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NEWS STORIES

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

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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
Early snowfall, windy conditions give best condition for early kite skiingSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods man believes our early winter has laid the foundation for early kite skiing. The combination of snow and wind gives Mark Collar the chance to use his skis and his kite.

Collar calls wind a friend, but that sometimes seems like the only friend at first.

"There is certainly a learning curve," Collar said. "When you're beginning you're falling."

But the falling didn't stop Collar from falling in love with the sport.

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49th Annual Tomahawk Venison FeedSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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TOMAHAWK - The smell of venison was strong in Tomahawk Friday.

More than 1600 venison burgers were served at the 49th annual Tomahawk Venison Feed.

Organizers believe the event is the only free feed left in the country.

One first time burger flipper was prepared for the crowd.

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Wisconsin faces $2.2 billion budget shortfall Submitted: 11/21/2014

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker's administration says Wisconsin faces a $2.2 billion budget shortfall by mid-2017, a problem that will have to be tackled by the Republican-controlled Legislature next year as Walker is building his resume for a potential presidential run.

The estimate released Thursday by the state Department of Administration is required under the law. It takes into account spending requests made by state agencies for the next two years.

The figures will be further refined by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January.

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Minocqua Winter Park will open weekend after Thanksgiving DaySubmitted: 11/21/2014

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MINOCQUA - Winter enthusiasts will get an extra treat this Thanksgiving weekend in the Northwoods.

Minocqua Winter Park will open up again for a small session during the Friday through Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

This comes just after the park opened for a few days last weekend.

The park doesn't normally open earlier than December, but because of the success of last week's session the park wants to open up again.

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Fire exit sign caused school fireSubmitted: 11/21/2014

PRENTICE - Administrators now know what caused a fire in the Prentice School art room, and it's ironic.

A sign that guides people to an exit in case of a fire shorted out.

The fire happened last Tuesday. No one was in the school at the time because of a snow day. The fire was contained to the art room.

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As Wisconsin hunt starts, Upper Peninsula hunters struggle to harvest deerSubmitted: 11/21/2014

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UPPER PENINSULA - Another gun deer hunt starts Saturday in Wisconsin.

In Michigan, it's been going on for a week already.

For the western Upper Peninsula, it's not going well.

"It's been a very slow opener for us in the U.P.," Michigan DNR Wildlife Chief Russ Mason said. "I think on opening day, we ended up checking seven deer peninsula-wide. It isn't surprising because Wakefield on Friday afternoon had 41 inches of snow. That was a week ago (Friday)."

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Downtown Rhinelander debuts Holiday Open House SaturdaySubmitted: 11/21/2014

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RHINELANDER - The opening of the gun deer season often leaves wives and girlfriends at home on their own.

Downtown Rhinelander hopes it can attract many of those women, and maybe even some men, to get started on holiday shopping.

The first-ever Holiday Open House on Saturday will feature sales, special events, and demonstrations at several businesses.

Its timing falls perfectly with the hunting season.

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