you had planned it sounds like you have embraced your family with your whole heart. Even when things get chaotic - it's the kind of "crazy" we wouldn't want to live without! Thanks for the smile:)

Hi Sue! A while back, a story was presented about a young man named Dan Terrio and his presentation @ the Drug Awareness Day in Wausau. I really wanted to learn more in greater depth about Dan's story. You should strongly consider doing a full length segment on him and his work. How would i get in touch with him on speaking information? -Anne

Hi Anne,
Quite the inspiration - isn't he? Carrie Hutton actually did a couple of full length stories about Dan and made the rest of his interview available on our website. I'm sorry you missed it - he really does have a powerful affect on people. If you could send me an e-mail with your request to I'll try to find out who sets up his speaking engagements for you. Thanks for you your interest.

I believe it is so important to have more than one child. They need the support when they get a little older and have friend problems and whatever else. They need the siblings to fight with on occasion. Just my opionin.

My younger brother and I had our share of arguments as children - but I couldn't imagine my life without him. Now that he's not a little pest (ha!) he's one of my favorite people. It's true, we do value having each other to lean on. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Sue, I know it's a personal decision, but speaking as an only child myself....having an "only" is a terrible thing to do to a child. It really didn't bother me until I hit my 40's, but now I would do anything to have a brother or a sister. As time goes by, I realize that I don't have anybody to share childhood memories with and it's rather sad. Just a thought from an only child's point of view, a rather old only child at 43, but none the less.
Thanks for listening. Sue-Wisconsin Rapids

Hi Sue.
My husband and I have talked about exactly what you shared. We don't ever want our son to feel like he's all alone out there someday. Even though my younger brother and I didn't always get along as children (what siblings do?!) I can't imagine growing up without him.
I do have some friends who are only children who never felt lonely -but others who still long for siblings to share that bond with. Hope you've found some good friends along the way to help you fill that void.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts Sue!

Just a quick comment--I think you handled the cranky commentor (see below) very professionally. You don't make the news, you present them to the public. Does this person realize that the commercials basically pay for the airtime. WOW!! Thank you for doing a great job.

Thanks for the nice note. We work very hard to put together news that is accurate, important and interesting to our viewers. I'm glad to hear you like what you see. You're absolutely right about commercials. Without them, we wouldn't have a local newscast - or our jobs!
Enjoy the day:)

I have an 8 year old daughter, and a 2 and a 1/2 year old son. My daughter was in kindergarden when I had my son. I had 5 years with her. It was hard to see her go to school. But at the same time I could spend as much time with my son as I did with her. It worked out great for out family. And I have many friends that have found out the same thing. Considering now how everyone is so busy. My daughter loves having a little brother, and she can atleast remember him and see him grow up. Everyone is different. But that is my story.

Thanks for blogging - that's a great story. It sounds like a wonderful way to add onto your family without having "two in diapers" as they say. It's also nice to hear how your daughter is able to enjoy her little brother because she's a little older. It makes me wonder if we could wait that long. Since I'm already 40, I sometimes feel so rushed in having to make a decision. (Although my OB assures me that doesn't have to be the case). I really appreciate your thoughts.

My daughter is 21 months and making that jump to a second child is the toughest decision I have ever done. It's no question on if we will have another, but when. We have decided to leave it to nature, no trying not to get pregnant and not really trying to.

Ha! Your response made me smile. Just casting your fate to the wind really takes the pressure off - especially since it sounds like you definitely want a second child but aren't in a rush.
Best to you - and your little girl:)

Dear Sue, I think your doing a great job. Miss seeing you at 10.00 with Jeff, But I'm sure you have something better to do. I started with ch 7 when My daughter started school. Loved the morning show show with Bobbi and Jeff, felted like family. Now I have the same with Wendy, Bill, & Chad. Our dauhter graduated in May, and ch 7 is still part of Our mornings, the 10.00 is the end of Our day. Could use a dress down day. Fridays mayby???? JA

Hi JA - It's so nice to hear from a loyal viewer like you! You've certainly seen a number of changes in anchors over the years. Having Angela take over the 10pm show has been a lifesaver for me. Getting up with the baby at 6 and working until 11 was exhausting.
Since you're also a mom, I'm sure you can guess exactly how I spend my evenings now... playing with my son or taking him for a walk - followed by bathtime and bedtime! After a long but wonderful day I can barely stay awake for the 10pm news anymore. However for the first time in my life I'm a regular viewer of morning news! I also like to start my day watching Wendy, Bill and Chad.
I think we'd all love a dress-down day here - but I don't think management would ever agree. (however some of my co-workers do wear shorts and tennis shoes under their suit coats on occasion!)
And... congratulations on your daughter's graduation:)


Can you believe June is almost over?! It seems like summer just started. Like most people who live in Wisconsin, I wait so eagerly for this time of year - and it always goes by way too quickly. Now that I have a little one at home - it seems to be moving even faster.
For some reason, summers seemed to last longer when I was a child. Endless days of swimming, playing with friends, hanging out at the county fair, and spending a much-anticipated week at 4-H camp. I've heard people say time just seems to pass by more quickly as we get older. I think that's probably because we just learn to appreciate it more.
So this summer we're spending our free time taking our son for stroller rides, visiting area parks, and relaxing in our yard watching Arthur enjoy his new swing. Life is good.
Hope you're all making the most of the season too!


My dear friends and co-workers, Jeff and Angela, have already covered this topic on their blogs... but how can we say enough about the opportunity to enjoy live music on a beautiful summer evening?! Thanks to everyone who attended the Sara Evans concert - hope you had as much fun as we did! (SEE PHOTOS ON JEFF & ANGELA'S BLOGS - Anyone else think Ang and Sara look like sisters?!)
It was great to run into friends there - and I was SO glad to meet more of the staff from WDEZ. What a great crew! They made the priviledge of introducing the acts even more fun. (I keep telling Lee Peek he could have a great career in TV - but he loves what he's doing. Lucky for all of his listeners out there!)
Whether you love rock-n-roll, country, or jazz music, there's nothing like enjoying live music outside on a summer night in Wisconsin. We're already looking forward to the Violent Femmes concert at Marathon Park on July 12th. So tell all your friends - and let's try to fill every seat this time. If we can increase the demand for concerts - hopefully we'll see many more in the future!
I'm hoping Prince will agree to perform here someday - but Jeff tells me not to hold my breath. A girl can hope can't she? He'd be my first choice, followed by Dave Matthews, and maybe Nora Jones. (Yes, my taste in music is pretty eclectic!) I'd love to hear your requests... who would you like to see perform here?

The person who doesn't want to watch ch. 7 must at least watch you or why would they pick your blog and not one of the other anchors?????

I'm just lucky I guess:)


Dear unhappy viewer,
You're right, the news can be depressing, our favorite teams don't always win, and although our weather team is top notch - Meteorology isn't an exact science. Lucky for you there are lots of alternatives to news on television today. If you have cable, you can even find networks that run programming without commercials. There are also plenty of blogs online that you may find more interesting to you. Best of luck in your search.

For Sue's response to unhappy viewer- The way you talk to your viewers is go on other blogs and other stations? Why don't you have the problems with your station fixed, so I don't have to?

I believe I just addressed that above.
Thanks for your question.

Regarding the comment on writing about your son and birthday what a joy to read about.
If only that person knew all about your involvement in the LaCrosse area and the countless numbers of organizations and people you have helped in such a positive way. The countless number of times you have received outstanding awards and recognition along the way. Sue has helped with so many organizations in the LaCrosse area. She has produced, directed, emceed, given speeches of inspiration, acted, choreographed, danced, sang, etc. snd just been such an outstanding role model in our area that we all enjoy keeping in touch with her and her family. Thank you Sue.
Your extended family and friends in the LaCrosse area.

Wow - People often ask me how those of us who work in the public eye deal with the criticism that often comes our way. As you can see by the response above - I'm blessed to have a great support system.
The love of family and friends offers even more protection than developing a thick skin. So thanks for that glowing review (even if it's a little embarassing - it's very nice!)

Sue, Elvis Costello in a tux at the Grand or he did a outstanding outdoor performance in Green Bay last weekend. Thanks for caring so deeply about wellness, children and animals.
ddm in Stratford

Dear ddm - sounds like a great show! Green Bay seems to get a lot of great acts there - especially at the Weidner Center. I've been there myself a few times. I do care deeply about those things you mentioned. We all have our passions - those are definitely three of mine.
Enjoy the day!

Almost every news cast it is reported how many people die because they did not have a seat belt on. But it is never reported on how many people died because they had a seat belt on. WHY? Shouldent it have equal time? Should it not also be reported on how many people died because they couldn't get their seat belts off an died because of it. Otherwise you do a good job.
Jim in Marathon

Hello Jim in Marathon.
Funny - I just had this conversation with my parents recently. This is a question I have asked members of law enforcement and the state patrol. I'm told there are rare cases in which a seatbelt actually does cause an injury - or trap someone in an accident. However, the key word there is "rare". Statistically seatbelts save MANY more lives than they take. In my own experience, I've reported on dozens of local accidents in which people could have survived if they'd been wearing their seatbelts. In my many years of broadcasting I have yet to cover an accident where a seatbelt did more harm than good.
When I'm driving I insist that everyone in my vehicle buckle up. First, I'm concerned for their safety. Secondly, I'm concerned for the safety of my son who is currently in a rear-facing car seat. If we are ever in an accident I don't want to risk him being injured by someone who is not securely fastened. And I want to make sure someone survives to make sure he's okay. That's just the rule when I'm behind the wheel... and it's also the law. Hope I've at least made you consider the value of the seatbelts in your vehicle. Best to you - and thanks for watching!

Sue, I'm a grandmother of two who has the granddaughters from time to time. My concern is the new booster seat law. The oldest is 9, but she only weighs about 65 lbs. and is only approximately 4'7". I have now doubt that she is safer in a booster seat, but the rules aren't clear. It says 9 yrs. or 80lbs., or 4'9". Do they need to meet all the qualifications or one or what? Some people will think if she's 9 she doesn't need to be in one. But if she's small she should. I have talked to the Wausau Hospital and the State Patrol and they agree to err on the side of caution but the legal aspect still isn't clear. Thank you. Irene

Hi Irene, I know this has been confusing for many people. I'll try to get some clarification and will post it asap.
Thanks for the great questions!

Angela does look a lot like Sara Evans! Also, regarding the comments about constantly talking about your son, ignore them. Everyone I know likes hearing about him. I look forward to hearing about his first birthday celebration in August. Anymore children for you and Chris in the near future?

Hi Jo - thanks for sharing your thoughts. Not only do I enjoy writing and talking about my son - I love hearing stories from other moms. We all have so much to share... from good advice to just a laugh when we need it. I can't believe he will be turning one in just a couple of months! What a ride this first year has been. I guess I'd better get planning that big birthday bash. As for plans to add to our family - your question inspired me to start a new blog on the subject... see above!
Have a wonderful day:)


tick tick tick tick tick tick...
Hear that? It's the sound of my 30's ticking away.
Yes - on Saturday (5/13) I'll be celebrating my 40th birthday!
You may have noticed Jeff and I ribbing each other about our birthdays recently. I continue to remind him that he's still older than me. (Just 10 days older - but that still makes me younger, right?)

For those of you who missed my column in the newspaper insert SCOPE earlier this month, I started celebrating in April by spending a weekend in Las Vegas with 7 of my closest girlfriends.
In that column I described one of the moments when I felt really young and cool. It was when Paris Hilton showed up at the Vegas nightclub we were at... just a few feet away from us on the dancefloor. (check out the photo I took below)
I'm also posting a pic of my wonderful girlfriends taken at Bellagio, where we stayed. I am SO grateful to have friends who set the bar on "aging gracefully" so high. They continue to show me that life just gets better every year!
Besides, how could I fret about turning 40 on Saturday - when I'll be celebrating my first Mother's Day as a mom on Sunday? I don't think I've ever felt as blessed.
Thanks for all the good wishes:)

1st Mother's Day with my little virtuoso!

Hi Sue-
Love your guys' newscasts. Everything is definately different but good. Whatever happened to Carrie though? (Carrie Hutton) Just wondering. Also, I wanted to say, I noticed someone had asked why you only talk about your son and husband; I'd have to say most of us like that you do. It lets us know you are real and that we can relate to you as a person....not just someone on the news you know? This is coming from a young stay at home mom of a 20 month old boy so I really enjoy relating to other people in the same situations. Basically I just wanted to say that I enjoy the pictures and your stories. Keep it up! :)

Hi Krista - I also love hearing from other moms. Just having a child gives us all so much in common - and so much information to share:)
Lucky you to be able to stay home with your little guy - must be especially fun in the summer when there's so much to do outside.
Glad you like the changes we've made in our newscasts! Coming up with new ideas has been a lot of fun for us. Fortunately, Carrie is still with us, in fact she's working at the desk right next to mine. She's taken on the responsibility of anchoring and producing our weekend newscasts. That's also freeing her up to do some reporting for us three days a week.
Thanks so much for blogging!

Is thaat all you have to talk about, i.e your child, or do you have something intelligent to talk about rather than just your baby or your bithday, thanks

Hi. Thanks for blogging. It's true, I love to talk about my baby! He and my husband are definitely the most important things in my life. However, I'm always open for suggestions on other topics.
Enjoy the day:)

Hello Sue! Happy Belated Birthday! Your son is adorable and you look so happy! I love reading your blog it's a great way to see how all my friends are doing in Wisconsin. I miss you all! Love, Heather in Texas

Howdy Heather Lee!!!!!! It's SO great to hear from you. We miss you and Tom like crazy. Jeff says hello too:) Send me an e-mail and let me know what you two are up to these days.

I am glad to hear that you are an animal lover like myself. Proud of you! Also, I want to say that I am glad to see 3 faces on channel 7 since I can remember. You three know who you are, and I watch because of you three. Other stations if I blink, the station has changed all its people. Thank you for being there. Missy

Hi Missy. I'm definitely an animal lover - working with area humane societies is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I'm also happy to share that most of the pets we feature find homes. Luckily, our morning show team, Wendy Neuberger and Bill Martens are also animal lovers - and make sure to include those segments in the morning and noon newscasts as often as possible. Thanks for watching, Missy!

Sue, I enjoyed your BLOG. Your son is a handsome boy. I liked the picture of Jay's son also. Did Jay leave as Meterologist on channel 7 ? If so darn, if not when is he coming back??? Jeannette

Hi Jeannette - thank you for the nice compliments. Jay and I are both very proud parents! Sadly, Jay is no longer with NewsChannel 7 and I really miss seeing him every day. However I wish him and his family the best in their next adventure:)

Happy First Mother's Day Cousin....
Ran across your blog while I was looking for our other cousin Terry Ramsett (Loren's son). I'm Kathryn, Dorothy Ramsett Snyder's daughter who lives in Dallas. (Dorothy is the daughter of Hilda and Oscar... to put things in perspective). Let's try to get in touch soon. Tell your Mom and Dad HI for me! Best Wishes to ALL!!!

Hi Kathryn - how nice to hear from you! I'll be sure to send along your hello - please send my love to your family as well:)

hi sue like your new hairstyle,also tell the rest of the group i like your new look at 5-6-and 10 long time viewer of sir seven i can still remember somethings from the late 1950s keep up the great work say hi to jt for me jim p.s. bill m. is off the hook hope he never leaves.

Thanks! Actually had my hair done at a salon owned by some dear friends in La Crosse on my 40th birthday. I almost made a much more drastic change - but they convinced me to go with the style you see. I guess I should thank them for saving me from myself! We've been working very hard on the changes in our newscasts. I'm so glad to hear you like what you see!

Happy belated birthday! I knew I was forgetting something! Did you have a wonderful time in Vegas or what?! Send my love to everyone!

Jess in Madison

Oh Jess - it's SO Good to hear from you! Just thought about you and your hubby last night while reading Arthur the book you gave him, "Have You Seen Art?" (He's still more interested in putting the pages in his mouth than following the story - but I'm sure all those images of famous paintings will rub off on him eventually!) Hope you're enjoying Madison. You're one of the best videographers I've ever worked with... hope they appreciate you there as much as I miss you!

Not sure if this is the correct place to respond...I clicked the first respond button that I found. Was going to wish you a Happy belated birthday and a wonderful first Mother's Day!! I hope you enjoyed the day with your adorable little boy. My two daughters each made me a handprint poem and flower container in school, and with my husband's help my son made me a stepping stone for my garden.

Have you ever received anything so precious?! With the help of our childcare provider, Arthur made me a card for my birthday and one for Mother's Day, and a potholder with his handprints. I will cherish it as if it were made out of solid gold! Chris also came through big - and got me an engraved locket with photos of the two of them inside. Pressure's on me for Father's Day!

Happy Birthday to our Friday the 13th little girl (you will always be our little girl) and sending so much love on your 1st MOTHERS DAY. Love you to pieces.
Mom and Dad

I love you too! Thanks for a great weekend in La Crosse:)

I just wanted to comment on the recent drug busts in Wood county. Sheriff Thomas Reichert hopes the extra efforts keep people safe from drugs, but the jail is already overfilling as are the rest of the jails in the state. Along with all the state and federal prisons in the country. For me this story is just an echo tying to tell us that something needs to change. I think this prohibition has failed just like the Prohibition that was in the 1930's. The power was given to the black market to supply America's drug problem and beat the system. The same is occurring with the current drug war. We can't beat the black market so maybe we should get rid of their power by legalizing and controlling it ourselves. People are going to get what they want no matter what. Since the 1980's we have spent over 330 billion dollars on a failing drug policy we could have better spent on education. Canada and Mexico have seen our mistakes and are going the other way with their policy. In Vancouver, Canada where marijuana sales are tolerated a single shop made over 4 million dollars in a month. With the experience of a drop in crime and increase of consumer spending though out the area. Why don't we learn from their gain and turn the black market's profit into our own.


Hello Friends!
Sorry to be away from the blog so long. My new responsibilities keep me hopping from the moment I come in until the moment I leave for the day. Between live updates during the day and working on special reports, my days at the station are much more hectic since I've taken over as Executive Producer of our 5pm newscast. On the bright side, I'm finally able to get a decent amount of sleep and spend more quality time with my family in the evenings.

As always, I have a great team to work with. Hats off to my friend Angela Salscheider who's taking over the 10pm co-anchor spot. Not only is she an outstanding journalist - she's a great person - and she's doing an excellent job. Be sure to check it out - if you haven't already.

I've included a photo of Arthur's recent visit to the station. He was happy to snuggle with NewsChannel 7 This Morning's Wendy Neuberger for a few minutes in the studio. (Looks like a natural doesn't she?!)

A big thank you to members of the Plainfield Volunteer Fire Department who agreed to be interviewed for my special series "The Golden Hour". They opened their hearts about how deeply they were affected by the School Bus accident in Plainfield March 14th. The idea for the series was actually inspired by a comment I recieved on this blog from another area firefighter (see below). They represent the spirit of their community beautifully.

Before I sign off - Happy ?0th Birthday to Jeff Thelen! Did I mention he's 10 whole days older than me?
Enjoy the day:)

The piece you did on the Plainfield fire department was inspirational. If your new job duties give you more opportunity to do stories like that, it can only be a big plus for the station AND the community. And I'm so glad it works out for you personally as well.
What a blessing to have a job you love!
peace, j

Dear J,
So glad you liked the stories about the Plainfield Fire Dept! It truly was an honor to meet them and hear their experience. Doing more reporting is one of my goals with this new schedule. It's one of the things I love most about my job:)

Hi Sue!

Just peeked in at Jeff's blog and was pleasantly surprised to learn about your upcoming birthday. Welcome to the club! I, too, turn another year on May 13. Wonder if we're the same age?
Hope you have a very, wonderful day and many more to you!

Dawn in Medford

Happy Birthday Dawn!
I always look forward to years when our birthday falls on a Friday. If we're the same age - then you were born on a "Friday the 13th" too.
One funny story for you about the year I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. To celebrate that "golden birthday", my parents took my brother and me on our first airplane ride - in a little sightseeing charter over my hometown of La Crosse. Yikes! I guess they've done a good job of making sure Friday the 13th has always been lucky for me!

Hi Sue,

Little Arthur is soooooooooooo adorable...My love to everyone in Wausau...even your husband, Chris...I'm still waiting for my golf invitation. I miss you guys!



My dearest Jocko.
Can you believe how much Arthur looks like Chris?! As the months pass their baby pictures are still almost identical. Just thinking about the little man makes me want to run home and hug him!
Chris tells me you two are trying to plan some golf time this summer - he's been moping ever since you and Rob left town.
(However he still breaks into hysterics when he tells me about your golf adventure up north last year! )
Give Carol and Elizabeth a BIG hug for me. I miss you all TONS!

Hi Sue,
I would like to thank you for a job well done. I feel the "Golden Hour" series you did has helped us even more with the dealling and healing process from this call. Our thoughts and prayers will always be with the families who were effected that day.
Kevin Clark, Chief
Plainfield Fire Department

Dear Chief,
You are so welcome. It was an honor. Videographer Desiree Fischer and I were so glad to have the opportunity to meet you and the other firefighters. She spent hours editing the final version - and didn't stop until it was just right. We're both glad to hear you're happy with the final product. Thanks for trusting us with your story.
Sue (and Desiree!)

Dear Sue,
ME and the rest of my family think you are the best on News Channel 7.

That is very kind - thanks for watching:)

Sue hope you have time to update soon.

Me too! Thanks for your patience. I'm hoping to be able to set aside an hour each week for web time - starting now:)

Sue- I can't tell you how much it makes me sick to my stomach when I hear about children being shaken and abused and die as a result. I am the mother of a 15 month old girl, Aiyanna, and she just started walking everywhere(yeah I know, late starter!!). Everytime I hear a story like that I can't help but wonder what goes through these people's heads when they are doing this. Plus, I could never imagine my husband EVER doing something like that no matter how crabby she is. I definetly agree that we should have MUCH stronger laws regarding child abuse and shaken baby syndrome. I don't know how anyone could ever do that to a helpless child. Do they ever stop to think, do they need a diaper changing? hungry? tired? toys to play with? or just need someone to cuddle with? I love reading your blog and what people have to say regarding these touchy topics. I to find myself holding my daughter wondering how anyone could ever do such a terrible act and even think about hurting someone with so much life ahead of them.

By the way, has there ever been talk about having Jay, Wendy or Bill creating a blog? I would like to hear what Bill's topics would be!!

Thank you so much for your comments - they brought tears to my eyes. You expressed exactly what I feel. There are SO many kind and loving ways to deal with a child's crying. Fortunately most of us never consider any other way. My heart aches everytime I think about that little girl and her family. I know so many people feel the same way.
As for creating blogs for our awesome morning crew - I know there has been talk of expanding in the future. Let's see... Bill's topics would probably include life with Cliff and Claire (which is always entertaining!) - and why he doesn't like sunny days!

Sue; keep up the great work -- and the new changes! Don't know how you do it all. As an EMT I can empathize with your feelings being a mom and the recent terrible news stories that you have had to deliver. We see more than a lot of human beings realize, and still go home to a family and friends who don't realize what it does to us inside. Find yourself a compatriot in the business, as it were -- and maybe your friend Jeff is the one -- to be your sounding board. He knows the stories, he knows the impact on you personally. Your husband may not understand that in the same way -- not that is wrong, it is just the nature of the beast. In EMS and fire, we develop our own "partners" that we can go to with these traumas as often we can't tell our families and friends for confidentiality reasons, they probably wouldn't understand the nature and extent of the effect on each person, and yet someone in the "same field" as it were, understands the pressures and the necessary constraints. Hope you and the family have a wonderful weekend.

It's so nice to read your comments. I'm sure delivering the stories is a cake-walk compared to the work you and our other emergency responders do. But I still have a hard time filing the sad stuff away at the end of the day. Lucky for me both Jeff and my husband are good sounding boards (probably why Chris jokingly calls Jeff "my wife's other husband"!).
Our producer Nicole is also a mom - so she's a great comfort when I need another mommy's perspective. Chief Kevin Clark of the Plainfield Fire Department told me recently that "it takes a special kind of spouse" to support a volunteer firefighter. I'm sure the same is true with all emergency responders.


Covering “bad news” is a necessity in this field of broadcast journalism. Writing and delivering those stories has always been one of the most challenging parts of the job for me. Now that I’m a mom, those stories are more difficult than ever – especially those involving children.

On Friday, after days of sharing news of an accident involving a school bus, we got word that an 18-month old baby was in critical condition. Investigators conclude she was violently shaken. We later learned that this little girl died as a result of that abuse. I just can’t stop imagining the terrible pain all those parents are feeling. Just the thought brings a lump to my throat.

When I left the station Friday, I couldn’t wait to get home to my baby and escape from all the bad news. In the middle of the night after I had nursed him back to sleep, I stayed awake for a long time. I couldn’t get those children off my mind, those who died and those still fighting for their lives. I just sat there in the nursery, rocking my son and crying for those children and their families. I wondered if I was getting too soft for this business.

I shared this with a girlfriend visiting Wausau for the weekend. She told me that becoming a mom had the same effect on her. She said it’s as if your maternal instincts kick in for every child in the world.

She also reminded me of a night almost 15 years ago when she and I were roommates. I had come home from work very upset by a colleague who heard an accident on the police scanner - and hoped it was fatal because she wanted a better lead story in our newscast. I made my roommates promise that if I ever said anything that cold – or stopped caring about people - they would convince me to get out of the news business. I guess there’s no danger of that happening anytime soon.

Covering bad news is part of this job. It doesn’t mean we have to like it. But knowing we covered those stories accurately, fairly and with compassion for those involved eventually helps me sleep at night.

Hey I think this is the wrong blog I am replying to but, I have to say Jayden has a cute smile. He's adorable. Just like Arthur! Yes.. have a great weekend with all the warm weather!


Susan we all would like to know if you're still reading what we all send to you??????we see your blog(haha)hope to hear from you soon!!

Hey, What's going on with you and Jeff and the night news. I saw you on at 5.oo. JA

Susan your blog needs to be updated soon.

sue- i dont get to read very often but i did tonight and i have to say that you handle the every day life in our crazy sick world that we live in with these people i cant imagine what that mother goes through every day i am a mother of two boys the age of 7 and 8 i cant imagine waking up every day and them not being there because somebody took their lives into their own hands i give the family of aiyana alot of credit and you for doing so well with you all at the station had to work with i totally vote for wisconsin to get the death penality you all are diong a great job!! Where are some recent pictures of that little one with the teeth and jays little guy what a little cutie. your true listener of wausau

To the grandmother of the child. I feel for you and her mother. A precious child of that age so innocent does not need the world to treat her in that way. I am a mother of a 2 year old son, and an 8 year old daughter. 2 days ago we went to a birthday party at a motel. My daughter and her cousin where out in the halls and some guy asked them to by a bag of chips for him. He would drop the money down, they could keep the change, if they would bring it up to him. THANK GOD the girls ran away!! What is up with this world. When I was a kid we had none of this stuff to deal with.. You need more classes to get a driver's license, than you need to raise a child. We need stronger penalties for the child offenders. And don't forget about them when they get out. Let everyone know where they are. It don't just happen once and they get caught. It has been happening for along time. AND they will do it again.. Please don't let it be your child...

What a frightening experience your daughter had at that motel (and you too!). I hope you reported it to authorities. So glad the girls knew that running away was the appropriate response. It's a good lesson for all parents to make sure their kids are prepared to handle those tough situations.
Thank you for your comments.

Hi Mom & Dad Ramsett!
What Sue failed to mention is that she has to BEAT me at golf before I take ballroom dance lessons. I figure that will buy me quite a bit of time. Arthur misses you! Chris

Susie: If you really do take those golf lessons just give us a call and we will babysit so you and Chris can golf together and Chris that also goes for the ballroom dance lessons.
Mom and Dad Ramsett

A little off topic here, but...has anyone else ever noticed how much Sue looks like a young Sondra Locke (Clint eastwood's former gal pal)?

I've never heard a comparison to Sondra Locke before, but have often been told I bear some resemblance to Judith Light (Who's the Boss) or Laura from General Hospital. Regardless - thanks for using the word "young"!

Hi, Jeff here...
I've never noticed the resemblance. But thanks. Because from now on I'll be singing "Every Which Way But Loose" to her during commercials.

Yeah, thanks a lot! If I never hear that song again it will be too soon. (ha!) Love Jeff's voice - just not that particular tune.

Sue, I am the grandmother of the 18 month old. Thru all our heartache, we appreciate the compassion and caring you bring across in your delivery of the news. Aiyana wasn't just a news story, she was a beautiful, funny, precious person and you didn't minimize the person behind the story. Thank you. Cindy G

Dear Cindy,
It's not often that I'm at a loss for words. However, this is one of those times. It's hard to express how much your comments mean to me - and the rest of our staff. The photograph of Aiyana your family shared with NewsChannel 7 took my breath away. She was truly a beautiful , precious little girl - and her smile just beamed with delight. I'm sure she brought much joy to your lives. Please accept my deepest sympathies. I wish you and your family strength during the difficult times ahead.

I just wanted to tell you that amid all the sadness, you sure brought a smile to my face with the 'March madness' commercials! Those are hilarious! Mike's foam finger makes me giggle each time I see it!
One question, though...what word is painted on your forehead???
Keep up the good work! It's good to see your sense of humor shine through!

We had a great time taping those promos - so glad you're enjoying them :) My forehead actually reads "We're" and Jeff's says "#1".
Jeff and I painted each other's faces - which was a real hoot. However, Jeff complained that my forehead didn't give him enough room to work with. That's probably why it's tough to read. Guess we should have switched places and painted "we're" on the anchor without bangs?!

Sue, I work for a local fire dept and now the job has changed. I too have different feelings since being a new father. But I look at it as a good thing it makes me think how lucky I am, and to try to help others as much as I can. And in our job we can say some things that are uncareing. It has helped me to be more thoughtfull in my words. Being a new father has made me a better person but with that things aren't as easy. I wish you well and hope your struggles get easier every day. J.C.

Dear J.C. - thank you so much for writing. We actually discussed this at a recent newsroom meeting... wondering how emergency responders (especially parents) feel while responding to tragedies like those I mentioned above. Thank goodness you and your colleagues find the strength. I'm moved by your line, "Being a new father has made me a better person - but with that things aren't as easy". You're so right. It was easier to put some of those harsh realities in the back of my mind before I had a child. I guess that increased sensitivity is a good thing - even when it makes us feel terrible. Best to you!

Nice to see all is working out for you in Wausau. You have an adorable child. Gets his good looks from both mom and dad I see. Love the blog. La Crosse area misses ya. Your buddy Jeff D.

Hey Jeffrey - great to hear from you:) I never thought I'd see any of me in Arthur - but he's suprising me. (I still think he's about 90% Chris though!) Glad you stopped by the blog. I'll post some new pics later this week - Arthur's first 2 bottom teeth started coming in today so we'll have something to show off soon! Give my regards to the Coulee Region - and enjoy the day my friend:)

You are doing a great job covering those show respect and compassion and that is what is needed when something so horrible happens. I cry for the children and the families too. I think is just called being human and having a heart. Keep up the great work. Lisa

Thank you, Lisa. We really do work together here to make sure we're bringing our viewers our best every day. As you can imagine, some days are much more difficult than others. That's why we really look forward to those "good news" days - for example, when area troops come home from overseas or a local team is playing at state. Thanks again for the kind comments:)


A study that made its way into our newsroom recently claims that 1 out of every 4 American pets is considered obese. I am sorry to say that my cat, Vinnie, is part of that trend. At his last check-up he weighed in at nearly 22 pounds. The first time our Sports Director Matt Zahn saw him he exclaimed, “wow – you guys have a badger?!”

I adopted Vinnie from a shelter 14 years ago, we’ve been inseparable ever since. He was a scrawny little tomcat nursing wounds he received in a battle with a car engine. He apparently climbed inside to get warm. When someone started that car he got pretty torn up, most noticeably losing most of his left ear. It explains his nickname, Vinnie, which is short for Vincent Van Gogh.

Vinnie has always had a healthy appetite, but became a “fat cat” when he was about 7 years old. A few years later my vet diagnosed him as having diabetes. That means I have to give him a shot of insulin twice a day. Sounds weird, I know. But faced with putting him down –or- learning to give him injections, there was no other choice. He doesn’t seem to mind them and after a few days of practice neither do I.

Part of Vinnie’s treatment plan means keeping him on a low-calorie cat food. It seemed to be working for awhile, until I got married. Vinnie quickly befriended my husband’s dog, a gentle old Brittany Spaniel named Abe. They shared everything including our affections and space on the couch. I soon discovered Vinnie was also helping himself to Abe’s food. Sadly, Abe is no longer with us. But Vinnie has made it clear to our young Golden Retriever that her dish is part of his territory.

I have since accepted that there is no reasoning with a 15 year old cat. He’s destined to live out his golden years putting up with his low calorie diet – and stealing from the dog whenever he can. I still love every inch of him!

Good day Sue!
First off....all of you at Channel 7 are the best! I mean that sincerely. I live near Jeff and see him and Bailey out for walks and think that his dog is absolutely the most precious dog I've ever seen. As for your cat! he's AWESOME! I have a very large, oversized boy myself and I love him to death. His food dish is in the bathroom, and he seems to think that everytime someone is in the bathroom (for whatever reason) that's his qeue to "go and eat"! I've recently decided to just dump a few morsels in his bowl because it gets filled SEVERAL times a day, but it seems to have made for a bit of "weight loss" doing things that way instead of "filling up the bowl". Take care and thanks for all the great news!!
Robin - Wausau

Hi Robin - I think Bailey is adorable too. What always strikes me is her dark rimmed brown eyes surrounded by all that white fur. She really is stunning - and a good girl too. Jeff rescued her from a bad situation several years ago - and they've been buds ever since.
Isn't funny how our pets train us? We also feed Vinnie on the bathroom counter - ironically to stop the dog from eating his food. (Doesn't seem fair does it? But since Vinnie is diabetic it's necessary) It often shocks visitors who walk into the bathroom and find our huge cat lounging by the sink. He's like a lion hanging out by his favorite watering hole!
Thanks for the kind words - and for sharing your story:)

HI Sue.Cool looking cat.My wife and I had the unbearable decision to put our 15 year old "Bucky" to sleep recently.We still miss him bad...But fortunately we have our 14 year old Siamese,"Sassy" to baby yet. I have to say you people at Channel 7 are tops.....Thanks CB

Dear CB,
Losing a beloved pet is so hard - but I'm sure Sassy gives you some comfort. My husband and I faced the same difficult decision with our elderly Brittany Spaniel, Abe, last spring. We still miss him like crazy.
Fortunately we have so many wonderful memories of him that he is still able to make us laugh and smile. By the way, when you're ready to open your hearts to another cat, our area humane societies have some great furballs who would really appreciate a loving family. Best of luck to you:)

I know what is like to have a child with RSV. When my youngest was 2 months old, he developed the virus. The hospital was my home for 9 days, and it just torture to see my son with tubes and other things in him. He too developed pneumonia. The doctors and nurse took very good care of him, and they made sure I was being taken care because of the exhaustion I endured of worry about the health of my son. He is wonderful, healthy little 4 year old now.

So glad to hear your little guy is a happy healthy 4 year old now! From your posting I can tell that it still hurts to remember his bout with RSV. I'm sure that will be the case for me too. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by excellent medical care in this part of Wisconsin. Thanks for sharing your story - so glad it has a happy ending :)

Hey Sue-

So what if Vinnie is a big guy..if he is happy and healthy...I say there is just more of the big fella to love!
Do you think I can use the same aurgument for myself????
Your friend Kim - from the far side of the building!

Hello my friend Kim - from the far side of the building!
Thanks for the laugh - and for checking out the blog.
(Kim is one co-worker I can always count on to stop by the studio when we're taping our weekly "Our Friends" segments with the Lincoln and Marathon County Humane Societies. We try to make sure all the critters get a lot of attention and TLC during their visits here - right Kim?!)

Sue. I enjoy all the pictures of you and little A.J. But, is there any chance that you or Mike could post a picture of Jay Polk and his little boy. I really enjoy his morning weather forecasts. Tonya

Hi Tonya - I've forwarded your request to Jay... and hope to get a photo from him to post here. Glad to hear you enjoy his forecasts. I can tell you that he is by far one of the most pleasant people I have ever worked with. He is extremely hard-working and is genuinely a very good person. And - he's a very proud papa - so I expect he'll honor your request ;)

UPDATE 3/21 HERE IT IS! GORGEOUS BABY JAYDEN - and a note from his Daddy...

Jay Polk's son, Jayden

Jay writes, "This is a picture of Jayden taken just before his first birthday of March 2, 2006. Jayden is a happy healthy one year old. He is walking pretty well now. He loves books, balls, most music, computers and other types of electronic gadgets with buttons. His favorite game is peek-a-boo. He is beginning to build his vocabulary. Outside of "Mom" and "Dad", he can say "book", "ball", "cat" and "dog". Jayden loves watching Local on the 8's on The Weather Channel as well as watching Dad on News Channel 7, of course! Could we have an upcoming meteorologist in our midst?!"

Love the Vinnie story love that Vinnie steals from the dog. I told T1 about the Blog and see she said a few words from Madtown. Is Arthur eating big people food yet?? Aden is a womping 20 pounds and is growing each day. We are planning to come and visit you guys in April when we are up North. I must ask Kiter for a updated picture of your little buddy. Have a great day!!!!T2

Hey T2 - Sounds like Aden is quickly catching up with Arthur! Last check he was just over 22 pounds - that means he officially outweighs the cat!! Arthur has pretty consistently hovered near the 100% in height and weight for his age. Aden must be up there too. At this rate our boys are going to eat us out of house and home. We did start solid foods a few weeks ago - sweet potatoes first, followed by carrots, and squash is up next. I swear he'd eat steak if we offered it - but we'll wait until he gets teeth first! Give your cutie a hug from me - and hope to see you soon:)

Sue, that is a beautiful cat fat or not. I don't have any cats but I have a chinese pug and she is due to go to the vet real soon and I am scared to death to take her as i know she's way over weight. in the summer if we take her for walks she gets a block or so down the road and just pants so bad that you know she is tired so we put her in the bottom carrier of the baby stroller and thats how we finish our walk and get her home in one piece. she is so cute when she begs for a treat. she kinks her head and gives you that look of " oh please if you love me" i have never been good at telling her no. its my weak spot. really enjoyed yoour blogs lately as i have been going through the same things. thanks
Amanda from Marshfield

Amanda - thanks for complimenting Vinnie - I've been worried that telling everyone about his weight is affecting his self-esteem lately (ha!). By the way, I love pugs. Once had a friend who owned two... and had to laugh while remembering a night I stayed over on her couch. Both climbed up to sleep with me and they snored like crazy all night long! They were so cute I didn't have the heart to disturb them. It's so hard to refuse that "oh please if you love me" look our pets throw our way. Thanks for the laugh:)

Hi Sue!
This is my first visit to your blog page and I am so glad I checked it out! The topics you address are ones that I can relate to personally. I work as a technician in a veterinary office and have pets of my own and I see SO many overweight cats and dogs every week. Also, I have 2 young children who have to attend daycare 3 days a week because, like you, I am a working mom. And last but not least, they both have had RSV. My son is 4 next week and had a very mild case just around his first birthday. My daughter is 11 months and got a more severe case in December. She was hospitalized for a weekend and on an IV and oxygen monitor. They told us that some kids get apnea when they sleep and so they had to monitor her closely. It took several months of doing the nebulizer, but now she is healthy again.
Thanks for all the great topics!

Dear JW - Thanks for checking out the blog center! We do have a lot in common these days. Sorry to hear about your experiences with RSV. Hopefully they'll come up with a vaccine or cure one of these days. My heart just sank when I read that your daughter needed an IV. However, I'm sure that was harder on you than it was on her. Glad to hear everyone is healthy again... spring is getting closer every day!

Holy ---- that cat is huge. I am a past viewer now living in Florida. I am a Friend of Tracy's, we were chatting about you and your hubby yesterday. She was raving about you and how pretty and classy you are. She is right.
Thanks for reading,

Dear Vance, you and Tracy are too kind. Hope you're enjoying the sunshine state:)

does anyone know why Bill Martens doesn't have a blog? I think he should.

I do not know why Bill doesn't have a blog - but I will be sure to pass your suggestion along.

Probably not the right place to ask this question but it is animal related. You had a story on last night about a dog and a deer sheltering together under someone's porch. I was trying to find the story to send to a group of Great Pyrenees owners in Wisconsin. Is the story available on-line?
Thank you
Kim in Marshfield

Hi Kim,
Wasn't that a great story? Who would believe those two strays would find each other and settle in together? It's always nice to end our newscasts with something to smile about. Jeff Thelen actually found that story on our CBS wires. He said if you send him an e-mail at he'll try to help you locate it.
Enjoy the day:)

Sue, I'm a sucker for cats, so when I read your latest blog, I had to write in.
Claire is pretty small. She'll be a year in about three weeks and actually has grown to be a little bigger than I imagined (about eight pounds). Cliff, who's Claire's brother and from the same litter, has settled down. He has a little bit of a gut, but I think he's just a big guy. He's a little more than 10 pounds. I should show you pictures from today and when I first brought them home from the Marathon County Humane Society. It's insane...
By the way, you can link to the shelter's website (as well as Lincoln County's) from our homepage. That's where I saw Claire and said I couldn't turn her down!
p.s. I've had the pleasure of seeing Vinnie in person - he truly IS a tank, but is a very cool cat.

Hey Bill Martens - thanks for blogging! Great to hear from you - since our opposite shifts mean our paths don't cross at the station very often. SO glad you adopted Cliff and Claire from the Marathon Co. Humane Society- I definitely need to see some new pics.Maybe it's time they made a guest appearance on the morning show again. Do you realize your cats' combined weight is still lower than Vinnie's? Scary!
Peace out.

Hey Sue! I'm a longtime fan, first time blogger. Great to see the response you get from your fans! I always knew you were fabulous and wish you, Kiter, and the Artshow would move to Madison. But alas, I would hate to see many hearts broken in Wausau. You go girl! Love, T

Hey T -welcome to! I'm glad to hear you've moved back to Madison - I'm sure it wasn't the same without you! Chris and I are busy nesting here in Wausau - but I can promise you a visit sometime soon. We have a number of friends from NewsChannel 7 who are now working for our station in Madison (NBC15) - Paige Lambrecht, Justin Ware, Zac Schultz, videographer Jessica Omdahl and Chris' golfing buddies Rob Crain and Mike "Jocko" Jacques. They're good people - check them out!

Vinnie is so cute and looks so cuddley!! I also have a "fat cat" who is the most loveable animal I have ever had. He now lives with my parents, and whenever they feed their Rottweiler, you will find the cat standing underneath the dog getting his fill of food. Which apparently tastes much better than his cat food.

Ha! So glad to hear it's not just us! I had never heard of a cat preferring dog food before. Maybe it's not as strange as I thought. Thanks for blogging:)
PS- yes, Vinnie is pretty cuddly. When he wants to be, of course.

Great cat! Thanks for the story.

We love him. Thanks for reading:)

Hey Sue,
This is your mini me. Yes, We dont have overweight cats but we have overweight dogs. Yes, I've always wanted a cat. Well I hope you have a great week. Great seeing you back on the news! Bye.
Your mini me

Hey mini me,
That study claiming one out of 4 american pets definitely included dogs. Now we know where some of the canine statistics are coming from... apparently your house!

Hey Sue!
We have two cats, one skinny and one who is overweight. The strange part is our skinny cat eats more than the fat one! Oh well, when we think about all the cats that don't have good homes, a few extra pounds means they are getting what they need. So be it!

MD -thanks for the laugh! you make a very good point (but I'm not sure our veterinarians will let us off that easy!) Isn't that just the case with people too? I'll bet we all know someone who eats like a horse but never puts on weight (Carrie Hutton). It's just not fair.

Hi Sue! I too had an overweight cat. We only fed him once a day and he still tipped the scale at 18 pounds. He isn't with us anymore, he was kidnapped. Sounds funny I know, but it is true. And we never cared about him being overweight either. We loved him just the same.

Kidnapped? That is terrible - I'm sorry to hear it. Sounds like you loved him like crazy while you had him. What more can a cat ask for?

ARTHUR'S CASE OF RSV (Respiratory Synctyial Virus)
Monday, February 13, 2006

It’s so good to be back to work after a very rough last week. My husband, Chris, and I spent four days in the hospital after our son came down with a respiratory virus called RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). He developed a mild case of pneumonia and had to endure a few days of “poking and prodding”. But I’m glad to report Arthur was discharged on Thursday – and although he’s not 100% yet he’s doing much better! It’s such a relief to see him laughing and smiling again.

I consider myself a pretty well informed mommy, but RSV snuck in under our radar. I mistakenly believed that only preemies and children with pre-existing health conditions were at risk. I was shocked to learn how common it is. Our baby's coughs and cries were just one of several I could hear from our room. We're so lucky Arthur's case wasn't too serious.

During our hospital stay it was explained to me that RSV is highly contagious and almost every child will become infected with the virus by the age of 2. It’s the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children younger than 1. However, for most infants RSV only causes cold-like symptoms including runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever. The most severe cases (1-2%) can be fatal. Adults can get RSV too (probably what’s plaguing me now) but since our immune systems are so much stronger it’s usually not serious.

RSV outbreaks usually occur from November to April (this mommy can’t wait for Spring!). The virus spreads easily and rapidly through the air when someone who’s infected coughs or sneezes. It can live for up to an hour on hands or clothing and for several hours on toys and other surfaces. You can protect your child the same way you try to keep other illnesses away:
-Wash hands frequently
- Wash countertops and toys often
- Avoid contact with those who have cold symptoms
- Keep your child away from smokers
There is plenty of information about RSV available – so be sure to read up or ask your child’s doctor about it.

I wish you all the best of health during the rest of this cold & flu season!

Not sure if you are aware or not, but you can get RSV more than once as there are differant strains of the same virus(kinda like the flu). My son had RSV when he was 1(he is now 7) and almost every winter he gets a really bad cough and cold that keeps him out of school for a couple days. Just give Arthur lots of hugs and kisses and cuddle alot!!!(This also helps mommy too!!!)

Dear RR, I'm actually doing a lot more research on RSV right now, since I'm writing a column about it for the SCOPE publication that comes out in area newspapers Monday, March 6th. Doesn't seem fair for our little ones to deal with it more than once does it? It's encouraging to hear that your son's cough just keeps him out of school for a few days and doesn't land him in the hospital. However, having a sick child can't be fun at any age. Does your 7 year old still let you cuddle him when he's sick? I really hope so!!

Sue, my daughter became very ill around the first of December. The doctors never told me the name of the virus that she had but if I had to guess I would say RSV. It truely breaks your heart to see your baby in so much pain. She was sick for 2 and a half weeks. I was terrified. Now that she is going on 15 months old I hope it is all over. I wish you well in the future with this virus stuff and hope you feel better soon.

Dear Amanda, I share your hope that we're all done with this virus. Even when you know they're getting good care - you can't help but be sick with worry. I know they say our little ones will never remember these rough experiences - but I have to think it has some effect on their developing sense of security. I guess that's why we just have to lavish them with extra attention and comfort when they're not feeling well. Thanks for writing - hope the Spring brings better health with it! (Can't wait to open the windows and air out the house!)

When our third son was born he caught RSV. He was only two weeks old and we had just gotten out of the hospital, he was born c-section. It was really hard because they were trying to get IVs in and he would be crying. Then when he was two months old we were back in the hospital again with the same thing. The doctors thought that he might have asthma, but he don't have it and now he is eleven and he is fine. Hang in there and be strong, our prayers are with you. L.B.

Dear L.B. - I can only imagine how your heart ached to hear your baby crying over those IV's. I spent the entire 4 days in the hospital living in fear that Arthur would need one. Fortunately he avoided the IV - since his appetite never slowed down. I consider it a huge blessing. SO glad to hear your son has no continuing problems. Asthma (the "a" word) is something we hope to avoid. Thanks for the kind thoughts:)

Sorry to hear about Arthur. I have two children and never went through RSV, thank goodness. I was just wondering if you could possibly do a segment on it. It sounds so much more common than parents know. And especially for the first time parents. I just remember worrying about the earache, fever, etc. I never knew RSV happened so often.

RSV is so much more common than parents know! I'm hoping we'll do a story about it in the near future. As a first-time parent, I do worry about all those things you mention - earache, fever, etc. RSV never made the list - at least until now. I hope your little ones continue to avoid it:)

Dear Sue,
This is your Mini Me again.(hint hint.)When I heard Arthur had RSV I was shocked. So I had to write. Well I hope he's okay and I am looking forward to see you on the news. Have a spectacular weekend with all the snow. Talk to you soon.
Your Mini Me,
P.S. I feel so under cover saying Mini Me.

Thanks for writing. Arthur is doing just great now - back to his happy little self. I've been working behind the scenes this week until my voice comes back. I'm hoping a little rest over the weekend will get me back on the air Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Sue: I was told by someone that once you get the virus you can't get it again. Is this true? Mari

Hi Mari-
Unfortunately that is not true. There are apparently a number of different strains of RSV so it's likely most kids (and adults) will get it more than once. However, experts agree repeat cases of RSV usually aren't as severe as the first (which gives me some relief!).
Thanks for your question:)

Hi Sue,
I'm sorry that Arthur was so sick. My daughter had RSV when she was 3 weeks old and was hospitalized for 1 night. It was hard, but she has had no lasting effects from it. She is now 2, so we don't have to worry as much about it. My son also had RSV when he was 9 months, but he avoided hospitalization. He did end up with an ear infection, though. He has always been prone to coughing when he gets a cold, even now that he is almost 6. No asthma symptoms, though. I hope Arthur feels better soon and you and Chris are able to get caught up on your rest. My youngest has an ear infection right now, so I know what you are going through with the sleepless nights.
Amy in Medford

Hi Amy,
I can't imagine how frightening it must have been to have your little girl in the hospital with RSV when she was just 3 weeks old - but I'm encouraged to hear she hasn't had any lasting problems. Sorry to hear your youngest is dealing with an ear infection. Luckily we've been able to avoid any ear infections so far - but I hear from other Mommies that they are just agonizing. Arthur is starting to sleep a little longer at night -so Chris and I are finally getting a little more rest. It's so hard to explain that "desperate for sleep feeling" to friends who don't have children!
Thanks for writing:)

Glad to hear that Arthur is starting to feel better! It is the hardest thing to see your children so sick and not a lot that you can do to make it easier for them. My son has asthma, and had pneumonia 5 times last winter, and 3 times this winter. With his sisters being in school they bring home every cold they are exposed to. And every time he gets even a slight cold it seems to turn into pneumonia. I have seen way too much of the doctors office and the hospital over the past 2 years.

Dearest Dawn - I can see why you've had your fill of medical facilities you poor thing! Even when you know they're getting good care it's heartbreaking. While we were in the hospital our Pediatrician assured us that our presence and efforts to comfort Arthur would go a long way to help him recover by reducing his stress. He said our love would reassure him that everything was okay - even while he was in that strange place. Maybe we're not as helpless as we feel sometimes afterall?
I hope your son gets a break soon - sounds like he really deserves one!

Hi Sue-
Our 9 month old daughter had RSV and pneumonia 3 weeks ago and was in the hospital for 6 days. I too, was very surprised to have learned SO much about something I thought only affected preemies and babies who already had respiratory problems. I was suprised at how common it is and how they can develop RSV from our "common cold". Our daughter has been extremely healthy up until this point. It was so hard to see her that miserable. I felt so bad for you, Chris and baby Arthur when I heard you were going through what we did a few weeks ago. It's not anything I wish for anyone to have to go through. It helps to know we are not alone-thanks so much for sharing your story. Our little girl is doing much better now, it's so nice to see her back to being her smiley self again! Now, like you said, we can't wait for Spring! Good Luck to you 3 on staying healthy : )

Thank you for sharing your experience - it does help to know that others were as suprised by RSV as we were. There were several little ones at the hospital while Arthur was there. Even when he was sleeping soundly, my heart ached for the other coughs and cries we heard down the hallway. I'm so glad your little girl has bounced back - just when you think you can't love their smile any more - it takes on even bigger meaning, doesn't it?

Hi Susan!
You do a wonderful job and I am sure you are a wonderful Mother (no doubt). I am a mother of 4 children with my youngest being 20 months and I can't imagine what you have gone through the past few weeks. I hope everything continues to go good for your little one. Happy Valentine's Day to you and your family! Keep up the wonderful job at night. I love to watch you and Jeff at 6 & 10. The person who made those comments is definately not a mother and doesn't know how to appreciate the "little" things like we do in our lives! You're great!

Dear Marci - thanks for the lift! Chris and I are still fighting off some nasty colds but Arthur is doing great. If there's only going to be one healthy person in our home - we're VERY glad it's our baby! I hope to have my voice back and join Jeff on the air again Monday. Meanwhile, hasn't my friend Angela Salscheider done a great job filling in? She's not just a great reporter and anchor - she is a really wonderful person.
-Enjoy the weekend:)

Hi Sue-

Thanks for sharing your experience with RSV. We have an 8 week old daughter who has been RSV-free so far. Like you, I'm looking forward to April!

I will keep my fingers crossed for you - I don't wish RSV on anyone. If spring ever gets here - hopefully we'll have some happier things to share... like favorite beach toys and sunscreen! There are some happy thoughts for the really cold weekend ahead:)

Hi Sue.
I am so glad that little Arthur is on the mend! RSV can be very scary. My two granddaughters had RSV when they were about 18 months old. (They are now 5.) I can still hear the horrible coughing and wheezing. Thankfully, they were able to stay out of the hospital. We didn't know much about the virus, either, at that time.
I now have a 14 month-old grandson, and so far, he hasn't caught the virus. But now we know what to look for!
I really enjoy your news cast, and your blog. Keep up the good work!

Thanks for writing Julie - I will never forget the sound of that cough either! Fortunately, Arthur never had any wheezing or that would haunt me too. I hope your grandson can avoid RSV for the rest of the season. We're so lucky to have "friends we've never met" sending their good wishes and keeping us in their thoughts. It means a lot!

How do they treat the most severe forms of it. My grandson has had a respiratory problem all winter, with pneumonia.

***UPDATE: Sorry to hear about your grandson - winter can be tough on those little lungs! LIttle ones who develop bronchiolitis or pneumonia from RSV are usually hospitalized. The treatment is much the same as what Arthur went through, respiratory treatments, nose suctioning, and providing oxygen when needed. Kids who aren't taking in enough fluids are put on IV's to avoid dehydrating (luckily we avoided that!). I'd recommend talking to your family doctor to see if your grandson should be tested for RSV. (By the way, that test is done by sticking a little swab into the baby's nostrils - which Arthur hated. Luckily it was over in an instant) Best to you and your grandson:)

Submitted Monday, January 30, 2006

Glad to have my friend Carrie Hutton back in Wisconsin after her much deserved tropical vacation! Since I’m no longer filling in for her on our 5pm newscast – I finally have time to blog again. Please forgive my absence – there are only so many hours in the day.

Even without my contributions - this blog seems to have taken on a life of its own during the past couple of weeks – the topic is balancing work and family. It started with an entry from a viewer who was critical of my work schedule. (SEE COMMENT POSTED BELOW)

What I’ve really enjoyed (in addition to those viewers who have leapt to my defense- a million thank yous!) is hearing from other moms who’ve faced similar struggles while working outside the home.

Of course some days are rougher than others. Take today for example. My son is teething and was a little out of sorts this morning. In my heart I’d like nothing more than to be at home snuggling and comforting him! Add to that - my husband and I have been up with him since 4am. Most mommies will tell you that lack of sleep can magnify every emotion! So, needless to say, this hasn’t been one of my better days. However most days – I’m so glad to have a career that I love and a schedule that allows me to spend a lot of time with my baby every day.

I know I’m not alone in this struggle. I’d love to hear from other working moms who have dealt with these conflicted feelings – and how they’ve found a way to make it work!

sue, don't worry about what other people think it's your life not theirs. you do a good job on news channel 7 along with jeff and mike. enjoy your baby they grow up fast.

That's a great way to look at it - thanks for the support! And I do enjoy working with Jeff Mike and Matt (that's Uncle Jeff, Uncle Mike and Uncle Matt these days!) I can't believe how fast Arthur is growing up - and I am trying to enjoy EVERY day with him:)

Susie I hope you are able to share with your viewers what a rough last week you and Chris had with our little Arthur and please let them know from us how lucky he is to have two parents such as you and Chris. Love, your parents

Hi Mom and Dad - hope you get a chance to check out the blog about RSV above. Thanks for all your love - and for that great "get well/valentine's day" balloon boquet!
-Sue (I guess that would be "Susie" to you!)

hey sue well i'm a student at wausau east and by the time school gets out there's usually a slower traffic problem, for those who have to ride the buses it takes longer to get home becuase of the traffic, and what i would just like to ask is that for you to inform people that buses need more room to turn on corners than cars do but then some people don't seem to get that and so they get in the way waiting for us to move. i mean isn't there a rule that tells you about how far a bus turns when you get your liscenes or permit? and that's just all.

That must be really frustrating for those of you who ride the bus! You'd think that drivers would have the common sense to give those busses room to turn - but sometimes when people are eager to get somewhere they get careless. It's not just irritating - it can also be dangerous to you and the drivers who get too close.
thanks for writing!

Just read your column in the Wausau paper! Beautiful. I love your writing. My all-time favorite column was the one about your cat that left a hairball in your boyfriend's shoes! Great judge of character, you said...
Keep up the good work. Wish you would write more.

Thanks for the lovely compliment. Glad you enjoyed my recent column encouraging people to become organ donors, it is something I feel very strongly about. Remembering that story about Vinnie's well-placed hairball gave me a good chuckle ;). What wasn't in that column was the time Vinnie "sprayed" on a bag of his freshly dry cleaned suitcoats! (imagine that smell fementing underneath the plastic bag) That should have told me something too don't you think?
Enjoy the day:)

Hi Sue, I have read blog with interest. I was a working mom and then decided to stay home and open a family child care. This was in 1988 when child care pay was $1.00 an hour! I stayed with it for 8 years before working with children in a non profit agency. Now my kids are 20 and 24. I cherish the years I had with them as well as the other children in my care. I wish you the best of luck with your career and motherhood. I can tell that you love your job and that's great! Beth

Dear Beth - even for $1.00 an hour I'm sure that job was worth being able to stay home with your children! I'm glad to see you mention how much you also cherished time spent with the other children in your care. Those of us who work outside the home are so lucky to have moms like you to trust with our children - women who really care "about" them and not just "for" them.
Thanks for writing!

Enjoy the next four years. They will go quickly and you will be faced with some interesting choices. Arthur is in school during the day - Mom works nights. HMMMM. We will enjoy you while we have you, but I somehow think you will adjust your career to be a Mom, first? There is always the noon show and the market reports? Regarding the "short sighted" individual who thinks you work 8 hours a week. She must obviously think a preacher only works one hour a week, on Sunday, and an NFL coach only works 3 hours and week and only 16 weeks a year. Must be frustrating for you. Most of us know better.

Those are some great comparisons! My husband and I laughed out loud when I logged on to check this blog from home. I'm not sure what my future schedule will hold - but I do know the next few years will fly by. Working nights is already a drain many evenings with a baby who wakes up between 5-6am most mornings. I'm hoping he'll learn to sleep in til 7 or 8 someday soon!

Sue.... keep up the great job... I was a stay at home mom until my children (3 boys) were in school full time. Main reason for staying home was, I had no work experience or college degree. So to work minimum wage and pay a sitter was not an option. When I started to work during their school hours, my boss was excellent when the school would call me and ask me to pick one of them up because they became sick. Lucky my husband worked 3rd shift so he was always home. So I could run to school, pick them up and drop them off at home by daddy. But I still had to leave work.... and I worked in fastfood. We all make our choices in our life. To be jealous of another persons fortune is pure childish. She made her choice for the type of job as you and I made our choice.
A mom with no regrets!!!!!!

Thanks for that inspiring message. So glad to hear from another mom who has no regrets. Work can be meaningful no matter what path you choose. The most important thing is providing for our children - not just financially but physically and emotionally. I can understand why many families decide its less expensive to have one parent at-home instead of paying for childcare. Having a husband on a different shift can be nice when it comes to taking care of the children - (but believe me, it can be a challenge too - I never seem to see enough of him!)

Kudo's to Channel 7 for letting you have a flexible schedule with a new baby. I read the blog to compare notes on where Arthur is and where Aden will be next month (Aden and Arthur are a month and 11 days apart). I also ask Kiter for updates too:) Teething already I can't believe it.
I also have a wonderful employer who will let me off or bring him to work if my daycare provider or her children are sick. I also have a wonderful co-worker who is very good about letting me have off if Aden is sick or has to come to work. Hope to see you guys soon. Tracy Sheboygan

Hey T2! Great to hear from you:)
Wonder if Aden will start teething next month too? For your sake, hopefully not. Glad to hear your employer is "mommy friendly" too - makes going back to work a lot less stressful. I'd love to bring Arthur in to work with me, but the newsroom is one big bustling space divided into low cubicles. Poor little guy wouldn't get a moment of rest! I do bring him into the station for a visit once in awhile though - he loves getting spoiled by all the pretty girls here!

Kudos to you for continuing to work at your job and take care of your child! You are an example to us young professional women that will someday face that same decision. Unfortunately, women receive a lot of criticism if they chose to balance both (which is not fair). I am glad to know that you are doing so well with balancing both. Knowing that you can do it makes me feel that I can do it when that day comes. Somedays it is just so hard to be a woman! Keep up the good work :) Jennie

Thanks Jennie - it really is a balancing act - but be assured it can be done! I tell all the young women I know that being a mom is wonderful - and I highly recommend it - "when they're ready". (I think that has more to do with what's in your heart and where you are in life than your age.) Your comment also makes me think about how different the pressure is on women. For example, my husband never had to struggle with the decision about whether to stay home - or go to back to work. (Although he really wanted to be home with us the first few weeks after Arthur was born.) I wonder if most workplaces offer the same understanding and flexibility to dads as they do moms? Guess I'll think about that one for awhile.

In late response to Kelly from Merrill's blog, how rude can you be? News Channel 7 is the only station I watch because of the news crew. And God forbid she should want to spend any time with her son. Grow up. As for you, Sue, I don't have kids yet but I take care of my 8 month old niece and she is teething a lot. So I know what it is like. Hang in there!!

How nice that your brother or sister has you to look after their little one. If you have a child of your own someday - just think of how much experience you'll have :) Maybe you'll be able to avoid some of those crazy anxieties many of us first-time moms have. Then again - maybe not - hormones are a powerful thing! Best to you - and thanks for blogging!

Sue ~ things will get alot better. I have a 2 year old who just a couple months ago decided to sleep through the night. My husband and I rotated nights, and eventually we made it through. The only thing now is, I wake up in the middle of the night to check on him, and of course to cover him up. So now that he is two I am beginning to miss the cuddle times. (Can't cuddle with the terrible two's) So it will get better. Just enjoy every moment. They grow up way too fast...

Oh my goodness - two years?! On the bright side - you did get lots of extra cuddle time that way :) I don't think people without children can even begin to understand what it's like to go without a full night's sleep for months on end. Since I work nights - Chris and I try to divide up the evening so that I get up with Arthur anywhere from midnight to 2-am (not so bad since I don't get home before 11pm). Then he generally gets up with him between 5 & 6am so I can sleep in for another hour or so. As you know, even at 7am -when I've only had 4-6 hours of sleep - one smile from him is almost as good as a pot of coffee! I know what you mean about waking up to check on your baby - even when he stays asleep. The few times Arthur actually slept through the night (and I can count them on one hand) I woke up repeatedly to make sure he was okay. What a cycle!

Just wanted you to know that your little guy did get extra cuddles and snuggles today! Mom's know best, he was little off. I know how hard it is. I've been there! You just want to call in and keep him home with you. Mom to Mom, it's OK to cry! Just be reassured that Arthur will always be given the best care. Your Childcare Provider

To my wonderful Childcare Provider - we are so lucky to have you! Even when I'm not with Arthur in the afternoon - I always know he's getting plenty of love and attention in your care (and extra cuddles and snuggles when he needs them). I know from talking to other moms that it's SO much more difficult to balance work and family when you're not 100% confident in your childcare provider. Although I miss him like crazy, I never have to worry about his emotional or physical safety.
By the way - that teething gel worked like a charm! Arthur only woke up for an hour last night and slept in 'til almost 6am. He was a much happier baby this morning - and I am a much happier Mommy!
-Sue :)


Wow I never thought I would see the day when Matt Zahn had a more recent blog posting than Susan Ramsett. Do you still work at Channel 7 or are you only working like 10 hours a week since you had a kid? I mean I never see you doing the 5 pm medical stories anymore and I can't remember the last time I saw you on the 10 pm show every day of the week. Maybe I should think about a career change and get a job in TV because it seems like I could work whenever I felt like it.

Kelly from Merrill

Dear Kelly,
You're right, my work schedule has changed some since our son was born. However, I'm actually working longer days now so that I can go home in between the 6 & 10pm newscasts to nurse and tuck him in. Because I also handle a number of other projects including Buddy Check 7, a newspaper column and other special reports, I work a day shift most Fridays. That means I am usually not around for the 10pm newscast on Friday evenings. I used to work a lot of double-shifts before becoming a mom - but my child comes first now.
Kelly, If you're seriously considering a career change - Broadcast Journalism is a wonderful profession (I love my job!). However, don't make the mistake of believing it comes with an easy schedule. Thanks for blogging.

In response to Kelly from Merrill: Have you watched the other news shows at other times on Channel 7? Guess not!!!!! Sue has been on those shows this past week and doing a terrific job. Do you think it is possible that she is scheduled at different times during the day on different newscasts? Or that she had some time off? Or that she is out in the community getting news to bring back to the station to put on the air.

A big thank you for jumping to my defense:) I have explained my schedule and workload to Kelly from Merrill much as you did. I'll be filling in on the 5pm show for a couple of weeks while Carrie is taking some much deserved time off. Thanks for understanding!

This is a response to a couple blogs. Congratulations on this most precious gift. I am a mother of three beautiful girls and a home daycare provider. I chose to begin working in the home due to poor quality of care my children were recieving and coming back from maternity leave and only getting half of my original scheduled hours. I went from 35-40 hours to 20-25 hours. We felt that this would be a good decision for my family; being a stay at home mom and a home day care provider. Its a small childcare atmosphere so each child is able to get their undivided attention and special times. I have a very flexibe schedule; understanding that all families work off of different schedules and I adapt as needed. I at one time did work out of the home too. I was known for working more evenings or longer days. As for evenings it made it so either my husband or I was with them most of the time. If I worked longer days like 12 hour shifts it made it so I could work fewer days away from the home. Many different schedules work for many differnt families. Be happy what works well for you and your family.

3 girls - what fun! How blessed you are to have found a way to work from your home - and share your gift for parenting with other working parents. Our son is in a very similar situation to what it sounds like you provide. He is one of just a few children in the capable hands of a licensed childcare provider - who is also an experienced mom! Working separate shifts from our spouses can make childcare easier - but as I'm sure you know - that can have it's drawbacks too. Chris and I try to make the most of the few hours we have together every day - (and have become very selfish with our weekends!) Family time comes before everything else.
Thanks for sharing your insight!

To Kelly's comment. #1. what business is of yours what hours and how much time Sue is working. NONE. Apparently you don't have much to do to be worrying about someone else's job.
I faithfully watch news 7 and love what they are doing with their news cast. Its a variety of people and I really love the fact that the weekend shows have been all women, Way to go. I like the guys too but it is nice that THEY HAVE COME FULL circle in allowing women to do some of the work. kudo's to all who work at channel 7 love you all jb - abbotsford

JB - thanks for the lift! I agree - I love the "girl power" here at NewsChannel 7 these days. No slight to the guys - but it is great to see more women breaking into the field of Sports and Weather. Both Meteorologist, Katie O'Brien and Jill Wunroe (sports) are incredibly hard working young women - and they are both a joy to work with!
Enjoy the day:)

Hi Sue: Sorry you had to take the negative comment about your working schedule. I admire your dedication to your job and to your family. Family does come first. Not only does this show your commitment, but Channel 7's willingness to work with you. My employer has always been willing to work with me with my schedule with my children. It is busy when they are little, but also when they become involved in sports, scouts, drivers ed, etc. Keep up your good work and know that your dedication to family and work shows though! Ann Wis. Rapids

Dear Ann - thanks for the support! Criticism always stings a bit - but to stay in this line of work we try very hard to develop a thick skin. We so rarely hear from viewers about a story they enjoyed - or what they think about the content and format of our newscasts. Instead, it's mostly just feedback about how they think we should wear our hair or make-up. Sometimes I just want to shout "who cares if you don't like me in orange - did you listen to anything I had to say?!"
WSAW has been so willing to help me find this good balance between work and family. You and I are pretty lucky to have supportive and understanding employers. In return they do earn even more of our dedication! Best to you and your family :)

Dear Bloggers -
The topic of Sex Offender Websites is definitely striking a nerve in our communities. We have had some great discussion on-line over the past couple of weeks. My appreciation to everyone who has submitted an opinion - especially those with personal stories that can be painful to share. There are clearly a number of sides to this issue. Even when we disagree, I believe it's important to listen to views that are different from mine. If you're interested in this topic - there is a lengthy dialogue below...

I was molested by a family friend, he also did something to his younger sister 20 years ago. Maybe if we would have had this sex registry and map of sex offenders around maybe he would not have been able to do it again in 2001. But because they didn't start it until recently it doesn't show up on sex registry for him that he did what he did to me 20 years ago, maybe they should have something on there for anything he has done previously and maybe it would not have happened to the other person. I just can't get over it, that he did it again. Why, why why????? Why can't they just stop?

I was molested by a family friend, he also did something to his younger sister. Maybe if we would have had this sex registry and map of sex offenders around maybe he would not have been able to do it again.....because they didn't start it until recently.... it doesn't show up on sex registry for him that he did what he did to me 20 years ago....maybe they should have something on there for anything he has done previously and maybe it would not have happened to the other person....

Original Entry: December 30, 2005

This subject has been a hot topic in our newsroom lately – I’d appreciate your thoughts…

Since doing a story about the website, I’ve heard from grateful moms who immediately logged on. They were eager to find out if there are any registered sex offenders living in their neighborhoods or near their children’s schools. Some also checked out the neighborhoods of friends their children visit. Many don’t like what they’re finding. However, they’ll use the information to make good decisions that will help keep their children safe from becoming a registered sex offender’s next victim.

I need to tell you that we have also heard from family members of registered sex offenders who, as you might expect, do not like to see their loved ones’ names on the internet (or in news coverage). They say the crimes are in the past and shouldn’t continue to affect their lives. I have also heard the argument that sex offenders are not treated fairly, because other convicted felons don’t have to continually register with the state after doing their time in prison.

During my years as a journalist I have interviewed a number of people who were sexually assaulted as children. I have yet to meet a survivor who is not still deeply scarred by the experience. One victim moved me to tears as she sobbed, “He stole my childhood”. That abuse may have happened 20 years ago, but the pain is still very fresh. What parent wouldn’t do whatever they can to help protect their child from that kind of suffering?

What do you think? (Most recent comments appear first)

When I was little we never locked our doors. We didn't have anything to be afraid of. That was the 70's. Now I lock my doors so that no one can get to my children. Scarey thought now a days in the United States of America. Those sexual predators got caught once. Who knows how many other times it has happened. And their families are in denial.. Once they do it. They will do it again. That's their high. It could be your child next. They don't just reform when they do their time. They just think of how to get away with it next time. Do they get help when they are in prison. Nope. The family members of these Lost Children, don't understand what that does to a child.. Sorry to be so blunt. but what if someone entered their home and raped them, and made them do things they didn't want to do. Do you want me to have my child around someone like that. Would'nt you protect them with your life. So don't blame us for wanting to be protective, just like you are doing with your sexual predator. Which one is worse.

To the one that was raped at 15, and sexually molested at 7. It don't sound like you are totally over it.. You still have issues. How can you stick up for them. What if that was your child. Would you forgive them that quickly. They have a SICKNESS, and their sickness is not going to be my daughter.

I have two children, and the thought of anyone doing anything to them tears me appart. I think that the registry can help some by making them more aware of their surroundings. I do understand the other side of the story also. I think that this could put a halt to a rebuilding of these individuals lifes. If it is a repeat offender this is one thing but for say a teenager (just over 18) was charged for doing something with a minor, this could be an isolated incident. I guess it should all depend on the charge. Mabye the web site is a bad idea...another idea have the convicted person write a letter to households in his/hers immediate area to annouce his residency.

i was not only sexually raped by a man at the age of 15 and abused by not only my birth mother and then being placed in a childrens home when i was 7 yrs old the beating i got from the home as well as the anger that was directed at me scared me to a point but i have made the decision to move on with my life and get over the anger and the pain that was enacted upon me as a child. im 47 now and when i see things that happen to people and they refuse to get over the pain from their past only instills in me that they have chose to hang on to something that they have total control over. a sex offender may or may not be brought to justice but once they have paid for their actions they dont need to have to be put through it again by having others try to ruin them having a somewhat normal life on the outside my advice is get over it and deal with it. pull your self up by the bootstraps and march on with your head held high.

i get so tired of the whining people who dont want this sort of person living near them and that sort of person living near them. if you dont trust someone then dont allow anyone to get close to you or your family. everyone makes mistakes sheesh the world isnt a perfect place to live. we have homeless people as well as drug addicts and so in living in this country we cant all have a perfect neioghbor or a friend open your eyes and see that no one is perfect in this world no matter how much you lie to yourself thinking you are better than the next person.

I am wondering what the best way to explain to children that they need to be careful? The topic was discussed with the children at my daughter's school last year and from that day she will not go by ANY males. Which is very sad becasue that includes her gym teacher and most importantly her grandfather. I have told her to not go anywhere, or get into a car with someone she doesn't know, but I am not sure that that would work. I am almost certain that if she were offered something from a stranger she would go anywhere with anyone. And knowing that is unsettling.

I think they did their time - give them a break already. Also it is cruel to put them on the internet, adrress and all. It's just not right, they're human, everbody makes mistakes every now and then.

I'm guessing that most victims would say that to call the crimes of sex offenders "mistakes" is a gross understatement. I do appreciate your comments... and apparently some others agree with you - read on.

You are just adding to the hysteria. These folks are not much of a threat compared to the ones that are not registered. The real answer is we have to teach our children how to be vigilant. Looking at the map of registered offenders could just lead to a false sense of security when it's the ones NOT on a map you really have to worry about.

You make a very good point about the importance of teaching our children to be vigilant. I hope that message rings loud and clear with parents. Certainly, the websites are not intended to be the cure-all to keep people safe from sex offenders who may repeat their crimes. Those who do log onto the sex offender websites should be sure to look carefully at the severity of the crime, the age of the victim(s), and when it was committed.

I appreciate the access to the offenders map, however I feel it should be viewed just for what it is. As a parent I am more concerned about the offenders that have not been identified in my neighborhood, and also realize it is my duty to supervise my childrens activities, there is no substitute for that.

Offenders who do not register are definitely of great concern - not only to residents but to law enforcement too. I wish all parents were as committed to supervising their children's activities. That can have such a huge impact on keeping them safe from all kinds of dangers. Thanks for joining the dialogue.

Apparently the person who thinks we should move to Iraq has never been affected by a child predator. They rob you of your childhood. My uncles and my grandfather were and are the greatest people on earth. But when something like that happens to you, you don't trust anyone. Any little move, any little touch reminds you. He took my childhood away, because he caused me to doubt the males in my family for many years. Now tell me, do you want your child to go through that. The families of these sexual predators probably don't know what that feeling is. And if they are embarrased by it, so be it. Shouldn't have done it. You are free now. Your victims will suffer for LIFE!!!

I had to bite my tongue (or in this case my fingertips) when responding to the comment from the person who suggested that anyone who doesn't like living next to a registered sex offender should move to a country like Iraq (see below). However, I must welcome all sides to this debate. Thank you for sharing your thoughts - they are both powerul and moving.

I am the mother of a 7 year old daughter, and the thought of her playing outside with a sex offender near by scares me. I think the website is the greatest thing ever. My question is. Could we possibly inform the public on how many of these predators continue to repeat their actions once they do their time. THE GREASTEST GIFT FROM HEAVEN IS A CHILD.

Thanks for the suggestion! Reporter Angela Salscheider is following up on that for you tonight (1/9). You can see her stories during this evening's newscasts - or look for it on the front page of our website.
It certainly is a question on the minds of many viewers these days.

I think it is needed for the simple fact that these people do exist. This gives the public the knowledge they need to keep themselves and their families safe. I know that they have served their sentence, but the public has the right to know. LT.

Thanks for weighing in!

Susan, I think the public should know when there is a sex offender in their community. I as a child was molested, nothing was ever done about it. There were alot of reasons why, but I AM scarred for life. I am very uneasy around people of the opposite sex. I have gotten a lot better about realizing that not all people of the opposite sex are like what I encountered. I dealt with it for many years and it took a very long time for me to realize that not all are like that, and I didn't do anything to deserve what happened to me. So my opinion is....the registry is a VERY good idea, and those who argue that it isnt, you dont know what it is like to have a childhood full of hate and being scared to do things, because you will get punished for everything you did. Living in fear for your life. My childhood WAS stolen from me....and if that can be prevented for other should be done.

I'm sure your experience will remind parents about the importance of protecting their children from sexual assault. Thanks for having the courage to speak up.

I personally feel that after a person has paid for their crime reguardles of it that they should not have to be dragged through the cleaners by the people who live around those people they have to live somewhere so deal with it and if yoiu don't like it then move to a country where you can live in total bliss. try Iraq or one of the other countries where they are constanly fighting and killing innocent people

Let me see if I understand you correctly. If I, as an innocent person, don't want to live near a convicted sex offender, I should move to a country where I could be killed in constant fighting? Not following your logic - but thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Thanks for the information on sex offender site I entered my address and was shocked to see within a six block radius there were 15 offenders living near me and my daughter very scary.

You are not alone - I've heard from many parents who are suprised to learn how many convicted sex offenders are living in our communities.
Thanks for writing.

On the first day that the addresses of sex offenders were on the website, my friend and I looked at every one in Wausau. We printed the ones that lived within a mile of our children's schools. It was very scary to discover that there are 3 that can see the playground of the school from their porches. The one that is farthest from the school lives 5 houses away. In the FAQ section of the sex offender website, there is the question and answer of why they are allowed to live across the street from a school. The only place they can't live is by a daycare center. In my opinion children that are in a daycare located that close to where an offender lives are safer, because they are never outside unattended, whereas many children that have to walk home from school are.

My feeling on the matter of the families and the offenders not liking their faces and names being used or made public, is that maybe they should have thought about that before they were convicted of doing what they did. I believe that I have the right to know who in my community has comitted crimes against children so that I can be more vigilant when my kids are near where they live.

That's exactly the purpose of these websites, to give you information that can help you be more vigilant about where your children are. Knowledge is power - when used responsibly.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts...

I, for one, am a grateful mother of three who would like to know who is living in my neighborhood or the towns we live close to. I say keep reporting the names of those who are the sex offenders. The more we know, as parents, the more children are likely to be saved from this horrible abuse. Thanks.

I couldn't agree more - thanks for writing!

I have found that the state's dept. of corrections page much more user friendly. if you click on 'by location' then your zip code, it will give names, addresses etc. Yahoo maps is a lot easier than once you get the address. I dont believe that people on this list are "cured" and that the public shouldn't worry about something in the "past". There is something basically very wrong about someone who is capable of molesting a child or raping a person----no matter how far in the past it has been. A very good friend of mine is living with a registered sex offender and she always says it is in his 'past'. I am certain that I would never date, or expose my children to someone, who at the age of 27, (in the past of course) raped a 14 year old girl. I cannot even imagine how someone can think that this person is ok. Oh well, this individual just moved to Marathon county now. (whew!) Too bad that my friends kids may have to visit.

I would never allow my child to visit the home of someone convicted of raping a 14 year old. Your friend is an adult - and therefore can make her own decisions. But it's our responsibility to protect our children. I think the old saying "better safe than sorry" definitely applies here.

Even though some families say their loved ones had done those crimes in the past, what about the people that continue to do the same thing again and again? I myself was personally sexually abused as a child, and that was from the time I was 5 years old to 14 years old. There is no childhood. You end up growing up really fast. I feel because of what happened to me I had made some bad mistakes when I was a teenager. Thankfully, with the help of a lot of counselling and support from my friends, I was able to go on with my life. But,there are times a memory will come into my head, and I freeze up, but then I remember I am now 29 years old, and he can't do that to me ever again. I now have 2 children and a husband, and we vow this will never happen to them!!! I think it is great to know where these people are located. If these people did not want the public to know where they live, they should have not done the crime in the first place!

Thank you for sharing your painful experience. I'm glad to hear that you're moving forward and have a family of your own to treasure. Clearly, you will do whatever it takes to protect them from harm.
Good for you!

I had checked this web site, and thankfully I did. I found out that one of my son's class mates' father was on the list. Weve known the family for over 3 yrs and they have never bothered to mention it. I was quite shocked. So I am greatful for this web-site.

And for the people that are listed on these web sites, that don't like the extra attention, I'm sorry but you did something VERY WRONG and the rest of the world deserves the chance to protect their children from you. Maybe the familys of the offenders don't like this, but do they want another child to be harmed? This website is ONLY fair.

Thank You

I'm sorry to hear that you found bad news about someone you know. While those listed on the websites probably feel shamed by the listing, I don't believe that's their purpose. I see them as a way to protect our children from potential danger. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

I think every parent has the right to keep their children safe. the web site should'nt even be an issue. who did the crime? thank you so much for staying on top of this story. it means so much to parents everywhere. we love u channel 7!

You are SO welcome - thanks for blogging.

Entry: December 22, 2005

Dear Viewers,
After a wonderful celebration with my husband's family last weekend, I'm on my way to La Crosse to spend the holiday weekend with my family. I'd love to write more, but the last week of work and holiday preparations has kept me SO busy! I'm having a blast - but could really use a few extra hours in every day. I confess I'm even taking along some dirty laundry that I'm hoping to do while my parents are playing with Arthur. (wow -Just like old times - right mom?)

I'm also leaving you with some photos of Arthur's recent visit to NewsChannel 7. Our little man is like a Rock Star here - with all the girls flocking around to see him! Our receptionist Jane Ploeger, Page 2 host Lauren Burgoyne, Anchor/Reporter Angela Salscheider ("Auntie Angie") and my friend Kim Raasch from our Sales Department took turns snuggling with him and giving him his bottle. Do you think he has any idea how lucky he is?

From our family to yours - wishes for a safe and Merry Christmas!
Sue, Chris and Arthur

Hi Sue,
This is your Mini-me (hint-hint.) haha. I just wanted to say Aurthur is a
Sweetheart! Well I hope you have a great New Year. I made my new years resaloutions. (oh yes,I still remember my lines haha!)

Hello Mini-me -
You must be the young lady who was cast in the NewsChannel 7 promo featuring members of our news team as children -Great job playing me! Thanks for the good wishes - and good luck with your New Years resolutions.
PS Arthur really is a sweetheart - I'm a lucky Mommy. By the way, your mom says the same thing about you!

Hi Sue,
The pictures of your family are great and I'd like to take the opportunity to comment on the wonderful events of the past four weeks. I came to North Central Wisconsin from the UK in December of 1999 after meeting a woman from Mosinee on the internet. She had four almost teenaged children of her own and she thought that I wouldn't be interested in the baggage. I raised two boys of my own before leaving the UK and took on her children and have raised them as my own. The joy I got from raising them was immense.The shock from my wife when the eldest daughter (Angie)told us both that she wanted me to adopt her was the most pleasant we have ever had. I adopted her on November 14,2005 and on November 27, 2005 she presented us with a wonderful Granddaughter. So I got the official title of Dad and Grandpa all in the space of two weeks. What a wonderful blessing I got when I met my wife (our anniversary is Christmas Eve)and inherited four great kids and the icing on the cake came with Anna our Granddaughter. What a fantastic thing family is.

Welcome to NorthCentral Wisconsin - and thanks for sharing your story! Congratulations on the new additions to your family too - it must have been a wonderful Christmas for all you. I'm sure your experience will be an inspiration to many single parents out there who worry about making a second marriage work. I wish you continued happiness in 2006!
ps - if you'd consider sharing your family's story as a feature in one of our newscasts - send me an e-mail at


Deanna Favre: The Story Behind the Pink Green Bay Packer Caps

Buddy Check 7: Deanna's Story

Entry: Friday, December 09, 2005

Dear Viewers,

Earlier this week I had the honor of interviewing breast cancer survivor, Deanna Favre, at her home in Green Bay. It was an interview that took months to set up - but one that was well worth the wait.

We featured Deanna’s story in our special Buddy Check 7 Breast Cancer Awareness reports on Wednesday and Thursday (see link to stories). Deanna’s experience is a powerful example of the importance of doing regular breast self-exams. Since she discovered her cancer in it’s early stages… she says those self-exams probably saved her life. It’s a message I hope other women will take to heart.

Our interview with Deanna has been generating a lot of excitement around NewsChannel 7. I quickly learned that my colleagues and viewers were just as curious about the things that weren’t in our story. Everyone asked the same questions, what was she like? What was their home like? And, of course, did you get to meet Brett? They’re questions I’m happy to answer.

First, what was Deanna like?
My first impression was that she is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. As lovely as she always appears, video and photographs don’t even do her justice. However my lasting impression has much more to do with her inner beauty. She was genuinely warm, open and made us feel very welcome.

Admittedly shy by nature, Deanna confesses that interviews and public speaking make her nervous. But, it’s something she does anyway because she is so passionate about wanting to help other women. She expresses herself so easily that I would never have guessed it sometimes makes her uncomfortable.

If you saw our reports, you noticed that Brett and Deanna’s 6-year old daughter, Breleigh, was snuggled up on the couch with her for most of the interview. Breleigh hadn’t been feeling well and stayed home from school that day. Throughout our visit Deanna gently stroked her little girl’s hair and included her in our conversation. They shared lots of smiles and giggles. By the way, it was also Deanna’s turn to drive the carpool. Afterwards she rushed home to straighten up the living room for our interview. She was so much more “normal” than I expected!

The last thing I want to share with you is that at one point in the interview Deanna reminded me that she was a single mother for a long time. I had forgotten that she and Brett married several years after their oldest daughter, Brittany, was born. As a very young woman, Deanna learned the importance of self-reliance. She says that experience is part of what fuels her efforts to make sure all women can afford and find access to breast cancer prevention and treatment.

The other two questions are much easier to answer. I would describe their home as being elegantly cozy. Much like Deanna, it’s beautiful but not flashy. Tucked away in a charming Green Bay Area neighborhood, it’s much more modest than you might expect. And finally, I did not get to meet Brett. However, you should have seen Breleigh’s face light up when Daddy called to tell her he was on his way home!

For more information about the Favre Family Foundations, log onto

Entry: December 6, 2005

Just when I thought there was nothing cuter than a baby in Halloween Pumpkin jammies, Grandma Ramsett bought Arthur a little Santa suit. It’s so adorable that we decided to make it our family Christmas card this year. So, this past weekend, we suited him up and took a series of snapshots.

The collection of photos we ended up with is well worth the effort – but getting them wasn’t as easy as we expected. As soon as we had Arthur bathed and dressed in his red velvet suit he started to cry. He was hungry and in no mood to have his picture taken. (see lower left photo!) Moments later he fell sound asleep in my arms while nursing.

An hour later Arthur woke up in a much better mood. We put the tiny fur-trimmed hat back on his head and decided to try again. We took him into our bedroom where I had draped a black satin sheet over our headboard and a pillow to prop him up on. It was the perfect background – until we added the subject of the photo.

You see, a funny thing happens when you lay a baby on a pillow covered with a satin sheet… the baby slides off! The look of amazement on Arthur’s face as he slowly slid off the pillow and onto the mattress was all it took to get us laughing. Fortunately that also made him giggle - which made for some great photos. (We did have to remove the pillow and I slipped my hands under the sheet to hold him up instead.)

These photos are sure to become even more precious to us in the years to come as our son grows older. Instead of cooing, babbling and rolling over - next Christmas he’ll likely be walking and talking. Eventually he’ll be able to write a letter to Santa. Sometime after that he’ll be driving himself to the mall to buy his girlfriend a Christmas present. And worst of all, someday he’ll be way too cool to let his mommy dress him up in pumpkin jammies and Santa suits!

Hi Sue,
From Vicki E. in LaCrosse!
I just checked out your blog for the first time and I am just crying tears of happiness for you. Everything on your blog is all the love and warmth you always exude. I am so proud of you and I am so glad to know you as my friend. Arthur's photo on the christmas card is adorable! Already you can see all the personality and he looks well loved. cant wait to see you!
Merry Christmas!

Hi Vick - so glad you found a moment to check out our website! I can't wait until you can meet Arthur in person. He really is a blast to have around and we love him like crazy! Hope to see you over the holidays sometime. Give my love to your family too!

Good to hear and see of you and your handsome little man....
Donna B.

Hi Donna - good to hear from someone who thinks our little man is handsome (ha!) Thanks for blogging :)

Good morning, Sue,

I was in the Newschannel 7 site, reading Jeff's entertaining blogs :) and found my way into your area. I must say that you have such a beautiful baby!!! And quite the handsome santa:)
I also noticed that you mentioned that you are nursing. It is such a joy to hear that more and more mothers are doing it!!! I am still currently nursing my 2 year old. It's almost a sacred time to share with your little one. I commend you (and your patience). Many Holiday wishes to you and yours. Keep up the informative reporting and stay safe!!! Sincerely, Lori

Hi Lori, If you think Jeff's blogs are entertaining - you should experience what it's like to work with him everyday. That good nature never stops! Nursing is a lot more work than I expected - but definitely worth the effort. "Sacred time" is a great way to describe it. My goal is to keep it up for at least 6 months - longer if I can. So far so good :)
Thanks for writing!

Sue, Terry just called to have me go to this site. Sure glad he keeps me up on things. He's not a proud grandpa or anything! The pictures and absolutely darling (including the crying one). I was so happy to see them seeing that I missed seeing Dad and baby on Thanksgiving Day.
Hope we won't have to wait until the reunion to see him. Love to all, Judy

Hi Judy - sorry to have missed you on Thanksgiving. Glad his proud Grandpa Terry directed you to our website. I have to say Arthur is even cuter in person! (and louder too!)
Hope to see you soon. Give our love and wishes for a Merry Christmas to your family :)

Sue; absolutely adorable photo shoot! just want to let you know that we are in awe of being a full-time mom, and back to work full-time too! You're looking great -- have a wonderful Christmas.

Thanks so much for the kind words - you made my day! Any working mom will tell you that finding a balance isn't easy - but I think I'm getting there. Family is definitely my top priority - but I love my job here at NewsChannel 7 too. Nothing like a good concealer to hide those tired eyes!

Hi Sue,
Absolutely adorable photos of little Arthur. Thank you so much for sharing. Makes me think back to the first Christmas each of my children had. Then I remember when... Thanks again.
Dawn in Medford

What precious memories - looking forward to making more in the years ahead. Always great to hear from you!

Hello Sue,

Authur is a cutie. I am so happy your back to work i really missed seeing you on the news. Merry Christmas!!

It's great to be back - thanks for checking out the website. Merry Christmas to you and yours too!

What an adorable baby boy, thanks for sharing! Looks like a very exciting Christmas for you and your hubby.

You're right, we're already having a blast! Arthur and I start our morning looking at all the pretty lights on our tree - then sing some Christmas songs along with a big singing Santa decoration I bought recently. So far Arthur thinks Santa is pretty cool - I'll let you know if that's still the case when we visit one that's not made out of plastic :)

Entry: November 29, 2005

Anyone who has had to work on a holiday knows it’s pretty easy to start feeling sorry for yourself. My personal pity party was cut short on Thanksgiving Day when I got a tip from a caller about a barn fire in the Town of Berlin. One of the first things that came to my mind was; what were all of those volunteer firefighters doing when their pagers went off on this holiday?

Minutes later when we arrived at the scene we found dozens of firefighters from the towns of Hamburg, Maine, and Corning hard at work trying to put that fire out. It took less than a minute outside to realize that it was bitterly cold with wind chills below zero.

The first firefighters I encountered were struggling to pump water from a frozen pond across from the smoldering barn. They looked miserable but determined. Others manning the hoses were covered in ice from head to toe. One firefighter I interviewed had bits of wood and straw frozen into his moustache.

Were they literally freezing? Yes. Were they complaining? No. In fact most down-played the fact that they were ripped away from their turkey dinners and deer stands to help their neighbors. They told me it’s simply what they do as volunteers. They were grateful for the Salvation Army workers who arrived on scene to serve them hot chocolate and soup.

It was then that I realized I had no right to complain about working on this holiday.
I was wearing warm dry clothing while they were damp and cold.
I carried a notepad while they lugged heavy equipment.
I could warm up in the news car while they took turns ducking into a truck to thaw out.
I would be finished writing their story hours before they would leave the scene of the fire and return home to their families.

This Thanksgiving I was reminded of why we refer to those in this line of work as heroes. I made sure to add them to my list of things to give thanks for this holiday season.

My family has had a tradition that the day after Thanksgiving we all get together at my parents house and spend the day decorating for Christmas. And the day after that we get together to start making Christmas goodies. My family cherishes this time because Christmas is all of ours favorite holiday. The lights are the best part they seem to light up your soul. When I was a child, I would fall asleep under the Christmas tree almost every night just staring up and gazing at the lights and thinking of family that has passed and wondering what the future would bring. Christmas has always been and always will be my favorite holiday. It is fuel for my soul.

Thank you for sharing that wonderful story - you write beautifully! I too have always loved to lie under the tree looking up at the lights. It really is a magical experience. Here's to fueling our souls - cheers!

Hi Sue,
Arthur is such a cutie. I just love little babies. You and your husband will make perfect parents. Have a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. I am glad you are back to work . I missed that cheerful & smiling face.
Derek S.

Hi Derek - thanks for the vote of confidence! Being a parent is an amazing thing - and Chris and I are giving it our best shot! I am so fortunate to have a lot to smile about these days.
Have a wonderful holiday!!

I feel the same way about the road crews. My brother works for a village water department. Even though snowplowing isn't his line of work, he's often called to assist snow clearing during snow storms. He's been out on several holidays with these duties without complaint. He says he does it so people can get where they're going safer. Of course growing up with him, I know know better. He just likes to play with big boy toys out in the snow (ha ha.)

Yes - Snowplowing is definitely a job I'm glad I don't have to do! Sounds like your brother has a great attitude - even if he does have some ulterior motives ;)

Sue, I couldn't have said it better. To all the heroes we sometimes forget to thank, you're in our thought this holiday season.

We can never say it enough. Thanks for your comments.

Hi Sue,
Well said and very thought provoking comments. I agree that we shouldn't do the complaining when there are others out there doing a much tougher job than we could ever do.

On a lighter note, I absolutely loved the outfit you had on for the Tuesday newscasts. Especially the vibrant red blouse. Could you tell me where you found it? Your hair was looking good too. Let's face it, you looked great!

Dawn - can you write to me every day?! (ha) Thanks for the compliments. Wish I could help you out with the blouse, but the truth is I found it at a consignment shop in La Crosse a few years ago. I think I got it for about $3. (Did I ever mention that I consider bargain hunting a sport?) Glad to know it's still getting the job done.

Entry: Monday, November21, 2005

My younger brother, Cory, is what I’d call an avid hunter. I have a ton of respect for the way he approaches the sport. But I have to admit I’m not crazy about the possibility of passing this interest on to my son.

Just to get a rise out of me, Uncle Cory has already given his 3-month old nephew/Godson a shirt that reads “Future Hunter” and a battery operated toy rifleman. However, this teasing has led us to some good conversations about exposing children to a sport that involves killing animals.

I explained to my brother that if my little boy sees a deer in a field or a duck flying overhead, I don’t want his first thought to be “I wonder if I could hit that with my BB gun from here?” I want him to appreciate the beauty of all God’s creatures. I want to teach him to be kind and respect all living things.

I know that with the right mentor (which I know my brother would be) children can learn a lot of positive things from hunting, including a respect for firearms and an appreciation of the outdoors. I also know this is a time honored tradition for many families and something that brings generations of hunters together.

I trust my brother to set a good example, but I’m still not sure I’ll ever be comfortable with the thought of my son becoming a hunter.

How do other parents feel about this? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Hi Sue,
This is the first year that my son (now twelve) is able to go hunting. He has taken and passed the hunter's safety course (I believe this may be required) and was looking forward to going hunting. During the youth hunt at the end of October, he managed to get a doe with one shot. I know this may sound, at times, barbaric but please keep in mind that the deer herd is way over populated. As a hunter myself, I can't wait to get in the woods with my son. Even if we don't see deer to hunt, we still get to spend a little one on one time together, and we get to admire the great outdoors and all the other wildlife in it. I look forward to taking my younger son and later my daughter hunting too. As long as they have the hunter's safety course and pass, and they have a responsible adult with them when they hunt, there should be a good outcome. Don't let the stories of hunting accidents cloud your judgment. When your son gets older and if he shows in interest in what his uncle is doing, then sit him down and ask him how he feels. If he'd like to try hunting, let him. The hunter's safety course is a good idea in any case. Everyone should know how to handle a gun, whether they use it to hunt or know someone who does. Thanks for listening!
Dawn in Medford

Hi Dawn,
Congratulations to your son on his first deer - how excited he must be! I'm glad to hear from a mom who is obviously experienced in this area. It sounds to me like you are teaching your children to approach the sport with knowledge and respect. I'll definitely consider the very good points you make.
Entry – Thursday, November 17, 2005


Maybe it’s having a new baby in the house that has me so excited for the holidays. Or maybe I’ve just reached the age where I really cherish our annual get-togethers with family and friends. Either way, I feel like a little kid waiting for Santa lately.

I have to admit that I’ve been fighting the urge to put up our Christmas tree since the day after Halloween. I’ve even started playing Christmas music at home. This is good news for the baby, since they’re something I actually remember all the words to! No more fumbling through nursery rhymes and songs like “Lullaby, and good night, with roses be… la la” - you get the idea.

Typically I wait until the day after Thanksgiving to pull out the Christmas decorations. (It only seems right to give the turkeys and pilgrims their fair share of time on the table and mantle.) But this weekend the Santas and Snowmen are coming out of storage!

On my urging, my husband put most of the lights up on our house last weekend. I convinced him it would be easier to get them up before the snow falls and the temperatures plummet. The truth is I just wanted to start plugging them in at night.

So how early is too early to decorate for Christmas? All I know is that the Holidays always seem to fly by way too quickly – and I want to enjoy every moment of this one. I figure the sooner I get started – the better!

I too decided to decorate for Christmas early this year. Over the weekend I took out all the winter stuff and transformed our house (My poor husband thinks I am nuts!) I even put up the snowmen clings on the windows right next to the scarecrow, which I can't part with until after Thanksgiving. I got lucky with the light situation...I looked last month and realized that the icicle lights from last year were still hanging. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to spend it with your friends and family:)

Thanks for the laugh- I love that you put the snowmen up next to the scarecrow. Do you think I can convince my husband to keep the lights up all year long? It would save him a lot of trouble next year!
I did have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, spending Thursday night with my husband's family and the weekend with my parents in La Crosse. With a new baby in the family - they had lots of family and friends stopping by :)
Enjoy your decorations!

Decorate as early as possible. the season goes by so as fast, let's just enjoy every moment of it.

Ditto. Glad I haven't heard any Bah Humbugs yet!

I'm with you Susie..just waiting for deer hunting to be done then the Christmas decorations go up.

Hmmm... someone called me "Susie" and made a reference to deer hunting. This entry HAS to be from someone in my family! Holiday spirit is definitely something I inherited :)

Sue, I think that you can start with the decorations as soon as the urge hits you as who knows next week you just might not feel like doing it. With the little one now you don't have as much time as in the past. I would always have mine done for our oldest daughters birthday in early December as while growing up she loved having her birthday party with all the Christmas decorations up. Now that I am a grandmother I love getting the decorations up right after Thanksgiving so our granddaughter can enjoy them for a long time. Now this year we have two more grandchildren due by the end of the year and I can say I can't wait until next Christmas where they will all enjoy the decorations. So when the urge hits just go for it and put things up. Now that it's snowing I have my snowmen already up and enjoying them.

Congratulations on the 2 new grandchildren you're expecting - and thanks for the vote of support on decorating early! What an exciting winter ahead for you. I'm sure you'll enjoy every moment of it :)

I feel that if you feel the spirit, then you should decorate. I am all finished decorating for christmas, and ready for the friends and family to come and see what I did this year. John (Schofield)

Dear John,
You're way ahead of me - good for you! Glad to hear you're feeling the Christmas spirit already too.

I wish I had had the forethought to get everything up outside before the weather turned brutal (no offense Mike!). Unfortunately, I ran out of time. I try to get the lights up and ready to go so I can flip the switch the day after Thanksgiving. I've been really good getting to my self-imposed deadline although sometimes other houses in the neighborhood do get the jump on me. I feel that if you want to turn your yard into a winter wonderland really early--go ahead. If it weren't for the very high electric bill I get every January, I'd probably leave mine on longer! I'm sure your house and yard will look beautiful if you start now, and I find myself getting excited for the upcoming holidays, right after Halloween, too. Arthur will love all the color, each of my babies did! Have a great holiday season!!

It's okay to blame Mike for the weather - Jeff and I do! (ha! - just kidding Mike!)
You're right about the power bills - all this holiday spirit I'm feeling could get a little expensive this year. However I love pulling into the driveway at night and seeing all those cheerful lights! It's such a nice ending to a long winter day. Happy decorating - and have a wonderful holiday season!

Entry: Thursday, November 10, 2005

Years ago one of my girlfriends told me, "When you become a mommy - you really want your mommy." This week I'm blogging to tell Deb she's absolutely right!
Until now I've never spent much time thinking about what my mother's life was like when I was born. Now with my own little one to care for - I think about it a lot.

I especially appreciate my mom in the middle of the night. She remembers rocking me for hours with nothing to watch but the black and white test pattern on TV. When I'm up with Arthur I have dozens of cable channels to choose from. Granted, most of them run info-mercials at 4am - but I've ordered some really cool stuff! (when it all gets here I'll be able to look younger, lose weight -and- clean my house in less than 5 minutes a day!!)

My mom had me in her early 20's. I waited until my late 30's to start a family, but even with an extra 15 years of life experience - taking care of a new baby is really intimidating sometimes. I can only imagine how nervous she was as a young woman. She claims I was a really happy baby - so she must have been very good at it :) That's also evident in the way she cares for my little boy.

The other thing that's on my mind a lot is how she got through it without daily calls to her own mother. My grandmother died of breast cancer when my mom was just a young girl. I can't tell you how many times I've called my mom and my mother-in-law for advice or just to talk.
Arthur is SO lucky to have two loving and experienced grandmas - and so am I!

I know Mother's Day is still months away - but this year I'm sending my heartfelt wishes out early - Mom and Jamine, THANK YOU - I COULDN'T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!
I think we should declare every day Mother's Day - don't you?


Good to hear from you! Being a mother is probably the most challenging and awe-inspiring job that you will ever have. They watch everything you do, and will repeat it when you least expect it. Responsibility, manners and respect will be three of the most important things that your child can learn from you. You are bound to have questions during this journey. That's why your family and friends will always be there for you. Look forward to seeing you next month!


Hi Deb! (my former roommate - and the friend I refer to in my blog above) Thanks for checking out our blog center - and for all the good advice. I'm sure I'll be pestering you for tons of it in the years ahead - just as I always have for the past 20 years (since we were 9 - right?)!
Give my love to your family and we'll see you at our "annual holiday gathering".

I do appreciate my mom every single day, especially since I have had my own children. Knowing that she is only a phone call away and would do almost anything to help me is such a great feeling. I never got the chance to meet my mother in law, because she passed away in 1972, 8 years before I was born)
I was born when my mom was 23, and by the time I was that age I had a 2 1/2 year old, a 16 month old and a newborn. Mom has been a lifesaver for me, when I just need a break from the children. I too think Moms deserve more than one day of recognition a year.

Wow- what a handful you had at 23! So glad to hear you appreciate your mom every day. That makes you both very lucky :)

When you start your family later in life. You seem to enjoy them more. My wife had our first child when she was thirty. She had our last one when she was forty-one. We now have three wonderful [children]. Two girls and one boy. One hansome baby grandson. My wife is now sixty-three and I am sixty. I wouldn't change a thing. We have had a wonderful time raising our children.

Thank you for writing - it's so good to hear from parents who also started their families later in life! I do think our age is allowing us to enjoy our son thoroughly as we don't have all the pressures and distractions we had in our 20's. How fortunate you are to be a grandfather - my parents tell me it's the best thing ever! I hope I live long enough to be a grandmother one day - but for now I just cherish being a mom :)

Hi Sue, I know you will eventually find a great balance between work and Arthur. As mothers, we all find it hard when our children are young to get ready on time and out the door. I am fortunate to have such understanding employers - Dakota and I can run up to 1/2 hour late in the morning (depending on how much time I spend at daycare)... take care -


Hi Noma (my awesome cousin-in-law!)
You're so right - packing up and getting out the door is really a challenge some days. One day last week I arrived at work with a pacifier in my pocket! My boss is also very understanding - and is allowing me extra time to go home and spend time with Chris and Arthur between evening newscasts. That helps so much.
Dakota is such a sweet little boy - and he was so gentle with Arthur. What an amazing little man you're raising!
Love to you all :)

Entry: Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Thanks for all the great responses! I know I'm not the first mommy who has had to face going back to work - and I certainly won't be the last. Hearing from other parents who have survived the transition really does help!

The first few days were difficult, but now it feels pretty good to be back at the station. My greatest fear was that a lack of sleep would cause me to burst into tears or babble like an idiot on the air. So far neither has happened (I'm knocking on wood now!) and I'm sure Arthur will start sleeping through the night any day - right? (please please please)

I'm also grateful to my co-workers for letting me ramble on about poopy diapers and other baby stuff! On Halloween my husband even brought him in for a quick visit dressed in his dinosaur costume. The noisy newsroom and bright lights in the studio didn't faze him a bit - he slept through most of it. After carrying him around in my belly for 9 months it probably seemed pretty familiar to him.

Since Arthur is only in daycare for a few hours in the afternoon, I feel like I'm on my way to finding a pretty good balance. We are lucky to have found a wonderful daycare provider who is very qualified and sincerely loves children.

To give you an example: Arthur brought home an art project on his very first day there. They made ghosts by putting white paint on his feet and pressing them on orange construction paper. She tells me he really enjoyed it and especially liked the part where she painted his feet!

I'm proud to say that at 11 weeks old we already have two of his pictures on our refrigerator. (Of course, I am convinced that he shows promise of becoming a great artist!)

Actually the first few days that she slept all night scared me. I was only 18, and thought newborns had to get up every 2-3 hours to eat or something was wrong. I was constantly checking on her, so I really wasn't getting much rest. I do consider myself lucky though. And kinda wish I had been that blessed with my son. The other half of me loves geting to hold him at night because I know he is my last and watching him get so independant breaks my heart.

I'm definitely looking forward to the time Arthur starts sleeping through the night - but I'm sure I'll panic the first time I wake up and realize I haven't heard him cry for several hours! Meanwhile I am enjoying those feedings in the middle of the night - I just don't like getting up in the morning afterward. ;)

Congratulations on your addition to your family, and yes sleep does get easier as your son gets older. You should be seeing signs of that real soon. I have 3 girls of my own and when they were younger my middle daughter never slept so I know what you mean. Now she is 10 year old and all she wants to do is sleep. Keep up being a great parent everything gets better. Sleep is in your near future.

I'm happy to share that Arthur slept 5 straight hours last night - from about 12:30am til 5:30am! We're hoping that's the start of some easier nights ahead. Hard to believe I'm excited about getting 5 hours of sleep these days. Before baby I was used to getting 8-9 - plus, working nights meant I got to sleep-in in the AM. Nice as that was - being a mommy is better!

Your baby is so darling. I missed you.

Thanks! it's good to be back :)

Nice to see you back. "All Jeff" was getting a little tiring! Glad all's going well with the baby but there are no guarantees on sleep. Our second born didn't sleep through the night till she was 3. (We joke that if she'd have been our first born, we probably wouldn't have had a second!) But now they're both off to college and we find ourselves thinking back to all the wonderful times when they were the center of our lives, much like Arthur is for you. For his sake, please be sure it stays that way. You'll never regret it.

Jeff will be the first to tell you that "All Jeff" was getting a little tiring for him too! I'm not sure how he managed to do both of our jobs for 10 weeks without losing his mind. You are so right about making our children the center of our lives. How proud you must be to have both of yours off to college.

You have a very handsome little boy, especially all dressed up for Halloween. I am glad you were able to find a child care provider that meets all of your expectations. They tend to be hard to come by sometimes. As for him sleeping through the may be a while. My oldest slept through the night at a 2 weeks old, my other daughter at about 3 months and my son who just turned three still wakes up during the night at least twice a week. Good Luck and as hard as it may be enjoy those midnight cuddle sessions!

Thanks for the good wishes! How amazing it must have been to have your first child sleep through the night at 2 weeks. I'll bet there are a lot of envious mommies out there - myself included. Midnight cuddle sessions are wonderful :) (- it's the sessions at 2:30am, 4:30am and 6:30am that are tiring us out!)

Oh my gosh Sue! Arthur is so adorable, especially in his little halloween costume! We are so happy for you and can't wait to meet him someday. You look great! I miss you guys up there and hope to visit soon.

Love, Karen

Hi Karen - we miss you too! Many of our viewers tell me they miss seeing you on the air as a reporter too. When they ask me how you're doing I tell them you are happy, healthy and wildly successful in the windy city! Come visit us soon:)

Entry: Thursday, October 13, 2005


Time really does fly when you’re having fun! It’s hard for me to believe that our son is already 8 weeks old. It’s also hard to believe that my maternity leave will soon be over.

Arthur continues to amaze us every day! To our delight he smiles, coos and makes lots of giggling noises. He especially loves to look out windows and make funny faces with daddy. I love watching him take in everything around him. Unfortunately for us he’s still not sleeping through the night (or even half of the night). Hope that will change before it’s time to head back to work.

I love my job at NewsChannel 7 and miss seeing my co-workers every day, but the thought of ending this amazing time at home with our little one makes my heart ache. I’m sure once I get back into a routine I’ll again look forward to going to work every day – and then look forward to getting home to my family at the end of the day. I guess that’s the balance between work and family every parent strives to achieve?

Before Arthur was born I assured our News Director, Gil Buettner, that I’d be eager to return to the newsroom within just a few weeks (ha! Not so). Being a father (and pretty recently a grandfather too!), Gil knowingly told me to wait and see how I felt after the baby was born. As he correctly guessed, it turns out I’m not so eager to give up spending every hour of every day with my little boy. Fortunately for me, he’s making my transition a little easier.

My first week back to work, beginning Monday, October 24th, I’ll be working just ½ days. That means I’ll be able to go home after the 6pm newscasts. I’ll resume my normal schedule of anchoring NewsChannel 7 at 6 & 10 the following week (October 31st).

Part of me is really looking forward to getting back to work. It’s been nearly two months since I’ve had to get dressed and actually leave the house every day. (I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with wearing pajamas and ponytails every day!) One of my biggest challenges will be getting into a new routine of getting ready for work – getting the baby packed up – and delivering him for a few hours of daycare in the afternoon. Right now I’m lucky if I can get us both dressed and off to a doctor’s appointment on time!

I know I’m not the first mommy to face this tough transition. If you’ve been through it - I’d love to hear any tips you have for finding that happy balance between work and family.

Thanks for reading – and I’ll see you soon!

Babies are so wonderful, they are always a delight and they have this myterious way of bringing a smile to your face no matter what. Once again congratulations and glad to have you back doing the news.

hey su gald to see u again\
greg t (14)

You and your husband have a very beautiful baby boy! I give you a ton of credit for being a working mom. I work part time for a family business and I have 2 children (2yrs & 8 months) They both come to work with me and I'm getting my Associated Degree in Business through an independent program on top of that! I give you credit for being out there!

Best of luck at coming back to work. It's hard and you probably cried but they are worth it. I have three children and believe it or not my oldest son is 31, my dauthter is 26 and then I had a son at 42 and he is only 11 right now. Even with the big age difference it was just as hard to leave everyone of them. I also have four grandkids 8, 5, 3 and a newborn 1 week old, and I even miss seeing them because I still work and my time is so limited.

Glad to see your smiling face back on the news.


You will get used to the changes soon as you get the routine established. My first child (who will be 5 yrs old pretty soon) did not sleep though the night till he was 3. My daughter who is 14 months old, sleeps pretty well since about 3 months old. All depends on the routine, and also, make sure you are relaxed...babies can sense your stress, and they will react to it. Congrads to you both!!

Tina M

Welcome back Aunt Sue! Thank you for the great pictures this past weekend. Sure enjoyed being with Arthur.
Love, Ty & Trey in Marinette


do not i repeat --DO NOT GO BACK TO WORK --so soon--yes you are a great newsrepoer--butsome things are important thaN JOB AND MONEY--LIKE THE LITTLE BLESSING God has put in your care---don't miss the pre-school time with him--he needs you and you need him. time goes by fast ,my dear--oh by the way i should tell you im a pre-school teache r--a mom of 3 and a grandma of 5--one went home to be with Jesus at 35 days old--God bless you and your family!!!!!!

Congratulations to you and Chris on the birth of your son. It sounds like motherhood is going well for you. You asked for some tips in balancing family and work. First of all, know that it is never easy. I am a teacher with a three year old and a second child due in November. Every fall when I return to work I cry. My daughter usually does just fine, but I am a wreck! I have found the secret to staying sane in the morning is to do as much as I can the night before. I lay out clothes (hers and mine), pack our bags, make lunches, take my shower, and sometimes even get things ready for the next evening's supper. My housework usually takes a back seat as I like to spend my daughter's waking hours with her and my husband. Being a teacher I have other things to do to prepare for teaching the next day after she goes to bed. Luckily my husband is a great help with laundry and household chores. Before I had my daughter someone told me that once you have children you never get a good night sleep again. I think I now know what they meant. Regardless I wouldn't change a thing. Noone has ever died from lack of sleep, and as you will find, Arthur will only be little for a short time. Enjoy every minute you have with him!

Hi Sue,Congratulations on your new baby boy. He is such a cutie. I do miss you alot. You are such a excellent news caster. I love little babys & kids. I have a 6 year old friend named Austin. I have been with him & his parents since he was born. I love them all very much. Arthur is a cutie & you & your husband will love all of the things baby's do & when they first start to talk. Take Care!

As a Mom of 3 children, I can tell you that it was as hard to go back to work with the 3rd one as it was with the 1st. I also need to tell you that after some time it will get easier and as long as you have great communication with your childcare provider, it will feel like you are a part of Authur's day even when you're away. Their are some wonderful childcare's out there and I'm sure you and your husband did your research. Speeking from experience, you will know the right provider when you find her(or him). Best wishes when you return to work. I'm sure Authur will be in good hands and it will get easier as your love will grow stronger! Schofield

We are so happy to hear that you are coming back at least part time that will be really nice to see you again and dont worry about getting back into those clothes that you could wear before you got pregnant that will come with time!! Us as viewers only see your beautiful smile and that is all we need to see. I am sure that you look just as beautiful as when you left maybe just smaller!!We will be watching for you cant wait! your true viewer

My son didn't sleep through the night until he was 2. Thats because I ran to him every time he whinned. I learned it was tough but you have to let him cry and after a while of me not running to9 him he did manage to fall back to sleep and for the night. Its tough but it does work. My son is now 17 and he has always been a Momma's boy. TC

I have to smile and almost cry when I read your blogs. My little girl will be 8 months next week and it still breaks my heart every Monday when I have to drop her off at the sitter. The first day of work was just the worst. I cried the night before and the moment I got out of the vehicle at the sitter (and that happened for almost two weeks). It has gotten a little easier, but it is still tough. Couple tips--Have a little brag book of Arthur, have the sitter's number on speed dial :-) and talk about him whenever you can. Making sure you completely trust the person who is taking care of your son will also help ease a little anxiety. Even if you have to call and see how things are going twice a day. When you go home play with him or just hold him, don't worry about housework. Good Luck and Congrats to you and Chris on the birth of your Handsome Son, Arthur! Brandi

Sue, I'm looking forward to working with you as your new producer! From my own baby experiences (and from what I've heard from other mums and dads) they don't start sleeping through the night until about 3 months old. At three months Sidney would sleep from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Of course, that only lasted until she was 6 months old -- when she then discovered the joy of standing up ... and wanted to do it all night long. At two Sid is finally sleeping through the night ... most nights. Of course, she also likes to get up at 5 a.m., raring to go. In my honest nature, I'll tell you right off the bat ... there will be many, many sleepless nights. But, all the amazing things they do during the day get you through it. You have so much to look forward to with Arthur! I'm sure all he'll need to do is flash you a smile and you'll turn into Jell-O like I do with Sidney. I can't wait to hear all your new mommy experiences when you come back to the station! And when you come to work with baby drool on your shoulder or a sticker stuck to your butt I'll be there for you. :) Sincerely, Nicole

P.S. Sid loved her Aquarium bouncer too! We loved it too ... very soothing ocean sounds.

I'm so happy for you & your husband (cute baby). Our son is 15 now he changed our lives totaly. I still look back at the pictures & videos of him from when he was born till now. He is a very spoiled child. Have fun with your new baby & I hope to see you soon on the air. Dave

We have enough job competition, limited resouces, and too much traffic already. Every seven years traffic doubles. We don't need any more kids. Stop breeding. There are enough people and enough problems already. It's time to let the gov't know that tax breaks for having kids should be stopped now!

Entry: September 22, 2005

Thanks for all the kind wishes – and for checking in on us. Mom, dad and baby Arthur are all doing wonderfully. As is to be expected, we’re a little tired from keeping up with the demands of a newborn, but caring for our son is by far the most amazing thing I’ve ever done in my life. I knew having a child was going to be an incredible experience, but the love I feel for him is almost overwhelming sometimes. When he was born it was love at first sight – and it gets stronger every day.
I apologize for the delay in updating my blog. As it turns out, finding time to log onto the internet is much more difficult than I expected – which I’m certain is not a big shock to those of you who have cared for a newborn?!

PHOTOS: I’ve included a few pictures from the hospital and from our first few weeks here at home. As you can see from the side-by-side pictures of Arthur and Chris, our son is practically a clone of his daddy! Am I disappointed that he doesn’t look at all like me? No way, he’s just what I ordered. I think the world needs more men like my husband – and I’m glad I could make one! I’ve also included a photo taken after Arthur’s first sponge bath (which he enjoyed very much!) and of him kicking back in his vibrating bouncy chair (his favorite hangout when he’s not being held in our arms).

ABOUT ARTHUR: I’m his mommy so of course I think he’s the most amazing thing ever! From the beginning he’s been an incredibly sweet baby. Yes, he’s definitely a lot of work – but not very complicated at this point. As long as he’s wearing a clean diaper, has a full belly, and is being cuddled in someone’s arms – he’s happy. (easy right? Ha!) I love to watch him when he’s sleeping - he makes lots of little faces that go from smiling, to a look of surprise, to his little bottom lip trembling like he’s going to cry. He melts my heart a hundred times a day. Right now he sleeps 3-4 hours at a time through most nights with an hour of feeding in between. Daddy has been incredibly helpful, getting up at night whenever he cries to change his diaper -then delivers him to me in the rocker to be fed and cuddled back to sleep. Did I mention we’re crazy in love with him?

WHAT’S IN A NAME?: We’ve been asked many times if Arthur is a family name. No, it’s not. Even before we tried to get pregnant, my husband, who is an artist, told me he wanted a son named “Art”. Being a big fan of stories about Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table, I’ve always loved the name Arthur. So Arthur it is, our little work of art! However, there is a family connection to his middle name, James. That’s also the middle name of my father and brother.

THE BIRTH: Our experience at Wausau Hospital was truly wonderful. We received excellent and compassionate care at the New Beginnings Birthing Center Center from check-in to check-out. How can I even begin to say thank-you to the sincere and compassionate staff there? (A new mommy can get spoiled with expert nurses just a button away!) When we left for home I actually felt a little sad to be leaving the people who took such great care of us and prepared us for our first weeks together. Thanks also to our friends at Marshfield Clinic for all the great pre-natal care. It worked – He’s perfect!
Our little man is just waking up – so it’s time to hit the spell check and log off. Before I go, a BIG round of applause for my co-anchor Jeff (Uncle Jeff) Thelen for picking up all my slack while I’m on maternity leave. Also to reporter Amanda Lutz who is doing a great job handling the Buddy Check 7 reports while I’m away. So glad she shares my passion for Breast Cancer Awareness.
Finally, best of luck to all the other expecting mommies out there! I’d tell you it’s going to be wonderful – but you’ll find that out for yourself soon enough.

You should go to and click on the photo stamps logo. After entering the proper information, you can upload photos from your computer and create your own personal stamps with Arthur's picture on them. You can change the border color and the postage amount on the stamps to suit your needs. They can accept or refuse your entry, depending upon what you send. They arrive twenty to a sheet and are self sticking. The Post Office gets the money for the postage and gets the rest. The pictures brought up can also be cropped in case you have several people in the picture. The stamps are sent to you from California and look fantastic. It's a nice thing to put in your scrapbook or just to use on all your envelopes. The stamps are specially barcoded, so only the Post Office machines can read them. It's something cool to have a little fun with since you're home a little bit more right now.


oh my goodness sue your husband has been cloaned he his so adorable i mean arthur he looks so precious!!just from watching the news ever night i think that uncle Jeff is doing just fine but sometimes we see the tear in his eye when he tells us al that you are still gone so hopefully you will return soon to wipe that tear! hope to see you soon we all miss you!!!your true viewer!!When is your first day back we dont want to miss you????

Dear Susan , This is a first. You are so empathetic and compassion in delivering the news. I know that those skills will serve you well with Arthur.
My five are grown, but I look back on their births and first weeks as the most special time ever possible. Enjoy every minute of it.
Janice B. ( Wisconsin Rapids)

Hi Sue...I was hoping you would soon show us pics of your darling newborn...he's beautiful. Congratualtions to you and Chris for a job well done! Miss seeing you at the anchor desk but want you to enjoy every minute of your leave time.
Kathie in Antigo

Congratulations Sue and Chris, on your new bundle of joy. Children are a gift from GOD. I know I raised three and now have 3 grandgirls and am enjoying every minute. Enjoy him while he is little as he will grow very fast.
A dedicated watcher of NewsChannel 7
Juleen B. Abbotsford, WI

Arthur is so beautiful! Isn't it great to be a parent? Carol and Elizabeth send their love...and I do to!
P.S. I miss you and everyone else in North Central Wisconsin

Hi Sue!

Welcome back, sort of. Thanks so much for the pictures of little Arthur. Please keep us updated and let us know how Uncle Jeff is doing on the babysitting duty. Look forward to seeing you back at the anchor desk soon. Has Jeff mentioned needing any vacation time for the extra work he's been doing?

congratulations when you had your baby.
i watch channel 7 alot and i think you do a good job a work.
hope you return to work soon.

i live in stevenspoint.

Congratulations on the birth of your son. There is nothing more wonderful than becoming a Mom and Dad. God Bless.

Congratulations to you and Chris -- you really timed your "time off"!!!! We will miss you, but wish you the best at home.

Congratulations Sue and Chris! I just heard the news on the six o'clock broadcast. I also agree with "Uncle Jeff" that little Arthur needs some green and gold outfits if he's to cheer on the Packers properly. Keep us posted on how the little guy is doing and how Jeff adjusts to the occasional babysitting!

IT’S ALMOST TIME! Friday, August 12, 2005

With our baby due very soon, this will be my last day of work for awhile. I’ve decided it’s time to slow down and enjoy the last few days of my pregnancy and finish up all the “nesting” left to do at home.
The past several months have been an incredible journey. Surrounded by women with so much experience, I thought I knew exactly what to expect. But carrying a child has been more wonderful than anything I imagined.
I couldn’t have asked for more love and support from my co-workers during the last several months. While I’m very eager to become a mommy, I’m sure I’ll be missing work and all my friends here at Channel 7 while I’m away on maternity leave.
I also want to thank all of our viewers who have sent e-mails, cards, and joined this blog to share their good wishes with us. I am so grateful to live in an area filled with so many kind and caring people. What a great place to raise our son!
While I’ll be taking a break from the newsroom for awhile, I know I’ll have my hands full at home during the first several weeks of baby time. I’m not too worried since my husband Chris and I are lucky to have loving families and lots of friends around to help us out.
During my leave I’ll be staying in touch through this blog and will keep you posted on my adventures in mommy-hood.
Wish us luck and please keep us in your prayers!

I will keep you in my prayers as I have 3 grown sons and three grandsons. Sharon M.

Good Luck and Best Wishes for the birth of your little one. It's a great idea to take some time off to enjoy the last few days of being pregnant. Before you know it, it will be over and you will have a little boy in your arms. There is no better feeling in the world than hearing your child's first cries, and then being able to hold and comfort him. I have been blessed to experience it 3 times within 31 months and it is the greatest thing I have ever done.
Take Care and Congrats!!

ALSO – Have to post an apology to my fabulous co-anchor Jeff Thelen for a little trick we played on him earlier today. I knocked over a cup of water that splashed loudly on the plastic mat beneath my desk and we pretended that my water broke. Wish you could have seen “Uncle Jeff” in action. While Carrie Hutton ducked under her desk to hide her laughter, Jeff was busy tossing me towels to wipe up and trying to convince my husband to leave work and pick me up. When Chris (who was in on the joke) told Jeff he was too busy – Jeff was prepared to rush me to the hospital himself. Great to know you’re always there for us my friend. Yes – you owe me one!

The first thought that entered my mind was, "Oh, that poor guy." But, because I love my wife and a good joke, I couldn't resist my wife's request. As Jeff calmly explained to me that my wife's water had broke and I needed to leave work to take her to the hospital, all I could think of was the half-dozen women around him in the newsroom doing all they can to hold back the laughter. When I told Jeff "Umm... I'm kind of busy. Can I just meet her there? Or better yet, could you take her?", I could see the disbelief in his face even though I was 10 miles away. I want to thank my wife for getting one last laugh in before she takes her short leave of absence and I also want to thank Jeff for being a good sport and great friend to both Sue and me. He's been at Sue's side giving her wonderful support at work since day one and I couldn't ask for a better co-anchor for my wife. Once Jeff found out about the hoax, the first thing he said was "Revenge is a dish best served cold." I'm sure I will be in on that one, too. Thanks everybody! Chris (better known as Sue's husband)

Video: Sue, Unborn Child and NewsChannel 7 Staff Play Pratical Joke on Jeff!


First of all, congratulations to our new Sports Director, Matt Zahn! Matt has been working as our weekend anchor for a number of years. Now his patience is being rewarded, as he’s been tapped to take over for Mike “Jocko” Jacques who recently took a job at our company’s station in Madison, NBC15 WMTV. He’s following on the heels of our former News Director, Rob Crain, who is now leading the news staff there.
If you watch our newscast on a regular basis, you’ve probably guessed that we are a pretty tight bunch here at NewsChannel 7. It goes even deeper than work. We also develop friendships with each other’s families. Therefore, anytime someone leaves for a better job or one in a bigger city, it’s very bittersweet.
I cried when I heard the news that Rob was leaving – and cried again a few weeks later when Jocko told me that he would be joining Rob’s staff in Madison. While I’m sad to see my friends leave North Central Wisconsin, at the same time I am so glad to see their hard work and dedication pay off. Not only can the move up be beneficial strategically and financially, it also puts both of my former colleagues closer to their families in the Madison and Milwaukee Areas.
What many people outside of our industry don’t realize is that areas like ours are considered “small markets” in Television. Madison would be considered a “medium market”, and Milwaukee is a “large market”. Not everyone is looking to move to a larger city, but often times small and medium markets are just a short stop on the climb up the career ladder. That means we “veterans” in the newsroom spend a lot of time mentoring young journalists who are just beginning their careers. It’s how I got my start, and returning the favor is part of the job I thoroughly enjoy.
Having spent more than 15 years in this business already, I have had to say goodbye to friends more times than I’d like to remember. Most recently reporters Karen Kostko and Zac Schultz, anchors Heather Lee and Stacy Eckes, and Meteorologist Craig Sazama. You’d think I’d be used to it by now. But it’s just not that easy.
Since we come into your homes via your television every day, I know that staff changes can be difficult on you, our viewers too. That’s why I wanted to let you know that we feel your pain whenever a change is made. I hope you’ll join me in congratulating those who are moving on … and welcoming those who are moving in. (It would make me feel a little better too!)

Hi's Jocko...thanks so much for the kind words on your it made me cry! You could be more right...the opportunity for me was on I couldn't pass was a chance for me, my wife Carol, and daughter Elizabeth to be closer to home (Elizabeth's grandparents are still on cloud 9)...but the decision for me wasn't an easy one. Not only was I leaving a great place to live (North-Central Wisconsin), but I was leaving a staff I really respected and it goes without saying, loved working with...To tell you the truth, my decision wasn't as easy as some might think...I was very comfortable at the desk with you, Jeff, and Mike...and with 2 of the best sports guys in the state (Matt Zahn and Greg Whitmer)...but like I said, the opportunity here in Madison was one I couldn't pass up. I will truly miss all of the great people I met in the area and plan to stay in touch with them. But most of all, I will treasure the friendships I made at WSAW-TV, especially the one I have with you and your awesome husband, Chris (and soon to have with your brand new angel). Warm Regards to everyone and I'll see you on the TV! Much Love, Jocko

Hi Sue
I just wanted to say that I agree with all you said. I work from home now, but after 9 years in the Childcare field at my previous employer, I [have] seen many faces past through the doors. Many, many times I cried when we lost a co-worker and great friends. When you work with someone for a long period of time, you think of them like your extended family. For all the dedicated viewer's of WSAW, we know that the staff at Channel 7 has always pullled through the staff changes. We wish Karen and Jocko the very best in their new positions and also welcome any new staff joining your great team! Lynn C Weston


When it comes to friends and family members my age, I’m the last to get started on a family. Not only does that mean I’m surrounded by lots of experience - I’ve also been to lots of baby showers over the years! That quality “girl time” is something I’ve always enjoyed. However until now, I never realized just how special the ritual is for soon-to-be mothers.
I’ve had three baby showers so far and have had a wonderful time at all of them. The most recent one was thrown by some friends from the station, Carol Jacques (Jocko’s better half) Carrie Hutton (our 5pm anchor) and Nicole Crain (our former News Director’s wife).
I’m still overwhelmed by the whole experience - not just the incredible generosity evident by the fact that our baby gift registry is almost empty and our son has a wardrobe full of cute sleepers and little outfits – but by all the love and support these women have provided throughout my pregnancy.
Some of the women had lots of experience to share – and gave us gifts that they had found useful in caring for their own children. They shared tips on childbirth, breastfeeding, playing music for their babies, and even which brand of diapers they liked best. It’s information I’m soaking up like a sponge these days! (It’s also the kind of conversation that makes my husband glad he was golfing with the guys – instead of attending the shower!)
One of the most special things about this shower is that all the women brought a book to add to our baby’s library. Those are gifts we are already putting to good use - as Chris reads to my belly all the time.
In addition to the little clothes, baby supplies, and much-needed gear, we also received two handmade blankets - one crocheted and one hand-tied fleece quilt. The fact that these busy women actually took the time to make us a gift almost made me cry.
I’ve been writing thank you notes like crazy in the morning before I come to work – but it’s so hard to express my appreciation on a tiny card. It’s about so much more than the gifts – it’s the friendship and caring that almost leaves me speechless. Our little boy has no idea how lucky he is to have so many wonderful people waiting to meet him!

It is the greatest feeling to have people to support you, and to [give] you advice. I was so lucky to have my mom and sister in law with me when I had my first daughter a couple months after I graduated from high school. I was so scared and having them to help me, made it alot easier. I appreciated everything they did for me. She is now 6, and has siblings that are 4 and almost 3.

Good Luck with your little boy. I finally got my boy with the youngest, and as scared as I was about how to raise him, it has gone smooth so far. I learned how to play trucks. My days of frogs are coming soon!!

As we all watch you glow more each day, may you enjoy the uniqueness of motherhood. Take care of thyself and rest when you can now!

Sue, I am the furthest thing from athletic, but one of my fondest memories is pitching the ball to my 3-year old son. I would pitch and pitch and pitch forever, and he would just keep hitting that ball. It was a blast. And the "pither's crouch" was in was a great way to tone my butt muscles. :o)

Get outside and play everything with him. You'll cherish those times forever.


June is adopt a cat month, and with many of our shelters filled almost to capacity, I hope you'll take a moment to consider adding a pet to your family.

I salute my friend, morning show co-anchor Bill Martens, who recently adopted two kittens of his own. (a big step for a bachelor!) Although I know "Cliff and Claire" have been a handful at times, Bill is really enjoying being a pet owner. He says taking care of them is tapping into his parental instincts. They are adorable -and we all crowd around his desk whenever he brings in photos.

It's hard to believe my 22-pound cat, Vinnie, was ever a shy little black and white kitten. I chose him out a room full of lost and abandoned cats at a shelter 14 years ago. On the day I visited the shelter, Vinnie was still being kept in the back room receiving medical attention. He had apparently lost a battle with a running car engine; a dangerous place the little stray had climbed up into to keep warm.

When I took the little cat into my arms, he put one paw on each side of my neck and nuzzled his bandaged head under my chin. I was in love, and I filled out the adoption papers as soon as I could bring myself to put him down.

A few weeks later when the bandages came off I realized that he was missing most of his right ear. It was then that I decided to name him Vincent Van Gogh, after the artist who cut off his ear. We call him “Vinnie” for short.

For the first 11 years Vinnie was my constant companion, following me from job to job and apartment to apartment. He outlasted several roommates and boyfriends. He was a great comfort to me after stressful days, and good company for a single woman living alone.

Three years ago when I got married he became "our cat", and even won over my husband who is not exactly what you'd call a "cat person". I'm convinced that Vinnie knows when I need some "quality cuddle time" and climbs into my lap. After all these years, he still waits at the steps for me to come home each night. What a wonderful gift he has been!

Please share your cat stories with us, so that others considering adopting a pet can see what a wonderful addition they can be to a family.

Cats have always been a big part of my life as well. Our current cat, a delightfully colorful calico, insists on play time on our bed when I'm getting ready for work, and again after I get home. She lays on her back and curls her head around, as if to say "let's play," then tries to playfully nip at me when I tickle her tummy. She also likes to lay in our laps while we're watching TV, and always has to be in the same room with us. she's definitely a member of the family.

Sounds like a wonderful pet! If she's anything like our Vinnie - she also believes she runs the family sometimes! I try to explain to my husband that we come and go - but Vinnie rules the house all day. Is it really any wonder they think they're in charge?

I have always had at least one cat no matter where I lived. One I found as a kitten on a country road. I took him in, and we have been together ever since. He loves to lay on the couch and will do whatever it takes to get his belly rubbed. My two youngest ones I found in an ad in the newspaper. The lady who had them said they were 8 weeks old and ready to go. I was only going to get one, but when I seen how cute they were I took two. At home upon closer inspection I discovered that they weren't 8 weeks old, more like 4. They were so young that they couldn't even get into a litter box yet. I spent the next month bottle feeding them every 4 hours and keeping them warm with a heating pad. Today they are 5 years old and the greatest animals.

Thank goodness those kittens found their way into your home! I like to think that all they love we give them comes back to us ten-fold. (guess that would by twenty-fold in your case!)

We adopted out cat, Whiskers, from the humane society 11 years ago. He has been a wonderful pet for my two children. He was a great companion when I was dealing with breast cancer last year. He would lay by my side for hours when I was feeling sick from my chemotherapy treatments.

What a great comfort Whiskers must be to all of you! I'm a firm believer that our cats sense when we need them most. Whether that's illness or times of stress, even the more elusive pets turn up the affection. I've noticed since becoming pregnant, Vinnie is more attentive than ever. He spends a lot of time cuddled up to my belly purring. When our baby is born he should be very familiar with the sound of Vinnie!

We recently added a new addition to our family as well. His name is Reggie and when we got him, he was only four weeks old too. How he came to our family is another story that I'd like to share. It was a Friday evening and both of my boys were riding bike with the bike stroller and my five year old. While riding they just happened to hear a tiny meow from the weeds along the road. Reggie should really be named Lucky. He wormed his way into our hearts from the moment we laid eyes on him and I can hardly remember how it was without him. I'd like to remind everyone to spay or neuter their pets to avoid any unplanned and unwanted litters. Hopefully, we'll stop seeing healthy little kittens dropped off on the side of the road and left to fend for themselves before they are ready. This story has a happy ending. Reggie may have started out with a dim future but thanks to the grace of God, he now has a happy home with us!

Amen! I couldn't agree with you more Dawn. I too wish more people could understand that spaying and neutering is the responsible thing to do. Unfortunately it seems many also believe that dumping pets is a better option than surrendering them to a shelter. While your story has a happy ending, unfortunately most pets dropped off on roadsides do not end up with a loving family. Reggie is definitely one lucky cat!


It's hard to imagine the mixture of pain and pride the family of John Mattek Jr. is feeling right now. John is the 24 year old Marine from the Antigo Area who died this week after being injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq.
I am very honored to share that John is my husband's first cousin, and his mother, Marsha, is my husband's godmother. I use the present tense when writing of him, because John's influence on his family is as strong as ever - and will be for the rest of our lives.
Although it wasn't easy, John's parents and siblings agreed to share their thoughts about his life and death with NewsChannel 7's Justin Ware and Kelly McBride from the Stevens Point Journal. Despite the deep sadness they are feeling, once they got talking about John it was hard not to smile and even laugh a little. Further tribute to the amount of joy and laughter John brought to their lives. (If you missed their story, you can find it under "featured video" on our website.)
The Mattek family's strength amazed us all, which is something they credit John for. Their response was, "This is for Johnny, how could we be anything else?"
The strength John posessed is definitely with his family today. That's no accident - he made sure of it. When John went to Iraq he left a sealed letter for his family with instructions that they would know when to open it. That time was Monday after his death. It assured them that serving his country was exactly what he wanted to be doing - and that it was something he was prepared and willing to die for. It ended with this quote, "Every man dies, but not every man truly lives. I have lived." What a wonderful gift to leave his loved ones, reassuring them that he had no regrets and trying to ease their pain. More testament to what an amazing young man John Mattek Jr. was.
If you have a memory or thought you'd like to share about John - please respond to this blog.

Johnny was a great man who lived life to the fullest extent. He made a difference in our community, and will never be forgotten. I would just like to thank him and send my deepest sympothy to the Matteks. Johnny gave life his all! He really lived! Thank you Johnny and God Bless You and Your Family!~~~Stacey, AHS student

John, I will always remember you! ~Anonymous Local Soldier~

I remember when I went to watch my brother play football at Antigo and and Johnny and my brother were best friends and still are....Everytime Johnny got hurt, he get right back up and go. He was never the guy to sit on the sidelines. Now when I go to see Matt, Johnny's only brother, play this year, I will think of Johnny. They look so much alike. Johnny we will miss you. See you someday number 34!

Johnny will always be remembered in our hearts and we will miss him dearly. Nobody could ever take his place. He is the best friend anyone would have wished for. We love ya man!!

I attended high school with John Mattek, Jr. and although he was 2 yrs older than me, we did have our fair share of conversations and shared some friends. John was always a nice guy. I never heard him say anything bad about anyone and he always tried his best at whatever he did. He was a guy that no matter what mood you were in, he would make you laugh. I always picture Johnny in his white tank top, black shorts with white stripes, and sneakers up in the balcony of sheldon workin out. He was definately a go-getter in the gym, football, and wrestling...and enjoyed what he was doing and made everyone around him enjoy it as well. I know that John died doing what he thought was right. We will all miss you Johnny!!

Our hearts ache for John Mattek, Jr.,'s family at this time! John was one of my students during his freshmen year, and I always enjoyed watching him grow up. Just before he left for Iraq, he came to Antigo High School and visited with me for an hour or so . . . no matter what, he was totally excited about going to Iraq and defending our country. No amount of chocolate could change his mind. I remember saying to him as I watched him walk down the familiar AHS hallway, "Be safe, John, and come home to us!" He replied, "I will!"
Nancy Bugni, Business and English teacher at Antigo High School.

With each day that passes, I remember something else about John. We all remember the Underground Railroad? presentation.
Remember the gray Breta and the speeding tickets.
Remember the hours he spent in the weight room (he practically lived up there).
Remember the parties at Freds and remember our senior party. Remember he was our prom king with Amy and he spoke to us at graduation. Remember Hodag and the blue bus and remember working on homecoming floats with him, and UWSP football games, and Antigo football games and good times with the guys, and remember the girls he left behind.

As the class of 99 mourns Mattek, we will all keep remembering.

This comment is for Johnny. I just wanted his family and friends to know that they were very lucky to have known someone so special. Meeting him the first day I knew that he was an awesome person and definitely not someone I was going to forget. That sure was the case. I still have the saying he left on my phone, It'll be cool. He also taught me all about the stuntman. Never seen anything like that before but was worth all the laughs. Everytime I think about him I remember us laughing and having a great time. He will hold a special place in my heart. No matter what, you should all be proud of him and what he chose to do. Stay strong for Johnny and know he'll always be with us.
Angela Gray

I remember Johnny as a solid, warm, whole-hearted man who loved his family and welcomed new friends into his heart every day. Being his cousin, I would usually see him only on holidays and here and there throughout the years. When he knew my family was getting together, he would take it upon himself to stop by for a few minutes, say hello in his macho voice, share a few laughs, and he'd be on his way. He didn't stop by for a free meal or a free beer (shocking, I know). Just by making the effort on his own, he was reminding us that he loves us and we are an important part of his life. Although Johnny loved being constantly active, playing sports and lifting weights, his heart was the strongest part of him simply because it could take on and hold so much life. I would like to thank everyone for giving Johnny the same friendship he gave you: unconditional, loving, generous and fun. The legacy he leaves behind cannot be matched. I would also like to thank my wife Sue for using Johnny's legacy as a subject for her web blog. I could not think of a more wonderful way for everyone everywhere to share their memories of this special young man. He lived more in 24 years than most of us live in a lifetime and he will truly be missed. Chris - Wausau, WI

First, I would like to thank Johnny's family for helping Johnny to become the awesome individual he was. He will be dearly missed by every one who knew him. I am so very proud to say that he was one of my friends. I was introduced to Johnny at the Hodag seven years ago and we have been friends ever since. The first thing I remember about him will be the one thing that I will keep in my memory forever, his smile. He could brighten anyones day. The best thing was that even if we didn't always get to see each other a lot, he would always let me know that he hasn't forgotten about me. He would leave me silly voice mails just to say hello and update me on things or even just let me know when he would be around Rhinelander next. That's just the kind of guy he was. He would always make a point to let you know he cared. Well Johnny, you will be in my heart and memory forever, you made sure of that the first day I met you. I love you and will miss you so much but I know I will see you again someday! Jen

Johnny was truly an amazing individual and will be greatly missed. I know we all can look back and have wonderful memories since he brought joy to so many lives. He will continue to be a presence in my life as I'm sure he will for all who knew him. He is truly a hero. I told a Marine friend of mine about Johnny, and his response was reassuring that Johnny did truly live and followed is heart to do what he felt was right. Here are his words, "The Marines have never used the draft in history because there have always been a few good men willing to risk everything to defend our way of life. When a Marine joins they know placement in harms way will happen and they accept that responsibility. That makes it even harder on family and friends, but rest assured, Johnny was doing what he thougt was right and just. Every time a Marine dies I lose a brother and I never feel good about anything other than the fact it is an honor to call him my brother." To Johnny - may we always think of him with a smile and know that we have been blessed to have known him. Love you Johnny! Susan

I will always remember Johnny in the white tank and black shorts and socks and sandals he wore. I remember the time when were snowmobiling and he was walking around in spandex leggings! He didn't care. He did it to make us laugh. We will all miss him and nobody can take his place. I know someday I will see you again.

Inspiring...that is the word that comes to mind when I think of Johnny. Thinking back to my high school days when I was a freshman and Johnny was a senior I remember feeling scared and nervous to be going to the "big" high school. I also remember how John helped you forget that you were only a freshman. I think about how I got to school just about the same time as Johnny everyday and how he would always hold the door for me. When ever I would see him in the hall way he would always say hello and I don't ever remember seeing him without a smile. So thinking back to the kind person he was then and still is to this day I know he has no regrets. God Bless Johnny and his wonderful family. Shantelle

Johnny is a man that we will never foget. He would want us to continue and live life to the fullest. Johnny will be missed but loved forever!!!

When my husband and I attended the funeral today, I couldn't believe how people were touched by Johnny in some way. The support that everyone showed Johnny and his family was unbelievable and the support coummunity had was just unreal. I am proud to be part of this community. I was amazed at all the people standing on the side of the road watching as Johnny was headed to his eternal resting place and all the people with the paper flags up from the journal and the fire department by the fairgrounds, the individuals by Bradleys and by the old Kmart plaza. I am so proud of our community and I am sure Johnny is looking down on us with a smile. You have done the best you could Johnny and thanks for serving our country. God bless you and John, Marsha, Katie, Mike, Bryce, Brynn, Jill, and Matt. Matt you looked so much like your brother up there today and sounded just like him proud of that.

I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with Johnny before he was deployed to Iraq. I always got excited when I heard the overly loud revving of his red Mustang as it pulled in my driveway (my neighbors used to complain about it). He'd show up at the door with his yellow and black flannel pants and a Steven's Point t-shirt. We'd hop in Mustang Sally and hit the town, pausing in empty parking lots so he could throw some doughnuts and burn some rubber...he loved that smell. Scared the crap out of me but I always knew I was safe and I always trusted him. He had this way to cutting his eyes at you to see your reaction and that addictive smile and giggle that just made you feel comfortable instantly. I miss him everyday and keep his memories alive. I still smile when I think of him calling me, "Punk", and "That Girl." He was always such a gentleman - always opening the doors for me and making me feel so special. He touched so many people's lives and he had such an impact on mine. I will always hold him in my heart and remember everything he stood for. One could not ask for a better friend, son, or brother. My heart goes out to his family, and as he wrote to me once, "We are all better for having known you." Miss you Muscle Car...Tamara


I have been doing some research for a column I write in the SCOPE section for area newspapers on the topic of childhood obesity (coming out Monday, June 6th). I can't seem to get the stories out of my mind from those who were teased and tormented about their weight as children. The shame and humiliation they've shared is heartbreaking.
Having been a "chubby" child from about age 11-14 I endured my own share of insults and teasing. However, my experience doesn't even come close to the things I've heard from others.
I was talking to my mother the other day about how she made sure my brother and I knew it wasn't appropriate to tease or ridicule others. It reminded me of a hard lesson I learned when I was about 7 years old.
I was at a friend's house when she started "crank-calling another girl in our neighborhood. She would simply say "fatso" and hang up. Thinking this was funny and not understanding how hurtful it was, I followed by making the same call. When my poor friend answered I said "fatso" and hung up.
By the time I got home, the mother of the friend on the receiving end of the crank calls had called my mother, and my mother was furious! After explaining how hurtful those calls had been she marched me down to this girl's house so that I could apologize immediately. I felt so badly I think I cried just as hard as the girl who's feelings were so deeply hurt.
Terrible as that memory is, I am so grateful to my mom for setting me straight and not tolerating that kind of behavior. I wish every parent would set the same example.
If you have children, please teach them to treat others with kindness and respect no matter what their physical appearance. As grown-ups it's up to us to make sure kids learn kindness and tolerance.

Sue, thanks for sharing your experience. Children do not realize the hurt that they cause. What we do in what we think is fun can be so cruel. You learned a valuable lesson and I am sure that has had an impact on you; making you more sensitive to others feelings. I have always fought with my weight. Once my first boyfriend said to me, "If you would only lose 10 pounds you would be so pretty". This started an eating disorder. We have no idea what the impact of our words will be. Thanks for sharing. You are great at your job.

Thank you for writing and for sharing your experience. Dealing with an eating disorder takes so much courage - bravo to you for being able to recognize yours! I hope you have found someone who can appreciate your beauty no matter what your weight. (Obviously the "first boyfriend" couldn't cut it - or he would be your "current" instead.) Wouldn't it be nice if we could all just shake off the mean or insensitive things people say? But let's face it, that's MUCH easier said than done. I guess that's why it pays to think twice before saying anything hurtful to somene - no matter what our age!


Within a few weeks of learning that I was expecting I just knew we were having a boy. I was so certain it was a boy that I would have been shocked if our ultra-sound had shown us anything different. With just 3 months to go, I can’t wait to have the son I imagine to be a little version of my husband.
While I’m overjoyed at the news, I never really thought much about raising a son until now. Instead I always imagined having a little girl to play dress up with and teach ballet to. This is where my first time mother-to-be insecurity comes in.
Not having ever been much of a tomboy, I must confess I’m a little worried about my ability to catch bugs and play with trucks. I’m definitely going to have to get over my fear of putting worms on the hook. However, having a lifetime of experience being a little girl - I am so excited to see the world through the eyes of our little boy!
My girlfriends who have boys tell me they love it. As one explained, no-one will ever love and cherish you like your little boy will. To them mommy is the greatest woman in the world. I guess could get used to that!
Any other “girly-girls” out there have some thoughts or advice to share?

Little boys are the best. I was raised all ribbons and lace-so I had a new world when my son was born. We learned together and it was a terrific experience. Congratulations and Good Luck!

"Ribbons and lace" is a good way to describe my childhood too! Glad to hear from a mom who can relate. Can't wait to experience this new world for myself :)

Congratulations on the inpending arrival of your little boy! I have two myself and although they are now twelve and nine I still remember what a joy it was learning to see things from their perspective. Enjoy every minute, they grow up way too fast. My baby girl just turned five and I still can't believe how fast the time flew by. I would love to send you a little gift for the baby, would it be alright to send it to the station?

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful experience - and for your congratulations! I can see what you mean about enjoying every minute with your children... In April I felt like I was going to be pregnant forever, now I can't believe August is just a couple of months away!
How nice that you could add a little girl to your family as well. I told my husband if we don't have a little girl eventually - he's going to have to let me dress up our Golden Retriever (a female) like a ballerina or a princess from time to time. He's agreed - at least for now!
Thank you also for your offer of a gift for the baby - that is so thoughtful of you :) However, I'm afraid our station policy doesn't allow us to accept gifts from viewers and/or sponsors. Please know how much I appreciate the thought!

Congrats on the baby boy coming soon. I have two boys and wouldn't have given them up for anything. As for doing all the "boy" things, Dad's are great at this. Lisa

Having a baby boy is such an awesome experience. My first baby was a boy, and that bond is so strong. You are in for a wonderful experience. Don't ever doubt yourself; you will be a great mom. Enjoy every moment of being pregnant. At times you will feel like you will be pregnant forever. Then after having the baby, you will miss those special moments such as feeling the baby moving. Congratulations and the best to you and your husband.

Sue, Congratulations to you and Chris on your upcoming son's birth! We also remember Chris as a little boy at Riverview. Our daughter Amanda was born when Glenn and I were 39 years old . . . a true miracle. Parenting is what life is all about! Glenn and Nancy Bugni

I was also raised like a princess. Everything pink and frilly. When I learned I was expecting my second, I was hoping for another girl. When the Tech said this little one was a boy, I cried for three straight days. What am I going to do with a *boy*? A few short months later I welcomed a full term, healthy little man into the world. The first couple days were hard, with learning how to avoid occasional showers at diaper changes. But I instantly felt a bond to that little guy, one stronger than I had with my daughter. He is now 2 years old and the light of my life. I am learning how to play trucks and how to enjoy mudpies. I haven't had a frog or turtle in my tub yet, but am sure the day will come.

Can't wait to see the new "little man" on t.v. So happy and excited for you. Don't worry it will all come naturally to you.

Elective caesarian Births - Yes or No?

As most of our viewers have probably figured out by now, my husband and I are eagerly expecting a baby in August! Being the last in my circle of college friends to start a family, I have heard many stories about their labors and births throughout the years. I used to consider them to be interesting and entertaining - but now with a child of our own on the way I consider those stories to be very important information!

Although we haven't decided on a definite birth plan yet, I've been reading up and asking a lot of questions about the many options available. I was surprised to learn that an increasing number of women are choosing to have their babies by cesarean section. I'm curious to know what other women think about this option?

With advances in surgical technology, I am told c-sections are no longer considered to pose a greater risk to the mom or the baby than having a traditional birth. While the recovery may pose different challenges, it is not significantly longer.

A number of women I know have labored for several hours, only to end up having a c-section (cesarean birth). All have said they wish they would have opted for a c-section in the first place. Another friend whose baby was breech claims c-section is the only way to go. She says the recovery was a snap and preferred an incision on her abdomen to an episiotomy or the stress of giving birth through the birth canal.

Those who think this is not such a good idea tell stories of the excitement of having your water break in the middle of the night and rushing to the hospital. They cherish the memories of panting and counting with the help of their husbands or birth coaches and are glad they did things "the hard way".

I'd love to know how other women feel about this and if you'd ever consider scheduling an elective c-section?


""Watch out there is the chance of infections with C-sections. My daughter 5 years ago suffered for 2 weeks and had to spend 5 days extra in the hospital. Whereas, my daughter-in-law delivered natural twins last year and was able to go back to work 2 days later cuz the twins had to stay in the hospital for a month. Hmmm it's a toss up I was older to have my 3 babies and had them natural birth no problem. "

"Hello, personally, I think giving birth to a child( I have 7)is a wonderful thing! I believe there are circumstances in which C-Sections are needed. But the natural way is the way it was intended to be. I never had a C-Section with any of my children with any of my children. And I believe that is the way nature intends it to be. Unless of course the situation arises that a C-Section is needed. Natural is the way God intended it to be. That is how he made our bodies to give birth."

"Being a medical transcriptionist for a pediatrician I can tell you that vaginally really is best for the baby as this causes the fluid to be "squeezed" from the baby's lungs much better and so their breathing comes about much sooner and usually better Apgars as they are more alert right after birth. My daugther had a C-section because of breech, however, and everything was great. There is just much more of a concern for infection to baby and mother anytime a "knife" is put to you. Also, recuperation time is much shorter. Good luck!"

"Congrats to you and Chris on your upcoming arrival!! I would have to say that there is nothing better than having your child through natural birth. I was lucky with short labors with each of my two kids, but wouldn't have wanted to go through the recovery after a C-section. I have two friends that had all their kids by C-sections and they have both told me they feel they missed something by not going through natural birth. Unless medically required I suggest you try natural birth, it's like nothing else you will ever experience."

Thanks to everyone who has shared their thoughts so far! I also appreciate all the good wishes :) The benefit of other women's experiences is such a valuable resource. Please keep them coming!

"I had my children by c-section back in the 1950's because of medical reasons. I have always felt I missed something. A few years ago I needed a biopsy of my uteris and the cervix had to be dilated and my woman docter told me this is what labor feels like. If a c-section isn't needed have your baby naturally."

"As a nurse, the way the medical community has changed their view from pregnancy being a 'medical problem' to a 'natural state' has only benefitted pregnant women and their babies. If things go the way they should,I highly recommend a 'natural vaginal birth'. Not only will you benefit from this experience with memories of the birth of your child, but it truly does help the baby expel fluid from it's lungs. This doesn't mean that you can't be comfortable during the birth. Epidurals may be an option for you depending on what your doctor feels is best for you at the time. C-Sections are very necessary in some cases, but years ago C-Sections were not a first option for the majority of women. Good luck and blessings to your family!!!"

Advice from a mom of five-- ahead with the delivery naturally and only have a C-section if it is medically necessary. You don't want to have to be recovering from a surgury and caring for a newborn at the same time.

I think everyone who has responded so far has pretty much covered my opinion as far as having a vaginal birth if possible. Eight months ago I had our first born vaginally w/ an epidural and it was an amazing experience, all 17 hours. Then just last week my sister had their first born but was considering being induced and a possible c-section; all I could say is why not experience all the stages of a vaginal birth as a first time mother to be? I just thought it was the most amazing experience ever and would feel I missed out if I hadn't atleast tried.
Good luck to you and whatever you decide and God Bless Your new family.

Both of my children were born vaginally. With my daughter I labored for 68 hours (not trying to scare you!) She was born at 41 weeks weighing a very healthy 9 # 8 ounces and was 23 inches long. She was born face up, instead of face down like most babies are and as a result of that and being "big" she did fracture her collarbone. We were told to pin her arm across her chest for 2 weeks and it healed perfectly.

When I had my ultrasound with my son in June (he was due in Sept.) the dr. said he already weighed over 3 1/2 pounds and would triple his weight before birth. He suggested that I be induced early so he didn't get that large. I was induced at 38 weeks, had a short 12 hour labor and my healthy 10 pound 2 ounce boy was born. Yes, i was sore after both of them and did tear a bit, but I wouldn't trade that for anything. I don't think I would choose a c-section unless having a vaginally delivery was harmful to myself or my unborn child.

To all of those who have shared their experiences - THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I also appreciate all the good wishes!
I have read your responses so many times I think I have most of them memorized. I have also heard from many women who had very positive experiences with c-sections. (However, none of them have added their stories to this blog.)
Please know that all of your experiences have led us to this conclusion: With just a few weeks to go my husband and I feel very comfortable with whatever kind of birth we end up having - as long as our son is born healthy. You've all made that point loud and clear. Wish us luck!

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