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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: 07/25/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you live to the Vilas County Town of Cloverland where concerned citizens will meet to discuss the possibility of a convicted sex offender moving into their neighborhood.

Drivers on U.S. Highway 51 in Lincoln County may soon see some lane closures while crews work on some of the bridges. We'll tell you what work will be done on the bridges and how long drivers can expect to see those lane closures.

And we'll show you a week long creative arts camp in Woodruff where 5 local women artists want to share their artistic opportunities with children.

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

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WOODRUFF - Beads, paint, glue, and markers covered tables at the Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Woodruff Tuesday as children worked intently creating artwork. 

Five local women artists are holding a week long creative arts camp.

The camp is called "Grow Your Spirit."

It focuses on helping kids reflect who they are on the inside and out and express their spirit through art.
 
"I know that I am a better person when I do make art, and I think about the world and how I make art, and I want to have children have that opportunity," said Camp Leader Toni Polfus.

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RHINELANDER - Volunteers will walk the streets of the Northwoods late at night this week.  They're looking for homeless people, hoping their count gets people the help they need.

The count is part of a statewide effort that happens twice a year.  Northern Wisconsin Initiative to Stop Homelessness -- or N*WISH -- runs the count for Oneida, Vilas, Forest, and Langlade counties.

Program facilitator Lori Hallas says her teams usually don't find many people.

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GLEASON - A church volunteer in Lincoln County noticed something was not right on Friday.

Vandals struck the church in Gleason - spreading paint on the walls and even painting a satanic symbol.

The church is a historic site and isn't used regularly.

This isn't the first time the Estonian Church in the Town of Schley has been vandalized.

It's actually the third documented complaint to come from the church in the past year.

Complaints included theft, removal of doors, breaking of property and vandalism.

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EAGLE RIVER - "Just a lot of fun to fly," said Eagle River Union Airport manager Rob Hom.

Hom loves to share his passion for flying with others.
"There's nothing like it in the whole world," said Hom.

Hom has attended the Experimental Aircraft Association "Air Venture" in Oshkosh since 2002.

"It is truly an amazing experience," said Hom.

The EAA is an international organization of aviation enthusiasts with more than 200,000 members.

"What you see is thousands and thousands of airplanes," said Hom.

Hom wanted to share his passion for planes along with the experience of going to the largest plane show in the world.

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ANTIGO - Langlade County takes pride in having a long-standing and successful County Fair.

In fact, the 131st annual fair will open on Wednesday.

On Monday, workers were in preparation mode. Within a few days, the fairgrounds will be ready to welcome thousands of visitors to the free fair.

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VILAS COUNTY - When Dee Burlingame walks into the Sayner Cemetery, she walks to the very back of it, near the wooded area.

"When we bought that plot we did so laughing and saying that the deer would come and run across us," said Burlingame.

Dee and her husband of more than 34 years, John Burlingame, have called Sayner their home for many years, even though they met in Cleveland, Ohio. But about a year ago, Dee's life took an unexpected turn.

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