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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A Skeptical View
4:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Retired Mining Engineer Wary of GTac Plans

Controversy continues to simmer over a proposed iron mine in northern Wisconsin’s Penokee Range.  Gogebic Taconite is currently waiting for approval to do bulk sampling of more than 4000 tons of rock.  And the company hasn’t even begun what would likely be a multi-year permitting process to open a mine.  But one retired mining engineer is wondering if there’s enough ore to mine profitably in the first place.  

One thing is clear: Jack Parker’s career in the mining industry has given him a hefty resume in the business. 

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Keeping the Chill Away
12:30 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Before Winter, Make Sure the Heat is On

A moratorium on winter shutoffs begins November 1st.
Credit Naijamayor

With winter on its way, the Public Service Commission is telling residents who may be behind on utility payments to get connected.  

Starting November 1st, there is a moratorium on utility shutoffs – that means companies can’t cut off service until mid-April, even if customers don’t pay their bills.  But PSC spokesperson Carrie Templeton says for that rule to apply, you must start off the season as a customer in good standing.

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Increasing River Access
2:00 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

DNR Funds Rhinelander Boat Landing

The City of Rhinelander plans to build a boat landing on a stretch of the Wisconsin River that's relatively undeveloped.
Credit Joshua Mayer

The city of Rhinelander is getting funds to pay for a new boat landing.  

More than $400,000 are coming in from DNR and federal grants.  City Parks and Grounds Director Gunder Paulson says the launch will be at the site of an old DNR ranger station.

“We’re calling this the Boyce Drive boat landing.  It’s right by Shephard  Park.  And it’s at the confluence of the Pelican and Wisconsin Rivers.  Very beautiful spot.”

The project will consist of piers and a paved boat launch area.  It will also include bathrooms and a parking lot. 

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Penokee Hills Mining Controversy
12:38 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Penokee Asbestos Worries Grow

Grunerite is found in various parts of Northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The above sample was photographed at the Michigamme Mine in Marquette County.
Credit Leon Hupperichs

Asbestos found in rock near a proposed iron mine is raising questions about mine safety, especially for workers.  

A Northland College professor says he found a mineral called grunerite sandwiched between layers of iron ore. 

Geoscience Professor Tom Fitz says grunerite does not always take the form of the long slender fibers that characterize asbestos.  But he says in this case, it does. 

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A Controversial Hunt
4:59 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Second Wolf Season Draws Near

Up to 251 wolves can be harvested in Wisconsin this year.
Credit Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

The state’s wolf hunting season begins next week.  People hoping to harvest a wolf have already applied for and received their permit.

About 2500 permits were awarded in mid-August based on a lottery system.  DNR Carnivore Specialist  David MacFarland says the number of applications dropped from 20,000 last year, to less than 17,000 this year. 

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Seasonal Festival Approaches
4:16 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Three Lakes Pumpkin Fest Coming Up

Pumpkin Fest is coming up in Three Lakes.
Credit Kam Abbott

Cranberry Fest is over.  But if you’re ready for another fall celebration, Pumpkin Fest is coming up this weekend.  

  The Three Lakes Fire Department Auxiliary puts on the annual festival to raise money for the fire department.  Spokesperson Spokesperson Mary Babich says last year the group was able to purchase a special boat motor, so crews can fight fires from the water. 

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State Education Awards
4:00 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Local Schools Recognized for Achievement

Wisconsin's School Superintendent is giving awards to 167 schools.
Credit Lyn Lomasi

Several Northwoods schools are receiving state awards for student performance and improvement.  

Wisconsin School Superintendent Tony Evers will honor those schools at a statehouse ceremony Tuesday at noon.  North Lakeland Elementary and Crandon Elementary are both being recognized for high progress. 

Crandon Elementary principal Jamee Belland credits improvements in reading and math to the school’s use of classroom data.  She says it helps teachers tailor curriculum to students at different levels. 

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Business & Industry
3:51 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Timber Industry Vies For Lawmaker Attention

GLPTA is bringing a harvester simulator to the state capitol, to re-create the experience of cutting down a tree.
Credit Heikki Valve

Northern timber workers are heading to the capitol Wednesday, hoping to remind lawmakers of the importance of their industry.  

Advocacy group Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association is organizing the trip.  Director Henry Schoenebeck says the group plans to bus 150 people to Madison and park several logging trucks around the capitol. They’ll even bring along special virtual reality machine called a harvester operator simulator, that mimics the experience of cutting down a tree. 

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Seeking Feedback on a Changing Program
4:00 am
Mon October 7, 2013

DNR Wants Your Thoughts on Walleye

Wisconsin is increasing its stocking of larger fingerlings.
Credit Eric Engbretson / US Fish and Wildlife Service

The DNR is looking for public input on walleye stocking.  State officials are holding a meeting in Rhinelander next week.   

It’s one of a series of meetings where the DNR is hoping for feedback on its walleye management goals.  Steve Hewett from the DNR’s fisheries program says it’s also a chance to talk with the public about which lakes are stocked and why. 

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Fostering Small Businesses
4:00 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Vilas County to Host Business Start-Up Leaders

Officials helping  start-up businesses around the state are meeting up in Vilas County next week.  Vilas County Economic Development Corporation is hosting the quarterly meeting of the state’s Business Incubation Association Board.  Vilas County EDC Director Bob Egan says it’s a chance for the local chapter to learn from its counterparts in other cities and towns. 

“And by having these folks here – we consider it a privilege but at the same time it will allow us to draw on their expertise, and help us proceed in being successful.”

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