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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Spotlight - Eagle River MMA - July 9Submitted: 07/09/2014
Story By Joe Dufek


EAGLE RIVER - Last Saturday, the Northwoods Combat Challenge showcased a dozen Mixed Martial Arts bouts.

Seven bouts were a Border Battle series between competitors from Wisconsin and Michigan. The winning state, would earn a trophy.

"It just went phenomenal," Dave Sixel of Sixel's Fight Club said. "I'm happy to see Wisconsin win the trophy. We'll probably hold two MMA cards in Wisconsin, and two in Michigan."

For some of the competitors, the even was about more than this. One Sugar Camp fighter is raising money for her animal rescue.


"I take animals off the euthanasia list," Stef Scheider of Sugar Camp explains. "We reached the one-year mark at the beginning of May. In that time, we have saved 200 dogs."

Around $1000 was raised for her group - called It Matters to One Animal Rescue. Another athlete decided to take the opportunity to tie the knot once again.

"(We) have been together for so long - she has been through everything with me," Jeff Paradise of Necedah explains.

Jeff and his wife Nadia have been married for six years. She had her suspicions - but it didn't affect the impact of the moment.

"I was still shocked," Nadia adds. "It's been a long six years. But I'm looking for six more new ones."

The future of the competition seems bright. The Holzbauer brothers out of Eagle River say they have learned more than just about combat.

"I've been doing it for about four or five years," Sam Holzbauer said. "I've learned self control - not to take it too hard."

"It's fun and exciting," Sam's brother Jeff adds. "This is the only time I can do this."

"They're in a controlled environment," Jodi Holzbauer - Sam and Jeff's mother explains. "They know what they signed up for. I think it's (safe)."

This was the second Combat Challenge held in Eagle River this year. The next one is expected to be next year in March.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

NORTHWOODS - Our nation celebrates its independence in three days. People in the Northwoods are planning how they want to view fireworks. Will they buy their own, or will they see a community show?

Peter Anderson has been a fireworks organizer for the city of Eagle River for several years.

"We've been doing it for a long time," he said. "We hire a fireworks company to come in and do it every year for us. It's just kind of a tradition to celebrate the 4th of July."

Many communities in the Northwoods put on firework displays. And those displays can cost quite a bit of money.

"Right around $9000 is what we spend in Eagle River," said Anderson. "It all goes right towards the fireworks. Everything else is volunteer; we get the land donated to us, we get everybody's time donated to us, and all of the money goes directly towards the fireworks."

Anderson says a big reason his community does a display is so people can celebrate on the fourth safely.

"I'm on the fire department; that's one of the reasons why I got involved with it was to have a nice big community firework display so that people don't have to do their own displays," said Anderson.

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NORTHWOODS - A dog in Wausau died Tuesday after being locked in a car for two hours. Police say the dog had a heat stroke.

Veterinarians say dogs can overheat even if the windows are rolled down. That's because dogs are naturally warmer than humans and different breeds have hair or fur that might make the dog even hotter.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill designed to curb using GPS devices to track people.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill to end Wisconsin's classroom SAGE program.

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MADISON - Republican lawmakers announced Wednesday that a new Milwaukee Bucks arena and prevailing wage proposal would be removed from the state budget.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - A mother and her son will need to look for a temporary home.

A fire destroyed part of their home early Wednesday morning near Heafford Junction in Lincoln County. They weren't hurt.

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MERRILL - You can get a free cab ride when you've had too much to drink at many Northwoods bars.

It's part of the SafeRide Home Program, funded mainly by the tavern league.

About 150 people use the SafeRide Home program every month in Lincoln County.

The program's success could be one reason it will get less money from state grants.

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