Town could force down 10-year-old HAM radio operator's tower

Mount Pleasant, WI - (NBC) - Wisconsin's Samm Markstrom is a 10-year-old ham radio fanatic who suffers from cerebral palsy.

His family says the hobby has changed his life by building his self confidence.

"There are a lot of days he can't get outside to play and he gets really depressed and upset," mother Catherine Markstrom says.

The fifth grader has also helped other by spreading the word about last summer's Kenosha tornadoes, picking up an award for his volunteer work from the volunteer center of Racine County.

"It's just mind-blowing," Samm said.

Now Samm's mother Catherine is worried her son will have to give up his hobby.

Village leaders say they didn't have the proper permits to build 62-foot ham radio tower that sits in their backyard in Mount Pleasant.

"Everything had gone in, to our knowledge very legally," Catherine says.

But their neighbors aren't happy.  Eric Scott lives directly next door and says he is worried.

"They started off with just a little antenna which was fine, then the monstrosity came about the big tower and that's the one we were really worried about.  We do see it rocking back and forth," Scott said.

"We have a 6-year-old son and he plays in the backyard, and if that were to come down," Scott added.

Samm's parents say the tower is rated to withstand hurricane force winds and isn't a danger. The future of the ham radio tower will be decided by the Village of Mount Pleasant zoning board in June.

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