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.

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...

As money tightens and fewer physicians and nurses are available in many spots in Wisconsin, hospitals are trying new techniques  to supply service to patients.

Dr. Judy Warmuth from Wisconsin Hospital Association says people and money are fewer and more services are being     requested..

Tri-County Council For Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is beginning a new teen support group with its first meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Braden Bayne-Allison says while talking recently with teens, they asked them what what they needed if something bad happens in the neighborhood...


"....there were some themes, and the themes were friends, non-judgemental environments, family, love, understanding was a big, over-arching theme. The kids felt they needed some understanding, someone they could talk to...."

Recent research has shown a direct link to better lifestyle habits helping to keep our brains healthy.

Two presentations this week in the region will highlight what the research has shown, says Diana Butz from the Alzheimer's Association. She says a two year study of people at risk showed some interesting results...


" they studied this group for two years and they showed that a combination of physical activity, nutrition, cognitive training and management of heart health risks slowed cognitive decline...."


Three State Senate Democrats stopped in Rhinelander Saturday to hear from citizens about Governor Walker's budget proposal. While lightly attended, there was criticism of what the plan could do to the environment and education.

Joint Finance Committee member, Jon Erpenbach from Madison, along with Janet Bewley from Ashland and Janis Ringhand from Evansville heard from Rhinelander School Board Vice-President Judith Conlin who said the state has gradually shifted more school costs to local taxpayers. She says in 2002 state aid was half of property taxes, but that has changed...

Registrations are open for one of the Northwoods prime spring events--Journey's Marathon which is run across portions of the Northwoods.

This is the 19th year for the event, and Eagle River Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Ashley Schwartz says the run/walk event has a distance and style to match your level of fitness...

"....with our different race options we draw all sorts of different athletic levels, from the 5K to the full marathon and the powerwalk as well. For those folks who aren't interested in the full, we do have the half..."

Creative Commons

There's still money available for eligible persons to get help paying their heating bills.

Kerry Spees from Wisconsin Public Service says money is still available....

"'s important for customers who think they might be eligible to contact their local agency and get in early just to make sure before the funds are gone. Every year they get used up. If you wait until the last minute, they could be gone...."

The income guidelines to be eligible and other details are available at your county Department of Social Services office.

Creative Commons

Town of Woodruff chair Mike Timmons, also an Oneida county board supervisor,  introduced a resolution at  Tuesday's Oneida county board meeting asking the county to oppose the change. He says it potentially imposes a system that makes things like local assessments very costly to the towns. He says a routine assessment cost skyrockets...

"....where they're doing a full assessment, in the $10,000 to $12,000 range(in a normal assessment), it's $105,000 to $120,000 so the difference is huge..."