Emily Bright

Feature Contributor

Emily Bright is a freelance writer, educator, and radio producer living in Eagle River. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Glances Back and the co-author of Powerful Ideas in Teaching: Creating Environments Where Students Want to Learn. Find her at www.emilykbright.com.

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Before There Was Kindergarten
5:36 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Three Lakes' Story Hour Celebrates 50 Years

Three Lakes Library Director Erica Brewster presented a plaque to Story Hour founders Barbara Hultz and Ginny Javinkoski.
Credit Emily Bright

Parents and children gathered in Three Lakes Tuesday…to mark fifty years of reading stories out loud at the library.  

Demmer Library in Three Lakes celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Story Hour yesterday.

In 1964, there was no kindergarten program in the public schools. Barbara Holtz and Virginia Javenkoski started Story Hour help teach young children the social skills they’d need for school. Mrs. Holtz recalls the Three Lakes’ town board’s response to starting a Story Hour:

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Thirty Days, Fifty Thousand Words
11:55 am
Tue November 25, 2014

NaNoWriMo Not For the Faint of Heart

At the end of this month, Beckie Jokie will have written seven novels in seven years.
Credit Submitted photo

November is National Novel Writing Month—or NaNoWriMo—the time when people of all ages and walks of life commit themselves to writing a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days. WXPR’s Emily Bright sat down with Beckie Jokie, municipal liaison of the Northern Wisconsin chapter.

Beckie Joki is a competitive bass fisherman and a freelance writer living in Woodboro, and the month of November--

"It’s been a little bit busy," she says.

But that’s normal.

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Week of Thanksgiving Sees High Absentee Rate
10:41 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Deer Season Means Early Vacation For Some Northwoods Students

About 200 students were absent last year during the week of Thanksgiving, many of them busy deer hunting.
Credit en.wikipedia.org

Northland Pines School District has a new vacation this school year. Students and teachers will have the whole week off at Thanksgiving for deer season. 

Last year, nearly 200 students in the Northland Pines middle school and high school were absent from school on the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving break, many of them to take part in the 9-day deer hunting season. That’s nearly 15% of the district student body. This year, the Northland Pines School District responded by adjusting its vacation schedule accordingly. As superintendent Dr. Mike Richie explains,

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More Routes Possible In Vilas County
7:12 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Eagle River Will Accept ATV Route Proposals

ATV routes are being proposed for downtown Eagle River.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The debate over where All Terrain Vehicles, or ATVs, will be allowed to ride in Vilas County has sparked debates across the townships. Eagle River joined in the discussion last night. The city council will be accepting proposals for ATV routes downtown.

Last night’s city council meeting saw a lively discussion about whether and where to allow ATVs in Eagle River. Said city councilman Jerry Burkett,

ATVs are here. That doesn’t mean we can’t establish a corridor that works for everybody if we decide to do that.

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Veteran's Day
1:06 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

For a Veteran Coming Home, Cranberries Are a World Away From Military Duty

Harvest season means long days for cranberry pickers at James Lake Cranberry Marsh.
Credit James Lake Cranberry Marsh

Returning to civilian life after military duty can be a shocking adjustment.  WXPR’s Emily Bright talked to one veteran who made that transition and is now doing something that seems totally different, growing cranberries in the Northwoods.

Benjamin Riker served two tours in Kuwait and Iraq with the Wisconsin National Guard. When he returned home in 2009, he finished up his degree in early elementary education. He was married with a young son, and they had to figure out what came next.

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Rare Find in a Rural Area
4:00 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Children's Museum Inspires Kids and Adults to Think Creatively

Credit Matthew Krusack

The Northwoods is home to its very own children's museum, a place where the interactive exhibits are designed to stimulate children's creativity.  But as WXPR's Emily Bright reports, it takes the efforts and creativity of an entire community to keep it running.

Cindy Thompson gets down on her knees to explain the rules of the Northwoods Children’s Museum to my two-year old.

“Okay my friend, look here. See this red line, and the red light way up high? What does red mean?

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Alternative Education Opportunities Grow
1:00 pm
Sun November 2, 2014

Montessori Charter School Set to Open Next Year

Montessori learning relies on a hands-on and child-centered approach.
Credit Pixabay

A new Montessori school is set to open next year in St. Germain. The district is taking applications starting next week.

The Northland Pines Montessori Learning Center will span 4K through second grade, with 3rd and 4th grade to be added in 2016. When paired with the new project-based learning program SOAR in Land o’Lakes, students will soon have the opportunity to attend 4K through 12th grade in an alternative learning environment.

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ATV Use Would Compromise Silent Sports Funding
6:37 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Conover Delays Action on Bike Trail Project

A push for ATV access in Vilas County is prompting the town of Conover to reconsider construction of a bike trail.
Credit Robert Thigpen

Conover hasn’t yet decided whether to change course on its plan for a federally-funded bike and snowmobile trial.

The Conover Town Center was packed and tempers flared last night during a special town board meeting called to discuss allowing ATVs on part of the trail route.

An ATV trail in Conover would connect trails between Eagle River and Phelps. But silent sport enthusiasts were concerned that motorizing the trail would be a danger to bikers, pedestrians, and equestrians alike.

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Teaching Kids About Renewables
7:56 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Three Lakes Schools Get Solar Panels

Hands-on science learning took a big step forward Tuesday at the Three Lakes School District. The school now has solar panels on its roof thanks to the Solarwise for Schools program sponsored by Wisconsin Public Service.

As part of the Solarwise for Schools program, every school receives 10 solar panels that provide 2.8 kilowatts of electricity. That’s roughly the number of solar panels that could power an average home. Here, that renewable energy will be keeping the hall lights on for the junior high. WPS says the solar panels save a school about $350 a year in energy costs.

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A Year-Round Labor of Love
1:16 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Oil In The Blood: Ed Jacobson's Northwoods Petroleum Museum

The Northwoods Petroleum Museum includes rare collections of gas station globes and other items.
Credit Ed Jacobsen / Northwoods Petroleum Museum

The summer tourism season is over, but for one Northwoods museum, that doesn’t change much.  WXPR Contributor Emily Bright reports on one man’s singular passion for gasoline...that led to an unusual museum.  

The gas station. It’s a familiar place, but when you’re filling your tank, how often do you stop and think about where you are when what you’re doing?

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