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.

Aspirus and Marshfield Clinic Health System leaders have signed a non-binding letter of intent to pursue joint efforts across their service areas.

Officials point out this is not a merger or acquisition. Aspirus and Marshfield Clinic will continue to be independent organizations with separate boards, cultures and brands.

One of the points being explored is for Asprirus to allow Marshfield Clinic a minority interest in Aspirus Riverview Hospital in Wisconsin Rapids.

  Mike Vogelsang has been named north district fisheries supervisor for the DNR.

Vogelsang brings some 24 years of fisheries management experience with DNR to his new role. Vogelsang has served as leader of the headwaters fish team based in Woodruff since 2001.

Vogelsang's supervisory role now covers from Florence County in the northeast to Bayfield County in the north to St. Croix County farther west.  He will remain based in Woodruff and will start his new position on April 19.

Several years ago groups noticed the Northwoods has a large number of research organizations, both in the public and private sectors. This began the annual Northwoods Research Summit, held at UWSP  Treehaven near Tomahawk. This year the annual Summit is set for April 23 and will focus on our water resources.

Summit spokesperson Dan Kuzlik....... Commons

Northwoods picketers will join a national day of action as workers ask to raise their pay to $15 per hour.

The "Fight for 15" will be seen in 200 cities across the U.S. and 35 countries.

Jackie Cody of  the Northern Wisconsin Center for Working People in Rhinelander says the national minimum wage is about 25 percent below it's level in 1968 in equivalent dollars. She says they will gather at 11 a.m. April 15  at the Guild Hall next to St. Augustine's church in Rhinelander then head out...

Oneida County Sheriff's Department

Public Defender Maggie Hogan is asking a judge to consider moving a possible trial for a man accused of homicide to another venue.

40 year old Shannon Wolf is charged with first-degree homicide in the June 2003 death of Kenneth Wells in Rhinelander. Wells' death initially was ruled a drowning until testimony from Shannon Wolf's ex-wife Latoya allegedly implicated Shannon Wolf.

In court Tuesday, Hogan showed the court a local TV news story about the case which she claims is an example of inflamed pre-trial publicity...

Oneida County officials have released the name of the man killed Tuesday morning in a two vehicle traffic crash in Sugar Camp.

38 year old John Klessig of Eagle River died in the crash shortly before 8:00 a.m. at the intersection of state Highway 17 and county trunk "A".

No other details of the mishap have been released. A number of law enforcement and emergency departments were on the scene. Traffic was rerouted for several hours after the crash.

After a sharp increase in sales of tobacco products to minors, the Northwoods Tobacco Free Coalition is sponsoring two free training sessions for retailers.

Spokesperson Maria Skubal says the amount of tobacco products sold to youth shot up last year...

" every year our coalition goes out and conducts compliance checks. In 2014 Oneida county had a pretty high non-compliance illegal sales rate of 18.6 percent...."

Walter E. Olson Memorial Library Eagle River

Eagle River’s Olson Memorial Library is moving forward on their renovations, with plans to begin construction in October. But at WXPR’s Emily Bright reports, the library is expanding its collections in unique ways right now.

An Oneida and Vilas County chronic disease prevention and management coalition called "Northwoods LEAN"  is hosting a free worksite wellness summit on Tuesday, April 21  at Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander.

Kyla Waksmonski of the Oneida County Health Department says they're hoping business owners come to the summit. She says having a wellness program on the job saves money long term..

It's Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. Each April, state emergency management sets aside the week to get people thinking about how to prepare for a weather emergency.

Locally, Dawn Robinson from Oneida County Emergency Management says you should be ready to go if severe weather threatens...

" this is a good time for everyone to look at their plans and practice what it is that they learned..."

Communities within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest rely on federal Payment in Lieu of Taxes monies to maintain their infrastructure. The money is paid by the feds because local taxing entities can't collect on federal tax-exempt properties. These payments are stalled in Washington, D.C.

Congressman Sean Duffy says the PILT payments are set to expire this year,  but there's a bipartisan effort to break the logjam. ...

If approved, veterans will have exclusive access to 225 acres of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest for accessible trails and hunting opportunities.

A public meeting is set for Thursday to get public comment on the amendment to the Forest Master Plan.

Forest superintendent Steve Petersen says Camp American Legion in Lake Tomahawk serves veterans and families who have medical needs. He says the Camp would like to provide other programming for their veterans...

Oneida County Sheriff's Department

The teenager from the town of Piehl accused of killing her parents will be returning to Oneida county within 30 days to face murder charges.

17 year old Ashlee Martinson is a suspect in the deaths of her parents, 37 year old Thomas Ayers, her stepfather, and her mother, 40 year old Jennifer Ayers. Their bodies were found March 8 in their home east of Rhinelander on March 8. Three minor children in the home were found physically unharmed but were locked in a room.

A polka band from Ohio is the subject of a new reality TV series debuting Saturday on the Reelz cable and satellite channel. The Chardon Polka Band is the subject of the show "Polka Kings", following the band across the nation. The band is made up of musicians not typical of a polka band. Leader Jake Kouwe comes from a punk background. The drummer was into heavy metal. But they all found a love for polka and that led them to national TV. Ken Krall talked with Jake about how he got into polka, then drummer Joe Dahlhausen...

U.S. Senate Urged To Pass CHIP Funding

Apr 9, 2015

Advocates are calling on the federal government to continue funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The program is funded through Medicaid or, in Wisconsin Badgercare Plus. Money comes from both the federal and state coffers to fund the low-income health insurance program.

Funding for the program has passed the U.S. House, but has stalled in the U.S. Senate.

State Medicaid Director Kevin  Moore describes how the program works...