Katie Thoresen

News Director/ Vice President

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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.


A manure spill on a farm in Lincoln County has led to a fish kill in Devil Creek.

Wednesday night, the DNR was notified of manure running off a field into Devil Creek southwest of Merrill.

The DNR is now assisting with the investigation.

The source of the spill was an open value on a manure pit at a medium-sized dairy operation.

The DNR still doesn’t know the full scope of the spill.

It’s working with the farm and other agencies to get answers.

Forest County Sheriff's Office

Three men are in jail following two armed robberies in Oconto and Forest counties.

Last Friday, police got a call about an armed robbery at home in Wabeno.

The Forest County Sheriff’s Office said three men broke into the home. They were armed with a gun and knives.

Police say they pointed a gun at a 12-year-old and ordered him to the floor while they stole cash, jewelry, and prescription pills.

The suspects also stabbed the family dog during the robbery.

Half an hour later police a call about a different armed robbery in the town of Mountain.

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Wisconsin DNR

The Wisconsin DNR has been selling waterfowl stamps for more than 40 years.

Each year, sales from the stamp generates hundreds of thousands of dollars for habitat management, restoration, education, and research projects.


There’s a lot of safety regulations that come with owning a boat.

So many that it can sometimes be confusing, and something could slip through the cracks.

Before you or someone gets hurts or you get a ticket for a violation, the Eagle River Chain of Lakes Association wants to help check your boat.

Wisconsin DHS

Wisconsin is experiencing COVID-19 levels not seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

The state is averaging about 130 new cases a day.

Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said during Tuesday media briefing that it’s great progress in fight against the virus, but more still needs to be done.


Food pantries are meant to give people and families food for meals to help get them through the week.

But sometimes, families miss a week or can’t make during certain hours, and a child ends up going to school hungry.

Feed Our Rural Kids is introducing a new program to be another check in the system to keep that from happening.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Update: The Assembly Committee on State Affairs passed the bill along party lines Tuesday afternoon, according to Rep. Swearigen's office.   The bill did include the amendments that would allow the cooperative to also buy the Park Falls Paper Mill with the WEDC loan. 

An assembly committee will vote on the so-called “Mill Bill” Tuesday. It could lead to the re-opening of two mills in North Central Wisconsin.


Six people are facing federal charges. The Wisconsin Attorney general says they were transporting large amounts of meth from Arizona to Wisconsin.

Three of the people charged are from Merrill. Matthew White,36, TJ Myers, 32, and Amy Pehlke, 33, are each charged with conspiracy to distribute meth.

Levi Bagne, 30, of Buckeye, Arizona, Corey Freyermuth, 38, of Oshkosh, and Krista Sparks, 26, of Phoenix, Arizona are also facing the same charges.

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Races and events are back on track at the Crandon International Off-Road Raceway.

Last year, the raceway wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of turnout.

It pushed back the June Brush Run to the end of September and kept the Off-Road World Championships on its usual Labor Day weekend.

Raceway promoter Marty Fiolka said turnout was great for the Championships but down for the Brush Run.

Forest County Sheriff's Office

The Forest County Sheriff’s Office says two people are facing multiple drug charges after their arrest two weeks ago.

On May 26, the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office sent out a notice of a stolen car from its county. It was believed the suspects were armed and possibly in possession of narcotic drugs.

The next day, detectives with the Forest County Sheriff’s Office found the car in Crandon. Police arrested the two suspects after they pulled into the Krist Oil Gas Station.


A Gogebic County Sheriff’s Deputy is facing charges following a public integrity investigation. It was one of five cases announced by the Michigan Attorney General Friday.

The incident at the Gogebic County Jail happened in February 2020.

According to Attorney General Dana Nessel, Gogebic County Deputy Scott Voit ordered an inmate to kneel in order to remove handcuffs from him. Before the inmate could fully kneel down, Voit threw the person to the ground to remove the handcuffs.

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

When restaurants closed and concerts were canceled last year, many people turned to outdoor activities to keep busy.

“2020 was record year for us out at the golf course as it was for probably every golf course in the country,” said Pinewood Country Club Owner Chip Bromann.

Bromann said golf was one of the activities people could stay busy with and safely social distance while still seeing people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

His Hazelhurst golf course saw a lot of people who had stepped away from golf pick it back up again.

Antigo Police Department

Off-Road races are coming to Antigo this weekend.

The Antigo Police Department is asking people to be cautious driving around the fairgrounds.

The department is staffing extra officers to help with traffic flow and enforcement.

North Ave will be closed from Neva Road to Charlotte Street to through traffic.

Charlotte Street will be open South of 64 but will not allow through traffic and will be strictly for race traffic only.

Arctic, Farewell, Kaplanek and Washington Streets will not allow parking.

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