Student-operated radio station to begin broadcasting early 2002

Posted: Monday, August 06, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Delta High School's new student-operated radio station should be broadcasting by early 2002.

The Federal Communication Commission is issuing the construction permit for the 100-foot-tall tower and volunteers from Eielson Air Force Bases Signal Corps will help erect it. It is expected to have a range of about 10 miles.

Totsie Pursey, secretary to the Delta/Greely Board of Education and Superintendent Dan Beck, said the permitting process has gone smoothly. The new station doesn't have call letters yet, but the frequency will be about 95.5.

''All the pieces are together,'' said Whit Hicks, director of the Delta Mine Training Center and one of the key coordinators of the radio station project.

Beck said the school district must find funds to pay for some equipment and to set an operational budget. He said about $28,000 is needed. The school board may use some money from general funds.

While much of the equipment in place was donated by the U.S. Army when Fort Greely closed, the station doesn't have a transmitter yet.

The Army aired its final live broadcast from Fort Greely in late April. The American Forces Network affiliate provided news, music, interviews, weather and emergency information to military and civilian audiences around the post, as well as to the nearby community of Delta Junction.

High school teacher Mike Pelto will be structuring a class to incorporate the new station into the curriculum. Students will learn how to operate the equipment and how to do post production work, like making community service announcements.

Since students will be manning the station, it will not operate the entire day. Hicks said a national service could take over where the students leave off.

''We're working on getting a satellite downlink,'' he said.

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