CRIME

Thieves take off with 200-foot radio tower and transmitter in Alabama

Feb 9, 2024, 2:24 PM

Brett Elmore, the General Manager of WJLX in Jasper, Alabama said that when his landscaper called h...

Brett Elmore, the General Manager of WJLX in Jasper, Alabama said that when his landscaper called him on Friday telling him the tower was gone – he could not believe it. (Courtesy: Brett Elmore

(CNN) —A small-town radio station manager had a big surprise when he learned the station’s 200-foot radio tower and transmitter in Jasper, Alabama, was missing.

Brett Elmore, the general manager of WJLX, said his landscaper had been doing a cleanup of the property Friday when the crew discovered the tower was gone.

Every piece of equipment had also been stolen and the wires to the tower had been cut at the site, Elmore said in a Facebook post.

“I have heard of thieves in this area stealing anything, but this one takes the cake,” he said.

The Jasper Police Department is investigating the theft, Jasper Police Public Information Officer Rachel Karr told CNN.

Elmore told CNN Tuesday he was still shocked the tower, which had been in place since the 1950s, was no longer standing.

“This is a federal offense when you tamper with a broadcast facility. It will carry some serious prison time if we can catch who did this. I will be satisfied when that happens,” he said. “But I’ll tell you one thing… You’re not going to keep me down.”

Since the theft knocked the AM station off the air, WJLX petitioned for the FCC to give it a waiver to continue to broadcast on the FM station, which was still on the air, Elmore said.

But on Thursday, the agency denied the request, saying FM translators are prohibited from operating when the AM primary station is off the air.

Elmore said the FCC told him it did not make an exception to this rule “even given the unfortunate circumstances you describe. W268BM must cease operation while WJLX remains off the air.” The station is still streaming online, Elmore added.

CNN has reached out to the FCC for comment.

Elmore, who grew up in the small city about 40 miles northwest of Birmingham, said radio has always been a part of his life and is a big part of the community.

“This has always been a radio town. People here love the radio station and has always supported it,” he said Tuesday.

On Thursday, Elmore noted the station would be “in a jam” even if it is found: “It will be in pieces. We would have to rebuild it.”

“The community here – they depend on us,” Elmore told CNN. “The main part of broadcasting is to serve your community and our community has had its radio voice silenced.”


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Crime

A Salt Lake City police officer, left, takes a person into custody after the man sold drugs to unde...

Mark Jones

Two-day drug operation along Jordan River Trail leads to more than 20 arrests, SLCPD says

More than 20 people were arrested during a two-day drug interdiction operation earlier this month along the Jordan River Park Trail.

12 hours ago

A Clearfield City police truck is in the snow...

Carlysle Price

18-year-old hospitalized after Clearfield shooting

Clearfield City Police Department said an 18-year-old was shot Friday night in a shooting between a group of adults and juveniles.

16 hours ago

An SLCPD car with it's lights on. (Salt Lake City Police Department)...

Carlysle Price

SLCPD arrest fugitive shooting suspect

The Salt Lake City Police Department said a fugitive suspect wanted in connection to a shooting in February was arrested Friday, according to a press release.

17 hours ago

Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...

Michael Houck

State employee arrested, accused of having sex with a teenager

A man who works for Utah Department of Government Operations was arrested and accused of giving a teenager drugs and having sex with her.

1 day ago

The Supreme Court decided Friday to uphold a federal gun control law that is meant to protect victi...

Brian Carlson

Supreme Court upholds gun law intended to protect domestic violence victims

The Supreme Court decided Friday to uphold a federal gun control law that is meant to protect victims of domestic violence. The law prevents people with a domestic violence restraining order from having a gun.

1 day ago

The American Fork couple who was found dead in apparent murder-suicide on June 19, 2024....

Michael Houck and Lindsay Aerts, KSL TV

American Fork police rule married couple deaths as murder-suicide

Police have released the identities of the married couple found dead in American Fork Thursday and are ruling it was a murder-suicide. 

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Thieves take off with 200-foot radio tower and transmitter in Alabama