Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


Top 10 stories on The Wire in 2019

January 6, 2020 | Laura King-Homan | OPPD at work
20190502 Wire

Flooding, economic development announcements, and day-to-day work, 2019 was a busy year at OPPD. And it was a year when the utility spotlighted the every day work employees do for customers and communities.

The Wire was where customers could come to learn about this work, and get an inside look at their public power utility. Here are the 10 most popular stories on the website based on page views.

KC lineman rodeo

10. International Lineman Rodeo in Kansas City. The event hosts hundreds of lineman from around the country and world – and OPPD brought home two first-place finishes. Meet the team.

Fort Calhoun employees
Eli Schiessler at OPPD’s Papillion Service Center.

9. Former Fort Calhoun Station employees find new OPPD homes. More than 70 former FCS employees now work elsewhere at the utility, keeping skilled workers within OPPD. Hear their story.

C&I_Wizard_homepage EARLY 2

8. Google unveils new Sarpy data center. OPPD was key to attracting the internet company to its service territory. Go inside the celebration.

COM_Kevin McCormick_with granchild
Kevin McCormick and his granddaughter Jamison.

7. CPR training saved Kevin McCormick’s life. The senior director of safety at OPPD is alive today after a heart attack thanks to his wife’s knowledge of CPR. It’s a message he wants everyone to know.

MISC_Fremont Crew_homepage
Front row, from left, Dustin Cabrera, Dave Huston, Dale Kurtenbach, Bruce Hamel, Clayton Auer; back row, from left, Dave Post, Kevin Schulze, Brian Kramer, Travis Grell. Taken at OPPD’s Elkhorn Service Center March 28, 2019. Photo by Larry Larson

6. Crew stays amid floodwater to provide service. During the historic flooding in March 2019, one OPPD found themselves stranded in Fremont – so they kept working. But they say it’s “nothing special.”

falcon webcam

5. Falcons get their close-up. A pair of peregrine falcons living at OPPD’s North Omaha Station now have their own live webcam. Customers can now get an up-close look at their daily lives.

utility-scale solar
Solar panels at OPPD’s community solar installation.

4. Here comes more sun. In October 2019, OPPD’s board of directors approved the utility pursuing utility-scale solar. Here’s how it will integrate in the utility’s generation mix.

OUT_Mutual Aid Dorian 2019_group meeting
OPPD employees meet before heading south to assist utilities with Hurricane Dorian. Credit: Joe Comstock

3. When mutual aid calls, OPPD responds. As Hurricane Dorian bore down on the East Coast, OPPD crews were ready to lend a hand.

tree maintenance services, A tree-trimming employee hangs from a tree while trimming.


2. An “oldie” but a goodie. The second-most-popular post of 2019 is one that has been around a while, it was first published in 2017. But it’s a topic readers are curious about: who is responsible for tree trimming.

20190502 Wire
May 1, 2019, 9:43 a.m.: A line crew from Humboldt installed equipment for a new electric service near Tecumseh. It’s an example of the work crews do every day beyond the Omaha metro area.

1. Every day, everywhere. In the spring of 2019, The Wire chronicled in near-real time the work OPPD employees do every day to serve their customers and communities. The series ran for 42 consecutive days and gave an inside look at the work being done. Peak behind the curtain.

Author Image

About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the managing editor of The Wire and a communications specialist at the Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Laura King-Homan >

Leave a Comment


How Does That Work?


Leading the Way

Powerful Life


Working for You