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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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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Boosting Local Economy
10:00 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Hometown Trolley Receives Loan for Expansion

A Crandon company is getting an extra $150,000 in loans to fund an expansion.  Hometown Trolley is increasing its manufacturing capacity.  The loan comes from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.  The agency uses money from timber sales to fund economic development projects.  Hometown Trolley already received a loan from BCPL earlier this summer.  But BCPL Executive Secretary Tia Nelson says the company asked for extra money when it revised its project costs. 

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Annual Festival
4:40 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Gearing up for Cranberry Onslaught

The festival expects to sell some 10,000 pounds of fresh cranberries.
Credit Pen Waggener

In spite of a rainy forecast, Eagle River is bracing for some 40,000 visitors to Cranberry Fest. 

Organizer Kim Emerson is busy setting up for the weekend festival. 

“Some of the preparations we’re working on is getting all the big tents set up, we’ve got to get all the crafter booths set up so all the vendors know where their spot is, get the fresh cranberries and craisins set up.”

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Gathering of Industry Representatives
1:00 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Timber Industry to Hold Forth on Federal Policy

Members of the forest products industry are testifying on federal policies that affect them.  Great Lakes Timber Professionals has organized a hearing that runs all day Friday and Saturday.  The group’s Director Henry Shienebeck says the aim is to collect testimony to submit to Congress. 

“Really for our association it’s about how do we get a combined message to Washington that says, this is what happens when you do rules and regulations without completely understanding and taking the local economy into account when you do this.”

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Neighboring Example
12:55 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Citizens Hope to Learn From Minnesota Mines

Iron County citizens are holding a forum next week. It will look at issues brought on by iron mining in Minnesota.  Organizer Terry Daulton says the guest is research scientist Nancy Schuldt water quality specialist with the Fond du Lac Tribe. 

“And she works on a lot of the issues relating to water quality and wild rice, and also potential things like mercury contamination that would affect tribal members there in Minnesota.”

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Food Insecurity in Northwoods Communities
12:52 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Film Screening to Focus on Hunger

A film screening next week is putting the spotlight on hunger issues in the Northwoods.  St. Augustine’s Church in Rhinelander is showing A Place at the Table.  Father Dean Einerson says many families deal with uncertainty about getting enough to eat, and A Place at the Table looks at the reasons behind the problem.

“That’s a movie that tries to get at why so many Americans face food insecurity.  Last year there were 50 million Americans who didn’t know where the food for their family was gonna come each week.”

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Prospective Tourism Dollars
3:22 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Nonprofit Gathers Support for ATV Park

Nonprofit President John Schnorr says the park would accommodate more than just ATVs.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A nonprofit group is working to build a 10,000 acre off-road vehicle park in Forest County.  The group says it would have a $28 million annual impact. 

President of Wisconsin Off-Road Vehicle Park Incorporated John Schnorr says it would meet a sizable demand for off-road recreation.  And he notes the park would be open year-round.

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Affordable Care Act Not Changing VA Health Plans
2:17 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

VA Health Services Staying Open, Not Changing

Veterans’ health services are not being affected by the government shutdown.  Iron Mountain VA Health Center spokesman Brad Nelson says other aspects of Veterans Affairs may be impacted, but clinics and health services are funded well in advance.

“We already have advance appropriations for 2014, so we’re remaining fully open in that regard.  So we are not impacted by this current lapse in appropriations.”

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Broadband Could Boost Business
4:48 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Broadband Gap is Educational, Not Just Structural

Laying fiber optic cable in a rural area can be difficult and expensive.
Credit Robert Ashworth

Providing broadband access is about more than just building infrastructure; education is also needed. 

That’s the message from Tithi Chattopadhyay, Broadband Chair for the state Public Service Commission.  She says people who don’t have access may not realize what they’re missing - especially when it comes to business owners. 

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