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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                )
                                )
BanJo Communications Group, Inc.)    File Nos. EB-02-BF-058
                                )                 EB-02-BF-059
Licensee of Stations WCHN(AM), WBKT-FM, )                     EB-
02-BF-060
and WKXZ-FM                     )    NAL/Acct. No. 200232280001
                                )    FRN 0003-7815-98
Oneonta, New York               )    

                        FORFEITURE ORDER 

Adopted:  December 20, 2002             Released:   December  23, 
2002

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.  INTRODUCTION

1.        In  this  Forfeiture  Order  (``Order''),  we  issue  a 
  monetary forfeiture  in the amount  of twelve thousand  dollars 
  ($12,000)  to  BanJo Communications  Group,  Inc.  (``BanJo''), 
  licensee of Stations  WCHN(AM), WBKT-FM, and WKYZ-FM,  Oneonta, 
  New  York, for  willful  and repeated  violations  of  Sections 
  1.89(b) and  11.35(a) of the  Commission's Rules  (``Rules'').1  
  The  noted violations  involve BanJo's  failure to  respond  to 
  Notices   of   Violation  (``NOVs''),   failure   to   maintain 
  operational  Emergency Alert  System (``EAS'')  equipment,  and 
  failure to determine  and log the reasons why required  monthly 
  and weekly EAS tests were not received.2

2.        On June 18,  2002, the Commission's  Buffalo, New  York 
  Resident Agent Office  (``Buffalo Office'') issued a Notice  of 
  Apparent  Liability for  Forfeiture (``NAL'')  to BanJo  for  a 
  forfeiture  in the  amount  of twenty  three  thousand  dollars 
  ($23,000).3  BanJo  filed a response to  the NAL on August  12, 
  2002.



                         II.  BACKGROUND

3.        On March 14,  2002, an  agent from  the Buffalo  Office 
  inspected  Stations WCHN(AM),  WBKT-FM, and  WKYZ-FM to  verify 
  the stations' compliance with the EAS requirements.  The  agent 
  observed that the three stations were sharing a common  control 
  point  and  a  single  set  of  EAS  equipment.   Based  on  an 
  examination of  the EAS  equipment and  the stations'  records, 
  the agent  determined that the three  stations did not have  an 
  operational EAS  system.  The EAS equipment  was out of  paper, 
  and no one at the stations was able to locate or install a  new 
  roll of  paper.  In addition,  there were no  EAS logs and  the 
  stations had no  record of receiving or transmitting weekly  or 
  monthly EAS tests for  at least two years.  Further, no one  at 
  the stations  was able to tell the  agent the last time an  EAS 
  test was received or transmitted.

4.          On March  25, 2002, the  Buffalo Office issued  three 
  separate NOVs citing  BanJo for violations observed during  the 
  inspection  of Stations  WCHN(AM), WBKT-FM,  and WKYZ-FM.   The 
  NOVs  cited  BanJo for  failure  to  maintain  operational  EAS 
  equipment  and failure  to determine  and log  the reasons  why 
  required  monthly  and weekly  EAS  tests  were  not  received.  
  BanJo  did not respond  to the  NOVs.  On April  30, 2002,  the 
  Buffalo Office  contacted BanJo's  president to  ask why  BanJo 
  had not responded  to the NOVs.  BanJo's president stated  that 
  the responses  would be in the mail  within the next two  days.  
  However, the  Buffalo Office did not  receive responses to  the 
  NOVs from BanJo until after issuance of the NAL.

5.        On June  18, 2002,  the Buffalo  Office issued  an  NAL 
  finding BanJo apparently liable for a forfeiture in the  amount 
  of $23,000 for failure to respond to the three NOVs in  willful 
  and  repeated  violation  of  Section  1.89(b)  of  the  Rules, 
  failure to  maintain operational EAS  equipment in willful  and 
  repeated  violation  of Section  11.35(a)  of  the  Rules,  and 
  failure to  determine and log the  reasons why EAS monthly  and 
  weekly  tests  were  not  received  in  willful  and   repeated 
  violation  of Section  11.35(a) of  the Rules.   The NAL  noted 
  that  the  base  forfeiture  amount  for  failure  to  maintain 
  operational  EAS  equipment  is  $8,000,  the  base  forfeiture 
  amount for failure  to respond to Commission communications  is 
  $4,000, and the base forfeiture amount for failure to  maintain 
  required records is  $1,000.  Since each of the three  stations 
  failed  to  respond to  the  NOV  and failed  to  maintain  the 
  required  EAS logs,  the NAL  proposed  a total  forfeiture  of 
  $12,000 for  failure to respond to the  three NOVs and a  total 
  forfeiture of $3,000 for failure to maintain EAS logs.  

6.        In its response to the NAL, BanJo states that it  fully 
  accepts  the responsibility  and associated  liability for  the 
  EAS violations.   However, Banjo requests  cancellation of  the 
  forfeiture proposed  for failure  to respond to  the NOVs.   In 
  this regard,  BanJo states  that it had  its contract  engineer 
  prepare responses to  the NOVs, but these responses were  never 
  sent to  the Buffalo Office due  to a miscommunication  between 
  BanJo's  president and  the  contract engineer.   In  addition, 
  BanJo provides a letter from the contract engineer, who  states 
  that  he  prepared  and  e-mailed  the  responses  to   BanJo's 
  president  and assumed  that  BanJo's president  was  going  to 
  submit the responses,  but that BanJo's president assumed  that 
  the contract engineer  was going to submit the responses.   The 
  contract engineer also provides copies of the responses to  the 
  NOVs which  he prepared  and asserts  that the  dates on  these 
  responses  demonstrate   the  timeliness   of  the   responses.  
  Finally, BanJo  notes that this is the  first and only time  it 
  has been found to be in violation of the Commission's rules.





                      III.      DISCUSSION

7.        The forfeiture  amount in  this  case was  assessed  in 
  accordance with  Section 503(b)  of the  Communications Act  of 
  1934, as amended,  (``Act''),4 Section 1.80 of the Rules,5  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).  In  examining BanJo's response, Section 503(b)  of 
  the  Act requires  that the  Commission 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.6

8.        Section 1.89(b) of the  Rules requires that a  response 
  to  an NOV  be  submitted to  the  office originating  the  NOV 
  within 10 days, or such period as may be specified in the  NOV.  
  Each of  the three NOVs issued to  BanJo by the Buffalo  Office 
  on March  25, 2002 stated that  a response was required  within 
  10 days.  Thus, the  responses were required to be received  at 
  the Buffalo  Office by  April 4,  2002.  BanJo  did not  submit 
  responses to the three  NOVs until after the NAL was issued  on 
  June 18,  2002.  BanJo states  that the failure  to submit  the 
  responses  to the  NOVs was  the result  of a  miscommunication 
  between its president and its contract engineer.  In  addition, 
  BanJo's  contract  engineer  states  that  the  dates  on   the 
  responses  demonstrate   the  timeliness   of  the   responses.  
  However, under  the Commission's rules, it  is the date that  a 
  document is  received by the  Commission, not the  date on  the 
  face of the  document, that determines whether the document  is 
  timely.7  In  any event, we note  that the responses are  dated 
  May  9,  2002.   Therefore, even  assuming  that  there  was  a 
  miscommunication  between BanJo's  president and  its  contract 
  engineer as  to who was going to  submit the NOV responses,  it 
  appears  that the  responses were  not  prepared until  May  9, 
  2002, more than a month after they were due and ten days  after 
  BanJo's president  told the Buffalo  Office that the  responses 
  would  be  in  the  mail  within  two  days.   Accordingly,  we 
  conclude  that   BanJo  willfully8  and  repeatedly9   violated 
  Section   1.89(b)  by   failing  to   respond  to   the   NOVs.  
  Nevertheless, we  note that the three  NOVs addressed the  same 
  violations  with respect  to  a  single set  of  EAS  equipment 
  shared  by the  three stations.   Under the  circumstances,  we 
  think that  it is appropriate to  reduce the forfeiture  amount 
  for the  three violations  of Section 1.89(b)  from $12,000  to 
  $4,000, the  base forfeiture amount for  a single violation  of 
  Section 1.89(b).  

9.        Section  11.35(a)  of  the  Rules  requires   broadcast 
  stations to install  and maintain operational EAS equipment  so 
  that  monitoring  and  transmitting  functions  are   available 
  during the  times when  the station is  in operation.   Section 
  11.35(a)  also requires  broadcast  stations to  determine  the 
  cause of  any failure  to receive required  monthly and  weekly 
  EAS tests  and to make appropriate  entries in their  EAS  logs 
  indicating  the  reasons why  such  tests  were  not  received.  
  BanJo  states that  it  fully accepts  the  responsibility  and 
  associated liability for  the EAS violations.  Accordingly,  we 
  conclude that BanJo  willfully and repeatedly violated  Section 
  11.35(a) of the Rules.

10.       As noted above, we  have reduced the forfeiture  amount 
  for  BanJo's violations  of  Section 1.89(b)  from  $12,000  to 
  $4,000,  resulting  in a  reduction  of  the  total  forfeiture 
  amount for BanJo's  violations of Section 1.89(b) and  11.35(a) 
  from $23,000  to $15,000.  BanJo notes  that this is the  first 
  and  only time it  has been  found to  be in  violation of  the 
  Commission's  rules.  After  reviewing Commission  records,  we 
  conclude that a  further downward adjustment of the  forfeiture 
  amount  based  on   BanJo's  past  history  of  compliance   is 
  warranted.  We accordingly  reduce the total forfeiture  amount 
  for BanJo's  violations of Sections  1.89(b) and 11.35(a)  from 
  $15,000 to $12,000.

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

11.       Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED that,  pursuant to  Section 
  503 of  the Act, and  Sections 0.111, 0.311  and 1.80(f)(4)  of 
  the Rules,10 BanJo  Communications Group, Inc. IS LIABLE FOR  A 
  MONETARY FORFEITURE  in the amount  of twelve thousand  dollars 
  ($12,000)  for  willful and  repeated  violations  of  Sections 
  1.89(b) and 11.35(a) of the Rules.

12.       Payment of the forfeiture shall  be made in the  manner 
  provided for  in Section 1.80  of the Rules  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.11  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 reference  NAL/Acct. No.  200232280001 and  FRN 
  0003-7815-98.  Requests for  full payment under an  installment 
  plan  should  be  sent  to:   Chief,  Revenue  and  Receivables 
  Operations  Group,  445 12th  Street,  S.W.,  Washington,  D.C. 
  20554.12

13.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by first  class mail and certified mail return  receipt 
  requested   to   James  Vincent   Johnson,   President,   BanJo 
  Communications Group,  Inc., 34 Chestnut  Street, Oneonta,  New 
  York 13820.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         


                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

  1 47 C.F.R.  1.89(b) and 11.35(a).  

  2 Although  the NAL  correctly noted that  Section 11.35(a)  of 
the Rules requires broadcast stations  to determine the cause  of 
any failure to receive required monthly and weekly EAS tests  and 
to make  appropriate entries  in their  EAS logs  indicating  the 
reasons why such  tests were  not received,  the NAL  incorrectly 
cited BanJo for violation  of Section 11.61(a)  of the Rules,  47 
C.F.R.   11.61(a), for  its  failure to  determine and  log  the 
reasons why monthly and weekly EAS tests were not received.   The 
incorrect rule cite has no impact on this case because the  facts 
and circumstances make it clear  that the rule that was  violated 
was Section 11.35(a).  However, we are taking this opportunity to 
correct the cite and will refer to this violation as a  violation 
of Section 11.35(a) throughout the remainder of this Order.

  3 Notice  of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.  No. 
200232280001 (Enf. Bur., Buffalo Office, released June 18, 2002).

  4 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

  5 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

  6 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

  7  See  47  C.F.R.   1.7  (stating,  in  relevant  part,  that 
``pleadings and other documents are  considered to be filed  with 
the Commission upon their receipt  at the location designated  by 
the Commission.'')

  8 Section  312(f)(1) of the Act,  47 U.S.C.  312(f)(1),  which 
applies to violations  for which forfeitures  are assessed  under 
Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term  `willful,' 
... means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission  of 
such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision  of 
this Act or any rule  or regulation of the Commission  authorized 
by this Act ....''  See  Southern California Broadcasting Co.,  6 
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).

  9  Section 312(f)(2)  of the  Act  provides that  ``[t]he  term 
`repeated,' ... means the commission or omission of such act more 
than once or, if such  commission or omission is continuous,  for 
more than one day.''  47 U.S.C.  312(f)(2).

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

  11 47 U.S.C.  504(a).

  12 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.