News & Events
The caucus for District Four and Five of Paul Bunyan Communications were held on April 14 and 15 at the Morse Town Hall in Deer River and the Helga Township Community Center.
The purpose of the caucus meeting was to nominate a director candidate or candidates to represent the district on the Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative Board of Directors.
The current director from District Four is current Board Vice President Jim Tarbell and he was nominated and seconded. Michael Gau was also nominated and seconded. No other nominations were made. A vote taken by members in attendance resulted with Jim Tarbell receiving 53 votes, Michael Gau 3 votes. As a result of the District Four Caucus, both names will be put onto a ballot and voted on by the general membership of the cooperative.
The current director from District Five is Randy Frisk who is seeking re-election. He was nominated and seconded. No other nominations were made. As a result, Randy Frisk will be the only candidate appearing on the general membership ballot for District Five Board of Director.
Votes are tallied at the Annual Meeting and results are announced at that time. Nominees with the greatest numbers of votes from the general membership will be elected Director for the district. Directors serve a five-year term, with both District's next term expiring in the year 2019.
In addition to being an opportunity to nominate persons to represent the district, the caucus meetings were an opportunity for members to ask questions concerning the cooperative. The meetings were attended by several managers/supervisors, including CEO/General Manager Gary Johnson.
Daniel Tiger from PBS is coming to Grand Rapids April 26th
Paul Bunyan Communications is bringing Daniel Tiger from PBS to the 16th Annual Itasca Area Children First! Children's Fair on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the IRA Civic Center.
The entire event is free and open to all. The fair runs from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and your chance to meet and get pictures taken with Daniel Tiger is from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
The Children's Fair is an event planned for children along with their parents, grandparents, or caregivers to provide an enjoyable way to explore services and businesses in the county. The fair allows agencies, service organizations, clinics and businesses a chance to connect with families in the Itasca Area. The goal of the fair is to educate and increase awareness of available services.
The 1st Annual Children's Fair began in the Target parking lot, with approximately 200 people in attendance. In 2000, the Children's Fair was moved to the IRA Civic center with approximately 500 people in attendance. Today over 3,000 people attend this event each year.
Children First! is an Itasca Area Community Education initiative funded through the Blandin Foundation and supported by Paul Bunyan Communications. The ultimate outcome of Children First! is to mobilize the communities to actively educate, nurture, and care for all children in the Itasca Area.
Lauren Weaver of Bemidji High School selected as the Paul Bunyan Communications Youth Tour Essay Contest Winner
Paul Bunyan Communications has selected Lauren Weaver as the winner of the cooperative's 2014 Youth Tour Essay Contest. Lauren is currently a junior at Bemidji High School and will attend the 2014 Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. May 31-June 4, 2014, with all expenses paid by Paul Bunyan Communications.
The trip features a comprehensive overview of the telecommunications industry, including careers in telecom, the critical role telecommunications plays in rural America, and how legislative and regulatory decisions affect the industry. The tour allows youth to meet with members of Congress who represent rural constituents. They also participate in educational sessions about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Students visit some of the nation's most historic sites, including Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian Museums, and a beautiful night tour of our Washington D.C.
"The FRS Youth Tour is a unique opportunity for a local student from our area to visit Washington D.C. to gain a better perspective on how regulatory decisions impact our cooperative and rural areas. Lauren will also get the chance to see a lot of historic sites in our nation's capital!" said Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.
The Foundation for Rural Service is dedicated to informing and to improving the quality of life throughout rural America. Each year, it organizes the Youth Tour, designed to educate rural youth about the telecommunications industry and the federal political process. The FRS is a subsidiary of the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), of which Paul Bunyan Communications is a member.
This is the 18th consecutive year that Paul Bunyan Communications has participated in sending a local high school junior to the Youth Tour.
Paul Bunyan Communications will be expanding its all-fiber optic communications network into the Trout Lake Township east of Grand Rapids and LaPrairie this year.
"Access to broadband Internet services enhances life in so many different ways. It opens up e-commerce opportunities, educational, cultural, and recreational resources. It is especially important in rural areas where it can help overcome distance and financial barriers," said Gary Johnson, CEO/GM of Paul Bunyan Communications, "We've seen the difference it can make first hand throughout our service territory and we hope to bring it to as many in Trout Lake Township as we can."
The all fiber optic network will provide all of the current Paul Bunyan Communications services including Broadband high-speed Internet up to 150 Mbps, PBTV Fusion with HD and whole-home DVR, as well as the next evolution in fiber-enabled Internet technologies expected to be offered in the future.
Service applications are now being accepted. A service application is required to be considered for expansion. Where we expand in the Trout Lake Township will be based on the costs involved and level of demand for services in each individual neighborhood/area.
More information will be mailed out a few weeks prior to construction which is expected to begin in June and be completed by November. Once the network is physically installed up to a location services generally become available within 1-2 months.
This project is made possible through the Broadband Loan Program from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a part of the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Paul Bunyan Communications is committed to the communities we serve and provides over $40,000 annually in scholarships to local students within our service territory. We also offer local students the chance to apply for one statewide industry scholarship and one national industry scholarship. If you are a current high school senior or a student at one of the local post-secondary institutions, you can apply to win a Paul Bunyan Communications Scholarship!
High School Scholarships
Each year, our cooperative provides at least 2, $500 scholarships to 12 area high schools within or near our service territory. The application process, winners, and distribution of funds are handled by each high school independent of Paul Bunyan Communications.
Paul Bunyan Communications Scholarships are available at Bemidji High School, Bigfork High School, Blackduck High School, Cass Lake High School, Deer River High School, Grand Rapids High School, Kelliher High School, Laporte High School, Northome High School, Park Rapids High School, Red Lake High School, and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley High School
To apply for the Paul Bunyan Communications Scholarship at one of these high schools, please speak to the high school counselor or career service office.
In addition to High School Scholarships, Paul Bunyan Communications provides scholarship opportunities to the following post secondary institutions: Bemidji State University, Northwest Technical College, Itasca Community College, Red Lake Nation College, and Oak Hills Christian College.
There are several scholarships totaling over $20,000 annually available to students attending Bemidji State University that are current members of Paul Bunyan Communications or a parent/legal guardian is a member. Applications are available in the BSU Admissions Office.
Deadline for applications was February 1, 2014.
One $500 scholarship is awarded annually to a NTC student that is a current member or who has a parent/legal guardian that is a member of Paul Bunyan Communications. Applications are available in the NTC Admissions office or online at www.NTCmn.edu under scholarships.
Deadline for applications was March 31, 2014.
To apply for the Paul Bunyan Communications Scholarship at one of these post-secondary institutions, speak to the Admissions or Career Service office at the school you attend.