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Fall 2010 Newsletter

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Congratulations to our 2010 RG Johnson Open Winners: Vince Kozlowski, Jr., Hercy Willis, Mike Radjenovic and Steve Hanko.
Congratulations to our 2010 RG Johnson Open Winners: Vince Kozlowski, Jr., Hercy Willis, Mike Radjenovic and Steve Hanko.

Annual Golf Outing

Monday, September 27, 2010 dawned a little gloomy and soggy. But the weather could not dampen our spirits. The hardy, golf loving RG Johnson employees still managed to get in a great round of golf at Carmichaels Golf Club. There were 17 Teams of golfers and a few who joined us just for fun.

A new twist was added this year. Jamie was waiting at the 15th hole with a challenge for all who dared. For $5 you could take a shot at being closer to the pin than Jamie's drive. If your shot was closer, you doubled your money and you were also entered into a drawing to win all of the money that she collected from those not lucky or skilled enough to beat her shot. The lucky winner of this drawing was none other than Jeff Stire.

After all of the teams were in, lunch was served. It was catered by Hog Father’s Old Fashion BBQ. All seemed to agree that the food was delicious and plentiful. After lunch was finished and all the lucky winners claimed their prizes, the sun came out and some of our duffers stayed and played another round. It was a great day to catch up with old friends, have fun, relax and play some golf.

Special points of interest:

  • Annual Golf Outing
  • Kennywood 2010 & Bill Evans Retirement
  • Underground year in review
  • Important EOB Information
  • Shafts Year in Review and Future
  • Safety News and Notes
  • Retirement News
  • New Products
  • New Faces
  • RGJ Family News
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Kennywood 2010 - Bill Evans Retirement Ceremony

Kennywood this year was a very colorful event. With RG Johnson employees and their families being over 600 strong...we left a very bright mark on the Kennywood landscape.

Every year the group seems to grow larger and the shirts...well, we will just say...louder. We have outgrown almost two pavilions. With the face painter, balloon blowers and tattoo artist...the great picnic food . . . wonderful weather... and awesome group of people...you couldn't ask for a better day!

This year at Kennywood we were able to send off one of our longtime employees into the abyss called "retirement". Bill Evans, who has worked for RG since February 1991, has decided to hang up his hard hat and metatarsals in exchange for a visor and golf shoes. Bill has worked faithfully for RG for over 19 years doing almost anything asked and only grumbling once in while.

Bill is married to Donna and will be celebrating their 40th anniversary this January. They have two children, Sherri and Jennifer and grandchildren-James, Benjamin, Jacob and Jared and Amber.

We wish them both well . . . especially Donna...who will now have Bill around 24/7. Good Luck, Bill, with your Golf game and the Retirement game!!!

Underground Year in Review

It’s been a busy 2010 for the Underground Team. We’ve had a hand in over 50 diverse projects since January 1. This work high-lights the versatility of R. G. Johnson.

We are proud to have worked almost continuously at Bailey Mine on multiple concrete, shotcrete, and other projects near, and in, the new slope at Crabapple. We’ve also just completed installing sup-port beams inside their coal storage bunker bins. And, we worked at “Old Bailey” (now called BMX) on several projects including a current steel arch/backfill project.

Other teams worked regularly at Cumberland Mine all year. Concrete, shotcrete, steel sets, backfill and other miscellaneous jobs were completed near the new No. 9 shafts. Our backfill of the shaft bottoms was crucial to allowing the mine to go past newly RG Johnson constructed shafts.

We also continue rehabilitation of the conveyor belt entry close to the original portal (No. 1 shaft) and slope. Pumpable cribs and TSL application became new product offerings at Cumberland (see New Products on page 5) We are currently applying shotcrete to mine roof and ribs at Emerald Mine near their No. 9 shaft.

Our teams also helped restore production at Federal No. 2 Mine and Loveridge Mine by drilling holes through mine seals when each mine was shut down. And we completed the support of the Enlow Fork bunker, both in the bins and the lower rib. More bunker area support work was completed at Blacksville as well.

We made multiple shaft repairs at 84 Mine, Blacksville Mine, Loveridge Mine and Shoemaker Mine.

Railroad tunnel rehabilitation is now part of our portfolio with the installation of shotcrete and steel arch supports in a tunnel in Ohio.

We are rehabbing 300 feet of the tunnel and learning cool new phrases like “foul the track”.

Many of these projects were completed by a combination of underground teams and “shafters”. One unique job done by nearly all shafters was the recycling of an old shaft for Dana Mining. Our crew mucked out fill material from the shaft and then we drilled openings in the concrete lining at the new coal seam elevation. We finished the job by spraying shotcrete on the brick curtain wall and in the entry legs, and by installing large plastic pipe lines down the shaft. The former Pittsburgh seam shaft is now being used for ventilation in the Sewickley seam mine.

All of this work was done virtually accident free. Our goal is ZERO accidents and we are doing our best to follow up 2009-when we had zero lost time accidents in over 35,000 man-hours of underground projects.

Important EOB Health Insurance Information

AN EOB. . . . ? Explanation of Benefits from Health Assurance. You’ve gone to the doctor and you received an EOB. Now it’s time to take a look at it and determine if you should send it in to 25 South College St., Washington, PA 15301.

If you have just gone for a regular check-up, chances are that you only owe a co-pay. If that is the case, you are responsible for that amount and you would NOT need to mail the EOB to the office. In this case, there will not be any amount in the deductible column.

For all other services, amounts will be applied toward the $3000/$6000 deductible and will show up in a column listed YOUR DEDUCTIBLE. Until you have reached either the individual or family deductible services other than regular check-ups will not be covered. R. G. Johnson Inc. will send 90% of the deductible amount directly to the provider. You will only owe 10%.

It is VERY important that you mail these in promptly so that your account will remain in good standing.

We have had several cases lately where accounts have been sent to collections because EOB’s have not been sent to the office in a timely manner.

EOB’s are processed in the week they are received and all original documents will be returned to you. Please call Amy Carter with any questions at 724-222-6810 ext-23.

Also, please note that we are no longer reimbursing for prescriptions.

2010 Shafts Year in Review and 2011 Outlook

In the first quarter 2010, we completed Cumberland 9 Intake shaft which marked the end of nearly a two year project. It had some unique blasting and mine related challenges that were met with positive efforts on behalf of both the shaft and underground crews. All customer expectations were met and or exceeded by very positive contributions from all the Cumberland teams.

In the second quarter, we completed the Bailey 5 South 1 Portal shaft and installed the down-hole elevator steel. While mine cut through delayed our start at Bailey 6S1 shaft, by leaving a hoist and derrick at 5S1, we provided ventilation and access to the shaft bottom in a critical time for Bailey’s Mine development plan. In July we made a positive start on Bailey 6S1 shaft; and today we’re encouraged that this effort continues toward a successful completion slated for early next year.

In July we engaged Jim Carpenter as a supervisor development coordinator, where by, on a trial basis, he educates, teaches and learns with all shaft supervisors about our “best practices” expectation. It is our sincere hope that through Jim’s efforts along with our shaft teams, we will enhance knowledge, improve accountability, and further strengthen our shaft staff at RG Johnson Inc. In August, we completed two major ventilation shafts: McElroy 5 North 3 shaft and Loveridge 9 South 3 shaft.

Both shafts finished ahead of schedule and reinforced RG Johnson’s high standards of safe, quality work. Congrats to both projects for jobs well done! And “atta-boys” to Loveridge for no loss time accidents!

In September, we began pre-grouting and mobilization for Bailey 5 South 2 shaft; shaft excavation is expected to start in mid-November. Also, in September, our Southern Team completed a 400 ft shaft for Paramount Coal Virginia; we applaud the safe and diligent work; we applaud successes in a new regulatory environment; we applaud your constant efforts to satisfy the customer in a challenging environment; we applaud the long distance travel efforts by all contributing to another A+ project.

Most noteworthy is recent award of two shafts for a New Mine Complex near Grafton, WV for International Coal Group (ICG); its name is Ty-gart Valley #1 Mine Complex. We will be constructing a 16 ft diameter shaft and a large shaft currently under design review. Additionally, we will assist the start of the mining process by providing excavation, ventilation ingress and egress of men and material supplies, emergency escape, etc. until their operations can take over these services. This project will offer some new and different challenges to our shaft teams, but we look forward to satisfying a new customer with our value added services and positive contributions from all.

Next year, we look forward to potential shaft opportunities with Cumberland 10 shaft, Blacksville Roberts Run Portal, Shoemaker 8S1 shaft, and Bailey Mine Expansion (BMX) shaft. Also, we’ve had preliminary discussions with the Rock Springs Mine (Logan City, WV), Mettiki Mine (Friendsville, MD), LTC Energy (Jerome, PA), and regional mining interests about prospective future projects.

So, in review, 2010 has provided RG Johnson Inc. with lots of opportunities and more importantly, our performance has been safe and strong; thanks to all for making it positive for you and RGJ. In the future, we hope for continued opportunities to strengthen ourselves, our families and our team.

Safety News and Notes

With annual refresher training coming to a close, I want to thank everybody for participating in some of the best sessions I have ever been a part of. It was fantastic to see the level of involvement in this year’s classes. With everybody’s hard work and commitment to a safe environment, we have reduced our number of accidents by almost 50% during 2010! We were also able to complete the construction of Loveridge 9 South #3 Airshaft with Zero lost time accidents. Great Job Guys!

While this improvement is held in high regard, our work is not complete. We have advances to be made in order to reach our goal of zero accidents. If we keep our minds focused on this goal, I’m confident it will be achieved.

With Fall upon us, and year end quickly approaching, let us remember to be safe this winter and take the proper precautions in the inclement weather it brings. I wish you all a happy, healthy, holiday season!

As Always . . .
Think Safe, Be Safe and Live Safe,
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Congratulations on your Retirement, Bruce

Bruce Bennett has pretty much seen it all, and pretty much done it all in the coal business. Now at the age of 70, he has retired. Bruce joined RG Johnson Inc. in 1994 after a long career as a coal miner and production boss. He joined us as a “driller” on a shaft where he worked with great RG Johnson Inc. veterans like George Starkey and Bob Snider and his first boss, night walker, Ralph Thomas. Ironically, Bruce also ended his career working with Ralph.

We knew Bruce was “our man” when we read on his application that one of his hobbies was sky diving. Anyone crazy enough to jump out of planes would surely be a good man for RG Johnson Inc.! Bruce quickly became a key person on our underground team when we expanded that part of the business.

Bruce’s versatility grew with that of RG Johnson Inc. as he and the company expanded into backfill, seals, concrete, shotcrete and so much more. Bruce’s understanding of the changes faced daily in coal mining allowed him to help all of us-from senior management to the newest “red hat”. Never afraid to give his opinion, his “old school” mentality helped many learn about work ethic and doing what it takes to get a tough job done. He would step in to a leadership role when needed. Yet, he accepted other roles, as necessary, to do what was best for the company.

We often heard Bruce come through with an “I’m your man” whenever we needed to respond to a customer. And, we’ll continue to quote him on great Bruce-isms like, “the rock was harder than the hubs of hell”.

Bruce is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp and served his country with honor. It has been an honor for us to work with him. Bruce would like everyone to know that he felt honored to work with all of us at RG Johnson Inc. as well.

Bruce and his wife, Brenda, now live in Morgantown with their young son. We wish them all well and thank Bruce for his service to RG Johnson Inc.
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2010 Retiree—Dan Carter

Elden “Dan” Carter began his career with the old company—THE RG Johnson Company back in December of 1970 on a Bethlehem Steel Job. He started as a driller, working his way up through the company to being a night walker. He stayed with us through the change from old company to the new company, working on and off in various positions in the company. In 1990 Dan became a hoist operator. He did try to retire once before in 1998, however, he could not stay away.

In 2001 he retook his hoist seat. Dan helped out the company in many ways but never as much as being able to man a hoist seat whenever and wherever he was needed. During this time period, he worked on over 30 different jobsites. Always as a valued member of the team! He finally decided that 2010 would be his last year with us.

He is retiring to spend time with his family and to dedicate more time to doing the things that he loves. Dan has been married to his wife, Sylvia, for the past 25 years and they have one child, Brandy. He also enjoys sharing his time with not only her but their grandchildren, Sydknee, Thorn and Ryleigh.

He is an avid hunter, has actually already gotten his first of the season, and will have more time to devote to his favorite pastime. We are sure that he will have an extensive “honey do” list which he will also enjoy.

We would like to thank Dan for his many years of service to the company and wish him much enjoyment in his retirement.
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New Products

RG Johnson Inc. has added two new products to our Solution Set. We are now able to provide three different types of “Pumpable Cribs”. And, we are applying a new polymer-based liner on mine entries called “TSL”.

The J-Crib Pumpable Crib System is used in mines to replace conventional timber crib roof supports. The specialized two component grout is pumped thousands of feet from a surface location to fill cylindrical containment bags that hold up the mine roof. We are in the process of pumping nearly 2,000 of these cylinders in our first full scale job with this particular product.The mixed grout gels in seconds after its two components travel in separate pipe lines from our mixing/pumping surface plant. The J-Crib system joins our Reader Grout Crib System and our Cellucrib System as pumpable crib solutions to meet various needs of our customers.

We are also now applying TSL (thin spray-on liner) which protects mine entries from weathering. Formally called TSL865, the material is a polymer powder that is mixed with water at the spraying nozzle and then applied to the mine roof and ribs. The finished material is about 1/4 inch thick. The thin layer is very strong and bends more like rubber than shotcrete.

The minimal rebound combined with the thin application results in huge material handling savings compared to shotcrete.

Mines have to deliver about 20 pounds of shotcrete to the work site for every 1 pound of TSL at typical finished thicknesses. The lesser quantity requirement also allows for jobs to be completed more quickly and with less men using TSL. TSL won’t replace shotcrete in all applications. Application of shotcrete mixed and pumped from outside surface plants is hard to beat. But, TSL provides an excellent alternative solution when the customer’s goal is to cover the roof and ribs so that air and moisture don’t cause the mine entry to deteriorate.
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New Office Faces

Underground Billing and Accounts Payable

Stephanie Hallowich is a bright light in our RG Johnson Office. She is always smiling and happy to help. Stephanie is originally from Casper, Wyoming. She attended Clarion University where she met her husband, Chris. They moved to this area after graduating college in 1993. Chris is a teacher in the Fort Cherry School district. The two have been married for 15 years and have two wonderful children. Nathan who is nine and Alyson who is six years old. We are all lucky to have Stephanie as a part of the RGJ family.
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New Office Faces 2

Receptionist and Administrative Assistant

Beth Endres joined the RG Johnson family in July of this year. She is a graduate of Hopewell High School in Beaver County, PA and attended Robert Morris College. After moving around the country for a few years, she moved to Washington in 1992. Her husband, Dave, who hails from Cincinnati, OH is employed by Petsmart. The two have been married for 25 years. They have two children. Cody who is 22 years old and Carly who is 19 years old.
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RG Family News Corner

A New Addition: Rob Golden is the proud father of a new baby girl! Olivia Golden was born on October 26 at 4:23am. She is 8lb 2oz and 18 1/2 inches long. She joins her big sister, Lexi who is 1 1/2 years old. Mother and baby are well and dad could not be happier! Congratulations to the growing Golden family!

If you have any good news or announcements that you would like to share (birth, wedding, engagement, anniversary, etc.), please call or e-mail Beth at beth@rgjohnsoninc.com and she will be happy to share this news in the next newsletter.

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