MARION — A new radio station is broadcasting from Marion.
KHAS, or "the heart and soul of Iowa," is streamed online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Gregory Jackson, a Indianapolis native who moved to the Cedar Rapids area in 2008, launched the station in November.
Jackson operates the station, which usually draws about 200 monthly listeners, out of the basement of his Marion home.
KHAS was created to provide “clean and beautiful music made by black people” to residents in the area, Jackson said. The station plays a mix of R&B, jazz, gospel and blues throughout the day.
The goal of KHAS, Jackson said, is to “give the minority community a vehicle to exchange ideas and to discuss them.”
The station has four on-air personalities who present shows throughout the week: Jackson and his wife Michelle Newell-Jackson, and A. Cooper and Harriette Cooper, a fellow Marion couple.
Newell-Jackson said the radio station has always been a dream of Jackson’s to launch a radio station, describing their effort as teamwork among those involved.
Harriette Cooper said she is happy with the progress the station has made so far.
“The radio station is really improving,” she said. “I’m really pleased with where it’s at and where it’s going.”
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Jackson and A. Cooper have experience in the broadcasting industry, but all four share a passion for music and the powerful effect it can have on an individual.
A year from now, Jackson said he hopes to have six other DJs operating station bureaus out of their homes. He also hopes to have a Latino DJ work for the station in the near future.
Newell-Jackson said she also hopes the station will soon move out of the basement of her home and into another location.
Lats month, Jackson aired coverage of the Juneteenth celebrations at the African American Museum of Iowa. Jackson said listeners from as far as Jamaica tuned in for the broadcast.
Jackson added he has had listeners from all over the world, including countries like Japan and Brazil.
The station is not available over the air, only online. To listen to the KHAS live stream, visit khasbd.com.