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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The Mill Retrospective
5:07 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Paper on Display: Exhibit at Nicolet

A gallery exhibition at Nicolet College closes Friday. It features paper and book arts made by people involved with the Mill, an arts nonprofit based in Rhinelander. 

Executive Director Daniel Goscha says the show is a kind of retrospective of the nonprofit’s first year. 

“It is a very diverse show.  There’s examples of book arts, of printmaking, of letterpress and cyanotype.  So it really is a broad show in terms of featuring paper making and book arts and all of the many facets that can take.” 

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Week in the Woods
4:00 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Studying Science, For Art

To take water samples of the lake below, students had to first drill through the ice.
Michelle Sharp

A group of art students traveled to the Northwoods last week...for a dose of science.  Students at the Milwaukee Institute for Art and Design spent a week at the Kemp Station Natural Resources Station near Woodruff. 

It may surprise some people to find art students also interested in science, but to Maddy Dall, it’s totally natural.

“I’ve always really been interested in paleontology especially – so like dinosaurs.  I always told myself if I could draw dinosaurs I’d be a happy person – so scientific illustration really appealed to me.”

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Two Hearings Left
4:54 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Rural Schools Task Force Makes Progress

The Rural Schools Task Force looks at the challenges faced by rural school districts.
Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/25766289@N00/3898591046

The rural schools taskforce has just two public hearings left before it begins to compile its report.  Assembly Speaker Robin Vos put the task force together to help get a handle on the problems faced by rural school districts. 

Committee chair Representative Rob Swearingen says last week’s hearing in Antigo was productive.               

“The best part was that we actually had time this particular hearing to hear more from the public, taxpaying citizens.  So it went very very well – I was pleased at the end of the day.” 

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Making it Easier to Get Care
5:16 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Rhinelander School District Hosts New Clinic for Employees

A new clinic has opened its doors inside Rhinelander High School.  The new Aspirus clinic won’t serve students - but it will serve school district employees and their families.  The clinic can provide basic primary care. A visit costs just ten dollars. 

Rhinelander Schools Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says clinic access will be good for employee health, as well as save the district money. 

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Room to Grow
5:48 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Crowd Attends Opening of Boulder Junction Community Center

State and local dignitaries attended the ribbon cutting.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A new community center in Boulder Junction opened its doors today.  For supporters of the project, it was a long time coming.

It was standing room only at the ribbon cutting as more than 200 people packed the new community center.  But five years ago it wasn’t clear if the center would ever be built.  Voters rejected an earlier proposal for a more expensive building.  With the final price tag coming in under budget at around $2.1 million, Town Chair Charlie Spencer says the investment will pay off.   

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Arts & Life
5:55 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Vintage Racers Hit the Track

Vintage snowmobiles race in the qualifying rounds at the Eagle River Derby Track.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Vintage snowmobile racers compete this weekend in Eagle River in the world championship.  

The world championship may be a week away…but spectators at the vintage race are all about the here and now.  The qualifying rounds for the vintage championship are filled with sleds from the 70s and 80s…or older.  They’re smaller and more antique looking than today’s ultrafast monsters.  And though next weekend’s races will draw a bigger crowd, more people enter the vintage categories.  Elmer Jensen is a longtime volunteer at the derby. 

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With All Five Senses
4:00 am
Thu January 9, 2014

In the Woods: What Halfpenny Sees

Credit Natalie Jablonski

Earlier this week, we brought you a story about the state’s volunteer carnivore tracking program.  Every winter, over a hundred people volunteer to help track wolves for the Wisconsin DNR.

Today we’ll hear more from Jim Halfpenny. He says he can track anything, even a fish, but he specializes in tracking rare mammals...like wolves or grizzly bears, depending on location.  Halfpenny lives in Montana, but every winter he visits Wisconsin to teach a workshop on animal tracking and wolf ecology.    

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski tagged along on a walk in the snowy woods.  

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Signing Up For Care
4:10 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Helping With Insurance Enrollment

A health insurance sign-up session was fully booked Wednesday in Rhinelander.  Application counselors from Bridge Clinic in Wausau were on hand to walk people through the process of enrolling in the online exchange. 

Though a fickle internet connection was a frustration, at mid-day AyLee Her said he’d already helped three people sign up. 

“We are gonna be on the clock every hour.  So we’re hoping we don’t have any technical issues.  We should be able to get individuals enrolled within that hour and go on to the next individual.”

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Single-Stream Recycling
4:04 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

New Recycling Sorter Opens in Eagle River

Single-stream recycling may become more common, now that a new sorting facility has opened in Eagle River.
Credit Michael Cote

Recycling may be getting easier, for some in the Northwoods.  Eagle River Waste and Recycling has completed a new sorting facility, that separates different kinds of recyclable materials.

Jenni Raats is the company’s account manager.  She says customers in Eagle River…won’t have to sort their recyclables any longer.

“We’ve made recycling so much easier for all our customers.  You can take all materials, glass, plastic, tin, aluminum, paper, cardboard – even small kitchen appliances, toasters and things like that.  Put them all loosely in one container.”

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More than Just Footprints in the Snow
9:27 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Wolf Trackers: Gathering All the Clues

Wisconsin’s rising wolf population has sparked controversy over the years.  It’s also sparked a one-of-a-kind program for keeping tabs on those wolves…a volunteer carnivore tracking program run by the DNR. 

These citizen trackers are quietly helping create one of the best tracking datasets on wolves in the world. 

"So the idea is, pattern on the ground, visualization in the mind, any questions on that?"

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