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World Championship Snowmobile Derby FinaleSubmitted: 01/20/2013
Story By Ryan Abney


EAGLE RIVER - A lot has changed since the first World Championship Snowmobile Derby kicked off in 1964. One thing that's always been constant is plenty of fan support.

To say this race is important to the Northwoods...could be the understatement of the century or half century, as it's celebrating its 50th anniversary. And another understatement--it was cold. But that didn't stop fans from bringing the energy.

"It's just adrenaline rushing, it's just exciting to see them go around that track at over 90-miles an hour. See them go over that table top." Proclaimed derby enthusiast, Nicole Musial.


"My favorite part is the snow cross but I love the ice oval too." Said Rhinelander's Max Beck.

This race is action-packed. That's a reason it's been around for half a century. So in all that time, there's got to be plenty of memories to go around.

"Probably my first in 1978. I wanted to come a few years before that. But once I turned eighteen-- that's when I started coming." Said Bill Dickmann--who made Sunday his 26th straight derby.

Jeff Fechter and Anita Nygren story is unique. Their love for the derby brought them together.

"(Anita) Yep, we met here. "(Jeff) We just met at a bar. (Anita) I didn't even know his name for a few years. He got ahold of me, found out I was single and we've been going ever since."

Jennifer Kennedy isn't just a fanó-her favorite memory was a royal honor.

"I was derby queen in 2009. That was a pretty neat experience."

Nicole Musial was mentioned before. It's obvious that she digs derby tradition.

"I love the sound and the smell of the snowmobiles. That's my all-time favorite sound and smell. Snowmobile exhaust. Best moment ever!"

With all the derby pride here in Eagle River, most had no problem explaining why it'll be around for years to come.

"In any kind of racing sport that sticks around for that many years, there's a lot of tradition behind it. You look at businesses--how many (businesses) stick around for 50-years?" Said Vintage Snowmobile racer ,Chris Krzewnia.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/28/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Today U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy addressed the House of Representatives on last week's Wausau area shooting that took the life of a police officer and 3 other people. Hear what he has to say to House members about the tragedy.

Thunder Lake Wildlife Area has become an important place to the Nicolet Bird Club of Three Lakes...so important that the club decided to adopt it. We'll show you what the club has done with the marsh since the club adopted it last year.

And we'll tell you about a generous donation that a family made to the Manitowish Waters bike trails and how town officials will use that money.

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

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MADISON - Right now you need a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Wisconsin.

That could be changing.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Days like Tuesday make you want to get outside and maybe go for a bike ride.

It's only a matter of time until bicyclists start hitting the trails, and the bike trails in Manitowish Waters are prepared for it.

The Uihlein family established a $2 million trust fund that will pay for the bike trail's maintenance in the town.

"This fund will be available to provide funding probably for forever," said Manitowish Waters Town Chairman John Hanson.

The bike trail starts in Manitowish Waters and connects to Boulder Junction.

That's about a 17-mile ride.

Hanson says tourists love it.

"It brings a lot of people here," Hanson said. "We've had even people fly into the airport, get their collapsible bike out of the airplane and go for a bike ride."

He says the trails will open as soon as the weather allows.

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MADISON - American Indian leaders in Wisconsin will give their annual State of the Tribes address to the Legislature and constitutional officers on April 4th.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in a news release Tuesday that Stockbridge-Munsee tribe President Shannon Holsey will give the speech this year.

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RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.

Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park."  The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.

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RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.

Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17.  Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.

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LAONA - Workers will need to start from scratch to rebuild the Silver Lake Inn supper club in Laona.

Only rubble and a stubborn brick chimney remain there right now. Fire ripped through the building in late November. Now, those charred remains have been torn down.

Owner Karen Davis said they plan to rebuild. She said her goal is to have it open again by the end of the year.

Laona Fire Chief Dave Rosio said he has yet to receive a report from the state fire marshal, who investigated the cause of the fire.


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