Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative

Lorain-Medina school donation

A little help

School districts across the country struggled with how to continue their operations through the COVID-19 pandemic. How could they keep kids and teachers safe during in-building instruction?

But the coronavirus did force changes. The district needed to find a way to teach the 230 students who chose online instruction, while keeping those in the buildings safe with increased personal protective gear and gallons upon gallons of sanitizer for hands and high-touch surfaces, as well as other incidentals that came up every day.

“Contrary to what anyone may think, these expenses have not been just a drop in the bucket, and there has not been much help forthcoming from the state or federal government,” Clark says. “All of our COVID-related expenses have really added up.”

Girl reading a book (Credit: Getty Images)

Ring in 2021

A new year is upon us. Change seems more welcome than in most years.

As we look forward to 2021, we hope for a lessening impact of COVID and a return to “more normal” social interactions. We will take away from 2020 lessons learned on remote and virtual events that provide us with new tools for business and life. The new presidential administration potentially signals a transition in the rules and regulations governing the energy sector, but regardless of the change that may bring, Ohio’s 24 electric cooperatives are poised to respond in the best interests of you, our members.

Valerie Williams reads to her children

A book for every child

Valerie Williams knew she wanted in from the moment she heard that the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library/Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library program was coming to Highland County.

When Ohio first lady Fran DeWine announced the program’s expansion into Highland County last March, Williams was not only one of those instrumental in promoting the program in the county, she was among the first to sign up.

Her sons, 4-year-old Porter and 1-year-old Moxley, now each get an age-appropriate book in the mail every month at no cost to the family.

Midge and Bob Custer, of Woodstock, Ohio, pose next to the sign for their farm.

#WhoPowersYou

Two Ohio electric cooperative nominees have been named winners in a national contest by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, the nationwide alliance of more than 730 consumer-owned electric cooperatives. Touchstone sponsors the #WhoPowersYou contest to honor co-op members for demonstrating their concern for their respective communities, which is one of Touchstone’s core values. The awards come with cash prizes to help the winners continue their valuable work.

Chris Weaver, chief operating officer at Bridgewater Dairy in Montpelier, stands next to his cows.

A different shade of green

Bridgewater Dairy, a family farm in Montpelier, Ohio, has 3,000 dairy cows that produce 30,000 gallons of milk daily. They also produce an estimated 15 million gallons of manure each year.

A decade ago, Chris Weaver, Bridgewater Dairy’s chief operating officer, started turning his farm’s animal waste into something valuable — electricity — by installing an anaerobic digester.

“I wanted to manage the animals’ manure with an eye to helping the environment,” Weaver says. “I also wanted to improve the comfort of my cows. An anaerobic digester lets me do both.”

A young girl shakes the hand of a male veteran.

In Ohio, co-op heroes are everywhere

Jeremy Warnimont and his cousin Jake, both linemen at Tricounty Rural Electric Cooperative, based in northwest Ohio, were coming home from a long day of training on transformer rigging near Columbus, when they saw a young girl flip her all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in a nearby field. The vehicle landed on top of her.

“She was trying to jump a dirt hill, but didn’t make it,” Jeremy says. “When I got to her, she was non-responsive. Jake called 911 and we stabilized her until the first responders arrived.”