Erin Gottsacker

Reporter and Morning Edition Host

Erin Gottsacker joined WXPR in December 2020. As a morning edition host and reporter, Erin reports on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.

A Cincinnati native, Erin graduated from Ohio State University with bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and International Development. Before coming to Wisconsin, she served as a Peace Corps educator in rural Ethiopia.

Erin is happy to call Northern Wisconsin home, after spending a lifetime of visiting family in the area. Erin is a fan of hiking, ice cream and Bananagrams.

Ways to Connect

Wild Instincts Facebook

Wild Instincts is a nonprofit organization in Rhinelander that rehabilitates baby bears, bald eagles, bunnies, snakes and all kinds of wild animals that have been injured or orphaned.

Spring is an especially busy time of year for the organization because it’s the season of baby animals.

Listen to the full interview with wildlife rehabilitator Mark Naniot to learn about the animals they’re currently caring for.

  • Michigan expands antibody treatment to cut hospitalizations
  • Harmful chemicals found at Gogebic-Iron County airport prompt PFAS sampling of residential wells in North Ironwood
  • Kwik Trip plans to expand to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
  • Warm temperatures bring signs and sounds of spring

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy is testing residential wells in North Ironwood for harmful chemicals this week, after some were found at the Gogebic-Iron County airport.

Now, the state is trying to determine how far they’ve spread, and if they’ve contaminated any drinking water.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, or EGLE, tests groundwater at airports across Michigan.

They’re looking for residue of a firefighting foam that airports use to train with in case there’s an accident.

  • Wisconsin and Michigan pause administration of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine
  • COVID-19 cases rise in Wisconsin among people under the age of 18
  • Michigan extends workplace virus rules to keep office work remote
  • The Wisconsin Conservation Congress Spring Hearing seeks public input

  • CDC director urges Michigan to “close things down” as COVID-19 cases surge
  • Michigan focuses on vaccinating homebound residents
  • Wisconsin receives less food aid after the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to override Gov. Tony Evers public health emergency
  • Wisconsin health experts express concern about the impact of climate change on health

  • Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club of Eagle River and Landover ATV/UTV Club of Conover debate trail maintenance
  • Opponents of Michigan’s proposed trans sports ban work to educate people about its dangers
  • Michigan presses White House for more vaccines as COVID-19 cases continue to surge
  • Three Northwoods schools drop mask requirements following the state Supreme Court ruling overturning Gov. Evers’ mask mandate

Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing

The current housing market makes it challenging for someone who’s homeless to find an affordable place to live.

The Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing and Frederick Place is raising money to support those who need a place to stay, and they’re doing it in a creative way.

Frederick Place is a temporary emergency homeless shelter that provides safe housing for people experiencing homelessness.

This year, it’s celebrating its 10th anniversary, but because of COVID-19, staff decided to cancel the biggest fundraiser of the year – the annual anniversary benefit.

Although the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned Gov. Evers statewide mask mandate, face coverings are still required at many stores, like Aldi, Pick 'n Save and Kohl’s.

One place they’re not required though – several local public schools.

Laona, Three Lakes and Crandon school districts all stopped requiring masks following the state Supreme Court ruling.

Now wearing a face covering in their classrooms is optional.

Trees for Tomorrow

If you’ve ever considered composting, now might be a good time to start.

Trees for Tomorrow, an environmental education center in Eagle River, is selling bins and teaching people how to compost in their backyard.

Listen to the full interview with Environmental Educator Kim Feller to learn about why composting matters and how you can get involved.

Trees for Tomorrow has a calendar full of programs to teach people about everything from outdoor cooking to archery. Visit their website to learn more.

Wisconsin celebrated significant vaccine milestones this week.

Vaccinators have administered over 3 million COVID-19 shots in the state.

That means over a third of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine and 20 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

But even as more people get vaccinated, cases of COVID-19 are rising across the state.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said that’s largely because of COVID variants.

  • Jill Underly defeats Deb Kerr to become Wisconsin’s next top education official
  • Lincoln and Oneida County voters voted against raising taxes to pay for road maintenance
  • Tax levy increases for school funding were met with a mixed response from Northwoods voters
  • Voter turnout is at standard levels for a spring election as people return to the polls a year into the COVID-19 pandemic

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Last April, COVID-19 sent election officials across the country into a tailspin.

Many states postponed their presidential primaries, but Wisconsin was not among them.

Some residents scrambled to file for absentee ballots. Others went to the polls like normal.

Now, a year later, voting in-person is a bit different than before the pandemic.

At the Pine Lake Community Building in Oneida County, voters sanitize their hands before picking up a ballot from a poll worker behind a plexiglass screen.

  • It’s election day in Wisconsin. Voters will select the next state superintendent and determine the winners of local elections for town and school boards.
  • The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources launched a new Lake Monitoring and Protection Network to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
  • Gov. Tony Evers declared a State of Emergency because of wildfires across the state
  • Stormy Kromer recognized as one of Michigan’s Top 50 Companies to Watch by Michigan Celebrates Small Businesses

  • Canadian National rail line sale could open options for local industry
  • Wisconsin prisons and jails have their lowest population in 20 years
  • Milwaukee mayor proposes holding the Major League Baseball All-Star game in Wisconsin
  • Granite Peak closes its slopes early amid warm weather and a rainy forecast

Northwoods Community Garden Facebook

The Northwoods Community Garden is preparing for its inaugural spring.

With 48 garden plots, the garden will be a place for local residents to grow their own food and flowers and to learn about environmental stewardship and nutrition.

Listen to the full interview with board members Pete Zambon and Tabatha Bennish to learn what plans the garden has in store for the growing season.