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.

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

The Library of Congress

Have you ever wondered how the Upper Peninsula of Michigan came to be… why it's a part of Michigan, and not Wisconsin?

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

We all had to spring forward recently, a move that extends the afternoon daylight.

In this week’s Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist examines the impact of photoperiods on living things including us.

Courtesy of the SISU Endurance Team

The Ironwood/Hurley area can get up to 200 inches of annual snowfall, in part due to their close proximity to Lake Superior.

This makes for great skiing, but it was only recently that a youth-based cross country ski program began in the area, named for the Finnish concept Sisu, that has to do with resilience.

Last week, they wrapped up the season with 25 youth participants. Larry Lapachin continues our We Live Up Here series with the story.


This week's A Northwoods Moment in History tale from Tomahawk in the early 1940's has all the marks of a great story: a small-time group of bandits, a toy gun, and of course, an efficient Oneida County Sheriff.

We'll let Gary Entz take it from here.

Historians encounter lots of interesting stories, but once in a while a tale from the past resurfaces that just makes a person sit back and wonder how such a thing could have been allowed to happen.  The experience of Earl Wing in the Northwoods is just such a story.

Scott Bowe

In this month's installment of Field Notes, Scott Bowe of Kemp Station discusses snow load and how it impacts our homes.

Photo by Warren Lynn. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Is it time for Wisconsin to take drastic measures to attempt to get a handle on chronic wasting disease?

Our commentator the Masked Biologist examines a proposal called “Payment for Positives” in this week's Wildlife Matters.

Copper Peak Inc.

Thanks to recent funding from the Michigan legislature, there is a lot in store for the future of Copper Peak - the ski flying hill in Ironwood, Michigan.

As part of our We Live Up Here series, Monie Shackleford tells us about Copper Peak’s backstory, as well as what we can expect for its future.

In late December of 2018, the Michigan legislature funded 10 million dollars to two ski jumps of the western upper peninsula: Copper Peak, near Ironwood and Pine Ski Jump in Iron Mountain. 


Throughout the last 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 community of Gagen got its name.


UPDATE: After this commentary was recorded, we were notified that Josephine Mandamin passed away on February 22nd, 2019, at the age of 77.

Have you heard of the water walkers? Neither had the Masked Biologist, as he shares in this week’s Wildlife Matters.


For literate adults, it might be hard to remember what the process of learning to read felt like. For kids with dyslexia in Wisconsin though, learning how to read can be maddening. Help might be on the way though as two dyslexia bills circulate in Madison.


As part of our We Live Up Here series, Mackenzie Martin talks to a local reading specialist and a Rhinelander High School student with dyslexia.





They say playing on sports teams in high school prepares you for the future in a lot of ways.

For one former Rhinelander High School football player, the way he learned how to tackle in high school set him up to save a former president's life.

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

Wisconsin DNR

Depending on how you look at it, maybe groundhog day has come and gone, and maybe it hasn’t.

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist takes a peek into the den of the groundhog.


Archaeology in the Northwoods is different than it is downstate, and it can serve as a window into the everyday lives of former Northwoods residents.

As part of WXPR's We Live Up Here series, Ardis Berghoff has the story.

When most people think of archaeology, the discovery of ancient civilizations in places like Egypt, Greece or Peru come to mind. But archaeologists work in the Northwoods, too.


We've all heard of the Rhinelander Shorty, but how much do you really know about the origins of the Rhinelander Brewing Company?

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