The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

January 11, 2013

Weather now a key factor in building radio tower

Police waiting for completion to switch frequencies

OTTUMWA — Communication is vital in today’s world, and numerous emergency personnel are more than ready for the communications tower to go up.

Narrow banding is the focus, according to Ottumwa Police Chief Jim Clark.

“We’ll be switching frequencies from UHF to VHF, and we’re still in the process of that because the communications tower isn’t up yet,” Clark said this week.

Police won’t switch until the tower is up, and that now depends on the weather, he added. If the weather allows, some contractors could soon still pour concrete and build the footings for the tower.

Officials said the work could be done sometime in March or April, and officials could go ahead in putting the tower in the chosen spot on the Fourth Street hill. The area is near the former site of the old Washington Junior High School, which no longer exists.

“Once the tower is complete and the repeaters are on the tower, then we could switch to a different frequency,” Clark said.

State and federal agencies must have narrow banding completed by the end of this month.

“We have the licenses and are in the process of having equipment switched to narrow banding, which hss nothing to do with digital,” Clark said. “Once the equipment is all narrow-banded, our reception will be poor in lots of places in the city. It’s one of the primary reasons for going to VHF rather than UHF.”

Currently police are on UHF only and cannot communicate with other agencies, Clark said. When on VHF, police can communicate with the sheriff’s department, Iowa State Patrol and ambulance and fire units.

Clark also noted police are required to use narrow banding by Dec. 31. They have the licenses and the main thing shows the Federal Communications Commission that local police are working on the situation.

“They’re in the process of switching 40 portable radios and the ones in their patrol cars,” Clark said. “All have to be narrow-banded.”

That means an officer will have to open each radio unit and adjust some technical components inside the radio.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

  • Lottery sales top $3 billion mark OTTUMWA — Mother Nature may have thrown Iowans a brutal winter, but it didn’t stop them from venturing out to buy lottery tickets. On Tuesday, the Iowa Lottery confirmed that it had topped the $3 billion mark in sales for the third consecutive year.

    July 29, 2014

  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Slideshow: Truck overturns on roundabout

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seasonal forecast Cool summer leading to cool fall? OTTUMWA — By late July, the average daytime high temperature starts to drop. What is normally the hottest part of the year is over. Averages are still in the mid-80s, and it certainly wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see days in even the upper 90s.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • IHCC buildings.jpg Grant helps Hills keep students on track

    OTTUMWA — Thanks to a grant designed to improve graduation rates, Indian Hills Community College now has even more tools in its campuswide effort to help students with needs and give them the resources they need to stay in class. Indian Hills is one

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends

    ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mediacom: Rural cable consumers and companies mistreated OTTUMWA --- You may want to add just a racing channel, a court channel or a nature channel to your cable line up. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to buy a "bundle," which, ironically, is what it will cost you here in Wapello County. That's accord

    July 26, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook