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One step closer to the next World ChampionSubmitted: 01/18/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas


EAGLE RIVER - The most famous snowmobile race in the history of the sport is getting closer to crowning its newest winner.

After three days of intense racing, we know who will be competing for the 51st World Championship.

Ten of the 12 drivers are set after this afternoon's heat races and semi-finals. The list includes four former champions. Last year's winner Malcolm Chartier of Michigan sits on the pole after winning Friday Night Thunder.

2012 Champ Nick Van Strydonk of Tomahawk is back for another chance in the thirteen. Also Wausau's Matt Schulz and two time winner Gary Moyle are in the field.

The World Championship is set for 3pm Sunday but there will be plenty more racing before that beginning at 9 in the morning.

Rhinelander's Lance Rutledge races in the amateur 18-29 sno cross. Lance won here last year in the novice class.

He told me moving up in the ranks is a big challenge.




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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Frederick Place in Rhinelander celebrated a big accomplishment Saturday night.

The homeless shelter has now been open for five years.

While some people thought there were not enough people in need for Frederick Place to be useful, more than 500 people have been helped by Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing.

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EAGLE RIVER - One couple took their love of hockey to a whole new level this weekend.

Kim Riley and Joe Vrtis came to Eagle River to play in the USA Pond Hockey Tournament.

The hockey-loving couple from Chicago thought it would be a great place to do their engagement photos.

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EAGLE RIVER - Teams from all over the country came to Eagle River this weekend for the USA Pond Hockey Tournament.

One team even made their way from California.

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WESTON - The state of Wisconsin no longer bans the possession or purchase of switchblades.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) signed a bill lifting the decades-long ban on switchblades on Saturday at a 
National Rifle Association and Wisconsin FORCE annual convention in Weston.

Walker said this gives people another option for protection, and it also can help first responders at accidents.

"Say at a crash to take someone out of a harness or seat belt or other things like that," Walker said. "And again, the bottom line is as it is with firearms, the people you are worried about are already possessing these, law abiding citizens should at least have access to that in the state of Wisconsin."

This new law applies only to people who are legally eligible to own a gun.

"The same provisions apply," Walker said. "If someone's prohibited from possessing a firearm, say they're a felon, they are not able to possess a firearm the same way with a knife under the senses. But with a law abiding citizen, it just makes sense that if they're following the law, they're looking to protect themselves and their families, this gives them one more tool to do that as well as first responders."

Under this new bill people can also carry concealed knives of any length without a concealed carry license.

FORCE, or Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators, is an association chartered by the NRA. 

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MINOCQUA AND LAC DU FLAMBEAU - More than 20 burglaries in the Lakeland area puzzled police and troubled neighbors, but on Friday police told us they think they know who might be responsible.

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PARK FALLS - The Northwoods snowfall this week set up great conditions for cross country skiing in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

"With the recent snow that we got this past week, things are really starting to shape up pretty nice," said Chequamegon-Nicolet forestry technician Brady Howe.

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EAGLE RIVER - Hockey teams from all over the country descended upon Eagle River today.

This morning kicked off the annual Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey Championships on Dollar Lake.

This is the 11th year Eagle River hosted the event.

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