Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Category: Community (page 1 of 33)

2018 Halloween Safety Tips

Jack-o’-lanterns line the sidewalk, patiently waiting to greet your little Dinosaurs, unicorns and pirates alike, lighting the way through the festive night. The doorbell rings and an assortment of candy fills each bucket and bag. Tomorrow is the big night, and there is more to plan than what shoes will look best and if there are enough treats to go around. Great Plains Communications wants to make sure everyone has a safe Halloween with some tips from Safe Kids Worldwide.

Have a Safe Walking Plan: Children’s excitement level is often escalated on Halloween as they see the sweet potential in each house, no matter if it is across the street or down the block. Help them to remember to look left, right, and left once more before holding the hand of an adult and crossing the street. Also, don’t forget to put down any electronic devices as you cross, and choose spots further away from the street to stop and take pictures.

Find Creative Ways to Add Safety Precautions to Costumes: Have your kids use fun metallic stickers or reflective tape on their candy bags, it could be a fun way to personalize their goodies and help them be seen by passing drivers. Glow sticks could be another fun way to brighten up the nighttime walk!

Be a Cautious Driver: Just because you are not in costume, does not mean you are not a large factor in Halloween safety. As a driver, make sure to eliminate any distractions inside the car and be especially alert in residential areas. Allow extra time to look for kids between parked cars and at intersections. Typical trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., so buckle up and stay alert for all the little witches and skeletons walking the streets.

For more tips, check out the Safe Kids Worldwide website and remember that Great Plains Communications hopes you have a fun and safe Halloween! Let us know what creative safety tricks your family uses each year in the comments section on our Facebook page.

Meet a Customer Service Rep – Jerome Hilton

Customer service representatives are often the first point of contact a person has with a company. They are the voice to a brand and Great Plains Communications (GPC) takes pride in having not only a knowledgeable and friendly Customer Response Center, but a uniquely local one right here in Nebraska.

Sometimes it can be hard to humanize the voice on the other end of the phone. But we want to do just that by highlighting one of our representatives, Jerome Hilton.

Jerome Hilton – Customer Response Representative

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am from South Sioux City NE, I moved to Blair in 2005 and have lived here since.

 

Q: How long have you worked at GPC?

A: I have worked here for 2 ½ years.

 

Q: What is your favorite part about working in customer service?

A: I ultimately enjoy the interaction with customers. It might be helping sign someone up for new services or turning a negative experience into a positive one. I strive to help provide whatever service they are looking for.

 

Q: On a typical day, how many calls would you estimate that you take?

A: On a typical day, I would say I answer between 30-40 calls.

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at GPC?

A: My favorite thing would have to be the culture and my co-workers, they make the days fun and enjoyable. We also have food days, so we can enjoy each other’s cooking.

Q: What do you do for fun?

A: I have three children and two cats, so definitely doing things with them. But I am also a big sports fan! My teams are Nebraska Cornhuskers and Kansas City Chiefs for football and I enjoy watching the University of Syracuse Orange for college basketball. With the weather getting cold, I am also getting excited for ice fishing. I will either go out to Desoto National Wildlife Refuge or travel up to South Sioux City to fish for trout with my brother.

Back-to-School Giveaway Winners

Help us in congratulating our two Back-to-School Social Giveaway winners, Kelly Throener of Dodge, NE and Chelse Brazel of Wausa, NE! Each were randomly selected after commenting on our Homework has Evolved Facebook post, sharing the name of their favorite teacher from school and why that teacher made an impact on them. Kelly commented, “Kathy Mahannah…she is the reason I became a teacher. She was the best!” and Chelse said, “Mrs. Worthington was my 5th grade teacher…all those years ago… and she was my absolute favorite! She had (still has) a heart of gold, always made sure we were taught in a fun way and always made everyone feel like they were her own children.” They both have won a 16GB Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition tablets with blue kid-proof cover.

Kelly Throener of Dodge, NE with her family.

Chelse Brazel of Wausa, NE with her two daughters.

Chelse Brazel of Wausa, NE with her two daughters.

The giveaway is part of our Back-to-School promotion that is available through October 5, 2018.

Sign up for high-speed Internet service and receive:

  • FREE Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa
  • FREE Month of Internet Service

Sign up for any new service and receive FREE Installation!

If you are currently a Great Plains Communications Internet customer but want to upgrade your speed to better fit your family, you will receive a $25 bill credit.

To learn about what speeds we offer in your area or would like to sign up for this great deal, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Don’t Miss the Grey Eagle Warrior Challenge 2018!

Are you looking for your next challenge? Do you enjoy 5k races and ambitious obstacle courses? If so, you need to hurry and register for the 2nd Annual Grey Eagle Warrior Challenge in Chadron, NE taking place on September 8, 2018! Organized by Chadron Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1375, this course is challenging and rewarding as the proceeds go to support Honor Flights in the region, as well as to help finance the VFW Post 1375 scholarship – which is awarded to a veteran attending Chadron State College.

The run will once again start at the Chadron motocross track and will round off at the obstacle course in the Dawes County Fairgrounds. Great Plains Communications is proud to sponsor through our Impact program, three new obstacles: a rope swing, atlas drag and log run. This will bring the total number of endurance-testing features to eight.

So, are you getting a team ready or are you looking for a solo mission? Either way, you are welcome and encouraged to participate! Register now at https://www.runreg.com/2nd-annual-grey-eagle-warrior-challenge.

Even if you are not feeling up to the physical challenge, be sure to bring the family down for some fun with the community. There will be a boot camp style challenge for the children, face painting, viewing of the National Guard vehicles and The American Legion will be serving food and drinks!

Chase County Fair 2018

The Chase County Fair is underway with the Mutton Bustin’ this afternoon starting at 3:00 PM (MDT) and the 30th Annual Demolition Derby tomorrow starting at 6:30 PM (MDT). Great Plains Communications (GPC) is excited to once again be part of the fun, as the sponsor of Friday night’s concert of Brothers Osborne and special guest Kendell Marvel! Gates open for the concert at 6:30 PM (MDT) and keep an eye for some of our employees as they will be passing out FREE t-shirts by the entrance. Then on Saturday, you can see us again in the parade as we throw candy along with other goodies from the GPC float.

If you haven’t already, like our Facebook page so that you can be ready for our FLASH GIVEAWAY of two tickets to each concert offered at the Chase County Fair. So that will be two winners, one who will receive two tickets to Brothers Osborne/Kendell Marvel and the other winner who will receive two tickets to the Saturday show of Jack Russell’s Great White and Sebastian Bach! Watch for more details coming soon.

Come See Us at the Knox County Fair!

We are excited to once again be a sponsor for the Knox County Fair Bull-A-Rama! Starting tonight, August 9, 2018 at 7:00 PM, the excitement will be underway. As you head in to the arena, be sure to look for some of our employees as they hand out free Great Plains Communications 2018 Virtual Summer shirts. The supply is limited, so grab them up while they last.

If you can’t make it out for the Bull-A-Rama, be sure to catch one of the other attractions the Knox County Fair has to offer! The rides will be running August 9 – August 12. Eli Young Band will be performing at the Grandstand at 8 PM tomorrow night with Arch Allies, a tribute band to Journey, Styx, Def Leppard, Reo Speedwagon and Boston, at the Grandstand Saturday evening. This weekend is sure to be filled with fun for the whole family, and Great Plains Communications is honored to be a part of it. And you can catch us in the Imperial, NE area next week as we take on the Chase County Fair!

2018 Fourth of July Safety Tips

Fourth of July is just a week away but fireworks sales are already booming. While there is much fun to be had, the holiday comes with some risk of harm and Great Plains Communications has a few tips to keep in mind so that everyone can enjoy a happy and safe time.

Keep Child Fireworks Use Supervised at All Times

Fireworks come in all shapes, sizes, and power levels. They also come with different degrees of injury potential. This is why adult fireworks are not safe when handled by children. One way to help supervise the situation is to keep child appropriate fireworks in a separate place from any that could cause kids harm, and always have a supervising adult present when any kind of fireworks are nearby.

Use Alcohol Responsibly

Alcohol is often a factor in many Fourth of July festivities, and can be a dangerous combination with fireworks. Use cautiously and be sure to have a designated driver to bring partygoers home after the event ends.

Be Cautious of Food and Beverages Being Left Outdoors

Leaving food and some beverages in summer outdoor temperatures can cause food-borne illness. According to the U.S. FDA, you should never leave food out for more than one hour when temperatures reach above 90 F and no more than two hours for lower summer temperatures. Not only dairy and eggs can cause food poisoning, a lot of other food has the potential to become contaminated.

Pet Safety

Pets often become scared from fireworks, which could result in them running away, having an accident indoors, or destroying property. Be sure to protect your pets by not taking them to firework displays, not leaving them in a car alone, and keeping them in a safe place indoors.

 

Throwback Thursday for Gateway to the West Days

Parade in Blair, NE - 1959

Parade in Blair, NE – 1959

In recognition of Gateway to the West Days in Blair, NE this weekend, Great Plains Communications (GPC) is doing a throwback to look back at the years we have spent in the Blair community.

GPC’s founder, E.C. Hunt purchased the Bell Telephone and Farmers Telephone in Blair and that was the final move to bring what we know as Great Plains Communications to the area. A modern telephone building was designed by Omaha architect Frederick S. Scott, and built in downtown Blair at 1638 Lincoln St.

While GPC has continued to expand, now providing high-speed Internet, cable TV, and phone service in over 90 communities across Nebraska through a 9,500-mile regional fiber network extending into Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. However, as large as the company has grown, it was formed in Blair and has remained in Blair.

Find information on all the Gateway to the West Days activities here.

Spring Social Giveaway Winner

Great Plains Communications would like to congratulate our Spring Social Giveaway winner, Zach Haller of McCook, NE! When asked what his favorite video game of all time is, he commented, Mortal Kombat.

By sharing this with us and liking the Great Plains Communications Facebook page, Zach has won a gaming package made up of: a Nintendo Switch™, Mario Kart Deluxe 8, and Joy-Con Wheel (set of 2).

We would like to thank everyone who took part in our Spring Social Giveaway! Keep a look out for future giveaways this summer. If you are still looking for a good deal, our current promotion is still going on through the end of the month!

  1. Add or upgrade your Internet service and receive up to a $50 bill credit and FREE installation
  2. Sign up for Cable TV or Phone service and receive FREE installation
  3. Bundle your services and save up to 37% EACH MONTH

If you are interested in signing up or learning more about this awesome deal, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483!

Again, we want to congratulate Zach Haller on being our Spring Social Giveaway winner!

Congratulations to Our Community Service Award Winner – Dave Aten

Each year, Great Plains Communications is honored to recognize a Community Service Award winner. This is a person that goes above and beyond as a volunteer in their community. As a company, we are proud to give back to the towns we serve, but even more so to our employees that give their time to better the communities around them. We open it up to all employees to nominate someone they feel deserves the recognition. This year, we would like to congratulate Dave Aten, the Facilities Maintenance Technician at the Blair, NE office!

Dave has served on the Blair Volunteer Fire Department for 22 years. He has held all fire ground leadership positions, including Captain, Assistant Chief, and Fire Chief. In 2017, Dave served as Assistant Chief where he was responsible for safe and effective fire ground operations and training for 46 firefighters. Dave also responded to 250 fire and EMS calls in Washington County, many of which he was the Officer in Charge. His service to the community typically exceeds 10 hours a week, resulting in more than 500 hours in 2017.

Please help us in congratulating and thanking Dave for his time and dedication!

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