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Northwoods Spotlight - Snowmobile racing preview Jan 8Submitted: 01/08/2014
Story By Joe Dufek


EAGLE RIVER - The familiar roar of snowmobiles racing on the track returns this weekend. It's the annual Vintage snowmobile races at Eagle River Derby Track.

Steve Decker is the Chief Operations Officer at the track.

"The vintage weekend has grown," Steve explains. "Because guy grewe up watching the races. Now they're living their dream being out on the track."

The below normal temperatures this winter have actually made preparations better at the track. At last check, the ice depth on the track is 22 inches.


"We've got to have at least 15 inches of ice to make it through two weekends," Richard Decker - the track's Marketing Director adds. "Right now the weather looks great for vintage weekend. I think we'll have good racing."

Of course the World Championship Snowmobile Derby is next week. While the drivers race the older sleds this weekend, the event is a chance to also make sure things are top-notch for Derby weekend.

Richard is happy to have the weekends back to back.

"To open this place up - especially as cold as it has been - it takes the rough edges off for us," Richard explains. "Every year we get new volunteers. It gives them a break in time. Then when it is derby time - it helps out. It's a plus, plus for us."


Joe: Approximately 1,000 racers are expected to take part this weekend.

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One team even made their way from California.

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WESTON - The state of Wisconsin no longer bans the possession or purchase of switchblades.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) signed a bill lifting the decades-long ban on switchblades on Saturday at a 
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Walker said this gives people another option for protection, and it also can help first responders at accidents.

"Say at a crash to take someone out of a harness or seat belt or other things like that," Walker said. "And again, the bottom line is as it is with firearms, the people you are worried about are already possessing these, law abiding citizens should at least have access to that in the state of Wisconsin."

This new law applies only to people who are legally eligible to own a gun.

"The same provisions apply," Walker said. "If someone's prohibited from possessing a firearm, say they're a felon, they are not able to possess a firearm the same way with a knife under the senses. But with a law abiding citizen, it just makes sense that if they're following the law, they're looking to protect themselves and their families, this gives them one more tool to do that as well as first responders."

Under this new bill people can also carry concealed knives of any length without a concealed carry license.

FORCE, or Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators, is an association chartered by the NRA. 

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This is the fifth year Treehaven has hosted the 5K and 10K races.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker is set to sign a bill that would allow people to carry concealed switchblades and knives.

The governor plans to sign the measure Saturday afternoon at the National Rifle Association and Wisconsin FORCE's annual convention in Weston. Wisconsin FORCE, or Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators, is an NRA-chartered association that advocates for the right to bear arms.

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- Tonight on Friday Night Blitz we will bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following boys basketball games:

D.C. Everest vs. Wausau West

Antigo vs. Mosinee

Rhinelander vs. Tomahawk

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That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll have this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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This morning kicked off the annual Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey Championships on Dollar Lake.

This is the 11th year Eagle River hosted the event.

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