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FCC Fines KANR $25,000

Several problems lead to fine; station had argued engineer was ‘too busy’ to make EAS repair

Inoperable EAS equipment and tower lighting and painting issues combined for a $25,000 FCC fine against Daniel Smith, licensee of KANR(FM), Belle Plaine, Kan.

During an inspection this year, the FCC said, its field agents saw a disconnected power cord for the EAS encoder/decoder and found out it had not been working since around 2006. Smith told the agent he tried to have a contract engineer fix the unit but the engineer was “too busy” to make the repair, according to the agency account. The station also had no logs documenting when the last EAS test had been sent.

Regarding the tower, Smith told the agents it was last painted in 1996. The agents noticed some spots worn down to bare metal and several tower lights out. Smith acknowledged that KANR didn’t have automated equipment to monitor the tower lighting, the commission said, and that no station personnel were visually monitoring lighting on the structure every 24 hours as required.

Also, the agency said in its decision the issues/programs lists in the public inspection file had not been updated after the fourth quarter of 2008.

The FCC told Smith to correct the violations within 30 days and to tell the agency within that timeframe what had been done to correct the violations. The commission warned Smith future violations “may subject him to more severe enforcement penalties.”

Smith also has 30 days to ask for the amount to be reduced or cancelled, or to pay the fine in full.