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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Spotlight - Eagle River Derby recap Jan 22Submitted: 01/22/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas


EAGLE RIVER - Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk won the world championship in 2012. He knows Eagle River is the place to be.

"You can't put it into words," Van Strydonk said. "It's its own special feeling."

Amateur sno cross racer Lance Rutledge of Rhinelander adds, "The adrenaline rush you get, especially in that last lap, it all comes into play."

Speed, adversity and triumph, Derby Weekend had it all - including talented local drivers.


"We do it for the fans," Van Strydonk adds. "We're not out here to make money. We're not out here to prove anything to the guys we race against. We're out here for the fans, we like to put on a show and have fun."

It wasn't just the guys tearing it up. 17 year old Sabrina Blanchet from Quebec set out to become the first female to qualify for the final race, but she had a tough weekend.

"It's disappointing but I'm not mad or upset," Blanchet explained. "The team does a lot of work to give me the best machine they can. We'll come back and try to do it all over again."

Another tradition that dates back to the early years is the Derby Queen. Northland Pines hockey star Jessica Roach won that honor for 2014.

"It's definitely awesome being part of the derby," Roach said. "We're a big hockey town but the Derby is what people look forward to in the winter."

The sleds that race out here aren't like anything you'd see on a trail. They're hand built from the ground up and hits speeds up to 100 miles per hour on the track.

In the end, it was Malcolm Chartier winning the granddaddy of them all... and becoming a back to back champ.

"We did our homework, Chartier explained. "We did it last year and tried to replicate what we did last year and did it again."

"To be able to live in a little town like Eagle River and have a business because there's not that much other tourism it's just very gratifying," Eagle River Derby Track Marketing Manager Richard Decker adds. "It's a lot of hard work but believe me, everything is worth it. We love it."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - You can get out on the water and help a good cause this weekend. Wildwood Outdoor Adventures will sponsor Paddle Fest on Saturday, May 23rd.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - As the weather gets warmer and fishing season comes into full swing, many people will head out on the water. If you're looking for a little help to snare that big catch, the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce is offering its first free fishing seminar Saturday night.

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WAUSAU - Police in Wausau want to find the man who held up a convenience store overnight.

About 1:30 this morning, The Store gas station on Stewart Avenue was robbed by a masked man.

He ordered the clerk to load all the money into a black backpack.

The suspect tripped when coming out from behind the counter, dropping some of the money and many packs of cigarettes.

A man in the store wrestled the gun away from the suspect.

It turned out to be plastic.

The suspect hit the customer in the face, grabbed the gun and ran away on foot.

The suspect was a light skinned black male, around 20 years old, with a thin build and dark black hair.

He had a black t-shirt wrapped around his face.

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WAUSAU - The case against a Weston man who's accused of putting a child's face in extremely hot water will move forward. Twenty-two-year-old Christopher Kolden faces a felony for child abuse.

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EAGLE RIVER - One popular Northwoods tourist destination wants to make it easier for visitors to find information about all the attractions the community offers.

The Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center unveiled a new website design recently.

Chamber leaders wanted to make it more convenient for visitors who are already in the area to find something to do.

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WOODRUFF - A few weeks ago, a fire destroyed the Lakeland Senior Center in Woodruff.

We still don't know how the fire started. We do know, however, that the center probably won't receive insurance money to help pay for the rebuilding process, because, at the time of the fire, the center didn't have insurance.

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EAGLE RIVER - One Northwoods community hopes to start a new tradition on Memorial Day weekend.

Eagle River will host its first ever Memorial Day Arts and Crafts Show on Saturday on Wall Street. The event will coincide with the annual sidewalk sale.

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