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.

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Arts Workshops Annually
2:00 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Registration Opens for School of the Arts

School of the Arts offers classes in everything from visual to culinary arts.
Credit Matthew Rethaber / WXPR News

Summer might feel far away, but organizers of School of the Arts Rhinelander are already looking ahead to this July's programming. 

The 51st year of the program will offer five days of art workshops at a Rhinelander middle school. 

Director Lynn Tarnoff says registration is open for more than 50 courses.

“And we have five different tracks for people to take.  We have scheduling that is weekend-only, and scheduling that can be Saturday through Wednesday.”

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Boat Rides for Seniors, Vets, Disabled
10:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Let's Go Fishing Seeks Boom Lake Mooring Space

The Northwoods chapter of Let’s Go Fishing is running into some obstacles leading up to its second season. 

The group formed last year to take seniors, veterans, and disabled people on boat rides, free of charge. The trips leave from Hodag Park in Rhinelander, as it’s close to many care facilities.   

But chapter Vice President Mark Schroeder says the program faces the problem of where to store the 33-foot pontoon boat between rides. 

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Looking For Financial Sustainability
3:41 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Northland Pines to Take Over Eagle River YMCA

The YMCA of the Northwoods is stepping away from its facility in Eagle River.  As of March 1st the Northland Pines School District will run the fitness center that’s housed at Northland Pines High School.

YMCA Interim CEO Laurie Schlitt says the Eagle River facility has been operating at an average loss of $15,000 a year, subsidized by fundraising and the Rhinelander location. 

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Roasting Beans on Demand
4:00 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Rio Lobo: Small Town Roaster

Rio Lobo's Sivetz roaster hails from Corvallis, Oregon.

Artisan coffee is a trend that’s has pretty much swept the nation's cities.  It’s no surprise to find local roasters in Milwaukee or Madison.  But where you might not expect to find one…is in a garage in the tiny town of Hiles, Wisconsin.  

Dave Roberts is working on an espresso blend for his company Rio Lobo coffee.  But he hasn’t always been a roaster.  At the age of 55, he made an unusual career change. 

“My family had a logging business, and a sawmill business," Roberts explained. "We were about to sell that – that’s when I kind of gravitated toward coffee roasting."

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Monday Morning Blaze
5:43 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Officials ID Fire Victim

A victim in a fatal fire earlier this week has been identified by forensic autopsy as 24-year-old Seth J. Fehr of Tomahawk. 

The Oneida County Sheriff's Department responded to the call early Monday morning.  The residence at 3892 Woodland Trail in Cassian was completely in flames when firefighters arrived. 

Three others escaped from the house.  One was flown to a Madison burn center for treatment. 

Public Access Controversy
5:31 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Activists Test Limits of 600' Restricted Zone

Credit Andy Arthur

Groups of snowshoers continue to traverse areas where Gogebic Taconite is drilling and sampling.  

A new law forbids the public from coming within 600 feet of equipment and roads used for iron mining.   But those opposed to the measure say it’s designed to hide environmental damage from the public. 

Paul DeMain organized a recent trip to the Tyler Forks.  He says some activists are hoping for a citation, in hopes of challenging the law in court.

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Performer Plays Many Roles
5:24 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Familiar Voice Visits Northwoods

You might not have heard of Joshua Kane…but chances are you’ve heard his voice.

“Probably been driving your local population crazy with ‘Eight crispy crunchy carmelized corners so crispy that a team of astrophysicists could shrink themselves down to study it.’”

Kane is a New York-based actor who has done voiceover work for many commercials, including a recent Little Caesar’s ad.  Radiolab listeners may also recognize Kane as the voice of Robert Louis Stevenson from a first season episode called “Who Am I.” 

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Public School Choice Time
2:38 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Open Enrollment Period Begins

School districts hope more students enroll there, as it brings more state resources.
Credit Christopher Sessums

Open enrollment begins this week.  Wisconsin families have the option of enrolling their kids in any public school district, even if they live outside its boundaries.  

  For some districts open enrollment brings more revenue, while for others it draws resources out of the area. 

Northland Pines right now is losing about 70 students, but has a net positive gain with around 85 coming in.   District Administrator Mike Richie says they’ve been on the positive end of the equation since 2010, and he keeps a close eye on the numbers. 

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Fixing Frozen Pipes is Expensive
6:14 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Rhinelander to Run Water All Day and Night

It's cheaper for 3400 customers to run water constantly than to keep thawing frozen pipes.
Credit Scott Akerman

Rhinelander water users are being asked to run their water 24/7 to prevent frozen pipes. 

Tim Kingman, Rhinelander Director of Public Works, says the city has been thawing out dozens of households every day. 

“At a certain point in time, we have to make some hard decisions here to let this water be run on a system wide basis.  The reason we do so is it’s the best economy we can get.”

Thawing out frozen pipes for hundreds of people is very expensive.    Running water constantly is also expensive, but still cheaper than the alternative. 

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School Closed Unexpectedly
5:28 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Heat Problems Resolved at Central

In Rhinelander, Central Intermediate School is scheduled to be open Tuesday after Monday's unexpected closing.  School District officials say part of the school’s electrical system failed, affecting the heat in the building. 

Staff became aware of the problem around 6 am and called WPS. 

But the announcement software designed to alert parents of school closings also malfunctioned.  Rhinelander Schools Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says parents were notified late.

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