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Northwoods Spotlight - Snowmobile racing preview Jan 8Submitted: 01/08/2014
Story By Joe Dufek


EAGLE RIVER - The familiar roar of snowmobiles racing on the track returns this weekend. It's the annual Vintage snowmobile races at Eagle River Derby Track.

Steve Decker is the Chief Operations Officer at the track.

"The vintage weekend has grown," Steve explains. "Because guy grewe up watching the races. Now they're living their dream being out on the track."

The below normal temperatures this winter have actually made preparations better at the track. At last check, the ice depth on the track is 22 inches.


"We've got to have at least 15 inches of ice to make it through two weekends," Richard Decker - the track's Marketing Director adds. "Right now the weather looks great for vintage weekend. I think we'll have good racing."

Of course the World Championship Snowmobile Derby is next week. While the drivers race the older sleds this weekend, the event is a chance to also make sure things are top-notch for Derby weekend.

Richard is happy to have the weekends back to back.

"To open this place up - especially as cold as it has been - it takes the rough edges off for us," Richard explains. "Every year we get new volunteers. It gives them a break in time. Then when it is derby time - it helps out. It's a plus, plus for us."


Joe: Approximately 1,000 racers are expected to take part this weekend.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/16/2017

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We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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PHILLIPS - The Phillips School District covers 600 square miles. That means a lot of time on the bus for many students, and a lot in fuel costs. This year Phillips is trying something new, hoping that investing a little extra money now pays off down the road.

The Phillips School District bought two new buses for this school year. Both buses run entirely on propane, rather than diesel. 

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MINOCQUA - It takes a lot of guts to quit your day job and follow your passion. But one Minocqua woman has had success with her painting. And now she's sharing it with others.
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"Persuade you to take up something new or something you thought you couldn't do is always a good thing," said Benson.

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EAGLE RIVER - It took a couple years to come back, but lots of volunteers made sure Eagle River could get its ice castle back in time for the middle of winter.

The icy tradition took more than one-thousand hours to put together.

The Eagle River Fire Department and other volunteers stacked the 90 pound blocks over the last five days.

Each ice block is nearly uniform, so they fit together like legos. 

"It's a tedious process using those ice scrapers and getting that tight seam," said Fire Chief Michael Anderson.

Even though it took a lot of hours and manpower to get the job done, Anderson says they do it for the Eagle River community.

"I see it as an obligation for our community, to put it together because they like it so much and it brings so many tourists to the area," said Anderson. 

The castle will stay up as long as the weather stays cold. 

You can visit the castle at any time. It is near the railroad depot on Railroad Street in Eagle River.


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RICE LAKE - Police say a man in a small northwestern Wisconsin community was killed after he followed through on his threat to explode a bomb in his apartment building.

Rice Lake police say 12 to 14 residents were evacuated before the explosion and subsequent fire that destroyed the one-story building Sunday night.

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ANTIGO - In a week, the Christmas trees of Antigo will burn in a huge bonfire.

Community volunteers will burn the trees next Monday in the annual city event. This Monday, those trees disappeared from the streets.

City workers rounded up, crushed, and hauled away Christmas trees from the curb all across the city.

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EAGLE RIVER - An Eagle River girl with some special skills hopes you'll go online to support her.

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