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33rd Annual Three Bear Sled Dog RaceSubmitted: 02/09/2013
Story By Ryan Abney


LAND O' LAKES - For 33-years the Wisconsin Trail Blazers have been racing to the finish line of the Three Bear Sled Dog Race. The state's longest running dog sled race gave fans plenty to cheer about Saturday in Land O' Lakes.

Besides the adrenaline rush---friendship is what makes this sport something special.

Five-hundred dogs-- Eight race classes--one goal--MUSH!
These pups don't know the definition of winning. But for their best friend--they'll kick all four paws into high-gear. It's the kind of connection that fans can easily see.

"We have the opportunity to see how they take care of these dogs and how well the dogs are taken care of on a regular basis." Said Volunteer, David Gunderson.

"We train quite a bit during the week and this is the only thing that I do...I'm not in a sport so this is pretty much my life during the winter." Said Four Dog Pro racer Jill Czerniak.

These Mushers work hard to win. But in the end--safety is number one. Mother Nature always has the final say.

Rob Behm is the Wisconsin Trail Blazer President. The love between the two is a reason he enjoys sled dog racing.

"There's a bond between dog and man and bother of them rely on good snow to race on"

Just in time for this competition---the Northwood's forecast delivered. Jill Czerniak and her pup had no complaints.

"We had a good berm on the side of the tail, it wasn't too punchy, it was a very good trail."

"The sun helps a little with the contrast of the trails so the dogs can see where the turns are ahead of time." Open Class racer, Dennis Marksteiner said.

And after months of training and overcoming obstacles, one thing makes it all worthwhile. Skijoring with his dog Ridge is what drives Mike Cristman when it gets tough.

"Just training him up and watching him do really good. He desires to please me, I desire to please him. It's really great."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

PRICE COUNTY - A truck versus train crash killed a woman late Saturday morning.

According to the Price County Sheriff's Office, it happened at the intersection of County Road D and the Canadian National Railroad tracks in the Township of Knox.

Police think a 76-year-old man was driving the truck with a 76-year-old woman in the passenger seat, and the truck and the train collided.

Several different agencies responded, including Canadian National Railroad investigators.

Crews took the man to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield, and they took the woman to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau where she later died.

Police are still investigating and will not yet release the names.

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RHINELANDER - Lumberjacks returned to Rhinelander Saturday for the 3rd annual Boom Lake Log Jam.

The event celebrates the city's logging history while showing off both old and new lumberjack skills.

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GREEN BAY - Prosecutors have charged a 26-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend and her mother and injuring a third person in the Green Bay area.

Jacob Cayer of Ashwaubenon was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. WLUK-TV reports Cayer also is charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, burglary, and bail jumping.

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WAUSAU - Police in Wausau expect to forward forgery charges to the Marathon County District Attorney against four people after finding counterfeit money in the area.

Patrick J. Eppolite Jr., 22; Michael A. Beck, 27; Jeremy J. Hess, 36; and Amanda M. Bender, 32, are currently in jail on probation holds, but investigators believe they're connected to some counterfeit $20 bills in the area, according to the Wausau Police Department.

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STEVENS POINT - David Appel doesn't say too much these days.  Instead, he lets his artwork speak for him.

"Oh yeah, he likes to show them off," David's son Dan said.

The recently turned 82-year-old spends his days in the Portage County Skilled Nursing Facility. His family often spends their weekly visit admiring the oil paintings he once crafted.

"I wouldn't call it a shock, but I didn't know he had that artistic skill," Dan Appel said.

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MERCER - You don't expect to see crowds in secluded parts of Iron County, but loons tend to be a big draw.

"There's a lot of people who have had interest in loon research," said DNR wildlife biologist John Olson.

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RHINELANDER - This week, a 7-year-old put his life in danger to save his baby sister and little brother from a house fire near downtown Rhinelander.

On Friday, the Rhinelander Fire Department honored that little boy for his bravery.

Rhinelander firefighters now call Adam Granger, 7, a hero.

"He tells me over and over how he wasn't scared and just wanted to save his sister's life and didn't want her to die," said Jenny Schroeder, Adam's mother.

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