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TOP STORY

WXPR: One of only a few public radio stations in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 12/22/2014
RHINELANDER - You can't find public radio stations as easily as you can find commercial radio stations in the Northwoods. That's because they're funded mostly by donations. However, one Rhinelander radio station has found a way to make it work for more than 30 years.

"The station came about as the result of a dream, really, of a fella named Peter Nordgrin who came from northern Minnesota at a station very similar to this one," said Ken Krall, news director and interim station manager at 91.7 WXPR in Rhinelander. "He realized that there was a hole in northern Wisconsin for public radio."

WXPR went on the air in 1983. They fundraised for years in the late 1970's to get an FCC license. Founders wanted a public radio station with content put on the air completely by volunteers.

"It used to be in a house down at the end of a dead end street," said Krall. "It didn't have a lot of visibility but it had a lot of charm."

"It was much different technologically back then," said Walt Gander, operations director for WXPR. "We receive a lot of programs through the public radio satellite system. We were literally recording those programs on cassettes. And when we needed to change the channel from one satellite channel to another, it was a manual turning of dials."

WXPR moved to its current location on Stevens street in 2012. The move brought some big changes in broadcast technology.

"When we moved into this building, we went to the audio over IP protocol," said Gander. "Any audio device now that we use that we put on air we can route it anywhere in the station with a few clicks of the mouse."

Every voice you hear on WXPR is a volunteer from the Northwoods with either an interest in radio or a specific genre of music.

"When I moved to the Northwoods and realized that we had a public station up here, and a community public station, I was very excited," said Molly Rose Teuke, a volunteer on-air host at WXPR. "I called WXPR and said 'I'd like to volunteer.' And in I came, they trained me, and now they can hardly get me out of the studio."

Teuke has been an on-air host for WXPR since March. She spent many years writing for a magazine, and continues to write for Minocqua's Visitor Guide. Teuke had thought about volunteering for a long time, and when she decided to try it out, she immediately fell in love.

"I've, kind-of done a lot on the music front," said Teuke. "Classical music is what I do on a regular basis every Thursday morning. But I have managed a lot of hosting on WXPR. I've hosted Country Legends, big band music, and I've even hosted Polka."

There are roughly 50 volunteer on-air staff members that have weekly shifts on WXPR. Since the station is not a part of the State Public Radio Network, they have to rely heavily on donations from listeners and local businesses.

"Most of the fundraising that happens is done on air," said Jessie Dick, development director for WXPR. "We host pledge drives where we come on the air and take a brief break from either the news or the music programming and explain to WXPR listeners why they should donate, what their donation dollars will do, what it'll bring, not only them but the rest of the community as well."

The station recently hired Pete Rondello as station manager. He's currently a real-estate broker at Coldwell Banker in Minocqua.

"Pete has had a background in radio," said Krall. "He's been in real-estate since that time until now. We think his background is just perfect for us, and he's a great guy and we're really looking forward to having him come on board."

WXPR can be heard on 100.9 FM in Ironwood Michigan, and 91.9 FM out of Wausau.

Story By: Anthony Bruno

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 LOCAL NEWS
Possible child abuse under investigationSubmitted: 12/22/2014

IRMA - Prosecutors will consider charges against two Lincoln County men accused of duct taping a child to a door.

A Lincoln County deputy investigated the child abuse complaint in Irma this past week.

Witnesses said the child's hands and feet were bound.

The child was then duct taped to the door.

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Snowmobile safety class held this weekendSubmitted: 12/21/2014

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LAKE TOMAHAWK - Riding a snowmobile can be dangerous if you don't know the rules of the trails.

That's why some people went through a snowmobile safety course on Saturday and Sunday.

The course was held at the Sloan Community Center in Lake Tomahawk.

The New-Tom Snow Fleas and the Oneida County Sheriff's office held the course.

A recreational safety officer from the sheriff's office taught the class.

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Man arrested for setting fires and fleeing policeSubmitted: 12/21/2014

MARATHON COUNTY - Marathon County Sheriff's deputies think A 39-year-old Antigo man set the building he worked at on fire early this morning.

They say he then led deputies on a car chase.

A lieutenant from the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says they got a call around 8p.m. Saturday.

The call was for a domestic disturbance in Antigo.

The man then drove to Bushman Trucking southeast of Wausau.

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Lincoln County Sheriff's Office finds body of missing Merrill man Submitted: 12/21/2014

LINCOLN COUNTY - The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office found the body of a missing Merrill man yesterday afternoon.

Jeffrey Maruska has been missing since early November.

The sheriff's office found his body with the help of cadaver dogs.

Maruska was found in a wooded area east of where he lived.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is still investigating.

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People in Sugar Camp support local dog rescue organization Submitted: 12/21/2014

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SUGAR CAMP - The number of dogs euthanized a year dropped dramatically. The Humane Society of the United States estimates the number of dogs and cats euthanized decreased from 12-20 million to 3-4 million per year, but about 2.7 million healthy sheltered animals aren't adopted.

That's why people in Sugar Camp wanted to keep a rescue organization running.

"It Matters to One" saves dogs from high-kill shelters who are on the euthanasia list. One of the founders of the organization travels to California to rescue the dogs.

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Santa gets extra help from volunteer fire department while delivering presentsSubmitted: 12/21/2014

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PINE LAKE - Santa normally gets help from elves to make Christmas presents for kids, but in Pine Lake he had help from a local volunteer fire department Sunday.

The Pine Lake Fire Department normally puts its sirens on in an emergency, but this time it was to help Santa bring joy to families who need it the most.

"It is really neat to see the kids when we come pulling into their driveway and they see Santa Claus getting off the fire truck with a big bag of presents. It is really neat to see their faces," said Operation Ho Ho Ho organizer Lynn Larson.

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People got holiday shopping done at Christmas market in Minocqua Submitted: 12/20/2014

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MINOCQUA - Many people might be finishing up their Christmas shopping this weekend.

Some people did that shopping at a Christmas market in Minocqua Saturday.

The market was held at Ann Marie's garden shop.

"We wanted to make something festive for the holiday so we set up Christmas market between our store and the Christmas Chalet next door and just for a festive occasion, we're sampling things, we're selling things, just Christmas items," says store owner Ann Marie.

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