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TDS Begins Next Step in Broadband Improvement Project in Pickens, Dawson and Cherokee Counties

TDS Telecom (TDS®) technicians and network engineers are working now to install the core equipment necessary to improve broadband speeds and bring new services to Nelson and Big Canoe and in portions of Pickens, Dawson and Cherokee counties.

TDS begins next step in broadband improvement project in Pickens, Dawson and Cherokee counties

TDS anticipates engineering and construction work to be completed by mid-December. TDS is working to have equipment installs completed by the end of February.  Once all the equipment is installed, TDS will begin migrating customers to the new equipment.  If all goes as scheduled TDS expects customer migration to be completed by the end of June. Once complete, the broadband improvement project will impact thousands of locations in the area.  (map attached)

“Work is moving forward and customers should start seeing improvements in their internet service in spring,” said Tom McCabe, manager State Government Affairs at TDS. “Phase II is then expected to be complete by fall of 2018.”

This past spring, TDS began engineering and design work to improve their network in the area. Customers will see improved speeds during the first phase of the project and then even greater speeds and new products when Phase II of the project is fully complete.

Background:
In January, TDS accepted funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reach residents in some of the hardest to serve areas in Georgia. The funding is being used to maintain a voice and broadband network as well as building out to 838 locations. Hundreds of additional customers near the network upgrade areas are expected to receive improved service from this network upgrade project.

Georgia residents can visit the TDS website to find out how this federal program may impact their location.

Depending on location, most TDS customers in eligible rural areas will receive broadband speeds of 25Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload (25/3). Under the agreement with the FCC, the remaining customers will receive broadband service at lower speeds of 10/1 and 4/1Mbps.

TDS has been doing business in Georgia since 1989 and owns four telephone companies in the state. TDS employs about 50 people in Georgia.

Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, Reinhardt Partner to Unveil Renovated Hill Freeman Library

Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce teamed up with Reinhardt University Oct. 10 for a ribbon-cutting reception that celebrated a transformed Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center – for its students and for the community.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for renovated Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center

“The change here is marvelous,” Chamber President Pam Carnes said at the ceremony. The renovated second floor of the library was filled with community leaders, residents, University faculty and staff, and members of Reinhardt Board of Trustees.

“Days like this are days that college presidents live for,” Reinhardt President Dr. Kina S. Mallard said, smiling. “My heart is full.”

President Mallard thanked Cherokee County Manager Jerry Cooper, the Sequoyah Regional Library System and Waleska Mayor Doris Jones for their partnership and support.

The renovation creates a multi-use space for the Reinhardt family and community. It was made possible by approval of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners to release $1 million of voter-approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax money. SPLOST funds are 1 percent of the county’s overall sales tax.

“This renovation brings new life to Reinhardt’s library. Everything we do is for our students. My vision was for it to be a learning hub, and it is,” Mallard said.

Renovations completed this summer in the 14,411-square-foot space include a new community room, six collaborative learning rooms, children’s area, career and vocational counseling office, tutoring rooms, technology lab and more.

“The community room seats 96 people and is for everyone to use,” Mallard added.

Reinhardt Board Vice Chair Ken White, ’61, told the audience “When I was here, there were books only in the library, and it was quiet. Today we have collaborative learning as well as books, and it is just wonderful.”

Director of Library Services Joel Langford said the renovation has changed the dynamic of the library. “Students are loving the new space and the collaborative study areas. The top floor is much busier since the renovation, and we also have 20 laptop computers that can be checked out.”

“I’m just so appreciative of all our partners to help us get this done,” Mallard said. “It does take a village.”

5K for ADay Raises More Money Than Ever for Reinhardt Student Scholarships

ADay for Reinhardt’s 3rd Annual 5K for ADay brought out the largest crowd in history, dubbing the 2017 event “The Best Year Ever.”

“We are so thankful for everyone who came out and participated, for our sponsors and for our volunteers,” said Dale Morrissey, director of development and external relations for Reinhardt University. “We raised more money than ever with our 5K for our Cherokee County students attending Reinhardt University.”

The 2017 5K for ADay brought out more than 300 runners and raised more than $20,000, all of which will go to student scholarships.

ADay for Reinhardt student Madison Gianfala said the scholarship provides a great financial relief for her family, and she loves being at Reinhardt studying in the Price School of Education.

“This scholarship enables me to reach my goal of helping children without getting into debt,” she said. “Thank you to everyone who participates in these great events like 5K for ADay. ADay for Reinhardt affords students like me a chance at a quality education.”

ADay for Reinhardt is a scholarship program formed in the 1980s to benefit Cherokee County students attending Reinhardt University. The program was expanded this year into Pickens County, and current Reinhardt business student Amberle Godfrey, of the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce, chairs the advisory committee.

To learn more about ADay for Reinhardt or to support the program in Cherokee or Pickens County, contact Dale Morrissey at (770) 720-5506 or at DSM1@Reinhardt.edu.