More than 2,250 cyclists raced on the forest trails between Hayward and Cable in the 37th annual Chequamegon Mountain Bike Festival Saturday, Sept. 14. Enthusiastic riders enjoyed sunny weather with temperatures in the 60s and trails that were muddy in spots.
All racers in the Chequamegon 40-mile event and Short & Fat 16-mile event finished at a new location, the American Birkebeiner start chute in the town of Cable.
About 50 riders raced in the new Chequamegon 40 proelite event, which started three hours after the main race on North Main Street in Hayward.
Pro cyclist Alexey Vermeulen of Ann Arbor, Michigan, took the victory in 2:14:54, more than two minutes ahead of six-time Chequamegon 40 champion Brian Matter from Prescott, Arizona (2:17:05). Jorden Wakeley of Grayling, Michigan, was third in 2:17:07.
Winning the pro/elite women's title was multi-time Chequamegon 40 champion Jenna Rinehart of Mankato, Minnesota, in 2:39:29. She averaged 15.05 mph over the course. Leia Schneeberger of DePere was second in 2:49:37. Sara Kylander-Johnson of Duluth was third in 2:49:13.
"Starting later in the day (1 p.m.) with not as many riders was definitely safer, not having to go through as many riders trying to push their way up," said Rinehart. "The women's race could play out on its own, versus having so many men interfere with the women." (In past years) You couldn't always see the other women when you start in a mass group," she said.
"It was fun, a good idea," Rinehart added. "I really enjoyed coming in to the finish with everyone lined up and cheering. It was a fun way to finish."
In the main Chequamegon 40 race, Josh Molnar of Way-
zata, Minn. won the male division in 2:28:08. Adam Tripp of Hudson was second in 2:28:15, and Ben Olson of Perham, Minnesota, third in 2:28:21.
Tracy Paradise of Victoria, Minnesota, a member of the One Track Mind Team, won the women's main Chequamegon 40 race in 2:48:00, with Kenzie Statz of Wisconsin Rapids second in 2:49:52, and Bonnie Weiskopf of Stillwater, Minn., third in 2:55:38.
"It was really fun, really muddy," said Paradise.
The Short and Fat race came down to a tight four-way sprint, with Braeden Anderson of Ironton, Minn., winning the men's race in 51:35. Pavel Nelson of Cameron was one second behind in second place, while Barrett Hall of St. Paul took third in 51:37. Aidan Lemorande of Suamico took fourth in the same time.
Zoe Camp of Minneapolis easily topped the women's field in 1:02:03. Lauren Munger of Minneapolis was second in 1:06:18 and veteran racer Kelly Skillicorn of Winona was third in 1:06:35. The top Hayward finisher was Alison Menk, 11th in 1:13:26.
A member of the One Track Mind team in the 40-mile race, Jonathan Sandberg of Excelsior, Minnesota, said, "We love this race. It's like the pinnacle of summer, a fantastic event. We had a beautiful day, lots of slow mud trails."
Ben Neubauer of Oshkosh said the race "went pretty well, pretty fast. There was water out there, which was to be expected. Overall the finish venue worked pretty well."
Another rider said, "You can't ask for better weather for the race."
At the awards ceremony, the family of a rider from Winnipeg, Manitoba, who died of a heart attack while riding the course during last year's Chequamegon 40 race, presented the Brent Bottomley Memorial award to the top Canadian finisher in this year's Chequamegon 40.
Bottomley's friend, Andy Dewall of Winnipeg, thanked "all the medical responders for their valiant efforts to save Brent."
Brent Bottomley's widow, Kim, presented the memorial award to Gillian (Jill) Vale of Wasaga Beach, Ontario, who placed fifth overall in the women's race in 2:56:50.
"This place was very special to Brent," Kim Bottomley said. "He loved coming here." She added that Brent Bottomley coached the first allfemale cross-country ski racing team in Canada.
Racers in this year's event also raised money (amount to be determined) for the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA).
Chequamegon Mountain Bike Festival Director Peter Spencer presented $2,500 checks to both the Wisconsin High School Cycling League and Minnesota High School Cycling League. "This is to help grow our sport at another level," he said.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wardens are continuing to investigate the death of a young bull elk, which was found illegally shot to death along State Highway 77 in Spider lake township, about eight miles west of Clam Lake, early Saturday, Sept. 14.
"We are actively investigating it," said Dave Zebro, chief warden for the DNR's northern region. "We don't have any suspects, any witnesses," he said Tuesday. "We are looking to put together a reward. There are a number of outdoor groups that are ponying up some money."
Zebro said the DNR initially received a report of a car-killed elk along Hwy. 77 near Forest Road 174, a few miles east of Ghost Lake. Later on, there was a second report that the elk appeared to be shot.
"When we went out there, it appeared the elk dropped very close to where it was shot," Zebro said. "We scoured the area for shell casings, but haven't found much. We retrieved a slug from the carcass."
Zebro said wildlife staff believe the bull elk to be 3-4 years old, weighing 500 to 600 pounds. The carcass was confiscated and processed and arrangements are being made to provide the meat to a food pantry, he said. Officers are keeping the hide and antlers while the case is being investigated.
Anyone who was passing through the area between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. Saturday and might have noticed anything unusual or has any information regarding the incident is asked to call the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-847-9367.
A proposal to regulate camping on private properties and regulate commercial event centers was a hot topic at the Town of Spider Lake's Sept. 11 board meeting, as about 60 people packed the town hall.
Bobbi Huot, chair of the town's Planning and Review Commission (PRC), said the town should not practice selective enforcement but should "codify the law to be fair and reasonable to all taxpayers."
Huot said the commission at its recent meeting focused on residents who allow individuals to camp in tents on their premises.
Huot said the commission should change the camping ordinance "so it is palatable to everyone, rather than absolutely no camping. We are not trying to turn the town of Spider Lake into the streets of San Francisco."
She said a former board member "used to have family gatherings and his yard looked like a trailer court." In another location, an RV has been parked beside a lake "for years and years and no one has done any-
thing about it," she said. Huot said the commission will hold a hearing in October to discuss the camping and recreational vehicle issue, as well as the events and gatherings ordinance, and will make a recommendation to the town board.
Town Chairman John Leighton said he attended the commission's Sept. 4 meeting as an observer and was "very dissatisfied with the proceedings. It became chaotic and dysfunctional" regarding "the authority to form an agenda."
The town board voted 5-0 to approve a resolution introduced by Leighton that the board may from time to time instruct the plan and review commission to consider a zoning matter. The commission's chair shall set its agenda on other matters, subject to acceptance by the majority of the commissioners present.
Leighton also spoke against a statement made at the plan commission meeting that "somehow it's all right to have selective enforcement of zoning ordinances because the town can get away with it. To me that is an outrageous statement."
That would be a "lack of due process and equal protection," he said. "It violates the 14th amendment to the Constitution. It sets up privileged and unprivileged classes. I submit that this is a lot of what you're seeing in this town. It pits neighbor against neighbor. This town does not seek to get away with anything; it intends to abide by the law."
Leighton introduced a resolution that "selective enforcement of a zoning ordinance (such as camping) is not the policy of the town. The planning and review commission is directed not to consider selective enforcement in any of its deliberations with respect to any zoning matter." This resolution was approved on a 3-1-1 vote, with Leighton, Mike Lemminger and Pete Huot in favor, George Brandt opposed and Stephanie Martin abstaining. Brandt said the resolution is "not needed."
Kathy Schmidt said, "There is no intent by the town or planning and review commission to do anything relative to selective enforcement. Our whole system is complaint-based. If people don't complain, there is nothing we can do to make sure that everybody is treated exactly the same, because we depend on the neighbors or somebody else to complain."
Carol Alcoe said nothing was said at the PRC meeting to make people think that the commission is promoting selective enforcement.
Prudence Ross said the commission's open discussion "was about tents, children staying in your own yard with their grandparents. I think something has to be changed on a small scale in the camping ordinance. It's too tight right now."
Leighton said he campaigned for chairman while expressing his intention "to open up this town to camping. It appears to me that there's a clear mandate from the electorate to open the town to camping."
Leighton moved that the town board instruct the PRC to take up the matter of camping. He said he wants the town to either replace its camping ordinance (17.88, section 6.7) with the county's camping ordinance (.6.73) or adopt an ordinance similar to the county ordinance "that is fair and reasonable to land owners and neighbors."
Sawyer County's ordinance, Section 6.73, allows camping on improved lake lots, improved off-lake lots and vacant lots.
ATVs on roads
The town board voted 5-0 to approve a 15-question paper advisory questionnaire to be sent to property owners, taxpayers, eligible voters and long-term renters in the township to obtain their opinions on a proposal by board member Mike Lemminger to open town roads to ATV and UTV travel.
Responders can remain anonymous. The deadline to return the questionnaire is 11:59 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1.
The board voted to spend up to $2,000 to send out the surveys by mail to approximately 2,500 persons.
The questionnaire was prepared by an ad hoc committee appointed by Chairman Leighton, consisting of chairman Steve Lindquist, Jonathan Parr, Jo Mazik and Norm Bratteig.
The current town ordinance does not permit the use of ATVs or UTVs on any town roads except for 2.41 miles which are part of the Sawyer County ATV/UTV trail system on portions of Rock Lake, Janet, Boedecker, Telemark, Fire Tower and Lake Helane Roads, and 6.15 miles on Federal Forest Roads 203, 204 and 328.
Facility study requested
Spider Lake Fire Chief Lee Nelson asked the board to authorize a feasibility study of constructing a new town hall, fire station and highway maintenance building. He said the clerk does not have enough space for storage, "the plumbing doesn't work as it should" and water comes into the hall. He added that "the town shop is not adequate for us and neither is the fire department. It does not meet existing codes."
Nelson said the Towns of Cable and Drummond had new facilities constructed recently and the Town of Barnes is in the process of constructing a facility. The Town of Hayward has had a feasibility study done for new facilities.
Leighton said he will contact these towns.
A local woman who was charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute the drug at the Sawyer County Jail on April 1 this year was sentenced on Sept. 9 in Sawyer County Circuit Court to four years in prison.
Sophie Alicia Miller, 24, of 13922 W Signor St. in the community of Signor, appeared before Judge John Yackel. The judge sentenced Miller to four years in state prison followed by four years of supervised release, concurrent with any sentence she is now serving.
Judge Yackel dismissed charges against Miller of obstructing an officer and driv-
ing while revoked in the April 1 incident. He assessed $518 in court costs and credited Miller with 32 days served in jail.
On April 1, a Wisconsin state trooper stopped a vehicle driven by Miller on Stone Lake Road near Highway 70, and arrested her on warrants and for operating while her license was revoked. The trooper found a straw in Miller's jacket pocket and a digital scale in the vehicle that contained meth residue.
A male passenger became limp due to an apparent heroin overdose and a sheriff's deputy administered Narcan to him. The male was transported by ambulance to the Hayward hospital.
At the jail, a female jailer did a strip search on Miller and found a bag of meth on her body. The bag and meth weighed 17 grams.
Judge Yackel dismissed three other charges against Miller of delivering meth to inmates in the county jail on April 2 and 3, using the charges as read-ins for sentencing.
On April 3, a female inmate at the jail was taken to the hospital for an apparent narcotics overdose.
A K-9 team searched the Huber dormitory and found a bag containing 29.1 grams of meth, plus a bindle with 1.58 grams of meth.
Miller told the deputy she had no intentions for the substances, other than personal use. She stated she shared it with another female inmate, the one who was taken to the hospital for the suspected overdose.
Later, the K-9 team was dispatched again to the jail for a drug sniff, after jail staff advised that two male inmates tested positive for methamphetamine. The male dorm shares a wall with the female dorm, where Miller was located. Jail staff stated that inmates were pushing "kites" (notes or packages) through a heating register on the wall.
The deputy found a hole where copper piping went through the wall. Staff believed that inmates were pushing packages through the piping with "push sticks" they had made.
When interviewed by the deputy, a male inmate stated it was "common knowledge" that inmates were passing notes back and forth through the wall, and that on April 3 he was in the bathroom when a kite had been pushed through. The inmate opened it and found a crystal substance of apparent meth, which he snorted. He then ate the package.
Another female inmate told the deputy that Miller had been brought to the jail on April 2 and offered meth to her. She said Miller also told her she was pushing meth through the wall to the male dorm. She said she saw the woman who had become ill "snort two lines" and believed she was using more as she was in her bunk bed with a towel over the side so that jail staff could not see her through the camera.
The female inmate stated that when Miller was removed from the dorm for a strip search, that she saw a large package of meth drop from Miller's blanket, which Miller kicked beneath another inmate's bed. The inmate stated she then retrieved the baggie, wrapped it in a towel and hid it beneath Miller's bed, as she was very nervous and scared about what to do.
The deputy reviewed jail surveillance video and saw Miller kick the white package of apparent meth beneath the other inmate's bed.
After the inmate who had overdosed was returned to the jail from a Duluth hospital, the deputy interviewed her. She said she snorted meth twice on April 3, and that Miller had brought it.