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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554
                       
In the Matter of                        )
                                   )
Shepler's, Inc.                              )         File   No. 
EB-00-DT-801
Mackinaw City, Michigan                 )         
                                   )         NAL/Acct.        No. 
200132360002
                                     
                         FORFEITURE ORDER

     Adopted:   July 25, 2001                   Released:    July 
27, 2001  

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.  Introduction

     1.   In  this  Forfeiture  Order  (``Order''),  we  issue  a 
monetary forfeiture in  the amount of  $2,200 to Shepler's,  Inc. 
(``Shepler's'') for  violation  of  the  Great  Lakes  Agreement1 
(``GLA'') and Sections 80.953(a)  and 80.953(b) the  Commission's 
Rules2 (``Rules'').  The noted  violations involve navigation  of 
the vessels  Captain Shepler  and  Wyandot without  the  required 
annual  inspection  and   certification  of   their  marine   VHF 
radiotelephone equipment.

     2.  On March 27,  2001, the Commission's Detroit,  Michigan, 
District Office (``Detroit Office'') issued a Notice of  Apparent 
Liability (``NAL'') in the amount of $2,200 to Shepler's for  the 
noted violations.3   Shepler's responded  to  the NAL  by  letter 
dated April 2, 2001.

                         II.  Background

     3.  The radiotelephone apparatus aboard vessels subject to 
the GLA must be inspected at least once every 13 months and 
certified as compliant with requirements of the GLA and the 
Bridge-to-Bridge Act.4   See Article XII of the GLA and Sections 
80.953(a) and 80.953(b) of the Rules. 

     4.  Shepler's is the owner of the vessels Captain Shepler 
and Wyandot, which carry passengers on the Great Lakes between 
Mackinac Island, Michigan, and Mackinaw City, Michigan.  Both 
vessels exceed 65 feet in length and are, therefore, subject to 
the GLA.  See Article V of the GLA and Section 80.951(a) of the 
Rules.

     5.  On September 28, 2000, an FCC agent (``Agent'') from the 
Detroit Office  observed the  Captain  Shepler returning  from  a 
voyage  on   the  Great   Lakes.    The  Agent   inspected5   the 
radiotelephone  installation  aboard  the  Captain  Shepler   and 
determined that  the vessel  did not  have a  current GLA  safety 
certification.   On  the  same  date,  the  Agent  inspected  the 
radiotelephone installation  aboard  the Wyandot  and  determined 
that  the  Wyandot  also  did  not  have  a  current  GLA  safety 
certification.

     6.  On  October  31,  2000, the  Detroit  Office  issued  an 
Official Notice of Violation (``NOV'') to Shepler's for violation 
of Section 80.953(b) of the Rules.  Shepler's provided, with  its 
response to  the NOV,  copies of  radiotelephone logs  indicating 
that an authorized  inspector inspected and  certified the  radio 
apparatus aboard the Captain Shepler and the Wyandot as compliant 
on October 4, 2000.  

     7.   In  March  2001,  the  Detroit  Office  requested  that 
Shepler's  furnish  copies  of  the  Captain  Shepler's  and  the 
Wyandot's radio station logs from the period before September 28, 
2000.   Shepler's  provided  copies  of  these  logs.   The  logs 
indicate that the Captain Shepler was navigated on September  18, 
19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and  24, 2000, and the Wyandot was  navigated 
on September 20, 22, and 24, 2000.

     8.  In its response to the NAL issued March 27, 2001, 
Shepler's requests remission of the monetary forfeiture. 

                        III.  Discussion

     9.  The Enforcement Bureau assessed the proposed  forfeiture 
amount in  this case  in accordance  with Section  506(a) of  the 
Act,6 Section 1.80 of the Rules,7 and The Commission's Forfeiture 
Policy Statement and Amendment  of Section 1.80  of the Rules  to 
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines,  12 FCC Rcd 17087  (1997), 
recon. denied,  15 FCC  Rcd  303 (1999)  (``Policy  Statement''). 
Section 1.80(b)(4) of the  Commissions Rules,8 requires that  the 
Commission, in examining Shepler's's response, take into  account 
the nature, circumstances,  extent and gravity  of the  violation 
and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any 
history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters 
as justice may require. 
 
     10.  Shepler's does not deny navigating the Captain  Shepler 
and the Wyandot on the Great  Lakes without a current GLA  safety 
inspection  and  certification.    On  the  basis   of  all   the 
information available to us, we conclude that Shepler's navigated 
the Captain Shepler on September 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24,  and 
28, 2000, and the Wyandot on  September 20, 22, and 24, 2000,  in 
the Great  Lakes  without  the  required  annual  inspection  and 
certification of their  marine VHF  radiotelephone equipment,  in 
violation of the Great Lakes Agreement and Sections 80.953(a) and 
80.953(b) of the Rules.

     11.  In the NAL, the Detroit Office mitigated the statutory 
forfeiture amount of $6,050 to $2,200 on the basis of Shepler's 
good faith and history of overall compliance.  In its response to 
the NAL, Shepler's seeks remission of the proposed $2,200 
forfeiture.  Shepler's argues that its violations resulted from 
an ``oversight'' by its newly appointed senior captain, who 
believed that his predecessor had obtained GLA certifications for 
Shepler's entire fleet. This circumstance does not mitigate 
Shepler's violations.  Navigation without a valid GLA 
certification increases the risk to the safety of life and, 
therefore, is a significant violation.  Shepler's also argues 
that, in 45 years of service, it has never before violated the 
Commission's Rules.  However, the forfeiture amount specified by 
the NAL already reflects Shepler's history of overall compliance.  
Thus, Shepler's arguments do not justify remission of the 
proposed forfeiture or any further mitigation.  We have examined 
Shepler's response to the NAL in light of the factors specified 
in the Policy Statement and in Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules 
and we conclude that $2,200 is the proper forfeiture amount.

                        IV.  Ordering Clauses

     12.  ACCORDINGLY, IT  IS ORDERED THAT,  pursuant to  Section 
506(a) of the Act,9 and  Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4)  of 
the Commission's  Rules,10 Shepler's  IS  LIABLE FOR  A  MONETARY 
FORFEITURE in the  amount of  $2,200 for violation  of the  Great 
Lakes  Agreement  and  Sections   80.953(a)  and  80.953(b)   the 
Commission's Rules.

13.  Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner 
provided for in Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules11 within 
30 days of the release of this Order.  If the forfeiture is not 
paid within the period specified, the case may be referred to the 
Department of Justice for collection pursuant to Section 504(a) 
of the Act.12  Payment may be made by mailing a check or similar 
instrument, payable to the order of the ``Federal Communications 
Commission,'' to the Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.  The payment should note 
``NAL/Acct. No. 200132360002,'' referenced above.  Requests for 
full payment under an installment plan should be sent to:  
Revenue and Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20554.13








     14.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this order  shall 
be  sent  by  certified   mail,  return  receipt  requested,   to 
Shepler's, Inc., P.O. Box 250, Mackinaw City, Michigan 49701.
                    
                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION  


                              David H. Solomon
                              Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

1 Agreement Between Canada and the United States for the 
Promotion of Safety on the Great Lakes by Means of Radio, April 
26, 1973, US.-Canada, 25 UST 935, T.I.A.S. 7837, amended 30 UST 
2523, T.I.A.S. 9352.

2 47 C.F.R.  80.953(a) and (b).

3 An erratum was issued April 6, 2001.

4 33 U.S.C.  24.1201-1208.
     5 Although the required annual inspections of radio 
installations aboard vessels subject to the provisions of the 
Great Lakes Agreement have been privatized, the FCC conducts 
spot-check inspections, such as the inspection in this case, to 
monitor compliance.

     6 47 U.S.C.  506(a).

     7 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

     8  47 C.F.R.  1.80(b)(4).
     9 47 U.S.C.  506(a).

     10 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4).

     11 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

     12 47 U.S.C.  504(a).

     13 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.