WLHR Returns to Air at 70% Power

Owner, authorities believe station was vandalized
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WLHR(FM) in Lavonia, Ga., has returned to the air using a temporary transmitter site after a tower collapsed in a suspected act of sabotage.

The Class A FM is operating at 70% power; adjustments planned this week should allow the station to return to full power, according to a message on the station Web site.

Terry Carter, co-owner of WLHR and chief operating officer of parent company Georgia-Carolina Radiocasting, thanked WRAF(FM) of Toccoa Falls College for loaning WLHR its backup transmitter, allowing WLHR to return to air "much quicker than we could have otherwise. WRAF officials have been true ambassadors of goodwill to offer us the use of their equipment until WLHR rebuilds it licensed transmitter site."

On Jan. 29, authorities and station officials believe the WLHR tower guy wires were cut, causing the 284-foot tower to collapse. The tower was destroyed and station's transmitting equipment was damaged seriously. Station officials have estimated the loss value exceeds $100,000.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation continue to investigate.

Carter said county officials offered the use of a tower near Carnesville and another one near Lavonia for temporary sites but the station was not able to use those locations due to potential interference to other stations operating on frequencies near WLHR's 92.1 or restricted signal coverage.

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