The backyard of Brad and Elizabeth Kowieski was the site of the cutting ceremony for the state Christmas tree today. Governor Scott Walker announced earlier this month the tree fit the requirements to be on display at the capitol. The tree is a forty foot tall, 30 year old balsam fir. Brad says he planted the tree on Arbor Day in 1985 at his parents’ house when he was in the fourth grade at Nativity Our Lord Catholic School in Rhinelander. While Brad says the tree is a treasure full of memories, he says cutting it down was rewarding.


Singer and songwriter Scott Kirby spoke with WXPR's Pete Rondello in a special Live from the White Pine performance Monday, November 16th. 

More on Scott Kirby

A resident of northern Illinois will be the next Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce Director.

Bill Clow will begin duties on December 1. Chamber Board President Brett Aylesworth says Clow has the background for the position...

"....he most recently was a Communications Director in northern Illinois. Very well spoken gentlemen. Has a great apptitude with dealing and talking to people. He also has the marketing background, so he'll be a great fit for our Chamber position..."

Recycle That Wine Cork!

Nov 17, 2015

Sunday(11/15/2015) was America Recycles Day, set aside to remind people about the need to protect the environment by recycling items that otherwise might go into land or water.

Spokesperson Amanda Wegner from Clean Wisconsin says the state enacted the nation's first recycling law in 1994 and 94 percent of Wisconsin residents recycle. She says one common item that should be recycled is the light bulb. Compact florescent lights can cut energy costs but they have a drawback...

A DNR ecologist thinks the coming deer season in Wisconsin will be similar to last year's hunt. Big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang says indicators from the bow hunting season and from from eyewitnesses find this season is shaping up like last year. While agricultural areas continue to see good deer numbers, the Northwoods is still trying to recover...

"....the northern part of the state is still in a recovery period following a bad winter a couple of years ago. Across the state, our reproduction was pretty good this year...."

One Third of New Vehicles Sold Without Spare Tire

Nov 17, 2015

  As a solution to producing more fuel efficient vehicles, automakers are replacing the weight of a spare tire with a four-pound tire inflator kit. Studies from AAA show nearly one-third of all 2015 vehicles are now being sold without a spare tire. Spokesperson Nick Jarmusz says consumers are getting a bad trade off.


Deer hunters have a chance to talk directly with DNR staff over the noon hour today(11/16/2015) prior to the Saturday opening of Wisconsin's nine-day gun deer season. Kevin Wallenfang is a DNR Big Game Ecologist....

".....we put a live chat out there and folks can jump on the Internet and ask questions of people within the DNR. The one Monday is specifically about the nine-day gun deer season. People can email in their questions and we will answer them right there, live....."

Rhinelander resort owners had a chance late last week to bend the ear of some of the state's top legislators on tourism issues.

Scam Working its Way Across the State

Nov 16, 2015

  A new scam is making its way around the state and much of the Northwoods. Wisconsin Public Service Spokesperson Leah VanZile reports impersonators are calling residents demanding they pay their “outstanding” utility bill over the phone with a prepaid visa or mastercard, or their service will be disconnected.

With Little Public Input, Minocqua Budget Passes

Nov 13, 2015

A bump in the 2016 budget, few attendees and even fewer questions sums up Minocqua’s annual budget meeting last night.

Department heads and town officials outnumbered the half dozen audience members. But all voted to approve the budget which calls for a general levy of $3,.8 million, an increase of $99,000 over last year’s levy. The 2016 budget totals $5.7 million, an increase of about $476,000 from the 2015 budget..

Rep. Rob Swearingen

Northwoods legislators Thursday organized a tour involving the area's forest products industries and traveled to three operations. State Representatives Rob Swearingen and Mary Czaja organized the tours.

Bewley For Senate

A Northwoods Democrat is blasting an extraordinary session of the State Senate late last Friday that she says did little or nothing for the people of the north.

Democratic Senator Janet Bewley says legislation making it easier to bring more money into political campaigns does little to help most people..

"... What that does is put into play constant competition to raise more money, more money, more money...."


The hospitals and county public health departments in the Northwoods are conducting a survey to assess health issues here. But as officials look at recent surveys they're finding they need more input from one gender.

The Community Health Assessment involves all residents in Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties. The survey is designed to help health professionals find and work on specific needs the public identifies.

Oneida County Public Health Director Linda Conlon says to get a fair assessment, they need more men to respond...


Wisconsin residents are paying 47 percent more on average than Minnesota residents for comparable health insurance.

That is a key statistic in a report filed by an advocacy group that would like to see Wisconsin take federal Medicaid money. Citizen Action of Wisconsin analyzed comparable policies under the Affordable Care Act and found no matter where you are in Wisconsin, you pay more than Minnesotans.

Executive Director Robert Kraig says even though Minnesota's rates went up this year, Wisconsin's rose faster...