Natalie Jablonski

Community Features Editor

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Career Development Focus
3:46 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

High School Jobs Program Lands Grant

AT&T presented the $30,000 check to students and teachers at Rhinelander High School.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Rhinelander High School is getting a grant to fund a career training program.  

AT&T is donating $30,000 to fund the Jobs for America’s Graduates – or JAG—program. 

Regional JAG coordinator Sandy Sobek Leslie says it’s a national career development program, aimed especially at students who are at risk for not graduating.

“We try to integrate right into the school day, so the kids are in our classrooms as part of their curriculum that they’re already involved in. So we find our way into homerooms, or advisories.”

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A Win for Environment and Business
10:00 am
Mon November 11, 2013

DNR: Focus on Recycling

Many people know to recycle aluminum cans, but they can still end up in landfills.
Credit Tom Morris

The DNR is reminding people to re-commit to recycling, and seek out more ways to re-use materials.  Friday is America Recycles Day nationwide. 

It’s a day that aims to call attention to how recycling is good for the environment and good for the economy. 

DNR recycling spokesperson Elisabeth Olson says around 100 million dollars of re-usable materials goes into landfills every year. 

“So often it’s your basic materials.  We’re still seeing plastics, aluminum, paper, steel.  These types of things, they’re going into our landfills.”

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On Veterans Day
4:00 am
Mon November 11, 2013

The Ocean Epic of Walter Wendt

Walter Wendt is 95 years old and lives in McNaughton, Wisconsin.
Credit Matthew Rethaber / WXPR News

On Veterans Day, we remember the service of veterans from many wars.  

Walter Wendt served six and a half years in the Navy in World War II.  He was onboard the ship the Helena when it was hit by a torpedo during the attack on Pearl Harbor.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski talked with 95-year-old Wendt at his neighbor’s home in McNaughton, Wisconsin. 

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Texting and Scamming
1:14 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Misleading Text Messages May Claim to be From Your Bank

New scams may catch unlucky users via text message.
Credit Alton via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Texting.jpg

Oneida County Sheriff’s office wants to put people on the alert for text messages that falsely appear to be from local banks.  

The Sheriff’s department received two separate reports this week…of text messages warning of an approaching card limit.  Lieutenant Lloyd Gauthier says the messages asked for card and pin numbers, and appeared to be coming from two Rhinelander credit unions. 

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Tribes Condemn Race-Based Mascots
4:46 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Mascot Bill Could Strain State-Tribal Relations

The Lac du Flambeau tribe of Ojibwe is urging Governor Scott Walker not to sign a bill making it harder to change race-based school mascots.  The Republican-backed legislation has passed the Assembly and the Senate.  The new rules would require a petition of signatures and proof of discrimination before a school mascot can be changed.  

Current law has it the other way around – a school must prove its mascot isn’t discriminatory. 

Lac du Flambeau spokesman Brandon Thoms says the proposed rule changes encourage destructive stereotypes of Native people.

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Citizen Science at Work
4:44 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

DNR: Calling All Wolf Trackers

Volunteers must take a training course to learn to identify different animal tracks.
Credit Paul White

DNR officials are asking for volunteers to help with the state’s winter wolf count.  

  DNR Carnivore Biologist Jane Wiedenhoeft says those numbers go into determining the state’s wolf hunting quota. 

“It’s extremely important to us.  It’s not our only source of data for the winter count, but it is a major source of data.”

Wolves are the main counting target, but trackers will also note signs of other carnivores. 

At least two days of training required to get familiar with different animal tracks and the basics of wolf ecology.

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Watch Out in Winter
4:11 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Drivers: Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Deer

As the nights grow longer, greater numbers of drivers may be hitting deer.

JP Wieske  is spokesman for the Offices of the Insurance Commissioner.  He says drivers need to pay attention, because this time of year is especially risky. 

“I think the main reason is the activity of the deer.  There’s a lot of travel, it’s getting darker, but also there’s a lot more deer activity at this time of year.”

Wieske says animal collisions are a significant expense for insurance companies.  He says deer hits were up last year.

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Studying Salmonella Poisoning
1:35 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

New Plan for Collecting Data On Bird Health

Evening grosbeaks are one type of songbird that can be affected by salmonella poisoning.
Credit Alan Huett

A wildlife rehabilitator is hoping to pin down the extent of salmonella sickness in birds.  

The Northwoods Wildlife Center is planning to train citizen scientists to notice and report cases of salmonella in birds.  Executive Director Sharon Reilly says the center got dozens of calls this spring reporting sick or dead birds…where salmonella sounded like the culprit. 

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A Tale of Two Mines
1:33 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Mine Regulations: Not Tough Enough?

One mining specialist is questioning whether a proposed iron mine in the Penokee range has enough social support to go forward. 

John Coleman is an environmental section leader at Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, a group that helps enforce tribal treaty rights in Wisconsin.  Coleman has worked primarily on mining issues since 1994, when a mine proposed near Crandon faced tribal opposition.  

Coleman thinks state regulators aren’t as tough as they were in the nineties.

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Where Science Meets Policy
4:00 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Seeing the Forest for the Deer

Some researchers are advocating a change in approach to the science behind deer management.
Credit Ken Thomas

This month, the informal conversation series Science on Tap takes on the controversial subject of deer management.  Don Waller and Tim Van Deelen will talk about deer from the perspective of forest health.  

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke to Don Waller on the phone.  He’s a researcher at the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Department of Botany.

Waller will be joined by wildlife ecologist Tim Van Deelen at Science on Tap…Wednesday night at the Minocqua Brewing Company.  

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