Natalie Jablonski

Community Features Editor

Natalie came to the station in 2013.  She moved to the Northwoods from Providence, Rhode Island where she worked at Rhode Island Public Radio.  She studied Environmental Studies at Brown University, and learned radio production at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. 

As Community Features Editor, Natalie spends time reporting, interviewing, and working with volunteer contributors.  She also hosts All Things Considered on Friday afternoons. 

When she's not rushing to and from an interview, she enjoys cooking, eating, playing music, and skiing to survive the winter.

Pages

Announced Last Week
4:33 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

New Chamber Director Takes the Reins

Dana DeMet had his first day on the job as Executive Director of the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The new Executive Director for the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce had his first day on the job Monday.  Rhinelander native Dana DeMet says he’s busy getting up to speed on upcoming events like the Hodag Home Show. 

He says one of his goals as chamber director is to help make membership a measurable benefit. 

“I’m really looking forward to expanding on not only just the events that we have, but putting together some measurable results or goals.  I really want to foster the true value for the chamber’s members.” 

Read more
Meager Food Available
9:47 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Birds Face Shrinking Winter Food Supply

Robins returning in time for spring may be unprepared for wintry conditions.
Credit Marc Evans

Deer aren’t the only wildlife having a hard time finding food this winter.  

Wildlife rehabilitator Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group says she’s worried about many of the region’s birds.  She says the rehab center near Antigo is seeing birds like red-tailed hawks, chickadees and even robins.    

“What is unusual is the way that they’re coming in.  People are finding them really not moving very much – they’re kind of in a hypothermic state.  Their breathing is slowed, their heartrate is slowed, and they go into almost a torpor state.” 

Read more
Not Well Adapted
3:02 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Wild Turkeys Face Difficulty Finding Food in Severe Winter

Wild turkeys have a hard time finding food in deep snow.
Credit Robert Engbert

Many wild turkeys may be struggling to survive the harsh winter in northern Wisconsin.

Bird expert Laura Erickson says in an average winter, turkeys are protected by their fat reserves.  But a severe winter like this one is another matter. 

“The problem is that they need a lot of food.  And with the deep snows we’ve been having, it’s virtually impossible for them to find the acorns or other food items that they would normally get on the ground.”   

Read more
Promoting School and Community
1:50 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Three Lakes Schools Will Build Sign to Get the Word Out

Three Lakes will soon be home to a new digital message board.  The Three Lakes School District and the Chamber of Commerce are putting up a fourteen-foot sign that will feature community events and announcements. 

School District Administrator George Karling says one of its goals is to get more exposure for Three Lakes Schools.

“We’ve had people move into the outer fringes, and they’ve told us later, we weren’t aware there was a school here.  We thought you went to school in one of the neighboring communities.”

Read more
Skiing the Nikkerbeiner
4:00 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Good Old Days of Wooden Skis

Nikkerbeiner skiers line up, sporting their finest knickers, sweaters and wool socks.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The American Birkebeiner is well known for its difficulty and impressive distance: a course more than 30 miles long that takes hours to complete. 

But Birkie weekend hosts other events, including one that celebrates the Nordic roots of cross country skiing: the second annual Nikkerbeiner race on wooden skis.

On the streets of downtown Hayward, it’s easy to spot the Nikkerbeiner skiers among the fray.  They’re the ones wearing woolen knickers, knee socks, and an occasional Vikingish helmet. 

Read more
Garage Fire in Vilas County
4:12 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Plum Lake Blaze Consumes Two Structures

A fire near Sayner destroyed two structures and one vehicle Wednesday.  The Vilas County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call just before 11 am…reporting a garage fire at 8616 Camp Highland Road in the township of Plum Lake.  The blaze fully engulfed the garage and the vehicle inside.  The fire also spread to an adjoining mobile home.  Both structures were destroyed. 

The Vilas County Sheriff’s office responded to the fire along with crews from Plum Lake Fire, Saint Germain Fire, Boulder Junction Fire, Westside RIT and Wisconsin Public Service.

Thinking Spring
3:14 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Gardening Project to Host Seed Swap

Gardeners save seeds to reduce cost and encourage genetic diversity.
Credit Alex Bayley

Gardeners will be swapping seeds next week in Eagle River.  The Seed to Seed Edible Garden Project and Vilas County Master Gardeners are hosting the fourth annual exchange of vegetable and flower seeds.

Debbie Jircik is founder of Seed to Seed.  She says seed saving is the process of letting plants flower and go to seed at the end of the season, and saving those seeds for next year’s planting. 

Read more
Marathon-Length Race
4:43 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Skiers Persevere Through Cold, Snowy Birkie Course

Skiers crowd the starting line at the 41st American Birkebeiner.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

More than ten thousand skiers competed last weekend in the American Birkebeiner ski race.  A foot of snow leading up to race day made for challenging conditions.

Single digit temperatures and fierce winds made for a cold start line early Saturday morning. Cross country skiers in brightly-colored spandex stretched their limbs and sprinted to make their start time. 

Pam Fashingbauer of Minocqua prepared for her first ever 54 kilometer classic race, after overcoming a shoulder injury from last summer.

Read more
Reducing Heart Disease Risk
9:56 am
Mon February 24, 2014

In February, Remember Your Heart

Eating fruits and vegetables is one way to reduce your risk for heart disease.
Credit John Morgan

Valentine’s Day may be over but there are still plenty of ways to take care of your heart.

February is Heart Health Month.

Oneida County Public Health Department is encouraging people of all ages to try and reduce risk factors for heart disease. 

Community health specialist Kyla Waksmonski  says behavior changes include daily exercise, healthy eating and limiting alcohol use.  Quitting smoking can also cut your risk of heart disease. 

Read more
Boosting Food Aid
9:55 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Ruby's Pantry Heading to Lac du Flambeau

Ruby's Pantry will deliver to Lac du Flambeau on the second Tuesdays of each month.
Credit Kevin Marsh

Ruby’s Pantry will deliver to another distribution site in the Northwoods.  Lac du Flambeau will host the once-a-month food distribution on second Tuesdays at the Bingo Hall.    

Gloria Cobb is a case worker with the Lac du Flambeau economic support department.  She says many families in the area are feeling the financial strain.

Read more

Pages