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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Sports
9:01 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Snow Cover Draws Ski Enthusiasts

Cross country ski trails are in good shape in many parts of northern Wisconsin.
Credit Tim Gillin

Snow cover and relatively mild temperatures having been making for good silent sports conditions.

Minocqua Winter Park says the numbers of skiers, snowshoers and tubers visiting the park are outpacing last year’s figures.

Director Tim Collins says that’s thanks in part to this year’s early snowfall. 

“We have been open almost continuously since early November.  We did close down for the opening of gun deer season, and for a couple of days in December when it rained.  Other than those days, we have enjoyed a deep snow base.”

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Natural Resources
8:57 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Now Rare, Prairie Chickens Once Common In Wisconsin

Greater prairie chickens are found on the Buena Vista Wildlife Area near Stevens Point.
Credit http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tympanuchus_cupido_-Illinois,_USA_-male_displaying-8_(1).jpg

Northern Wisconsin is densely forested, but doesn’t feature a lot of grassland.  

 Wildlife biologist John Toepfer says it wasn’t always this way.  He studies prairie chickens, which were once abundant in the state.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with Toepfer after a recent talk in Stevens Point, about the history and future of the grassland birds.  

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Government
9:50 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Child Rescued in Snowmobile Accident

A 13-year-old boy was rescued Sunday after his snowmobile apparently fell through thin ice, in the channel between Lake Minocqua and Lake Kawaguesaga.  

Minocqua police, Woodruff police, and the Oneida County Sheriff's Office responded to the call Sunday, February 1 at about 4 p.m.   

Officers observed the boy was in the water and unable to pull himself out due to thin ice in the immediate area.  

An ambulance transported him to Howard Young Medical Center.  

Opens Door to Spring Rule Changes
4:38 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Scope Statement Gives DNR More Flexibility Setting Walleye Limits

Wisconsin DNR is looking for a way to manage angler take of walleye, without reducing bag limits down to one.
Credit Eric Engbretson / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board has again laid the groundwork for giving more flexibility to the DNR, when it set bag limits for walleye later this spring.

The agency adjusts harvest regulations on northern lakes in the ceded territory, after the state’s Chippewa tribes declare how many fish they plan to harvest. 

As Fisheries Management Section Chief Steve Hewett explains, a scope statement passed Wednesday means DNR could later decide to use size limits or season restrictions to help control angler walleye harvest.    

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Cutting State Funding
4:33 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Democratic Senator Bewley Says Walker's UW Plan Burdens Students

Democrats are blasting Republican Governor Scott Walker’s plan for cutting the UW system’s funding, while adding flexibility down the road.

Walker wants to reduce state funding for the university system by 13 percent over the next two years.  UW would be allowed to raise tuition without state approval, but not until 2017. 

Democratic Senator Janet Bewley of northern Wisconsin’s 25th District says that will ultimately hurt students. 

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School choice means more dollars for some
4:28 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Open Enrollment Period Approaches

Open enrollment begins next week for public schools in Wisconsin, meaning students can apply to go to school in a district other than the one they live within. 

Districts hope for higher enrollment, which brings more state dollars. 

Rhinelander Schools typically see more kids enroll out than come into the district.

But Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says the district does significant outreach about what enrollment can offer.

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Potential Compromise Solution
3:53 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Animal Welfare Groups Push for Lesser 'Threatened' Status for Gray Wolf

Gray wolves are back on the endangered species list in most U.S. states.
Credit ifaw.org

A coalition of animal rights groups is pushing to downgrade federal protections for the gray wolf, hoping to compromise with opponents who want to remove protections altogether.

The groups are asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the gray wolf as threatened rather than endangered.   

Wolves are currently endangered in Wisconsin and Michigan, thanks to a court ruling in late December that put the wolf back under federal protection. 

But some members of Congress are pushing to change that status through legislation.    

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Thousands Affected Friday
11:30 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Outages Resolved in Gogebic County

Authorities still aren’t sure what caused a power outage in Gogebic County, Michigan, that left almost 3000 residents without electricity. 

The outage happened at about 6 pm on Friday, affecting the entire city of Wakefield as well as Bessemer and nearby areas.   

As Gogebic County Emergency Manager James Loper describes, two warming shelters were set up in response to the outages. 

“One in Bessmer for Friday night, and then we opened the municipal building in Wakefield. We had approximately 35-40 people take advantage to warm up, get something to eat.” 

Arts & Life
6:24 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Atelier Book Bindery: Care and Concern Throughout

The Northwoods is full of experts and artists you might not expect to find in a rural area. If you drive along the right road in Arbor Vitae, you might find yourself in a fine book bindery called Atelier. 

Florian Bieschke’s workshop, like book binding itself, is a collection of small and precise details. 

“This is the bindery, as small as it is," he says.  "We heat it by just getting more people in – five or six people and we can turn the heaters off!”

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Twenty Countries Compete
6:12 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Paralympic Nordic Ski World Championships Open in Cable, WI

Opening ceremonies are taking place Friday night for the Paralympic Nordic Ski World Championships in Cable, Wisconsin. 

Events include sprint and distance cross country ski races, and biathlon that combines skiing and target shooting. 

Event support chief and Cable Chamber of Commerce Director James Bolen is expecting thousands of spectators this weekend. 

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