PEARSON - Most pet owners describe dogs as mans best friend, but to a group of sledders, dogs are their companion in competition.
Dogs pulled sled drivers through trails in Pearson Saturday morning. Trainers like Beth Castaldi say it's usually not cold enough to train dogs in the fall.
That's why the dryland races are miles shorter than snow races.
"We keep the mileage down, so we are not over working our dogs," Castaldi said. "So by the time January comes, when we are ready to run the longer races, they've a lot more training miles and they are in better condition."
Most trainers start running with their dogs when they're pups. Then they use ATV's and bicycles to train the dogs when they get older. But Castaldi says they keep a balance so they don't over work the dogs.
"You want to keep that incredible enthusiasm in the dog so that they want to run," Castaldi said. "You don't want them to be muscle sore or you don't want them to be like, oh I ran yesterday, I don't really want to run today, you know that kind of an attitude."
More than 80 teams competed at the Dirty Dog Dryland Derby. The Wisconsin Trailblazers Sled Dog Club will have another dry race in Wausau on November 16th.
STOUGHTON - Police in Stoughton are investigating a threatening letter that was sent to a black teenager, with a photo that depicted him as the victim of a lynching.
The letter had a Madison postmark but no return address. The family told the newspaper it contained a photo showing two men hanging from a tree, with a mob watching. A picture of the 18-year-old was superimposed onto one of the men.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
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