Mackenzie Martin

Morning Edition Host/Features Editor

Email Mackenzie

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 as part of her We Live Up Here series. If you have any ideas for a story you think she should cover, shoot her an email:

Mackenzie graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, in 2016 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.

Northwoods Pride Festival

The second annual Northwoods Pride Festival was held in Arbor Vitae last Saturday. The festival was sponsored by the Northwoods Progressives and Northern Highland LGBTQ.  

The event included a potluck, live music, and a drag show, among other events. There were also resources available such as free HIV / AIDS testing, behavioral health counselors, and voter registration.

Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID: 28374,

This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz takes us back to a rather curious bank robbery that took place in Antigo in 1888.

When we hear stories of bank robberies many people automatically think about tales of the Old West or perhaps the gangsters of the 1930s.  However, bank robberies happened in other times and other places as well, and one curious Northwoods bank robbery took place in Antigo during the year 1888.

Dorothy Ferguson / Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz takes us back to 1905 and tells us the story of a bindlestiff named Frank Lamperer, who benefitted from the kindness of the people in Rhinelander.

Jacob Shultz

This is the story of two ambulances and a resident in Boulder Junction who felt compelled to help out a small Alaskan town a few weeks ago.


Mackenzie Martin takes it from there.

Living in the Northwoods, we often feel like we live in small towns.

Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID: 10715,

This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz takes us back to 1931, when an air show was held in Rhinelander.

Air shows where aircraft are exhibited, air races are run, and acrobatic demonstrations take place are still staged in many venues around the world, but they used to be a common occurrence in small towns across America.  In the early days of flying, fixed base operators and aviators would use air shows to bring people out to the local airfield and drum up business for the fledgling aviation industry.


Nationally, plastic straws are being phased out because of their environmental impact. Some cities have even banned them. Locally, the anti-straw movement is also catching on here in the Northwoods.

Sandy Buss at Briar House in Rhinelander says they’ve been trying to reduce their use of plastic straws by offering the choice of paper straws, but they’ve gotten mixed reactions from customers.

"Some of them do not like them at all and will not be using them," says Buss. "Then some of our customers are just thrilled that we're going with this option."

John Mortimore / Wikimedia Commons

CORRECTION: The Oneida County Planning and Development Committee is hosting a public hearing Wednesday evening at Rhinelander High School. The meeting is to gather input concerning state-mandated changes in county mining rules. Earlier we reported there would be two mining hearings, but there is only one public hearing about mining, at 6 p.m. at the high school. The other meeting is a routinely scheduled afternoon public hearing on other topics related to Oneida County Planning and Development. We regret any inconvenience.

Crandon Public Library

The Crandon Public Library is challenging you to “go wild” this month.

The idea behind “30 Days Wild” is to do something every day during the month of June that makes you feel happier, healthier, and more connected to nature.

Crandon Public Library Director Stephanie Schmidt says getting outside improves your physical and mental health.

12019 / Pixabay

Temperatures in the Northwoods have been unusually high for this time of the year. Appropriately, Governor Scott Walker has declared Wednesday, June 6th as “Heat Awareness Day.”

Dawn Robinson is a Program Assistant at Oneida County Emergency Management, and she says having a day set aside is a good reminder.

"It's a time to focus on what is it we need to do to keep ourselves safe, our families, our neighbors," Robinson says. "Just to make sure everyone knows what to do."

Scott Spoolman

Two events next week will highlight how exactly Wisconsin’s beautiful natural sceneries came to be.

Author and former DNR journalist Scott Spoolman will be speaking about Wisconsin’s geology in Manitowish Waters and Minocqua early next week.

His latest book, Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History, takes you to twenty-eight parks, forests, and natural areas where evidence of the state’s striking geologic and natural history are on display. Evidence of volcanoes, mountains, ancient seas, and glacial activity are all included.

Harry Shipler / Wikimedia Commons

Every Friday, we turn back the clock on Morning Edition with local historian Gary Entz to find out what life in the Northwoods used to be like. This is part of a new initiative by WXPR to tell the history and culture of northern Wisconsin.

Jay Woolf

A local author who wrote a book about how to use humor to your advantage in a difficult situation will be speaking in Boulder Junction.

Jay Woolf, author of It IS a Laughing Matter, will speak at the Boulder Junction Public Library Thursday, May 31st at 7:00 p.m.

Thirty years ago, Woolf was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Before he was diagnosed, he knew something was horribly wrong. Humor is what helped him get through it.

ArtStart Rhinelander

There’s a new type of open mic coming to the Northwoods community Wednesday, May 30th. 

The evening of performances at ArtStart in Rhinelander is called In Progress to encourage people to share things that aren’t quite done yet. The whole idea is to build a community that can support each other’s artistic endeavors as well as give constructive feedback. That being said, presenting finished or published works is also encouraged.

Castle, W.I. (William Ivor) / Wikimedia Commons

Every Friday, we turn back the clock on Morning Edition with local historian Gary Entz to find out what life in the Northwoods used to be like. This is part of a new initiative by WXPR to tell the history and culture of northern Wisconsin.

Issues of immigration, military conflicts overseas, and how we honor veterans are current topics of political debate, but this is nothing new.  Consider the case of Rhinelander resident Elwood Smith.

Jacquelyn Mitchard

A New York Times bestselling author will be giving a talk in Arbor Vitae next week. Jacquelyn Mitchard - probably best known for her book The Deep End of the Ocean - will be speaking at the Red Crown Lodge on Wednesday, May 30th. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Frank B Koller Library.

Mitchard was a Wisconsin resident for many years, working at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and living just outside of Madison.