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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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RHINELANDER - It took a local author 30 years to publish his book.Jay Woolf was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or CLL. He decided to use his pain from the disease to help others cope.

Woolf is from Winchester, Wisconsin. He started writing the book "It IS a Laughing Matter," when he was diagnosed with cancer 30 years ago. He just finished the book last year.

"Every death joke that I knew, started coming to mind and every time it came out I realized it was helping me. If it helps me, maybe it could help somebody else," said Woolf. 

Woolf wanted to use his jokes to help people.He sells his books and also does talks at local libraries. Woolf has been in remission for about 17 years.


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GRAND RAPIDS - Saturday afternoon a boat crash in Wood County caused multiple injuries according to DNR Conservation Warden Korey Trowbridge.

The single boat crash happened around 12:30 p.m. on Lake Wazeecha in Grand Rapids. Five people were on board when the boat collided with the shore line.

Multiple people were transported to a hospital for their injuries. The extent of those injuries is unknown.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department, the Grand Rapids Police Department and the DNR are all investigating the crash. 

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Oneida County Fair fundraiserSubmitted: 06/17/2018

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RHINELANDER - The new Oneida County Fair Coordinator wants to see the fair grow and get the community fully involved.

It's Tom Barnett's first year as fair coordinator and Saturday at Pat's Tavern in Rhinelander he hosted a fundraiser.

He said he didn't have a financial goal for Saturday's event, but says every dollar is more than they had before and makes a difference.

"We really want to bring the community into the fair. We want them to be involved a lot more. With the support from the community the sponsorship, it's only going to help the fair grow bigger and better. We need that sponsorship we need the support from the community to make the fair grown and make it more successful than it has been," said Barnett.

Pixy the Clown and Ms America were two of the many guests at the event.
There was also food, drinks and raffles.

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MADISON (AP) - Madison is ending its compost collection program because residents were putting too many non-compostable items in their carts and the city can't afford its own biodigester.

Bryan Johnson is the city's recycling coordinator. He tells The Wisconsin State Journal that ending the program will give officials time to study other options for collecting food scraps and other compostable materials.

The program currently has about 1,100 households and 40 businesses involved.

Johnson says separating non-compostable materials is a labor-intensive and slow process that requires additional water. The digester's operator, GL Dairy Biogas, charges a $200-per-ton fee to separate debris from compostable material.

Mayor Paul Soglin says he hopes the city can find ways to work with larger producers before integrating the process into the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District.

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WOODRUFF - A Northwoods coffee shop known for its food truck operation recently found a permanent location. The Milky Way Coffee Company had the grand opening of its new shop in Woodruff Sunday.

The new coffee house is inside the Lakeland Plaza which sits on the corner of Highway 51 and Townline Road. The two sisters who own the company converted what was once a bank into a coffee shop.

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RHINELANDER -
The Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce will need to find a new executive director. Maggie Steffen has resigned from her position for personal reasons. In a Facebook post, Steffen thanked the people who helped her during her year and a half as director.

She also said the Chamber made many great strides during her time. When the Chamber hires a new director, he or she will be the sixth director since 2011.

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MINOCQUA - T-shirts and running shoes are typical at a 5K race, but paws and doggy dish prizes, not so much. 

"There isn't anything like this, in this area at least," said Blue Raven Race Productions organizer Karen McCabe.

The first-ever Paws on the Run 5K was held in Minocqua Saturday to support the Northwoods Wildlife Center. 

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