May Cooperative Connections PDF Version

Page 1

West River Electric

May 2019 Vol. 20 No. 1

An Eye on the Sky: Weather Spotters Play a Role Page 8

Rollin’ in the Fun at Wheel Jam Page 12


Investing in the Latest Technology to be

Your Trusted Energy Advisor At West River Electric we try to keep up with the latest technology in order to be your trusted energy advisor. To that end, we recently leased a 2019 Nissan Leaf all electric car from one of our members, Granite Nissan. Of course, I have been somewhat skeptical on electric cars hearing many horror stories. We owned an electric car about 20 years ago when we could barely drive across the street and the battery would be dead. However, the new electric cars have the ability to go many miles on a charge.

Dick Johnson

Members ask me what in the world do you need an electric car for?

I decided this week to take the car for a spin. I drove over 30 miles around town and out on the interstate. I was very surprised at the power and snap the car had. I read the stories about how fast they can accelerate. They were correct. I could beat anyone off the line at a stop light. The Leaf has what is called “E-Pedal” that will decelerate as you come to a stop sign so you never have to brake the car. When I roared out on the interstate, I was able to accelerate easily to 80 and hold it. The E-Pedal allows you to easily navigate heavy traffic without touching the brake. As I zoomed along on the interstate, I set the cruise. The Leaf has technology of “adaptive” cruise and sees vehicles in front of it and will compensate its speed so you keep a safe distance without braking. It has what I call “lane assist” that will keep the car within the white lines therefore not allowing you to drift off the roadway. The Leaf will instantly warn you if you get too reckless. The electronics on the vehicle show a host of information. Besides the normal radio station playing, speed, and odometer showing up on the dash, the kwh used, the miles until you need a recharge, how much you are using at a certain moment in time, and what the climate control might be using at the time is displayed. I was also pleasantly surprised how smooth the ride was and how quiet it was. People ask me what in the world do you need an electric car for. We will be compiling information from the car to share with our members. We are metering it separately to show how long it takes to charge, what the cost is to charge the car, miles per kwh, how far will it go on a single charge, what factors affect the kWh per mile and other odd facts. We also need that information to make better decisions on rates. We will know how we will be able structure a specific time-of-use rate you as members could utilize to charge your cars on off peak hours. Cars have batteries; these are “storage” devices we can utilize in the future for load control during peak times. If you are plugged in, it might discharge to the grid to lessen the peak, so we won’t need to utilize other generation resources. Overall, we want our membership to understand electric cars as they will be the thing of the future. Oh, and I forgot, we sell electricity as a business! We are in the process of exploring the installation of a charging station in Wall. Tesla is installing car chargers in Wall. We are assessing what we can do for non-Tesla cars as Tesla’s stations are proprietary to their cars. We are also in the process of installing some signage on the Leaf. If you see us buzzing around, stop and ask us questions. We will have it at all our events in the future along with providing regular updates on the information we gather. Would I jump in an electric car and run to 2186600 Sioux Falls? Probably not, but I love the way I can run around the local area and between Wall and Rapid City on a single charge at a low price. Stay “plugged” in for future information on the Nissan Leaf from Granite Nissan.


Cooperative Connections | May 2019

Administrative Professionals gather together for employee training day.

COMMITMENT TO THE MEMBER Administrative Professionals Day is April 24 Veronica Kusser

National Professional Secretaries Week and National Secretary’s Day was created in 1952. The professionals are recognized for the importance and value of the work they do for business and companies around the world. The goal in recognizing these professionals back in 1952, was to encourage more women to become professionals. (Now days, that would be both women and men). The 3563500 value and importance of the jobs being done by these professionals were recognized and a holiday was created.

be found working with the youth, volunteering on the local ambulance or fire departments and serving on local advisory boards. Wednesday, April 24 is Administrative Professionals Day. Given the dedication of West River Electric Administrative Professionals, take a minute to say Thank You for all they do for the community that they serve.

The name of this holiday has changed over the years and today is recognized as “Administrative Professionals Day�. The broader term, includes more positions than a Secretary role. The important work and role that these individuals play in any business has evolved over the years. Here at West River Electric these individuals, both women and men, play an important part in bringing power to your home or business. We have professionals who answer the phones, take payments, and work with members in setting up work orders involving the order to bring lines to your home or business. We have individuals who process payments, review billing reports, setup/ close service orders, order poles and wires, obtain easements to run lines, accounts payable, and IT professionals who keep our computers up and running. We have guys and gals who stake the lines, review bills with the members and do walk-thru energy audits. In Western South Dakota and across the country, electric co-op Administrative Professionals mission of helping others often extends beyond their commitment to their work at the co-op. They are familiar faces in the community. They can May 2019 | Cooperative Connections



High Water, High Stakes Flooding can happen in a number of ways including river and stream overflow, excessive rain or storm surge to name a few. Floodwater contaminants can create serious fire hazards if electrical wiring and equipment have been submerged in water. In the aftermath of a flood, there may be hidden electrical hazards. Before beginning the cleanup effort, have a qualified electrician check the house wiring, assess other damages and proceed with repair work. Then, follow these important safety tips: Follow any directives to turn off utilities. If you’re advised to switch off the main power source to your home, flip each breaker and THEN turn off the main breaker. You may also need to shut off the main valve for your home’s gas and water. DO NOT go near any downed power lines especially if there is standing water nearby. Take care when stepping into a flooded area. Be aware that submerged outlets or electrical cords may energize the water, posing a potentially lethal trap. Have an electrician inspect electrical appliances that have been wet and do not turn on or plug in appliances unless an electrician tells you it is safe. A qualified service repair dealer should examine all electrical equipment that has been wet. Certain equipment will require replacement, while a trained professional may be able to recondition other devices. Do not touch a circuit breaker or replace a fuse with wet hands or while standing on a wet surface. Use a dry plastic- or rubber-insulated tool to reset breakers and use only one hand. If using a wet-dry vacuum cleaner or pressure washer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.


Replace or Recondition?

After a serious flood, some items may be reconditioned, while others will need to be completely replaced to protect you and your family. It is recommended that you allow an electrician or electrical inspector to guide the restoration or replacement of any electrical wiring or equipment. Corrosion and insulation damage can occur when water and silt get inside electrical devices and products. Water can also damage the motors in electrical appliances. Therefore, you should be prepared to replace: Circuit breakers and fuses All electrical wiring systems Light switches, thermostats, outlets, light fixtures, electric heaters and ceiling fans Furnace burner and blower motors, ignition transformers, elements and relays for furnaces and hot water tanks Washing machines, dryers, furnaces, heat pumps, freezers, refrigerators, dehumidifiers, vacuums, power tools, exercise equipment and similar appliances Electronic equipment, including computers and home entertainment systems Source: 4

Cooperative Connections | May 2019

“Don’t touch power lines! You’re not a bird.” Jack Bartscher, 11 years old

Jack is the son of Jon and Tanya Bartscher, Mitchell, S.D. They are members of Central Electric Cooperative, Mitchell. 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.


Comforting Casseroles Turkey Noodle Bake

Wonder Tot Casserole

1 T. oil

Seasoning Mix, Original

3/4 lb. salmon

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

3 cups uncooked wide egg noodles

3/4 lb. tater rounds

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 cups shredded cooked turkey

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 (14.5 oz. each) cans diced tomatoes, undrained 2 cups water 1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles, undrained 1 package McCormick® Chili

1 (4 oz.) package cream cheese, cubed 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided

Heat oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes, water, chiles and Seasoning Mix. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in egg noodles, turkey, cream cheese and 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Pour mixture into 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake at 375°F. for 15 minutes. Remove foil. Stir mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with assorted toppings such as sour cream and guacamole, if desired. Makes 8 servings. Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 325, Total Fat 17g, Saturated Fat 9g, Sodium 530mg, Cholesterol 93mg, Carbohydrates 23g, Protein 20g, Dietary Fiber 3g Pictured, Cooperative Connections

1/4 lb. American cheese

3/4 cup milk

Put salmon and tater tots in a greased casserole, reserving a few tots for topping. In a saucepan, combine cheese, onions, celery, soup and milk; heat until cheese is melted. Pour over salmon and tater tots. Bake at 325°F. for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Deb Merkwan, Yankton, SD

Crescent-topped Cheeseburger Casserole 1 lb. lean ground beef

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion

1-1/2 cups shredded American cheese

1/4 cup chopped dill pickles 1/2 cup water

1 (8 oz.) can refrigerated crescent rolls

1/2 cup ketchup

1 egg, beaten

1 T. yellow mustard

1 T. sesame seed

8 to 10 oz. egg noodles

1 to 2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 cup chopped raw onion

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 cup chopped celery (optional)

1 cut-up cooked pheasant

In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in pickles, water, ketchup, mustard and pepper. Spoon beef mixture into an 11x7-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Unroll crescent dough; press into 12x8-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 squares; place on top of cheese. Brush with egg; sprinkle with sesame seed. Bake at 375°F. for 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown.

1/2 cup of sour cream

Stephanie Fossum, Hudson, SD

Chili Pheasant Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup 1 T. fresh or dried parsley flakes

1/2 lb. of white Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Cook noodles in boiling water 8 minutes; drain. Combine all ingredients in a greased 3- to 4-quart casserole; stir together. Pour 1/2 cup hot water over casserole before baking. Bake at 350°F. for 40 minutes. Laurie Wernke, Lennox, SD

Please send your favorite dairy, dessert or vegetarian 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 2019. All entries must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and cooperative name. May 2019 | Cooperative Connections



Youth Tour 2018

YOUTH TOUR UPDATE Our Future Leaders Sydney Shaw, Youth Tour 2019

Veronica Kusser

Educating our youth is important, not just in the school system, but educating them on what an electric cooperative is and what it means to them and their families is important as well. The Directors and employees here at West River Electric take this job very seriously.

For the past 7 years West River Electric has offered a Youth Tour trip for a student, or students, who are going to be Seniors in the fall. This is a trip to our Nation’s Capital where they are given the opportunity to see how our government is involved in the electric cooperative and what the two have in common. This year Sydney Shaw and Gavin Sandal will have the opportunity to be a part of the trip. Included are the essays they wrote, which were 4416500 judged by our Member Communications Committee, to qualify for this opportunity. What Does It Mean to Be An American by Sydney Shaw What does it mean to be an American? This question comes to mind when you start thinking about what your country has been through to get to where it is today. Let’s take it back to when our country began. Our forefathers worked for our basic rights such as: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms. Americans are indebted to the forefathers of our country that went before us and had to sacrifice the things that we all take for granted. They gave up 6

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time with their family and friends to give us things that we get to have every day. We are also indebted to the soldiers that gave their lives to help this country become free. Because of those soldiers, we share our freedom with many nations. America welcomes in people of all races, religion, and color to grant them freedom. We also allow people to participate in activities that other countries do not offer. One example of this is during my sophomore year of basketball. We had two foreign exchange students from Norway and Germany go out for basketball for their first time. They could not afford to play the sport in their home countries because they had to pay lots of money to be involved in a club team. But America offers them the opportunity to play for free. Being an American is having a sense of patriotism and nationalism. We must be proud of the adversities that our country has overcame. Since the beginning of our country, we have overcome wars, terrorist attacks, and many more tragedies. We always find a way to push through and stay strong. Without one of the strongest militaries in the world, we would not be able to overcome these events. Americans must have a sense of pride in this and not take it for granted. We must take pride in the fact of being born in the “Land of the Free”. We Gavin Sandal, Youth Tour 2019

must respect the flag and its colors, for it tells a story of how this country came to be. Americans get the right to a free education in which many countries do not get the privilege of. Attending Sturgis Brown High School has taught me not only academic skills, but life skills as well. Education is a key part of the future, and it should be offered to everyone, but sadly, in some countries, it is not. Being an American is being thankful for this opportunity to better the future of the country. Being an American is not taking things for granted. It is being thankful for what you have and working hard for what you don’t have. Americans need to work hard

What Does It Mean To Be An American? Youth Tour 2019 to better our country in the future and to thank our past generations for what they have done for us. What Does It Mean to Be An American by Gavin Sandal. Take a look at our country throughout the years, and I think you’ll find that many different themes have defined us as Americans. Courage, selflessness, determination, and ingenuity all come to mind. We’ve accomplished so many great things since the days of our Founding Fathers, and we continue to push forward into the twenty-first century. That being said, I think one theme stands out, and characterizes what being an American means to me. As Americans, we’ve never stopped looking for ways to improve our lives, the lives of those around us, and the societal systems in place. This defining characteristic can be seen at work throughout our history, and will move


us forward in the years to come. Because of this, our desire to improve the world around us is a big part of what being an American means to me.

Take a look back in time to the founding of our Nation. Our Founding Fathers came to this new land subject to the rule of England overseas. These men and women were true pioneers, working hard to make a life for themselves and paving the way for generations to come. They came here looking to make a better life for themselves and their families. In doing so, what they really found was a way to make a better government. A government for the people, that accounts for individual freedom where all men are created equal in the eyes of God. The Founding Fathers found a way to improve government, and shaped their vision for America in years to come. After the founding of our country, the Industrial Revolution came about, which changed the landscape of manufacturing and economic growth. The Industrial Revolution was set in motion because of Americans like John Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Rockefeller improved oil refineries and helped us find new ways to use the fuel. Carnegie improved steel manufacturing by making the process easier, faster, and more efficient. The Industrial Revolution is yet another example of the American desire to improve the world around us. The Civil Rights Movement took place in the mid twentieth century, which helped to bring equal rights under the law to many minorities in the United States. This was a movement that took time, and had some growing pains along the way. The civil rights movement took place because Americans like you and I had courage, and good conscious to improve the lives of our friends and neighbors around us. This is another great example of Americans improving, this time, a part of society. Here at home, our early pioneers made an effort to improve all of our lives by creating our local electric coop. Without it, our lives would be much more difficult, and some of the things we do wouldn’t be possible. This is one last example of the American drive to improve the world around us. This is what being an American means to me. Congratulations Sydney & Gavin!

May 2019 | Cooperative Connections



SKYWARN® weather spotter training aids volunteers in providing first-hand information to the National Weather Service.

AN EYE ON THE SKY Spotters Play A Role in Weather Alert Process Brenda Kleinjan

Trained volunteers form a network of weather observers providing critical first-hand information for National Weather Service.

“Spotter reports add credibility to our warnings,” said Kelly Serr, who was conducting a training in Pierre in March. “We’re never sampling the lowest level of the storm.” Serr kicked off the training with some basics: “This is weather spotter training, not weather chasing training. Never risk the safety of yourself or others and do your observation from a safe location.” In most years, thunderstorms, tornadoes and lightning caused hundreds of injuries and deaths and billions in property and crop damages. To obtain critical weather information, the National Weather Service (NWS) established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with between 350,000 and 400,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service. In South Dakota, several hundred volunteers attend training throughout the spring each year. Although SKYWARN® spotters provide essential information 8

Cooperative Connections | May 2019

Clouds form a backdrop to a power line in northeastern South Dakota.

Photo by: Norhtern Electric Cooperative member C.J. Lane

The spotters give first-hand accounts of what they are observing at ground level, an area often times obscured from what radar can detect. (Depending on the distance from the radar, that gap can extend from several hundred feet to nearly two miles.”

for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In an average year, the United States experiences more than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes. Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by SKYWARN® spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods.

Who is eligible and how do I get started? NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service to join the SKYWARN® program. Training is free and typically lasts about two hours. Volunteers learn: Basics of thunderstorm development Fundamentals of storm structure Identifying potential severe weather features Information to report How to report information Basic severe weather safety

Weather Spotter Class While many training classes were held in March and April, a few are still being offered in South Dakota through May: Wednesday, April 17, 7 p.m. – Bon Homme County Spotter Class, Avon Fire Hall, 106 E 1st Ave. Thursday, April 18, 7 p.m. – Lebanon, S.D. Community Center Thursday, April 18, 7 p.m. – Clay County, S.D., Spotter Class, Vermillion, S.D., High School Friday, April 19, 1 p.m. – Custer Highlands/Elk Mountain, Elk Mountain School, 10222 Valley Rd, Dewey, S.D. Monday, April 22, 7 p.m. – Clark, S.D., Community Center, 120 N Commercial St Monday, April 22, 7 p.m. – Douglas County Spotter Class, 4-H Building, 408 9th St, Armour, S.D. Thursday, April 25, 7 p.m. – Lake/Moody County Spotter Class, East River Electric Power Cooperative, 211 Harth Ave S, Madison, S.D. Monday, April 29, 7 p.m. – Minnehaha County Spotter Class, Washington Pavilion, 301 S Main Ave, Sioux Falls Wednesday, May 1, 6 p.m., Murdo, S.D., Ambulance Shed, 101 N Main Wednesday, May 1, 7 p.m. – Yankton County Spotter Class, 201 W 23rd St, Yankton, S.D. Online spotter training available: The Cooperative Operational Meteorology Education and Training (COMET) offers an online Skywarn® Spotter Training course in two sections: “Role of the Skywarn® Spotter” and “Skywarn® Spotter Convective Basics”. The course is designed for people interested in becoming storm spotters. The course is free and each section takes one to two hours to complete.


Weather Ready Aberdeen Weather Team Aims to Improve Preparedness and Response by Ben Dunsmoor

The Aberdeen office of the National Weather Service is bringing together emergency managers, broadcast media, transportation officials, and private sector organizations – including electric cooperatives – to prepare for severe weather events. Officials with the office in Aberdeen held the second annual Integrated Weather Team (IWT) workshop on March 20 to improve communication and coordination between these groups. “The IWT is an ad-hoc ‘team’ of people and entities who are involved in the preparedness and response to high-impact weather events,” NWS Aberdeen Warning Coordination Meteorologist Kelly Serr said. The goal of the annual one-day workshop is to meet with organizations and discuss best practices and methods to improve communication with the public before, during, and after a severe or high-impact weather event. According to Serr, the IWT is a nationwide initiative led by the National Weather Service. The weather service offices in Sioux Falls and Rapid City have held similar events, but the Aberdeen office is the first in South Dakota that is meeting every year. “The IWT philosophy was born out of the desire to bring together those involved in the weather warning and public safety process,” Serr said. “The vision of the workshop is to better understand each About 30 people attended group’s role in public Integrated Weather Training safety, expectations, in Aberdeen in March. and how each IWT member can work together toward mutual goals.” Northern Electric Cooperative Communications Director Ben Dunsmoor and retired Operations Manager Mike Kelly presented information during the March 20 workshop about a mid-October winter storm that caused widespread power outages. The information was intended to help the National Weather Service, emergency managers, and those attending the workshop understand the weather conditions that cause power outages. “My hope is that we continue to learn from each other, understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses and make central and northeast South Dakota as ready, responsive and resilient as possible,” Serr said. More than 30 people attended the March 20 workshop.

May 2019 | Cooperative Connections



You are able to look at the monthly usage history through Smarthub.

CAN SMARTHUB HELP ME? What will it show me? Veronica Kusser

Overview “My Usage” offers you a quick snapshot of how much energy you’ve used, and allows you to compare that usage over time and against weather data. Why should you care? Tracking your usage will help you determine if you are using more energy than usual, so you can make adjustments before you get an unexpectedly large bill. In addition, having access to this information can help you make wise energy decisions. Note: The specific features of My Usage may vary. Information is previous day. View Usage for Specific Time 1. On the home screen, tap the MyUsage icon. Usage range options display, along with daily readings for up to the past month. You may need to swipe up to view all available range options. Enter your Account Number with WREA. 1. Determine the time range you wish to view. Daily: The readings for a specific day appear horizontally across the top. Swipe back and forth to 10

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view the past month. The daily readings are color coded to represent usage levels, ranging from a bright green for lowest usage to a bright red for highest usage. Tapping on a specific day brings up the hourly usage data, if available. Weekly / Monthly/ Yearly: You many need to swipe up and down to select one of these options. You have the choice between this week / month/ year and the last one.

1. Tap the desired time range. A graph displaying your selected range appears. You may find the graph easier to read when you turn your device sideways.


1. Navigate to any usage graph.

2. Tap the Options button in the top right corner. The options screen appears.

3. Slide the Show Weather switch to On.

Drilling Down You can drill down to view additional usage information. 1. From a usage graph, tap a specific column. A new graph appears, presenting the data represented by the column you tapped in the previous graph. For example, if you were viewing a graph of the previous year’s usage, tapping a specific month will bring up a graph of the daily usage for that month. Tapping a specific day brings up a graph of the hourly readings for that day.

4. Tap My Usage to return to the graph. The temperature data now appears as a black line across the graph. Contact us at 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135 for more information on signing up for Smarthub.

1. Swipe left or right to view the usage from the previous or following day /month / year.

Adding Weather Data You may find it helpful to compare your energy usage against temperature in order to help determine why you used that amount of electricity. For example, high usage on a hot day might indicate your air conditioner was working overtime.

“Powering You For a Brighter Future” May 2019 | Cooperative Connections



Fun Rolls into Huron Wheel Jam Celebrates Two, Four and 18 Wheels – and more Brenda Kleinjan

More than 40 competitors are also expected for the South Dakota BBQ Championships. Whether two wheels, four wheels or 18 wheels, vehicles of all types will be rolling into Huron May 31-June 2 for the 16th annual Wheel Jam.

A truck in the 2017 Wheel Jam Dyamic Engine Brake Competition gives the course a run.

The celebration of transportation takes place on the South Dakota State Fair Grounds and will include the 13th annual Original South Dakota BBQ Championships cook off as well as musical entertainment. Organizers of the event note, “When semi-trucks, classic cars, motorcycles, stock car races, and a few rock and roll bands all get together, it means one awesome weekend for the state of South Dakota!” Between the concurrent shows for big rigs, cars and pickups and motorcycles, visitors to Wheel Jam will see thousands of gleaming wheels. They can also watch (or be in) the BIG RIGS run in the Dynamic Engine Brake Competition, listen to 12

classic rock bands in South Dakota or just sit back and enjoy the weekend on the South Dakota State Fair Grounds. Smokin’ hot wheels won’t be the only

Cooperative Connections | May 2019


Wheel Jam Schedule Poker Run Friday, May 31 • 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. • Registration: 5 p.m. at Red Arrow Bar – A free will offering meal will be served during registration. The poker run is open to all vehicles. Entry fee: $10. The entry fee includes admission into the Big Jim Jam Fest.

Pick-Up Party Saturday, June 1 • Registration from 9 a.m. to noon; show from noon to 4 p.m. • Awards at 4 p.m.

The Wheel Jam Parade takes to the streets of Huron on June 1. feature of the weekend as grilling maestros light up their grills to compete in the Original SD BBQ Championships. The event began in 2007 and is a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event. Each year, more than 40 teams compete in the event, which offers more than $14,000 in total KCBS purse. The grand champion wins $2,500 as well as an invitation to compete at the prestigious American Royal in Kansas City, Mo. The Reserve Grand Champion pockets $2,000 in the competition. The event also features the Backyard BBQ People’s Choice Competition, which is open to anyone. Participants do not have to compete in the KCBS portion of the event to register for the Backyard BBQ Competition. And for chili lovers, there’s the F.A.T. Friday Chili Challenge on Friday, May 31. The people’s choice public tasting is held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information on the BBQ, visit http:// Learn more about Wheel Jam at or by calling the South Dakota State Fair office at 800-529-0900 or 605-3537340.

Come to Wheel Jam and bring your 25+ year old pickup – in any stage of repair or dis-repair. No fee to park in designated area! We will be giving trophies for the pickup that is the ugliest, best of show, and came the furthest. Come park your pickup, set up your camper/lawn chair and set back and enjoy the fun!

Make It Mine Show-n-Shine (Classic cars/motorcycles) Saturday, June 1 • Registration from 9 a.m. to noon; show from noon to 4 p.m. • Awards at 4 p.m. There is no entry fee to participate in the Make it Mine Show n’ Shine. Vehicles do not have to be in a “judged car show” condition. Winners are chosen by trophy sponsors. Each sponsor will choose from cars and bikes to award its trophy to. There is no criteria to follow. The winner is chosen based on the sponsor’s preference.

11th Annual Midwest SPL Sound Competition Saturday, June 1 • Registration from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. • Qualifying Time: 11 a.m. JM & TEAM FLEXICUTION presents the 11th annual Midwest SPL Sound Competition located in the Hippodrome.

Wheel Jam Parade Saturday, June 1 • 10:30 a.m. • Participants line-up on Market Street starting at 9 a.m. – All wheels are welcome to participate! Parade route: Market St. east to Dakota Ave. south to 21st St. and back around to the fairgrounds.

Dynamic Engine Brake Competition Saturday, June 1 • 1 p.m. • Located on Nevada Ave. between Market St. and Gate 3

Biker Games Saturday, June 1 • 6 p.m. • East side of carnival mat

Wheel Jam Truck Show Light Show Saturday, June 1 • Dusk • Located in West Machinery Trucks will tune into Big Jim 93.3 from 10 pm - 11 pm for Saturday Night Rockin’ Lights w/ Wheel Jam Truck Show Light Show.

Backstreet Cruisers Car Show Sunday, June 2 • Registration Time: 9 a.m. to noon • Show Time: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Above: The Wheel Jam Truck Show Light Shown illuminates the evening on Saturday. Right: Cars of all types will be on display during Wheel Jam.

Windriders ABATE Motorcycle Show Sunday, June 2 • Registration: 9 a.m. to noon • Show from noon to 4 p.m. • Family Living Center May 2019 | Cooperative Connections





Marketing Rep/CSR

Apprentice Lineman

Jared graduated from Central High School in 2004. He then went on to the University of Mary where he earned a degree in Business Administration.

Skyler graduated from Lemmon High School in 2011. He attended the University of Mary where he received a Business Degree. In 2015 he attended Bismarck State College where he received a degree in the Energy Lineworker Program.

He worked at Best Buy in the Home Theater Division and later was the Mobile Manager. In January of 2015 he began work at West River Electric as a Customer Service Representative. In March he began splitting his time with the Marketing Department.

He worked for a short time at Ottertail in Bottineau, ND before coming to WREA in February 2018. He is transfering from Wall to the Rapid City linecrew in May.



Apprentice Lineman

Apprentice Lineman

Keenan graduated from Stevens High School in RapidCity. He attended Mitchell Technical Institiute for Powerline Construction and Maintenance.

Tucker graduated from Wall High School in 2014. He attended school at U of M for 1 year before going to Mitchell Technical School for a degree in Powerline Construction and Maintenance. He worked for the Wall Building Center with building and construction, America’s Best Value Inn doing hotel maintenance, BLS Custom Pumping and Watts Electric doing powerline construction and maintenance. Tucker joined the linecrew in Wall in March.

He worked for Mitchell Technical School while attending school fueling trucks, and performing odd projects. After gradation from Mitchell Technical Institute in May of 2014 he went to work for 4967200 Brink Construction where he did construction and maintenance of transmission powerlines. Keenan joined the linecrew in Wall in March.


West River Electric will sponsor area students to the South Dakota Rural Electric Youth Excursion. This four-day event will be headquartered out of Bismarck, North Dakota. Young people attending the excursion will learn about the basics of cooperatives, how the region’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives work together and the career opportunities available at the cooperatives. The trip promises to provide an opportunity to meet new friends from other rural electric cooperatives across South Dakota. Students will tour the Great Plains Synfuels Plant, Coteau Properties Freedom Coal Mine, Antelope Valley Station Power Plant and a drive thru the 40-mw Wilton Wind Farm north of Bismarck. Evenings will be spent swimming, dancing, taking a cruise, shopping and making friends. All area high school freshman, sophomores and juniors whose parents or guardians are members of WREA are eligible to enter. Students will be picked up Monday morning, July 22, and will arrive back home Thursday, July 25. The trip is funded by WREA except for personal/shopping money. Fill out the form and return by May 23 to have your name put into the selection process. 14

Cooperative Connections | May 2019

Name_____________________Male_____Female____ Parent or Guardian _____________________________ Address______________________________________ City______________________State_____Zip_______ Telephone_____________T-Shirt Size_____ Age_____ School Attending________________Grade__________ Send to West River Electric Association, Youth Excursion, PO Box 3486, Rapid City, SD 57709. For more information regarding the Youth Excursion contact Veronica Kusser at 605-393-1500 or e-mail veronica.


Don’t post signs on utility poles! Posting signs and announcements on utility poles not only presents DANGER to WREA linemen, it is against the law. Please don’t post your signs or posters on our utility poles. If you see announcements affixed to a pole, please feel free to remove them, but remember to pry the nails, staples & tacks out of the 4965800 poles as well. They can get caught up in the hooks of a lineman when climbing.

(USPS No. 675-840)

Our Mission: West River Electric Association, Inc. shall strive to continually improve customer service and satisfaction by providing safe, reliable, efficient and reasonably priced electricity and services, while leading in the development of our community for the well being of our members.

Energy Efficiency Tip of 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. Source:

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

CEO and General Manager: Dick Johnson –

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.

Board of Directors Stan Anders – Vice President Jamie Lewis – Secretary Larry Eisenbraun – Treasurer Jerry Hammerquist Howard Knuppe Marcia Arneson Chuck Sloan Sue Peters

Editor Veronica Kusser – 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

May 2019 | Cooperative Connections



April 25-27

May 31-June 2: Fort Sisseton Historical

SD High School All-State Jazz Band, Brandon, SD

Festival, Lake City, SD, 605-448-5474

April 26-27, May 3-4, May 10-11

Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake, Rapid City, SD, 605-343-1488

April 27

Spring City-Wide Yard Sale, Sturgis, SD,

May 1-5

Photo courtesy:

BH Film Festival, Black Hills of SD,

May 3-5

Naja Shrine Circus, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 1-800-653-3402

May 11

May 18

May 11

May 18

Great American Book Festival, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979 Black Hills Coin & Stamp Show, Spearfish Senior Center, Spearfish, SD, 605-717-8375

May 11

Wall High School Graduation, 1:30 p.m., Wall High School Gym, Wall, SD Make a Wish Walk for Wishes, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-791-4500

May 19

Faith High School Graduation, 3 p.m., Faith Community Center, Faith, SD

Douglas High School Graduation, 2 p.m., Douglas High School Patriot Stadium, Ellsworth AFB, SD

May 14

May 19

May 16-18

May 19

WREA/CAT, United Blood Services Blood Drive, 3250 E Hwy 44, Rapid City, SD, 605-393-1500 SD High School State Boys Tennis Tournament, Brandon and Sioux Falls, SD

May 18

New Underwood High School Graduation, 3 p.m., New Underwood High School Gym, New Underwood, SD

Rapid City Christian High School Graduation, 2 p.m., Rapid City Christian High School, Rapid City, SD Sturgis Brown High School Graduation, 2 p.m., Sturgis Brown High School, Sturgis, SD

May 24

SD High School State B Track and Field Prelims, Sioux Falls, SD

May 24

SD High School State A Track and Field Prelims, Tea, SD

May 24

SD High School State AA Track and Field Prelims, Brandon, SD

May 26

Rapid City Central High School, 5 p.m., Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD

May 26

Rapid City Stevens High School, 1:30 p.m., Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD

May 26

St Thomas More High School, 2 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Rapid City, SD

June 2

Mickelson Trail Marathon, Deadwood, SD, 605-578-1876

June 8

Storybook Island Character Day, Storybook Island, Rapid City, SD

June 14-30

Sherwood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Black Hills Playhouse, Custer, SD

June 28

Naja Shrine Outdoor Circus, Wall Rodeo Grounds, Wall, SD, 605-209-2556 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.