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 car-motorcycle crash east of Eagle River Thursday morning sent a driver to Wausau for treatment of injuries.

Fireworks cause a substantial number of fires and a DNR specialist adds to the voices to let the professionals do the fireworks this holiday weekend.

DNR wildfire prevention specialist Catherine Koele, says fireworks are illegal in Wisconsin state parks and forests. She says even though this year has had moisture and the fire danger is lower than most years, the majority of fires during the year are caused by legal fireworks...

When Governor Walker signed the last budget in took away from counties the ability to set stricter regulatory limits on shoreland zoning than DNR rules.

Proponents said it gave uniformity to shoreland protections statewide, rather than each county setting rules and gave more property rights to shoreland homeowners. Opponents said it was a threat to water quality with the potential for more density of dwellings on lakes.

The July 4th holiday is traditionally one of the busiest boating times of the year. Lots of folks are going to be out trying to stop invasive species from going from one body of water to another.

This will be the DNR's 8th  annual invasive species landing blitz.

DNR aquatic invasive species communications specialist Tim Campbell says the effort focuses on reaching the largest number of boaters....

A Wednesday afternoon boating accident in Price County has claimed the life of an 82 year old Phillips area man.

The Price County Sheriff's Department reports the victim's kayak collided with another kayak while trying to get past trees in the river. The mishap occurred on the Elk River, four miles east of Phillips.

The man was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead at the scene. The other kayaker called for help from a residence near the river.

A pregnant Milwaukee woman whose body was found in South Dakota in May had ties to the Northwoods.

Funeral services were held last week for 25 year old Tess Morgan White. Her  burned body was found in Grant County , South Dakota on May 17.

The Great Lakes Wolf Summit is set for September 15 in Cumberland, Wisconsin. The summit was called by two Republican legislators, State Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst and Representative Adam Jarchow.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department is hoping the public will help out to find the person who allegedly burglarized the Little Creek Coffee Company, Highway 51 in Arbor Vitae.

June 22, the Sheriff's Department received an alarm from Little Creek Coffee Company. Deputies determined the business had been burglarized.

If you have more information, contact the Sheriff's Department.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an average 230 fireworks-related injuries near and on the 4th of July.

A local public health nurse says by following a few safety tips, fireworks users don't have to join the injury statistics. Rob Deede from the Oneida County Health Department says only purchase fireworks from a reputable dealer. He says light fireworks on a hard, flat surface and has other tips...

31 trade and business associations have come out with a proposal to repeal Wisconsin's personal property tax.

Coalition spokesperson Michelle Kussow of the Wisconsin Grocers Association says items like store coolers and other property in stores is also taxed. They feel this has developed into a burdensome tax....

" has become a very large expense for a lot of small businesses. It has become an issue on the top of the grocers priority list for several decades. We decided to pull together a coalition and make it a priority issue...."

A group hoping to preserve freight rail shipping in the Northwoods is going to try for a third time to get a federal grant to get rail cars for use by loggers.

The Northwoods Rail Transit Commission has been working toward a plan to help the industry. Officials say the harvesting and transporting of logs throughout the Great Lakes forest area has long suffered from the lack of private investment to provide an adequate fleet of railcars dedicated to transportation of logs forest-to-mill.

Wisconsin Education Association Council

The incoming president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council says teacher recruitment and retention is a key focus as educators gather for the annual National Education Association meeting in the nation's capitol. Ron Martin is a middle school teacher in the Eau Claire area. He says finding and keeping teachers is critical...

".....the biggest issues are teacher recruitment and retention. That's really important, being able to encourage individuals to go into the profession and then how do we keep them in the profession, so that's a big issue...."

The number of people employed in Wisconsin continues to grow and the unemployment level in the Northwoods has dropped significantly, even given seasonal hiring. That's the summary from the latest Department of Workforce Development report released last week.

Labor Market Economist Scott Hodek says the statewide unadjusted  rate was 3.8 percent, that level hasn't been seen since the 1990's...

".....not only did you have the standard seasonal movement downward from April to May. In some cases you had from .8 percent to 1.5 percent point down from last May...."

Nicolet Area Technical College

The Nicolet College Board of Trustees recently approved a budget for next year that is a five percent reduction from last year. Board President Ron Zimmerman says the reduction was significant....

" came in under budget from last year is $36.5(million) and the previous year it was 38.6, so that is almost two million(reduction) actually...."

Crews are cleaning up a fuel spill in Minocqua that could have been much worse.

Thursday a fuel tanker became disengaged from it's tractor and spilled about 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel into a wetland on county Highway "J".

A Haz-Mat team contained the fuel to the wetland. Emergency responders quickly worked to contain the spill. Reports indicate responders think they will get almost all of the fuel out of the wetland by this weekend. They report weather has been favorable to keep the fuel from spreading out of the wetland, as it likely would in a heavy rain event.