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.

Wikimedia Commons

Last week's release of unemployment numbers for Wisconsin shows a continuing drop in joblessness in the Northwoods and growth in the Northwoods labor force.

Statewide, the rate was 4 percent in December, the lowest rate since 2001. 71 counties either had rates drop or stay the same. In the Northwoods, the numbers varied from a high in Iron county of 7.4 percent to a low of 4.4 percent in Lincoln county.

All the counties had rates about one percentage point lower than last year.

Habitat For Humanity Northwoods

With another home build in the offing, Habitat for Humanity Northwoods has moved it's office to Habitat's ReStore facility on Rhinelander's  west side.

Acting President Jim Hohman says they were at a bank in Minocqua for 25 years, but a change of ownership prompted the organization to look for another space, so there was room in their ReStore in Rhinelander. He talks about the ReStore and how it helps them build homes....

Courtesy: Wisconsin DNR

The DNR is kicking off an effort to look at recreational opportunities and needs across Wisconsin.

The project, officially called a Recreation Opportunities Analysis, or ROA, aims to identify future recreational needs across the state, and the DNR role.

DNR recreation specialist Cameron Bump says in areas like the recreation-heavy Northwoods, this study will look at the entire registration offerings in a region and the state...

Oneida County Sheriff's Department

The Oneida County Sheriff's Department has issued a warning for recreationalists heading out on the ice at Boom Lake in Rhinelander.

The Department received a call Sunday afternoon of a truck through the ice. Deputies says the ice conditions are deteriorating there and warned people going out on the ice to be aware of changing conditions.

No other information was available.

Dept. of Public Instruction

An increasingly popular option for parents to pick the public school for their children is beginning February 6.

Open enrollment is a tuition-free opportunity for parents to apply for their children to attend a public school in a school district other than the one in which they live.

Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Tony Evers, says the reasons parents want to move their children to another district vary by family, but it has proven to be effective...

NAMI

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Northern Lakes presents its second annual Snowball Gala Saturday evening(1/28/2017) at Holiday Acres near Rhinelander. The fundraiser includes a sit-down dinner, bucket raffles, a dessert run, and live auction.

As NAMI Northern Lakes spokesperson Mick Fiocchi says volunteers worked hard last year and  had good results...

Marshfield Clinic

More details have come forward about the proposed new hospital adjoined to the Marshfield Clinic in Minocqua.

Marshfield Clinic Health System announced it has submitted an application to build a state-of-the-art hospital attached to its current clinic and ambulatory surgery center. The new 72,000 square foot facility would be one story.

Marshfield Clinic Regional Medical Director Dr. William Melms...

".....it's planned to have 12 inpatient beds, emergency services, imaging, lab and surgery. We anticipate this being a state-of-the-art hospital..."

Potato-Vegetable Growers Give $5 Million For UW-Research

Jan 26, 2017
en.wikipedia.org

Potato growers plan to give five million dollars to U-W Madison during the next decade to conduct research for the industry.

Members of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association...based in Antigo.. will pay for the new research with higher assessments on their product sales. Last summer, the industry increased its assessment by one penny for every 100 pounds of potatoes and vegetables produced -- and the association's board plans to raise it by one more cent next year.

Association Executive Director Tamas Houlihan outlines the goals..

pixabay.com

The term 'record-setting' applies to Wisconsin's housing sales, according to a realtors association.

Wisconsin's housing market ended a record-setting year and the Northwoods led the way in terms of growth of sales. The Wisconsin Realtors Association numbers are detailed by economist David Clark.

He says for the first time they past 80,000 home sales in the year....

"....What's really remarkable about that is that the inventory levels have been shrinking...and we're still getting solid sales figures...."

Wikimedia Commons

We will have more on this announcement Thursday.  The following is a press release from Marshfield Clinic media relations.---KK

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Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) today announced it has submitted an application to build a state-of-the-art hospital in Minocqua attached to its current clinic and ambulatory surgery center.

Wisconsin.gov

Governor Scott Walker has scheduled a joint session of the legislature next month to present his budget proposal for the next two years.

There has been a sharp divide among majority Republicans about how best to close a $1 billion deficit in the Transportation fund and begin to repair roads that some have said are crumbling.

State Representative Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander says leaders are at odds about a solution.

Wikimedia Commons

A change for hunters concerning tree stands in the Northwoods and how many can be used.

Meeting in Madison Wednesday, the state Natural Resources Board adopted a motion to allow overnight placement on state owned land north of Wisconsin Highway 64 from September 1 through the following January 31.

The board also adopted an amendment limiting the number of stands and blinds left overnight to two.

Board Secretary Terry Hilgenberg of Shawano says he hunts in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest and was unsure about the change...

wikipedia.org

The Rhinelander City Council will decide next month whether a city park will be the site of a new dog park.

A city committee this week sent to the full council a proposal to put the park at the south entrance of Pioneer Park on the city's south side.

Tina Werres has been promoting having a park for over a decade. She says some financial backing helped...

Sarah Juon

State Senator Tom Tiffany(R-Hazelhurst)  says he will soon introduce legislation to repeal Wisconsin's mining moratorium law.

The law was approved in 1998 to prevent the pollution of state waters by acid drainage from mining. The votes to approve the moratorium then were 29-3 in the state Senate and and 91-6 in the Assembly.

During a listening session Monday in Rhinelander, Tiffany said he was going to work to repeal the law because the closed Flambeau sulphide mine near Ladysmith, he says, has not polluted the environment to any major degree.

Ken Krall WXPR

Nicolet College has received a grant from the state to expand its entrepreneurship programs. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation announced 11 grants statewide from a pool of $500,000 for entrepreneurship support grants. Nicolet's portion totaled $27,000.

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch presented the money to the school...

".....here at Nicolet, you have developed an entrepreneurship program that has proven successful in a pilot and today I'm here along with the Secretary to make a very special annoncement..."

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