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TOMAHAWK - Many race car and dirt track drivers will rev up their engines at the Tomahawk Speedway Saturday, which is when the dirt season starts.

The dirt track season starts Saturday.

"It's awesome, the adrenaline rush is great," said race car driver Shauna Cottrell when she was doing some practice runs at the speedway.

"I'm not going to lie; it can be scary at times. But it's the thrill of a life time," said Cottrell.

After doing a few practice runs around the track last week, Cottrell is ready for the dirt racing season to kick off Sunday at the Tomahawk Speedway.

"It feels great to know that I can get out and compete with the guys," said Cottrell.

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CRANDON - Crandon High School honored dozens of students on Thursday as part of its Student of the Year Awards.

For the eighth year, teachers at the school were asked to select a student who excelled in their class.

This year's winners include:

Math: Claudia Krueger, Drew Boney, Jacob Wilson, Jordan Kalata, Hallie Henrie, Lindsay Littleton, Kilie Kramer

Social Studies: Allyson Stepper, Jonathon Strzyz, Jordan Brooks, Elizabeth Conway, Devon Evans, Erika Kern, Mc Kenna Jensen, Maddi Stroik, Lindsay Littleton

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to lift overseas ballot restrictions to avoid a legal battle.

The U.S. Department of Justice warned earlier this month that it's preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't let temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to submit downloadable back-up ballots in case they don't have time to return an official ballot.

Federal law allows all overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically and submit back-up ballots. Assembly Republicans passed a bill that would have aligned Wisconsin's statutes with the federal law but the measure died in April after Senate Republicans added language limiting special legislative elections.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Elections Commission staff plan to hire a half-dozen new employees and upgrade software to bolster election security.

The commission received a $7 million federal grant in March to upgrade security after Russian actors tried to access a state Department of Workforce Development system before the 2016 election.

Staff told the commission Thursday that the Department of Administration has approved hiring six new four-year security positions, including an information technology project manager, an elections security trainer and a voting systems specialist.

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MILWAUKEE - Petroleum is being shipped out of the Port of Milwaukee this spring for the first time in at least a decade, raising environmental concerns.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the liquid cargo pier recently received a $3.6 million upgrade that allows it to move ethanol and petroleum products.

U.S. Oil loaded its first shipment of 100,000 barrels of ethanol last month. The distributor is a subsidiary of U.S. Venture, which distributes oil, ethanol, lubricants, tires and auto parts.

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LINCOLN CO. - Lt. Andy VanderWyst has used a leather belt to hold his equipment for most of his 14 years working with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. 

"It takes its toll after sometime," said VanderWyst. 

Deputies had to carry an extra 15 to 20 pounds alone on their belt. Then take into account the long shifts they work. They constantly get in and out of their squad cars and sit down to write reports. 

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MERRILL - People on the west side of Merrill will need to put up with the sound of construction this summer. What was once an empty lot will now be the site of the Stonebridge Apartments. The apartments are a new source of affordable housing in Merrill and should be complete by the late summer. 

When you're looking at Park Place apartments in Merrill, you might confuse the building with something else. 

"I think Park Place looks like a 1970s dormitory at UW Madison," said Merrill Area Housing Authority Executive Director Paul Russell.

But a new apartment complex being built just across the street is going to offer a different look.

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