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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of Steckline Communications, Inc. Licensee of Station
KIUL-AM Garden City, KS Owner of Antenna Structure Number 1033013 Garden
City, KS ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) File No.: EB-FIELDSCR-12-00003982 NAL/Acct.
No.: 201332560005 FRN: 0009951286 Facility ID No.: 67041
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: May 6, 2013 Released: May 6, 2013
By the District Director, Kansas City Office, South Central Region,
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL), we find
that Steckline Communications, Inc. (Steckline), licensee of AM
Station KIUL and owner of antenna structure number 1033013 (Antenna
Structure), both located in Garden City, Kansas, apparently willfully
and repeatedly violated Section 73.49 of the Commission's rules
(Rules),^ by failing to maintain effective antenna structure fencing.
We conclude that Steckline is apparently liable for a forfeiture in
the amount of seven thousand dollars ($7,000).^
2. On July 12, 2012, an agent from the Enforcement Bureau's Kansas City
Office (Kansas City Office) inspected antenna structure number
1033013, which was used by Station KIUL-AM. When Station KIUL-AM was
in operation, the agent observed a section of the fence surrounding
the structure lying on the ground with weeds growing through the
planks. Although there also was a perimeter fence surrounding the
property, it was not locked during the day and was not intact, as one
section of the perimeter fence also lay on the ground.
3. On July 27, 2012, the Kansas City Office issued a Letter of Inquiry
(LOI) to Steckline regarding the Antenna Structure's fence.^ Steckline
responded that the fence surrounding Station KIUL-AM's antenna
structure was damaged in a storm on April 29, 2012 and that it had
made temporary repairs the first week in May.^ It claimed, however,
that the temporary repairs must have been knocked down by wind prior
to the inspection on July 12.^ Nevertheless, Steckline stated that the
fence around the Antenna Structure was secured on July 17, 2012, and
provided photographs of the repairs in support.^
4. Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act),
provides that any person who willfully or repeatedly fails to comply
substantially with the terms and conditions of any license, or
willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any of the provisions of
the Act or of any rule, regulation, or order issued by the Commission
thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty.^ Section
312(f)(1) of the Act defines "willful" as the "conscious and
deliberate commission or omission of [any] act, irrespective of any
intent to violate" the law.^ The legislative history to Section
312(f)(1) of the Act clarifies that this definition of willful applies
to both Sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act,^ and the Commission has so
interpreted the term in the Section 503(b) context.^ The Commission
may also assess a forfeiture for violations that are merely repeated,
and not willful.^ The term "repeated" means the commission or
omission of such act more than once or for more than one day.^
A. Failure to Enclose the Antenna Structure Within an Effective Locked
Fence or Other Enclosure
5. Section 73.49 of the Rules states that antenna structures "having
radio frequency potential at the base . . . must be enclosed within
effective locked fences or other enclosures."^ Individual fences need
not be installed if the antenna structures are contained within a
protective property fence.^ Station KIUL-AM's antenna structure has
radio frequency potential at the base.^ On July 12, 2012, an agent
from the Kansas City Office observed a section of the fence
surrounding the Antenna Structure lying on the ground, while Station
KIUL-AM was in operation. Thus, the fence did not effectively enclose
the base of the structure. The section of the fence lying on the
ground had weeds growing through it, which indicated that it had been
in that condition for more than one day. Steckline admitted that the
fence was damaged in a storm in April 2012 but was unaware of when the
temporary repairs it made in May 2012 failed. The agent did observe a
perimeter fence surrounding the property, but it was not "protective,"
as it was unlocked during the day and also had a section that had
fallen down on the ground. Steckline reported that it repaired the
Antenna Structure fence on July 17, 2012. Therefore, based on the
evidence before us, we find that Steckline apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated Section 73.49 of the Rules by failing to have an
effective locked fence or other enclosure around the base of its
B. Proposed Forfeiture
6. Pursuant to the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section
1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture amount for an AM tower fencing
violation is $7,000.^ In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we
must also take into account the statutory factors set forth in Section
503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, which include the nature, circumstances,
extent, and gravity of the violations, 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.^
Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80 of the Rules,
and the statutory factors to the instant case, we conclude that
Steckline is apparently liable for a total forfeiture in the amount
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.204,
0.311, 0.314, and 1.80 of the Commission's rules, Steckline
Communications, Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR
A FORFEITURE in the amount of seven thousand dollars ($7,000) for
violation of Section 73.49 of the Commission's rules.^
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
Commission's rules, within thirty (30) calendar days of the release
date of this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, Steckline
Communications, Inc. SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed
forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
9. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument,
wire transfer, or credit card, and must include the NAL/Account number
and FRN referenced above. Steckline Communications, Inc. shall also
send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
SCR-Response@fcc.gov. Regardless of the form of payment, a completed
FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted. When completing
the FCC Form 159, enter the Account Number in block number 23A (call
sign/other ID) and enter the letters "FORF" in block number 24A
(payment type code). Below are additional instructions you should
follow based on the form of payment you select:
* Payment by check or money order must be made payable to the order of
the Federal Communications Commission. Such payments (along with the
completed Form 159) must be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent
via overnight mail to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088,
SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
* Payment by wire transfer must be made to ABA Number 021030004,
receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and Account Number 27000001. To complete
the wire transfer and ensure appropriate crediting of the wired funds,
a completed Form 159 must be faxed to U.S. Bank at (314) 418-4232 on
the same business day the wire transfer is initiated.
* Payment by credit card must be made by providing the required credit
card information on FCC Form 159 and signing and dating the Form 159
to authorize the credit card payment. The completed Form 159 must then
be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St.
Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank -
Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St.
Louis, MO 63101.
10. Any request for making full payment over time under an installment
plan should be sent to: Chief Financial Officer--Financial
Operations, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W.,
Room 1-A625, Washington, D.C. 20554. If you have questions regarding
payment procedures, please contact the Financial Operations Group Help
Desk by phone, 1-877-480-3201, or by e-mail, ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
11. The written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
proposed forfeiture, if any, must include a detailed factual statement
supported by appropriate documentation and affidavits pursuant to
Sections 1.16 and 1.80(f)(3) of the Rules.^ Mail the written statement
to Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, South
Central Region, Kansas City Office, 520 N.E. Colbern Rd., 2nd Floor,
Lees Summit, MO 64086-4711, and include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced
in the caption. Steckline Communications, Inc. also shall e-mail the
written response to SCR-Response@fcc.gov.
12. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling a forfeiture in
response to a claim of inability to pay unless the petitioner submits:
(1) federal tax returns for the most recent three-year period; (2)
financial statements prepared according to generally accepted
accounting principles (GAAP); or (3) some other reliable and objective
documentation that accurately reflects the petitioner's current
financial status. Any claim of inability to pay must specifically
identify the basis for the claim by reference to the financial
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture shall be sent by both Certified Mail, Return Receipt
Requested, and First Class Mail to Steckline Communications, Inc. at
1632 S. Maize Rd., Wichita, KS 67209, and to its attorney, James P.
Riley at Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth, 1300 North 17th Street, 11th
Floor, Arlington, VA 22209.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Ronald D. Ramage
Kansas City Office
South Central Region
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 73.49.
^ A separate Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, which finds
Steckline apparently liable for main studio staffing and public inspection
file violations at Station KYUL-AM was adopted on May 6, 2013. See
Steckline Communications, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture and Order, DA 13-970 (May 6, 2013).
^ Letter from Ronald D. Ramage, District Director, Kansas City Office,
South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau, to Steckline Communications,
Inc. (July 27, 2012) (on file in EB-FIELDSCR-12-00003414) (LOI).
^ Letter from Greg Steckline, President, Steckline Communications, Inc.,
to Ronald D. Ramage, District Director, Kansas City Office, South Central
Region, Enforcement Bureau at 1 (Aug. 24, 2012) (on file in
EB-FIELDSCR-12-00003414) (LOI Response).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 312(f)(1).
^ H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97^th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982) ("This provision
[inserted in Section 312] defines the terms `willful' and `repeated' for
purposes of section 312, and for any other relevant section of the act
(e.g., Section 503) . . . . As defined[,] . . . `willful' means that the
licensee knew that he was doing the act in question, regardless of whether
there was an intent to violate the law. `Repeated' means more than once,
or where the act is continuous, for more than one day. Whether an act is
considered to be `continuous' would depend upon the circumstances in each
case. The definitions are intended primarily to clarify the language in
Sections 312 and 503, and are consistent with the Commission's application
of those terms . . . .").
^ See, e.g., Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and
Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991), recons. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992).
^ See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362, para. 10 (2001) (Callais
Cablevision, Inc.) (proposing a forfeiture for, inter alia, a cable
television operator's repeated signal leakage).
^ Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S 312(f)(2), which also applies
to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 503(b) of
the Act, provides that "[t]he term `repeated', when used with reference to
the commission or omission of any act, means the commission or omission of
such act more than once or, if such commission or omission is continuous,
for more than one day." See Callais Cablevision, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd at
^ 47 C.F.R. S 73.49.
^ See License File No. BR-20050214AAU.
^ The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section
1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, Report and
Order, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997) (Forfeiture Policy Statement), recons.
denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b); 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80,
^ An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be
obtained at http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 1.16, 1.80(f)(3).
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Federal Communications Commission DA 13-971
Federal Communications Commission DA 13-971