Ken Krall

News Director

Email Ken

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.

In 2018, Ken was chosen to receive the Wisconsin Public Health Association's 2018 Excellence in Public Health Media Award for his work covering public health in northern Wisconsin.

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 Royalbroil

The first step toward a reconstruction of one of Rhinelander's main routes was approved this week during a special city council meeting.

Mayor Chris Frederickson was authorized by the council to apply for Rural Development monies to pay for the complete reconstruction of Stevens Street. If it goes as projected, the anticipated cost of the project is said to be near $18 million dollars.

The city finished a similar project in downtown Rhinelander last year.

Vukmir campaign

One of two Republicans vying for a chance to take on incumbent U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin in November stopped in Rhinelander Wednesday.

Leah Vukmir is a state Senator representing parts of Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. Vukmir is running against Republican political newcomer Kevin Nicholson for the Republican nomination.

Vukmir emphasized her conservative credentials when asked how she is different than Nicholson...

  • reports WalMart wants a change in its Rhinelander assessment,
  •  Almost one-third of all classes at Nicolet College are taken online,
  •  Public input sought on a new state aquatic invasive species plan,
  •  A non-profit developing bike-hike trails in Vilas county has its annual meeting.

Nearly a third of all credits earned in the last academic year at Nicolet College in Rhinelander were from online courses, and the trend is likely to keep growing to meet the needs of busy students. That's the message from Nicolet College's Managing Director For Strategic Initiatives, Chuck Komp.

He says they're seeing many students coming to Nicolet with responsibilities in their lives... 

Wikimedia Commons Yinan Chen

Lake property owners and others concerned about Wisconsin lakes are invited to provide input to the state before the end of the month.

The DNR has announced a Draft Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan is available for public review and comment through August 31.

Oneida County Conservationist Michele Sadauskas says this update is a critical blueprint for controlling invasives in our waters...

Great Headwaters Trails

The annual meeting Wednesday (8-8-2018)  of Great Headwaters Trails has a backdrop of some solid work done, but more that needs to be done.

Great Headwaters Trails is an all-volunteer non-profit group developing biking and hiking trails in Vilas county. They're closing in on completing an 11 mile stretch between Conover and Phelps, with the final two miles to be built in 2019.

GHT President Jeff Currie says the annual meeting is a chance for the public to assess what has been done and plans for the future. He says they will hand out an annual report and more..

Oneida county officials will consider a possible homicide charge after a UTV crash in Nokomis Saturday evening claimed a passenger's life and seriously injured the driver.

Oneida County Sheriff's officials say a UTV driven by 47 year old Brenda Reiche of Weston crashed on The Point Road in Nokomis just before 8 p.m. Saturday. The UTV left the roadway and struck a tree off the side of the road.

49 year old Adam Rietz of Athens died at the scene. Reiche was also seriously injured. I reynaldodallin

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is partnering with students from the Indian Community School of Milwaukee to air a 30-second public service announcement highlighting the danger of distracted driving.

Senior Manager at the DOT, David Pabst, says the message is designed for all drivers.......

"...We're having the tribal youth that created a very nice PSA(public service announcement) for us and others. We're pushing it out to draw attention to districated driving. Not only for youth but everyone who drives....."

Pabst details the effort...

Jim Rowe-Nicolet College Art Gallery

Jim Rowe of Antigo has has a perspective of his life's work at Nicolet College Art Gallery in Rhinelander. His skill has evolved in blockprinting and paper to a high level. Rowe has won numerous awards, and as an ordained minister, uses the Bible as a base in many of his works, but not all.

WXPR's Ken Krall stopped by the Nicolet Gallery last week to talk to Jim Rowe and he found an artist who has made an extraordinary niche for himself... FirmBee

Rising prices have put a pinch on people looking to get into existing homes. That's the word from an economist who works with Wisconsin realtors.

Professor David Clark says a measure of housing affordability as slipped dramatically in the last year and a half, largely due to the number of homes available for sale has diminished. He says the Housing Affordability Index looks at the median priced home, the qualifying income to purchase a home at current interest rates assuming a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Ken Krall WXPR

The Rhinelander City Council met in closed session for 90 minutes Monday evening to look at the finalists for City Administrator.

No decision was made in closed session as Mayor Chris Fredrickson reported...

 "...From closed session, no action has been taken in closed session. We're continuing to make progress. We hope to have a decision to announce at the next regular council meeting Aug. 13..." 825545

The renovation of the Oneida County Humane Society building on Rhinelander's north side is on schedule for completion this fall.

Board officer Sue Otis says the renovation project has been moving forward as expected...

"....The interior walls are up, the drywall is going on, the plumbing and electrical are being put in. Within a month we should be pretty close to finishing the new addition. After that, they will begin the renovation on the existing building...."

The projected cost for the expansion came in just under $600,000.

Wikimedia Commons

The group of volunteers working to get a town-sponsored disc golf course up and running are moving toward completion.

Town of Newbold Outdoor Recreation Committee Chair Pete Cody says Rookery Run disc golf course has the potential to open yet this year...

"....We're still working on the t-pads and some of the basket areas and the fairways. We've make tremendous progress this summer and we still have our sites set on a 2018 opening. But we have't decided on a date. The next two weeks of work out here will probably tell the tale of what we're going to do..."

The Vilas County Tactical Unit was called earlyFriday afternoon to St. Germain after a report of a despondent man who was armed with a revolver.

Sheriff's officials say the man was not responding to familiy members and was seen on his bed with the gun in his hand pointing to his head. Tactical personnel entered the residence and were able to take the man into custody without further incident. The handgun was recovered.

Professional  assistance is being provided to the man.

No one was injured.

Trees For Tomorrow Eagle River

"We hope you come out and find out why we call it the best fest in the Midwest "

That's Chantel Kuczmarski, Community Engagement Coordinator for Trees For Tomorrow in Eagle River.  She's talking about Trees For Tomorrow's Forest Fest going on Saturday(7/28).

She says the event highlights what sustainable forestry means...