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Spotlight: We go behind the scenes at CrandonSubmitted: 09/04/2013
Story By Joe Dufek


CRANDON - The trucks were roaring. Everyone with one goal. To win. Rhinelander's Mark Steinhardt proved to be too much. He not only won Saturday's 1600 Buggy class, he captured the TORC series championship for the second straight year.

Mark Steinhardt said, "You set your goals at the beginning of the year and obviously the goal just like any football team is to win the championship."

Other local drivers winning over the weekend include Jeff Kincaid of Crandon. He won the Pro 2 wheeldrive final. He dedicated the win to his father who recently passed away.

Scott Taylor of Illinois competed in Crandon for 40 years. Completed 40 years of racing in Crandon. He had his signature truck. Tiger logo on the front, and tiger tail on the back. He wanted to compete in the Northwoods one last time.

Scott Taylor added, "The folks up here are great. Crandon's been my favorite race to come to. This is the Daytona 500 of off road racing."

While the drivers get all of the attention, it's the people working behind the scenes which make this event a success.

Pace car driver Rich Kulal said, "To live 5 miles down the road, from the biggest track and the biggest race in the world is something amazing."

One state study estimated the Championships bring in over $8-million dollars to the local economy. An expected attendance record of more than 20,000 fans watched the action Labor Day weekend.



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CRANDON - Pet lovers may be pampering their pets a little extra Monday in honor of National Love Your Pet Day. Squeaky toys, dog treats, cat nip, and even doggie desserts are just a few ways people give their pets a little extra love on Love Your Pet Day.
But there are plenty of shelter dogs that could use a little extra care all the time. If you can't adopt Forest county humane Society president Jay Schaefer wants you to come play with the dogs and cats at the shelter. "It's a way for people to get over their pet fix, or if their renting an apartment, or their in a point in their life where they can't have pets right now," said Jay.
Jay invites anyone with a passion for animals to come out to walk, cuddle, feed and play with the dogs or cats in the shelter. "If they can't go out for a walk…they just want somebody to spend five minutes with them….and then you're like the Fairy godmother in a Disney movie," said Jay.Pet lovers may be pampering their pets a little extra Monday in honor of National Love Your Pet Day. Squeaky toys, dog treats, cat nip, and even doggie desserts are just a few ways people give their pets a little extra love on Love Your Pet Day.

But there are plenty of shelter dogs that could use a little extra care all the time. If you can't adopt Forest county humane Society president Jay Schaefer wants you to come play with the dogs and cats at the shelter. "It's a way for people to get over their pet fix, or if their renting an apartment, or their in a point in their life where they can't have pets right now," said Jay.

Jay invites anyone with a passion for animals to come out to walk, cuddle, feed and play with the dogs or cats in the shelter. "If they can't go out for a walk…they just want somebody to spend five minutes with them….and then you're like the Fairy godmother in a Disney movie," said Jay.

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HAYWARD - Warm weather is forcing organizers to change the route of Saturday's American Birkebeiner ski race in northwestern Wisconsin.

As a result, the race will not finish in downtown Hayward this year.

The Birkie race course normally crosses Lake Hayward to get to downtown Hayward. But the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation said Monday the lake is no longer an option.

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WESTON - A Langlade County man died from a gunshot wound outside a Weston bar last week.

Everest Metro Police say Nicholas Houdek was found face down in a parking lot outside Wiggly Field early Friday morning.

Houdek was from Bryant, which is just outside Antigo.

Police didn't say if someone shot Houdek or if he shot himself.

He was a 2007 Antigo High School graduate.

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PARK FALLS - Two weeks ago, St. Anthony's Catholic School in Park Falls said it needed a "miracle."

Without that financial miracle, the elementary and middle school couldn't make ends meet. It would have to close before next school year.

St. Anthony's didn't get that miracle. Last week, the Parish Pastoral Council recommended the school close for next year.

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MINOCQUA - You can keep your pajamas on and stay barefoot to shop at one grocery store in the Northwoods.

The "Rosie" app on smartphones and online is changing how you shop.

You can order any food item at Save More Marketplace in Minocqua with a couple taps on your screen.

"I print the list you guys have chosen for the items you want," said in-store shopping expert Steph Coy.

She will load up the cart, checkout, then bag your items for delivery to your house or pick-up in store.

Save More Marketplace started using the shopping option in October.

"It's a convenience for customers who don't have the time. It is a convenience for customers who can't leave their home," said Save More Marketplace president Jim Gauden.

It costs a little extra; up to $5 if food is delivered to you.

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ASHLAND - Hearing your medical provider gasp usually doesn't mean anything good.  But Laura Christianson admits the first time she saw one of her hospital's newest piece of machinery it left her stunned.

"It literally took my breath away when I saw it move," Christianson said.

For five years, the radiologic technologist at Ashland Memorial Medical Center captured images of broken bones or torn muscles on machines -- some 16 years old -- often in separate rooms. That changed at MMC last fall.

"You set up an exam and all you have to do it pretty much just push a button and it moves to where you want it to move to," Christianson said.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - This weekend many of us may have seen images of a pickup truck falling through the ice on Lake Michigan. Some trucks even fell through the ice in Wausau.

So, how safe is the ice in the Northwoods?

DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz says this time of year the ice can melt fast, so anglers should be aware of it. He says it also depends on the lake.

"We've seen anywhere some still on the Rainbow Flowage 24 inches of ice out there this last weekend," Walz says. "A few other lakes we've seen it as thin as six inches of ice."

Walz said no one fell through the ice this weekend in the Northwoods.

No matter the temperature, even if it's below zero, it's never a guarantee that ice is safe.

"Just remember, it's never 100 percent safe out there," Walz said. "It's always at your own risk."
Walz said you should always fish with a partner for safety.

The last day ice shanties can be on lakes is March 19.

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