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Equipment Purchase Helps with Backwoods RescuesSubmitted: 03/19/2013
Story By Lex Gray


RHINELANDER - The extra snow means extra, late-season snowmobiling.

In Arbor Vitae, this year has been a little safer than years past.

The Arbor Vitae Fire Department bought a John Deere Gator. They've been using it since mid-December.

The Gator can easily climb snow banks and drive through deep snow.

It will help rescuers reach people faster, even if they're deep in the woods.

"We have miles and miles of snowmobile trails up here, accidents can happen anywhere from one mile off of a highway up to about 20 miles off into the woods," said first responder Ben Woynich. "Vehicles like this give us the accessibility, give us safety and comfort on the way out there, we have great communication abilities with it."

Rescue Chief Stan Lewis used the gator to save a man's life in February.

A snowmobiler rolled into a ravine, and his sled landed on top of him while he was driving about a mile and a half off Highway 70.

It took the department just 20 minutes to reach him after they got the call.

"I was definitely glad, all the time and effort putting into researching and finding out what machine we wanted, and what we wanted the bed to look like," Lewis said. "It made me happy to finally use it and see that it does work and that we're able to use it in practical situations."

The gator cost $30,000. The department used money they get from responding to crashes on state highways.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

CRANDON - The first annual Legionnaire Mud Challenge made its way to Crandon Saturday.

The International Off-Road Raceway welcomed nearly 200 participants ready to get down and dirty.

Men and women of all ages were brought together by the desire to work up a sweat.

"There's not a lot of opportunities like this in the northwoods, so it's always great to see one pop up," said Justin Lund.

He's an experienced obstacle course athlete and came in first in the men's 10k.

And for the women, Sheila Reynolds also took first place.
 
"It's fun and then you get other people running and you're encouraging them along in a way. It's just a great atmosphere," said Reynolds.

Athletes participating in the mud challenge had the option of running as an individual or on a team. When registering, they chose between the 5k or 10k.

Not only are these athletes getting all muddy as they're going through the race, they also have to climb over obstacles like these barrels of hay.

Some of the obstacles included a tire wall, slip n' slide, and muddy wet puddles to get through.

"I talked to a lot of the runners before we went and they said that the obstacles were tough and they really liked the course," said Beaver, one of four runners on a team.

Beaver and The Boys completed the course with only a few setbacks along the way.

"I lost my shoe in the middle of it and had to go back and find it," he said.

Athletes had to get up and over more than 15 obstacles throughout the race.

All the money raised will go to the Northwoods United Way and American Cancer Society.

The second annual Legionnaire Mud Challenge will take place next year.

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How camps are handling the heatSubmitted: 07/22/2016

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RHINELADER - During the summer months, camps look forward to welcoming campers and counselors.

But they certainly don't look forward to those hot and humid days that make it hard to enjoy being outdoors.
 
This week, Rhinelander's Camp Birchrock has focused on keeping its campers cool all day long.

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RHINELANDER - Emergency responders save lives and build trust in the community.

And now the Rhinelander Police Department has a new member of that team after swearing in a new officer Friday morning.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has appointed attorney Dan Kelly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Walker's spokesman Tom Everson told The Associated Press on Friday that the governor had decided to name Kelly to the seven-member court.

Kelly will replace retiring Justice David Prosser. His appointment won't change the court's 5-2 conservative majority, however.

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RHINELANDER - We finally did it. We hit 90 degrees Thursday, July 21st, for the first time in almost three years.

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LANGLADE COUNTY - A dead crow found in Langlade County last week tested positive for West Nile virus. It's the first crow to test positive in Langlade County since surveillance started for the virus on May 1.

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WINCHESTER - Just a short walk from Kristin Cibelli's parents' deck stand--or rather lie--uprooted trees and twisted fences.

"I've never seen any damage like that in the 48 years I've been coming up here," Cibelli said.

Cibelli woke up to Thursday morning's heavy rains and winds around 5:30 a.m.  The storm finally passed over the Winchester area and the family went out to look over the damage.

"Adrenaline definitely was flowing," Cibelli said.

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