Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 5




More help from an old friend
by Barry Hart |


ecently an old friend of Missouri's electric
cooperatives returned to share some good
news. I remember Roger Wilson best as a
state senator, when he was the go-to guy for
help with issues that affected rural people. Later he
was Missouri's lieutenant governor, and he stepped
up to lead Missouri during a difficult time as governor following the death of Gov. Mel Carnahan.
It was Roger who first brought the electric utility industry together to end the wasteful and sometimes dangerous issue of duplicate power lines built
when we fought for every load. Through his leadership, SB 689 allowed Boone Electric and the City of
Columbia to enter into a voluntary territorial agreement. That was so successful the next year the Legislature passed HB 813 that made electric territorial
agreements available statewide.
Roger has been out of the political spotlight for a
number of years. But when I asked him to speak at
the annual meeting of the Association of Missouri
Electric Cooperatives he was happy to oblige.

When Roger left public office we all knew he would
not end his work as a public servant. After leaving the governor's office, he converted his annual
political fundraising golf tournament into an event
to raise money to assist the families of law enforcement officers who had died in the line of duty.
The Missouri 10-33 Benevolent Fund, Inc. -
named for the radio code broadcast when an officer needs assistance - has since helped a total of
100 families who have faced the tragedy that comes
with losing a family member who put themselves
in harm's way for the public good. Roger has experience with this type of tragedy. His grandfather,
Boone County Sheriff Roger Isaac Wilson, died in
1933 after being shot by a robbery suspect.
The fund's mission statement was intentionally
written as broadly as possible to include all public safety officers. This has allowed assistance for
a wide range of public servants, including local
law enforcement, highway patrol, EMTs, National
Guard soldiers, park rangers, conservation agents,
firefighters, corrections officers, mental health and
MoDOT workers.
Roger's presentation to the electric cooperative leaders was an
announcement that electric cooperative and municipal utility lineman
families would be added to the list
of those qualifying for assistance. "It
occurred to me your linemen take a
lot of risk," Roger said at the meeting. "If one co-op has a disaster,
everyone goes to assist. My thought
is that makes them a good candidate for inclusion in this fund."
Brent Stewart, AMEC's in-house
attorney, presented Roger with a
check for $1,000 from Burlington
Northern-Santa Fe Railroad, which

moves coal to our power plants. Brent had contacted one of the railroad's executives about Roger's
announcement and BNSF wanted to support our
linemen. Brent did the legal work creating the fund
without charge and has since served as secretary
and board member.
Including linemen families came about after the
Legislature passed changes to the state's "MoveOver Law" in this past session. The law now covers
utility workers making emergency repairs or doing
routine line maintenance along Missouri's roadways. Simply put, when you see our trucks with
flashing lights on the side of the road, move over if
you can do so safely. If not, slow down.
The 10-33 Fund is one of those things we hope
never needs to be used. But if the time does come,
it is nice to know there is help for these families,
thanks to the support of an old friend. You can learn
more about the Missouri 10-33 Benevolent Fund at or on Facebook.
Hart is executive vice president of the Association
of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.


See tracks? Think train!
by Tim Hull |


bout every three hours, a person or vehicle
is hit by a train. Missouri Operation Lifesaver is working to change
people's behavior around railroad tracks and crossings with the
national public awareness campaign,
"See Tracks? Think Train!"
Ever stopped to consider the dangers involved with crossing highwayrail grade intersections or trespassing on railroad property? At Missouri
Operation Lifesaver, we have.
We know that injuries and fatalities
that occur at highway rail crossings
or on railroad property are a real, but
often preventable, problem. Welcome
to Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit
organization providing public educaTim
tion programs in all 50 states to prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around
railroad tracks and highway rail grade crossings.
Operation Lifesaver began in 1972 when the
average number of collisions at U.S. highway rail
grade crossings had risen above 12,000 incidents
annually. To address this, the Idaho governor's
office, along with the Idaho Peace Officers and

Union Pacific Railroad, launched a six-week public
awareness educational campaign called Operation
Lifesaver. After Idaho's crossing-related fatalities
fell that year by 43 percent, the successful program
was adopted by Nebraska in 1973,
Kansas and Georgia the following year
and Missouri in 1978. Within a decade
it had spread around the country.
Today Operation Lifesaver's network of authorized volunteer speakers and trained instructors offer free
rail safety education programs in 50
states. We speak to school groups,
driver education classes, community
audiences, professional drivers, law
enforcement officers and emergency
responders. Our programs are cosponsored by federal, state and local
government agencies, highway safety
organizations and America's railroads.
Together we promote the three E's -
education, enforcement and engineering - to keep
people safe around the tracks and railway crossings
within our communities.
Trains are among the most efficient transportation available. U.S. Department of Transportation
projections of substantial increases in rail transport
over the next three decades mean we, along with

rail safety partners in the rail industry and at the
federal, state and local levels, must work together
to meet the safety challenges that accompany a rail
renaissance. As advanced technology helps build
quieter, faster trains, our responsibility to teach
people how to be safe around them increases, too.
At Operation Lifesaver, we're committed to raising awareness and improving public safety on and
around highway rail grade crossings and tracks
through public awareness and education; we're
committed to saving lives.
Do you have a group that would benefit from a
free presentation on highway rail grade crossing
safety and rail trespass prevention? No problem.
Operation Lifesaver's network of authorized volunteers offers free rail safety programs.
Our trained volunteers are located throughout
the state. To request a program for your group, just
go online at and click on the request a
safety presentation icon.
You also can help make your community safer
by becoming an Operation Lifesaver Authorized Volunteer at
Applicants will receive an email telling them how to
go to the next step in the process, online training.
Hull is Missouri's Operation Lifesaver executive


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2017

Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Intro
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 3
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 4
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 5
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 6
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 7
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 8
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Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover4