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News for members of Electric Cooperatives In Mississippi

THE

BIRTHPLACE OF AMERICA’S MUSIC

2433)

Periodical postage (ISSN 1052

pages 12-15

5 A heart for helping 7 Nature’s treasures

9 Born to buck 17 Southern gardening


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Central Electric Power Association

S S A B national title earns

s a s e v r e s d an

r o d a s s a b state am

A tradition of dependable, hometown service since 1937 By Elissa Fulton The Youth Leadership Program is an opportunity that Central Electric Power Association is proud to offer high school juniors each year. Coordinated by the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi (ECM), this statewide program is sponsored by 20 participating electric cooperatives across Mississippi. It is also a part of a national network of 42 other participating states. The participants selected to go through this program are exemplary students who excel in academics, extracurricular activities and community service. Central Electric opens up the application process to schools in the service area each September. Information is sent to the high schools and interested students who meet the qualifications can apply to be

Bass represented Central Electric Power Association at the annual workshop. He is pictured with his peers who also represented the cooperative. From left: Allyson Crocker, Alana Patterson, Arrow Scott, Wallace Bass, Sarah Burns, Gabby Caldwell, Courtney Gill and Brian Pace.

op h Leadership worksh ber at the 2018 Yout em m cil , un ns Co tio ip ica sh un er m uth Lead vice president of com d as Mississippi’s Yo Ron Stewart, senior m Bass was announce fro d ar aw an ng red receivi in Jackson. He is pictu Mississippi. of s ive Electric Cooperat

interviewed with industry representatives at Central Electric’s headquarters office in Carthage in midOctober. After interviews, the participants selected attend a three-day workshop in Jackson in February and a seven-day Youth Tour of Washington, D.C., in June. This year, students from across Mississippi were selected and participated in the Youth Leadership Program. These students also have the opportunity to apply for financial scholarships as program participants. Ten students are selected at the workshop in Jackson to win one of three scholarships. The student who comes in first place has the distinct honor to represent Mississippi for a year-long term on the national Youth Leadership Council (YLC). During the 2018 Youth Leadership Workshop in Jackson, Wallace Bass, a senior at Leake County High School, was proudly selected as Mississippi’s YLC. Bass went on to represent Mississippi on the Youth Tour in


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Carthage 601-267-5671 • Philadelphia 601-656-2601 Rankin 601-829-1201 • Sebastopol 601-625-7422

Washington, D.C., in June 2018. He returned to Washington, D.C., in July 2018 to attend the YLC Conference coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), where he competed for and was named the National Youth Spokesperson for cooperatives nationwide. As part of his YLC responsibilities, Bass attended the ECM Annual Meeting in Biloxi, Miss., in September 2018, and the NRECA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Central Electric’s representatives had breakfast with Rep. Scott Bounds at the 2018 workshop before visiting the Mississippi State Capitol. Fla., in March 2019. He will also return to Washington, participate in team-building exercises and listen to D.C., this summer to speak to the 2019 Youth Tour motivational and encouraging speakers, including participants as well as act as an NRECA student Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who ambassador for the week. are always supportive of the program. Bass has achieved much praise nationwide for his “The workshop in Jackson was amazing,” Bass representation of electric cooperatives, and we wanted said. “I was able to meet so many people and it was to share his year-long – and impressive – experience a great experience. I had been accustomed to meeting with our members and readers. new people, but no club in school can compare to this experience. You meet all types of people from 2018 Central Electric interview, different parts of Mississippi. We all keep in touch Central Electric Office, Carthage every single day and still meet up from time-to-time.” On October 22, 2018, Bass arrived at Central It was in Jackson that Bass interviewed for the Electric’s office not knowing what would be in store scholarship opportunities and the chance to be named for him over the next year. He had some idea of what Mississippi’s YLC. He competed against nine other the program would entail, as his older brother had participants who were also selected to interview based interviewed and earned a spot in the 2016 program. on their participation throughout the workshop. The “I was nervous when I interviewed at Central,” judges were industry professionals from ECM, said Bass. “I was excited at the same time, because Cooperative Energy and Tennessee Valley Authority. I knew what the program had to offer because of my During the award ceremony at the end of the brother. I really was just hoping I would have the program, the 10 finalists were announced, the two opportunity to experience it. The interview process runners-up were revealed and Bass was named the went well, so I was confident; but when I got the 2018 YLC. Along with this prestigious honor, he will call that I had made it, I was totally overwhelmed.” receive a $1,000 scholarship that will be awarded durBass decided to take the next step and apply for ing his high school Senior Awards evening May 13. the Youth Leadership Council, which required him “I knew my interview went well, but when I first to write an essay and interview for a second time in heard my name called I was shocked,” said Bass. Jackson. “I wanted to cry, but I was able to remain cool and calm. It was a wonderful feeling, and I immediately began giving thanks to God. It gave me a different 2018 Youth Leadership type of confidence than I had ever experienced. I Workshop, Jackson knew I could do anything!” The Youth Leadership Workshop is a three-day

to attend the Youth Tour. When Bass arrived at the airport on Saturday, June 9, he was a little nervous, as he had never been on an airplane before. It was all worth it when he arrived in the nation’s capital and began experiencing what he calls “one of the best weeks” of his life with 75 of his new best friends. In addition to visiting historical sites and museums, Wallace’s YLC responsibilities also began that week. That Sunday evening, he attended the first meeting along with the other 42 YLC representatives from across the country. “When I walked in that meeting room, I just immediately felt like everyone there looked really important,” he said. “Everyone was on their A-game with their game faces on and I was a little nervous. We were all introducing ourselves and the NRECA representatives gave us the information on the YLC program. We were all strangers at that point. Though we wanted to be friends, we knew we were competing against each other also.” During the Youth Tour’s Youth Day rally, Bass

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youth conference designed to enhance the students’ already present leadership abilities. They are able to visit one-on-one with Mississippi’s legislators,

%2018 Youth Tour, Washington, D.C.

In mid-June, the group flew to Washington, D.C.,

The student representatives visited Washington, D.C., in June 2018 for the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. They were given an exclusive tour of the United States Capitol building by then Congressman Gregg Harper.

seized the opportunity to introduce himself as Mississippi’s representative on stage in front of nearly 1,800 participants on that Monday morning. Bass soon discovered that he was captivated with our nation’s capital, so much so that he began to wonder how he could combine his dream of becoming an engineer with his newfound passion for politics. “My favorite part of being in D.C. was standing in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said. “Many Americans don’t get to say that they even saw the White House, so for me to be able to stand in front of it was incredible. The feeling I got


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just inspired me so much and I thought to myself that perhaps I could sit in the Oval Office one day.” One of Bass’s favorite days on the tour was Capitol Hill Day. Congressman Gregg Harper, while in office then, gave an incredible tour of the historic building, providing students with the opportunity to visit the House floor and the Speaker’s balcony. Each year, this tour is always the highlight of the trip; but for Bass, it struck a personal passion he didn’t realize he had. “It made me feel like I could be a part of history,” said Bass. “Perhaps I could inspire a monument or a statue. I saw all of these monuments and I was

While on the Youth Tour, Bass was able to visit the White House with his peers. While standing in front of the North Lawn on Pennsylvania Avenue, he was inspired to serve the nation in his future.

learning even more things about the history of our nation. I thought about the roles those individuals played in our history, and I instilled in myself that I want to be a part of that. Being at the Capitol was amazing because some of the greatest leaders of our country were in there and I walked the same hallways and the same steps as some of the greats. It was a feeling of awe.” Youth Tour was an incredible experience for Bass and the other participants that attended. For most of the students, Youth Tour is the conclusion of the program… but Bass and the other 42 YLC state representatives were just getting started.

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2018 Youth Leadership Council Conference, Washington, D.C.

When Wallace returned from Youth Tour, he had only four weeks to prepare a stand-out speech about his experience that he would deliver in July at the YLC Conference in front of his YLC peers and NRECA representatives. Ultimately, the content and delivery of this presentation could earn the title of NRECA’s YLC. “I began preparing my speech as soon as I got home from Youth Tour,” he said. “I sat down and

I had a clean slate, but it wouldn’t come to me. I enlisted the help of my mom, my brother and my grandmother, who is a retired English teacher. I told my mom I wanted to win and she told me to pray and that God would give it to me. I prayed for the perfect speech and nothing would come. One morning at 4 a.m., I had not been to bed and I was frustrated and I was crying and all of a sudden out of nowhere, it came to me and I just started typing. When I finally finished and read over it, I was totally amazed and just began thanking God. I knew I had something good.” Bass did his research on the history of electric cooperatives and the history of the Youth Tour program and he tied it all in with his own journey, giving him what he hoped was a dynamic speech. When he arrived at the YLC conference on July 14, he had memorized his speech and was confident it would set him apart from his competitors. Bass delivered his powerful and passionate speech on the final day. He wowed the judges with his words. He was proudly named the national spokesperson for the NRECA that day. “The YLC Conference was an incredible experience,” said Bass. “When they called my name as the winner, I think I jumped in the air. It was just truly amazing.” The conference lasted for five days. The YLCs were also able to visit the NRECA headquarters office and the Cooperative Finance Corporation in Arlington, Va. “It was fun learning about all the different organizations that work together for the nation’s electric cooperatives,” he said. “There is literally a job for everyone when it comes to co-ops.”

%ECM Annual Meeting, Biloxi

When Bass triumphantly returned home from the YLC Conference, he had yet another engagement scheduled in September where he would speak to more than 300 industry professionals from the southeast at ECM’s Annual Meeting at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi. Bass and his mother, Tracy, were invited as guests of ECM. On Tuesday, September 11, Wallace delivered an eloquent speech to CEOs, board members and executives. Somehow Bass managed to write an incredible speech that wove his family history, his life, his aspirations for the future and the history of electric cooperatives all together in one beautiful recollection of what the Youth Leadership Program has meant to him. Bass truly hit a “grand slam” with his speech, and he received many praises from cooperative leaders and most importantly, his mother. “My mom was incredibly proud of me, and it

Bass is pictured with Central Electric General Manager Brian Long (left), his mother Tracy Bass (center) and Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi CEO Michael Callahan (right). He was presented a $1,000 scholarship for his outstanding achievements.

meant a lot to me that she was able to see me,” said Bass. “She just kept telling me how proud she was. And of course, I thanked her for all of her sacrifices. I let her know that if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be there at that moment.” Delivering a speech in front of 300 people was just practice for his final speech.

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2019 NRECA Annual Meeting, Orlando, Fla.

On March 9, Bass traveled to Orlando, Fla., for his final YLC obligation. He was tasked with delivering his speech to more than 9,000 cooperative leaders from around the country. For a teenager from Carthage, this was an enormous responsibility that he took very seriously. As he stepped on the stage, he felt his nerves, but they soon subsided when he began delivering that same powerful speech, which ensued an emphatic standing ovation. “It’s a feeling I will always remember and I’ll always hold on to,” he said. “It made me feel like a rockstar. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before, and it’s something I want to do forever. I like the attention and speaking, and I want to share that with other people.” The reaction to Bass’s incredible presentation by industry professionals was overwhelming, and he made a powerful and lasting impact on a lot of people. Beth Knudson, NRECA Youth Tour Director said, “In a program full of stand-outs ... Wallace Bass stands out. When we chose him to deliver the YLC speech at NRECA’s Annual Meeting this year in Orlando, we were confident he would do a great job. However, he surpassed everyone’s expectations and brought down the house. From his incredible speech to his humble and down-to-earth demeanor, Wallace Bass is an exceptional young man. It will continue to be a privilege to watch him shine!” “Watching Wallace Bass deliver a speech filled with such passion and inspiration was an absolutely


May 2019

incredible experience,” said Ron Stewart, senior vice president, ECM. “His command of the stage and his message were so spectacular that he brought an audience of nearly 9,000 people to their feet in applause. It was a moment I’m sure neither he nor I will ever forget!”

% 2019 Youth Tour, Washington, D.C.

Each year when Youth Tour has concluded, students say how much they would love the opportunity to go back to Washington, D.C. Bass is getting that opportunity again this year when he returns in June as the YLC representative and NRECA Ambassador. He will deliver his now famous speech a final time, and he will have the rare opportunity to look on as the students this year experience what he has over the past year. Bass will soon be passing the torch to the next YLC.

% Plans for the future

As an exceptional student, Bass has many plans for his future. He will be attending Tuskegee University in the fall, where he will double-major in mechanical engineering and political science. His plans include the Air Force ROTC program and then joining the

U.S. Air Force after college. “I’m really wanting to take advantage of everything the military has to offer,” he said. “I believe it will help my political ambitions, and I really want to travel. The military will also give me a great start to the engineering aspect of my career.” When asked to sum up what the Youth Leadership Program has meant to him, Bass said, “Life changing! It has given me a whole new outlook on life. I already had a plan and I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know I would be interested in politics. It showed me that electric cooperatives could be a home for me going forward. This is an incredible opportunity and there are so many other opportunities within this one opportunity. Central Electric, ECM and NRECA are a family to me now. I don’t know what God put in

Bass gave an award-winning speech to more than 9,000 cooperative leaders in Orlando, Fla. His passion and stage presence brought the crowd to their feet with an overwhelming standing ovation.

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Bass delivered an outstanding speech at the NRECA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. He wove together the ideals of great national leaders with his own life experiences.

me, but he wants to use me to continue to spread His Word and do good for other people.” In addition to Bass’s YLC duties, he’s also been active in his school, church and community throughout his high school career. He is also an entrepreneur and started a not-for-profit organization to help the less fortunate in Leake County. The board, management and employees at Central Electric, ECM and NRECA are so proud of him and more than ever confident in the Youth Leadership Program and what it is doing for our youth. “Throughout his journey in the Youth Leadership Program, Wallace Bass could not have been a finer Bass represented Mississippi and the representative of nation at the NRECA Annual Meeting. Central Electric He carried the Mississippi state flag Power Association or during the welcoming ceremonies. of Mississippi,” said Brian Long, Central Electric general manager. “He is an incredible young man with an incredible future ahead of him. Join me in congratulating him on a job well done!” For more information on the Youth Leadership Program, contact Jessica Patterson at Central Electric. To watch Wallace’s award-winning speech, visit: www.centralepa.com/youth-leadership.


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Safety tips that can save your life Tip of the Avoid placing items like lamps and televisions Central Electric Power Associations’ top priority is always to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy to our members. Your well-being and that of the larger communities we serve are of paramount concern. The month of May not only means spring storms and potentially severe weather, it also heralds the beginning of the celebration season for many high school students, especially seniors. Proms, graduation parties and other social gatherings are often associated with this time of year. While we naturally focus on the sunny aspects this season brings, we also sometimes hear about preventable tragedies involving young people and car accidents. This brings us to the topic at hand: electrical safety. Does your teen or loved one know what to do in the event of a collision with a utility pole resulting in a downed power line? Do your loved ones know what to do if they come upon an accident with a downed power line? This month, we’d like to share a few safety tips that we hope you never have to use. But if you do, they could save a life.

Life-saving tips If your car collides with a utility pole, the vehicle may be charged with electricity. Anyone exiting the car could come in contact with thousands of volts of electricity from the downed line. In essence, when you step out of the car, you become part of the electricity’s path to the ground and could be electrocuted. It’s critical to stay in the vehicle and tell others to do the same until emergency crews have told you it’s safe to exit the car. If the vehicle is on fire or you must exit for other safety reasons, jump clear of the vehicle. Do not let any part of your body or clothing touch the vehicle and ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and shuffle away (in small steps with your feet still together) to avoid electric shock. Keep moving away until you are at least 40 feet from the vehicle. If you come upon a car accident involving a utility

pole and downed power lines, keep your distance. A downed power line can energize the ground up to 35 feet away. While your natural instinct may be to rush to the car to help, instead pause. Do not approach the car or scene of the accident. Tell others to stay away. While you may be concerned about injuries to those involved, the best action you can take is to alert emergency officials, who will in turn coordinate with the power provider. For the same reasons described above, never drive over a downed power line or through water that is touching a downed power line. If you have a downed power line on your property as a result of a fallen tree, storm or other circumstance, do not go near the power line. Assume that the downed line is energized and dangerous. Never try to move the power line even if you think it’s not energized or if you are using a non-conductive material. We recognize that you may be anxious to clear your property of tree limbs or other debris near the downed line, but please wait until after an electric cooperative crew or emergency officials have confirmed that it is safe to do so.

Month

near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the A/C to run longer than necessary. Source: energy.gov

May is Electrical Safety Month May is a time where we are even more mindful of safety because it is Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. We know first-hand how dangerous electricity is because Mississippi’s electric cooperatives work with it all day, every day. Safety is more than a catch phrase. We view it as our duty and responsibility to keep cooperative employees safe and to help keep our communities safe. Contact us for additional electrical safety tips. It is no accident that safety is our top priority.

Our business office will be closed

Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day. Dispatchers will remain on duty and crews will be on call throughout the holiday weekend.

Call 601-267-5671 or 601-267-3043 to report a power outage.

May is Electrical Safety Month. Safety starts with YOU!

#

#ElectricalSafetyMonth


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Pay your bill the easy way...

Autopay! The quickest, easiest way to pay your electric bill each month:

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$

No checks No envelopes No stamps No lost mail No mail delays

Your bank can electronically transfer funds to us each month to pay your electric bill. We will mail your bill to you every month as usual, and on your bill’s due date we will draft your account. Complete the authorization form and submit to Central Electric or call your local Central Electric office for more information.

Authorization agreement for automatic payments

________________________________________ CEPA Account No. ________________________________________ Name as appears on account

Address _________________________________ City

__________________ Zip ___________

Primary phone ____________________________ E-mail address ___________________________

Financial institution ________________________

________________________________________ Name as appears on bank account Bank account No. _________________________ ATTACH A VOIDED CHECK

Routing No. _____________________________

******** ONLY ONE ACCOUNT PER FORM ********

I hereby authorize the financial institution named above to pay my monthly electric bill by charging each payment to my account and to make that deduction payable to the order of Central Electric Power Association. I agree that each payment shall be the same as if it were an instrument signed by me. This authority is to remain in effect until revoked by me in writing. In addition, I have the right to stop payment of a charge by timely notification to my financial institution prior to charging my account. I understand, however, that both the financial institution and Central Electric Power Association reserve the right to terminate this plan (or my participation therein).

Signature ________________________

Date ____________________________

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Safety tips that can save your life

• Life-saving tips

pole and downed power lines, keep your distance. A downed power line can energize the ground up to 35 feet away. While your natural instinct may be to rush to the car to help, instead pause. Do not approach the car or scene of the accident. Tell others to stay away. While you may be concerned about injuries to those involved, the best action you can take is to alert emergency officials, who will in turn coordinate with the power provider. For the same reasons described above, never drive over a downed power line or through water that is touching a downed power line. If you have a downed power line on your property as a result of a fallen tree, storm or other circumstance, do not go near the power line. Assume that the downed line is energized and dangerous. Never try to move the power line even if you think it’s not energized or if you are using a non-conductive material. We recognize that you may be anxious to clear your property of tree limbs or other debris near the downed line, but please wait until after an electric cooperative crew or emergency officials have confirmed that it is safe to do so.

If your car collides with a utility pole, the vehicle may be charged with electricity. Anyone exiting the car could come in contact with thousands of volts of electricity from the downed line. In essence, when you step out of the car, you become part of the electricity’s path to the ground and could be electrocuted. It’s critical to stay in the vehicle and tell others to do the same until emergency crews have told you it’s safe to exit the car. If the vehicle is on fire or you must exit for other safety reasons, jump clear of the vehicle. Do not let any part of your body or clothing touch the vehicle and ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and shuffle away (in small steps with your feet still together) to avoid electric shock. Keep moving away until you are at least 40 feet from the vehicle. If you come upon a car accident involving a utility

May is a time where we are even more mindful of safety because it is Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. We know first-hand how dangerous electricity is because Mississippi’s electric cooperatives work with it all day, every day. Safety is more than a catch phrase. We view it as our duty and responsibility to keep cooperative employees safe and to help keep our communities safe. Contact us for additional electrical safety tips. It is no accident that safety is our top priority.

Coahoma Electric Power Association’s top priority is always to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy to our members. Your well-being and that of the larger communities we serve are of paramount concern. The month of May not only means spring storms and potentially severe weather, it also heralds the beginning of the celebration season for many high school students, especially seniors. Proms, graduation parties and other social gatherings are often associated with this time of year. While we naturally focus on the sunny aspects this season brings, we also sometimes hear about preventable tragedies involving young people and car accidents. This brings us to the topic at hand: electrical safety. Does your teen or loved one know what to do in the event of a collision with a utility pole resulting in a downed power line? Do your loved ones know what to do if they come upon an accident with a downed power line? This month, we’d like to share a few safety tips that we hope you never have to use. But if you do, they could save a life.

Congratulations to Ed Merritt On behalf of all the members of Coahoma Electric Power Association, we wish Ed Merritt, the former office manager, a long and healthy retirement. Ed has served the cooperative for almost 13 years. Prior to coming to Coahoma Electric, he served in a comptroller position at Clarksdale Public Utilities and Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association in Batesville. The Board of Directors, management and staff want to thank Ed for his commitment to our Association and his many contributions.

• May is Electrical Safety Month

Our business office will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. Dispatchers will remain on duty and crews will be on call throughout the holiday weekend.

Call 662-624-8321 to report an outage.

May is Electrical Safety Month. Safety starts with YOU!

#

#ElectricalSafetyMonth


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Safety starts with YOU! Tips for spotting potential electrical hazards in your home Electricity plays many roles in our lives, from powering baby monitors, cell phones and lighting, to running HVAC systems and appliances. No wonder we get so comfortable with its instant availability that when we flip a switch, we expect most systems or devices to do the job. May is National Electrical Safety Month, and here at Coahoma Electric Power Association, we think it’s a great time to look around your home and check for potential safety hazards.

Remember, every electrical device has a purpose and a service lifespan. While we can extend their operations with maintenance and care, none of them are designed to last or work forever. When electricity is involved, failures can present electrical hazards that might be avoided with periodic inspections.

Ground fault circuit interrupters Outdoor outlets or those in potentially damp locations in a

kitchen, bathroom or laundry room often include GFCI features. They are designed to sense abnormal current flows, breaking the circuit to prevent potential electric shocks from devices plugged into the outlets. The average GFCI outlet is designed to last about 10 years, but in areas prone to electrical

Don’t waste. Insulate! Properly insulating your home reduces heating and cooling costs, and improves comfort. R-values measure a material’s resistance to conductive heat flow w.. The higher the R-value rating, the greater the efffectiveness fectiveness of the insulation. Below are recommended R-values for areas of the home that should be insulated. *Recommendations on R-values are subject to regional climate conditions. Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy

TYPES OF INSULA AT TION Batt Foam Blow-in

Slab

Crawlsspace

DUCTWORK

EXTERIOR W WA ALLS

Whether it’s made of metal or plastic (PVC), insulated ductwork protects your investment in conditioned air year-round. Minimal R-values of 4.3 are recommended for blanket-style wraps secured with tape. Insulated ductwork rated at R-6 is also available.

There are multiple options for insulating exterior walls. Rock wool or fiberglass batts of R-13 to R-20 value are preferred behind drywall, but each inch of blown-in polyurethane foam insulation provides an R-value of 3.9.

BENEA ATH TH LIVING SP PA ACE Whether your home has a full basement, a crawlspace or an attached garage, having an insulation value of R-19 under the living space floor will help increase comfort year-round.

SLAB FOUNDA AT TION Properly installed foam boards around the exterior edge of the slab of an existing home can reduce heating bills by 10 percent or more.

storms or power surges, they can wear out in five years or less. Check them frequently by pressing the red test button. Make sure you hit the black reset button when you are done. Contact a licensed electrician to replace any failing GFCI outlets.

Extension cords

If you use extension cords regularly to connect devices and Loose or damaged equipment to your wall outlets, outlets or switches you may live in an underwired Unstable electrical outlets or home. With a growing number wall switches with signs of heat of electrical devices connecting damage or dis- your family to the electricity coloration you get from Coahoma Electric can Power Associaton, having offer enough outlets in just the early right spots can be challenging. warn- Remember, extension cords ings of are designed for temporary, potential occasional or periodic use. shock or If an extension cord gets electrical fire hazards. Loose noticeably warm when in use, connections can allow electrical it could be undersized for the current arcing. If you see these intended use. If it shows any warning signs, it may be time signs of frayed, cracked or heatto contact an electrician. damaged insulation, it should be replaced. If the grounding prong Surge protectors is missing, crimped or loose, a Power strips with surge protec- grounded cord will not provide tors can help safeguard expensive the protection designed into equipment like televisions, home its performance. And always entertainment systems and com- make sure that extension cords puter components from power used in outdoor or potentially spikes. Voltage spikes are measdamp locations are rated for ured in joules, and surge protec- exterior use. According to the Consumer tors are rated for the number Product Safety Commission, of joules they can effectively absorb. That means if your surge approximately 51,000 electrical protector is rated at 1,000 joules, fires are reported each year in the United States, causing more it should be replaced when it than $1.3 billion in annual hits or passes that limit. When property damage. the limit is reached, protection Electricity is an essential stops, and you’re left with a necessity for modern living, basic power strip. Some surge protectors include and Coahoma Electric Power Association is committed to indicator lights that flicker to providing safe, reliable and warn you when they’ve stopped affordable power to all of our working as designed, but many members. We hope you’ll keep do not. If your electrical system takes a major hit, or if you don’t these electrical safety tips in remember when you bought your mind so that you can note surge protector, replacement may any potential hazards before damage occurs. be the best option.


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Communicators: April Lollar and Merilee Sands For Today in Mississippi information, call 877-7MY-CEPA (877-769-2372) www.coastepa.com

Where our members have the power

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CEO’s message

Our change makes a difference Last month, we had the honor of awarding charities in our local area with our first-ever Operation Round Up community grants. I encourage you to like our Coast Electric Facebook page so you can see the videos we are posting of each grant recipient. Hearing the gratitude in the voices of the people working for these deserving organizations as they say thank you over and over to our members is powerful. I want to thank each of you who contribute to Operation Round Up. Your spare change is doing great things. From funding workforce development programs that are putting people to work, to supporting food pantries, veterans’ programs, child advocacy groups and so many others, your donations have an impact on so many lives. I think more about my spare change now – when I feel it jingling around in my pocket or when I find a few pennies in the console of my car. The change in my pocket can't make much of an impact, but when we work together, what a difference it makes. That’s what being part of a cooperative is all about – working together to improve life in our communities. Thank you for being an active part of your cooperative and working to make our home a better place for us all. The best part is that this is just the beginning. Grant applications are available during the month of May; so if you know of a deserving organization,

tell them to visit www.coastepa.com to fill out an application. I am so pleased with what we’ve done working together the cooperative way. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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 Reduce Your

Use contest  Glow run

Ron Barnes President and CEO

Coast Electric celebrates Allen Landry’s years of service

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Coast Electric’s office will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. Dispatchers will be on duty throughout the weekend and crews will be on call. If you have an outage, please use our free CE on the Go app for quick and easy outage reporting or call 877-769-2372.

We hope you have a safe holiday with your friends and family, honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

 Operation Round Up  Fill A Bucket food drive  Electric car rebate for Coast Electric members

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Coast Electric congratulates Allen Landry on his retirement after more than 35 years of dedicated service to the cooperative and our members.

Safety Month

 Community Focus


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Reduce Your Use contest

Coast Electric wants you to reduce your energy use and see savings on your monthly energy costs! Each month, you will have an opportunity to register to win a prize that will help you reduce the energy consumption in your home. All you have to do is visit www.coastepa.com and fill out our entry form. It only takes a few seconds and you could win a prize that helps you save!

May’s Reduce Your Use prize announcement From incandescent light bulbs that give off more heat energy than light energy, to CFL bulbs and, now, highly-efficient LED bulbs, light bulbs have come a long way in the past decade. Replacing your current light bulbs with LED bulbs can be the fastest, simplest payback project you do when making energy improvements to your home or business. LED bulbs use one-fourth the energy of incandescent light bulbs and even less than CFL bulbs. You will not notice a huge difference on your electric bill since lighting only typically makes up 10 to 15 percent of your bill; but it will add up over time – and LED bulbs last a long time. LED bulbs will help your home or commercial space in many ways. LEDs not only save you money

on your lighting costs, these bulbs also save on your cooling costs by reducing the amount of heat load in your home. LEDs are brighter than other bulbs but give off less heat. Every 1 kilowatt (1,000 watts) you replace with LEDs can save 3,412 BTUs of cooling. LED bulbs often replace a yellow light tone with a brighter, white tone, making it easier to read and lighting your home with a tone that seems more like sunlight. For those who like warmer tones, there are now more color options with LED bulbs. LEDs also come in all the different styles you may need, such as dimmable, 3-way, flood and candelabra.

This month’s Reduce Your Use lucky winner will be able to outfit their entire home with LED bulbs for FREE! Visit www.coastepa.com to enter! Remember to visit us online each month for a chance to win! Winners will be announced in future issues of Today in Mississippi and on our social media channels.

March’s Reduce Your Use contest winner!

Congratulations to our March contest winner, Amanda Collins! Amanda received a Kill A Watt meter, which will allow her to understand how much energy her appliances are using. Remember, if you want to win, you must visit www.coastepa.com to fill out our quick and easy entry form!

cooperatives cooperation among

Coast Electric crews recently helped Southwest Electric Power Association restore service to their members after a tornado damaged their service territory on April 18. Eighteen men from Coast Electric worked through Easter weekend to light the way home for members of our sister cooperative, headquartered in Lorman, Miss. That’s the cooperative way!

Like Coast Electric Ready, Set, Glow 5k on Facebook for information about how you can register for the race.


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It’s important that Coast Electric employees arrive home safely each night. We want to give you the resources to make sure you and your family are safe too. Whether you are doing simple household tasks or enjoying time out on the water this summer, we hope you remember that using proper safety precautions is always the most important thing you can do for yourself and for those you love.

Top 10 year-round safety tips:

Around the house:

• Never put fingers or any objects in electrical outlets. Cover outlets to keep children safe. • Old or frayed extension cords can cause a fire. Throw them away! • Keep electrical appliances away from water to prevent electrocution. • Turn off appliances before unplugging them. Pull the plug itself – not the cord – when unplugging appliances. • Never tamper with your electrical meter. Not only is it unsafe, it’s also illegal! • Don’t touch anything that is touching a power line, such as a fence, a car or piece of machinery. • Turn off all plugged-in electronics during storms with lightning. Avoid contact with plumbing or water, including bathing or doing laundry. • Use extension cords only temporarily, and never use them for space heaters or air conditioners. • Stay away from substations and power lines and keep children away. • Call 811 before you dig to locate underground lines.

• Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on every light fixture. • Conduct a basic assessment of your home electrical system, including electrical extension cords, power plugs and outlets. • Look for telltale signs of electrical problems, such as dim and flickering lights, unusual sizzling and buzzing sounds from your electrical system, and circuit bre that trip repeatedly. Contact a qualified electrician immediately. • Use extension cords only temporarily, and never use them for space heaters or conditioners. • Avoid overloading outlets. Consider having additional circuits or outlets added qualified electrician as needed. • Install smoke detectors on every level of the home, inside each bedroom and ou each sleeping area. • Test smoke detectors monthly to ensure that they are working properly.

Spring and summer safety tips:

Water safety tip

• Never fly kites, drones or model planes near electrical wires. • Do not play around power lines or climb trees near them. • Unplug outdoor tools and appliances when not in use. • Never handle electrical devices when you are wet, whether from water activities or from perspiration. • Contact a licensed electrician for electrical work in your home, including installation and service of air conditioning and other cooling equipment. • Cover outdoor receptacles to keep them dry, especially around pools and spas.

• Keep electrical appliances away from water. • Do not use household extension cords near water. • Always use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) around pools, piers and doc • Docks and boats can have electrical sources. Never swim near a dock or a boat w it’s running. • Watch for overhead lines when in a boat with tall masts or antennas. • Know where main breakers are located in case of emergency. • Frequently inspect electrical systems near pools or docks and on boats. • Obey “No Swimming” signs. • Be aware, everywhere. Keep your eyes open for any electrical hazards.


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For more safety tips, visit www.beawareeverywhere.com.

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Operation Round Up Grant applications available May 1-31

Coast Electric’s Operation Round Up program is accepting grant applications from local charitable organizations through the month of May. Operation Round Up grants are funded by member donations and put into the Coast Electric Community Trust; a fund managed by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. After grants are reviewed by the Community Foundation, a committee of Coast Electric members determine which organizations will receive grants.

Grant applications are available quarterly and exclusively on www.coastepa.com for charitable organizations whose efforts impact Coast Electric’s three-county service area of Hancock, Harrison and Pearl River counties. If you know of a deserving organization working to improve the quality of life for south Mississippi residents, make sure they visit www.coastepa.com to learn if their programs qualify for an Operation Round Up grant.

Operation Round Up By the numbers 1st Quarter Operation Round Up Grant Recipients The generosity of Coast Electric members made it possible to award more than $71,000 in grants to local organizations whose mission is to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve. Grants are awarded quarterly and are now available on www.coastepa.com.

Look for more details about the community impact of these grants in our June issue! Remember, all funds stay in our community to make a difference for our friends and neighbors. Manna Ministries Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department Crossroads Food Pantry Hope Haven of Hancock County Friends of the Animal Shelter

$5,000 $8,000 $5,000 $3,000 $6,000

Starfish Café Work Incentive Program Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra Back Bay Mission CASA of Harrison County United Service Organization

$6,000 $2,000 $7,000 $4,300 $8,000

Goodwill Industries of South Mississippi Whisper of Hope Foundation Wild at Heart Rescue Teen Challenge of Mississippi, Inc.

$5,500 $4,000 $5,000 $5,000

Total donations from Coast Electric members to our community = $71,800

EV rebate for Coast Electric members Have you considered driving an electric vehicle (EV)? If you are thinking about making an EV purchase, a special rebate is available to Coast Electric members through Touchstone Energy. A $3,500 rebate is available on the 40 kWh model NISSAN LEAF, and a new $2,500 rebate is available on the 226 mile range, 62 kWh, ePlus model for Coast Electric members. This offer can be combined with the $7,500 Federal EV Tax Credit to provide you with savings up to $11,000 on your purchase of a new NISSAN Leaf®. The rebate is available through July 1. Visit https://www.touchstoneenergy.com/co-op-businessresources/brand-news/nissan-ev-rebate-july-extension/ for information about this offer.

Fill A Bucket food drives On April 8, Coast Electric employees visited area Walmart stores to collect items for local food pantries. Thank you to Walmart locations in Picayune, D’Iberville and Waveland for supporting our efforts. The food drives were a great success once again this year thanks to your generosity. The Salvation Army in Harrison County received 796 pounds of food; the Hancock County Food Pantry received 720 pounds of food; and Manna Ministries in Pearl River County received not only a lot of food, but $478 in cash donations. We have the best members around and cannot thank you enough for all you do for our communities.


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Delta Electric’s new IVR phone number is 662-743-4425.

24/7

GET ACCOUNT INFO MAKE A PAYMENT REPORT AN OUTAGE MAKE AN ARRANGEMENT

Delta Electric offers new

Safety tips that can save your life

Life-saving tips

pole and downed power lines, keep your distance. A downed power line can energize the ground up to 35 feet away. While your natural instinct may be to rush to the car to help, instead pause. Do not approach the car or scene of the accident. Tell others to stay away. While you may be concerned about injuries to those involved, the best action you can take is to alert emergency officials, who will in turn coordinate with the power provider. For the same reasons described above, never drive over a downed power line or through water that is touching a downed power line. If you have a downed power line on your property as a result of a fallen tree, storm or other circumstance, do not go near the power line. Assume that the downed line is energized and dangerous. Never try to move the power line even if you think it’s not energized or if you are using a non-conductive material. We recognize that you may be anxious to clear your property of tree limbs or other debris near the downed line, but please wait until after an electric cooperative crew or emergency officials have confirmed that it is safe to do so.

If your car collides with a utility pole, the vehicle may be charged with electricity. Anyone exiting the car could come in contact with thousands of volts of electricity from the downed line. In essence, when you step out of the car, you become part of the electricity’s path to the ground and could be electrocuted. It’s critical to stay in the vehicle and tell others to do the same until emergency crews have told you it’s safe to exit the car. If the vehicle is on fire or you must exit for other safety reasons, jump clear of the vehicle. Do not let any part of your body or clothing touch the vehicle and ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and shuffle away (in small steps with your feet still together) to avoid electric shock. Keep moving away until you are at least 40 feet from the vehicle. If you come upon a car accident involving a utility

May is a time where we are even more mindful of safety because it is Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. We know first-hand how dangerous electricity is because Mississippi’s electric cooperatives work with it all day, every day. Safety is more than a catch phrase. We view it as our duty and responsibility to keep cooperative employees safe and to help keep our communities safe. Contact us or visit www.deltaepa.com for additional electrical safety tips. It is no accident that safety is our top priority.

Delta Electric’s top priority is always to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy to their members. Your well-being and that of the larger communities we serve are of paramount concern. The month of May not only means spring storms and potentially severe weather, it also heralds the beginning of the celebration season for many high school students, especially seniors. Proms, graduation parties and other social gatherings are often associated with this time of year. While we naturally focus on the sunny aspects this season brings, we also sometimes hear about preventable tragedies involving young people and car accidents. This brings us to the topic at hand: electrical safety. Does your teen or loved one know what to do in the event of a collision with a utility pole resulting in a downed power line? Do your loved ones know what to do if they come upon an accident with a downed power line? This month, we’d like to share a few safety tips that we hope you never have to use. But if you do, they could save a life.

Autopay service Delta Electric is pleased to announce the addition of Autopay as a method of payment for its residential customers. After an initial setup, Autopay allows a customer’s bill to be automatically paid on a set date each month by debiting the customer’s credit card. Autopay can be set up by the customer through Delta Electric’s mobile application, but the customer must first establish a username and password through Delta Electric’s internet portal. Please contact your local Delta Electric office for setup if you don’t have internet access. There are NO convenience fee charges for Autopay, but Autopay is limited to residential accounts and is limited to a maximum $1,200 per month. It’s important that the Autopay date chosen be sometime between your normal billing date and due date so that late charges are not assessed on the account. If you have questions about Autopay or need assistance, please contact your local Delta Electric office.

May is Electrical Safety Month

Safety starts with YOU!

#ElectricalSafetyMonth

Our business office will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. Dispatchers will remain on duty and crews will be on call throughout the holiday weekend.

Call 662-743-4425 to report an outage.

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Safety starts with YOU! Tips for spotting potential electrical hazards in your home Electricity plays many roles in our lives, from powering baby monitors, cell phones and lighting, to running HVAC systems and appliances. No wonder we get so comfortable with its instant availability that when we flip a switch, we expect most systems or devices to do the job. May is National Electrical Safety Month, and here at Delta Electric, we think it’s a great time to look around your home and check for potential safety hazards. Remember, every electrical

device has a purpose and a service lifespan. While we can extend their operations with maintenance and care, none of them are designed to last or work forever. When electricity is involved, failures can present electrical hazards that might be avoided with periodic inspections.

Ground fault circuit interrupters Outdoor outlets or those in potentially damp locations in a

kitchen, bathroom or laundry room often include GFCI features. They are designed to sense abnormal current flows, breaking the circuit to prevent potential electric shocks from devices plugged into the outlets. The average GFCI outlet is designed to last about 10 years, but in areas prone to electrical

Don’t waste. Insulate! Properly insulating your home reduces heating and cooling costs, and improves comfort. R-values measure a material’s resistance to conductive heat flow. The higher the R-value rating, the greater the efffectiveness fectiveness of the insulation. Below are recommended R-values for areas of the home that should be insulated. *Recommendations on R-values are subject to regional climate conditions. Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy

TYPES OF INSULA AT TION Batt Foam Blow-in

Slab

Crawlsspace

DUCTWORK

EXTERIOR WA WALLS

Whether it’s made of metal or plastic (PVC), insulated ductwork protects your investment in conditioned air year-round. Minimal R-values of 4.3 are recommended for blanket-style wraps secured with tape. Insulated ductwork rated at R-6 is also available.

There are multiple options for insulating exterior walls. Rock wool or fiberglass batts of R-13 to R-20 value are preferred behind drywall, but each inch of blown-in polyurethane foam insulation provides an R-value of 3.9.

BENEA ATH TH LIVING SP PA ACE Whether your home has a full basement, a crawlspace or an attached garage, having an insulation value of R-19 under the living space floor will help increase comfort year-round.

SLAB FOUNDA AT TION Properly installed foam boards around the exterior edge of the slab of an existing home can reduce heating bills by 10 percent or more.

storms or power surges, they can wear out in five years or less. Check them frequently by pressing the red test button. Make sure you hit the black reset button when you are done. Contact a licensed electrician to replace any failing GFCI outlets.

Loose or damaged outlets or switches

Extension cords

If you use extension cords regularly to connect devices and Unstable electrical outlets or equipment to your wall outlets, wall switches with signs of heat you may live in an underwired damage or dis- home. With a growing number coloration of electrical devices connecting can your family to the electricity offer you get from Delta Electric, early having enough outlets in just warn- the right spots can be challengings of ing. Remember, extension cords potential are designed for temporary, shock or occasional or periodic use. electrical fire hazards. Loose If an extension cord gets connections can allow electrical noticeably warm when in use, current arcing. If you see these it could be undersized for the warning signs, it may be time intended use. If it shows any to contact an electrician. signs of frayed, cracked or heatdamaged insulation, it should be replaced. If the grounding prong Surge protectors Power strips with surge protec- is missing, crimped or loose, a tors can help safeguard expensive grounded cord will not provide equipment like televisions, home the protection designed into its performance. And always entertainment systems and computer components from make sure that extension cords power spikes. Voltage spikes used in outdoor or potentially are measured in joules, and surge damp locations are rated for protectors are rated for the num- exterior use. According to the Consumer ber of joules they can effectively Product Safety Commission, absorb. That means if your surge protector is rated at 1,000 joules, approximately 51,000 electrical fires are reported each year in it should be replaced when it the United States, causing more hits or passes that limit. When than $1.3 billion in annual the limit is reached, protection property damage. stops, and you’re left with a Electricity is an essential basic power strip. Some surge protectors include necessity for modern living, and Delta Electric is committed indicator lights that flicker to to providing safe, reliable and warn you when they’ve stopped affordable power to all of working as designed, but many our members. We hope you’ll do not. If your electrical system takes a major hit, or if you don’t keep these electrical safety tips remember when you bought your in mind so that you can note surge protector, replacement may any potential hazards before damage occurs. be the best option.


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Dixie Electric is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

SAFETY STARTS WITH YOU Tips for spotting potential electrical hazards in your home May is National Electrical Safety Month, and here at Dixie Electric Power Association, we think it’s a great time to look around your home and check for potential safety Randy Smith hazards. General Manager Remember, every electrical device has a purpose and a service lifespan. While we can extend their useful life with maintenance and care, none of them are designed to last or work forever. When electricity is involved, damaged or worn-out electronics or appliances can

present electrical hazards that might be avoided with a quick inspection. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 51,000 electrical fires are reported each year in the United States, causing more than $1.3 billion in annual property damage. Many of these fires can be avoided if we simply inspect our homes. Electricity is an essential necessity for modern living, and Dixie Electric is committed to providing safe, reliable and affordable power to all of our members. We’ve provided some electrical safety tips on the following page and encourage you to visit dixieepa.com and click “safety” or go to myelectriccooperative.com/safety/ for information.

Dixie Electric’s Director Election Qualification Period Candidates seeking election to represent Districts 1 or 5 on the board of directors for Dixie Electric must visit Dixie Electric’s headquarters office at 1863 Highway 184 in Laurel, and obtain a Director Qualification Packet during regular business hours between June 1 and July 31. The forms and petitions in the packet must be completed and returned to the headquarters office by close of business on July 31, 2019.

Our business office will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. Servicemen will be on call throughout the holiday weekend.

Call 888-465-9209 to report an outage.

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Electrical safety tips for your home Electricity plays many roles in our lives, from powering baby monitors, cell phones and lighting, to running HVAC systems and appliances. No wonder we get so comfortable with its instant availability that when we flip a switch, we expect most systems or devices to do the job. Dixie Electric’s top priority is always to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy to our members. Your well-being and that of the larger communities we serve are of paramount concern. May is a time where we are even more mindful of safety because it is Electrical Safety Month. Here are a few tips to protect your home from safety hazards:

Ground fault circuit interrupters Outdoor outlets or those in potentially damp locations in a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room often include GFCI features. They are designed to sense abnormal current flows, breaking the circuit to prevent potential electric shocks from devices plugged into the outlets. The average GFCI outlet is designed to last about 10 years, but in areas prone to electrical storms or power surges, they can wear out in five years or less. Check them frequently by pressing the red test button.

MAINTAINING RELIABLE SERVICE Right-of-way clearing projects underway Dixie Electric Power Association clears trees, limbs and underbrush from the area around and below the power lines, called the right-of-way. Right-of-way clearing decreases the number of outages and reduces the risk of someone coming in contact with the power lines. Here are the substations and surrounding communities that are either currently being cleared or will be cleared soon: • Shelton substation – Sanford, Glendale and airport areas • Sharon substation – North Laurel, Sharon and Hoy Clearing the right-of-way protects individuals from the hazards of electricity and makes power restoration quicker and safer for both Dixie Electric’s members and personnel.

Make sure you hit the black reset button when you are done. Contact a licensed electrician to replace any failing GFCI outlets.

Loose or damaged outlets or switches Unstable electrical outlets or wall switches with signs of heat damage or discoloration can offer early warnings of potential shock or electrical fire hazards. Loose connections can allow electrical current arcing. If you see these warning signs, it may be time to contact an electrician.

Surge protectors Power strips with surge protectors can help safeguard expensive equipment like televisions, home entertainment systems and computer components from power spikes. Voltage spikes are measured in joules, and surge protectors are rated for the number of joules they can effectively absorb. That means if your surge protector is rated at 1,000 joules, it should be replaced when it hits or passes that limit. When the limit is reached, protection stops, and you’re left with a basic power strip. Some surge protectors include indicator lights that flicker to warn you when they’ve stopped working as designed, but many do not. If your electrical system takes a major hit, or if you don’t remember when you bought your surge protector, replacement may be the best option.

Extension cords If you use extension cords regularly to connect devices and equipment to your wall outlets, you may live in an underwired home. With a growing number of electrical devices connecting your family to the electricity you get from Dixie Electric, having enough outlets in just the right spots can be challenging. Remember, extension cords are designed for temporary, occasional or periodic use. If an extension cord gets noticeably warm when in use, it could be undersized for the intended use. If it shows any signs of frayed, cracked or heat-damaged insulation, it should be replaced. If the grounding prong is missing, crimped or loose, a grounded cord will not provide the protection designed into its performance. And always make sure that extension cords used in outdoor or potentially damp locations are rated for exterior use. Dixie Electric knows first-hand how dangerous electricity is because Mississippi’s electric cooperatives work with it all day, every day. “Safety First” is more than a catch phrase. We view it as our duty and responsibility to keep cooperative employees safe and to help keep our communities safe. Contact us for additional electrical safety tips. It is no accident that safety is our top priority.


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highlight the 2019 golf tournament The sun was shining as 36 four-man teams teed off at the Laurel Country Club for Dixie Electric’s 11th annual charity golf tournament. The charity golf tournament on Thursday, March 28, benefited the American Cancer Society. The tournament raised more than $13,000 that will be given to the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life events in Jones County and Petal. “At Dixie Electric, we are proud to partner with the Laurel Country Club for our annual charity golf tournament,” Community Relations Coordinator Pollyanna Magee said. “The tournament was a great event. We had two full flights,

and the weather was perfect. We appreciate each individual who participated in the tournament and supported the American Cancer Society.” Winners for the morning flight were Kody Sasser’s team in first place; Dwain Strickland’s team in second; and Jason Boykin’s team took third place. Afternoon flight winners were as follows: Brian Ginn’s State Farm took first; Team Paul Thornton placed second; and Team Hugh Parker earned the third-place spot. “Our annual charity golf tournament is another way that Dixie Electric supports its community and lives out the cooperative principle of Concern for Community,” Magee added.

Morning Flight Winners: First Place: Kody Sasser’s team Second Place: Dwain Strickland’s team Third Place: Jason Boykin’s team

(Above) Kody Sasser’s Team: Pollyanna Magee, Chris Caves, Brandon Holly, Alec Barlow, Kody Sasser, Cheryl Thaggard with the American Cancer Society

(Above) Brian Ginn’s Team: Pollyanna Magee, Chase K Kenton Stamps, Wesley Patterson, Brent Smithers, Thaggard with the American Cancer S


Kervin, Cheryl Society

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Prize Sponsors Hole-in-one prizes were provided by: • Gray Daniels Ford • Kim’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Toyota

Closest-to-the-hole prizes were provided by: • Laurel Country Club

The flight winners received gifts provided by: • Dixie Electric

Lunch was donated by: • Bush Construction • R&C Sons, LLC.

American Cancer Society ®

Afternoon Flight Winners: First Place: Brian Ginn’s State Farm team Second Place: Paul Thornton’s team Third Place: Hugh Parker’s team

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Allies on Magnolia, Laurel Need a new trendy outfit? Allie’s has you covered! Allie’s on Magnolia is a boutique shopping experience in downtown Laurel. Allie’s on Magnolia provides women's and tween clothing, shoes and accessories as well as gifts and jewelry. Present your Co-op Connections card and receive 15 percent off your purchase.

KaRazy Kones, Ellisville Craving something sweet to cool you down? Visit KaRazy Kones, located at 816 Hwy 11 South in Ellisville, for a cold, tasty treat. KaRazy Kones is a family owned business with over 100 KaRazy flavors, including sugar free! Enjoy their picnic tables or use their convenient drive thru. Present your Co-op Connections card and receive 50 cents off any purchase.

Ole 45 Eatery, Waynesboro Looking for a mouth watering home cooked meal? Look no further than Ole 45 Eatery, located in Waynesboro at 222 Mississippi Drive. Ole 45 offers a variety of foods to leave you full and satisfied daily. They also provide catering and baking services. Present your Co-op Connections card and receive 10 percent off a school-age child’s plate.

A1 Graphics, Petal A1 Graphics is a one stop shop for all your screen-printing needs. They also offer embroidery and heat-press on jerseys. Along with friendly, quick service, you'll also find all your Petal athletics shirts as well as school uniforms. They specialize in custom orders and do all their graphics in house! Need a shirt, but don't have a design? Let them create one for you from scratch! Present your Co-op Connections card and receive 20 percent off your retail purchase. Discount excludes bulk orders.


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A principle to live by In late March, Dixie Electric partnered with Laurel Main Street to host Touch a Truck, so children could see and experience large vehicles, like bucket trucks, fire trucks, 18-wheelers, military vehicles and more. Touchstone Energy, Dixie Electric’s national branding partner, sent one of their hot air balloons to the Touch a Truck event. Children and families enjoyed balloon rides, which consisted of the balloon lifting about 30 to 40 feet off the ground. On Friday, April 5, 2019, Dixie Electric hosted the "Stuff a bucket truck" food drive at Walmart in Laurel. The drive, to collect non-perishable food items, benefited the Good Samaritan Center of Laurel, who is trying to end hunger in the local community. Volunteers from Dixie Electric, as well as the Good Samaritan Center,

were on hand to greet shoppers as they entered the store and provide them with information about the food drive. Items poured in from shoppers as well as local members of the community. The bucket truck filled very quickly! Due to the generosity shown that day, Dixie Electric was able to fill two truckloads of non-perishable food items and also collect seeds and vegetable plants for the Good Samaritan Center’s garden. Dixie Electric cares about the communities it serves. After all, Dixie Electric was built by the community, for the community. Feeding the community and educating children about large vehicles and the jobs associated with those trucks are examples of the employees and board of Dixie Electric living out the seventh Cooperative Principle, Concern for Community.

Above: Dixie Electric’s employees volunteered to collect non-perishable food items at the local Walmart. Two bucket trucks were filled with items that were donated. Right: The hot air balloon rides were a hit at Laurel’s Touch a Truck event.

How your local electric cooperatives are helping communities shine..

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The HGTV Hometown crew attended Laurel’s Touch a Truck event with their children. Touchstone Energy, Dixie Electric’s national branding partner, sent a hot air balloon to the event.

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East Mississippi Electric Power Association Louisville 662.773.5741

Meridian 601.581.8600

Quitman 601.776.6271

DeKalb 601.743.2641

“IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT.” A MESSAGE FROM YOUR CEO

In the famous Peanuts comic strip, Charles Schulz often used Snoopy as he prepared to write a new novel. Snoopy always began with, “It CEO Randy Carroll was a dark and stormy night.” On the evening of Saturday, April 13, it definitely was a dark and stormy night. My family and I were watching the Weather Channel hoping the storm system they were reporting as being severe would miss East Mississippi Electric Power Association’s system. I was also monitoring EMEPA’s outage management system on my iPad allowing me to see outages in real time. Early in the evening, we were making it without major damage with the exception of some scattered cases. Just before 10 p.m. however, that changed. The power lines on our outage map started turning red, indicating we were experiencing outages along Highway 25 north of Louisville. Within minutes, lines in Clarke County joined the Winston County outages. As the winds and rain at my home intensified, Lauderdale and Kemper counties began experiencing outages as well. By midnight, EMEPA was experiencing what we later learned was no less than five tornados in our service area. Through the years I have witnessed ice storms and hurricanes that impacted the entire system but typically, tornadoes are more localized. The Louisville tornado of 2014 caused major damage in the Winston County area; the tornados of 2011

damaged our system severely in Kemper County; and the tornado of 1992 damaged large portions of Lauderdale County. Tornados have impacted Clarke County over the years as well. Never before do I recall tornado damage from north of Louisville to south of Quitman and Pachuta in the southernmost part of our system and all the areas in between. So what do we do when so much of the distribution system has been damaged? Quite simply put, when Mother Nature blows it down, we put it back up. Once the weather calmed down enough to drive, I made my way to the dispatch center at our Highway 39 office in Meridian. As I came over the hill on Highway 39 and could see the office ahead, a broad smile came across my face. In the parking lot, I could already see headlights on the trucks as they began moving around the parking lot to gather the materials and tools needed for the work at hand. As I entered the building, employees were already scurrying about setting up assessment teams to survey the damage, assign the areas to crews and plan our response. Dispatchers were answering calls and making sure no immediate situations existed that would endanger our members or personnel. Additional employees arrived to provide the logistical support needed for materials and vehicles. Everyone knew their job and understood the work at hand. It would be challenging, wet, muddy and require extra caution to ensure a safe and efficient restoration of power to our communities.

Concern for community is one of the Seven Cooperative Principles by which we operate. On Tuesday, April 23, a group of EMEPA employees demonstrated this through volunteering to complete landscaping and lawn maintenance needs at Baptist Children's Village in Louisville.

At the peak of the night’s outages, 7,762 members were without power. Within 24 hours, all but 21 of these members’ power had been restored. Through the hard work and drive of our dedicated employees, we were successful in putting back up what Mother Nature knocked down. Then again on the afternoon of Thursday, April 18, which was ironically National Lineworker Appreciation Day, a second group of storms hit our system. The outage count that night reached 12,543. Our EMEPA team of responders began the work of restoring the system to normal for a second time within days of the first. With the same determination and focus, they cut trees, replaced broken poles and spliced downed lines. As the rain fell and the temperatures cooled, they continued all through the night. Thankfully, for both of these outages, our sister cooperatives sent help. Pearl River Valley Electric sent assistance during the first storm. North East Mississippi Electric Power Association and Natchez Trace Electric Power Association assisted with the second. Without their help, these outages would have been considerably longer. Most of all, I’d like to thank you, the members, for your patience during these outages as well as the EMEPA team for their determination and grit. To each member of the team, thank you from the bottom of my heart.


May 2019

ATale of April showers quickly escalated into a “Tale of Two Twisters” through East Mississippi Electric Power Association’s service area. On the evening of Saturday, April 13, EMEPA’s service area was struck with severe weather and devastating tornadoes stretching from north Winston County to south Clarke County. On Thursday, April 18, less than a week later, EMEPA’s service area was

struck with a second round of severe weather with the most severe damage concentrated in Winston and Kemper counties. Crews worked all-nighters following both events to clear debris, repair damage and restore power as quickly as possible to every member that could safely receive power. When the storm was over and lights began to come back on, EMEPA

Outages, by the numbers: SATURDAY, APRIL 13

TOTAL METERS OUT – 7,762 Winston – 301 • Kemper – 1,894 Lauderdale – 2,821 • Clarke – 2,746 BROKEN POLES AND CROSSARMS – 54 Winston – 11 • Kemper – 19 Lauderdale – 1 • Clarke – 23

THURSDAY, APRIL 18

TOTAL METERS OUT – 12,543 Winston – 9,229 • Kemper – 2,816 Lauderdale – 191 • Clarke – 307 BROKEN POLES AND CROSSARMS - 23 Winston – 19 • Kemper – 4

Cooperation among cooperatives is one of our operating principles; and during major power outages, we are grateful for the assistance of other electric cooperatives from around the state. Crews from Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association, North East Mississippi Electric Power Association and Natchez Trace Electric Power Association assisted EMEPA storm restoration crews. Thank you to all who offered support in helping our community recover.

received notes of thanks and encouraging words from many in the community. As frustrating as it is to be without electricity, we witnessed patience, understanding and cooperation from you, our members. And we were once again reminded that we don’t just serve the community, we are part of the community.

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EMEPA hosts

6TH ANNUAL

SHOOT FOR A

CURE

A record setting number of 77 teams gathered at Camp Binachi in Lauderdale County on Thursday, March 28, for East Mississippi Electric Power Association’s 6th Annual Shoot For A Cure event. Through this annual clay-shooting event, EMEPA employees and supporters ra more than $22,000 to help fund research and patient support progra the countless people battling cancer. For the past three years, EMEPA employees have been recognize Relay For Life of Lauderdale County’s top fundraising team raising m $20,000 each year. In addition to raising needed funds for the America Society, this year, a portion of money raised will also go to directly bene patients in our local communities through the Anderson Cancer Center Patient Benevolence Fund. “Though we fully support the American Cancer Society in their efforts money to fund research to find a cure for cancer, we also want to sho support to the friends and neighbors in our community battling terrible disease,” said EMEPA Chief Executive Officer Randy Carr “By donating a portion of the funds raised to both Relay For Life and the Cancer Patient Benevolence Fund, we are able to support both.”

THANK YOU TO OUR 6TH ANNUAL SHOOT FOR A CURE SPONSORS: A&B Electric Company, Inc. Altec ASSET Engineering Benefits Management Group, Inc. Citizens National Bank CoBank Cornerstone Dental Care D&H Construction Deanco Delta Directional Drilling Ed Chaney Tire Pros EMEPA Board of Directors Fulton’s Line Service Futura Systems Garner Lumley Electric Supply Co. Inc.

Gresco Heblon Heating & Air Conditioning Howard Industries Irby Jeffery Wilson State Farm Landis+Gyr Meridian Coca-Cola Mississippi Food Service Mississippi Power Mississippi-Tennessee Transformers Inc. Osmose Piggly Wiggly of Collinsville Power Grid Supply Prime Developers Inc. Rock House

SEDC Slay Steel, Inc Southern Bus Southern Tire Storm Service T&Z Hydraulic Tad Campbel The Trading P Thomasson C TransArmour Waters Intern Wilson & Bigg Woodall Elect X-Treme Truc

Thank you Thomas Gun and Pawn in Meridian for donating a Ruger LCPs 9mm handgun and Rock House Gu

for donating a Remington 870 7-round, 12-gauge Tactical shotgun raffled at Lauderdale County’s Relay For


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Safety tips that can

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SAVE YOUR LIFE East Mississippi Electric Power Associations’ top priority is always to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy to our members. Your well-being and that of the larger communities we serve are of paramount concern. The month of May not only means spring storms and potentially severe weather, it also heralds the beginning of the celebration season for many high school students, especially seniors. Proms, graduation parties and other social gatherings are often associated with this time of year. While we naturally focus on the sunny aspects this season brings, we also sometimes hear about preventable tragedies involving young people and car accidents. This brings us to the topic at hand: electrical safety. Does your teen or loved one know what to do in the event of a collision with a utility pole resulting in a downed power line? Do your loved ones know what to do if they come upon an accident with a downed power line? This month, we’d like to share a few safety tips that we hope you never have to use. But if you do, they could save a life.

Life-saving tips

If your car collides with a utility pole, the vehicle may be charged with electricity. Anyone exiting the car could come in contact with thousands of volts of electricity from the downed line. In essence, when you step out of the car, you become part of the electricity’s path to the ground and could be electrocuted. It’s critical to stay in the vehicle and tell others to do the same until emergency crews have told you it’s safe to exit the car. If the vehicle is on fire or you must exit for other safety reasons, jump clear of the vehicle. Do not let any part of your body or clothing touch the vehicle and ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and shuffle away (in small steps with your feet still together) to avoid electric shock. Keep moving away until you are at least 40 feet from the vehicle.

Tipof the MONTH Avoid placing items like lamps and televisions near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the A/C to run longer than necessary.

If you come upon a car accident involving a utility pole and downed power lines, keep your distance. A downed power line can energize the ground up to 35 feet away. While your natural instinct may be to rush to the car to help, instead pause. Do not approach the car or scene of the accident. Tell others to stay away. While you may be concerned about injuries to those involved, the best action you can take is to alert emergency officials, who will in turn coordinate with the power provider. For the same reasons described above, never drive over a downed power line or through water that is touching a downed power line. If you have a downed power line on your property as a result of a fallen tree, storm or other circumstance, do not go near the power line. Assume that the downed line is energized and dangerous. Never try to move the power line even if you think it’s not energized or if you are using a non-conductive material. We recognize that you may be anxious to clear your property of tree limbs or other debris near the downed line, but please wait until after an electric cooperative crew or emergency officials have confirmed that it is safe to do so.

Source: energy.gov

May is Electrical Safety Month

May is a time where we are even more mindful of safety because it is Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. We know first-hand how dangerous electricity is because Mississippi’s electric cooperatives work with it all day, every day. Safety is more than a catch phrase. We view it as our duty and responsibility to keep cooperative employees safe and to help keep our communities safe. Contact us for additional electrical safety tips. It is no accident that safety is our top priority.

Our business office will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. Dispatchers will remain on duty and crews will be on call throughout the holiday weekend.

May is Electrical Safety Month. Safety starts with YOU!

#

#ElectricalSafetyMonth

Visit emepa.com/outage-map/ to report an outage or call your local EMEPA office.


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Safety starts with YOU! Tips for spotting potential electrical hazards in your home Electricity plays many roles in our lives, from powering baby monitors, cell phones and lighting, to running HVAC systems and appliances. No wonder we get so comfortable with its instant availability that when we flip a switch, we expect most systems or devices to do the job. May is National Electrical Safety Month, and here at East Mississippi Electric Power Association, we think it’s a great time to look around your home and check for potential safety hazards.

Remember, every electrical device has a purpose and a service lifespan. While we can extend their operations with maintenance and care, none of them are designed to last or work forever. When electricity is involved, failures can present electrical hazards that might be avoided with periodic inspections.

Ground fault circuit interrupters Outdoor outlets or those in potentially damp locations in a

kitchen, bathroom or laundry room often include GFCI features. They are designed to sense abnormal current flows, breaking the circuit to prevent potential electric shocks from devices plugged into the outlets. The average GFCI outlet is designed to last about 10 years, but in areas prone to electrical

Don’t waste. Insulate! Properly insulating your home reduces heating and cooling costs, and improves comfort. R-values measure a material’s resistance to conductive heat flow. The higher the R-value rating, the greater the efffectiveness fectiveness of the insulation. Below are recommended R-values for areas of the home that should be insulated.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy

TYPES OF INSULA AT TION Batt Foam Slab

Crawlsspace

DUCTWORK

EXTERIOR WA WALLS

Whether it’s made of metal or plastic (PVC), insulated ductwork protects your investment in conditioned air year-round. Minimal R-values of 4.3 are recommended for blanket-style wraps secured with tape. Insulated ductwork rated at R-6 is also available.

There are multiple options for insulating exterior walls. Rock wool or fiberglass batts of R-13 to R-20 value are preferred behind drywall, but each inch of blown-in polyurethane foam insulation provides an R-value of 3.9.

BENEA ATH TH LIVING SP PA ACE Whether your home has a full basement, a crawlspace or an attached garage, having an insulation value of R-19 under the living space floor will help increase comfort year-round.

Loose or damaged outlets or switches Unstable electrical outlets or wall switches with signs of heat damage or discoloration can offer early warnings of potential shock or electrical fire hazards. Loose connections can allow electrical current arcing. If you see these warning signs, it may be time to contact an electrician.

Surge protectors

*Recommendations on R-values are subject to regional climate conditions.

Blow-in

storms or power surges, they can wear out in five years or less. Check them frequently by pressing the red test button. Make sure you hit the black reset button when you are done. Contact a licensed electrician to replace any failing GFCI outlets.

SLAB FOUNDA AT TION Properly installed foam boards around the exterior edge of the slab of an existing home can reduce heating bills by 10 percent or more.

Power strips with surge protectors can help safeguard expensive equipment like televisions, home entertainment systems and computer components from power spikes. Voltage spikes are measured in joules, and surge protectors are rated for the number of joules they can effectively absorb. That means if your surge protector is rated at 1,000 joules, it should be replaced when it hits or passes that limit. When the limit is reached, protection stops, and you’re left with a basic power strip. Some surge protectors include indicator lights that flicker to warn you when they’ve stopped working as designed, but many do not. If your electrical system takes a major hit, or if you don’t remember when you bought your surge protector, replacement may be the best option.

Extension cords If you use extension cords regularly to connect devices and equipment to your wall outlets, you may live in an underwired home. With a growing number of electrical devices connecting your family to the electricity you get from EMEPA, having enough outlets in just the right spots can be challenging. Remember, extension cords are designed for temporary, occasional or periodic use. If an extension cord gets noticeably warm when in use, it could be undersized for the intended use. If it shows any signs of frayed, cracked or heatdamaged insulation, it should be replaced. If the grounding prong is missing, crimped or loose, a grounded cord will not provide the protection designed into its performance. And always make sure that extension cords used in outdoor or potentially damp locations are rated for exterior use. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 51,000 electrical fires are reported each year in the United States, causing more than $1.3 billion in annual property damage. Electricity is an essential necessity for modern living, and EMEPA is committed to providing safe, reliable and affordable power to all of our members. We hope you’ll keep these electrical safety tips in mind so that you can note any potential hazards before damage occurs.


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www.4county.org • 1-800-431-1544

Board of Directors John E. “Jay” Gilliland Jr., President • Mike Banks, Secretary/Treasurer • Ernest H. “Bud” Tumlinson

Johnny Johnson, Vice President Bill Bell • Kenneth Seitz • Marty Crowder

YOUR COOPERATIVE

HERE’S AN IDEA

By Brian Clark, CEO/General Manager

Thank you is not enough! Celebrating electric safety this month Here at 4-County Electric Power Association, we celebrated April as Lineman Appreciation Month. That’s pretty timely considering the storms that swept through our service area last month. As a matter of fact, we celebrate our linemen, employees, directors and members throughout the year. Our linemen, and everyone else working under the 4-County banner, responded to the call to restore power. We responded safely, efficiently and in a timely manner. It’s what we do. And we are honored to do it for you, the 4-County member. Thank you for your prayers, your calls of support, your show of support, your kind notes, your patience and the generous acts of appreciation you showed to our employees as they took on power restoration efforts. You are the best! It does not go unnoticed. When the power is out, it multiplies our appreciation for this luxury that we have all come to take for granted. Electricity plays many roles in our lives, from powering baby monitors, cell phones and lighting, to running HVAC systems and appliances. No wonder we get so comfortable with its instant availability that when we flip a switch, we expect most systems or devices to do the job. May is National Electrical Safety Month, and here at 4-County Electric Power Association, we think it’s a great time to look around your home and check for potential safety hazards. Remember, every electrical device has a purpose and a service lifespan. While we can extend their operations with maintenance and care, none of them are designed to last or work forever. When electricity is involved, failures can present electrical hazards that might be avoided with periodic

inspections. For household items, follow the recommended safety protocols listed by the manufacturers. If an extension cord gets noticeably warm when in use, it could be undersized for the intended use. If it shows any signs of frayed, cracked or heat-damaged insulation, it should be replaced. If the grounding prong is missing, crimped or loose, a grounded cord will not provide the protection designed into its performance. And always make sure that extension cords used in outdoor or potentially damp locations are rated for exterior use. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 51,000 electrical fires are reported each year in the United States, causing more than $1.3 billion in annual property damage. Electricity is an essential necessity for modern Brian Clark living, and 4-County is committed to providing safe, reliable and affordable power to all of our members. We hope you’ll keep these electrical safety tips in mind so that you can note any potential hazards before damage occurs.

Efficiency tips for outdoor shops and barns There are many benefits to having an energy efficient outdoor shop or barn. Aside from saving energy, an efficient outdoor building can keep the environment around your structure healthy and safe; save money on your water bill; keep your animals happier and healthier; and save you from costly structural repairs. Whether you are looking to build a new structure or make changes to an existing one, there are many ways you can make your outdoor shop or barn more energy efficient. Are you planning to build a new structure on your property? Follow these tips to achieve energy efficiency: • Location matters. If possible, carefully consider where you build your shop or barn. Consider drainage, sun exposure and how the building may affect your neighbors. • Start with a sustainable design plan. A sustainable design plan, according to the U.S. General Services Administration, includes the ability to use environmentally preferable products; protect and conserve water; enhance indoor environmental quality; and optimize operational and maintenance practices. • If you are hiring a contractor to help build your structure, make sure you look for companies who specialize in energy efficient practices. Choose efficient building methods. Pole barns offer reliable shelter without costly excavation, concrete foundations or general site disruption. Follow these tips to make energy efficient upgrades to an existing structure: • Replace indoor lighting with energy efficient LED bulbs. • Ensure your existing structure has adequate insulation levels. • Choose outdoor lighting designed to be energy efficient, and install motion detectors to reduce energy consumption when not in use. • Plant trees around your metal shed or barn. In colder climates, trees act as a windbreak; and in warmer climates, trees have a natural cooling effect that can reduce temperatures in your metal building 3 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit. • Consider adding a ceiling fan to circulate air. Typically, there is a 2 degree Fahrenheit temperature increase for every one-foot increase in ceiling height. A ceiling fan can help keep warm air close to the ground in the winter, and circulate fresher, cooler air in the summer.

Co-op Connections Card saves Since the Co-op Connections Card was unveiled in September 2011, 4-County members have saved over $714,900 on prescription drugs through March. Look here each month to see the savings total!


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ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING set for June 6 The 4-County Electric Power Association annual membership meeting will be held Thursday, June 6, at the East Mississippi Community College (EMCC) auditorium in Mayhew. Registration and a health fair will begin at 9 a.m. Lunch for members will be at 10:15 a.m. The business portion of the meeting will be held at noon. Held in conjunction with the annual meeting, the health fair will provide consumers the opportunity to receive healthcare screenings from a variety of vendors. In addition to the pre-meeting health fair, the business session will include financial and management reports along with the election of two directors to the Association’s board of directors. Incumbent directors who up for reelection are Johnny Johnson of Columbus for District 1, Lowndes County; and Marty Crowder of Ackerman for District 5, Choctaw and Winston counties. The current board members’ names were placed in nomination by the Association’s nominating committee at its March 12 meeting. No petitions for nomination for additional candidates were recieved. In accordance with the Association’s bylaws, the candidates’ names were placed in nomination for election to three-year terms, beginning June 6 at the

Johnny Johnson

Marty Crowder

cooperative’s annual membership meeting. Ballot/proxies will be mailed by May 7 to all 4-County members. Members will also have the opportunity to vote online. The deadline for returning ballot/proxies is noon, May 31, six days prior to the annual membership meeting, June 6, at noon. Cooperative members also have the option to go online to cast votes for board of directors. Online

voting works just like the paper ballot members receive in the mail every year; but instead of using the mail, members can cast their votes via the Internet. When the annual meeting notice and ballot arrives at member homes this month, it will include instructions on how to cast a vote online instead of returning a paper ballot. The online voting option features easyto-use instructions and candidate biographies, and it has the option to alert members when their votes have been successfully submitted for counting. Members may receive an election reminder by e-mail. Members returning their proxy/ballots, as well as those who attend the meeting, may qualify to win valuable prizes. Those returning their proxy/ballots (by mail, proxy or online voting) may qualify to win one of three credits for electricity. Those attending the meeting may qualify for the grand prize, a retired 4-County fleet pickup truck. Other attendee prizes include weather radios and a variety of other prizes. Attendees of this year’s annual meeting can also enjoy a variety of displays. Employees will be on hand to provide information. For more information on the 4-County annual meeting, call 1-800-431-1544 and ask for the marketing department.

Statement of Nondiscrimination

Annual meeting CHECKLIST Going to attend this year’s annual meeting? Here are a few things to know so you can take part in all the activities:

• Before June 6, make sure you are listed as a member on your account. That way you’ll be eligible for the prizes, including the truck, and the health fair. Just contact our call center at 1-800-431-1544 and they can help you. • If you are planning to get your cholesterol level checked at the health fair, DO NOT EAT BEFORE THE MEETING! The cholesterol test won’t work if you haven’t fasted. We’ll have a delicious catfish lunch for you to enjoy after you get done. Other than that, come on out and celebrate 80 years of power with us!

4-County Electric Power Association complies with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended; and the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which provide that no person in the United States on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or handicap shall be excluded from participation in, admission or access to, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any of this organization’s programs or activities. The person responsible for coordinating this organization’s nondiscrimination compliance efforts is Brian Davis, manager of human resources and training. Any individual, or specific class of individuals, who feels that this organization has subjected them to discrimination may obtain further information about the statutes and regulations listed above from Brian and/or file a written complaint with this organization to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Washington, D.C., 20250. Complaints may be filed within 180 days after the alleged discrimination. Confidentiality will be maintained to the fullest extent possible.


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l i r p A s i Th

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Straight-line winds,

tornadoes and torrential rain... April had it all, and more, for 4-County Electric Power Association as the cooperative battled the elements and restored power throughout the month. Two separate storm events, happening only days from each other, hit the cooperative in mid-April. The first of these events was a three-headed storm (one a confirmed tornado and two thunderstorm systems) that swept through Clay, Choctaw and Oktibbeha counties on Saturday, April 13. At the height of this storm event, about 1,500 members were without power. In its wake, this initial storm event left 10 broken poles and downed line throughout the affected area. Crews from 4-County Electric Power Association wrapped up their storm restoration efforts Monday, April 15. Most of the worst damage was in in the Craig Springs area in southwest Oktibbeha County and the Hillbrook neighborhood off Oktoc Road, just east of Mississippi State University.

The second event happened Thursday, April 18 as straight-line winds and heavy rain swept throughout the area, causing widespread outages throughout the cooperative’s service area. Hardest hit was Noxubee and Lowndes counties. At the height of this storm, about 7,500 members were without power. There were about 30 broken poles and a substantial amount of downed line. Crews began wrapping up restoration efforts Saturday, April 20. 4-County CEO Brian Clark applauded the efforts of all involved in the storm restoration efforts. “Our employees worked long hours, day and night, and battled the rain, mud and muck to get the lights back on,” Clark said. “That’s the cooperative way, and that’s the 4-County way. Our crews rose to the challenge. That’s what we do.”

“Our employees

worked long hours, day and night, and battled the rain, mud and muck to get the lights back on. That’s the cooperative way, and that’s the 4-County way.”

– Brian Clark, CEO


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From left, Tricia Gillon, Pam Simpson and John Staszefski can be found quite often at the Broken Wings offices.

DREAMS

ministries, inc.

MENDS BROKEN

It only takes a few volunteers and a little faith to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ, according to officials with Broken Wings Ministries in Ackerman. The organization works primarily with Choctaw County residents, serving the community with Job Corps programs, GED classes, a food pantry and a thrift store. “This is a way we can serve our community,” said Broken Wings Office Manager/GED Instructor Tricia Gillon. The ministry, located in a 5,000-squarefoot building at 168 Jailhouse Road, relies solely on the assistance of volunteers and donations from businesses, individuals and churches. “Without the skills, generosity and time given by our volunteers, there could be no Broken Wings Ministries,” Gillon said. John Staszefski serves as director of the non-profit ministry. “It’s a great ministry,” he said, describing the organization as “a real light for our community.” Two area ministers who were determined to see God’s directive put into reality, Staszefski said, founded Broken Wings in 1997. Broken Wings’ mission statement describes the organization as an interfaithbased organization dedicated to helping people go from poverty to self-sufficiency by assisting with a hand up, not just a hand out. The Choctaw County Food Pantry, housed in the Broken Wings building, serves the residents of Choctaw County by providing emergency food assistance by referral only, officials said. Applications are taken during normal business hours on Wednesdays, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The food pantry is governed by the Choctaw County Baptist

Association. The thrift store is designed to help families or individuals who need clothing in emergency situations. It also operates as a secondhand store whose funds go back into the ministry. Donations of clothing, books, furniture, electronics, household items, paper products and food are accepted Tuesdays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon. Those interested in the Christian Women’s Job Corps and the Christian Men’s Job Corps can find out more information about those programs from Broken Wings officials. A few years ago, the Christian Women’s Job Corps was the recipient of a 4-County Foundation grant that enabled them to purchase a conference table and a few other furniture items. “The grant was invaluable for our classroom setting,” said Pam Simpson, the Christian Women’s Job Corps site coordinator. Staszefski is at the office Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon to 4:30 p.m., available for counseling and emergency utility assistance. For more information on the Broken Wings Ministries, call 662-285-9133 or 662-285-3060. “Whether you shop, donate, volunteer or pray for the workers and clients who utilize Broken Wings, you are making a difference,” Staszefski said.

Broken Wings Ministries Thrift Store Manager Kim Stephenson takes care of business at the Ackerman organization.

Bobby Latham, left, and Calvin Jones, right, are volunteers for the non-profit food pantry.


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Linemen saluted as modern-day heroes Kilgore not looking for job, found a career Corey Kilgore wasn’t looking for a job. He was looking for a career. “I found it,” Corey said of his position at 4-County Electric Power Association. When he graduated high school, Corey was a little unsure of his career path. Eventually, he followed his heart and the footsteps of his grandfather, a well-known 4-County retiree. He graduated from East Mississippi Community College’s Lineman program. And after a short stint as a lineman for B&B Electric, he found his way home to 4-County (where his grandfather, Dale, logged a 40-year career – advancing from mechanic’s helper to general manager). “He was a very positive influence,” Corey said of Dale. “Grandpa was more of a father figure to me. It’s one of those things. I wanted to be like him.” Corey joined the cooperative in November 2017. He is an apprentice lineman 3, working on Brian Glusenkamp’s Corporate Center crew. “Being a lineman is a brotherhood like no other,” he said. “We take care of one another. We watch out for each other. No life is more important than any

other. We all need to go home safe.” What does he enjoy best about being a lineman? “There’s something new to learn every day,” Corey said. “There’s never a dull moment.” Dull moments were few and far between in April, as storms swept through the 4-County service area. “It definitely gets the adrenaline going,” Corey said of power restoration work. “There’s no better feeling than knowing you’re helping someone.” He also enjoys the cooperative’s construction efforts, seeing a project develop from the ground up. “That’s a feeling of accomplishment, and it’s also a reflection of the top-notch equipment and technology we have access to,” Corey said. When not at work, Corey enjoys fishing, duck hunting and hanging out with family and friends. He also spends time in his shop. “I like tinkering,” he said of working on tractors, fourwheelers and vehicles. Corey is a member of Woodland Baptist Church in Columbus. Family is important to Corey – his home family and his work family. “It’s an awesome place to work,” he said of 4-County. “The people are great. They take care of you.”

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The lineman. Much like the postman, this rural electric cooperative stalwart braves rain, sleet and snow to make sure the lights shine bright in our homes, churches and businesses. 4-County Electric Power Association saluted its linemen and those across the country in April. These brave men are the backbone of the rural electric cooperative industry. In early April, the cooperative offered them a much-deserved pat on the back and a full belly as they were treated to a steak lunch with all the trimmings. “This was just a small way to say thank you to our dedicated linemen,” said 4-County CEO Brian Clark. “I think the way they responded to the storms that swept through our cooperative in April is an insight into just how valuable they are to our members. So, if you get a chance, thank a lineman today.”

Harris earns SCADA certification 4-County Electric Power Association veteran employee Kimyata Harris has recently completed requirements to become a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) dispatcher. Kimyata passed the comprehensive exam in March. “I was over the moon excited that I passed it,” she said. “It’s a real sense of accomplishment.” What is SCADA? It is a system/systems that have traditionally played a vital role by providing utilities with valuable knowledge and capabilities that are key to a primary business function – delivering power in a reliable and safe manner. A quality SCADA solution is central to the effective operation of a utility's most critical and costly distribution, transmission and generation assets. A modern SCADA system is also a strategic investment, which is a must-have for utilities of all sizes facing the challenges of the competitive market and increased levels of real-time data exchange that comes with it. A well planned and implemented SCADA system not only helps utilities deliver power reliably and safely to their customers but also helps to lower costs and achieve higher customer satisfaction and retention. As a SCADA dispatcher, Kimyata is certified to operate the system when called upon – under the direction of qualified personnel. Kimyata said she received encouragement from system engineer and SCADA administrator Jacob Fulper and system operator Ronald Ward (both certified SCADA operators). “I just wanted to grow a little.” Congratulations, Kimyata!


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MEP HOLDS 2019

Magnolia Electric Power (MEP) members gathered in the company’s auditorium on March 28 at the headquarters in Summit, and three incumbent directors were re-elected to their posts. The 2019 Magnolia Electric Power Annual Meeting was a time of celebrating the company’s 80th year. Lincoln County band, The Bridge Band, entertained the crowd with gospel music prior to the business meeting, which is a part of the Annual Meeting. Members of the band include: Tyler Bridge, Nick Bridge, Ron Donegan and Shelley Smith. During the business meeting, Jerry Sisco of Lincoln County, Carl Fuller of Pike County and Odell McKenzie of Walthall County were re-elected to three-year terms on the board of directors. This election was directed by the board attorney, Reggie Jones. As part of the business meeting, Auditor Mark Biggs informed the crowd that MEP remains in sound financial condition, and MEP’s General Manager Darrell Smith gave his Annual Meeting report. Smith stated that the purpose of his report is to keep the members apprised of the financial condition of the cooperative and the improvements made since the last meeting. He also described the plans for the year ahead to keep MEP a reliable and efficient source of their electrical needs. “In 2018, we spent approximately $5.3 million to improve and maintain the reliability of our electrical grid, Smith said. “The number of meters served by MEP in 2018 increased by 125 from the previous year, bringing us to 31,779 meters served. We sold 655,690,934 kwh in 2018, a gain of 49.5 million kwh from 2017.” “Also at the end of 2018, your board

ANNUAL MEETING of directors authorized the return to the membership of just over $2.8 million in capital credits. Since 1960, Magnolia has returned to our members $46,973,535 in capital credits,” Smith said. Other information Smith shared with the members who attended included: • Eight hundred miles of the overhead primary line were trimmed at Friendship, East McComb and parts of our Arlington substations. • Crews cut numerous work orders and copper change outs on projects across our system area. • Herbicide was applied to the floor of our Norfield, East Lincoln and Brookhaven substations. The areas west of I-55 were sprayed around guy lines and poles where vines and vegetation were growing. • Bushogging was completed in the Gillsburg, Progress, Liberty and Smithdale substations consisting of 1,100 miles of line. • In addition, MEP worked over 700 tickets, which consisted of call-ins from members requesting tree removal, dead trees and secondary trim outs. Smith announced that in 2019, “We will be trimming in the Arlington, Smithdale and Gillsburg substations and applying herbicide to the floor of Friendship, East McComb and Arlington substations.” Storm mutual aid Smith briefly discussed how MEP sent crews to aid a Florida electric cooperative. “MEP was fortunate in 2018 and suffered no severe weather damage,” he said. “We did, however, send aid to West Florida Cooperative, which is located on the Florida panhandle where Hurricane Michael came ashore. MEP sent a total of 16 linemen who were

rotated by swapping out, from October 11 through November 3.” The school-age students in our service area are important to us and “since our last Annual Meeting, we held our “Safety around Power Lines” program at nine schools in our service area reaching 614 fifth-grade students,” Smith said. “Our Manager of Safety and Loss Control Skipper Anderson also made the presentation to two fire departments with 31 firefighters in attendance and one Cub Scout group with 15 scouts, four Cub Scout leaders and 12 parents present. Our youth leadership program was

Joann Holmes holds up a Magnolia Electric Power Association newspaper clipping from the 1968 Annual Meeting that she donated to MEP at our 80th Annual Meeting. Mrs. Holmes said her mother, Mrs. Harold Moak, had clipped this article back in 1968 because she had attended the meeting and won an iron in the drawing. This 51-year-old clipping will make a nice addition to our MEP memorabilia.

continued in 2018, and four students were selected to take part. They are: Abby Burris, Parklane High School; Carley Craig, Brookhaven High School; Amia Miller, South Pike High School; and Baleigh Brumfield, North Pike High School. In conclusion, Smith spoke for a moment on the recent Broadband

legislation that was signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant in January 2019. Smith explained, “The law was effective upon its signing in January of 2019, but the law is not a mandate. Magnolia has conducted a feasibility test and a survey of our membership. The feasibility study reflected a total cost to install fiber optic cable over our system of $100 million. The survey results reflected a low interest in membership subscriptions to our broadband service by our members.” Smith further explained, “The law prohibits putting the electric distribution company at financial risk. However, Magnolia will continue discussions with communication companies for a partnership, explore grant opportunities and look into further surveys of our membership concerning broadband; but at the same time, protect our distribution company by seeking a successful business plan that would garner the support of the full membership.” Before the Annual Meeting was dismissed, winners’ names for door prizes were drawn for those in attendance. Scott Eldred won $500 worth of electricity in the prize designed to encourage attendance at the meeting. Additional $50 credits for electricity were also awarded. Those winners were: Milt Burris, James Laird, David Moak, William Pope and Samuel L. Quin. Prior to the meeting starting, winners from those who sent in proxies were drawn. The proxy winners, who have been notified by mail, include: $500, Eddie L. Brooks; $50, Glen W. Brooks, Lyle Brumfield, Paul Fenn, Carroll Moak and W.B. Sasser. MEP is an electric cooperative and holds an Annual Meeting for its members. Members participate by either returning their proxy or attending the meeting.


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MEP’s General Manager Darrell Smith (center) presented certificates to the winners of electricity that attended the 2019 Annual Meeting. The winners are (from left) William Pope, David Moak, Joy Laird, Darrell Smith, Scott Eldred, who won the $500 prize; Samuel Quin and Milt Burris. Pope, Moak, Laird, Quin and Burris all won $50 of electricity.

A large number of MEP members attended the 2019 Annual Meeting held this year at the office, located at 3027 Highway 98 West, Summit.

The Bridge Band entertained the crowd with gospel music at the 2019 Magnolia Electric Power Annual Meeting.

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Tylertown teen creates By Elissa Fulton

Above: Trevor created this bow for his father. He modeled it after the one the ficticious devil may have used in the popular song, “The Devil went Down to Georgia,� by The Charlie Daniels Band. Right: Metal yard art, like this flamingo he made for his mom, is also a hobby for Trevor.

Trevor created his own logo which is made to incorporate the letters T and a J for his name as well as a cross.

Trevor is pictured himself with the h


May 2019

success from hobby

working in his shop which he built help of his parents.

Photo provided by Trevor Jenkinson.

Trevor is pictured at his home in Tylertown with his father Donald Jenkinson.

Trevor explains how he uses belts to sand the handles for his knives.



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WALTHALL COUNTY

Saturday, June 1 beginning at 8:00 a.m. • Holmes Water Park, Magee’s Creek in Tylertown

nd fun a d o fo s, r o d en v , es m Ga ! for the whole family • Butter churning contest • Dairy Festival Queen pageant • Bake-off • Pedal pull • Sack races • Turtle races • Bubble gum blowing • Mooing contest • Firework display • Free kiddie train rides • Petting zoo • Cream Pitcher Fun Farm • Antique engines and tractor show • Ham radio demonstrations • Arts and crafts vendors • Food concessions • Street rods and vintage cars • Guess the cow’s weight • Commercial displays • Political booths • Chainsaw art by Mike Hobgood • Spinning wheel demonstration • Free dairy samples

• Tylertown Police and Walthall Sheriff’s Office will be on hand for traffic control and parking. • Limited parking is available inside the park, but Southwest Events Center is the preferred area – easy in and easy out – with direct walking access to the festival grounds. • No private tents can be pitched on the main festival grounds; however, families and individuals may use a set-aside area to the west side of the road, right after entering the park grounds, bordering Magee’s Creek near the observation deck. You’ll still be within walking distance of everything in the park. • No pets are allowed at the festival – no dogs, cats or pets of any type, with the exception, of course, of service animals.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:

DELTA BREEZE HOT AIR BALLOONS, WALTHALL HOMEMAKERS VOLUNTEERS, TRUSTMARK BANK, WALTHALL GENERAL HOSPITAL, SUNSHINE EQUIPMENT, STATE FARM, FARM BUREAU, PIKE NATIONAL BANK, ROTARY CLUB, KALENCOM, CITIZEN’S BANK, MAC’S USED CARS, LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS AND WALTHALL LIVESTOCK ASSOCIATION, TYLERTOWN FIRE DEPARTMENT, SOUTHLAND TRUCKING, TYLERTOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT AND WALTHALL SHERIFF’S OFFICE.

FREE HOT BALLOON AIR RIDES


May 2019



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Providing affordable, reliable electricity to our members since 1936.

MONROE COUNTY ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATION

Safety tips that can save your life Tip of the Avoid placing items like lamps and televisions Monroe County Electric Power Associations’ top priority is always to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy to our members. Your well-being and that of the larger communities we serve are of paramount concern. The month of May not only means spring storms and potentially severe weather, it also heralds the beginning of the celebration season for many high school students, especially seniors. Proms, graduation parties and other social gatherings are often associated with this time of year. While we naturally focus on the sunny aspects this season brings, we also sometimes hear about preventable tragedies involving young people and car accidents. This brings us to the topic at hand: electrical safety. Does your teen or loved one know what to do in the event of a collision with a utility pole resulting in a downed power line? Do your loved ones know what to do if they come upon an accident with a downed power line? This month, we’d like to share a few safety tips that we hope you never have to use. But if you do, they could save a life.

• Life-saving tips If your car collides with a utility pole, the vehicle may be charged with electricity. Anyone exiting the car could come in contact with thousands of volts of electricity from the downed line. In essence, when you step out of the car, you become part of the electricity’s path to the ground and could be electrocuted. It’s critical to stay in the vehicle and tell others to do the same until emergency crews have told you it’s safe to exit the car. If the vehicle is on fire or you must exit for other safety reasons, jump clear of the vehicle. Do not let any part of your body or clothing touch the vehicle and ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and shuffle away (in small steps with your feet still together) to avoid electric shock. Keep moving away until you are at least 40 feet from the vehicle. If you come upon a car accident involving a utility

pole and downed power lines, keep your distance. A downed power line can energize the ground up to 35 feet away. While your natural instinct may be to rush to the car to help, instead pause. Do not approach the car or scene of the accident. Tell others to stay away. While you may be concerned about injuries to those involved, the best action you can take is to alert emergency officials, who will in turn coordinate with the power provider. For the same reasons described above, never drive over a downed power line or through water that is touching a downed power line. If you have a downed power line on your property as a result of a fallen tree, storm or other circumstance, do not go near the power line. Assume that the downed line is energized and dangerous. Never try to move the power line even if you think it’s not energized or if you are using a non-conductive material. We recognize that you may be anxious to clear your property of tree limbs or other debris near the downed line, but please wait until after an electric cooperative crew or emergency officials have confirmed that it is safe to do so.

Month

near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the A/C to run longer than necessary. Source: energy.gov

• May is Electrical Safety Month May is a time where we are even more mindful of safety because it is Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. We know first-hand how dangerous electricity is because Mississippi’s electric cooperatives work with it all day, every day. Safety is more than a catch phrase. We view it as our duty and responsibility to keep cooperative employees safe and to help keep our communities safe. Contact your us for additional electrical safety tips. It is no accident that safety is our top priority.

Our business office will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. Dispatchers will remain on duty and crews will be on call throughout the holiday weekend.

Call 662-256-2962 to report an outage.

May is Electrical Safety Month. Safety starts with YOU!

#

#ElectricalSafetyMonth


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Safety starts with YOU! Tips for spotting potential electrical hazards in your home Electricity plays many roles in our lives, from powering baby monitors, cell phones and lighting, to running HVAC systems and appliances. No wonder we get so comfortable with its instant availability that when we flip a switch, we expect most systems or devices to do the job. May is National Electrical Safety Month, and here at Monroe County Electric Power Association, we think it’s a great time to look around your home and check for potential safety hazards.

Remember, every electrical device has a purpose and a service lifespan. While we can extend their operations with maintenance and care, none of them are designed to last or work forever. When electricity is involved, failures can present electrical hazards that might be avoided with periodic inspections.

Ground fault circuit interrupters Outdoor outlets or those in potentially damp locations in a

kitchen, bathroom or laundry room often include GFCI features. They are designed to sense abnormal current flows, breaking the circuit to prevent potential electric shocks from devices plugged into the outlets. The average GFCI outlet is designed to last about 10 years, but in areas prone to electrical

Don’t waste. Insulate! Properly insulating your home reduces heating and cooling costs, and improves comfort. R-values measure a material’s resistance to conductive heat flow. The higher the R-value rating, the greater the efffectiveness fectiveness of the insulation. Below are recommended R-values for areas of the home that should be insulated. *Recommendations on R-values are subject to regional climate conditions. Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy

TYPES OF INSULA AT TION Batt Foam Blow-in

Slab

Crawlsspace

DUCTWORK

EXTERIOR WA WALLS

Whether it’s made of metal or plastic (PVC), insulated ductwork protects your investment in conditioned air year-round. Minimal R-values of 4.3 are recommended for blanket-style wraps secured with tape. Insulated ductwork rated at R-6 is also available.

There are multiple options for insulating exterior walls. Rock wool or fiberglass batts of R-13 to R-20 value are preferred behind drywall, but each inch of blown-in polyurethane foam insulation provides an R-value of 3.9.

BENEA ATH TH LIVING SP PA ACE Whether your home has a full basement, a crawlspace or an attached garage, having an insulation value of R-19 under the living space floor will help increase comfort year-round.

SLAB FOUNDA AT TION Properly installed foam boards around the exterior edge of the slab of an existing home can reduce heating bills by 10 percent or more.

storms or power surges, they can wear out in five years or less. Check them frequently by pressing the red test button. Make sure you hit the black reset button when you are done. Contact a licensed electrician to replace any failing GFCI outlets.

Loose or damaged outlets or switches

Extension cords

If you use extension cords regularly to connect devices and Unstable electrical outlets or equipment to your wall outlets, wall switches with signs of heat you may live in an underwired damage or dis- home. With a growing number coloration of electrical devices connecting can your family to the electricity offer you get from Monroe County early Electric, having enough outlets in warn- just the right spots can be chalings of lenging. Remember, extension potential cords are designed for temporary, shock or occasional or periodic use. electrical fire hazards. Loose If an extension cord gets connections can allow electrical noticeably warm when in use, current arcing. If you see these it could be undersized for the warning signs, it may be time intended use. If it shows any to contact an electrician. signs of frayed, cracked or heatdamaged insulation, it should be replaced. If the grounding prong Surge protectors Power strips with surge protec- is missing, crimped or loose, a tors can help safeguard expensive grounded cord will not provide equipment like televisions, home the protection designed into entertainment systems and com- its performance. And always puter components from power make sure that extension cords spikes. Voltage spikes are measused in outdoor or potentially ured in joules, and surge protec- damp locations are rated for tors are rated for the number exterior use. According to the Consumer of joules they can effectively absorb. That means if your surge Product Safety Commission, protector is rated at 1,000 joules, approximately 51,000 electrical fires are reported each year in it should be replaced when it the United States, causing more hits or passes that limit. When than $1.3 billion in annual the limit is reached, protection property damage. stops, and you’re left with a Electricity is an essential basic power strip. Some surge protectors include necessity for modern living, and Monroe County Electric is comindicator lights that flicker to mitted to providing safe, reliable warn you when they’ve stopped and affordable power to all of working as designed, but many our members. We hope you’ll do not. If your electrical system takes a major hit, or if you don’t keep these electrical safety tips remember when you bought your in mind so that you can note surge protector, replacement may any potential hazards before damage occurs. be the best option.


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Eight 2019 gradua academic achieve

For more information on Today in Mississippi, contact Michael Bellipanni at 662-895-2151.

A message from the CEO

Cooperation among cooperatives It’s the cooperative way! On Thursday, April 18th, severe storms and tornadoes tore through the South and Mississippi. As you read this, the emergency is over, but the restoration will still be ongoing. As the CEO of a Kevin Doddridge General Manager/CEO cooperative, I am reminded of the sixth cooperative principle, Cooperation Among Cooperatives. This cooperation is what makes the sum of the 25 Mississippi electric cooperatives far greater than their parts. These locally owned co-ops cover over 80 percent of the geography in Mississippi and serve more than 50 percent of its residents. When a disaster strikes a

May is Electrical Safety Month. Safety starts with YOU!

#ElectricalSafetyMonth

particular area, that local co-op has the resources of the other 24 co-ops at its disposal, not to mention the other 900 co-ops throughout the United States. Feel comfortable in knowing that when severe weather hits your area, the dedicated employees of this cooperative network are just a phone call, email, text or click away. All that is asked is where, when and what is needed. On Good Friday, Northcentral answered one of those calls. As our employees return from assisting with storm restoration in central Mississippi, after having missed Easter with their families, I am comforted in knowing that they returned safely. I am also inspired by their dedication and commitment. Many things keep a CEO up at night, but the assurance that our co-op family always “has our back” is not one of them.

Northcentral’s top priority is always to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy to our members. Your well-being and that of the larger communities we serve are of paramount concern. May is a time where we are even more mindful of safety because it is Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. We know first-hand how dangerous electricity is because Mississippi’s electric cooperatives work with it all day, every day. “Safety First” is more than a catch phrase. We view it as our duty and responsibility to keep cooperative employees safe and to help keep our communities safe. Contact us for additional electrical safety tips. It is no accident that safety is our top priority.

Ashleigh Bell

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Hannah Joyner

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DeSoto Central High School Ashleigh plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi and major in marketing.

Lewis High Tye wil Mississi fall maj

Byhal Gabrian Mississi where s

Olive Branch High School Hannah will attend Northwest Community College to major in secondary education and social work.

Our c CHECK OUT OUR PODCAST

fused

Video and audio episodes can be found on Apple Stitcher, Podbean and our social media chan


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019 Scholarship Recipients

ating high school seniors were each presented the Northcentral Electric Power Association scholarship for ement and leadership. Each received a scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to the college of their choice.

Tye Dixon

Hallie Goodwin

Erin Holmes

Gabrianna Leake

Paige Smith

Hannah Willard

sburg School ll begin his studies at ippi State University this joring in engineering.

lia High School nna will attend ippi State University she will major in business.

Northpoint Christian School Hallie plans to attend Belhaven University and earn her degree in sports medicine.

Heritage Christian Academy Paige will attend Northwest Mississippi Community College where she will study to be a pharmacy technician.

DeSoto Career Technical Center East Erin will attend Delta State University and major in biology and pre-medicine.

Center Hill High School Hannah plans to attend Blue Mountain College where she will major in criminal justice.

congratulations go to these outstanding graduates.

d

e podcasts, nnels.

Our business office will be closed

#

Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. Dispatchers will remain on duty and crews will be on call throughout the holiday weekend.

Call 800-325-8925 to report an outage or to make a payment.

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May 2019

Member owned. Locally operated. That’s the cooperative difference.

PRVEPA Contact Information: Purvis: 601-794-8051 Wiggins: 601-928-7277

Columbia: 601-736-2666 Hattiesburg: 601-264-2458

To pay bills or report outages:

Member owned. Locally operated. That’s the cooperative difference.

855-2PRVEPA (855-277-8372) Visit us online at www.PRVEPA.com

Safety tips that can save your life Pearl River Valley Electric’s top priority is always to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy to our members. Your well-being and that of the larger communities we serve are of paramount concern. The month of May not only means spring storms and potentially severe weather, it also heralds the beginning of the celebration season for many high school students, especially seniors. Proms, graduation parties and other social gatherings are often associated with this time of year. While we naturally focus on the sunny aspects this season brings, we also sometimes hear about preventable tragedies involving young people and car accidents. This brings us to the topic at hand: electrical safety. Does your teen or loved one know what to do in the event of a collision with a utility pole resulting in a downed power line? Do your loved ones know what to do if they come upon an accident with a downed power line? This month, we’d like to share a few safety tips that we hope you never have to use. But if you do, they could save a life.

the car or scene of the accident. Tell others to stay away. While you may If your car collides with a utility pole, the vehicle may be charged with electrici- be concerned about injuries to those involved, the best action you can take is to ty. Anyone exiting the car could come in contact with thousands of volts of electric- alert emergency officials, who will in turn coordinate with the power provider. For ity from the downed line. In essence, when you step out of the car, you become the same reasons described above, never part of the electricity’s path to the ground drive over a downed power line or through water that is touching a downed and could be electrocuted. It’s critical to stay in the vehicle and tell others to do the power line. If you have a downed power line on same until emergency crews have your property as a result of a fallen tree, told you it’s safe to exit the car. storm or other circumstance, do not go If the vehicle is on fire or you must exit for other safety reasons, jump clear of the near the power line. Assume that the vehicle. Do not let any part of your body downed line is energized and dangerous. Never try to move the power line even or clothing touch the vehicle and ground if you think it’s not energized or if you are at the same time. Land with your feet using a non-conductive material. together and shuffle away (in small steps We recognize that you may be anxious to with your feet still together) to avoid clear your property of tree limbs or other electric shock. Keep moving away until debris near the downed line, but please you are at least 40 feet from the vehicle. wait until after an electric cooperative If you come upon a car accident crew or emergency officials have coninvolving a utility pole and downed firmed that it is safe to do so. power lines, keep your distance. A May is Electrical Safety Month downed power line can energize the ground up to 35 feet away. While your May is a time where we are even more natural instinct may be to rush to the car mindful of safety because it is Electrical to help, instead pause. Do not approach Safety Month. According to the Electrical

Life-saving tips

May is Electrical Safety Month. Safety starts with YOU!

#ElectricalSafetyMonth

Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. We know first-hand how dangerous electricity is because Mississippi’s electric cooperatives work with it all day, every day. Safety is more than a catch phrase. We view it as our duty and responsibility to keep cooperative employees safe and to help keep our communities safe. It is no accident that safety is our top priority. Contact Pearl River Valley Electric or visit www.PRVEPA.com for additional electrical safety tips.

Applications for Community College Scholars program due August 9, 2019  Applications are available at PRVEPA offices and online at www.PRVEPA.com.  Completed applications must be postmarked or emailed by August 9.  Scholarship recipients must be a PRVEPA member, spouse or child of a member participating in the Round Up program.  Recipients must be full time (12 hours or more per semester) freshmen students enrolled in academic or career-technical programs.  Scholarship funds will be credited to each student’s college account—no checks will be issued to individuals.  Scholarships should be awarded by the end of September. Students must be enrolled in good standing at the time funds are released to the colleges.

More information is available at our website, www.PRVEPA.com.

Our business office will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. Dispatchers will remain on duty and crews will be on call throughout the holiday weekend.

Call 855-277-8372 to report an outage.




May 2019  Today in Mississippi



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Safety starts with YOU! Tips for spotting potential electrical hazards in your home Electricity plays many roles in our lives, from powering baby monitors, cell phones and lighting, to running HVAC systems and appliances. No wonder we get so comfortable with its instant availability that when we flip a switch, we expect most systems or devices to do the job. May is National Electrical Safety Month, and here at Pearl River Valley Electric, we think it’s a great time to look around your home and check for potential safety hazards. Remember, every electrical device has a purpose and a service lifespan. While we can extend their operations with maintenance and care, none of them are designed to last or work forever. When electricity is involved, failures can present electrical hazards that might be avoided with periodic inspections.

to last about 10 years, but in areas prone to electrical storms or power surges, they can wear out in five years or less. Check them frequently by pressing the red test button. Make sure you hit the black reset button when you are done. Contact a licensed electrician to replace any failing GFCI outlets.

Loose or damaged outlets or switches Unstable electrical outlets or wall switches with signs of heat damage or discoloration can offer early warnings of potential shock or electrical fire hazards. Loose connections can allow electrical current arcing. If you see these warning signs, it may be time to contact an electrician.

Surge protectors

Power strips with surge protectors can help safeguard expensive equipment like televisions, home entertainment systems Outdoor outlets or those in potentially and computer components from power damp locations in a kitchen, bathroom or spikes. Voltage spikes laundry room often include GFCI features. are measured in joules, and surge They are designed to sense abnormal protectors are current flows, breaking the circuit to rated for the prevent potential electric shocks from number of joules devices plugged into the outlets. they can effectively The average GFCI outlet is designed

Ground fault circuit interrupters

Pearl River Valley Electric’s outage reporting system will automatically recognize your account if your phone number is correct. Reporting a power outage can be easy!

Update your phone number.

absorb. That means if your surge protector is rated at 1,000 joules, it should be replaced when it hits or passes that limit. When the limit is reached, protection stops, and you’re left with a basic power strip. Some surge protectors include indicator lights that flicker to warn you when they’ve stopped working as designed, but many do not. If your electrical system takes a major hit, or if you don’t remember when you bought your surge protector, replacement may be the best option.

Extension cords If you use extension cords regularly to connect devices and equipment to your wall outlets, you may live in an underwired home. With a growing number of electrical devices connecting your family to the electricity you get from Pearl River Valley Electric, having enough outlets in just the right spots can be challenging. Remember, extension cords are designed for temporary, occasional or periodic use. If an extension cord gets noticeably warm when in use, it could be undersized for the intended use. If it shows any signs of frayed, cracked or heat-damaged

insulation, it should be replaced. If the grounding prong is missing, crimped or loose, a grounded cord will not provide the protection designed into its performance. And always make sure that extension cords used in outdoor or potentially damp locations are rated for exterior use. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 51,000 electrical fires are reported each year in the United States, causing more than $1.3 billion in annual property damage. Electricity is an essential necessity for modern living, and Pearl River Valley Electric is committed to providing safe, reliable and affordable power to all of our members. We hope you’ll keep these electrical safety tips in mind so that you can note any potential hazards before damage occurs.

We have an app for that! PRVEPA members can now access their account information from their smart phones. You’ll have the same helpful services found on our website in the palm of your hand.

• Pay your bill • Track your daily use • Keep up with multiple accounts • Set up alerts and reminders • View your billing history • Update your contact info Apps for Apple and Android devices are now available. Visit your app store and search for “PRVEPA” to download your app today. They’re free, convenient and easy to use!

Update your phone number today by going to www.prvepa.com, then clicking on “Manage My Account.” You can also call us at 855-2PRVEPA, or write it on your next payment stub.


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May 2019

“Pioneers In America’s Rural Electrification”

Line workers serve proudly By Jennifer Johnson Storm clouds are swirling, lightning is striking, and there’s a pelting rain pouring from the sky. The call goes out that takes men and women from the warmth of their beds into the elements to make repairs and determine solutions for outages. What could be a time to “hunker down” for most people is when Pontotoc Electric’s line workers grab their gear and head toward trouble. Ask just about any line worker, and he or she will tell you they feel a sense of duty to keep power systems running safely and efficiently for the members they serve. Assistant General Manager Frankie Moorman, who is also a journeyman lineman said, “We all take pride in keeping the lights on, and it’s a calling to do

this type of work. Even on the best day under the best conditions, this is a dangerous job. It takes hard work and dedication; but at the end of the day it’s important to us to be there for our customers.” Apprentice Lineman Tyler Parker agreed with Moorman. “I’ve always wanted to serve people in some capacity. Both of my grandfathers and all my uncles were in the military. Line work is my way to give to my community.” Parker said he doesn’t really mind being called out after hours. “I know the reason I’m getting that call is because somebody needs my help.” Apprentice Lineman Byron Steen said he became a lineman not only to work with his hands but also as an outreach opportunity. “A wonderful aspect of this job

is that I can help people. As Christians, we’re instructed to help others. This job is a way I can do that.” Line work sometimes has its “sweet” rewards. Apprentice Lineman Jahew Harrelson said he’s seen members bring by cookies or cakes to say thank you for work that’s been completed during severe spring weather or the occasional snow storm. “It makes you feel good that people appreciate what you do.” Line work is not an easy job – it’s listed among the 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States. At approximately 227,000 electric line workers in the country, that’s a lot of men and women putting themselves in harm’s way to serve the members in their communities (and sometimes beyond). Most line workers wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jacob Beard Apprentice Lineman

Sedric Benford Apprentice Lineman

Phillip Brackett Journeyman Lineman/ District Foreman

James Elzie Journeyman Lineman/ General Foreman

Erik Gentry Apprentice Lineman

Dalton Hall Apprentice Lineman

Jahew Harrelson Apprentice Lineman

Wes Hillhouse Apprentice Lineman

Glenn Isbell Groundman/ Equipment Operator

John Ivy Journeyman Lineman

Fagan Jackson Journeyman Lineman

Brandon Jenkins Apprentice Lineman


May 2019

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Today in Mississippi

Cody Laster Apprentice Lineman

Cody Liles Apprentice Lineman

Robert Mitchell Journeyman Lineman/ Assistant Foreman

Jimmy Moore Apprentice Lineman

Benny Mooreman Groundman/ Equipment Operator

Stewart Owen Apprentice Lineman

Tyler Parker Apprentice Lineman

Ben Robinson Apprentice Lineman

Byron Steen Apprentice Lineman

Jackie Swords Journeyman Lineman/ Assistant Foreman

Mason Tutor Apprentice Lineman

Walker Westmoreland Apprentice Lineman

Chance Wheeler Apprentice Lineman

Brandon Williams Apprentice Lineman

Barrett Wooten Apprentice Lineman

B.J. Farmer Lineman now working as Right-of-Way Assistant Manager

Ferrell Gates Journeyman Lineman now working as Staking Technician

Cody Martin Apprentice Lineman now working as Safety and Environmental Director

#

Pontotoc Electric Power Association will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.

Steve Martin Journeyman Lineman now working as Staking Technician

Frankie Moorman Journeyman Lineman now Assistant General Manager

Richard Morgan Lineman now working as Staking Technician

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To report power outages or emergencies, please call 662-489-6711 (Pontotoc) or 662-983-2727 (Bruce). A Pontotoc Electric dispatcher is on duty 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

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10 I Today in Mississippi I May 2019 Pay Bill Report Outages

Brian Hughey, General Manager & CEO Lorri Freeman, APR, Manager of Public Relations Amanda Parker, Public Relations Specialist For more information, call 601-947-4211, 228-497-1313 or visit our website at singingriver.com. SRE is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

Check Energy Use Contact Us

CEO’s Message

Member Participation Matters Within the next two weeks, you will receive a notice of Singing River Electric’s Annual Membership Meeting. Online voting will begin within this time frame as well. I encourage you to return your proxy or vote online in our annual board Brian Hughey General Manager & CEO of directors election. Voting Singing River Electric establishes our cooperative’s local leadership and is a benefit of your co-op

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membership. Electric co-ops are led by members just like you who understand our local communities. Simply complete, tear off and return the mailed proxy, use the SmartHub app or visit singingriver.com to vote online. Members who return their proxy or vote online are eligible to win one of six $250 prizes or one grand prize of $500. Members will vote for one director candidate in each of the three geographic districts. These Singing River Electric members live

in your community, have been nominated by the membership and have been certified as qualified candidates by the Credentials and Election Committee that is also made up of Singing River Electric members. Candidate biographies are available on the co-op’s election website. Visit singingriver.com and click on the “Vote Here� button at the top of the page. Come to your Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, June 27, at Singing River Electric’s Lucedale office at 6 p.m. If you are not able to attend, participate by returning your proxy or voting online. Your voice matters as a member of Singing River Electric. We appreciate your efforts as we continue to provide safe, reliable and affordable electric service for our members.

Your participation is crucial to the success of our cooperative.

ANNUAL MEETING SET FOR JUNE 27 Watch for proxy/notice in the mail. Singing River Electric (SRE)’s annual membership meeting will be held Thursday, June 27, at the SRE office located at 11187 Old 63 South in Lucedale. The Energy Fair will be from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with annual meeting registration beginning at 4:30 p.m. The business portion of the annual meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

In addition to the pre-meeting Energy Fair, the business session will include the cooperative’s financial, management and board reports, as well as the annual board of directors election. SRE has a 10-person board of directors elected from the membership in the three geographic districts. Each year, one director post from each district is up for election. Every three years, District Three has two director posts open. Directors are elected for a three-year period. Nominations for election to the board of directors are made by petition. Interested members must acquire signaturesof 25 Singing River Electric members on a form provided by the cooperative. (continued on page 10a)

Dear Member:

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May 2019  Today in Mississippi  10a

Meet your board Members of your community Singing River Electric is led by member-consumers like you who understand and listen to the community. Our board of directors are elected by the membership to serve a three-year term. Our board members are required to take Credentialed Co-op Director courses. This five-part director education program prepares our members who serve as directors to represent the membership and fulfill their duties.

Part three of a four-part series. See page 10c to meet board members with careers in farming, business and large industry.

Singing River Electric board members (left to right): Roy Grafe, Howard Davis and Travis Baxter.

Credentialed Co-op Directors

ANNUAL MEETING Applicants must complete and return a director candidate packet to the Lucedale office and be certified by the Credentials and Election Committee before being placed on the ballot. The deadline for nomination by petition to be placed on the annual meeting notice was March 29, 2019. This deadline was posted in the January and February issues of the 2019 Today in Mississippi member publication. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s candidates include: District One, Post One â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Ralph Hicks and Ladd Pulliam; District Two, Post One â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Ron Wilson; and District Three, Post One â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Howard Davis. The slate of nominees was approved by members of SRE serving on the Credentials and Election Committee. According to cooperative bylaws, the candidatesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; names were placed in nomination for election to a three-year term beginning June 27 at the

cooperativeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual meeting. To conduct business at the annual meeting, a quorum of at least 10 percent of the membership is necessary. The quorum is derived by adding the number of members present at the meeting, the valid online votes and the number of valid proxies received. Annual meeting notices and proxies will be mailed on May 15 to all members. SRE members also have the opportunity to vote in director elections online beginning May 15. The deadline for returning proxies and voting online ends on June 19 at close of business. Any member may vote in person at the June 27 meeting, online or by proxy. Each member is entitled to one vote regardless of the number of accounts in the memberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name. A proxy may be assigned to either a member of the current board of directors or to another SRE

member. A member can vote up to 200 assigned proxies at any membership meeting. The presence of a member at the meeting, or in the case of a joint membership, the presence of a spouse, shall revoke the proxy. All proxies must be received by SREâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lucedale office by close of business on June 19. Members returning their proxy, voting online, as well as those who attend the meeting, may qualify to win valuable prizes. Those returning their proxy or voting online may qualify to win up to $500 cash. Those attending the annual meeting will receive an attendance prize and are eligible for a door prize drawing.

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To vote by proxy To , simply comp plete the proxy UV[PJLHUKYL[\ in this YUP[\ZPUN[OLL UJSVZLKZLSMHK WVZ[HNLWHPKL KYLZZLK U]LSVWLI`W We e edne sdayy, June 19. may still attend Yo Y the meeting; yyour ou presenc the proxy and allow you to votte in perso e will rescind n. Voting online is Vo easy! Memberrs can vote online We W ednesday, May beginning 15, throug gh Wednesdayy 19:PTWS`JSPJR , June VU[OL¸= =V V[L/LYLšPJVU :THY[/\IHWW VULP[OLY[OL VY^LIZP[LH[singi s ngriverr..com) entering your mem ` bership ID and zip code, you can cand did idate t bi biographie view hi s and d ca astt your vote. t

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Visit www.singingriver.com for more information. SRE bylaws are available online.


10b

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Today in Mississippi

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May 2019

Energy Tips

Nick DeAngelo Manager of Energy Services deangelo@singingriver.com

CLOTHES DRYING TIPS

May is Electrical Safety Month. Safety Starts with You. #ElectricalSafetyMonth

UPCOMING RIGHT-OF-WAY CLEARING PROJECTS

Singing River Electric clears trees, limbs and underbrush from the area around and below the power lines, called right-of-way. Right-of-way clearing helps decrease the number of outages and reduces the risk of someone coming in contact with the power lines.

Here are the substations and surrounding areas that are either currently being cleared or will be cleared soon:

Sand Hill Substation - Highway 42, Highway 63, Lovewell Road and surrounding areas.

Kittrell Substation - Highway 42, Smithtown Chicora Road, Woolard Bend Road and surrounding areas.

Vancleave Substation - Highway 57, Old River Road, Jim Ramsey Road and surrounding areas.

Helena Substation - Highway 613, Saracennia Road, Wildwood Road and surrounding areas.

One simple way to save money on your electric bill this summer is to avoid running the clothes dryer during the day. By operating the dryer during the hottest parts of the day, it creates additional load on your HVAC system. As your dryer begins to operate, it pulls air that has been conditioned or cooled in your home into the clothes dryer, where it re-heats the air and forces it into the dryer barrel to dry the clothes. During this process, it exhausts that air outside the home. The act of forcing the air outside causes additional unconditioned or hot air to be pulled into the house. This adds to your home’s heating load and causes your HVAC system to work harder to make you comfortable. In our region of the country, most air conditioning systems are designed to operate at around 90-degree outdoor temperatures. Any time temperatures exceed the system’s designed outdoor temperature, your HVAC system will experience extended run times. By removing conditioned air and adding hot, humid air to your home, you are causing your home’s HVAC to run even longer. By drying clothes when the air outside is cooler, early morning and late evening, you save money. This is a low cost, no cost way to save energy and money in the hot months ahead. For more on this and other tips, please visit our website at singingriver.com.


May 2019

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Today in Mississippi

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Helena Energy Fair Thank you to all who attended our Energy Fair at the Helena Community Center on Saracennia Road in Jackson County on Wednesday, April 10. Members received free LED bulbs, custom advice and expert knowledge.

There were six stations with energy tips, DIY projects, lighting advice, as well as Cooperative Energy's electric vehicle. Here are a few photos from the day. Don’t forget to join us at our next two fairs. They will be:

May 15 District 4 Community Center 10 a.m - 2 p.m. 8232 Old 63 North, Greene County

June 27 SRE Lucedale Office 3 - 6 p.m. 11187 Old 63 South, Lucedale

Meet your board Members of your community Singing River Electric is led by member-consumers like you who understand and listen to the community. Our board of directors are elected by the membership to serve a three-year term. Singing River Electric’s membership elects the board members to represent them. These directors come locally from varying professions, including ship building, farming and owning small businesses.

Part four of a four-part series. For more information on SRE’s board of directors, please visit singingriver.com/my-coop.

Singing River Electric board members (left to right): Ron Wilson, Ralph Hicks and Robert Steele.

Professionals

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10d I Today in Mississippi

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May 2019

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May 2019

MY HOME

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MY MEMBERSHIP

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Today in Mississippi

MY CO-OP

www.singingriver.com

Check out SREâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new website

DID YOU KNOW? By downloading the SmartHub app, you can report a power outage, pay your bill, check your energy use or view a live outage map with a tap of a screen - anytime, anywhere. Live Weather Outage Map

Download Our SmartHub App

Info on Capital Credits

Access Bylaws

Your Board of Directors

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11


10  Today in Mississippi  May 2019

There are no shortcuts for safety “Is the shortest distance between two points the best path when it comes to safety?” On a cold morning several years ago, I went to my man cave to get a little therapy. I don’t remember exactly what it was that I intended to work on, but I do remember how cold it was. So, I decided to build a fire in the wood burning stove. Since the wood box was empty, I grabbed a chainsaw and went outside to a wood pile to cut some short sticks of fire wood. It’s worth mentioning that in my early years I had a part-time job as a tree surgeon while going to college. I have logged more hours than the average Joe on a saw, so cutting a few pieces of wood was a walk in the park. I had just about finished cutting enough wood when the last stick I held in one hand and the chainsaw in the other pinched the chain and jerked the knuckles of my left hand into the running saw. After having surgery to repair the tendons that were cut by the saw, I had a couple of months to stare at the contraption holding my fingers in place and reflect on my poor decisions. As it usually goes with a dumb accident like that, there were several things I could have easily done to avoid getting injured, like wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and putting the stick of wood in the proper position to be cut, specifically not in my hand! It really boiled down to

taking the extra few minutes to do it the right way. I will never forget the safety meeting a month or so later where our safety director had a chair with my name on it at the very front, center position of the room. You can probably guess the subject of that safety meeting ... yep ... chainsaw safety ... talk about a lesson in humility. During the month of May, we take time to write to you about Jason S. Siegfried our efforts to cultivate a culture President/CEO of safety. Working with electricity can be a dangerous, risky business just like operating a chainsaw; but, the risks associated with both are manageable by simply following the rules and taking the extra time to avoid shortcuts. We must be intentional each day, each hour, each minute at Southern Pine in weaving safety awareness into our thoughts and behaviors, doing things the safe way, doing them the right way, without exception. As a cooperative family, we made a commitment to one another to hold each other accountable. We’ve come to realize that allowing someone to take a shortcut only breeds more shortcuts and ultimately this becomes a slippery slope toward avoidable accidents. Creating a work culture where we learn from past mistakes, apply a critical eye to our behaviors and stay

alert, is the only way we can ensure a safe workplace. Setting high standards for our employees’ safety program is about more than avoiding accidents. We value family, and there is nothing more important than ensuring our mothers and fathers return home safely to their children and other loved ones. As we do with our employees, I would urge you to stop and think about where this applies in your lives. How often are you guilty of making exceptions and taking shortcuts? It will only take a few minutes to put on the safety glasses and ear plugs before running the weed eater. While driving to work or home, you really do not have to respond to that text message right away. If so, pull over. I could have easily lost my fingers or entire hand by getting in a hurry to begin a leisurely Saturday in my shop. If you recall one thing from this column, let it be this: eliminate the shortcuts related to safety. When you take shortcuts, you are betting on your life and possibly the life of others. If you die from a careless mistake, your family, your children, your friends, your team, will all suffer because of you and your selfish decision. Work as if they depend on you, because in fact, they do. We cannot change our past mistakes, but we can learn and grow from them. There is no better way to commemorate a loved one being hurt or lost than by figuring out what could have been done differently and making the commitment to change our behaviors moving forward.

Southern Pine promotes reading and safety at its Adopt-A-School Over the past few months Southern Pine Electric has been visiting our Adopt-A-School, The New William J. Berry Elementary in Heidelberg. Recently, Southern Pine employees celebrated Read Across America Day by getting tongue tied reading their favorite Dr. Seuss books to students. In addition, energy service’s representatives, Mike Bryant and John Shoemaker, taught students about electricity and safety. The New William J. Berry Elementary is Southern Pine’s Adopt-A-School for 2019. Throughout the year employees will meet with students and help administrators and teachers with school supply drives and volunteer work.

(Above) John Shoemaker discusses the dangers of overhead powerlines with students. (Right) Dawn Lott and first graders from The New William J. Berry Elementary School.


May 2019  Today in Mississippi

Member Circle meeting in Copiah County

As part of Southern Pineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s continuing commitment to standards of excellence to its members, the co-op kicked off its first Member Circle meeting in Copiah County in March. Providing a one-on-one opportunity for members to discuss any concerns with directors, management and staff, the cooperative discussed its foundational principles, rates, power blinks and the annual membership meeting. Members enjoyed food, a time of fellowship and learning more about energy conservation as well as open discussion time with John Rounsaville, state director, Rural Utilities Service, who provided information on rural development loans and grants available for Copiah County.



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Electrical safety 101

By Wes Lee, Safety and Compliance Coordinator

Electricity, when used and treated with respect, is a phenomenal thing. However, far too often it is not. At Southern Pine Electric we celebrate safety all year round because our linemen routinely deal with dangerous voltages. For Electrical Safety Month, I have come up with a list of the top 10 ways for you to prevent electrical hazards in your own home. By understanding that most accidents have something to do with electricity, you can prevent injuries in your home. 1. Never mix water and electricity. Always keep electrical appliances away from water and moisture. If a plugged-in appliance, whether it's on or off, falls or accidentally drops into water, do not attempt to retrieve or unplug it. Go immediately to your home's panel board and shut off power to the corresponding circuit. 2. Pay attention to what your appliances are telling you. When an appliance repeatedly trips a circuit breaker, blows a fuse or gives you shocks, it's not just a coincidence. These are signs that something is wrong. Call a professional electrician to inspect it. 3. Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI). GFCIs detect current leakages or ground faults when a powered device contacts water. The GFCI shuts off power to that receptacle almost instantaneously, preventing electrical shock, burns and electrocution. 4. Make sure you're using the right size circuit breakers and fuses. If fuses and circuit breakers aren't the right size and wattage rating to match the specifications of their circuits, they're going to fail when you need them to perform. Read packages carefully when shopping for replacements. If you're not sure which size to buy, have an electrician look at your panel box and label it with the circuit breaker or fuse size needed. 5. Protect kids with outlet covers. Outlet covers prevent babies and small children from sticking their fingers and other objects into electric outlets. You can either use the plug-in type or opt for special child safety wall plates, which feature built-in, retractable covers that automatically snap back into place when outlets aren't in use. 6. Avoid cube taps and other outlet-stretching devices. Cube taps are little boxes that allow you to plug several appliances into a single outlet. They may seem like a major convenience, but they can put you on the fast track to circuit overload. 7. Replace missing or broken wall plates. They're not just there for looks. Wall plates also protect your fingers from touching the electrical wiring behind them. 8. Keep electrically powered yard-care tools dry. Whether it's raining, just finished raining or you've recently run the sprinklers, never attempt yard work with electrically powered tools in wet conditions. 9. Match the light bulb's wattage rating to the lamp. Whenever choosing light bulbs to use with a lamp, be sure to consult that lamp's maximum wattage specifications (they're often printed right around the light bulb socket). Always opt for a light bulb with wattage thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s equal to or less than the maximum wattage listed on the lamp. 10. Be kind to you cords. Take care to treat power cords gently. Never nail or tack them down. Also, regularly check to make sure that they're not pinched between or underneath furniture. Excessive pressure on power cables can damage insulation exposing the conductor or compressing the conducting wire, which can lead to overheating and electrical fire. Lastly, always be aware of your surroundings, especially after storms or severe weather. Remember, just because a powerline is on the ground does not mean it is de-energized. If you have power outages or see a downed powerline, please call your Southern Pine District Office. It is our pleasure to be your provider of electricity and we are here to serve you.


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Today in Mississippi



May 2019

P.O. Box 5 • 18671 Highway 61 • Lorman, MS 39096 601-437-3611 or toll-free 1-800-287-8564 • Fax: 601-437-8736

Adams • Amite • Claiborne • Copiah • Franklin Hinds • Jefferson • Lincoln • Wilkinson Southwest Electric is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

www.southwestelectric.coop

Southwest Electric

SWElectricCoop

sw_electric_coop

April 18 storm ripped through Southwest Electric service area The National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF-1 tornado with winds up to 110 mph ripped through Lorman on Thursday, April 18. It was on the ground for 12 minutes and traveled 8.61 miles in northern Jefferson County near the Southwest Electric office. Immediately after the tornado, Southwest Electric began assessing damage and dispatching crews. More than 40 poles were broken during the storm, including five double-circuit poles near the Alcorn State University exit off of Highway 61. With more than 10,800 meters without power and the damage so severe, the decision was promptly made to seek additional help from other Mississippi electric cooperatives.

Pearl River Valley Electric and Coast Electric committed to send crews. Delta Tree Services, Killen Contractors and MDR Powerline Construction were also called to help. By Friday afternoon, there were 106 lineworkers cutting trees,

replacing poles, pulling up power lines and checking substations. All crews continued to work through the afternoon on Easter Sunday when the number of meters without power dropped below 100. We appreciate our Members’ patience as we restored power from the substations to the circuits feeding from them, then to the single-phase lines and the services to the homes.

Special thanks to Coast and Pearl River Valley Electric for help

Pearl River Valley Electric crews from their Columbia district office

Coast Electric crew from their Gulfport district office

Coast Electric crew from their Picayune and Kiln district offices

Apparatus Crew Foreman Jackie Dotson, from Southwest Electric’s Engineering Department, cutting a tree off a line near Grand Gulf Road in Claiborne County.

James Fairchild and Al Perry from Southwest Electric’s Right-of-Way Department cutting a tree that was blocking Quitman Road in Adams County.

Above: Southwest Electric lineworkers labor to free double-circuit power lines trapped under a tree along Highway 61, north of the Highway 552 West exit in Jefferson County.


May 2019



Today in Mississippi

May is National Electrical Safety Month. Safety starts with YOU!

#ElectricalSafetyMonth

May is National Electrical Safety Month Southwest Electricâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top priority is always to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy to our Members. Your well-being and that of the larger communities we serve are of paramount concern. May is a time where we are even more mindful of safety because it is Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. We know first-hand how dangerous electricity is because Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s electric cooperatives work with it all day, every day. Safety is more than a catch phrase. We view it as our duty and responsibility to keep cooperative employees safe and to help keep our communities safe. Contact us for additional electrical safety tips. It is no accident that safety is our top priority.

Wishing all of our moms

Our business office will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of

Memorial Day. Dispatchers will remain on duty and crews will be on call throughout the holiday weekend.

Call 1-800-287-8564 to report an outage.





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TWIN COUNTY ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATION

THE GARDEN MARKET IS IN

Full Bloom

By Elissa Fulton “I have always loved to plant things,” said Rachel. Spring has sprung. The flowers and plants that grow “My grandmother and my aunt did a lot of gardening , during this time of year suggest signs of lasting sunshine and that is what peaked my interest. Before I was marand the summer that Delta residents have been awaiting ried, I worked in a hardware store that had a garden for months. It’s a promise of new life and a new season. center, so I was out there a lot.” For Rachel and Kenyon Nightingale, spring is a time One thing that sets Rachel apart from other garden to display the fruits of their hard centers is her focus on customer labor. Since January, the service. “We try to educate our cusNightingales and their employtomers by getting a feel for where ees have been digging in the dirt they are in this gardening thing and and raising colorful flowers and suggesting plants that we think are plants for their loyal customers going to work for them,” she said. who have been supporting their “Obviously, if they have an interbusiness for the past 12 years. est, we would like it to turn out for The Garden Market, located them.” on Black Bayou Road, is a famiThe Delta can be a difficult ly business that began as a backplace to grow certain plants because yard hobby for Rachel. After of the extreme heat that begins growing up in Georgia, she early in the summer and lasts until moved to Mississippi as a school mid-fall. Selecting plants that work teacher and soon met her huswith the climate and the soil is band Kenyon, a rice and soyimportant. Soil preparation is also bean farmer in Washington very important and can prove more County. Rachel began growing significant than the choice of mums the fall after she and plants. The Garden Market on Black Bayou Road offers a variety Kenyon were married. Shortly “We have to be careful here,” of ornamental plants, trees, shrubs, succulents and afterwards, the couples’ friends gardening and landscaping supplies for beginners to said Rachel. “We are hotter here and neighbors went on a mission experienced gardeners. than in the hills or straight east of trip to Mexico and asked them us. It just doesn’t cool down to look after their greenhouse while they were out of the enough here, so we are restricted in some of the things country. It was then that she really started getting her that we can grow. Full sun in the Delta is six hours. The hands dirty and more serious with her hobby. Mississippi sun is not always like it is in other places.” As a side business, Rachel was peddling arts and crafts In general, Mississippi gets hot early in the season and in the community. After she started growing flowers for stays hot later. Because of the southern subtropical clihanging baskets and marketing her gardening skills, it mate, Rachel’s business picks up a lot earlier than most wasn’t long before she was able to focus on her love of of her online gardening friends around the country. “I gardening full-time and the family purchased the land to am in an online greenhouse chat with growers from difstart their business. ferent parts of the country. For some of them, their

busiest times are two weeks after Mother’s Day. It really all just depends on your climate. Our heaviest week is the week prior to Easter. It sort of builds until Mother’s Day and then it cuts off like a faucet. We have another small rush right before July 4, for those who want to get their yard nice before the holiday.” Rachel and Kenyon hope that the family business will teach their children Mac (10) and Lindsey (6) the value of hard work. “We want this to be a place where they learn manual labor skills,” said Rachel. “Not necessarily because this is what I have in mind that I want them to be involved with for the rest of their lives. So many people say to ‘go to school so you don’t have to work as hard;’ but someone’s got to work, and they may need to one day. Our children may be lucky; but they may have


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For after-hours outages, call

866-897-7250

A Mississippi Electric Cooperative

The Garden Market 5287L Black Bayou Road • Leland, MS 38756 Open Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

CLOSED ON SUNDAY After July 1 – 8:00 a.m. - Noon

to get dirty and sweat. And I want them to know how to do that. And I want them to do that cheerfully.” Rachel is hoping to expand the business in the future. “I enjoy this for the many, many people that I meet,” she said. “There’s a lot of meaningful conversations outside the world of gardening that goes on here, and that’s truly fulfilling to me.” The Garden Market offers a wide array of products and services. In addition to ornamental plants, trees, shrubs and gardening supplies, there are also landscaping materials available as well as a variety of gardening services. Call 662-347-4403 for more information.

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Yazoo Valley Electric Power Association Manager of Member Services: Dennis McFee For Today in Mississippi information, call 662-746-4251 or email dmcfee@yazoovalley.com

Safety tips that can save your l Yazoo Valley Electric’s top priority is always to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy to our members. Your well-being and that of the larger communities we serve are of paramount concern. The month of May not only means spring storms and potentially severe weather, it also heralds the beginning of the celebration season for many high school students, especially seniors. Proms, graduation parties and other social gatherings are often associated with this time of year. While we naturally focus on the sunny aspects this season brings, we also sometimes hear about preventable tragedies involving young people and car accidents. This brings us to the topic at hand: electrical safety. Does your teen or loved one know what to do in the event of a collision with a utility pole resulting in a downed power line? Do your loved ones know what to do if they come upon an accident with a downed power line? This month, we’d like to share a few safety tips that we hope you never have to use. But if you do, they could save a life.

Life-saving tips If your car collides with a utility pole, the vehicle may be charged with electricity. Anyone exiting the car could come in contact with thousands of volts of

Our business office will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. Dispatchers will remain on duty and crews will be on call throughout the holiday weekend.

Call 662-746-4251 to report an outage.

electricity from the downed line. In essence, when you step out of the car, you become part of the electricity’s path to the ground and could be electrocuted. It’s critical to stay in the vehicle and tell others to do the same until emergency crews have told you it’s safe to exit the car. If the vehicle is on fire or you must exit for other safety reasons, jump clear of the vehicle. Do not let any part of your body or clothing touch the vehicle and ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and shuffle away (in small steps with your feet still together) to avoid electric shock. Keep moving away until you are at least 40 feet from the vehicle. If you come upon a car accident involving a utility pole and downed power lines, keep your distance. A downed power line can energize the ground up to 35 feet away. While your natural instinct may be to rush to the car to help, instead pause. Do not approach the car or scene of the accident. Tell others to stay away. While you may be concerned about injuries to those involved, the best action you can take is to alert emergency officials, who will in turn coordinate with the power provider. For the same reasons described above, never drive over a downed power line or through water that is touching a downed power line. If you have a downed power line on your property

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as a result of a fallen tree, storm or other circumstance, do not go near the power line. Assume that the downed line is energized and dangerous. Never try to move the power line even if you think it’s not energized or if you are using a non-conductive material. We recognize that you may be anxious to clear your property of tree limbs or other debris near the downed line, but please wait until after an electric cooperative crew or emergency officials have confirmed that it is safe to do so.

May is Electrical Safety Month May is a time where we are even more mindful of safety because it is Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the U.S. are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. We know first-hand how dangerous electricity is because Mississippi’s electric cooperatives work with it all day, every day. Safety is more than a catch phrase. We view it as our duty and responsibility to keep cooperative employees safe and to help keep our communities safe. Contact us for additional electrical safety tips. It is no accident that safety is our top priority.

THANK YOU!!!

On Saturday, April 13, Yazoo Valley Electric was hit hard by the severe weather that went through our service territory. Nearly 100 poles were down and there was severe damage from wind, rain and lightning. The saturated ground made the trees more vunerable to high winds and the majority of power outages were due to trees falling on the lines. Fortunately, we had help from our sister co-ops and were able to restore power to our members in a more timely manner due to their assistance. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Delta Electric in Greenwood and Tallahatchie Valley Electric in Batesville for coming to our aid.

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May is Electrical Safety Month.

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May 2019 I Today in Mississippi

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A Mississippi Electric Cooperative

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Profile for American MainStreet Publications

Today in Mississippi May 2019 Local Pages  

Today in Mississippi May 2019 Local Pages

Today in Mississippi May 2019 Local Pages  

Today in Mississippi May 2019 Local Pages