Local access channel TV station has new digs

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MEXICO — The Western Valley Access Channel, headed up by station manager Pam Bevins, has a new home upstairs in the Region 9 School of Applied Technology building.

“This is working out great,” she said. “We’re looking forward to working with the students, to have the instructors bring them up here as part of their program.”

For many years, the local access TV station was housed on the second floor of Rumford/Mexico University College on Brown Street. But with the uncertainty of whether the college will continue to lease space there, the local access channel decided to search for a new location. The agreement with Region 9 worked out perfectly, Bevins said.

In return for free use of the school’s space, access channel volunteers and Bevins will allow students to work with the technology required to record and edit programs.

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“We’re here in exchange for being a resource,” Bevins said.

Volunteers, some students, some community members, attend and record selectmen’s meetings, church services, sports events, and many other local and community activities.

Bevins said she didn’t realize how much the local cable channel was watched until it was down for nearly two weeks last month during the move from Brown Street to Region 9.

“Time Warner (the company that provides the local channel) was getting a lot of calls,” she said.

Channel 7 is always looking for volunteers to record local events. Anyone with an interest in volunteering, or buying DVDs of recorded programs, may contact her at 364-3764, ext. 208. She is also in the office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. preparing raw recordings for broadcast.

Future plans call for applying for grants that could pay for the upgrade of much of the equipment.

The station is supported by several River Valley towns.

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