YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — The Army’s 1st Signal Brigade will open its new Multimedia/Visual Information Service Center on Camp Coiner in a Feb. 28 ceremony at 3:30 p.m., officials said.

The center will provide the U.S. Forces Korea commander with “professional quality photographic, graphics, video, issue and loan capabilities and public address support,” a 1st Signal news release read. The center is to be used for “training exercises, briefings, conferences, Criminal Investigative Division missions, military police investigations, passports, and historical video documentation,” the release stated.

The center in a previous incarnation was run by the Installation Management Agency’s Korea regional office.

Drop in smoking credited to tax hike

SEOUL — A hike on cigarette taxes late last year already has led to a lower number of smokers in South Korea, the government said Thursday.

According to a survey commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the number of male smokers fell by almost 10 percent after the hike was announced.

The tax, which went up by about a dollar, took effect late in the fall. More than 75 percent of smokers who quit in the period after the tax hike said their decision was based on the new rates, the survey found.

DMZ speakers now used for military radio

SEOUL — The huge South Korean border propaganda system that formerly was used to broadcast messages into North Korea has been turned into an educational radio station for the military, officials said Thursday.

Last summer, military officials from the North and South agreed to cease the propaganda messages that both sides long had sent across the Demilitarized Zone. The competing messages included billboards, loudspeakers and flags.

The South’s radio system, known as the “Voice of Freedom,” now features programs for South Korean soldiers.

Black History Month banquet canceled

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Black History Month Banquet scheduled for this Saturday at the Butler Officers Club has been canceled.

The event, sponsored by the 1st Marine Air Wing and Marine Corps Bases Japan, was scratched “due to a lack of support,” according to a press release.

Organizers of the event said refunds will be made to people who purchased advance tickets to the event.

Track coaches needed at Kadena

KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — The Kadena High School track team is looking for adult volunteer coaches.

Previous experience with running or field events is preferred. The track season runs from the beginning of March to the end of April with daily practices from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Call DSN 634-1216 for more information.

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