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.

Partners In Forestry

More than 1,000 acres located along the headwaters of the Wisconsin River in Vilas county has been preserved as part of the state's Forest Legacy program. This partnership involves two private landowners and the State of Wisconsin protects wooded forest land and 2 miles of Wisconsin River riparian habitat, and contributes to existing public lands. This project adjoins the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest along the east border, and is in close to the Ottawa National Forest, the Spruce Grouse State Natural Area and the Vilas County Forest.

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The Red Cross provided assistance after a house fire Tuesday evening in Phelps.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department reports the fire was at 4485 Whippoorwill Lane in Phelps. The fire call came in at 6:52 p.m.

The Red Cross reports they helped residents displaced by the fire. The residents were provided financial assistance for temporary housing. They also were provided with clothing,blankets, food and comfort kits containing personal care items. The Red Cross Disaster Action Team met with the residents to help them move forward from the fire.

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The latest unemployment numbers from November show a continuing downward trend in the Northwoods.

State economist Ryan White says preliminary November rates decreased in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties compared to rates one year ago.The latest rates ranged from 2.9 percent in Dane county to 7.8 percent in Menominee county.

White says there was some upward movement in numbers of workers laid off due to seasonal trends...

United Way

The Northwoods United Way has set an ambitious goal of $168,000 this fundraising season and they need a few more donors to step forward soon.

Executive Director Nancy Sattler says they've received some generous pledges so far, but as of this week, they are about 20 percent short of their goal with time drawing to a close. Sattler says they support 26 agencies in Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties and would like to fully fund all of them if they have enough funding...

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After all the donations have been counted, the Rhinelander Salvation Army raised just under $35,000 leading up to Christmas, exceeding their planned goal.

Kettle Campaign Coordinator Kim Swisher says she was very happy with the response from the public....

"....to know that we exceeded our goal since the first time I've been involved has been amazing. I knew our community was generous, but I didn't realize until I saw the totals how our community stepped up and came out and helped us...."

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An economist thinks there won't be much impact on housing after the Federal Reserve recently raised short-term interest rates.

The "Fed" raised federal funds rates for the first time since the 'Great Recession' hit in 2007. Marquette University professor David Clark works with the Wisconsin Realtors Association. While the rate was an increase, he says the rates had been so low for so long, it shouldn't have a harsh impact on mortgage rates...

WXPR

An official recently wrote an op-ed piece to drive home the point that many of rural Wisconsin's projects are funded to a large extent by federal funds, followed by the state.

U.S.D.A. Rural Development Director Stan Gruszynski says not much has been made public about how much money U.S.D.A.spends in Wisconsin each year. He says it's between $700 million and $1 billion each year...

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A U.S.Forest Service facility that is a popular Northwoods stopping point has joined more than 500 tourism-related businesses to become a "Travel Green" Wisconsin certified member.

To reach "Travel Green" certification, organizations must incorporate sustainable environmental practices into their operations.

The Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center near Ashland was granted that designation December 15 by the Department of Tourism.

en.wikipedia.org

Most parts of Wisconsin continue to show a rebound in home sales and prices. That assessment from the Wisconsin Association of Realtors monthly report.

Sales in the 18-county northern region for November saw the median price up 6 percent from one year ago to $132,000 with the volume of sales up 10 percent to more than 6,500 units sold. Realtor's economist David Clark thinks this year will likely be the best sales year in a decade...

"....we'll probably sell statewide a little more than 75,000 homes. Last time we surpassed that level was 2005...."

en.wikipedia.org

Recently the Vilas County Amateur Radio Club activated their first radio repeater using tower space provided by Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital.

Hospital spokesperson Mark Dascalos says the hospital was glad to help the ham operators...

"....here in the Northwoods we have difficulty with cell signals and probably equal-wise with radio signals and it was an opportunity to use our tall antenna at the hospital to install a repeater that would enhance(the club's) abilities in a ham radio aspect to be able to communicate with other members...."

Legislators Tour Embattled Lincoln Hills Facility

Dec 23, 2015
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U.S. House Democrat Gwen Moore of Milwaukee has asked the F-B-I to keep her informed about the ongoing state-and-federal probe into alleged abuses of juvenile offenders at Lincoln Hills near Irma.

State lawmakers from both parties visited the embattled corrections' school in Lincoln County this week. Ken Krall spoke with two legislators...

School District of Antigo

Voters in the Antigo School District will decide next spring whether to accept a proposal that will close some elementary schools and build a new elementary school.

The referendum proposal would close the three city elementary schools, close the rural Spring Valley and Pleasant View schools and remodel the Mattoon and Crestwood schools.

The request would be for money to build a a new elementary school. The number of elementary schools would go from seven to three.

The school board had to make a decision this week to get the matter on the April 5 ballot.

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A Northwoods C.P.A. says the recently signed PATH Act will enable people who have been getting tax breaks to continue them.

Last week Congress passed and President Obama signed the Protecting Americans fromTax Hikes Act of 2015. Northland CPA's Director of Tax Services Brian Wild says taking care of this matter now gives taxpayers a chance to plan..

Forest County Sheriff's Dept.

A former Forest county correction officer and her husband have avoided significant jail time after a plea bargain arrangement reached late last week in Forest county court.

60 year old Jeanie Pitts of Crandon was arrested in October, 2014 along with her husband Richard, and former Corrections Officer Melvin Donek. The arrests followed an investigation by local and state law enforcement.

en.wikipedia.org

It's been held for the last 32 years, and the Rhinelander Lions Club are again sponsoring the "Christmas Not Alone" dinner for folks who wish to have company on Christmas Day.

For the first time, the meal will be held at Nativity of Our Lord Church North, Kohlbeck Hall on North Stevens Street. The previous location was at the National Guard Armory. Parking is available behind the hall.

Lions spokesman Harry Helwig..

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