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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Natalie Jablonski

The city of Rhinelander and the town of Crescent are trying to garner public support for a plan to develop recreational trails outside the city, by holding an open house at the site this weekend.  

Environmental groups are among those reacting to Governor Scott Walker’s proposed changes to the DNR Stewardship Program.

Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funds are borrowed to purchase land for conservation and public use. 

Walker wants to freeze the program.  Instead, the state’s borrowing power will go into the transportation fund.

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Kerry Schuman thinks that’s a mistake.  She says the state’s ability purchase land for conservation is a huge value to the public.    

The Nicolet Board of Trustees has announced five candidates for the college’s new president, including two local finalists. 

All five candidates are scheduled to interview on campus later this month, and each will hold an open forum with the public.

The finalists include:

Kenneth Urban, Interim President of Nicolet College.  Prior to his current position he has served as Vice President of Teaching, Learning and Student Success at Nicolet;

Daniel Grolau, Human Resources Director at Nicolet.  He has held the position since 2005;

Tim Gillin

Snow cover and relatively mild temperatures having been making for good silent sports conditions.

Minocqua Winter Park says the numbers of skiers, snowshoers and tubers visiting the park are outpacing last year’s figures.

Director Tim Collins says that’s thanks in part to this year’s early snowfall. 

“We have been open almost continuously since early November.  We did close down for the opening of gun deer season, and for a couple of days in December when it rained.  Other than those days, we have enjoyed a deep snow base.”

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Northern Wisconsin is densely forested, but doesn’t feature a lot of grassland.  

 Wildlife biologist John Toepfer says it wasn’t always this way.  He studies prairie chickens, which were once abundant in the state.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with Toepfer after a recent talk in Stevens Point, about the history and future of the grassland birds.  

A 13-year-old boy was rescued Sunday after his snowmobile apparently fell through thin ice, in the channel between Lake Minocqua and Lake Kawaguesaga.  

Minocqua police, Woodruff police, and the Oneida County Sheriff's Office responded to the call Sunday, February 1 at about 4 p.m.   

Officers observed the boy was in the water and unable to pull himself out due to thin ice in the immediate area.  

An ambulance transported him to Howard Young Medical Center.  

Eric Engbretson / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board has again laid the groundwork for giving more flexibility to the DNR, when it set bag limits for walleye later this spring.

The agency adjusts harvest regulations on northern lakes in the ceded territory, after the state’s Chippewa tribes declare how many fish they plan to harvest. 

As Fisheries Management Section Chief Steve Hewett explains, a scope statement passed Wednesday means DNR could later decide to use size limits or season restrictions to help control angler walleye harvest.    

Democrats are blasting Republican Governor Scott Walker’s plan for cutting the UW system’s funding, while adding flexibility down the road.

Walker wants to reduce state funding for the university system by 13 percent over the next two years.  UW would be allowed to raise tuition without state approval, but not until 2017. 

Democratic Senator Janet Bewley of northern Wisconsin’s 25th District says that will ultimately hurt students. 

Open enrollment begins next week for public schools in Wisconsin, meaning students can apply to go to school in a district other than the one they live within. 

Districts hope for higher enrollment, which brings more state dollars. 

Rhinelander Schools typically see more kids enroll out than come into the district.

But Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says the district does significant outreach about what enrollment can offer.

ifaw.org

A coalition of animal rights groups is pushing to downgrade federal protections for the gray wolf, hoping to compromise with opponents who want to remove protections altogether.

The groups are asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the gray wolf as threatened rather than endangered.   

Wolves are currently endangered in Wisconsin and Michigan, thanks to a court ruling in late December that put the wolf back under federal protection. 

But some members of Congress are pushing to change that status through legislation.    

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