New Hires

Jacob Ihry joined the Grand Forks construction crew August 2017 as apprentice journeyman lineman. He had previously worked as a seasonal apprentice for the 2017 construction season.

Jacob grew up in Hope, N.D., and graduated from Hope High School and Bismarck State College’s line school.

After graduation, he worked for Vetsch Independent Power for a few years before moving to Arizona to work as a mechanic for a ready mix company.

Jacob is engaged to be married this summer to Nicole. They have a son, Daxton, and live in Grand Forks.

He loves spending time with family and going to the lake in the summer. Other hobbies include heading to the mountains for snowboarding and snowmobiling.


On Jan. 1, 2018, Brock Janikowski started full time with Nodak Electric’s Grafton crew as an apprentice journeyman lineman. During summer 2017, he worked as a seasonal apprentice.

Brock is a Grafton, N.D., native, graduating from Grafton High School and then Bismarck State College’s line school.

His hobbies include hunting and also hanging out with friends.

 


Nodak Electric welcomes Alex Schultz to the Grand Forks construction crew as apprentice journeyman lineman.

Alex started with Nodak as a seasonal apprentice for the 2017 construction season and became full time Jan. 1, 2018.  He previously worked for Rock’s Electric Construction and North-Holt Electric.

In his spare time, Alex enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports, playing golf and going to the lake.

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Traiser Retires

Nodak Electric would like to congratulate Chuck Traiser on more than 35 years of service. Chuck retired on Jan. 19, 2018, after starting with Nodak as a temporary employee in 1982. He was hired full time in the spring of 1983 as senior dispatch technician, but held other positions throughout his career, such as working in the Engineering Department and as a cable locator and warehouseman.

Chuck’s retirement plans include relaxing, traveling and going to the lake to do some fishing. He will stay busy with his hobbies, home projects and spoiling their new baby grandsons, Calvin and Gavin.

We wish him all the happiness and freedom retirement has to offer.

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Open Director Position In District 3

Every co-op, whether it’s Nodak Electric Cooperative, your credit union or a farm cooperative, follows the basic principle of democratic member control. Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members who actively participate in setting policy and making decisions. All these cooperatives work on the same system of one member, one vote. Most often, you are asked to vote and elect individuals who will represent you on the board of directors. These folks are your friends, neighbors and may even be you!

Any member in good standing of the co-op can run for the board. Of our nine board members, three are elected each year at our annual meeting in April, which means with only a few exceptions all members have the opportunity to run for the board each year. This year, we again have three director positions up for election; however, one of our incumbent directors has chosen not to seek reelection. That means we will certainly have at least one new board member when the election is finished. Will it be you?

Being a member of the co-op’s board is an incredibly important position. A director’s decisions will impact issues such as service, rates, work plans and bylaws. These positions hold great responsibility and require men and women who understand our communities’ needs and serve the cooperative members’ best interests.

If you or someone you know are interested in hearing more about how to run for a seat on your cooperative’s board of directors, contact us at the headquarters in Grand Forks and we’ll help you through the process. Even if you choose not to have that level of participation, you should all feel empowered to reach out to current board members and candidates, or encourage your friends and neighbors to participate. When our members are actively involved with the cooperative, we are all better off.

As a cooperative, we invite our members to take an active role. In fact, it is critically important to the survival of the cooperative business model that we use our voices to be heard on the issues that matter to us.

The cooperative business model is a great one – it fosters engagement and creates strong communities. More than 100 years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt recognized this value when he said, “The cooperative is the best plan of organization. Under this plan, every business is governed by a board, every person has one vote and only one vote. Everyone gets profits based on their use of the cooperative. It develops individual responsibility and has a moral, as well as financial value.”

Those words are more true today than ever. Let your voice be heard and take the time to participate in your cooperative’s election and your cooperative’s board of directors.

In closing, I’d like to thank Director Doug Lund for his 28 years of dedicated service to our cooperative. Over his tenure on our board, Doug helped shepherd the merger with Sheyenne Valley Electric Cooperative, represented us on several state and regional boards, and shaped policy that helped Nodak continue to grow. Doug’s contributions will have lasting effects on Nodak in the years to come. We wish him luck in his next adventure, and extend our heartfelt thank you for his service on our board.

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2018 Director Elections

Nodak Electric Cooperative, Inc. will hold its 78th annual meeting Thursday, April 12, 2018, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. Election for three positions will be held at the annual meeting.

Members who desire to serve as a member of the Nodak Board of Directors may be nominated in one of two ways:

  1. By the Nominating Committee. The committee will meet Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.
  2. By a petition signed by 15 members of Nodak in good standing. The petition must be submitted to Nodak’s office 45 days prior to the annual meeting (Monday, Feb. 26, 2018).

If you are interested, or would like to know which district you reside in, please contact Nodak’s office at 701-746-4461 or 1-800-732-4373 for more information.

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Trip Of A Lifetime

By Isaac Joerger
Amazing, fantastic, a tripof a lifetime, are the words that describe the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Along the trip, those words were repeated multiple times. After spending six days in our nation’s capital and another half day in

Baltimore, how could words like these not escape from our lips. Everything was very hassle-free throughout the whole tour. The people running the tour have had years of experience and took care of every possible problem before it even happened.

Each day was planned out so we were able to tour as many areas as possible. Some of the sights we visited were the Washington Monument, National World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and the Marine Corps War Memorial. We also visited many museums, including the Newseum, which had many newspaper archives and the current date’s front pages from newspapers around the world. We visited as many Smithsonian museums as time allowed.

During our half day in Baltimore, we visited the National Aquarium and explored the harbor. Even though we spent most of our time on foot, there were times when we could sit back and relax with others from our state. This was a very valuable time because we were able to get to know new teens from our state and form lifelong friendships.

The coolest thing that happened on our trip was how tight we became as a group. At the beginning of the trip, most students were shy and didn’t really know what to say but by the end we were all wondering why we didn’t know each other before.

The trip wasn’t all touring; however, there were two nights when we were able to meet new people from other states while enjoying games, dances and snacks. The trip also featured motivational speakers who did an outstanding job and had amazing life stories. One night a speaker talked to our group about how cooperatives are organized and how they play an important role in our economy.

The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour was the trip of a lifetime for me, and I am extremely thankful that I was chosen for this remarkable opportunity through Nodak Electric Cooperative.

Essay Contest Details

  • To enter the essay-writing contest, you must currently be a sophomore or junior in high school.
  • You and your parents or guardian must be served by Nodak Electric Cooperative.
  • Deadline is Jan. 31, 2018. Emailed entries should be directed to gschmaltz@nodakelectric.com, and hard-copy entries mailed to: Youth Tour Essay Contest, Nodak Electric Cooperative, 4000 32nd Ave. S., PO Box 13000, Grand Forks, ND 58208-3000.
  • If you have a question, contact Gretchen Schmaltz, Nodak Electric, at the address listed above or call 701-746-4461 during regular business hours.

Check out the essay contest guidelines at www.ndyouthtour.com and www.youthtour.coop

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Be Prepared For Winter’s Wrath

Nodak Electric Cooperative strives to provide you with reliable, uninterrupted service every day of the year, but sometimes Mother Nature creates unavoidable power outages. Nodak Electric wants you to remain safe during severe winter weather, so consider preparing now for the possibility of power outages this winter.

Before a power outage

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash and first-aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
  • If a storm is predicted, charge cellphones and any battery-powered devices beforehand.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
  • If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device, determine a backup plan.

To prevent an overload

  • To prevent an overload on the system while power is being restored, take these steps:
  • Turn off every inside light except one.
  • Turn down your thermostat.
  • If the outage lasts more than 60 minutes, turn off your electric water heater.
  • Make sure your kitchen range is off, both the surface and the oven.
  • Turn off all unnecessary appliances and unplug sensitive electronic equipment.
  • When power comes back on, slowly switch your appliances and lights back on and gradually return your thermostat to its normal setting.

During a power outage

  • Only use flashlights for emergency lighting. Candles can cause fires.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power might be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.

Stay away from downed power lines
Mother Nature isn’t always kind to power lines. Winter winds, snow and ice often prove to be too much for utility poles and power lines. If you see a downed power line or utility pole, contact Nodak Electric immediately.

Do not go near the line or the pole. Just because it’s on the ground doesn’t mean it’s safe to approach.

to report an outage
Because power outages can’t be totally eliminated, Nodak Electric offers these steps to follow if an outage occurs:

  • Confirm the outage. Check your own fuses and circuit breakers first.
  • Check with a neighbor to confirm if he or she is also experiencing an outage before you call the cooperative. This will help your cooperative determine the extent of the outage.
  • Call the cooperative. If the outage is widespread, the phone lines may be busy, but keep trying. Your cooperative will send a line crew to find the problem and restore power as quickly as possible.

If you have additional questions about outages, please call Nodak Electric at 701-746-4461.

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Have A Safe And Happy Holiday

At Nodak Electric, safety is the most important job we have. We have the awesome responsibility to do our best to keep each other safe at work and to educate our members on how to stay safe around electricity at home and work. As the holidays draw near, for many of us that means celebrations with friends and family, travel, decorations, cooking and shopping. All of us at Nodak Electric want you to be safe during the holidays, so here are a few tips to consider as you gear up for the season. We can’t guarantee that the hustle and bustle of the season won’t leave you with a few frayed nerves, but hopefully these reminders will help you avoid frayed wires.

Inspect your seasonal items
Many of us have treasured holiday mementos that we bring out of storage year after year. The holidays are also a time when we dust off specialized cooking gadgets that allow us to prepare our favorite seasonal treats. These items are often handed down through generations and might lack modern safety features.

Take a few moments to carefully inspect all your holiday items to ensure everything is in safe working order. A few things to look out for include:
• Brittle insulation on wires
• Rodent damage to wires
• Worn switches with the potential to short circuit
• Corroded metal parts
• Broken legs, unstable bases and other tip-over hazards

Extension cords are temporary
When you asked your school teacher for an extension on your homework, it was a one-time thing, right? The same holds true for extension cords. They are designed for temporary use and should never be used as a permanent or long-term solution.

Never bypass safety devices
There are reasons why some devices have fuses, some plugs have three prongs instead of two and one prong is wider than the other on two-prong outlets. When those safety features get in the way of your holiday decor plans, you might be tempted to tamper with those features. Don’t do it! If your plugs won’t fit together, that means they’re not designed to work together. Rather than tampering with a safety feature, find a safe solution.

Don’t forget to look up
When working outside with a ladder, be mindful of the location of overhead power lines. Always carry your ladder so that it is parallel to the ground. Before placing your ladder in an upright position, look around to ensure you are a safe distance from any power lines.

Stay away from  your service connection
An overhead wire that brings power from a pole to your house can be dangerous if not respected. You should treat this line the same way you’d treat any other power line on our system. Maintain a safe distance – even if that means a small gap in the perfect outline of lights. If you must perform work close to your service entrance, get the professionals involved so it can be done safely.

Read the fine print
If you take a few minutes to read and understand the limitations of your lights and other electrified holiday decorations, you can save yourself a great deal of work and frustration in the long run. For example, the tag at the end of an extension cord will tell you if it’s rated for outdoor use, whether it will remain flexible in cold temperatures and how much energy it can safely handle. Similarly, holiday lights will tell you how many strings can be safely linked together.

Don’t forget about the kids…and pets
If you have small children, you’ve probably spent a great deal of time making sure every square inch of your home is childproof – every cabinet is locked and every outlet is covered. But sometimes the joy of celebrating the holidays with our little ones makes us a little less vigilant about electrical safety. Make sure your holiday decor receives the same level of safety scrutiny you apply to all of the permanent items in your home. Curious and mischievous pets can present similar challenges. Make sure Fluffy isn’t nibbling on all those extra wires or using your tree as her personal back scratcher or jungle gym.

From all of us at Nodak, we want to wish you a happy, but more importantly a safe holiday season.

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Holiday Safety Tips

Homeowners decorate their homes for Christmas earlier and earlier – often before Thanksgiving. If you’re ready to start hanging lights, take safety precautions. Nearly three people per hour are treated in hospital emergency rooms for decorating-related injuries during every holiday season, according to the National Safety Council. Here are five ways to keep yourself safe if you have decorating duty this season.

  1. Inspect last year’s lights before using them again this holiday season. Discard any with frayed or exposed wires, loose connections or broken sockets.
  2. Decorate the tree with kids in mind. Place breakable ornaments and those with metal hooks near the top of the tree, where little ones can’t reach them.
  3. Likewise, some holiday plants, including some varieties of poinsettias, can be harmful to children and pets. Keep them out of your home – or at least out of reach. And keep the number for the Poison Control Center handy: (800) 222-1222.
  4. Use sturdy ladders when decorating outdoors. Indoors, climb stepladders instead of using chairs, which aren’t designed for someone in a standing position.
  5. Don’t hide extension cords under rugs or furniture. They can overheat and catch on fire. And when you take the tree down, unplug extension cords. They’re not designed for permanent use.

Fun Facts About LEDs

  • In 2012, about 49 million LEDs were installed in the United States, saving about $675 million in annual energy costs.
  • Today’s LED bulbs can be six to seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and can reduce energy use by more than 80 percent.
  • Good-quality LED bulbs can last more than 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs. If the bulb is burned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it would last three years.
  • From vehicle brake lights to TVs, LEDs are used for their compact size, ease of maintenance, resistance to breakage and ability to focus light in a single direction.
  • LEDs contain no mercury, and a recent U.S. Department of Energy study determined that LEDs have a much smaller environmental impact than incandescent bulbs.
  • By 2030, LEDs are expected to account for 75 percent of all lighting sales globally.
  • Switching entirely to LED lights over the next 20 years could save $250 billion in U.S. energy costs.

Source: energy.gov

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Minnkota Projects Lower-Than-Average Control Hours

In the world of load control, timing is everything.
What are the prices when you are purchasing energy from the energy market? What resources are available during peak load conditions? What are the weather impacts during the cold-weather months?

“Market price volatility is driven by weather and generator outages. These events drive the majority of the control hours,” said Todd Sailer, Minnkota Power Cooperative senior manager of power supply & resource planning.

Sailer said Minnkota, your cooperative’s wholesale energy supplier, estimates 140 hours of dual-heat load control this winter. This compares to the 10-year average of 180 hours and last year’s total of 62 hours.

“The market conditions are very similar to last year and we do expect the temperatures to be a little colder than they were last year,” Sailer said.

During outages and periods of peak electric demand, Minnkota’s first option is to purchase energy from the power market.

“Right now we have some scheduled outages for the first part of December and then again in the spring,” Sailer said. “So we typically do not schedule maintenance in the January and February time frame when we’re at peak conditions. That’s where the unplanned or forced outages come into play.”

If the timing is not right and affordable power is not available, off-peak loads are temporarily controlled. The savings are passed on to members through the lower off-peak heating rate.

“Controlling load during these periods protects consumers from the volatility of the market and prevents the need to build new power plants just to serve peak loads,” Sailer said.

Minnkota has the ability to control up to 350 megawatts through its demand response system. This includes temporarily controlling storage heating systems, large-capacity water heaters, home vehicle chargers and large industrial consumers with backup generators. Millions of dollars have been saved due to the successful operation of Minnkota’s load management system for nearly 40 years.

An off-peak system consists of an electric heating source as its primary component. A supplemental heating source must operate several hundred hours or more during the winter season. Sailer said members with a well-maintained backup heating system should not notice a difference in comfort level when their off-peak heating system is controlled.

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Cavalier AFS Significant Link To Missile Warning/Space Defense

By Dave Smith, 21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

Cavalier Air Force Station, N.D. – Once a major piece of U.S. nuclear defensesduring the Cold War, Cavalier Air Force Station continues to be a significant link in the nation’s missile warning and space defense scheme.

The 10th Space Warning Squadron is a geographically separated unit of the 21st

Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo. Cavalier Air Force Station, N.D., is about 15 miles south of the Canadian border. The installation initially provided the first and only ballistic missile defense of ICBM fields in the northern U.S. Following the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty II, that mission was terminated. Soon after, new dual missions of providing missile warning and supporting space surveillance

began. The Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System (PARCS) at Cavalier AFS is the only Safeguard component that was not deactivated.

The most prominent structure at Cavalier AFS is the Perimeter Acquisition Radar building, a ground-based Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment sensor key to the National Military Command System. The building housing the PARCS radar system, often referred to as the second tallest building in North Dakota after the state capitol, is an electromagnetic pulse hardened structure built as part of the Army’s antiballistic missile Safeguard program.

“PARCS’ primary mission is Missile Warning; its secondary mission is Space Situational Awareness,” said Lt. Col. John Koehler, 10th SWS commander. “PARCS is uniquely positioned to view objects approaching the United States and Southern Canada from the north. It has a visibility range of 3,300 kilometers, which is approximately 2,000 miles.” This allows the world’s most capable radar to provide observations on thousands of earth-orbiting satellites.”

The PARCS provides around-the-clock missile warning data to North American Aerospace Defense Command and space surveillance data to United States Strategic Command. The system monitors and tracks more than half of all earth-orbiting objects to enable space situational awareness. The 10th SWS team provides real-time missile warning data to the secretary of defense and the president to assist in decision making.

“Cavalier AFS is a unique installation with unparalleled personnel,” said Koehler. “The opportunities here rival and exceed what I’ve experienced at previous bases over my 17 years of service. The missions have direct impact on capabilities provided globally, from the farmers in the local area to operations overseas. This is truly the nation’s most capable radar operated and maintained by the most capable team of airmen.”

There are about 130 people working at Cavalier, he said. Most are contractors performing a variety of services like maintenance, custodial services and firefighting. There are about 40 military and five government civilians in the mix. The installation is considered an isolated facility and too small to provide all the functions of a typical base, so some services are made available through other bases.

Grand Forks Air Force Base, 80 miles south, provides security forces personnel and support functions like finance and medical, for example. Emergency services like hazardous waste disposal and explosive ordinance disposal are provided by Minot Air Force Base about 200 miles west.

The site is remote, but Cavalier personnel stay active in the local community, participating in events ranging from parades to providing a color guard at various ceremonies. Volunteering is a big part of the military lifestyle, and there are many opportunities for 10th SWS members to participate. Extracurricular events like zip-lining in Canada, fishing and ice fishing at local lakes and rivers, camping and boating at Icelandic State Park in the summer, and skiing are available year-round. On-site activities like bowling, potlucks and karaoke are available all year at the Community Activity Center, lovingly called the Mangy Moose.

To bring the installation from the look associated with its time as a prominent Cold War site into the 21st century, a number of upgrades took place. A $4.8 million construction project added 14 new housing units for military families living on station, Koehler said. The project included a new community center and indoor play area aimed for use during cold winter months.

“The project represents a significant increase in the quality of life for base residents,” Koehler said.

A $20 million High-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse protection project is nearing completion, including 10 major subprojects at the station. Koehler said these projects should ensure Cavalier’s operational relevance far into the future.

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Write An Essay And Win A Trip Of A Lifetime!

An All-Expense-Paid Trip To Washington, D.C. June 9-15, 2018

  • To enter the essay-writing contest, you must be a sophomore or junior in high school.
  • You and your parents or guardian must be served by Nodak Electric Cooperative.
  • If you have a question, contact Gretchen Schmaltz, Nodak Electric, at the address listed below, or call 701-746-4461 during regular business hours.
  • The deadline is Jan. 31, 2018. Emailed entries should be directed to gschmaltz@nodakelectric.com, and hard-copy entries mailed to: Youth Tour Essay Contest, Nodak Electric Cooperative, 4000 32nd Ave. S., PO Box 13000, Grand Forks, ND 58208-3000.

 

Top 3 Reasons To Enter The Essay-Writing Contest

1. All-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., compliments of Nodak Electric Cooperative.

2. A whole week to visit unforgettable historic monuments, museums and the U.S. Capitol.

3. A learning experience you’ll never forget.

Essay Question:

There are approximately 20 million military veterans in the United States today. How shall fellow U.S. citizens honor and look after these veterans, who have served and sacrificed on our behalf? Describe any special connection you may have to a veteran or active-duty member of the military.

 

 

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Tractor Safety

Modern farm tractors are the workhorses of agriculture and the safety advances made in their construction in recent years make them safer than ever. But, tragic accidents do still occur on a regular basis. According to OSHA, there are 200 tractor-related deaths annually that happen in the U.S. alone, along with many more accidents that result in serious injury.

These accidents don’t need to happen. To make sure that you don’t become part of these unfortunate statistics, follow these basic guidelines:

  • Be familiar with the terrain and work area. Walk the area first to identify any debris or obstacles that could hinder the ability to drive around the area safely. Use special caution on slopes, slow down for all turns and stay off the highway whenever possible.
  • Always keep the power take-off properly shielded. Walk around the tractor and PTO driven implement, never over, through or between the tractor and implement, particularly if either is running.
  • Keep hitches low and always on the drawbar. Otherwise, the tractor might flip over backward.
  • Never start an engine in a closed shed or garage. Exhaust gas contains carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless and deadly.
  • Keep all children off and away from the tractor and its implements at all times. Children are generally attracted to tractors and the work they do.

Source: National Safety Council’s Agricultural Division, the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety.

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