Aug 15, 2017
By Jean Braithwaite, Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER – Three individuals and four businesses were honored during the 2017 Business and Community Awards dinner held Friday evening at the Davis Center, Potomac State College. The first of these was the 2017 Rotary Service Above Self Award. Ed McDonald was given this tribute. On behalf of the Rotary Club of Keyser, Dinah Courrier presented the award for the “tireless effort” that McDonald spent in bringing a radio station to the community, in addition to his work with the Mineral County Historical Society, the National Federation of the Blind, and many additional endeavors.
A graduate of Bethany College and Ohio University with a degree in broadcast journalism, McDonald taught communications at Bethany and worked at radio stations in Kanawha and Putnam counties, as well as in Kentucky. He has been a member of the Mineral County Historical Society for almost 25 years, and was instrumental in launching WKYW, Mountain Streams Radio.
Earlier in the program, he gave information on the Mountain Streams radio station, saying, “At age 7 was the first time I was in a radio station,” and now he proclaims to be a lifelong radio addict. He said that the process began in 2013 for the local radio station, when a construction permit was applied for, followed by a testing process, and finally in late February, “regular broadcasting began.”
Mentioning the station is at 102.9 on the dial, McDonald said it is licensed through the Mineral County Historical Society, with the transmitting antenna being located at Catamount Place, a residence hall at PSC.
“There is a unique music format,” he said, involving the sounds of West Virginia and the Appalachian area that features “old time string, bluegrass, and gospel,” all presented with acoustic instruments.
McDonald said in the future improvements will be made at the Keyser radio station, as adding more music and having a real studio, where now everything is produced in the basement of his home. He is also planning to expand the air time to include “all of Mineral County,” develop an advisory group, and welcomes volunteers and ideas for the radio station.