Page 1

JULY 2017

VOL. 18 NO. 3

Small Towns Give Unique Twists to

Summer Celebrations

Page 8-9



Conversation with Member/Owners We just completed several events that involved direct contact with our member/ owners. First off, we had our Member Communication Committee meeting in Wall on May 25. We started the Committee a year ago as a way to communicate with our members in another way. We have a Committee of 8 members that meet Dick Johnson twice per year. We present CEO/General Manager information to them on what is happening at West River Electric. We then propose possible solutions to them and get their input and opinions on various items. The Committee is in its infancy, but we continue to learn every meeting and hope to enhance the experience to make the Committee stronger. Our main point is to have another connection to the members to keep best in class service and meet our member/owners needs. Remember you own us! On May 30 we held our nominating committee meeting. This Committee is tasked with nominating at least 1 person from each district to be elected at the annual meeting in October and to serve on your Board of Directors. The 4 nominations were Jerry Hammerquist from District 1, Chuck Sloan and Marsha Simmons from District 2, and Larry Eisenbraun from District 3. Three of these gentlemen are incumbent directors who have chosen to run again and represent you. This isn’t the only way to run for your Board of Directors. You can also take out a nominating petition from one of our offices signed by 15 members of West River. More details can be found in this issue of Cooperative Connections. The Nominating Committee is also a chance for us to visit with other members of ours on what we are doing and give us a chance to hear from them. That is the part I love. What concerns or questions do they have? Many times as we talk through items I 2 July 20 1 7 • COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS

hear “I didn’t know that”. However, we many times hear the same thing! “I didn’t realize that was a concern” either good or bad! We also held our member tour to Basin Electric’s Dry Fork power plant on May 31. We took a day to drive over to Gillette and tour the Dry Fork generating station and Dry Fork coal mine. We do this tour every other year. We visit on the way over about the happenings at West River, Rushmore and Basin. We again get a chance to hear from our members and interact with them. This is such a great tour to showcase one of the newest and cleanest coal fired power plants in America. Frankly coal is becoming less of Basin’s generating resources each year but is still the most dependable, reliable source of generation there is. I feel so much better when it is 100 degrees out or -20 degrees that I know these plants are here to provide our member/owners a great source of reliable electricity. Thanks to our members who were able to attend the tour. Our staking department recently updated us on many of the projects that are on the table for this summer. It would appear that we are close to pre-2008 development numbers for new services. We have a great number of new housing developments being built along with apartment units going in. Along with that, several commercial enterprises are being completed or starting development. Along with that, we have a multitude of maintenance projects in our area that will make for a very busy summer for our operations department. We are also going to bid on the re-build of our Box Elder substation project on Radar Hill Road. This project is slated to be energized by year end. It is exciting to see a lot of new growth for our communities and our member/owners we serve. 1922100 I hope you all have a great summer and remember STAY SAFE! Look up with machinery and equipment and be careful when digging underground. I want you to continue to be one of our member/owners!

Board of Director Biography Stan Anders - 11 Years I moved to Union Center with my parents, when I was three. We moved here from Faith to start Anders Trucking, where my parents raised myself, 2 sisters and a brother in a peaceful small town in western, South Dakota. I attended grade school here in Union Center and went on to attend high school in Sturgis. I then attended a year of college and went to work at Farmers Union Oil for a couple of years before buying my own truck and joining my dad in Anders Trucking.

When starting out I hauled local livestock and grain for the ranchers in the area. Currently we haul more bentonite, grain and baled wool to South Carolina and Texas. We have 12 trucks and 8 drivers. My dad has slowed down and is enjoying retirement and my son Justin has joined me in doing the majority of the dispatch work with Anders Trucking. Chris and I have 8 children, 4 girls and 4 boys, and 12 grandchildren. There is always something going on with them or one of our parents which we are very fortunate to still have with us. In our spare time we enjoy going on the side-by-side in the Black Hills. I am the past board chairman of the South Dakota Trucking Association, past Commander of the NAJA Shrine Air Patrol, served as Secretary of the Rapid City Shrine Club and Secretary of the Rural Meade Ambulance Service. I am a Credentialed Cooperative Director and am Board Leadership Certified, and I currently represent the members of West River Electric on the South Dakota Rural Electric Board and serve as the Vice President of the West River Electric Board of Directors. Some of the biggest changes that I have seen with West River Electric over the past 11 years is what it takes to make decisions is requiring more education to make good business decisions. Everyday there is more information being shared on the EPA Challenges with the Clean Power Plan. Not only do I see this with West River Electric, but with the trucking industry as well. We are all being affected. Thank you for allowing me to be part of the West River Electric Board of Directors, I enjoy the opportunity to serve the members of the Cooperative.




Electrical Safety Tips for the 4th of July It’s finally summer and in just a few days, the biggest holiday of the season arrives: the 4th of July! As you prepare for backyard BBQs and poolside fun, there are some important things to remember to make sure it’s a safe holiday. Whether you are hosting or heading over to a neighbor’s or relative’s house to celebrate, we have a few safety tips to share with you so that your friends and family enjoy your time together and avoid accidents:

Summer Holiday Poolside Electrical Safety Tips: Spending time in and around the pool is a big part of summer and celebration during the warmest months of the year. Regardless of whether you are hosting a get-together at your home or someone else’s, make sure the chances for accidents are minimal by following these simple safety steps: • Never run electrical cords over or alongside the pool. Water and electricity don’t mix! • If you are decorating the backyard, string party lights a minimum of three feet away from the pool or any water source. • Store and activate fireworks as far away from the pool as possible. • Never use a floatation device to support an electrical appliance (fan, etc.). • Never cross the pool exit or towel storage area with electrical wires. • Always use safety caps on electrical outlets near water. • When possible, use GFCI outlets to protect yourself and your electrical appliances outdoors. Electrical Power Line Safety Tips: Power lines run through neighborhoods and can even pass through overgrown trees. They’re often the most dangerous when you don’t even notice they’re there because you either see them all of the time or they are covered by tree canopies. Stay mindful and remember these safety tips when you’re spending time in the backyard or outdoor neighborhoods: • Never let kids (or adults for that matter) climb trees that are near power lines. • Make sure your trees are trimmed and out of the way of power lines running through your yard or near your home. • Never attempt to touch a downed power line. If there is one in your yard, call your local electric cooperative immediately. There can still be current running through the line and an active line is highly dangerous. Source: 4 July 2017 • COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS

Beatthe theExtreme Heat Beat Extreme Heat

During periods of extreme heat, hot weather mixed with outdoor activities can lead to dangerous situations. During periods of extreme heat, hot weather mixed with outdoor activities leadCDC, to dangerous situations. Accord According tocan the people can suffer heat-related illness when ing to the CDC, people can suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to properly to coolproperly themselves. During their bodies are unable cool themselves. During extreme extreme heat, follow these guidelines to protect yourself heat, follow these guidelines to protect yourself and your loved ones. and your loved ones. HEAT ALERT

Stay Informed: Check local news for extreme heat alerts.

Stay informed: Check local news for extreme heat alerts.

Stay Cool: If you do not have access to an air-conditioned space, visit a shopping mall or public library for a few hours. Call your local health department to locate heat-relief shelters in your area.

Stay cool: If you do not have access to an air-conditioned space, visit a shopping mall or public library for a few hours. Call your local health department to locate heat-relief shelters in your area.

Stay Hydrated: Drink (nonalcoholic) fluids regularly, regardless of your activity level. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

Stay hydrated: Drink (nonalcoholic) fluids regularly, regardless of your activity level. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

Don’t leave anyone (or Don’t leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle

parked vehicle.

pets) in a closed,

Do check on elderly friends

Do check on elderly friends and neighbors.

and neighbors.

Heat Stress: Heat Stress: Who’s at Risk?

Who’s AtageRisk? Adults over the of 65, children under the age of 4, individuals with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease and those without access to air conditioning. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Kidsʼ Corner Safety Poster “Never use a fork to get your toast out of the toaster.”

Atoya Howey, 9 years old

Atoya is the daughter of Valerie Howey, Hill City, S.D. She is a member of Black Hills Electric Cooperative, Custer, 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, youʼll receive a prize. All entries must include your name, age, mailing address and the names of your parents. Colored drawings are encouraged.



Delectable Desserts S’mores Pie

Easy Cake Dessert 1 spice cake mix 1 can apple pie filling 3 eggs

6 T. sugar 2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Combine spice cake mix, apple pie filling and eggs. Pour half the batter into a 9x13-inch greased pan. Mix together sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle half over batter. Add remaining batter; top with sugar mixture and nuts. Bake at 350°F. for 30 to 35 minutes. Top with ice cream or whipped cream. Carolyn Saugstad, Alcester

Bourbon Peach Cobbler 2-1/4 cups plus 1 T. flour, divided 2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided 2 (16 oz.) bags frozen peaches, 6 cups

8 T. bourbon, divided 1 T. baking powder 12 T. butter 3/4 cup half-and-half 1 large egg

Butter bottom and sides of 9x13-inch baking dish. Combine 1 T. flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 4 T. bourbon and peaches in a medium bowl. Spread mixture evenly in bottom of baking dish. Whisk together remaining flour, sugar and baking powder. Melt butter in a medium bowl. Mix in half-and-half, egg and remaining bourbon. Stir the butter mixture into the dry mixture (add cinnamon if desired) and whisk until smooth. Drop dollops of batter over peaches evenly. Bake at 375°F. for 50 minutes or until top is golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Serve with ice cream. Cortney Reedy, Tea

Raspberry Poke Cake 1 white cake mix 1 (3 oz.) pkg. raspberry jello 1 (8 oz.) container whipped topping

1 cup hot water 1 (3 oz) carton raspberry yogurt 2 (10 oz.) boxes fresh raspberries

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped 2 tsp. McCormick® Ground Cinnamon 1 T. plus 1 tsp. McCormick® Extra Rich Pure Vanilla Extract, divided 1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme 4 oz. (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened 1 (8 oz.) container whipped topping

Graham Cracker Crust: 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 7 T. butter, melted 1/3 cup sugar Filling: 3/4 cup heavy cream

For the crust, mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Press into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Set aside. For the filling, bring cream just to boil in small saucepan. Pour over chocolate in medium heatproof bowl. Let stand 1 minute then stir until smooth. Stir in cinnamon and 1 tsp. of the vanilla. Pour into prepared crust. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm. (Freeze 15 minutes for faster chilling.) Beat marshmallow creme, cream cheese and remaining 1 T. vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping until well blended. Spread evenly over chocolate layer in crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. Garnish with chocolate curls or toasted marshmallows, if desired. Yield: 8 servings Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 600, Total Fat 36g, Sodium 267mg, Cholesterol 75mg, Carbohydrates 65g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 4g Pictured, Cooperative Connections

Easy Rhubarb Dessert 1 cake mix (strawberry, white, yellow or lemon) 3 cups sliced rhubarb

1 cup chopped walnuts, divided 3/4 cup brown sugar

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Fold in rhubarb and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch glass pan. Sprinkle top with brown sugar and remaining walnuts. Bake at 325°F. for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with lemon sauce, whipped topping or just plain. Elaine Rowett, Sturgis

French Coconut Pie 4 T. butter 2 eggs 1 T. all-purpose flour 3/4 cup sugar

1 cup milk 1 cup or 3-1/2 oz. can shredded coconut 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions in a 9x13-inch pan. Remove from oven and poke holes in cake while warm with a wooden spoon handle or knife handle. Mix together jello and water, stirring until jello is dissolved. Pour over holes in cake. Cool. Mix whipped topping and yogurt together until blended; gently fold in raspberries. Spread evenly on cake. Refrigerate.

In a large bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, flour, sugar, milk and coconut. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 400°F. until firm, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Barbara Angerhofer, Hendricks, MN

Lynn Holzerland, Waubay

Please send your favorite salad, garden produce or pasta recipes to your local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). Each recipe printed will be entered into a drawing for a prize in December 2017. All entries must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and cooperative name.


Co-op News

Director Candidate Selection Guidelines Characteristics To Consider When Becoming a Director Candidates must be members of the cooperative and reside in the district they are nominated from, be in good standing with the cooperative, and not be employed or financially interested in a competing enterprise or a major supplier of the cooperative. Candidates shall not be related to any incumbent director, officer, or employee of the cooperative or spouse of said director officer or employee. Candidates must be 18 years of age, and cannot have been convicted of a felony within the last 10 years. Candidates may not have been an employee of West River Electric for less than 3 years from the date of the employees last day of employment. Nominees should be available and willing to serve, if elected. In addition to meeting attendance, nominees should realize that there is a significant time commitment with regard to reviewing materials in preparation for board meetings and trainings. It is expected that nominees will have a reasonable level of financial literacy, including the ability to review and understand financial statements, balance sheets, and income and cash flow statements. Directors are expected to have some knowledge in the use of computers, email and the internet. Nominees must be capable of exercising independent judgment and thinking. In addition, nominees must be capable of exercising a high level of discretion, since much of the material they will have access to is confidential in nature. The position of a director is demanding and includes a number of responsibilities. Therefore, a director should be enthusiastic and capable of fulfilling these duties. Directors should have the ability to read, comprehend, and organize information in order to stay informed of cooperative business. Directors should have adequate time to devote to this position. 2057900 A variety of perspectives, opinions and backgrounds of the directors is critical to the Board’s ability to perform its duties and various roles. WREA seeks candidates with a diversity of professional and personal experience, education and skills in order to enhance the overall composition of the Board. Duty of Care & Loyalty Each Director must have the ability to discharge his or her duties in good faith in the manner the Director reasonably believes to be in the best interest of WREA and all of its members, 6 July 2 0 1 7


and with such care as an ordinarily prudent person would use under similar circumstances. Each Director must also have the ability to act in good faith and in the best interest of WREA and all of its members, irrespective of the individual interests of the Director or other entities with which a Director is affiliated or sympathetic, or to which a Director owes his or her Board appointment. Each Director should clearly disclose to WREA and other Directors any actual conflicts of interest or other matters that may constitute even the appearance of a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest exists when a person’s private interest (financial or otherwise) interferes, or appears to interfere, with the interests of WREA. A written disclosure will be made on an annual basis. A Director’s access to information about WREA is accompanied by a duty not to disclose information obtained by the Director in his or her capacity as such to any person (other than is necessary and appropriate in the performance of the Director’s duties) or to misuse such information for personal benefit or the benefit of others. Compensation The WREA Bylaws provide that the Board of Directors may set a fixed sum to be paid to Directors for attendance at various meetings and functions. The Board may also authorize reimbursement for expenses actually incurred in attendance at Board meetings, or in conducting Board business, or the Board may grant a reasonable per diem allowance in lieu of detailed accounting for expenses. Schedule of Meetings Regularly scheduled meetings of the Board are held each year as follows: • Every month, normally the 3rd Monday of each month, alternating between the Wall and Rapid City office and held during the day. • An annual meeting in October; normally the second Saturday. • Annually a budget meeting in December. Director’s will be appointed to various other committees of the Board and will be expected to attend those meetings. In addition, there are annual meetings with SDREA and Rushmore that each director is asked to attend. Each director is also on a 3 year rotation to attend various associated organization’s annual meetings along with various director training. These are necessary to be able to be an informed director.

Welcome to WREA

Employment Opportunities Line Foreman - Wall

Billing Support Clerk - Wall Aimee Paulsen began work as a Billing Support Clerk for West River Electric in April. She was a Administrative Assistant for Wall School for the past 17 years. Aimee and husband Jason have 2 children, Macie and Graysen. They enjoy spending time with family and following their kids in sports. She is very excited to meet our members and ready to help out where needed.

Sanden Simons began work as a summer intern in Wall in 2000. That fall he was hired as an Apprentice Lineman and in 2004 became a Journeyman. Sanden was promoted to Line Foreman in Wall in May of 2017. Sanden and wife Elaine have 4 children, and together they enjoy camping, fishing and following the kids in sports. He enjoys working for the members of WREA in a rural setting.

Summer Intern - Rapid City

Summer Intern - Rapid City

Summer Intern - Rapid City

Taylor Wipf is from Doland, SD. He graduated from Doland High School in 2016 participating in Football, Basketball, Baseball and Track. He attended Mitchell Tech for Powerline Construction and Maintenance graduating in 2017. He helped work cattle and helped local farmers with harvest. Taylor enjoys fishing and hunting in his spare time.

Cameron Price is from Placerville, CA. He graduated from HS in 2010 and worked at a frozen yogurt and donut shop while training with the US Snowboard Team. He attended University of Nevada, Reno before going to Northwest Lineman College. He worked at Beatty Elec before coming to WREA. Enjoys snowboarding, hunting and fishing. Welcome back Cameron!

Michael Plaggemeyer is from Sturgis, SD. He graduated from Sturgis Brown High School in 2016 where he participated in Football. He attended Mitchell Technical School for Powerline Construction & Maintenance where he graduated in 2017. He enjoys being outdoors, hunting, fishing and lifting.

Jacob Novotny is from Hot Springs. He graduated from Hot Springs HS in 2010 where he participated in Track and Swimming. He attended Lake Area Tech School for Diesel working for CAT. After a few years he went to Mitchell Technical School for Powerline Construction. He enjoys race cars, 4-wheeling, fishing and water sports. Welcome back Jacob!

Collin Forbes is from Rapid City. He graduated in 2016 from Rapid City Central High School. He worked as a lifeguard at the YMCA, at the Civic Center and at Thomas & Sons Moving. He attended Mitchell Tech for Powerline Construction graduating in 2017. He enjoys hunting, dirt bikes and mountain bikes.

Summer Intern - Rapid City Gage Neuschwander is from Rapid City. He graduated from Stevents High School in 2016. He participated in dirt bike racing. He attended Mitchell Technical School for Powerline Construction & Maintenance graduating in 2017. He enjoys fishing, hunting and riding his dirt bike in his spare time.

Summer Intern - Wall

Summer Intern - Wall


Unique Celebrations s

ummer brings a variety hometown celebra-

to many Main Streets in South Dakota and western Minnesota. Some celebrate heritage and culture such as wacipis in many western South Dakota communities to those celebrating ethnic groups such as Czech Days (Tabor, S.D.), Danish Days (Viborg, S.D.) and Æbleskiver Days (Tyler, Minn.) And then there’s the celebrations that just seem truly unique. In South Central South Dakota, the community of Burke opens its streets for a cattle drive of long-horned bovines as it kicks off its annual Burke Stampede and Rodeo July 14-16. In addition to rodeo performances, the celebration features a trail tions

Brenda Kleinjan


ride and cowboy cookout. Find out more at http:// The town of Custer in western South Dakota taps into its historical roots when it hosts Gold Discovery Days each July. The 2017 Gold Discovery Days, set for July 21 to 23 includes a Gold Nugget hunt for kids, the area’s annual bed races and also daily balloon rallies. For more information, go to www.visitcuster. com/chamber/events/custergolddiscoverydays/ Head north and east of Custer a few hours on July 23 and you’ll encounter the 41st running of the Reva Turtle Races. The races featuring the hard shell contestants bring dozens of people to the unincorporated town


Left: Potato Wrestling is part of Clark’s Potato Days celebration. Below: Custer’s Gold Discovery Days feature bed races. Bottom: A variety of old tractors can be seen in use during the Twin Rivers Old Iron Festival in Delmont in September. Opposite page: Lawn mower races are featured in several communities. Cover: Longhorn cattle make their way into town for the Burke Stampede.

in eastern Harding County. Be sure to check the event’s Facebook page at https://www. for more information. In western Minnesota, the town of Tyler, Minn., proudly boosts its Danish heritage with Æbleskiver Days. The town celebrates the little sphere-shaped Danish pancakes with three shifts of volunteers cooking up the treats throughout the event. The celebration will also include a kickball tournament on July 22 and also a Cruise-In Car Show during Æbleskiver Days from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Tyler. A new addition to the town celebration this year is Rainbow Country Trolley. The 30-foot long trolley will be pulled by two Belgian draft horses. The owner/driver Gerry Buse will entertain with singing and music during the ride. The trolley will be available to ride from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The pick up and drop off sites are: the fairgrounds, the band shell, and Danebod. It will take roughly 30 minutes to go from the Fairgrounds to the Danebod, so please plan accordingly. To learn more about the event, go to https://www.facebook. com/aebleskiverdays The revving of lawn mower engines can be heard at celebrations across south central South Dakota as drivers in the Pukwana Mower Races make appearances at events in South Dakota from April through October. Find out more about the schedule at http:// html According to the Clark Potato Days site, “the potato is king in Clark, S.D., where local farmers grow bushels of the tasty tuber. That’s why, each year, the town throws a party in honor of its favorite over-used, under-appreciated starch.” The site goes on to promote the eastern South Dakota’s annual event by pointing out, “Mr. Potato Head is proud of Clark’s celebration, and will be making an appearance at this year’s festivities. The locals vie for top honors in a Best Decorated Potato

Contest. Past winners included an astronaut, farmer, race cars, and tooth. The Potato Dish Cooking Contests always bring out the best cooks in the county. And, the highlight of the celebration involves grown adults wrestling each other in mashed potatoes! “Besides all the potato stuff, the event features those smalltown festival activities that keep families and regular folks coming back year after year,” the site continues. Among the events during the celebration is Mashed Potato Wrestling, which starts this year at 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 17. On Sept. 9-10, the community of Delmont, S.D., will host its Kuchen Festival and the Twin Rivers Old Iron Festival. The German dessert festival, which was first held in 1997, will be held Sept. 9 while the farm equipment festival is both days. Find out more Be sure to check out other happenings in communities near you on the back page of this magazine.


Peace in the Valley

Bridger, SD A

Editor’s Note My next trip to Bridger will involve a search of an Indian Scout on the hill west of the village . By Veronica Kusser

10 July 20 1 7

s I head east on Hwy 34 on my way to a meeting in Pierre, I came to a peaceful little community, down in a valley, just over the hill on the left side of Hwy 34. As I pass by Bridger, and continue on to Pierre, I can’t wait to come back and make my way down into the little community, to see the secrets of the land. Two days later as I head west out of Pierre, I have the opportunity to see what awaits me in the little community. The road from 4-Corners bridge into Bridger was built in the late ‘30’s with a team and fresno. Life remained quite difficult until about 1962 when the present Highway 73 came to Bridger. Today Hwy 34 make it an easy trip just about anywhere. As I drive across the little cattle gate, I see no movement except a little breeze blowing in the grass and trees. Here lies a community that is so peaceful, serene and quiet. On the left as I drive in there is the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church which appears to be an active church where Father Dan Juelfs presides at mass. Saint Plus Catholic Church was renamed to Immaculate Heart of Mary and was moved south from Cherry Creek to Bridger under the direction of Father Mattingly in the late 1930’s. An early Indian missionary, Solomon Yellow Hawk came to Bridger, and taught the people to read and write in Lakota. As I continued down the road just a bit, back in and off to the left was another church, the Upper Cheyenne River Congregational Church


which was constructed in 1915 under the direction of Reverend Thomas L Riggs. Reverend Guy Buffalo, a Congregational Minister for 33 years presided at Bridger, Standing Rock, La Plant, and

Red Scaffold. To the west is a beautiful area where members of the community have been laid to rest.

The Bridger School began as a Public School in 1922. Mr. James High Hawk is credited with getting the school started. The B.I.A. Bridger Day School school started in 1933, which offered the only full-time employment in Bridger. Teachers who taught in Bridger

include Clair Maynard, Mrs. Vera Smith, Miss Mildred Birkeland, Mr. Beebe, Mrs. Aurellia DuBridger School, May 1935 pris Reddes, Mr. Anthony Whirl Wind Horse, and Mr. Leroy Aasby all from 1967-1980. As I looked off to the East across the main road through Bridger, that is where the people of the community live. Bridger is located in the southwest corner of Ziebach County. The present village was established in 1891 at the request of some of the Wounded Knee survivors. The village inherited the name Bridger from the nearest store/post office named for

a homesteader, Carv Bridge. The store was located north of the Four-Corners Bridge on the west side of old Highway #73 (beside the brass plate survey marker). When the store and post office closed, the mail was sent to Howes. The history of the Lakota using the Bridger Area goes back into the late 1700’s or early 1800’s. Water was the major reason

and early hunting parties found springs in the area. Water, fuel, the protection of the river valley, and game to hunt made this an ideal winter camping area. The area became more important with the coming of the White Man and his trading posts. The groups that preferred to keep away from the ways of the White Man found the Bridger Valley just to their liking. These people were conservative and preferred traditional ways. The Indian leader, Mahto, and his group are known to have used the area. The Buffalo family is, according to legend, related to the Mahto group. Prior to Wounded Knee, the Indian leader, Big Foot, and his followers lived along the Cheyenne River from Cherry Creek to near the forks of the river (later Pedro). His camp was scattered in small groups. After Sitting Bull’s death, Big Foot led his band up the Cheyenne and then south to Wounded Knee. After Wounded Knee the survivors went west to the area north of the present Loneman School, to areas called “No Water”, “Drywood” and up toward “Red Shirt Table”. A few, including James High Hawk, returned to the Valley. Although the village was better-known as Bridger, the Lakota used the name TAKINI -- meaning “sole survivor”. In about 1870 a great fire swept down on Bridger from the north. Most of the people fled across the river to the Big Spring and stayed at Bear Eagle’s. In 1918 the flu hit the flat above Bridger to the East very hard. Many died despite Mrs. Jackson’s nursing. Several other times a number of people died. From Mrs. Jackson’s descriptions the cause was most likely TB. East of Bridger is Hump Flat, on which Hump once camped. Carl Jackson later lived on the flat, lending his name to Jackson Spring. On the east side of the flat, near Bull Creek, was St. Lee’s Catholic Church, also known as the Church of the Blessed Sacrament. It was established by 1911 and later moved into Bridger and used as a parsonage. Only the cemetery remains to mark the location of St. Leo’s. A couple of major events include the 1927-28 flood when people had to use the church as a safe haven. The 1949 blizzard when food drops were made by air to keep starvation at bay. James High Hawk, was the Tribal Secretary, who assisted in writing the tribal constitution and by-laws. Virginia, his wife, served as Bridger Day School cook, and taught many to speak English were very important to the community of Bridger. Thank you to Judy Longbrake who shared information on the community of Bridger, you broadened my horizons of and allowed me to experience the peace and tranquility of the valley.


Engineering Early Electrification

Retired REA Engineer Honored By South Dakota Governor


here aren’t many people left who remember

Ben Dunsmoor

what life was like in rural South Dakota in the late 1940s when the countryside was first electrified by cooperatives. However, Jim Duvall, who turned 100 years old on May 29, 2017, is the exception. “I was one of the pioneers out there,” Duvall recalled during a phone conversation in May from his Virginia home just days before his 100th birthday. Duvall grew up in McIntosh, S.D., but moved away for college and later a job with the Signal Corps in Chicago, Ill., inspecting radar equipment for bombers during World War II. After the war was over, Duvall started working as an engineer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Rural Electrification Administration. The


centenarian knows the exact day he started his job with REA; he reported to the St. Louis, Mo., office on Nov. 19, 1945. After spending a few months in St. Louis, Duvall was moved to Washington, D.C., and in 1947 he requested a transfer to South Dakota. He spent 13 years stationed in Aberdeen as a REA field engineer where he inspected new co-op lines that were being constructed and energized for the very first time following the war. “The transformers and wire and everything became available and lines could be staked out and construction could start again (after the war),” Duvall said. “Everything is flat (on the Great Plains) and there aren’t a lot of obstructions and a contractor could get a

lot done in a day, so it kept me busy.” During his time in Aberdeen, Duvall oversaw electric and telephone line construction loans and building projects in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. He very likely inspected Northern Electric Cooperative lines as the first poles, wires and meters were energized starting in 1945 with construction continuing through the late 1940s and into the 1950s. “A big part of my job was to make the final inspection and to make any modifications before the lines were energized and before the contractors got paid,” Duvall said. Following his work in South Dakota, Duvall was transferred back to Washington, D.C. where he became the REA Chief Engineer for the southwest and western regions. In 1959, he was given a Meritorious Service Award for his 13 years of service in Aberdeen. Duvall was also honored in 1958 and 1959 as ‘Engineer of the Year’ for the REA. This spring, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard also honored Duvall for his role in electrifying rural America when he issued an Executive Proclamation proclaiming that May 29, 2017, Duvall’s 100th birthday, be known as Jim Duvall Day in the state of South Dakota. “It was really a terrific surprise and I felt so honored,” Duvall said. The proclamation was issued after Jim Duvall’s son, Don Duvall, called the offices of governors in the states his dad worked in during his career. Don Duvall asked the offices for a signed picture for his dad’s birthday. Governor Daugaard’s office instead reached out to Don Duvall and said they would like to issue a proclamation. Opposite Page: In this January 1959 photo, Dave Hamil, administrator of the Rural Electrification Administration, presents Jim Duvall a Meritorious Service Award for his 13 years as an REA field engineer. Duvall would later become the REA’s chief engineer. COURTESY PHOTO

“I said, ‘wow, this is a super surprise – I’m amazed you would pick up the phone and call me,’” Don Duvall said. “The Governor was very pleased to help celebrate Jim’s milestone in this way,” Gov. Daugaard’s Chief of Staff Tony VenHuizen said. “As the proclamation said, South Dakota is a strong state today because of the contributions of people like Jim Duvall. It’s hard to understate the transformative impact that rural electrification had on South Dakota.” Don Duvall said his dad enjoyed working for REA and took pride in overseeing early line construction for electric and telephone co-ops in rural South Dakota. Duvall said his dad would even point out his work during family vacations. “Whenever we were in a rural area, he would pull over and say that’s a REA line over there,” Don Duvall said. Jim Duvall retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1976 as a REA regional manager stationed in Washington, D.C., but he says his greatest memories and accomplishments came during his time as a field engineer in South Dakota. “My best days were actually in the field. I felt like I was doing something. I had my hands on,” Duvall said. And, as Duvall celebrates his 100th birthday at his home in Virginia, that is what he will remember about a career that helped electrify and connect the countryside. “It was interesting work and I enjoyed it.”

Duvall says his greatest memories and accomplishments came during his time as a field engineer in South Dakota.


Co-op News

Nominations Made for WREA

Board of Directors

On Tuesday, May 30, 2017 the Nominating Committee, appointed by West River Electric Association Board of Directors, met to make nominations for the Board of Director vacancies that will occur at this years annual meeting. According to West River Electric bylaws, the Nominating Committee must nominate at least one candidate for each vacancy, but may nominate more than one candidate for each vacancy if it chooses to do so. District No. 1: Consisting of the area served by the Cooperative in Pennington County, South Dakota, West of the Cheyenne River - Jerry Hammerquist District No. 2: Consisting of the area served by the Cooperative in Meade and Ziebach Counties, South Dakota - Chuck Sloan and Marsha Simmons 2213800 District No. 3: Consisting of the area served by the Cooperative East of the Cheyenne River - Larry Eisenbraun West River Electric bylaws do not allow nominations to be made from the floor during the annual meeting. However, bylaws do provide for additional nominations to be made by the membership by petition. Petitions for making nominations to the West River Electric Board of Directors may be picked up at any of our offices in Wall, Rapid City or Enning. See page 6 for Director Candidate guidelines. Nominating by petition must be made not less than 40 days, before the annual meeting by August 28, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. before the annual meeting; must be signed by at least 15 members; and members may sign only one petition. If you have any questions about the nominating or petition process, please call the Wall office at 279-2135. 14 July 2 0 1 7


Application Deadline

July 7, 2017

We invite all of our members to participate in a member-tomember contribution option that’s quick, inexpensive and unites the entire membership to help each other. Operation Round-Up is designed for ease and maximum benefits for the program. Members volunteering for the Round-Up option agree to have their monthly bill rounded up to the nearest dollar with the extra pennies going to the program.

The average donation will amount to approximately $6 during the course of a year. Imagine, if 50% of West River Electric’s nearly 13,000 members signed up for Round Up, the fund would have $39,000 to be used to help local charities and civic organizations. Your last bill of the year will show your total contribution for tax purposes. Your voluntary participation will help someone else. Round-Up is voluntary! Just fill out the form below and return it with your next bill payment to your local office or drop it in the mail. Operation Round-Up will be accepting applications for funding; the deadline to apply is July 7, 2017. Anyone interested in applying for funds, please stop by to pick up an application at the Wall or Rapid City Office, call 393-1500 or 279-2135 or go

online to To sign up to donate to Operation Round-up fill out the form below and return with your payment. ___ Yes I want to participate in Operation Round Up ___ Please send me more information

Name __________________________________________ Address_________________________________________ City ___________________________________________ State ______________ Zip _________________________ _________ Phone ___________________ 985100 Acct # ________________ I would like to donate an additional amount over and above the normal roundup amount of $________per month, please apply this to my bill each month. Please return with your bill or fill out and mail to: West River Electric, PO Box 412, Wall, SD 57790.

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:

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

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 Let the sun work for you! Consider solar lights for outdoor lighting. Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity that can be stored in a battery and tapped at night to make light. Check manufacturers’ instructions to make sure your solar lights are situated to receive sufficient sunlight to recharge during the day. Source: U.S Department of Energy

Wire Reels, Pallets & Cross Arms (USPS No. 675-840)

Here at West River Electric we have empty wire reels to give away from 3’ to 6’. They are available at the Rapid City office and are on a first come basis. Stop by 3250 E Hwy 44, Rapid City, SD and ask for Dwight.

Our Mission

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.

We have empty pallets that will be given away until they are gone. They are available at the Rapid City office, 3250 E Hwy 44, Rapid City, on first come basis.

Cross arms For Sale for $1.00 each, please stop by 3250 E Hwy 44 and ask for Dwight. 4322001

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 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.

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, 1-800-781-7474 (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.


Regional Dateline June 20-21 Rangeland/Soil Days, Wall, SD

June 24 Community Yard Sale 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wall, SD 605-279-2665 June 24-October 28 Black Hills Farmers Market Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 145 E Omaha St Rapid City, SD

July 4 West River Electric will be closed for Independence Day In case of an outage call 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135


June 23-August 25 Story Time at 9 a.m. Friday mornings, for preschool and early school-aged children Community Library, Wall, SD

Events of Special Note

July 14-16 Burke Stampede Rodeo Burke, SD, 605-830-5540

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.

God, Rapid City, SD 605-718-5683

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

July 11-September 19 Black Hills Farmers Market Tuesdays 2 to 6:30 p.m. 145 E Omaha St, Rapid City, SD

July 25 Life Inc. Summer Speaker Series, Community Resources Bethel Assembly of God Rapid City, SD, 605-718-5683

July 1 Wall 4th of July Celebration Fireworks, Wall Golf Course at Dusk, Wall, SD, 605-279-2658

July 13-September 21 Black Hills Farmers Market Thursdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 145 E Omaha St, Rapid City, SD

July 28-29 Meade County 4-H Fair, Fair Building across from Sturgis Brown High School, Sturgis, SD 605-347-2436

July 6 The Beach Boys, Fine Arts Theatre, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD 605-394-4111

July 15 Hills Alive, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD 605-394-4111

August 7 First Annual Wall Crawl Event Show & Shine Wall Car Care Center, Poker Run Registration Badlands Harley Davidson 35th and Taylor Live, Wall Rodeo Grounds, Wall, SD 605-279-2658

June 27 Life Inc. Summer Speaker Series, Relational Idolatry Bethel Assembly of God Rapid City, SD, 605-718-5683

July 6-8 110th Celebration, Wall, SD 605-279-2658 July 11 Life Inc. Summer Speaker Series, Basic First Aid and Healthcare, Bethel Assembly of

July 18 Life Inc. Summer Speaker Series, Why Bad Things Happen to Good People, Bethel Assembly of God Rapid City, SD, 605-718-5683 July 22 Black Hills Gem and Mineral Show, Rushmore Hall

August 18 WREA will be tailgating at the New Underwood/Wall Football game, 5:30-7:00 p.m. New Underwood, SD 605-393-1500

September 4 West River Electric will be closed for Labor Day In case of an outage call 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135 September 7 WREA Appreciation Day 5 to 7 p.m., Enning Shop Enning, SD, 605-393-1500 September 9 Bonnie Raitt, Fine Arts Theatre Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111 September 21-24 61st North Central Camera Club Council Photography Convention, Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn, Rapid City, SD September 22 WREA Appreciation Day 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Rapid City Office, Rapid City, SD 605-393-1500

Wrea july2017  

Electronic version of the July 2017 Cooperative Connections