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Northwoods fire departments give some safety tips to snowmobilers Submitted: 01/20/2018

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CASSIAN - Multiple fire departments gathered on Saturday for some ice rescue training in Oneida County. But that training session also included some special guests.

The Cassian, Little Rice, Nokomis, and Tomahawk Fire departments joined up for the training. But, for the first time, the fire departments also invited snowmobile clubs to come and observe.


The goal was to help them prepare for an emergency situation, like falling through the ice.

"Well with the snowmobile clubs here today, there are things that you as a snowmobiler can do to not only assist yourself, but to assist emergency services when we get there," said Nokomis Fire Chief Don Richert. 

Some of the tips the snowmobilers learned today was how to use ice picks to secure themselves to the ice, or potentially even save themselves.

Organizers said it's important for people to stay calm and work with rescuers if they ever do fall through the ice. 


Story By: Dakota Sherek

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 LOCAL NEWS

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ABBOTSFORD - Two people died and another person went to the hospital after a shooting in Abbotsford early Saturday morning. Police investigating the incident held a press conference on Saturday.

Officers say the lone male suspect, who is currently being held in Marathon County Jail, did know the victims. Officers would not share how exactly the suspect and victims knew one another.

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EAGLE RIVER - The World Championship Snowmobile Derby kicked off in Eagle River Friday morning. 

You might think of snowmobile racing as a sport for adults, but people of all ages are competing. Kids as young as four years old came out Friday to ride their tiny sleds through the finish line. 

On Sunday, all eyes will be on the riders lining up for the world snowmobile championship race. But before those riders came into the spotlight they started as kids. 

"My first race was when I was five," said Maverick Woyke. 

At just 12 years old, Woyke has been racing for seven years. 

"We went and watched a race and he had so much fun watching he decided he wanted to start racing," said Maverick's dad Jesse Woyke. 

Maverick traveled to with his dad from Buffalo, Minnesota to race this weekend in Eagle River. He's no stranger to traveling for the sport. 

"We've been Jackson, Wyoming, Winter Park, Colorado, Deadwood, Duluth, Shakopee in Minnesota, we kind of go all over," said Jesse. 

Maverick isn't the only veteran in the field, many of the young riders have been riding almost as soon as they could walk. 

"I've done this race as long as I can remember. Probably since I was four or five," said 11-year-old Tyler Poker. 

It's a tradition to come to Eagle River at this time of year, and for a lot of these kids, it's a family tradition.

"We were eating dinner and Dad asked me if I wanted to come race, and I said yeah, and then this happened," said 11-year-old Reece Bollmann. 

They travel from all over Wisconsin and the Midwest to have fun, but also to compete. 

"I've been to this race four times now and I've won it the last three times so I'm hoping for a fourth," said 14-year-old Kyle Thome. 

It's a unique sport, and it brings something different than football or baseball. 

"[My favorite part about racing is] the jumps because it's so much air and it's just a blast," said Bollmann.
 
But of course the best part?

"Well, getting off of school," said Poker. 

Many of the kids will spend the weekend watching other riders after they finish their races. And the ultimate goal is to be right there on that Sunday championship starting lineā€¦one day. 
 
"If we could get there that'd be awesome," said Thome. 

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WAUSAU - Police arrested a Tomahawk man and Wausau woman Thursday for going on the run with 290 pounds of marijuana, three guns, and two stun guns.

The Marathon County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin State Patrol helped arrest 32-year-old Joel Helding near Osseo in western Wisconsin.

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PRICE COUNTY - For the first time in more than three decades the Price County Circuit Court welcomed a new judge to take the bench Friday.
Family, friends and judges from all over northern Wisconsin attended the investiture ceremony for Judge Kevin Klein.

Klein grew up in Price County and practiced law for more than 36 years.
Klein had his own law practice and was the local bar President for Price County before becoming a judge.
"When you start out and you're young and eager to practice law, you're not thinking about many years later taking the bench. But in retrospect you can see how call those years fit together," said Klein. 

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 REGIONAL NEWS

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ASHLAND - The death of a teen carrying a butcher knife who was shot by an Ashland County Sheriff's Deputy led to a march, rallies, and community discussions about police relations.

Friday, a special prosecutor cleared the deputy in that shooting.

Ashland County Sheriff's Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich shot and killed Jason Pero, 14, in November.

Police believe Pero wanted to die.

In a 911 call, the teen was the one who told police someone was walking around with a knife that day. Pero described a a guy walking around outside his house with a knife. The man was wearing a purple sweatshirt. 

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MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has announced plans to give faculty and staff a 4 percent pay increase over the next year.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that a 2 percent pay raise would occur in July followed by another 2 percent increase January 2019.

The university says employees must have started in their current positions by Jan. 8, be meeting performance expectations and must complete campus sexual harassment training to qualify for the raise.

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MADISON - Governor Scott Walker plans to issue two executive orders to fight opioid abuse.

The governor plans to sign the orders Friday afternoon in Eau Claire.

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GREEN BAY - The case against a man accused of ramming cars at Lambeau Field will go forward.

A preliminary hearing for Chay Vang was held Thursday.

He's facing seven charges, including recklessly endangering safety.

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