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Yackel, Russell Vie for Bench in Lincoln CountySubmitted: 03/29/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


MERRILL - Voters across Wisconsin will pick the next State Superintendent and Supreme Court Justice on Tuesday.

But several places have local races, as well.

Lincoln County has an opening for one of its two Circuit Court judges.

John Yackel and Rob Russell will be on Tuesday's ballot in Lincoln County.

Both candidates for Circuit Court Judge say experience is what sets them apart most from their opponent.

But what kind of experience do you want?

"I'm the only one in this race that has made decisions and had to sentence individuals to prison," Yackel says. "I'm the only one in this race that has done what a judge is supposed to do."

Yackel has been on the bench since his appointment by Governor Walker last September.

That was to fill a hole after Judge Glenn Hartley retired.

"The voters now have the opportunity to make this decision. They haven't had this opportunity before," Russell says.

Russell is a Lincoln County native, and returned to Merrill in 1992.

"I've been practicing law here ever since. I have a little over 20 years legal experience," Russell says.

Russell points out that Yackel didn't even live in Lincoln County until his appointment six months ago.

Russell views that as a mark against Yackel.

"I guess the voters are going to decide that. I'm originally from Hayward. I was born and raised with the same Northwoods traditions and values we all share," Yackel says.

The campaign has been almost like a second full time job for each candidate.

"It's been very busy, very stressful, but at the same time, very rewarding because of the people I've met and the places I've been," Russell says.

"I have been getting to know as many people as I can since I took the bench. In the last two months, we've been putting up signs, knocking on doors, doing lit drops, doing interviews," Yackel says.

So who has the advantage going into Tuesday's general election?

"I don't think either side knows how it's going to go," laughs Yackel.

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She was determined to be dead, but there was no apparent cause.

An autopsy was requested by the Price County Coroner.

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WOOD COUNTY - A motorcycle crash seriously hurt a man late Saturday night.

According to the Wood County Sheriff's Office, it happened around 11 p.m. in the Township of Biron.

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That's when the motorcycle driver lost control, went off the road and hit a tree. The driver was thrown off the 
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Crews took the man to St. Joseph's Hospital with serious injuries, and they don't yet know the status of his condition. No other people were on the motorcycle.

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CRANDON - Pounding rain, howling winds, and flashing lightning�"not the most ideal conditions for camping on Saturday night.

In fact, Saturday night's bad weather couldn't have picked a worse time for thousands of people to set up camp at the Crandon Race Track.

"We were holding onto the awning last night," said Keegan Kincaid, a racer from Crandon. ."It was pouring."

"Our canopy [got] rained [on] so much we had to keep pushing it up so it wouldn't collapse," said Paul Posbrig, a fan from Green Bay.

"It was coming in all over," said Jessie Braden, a fan from Richfield.

But for Crandon fans, the rain certainly didn't dampen the weekend.

"But we made the best of it," said Braden, who comes to Crandon every summer for the Brush Run.

"We had a canopy at one point and put up tarps on the walls as we got downpoured on and it was all windy," Braden said. "If we're going camping, it's going to rain!"

The fans also got their fair share of noise because the rain didn't really affect the race schedule.

"We just had to wait a little bit longer before we could put crews out on the track," said the raceway's announcer, Dave Mullins. "So needed it to dry off a little bit first. But really it was only about a half hour."

But it certainly changed the racers' strategy.

"And so you'll see a lot of changes in trucks and driving styles," Kincaid said.
"Figure out the track, sort out where the grip is, where it's wet, where it's dry," said Arie Luyendyk, Jr., a racer from Arizona.

But Crandon's track is pretty resilient.

"Most tracks we wouldn't be able to race on it the next day, but Crandon has a lot of clay," Kincaid said.

"Because this is a clay track, it doesn't absorb the water as much, it makes it more like a mud pit," Mullins said.

Sunday's nice weather quickly brought the track's conditions back to normal.

"I thought we were going to be racing in the mud, but turns out because of the sun and wind we're actually going back to our setup we had yesterday," Luyendyk, Jr., said. 

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

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