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Pirate raid


For several months now, Orlando's worst-kept secret, pirate radio station 95 Live (95.9 FM), has been operating undeterred from its "secret" downtown location. But tune in these days and you'll hear nothing but static. On the morning of Sunday, Feb. 6, police were summoned to the the station's Pine Street location by a distraught contest winner. Needless to say, once the police discovered what was on the premises, they unplugged the station's broadcast tower.

Despite its underground, unlicensed status, the station had become quite popular with radio listeners eager to feed on 95 Live's cutting-edge (and commercial-free) hip-hop and drum-&-bass DJ sets. Listeners were directed to the station's website, which gives background and shout-outs to "sponsors." The pirates even set up a hotline (407-999-9595) for people to make requests and/or become part of the show.

Completely unchecked by the FCC, the pirates were free to leave in all of the nasty words other stations have to bleep out. But the DJs didn't stop there: Unfriendly callers were ridiculed mercilessly, and their numbers were given out over the air. One afternoon was spent harassing Pro-Style, a 102 Jamz on-air personality, whose home phone number was offered again and again.

Apparently Junior Payne, a local hip-hop artist, is the one behind 95 Live. At least that's what the website says. Less than a year ago, Payne was arrested for his part in a pirate station that was operating out of Pine Hills.

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