Teacher, students 'ham' it up

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LOWER VALLEY - "CQ, CQ, CQ, this is KC7LFX calling CQ and standing by."

This call has been coming out of Stillwater Elementary in the Riverview School District since 1994 thanks to third-grade teacher Bill Dumond.

KC7LFX are the call letters from Stillwater, where Dumond brings to his classroom a love of radios he has cultivated since he was a young boy growing up in Redmond.

He is the president of the school's Amateur Radio Club and has helped students send out the message that is known by radio enthusiasts as the instigator for starting a conversation.

"It is basically saying, 'Is there anyone out there? I'd like to talk,'" Dumond said.

Dumond started the club with a $1,200 grant used to purchase a transceiver. He began transmitting during lunch hours with third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students.

They were required to gather information from the people they contacted, such as what their call letters were and what the weather was like.

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