RTC Networks 2021 Winter Newsletter

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GENERAL MANAGER and stories of their elders on pages 6-8, learn how to make the holiday season bright using smart home technology on page 5, and catch up on announcements and upcoming events from our cooperative on pages 10-11.

RTC NETWORKS COMMUNICATOR 24 Main Street North, PO Box 68, Parshall, ND 58770 www.RTC.coop, RTC@restel.com www.facebook.com/RTC.coop Customer Service: 0811 (within RTC exchanges) or 701.862.3115 Repair Service: 0611 (within RTC exchanges)

In case you missed it: RTC Networks is GROWING!

or 800.822.3311 24/7 Help Desk: 0211 (within RTC exchanges) or 800.497.2151 Headquarters: 24 Main St N Parshall, ND 58770 New Town Office: 202 College Drive New Town, ND 58763 Watford City Office: 701 14th St SW Watford City, ND 58854

Business Office: 0811 (Toll-free within RTC Exchanges) 701.862.3115 Fax: 701.862.3008 Email: rtc@restel.com

Publication Contact: Shannon Stafslien, Marketing Manager

CEO/General Manager: Shane D. Hart

Directors & Officers: Jeanette Hoff, President Jared Eagle, Vice President Jennifer Sorenson, Secretary/Treasurer Wayne Skarda, Director Terry Wilber, Director Amy Ones, Director Barbara Steinmetz, Director John McElwain, Director Alicia Brenna, Attorney RTC Networks is an equal opportunity employer and provider. Copyright© 2021 by RTC Networks

With our recent acquisition of Midstate Telephone LLC. and Midstate Communications Inc., we will be expanding our cutting-edge phone, internet, and video services to the communities of Stanley, Portal, Medora, Beach, and Golva. For more information about this expansion, please read our full press release at rtc.coop/midstate. We are thrilled to welcome these new customers into our ever-growing network! As a cooperative, our members are at the heart of everything we do. We are proud to support their growth and celebrate their successes, which is why we’d like to congratulate Reynolds Insurance Agency, Inc. on 75 years of service to our community! You can read more about the history of this New Town mainstay on pages 3-4 of this newsletter.

(Reservation Telephone Cooperative Networks) and Tellwell.


Also in this issue of The Communicator you can discover how students and faculty at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College are utilizing technology to preserve the voices

Finally, I’d like to share some insight about RTC Networks’ internet offerings. Did you know that our 1 Gig speed also includes the total internet experience? By signing up for Gig service, you will receive the latest and greatest Wi-Fi 6 router. More importantly, you will gain total control over your in-home wi-fi network with the myRTCnet app. What do I mean by control? Well, everything from setting device priorities to creating guest networks—and so much more. Once the app is downloaded, you

As a cooperative, our members are at the heart of everything we do. can activate the protectIQ feature to protect all the devices on your home network from viruses and other harmful malware. Take control of your internet with 1 Gig. And as always, thank you for continuing to trust and support RTC Networks.

Shane Hart Shane Hart, CEO




With support from RTC Networks, Reynolds Insurance has been taking care of people for 75 years. At just 14 years old, Craig Reynolds was already doing the books for Reynolds Insurance Agency, Inc.—but the agency’s history dates back even farther than Craig’s childhood. His grandfather, Hardin Reynolds, started the agency out of his home in Sanish, North Dakota in 1946. The office was his kitchen table, and the math could be done off a sheet of paper carried in his breast pocket. As business grew, Reynolds Insurance moved out of Hardin’s home and occupied several offices before landing in its present location in 1967. Kenneth Reynolds, Craig’s father, joined the agency in 1977. And despite moving away from home to pursue

a degree in business and computer science, Craig couldn’t resist the calling to join his family’s business.

Take care of the people, and the rest will fall into place. He opened a second Reynolds Insurance location in Stanley, North Dakota, in 1991. “It wasn’t part of my plan. But since I was little, I spent a lot of time at the office with my father and grandfather. They were both kind, giving people who just enjoyed taking care of the people,” Craig said. “I guess it rubbed off a little bit.” 3

When Craig assumed full leadership of the agency in 2003, his grandfather left him with one piece of advice. “Take care of the people, and the rest will fall into place,” Craig said. So much has changed since Hardin Reynolds opened an insurance agency from his kitchen table in 1946, but that one sentence has remained the guiding principle behind Reynolds Insurance for the past 75 years. One major change that Craig has witnessed since his amateur bookkeeping days is the industry’s dependence on technology. “When I told my father it was time to get him a computer, he said it was time for him to retire,” Craig said. “Now everything we do lives and dies with the computer.” With high-speed internet from RTC Networks, Craig and his team are able to process quotes, changes, and claims in real-time and maintain instantaneous communication with their clients and each other. Even Craig’s employees who occasionally work out of their homes are able to do so without delays. “We’re proud of the fact that over this many years, the clients still have so much trust in us. Just like our agency is third-generation, we have clients that have been


around for three generations,” Craig said. “RTC’s phone and internet continues to aid us in fulfilling that trust.”

Now everything we do lives and dies with the computer. Joining his family business may not have been in Craig’s plans, but two decades later, he can’t imagine being anywhere else. “As long as health provides, I’m going to be here for a long time,” Craig said. “Call me again at 100 years.” Congratulations to Reynolds Insurance Agency, Inc. on 75 years of service to our community! To discover how RTC Networks can support your local business, visit RTC.coop or call 701-862-3115 today.


SMART HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS We all know that there’s no place like home for the holidays. That old saying rings especially true when the home in question is equipped with the latest and greatest smart home gadgets. Today, we are sharing a few ideas for making the season bright using smart home technology. If you are more of a visual learner, watch our latest Tech Tip video to follow along with tech expert Katie.

(Smart) Lights All Aglow First, deck the halls with boughs of holly and smart holiday lights. Gone are the days of digging through a dozen strings of lights to find that one broken bulb. With smart LED lights like Twinkly, you can control your decor directly from your

smartphone, create custom patterns and

smartphone, so you don’t have to run

designs, and even sync up your lights

back and forth to the door and risk

with your favorite carols.

burning the marshmallows on your

Sync Your Smart Speakers Set the mood by syncing multiple smart

sweet potato casserole.

Keep Your Guests Comfortable

speakers like the Amazon Echo or the

With friends gathered ‘round and

Nest Mini. While the exact methods vary

chestnuts roasting on an open fire, it

between systems, they usually involve

can start to get toasty inside as the night

setting up speaker groups. Once you

wears on. With a smart thermostat, you

have done this and chosen the tune you

can make adjustments to your home’s

want to play, you and your guests can

temperature right from your smartphone.

enjoy the sweet sound of Silver Bells in

Better yet, if your thermostat is

every room.

compatible with your smart speakers, you can just call out to your voice

Feast Without the Fuss Cooking for a crowd doesn’t have to be overwhelming when you have a Smart Display like Amazon Echo Show or Google Nest Hub, which combine a smart speaker with a touchscreen. A simple voice search like “Hey Alexa, find me a recipe for cranberry sauce” brings up several recipes. Just swipe to find one you like, tap to start, and the display will read you the instructions, moving

assistant to turn down the heat.

Protect Your Wi-Fi Network Finally, let your guests post all about the holiday fun by creating a guest network option! With the myRTCnet app, you can set up your home Wi-Fi with a guest network so you can (1) prioritize your devices, (2) keep your network safe, and (3) shut off the Wi-Fi to just guest devices when you are ready for them to

from step to step at your command.

go home.

Say “Hello” With a Smart Lock

With a few smart home tricks up your

Next, you’ve made your list and checked it twice, and a smart lock can make greeting your guests extra nice. A

sleeve, you can be the host with the most this holiday season. That’s it for this edition of Tech Tips! Check back soon for another tip to make your technology work for you.

smart lock allows you to greet guests and unlock your door all from your




Edwin Benson was the last known fluent Mandan speaker, the language of a once-thriving tribe of the Great Plains. For several years Benson, affectionately known as “Dr. Grandpa,” attended the research symposium his grandchildren participated in at the summer program called Nokotas on the Prairie held at United Tribes Technical College. Led by Dr. Jennifer JanecekHartman, the program utilized the Nokota horse as a tool to educate students about mathematics, science, and most importantly, their culture. This is where Janecek-Hartman met and got to know Mr. Benson. “He never missed a summer. He was everybody’s grandpa,” Janecek-Hartman said. “He was such a 6

NUETA HIDATSA SAHNISH COLLEGE gentle soul. And he was so adept at helping the young people learn their language.” While Janecek-Hartman is grateful to have photos and the memories of Benson interacting with students at the summer program, his passing illuminated the need to preserve the voices and stories of tribal elders. “We are losing our elders, those who had spoken since birth, at a rapid pace. Since COVID, that has been exacerbated,” Janecek-Hartman said. “COVID really made us realize, once you lose those folks who have lived it, walked it, talked it—once they’re gone, you can’t just ask them anymore.”

Before It’s Too Late Janecek-Hartman has been working in tribal colleges for more than two decades. She currently serves as Vice President of Campus Services at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (NHSC) in New Town, where students are utilizing technology to preserve those voices, those stories, before it’s too late. “Tribal colleges are the beacon of their communities,” Janecek-Hartman said. “They’re the keepers of the past knowledge while helping build new knowledge, and technology plays an important role in that.”

“By doing these interviews, seven generations from today will be able to hear their grandparents, their aunties and uncles, their brothers and sisters,” Janecek-Hartman said. “It’s a way of preserving the beautiful, rich Indigenous history of this area.”

Gateway to the World Digitally preserving an entire endangered language and culture is an essential undertaking—but it’s also an ambitious one, one which requires a great deal of bandwidth. As one of the first RTC Networks customers

Since October 2021, NHSC has collaborated with the University of North Dakota (UND) on a project to

Tribal colleges are the beacon of their communities. preserve Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara language and culture. The project is being spearheaded by Dr. Ruth Plenty Sweetgrass-She Kills. Faculty and students at NHSC will conduct oral interviews with Three Affiliated Tribes elders and then digitize the audio recordings, along with other important resources, like tribal council minutes. A team from UND will then assist with the digital collection. The project, made possible by a $500,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, will create educational resources for North Dakota’s newly required K-12 Native American history curriculum.

to purchase 10 Gig internet, NHSC will have the speed and reliability they need to upload, inventory, and share all of these priceless digital resources. “We need to have stable internet. It’s our gateway to the world,” Janecek-Hartman said. “10 Gig gives us an expanded gateway. Not just for this project, but projects that we can imagine in the future. This speed


opens up opportunities for our students that they might not have had otherwise.” A project as vital as this one should never be hindered by technology. Fortunately, if NHSC ever does encounter an issue with their internet, Janecek-Hartman knows exactly where to go. “RTC Networks’ New Town office is literally across the street from campus. There’s that hometown relationship,” she said. “I can pick up the phone if something’s going on and they’ll send somebody right over. A lot of companies say ‘Oh, we’ll be there whenever you need us.’ It’s not just a tagline for RTC. They really are when we need them.” For NHSC, and for the Three Affiliated Tribes as a whole, having access to fast, reliable internet isn’t just a matter of convenience. It’s a means of preserving the languages and traditions of the past while educating the students of the future—so that the legacies of elders like Dr. Edwin “Grandpa” Benson can live on forever.


It’s not just a tagline for RTC. They really are there when we need them. RTC Networks is proud to support our local schools, including NHSC. For more information about how your school can benefit from RTC Networks’s unbeatable speeds and stability, visit RTC.coop or call 701-862-3115 today.

WI-FI THAT WORKS FOR YOU Manage your Wi-Fi network from the palm of your hand with myRTCnet. The myRTCnet app is FREE to download for all RTC internet customers and gives you an instant snapshot of your home or small business network. If you are looking for network security and total control (including parental controls), activate the ProtectIQ and ExperienceIQ features for the total Wi-Fi experience!

GET STARTED WITH THREE EASY STEPS 1. Download the free myRTCnet app from your app store today. (Enhanced features are free with 1 Gig service.) 2. Call or email us to activate the enhanced features. 3. Start managing your Wi-Fi with the simplicity of the myRTCnet app!

To learn more, visit RTC.coop/myrtcnet 701.862.3115 | rtc@restel.com


NEW RTC NETWORKS PHONE LISTINGS Alexander - 828 Alexander Bar & Grill...............(701)828-3330 Garrison - 463 Performance Posture Office....................................... 701)337-6488 Fax........................................... 701)463-2100 Keene - 675 Custom Grain & Seed............. (701)675-2550 Mandaree - 759 Conley, DJ..................................(701)759-3675 Johnson Ranch 2......................(701)759-3079 Littlefield, Dustin & Lora ...........(701)759-3111


HAPPENINGS NEW EMPLOYEES We are excited to announce four new hires: Jack, Michelle, Kaydin and Brady! To see our current opportunities, visit rtc.coop/category/jobopportunities/

Brady Bratvold Combination Tech

New Town - 627 Suni Massage Therapy.......... (701)627-2565 Parshall - 862 Beston, Clyde & Medicine......(701)862-3543 Watford City - 842 Norby, Shirley............................ (701)842-6212 Northern Sates Corporate Office:.................................. (701)842-4680 Skarda, Jack & Joanne...........(701)842-2274 Siezak Bakken BBQ & Bakery Office:.....................................(701)580-7342

Jack Demke Utility Tech

The Cowboy Channel is bringing you the National Finals Rodeo from December 2 – December 11. Every night you’ll get to see every action-packed minute LIVE as the top 15 cowboys and cowgirls in the world compete for the coveted gold buckle! Watch on myRTCtv Channel 262.


Michelle Rogers

Customer Service Rep II

Kaydin Meiers Combination Tech


Nov 25 Thanksgiving Day Office Closed

Dec 24


Christmas Eve Office Closed

Eligible students may apply online at RTC.coop/myrtc Applications are due March 1, 2022.

THE ELF IS BACK! After taking 2020 off, our RTC Networks Elf/Elves are back in action! Watch for the contest to start on our Facebook page after Thanksgiving. This year we are donating $50 each day to a non-profit group within our service area. The winner drawn each day (from the customers posting on the contest) will get to select the local non-profit group to send the donation to. At the end of the contest, all the daily winners will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing of a $100 RTC Networks bill credit!

Dec 31 New Year’s Eve Office Closed



Thanks to everyone who participated in our Calendar Photo Contest!

October was Co-op Month. We had close to 500 members participate virtually and we gave away over 40 prizes!

We received so many beautiful pictures, it was tough for our employees to decide on the winning photos included in the 2022 RTC Networks calendar.

Lucky winners received one of the following: * A FREE month of RTC Networks Internet * Various local gift cards.

You can pick up your free calendar after Thanksgiving at our offices in Parshall, New Town, and Watford City, or City Auditor’s offices in Kenmare and Garrison. They will be available while supplies last.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/ complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office ofAdjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.


24 Main Street North, PO Box 68, Parshall, ND 58770 www.RTC.coop, RTC@restel.com www.facebook.com/RTC.coop Customer Service: 0811 (within RTC exchanges) or 701.862.3115 Repair Service: 0611 (within RTC exchanges) or 800.822.3311 24/7 Help Desk: 0211 (within RTC exchanges) or 800.497.2151 Headquarters: 24 Main St N • Parshall, ND 58770 New Town Office: 202 College Drive • New Town, ND 58763 Watford City Office: 701 14th St SW • Watford City, ND 58854

WARM HANDS & WARM HEARTS RTC Networks is collecting new and gently used hats, mittens and gloves for children in need for the 14th annual Warm Hands and Warm Hearts project. Donated items will be distributed to the elementary schools in our service area when the weather is coldest and the need is greatest. Please help us keep the children warm this winter by dropping off your items at any of the following locations now through January 5, 2022.


RTC Networks Headquarters in Parshall

RTC Networks New Town Office

RTC Networks Watford City Office

Kenmare City Auditor’s Office

Garrison City Auditor’s Office

Latte Da (both Watford City locations)

Wild Flour Café and Bakery (Alexander)

Door 204 (Watford City)


Esther Krebsbach

Kris Sands

Congratulations to these Summer 2021 Communicator Readers’ Contest winners. They will receive a $20 credit on their RTC Networks bill.

Judith Johnson

Rita Stumvoll


Garrison Exchange Parshall Exchange

Watford City Exchange Emmet Exchange

Julie Rasmusson Kenmare Exchange



1. NHSC now has the speed and reliability they need to upload, inventory, and share resources, all due to what service? For your chance to be entered in the drawing to win a $20 credit on your bill, correctly answer the questions at the right and include with your RTC Networks bill. You can also submit your answers on our website at RTC.coop/readerscontest or email your answers to RTCteam@restel.com.

2. What are two smart home devices to keep in mind for gifts this holiday season?

3. How can you gain total control of your in-home Wi-Fi network with RTC Networks?