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NEWS STORIES

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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/06/2015

- One Northwoods football field needs major repairs. Football officials say the field at Jay Stadium in Merrill is almost unplayable. The Merrill Area Public School administration wants to fix the field, but it doesn't know what to do yet. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to Merrill to find out more.

- Plus, the Phelps basketball team takes being a family to the next level. Four out of their five starters are related

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

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MERRILL - The success of the Merrill football team hasn't gone unnoticed in recent years--but neither has the bad state of the Bluejays' stadium.

"About two years ago, we had football officials tell us we [need to] do something about our field," says Merrill Area Public School Superintendent Wally Leipart. "It's now getting to the point where it's unplayable."

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WABENO - You may know Wabeno for its 35-foot snowman that appeared this past few winters. But this year it's not called Wabeno's snowman. It's Logan's snowman.

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MERRILL - A Merrill man will spend less than a month in jail for disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon.

Daniel Osness was originally charged with a felony for endangering safety and four other misdemeanors. He took a plea deal Friday.

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RHINELANDER - There could be a new trail running along Pelican River. The plan is to have the river trail run from the Chamber of Commerce out to the new boat landing. It'll travel up the Pelican River and connect the hotels along Kemp Street.

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RHINELANDER - Prosecutors think 40-year-old Shannon Wolf played a role in the 2003 death of Kenneth Wells. Police found Wells' body in the Wisconsin River near Rhinelander 12 years ago, but no one was ever charged with a crime in connection to his' death.

Now the case against Shannon Wolf will move forward after prosecutors showed a DVD reenactment to the court on Friday and successfully established that there is probable cause for the case to go to trial.

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MADISON - A representative of Wisconsin's Native American tribes told state lawmakers about the challenges facing tribal communities.

Chris McGeshick, chairman of the Sokaogon Chippewa Community delivered the annual State of the Tribes address Thursday.

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