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.

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.

Anne Williams

A local 4-H leader says they've found ways to get kids involved with activities during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Oneida County 4-H program coordinator Anne Williams says summer is a time when 4-H youth are normally busy with things like camp. That isn't happening this year, but she says they've found other ways to do things including a recent effort...

Pixabay.com sabinevanerp

Last week, the Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving held a public hearing on policy proposals aimed at strengthening Wisconsin’s direct care workforce. Home health care providers are hoping for more reimbursement.

Jayne Thill works for Ascension at Home in Marshfield and is vice-chair for Wisconsin Association for Home Health Care. She says they haven't had an increase in reimbursement for Medicaid patients for more than 10 years. She says expenses have grown by 32 percent in that time.

Thill says the lower pay makes it harder to find help..

Pixabay.com SvenHilker

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought changes to the Minocqua Farmers Market. The Market has a temporary home on the front of the Let's Minocqua Visitor's Bureau and Chamber offices on U.S. 51. The market traditionally has been at the Highway 70-west park.

Chamber Executive Director Krystal Westfahl says the chamber got the market going until about five years ago when the vendors decided to take over managing the market. She says the farmers need help now and reached out to the chamber to help. Westfahl says the chamber is also short-staffed, so combining their efforts made sense...

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Bill Miller was a driving force behind the formation in 2009 of Northwoods Alliance For Temporary Housing, or NATH.

In 2011, NATH opened Frederick Place, its homeless shelter in Rhinelander. A key fundraiser for NATH-Frederick Place happens soon at a golf scramble named for Miller. That fundraiser comes at a time of need for them.

Executive Director Tammy Modic says they've lost ground on fundraising this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic..

Pixabay.com

One person has died in a motorcycle crash Saturday in Oneida county

The Sheriff's Department reports they were called at 3:17 p.m. to a crash on Lone Pine Road in the Town of Sugar Camp.

When deputies arrived they found one person had died. No other vehicles were involved in the crash

. The name of the person will likely be released on Monday.

Three Lakes Police, Sugar Camp Fire Department and First Responders, Oneida County ambulances and the medical examiner assisted the Sheriff's Department.

Wisconsin DNR

With the July 4th weekend here, people will be at Northwoods boat landings hoping to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species and provide some education. A cooperative arrangement between agencies and local groups has resulted in the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program, now in its 15th year.

Erin McFarlane is the statewide program educator with the UW-Extension Lakes Program.

She says the workers engage in a conversation with boaters to stop the spread of invasives...

Pixabay.com manfredrichter

Nearly two dozen northern Wisconsin and U.P. counties and others have been meeting since 2012 to make sure freight rail service continues in this region.

Board of Commissioners of Public Lands

A state agency managing land holdings in the Northwoods and elsewhere has given back 5 percent of it's budget to state coffers.

The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) is chaired by State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. She announced a voluntary cut of at least 5 percent to the BCPL operating budget for this fiscal year.

Godlewski says everyone, government or families,  has been asked to cut back....

Pixabay.com

The Oneida County Health Department is partnering with local chambers of commerce to help with contact tracing should it be needed.

Let's Minocqua Visitors Bureau + Chamber of Commerce.

The Let's Minocqua Visitor's Bureau and Chamber of Commerce is asking the public for input on this fall's annual Beef-A-Rama event.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left some questions that Executive Director Krystal Westfahl says she would like the public to help out. The event annually draws tens of thousands of visitors. Westfahl says they've been planning the event as usual, but they need up to 300 volunteers to help.......

Pixabay.com Free-Photos

As communities cancel July 4 fireworks events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, observers have found the sale of fireworks for private use has been brisk. A USA Today report found sales of fireworks are up 15 percent from projected sales and more than 100 percent from a year ago. But while safe use can be fun, experts caution that safety should always be a top priority. Kids love sparklers, but the tip of a sparkler can be up to 2,000 degrees.

Dawn Robinson of Oneida County emergency management has some safety tips..

Pixabay.com Nennieinszweidrei

You might see them as just pests, but to biologists, insects are a critical part of life on earth, and overall, insect numbers are falling.

Locally, efforts are underway to bring awareness of the problem. Oneida County Conservationist Michele Sadauskas reports much has been said about the decline in pollinators like bees, but some insects that used to be common and disappearing...

Recreation.gov

The hardest hit campground from the severe windstorm last July is set to reopen this week on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The popular Boot Lake Campground on the Lakewood-Laona Ranger district opens Thursday.

Assistant Ranger in Recreation, Greyling Brandt, says the Forest contracted to remove the damaged trees....

Wisconsin DOT

The deadline for the public to provide comments on proposed improvements to State Highway 70, from County " H " to US 45 north in Vilas County, has been extended to Tuesday, July 14.

The Department of Transportation(DOT) has been seeking feedback on the proposed improvements. Some proposed changes include evaluating whether to reduce the number of lanes between State Highway 17 and U.S. 45 north from four to three, improve drainage at the wayside-boat landing located southeast of the 17-70 intersection, and other changes.

UPCAP

Upper Peninsula senior citizens are asked to complete a survey to help the Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress (UPCAP) shape its programming via a health, wellness, and technology survey.

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, UPCAP’s programming is going online and virtual.

Spokesperson Della Juliano says they've provided many opportunities for U.P. seniors, but all were in-person. Then COVID-19 came along, and in following health guidelines they need to take a new direction...

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