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.

Wisconsin Public Service

Peregrine falcons who like to nest at Wisconsin Public Service power plants have produced seven new baby chicks. The chicks were born at the inside nesting boxes on the roofs of the Weston plant near Wausau and the Pulliam plant in Green Bay.

The birds were banded earlier this month. School kids named the birds Boston Honor, Zippin, Journey, Sky Dancer, P.J., Lacey and Snow.

Wikimedia Commons

If you like bass fishing, you likely will have ample opportunities to reel them in.

That's the word from DNR northern fisheries supervisor Steve Avelallemant.... 

 

"....bass abundance in the northern part of the state is high, or I should say, higher than it has been in the past...."

The bass season opener for this area begins Saturday.

The northern zone bass zone is roughly north of state Highways 64, 27 and 77. It opens Saturday. Avelallemant says it's not clear why bass are thriving...

A decade-long Oneida county embezzlement case is nearing a conclusion.

41 year old Michelle Popenhagen of Arbor Vitae entered into a plea agreement Tuesday.. She pled no contest to three counts of misdemeanor theft from her former employer, Save More Foods of Minocqua as presented by Assistant Attorney General Michael Schaefer...

"...three counts of misdemeanor theft by employee, commonly known as embezzlement. Those offenses have offense dates of 2003 and 2004 as well..."

Natalie Jablonski

The Rhinelander city council has hired a firm to do a downtown economic development and Brown Street Streetscaping study at a cost of $32,000.

The council hired Vierbicher Associates of Reedsburg to do the work.

Council member Mark Pelletier said the consultant will look at a number of aspects of re-doing Brown Street...

"....this is just the first step. The $32,000...we're looking at as $5,000 stormwater, $5,000 water, $5,000 sewer and $15,000 grant and grant application..."

The Rhinelander city council Monday night sent a message to the Wisconsin legislature about giving state towns more leverage.

Bills in the legislature would put a crimp on municipalities' ability to annex property. It's part of changing rules concerning county development plans. A plan currently must be adopted by a city or village. The new legislation would change that. But the bills also give more power to towns to fight off annexation by cities as outlined by council member Alex Young...

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, in partnership with Nicolet Area Technical College, has produced seven promotional videos featuring the state's only national forest.  The short videos were created by Digital Graphics students as a way to help people to learn more about the forest's recreational opportunities and history.

Forest spokesperson Suzanne Flory says they wanted to have a new way to see the forest.

Tony Kennick

A new festival is coming to Rhinelander later this summer.

"Potato Fest" celebrates northern and central Wisconsin's industry and research facilities.  A member of the organizing committee, Dan Kuzlik says Potato Fest will be August 31.

Courtesy The Fix Is In

A Rhinelander pet clinic is hoping to help control the pet population in the Wausau area by offering discounted neutering services. The "Fix is In" director Karla Ortman says cats are an overlooked population when it comes to treatment.

"...it's not just in Wausau, it's everywhere. Organizations everywhere are trying to come up with creative ways to help cats. One of the easiest thing to do is make sure your cats are spayed and neutered..."

 Ortman says they're hoping to help curb the population of stray cats in the area.

The public will soon have a chance to see the Olson Library Expansion project in Eagle River. 

Trustee Phil Jensen says they've known for a longtime that that they've outgrown the facility. Six years ago they had plans for an upgrade, but the recession halted those plans. Now they've hired Northwoods designer and builder Jeff Visner and they have new plans:

A public hearing has been called for Thursday night by the Vilas county town of Cloverland to talk about a proposed sex offender placement ordinance.

Last year a convicted sex offender was placed on Chickaree Lake Road. Local residents were upset with the placement. Cloverland town chair Scott Maciosek says the town wants to spell out what they want...

"....we're trying to protect the kids in our town plus be able to stop them from just being able to drop somebody in here without saying anything to anybody...."

flicker

Leaving pets or children unattended on warm summer days is an invitation to real problems says an emergency management spokesperson.

Dawn Robinson from Oneida County Emergency Management says overheating occurs quickly on sunny days...

UW Extension

Oneida County UW-Extension has a new Youth Development agent.

Lynn Feldman has joined Extension after working as an advocate for Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault based in Rhinelander. Feldman has been a teacher and worked for 14 years in the family owned grocery business in Three Lakes.

Among Feldman's duties will be Teen Court, Teens Active in Government, 4-H, and assessing the needs of Oneida county young people.

She succeeds Jim Winkler, who retired.

Many outdoor activities in Wisconsin this weekend are 'free,' as the state is hosting a weekend where charges don't apply in many places and no fishing license is needed.

Wisconsin residents and visitors can fish,  hike, bike state trails for free, and ride public ATV trails at no charge. On Sunday, June 2 only, they can enjoy free admission to state parks and forests.

Department of Natural Resources aquatic education coordinator Theresa Stabo says this is the weekend to get outdoors...

Robin Draheim / USFWS

Invasive species have continued to be a problem here in the Northwoods.  Nonnatives like the Eurasian water milfoil can threaten the ecology of lakes and disrupt summer recreation. 

Next week the Minocqua Brewing Company will host a public discussion of aquatic invasives.  It’s part of a monthly series at the brewpub called Science on Tap.  We sat down with the two scientists, Ben Beardmore and Alex Latzka, who will be talking about their research next week.  

Rhinelander school district officials have developed a web page so residents concerned about school funding can keep up to date.  Rural school districts are feeling a financial squeeze as many districts have fewer students and are getting less financial aid, but still required to follow mandates.

The legislature's budget-writing group, the Joint Finance Committee, is looking at school funding at this time.

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