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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Plan for Revamped Indian Bowl
5:09 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Lac du Flambeau Arts and Cultural Center Lands Sizable Grant

An arts and cultural center planned for Lac du Flambeau is getting a financial boost. 

The USDA has awarded the project $88,000 towards job training for the Living Arts and Cultural Center. 

The center is being planned to replace the Indian Bowl, a venue that’s currently in disrepair. 

Georgine Brown is chair of the project’s board of directors.  She says the grant will lay the groundwork for staffing once the center is built.

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Expecting a Rebound
4:38 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Home Sales Remain Slow, Despite Warmer Temps

For the fifth month in a row Wisconsin’s housing market is looking sluggish compared to last year.

Numbers from the Wisconsin Realtors Association show statewide sales fell almost seven percent in May, compared to 2013.  In the Northern part of the state sales dropped by less than four percent, though the region has seen slower sales for 2014 as a whole.    

Marquette University Economist David Clark says the May numbers reveal that the weather hasn’t been the only factor dampening home sales this year. 

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Two Utilities Becoming One
2:26 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

WPS Plans to Merge With WE Energies

Two of Wisconsin's largest utilities plan to merge, if a deal announced Monday is approved.
Credit Arnoldius via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coal_power_plant_Knepper_1.jpg

Wisconsin Public Service says customers won’t see rate changes as a result of two utility companies merging. 

The parent company of WE Energies plans to buy Integrys Energy Group, the parent company of WPS, in a deal totaling $9 billion. 

  The new company will be called Wisconsin Electric Corporation or W-E-C Energy, and will serve over 4.3 million gas and electric customers.

WPS Spokesperson Lisa Prunty says the merger will make for a stronger company. 

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Grants May Depend on Specifics
10:00 am
Mon June 16, 2014

DNR Wants More Details On Off-Road Park

The nonprofit that wants to build an off-road park in Forest County thinks vehicle use is compatible with timber management.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The DNR says it needs more information to determine whether an off road park in Forest County would be eligible for certain grants. 

The nonprofit Wisconsin Off-Road Vehicle Park Incorporated wants Forest County to buy the land for a 10,000-acre park. 

The group is pitching the project as a good deal for the county, saying park tourism and timber management on the land could generate revenue, while the purchase of the land could be fifty percent paid-for by DNR stewardship grants. 

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Businesses Hoping for Relief
2:09 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Minocqua 51 Construction Set to Take a Break Soon

Orange cones and construction signs are a common sight in Minocqua right now.
Credit Grant Hollingworth

Construction along Highway 51 is getting closer to completion.  But it will still be jamming up traffic and slowing business for a little while longer. 

“Here in Minocqua and there is lots of construction going on, lots of traffic and heavy equipment, whole lanes are torn up…” 

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Weather Lengthened Year
6:02 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Long School Year Comes To An End

Credit Basheer Tome

School is finally out for the summer, for most students.  Mercer has its last day Friday.  Northland Pines and Rhinelander school districts finished Thursday.  Several other districts like Three Lakes and Tomahawk finished last week. 

It was a long year for many students, thanks to canceled days of school during the winter months.

Northland Pines District Administrator Mike Richie says rain and cloudy weather on the last day of school helped the kids hang in there. 

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Immersed in Music
4:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

How to Be A Jazz Musician

Credit Weinstock via http://pixabay.com/en/piano-keys-music-instrument-old-91048/

Last month a group of jazz musicians from all over the country gathered for a long weekend outside of Rhinelander.  Eight of them were professional musicians, and a dozen of them were students…at Holiday Acres’ annual Northwoods Jazz Camp. 

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski went to talk with some of the teachers and students…and came away with a few tips on how to learn to be a jazz musician.       

 You heard from instructors Kim Richmond, John Harmon, Clay Jenkins and Scott Whitfield.  And students Connie Fellman and Joe Swierczek.  

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Educating Kids About Invasives
3:00 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

AIS Poster Contest Spreads Awareness, Not Species

Elise Tesch (left) and Reagan Hartman won second and first place in the 4th/5th grade poster contest division.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Kids at Rhinelander schools celebrated winning awards in an aquatic invasive species poster contest Wednesday.  The contest spans nine Northwoods counties…and asks kids to design a poster and slogan that spreads awareness of aquatic invasives.  

Central Intermediate School fourth grade students Reagan Hartman and Elise Tesch took first and second place in their division. 

“Well I drew a boat…and I wrote stop and pick off invasive species," Hartman explained.

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It Happened Near Upham
2:45 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Langlade County Drowning Under Investigation

A man has drowned in Langlade County.

Avoid Too Much Sun, Exertion
2:44 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Heat Can Pose Significant Health Risk

A hot summer sun can cause health problems like heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Credit Paulo Otavio via https://flic.kr/p/4aJtEb

With summer set to begin, it’s Heat Awareness Day Thursday. 

Emergency officials and the Oneida County Health Department say heat can be a real danger…especially for some older adults, infants and young children, and people with certain health conditions. 

Community health specialist Marta Koelling says don’t be tempted to leave children or pets in a hot car while you’re doing errands…as the air inside can heat up 20 to 30 degrees in a few minutes. 

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