Highway 23 E. • Watford City, ND
Outpost • Killdeer, ND
(701) 444-9288 • (800) 584-9239
McKenzie Electric wishes you the
holiest, jolliest Christmas season
McKenzie Electric Cooperative in the
MEC Parade of Lights.
Serving the perfect prime rib
Understanding your new bill
Win a trip to Washington, D.C.
DECEMBER 2008 • McKENZIE ELECTRIC NEWS—C1
Prime rib roast makes an impressive dish for
any occasion, and it is especially popular at
Christmas and other major holidays.
or so.” Mike seasons his prime rib with
Mike’s Seasoning, a mixture that is avail-
able at Mike’s SuperValu. He then puts it
on a rack in a baking pan and into an
oven that has been preheated to 325
degrees. He allows about 3 hours for
cooking a 15-pound prime rib. But he
suggests that you use a meat thermome-
ter and take it out when it reaches 145
degrees for a medium rare roast.
The important thing is to let the prime
rib rest for about 15 minutes. In that time,
the internal temperature will rise about 6
or 7 degrees. The ends will be more well-
done, but the middle will be a beautiful
medium rare. Mike says that if the prime
rib gets done too early, simply turn off the
oven. He has found that the prime rib will
hold for some time.
Lonnie Liebel uses a chart that the cat-
tlewomen put out several years ago on
how to cook a prime rib. The recipe he
uses from that chart for the rub is:
2 T. chopped fresh thyme
2 T. garlic pepper seasoning
2 T. minced shallots
1 cup dry red wine
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 T. softened butter
You can serve the perfect Salt and pepper
PRIME RIB for Christmas together and coat
the prime rib.
he traditional Christmas Eve supper in this area used to Lonnie then places the prime rib on a rack in a shallow bak-
be lutefisk and lefse with boiled potatoes and Scandina- ing pan and puts it into an oven that has been preheated to 350
vian goodies for dessert. That is a dying tradition. In recent degrees. Insert a meat thermometer and bake until the ther-
years the trend is toward prime rib, the king of beef. mometer reads 135 degrees for medium rare, which is about 1.5
There is something festive and special about serving a prime to 2 hours for a four- to six-pound prime rib. For an eight- to 10-
rib, but many cooks steer away from it because they are afraid of pound rib, it will take about half an hour longer. Since prime
spoiling the meat. We have suggestions and hints from two ribs are long and round, there isn’t much difference in how long
men who know their prime rib. Mike Tschetter owns Mike’s it takes to cook the different weights of the meat.
SuperValu and Mike’s Catering and has cooked hundreds of After the thermometer reaches 135 for medium rare or 150
prime rib. Lonnie Liebel is co-owner of Jack and Jill and helps for medium, remove the meat from the oven and cover it with a
his wife with “Meals by Monica” catering. Lonnie has also tent of aluminum foil and let it rest for 15 minutes or until the
cooked and served lots of prime rib. internal temperature goes up 10 degrees. Lonnie suggests that
According to Mike, the scariest thing about prime rib is the if the meat is done too early, immediately remove it from the
cost. It is an expensive piece of meat. The prime rib is just what oven. If it has cooled too much before serving, put it back to
the name implies; it is the best of the animal. “I think it is the warm it up before you slice it.
tastiest and most tender part of a beef. We have prime rib Both Mike and Lonnie agree that the worst thing you can do
almost every Christmas Eve. It’s great because you can put it in is overcook a prime rib. But if you plan carefully, you’ll be amaz-
the oven and eat when you get home that evening.” ing your guests on Christmas Eve with a delicious and beautiful
Mike suggests serving about one pound per person. “That’s main course. After sampling your prime rib, they may never
a generous amount and will guarantee you some leftovers. want lutefisk again.
There’s nothing better than a prime rib sandwich the next day
C2—McKENZIE ELECTRIC NEWS • DECEMBER 2008
Ron Sanford wears a new hat, but he’s still doing the same job
o one around this area is sur- the late LeRoy Sanford and Eva Sanford.He graduated from
prised to see Ron Sanford out in Watford City High School in 1974 and headed to Bismarck State
the countryside staking a new College where he completed the 11-month lineworker program.
electric line. For the last 20 or so years, He returned to Watford City and joined his older brother, Ken,
that has been his job with McKenzie as a lineworker at McKenzie Electric.
Electric Cooperative (MEC). Ron was 19 years old when he started work at MEC in 1975.
But now, Ron has officially retired And 33.5 years later, he still enjoys the work and the people. “I
from his position as field engineer at have the best of both worlds. I am realizing my dream of owning
MEC and started his own business. And my own business and I still get to work with the people I like
that business is working with customers best,” Ron says. Ron knew he wouldn’t be working any less with
Sanford who want a power line. Ron determines his own business. “So far, with all of the oil activity, it has kept
where the line should go, gets easements, stakes the line and me very busy.”
then turns the project over to McKenzie Electric. The name of Ron and Janet have been married since 1981 and have three
Ron’s new business is TeamWorks Consulting. children. Their oldest son, Brad, works as an operator for Great
“My wife Janet came up with the name,” Ron said River Energy at the Stanton coal fired power plant. Brad is a
“I worked for MEC for 33.5 years and reached my retirement at sergeant in the National Guard and spent a year on duty in Iraq.
31 years. I’ve been thinking of doing this for awhile, and the time Brad is married to Amber Washburn and they live in Hazen.
seemed right. My wife, Janet, is starting her own business on a Ron and Janet’s daughter, Kayla, lives in Bismarck. She is a
part-time basis, and we decided to take the plunge together,” medic in the National Guard and is going to Dickinson State
Ron explained. Janet’s business involves business consulting, University through Bismarck State College and is working on a
including developing and managing Web sites. degree in secondary education. Their youngest son, Kevin, is a
Ron continued, “I’ve enjoyed my years at MEC and I like the 17-year-old at WCHS. Kevin is an outstanding athlete who
fact that much of the time I still get to work with the same guys. excels in football, basketball, track and baseball.
I’ve loved working with the ranchers and farmers in our service Ron may be wearing a new cap, but you’ll recognize the
area; they have always been cooperative and helpful, so getting same smile and the work he is doing. Everyone at McKenzie
to work in the same area is another bonus.” Electric wishes both him and Janet the best in their
Ron was born and raised in Watford City. He is the son of new endeavors.
After 35 years, Karla Quale heads down a new career path
n 35 years, most of which was new career at the Dakota West Credit Union where she works
spent as the billing supervisor, 20 hours a week as the compliance officer.
Karla Quale has seen a lot of In her new position, she is responsible for the implementa-
changes at McKenzie Electric. The tion and maintenance of the credit union compliance require-
changes in technology over 35 years ments. She is looking forward to working with another great
have been amazing. organization and its dedicated employees.
The billing department has gone “Two part-time jobs give me a lot more flexibility and free-
through three major platform con- dom, and I have a whole list of things that I plan to do,” Karla
versions during this time, along with said. High on that list is spending time with her two children
many software enhancements in- and five grandchildren.
between. And with that came many Karla and Glenn’s oldest child, Dustin, and his wife, Sara,
changes—most for the good, but live in St. Louis Park, Minn. Sara works for Farmers Insur-
sometimes leaving her favorite software features behind, ance out of Shakopee, Minn. Dustin has a franchise with
was not easy. NaturaLawn of America and Red Nose Lighting, and he just
But the biggest change came this fall when Karla resigned became a partner in the franchise of Anytime Fitness.
from MEC after 35 years. Karla has worked with many good “Maybe I’ll go down there and help with that,” Karla
people throughout the years at the co-op, both fellow laughed. It’s more likely that she would be spending time with
employees and the members. “That’s the part I will miss the granddaughter Alexis who is 16, grandson Chase, who is 2, and
most—my good friends at MEC—but we have already their new baby girl, Kaia, who was born Sept. 19.
vowed that we are going to make it a point to spend time Closer to home, daughter, Stef, and her husband, Mike
together.” Russell, live right in Watford City. Grandson Jaden is 6 years
Retirement means different things to different people, and old and Kade is 5 years old. Stef works at Dakota West Credit
to Karla it didn’t mean not working at all. She was working full Union in the loan department, and Mike is operations
time at McKenzie Electric and part time as the treasurer for manager for Falco Energy Transportation.
First Lutheran Church of Watford City. One Saturday on the It’s strange not seeing Karla when you go to the office or
golf course in Medora she told Glenn, her husband, “Some- getting her voice when you call about a bill, but everyone at
thing has to change.” So now Karla is working two part-time MEC wishes her well in her new adventure and thanks her for
jobs. She’s still treasurer at the church and she’s just begun a 35 years of a job well done.
DECEMBER 2008 • McKENZIE ELECTRIC NEWS—C3
C4—McKENZIE ELECTRIC NEWS • DECEMBER 2008
McKENZIE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE
mind’s meanderings by Myra Anderson
Basking in the lights of Christmas
hey sparkle, blaze and glow. They create a I remember lighting the Advent candles at
fairyland from an ordinary street in your home. Brenda lit the first one because she was
hometown. They reflect the wonder in the youngest. I guess there had to be some
a child’s eye. They cast a spell of holiness advantage to that age bracket. On the
over the season. They are the lights of third Sunday, Mom always read the story
Christmas. of the good old shoemaker who waited
It’s impossible to think of Christmas for the Lord to visit his house. And on
without thinking of lights. The strings Christmas Eve, Dad read the Christ-
of lights make the Christmas tree mas story from Luke as the Christmas
come alive and add a festive touch to candle and all the Advent candles
every house and yard. The candles at cast a flow of peace over the room.
Christmas Eve services reflect the I’ve forgotten most of the gifts we
love and joy of the season. Even the unwrapped those Christmas Eve
stars seem to shine with extra bril- past, but the sound of Dad reading and
liance on a winter’s night. And these us singing together shines brightly in
same lights are reflected in our own lives my heart.
as we prepare for this season celebrating We had an Advent wreath through
the coming of the true light. the years the boys were growing up, but
The lights of love and friendship make eyes we weren’t as faithful about getting together
sparkle at Christmas. There is a flashing gaiety as for a few minutes each Advent Sunday to light
we decorate the house and tree. There is a sly gleam as the candle together. But we continued the tradition of
we make secret plans for surprises and plot about gifts and Ron reading the Christmas story out of Luke and singing a
presents. There is an extra glow of friendliness as we hurry couple of Christmas hymns together. When Ryma’s and my
about with errands, baking, attending programs and parties. family were all together, we would do an abbreviated and
Everyday objects are reflected in the shine of Christmas condensed version of all four Advent services on Christmas
lights and look magical and beautiful. Eve, always using the story of the faithful shoemaker. Those
I remember waking early to creep downstairs with my sis- are memories that we all still treasure.
ter, Ryma. We would plug in the Christmas tree and whisper A dazzling light filled the quiet sky near Bethlehem when
in the multicolored glow about gifts for Mom and Dad and the angels proclaimed the miracle of Christ’s birth to the
talk of a hundred things we never seemed to find time for shepherds. I still find the meaning of Christmas in the glow
the rest of the year. of the candle. As we light our candles on Christmas Eve, and
The colored lights of the tree continue to draw me. When the the light spreads throughout the church, a sense of peace
boys were little, they knew they could finagle a few more min- and love overwhelms me. This is the message of Christmas
utes before bed by sitting in the big chair with me beside the which gives hope to all mankind. The wise men followed a
Christmas tree. Now I have to travel to their homes to snuggle brilliant star to find the Christ Child in a manger. The
with the grandchildren in front of the tree, but that works for images of light abound in the Christmas story, and Jesus,
me. And when Ryma and I do find ourselves together at Christ- himself, was called the Light of the World.
mas time, we still like to get up and spend a few minutes whis- His birth brings the light of hope into a world of darkness.
pering thoughts and dreams in the glow of the Christmas tree. This was an historical fact 2,000 years ago and it’s just as
The Christmas lights also remind me of the beauty in places I true today. Each Christmas and every day of the year, we
see every day. A tree, a street, a house are transformed by the find the promise of life and hope in his light. Throughout
lights. The ordinary becomes the enchanted, and even after the the year, we look upward at the sky and are amazed at the
lights come down, it can never quite be the same again. wonder of the stars. Long after the electric Christmas lights
As much as I love the sparkle of the electric lights, there is a are taken down and put away, long after the candles are
magic about the glow of a candle that is even more powerful. melted and gone, the stars shine just as they did that first
The candles reflect the light of the peace of Christmas. Without Christmas night so long ago.
that glow of peace, the other lights become only the garish and Just as the world waited then for the promised Messiah, we
harsh lights of materialism. It is the lights from first, one can- wait daily for his healing touch. And just as He did 2,000 years
dle, then two, then three, and then four on the Advent wreath ago, He comes to us.
or log which prepares us for the other lights of Christmas. It is May the lights of Christmas sparkle, blaze, shine and glow for
the soft glow of the Christmas candle which gives all the other you and your families, and may Christ’s love be the brightest
lights their brilliance. light in your heart this season.
DECEMBER 2008 • McKENZIE ELECTRIC NEWS—C5
RURAL ELECTRIC YOUTH TOUR 2009
High School Juniors and Seniors
Write a winning essay and win a trip to Washington, D.C.!
ould you like to win an all-
expense-paid trip to our
nation’s capital, compli-
ments of your rural electric coopera-
tive, to learn more about U.S. govern-
ment, American history and the
cooperative way of doing business?
How about meeting nearly 1,500 high
school students from across the
country to see historical sights like
the U.S. Capitol, the monuments,
Arlington Cemetery, the Smithsonian
and Mount Vernon? And if chosen to
represent your cooperative as a Youth
Tour participant, you will also have
the opportunity to visit with North
Dakota’s congressional delegation.
The National Rural Electric Coop-
erative Association’s Youth Tour is
set for June 13 to 19, 2009. Compose
North Dakota Youth Tour delegates included, front row, left to right: Kylie Artz, North
the winning essay and represent Central Electric; Harrison Zacher, Mountrail-Williams Electric; Kadra Kalamaha, Capital
McKenzie Electric Cooperative as part Electric; Ally Nelson, Verendrye Electric; Megan Presser, McLean Electric; and Judith
of the North Dakota delegation of Campbell, Mor-Gran-Sou Electric. Back row, left to right: Paige Scherer, Roughrider
young people. Electric; Andrea McMillan, Cass County Electric; Lucas Schmaltz, Northern Plains
This past June, Zane Frick, Watford Electric; Justin Herner, Slope Electric; Sen. Byron Dorgan; Ashlee Bernhardt, KEM
City, represented McKenzie Electric on Electric; Marci Johnson, Burke-Divide Electric; Zane Frick, McKenzie Electric; and
the Rural Electric Youth Tour. Garrett Kubischta, Roughrider Electric.
Essay contest guidelines for the Rural Electric Youth Tour:
• Students entering the contest must be a junior or senior in high school in the
fall of 2009.
• The student and/or parent or guardian must be served by McKenzie Electric.
• The student must write an essay, not to exceed two standard 8.5- by 11-inch
typewritten, double-spaced pages, on this topic: “Identify and describe the key
qualities of leadership that are important to North Dakota young adults, and
explain where today’s young leader should be focused.”
• Essays may be submitted in either hard copy or electronic format to McKenzie
Electric. Electronic submissions should conform to the two-page, double-
spaced guideline. Each essay must be accompanied by a cover page displaying
the entrant’s name, date of birth, school and grade in 2009, parent or guardian’s
name, address and telephone number.
• Essays must arrive at McKenzie Electric no later than Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.
E-mailed entries should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org;
hard-copy entries should be mailed to: Youth Tour Essay Contest, McKenzie
Electric Cooperative, 908 Fourth Ave. NE, Watford City, ND 58854-0649.
• Essays will be evaluated and the winner selected by impartial, qualified judges.
• Direct inquiries about this competition to: Brenda Berquist, McKenzie
Electric, at the address listed above, or call (701) 444-9288 during regular
C6—McKENZIE ELECTRIC NEWS • DECEMBER 2008
s you light up your holiday with
shining stars and shimmering
snowmen, be sure to decorate
safely. For a happy and safe holiday, fol-
low these tips:
Brighten the indoors
• Before decorating, read and follow the
manufacturers’ instructions concerning
installation and maintenance of all
decorative electrical products.
• As you unpack your electric decora-
tions, carefully inspect them. Any-
thing with cracked sockets, frayed
wires or loose connections should
• If you buy new lights or other electric
decorations, be sure they’re approved
by a national laboratory such as the
Underwriters Laboratory (UL), and that
they’re appropriate for the use you
intend: indoors or outdoors.
• Never nail or staple light strings or
extension cords. Ava Anderson, 4-year-old granddaugher of Ron and Myra Anderson, contributing edi-
• Never connect more than three strands tor for McKenzie Electric Cooperative, blows a Merry Christmas kiss and asks you all to
of decorative lights together. keep Christmas safe this year.
• Do not coil power cords or extension
cords while in use. Do not tuck them under rugs or carpets. Tips for the tree
• Always turn off all electrical lights and decorations before • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for a “fire-resistant”
leaving home or going to bed. tree. Although this label does not mean the tree won’t catch
• Never overload outlets. fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should
• Do not allow children or pets to play with electrical extinguish quickly.
decorations. • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree
• Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can is green; needles are hard to pull from branches and do not
become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a break when bent between your fingers. The trunk of a fresh
person touching a branch could be electrocuted. tree is sticky with resin. When tapped on the ground, the
tree should not lose many needles.
Keep it safe outdoors • To keep your tree fresh, cut off about two inches of the
• Don’t overload extension cords or allow them to run through trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption when
water or snow on the ground. you set it up.
• Make sure all connections are tight and protected from • Place your tree at least three feet away from fireplaces and
inclement weather, including the outlet. Unplug the lights radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees rapidly, be
from the outlet when not in use. sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of
• Before using lights or extension cords outdoors, check labels the way of traffic and do not block doorways with the tree.
to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
• Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged
into circuits protected by ground-fault circuit interrupters Have a safe and happy holiday!
(GFCIs), which can be installed permanently to household
circuits by a qualified electrician.
DECEMBER 2008 • McKENZIE ELECTRIC NEWS—C7
BOARD board minutes report McKenzie Electric
OF Cooperative Inc.
Oct. 29 Hwy. 23 E., Box 649
The regular meeting of the McKenzie Electric Cooperative (MEC) board of Watford City, N.D. 58854
directors was held at the headquarters building in Watford City.
Directors present were: Travis Thompson, Rondee Hanna, Clayton Mon-
Phone: (701) 444-9288
sen, Donald Link, Ray Tescher, Dennis Johnson, Glenn Aamodt, Glen Toll-free: (800) 584-9239
Houghton and Tim Wasem. OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS:
Also present were: Cooperative attorney Dennis Johnson, General Man-
Travis Thompson, Chairperson
Thompson ager/Chief Executive Officer John Skurupey and several staff members.
Director, District 1C, Charlson..............675-2373
Preliminaries: The agenda for the meeting was approved by the board Upper Missouri G&T Director
of directors. Minutes of the September board meeting were reviewed Donald Link, Vice Chairperson
and approved. NRECA Director, Statewide Director
Directors’ issues: Director expenses were approved as submitted. Kirk Director, District 2A, Alexander ............828-3427
Dewey with HDR Engineers, the engineering/consulting firm utilized by Rondee Hanna, Sec.-Treas.
McKenzie Electric, presented a detailed presentation of the various classes Director, District 2C, Watford City .......675-2516
of MEC consumers and the cost of providing electricity to each class of con- Glen Houghton
Link Director, District 3B, Grassy Butte........863-6606
sumer. Considerable discussion in regard to the presentation was held by
the board. Glenn Aamodt
Office report: The financial and operating reports for the year through Director, District 1A, Alexander ............572-3066
Dennis Johnson, Alternate Statewide Director
Sept. 30 were reviewed with the board. Sales for the month totaled
Director, District 1B, Watford City ........842-2055
$1,705,371.48. MEC sold 26,808,914 kilowatt-hours (KWH) for the month, Tim Wasem,
compared to last month’s 26,766,193 KWH. Expenses were reviewed and Director, District 3C, Halliday ...............938-4376
continue to fall within budget guidelines. The board and management dis- Ray Tescher, Director-At-Large
Hanna cussed liability insurance coverage in preparation for the 2009 renewal. The Director, District 3A, Beach ...................565-2342
board approved moving forward in determining the cost and preparation of Clayton Monsen
board resolution to expense the additional costs of the Western Area Power Director, District 2B Arnegard ..................586-3336
Administration drought adder as indicated in the Federal Register. 3 C Construction Advisory Board
MEC’s proposed 2009 budget was presented and reviewed by the board.
Capital credit special retirements were approved.
Member service report: The written member services report was reviewed GENERAL MANAGER/CEO:
by the board. John Skurupey
Monsen Operations report: The written operations department report was (701) 842-4848
reviewed by the board. Construction projects included 16 oil-related con-
nects and 16 non-oil connects. Maintenance projects included retirement of
idle accounts, service upgrades due to increased loading at several locations
MEMBER SERVICES DEPARTMENT:
and cutting services over to new lines. Osmose completed its painting and
Brenda Berquist, Member Services
inspecting of URD enclosures in the Bicentennial and Hay Draw areas. Coordinator ................................................444-4033
Engineering report: The written engineering department report was Myra Anderson, Contributing Editor.......675-2267
reviewed by the board. New requests for power continue to be received due
Wasem to the increased oil activity. There has been a construction delay at the
Keene substation which has pushed back the target date for energizing the
substation. Work continues on the environmental assessment for the Moun- PLEASE NOTICE
tain Substation; a public scoping meeting was held in Killdeer Oct. 7 in
accordance with Western Area Power Administration requirements. 3C Con- OUTAGE PROCEDURE:
struction, Oster Brothers and Schlehr Utility Construction crews remain busy
with line extension projects for new services.
When your electricity goes off, first
Aamodt General manager/CEO report: Skurupey reported on several items check the fuses and breakers at the
including wholesale power issues, upcoming legislative issues and manage- meter pole and service entrance. Call
ment items. After discussion, the board approved eliminating Policy 804,
water heater program, which will discontinue rebates on member water neighbors to see if they have power.
heater purchases. Then call (701) 444-9288 (WATT) in
Attorney’s report: Attorney Dennis Johnson reported on related items
throughout the meeting. Watford City or toll-free (800) 584-9239.
Associated organizations report: Director Link provided the North Dako-
Houghton ta Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC) report. Various Web page:
items including the budget and economic development were reported on. http://www.mckenzieelectric.com
The board approved participation in the 2009 NDAREC education program.
The board discussed the recent Rural Electric Cooperative Family Forum that
was held in Watford City with many participants attending from surrounding email@example.com
electric cooperatives. Link, Johnson and Skurupey reported on the National
Rural Electric Cooperative Association Region VI meeting they recently • Accountability
attended. Discussion was also held on the advanced rate decision seminar • Commitment to Community
Johnson which had been attended by several directors.
Power supply: The upcoming Basin Electric Power Cooperative annual • Innovation
meeting was discussed. Director Tescher reported on the recent Upper Mis- • Integrity
souri G&T Electric Cooperative meeting. The minutes of the meeting were
available for review.
Next meeting date: The next meeting date was set for Nov. 25 at the Wat- McKenzie Electric Cooperative
ford City headquarters building.
Tescher Adjournment: There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
C8—McKENZIE ELECTRIC NEWS • DECEMBER 2008