Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Earth Day 2018

Technology is continuing to become more prevalent in our day-to-day lives, everything from arming home security systems from an app on your phone, to your fridge texting you the grocery list. However, people are continuing to make strides in “Going Green”, or looking for ways to be eco-friendlier. Great Plains Communications has a few tips on how you can be more energy efficient in your home this Earth Day, April 22, 2018.

 

  1.  Be sure to turn off all lights, appliances and electronics when not in use.

This could mean unplugging your phone charger when not charging a device, turning off your porch light when not in use and unplugging your toaster when you’ve finished making breakfast. Each of these might be a small act, but eliminating multiple devices has the power of being very effective in the quest for energy conservation.

  1.  Switch your light bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescents and LED bulbs.

According to energy.gov, making the switch will result in around 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents and can last 3-25 times longer.

  1.  Wash clothes in cold water.

According to Consumer Reports, your clothes will come out just as clean using cold water as they would by using hot. Even your whites will end up cleaner than ever with cold water. Not only will you end up with a pile of freshly washed clothes, but you could end up saving an extreme amount of energy. In fact, 90% of energy you consume when running your washing machine is produced just from heating up the water for hot or warm loads.

 

These are just a few ways to make your home more energy efficient, saving you money on monthly bills and helping to reduce your carbon footprint. There are many ways to go green this Earth Day, and Great Plains Communications wants to know how you plan to do so. Let us know what eco-friendly activities you have planned in the comment section on our Facebook page.

Introducing ESPN+

Today, April 12, 2018 Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International’s BAMTECH Media in partnership with ESPN, launched their new subscription streaming service, ESPN+. This service is targeting avid sports fans on a broad and niche basis, offering subscription streaming access to thousands of additional live sporting events, original content, and an on-demand video library. Some examples of programming would be: 180+ Major League Baseball games, 180+ National Hockey League games, 100 days of coverage of PGA Tour, and year-round boxing matches. It is subscription based and separate from the ESPN TV Everywhere that fans receive as part of their cable subscription as well as being completely separate and a distinct product from ESPN television.

How and Where is it Offered?

ESPN+ will be integrated into the updated ESPN App. The new app will be available on iOS and Android products, as well as the web, FireTV, and additional devices starting today. If you already have the ESPN app, it will either update automatically or prompt you to update it. Once it has done so, you can elect to purchase access to ESPN+.

What Does it Cost?

An ESPN+ subscription will cost $4.99/month or $49.99/year. ESPN+ does not come with your Great Plains Communications cable subscription, but is an additional purchase directly from ESPN.

 

If you have questions about the new ESPN App or ESPN+, go to support.espn.com or call 1-888-549-ESPN. If you already have the ESPN app, you can also utilize the ESPN App Live Chat Feature.

2018 Call Before You Dig this Spring

Despite the colder weather we’ve been having, it is spring and that means outside projects will be starting. Before your shovel hits the dirt, Great Plains Communications would like to take a moment to remind our customers of the Digger’s Hotline and calling before you dig.

Keep in mind that the projects we are referring to are more than just planting some tomatoes or putting in some new flowers along the walkway. If you are planning to dig more than 6 inches into the ground, you should start off by calling 811. These projects could be the install of a new fence, putting in an underground pool or planting a new tree.

The Digger’s Hotline keeps track of the many electrical wires, Internet Cable, sewer lines and other wires that run underneath your city. Pipes and wires can run underneath streets, businesses, parks and your home without your knowledge. While we here at Great Plains Communications traditionally bury our Internet, Cable and Phone wires at least 6 ft. underground, some wires may be buried as shallow as 6 in.

In addition to the 811 phone number, the Digger’s Hotline also has a website you can visit at http://www.ne1call.com/. There you can find information on digging projects, upcoming events, new laws and even registration for a Damage Prevention Class.

Remember that it is your duty to call before starting a project, and if you do damage to any pipes or wires, you may be liable. Protect yourself and your neighbors and call 811 first!

Online Tax Tools

Tax Day is just about here, as April 17, 2018 quickly approaches. While filing taxes is never a super enjoyable task, it is something we all must do. Great Plains Communications wants to make the process a little easier for you, with a few online tool options.

TurboTax

You can find the TurboTax Federal Free Edition software online to file your 1040 EZ and 1040A federal returns as well as your state returns. While the federal filing is free, state might cost extra. The software is very user friendly, as you can either upload your W-2 as a file or even snap a photo and TurboTax will auto-fill the right fields.

H&R Block Free File

Using H&R Block’s Free File program, you will be able to file both federal and state tax returns for free. If you have used another software in the past and are looking to switch to H&R Block, you are able to import tax returns from any competing software, upload tax documents and start filing.

TaxAct

Through a Q&A format, you can file your 1040EZ and 1040A federal returns, as well as your state returns for free through TaxAct. However, importing past year’s returns will cost an extra $5. They have both a desktop and online version of their software.

 

Choosing the right tax filing software depends on your specific needs. Luckily there are many options available and you can file from the comfort of your home with the convenience of online programs.

Upcoming Spring Premieres

While spring plays out this April Fool’s joke with the unwelcome snow, grab a blanket and your favorite seat on the couch for these upcoming show and film premieres.

Legion: Season 2 – FX, April 3, 20189:00 p.m. CT

 

6 Balloons – Netflix, April 6, 2018

 

Amateur – Netflix, April 6, 2018

 

Trading Spaces: Season 9 – TLC, April 7, 2018 – 8:00 p.m. CT

 

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn about the services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Easter Sweets

Easter weekend is almost upon us and we are all about some spring sweets. We have looked to our cable channel, Food Network and found some of our favorite sweet treats that the whole family is sure to enjoy.

 

Viv’s No-Bake Easter Egg Cheesecakes

This is a fun way to celebrate not only the Easter holiday, but play on April Fools a little as well. These cheesecakes are simple to make without any baking needed and will be sure to entertain with their cheeky presentation.

 

How to Decorate Little Lamb and Chick Cupcakes

Talk about a fun activity for the kids this weekend! Prep the candies and bake the cupcakes ahead of time and let their creativity shine with these cute creations.

 

Springtime Strawberry Cobbler

Many of us travel during the Easter holiday weekend, visiting family and gathering around the table. This Springtime Strawberry Cobbler is not only delicious but very simple to make ahead of time. Not a strawberry fan? Feel free to get creative with the fruit choice, maybe even mix a couple together!

 

Great Plains Communications would like to wish everyone a wonderful Easter weekend!

2018 Severe Weather Week

It’s Severe Weather Awareness Week and Great Plains Communications wants to remind you of some important tips and procedures to help keep you and your loved ones safe during severe weather situations.

We provide local Weather on Channel 2 through GPC Weather, bringing you 24/7 access to up-to-date information. GPC Weather tracks things at the national and local level via advanced satellite imaging along with the five-day forecast.

One of the most important factors to severe weather safety is understanding and receiving up-to-date warnings. Are you in a Watch or Warning, and what does that mean for you?

 

Watch

A watch is just that, when the conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather and should continue to be tracked. At this time, it would be best to take precautions and make sure you have supplies prepared should bad weather arise.

 

Warning

When a warning is issued, severe weather is either occurring or impending. At this point, you should immediately take action to protect yourself, your family and your property.

 

To keep you updated, GPC-TV’s Weather on Channel 2 uses an easy to understand color guide alert in the case of severe weather. The feature will shift the general color of the channel to yellow if there is a watch issued in the area, and to red if there is a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning.

You must be a Great Plains Communications Cable subscriber to have access to GPC Weather on Channel 2. Check the GPC-TV website for a list of communities with GPC Weather availability. If you would like to sign-up or have additional questions, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483, and a representative would be happy to help you.

March Madness Schedule Update

How is your bracket doing? This NCAA tournament has been one for the books, with the University of Maryland Baltimore County (No. 16 seed) beating Virginia (No. 1 seed) to multiple powerhouse teams being knocked off in the opening weekend. It should be an interesting fight to the finish to see who will win it all. We have included the schedule for the next couple days below all in Central Time.

Thursday 03/22

  • 6:07 p.m. Nevada vs. Loyola Chicago (CBS)
  • 6:27 p.m. Michigan vs. Texas A&M (TBS)
  • 8:37 p.m. Kentucky vs. Kansas State (CBS)
  • 8:59 p.m. Gonzaga vs. Florida State (TBS)

 

Friday 03/23

  • 6:07 p.m. Kansas vs. Clemson (CBS)
  • 6:27 p.m. Villanova vs. West Virginia (TBS)
  • 8:37 p.m. Duke vs. Syracuse (CBS)
  • 8:59 p.m. Purdue vs. Texas Tech (TBS)

 

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn about the services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Spring Equinox 2018

Spring is here! And it snowed on the drive to work this morning. Well, we are in Nebraska. So, if it doesn’t feel like spring, what about today makes us welcome the new season rain, snow or shine? Great Plains Communications has looked to our cable channel, History Channel for some clarity.

On March 20 or 21 of each year, we experience the vernal equinox, which ultimately signals the start of spring for the Northern Hemisphere. So, what is an equinox you ask? As we know, the Earth orbits the sun and tilts at an angle on its axis, then throughout the year different areas get sunlight for different amounts of time. “An equinox occurs at the moment when the Earth’s axis doesn’t tilt toward or away from the sun,” the History Channel explains. “Someone standing on the equator on an equinox can observe the sun passing directly overhead.” Six months after the spring equinox, a second equinox occurs each year around September 22 or 23 in the Southern Hemisphere. Equinoxes are the only times a year that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west for every location.

St. Patrick’s Day Recipes for the Whole Family

This Saturday, March 17, the color green will flourish throughout communities as people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Often thought as a drinking holiday accompanied by corned beef and cabbage, Great Plains Communications is here to share some of our favorite recipes that step outside those guidelines a bit. Provided by our cable channel, Food Network, we have found recipes that the whole family can enjoy this festive weekend.

Green Pancakes and Hash

This recipe is a fun and creative way to hide some vegetables in the pancakes for the kids. They will love the bright green color and not think twice about the healthy ingredient behind the magic.

 

Easy Irish Grilled Cheese

Another way to use that green to your advantage, as you could substitute spinach for some of the herbs in this beautiful grilled cheese. It will be delicious and deceivingly healthy.

 

Rachael’s 30 Minute Shepherd’s Pie

If you are looking for something other than corned beef and cabbage this holiday, this 30 Minute Shepherd’s Pie could be just the warm and comforting recipe you’re looking for. The ground beef and vegetables combined with the gravy pair great with the creamy mashed potatoes on top. Plus, if you are cooking for a crowd, this is an easy recipe to adjust to the size pan you need.

« Older posts