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New 'Panhandle Access Network' plan advanced

February 11, 2001|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

New 'Panhandle Access Network' plan advanced



CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A television producer appeared before the Jefferson County Commission last week to propose the development of a public access channel that would feature local programming.

Jefferson County already has a public access channel, but most of the programming relates to Frederick County, Md., said Craig Shibley, an independent producer who lives near Hedgesville.

The commission has the right to seek more local programming for the channel, which is channel 10 on the GS Communications cable system, Shibley said.

For a fee, Shibley said he could produce programs for the channel. Some of the programming probably could be underwritten by companies, similar to public television programming, he said.

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The channel could be used to feature programming about local sports, investment help or health programs, Shibley said.

Shibley said he is interested in developing the channel because the area "needs a voice. It's promoting the community and it's getting certain knowledge and information out to the community," said Shibley, who has done work with West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

If such a channel were developed, Shibley said he would like to see Jefferson and Berkeley counties share the channel and call it the Panhandle Access Network.

Berkeley County's public access channel, which is also channel 10, is currently used to broadcast a bulletin board, Shibley said.

Shibley said he has talked with Martinsburg City Manager Mark Baldwin about the idea. Shibley went before the Berkeley County Commission Thursday to inform the commissioners of his proposal.

Jefferson County Commission President James G. Knode said he did not see any immediate problems with Shibley's idea.

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