Local Features

In addition to the local news, WXPR Public Radio also likes to find stories that are outside the general news cycle... Listen below to stories about history, people, culture, art, and the environment in the Northwoods that go a little deeper than a traditional news story allows us to do. Here are all of the series we include in this podcast: Curious North, We Live Up Here, A Northwoods Moment in History, Field Notes, and Wildlife Matters.

These features are also available as a podcast by searching "WXPR Local Features" wherever you get your podcasts.

Pixabay

To rake or not to rake, that is the question.

The Masked Biologist touts the merits of mulching your leaves in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

tonyevers.com

When Gov. Tony Evers took office in January, he could have put his priorities in a lot of different places.

But he chose to put a large amount of political muscle into improving drinking water in Wisconsin.

Just 15 days after he was inaugurated in January, he proclaimed 2019 the "Year of Clean Drinking Water” for the state.

Ebay

For over a year, our local historian Gary Entz has uncovered why many towns in the Northwoods are named what they are.

Some previous installments of A Northwoods Moment in History have included how the towns of Phelps, St. Germain, Sayner, and Rhinelander got their names.

In this week’s installment, we hear how the town of Lake Tomahawk got its name.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Few drivers zipping along Northwoods roads probably think about the culverts they cross, culverts sending stream water underneath the pavement or gravel.

Instead, it’s Jon Simonsen’s job to worry about the structures, which play a major role in both transportation and fish habitat.

“People don’t give a culvert much thought, and they’ll pass over it.  But they think about it a lot when the road is washed out and the road has failed,” said Simonsen, a DNR transportation liaison.  “So that’s when it has become significant.”

WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, IMAGE ID: 18918, WISCONSINHISTORY.ORG

For this week's A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz remembers the late Klondike Theater in Hurley and the horrific fire in 1901 that resulted in its tragic end.

In this month's installment of Field Notes, Scott Bowe of Kemp Station discusses how the Lacey Act protects rare trees around the world.

The Toad/Flickr

Do you know who to call about wildlife?

Did you know you have more than one option depending on the topic? In this week’s Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist helps lessen the potential confusion about wildlife professionals.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Shanai Matteson poured three small cups of water for Mary Moxon last Friday, putting them on a wooden board, like a flight of beers at a craft brewery.

“It’s very subtle, but water has different tastes, and it has to do with the mineral content of the water, the treatment of the water,” Matteson said.  “Sometimes it has to do with the pipes or the container that the water comes in.”

Matteson had just set up her table, called a popup Water Bar, at Project North, a music and sustainability festival in Rhinelander.

WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, IMAGE ID: 130732, WISCONSINHISTORY.ORG

Sometimes things that didn't happen in the past can have a profound impact on the future. Such was the case with the dam that never was on the Wolf River.

Gary Entz explains for this week's A Northwoods Moment in History.

Max Pixel (link below)

Plastic straws are the latest poster child of environmental concern.

The Masked Biologist examines the current cultural move away from the use of plastic straws in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Jim Albert

Twenty-one-year-old Kai Movrich has enough to worry about.

On top of working at Contrast Coffee in downtown Ironwood, she owns and is an instructor at a dance studio in town.

She didn’t need her tap water at home to be a problem, too.  But she found something gross when she moved into a new house in July.

“Through our faucet in our bathroom, when we turned the spouts on as soon as they turned our water on, we actually had sediment coming through our spouts,” Movrich said.  “We’re talking rocks the size of nickels.”

Her frustration isn’t unique.

Langlate County Historical Society Newsletter, 2013

Rhinelander and Antigo football teams have always had a strong rivalry. In 1930 though, the annual Bell Game between the two teams got particularly competitive.

Gary Entz has the story for this week's A Northwoods Moment in History.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Ron Wiedeman’s ancestors came here around 1900, as best as he can tell.

It’s a swath of land along the Wisconsin River in the Town of Crescent, just southwest of Rhinelander.

“I’ve lived in this area my whole life,” said Wiedeman, sitting at his kitchen table.

When he was a kid, the spring now known as Crescent Spring was on his family’s property.

“Just clean, fresh water, always clean, and good tasting water,” Wiedeman said.  “I’ve [drunken] out of there since I was probably eight years old.”

Courtesy of Gary Entz

Back in the 1950's, career criminal John Halasz didn't really like spending time in the Oneida County jail... so he escaped.

Gary Entz has the story for this week's A Northwoods Moment in History.

Pages