WEOW Radio Today's Hit Music 2014-10-22T05:08:31Z http://weow927.com/feed/atom/ WordPress weow927 <![CDATA[Bill Becker]]> http://weow927.com/?p=358 2014-04-08T14:06:15Z 2014-04-08T14:06:15Z Continue Reading]]>  

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By Josie Gulliksen, Florida Keys News Bureau

For 30-some years Bill Becker, news director at Lower Keys–based U.S. 1 Radio 104.1 FM, has provided a soothing, authoritative presence that appeals to Florida Keys listeners. Surprisingly, though his smooth voice and comfortable manner make him a broadcasting natural, working in radio was not his life’s goal.

A native of New York, Becker earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in marine biology. Though he wrote for his high school newspaper, he had no radio experience until he came to the Florida Keys and his love of science led him into broadcasting. After graduating in 1971, he accepted a job offer from the Lower Keys’ Newfound Harbor Marine Institute at Sea Camp.

“It was my sole job offer in 1971,” Becker said, “so I drove down with all my belongings in a 1964 Chevy and I worked there for 10 years.”

He taught marine biology to kids and, through outreach programs, became involved in local organizations. He even served as president of the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce.

That’s when he caught the attention of David Freeman, a local insurance agent with a broadcasting background who had started a small Key West station called WIIS. Freeman asked Becker to do a 15-minute on-air segment about his work at Sea Camp.

“I would record my segment on cassette with a hand-held tape recorder and mail it to David, who would play it every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m.,” said Becker. “It could barely be heard in Big Pine, but still it gave me the bug for radio — I felt I was creating something positive that people appreciated.”

When U.S. 1 Radio started up in 1980, Becker went to the station and offered to do local news. That was the beginning of his career there. He described radio in those days as a bare-bones affair. The evolution of U.S. 1 started in 1985 when Crain Communications bought the station and invested in new equipment and a new tower. In 2004, Vox Communications bought the station from Crain and continued to expand it.

So committed was U.S. 1 to local news and the community that when Hurricane Georges impacted the Lower Keys in 1998 Becker and his fellow staffers stayed on the air throughout, providing information and comfort to listeners during and after the storm.

Becker credits the station’s incredible team commitment, stellar facilities and sturdy generator (nicknamed Zippy) for making it possible to stay on the air. As well as the only information resource, U.S. 1 was the connecting source between the public, local emergency management personnel and the sheriff’s office.

“Our role in the recovery was problem solving, and the outpouring from the community was very heartwarming,” Becker said. “It was quite an experience to hear people’s voices and know that we were aiding in keeping them calm and giving them information.”

One of his oddest on-air experiences during Georges was receiving a call from his neighbor, who told Becker that half the roof of his home was gone.

“That really hit home for me,” the newsman said. In 1999, U.S. 1 received a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for outstanding coverage during Hurricane Georges.

“Attending the black-tie event to receive the award, and meeting the giants of broadcast news like Walter Cronkite, was a very humbling experience,” said Becker. “To this day, people in the Keys still come up and thank me for what we did and continue to do.”

Later, the station’s efforts were featured in an episode of The Weather Channel’s series “Storm Stories.”

Becker’s work also has led to involvement in other historic moments. He’s done broadcasts in Cuba as part of humanitarian efforts by a local group taking medical supplies and food to the island. And he simulcast live from Key West’s Mallory Square in 1982 when the Florida Keys seceded from the Union and formed the independent Conch Republic.

In addition, he’s co-founder of one of the Lower Keys’ signature events: the annual Underwater Music Festival that spotlights coral reef preservation. Each July, the quirky underwater broadcast draws hundreds of diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, as well as national and international media coverage.

Today, Becker broadcasts the news and hosts U.S. 1’s 90-minute “Morning Magazine” each weekday morning, showcasing local issues and events through commentary and on-air interviews. He’s quick to praise the station’s evening newsman, Ezra Marcus, calling him “a real television and radio pro.”

After nearly 40 years in the island chain, Becker appreciates his tranquil existence on Sugarloaf Key with his wife Bernadette and two daughters and a granddaughter close by.

“I live on a wonderful wooded acre with a pool, a pond and a great garden that I get to tend to year-round,” he said. “I have a great life.”

Posted On: April 13, 2010

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fkadmin <![CDATA[Latest News]]> http://weow927.com/?p=331 2014-04-07T19:08:37Z 2014-04-07T19:02:07Z
  • Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:41:00 +0000: Two men charged with strong armed robbery - Monroe County Sheriff's Office
    Two men, drinking with a third man were arrested after they attacked him, beat him and robbed him.

    The three men were at a trailer on Maloney Avenue drinking together. The victim said 23 year old Robert Morejon and 28 year old William Meeks objected to the tone of voice with which the victim was talking to them. Morejon reportedly got up and began to hit the victim in the head, then choked him. Meeks joined in the beating. The two then took cash from the victim’s pockets before he said he was able to escape from the residence.


    The victim said he walked down Maloney Avenue to an apartment complex where he began knocking on doors for help. Residents of the apartment complex called the Sheriff’s Office to report him as a suspicious person. Deputies Ian Cooper and Josh Gordon responded and found the victim covered in blood with cuts and bruises all over his face and head.


    Morejon and Meeks were found still at the trailer where the attack took place. They were arrested, charged with strong armed robbery and battery. Meeks resisted deputy’s attempts to place him into custody so he was also charged with resisting arrest.



  • Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:37:00 +0000: Miami man repeatedly arrested for lobster violations, faces high bond - Monroe County Sheriff's Office
    Deputy Wilfredo Guerra with illegally caught tails


    A Miami man was arrested Saturday, charged with having undersized wrung lobster tails. The man has been arrested multiple times over the past few years on the same type of violations.


    Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was on patrol at 4 a.m. near Fiesta Key Marina on the bayside when he spotted a white Carolina skiff with one male occupant. The man appeared to be pulling traps, then wringing lobster tails and placing them into a mesh bag. As the deputy watched, the man threw two bags full of wrung tails onto the shoreline from his boat, then returned to the bay where he continued pulling traps.


    At 6 a.m., Deputy Guerra watched the man repeat the process of pulling up to shore, wringing tails and throwing bags of tails onto the shore.


    Deputy Guerra measures undersized lobster tails
    The man – identified as 59 year old Jorge Vargas of Miami – then drove his vessel to the marina and docked it. He got into a black Ford Ranger truck and drove to the shoreline to pick up the bags of lobster. At that point, Deputy Guerra confronted him.


    Vargas was caught with 267 wrung tails. Out of those, 246 were undersized. He was cited for possession of undersized lobster, possession of over the limit lobster and possession of wrung lobster tails. Vargas was booked into jail on the charges.


    A records check revealed Vargas had been cited two times before during the past three years in the Florida Keys; those previous cases also involved possession of over 300 wrung tails and with possessing stone crab out of season.


    While Vargas was being held in jail, a warrant was issued for him Monday for failure to appear in court for one of the previous cases from 2011. The judge set bond on the warrant at $1.4 million. 


  • Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:11:00 +0000: Search warrants lead to drug arrests - Monroe County Sheriff's Office
    A search warrant on Stock Island led to an arrest on drug charges Thursday.

    Detectives from the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit and from Lower Keys Criminal Investigations served the warrant Thursday morning at 50 12th Avenue. 23 year old Michael McIntosh was arrested after detectives found Alprazolam pills in his bedroom for which he did not have a prescription. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance and he was booked into jail.


    A second search warrant was served at 28177 Julia Avenue on Little Torch Key Thursday evening by Special Investigations detectives and the Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.


    In the pocket of one resident, 23 year old Max Sanchez, detectives found 7.9 grams of heroin. They also found seven plastic bags of cocaine  and another 7.4 grams of heroin in a bedroom. All the Heroin found was in pill form – a total of 158 pills of the illegal substance were recovered. Numerous items of drug paraphernalia were also found in the house, along with a small amount of marijuana, $739 in cash and 26 rounds of 12 gauge shotgun ammunition.


    A check on Sanchez revealed he is a convicted felon who had failed to register as required by state law. He was arrested. He was charged with trafficking in heroin, possession of  cocaine with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and failing to register as a convicted felon. He was booked into jail.
  • Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:09:00 +0000: Marathon woman falls victim to scam - Monroe County Sheriff's Office
    A Marathon woman is out $2,000 after falling victim to a scam.

    The victim told Deputy Matthew O’Neill she received a call from someone who said he was her grandson. He said he’d been in an accident and his car had been impounded. He told her he needed $2,000  to get his vehicle back. He instructed her to obtain four green dot cash cards and to call him back.


    She purchased the cards and then received a second call from someone identifying themselves as a “Officer Foley” from the Arcadia Police Department. He asked her for the green dot card numbers to cash the cards. After she gave him the numbers, he told her to go get an additional $2,000 worth of cards.


    At that point she became suspicious and called the Arcadia Police Department. They told her they had no “Officer Foley” working for them. She then called her grandson who told her he’d not been involved in an accident. She checked the card balances and they had been emptied of their value.


    The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone that there are many similar scams being used by criminals. If you receive a phone call from anyone asking you to pay them using gift cards, cash cards, or demanding that you wire money somewhere you should immediately suspect a scam and call the Sheriff’s Office. If a person is claiming a relative is in trouble, is being held in lieu of money, or has been in an accident, we can help you to check into the claim. There is always time to make phone calls and verify information before you make such an expensive mistake.
  • Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:44:00 +0000: Tip from Monroe County leads to chop shop bust in Hendry County - Monroe County Sheriff's Office
    Sheriff’s detectives from Monroe County Sheriff’s Office were instrumental in providing information which led to the bust of a chop shop in Hendry County. The chop shop was found to have stolen property from at least five different Florida jurisdictions including a stolen truck and possibly a stolen vessel and trailer from Monroe County.

    Detectives Francisco Gaete and Ian Barnett were assigned to investigate the stolen vehicle cases. During the course of their investigation, they received a tip the property could be found at a location on Pioneer 16th Street in Hendry County. The tip came from one of the Monroe County victims, who spotted a distinctive custom made aluminum fuel tank on Craig’s list. The fuel tank was installed in the bed of his truck, which had been stolen from his home in Key Largo between the night of October 5th and the morning of the 6th. The victim had a friend call the contact number on Craig’s list and the friend was told where the tank was being stored, at the Pioneer 16thStreet location. The detectives called Hendry County Sheriff’s Office and relayed the information to them.


    Investigators from Hendry County went to that location on Tuesday and contacted two men who allowed them onto the property. Investigators found tools, vehicle parts and other property. Numerous stolen ATVs, boats, trailers and automobiles were recovered during the investigation. The property had been stolen from various jurisdictions including Monroe County, Miami Dade, Broward County, Pembroke Pines and Hillsborough County.


    The two men were arrested. 49 year old Mitchell Wayne Everett of Hendry County and 49 year old Ernesto Gutierrez Garcia of Hialeah were both charged in connection with the case. Charges from Monroe County and the other jurisdictions will likely follow.


    For more details about this case, contact the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office.


    Here are a couple of links to stories in the media about this case:







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    fkadmin <![CDATA[Music News]]> http://weow927.com/?p=311 2014-04-04T19:16:34Z 2014-04-04T19:13:34Z

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