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.”
STOUGHTON - Police in Stoughton are investigating a threatening letter that was sent to a black teenager, with a photo that depicted him as the victim of a lynching.
The letter had a Madison postmark but no return address. The family told the newspaper it contained a photo showing two men hanging from a tree, with a mob watching. A picture of the 18-year-old was superimposed onto one of the men.
MADISON - A federal appeals court has upheld Republican Gov. Scott Walker's public union restrictions.
The restrictions stripped most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. Two unions representing city of Madison and Dane County public workers filed a lawsuit in 2011 alleging the law violated their right to freely assembly and equal protection.
U.S. District Judge William Conley found the restrictions constitutional in September. A three-judge appeals panel affirmed Conley's ruling Friday, saying the U.S. Constitution doesn't require the state to maintain policies that allow certain associations to thrive.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen calls the ruling ``a victory for the law and for Wisconsin taxpayers.''
An attorney for the unions tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he needs to talk to his clients before deciding whether to appeal.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
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