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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
Credit card purchase leads to Rhinelander burglary arrest Submitted: 12/22/2014

RHINELANDER - A 23-year-old Wausau woman faces three charges for allegedly stealing a purse and using a stolen credit card in Rhinelander. Those charges include burglary, theft and credit card fraud.

Prosecutors accuse Brienna Persike and Andrew Washburn, 25, of Wasuau, of stealing a purse from an unlocked home on South Rifle Road in Rhinelander. The criminal complaint shows that Persike told investigators they broke into the home. She said it was after visiting Washburn's grandmother early on December 17th.

The two then went to Wal-Mart and spent more than $500 using the stolen credit card. The criminal complaint shows that the two bought a car installation kit, a car amplifier, a black BB gun, cat food, ice fishing equipment and other items just hours after the reported burglary.

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Lincoln County landfill expansion project complete; landfill operating efficiently Submitted: 12/22/2014

IRMA - The Lincoln County landfill began construction on a new landfill almost two years ago.

The $11.5 million dollar project is destined to hold 1.2 million cubic yards of waste.

The new landfill construction was completed in November 2013.

About 54,000 tons of clay was used to line the landfill.

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Changes could be made to where sex offenders in Park Falls can liveSubmitted: 12/22/2014

PARK FALLS - Some cities in Wisconsin don't regulate where sex offenders can live.

Park Falls is one of those cities, but some people are working to change that.

The Park Falls Common Council could pass an ordinance to prohibit sex offenders from living near places for children.

That means they wouldn't be able to live by places like schools, parks, and the library.

There are some exemptions to the potential ordinance.

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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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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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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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