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Remembering Kenneth F. Shankle LREC Director will be missed

Lake Region Electric Cooperative recently lost one of its leaders. Kenneth F. Shankle, a member of LREC’s Board of Directors, passed away on July 23, 2011, at the age of 52. Kenneth served 7 years as trustee for LREC. The dedication and service Kenneth provided to LREC will benefit members and employees for generations to come. He served on the bud- get and finance committee throughout his years of service on the board. Kenneth was a Hulbert High School graduate of 1977. Following high

school, he worked in construction and in 1979 began ironwork installing towers. In 2000, Kenneth and his brother formed S&S Communications Specialists, a Hul- bert company which he co-owned and op- erated until his passing. Kenneth enjoyed working cattle, camping, boating, riding his Harley, and loving his grandchildren. Kenneth was also a devoted member of his church, 29 Eleven, always serving whenever called upon.

Copper Theft Cost Money and Threatens Safety and Lives

Would you risk being hit by lightning for $100? Seems a bit ridiculous, but desperate times cause folks to do foolish things. Theft of copper is on the rise nationwide, at abandoned commercial buildings, empty houses and most dangerously, at power substations. “In our area, it appears that the copper wire inside our meter loops is what people are af- ter,” said Jon Enkey, LREC Line Superinten- dent.

Lake Region Electric Cooperative has ex-

perienced copper thief’s in our own backyard recently in the northern parts of our service territory. LREC believes thieves are attempt- ing to steal meter loops on abandoned services in rural Cherokee County. LREC crews have found evidence of

meter loops and stealing the copper wire on these services. This is a large cost for LREC, with replac-

ing the service as well as instances where the poles have been broken and transformers dam- aged.

“LREC estimates these damages costing as

much as $2,500 to $3,000 to fix a broken pole, busted meter loop, and blown transformer,” said Kathy Dill, LREC purchasing accountant. These unexpected costs affect members as

well. You the members can help us prevent these thefts from getting off with copper. If you notice anything unusual, such as an open substation gate or unmarked vehicles working

2 LREC Powerline Press

late at night stealing equipment off our poles, please call LREC at (918) 772- 2526 or toll free at 800-364-5732. In a similar case

this year, near Lind- sey, Oklahoma


man who allegedly was attempting to remove copper wire from a service con- nection died of inju- ries he

suffered when encountered

thieves ripping off LREC a

live wire. The incident was investigated by Ru- ral Electric Cooperative as a case of suspected copper theft. The individual died of injuries sustained while allegedly trying to steal copper wiring connected to the distribution lines. The meter loop was pulled from the service pole with a truck. The truck’s momentum snapped an adjacent pole in the right-of-way, bringing down wires and a transformer connected to a 14-kilovolt distribution line. This individual got out of the truck and was attempting to collect the copper service line when he was electrocuted. One thing people can learn from these types of cases is that there is always a possibility of a loss of life. Dealing with any metal and electricity

Photo Courtesy: Rural Electric Cooperative

is a dangerous combina- tion, especially when it is done

without permission

or training, and places the thief and others in danger. Copper theft is a crime punishable with jail time. “People who think stealing electric wire is a quick way to earn some easy money should think again,” says Hamid Vah- datipour, LREC CEO “The value of metal is not worth losing a life.”

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