NOAA 2005-R257
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NOAA News Releases 2005
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NOAA today presented a Mark Trail Award to Bemidji’s Roger Paskvan, for support of the agency’s NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards program. NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Now in its ninth year, the Mark Trail Award program honors individuals and organizations that use or provide NOAA Weather Radio receivers and transmitters to save lives and protect property. Seventeen award recipients were recognized nationally this year.

Paskvan is being honored for his ceaseless advocacy and support of NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards among the residents of northern Minnesota.

“With this award, we recognize Roger Paskvan for an important contribution to protect the lives and property of residents in his community,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “Whenever danger threatens, whatever the hour, NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards can provide those extra minutes of warning in situations where minutes can save lives.”

Paskvan accepted the award during a ceremony in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

“In the 1990s, Roger pioneered NOAA Weather Radio in north-central Minnesota by donating tower space and a 100-watt transmitter that mainly served the Bemidji area,” said Gregory J. Gust, warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA’s National Weather Service in Grand Forks, N.D. “Through the turn of the century, Roger was an integral part of the team that crafted a statewide NOAA Weather Radio expansion plan. He upgraded service to Bemidji with a new tower and a 1,000-watt transmitter in 2002. Then, in 2004, he donated space on a third tower near Park Rapids, Minn., which completed the statewide expansion project and ensured NOAA Weather Radio coverage across Minnesota’s famed Lake Country.”

The Mark Trail Awards are named for the nationally syndicated comic strip character that serves as the campaign symbol for the NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards 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 the radios. In recent years, the strip's education message has included the fact that anyone listening to NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards has instant access to the same lifesaving weather reports and all-hazards information provided to meteorologists, emergency personnel and the media.

“Jack Elrod and his alter ego, Mark Trail, have been great partners to NOAA’s National Weather Service in helping educate the public to the importance of having this device nearby. When weather dangers loom day or night and minutes count, a NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards is the one tool that gives you and me the instantaneous information we need to protect ourselves,” said Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), director of NOAA’s National Weather Service.

NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information direct from a nearby National Weather Service office. NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards broadcasts official National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other civil emergency information 24 hours a day. NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards includes more than 800 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories.

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.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources.

Editor’s Note: Information on NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards and graphics of Mark Trail are available at:

On the Web:


NOAA’s National Weather Service:

NOAA’s National Weather Service in Grand Forks, N.D.: