Ken Krall

News Director

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.

Ways To Connect

An Oneida and Vilas County chronic disease prevention and management coalition called "Northwoods LEAN"  is hosting a free worksite wellness summit on Tuesday, April 21  at Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander.

Kyla Waksmonski of the Oneida County Health Department says they're hoping business owners come to the summit. She says having a wellness program on the job saves money long term..

It's Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. Each April, state emergency management sets aside the week to get people thinking about how to prepare for a weather emergency.

Locally, Dawn Robinson from Oneida County Emergency Management says you should be ready to go if severe weather threatens...

" this is a good time for everyone to look at their plans and practice what it is that they learned..."

Communities within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest rely on federal Payment in Lieu of Taxes monies to maintain their infrastructure. The money is paid by the feds because local taxing entities can't collect on federal tax-exempt properties. These payments are stalled in Washington, D.C.

Congressman Sean Duffy says the PILT payments are set to expire this year,  but there's a bipartisan effort to break the logjam. ...

If approved, veterans will have exclusive access to 225 acres of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest for accessible trails and hunting opportunities.

A public meeting is set for Thursday to get public comment on the amendment to the Forest Master Plan.

Forest superintendent Steve Petersen says Camp American Legion in Lake Tomahawk serves veterans and families who have medical needs. He says the Camp would like to provide other programming for their veterans...

Oneida County Sheriff's Department

The teenager from the town of Piehl accused of killing her parents will be returning to Oneida county within 30 days to face murder charges.

17 year old Ashlee Martinson is a suspect in the deaths of her parents, 37 year old Thomas Ayers, her stepfather, and her mother, 40 year old Jennifer Ayers. Their bodies were found March 8 in their home east of Rhinelander on March 8. Three minor children in the home were found physically unharmed but were locked in a room.

A polka band from Ohio is the subject of a new reality TV series debuting Saturday on the Reelz cable and satellite channel. The Chardon Polka Band is the subject of the show "Polka Kings", following the band across the nation. The band is made up of musicians not typical of a polka band. Leader Jake Kouwe comes from a punk background. The drummer was into heavy metal. But they all found a love for polka and that led them to national TV. Ken Krall talked with Jake about how he got into polka, then drummer Joe Dahlhausen...

U.S. Senate Urged To Pass CHIP Funding

Apr 9, 2015

Advocates are calling on the federal government to continue funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The program is funded through Medicaid or, in Wisconsin Badgercare Plus. Money comes from both the federal and state coffers to fund the low-income health insurance program.

Funding for the program has passed the U.S. House, but has stalled in the U.S. Senate.

State Medicaid Director Kevin  Moore describes how the program works...

State Representative Mary Czaja of Irma thinks a model developed by Three Lakes could help northern school districts facing critical budget problems.

Three Lakes schools have opened a Fab Lab which is a public-private partnership as Czaja explains. It's a type of 3-D computer-based manufacturing. Czaja says the goal is to have a Fab Lab in every K-12 school in the 12th Senate District....

The DNR's Spring Fish and Wildlife Public Hearings happen Monday in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties.  One topic area  is likely to draw considerable discussion.

DNR fisheries biologist Jon Hansen says they're studying 100 lakes...many in this look at putting tighter restrictions on panfish to see if larger fish can be grown.....

"....we're interested in trying three different options for bag limits. We have an elaborate evaluation plan that we are going to evaluate over the next 10 years...".

Despite patches of snow on the ground, it is spring, and Eagle River’s Olson Memorial Library is celebrating the season on Saturday with the launch of its Seed Library. WXPR’s Emily Bright reports.