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.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
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