Katie Thoresen

News Director

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Katie Thoresen joined WXPR as the News Director in August of 2020. While new to WXPR, she's not new to Rhinelander. Katie previously worked for WJFW and has spent the last five years working in TV. She covers the news that matters to people in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula and takes a special interest in environmental and health care related stories. 

Katie is happy to be back in the Northwoods after living in Oregon for two years. She grew up in Illinois and has spent her entire life visiting the area. Katie is a graduate of Central Michigan University. Outside of work you can find her on the hiking trails or out on the water.

PIXABAY.COM

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is reporting another 1,300 cases Friday. That’s the lowest daily case county in more than a month.

DHS said there could be delays in test results because of the holiday.

Another 17 people have died.

Between Oneida, Vilas, and Forest Counties more than 4,000 people have tested positive and nearly 60 people have died since the start of the pandemic.

All counties in our region except for Iron County is at “Critically High” activity level.

You can find the break down for all counties below.

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Black Friday kicks off the busiest time of year for Stormy Kromer.

President Gina Thorsen said not only does it get busy because of people buying up gifts for the holiday season, but also because they mostly sell winter apparel and we’re heading into winter.

“Our business is really, really seasonal and we know it’s coming,” said Thorsen. “All of our employees are kind of gearing up and getting ready for a next couple of five weeks or whatever it is.”

The Ironwood-based Stormy Kromer employees about 90 people. 

Rhinelander District Library

From movies to videos games to computer services, what local libraries offer has evolved over the years.
But a constant has been and always will be books.

Of course, to keep with the times, the library needs to constantly keep updating its collection and buy new books.

That’s where the Rhinelander District Library Foundation comes in.

Starting next week, it’s collecting donations for its annual Ced Vig Holiday Book Fund Drive.

The money from the drive goes solely to buying book for the library.

Ian Shackleford/ICORE

There’s more than 100 miles of trails in Iron County that’s open to walking, hiking, biking, and skiing, and people are working to add more.

The Raptor Education Group, Inc. in Antigo treats and cares for more than 600 raptors and birds every year.

That’s a lot of mouths to feed.

REGI Founder and Executive Director Marge Gibson says an eagle can eat up to three pounds of food at a time.

“Right now, we have 34 eagles here on site getting ready for release. They’re in the flight building and various stages of rehabilitation, but they all have to eat every day so we do go through an awful lot of food,” said Gibson.

REGI is asking hunters to donate hearts from deer they harvest.

Raptor Education Group, Inc.

Treating eagles and other birds with lead poisoning is an all too common occurrence at the Raptor Education Group, Inc. in Antigo.

Wisconsin DNR

More people are hunting deer this season.

PIXABAY.COM

Many people look forward to the holidays as a time to get together with family and friends.

PIXABAY.COM

A 14-mile long loop of paved bike trail that connects two major campgrounds to the Heart of Vilas County Trail. That’s the goal of the latest trail expansion project in Boulder Junction.

Vilas County Sheriff's Office

The Vilas County Sheriff’s Office said it’s arrested three people in connection to an armed robbery last week.

Police arrested Mile Krohn, 27, Devon Brown, 24, and Autumn Williams, 24.

Wisconsin DNR

Five years ago, the DNR put restrictions on walleye on the Minocqua Chain of Lakes.

Walleye populations had dropped significantly. In an attempt to revive the population, the walleye became catch and release only on the chain.

Since then, the population has recovered.

But the DNR isn’t sure if it’s recovered enough to lift that the catch and release regulations.

PIXABAY.COM

There will be no hospital beds available in northcentral Wisconsin by mid-December.

That was the grim message from all three healthcare groups in our region on Friday.

Representatives from Ascension, Marshfield Clinic, and Aspirus spoke during a panel discussion hosted by the Wausau Chamber of Commerce, WSAW, WAOW, Marathon County Health Department, DC Everest School District and Wausau School District.

Oneida County Sheriff's Office

A Woodruff man is facing child pornography charges in Oneida County.

Police arrested Alexander Beda, 26, on Friday.

He’s facing 10 counts of possession of child pornography.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office said the arrest was a coordinated effort between it, the State of Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, the Vilas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Woodruff Police Department.

The Sheriff’s Office said the investigation is on-going. Beda has his first court appearance Friday afternoon.

PIXABAY.COM

Every day, hospitals in Wisconsin continue to fill with COVID-19 patients.  As of Friday morning, hospitals throughout the state were at 89-percent capacity.

Marshfield Clinic has been sharing testimonials on its Facebook page from healthcare workers on the toll the pandemic is taking. One was from Theresa Weiler. She supervises one the COVID-19 units at Marshfield Clinic. She gave the following presentation at a staff meeting to share what her team is currently facing on the frontlines of the pandemic.

Aspirus

Dr. Stephen Phillipson is a hospitalist at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. He leads a team that cares for the sickest COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

Dr. Phillipson shares his experience working with those patients, what treatment looks like, and his plea to the community.

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