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. 

Mackenzie's work has also been heard on NPR's Morning Edition, NPR's All Things Considered, Minnesota Public Radio, and Wisconsin Public Radio. In 2019, Mackenzie won four awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, including two 1st place awards for Best Interview and Best Web Story.

Mackenzie holds an undergraduate degree in media & cultural studies from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She's originally from Wausau, Wisconsin.

A Northland Pines High School graduate will be in the Northwoods for the next 10 days talking about his project helping women veterans of war heal through song.

Jason Moon will be promoting the album Women At War: Warrior Songs Vol. 2, which is to be released in November. The album is a project of the non-profit organization Warrior Songs and consists of pairing up women veterans with women songwriters to help them translate their experiences into song. This is the organization’s second project of this nature, but the first album focusing only on women veterans.

This Saturday, June 30th, “Families Belong Together” marches are planned around the country (and the globe) to tell President Donald Trump and his administration that it is not okay to separate kids from their parents. Though progress on the issue has been made, marches are still being held.

Locally, the Northwoods Progressives, the Democratic Party of Vilas County, and the Northern Highland LGBTQ are hosting a Families Belong Together march in Minocqua to bring awareness to the issue.


In the days leading up to the 4th of July, those around the country will be preparing by purchasing fireworks for home use. Typically this is a beloved part of the holiday, but a local wildlife rehabilitation center is warning the public to adjust the way they celebrate, or skip it altogether.

Director of Rehabilitation at Wild Instincts in Rhinelander Mark Naniot says it's not just pets that freak out during annual firework celebrations, fireworks have dangerous effects on local wildlife.

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.