Page 1


VOL. 17 NO. 7

Co-ops Vote:

Ensuring Rural America is Heard




Clean Power Plan Update The calendar just flipped

over to say it is now “fall”. The days have been pretty nice, but you can sure feel a hint of fall in the air in the evenings. I am not ready for winter. I should have my tongue cut out, but I remember October 5, 2013 and storm Atlas way too well! It is that time of year from now until May when I don’t sleep well when storms head over the horizon. Dick Johnson I would like to thank CEO/General Manager everyone who came out to our appreciation day events. We have not had our tailgate event in Wall yet when I wrote this, but I hope everyone had fun. I know the Enning event had a great attendance from folks up there. In Rapid City, we blew all attendance records. We served over 1,500 people that ate 1,650 burgers and 1,260 hot dogs, not to mention drank over 2000 glasses of soda! We had several new vendors and displays this year. We hope that if you attended you had an enjoyable time. We are always looking for suggestions to make it better. I bet we might want to use that second grill right away next year too! The annual meeting is another event completed. I look forward to working with Terry Peters who won the Board seat in District 3. We had 3 great candidates. Remember they are members just like you and I. It shows you have a voice in your cooperative. That is what makes our annual meeting special is because it is in October which happens to be National Cooperative Month. I would like to thank Bill Bielmaier for his leadership over the last 33 years. He was a great supporter of the coop, the employees, and especially you, the member at the end of the line.

Oral arguments challenging the Clean Power Plan were heard on September 27. Basin Electric and NRECA worked with other organizations to present our case. Ten judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard from us. The court also heard from the Justice Department, representing EPA, and lawyers representing states and other parties supporting the rule. At issue for the co-ops is whether it is legal for EPA to use the Clean Air Act to force the closure, or curtail the operations, of billion-dollar power plants, many of which have outstanding loan obligations. I don’t have room to put in all the issues argued. However the arguments lasted seven hours; roughly twice the amount of time originally set by the Court. Briefly, the arguments centered on legality of using 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the fact that the rule forces states to comply therefore commandeering their constitutional powers, and whether the changes from the proposed rule to the final rule significantly departed from the proposed rules without offering a comment period. Some brief takeaways from the hearing were that the court is taking this litigation very seriously as evidenced by the fact that oral arguments were heard by the full court rather than just a 3 judge panel, and the amount of time they allowed for arguments. The judges clearly had serious questions about the legality of EPA’s effort to regulate “beyond the fence” by requiring substantial changes across the entire power sector instead of simply imposing emissions requirement on power plants. We’re especially concerned about the burden on low-income consumers. We along with many electric cooperatives serve many low income areas so we recognize first-hand the importance of affordable power. We expect the court to issue a decision this winter with a ruling addressing the individual issues raised by the petitioners. 4874600 We will keep you posted as we move forward! Have a great fall.

District 3 Director Change

Bill Bielmaier steps down after 33 years of service to West River Electric and the members that we serve. He was very humbled at the Annual Meeting of the membership where he was presented a plaque and watch for his many years of dedication. We want to welcome Terry Peters as our new Director for District 3. He has some big shoes to fill.

2 No vem be r 2 0 1 6 • cooperative connections

Employee Biographies Matt Kruse - 2 Years I grew up in the small town of Interior South Dakota on the Kevin Kruse ranch. Through out my high school years I enjoyed my summers spending time on the ranch and working at the Badlands National Park. I graduated from Sunshine Bible Academy in 2006 and then attended collage at MTI and graduated with an AAS degree in Utilities Technology in 2009. Shortly thereafter I acquired a job with Kainz Construction until I was offered a full time position with WREA in January of 2015. My loving wife Miranda, new born daughter Kylee and three dogs Lucy, Ariat and Boe enjoy living in Wall, SD where I work as a Apprentice Lineman. I enjoy the opportunity to work with the members and keep the lights on for them.

Jared Stalley - 2 Years I grew up in Rapid City, SD, and graduated from Central High School in 2004. After High School I attended the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, obtaining a Business Degree in 2008. After graduation I moved to Tea, SD with my wife Cassidy while she attended Law School and did her Clerkship. During that time I worked in retail at Best Buy. In the summer of 2012 we returned to Rapid City where I was able to transfer to Best Buy as a Mobile Manager. In January of 2015 I had the opportunity to start work with West River Electric. I enjoy the day to day interaction with the members and solving the issues that are faced each day by them. We have three children and enjoy spending time at Angostura swimming, boating and skiing. I also enjoy working cattle and hunting with my father-in-law. We are just in the beginning stages of following the kids sports circuit with our son Brayden playing soccer. 280000 cooperative connections • N o v em b er 2016 3



Tricks, Treats and Safety Make Halloween a Scream!

Kidsʼ Corner Safety Poster “Call before you dig.”

It’s the time of year to stock up on sweet treats and fill the yard and home with decorations as ghosts, goblins and caped crusaders plan their invasion of your neighborhood. Safe Electricity urges everyone to make sure your costumed visitors are kept safe by following some basic electrical safety guidelines.

Safe Electricity suggests the following to avoid potential safety hazards: • Use only lights that have been safety tested and approved by Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Look for the UL label on the box and on each string. • Make sure extension cords are in good condition. Use only UL-approved cords rated to carry the electrical load you will connect to them. • Before plugging in the lights, check each string for broken sockets, frayed cords, or faulty plugs. Replace damaged strings. • Keep electric cords out of high-traffic areas. • Don’t staple or nail through light strings or electrical cords. • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples to hold light strings in place, not nails or tacks. • Do not attach cords or lights to metal objects. • Outdoors, use only lights and cords rated for outdoor use. • Cords should be plugged into outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Use a portable GFCI if your outdoor outlets don’t have them. GFCIs protect you from electric shocks. • Always unplug lights before going to bed or leaving your home. • Do not run electrical cords across sidewalks or other walkway areas that could trip or endanger trick-or-treaters. Indoors, avoid stretching cords across a room where people or pets can trip over them or become entangled. Whether decorating or using extension cords in general, read the label on both the cord and the appliances that are plugged into it to make sure the cord can handle the load. If it can’t, use a higher-rated cord or unplug some appliances. Remember that extension cords are meant for temporary, not permanent, use. A safe celebration is the best celebration and following basic electrical safety guidelines will help you avoid real scares and keep your memories “boo-tiful” and fun. Source: safeelectricity.org 4 November 2016 • COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS

Amy Cichosz, 9 years old Amy is the daughter of Eric and Jill Cichosz, Spearfish, S.D. They are members of Butte Electric Cooperative, Newell, 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.



Crockpot Creations Crockpot Corn 2 (16 oz.) bags frozen corn 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup melted butter

Butternut Squash and Apples 2 T. sugar 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cook on HIGH setting for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours. Beverley Allbee, Woonsocket

Calico Beans 1-1/2 lbs. ground beef 1 lb. bacon, diced 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 can kidney beans 1 can pork and beans

1 can butter or lima beans 1/2 cup ketchup 3/4 cup brown sugar 2 T. mustard 1 T. vinegar

Brown ground beef, bacon and onion; drain. Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours. Denene Miles, Doland

Crockpot Creamy Italian Chicken 1-1/2 lbs. chicken 1 pkg. Good Seasons Italian Dressing 1/4 to 1/2 cup water

8 oz. cream cheese 1 can cream of chicken soup 6 to 8 oz. sliced mushrooms Butter

Place chicken in crackpot. Mix Italian dressing and water together; pour over the chicken. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. After the chicken is cooked, remove from pot and set aside. Mix cream cheese and chicken soup into the liquid that remains in the crockpot. Stir until melted and heated through. Shred chicken and add to cream sauce. Saute mushrooms in butter. Add to chicken mixture. Serve over rice or noodles. Tracy Romey, Oelrichs

Crockpot Hash Brown Casserole 2 rings smoked sausage, cut into pieces 1 onion, chopped

2 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks (about 8 cups) 2 apples, such as Braeburn or Gala, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 4 cups) 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks 1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup apple cider 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted 1 T. pumpkin pie spice 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. thyme leaves 1/2 cup toasted flaked coconut

Place squash, apples and onion in slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients except coconut in small bowl until well blended. Pour over squash mixture. Cover. Cook 3 to 4 hours on HIGH, stirring after 2 hours. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Makes 15 (2/3-cup) servings. Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 116, Total Fat 4g, Cholesterol 8mg, Sodium 222mg, Carbohydrates 19g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 1g Pictured, Cooperative Connections

Crockpot Steak and Rice 1-1/2 lbs. round steak, cut into bite-size pieces Onion 1 can golden mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup 1 can water 1 cup rice 2 T. soy sauce

Brown steak with a little onion. Mix soup and water in crockpot. Stir in rice and soy sauce; mix well. Stir in browned steak. Cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours. May be cooked in oven for 1-1/2 hours. Shirley Miller, Winfred

Western Crockpot Omelet 1 (30 oz.) pkg. frozen hash browns, thawed 1 lb. ham, cubed 1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped 12 eggs 1 cup 2% milk 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper

1 bag frozen hash browns 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese Grease a 5-quart crockpot. Layer half of hash browns, 2 cups cream of chicken soup

Place sausage in bottom of crockpot. Sprinkle with onions. Add hash browns. Spread soup over all. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cook on HIGH 2 hours.

ham, cheese, onion and green pepper. Repeat layers. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over potato mixture. Cook on LOW, covered, for 6 to 7 hours until set. Turn off crockpot. Let stand uncovered 15 to 20 minutes.

Lynn Holzerland, Waubay

Mary Jessen, Holabird

Please send your favorite holiday treat, soup and brunch 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 2016. All entries must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and cooperative name.


Co-op news

WREA Vehicles For Sale West River Electric has the following items for sale by sealed bid. Bids will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. November 10, 2016. When bidding please include the item number. Sealed bids can be sent to any WREA office and will be opened at our Board of Directors meet-

2008 chevy

ing in November. All items are sold “as is”. West River Electric reserves the right to reject any and all bids. The following vehicles can be seen at our Rapid City office at 3250 E Hwy 44. Ask for Dwight or Brendan.

pressure Washer

Bobcat trailer

Unit #207 2008 Chevy 3500, 6.0L, utility box, 103,925 miles. Bid $__________

Unit #261 1997 14’ redi-haul tandem axle bobcat trailer. Bid $__________

Unit #P Alkota diesel pressure washer. Bid $__________

Unit #246 1997 Bobcat 763. 2520 hours. Cab & heat. Bid $__________

Unit #244 1992 Kodiak, 427, National N50 crane and dump box, 77855 miles. Bid $__________

Unit #251 2008 Ford F-350, V10, utility box, 87,917 miles. Bid $__________

1997 Bobcat

1992 chevy Kodiak

140 Years of Service 6 Novembe r 2 0 1 6

cooperative connections

2008 Ford

At the 77th Annual Meeting West River

Electric had 9 employees who were recognized for a total of 140 years of service. Left to right Dakota Douglas & Bonnie Almeida 5 years, Mike Oyen & Lance Steiger 10 Years, Debbie

Shepard 15 Years, Dawn Hilgenkamp & Jeannie Smith 20 Years, Mike Letcher 25 Years and Willy Nohr 30 Years. We are very fortunate to have such a young, dedicated group of individuals working for your our members.

Amendment R

Let Loose the Tech School

This month I thought I would add an additional column in the magazine. I thought I would touch on a ballot initiative that will show up on the November general election ballot. It is called “Amendment R”. West River has 32 of our 55 employees who should support this measure not to mention the other 22 who should too! You see those 32 are graduates of a Technical Institute. Most all of our operations personnel have graduated from Mitchell Tech and several inside staff have graduated from one of the Technical Schools in South Dakota. Amendment R is a measure that, for the first time, will put the vocational technical institutes into the state Constitution and clear the way for them to have a voice at the state level as an advocate for skilled workforce education in the trades. The Vo-Tech’s (now called technical institutions) were never mentioned in the Constitution. When they started in the 60’s to provide skilled workers in the career and technical education arenas, they were put under the local school board. Therefore in Rapid City, the School Board oversees Western Dakota Tech. Even though the School Board had done a great job, their main concern is K-12 education not technical education. It is the same way at the State Department of Education. Therefore the Tech Institutes become somewhat forgotten and left alone. The four School Boards who are affected, Rapid City, Watertown, Mitchell and Sioux Falls, have all passed a resolution with their respective Boards supporting the passing of Amendment R. If you, your family, and friends vote YES for passing

Amendment R, it will allow the tech institutes to form their own organization with a clear governance structure so their voice can be heard statewide and nationally as an advocate for technical education. We are so short statewide of employees in the trades. This Amendment will help workforce development across the state. Remember, young people can attend a technical institute for 1 or 2 years and come out of school earning more than many of the 4 year graduates and at much less debt! I don’t normally mention issues like this in my columns, but I, and our Board, feel strongly that this Amendment to the South Dakota Constitution should be passed. It will not cause an increase in taxes to fund the organizations. It will help make the Tech Schools at Rapid City, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, and Watertown stronger. I urge you to vote YES on Amendment R and tell all your friends and family to do the same. We need to get the word out as most voters will vote no if they don’t understand a measure such as this. We need all votes as a YES.

cooperative connections • N o v em b er 2016 7

Tackling the Decline in Rural Voting Through

Co-ops Vote W By Dan Riedinger

ith ElEction Day quickly approaching, America’s electric cooperatives continue to build momentum behind an innovative program to boost the political clout of rural America. Called Co-ops Vote, the non-partisan campaign has one simple goal: increase voter turnout at the polls this November. In the 2012 elections, rural voter turnout dropped by 18 percent, twice the decline seen across the nation as a whole. Electric co-ops are deeply rooted in their communities, and that decline raised an alarm. Concerned that the downward voting trend would continue, and could diminish the voice of rural America in future elections, co-ops sprung to action. Participation in Co-ops Vote is strong. More


than 560 electric co-ops representing all the states in which co-ops operate are taking part in the effort. As of mid-August, 50 co-ops had achieved “5-star status,” indicating they had undertaken at least five distinct program activities, such as hosting an employee engagement event or voter registration drive, building awareness of Co-ops Vote through newsletter articles, or promoting the campaign on social media. Employees at West River Electric Association in Wall, S.D., have worked to ensure that members who stop by the office are registered to vote. More than half a million people have seen news about Co-ops Vote through social media, and several thousand have taken the pledge to get out and

vote in this election. “America’s electric cooperatives are leaders in the communities they serve throughout the country,” NRECA CEO Jim Matheson said. “Co-ops Vote focuses elected leaders on the people who are most invested in the success of their own communities. With 42 million members in 47 states, electric co-ops are a powerful voice on national issues that have a local impact.” Anyone can take the pledge online by visiting www.vote. coop. The website provides a variety of voter resources and information on key issues, such as the importance of rural economic development and the continuing need for safe, reliable and affordable electricity. Support for the effort extends well beyond the co-op community. When the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives launched its Co-ops Vote program, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes gave it her endorsement. “As a commonwealth, we have work to do to increase voter turnout in all of our elections, especially in rural Kentucky where turnout is below the state average in almost every cycle,” she said. “I appreciate our electric cooperatives working hard to urge citizens in rural areas to vote in this important election year. I am excited to be a partner in their efforts as we continue to work to get more Kentuckians to the polls.” Show your support for rural communities by joining co-op members across the country in casting your ballot on Nov. 8. Dan Riedinger writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.

The maps below examine voter turnout in general elections since 2000 for South Dakota and surrounding states. The turnout is for Voting Eligible Population (VEP) total ballots counted, unless otherwise noted. VAP stands for Voting Age Population. The state’s overall ranking in terms of voter turnout is indicated on the top line. Source: http://www.electproject.org

2012 General Election Turnout (VEP Total Ballots Counted)

bW Z xo

z c ZoW z c ZoW z c ZoW z c 58.6% Turnout 130 million ballots 222 million VEP 240 million VAP

MT: 14. 63.5%

ND: 23. MN: 1. 60.4% 76.4% SD: 24. CO: 27. 60.1% IA: 59% NE 20. 3(T). 61.1% 70.6%



2008 General Election Turnout (VEP Total Ballots Counted) 62.2% Turnout 132.6 million ballots 213 million VEP 231 million VAP

MT 18. 67.1%


ND: 27. MN: 1. 63.6% 78.1% SD: 22. CO: 29. 65.6% IA: 6. 63.1% NE: 26. 69.7% 63.7%

x L


2004 General Election Turnout (VEP Total Ballots Counted) 60.7% Turnout 123.5 million ballots 203 million VEP 220 million VAP


MT: 18. 65.2%


ND: 17. MN: 1. 65.5% 78.8%

x L CO: 14. 66.3%

SD: 8. 69.4%

IA: 6. NE: 24. 70.6% 64.1%

2000 General Election Turnout (VEP Total Ballots Counted) 55.3% Turnout 107 million ballots 194 million VEP 210 million VAP


MT: 6. 62.6%


ND: 10. MN: 1. 61.1% 70.1%

x L CO: 9. 61.4%

SD: 15. 58.7%

IA* NE: 17. 63.2% 57.8%

*Iowa’s figure is for VEP for Highest Office, not VEP Total Ballots Counted


WREA 77th Annual Meeting

Building On A Vision W

By Veronica Kusser

10 Nove m be r 2 0 1 6

est river electric association held our 77th Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at the Wall Community Center in Wall, SD. President Andy Moon stated “Building On a Vision!” We ask ourselves at each board meeting “are we building a vision for the successful future of West River Electric? We have certainly had some wonderful years, so we feel we have built that vision very well with the help of our forefathers.” He reported on the 2 day strategic planning session which helped to provide a vision of what our future might look like over the next 3 years. He shared that we went through an analysis of what we felt West River’s strengths and weaknesses were, along with the threats there are in our industry. This provides opportunities that might come out the strengths, weaknesses and threats. Several initiatives and goals were set and we will be working in the next months to finalize these goals. One of the responsibilities that we have is to look at retiring capital credits each year, these are the equity you have in the cooperative. We once again made the decision to retire $500,000 in capital credits as we have done in the past. A part of this is for 1986 with 1/2 being spread out over 1987 to 2015. There was an additional $42,000 which we received from Rushmore Electric Power Cooperative, our G&T. Andy reported that the beginning of 2016, Basin increased our rate by about 6%, so in April we increased the base charge by $2.25 for residential members. Low and behold we were dealt a bit of surprise in August with a rate increase of 11% by Basin Electric. West River will be passing on a 4.5% increase to the members in the form of a PCA (Power Cost Adjustment). They have assured us that the intent is to keep the current rate for several years.

cooperative connections

CEO Dick Johnson gave an update on the 2015 financials of WREA. He shared that our equity is 31% which is up from 28.9% last year, a slow steady climb over the last 3-5 years. We added about 300 accounts last year with the majority of those residential. From the business standpoint we added Granite Nissan, Granite GMC, McKie and Rushmore Honda, Residence Inn, Eddies Truck Sales opening soon, Common Cents across from the Rapid City office, Taco Bell, Jump Craze, Rapid City Soccer Complex and a addition to Western Dakota Tech and America’s Mailbox. There is a new building along Highway 34 in Enning, Nellie’s, that will be opening in the new facility shortly. Dick reported on changes made by Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA. These changes will have an effect on the way the cooperatives are paid in times of disaster and how damages will be reported. Dawn Hilgenkamp gave a short follow up report on Storm Atlas and the results of the filing with FEMA. The actual cost of damage from the storm was $8.2 million. We were able to apply for FEMA funds of $6.4 million, and we are hoping for payment of $5.7 million with $4.8 million of that coming from FEMA and the balance from the State of SD. Wayne Shull and Mike Letcher gave an update on the projects that the linecrews have been busy with this past year. The maintenance crews in both Wall and Rapid City continue to find and make repairs to the little things that eventually catch up to us and cause extended outages. The Town of Wall conversion was a big project. It went very well and we appreciate the patience of you our members. Like Wayne said “Mother Nature is a force that we prefer to do our best to get along with; she has been pretty good to us this year.” Things have gone well with the Plainview and Bear Butte underground where we worked to replace the Enning transmission line.

Dick did a quick update on the youth programs that we offer here that are so near and dear to the heart of all of our Directors and Employees. We were able to send 3 students on a trip of a lifetime to Washington D.C. to learn about the importance of the electric cooperative. They were able to meet with our Senators and House of Representatives, which is an invaluable opportunity. Another youth program that West River Electric is proud to sponsor is the Youth Excursion to Bismarch, ND. Every student should have an opportunity to attend and learn what it takes to turn the lights on! Last but not least, for the 26th year, West River Electric will be offering scholarships to high school seniors or college age young people currently enrolled. Mike Eggl, of Basin Electric was here to give us an update on the requirements from the EPA Clean Power Plan. They are wanting to either shut down or severely limit operation. The goal they set is to replace Coal Generation with Natural Gas Combined Cycle Units while adding massive amounts of NEW (post 2012) renewable generation. He shared the steps that Basin is taking to deal with the CPP. Beat the Rule that is continue to support efforts to delay or overturn the rule. Change the Rule - to work on possible legislative items to modify the rule if legal actions fail. Meeting the Rule - what will we need to consider if legal and political actions fail. Operation Roundup presentations were awarded to the Creighton Community Hall, SD FFA Foundation, Wall School Track and the Wall Youth Baseball, each of the four organizations received $500.00. The following employees reached milestones in their employment with West River Electric and were publicly recognized for the years of service. Willy Nohr - 30 Years, Mike Letcher - 25 Years, Jeannie Smith and Dawn Hilgenkamp - 20 Years each, Debbie Shepard - 15 Years, Lance Steiger and Mike Oyen - 10 Years each, and Bonnie Almeida and Dakota Douglas with 5 Years each. All

told they have 140 years of service to our members. Last year we offered only one scholarship, the board felt it was a great opportunity to touch the lives of our young people. With such positive participation and feedback, the board approved two $500 scholarships to be given out this year at the meeting. Emily Ferris, a senior at Wall High School and Carter Elshere, a senior at Wall High School are the recipients of this years scholarships. Bill Beilmaier was recognized for his 33 years of service to the members of West River Electric. Bill has been a great leader for the organization, and his leadership will be greatly missed. Through the entire 33 years of service he has seen many challenges in the electric utility industry and provided leadership to West River. He has served on many committees and task forces at West River, SDREA and several national organization. Bill made the decision earlier this fall to step down and let someone else take over his board seat. With that being said we would like to welcome Terry Peters, who will replace Bill as the new Director for District 3. 10582600 CEO Johnson thanked the members for attending our annual meeting “Building on a Vision You have helped us build a vision - We owe it all to you our members. Member owned, Member controlled!”

cooperative connections • N o v em b er 2016 11

Along the Trail

South Dakota Leaders Line the Path


n a sEason of politics in a city built arounD

By Brenda Kleinjan

politics, the South Dakota Trail of Governors emerges to bring the state’s top leaders to life in bronze. Since the placement of the first statues in 2012, the trail has brought to life the vision of two Pierre, S.D., businessmen – LeRoy Foster and Rick Jensen – who dreamed of creating a lasting legacy of South Dakota’s governors. Combining a love of history with an appreciation of arts, the duo envisioned a concept to bring the state’s past top leaders to lifesize scale. When completed, the trail of bronze statues will honor each of the state’s governors for the enjoy-


ment and enlightenment of those living in and visiting South Dakota and its Capital city. The project is believed to be unique in its tribute to a state’s governors. Rapid City has statues of U.S. Presidents throughout the downtown area of the city that is the gateway to Mount Rushmore. The Trail of Governors Foundation to bring the vision for the statues to reality. Former governors’ families who had been identified were notified so that work could begin on statues for those individuals. The foundation is still missing a few families and help is requested from anyone with clues on the governors, particularly former governors Charles H. Sheldon of Pierpont, Frank Byrne of Faulkton and

Biographies of Governors with Statues

William Bulow of Beresford. As the project progresses, governors’ families from across the United States share their personal stories of these South Dakota leaders. Foundation members and artists continue piecing together each governor’s historical puzzle with details such as physical features, greatest accomplishments and favorite pastimes. Among the South Dakota artists creating the sculptures are Lee Leuning, John Lopez, James Michael Maher and Sherri Treeby. The foundation’s goal is to unveil three bronze statues each year beginning in 2012 and to complete 30 statues within 10 years. Plans are to continue commissioning statues as each future governor leaves office so the trail will wind its way through South Dakota’s future. The governors guide visitors through Pierre’s business district and around the state Capitol Complex. Private donations fund each statue with a donor or donor group contributing $72,000 for one governor. Some of the depictions of the governors draw upon iconic connections the governor may have had with his place in the state’s history and culture. From his vantage point across the street of the state capitol, the state’s 29th governor, Walter Dale Miller, holds a branding iron, signalling his western South Dakota ranching roots. The state’s first governor, Arthur Mellette stands on the lawn of the Hughes County Courthouse, gazing down historic Pierre Street to the banks of the Missouri River. Gov. Bill Janklow who served a total of four terms as the state’s 27th and 30th governor, brandishes a bull horn as he stares down the State’s Department of Transportation. The state’s 18th governor, George T. Mikkelson, attired in a crisp suit of the 1940s, is caught midstride walking from the west side of the Capitol while his son George S. (governor No. 28) is on the opposite end of the capitol grounds with his hand outstretched in greeting. On the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion, governor No. 31 and now U.S. Senator M. Michael Rounds is depicted waiting the state’s pheasant hunt with his dog at his side and a shotgun in his hands. For more information on the Trail of Governors Foundation, please contact: Trail of Governor’s Foundation, 1714 N. Lincoln, Pierre, SD 57501 or call 605-454-0689. You Can also find information online at www.trailofgovernors.com. Opposite Page: Among the 19 South Dakota Governors memorialized with a statue along the Trail of Governors is Gov. George T. Mikkelson, who, on Feb. 26, 1947, signed the South Dakota Electric Cooperative Act.

Gov. Arthur Calvin Mellette 1st Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1889-1893 Birth: June 23, 1842, Henry County, Ind. Death: May 25, 1896, Pittsburg, Kan.

Gov. Sigurd Anderson 19th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1951-1955 Birth: Jan. 22, 1904, Arendel, Norway Death: Dec. 21, 1990, Webster, S.D.

Gov. Charles Nelson Herreid 4th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1901-1905 Birth: Oct. 20, 1857, Madison, Wis. Death: July 6, 1928, Aberdeen, S.D.

Gov. Joe Foss 20th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1955-1959 Birth: April 17, 1915, Sioux Falls, S.D. Death: Jan. 1, 2003, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Gov. Robert Scadden Vessey 7th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1909-1913 Birth: May 16, 1858, Winnebago County, Wis. Death: Oct. 18, 1929, Pasadena, Calif.

Gov. Nils Andreas Boe 23rd Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1965-1969 Birth: Sept. 10, 1913, Baltic, S.D. Death: July 30, 1992, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Gov. Peter Norbeck 9th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1917-1921 Birth: Aug. 27, 1870, Clay County, S.D. Death: Dec. 20, 1936, Redfield, S.D. Gov. Warren Everett Green 13th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1931-1933 Birth: March 10, 1869, Jackson County, Wis. Death: April 27, 1945, Watertown, S.D. Gov. Tom Berry 14th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1933-1937 Birth: April 23, 1879, Paddock, Neb. Death: Oct. 30, 1951, Rapid City, S.D. Gov. Leslie Jensen 15th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1937-1939 Birth: Sept. 15, 1892, Hot Springs, S.D. Death: Dec. 14, 1964, Rapid City, S.D. Gov. Harlan John Bushfield 16th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1939-1943 Birth: Aug.6, 1882, Atlantic, Iowa Death: Sept. 27, 1948, Miller, S.D. Gov. George Theodore Mickelson 18th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1947-1951 Birth: July 23, 1903, Selby, S.D. Death: Feb. 28, 1965, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Gov. Frank Leroy Farrar 24th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1969-1971 Birth: April 2, 1929, Britton, S.D. Gov. Richard Francis Kneip 25th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1971-1978 Birth: Jan. 7, 1933, Tyler, Minn. Death: March 9, 1987, Sioux Falls, S.D. Gov. Harvey Lowell Wollman 26th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1978-1979 Birth: May 14, 1935, Frankfort, S.D. Gov. William John “Bill” Janklow 27th and 30th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1979-1987 and 1995-2003 Birth: Sept. 13, 1939, Chicago, Illinois Death: Jan. 12, 2012, Sioux Falls, S.D. Gov. George Speaker Mickelson 28th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1987-1993 Birth: Jan. 31, 1941-Mobridge, S.D. Death: April 19, 1993-near Dubuque, Iowa Gov. Walter Dale Miller 29th Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 1993-1995 Birth: Oct. 5, 1925, Viewfield, S.D. Death: Sept. 28, 2015, Dallas, Texas Gov. Marion Michael “Mike” Rounds 31st Governor of South Dakota Years in Office: 2003-2011 Birth: Oct. 24, 1954, Huron, S.D.




Sign Up

West River Electric Statement of Non-discrimination

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Person with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape , American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202)720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800)877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. 10573300 To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda. gov/complaint_ filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov WREA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

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 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 August 2015 Number of Meters: 16,487 KWH 26,034,897 August 2016 Number of Meters: 16,762 KWH 26,024,488 14 No v e m be r 2 0 1 6


cooperative connections

Co-op news

Join Us for a Tailgating Party

(USPS No. 675-840)

Our Mission

Come out and Tailgate with us at the Wall/New Underwood Football Game October 20, 2016 from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. West River Electric employees and directors will be serving hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and cookies when the Wall Eagles take on the New Underwood Tigers at Wall, SD. 10048700

When writing a check... Please avoid using a gel or fun colored pen. Stick to the blue or black ink pens on your check payment for West River Electric Association. The readers that our check payments are run thru are unable to detect the fun colors, resulting in the incorrect amounts being credited to your account.

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 Heating your home uses more energy than any other system in your home – typically making up about 42 percent of your utility bill. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with recommended insulation, air sealing and thermostat settings, you can save about 30 percent on your energy bill. Source: energy.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer

President Andy Moon, Creighton, S.D. Vice President Stan Anders, Union Center, 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. Jamie Lewis, Rapid City, S.D. Jerry Hammerquist, Caputa, S.D. Terry Peters, Wall, S.D. CEO/General Manager Dick Johnson Editor Veronica Kusser

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

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.

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.

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 onecall 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 • N o v em b er 2016 15

Regional Dateline

Events of Special Note

October 8-31 Pumpkin Patch, Rapid Valley United Methodist Church Rapid City, SD, 605-393-1526

October 21 Sons of Norway Annual Torsk Dinner, Canyon Lake Senior Center, Rapid City, SD 605-993-3399 October 21 AKC Dog Show, Rapid City Kennel Club, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD 405-427-8181 October 21 South Dakota State High School Competitive Cheer & Dance Competition, Rapid City, SD October 29 Home & Gadget Expo Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 October 29 High School All State Chorus & Orchestra Concern, Denny Sanford Premier Center Sioux Falls, SD October 30 BH Chamber Music Society The Neave Trio, First Congregational Church Rapid City, SD, 605-341-6425


October 14-November 5 Firehouse Theatre presents Talk Radio Comedy, Firehouse Theatre, Rapid City, SD 605-348-1915

October 21-23 Autumn Festival, An Arts & Crafts Affair, Sioux Falls, SD 402-331-2889 November 26 19th Annual Festival of Lights Parade, Downtown Rapid City, SD, 605-340-0914

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 5 BH Works Recognition Gala Stars of Sahara, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, LaCroix Hall Rapid City, SD, 605-718-6207 November 10-12 South Dakota State High School Football Playoffs, All Classes DakotaDome, Vermillion, SD

November 17-19 South Dakota State High School Class B Volleyball Tournament Huron Arena, Huron, SD November 17-19 South Dakota State High School Class A Volleyball Tournament Civic Arena, Watertown, SD

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 17-19 South Dakota State High School Class AA Volleyball Tournament, Swiftel Center Brookings, SD

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 13 Fall Craft Show, Community Center, Wall, SD, 605-279-2665

November 18-December 31 Firehouse Theatre presents The Robber Bridegroom, Firehouse Theatre, Rapid City, SD 605-348-1915

November 30 Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD 605-394-4115

November 17 Mannheim Steamroller Christmas in Rapid City Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115

November 19 Sons of Norway Lille Norge Fest, Canyon Lake Senior Center, Rapid City, SD 605-993-3399

January 13-February 4 Firehouse Theatre presents Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Firehouse Theatre Rapid City, SD, 605-348-1915

November 11 West River Electric will be closed in honor of Veteran’s Day, in case of an emergency call 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135

Profile for West River Electric Association

Wrea nov2016  

November PDF issue of the Cooperative Connections

Wrea nov2016  

November PDF issue of the Cooperative Connections