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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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/19/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Today, we went with board members from the Oneida County Board of Adjustment, Marshfield Clinic representatives and Howard Young representatives to tour the Minocqua site where the clinic wants to build a hospital.

We'll show you the work by crews in Minocqua to upgrade the natural gas distribution system that dates back to the Lyndon Johnson administration.

And after a long off season, archery hunters across the Northwoods can finally get back in their tree stands. We talk with a Northwoods trading post owner about the enthusiasm of bow hunters this year.

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

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RHINELANDER - You can find everything from edible berries to garnishes right in your own backyard.

"Master Gardeners of the North" wants to teach you how.

Tonight's class will be on foraging for edibles in the Northwoods.

Even though edibles can be easy to find, volunteer Tom Jerow says you should leave enough behind for wildlife and next year's crop.

" You should really link up with a mentor, someone who knows what they're doing. Someone who can identify the food that you're looking for," says Jerow.

You can find nuts, grapes, and sumac pretty easily this time of year.

The Master Gardeners meet tonight at 6:00 p.m. at the Oneida County Senior Center.

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MADISON - A Wisconsin appeals court has upheld the state's right-to-work law, reversing a Dane County circuit judge's ruling striking it down.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals on Tuesday sided with Governor Scott Walker and rejected the challenge brought by three unions.

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MERRILL - The Merrill Fire Department has a new high-tech fire extinguisher training device.

It allows users to put out a fire without using an actual fire.

Firefighter Bryson Cruise says this is much easier and safer because the old device could only be taught with a real fire outside.

"The screen is reactive to the laser inside the extinguisher and it simulates the fire with both light and sound," explained Cruise.

The device was a gift from three of Merrill's largest businesses, Church Mutual Insurance Company, Weinbrenner Shoe Company and Park City Credit Union.

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MERRILL - Police released the name of a Wausau woman killed in a crash in Lincoln County Friday afternoon.

Deputies tell us 57-year-old Joan Lehman died in the crash near Merrill, which happened at the intersection of County Road Q and Joe Snow Road in the Town of Scott.

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WAUSAU - You don't have to travel to a big city to get your natural history fix.

Colossal Fossils in Wausau Center Mall houses hundreds of fossils and bones.

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RHINELANDER - A convicted sex offender will return to Oneida County this week.

Jason Mullen, 29, gets out of prison Tuesday, September 19.

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+ More General News
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