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Northwoods Spotlight: Record Vintage crowd; 20K expected for DerbySubmitted: 01/16/2013
Story By Joe Dufek


EAGLE RIVER - Last weekend was the first of two world championship snowmobile races in Eagle River.
Racers took us back in time, hopping on sleds at least a quarter-century old.

The Vintage Snowmobile Championships showed drivers racing on sleds which were made before 1985. Several Northwoods racers took the checkered flag on the final day of action. Including Jeff Stoxen of Rhinelander - winning in the 440 Sport Mod. Racing these old machines is a thrill.

"It's been getting bigger, and bigger," says Jeff Stoxen of Rhinelander - one of the vintage racers. "Everybody is one big family for vintage. Everyone helps everybody out."


A record 7,000 fans watched the Vintage races here at Eagle River Derby Track. Over 20,000 are expected for this weekend's World Championship Derby.

Derby track owner Chuck Decker adds, "the big news is the $60,000 prize to the World Champion this year. Just the one class alone is going to pay out $90,000."

Last year's defending champion Nick Van Strydonk will return to defend his crown. The Tomahawk racer is excited to be racing with the event celebrating it's 50th year.

Several past champions will be honored on Friday night. Time trials get underway Thursday. The World Championship is set for 3pm Sunday afternoon.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

ARBOR VITAE -
Deputies in Vilas County needs help finding a suspect that broke into a local business recently, according to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect triggered an alarm at the Little Creek Coffee Company in Arbor Vitae on June 22.

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RHINELANDER - You can find a lot of signs around downtown Rhinelander this summer. Some say "road closed," others say "detour". But some new, large signs will help you find all the downtown businesses are still open.

Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. printed several laminated signs directing people to those downtown shops and restaurants.  The signs will be placed on Lincoln Street as well as various entry points downtown.

Hext Theater Owner Jim Hext, who serves as DRI's promotions director, says some store owners put signs up in front of their buildings, which made a big difference.

"A lot of traffic flowed to their businesses then because of the signage that they put up," Hext said.  "So this is in hope that people will kind of see that as well too."

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PRICE COUNTY - The Price County Sheriff's Office says that 76-year-old Lola Schmidt died after a truck vs. train crash on Saturday.

The crash happened at the intersection of County Road D and the Canadian National Railroad tracks in the town of Knox.

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VILAS COUNTY - A Lac du Flambeau woman accused of stealing more than $100,000 from a Vilas County contracting company took a plea deal Monday.

49-year-old Samantha Chapman pled guilty to felony theft, fraudulent writings, and tax fraud.

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PHILLIPS - Having just finished her sophomore year in high school, Park Falls' Allison Michels can barely drive a car legally. But even at a young age, she, like many high schoolers in Price County, is already taking college-level classes at Northcentral Technical College.

Michels is taking advantage of a summer Certified Nursing Assistant class at NTC's Phillips campus.

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MADISON - A new report finds that a tax credit passed to benefit manufacturers and agricultural producers in Wisconsin is primarily helping millionaires.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue data included in the report released Tuesday by the Wisconsin Budget Project shows that 78 percent of the tax credits last year went to people earning more than $1 million.

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