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.

CheepShot / Wikimedia Commons

Some birds you might take for granted, others might make you take more notice when you see them.

The Masked Biologist reports a shrike sighting in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Mackenzie Martin / WXPR

When was the last time you intentionally took a break during the day? Fika Bakery & Coffee in Three Lakes gets its name from the traditional Swedish coffee break known as fika and the woman behind it thinks you should take more of them.

Mackenzie Martin continues our We Live Up Here series this week with the story.

Coffee breaks are and have always been an important part of life in many countries. In the U.S., we often use coffee as a stimulant to get us going in the morning or to refuel us midday.


This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz tells us about the tragedy of Annie Scheffner.

Tim Rains/National Park Service

Snowshoe hare hunting may not be the most popular sport, but it can result in some fun, friendship, and food as the Masked Biologist tells us in this week’s Wildlife Matters.


This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz tells us about cattle drives that used to take place in the Northwoods.

Wisc. Dept. of Natural Resources.

How are you coping with the cold weather this winter?

Wildlife species generally have three options as the Masked Biologist notes in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Discover Wisconsin

Wisconsin ginseng producers have been experiencing adverse impacts due to the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute. These tariffs are especially hitting Marathon County, since that's where a majority of ginseng in the United States comes from.

As part of our We Live Up Here series, WXPR's Joshua Junig tells us the story of Hsu's Ginseng in Wausau... how they came to be in the first place and what they're expecting in the years to come.

LDF Tribal Communications

This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz tells us about Strawberry Island in Lac du Flambeau.

David Whelan/Wikimedia Commons

Different animals have different strategies for surviving the winter.

In this week’s Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist gives us a glimpse under the ice to examine the habits of the beaver.

I sometimes ask my family members what I should write about; after writing hundreds of articles and episodes like these, I might struggle for a fresh new idea from time to time. One of my kids thought I should write about beavers in winter. This arose from a disagreement he had with a classmate about the diet and habits of beavers in prior weeks.

The Ice Storm of 1922

Jan 16, 2019

This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz looks back on an ice storm that happened in Wisconsin back in 1922.

People who live and work in the Northwoods are accustomed to cold temperatures, ice, and snow.  No matter what time period in history we look at, people adapted and dealt with the weather conditions.  However, every once in a while the weather packs an unusual wallop, and sometimes it is so severe that it can even bring hardy Northwoods residents to a standstill.  Such was the case with an ice storm that struck Wisconsin in February 1922.

Chris Ford/Flickr

Cabin fever can strike without warning as the winter wears on.

In this week’s Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist reminds us there are still some ways to get outside and stay active.

Nate Sheppard (natesheppard.com)

During the Great Depression, there was what was known as a hobo jungle in Rhinelander.

This Saturday, January 12th, ArtStart Rhinelander is holding a community event to remember it. The event ties in nicely with Dark Airing, an art exhibit on display at ArtStart through January 12th that features symbols hobos used back in the day to communicate with one another.

Silus Grok / Wikimedia Commons

During early December of 2018, Wisconsin legislators passed a bill restricting the period for early voting.

This measure has been controversial and has garnered national spotlight, but how does it impact the Northwoods? WXPR’s Joshua Junig has the story.

On December 14, then-Governor Scott Walker signed three pieces of Republican-sponsored legislation as his administration prepared to leave office. Among those measures is a bill mandating the early voting period to open two weeks prior to election day.


This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz looks back on the life of Rhinelander's Paul Browne.

There have been many notable people who have lived and worked in Rhinelander in the 137 years of its existence as a town.  The men who built the logging industry clearly defined its early history, but few have had as lasting an impact on the ongoing character of the city as did Paul Browne.

Scott Bowe

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

In this month's installment of Field Notes, Scott Bowe of Kemp Station discusses how trees adapt with changes in elevation.

In my last Field Notes broadcast, I spoke about the amazing human body and how it adapts to working and playing at high elevations. Elevation has impact on other organisms besides humans. Let’s look at elevation and how trees adapt to this harsh environment.