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Generator—Summer 2022

In this edition: A Californian retraces Horatio's Drive and the Lincoln Highway in a 1964 Volkswagon Bus converted to run on electricity; an underwater inspection at the Monroe Powerhouse; summer safety tips; and more.

In this edition: A Californian retraces Horatio's Drive and the Lincoln Highway in a 1964 Volkswagon Bus converted to run on electricity; an underwater inspection at the Monroe Powerhouse; summer safety tips; and more.

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GENERA OR

a publication of Loup Power District SUMMER 2022

An Electric American Adventure

Californian crosses country in converted Volkswagen bus


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

president’s message

around the district

Alan Drozd

Chairman

Steve Heesacker

First Vice Chairman

Robert Cerv

Second Vice Chairman

Loup developing

time-of-use rates

Jim Donoghue

Secretary

Dick Tooley

Treasurer

Rich Aerni

Mike Fleming

Ross Knott

Chris Langemeier

Larry Zach

EXECUTIVE STAFF

Neal Suess

President/CEO

Walt Williams

Vice President,

Accounting & Finance/CFO

In the world of customer service,

there is an old adage that states

“the customer is always right,” or

to change it slightly, “the customer

always knows what he/she wants.”

This is a great statement, but in the

electric industry, we tend to provide

a product that is pretty basic in its

nature. At the District, we provide

electricity with a customer service

charge, an energy charge, and,

with some rates, a demand charge.

Pretty basic.

We have worked closely with our

power supplier, Nebraska Public

Power District (NPPD) to come up

with other products that we can provide for the

end-use customer.

NEAL SUESS

President/CEO

These include such products as our

net metering rate, for installation of

customer-owned generation (such

as solar panels). Loup and NPPD

are also working on other products

regarding interruptible rates for

large industrial customers and

demand response rates that could be

available for a number of different

types of customers and processes.

Additionally, at some point,

Loup will develop residential and

commercial time-of-use rates for

end-use customers, which reflect

the cost of purchasing energy from

NPPD at various time periods. We

would bill customers accordingly.

Loup currently has time-of-use rates for certain

large industrial customers.

Todd Duren

Vice President,

Corporate Services

Korey Hobza

Vice President, Engineering

Dan Hellbusch

Vice President, Operations

The Loup Generator is

published quarterly

as a service for Loup

employees, families,

friends, and associates.

For feedback, story ideas

and submissions, contact:

Stacy Wemhoff

Communications Coordinator

402-562-5711

swemhoff@loup.com

These include the availability of all products under

NPPD’s EnergyWise program:

• Incentives on new electrification products

(electric vehicles, chargers and lawn mowers)

• Energy efficiency programs such as air conditioning

and heating system tune-ups, which

can reduce electric usage

• New appliances with higher efficiency ratings

for the homeowner

In addition, Loup Power District and other

wholesale customers of NPPD are working on raterelated

products that can benefit our companies,

NPPD, and end-use customers.

These rates could even include a demand component

for commercial and residential customers.

Many of these rate concepts are still in the development

stages.

Often times we are asked what products are available

for specific customers. We are happy to work

with our customers to provide information that

may help save the customer money in the long

run. All you need to do is ask or look it up on our

website, loup.com.

Keep watching the District’s website for more information

on products and services that may become

available in the future. These will be important to

all of us and will help go a long way toward maintaining

a great relationship between the District

and its customers.

TIME-OF-USE PRICING

Time-of-Use pricing is an electric rate schedule that

adjusts the price of your electricity based on when

you’re using it.

Time-of-Use pricing is intended to encourage you to use

electricity during off-peak hours when power is cheaper

and demand is lower, helping to alleviate strain on the

electric grid.

VEHICLE DAY

Genoa Local Superintendent Dominic Zoucha (above)

answered questions about Loup’s truck and backyard digger

at the annual Vehicle Day at Ag Park in Columbus. Greg

Badstieber, Customer & Energy Services Coordinator, and

Todd Duren, Vice President of Corporate Services, showed

the kids the District’s all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E.

The event was hosted by the Columbus Area Chamber of

Commerce.

HOUSE MOVE BY TARNOV

Loup Power District assisted with a home move by Tarnov in

June. Journey Line Technician Jared Hoefelman took this shot

to show us the view from above as they raised the power

lines. Newman Grove Local Superintendent Alvin Meyer is

pictured in the background.

INTERN EDUCATION

Journey Line Technician Andy Wallin

demonstrates the installation of

preformed conductor ties for intern

Mason Hinze.

Hinze is one of several interns

working at Loup this summer. He is

studying Utility Line at Northeast

Community College.

Logan Weineke, Ean Luebbe, Alex

Ritzdorf, and Harrison Weyers

are also working at Loup for the

summer.

Photo by Mike Brabec.

2 | GENERATOR

SUMMER 2022 | 3


Horatio’s Drive

& The Lincoln Highway

an electric American adventure

Jack Smith pushed a skateboard across

America four times.

Then he rode an electric skateboard from

Oregon to Washington, D.C.

That might be enough adventure for most

people. But Smith isn’t like most people.

“I’ve been attracted to crossing the

country in different ways,” he said.

In early June, Loup Power District

employees saw a vintage Volkswagen van

pull up to the electric vehicle charging

station in the parking lot.

They had to investigate. This was indeed

“different.”

And so, we met Smith and his childhood

friend, Larry Newland, and asked them to

share their stories.

HORATIO’S DRIVE

Last year, Smith sat down to watch the

Ken Burns documentary “Horatio’s Drive” at

his home in California.

It tells the story of Dr. Horatio Nelson

Jackson. He was at San Francisco’s University

Club in May 1903 when he made a

$50 bet (equivalent to more than $1,500

today) that he could cross the country in an

automobile.

A few days later, he purchased a

20-horsepower Winton touring car. He was

31 years old with very little driving experience

and no maps to follow. The country had

only 150 miles of paved roads.

Five days after the bet, he took off with

Sewall K. Crocker, who served as travel

companion, mechanic, and backup driver.

A bull terrier named “Bud” joined them

in Idaho. He was outfitted with goggles to

protect his eyes as he helped watch the road.

Most people doubted that the automobile

had a future. But Jackson proved them

wrong when he arrived in New York City 63

days later.

Smith was hooked on the story immediately.

After he watched the video, he bought

a book and delved into the story even more.

Then, he decided it wasn’t enough for

him to simply read about Horatio’s drive. He

wanted to make it.

“I told my wife, ‘I want to retrace this

guy’s route, but I don’t want to do it in a

regular vehicle.”

Left: Horatio Nelson Jackson and Sewall Crocker on their cross-country journey in 1903. They traveled in a 20-hp Winton touring car.

Right: The pair faced mechanical issues, navigational problems, and bad roads. Photos courtesy of Silver Special Collections, University of Vermont.

SKATEBOARDS ACROSS AMERICA

Most Americans have never traveled

across the entire country. Smith has done

it multiple times — but never in a “regular

vehicle.”

Back in 1976, at 19 years old, he and three

friends became the first to skateboard across

America, with sponsorship from a company

called Roller Sports.

They did so in leapfrog fashion, with each

skater going about three miles at a time.

In between, the skaters got a ride in their

support car — a 1969 Firebird.

Each guy skated a total of 35–50 miles

daily, depending on the terrain. As a team,

they could travel 150 miles on a good day.

The trip from Oregon to Virginia took 32 days.

“It was a great way to see the country,”

Smith said. “You’re going so slow, you don’t

miss anything.”

If anything, the trip only expanded

Smith’s love of skateboarding. He competed

in the infamous “Signal Hill Speed Run” in

Signal Hill, Calif., held from 1974–78.

Participants in the race set world records

in skatecars, topping out at almost 60 miles

per hour on the hill with a 30-degree drop.

The annual event ended when sponsors

withdrew because it became too dangerous,

with multiple life-threatening crashes.

By 1984, the “new guys” on the skateboarding

scene were tired of hearing all

Smith’s stories. They wanted stories of their

own, and asked if he would consider another

cross-country trip.

It didn’t take much convincing. The fourman

team took on the task again, raising

money for Multiple Sclerosis awareness

along the way. The journey took 26 days.

In 2003, Smith’s son, Jack, died of complications

from Lowe Syndrome, a rare genetic

disease. His father died of Alzheimer’s

Disease in 2013.

Smith made two more cross-country trips

to raise funds and awareness for those conditions

in the years they died.

That fourth trip in 2003 included his

younger son, Dylan. The 3,618-mile journey

set a world record that was broken by British

skateboarder David Cornthwaite in 2007.

By 2018, Smith was referred to as a

“skateboarding legend” by media outlets

and his fellow peers.

It might have been enough for most

people. But again, Smith isn’t like most

people.

That year, he decided it was time for one

more trip. But this time, he was going to go

solo on an Inboard M1 electric skateboard.

The 2,394-mile journey from Eugene,

Oregon, to the steps of the Smithsonian

Museum took 45 days.

He was 61 years old.

Story by Stacy Wemhoff

Jeff French, Jack Smith, and Mike Filben pushed their

4 | GENERATOR

Jack Smith (left) and Larry Newland charged

the Rust Bus at Loup Power District’s

electric vehicle charging station on June 3.

skateboards across the United States in 1976. Smith also

crossed the country on an electric skateboard in 2018.

Photos courtesy of Jack Smith.

SUMMER 2022 | 5


LARRY & THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY

Smith successfully completed Horatio’s

drive east. After a short break, it was time to

head home.

And this time, he was going to follow the

Lincoln Highway — the first transcontinental

road in the United States.

The highway was dedicated in 1913 and

ran from Times Square in New York City to

Lincoln Park in San Francisco. Cities and

towns along the 3,389-mile route prospered

as travelers took to “America’s Main Street.”

The Lincoln Highway was gradually

replaced with numbered designations in

1926. Much of the route is now U.S. Highway

30.

Smith took a short break in New York

and it was time for Mike Adamski to head

home. But he got a new companion for the

second leg of the journey — his friend Larry

Newland.

Newland was one of the first people

Smith met when his family moved to Morro

Bay, Calif.

Like Smith, he is lured by adventure.

He once walked a portion of the Donner

Party route from Reno, Nev., over the Sierra

Nevada mountains into Placerville, Calif.

He had planned to be a part of Smith’s

1976 skateboard trip, but backed out because

he started a rock band.

“Almost 50 years later, here we are on a

cross-country trip,” Smith said.

There is no fundraising cause for this trip.

“It’s just a fun adventure,” he said.

But their costs were minimal. At night,

the pair typically stayed at campgrounds.

Smith slept in the bus on top of the batteries,

while Newland pitched a tent. They plugged

in the bus to charge overnight so they were

ready to hit the road by morning.

Along the way, they met a lot of interesting

people who were intrigued by the

bus and wandered over to take a look —

young and old, police officers, construction

workers in downtown Manhattan.

“It’s an attention magnet,” Jack said.

“First they come up and they’re excited by

the bus because they think it’s cool,” he said.

“It makes them smile.”

When they found out it was electric, they

wanted to see the motor and batteries.

The pair was always willing to show off

the bus, talk about their adventures, and

answer questions.

The most popular question?

“How far can you go on a charge?”

THE RUST BUS

Smith was only three years out from his

electrified skateboard trip when he watched

“Horatio’s Drive.”

Still, the prospect of another journey was

too exciting to ignore. It wasn’t a question of

if he’d recreate the trip, but how.

He contacted his friend, Michael Bream,

owner of EV West in San Marcos, Calif. Smith

wanted to get some input and ideas for this

trip.

Bream immediately offered the “Rust

Bus,” a 1964 VW van that he converted to run

on all-electric power.

At first, Smith was a little skeptical.

He was hoping for a Tesla, or maybe the

DeLorean that Bream was converting. But it

Jack Smith charged the bus

at Loup Power on May 15

as he journeyed east from

California to New York. He

stopped a second time on

the return journey on June 3.

He took photos of the Rust

Bus all along the way.

They spent most nights at

low-cost campgrounds —

Smith slept in the bus

while his companion

slept in a tent.

They charged the bus at

their campsite overnight.

wasn’t ready.

And so, he decided the two-speed bus

would have to do.

“It’s a very basic vehicle,” Smith said.

“Just as Horatio’s was.”

But basic doesn’t quite describe the

vehicle, with its contrasting vintage frame

and new technology —an electric motor

and charging port, and 800 pounds of Tesla

batteries.

And, Smith realized, that’s just what he

was looking for.

On May 4, he hopped in the rust bus and

headed west from San Francisco with friend

Mike Adamski.

They soon learned they wouldn’t exactly

be traveling in comfort. The bus rattled,

and leaked, and the ride was often bumpy,

despite the upgraded shocks.

They hit cold spring weather and snow on

the early part of the journey. Smith wore long

underwear and gloves. The cold air snuck in,

despite the tape on the windshield and the

added foam insulation.

Still, Smith knew he didn’t have it so bad,

when he compared his experience to that of

Jackson.

“Those guys were in an open-cockpit car

navigating by compass,” he said.

In contrast, he had navigation equipment,

paved roads, modern amenities, and

more.

Twenty-one days after leaving California,

Smith and Adamski reached New York.

1916 Lincoln Highway Official Road Guide

FROM A TRICKLE TO A FIRE HYDRANT

Newland kept a log every day of the

journey. The top speed of the Rust Bus is

about 95 miles per hour. Generally, they took

a leisurely pace of about 40–55 miles an hour

since they traveled mostly on state highways

and some back roads.

He loved that part of the trip.

After all, he asked, are you really seeing

our country if you’re barreling down the

interstate at 70 miles an hour?

They averaged about 20 miles per 10

percent of battery power on their trip west.

That equates to about 200 miles per

charge in ideal conditions. That range

decreased in hilly terrain or windy

conditions.

But a 200-mile range is just fine with

Newland. After a few hours in the car, he

needed a break to stretch his legs and get a

cup of coffee or bite to eat.

He believes that is a business model for

the future. Imagine charging your car while

having coffee with a friend or getting your

groceries. Convenience stores could add

amenities for EV owners who need to take a

break from the road and charge up.

“This trip has helped shape my idea

about the viability of electric vehicles,”

Newland said.

He’s guessing that in 5 to 10 years, most

people will have an electric car that they use

for trips to the store, to school, to work. But

they will also have a gas-powered pickup

or car for their family vacations or home

improvement projects.

He knows not everyone sees electric

vehicles in such a positive light, but he also

witnessed people change their mind after

learning about the bus and their trip.

Some were shocked at the bus’ instant

torque. Others learned that the most they

paid for a charge was about seven bucks— a

lot cheaper than a full tank of gas.

But Newland said the range question is

the main drawback for many.

“When the first question ceases to be,

‘how far can you go on a charge,’ electric

cars are going to take off,” he said.

For true success, he thinks potential EV

owners will need to see charging stations at

every gas station. They will need a range of

300 miles. Five hundred would be better.

And finally, the cost of a new EV needs to

come down.

He knows that will happen. New technology

is always expensive, but eventually

the price comes down.

Smith is also convinced that electric cars

will eventually take off — just like other

inventions throughout history that found

plenty of skeptics. Heck, Horatio may never

have made history if he didn’t bet against

those naysayers more than 100 years ago.

“It’s going to start as this trickle,” he said.

“And then it’s going to be like a fire hydrant.”

The electric motor in the Rust Bus is

powered by Tesla batteries.

6 | GENERATOR SUMMER 2022 | 7


LEADING THE CHARGE

Electric motors give new life to classics

Michael Bream owns

EV West in San Marcos,

Calif. The company

converts vehicles to run

on electric power.

Above: Some “new”

electric vehicles.

Photos courtesy of EV West

Story by Stacy Wemhoff

Back in 1974, the parking brake on a Volkswagen

bus failed and it rolled down a hill.

Right into an elm tree.

The owners pulled it back to their property where

it sat for more than 40 years. Then they asked Michael

Bream if he’d like to have it.

“It looked really bad,” he said. “So of course we

were interested.”

Bream took the 1964 VW bus back to his business,

EV West, in San Marcos, Calif. There, he and his team

fixed the frame as best they could.

They removed the old combustion engine, and

replaced it with an 88-kilowatt AC motor (about 120

horsepower). Then, they added Tesla batteries.

It went into the business’ vehicle pool and

employees put about 40,000 miles on it in a few years.

“Because it came in so messed up and the fact that

it’s now so capable, it’s become very endearing for the

employees and the people around here,” Bream said.

“Everybody just loves the Rust Bus.”

The bus is one of many vehicles Bream has

converted to run on all-electric power. He worked on

Tony Hawk’s Corvette Stingray this summer. Add to the

mix a 1951 Chevy pickup, a few Porche conversions,

and several more VW buses.

But he doesn’t do it for the environment. Or

because gas prices are so high. It’s not a political

statement.

He does it to save the classics.

“We just wanted to highlight the performance,

highlight the fun, highlight the fact that you can save a

classic car like this bus,” Bream said.

HOT ROD CULTURE

Bream’s interest in cars stems from his father.

“My dad grew up in West Hollywood in the ’50s and

’60s and there was a lot of hot rod culture,” he said.

He began racing cars and did that for about 5 years.

While that was a lot of fun, Bream is an engineer, and

decided he wanted to step things up a notch.

“I just wanted something more cerebral,” he said.

“I wanted to push the limits a little bit more.”

He decided to build an electric race car and

compete in the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International

Hill Climb — an annual race to the summit of Pike’s

Peak. The event is the second-oldest motorsports

race in America. It began in 1916 and was halted only

during both world wars.

The 12.42-mile course has 156 turns. It begins at

about 9,300 feet and ends 14,115 feet above sea level.

Bream and his father built their electric car over

a year and a half and were ready to compete in 2012.

They broke a record in their class and beat out cars

that were funded by multi-million dollar companies.

The David-versus-Goliath win led to news stories.

His name began circulating among car enthusiasts.

“I think that was the major impetus for what is now

EV West,” Bream said.

SAVING THE CLASSICS

Bream’s business has continued to grow as more

and more people decide to save their classics by

converting them to electric power.

Again, Bream said he and his customers don’t

have an altruistic motive for doing so. They enjoy the

We’re like a bunch of kids having

fun with classic cars that drive much

“better than they did 50 years ago.

instant power and low maintenance that comes with

an electric motor.

“We’re like a bunch of kids having fun with classic

cars that drive much better than they did 50 years

ago.”

Plus, gas is a finite resource and gas engines have

a lot of moving parts and therefore a lot of potential

problems. The problem is compounded in classics

because of their age.

“But you put this electric drive line in it and

going back and forth across the United States is no

problem,” Bream said.

It wasn’t a problem for his friend, Jack Smith, who

traveled back and forth across America in an electric

vehicle as he recreated “Horatio’s Drive.”

Bream learned about that first trip across America

when Smith gave him a book about the journey.

“I was so fascinated by it,” he said. “It’s a snapshot

in time when something seemed so unobtainable. To

drive across the country seemed impossible.”

And so, when Smith wanted to recreate the journey

in a unique vehicle, Bream offered the Rust Bus.

The vehicle was up to the task. And while Smith’s

adventure is now complete, the bus still has work

to do. It’s headed to Canada this month to join other

vintage VWs on a trip from Canada to Mexico. It will

most likely amaze and delight those who come over for

a closer look. Just like it did on the Smith’s trip.

“It’s fun to have something that was the total peak

of unreliability and then doing the exact opposite with

it — making it something that can drive around the

United States with virtually zero maintenance.”

LEARN MORE:

“Horatio’s Drive” on PBS

to.pbs.org/39zWtqc

Learn more about the Ken Burns documentary on Horatio Jackson Nelson that

features Tom Hanks as the voice of Dr. Jackson. This site includes video clips,

photos, an automobile chronology timeline, and more.

Following Horatio’s Route and the Lincoln Highway

bit.ly/FirstRoadTrip

Jack Smith documented his travels on his Facebook page. Search “An Electric

Tribute to America’s First Road Trip and The Lincoln Highway.” Mike Newland

shared pictures on Instagram under the handle @horatio1903.

Beyond the Sidewalk

bit.ly/1stSkate

“Beyond the Sidewalk” is an eight-minute short film about the first skateboard

push across America in 1976.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

s.si.edu/39K67X3

Several of Smith’s possessions are now part of the permanent collection at the

Smithsonian National Museum of American History: the first skateboard Smith

used in 1976; his gray suede Vans shoes worn on the 2013 trip; and his electric

skateboard, T-shirts, and safety vest from 2018. Pictures of the items are posted

on the museum’s website.

The museum also has items from Horatio Nelson Jackson in its collection.

View the car, Bud’s goggles, and more at s.si.edu/39Ew3n2

The Lincoln Highway

lincolnhighwayassoc.org

The Lincoln Highway Association is dedicated to preserving and celebrating

an important part of American history.

8 | GENERATOR

SUMMER 2022 | 9


UNDERWATER

INSPECTION

The Columbus and Monroe powerhouses

are impressive structures.

But they are more than 80 years old and

need regular tending. The employees who

work there every day spot mechanical and

structural issues on the inside and outside.

But what about under?

That’s where things get a little more

tricky.

There are trash rack supports under the

water on the upstream side of the Monroe

Powerhouse (MPH). These racks prevent

debris from entering the generator turbines

and regulating wicket gates.

Last year, employees noticed

that the wear plates that protect

these supports were deteriorating and

needed maintenance.

Accessing underwater areas of the

canal is no easy task, however. That’s why

the MPH trash racks and supports had not

been inspected in almost 20 years.

In May, Loup employees completed

the task with the assistance of a diver and

crane team.

The project was scheduled for that time

because Loup could lower the upstream

water level without affecting canal irrigators.

After clearing the

debris, the location

was dewatered using

bulkheads (stop logs) to

seal off the canal.

Each of the two generator

intakes is divided into

two sections. Each

requires three stop logs

stacked on top of each

other to provide a safe

barrier between the canal

and the work area.

Once the stop logs were installed and

each section was dewatered (above),

the trash rack sections were removed

(left) with the help of a crane. The racks

were tagged, cleaned, and inspected.

Top: Kenny Ferris with Husker Marine of Burwell prepares to check for debris at the powerhouse.

Above left: Lance Ferris, Canal Lead, and Brad Morton, Hydro Superintendent, monitor the dive

from the powerhouse deck.

Above middle: Lance Ferris (right) helps Kenny Ferris replace his oxygen tank.

Right: A log is removed from the bottom of the canal after being discovered by the diver.

Photos by Brad Morton, Lance Ferris, and Stacy Wemhoff.

After the racks are removed, the support structure

is inspected (right) and repaired as needed (above).

Then the racks are reinstalled, the stop logs are

removed to allow water back into the scroll case,

and the generator is placed back into service.

10 | GENERATOR SUMMER 2022 | 11


Area students earn scholarships

LINKAGES SCHOLARSHIPS

LOUP POWER DISTRICT SCHOLARSHIPS

Linkages Scholarships were awarded to Columbus area high school graduates

Jack Ryan and Tim Sliva.

The Linkages Program is a nationally recognized program that supports high

schools offering a quality program of engineering and technology courses. The

Columbus Economic Council, Loup Power District, and local businesses provide

support for the program.

The students qualified for the Linkages Scholarship by taking engineering and

technical courses. The scholarship can be used at each student’s college of

choice.

The following local sponsors provided important financial support to this year’s

program: ADM Corn Processing, Behlen Mfg. Co., Columbus Bank, Columbus

Community Hospital, Duo Lift Manufacturing, Pinnacle Bank, TORIN Products,

Inc., and Valmont Newmark.

Since its beginning in 2004, the Linkages Program has awarded 205 scholarships

totaling $66,675.

Loup Power District awarded scholarships to six

area students who are attending Central Community

College-Columbus this fall.

Loup Power District scholarships are awarded to high

school seniors living in Boone, Colfax, Nance, and

Platte Counties, and a portion of Madison County.

Selection is based on academic achievement,

employment and school activities, quality of the

personal statement, application completeness and

recommendations.

Scholarships were awarded to: Columbus High School

— Kyson Krepel; Scotus Central Catholic — Noah

Bierman; Lakeview High School — Hunter Schoch;

Clarkson High School — Bryce Jurgesen; Lindsay Holy

Family — Grace Preister; St. Edward High School —

Andrew Breceda.

GAVIN BRABEC

Scotus Central Catholic


Plans: Pre-medicine

at University of Nebraska at Omaha

Son of Lori and Mike Brabec, Crew Lead

SYDNEY QUINN

Scotus Central Catholic


Plans: Veterinary Technology

at Northeast Community College

Daughter of Crystal and Dan Quinn, Crew Lead

DELANEY MARY OLMER

Humphrey St. Francis


Plans: Health Sciences

at University of Nebraska at Kearney

Daughter of Tom and Ann Olmer,

Customer Service Representative

ADAM QUINN

Scotus Central Catholic


Plans: Business and Marketing

at Southeast Community College in Lincoln

Son of Crystal and Dan Quinn, Crew Lead

MASON PROSOSKI

Northeast Community College


Associate’s Degree in Utility Line

Working for Cornhusker Public Power District

Son of Eric and Amber Prososki and Betsy

and Kenton Zimmer, Equipment Operator;

Grandson of Sena and Randy Prososki,

Headworks Supervisor

SIERRA QUINN

Scotus Central Catholic


Plans: Pre-medicine

at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Daughter of Crystal and Dan Quinn, Crew Lead

$1.5M to

area towns

Loup Power District officials

recently delivered lease payments

totaling more than $1.5 million.

Each of these communities owns

their electric distribution systems.

These payments compensate them

for the use of those systems for the

first quarter of 2022. They use the

funds for a variety of projects.

The payments were:

Columbus — $1,148,464.55

Platte Center — $15,827.44

Monroe — $14,604.30

Tarnov — $2,084.55

Creston — 8,806.06

Humphrey — $30,743.01

Lindsay — $57,390.32

Cornlea — $2,410.37

Newman Grove — $22,366.00

Duncan — $20,617.76

Fullerton — $37,866.12

Genoa — $30,014.32

Belgrade — $4,556.10

Richland — $3,448.33

Howells — $26,795.80

Leigh — $19,081.91

Clarkson — $23,319.13

Albion — $57,242.83

Cedar Rapids — $20,946.99

Primrose — $1,907.98

Petersburg — $11,263.72

St. Edward — $22,054.15

Total — $1,581,811.74

HOW AMERICANS USE ELECTRICITY

The latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows the

combined use of clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, small appliances and

other electrical equipment (noted as “all other uses” below) accounts for the largest

percentage of electricity consumption in American homes.

1.7%

TVs & Related Equipment

41.3% 2

All other uses

15.7%

Space Cooling

4.1%

Lighting

11.8%

Water Heating

14.2% 1

Space Heating

Source: Energy Information Administration 2021

1

Includes consumption for heat and operating furnace fans and boiler pumps.

2

Includes miscellaneous appliances, clothes washers and dryers, stoves, dishwashers, heating elements, and motors.

4.1%

Computers &

Related Equipment

7.1%

Refrigerators

& Freezers

12 | GENERATOR SUMMER 2022 | 13


employee notes

JIM HOGE

Drafting Technician

Jim Hoge began

his career at Loup

in 1982 as a parttime

Draftsman in

the Engineering

Department at the

Columbus General

Office. He was promoted

to full-time

as a Drafting Technician

in 1986 and

he continues in that position today.

In this role, Hoge provides drafting

support to all departments. He

maintains District maps, including

substation drawings, transmission

line profile sheets, switching maps,

and standards. Hoge works closely

with Nebraska Public Power District

regarding joint-use drawings that are

shared between the two utilities. He

also works with the City of Columbus

on updating District maps with city limit

changes, subdivision additions and

new address assignments.

A graduate of Columbus High School,

Hoge attended Central Community

College in Columbus. He and his wife,

Sue, have twin girls — Jaime Sack and

Nicole Liss. They also have two granddaughters

and triplet grandsons.

KYLE KEMPER

Line Technician

Kyle Kemper of

Genoa joined Loup

Power District as a

Line Technician in

Fullerton.

He is member of

the crew that is

responsible for construction,

operation,

and maintenance

of electric transmission

and

distribution systems

and substations in the Fullerton

Division.

40 YEARS

WELCOME

Kemper is a graduate of Twin River

High School. He earned a degree in

Utility Line from Northeast Community

College in May.

KURT MOHR

Headworks Operator

Kurt Mohr joined

Loup in 1997 as

a Maintenance

Man at the Genoa

Headworks. He was

promoted to Equipment

Operator at

the Headworks in

2002 and to Headworks

Operator in

2017.

Mohr’s duties include operation and

maintenance of heavy equipment at

the Headworks. He also performs

general canal and hydro-related

maintenance.

Mohr is a graduate of Genoa High

School and he attended Central

Community College in Columbus. He

and his wife, Lisa, live in rural Genoa.

CHASE DAVIS

Journey Line Technician

Chase Davis joined

Loup in 2007 as an

Apprentice Lineman

in Columbus. He

was promoted to

Lineman later that

year.

In 2012, Davis transferred

to Arborist/

Lineman and was

promoted to Journey

Line Technician

in 2014.

25 YEARS

15 YEARS

Davis is member of the crew that

is responsible for the construction,

operation, and maintenance of Loup’s

electrical transmission and distribution

systems and substations in the Columbus

Division.

Davis is a graduate of Columbus

High School and has an Associate of

Applied Science Degree in Utility Line

from Northeast Community College in

Norfolk.

He and his wife, Tiffany, are the

parents of three daughters, Hadley,

Ellowyn, and Cooper.

MATT ROSNO

Headworks Mechanic

Matt Rosno joined

Loup Power District

as a Maintenance

Technician at the

Genoa Headworks

in April 2021 and

was promoted

to Headworks

Mechanic in August

2021.

He is responsible

for maintaining

District vehicles and

equipment at the Genoa Headworks.

He also troubleshoots the mechanical

components of the District’s dredge,

the Pawnee II.

Rosno is a graduate of Twin River High

School. He is certified in ATV Personal

Water Craft Repair and Automotive

Mechanic.

BOB ANDERSON

Dredge Operator

Bob Anderson of

Genoa was recently

recognized for 25

years of service to

Loup Power District.

1 YEAR

Anderson joined

Loup in 1997 as

a Maintenance

Man at the Genoa

Headworks. He was

promoted to Equipment

Operator at

the Headworks

in 2002. In 2016, Anderson was

promoted to his current position of

Dredge Operator.

25 YEARS

As a Dredge Operator, Anderson is a

member of the team that operates and

maintains the District’s dredge at the

Genoa Headworks located six miles

southwest of Genoa.

Anderson is a graduate of Genoa High

School and attended Wayne State

College.

He and his wife, Michelle, are the parents

of two children: Tanner and Halie.

LANCE FERRIS

Canal Lead

Lance Ferris joined

Loup in 1982 as

a Maintenance

Man at the Genoa

Headworks. In 1985,

he was promoted

to Equipment

Operator.

He was promoted

to Dredge Operator

in 1988. In 2015,

Ferris transferred to

Equipment Operator

at the Columbus Service Center.

He was promoted to his current position

of Canal Lead in 2020.

Ferris’ primary responsibility is overseeing

canal-related projects from the

railroad siphon east of Genoa to the

tailrace area southeast of Columbus.

His crew also assists with substation

and construction work throughout the

District.

Ferris and his wife, Teresa, have seven

children and 20 grandchildren. They

live in Monroe.

DAN HELLBUSCH

Equipment Operator

Dan Hellbusch

joined Loup in 1992

as a Maintenance

Man on the Columbus

Canal Crew

based out of the

Columbus Service

Center. He was

promoted to his

current position of

Equipment Operator

in 1996.

40 YEARS

30 YEARS

Hellbusch operates

the District’s heavy equipment

and is part of the crew that performs

maintenance on the canal system from

Genoa to Columbus, works at the two

powerhouses, helps build substations,

and cares for District parks and lakes.

Hellbusch is a graduate of Lakeview

High School. He and his wife, Michelle,

are the parents of two children: Dylan

and Kaden.

DAVE DUNCAN

Chief Mechanic

Dave Duncan was

promoted to Chief

Mechanic at Loup

Power District. He

also marked his fiveyear

anniversary.

Duncan joined Loup

in 2017 as Automotive/Equipment

Mechanic for the

Shop and Transportation

Department.

In his new role,

Duncan is responsible for the scheduling,

maintenance, and repair of all

District vehicles, heavy and light equipment,

hydraulic equipment, and other

tools and equipment used throughout

the District.

Duncan earned his Associates Degree

in Automotive Technology from Metropolitan

Community College in Omaha.

BRYAN TWOREK

Dredge Operator

Bryan Tworek of

Genoa was recently

recognized for 10

years of service to

Loup Power District.

PROMOTION

Tworek joined Loup

Power District in

2012 as Maintenance

Man at the

Genoa Headworks.

He was promoted

to Equipment Operator

in 2014 and was named Dredge

Operator in 2018.

10 YEARS

In his role as Dredge Operator, Tworek

is part of a team that operates and

maintains the District’s dredge at the

Genoa Headworks.

Tworek is a graduate of Genoa High

School. He attended Central Community

College- Columbus where he

earned an Associate of Applied Science

Degree in Ag Business.

Tworek and his wife, Shanna, are the

parents of a son, Nicholas, and twin

daughters, Alyse and Aurora.

JOHN FRITZGES

Dredge Operator

John Fritzges of St.

Edward has been

promoted to Dredge

Operator at Loup

Power District.

In his new role,

Fritzges is part of a

team that operates

and maintains the

District’s dredge

at the Genoa

Headworks.

Fritzges joined Loup as Maintenance

Man at the Genoa Headworks in 2018.

He and his wife, Kaitlin, have five

children: Kohen, Reese, Rhett, Cecelia,

and Ty.

SHEILA FREDERICK

Service Center Coordinator

Sheila Frederick

joined Loup Power

District in 2012 as a

Customer Service

Representative at

the Albion Office.

She was promoted

to Service Center

Coordinator in 2019.

PROMOTION

In this role,

Frederick handles

10 YEARS

communication

among the personnel

at the Service Center including line

technicians, and the meter and maintenance,

shop, and canal crews.

Her duties include taking service calls,

receiving locate requests, sending

irrigation load control messages and

handling dispatches. She also prepares

work tickets, service orders, and

reports.

Frederick is a graduate of Boone

Central High School. She attended the

University of Nebraska-Lincoln and

earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication

Studies.

Frederick and her husband Justin,

live in Columbus with daughters Ellie,

Olivia, and Eden.

14 | GENERATOR SUMMER 2022 | 15


employee notes

ZACH REICKS

Meter, Relay & Equipment Technician

Zach Reicks of Columbus

joined Loup in

2007 as an Apprentice

Lineman in Columbus.

Later that year he was

promoted to Lineman.

In 2011, he was promoted

to Journeyman

Lineman and transferred

to Meter, Relay

and Equipment Technician

in 2019.

In this role, Reicks is part of the team that

is responsible for installation and maintenance

of substation power equipment for

the District. He operates the load control

program, is the Supervisory Control and

Data Acquisition (SCADA) administrator,

and assists with metering.

Reicks is a graduate of Lakeview High

School and has an Associate of Applied

Science Degree in Utility Line from Northeast

Community College in Norfolk.

He and his wife, Ashley, are the parents

of three children: Leyton,

Camden, and Lily.

JARED HOEFELMAN

Journey Line Technician

Jared Hoefelman

joined Loup in 2012

as a Line Technician

at Humphrey.

He was promoted

to Journey Line

Technician in 2015.

Hoefelman is member

of the crew that

is responsible for

the construction,

operation, and

maintenance of electric transmission and

distribution systems and substations in

the Humphrey area.

15 YEARS 10 YEARS

He is a graduate of Lakeview High School

and earned an Associate of Applied

Science Degree in Utility Line from Northeast

Community College.

He also holds an Associate of Applied

Science Degree in Electrical & Electromechanical

Technology from Southeast

Community College.

Jared and his wife, Molly, have two

daughters, Emryn and Calla.

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while providing greater

efficiency, safety, and precision.

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attaches to an induction-compatible

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Retiree Profile

GARY

PEARSON

Gary Pearson doesn’t have time to be

bored.

He’s quick to answer when asked what’s

keeping him so busy.

“About 15 years of neglect on projects,” he

replies with a grin.

The Loup retiree has a long list to catch

up on. He has a small acreage on the north

side of Genoa and a farm he shares with his

sister.

He also has antique shops to visit. Not to

mention trying to keep up with all the activities

of his seven grandchildren.

Even so, Pearson said he misses the

Genoa Headworks — a second home for

almost 36 years.

* * *

Pearson was building houses for the

Genoa Lumberyard when the market tanked

in the early 1980s and he was laid off after 10

years. He went on to Lindsay Manufacturing.

He worked there less than a year when he

decided to apply for an opening at the Genoa

Headworks.

“And I’m so glad I did,” he said.

Pearson got the job as Maintenance Man

in 1983. He was promoted to Equipment

Operator in 1986, and became Dredge Operator

in 1990. He was promoted to Headworks

Supervisor in 1997. He stayed in that position

until his retirement in November 2018.

He had a great team of coworkers and

supervisors in his early years who took the

time to teach him about the Headworks, the

canal, the sand, the ice. They taught him

how to read the river and adjust the gates

accordingly.

“Attention to detail meant everything to

those guys,” he said.

Pearson took those details to heart and it

didn’t take long for him to realize that he did

not want to leave the job.

Working outside was one of the top

job perks. “There could be some wicked

weather, but there’s something about it. It

was the perfect fit for me,” Pearson said. “I

could see that this was going to be the last

place I worked.”

There were definitely challenges on the

job, too, and he enjoyed finding solutions.

“Everyday was a new challenge,” Pearson

said. “But it got to the point where you just

swept the challenges away and kept on

going.”

One of the biggest trials he faced may

Above: Gary Pearson at his home in Genoa. Pearson worked at the Genoa Headworks for

more than 35 years before retiring in 2018.

Bottom left: Pearson works on the Pawnee dredge floating line ball joint in 1996.

Bottom right: Pearson prepares for installation of a new rotating ball joint 90 in 1994.

have been learning to use the computer.

“It was challenging,” he said, but he soon

began to enjoy it.

* * *

Even though he loved his job, Pearson

knew it was time to retire and attack his

to-do list at home.

He and his wife, Betty, quickly realized

how great retirement could be.

“We do a lot together and we can just pick

up and go,” she said.

That freedom was put on hold just over a

year later when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

But things are slowly getting back to normal.

They can go to their grandchildren’s activities

again. Shops are open. Travel is easier.

One thing that’s not on his list is watching

television — at least not anything from the

last 50 years.

“My TV watching is pretty much limited

to Gunsmoke and I’ve probably seen them all

now,” he joked.

16 | GENERATOR SUMMER 2022 | 17


Summer Safety —

RV frames can become electrically charged

Camping is an outdoor leisure activity

that many people take advantage of during

the summer season. As with all summer fun,

safety needs to be a priority.

Tragically, in the summer of 2014, a

3-year-old boy was electrocuted as a result

of faulty wiring that electrified the family’s

camper. The child was touching a door

handle of the camper while standing on wet

ground when he was electrocuted.

Such a situation in which an RV frame

is electrically charged is often referred to as

“hot skin.” Improper wiring or connection,

no grounding, reversed polarity, and loose

or worn outlets are just some of the potential

causes. If a hot skin hazard exists, simply

opening the door or coming into contact with

the hitch can cause shock or electrocution.

To help prevent hot skin, your RV’s

electrical system needs to be regularly tested

and maintained. A professional electrician

can help you make sure the wiring in your

RV is safe.

Perform a visual inspection of cords,

plugs, and outlets. If there are cracked or

frayed cords or broken or discolored plugs or

outlets, do not use them. Have them replaced

or repaired. Make sure RVs are equipped

with fire extinguishers as well as permanently

installed carbon-monoxide and fire

detectors.

Always use electrical cords rated for

the use they will get. Make sure the power

demand of the appliances that will be used

does not exceed the cord’s rating. To plug

your RV into a campground power pedestal,

use a heavy duty, four-wire cord with a

grounding wire, not an extension cord.

Know the amperage your RV draws and

the amperage available. If you try to draw

more amperage than is available, you can

cause serious damage to the electrical source

and your RV. You could even start a fire. Also

make sure you know where your electrical

panel and major switches are.

Before using a campground hook-up, do

a visual inspection of the area. If a campground

hook-up appears to be damaged, put

safety first and request another spot. Making

the campground aware of the damage will

also help future campers at that site. In addition,

be sure to have the proper cord. Never

plug more than one RV into a single hook-up.

As with a generator, plug your RV in before

turning appliances on.

For more information on electrical safety,

visit SafeElectricity.org.

Loup maintains five public parks

Loup Power District’s five parks and

recreation areas canvas 77 acres of land and

1,100 acres of water.

The parks were originally developed as a

byproduct of the Loup’s canal system. Over

the years, the District continued to develop

and maintain them as a service to the

communities and customers we serve.

The parks are open from May 1 to

November 1, weather permitting.

Headworks Park remains open during

the winter months, but there are no water or

trash services.

There are plenty of recreational opportunities

at all five parks. Visitors can boat,

swim, camp, fish, bike, hike, picnic and

more.

Electrical hookups are free although

visitors are limited to seven days per

month. Reservations are not accepted.

PARKS STATUS NUMBER

Visitors are encouraged to call Loup’s

Park Status number before visiting.

Parks close periodically for maintenance

and District operations.

402-562-5709

POWERHOUSE PARK

3 mi N of US30 & 3rd Ave in Columbus

TAILRACE PARK

3.5 mi E of 8th St & 18th Ave

in Columbus, & 1.5 mi S

HEADWORKS PARK

6 mi W of Genoa on Hwy 22

LOUP PARK

4 mi N of US30 & 18th Ave

in Columbus, then 1.5 mi W

LAKE NORTH

4 mi N of US30 & 18th Ave in Columbus

• • • •

• •

• • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • •

Camping Grilling Restrooms Shelter Swimming Trails Play Equip Electricity Fishing Boat Ramp

18 | GENERATOR SUMMER 2022 | 19


2404 15th Street | PO Box 988

Columbus, NE 68602-0988

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