Charles “Kayo” Murphy, at 88 years young, was at the controls in 1975 the first time AEP’s Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 reached “criticality” (a sustained nuclear fission chain reaction), and is still going strong. Murphy retired from AEP in 1988 after a long career at both Cook and the Clinch River Plant.
The Herald-Palladium newspaper in Michigan recently published an interesting story about Murphy’s life and career. Read the story in its entirety.
AEP employees and retirees were honored for their military service November 11 as Veterans Day commemorations were held across the AEP System. At various locations, veterans enjoyed food and refreshments, received letters of appreciation from AEP Chairman, President and CEO Nick Akins, recognition pins, coffee travel mugs, and information about the AEP Military Veteran Employee Resource Group. Here’s a look at some of the events that honored our veterans.
About 70 military veteran employees enjoyed a breakfast buffet in the 1 Riverside Plaza cafeteria November 11 featuring presentation of the colors by a U.S. Navy honor guard from the Navy Operational Support Center in Columbus, Ohio. Scott Smith, senior vice president – Transmission, and Trevor Sthultz, energy coordinator I, expressed their appreciation to military veterans, noted AEP’s enhancement of its military leave pay policy, and encouraged employees to become members in the AEP Military Veterans Employee Resource Group. Smith is an executive sponsor of the MVERG and Sthultz is co-chair of the group.
AEP River Operations
AEP River Operations held an event to recognize its employee military veterans at its Chesterfield, Mo., office. Employees recognized at the office were Mike Brashier and Dave Guyton (Navy), Nick Prehm and Bill Johnson (Army).
The AEP Texas Veterans Day Celebration was held November 11 with refreshments served at the Corpus Christi home office.
Amos Plant — Employee military veterans at John Amos Plant in Winfield, W.Va., wanted to do something special to “pay it forward” for Veterans Day. Dave Wickline, Amos Plant manager, Chuck Mathews, senior HR consultant, and Jim Bays, energy production supervisor, visited the Veterans Home in Huntington, W.Va., November 12. The trio took three veterans and some of the staff out to lunch and presented them with a check. Mathews and Bays are veterans. A lunch was held November 14 at the plant to recognize all Amos veterans with coffee mugs, pins and appreciation letters, with Wickline and the plant management team present.
Beckley – Employees in Beckley and Hico, W.Va., attended a Veterans Recognition Breakfast at the Beckley Service Center Auditorium to recognize and honor local employee military veterans. A short recognition ceremony was held and biscuits were served.
Christiansburg — The Christiansburg District Recognition Team hosted a lunch November 11 for all AEP veteran employees who work in the Christiansburg District, regardless of their business unit, at the Pulaski Service Center, Pulaski, Va. Veterans from Transmission, Generation, Distribution and other supporting organizations were invited to attend.
Fieldale, Lynchburg, Rocky Mount — Employee military veterans were recognized at the Lynchburg Service Center in Lynchburg, Va., with a breakfast and a presentation thanking them for their service. The Rocky Mount and Fieldale service centers in Virginia also held breakfast celebrations for veterans.
Huntington and Hurricane — Employees gathered for a breakfast at the Huntington District Service Center in Huntington, W.Va. At the Hurricane Customer Operations Center in Hurricane, W.Va., a large banner was displayed with photos and names of employees who are military veterans.
Mountaineer Plant and Sporn Plant — Military veteran employees at Mountaineer Plant and Sporn Plant, both located in New Haven, W.Va., assembled in the Mountaineer cafeteria November 11 to be recognized by plant management. Veterans received recognition pins, letters of appreciation and Lowe’s gift cards.
Roanoke – Employees gathered at the Roanoke Service Center in Roanoke, Va., for a Veterans Day celebration. Veterans who were present included Gerald Swanson and Scott Deaner of Roanoke, as well as Dan Fields, a network mechanic from North Charleston. The program, prepared by Robbie Pierce, included a video with the history of Veterans Day, a speech by Ronald Reagan commending our service men and women and a commemoration of D-Day. Four veterans could not attend: Tony Wiseman, Luke Mason, Todd All and Les Okes. The John W. Vaughn Center in Roanoke recognized veterans with a cake celebration and a thank you card signed by all employees of their business unit.
Cardinal Plant, in Brilliant, Ohio, held a Veterans Day celebration luncheon to honor the 37 plant veterans, three Regional Service Organization home-based veterans, and several contractor veterans as well. Fred Koehler, father of Steve Koehler, Cardinal Plant maintenance planner, was the guest of honor. Fred is a World War II U.S. Army veteran who served with G Company, 11th Infantry, and fought on the European front, being involved shortly after D-Day (June 6, 1944). He was part of the Battle of the Bulge and served in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and the Northern Apennines. Fred shared some of his experiences with the group of veterans including excerpts from the speech General George S. Patton delivered to the troops just prior to their departure from a base in Ireland.
Gavin Plant, in Cheshire, Ohio, recognized its military veteran employees with a card of appreciation signed by Plant Manager Dave Hoffman and a restaurant gift card that can be used anytime by the employee, presented to each military veteran employee.
Indiana Michigan Power
Cook Nuclear Plant — D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant, in Bridgman, Mich., honored its 365 military veteran employees with a listing of each of their names in the plant’s Daily Plan-It newsletter on November 11.
Fort Wayne — Indiana Michigan Power invited all I&M employees to a reception November 11 at One Summit Square to honor military veteran employees, with cake and punch served.
Tanners Creek Plant — Employees and retirees met at Tanners Creek Plant in Lawrenceburg, Ind., for a Veterans Day Luncheon November 11. The plant’s retired military veterans were invited to come in and have lunch with employees. P.G. Gentrup, a Tanners Creek retiree and military veteran, spoke to the group. Gentrup brought with him Brett Bondurant, a local veteran who lost both legs at the age of 19 in Afghanistan, and his grandfather, Jerry Bondurant.
Ashland — Kentucky Power recognized employee military veterans in a morning breakfast meeting November 11 at the Ashland Service Center, Ashland, Ky. Employees enjoyed fruit, danish, donuts, juice and coffee.
Big Sandy Plant — Big Sandy Plant’s 12th Annual Veterans Day Celebration was held at the plant in Louisa, Ky., on November 11. Approximately 23 veterans were in attendance. Students from Louisa Elementary School were on hand to play recorders and sing patriotic songs. Refreshments were served and each veteran received a gift.
Public Service Company of Oklahoma
Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) has honored a number of employee military veterans with photos and profiles in the Inside PSO news blog, including Gary Knight, vice president – PSO Generation; Rick Nelson, technician – IT Support, McAlester; Brian Daly, general servicer, Elk City; Mike Hixson, manager – Community Affairs, Weatherford; and Erik Scott, manager – Comanche Station, Lawton. Nearly 200 PSO employees are military veterans; Knight is co-chair of the AEP Military Veteran Employee Resource Group (MVERG).
A Veterans Day program was held November 11 in the Braves Council Room at the PSO General Office in Tulsa, including breakfast, presentation of the colors by the Central High School Navy Junior ROTC, patriotic songs by Central High School’s ensemble, a veterans’ group photo, and insights on military service.
The event was followed by the annual Tulsa Veterans Day Parade. PSO was represented in the parade by military veteran employees who walked alongside a line truck. PSO power plants and service centers also held local recognition events.
Southwestern Electric Power Company
Texarkana MRO — The Texarkana Meter Revenue Operations group recognized local veterans with a special breakfast and presented them a letter from Nick Akins thanking them for their dedication and service to our country. SWEPCO veterans included Kameron Smith (Army), and Ricky Wright (Air Force) from Supply Chain; and Edward Forsaith (Navy), Benzel Shivers (Army and Navy), Michael Hopkins (Army), and Howard Brewer (Navy), all from MRO in Texarkana.
Welsh Power Plant — Welsh Power Plant, in Pittsburg, Texas, celebrated with a pancakes and eggs breakfast for about a dozen attendees, prepared by cooks Kenny McGill and Rick Wiltse. Alice Cogburn, Vickie Glenn and Michelle Morris assisted with serving the meal. Bo Harris, energy production superintendent, thanked employees for their service and handed out veterans pins and mugs.
AEP employees in Central Ohio were recently thanked for delivering nutritious meals and making friendly visits through LifeCare Alliance’s (LCA) Meals-on-Wheels program.
Brian Tierney, AEP executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Rich Mueller, vice president – Audit Services, both Executive Champs for the Meals-on-Wheels program, sponsored two appreciation breakfasts for the approximately 100 employees who participate in the program, one at AEP Headquarters in Columbus and one in Gahanna.
|Whitehall, Ohio, resident Henry Stone is a recipient of the Meals-on-Wheels program. Stone has been woodworking for over half a century and made the AEP volunteers on the route a pineapple tray to carry hot meals to the clients of LCA. Photo by Gail Klauck-Jacobs.|
LCA provides health and nutrition services to the homes of aged and chronically ill individuals. AEP volunteers from the Arena building, Gahanna offices and 1 Riverside Plaza deliver meals five days a week during their lunch hours.
AEP is in its 11th year of participation in the Corporate Route program. Deliveries are made to residents at Jaycee Arms and Nazareth Tower, two housing complexes for senior citizens in downtown Columbus, and on driving routes in Gahanna and on the west side of Columbus.
“AEP’s volunteer efforts save LifeCare Alliance, a not-for-profit organization, $48,000 to $60,000 annually,” Mueller said. In addition to the Meals-on-Wheels volunteers, AEP has supported LifeCare Alliance by funding the purchase of new cooking kettles, facility lighting upgrades and providing in-kind print services.
Chuck Gehring, LifeCare Alliance president and chief executive officer, and Pauli Tice, LCA director of volunteer services, attended the breakfasts to thank AEP employees for volunteering to deliver meals during the week — often a difficult time to find volunteers to assist.
Sherry Hill, a regulatory analyst in Regulatory Operations for AEP Ohio, serves as Corporate Route Coordinator for the AEP volunteers and has done so since the program began. Hill is dedicated to the program and contributes greatly to its success. “We are always looking for more volunteers,” she said.
“I would think that if employees know that the commitment is so small versus the huge impact that we make on someone’s day, more employees would participate,” said Deborah Harris, AEP Ohio underground damage prevention lead, who delivers meals for LCA. “They do not have to commit to a daily or even a weekly schedule – once a month for an hour during lunch is all that is asked.”
Tierney and Mueller said they are always looking for more volunteers for this worthwhile community service and are hopeful they will garner enough support to add another route. For more information or to volunteer with the program in Central Ohio, contact Hill at email@example.com.
(Story by Allison Barker)
ROANOKE, Va. — As the foliage begins to fade each fall, talk about football playoffs, from community recreation leagues to college sports, swings into full gear. In the Roanoke area, young athletes with dreams of making it big gather at Walrond Park, where the athletic field is now known as Bobby Ragland Football Field.
Named this year for Appalachian Power Company retiree Bobby Ragland, the Roanoke County field has been home to countless games, many of them coached by Ragland. For more than 40 years, Ragland, 79, served as a volunteer baseball, football and basketball coach through the North Roanoke Recreation Club, leading 97 teams and compiling a 900-445-18 record. He also spent two years coaching at other rec clubs in Villa Heights, Williamson Road and Salem. He has donated countless hours of practice and games to the community.
“You meet some of the best people in the world on the sports field and gyms,” Ragland told WSLS-TV, when honored by the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors. The move did not come easy as county leaders said they typically don’t name fields after people who are still alive.
“I told them just forget about it,” Ragland said. “I’d rather be alive and not have a field.”
But former players and rec club members, including Roanoke County Supervisor Butch Church, persisted. Perseverance and discipline are qualities many learned from Ragland. Since 2001, the longtime athlete has battled colon cancer and other health issues. His actions and words continue to encourage others to never give up.
“Do what is right, do the best you can and treat other people the way you want to be treated,” Ragland said. “If you do that you will come out winners regardless of what the score is on the scoreboard.”
Ragland retired from his draftsman position at Appalachian Power at 60 in 1995. He and his wife, Becky, have been married 54 years, and have three children and four grandchildren.
AEP provides a pay differential for its employees in the Reserves and National Guard to attend mandatory training undertaken to maintain current military status. Recognizing recent changes in military training requirements, this reimbursement will no longer be subject to a limit of 10 days per year nor a one-year employment requirement.
The eligible training now includes weekend, or a series of weekends in addition to the week-long training previously included. It must occur during regularly scheduled work hours and work days to be considered for the differential. The pay differential will be equal to the difference between the military pay earned during the required training and the amount of the employee’s AEP annual base salary.
The revised policy became effective November 1, 2014.
“AEP is proud of our employees who serve in the military and appreciates the sacrifices they make for our country,” said Scott Smith, senior vice president – AEP Transmission Grid Development & Portfolio Services. “These benefit enhancements were made due to feedback from the AEP Military Veterans Employee Resource Group, and they add to the many ways that AEP supports its employees who must periodically participate in military training activities.”
AEP has approximately 1,882 employees who have served or are serving in the military out of its employee population of approximately 18,138.
(Story by Ann Marie Keifer)
Have you witnessed someone walking in a crosswalk while texting? Has someone engrossed in his or her phone almost run into you in the hallway? Or, have you seen the video of a person walking into a water fountain in the mall because they were too busy texting? These are examples of why texting and walking are a dangerous combination.
“When texting, you’re not as in control with the complex actions of walking,” said Dr. Dietrich Jehle, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Buffalo in New York, in a press release. “While talking on the phone is a distraction, texting is much more dangerous because you can’t see the path in front of you.”
Healthline.com referenced an Ohio State University study, which found that adults under 30, mainly those between the ages of 16-25, are more at risk for cell phone related injuries while walking.
A separate study found that when people used their cell phones while walking, they were 61 percent more likely to veer off course and 13 percent more likely to overshoot their target than when they were not distracted.
AEP is taking these dangers seriously and have created a couple of visual reminders to help employees to keep their heads up and eyes on the path in front of them.
“While we don’t know of any serious accidents that have happened on-the-job from texting while walking, it is important to educate employees about the risks and have them take the message home to their families, especially their kids,” said Ken Frazier, vice president, Safety and Health. “Our commitment to off-the-job safety also is an important component of Zero Harm.”
AEP Service Corporation
Patrick Hurst, 57, Ceredo Plant, died Sept. 25.
Kevin Landis, 44, John E. Dolan Lab, died Sept. 14.
AEP River Operations
Lyle Moore, 67, AEP River Operations, died Aug. 29.
Betty Simpkins, 58, AEP River Operations, died Sept. 10.
John Bell, 79, retired, Stuart Office, died Sept. 7.
Clay Ferguson, 49, Glen Lyn Plant, died Sept. 28.
Frank Grogan, 76, retired, Fieldale Office, died Sept. 18.
James Lowery, 88, retired, Beckley Service Center, died Sept. 27.
John Morefield, 82, retired, Abingdon Service Center, died Sept. 21.
James Wolford, 72, Smith Mountain Hydro Plant, died Sept. 21.
Columbus Southern Power
Billy Birchem, 88, retired, 850 Tech Center, died Sept. 30.
Larry Butterfield, 73, retired, 850 Tech Center, died Sept. 2.
Glenn Horton, 78, retired, 850 Tech Center, died Sept. 25.
John Rinehart, 77, retired, 850 Tech Center, died Sept. 25.
Robert Wagner Jr., 88, 850 Tech Center, died Sept. 28.
Indiana Michigan Power
Estella Canales, 71, Spy Run Service Center, died Sept. 25.
Thomas Welling, 69, Tanners Creek Plant, died Sept. 27.
Ronald Blair, 69, Robert E. Matthews Service Center, died Sept. 15.
Charles Faulk Jr., 59, Gavin Plant, died Sept. 16.
Bubby Herdman, 82, retired, Gavin Plant, died Sept. 10.
Donald Journey, 80, retired, Portsmouth Service Center, died Sept. 20.
Andrew Mitchell, 49, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died Sept. 17.
Edna Moore, 76, retired, Kammer Plant, died Sept. 27.
Jack Owens, 85, retired, Southern Ohio Coal Company, died Sept. 28.
Jack Upton, 85, retired, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died Sept. 26
Donald Wilson, 67, Muskingum River Plant, died Sept. 18.
Robert Zani, 90, retired, Cardinal Plant, died Sept. 26.
Public Service Company of Oklahoma
Herman Braswell, 87, retired, Tulsa General Office, died Aug. 29.
James Ford, 67, Tulsa General Office, died Sept. 23.
Marie Park, 87, retired, Tulsa General Office, died Sept. 21.
Lloyd Rich, 63, retired, Duncan Service Center, died Sept. 11.
Southwestern Electric Power
Raymond Cason, 89, retired, Shreveport General Office, died Sept. 4.
Jewell Craig, 81, retired, Shreveport General Office, died Sept. 23.
William Jones, 83, retired, Shreveport General Office, died Sept. 30.
Frank Dugi, 86, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died Aug. 20.
W. H. Fischer, 86, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died Sept. 26.
Richard Fishbeck, 64, La Palma Power Station, died Sept. 6.
Elroyce Metting, 76, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died Sept. 7.
Donald Worley, 81, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died Sept. 8.
Dorothy Harper, 93, retired, Abilene General Office, died Aug. 5.
H.F. Reeves, 89, retired, Abilene General Office, died Sept. 19.
Curtis McGhee Sr., Wheeling Service Building, retired Sept. 1 after 41 years of service.
AEP Service Corporation
Gary Ekwall, Central Operations Center, retired Sept. 26 after 10 years of service.
Michael McCallin, AEP Headquarters, retired Sept. 9 after 34 years of service.
Thomas Savage, AEP Headquarters, retired Aug. 1 after 12 years of service.
Mary Evans, Beckley Service Center, retired Sept. 1 after 35 years of service.
James Rose Jr., Mountaineer Plant, retired Sept. 21 after 34 years of service.
Indiana Michigan Power
Brian Bauman, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired Sept. 2 after 22 years of service.
Doyle Genet, Rockport Plant, retired Sept. 13 after 25 years of service.
Richard Hawkins, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired Sept. 3 after 14 years of service.
Gregory Holbury, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired Sept. 1 after 13 years of service.
Dennis Hutchinson, Rockport Plant, retired Sept. 1 after 40 years of service.
Terry Whitehurst, Marion Service Center, retired Sept. 1 after 40 years of service.
William Edwards, Muskingum River Plant, retired Sept. 6 after 43 years of service.
Jeffrey Fiber, Cardinal Plant, retired Sept. 1 after 34 years of service.
Donald Haer, Canton Eastern Regional Office, retired Sept. 20 after 28 years of service.
Roy Johnson, Gavin Plant, retired Sept. 1 after 31 years of service.
Renee Trawick, Canton Eastern Regional Office, retired Sept. 18 after 40 years of service.
Southwestern Electric Power
Michael Dyke, Welsh Plant, retired Sept. 1 after 33 years of service.
Twyman Banks, John W. Vaughan Center, retired Sept. 26 after 42 years of service.
Randolph Jefferson, McAlester Operations Center, retired Sept. 1 after 36 years of service.
Lloyd Mikels Jr., Bluefield (Va.) Service Center, retired Sept. 1 after 35 years of service.
(Story by Tracy K. Warner)
Like many people, Zac Netherton didn’t know it was possible for living people to donate a liver.
But when a family member began spreading word that an infant relative needed a liver transplant, Netherton did some research and learned that it was possible to donate part of his liver and it would re-grow, both for the donor and for the recipient.
Elias Fosler, son of Netherton’s cousin, Tony Fosler, was born with biliary atresia, a pediatric liver disease, and his conditioned worsened after birth. Time was running out.
“I thought if it was possible, I’d feel bad if I didn’t do anything,” said Netherton, an AEP Transmission engineering technician based at the Spy Run Service Center in Fort Wayne, Ind. “I just felt like I was in a good position to do it.”
The Foslers, from Columbus, Ohio, and Netherton traveled to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in late February for the operation. Now 15-months old, Elias is very active and doing great, his mom, Amber Fosler, reports.
“Our families have trouble expressing the gratitude we feel for Zac because it is so overwhelming what he did for us,” she said. “Zac’s selfless gift saved Elias’s life and gave our families hope.”
(Story by Tammy Ridout)
AEP continues to move full speed ahead on its advocacy efforts around the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants.
The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, proposed in June, aims to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The proposal outlines a series of “building blocks” to meet state-level emission reduction targets set by the EPA starting in 2020.
|The EPA’s Clean Power Plan aims to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.|
“The EPA’s proposed rule is vastly different than any previous emissions reduction program in the way it is structured, and many of the assumptions the EPA made in the building blocks of the proposal are flawed,” said John McManus, vice president – Environmental Services. “We are working through every possible avenue to encourage the EPA to rework its proposed rule to include more realistic emission reduction requirements and a more reasonable timeline for compliance.”
Last month, an AEP team from the Columbus and Washington offices, led by Dennis Welch, executive vice president and chief external officer; Mark McCullough, executive vice president – Generation; Tony Kavanagh, senior vice president – Federal Affairs; Bob Bradish, vice president – Transmission Grid Development; and McManus, briefed government officials on a recent analysis conducted by AEP Transmission on the potential reliability implications of implementing the EPA’s proposal starting in 2020. The preliminary analysis indicated significant reliability concerns in the PJM Interconnection – similar to those that were recently identified by the Southwest Power Pool – that will need to be addressed.
The meetings included the following groups:
- EPA – Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Janet McCabe and staff
- FERC – Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Commissioner Tony Clark, and commission staff
- Department of Energy – Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman and staff
- Senate – Staff from Mitch McConnell and Joe Manchin’s offices; staff from the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, Environment & Public Works Committee, and Republican Policy Committee.
“We made it clear that the current schedule for implementation of the proposed rule doesn’t allow time for the type of evaluation and mitigation that will need to happen to ensure reliability – especially as a large number of power plants are retired in the next few years and replacement generation is added to the grid,” Bradish said.
This was one of a number of efforts across the AEP system over the past several months to help regulators, policy makers and others at the state and federal levels understand the potential impact of the EPA’s proposed rule.
AEP’s operating company leaders have been active in discussions about the proposed rule with state regulatory agencies, other utility companies, lawmakers, governors, attorneys general, mayors, city councils, chambers of commerce, media, business customers, lions clubs, rotary clubs, regional transmission organizations, and many other stakeholders.
A team of AEP experts continues to develop extensive written comments that will be submitted to the EPA by the Dec. 1 comment deadline.
“If you haven’t already done so, we encourage employees to take a few minutes to submit their own comments to the EPA and Congress through AEP’s advocacy website,” McManus said. “It’s important for our employees’ voices to be heard on this issue since it will have a major impact on our business.”
Employees can visit https://www.aepadvocacy.com/ to provide their comments through Dec. 1.