CRANDON - They call it the Big House and there really isn't anything else like it. Talented off road drivers are kicking up the dirt in Crandon this weekend for the annual Brush Run.
The weather cooperated for a full slate of racing action. Thousands of fans enjoyed the the thrill of being up close to the track. They were able to watch many different classes of racing, a few spills and lots of excitement.
Something new this year is an exhibition of UTV's, or Utility Terrain Vehicles. They're trying to gain more popularity in the Mid-West.
A couple of results from local drivers today include in the 1600 Buggy Class, Rhinelander's Mark Steinhardt continued his success at Crandon. Steiny got out to a good lead and took the checkerd flag with ease.
In the Super Stock Trucks Argonne's Jeff Fannin was near the front the majority of the race. Fannin finished strong in second place. This weekend he's racing for a special cause.
"Our race winnings this weekend we're donating back to the Ronald McDonald House charity in Marshfield today. Then tomorrow our winnings will go to the Wounded Warriors project," explains Fannin. "The Ronald McDonald House charities was a big deal because last year I became a father for the first time. My son came seven weeks early and we spent three weeks there. It opened my eyes to what a great charity that place is."
During the summer, Nick Baumgartner trades in his snowboard for off road racing.
The last time we caught up with the Iron River native, he'd just returned from his second Olympic games.
Now he's back behind the wheel of a truck and excited to have the chance to race close to home.
"When I'm traveling for snowboarding not everyone can come out and see me. Here I have a huge fan base," says Baumgartner. "I've talked to the school here a couple times in Crandon so it's cool to see all these people come out, especially the kids. They get so hyped on it. It's cool having that support and just coming out here and having fun. The adrenaline coming into turn one in Crandon is better than anything I've ever felt. This is what we're chasing for in life (this adrenaline) and we've found it here in Crandon."
You can still catch a full day of racing at Crandon on Sunday. Qualifying begins at 9am.
- We take our Long Summer Weekend to Tomahawk to bring you the following stories:
We talk to the Tomahawk School District superintendent and a parent about how the district is getting input from the community regarding an application for a state grant for security upgrades in their school.
We'll show you how the Tomahawk Clay Busters youth team is teaching kids trap shooting and gun safety at an early age.
And the Tomahawk police chief is staying loyal to the Pittsburgh Steelers even here in Packer country. We'll show you how the avid Steelers fan exhibits his support for his team and talk to him about how it's being received by the community and his wife...who is a Cowboys fan.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more on our Long Summer Weekend tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live,
MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to lift overseas ballot restrictions to avoid a legal battle.
The U.S. Department of Justice warned earlier this month that it's preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't let temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to submit downloadable back-up ballots in case they don't have time to return an official ballot.
Federal law allows all overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically and submit back-up ballots. Assembly Republicans passed a bill that would have aligned Wisconsin's statutes with the federal law but the measure died in April after Senate Republicans added language limiting special legislative elections.
MADISON - Wisconsin Elections Commission staff plan to hire a half-dozen new employees and upgrade software to bolster election security.
The commission received a $7 million federal grant in March to upgrade security after Russian actors tried to access a state Department of Workforce Development system before the 2016 election.
Staff told the commission Thursday that the Department of Administration has approved hiring six new four-year security positions, including an information technology project manager, an elections security trainer and a voting systems specialist.
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