For the love of food

A Q&A with Stephanie Parker, a blogger from Birmingham, Alabama, who loves to share recipes and family adventures with fellow foodies on her blog “Plain Chicken.” Check out her blog … plainchicken.com.

What do readers find at your blog in addition to recipes?
Stephanie Parker: In addition to recipes, Plain Chicken posts about our world travels and our three cats, and we also post a weekly menu on Sunday to help get you ready for the week.

Why did you become a blogger, and how has blogging changed your life?
SP: Blogging started as a way for me to store recipes. I would make food and take it to work. People would ask for the recipe later, and I had to search for it. I decided to make a blog and store everything online. The blog started expanding because we were in a dinner rut. I decided to make one new recipe a week. Well, that morphed into four new recipes a week. Plain Chicken has totally changed my life. I was in corporate accounting for over 18 years. Plain Chicken took off, and I was able to quit my corporate job and focus solely on plainchicken.com. I am so lucky to be able to do something that I love every single day.

Everyone has different tastes, so when the extended family gets together, what kind of menu can you plan to please everyone?
SP: Pleasing everyone is always hard, especially nowadays with all the different diet plans people are on. I always try to have something for everyone. If you know someone is vegetarian or gluten-free, make sure they have some options. But for me, at the end of the day, I’m their hostess, not their dietitian.

What are some ideas for getting the children involved in preparing the holiday meal?
SP: Getting the children involved with preparing the holiday meal is a great idea. When making the cornbread dressing, let the children mix up the batter and crumble the cooked cornbread. Have the children mix the cookie batter and form the cookies. For safety’s sake, just make sure the adults put things in the oven and take them out.

Budgets play a big role in planning holiday menus. What are some ideas for hosting a party with “champagne taste on a beer budget?”
SP: Plan your menu early and watch the grocery store sales. Buy ingredients and store them for the holidays. Freeze what you can, and store canned/dry goods in the pantry. Wholesale clubs, like Sam’s and Costco, are also great places to buy large quantities of items and meats.

Do you have a good recipe for the holidays you’re willing to share?
SP: Yes. Spicy Ranch Crackers are a great snack to have on hand during the holidays. The recipe makes a lot, and the crackers will keep for weeks. They are perfect for unexpected guests and are also great in soups and stews.

Spicy Ranch Crackers
Spicy Ranch Crackers
1 (1-ounce) package ranch dressing mix
1/2 to 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 box saltine crackers

Combine dry ranch mix, cayenne pepper and oil. Pour over crackers. Toss crackers every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes, until all crackers are coated and there is no more oil mixture at the bottom of the bowl. Store in a resealable plastic bag.

Other food blogs that might tempt your palate:

www.brittanyspantry.com
This site combines a love of reading, writing and cooking into a blog that will keep you busy in the kitchen creating recipes that have been tested and tweaked for delicious results.

www.iamafoodblog.com
Even for people who work with food for a living, the editors at Saveur “were overcome with desire,” and named this blog its “Blog of the Year” for 2014.

www.southernbite.com
This Prattville, Alabama-based blog focuses on Southern food with the idea that “food down South is not all about deep frying and smothering stuff in gravy.”

Connected Christmas

Your 2015 Gadget-Giving Guide

Ah, Christmas. It’s approaching quickly, and it’s never too early to start shopping. But are you struggling with what to buy that someone who has everything? Here are some of the season’s hottest items that are sure to impress that technologically savvy, hard-to-buy-for family member, significant other or friend.

Wocket Smart Wallet

wocket_smartwallet

If you’re tired of keeping up with all the cards in your wallet, the Wocket is for you.

The Wocket Smart Wallet is the world’s smartest wallet. How does it work? First swipe your cards using the card reader included in the Wocket. Information like your voter registration or any membership or loyalty cards with bar codes can also be entered manually.

The information stored in the Wocket is then transmitted through the WocketCard.
The WocketCard gives the information to the point-of-sale device when it is swiped, just as with a regular credit card.

For only $229, you can own the smartest wallet on the planet. Order yours at www.wocketwallet.com.

Lily

The Lily Drone

Have you been considering getting a drone, but can’t bring yourself to pull the trigger? Meet Lily, the drone that takes flight on its own, literally. All you have to do is toss it up in the air, and the motors automatically start.

Unlike traditional drones that require the user to operate what looks like a video game controller, Lily relies on a hockey puck-shaped tracking device strapped to the user’s wrist. GPS and visual subject tracking help Lily know where you are. Unlike other drones, Lily is tethered to you at all times when flying.

Lily features a camera that captures 12-megapixel stills, and 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second, or 720p at 120 frames per second. You can preorder today, but Lily will not be delivered until May 2016. Expect to pay $999. www.lily.camera

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

If you’re looking for a new personal assistant, Amazon has you covered. The Amazon Echo is designed to do as you command — whether it be adding milk to your shopping list, answering trivia, controlling household temperature or playing your favorite music playlist.

The Echo, which uses an advanced voice recognition system, has seven microphones and can hear your voice from across a room. The Echo activates when hearing the “wake word.” The Echo is constantly evolving, adapting to your speech patterns and personal preferences. “Alexa” is the brain within Echo, which is built into the cloud, meaning it’s constantly getting smarter and updating automatically.

It’s available for $179.99 on www.amazon.com.

iCPooch

iCPooch

Have you ever wondered what your beloved pup is doing while you’re not at home? Wonder no more. iCPooch allows you to see your dog whenever you’re away. By attaching a tablet to the base of iCPooch, your dog can see you, and you can see them — you can even command iCPooch to dispense a treat.

Just download the free app to your tablet or smartphone and never miss a moment with your pup!

iCPooch is available for $99, not including tablet, from Amazon and the website store.icpooch.com.

Classic Christmas Cookies

Hope Barker, of West Liberty, Kentucky

Hope Barker, of West Liberty, Kentucky, makes family cookie recipes her own.

Cookies so good Santa won’t want to leave

By Anne P. Braly,
Food Editor

We all know that holiday cookies are a lot more than sugar, flour and eggs. They tell a story. Remember walking into grandma’s house only to see warm cookies she just took from the oven sitting on the counter?

Hope Barker has similar stories when she reminisces about baking cookies with her mom. Her favorite recipe is a simple one: sugar cookies.
“My mom and I used to make these when I was young,” she recalls. The recipe came from an old cookbook — now so yellowed and worn with age that it’s fallen apart, but, thankfully the pages were saved and are now kept in a folder.

She learned to cook at the apron strings of her mother, Glyndia Conley, and both grandmothers. “I can remember baking when I was in elementary school,” Barker says. “My mom and I made sugar cookies to take to school parties. And Mamaw Essie (Conley) taught me how to bake and decorate cakes. From Mamaw Nora (Cottle), I learned how to make stack pies — very thin apple pies stacked and sliced like a cake.”

She honed these techniques and soon became known for her baking skills in her town of West Liberty, Kentucky, so much so that she opened a bakery business that she operated from her home, making cookies and cakes for weddings, birthdays, holidays and other special events.
During the holidays, cookies are in demand. Not only are they scrumptious, but just about everyone loves them, too. They make great gifts from the kitchen, and if you arrange them on a beautiful platter, they can become your centerpiece.

“Cookies are easy to make and easy to package,” Barker says. “They don’t require plates and forks, so they are more convenient than many other desserts. Also, because they are less time-consuming, you can make a variety in less time than many other desserts. They can be decorated many different ways. And who doesn’t love to get a plate of pretty cookies?”

But there is one big mistake some less-practiced cooks often make when baking cookies — overbaking.

“If you leave them in the oven until they ‘look’ done, they are going to be overdone,” Barker warns. “The heat in the cookies will continue to bake them after you have taken them out of the oven.”

She says the best outcome for pretty cookies is to start with the right equipment — a good, heavy cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. “This will keep them from sticking to the cookie sheet and help them to brown more evenly on the bottom,” she says. And when finished, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before putting them in a sealed, airtight container to keep them moist.

Barker no longer caters, but she continues to do a lot of baking during the holidays for family, coworkers and friends.
Cookies, she says, just seem to be a universal sign of welcome, good wishes and happy holidays.

Sugar cookies are a delicious and versatile classic during the holiday season. This is Hope Barker’s favorite recipe. They can be made as drop cookies or chilled and rolled for cut-out cookies. You can use the fresh dough and roll balls of it in cinnamon sugar to make Snickerdoodles, or use it as a crust for a fruit pizza.

Classic Sugar Cookies
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup milk
Additional sugar (optional)

Cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix very well. Add flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Make sure all ingredients are well-incorporated.
For drop cookies, scoop fresh dough into 1-inch balls and place a couple inches apart on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Smear a small amount of shortening on the bottom of a glass, dip the glass into the sugar of your choice and flatten each dough ball into a disk about 1/4-inch thick. Continue to dip the glass into sugar and flatten the dough balls until all are flattened into disks. Sugar can be sprinkled on cookies at this point, if desired. Bake the cookies at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven when they begin to color at the edges.
For rolled and cut cookies, refrigerate the dough for at least 3 hours or overnight. Roll out portions of the dough on a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick and cut into desired shapes. Sugar can be sprinkled on cookies at this point, if desired. Place the cookies at least 1 inch apart on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size/thickness of the cookies. Remove from the oven when they begin to color at the edges.

Sugar Cookie Variations

Various Sugar Cookies Frosted Cookies
Bake either the rolled or drop cookies. Prepare your favorite frosting recipe (or buy canned frosting) and frost the cooled cookies. Frosting can be tinted with different colors and piped on in seasonal designs.

Snickerdoodles
When making the drop cookies, mix together 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon with 1 cup granulated sugar. Roll each ball of dough in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and then put onto the cookie sheet. Flatten with the bottom of a glass into a disk shape and bake as directed.

Maple Cookies
Replace the vanilla flavoring in the recipe with maple flavoring. Make rolled cookies with no sugar on the tops. On the stovetop, stir together 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons milk; stir well. (Be careful as the mixture will splatter a little when you add the milk.) Put saucepan back on stove and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat. Pour the mixture over 1 1/2 cups of sifted powdered sugar and mix on low/medium speed until smooth. Drizzle the warm frosting over the cookies with a spoon. Allow to cool completely.

Jell-O Cookies
Make rolled cookies with no sugar on the tops. When the cookies come out of the oven, spread a thin layer of light corn syrup on the tops with a spoon. Immediately sprinkle with Jell-O gelatin powder of your choice. Allow to cool completely.

Fruit Pizza
Use about a half batch of the dough and spread evenly in a greased jelly roll pan. This will be the crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough begins to get some color at the edges and on top. Let the crust cool completely. Mix together 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 7 ounces marshmallow creme. Spread this over the crust. Cut up about 4 cups of fresh fruit (strawberries, kiwi, bananas, mandarin oranges, grapes, apples, etc.) and stir together with a package of strawberry fruit gel. Spread the fruit mixture over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate before slicing and serving.

Cooperatives are exceptional

KeithGabbard-CEO-HeadshotBy Keith Gabbard
Chief Executive Officer

Every month or two a news story will appear that looks at the so-called “digital divide” between big cities and rural areas like ours. This narrative paints a picture that rural Americans have a more difficult time getting reliable Internet access through broadband.

While statistics may back up that idea in some parts of the country, I’m proud to say our area is the exception thanks to this cooperative.

In some of the recent numbers I’ve seen from the FCC, there is a stark contrast between broadband access in rural America and in big cities, if taken as a whole.
As you’ve read in these pages before, the FCC has redefined broadband as Internet speeds of at least 25 Mbps. Based on that threshold, 94 percent of urban residents have broadband access, compared to only 55 percent of people in rural America.
Sitting in an office in New York or Los Angeles, it would be easy to see those numbers and think rural America has been left behind in today’s technology-driven, connected world.
But that’

s not the case here in our part of Eastern Kentucky.
We’re happy to offer speeds well above those thresholds to our customers, and we’re pleased to bring those connections to everyone across the service area.

We are proud to be the exception to those numbers because it means we’re serving our customers. But we’re also proud to be exceptional because it means our founders were right about banding together to create PRTC.
Cooperatives like ours were founded by local residents who knew a reliable communications network was important and were willing to join together to bring such a network to our area.

The statistics clearly show that corporate America is not meeting the needs of rural communities like ours. Companies focused on pleasing stockholders don’t see enough profit in our region to invest in building a network.

That’s where cooperatives like PRTC come in. We answer to our customers, who are member-owners of the cooperative.

October is National Cooperative Month, which is a great time to think about our business model and how it benefits families and businesses in our area.
In a news release from the USDA published in July, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said “Broadband is fundamental to expanding economic opportunity and job creation in rural areas, and it is as vital to rural America’s future today as electricity was when USDA began bringing power to rural America 80 years ago.”

Sec. Vilsack is correct. Without access to broadband, our community would be at a disadvantage. And without PRTC our area wouldn’t have such access.
Please join us in October (and throughout the year) in celebrating what our founders created and all the advantages we enjoy today because of their vision and dedication to their communities.

The Rev. Carroll de Forest

Learn how Carroll de Forest serves his community through church and a charity providing medical equipment to those who are ill or weak.

Learn how Carroll de Forest serves his community through church and a charity providing medical equipment to those who are ill or weak.

His closet of hope and care
By Noble Sprayberry

Mattresses, canes, walkers and other necessities needed to support the sick or weak surround the Rev. Carroll de Forest as he stands in his “Closet.”

A tall man, he speaks in soft, soothing tones hinting neither of his New York upbringing, nor of the more than four decades spent in Eastern Kentucky.

“There are a lot of people here in Jackson County who have to choose between putting food on the table and meeting their medical needs,” he says. “Equipment is really expensive, and almost everything is given to us. So, we loan it out, for nothing, to whomever needs it, for as long as they need.”

The longtime pastor of the Gray Hawk Reformed Church continues to spend much of his day managing the Carroll de Forest Loan Closet, which is supported by the Jackson County Cancer Fund.
“He didn’t want us to name it after him, but we out-voted him,” says Vivian Marcum, a fund board member. “We decided he deserved that and even more.”

The Carroll de Forest Loan Closet is a free resource to those in need of medical supplies.

The Carroll de Forest Loan Closet is a free resource to those in need of medical supplies.

But the Closet, in the red, metal-sided building near his home, is only one way de Forest, who turns 80 in July, has touched a community he adopted as his own after arriving in 1971.

A life of service
He was raised in Duanesburg, New York, just northwest of Albany. “I grew up on a turkey farm,” he says.

He attended the State University of New York at Cobleskill, where he completed a two-year agriculture engineering course. Then, he went to Central College in Pella, Iowa, and majored in psychology.

The college is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, a denomination de Forest continues to serve. And after his degree, he began his journeys.

“I went to Japan as a short-term missionary after graduating,” he says of the time he taught English and Bible in a small town in the north of the country. “I was there three years. It was an agricultural college, with a boys high school and a girls high school connected to it.”

Once he returned to the United States, his continuing education included seminary in Holland, Michigan. He married his wife, Betty, during his senior year. After graduating, the couple returned to Japan. “We were there for five years, but Betty didn’t like it as well as I did,” he says.

The church’s mission board found the couple a new home. “They needed an agriculture teacher at Annville Institute, and I’d also done a year of graduate work at Iowa State after returning from Japan,” he says. “So, I became an agriculture teacher and farm manager in Annville.”

Jackson County Ministries took over operation of the institute in 1979, and de Forest headed the integrated pastoral calling program, which coordinated visits to area residents in nursing homes and hospitals.

The Carroll de Forest Loan Closet is supported by the Jackson County Cancer Fund and others. De Forest continues to make deliveries.

The Carroll de Forest Loan Closet is supported by the Jackson County Cancer Fund and others. De Forest continues to make deliveries.

In 1971, he also became a part-time pastor of the Gray Hawk Reformed Church, eventually serving as full-time pastor. The couple lived in a ranch-style home on the property, where they raised five children: Danny, 44; Nathan, 42; Mark, 41; Angie, 39; and Sherry, 34.

“I was pastor here for 29 years, and in 2000 I retired,” he says. “But, I like to say that I don’t retire, I retread.”

Joining the struggle against cancer
Over the years, de Forest contributed to the community in many ways, including officiating more than 120 marriages and participating in at least 600 funerals.

He has offered condolences and hope, with much of the work focused on individuals and families touched by cancer. He is an organizer and supporter of the Jackson County Cancer Fund.
“He’s the most thoughtful, caring and considerate person I’ve ever met,” Marcum says. “He treats everyone the same, like they’re a brother or a sister. I call him the gentle giant. He’s just wonderful.”

Teams from local churches organize events such as fish fries to support the fund. Also, an annual fall festival in September raises money and honors those lost to cancer, as well as those who survived.

Last year, the effort raised nearly $47,500. Ten percent of that money supports the Markey Cancer Center in Lexington, and the rest remains in the local community to fund efforts such as the Loan Closet.

The fund does buy mattress covers, which go along with any bedding distributed by the Closet. And, the fund may help defray the cost of providing batteries — as much as $170 — for electric-powered chairs. But, the Closet’s operation is frugal. De Forest, for example, pays for his own gas whenever he drives an aging van to deliver items or to pick up donations.

The Carroll de Forest Loan Closet is supported by the Jackson County Cancer Fund and others. De Forest continues to make deliveries.

The Carroll de Forest Loan Closet is supported by the Jackson County Cancer Fund and others. De Forest continues to make deliveries.

When asked what de Forest means to the community, fund board member Pat Henderson says, “Just about everything. He’s involved in more than you would expect from anyone. He’s just real caring, and a big help to the county. If you need help, all you have to do is ask. He doesn’t care what it takes.”

Through his work as pastor and with the Closet, he has seen people struggle with cancer. And while medicine now often provides life-extending treatments, if not outright cures, cancer remains a diagnosis fraught with fear.

“Cancer makes people think, ‘Well, I’m a goner, and I’m not going to make it through,’’’ de Forest says.

When offering comfort, de Forest turns to the lessons of his church: “As Paul says, our little earthly tent will be folded up one day, and God will move us out to our eternal dwelling. It’s a journey we all make.”

Through the Closet, de Forest, and those who help him, strive to make the journey a little easier.”

 

Who needs Superman, when you have Lois Lane?

Author Gwenda Bond specializes in young adult fiction.

Author Gwenda Bond specializes in young adult fiction.

An author gives the comic book heroine her first novel
By Melissa Smith

Author Gwenda Bond crafted a career writing young adult novels, but her latest work reminds her of childhood mischief: She often stole her brother’s comics.

Growing up in the Bond community near Annville, the author fondly recalls a love of reading that started when she was 5 years old.

“I don’t know what it is about books, but I can remember thinking they were magic,” Bond says.

She credits her parents, Jerry and Betty, for her love of reading. “I was very lucky to be in a house with a lot of books,” Bond says. “Both of my parents were teachers, and then became principals. I always had access to libraries.”

Always a lover of reading and comics, Bond’s latest book stars Superman’s cherished love interest, entitled, “Lois Lane: Fallout.”

In this story, set long before she falls in love with Superman, Lane moves from Kansas to Metropolis to begin her new life. She doesn’t quite fit in at her new high school and sets out to put the bullies (the Warheads) in their place. She is trying to adjust to her new surroundings, including beginning a new job as a reporter and making new friends. One friend in particular stands out, although she only knows him by his screen name, SmallvilleGuy.

Mild-mannered writer
Bond was excited, but admittedly a bit nervous, about unveiling her new novel and giving Lane her own spotlight. “What helped is that no one really knew about the draft except a handful of people,” Bond says. “I’ve been very lucky that DC Comics and Capstone have been really open and gave me a lot of freedom. The editorial process is great.”

With the success of previous titles such as “Girl on a Wire” and “Blackwood,” Bond says that she really loves being a young adult author. “There’s a supportive community who really loves this literature,” she says. “They’re so engaged.”

Bond believes a good story is a good story, regardless of whether adults or teenagers are reading her work. “Young adult books are about teenagers, but not necessarily for teenagers,” Bond says. “My books have a 50-50 audience of adults and teenagers.”

When it comes to parallels between Bond’s life and her stories, she says that she does use familiar places for her settings.

“I feel like they’re strongly tied to a certain place,” Bond says, specifically about her novel “Blackwood,” which was set in a small town and very much inspired by her high school years. “The stories often involve teenagers who feel like they’re in a small town,” she says.

Her stories shed light on a region often overshadowed with preconceived notions about its inhabitants.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about the South,” Bond says. “It made me more thoughtful about assuming things about anyone.”

Bond lives in Lexington with her author-husband Christopher Rowe.

“Lois Lane: Fallout” launched on May 1 and is available at major book sellers.

 

College credits in high school

Owsley_6021
Giving Owsley County students an advantage

Editor’s note: This story is the third in a series of articles that will highlight PRTC’s Smart Rural Community award from NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association.

As Frankie Baldwin begins her senior year at Owsley County High School, she has a plan for the future and college-level credits on her record. “I want to go into forensic criminology or anthropology; something like that,” she says.

And thanks to a dual credits program used by about half of the high school’s juniors and seniors, she’ll have a big head start on that degree when she graduates.

During their school day, participating students attend at least one class that counts toward future degrees.

The experience also taught Baldwin about the expectations for college students. “In high school, they have to feed everything to you with a spoon,” Baldwin says. “In a college class, you don’t have someone pushing you to do the work. They just expect you to do it.”

Personalized and connected

The dual credits program is part of the county’s District of Innovation push. It started when the Kentucky Department of Education tested Web-based learning as a way to help students continue their education when weather closed schools.

That 2010 initiative proved successful, and educators wanted to expand the idea. They developed a range of tools, including student-specific education plans, college instructors who teach on the high school campus, video-based distance learning and dual credits programs.

Broadband Internet now adds to the tools connecting students and instructors, says Stacey Davidson, Owsely County Schools’ instructional supervisor.

All Owsley High School students have access to software tools such as Blackboard, which allows students and teachers to interact online.

Connecting educational institutions to the world through broadband is one reason Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative’s service area was designated a “Smart Rural Community” by NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association. NTCA developed the Smart Rural Community award as a way to recognize cooperatives that are promoting and using broadband networks to foster innovative economic development, education, health care and government services.

The University of Pikeville, Hazard Community & Technical College, and Morehead State University have all participated in the dual credits program, which costs as little as $50 per semester.

Building futures
Before Willa Richardson graduated from Owsley High in 2014, she built college credits while also staying active in school and community activities. “There was no computer or Internet at our house,” she says. “It was difficult at times to do it all, but I managed.”

At Berea College, her focus is child and family studies. College-level classes in high school prepared her for her first writing class at Berea. “It put me well ahead of everyone else,” she says.
Once she earns a college degree, she hopes to return to Owsley County as a representative of Partners for Education at Berea College. “I would like to go back and be an advocate for students,” she says.

Heroes of imagination

Area libraries provide valuable resources

Reading, learning and fun are the goals this summer for area libraries, which will focus on programs that include superheroes and aspiring librarians.

The Jackson County Library will offer the Every Hero Has a Story program, which is supported by the Kentucky Department of Libraries Association.

Readers from prekindergarten to 18 years old may attend the free program that extends throughout July. Last year, there were between 75 and 100 readers.

Participants should arrive each day by 11:30 a.m., when they can receive a free lunch. Then, from noon until 1 p.m., they will participate in reading-focused exercises such as “Be Your Own
Hero” or “Community Heroes.”

The Owsley County Public Library also supports a range of programs throughout the summer.

The Young Librarians program allows middle-schoolers and youth to spend all day at the library.

Participants will learn about the Dewey decimal system, cataloging, computer cleanup and the responsibility of maintaining the library’s young adult area.
The program continues until school resumes in August.

“At PRTC we believe reading is essential, and we proudly support the libraries of our communities,” PRTC General Manager Keith Gabbard says. “We hope you and your children take advantage of the summer reading programs.”

readbooks

Survey Winner

Marie YoungMarie Young, a PRTC customer from Annville, won a $25 Amazon gift card after responding to The PRTC Connection readership survey.

Her name was selected at random from a pool of participating customers.

The survey provided valuable feedback about The PRTC Connection. We learned that the most popular pages are those with stories about local people in our community, as well as the articles about food.

About 85 percent of respondents said this magazine gave them a better understanding of technology, and 90 percent said they have a better understanding of the role of the cooperative.
PRTC thanks all of those who participated.

4G LTE wireless coverage expands

Additional transmission towers allows Appalachian Wireless to grow its 4G LTE service, which provides faster mobile downloads.

“Appalachian Wireless is continuing to expand its 4G LTE coverage footprint, and this is especially true in Owsley and Jackson counties,” says Ashley Litteral, marketing manager of Appalachian Wireless.

In March, the company added four towers — Annville, Mummie, Gray Hawk and McKee — to serve Jackson and Owsley counties.

“You’ll know if your device is using 4G LTE by seeing either “4G” or “LTE” next to your signal strength indicator,” he says.

Customers should expect continued expansion of 4G LTE service. A new tower in the Waneta area will be ready by fall.