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NEWS STORIES

Wabeno chief keeps streets safe Submitted: 07/05/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


Photos By Shardaa Gray

WABENO - Tighter budgets challenge families, schools; even police departments.

Wabeno has taken a unique approach to that issue.

Its police department has only one full-time employee: Chief Mick Ashbeck.

"I always had a desire and passion to be law enforcement when I was younger," said Ashbeck.

"I graduated from Wabeno high school here in 1985. Not quite sure yet what I wanted to do at that time."

Instead of following his dream, Mick Ashbeck did what many young men do: he followed the money.

"I was able to get a part-time job in the welding field and I pretty much stuck with it for about 22 years," Ashbeck said.

"And made very good money in the welding field."

But that wasn't his true passion.

So four years ago, Ashbeck went after his childhood dream.

He became Wabeno's police chief in 2009 and Townsend in 2010.

"I started out part time for Forest County Sheriff's Department and part time here in Wabeno, about the same time, early 2008." Ashbeck said.

As a kid, Ashbeck probably pictured himself as just one member of a big force.

But here in Wabeno, he's the only full-time employee.

"It might be a one man department here, but this is not a one man show out here," said Ashbeck.

"It's the collaborative effort of all our officers out here that make this happen."

To Ashbeck and his team, that means keeping the streets of Wabeno drug-free.

That's tough with a small force, so four years ago, they brought on Dutch.

"It only took about four months to raise over $10,000. And that gave us enough money at that time to go out and purchase a K-9." Ashbeck said.

That kind of extra effort recently earned Ashbeck an award.

He was recognized in the Heritage Who's Who Book. Still, Ashbeck credits his team.

"It's a collaborative effort from everybody. Was I there in the mixed of things, yes ok, but it was a collaborative effort from everybody." said Ashbeck.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - The AMSOIL Eagle River Derbytrack's first-ever ATV & UTV World Championship Derby is in full gear.

Racers say they are impressed with the first-ever event.

"There's been really no ATV races in Wisconsin and for them to have us here and do this event, it's going to be pretty cool," said professional ATV driver Cody Janssen. "I'm pretty excited to be a part of it."

The warm weather is a welcome change to racers like Jay Mittelstaedt, who are used to racing at the annual snowmobile derby in the winter.

"It's really weird because if you've been coming here for however long and it's snow and ice and cold...now the grass is green and there's piles of dirt," Mittelstaedt said. "It's a little different but it's pretty cool."

Racers of all ages and skill dashed around the track.

For many racers and fans, the derby is a family affair.

"My husband took it up when he was a kid, he's been racing for almost 20 years, and we just finally got into it these last few years and thought it would be something for the kids to get into," said parent and racer 
Michele Grant. "And I started three years ago and it's a lot of fun."

Racers want spectators to see a good show.

"That's why I hope that hill is full today and I hope people come out and appreciate how cool this is," Janssen said.

The event continues until the championships on Sunday afternoon. 

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RHINELANDER - Pawz n' Clawz held their Second Pawzitive Outdoor Games on Saturday.

The event brings dogs and people together for some outdoor fun while helping local non-profits. The Pawzitive Outdoor Games tests a dogs skill in agility, dock diving, and speed.

TLC Training owner Carol Lofquist set up a standard course to test dog skills.

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TOMAHAWK - A Tomahawk man turns his love for logging into woodworking hobby and business.

Wesley Bushor shows and sells woodwork out of his home.

"I don't consider myself an artist. I'm just, I'm a logger who likes to glue sticks together," said Bushor.

Wesley Bushor started working on his wood pieces about 20 years ago.

"Being a logger I come across things all the time that I like in the woods, and I decided I'd start building some basic rustic furniture, and I built a bed. A few weeks later it fell apart, but I was hooked from then on," said Bushor.
 
Bushor's house is his gallery, and you can find his work in every room. The result: a whimsical home that showcases his love for his hobby and trade. He's proud of the work he's done.

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WOOD COUNTY - The Wood County 911 system is fixed, according to the Dispatch Center page on the Wood County website. The website posted this update at 7:11pm. 

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RHINELANDER - People run for many different reasons.

On Saturday the community came together to run to remember Kory Dahlvig.

Dahlvig was a Vilas County sheriff's deputy who lost his life in the line of duty. Nicolet College started the Run to Remember three years ago in his honor.

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WABENO - A Goodman, Wis., man died from an ATV crash in Wabeno late Saturday morning, according to a Forest County Sheriff's Department press release. 

Forest County Sheriff's officers responded to a report of an ATV crash in Wabeno late Saturday morning. Deputies got to the scene and found just one ATV was involved in the crash.

As a result of the crash, a 23-year-old Goodman, WI, man was pronounced dead at the scene by the Forest County Medical Examiner. There were no other people involved. 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is investigating the crash. 

Deputies will not release the name until the family is notified. 

We will provide more updates as they become available. 

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EAGLE RIVER - The first-ever ATV & UTV World Championship Derby is well underway. Races begin early in the morning and conclude Sunday afternoon. Derbytrack owner Chuck Decker said there are about 200 entries, or about 150 participants. 

"It's been going really good, it's a first time event," Decker said. "You know we're very used to running a lot of snowmobile events, so this is very different. There's always some hiccups when you first start out. But things are going good. People are starting to come in. There's a lot of vendors here. I think it's going to be a great weekend."
 
 Check back all weekend for more updates as the Newswatch12 news team covers it. 

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