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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 Working OnSubmitted: 01/20/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Mild temperatures are expected for this weekend's World Championships Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River. Tonight we talk to the derby president to see how the warmer weather effects the event.

We'll show you how the Tomahawk Public Works Department determines when it would be required for residents to keep their water running in cold weather.

We'll take you to a Merrill restaurant that has a special menu for Inauguration Day.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following games:

College Hockey:

UW-Eau Claire vs. UW-Stevens Point


Boys Basketball:

Lakeland vs. Rhinelander

Florence vs. Crandon

Assumption vs. Marathon

Mosinee vs. Tomahawk


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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PARK FALLS - People in Park Falls can look forward to a summer of major road construction in the city's downtown. After it's done, they can look forward to a more appealing downtown layout.

But for several months, the work will literally split the city in two.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - The Northwoods Transit Connections gave more than 2,000 rides to people last month. 

That's a big jump for the Oneida and Vilas county bus service.

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MERRILL - The T.B. Scott Free Library first opened its doors back in the 1800s. Light bulbs had been invented just 10 years prior.

Now, another technological advance will help the Merrill library go solar in the next few months.

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VILAS COUNTY - Update:

We now the names of the people involved in a deadly crash that happened in Boulder Junction on Tuesday.

The crash happened at the intersection of Highway 51 and County Highway H just after 3:30 p.m.

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WAUSAU - Caitlin Harris recently began her family medicine residency at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. She is originally from California.

"A lot of people say 'what are you doing out here in Wausau' and 'can you handle the winters?'" said Harris. 

You would think that someone who grew up Los Angeles would want to be closer to the hustle and bustle of city life. Not Caitlin.

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EAGLE RIVER - Northwoods emergency workers should find some small comforts of home when they're out fighting fires or running search-and-rescue operations for hours at a time.

The area's Salvation Army Emergency Radio Network--or SATERN--now has a mobile canteen trailer. The trailer can carry food, beverages, and radio equipment.  Mississippi-based sports drink company Sqwincher had the trailer sitting around and donated it to the Salvation Army.

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