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NEWS STORIES

World Championship Derby underwaySubmitted: 01/16/2014
Story By Joe Dufek

World Championship Derby underway
EAGLE RIVER - The World Championship Snowmobile Derby is underway in Eagle River.

It's the 51st year of the event.

Eagle River Derby Track will be very busy this weekend.

Thursday afternoon, the time trials for the World Championship were held. Drivers raced 2 laps as fast as possible.

Tomahawk's Nick Van Strydonk is one of the favorites. He won the World Championship two years ago. He finished his first run in 36.093 seconds. He was in third place in the early portion of qualifying.


Malcolm Chartier from just outside of Detroit is last year's champion. He was the early leader.

Racing Friday morning gets underway at 9am. Round one of action in many classes tomorrow.

Friday Night Thunder's pre-race activities - including fireworks begins at 6pm. Nearly 20,000 fans are expected over the weekend.


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RHINELANDER - Rubber gloves, a fingerprinting kit, and evidence bags all made it look like a serious crime happened in a room on the Nicolet College campus in Rhinelander on Thursday morning, but Kobe Gallion was pretty much just playing pretend.

"Yeah, it's fun," Gallion said of the investigative work.  "It's like a big puzzle, really, that's all."

The Crandon High School senior worked with classmates to take blood samples and lift fingerprints at Nicolet's "Crime Scene Investigation" station while competing against another school.

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EAGLE RIVER - People living in Eagle River could see a dog park sometime in the near future. 

"It'll take some work to get it done, but I think in the long run, once it's done it'll be very good for the community and it'll be very well used," said Ron Kressin, who's leading the project. 

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RHINELANDER - A Minocqua man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder from 1982. 

Robin Mendez was charged with homicide in February in the death of his wife. 

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MADISON - The state Department of Justice will prosecute a Taylor County sheriff's detective for releasing records of two unsolved murders to producers of a national television show.

Sergeant Steven Bowers is accused of felony misconduct in public office.

Under the law, police records are public, but authorities often withhold them on grounds they could compromise an ongoing investigation.

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PRICE COUNTY - Price County blames 43 years of road salt for a high-traffic bridge starting to fall apart.

Corrosion has eaten away at the Highway H bridge over the Elk Lake Chain in Phillips, and work started Tuesday to replace an aging bridge deck.

Price County Highway Commissioner Don Grande often got calls about the condition of the bridge.

"I would say right now it's weekly," he estimated. "'Hey, when are you going to fix that bridge? What's going on with that bridge? Why does the bridge look so bad?'"

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RHINELANDER - Earth Day can be a good time to reflect on the "health" of the world around you.

Nicolet College's Sustainability Fair focuses on all things green this weekend.

This year's theme is Sustainability where you would least expect to find it.

There will be about 40 booths at the fair ranging from gardeners to investment brokers…and even green funerals.

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RHINELANDER - A class of second graders at Crescent Elementary School in Rhinelander turned a lesson plan into a life lesson. The students helped provide clean water to villages in Africa after learning about pollution.

"They couldn't believe kids their age didn't have access to a faucet with running water," said Prom.

"A lot of people walk a lot of hours to get their water," said eight- year- old Ava Sadak.

The class decided to take action. They raised money for three weeks during their lunch break.

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