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NEWS STORIES

50th World Championship Snowmobile Derby Wraps UpSubmitted: 01/20/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas


EAGLE RIVER, WI - It was 50 years in the making and didn't disappoint. The World Championship Snowmobile Derby wrapped up today in Eagle River. Even though it was chilly out, the racing action was hot!

Over 30,000 people turned out for the weekend's festivities and everyone was waiting for the main event, the 50th running of the World Championship. 12 elite drivers competed for the title, including last years winner, Nick Van Strydonk from Tomahawk.



The field ran 10 laps and then took a quick break to make adjustments to the sleds if necessary. Then after a few cautions and restarts, it was pole sitter Malcolm Chartier from Marine City, Michigan just edging out Jordan Wahl to take the checkered flag.

Wausau native Matt Schultz had a great race of his own...the former champ finished in third place.

Earlier in the day, the Snow Cross Pro-Open final was also held. 10 drivers showed off their skills in the middle of the track for the 15 lap competition. Ross Martin from Kenosha, Wisconsin took the top spot.



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"You don't need to be afraid of bees, you just have to love them for what they are," said Rydell.

Rydell has raised bees since the 1980s. Now with 35 colonies and thousands of bees in Marathon County, he's produced hundreds of pounds of honey just this year.

"We're having success with it," said Rydell, who's with the Marathon County Beekeepers Association. "A little at a time. You make mistakes, but it's getting better."

But here and across the country, bee populations have been on the decline for years. Bees are important pollinators for the environment, which is why the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will meet next week to devise a pollinator protection plan.

"Whether people know it or not, for every three tablespoons of food you eat, two of those table spoons are produced by bees, and without them, we're not going to be able to feed people," said Rydell.

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County Board members met last week with representatives from La Pointe Iron Co., which owns much of the land in northern Wisconsin that Gogebic Taconite tried to develop before pulling out in February.

One county board member says Gogebic Taconite's performance may make it harder for another developer to gain the public's trust.

He says county residents will likely remain divided on the mine because of environmental concerns.

But if state and federal regulators can guarantee the environment won't suffer, he says the mine might be worth pursuing because it could bring jobs to an area that desperately needs them.

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The Vilas County Board Public Property Committee met on Monday to discuss possible plans.

The county thinks it needs another courtroom to accommodate its second circuit court judge. The county asked the state to fund the project last year.

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CONOVER - The first stretch of the Conover-Phelps trail may be ready in the fall.

Crews started carving out the first part of the trail, a 3.2 mile stretch, last week.

The trail starts at Community Park in Conover and continues across County Highway K to Highway 45. It runs 
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The trail is for non-motorized vehicles except for snowmobiles, which will be allowed in the winter. 

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BIG FLATS - The Adams County Sheriff's Office believes a 62-year-old man set a mobile home on fire in Big Flats, north of Friendship, last Friday. The Sheriff's Office says that the body of the man's 92-year-old mother was likely still inside at the time, dead of an apparent gunshot wound.

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STEVENS POINT - A 58-year-old Portage County man accused of killing his wife and getting in a standoff with police is competent for trial.

That standoff happened in Bancroft, which is south of Plover, in June.

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