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Eagle River kicks-off Snowmobile Vintage Race Submitted: 01/11/2013
Eagle River kicks-off Snowmobile Vintage Race
Story By Shardaa Gray

EAGLE RIVER - Today kicks off the 50th Anniversary of the Snowmobile Vintage Race in Eagle River.

Tomorrow, racers will qualify for the championship.

The finals are on Sunday.

Chuck Decker is the president of the world championship snowmobile derby.

He said the race isn't JUST exciting for competitors.

"This is a big boost for the economy. We're going to fill the entire Northwoods area for about two weeks, when normally there would be nobody here because we don't have the snow right now for people to come up in snowmobiling." said Decker.

"So I think a lot of people are pretty happy right now that the races are going on."

Bill Chad came from Merrill to see the vintage race.

For him, Eagle River is the only place to be this weekend.

"You just got to come out here and experience this. Something like this back at home, there's nothing like this available." said Chad.

"So I guess you have to travel a little bit and yea the weather can be better, but we make the best of it."

About 5 thousand people are expected this weekend for the vintage race.

But next weekend, 20-thousand people will show up for the main event.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River's Natalie Decker signed with Venturini Motorsports earlier this spring.

When she became a part of the group, she noticed they did a lot of events with PADD, People Against Distracted Driving.

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Her and her family took the annual scavenger hunt and turned it into an event to bring awareness to PADD

Decker thinks her young age can help make an impact on other young drivers.

"It's not like we're 21 yet and drinking and driving. That's another bad thing, but this is becoming even worse. I want to hit all the young kids that follow me, even on my Instagram or Facebook," said Decker.

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The participants in the event had some funny challenges.

"They had to do crazy stuff like get a picture with a purple sock and a high heel, and all these crazy things and stop at all the bars across Eagle River," said Decker.

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MERRILL - When you live to be 100, you often often outlive your friends and even family members.

Lenore Ehlert, from Merrill, turned 100 years old on Wednesday.

"Well, actually, it doesn't feel much different, it's just another day," said Ehlert.

While celebrating that milestone, she found herself thinking of her husband who she lost 65 years ago.

Her husband, Merrill Police Captain, Elmer Krueger was shot and killed while on duty in July of 1952.

"July 19th and he died about three days later," said Ehlert.

Records from that time show an officer's death didn't lead to weeks of ceremonies and salutes like it does now.

"After the funeral, everything was just kind of forgotten," said Ehlert.

But decades later, it's not all forgotten. Merrill police officers, members of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and other first responders were all at the party to show that they were bonded for life after the tragedy years ago.

"It really is truly, that Lenore is part of our family," said Michael Caylor with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

In addition to law enforcement, Governor Scott Walker, Congressman Sean Duffy and Attorney General Brad Schimel all wrote Lenore letters wishing her a happy birthday.

"It's quite an honor and I know part of it is for my husband and his memory," said Ehlert.

Elmer's memory was seen all throughout Lenore's special day.

"Know that you're part of the law enforcement family. Elmer was a brother, most of us didn't know him, but he's a brother nonetheless," said Lincoln County Sheriff, Jeff Jaeger.

She was surrounded by friends and family helping her celebrate her 100 years.

"If we're all to live as old and to be as loved as yourself, what a wonderful world this is going to be," said Caylor.

When asked for advice on how to live to be 100, Lenore said to keep your mind and body active, and to eat good food.

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