Local Features

In addition to the local news, WXPR Public Radio also likes to find stories that are outside the general news cycle... Listen below to stories about people, culture, and art in the Northwoods that go a little deeper than a traditional news story allows us to do.

These features are also available as a podcast by searching "WXPR Local Features" wherever you get your podcasts.

Ways to Connect

US Forest Service / Wikimedia Commons

Do turkeys eat grouse? Why are some areas that used to have more grouse seeing more turkeys and less grouse?

In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist tackles these questions.

I have often heard people blame turkeys for reduced grouse numbers in Wisconsin. Are turkeys rampaging across the countryside, gobbling up any other game birds in their path? Or could there be another explanation?

Holiday Acres Resort

Summer tourism in the Northwoods is ending and some of our seasonal residents are leaving the Northwoods for their permanent homes elsewhere.

At Holiday Acres Resort in Rhinelander, a dedicated group of family and friends have been coming up the last week of July every year for almost 50 years. Holiday Acres recently asked some of them to interview each other about what that tradition and the Northwoods as a whole means to them.

Ted Kiar / Tomahawk Area Historical Society

In 1926, four Chicago gangsters fled to the Northwoods.

Just ahead, Gary Entz tells us exactly what transpired as part of our continued series, A Northwoods Moment in History.

On August 6, 1926, John “Mittens” Foley was gunned down on the corner of Richmond and Sixty-fifth Street in Chicago in a syndicate fight over beer trafficking.  The four assailants escaped in a large touring car with enlarged cylinders.  In other words, a car geared to racing speed.  That car was soon spotted driving around the town of Tomahawk.

Scott Bowe

In this month's installment of Field Notes, Scott Bowe of Kemp Station discusses Milkweed in Wisconsin.

Greg Schechter / Wikimedia Commons

From time to time, the Masked Biologist gets a question from a listener that inspires him to delve deeper into the topic and share his findings with us.

One such question was about salamanders and it's the focus of this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Mackenzie Martin

Northern Wisconsin is full of many different types of wild mushrooms in September. Some edible, some poisonous, and everything in between. How to tell the differences between them is in the details.

Mackenzie Martin went into the woods to learn more.

We’re looking for mushrooms in the forest at Kemp Natural Resources Station in Woodruff and someone just found chaga. It’s a type of mushroom that you can make tea out of. It typically grows on birch trees.


This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz tells us about a land dispute on Partridge Lake in the 1950s.

Wisconsin First Nations have a rich history in the state, and this is particularly true in the Northwoods.  There are many ways of looking at history, and understanding our past through the perspective of Native Americans is not only useful, it is necessary in order to have a complete record of the Northwoods story.

The Poet of the Pines

Aug 31, 2018
Mackenzie Martin / WXPR

As part of our We Live Up Here series, we're telling stories about the people and culture of northern Wisconsin. 

Today, Northwoods resident Kathryn Luttkus Craffey has a story about the relationship between her grandfather and the Northwoods Poet Enos Hayward, also known as the "Poet of the Pines."

Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID: 24403, wisconsinhistory.org

This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz tells us the story of William Gilson.

When we study history in school, we are often taught about great events and larger-than-life people who shaped the past.  Yet it is the sacrifices made by ordinary people that make events possible, and that merits our respect.  Let’s consider the life of William Gilson.

Are G Nilsen / Wikimedia Commons

Everyone is familiar with Wisconsin’s white-tailed deer, maybe our reintroduced elk herd, and our occasional observed moose – but did you know at one time we may have had reindeer too?

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist delves into the questionable history of the woodland caribou.

Creating an Oasis for Pollinators

Aug 24, 2018
Nora Eckert / WXPR

Pollinators have come under threat in recent years and many people in the Northwoods are responding by creating pollinator gardens.

WXPR’s Nora Eckert has the story of one Minocqua family who has gone to especially great lengths to help pollinators thrive.

Valerie Burns’ house is overflowing with life.

Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID: 31783, wisconsinhistory.org

This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz tells us about a football game between Rhinelander and Green Bay in 1896.

The Masked Biologist

Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you really wished Lassie was there?

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist looks at the legacy and the impact of a dog that was too good to be true.

Todd Brown

In 1978, a horror film was made in Oneida County. Odds are you haven't seen it.

Mackenzie Martin tells us about the making of the movie and talks to those who love it ahead of a special 40th anniversary screening at Rouman Cinema in Rhinelander on Saturday, August 18th at 5:00 p.m.

Tickets for the special screening of Bog can be purchased here: https://bogmovie.com/