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Radio station knocked off the air; employee allegedly to blame

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By The Staff

  A local radio station temporarily lost transmission last week thanks to an alleged disgruntled employee. WTNQ station owner Jeff Alpert said when he spoke with then station employee Linda K. Rippy, 40, of 904 East Ash, at 5:35 p.m. last Friday he requested she not come onto radio station property until the Monday morning meeting that was scheduled to discuss performance issues. Although Rippy had been given no indication she would be dismissed, Alpert said he suspects Rippy believed she would be fired during the scheduled meeting. Alpert feels that could explain her subsequent actions. At 5:45 p.m. on Friday Alpert said Rippy was spotted by a station employee.   According to LaFollette Police Officer William Owens’ report, Rippy used a pair of side cutters to cut the cable to the satellite feed. While the station was only off the air for 15 or 20 minutes, Alpert said it took several hours to repair the damages created by Rippy. Rippy was charged with vandalism over $500 and attempting to damage or destroying any computer, computer program or data. The former WTNQ employee was released upon her written promised to appear.  She has a court date scheduled for Oct. 2.     To comment on this story and others visit www.lafollettepress.com