Ken Krall

News Director

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Ken has been  News Director at WXPR since 2000. This is his second stint with the station, having served as Operations Manager and Morning Edition host from 1987-1995.

A 1976 graduate of UW-Stevens Point, he has served in a variety of roles in radio including sports play-by-play, sales, Program Director along with an extensive background in news. Ken has also worked as an assignment editor in a TV newsroom and as a city reporter for a local newspaper.

A passion of his is the WXPR Saturday morning polka show which he brought back to the air in 1989. He loves many styles of music, especially those that DON'T include a guitar.

A native of Antigo, he likes to birdwatch, fish and read and hopes to someday publish a book he's had in his computer for 15 years.

  School buses built after 2005 are equipped with an amber warning light that accompanies the red flashing signal. Motorists are required to stop at least 20 feet away from buses with red flashers or face a $326 dollar fine and the loss of 4 demerit points.

A law recently enacted will require bus drivers with the modern buses to first show that amber light as a type of caution says Eagle River Police Chief Mark Vander Bloomen...

  WXPR's Ken Krall spoke with Dr. Charles Shabino of Wausau, who is Wisconsin Hospital Association  chief medical officer and the Board Chairman of the Wisconsin Council On Medical Education Workforce, the group that authored a recent report on physician retention.

Of particular concern is finding and keeping doctors in rural areas....


The first step in relocating UW-Extension offices out of the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport terminal basement happened Monday.

The Oneida County Conservation and UW-Extension committee passed a motion to recommend moving staff. The committee has been wrestling with air quality issues for some Extension staff, who have complained of sensitivities to engine fumes from planes at the airport. A study found the air quality to be within safe boundaries. Other remediation measures also didn't work, leaving the situation to stay, move temporarily, or find a new home.

Wisconsin DNR

A parcel near the Prairie River in Lincoln county is among 81 parcels being put up for public auction now through mid-September. The legislature has ordered the DNR sell off state parcels that don't meet planned use. In February of this year the Natural Resources Board ordered the next round of sales.

The DNR's Kaylin Helm says the approximately 40 acre parcel is in the town of Merrill.

The widespread loss of bees and other pollinators has plant specialists concerned. Pollinators are essential to maintaining food crops.

Locally, an effort is underway to help return native pollinator habitat. The Oneida County-Three Lakes Pollinator Partnership, along with Oneida county is hosting a free workshop, "Pollinators in the Northwoods" this Friday morning at the Reiter Center in Three Lakes.

Pollinator Project Coordinator, Baerbel Ehrig, says the project has selected four sites along roadways to improve habitat for pollinators...

Short term pain but long term gain.

That's the thought of Eagle River Union Airport Manager Rob Hom as he talks about an expected reconstruction of the main north-south runway in 2017. The plan requests $1.6 million dollars from the federal government to pay for the project expected to cost $2.4 million....

A Minnesota man who was reported missing and later found in Vilas county has died.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department reports 79 year old Frank W. Mead of New Brighton, Minnesota died Thursday morning.

A report of a missing person was called into New Brighton officials and a vehicle Mead was driving was found off Golf Course Road near Sayner early Wednesday. He was found near the crash scene which apparently happened in the early morning hours Tuesday. Mead was found not far from where the car left the road. Mead was taken to Howard Young Medical Center.

A man reported missing from Minnesota was found Wednesday in Vilas County.

The Sheriff's Department reports the New Brighton Police Department in Minnesota alerted authorities about the missing man.

Wednesday morning, Vilas County dispatch got a call about a car in the ditch near Golf Course Road and found it belonging to the missing 79 year old man. The man was found near the vehicle and was taken to Howard Young Medical Center to be evaluated.

Several emergency departments responded to the scene to search for the missing man.

Wisconsin's most rural school districts...including several in the Northwoods...are getting money from the state to help meet expenses.

Department of Public Instruction spokesperson Tom McCarthy says the state allocates sparcity aid to small, rural districts who are required to provide curriculum and services, but don't have the student numbers to easily afford it...

A dead crow in Vilas county has tested positive for West Nile Virus, one of 12 birds statewide found to have the disease.

West Nile is a virus most commonly spread by mosquitos. Dead birds are often reflect the presence of the virus as infected mosquitos bite birds who get sick and die.

A recent study by the tax watchdog group Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance finds just nine counties in Wisconsin had property values that were flat or declined, all of them in northern Wisconsin.

The WTA analysis is from preliminary equalized value figures collected by the state. The total taxable Wisconsin properties rose 3 percent last year. But as the Alliance's Dale Knapp reports, that's still below the pre-recession levels. He says the positive is that it's three consecutive years of growth. 10 of the state's 72 counties showed increases of 4 percent.

A family that has tried for more a decade to build a religious camp and conference center on Squash Lake in Oneida county is making another attempt in federal court.

The Jaros family first tried to open Eagle Cove Camp and Conference Center on family land in 2004. In 2010, they began a federal pursuit to have those courts overturn the town of Woodboro, Oneida county and the Board of Adjustment's denials of needed permits. Their federal case alleged the denial of their religious rights.

A State of Wisconsin mandate has led to greater Wi-Fi connectivity at the Oneida County courthouse.

The state's Court system has adopted electronic e-filing of court cases, and is requiring the court files coming to them be electronic by late fall. To conform with the new rules, the Oneida County Board has approved installing Wi-Fi connectivity inside the courthouse building in Rhinelander.

The cost is nearly $53,000 and will come from the county's general fund.


The idea of eliminating county Veterans Service Officers and adopting a regional office has gotten a sharp rebuke from the Oneida County Board of Supervisors. The state bill would put several counties under one umbrella office that could be run by someone other than a veteran. No one spoke in favor of the bill Tuesday.

Supervisor Ted Cushing of Hazelhurst says this issue is similiar to other mandates coming from Madison that strips away local control....

Several Northwoods communities will have the option of faster internet service in the upcoming months after a recent announcement by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

More than a dozen telecom companies and local economic development agencies could receive a total of $1.5 million under the government grants.

Oneida County Economic Development Corporation received more than $180,000. Executive Director Roger Luce. Luce says the money will provide wireless high speed internet to about 310 square miles within the most rural parts of Oneida county....