All Riders Urged To Follow Safety Tips During Snowmobile Safety Week
Published on 01/20/2020 under News The DNR is stressing smart and sober riding for snowmobilers as part of International Snowmobile Safety Week. This safety effort began over the weekend and continues through Sunday. All riders in Wisconsin born after 1985 are required to complete a snowmobile safety course, however officials say it is helpful for all riders to brush up on their safety skills. Capt. April Dombrowski, who leads the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Bureau of Law Enforcement Recreational Safety and Outdoor Skills Section, says, "The awareness week spotlights the smart and safe methods all snowmobilers should use the entire season." Unfortunately, the DNR recorded 16 fatal snowmobile accidents in 2019. Eleven took place on public trails or roads, while four were on frozen waterways. This year, there have already been 5 snowmobile deaths including two in Oneida County. Both Vilas and Langlade Counties have also had a fatal crash. Dombrowski says, "Safe snowmobiling means riding within your capabilities, operating at safe and appropriate speeds for the terrain, machine and user capability, along with the element of daylight visibility versus night operation. Moreover, never drink alcoholic beverages before or while driving. Always wear a helmet and adequate clothing, stay within designated riding areas and always snowmobile with another person, never alone."
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Stephenson Wins Third Snowmobile Championship; Van Strydonk 2nd in Final Derby Race
Published on 01/20/2020 under News For the third consecutive year, Blaine Stephenson held off Nick Van Strydonk to win the World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River. Over the weekend, the racers competed in the 57th edition of the crown jewel of the sport. Still just 23, Stephenson became the first racer to win the championship in three consecutive years. The Minnesota native started on the poll, fell to the back of the field following a 6th lap spin out, and worked back to the lead. For Tomahawk's Nick Van Strydonk, the runner-up finish was bittersweet. At the end of last season, he announced this racing season would be his last. Van Strydonk finished his Derby career with two World Championships in 2012 and 2017. He also ended with 6 consecutive podium finishes in Eagle River. By Sunday, the initial field of 32 competitors was whittled down to 12. The field also included Sabrina Blanchett. The Quebec native became the first woman to qualify for the finals in the Derby World Championships.
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Local Fire Departments Participate in Ice Rescue Training in Tomahawk
Published on 01/20/2020 under News A number of local fire departments are better prepared for ice rescues thanks to a weekend training session. On Saturday morning, the Tomahawk Fire Department hosted responders from the Nokomis, Cassian and Crescent Fire Departments. The agencies met at Bradley Park in Tomahawk where they staged a mock rescue in the icy waters of Lake Mohawksin. An ice rescue can be a dangerous situation for not only those being rescued, but the responders themselves. They need to ensure they don't break through the ice. This training allowed participants to utilize their specialized equipment in a controlled environment. In addition to the fire departments, Tomahawk EMS members were also on hand to go over the treatment of patients that have been exposed to frigid waters and hypothermia conditions.
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Garage Destroyed in Tomahawk Fire
Published on 01/20/2020 under News A storage garage was destroyed in a fire early Monday morning in Tomahawk. According to the Tomahawk Fire Department incident report, that fire happened at shortly after midnight on Grundy Road, east of Tomahawk. The report indicates that the garage was detached from the home. The garage and all of its contents are considered a total loss. No injuries were reported. Crews were on the scene for approximately 2.5 hours. A cause of fire wasn't immediately provided.
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Lincoln County Sheriff's Report
Published on 01/20/2020 under News A 36 year old Merrill man was arrested Thursday morning on a warrant charge. A deputy arrested the man at the Lincoln County Court House after a check showed he was wanted by the Marathon County Sheriff for theft. A 47 year old Merrill man was arrested Friday morning on a warrant charge. The man came to the Sheriff's Office to file a complaint and a check showed he was wanted by the Winnebago County Sheriff for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A 26 year old Merrill man was arrested Friday afternoon after a traffic stop in the Town of Scott. The man was stopped just after 3:00 PM on County Rd K at County Rd Q for speeding and equipment violations. The K9 Nina arrived on the scene and indicated to the odor of drugs in the vehicle. A searched turned up drug paraphernalia which later tested positive for methamphetamine. The man was arrested on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and felony bail jumping. An 82 year old Menominee Falls man was injured after a snowmobile crash Saturday evening in the Town of Russell. He was transported to Aspirus Wausau Hospital, alcohol was not involved in the incident. A 32 year old Merrill man was cited for a first offense of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated after a traffic stop Sunday morning in the Town of Merrill. The man was stopped on Lake Pesabic Rd for failing to stop at a stop sign. A 34 year old Wausau man was arrested Monday morning after deputies responded to a disturbance in the Town of Scott. A 911 call reported the incident just before 4:00 AM. The man was arrested on charges of battery, disorderly conduct and for violating the terms of his probation. Six people reported striking deer this past week.
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Additional Information Released from Fatal Taylor County Crash
Published on 01/19/2020 under News Investigators now believe the victim in a fatal Taylor County crash earlier this year may have been using a cell phone. The Taylor County Sheriff's Office released additional information on that January 2 crash. The victim has now been identified as 45 year old Chad Olson of Rib Lake. Investigators said that Olson was traveling on Highway 13, north of Medford his SUV drifted into the opposite lane of traffic and struck a semi. Evidence indicates he was using a cell phone at the time. The report also confirms he was not wearing a seat belt. Officials continue to investigate.
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Three Arrested in Meth Bust in Eagle River
Published on 01/19/2020 under News A Friday morning investigation into methamphetamine in Eagle River resulted in several arrests. Investigators executed a search at a home on Pine Street. According to a news release, officers took three people into custody. The names of those arrested were not immediately released. At the time, police asked people to avoid the area due to the volatile nature of chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Eagle River Police were assisted by Vilas County Deputies and the Northcentral Drug Enforcement Group or NorDEG.
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One Dead after Officer Involved Shooting in Wausau
Published on 01/17/2020 under News One person is dead following an officer involved shooting on Wausau's northwest side last evening. Wausau Police and Marathon County Sheriff's Deputies responded to what was described as an "active situation" near North Central Technical College and an apartment complex. The initial response was at shortly before 5pm. A short time later, police confirmed that the suspect was dead and no law enforcement were injured. Following the incident, they said there was no further threat to the public. Additional information is expected later today. The Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation will be brought in to lead the investigation.
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Group Raises Funds for Tomahawk Athletic Field Upgrades
Published on 01/17/2020 under News The Tomahawk School athletic facilities will be getting some upgrades this summer thanks to some generous donations and years of planning. At their meeting earlier this week, the Tomahawk School Board heard an update on the Hatchet Pride Committee ongoing efforts. District administrator Terry Reynolds shared some of those details during our Thursday forum (available in the WJJQ Audio Center.) The Hatchet Pride Committee is a group of staff and volunteers who having been trying to raise money for the facility upgrades over the past three years. Thanks to a boost from the Bierman Family Foundation the group has now reached $1.9 million of their $2.25 million goal. The first steps will include replacing track and football fields. Reynolds noted that the teams were literally playing uphill with an uneven surface that had as much as a two foot variance from one end to the other. Both the track and football field will be a synthetic material allows for less maintenance and a longer life. The project will also include improvements to the bleachers, concessions, and entry area. Reynolds anticipated work to begin in the late spring and continue over the summer months. He noted that no district funds will be used for the project. He said of the Pride Committee, "The district and community will benefit from their hard work." They have a website with information including designs and fundraising at hatchetprideproject.com
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Two Unattended Cars Go Missing in Wausau after Left Running
Published on 01/17/2020 under News While the frigid temperatures may have drivers thinking about warming up their vehicles, one Northwoods police department is asking drivers to reconsider. The Wausau Police Department announced their officers are investigating two separate stolen vehicle complaints. Both occurred within a four hour period yesterday afternoon. They said both vehicles were left running, unattended, with the keys in the ignition. Officers were able to recover one of the vehicles, but at the time of the announcement the other was still missing.
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DNR Offering Free Fishing Weekend
Published on 01/17/2020 under News The DNR is encouraging residents to give ice fishing a try by offering a free fishing weekend. Coming up on Saturday and Sunday the DNR will allow anglers to fish on all inland bodies of water without the regular license. The agency typically offers free fishing weekends twice each year, once in the winter and once in the summer. Among the goals is to get new anglers interested, bring old fisher men and women back into the sport, and introduce families to fishing. Theresa Stabo is the Coordinator of the DNR's Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation or R3 program. She says, "Ice fishing is a great way to get outside during the winter and fish anywhere without a boat." The DNR is offering up loaner equipment at nearly two dozen locations around the state. They do remind anglers that while you can fish for free this weekend, all other regulations including bag limits are still enforced. Stabo also says those heading out should monitor local ice conditions.
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Tomahawk Police Report: Woman Loses Money in Online Scam
Published on 01/17/2020 under News A woman fell victim to an online scammer. According to the Tomahawk Police Report, the woman connected with the scammer through an online dating site. The man was posing as a member of the US Army. During conversations the woman provided several gift cards and money along with some personal information. The woman realized it was likely a scam when the man asked she cash checks that came back as fraudulent. The woman lost an estimated $4,000._____ Officers provided traffic control and assistance after a log fell off a logging truck on North Tomahawk Avenue. A 40 year old man contacted police to turn himself in on an active warrant. The officer confirmed the warrant. The man was brought to the Lincoln County jail. A 55 year old woman was taken into custody on an active warrant through Oconto County. She was brought to the Lincoln County jail. While investigating a gas drive off, officers learned the driver did not have a valid license. The 41 year old Irma man was cited for a third offense of operating after revocation. He also received a registration warning. The operator agreed to meet with the gas station to pay for the fuel.
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Van Strydonk Looks Back at Snowmobile Career, Raffling Racing Suit
Published on 01/16/2020 under News A two-time world champion snowmobile racer is hoping to close out his career with another title. Ahead of this weekend's Derby, Nick Van Strydonk joined our Wednesday morning forum to take a look back at his racing career and announce the return of special fundraiser that has brought in thousands of dollars for military veterans. The Tomahawk native has been racing nearly his entire life. After starting out on Kitty Cat sleds at 4 years old, Van Strydonk transitioned from a family run team to a becoming a Polaris Factory Rider. He won his first World Championship in 2012 and became a two-time winner five years later. Following his second consecutive runner-up finish last year, the 29 year old announced in the spring that 2020 would be his 25th and final racing season. This will also be the third consecutive year that Van Strydonk is raising money for veteran's group by raffling a custom made racing suit. Van Strydonk worked with sponsor FXR racing to design the suit, this year sporting a snow camouflage pattern. It'll be worn during the Friday Night Thunder opening the Derby. The money raised will go to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, along with continued support for Camp Hackett in Phillips and the Tomahawk VFW. Continuing that partnership, Van Strydonk shared that he is currently on the waiting list to serve as a guardian assisting a veteran on a future Honor Flight. His goal is to raise $10,000 this year for the cause. Tickets will be available through the Sunday's Championship race when the winner will be drawn. You can hear that entire conversation with Nick in the WJJQ Audio Center.
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Tomahawk Receives WPS Innovator Educator Grants for Hydroponics, Robotics
Published on 01/16/2020 under News Tomahawk High School students will learn more about modern growing techniques thanks to funding from the Wisconsin Public Service Foundation. This week, the Foundation announced more than two dozen Innovative Educator Grants. Tomahawk science teacher Brianna Schield was able to secure a grant to upgrade the district's hydroponic growing tanks. The students use the operation to grow produce not only for their fellow classmates in the district but also the local temporary housing shelter. Schield says, "This grant will allow us to continue to enrich student learning by providing students a way to learn about agriculture and food production." She added "With the help of this grant, we can continue to promote healthy eating to our students and our community." While only a limited amount of money was awarded, Tomahawk was fortunate to receive a second grant. That money is earmarked for robotics club. Overall, the Foundation awarded more than $24,000 to 27 projects at 23 different schools around the WPS footprint.
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Merrill Woman Dies from Injuries in December Fire
Published on 01/16/2020 under News A Merrill woman who sustained critical injuries in a fire last month has now died. That fire occurred in the early morning hours December 20 at a home on Schultz Spur Drive in the Town of Merrill. Three home occupants were transported to the UW-Madison Burn Center for treatment. One victim, a 48 year old woman, has now died from her injuries. There has been no update on the condition of the other two individuals, a 58 year old male and a 21 year old male. Officials have still not formally released the names of those involved. A GoFundMe campaign for the family is ongoing. They had raised more than $10,000 as of this morning.
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