A couple of roadside invasive species are beginning to show up in the Northwoods.

While attractive, Vilas County Invasive Species Coordinator Cathy Higley says be wary of Big Leaf Lupine and Smooth Bedstraw...

"....that is one you'll see blooming down the right-of-ways during the next couple of weeks. That is not a regulated plant by the DNR. That one is being sold. It's beautiful, it's showy, kind of hardy...."

AAA Wisconsin is out with a new website designed to help travelers compare gas prices as they travel.  is a type of one-stop shop for consumers says AAA spokesperson Nick Jarmusz....

"....that can be used by either the media or consumers to check out what the average prices are in their area and compare it to the averages from previous days, previous weeks, a month up to a year ago...."

Jarmusz gives an example...

State of Wisconsin

Over the weekend, Northwoods Democrats gathered in Rhinelander for a rally to set a political map for the fall elections after the state Democratic convention late last week. Keynote speaker in Rhinelander was State Senator Kathleen Vinehout of Alma. As lawmakers gather in Madison to begin preliminary work on the next state budget, Vinehout is out with what she calls an 'alternative budget' that sets different priorities than the majority Republicans. Two of them are education and transportation.

WXPR's Ken Krall talked with Senator Vinehout about her budget plan..

Vilas County Land Sales Approved

Jun 3, 2016

Three land parcels acquired by tax delinquency received bids and were approved for sale by the Vilas County Forestry committee to the highest bidder.

With more than 100 people present, the Presque Isle town board Thursday rejected changing local zoning rules to make way for a water bottling plant.

Businessman Trig Solberg and partners wanted to build the plant at the corner of Vilas county road "B" and "W", near Carlin Lake.

The proposal had been met with sizeable resistence, first at a recent planning committee meeting, then at Thursday's town board meeting. Supporters of the project felt it would bring jobs, but opponents felt it was a danger to Carlin Lake and would change the makeup of the community.

Half-Million Dollars Generated For Vilas County

Jun 2, 2016

Annual timber sales on the Vilas County forest were opened and awarded Wednesday by the county forestry committee that will generate close to one-half million dollars in revenue.

Bids approved totaled $472,000 on 11 different parcels with harvesting on 637 acres.

AAA Wisconsin is beginning an effort to alert drivers to what they call the "100 deadliest days".

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study says nearly 60 percent of teen crashes involve distractions behind the wheel. The research also finds a disturbing trend showing that texting and social media use are on the rise among teen drivers.

AAA spokesperson Nick Jarmusz says the summer months are among the most deadly...

AARP Wisconsin

AARP Wisconsin has put out an alert to its members asking them to contact legislators about possible changes to the Family Care program.

Family Care is a long term care system, which allows 60,000 frail elders and people with disabilities to receive care in their homes instead of nursing homes. AARP Wisconsin spokesperson Helen Marks Dicks explains the program...

Wednesday was the filing deadline for political and county offices in Wisconsin.

The 7th Congressional District race finds four people seeking the post held by incumbent Republican Sean Duffy. Duffy will have a Republican challenger in the primary from Donald Raihala of Superior. Two Democrats, Joel Lewis of Wausau and Mary Hoeft of Rice Lake will face off in the primary in August. Libertarian Robert Burke of Hudson also filed. In the 12th State Senate District, Democrat Bryan Van Stippen is challenging incumbent Republican Tom Tiffany.

Iconic Hodag Statue Repaired; Claws Reattached

Jun 2, 2016
Miranda Vander Leest

    A uniquely qualified Rhinelander man repaired the iconic Hodag statue Thursday.

Four claws were ripped from the mythical creature late last year, but owner of Williams Studio 2 in Rhinelander and sculptor Chuck Williams volunteered to make the repairs.  Williams worked at Disney World repairing and maintaining theme parks and rides, and used materials lying around his Rhinelander studio to reattach the claws.  Williams talks about the repairs he made…

The expansive 12th State Senate District runs from Oconto Falls  in the south to the U.P. border.

The incumbent is Republican Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst. Up until Wednesday, two Democrats were lining up for the position to challenge Tiffany in the November election. That changed when former school district administrator Dave Polashek withdrew his candidacy.

Polashek says he was looking forward to the campaign, but not to a primary election in August against a person from the same party....

Wisconsin Public Service

Another week, another telephone scam has hit the Northwoods. This time officials at Wisconsin Public Service say scammers are upping the pressure to get you to pay a bill you don't owe.

Here's spokesperson Leah Van Zile....

".....scammers are contacting businesses and restuarants saying that they're going to be disconnected unless they make immediate payment with a prepaid credit card. That's something we'd never do, ask for immediate payment with a pre-paid credit card...."

Kelly Kearns-DNR

Each year Wisconsin DNR invasive species staff look ahead to what species might join the growing list of terrestrial plant invaders. It appears more have come into Wisconsin.

DNR conservation biologist Kelly Kearns says a key is to work with property owners to get a handle on the infestation before the invasive plant becomes a problem...

Authorities Sift Through Evidence In Phelps Death

Jun 1, 2016

The apparent homicide investigation of Luann Beckman, 47, of Phelps, continues with authorities waiting for autopsy and laboratory reports on evidence collected.

According to Vilas County coroner Paul Tirpe, while there is a preliminary cause of death, no information will be released until all tissue samples have been analyzed.

“I expect the process will take at least six weeks,” Tirpe said when contacted.

Meanwhile, Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath indicated the investigation by his department is proceeding.

DNR Says Help a Turtle Out

Jun 1, 2016

  DNR officials are asking for the public’s help in keeping turtles and their habitats safe. Called the Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program volunteer citizen monitors call in turtle sightings, crossings and carcasses. Conservation Biologist Andrew Badje says reporting observations shows where conservation improvements are needed to better road crossings for turtles.  He says turtles getting hit by cars are one of the leading causes of declining turtle numbers in the state.