EAGLE RIVER - The 51st annual World Championship Snowmobile Derby gets underway later this week. Racing in Eagle River runs Thursday through Sunday.
For many years, the Torch Light Parade was a unique snowmobile ride started in downtown Eagle River. The riders would travel to the Eagle River Sports Arena.
After a 30 year absence, it's back. The tour is put on by the Sno-Eagles snowmobile club and the Eagle River Lions club.
Officially it's not part of the Derby.
However, it's a great tradition from the weekend making a return.
As the snowmobiles changed, they damaged city streets. That's why it was stopped in the mid 80s.
The trail was lit with torches or candles years ago.
Now they'll have glow sticks. The riders will have them too. Folks are excited to have the ride back.
"As the snowmobiles got more modern, we just couldn't get the approval to do it," Richard Decker - the Marketing Director at Eagle River Derby Track explains. "Now you can snowmobile in downtown Eagle River. Not on all of the streets but some of them. It made a really big difference. I think it will be interesting for the public to watch and anyone who wants to join in and ride."
"Years ago we (lit the trail) with candles," Jim Ayers of the Sno-Eagles and Lions club adds. "That was a problem keeping them lit. Now we have some new products. Hopefully it will make it really nice. If it does, we'll do it again next year I think."
The Torch Light Parade begins at 6pm on Saturday. The public is invited to take part in the ride. It starts across from Eagle River Derby track.
ROSENDALE, WI - An explosion and fire at a cheese plant in Fond du Lac County sent one person to the hospital.
The sheriff's office says 36-year-old Travis Klotzbach, of Brandon, was using a cutting torch on an empty 55-gallon barrel in the auto shop at Knaus Cheese near Rosendale when the explosion happened just after 7 a.m. Friday.
RHINELANDER - Snow plows can't do their job very well when cars sit in their way. That's why Rhinelander's winter parking ban will return in just a couple of weeks.
Starting December 1st, cars can only park on designated sides of the street during the day. On even-numbered days, cars park on the side of the street with even addresses. On odd numbered days, cars must park on odd-numbered sides of the street.
UPDATE: The suspected shooter from a homicide in Tomahawk has been identified as Eric Lee Moen, 32. Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins confirmed Moen is being held in the Lincoln County Jail for a 1st-degree intentional homicide charge.
The Lincoln County Clerk of Courts reports Moen is being held on a $1 million cash bond. He has yet to appear in court, but an initial appearance has been set for Monday at 1:30 p.m.
Online court records show Moen was convicted of various traffic offenses. He was also convicted of misdemeanor battery in Portage County from a 2002 case.
Elvins plans to release more information Friday afternoon.
Tomahawk police identified the victim in the city's first shooting homicide in years. Friday morning, Police Chief Al Elvins announced Charles K. Ramp, 52, was shot and killed outside his home on W. Mohawk Drive Thursday night.
Police arrested the suspected shooter, a 32-year-old man from Wausau, but did not identify him. The suspect was found about 130 miles away in Lake Hallie, which is near Eau Claire.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Salvation Army hopes to raise $40,000 in its bell ringing campaign again this year. It reached that goal during the holidays a year ago.
Volunteers kicked off the bell ringing drive at Trig's and Shopko on Friday. Eighty-six percent of money raised stays in the Rhinelander area to help families in emergencies.
"We're very excited that we're keeping our goal at 40 (thousand dollars) this year, and we're hoping that people are continuing to be generous in helping us reach that goal," Rhinelander Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Kim Swisher said. "People are friendly, they're excited, they're like, 'Oh, it's bell ringing time!' [That] always means the holidays. We're excited about that."
You'll see volunteers at Trig's and Shopko through the holidays. Bell ringing starts at Walmart next week.
EAGLE RIVER - Americans eat more than 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. That much thawing, handling, and cooking of turkeys means people can make mistakes.
The Vilas County Public Health Department wants to help people avoid exposing themselves to dangerous bacteria. It says frozen turkeys should always be thawed in the refrigerator or under running water.
"You don't want to set them out on your countertop for any amount of time to thaw them because that's when they're going to be in the 'danger zone.' The 'danger zone' is between 40 and 140 [degrees Fahrenheit], and that's when pathogens can grow," said Vilas County Registered Sanitarian Amy Springer.
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