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Goodbye Stein Hill, hello Tumwater Mountain

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We know you like to keep up with where our local radio waves come from. I mean, we don't want any frequencies from, say, Moses Lake creeping in from the south, right?

So you'll be interested to know that Northwest Public Radio, our National Public Radio station in the Wenatchee Valley, will be improving service to the Leavenworth and Cashmere areas. They'll be moving the translator, upgrading equipment and adding NPR's all-day, news-and-talk programming to complement the existing classical music channel.

That's right. Listeners in Leavenworth and Cashmere will be getting both channels — so now they can toe-tap to Brahms as they worry about Middle East insurgents.

The upgrades come about because earlier this year NWPR received FCC permission to move its translator site from Stein Hill (near Cashmere) to Tumwater Mountain (near Leavenworth). They have until the end of 2013 to complete the project, but NWPR spokeswoman Sandi Billings said they might have the whole thing done by this summer or, if there are delays, next summer.

The sticking point is, of course, the moolah to pay for it all. The project costs about $19,000, but they've already received matching funds of $9,000.

Like a lot of us, the old Stein Hill translator is too old to be moved. It's been up there since 1983 and doesn't have the latest electronics to broadcast the highest quality signals. So NWPR will install a new one that can multi-beam NPR signals and, for all we know, make a good cup of espresso.

Details: Northwest Public Radio will be heard in Leavenworth and Cashmere at 91.3 More info is available at 1-800-842-8991 or visit nwpr.org.

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