April 2019 Great Lakes

Page 1

April 2019


COUNTRY LINES Great Lakes Energy Cooperative

Board Nomination Petitions Available

Renewable Energy Options Lineman Takes A Bull By The Horns






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In This Issue April 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 4

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives michigancountrylines






Your photo could be featured here.

Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer Design and Production: Karreen Bird

Follow Us On Instagram!

Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association officers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com countrylines.com


Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.

Come share in the splendor of rural Michigan with us

michigancountrylines There’s snowplace like home! It may look like an igloo, but it’s a woodshed. The homeowner had to carve an entrance so he could feed the wood boiler that heats his home. photo by: @prohandyman.us #manthatsalotofsnow #sothisisspring #upperpeninsula

ON THE COVER Two of the U.P.’s finest bakers, Marybeth Kurtz of Midtown Bakery & Café and Joe Heck of Huron Mountain Bakery, teamed up for a current episode of “Winner Cakes All” on the Food Network. Read about their rise to local and national fame on page 14.


18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Michigan’s Best Hiking Trails!

As the snow melts and the trees produce their first buds, get out there and soak up spring weather on these reader-recommended hiking trails.

Photo by Daniele Carol Photography, Marquette

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Quick And Hassle-Free Appetizers And Snacks

Win $150 for stories published!

Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Guest Column:

Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. For guidelines and to submit your guest column go to countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab.

14 FEATURE U.P. Bakers Take The Cake

The Food Network’s show “Winner Cakes All” recently featured two of the U.P.’s most talented cake bakers, but their rise to culinary stardom began with twists and turns before they reached the top. Emily Haines Lloyd

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.




Board of Directors

Mark Carson Chairman, District 2

01950 Anderson Rd., Boyne City, MI 49712 231-675-0561 • mcarson@glenergy.com

John LaForge Vice-Chairman, District 9 7363 Walters Rd., Delton, MI 49046 269-623-2284 • jlaforge@glenergy.com

Paul Schemanski Secretary, District 1 5974 Stolt Rd., Petoskey, MI 49770 231-439-9079 • paul.schemanski@glenergy.com

Larry Monshor Treasurer, District 4 1541 Thumm Rd., Gaylord, MI 49735 989-705-1778 • lmonshor@glenergy.com

Braving The Storm

Tim Brechon Director, District 8

22322 220th Ave., Paris, MI 49338 630-379-6218 • tbrechon@glenergy.com

Paul Byl Director, District 7

9941 W. Buchanan Rd., Shelby, MI 49455 231-861-5911 • pbyl@glenergy.com

Richard Evans Director, District 3 11195 Essex Rd., Ellsworth, MI 49729 231-883-3146 • revans@glenergy.com

Dale Farrier Director, District 5

2261 Wheeler Lake Rd. NE, Kalkaska, MI 49646 231-564-0853 • dfarrier@glenergy.com

Robert Kran Director, District 6

7380 N. Tuttle Rd., Free Soil, MI 49411 231-464-5889 • bkran@glenergy.com

President/CEO: Bill Scott 888-485-2537

Communications Director/Editor: Lacey Matthews 231-487-1316 lmatthews@glenergy.com

Boyne City Headquarters 1323 Boyne Ave., P.O. Box 70 Boyne City, MI 49712 Hours: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. M–F Phone: 888-485-2537 Email: glenergy@glenergy.com

To report an outage, call: 1-888-485-2537

gtlakes.com Change of Address: 888-485-2537, ext. 8924 Great Lakes Energy is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


4 APRIL 2019


Bill Scott, Great Lakes Energy President/CEO

s life screeches to a halt for many of us when the power goes out, it is ramping up for the lineworkers here at Great Lakes Energy. No matter the time of day or type of weather, if the lights go out, so do they. Lineworker Appreciation Day is Monday, April 8—a day for us to celebrate and honor our team members who brave the elements to bring the power we all depend upon. Storms become part of our life at GLE. We plan, we prepare and we train for them, but yet the task of restoring power can be a challenging one. Take the storm that hit just before Labor Day in 2018 with brutal winds and tornadoes causing power outages for almost 47,000 members. With 413 broken poles (the most we’ve ever experienced!) and the mass devastation of trees, all our available 88 lineworkers, 102 contractors from other co-ops, as well as many other field personnel went fast to work. Laboring tirelessly they logged an average of 112 hours each over a span of seven days. The rain and humidity that followed the storm could not stop the determination of our team members hard at work to ensure each member was restored with the reliable power we are proud to provide. When they’re out in the field, the elements can be challenging, and the equipment can be cumbersome. Lineworkers often must climb 40 or more feet into the air, while carrying heavy equipment, to restore power—working next to high voltage power lines. Behind the scenes, they are also mapping outages and troubleshooting problems to keep our 14,000 miles of lines across 26 counties operating. In addition to all they do for members in their local service territories, lineworkers may also travel to assist neighboring co-ops when they are affected by major outages. It takes the efforts of many departments working together to make up our team at Great Lakes Energy, but we truly could not do what we do without the efforts of our lineworkers. Their care and commitment to you, our members, is critical to our success. We hope you will join us in thanking the many lineworkers—both GLE employees and others around the state and country—who, literally, light up our lives. So, if you see a lineworker, please be thankful for the power behind your power. We sure are!

Three Openings On GLE Board



ominating petitions are available in three districts for Great Lakes Energy (GLE) members who wish to seek election to the cooperative’s board of directors. Three board positions, each for three years, will need to be filled. Qualifying GLE members who reside in districts 6, 8, or 9 can seek election to the board. District areas are: District 6 – Lake and Mason counties District 8 – Clare, Mecosta, Newaygo and Osceola counties District 9 – Allegan, Barry, Kent, Montcalm and Ottawa counties. The terms of directors Robert Kran of Free Soil, Tim Brechon of Paris, and John LaForge of Delton expire this year. The three incumbents plan to seek re-election.


Beaver Island



























To get a name on the ballot, qualifying member-owners of the electric cooperative who maintain a primary residence within its service area must file a nominating petition. Petitions must be signed by at least 50 active GLE members within the candidate’s district. Completed petitions are due June 7, 2019 by noon to the GLE office in Boyne City. Visit gtlakes.com/board-candidate-info/ to request a petition or learn more.

Incumbents Seeking Re-Election:

District 6 – Robert Kran

District 8 – Tim Brechon

District 9 – John LaForge

Statement Of Non-Discrimination In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/ complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.



When Do We Vote? Great Lakes Energy members elect a candidate from within their district to the cooperative’s board of directors once every three years. Find the district you reside in below to determine when you will receive a mail-in ballot. Ballots are mailed in July with the annual election issue of Michigan Country Lines. 2019 Election District 6 – Lake and Mason counties District 8 – Clare, Mecosta, Newaygo and Osceola counties District 9 – Allegan, Barry, Kent, Montcalm and Ottawa counties 2020 Election District 3 – Antrim County District 4 – Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda and Otsego counties District 5 – Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Manistee, Missaukee and Wexford counties 2021 Election District 1 – Emmet County District 2 – Charlevoix and Cheboygan counties District 7 – Muskegon and Oceana counties MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES



01 HOIST For pulling guy wire and conductor to the proper tension.

Insulated fiberglass tool for opening and closing devices on the pole from the ground.

03 GROUND Placed between wires to ensure a line is de-energized before working on it.


02 03



04 CLIMBING BELT Worn around the waist by lineworkers to help with positioning and safety when working on a pole that cannot be reached by a bucket truck.

6 APRIL 2019

05 SHOTGUN STICK Insulated fiberglass tool for moving or adjusting live electrical equipment from a bucket truck.

06 CLIMBING HOOKS The sharp hooks, called gaffs, dig into the pole allowing the worker to climb.

07 PPE An acronym for “Personal Protective Equipment” which is mandatory on all job sites. The hard hat protects the head from blows and falling objects; gloves protect from high voltage, cuts or abrasions; while safety glasses protect the eyes.

e v a h a tt o g

Tools To Get Their Job Done And Keep Our Lights On



07 08

10 11



Hung on a device or line to let other crews know that the line is being worked on. This prevents devices from being operated and injuring those working down the line.

Used to pull material, tools, and other items to aerial workers.



Used to indicate if voltage is present before grounding and work begins on a line.



Used to cover lines when doing work on lines that are still energized.



Free Energy-Saving Products For Your Home


ooking for an easy way to start saving energy today? Request your FREE energy-saving kit from the Home Energy Express Program! This offer is available at no cost to you through your electric cooperative's Energy Optimization program. What’s in the kit? The free kit contains products that will help you start saving energy immediately. The devices will help you control the amount of energy used to heat and cool your home, as well as the electricity used by lighting, appliances, and electronics. There may even be some water-saving items in your kit, which can help reduce the overall amount of water you use and the energy consumed for hot water heating. The following items could be included in your free kit: • Energy-efficient lighting (LED bulbs) • Smart power strip • Smart thermostat or programmable thermostat (depending on eligibility criteria) • Pipe wrap • Water-saving products (such as faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads)


Energy, Save


Take control of your energy use at home today The Home Energy Express Program provides FREE energy-saving products for your home, plus free delivery and installation by an Energy Optimization program contractor.

Saving money at home has never been easier.

ONLINE: michigan-energy.org PHONE: 877-296-4319

How Do I Get Free Products? Step 1: Request your free energy savings kit by calling 877-296-4319 or emailing info@michigan-energy.org. Be sure to mention the Home Energy Express Program. It takes just moments to request your kit. An Energy Optimization program representative will help schedule the complimentary delivery and installation of your energysaving products. Step 2: Your products will be personally delivered and installed by an Energy Optimization program contractor. The contractor will make sure you know how to use all the items before leaving your home

Get Started Today Before requesting your free kit, please review the following eligibility requirements. You must: • Be a member of Great Lakes Energy. • Own a single-family home or, if you are a tenant, must have the owner’s permission to have work done on the home. • Be willing to sign a document to allow work to be done on the home by professional, trained contractors.

GLE Photo Contest

Most Votes On Facebook!



3 4


Beautiful Birds 1. Brrr! It was cold this winter for this northern grosbeak—Kathleen Stuby, Grayling 2. Pileated woodpecker flying away— Kathy Floreno, Mancelona 3. A beautiful bird gathering— Tammy Raveau, Boyne City 4. Snowy February day on the family farm—Bobbie Cruzan, White Cloud 5. Thanks! I’ll take that!—Terri Sterk, Zeeland 6. Yellow warbler—Heather Bauman, Zeeland


Submit Your “Playing In The Water” Photos!

Enter to win a

Each month members can submit photos on Facebook or our website for our annual photo contest. The photo with the most votes on Facebook is published here along with other selections.


energy bill credit!

Our April contest theme is Playing In The Water. Photos can be submitted by April 20 to be featured in the June issue.

How To Enter:

Visit Facebook.com/greatlakesenergy and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. Not on Facebook? You can also enter the contest at gtlakes.com/photocontest. Make sure to vote and encourage others to vote for you, too. The photo receiving the most votes from our online and Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Michigan Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. All photos printed in the magazine in 2019 will be entered to win a $200 bill credit in December 2019. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Appetizers & Snacks Quick and hassle-free recipes Photos—Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Pineapple Papaya Salsa

Bethany Cumper, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 3 1 1 5 • 2 3 1 2

tomatoes, finely diced fresh pineapple (about 2 pounds), finely diced fresh papaya or mango (about 1 pound), finely diced green onions, sliced small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped jalapeños, seeded and minced tablespoons lemon juice teaspoon garlic, minced teaspoons salt, or to taste

Mince or chop all ingredients according to recipe. Add all ingredients to a glass bowl and stir to combine. Serve immediately or chill and serve. Flavors will meld with longer chilling; 4 hours chill time is recommended. Use this as a traditional salsa or try it as a garnish on grilled chicken!

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos

10 APRIL 2019

Bacon Crackers Judy Skowronski, Cherryland

½ cup mayonnaise 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ¼ teaspoon salad seasoning or seasoned salt ¹/8 teaspoon paprika 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other cheese of choice) 4 slices crisp-cooked bacon 2 tablespoons minced onion 32 to 36 round crackers Mix mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, salad seasoning (or seasoned salt), and paprika. Stir in cheese, bacon, and onion. Spread about ½ tablespoon mixture over each cracker. Arrange crackers (8 or 9 at a time) in a single layer on microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high until hot and puffed (15 to 30 seconds). Serve warm.


Prepare to taste the cake that took Huron Mountain Bakery’s Joe Heck and Marybeth Kurtz from Midtown Bakery & Café all the way to the finals of “Winner Cakes All” on Food Network. This cake recipe combines these top bakers’ skills and delivers award-winning flavor straight to your kitchen.

Smoked Salmon & Mango Salsa Connie Pietila, Ontonagon REA

¼ pound piece smoked salmon, diced into ¼-inch pieces 2 ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced into ¼-in pieces ¼ cup diced vine-ripened tomato 2 tablespoons finely diced purple onion (rinsed, if you like a milder flavor) 1 large, ripe mango, diced 1 jalapeño chili pepper, minced ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped • juice of 1 lime, or 2 tablespoons bottled juice 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper • tortilla chips In a bowl, combine salmon, avocado, tomato, onion, mango, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice. Gently fold together. Add olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper, and gently fold again. Spoon about 1 tablespoon onto each tortilla chip (Tostitos Scoops work well for this). Arrange on a platter. Or keep in bowl and serve with chips, if you prefer. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Marybeth’s Mom’s Chocolate Cake 2 cups sugar 1 3 cups flour 2 6 tablespoons unsweetened 2 cocoa powder 12 2 teaspoons baking soda 2

teaspoon salt cups cold water teaspoons vanilla tablespoons oil tablespoons vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix on low speed the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Then add the wet ingredients in order on low; water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar. Mix till smooth and pour into greased and papered round cake pans, wrap pans with cake strips. Yields two-8-inch round layers. Bake 50—60 minutes rotating at half of the time. Let cakes cool completely. Joe’s Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting 1 pound softened salted butter 2 pounds powdered sugar ¹⁄8 cup heavy whipping cream 2 cups smooth peanut butter Whip softened butter until light and fluffy. On low speed, add powdered sugar slowly until incorporated. Add heavy cream and whip until medium consistency. Microwave peanut butter until just liquid, then on a low setting, add peanut butter and whip until desired consistency.

Festive Desserts: due May 1 Tailgating Favorites: due July 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register.

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Joe’s Chocolate Ganache 675 grams Belgian chocolate 1 quart heavy whipping cream Melt chocolate over a double boiler; remove from heat. Bring cream to a rolling boil. Stir half of the cream into chocolate until incorporated. Add second half of cream until combined and let it cool. Assembly Of The Cake Take one cooled 8-inch cake round and place on cake plate. Spread a thick layer of ganache over cake. On top of ganache, add one layer of buttercream frosting. Place second 8-inch cake round on top and use remaining buttercream to frost the entire cake (sides and top). Read the full story about Joe Heck and Marybeth Kurtz on page 14, and find this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Local Quilters Guild Supported By The GLE People Fund Little Traverse Bay Quilters Guild

Join before June 1 to be entered to win a $100 bill credit! Call 888-485-2537 or visit gtlakes.com/peoplefundenroll to join.

Join the Gig Revolution Register Now for Free Installation! *

Truestream, powered by Great Lakes Energy, is building Michigan's biggest, most powerful fiber network. We want to know which communities are ready for the Gigabit Revolution. That's why we're offering free installation* for anyone who registers their interest before construction in their area is finished.

Learn more at jointruestream.com or call 1-888-485-2537 *Certain restrictions apply. If construction for your area is completed before registering your interest in Truestream, a $149 installation charge will apply. Visit jointruestream.com for construction timelines.


embers of the Little Traverse Bay Quilters Guild paused to display one of the many patriotic quilts they sew for U.S. military veterans. The group was able to purchase supplies with the help of a $1,000 People Fund grant. Learn more about the guild and its generous gifts to veterans on our blog at gtlakes.com/blog. People Fund grants are funded by “extra change� from Great Lakes Energy members who have their bill rounded up to the next dollar. Want to make an even bigger impact in your local community? Join the People Fund Plus and, in addition to your rounded-up amount, you can choose an extra donation amount. Working together we can help our communities.

Getting the lights back on quickly is another way Great Lakes Energy looks out for you.

2018 Annual Standards And Results

Meeting High Standards GLE exceeds state performance standards.


reat Lakes Energy exceeded nine out of the 10 state-mandated standards for electric service and reliability in 2018. Thousands of Great Lakes Energy members are benefiting from improvements in reliability and service. It has led to our success in meeting all 10 state performance standards in nine of the last 12 years. The addition of more line protection devices, use of new technologies, improvements to major power line circuits, and ongoing vegetation management to limit tree damage to power lines are all helping to get the lights back on safely and more quickly for members during storms. The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) requires electric utilities to annually report how well they can meet standards established to protect consumers from unacceptable levels of electric service and reliability. Standards to help measure utility performance in emergency outage situations are included.

Complaint Response: Utility must respond in three business days or less to at least 90 percent of any formal complaints filed against it with the MPSC. GLE score: 100 percent Call Blockage: No more than five percent of incoming calls should receive a busy signal. GLE score: 39.6 percent due to call volumes during the Aug. 2018 storm Meter Reading: At least 85 percent of the meters must be read within the approved time period. GLE score: 99.10 percent Wire Down Relief Factor: At least 90 percent of the time, a utility must respond within four hours to non-utility employees, such as firefighters, who request relief from guarding a downed power line. GLE score: 92.5 percent New Service Installation. At least 90 percent of new services must be installed in 15 business days or less. Great Lakes Energy handled 859 new service installations last year, excluding those installed in combination with primary lines. GLE score: 98.6 percent Average Call Answer Time: Calls must be answered on average in less than 90 seconds. In 2017, the cooperative handled over 322,000 calls through its call center, outage and operator queues. GLE score: 59 seconds Outage Restoration (Normal Conditions): At least 90 percent of the customers should have their power restored in eight hours or less. GLE score: 98.3 percent Outage Restoration (Catastrophic Conditions): At least 90 percent of the customers should have their power restored in 60 hours or less. GLE score: 97.7 percent



Joe Heck & Marybeth Kurtz By Emily Haines Llyod Photos by Daniele Carol Photography


oe Heck of Huron Mountain Bakery (Marquette and Ishpeming) and Marybeth Kurtz of Midtown Bakery & Café (Negaunee) are still fresh off the airing of their episode of “Winner Cakes All” on the Food Network, a show where pairs of bakers team up for a chance to win $10,000. The Upper Peninsula duo’s episode was fairy talethemed and led to baking a cake for host, Giada De Laurentiis, a panel of judges, and the actresses from Broadway Princess Party. It wasn’t all glitz and glam that led up to this point in the lives of either of the U.P. bakers. Both admit they needed their own fairy godmothers along the way to help kick start their culinary journeys.

Be sure to check out micoopkitchen.com for Joe and Marybeth’s chocolate peanut butter cake recipe from “Winner Cakes All” on the Food Network!

Joe Heck grew up in Wisconsin and eventually moved to New York City after high school. His first job was as a night shift baker, a gig that allowed him to practice decorating cakes. “Eventually, the baker who did our high-end cakes saw my work,” said Joe. “She made me a deal. She would pay for me to go to culinary school if I’d work for her for five years.” Joe took the deal, attended the Culinary Institute of America, and then worked for his fairy godmother for 13 years. But, like in all good fairy tales, twists and turns happen. A year later, Joe hit some very hard times. When he needed it, a “genie in a bottle” presented itself. Joe’s best friend invited him to visit Marquette, giving Joe his first glimpse of the U.P.—a place he ended up calling home. Meanwhile, Marybeth Kurtz was hustling in Detroit and, while traveling to open a new restaurant in Florida, she met a pastry chef. As if nudged by a magic wand, Marybeth ended up training with her and became a pastry chef herself.

14 APRIL 2019

Something was missing for Marybeth too, as she and her husband began dreaming of owning a business somewhere with a little less hustle and bustle. As if on cue— bippity boppity boo—Negaunee, that is. “Everyone is very supportive and collaborative in the U.P. and small towns in general,” said Marybeth. “Everyone helps each other out.” That might sound like a well-crafted sound bite—except Marybeth was out shoveling her neighbor’s snow-packed driveway minutes before this interview. When a Food Network producer saw Joe on the local news and approached him about a possible show, Marybeth’s well-known spirit of generosity might have been exactly why Joe thought of her as a potential teammate. “I didn’t know what or when the opportunity would be,” said Joe. “Finally I got the call for ‘Winner Cakes All,’ and I called Marybeth.” Joe and Marybeth met years earlier through various charity events and have been working together ever since. “Actually, we really became friends when I stole a hexagon cake pan from her,” said Joe jokingly. The two chuckle, as you’d expect with old friends. Even though Food Network producers resisted the idea of two competing bakers on the same team, it only took one Skype call with the pair to put the producers’ worries at bay. “We’re hard to resist,” chimes in Marybeth and the two laugh again. Joe and Marybeth flew to California to film their episode with the final challenge to create a cake for the cast party of the Broadway Princess Party. While the judges loved the team’s chocolate cake with peanut buttercream and chocolate ganache, another team edged them out for the final win in the end. As the two get back to daily life, they have taken away great memories. “It was the experience of a lifetime. I’m so grateful we got to represent the U.P. well,” said Marybeth. Joe pauses from the jokes for a moment and offers up some advice. “Don’t be afraid to do something out of the box,” he reflected. “Don’t let fear stop you.” Marybeth quickly adds, “Yeah, that too!” And once again the two are in a fit of laughter. Their infectious joy, friendship and love of cake baking is a simple reminder that magic, and even fairy tales, are everywhere.

LOCATIONS Huron Mountain Bakery • 1301 S. Front St., Marquette | 906-225-1301 • U.S. 41 W., Ishpeming | 906-485-6848 Babycakes (part of the Huron Mountain family) • 223 W. Washington St., Marquette 906-226-7744 Midtown Bakery & Café • 317 Iron St., Negaunee | 906-475-0064

Lights And Legacy

“ One thing the rodeo and being a lineman have in common is that you get out of it what you put into it. And that’s true for the energy I help move and get to receive at my own home.”

By Brittany Kielbasa


ick Kuz wears many hats. By day, the Reed City resident wears Great Lakes Energy’s hard hat for his work as a lineman, bringing power to co-op members across Michigan—including his own home. On his personal time, he trades his hard hat for a cowboy hat as the owner of Clementshaw Ranch, the Reed City Rodeo (RCR), and the Reed City Youth Rodeo Association (RCYRA) where he works to preserve the American tradition of rodeo for the next generation of athletes. No matter which hat Kuz is wearing, he maintains the same passion for helping others.

to join the energy industry. Now a fifth step apprentice lineman, Kuz is happier than ever in his new career. Drawn to the industry because of the service mentality of the co-ops, Kuz takes pride in the fact that he has a direct hand in bringing power to co-op members across the state.

The RCR and RCYRA, founded nearly 10 years ago by Lonnie Clementshaw, is now owned and operated by Kuz and his wife, Sarah, with help from a team of dedicated volunteers. The pair are passionate about the sport of rodeo and are committed to doing what they can to spread awareness and continue the rodeo legacy. Through the RCYRA, the only youth teaching rodeo of its kind in Michigan, Kuz is able to introduce junior rodeo hopefuls to the sport and work with them to hone their skills as they compete and mature. “I’m proud to say that a lot of people’s stories begin here,” said Kuz, “I love seeing the sense of accomplishment the kids get from the hard work they put in.”

Great Lakes Energy and power supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative, provides members with energy that is more than half carbon-free.

Kuz’s passion for service extends beyond the world of rodeo into his professional life as well. Nearly three years ago, Kuz left a successful career as a diesel mechanic

16 APRIL 2019

“One thing the rodeo and being a lineman have in common is that you get out of it what you put into it,” said Kuz. “And that’s true for the energy I help move and get to receive at my own home.”

“I work to preserve the American tradition of the rodeo just like Great Lakes Energy and Wolverine Power Cooperative are working to preserve Michigan’s natural resources,” said Kuz. “And that makes me proud to not only be a Great Lakes Energy employee, but also a Great Lakes Energy member.”

To learn more about the RCR and RCYRA, visit reedcityrodeo.com. To learn about additional ways Great Lakes Energy members can make an impact in their community, visit gtlakes.com/yourpower.


Which Renewable Energy Option is Right For Me?


I would like to get involved in my co-ops renewable energy efforts.



I would like a renewable energy generator on my property, and I have open land or a large, south-facing roof (if interested in solar).


Learn more!

Call 888-GT-LAKES or visit spartansolar.com


I have $10,000+ I can commit to a renewable energy generator and believe I can take advantage of the 30% Investor Tax Credit.



I will build a system that will be 20 kW or less.


Already a Leader

Feel good knowing your co-op already has one of the largest renewable energy portfolios in the state.

Community Solar

A great way to get involved in renewable energy without having a generating system on your property. It’s affordable, maintenance free, and can be canceled at any time. Pay in full and receive an additional $150 rebate.*

Buy-All/ Sell-All

For those who wish to increase the amount of renewable energy used in their community and would like to see a return on their investment.

I will generate more electricity than I use.



Net Metering

Perfect for members who are looking to build a system that will power their home with renewable energy, and sell the excess energy to the co-op.**

*Eligible accounts only, call for details. **Program changes in effect for new systems in production after June 1, 2017. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17

MI CO-OP Community

+ TIP Trying to find the best Michigan trails? Visit AllTrails.com, an excellent resource for great hiking trails, running trails, mountain biking trails and more.


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Best Hiking Trails Bucket List From Fellow Members— Go Out And Explore Michigan!


White Pine Trail The White Pine Trail runs 92-miles from its southern point in Comstock Park to Cadillac. The “vibe” in each section of the trail is unique. You can ride bikes and visit quaint shops in Rockford, see Amish buggies, wildflower fields and enjoy amazing views of the Muskegon River in Big Rapids. Hikers can also experience the quietness of the trail while spotting wildlife and enjoying the nearby lakes in Cadillac. The trail offers many experiences for hikers young and old. Larisa Draves, Great Lakes Energy


Chapel Trail Mosquito Falls Loop, near Shingleton in the Upper Peninsula Various hikes are available depending on the trail and how long you wish to walk. The views are gorgeous with waterfalls into Lake Superior and lots of look-outs. Richard Liebermann, Great Lakes Energy


The North Country Trail The largest hiking trail in the USA! It stretches over 4,600 miles! It is a year-round trail system with many connector trails to get you to the most beautiful destinations! My hiking group SHE_Mitten_Hikers (Self Healthy Exploring) has snowshoed and hiked our favorite stretch in northern Newaygo County around Nicolas Lake. Kelly Wawsczy, Great Lakes Energy

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Michigan Trails And Greenways Alliance Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is working with communities all over Michigan to build a series of five “Great Lake to Lake Trails” that will link existing trails into a series of destination trails that will allow people to move from one Great Lake to another. These trails, three in the lower peninsula and two in the Upper Peninsula, will link Lake Michigan with Lake Huron and Lake Michigan with Lake Superior and bring communities together in a pathway to provide a recreation experience and transportation opportunities and the chance to learn about our state’s natural resources and historical legacies. Bob Wilson, Great Lakes Energy

Country Lines Editor’s Pick (pictured)

The Empire Bluff Trail in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore The trail leads to a high bluff overlooking Lake Michigan with panoramic views. The trail is about 1.5 miles round-trip. It’s also pet-friendly, not strenuous or technically tricky—— an absolute favorite!


Bundy Hill Preserve, Remus You can hike to the highest point in the county at 1,270 feet. Morgan Wernette, HomeWorks Tri-County


Manistee River Loop The Manistee River Loop is excellent. The suspension bridge is beautiful, and I’ve had a bear sighting on this trail. Troy Bischoff, Great Lakes Energy


Jordan River Pathway The Jordan River Pathway is such a gem. There is a fish hatchery just off the trail, beautiful scenery and some of the highest elevations in our lower Michigan. Misty Bischoff, Great Lakes Energy

18 APRIL 2019

Best of Michigan Up Next: Best Ice Cream Shops: Help us create a “Best Ice Cream Shops” list to visit this summer. We will publish this list on the best “scoops” in our June issue. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by April 20.

LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD Well-Connect captures energy from your well water to heat (and cool) your home and eliminates the need to burn wood.






Hybrid Geothermal

gtlakes.com facebook.com/greatlakesenergy

Committed to the job. Committed to safety. Committed to you, our members. Lineworker Appreciation Day April 8, 2019