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


In the Matter of                )       
                                )       
                                )       File No. EB-00-DT-801
Shepler's Inc.                  )       
Mackinaw City, Michigan         )       NAL/Acct.             No. 

200132360002


           NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

                                             Released:  March 27, 
2001
By the District Director, Detroit Office, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.  Introduction

     1.   In this  Notice of  Apparent Liability  for  Forfeiture 
("NAL"), we find that Shepler's Inc. has apparently violated  the 
Great Lakes  Agreement  (``GLA'')1  and  Sections  80.953(a)  and 
80.953(b) of the Commission's Rules2 (the ``Rules'') as a  result 
of their vessels the ``Capt. Shepler'' and ``Wyandot'' navigating 
the Great Lakes without having obtained the annual GLA inspection 
and certification of their  marine VHF radiotelephone  equipment.  
We conclude  that  Shepler's  Inc. is  apparently  liable  for  a 
forfeiture in  the amount  of two  thousand two  hundred  dollars 
($2,200).

                         II.  Background

     2.   The GLA requires, among other things, that all  vessels 
65 feet or over in length  (20 meters), most towing vessels,  and 
vessels carrying more  than six passengers  for hire be  equipped 
with a marine VHF  radiotelephone installation when navigated  on 
the Great Lakes.  The GLA is  intended to promote safety of  life 
and property on the  Great Lakes by means  of radio and  requires 
the radiotelephone  installation be  inspected and  certified  at 
least once every thirteen months.  The inspection of GLA  subject 
vessels may  be  performed  by  the  holder  of  an  FCC  General 
Radiotelephone  Operator   License,  GMDSS   Radio   Maintainer's 
License, Second  Class Radiotelegraph  Operator's Certificate  or 
First Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate. 

     3.   On September 28,  2000, an FCC  agent from the  Detroit 

Office conducted random inspections of vessels subject to the GLA 

in Mackinaw City, Michigan  to determine whether GLA  inspections 

were being  conducted  and  certified.  The  agent  observed  the 

``Capt. Shepler''  returning from  a voyage  on the  Great  Lakes 

while carrying passengers between  Mackinac Island, Michigan  and 

Mackinaw  City,  Michigan.   The  agent  inspected  the   ``Capt. 

Shepler'' and determined that the  vessel did not have a  current 

GLA  safety  inspection  and   certification.   The  agent   also 

determined that a second vessel, the ``Wyandot,'' did not have  a 

current GLA safety inspection and certification.

     4.   On October  31,  2000, the  Detroit  District  Director 

issued an  Official Notice  of Violation  (``NOV'') to  Shepler's 

Inc., P.O. Box 250, Mackinaw City, Michigan 49701, for failure to 

have their vessels  ``Capt. Shepler''  and ``Wyandot''  inspected 

under  the  GLA.   As  a  follow  up  to  this,  copies  of  ship 

radiotelephone logs  were requested  and a  subsequent review  of 

these logs  indicated  that  the  ``Captain  Shepler''  had  also 

navigated on at least September 18,  19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and  24, 

2000, without a valid GLA  certificate.  The logs also  indicated 

that the ``Wyandot'' had navigated on at least September 20,  22, 

and 24, 2000 without a valid GLA certificate. 

                        III.  Discussion

     5.   In order to promote the safety of life and property  on 

the Great Lakes, the Great Lakes Agreement and Sections 80.953(a) 

and 80.953(b) of the  Rules require that  vessels subject to  the 

GLA have the radiotelephone installation inspected and  certified 

annually.

     6.   Based on the evidence before us, we find that Shepler's 

Inc. has  willfully3 and  repeatedly4  violated the  Great  Lakes 

Agreement  and   Sections   80.953(a)  and   80.953(b)   of   the 

Commission's Rules  as  a  result of  their  vessel  the  ``Capt. 

Shepler'' having navigated the Great  Lakes on September 18,  19, 

20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 28, 2000, and their vessel the ``Wyandot'' 

having navigated the  Great Lakes  on September 20,  22, and  24, 

2000  without  having   had  their  radiotelephone   installation 

inspected and certified as required by the Great Lakes Agreement.  

The Commission's  Forfeiture Policy  Statement and  Amendment  of 

Section  1.80  of  the   Rules  to  Incorporate  the   Forfeiture 

Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17113 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC 

Rcd 303(1999) (``Forfeiture Policy  Statement'')5, sets the  base 

forfeiture amount  at five  hundred dollars  ($500) per  day  for 

violating the Great Lakes  Agreement.  In assessing the  monetary 

forfeiture amount,  we  must  take  into  account  the  statutory 

factors set  forth in  Section 503(b)(2)(D)  of the  Act,6  which 

include 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.  Although the  record 

reveals that Shepler's Inc. has an overall history of  compliance 

and showed good faith surrounding the violations by the voluntary 

disclosure of information, the violation is egregious.   Applying 

the Policy Statement  and the  statutory factors  to the  instant 

case and applying  the inflation adjustments,  we believe that  a 

two thousand two hundred  dollar ($2,200) monetary forfeiture  is 

warranted.  

                      IV.  Ordering Clauses

     7.   Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED THAT,  pursuant to  Section 
506(a) of the  Act7 and  Sections 0.111,  0.311 and  1.80 of  the 
Rules8, Shepler's  Inc.  is  hereby  NOTIFIED  of  this  APPARENT 
LIABILITY FOR  A FORFEITURE  in the  amount of  two thousand  two 
hundred dollars ($2,200) for willfully violating the Great  Lakes 
Agreement  and   Sections   80.953(a)  and   80.953(b)   of   the 
Commission's Rules.

     8.   IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of 

the Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the release date of 

this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Shepler's 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  may be  made by  mailing  a 

check or similar instrument, payable to the order of the  Federal 

Communications Commission, to the Forfeiture Collection  Section, 

Finance  Branch,  Federal  Communications  Commission,  P.O.  Box 

73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.  The payment should note the 

NAL/Acct. No. 200132360002. 

     10.  The  response,  if  any,  must  be  mailed  to  Federal 

Communications  Commission,  Enforcement  Bureau,  Technical  and 

Public Safety Division, 445  12th Street, S.W., Washington,  D.C. 

20554 and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct. No. 200132360002. 

     11.  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 practices  (``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  documentation 

submitted.

     12.  Requests for payment of the full amount of this  Notice 

of Apparent Liability  under an installment  plan should be  sent 

to: Chief, Revenue  and Receivables Operations  Group,  445  12th 

Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.9

     13.  IT IS FURTHER  ORDERED THAT  a copy of  this NOTICE  OF 

APPARENT LIABILITY  shall  be  sent  by  Certified  Mail,  Return 

Receipt Requested,  to Shepler's  Inc.,  P.O. Box  250,  Mackinaw 

City, Michigan 49701.


                                FEDERAL            COMMUNICATIONS 

COMMISSION




                                James A. Bridgewater
                                District Director
                                Detroit Office

_________________________

1 Agreement Between Canada and the United States for the 
Promotion of Safety on the Great Lakes by Means of Radio T.I.A.S. 
7837, amended T.I.A.S. 9352 (Great Lakes Agreement).

2 47 C.F.R.  80.953(a), 80.953(b).
3 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C.  312(f)(1), which 
applies to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term 
`willful', when used with reference to the commission or omission 
of any act, means the conscious and deliberate commission or 
omission of such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any 
provision of this Act ....''  See Southern California 
Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).

4 Section 312(f)(2), which also applies to Section 503(b), 
provides: [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.

547 C.F.R.  1.80.

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

7 47 U.S.C.  507(a).

8 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, and 1.80.

9 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.