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NEWS STORIES

UW Trout Lake Station opens center, focuses on invasive species Submitted: 08/02/2013

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com


BOULDER JUNCTION - Mother Nature means a lot to the Northwoods.

The environment supports the plants and animals that make this such a beautiful place.

But invasive species can threaten that balance.

That's why the UW Trout Lake Station held an open house in Boulder Junction Friday.

The center showed examples of non-native plants and animals you can now find in the Northwoods.


Tim Kratz is the director at the station. He has worked there for more than 30 years. He believes people from the area can use the information from open house.

"One of the challenges for us is to make that research available to the people that use the area," Kratz said. " We try to make what we do at the station more relevant to the local population and the people that come and visit this wonderful area.

Others like Sam Oliver work at the station for school. She studies small lakes and their importance to the Northwoods.

"These small lakes are cycling nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon and they are really active sites," Oliver said. "Even though people dont live on them they're performing functions for the ecosystem that are really important."

The Trout Lake Station does research for the U-W Center for Limnology in Madison.

Its studies help the Northwoods maintain its environment.

They also prepare and study possible threats to the area.

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EAGLE RIVER - The first-ever ATV & UTV Side by Side World Championship Derby finished up Sunday afternoon. 

Races started on Saturday and continued through the weekend. 

Spectators, racers and event staff all say they were pleased with how the event turned out.

"There's always going to be some nit-nat things that need to be changed, but I can tell you for the first event with everything we had going, it really went well," said Russell Davis, the Derbytrack's VP of Sales and Marketing. "And we're going to have some meetings afterward and obviously change some things, but we've got a lot of compliments, mostly positive, and we're excited to build on next year."

Event organizers estimate about 150 racers of all ages and from all over came to the challenge. Winners got cash prizes. The derby also had night events such as a mud run and a freestyle show.

Next year organizers hope they bring in more people.




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GREEN BAY - Children across Wisconsin will be back in school soon.

People driving are asked to watch out for kids boarding or exiting school buses.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says there were nearly 800 citations given to drivers last year for failing to stop for a school bus.

The Lamers Bus Line Company says drivers should give themselves extra time when school is in session.

He thinks that will help keep drivers from feeling rushed, which could contribute to an accident.

(Copyright 2015 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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EAGLE RIVER - Wisconsin native Zac Zakowski won the UTV championship derby on Sunday at the AMSOIL Eagle River Derbytrack.

"Once you start doing this you can't stop," said professional UTV and ATV driver Zac Zakowski. "It's like a drug."

Zakowski started racing seriously when he was about 17 years old. The fun hobby quickly turned into a pro sport, a career and a lifestyle. He has been traveling to many different races since then, competing at the professional level.

"You kinda miss out on that stuff and you miss it but at the same time when you're doing this stuff, you don't," Zakowski said.

The sport is hard on the body and the wallet. Two years ago, Zakowski said while driving his ATV he hit a tree and tore his ACL in his knee. He was out for two seasons.

One thing almost all ATV drivers, pro or amateur, can agree on is the sport is truly a family affiar.

"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my family," Zakowski said. "I mean you can walk the pits and probably almost everybody would say they do it because their family supports it and they do it as a family."

"The lifestyle is tiring because you load up the rig and the trailer to travel thousands of miles to race for an hour or two hours depending on the race," said Zakowski's mother, Linda. "Then you load back up to go home. But once you get to that site on the track you're excited and you just can't wait for things to get going."

Zakowski stopped racing for a while when his mom got diagnosed with breast cancer. Now his mother is in remission and Zakowski participates in races that raise awareness for the disease.

"He paints his whole quad pink and has stickers on it," Linda Zakowski said. 

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WAUSAU - A garage fire in Wausau early this morning will likely cost about $7,200 in damage, according to Wausau Fire Battalion Chief Allan Antolik.

Antolik said it was a 12 by 20 ft detached garage on Pleasant Street.

The Wausau Fire Department responded to the call at 1:30 a.m.

The department says the cause of the fire is undetermined.

No one was hurt. 

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ST. GERMAIN - More than 11,000 people suffer from Multiple Sclerosis in Wisconsin alone.

The owners of Lynn Ann's Campground in St. Germain want to do something about that. They started the Woods and Waters Paddle last year race to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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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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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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