Ken Krall

News Director

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.

Ways To Connect

An injury was reported and home a total loss in Vilas county after a fire Saturday afternoon.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department reports a fire at 2034 Townsite Road in the town of Winchester, called in shortly after one p.m.

A passerby saw smoke coming from the home. The occupant saw fire and smoke and she was able to leave the building with her pet and went to a neighbor's home. She was taken to Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff for treatment. There was no report of major injuries in the blaze. Officials say the fire does not appear to be suspicious.

Five persons were  busted in Rhinelander Wednesday on drug charges. Arrested are 40 year old Michael Stienmetz, Jr., 38 year old Jamie Rickert, 35 year old Jesus Fernandez, 47 year old Carrie Stienmetz and 36 year old Crystal Schirmacher. All five were arrested for alleged use, manufacture, and delivery of methamphetamine.

WXPR has a new addition to the staff.  Station Manager Pete Rondello announced well-known Northwoods resident Dave Havel of Rhinelander has been hired as Director of Development.

Rondello says Havel has a long history in the community, working with non-profits to raise funds in many capacities. Rondello says Havel has many success stories including his work with Rhinelander Kiwanis, Oneida County Animal Shelter, YMCA of the Northwoods and several others.

Rondello says while talking with people in the community, they said Dave was "Mr. Hodag" for his work in the community.

With the deadline approaching to file taxes, three non-profit groups are again offering free tax help for low to moderate income individuals and households.

Goodwill Industries International, the United Way and the National Disability Institute offer the website my free taxes dot com

Goodwill Industries spokesperson Brad Turner-Little says there is no advertising on the free site...

Forest County Sheriff's Dept.

A former Forest county corrections employee will go to trial after entering not guilty pleas to charges that include felony Misconduct in Public Office.

43 year old Melvin Donek of Argonne entered the plea in Forest county court. He is also charged with misdemeanor theft, receiving stolen property and obstructing an officer.

In court Thursday, Donek waived a preliminary hearing and entered  not guilty plea. Judge Leon Stenz found enough evidence to continue proceedings.

Roads in northern Wisconsin are in the poorest shape than anywhere in Wisconsin. That's the conclusion by environmental groups. The group 1000 Friends of Wisconsin found 45 percent of the roads in northwest Wisconsin and 41 percent in northcentral Wisconsin to be in poor shape. Fewer roads in southern Wisconsin were in similar shape.

The Minocqua and Tomahawk Chain of Lakes are likely to have a catch-and-release only season for five years under a proposal going to the Natural Resources Board next month. But as part of the same proposal, all waters in the Ceded Territories in Wisconsin would have a standard three-walleye daily bag limit.

DNR spokesperson Joe Hennessy says bad walleye reproduction in the last couple of years has also led to the change on the Oneida county chains. He says the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa have also agreed not to harvest on those waters during the five years.

This week the federal Department of Veteran's Affairs said it was relaxing a rule that some veterans in rural areas said made it hard to prove they live at least 40 miles from a VA health facility. Complaints had been registered that the current policy prevented thousands of veterans from taking advantage of a law allowing vets in remote areas to get federally paid medical care from local doctors.

Brad Nelson is a spokesperson for the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain. He says they want to let veterans know what the change in the rule means...

Fentanyl is a drug used as an anesthetic used to prevent pain after surgery or other medical procedures. The drug is being spiked into heroin and a DEA official says that combination can be lethal to users.

Christopher Hackbarth is the Drug Enforcement Agency Director in Wisconsin. He says Fentanyl mixed with heroin can be deadly...

"....the traffickers are mixing Fentanyl which can be from 30 to 100 times more powerful than the heroin itself, 30 to 50 times more powerful than morphine, to give (heroin) a higher kick..."

Though interest rates were low, the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands was able last year to supply a record $35.5 million to Wisconsin's K-12 public school libraries.

Created at the time of statehood, the Board  loans out money it has from timber sales and other revenue and the interest money is then by law given to school libraries. No tax money is used.

Executive Director Tia Nelson says the money enabled the board to put a book in the hand of every Wisconsin child...