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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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TOMAHAWK - We can all spot the DNR Wildfire Risk signs on the side of the road this time of year.

But a program at UW-Stevens Point aims to study the healthy relationship between controlled burns and the forest.

The UWSP wildland fire science program spent Thursday setting prescribed burns at Treehaven in Tomahawk.

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RHINELANDER - On any given Sunday morning. you can find parishioners offering prayers in their churches.  But Thursday, churchgoers all across the country moved outdoors to spread their prayers everywhere.

About 40 people met outside the Oneida County Courthouse in Rhinelander for the 64th annual National Day of Prayer. Pastors from five area churchesâ€"including Calvary Baptist, Headwaters Christian Youth, Grace Foursquare, Trinity Lutheran, and Pine Grove Community Churchâ€"led different prayers.

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

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ST. GERMAIN - Volunteers often don't get recognized for their dedicated work.

But on Thursday, Ministry Heath Care honored the men and women who help keep their hospitals running.

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TOWN OF MAPLE GROVE - Authorities have identified a man killed in a helicopter crash in Manitowoc County.

61-year-old Paul Ruppert of Madison died in Wednesday's crash.

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RHINELANDER - Many boaters will spend this weekend on Northwoods lakes, but with more boats comes an increased risk of spreading aquatic invasive species. 

Some Oneida County conservationists hope education will protect the lakes this year.

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Food Pantry recently received a generous donation from the Northwood Turners.

"The food pantry has just been a great boon to this area and it was needed for such a long time and now they are doing really great," says Northwood Turners President Bill Kingsbury.

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