Elena Kagan hearings aid
KPFT back on the air after a 36-hour copper thief interruption
KPFT 90.1 FM is back on the air after vandalism to its transmission tower by suspected copper thieves knocked the station off the airwaves for more than 36 hours.
Shortly after 12:01 a.m. Monday, thieves cut two locks at the Northwest Harris County property where the transmitter tower building is located. Then, they cut a high-voltage drop line about 30 to 35 feet off the ground, which cut power to the tower.
KPFT, which is part of the progressive Pacifica radio network, has gone off the air under far more adverse circumstances in the past. When the station was founded in 1970, it was bombed off the air twice by the KKK.
In comparison, yesterday’s break-in appears to be the work of a few greedy individuals, who may have reaped very little benefit for their efforts.
KPFT’s general manager Duane Bradley estimates the value the copper that was removed was only a few hundred dollars, even with rising prices for recycled copper. Meanwhile, Bradley says, about $10,000 in damage was done to the transmission tower property.
Fortunately, the damage was covered by the insurance of the tower landlord. Bradley said that authorities have told him the vandalism followed a pattern similar to recent break-ins at other Houston tower facilities.
Throughout the signal outage, KPFT continued to broadcast online at www.KPFT.org and in Galveston at 89.5 FM. Now the station is back on the air in Houston too, featuring ongoing coverage of the hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.