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“Good morning, friends! This is the very first broadcast of KKWZ-FM 95.3, live from Rugby, North Dakota, the Geographical Center of North America!” Lila Harstad opened the first broadcast of an FM station in Rugby on the morning of Monday, June 6. KKWZ-FM 95.3, Kool AC, plays a mix of Adult Contemporary music, local weather, local and regional sports and local news.

Harstad cut a blue ribbon with a giant pair of scissors to mark the official opening of the station, surrounded by friends, family and employees of KKWZ-FM and their sister station, KZZJ-AM.

Harstad said her main reason for wanting an FM station in Rugby is to be a part of the growing community. “There’s a lot of exciting growth happening in Rugby, and I wanted to add another station in order to help that growth, to give the community that availability of another station. It’s encouraging to be a part of a growing community that’s vibrant.”

Standing in the station’s newly renovated space, one would never guess how it used to look. “There was basically nothing here,” Brad Wangler of Rugby Electronic said. “Lila wanted to add outlets in the existing space upstairs, but when I saw the downstairs space, I thought it was perfect. If you’re going to have a new station, you should have it so that people are excited about it!”

Twenty-five people were at the first broadcast, which Harstad appreciated greatly. “I’m most pleased about the support from the community. My staff has also been very supportive.”

KKWZ, Kool AC, is live on 95.3 FM.

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