April 2020 Alger Delta

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April 2020


COUNTRY LINES Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association

National Lineworker Appreciation Day Is April 13

Meet Your Re-Elected Directors Do-It-Yourself Energy Projects


Jennifer Quail


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Contents countrylines.com

April 2020 Vol. 40, No. 4



Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Karreen Bird RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey 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: Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, 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 CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please

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


6 CULTURED KOMBUCHA CO. Courtney Lorenz’s Cultured Kombucha Co. combines her entrepreneurial spirit with her passion for nutritious food.

14 WHO IS JENNIFER QUAIL? Jennifer Quail, a Midwest Energy member, went from faithful “Jeopardy!” viewer to an eight-time winner.

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN A compilation of not-soordinary pizza recipes.

18 BEST OF MICHIGAN: PIZZA Members share where they go to find heaven in a slice.

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

It’s hard to tell if they are playing or fighting. Either way, amazing action shot by @smileschx, Julie Christiansen.

Be featured!

Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.

MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Contests, reader-submitted content & more! Visit countrylines.com/community for guidelines and submission information.




Up Next: Farm-To-Table, Kid-Friendly Cooking Share your favorite recipes.

Up Next: Campgrounds Tell us about the Michigan campgrounds you like visiting best.

Submit your fondest memories and stories.

Win a $50 bill credit!

Win $150 for stories published!



The Commitment Of An Electric Lineworker





Board Of Directors District 1—Big Bay

Darryl Small 906-345-9369 • smallwld14@gmail.com

District 2—Harvey/Deerton

Karen Alholm 906-249-1095 • karenalholm@gmail.com

District 3—Grand Marais

Mike Lawless 906-494-2080 • mclawless79@gmail.com

District 4—Cedar River/Palestine

Dave Prestin 906-424-0055 • cedarriverplaza@gmail.com

District 5—Gourley/LaBranche/Cornell

Ivy Netzel 906-639-2979 • MyAlgerDeltaRep5@gmail.com

District 6—Nathan/White Rapids

Paul Sederquist 906-753-4484 • sedergrove@gmail.com

District 7—Stonington/Rapid River

Kirk Bruno 906-399-1432 • kbruno.algerdelta@gmail.com

District 8—Nahma/Isabella

Lineworker Appreciation Day is April 13. By Troy Tiernan, Operations Manager

ational studies consistently rank power line installers and repairers among the most dangerous jobs in the country, and for good reason. Laboring high in the air wearing heavy equipment and working directly with high voltage creates the perfect storm of a dangerous and unforgiving profession. But electric lineworkers are up to the task. These brave men and women are committed to safety, as well as the challenges of the job.


Alger Delta’s lineworkers are responsible for keeping power flowing day and night, regardless of national holidays, vacations, birthdays, weddings, or other important family milestones. Beyond the years of specialized training and apprenticeships, it takes internal fortitude and a mission-oriented outlook to be a good lineworker. In fact, this service-oriented mentality is a hallmark characteristic of lineworkers. The job requires lineworkers to set aside their personal priorities to better serve their local community.

Ray Young 906-450-1881 • kyoung@uplogon.com

Family Support System

District 9—Hiawatha/Maple Ridge

To perform their jobs successfully, lineworkers depend on their years of training, experience, and each other to get the job done safely. Equally important is their reliance on a strong support system at home. A lineworker’s family understands and supports its loved one’s commitment to the greater community during severe storms and power outages.

Doug Bovin 906-573-2379 • dorobo22@icloud.com


426 N. 9th St, Gladstone, MI 49837 906-428-4141 • 800-562-0950 Fax: 906-428-3840 • admin@algerdelta.com algerdelta.com

Office Hours

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (ET)

Alger Delta Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

algerdelta.com Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/algerdeltaelectric

4 APRIL 2020

This means in times of prolonged outages, the family and its lineworker may have minimal communication and not see each other for several days. Without strong family support and understanding, this challenging job would be all the more difficult.

“Electric co-op lineworkers’ mission-focused mentality of helping others often extends beyond their commitment to their work at the co-op.”

Community Commitment In Alger Delta’s service territory and across the country, electric co-op lineworkers’ mission-focused mentality of helping others often extends beyond their commitment to their work at the co-op. Lineworkers are often familiar figures in the community. They can be found coaching youth sports teams, volunteering for local charities, participating in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, and serving on local volunteer fire departments.

Thank You Monday, April 13, is Lineworker Appreciation Day. Given the dedication of Alger Delta’s lineworkers, both on and off the job, I encourage you to take a moment and acknowledge the many contributions they make to our local community. And if you see their family members in the grocery store or out and about in the town, please offer them a thank-you as well.

April 13 Is National Lineworker Appreciation Day ineman Appreciation Day celebrates those men and women who put their lives at risk to keep the power flowing through our communities. So, during the month of April, if you see a lineworker, please pause to say thank you to the power behind your power. Let them know you appreciate the hard work they do to keep the lights on, regardless of the conditions.


L to R: Tom Viitala, Brandon Benda, Todd Wilson, Jon Conger, Brandon Lind, Jason Ebbesen, Curt Knauf, John Dault, Cody Warren

Thank you to Alger Delta’s operation employees—Tom Viitala, Brandon Benda, Todd Wilson, Jon Conger, Brandon Lind, Jason Ebbesen, Curt Knauf, John Dault, and Cody Warren for all the work they do to keep upper Michigan’s lights on! You are all appreciated!


POSTPONED Please note that we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and current recommendations from the CDC and state and local health authorities regarding public gatherings. We have postponed our June Annual Meeting and will adapt our plan in accordance with the most up-to-date public health recommendations. Updates will be shared with our members through our website and social media channels. Thank you for your understanding during this pandemic.

Photo by: Courtney Kent Photography

Growing A Business Organically:

cultured kombucha co. By Emily Haines Lloyd

hen Courtney Lorenz first tried her hand at brewing W kombucha, an effervescent fermented drink of sweetened tea that is made from cultures of bacteria and yeast, she tracked her progress in a journal. Lorenz would take notes on the gut-healthy drink chock-full of probiotics, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants, and of course, flavor. After her first batch, she made a simple, but direct note—“FAIL.”

Five years later, as the owner and operator of Cultured Kombucha Co. in Traverse City, Lorenz has stepped up both her brewing game and her own business acumen to build on that initial “FAIL” and create a business that is winning on several fronts. Lorenz originally went to culinary school at Northwestern Michigan College, eventually focusing on her passion—nutrition. In her studies, Lorenz challenged the typical food pyramid that was still being taught—heavy on the meat, dairy, and starch—and came to realize it didn’t quite line up with her own beliefs of a cleaner and healthy lifestyle. She boldly switched to a degree in entrepreneurship and hospitality at Central Michigan University.


APRIL 2020

“Kombucha is how I connect. This is taking what I believe about health and wellness and finding ways to reach people. This is how I help others make lifestyle changes--one sip at a time.” Directly out of school, Lorenz was offered a job at a Fortune 500 company that checked all the boxes— successful company, great pay, benefits—but Lorenz still felt disconnected from her first love—real, nourishing food.

in Traverse City and the more than 180 outlets that sell the kombucha in storefronts in summer months, Cultured Kombucha Co. is growing at a rate that puts even the most aggressive SCOBY to shame.

“If I was going to make it at this corporate job, I knew I was going to need some balance,” said Lorenz. “So, I worked on a farm on the weekends that paid out in produce shares. One week, there weren’t enough vegetables to pay me out. The owner noticed I was always toting around a national brand of kombucha to drink in the fields. So she gave me my first SCOBY.”

While success in her field is welcomed, it isn’t what drives Lorenz. “Kombucha is how I connect,” said Lorenz. “This is taking what I believe about health and wellness and finding ways to reach people. This is how I help others make lifestyle changes—one sip at a time.”

A SCOBY, or Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, is the base of every kombucha. A SCOBY is the living home for the bacteria and yeast that eventually transforms sweet tea into the tangy deliciousness that is kombucha.

With a business model rooted in healthy living, sustainability, and treating others, as well as yourself, with love and respect, it’s inspiring to see how an endeavor that started with an epic “FAIL” could turn into nothing short of a success story.

It was the beginning of a love affair. What started as a fun, at-home hobby that kept Lorenz and her friends in tangy kombucha eventually became a bit of an obsession. “I couldn’t keep up with the amount I was making,” said Lorenz. “One week, back in 2015, I decided to bottle up 15 gallons of kombucha and see if maybe I could sell it at the local farmers market over the course of the day.” The anticipation of whether or not the kombucha would sell didn’t have long to build. “Within 15 minutes, we’d sold out,” remembers Lorenz. “That’s when I thought, ‘this could really be something.’” Lorenz leveraged her right- and left-brain tendencies and started working on a plan. When she went to get her first line of credit, the bank employee handed the paperwork to the gentleman seated next to her. “It was sort of shocking. I’m a young woman and I suppose I expected a certain amount of preconceived notions about my readiness to take on my own business,” recalls Lorenz. “But even now, I’m amazed that after the experiences I’ve had in business, people still openly doubt the competence of a woman.” Perhaps there was a whisper of those early journal notes—“FAIL “—but Lorenz listened only long enough to piece together her wide variety of experiences, her entrepreneurial spirit, and her passion for kombucha, and take a leap of faith. In herself. That initial leap led to a solid landing. What started as 15 gallons of kombucha brewed in a shared kitchen space in 2015 has led to Lorenz and Cultured Kombucha Co. taking over 5,000 square feet of production space with one dozen 450-gallon tanks for brewing. With the tasting room

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT KOMBUCHA? Courtney and her team offer classes onsite at Cultured Kombucha Co., including a fermentation series that includes kombucha homebrewing, sourdough bread-making, and pickling. Visit drinkcultured.com to learn more, find locations and check out the events page.

Cultured Kombucha Co. Taproom 3842 Jupiter Cresent Drive, Traverse City, Michigan 49685



Find Comfort And Savings With ENERGY STAR® A

pril showers may bring flowers, but they can also bring unwanted mold, mildew and odors into your home. So, what can you do?

Purchase a new ENERGY STAR® dehumidifier. A certified dehumidifier will help control excess moisture in your home, lower your utility costs, and make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable to live in.

Less Energy Use = Lower Utility Bills An ENERGY STAR® dehumidifier uses nearly 15% less energy than a similarly sized conventional unit. In fact, the annual energy saved by one of these models could power your ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerator for nearly two months!

Size Matters

Condition Without Dehumidification

Recommended Capacity Range, Pints Per Day Small– Medium Room (2,000 sq. ft.)

Large Room (Over 2,000 sq. ft.)







Slightly to Moderately Damp:

Space feels damp and has musty odor that may be intermittent. 50–75% relative humidity.

Very Damp: Space

consistently feels and smells damp. Damp spots appear on walls and floors. 75-90% relative humidity.

Wet: Walls or floor

sweat, or seepage is present. High-load conditions such as laundry drying may be present. 90–100% relative humidity.

A dehumidifier‘s “size” or capacity is usually measured in pints per 24 hours. The capacity you need depends on two factors: the size of the space that needs to be dehumidified and the conditions of the space without dehumidification.

So, stop and smell the flowers and relax knowing your ENERGY STAR® appliance is working for you.

Use the chart to estimate the minimum capacity for your portable dehumidifier.

Visit michigan-energy.org or call 877.296.4319 for additional energy-saving information and incentives.



Fight the damaging effects of excess moisture in your home with an ENERGY STAR® dehumidifier. • 15% more energy efficient than similar sized non-certified models • Reduce excess moisture and mildew smells • $15 rebate for ENERGY STAR dehumidifiers


michigan-energy.org 877.296.4319

Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit michigan-energy.org.





Snap Shot Share Your Photos!

Bridges of Michigan

Alger Delta invites members to share their amazing photos. Selected photos will be published in Michigan Country Lines.

1. This is a photo of a foot bridge over a small stream entering into Harlow Creek, soon after it leaves Harlow Lake. Elizabeth Bates

Upcoming Photo Topics And Deadlines:

2. The Doucette Bridge on the Au Train River in Alger County. Janet Kersten

Nightscapes, due April 20 (June issue) Festivals and Fairs, due May 20 (July/August issue) To submit photos, go to http://bit.ly/countrylines We look forward to seeing your best photos!

3. Silver River Falls Bridge, made of stone on the northwest side of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Debrann Holmes 4. Beautiful rustic winter-draped bridge. Brenda DeGrave



Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey


Th eb es th om e


MI CO-OP Recipes

Win a


energy bill credit!

10 APRIL 2020


r than e t t be s— a izz p e ad m



Farm-To-Table due May 1 • Kid-Friendly Cooking 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.


SPINACH LOVER’S PIZZA Jackie Lambka, HomeWorks Tri-County

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small red bell pepper, chopped ¼ cup onion, chopped ¾ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon garlic, minced 1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach, washed and coarsely chopped 1 12-inch prebaked pizza crust 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided Preheat oven to 450 F. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper, onion, salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Add spinach; cook and stir until wilted. Sprinkle pizza crust with 1 cup mozzarella. Distribute spinach mixture evenly over crust. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup mozzarella over the spinach layer. Bake 10 minutes. Slice into pieces and serve.

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

CHICKEN, BACON & RANCH ALFREDO PIZZA Toni Monton, Great Lakes Energy 1 8-ounce can pizza dough ALFREDO SAUCE: ¼ cup butter 1½ ounces cream cheese ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese ½ pint heavy whipping cream ½ teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon flour, optional ¹⁄³ cup prepared ranch dressing • salt and pepper to taste 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese 2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled ¼ cup red onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 F, then roll out pizza dough as directed on can; set aside. Do NOT prebake. To make Alfredo sauce, melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add cream cheese and parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the heavy whipping cream and garlic powder. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Then decrease heat and simmer, stirring often. Add flour as needed if sauce does not thicken as you would like. Stir and cook until it reaches a nice gravy-like thickness. Remove from heat. Spread ranch dressing on the rolled-out dough, then spread the Alfredo sauce on it. Sprinkle ½ the mozzarella cheese on, then add shredded chicken, bacon, and chopped onion. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until crust appears done on the bottom. Let cool a few minutes, then slice and enjoy!

PIZZA CASSEROLE Emilie Stawiarski, Presque Isle

2–3 cups macaroni or penne noodles 1 jar favorite tomato pasta sauce 1–1½ pounds lean ground beef 1 tablespoon olive oil 8 ounces mushroom slices 1 cup thinly sliced red or sweet onion, optional 1 green or red bell pepper, sliced thin 1 tablespoon oregano 1 tablespoon basil 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese ½ –¾ cup pepperoni slices Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking oil. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain; return to bowl. Add pasta sauce and mix together. Cook beef until brown, about 5–7 minutes, in a deep pasta pan. Drain and add pasta and sauce. In a skillet, heat olive oil and add mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and spices. Cook until soft, approximately 7 minutes. Stir vegetables into pasta/sauce/ beef mixture. Stir in 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with pepperoni slices and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Spray a foil sheet with cooking oil and cover the baking dish, spray side down. Bake 25–30 minutes or until heated thoroughly and cheese topping is melted. Remove foil; let rest 5 minutes, then serve. This dish is excellent for reheating in the oven with the foil covering.

WILD BILL’S PIZZA Susan Schreffler, Presque Isle 1 1 1 2 ¼ 1 3 ¹⁄ ³ 2 1 1 1 ½ ½

package powdered yeast tablespoon sugar cup lukewarm water tablespoons olive oil cup vegetable oil teaspoon salt cups flour cup olive oil cups shredded mozzarella cheese medium onion, chopped sweet green bell pepper, chopped container fresh mushrooms, sliced teaspoon fennel seeds pound fried bacon, drained and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F. Add yeast and sugar to lukewarm water. Add the oils, salt and flour; mix well and knead on countertop until smooth (approx. 10 minutes). Add to greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour. Punch down, let rest 15 minutes, then spread onto rectangle cookie sheet and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spread olive oil over entire top. Add the mozzarella cheese. Sauté the onion, green pepper, and mushrooms, then add fennel seeds. Add the sautéed vegetables and bacon to the pizza topping. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.



COVID-19 Office Closures: As of press time, the Alger Delta office is currently closed to walk-in traffic. We encourage you to communicate with us via electronic communication or telephone. Business operations will continue. As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, Alger Delta continues to update our emergency response plan to protect our employees, directors and members. This is a trying time and it appears that closures and new safety precautions are being implemented daily. Our line crews are receiving their work on iPads. Other employees are reporting directly to their job sites, and if possible, working from home. We are also working on a schedule to stagger shifts in the event our call center goes down. Updates will be shared with our members through our website and social media channels. Thank you for your patience and understanding. algerdelta.com



Alger Delta provides convenient methods for you to pay your electric bill. Pay Online, By Mobile Device Or By Telephone • Pay online, at our self-service site. Select the SmartHub logo then select º “New User,” then “Sign Up.” Enter billing account number, last name or º business name, and email address. Select “Submit” and follow remaining prompts. º • To pay using your mobile device, download SmartHub on the App Store© or Google Play marketplace. • To pay by phone, call 888-469-8739. Please have your bill available so you can provide your account number.

Automatic Payment Payments can also be made by automatic withdrawal from your checking, savings, debit or credit account. To use this method, call our office at 800-562-0950.

Pay By Mail

Pay In Person

Checks and money orders can be sent to:

COVID-19 Office Closures: As of press time, the Alger Delta office is currently closed to walk-in traffic. We encourage you to communicate with us via electronic communication or telephone. Business operations will continue. Please visit algerdelta.com to stay updated.

Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association, 426 North 9th St., Gladstone, MI 49837 Please include the top stub of the bill to assure that your account is properly credited. Please do not send cash.


Ivy Netzel, Kirk Bruno and Raymond Young have been re-elected to the Alger Delta Board of Directors to represent Districts 5, 7 and 8 respectively. All three will serve a three-year term that will end in June 2023. All candidates, who ran uncontested, have been important members of the board for many years. Please read on to learn more about each board member.


I am a current Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association board member representing District 5 (Gourley, LaBranche, and Cornell). Born a Yooper, I have returned to my roots and retired where I was born—Menominee County.

With a degree in electric engineering, I worked for one of the largest nuclear electric utilities in the country. I also earned an MBA and bring extensive experience in consulting and power plant operations to Alger Delta’s boardroom.

My husband of 36 years and I live in Jam Dam with our shelter dog Rocco and a stray cat named Cookie.

I would like to focus now on the future of Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association. My goal is to help position the cooperative for the 21st century to capitalize on the many technological advances in renewable generation, whole-house battery systems and broadband deployment for the membership.

I have one son who is married, one grandson and another grandson on the way.



Three years of experience as a director with Alger Delta is about six times longer than any of my past management consulting projects. I am used to learning and contributing quickly. I have certainly appreciated the opportunity to serve you and have also appreciated your support during my first term as a director. My focus for our co-op continues to be on our strategic and operating imperatives of safety, reliability and cost.


Our industry is facing more changes now and in the near future than perhaps at any time in history. I intend to utilize my broad background in business and organization development to help lead our cooperative into the future. For more information on my background and capabilities, you can take a look at my business website, KirkBruno.com.


My wife and I are full-time residents of District 8 and have been members of the co-op for over 30 years. We remember when it rained or the wind blew, the power went out. Now it takes quite an event for the power to go out. The power is definitely more reliable, but doesn’t seem more efficient. My father, a member for over 45 years, lived on a fixed income. When the rates went up, he turned things off and gave up some little pleasures. District 8 has many members on fixed incomes. When the rates go up, they have to cut something else to pay their bill.

As business owners, we know that having higher rates puts us at a competitive disadvantage and higher rates discourage business development and expansion. The co-op, although more reliable, is not relating to its members when it comes to the cost of electricity. More and better budgeting, more efficiency, and lowered or stable rates will be my primary goal. Those of us on fixed incomes need electrical power that is affordable, reliable, and efficient.



W�o �s Jennifer Quail? By Emily Haines Lloyd

Quail has a penchant for the unique and unusual, as seen in the vintage amber necklace she’s wearing that became a bit of a talisman after her other necklace broke in the green room during the shooting of “Jeopardy!” The earrings are favorites from a friend and artist, Kendra, who sells on Etsy as Half-Lucid Jewelry. Quail plans to wear the earrings if she attends the Tournament of Champions.

Jennifer Quail is an old pro at winning competitions. She was pretty excited when

she submitted a recipe to Michigan Country Lines’ online contest and won a $50 credit on her Midwest Energy bill. Her Southwest Mac N Cheese was a hit, but she had no idea then that her winning streak was about to go to a whole new level. Quail grew up on the east side of Michigan near Detroit but found herself in Dowagiac, Michigan, after taking a museum educator position at Southwest Michigan College. Quail’s interest in facts and details certainly directed her in pursuing her museum studies degree. Those same interests were just as instrumental in her transition into a wine-tasting consultant for Domaine Berrien Cellars (Berrien Springs, Michigan), where she currently educates visitors on the nuances of the wine varietals offered. Quail, a lover of details and trivia, can put her knowledge to the test on the daily, but she always had her eyes on the ultimate trivia test. “I always loved ‘Jeopardy!’ when I was younger,” remembers Quail. “If we got our homework done as kids, we would eat dinner and then get to watch ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy!’ It was the ultimate treat.” For 35 years, Quail watched contestants compete to ring in and dazzle host Alex Trebek with correct answers. Quail decided to take on the try-out process for the show—which consists of an online test, a face-to-face audition, and finally, an invitation to be a contestant. She made it as far as the in-person audition three times but didn’t advance to appearing on the show. Her fourth try proved to be the lucky one, and she was selected to compete on “Jeopardy!” Quail flew out to Los Angeles, where the show is filmed, and sat next to the other contestants, as they patiently awaited their turn to pick up a buzzer and show their smarts. “It was the only time I was really nervous,” said Quail. “You’re sitting there waiting for your name to be called. Otherwise, I felt pretty calm. Once you’ve worked a room of third graders on a museum field trip, you’re pretty much ready for anything.”

When Quail’s name finally was called, the nerves seemed to fade into the background. Once she won her first match, her confidence built, and Quail was off. Quail ended up with an impressive eight-game winning streak, going out on her ninth round. Her final earnings were $228,800, but Quail was equally proud that she correctly answered every Daily Double that she rang in on and nailed each “Final Jeopardy!” question except for one. Quail’s impressive run qualifies her for the Tournament of Champions, which she’s quick to admit she’d love to participate in. While the prize money and local notoriety were certainly a nice outcome, Quail has a sincere love of the game and is glad she didn’t give up on auditioning for the show. “It’s a dream come true. To go from being that little kid watching ‘Jeopardy!’ to actually being on the show, it’s amazing,” said Quail. “I’d encourage anyone who is thinking of auditioning for the show to do it. Just take the first step—because you never know where it can lead.”

“It’s a dream come true. To go from being that little kid watching ‘Jeopardy!’ to actually being on the show, it’s amazing.” MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Winter weather can have a significant impact on your energy bills, hitting your pockets a little harder than you would have liked. Now that spring is just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to tackle a few DIY efficiency projects for your home. The good news: You don’t have to be an energy expert to do this!


By completing these simple hands-on efficiency projects, you can save energy and money while increasing the comfort level of your home. And you can impress your family and friends with your savvy energy-saving skills.



DIY Efficiency Projects

WATER HEATER INSULATION AND TEMPERATURE Insulating a water heater that’s warm to the touch can save 7 to 16% annually on your water heating bills. (Note: Newer water heaters may already be insulated.) A pre-cut jacket or blanket can be purchased for about $20. 1. Turn off the water heater. 2. Wrap the jacket or blanket around the water heater and tape it to keep it in place temporarily. 3. Use a marker to note any areas where the controls are so you can cut them out. 4. Once positioned, tape the jacket or blanket permanently in place. 5. Turn the water heater back on. For an electric water heater, do not set the thermostat above 130 degrees, which can cause overheating.

16 APRIL 2020

SEAL AIR LEAKS WITH CAULK The average American family spends $2,000 annually on energy bills, with much of that money wasted through air leaks in the home. Applying caulk around windows, doors, electrical wiring, and plumbing can save energy and money. 1. Choose a silicone caulk that is waterproof, flexible, and won’t shrink or crack. 2. Clean and remove any old caulk or paint with tools or solvent. The area should be dry before you apply the new caulk. 3. Apply the caulk in one continuous stream, and make sure it sticks to both sides of the crack or seam. Use a putty knife to smooth out the caulk. 4. Wipe the surface with a dry cloth.

WEATHER STRIP EXTERIOR DOORS One of the best ways to seal air leaks is to weather strip exterior doors, which helps keep out drafts and control energy costs. 1. Choose weather stripping materials that can withstand temperature changes, friction and the general “wear and tear” for the location of the door. You will need separate materials for the door sweep (at the bottom of the door) and the top and sides. 2. Clean the molding with water and soap, then let the area dry completely. 3. Measure each side of the door, then cut the weather stripping to fit each section. 4. Make sure the weather stripping fits snugly against both surfaces so it compresses when the door is closed.

WHAT’S ON THAT POLE? This illustration shows the basic equipment found on electric utility poles. The equipment varies according to the location and the service they provide.

PRIMARY WIRES Primary wires carry 7,200 volts of electricity from a substation. That voltage is 60 times higher than the voltage that runs through your home’s electrical outlets! SURGE ARRESTORS These protect the transformer from lightning strikes. INSULATORS Insulators prevent energized wires from contacting each other or the pole.

NEUTRAL WIRE The neutral wire acts as a line back to the substation and is tied to the ground, balancing the electricity on the system. SECONDARY SERVICE DROP Carries 120/240-volts of electricity to consumers’ homes. It has two “hot” wires from the transformer and a bare “neutral” wire that’s connected to the ground wire on the pole. GROUND WIRE The ground wire connects to the neutral wire to complete the circuit inside the transformer. It also directs electricity from lightning safely into the earth.

TELEPHONE, CABLE TV, AND FIBER WIRES These are typically the lowest wires on the pole.

Original illustration by Erin Binkley



MI CO-OP Community



Best Of Michigan


We’ve rounded up the best places to grab a slice with this member-recommended list.

1 8 2 6 3

10 4



5 9

They have a big selection of delicious pizzas and toppings. This family-friendly restaurant gives up-close views of trains coming through and of Lake Michigan, where you can take your pizza to the beach. Katie Schneider, Midwest Energy & Communications silverbeachpizza.com


CAMPGROUNDS! Tell us about the Michigan campgrounds you like visiting best. Go to countrylines.com/ micoopcommunity for more information.

18 APRIL 2020

J&B’s Bar + Grill, Johannesburg

Without a doubt...this is the best pizza. Vernon Fry, Great Lakes Energy jandbsbarandgrill.com


Silver Beach Pizza, Saint Joseph

Big John’s Pizza, Whitehall

This is the best pizza with a great amount of toppings. Dianne Waruszewski, Midwest Energy & Communications bigjohnsmi.com


Enza’s Pizza, Dorr

Sarah Stanton, Great Lakes Energy enzaspizza.weebly.com


Pete’s Patio, Niles

They offer the perfect crust on perfect pizza. Gray Shelton, Midwest Energy & Communications



Don’s American Pizza, Lake City


Onondaga Pizza Company, Onondaga

This is simply the BEST mom and pop pizza ever! The pizza is superb and so are the other menu items. Perry and Jane Piccard, Great Lakes Energy donsamericanpizza.com

This place gets top-notch ratings and is inside Clones Country Store. Bob Noble, HomeWorks Tri-Country


The Saloon, Gladstone

Pizza is the only food item they sell, and I don’t know what it is about it, but it’s the BEST! Maryann Severyn, Alger Delta


Sherry Lee’s Bar and Grill, Vandalia

The best pizza outside of Chicago. Michael Maloney, Midwest Energy & Communications


Main Street Pizza, Lakeview and Edmore

They have absolutely the best pizza and the best cheesy bread too. Patty Esch, HomeWorks Tri-County eatmainstreetpizza.com

Hybrid Geothermal There’s a Well-Connect in your Neighborhood.




— Charles S, PIE&G



“My home is so much more comfortable. No more drafts or cold rooms in my house. I no longer need space heaters and only burn wood when I want.”

“Iʼm saving over $130 per month versus propane and I financed my Well-Connect for under $80 per month.” --- Randy B, Great Lakes Energy

“My propane deliveryman said, ʻWhatever it is youʼre doing to reduce your propane use, itʼs definitely working!ʼ” -- Glynnis P, Cherryland

“Turns out, my results are even better than advertised. The monthly cost to operate my Well-Connect unit is ridiculously inexpensive.” -- Jack F, Great Lakes Energy

CALL FOR A FREE HOME VISIT 989-356-2113 989-356-2113


facebook.com/algerdeltaelectric 800-562-0950

Lineworkers know how to get the job done. Let’s thank them for powering our lives.

Lineworker Appreciation Day April 13, 2020 #ThankALineworker