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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

UPPER MICHIGAN - Firefighters in Upper Michigan believe an electrical issue started a logging truck fire Monday in Iron County.

The fire was reported around 2 p.m. on Co Rd 643. The truck was parked on the north side of the Paint River Bridge.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/30/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on the Rhinelander City Council's decision to remove Kristina Aschenbrenner from the City Administrator position.

We'll tell you about a group of people from Minocqua who took a bike ride across Wisconsin and dedicated it to a friend with serious health problems.

And people driving down Highway 8 in Rhinelander may have to watch out for construction for a while. We'll tell you what crews are doing on two intersections of the bypass.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - It is the final countdown to the start of the school year. 

In just two days, school buses will be filled with kids, ready and eager to learn.

Before the buses get flooded with kids, United Way wants to stuff the bus with donated school items, so every kid can start the school year with a full backpack.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's Highway 8 is finally getting its long-awaited renovation.

Beginning this week, construction will begin along two busy intersections on Rhinelander's busy bypass.

Michael Wendt, the Department of Transportation project development supervisor said, "This is probably something we should have done a little while ago, but it takes some time to get these projects going.

Construction at Highway G and 17 South started this week, and crews will lay new surface and install new stoplight sensors. 

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MINOCQUA - Three local cyclists planned to bike in the Ride Across Wisconsin event just for fun this year, but a few days before the ride, a good friend of theirs became unexplainably sick. In that moment, the purpose of their ride changed.

"This is nothing. This is a day. This is an hour, a minute that I can keep going," said cyclist Connie Trapp.

For Trapp, riding 178 miles was a small hurdle compared to the struggle of a close friend.

"Just having somebody to ride it for and be encouraged that you're doing it for someone else besides yourself really helped," said Trapp.

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MERCER - This year, almost 40 northern Wisconsin communities formally expressed interest in becoming the new home of the DNR's state forestry headquarters. But there's a chance the headquarters stay right where they are--in Madison.

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MADISON - The state Elections Commission has approved mailing postcards to more than a million unregistered voters urging them to get on the rolls.

Legislators passed a law earlier this year requiring Wisconsin to join a multi-state consortium called the Electronic Registration Information Center, which works to identify eligible voters who haven't registered. ERIC requires member states to reach out before Oct. 1 every two years to eligible voters who may not be registered.

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