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56th World Championship Snowmobile Derby comes to a closeSubmitted: 01/21/2019
Adriana Michelle
Adriana Michelle
Reporter/Anchor
amichelle@wjfw.com

56th World Championship Snowmobile Derby comes to a close
EAGLE RIVER - This year's 56th annual World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River was a four-day spectacular that brought the biggest names of the snowmobile industry to one track.

Competitors prepared for this race over the past year. That preparation paid off Sunday for semi-pro racer Davis Jennings from Toronto Canada.

"We got the win in the semi-pro champ class today and that's huge. We've been dreaming of this for a long time. We worked really hard for it," said Jennings. 

Jennings wasn't the only one who took home gold today.

Minnesota's Blaine Stephenson had a championship victory in the pro class race, for the second year in a row, after coming in first place on the oval ice.


"No one has ever done it three years in a row so I guess we're staring that dead in the eye," said Stephenson.

After a big win, you'd think Stephenson would take some time to celebrate with his crew. But that wasn't the case.

"We aren't doing anything fancy. We still got to go to work the next day," said Stephenson. 



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/25/2019

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We'll bring you new details on problems Rhinelander City Council members are having with City Administrator Daniel Guild.

We'll update you on plans for the Kalmar Senior Center in Eagle River which collapsed last month due to heavy snow.

And you'll hear from Attorney General Josh Kaul who was in Wausau today to announce that Wisconsin has joined multi-state investigations of opioid distributors.


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

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According to Mosinee Police Chief Ken Muelling, a report of a body in the river south of the Highway 153 bridge came in around 12:50 p.m.  The Marathon County Dive Team recovered the body with help from the Wausau and Mosinee fire departments.

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RHINELANDER - Wisconsin taxpayers spend more on the Department of Corrections than the UW system. A group of ex-inmates are on a mission to change that. They believe the state can spend less on criminal justice while also improving the system. Two activists visited the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Rhinelander Sunday to talk and answer questions. 

Alan Schultz spent much of his teens and early twenties in and around the Wisconsin prison system. In his mid-twenties he left for good, without any help.

"I wouldn't really credit the system here with helping me," said Schultz.

Schultz joined Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing, or EXPO, a few years ago. Their goal is to reform the criminal justice system in Wisconsin. The US Census Bureau estimates Wisconsin has 3 percent more residents than Minnesota. Yet Schultz told me Wisconsin has twice as many inmates. In fact, Wisconsin's adult inmate population in Jan 2018 was 23,208. Minnesota's was 9,963.

"Stopping us from getting any decarceration has been driven by some of the representatives from [the northern] part of the state," said Schultz.

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RHINELANDER - One person went to the hospital Sunday afternoon after a two car crash on Highway 47 near Northwestern Drive.

A red Toyota SUV and a blue Jeep crashed around 3:30 pm, but emergency crews could not say which was at fault at this time.

One person from the Toyota was transported to Ascension St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander with minor injuries.

There was no alcohol involved according to the Oneida County Sheriff's Office.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office, Oneida County Ambulance and Newbold Fire Department responded.

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MILWAUKEE - Some Wisconsin dairy farmers are crediting creativity and investments in innovation for their success after seeing hundreds of peers leave the industry last year.

Laura Daniels farms near Dodgeville. Daniels tells WUWM-FM that her farm has been working to determine better breeding choices. She looks at butter-fat and protein in the milk to select cows that make quality cheese.

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RHINELANDER - Country music filled the Hodag Banquet Center this afternoon as part of the Hodag Country Band Pickoff Contest. A panel of judges determined the winner of the contest. Host of The Morning Hodag WHDG, Mike Michalak said six talented bands competed this year.

"A lot of them local but we've got them from Appleton, we've got them from Stevens Point, [and] we've got them from Upper Michigan," said Michalak.

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