VA Tech Radio Engineer Survives Shooting

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Blacksburg, VA - Apr 26, 2007 - As the details of the Virginia Tech tragedy are released, there's one happier story that is making the rounds. Kevin Sterne, the student engineer at the campus radio station, WUVT, was wounded during the shooting. He was able to use an electrical cord as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding from his leg, which saved his life. He underwent surgery and is currently recovering in the hospital, but he's doing well.

Sterne's five-year pet project has been to relocate the station's transmitter. The current transmitter location is on top of a dorm building. The transmitter room does not have air conditioning. The transmitter is currently feeding a temporary antenna and delivering about half the station's licensed ERP. The university wants the station to relocate the transmitter facility, and the Sterne has been working on this project.

A new site has been located on a tower on nearby Price's Mountain, and the station has been raising money to fund this project. From what Radio magazine has learned, the land on Price's Mountain is owned by the school, but the tower is owned by Cumulus.

Following any crisis, questions are raised about what can be done to support those who suffered the tragedy. The Society of Broadcast Engineers contacted the station and spoke with Kim Foley, the outgoing station business manager, and William Glynn the incoming station business manager, who told the SBE that Kevin Sterne and his family have requested that recognitions and donations be made to the station. Donations should be noted as being for "Kevin" or "transmitter." Mail donations and items to:

att: "Kevin" or "Transmitter"
350 Squires Student Center
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0506

There is also a secure donation space online at Select DONATE from the menu. In the space for "Show/DJ/Time Slot to Credit" enter "Kevin" or "transmitter."

Clear Channel is donating a Harris Z5 transmitter and six-bay antenna as well as a prefab building. The SBE is helping to arrange the additional needed equipment, engineering assistance and studies.

Additional information on this project will be posted as it becomes available.

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