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Recent winter storm puts local PBS programming on hold

BUNKER HILL — Due to a power surge related to the winter storm earlier this month, Smoky Hills PBS (SHPBS) will be without local programming until further notice, according to a news release from station officials.

The power surge occurred on Feb. 16 causing several issues with the Bunker Hill studio’s master control operations, said Amanda Smith, SHPBS marketing director. 

“Because of these issues, we are currently passing through national PBS programming with no localization,” said Smith. “That means no local programs and local scheduling by Smoky Hills PBS. The Kansas Legislature and Doctors on Call programs were also canceled last week due to these issues.”

On Feb. 17, a burst water pipe caused more damage to studio equipment, knocking SHPBS off the air throughout most locations, Smith said. “Our staff was able to us get back on-air the next morning but still without local programming.”

“There is no doubt that these two events are going to impact Smoky Hills PBS in the next few months,” said Michael Quade, interim general manager. “What I know for sure is that we have the best staff to get us up and running as quickly as possible. We ask everyone to be patient as we resolve these issues. We know you love our local programming and we are working very hard to bring it back,” he said.

Quade added that there is no set time frame for when the studio’s equipment will be back in operation or when local programming will return to SHPBS. “We encourage our viewers to visit,, or the PBS video app to access programming you might not find currently on-air,” he said.

Smoky Hills PBS serves 71 counties in central and western Kansas including Barton and Pawnee.