Since early 2009, Golden Eagle Radio Founder, Rex LeFevre, fought admirably to create local radio, even after he became aware of his terminal illness. At that time, Radio Engineer and Accountant, Rich Smith, entered into LeFevre’s dream of a non-profit radio station, which would be supported by donations and volunteers and would provide local news, information and emergency warnings for the community.
“The landslides of 1996-97 caused by heavy rainfall also disrupted power to the valley, causing parts of
Commissioner Jamie Anderson met with LeFevre, along with a dozen interested citizens, and suggested they form a company for the express purpose of improving communications within the valley, especially during emergencies.
“Hence, we incorporated Garden Valley Communications Inc. (GVCOM), on Nov. 19, 2009,” says Rich Smith. “Unfortunately, the FCC was not accepting new LPFM applications at the time we applied. Since the passing of the Local Community Radio Act of 2009, signed into law by President Obama, in January 2010, the FCC has yet to accept any new license applications.”
Station Internet Tech and Sound Engineer, Tim Benedict, has a weekly show, and other community members have recently been on Golden Eagle’s talk radio shows.
Not surprisingly, the passionate LeFevre has taken the responsibility for early mornings, evenings after 5 p.m., week-ends, and fill-ins, which have taken their toll. He says, “I’m tired.”
Program Director, Terry Loyd, commented on the hiatus. “Rex's health issues are the reason why the station is off the air. We would like to continue broadcasting, but need help from the community to staff and support the station. We need more volunteer DJs. It's really up to the community. If they want a radio station, it is time to step up, by volunteering, donations and sponsorships. We're also working on ways to increase coverage.”
Depending on the response, 97.5 FM is expected to return to the air by March 1.