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Contact: John Leslie
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The 2002 Mark Trail Awards have been presented to individuals and groups that made contributions to expand and improve the life-saving NOAA Weather Radio system coverage, awareness and radio receiver ownership across the nation. The awards, from the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), were given today at a luncheon held in the U. S. Capitol Building.
NOAA Weather Radio continuously broadcasts forecasts and warnings, and is credited with saving lives during severe weather conditions. The award is named after syndicated comic strip character, Mark Trail, the official spokesman for NOAA Weather Radio.
"NOAA Weather Radio has been the difference between life and death for many people," said Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., USN (ret.), NOAA's administrator. "When a tornado is looming, or when rivers and streams are rising, every second counts. That makes a strong case for why more people need the up-to-the minute news from NOAA Weather Radio, and why today's awardees are worthy of honor."
At a Capitol Hill luncheon, South Dakota Governor William J. Janklow, Judge Ray B. Stanley of Polk County, Ark., and representatives of the Sam's Club Spirit volunteers from Muncy, Pa., joined other recipients to accept their Mark Trail Awards, sponsored by NOAA's National Weather Service.
Brig. Gen. Jack Kelly USAF (ret.), director of the National Weather Service said, "Your tireless efforts to ensure more Americans tune into the life-saving coverage of NOAA Weather Radio exemplifies the true spirit of looking out for your neighbor."
In its sixth year, the Mark Trail Awards are presented to individuals, local governments, organizations and corporations, recognizing either their support to expand NOAA Weather Radio coverage, receiver ownership, or quick reactions that saved lives during severe weather episodes, or civil emergencies.
Mark Trail, a syndicated comic strip published through King Features in approximately 175 newspapers nationwide, has been the official spokesman for NOAA Weather Radio since 1997. Jack Elrod, writer and illustrator for Mark Trail, became involved with NOAA Weather Radio in 1995, featuring it in a Sunday comic strip.
Kelly said the Awards are a key part in the National Weather Service's drive to increase listenership of NOAA Weather Radio. "We're spotlighting real-life benefits of NOAA Weather Radio. We hope more people will be inspired to own one."
The 2002 Mark Trail Award winners are:
NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. To learn more about the National Weather Service, visit http://www.nws.noaa.gov.
Learn more about NOAA Weather Radio at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.
Editor's Note: Detailed descriptions of awardee accomplishments are available by calling John Leslie of the National Weather Service at 301-713-0622.