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.

Mackenzie Martin / WXPR

There are several Masonic Lodges of Freemasons here in the Northwoods, but the network has always had an air of mystery.

Recently we received a Curious North question asking us to investigate the history of local Masonic Temples, which led us to wonder… what is the role of a Masonic Temple in a community?

Mackenzie Martin headed to the Rhinelander Masonic Temple and the former Wausau Masonic Temple to find out.

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The Northwoods had quite the reputation as a “gangster haven” back in the Prohibition era of the 1920’s and early 1930’s.

Gary Entz tells us about one particular incident that took place in Eagle River back in 1931 for this week’s A Northwoods Moment in History.

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

Susan Knight of UW-Madison’s Trout Lake Station is enjoying her summer by doing aquatic plant surveys, and she may be coming to your lake soon.

She tells us about it for this month's Field Notes.

Ken Thomas/Wikimedia Commons

While we are accustomed to birds nesting in spring, we have one bird species here that is just finishing their nesting season.

The American Goldfinch is the subject of this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Sa magnuson33/Wikimedia Commons

We’re continuing our series on the historical influence of mining in the Upper Peninsula today, specifically in the Ironwood area, with the story of the Ironwood Carnegie Library. (Listen to Part One about how neighborhoods in the Upper Peninsula got their names here.)

There are Carnegie libraries all over the country, including in Merrill and Rhinelander. While Andrew Carnegie did a lot of good for libraries though, he was a controversial figure.

Library of Congress

We're spending today and tomorrow looking at some aspects of the historical influence of mining in the Upper Peninsula, specifically in the Ironwood area.

Today we'll be answering a listener question. Tomorrow, we'll be remembering Andrew Carnegie and his influence in Ironwood ahead of the 100th anniversary of his death. (Listen to Part Two about the significance of Andrew Carnegie in the Ironwood area here.)

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Professional football teams like the Green Bay Packers are training in anticipation of the 2019 football season right now.

This week for A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz looks back on a Green Bay Packers training camp held in 1935 in Rhinelander.

Michigan Technological University

This story was originally broadcasted on NPR's Morning Edition.

Since the 1960’s, a bright white light has appeared outside a tiny town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Some people think it’s a paranormal occurrence, but researchers have another theory.

Mackenzie Martin has the story.

Max Pixel

Continuing his way through a few of your wildlife-related Curious North questions, the Masked Biologist talks about hand feeding birds – and other related thoughts – in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

In a curious north question from a few months back, Alice asked the question “Does everyone up North feed birds from their hands?”

Wikimedia Commons/Billboard

With the Oneida County Fair kicking off tomorrow, we thought we’d remember a special moment at the Oneida County Fair back in 1938.

Gary Entz continues our series A Northwoods Moment in History with the story, starting with the history of the National Barn Dance radio program.

In the 1930s The National Barn Dance was one of the most popular programs on broadcast radio, and it was a great favorite in the Northwoods.  Two stars in particular were beloved in the Northwoods, and that was the singing duo of Lulu Belle and Skyland Scottie.

Flickr/blmcalifornia

Getting kids to shift their attention to the outdoors can be a challenge, even on a beautiful summer day.

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist talks about his own efforts as a father to help keep children connected to nature.

In a region where towns are as small and scattered as the Northwoods, it can sometimes be hard to find people who share your same interests. The Rhinelander Photography Club though has been connecting local photographers since 2013. 

WXPR’s Hannah Reese continues our We Live Up Here series with the story. 

During WXPR's Curious North road trip in June, Shane B. asked us this question at our stop in Crandon: There was an X-Files episode in the 1st season that was in Townsend, WI. Was it actually filmed here?

For this week's A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz answers Shane's question and also tells us about a real UFO incident that occurred in the Northwoods back in 1961.

oneearthimages (pixabay.com)

For this week’s Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist tackles another Curious North question, about some of Wisconsin’s largest migratory birds—swans and cranes.

This is another curious north question that captured my interest, so I thought I would spend some time talking about some of our area’s less common migratory birds. Rosemary Resch asked “Do swans, sandhill cranes and whooping cranes summer anywhere in Wisconsin or are they primarily migratory?”

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