Northwoods Spotlight - Decker Racing 8-28Submitted: 08/28/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas

PLOVER - Three ladies who grew up in Eagle River spend most of their summers in Central Wisconsin. The reason, it's where the rubber meets the concrete.

Paige Decker a race car driver from Eagle River says, "Getting in the car and putting my helmet on, that's my comfort zone and that's where I like to be."

Her cousin Natalie Decker adds, "When I'm here with my family it's awesome because we're all bonding and stuff."

And Paige's sister Claire Decker explains, "It's actually really thrilling when someone's door to door with you. It's like you can reach out and touch their car."

The Decker name and speed go hand in hand. But a family of snowmobile racers has given way to the new generation in stock cars.

"Racing has always been in my blood," Paige explains. "So I guess it just kind of stuck. Now I'm used to it, spending the week days at the shop and the weekends at the race track."

Claire adds, "A lot of guys will come over and help us because they knew our dads from racing before."

Allen Decker is Paige and Claire's Dad. "My job is to just like my father gave to me, the opportunity to go racing," Allen says.

Sisters Paige and Claire race with their cousin Natalie. All three started in go carts but moved up the ranks in a flash.

The youngest, Natalie just turned 16 and got her drivers license this summer... but she says it wasn't easy.

"(The driving instructor) said the major thing is you have to look in your mirrors," Natalie explains. "Well it's kind of hard because I've never looked in my mirrors before. I always had a spotter telling me where people are at."

The Decker girls are very competitive, but they enjoy having each other to count on, especially in such a male dominated sport.

Next year these talented ladies will be racing in the same class, but the ultimate goal is NASCAR.

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MERRILL - Merrill residents might have heard a lot of music in town today.

Merrill High School hosted the Merrill Marching Invitational. Three high school marching bands took over the football field at Merrill High School Sunday.

Antigo, D.C. Everest, and Merrill high schools all showcased their musical creativity.

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MILWAUKEE - A published report says unauthorized improvements have been made to a footpath on state land that a donor to Gov. Scott Walker has been trying to buy.

A spokesman for business executive Elizabeth Uihlein acknowledged that workers at her adjoining property may have cleaned up the trail slightly.

But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1Z18WU8 ) reports those who have seen the trail say the improvements are significant.

Uihlein is seeking to buy 1.75 acres along Rest Lake, where the footpath is located. But a tentative deal with the Department of Natural Resources was put on hold after critics raised questions.

A DNR spokesman says the agency inspected the site on Thursday and found an "established trail." He declined to say whether the department had talked to Uihlein or her representatives.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event featured a hay maze, horse-drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp that portrayed the lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. had a piece of history to share.

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MERRILL - Firefighters need to be prepared to rescue people from more than just fires.

People can get trapped in tree stands, water, or a tight spot. 

Local fire departments respond to those emergencies.

Merrill's first Citizen's Fire Academy learned about these specialized rescues Thursday night.

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 62, Thorp 6

Algoma 24, Sturgeon Bay 8

Almond-Bancroft 61, Tigerton/Marion 6

Amherst 56, Manawa 6

Antigo 42, Lakeland 28

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