Happy New Year to all our readers. Like many of you, it's almost hard to believe that Wisconsin's winter is one of the few things hibernating this early January. With temperatures in the 40s this weekend and for the near future, we are getting a true reprieve from that nasty season. A good friend informed me this weekend, that the weather has allowed golf to be played in these parts for something like five of the last six New Year's Day venues. It's likely that the Polar Bears in Sheboygan feel a little cheated, not having to deal with sub-freezing temperatures on their exodus out of the New Year's Day Lake Michigan dip.

Got a nice email note from Dave Zoerb this past week, announcing the scholarship his family offers in honor of his father, the late Dr. E. F. Zoerb. Dave has been a consistent participant in the Sleigh Bell run, and was a medalist in his age group this year. He commented on the run as an opportunity for a unique slice of nostalgia to job through the streets of one's hometown during the holiday season.

He commented about the scholarship, which is offered to veterinary students, "It's hard to believe, but this marks the 21st year we have been doing this. My dad would be thrilled to see so many of the recipients successfully completing their college educations at Madison and going on to productive lives and careers.

"It was a special treat for me to address the UW graduates last spring on behalf of the Wisconsin Alumni Association and have the privilege to congratulate several scholarship winners and applicants as they received their degrees during the commencement ceremonies."

Dr. Zoerb operated the Kiel Veterinary Clinic in the 1950s and 60s.

Being a local golfer, the tragic news of the death of a young Kiel man hit home hard on New Year's Day. Chris Kloppenburg was a mainstay among young golfers at Badger Creek Golf Course even since its opening. Many of us who play at the course regularly can remember him developing as a young golfer, and participating as a member of one of Kiel's top high school golf teams of all time. A member of the Badger Creek Ryder Cup teams and the Monday Classic League, he share his golf talents with many of us. He will be sorely missed by his many friends in the golfing world, as well as by his family.

Brett Favre's emotional interview following the Packer win over Chicago was a true sign of how much he loves the game of football.

Favre's play for the Packers this season provided a vindication for his subpar efforts last year.

There isn't a team in the NFC that wouldn't love to have him as their starting QB heading into this week's playoff run. If he were to be wearing a Bears uniform, they would be the favorites to win the Super Bowl.

John Madden surmised that a tearful Favre would point to one who is leaning toward retirement.

I mentioned to some fellow Packer fans that the tears were likely for another reason. And, given his long-term relationship with his oldest coach and mentor, it is quite likely Brett was thinking about his late father and how much the game meant to both of them.

Just a hunch, but those kinds of emotions often come streaming back when least expected.

As we head into the New Year, Delta Publications continues to cast its eye to the future as an information vendor.

Our staff has worked hard this year to improve our abilities to deliver an oustanding product, not only in print, but online via our iwantthenews.com site.

The two products will continue to evolve in their own directions in 2007 and beyond. We view the website to provide us with opportunities to present you with immediacy in reporting, while the Tri-County News continues to offer the traditional, in-depth look at the news in our local communities.

Our byword for iwantthenews.com in 2007 will be interactivity. We plan to expand opportunities for the people of our communities to share information, insights and some of their own views of our communities via photographs (i. e. citizen journalism, bloggers, photo contests and a whole lot more).

These are exciting times, and we encourage you to continue to watch our pages and our website for breaking developments.

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