Katie Thoresen

News Director

Email Katie

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 Wisconsin man is in the Gogebic County Jail on an Assault with Intent to commit Murder charge. Police believe Benjamin Bazile, 30, of Gillet, Wisconsin tried to stab a man to death.

The Ironwood Department of Public Safety responded to a stabbing at a motel on Cloverland Drive on Tuesday, September 1. Officers found a man laying in the parking lot bleeding.

Police said the 36-year-old victim had been stabbed several times. He also had a slit across his throat. The man was airlifted to Aspirus Wausau Hospital. He is in serious but stable condition.


More than 40 school districts in 31 Wisconsin counties are getting behavioral health grants for this school year.

The b.e.s.t. program has been around for years but may be more important than ever with the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

b.e.s.t. stands for behavioral emotional social traits. It’s online screening tool designed to help educators identify and build the emotional health of students.

More than a dozen school districts in the Northwoods were awarded grants for the program from Marshfield Clinic Health System and Security Health Plan.

  • Mike Pence & Kamala Harris visit Wisconsin
  • DNR urges boater safety for Labor Day
  • Forest History Association of Wisconsin looking to get more people involved
  • UWSP Students encouraged to voter properly
  • Rhinelander mural celebrates city’s industrial history

Photo by Katie Thoresen/WXPR

There’s a new mural in Rhinelander that gives people a snapshot of the city’s industrial history.

The artwork takes up the entire side of the Airpro building facing Sutliff Avenue across from the papermill.

“I love murals,” said Airpro and Fan Blower Company President and Founder Keith White.

White loves murals so much, he put one on the side of his office off Davenport Street.

The background depicts well-known sites in Rhinelander like the courthouse and high school.

Gears are prominent in the foreground of the mural.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The Forest History Association of Wisconsin has been around since 1975.

The group focuses on the importance of forest’s in Wisconsin’s past and present.

In the last few years the group has changed its focus.

John Grosman is a retired forester. He’s been with the association since it started in 1975 and is currently the board president.

The association’s mission is to inform, educate, archive, and publish the legacy of Wisconsin’s forest history.

Photo by Katie Thoresen/WXPR

The annual Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races started Friday.

The three-day racing event is expected to draw thousands of people to Forest County.

This will be Dawn Kloss’ 19th year attending the races at Crandon International Raceway.

“We love the comradery. We love seeing new people and then seeing the people we see every year,” said Kloss.

She’s traveling from Chippewa Falls with her family and friends. They have eight camping spots reserved for the big weekend.


Oneida County reported its first COVID-19 related death Friday.

The Oneida County Health Department said the person was in their 80’s and had an underlying health condition.

“We are saddened by the loss of one of our community members,” said Linda Conlon, Oneida County HealthDepartment Director and Health Officer. “We extend our sympathies to their loved ones and all impacted.” 

220 people in Oneida County have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic.

  • U.S. Unemployment drops to 8.4%
  • Average weekly COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin down from late July
  • Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races start Friday
  • Deer-related crashes down in Vilas County

  • Joe Biden visits Kenosha to speak with Jacob Blakes family and local law enforcement
  • Lincoln County reporting possible COVID-19 exposure at Merrill grocery store
  • Forest County Potawatomi Farm works towards self-sustaining goal
  • Attempt to restore wild rice on Spur Lake

Photo by Katie Thoresen/WXPR

The Forest County Potawatomi wants to have a fully self-sustaining farm to provide produce and meat to its tribal members and the general public.

It’s well on its way to getting to that goal.

The Potawatomi Farm took over the old red deer farm on county road h south of Blackwell in 2017.

“The tribe wanted to go a different way and be more self-sustaining,” said assistant farm manager Joe Shepard.

The farm grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Farm workers also raise chickens, cows, pigs, and 



The Sokaogon Cenex Convenience Store and Smoke Shop in Mole Lake will be closed to the general public starting Wednesday, September 2. The closure will be in place through October 11.

The Sokaogon Chippewa Community said the C-store will still be open to Mole Lake Community members.

A public information officer with the community told WXPR the temporary closure was due to COVID-19 concerns and the upcoming races at the Crandon International Raceway.

  • 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


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.