January 2019 Cooperative Connections PDF

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West River Electric January 2019 Vol. 19 No. 9

Legislative Voices Page 8

Outlet for Savings Page 12


2018 Yearly Review

Merry Christmas to All

Dick Johnson dick.johnson@westriver.coop

“A special Merry Christmas to you our members at the end of the line.


Twas the day after Thanksgiving when all through the office, Not a creature was stirring as I worked and jammed to a country pop chorus. When what to my wondering ears did I hear? A ding on my computer calendar that a new column is near. “Oh no”, was my exclamation, It would be my Christmas column, a poem has been a normal presentation. What a busy year it has been, I don’t know where to start, Inside and outside, our employees all did their part. Those same employees never let safety be far from their mind. No major injuries helped all sleep more sound as mankind. We were blessed with decent weather few outages to be found, The fruits of our maintenance crews helped keep outages down. A bylaw review by a Board and member committee, They spent many hours reading and meeting, the task was not bitty. An advantage of cooperative membership to approve what is wrote, The members approved the changes unanimously at an annual meeting vote. The Box Elder substation early summer the switch we did throw, It took almost 4 years from start to finish, a $3.0 million price tag in tow. Several circuits out of that sub we did re-build, With all the current growth a commitment to meet was fulfilled. A voltage conversion around Box Elder from Seventy Two Hundred to Fourteen Four. Left several members in that area without power for several hours or more. We can’t thank you more than enough for the patience you’ve shown when out, As we work hard to meet the high standards of reliability to prevent a blackout. A new RUS loan for $30 million the Board did approve, It takes a lot of money to help a growing coop on the move. New large developments, businesses, housing, and many an apartment, Kept our 55 employees busy in every department. We found in 2018 another regulation to follow, NERC or North American Electric Reliability Corporation is who makes sure the electrons do flow. Three switches in the Rushmore substation brought us the headache, Another policy, procedure, and checklist we did make. The advantage of cooperative membership, lightly none of us take, For the second year, a one million dollar capital credit retirement the Board did make. Our employees spend many hours in the community, I couldn’t be more proud, That day in New Underwood to see cleaning, painting, staining, and chain saws that were loud. Many other employee hours in local events, Another cooperative principle; our commitment to community is one of our main intents. A special Merry Christmas to you our members at the end of the line, Our wish this season is that our service all year long does shine, And that you feel you can come to us and won’t think twice That we will be your trusted expert for all your energy advice. To the Board of Directors, a thanks I do send, Your total commitment to the members, community and employees seems to never end. 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 2019 happiness and good cheer you too will agree!

Cooperative Connections | January 2019

Apprentice and Journeyman for West River Electric

APPRENTICE - JOURNEYMAN What is the difference? Mike Letcher mike.letcher@westriver.coop

So, you have some personality traits that others may find “unusual” and you think you want to be a lineman, how do you accomplish it? West River Electric requires all applicants to be a graduate of an accredited powerline school. Most states have at least one school offering a powerline program and there are a few large schools with multiple campuses scattered around the United States. Some have waiting lists, so you will want to plan ahead. Once you have graduated you will begin a four year apprenticeship. All companies vary, but here at West River we start a first year apprentice out at 60% of what a journeyman lineman makes. They will be enrolled in an online apprentice program that consists of ten sections per year for each of the four years. These sections include, among other topics: OSHA, basic electrical theory, knots/ropes/ splices, safety, power delivery principles, transformers, overhead conductors, underground conductors, etc. Each section is followed 10539100 by an online test. Once you have passed all ten sections you will move on to the next year. All of this training is done on your own time. You will also be enrolled with the Dept. of Labor as an apprentice lineman, and you will need to track your hours daily and submit them monthly for verification. 8,000 hours of verified on the job training are needed to become a journeyman.

Journeyman Matt Kruse working to replace a pole

six month “steps”. Every six months the apprentice is evaluated by an apprentice committee made up of the operations manager, line superintendent, line foreman, and a journeyman lineman. If the apprentice is performing his (or her) duties properly, as well as staying on schedule with his (or her) online training, they will move to the next step. Each step is a 5% wage increase as well as added responsibilities. If the apprentice progresses on schedule, they will complete all eight steps and become a journeyman lineman at the end of four years.

The four year apprentice process is divided into eight January 2019 | Cooperative Connections



Generator Safety Portable generators can provide a good, temporary source of power during electrical outages, but can become deadly if improperly installed or operated.

Generator Installation Safety Tips The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) strongly recommends that a licensed electrician install home generators to ensure they meet all local electrical codes. Do not connect generators directly to the household wiring without an appropriate transfer switch installed. Power from generators connected directly to household wiring can backfeed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including utility lineworkers making repairs. Make sure your generator is properly grounded. Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries. Portable GFCIs require no tools to install and are available at prices ranging from $12 to $30.

Using Your Generator Safely Make sure your home is equipped with a batteryoperated or battery back-up carbon monoxide alarm. Never operate a generator inside your home or in other enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces. Generators can very quickly produce high levels of carbon monoxide (CO), which can be deadly. Opening doors and windows or operating fans to attempt to ventilate a generator will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home. Even with a working CO alarm, you should never use a gasolinepowered generator inside your home or in a garage. Position the generator outside the home and away from doors, windows and vents that can allow CO to enter the home. Carbon monoxide is the “silent killer.” Get to fresh air right away if you feel dizzy or weak. Do not overload the generator. Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy-duty, outdoor rated extension cord. Make sure extension cords used with generators are rated for the load and have three-pronged plugs. They should be inspected for damage, such as cuts and/or worn insulation before use. Turn off all appliances powered by the generator before shutting down the generator. Make sure fuel for the generator is stored safely, away from living areas, in properly labeled containers, and away from fuel-burning appliances. Before re-fueling, always turn the generator off and let it cool down. Keep children away from portable generators at all times. A generator is a temporary power source. Use a generator only when necessary to power essential equipment or appliances. Source:esfi.org 4

Cooperative Connections | January 2019


“Never fly near power lines.” Cooper VanderWal, 8 years old

Cooper is the son of Thomas and Katy VanderWal, Brookings, S.D. They are members of Sioux Valley Energy, Colman, S.D. 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.

RECIPES Recipe and photo courtesy mccormick.com/recipes

Super Soups Male Chauvinist Chili

Leftover Turkey-Sage Noodle Soup

6 slices bacon

1 tsp. dry hot mustard

2 tsp. oil

1-1/2 tsp. sage, rubbed

10 oz. hot Italian sausage

1-1/2 tsp. chili pepper

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 tsp. thyme leaves

10 oz. lean ground beef

1 tsp. celery seeds

2 bay leaves

1 large Spanish onion, cut in chunks

1/2 tsp. salt

1 (32 oz.) container Kitchen BasicsÂŽ Original Chicken or Turkey Stock 2 cups frozen peas and carrots

2 cups chopped roast turkey

1 bell pepper, cut in large pieces 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)

1-1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper 6 cups Italian tomatoes, mashed with liquid 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, undrained

1 cup dark red wine

1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, undrained

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, undrained

Brown bacon; drain, crumble and set aside. Brown sausage and ground beef separately; set aside. In a Dutch oven, cook onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno pepper over low heat 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in wine and Worcestershire sauce; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add mustard, chili pepper, celery seeds, salt and pepper; simmer 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and meats to onion mixture; heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans; heat to boiling; Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Ruth Schilberg, Viborg

Bacon Potato Chowder 8 slices bacon, cut-up

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup chopped celery

1-1/2 cups milk

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup chicken broth In a saucepan, cook bacon, onion and celery until bacon is lightly browned and vegetables are tender. Pour off drippings. Add diced potatoes, broth, salt and pepper. Cover; simmer 12 to 15 minutes until potatoes are done. Stir in soup, sour cream and milk; heat through. Serves 6. Mary Jessen, Holabird

1 cup medium egg noodles

Heat oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Add stock, peas and carrots, sage, thyme and bay leaves; bring to boil. Stir in noodles; cover and cook 10 minutes or until noodles are almost tender. Add turkey; cook 5 to 10 minutes or until noodles are tender and turkey is heated through. Remove bay leaves before serving. Makes 5 1-cup servings. Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 209, Total Fat 5g, Protein 24g, Cholesterol 69mg, Sodium 444mg, Carbohydrates 17g, Fiber 3g Pictured, Cooperative Connections

Dill Pickle Soup 5-1/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup flour

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

2 cups chopped carrots

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 cups pickle juice

1 cup diced dill pickles

Salt to taste

1/2 cup cooked, diced chicken

1/2 tsp. pepper

Bring chicken broth, potatoes, carrots and butter to a boil. Continue until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add pickles and diced chicken; continue to simmer. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sour cream and water. Quickly stir into soup to thicken. Add pickle juice, salt and pepper. Continue cooking an additional 5 minutes. Catherine Harts, Mission Hill, SD

Please send your favorite brunch, seafood, 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 2019. All entries must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and cooperative name.

January 2019 | Cooperative Connections



SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE Deadline January 30, 2019 For the 28th Year, West River Electric is offering college scholarships to high school seniors’ graduating in May of 2019 as well as students currently in post-secondary education. This year we will once again be offering five scholarships. A $1,000 scholarship provided by Basin Electric Power Cooperative, our power generation cooperative, and four 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 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 11098800 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 Wednesday, January 30, 2019. 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

HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS Are you interested in going to D.C.? June 13-20, 2019 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 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 4424600 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 February 1, 2018. If you have questions please contact Veronica Kusser at 605-393-1500. 6

Cooperative Connections | January 2019

The last resident of Creston is showing his age!

CRESTON, SD Where was that? Creston, SD in 1910.

Veronica Kusser veronica.kusser@westriver.coop

The ghost town of Creston is located east of Rapid City off Highway 44. The little town was settled in 1880 by Jake Allison, who named the community for Creston, Iowa. Creston was established due to the existence of the railroad. Because of the proximity to the river, Creston was a good stop for the Milwaukee Railroad and served as a pumping station for the engines. The Creston Post Office was established in 1886 and existed until 1946. Along with the post office came the general store and a blacksmith shop. The people in the community enjoyed Saturday night dances, Sunday afternoon picnics and watching the locals come together to play a little ball. They had their own team and played ball against Scenic and the other local communities. Creston in its prime, around 1930, had a population of around 40 residents. Like a lot of our little communities with the automobile becoming the main mode of

Creston Baseball Team in 1910.

transportation, the town dwindled in population until it ceased to exist. The railroad no longer travels thru the area and the interstate lies north of Creston taking with it most of the traffic. In the 1930s, when the country was in the grips of the Great Depression, a blacksmith in the town of Creston had a vision. Ike Murphy wanted to attract visitors to the Creston General Store. He cobbled together enough scrap metal, wood and concrete to build a 60-foot-long, 20-foot-tall dinosaur to attract tourists to come in and enjoy a soda at the store. Murphy finished his masterpiece in 1933. The dinosaur, the last resident standing in the town of Creston, is beginning to show his age. He is the only recognizable landmark in the former railroad town along with the bridge that runs over Rapid Creek. When heading East along Highway 44, be sure to watch for the big green dinosaur, you will know you have found Creston!

Bridge at Creston today.

January 2019 | Cooperative Connections



District 29 Rep. Tom Brunner, R-Nisland, sits at his desk in the House of Representatives chamber.

UNDER THE DOME Co-op Leaders Elected to State Legislature Brenda Kleinjan editor@sdrea.coop

As legislators head back to Pierre Jan. 8 for the start of the 94th South Dakota Legislative Session, among the body will be a long-time electric cooperative director.

Rep. Tom Brunner, a farmer from Nisland, S.D., returns to the South Dakota House of Representatives after being re-elected to serve District 29, which encompasses portions of Butte, Meade and Pennington counties in western South Dakota. Brunner is entering his third term, having won elections in 2014 and 2016. The Republican had previously served in the House from 2005-2012, including a stint as a Majority Whip in 2007-08. “I serve because I think it’s my way of giving back to the community. I represent a lot of people who can’t take the time or feel intimidated by speaking out in public. I hope I always bring an opinion that would make my constituents proud to have me represent them,” said Brunner. Brunner’s service to community extends beyond the hallways of the South Dakota Capitol building. Since 1991, he has served on the Butte Electric Cooperative board of directors in Newell, S.D. 8

Cooperative Connections | January 2019

Sen. Ryan Maher, right, converses with a fellow senator after Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s final budget address in December 2018. On the Cover: Brunner, left, and Maher, right, pose for a photo outside of the South Dakota State Capital building.

And, Brunner has the distinction of being the longest-serving member of the South Dakota Rural Electric Association board of directors, having represented Butte Electric on the SDREA board since 1994. Brunner was the ninth individual to serve as the SDREA board president in the association’s 77 year history, serving from 2001 to 2006. On the other side of the Capitol building, Sen. Ryan Maher of Isabel is returning to the Senate representing District 28 in northwestern South Dakota. District 28 is the state’s largest district geographically, extending from the Missouri River to the Montana state line. It includes Harding, Perkins, Corson, Dewey and Ziebach counties and much of northern and western Butte County. Like Brunner, Maher was a familiar face in Pierre prior to his re-election in November. Maher first served in the South Dakota Senate from 2009 to 2014 before returning in 2017. He served as the Republican assistant majority leader in 2018. The bar and grill owner and insurance agent from Isabel is also a director on his local electric cooperative board. Maher was elected in

2017 to the Timber Lake, S.D.-based Moreau-Grand Electric Cooperative board of directors. Also on the House side is District 26A Rep. Shawn Bordeaux, D-Mission. Bordeaux, who is the Director of Rep. Shawn the Institute Bordeaux of Tribal Lands D-Mission at Sinte Gleska University, serves on the board of directors for Cherry-Todd Electric Cooperative in Mission. This is Bordeaux’s third term in the House where he represents Todd and Mellette counties in south central South Dakota. The South Dakota Legislature is bicameral, consisting of a Senate, comprised of 35 members, and a House of Representatives with 70 members. The main run of the 40-day legislative session goes through March 13. Lawmakers return to Pierre March 29 to consider gubernatorial vetoes.

South Dakota’s Legislature Each Legislative District in South Dakota is represented in Pierre by two members in the South Dakota House of Representatives and one Senator. (Districts 26 and 28 are split into an A portion and a B portion, with a specific Representative for that area.) Need to contact your legislator while they’re in Pierre? Go to http://sdlegislature.gov/ From there, you can search your Senator or Representatives, see the committees which they are assigned and send them an email. Need to reach them by phone? You can call and leave a message with the senate at 605-7733821 or with the House of Representatives at 605-773-3851. You can also send a fax to 605-773-6806.


Minnesota’s 91st Legislative Session to Start Jan. 8 On Jan. 8, Minnesota’s elected leaders head to St. Paul for the 91st Session of the Minnesota Legislature. Coverage of the session starts at 8 a.m. Tuesday on the Minnesota Channel, which is carried by Minnesota’s six independent public television stations. Legislative television programming is produced and created by the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate. The Minnesota Legislature has 67 senators and 134 representatives for a total of 201 members. The size of the Legislature has changed over time. Since statehood the lowest number of members was 63 and the highest was 202.

Minnesota State Capitol building.

According to Minnesota Statute 3.011, the legislature meets at the seat of government on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of each odd-numbered year. It shall also meet when called by the governor to meet in special session. In the even numbered years, it convenes on a date set by joint agreement of both bodies. The state constitution limits the Legislature to meeting 120 legislative days during each biennium. In addition, the Legislature may not meet in regular session after the first Monday following the third Saturday in May of any year.

Contact Minnesota Legislators For contact information on Minnesota House members, visit: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/members/ hmem.asp For contact information on Minnesota Senators, visit: http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/members/ index.php?ls=%20-%20header January 2019 | Cooperative Connections



Central Meade County Sofball receives Operation Round-Up Funds

OPERATION ROUND-UP 2018 Funds Presented The Operation Round-Up Funds were presented at Appreciation Days in Enning and Rapid City, and 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 particiapte in this program helped local charities with contributions totaling $8200 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 4026500 already, and wish to have your bill rounded to the next whole dollar you can conact either office at 393-1500 or 279-2135 or email your request to info@westriver.coop. Applications for funds are available at www.westriver.coop or by calling us at 605-393-1500 or 279-2135. The deadline for applications in 2018 will be July 5, 2019.


Pennington County Search and Rescue received $500 to help with the purchase of a FLIR unit.

Working Against Violence received $500 to help with the upgrade of the playroom located in the 24/7 emergency shelter.

C.O.R.E/Freshman Impact received $1,000 to be used for the purchase of equipment for the Fatal Vision Cart Course.

Sami Jo Memorial Pool received $1,000 to help with the purchase of a heater for the pool.

Cooperative Connections | January 2019

White Owl Community Center received $500 to help with the finishes of the new community center.

Central Meade County Softball received $250 to help with fixing up the softball fields.

Enning Community Library received $500 to purchase new books for the library.

Plainview Community Hall received $500 to help with repairs after the hall was vandalized.

Union Center Wrestling Club received $500 to help with rent for a practice facility.

Rural Meade Ambulance Service received $500 to help with the purchase of uniforms, jackets & radio’s.

Rural Meade County Pre-School - Enning received $500 to help with the liability Insurance for the pre-school.

Central Meade County Tumbling/ Gymnastics received $500 to help purchase mats and a cart.

Wall Gymnastics Booster Club received $250 to help with the purchase of uniforms.

Wall Rodeo Booster Club received $500 to help with the purchase of LED Lights for the arena.

Youth In Science Rapid City received $200 to help with the Annual Women in Science Conference.

Lakeside Cemetery Association received $500 to help with the replacement of the fence.

January 2019 | Cooperative Connections



An Outlet for Energy Savings Smart Outlets Offer Savings Kaley Lockwood NRECA

These devices afford the same surge protection as their predecessors, but also tie in the “smart” functionality of an internetconnected device. Does the ebb and flow of your energy bill have you searching for an affordable way to reduce or better control your use? If you answered yes, then look no further because we’re taking a quick dive into a practical and affordable device that allows you to better manage your home’s energy use. We’re talking about energy-saving outlets! These next-generation devices afford the same surge protection as their predecessors, but also tie in the “smart” functionality of an internet-connected device. There are several different kinds of energy-saving outlets available, but there are two factors you should consider. First is size; there are many different sizes ranging from a single external outlet to a power strip with multiple sockets. The second thing you’ll want to consider is Wi-Fi connectivity; internet-connected outlets, commonly known as smart plugs, may enable you to fully realize the potential of these energy savings. This is because you’ll have greater remote control of the outlet through your smart phone, tablet or home assistant (like Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa). You’ll also want to consider where you’ll be 12

ThinkEco also offers smart, energy-saving outlets. Shown here is the modlet (or modern outlet). Photo credit: ThinkEco using the energy-saving outlet and what you’ll be using it for. Answering these questions will make it easier to choose the device that works best for you. With smart plugs or smart power strips, a few clicks and swipes on your smart phone will enable you to fully shut down the electrical currents to your high-powered devices to prevent them from consuming electricity even when switched off. Several devices found inside your home are commonly referred to as “parasitic loads,” “phantom loads” or “energy vampires.” In fact, most entertainment systems consist of several parasitic loads, such as televisions, DVD players and video gaming consoles. These outlets can potentially curb these loads, which can cost the average household an extra $200 per year. In addition to preventing unnecessary

Cooperative Connections | January 2019

The Insteon® On/Off Outlet is one of many options for smart, energy-saving outlets. Photo credit: Insteon®


ThinkEco’s modlet (or modern outlet) can be controlled remotely and even adjust to your personal schedule. Photo credit: ThinkEco

Convenience is also a major factor to consider when thinking about your next efficiency upgrade. energy consumption, these energy-saving outlets are affordable for most folks who are looking to trim their use. The average smart outlet costs around $10 to $20 on Amazon.com and has the potential to pay for itself within two years or less depending on how often you use it. As previously noted, convenience is also a major factor to consider when thinking about your next efficiency upgrade. Smart plugs typically come with simple instructions to download an accompanying app on your smart phone and then connect the plug to your home’s Wi-Fi. The convenience in being able to turn the device on and off using your phone cannot be understated. Advanced smart plugs and smart plug apps also have the ability to automate the use with your schedule and even your presence in the home. You can also have large-load devices turn off at a set time each night and turn on

every morning when you’re ready to use them. If you want to use your television, for example, at a time that’s outside of the preset hours, you can easily switch the device on through the smart phone app. Through automation, you’re able to power down these energy-intensive devices and prevent unnecessary energy use. For folks who are looking to optimize their energy use and eliminate vampire loads, smart plugs may be your best option. For others who want more of a hands-off option to save additional dollars, energy-saving outlets and power strips without the Wi-Fi connection may be a better choice.

Either way, energy-saving outlets are just one of many energy efficient options out there and as technology continues to evolve, we’ll likely see additional options emerge in the future. Kaley Lockwood writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape.

The Insteon® On/Off Outlet outlets can be controlled remotely, but consumers will need to purchase the Insteon Hub first, which costs about $40. Photo credit: Insteon® January 2019 | Cooperative Connections



JOURNEYMAN CERTIFIED Congratulations Alex, Matt & Colter

Alex Preszler, Journeyman

Matt Kruse, Journeyman

Congratulations Alex, Matt and Colter! These three young men have successfully completed one of the world’s most comprehensive training programs for power line personnel. We have an active training coordinator assisting trainees by administering testing throughout the four year journey to becoming a Journeyman. They are reequired to put in 8,000 hours of work time under the guidance of a qualfied trainer. Alex Preszler, lineman for West River Electric successsfully completed the comprehensive training program for power line construction and maintenance and received his Journeyman in July.

Colter Stout, Journeyman

Matt Kruse, lineman for West River Electric, successfully completed the comprehensive training program for power line construction and maintenance and received his Journeyman in October. Colter Stout, lineman for West River Electric, successsfully completed the program for power line construction and maintenance and received his Journeyman in October as well. We would like to congratulate all three of these young men and wish them well in their careers..

SPACE HEATERS Too Good To Be True? You know it’s winter when the full page ads for the latest miracle space heater start appearing in the newspaper. I read one last night (I know you are thinking this guy should get a life…). The claims are compelling: never be cold again, drastically slash home heating bills, uses the same energy as a coffee maker, and it produces “Ortho-Thermic ™ bone-soothing heat”. If that’s not enough, it’s fire-less flame technology creates the ambience of a real fireplace. Start dialing the hotline now because the phones are ringing off the hook to get this amazing deal. Too good to be true? Yes and no. Electric space heaters are 100% efficient. Every kilowatt-hour of electricity you buy delivers 3,413 BTUs of heat – regardless of the type or style of electric space heater. There is no magic. Most electric space heaters that plug in the wall are limited to a maximum of about 1500 Watts (1.5 kW) – about the same as a coffee maker or hair dryer – Okay for heating a room but not an entire house. Electric space heaters are useful for spot heating. If you have a 14

Cooperative Connections | January 2019

room that is cold or drafty, you could use a heater to warm that room, but it would be better to invest in some caulk, weatherstripping and insulation than an overpriced space heater. You can save money using a space heater only if you use it to heat a single room and turn down the heat in the rest of the house. If you move the heater from room to room, your savings will be small. If you use space heaters, use them safely – don’t place them near flammable materials, don’t use them with an extension cord, use space heaters that include safety features like a switch that turns the heater off if it tips over or gets too 3370800 hot, look for UL listed products, don’t use them outdoors or in wet areas, keep them away from small children, and turn them off and unplug them when you leave. For more energy efficient tips go to touchstoneenergy.com./ together we save/energy efficiency articles. (Source: Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.)


West River Electric will be closed

December 24-25 for Christmas

Closing at Noon December 31 and all day January 1 for New Years. If you have an outage or other emergency, please call 279-2135 or 393-1500.

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 Is your hot water tank warm to the touch? Consider insulating it to save 7 to 16 percent annually on water heating costs. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Source: energy.govv

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. January 2019

(USPS No. 675-840)

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 2019 | Cooperative Connections



December 21

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

December 22-23

1880 Train Holiday Express, Hill City, SD, 605-574-2222

December 24-25

Photo courtesy: travelsouthdakota.com

West River Electric will be closed for Christmas, Call 605-279-2135 or 605-393-1500 in case of an outage or other emergency

December 31

Downtown Countdown, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

December 31-January 1

West River Electric will be closing at noon on Dec. 31 and closed all day Jan. 1 for New Year’s, Call 605-279-2135 or 605-393-1500 in case of an outage or other emergency

January 1

Ice Skating Two-for-One Tuesdays, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

January 11

Lights on the Ice Skate Party, Central High School Student Council, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

January 13

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

January 15-17

January 8-March 13: South Dakota

Legislative Session, Pierre, SD, 605-773-3251 January 19

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

January 25-February 3

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

January 27

Rodeo High School 20x Showcase 2019, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

January 30

West River Electric will be closed for an all employee training day, Call 605-279-2135 or 605-393-1500 in case of an outage or other emergency

February 22-23

State Wrestling Tournaments, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

February 25

Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

Deadline to submit West River Electric scholarship applications, West River Electric Association, 605-393-1500

March 7-9

February 1

Gun Show, American Legion Hall, Philip, SD, 605-441-8466 or 605-441-1216

2019 South Dakota Governor’s Conference on Tourism, Pierre, SD

Deadline to submit West River Electric Youth Tour Essays, West River Electric Association, 605-393-1500

January 17

February 8-10

WREA and BHE Electro Technology, Ramkota Event Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-393-1500

February 18

Black Hills Sports Show and Outdoor Expo, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

SD State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament, Huron Arena, Huron, SD

March 9-10

March 14-16

SD State Class A Girls and Boys Basketball Tournament, Premier Center, Sioux Falls, SD

March 14-16

SD State Class AA Girls and Boys Basketball Tournament, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD

March 14-16

SD State Class B Boys Basketball Tournament, Barnett Center, Aberdeen, SD

April 5-6

Forks, Corks and Kegs Food, Wine and Beer Festival, Deadwood, SD, 605-578-1876

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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