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NEWS STORIES

Eagle River kicks-off Snowmobile Vintage Race Submitted: 01/11/2013
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

PORT WASHINGTON - A Wisconsin jury has convicted TV actor Dustin Diamond of two misdemeanors stemming from a barroom fight, but cleared the former "Saved by the Bell" actor of the most serious felony charge.

The jury's verdict Friday came just hours after the 38-year-old actor testified that he never intended to stab anyone in the fight last Christmas Day.

Diamond said he was trying to scare bar patrons in Port Washington after his girlfriend was punched in the face.

He had pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of recklessly endangering public safety, plus two misdemeanors carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct
.
Conviction on all three counts carried a potential sentence of up to 11 years in prison.

Diamond played the character Screech on the popular 1990s show.

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"You would see me breathing deeply," she says, drawing in a lungful of oxygen. "Even now, there's nothing like clean, fresh air."

Liz grew up on this farm, and now owns the place, though she lives in southern Wisconsin. Her father built the majestic cedar-sided barn with her brothers, finishing it in 1944.

"He built this barn as if it would be the last barn he would need to build," Liz says.

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WHITE LAKE - Students in White Lake spent the day outside of the classroom learning about invasive species today. It was the 16th annual Spring Lake Day at White Lake. It's part of the year-round Adopt-A-Lake program that teaches students about waterway and environmental preservation.

"Being on White Lake and being in the Northwoods, aquatic invasive species education is extremely important," said Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator John Preuss. "And a good way to reach out to people is through our students and through our youth."

Elementary students from White Lake School learned about the different aquatic invasive species such as purple loosestrife, and Eurasian watermilfoil. They also learned how to prevent them from spreading.

"Those plants spread by fragmentation and boat traffic," said Preuss. "And just educating people so they know the right steps to take and the laws to prevent this plant from moving around. We have 15,000 lakes in Wisconsin; just a small percentage have an invasive species."

Students also learned about the spread of a tree killing bug called emerald ash bore.

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VILAS COUNTY - A warming climate could have significant impacts on Northwoods streams. Warming streams, in turn, could put pressure on trout populations in those waterways.

"If we think about streams, it is changing, and that's going to potentially change what can live here and the habitats that are available," said Dr. Noah Lottig, an assistant scientist at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction. "We've seen that across a whole range of things and a wide variety of studies."

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MADISON - Wisconsin lawmakers have rejected Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to block the state Department of Natural Resources from purchasing any land through its stewardship program for at least the next 13 years.

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MINOCQUA - One Northwoods business gives people a bird's eye view. One year into the business venture, Northwoods Zip Line in Minocqua is happy with the business they are doing.

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