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

Race Cars Keep Kids on the Right Track
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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CRANDON - A Crandon parent group wants school board members removed in a recall election. That process started Wednesday.

Last Thursday, the board suspended superintendent Dr. Doug Kryder while he's under investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

The group, Citizens United for Education, supported that move, but its concerns extend beyond Kryder. It says the board is unwilling to listen to its concerns.

Community member Jeff Albrecht plans to run in the recall election. Last Monday, he spoke before Kryder, the board, and about 200 people at a school board meeting.

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WOODRUFF - The state will no longer use county-by-county rules to attempt to slow the spread of deadly emerald ash borer (EAB).

Next Friday, all of Wisconsin will be under an EAB quarantine. That means ash wood can now move freely around the state.

In the current system, individual counties are quarantined only if the tree pest was found there. The state restricted the movement of ash wood between infected counties and those free from EAB, trying to keep more areas "clean."

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EAGLE RIVER - Now that spring has sprung, many of us will be looking forward to warmer temperatures.

But these cool temperatures are keeping sap harvesters in business.

For the last 23 years, Yukon Jack has made his own maple syrup from trees in his own yard in Eagle River.

"Normally, I make 30 to 40 gallons," said Jack.

This year, things are looking good for Jack and his syrup.

"This is going to be a good year," said Jack.

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EAGLE RIVER - You typically find cotton or denim running through her sewing machine, but Chris Gaffron has been sewing a lot of plastic lately.

"It's just straight stitching, so anyone can do it," Gaffron said.

The "StitchIt" custom embroidery store owner worked on sewing old plastic feed bags from a friend's horse barn, which don't biodegrade.  Gaffron and her friend talked about ways to make better use of the trash and came up with an idea to help the homeless.

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CRANDON - A jury found a Crandon woman guilty Wednesday of trying to sneak narcotics into the Forest County Jail. 

Patricia Kirker was found guilty on all five felonies. 

The jury made its decision in less than an hour.

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ASHLAND COUNTY - The Ashland County Board has rejected a $9.5 million wrongful death claim from the family of a 14-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy.

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RHINELANDER - The ground won't thaw for another month or so, but you can start planning your garden now.

You'll have to wait until mid-May to plant flowers, but you can get away with some vegetable seeds.

Bare root plants are also a good option for early-spring. Those include apple trees, blueberry and raspberry bushes.

"We can help out here when you come out and make sure you get everything you need to get started."

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