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.

wisconsin historical society

Many geographic regions, towns, and counties in the Northwoods have interesting name origins, but few are as intriguing as Langlade County. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

Image by Maxar Technologies on Google Maps

For this month’s Field Notes, Susan Knight of UW-Madison’s Trout Lake Station shares three stories about strange lakes from around the world.

wisconsin historical society

Social deviance describes an action or behavior that violates societal norms. Deviant behavior that violates established codes of conduct often lands the offender in trouble, as happened with one Northwoods transient. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

image by kathy2408 on pixabay.com

There may be few images that inspire thoughts of strength, courage, and independence more than that of the majestic bald eagle soaring in the blue sky. In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist takes a look at our country’s national emblem.

Scouting is an important part of many young peoples’ lives. The Northwoods is a natural setting for learning the ethical and environmental lessons scouting teaches, but there is a nautical branch of scouting that had early roots in the Northwoods. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

During the first week of June, a boat sprayed chemicals into the waters of Anvil Lake in Vilas County for the first time.

It was applying an herbicide called 2,4D, targeting Eurasian watermilfoil, an aquatic invasive species whose presence in the lake has grown and grown.

The decision to use chemicals in treating the problem was difficult and often controversial for lake leaders.

But it’s a decision more and more lake groups in the Northwoods are forced to consider as invasive species spread.

In many ways, Anvil Lake is where Dr. Amy Kuhns grew up.

NMIH: The Northlands Fur And Packing Company

Jun 24, 2020
wisconsin historical society

Rabbit breeding season starts in early spring and continues through the summer. Lots of bunnies start showing up on lawns and gardens at this time of year. Some Northwoods residents look at them as pests, but others see opportunity. Historian Gary Entz has the story:

Foto News

Businesses large and small have had to make major adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the region’s largest employers, Merrill-based Church Mutual, sent almost all of its employees to work from home in March.

Church Mutual is the nation's largest insurer of religious organizations.

Now, the company has targeted Sep. 8 to allow some employees to start returning to their offices.

image by jfcorado on pixabay.com

The Masked Biologist saw a firefly recently, and it “sparked” an idea that turned into this week’s episode of Wildlife Matters.

Dan Dumas/Kim Swisher Communications

Ron L. Zabler admits Oneida County winters have been harsh on his family’s cabin in the woods.

Some of the paint may be peeling, but that makes this place no less important to him.

“Once I’m up here, I don’t want to go back,” said Zabler, whose permanent home with his wife, Carline, is in southern Wisconsin.

A lot of his attitude has to do with his family’s history on this plot of land.

“I’ve been here since I was 14. I was here when the original owner was here,” said Zabler, who is in his 70s.

wisconsin historical society

Transportation today is something we take for granted, but in the past getting from here to there could be an arduous experience. Particularly if the destination was the Northwoods. Historian Gary Entz has the story of the Ontonagon Mail Trail.

Image by umsiedlungen on pixabay.com

Have you ever seen a bee emerging from a hole in the ground in the spring? There are many ground nesting bee species in Wisconsin and for this month's Field Notes, Gretchen Gerrish tells us more.

Image by bernard dupont

Have we ever had parrots in Wisconsin, do we have them now, or will we have them in the future? While it might seem an unlikely topic for the Masked Biologist, parrots are the subject of this week’s Wildlife Matters.