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Harvard radio station attuned to community

HARVARD – Harvard Community Radio will be what the community makes it. That much, technical director Roger Hugg knows for sure.

The 2-year-old station at AM 1610 is settling into its home at the historic Starline Factory building, 300 W. Front St., while trying to garner support from a community that so far has been short on producing volunteers.

Hugg envisions a radio station that encompasses what Harvard is all about.

“We want to be a full-service radio station,” Hugg said Tuesday. “We want to provide for the community a means to share with everyone else in the community.”

As it stands, Harvard Community Radio is mostly automated.

The station, which will apply for a low-power FM license in the coming year, has shows Wednesday and Thursday nights, Friday mornings and intermittently on the weekends.

Its board is working to get a daily morning show running from 7 to 9 a.m. and to cover Harvard High School sporting events.

The rest of the time is filled with a list of songs covering a variety of musical interests.

A shortage of on-air volunteers, however, doesn’t mean the station hasn’t made progress in its first two years.

Orrin Kinney, owner of the Starline building, financed its new facility. It’s a slightly smaller space than the station’s former home at 48 N. Ayer St., but it was built for a radio station.

“Orrin offered to build us a studio and provide us with this space,” said Bill Clow, a member of the station’s board of directors. “It gave us a chance to step things up a notch as far as professionalism of the studio and accessibility of the studio.”

Large windows in the broadcast room allow Starline visitors to peer in and watch production.

The station also recently acquired donations that allowed it to upgrade equipment and, soon, to build a broadcast desk complete with a roundtable for guests.

Hugg, a retired former chief of the Rolling Meadows Fire Department, said he’s always wanted to get into radio and is excited about the developments. He’s been with the station from the start.

“When you get into something after it’s established, you have to accept things as they are,” he said. Seeing things through from the beginning “makes you feel good,” he said.

Hugg said the station has a core of volunteers who put in a lot of time to keep it on the air, but the station is looking for more.

“We need a few good people,” he said.

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