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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Spotlight: Record Vintage crowd; 20K expected for DerbySubmitted: 01/16/2013
Story By Joe Dufek


EAGLE RIVER - Last weekend was the first of two world championship snowmobile races in Eagle River.
Racers took us back in time, hopping on sleds at least a quarter-century old.

The Vintage Snowmobile Championships showed drivers racing on sleds which were made before 1985. Several Northwoods racers took the checkered flag on the final day of action. Including Jeff Stoxen of Rhinelander - winning in the 440 Sport Mod. Racing these old machines is a thrill.

"It's been getting bigger, and bigger," says Jeff Stoxen of Rhinelander - one of the vintage racers. "Everybody is one big family for vintage. Everyone helps everybody out."


A record 7,000 fans watched the Vintage races here at Eagle River Derby Track. Over 20,000 are expected for this weekend's World Championship Derby.

Derby track owner Chuck Decker adds, "the big news is the $60,000 prize to the World Champion this year. Just the one class alone is going to pay out $90,000."

Last year's defending champion Nick Van Strydonk will return to defend his crown. The Tomahawk racer is excited to be racing with the event celebrating it's 50th year.

Several past champions will be honored on Friday night. Time trials get underway Thursday. The World Championship is set for 3pm Sunday afternoon.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

OSHKOSH - An accident on Lake Winnebago has taken another life.

The Winnebago County Coroner's Office says an 8-year-old boy has died after he was pulled from the icy lake water Sunday.

The child's father died shortly after their Jeep broke through the ice about 7:00 a.m.

The victims were from Sussex.

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MADISON - Lawmakers are set to reignite conversations this week about whether vaping, using electronic cigarettes and other vapor smoking devices, should be included in Wisconsin's smoking ban.

The ban took effect in 2010. It outlaws smoking in all public indoor locations, including restaurants and bars. But the ban does not currently apply to vaping, giving venue owners the right to decide whether or not to permit e-cigarettes.

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KENOSHA - Police say 11 people were hurt but none seriously when a bus crashed on Interstate 94 in southeastern Wisconsin.

The Kenosha County sheriff's office says the coach-style commercial bus was returning from Milwaukee to the Chicago area when the driver suffered an apparent medical condition and collapsed about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

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RHINELANDER - Downtown Rhinelander leaders hope chocolate can help them promote local businesses. The eighth annual Taste of Chocolate event is planned for February 6th.

27 local businesses are participating this year. Every business will have a different type of chocolate for people to try.

"Some people have their standard chocolates. Some people come up with something new," says Maggie Steffen of Downtown Rhinelander Inc. "There is everything from candies to cakes to chili."

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RHINELANDER - Weddings can be a lot of fun, but many brides and grooms say it takes a lot of planning to make the big day one to remember. Sometimes that means numerous trips to find a location for the wedding as well as the dress, but brides-to-be found all they needed for their big day in one setting.

Just about every girl envisions what they're wedding would look like. From how their make-up will be done, to getting their make-up getting done, to what their dress looks like and how the cake will taste.

You could find all of that at the 2015 Magical Moments Bridal Expo in Rhinelander Saturday.

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OSHKOSH - A 40-year-old Sussex man has died after his vehicle fell through the ice on Lake Winnebago.

Emergency crews were called just before 7 a.m. Sunday to the lake about two miles east of Oshkosh's Merritt Street boat landing. The operator of an all-terrain vehicle called for help after watching the vehicle fall through.

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CALEDONIA - An elderly couple is dead after being struck by a sport utility vehicle as they left a church in southeastern Wisconsin.

Police say Oscar and Vernetta Lang, both 83 and from Caledonia, died after being struck about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

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