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.

  • Joe Biden to visit Wisconsin Thursday
  • 30 days since mask mandate went into effect in Wisconsin
  • Health experts offer recommendations for getting kids to wear masks
  • Researchers look at effectiveness of removing badger dams to improve trout streams

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The Learning in Retirement program at Nicolet College is going virtual this year.

LIR will be offering 21 different presentations this fall. The topics range from nature to genealogy to art.

Some classes will last just a couple of hours while other will meet throughout the fall.

Learning in retirement coordinator Brenda Peltier said one of the biggest challenges is making sure members are comfortable with the technology needed for the classes.

Photo by Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Students across Wisconsin are headed back to school Tuesday morning.

For some, it will mean staying in their homes and logging onto a laptop to complete their coursework.

For many, it still means catching the bus and heading to school.

Schools everywhere are having to make changes to keep students and staff safe the school year starts in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the first changes you notice at Northland Pines High School is right on the front door.

Photo by Katie Thoresen/WXPR

As with just about everything in the world, wildlife rehabilitators have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the near start of the pandemic, Wild Instincts has made changes to protect animals and staff from the virus.

“We’re masking up, gloving up while we’re feeding them and doing any kind of care,” said Director of Rehabilitation, Mark Naniot.

With all the safety precautions Wild Instincts has put into place, Naniot was surprised by the recent sudden announcement about new wildlife intake and release restrictions.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This week, Oneida County hit the 200 mark for total number of COVID-19 cases.

There have been 203 people from Oneida County that have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic started.

180 of those people have recovered from the virus. 18 are currently self-isolating. Five are currently hospitalized.

It’s not just the total number health officials are concerned about, it’s the recent uptick of cases.

The number of cases have more than doubled in the last month. On July 28, Oneida County had a total number of 75 cases.

Iron County Forestry & Parks

For the first time in four years, there are no constructions projects at Saxon Harbor in Iron County.

The harbor and the surrounding area has been under construction since a severe storm in 2016 wiped out the slips, the campground and the many of the roads in the region.

Iron County Forest Administrator Eric Peterson is happy not hear construction at Saxon Harbor anymore.

“It’s nice to see people down there steady again rather than just construction,” said Peterson.

The 2016 storm dumped more than nine inches of rain in Saxon.

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  • Lumber shortage impacting construction companies
  • Northland Pines school board approves fall sports
  • WPS gives grants to help local first responders

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Health officials are concerned about the upcoming flu season.

Right now- health officials are not sure what having the flu and COVID-19 at the same time will do a person’s body.

Rebecca Lohagen is the Oneida County public health nurse and preparedness coordinator.

She says the best way to avoid complications is the get a flu vaccine.

  • Northwoods National Cemetery dedication
  • Rhinelander Airport acquires PFAS foam containment cart
  • Rhinelander Common Council hears update on Hodag and Pioneer Park Planning
  • Rhinelander School Board approves fall sports
  • Buckatabon Lakes Association uses weevils to help fight invasive species

Photo by Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Dan and Barb Benson have lived on Buckatabon Lake for about 20 years.  They started noticing an issue with Eurasian Water Milfoil, or EWM, about five years ago. 

“This one over here really cropped up in the last year,” Dan said pointing off to spot in the water off his dock. “That’s the heaviest. Then there’s little pockets.”

The invasive species popping up lead to Benson’s and their neighbors forming a lake association.

For the most part the association has been using divers to pull up the weeds, but it continued to spread. 

  • Wisconsin’s Unemployment rate falls to 7 percent in July
  • League of Women Voters of the Northwoods reflects on 100-year anniversary of gaining the right to vote
  • Democratic delegates react to the end of the Democratic National Convention
  • The Marshfield Clinic Health System releases Back to School Guide for parents and students

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