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

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Cranberry Love

Each fall, the nation’s biggest cranberry crop is harvested from Wisconsin marshes. And floods of travelers turn up to celebrate the tart star of the show. Emily Bright shares the view from her corner of Wisconsin. 

Emily Bright is a freelance writer, educator, and radio producer living in Eagle River. 

Photo: Robb and Jessie Stankey

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Holocaust Dresses

In 1939, Paul Strnad sent a desperate letter to his cousin in Milwaukee in hopes the relative could help them emigrate from Prague after the Nazi invasion. The letter contained eight dress designs created by Hedy Strnad (Paul’s wife).  They hoped their cousin could find a manufacturer for the dresses.  Seventy-five years later, with the help of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater Costume Shop,  Hedy’s dresses are on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee in the "Stitching History" exhibit.

Take a closer look with museum director Kathie Bernstein on a walk through the exhibit design concept and content.

Read this New York Times article for more on the Strnad family’s story and the research that has gone in to the exhibit.

And be sure to check out the Wisconsin Humanities Council’s reflection on the museum’s effort to preserve the work of Hedy Strnad at the Working Lives Project page.

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Amphicar

Russ Cihlar’s pet project is part car, part boat… 50-50 surf and turf.  He discovered his first Amphicar as a teenager and 10 years later had a dream about it. So Russ purchased the car from a Door County farmer and for 14 years tore it apart and rebuilt it.  He’s been cruising the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal and turning heads ever since.

Russ has a fascination with military vehicles. In addition to his interest in rebuilding his Amphicar, Russ has rebuild nearly a dozen military vehicles across several military encounters and time periods. Join Russ on a tour of his storage garage where his military vehicles are displayed.

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Marine Archaeologist

Whether as a boy snorkeling in the waters off Door County or as a researcher diving to the bottom of Lake Superior, David Cooper has spent most of his life on the Great Lakes. For the past few years, he’s worked to preserve one famous piece of maritime history: the light stations of the Apostle Islands.

Take a tour of the Apostle Islands with David as your guide!

Watch another story here to see how the National Park Service restored the Raspberry Island Lighthouse in 2005-2007.

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Rice Harvest

Wild rice isn’t actually a rice at all. It’s an aquatic grass that has been an important food for native people for centuries. Fred Ackley, Jr., from the Mole Lake Reservation learned to harvest rice from his grandmother, and he continues to harvest and process it to this day. 

This story was produced by Finn Ryan for The Ways. 

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Summer Fun, History, and Elvis at Bay Beach

Wisconsin is home to one of the oldest amusement parks in the United States. Visitors from around the world come to Green Bay every summer to enjoy the rides and the beautiful views. Patty Murray has the story.

Photo: Green Bay Press Gazette 

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Motorcycle Heaven on the Mindoro Cut

A windy road makes for motorcycle paradise. Ron Davis tells us about a legendary stretch of highway near La Crosse.

Ron Davis is a writer and teacher in Central Wisconsin.

Photo: Craft Barn 

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Wisconsin’s Historic Velodrome

For 87 years, every Tuesday night in the summer, bicycle racers have thrilled spectators at the Washington Park Velodrome in Kenosha. Producer Nancy Camden went to see the riders race around the oval track.

Photo: Nancy Camden

Music: Ben Hans “Tides”

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Returning History

Bill Green is the director of Beloit College’s Logan Museum of Anthropology. As part of his work, Bill leads anthropology students in their studies of the museum’s Native American artifact collection. Bill’s work is unique because unlike many museums that seek to add to their collections, the Logan Museum conducts research to determine who rightfully owns the artifacts 

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Family Trees

Lois Lawton records the history of her community… one stitch at a time.  Lois has spent decades hand-working personal needlepoint designs, crafted to reflect the life experiences of her friends and neighbors.  

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Milwaukee Blacksmith

Kent Knapp has been studying blacksmithing since he was 19 years old.  He worked with a master blacksmith for a few years in Milwaukee and now runs a traditional blacksmithing business that involves his wife and 4 children.  A huge part of the draw to this art form for the family is Kent’s love for Milwaukee architecture and its rich history with iron.  Now Kent expresses his passion for Milwaukee’s history by designing his own ironworks. 

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Riverboat Through Time

Steamboats are embedded in the history of the La Crosse area. However, a passion for those vessels continues to bring that history to life. Producer Breann Schossow tells us more.

Photo: Breann Schossow

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Clog Jam

Tracy Mullaney and Christi Pfaff have almost nothing in common. What they do share is a passion for clog dancing. That love of dance has been enough to serve as the base of their lasting friendship and business.  

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Richard Davis

Richard Davis is internationally known as one of the best jazz musicians in the world. What some may not know about Richard is how much of his time he devotes to mentoring up-and-coming artists. Tag along to see how this music legend seeks to inspire Wisconsin youth.

For more on Richard, his students and his peers, check out these web extras:

Hiwot Adilow’s poem, with Richard playing along, shows a student’s capacity to learn and a teacher’s hope for the future.

Following the news that Richard Davis had received the NEA Jazz Master award, his UW performance class drew 3 times the usual numbers.

Born 1930, Chicago, Richard Davis was inspired by Ben Webster’s sax solos in Duke Ellington’s orchestra. 

Taylor Scott (a junior First Wave scholar from Baton Rouge) recites her poem “Freedom” as Richard Davis accompanies her on bass.

Richard Davis introduces a new vocal talent from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s faculty, Jessie Hauck.

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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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