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

Northwoods Spotlight: Record Vintage crowd; 20K expected for Derby
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

LAND O LAKES - An Indiana man died when his snowmobile hit a tree near Land O Lakes.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department says 57 year old Michael Wilson died in the accident at 8:15 Monday night.

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ARBOR VITAE - Jumpstarting your fitness routine can be difficult at first, but some people opt to do it in a big way.

Boot camp fitness combines obstacle-style exercises over ten weeks.

While the physical results of boot camp won't last you forever, it can set the bar high for your fitness standards.

Zero Point Fitness owners Bob Krueger says to expect peaks and valleys in your journey.

"Definitely whether it is in strength or weight loss or body fat loss there are benefits all the way around. My biggest thing is longevity of life," says Krueger.

Registration for Zero Point Fitness's spring boot camp is open now.

Click below for more info on registration.


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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander woman stole nearly $30,000 from the car dealership that she worked at, according to a criminal complaint.

Police arrested Anna Petersen this week and prosecutors charged her with a felony of theft in a business setting.  She made her initial appearance in Oneida County Court Tuesday afternoon.

Her bosses at Rhinelander GM told detectives Petersen, 41, authorized at least five checks to be cashed as "petty cash" over the last two months.  The checks totaled to $28,796.86.

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WAUSAU - Gov. Scott Walker sees health insurance premiums going up and insurers leaving Wisconsin's Obamacare marketplaces.

He has a plan he says will help fix both problems.

After touring the new cardiac intensive care unit at Aspirus Wausau Hospital on Tuesday, Walker promoted his plan.

"In my mind, Washington has failed [on health care]. Wisconsin is going to lead," he said.

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RHINELANDER - A Minocqua man pleaded no contest Tuesday to a charge related to a child sexual assault case dating back nearly two years.  Nathan Warbalow, 26, reached a plea deal with Oneida County prosecutors that will help him avoid a longer prison sentence and eliminated the need for a jury trial, set for this week.

Warbalow's victims, who were under the age of 13, told police he made a game of trying to pull his pants down in 2016.  One victim told police Warbalow promised her a Popsicle if she touched his private parts.

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WAUSAU - Wausau police believe a dead man may have been killed.  In a press release, the Wausau Police Department says officers responded to reports of a dead body in the 1000 block of Kickbusch Street on Tuesday around 10 a.m.

Investigators noted "suspicious circumstances" with the death.  The department is investigating the case as a homicide.

Deputy Chief Ben Bliven tells Newswatch 12 police do not have any suspects under arrest as of 12:50 p.m.  Bliven also did not release how the man died.

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THE NORTHWOODS - When you book a hotel or rent a house you expect a certain level of standard when it comes to health and safety.

With a recent change in state short-term rental laws, Oneida County worries about getting every place inspected.

Currently there are about 220 rentals in Oneida County that require an annual inspection from the Oneida County Health Department, with only three environmental health specialists to do so.

A new law makes it easier for people to rent their homes, which will likely add to their work load. 

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