KPFT Knocked Off Air -- Not By The KKK This Time

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Pacifica station KPFT-FM has been knocked off the air and may not be able to broadcast over the airwaves until tomorrow because of damage to its radio tower.

Don't blame the KKK this time. Blame copper thieves.

A group of what KPFT general manager Duane Bradley calls "relatively well-organized but stupid people" broke into the tower facility near 290 and Beltway 8 sometime this morning in search of copper.

The cut through some locks and even disconnected a "drop line," a high-voltage wire 30 feet off the ground, cutting power to the tower.

KPFT is the only radio station that rents space on the tower; also affected are some cell phone users.

Bradley says Harris County Sheriff's deputies are currently on the scene gathering information, but as far as he knows no copper was taken.

Given the number of companies who will eventually be involved in restoring service, it will likely take at least the rest of the day and maybe into tomorrow before KPFT is back on the air.

"Which is a drag," Bradley says, "because we're airing the [U.S. Supreme Court nominee] Elena Kagan hearings, and no one can hear them except in Galveston and on the internet."

The station can be heard on the net.

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