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.

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.

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...."

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...

" 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

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.

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.

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..

United Way

A board member of Northwoods United Way is encouraging qualifying agencies in Forest county to contact the Northwoods United Way for funding this spring.

Stacey Jameson represents Forest county...

"....agencies in Forest county will once again have the opportunity to apply for funding in the spring. If they want information on applying for funding they should contact the Executive Director, Nancy Sattler, at 715-369-0440...."

Another landmark of mainly northern Wisconsin will soon be leaving the landscape.

The DNR announced late last week the fire towers used to spot out of control fires were being eliminated.

Built in the 1930's and 1940's, the towers at the time were the front line to protect Wisconsin's forests. But Trent Marty, director of DNR's bureau of forest protection, says the cost of replacing the towers and modern technology were factors in their demise...

Last week, Congressional leadership cobbled together a bi-partisan omnibus appropriations bill that was cheered by environmental and sports groups.

Since the 1960's, taxes on oil drilling were put into the Land and Water Conservation Fund, designed to protect wildlife habitat and support community projects. The fund doesn't use taxpayer dollars, set at $900 million dollars.

Coming up on WXPR:

Community Features Editor Miranda VanderLeest will talk with the owner of a Northwoods Christmas tree farm. That story is Monday, Dec. 21 at 7:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday, December 22 at 7:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m., Miranda continues her series on Northwoods resorts with Black's Cliff Resort in Hazelhurst.

Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 7:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. WXPR host and commentator Catherine Marshall discusses something that defines humans, and it's not what you think of right away.

You can still head out to the state-owned woods and get your natural Christmas tree says a DNR spokesperson.

Forest Management Specialist Teague Prichard talks about getting your tree...

" do need to have a permit. There are some restrictions within the permit. A couple of examples are not within sight of a recreation trail or a lake...."

The Langlade County Humane Society has picked up a $35,000 grant from Petco Foundation to help improve the group's shelter.

President of the Langlade County Humane Society Board, Bob Zoretich says the grant will help the animals...

"....when volunteers and staff work so hard to take care of the animals for our county and the Northwoods, to be rewarded for all that hard work...."

Forest County Potawatomi Community

The Forest County Potawatomi Community has taken another step toward green energy use with the installation of 15 solar panels at 15 buildings on their reservation east of Crandon.

The Potawatomi partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy to partially finance, plan and complete the project. SunVest Solar also partnered with the Tribe to provide other support. Tansy Smith is the Potawatomi Sustainability Coordinator.....