KCSE-FM 90.7 Launches Expanded Signal in Prowers County



Celebration Scheduled for March 12, 2015 with Reception and Launch

Garden City, February 14, 2015:  The words ““KCSE FM 90.7 in Lamar, Colorado: Public Radio for the Prowers County Region.  A service of High Plains Public Radio” are about to become a part of daily radio broadcasts in parts of southeast Colorado. Those who have been anxiously awaiting the expansion of public radio beyond Lamar, KCSE-FM 90.7 will now reach across Prowers County as well as into parts of Baca, Kiowa and Bent counties.

There will be a public reception and on-air launch from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. MT on Thursday, March 12, 2015, at the Cultural Events Center in Lamar.  In addition, the Lamar Public Library and Friends of KCSE and High Plains Public Radio will co-sponsor Mike Blakely – Live in Concert following the reception. Those who can’t attend may tune in to KCSE FM 90.7 at 6:00 p.m. for the on-air dedication.

High Plains Public Radio brought the first public radio service to Southeast Colorado area in 1984 with a 10 watt translator located atop a grain elevator in Lamar.  In 1998, local residents raised funds to relocate the signal to a tower and increase the signal to 250 watts.

The current “next-generation” expansion  will increase the power to 4,000 watts expanding the coverage area more than 16 times.  Reception will be improved for the 8,900 Lamar residents that already receive public radio, but it will also extend to approximately 19,300 currently unserved residents. Travelers along major highways such as US 50 and 287 will be able to receive the signal uninterrupted from the HPPR listening area throughout this region of southeast Colorado.

The $137,200 project was funded with a federal grant of $102,200. The grant required a local match which was met through generous contributions from the El Pomar Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation (Denver), and the Cooper-Clark Foundation (Liberal, KS) and from charter underwriting and charitable gifts from area. Donors and charter underwriters include the Esgar Family Foundation, the Anschutz Foundation, Lamar Community College, and other local businesses.

The license for KCSE was obtained in 2008 by the Esgar Family Foundation.  Frederick Esgar and his late wife Jane were supporters from the beginning.  “Knowing that our family has been instrumental in bringing public radio to the area is very satisfying,” Frederick said.  “We love classical music, but High Plains Public Radio is a rich mix of different types of music, award-winning news and even stories from national and regional sources.”

True to HPPR’s history, local involvement has been key to this project from the start, dating back to 2008 when then Lamar City Manager and HPPR board member Ron Stock began urging action and initial planning began.  Today, a group of local leaders has formed to ensure the upgraded public radio service from this capital project yields real benefits to the area.  This group includes Lance Benninghoff (Prowers County Development, Inc.); Frederick Esgar (Legacy Bank and Esgar Family Foundation); Tracy Godinez (Lamar Ledger); President John Marrin and Kristen Lubbers (Lamar Community College); Debbie Reynolds (Lamar Public Library); John Sutherland (Lamar City Manager); Russ Baldwin (Prowers Journal); Susan Lamont and Dr. George Kundhardt (Lamar);  Marsha Wilhite (Holly, CO); Rachel Wallace (El Pomar and SBDC in LaJunta); Lori Lennen (Coolidge, KS); and Delaine Dunning (Granada, CO).

These and other local residents look forward to exploring opportunities for adding the voices of southeast Coloradans and to co-sponsoring events that connect other listeners and friends of public radio across the High Plains. The Anschutz Family Foundation grant was targeted to marketing and awareness.  An informal group Friends of KCSE Public Radio has been established.  Anyone interested in learning more is encouraged to contact Kathleen Holt, Strategic Projects Coordinator for High Plains Public Radio by calling 620-275-6544 or emailing kholt@hppr.org.

Holt commented, “I’ve been involved with public radio in Lamar since the first translator was placed on the top of the elevator.  HPPR was one of the very first rural, community-licensed public radio organization formed with a deep commitment to serving citizens throughout our rural region.  Through this project, these southeast Colorado communities will be able to share their sense of regional identity across state boundaries and to celebrate our common environment, economy, heritage and shared interests. “

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityCountyEducationEntertainmentEventsFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarMedia ReleaseProwers CountyWiley


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