Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Golden Eagle Radio on Hiatus

Rex LeFevre Still in the Saddle
   A wide response from listeners in Crouch and Garden Valley indicated disappointment when 97.5 FM on your radio dial went silent last week.

   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 Garden Valley to be without power for up to three weeks,” explains Smith. “Information about what was going on in the valley or the outside world could only be obtained through CB transceivers or scanners. Rex proposed starting an emergency radio service for the valley, as everyone has access to battery-powered FM receivers, either in their cars or with portable radios.” 

  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.”     

  Anxious to get on the air if even in a very limited way, GVCOM purchased a micro-watt transmitter that would provide non-licensed but legal service within a transmitting radius of one to two miles. They inaugurated Golden Eagle Radio on July 4, 2012, and hope for the issuance of their full-power LPFM license in October of this year.

  Volunteers have worked hard to make the radio work. Terry “Babe Boomer” Loyd and “Steamer Bill” Harder have filled the air waves with music, commentary, sponsor copy, and news, five days a week, since last July. During the Springs Fires last summer, the station proved to be invaluable, with emergency and news broadcasts.

   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.

1 comment:

  1. Rex needs to put his ego behind him if he really wants this station to succeed. He's alienating volunteers & donors with his "ME, ME, ME, MY, MY, MY" attitude.