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.


Between its hospitals in the U.P. and northern Wisconsin, Aspirus has more than 130 COVID-19 patients.  That’s on top of the hundreds of other patients it has for everyday illnesses and accidents.


Governor Tony Evers will be issuing a new Public Health Emergency because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • Police ask for help finding missing Lac du Flambeau man
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  • Hunting and fishing license sales up this year
  • Wisconsin DHS shares vaccine distribution plan details

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Every time the phone rings at Mel’s Trading Post in Rhinelander owner Mitch Mode knows it’s more than likely a hunter.

“80 percent of my phone calls are guys looking for ammo,” said Mode.

His shelves are usually stocked full of ammo this time of year, especially with the start of gun deer season just three days away.

Nicolet College

A college degree can put someone in a better position to land a job and make more money doing it, but affording college is a barrier to many people.

The Nicolet College Promise program has helped 57 students attended college tuition-free.

The tuition assistance program is for recent high school graduates that live in the Nicolet College District.

Nicolet Dean of Enrollment Erika Warning-Meyer says it’s a great program that makes higher education affordable.

John C. Kronquist, Sr. was reported missing Saturday. The 35-year-old Native American is 6’2”, 180 lbs. with short dark brown hair and brown eyes.

Lac du Flambeau Police said he was last seen in the early hours of Saturday, November 14. It was near the intersection of Chequamegon Forest Trail and Island Club Lane in the Chequamegon National Forest near Lac du Flambeau.

Kronquist was driving a 4-door silver/gray 2016 Chevrolet Impala with Wisconsin plates no. AEJ7557. The car has some dents and a cracked windshield. Police said the car has not been recovered.

Wisconsin DNR

The Northern Highland American Legion State Forest covers more than 232,000 across three counties in northern Wisconsin.

It’s open to hikers, campers, hunters, boaters, and bikers among others.

With that many people using all that land, it can be difficult finding someone who gets lost in it.

That’s where DNR Conservation Warden Audrey Royce and her K9 Nyssa come into the picture.

The Rhinelander District Library is going to curbside service only due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the area.

The change goes into effect Tuesday, November 17. 

Curbside will be available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m.  to 5:50 p.m.

You can call the library for an appointment, 715-365-1070.

The library will be offering no services the week of Thanksgiving. It will be closed for deep cleaning and reset of procedures.

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Wisconsin’s election was secure and followed according to law. That’s been the overwhelming message by local, state and federal election officials.

Late last week, Wisconsin’s Chief Election Official said there’s been no evidence of any wrongdoing, fraud, or irregularity in the state’s presidential election.

Starting the day after the election, County Board of Canvasses have been going to through and double checking the work done by city election officials.

So far, they’ve not found any major discrepancies from what was reported on election night.

Nicolet College

The Nicolet College Board of Trustees is starting its search for the next college president.

Current college president Dr. Richard Nelson is retiring this summer after 5-plus years in the position.

Board Chairman Sharon Nielson said the college is in good shape financially and academically thanks to Dr. Nelson and his leadership team.

It’s one of the reasons the board is hoping to find his replacement from within.

Wikimedia Commons

The City of Rhinelander is closing city offices for walk-ins starting Monday due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Oneida County.

“The City’s utmost priority is keeping people safe while continuing to provide services andcarry out its functions,” said Mayor Chris Frederickson in a statement. “Wear a mask while in public, practicegood hygiene and avoid gatherings of people outside your immediate family wheneverpossible." 

City Hall, police, fire, and inspection offices will be closed to walk-in customers.

Wisconsin DHS

Wisconsin is reporting 7,777 new COVID-19 cases Friday.

That’s a new daily record and it puts the state over the 300,000 mark for total COVID-19 cases.

It took Wisconsin seven months to get to 100,000 cases, 36 days to get to the next 100,000, and only 18 days to reach the latest 100,000.

Another 58 deaths were reported Friday. More than 2,500 Wisconsinites have died since the start of the pandemic. That number is expected to double before the end of the year if nothing changes.

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Milky Way Coffee Company in Woodruff has seen steady business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coffee shop sits in an old bank at the corner of Highway J and Highway 51.

Images of stars and planets are scattered throughout the shop. There isn’t a lot of room inside the coffee shop itself, the counter where the drinks are made and the kitchen take up half the space.

The rest is filled with tables, chairs, and a sofa.

Forest County Sheriff's Office

Police arrested a Forest County man they say was in possession of child pornography.

State and local law enforcement arrested Kristopher Trychzak, 33, Wednesday.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation began looking into Trychzak after it got information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That organization found evidence of a person communicating online about sexually assaulting children. There were photographs which contained child sexual assault material included in the conversation.

  • Update on COVID-19 case totals in the Northwoods
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  • Grocery businesses find success in delivery service