January PDF Cooperative Connections

Page 1

West River Electric

January 2020 Vol. 20 No. 9

Co-ops Help Fund Education Aspirations Page 8

Tech School and Go! Page 12


2019 Yearly Review

Merry Christmas To All

Dick Johnson dick.johnson@westriver.coop

“A Very Merry Christmas to all of of our members, families and friends.”


Hearken young lad, time for a column to send, Time for reflection as Thanksgiving came to an end. What to my wondering fingers did come, A short list of highlights for my Christmas column. A hectic year for new services and construction made the year fun Developers, builders and homeowners kept our employees on the run Four hundred sixty new services have been built year-to-date, Everything from new businesses, apartments and houses filled the slate. Two acres of land on Eglin for a new substation we did buy, It will be needed to provide reliable service so no one will sigh. Many lines were replaced by our crews and Kainz Construction, Making sure our members have reliable power at every junction. A bill credit of $750,000 started the year right, A value of cooperative membership is always in our sight. One point five million this fall was our capital credit retirement, Another value of membership that makes quite a statement. Speaking of retirements, several we had, Long term employees who left for their families’ full time, made us all sad. These retirements gave existing employees’ chances to advance, And new employees training them our culture, made us all dance. Our entire employee team I couldn’t find better, They work many hours 24x7x365, none are a quitter. Safety culture is always on our mind, Getting home each night safely is always a perfect find. Our employees completed a community project in Wasta this fall, Painting, repairing and watching trees fall. A member survey to make sure we were in the right space, A satisfaction score of 85 brought a smile to our face. New meters were installed around Rapid in the fall, Reliable readings and more information will help us all. These accurate interval meter readings our SmartHub app does need, You should download SmartHub from your app store, it’s the real deal indeed. Our outage numbers fantastic until winter storm Ezekiel caused harm• Putting the Rapid City area in the dark with ice and wind breaking a cross arm. A strategic plan this fall the Board and employees did complete, A long-term vision for the future came from the retreat. Our Board of Directors, a greater group of member-owners you won’t find Always keeping the mission, vision, and values of the member in mind. And what would I do without a loving wife at home, My chance here to thank her for keeping the fires burning while meetings I roam. We hope this Christmas season finds you and your family in great cheer, And the reason for the season you hold in your heart dear. A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year we shout with glee, And that 2020 happiness and good cheer you too will agree!

Cooperative Connections | January 2020


Deadline January 28, 2020

Scholarships Available For the 29th Year, West River Electric is offering college scholarships to high school seniors’ graduating in May of 2020 as well as students currently in post-secondary education. This year we will be offering six scholarships. A $1,000 scholarship provided by Basin Electric Power, our power generation cooperative, and five WREA $500 scholarships. All to be awarded to the students in April. Applicants for the scholarships must be a member or dependent child of a West River Electric member and a U.S. citizen. They must be planning to enroll or in attendance in a full-time graduate or undergraduate course 419500 of study at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational/technical school. Scholarship recipients will be chosen by a selection committee based on academic record, potential to succeed, leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, a statement of education and career goals, a written essay and an outside appraisal. Applications may be picked up at the cooperative offices, on-line at www.westriver.coop or at area high schools. Completed applications and supporting documentation must be returned to West River Electric Association in Rapid City or Wall before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. Winners will be announced in April. For more information, or to request an application, go to our website at www.westriver.coop, stop by or call us at 393-1500 or 279-2135. Applications are also available at the local high schools.

Are you interested in going to D.C.

High School Juniors

June 18-25, 2020 more than 1500 students will travel to Washington DC to participate in the Rural Electric Youth Tour. During this action-filled week, students learn what it is like to be involved in politics, community service, cooperative philosophy and rural electrification. You will have the opportunity to meet with your elected representative in the US House and Senate and discuss the process of government and the issues that we face today, while increasing your knowledge about the electric cooperative utilities. The student will be selected and sponsored by West River Electric. South Dakota Rural Electric Association (SDREA) coordinates arrangements for all South Dakota students. Among the sites that are toured are the National Cathedral, The White House, Washington Monument, U.S. Supreme Court, US Capitol, Ford’s Theatre, Lincoln 4490200 Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, The Smithsonian, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. All area high school juniors whose parents or guardians are a member of WREA are eligible to apply for the Youth Tour. The funding of the tour is provided by WREA, which includes the student’s transportation, room and board, and sightseeing events. Students will be required to provide their own personal spending money. Each student is required to submit an essay, not to exceed 500 words on “What does it mean to be an American?” All essays must be typed and include a cover sheet to include the students name, parents name, physical address, phone number and school they attend. West River Electric must receive all essays before January 30, 2020. If you have questions please contact Veronica Kusser at 605-393-1500. January 2020 | Cooperative Connections



Winter Electrical Safety Tips In South Dakota and western Minnesota, December through March is a particularly hazardous time of year for storms and electrical power outages. Heavy snow, ice and wind can ravage power lines, both on the main power grid and at home. Add to that the increased use of home heating equipment such as a space heaters and electric blankets and the potential for dangerous electrical hazards and home fires only intensifies.

Keep your home and loved ones safe this season by following these important winter electrical safety tips: Ð Use space heaters safely. Keep them a minimum of three feet from furniture, bedspreads, drapes or clothes and never leave them unattended when they’re on. Don’t use extension cords with your space heaters and always unplug the heaters when they’re not in use. Keep space heaters away from wet or damp areas and never touch a heater when your body is wet. Ð Use caution with electric blankets. Never use an electric blanket while you’re sleeping. Make sure the plug and cord are in good shape; otherwise it can pose a fire hazard. Be sure to dispose of electric blankets that have worn or damaged areas. Ð Be careful with your kitchen appliances. While crockpots and other slow-cooking devices get a lot of use in the winter, you should never leave them turned on when no one is home. Leaving them unattended is a major fire risk. And be sure to check electrical kitchen appliances for frayed or damaged cords and plugs before use. Ð Make sure your home is equipped with functioning carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless gas that kills at high concentrations and causes serious and irreversible injuries at lower levels. Deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning increase during the winter months due to the use of common fuels like natural gas, wood and coal. Installing an inexpensive carbon monoxide detector can save your family’s life. Ð Are your smoke alarms in working order? It’s important to make sure that you have an adequate number of smoke alarms throughout your home and that they are functioning properly. Simply push the test button to make sure it beeps and replace the batteries if needed. Ð Don’t overload circuits or wattage. Despite the shorter, darker days of winter, don’t go above the recommended wattage for your light fixtures. Don’t overload wall outlets either and only plug three-prong cords into three-prong outlets. Use extension cords sparingly and only for temporary purposes. Ð Have your home’s electrical panel inspected by a licensed electrician. Because electric usage goes up significantly in winter, you may need an upgrade in order to meet this increased demand. Ð Keep outdoor outlets closed. Check your outdoor outlets regularly to ensure that they don’t have an accumulation of ice and snow on them. Keep them cleared off and closed to avoid moisture from invading the receptacle box and causing an outage. Source: www.mrelectricians.us/best-winter-electrical-safety-tips 4

Cooperative Connections | January 2020


“Don’t fish near overhead power lines” Lily Gums, 14 years old

Lily is the daughter of Dave and Kathy Gums, Clear Lake, S.D. They are members of H-D Electric Cooperative, Clear Lake. Kids, send your drawing with an electrical safety tip to your local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). If your poster is published, you’ll receive a prize. All entries must include your name, age, mailing address and the names of your parents. Colored drawings are encouraged.


Super Soups Leftover Turkey Chowder 4 slices bacon, chopped

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cups half-and-half

2 cups water

2 cups cubed cooked turkey

4 medium red potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)

1 (8 3/4 oz.) can whole kernel corn, undrained

1 pkg. McCormickÂŽ Turkey Gravy Mix

1 tsp. McCormickÂŽ Sage, Rubbed

Cook bacon in large saucepan on medium heat until crisp. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add water and potatoes. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir gravy mix and flour in medium bowl. Stir in half-and-half with wire whisk until smooth. Stir mixture into saucepan. Add turkey, corn and sage. Bring to boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 8 (1 cup) servings.

Curried Pumpkin Soup 8 oz. sliced fresh or canned mushrooms

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk

2 T. butter

2 T. honey

2 T. flour

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. curry powder

Salt and pepper

3 cups vegetable broth In a large saucepan, saute mushrooms and onions in butter until tender. Stir in flour and curry powder until blended. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Add pumpkin, milk, honey, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Heat through. White Tail Ridge Bed & Breakfast, Hermosa, SD

Cheddar-Ham Chowder

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 258, Fiber 1g, Protein 16g, Cholesterol 68mg, Total Fat 14g, Sodium 427mg, Carbohydrates 17g

2 cups water

1/4 cup butter

2 cups cubed potatoes

1/4 cup flour

Pictured, Cooperative Connections

1/2 cup sliced carrots

2 cups milk

1/2 cup sliced celery

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Crockpot Potato Soup 1 (30 oz.) bag hash browns

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth 1/4 tsp. pepper 1 can cream of chicken soup 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese Combine first 5 ingredients in crockpot. Cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours. Add cream cheese 1 hour before serving. Bonnie Weber, Aberdeen, SD

Taco Soup 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained

1 (10.75 oz.) can tomato soup

1 can chili beans, undrained

1 soup can water

1 pkg. taco seasoning

Tomato juice

Combine all ingredients; heat through. Serve with shredded cheese, corn chips or crackers if desired. Velma Schmitz, Bonesteel, SD

1/4 cup chopped onion 1 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. pepper

1 (16 oz.) can corn, drained 1-1/2 cups cubed, cooked ham

In a large saucepan, bring first 7 ingredients to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are just tender; remove from heat but do not drain. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter and blend in flour. Add milk all at once, cooking and stirring until thickened and bubbly. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Stir into undrained vegetable mixture. Return large saucepan to heat; add corn and ham. Heat through, stirring occasionally. Diane Fode, Rapid City, SD

Please send your favorite brunch, seafood or appetizer/ beverage recipes to your local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). Each recipe printed will be entered into a drawing for a prize in June 2020. All entries must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and cooperative name.

January 2020 | Cooperative Connections



2019 Appreciation Day at the Rapid City Office where employees were on hand to answer questions.

WREA MEMBER EVENTS Veronica Kusser Veronica.Kusser@westriver.coop

West River Electric Appreciation Day in Rapid City was a great day. Mother Nature cooperated and Sallie, Carolyn, Clint and Turner were able to get the bouncy castle and slide setup for the young members to enjoy. Brandon, Tucker, Cody and Eric were busy giving bucket truck rides to all who were brave enough to go up. Wayne and Cameron were busy giving climbing lessons to the very young who wanted to try climbing a pole. Sam and his crew were demonstrating the importance of staying safe around electric equipment, and Katchup and Betty were busy tying balloons. There was something for everyone. Becky, Roberta, Dawn and Jenny were busy printing checks and answering questions about capital credits. Garret and 4099800 Larry kept the popcorn popper going and the bags full.

Veronica presented Operation Round Up Checks to the local area recipients, Allied Arts, CORE and Youth & Family Services Girls Incorporated. We had vendors on hand from Morton Buildings, Ebelution Heating and Cooling, Marathon Water Heaters, Water Tree, Red Cross, CORE, Border States, Electro Industries, Renewal by Anderson, GenPro, D&R, Black Hills Raptors and Neighborworks. We had a few members who brought in their electric cars to show off what the options are and West River Electric was showing off the Electric Leaf. We had a large submarine on display, and Willy, Robert, Adam and Jared were busy at the marketing display playing a little electric trivia. All this happened while Jamie, Howard, Chuck, Andy, Sanden and Matt were busy serving up some hot dogs and burgers. Members had the opportunity to come out and ask questions and 6

Cooperative Connections | January 2020

So many opportunities for the kids. Hope you got to come out and enjoy a few hours with us.

get updated on the latest opportunties and programs available here at West River Electric. Thank you to all of our members who came out to New Underwood to tailgate with us West River when the New Electric added Underwood to our fleet in 2019. Tigers took on the Wall Eagles. Some of you we only see once a year. We really enjoy the opportunity to visit you, so thanks for

2019 Tailgating when the New Underwood Tigers take on the Wall Eagles. We had a great turnout from the membership. that opportunity! We had bucket truck rides available for anyone brave enough to go up. Derek, Dakota, Sanden and Clint offered an aerial view of the football field. We had several of our Board of Directors busy serving up hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, 10801600 cookies and a soda to our members. We loved the opportunity to see so many familiar faces.

Derek taking this young lady up for a full view of the Football Field.

Jerry and Howard took the opportunity to present teacher scholarships to three of the classroom projects that are happening in the New Underwood School this year. Darla Rodenbaugh requested money for her classroom STEM/STEAM Project, Amanda Christensen requested funds for her Caring Closet Project for all students and Theresa Derr requested funds for the Sam & Avery’s 20% Project for Elementary Education. We can’t wait to see what date the South Dakota High School Activities Association will have in store for us next year, rest assured we will be in Wall when the Eagles take on the New Underwood Tigers. This is an event that our Board and Employees look forward to each year. November 8th we had the opportunity to serve hamburgers and hot dogs to the members in the Enning area. We setup and served

at the basketball game at the Meade County Community Center. What a fun opportunity for us to get out and visit with so many rural members. Thank you to all who were there. And a special thank you to all the young members who come out and show us their talent of playing the game!

The rural school students entertain us at the 2019 Appreciation Event in the Enning area! January 2020 | Cooperative Connections



Electric cooperatives are offering more than $100,000 in scholarships for area students.

COLLEGE AHEAD? Electric Cooperatives Offer Scholarships to Fuel College, Technical School Aspirations Brenda Kleinjan editor@sdrea.coop

For more than 30 years, South Dakota’s electric cooperatives have been helping fund the continuing education dreams of students planning to attend four-year colleges or technical schools. Over the decades, the scholarships have funded students on their way to careers in education, medicine, government, energy and everything in between. Through the Basin Electric Power Cooperative Scholarship Program, each cooperative that is a Basin Electric member cooperative awards a $1,000 scholarship to the dependent of a co-op member. Additional scholarships through the program are available to the dependents of co-op employees

Several cooperatives offer scholarships to individuals to become electric line workers or electricians. These scholarships, in addition to those awarded by the South Dakota Rural Electric Line Superintendents Association, amount to more than $10,000.


Cooperative Connections | January 2020


But, the majority of scholarship money available from the region’s electric cooperatives are not tied to a specific program of study.

came to percentage of student loan borrowers over age 50.

Some of the scholarships offered by electric cooperatives require that students be in high school, while other South Dakota led the scholarships are designed nation in student for students loan debt, according that may be returning to to a national study. school.

A study released this summer by WalletHub. com found that South Dakota has the highest rate of student loan debt of any state in the country while Minnesota finished sixth on the list. The study, performed by consumer finance website WalletHub.com, had researchers analyze 12 different measures of indebtedness, including average student debt, number of students with debt, and unemployment rate. South Dakota had the highest proportion of students with debt, and was fourth highest when it Of the scholarships being offered by electric cooperatives, more than $10,000 is dedicated to students seeking energy-related careers.

Additionally, students selected to represent their local electric cooperative on the Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., are eligible for a $10,000 Glenn English Foundation Scholarship. Students can apply for the undergraduate scholarship once they have completed one semester of college or technical school. Deadlines for local scholarships vary, so check with your local electric cooperative for details.

Future Engineer? Nationwide Scholarship Available Since its inception three years ago, the Glenn English National Cooperative Leadership Foundation Scholarship Committee has awarded almost $10,000 in scholarships to individuals pursuing a career in engineering. This annual opportunity would not be possible without the foresight and generous contributions of the IEEE: Rural Electric Power Committee (REPC). Together, we hope to support future engineers with an interest and passion for defining and solving the electric utility challenges of the future, specifically in the rural parts of America.

Dates & Deadlines: Ð Applications will be accepted starting on Dec. 14, 2019. Ð The deadline for application submission is 11:59 p.m. EST on May 15, 2020. Ð Winners are selected by a scholarship committee and announced after the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association summer board meeting in Mid-July, 2020. Ð Awards are distributed in August/September, 2020.

Eligibility Requirements

Ð Must be a US Citizen Ð Applicant must be enrolled in an ABET, four-year program of electrical engineering or electrical engineering technology, and have at least a ‘B’ average in major subjects. Ð Applicant must be enrolled as a full-time student. Ð Applicant must have already received academic credits equal to at least one year of college.

Essay Requirement Information

Ð To be considered for the Engineers of the Future Scholarship, you must submit an essay using the following requirements as your guide:

Ð Essays need to be between 1,000 and 1,500 words.

Ð Essays must describe, in detail, plans to pursue a career as an electrical engineer, with an emphasis in electric power, in an electrical utility serving a rural area. Ð Essays must demonstrate knowledge of the unique challenges facing the electric industry in Rural America and describe how you might address these issues as an engineer. January 2020 | Cooperative Connections



OPERATION ROUND-UP 2019 Funds Presented The Operation Round-Up Funds were presented at Appreciation Days in Rapid City, and Enning, as well as at the Annual Meeting in Wall. The funds collected are used to address charitable community needs for organizations funding a special project. The Operation Round Up Board of Directors met in August to determine how to distribute the voluntary contributions from our members. West River Electric Members choosing to participate in this program helped local charities with contributions totaling $6460 for the past year. The average donation amounts to about $6 during the course of a year and is tax deductible. Operation Round-Up is voluntary! If you are not signed up already, and wish to have your bill rounded to the next whole dollar you can contact either office at 393-1500 or 279-2135 or email your request to info@westriver.coop. Applications 3418500 for funds are available at www.westriver.coop or by calling us at 605-393-1500 or 279-2135. The deadline for applications in 2020 will be July 6, 2020.


Allied Arts Fund received $500 for the Give The Gift of the Arts in the community to give others the opportunity.

Central Meade County Community Center received $500 to help replace the lights in the gym to more efficent ones.

Creative Community Concepts received $500 to help with providing events and activities within the community of Wasta.

C.O.R.E. received $1000 to assist with the purchase of a marijuana program kit to teach students the dangers of drugs.

Elm Springs Community Hall received $1000 to assist in the repair of a basement wall in the hall.

Mount Hope Cemetery received $1000 to assist with the construction of a fence around the cemetery.

Cooperative Connections | January 2020

SD FFA Foundation received $780 to assist in providing scholarships for the SD FFA Leadership Retreat.

Girls Incorporated of Rapid City received $500 to assist the girls in becoming responsible and confident in adulthood.

Wall FFA Chapter received $680 to assist in paying the registration cost for students to attend the National Convention.

Sign up for Operation Round-Up today to make a difference in our community!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the Employees and Board of Directors at West River Electric

January 2020 | Cooperative Connections



Technical Schools, Colleges Ready the Workforce Variety of programs offered for in-demand careers Brenda Kleinjan editor@sdrea.coop

Each year, more than 10,000 people head to area technical schools and technical colleges to develop the skills employers in the region are seeking. South Dakota’s four technical schools – Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, Mitchell Technical Institute in Mitchell, Southeast Technical Institute in Among the programs offered at Mitchell Sioux Falls and Western Dakota Technical Technical Institute in Mitchell, S.D., is Institute in Rapid City – have been serving South Dakota’s only power line program students in the region for the last century, for training future line workers. with three of the schools starting in 1968 and the fourth starting in 1969. NeighNational Leaders boring states have similar offerings at schools within easy driving distance of South Dakota. Technical colleges across the region have been recognized for This fall, Lake Area’s campus at Watertown, S.D., was at capacity with 2,228 students. The school notes that students have a 99 percent placement rate after graduation. Nearly 1,200 students attend Mitchell Tech which notes that 99 percent of its graduates find employment or continue their education. The school also notes that 82 percent of its grads stay in the Rushmore State. For Southeast Tech’s 2017-2018 graduates, the school said that 95 percent are employed or continuing their education, with 95 percent of those employed were employed in a field related to their Southeast Tech program. Western Dakota Tech is the only technical college serving the western half of the state. It notes that 96 percent of its most recent graduates are working, continuing their education or enlisting in the military. 12

Cooperative Connections | January 2020

excellence in their field.

The $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. With a singular focus on student success, the Prize highlights institutions with outstanding achievements in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high-levels of access and success for students of color and low-income students. In November, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named the nation’s top 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. Eleven schools based in Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota made the list:


Minnesota West Community & Technical College

ÐMINNESOTA Ð Alexandria Technical and Community College Ð Minnesota State Community and Technical College Ð Northland Community and Technical College Ð Ridgewater College Ð Saint Paul College ÐNEBRASKA Ð Central Community College Ð Northeast Community College ÐNORTH DAKOTA Ð Bismarck State College Ð North Dakota State College of Science ÐSOUTH DAKOTA Ð Mitchell Technical Institute Ð Southeast Technical Institute Based on strong and improving student outcomes – including in learning, completion rates, employment rates and earnings, and equity – 15 percent of community colleges nationwide have been invited to apply for the Aspen Prize. Data show that over the last two years, student retention, graduation rates, and degree completion have improved at the top tier of 150 Aspen Prize-eligible colleges. The 150 community colleges named in November 2019 as eligible to compete for the 2021 Prize were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes. Located in 39 states in urban, rural, and suburban areas,

Lake Area Tech in Watertown was nationally recognized as a top community college.

Technical education needs in southwestern Minnesota have been served by the campuses of Minnesota West Community and Technical College for more than 75 years.

serving as few as 500 students and as many as 75,000 students, these colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector.

The college has five campuses: Canby, Granite Falls, Jackson, Pipestone and Worthington in addition to centers in Luverne and Marshall.

The top 10 finalists for the 2021Aspen Prize will be named in May 2020. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data. A distinguished jury will make award decisions in

Lake Area Technical School in Watertown, S.D., was the 2017 Aspen Prize winner, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. spring 2021. Lake Area Technical School in Watertown, South Dakota, was the 2017 Aspen Prize winner. In the 2017-2018 school year, Minnesota West was one of 150 top community colleges nationwide competing for the Aspen Prize while MTI was a 2019 Top 10 finalist.

The college offers a wide array of ever-changing programs and services, including career and transfer preparation, industry and customized training, community education, athletics, performing arts, student organizations, clubs, and personal enrichment. The school provides students opportunities to earn an associate degree, diploma or certificate in more than 60 disciplines, plus convenient campus locations throughout southwest Minnesota as well as online learning opportunities. The school boasts of its small class sizes, personalized attention and focused, hands-on learning. Its technical programs provide students with the practical skills to begin successful careers in a variety of industries immediately upon graduation. Liberal arts programs at Minnesota West are a great starting point for careers or further study in numerous fields. Credits earned in our associate of arts and associate of science programs are designed for seamless transfer to other Minnesota State institutions.

January 2020 | Cooperative Connections




We have had several EFT (electronic funds transfer) members ask, “why we don’t pull the funds to pay their utility bill on the due date posted on the bill?” We have worked with our bank and NISC, our billing software vendor, and together we will start doing this on January 1st of 2020. We will be changing this process to make it more convenient and easier for our members to track. The EFT process date will be your bill due date. Whether you pay by credit card, debit card, from your checking account or your savings account, your funds will be drawn on the due date on your billing statement. Thank you to all who asked the question!


We want to remind you that when there is a major outage that you can check Facebook for updated information. Our goal is to keep facebook updated periodically throughtout a big event. In the event of an outage we encourage you to call 393-1500 or 279-2135 to report emergencies or power outages. We do not have anyone checking e-mail or facebook 14

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24/7. If you cannot get thru when placing a phone call, please check facebook or keep trying to get thru on the phone. We have linecrews that are on call 24/7 and take our outages and emergencies very seriously. We are here to respond to your your needs. Thank you for your patience and understanding with Storm Ezekiel.

West River Electric


will be closing at noon on

December 24 & Closed December 25 for Christmas. We will be closing at noon on

December 31 & Closed January 1

(USPS No. 675-840)

for New Year’s Please call 279-2135 or 393-1500 for Outages.

Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month

Our Vision: We will achieve an ACSI score of 90 by 2024. Our Values: 1. Safety• 2. Accountability 3. Integrity• 4. Innovation 5. Commitment to Community

Let the sunshine in! For additional warmth, open drapes over windows that receive sunlight during the day. Close them at night, which can reduce heat loss from a warm room up to 10%. Source: energy.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Board President: Andy Moon

Did you change your phone number or email It is important to keep your information updated with West River Electric. We would like to be able to keep you updated on planned outages or other important information that may affect your service. Contact us at 279-2135 or 393-1500 to make changes to your information.

Locate Your Account Number If you locate your account number anywhere in this issue of the West River Electric Cooperative Connections you will be a winner. There will be five account numbers placed randomly throughout the Connections. If you spot your account number and notify our office before the 10th of the next month, you will receive a $10 credit on your next bill.

West River Electric Office Hours Rapid City Office

Wall Office

3250 E Hwy 44, Rapid City, SD Monday-Friday 7:00 am-5:00 pm 605-393-1500

1200 W 4th Ave, Wall, SD Monday-Friday 7:00 am-5:00 pm 605-279-2135

A night depository is available at both offices for your convenience.

Our Mission: We are safety conscious, community oriented, and the trusted energy expert for our member owners.

Board of Directors Stan Anders – Vice President Jamie Lewis – Secretary Larry Eisenbraun – Treasurer Jerry Hammerquist Howard Knuppe Marcia Arneson Chuck Sloan Sue Peters CEO and General Manager: Dick Johnson – dick.johnson@westriver.coop Editor Veronica Kusser – veronica.kusser@westriver.coop WEST RIVER ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS is the monthly publication for the members of West River Electric Association. Members subscribe to Cooperative Connections as part of their electric cooperative membership for $6 a year. West River Electric Cooperative Connections purpose is to provide reliable, helpful information to electric cooperative members on matters pertaining to rural electrification and better living. Nonmember subscriptions are available for $12 per year. Periodicals Postage paid at Wall, S.D., and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to West River Electric Cooperative Connections, PO Box 412 , Wall, SD 57790-0412. Other correspondence to: West River Electric Cooperative Connections, PO Box 3486, Rapid City, SD 57709; telephone (605)393-1500, Exts. 6519, 6517, 6531 or 6522; fax (605)3930275; e-mail veronica.kusser@westriver.coop.

January 2020 | Cooperative Connections



December 18-21

43rd Lakota Nation Invitational (LNI), Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

January 24-25: Pro Snocross Races, Deadwood, SD, 605-578-1876

December 19

Photo courtesy: travelsouthdakota.com

Rapid City Concert Association Presents Rory Hoffman, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Fine Arts Theatre, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

December 20

Ugly Sweater Skate Party, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

December 24-25

West River Electric will be closing at noon on Dec. 24 and closed all day Dec. 25. Call 279-2135 or 393-1500 in the event of an outage or other emergency

December 31

Downtown Countdown, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-176-7979

December 31-January 1

West River Electric will be closing at noon on Dec. 31 and closed all day Jan. 1. Call 279-2135 or 393-1500 in the event of an outage or other emergency

January 7

BH Symphony Orchestra, Fourth Grade Symphony Safara, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Fine Arts Theatre, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

January 10

Taste of Sturgis, Sturgis City Auditorium, Sturgis, SD, 605-347-3233

January 12

Yoga On The Ice, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

January 14-15

Paw Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue, Barnett Arena, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

January 18

February 17

January 18

February 21

West River Basketball Tournament 2020, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Barnett Arena, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

Justin Moore & Tracy Lawrence, Barnett Arena, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

Soup and Dessert Supper, Rapid Valley United Methodist Church, 4:30 to 7 p.m., Adults $6, 5-11 $3; 4 and below Free, 5103 Longview Dr, Rapid City, SD, 605-390-0068

January 17-19

January 25

January 17

Black Hills Rapids Winter Classic 2020 Indoor Soccer Tournament, Rushmore Hall, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

January 18

East/West Game Watch Party, Robbinsdale Bowling Alley, Sponsored by Naja Shrine, All proceeds of the event go to Shrine Hospital for Children, Rapid City, SD, 605-342-3402

January 18

Heroes Skate Day, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

Skates and a Movie, The Mighty Ducks, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

January 31 – February 9

Black Hills Stock Show, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

February 12

Rapid City Area Schools Region 8 Solo & Ensemble 2020, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

West River Electric will be closed for All Employee Training. Call 279-2135 or 393-1500 in the event of an outage or other emergency. KORN and Breaking Benjamin, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

February 22

Skates and a Movie – The Little Rascals, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979 To have your event listed on this page, send complete information, including date, event, place and contact to your local electric cooperative. Include your name, address and daytime telephone number. Information must be submitted at least eight weeks prior to your event. Please call ahead to confirm date, time and location of event.

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