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The new year means it's likely easier to get some of your vital records.

Oneida County Register of Deeds Kyle Franson says  legislation last year allows for county officials to get most records online, even if you you weren't born in a certain county.

Say you need a birth certificate....

WXPR wrapped up its two day GiveBig to MyStation online campaign Friday night and we're pleased to announce that it was a huge success. We received over $9,000 from 112 donors, and the pledges are still coming in. Thanks to you, WXPR was able to close out 2016 strong.

GiveBig to MyStation is a nation-wide effort to support community radio. Together the community radio stations that took part in GiveBig to MyStation raised over $55,000.

Thank you for supporting WXPR and helping raise awareness about community radio and its role in our culture and democracy.

Wisconsin Student Loan Debt At Staggering Level

Dec 30, 2016

While the past year has brought some discussion among political leaders and candidates about the level of student-loan debt in Wisconsin, nothing substantive has been done to address the growing crisis.

Democrats in the state Legislature have introduced bills in each of the last several sessions that would allow students to refinance their student loans, such as a mortgage or car loan, but the legislation has gone nowhere.

Analiese Eicher, the program director of the advocacy group, One Wisconsin Now, said the numbers for Wisconsin are staggering.

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An outbreak of whooping cough, or pertussis, appears to be slowing according to an update given Friday by the Oneida County Health Department. Health Department spokesperson Rob Deede outlines the cases...

The numbers include cases in Vilas county. Deede says they discovered links between the cases in the Rhinelander School District and Northland Pines school in Eagle River. Both districts shut down early for the holiday break to help stem the spread of the highly contagious disease. Both districts are scheduled to reopen next Monday.

Bob Mainhardt

Tonight is the 2016 annual candlelight ski at the Rhinelander Community Trails at Rhinelander High School.

While today Rhinelander has a fairly prominent Nordic skiing program, it has ebbed and flowed over the years. Mackenzie Martin got a chance to delve into the history of Nordic skiing in Rhinelander ahead of tonight’s event.

You will hear from Rhinelander High School Nordic Coach Charil Reis, Rhinelander Middle School Nordic Coach Jim Wood, and Bryan Fish, the U.S. Ski Team Development Coach.

Wisconsin DOT

Reaction continues to come in following the retirement  announcement of DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb and the naming of former Superior Mayor Dave Ross as the new Secretary. Ross has lead the state Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Republican State Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst thinks Ross is qualified to lead the large agency with his business and government experience....

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Law enforcement officials say a drunk driving arrest can cost a driver $10,000 when all the costs associated with the arrest are factored in.

An Oneida County Tavern League spokesperson says the popular 'SafeRide Home' program has proven successful. Patrons at Tavern League establishments ask the bartender for a voucher and the patron gets a free ride home. Aaron Schultz of  Big Daddy's in Rhinelander is the local coordinator.

He says this weekend highlights the program, but it is a program being used year round..

Opposition To Granite Peak Expansion Plan To Stay

Dec 29, 2016

The group of concerned citizens attempting to stop the expansion of Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau does not intend on disappearing any time soon.

The activist group "Leave Rib Mountain Alone" has gained 880 likes on Facebook and over 3,600 signatures on their online petition to preserve the trails and wildlife of Rib Mountain as they are now.

Wisconsin DNR

You can still get your Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey in to the DNR.

The agency is hoping hunters will record all the wildlife they have seen during the deer hunting seasons, not just deer.... says agency research scientist Jess Rees-Lohr.....

"....this year, in addition to lots of deer, lots of turkeys, Roughed Grouse, lots of our canidae species, and our new elk just reintroduced in the Black River Falls area...."

Resolve to get Outdoors

Dec 29, 2016

  We kick off 2017 the same way we kick off most new years—with resolutions. I think it is human nature to overreach on trying to improve ourselves, especially when we take our families into consideration. In 2011 I attempted to improve my family’s financial situation. I made some spending changes, liquidated some belongings on an online auction. But then my take-home pay was cut by my employer and any footing I gained was quickly lost. The next year, I set my goal low—to reduce coffee consumption to two mugs a day. Success!

DNR Quietly Changes Climate Change Stance

Dec 29, 2016
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The state D-N-R no longer blames "human activities" for the heat trapping greenhouse gases which cause climate change.

An agency web page about the Great Lakes now says the reasons for earth's change are being "debated and researched by academic entities." Walker environmental critic and former local leader and news reporter James Rowan uncovered the position change in his blog.

Oneida County Sheriff's Department

The Civil Service Commission has forwarded a dismissal recommendation against an Oneida County Sheriff's Department investigator charged with allegedly taking money from a fund only she controlled.

The Commission forwarded charges of dismissal against 40 year old Sara Welcenbach.

The Commission cites eight grounds for dismissal, including alleged willful neglect of duty, making a false official statement or entry in official records, and general inefficiency and incompetency.

The name of the person killed in a Monday snowmobile crash in Vilas county has been released.

The Sheriff's Department reports the person killed was 63 year old David Orme of East Moline, Illinois.

Sheriff Joe Fath says they received a call shortly before 8:30 p.m. of a crash on trail 6 along Vandercook Road in Arbor Vitae.

Fath says the driver was operating along a marked snowmobile trail, following other snowmobiles in a group. He struck a tree and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Vilas County Swears In New District Attorney

Dec 28, 2016

Vilas County has a new district attorney as Martha Milanowski was administered the oath of office by Judge Neal "Chip" Nielsen, III on Tuesday.

Milanowski, who served 16 years as the county corporation counsel, replaces Al Moustakis who was DA for 23 years and did not seek reelection.

Milanowski thanked many persons present for support and encouragement; especially her husband Gary, their three children, and her parents who braved the weather to see her take her next step in her legal career.

Nativity of Our Lord

A seven-figure grant to a Rhinelander Catholic community means a facility upgrade for a church and school. Ken Krall talks with Father Randy Knauf of Nativity of Our Lord in Rhinelander...

Father Randy Knauf of Nativity of Our Lord Church in Rhinelander with WXPR's Ken Krall.