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Northwoods Spotlight - Eagle River Derby recap Jan 22Submitted: 01/22/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas

Northwoods Spotlight - Eagle River Derby recap Jan 22
EAGLE RIVER - Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk won the world championship in 2012. He knows Eagle River is the place to be.

"You can't put it into words," Van Strydonk said. "It's its own special feeling."

Amateur sno cross racer Lance Rutledge of Rhinelander adds, "The adrenaline rush you get, especially in that last lap, it all comes into play."

Speed, adversity and triumph, Derby Weekend had it all - including talented local drivers.


"We do it for the fans," Van Strydonk adds. "We're not out here to make money. We're not out here to prove anything to the guys we race against. We're out here for the fans, we like to put on a show and have fun."

It wasn't just the guys tearing it up. 17 year old Sabrina Blanchet from Quebec set out to become the first female to qualify for the final race, but she had a tough weekend.

"It's disappointing but I'm not mad or upset," Blanchet explained. "The team does a lot of work to give me the best machine they can. We'll come back and try to do it all over again."

Another tradition that dates back to the early years is the Derby Queen. Northland Pines hockey star Jessica Roach won that honor for 2014.

"It's definitely awesome being part of the derby," Roach said. "We're a big hockey town but the Derby is what people look forward to in the winter."

The sleds that race out here aren't like anything you'd see on a trail. They're hand built from the ground up and hits speeds up to 100 miles per hour on the track.

In the end, it was Malcolm Chartier winning the granddaddy of them all... and becoming a back to back champ.

"We did our homework, Chartier explained. "We did it last year and tried to replicate what we did last year and did it again."

"To be able to live in a little town like Eagle River and have a business because there's not that much other tourism it's just very gratifying," Eagle River Derby Track Marketing Manager Richard Decker adds. "It's a lot of hard work but believe me, everything is worth it. We love it."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

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RHINELANDER - Eighth-grader Alexx Huff doesn't practice half-court shots much.

At the end of basketball practice, he's usually too tired to try and make 40-footers. But Huff had plenty of energy two weeks ago, when he stepped onto the court during halftime of a varsity basketball game in Rhinelander.

"I'm really nervous, I'm really shaky," Huff said, remembering the night. "There's a lot of people watching."

Huff was randomly selected to take part a shooting contest held during every game. The contest ends with a half-court shot.

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LA CROSSE - A jury in La Crosse County found a man guilty of fatally beating his wife and trying to conceal her death by staging a car accident.

The jury deliberated more than nine hours before finding Todd Kenhammer guilty of first degree intentional homicide, according to the Lacrosse Tribune .

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MINOCQUA - Earlier this month, the Minocqua Fire Department celebrated the opening of its new fire station. 

Now, thanks to a Northwoods couple, the fire department has yet another thing to celebrate. 

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RHINELANDER - The first batch of showed up at Rhinelander Brewery Thursday.
This moves Rhinelander a step closer to brewing beer here for the first time since the 1960s.
Thursday the brewery got its brew kettle, six fermenters and a storage tank.

The brewery will have a ten tap system and wants five of the beers to be made in Rhinelander.
The rest will come from a brewery in Monroe that currently brews its beer.
"Really excited that it's coming to fruition and the people have been waiting a long time for us to be making beer here. We're going to make some small batch craft beer," said Rhinelander Brewery gift shop manager Brenda O' Rourke. 

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 12/15/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River held a grand RE-opening that shows patience and perseverance pays off. We talk to the Library Foundation president and vice-president as well as Governor Scott Walker who attended the event.

We'll show you a half-court basketball shot a Rhinelander eighth-grader made that won money for him and raised money the Rhinelander Area Scholarship Foundation.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following basketball games:

Phelps vs. Laona Wabeno (Boys and Girls)

Rhinelander vs. Northland Pines (Boys and Girls)

Elcho vs. Crandon (Boys)


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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EAGLE RIVER - Snowmobilers in Vilas County can get ready to ride.

Most trails in Vilas County will be opening at 5:00 p.m. Friday.

Vilas County Recreation Administrator Dale Mayo says the exception is the Phelps Trail system.

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MADISON - A drug distributor from California hoped to flood northern Wisconsin with meth to create more addicts.  Now, Marcos Castaneda faces life in federal prison.

Castaneda, 37, pleaded guilty in federal court in Madison for providing nearly $6 million of meth between 2013 and 2016.

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