A past winner comes up big at the 51st World ChampionshipSubmitted: 01/19/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas

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.

Chartier said he and his team were prepared.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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WOOD COUNTY - Two people who stole a UTV led police on a wild chase early Friday morning. Friday night, those suspects were still on the run.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office tells us a sporting goods store owner walked in as the burglary was happening, just before 7 a.m. The suspects took off in a red Dodge pickup truck pulling a trailer with the stolen UTV. They crashed through several gates to get out.

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MERRILL - One Northwoods farm wants to give all families the full Fall experience.

Grampa's Farm in Merrill has been a popular fall destination in Wisconsin since 2010.

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RHINELANDER - A Wisconsin brewing company executive wants businesses to hire more veterans.

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 62, Thorp 6

Algoma 24, Sturgeon Bay 8

Almond-Bancroft 61, Tigerton/Marion 6

Amherst 56, Manawa 6

Antigo 42, Lakeland 28

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