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.

Curious About Beekeeping? Talk to Chris Hansen

Jun 14, 2019
Nate Sheppard. All rights reserved.

As people take up hobby beekeeping and bees continue to succumb to diseases, one Northwoods beekeeper has made it a goal over the years to help educate people about the process.

Nate Sheppard continues our We Live Up Here series with the story.

A bright yellow sign hangs in front of Hansen Honey Farm’s main shop. It shows a cartoon bee with two words written across it: Bee Crossing.

Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID: 45658, wisconsinhistory.org

In 1923, a fire in Elcho resulted in a dramatic shift for the way the Langlade County town looked.

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

Most Northwoods communities have undergone numerous changes during their existence.  The original wooden buildings of the late nineteenth century gave way to modern brick and mortar buildings as the twentieth century progressed.  It happens everywhere, but in some cases the change is more dramatic than most, and none was more visually dramatic than the change that overtook the town of Elcho in the 1920s.

LIFE Magazine

Years ago Dave Daniels from Rhinelander heard of a research project that really interested him, but he never heard what came out of the project so he sent a question to WXPR’s Curious North series asking us to look into it: What ever became of the Little Rock Lake Acid Rain research project conducted by water scientists at the Trout Lake research station near Boulder Junction?

Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID: 130005, wisconsinhistory.org

Star Lake near Eagle River is a popular summertime destination today.

As Gary Entz tells us for this week's A Northwoods Moment in History though, it used to be considered a wasteland.

U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / Wikimedia Commons

Tamarack trees, like many of us, could live anywhere in Wisconsin but prefer the Northwoods.

Recently a listener from Harshaw submitted this question to our Curious North series: What's up with the tamarack trees? They seem to be dying. Is it the rising water levels, or something else?

In today’s Wildlife Matters the Masked Biologist sheds some light on what might be causing tamarack tree mortality.

Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID: 38070, wisconsinhistory.org

For this week's A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz tells us about something that rarely happens.

Back in 1936, a case of mistaken identity led a family in Tomahawk to discover a loved one was not in fact dead, but very much alive.

Hi, this is Gary Entz for WXPR’s Northwood’s moment in History

Pete Markham / pmarkham on Flickr

This week’s Wildlife Matters springs from a Curious North question.

Kaye Jaeger from the town of Crescent asks: We love the loons on our lake. We also love the eagle that flies over regularly. Is there anything we can do to prevent the eagle from eating the baby loons?

To respond to Kaye's question, the Masked Biologist contemplates the interactions of two charismatic Northwoods wildlife species: bald eagles and loons.

Contributed Photograph

In March, Misty Jackson from the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians participated in a fashion show with the goal of highlighting the problem of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Beth Tornes continues our We Live Up Here series with the story.

Copyright © 2014 Town of Cassian. All Rights Reserved.

In the early 1900's, Harshaw—like many small communities—had a general store that the community depended on in many ways.

The store closed in 1960, but Gary Entz looks back on its importance for this week's A Northwoods Moment in History.

Since March, we've been getting questions in as part of our Curious North series.

Jaron Childs from Tomahawk recently asked: What signs can we look for to help assess the health of a lake, river, or forest in northern Wisconsin?

The Masked Biologist answers his question for this week's Wildlife Matters.

What follows is a very brief answer to a very complex question about how to evaluate habitat health.

Jim Skibo

We continue our We Live Up Here series this week with a story about an ambitious DIY project that has been 30 years in the making.

The story comes in response to a listener question to our Curious North series. Dennis Marquardt from Tomahawk asks: What is up with the castle on Killarney Lake?

Jim Skibo has the story.


This week’s A Northwoods Moment in History is in response to two WXPR listeners who submitted questions to our new Curious North series.

An anonymous listener from Lake Tomahawk asked: Did the French and British occupy Wisconsin? What happened in the war of 1812 in the state?

In addition, Jane Nicholson from Manitowish Waters asked: What were the first initiatives of the US government in our area? Who was sent here and for what purposes/initiatives?

Scott Bowe

In this month's installment of Field Notes, Scott Bowe of Kemp Station discusses trees and their resistance to decay fungi.