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NO. R-158. JOINT RESOLUTION CONGRATULATING RADIO STATION WSTJ ON ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY.

(J.R.H. 123)

Offered by: Representative Crawford of Burke.

Whereas, for many years after radio had become an established medium, northeastern Vermont and northern New Hampshire lacked a local radio station, and

Whereas, area residents were required to tune to distant signals that did not air community information, and

Whereas, recognizing the importance of providing a local broadcasting service for the residents of Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties in Vermont and Coons County in New Hampshire, E. Dean Finney acquired a license from the Federal Communications Commission to operate a new radio station based in St. Johnsbury, WTWN at 1340 on the AM dial, that had its inaugural broadcast on July 10, 1949, and

Whereas, north country listeners were thrilled to discover a new voice on the radio dial that aired extensive local programming, including live coverage of many community events such as high school graduations, and

Whereas, WTWN became the source for local news, agricultural and weather reports, the latter broadcast in cooperation with the meteorological expertise of the Fairbanks Museum, and

Whereas, the radio station soon began a continuing tradition of airing the athletic activities of both Lyndon Institute and St. Johnsbury Academy, and

Whereas, for 27 years, WTWN was the only radio station broadcasting north of White River and south of Newport, and

Whereas, after three decades of bringing outstanding community radio programming to his appreciative listeners, E. Dean Finney sold WTWN to two men from Massachusetts who operated the radio station as Northeast Broadcasting Inc., and changed the call letters to WSTJ, and

Whereas, in 1998, WSTJ was returned to local ownership when Northeast Kingdom native Bruce James purchased the radio station, and

Whereas, area residents continue to rely on WSTJ for informative public affairs programs through the radio station's much respected "Viewpoint" broadcasts and its timely and comprehensive local elections' coverage, and

Whereas, in this new era of multiple media choices, WSTJ remains a vital and dependable information source for the Northeast Kingdom, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates the management and staff of radio station WSTJ as it celebrates a half century of outstanding broadcasting service to the Northeast Kingdom, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Bruce James at radio station WSTJ in St. Johnsbury.