PHELPS - Imagine driving a snowmobile, while blindfolded.
"Not being able to see totally disorients you," racer Jeremiah Chmiel admits.
Another racer, Ray Kangas explains, "It's a freaky feeling cause you're only going by what someone is telling you."
This unique fundraiser came about in memory of Ken and Peto Buell. The Phelps community rallied around the idea.
Race Coordinator Cindy Regozzi is proud.
"Blindfolded snowmobiling race! We're a fun, goofy place and have lots of great ideas," Regozzi says. "That came up in a discussion one night and we tried it. That was last year and it was very successful so this is our second year."
This is the helmet the drivers used to go around the track. They assured me that once you put it on, you can't see a thing.
"There is absolutely zero vision," Chmiel adds. "If you're claustrophobic it's probably not the best thing to put on, cause there's nothing there."
The weather didn't cooperate, but the experience was like nothing else you've ever seen.
"It sounds scary, but once you do it, it's exciting and you'll want to do it again," racer Ron Buell proudly explains.
Three Phelps seniors are competing to win a scholarship from the money raised. The decision will be made based on academics, extra curriculars and community service.
Jackie Samuelson - a Phelps senior has big goals.
"I plan to go to the University of River Falls for Pre-veterinary medicine," Samuelson says. "I'm going to try everything I can to get a lot of scholarships and this is one that I'd greatly appreciate."
"Hopefully we can draw some more people, raise some more money," Buell points out. "Help these kids out and give them a better chance to go on in life."
ROSENDALE, WI - An explosion and fire at a cheese plant in Fond du Lac County sent one person to the hospital.
The sheriff's office says 36-year-old Travis Klotzbach, of Brandon, was using a cutting torch on an empty 55-gallon barrel in the auto shop at Knaus Cheese near Rosendale when the explosion happened just after 7 a.m. Friday.
RHINELANDER - Snow plows can't do their job very well when cars sit in their way. That's why Rhinelander's winter parking ban will return in just a couple of weeks.
Starting December 1st, cars can only park on designated sides of the street during the day. On even-numbered days, cars park on the side of the street with even addresses. On odd numbered days, cars must park on odd-numbered sides of the street.
UPDATE: The suspected shooter from a homicide in Tomahawk has been identified as Eric Lee Moen, 32. Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins confirmed Moen is being held in the Lincoln County Jail for a 1st-degree intentional homicide charge.
The Lincoln County Clerk of Courts reports Moen is being held on a $1 million cash bond. He has yet to appear in court, but an initial appearance has been set for Monday at 1:30 p.m.
Online court records show Moen was convicted of various traffic offenses. He was also convicted of misdemeanor battery in Portage County from a 2002 case.
Elvins plans to release more information Friday afternoon.
Tomahawk police identified the victim in the city's first shooting homicide in years. Friday morning, Police Chief Al Elvins announced Charles K. Ramp, 52, was shot and killed outside his home on W. Mohawk Drive Thursday night.
Police arrested the suspected shooter, a 32-year-old man from Wausau, but did not identify him. The suspect was found about 130 miles away in Lake Hallie, which is near Eau Claire.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Salvation Army hopes to raise $40,000 in its bell ringing campaign again this year. It reached that goal during the holidays a year ago.
Volunteers kicked off the bell ringing drive at Trig's and Shopko on Friday. Eighty-six percent of money raised stays in the Rhinelander area to help families in emergencies.
"We're very excited that we're keeping our goal at 40 (thousand dollars) this year, and we're hoping that people are continuing to be generous in helping us reach that goal," Rhinelander Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Kim Swisher said. "People are friendly, they're excited, they're like, 'Oh, it's bell ringing time!' [That] always means the holidays. We're excited about that."
You'll see volunteers at Trig's and Shopko through the holidays. Bell ringing starts at Walmart next week.
EAGLE RIVER - Americans eat more than 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. That much thawing, handling, and cooking of turkeys means people can make mistakes.
The Vilas County Public Health Department wants to help people avoid exposing themselves to dangerous bacteria. It says frozen turkeys should always be thawed in the refrigerator or under running water.
"You don't want to set them out on your countertop for any amount of time to thaw them because that's when they're going to be in the 'danger zone.' The 'danger zone' is between 40 and 140 [degrees Fahrenheit], and that's when pathogens can grow," said Vilas County Registered Sanitarian Amy Springer.
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