WEOW Radio Today's Hit Music 2015-03-02T14:50:11Z 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]]>  

BBecker 2 web

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

fkadmin <![CDATA[Latest News]]> http://weow927.com/?p=331 2014-04-07T19:08:37Z 2014-04-07T19:02:07Z
  • Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:49:00 +0000: Detectives look for home invasion robbery suspect - Monroe County Sheriff's Office

    Brandon Rettich, suspect wanted for
    home invasion robbery
    Sheriff’s detectives are investigating a case where suspects tied up a Key Largo man in his home, pointed a gun at him and threatened to kill him. They then stole cash and guns and fled the scene. The victim was able to identify one of the men who robbed him, even though both men used hoods and masks to hide their faces.

    The victim said he was sleeping on his couch at his Drury Drive apartment at 3 a.m. Thursday when the two suspects entered through an unlocked door. He said they pointed a pistol at him and one suspect tied his hands behind his back using zip ties.

    The victim said they took him from the apartment to his parent’s house nearby and they all entered the home through a window. Once inside, he said the two suspects used a Taser on him and ransacked the home. He said at one point, one of the suspects told the other to “pop” him, which he took to mean “kill” him. He said he was afraid he was going to die.

    The suspects found cash hidden in his parent’s house. They also found four rifles and two shotguns. They took the cash and the guns and left the house. The victim said he heard them leave in a vehicle. He said after he heard them leave, he ran to a neighbor’s house for help.

    The victim was able to identify one of the suspects as a man he is acquainted with, 37 year old Brandon Rettich. An arrest warrant has been issued for Rettich for kidnapping, robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and battery. When the second suspect is identified, he will most likely face similar charges.

    Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff’s Office. Callers may also contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Tipsters can remain anonymous and, if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

  • Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:23:00 +0000: Great information from the IRS about a tax related scam: - Monroe County Sheriff's Office
    The IRS has issued a new warning about a growing number of tax scams in communities across the country.
    If you get a nasty call from someone purporting to be an employee of the IRS, hang up the phone.
    The Internal Revenue Service issued a new warning Friday for an ongoing scam in which an official-sounding caller claiming to be a U.S. tax official berates threatens and frightens people into believing they owe thousands in unpaid taxes. Sometimes they say a refund is coming, and ask for personal information to transfer the funds.
    Even though the filing deadline is six months away, the scammers are back at it in earnest.
    One of the most recent victims is a North Carolina Baptist minister who spent nine hours on the phone with a trickster who dumped him out of $16,500.
    The Rev. Al Cadenhead of Charlotte got a call this week from a woman who said his tax returns had been audited and there "serious miscalculations," the pastor told the Charlotte Observer. There was a warrant out for his arrest, she told him, and the IRS was in the process of putting a lien against his house.
    Cadenhead said he panicked and feared his church would be disgraced if he was thrown in jail. He drove around for hours, taking money out of a bank account and purchasing pre-paid Green Dot Money Paks, which the fake IRS agent told him was the only form of acceptable payment.
    "This scam is so sophisticated and efficient and thorough, you're in the middle of it before you realize what's happening," the 67-year-old preacher said.
    In the past year, some 180,000 complaints have been received by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, with 1,800 documented victims and losses estimated at $100 million.
    Former North Carolina Panther Frank Garcia lost $8,000 this summer during a similar phone call. "The way they manipulate you, you're not thinking straight," Garcia told the paper. "I had filed for an extension and thought it could easily be a mix-up."

    The scam is intricate and frighteningly calculated, according to the IRS. The caller ID may flash an actual IRS phone number, the caller may have the last four digits of your Social Security number, the name of your employer and your home address.
    But the Internal Revenue Service does not phone or send emails about personal information, the agency said. Notifications of IRS inquiries are delivered via snail mail.
    If you have been contacted by such a caller, the IRS asks you to call the Treasury Inspector for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484, or Call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office at:
    Upper Keys 853-3211, Middle Keys 305-289-2430, and Lower Keys 305-745-3184.
  • Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:08:00 +0000: Sheriff announces next Citizen’s Police Academies - Monroe County Sheriff's Office
    The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be holding its next Citizen’s Police Academies starting in April and we are looking for people who are interested in learning more about law enforcement and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

    Classes will begin April 15thand will continue through graduation the week of May 27th.  There will be three separate academies held during that time – in the Lower, Middle and Upper Keys. Attendees will be asked to commit to spending one night a week between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. They will also be asked to participate in at least one ride-along with a deputy during the academy period. All participants will be asked to attend the first and last sessions at the Sheriff’s Office hanger at the Marathon airport. Otherwise classes will be held in the following locations:

    • In the Upper Keys, classes will meet every Tuesday at the Roth Building on Plantation Key.

    • In the Middle Keys, classes will meet every Wednesday at the Sheriff’s Office Aviation Hanger in Marathon.

    • In the Lower Keys, classes will meet every Thursday at the Sheriff’s Headquarters building on Stock Island.

    “If you have always wanted to know more about law enforcement this is a terrific opportunity,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “We’ve held academies like this for the past three years and everyone who has attended them really enjoyed themselves. We don’t just stand in a classroom and lecture; you will have the opportunity to have a hands-on law enforcement experience if you attend one of these academies,” he said.

    Classes will include:

    • An orientation and introduction to patrol procedures

    • A tour of one of the jail facilities

    • Introduction to weapons: simunitions and Taser

    • Traffic / Felony stops

    • Crime Scene Investigations, including a hands on mock crime scene

    • Building searches

    • Introduction to specialty units: SWAT, Bomb, Dive, Major Crimes and Special Investigations

    Space is limited, so anyone who is interested should contact the captain in the area where they wish to attend.

  • Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:52:00 +0000: Sheriff helps fellow law enforcers with new equipment - Monroe County Sheriff's Office

    Sheriff Ramsay and Chief Donie Lee look 
    at body camera equipment.

     Sheriff Rick Ramsay met with command staff from other local law enforcement agencies today to give out equipment purchased for those agencies by the Sheriff’s Office. The purpose of the equipment purchases: to help with the collective mission of keeping the residents of and visitors to Monroe County safe.

    Sheriff Ramsay and Key Colony Beach Chief Kris 
    DiGiovanni talk about equipment purchased for KCB Police.
    “All of our agencies work together on a regular and frequent basis and we want to make sure we all have up to date and state of the art equipment to help us do our jobs,” said Sheriff Ramsay. “I was happy to be able to help with that by purchasing this equipment.”

    The equipment included 100 body cameras for Key West Police, GPS/Chart Plotters, game cameras and Nite Optics binoculars for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, AED Lifepaks and Arbitrator video recorders for Key Colony Beach Police and laptop computers, Lidar Lasers and Radar units for the Florida Highway Patrol.

    The money for the equipment came from fees the Sheriff’s Office collects for grant administration. The Sheriff’s Office administers a number of large grants including the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area grant.
  • Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:11:00 +0000: Burglary in Islamorada results in two arrests - Monroe County Sheriff's Office
    A burglary in Islamorada Thursday afternoon resulted in the arrest of two people and the recovery of jewelry stolen from the home.

    The victim came home to his Preston Street residence about 12:35 p.m. and found his front door locked. He said he knew something was wrong because he never locks his doors. He walked around and entered through the back door, and saw a man inside his house. When he yelled at him, the man fled from the house.

    The victim said he saw the suspect – later identified as 28 year old Keith Knespler – ride a “long board” style skateboard to the nearby Dion’s convenience store. The victim followed on a bicycle. An employee in the store told him Knespler met up with a woman wearing a red shirt. Another witness said she had seen the two flee in a silver colored PT Cruiser.

    A notice to be on the lookout for the vehicle was issued over police radios. Deputies Dave Campbell and Cody Kerns spotted the car northbound on the highway, but were unable to catch up to it due to traffic. They lost sight of it, but found the car a short time later parked in Harry Davis Circle. It appeared to be unoccupied, but when the deputies checked inside, the two suspects had reclined the front seats and were hiding.

    Knespler and 26 year old Stacey Legate, both from Jupiter, Florida were identified by the victim and by one of the witnesses. They were arrested. The jewelry they stole – including four Rolex watches – was recovered and returned to the owner. Knespler was charged with burglary and grand theft; Legate was charged with being a principle to the crime of burglary and with grand theft. They were both booked into jail.

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

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