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.

It's Labor Day and a state union official says today's workers should remember the hard fought benefits they have today.

Stephanie Bloomingdale is Secretary Treasurer of the state AFL-CIO. She says sometimes workers forget the sacrifices others made for them...

"....the 40 hour work week, the weekend, workers compensation, safe work places, overtime protection, sick leave....these didn't come about by accident they are because of the men and women who came before us who fought for these...."

She says these privileges can be taken away....

A Vilas county business was destroyed by fire early Saturday.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department reports they were called shortly before 1:00 a.m. to Danny's Roadhouse Saloon and Grill in St.Germain.

The business was closed at the time of the fire. No one was injured.

14 different fire and emergency agencies, along with Wisconsin Public Service were on the scene of the blaze.

The State Fire Marshall and Vilas County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire.

One member of the Rhinelander City Council has responded to media reports concerning last week's firing of Rhinelander City Administrator Kristina Aschenbrenner.

A special city council meeting was held in closed session to review Ashenbrenner's performance as the first anniversary of her employment neared. Another performance review had been held in late May. Council member Alex Young disputed some media reports quoting Aschenbrenner that she had been blindsided by the termination.

Information from the public is being asked after a stabbing Thursday morning near Laona.

The incident was reported about 10:00 a.m. at the corner of Airport Lane and Highway 8 in Laona.

One unidentified person was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander with stab wounds to the arm and chest.

One man is in police custody, but there's another suspect.

If you have any related information, contact the Forest County Sheriff's Department at 715-478-3331.

Wisconsin Department of Tourism

A promotional video recorded at a Hazelhurst resort has set a record for number of views by travel-hungry web surfers.

Travel Wisconsin’s online video, “Real Fun: Our Wisconsin Cabin Story,” has hit more than four million views across social media channels, a record for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The video debuted in April and was filmed at Black Cliff’s Resort. It follows the Thompson family of Colorado on their annual summer vacation to Hazelhurst, where they have visited every summer for nearly 60 years.

Volunteers are needed to help discover invasive species in the Northwoods. Volunteers will help the Oneida County AIS team search for invasive species in rivers and streams during the 3rd Annual Bridge Snapshot Day.

Oneida County AIS Coordinator Steph Boismenue talks about what happens..

"....AIS coordinators and volunteers go out in the field and we look at intersections where there is a road or bridge that crosses a river, thoroughfare or stream. We're looking for invasive species both terrestrial and aquatic...."

Wisconsin Public Service Foundation has awarded several area emergency service agencies with money to upgrade equipment they use.

In this region, the Pickerel Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Rhinelander Police and Fire Departments, Woodruff Fire Department, Argonne Volunteer Fire Department, Oneida County Public Safety Dive Team all were given grants.

WPS spokesperson Leah Van Zile details the awards...

The 2016 archery and crossbow deer seasons run concurrently statewide beginning September 17, and a DNR biologist says hunters in this area will face new restrictions after deer with Chronic Wasting Disease were found near Three Lakes.

After the discovery of the diseased deer, restrictions on baiting and feeding were put in place in Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties.

Biologist Jeremy Holtz says both property owners and hunters have new rules...

A task force designed to encourage more technical school education has released a report that will go to the Wisconsin legislature. The Assembly Speaker’s Task Force on Youth Workforce Readiness included Representative Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander. He says the goal of the Task Force was to provide young people with knowledge that there are jobs available that don't require a full college education....

Some layoffs are likely at one of Tomahawk's main employers.

Harley-Davidson is offering voluntary layoffs to hourly workers to reduce staff by about 25 percent.

Company officials told news outlets Wednesday it was giving itself flexibility to hire seasonal workers. About 39 positions in Tomahawk will be affected and will likely take place later this year.

A 2-month old unvaccinated filly from Forest county is the first reported Wisconsin horse to have become infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis this year. The filly was euthanized on August 23.

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection spokesperson Raechelle Belli describes the disease....

"'s caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitos. Those mosquitos bite an animal with EEE, then they take it back to an avian(bird) host where it's concentrated then the mosquito takes it to other animals or humans....."

September 1 is the opening of school for many students and parents in the Northwoods.

As another school year begins, school administrators and legislators have been meeting to open lines of communication between urban school districts and rural districts. One of the administrators participating in a recent meeting in Stevens Point was Northland Pines District Administrator Mike Richie of Eagle River who says the dialog was enlightening....

Northland Pines Administrator Mike Richie with Ken Krall.

A Wisconsin advocacy group has blasted Mylan, the maker of allergy treatment EpiPen not only for alleged price gouging, but also giving money to influential lawmakers.

According to data compiled by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a campaign spending watchdog, since 2014, Mylan’s corporate PAC has made thousands of dollars in contributions in Wisconsin exclusively to majority Republican state legislators, focusing on those who serve on the Senate Health Committee.

Parts of the Northwoods are back to pre-Great Recession employment levels according to state unemployment numbers. Wisconsin's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 4.2 percent, a 15 year low, while adding more than 45,000 private sector jobs over the year ending July 2016.

Wisconsin's labor force participation rate ranked seventh among states. State Labor Market Analyst Scott Hodek says the Northwoods followed the lower trend from one year ago. He says to the surprise of few, one sector dominated the hiring....

The City of Rhinelander is looking for a new City Administrator.

The city council met Monday night in closed session for a performance review of Kristina Aschenbrenner. Tuesday morning, the city sent out a press release saying Aschenbrenner's employment with the city had been ended. City Council President George Kirby gave a brief statement..

"....the city council has determined to move in a new direction in regards to the position of City Administrator...."