I am always so excited to work with new people.  I mean, they're not new to the earth or anything, but they are new to our newsroom.

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Mark, Michelle and Matthew

You may have caught Matthew Simon on our airways during the last week.  He and I go way back and we didn't even know it.  He went to school at the University of Missouri, and even though I'm a Kansas grad, I feel very close to the folks at MU.  Not only am I a Missouri native, I spent 8 years of my career working in Southwest Missouri.  So, I feel like my "graduate work" was spent with some great Mizzou guys.

Matthew "Matty" Simon and I have a lot of mutual friends and when I was trying to get the scoop on him, all of my friends said they LOVED him.  Then, when I met him for the first time, it was clear this guy is a great human being.

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Matthew is very open about being a cancer survivor.  I can't imagine what he went through, but I am so glad he's here with us today.  And, he's able to give a perspective that few people in our newsroom can.

Michelle Leah and Susan

So now that brings us to Miss Leah Linscheid.  I love this young woman.  She is such a breath of fresh air - with an incredible work ethic and a bright personality.

I met Leah when she was an intern at our station, but she and I didn't have the opportunity to cross paths that much.  However, she worked at our sister station in La Crosse, and so I had the wonderful opportunity to room with her in Dallas when we covered the Final Four earlier this year.

Not only do I know her morning routine, her favorite singers and her beauty rituals, I can honestly say this young woman is one to watch.  I saw her bring so much positive energy to our field crews in Dallas that she made me wish I was about 10 years younger.  Her good juju is off the chart!

Leah is quick-witted, extremely competent and genuinely nice.  I hope you get a chance to see that for yourselves, too.

Oh, and did I mention... Leah is a UW grad!  So, there ya go.  Wisconsin bred.

Please help out and support Matthew and Leah as they venture off in the community to cover stories that matter to all of us.  You can send them a welcome wagon email at msimon@wisctv.com or llinscheid@wisctv.com.