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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

LINCOLN COUNTY - A Wausau man needed to go to the hospital after an ATV crash in Lincoln County.

Deputies and firefighters were called to the Town of Harrison Saturday afternoon about 1:15.

A 40-year-old Wausau man had been hurt in an ATV crash on County Highway B near Ski Hill Road.

The man was brought to Saint Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander, where he was listed in good condition as of Sunday night.

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MARATHON COUNTY - One man has died and three others are seriously hurt after a two-car crash in Marathon County late Sunday afternoon.

According to the Marathon County Sheriff's Office, police got a call about a crash at the intersection of County Highway N and County Highway Y in the Town of Norrie.

Crews took the three hurt people to Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Police will not yet release the names.

The accident reconstruction team will investigate.

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MILWAUKEE - A New Jersey woman who was hit by a baseball during batting practice before a Brewers game in 2014 has now sued the team.

Dana Morelli of Glendora, New Jersey, claims the Brewers and their insurance company were negligent because they didn't provide an adequate barrier. The 47-year-old says they also didn't give fans proper warning about the danger of foul balls.

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LAWRENCE - A 36-year-old Oneida man has died after police say he drove his car the wrong way on Interstate 41 and crashed into two other vehicles near the town of Lawrence.

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Sunday morning, Lac du Flambeau welcomed a new event to the community.

The first Carry the Torch 5K and kids' run took place at the Lake of the Torches Casino.

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MCNAUGHTON - After almost seven hours of fighting fire Saturday night, a fire chief calls a house just north of Rhinelander likely a total loss.

Newbold Fire Chief Mark Fetzer said crews got the call around 10:30 p.m. Saturday about a house filling with smoke on Spider Lake Road.

Newbold and Pine Lake Fire Departments were the first to arrive.

According to the Pine Lake Fire Rescue Facebook page, the fire was on the second floor. Firefighters first went in the house to try to put out the fire but had to put it out from the outside because the roof started falling in.  

Fetzer called it a "persistent" and "stubborn" fire because the house had several layers to its roof. 

Crews called in mutual aid from several surrounding fire departments including Crescent, Pelican, Nokomis, Rhinelander , Lake Tomahawk, Minocqua, Woodruff, Little Rice and Cassian. Crews used the Pelican Fire Department ladder truck to help get the fire out. 

Fetzer said no one was hurt, but according to the Pine Lake Fire Rescue Facebook page, two firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion on scene. 

Fetzer said Newbold Fire will investigate the cause of the fire, and as of right now it does not appear to be suspicious.




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MILWAUKEE - The attorney for a man suspected of plotting to attack a Masonic center in Milwaukee has asked for eight weeks to review evidence against his client.

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