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Jackson Energy Authority Newsletter

May/June 2014

Inside …

Wastewater project to prevent rain inflow


major wastewater project that is nearly completed will greatly reduce the amount of rainwater that flows into the wastewater system. It’s called the river interceptor project. The $8.3-million undertaking replaced pipe along the South Fork of the Forked Deer River from near Airways to Highway 45 South across from the Fairgrounds. “We expect to notice the difference at the Miller Drive Wastewater Treatment Plant after the next big rain,” said Eddie O’Neill, System Engineer for Water and Wastewater. The old pipe had degraded over the years, allowing rain and other runoff water to seep into the wastewater system. Fixing the problem, identified through a flow monitoring study, became a priority for the wastewater system. The project, which started about a year ago, was designed by J.R. Wauford and Co. and installed by Garney Construction. Three different grants helped to pay for it: a Community Development Block Grant from the state, money from the state revolving loan fund and a federal economic development grant. The project is being completed under budget, Eddie says. As May ended, all of the new pipe was in place and crews were getting ready to tie in the new pipe

Erric Kellum joins WRAP Board


Titans Caravan rolls into Sportsplex


Ronnie Giddens in Hall of Fame p3

Work on the interceptor project was often wet and muddy or extremely hot or cold.



JEA offers specials on natural gas grills




Home show




New employees




Co-op students




JEA, employees honored for RP3 p8

at both ends of the project with the wastewater system. Steve Raper, Water and Wastewater Senior Vice President praised Inspector Tom Price and Eddie for the roles they had in making the project successful. Tom inspected the entire two miles of the new pipe with a device invented by Eddie. “I am happy to see this completed,” said Eddie, who oversaw the project. “It’s been a big one with a lot of challenges.”

EPlusTV to air Miss Tennessee Pageant


Lineman Rodeo p8

Jackson Energy Authority will be closed Friday, July 4, for Independence Day. Have a safe holiday!

Page 2 Mission Our mission is to provide exceptional utility services that create value for our customers and our community. Vision JEA will continue to improve the quality of life in our community through the delivery of high-quality services to our customers. • JEA will be an industry leader in providing utility services, exceeding the expectations of our customers. • JEA’s employees will be recognized by those we serve as the most knowledgeable, highly-skilled and customer-focused workforce available. • JEA will be a leader in the economic development of the community we serve. Values The values that reflect our culture and which our employees must possess to ensure our mission and vision are: Integrity • Respect Fairness • Loyalty Innovation


The Dispatch

is the employee newsletter for Jackson Energy Authority, 119 E. College St., Jackson, TN 38301. 731-422-7500 n

Publisher: Aletza Boucher Editor: Mary S. Reed Contributors: Stacy Scoggins Janet Wilbanks n

The next “Dispatch”

will be in July/August. Send items for the issue to Aletza Boucher by July 11.


JEA’s Erric Kellum joins WRAP Board rric Kellum, JEA’s Superintendent of Instruments and Controls, is the newest board member on the Wo/Men’s Resource and Rape Assistance Program, or WRAP. The nonprofit organization provides counseling and assistance to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault to empower them to move forward with their lives. Erric joined the WRAP Erric Kellum board because he wanted to become more involved in the community. He recently went through the Jackson Chamber’s Leadership Jackson program, and he said he wanted to give something back.


His wife, Patricia, gave a video testimonial for WRAP where she explained how the organization helped her get past the physical abuse she witnessed as a child. Erric said the organization is very important because it provides a resource for victims to get help without feeling ashamed or afraid. “It really amazed me how much they really are involved in communities throughout the West Tennessee area. They really do a lot – a lot more than you’d think they do.” Erric has been a JEA employee for 16 years. He said the company supports employees who want to contribute to the community. “JEA leadership supports you being involved, and it’s something they encourage. I’m very blessed and happy to be involved with JEA and now with one of the nonprofits in the community.”

Titans Caravan rolls into Sportsplex

EA and 102.3 The Rocket – the official Tennessee Titans radio station – sponsored the 2014 Academy Sports + Outdoors Titans Caravan in May at the West Tennessee Healthcare Sportsplex. Team representatives, including wide receiver Dexter McCluster, tight end Delanie Walker, safety Michael Griffin, “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith and mascot T-RAC, spoke Steve Bowers and Cassandra Fuller, representing EPlus TV, and James Fowler, A.K.A. with EPlusTV 6 and Thomas Media. They also Maestro1023 from Thomas Media interview Titans wide receiver Dexter McCluster. in the City” live from the Sportsplex. It was a busy signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans. day for the EPlusTV 6 production crew. Before the Titans Caravan show, JEA taped “Six

TGA workshop John McBride, Barry Cross, Matt McKenzie and Fred Cunningham attended the recent Tennessee Gas Association Customer Service Workshop. Posing for a picture from left are John, Barry, “Energy Man” and Matt, while Fred took the picture.

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Ronnie Giddens selected for Births! Madison County Hall of Fame


ing shortstop to make the hen it comes to All-Conference team. In baseball, Sys1983, Ronnie was named tems DispatchAll-District, All-Conferer Ronnie Giddens knows ence, District Player of the how to hit a home run. His Year, All-World Series most recent baseball Team, NAIA All-Ameriachievement was being can, and the Jackson Sun elected into the JacksonCollege Player of the Year. Madison County Sports His batting average was Hall of Fame. Ronnie Giddens .435. Ronnie, who is an assisThe Cincinnati Reds drafted Rontant baseball coach at University nie in 1983. He played for the School of Jackson, was honored for his remarkable career playing baseball. Billings Mustangs – the Pioneer League Champions. He later played He began playing when he joined in the Cedar Rapids Reds Midwest the Southern League at 9 years old in and Tampa Tarpons Florida state 1970. He then played Little League, leagues. In 1986, he was traded to the and his team took fifth place in the Montreal Expos and then to the Pitts1974 Little League World Series. It burg Pirates. was the only team from Jackson to Ronnie was inducted into the ever play in the tournament. Union University Hall of Fame in Ronnie went on to play Babe 2008 for his achievements as a BullRuth, American Legion and Jacksondog. Central Merry High School baseball, Ronnie continues to have success leading the Cougars with a batting on the diamond as a coach. USJ won average of .586. the TSSAA Division II-A State ChamIn 1979, he entered Union University with a full athletic scholarship. pionship this year. It was the program’s second title in three seasons. As a freshman, he was the only start-

It’s grilling season! J

EA is offering rugged, durable and professional quality natural gas grills with many installation options to suit customers’ grilling needs. Customers can choose from conventional, infrared or combination models. The grills are perfect for searing Porterhouse steaks, slow roasting a pork shoulder or just grilling burgers. With thick cast aluminum deep grill heads and stainless steel components, the Broilmaster grills are designed to perform and built to last. Customers can purchase the grills, with discounts for a limited time on floor models, at the JEA Customer Center in The Columns.

w Erik Brimmage, Storekeeper, is a firsttime grandfather. Miley Kay House was born April 1. Miley’s parents are Erik’s daughter, Jessica, and her husband, Blake. w Ray Lamport, Electric Foreman in Distribution, is a proud grandfather. Gavin James Lamport was born April 18. His parents are Mike and Lindsay Lamport of Germantown. w Tanisha Bufford, Accounting Associate II, and her husband, Brandon, welcomed their second child. Morgan Nicole was born April 21. She has a 5-year-old big brother named Brandon. w Michael Richerson, Customer Service Representative, and his wife, Kristen, welcomed their son, Houston, on May 1. w Justin Gourley, Meter Reading Foreman in Field Services, and his wife, Stephanie, welcomed Cayden Ross on May 6. Cayden has a big sister, Cheyanne, and a big brother, Chandler. w Rick Webb, Gas Department Foreman, and his wife, Sherri, welcomed their greatgranddaughter, Kinley Jade Webb, on May 10. Kinley’s parents are Josh Webb and Ashley Nance. They also welcomed a new granddaughter. Dixie Grace Jones was born April 17. Her parents are Kelli and Drew Jones.

Miley Kay House

Gavin James Lamport

Morgan Nicole Bufford

Houston Richerson

Cayden Ross Gourley

Kinley Jade Webb

Dixie Grace Jones

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From college to high school to kindergarten ... Bethel University

w Lindsey Katherine Johnson graduated May 10 with a bachelor’s degree in human services. She also Lindsey Johnson received the Human Services Award for having the highest grade-point average among human services graduates. During Lindsey’s three years at Bethel, she was part of the university’s Renaissance Program. This past year, she was a member of the program’s Vocal Authority, which is a 16-voice choir that travels, sings and promotes the arts at Bethel University. Lindsey hopes to serve others through ministry in the future. She is engaged to Tyler Carr, and they plan to marry in Spring 2015. Lindsey is the daughter of Eric Johnson, who is a Gas System Engineer.

Jackson State Community College

w Ethan Long graduated with an associate degree in general studies. He is now attending the University of Memphis, Lambuth Campus, and is majoring Ethan Long in English with an emphasis on teaching. He is working this summer at JEA in the Water and Wastewater Maintenance Department and will continue his education at the University of Memphis this fall. Ethan is the son of Lottie Long, Work Order Coordinator in Distribution.

Lane College

w Raven Suggs received a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies on April 27. She is the daughter of Mark Suggs, who is a Systems Dispatcher.

Raven Suggs

Bolivar Central High

w Emily Clark, daughter of Richard and Kathy Clark, was a member of the Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Emily Clark Science Club and yearbook staff. She also was vice president of the Future Farmers of America. Emily played softball and tennis. She will major in animal science at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Richard is Vice President of Engineering at Tennergy.

Chester County High

w Tyler Butler was a four-year member of the varsity football team. He has been accepted at Jackson State Community Tyler Butler College and plans to transfer to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis to major in occupational therapy. Tyler is the son of Kathy and Jason Butler. Kathy is a Water and Wastewater Plant Operator in Treatment Operations.

Madison Academic

w Ashley Williams, who graduated with honors, will major in exercise science and pre-physical therapy at the Ashley Williams University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. Ashley trained 13 years in gymnastics, qualifying for state, regional and national competitions. She coaches the compulsory team at Glory Gymnastics Center. At Madison, she was in Excel Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Art Club and International Club, and was president of Beta Club. She also is the reigning Miss Madison 2014. Ashley is the daughter of Fredrick and Mechele Williams. Mechele is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Tennergy.

Milan High

w Erin Kelley graduated with highest honors on May 16. She was a member of Beta Club and HOSA, and she was a football cheerleader for four years. Erin Kelley She will be attending the University of Tennessee at Martin, where she plans to pursue a pre-law degree. She was the recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship, Hope Scholarship and the Milan High Alumni Association Scholarship. Erin is the daughter of Greg and Mary Ann Kelley. Greg is a Water and Wastewater Plant Operator.

Riverside High

w Lauren Dickson is the daughter of Mark and Kim Dickson. Mark is a Water and Wastewater Plant Operator in Treatment Operations. Lauren graduated with distinction and Beta Club acaLauren Dickson demic honors. She served as a member of the dance team for four years and was team captain for one year. Lauren will attend the University of Tennessee, Parsons Center, and major in business administration.

Scotts Hill High

w Dusty Wolverton enlisted to serve in the United States Marine Corps. He will leave in June for Parris Island, S.C., for boot camp. He is very excited to begin his career in the USMC and expects Dusty Wolverton to graduate from boot camp in September. He plans to be active in the fleet beginning in late 2015. Dusty is the son of Jon Taylor, who is a GIS/SCADA Supervisor at JEA.

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... congratulations to our many graduates! South Side High

w Collin Michael Diggs, son of Lead Lineman Mike Diggs and Field Service Dispatcher LaCosta Diggs, graduated with honors. Collin works for Bird Farms of Medon and plans to attend Jackson State Community College this fall Collin Michael Diggs and later transfer to UT Martin to pursue a degree in agriculture. Collin was a member of the Future Farmers of America and an offensive lineman on the football team for four years. He received the Hope Scholarship.

Trinity Christian Academy

w Nicholas Allen Coley was a member of Spanish Club, Teen Advisor Christian Council and Ping Pong Club. Nicholas was on the Trinity hockey team for four years and was captain his senior year. He plans to attend Jackson State Community College in the fall. Nicholas is the son of Joey and Nicholas Allen Coley Cindy Coley. Joey is Vice President of Propane Operations at Tennergy.

University School of Jackson

w Will Cobb, son of JEA General Counsel Teresa Cobb, was the goalkeeper for the varsity soccer team and the kicker for the varsity football team. He was a member of the 2013 West Tennessee All-Star Football Team and received All-District Football Honorable Mention. Will was historian for the Will Cobb National Social Sciences Honor Society and a member of Mu Alpha Theta, National Science Honor Society, Key Club and Students Against Destructive Decisions. Will won first place in statistics at the 2014 Tennessee Math Teachers Association math competition and was a member of the USJ Math Team for two years. Will also was a member of the All-West Honor Choir for three years and was voted Homecoming Class Favorite his freshman and senior years. He is a member of Young Life and First United Methodist Youth Group, where he’s logged many hours of community service. Will plans to major in computer science at Rhodes College.

Tigrett Middle

w Kiara Priddy was accepted to attend Madison Academic High School this fall. She was a straight “A” student this past year and graduated seventh in her class. Kiara is the daughter of Kevin and Lee Ann Priddy. Lee Ann is a Senior Billing Coordinator.

Lottie Long

Good job! Kiara Priddy

Beech Bluff Elementary

w Addison Newland graduated from Pre-K. She is the daughter of Clint and Jamie Newland and the granddaughter of Teresa Woods, who Addison Newland works in New Accounts, and the late Gary Alexander, who worked in the Water Department. Clint is a Maintenance Lineman.

Isaac Lane Elementary

w Kiara Simone Love, who graduated from elementary school, was selected to attend sixth grade at the Academic Academy at Northeast Middle School. She was an honor roll Kiara Simone Love student and a gifted student in the GEMS program. Kiara is the daughter of Plant Maintenance Administrative Clerk Delisa Love.

Medina Elementary

w Haleigh Paige Dudley graduated from kindergarten. She is the daughter of Kyle and Kim Dudley and the granddaughter of Donna and Eddie Whitaker. Kyle is a Maintenance Lineman and Donna is a Customer Accounting Clerk.

Haleigh Paige Dudley

Thelma Barker

w Jayla Strother, daughter of Anthony Strother and granddaughter to Mabel and Johnnie Collins, graduated from kindergarten. Mabel is a Customer Service Representative II.

Jayla Strother

Lottie Long, Work Order Coordinator, received a Certificate for Communication Skills for Women and attended a conference for administrative assistants.

Home Show


ackson Energy Authority was at the Jackson Home Expo with a vendor booth and information about its EPlus Broadband services – high-speed internet, digital cable and telephone. The home expo, at Jackson Fairgrounds Park, was May 30 through June 1, and it featured dozens of exhibitors displaying products for the home. It was produced by the West Tennessee Home Builders Association, which is a partnership of the Jackson Area Home Builders Association and the Memphis Area Home Builders Association.

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Anniversaries May Cindy Knievel Susan White Gail Lewis Eric Rogers Bruce Dorris Craig Whitman Bobby Maness Judy Pequignot Jackie Arnold Keith Williams Joey Coley Ron Edwards Mark Suggs Jon Taylor Chris Rich John Dickerson Matt York Pete King Lance Markham Martin Lowrance Julia Lester Jason Galloway Trey Holloway Chris Sipes Josh Gabert

5/21/73 5/12/80 5/01/88 5/16/88 5/01/89 5/21/90 5/14/91 5/22/91 5/22/95 5/27/96 5/05/97 5/17/99 5/10/00 5/06/02 5/07/02 5/27/03 5/17/04 5/02/05 5/16/05 5/20/06 5/22/06 5/21/07 5/04/11 5/21/12 5/27/12

June Benny Tyler Jeff Becker Greg Johnson Ronnie Giddens Douglas Seymour Rowland Fisher Richie Gaggley Russell Gibson Brian Seaton Mike Stegall Joel Presson Shane Wimberley Ashley Jones Jennifer Warren Tim Hobby Lee Ann Priddy Erric Kellum Danny Hall Trey Watson Justin Gourley Clint Ragan Clint Newland LaCosta Diggs John Nanney Teresa Cobb Kathy Hopper Michael Baughn Noelle Lipscomb

6/05/78 6/25/79 6/29/81 6/15/88 6/04/90 6/01/92 6/06/94 6/06/94 6/06/94 6/06/94 6/13/94 6/05/95 6/12/95 6/23/97 6/01/98 6/05/98 6/15/98 6/25/99 6/27/99 6/30/99 6/19/00 6/28/00 6/24/02 6/02/03 6/16/03 6/20/04 6/23/05 6/04/13

Welcome these new employees

w Steven Ballentine, Utility Locator, joined JEA from USIC Locating Services Inc. w Katie Bridger was hired as a PartTime Cashier in Customer Service. She had been working at Lowe’s Home Improvement. w John Chandler is a new Telecom Serviceman II. His previous employer was KIS Communications. w Curtis Cooksey, Telecom Installation Technician, joined JEA from Graybar Electric. w Casey Fowler was hired as a Telecom Installation Technician. His previous employer was Charter Communications. w Bobby Holley, Telecom Installation Technician, joined JEA from KIS Communications. w Jason Lord was hired as a Telecom Installation Technician. He previously worked for KIS Communications. w Debbie Morris is a new Part-time Cashier in Customer Service. She had been working at The Jackson Sun. w Keir Smith was hired as a Telecom Installation Technician. He previously worked for KIS Communications. w Jason Tilley, Telecom Stores Helper, joined JEA from KIS Communications. w Melissa Watson was hired as a Telecom Installation Technician. Her previous employer was Robinson Toyota-Scion. w Judd Wilbanks is a new Telecom Stores Helper. He had been working at MaxTrans LLC.

Summer workers

Steven Ballentine

Katie Bridger

John Chandler

Curtis Cooksey

Casey Fowler

Bobby Holley

Jason Lord

Debbie Morris

Keir Smith

Jason Tilley

Melissa Watson

Judd Wilbanks

w Morgan Cowles from Mississippi State is a Water and WasteJustin Roberson Jake Williams Morgan Cowles Ethan Long water Summer Summer Worker in Operations. Distribution. Worker in Operations. w Justin Roberson from Tenw UT Martin student Jake w Ethan Long, a student at the nessee Tech University is an Electric Williams is a Meter Shop Summer University of Memphis, Lambuth Distribution Summer Worker in Worker in Operations. Campus, is a Water Treatment

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With Sympathy to ...

Elyse Cole

Pete King

Ryan Landers

Nikki Lovelace

Cameron Martin

Hunter Mays

Michael Richerson

Amanda Kimery


w Elyse Cole was promoted from Temporary Cashier to Part-time Customer Service Representative I. w Amanda Kimery is Manager of Customer Care. She previously was Billing Supervisor. w Pete King was promoted from Water and Wastewater Pipelayer to Senior Pipelayer in the Water Department. w Ryan Landers was promoted from Temporary Water Pipelayer to Full-time Pipelayer. w Nikki Lovelace is a Full-time Cashier. She previously was a Part-time Cashier. w Cameron Martin was promoted from Temporary Water Pipelayer to Full-

time Pipelayer. w Hunter Mays is a Meter Tech II and AMI. He previously was a Telecom Storekeeper. w Michael Richerson was promoted from Temporary Customer Service Representative I to Full-time Customer Service Representative I. w James Wells was promoted from Meter Reader to Telecom Serviceman I.

James Wells

Co-op students

w Peyton Abernathy from Tennessee Tech University is a Water and Wastewater Co-op in the Engineering Department. w Tennessee Tech University student Emily Humphreys is a Gas Co-op in the Engineering Department. w Ian McGrath, a student at UT Martin, is an Electric Co-op in the Engineering Department.

Peyton Abernathy

Wedding! Michelle Weeden married Calvin Albea on May 16. Michelle is a Credit Representative in Customer Service.

Emily Humphreys

Ian McGrath

n Darrell Pope, Telecom Plant Manager, whose mother, Laura Elizabeth Pope, died April 11. n Chrissy Vandiver, Benefits and Employee Relations Coordinator, whose grandfather, Travis Boone, died April 21. Travis also was the father of retiree Jean Mather and the father-in-law of retiree Geoff Mather. n Scott Murray, PC and Networking Technician in IT, whose grandmother, Ann Murray, died April 22. Ann also was the mother of retiree Truman Murray. n David Ridenhour, IT Network Specialist III, whose mother, Peggy Jane Price, died April 22. n Tony Vinson, Plant Maintenance Technician II in Operations, whose mother, Peggy J. Vinson, died May 12.

March of Dimes Angie Stafford, Erik Brimmage and Chrissy Vandiver represented JEA in the March for Babies on April 12.Â

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JEA, employees honored for RP3 accomplishment


hen the Chamber made a community announcement about JEA being the only public power provider to receive the top RP3 award five times in a row, employees and board members attended the event to share in the honor. Standing, from left, are Ted Austin, Pam Finney, Kerrie Brooks, Danny Hall, Monte Jones, Michael Cain, Bill Gordon, Jim Ferrell, Bill Taylor, Nancy Nanney, Ray Lamport, Lara Coleman, Trey Watson, Steve Ferrell, Bobby Maness, Bruce Dorris, Charlie Jones, Tim Faulkner, Robert Mullins, Hameen Harris, Ty Cowles, Karen Johnson, Bob Campbell, John Nanney, Steve Bowers, Aletza Boucher, Ken Marston, and Cassandra Fuller; and kneeling, David Middlebrooks, Chris Deaton, Luke Cain, Clint Newland, Richie White, Brad Henson, Russell Gibson, Chris Rich and Mike Diggs.


Senator Corker wrote:

ongratulations for receiving the American Public Power Association’s Diamond RP3 designation for providing the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service for the fifth consecutive year. Your peer-recognized excellence speaks well about the experience and dedication of your team. It is an honor to join your family, friends and colleagues in recognizing this significant achievement. Your hard work and dedication to excellence in your profession have led to this accomplishment. You have set an example for others in your industry to follow. It is an honor to serve you in the United States Senate. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you in the future. Best wishes for more success in the years to come.” – Bob Corker, United States Senator

A three-man team of Linemen Mike Diggs, Ashley Martin and Adam Phillips recently competed in the American Public Power Association’s annual Lineworkers Rodeo in Oklahoma City. They were supported by coaches and a cheering section. Out of 54 teams from across the country, JEA finished 10th overall. Events included the hurt man rescue, 12 kV post-insulator change out, 4kV crossarm change out, 4 kV four bell change out and the 600 amp switch replacement.



anielle Parish, daughter of Electric System Drafter Kelly Jones, won an award for Best Animator at the Second Annual, South Side High School Hawk TV Awards. Danielle is a rising sophomore at South Side; this was her first year in Broadcasting and Media.


Miss Tennessee on EPlusTV 6

Lineman’s Rodeo

Local media professionals judged the student entries to determine the winners. StuDanielle Parish dents were awarded trophies and certificates in 12 media-related categories.

ackson Energy Authority’s EPlusTV 6 will cover the Miss Tennessee Pageant at the Carl Perkins Civic Center June 18-21. “EPlusTV 6 gets exclusive coverage of the pageant,” said Creative Services Coordinator II Cassandra Fuller. “We are the only local station that carries the event from start to finish.” JEA’s EPlus broadband fiber network gives the station the capacity to air the event live. Viewers can also watch the pageant online – from their desktop, laptop or mobile device – via EPlusTV 6’s website. “We’ve had so many compliments from out-of-town fans and followers of contestants for the pageant because we can bring it to them live via the website,” Cassandra said. “And it’s all because of the fiber sys-

tem we have in town.” Viewership has steadily increased on the national and international scale from military followers stationed all over the world, as well as fans of contestants from across the United States and in other countries. During the week of the pageant, the EPlusTV 6 website experiences a drastic increase in unique visitors. The EPlusTV 6 remote production trailer moves to the civic center to be hooked up on a Monday and stays until the following Saturday when the event is over. During the event, 11 crewmembers are necessary to successfully execute the television production. EPlusTV 6 has been covering the pageant since EPlus Broadband went live 10 years ago.

JEA Dispatch May-June 2014