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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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Search continues for missing boater in Kenosha Co.Submitted: 09/17/2014

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KENOSHA - Authorities have been searching a Kenosha County lake for a missing fisherman from Illinois.

The search on Silver Lake began Tuesday night after family members reported 66-year-old John Spoor of McHenry, Illinois, had not returned from his fishing trip. Sheriff's officials located the man's boat, but there was no sign of him.

Kenosha County Sheriff's Sgt. Bill Beth says the department had five boats on the water Wednesday. The search was halted Wednesday evening because of darkness, and the Kenosha News reports search teams are expected to return to the scene Thursday morning.

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Students learn about natureSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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TOMAHAWK - More than 50 fourth graders from Tomahawk learned about nature on Wednesday as part of long-lived education program. UW-Stevens Point staff at Treehaven host programs to teach elementary students about nature. The program has been around Tomahawk Public Schools for more than 25 years.

"We are doing a lot about the history of Tomahawk, the people that were here in the early 1800s and just a little bit about the land," explained Naturalist Rachel Anderson. "Right not we've been doing some tree identification and forestry measurements, but this morning they were learning about the voyagers and the Native Americans in this area."

The program covers more than just fall-learning, Treehaven leaders host learning programs in the spring and winter as well. You don't have to be a student to take part in some of the programs at the learning center. They include group hikes where you practice and discuss identifying plants and trees.

"We've had two this fall, and I'm hoping that is something we can continue to do in all seasons and continue to offer," said Anderson. "We've been getting a lot of positive reinforcement that it's something that the public is really interested in, so we hope to continue to offer more in the future."

Treehaven leaders regularly offer programs to the public involving nature, education, and artistry. If you are interested in learning more about these programs and events, you can follow the link listed below the article.

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Merrill Area Public School District's online charter school lags behind rest of district in mathSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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MERRILL - The Merrill Area Public School District found out how their district compares to others in the state.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction evaluates districts and schools and gives them report cards every year.

But the district's online school did much worse than the rest of the district in math.

Students at Bridges Virtual Academy learn almost entirely online.

About 29% of Bridges students are proficient in math. But the state average is about 49%, and the district is almost 52%. That could be because many of the students at Bridges used to be homeschooled.

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Wisconsin one of 4 states to cut food stampsSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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MADISON - Wisconsin is one of only four states nationwide that is enacting cuts to the food stamp program.

An Associated Press review finds that as of now, the cuts will only affect Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey and New Hampshire.

The decision in Wisconsin to enact the cuts comes as Republican Gov. Scott Walker is seeking re-election and considering a 2016 run for president.

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Walker, Burke tied in latest pollSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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Walker and Burke both had 46 percent support. The poll's margin of error was 3.5 percentage points among registered voters.

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Fab Lab prepares students for the modern workforceSubmitted: 09/17/2014

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THREE LAKES - Students in Three Lakes will learn how to use new technology like 3D printers and laser cutters this year. It's all part of the district's brand new Fab Lab.

Fab Labs have the most modern manufacturing equipment. Students will learn to use the same tools that businesses use. The lab manager thinks that will help students from Three Lakes get better jobs.

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Drug Endangered Children Program in Price CountySubmitted: 09/17/2014

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PRICE COUNTY - Some children in the Northwoods live in environments where their caretakers abuse drugs.

The Price County Sheriff's Office hopes a new program will help those children.

The Drug Endangered Children Program, or DEC, assists children whose caretakers abuse, sell, or manufacture drugs.

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