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Wauneta alum combines family, faith and the radio PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 30 July 2015 18:05

Wauneta native Nik Sandman combines his love for family, faith and the radio in a endeavor to begin a new Christian radio station in Lincoln. (Courtesy Photo | Daniel Bergquist)


By Dharma Blake-Cole

The Wauneta Breeze


Nik Sandman grew up in the small town of Wauneta, spent a large part of his adult life here and even after moving away, he still considers Wauneta “home” and continues to visit his mother and brother here.

Sandman graduated from Wauneta High School in 1967. After high school he moved away from home for the first time and decided to go to college in Iowa. Being very involved in academics Sandman enjoyed mathematics and science and soon realized that his high school education was a bit lacking as he needed a calculus background for college.

He bounced around studying at different colleges in Iowa including the University of Iowa and COE College. Through a religious experience Sandman was moved to a philosophy major and graduated with a bachelor’s degree.

Sandman had many options for careers, but decided to move  home to help his father with the farm. He spent a good 26 years farming but after an accident that broke his back he was not sure he was going to be able to farm so he applied at the local postal service and got a job.

Sandman worked for several years as a postal service carrier. He enjoyed working for the postal service and said, “The postal service pays whether rains or not,” which he found to be a good change from working as a farmer.

In 2013 the postal service gave Sandman the opportunity to move another location as routes were changed. Sandman decided to move to Lincoln as he had family there and continued to work in Lincoln as a rural carrier.

Sandman’s mother and brother continue to live in Wauneta today. He still considers Wauneta to be his home and feels it is a huge part of his life, even though he in not currently residing here.

While he was residing in Wauneta, Sandman was a part of the School Board, was involved in the Lutheran Church and he was also involved in many other local activities.

The second time Sandman moved away from Wauneta was in 1976. He got married in 1980, then moved back home to work on the farm and start his own family.

Sandman said, “Wauneta is a good place to raise your kids.” He also greatly appreciates the cultural contributions that Wauneta has given him and his family.

He commented on how Wauneta has affected him by saying, “It has had a huge impact on my life and has been an anchor for me.”

Sandman continues to be a part of the Lutheran Church in Lincoln where he is currently residing and has decided to start a non-profit radio station there. When he still lived in Wauneta Sandman was on the board at KMGM in McCook and wanted to get them an FM license as they were only running an AM band.

Although he was unable to achieve this goal because of the strict two week time limit to apply for an FM band, Sandman rethought what he wanted to do and made it more practical for his current situation.

Through his church Sandman decided to create a radio station in Lincoln. His station was the only applicant in the 2015 year for an FM band. Being the only applicant the station was accepted and given the letters KNNA which is Greek for community and the station will be called 95.7 The Cross.

Although the station is still waiting on approval from the city council in Lincoln, they have plans to build a tower on the church grounds. The church happens to be on a hill, which makes it the perfect place for a radio tower.  The tower will be built in the shape of a cross and will be 3D, meaning it will look like a cross from any direction it is seen from.

The station is accepting donations and has a grant authorized by the Federal Communications Commission for being a local low-power radio station.

95.7 The Cross will be Lincoln’s second low-power radio station. Sandman hopes to have the station up and running by October of this year.

The station will be run mostly by volunteers and is committed to paying as they go. They are on track and should have no major debt getting the station up and running. The station is already on the internet with access at

Sandman commented on the station by saying, “It is a Lutheran community centered radio station.” They plan to offer local teachings of the scriptures. They are also historically interested in the teachings of only grace, faith, Christ and the scriptures.

The Cross wants to help make refugees that are coming into Lincoln feel accepted and have access to their faith. They also want to provide services to the penitentiary inmates as one of their only access to the outside world is the FM radio. The Cross also hopes to fill the niches where other stations are not

Sandman’s Wauneta roots have had an affect on his whole life and will continue to do so with this radio station as he gained his spiritual formation growing up in Wauneta.

One of Sandman’s big goals with the station is to proclaim the gospel and teachings of the scripture. Through Sandman’s spiritual experiences throughout his life he has gained knowledge and faith that he thinks will  help him in this next part of his life.

He hopes to succeed in the next chapter of his life, with his radio station and to keep his Wauneta roots intact allowing them to influence him and his choices like they have his whole life.