New owners prep for snowmobile derby in Eagle RiverSubmitted: 01/09/2019
Dakota Sherek
Dakota Sherek
Senior Reporter / Anchor

New owners prep for snowmobile derby in Eagle River
Thousands of people will head into Eagle River this week for the 56th Vintage World Championship Snowmobile Derby. But this year's event will mark the first derby under the track's new ownership.

It takes a lot of work getting the World Championship Derby Complex track ready for its biggest event of the year. 

"We've been putting hay bails out," said Brian Schiele, a World Championship Derby Complex investor and advisory committee member. "John and I have been outside parking all the new race rigs that are coming in, we're making snow as we speak." 

They're getting everything ready for the hundreds of Snowmobile Derby racers and the thousands of spectators.

"Vintage weekend is going to be ginormous, suites are gone, hot seats are gone," said Craig Marchbank, one of three track owners. "We are almost at record entries right now." 

But all that work hasn't been easy for the track's new owners.

"We were under pressure a little bit to get it going," said Schiele. "We took over the track kind of late in the year." 

"[Several] days above 35 to 40 degrees, can't make ice, can't make snow," said Marchbank. 

Despite the setbacks, they're confident it'll be ready for the vintage derby races this weekend.

"We're doing the snow dance and today it's actually nice and cold, and it's supposed to be cold through the race weekend and derby weekend next weekend," said Schiele. 

The new owners have been getting help from some derby veterans like John Kosir, who has helped out at the track for 19 years.

"It's crazy, but it's nice. I enjoy the racing," said Kosir. "We just have a good time doing it." 

A good time that will be a big first for the track's new leaders. 

"To get the track race ready and to make the experience for the spectators absolutely wonderful there was a lot of work that went behind it and a lot of planning," said Schiele. "We're excited about it and I know we're going to have a very successful race." 

The Vintage Derby starts Friday. More than 700 racers have signed up for the event. 

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(Suspects identified clockwise, beginning with upper-left: Robert Daniels, Andrew Phillips, Richard Harris, Geraldine Dubray, Allyssa Wamego, Tammy Mann)

A report of a noisy house party and fight near Crandon led to six drug-related arrests earlier this month.  Officers eventually found heroin, cocaine, and guns along with other drug items inside, but getting there took some extra work.

According to a release from the Forest County Sheriff's Office, police responded to a home at 7840 Love Knot Lane in the Town of Lincoln, which is east of Crandon, on March 7 around 7:15 p.m.

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VILLAGE OF HEWITT - Monday around 7 A.M. Wood County police responded to a man who was run over by a dump truck in the Village of Hewitt.

When the police arrived they were informed by emergency responders that the man's injuries were fatal.

The victim of the accident was 77-years-old.

Police have ruled the death as an accident, and it was determined that the subjects involved were performing maintenance on the dump truck when the accident happened.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department, Hewitt EMS, Marshfield Ambulance, and the Wood County Coroner's Office all responded to the accident.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander man could face prison time after police arrested him in an online underage sex sting.  Oneida County prosecutors charged Adam Van Roy with three felonies on Monday.

A Wisconsin Department of Justice Special Agent working with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office posed as a 19-year-old woman named 'Julia G' on several social media applications March 13-15.  Van Roy, 36, started talking with 'Julia' during that time.  

'Julia' soon told Van Roy she was actually only 15 years old.

The agent's notes show Van Roy asked 'Julia' for pictures, including nude images, and asked her "what do you like in the bedroom?"

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CRANDON - Recently, flooding closed roads and frustrated communities from Rhinelander to Plover. A bad combination of rain and melting snow led to days of flood warnings. As those warnings go away, a related risk could do a lot more than frustrate you - it could make you sick. Flooding can cause contamination in wells, but the Northwoods is lucky to have a world-class water testing facility.

RT Krueger's Northern Lake Service in Crandon has about 50 specialized machines that test drinking water for half of the municipalities in Wisconsin. Krueger tests Rhinelander's water three times a week. Every year 65,000 water samples flow in and out of this lab.

"The safe drinking water testing for the city of Madison is being performed up in little tiny Crandon," said Krueger.

Many people have their own wells, which are not tested regularly like municipal water. If your well is submerged due to flooding, filtered groundwater mixes with potentially harmful surface water.

"You're introducing the bacteria and all the compounds and organisms that are normally above the water that you're drawing," said Krueger.

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MILWAUKEE - Officials say a man shot by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police on campus is hospitalized in stable condition.

University Police Chief Joe LeMire said at a news conference Tuesday two officers found the man, armed with a gun, sleeping on a bench in the Fine Arts Complex building around 7 a.m., an altercation occurred and he was shot. The police officers were treated for minor injuries.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/19/2019

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We talk to a snowplow driver in Lincoln County who says he was attacked with a baseball bat after accidently knocking down a mailbox.

We'll take you to the ribbon cutting for a new utility garage in Stevens Point and show you some sustainable design features that are part of the facility including the largest solar array in Central Wisconsin.

And we'll speak with a water testing specialist in Crandon to go over the importance of testing groundwater especially after there has been flooding in the area.

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

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PLOVER - Firefighters tried to go inside a burning church in Plover twice on Monday, but were forced out by fire both times.

Metro fire crews from Plover, Stevens Point , and the town of Hull were called in to The Springs United Methodist Church on Plover Springs Drive around 10:30 a.m.  Deputy Fire Chief Ken Voss said no one was inside at the time, but a passerby called in the fire.

The Point/Plover Metro Wire sent Newswatch 12 video, pictures, and information on the fire.

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