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.

Wisconsin DNR

 

The Vilas County Board voted Tuesday to allow ATVs to ride on defined sections of county trunk highways as part of a larger ATV route that spans Eagle River, Conover, Lincoln, and Phelps. ATVs will be allowed to run on the road where signage permits, but they must stay as far to the side as practicable. There is no set date for when those signs will go up, though ATV riders are hopeful that they can start this spring.

Meanwhile, Vilas, Forest and Oneida counties could be joining forces to provide public transportation to some of its residents.

Emily Bright / WXPR News

 

  More than any other instrument, violins have a mystique. We assume the best violins were made centuries ago—so when in recent studies, blindfolded violin masters preferred modern instruments over multi-million dollar Stradivari, many people were shocked. WXPR’s Emily Bright spoke to one Wisconsin luthier who wasn’t surprised at all.   

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Warm weather has drawn people out of their homes for a number of spring activities including one popular Northwoods pastime: tapping trees for maple syrup. As Emily Bright reports, the season has begun, and much earlier than last year.

Maple syrup enthusiasts have been out tapping trees this week, as the warm daytime temperatures and freezing nights make sap start to run. Speaking from the winter farmers’ market, Tonya Hofrichter of Hofrichter farms in Deerbrook says the sap has had a slow start.

Submitted photo

An Eagle River event highlighting traditional ways of living through the winter is coming to an end.  Klondike Days will have its last hurrah this Saturday, March 7th. 

  Klondike Days President Terry Tryggeseth says it’s hard to point to any one factor that’s led to the end of Klondike Days on this its 25th anniversary.

“The event has, if you will, run its course. Participation by the public has weaned a little bit of the years. Of course having two years back-to-back of bitter, bitter cold didn’t help us by any means.”

Emily Bright / WXPR News

 

"When I grab my saw, I'm ready to carve," says Ken Schels.  "I'm hungry.  I wanna make some sawdust. I look forward to it."

Schels may not look like a poet when he’s hauling trees to his sawmill or wielding his chainsaw at a carving competition, but he thinks deeply about trees. Dressed in a plaid flannel and cap, Ken shows me around his Eagle River workshop, stopping at an 11 foot conference table he cut from a single tree from Conover. Trees, Ken says, will tell you a story.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Eagle River businesses can soon look forward to their customers arriving by ATV and UTV. As WXPR's Emily Bright reports, the Eagle River town council has voted to allow ATVs and UTVs on nearly all city streets. 

Emily Bright / WXPR News

Eagle River claims it’s the Hockey Capital of Wisconsin, and for the 3 days of the Pond Hockey Championship, you believe it. Over 300 teams come from across the country to play, drawn by the cold winters that typically ensure good ice conditions.  It’s a tough but nostalgic sport that seems to keep teams coming back again and again. 

Rinks separated by snow banks are packed in so close it’s hard to tell where fans’ cheers and referee whistles are directed. Bill Trosien is playing for his 7th year.

Emily Bright / WXPR News

Many people think of giving to the food pantry during the holidays.  But high demand at the Vilas Food Pantry continues as winter stretches on.   

The Vilas Food Pantry has seen a surge in the number of families needing its services. Director Richard Short says the food pantry has been able to keep up with the demand so far, thanks to the generosity of the community during the holidays, but hunger is a year-round issue.

Emily Bright / WXPR News

The 10th annual National Pond Hockey Championships are set to take place this weekend, with one major change: they won’t be on a pond. Poor ice conditions on Dollar Lake forced the championships to move to the Snowmobile Derby track.  

Just three weeks after the World Championship Snowmobile Derby, the track will again be filled with competitors and spectators from around the country.

321 teams from 26 states are set to compete at the National Pond Hockey Championships.

It’s common to find artwork created by children in the schools, but how often do students have the chance to create music? As Emily Bright found out, a program at the SOAR Charter School in Land O’Lakes allows students to do just that.The SOAR charter school is one of four schools in the country to take part in Very Young Composers, a week-long program that offers middle school students the chance to compose their own music. Students pair with local professional musicians. Northland Pines Band Director Forrest Mann says no formal music training is required. 

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