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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Spotlight - Dirt Track Racing July 31Submitted: 07/31/2013
Story By Joe Dufek

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EAGLE RIVER - Summer in the Northwoods for many folks means baseball, fishing, and vacation. For several, it can also mean racing.

Several days a week hundreds of area drivers racing for trophies and glory. Eagle River Speedway is one of the tracks in the Northwoods. Rhinelander's Jered Cech grew up watched his dad compete in drag racing. It motivated him to get a car and burn rubber.

"To be honest, I finally was able to get the money to race," Cech explains. "You can pay anywhere from $3500 to $35,000 for a car. This is closer to $20,000. The cost is high, but it's also cost effective."


It's not just the adults. Brian Retzlaff's son Parker also races. Cost can be an issue. But some of the lessons he's learning isn't just about racing.

"He loves it and it keeps in active," says Brian. "It keeps him from doing stuff he shouldn't be doing."

Depending on the class, these cars can go between 60 and 100 miles per hour. Joe Dufek had the chance to try one of these out on the track.

Joe didn't go very fast on the slippery track - averaging around 40 miles per hour.

The sport seems to be very strong in the Northwoods. It's thanks in part to a unique code shared by some of the drivers.

"It's the only sport I know where you might help someone, and they could turn around and beat you," says Bob Kleinschmidt of Arbor Vitae.

"It's a lot safer than people think," Retzlaff adds. "They have everything the NASCAR guys do. Hans devise. Fire suit. It's pretty safe for (his son Parker)."


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UW Trout Lake Station holds open houseSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - UW Trout Lake leaders want people to get interested in science. They invited people to come out and see what it's like to be a researcher at the Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction.

More than 230 people showed up to the open house. People got the chance to go on a boat ride, learn about sampling and learn more about invasive species.

"The open house is a wonderful forum for us to be able to invite the community in and let them know what we're doing," says UW Trout Lake Station Director Tim Kratz. "Have a discussion about the kinds of research that we're doing on lakes, to hear the concerns or questions that people might have and just to enjoy a beautiful day on Trout Lake."

They also had activities for the kids.

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Minocqua Chamber names new directorSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce will welcome a new executive director later this month.

Krystal Westfahl will start at the chamber August 21st. She'll replace Kim Baltus who left to join the Howard Young Foundation.

Westfahl comes to the Northwoods from Appleton. That's where she has been in charge of fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Wisconsin for the past seven years. Before that, she worked as director of the Sampson State Park World War II Military Museum in Upstate New York.

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Convicted sex offender to be released in NorthwoodsSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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RHINELANDER - A man convicted of breaking into a 15-year old girl's basement and sexually assaulting her will move to Rhinelander when he's released from prison.

26-year-old Jason L. Mullen will be released from prison August 5th. He'll move into a transitional living home in Rhinelander.

Mullen broke into a basement window of an Oneida County home. A 15-year-old girl he knew lived there. He told her he had a knife and sexually assaulted her. It turns out he didn't have a knife.

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Girl, 12, not competent for trial in stabbingSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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A judge declared the girl incompetent Friday and ordered her committed for treatment. Two doctors who examined the girl had submitted reports saying they didn't think she was competent.

Court documents say the two 12-year-olds plotted for months to kill their former friend to win favor with Slender Man, a character in online horror stories. Documents say they lured the victim into a wooded park following a sleepover and stabbed her 19 times.

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Northland Pines football players recognized for accomplishmentsSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Three local graduates in Eagle River will go to play division three college football this fall.

Northland Pines High School already recognized football players who are going to division one or division two schools in February, but they wanted to also recognize players who will go play at D3 schools.

"We have a lot of individuals that are good students and are really good at football. They enjoy it; they work hard at it, both in the season and in the off season," said Northland pines High School Football Coach Eric Swanson. "This is kind of a time for us to honor those individuals because they have worked just as hard as the kids that are playing a little higher ball."

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Northwoods caregiver talks importance of Silver AlertSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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A new tool could help their families find them.

The Silver Alert program became available in Wisconsin Friday.

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Rhinelander's Flory sees Washington wildfires firsthandSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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WASHINGTON - Hot, dry conditions still worry firefighters in Washington state fighting the Carlton Complex wildfire.

In July, the Northwoods sent a team of firefighters to the area to help fight it.

Now, Rhinelander's Suzanne Flory is in Washington near the fire site.

She's working with the U.S. Forest Service.

This is one of the pictures Flory sent us of her area.

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