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Xcel Flies To Check Power Lines

Brad Williams

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MOST OF THE YEAR, AN AIRPLANE IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE JOB…

BUT IN THE EARLY SPRING, WHEN XCEL ENERGY GETS READY TO REPAIR POWER LINES IN THE AREA, IT SENDS OUT A HELICOPTER FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT POSSIBLE DAMAGE. XCEL MAINTENANCE SUPERVISOR RALPH MELGARD SAYS ONE REASON FOR THE ADVANCE NOTICE ABOUT LOW-LEVEL FLIGHTS IS BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT POWER PLANTS AND PRISONS TO THINK SOMEBODY’S PLANNING A SNEAK ATTACK.  MELGARD ALSO SAYS FARMERS WITH ANIMALS THAT ARE SCARED BY CHOPPERS WILL GET SUFFICIENT NOTICE BEFORE THE INSPECTION FLIGHTS.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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