Area now has access to KPR station



April 26, 2011 - 12:00 AM

Ever since the public radio transmitter was removed last fall from the antenna outside Allen County’s 911 dispatch center at 410 N. State St., area listeners have found it difficult to pick up the signal beamed from 89.9 FM in Pittsburg.
County officials said they feared the KRPS transmitter would interfere with county emergency communications in their justification to dismantle the system.
To the rescue is a new signal transmitted from near Chanute, provided by Kansas Public Radio at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. The new channel is Chanute-KANQ 90.3, covering several counties in southeast Kansas, including Iola and Allen County.
Programs on the new channel differ from the Pittsburg station, said Wendy Huggins, a KPR representative at Lawrence. Afternoon programs will include news talk shows and programming from the British Broadcasting Corporation, Huggins said, as opposed to classical music on the Pittsburg station.
The new station also features comedy and variety shows on weekends, including “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me,” “Car Talk” and “This American Life.” Regular weekday programs include “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” “Talk of the Nation,” “BBC World News” and “Marketplace.”
With a 17,000-watt transmitter, Chanute-KANQ can reach all of Neosho and Wilson counties, and much of Allen, Woodson, Greenwood, Elk, Montgomery, Labette and Crawford counties.
“It’s very rare that an opportunity comes along to purchase a construction permit for an FM frequency,” said Janet Campbell, KPR’s general manager in a news release. “Spectrum space is finite and we couldn’t pass up this opportunity to provide public radio to this part of Kansas.”
The new transmitter also will help broadcast Kansas Audio-Reader Network, a reading and information service for the blind, visually impaired and print-disabled individuals. Daily newspapers, magazines and books are read on the air and on the Internet 24 hours a day. The service also offers newspaper readings by telephone. The service is free to anyone who is unable to read normal printed material.

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