Mackenzie Martin

Morning Edition Host/Features Editor

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Mackenzie came to WXPR in 2016 as the Operations Director and Morning Edition Host, but moved into a full-time reporting, editing, and hosting role in April 2018. Mackenzie is passionate about reporting and editing stories that cover interesting people and places in the Northwoods for WXPR's We Live Up Here series. 

In 2019, Mackenzie won four awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, including two 1st place awards for Best Web Story and Best Interview.

Mackenzie graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, with a major in media & cultural studies. She's originally from Wausau, WI. Mackenzie's work has also been heard on Minnesota Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Radio.

Wisc. Dept. of Natural Resources

Homesteading is a way of living your life with the goal of being more self-sufficient. In Rhinelander, there is a Homesteading Club that meets at least once a month.

Mackenzie Martin has the story.

The origin of homesteading comes from the Homestead Act of 1862 where land was given to families in an effort to encourage western migration, but some say it stands in for more of a mindset today.


  • Governor-elect Tony Evers vows to do what he can to retain his power,
  • Disappearing bats due to disease is the subject of the next Science on Tap,
  • An expert tells us the best way to feed birds as winter settles in,
  • More WI kids are without health insurance,
  • Fewer WI residents are signing up for health insurance under the ACA,
  • and Evers says he will push for the expansion of Medicaid coverage.

Peg Sandin

Many artists have a muse, something that is a huge source of creative inspiration for them. Peg Sandin is an artist based in Ironwood, MI, and her muse is Lake Superior.

WXPR's Larry Lapachin has the story.

  • Project North is a music festival coming to downtown Rhinelander in fall 2019, but you can get involved now at the Project North Launch Party on December 8th,
  • the Oneida County Purple Tube Project is designed to assist first responders in a crisis situation by giving more information about patients,
  • and Peoples State Bank has been collecting items to send to troops in Afghanistan this holiday season.

  • A health expert talks turkey and safe food prep ahead of Thanksgiving,
  • The Human Service Center in Rhinelander gets a grant to work with schools,
  • and that deer you harvested this weekend can be donated to the local food pantry.

Left: WXPR Public Radio Right: Greenmars/Wikimedia Commons

In July of 1975, Bruce Kotila was on the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald and one of the crew members gave him a life jacket. Four months later on November 10th, the Fitzgerald sank in a Lake Superior storm. No one survived. Kotila, who lives in Rhinelander, says the gift is immensely meaningful to him 43 years later.

Mackenzie Martin talked to Kotila and the author of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald about what still resonates with us about the Edmund Fitzgerald today.

  •  A UW professor is coming to Minocqua to talk about her book The Politics of Resentment,
  • A hemp expo is set for Marshfield,
  • A doctor prescribes compassion for those with an opioid disorder,
  • and a Wausau school administrator resigns after a prostitution change.

Mackenzie Martin / WXPR

Around this time of year, attendance at farmers markets wind down. Yet some family farms in the Northwoods produce all year round, and they have a hard time reaching their customers.

Last year, a group of five women farmers found a creative way to fix that problem. Mackenzie Martin has the story.

Jasmyn Schmidt spends about 100 hours a week talking about or doing something related to local food.

The Occult Museum

It's no secret that Wisconsin is full of famously haunted houses.

This week on a Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz tells us about Summerwind Mansion in Vilas County.

Summerwind mansion in Vilas County regularly shows up on lists of the most haunted places in Wisconsin.  The ghost stories surrounding Summerwind are only legend and hearsay, and none can be corroborated with independent evidence.  The mansion was real and interesting in its own right, but the tales of disembodied spirits and eerie organ music only add to the fascination of the place.

Baseball Digest / Wikimedia Commons

For baseball fans, the World Series represents the best of times. 

For one Milwaukee native and longtime Northwoods summer resident, the championship baseball series represents something much more… the memories of having played in the World Series.

Meet number 10, Tony Kubek, of the New York Yankees. WXPR’s Dave Daniels has the story.

  • We hear about the upcoming referendum vote from Rhinelander's Superintendent of Schools,
  • WPS is asking customers to contact them to find out about energy assistance,
  • Incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tony Evers had their first televised debate,
  • Counties are pushing the legislature to change Wisconsin's marijuana laws.

Circle of Life Studio

Mottainai is a Japanese term that conveys a sense of regret over waste. It translates roughly to “what a waste.”

It’s also the theme of local artist Debra Ketchum Jircik’s artist residency at the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River, where she’s been holding workshops since the end of August.

Ahead of her talk at the library on Friday, October 19th, Mackenzie Martin talked to her about her work during the residency and how it was inspired by a trip she took to Japan.


Downtown Rhinelander used to be very different.

This week on a Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz tells us about a fall festival that happened there in 1934.

  • The debate between incumbent U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Republican challenger Leah Vukmir Saturday night in Wausau turned testy at times...
  • Governor Scott Walker stopped in Eagle River and Tomahawk on Sunday...
  • A group of Crandon business owners are circling a petition in hopes that the WI Dept. of Transportation will pay for flawed sidewalks downtown...
  • and the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas is looking for volunteers in the Northwoods.


This week on a Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz tells us how television came to be in the Northwoods.

Television is such a part of our everyday lives that most of us don’t think twice about it.  With cable, satellite, and Internet streaming services, we have hundreds of news and entertainment choices available twenty-four hours a day.  In addition, if we can’t find something we like, we can always pop something in the DVD or Blu-ray player.  It wasn’t always this way, and earlier generations would have marveled at such modern conveniences.