Amateur radio in the news: Rotary donates to children’s museum, Waukegan ham charged with interference, more than just a hobby


Kids enjoying the exhibits at the Duluth Children's Museum.

Kids enjoying the exhibits at the Duluth Children’s Museum.

Rotary Club of Duluth makes $2,000 donation. Duluth Children’s Museum will use the money to obtain more equipment for the amateur radio communication programming that derived directly from the DCM’s recent Space Station event.

Unfortunately, this item was very short on details, but I’m trying to follow up with the museum to see if I can make contact with the hams in Duluth who are working with the museum there….Dan

Waukegan man charged with making racially offensive radio transmissions. An amateur radio operator from Waukegan was arrested Tuesday after authorities said he breached security and used racially offensive language on a Lake County Sheriff’s Office corrections radio communications system, officials said. Raymond J. Kelly, 24, of the 4800 block of Eastwood Court, was charged with two counts of tampering with jail communications, as well as one count of harassment through electronic communications, said Sara Balmes, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

I was really sorry to read this…Dan

More than a hobby. Being an amateur radio operator is a great hobby for some, but last week, those hobbyists proved just how important their pastime activity can be in an emergency situation.


  1. The article, “Waukegan man charged with making racially offensive radio transmissions,” says that the man charged with making these transmissions is an alleged amateur radio op, but look at the fourth sentence from the bottom of the story. Didnt you catch that?

    The writer of this story was stupid for calling him a ham at the beginning of the article and then in the fourth paragraph (fourth line from the bottom) saying that he was not licensed by the FCC as a ham. You better retract this story from your blog……..whatsa matter U?

    • Mike–

      You’re right. I didn’t catch that, but I just checked the FCC ULS database, and it appears that Kelly had been licensed in the past. His callsign was K1MBE. The odd thing about this license is that it was issued in May 2008, but cancelled in September 2013. The ULS database doesn’t give a reason for the cancellation.

      I sent an e-mail to the reporter, noting that her story contradicts itself, and that, “The amateur radio community and the FCC do a pretty good job of policing the airwaves, and to not tell the whole story here is unfair to the more than 700,000 licensed radio amateurs who not only operate legally, but work with the police and other emergency services to provide communications when other communications systems are out of commission.”

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