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NEWS STORIES

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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 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - The Community Warming Center in Merrill finished up its first winter season a few weeks ago. The center provides a place to stay for people in need from November through April.

The guest's ages ranged from 22 to 45 years old. The center is run through the Merrill United Way. The Warming Center's director said its first year went much better than expected.

"It's kind of like building the field of dreams and not knowing if anyone will come to play, or to stay in our case," said Merrill United Way Executive Director Dee Olsen. "But what ended up happening was the community was responsive and we ended up with 11 guests throughout the season with 90 user nights."

The center is already preparing for the next season. They have new blankets and pillows ready for their next year.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many people enjoy freshly roasted coffee. But, the process to roast those coffee beans can be a science.

"We start with green coffee. It comes in 130 to 155 pound sacks of coffee," said owner of Eagle River Roasters Dan Beihoff.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many Northwoods cities need to make improvements to the roads now that it's spring.

Rhinelander wants to do it, enough to impose a new sales tax.

Another local city will make improvements to the road and the pipes under the road.

Eagle River will replace infrastructure on Division Street.

Eagle River's mayor Jeff Hyslop says it's about 70 years old.

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RHINELANDER - Last year, a valve malfunction in eastern Wisconsin sent natural gas leaking into the air. A similar situation in the Northwoods could cut off gas supply to a whole city and be dangerous to people in the nearby area.

Wisconsin Public Service wants to be ready in case something like that happens. A natural gas station near the intersection of Highways 8 and 47 provides natural gas to most of Rhinelander. Workers rushed there on Monday, simulating their response to a leak.

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RHINELANDER - Fields of an invasive plant called phragmites stand all along Wisconsin's Lake Michigan shore. Invasive species workers hope most of the plants stay away from the Northwoods.

Workers chopped down a stand of phragmites on Monday. It stood on Highway 8 just west of Rhinelander. It had been chemically treated in the fall. Hopefully, that will help control the spread of the species.

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ANTIGO - Dealing with allergic reactions to bee stings can be one of the biggest health threats to students.

"If we were seeing a reaction, for example a tingling of the mouth, swelling of the throat, a visual that a student might give us if they are unable to breath at that time, we would immediately administer an EpiPen," Director of Pupil Services Unified School District of Antigo Karen Baker.

Teachers watch carefully for possible allergic reactions, especially at recess and on field trips.

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Local kids help protect batsSubmitted: 04/27/2015

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RHINELANDER - Seventh graders in Rhinelander will help protect bats this summer. That's thanks to help from the U.S. Forest Service.

Kids in Rhinelander Monday learned about endangered bats across Wisconsin on Monday. A bat expert with Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest showed the importance of keeping bats healthy. The students helped local scientists by building new homes for the bats.

"Ms. Swaney showed us a presentation about the bats with a speaker and now we're building them," said 7th grader Jackie Wells.

"They have predators and it will kind of keep them safe in their little bat homes," said 7th Grader Connor Lund.

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