Electric cooperative employees make new-home dream a reality on MLK day

If Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood for peace, equality and anti-poverty, than he’d have stood toe-to-toe with fellow cooperative employees last week as its employees constructed the home of a family in need.

More than 60 employees, ranging from the board president to linemen and cashiers, spent eight hours assembling Wiregrass Electric Cooperative’s (Hartford, Ala.) first Habitat for Humanity home.

The employees used the day to honor the American hero and help a member of their community.

And, in true electric cooperative-style, the home was designed with energy efficiency in mind.

The home is expected to cost about $65,000. Once it’s complete, the owner will pay a monthly mortgage of $100-$250. Construction should be complete in March.

A big thanks to our friends in Alabama for their spirit of giving and commitment to community.

For more information, visit this article in Electric Cooperative Today.

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Rural electric cooperatives, Ronald McDonald put smiles on children’s faces

Rural electric cooperatives in western N.D. are literally putting smiles on children’s faces. They, along with the Ronald McDonald House, combined resources to provide dental care for little ones whose families can’t afford it.

(As a benefactor of Ronald McDonald House generosity myself, I can testify to the wonderfulness of that organization!)

Ronald McDonald’s Car Mobile, a tour-bus-sized caravan with all the items found in a traditional dentist’s office, will provide care to children in that area beginning in February.

Rural electric cooperatives partner to bring smiles to western N.D.

The service is important, said Mary Klecker-Green, communications manager at Basin Electric Power Cooperative, not only to protect smiles and reduce bad breath, but also because poor dental health can lead to poor physical health as well.

The Office of the Surgeon General under the department of Health and Human Services, would agree with her.

“(Oral diseases) can affect our ability to eat, the foods we choose, how we look, and the way we communicate. These diseases can affect economic productivity and compromise our ability to work at home, at school, or on the job,” the office said in its National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health in spring 2003.

Our hats off to Ronald McDonald House, Basic Electric Cooperative as well as KEM Electric Cooperative, Linton, McKenzie Electric Cooperative, Watford City, and Slope Electric Cooperative, New England, who partnered to provide the care.

Read more here and here.

Quickies: Congress looks to cut heating assistance program for low-income families

* Congress considers cut to heating-assistance program for low-income families: Congress is considering a $1 billion cut to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which gave $4.7 billion to 9 million households last year. The North Dakota Department of Human Services says more than 16,000 North Dakotans benefit from the program.

* North Dakota cities top the charts of two American Lung Association’s surveys: Cleanest U.S. Cities for Ozone Air Pollution and Top 25 Cleanest U.S. Cities for Year-Round Particle Pollution. Those charts may be part of the reason the National Rural Electrical Cooperative Association is calling new guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency “too hasty.” Co-ops fear they will have to pass the costs from the $10 billion final rule directly onto their consumers.

* Amid recession, consumers look to stretch their wallets by cutting energy. One quick fix? Unplug the gaming device Santa gave you… it’ll save $90+ per year.