KUAC Restores service to Circle area

Circle, AK – KUAC FM and the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks worked together recently to restore service to public radio listeners in Circle, Central and Circle Hot Springs. On November 11, Brian Lawson, of the Poker Flat Research Range, and KUAC's chief engineer Willy Forgue collaborated to install new batteries and a wind turbine to augment the solar powered translator on Boulder Hill, 13 miles northwest of Central, AK.

Having one of our translators go down, no matter what the population of the area, is devastating to our listeners, said KUAC general manager & CEO, Greg Petrowich. We have people in our translator communities who depend upon our signal as their sole source of news and information and it is our mission as an NPR member station to strive for universal coverage, added KUAC FM program director, Scott Diseth.

KUAC FM, public radio for Alaska's Interior is rebroadcast across translators in nine communities including Nenana, Tok, Nome, Delta Junction, Eagle, Circle City, Central, Circle Hot Springs and Healy. The affected areas of Circle City, Central and Circle Hot Springs have a combined population of approximately 200 year-round residents, however during the Yukon Quest and the summer tourist season, that number soars to thousands of inhabitants. When it's the only link to the rest of the state, let alone the rest of the world, people feel the void more acutely. We needed to find a solution, added Petrowich.

KUAC, was contacted by Poker Flat Research Range in October and obtained permission to install research equipment for the Geophysical Institute at the Boulder Hill ( Craz ) translator site. This month, Mr. Lawson returned the favor by flying to the site on a KUAC chartered helicopter and installed a more reliable winter power source, a wind turbine, as the KUAC translator's primary power.

Serving Interior Alaska, KUAC 89.9 FM/Alaska One TV 9, public radio and public television, is a multiple-media organization with a mission to provide quality noncommercial programming and services that enlighten, inspire, educate and entertain. KUAC is licensed to the University of Alaska Fairbanks.