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Theft Hurts Mount Pleasant Radio Station

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- With the economy in the state it is, a public radio station such as WDFH is strapped for funds. So, when a wattmeter valued at $500 was recently stolen from the station in Mount Pleasant, replacing it became an issue.

"We're not only now required to replace the equipment, but we also have to build some sort of enclosure around the transmitter inside the building, because it's obviously not safe anymore," said Marc Saphos, founder and executive director of WDFH.

The wattmeter, attached to the radio station's transmitter, is used to test the transmitter to ensure the power is within the guidelines set by the Federal Communications Commission.

"We're now without an accurate way of measuring our power to determine if we're within the FCC's policies," Saphos said.

The equipment is believed to have been taken sometime between June 14th and 15th. Sophos realized it was missing while replacing a blown fuse on the station's transmitter. He said the device would probably be foreign to most people and only someone involved with telecommunications or radio would have any use for it.

The radio station has been in contact with the FBI to recover the equipment. Tampering with radio equipment is considered a federal offense. So far, no arrests have been made.

WDFH-FM station 90.3 is located in the village of Ossining and broadcasts news and public affairs along with rock, folk, blues and jazz music.  The station reaches about 400,000 potential listeners in the Westchester area.  The community public radio station is completely run by volunteers who serve as hosts, writers, designers and promoters.

Congress is currently in the process of making nationwide funding cuts to public radio stations such as WDFH. Outside donations are crucial in keeping them on the air.

The station is urging anyone with information about the theft to contact the Mount Pleasant Police Department. Any donations made to cover cost of replacement would be appreciated. Donations may be made through the WDFH website or mailed to Hudson Valley Radio, 21 Brookside Lane, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. 10522.

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