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NEWS STORIES

Spotlight: We go behind the scenes at CrandonSubmitted: 09/04/2013
Story By Joe Dufek


CRANDON - The trucks were roaring. Everyone with one goal. To win. Rhinelander's Mark Steinhardt proved to be too much. He not only won Saturday's 1600 Buggy class, he captured the TORC series championship for the second straight year.

Mark Steinhardt said, "You set your goals at the beginning of the year and obviously the goal just like any football team is to win the championship."

Other local drivers winning over the weekend include Jeff Kincaid of Crandon. He won the Pro 2 wheeldrive final. He dedicated the win to his father who recently passed away.

Scott Taylor of Illinois competed in Crandon for 40 years. Completed 40 years of racing in Crandon. He had his signature truck. Tiger logo on the front, and tiger tail on the back. He wanted to compete in the Northwoods one last time.

Scott Taylor added, "The folks up here are great. Crandon's been my favorite race to come to. This is the Daytona 500 of off road racing."

While the drivers get all of the attention, it's the people working behind the scenes which make this event a success.

Pace car driver Rich Kulal said, "To live 5 miles down the road, from the biggest track and the biggest race in the world is something amazing."

One state study estimated the Championships bring in over $8-million dollars to the local economy. An expected attendance record of more than 20,000 fans watched the action Labor Day weekend.



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WISCONSIN - Gogebic Taconite will no longer pursue mining in northern Wisconsin. The company scrapped its plans for a huge iron ore mine in Iron and Ashland Counties this spring.

But state Democrats aren't forgetting about the mining issue. They're proposing a bill which they say would close a loophole in the state's 2013 mining law. That law relaxed the permitting process for iron mines.

The Democrats' bill would make it illegal to fill or destroy the bed of a lake, stream, reservoir, or flowage to mine the materials underneath. Bill author Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) said right now, mining could be done legally under flowages and reservoirs.

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TOMAHAWK - Some school board members in the Northwoods run unopposed, but that could change in Tomahawk.

Ken Schulz is one of the more than 100 community members who want change.

The change could mean there's only seven people on the Tomahawk School Board instead of nine. 
 
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PHILLIPS - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wants all city police officers to wear body cameras by the end of next year. He made that proposal this week after tension between police and the public in places like Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Ferguson, Missouri.

One Northwoods police department has been using the cameras for years. Phillips police officers have worn body cameras since 2008. They turn them on while responding to many situations in the city.

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UNITED STATES - Put every kid in a park.

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CRANDON - Many people may go out of town for Labor Day Weekend, but not in Crandon.

In fact, people from all over the country are coming in town for the 46th annual World Championship Off-Road Races.

The races started Friday night and continue throughout the weekend, with championship races occuring on Saturday and Sunday.

The event's parade attracted hundreds of people in downtown Crandon on Friday afternoon.

Event organizers say there are about 145 racers. They are hoping for thousands of spectators.

"Labor Day Weekend is a happening in Crandon," said Crandon International Off-Road Raceway Cliff Flannery said. "

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RHINELANDER - People don't like to pay for things they don't use and don't own, which makes Rhinelander's discovery all the more tricky.  The city has been plowing a private alley for more than three decades.

The rocky and narrow alley runs between Pearl and Rose Streets near Hodag Park.

The city public works director realized the mistake about two months ago.  The 12 homeowners there own the land, which means every time a Rhinelander plow goes through, it's trespassing.

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LANGLADE COUNTY - Lake property owners in the Northwoods often care deeply about the health and well-being of their lakes. The people who live around Rolling Stone Lake in northern Langlade County are just one example.

The lake has a weed cutter machine, a large storage and maintenance building, and public land. Members around the lake pay a little extra tax for those things. But the lake district will also raise thousands of dollars this weekend. They're hosting a picnic, rummage sale, raffles, and bake sale for their lake.

"It's really the best-kept secret in the Northwoods, I think," said Char Waite, a member of the Rolling Stone Lake Protecting and Rehabilitation District. "It's quiet. It's a great lake to fish. It's a great lake to boat. We just love it here."

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