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New radio station offers Christian Catholic viewpoint

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Wayne Dardis and four members of Stanislaus Communications' board of directors made it possible for a new broadcast in Perham when it started operating 100.3 FM, a Catholic-oriented Christian talk radio station.

In 2013, Dardis heard multiple times about an opportunity to start a low-power FM station through the Federal Communications Commission.

"So I eventually did pay attention to the message and thought, hey, maybe God has called me to do that in Perham," said Dardis. But he did not contact the Catholic Radio Association immediately. Instead, he talked to a friend, Steve Splonskowski, who helped him learn more about radio and how the process works.

A few setbacks slowed his progress to set up a talk radio station, the first of which was obtaining a permit. As part of the permit process, it was required that he set up a non-profit organization, since none existed locally, to oversee the station.

"So working with the guidance of the Catholic Radio Association and Steve and I figured out how to go about forming Stanislaus Communications" said Dardis.

He chose the name in honor of a Catholic parish in Perham which had closed shortly before he decided to start the radio station.

This broadcast offers a Catholic perspective and teachings; people may also call in and ask questions, as well as religious news a Christian viewpoint. The broadcast will also include prayers and devotions. Arvig provides the internet connection and St. Henry's covers the cost of electricity.

Dardis chose the call letters KXPM, he said, because "KX kind of sounds like Christ, and PM is like Perham, so the thought of 'Bringing Christ to Perham' came about."

The broadcast antenna was mounted on St. Henry's church steeple. The vice president of Stanislaus Communications' board of directors, Tom Hammers, helped Dardis determine where the mount should be located on the steeple.

The majority of the program comes out of Relevant Radio world headquarters in Green Bay, Wis. One of the studios that receives Relevant Radio is studio KYES, AM 1180 located in Sauk Rapids, Minn. Two computers receive and process the feed, one of the computers controls the broadcast for KXPM-LP, and substitutes in announcements pertinent only in the Perham area.

After the permit was granted, another bump brought the process to a halt: all low-power FM permits stopped because "the Federal Government went into partial shutdown in October right when the applications were supposed to be submitted," said Dardis.

Finally, four months later, in February 2014, a permit was issued for the construction of an antenna. Before going further, Bishop Kettler at St. John's University offered a blessing.

"Once we had his blessing, it seemed we were ready to begin fundraising the roughly $20,000 we needed," Dardis said. "But we soon discovered there was more organizational work to be done."

After more than two years, the FCC granted the station its license to operate and KXPM began broadcasting on May 2.

Donations have come from a group affiliated with the Knights of Columbus, an international Catholic mens' fraternal organization officially named the "Perham Knights of Columbus" or Council 1773. Assembly 1684, Saint Dismas Assembly, which draws membership from four councils in Pelican Rapids, Frazee, Perham and Wadena, has also donated money, but most of the donations have come from individuals and members of St. Henry's Church.

Questions or comments may be sent to friends@perhamcatholicradio.com

Kelsee Newton

Graduated from Perham High School in 2009 and graduate from Minnesota State University of Moorhead in 2015 with a  degree in English and Mass Communications. Newton covers the city beat and feature writer for the Perham Focus.

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