An Amateur Radio (Ham) class, sponsored by the Massac County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), will be held Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 14-15, according to Charlie Richey --K9DUE-- Massac County ARES coordinator.

Dr. Michael Hicks--N9ARK-- lifelong resident of Massac County, serves as the assistant emergency coordinator for Massac County.

The class will be held at the Metropolis Fire Department, located at Seventh and Pearl streets, in the training room from 4-8 p.m. Harold Hicks -- KC9ZZA -- a former Shawnee Community College instructor, will teach the course.

According to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), amateur radio -- or ham radio -- is a popular hobby and service bringing people, electronics and communication together to talk across town, around the world or even into space, all without the Internet or cellular phones.

Two Massac County ARES members, Hicks -- N9ARK -- and Jay Smock -- N9VN -- recently passed the ham radio Amateur Extra test.

There is no cost to take the class. However, Richey says there is a $15 fee for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) testing, which will follow on Aug. 15. Individuals who pass the test will receive their amateur technician class license, which is good for 10-year period.

Individuals taking the class must pass an examination for the FCC license to operate on radio frequencies known as the "amateur bands."

Anyone interested in signing up for the class may email Richey at k9due@k9due.net with their name and cell phone number or call 618-309-6911 and leave a message.

To find out more information about ham radio, visit www.arrl.org.

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