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 Vankrugermeer

State Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst and Representative Adam Jarchow are introducing legislation this week as part of the Homeowners' Bill of Rights, a package of property rights legislation.

Tiffany outlines the bill....

MINOCQUA – The Lakeland Union High School board of education will forge ahead on its own to become a better board, rather than pick up the “Coherent Governance” model pitched by the consulting firm Aspen Group International.

Wikimedia Commons Averette

Wisconsin's insurance commissioner says the recent high water in the state is a cold reminder that insurance policies don't always cover water damage.

Commissioner of Insurance Ted Nickel says the federal government stepped in to offer flood insurance in flood prone areas to cover some or all damage should floods occur.

Most policies, however, currently don't offer coverage for flooding...

Nicolet Area Technical College

A look into the field of manufacturing is being offered Wednesday at Nicolet College in Rhinelander. Those interested in careers in Electromechanical, Industrial Mechanical or welding are invited Wednesday to the Lakeside Center.

College career coach Angeline Kesler says it's a good way to promote manufacturing careers...

Wisconsin Public Service

More power lines are being buried across the Northwoods in an effort to increase reliability.

Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Matt Cullen says the System Modernization Reliability Project is a multi-year effort by the utility to increase reliability of the electrical distribution system in areas that experience the longest and most frequent outages....

State Representative Melissa Sargent is introducing a bill to legalize both medicinal and recreational  use of marijuana in Wisconsin.

The Madison Democrat introduced similar bills in the last two legislative sessions.

Sargent says it provides more than 100 pages of protections that currently do not exist in the state and, she says, provides oversight and protections for consumers.

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Needed upgrades to the runways at Eagle River Union Airport soon will mean changes for pilots using the facility until the work is done.

Airport Manager Robert Hom says the work will improve the runway....

"Our main runway...0422 is 5,000 feet long. It's our jet runway. It was last paved, any work done on it in the mid-70's. It's at the end of it's life cycle. So we're going to be repaving it and improving it's weight-bearing capacity....."

Hom  says they get a large amount of jet traffic and those planes need a minimum of 5,000 feet...

Oneida County Sheriff's Department

It's a busy few days for the Oneida County Sheriff's Department with tens of thousands of visitors coming to the Rhinelander area for the Hodag Country Festival.

Sheriff Grady Hartman says the department is staffed up this weekend...

"....most of our deputies end up working out there. A lot of them are on overtime, some of them are on straight time. We leave some of the deputies back to cover the calls in the county and transport if we get any prisoners back to the jail...."

Hartman says they plan for the extra staffing required...

Andrew Padgett-WXPR

Down it comes!

The former Kabel Auto Building, not far from Rhinelander City Hall on Stevens St. has come down.

The city received a grant to demolish the aging building.

Kautza Excavating did the demolition work. The site will be a city lot.


It's the peak of summer in the Northwoods and traditionally, gas prices should be at their highest. Not this year and probably not for the forseeable future says a gas price expert.

Senior Petroleum Analyst for the gas price watchdog website gas buddy dot com(, Patrick DeHaan tells us the latest prices...

"...statewide, gas prices are up just slightly in the last week across Wisconsin. Prices bottomed out right around July 4 slightly higher than $2.22 a gallon. Today the average is about $2.23 so not a huge increase...."

Wikimedia Commons

A report earlier this week by Wisconsin News Connection's Tim Morrissey with a Red Cross spokesperson found a critical shortage of blood donors in Wisconsin.

A regional rep agrees and says the public can help out soon.

Marc Sutton is regional blood representative for the American Red Cross. He says the need for blood doesn't change, but the supply does because of a a variety of factors...

Danielle Petrasky/Elle Photograph/HGTV

A Tomahawk teacher has won a national contest from the cable TV network HGTV.

On the HGTV website, it said Stacy Bolder was surprised when an HGTV host showed up at a local establishment with a camera crew to get her reaction.

Bolder won the HGTV Smart Home in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Along with the home, which HGTV says is worth $1.5 million, Bolder and her husband also won a 2017 Mercedes-Benz and $100,000 from Quicken Loans.

Fire fully engulfed a residence in the Vilas county Town of Cloverland Wednesday afternoon.

The Sheriff's Department reports responders arrived at 5680 Cloverland Drive to fight the blaze.

The home has been unoccupied for some time.

Several agencies responded to the blaze. No injuries reported and the dwelling was total loss. The fire remains under investigation.

Wikimedia Commons Gourami Watcher

The 40th annual Hodag Country Festival officially begins Thursday(7/13) at the grounds north of Rhinelander in Pine Lake. Tens of thousands of fans are expected to hear some of the top acts in country music.

But aside from the event, the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce notes all the visitors have a huge economic impact on the community.

Chamber Director Maggie Steffen says state numbers crunchers have come up with an economic impact in Rhinelander....

A 20-person crew gathered Wednesday morning at the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest office in Rhinelander before heading out west to help with large fires ravaging the region.

Forest Service spokesperson Hilary Markin details how the interagency crew is composed...