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Volunteers Wanted! 75,000 Strong!

Civil War Reenactment

Are you a history buff? Do you have a computer and Internet access?  The call is out for volunteers to join the Decoding the Civil War (DCW) Volunteer Corps. It’s a crowd sourcing project that bands experts and amateurs together to transcribe the daily telegram communications among Union officers, Cabinet members, telegraph operators, and others. Volunteers will examine a collection consisting of almost 16,000 telegrams and 32 code books from the Thomas T. Eckert Papers, an archive believed to be lost at the end of the war.

Let’s take a peek at how it works. To begin, choose “Classify” or “Get Started!”, and you will be presented with a randomly selected image drawn from one of 35 ledgers or 32 code books. A Field Guide will help you figure out if the image is a telegram, a page from a code book; a blank page, a cover, a spine, or something else. Then just type the words you see, following the simple directions – and prepare to be fascinated by the world you have entered.

The transcriptions and decoding of this material will allow the public access to previously unavailable historical records and help to build a deeper understanding of the United States Civil War, giving insight into telegraphy, cryptography, and civilian-military relations. Answer the muster call at  www.decodingthecivilwar.org.

 

 

 

 

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Broadband and Life as a Senior

047521637-active-senior-woman-laptop-lei

It won’t be long before one out of five of us is considered a senior citizen. Folks over 65 years old will account for 20% of the population by 2025. The golden years of these seniors won’t be the same as the lives their grandparents led, thanks to broadband technology and Internet connectivity.

These technologies will play a prominent role in this new era of aging, allowing more people to age in place, in their own homes. Telemedicine services, like in-home monitoring, have already begun to improve senior wellness, especially in rural areas. The Veterans’ Administration, for instance, is leading the field in telemedicine. So far, VA telemedicine programs have reduced bed days by 56 percent, reduced re-admissions by 32 percent, and decreased total psychiatric admissions by 35 percent.

One of the most intriguing aspects of broadband and aging in place is the smart home, a house outfitted with sensors and network devices. Dozens of sensors throughout a house – on appliances, computers, smartphones, thermostats, etc. – could collect information on the location and well-being of the homeowners as well as make it easier for them to accomplish the routines of daily living.

This is just a peek into how technology is improving life for seniors today and will continue to do so in the future. For in-depth insights into broadband and aging in place, take a look at this report from the Foundation for Rural Service, https://www.ntca.org/images/stories/Documents/Press_Center/2012_Releases/aging%20in%20place%20final.pdf.

 

Seeking a Stunning Photograph

The almost world famous 2016 Directory Cover Photo Contest is at the halfway point, and we have some fine entries again this year. It’s always fun to see what we will receive. Over the years, talented and creative local photographers have given us eye-catching phone book covers time and again.

There is plenty of time to throw your hat in the ring, and we invite you to participate in the fun. All entries must be received by April 15.

The photographs will be posted on our Facebook page as they are received, www.facebook.com/kingdomtelco. Fans are invited to vote by liking the photo they think would make the best directory cover. Voting will be open through April 17.

Ducks

The picture above, Duck Hunting, is the current leader in the popular vote with 180 likes.

When voting ends, a committee of Kingdom employees will select the winners from the ten photos that receive the most votes.

The first place photo will be featured on the directory cover and the winner will be awarded a $100 cash prize. Second and third places will win $50 and $25 respectively.

CONTEST RULES & IMPORTANT POINTS FOR ENTRANTS TO KNOW

• Any resident of Audrain, Callaway, or Montgomery counties may enter.
• One entry per contestant, please include your name and phone number.
• Photos should be in color and a high-resolution digital format.
• Entries should not include identifiable people.
• Entries may be e-mailed to jackiel@ktis.net.

Exploring the Workday World

2016 Job Shadow

When you were a little kid, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? Pro athlete, doctor, firemen, and teacher were among the top choices of kids in 2015. Their career choices will change many times over their growing-up years, evolving as they learn more about the world around them.

That’s where job shadowing can play a role. Job shadowing offers students the opportunity to get a glimpse into the world of work. Reading about a career or industry in a book or on the Internet can’t compare to learning about a career by experiencing it in person, following a professional working at their job.

Last week Auxvasse Elementary School student Erica Jones had a chance to spend a few hours job shadowing with us. Erica, 13, is a sixth grader who loves to sing and whose favorite classes are art and music.

She began by meeting each employee and getting a brief overview of their job. Then Erica visited the mapping department, saw how the company uses GPS, and stopped off at the central office housing the hardware that runs our infrastructure. After this overview, most of her remaining time at the office was spent exploring the duties of Administrative Assistant Paula Barnett and helping IT Technician Lee Stoddard with some of his tasks.

Thanks for coming, Erica. We hope you enjoyed your time at Kingdom Telephone Company – and thanks for the help!

Summing Up the Annual Meeting

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The 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders was held on March 5 at South Callaway R-II High School in Mokane, MO. The main order of business was the election of the directors who will serve on the Board for the next three years. Shareholders chose Bennie Young (pictured below), a new face for the Hatton Exchange. Bennie will replace Jim Hughes. Doug Lensing will continue to represent the Rhineland Exchange and Randy Smith will continue to serve as director for the At Large Northern Exchange.

Bennie Young

In the General Manager’s Report, Renee’ Reeter shared detailed insights into the company’s decision to discontinue offering a video product to Kingdom customers.

Over one hundred members went home with attendance prizes. The television was won by Lori Lamons; the Amazon Echo was won by James and Mary Haubner; and the Kindle Fire was won by Janet Wehrle. Kids’ Drawing winners were Kensley Vaughn in the 12 & Under category and Taylor Wiseman in the Over 12 category. The company also gave away fifty hams and fifty turkeys.

 

 

Be Wary of Tax Season Scams

Calculator with TAX SEASON on display

We’re well into the 2016 tax season, and with the paperwork and number-crunching have come an abundance of phone, e-mail, phishing and malware scams related to taxes. The IRS reports that so far this year it has seen a roughly 400 percent increase in such activities in every part of the United States.

To protect yourself, the main point to keep in mind is that the IRS initiates contact with taxpayers only by mail, not via phone call, email, text message or social media. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.

In fact, our friends at the IRS state they will never:

1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill;

2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe;

3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card;

4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or

5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

With that pledge in mind, what scams are folks encountering?

There have been reports of emails designed to look like official communications from the IRS or even tax software companies. The messages might solicit information about anything from refunds or filing status to confirmation of personal information and PIN numbers.

The phishing schemes ask taxpayers about a wide range of topics. When people click on the email links, they are taken to sites designed to imitate an official-looking web site, such as IRS.gov. The sites ask for Social Security numbers and other personal information. The intent is to use the information obtained to file false tax returns. The sites also may carry malware, which can infect the victim’s computer and allow criminals to access files or track keystrokes to gain information.

A sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers has also been reported across the country. Scammers call claiming to be employees of the IRS, using false names and IRS identification badge numbers. The caller ID is usually changed to make it look like the IRS is calling. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS, and it must be paid immediately through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, the caller may threaten them with arrest or suspension of a business or driver’s license. The caller is often aggressive, hostile and insulting.

Be aware. If you are targeted by a tax-related scam, report it to the IRS at https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml.

Pay Your Bill with the Mobile App

ebillicon

Nobody likes to pay bills, but it eases the pain if it can be done quickly and conveniently. That’s why we’re pleased to announce the new eBill Mobile app.

The app is available to download from the App Store or Google Play for Apple and Android platforms, and it’s free.

To use eBill Mobile, you will need to have your credit card information stored on file in the Kingdom billing system. If you have registered for eStatement, your information is already on file. If not, complete the registration process at  https://estatement.kingdomtelco.com/estatement/login.

Like eStatement, eBill lets you access your usage, as well as current and past invoices.

Convenience is good, but saving money is better. If you choose paperless billing and use eBill, we’ll give you a 75¢ bill credit every month!

Get started now by going to:

https://itunes .apple.com/us/app/ebill-mobile/id916816015?ls=1&mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.innovsys.elation.ebillmobile&hl=en

Use the information below to complete the download process. If you have any problems, call 386-2241 for assistance.

URL: kingdomtelco.com
Username <eStatement Web Username>
Password  <eStatement Web Password>


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