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Annual Wisconsin H.O.G. Rally held in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 08/16/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson


MINOCQUA - If you drove on Highway 70 west of Minocqua Friday, you probably saw a bunch of motorcycles.

More than 1,200 to be exact.

The annual Wisconsin State Harley Owners' Group Rally in the Northwoods.

This year Minocqua won the honor of hosting it.

"The state rally is a Harley-Davidson-sponsored, motorcycle enthusiast event. Every year the chapters and the state dealerships get to select a site of a state rally. And in April of 2012, Minocqua, Wisconsin was selected as the rally site for this year's state H.O.G. rally," Wisconsin State Rally Coordinator Randy Bates.

The three-day event brings in people from 15 states, and even Great Britain.

State rallies are most often hosted in urban areas.

But this year, they opted for a different type of scenery.

"This is the first time it's been held in Northern Wisconsin....We felt that this year's rally would be more of a riding rally. We've got routes going all the way from Merrill, Wisconsin, all the way up to Hurley, from Eagle River all the way out to Mellen," adds Bates.

For those who don't want to ride, they have bingo, slow ride activities, and live bands at the Minocqua Park Complex.

All the events lead up to the group ride through downtown Minocqua on Saturday around 5 o'clock.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/25/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you to the Oneida County Courthouse for day 2 of the trial of Mark Spietz who is accused of breaking into and stealing items from a home where a double murder occurred in March of 2015.

Snowmobiling will start in just a few months. We'll show you how snowmobile clubs and groomer builders in Vilas County are getting prepared for the season before the snow falls.

And we'll give you a look at one of the oldest resorts Vilas County has to offer.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Vilas County Sheriff's Office says no one was hurt after a 48-year-old Mark Mayo of Eagle River threatened to hurt himself with a firearm near Eagle River Wednesday night.

Crews responded Wednesday evening near to the area near Deerskin Road north of Eagle River and south of Phelps to reports that a man wanted to hurt himself and was armed with a 9 mm handgun and two magazines. That report came in around 3:55 p.m.

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VILAS COUNTY - Soon snow will be falling. In fact, preparation for snowmobile season starts as soon as next month.
Cross Country Cruisers Snowmobile Club President David Assmann and his crew are just about ready to hit the trails, starting in September.

"We cut all the brush and everything that's low to the ground," said Assmann.

His crew spends a lot of volunteered time making sure 93 miles of trails near Arbor Vitae are ready and safe to use in the winter.

"We have at least five guys going out, sometimes twice a day. We do trails in the morning and then trails late at night," said Assmann.

Many people who live here use the Northwoods trails, but so do a lot of tourists during the winter months.
"We are able to go out, get these trails groomed so that the tourists that come up can go on our trails, can get to the different businesses in the area, and that helps the economy up here," said Assmann.

With so many miles of trails in Vilas County, one of the best parts is that there is equipment made to maintain those trails, right in St. Germain.

Arrowhead Groomers has been in Vilas County since 1976. The company builds equipment that levels out the trails.

"We manufacture the snow groomer drags primarily for snowmobile trails. Some of them end up getting used on cross country ski trails as well," said Walker Equipment owner Dave Walker.

Another local snowmobile club, Bo-Boen, uses the Arrowhead Groomers on their trails as well.

"I have 17 drivers on my staff that maintain 100 miles of trails here in St. Germain. We're very cognizant of the fact that we have to do a good job to bring those people here so they can spend their money and keep our economy going," said the trail boss for Bo-Boen snowmobile club Jim Wendt.

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MADISON - More than a million unregistered voters in Wisconsin may be getting a postcard in the mail soon telling them what to do so they can cast a ballot in the upcoming presidential election.

The state's Elections Commission is working on the mailing that is expected to be sent in about a month. It comes as part of the requirement of Wisconsin joining an inter-state consortium dedicated to assisting with voter registration.

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RHINELANDER - A $15 million dollar loan could help the company that operates Rhinelander's paper mill, Expera Specialty Solutions, expand operations to the former Printpack building on Kemp Street.

Oneida County leaders are confident the plan will work.

They believe in the proposal because a similar loan helped a different Rhinelander company grow to become a successful business.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - A jury could decide this week if a man stole items from the home where Thomas and Jennifer Ayers were killed, or if he was just doing his job.

Mark Spietz, 39, faces several burglary charges. His trial started in Oneida County court on Wednesday.

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HARSHAW - A lot of people like to separate their work life and their personal life.

The Northwoods United Way hopes to encourage natural work leaders to bring their leadership skills into their communities. In that spirit, it hosted Leaderfest in Harshaw on Wednesday.

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