When KSHN signed off for the last time and sold to KSBJ last December, it left a void in Liberty community. Fans of Liberty High School sports would undoubtedly argue that one of the biggest gaps was coverage of football games. Prior to the sale, KSHN, which operated on the FM airwaves at 99.9, offered livestreamed coverage of the Liberty Panthers.
When the station came to an end, so did the livestreamed games. Joe Roberts, who teaches audio and video technology, and commercial photography for Liberty High School, and Richey Ewing, who teaches business and graphics design, and is the advisor for the yearbook, came up with a plan to create a student-operated program to fill the gap. Both had worked with KSHN, so they understood what was involved in livestreaming games and offering play-by-play commentary.
“We had started getting equipment for our audio and video production. This last spring was a trial run when the Lady Panthers went all the way to state,” said Ewing. “We said to ourselves, ‘Let’s put together a program where these students can also get certifications and learn how to be a producer or videographer, so they can get jobs right out of high school.’ So that’s what we did. We have a program now with commercial photography, graphics design, audio and video production. Together, with my senior business practices class, we have a complete pathway for seniors to earn these certifications.”
Sports is only part of the coverage the new program is offering the community. Each Wednesday, they will air LHS Live, a show that will feature guests who will discuss various topics of interest.
“What we envision with LHS Live is that we will have different guests each week. We want it to be people from the entire county, not just Liberty,” Ewing said.
On Aug. 25, they launched the first LHS Live program with Liberty County Judge Jay Knight and Liberty County Elections Administrator Klint Bush as the inaugural guests. Both discussed their positions in local government.
“There will be eight different elections this fall for people who are over 18 to decide,” Bush said.
With roughly 20 jurisdictions in Liberty County, every election cycle means that at least one of these jurisdictions will likely hold an election. Bush explained that the Liberty County Elections Administration Office runs the elections, prepares the ballots, sets up polling locations, appoints the precinct judges, oversees the counting of ballots and conducts audits of the election returns.
“At the end of the day for big elections, we have about 100 employees, judges and clerks running the polls. It’s my responsibility to handle about 49,000 registered voters (as the voter registrar),” he said.
Knight discussed that one of his goals as county judge has been developing a strategic plan for economic development.
“In 2015, when I came into office, I was hoping to see a strategic plan for economic development in place, but there wasn’t. We quickly got one together. My old graduate school at Texas A&M is the School of Landscaping, Architecture and Urban Planning. they have a group there called Texas Target Communities. They actually sent Aggies in their second year of graduate school and helped us write a book on economic development and created a strategic plan for the entire county,” Knight said. “It’s been in place for four years now.”
Both guests on the livestreamed show encouraged the students to participate in the decision-making that impacts Liberty County.
“Your government is what you make of it, so get involved,” Bush said.
LHS Live shows can be found on YouTube immediately after they are filmed in the high school studio by going online to https://www.youtube.com/c/LHSAVBroadcasting/videos. Ewing said they are looking for financial support for the program. Anyone with an interest in advertising on the show should call the high school at 936-336-6483 or the LISD Administration Office at 936-336-7213, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.