Logan County Electric Cooperative

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If you ask me...

March is the time of year when Ohioans are treated to an occasional teasing day of sunshine and warmth before winter reminds us that it’s not done just yet.

We asked a handful of energy advisors from across the state to get us started with some basic information and a few questions to ask as you do your research. All of them agree on the most important step: Contact your electric cooperative before signing any agreement. This is a crucial part of the procedure, not only to ensure that your array is built correctly and properly connects to the cooperative’s system, but also to get an understanding of exactly how solar is going to work for you. 

Youth Tour chaperone with group of students

Watchful eyes

When Ohio’s electric cooperatives send about 40 high school students on a weeklong Youth Tour trip to Washington, D.C., each year, it’s often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the students to not only tour the nation’s capital from a perspective that not all visitors are

Missy Kidwell, senior service specialist at Consolidated Cooperative in Mount Gilead, is assistant director of Ohio’s Youth Tour program. She had been involved in the process of selecting students to attend the trip for several years before she decided to attend as a chaperone. “Being able to see these students start out as strangers but then cultivate a lifelong friendship by the end of the week was pretty amazing,” she says. “I always knew it was an important experience, but didn’t realize exactly how special it was until I saw it in person.”

Wine flight at Fion

Sips and swings

Drinking and driving is never a wise idea, but there is a place in Ohio where it’s, dare we say, par for the course.

The unique destination, the brainchild of Mike and Stacy McVan, is surrounded by Ohio farmland near Huntsville. How did the couple — who live in the Columbus suburb of Dublin — hit upon the concept four years ago?

“We have relatives who own a winery in northwest Ohio,” Mike says. “We liked the idea … but decided we didn’t want to make the wine.” Instead, they aimed to open a place that would spotlight wines — and other libations — from around the globe.

Co-op annual meeting

In the know

For customers of an investor-owned utility like AEP or Dayton Power and Light, communication with their electric company probably extends no further than paying their bill or finding out how long an outage might last.

“Members who are engaged are the ones who will attend the annual meeting — for more than just the chance of getting a bill credit,” says Michael Wilson, director of communications at Logan County Electric Cooperative, based in Bellefontaine. “Without engaged and educated members, the cooperative business model could not exist.”

Jason Duff

Renewal and restoration

Jason Duff stood in the middle of the crumbling, mostly abandoned downtown area of his hometown, Bellefontaine, and saw what everyone else saw.
 

Unlike many others, though, he was able to look past the despair and see potential. Instead of heading to the brighter lights of bigger, more prosperous Midwestern cities, Duff decided to make a difference. He enlisted friends who shared his vision and his can-do attitude — along with plenty of talents and skills — and built a team to rebuild and revive their hometown. 

Doug Wynn

Species on the edge

Unlike many people, Doug Wynn likes snakes. He likes them so much that he began studying them decades ago, and has since become Ohio’s leading expert on the state-endangered timber rattlesnake.

Wynn has never been bitten, yet is still extremely cautious around the snakes, always handling them with a metal catch-stick. “A rattlesnake can strike the entire length of its body,” he says. “Meaning that a 3-foot snake — which is about the typical length in Ohio — can strike a distance of at least 3 feet. So, if you ever happen across one in the woods, give it a wide berth.”

A lineworker stands in a bucket truck.

Stories of service

Electric cooperatives across Ohio join the nation this month in honoring veterans of the U.S. armed forces — America’s courageous protectors, defenders, and heroes. Not only do the co-ops acknowledge veterans’ dedication to our country, but we are truly grateful for the unique strengths and noble characteristics they bring to the co-op family.

We recognize all of our veteran-employees, and here, we talk to a few of them.

A man grabbing an apple on a tree.

Apples: Everybody has a favorite

Clusters of apples begin to decorate trees in Dennis Thatcher’s orchard throughout each spring and early summer, promising the reward of sweet fruit and jugs of freshly pressed cider in the fall.

Thatcher and his wife, Angela, who reside in rural western Logan County and who are members of Logan County Electric Cooperative, established Thatcher Farm in 1972, when he planted a few apple trees. Today, the farm has more than 420 trees that produce 25 varieties.

A snow-covered road with large piles of snow on either side of it.

Storm of the century

For most Ohioans, the first sign that something unusual was happening on that night 40 years ago was the shriek of a fierce, unrelenting wind.

In the late evening of Jan. 25, 1978, a low-pressure system from Canada met another low-pressure system from Texas. Such storms approach from opposite directions several times each winter, according to the National Weather Service. Usually they miss each other. This time they collided, causing what has come to be widely known as “the storm of the century.”

Linemen spell OHIO with their arms and surround a woman holding an Ohio State Buckeyes banner.

The night the lights went out in Georgia

Chuck Chafin has worked on electric lines with the South Central Power Company for 18 years, during which time he’s seen his share of power outages and general destruction both in Ohio, and beyond, caused by extremes in weather.

So while he wasn’t particularly surprised at the damage that he and 72 other lineworkers and supervisors from Ohio’s electric cooperative network found in Georgia in the wake of Hurricane Irma in early September, it still presented a big job.