LINTON (AP) - The state's
first high school radio station, KLHS, went live last month in
Linton, a town in Emmons County with a population of about 1,300
online radio station is the brainchild of a local alternative
education program supervisor with 30 years in the radio industry,
working in the tri-state region as an on-air announcer and building
and owning his own radio station in Langdon, which is still running.
Schmaltz said he brought an idea to two new administrators: to start
a radio station owned by the school and operated by students.
station is not the first in the country. In fact, many high schools
in other states have had radio stations dating back to the 1950s.
broadcasts live online Monday through Friday morning from the campus
of Linton High School. Four students - all females - are enrolled in
the radio journalism class, and they play music from the '60s, '70s
and '80s, read the weather and do school announcements.
calls it a work in progress but said he hopes the station will expand
to allow the students to write for broadcast and do interviews.
some time in the next year, we will be a full-fledged radio station
to the point of where we'll have local news, local sports,"
stations are bleak in Linton. The closest stations come out of
Bismarck and Mobridge, S.D. KLHS, since going online Feb. 13, has
become a sort of defacto community station.
not being served here," Schmaltz said. "I feel this can
serve a purpose for the public and also for the school. I think this
is something that the community needs."
approached Linton Public School Superintendent Paul Keeney and the
high school's principal, Michael Schirado, with the proposal last
he said they wondered: Would any high school students even want to
get involved? And how could they get school credit?
had never heard of it before," said Schirado, who is in his
first year as principal of the school. "It seemed like a really
great idea, and it just needed some guidance and push to make it
said they found out they could make the station a credited course for
students through a radio journalism course offered through the North
Dakota Continued Distance Education, an accredited virtual school.
went to the school board and asked for about $3,000 for equipment.
Schmaltz, who expected to get about $1,000, said he was surprised
when the entire request was granted.
credits the superintendent and Schirado for helping start the
are very gung-ho, very innovative. They're looking for that niche
that the other schools aren't doing but that we can provide for our
students here," he said.
interested students enrolled in the radio class - Hannah Schumacher,
Raanne Schiermeister, Tiffany Smith, and Kailee Horner - and started
working at the station, with Schmaltz on the controls.
day, the students do their coursework online and switch 30-minute
shifts broadcasting online.
station is online, because it was faster than having to go through
sometimes several years' worth of "hoops to jump through"
with the Federal Communications Commission to obtain a radio license.
The station also is featured on cable access channel 22 for BEK TV.
four students work for an hour out of a makeshift studio built by the
Linton High School shop class in Schmaltz's classroom.
great, but it will suffice for now," he said. "We have
long-term plans that this will grow."
radio station has helped improve the students' communication skills,
Schmaltz said. Smith, a student in the class, agrees.
have to slow down a lot (on the radio)," said Smith, a junior at
Linton High School.
said she took the class to learn something new. Through the class,
she's learned how to operate radio equipment, stick to a time
schedule and read the weather. She plans to continue in the class
next school year.
said he hopes the class will expand in the fall with a more permanent
studio and production facility. And perhaps - in the near future - it
might turn into an over-the-air radio station. An "educational
station," of course, Schmaltz said.
what it would be, if it was anything. It wouldn't be commercial; it'd
be educational because I want it to stay here. I want it to remain in
the school, and I want it to be run by the students," he said.
sky's the limit. I think we want to approach everything with that
kind of a mindset," said Schirado, adding he hopes the
student-run station can collaborate with other classes, such as
English and history.