Old and new technology in a digital world

Christian bookstore becomes part of community

By Brian Lazenby

Rev. Mike Frisby looks across his Bible from the pulpit at Index Community Church. Several in the congregation are staring intently at their phones. Others are studying iPads or a variety of other tablets.

Index Community Church Rev. Mike Frisby and his wife, Caryl, stand inside their bookstore, Walls of Grace.

Index Community Church Rev. Mike Frisby and his wife, Caryl, stand inside their bookstore, Walls of Grace.

At first glance, it is enough to make a pastor question his sermon’s topic. Perhaps he should have chosen something more interesting. but he knows the moment he asks the congregation to lift up their Bibles, these same people will be holding their electronic devices above their heads.

“The world has really changed,” says Frisby, who has been preaching since 1973.

Recently, an event at Index Community Church had to be rescheduled. Organizers posted the change on the church’s Facebook page, and word quickly spread.

This is what Frisby calls one of the benefits of technology, yet he and his wife, Caryl Frisby, are walking a tightrope between this modern technology and the ways of the past.

Frisby understands that the future of the church is made up of online Bibles, emails, text messages and Facebook. Yet he and his wife also operate a small Christian bookstore at a time when everything is going digital.

The Frisbys opened Walls of Grace Christian Bookstore in West Liberty in November. Inside the store they sell a variety of Bibles, Amish books, CDs, DVDs, Christian gifts, church supplies and workbooks used in group Bible study classes.

They believe books still have their place, but they acknowledge things are changing.

Frisby says that there are pros and cons to the new technology. Communication with the congregation can happen fast with electronic technology. Technology also makes conducting research for his sermons quicker and more efficient.

“I have almost 3,000 books in the church library, but it is easier to let the computer do the work for you,” he says. “There are certainly advantages to technology.”

Frisby says his congregation is gradually adapting to new technology.

Frisby says his congregation is gradually adapting to new technology.

Another advantage is attracting young people — many of whom are extremely computer and social-media savvy — to the flock.

On the other hand, Frisby believes technology can confuse a congregation because members are bombarded with so many different messages. Many of them contrary to the church’s teachings.

“Technology can be a great thing when used correctly,” he says, noting that he considers himself a traditionalist. “But I love books, and people are still reading books.”

Mrs. Frisby knows that many in the local community would rather support a local business than shop online. There are also many that still prefer holding a book in their hands rather than reading from a computer screen.

At Walls of Grace, Mrs. Frisby can order any books that are not on hand, and they will be available in about three days, provided they are in stock at the manufacturer.

“As a minister, I feel the community needs a Christian bookstore,” he says. “It just says something about the community to have that resource available.”

Walls of Grace

709 Main Street – West Liberty


Red River Rescues

The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team, along with other neighboring emergency groups, is frequently called upon to find lost hikers in the Gorge or rescue someone who has fallen.

The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team, along with other neighboring emergency groups, is frequently called upon to find lost hikers in the Gorge or rescue someone who has fallen.

Several months ago, some hikers camped close too Haystack Rock in the Red River Gorge near a beautiful overlook. In the morning they walked to the cliff-line to take a few pictures. What they didn’t realize was that the rock had become frozen during the night.

One of the campers stepped on a patch of ice, slipped, fell 60 feet and became lodged in a crack between two rocks.

The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team was called to lower men down in the crevice to secure the hiker and lift him out. Because of the remote area, it took a group of 20 rescuers about nine hours to hike in to him, lift him out of the crack and hike him back out to safety. The man was sent to the University of Kentucky Hospital where he was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

“When you fall 60 feet like that, it’s typically a fatal fall, so he was very lucky,” says John May with Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team.

Not everyone is so lucky, which is why the Wolfe County team — responsible for rescues on many of the 500 miles of trails within the Daniel Boone National Forest and Red River Gorge area — has become known as one of the top wilderness rescue squads in the Southeast. Each year, the squad gets 30 to 40 calls for help, ranging from lost hikers to serious falls. Rescue-2

The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team is made up of about 40 volunteers, with 12 of them certified nationally. There are only three internationally certified rescue instructors in the state, and two of them are on the Wolfe County team.

“We are very prepared to handle any situation that might arise,” he says.

According to May, there are two different categories of people in the gorge: rock climbers and weekend warriors, which he says are primarily made up of day hikers and campers.

Rescue-3Despite doing more treacherous and strenuous activity, rock climbers are not the ones getting into much trouble, he says. Typically they are prepared and know what they are doing. The day hikers and campers are often unprepared for the elements, have less experience and are more likely to do something that will get them in trouble.

“People come to do a day hike, but they don’t have appropriate clothing, the right equipment or maps,” May says. “Those are the calls we get the most.”

For more information about the gorge, visit www.redrivergorge.com/dbnf.html. For more information about the Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team, visit www.wcsart.com or look for them on Facebook.

May offers several suggestions for inexperienced hikers coming out to enjoy the gorge:

  • Use common sense.
  • Don’t cross fenced areas.
  • Stay on trails.
  • Don’t get too close to cliff edges.
  • Don’t hike alone.
  • Don’t get intoxicated while hiking.
  • Bring proper clothing and equipment.

Online adoptions

Technology finds homes for strays

By Brian Lazenby

Huckleberry, a Walker Coonhound, mugs for the camera with Diana McGuire of Menifee County Animal Shelter.

Huckleberry, a Walker Coonhound, mugs for the camera with Diana McGuire of Menifee County Animal Shelter.

It is 4 a.m. when Diana McGuire drives through the night to meet a van from New York. At the rendezvous point, she loads up a group of stray dogs from Morgan and Menifee counties.

The former strays are transported north, where they will become loyal family pets or someone’s best friend in states where strict animal ownership laws have all but eliminated the pet overpopulation problem.

“Many northern states have mandatory spay and neuter laws, so they don’t have the population problem that we do here,” McGuire says. “There is a huge waiting list of people up north wanting to take them.”

McGuire has volunteered at the Menifee County Animal Shelter for 11 years. She has made it her life’s mission to find homes for the stray dogs and cats that come through her shelter.

Vicki Stacy, volunteer director at the Morgan County Animal Shelter, says she also works tirelessly to find homes for the pets in her shelter.

“The happiest days in my life are when I can take some dogs out of here,” she says.

Adapting adoptions

Technology has done more to save pets’ lives than 100 van loads of dogs en route to northern states. Without a broadband Internet connection like the one provided by Mountain Telephone, that adoption transport wouldn’t be possible. Hundreds or even thousands of pets would remain homeless — or worse.

Vicki Stacy, volunteer director at the Morgan County Animal Shelter, cuddles with a puppy that was recently up for adoption.

Vicki Stacy, volunteer director at the Morgan County Animal Shelter, cuddles with a puppy that was recently up for adoption.

McGuire and Stacy both use Internet technology to locate homes for the animals living in their shelters. They are in communication with pet rescue groups and related networks and also use sites such as www.petfinder.com to market their dogs and cats.

Petfinder is an online resource for anyone looking for a pet. More than 300,000 adoptable pets from more than 13,000 adoption groups are listed on the site. It is one of the primary ways that shelters find out-of-state homes for their pets. Essentially, it pairs families and pets together based on certain criteria, the same way online dating sites work for people.

“Anybody looking for an animal can get on Petfinder and find exactly what they are looking for,” McGuire says.

Both animal shelters are also affiliated with PetSmart Charities, a nonprofit animal welfare organization that helps find homes for pets and funds low-cost spay and neuter programs.

For an animal to qualify for a PetSmart Charities adoption, it has to meet strict guidelines that include a veterinary check-up and vaccinations. Rescue workers must also submit a video of the animal undergoing temperament testing. “People know they are getting a great pet because they have to be the top-of-the-line for health and temperament,” Stacy says.

The shelters also advertise adoptable dogs on their Facebook pages. “The Internet has really helped open up doors for adoption,” McGuire says.

Making a difference

Because of technology, adoptions are up. Since every pet leaving the shelter must be spayed or neutered, the number of pets coming through the doors is down.

Pam Pilgrim (left) and Barbara Stone are working to open an animal shelter in Wolfe County.

Pam Pilgrim (left) and Barbara Stone are working to open an animal shelter in Wolfe County.

Both Morgan and Menifee county shelters saw record low numbers of dogs coming into the shelters last year.

“We used to get 1,000 dogs that would come through here in a year, but last year was a record low with only about 500,” McGuire says.

Local shelters are beginning to make progress, but Stacy says pet owners need to be more aware and more involved.

Both shelters operate on a shoestring budget and count on donations and volunteer labor to survive.

Stacy says many are reluctant to volunteer because they don’t want to see animals that may eventually be euthanized. But there are plenty of other ways to help. Kennel workers are needed, but volunteers can also foster a pet in their home until it is adopted. They can donate needed supplies such as food and blankets or give money to buy medical supplies.

“There are weeks when I wonder how we are going to feed them all,” she says. “Food is our biggest need, but we really need money and workers too.”

Building shelter

It isn’t just Morgan and Menifee counties that have problems with strays. Wolfe County has more than its share of stray dogs and cats as well, but the county does not have an animal shelter.

Diana McGuire, with the Menifee County Animal Shelter, uses the Internet to find homes for local strays.

Diana McGuire, with the Menifee County Animal Shelter, uses the Internet to find homes for local strays.

Currently, strays in Wolfe County are shipped to Estelle County. Barbara Stone and Pam Pilgrim say that Wolfe County needs its own shelter with its own spay and neuter program if it is going to stem the flow of unwanted dogs and cats there. With this in mind, they are working to set up a facility in Wolfe County.

Stone donated two acres of land located in Hazel Green, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture has given approval for a 10-kennel shelter, which is expected to be about 2,160 square feet. They hope to open this fall.

“We just want to control the stray population,” Stone says. “Nothing has ever been done here before.”

Pilgrim says the facility also plans to advertise its dogs on Facebook and will have a website where potential adoptive families can browse the animals in the shelter and sign up to donate or volunteer.

For more information about the Menifee County Animal Shelter or to learn how to donate, visit www.menifeeshelter.com, call 606-768-9368 or find them on Facebook. For the Morgan County Animal Shelter, visit www.adoptapet.com/adoption_rescue/86259 or call 606-743-2545.

Mountain nears end of historic fiber buildout

Mountain Telephone continues cutting residents over to their fiber network. Fiber is faster and more reliable than traditional copper broadband. To take full advantage of the new technology, call 606-743-3121.

Mountain Telephone continues cutting residents over to their fiber network. Fiber is faster and more reliable than traditional copper broadband. To take full advantage of the new technology, call 606-743-3121.

Mountain Telephone has completed all mainline construction in its fiber-to-the-home project and will now direct its focus to getting members cut over to the high-speed network.

Crews completed construction for the Sandy Hook Phase V contract as well as the Sandy Hook Phase IV contract, which was delayed due to a Department of Transportation road-widening project.

Crews will continue cutting residents over to fiber until customers in the service area has access to the fastest and most advanced data network available.

The harsh winter caused some construction delays, but crews still managed to complete construction work to the primary network. Crews finished the final construction contracts in March.

“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as construction goes,” says Rick Pelfrey, plant manager at Mountain Telephone. “Cutover should wrap up in late spring or early summer.”

Pelfrey says some fiber customers may have lost service during some severe winter weather. “An ice storm caused a power outage for six days in some areas and affected fiber customers because their batteries ran down,” he says. Fiber-DSCN1567

The next time an outage like that happens, anyone with a generator can plug the ONT battery into it for a charge in order to maintain service.

Mountain Telephone members who have been cut over to the fiber network but have not yet signed up for the voice, broadband data and HD video services Mountain offers are not getting the full benefits of fiber technology. Members are encouraged to call Mountain’s business office at 606-743-3121 to learn more and place an order today.



Calling all shutterbugs!

bigstock-Photography-Slr-camera-film--47354377Do you have a knack for capturing great photos? Would you like to see your photos in the 2014 Mountain Telephone Directory or in the Mountain Calendar? Now is your chance.

MRTC is accepting submissions for its 2014 Photo Contest. Digital photos can be emailed to lfannin@mountaintelephone.com, or entries may be mailed or dropped off at the MRTC business office during regular business hours. The deadline to enter is June 1.

  • All photos must be in color and taken in Bath, Elliott, Menifee, Morgan or Wolfe counties.
  • There is a limit of two pictures per customer, and a submission form must be filled out for each photo.
  • Digital photos must be in JPEG/JPG format.
  • Entries must be submitted by the original photographer.
  • People in photos must not be recognizable.
  • Photos must be appropriate for posting publicly. Photos deemed inappropriate will not be eligible.
  • Pictures or prints will not be returned.

For more information or to submit a submission form online, visit www.mrtc.com/Sub/contest.html.

Ringside seats to TV’s future

By Shayne Ison
General Manager

Today’s television industry is very much like a wrestling match. In one corner stands the champion, the current structure where pricing and packaging are driven by the content providers. In the other corner is the fast-rising newcomer: OTT.

Shayne Ison

Shayne Ison

The term OTT means “over the top,” and is used to describe television programming that is available outside of a TV subscription. This includes services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video.

These services charge a subscription fee for users to watch movies, TV shows and even original programming — and the approach is changing peoples’ viewing habits. For example, the Netflix political drama “House of Cards” released its second season in February, and almost 700,000 Netflix subscribers watched all 13 episodes in the first weekend. Viewers are becoming more interested in watching what they want, when they want to watch it (even if that means spending their weekend consuming 13 hours of a political drama).

Also in February, we saw the launch of a service that is different from anything we’ve seen so far. The WWE Network offers wrestling fans original programming, a back catalog of shows spanning decades and access to its pay-per-view events — all for $9.99 per month. And it’s only available over the top. Will this be a model that other niche providers pursue? Would consumers pay a separate fee for that kind of access to football or basketball? Home improvement or gardening shows? It remains to be seen.

We all use our TVs to connect with traditional programming, like the packages offered by Mountain Telephone. But how do people access the OTT programming? The list of devices is long, and continues to grow. There’s the popular Roku and Apple TV, devices that connect to your television and your home’s Internet connection. In April, Amazon introduced its own video streaming device. Some devices with different primary functions, like the PlayStation, Xbox and Blu-ray players, also provide access to OTT services. And many newer television sets have built-in OTT functionality.

Rick Schadelbauer is an economist with NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association. In a recent industry report, Rick shared with us that the number of households with connected TVs is on the rise. “According to a study recently released by The Diffusion Group (TDG), more than six in 10 U.S. households have at least one television connected to the Internet in order to access content from online services,” he wrote. And that number is up 19 percent from 2013.

These numbers, along with the OTT examples I mentioned above, paint a clear picture: television entertainment is rapidly evolving. Adding more pressure to change is the fact that content providers continue to demand more money from companies like ours, while telling us what channels we must carry and where we must place them in the lineup.

As we watch this match play out, there is good news for members of Mountain Telephone. We continue to invest in creating a robust broadband network, and we will be ready to provide you with a reliable connection to whatever services you decide to access — across whatever device you decide to connect to our network.

Glorious Grilling!

Apple Butter Pork Chops with Cola Pecan Glaze

The flavors in this dish just seem to be meant for each other.

For the chops:

  • 4 one-inch thick pork chops, bone-in or boneless
  • 1 1/2 cups apple butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Butter
  • 1 can of Coke (not diet)
  • Handful of finely chopped apples
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • Parsley flakes
  • Salt and pepper dashes
  • Crushed pecans

Place chops in a shallow glass dish. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour marinade mixture over chops. Cover tightly and refrigerate for several hours, overnight if possible. Remove pork chops from marinade. Place on grill approximately six inches above medium-hot coals. Grill, turning and basting with marinade.

For the glaze: In a small skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until tender. Carefully add in the remaining ingredients and allow the Coke to reduce to half. Once the mix starts to bubble it will reduce quickly, so be ready to remove it from the heat. If the mix burns the sugar, the Coke will become bitter and you will need to start over. Drizzle glaze over chops and serve immediately.

Zesty Cheater Wings

This recipe is so easy that it’s like cheating.

12-24 mini chicken wings and drums

  • Zesty Italian dressing
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Minced green pepper
  • Minced onion
  • Dried parsley flakes
  • Hot Sauce

Marinate the chicken in equal parts of Italian dressing and barbecue sauce, toss in some hot sauce and spoon in a few tablespoons of minced peppers, onions and some dried parsley flakes. Cover, chill for a couple of hours and grill until juices run clear.

Grilled Strawberry Pound Cake

Grilled Pound Cake3This is my all-time favorite grilling recipe for an after-meal sweet tooth.

  • Nonstick spray
  • Pound cake slices
  • Spray butter, such as Parkay
  • Brown sugar (optional)
  • Strawberry ice cream
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Strawberry syrup
  • Toasted sliced almonds

If you fear placing slices of pound cake directly on a grill, try using a grilling basket or use a sheet of heavy duty foil to make a griddle-like surface. Use the nonstick spray to lightly coat the grill or foil as it heats up. Use butter spray or melted butter to lightly coat each slice of pound cake. Grill until edges are browned and the slice is heated evenly. If desired, sprinkle the slices lightly with brown sugar before removing from the grill. Place a slice on a plate, top with ice cream, sliced strawberries, drizzle with strawberry syrup and top with almonds.

Whiskey London Broil

  • 1 (2- to 3-pound) London broil or flank steak
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all of the marinade ingredients. In a resealable bag, combine the meat and marinade. Chill in refrigerator for at least five hours (overnight or all day is better).

When ready, heat up the grill and wipe a bit of oil on the grates or use nonstick spray. Remove the beef from the marinade and cook directly over the heat, turning as needed until outside is evenly cooked. I hate to put a time on this because it really depends on the thickness of your cut. You are probably looking at four to eight minutes per side, possibly more. Cook to your desired doneness. Allow to rest for a few minutes on a plate covered with foil. Slice thin and serve hot.

Meet the Deck Chef

Gas or Charcoal? Kent Whitaker says both. The grillmaster likes the flexibility of grills, so he can tailor a cooking method based on the cuisine.

Gas or Charcoal? Kent Whitaker says both. The grillmaster likes the flexibility of grills, so he can tailor a cooking method based on the cuisine.

By Anne P. Braly

Kent Whitaker wasn’t born with a silver spatula in his mouth. Like every grill master, there was a time when Whitaker knew nothing about grilling. Granted, it’s hard for him to remember the exact moment he took to the grill, knowing how to coax the best flavor from the meat that lay before him.

But now at the age of 47, he says it was during his teenage years that he began grilling seriously, learning a good deal of his technique from his dad.

“Outdoor cooking has always been a big part of our family,” Whitaker says. “Both sets of grandparents loved to grill. But it was my dad who ruled charcoal grilling.” His dad’s instruction, along with a good deal of trial and error, Whitaker admits, helped him hone his skills at the grill.

“I’ve never had anything blow up or caught a car on fire like in the commercials,” he says. “I was cleaning old grease off my smoker, and there was so much smoke that a neighbor ran over to see if our house was on fire.”

One great thing about grilling is its portability. Whitaker frequently takes his grill on the road to football games, including the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

One great thing about grilling is its portability. Whitaker frequently takes his grill on the road to football games, including the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Whitaker has authored numerous cookbooks sharing his love of the grill, with valuable tips on smoking, barbecuing and grilling meats as well as recipes.

“I’m still perfecting things and love the learning process and trying new things,” he says, adding that he loves to try grilling new foods and adding twists to recipes.

“Some have not been what I call successes, though!” he says. “You learn by trial and error; some stuff you pick up in restaurants or class.”

Cooking Methods

bigstock-Backyard-BBQ-Grilling-Party-St-34020527 (1)Whitaker says the first thing one should know about grilling is the difference between cooking methods.

  • Smoking uses very low heat (52° F – 140° F). Several hours up to several days, depending on temperature.
  • Barbecuing also uses low heat (190° F – 300° F). Takes several hours with low, slow heat.
  • Grilling requires high heat (400° F – 550° F ). Hot and fast and ready in minutes.

Once you’ve learned the basics, he says it’s time to experiment with different rubs and marinades, as well as meats and other foods.

Whitaker has several monikers attached to his love of grilling. “Cornbread” is one; “Rib Bone” another. But most know him as the “Deck Chef.” And that’s where you’ll find him on the Web: www.thedeckchef.com, a site with recipes as well as a place to buy his cookbooks.

Southern Celebrations

Festivals highlight big and small icons of rural life

By Elizabeth Wootten 

It’s not every day that people stop to celebrate watermelons. Or MoonPies. Or crape myrtles. But throughout the summer, many counties and cities host unique festivals devoted to such unheralded aspects of life in the South. And the celebrations they put on can give you and your family the opportunity to experience all kinds of fun activities.

Not sure where to start? The Internet is a great tool that can help you during the planning stage. Finding directions, events and hotels is made easy by travel and tourist websites. With a little research, you can have your trip mapped out in no time. Get to planning those one-of-a-kind adventures for you and your family today. Here are some festivals to get you started.

South Carolina

Walterboro Antiques, History & Arts Festival – May 16-17, Walterboro 

Hampton County  Watermelon Festival – June 14-22, Hampton

Known for the longest parade in South Carolina, this event includes a wide variety of events such as a parade, a street dance, Battle of the Towns, Mud Run and more. This year’s theme is The Hampton County Watermelon Festival Promoting Physical & Spiritual Wellness. www.hcmelonfest.org

Lowcountry Blueberry Jam & Blueberry Festival – June 22, McClellanville

South Carolina Festival of Stars – June 27-28, Ninety Six

14th Annual South Carolina Festival of Discovery – July 10-12, Greenwood

Edisto Music & Shag Fest – Aug. 29-30, Edisto Beach

McCormick Gold Rush Festival – Sept. 20, McCormick

From breakfast at the McCormick United Methodist Church to panning for gold at the Heritage Gold Mine, there is plenty to do for all ages at this daylong festival. Live music, games, a silent auction and live artist demonstrations are just a few of the activities to enjoy. www.mccormickgoldrush.net

Due West Fall Festival – Sept. 27, Due West

Beaufort Shrimp Festival – Oct. 3-4, Downtown Beaufort

Beaufort Shrimp Festival

Beaufort Shrimp Festival
Photo by Captured Moments Photography

Celebrating wild-caught shrimp and local food and fun in the Lowcountry, the festival features an arts and crafts market, a 5K run/walk, live entertainment, children’s activities and, of course, plenty of shrimp. www.downtownbeaufort.com/beaufort-shrimp-festival

28th Annual Belton Standpipe Heritage & Arts Festival – Oct. 4, Belton


Poke Sallet Festival – May 9-10, Gainesboro

A tractor show, quilt show, iris show, Outhouse Race and Poke Sallet Eating Contest are some of the features this year. Kids can enjoy the day, too, with a petting zoo, rides and games. www.pokesalletfest.com

Annual Highway 52 Yard Sale – May 16-17, Macon County 

Country Fried Festival at Milky Way Farm – June 7-8, Pulaski 

4th Annual Genealogy Jamboree and Pioneer Day – June 12-14, Cumberland Gap

The Secret City Festival – June 13-14, Oak Ridge

Defeated Creek Bluegrass Festival – June 13-14, Defeated Creek

Lions Club Annual Hillbilly Days – June 19-21, Lafayette

Bell Buckle RC-Moon Pie Festival – June 21, Bell Buckle

The Southeastern Tourism Society has named this festival a Top 20 Event. A 10-mile run kicks off the event, with a parade, bluegrass music, a performance by Speakeasy, the coronation of the king and queen and more sprinkled throughout the day. www.bellbucklechamber.com

The 15th Annual Lavender Festival – June 21, Oak Ridge

Lynchburg Frontier Days – June 26-28, Lynchburg

Nine Mile Bluegrass Festival – June 27-28, Pikeville

Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree & Crafts Festival – July 4-5, Smithville

Celebrate Independence Day weekend with traditional Appalachian music and old-time fun. Beginning at 9 a.m. each day, the festival will include more than 35 categories of music and dancing as well as food and craft booths. smithvillejamboree.com

Smokin’ in McMinnville BBQ Festival – Aug. 8-9, McMinnville

Franklin Jazz Festival – Aug. 30-31, Franklin

32nd Annual Standing Stone Marbles Festival & National Rolley Hole Championships – Sept. 13, Hilham

ESPN, ABC Evening News, Sports Illustrated and others have featured this one-of-a-kind festival. Although registration is required for the Rolley Hole Tournament, activities open to all include marble making, a swap meet and demonstrations. www.facebook.com/theNationalRolleyHoleMarblesChampionships

Half Moon Music Festival – Sept. 14, Ten Mile

Rockwood Fall Festival 2014 – Oct. 4, Rockwood

6th Annual October Sky Festival – Oct. 19, Oliver Springs

European American Heritage Festival – Oct. 25, Pulaski


33rd Annual Little River Days – May 16-17, Hopkinsville

The Lower Town Arts & Music Festival – May 16-17, Paducah

Mountain Memories Festival – June 6-7, Frenchburg 

Stringbean Memorial Festival – June 19-21, Jackson County

Bluegrass and mountain music honoring the memory of David “Stringbean” Akeman. Music classes and workshops. www.stringbeanpark.com

!8th Annual Duncan Hines Festival

18th Annual Duncan Hines Festival

18th Annual Duncan Hines Festival – July 12, Bowling Green 

Berea Celtic Festival – Aug. 15-18, Berea

Swift Silver Mine Festival – Aug. 29-31, Campton

Hatfield-McCoy Heritage Days 2014 –  Aug. 29-31, Pikeville

Tobacco Festival – Labor Day Weekend, Sandy Hook

Blazin’ Bluegrass Festival – Sept. 18-20, Whitley City

Gourd Patch Arts Festival

Gourd Patch Arts Festival

Gourd Patch Arts Festival – Sept. 20, Mayfield

25th Annual World Chicken Festival – Sept. 25-28, London

A tribute to the heritage of Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, this international celebration includes a variety of attractions, from Chick-O-Lympics and Barnyard games to face painting and a car show. www.chickenfestival.com

Cave Run Storytelling Festival – Sept. 26-27, Morehead 

Oak Grove Tourism's Butterfly Festival

Oak Grove Tourism’s Butterfly Festival
Photo by Janet Young

Morgan County Sorghum Festival – Sept. 26-28, West Liberty 

Oak Grove Tourism’s Butterfly Festival – Sept. 27, Oak Grove  

From a monster mural to an insect road show exhibit, there are activities for children of all ages. Learn about nature through hands-on activities during the day, and stay for the release of hundreds of butterflies at the end of the day. www.oakgrovebutterflyfest.com

The Murray Highland Festival – Oct. 25, Murray


30th Annual Poke Salat Festival – May 16-17, Arab 

Mentone Rhododendron Festival – May 17-18, Mentone

On Friday, there will be a bonfire in the town square where you can enjoy marshmallow roasting, storytelling, and live entertainment. The festival also includes food, arts and crafts, children’s events, live music and more. www.facebook.com/MentoneAlabamaFestivals

NACC Latino Festival

NACC Latino Festival
Photo by Angie Stewart

NACC Latino Festival – June 7, Rainsville

31st Annual Sand Mountain Potato Festival – July 4, Henagar

Main Street Music Festival – Aug. 8-9, Albertville 

Ardmore Crape Myrtle Festival – Aug. 30, Ardmore

Purchase crape myrtles of all colors and sizes as well as other plants and flowers at this event. You can also experience crafts, antique cars and tractors, children’s activities and more. www.ardmorealtnchamber.org

The 44th Annual St. William Seafood Festival – Aug. 30, Guntersville

Best known for its famous gumbo, the festival is the primary fundraiser for St. William Catholic Church and attracts seafood lovers from near and far. Come enjoy freshly prepared food at Civitan Park on Lake Guntersville. stwilliamchurch.com/seafood_festival

Ider Mule Days – Sept. 1, Ider

Riverfest Barbecue Cook-off – Sept. 19-20, Decatur 

Boom Days Heritage Celebration – Sept. 20, Fort Payne 

New Hope Annual Outdoor Juried Arts & Crafts Festival

New Hope Annual Outdoor Juried Arts & Crafts Festival

New Hope Annual Outdoor Juried Arts & Crafts Festival – Sept. 27-28, New Hope 

48th Annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention – Oct. 3-4, Athens

Athens Storytelling Festival – Oct. 23-25, Athens

Broadband Builds Business

Small businesses depend on broadband access as they drive America’s economy

Every day across rural America, small business owners are taking care of their communities ­— from grocery stores, restaurants and service stations to beauty shops, newspapers and banks.

Not only are these small businesses meeting our local needs, but they are also a vital part of our country’s economic recovery. According to reports compiled by the ADP Research Institute, the six-month period from September 2013 to February 2014 found that businesses with fewer than 50 employees created some 455,000 jobs, or 42.8 percent of all jobs created.

As small business owners put people to work — and generate some 46 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product — they increasingly rely on broadband Internet access to manage and grow their companies. In fact, reports from the U.S. Small Business Administration show that broadband is one of their most important resources.

“Access to high-quality broadband Internet service is absolutely vital for small businesses seeking to grow their operations,” says Rick Schadelbauer, an economist with NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association. “It allows small business owners to cost-effectively promote the unique aspects of their operations and provides access to customers and markets that would be otherwise unattainable.”

Beyond having a website, small businesses are also using their broadband connections to engage with customers through social media. They are using online software for functions such as project management, bookkeeping and sales tracking. And they are networking with vendors to maintain inventory and track orders.

As broadband becomes the lifeblood of small business, telecommunications providers like us remain committed to delivering reliable, affordable broadband to rural America.

TelcoBadgeProof2Look for the “Broadband Builds Business” logo in our magazine throughout the year as we highlight companies who are using broadband to create new business opportunities and to bring new services to their communities. 

  •  Are you a small business owner? Share your story of how you’re using broadband to grow your business at BroadbandBuildsBusiness.com. We may feature you in our magazine!


The face of Small Business

In communities across the region, small businesses are using the power of broadband to operate more efficiently and provide better service.