Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Category: Community (page 1 of 31)

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week – Thank You To Our Dispatchers!

Every second week in April is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Many don’t know what that means or have never heard of this week-long event. April 9-15, 2017 has been dedicated to the people who are not often seen but heard through the sounds of an emergency. Great Plains Communications would like to thank all dispatchers throughout our communities for your service. We understand that being a dispatcher is much more than answering and transferring phone calls.

They keep our policemen informed, track firemen through dangerous scenes, provide a calm voice through panic of a traumatic event, and much more. Thank you for helping create a safer world for our families and friends.

Call Before You Dig!

Yesterday was the first day of spring, which 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!

Three Things You May Not Know About Daylight Saving Time

This Sunday, March 12, 2017 we will “spring forward” in recognition of daylight saving time. As there has been talk and even a bill proposed to end the recognition of daylight saving time in Nebraska, Great Plains Communications wanted to share a few facts about why we adjust our clocks twice a year.

  1. “Daylight Saving Time” vs. “Daylight Savings Time”

You will often see people refer to it as “daylight savings time”, when in fact that is incorrect. Since the word “saving” is acting as an adjective rather than a verb, it should be written in singular form to be grammatically correct.

  1. The United States was not the first country to recognize daylight saving time

Germany was the first country to enact daylight saving time on April 30, 1916 in steps to conserve electricity during World War I. Shortly after, the United Kingdom did the same, introducing “summer time.” The United States didn’t adopt daylight saving until 1918.

  1. Not everybody in the United States changes their clocks

Both Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight saving time, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Some Amish communities also choose to remain on standard time year-round.

Congratulations to our Q4 Customer Survey Winners!

Say congratulations to our quarterly survey winners, Dean and Carol Seamann of Spalding, NE, Alice Gibson of Arnold, NE, and Connie Comes of Rushville, NE!

Dean and Carol Seamann of Spalding, NE receives their $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q4 Customer Survey.

Dean and Carol Seamann of Spalding, NE receive their $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q4 Customer Survey.

The survey provides feedback on how customers feel about and benefit from Great Plains Communications products and services. This information is helpful to track how technology is advancing the communities we serve and provides information to help make changes and improvements that can strengthen our business as a whole as well as enhance our customers’ experience.

Alice Gibson of Arnold, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q4 Customer Survey.

Alice Gibson of Arnold, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q4 Customer Survey.

We are always eager to get better insights from our customers and we know having as many responses as possible helps with this goal. We also understand that our survey takes time, so we created a coinciding drawing to thank you for participating. As you can see in the pictures, our winners, Dean & Carol, Alice, and Connie received $100 gift cards.

Connie Comes of Rushville, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q4 Customer Survey.

Connie Comes of Rushville, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q4 Customer Survey.

We always want to hear unbiased feedback, so it doesn’t matter how someone rates us, it just matters that they complete the survey. Every customer will be reached within a calendar year, so be on the lookout for your chance to win a great prize!

Wings Over the Platte – Congratulations, Abby Jensen!

We are excited to announce that Abby Jensen, Nebraska native and part of the Great Plains Communications family, has had four photography pieces chosen by The Stuhr Museum in Grand Island, NE as part of their ‘Wings Over the Platte’ show. Currently going on, and running until April 9th, ‘Wings Over the Platte’ is “Grand Island’s celebration of the return of the Sandhill Cranes every spring,” states their website. Along with Abby’s ‘Cradling the Moon’ piece being chosen for billboard advertising, she received two Awards of Merit for ‘Cradling the Moon’ and ‘Leading the Way’.

This celebration is not just for bird watchers, but for anyone who appreciates the beauty of the Sandhill Cranes and the Platte River. When visiting, you can find Abby’s artwork, as well as other pieces specific to the spring migration, at Stuhr Museum’s ‘Wings Over the Platte’ exhibit, Prairie Winds Art Center’s ‘Spirit of the Cranes’ exhibit, and in the gallery of the nature center.

Again, we want to congratulate Abby on the selection of her beautiful photography. All pieces are displayed below and will be for sale at the show.

The Origin of Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil did in fact see his shadow this morning, meaning six more weeks of winter. While Groundhog Day is one of the oddest traditions in the United States, most people don’t actually know where the whole idea started. Great Plains Communications looked to our cable channel, the History Channel for more on the origin of this bizarre holiday and we would like to share a few facts we found.

The idea originally stemmed from an ancient Christian tradition called Candlemas Day. History Channel describes Candlemas Day as a day when, “clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter,” with the candles, “representing how long and cold the winter would be”. From there, the Germans expanded on this idea and chose a hedgehog as a way of predicting the weather. Once German settlers made their way to America, they continued the tradition in Pennsylvania, but switching to the locally common groundhog rather than a hedgehog.

The first Groundhog Day celebration was on February 2, 1887 at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It was created after a local newspaper editor, Clymer Freas, pitched the idea to a group of businessmen and groundhog hunters known as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. They found the area of Gobbler’s Knob where the inaugural groundhog has led to the Punxsutawney Phil we know today.

As the idea of a groundhog predicting weather picked up popularity, additional areas have adopted their own traditions of a local creature helping with the annual weather forecast. In Vermillion, Ohio, they have the wooly bear caterpillar, where if the insect has more orange than black coloring on its furry body, the coming winter will be mild. Places have also adopted their own local groundhog to make their predictions, such as General Beau Lee in Atlanta, GA, Sir Walter Wally in Raleigh, N.C., and Jimmy in Sun Prairie, WI.

Just as he saw his shadow this morning, Phil has seen his shadow 102 times in high contrast to the 17 times he has not. No matter if you are bundling up to get through the next six weeks of winter or celebrating the few more weeks for cooler temperatures, Great Plains Communications would like to wish everyone a wonderful Groundhogs Day.

Don’t Miss Our Scholarship Deadline!

As the kids head into the second semester of school, the thought of graduation planning quickly becomes a reality. Continuing on after high school will bring new experiences, exciting information and also expenses. No matter if it is a big university or a two year program at a tech school, the price of college continues to rise. Great Plains Communications wants to help with the burden of those glaring numbers by offering scholarships.

The February 1, 2017 application deadline is rapidly approaching. Don’t miss out on this financial opportunity. You can find more information and a full listing of our scholarships on our web page or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483. The deadline will be here before you know it, so be sure to get your application in soon.

If you have received a scholarship from Great Plains Communications and are currently in school, we would love to hear from you! Let us know how it made a difference in the comment section on our Facebook page.

Get Fit in 2017 with the Nebraska 150 Challenge

It’s 2017 and for many that means New Year’s Resolutions. If you are one that’s trying to get fit for the New Year, find support in our great state of Nebraska. This March, Nebraska is celebrating 150 years of statehood and as part of this milestone, the Nebraska Sports Council, in partnership with the Celebrating Statehood Board and Staff, have launched a year-long web-based wellness challenge called NE 150 Challenge.

The NE 150 Challenge is free for individuals and offers motivation for achieving and tracking physical activity minutes, such as walking, running, and biking. This challenge presents a great opportunity for our state to rally around wellness.

To start tracking your activities, you must first register for an account. To register and find more information on the NE 150 Challenge, go to https://www.ne150challenge.com/.

Congratulations to Our Q3 Customer Survey Winners!

Amy Fiedler of Bloomfield, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q3 Customer Survey.

Amy Fiedler of Bloomfield, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q3 Customer Survey.

Say congratulations to our quarterly survey winners, Amy Fiedler of Bloomfield, NE, Ashley Vontz of McCook, NE, and Joyce Bottorf of Petersburg, NE!

The survey provides feedback on how customers feel about Great Plains Communications products and services, as well as how our products benefit the lives of our customers. This information is helpful to track how technology is advancing the communities we serve and provides information to help strengthen our business as a whole.

Broadband Technician, Adam Simpson presents Ashley Vontz of McCook, NE with her $100 Visa gift card.

Broadband Technician, Adam Simpson presents Ashley Vontz of McCook, NE with her $100 Visa gift card.

We are always eager to get better insights from our customers and we know having as many responses as possible helps with this goal. We also understand that our survey takes time, so we created a coinciding drawing to thank you for participating. As you can see in the pictures, our winners, Amy, Ashley, and Joyce received $100 gift cards.

Joyce Bottorf of Petersburg, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q3 Customer Survey.

Joyce Bottorf of Petersburg, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card for completing the Great Plains Communications Q3 Customer Survey.

We always want to hear unbiased feedback, so it doesn’t matter how someone rates us, it just matters that they complete the survey. Every customer will be reached within a calendar year, so be on the lookout for your chance to win a great prize!

Supporting Local Veterans With Operation Homefront

In our previous social campaign, Great Plains Communications worked to raise awareness for the organization Operation Homefront by offering to donate $1 for every “like” we received on our Facebook post. Thanks to an abundance of support, we received 802 likes equaling $802. We want to thank everyone who liked and shared our post to further help us in our goal. To show our appreciation, Great Plains Communications would like to round out our donation to $1,000 to Operation Homefront. With a commitment from the organization, we have been notified that the full $1,000 will be used right here in our great state of Nebraska to help local veterans in need.

Some examples of ways donations are used:

  • Pay the electric bill of a military family
  • Help a warrior transition to civilian life
  • Help keep essential vehicle rolling
  • Pay for critical baby items
  • Help with rent and mortgage payments

Again we would like to thank everyone for their support in spreading awareness for our campaign, and we would like to give an even bigger thank you to the men and women who have and are currently serving our country.

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