Citizens Still Serving Community while Office is Closed to Public
Valuable Corona Virus Resources

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Our collective backyard is pretty fantastic. With the Blue Ridge Parkway, The Crooked Road and all of the hiking and natural wonders within a two-hour drive, there’s plenty of adventure waiting right in our own backyard.

Beginning Friday, May 4, Citizens would like to encourage residents to explore these close-to-home areas and report back to us. Capture your day-trips with your smartphone or digital camera and share your footage with us. We will enter you into a random drawing for the chance to win an Amazon Dot, QVC gift certificates, and more.

Whether it’s a hike up Buffalo Mountain, a bike ride down the Virginia Creeper Trail, or a tour of a local farm or potter’s studio, we’d like to see what you see and hear what you think.

Submit 5-10 photos including at least one picture of you enjoying your day trip, up to 3 minutes of video, and a 100-300 word paragraph sharing the highlights of your adventure, and we’ll edit it into a 1-2 minute video. With your permission, we’ll share these videos on Citizens CCTV Channel 20. Inspire your neighbors to get out and explore!

Visit citizens.coop/backyard-adventures to upload your photos and/or video, and your short paragraph about the location or adventure. You might win a nice prize for your efforts. Best of all, you can give viewers ideas of where they should visit on their own next adventure.

Start uploading May 4. Contest deadline is Sept. 15th.

CCTV Channel 20 is an exclusive local channel available only on Citizens Cablevision. Catch local sports, church programming and “The Community Show” produced by Hari Berzins. The following programs will air on “The Community Show” throughout the month of May. “The Community Show” airs 7 am, 1:30 pm, and 7 pm daily. Set your PVR so you don’t miss an episode.

  • Indian Valley Kindergartners learn about Floyd History with Janet Keith and Alice Slusher
  • From the Front Porch to the Front Lines, DVD Release Presentation with Dr. Melinda Wagner, Radford University. Featuring stories from local WWII Veterans.
  • What Can I Do About Lyme Disease? Panel Discussion from Floyd Health & Wellness Fair
  • Blue Ridge Story Space, Celebrating the Mountain Tradition of Storytelling
  • Curtis Turner Birthplace Marker Unveiling
  • Walk a Mile With Healthy Floyd
  • Gentle Yoga with Studio 221

The mission of CCTV is to capture what matters to you. If you have an interest in showcasing your business, civic group, or community project, contact Hari Berzins, Video Production Editor by calling 745.9552 or email marketing@citizens.coop. Sponsorship opportunities are available to advertise your business during local programming. For more information, contact Citizens at 540-745-2111 or 276-637-6485.

Floyd County High School’s graduating Class of 2018 will be held on Friday, May 25. The ceremony will take place inside the school’s gym with overflow seating in the school auditorium. For those unable to attend the ceremony, Citizens Cablevision will stream the festivities live on CCTV, Channel 20 and on Citizens Telephone Coop Facebook. Rebroadcast of the ceremony will be played throughout the month of June.

A professionally produced, high-quality video and audio, keepsake DVD is available for purchase at https://citizens.coop/graduation/​ or by calling Citizens at 540.745.2111.

The mission of CCTV is to capture what matters to you. If you have an interest in showcasing your business, civic group, or community project, contact Hari Berzins, Video Production Editor by calling 745.9552 or email
marketing@citizens.coop . Sponsorship opportunities are available to advertise your business during local programming. For more information, contact Citizens at 540-745-2111 or 276-637-6485.

Citizens is proud to announce the following Scholarship opportunities:

Foundation for Rural Service Scholarship:

The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) offers an annual college scholarship program to help further higher education among rural youth. FRS awards a one-time $2,500 scholarships to students from rural America for their first year of college, university or vocational-technical school. Each student is sponsored by an NTCA member company. FRS funds $2,000 of each scholarship, and the sponsoring company awards the remaining $500. The FRS College Scholarship Program seeks to encourage students to return to their rural communities upon completing their education.

Sponsoring a student for the annual FRS College Scholarship Program is a one-time investment that will last a lifetime. The program empowers rural youth by giving them opportunities for higher education. Our hope is that these students return to rural America to enhance and enrich their rural community with education and experience.

The application for the FRS College Scholarship Program is available each October for the following year’s program. Applications must be postmarked to FRS by March 1st of each year and winners will be announced by May 1st of that year.

Download the application here and more information about the Foundation for Rural Services Youth Program Scholarship can be found here

Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association Scholarship:

The VCTA and the Donald A. Perry Foundation are very excited to announce the launch of our 2017 Virginia’s Future Leaders Scholarship Program. This year we will be awarding $100,000 to Virginia students in partnership with you, our members. Please find attached the 2017 Application and Rules, as well as our press release. These materials can also be found on our website at www.vcta.com.

The deadline for this year’s program is April 24, 2017. The Virginia’s Future Leader’s Scholarship is open to Virginia residents only, attending an undergraduate 2 or 4 year program at a Virginia institution of higher learning for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Download the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association Scholarship application here.

 

Citizens announced they will partner with Cell Phones for Soldiers to collect gently used smartphones, feature phones or tablets to benefit US troops and veterans. Recognized for their efforts to connect military members serving around the globe, Cell Phones for Soldiers Co-Founders Robbie and Brittany Bergquist were recently honored in Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017. This highly competitive award recognizes America’s young entrepreneurs and included over 15,000 nominations for 600 spots.
“Partnering with Cell Phones for Soldiers on our phone collection campaign allows our customers wanting to upgrade to a new phone to assist our troops and veterans at the same time,” stated Lori Saltus, EVP of Customer Relations & Marketing for Citizens. Customers and community members wanting to donate their phone may visit any Citizens’ location. For more information on Cell Phones for Soldiers, visit ​www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com​.

Customers of Citizens Cablevision now have the opportunity to view local church services. According to Hari Berzins, Video Production Editor of Citizens, four local churches have committed to supplying pre-recorded church services to be uploaded to the company’s CCTV Channel 20.  

Citizens posts the weekly programming schedule online at https://citizens.coop/cctv/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/citizenstelephone/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel.  Current programming is as follows:

  • Saturdays: 9:00am: Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren, Pastor Marvin Wade
  • 9:30am: The Seventh Day: Revelations From the Lost Pages of History
  • Sundays: 8:30am: Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren, Pastor Marvin Wade
  • 9:00am: Faith Baptist Church, Pastor Warren Brown
  • 5:30pm: The Seventh Day: Revelations From the Lost Pages of History
  • 6:30pm: Shawsville Congregational Holiness Church, Pastor Wes Conner

The new programming is available to viewers of Citizens Cablevision in Floyd, Ft. Chiswell, and New Castle.   For more information about the new Citizens TV service visit www.citizens.coop, stop by the office located at 220 Webbs Mill Road in Floyd, or call 540.745.2111/276.637.6485. Any church interested in submitting services should contact Emily Gruver at 540.745.9552 or hariberzins@citizens.coop for instructions on how to upload services.

Citizens is a locally-owned Cooperative located in Floyd, VA, providing quality service, excellent support and advanced technology. Citizens offers voice, video, data, and security solutions to residents and businesses in Floyd, Ft. Chiswell and New Castle.

Next week on April 20th, Plenty! is holding two separate events in support of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley GiveBigNRV campaign. Plenty! welcomes all of their friends and neighbors to come out and support it’s mission to help feed hungry neighbors in Floyd County. First, folks can enjoy a free meal at Plenty!’s Community Lunch which will have fresh, homemade soup, bread and dessert starting at noon on Wednesday April 20th. Most of the ingredients for the meal are either grown on the Plenty! Farm or donated by local farmers.  If you are not able to make the lunch, Plenty! invites you to stop by later in the day between 4 and 6pm for refreshments and a tour of the farm. Individuals are welcome to walk the farm and learn about all the different programs Plenty! is doing in the local community.  Jonathan Vandergrift, Plenty! Director, stated “there are many great non-profits and charities in the area participating in this campaign and I hope everyone in Floyd County reaches out and supports their favorite organization on April 20th.” Plenty! is proud to be a part of GiveBigNRV, an initiative of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley. Plenty! is located at 192 Elephant Curve Road, Floyd off Route 8. For more information about GiveBigNRV please visit https://cfnrv.givebig.org or about Plenty! www.plentylocal.org.

Citizens is proud to announce the following Scholarship opportunities:

Foundation for Rural Service Scholarship:

The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) offers an annual college scholarship program to help further higher education among rural youth. FRS awards a one-time $2,500 scholarships to students from rural America for their first year of college, university or vocational-technical school. Each student is sponsored by an NTCA member company.

The application for the FRS College Scholarship Program is available each October for the following year’s program. Applications must be postmarked to FRS by March 3rd of each year and winners will be announced by May 1st of that year.

Foundation for Rural Services Youth Program frs.org

Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association Scholarship:

 

The VCTA and the Donald A. Perry Foundation are launching the 2016 Virginia’s Future Leaders Scholarship Program. This year they will be awarding $100,000 to Virginia students. Please find the 2016 Application and Rules, as well as their press release at vcta.com.

The deadline for this year’s program is April 24, 2016. The Virginia’s Future Leader’s Scholarship is open to Virginia residents only, attending an undergraduate 2 or 4 year program at a Virginia institution of higher learning for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Virginia’s Future Leaders Scholarship Program ​vcta.com

Millions of Phishing attacks are attempted daily. What is a Phishing? Phishing is the process in which an individual is targeted by email or telephone by someone posing as a legitimate institution in order to gain personal information of the target. This information can then be used to access a customer’s account and can result in identity theft and financial loss.

Personal Information a Phishing attack may try to gain:

  • Email address and password
  • Social security number
  • Bank information
  • Credit card information
  • Any other personal information that may be of benefit

Citizens would like to provide the following tips to help avoid these Phishing attacks:

  1. Never give out any personal information to anyone you don’t know
  2. Be suspicious of links in emails and pop-ups on websites that ask for personal information
  3. Be suspicious of email attachments and never download email attachments from an unknown sender
  4.  Be suspicious of emails that have grammar and spelling mistakes.
  5. Be suspicious of random phone calls from companies asking for personal information.
  6. Lastly, be cautious when giving out personal information via email, websites, or over the phone.  If something does not feel right, it probably isn’t.

Visit the following website for more information and tips for Phishing attacks.
http://www.phishing.org/scams/prevent-phishing/

Remember Citizens will never ask for personal information via email.

Citizens is proud to announce the following Scholarship opportunities:

Foundation for Rural Service Scholarship:

The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) offers an annual college scholarship program to help further higher education among rural youth. FRS awards a one-time $2,500 scholarships to students from rural America for their first year of college, university or vocational-technical school. Each student is sponsored by an NTCA member company.

The application for the FRS College Scholarship Program is available each October for the following year’s program. Applications must be postmarked to FRS by March 3rd of each year and winners will be announced by May 1st of that year.

Foundation for Rural Services Youth Program frs.org

Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association Scholarship:

 

The VCTA and the Donald A. Perry Foundation are launching the 2015 Virginia’s Future Leaders Scholarship Program. This year they will be awarding $100,000 to Virginia students. Please find the 2015 Application and Rules, as well as their press release at vcta.com.

The deadline for this year’s program is April 24, 2015. The Virginia’s Future Leader’s Scholarship is open to Virginia residents only, attending an undergraduate 2 or 4 year program at a Virginia institution of higher learning for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Virginia’s Future Leaders Scholarship Program ​vcta.com

FLOYD, VA – Citizens Telephone Cooperative (Citizens) recently announced plans to upgrade facilities to increase broadband speeds in its service areas. “It’s been in our plans for several years now and we have recently started the construction phase. Increasing broadband speeds in our service area is necessary to meet our customer demands for faster Internet connections and increases opportunities for economic development. Increased speeds will be achieved through a variety of technologies with the new top download speed of 100Mbps for residential customers. The current top speed available to our Business Ethernet customers is 10Gbps (10,000Mbps) symmetrical and we are working to increase that to 100Gbps (100,000Mbps). The deployment of these technologies provides flexibility for future products and services requested by customers” stated Greg Sapp, CEO & General Manager of the Cooperative.

 
The investment in upgrades is costly for Citizens, but is necessary to continue our cooperative mission. Eligible subscribers will see their speeds increase, but will not see rate increases unless they opt for even higher speed services.

 
“Citizens continually monitors technology and innovation to determine the viability of future offerings for our subscribers. This project will be handled in phases and will be marketed as a CitiZip branded service to highlight the greater speeds. The first phase will occur in and around the Town of Floyd with available download speeds of 10Mbps, 25Mbps, 50Mbps, and 100Mbps. Upgrade plans within the town limits will be shared at an upcoming Town Council Meeting with deployment set to begin in September 2014 stated Dennis Reece, COO and Assistant General Manager.”

 
Citizens Telephone Cooperative is a full service provider of residential and business landline and cellular telephone service, high speed Internet services and digital video services. Analog cable is also provided in portions of its service area. PC Repair, virus protection, web design and hosting services are also available. Systematical Business Ethernet is also available as well as Home Security and Citizens Medical Alert.

theblaze_logo_2x

Starting Monday June 2, 2014 Citizens will be offering The Blaze

Citizens, a full-service communications, and entertainment provider headquartered in Floyd, Virginia announced today that the veteran, rural, landline telephone company will once again provide cellular phone service to Floyd County and surrounding communities. The locally-owned Cooperative will be a carrier on the largest national cellular network and will offer a variety of cell phones and calling plans for individuals and businesses.

“Our former wireless agent agreement was dissolved over a year and a half ago. Since that time, we have had numerous requests to offer cellular service again.” stated Lori Saltus, Citizens’ EVP of Customer Relations. “One of the many benefits of being a member of a Cooperative is that we are local and we LISTEN to our customers. We are happy to announce that Citizens is once again serving cellular phone service.”

Citizens Cellular calling plans range from a $9.99 Talk Any Time “pay as you go” to Unlimited Talk, Text & Data for Individual and Share Plans. The company will have plans suited for all levels of use and complexity. Majority of calling plans include “Anytime” minutes and offer Unlimited Nights and Weekend minutes. In fact, Citizens Wireless provides customers with additional 120 minutes per day of night calling by extended calling times from 7 p.m. – 5:59 a.m. (most national night and weekend call provider’s hours are 9:00 p.m. to 6 a.m.).

Most call plans offered by Citizens include free Mobile-to-Mobile minutes to ANYONE on the nation-wide network; not just between Citizens cellular customers. “We realize wireless is becoming a way of life.” stated Greg Sapp, Citizens General Manager. “We want to offer affordable means to have communication services when and where you need it. It’s not a big profit maker, but it’s the matter of bringing it all together for our customers on one convenient monthly invoice with discounts for multiple services. It’s not necessary to deal with the national companies any longer, when you can receive the same nationwide coverage, competitive calling plans, calling features, and customer support locally,” says Sapp.

For more information, contact Citizens at 540.745.2111 in Floyd; in Ft. Chiswell call 276.637.6485.

communityShow

Citizens, your local voice, video, and data provider recently announced the launch of a daily community show scheduled to air on Citizens Digital Channel 20, Analog Channel 2 beginning Thursday, September 12, 2013. “The Community Show is a show about the community for the community” stated Casey Worley, Anchor of The Community Show.

The Community Show is designed to air daily and will be played at 9am Thursday through Wednesday. New weekly programming will begin on Thursday of each week giving highlights to many weekend events in the area.

Citizens is partnering Tri-Cities Newspaper; parent company of The Floyd Press and The Enterprise in Wythe County for news and sports to create informational and entertaining programming. The Community Show will have three segments: What’s Going On — a community calendar of events; Sports Action — a schedule and highlights of seasonal local sports; Something to Chat About — a segment focused on events and activities in the communities surrounding Floyd and Ft.Chiswell.

“Citizens wants to bring it all together for our viewers and the residents in the markets we serve (in Floyd and Ft. Chiswell) stated Lori Saltus, EVP of Customer Relations. Citizens was founded by involved community members and we carry on that same dedication by creating a television show dedicated to our community.”

Citizens began this venture several years ago by recording and rebroadcasting Floyd County High School Football and the Floyd County Christmas Parade. Most recently, Citizens broadcast the Class of 2013 Floyd County High School Graduation. Citizens continues with football and has added volleyball for the 2013-2014 season. Plans are to capture Spring sports, community events and more.

“I look forward to working with members of the community to share the good news that is taking place in our areas. We welcome pre-produced content and will work to produce a quality segment for our viewers.” stated Worley.

For more information or to order a DVD of a select game or a season, contact Citizens at
540-745-2111 or email DVD@citizens.coop. Tune in to Citizens TV Channel 20 (Analog Channel 2) to keep up to date on the latest programming.

On July 31, 2013, Citizens Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (Citizens) announced the completion of construction on its BTOP (Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program) CCI (Comprehensive Community Infrastructure) Project. The $11.5 million project, titled New River Valley – Regional Open Access Network (NRV-ROAN), was completed on schedule and on budget. The completed project placed 200 miles of fiber with the purpose of providing broadband access for economic development, research, education, emergency response, and health care. The NRV-ROAN is a collaboration between Citizens and the New River Valley Network Wireless Authority (NRVNWA), which received a $9.2 million grant under the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and a $396,622 grant by the Virginia Tobacco Commission for this project.

The NRV-ROAN project meets the needs of many community anchor institutions in the New River Valley region of Virginia who have previously reported being unable to access high-speed, affordable broadband services. “This ‘middle-mile’ project covers a seven-county region including Wythe, Pulaski, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke and Botetourt Counties. The 200 Gbps network addition includes eight primary interconnection points that are strategically positioned to provide service to unserved and/or undeserved areas and to tie into other open access fiber networks. “This network allows wireless and other internet service providers to offer broadband to areas where service was previously unavailable, or areas that were determined to be economically infeasible.” said Dennis Reece, COO & Assistant General Manager of Citizens.

Because of this new expansion, more than 50 Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) including Virginia Tech, Radford University, New River Community College, local high schools, public safety entities, health-care facilities and government facilities, now have access to symmetrical speeds between 5Mbps and 10Gbps (10,000Mbps). To date, 39 Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) and nine businesses have been connected as a result of this project.

The NRV-ROAN, along with Citizens’ existing Open Access Fiber Network, extends over 438 miles and spans ten counties (Roanoke, Montgomery, Wythe, Pulaski, Floyd, Giles, Botetourt, Patrick, Carroll, Grayson), ten towns (Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Wytheville, Floyd, Pulaski, Dublin, Hillsville, Independence, Stuart, Pearisburg), and three cities (Salem, Radford, and Galax). This combined network passes by or through more than a dozen industrial parks and multiple small business incubators.

Citizens is a member-owned telephone cooperative headquartered in the Floyd, Virginia, providing communication services within the region since 1914. For more information about Citizens and the services offered, visit at citizens.coop. Click Here to download a pdf of this release.

You may be experiencing any of the following:

  1. Someone tells you they tried to call you but the call didn’t get through or the call rang on their end but your phone did not ring.
  2. A call came through but the quality was poor.
  3. A call came through but the caller ID was incorrect.

Citizens Telephone Cooperative strives to provide quality service at all times. However, people who live in rural areas, all around the country are reporting that calls to them are not getting through, or they are receiving calls with poor quality.

Please be assured, this issue is not within your Cooperative’s network. The problem starts with the long distance carrier used by the customer who placed the call. The problem can only be resolved by the carrier used by the customer who makes the call.

This nationwide epidemic is negatively affecting local businesses, public safety, and our relationship with our customers. Rural carriers have complained to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and state agencies. The FCC has created a task force to investigate and address the issue and rural telco advocates are encouraging swift and severe action against all of the providers at the center of the problem. We are hopeful that the large nationwide providers involved in these issues or the FCC will act to address these problems.

In the meantime, here’s what you can do:

  • Ask for the name of the Long Distance carrier used by the person trying to reach you.
  • Call Citizens with the info including the name of the carrier, the number calling, and the time of day if possible so we can contact the carrier on your behalf to try and resolve the issue.

For more info: