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Eagle River kicks-off Snowmobile Vintage Race Submitted: 01/11/2013
Eagle River kicks-off Snowmobile Vintage Race
Story By Shardaa Gray

EAGLE RIVER - Today kicks off the 50th Anniversary of the Snowmobile Vintage Race in Eagle River.

Tomorrow, racers will qualify for the championship.

The finals are on Sunday.

Chuck Decker is the president of the world championship snowmobile derby.

He said the race isn't JUST exciting for competitors.

"This is a big boost for the economy. We're going to fill the entire Northwoods area for about two weeks, when normally there would be nobody here because we don't have the snow right now for people to come up in snowmobiling." said Decker.

"So I think a lot of people are pretty happy right now that the races are going on."

Bill Chad came from Merrill to see the vintage race.

For him, Eagle River is the only place to be this weekend.

"You just got to come out here and experience this. Something like this back at home, there's nothing like this available." said Chad.

"So I guess you have to travel a little bit and yea the weather can be better, but we make the best of it."

About 5 thousand people are expected this weekend for the vintage race.

But next weekend, 20-thousand people will show up for the main event.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - An Eagle River man pleaded not guilty to multiple drug related charges. 

Police arrested Scott Schmidt, 33, of Eagle River and Stephanie Wolfe, 34, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, on March 30 for making meth in Schmidt's Eagle River home on Highway 45.

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PORTAGE COUNTY - Police want to find a suspect in a shooting in the Town of Plover.

The Portage County Sheriff's Department is looking for 18 year old Alec Varney. Police believe he fired a shotgun at two men injuring them. A third person had a stab wound. 

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MERRILL - It appears a Merrill man accused of killing his father might not go to trial. 

On July 14 2017, prosecutors charged Tyler Monroe with killing Kevin Monroe in January 2016 and hiding his corpse.

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RHINELANDER - DNA evidence from a pair of sweatpants could link a Northwoods man to a violent sexual assault. Prosecutors offered up some of that evidence against Richard Loppnow in Oneida County court on Wednesday morning.

The victim accuses Loppnow, 38, of forcing her into several sexual activities twice on his property south of Eagle River back on October 28 and 29th of 2017.  

The criminal complaint shows the first assault happened in a building on Loppnow's property.  Testimony revealed claims that Loppnow held a gun to the victim's head.

"[Loppnow was] advising that she could either be humiliated or shot in the head," Oneida County Detective Sergeant Ryan Rossing testified.  "She chose to be humiliated due to not wanting to be harmed."

After later moving to a mobile home trailer on the property, the victim claims Loppnow pointed a sawed-off shotgun or handgun to her head and gave her several options.

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RHINELANDER - Oneida County Sheriff Grady Hartman wants the job for another term.

Hartman submitted his nomination papers to the county clerk's office on Monday.

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MERRILL - People keep asking Northwoods veterans officers the same question.

When will the new national cemetery near Rhinelander open?

At an information session in Merrill on Wednesday, the VA said design plans are about 35 percent done. But a John Knapp, a VA representative, couldn't give a timeline on when construction might start or finish.

He said it depends on the contractor, the weather, and approval from the VA.

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TOMAHAWK - Lemon Bar and Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler can be more than just bakery desserts.

They're flavors at one Tomahawk ice cream shop.

The Windmill Ice Cream Shoppe will open its doors at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.

Owner Pat Berg says a couple of people will be already waiting in line for the door to be opened.

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