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Bemidji party will highlight KBXE

A community event at Backyard BBQ in Bemidji beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, will highlight the KBXE radio station while featuring food, live music and trivia.

"KAXE is on the air, based in Grand Rapids. KBXE, on the other hand, is still in the planning stages," said Maggie Montgomery, general manager of the nonprofit radio station KAXE. "But we do know that the KBXE studios will be in Bemidji and that it will serve the surrounding communities."

KAXE and KBXE are offshoots of Northern Community Radio. Bemidji listeners have been able to tune in to KAXE at 105.3 FM for years, and the new Bemidji-area station will be accessible at 90.5 FM. It will feature local programming created in Bemidji by staff and community volunteers in addition to content shared with KAXE.

In August 2009 the Federal Communications Commission granted Northern Community Radio permission to build a new radio station, KBXE. Depending on broadcast tower placement, KBXE will serve Bagley, Bemidji, Fosston, Gonvick, Clearbrook, Debs, Erskine and Zerkel, among others.

Doug MacRostie, KAXE/KBXE producer, sees the radio station as an exciting addition to the Bemidji community. "KBXE is community ½radio," he said, "and that's important."

According to MacRostie, KBXE will reach thousands of new listeners who have never before been able to be a part of community radio.

"Community radio means community participation," MacRostie said. "KBXE will cover local issues, play local music and allow everyone in Bemidji and the surrounding areas to participate in radio."

Saturday's event will provide information about KBXE. The Valentine's Day-themed party will include a chocolate fountain, courtesy of Lueken's Village Foods, fruit to dip from Harmony Food Co-Op, and Honey for Your Honey from Bar Bell Bee Ranch. Local blues-rock band The Beerds will perform. There will be love-themed trivia from Green Cheese host Brandon Chase, with prizes from KD Floral and Chocolates Plus.

For details, visit, call 218-326-1234, or visit KBXE's Facebook fan site.