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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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 IN OTHER NEWS

PHILLIPS - An 82-year-old man from the Phillips area died after his kayak overturned in Price County.

An emergency call came into the Price County Sheriff's Department just before 4 p.m. Wednesday.

A kayaker reported that another kayak had overturned on the Elk River about 4 miles east of Phillips.

The report was that the man was out of the kayak but still in the water.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Vilas County Sheriff's Department hopes that new DNA evidence will give them a better lead in an unsolved homicide case.

Forty-seven-year-old Luann Beckman was found dead in the woods in Phelps on May 17, and investigators are still looking for help.

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MERRILL - The Merrill School Board will officially move forward with a new superintendent after unanimously selecting a replacement Wednesday night, according to a district press release.

The board approved the contract offer for Dr. John Sample.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Tourists will flock to the Northwoods to celebrate the Fourth of July this coming Monday. But more tourists means more chances for traffic jams and accidents.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office wants people to be alert when they're driving this holiday weekend.

They also expect more people to be driving north for the start of Hodag Country Fest.

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STEVENS POINT - On a busy street with lots of traffic, you can easily get tunnel vision. But outside the Sell family house on Division Street, something certainly stands out.

"So many people have been noticing my yard and just stopping by," Anne Sell said Thursday morning.

It doesn't take long to figure out why. Standing more than six feet tall, covered in reflective tape and made out of old construction barrels, is Anne and her husband's creation: a squirrel they've named Nuts & Bolts.

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EAGLE RIVER - Many of us consider their dog as another member of the family. 

That's certainly true for a husband and wife in Eagle River, who are desperately searching for their dog--that they say was was taken from them in their own backyard on Tuesday. 

That dog is a three-year-old Boston terrier named Poco, and his owners are Scott and Laurie Schellinger.

According to the police report, a woman took the dog in a red Chevy Impala. The Schellingers say that woman is their niece. The Schellingers bought Poco from a man all three of them know about six weeks ago.

The Schellingers say when they got Poco, he was in bad shape.

"The dog didn't make a peep the first two weeks we had him," Scott Schellinger said. "And he cowered, and he just started coming out of his shell."

The Schellingers say their niece came over for a visit on Tuesday and that's when it happened.

"I was talking to my wife's niece on the back porch and all the sudden she goes running down the porch, her son grabbed the dog, the car was right there, opened up the driver car door, took the dog and [ran]," Scott Schellinger said. "Haven't seen him since."

The Schellingers say their home hasn't been the same, and their other two rescue dogs seem to miss him.

"I just can't believe this happened," said Laurie Schellinger. "Of all people, family."

Police have been searching for Poco, and the Schellingers hope he comes home soon.

"I just want him home where he belongs," Laurie Schellinger said. 

Click on the link below if you have information or want to help the Schellingers. 

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WEST ALLIS - A pregnant woman murdered and dumped in South Dakota grew up in Forest County.

An obituary for Tess White says she was raised in Forest County and attended schools there.  She was just 25 when she died.

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