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VOL. 17 NO. 8

Spreading Good Cheer: Cooperatives Shine During Holidays P8-9



With a Grateful Heart Every day I receive tweets with inspirational quotes. As I was thinking about my November column, I looked for the right quote. I saw one that caught my eye that said “nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart”. How true that is. With Thanksgiving upon us, I reflect back on a few of the things I am grateful for. I am grateful we still live in one of the greatest countries Dick Johnson on earth. We CEO/General Manager have plenty of gloom and doom; just look at all the press on the past election! Presidential, local, ballot initiatives, referendums; I could go on and on. Besides political issues, we have plenty of issues within our society; moral dilemmas, racial issues, murders, thefts, skyrocketing substance abuse. However, we should be grateful we live in a country where we can vote for our leaders. I am grateful that we can chose to work together to try and solve these issues instead of having some dictator or regime that spells out everything we do every day. We live in a country that we can be grateful that we have a higher standard of living than most people around the world. I am honored and grateful for our not-for-profit cooperative form of business. That was never more evident than our annual meeting just a few weeks ago where you, the member owners, were able to choose the next Board member to serve from District 3. I am grateful that you have given me, and our employees, a very strong Board to govern the cooperative; members just like you and I. I am honored to be the CEO of an organization working with a Board who has the vision and leadership to build a vision into the future just like our forefathers did the last 77 years. I am honored and grateful that we have a strong military to protect our freedom. I am thankful for all of the brave men and women who serve in the military. I am grateful to the many police officers, fire personnel, EMS, and first responders who drop everything at a moment’s notice to help us while

putting their lives in jeopardy. These times were not more evident with the recent fire east of Wall. I was by that fire within 30 minutes and have never seen a wildfire like that in my life. To see the fire crews from all over Western SD put their lives on the line to protect homes and building was just utterly amazing. Granted many lost cattle, fences, grazing, and hay, but I know they are grateful no one was seriously injured and no actual houses were lost. I am honored and grateful to work with such a young, energetic, and engaged group of employees. They come to work every day for you, the members at the end of the line, understanding the cooperative nature of our business. Do we do everything right 100% of the time? Not hardly, but we strive to do our best in everything we do to make sure we meet your needs. Whether that be handling an outage, building a new line, answering your questions on a bill, or advice on efficiency and usage, they are the greatest team. I am grateful we worked another year without a major injury to any of our employees and everyone got home safely every night to their waiting families. I am grateful that our cooperative continues to grow with new members. I am grateful we have been able to meet this growth head on and continue to work hard to make sure we are positioned to meet further growth. We had another strong year financially even though sales were down. One could say I shouldn’t be grateful for our recent rate increases, however, I can be grateful that without a reliable low cost source of electricity, our towns and rural areas in Western South Dakota would barely exist. We can serve with a grateful heart knowing we still have one of the lowest costs source of power in the nation. 3495400 Finally, I am grateful and blessed to not only have my cooperative family and friends, but a wonderful wife and 2 daughters who bless me each day with their love and patience in a job that brings plenty of stresses home. From the Board of Directors, staff, and employees of West River Electric, our hope is that you step back this Thanksgiving season and have a grateful heart that so many blessings have been bestowed upon us. Yes, “nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart”. This is my hope for you!

West river electric will be closed november 24-25 for thanksgiving 2 D ece m be r 2 0 1 6 • cooperative connections

Employee Biographies Derek Haug - 1 Year I grew up in Piedmont, South Dakota where I attended Stagebarn School and then went on to attend Sturgis Brown High School graduating in 2011. Right after High School I went to work for Whiting Oil and Gas in North Dakota until 2013. After coming back to the Black Hills a friend of mine talked me into going to Mitchell VoTech for Powerline Construction and Maintenance. After graduation in 2015 I was fortunate to be hired as a summer intern for West River Electric which became a full time position in September of 2105. I love the challenges that we as a line crew are presented with each day. The best part of my job is climbing, building new lines to bring power to the members and the crew that I have the opportunity to work with each day, they are fun and full of energy. In my spare time I enjoy the adventure of Motocross Racing, snowmobiling, hunting and fishing.

Aaron Scherer - 1 Year I grew up in Timber Lake, South Dakota where I played football, basketball and ran track in high school. I attended school for Diesel Mechanics right after high school. At the same time I served with the National Guard unit out of Mobridge, SD, working with building bridges. I then started my career with Brink where I was able to work my way up to Journeyman, a Foreman and eventually a Supervisor. I worked for Brink for the next 10 years before being offered a position with West River Electric as a Journeyman Lineman. My wife Sarah and I have 4 children and we enjoy spending time hiking and trail riding with family. I have really enjoyed the job with West River Electric as it has allowed me to spend more time with my family. I really like the positive atmosphere and enjoy the people that I work with, making it a job where I love to come to work each day.


cooperative connections • D ecem b er 2016 3



Decorating Safety Indoor Lights and Electrical Decor • Always purchase electrical decorations and lights from reputable retailers. • Use lights approved for safe use by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. • Never connect more than three strands of incandescent lights together. • Consider purchasing LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights. • Before decorating, determine how many outlets are available and where they are located. Plan your displays accordingly. • Carefully inspect each electrical decoration. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire. • Follow the manufacturer’s use and care instructions that accompany electrical decorations. • Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire. • Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation. • Do not mount or support light strings in a way that might damage the cord’s insulation. • Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses. • Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep. Outdoor Decorations • Make sure all extension cords and electrical decorations used for outdoor decorating are marked for outdoor use. • Match power needs (amperage) of electrical products with amperage rating of extension cords. • Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). If circuits are not GFCI-protected, portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold and require no special knowledge or equipment to install. • Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords for damage before using. • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, the house or other firm supports to protect them from wind damage, but take care not to attach the lights in a way that could damage the cord’s insulation. • Keep all extension cords and light strings clear of snow and standing water. • Make sure spotlights used to illuminate decorations are well-ventilated, protected from weather and a safe distance from flammable items. • Inspect ladders for loose or missing parts before using. • Use wooden or fiberglass ladders when decorating outdoors. Metal ladders conduct electricity. • Use the right ladder height, ensuring ladders extend at least three feet past the edge of the roof. • Exercise caution when decorating near power lines. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet from power lines. Source: esfi.org 4 December 2016 • COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS

Kids’ Corner Safety Poster

“Never touch a power cord with wet hands.”

Rebekah Sharples-Schmidt, 8 years old

Rebekah was 8 years old when she submitted this safety poster. She is the daughter of Glen and Riva Sharples-Schmidt, Wakonda, S.D. They are members of Clay-Union Electric, Vermillion, 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.

If storms down power lines, remember to

Stay away!



Holiday Treats Almond Snowballs 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds 1 cup butter, softened 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour

Peppermint Bars 1/4 tsp. salt 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided

Process almonds in a food processor 30 seconds or until very finely ground. Beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add vanilla and 1 cup powdered sugar, beating until blended. Combine flour, salt and almonds in a medium bowl; gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until blended. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 325°F. for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool for 10 minutes. Roll warm cookies in remaining powdered sugar. Stephanie Fossum, Hudson

Chex Caramel Corn 1 bag popped microwave popcorn 3 cups Corn Chex 3 cups Rice Chex 1/2 to 3/4 cups honey roasted peanuts

Topping: 1/4 cup margarine 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 2 T. light corn syrup 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Pop corn; remove unpopped kernels. In large microwavable bowl, combine popcorn, cereal and peanuts. In medium bowl, microwave butter, brown sugar, syrup and vanilla on HIGH about 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until mixture is bubbling. Pour over cereal/popcorn mixture; stirring gently until evenly coated. Microwave on HIGH 5 to 6 minutes, stirring and mixing after every minute. Spread on waxed paper or cookie sheet to cool. Break up. Store in airtight container. Jane Ham, Rapid City

Can’t Fail Caramels 2 cups sugar 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 cup light corn syrup 1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk 1 cup butter or margarine 4 tsp. vanilla

Brownie: 1 (family-size) pkg. fudge brownie mix Chocolate Glaze: 12 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter Crushed peppermint candies or candy canes

Peppermint Filling: 5 cups confectioners’ sugar 14 T. butter, melted 2 T. heavy cream 1 tsp. peppermint extract 1/8 tsp. red food coloring

Prepare brownie mix as directed on package. Spread in greased, foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake at 350°F. for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Meanwhile, beat filling ingredients in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended and smooth. Spread evenly over brownie. Refrigerate 30 minutes. For glaze, microwave chocolate and butter in microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until butter is melted, stirring until chocolate is melted. Spread over top of brownie. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies. Cut into bars. Makes 36 servings. Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 258, Total Fat 14g, Saturated Fat 7g, Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 104mg, Carbohydrates 31g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 2g Pictured, Cooperative Connections

Pecan Delights 2-1/4 cups packed brown sugar 1 cup butter or margarine 1 cup light corn syrup 1/8 tsp. salt 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/2-lb. whole pecans 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1 cup milk chocolate chips 2 T. shortening

In a large saucepan, combine the first 4 ingredients. Cook over medium heat until all sugar is dissolved. Gradually add milk and mix well. Continue cooking until a candy thermometer reads 248°F. (firm-ball stage). Remove from heat; stir in vanilla until blended. Fold in pecans. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill until firm. Loosen from paper. Melt chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl or double boiler. Drizzle over each cluster. Cool. Ginny Jensen, Volga

Hopscotch 1 cup chocolate chips 1/2 cup peanut butter

2 cups chow mein noodles 2 cups miniature marshmallows

Combine sugars, corn syrup, cream, milk and butter or margarine. Cook slowly, stirring constantly to 248°F. or when small quantity dropped in cold water forms a firm ball; remove from heat. Add vanilla. Pour into greased 8x8x2-inch pan or cookie sheet; cool. When firm, place on board and cut into squares. Wrap each square in waxed paper. Makes 1-1/4 pounds of caramels.

Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter over hot water. Mix in noodles and marshmallows. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let cool.

Judy Jensen, Langford

Belle Kvale, Lemmon

Please send your favorite soup, brunch and seafood 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 2017. All entries must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and cooperative name.


Co-op news

Stay Safe

Call Before You Dig It is somewhat understandable when you experience an outage during a thunderstorm or blizzard. But what about the outages that occur on a beautiful, sunny day? Those are most likely caused by a cable dig-in. Cable dig-ins are the most common human caused outages we experience, and they are completely avoidable if you follow the SD One Call procedures. Whether you are a contractor, homeowner, farmer/rancher, or just helping out a friend, if you are going to be doing any excavating please call before you dig! Not only could it prevent an injury or possible death, it will also help prevent an outage and save you a repair bill that could be thousands of dollars. There are a few instances when a locate is not required such as tilling soil less than 12” deep and tilling soil for agriculture to a depth of 18”. Everything else requires a call to SD One Call. The process is fairly simple. Call SD One Call by dialing 811 in state or 800-781-7474 out of state. The call center will process your request and issue a locate ticket. You will be given a locate ticket number. The operators of underground facilities then have 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) to mark their lines. After the 48 hours you can proceed with your excavation. Keep in mind that privately owned facilities are

Call Before You Dig!

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not marked and are your responsibility. These would include electric wires to outbuildings, propane lines, private water lines, etc. 3879500 Once you are ready to begin excavating, remember that you must not dig within 18” of any locate mark with a machine. Any digging within 18” is by hand only, taking care not to damage the underground facility. If damage does occur it is your responsibility to contact the facility operator for repairs. Your locate ticket is good for 21 days from the start date on the ticket, after that you will need to call in a new locate ticket. If you have any questions please contact us at 393-1500 and we will be happy to assist you. More information can be found on the SD One Call website: www.sdonecall.com Mike Letcher

Co-op news

What caused the

Cottonwood Fire? Sunday, October 16, as I came thru Philip headed to I-90 I see what appears to be a small billow of smoke. My thoughts move to the wind that is causing my arms to tire keeping the car on the road and the battle to be ensued from that

Traveling West toward Cottonwood just after 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 16, 2016.

wind taking the fire out of control. As I come west toward Cottonwood the heavy white smoke billow is getting larger; a large fire appeared to be just over the hill going south from Cottonwood.

Picture courtesy of Vic Simmons of Rushmore Electric. WREA Line Crews doing pole replacement/repairs after the Cottonwood Fire.

West River Electric lost 33 poles, 24 - three phase poles and 9 single phase, to Mother Nature. We were able to keep the outage to a minimum for our members in the area of the fire. Our line crews worked Monday and Tuesday to get the poles and lines replaced and were able to finish up by early evening, with Wednesday being a clean-up day. We are grateful for the firefighters who contained the fire and kept it from spreading even more.

You could say fortunately there were no homes or injuries to landowners or firefighters and rescue personnel, or you can say unfortunately, there were 284 cattle lost, many miles of fence, hundreds of tons of hay and several structures damaged and destroyed. All told a total of 41,360 acres of land were burned. There were firefighters from all over, as I headed west on the interstate, I saw fire trucks and engines heading east from Wasta, New Underwood, Box Elder, Rapid Valley, Rapid City, Piedmont and Keystone and they met many departments from the Central part of the state, all totaling over 300 firefighters. We are very fortunate to be from an area where there is concern for the communities we serve and help is just around the corner. 10529300 Lineman for West River Electric, Joel Stephens, finished fighting the fire, changed his shoes and hat and could be found working to replace poles and lines for West River Electric. Thank you to our line crews for a safe and quick restoration of power. Veronica Kusser

Picture courtesy of Colter Stout. This is just one of the many poles destroyed by the raging fire that quickly engulfed the SD prairie.

cooperative connections • D ecem b er 2016 7

Shining Brightly Electric Cooperatives Spread Cheer


Brenda Kleinjan

anta may have Rudolph with his nose so bRight, but several communities know that when it comes to spreading good cheer and lighting the way, their local electric cooperative shines through. At Renville-Sibley Co-op Power Association in Danube, Minn., the coffee is on and cookies are served for members stopping in at the co-op’s annual open house in early December. Lyon-Lincoln Electric in Tyler, Minn., also hosts a similar event in early December. While they’re at it, eligible members are able to pick up capital credit checks. Similar events are held at other cooperatives, whether it be one-day affairs at individual offices or as a general invitation to stop in for a cup of coffee or cider and possibly a treat.


Leading up to the holidays, cooperatives in Gregory, Milbank, Elk Point and elsewhere have served as drop off locations for contributions to local food pantries. These endeavors have gathered hundreds of pounds of much-needed food and cereal to help those in need. Each year, Northern Electric Cooperative in Bath, S.D., greets passersby on U.S. Highway 12 with a light display that stretches across the co-op’s south lawn. In recent years, co-op employees have also spearheaded a toy drive for the local Toys for Tots program. And, when it comes to lighting things up, co-ops like Grand Electric Cooperative in Bison, S.D., and Clay-Union Electric Corporation in Vermillion,

Tips from Elf on the Shelf At Central Electric Cooperative in Mitchell, S.D., Trixie, the Elf on the Shelf, visited the cooperative in December 2015. Her antics were shared on the co-op’s Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest feeds. Using a “Naughty or Nice” indicator, Trixie shared tips on energy efficiency and safety using the hashtags “#ElfontheShelf” and “TrixiesAdventures”. You can follow Trixie’s Adventures on Pinterest and Instagram too! Search CentralElecSD on Instagram or visit their Pinterest site at https://www.pinterest.com/centraleccoop/. S.D., lend a hand in hanging community holiday decorations. In Bison, the connection between the co-op and the holiday decorations has lasted more than a half-century, said Operations Manager Mike Lemburg. Lemburg knows the co-op has been hanging the decorations for the Bison Commercial Club for as long as he has worked at the cooperative. Conferring with his predecessor, Juell Chapman, Lemburg confirmed that the tradition started prior to Chapman’s 1967 start at the cooperative. Some time in late November, one will find employees of Grand Electric Cooperative and West River Telephone Cooperative working to hang the 25 to 30 decorations on poles throughout the community. “The Commercial Club bought them and we hang them up,” said Lemburg. Among the decorations that will adorn the community in northwestern South Dakota are candy canes, candles and tree shapes. The employees also put up the cooperative’s own decorations on the town’s north end. New to the community in 2015 was the addition of a parade of lights and a community meal. Proceeds from the event went to the community’s ambulance fund. And, throughout the season – and the entire year – the region’s electric cooperatives provide safe, reliable electricity to light many a holiday celebration in homes across the area. Left: Passersby on U.S. Highway 12 are greeted with a festive display on Northern Electric Cooperative’s lawn near Bath, S.D. Above: A patriotic toy soldier waves the flag at Northern Electric. Top: With more than a half century experience in hanging the holiday decorations along the streets of Bison, S.D., Grand Electric was among the entries in the communities inaugural light parade in 2015. Right and Cover: Trixie, The Elf on the Shelf, spread energy efficiency and safety tips through social media to members of Central Electric Cooperative in Mitchell, S.D., in 2015.

“Nice”: Always unplug indoor and outdoor decorations before leaving home or going to bed. Source: esfi.org “Naughty”: Peeking in the oven before the Christmas cookies are done! When the door is opened, the inside temperature can lose as much as 25 degrees, forcing your oven to work harder. Source: U.S. Department of Energy “Nice”: Water your natural Christmas tree daily. A dry tree can be a fire hazard. Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) “Nice”: Put on a sweater, shawl or grab a blanket before turning up the thermostat. During an eight hour period, you can save up to 1 percent per degree turned back. Source: U.S. Department of Energy “Naughty”: Leaving your dryer running while unattended. Each year, roughly 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported. The leading cause is failure to clean the lint vent. Source: United States Fire Administration “Nice”: Open the blinds on south-facing windows on a sunny day to let the sunlight heat your home and close at night. Source: U.S. Department of Energy “Naughty”: Leaving on electronics when leaving the room. TVs on average use more energy than the individual annual usage of clothes washers, dryers, freezers and cooking activities. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration “Naughty”: Leaving the refrigerator door open for extended periods of time. Your mother knew what she was talking about when she said this! Be intentional each time you open the door. COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS • December 2016 9

Dal What??? Where?

Dalzell, South Dakota M

Dalzell. I was the lucky one who got to share in the memories of the Cordes siblings who grew up in the area. I was invited to join three of the seven children of Milton “Slim” and Hallie Cordes to reminisce in the memories that they hold near and dear to their hearts. Slim and Hallie came to the end of the trail where the 2 rivers meet in 1930 with Jeanne, 15 months and Twila, just a month old. They purchased a ranch known as the Pothook, which was once owned by CK Howard. They resided there until 1942 when they purchased a ranch within a mile of Dalzell. The Pothook did not have easy access, as a matter of fact most The Pothook Brand people that visited came by horseback on the rutted gumbo road. Back in those days the brand was associated with the ranch, but has stayed with the Cordes family ever since. I was given the name of another young lady, Rosalie Simons, to visit with about the Dalzell community. Rosalie and her husband, Vern, were able to add a great deal to my experience of the people who donned the community. Rosalie grew up just a quarter mile east of the Dalzell school. As she remembers the population was 9-10 people. The community was named after Rosalie’s grandfather, John Dalzell, and located just eight miles east of Elm Springs on the Dalzell Road. He came to the area in 1901, because he was one of the first settlers to the area, the community was named after him. For them, things were so dire during that time, Rosalie’s mom tried to grow a garden, but the soil was so poor and there was no water. They were forced to haul water from Grandma Dalzell’s place which was 2 1/2 miles away. emories are what remain of

Editor’s Note What a fun adventure to explore a community that very few were aware of. I have to say I hope it is as much of an education for you as it was for me. By Veronica Kusser

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Rosalie remembers the 1930’s when the wind blew and dirt piled on the windowsills so thick you could write your name in it. She also shared with me her memories of the grasshoppers that destroyed everything. They were so thick on the fence posts and moved with the shade as the sun was even too hot for them. Frank Moorhead operated the Dalzell store and the post office until 1919 when Mr. & Mrs. Henry Raetz became the new proprietors of the store, post office and cream station. They had everything available that you could possibly need...a precursor to Walmart. The stagecoach stopped by 3 times a week bringing the mail and sometimes a few passengers to Dalzell community. Due to health concerns, the Mr & Mrs Henry Raetz in front of Raetz’s sold to their son, the Dalzell store. Arthur, and moved to Rapid City in 1938. There was a community hall in the very early

4th of July Celebration 1916, Dalzell, SD

years where dances, Grange meetings and Sunday school were held. The people in Early Day Road Work the area always looked forward to the 4th of July, many families came from miles around gathering at the hall for Bowery dances. There were ball games to watch and soda and popcorn were plentiful.

Twila Trask, Carolyn Anders, Sam Cordes and Dalzell School, Rosalie Simons shared Teacher Ruth Deering with me some of the school experiences. They all attended school at the Dalzell School thru the 8th grade and then went 75 miles away to high school in Sturgis. Actually Jeanne and Twila were home schooled the first year or two due to the distance to Dalzell and the road conditions and Rosalie attended 2nd grade at Creighton as her older sister attended 10th grade there. Twila remembers the one room school house and generally one teacher taught all 8 grades that was 20 students after Cress School closed. Each student had their own little reader, that was an important tool needed for learning, not like today where students need pens, paper, colors, glue, pencils, markers etc. Sam remembered his 1st grade teacher, Rose Dalzell. He shared a Dalzell story of a time when Rose’s son came School home from Alaska. He had a sporty car and gave brother Kirk, Sam and Rose a ride to Sturgis. He drove crazy fast (maybe 45 mph), but Sam loved the ride. The four of them shared their favorite games as well as what they did during recess. They remember playing softball, Annie-I-Over, Fox & Goose, Red Rover and Pump Pump Pull Away. Christmas programs and plays were always a fun time for everyone, parents, grandparents and siblings would all gather in the tiny school making it very crowded, but fun. Rosalie shared with me that on occasion each school would pick a song, reciting a poem or something and the country schools would gather in Elm Springs at the Community Hall to present everyone’s entertainment. She remembers very well being scared to death as a 1st grader and having a special bond with her teachers. The Dalzell School closed after the 1957-58 school year when there were no children left to attend. The teacherage was moved to the Elm Springs Church where it was used for a Children’s Chapel for Sunday school. They remember before electricity as kids, the Cordes family had a Delco Generator which allowed them a couple light bulbs and a radio to listen to. They spent a lot of time playing checkers and cards. On wash day the generator was enough to run the Maytag washer and the clothes line was the dryer. Rosalie said at the Fenner house they “thought it was heaven to have an Aladdin Lamp”. Her mom did have a Maytag washer with a gas motor, where they would put a hose outside for the gas fumes to escape. She remembers having to step on a crank to start the motor. Sam remembered sitting on the steps of the ranch house watching trucks drilling holes, he wasn’t sure what was going on. Soon they were setting poles and stringing wire and lo and behold the power came on, that was around 1954. The first appliance he could recall was a toaster, Sam and brother Kirk would come home from school for lunch each day so they could have toast. That toaster was the next best thing to sliced

bread! Tar paper shack on the prairie Carolyn remembers her dad, Slim, going around the community trying to get people to sign up for rural electricity, but many thought that it was much too expensive, unnecessary, and that there wasn’t much of a need for it. Eventually they connected and today the Dalzell community is well lit with lots of security lights dotting the prairie - no more Delco light plants out there. Mail was delivered to Dalzell three days a week. It was always fun to go to town for mail pickup as that is where everyone gathered to share stories and catch up on the latest news

Stacey Fenner hauling mail. He hauled from 1916-1923

from the community. Once a year it was a real treat to get to go to Rapid City. Twila remembers that they always had a phone, the old crank one, and when the Cordes heard 2 long and 1 short ring, they knew the call was for them. If you picked the phone up when the ring wasn’t for you, you were rub- Rosalie and sister Lila Mae bering on your neighbors. Sam and Carolyn remember that when the outlets were installed in their home, the neighbor installed them in some strange locations. It was thought that the outlet was an escape route for electrical energy, so they were mounted high towards the ceiling, and there was only one outlet in each room. Rosalie remembers that young people traveled to dances, she was able to go to Elm Springs and eventually Enning and other towns as the roads and the transportation improved. She met her husband Threshing on Vern at a dance, the prairie. and he whisked her away from Dalzell in 1948 to become his bride. The people of the community seemed to prosper and times were good until the Dirty 30’s when it seemed to take the wind out of their sails. One mom shared that she raised chickens and sold the eggs for 5 cents a dozen and the baby chicks were 5 cents each. Wheat sold for 15 cents a bushel. There were stories about Dalzell community where the grasshoppers were thick and ate everything, the lack of rain led to no crops. The love of family and the friendships that were formed kept the community alive through those bad years. Another wonderful adventure for me, thank you to my hosts! cooperative connections • D ecem b er 2016 11

Power Up Safely Back-up Generators Useful Tools if Used Properly

T By American Red Cross

he following infoRmation, developed by the American Red Cross with technical advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Fire Protection Association (publisher of the National Electric CodeÂŽ) and the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is provided to address questions about using a generator when disaster or emergency strikes.

How to Buy a Generator If you choose to buy a generator, make sure you get one that is rated for the amount of power that you think you will need. Look at the labels on light-


ing, appliances and equipment you plan to connect to the generator to determine the amount of power that will be needed to operate the equipment. For lighting, the wattage of the light bulb indicates the power needed. Appliances and equipment usually have labels indicating power requirements on them. Choose a generator that produces more power than will be drawn by the combination of lighting, appliances and equipment you plan to connect to the generator including the initial surge when it is turned on. If your generator does not produce adequate power for all your needs, plan to stagger the operating times for various equipment.

If you can not determine the amount of power that will be needed, ask an electrician to determine that for you. (If your equipment draws more power than the generator can produce, then you may blow a fuse on the generator or damage the connected equipment.)

Keep It Ready

How to Use a Generator at Home The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator. Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use.

Storage Short-Term Storage (2 to 3 weeks) • After each use, clean debris off unit. • Store in a spot in your garage or out-building where you can get to it easily when you need to use it.

Never Use a Portable Generator Indoors This includes inside a garage, carport, basement, crawl space or other enclosed or partially-enclosed area, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO buildup in the home. The CO from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death, but CO can’t be seen or smelled. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY – DO NOT DELAY. Because you may have windows open to get fresh air while the power is out, be sure to place the generator away from windows, doors and vents that could allow CO to come indoors. To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. To protect the generator from moisture, operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands. It is a good idea to install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. If CO gas from the generator enters your home and poses a health risk, the alarm will sound to warn you. Test the battery frequently and replace when needed. Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite. Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can. Use the type of fuel recommended in the instructions or on the label on the generator. Local laws may restrict the amount of fuel you may store or the storage location. Ask your local fire department for additional information about local regulations. Store the fuel outside of living areas in a locked shed or other protected area. Do not store it near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage. If the fuel is spilled or the container is not sealed properly, invisible vapors from the fuel can travel along the ground and can be ignited by the appliance’s pilot light or by arcs from electric switches in the appliance. Plug appliances directly into the generator. Or, use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and

There are several things you should do to make sure your portable generator is ready to start and provide power at a moments notice.

Long-Term Storage (2 to 3 months) • For longer-term storage, fill tank with fuel and add a gasoline stabilizer in the tank. • Perform scheduled maintenance per your owner’s manual. • If at all possible store it inside where it will be dry, protected and easy to get to. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions. Source: Briggs and Stratton DYK? Briggs and Stratton founder S.F. Briggs grew up at Watertown, S.D., and attended South Dakota State College, studying engineering.

that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin. Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is an extremely dangerous practice that presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the builtin household protection devices.

Future Generator Safety Considerations The only recommended method to connect a generator to house wiring is by having a qualified electrician install a power transfer switch. This switch must be installed in accordance with the National Electrical Code® (NEC), which is published by the National Fire Protection Association, as well as all applicable state and local electrical codes. Call a qualified electrician or check with your utility company to see if they can install the appropriate equipment. For power outages, permanently installed stationary generators are better suited for providing backup power to the home. Even a properly connected portable generator can become overloaded. This may result in overheating or stressing the generator components, possibly leading to a generator failure. Be sure to read instructions that come with the generator to make sure you operate it within its limitations for power output. Contact your local electric cooperative for more information about using a generator. COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS • December 2016 13



Sign Up Fill out and send to: West River Electric Assoc. Cooperative Connections, PO Box 3486, Rapid City, SD 57709 Or drop it in with your payment.

Sign up for:

West River Electric Christmas Open House Friday, December 16, 2016 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Rapid City & Wall Offices

Stop by and join us for a cup of coffee or apple cider and a cookie. Register to win a $75.00 bill credit for members and a $30.00 Toys R Us gift card for anyone under age 12. You must be present to register between December 1-23. For all of you who pay on-line, there will be an opportunity for you to win a $75.00 bill credit as well. Pay on-line or by phone toll-free at (855) 730-8712 and we will draw from the list of those who paid between December 1-23. All Drawings will take place at 4:00 p.m. on December 23, 2016. 2914400

Happy Holidays from tHe Board of directors & employees of West river electric. West river electric Will Be closed NovemBer 24-25, 2016 iN oBservaNce of tHaNksgiviNg NovemBer 29 for all employee traiNiNg decemBer 26, 2016 iN oBservaNce of cHristmas JaNuary 2, 2017 iN oBservaNce of NeW years if you Have aN emergeNcy or aN outage please call 393-1500 or 279-2135 to report tHe eveNt to our aNsWeriNg service 14 Dece m be r 2 0 1 6


cooperative connections

Operation Roundup Budget Billing Pay By Bank Automatic Credit Card Payment I am interested in more information on: Marathon Water Heater Radiant Cove Heat Meco Grills Special Electric Heat Rate Geothermal & Air-to-Air Heat Pumps Rebates Radiant Floor Heating Demand Response Unit Generlink Be sure to include your name and address if you mail this coupon or E mail: veronica.kusser@westriver. coop

Call Before You Dig! stats September 2015 Number of Meters: 16,509 KWH 21,886,211 September 2016 Number of Meters: 16,777 KWH 20,915,516

Co-op news

Chuck Sloan Receives CCD

(USPS No. 675-840)

Our Mission

Chuck Sloan, Director for District 2 recently received his NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD) certification. 10292700 In this time of many changes to our power industry it is more important than ever for directors to understand their roles and responsibilities and to have the knowledge and skills to govern today’s cooperatives. NRECA’s Director Eduction program is specifically designed to address the learning needs of electric cooperative directors. The Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD) curriculum consists of these five courses designed to provide basic knowledge and skills required of cooperative directors. Training courses offered address board governance, financial decision-making, strategic planning, and current and emerging issues. The CCD Certificate is earned by attending all five required courses and successfully completing a learning assessment for each. Chuck has completed these five and has successfully completed the certification course. west river electric office hours rapiD city office 3250 e. hwy 44, rapiD city, sD monDay-friDay 7:00 am to 5:00 pm 605-393-1500 wall office 1200 w. 4th ave, wall, sD monDay-friDay 7:00 am to 5:00 pm 605-279-2135

enerGY tip Electric bills increase during the winter for a variety of reasons––holiday gatherings, house guests, and shorter days and longer nights. Small measures, like turning down your thermostat, replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs and washing clothes in cold water can help control energy costs.

A night depository is available at both offices for your convenience. Service & Billing Questions: Contact 605-279-2135 or 605393-1500 during office hours. You can e-mail us at info@westriver.coop on questions concerning your account. After Hours Power Restoration: Contact 605-279-2135 in the Wall or Enning areas and 605-393-1500 in the Rapid City area.

Locate Your Account Number If you locate your account number

anywhere in this issue of the 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 next month, you will receive a $10.00 credit on your next bill.

To inform you about your cooperative and its efforts to serve your energy needs; about how to use electricity safely and efficiently; and about the people who define and enhance the quality of life in communities served by electric co-ops. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer

President Andy Moon, Creighton, S.D. Vice President Stan Anders, Union Center, S.D. Secretary Jamie Lewis, Rapid City, S.D. Treasurer Larry Eisenbraun, Wall, S.D. Directors Howard Knuppe, New Underwood, S.D. Chuck Sloan, Piedmont, S.D. Marcia Arneson, Rapid City, S.D. Jerry Hammerquist, Caputa, S.D. Terry Peters, Wall, S.D. CEO/General Manager Dick Johnson 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 $6.00 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 $12.00 per year. Periodicals Postageaid 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)393-0275; e-mail veronica.kusser@westriver. coop.

Call before you dig: All underground cable location requests for the entire state of South Dakota are made through the South Dakota One-Call System. The number is toll free, 1-800781-7474 (dial 811 instate). You are required to provide this one-call center with information regarding the location where you will be digging, along with a description of the type of work you will be doing. You are required to give at least a 48-hour notice before you dig. The one-call center will then notify all utilities with underground facilities in the area where you will be digging.

cooperative connections • D ecem b er 2016 15

Regional Dateline November 17-19 South Dakota State High School Class B Volleyball Tournament, Arena, Huron, SD

November 17-19 S.D. State High School Class AA Volleyball Tournament, Swiftel Center, Brookings, SD November 18-December 31 Firehouse Theatre presents The Robber Bridegroom, Firehouse Theatre, Rapid City, SD 605-348-1915 November 19 Sons of Norway Lille Norge Fest, Canyon Lake Senior Center, Rapid City, SD 605-993-3399 November 21 Hope & Love Dinner and Dessert Auction, Love Inc. of the Black Hills Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD605-394-4115 November 24-25 West River Electric will be closed for Thanksgiving, in case of an emergency call 605-393-1500 in the Rapid City area and 605-279-2135 in the Wall and Enning area November 26 19th Annual Festival of Lights Parade, Downtown Rapid City, SD, 605-340-0914

December 3 Holy Rocka Rollaz Christmas Concerts, Terry Redlin Art Center, Watertown, SD 605-882-3877


November 17-19 S.D. State High School Class A Volleyball Tournament Civic Arena, Watertown, SD

Events of Special Note

December 16 West River Electric will have a Christmas Open House in the Rapid City and Wall offices 605-393-155 or 605-279-2135

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.

November 29 West River Electric will be closed for employee training Please call 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135 in case of an outage or an emergency November 30 Moscow Baallet’s Great Russian Nutcracker Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 December 3 Rapid City Garden Club’s Annual Wreath and Centerpiece Sale, Canyon Lake Senior Center, Rapid City, SD 605-716-0744 December 3 Rapid City Club Gun Show Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 December 4 Regional Health – Hospice of the Hills Tree of Lights

Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 December 13-14 Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Fine Arts Theatre, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD 605-394-4115 December 26 West River Electric will be closed for Christmas, in case of emergency call 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135 January 2 West River Electric will be closed for New Years, in case of an emergency call 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135 January 11 West River Electric Blood Drive Rapid Valley Office Rapid City, SD, 605-393-1500 January 13-February 4 Firehouse Theatre presents

Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Firehouse Theatre, Rapid City, SD 605-348-1915 January 14 West River Basketball Tournament, Barnett Arena Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 February 10-12 35th Annual BH Sport Show and Outdoor Expo Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 February 17-March 18 Firehouse Theatre presents I love you, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Firehouse Theatre Rapid City, SD, 605-348-1915 February 20 RCCA/Shades of Buble, Rapid City Concert Association, Fine Arts Theatre, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD 605-394-4115

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