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

Administrators say it's a preventative measure, but Northland Pines has joined the Rhinelander School District in closing for Christmas vacation early because of whooping cough in the area.

On the Northland Pines webpage, they report that the closure is preventative in nature to avoid the spread of a highly contagious disease.

Director of Pupil Services, Emily Rhode says some cases have arisen..

GHTRAILS.ORG

Due to a surge in donations, the trail connection between Conover and Phelps looks to be moving closer to reality.

Jeff Currie is the President of Great Headwaters Trails, working to get the work going next summer on the next 5.5 miles section of trail. He says the project is more than 85 percent toward its funding goal.

He says they were $250,000 short of their funding goal one year ago...

Rhinelander Area Food Pantry

Donations are welcome at area food pantries as the holiday season is upon us.

Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hansen says leading up to the holidays people have been generous. He says they will always accept donations of food, and people have been giving items that often aren't available like pie filling.

But, he says, there's one way that provides more purchasing power to feed those less fortunate...

en.wikipedia.org

More Northwoods trails are opening for the winter season.

Trails on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest are open for the season.

Forest county snowmobile trails will open at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, December 23. Vilas and Oneida county snowmobile trails have opened for the year.

wisconsin.gov

State Senator Janet Bewley says a change implemented by the Walker Administration will hurt rural seasonal workers and businesses who traditionally use unemployment when seasonal work ends.

Bewley says many jobs in rural Wisconsin are seasonal...

PIXABAY

Over the next 18 months, all 3,100 public housing agencies in the U.S. will be required to go smoke-free.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development released new rules late last month.

Oneida County Community Health Specialist Corie Zelazoski says the rule requires agencies enact smoke-free policies applying to all living units, indoor common areas, offices and within 25 feet of buildings...

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The new fallen snow will help snowmobile riders itching to get out in the Northwoods. Oneida County has announced the state funded snowmobile trail system administered by the county will open for the season at noon on Tuesday.(Dec. 20)

Oneida County Snowmobile Council President Jim Wendt says the late warm fall weather postponed the hard freeze necessary to get the land under the trails in good shape for snowmobiling. But that has changed with the recent cold. He says the trails can't hold grooming equipment yet, but they can hold sleds.

Public Domain Pictures

Northwoods Transit Connections is hosting a special bus ride Tuesday night around Rhinelander for Seniors and disabled people to see the holiday lights.

Transit Manager Jim Altenburg says so far they have about 50 riders and more are welcomed...

"....December 20, we are putting on a Christmas light tour. Our drivers are volunteering their time from 6-8 p.m. We're going to be taking Seniors and disabled folks on a short 15-20 minute ride around town to see some of the Christmas lights..."

Wikimedia Commons

Whooping Cough, or Pertussis, has closed the School District of Rhinelander early for Christmas break.

The announcement below is from the district website.

KK

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A joint decision between the School District of Rhinelander (SDR)and the Oneida County Health Department(OCHD)announces the closing of Schools in the School District of Rhinelander due to the high incidence of a variety of illnesses among students and staff. Presently, the main illness emerging is Pertussis (Whooping Cough).

PIXABAY

The weather is making the news this weekend and Dawn Robinson from Oneida County Emergency Management says make sure you're prepared for lots of snow, and bitter cold Sunday and Monday.

Robinson says don't assume the power will stay on, especially if there are  high winds...

"....start looking at ways for alternate heat sources. Make sure everything is vented properly...refer to owners manuals if you need to use any type of electronics such as a generator and stuff...."

Dawn Robinson says if you must travel, check 5-1-1 and local broadcasts.

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A former Prentice contract rural route mail carrier has entered a guilty plea to one count of mail theft.

The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin says 47 year old Belinda Chizek pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Madison.

Last September , a federal grand jury in Madison returned a one-count indictment against Chizek.

Wikimedia Commons

Cases of whooping cough have been reported in Oneida county and a county public health nurse says take precautions. Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths which result in a "whooping" sound.

Oneida County Nurse Rob Deede says pertussis is spread person-to-person quite easily....

Wisconsin DNR

The state Natural Resources Board has approved the Powell Marsh Master Plan, but did take into account the desires of residents living near Dead Pike Lake.

Powell Marsh is a 4,800 acre state property in western Vilas county, which is about 80 percent wetland. Dead Pike Lake water quality has been damaged by iron floc, draining off an area where a failed experiment to bring in a goose population took place in the 1950's.

en.wikipedia.org

With the discovery of chronic wasting disease here and gun hunting deer season in three Northwoods counties completed, the DNR is seeking public input on a 15 year chronic wasting disease plan.

Over the past few months the DNR, several agencies and groups have been talking about the plan.

DNR wildlife biologist Michele Woodford in Woodruff outlines the areas where they are looking for feedback...

Wikimedia Commons

The Never Forgotten Honor Flight...which takes World War II, Korea, and Vietnam veterans to Washington, D.C. to see their active duty memorials will benefit from a Classic Christmas Country Show Saturday afternoon in Tomahawk. Country music performer Red Higgins will take the stage at Tomahawk High School to benefit the Honor Flight and the Wounded Warrior In Action Foundation. Ken Krall caught up with Higgins and Gerald Dvorak from the Tomahawk VFW about Saturday's event...

The show starts at 2:30 p.m.

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