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.

Pete Rondello

A picture from Boulder Junction, Wi.  Friday, April 8.  6 to 7 inches of snow overnight and several snow events there the past few days.

Job Corps

The Blackwell Job Corps Center near Laona is hosting an open house Friday to show young people the facility and education options.

The center has been in Forest county since 1965. Guidance Counselor Lorie Almazan explains...

"....Blackwell Job Corps is a career technical training program that allows students between the ages of 16 and 24 to earn their high school diplomas and career technical training in one of six areas..."

Almazan says tours begin at 9:00 a.m. She says after lunch, special speakers will appear...

The public can review County Deer Advisory Council recommendations and make comment on them.

Each county has an advisory council and they met recently to make recommendations to the DNR and Natural Resources Board about antlerless deer quotas, permit levels and other options for this year's deer seasons.

DNR big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang says comment is welcome concerning the council's findings...

The head of USDA Rural Development in Wisconsin says the work being done in Rhinelander's downtown is a direct example of federal dollars helping local communities.

Stan Gruszynski was in Rhinelander this week to formally break ground on the nearly $10 million Streetscape project. USDA Rural Development provided a large chunk of the money for the infrastructure work.

Spring is the time when sportspersons interested in managing Wisconsin's natural resources have a chance to be heard. The Spring Wildlife and Fisheries rules hearings are set for Monday, April 11 in all counties.

Kari Lee-Zimmerman is the DNR-Conservation Congress laison.

The Conservation Congress enables citizens to advise the state on natural resource issues. Attendees usually vote on a number of issues, but Lee-Zimmerman says there are two rule changes to vote on, but a number of advisory issues...

Wisconsin residents behind in their utility bills have been given notice they need to make arrangements or face possibility of a disconnection.

Wisconsin's winter moratorium on utility disconnections ends on April 15.

Elise Nelson from the state Public Service Commission of Wisconsin says customers should act soon...

Northwoods Counties Top Voter Turnout Predictions

Apr 6, 2016

Voter turnout topped many expectations during Tuesday's Wisconsin primary. Experts had predicted a 40 percent turnout statewide. Unofficial reports last night put the statewide turnout at 47 percent as reported by Wheeler News: Forty-seven-point-four percent of Wisconsin adults voted Tuesday, a much-higher turnout than what the state projected. Two-point-one million votes were unofficially counted in the presidential contests.

As the construction equipment roared behind them, federal state and local officials gathered Tuesday afternoon at the core of the Streetscape reconstruction in downtown Rhinelander to note the historic change.

Mainly using federal funding through USDA and the state of Wisconsin, the city will redo the underground infrastructure this year of most of the downtown, putting the final touches on the 20 block project in 2017.

Rhinelander mayor Dick Johns says the plan is to keep access for downtown businesses....

The city of Rhinelander has received final approval for a grant that will begin a new bike trail on the city's south and west side.

City Council member Alex Young says the $135,000 grant will enable construction of a paved, multi-use path along Kemp Street on the city's west side. It will join the already built portion of the Riverwalk trail by the Chamber of Commerce, but will head down Boyce Drive...

The head of the campaign watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says Wisconsin is among the leading states hoping to have a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling called Citizens United. In 2010, the Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court set a new precedent for outside contributions to elections, says Executive Director Matthew Rothschild...

Referendums will be a part of tomorrows Wisconsin primary vote. Rhinelander voters will be asked to approve a half-cent on the dollar sales tax to help maintain roads within the city. City Administrator Kristina Ashenbrenner outlines the proposal....

"'ll be a (one-half of of a cent on a dollar) sales tax with 100 percent of the money going to the city to help with infrastructure costs, so in our case it will go to repair roads...."

Members of Rhinelander city government talk about the Premier Resort Area Tax, an Antigo School District official discusses a referendum vote for a restructuring of Antigo elementary schools, and we hear from Matthew Rothschild from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign about campaign finance reform.

The Vilas-Oneida Transit Commission is hosting more listening sessions soon as they put together an improved public transportation system for the two counties. The new transit system is known as Northwood Transit Connections.

Transit Manager Jim Altenburg says they've had three sessions to date...

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A report this week indicated it could cost up to $163 million  to control an invasive species in one well-known Wisconsin body of water: Lake Mendota in Madison.

A Northwoods specialist says a few northern lakes have been infested with the spiny water-flea as well. The critter is a small crustacean that feeds on the native zooplankton, especially daphnia, which keep the water clarity high. When the daphnia diminish, the water clarity tends to get poorer.

The state Department of Revenue administers the unclaimed property from state residents and periodically holds auctions for the general public.

The unclaimed property program was moved a couple of years ago to Revenue and spokesperson Stephanie Marquis says because they have tax records they have been able to match those records with unclaimed property...