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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Spotlight - Snowmobile Derby recap Jan 22Submitted: 01/23/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas


EAGLE RIVER - Tomahawk's Nick Van Strydonk won the world championship in 2012. He knows
competing at Eagle River Derby Track is special.

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

Lance Rutledge is an amatuer sno cross racer from Rhinelander.

"The adrenaline rush you get, especially in that last lap, it all comes into
play," Rutledge adds.


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

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 explains. "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 said. "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," derby
track marketing manager Richard Decker points out. "It's a lot of hard work but
believe me, everything is worth it. We love it."


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Workng OnSubmitted: 06/29/2015

- Kids who use wheelchairs or have other disabilities can't use most playgrounds. One Wausau family wants to change that. The family plans on building a new accessible playground with state of the art equipment that every child can use. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to the future site of JoJo's Jungle to learn more about the playground plans and the boy who inspired it all.

- Plus, find out how a new walking/biking trail between Rhinelander and Nicolet College could help keep drivers and bicyclists safe.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WAUSAU - Kids who use wheelchairs or have other disabilities can't use most playgrounds. One Wausau family wants to change that.

The Hoerter family has big plans for Wausau's new accessible playground. The 30,000 to 50,000 square foot play area called JoJo's Jungle will give every child the opportunity to play.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - Update---One man died after a fight in Wausau.

Now the man who survived is in jail. 

43-year-old George Diver of Wausau was found dead the day after the fight.  

40-year-old Jerry Schnabl was arrested for reckless homicide and taken to the Marathon County Jail.

Witnesses say the fight happened on Friday night and was about a girl that both men wanted to date.

Police got a call around 1:30 in the afternoon Saturday to an apartment on 2nd street in Wausau where Diver had stopped breathing.

Witnesses told police Diver had been hurt in the fight, but did not seek medical attention.

He went to bed, and was found dead Saturday afternoon by a woman who lived in the apartment with Diver.

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RHINELANDER - With July 4th just around the corner, many people plan their summer BBQ's. As you head out to the yard or beach, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Sun can cause serious harm to your skin. Be sure to reapply sunscreen throughout the day.

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WISCONSIN - A court can require a person to install an ignition interlock device, or IID, into their car, after multiple OWI offenses.

A person has to blow into the IID to check their blood-alcohol level to start their car. Now, a new proposed law hopes to increase fines for people who don't install the device.

Under current law, a person found without a required IID can be fined between $150 to $600 for the first offense. But the new law wants to increase these fines to between $500 to $1,200 for the first offense, and up to $2,000 for the second.

Police in the Northwoods say people driving without an IID has been a problem in the past.

"Last year, we've had 54 registered vehicles come in to our agency as having the ignition interlock device in it, and we've actually had nine people cited for either altering it or not having it installed when they were supposed to," said Oneida County Sheriff's Office Captain Terri Hook.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - For years people in Vilas and Iron counties fought over how to manage water levels on the Manitowish River and the Manitowish Chain of Lakes.

The Rest Lake Dam controls how much water fills several lakes, rivers, and the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.

Now, legislators in Madison might be the ones to decide where the water goes.

The current Rest Lake Dam was built in 1926.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Democrats say they want to eliminate nullified language in the state's constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Lawmakers held a news conference Monday to introduce the resolution after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Friday to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states.

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