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.

American Cancer Society Northwoods

A great day of exercise for you and your canine companion will help raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Called "Bark For Life Northwoods", dog owners are encouraged to walk a course at the Rhinelander- Oneida County Airport on August 29.

Local Cancer Society representative Diane Geis Hapka says Bark for Life is a canine component to the 'Relay For Life' fundraiser..

While many think the two principal political parties are about as far apart as they have been in decades, Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson says he has sought common ground in a committee he chairs.

The U.S. Senator recently stopped in Minocqua. He says as chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee, he says he first sought points where both sides could agree on issues. He says they've moved 49 bills for consideration. He says it's a philosophy he learned in private business....


Following a five-year decline, the current market value of all taxable property in Wisconsin rose for the second consecutive year, rising 2.4 percent  in 2015. However, at $490 billion, values remain almost $25 bil­lion below the 2008 market peak, according to a soon-to-be-released report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

While southern Wisconsin appears to be recovering, Alliance spokesperson Dale Knapp says northern Wisconsin values are lagging. He thinks the demographics in the Northwoods are playing a part in the lower property values..

A well-known Eagle River area business was severely damaged by fire early Monday.

Eagle River Fire Chief Pat Weber reports they were called at 3:30 a.m. to Horant's Garden Center on West Pine Street. Weber says there were reports of a small explosion then  a fire. He says when the department arrived, the building was fully engulfed.

The DNR is hosting a deer management assistance program Saturday at the Conover town hall.

Big Game Section Chief Bob Nack says the meeting is for individuals who are already managing private land for wildlife or those who might be interested...

"...landowners participating in the Deer Management Assistance Program, or DMAP. It's a benefit to them and attend and get some information on managing their property for deer and other wildlife from a variety of professionals giving presentations...."

Carol Lofquist

A Lincoln county man will likely try again next summer to paddle the length of the Wisconsin River as a fundraiser.

Vince Lofquist from Harrison Hills began a kayak journey down the state's largest river last month. He hoped to make it to Prairie du Chien, but Mother Nature intervened. But he tells WXPR's Ken Krall, 'if at first you don't succeed....'

Kayaker Vince Lofquist talking with Ken Krall.

Tammy Baldwin's office

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is hoping a bill she introduced late last month will have a lasting impact on veteran's programs.

Speaking in Rhinelander last week, Baldwin talked about the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act. The veteran died after allegedly being prescribed too many opiates at the VA Hospital in Tomah....

"....frankly, this case is not unique. There's an over reliance across the country and the VA so I introduced the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act in consultation with Jason's family..."

Pete Rondello WXPR

The Vilas County Fair runs through Sunday at the fairgrounds in Eagle River. Pete Rondello snapped some pictures.

The town of Newbold Recreation Committee Saturday is hosting a chance for the public to see a presentation on a proposed disc golf and trail expansion

Disc golf uses discs to simulate a small golf-like fairway. The town already has a nine-hole course that's been designed, and would like to buy an adjoining property owned by Oneida county to expand it to an 18 hole course.

Newbold Clerk Kim Gauthier says their designer will be on hand Saturday to talk about the plans...

Nicolet Area Technical College

Nicolet College has gotten  accredited by higher education evaluators who found  a solid curriculum and no shortcomings to fix.

The Reaffirmation of Accreditation means it will be 10 years again before Nicolet programs will be examined, the longest length of time between visits.

The Higher Learning Commission's report was well received by Nicolet's new President Dr. Richard Nelson....

"....these reaccreditations are important for quality improvement and assessment. We have to meet the same standards as every other college in the Commission's region...."

Natalie Jablonski

Expansion plans for the Rhinelander District Library continue  as the board works toward the best way to to accomplish that goal.

Consultants have reported the library would need an extra 12,000 square feet to meet growing patron needs. An architectural firm has been retained that has worked with other Carnegie libraries like Rhinelander and has a preliminary proposal.

Library Director Virginia Roberts says they're close to showing the proposal...

Wisconsin U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin stopped in Rhinelander Thursday afternoon to talk about the recent agreement between the U.S. Forest Service and the state concerning timber management in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Authorized in a recent Farm Bill, it allows the Forest Service to work with other agencies managing its assets, often called the "Good Neighbor" policy.

Baldwin says she supports the move, saying it will expand sales on U.S. Forest Service lands...

The Vilas County Fair begins Thursday(8/13) at the fairgrounds in Eagle River and a spokesperson says it's a closing treat to summer for local residents and visitors.

The fair runs through Sunday. The first Vilas County Fair began Sept. 7, 1916.  There were 190 entries of vegetables, grains and grasses  plus  50 livestock exhibits.

Gail Kukanich  says the long-running traditional fair highlights a successful summer...

The Eagle River Common Council is moving forward  toward upgrades at a small park on the city's northwest side.

Mayor Jeff Hyslop says they working toward upgrading Miller Park on Minnesota Street...

"....we decided to move to the next step installing bathrooms there which it currently does not have, so we basically have plans that are going out for bids to find out what the final costs will be...."

While small, the park is the only park with basketball and volleyball courts.

You knew it was too good to last. Gas prices are expected to rise sharply in the next few days after a Midwest refinery ran into problems.

Patrick DeHaan is a Senior Petroleum Analyst from the gas watchdog website He says a problem arose in Indiana...

"....the region's largest refinery, the BP Refinery in Whiting, Indiana went down unexpectedly on Saturday, one of its largest units shut down. That unit close to half the capacity of that refinery. It may be shut down for a week or two....."