EAGLE RIVER - The most prestigious race in oval track snowmobiling didn't disappoint. Four previous winners were in the field and for the World Championship, that past success proved to make a difference.
Twelve drivers with the hopes of their name being inscribed on the trophy.
On green last year's winner Malcolm Chartier sped into the lead but behind him Colt Dellandrea's sled took a nasty tumble and he was done for the day.
On the second start Chartier again won the drag race to the first turn. Matt Schultz of Wausau was in second and Tomahawk's Nick Van Strydonk moved up to third.
But just before the scheduled break after 10 laps, Van Strydonk's sled came to a stop in turn three.
To continue in the race, he picked up the back of his sled and started pushing. The crowd cheered loudly for Nick and when he made it there he collapsed and the crew quickly got to work on a broken belt.
The field lined up again for the final 20 laps. Chartier continued to build his lead and by lap 23, he was ahead by about 3 seconds.
Chartier never wavered and pumped his fist becoming the 8th back to back champ. Shultz took second, Travis MacDonald third, Van Strydonk finished in 8th.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
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