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Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013 1:16 pm

RUPERT – The new 91.9 FM La Vos Latina radio station wants to be a community station.

Run by volunteers, the station wants to serve residents by doing everything from helping to publicize fundraising events to announcing job openings, said radio official Rebecca Arteaga, who met with the Rupert City Council during its recent meeting.

“It’s something that will help the community,” she said.

While the station has a Hispanic name, the station broadcasts in both Spanish and English.

“We can incorporate Chinese if someone wants to do it. It’s a multicultural radio. We want to encourage everyone to be there and to participate. We want to include everyone,” Arteaga said.

The station recently worked with the City of Burley and Cassia Regional Medical Center in announcing a golf tournament.

“Now would be a good opportunity to work with Rupert City, with both cities and with both counties. Meanwhile, I’m a resident here in Rupert. I’d like to hear more about the events going on here,” she said.

Residents have been exceptionally good in funding the station, Arteaga said.

“Everyone’s volunteering. People ask us ‘how do you guys get money?  A lot of the businesses will ask ‘how much was your bill?  Here, it’s paid for.’ We have a lot of support from the community,” Arteaga said.  

Arteaga also mentioned that she works for the Community Council of Idaho in its migrant Head Start program.

“I know a lot of people think it’s only for migrants from different countries. It’s (also) for someone who comes from a different state and city. It’s not only for Hispanics. It’s for all of us. It’s for everyone,” she said.

Programs are offered free of charge, Arteaga said.

“It’s for children who have a disability in speech - any type of disability. We’ll waive the cost, so we can help (children) develop properly for their age. We work very closely with special ed programs. We’d like to see more people taking advantage of the service. Transportation, meals – everything is provided by the feds. We would like to see more people join,” she said.

As for the radio station, its Facebook page reports that the Idaho Community Action Network created it in hopes of promoting social justice.

“(It) will seek to represent and inform the area with bilingual programming. This radio station shall strive to empower and bring our communities together through education and diversity. Emphasis shall be placed on local issues concerning social justice, community service, cultural diversity, farm workers and youth,” it writes.

The Federal Communications Commission gave the station the green light in March. It operates as a 501c3 receiving charitable status.

“We are in a time of immense growth. Much of that growth is rich in cultural diversity and is in desperate need of information about the communities they live in. We will broadcast musical, cultural and issues-oriented programming to the coverage area from Eden to Burley and past Minidoka,” the station wrote.

It hopes to reach 50,000 people daily.

“The main difference between Voz Latina and commercial radio stations is that our radio station will be driven by the community whereas commercial radio stations are designed to be driven by profits,” station officials wrote.

The station’s main goals include the following: Giving voice to unrepresented or underrepresented members of the communities, educating people on issues that directly impact their lives, creating the only bilingual community radio station in the state of Idaho and fostering cultural understanding and value diversity in our communities.

Arteaga says that she plans to attend more city council meetings to help spread the word on Rupert’s activities.

“What they said about the change of electricity (a four percent increase), we’d like to let them (the public) know. I’ll be coming more often to report what’s going on,” she said.

For more information on the radio station call 678-2280 or log on at kbwefm.caster.fm/.

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