Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is November 21, 2018

Energy Smart names Builder of the Year

Conway Corp named Rush-Hal Properties the 2015 Energy Smart Builder of the Year for their dedication to building energy-efficient homes in the Conway community.

Energy Smart homes use less energy than standard-built homes and help save homeowners money and energy for years to come.  

Conway Corp recognized 19 homes built by Rush-Hal Properties as being Energy Smart in 2015. Rush-Hal has several additional homes that will meet Energy Smart standards planned for construction in the Salem Woods Subdivision in 2016. 

“Rush-Hal Properties has been committed to building homes that meet or exceed Conway Corp Energy Smart criteria since the Energy Smart New Home program was developed in 2009,” Conway Corp Major Accounts and Energy Efficiency Manager David Avra said.

Energy Smart specifications are based on the United States Department of Energy recommendations. Energy Smart homes can save 20 to 30 percent energy use over a standard built home thanks to a variety of energy-efficient features including insulation, high-performance windows, tight ducts and efficient heating and cooling equipment.

“The 19 Energy Smart homes built by Rush-Hal Properties in 2015 will save customers over $7,500 per home over its life expectancy,” Avra said. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is November 21, 2018

Planting & trimming trees near power lines

A shade tree is nice to have a hot summer day, but tree limbs and power lines aren’t good neighbors – especially when storms bring lightning, high winds or ice. Limbs that touch or fall on power lines can cause power outages. That’s why it’s so important to plant the right trees in the right place.

Start with a plan

When selecting a tree or shrub to plant, it’s just as important to consider what you plant as it is where you plant. The right tree or shrub, planted in the right place, can give you years of beauty and value without the potential dangers of getting too close to power lines. Be aware of power lines in your area and consider the final height and width of the vegetation you’re planting when it’s fully grown.

Overhead Power Lines

To get power to homes and businesses, Conway Corp relies on overhead and underground distribution lines. Overhead utility lines are the easiest to see and probably the ones we take most for granted. Although these lines look harmless enough, they can be extremely dangerous. Planting tall growing trees under and near these lines will ultimately require pruning to maintain safe clearance from the wires. It’s important to know the maximum allowable height of the tree and the minimum distance you can plant from the pole to eliminate potential public safety hazards and reduce service problems from trees interfering with power lines.

There are four planting zones around distribution lines that are important to remember while choosing a tree and location:

No Tree Zone – Twenty feet on either side of the pole for distribution lines. No trees should be planted in this area.

Low Tree Zone – Twenty feet to 40 feet away from the pole. The maximum height at maturity of vegetation growing in this zone should be less than 25 feet tall.

Medium Tree Zone – Forty feet to 60 feet away from the pole. The maximum height at maturity of vegetation in this zone should be up to 40 feet tall.

Tall Tree Zone – Sixty feet and beyond from the pole. Vegetation taller than 40 feet at maturity should be planted in this zone.

Underground Power Lines

Trees are much more than just what you see overhead. Many times the root area is larger than the branch spread above ground. Large areas of Conway are served by underground power lines, and often tree roots and underground lines co-exist without problems. While trees planted near underground lines could have their roots damaged if the lines need to be dug up for repairs, the biggest danger to underground lines occurs during planting.

Before your shovel ever hits the dirt, make sure you are aware of the location of any underground utilities. To be certain you do not accidentally dig into any lines and risk serious injury or a costly service interruption, call 811 at least three days before you start so the locations of underground service lines can be marked. There is no charge for this service, and the one-call locator will mark all buried electric, gas, water, sewer, cable and telephone lines.

Never assume that these utility lines are buried deeper than you plan to dig because in some cases utility lines are very close to the surface. When you get ready to plant, stay at least 24 inches away from any marked lines and consider the length and depth of the roots of the mature tree.

While planting additional vegetation, keep padmount transformers into consideration. These rectangular green metal cabinets are ground-mounted transformers and have underground power lines approaching them from each and every direction. When planting trees or shrubs in their area, always maintain at least ten feet of clearance from each side to allow for repairs and maintenance.

Tree Trimming

To continue to provide nationally recognized safe and reliable electric service, Conway Corp must occasionally remove brush and trim trees along power lines. These practices are approved by arborists nationwide and allow us to maintain our power lines – before the trees and brush are close enough to cause outages – in a manner that is consistent with good arboricultural practices. In addition, it allows us to maintain the safest working environment possible for our linemen and tree workers by pruning limbs before they reach or come in close contact with energized wires.

Tree trimming around power lines is an extremely hazardous job and is part of our responsibility to ensure safe, reliable electric service to the Conway community. Residents should never attempt to trim trees around live power lines. If you see tree limbs touching power lines or have a question about a tree in your yard, call Conway Corp at 501-450-6000.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is November 21, 2018

CPS Foundation inducts Arnold into Hall of Honor

The Conway Public Schools Foundation inducted Conway Corp CEO Richard Arnold into its Hall of Honor earlier this month for being an outstanding resident who has made a meaningful and lasting contribution to the Conway Public School District.

The foundation’s Hall of Honor recognizes former students, faculty, administrators and community leaders who left their mark on Conway Public Schools. Arnold was recognized as the 2016 Friend to the Conway Public Schools for being instrumental in making the Building the Foundation campaign a success and being a tireless promoter of the efforts of the foundation. 

At the event, Arnold gave credit to Conway Corp which was founded in 1929 to provide support area education.

 “I am sitting with a table of my colleagues tonight who value education and recognize that a great community does not exist if it doesn’t have good schools,” he said. “I recognize that Conway Corp is being honored tonight, and you’ve got a friend of the district forever.”

Arnold started at Conway Corp in 1978, where he served as the manager of the data processing department until he was promoted to manager of finance and accounting. In 1996, he was promoted to chief financial officer and was promoted again to chief executive officer in 1998. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is November 21, 2018

Conway Corp awards single parent scholarships

Conway Corp awarded two scholarships for the Spring 2016 semester during the  Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Faulkner County ceremony held at the Faulkner County Library earlier this month. 

Kristen Hardcastle and Stephanie Williams were awarded $750 each as Conway Corp Scholars.  Hardcastle is pursuing her degree in Human Resources at Central Baptist College, and Williams is pursuing a Political Science degree from the University of Central Arkansas. Both Hardcastle and Williams were selected because of their personal commitments to furthering their education for a better future for their children. 

Conway Corp has supplied $4,000 in scholarships for SPSF of Faulkner County since 2010. 

“We are proud to build on the foundation our company was founded on by supporting education in our community,” Conway Corp CEO Richard Arnold said.

The mission of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund is to enable single parents to attain self-sufficiency through post-secondary education. 

“SPSF scholarships help single parents stay in school so they can get the training and education they need to support their family,” said Suzanne Wiltgen, field director for the Central Region of Arkansas SPSF.  “We couldn’t do this without community support, and we are delighted to have Conway Corp involved in SPSF of Faulkner County.”

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is November 21, 2018

The history of Conway Corp

The story of Conway Corporation is one of continuous growth and development, not only of industry, but of the town. More than 85 years ago, Conway faced an uncertain future as it faced the threat of losing Hendrix College and Central Baptist College. City leaders, businessmen and residents joined together to find a solution to preserve the city’s economically –strapped educational institutions as well as attract future industries and jobs to the area.

A town meeting was held, a committee was selected and eventually a recommendation was made. An article printed in the April 20, 1929 issue of the Log Cabin Democrat gave a detailed account of the meeting and the committee chair’s statement:

“Conway has arrived at a crisis in her history. … Conway is built around her colleges; to remove any of them would … leave her … crippled, if not doomed to die and impair, if not destroy, the civic pride and ambition essential to progress.”

“In its municipal electric light plant, the city of Conway has an asset of inestimable value – one which has many times in past years bridged the city over financial crises. To it, in the belief of this committee, we must now turn in this major crisis.”

The people of Conway agreed and banded together to create a unique vision – one no one had seen before. In the grips of the Great Depression, bonds were sold to create Conway Corp out of the city’s electric utility revenues and to generate enough money to keep the two universities in the city. Since then, those original 1929 monies have been reinvested time and time again to power education, economic growth and countless other projects in our community.

Originally, power was only available between sundown and midnight. No electric meters were used, and customers were billed according to the number of lights they had. Residents were billed 35 cents per month for each 16 candlepower – 25 watt – lamp connected. All power was generated downtown where Conway Corp’s business office is located currently.

As the city grew, so did the needs of citizens in new and different ways. It started with turning the city’s modest Light Department into an economic development engine then expanded into purchasing enough power to support a growing city and finding a reliable way to get water to and from an increasing population. Conway Corp began operating the city’s waterworks system in 1930 and has been continually planning for Conway’s future water needs since.

As technologies advanced, so did Conway Corp’s offerings. Cable was added in 1981, and Conway became the fifth city in North America to have broadband cable Internet service in 1997. Telephone service was added in 2008, and new for 2016 residents can take now advantage of Conway Corp Home Security and Automation Service.

As Conway Corp continues to grow and advance, the people of Conway benefit not only from services but also from profits that are reinvested back into the community. What started as $215,000 worth of bonds given to local education institutions in 1929 has grown into millions of dollars invested and reinvested into the community over the years.

Conway Corp is strongly invested in area education and is committed to providing world-class digital technology and other resources like grants and scholarships to local schools, universities and students. Most recently, Conway Corp pledged $3 million to the University of Central Arkansas for the construction and renovation of the Lewis Science Center which is slated to reopen for students next year.

In 1929, Conway leaders built a framework to benefit future generations over and over again. They created an opportunity powered by Conway Corp and its commitment to this community. Since then, Conway Corp and our employees have worked to honor that commitment and make a difference in the place we call home. We proudly continue the efforts of those leaders in 1929 who captured the spirit of Conway and created a vision of the city powered by Conway Corp. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is November 21, 2018

VOD New Movie Releases - Room

Conway Corp movies are Video OnDemand because they’re ready to watch when you’re ready to watch them. There’s no driving to the store, no checking the mail and no waiting for the latest titles to be available. Movies are digitally streamed to your cable box so you don’t have to worry about DVDs to return or possible late fees.

The best part about Conway Corp VOD movies? Most of them are available to watch weeks before they’re released to Netflix, Redbox and other rental companies. Plus, some of our movies are even available on VOD while they’re still in theatres. They’re easy to watch – access the VOD menu via digital channel 200, select your movie, sit back and enjoy!

This movie was just released and are now available:

Room Held captive for years in an enclosed space, a woman (Brie Larson) and her 5-year-old son (Jacob Tremblay) finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time.

Based on Emma Donoghue’s best-selling and critically-acclaimed novel, Room has been named one of the best films of 2016 by more 60 critics and publications and received four nominations for the 2016 Academy Awards including best picture. Brie Larson won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance in the film. 

Click here to see all the movies currently available OnDemand with Conway Corp.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is November 21, 2018

Employees celebrate milestone anniversaries

We’ve come a long way since we began operating Conway’s electric light plant in 1929, and we owe much of our success to our employees – the men and women who proudly serve this community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

This month, Conway Corp would like to recognize three employees who are celebrating anniversaries and have each been with the company 25 years or more.

Lisa Douglas is celebrating 25 years with Conway Corp. Lisa was hired February 20, 1991 as the Administrative Assistant to the General Manager. In January 1999, she was promoted to her current position as Human Resources Director. Lisa is responsible for organizing, planning, developing and directing the implementation and administration of human resources functions while carrying out policies and procedures relating to all phases of human resources activities.

Linda Johnson is celebrating 25 years with Conway Corp. Linda was hired February 14, 1991 as the Communications Director and was promoted to the Communications Ad Sales Manager in October 1999. In January 2008, she became the Ad Sales, Communications and Marketing Manager and in October 2010 became the Ad Sales and Local Programming Manager. Linda is responsible for managing ad sales efforts as well as local origination programming, leased access and production.

In addition, Water Plant Superintendent Keith Rains is celebrating 27 years of service to Conway Corp and the community. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is November 21, 2018

VOD New Movie Releases - Steve Jobs

Conway Corp movies are Video OnDemand because they’re ready to watch when you’re ready to watch them. There’s no driving to the store, no checking the mail and no waiting for the latest titles to be available. Movies are digitally streamed to your cable box so you don’t have to worry about DVDs to return or possible late fees.

The best part about Conway Corp VOD movies? Most of them are available to watch weeks before they’re released to Netflix, Redbox and other rental companies. Plus, some of our movies are even available on VOD while they’re still in theatres. They’re easy to watch – access the VOD menu via digital channel 200, select your movie, sit back and enjoy!

These movies were just released and are now available:

33 Disaster strikes on August 5, 2010, as a copper and gold mine collapses in Chile, trapping 33 men underground. With more than 2,000 feet of rock in their way, members of a rescue team work tirelessly for 69 days to save the seemingly doomed crew. Beneath the rubble, the miners begin an epic quest to survive, contending with suffocating heat and the need for food and water. With family, friends and the rest of the world watching, it becomes a race against time and a true test of the human spirit.

Black Mass While his brother Bill (Benedict Cumberbatch) remains a powerful leader in the Massachusetts Senate, Irish hoodlum James "Whitey" Bulger (Johnny Depp) continues to pursue a life of crime in 1970s Boston. Approached by FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), the lawman convinces Whitey to help the agency fight the Italian mob. As their unholy alliance spirals out of control, Bulger increases his power and evades capture to become one of the most dangerous gangsters in U.S. history.

Steve Jobs With public anticipation running high, Apple Inc. co-founders Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) and Steve "Woz" Wozniak (Seth Rogen) get ready to unveil the first Macintosh in 1984. Jobs must also deal with personal issues related to ex-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Waterston) and their young daughter Lisa. Eventually fired, Jobs launches NeXT Inc. and prepares to release a new computer model in 1988. Ten years later, Jobs is back at Apple Inc. and about to revolutionize the industry once again with the iMac.

Trumbo In 1947, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was Hollywood's top screenwriter, until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. Also stars Diane Lane, Helen Mirren and Louis C.K. and

Click here to see all the movies currently available OnDemand with Conway Corp. 

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is November 21, 2018

Cooking with fats & oils? Can the Grease

Fats, oils and greases aren’t just bad for arteries and waistlines – they’re bad for sewers too. Fat, oil and grease from cooking and food are a real “pain in the drain” because they all contribute to buildup in pipes and are the major cause of problems like blockages in sewer lines. They may not appear to be harmful, but things like oil, butter, margarine, shortening, pan drippings, dairy products and sauces solidify into masses that can clog sewer lines. This buildup restricts flow and leads to sewer spills which can be extremely expensive for homeowners.

In addition to sewer spills, pouring grease down the drain can lead to other problems as well including clogged drains or toilets; sewage backups into your home; sewer overflows in neighborhood parks, yards and streets; rancid odors; potential contact with bacteria and viruses that can cause illness; expensive cleanup, repair and replacement of damage property and higher operating and maintenance costs for Conway Corp potentially resulting in higher sewer bills for you.

Once in a pipe, grease never goes away. Over time, any household can put enough grease down a drain to clog its pipes and create serious problems. Even a little bit of grease here and there builds up over time and will soon be a problem. Apartments are especially vulnerable to grease clogs because there are so many kitchens draining into the sewer system at one point.

The best way to prevent sewer problems is to never pour fat, oil or grease down the drain. Instead, Conway Corp encourages customers to Can the Grease. Let grease cool down, collect it in a container and throw it away in the trash. You can make your own grease can using any empty metal container like a soup or vegetable can. Just toss the cans after full or use disposable, heat-resistant oven bags and reuse the can. Please use caution when pouring hot grease or wait for it to cool slightly as hot grease can burn skin.

Don’t believe the myth that it’s okay to pour grease down the drain as long as you run hot water at the same time. No amount of hot water keeps grease from eventually congealing, and once it cools it will stick to the walls of the pipes and create expensive and messy problems of sewer backups.

Following a few other dos and don’ts will help you and your neighbors avoid expensive sewer backups, plumbing emergencies and rate increases to cover sewer maintenance and repairs while helping protect water quality in the Conway community.

Dos

  • Recycle used cooking oil or properly dispose of it by pouring it into a sealable container and placing the sealed container in the trash. To recycle large amounts, contact a local recycler or use clay cat litter. Mix the oil a little at a time with the litter. When all the oil has been absorbed, pour the cat litter into a trash bag, seal the bag, then dispose of it in your regular trash.
  • Wipe or scrape your dishes before washing them. Commercial additives in detergents only dissolve grease temporarily.
  • Scrape food scraps from dishes into trash cans, garbage bags or compost piles.
  • Remove excess oils from pots and pans with a paper towel and throw away the towel in a trash can.
  • Remove oil and grease from dishes, pans, fryers and griddles.
  • Use strainers in sink drains when rinsing dishware or peeling or trimming or food to collect small food scraps that would otherwise be washed down the drain then throw away the scraps in the trash.
  • Rinse dishes with cold water before putting them in the dishwasher. Hot water melts the fats, oils and grease off the dishes and into the sewer pipes.

Don’ts

  • Never pour grease down sinks, toilets or any drains including storm gutters or storm drains. Even a tablespoon can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid using your garbage disposal. It grinds food but doesn’t keep grease from going down the drain.
  • Don’t use cloth towels or rags to scrape plates or clean greasy or oily dishware. When you wash them, the grease will still end up in the sewer.

In addition to helping residential customers learn about grease control, Conway Corp works with food service facilities to help prevent grease-related problems by requiring best kitchen practices and guidelines. If you have questions about grease or about sewer system operations and maintenance for residential or commercial accounts, call Conway Corp at 450-6000 or click here to email.

Blog & News from Conway Corporation
Today is November 21, 2018

Carroll earns APPA Public Power Manager certification

Chief Financial Officer Bret Carroll recently earned his Public Power Manager (PPM) certification from the American Public Power Association. 
 
“The public power industry is complex and always changing,” CEO Richard Arnold said. “This APPA program is designed to prepare participants to provide organizational direction and leadership.  
 
This certification demonstrates Bret’s knowledge and skill in this area. We are proud to have him on our leadership team.”
 
To earn his PPM certificate, Carroll completed three required courses and submitted a plan that outlined an issue, challenge or opportunity within Conway Corp and worked through it by applying six key leadership principles: accountability, character, community, empowerment, service and sustainability.
 
Carroll's project resulted in the implementation of credit checks through Online Utility Exchange to ensure fair and accurate customer deposits. 
 
Carroll will be recognized at the APPA National Conference and Public Power Expo in June.

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