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It's your place for engaging stories of the people that make Wisconsin feel like home.

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Playing Possum

We celebrate Earth Day this week. Many animals have evolved the ability to feign death. Writer Jill Sisson Quinn witnessed this unusual act of survival in a groundhog.  

Jill Sisson Quinn is a writer in Central Wisconsin.  

Photo: Jonathan Crow

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Sheboygan Surfers

Ordinarily, you’d find hardcore surfers in California or Hawaii. But Alex Marks and his friends live to catch waves – and dodge ice chunks – in Lake Michigan. Sheboygan is home to their beaches of choice, winter is their optimum time to surf, and on a good day, they only need a board and a 5mm thick rubber suit to brave the elements. Watch as these Midwestern surfers break Great Lake waves.

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Native Teacher

“It’s not for you. It’s for everybody.” That’s the lesson Menominee Nation member David Turney hopes to convey to young people about their native culture and language. Worried about students losing touch with their cultural heritage, David found that by bringing a Menominee language course into the Green Bay public schools he was able to spark an interest in traditional ways, while helping them find more academic success.

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Hunting Partners

Dan Orth of Fairchild has been hunting since he was a boy, but his hunting skills can’t compare to those of his hunting partner, a Goshawk named ‘Daisy’. Relying on Daisy’s keen sight and speed, Dan sets out to catch pheasants and other small game the old-fashioned way. 

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A Wisconsin Record Shop Spins On

Every April, people around the world celebrate Record Store Day. The local record store has long been a gathering place for music lovers. But today, these stores often struggle to survive. Producer Scott Gordon went to check out the record market in one Madison store.

Scott Gordon covers music and the arts in Madison for his website, Arts Extract, and has written for The A.V. Club and Isthmus.

Photo: Matt Becker

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Death of a Mailbox

Winter has not been kind, especially for mailboxes. Writer Nickolas Butler shares the death of his own mailbox.

Nickolas Butler is the author of Shotgun Lovesongs.

Photo: Caffeine Obsessed

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Paddleboard Yoga

It was a bike accident that first brought Maureen Hebl to yoga, but the peace and serenity that yoga provided was what kept her hooked. Now, she’s a busy instructor holding classes at Madison studios, community centers and giving private lessons. She adds a surprising variation to her traditional practice by doing yoga on a stand-up paddleboard while on water – connecting her and her students more closely to the nature around them. 

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Will Allen

As a former professional basketball player, Will Allen never thought he would trade in his jersey and sneakers for some fertilizer and a rake. But his passion for making fresh food widely accessible to people living in Milwaukee’s low-income urban areas has driven him to create Growing Power, a nonprofit organization celebrating 20 years of providing healthy, affordable food for people in all communities. 

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A Croatian Easter in Wisconsin

Eggs have a long history in Easter celebrations around the world. One Wisconsin woman keeps her Croatian heritage alive by creating and teaching others to make beautiful embroidered eggs.

Photo: Erika Janik 

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Trilliums: Jewels of a Wisconsin Spring

Trilliums are the jewels of the forest floor. For Gail Folkins, spotting trilliums in Wisconsin reminded her of growing up in Washington State. The flower’s distinctive three petals made her feel right at home.

Gail Folkins is the author of Texas Dance Halls and teaches at UW-Stevens Point.

Photo: monophysite57-zzz 

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Scenes from a dartball match.

Source: Rich Kremer/WPR

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Dartball

Have you ever heard of dartball?  If not, you’re not alone.  That’s because this eclectic mashup of darts and baseball is often tucked away in the more rural parts of the state.  WPR’s Rich Kremer took the drive far outside the city to witness this age old pastime. 

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Wisconsin Monsters

Legendary monsters and spirits live wherever there are people to tell their tales – including Wisconsin. Artist Mike Bass tells us about the Wisconsin folklore that inspires his artwork.

Photo: Mike Bass

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Just a Chicken

Chickens have become common backyard animals in areas urban and rural. Chicken-sitting for neighbors, writer Heidi Hodges considered the relationship between humans and animals.

Heidi Hodges is a photographer and the editor of Door County Magazine.

Photo: Wout 

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Claw Foot Tub

They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Responding to an ad for an old tub, writer Nickolas Butler found both a tub and a sense of connection.

Nickolas Butler is the author of the novel Shotgun Lovesongs.  

Photo: Andy Chase 

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