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Race Cars Keep Kids on the Right TrackSubmitted: 05/15/2013
Story By Lex Gray


CRANDON - Parents know a bored kid is a kid who's more likely to get into trouble.

When they're little, that means drawing on the walls, crossing the street, and eating too much candy.

But as kids get older, getting into trouble can be dangerous for them and the community.

4-H programs around the country keep kids busy with farming and agriculture programs.

But UW-Extension is sponsoring a new Mole Lake 4-H program.

This one will get kids on the right track by getting them to the race track.

Kids who join Mole Lake 4-H will build and race their own cars at R.C. Havok race track in Crandon.

Adults will mentor them during the process.

Coordinator Richard Ackley hopes those relationships will help kids make the right choices.

"Juvenile deliquency is a potential problem, and we are taking an aggressive step to start now," Ackley said. "We know children ages 10 through 17 are in their critical years, and if they don't get proper mentoring from adults, they may go an alternate route, and we want to make sure they stay on the right track, and our kids are our future."

Ackley is also thinking about the kids' futures.

The relationships they'll build at 4-H are important, but so are the technical skills.

"The electronics is important because when you build your own race car and you maintain it, you may choose a career in robotics when you move on in life," he said. "We're going to help these kids get started now in understanding what robotics is all about."

The group will put together their race cars the second week of June.

There are 15 spots still open.

Sokaogon Chippewa tribal members get sign-up priority, but then anyone is welcome.

You can email Ackley to register at richard.ackley@ces.uwex.edu.

Ackley eventually plans to add golf, organic gardening, and traditional pow-wow clothing design programs.

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According to Wisconsin State Patrol, the driver of the van is a 68-year-old woman from Colby. Crews later took her to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield for non-life threatening injuries. Her passenger, a 77-year-old male from Colby, died in the crash. They were both wearing seatbelts. 

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Traffic was rerouted through Boulder Junction for several hours and was reopened shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

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