Natalie Jablonski

Community Features Editor

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Environmental and Social Impact
4:00 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Meeting Elephants With a Sad Past

Ann Eshelman

Rhinelander native Ann Eshelman worked for many years as a public defender in the Northwoods.  After retiring she headed to northeast Cambodia to volunteer at a rehabilitation center for aging elephants…that had been used for logging and other hard labor.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski talked with Eshelman about her experience volunteering at an elephant sanctuary that also has a big environmental and social impact.  

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Annual Speech at Capitol
9:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Reacting to State of the Tribes

One Lac du Flambeau tribal member is reflecting on the importance of the annual state of the tribes address. 

Performer and tribal liaison for the state Department of Transportation Kelly Jackson says the speech is an important way for tribes to engage with state government.

“To share with our state legislators some of the key issues and mutual expectations in tribal communities.  Tribes are part of the government system in Wisconsin, so their opportunity to address the legislators is really a critical part of government relations.

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Encouraging Community Policing
8:59 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Rhinelander Police Holding Citizen Training

The Rhinelander Police Department is holding a training about law enforcement for citizens.  The Police Academy takes place one night a week for eight weeks.  Police chief Mike Steffes says the goal is to get more people thinking like police officers. 

“It’s through programs like this where citizens can really get involved in the police department and really know and understand what police officers are doing, and see life through the eyes of a police officer.” 

Steffes says it also helps community members feel more comfortable with police. 

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Business Owners Welcome
5:31 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Lac du Flambeau Hosts Economic Development Summit

An economic development summit in Lac du Flambeau begins Tuesday. 

The tribe’s spokesperson Brandon Thoms says it’s a way for businesses and leaders to share knowledge and build partnerships.                    

“Living here in the Northwoods sometimes we’re behind the times.  And so we’re trying to bring that up-to-speed, real-time information to our business community here in the Northwoods.” 

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Slowest Month of the Year
5:27 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

January Sales Slow, But Prices Rise for Northern Homes

A cold winter may be putting a damper on home sales in Wisconsin.  In the northern part of the state January sales were down about four percent, compared to the previous January…according to the Wisconsin Realtors Association.  Statewide sales were down almost seven percent.

But Economist David Clark says the cold weather could result in a spring rebound.

“The flip side may be that if colder than normal weather is causing some people to sit on the sidelines in December, January and February, it may simply shift them into March, April and May.” 

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A Changing Pattern
4:00 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Great Lakes and Little Lakes: Rise and Fall Are Linked Together

Tim Meinke and Carl Watras prepare to visit a groundwater monitoring well near the UW Trout Lake Station.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A new study from the University of Wisconsin’s Trout Lake Station links the rise and fall of Northwoods lakes with the rise and fall of the Great Lakes.  

It also shows some troubling signs of falling water levels in the past twenty years - that break the cycle of the last seventy.  And it’s not clear what’s driving these changes.  

 “So here’s one with a lid that’s coming off relatively easily.  And so now with the lid off and our well open..." 

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Skiing in Torino
12:01 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Former Olympian Remembers Racing on the World Stage

Chris Cook competed in two cross country ski events at the Torino Olympic games.
Credit Jeremy Bronson

A Rhinelander man offers insight into what it’s like to compete in the Olympic games.  Chris Cook was on the United States ski team at the 2006 Torino Olympics. 

Cook describes being on the start-line as a moment of clarity. 

“Everything else about the Olympics is a huge distraction, and pulling you in all sorts of directions.  But at the end of the day when you get to that starting line that’s where you’re comfortable, that’s where you’ve had all the training, all the preparation.” 

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Business Educator
5:56 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

RHS Teacher Receives Financial Literacy Award

A Rhinelander teacher has been honored for his role in financial education.  The Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy gave out twenty awards this week, and one of them went to Patrick Kubeny, who has taught at Rhinelander High School for 21 years.

“It would be an award that I knew was out there that I knew existed. Just like guys in the NFL want to win the superbowl someday – you know it’s there but you don’t expect it!”

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Final Deadline Approaching
5:52 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Rhinelander Health Insurance Sign-Ups Scheduled

Northwoods residents have several chances to get help signing up for health insurance through the online marketplace.  Bridge Community Health Clinic has four sessions coming up in Rhinelander, providing one-on-one help. 

The clinic’s Central Wisconsin Enrollment Coordinator Mary Testin says Oneida County residents have been some of the most ready to sign up for health care. 

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Road Construction No Longer Needed
5:45 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

GTac Set to Begin Bulk Sampling

Gogebic Taconite plans to do bulk sampling at three sites in the Penokee Range.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Gogebic Taconite could begin bulk sampling in the Penokee Range at any time.  The DNR has finished reviewing the sampling plan and has no further questions or requirements.

GTac’s original plan involved building a new road to provide access to some of the sites.  DNR mining project lead Larry Lynch says the company submitted a revised plan last week, since frozen roads make that access easier. 

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