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NEWS STORIES

Governor Walker visits World Championship Snowmobile Derby Submitted: 01/18/2013
Story By Hayley Tenpas


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.

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - The Hodag Country Musical Festival kicks off on Thursday.

But there are already plenty of people camping out for the big event in the Northwoods.

Those campers benefit businesses in the Northwoods both new and old.

Johnny Nickolaou, who opened his liquor store in Sugar Camp around Thanksgiving, understands the importance of tourism.

"Huge, you know you depend on locals year round and they are great, but if it weren't for them I could never afford to be open," said Nickalaou. "But it's really nice getting this push to hopefully get us through the winter months."

Nickolaou set up a deal in preparation of Hodag Country Festival. He discounted around 10 large orders.

"15 case orders, most of them which is quite a bit I thought," said Nickalaou.


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MADISON - The state Senate has approved a raise for state troopers and a new compensation plan for other state workers but has delayed debate on the state budget.

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RHINELANDER - Most of the time when you give blood it's in a clinic. But once a year in Rhinelander, organizers bring the process outside.

Tuesday, tents filled up with donors at Pioneer Park for the 6th annual "Hodag MASH Blood Drive."

More than a dozen nurses and workers with the Community Blood Center interviewed, tested and collected blood from donors.

Organizer Jerry Shidell chose the military theme as a unique way to reduce people's anxiety.  Shidell says it doesn't matter what reason you choose to give as long as you do.

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EAGLE RIVER - If you want a new summer activity, look no further than Eagle River. A new art studio offers many different classes to kids and adults. 

"We've been here for a month, but the organization has been together for about three years," said Summer Program Director Erica Bush. "We're very excited to be in our own building finally."

Classes can cost anywhere from $20 to $50. People can sign up for classes ahead of time or just walk into the center. Program directors think it's important for kids to get involved in art early on.

"It's the creativity that the kids learn about," said Bush. "Creativity can go into all different aspects—math, science—it's everywhere. So enforcing art when they're really young will really lead to a more intelligent future for these kids."

The center offers anything from painting to pottery to cooking. Kids shared why they love to take art classes.
"You could just grab a piece of paper or something and then you can just doodle on it," said 4th grader Nicholas Fluegel. 

"It's really calming, and there's no bad way to do art," said 6th grader Grace Florence.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - A Tomahawk homeowner was able to scare off burglars back in March, even after being hit in the face with the hatchet. Now, a Merrill man will need to find 25 dollars in cash to get out of jail.

28-year-old Chad Staehle was charged with four felonies for breaking into a home in Tomahawk. Police believe he and three other men broke into the home with a hatchet and crowbar.

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MADISON - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says Gov. Scott Walker's office had a hand in crafting a budget amendment scaling back the state's open records law.

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SUGAR CAMP - There could soon be new regulations for unarmed combat sports. The proposed changes would impact the number of competitors here in the Northwoods.

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