local features

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More than 150,000 Wisconsin homes, businesses, schools, and daycares get their water through lead pipes, according to data newly compiled by the Environmental Defense Fund.

Consuming even small amounts of lead can lead to behavioral, learning, and cognitive problems in children.

Furthermore, for 300,000 water lines, Wisconsin cities don’t even know what the pipes are made of.

Wisconsin Historical Society

The current Covid-19 crisis is a difficult experience for everyone, but not the first time something like this has happened. The Influenza Epidemic that started in 1918 and lasted into 1920 can be instructive for what is going on now. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

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An unfamiliar sound can be frightening; an unknown sound when you are in the dark woods can be terrifying. In this week’s Wildlife Matters the Masked Biologist shares some experiences and explains why sound identification can be challenging.

LAMBA

If this were a normal spring, people would be starting to travel to the Northwoods to enjoy the outdoors. The state, however, is encouraging people to stay in their own communities and avoid travel for recreation. But for those of us who live up here, the Northwoods offers hundreds of miles of biking trails and country roads that make great cycling routes.

Jamee Peters, vice president of the Langlade Area Mountain Bike Association (LAMBA) describes the type of trails available in eastern Langlade County.

Dan Dumas/Kim Swisher Communications

On Wednesday, a mining exploration company got a step closer to drilling into the earth near the Wolf River in Oneida County.

The county’s Planning and Development committee unanimously approved a permit for Badger Minerals to drill up to ten exploration holes on a private plot of land.

The company wants to find out if the area could be a good place for a metallic mine.

But, if it wasn’t clear before, public backlash demonstrated there’s plenty of opposition in the Northwoods.

Muscular Christianity is a philosophical interpretation of Christianity that centers on the moral and physical beauty of athleticism. It has had many proponents over the years, but few as colorful as the Reverend Frederick Wedge. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

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Did you know that Earth Day has its roots in Wisconsin? The Masked Biologist takes a glimpse back at the origins and early years after the original Earth Day in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Scott Bowe

In this month's installment of Field Notes, Scott Bowe of Kemp Station discusses how maple trees produce sap for real maple syrup.

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Have you had the opportunity to get outside? The Masked Biologist gives us some ideas for nearby outdoor activity destinations in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Yelp

When we think of the Northwoods, one thing that comes to mind is the Supper Club. These iconic restaurants, along with all nonessential business, have been closed to in-person business as a result of the COVID-19 virus. These closures have supper club owners wondering about their future. They also have concerns about their laid off workers, the companies that supply them with food and beverages, and their patrons who are unable to enjoy the establishments that are part of their lives.

Madeline Magee

By the middle of the century, the climate, the waters, and the species of northern Wisconsin could look like today’s southern Wisconsin.

That’s according to projections presented at a scientific conference last week.

In turn, climate change could force southern Wisconsin to look like states including Kansas and Virginia.

Jim Skibo

Each spring the hardwood forests of the Northwoods come alive with activity as the process of collecting maple sap begins. The people doing this work range from large commercial operations to single individuals tapping a few trees. As part of WXPR’s We Live Up Here series, we visited two very different operations before social distancing guidelines went into effect.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Are the Northwoods walleye you catch safe to eat, or do they have too much mercury?

The answer is tied to several factors, but new research shows a surprising variable might have the biggest effect.

The water level of the lake where you caught the fish could tell you more about its safety than anything else.

The realization of the connection started years ago, when lakes researcher Dr. Carl Watras found an interesting trend.

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When you hear the name Samson, what springs to mind – possibly a religious story, or maybe the name of a larger-than-life animal? The Masked Biologist says all of the above, and explores the humanization of animals in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Stormy Kromer Facebook

Instead of making its iconic Stormy Kromer hats, Ironwood-based Jacquart Fabrics is now making hospital masks and gowns.  Near Antigo, wildlife rehabilitators don’t have the luxury of staying away from work.  In this edition of We Live Up Here, we explore how COVID-19 has changed the landscape of businesses in our area.

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