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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Gray Wolf Returns to Endangered Species List
5:43 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Federal Judge Blocks Future Wolf Hunts in WI, MN, MI

Wolves were removed from the federal endangered species list in 2012, prompting three years of wolf hunting in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Credit Brooks Tracy / USFWS

Wolves are once again considered an endangered species in Wisconsin.  

A federal judge Friday ruled in favor of the Humane Society, and called the 2012 delisting of wolves “arbitrary and capricious.” 

Wisconsin State Director Melissa Tedrowe says the Humane Society is happy that wolves are back under federal control. 

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Hitting the Roads and Taking to the Skies
4:23 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Cheaper Gas Means More Holiday Spending, Travel

Highways everywhere are likely to be busy this weekend.
Credit Ryan Stubbs / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_Highway_401#mediaviewer/File:Highway_401_from_Wellington_Road_in_London,_Looking_West_Towards_Highway_402.jpg

More people are traveling this holiday season thanks to falling gas prices. 

Cheaper winter blends of gas tend to cause a dip in prices every year.  But these are the lowest they’ve been in five years, with a statewide average of 2.46 a gallon.

According to Senior Petroleum Analyst Greg Laskoski, a Gasbuddy.com survey finds low gas prices are impacting the plans of about a quarter of travelers. 

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Melting Snow and Bare Ground
4:30 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Snowmobile Trails Thin After Warm Weekend Temps

Snowmobile riders are being advised to wait until conditions improve.
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

This weekend’s thaw was bad news for winter recreation trails. 

Snowmobile trails in Iron County closed Monday after being open since early December.  Forest Administrator Joe Vairus says a significant amount of snow melted during the thaw. 

                                

“It was 45 degrees for a few days, so things really opened up. It looked like spring.  The swamps are open and the trails are bare in a lot of places so we’ve got to get things frozen again and get snow coverage on top of that.  So it will take several inches, a foot or two.”

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First Round of Recommendations
4:30 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Council Recommends Increasing Oneida County Deer Herd

A citizen's advisory council feels there aren't enough deer in Oneida County.
Credit Michele Woodford / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Oneida County’s Deer Advisory Council is asking for an increase in the deer herd for the next three years. 

The council met last week to finalize its first round of recommendations to the DNR.

As chair Ed Choinski explains, it will be a few months before the council sets specific recommendations for the number of antlerless permits. 

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Exceeding Federal Standards
11:49 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Expera Works With DNR To Curb Sulfur Dioxide Emissions

Expera Specialty Solutions has until April to make a plan for reducing sulfur dioxide emissions at its Rhinelander paper mill. 

The EPA has flagged the Rhinelander area as a nonattainment area for sulfur dioxide, because the Expera facility is emitting more than the federal standard of 75 parts per billion. 

DNR Air program director Bart Sponseller says the agency is working with Expera to evaluate solutions. 

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Business & Industry
11:45 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Restaurant Survey Finds Desire to Improve Rhinelander Dining Scene

Credit en.wikipedia.org

Rhinelander restaurants may need better lighting and fresher food.  Those are some of the suggestions coming out of a restaurant survey done by UW Extension and Downtown Rhinelander Inc.

Oneida County Community Resource and Development Agent Tim Brown says researchers conducted focus groups with both older and younger adults…to see how age might dictate restaurant preferences. 

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Helps Border-Crossing Haulers
4:47 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

MI Allows Heavier Log Loads from WI

It’s now a little easier for Wisconsin log haulers to cross the Michigan border. 

Michigan transportation officials will now issue permits to allow 98,000 pound loads on six axles…where they previously only allowed gross weights of 90,000 pounds on five axles.

DOT Permitting Chief Kathleen Nichols says it expands the season for log hauling. 

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State Guarantees Payments to Potawatomi
4:39 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Menominee Positive About Gaming Compact Amendment

The Menominee tribe doesn’t think an amendment to the state’s gaming compact will stand up to legal scrutiny. 

The tribe’s Kenosha Gaming Authority Chair Gary Besaw says the latest agreement with the Potawatomi might not meet federal requirements of the Indian gaming regulatory act. 

But he thinks that could ultimately be a good thing for the proposed Kenosha casino. 

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Oneida County Trails Still Closed This Weekend
4:32 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Vilas County Snowmobile Trails Open Friday

Snowmobile riders will have a chance to hit the trails this weekend in Vilas County, though not in Oneida.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Snowmobile trails in Vilas County are set to open Friday afternoon at 4 pm.

Vilas County Recreation Administrator Dale Mayo says conditions are typical for early season, though some areas may be wet or rough.

“Earlier in the season we had the freezing and thawing and hunters in the woods – and the trails are rutted.  We did have plenty of snow, but we still have a few areas where you could encounter some rough spots.  So we’re just encouraging everybody to use caution.” 

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Needed Before Mine Can Be Built
6:28 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Iron County Works On Mining Ordinance

Iron County has released a second draft of its metallic mining ordinance.

It outlines the process a mining company would need to follow for county approval, and includes a host of regulations and protections. 

Zoning Administrator Tom Bergman says the purpose of a local ordinance is to be more specific than state rules can be. For example, he says the draft includes a requirement that a mining company monitor and test nearby private wells.

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