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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Providing Emergency Help
5:41 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Minocqua's Caritas Helps Fill Gaps For Those In Need

Caritas is located at 300 Arbor Vitae Street, next to St. Matthias Church in Minocqua. Hours are Tues and Thurs 9:30 – 11 a.m. and the last Saturday of each month, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
Credit Emily Bright / WXPR News

There are a number of agencies in the Northwoods that help people in need, but when you’re faced with a crisis, it can be difficult to figure out where to go. Who do you call, and how do you pay for gas to get there? One Minocqua organization aims to address that challenge.

Caritas is a one-stop shop for people in Vilas and Oneida Counties in temporary urgent need of help. Run by volunteers and donations, it’s given out more than $23,000 of emergency help to over 250 people since it opened just over a year ago. Sometimes, says volunteer Laurie Glowac,

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Decision to Come in January
4:35 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Northland Pines School Board Discusses Proposal to Combine Grades 7-12

The Northland Pines School Board met last night to discuss the proposal to move the 7th and 8th grades into the high school next year. A dozen community members weighed in with passionate opinions and prepared statements, coming down evenly for and against. Those in favor of the proposal called for people to trust the school board, such as 3rd and 4thgrade teacher Gretchen Yagow:  

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Arts & Life
6:00 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Choir Members Find Community in Northwoods Singers

The Northwoods Singers at Grace Covenant in 2013.
Credit Submitted photo

If you love to sing with others, where do you go? Church choir perhaps? What if you want to sing more challenging music, or nonreligious music? For some people living throughout the Northwoods of Wisconsin and the U.P., the answer is the Northwoods Singers.

It’s a snowy evening, and about 40 choir members ranging in age from their 40s to 80s are waming up in the Congregational church in Eagle River for their last regular rehearsal of the season. Northwoods Singers co-founder Norma Yaeger said it’s quite a commitment for some of the members to make the drive.

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Seventh and Eighth Grades May Move to High School
11:09 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Petition Asks Northland Pines To Drop School Consolidation Plan

A petition has gathered over 900 signatures asking Northland Pines to drop its plan to consolidate 7th and 8th grades into the high school.
Credit Emily Bright

Parents have a chance to hear more about a controversial plan to move Northland Pines middle school students to the high school.  An informational session is scheduled Monday night at 6:30 pm at the Northland Pines high school.

A petition asking the Northland Pines school board to stop all plans to combine grades 7 and 8 with high school students has garnered more than 900 signatures. David Eliason --a St. Germain business owner and father of two—was one of the people involved in creating the petition. 

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Moving Forward With Grant-Funded Plan
10:02 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Conover Will Keep Bike Trail Plan, Funding

Conover Town Board members listened to concerns at Monday night's town meeting.
Credit Emily Bright

The discussion on whether and where to allow ATVs in Vilas County has drawn passionate crowds to town meetings throughout the fall. Last night was no exception. The debate between ATV and silent sport enthusiasts in Conover appears to have found a peaceable solution at Monday night’s town meeting. 

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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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