NOAA 2004-R269
Contact: Marilu Trainor

NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has presented a Mark Trail NOAA Weather Radio Award to the Boundary County, Idaho Translator District. Greg Garrison will accept the award at a June 3rd ceremony in Washington, D.C. The agency is being honored for support of NOAA Weather All Hazards Radio in northern Idaho. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Now in its eighth year, the Mark Trail Award program honors individuals and organizations that use or provide NWR receivers and transmitters to save lives and protect property. Twenty award recipients will be recognized nationally this year.

“The Boundary County, Idaho Translator District has made a valuable contribution to their community,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA Weather Radio can provide the public with those extra minutes of warning in situations where minutes can save lives.”

According to Ken Holmes, warning coordination meteorologist for the NWS Spokane Weather Forecast Office, “The Boundary County, Idaho Translator District has been extremely active in supporting the NWR. They purchased a NOAA Weather Radio transmitter system, installed it on Black Mountain, and continue to accomplish the maintenance for this system. In addition, they helped to coordinate with KSPS television station of Spokane to donate a microwave link from Mt. Spokane to Black Mountain to carry the weather radio signal from our office in Spokane, Wash.

The new NWR transmitter furnishes valuable weather and hydrologic information for the rural areas of north Idaho, southern British Columbia and northeast Washington. In addition the new radio helps to complete an Emergency Alert System link to the region with commercial radio station monitoring the NWR broadcast for Emergency Alert System messages.

“Recently, Boundary County worked to gain recognition through the NWS StormReady program,” said Holmes. “One of the main shortfalls for accomplishing this goal was to place NOAA weather radio receivers in the city hall and school superintendent offices. The Boundary County Translator District again stepped forward to help purchased receivers for these facilities, making it possible for the county and the city of Bonners Ferry to meet and exceed the guidelines for StormReady recognition. This community and county were recognized as NWS StormReady on October 2, 2001.”

Spokane Meteorologist in Charge John Livingston said, “The members of the Boundary County Translator District have been strong supporters of the National Weather Service and the NWR Program. Without their help, energy, and monetary support, it would be very unlikely that this rural area would have ever had the benefit of a NWR broadcast.”

The Mark Trail award is named for the nationally syndicated comic strip character which serves as the campaign symbol for the NOAA Weather Radio program. Since 1995, Jack Elrod, writer and illustrator of Mark Trail, and King Features Syndicate have been strong advocates for publicizing severe weather safety through the use of weather radios.

“Jack Elrod and his alter ego, Mark Trail, have been great partners to NOAA National Weather Service in helping educate the public to the importance of having a NOAA Weather Radio in your home when danger threatens,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of the National Weather Service.

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 NWS, please visit:

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Information about NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio and the Mark Trail Award is available at: