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History

April 1999: A stormy Easter

April 4 (Easter Sunday), 1999 The weather is fine for Easter egg hunting today, but at nightfall, a blizzard suddenly kicks up. The wind blows so hard at KNOM’s transmitter site that it holds the shutters for the exhaust fan closed. By the time Les Brown and volunteer Michael Warren make it to the building…

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March 2008: The All-Alaska Sweepstakes returns

March 26, 2008 Paul Korchin and Amy Flaherty hop onto borrowed snowmobiles to follow the 100th anniversary running of the All Alaska Sweepstakes, a 408-mile sled dog race through the wilderness. They report using a satellite telephone lent by Nome police chief Paul Burke.

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March 1968: Picking a frequency

March 20, 1968 Pioneer Alaska broadcaster Augie Hiebert, who is handling the Nome Catholic radio project’s paperwork, suggests 780 kHz as the new station’s frequency. In a letter, he asks Peter Gureckis of John H. Mullaney’s Washington, DC engineering firm if he concurs.

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March 1990: An international popcorn connection

March 16, 1990 When Tom and Florence Busch host a Russian man and his son, they discover that the boy loves popcorn, which he had never before tasted. And so, they send them home with a jar of Orville Redenbacher and some oil. Later, a (uniquely phrased) letter arrives. “This attempt was not excellent,” it…

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March 2002: The impact of technology in rural Alaska

March 8, 2002 Volunteer Ryan Conarro produces a series of KNOM Profiles on the impact of modern technology in bush Alaska. One of the persons Ryan speaks with is Barb Pungowiyi, coordinator of Native programs for Nome Public Schools. “Some people might say technology is one of the reasons why our culture is being lost,”…

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February 1993: Hearing the Mass in remote Diomede

February 28, 1993 KNOM volunteer news director Cherie Collins is on incredibly remote Little Diomede Island (pictured above), her small plane having landed on a strip cleared of snow on the Bering Strait ice pack. Diomede does not see a priest more than one or two Sundays a year. On this day, a Sunday, Cherie…

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February 2000: A “great gathering”

February 22, 2000 Once again, it’s time for the Nome region’s great gathering: the Bering Strait Elders & Youth Conference. Now three days long, the 2000 conference explores the theme “Elders reviving traditional festivals and ceremonies.” This year, there are many round table discussions not suitable for airing. Still, KNOM’s live broadcasts total 14 hours.

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February 1968: Legal help from Joseph Hennessey

February 16, 1968 At the request of pioneer Alaska broadcaster Augie Hiebert, Washington, DC communications attorney Joseph Hennessey agrees to provide free legal assistance. Hennessey continues to help the mission at no charge through 1990.

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February 2002: Les and a polar bear

February 5, 2002: As he does every morning, engineer Les Brown drives to the remote KNOM transmitter site, walking the final 400 feet through deep snow in the morning darkness. Les is unaware that someone in a nearby cabin spotted a polar bear prowling the area overnight. Thankfully, Les finishes his work and returns to…

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