West Texas' first Spanish radio station owner, Ernest Frank Bart - FOX34 Lubbock

West Texas' first Spanish radio station owner, Ernest Frank Barton dies at 88

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Ernest Frank Barton, who started to first Spanish AM radio station in West Texas, passed away Sunday, September 30. He was 88. 

Born in Laredo, Barton moved his family to Lubbock in 1967. During the 1970 Lubbock tornado, Barton and his staff quickly recognized a language obstacle by responding to the needs of Hispanic residents. He served as a link to emergency personnel and agencies who responded to the crisis. The staff stayed on the air day and night informing Spanish-speaking citizens about the disaster.

Barton was awarded a Presidential Commendation from then President Richard Nixon. 

He also hosted the "Si Se Puede" TV show, Lubbock's first weekly Spanish community affairs program, for 40 year.

Barton served as the City of Lubbock's first Human Relations Director and one of the founding directors of the Lubbock Rape Crisis Center, and started publishing the West Texas Hispanic News, a weekly bilingual newspaper that ran for 41 years.

Most recently, Barton received the Lifetime Achievement Award given by Los Hermanos Familia in May 2015.

He died surrounded by his family. Services have not been released at this time.

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