2018

2018

BECi Holds Annual Contest to Send Students to Washington, D.C.

BECi Recently Recognized Outstanding Local Teachers Through Its Mini-Grant Program

BECi Sends Crews to Assist After Hurricane Michael

BECi Recognized for Outstanding Safety Program

BECi Youth Leadership Students Return from Washington, D.C.

BECi Reminds Members to Stay Safe During Summer Storms

Beauregard Electric Contractor to Conduct Right-Of-Way Spraying Project

BECi Reminds Members to Plug Into Safety

BECi Donated to United Way of Southwest Louisiana

BECi Announces Winners of Essay Contest, Students Win a Trip to Washington D.C.

BECi Directors Elected at Annual Meeting

BECi Announces Scholarship Winners

 

 

 

BECi Holds Annual Contest to Send Students to Washington, D.C.

November 8, 2018

DeRidder, LA - Since 1979, Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BECi), has awarded local students the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., during the Rural Electric Youth Tour Conference.  The BECi Board of Directors and Management place much emphasis on supporting youth in education.  This year, BECi will sponsor an all-expense paid trip to four winners of an essay-writing contest who are sophomores, juniors or seniors. 

Students will travel with other winners from Louisiana, as well as numerous chaperones from Louisiana Electric Cooperatives, to meet with more than 1,500 students from 46 other states for an unforgettable week in our nation’s capital. While in Washington, students will experience history first-hand by visiting monuments, the Smithsonian Museums, and meet with representatives and senators.

To enter the contest, students must write an essay (1,000 words max) describing what life would be like without electricity. The topic should be stated and thoroughly discussed. Entries will be judged on originality, composition, neatness and grammar. Entries must be written in ink or typed and must contain a cover sheet. Entries can be mailed to Danielle Tilley, BECi, Post Office Drawer 970, DeRidder, LA 70634 or emailed to marketing@beci.org.

BECi asks teachers and parents to encourage their students to enter this contest. To find out more information about the program, or to schedule a presentation to your students, please call (337) 463-6221 or (800) 367- 0275. Please visit www.beci.org for a complete listing of contest rules. Entries are due February 1, 2019.

BECi Recently Recognized Outstanding Local Teachers Through Its Mini-Grant Program

Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. recently recognized outstanding local teachers through its mini-grant program.

BECi is committed to its community through educational opportunities for its students. BECi’s new mini-grant program is one of many programs BECi offers to encourage and facilitate the continued education of local students.

Four $500 grants were given to educators who currently teach at a school within BECi’s service area or whose students live in homes served by BECi. Winning applications were chosen based on creativity, the feasibility of the project and the need and benefit of the students.

Winners of the $500 mini-grants are:

Laura Manuel, Librarian at DeQuincy High School,

Tammy Jeanise, 4th Grade Science Teacher at Kinder Elementary,

Joshua Beard, High School Science Teacher at DeRidder High School,

Jessica Turner, 1st Grade Teacher at Fairview High School.

BECi is a strong supporter of education, proud of its local schools and staff, and believes that these mini-grants will help schools, teachers and students – who are the future of the community.

Manuel

Jeanise

Beard

Turner

 


BECi Sends Crews to Assist After Hurricane Michael

DeRidder - BECi line and right-of-way crews are on the ground in Florida to help restore power to the 200,000 residents who remain in the dark after Hurricane Michael, Category Four, made landfall on Wednesday, October 10.

BECi line crews are assisting in restoration efforts at West Florida Electric Cooperative in Graceville, FL, the heavily hit area northwest of Tallahassee, while right-of-way crews assist Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative, Inc., which serves the heavily hit area of Panama City and Wewahitchka.

Photos below, from West Florida Electric Cooperative’s Facebook page, depict storm damage and the housing and staging area for the more than 300 line workers on-hand to offer assistance.

Pictured from left to right are BECi line workers John Hobbs, Gabe Barrow, John Riley, Mike Ashworth, Bobby Minion, David Liles and Buddy Robinson.

Crews to FL


BECi Recognized for Outstanding Safety Program

DeRidder— Beauregard Electric was recently recognized for its outstanding safety performance and for making a public commitment to eliminate on-the-job injuries.

According to Eddie Hanks, director of safety at BECi, the local electric cooperative was honored this summer at the annual membership meeting of the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives (ALEC) in Baton Rouge.

Hanks said co-op employees have worked over 476,600 hours without a lost-time accident since August of 2016.

Hanks, who serves on the Safety Committee at ALEC, said the co-op also made a public pledge to eliminate serious injuries and fatal electrical contacts as part of an initiative launched by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange.

“When we heard about the ‘Commitment to Zero Contacts’ safety awareness campaign, we jumped on it right away,” Hanks said. “We already have an outstanding safety program that really sets the standard for other electric utilities across the country. But we don’t want to rest on our laurels. We want to continue to make our program even better than it already is.”

Kevin Turner, BECi general manager, said workplace safety is something that has to come from the top and permeate throughout all levels of the organization.

“Our commitment to safety begins with our board,” Turner said. “We must have our co-op leadership behind us in order to establish the policies, guidelines, vision and culture that ultimately leads to success.”

“Our goal for our employees is to see that everyone returns home to their families at the end of the work day,” Turner said. “Of course, keeping the lights on is very important, but making sure our employees, members and public citizens are free from harm is our highest priority.”

BECi is the distribution cooperative that serves the electric needs of more than 43,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in a 7-parish area of southwest and central Louisiana.

safety award

Tagline: BECi was recognized for its outstanding safety performance at a recent banquet hosted by the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives (ALEC) in Baton Rouge. Shown, left to right, are ALEC Director of Safety and Loss Control Mike Bergeaux, BECi Safety Coordinator Eddie Hanks, BECi Vice President of Operations and Construction Services Scott Deshotel, BECi General Manager Kevin Turner and ALEC Safety Coordinator Aarron Graham.


BECi Youth Leadership Students Return from Washington, D.C.

DeRidder— BECi sponsored four local students as part of the 54th Annual Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. Representing BECi were Caleb Gore and Lucy Stark of South Beauregard High School, Jacey Merchant of Pitkin High School and Shekinah Jordan of Westlake High School.

Since BECi began participating in the annual Youth Tour program, dozens of local students have benefited from what has often been described as a “life-changing” experience. For their trip to Washington, the local students joined a group of 23 other students and chaperones from electric cooperatives across the state and the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives in Baton Rouge. While they were in Washington, the students convened with more than 2,000 others from 46 states for the annual program.

“The purpose of this worthwhile program is to give local students a chance to develop leadership skills, learn how electric cooperatives work, see our government in action and tour Washington, D.C.,” said BECi General Manager Kevin Turner. “We’re happy that these local students had a great time in Washington and that the cooperative could make this once-in-a lifetime event possible for them. I know they learned a lot and represented Louisiana well.”

BECi’s Youth Tour Coordinator Danielle Tilley said the cooperative is proud to continue supporting the worthwhile program that builds leadership skills and enriches the lives of each participant. “Working with these young people is a real joy, to see them experiencing an important part of our national history and heritage for the first time and to know that something we are doing is making a difference in their lives,” she said.

During the week-long trip, students learned about electric co-ops, visited Capitol Hill to meet Louisiana Senators and Representatives and had the unique chance to voice their concerns and pose questions directly to lawmakers.

Students also attended the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity and visited the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II, Vietnam, and Korean War Memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian Museum complex and the Newseum.

In addition to taking in the many sights and sounds of the nation’s capital, all the various groups from participating states convened for National Youth Day on June 11 to hear from various public figures and other inspirational speakers.

During their trip, the Louisiana students also visited the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Martin Luther King Memorial.

BECi is the distribution cooperative that serves the electric needs of more than 43,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in a 7-parish area of southwest and central Louisiana.

Tagline: BECi Youth Tour delegates Lucy Stark, Jacey Merchant, Shekinah Jordan and Caleb Gore visit Capitol Hill during the 2018 Youth Tour.


BECi Reminds Members to Stay Safe During Summer Storms

June 18, 2018

DeRidder— Here in Southwest Louisiana, storms can occur suddenly and without warning putting a damper on summer plans. Summer storms tend to happen quickly with dramatic winds and lightning strikes in a very short timeframe. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service, thunderstorms are more frequent and more severe during the summer months because of the increase in basic elements needed to create a thunderstorm – moisture and rapidly rising warm air.

To help protect you from storm-related electrical hazards, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and Beauregard Electric are providing answers to common storm safety questions below.

What should I do if I am caught outside during a lightning storm?

  • Move to a low point. Lightning hits the tallest available object, so get down low in a crouched position if you are in an exposed area.
  • Stay away from trees.
  • Avoid metal. Don’t hold onto metal items like bats, golf clubs, fishing rods, tennis rackets, or tools. Stay away from metal sheds, clotheslines, poles, and fences.
  • Stay away from water, including pools, lakes, puddles, and anything damp—like grass.
  • Don’t stand close to other people. Spread out.

How can I stay safe from lightning inside my house?

  • To avoid lightning strikes, stay away from windows and doors.
  • If possible, unplug electronic equipment before the storm arrives. Avoid contact with electrical equipment and cords during storms.
  • Avoid contact with water and plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.

What should I do if I encounter a downed power line?

If you see a downed power line, move at least 10 feet away from the line and anything touching it. The human body is a conductor of electricity.

The proper way to move away from the line is to shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock.

What can I do to help someone who has come in contact with a downed power line?

If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with the downed line, do not touch the person. You could become the next victim. Call 911 instead.

What if a power line comes down onto my car or I didn’t see it until I’ve driven into it?

If you are in your car and it is in contact with the downed line, stay in your car. Tell others to stay away from your vehicle.

If you must leave your car because it is on fire, jump out of the vehicle with both feet together and avoid contact with the live car and the ground at the same time. This way you avoid being the path of electricity from the car to the earth. Shuffle away from the car.

Is a downed power line still dangerous if it has come down in water, like a pool or pond?

Water is a good conductor of electricity. Any amount of water—even a puddle—could become energized. Be careful not to touch water—or anything in contact with the water—near where there is a downed power line.

I bought a new generator so that I’d be prepared for the next power outage. Is there anything special I should know about installing it?

ESFI strongly recommends that a licensed electrician install home generators to ensure they meet all local electrical codes.

              Also, make sure your generator is properly grounded in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Can’t I just plug my generator directly into one of my home’s outlets?

Do not connect generators directly to the household wiring unless an appropriate transfer switch has been installed by a licensed, qualified electrician.

What could happen if I don’t have a transfer switch installed?

Without the proper transfer switch, power provided by the generator can “backfeed” along the power lines, creating a significant electrocution hazard for anyone coming in contact with the lines, including lineworkers making necessary repairs.

Can I run my generator from inside my garage or home?

Never operate a generator inside your home or in any other enclosed—or even partially enclosed—area. Generators very quickly produce carbon monoxide, which can easily enter your home.

Place the generator on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure. Do not operate the generator in wet conditions or where there is standing water.

Can’t I just open the garage door to provide ventilation for the carbon monoxide?

Opening windows or doors or using fans does not provide adequate ventilation to prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide. Generators must be located outside a safe distance away from your home’s windows, doors, and vents, through which carbon monoxide can enter your home.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include fatigue, shortness of breath, drowsiness, headache, and nausea. Get to fresh air right away if you feel dizzy or weak while running your generator.

Is there anything else I should do to protect my family from carbon monoxide produced by my generator?

Make sure that there is at least one battery-operated or battery-backup carbon monoxide alarm in your home. Test it before using your generator.

Is it safe for my children to play in the area around the generator?

No. Keep children away from portable generators at all times. Also be sure to store generator fuel out of reach of children.

BECi would also like to remind members that hurricane season is from June 1, 2018 until November 30, 2018 and it is vital to always be prepared in the event of a hurricane. To learn how to get prepared, visit the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness website at www.getagameplan.com.

BECi is the distribution cooperative that serves the electric needs of more than 43,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in a 7-parish area of southwest and central Louisiana.


 

 
Beauregard Electric Contractor to Conduct Right-Of-Way Spraying Project
May 3, 2018

DeRidder— Beginning in May, Superior Forestry will begin spraying rights-of-way for Beauregard Electric in the seven parish service area.  This spraying project will take approximately 10 weeks to complete.  Crews will be spraying brush underneath power lines.  Any questions or concerns may be directed to the BECi Office by calling 1-800-367-0275.


BECi Reminds Members to Plug Into Safety
May 3, 2018
 

DeRidder— In May, electric cooperatives across the country promote safety awareness to coincide with National Electrical Safety Month. Every year, thousands of accidents occur due to shock hazards, and Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BECi), a not-for-profit electric utility, is committed to educating the public about potential electrical dangers. 

In 2016, 475,500 structure fires (including residential fires) were reported in the U.S., causing 2,950 deaths, 12,775 injuries and $7.9 billion in property damage. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a residential fire was reported every 90 seconds. Many home fires occur when electrical equipment is outdated or improperly used.

It is critical that the public understands their home’s electrical system and the safety concerns associated with the latest residential technologies before bringing them into their homes. With newer technologies and more electrical gadgets in the home, people need to ensure they have an electrical system that is compatible with the increased load. It is also important that the public remember to practice electrical safety in everyday situations, especially during thunderstorms.

Here are five tips to remember:

  1. Do not use extension cords or power strips with fans or heaters. This could cause the cord to overheat and result in fire.
  2. Know the signs of overloaded outlets like warm or discolored outlet covers, burning odor from receptacles, a mild shock or tingle when touching appliances or switches and frequently tripped breakers.
  3. During a thunderstorm, bring pets inside. Doghouses are not lightning-safe and chained dogs can easily be victim to lightning.
  4. Do not use corded or landline phones and avoid contact with water, faucets, sinks and baths during a thunderstorm.
  5. If you are in your car and come in contact with a downed power line, stay in your car and tell others to stay away. If you must leave your car due to fire, jump out of the car with both feet together and shuffle away from the vehicle.

Through electrical safety awareness and education, we can all play a part in preventing electrical hazards and injuries in the future. Together, let’s plug into safety this May.

BECi is the distribution cooperative that serves the electric needs of more than 40,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in a 7-parish area of southwest and central Louisiana.

 


BECi Donated to United Way of Southwest Louisiana

April 16, 2018

DeRidder— BECi employees donated $13,655 to United Way of Southwest Louisiana. Through this generous donation, United Way of Southwest Louisiana can continue fighting for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community across the region. Pictured from left to right are: Danielle Tilley, Communication Specialist, BECi; Kevin Reeves, Director of Business and Economic Development, BECi; Margaretta Mayes, Information Technology Manager; Kevin Turner, General Manager, BECi; and Felicia Burke, Resource Development Manager, United Way of Southwest Louisiana.

BECi is the distribution cooperative that serves the electric needs of more than 40,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in a 7-parish area of southwest and central Louisiana.

United Way


BECi Announces Scholarship Winners
March 29, 2018

DeRidder— For 25 years, Beauregard Electric Cooperative Inc. (BECi), has randomly selected students within its service area to receive a scholarship to attend a Louisiana University. These funds were made possible through legislative changes in 1993 to allow unclaimed funding to stay in local communities assisting families to further their education.

Since its inception, BECi has awarded 148 students more than $205,000 in scholarships. The results of the scholarship drawing were announced Saturday, March 24, during BECi’s annual meeting at the cooperative’s headquarters in DeRidder.

The following students were chosen for the 2018- 2019 academic school-year:

Cody Seal, graduating senior at Singer High School

Richey Drayden, graduating senior at Sam Houston High School

Bailey Glaze, Jr, graduating senior at Leesville High School

Blake Davenport, graduating senior at South Beauregard High School

Jaci Clouatre, currently attending McNeese State University

Jon Spikes, graduating senior at Sam Houston High School

Kaitlin Alexander, graduating senior at Sam Houston High School

Grace Holt, currently attending McNeese State University

Ethan Miller, graduating senior at Rosepine High School

Tia Thompson, graduating senior at Sam Houston High School.

For more information on BECi’s scholarship program, visit www.beci.org.

BECi is the distribution cooperative that serves the electric needs of more than 40,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in a 7-parish area of southwest and central Louisiana.

 


BECi Directors Elected at Annual Meeting

March 24, 2018

DeRidder - The results of the Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BECi), director elections were announced Saturday during the BECi Annual Membership Meeting at co-op headquarters in DeRidder.

Candidate Stoney Doyle was elected to represent District Four. The race between Candidate Doyle and Incumbent Alan Dane Slaydon was decided in a “drawing by lot” in accordance with BECi Bylaws when the election ended in a tie, both candidates receiving 363 votes. Doyle, a resident of DeRidder, is an air-conditioner technician and business owner. Doyle is an alumnus of East Beauregard High School and Lamar Technical College.   Stoney Doyle
Incumbent director Doug Sonnier was elected to represent District Seven, receiving 510 votes, defeating fellow candidates Dawn Perkins, 183 votes, and James Dale Deshotel, 97 votes. Sonnier, a resident of Oberlin has served on the BECi Board in District Seven since 2000. Sonnier is a full-time farmer and attends Oaklin Springs Baptist Church. Sonnier is the former president of the Allen Parish Police Jury and a former member of the Allen Parish Fair Board and the Allen Action Agency Board. Doug Sonnier
District Two Incumbent Director Dale Peterson was re-elected without opposition. Peterson, a resident of Rosepine and owner/operator of Rosepine Family Pharmacy, has served on the BECi Board in District Two since 2004 and is currently serving as board president.  Peterson, an alumnus of McNeese State University and the University of Louisiana-Monroe, is a member of the Louisiana Pharmacist Association, Fellow of the Society of Consulting Pharmacist, Louisiana Retrospective Drug Reviews, Louisiana Drug Policy and Review Board, St. Joseph Catholic Church, and is a NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director. Peterson is involved with area school programs that include Big Blue Baseball, DeRidder Football and Rosepine Baseball. Mr. Peterson has also coached Dixie Youth Baseball and Optimist Basketball. Dale Peterson

The three directors officially began serving three-years term at Saturday’s annual meeting.

BECi is the distribution cooperative that serves the electric needs of more than 40,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in a 7-parish area of southwest and central Louisiana. For more information on BECi’s Board of Directors and the BECi Bylaws, visit www.beci.org


 

BECi Announces Winners of Essay Contest, Students Win a Trip to Washington D.C.
February 22, 2018

DeRidder— Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BECi), announces the top 15 winners of the 2018 Beauregard Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Essay Contest. Students entered the contest by writing an essay addressing the most important issue facing their generation. BECi received over 50 entries and awarded four of the top 15 winners a trip to Washington, D.C. The winners of the contest who will participate in the Youth Tour are as follows:

  1. Lucy Stark – South Beauregard High School
  2. Gracie Cunningham – South Beauregard High School
  3. Caleb Gore – South Beauregard High School
  4. Jacey Merchant – Pitkin High School

            BECi would also like to offer its congratulations to the following students for placing in the top 15:

  1. Shekinah Jordan, Westlake High School
  2. Austin Wade, DeRidder High School
  3. Kate Cooper, DeRidder High School
  4. Mary Breaux, South Beauregard High School
  5. Madison Thompson, South Beauregard High School
  6. Joshua Colvin, DeRidder High School
  7. Ben Brown, DeRidder High School
  8. Kelly DeHoven, DeRidder High School
  9. Trinity Patton, South Beauregard High School
  10. Colten Denning, DeRidder High School
  11. Emily Ramsey, South Beauregard High School

Billie Stultz, English Teacher at South Beauregard High School, won the $100 teacher incentive for having five or more students submit an essay.

In June, the students will travel to Washington, D.C., where they will join over 1,500 students from 36 states. While in Washington, they will visit the offices of Louisiana's representatives and senators, the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian Institution, the Arlington National Cemetery and many other monuments and historical sites.

BECi invites the public to visit the NRECA Youth Tour website to view photos of current and past tours. To keep up with the latest news from BECi, visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.