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Son of snowmobile derby founders shares his memories of the early racing years Submitted: 01/18/2018
EAGLE RIVER - The World Championship Derby started as a small oval racetrack on Dollar Lake.

The race began back in 1964 thanks to Chanticleer Inn's John and Betty Alward.

They wanted a way to keep business up during the slow winter season for themselves and fellow resort owners.

Their son Jake still runs the inn and remembers the excitement behind the "newness" of the sport.

"Every factory wanted their machine first! Money was not the object… it was getting the right machine the right equipment….The right this and that. People flew to Minneapolis to get and engine or a part!" says Alward.

The 55th World Championship Derby is this weekend.





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 LOCAL NEWS

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RHINELANDER - Wednesday night Alex Young, the sole candidate running to be Rhinelander's next mayor, told the community why he is the right person for the job. There were supposed to be three candidates until an issue with campaign papers came out. 

"I think that I've got experience that I've gained from my years of involvement in different levels of government that I can bring to bear on the office for the mayor," said Young, who spend over ten years as a city councilman. 

Young was the only participant in the forum at the Rhinelander District Library Wednesday. But it wasn't supposed to be that way. 

On January 11, City Clerk Val Foley announced Christopher Frederickson and Scott Counter's candidacy papers were invalid. 

Each candidate had to collect at least 50 and not more than 100 signatures from city residents. Frederickson and Counter did that, but they certified the pages before many individuals themselves signed the nomination papers.

Young was the one who found the mistakes.

"I think it's unfortunate that those errors led us to where we are today. But I think paying attention to details is important and especially the nomination papers are literally the most important documents to get your name on the ballot," said Young. 

Even though Young was the only one at the table, Frederickson was in the audience, listening to what Young had to say.

"I have high resolve and I don't plan on quitting," said Frederickson. 

Frederickson said he is disappointed he made the mistake. While he couldn't participate in the forum, he still plans on entering the race. 

"[I'm] still fighting to be on the ballot. I have an appeal in with the state ethics commission, they are in review of it," said Frederickson.

Frederickson wants to see more engagement with the community and the city government. 

Young wants the voters to have a voice in the process and knows that candidates will likely run write in campaigns. Until then, he will just continue spreading his message. 

"I'm going to do my best to continue to talk about the things that are important to me and the things I would look forward to doing. If there are other candidates that are looking at pursuing a candidacy through the write in process, [I]suppose that's their right to do and I look forward to the race," said Young. 

Frederickson said is still fighting to get on the ballot, but will still run as a write in candidate if his appeal is denied. Counter told us last week he plans to run as a write-in no matter what.

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MEDFORD - Police in Taylor County arrested a man who shot at officers during a standoff near Medford on Wednesday evening.

The Taylor County Sheriff's Office reports it arrested Jake M. Wendt, 31, after a "lengthy phone negotiation" with the suspect, according to a news release sent late Wednesday night.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's police chief hoped to fill two jobs in his department last summer.  A field of eight finalists led to zero job offers, but this week Lloyd Gauthier's force might finally get back to full strength.

The Rhinelander Police and Fire Commission approved hiring Tyler and Logan Pontbriand on Monday.  Their hires would bring the total force in Rhinelander to 17, including the chief and captain positions.

The Pontbriand twins are deputies with the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.  Logan started as a corrections officer in May 2015 while Tyler was hired as a deputy in January 2016.

Gauthier says they had six qualified applicants after reopening the application process in November, but the Pontbriands - who both live in Rhinelander - had qualities you simply can't teach.

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RHINELANDER - A Three Lakes man accused of sexually assaulting two children pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday. 
 
David Teresinski, 69, is accused of sexually assaulting a child over the course of five years. 

In December, details about another child Teresinski allegedly assaulted came forward. 

Wednesday in Oneida County Court, Teresinski waived his right to hear evidence against him.
Teresinki is out on a $25,000 cash bond. 

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 REGIONAL NEWS

MILWAUKEE - A historically red district in Wisconsin that voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in 2016 has voted in a Democrat in a special election.

Patty Schachtner beat GOP state Representative Adam Jarchow to become the first Democrat to represent the 10th Senate District in at least 16 years.

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MILWAUKEE - The first case of chronic wasting disease has been found in Milwaukee County.

The Department of Natural Resources says the disease was found in a four year old deer in West Allis.

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WASHINGTON - House Speaker Paul Ryan is pressuring Democrats to back a bill preventing a weekend government shutdown and says "cool heads hopefully will prevail."

The Wisconsin Republican is also declining to say if there are enough GOP votes to approve that bill.

Ryan tells reporters he won't bring separate immigration legislation to the House floor unless President Donald Trump supports it. He says Trump is being "completely rational" in demanding that such a bill have stronger border security provisions.

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SILVER CITY, MI - Michigan officials have reached a settlement with a mining company involving erosion caused by exploration of an underground copper deposit near Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

The state Department of Environmental Quality says it recently signed a consent order with Copperwood Resources. The company will pay a $25,000 fine, stabilize the site and restore affected wetlands.

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