April 2020 Cherryland

Page 1

April 2020


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative

Easement Legislation Favors Co-ops, Broadband Expansion

Day In The Life Of A Cherryland Lineworker Electrify Your Lawn Care


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.

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Submit your fondest memories and stories.

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Board Of Directors

TOM VAN PELT President 231-386-5234 tvanpelt@cherrylandelectric.coop DAVID SCHWEITZER Senior Vice President 231-883-5860 dschweitzer@cherrylandelectric.coop GABE SCHNEIDER Secretary 517-449-6453 gschneider@cherrylandelectric.coop MELINDA LAUTNER Treasurer 231-947-2509 mlautner@cherrylandelectric.coop TERRY LAUTNER Director 231-946-4623 tlautner@cherrylandelectric.coop JOHN OLSON Director 231-938-1228 jolson@cherrylandelectric.coop JON ZICKERT Director 231-631-1337 jzickert@cherrylandelectric.coop GENERAL MANAGER Tony Anderson CO-OP EDITORS Rachel Johnson Rob Marsh

OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m. TELEPHONE NUMBERS 231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.) ADDRESS P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637 WEBSITE cherrylandelectric.coop PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637 Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Follow us on Facebook. facebook.com/cherrylandelectriccoop Follow us on Instagram. @cherrylandec

4 APRIL 2020

April 13 Is National Lineworker Appreciation Day Wind, rain, sleet, or snow, Cherryland’s line crew is ready for any challenge set before them. A big thank-you to all the Cherryland lineworkers for their hard work and dedication!

Cherryland Office Closed Good Friday The Cherryland office will be closed Friday, April 10, in observance of Good Friday. Normal business hours will resume Monday, April 13. Line crews are on call to respond to any outages or emergencies. You can report an outage by texting OUT to 800-442-8616, logging into SmartHub, or by calling us at 231-486-9200. Visit our website’s Outage Center for more details.

Members Donate To Local Nonprofits Through Cherryland Cares You can help local nonprofits by contributing to Cherryland Cares. Cherryland Cares is funded through the voluntary rounding up of a member’s monthly electric bill to the next whole dollar amount. A member’s average annual contribution is approximately $6. If you are interested in participating, call the Cherryland office at 231-486-9200 or sign up through SmartHub. The funds collected through this program are then distributed by the Cherryland Cares Board: a five-member volunteer board that reviews grant applications and allocates the funds to nonprofits seeking assistance.

Members Earn Rebates With Energy Efficiency Upgrades Cherryland members are eligible to receive rebates for energy efficiency upgrades in their homes or businesses. Common upgrades include replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs and purchasing Energy Star qualified appliances. For a guide to our residential rebate program and a complete listing of rebates available on Energy Star qualified appliances, visit our website at cherrylandelectric.coop/rebates.

Save The Date—82nd Annual Meeting On June 11 Cherryland’s 82nd Annual Meeting will take place Thursday, June 11, at Incredible Mo’s in Grawn. Mark your calendars for an evening of food, fun and information! *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. As the Annual Meeting gets closer, if needed, we will adapt our plan in accordance with the most up-to-date public health recommendations, and inform members of any change prior to the meeting.

Your Board In Action February Meeting: The co-op’s member relations manager gave a presentation to the board regarding outage text alerts. At the beginning of February, Cherryland introduced a two-way texting service to the membership as a means for members to report outages and receive status updates directly from their mobile phones. The board elected Dave Schweitzer to serve as the co-op’s voting delegate (and Gabe Schneider to serve as the alternate) at the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Financial Corporation’s (CFC) Annual Meeting in March. CFC provides a range of financial services to co-ops across the country.

Easement Changes Tony Anderson, General Manager


n January 22, 2020, the Michigan House of Representatives, by a vote of 105-1, passed HB 4266 (Easement Clarification) and HB 5266 (Pole Attachment Standardization). The Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA) has been quietly working on these bills for the past year. By the time you read this, I anticipate that they will be out of the Senate and signed by the governor. The Easement Clarification bill (4266) puts into state statute electric cooperative use of existing easements for broadband (fiber optic cable) communication purposes. Cooperatives in other states have been involved in major lawsuits after installing broadband cable on existing poles while using easements that did not contain communication as an authorized function of the easement. Michigan electric cooperatives that desire to become providers of fiber services can now do so within existing electric easements without fear of a lawsuit. The Pole Attachment Standardization bill (5266), a compromise with the telecom industry, simply requires a standardized approach and fee calculation for electric cooperative pole attachments. Said another way, Verizon and AT&T in Michigan wanted one uniform system and cost structure when they installed wire and hardware onto electric cooperative poles. What do these bills mean for every member of Cherryland? Most importantly, your cooperative has no plans to get into the fiber-to-the-home business. We do have plans to facilitate the installation of fiber onto our electric distribution system with any viable private entity willing to provide the service. Our territory is largely served by companies already in the broadband communication business. This legislation will make it easier for us to help those companies wanting to expand into the unserved areas of our service territory.

The new statutes will require compliance with the National Electric Safety Code (NESC). The NESC clearly defines what communications space is and what electric space is on an overhead power line. Any future sharing on overhead lines will be done in a safe and uniform manner. The legislation is clear about preventing material impact on an individual’s property. This simply means that the hanging of fiber below the electric wire that crosses your property cannot reduce your property value. So, please put the visions of a spider’s web of wires traversing across your view out of your mind. We have shared communication space with cable TV providers (who had their own easements) for decades. Any future fiber installation should not look much different. MECA, an association owned by every electric cooperative in Michigan, did a great job getting the support necessary for passage from AT&T, the Telecommunications Association of Michigan, Frontier Communications, Comcast, the Michigan Public Service Commission, the Michigan Farm Bureau and the Michigan Cable Television Association. MECA also successfully lobbied legislators on both sides of the aisle as they shepherded these bills through the legislative process. One legislator from our service territory and another from a neighboring legislative district championed these bills in Lansing. Locally, Sen. Wayne Schmidt from the 37th Senate district was our lead in that chamber. On the other side of the capitol building in Lansing, House Majority Leader Triston Cole of District 105 did a great job advocating on behalf of the electric cooperatives. These changes may not seem significant when Cherryland is not getting into the broadband business. I would make the point that they could be very important to a future that is often hard to predict. It’s better to have a valuable tool in the box before any future project is delayed because the item we need to start a large project can’t be found. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


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



LIVING THE LINE LIFE My Day With A Line Crew By Rachel Johnson, Member Relations Manager

Apprentice Kyle Griffin teaches Rachel Johnson how to splice underground wire.

f you ask most people what a lineworker does, they’ll tell you they turn the lights back on when the power goes out.


That’s true. Our line crews are on call 24/7/365, often working in the most difficult and challenging weather conditions to keep the lights on for Cherryland’s 36,000 members.

All our crews start the day with a tailboard job briefing. Before we left the shop, we talked through the jobs we were scheduled to work that day and made sure we had all the necessary equipment.

But what about all the rest of the time? What does the dayto-day work look like? I tagged along with one of our crews last October to scope it out.

Once we got on-site, we did another tailboard job briefing that included confirming the plan for the job and identifying any potential safety hazards.


8 APRIL 2020

A little bit of planning goes a long way.

Our first job for the day involved upgrading the underground service to an old farm in Leelanau County that is being renovated into an event center.

Those tailboards saved us time and also saved us from making potentially fatal mistakes.

Members come first. One of the things we identified in the tailboard was that we were going to have to temporarily disconnect service to another member to perform the job safely. When our crew foreman stopped by the house to let them know, he found out they were running a homebased daycare. Running a daycare is stressful enough without the news that you’re going to lose power. The crew foreman could have been dismissive of the impact on this member, but instead, he did the opposite.

Cherryland linemen Kyle Griffin, Nick Newell, and Dave Bott, with temporary crew member Rachel Johnson. #thankalineman

He worked with the daycare to determine what time we could disconnect their power with the least disruption to their routine. And, we planned our work around their needs. I was so impressed with the dedication everyone on my crew showed to taking care of our members.

The right equipment goes a long way. Ask any seasoned lineman, and they’ll tell you stories of jobs made infinitely harder and more dangerous by lacking or faulty equipment. In the good old days, every pole required climbing, and every hole required digging by hand. Today, Cherryland’s crews have plenty of tools to make the job better. The workhorse of our underground service crew was the trencher—backhoe on the front, vibrating cable plow on the back, and way more levers than made sense to my novice hands. It was amazing the amount of work we could accomplish quickly and without causing undue damage to the sites we worked on with the trencher.

Linework is hard. Even with all that equipment, we still had to do a lot of digging by hand. My crew started me out with a shovel and instructions to help dig a hole near a pedestal where we would be connecting service to an old farmhouse. Turns out hole digging is not my strength. My crewmates already had a lineman-sized hole dug in the amount of time it took for me to “loosen” the soil where I was digging. Lucky for the members we served that day, my underperformance couldn’t detract from the exemplary service they got from our line crew. Hats off to “my” crew and all our crews for the work they do every day to take care of our members. If you see one, be sure to #thankalineman this month and every month.

Foreman Dave Bott demonstrates how to control the backhoe on the trencher. Even with a fancy trencher, sometimes you still just need a shovel.

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.





for your home

Make energy efficient upgrades and enjoy new rebates in 2020!

Here’s how it works: You decide to make your home more efficient. You’re eligible to receive rebates from us. It’s that simple. Just another benefit of co-op membership!

Rebate Type


LED Bulbs (when replacing incandescent bulbs) LED downlight / flood / can light bulb Outdoor LED automatic dusk to dawn flood

$3 $6 $15

Clothes Washer Electric Clothes Dryer Dehumidifier Refrigerator / Freezer (10 cubic feet or larger)

$20 $20 $20 $20

Electric Vehicle*** Residential Level 2 Charging Station*** Commercial Level 2 Charging Station***

$2,000 $500 $1,000

Electric Water Heater*** Heat Pump Water Heater ECM Mini Split System Well-Connect Heat Pump*** Air to Air Heat Pump*** Ground Water Heat Pump***

$500 $100 $50 $100 $1,500 $2,000 $5,000

Refrigerator / Freezer Recycling






Please download and complete the rebate form on our website and send with copies of all receipts/invoices within 30 days of purchase. All appliances must be Energy Star rated. Funds may be limited and other restrictions may apply. ***Please call (231) 486-9200 prior to purchase to ensure eligibility and availability of funds. Rebate forms for these upgrades must be filed within 12 months from date of purchase.

Please download and complete the rebate form on our website and send it to us with copies of all receipts/invoices within 30 days of purchase. All appliances must be Energy Star rated to qualify for rebates. Funds may be limited and other restrictions may apply. ***Please call us prior to purchase to ensure eligibility and availability of funds, or with any questions about residential rebates, at (231) 486-9200.

Three Ways To Electrify Your Lawn Care By Abby Berry

pring is just around the corner, and you can practically smell the freshly-cut grass. If you’re in the market to upgrade your lawn care equipment, you may want to consider electric (or battery-powered) options.


Electric lawn care equipment options are becoming more popular than ever, offering consumers faster charging times, longer battery life and quieter, greener products compared to their gas-powered counterparts. Here are a few ways you can electrify your lawn care this spring.

Electric Lawn Mowers

Electric Trimmers

Electric Leaf Blowers

Electric lawn mowers have come a long way. Early models required corded connections, which were tricky to manage––but the cord has been cut. Newer cordless electric mowers are certainly more expensive than gaspowered mowers. Still, much of the upfront cost can be recovered since electricity is less expensive than gas, and electric engines generally require less maintenance than gas engines. Cordless electric mowers typically range from $200 to $500.

Cordless electric string trimmers are a great option for most lawns. Traditionally, like lawn mowers, string trimmers have typically been powered by gas. But new versions of electric trimmers are improving and are now considered worthy competitors of gaspowered models.

If you don’t want to deal with the maintenance of a gas-powered blower or the restraints of a corded blower, a cordless electric version is a great option.

Electric mowers are suitable for most lawn care needs, with batteries that typically require about one to two hours to fully charge, and most batteries can run for a full hour. That said, if you have a large yard, a gas-powered option may be best to suit your needs.

Cordless electric trimmers are much quieter and easier to use, but most batteries last about 30 to 45 minutes. So, if you have a lot of space to trim, you may want to consider a backup battery. Costs can vary depending on your needs, but you can find a quality version for about $100.

Cordless electric leaf blowers are lightweight and easy to maneuver, but they don’t offer quite as much power as gas-powered and corded blowers. If your leaf blowing and clearing needs are minimal, a cordless electric leaf blower can get the job done. Costs for a cordless electric blower vary depending on power and battery quality, but you can purchase a dependable model for about $150 and up.

If you’re looking to electrify your lawn care equipment, be sure to do your homework. Search online for the latest reviews and check trusted websites. With a little research, you’ll be well on your way to Lawn of the Month—with less maintenance, hassle and noise.



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


Most votes on Facebook!





Enter to win a


energy bill credit!


Photo Contest

Around The World

Submit Your “Nightscapes” Photos!

1. “ Foggy Blue Water Bridge” by Andrew Boyd

Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes in our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. Our April theme is Nightscapes. Photos can be submitted through April 20 to be featured in our June issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest, visit facebook.com/cherrylandelectriccoop and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at cherrylandelectric.coop/photo-contest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2020, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2020 bill. 16 APRIL 2020


2. “ Houghton Lift Bridge” by Dave Cox 3. “Blue ice near the Mighty Mac” by Danielle Recker 4. “Stayin’ alive at the Traverse City pedestrian bridge” by Dianne McIntyre 5. “Hey, let’s go already!” by Shane Tucker 6. “Charlevoix Bridge lighting in 2019” by Constance Gardner

Board Election Coming Up ur annual board of directors election is just around the corner. Members will be voting to fill two board seats: an At-Large and a Leelanau County seat.


Beginning May 1, members can pre-vote online or by mail. You can choose to vote in person at our 82nd Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 11, at Incredible Mo’s. For information about board elections, visit our website. Additional information about board candidates and voting options will be made available in the May issue of Michigan Country Lines. *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. As the Annual Meeting gets closer, if needed, we will adapt our plan in accordance with the most up-to-date public health recommendations, and inform members of any change prior to the meeting.

No power? Text us. Report and track an outage from your phone with outage text alerts.


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 18

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



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

Lineworker Appreciation Day April 13, 2020 #ThankALineworker

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