EAGLE RIVER - Over 30 thousand people will attend the 50th Anniversary World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River this weekend.
One of them was Governor Scott Walker, who stopped by tonight to deliver opening remarks.
He talked about the grand tradition of the derby and how important the snowmobiling industry is to Wisconsin.
With over 25 thousand miles of trails, snowmobiling brings in about 1 billion dollars.
The Governor emphasized how important the industry is to our state.
"When we think of the winter, coming out in this part of the state and around the state, snowmobiling is a key part of tourism, a key part of our states economy. We want to make sure people keep coming back for that over and over again," said Gov. Scott Walker.
Gov. Walker declared this week Snowmoblie Safety Week
He says safety is the number one priority out on the trails.
"We want to make sure that when people are out on the trails, theyre having a lot of fun but they're doing it safely so they keep coming back over and over again. Because we've got some of the best trails in the world not only at this track, but Eagle River is the snowmobile capitol of the world and we want to keep people coming back," said Gov. Walker.
Gov. Walker adds the snowmoblie derby is a jewel for the state and the entire country.
He said he even remembers hearing about the derby when he was a child.
ONEIDA COUNTY - If your truck cracks through the ice, your first thought might be, "get off ASAP."
There are workers who head the opposite way--onto the ice to help.
That describes one local team who carefully went to work on the Willow Flowage in Oneida County in Little Rice on Tuesday.
"This ain't no joke out here," said Tom Quandt, Jr., the owner of Bulldog Off-Road Recovery Service. "I do get nervous, and today's a day I'm nervous because of the ice conditions."
That nervous energy is what likely helps Quandt and his crew carefully cross the ice and get sunken vehicles back above water level.
It's not easy. Quandt and his crew set nerves aside, driving in a bombardier about two miles off the shore on Willow Dam Road to get to the truck, which was near an island.
"I was looking at the ice," Quandt says as he describes the drive out to the car. "I was looking for holes in the ice, I was looking for the color of the ice...There was water coming up out of spots as we were driving out here."
The crew tried a few times to get the truck back on safer ice, but the car fell through again. The crew then decided to drill a trench to a nearby island and pull the car out that way.
"We can sit and play that game all day and it's not going to get us anywhere without a lot of time and labor into this," Quandt said.
The team got the car out and onto the island around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Quandt said the owner of the car may try to tow his truck back to shore later this week.
The DNR is aware of the situation. By state statute, you have 30 days to remove your car from the ice or get a fine.
RHINELANDER - If you did a double take driving down county highways this week, it was for good reason. Oneida County posted its weight limit restriction signs Monday. That's the earliest those signs have gone up in more than 15 years.
Usually weight limits go into effect in mid-March. Counties put them on to protect roads as frost comes out of the ground. Oneida County Highway Commissioner Bruce Stefonek tried to wait as long as possible.
MCALLEN, TX - U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is visiting the Rio Grande valley for a firsthand look at the U.S.-Mexico border as the Trump administration steps up immigration enforcement and prepares to ask Congress to pay for a border wall.
It's the first time the Wisconsin Republican has visited the border, and protests have been announced to meet his arrival in McAllen, Texas, on Wednesday.
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