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.

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This week's A Northwoods Moment in History feature is in response to a recent Curious North question WXPR received.

LJ Sommers asked: There have been rumors for years about tunnels underneath the streets of downtown Rhinelander used during prohibition. Is this a fact or simply a fictional take?

turn off your computer and go outside/flickr

It’s the second Tuesday of the month, which is when we hear from our commentators in the field.

This week, Gretchen Gerrish of UW-Madison’s Trout Lake Station tells us about darkness as a resource.

Flickr/Shahin Abasov

Imagine using a trained bird to do your fishing instead of a fishing pole. The Masked Biologist considers an ancient practice, cormorant fishing, in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Mackenzie Martin / WXPR

When someone lives to be a hundred years old, everyone asks them for the secrets to their longevity.

Trees, on the other hand, live to be hundreds and hundreds of years old. How do they survive?

Mackenzie Martin recently headed to an old-growth forest with naturalist John Bates to learn more.

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Wartime was a difficult time for everyone, including the labor force here in the Northwoods.

For this week's Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz tells us about the workers that came to fill the void in 1944.

Vimeo/Wildlife Emergency Services

Sometimes it can be interesting to read food containers.

The Masked Biologist saw a sentence on a yogurt cup that inspired this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Photo courtesy of Jim Skibo

Arts and crafts style furniture⁠—first produced in the early 1900s⁠—is considered by many to be the hallmark of American design and artisanship. Original pieces can go for millions of dollars at auction and furniture made in that style today can be sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

Today WXPR contributor Jim Skibo continues our We Live Up Here series with the story of a man in Antigo who has mastered the style at a unique time in his life.

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In anticipation of the upcoming Labor Day weekend, we’re remembering a Labor Day celebration that took place in Rhinelander in the early 1900’s today.

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

Mackenzie Martin / WXPR

In this week’s Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist talks a bit about plastic shopping bags in response to a Curious North question.

Courtesy of UW-Madison Center for Limnology

If you’re a fisherman in the Northwoods, you’re well aware of the decline in walleye populations over the last few years.

Why is this happening, though? And is there a way to reverse the trend? 

Courtesy of Kerry Bloedorn/Pioneer Park Historical Complex

There is a lot of choice when it comes to refrigerators today... Back in the day, though, the popular brand to buy was Rhinelander. And it was less of a refrigerator and more of an icebox.

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

When shopping for a new refrigerator there are many popular brands that people may choose from today.  But one hundred years ago, one of the leading names in food refrigeration was Rhinelander, and the Rhinelander Refrigerator had a national reputation for quality.

Pixabay

When’s the last time you thought about a thistle as beneficial?

In this week’s Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist makes a case for loving the thistle.

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.

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