iStock/Wisconsin News Connection

Wisconsin's debate over the next state budget is far from over, but the spending plan outlined by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has strong support from advocates of older residents.

Helen Marks Dicks, state issues advocacy director for AARP Wisconsin, said her group was encouraged to see provisions like a tax credit for family caregivers as well as $200 million to enhance broadband internet access.

Apostle Island National Lakeshore

In 2014 and 2015 the Apostle Islands Ice Caves drew thousands of people to the icy shores of Lake Superior.

There won’t be a chance of that this year.

Despite the recent cold snap, the National Park Service says the lake ice isn’t stable enough to allow people to walk out and view the ice caves.

Apostle Islands Resource Management Chief Julie Van Stappen says we need weeks of cold to create ice that extends from Bayfield to the northshore of Lake Superior.


For the second day in a row, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is reporting no new COVID-19 deaths.

It comes as the U.S. nears half a million deaths due to the virus.

The last time Wisconsin went two or more days without a single reported death from the coronavirus was the three-day stretch of Sept. 6 through Sept. 8.

In total, 6,284 people from Wisconsin have died from the virus. 295 of those people are from the Northwoods.


  Gov. Tony Evers wants to spend $2.4 billion on building projects across 31 counties in Wisconsin over the next two years, with nearly a half of that going toward projects across the University of Wisconsin System.

Evers released his capital budget proposal on Monday. The state building commission is slated to vote on it next month, which would then send the plan to the Legislature’s budget committee which will then decide what to fund.


  Wisconsin wildlife officials have opened a wolf season after hunting advocates sued to move the start date up from November amid fears that the Biden administration might restore protections for the animals.

The hunt got underway Monday across six management zones and is slated to run through Sunday.

The kill limit is 200 animals, which means some zones could close early as hunters near the limit.

The Trump administration removed wolves from the federal endangered species list in January, returning management to the states.

  • Wisconsin lists no coronavirus deaths for first time since September
  • Gov. Tony Evers calls for investment in state roadways
  • Appeals court denies DNR request to stop Wisconsin’s wolf hunt
  • Apostle Ice Caves will remain closed this winter
  • Rhinelander Area Food Pantry prepares for annual spring challenge

A $2.5 million federal grant awarded to Michigan will be used to address health care staffing shortages in the state’s rural communities.


Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity says the grant will support the addition of more than 430 new health care workers over the next four years.


The agency will lead MiREACH, a network of employer-led collaboratives, to identify targeted health care occupations based on employer demand and feedback.

The daily update on COVID-19 numbers posted by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services listed no deaths for the first time since late September.

Health officials on Sunday confirmed just over 400 new cases in the state.

That’s the lowest count since about 320 positive tests were registered in late June.

The new case average has also reached its lowest mark since the summer.

The COVID Tracking Project reports that the rolling average number of daily new cases over the last two weeks in Wisconsin has decreased by more than 40 percent.

Food pantries generally see a burst of giving around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but that giving tends to dry up come spring.

That’s why the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry hosts an annual spring challenge.

The challenge started years ago when a businessman provided a million-dollar matching fund for competing food pantries. 

When that program ended, an anonymous local resident stepped in to make a partial match for any donations to the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry through March and April.

More than a third of Wisconsin’s 115,000 miles of drivable roads are considered to be in fair or below condition by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The ASCE gives Wisconsin an overall C grade when it comes to infrastructure in the state. Conditions they say will only get worse if something isn’t done soon.

ASCE Fellow Martin Hanson says with proper funding road conditions in the state can be improved, but it will take a lot of money over many years.

Did the recent cold snap help us in our fight against invasive species? The Masked Biologist says “yes and no” in this week’s Curious North-inspired edition of Wildlife Matters.

Recently, listener Bill Boldon went onto Curious North at WXPR and asked the question: Is the extended cold period long enough to help kill invasive species?

Wisconsin DNR

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has dismissed a Department of Natural Resources request to stop the wolf hunt, which is scheduled to begin next week.

The DNR was appealing a court order that requires a hunt this month. But the appeals court says that the order was not a final judgment, so the appellate court has no jurisdiction over the appeal.

The weeklong wolf hunt will run from Feb. 22 through Feb. 28, and the permit application period closes at midnight Saturday. Up to 200 animals will be allowed to be harvested.


Police have identified the two people who died in a plane crash in Rock County earlier this week.

Tanner Byholm, 25, of Glidden, and Remington Viney, 26, of Kimberly died in the crash, according to the Dane County Medical Examiner. 

The small plane they were in crashed shortly after takeoff from the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville on Tuesday.

The Rock County Sheriff’s Department says the plane had reported a problem to the airport tower before the tower lost contact about 9:27 a.m. Tuesday.

  • New snowmobile trail connects Taylor and Price counties
  • Pilot version of COVID-19 vaccine registry to be launched
  • Historic mansion in Merrill to be demolished
  • Special enrollment period open for health insurance marketplace

  • New snowmobile trail connects Taylor and Price counties
  • Pilot version of COVID-19 vaccine registry to be launched
  • Historic mansion in Merrill to be demolished
  • Special enrollment period open for health insurance marketplace