Sugar Camp Walleye Classic carries on proud tradition Submitted: 05/30/2020

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SUGAR CAMP - Roughly 35 anglers took to the lakes near Pitlik's Sand Beach Resort, just as they've been doing since the early seventies.

In those fifty years, there haven't been many tournaments with fewer fish caught than this one, which local guides attribute to the colder weather.

Still, the classic was able to raise money for local lake conservation.

"We make a little money to go into our fund," said tournament director Scott Hermanson. "Hopefully we can build some more fish cribs, help the environment for the fish and keep the stocking going on."

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Brush Run races postponed due to rising case numbers, volunteer concerns Submitted: 05/29/2020

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"We could legally do it, but we couldn't feel like it was right to ethically do it," said track promoter Marty Fiolka.

Plans were in place to have the season-opening Brush Run races on time at Crandon International Speedway.

Those plans would not hold up.

"I think it's a fine line between wanting to move forward but protecting the public," Fiolka said. "It's a big change in business for all of us."

A COVID-19 outbreak at a Forest County nursing home forced the brush run to reschedule from mid-June to late September.

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Crandon International Off-Road Raceway postpones Brush Run to late September Submitted: 05/28/2020

CRANDON - The Crandon International Off-Road Raceway has postponed its annual brush run from June 19-21 to September 25-27.

The track released a statement on its Facebook page Thursday, which said in part: 

"In the end, it was not an easy decision for off-road racing's oldest and most renowned race tracks to make. Despite weeks of working with local and state officials on conducting June's 27th Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run weekend, track and Championship Off-Road (COR) series officials today announced the rescheduling of the traditional Midwest off-road season kick-off from June 19th - 21st to September 25th - 27th. 

The current pandemic has forced the postponement and cancellation of motorsports events around the world. While Wisconsin has lifted most of its state restrictions on reopening businesses of all types, a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Forest County has raised concerns within the tight-knit community of Crandon." 

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Packers' Jones says his contract status won't distract him Submitted: 05/28/2020

GREEN BAY - Packers running back Aaron Jones says he wants to remain in Green Bay for his entire career and that he won't let speculation about his future distract him as he enters the final season of his contract. 

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Rhinelander tennis coach Bob Heideman retires after long, successful tenure Submitted: 05/25/2020

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RHINELANDER - "There's an old saying that you get good at what you spend time doing," said Rhinelander tennis coach Bob Heideman.

After more than three decades coaching on the high school's tennis courts, Heideman has seen that wisdom manifest, both in himself and his players.

"It's nothing more than, I think, the combination of hard work, which is hours and then being smart about those hours," Heideman said.

Heideman will spend the rest of his hours away from the Rhinelander program that he's coached for so long.

He informed the district that he will retire after the cancelled season officially ends June 13.

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Tomahawk Speedway welcomes racers, fans for opening weekend Submitted: 05/24/2020

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TOMAHAWK - The two things you notice at the Tomahawk Speedway are the noise and the signs.

"We've got social distancing signs up all over the place, just to give people a reminder that hey, six feet is encouraged," said track co-owner Andrew Bartelt.

The speedway opened its season over the Memorial Day Weekend, finishing it off with the bluntly-titled Afternoon of Wrecking Stuff, a marathon demolition derby.

"This is basically a cheap way for us to get into it and have a little bit of fun," said racer Michael Plate.

Bartelt installed hand-sanitizing stations and asked people to stay six feet apart while watching the races.

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Musky opener draws anglers to lakes Submitted: 05/23/2020

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PHILLIPS - Anglers all across Wisconsin rushed to the lakes for Saturday's musky opening.

Technically, musky season has two opening days.

The opening day for the southern zone, defined as waters south of Highway 10, happened at the beginning of the month.

This was the start of fishing season for everything from Marshfield on north.

License application numbers are not out yet, but early estimates from the DNR say that it was an active application season.

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Decision on legion baseball season expected Saturday Submitted: 05/08/2020

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NORTHWOODS - The State Legion Executive Committee will announce Saturday whether or not there will be a 2020 legion baseball season in Wisconsin.

Regional directors met virtually on Wednesday to make private recommendations to the committee.

Options range from a complete cancellation to going forward as scheduled.

Playing with a modified start date or without crowds is also an option.

Local legion coaches say they favor any solution that lets the kids play ball.

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Snowshoe baseball season in Lake Tomahawk cancelled Submitted: 05/05/2020

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - The saw chips are piled up near second base.

An eerie silence hangs over Lake Tomahawk's snowshoe baseball field, one that will persist all summer.

"We're going to be criticized for it, but I have to look out for my workers, their family and their kids," said Snowhawks manager Jeff Smith.

Several town organizations decided in conjunction with the municipal government to cancel the 2020 snowshoe season.

The prospect of travel from outside the local area played heavily into the decision.

"You can almost bet that there's going to be someone from every state coming to see this," Smith said. "This little town, we have 500 to 1,000 people; on the fourth of July it's over 2,000, how are going to manage that?"

Gov.Tony Evers' Badger Bounce Back program restricts crowd size to less than 50 people until widespread immunity to COVID-19 develops.

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Brush run races still scheduled for mid-June in Crandon Submitted: 05/03/2020

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Loud cars and large crowds mark the unofficial start of summer in Crandon every year.

So far, they're set to happen again at the Crandon International Off-Road Speedway's annual brush run races in just six weeks.

"We feel like we're in really good position to bring racing back and bring sports back," track promoter Marty Fiolka said. "We're certainly excited about the fact that we can be one of the first real sports to come back."
The drivers share that excitement.

"Hopefully it can be a start to opening things up for the summer and getting back to having fun and spending time at the lake with family," said driver Keegan Kincaid.

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