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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With the deer hunting season going on, there are undoubtedly some people wondering just how concerned they need to be about Chronic Wasting Disease. The Masked Biologist shares some thoughts in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Forest Archaeology

Nov 20, 2020
Photo courtesy of Mark Bruhy

If you live up here, you are familiar with the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. What you may not know is that these forests were inhabited for thousands of years and that there is a team of archaeologists who protect and manage these cultural resources.

wisconsin historical society

Many people in small towns take parking for granted. Except for the height of tourist season, finding a parking spot in most Northwoods towns is not a problem. But it was not so long ago that parking in small town business districts was regulated by parking meters. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

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With the recent media frenzy surrounding the election, did you happen to catch the story about the Minnesota gator? The Masked Biologist did, and he crafted it into this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

It’s 3:30 p.m. on a Thursday, time for Aaron Schofield to load up the Lakeside Pharmacy and Grocery minivan.

He’s about to depart from the Lakeside store in Antigo.

“I just kind of hop in the van, head out, go to the address,” he said.

Aaron makes a circuit of Antigo at 3:30 every day, delivering prescription medication to the doors of customers. The number of deliveries are never constant, but never zero.

“Could be anywhere from three to four like today, to 15 to 20 [on other days],” he said. “You really just never know.”

wisconsin historical society

Today is Veterans Day in the United States, but prior to 1954 it was known as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War One. To honor Northwoods veterans, historian Gary Entz has a story of two soldiers from Tomahawk who distinguished themselves in the Great War.

Sugar In Trees

Nov 10, 2020
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In this month's installment of Field Notes Scott Bowe of Kemp Station discusses sugar in trees, how Mother Nature makes trees and plant with simple sugars.

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October was not a great weather month, but we had a mild start to November. Was it Indian Summer or just a rare warm week? Whatever the case, it was much appreciated as the Masked Biologist shares in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Sandy Maki looked out at rows of workstations, all of which have been empty since this spring.

“There’s usually about 35 people in here at a time with supervisors to assist,” she said.

She’s the managing supervisor here, at Global Response in downtown Iron River.

Maki is used to seeing and hearing up to 5,000 incoming calls a day to her call center employees.

“Sometimes you hear people [say], ‘Thank you for calling.’ They end a call, and they’re right on to, ‘Thank you for calling,’ starting a new one. Sometimes it can be back to back,” she said.

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A WXPR listener noted that several dogs had been mentioned in past episodes of a Northwoods Moment in History, but no cats. This cat lover was curious if there were any stories from the past about cats in the Northwoods. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

Leanne Vigue Miranda

Several times a day, one of Leanne Vigue Miranda’s daughters taps on her shoulder while she’s in a Zoom meeting.

Phoebe, a fourth-grader, or Luna, a kindergartener, has a homework question or computer issue.

“I constantly feel like my focus is being shifted every five to ten minutes,” Miranda said.

Miranda is the registrar at Nicolet College, and she’s been working from home since the pandemic started. Sometimes, her days include ten virtual meetings while her daughters learn virtually nearby.


wisconsin historical society

Halloween night is a special time for children across the Northwoods. Many people have fond childhood memories of Halloween traditions, but a lot of those traditions are more recent than most of us realize. In the not so distant past, Halloween in the Northwoods meant mostly tricks and very few treats. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

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The fall colors may be past peak, but there is still a forest of color to view, you just have to know where to look. At least that’s the case the Masked Biologist makes in this week’s wildlife matters.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

A new storefront in downtown Rhinelander attracts few walk-in customers.

The store sells parts for commercial, business, and personal aircraft, even though it’s far from any major airport.

But although it doesn’t get much street traffic, the business plan and attitude of the owners might be a sign of a downtown on a gradual rise.

“If I was going to describe my business, I’m like the Napa Auto Parts for airplanes,” said Bob Lueder, the owner of Plane Parts Inc. in downtown Rhinelander.