Celebrating 40 Years Of
2020 January/February 2020
COUNTRY LINES Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op
BEATING THE ODDS Communities First Fund Awards Local Grants
Director Election Results
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In This Issue January 2020 || Vol. 40, No. 1
Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives
Follow Us On Instagram! @michigancountrylines
Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Design and Production: 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 are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org countrylines.com
CHANGE OF ADDRESS:
Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.
The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.
FEATURED PHOTO FROM #micoopcommunity:
This winter “tunnel of trees” is giving the fall version a run for its money, by @asnow789 (Adam Snow).
Tag your photos with #micoopcommunity, and they could be featured on our Instagram account and printed as the featured photo in our magazine!
ON THE COVER
Playing piano on a frozen lake may seem odd, but given YoungMin You’s unconventional background, it didn’t faze him a bit. YoungMin’s unique journey has taken the South Korean native to northern Michigan, where he composes music and shares his prodigious playing with a substantial online following.
YoungMin You: Beating The Odds South Korean native YoungMin You turned a chance to study in the U.S. into a thriving music career in Petoskey. Emily Haines Lloyd
6 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY
18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY
We wholeheartedly thank our readers for their engagement and contributions, and hope you’ll continue to share, win and belong.
Mike Lavens, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member, loves the outdoors … and loves instilling this passion for nature in others even more.
Michigan Country Lines Celebrates 40 Years!
10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN
Guest Column: Reaping What You Sow
Guess Our New Mystery Photo And Win A $50 Bill Credit!
Comfort Foods Mean Cozy HomeCooked Meals Christin McKamey & Our Readers
Go Big And Spicy, Or Go Home Featured Guest Chef: Chantelle You, wife of talented pianist YoungMin You, is always looking for meals with the bold Korean flavors her husband enjoys. Here she shares one of his favorites, Jerk Chicken With Pineapple Black Bean Salsa recipe. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!
Best of Michigan UP NEXT! Chocolatiers: Tell us about your favorite places for melt-in-your-mouth chocolates. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by January 25, and this indulgent list will be published in the February issue.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
You’re More Than A Customer
CHEBOYGAN PRESQUE ISLE
Board Of Directors Charles Arbour, Treasurer
23899 M32 S, Hillman MI 49746 989-657-4358 • Term Expires: 2020
Allan Berg, Vice-Chairman
1117 E. Heythaler Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-0044 • Term Expires 2020
Sandy Borowicz, Secretary
5341 Carlson Rd.,Cheboygan, MI 49721 231-627-9220 • Term Expires 2021
John Brown, Chairman
21 W. Devereaux Lake Rd., Indian River, MI 49749 231-625-2099 • Term Expires 2020
1849 W. 638 Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-4196 • Term Expires 2021
7630 Wallace Rd., Alpena, MI 49707 989-884-3037 • Term Expires 2019
15841 Carr Rd., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-3678 • Term Expires 2019
P.O. Box 54, Hillman, MI 49746 989-742-3145 • Term Expires 2021
6737 State St., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-2498 • Term Expires 2019
President & CEO: Tom Sobeck email@example.com
Communications Director/Co-op Editor: Maire Chagnon-Hazelman
Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 19831 M-68 Hwy., P.O. Box 308 Onaway, MI 49765
Business Office & Billing: 989-733-8515 Toll-Free: 800-423-6634 Gas Emergency Toll-Free: 800-655-8565
pieg.com Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/PIEGCooperative Most PIE&G natural gas rates and charges are not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
4 JANUARY 2020
Tom Sobeck, President & CEO
uthor Anthony J. D’Angelo observed, “Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”
To a large degree, this reflects PIE&G’s philosophy toward our consumermembers and the broader service territory that we serve. As a cooperative, we have a different “bottom line.” While our priority is always to provide reliable and safe energy, there is another equally important part of this equation. Your wellbeing and that of the larger community that we serve is of paramount concern. To us, you are not just a customer; you are a member of our co-op, and without you, we would not exist. In 1937, Presque Isle Electric Cooperative was founded to fulfill a vital need in our community that would not have otherwise been met. Concerned local leaders came together to build this co-op and bring electricity where there was none. At that time, members of the community understood we were different because they likely knew someone who helped to create Presque Isle Electric. For most people, our founding and its circumstances have been long forgotten. Over time, folks in the community may have come to think of us as simply another energy provider. But we are not. In 1994, we became Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op, bringing natural gas service to northeast Michigan and, in 2018, expanded operations by acquiring Aurora Gas Company. We are a co-op that is continually evolving to meet the needs of the communities we serve, and we can do this because of members like you. Since our inception, we have sought feedback and engagement from you and that of the larger community to guide our long-term decisions. This is why we hold annual meetings and attend other events such as county fairs and local festivals during the year. We host events like this to engage with you and obtain your feedback. We strive to find new ways to help you use energy more efficiently. We’re always looking to explore more options that will help you manage your energy use, such as our Energy Optimization (EO) energy efficiency program and flexible payment options. In short, we are always seeking to keep pace with the changing energy environment, evolving technology and shifting consumer expectations. PIE&G members help guide important co-op decisions that improve and enrich the community. We value the perspective of our board members, who are members of the co-op and community—just like you. As a local business, we have a stake in the community. That’s why we support local charitable organizations such as local food pantries through programs like the PIE&G Communities First Fund. When you support these efforts, you are supporting the community and making it a better place for everyone. While the times may have changed, our mission and outlook have not. We view our role as a catalyst for good. Working together, we can accomplish great things for our community now and in the future.
Director Election Results
Your Board In Action
resque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op held its 82nd annual membership meeting at Onaway High School on Friday, October 25, with approximately 400 people attending. The following candidates were elected to three-year terms: Kurt Krajniak, (incumbent, Alpena District), Brentt Lucas (incumbent, Alpena District) and Raymond Wozniak (incumbent, Presque Isle District). The number of votes that each candidate received is listed below. Immediately following the meeting, the board of directors held its election of officers and the results are: Chair—John Brown; ViceChair—Allan Berg; Secretary—Sandy Borowicz; and Treasurer— Charles Arbour. In other business, members heard reports from the cooperative’s auditor Harris Group, and from chief executive officer, Thomas Sobeck. Kurt Krajniak
At its recent meetings, the PIE&G Board of Directors: • Approved the 2020 Work Plan (utility plant capital budget), of which $3,243,800 was for electric utility plant construction and $795,000 was for natural gas utility plant construction, for a projected total of $4,038,000. • Reviewed and accepted the 2020 Operating Plan as a reasonable forecast for the 2020 fiscal year and a useful business planning tool for the organization. • Reviewed annual disclosure statements per board policy on conflicts of interest. • Approved revisions to the cooperative’s Management Compensation Plan.
Alpena District (Two Vacancies) Kurt Krajniak
Presque Isle District (One Vacancy) Gary Shepherd Raymond Wozniak
$100 Prize Winner The winner of the $100 prize raffle for voting by mail was Ronald A. Skiera of Lachine.
• Set the 2020 annual membership meeting for 10 a.m. on Friday, October 23, 2020, at Posen High School, and approved closing the office that day. • Reviewed new headquarters building design concepts with the architectural firm Sidock and Associates and the construction manager, Brivar Construction. • Undertook phase one of a strategic planning session with Right Management. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
MI CO-OP Community
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 1980
Celebrates 40 Years
Michigan Country Lines has been connecting members with their electric cooperatives for forty years. As a Michigan Country Lines reader, not only are you the heart of your co-op, you are the heart of this magazine. And luckily for us, many of our readers are also contributors. The numerous reader submissions we receive make this magazine a one-of-a-kind—a place where we can read about others’ experiences, drool over their recipes and laugh at their funny pictures, bringing us together as a community. We are so grateful that you enjoy this magazine enough to engage in its content, and we encourage you to continue doing so. Visit our MI Co-op Community page on countrylines.com and share your knowledge of our wonderful state, your stories, and, yes, your amazing recipes! In addition to publication, your work may be rewarded with cash or bill credits. We look forward to our members’ continued content and contest contributions.
6 JANUARY 2020
Monthly Recipe Contest And MI Co-op Kitchen
$50 BILL CREDIT
If you’re in need of some food inspiration, look no further than MI Co-op Kitchen——our online cooking community. MI Co-op Kitchen is an interactive space where you can share your recipes and food ideas with other like-minded members. Submit a recipe for our monthly contest and you could win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe published and a professional video created for our website. A winner is selected every month.
Where In Michigan Is This?
$50 BILL CREDIT
Our Mystery Photo Contest gives you the chance to correctly identify our mystery photo and win a $50 bill credit. A new “Where in Michigan Is This?” mystery photo is published in our January, March, May, July/August, September and November/ December Michigan Country Lines issues. Each correct guess is placed into a drawing and one lucky winner is selected.
$150 CASH AWARD
We know many of our members are talented and have great ideas——so we invite you to share that talent in Country Lines! We will pay $150 for the stories we publish. Let the ideas ﬂow! Stories could be about a signiﬁcant or memorable event, a person in your life, life lessons learned, educational topics, Michigan recreational activities, and more! Please keep stories to approximately 350 words. Photos are always welcome!
NO BARRIERS ADVENTURES FOR RURAL VETERANS— APPLY BY FEBRUARY 28
Best Of Michigan Do you have a favorite spot where you bring outof-state guests? What about a favorite Michigan ice cream shop, or a Michigan–inspired treat? Our Best of Michigan column is a way for you to submit your preferred treats, sites, restaurants, opinions and activities. We will publish many submissions for the Best Of Michigan section, so there is no monetary reward. However, your name will be published!
Michigan electric cooperatives believe there should be “No Barriers” for veterans with disabilities. That’s the name and idea behind CoBank’s No Barriers initiative. Michigan cooperatives are looking for qualiﬁed veterans* from our local community to participate.
Follow Michigan Country Lines On Instagram Follow us on our Instagram account, @michigancountrylines, where we celebrate the energy of rural Michigan. Marvel at Michigan’s majestic beauty, learn about new places to visit and experience rural Michigan life, and enjoy special inﬂuencer events. Tag your photos with #micoopcommunity, and they could be featured on our Instagram account. Your photo could even be chosen to print as the featured photo in our magazine. We can’t wait to see what you share!
Follow Michigan Country Lines On Facebook Follow us on our Facebook account at “Michigan Country Lines Magazine” for up-to-date magazine content, inﬂuencer events, contests, recipe videos and much more.
No Barriers is a ﬁve-day, all-expensespaid expedition in Colorado, designed to help veterans with disabilities transform their lives through curriculum-based experiences in challenging environments (climbing, rafting and hiking).
If you are a disabled veteran or you know of a disabled veteran in our community who would like to participate in the No Barriers program, please complete the form on our website:
countrylines.com/nobarriers *Must have VA disability rating to be eligible.
Prioritize Energy Efficiency In 2020
tack up the savings with energy improvement projects that can help drive more money to your bottom line. Getting started is easy with the help of the Energy Optimization program. Cash incentives are available to help offset the upfront cost of energy-efficient equipment—which can help you save energy and money for years to come. A few opportunities to improve your agribusiness include:
FREE Farm Energy Assessment:
To begin understanding more about your farm’s energy usage, take advantage of our free assessment. The complimentary assessment will help identify where and how to implement practical, energy-saving alternatives to outdated, inefficient equipment.
Incentives For Energy-Efficient Products And Equipment: Receive cash back when you purchase and install energyefficient measures such as: • • • • • • • •
Low-energy livestock waterers Fans and controls Milk handling equipment Variable speed pumps and controllers Dairy refrigeration tune-ups Irrigation system upgrades LED grow lights and poultry lights Long-day lighting systems
Incentives For Custom Projects:
Have an energy efficiency project in mind, but don’t see it on our list? The Energy Optimization program will work with you to provide incentives for innovative and unique energy efficiency projects designed to meet specific needs. Contact us to discuss your ideas!
Learn More Read about how your neighbors have utilized the Energy Optimization program incentives to improve the energy efficiency of their agribusinesses at michigan-energy.org/testimonials. Relevant articles include: • “Coulter Farms Harvest Big Savings” • “Coveyou Scenic Farm Market Flourishes with Energy Savings” • “Award-winning Labor Housing Reaps Great Savings For Friske Orchards” • “Sklarczyk Seed Farm Shines Bright With LED Grow Lights” A complete list of incentives is available at michigan-energy.org or call 877-296-4319 for details.
Stack Up the
Reduce your energy use and SAVE! FREE agribusiness energy assessments available. Rebates available for custom and prescriptive energy savings projects.
Call now for best availability.
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.
Photo Contest Winner
The end of another perfect day at Burt Lake. By Jess Miller
Photo Contest Enter to win up to a
energy bill credit!
Around The World
Submit Your Favorite “Cute Kids” Photos!
1. Stairway over Banff, Canada— Bethany Cumper
Our January theme is Cute Kids. Photos can be submitted through Jan. 20 to be featured in our March/April issue.
3. Irish country homes—Thomas Stone
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.
Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit! To enter the contest, visit facebook.com/PIEGCooperative and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at pieg.com/content/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.
2. O n our way to the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii. This little boy is now wanting to learn as much as he can about Pearl Harbor— Lindsey Szumila 4. Idyllic Iceland—Sandy Blumenthal 5. J ust another day at the office— Renee Leow 6. L inemen needed! Photo was taken in Bangkok, Thailand—Renee Leow 7. Auf Wiedersehen from Germany, 2019—Linda Soulliere
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Comfort Foods Warm up with these cozy home-cooked meals. Photos by Robert Bruce Photography Recipes Submitted By MCL Readers And Tested By Recipe Editor Christin McKamey
Sausage and Mushroom Pappardelle Annie Barnes, Great Lakes Energy 8 1 1 1 6 3 4
ounces pappardelle pasta tablespoon olive oil red bell pepper, sliced onion, thinly sliced large mushrooms, sliced cloves garlic, minced links smoked turkey sausage, sliced (or crumbled Italian sausage), cooked
• pinch of red pepper ﬂakes 1 cup cream ½ cup cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped • kosher salt • parmesan cheese, for garnish
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil, then generously add kosher salt. Add pappardelle pasta and cook until al dente, then drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water. While pasta is cooking, begin cooking the sauce. In a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Then add red bell pepper slices and onion, and cook for 4–5 minutes or until onion softens, stirring occasionally. Season with kosher salt, add mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Add garlic, sausage and red pepper ﬂakes, and cook until sausage is warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add cream, tomatoes and rosemary to skillet, and cook 3 minutes or until sauce thickens and tomatoes soften. Gently fold in pasta to skillet until coated. If you’d like more sauce, add reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time (or additional cream if you want a heavier sauce). Garnish with parmesan, kosher salt and more rosemary if desired. Serve immediately. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos 10 JANUARY 2020
Creamed Swiss Chard Luise Bolleber, Cherryland
4 tablespoons butter 2 garlic cloves, chopped ¼ cup yellow onion, chopped ¼ cup all-purpose ﬂour
1 cup whole milk • sea salt and white pepper 2 bunches Swiss chard, leaves chopped, stems chopped separately
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion, and chard stems and cook until onion and stems are softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Stir in ﬂour and cook for 1 minute. Raise heat to medium. Whisk in milk and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is thickened and reduced by about half. Add the chard leaves. You may have to do this in batches as the chard cooks down. Add salt and white pepper, and cook about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
featured GUEST CHEF A well-known pianist in Michigan, YoungMin You, enjoys Korean recipes. His wife, Chantelle, has realized that Korean food and ﬂavors are sometimes hard to come by in northern Michigan, so she’s always keeping an eye out for meals with big and spicy ﬂavors. This is one of YoungMin You’s favorites.
Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa
Dad’s Corn Fritters Deb Finedell, Great Lakes Energy /4 1 1 2 ½
cup all-purpose ﬂour tablespoon sugar teaspoon baking powder eggs cup milk (more to thin, if necessary) 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 generous cups corn kernels, fresh, frozen or canned (if frozen or canned, drain all moisture) 3 teaspoons chopped chives • oil, for frying • powdered sugar, optional
Mix ﬂour, sugar and baking powder. Add eggs, milk, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir together to make a batter. Add corn and chives. Fold together to combine. Heat oil in a skillet to 365 F. Drop batter by spoonfuls into heated oil. Flip to brown on all sides. Drain on paper towel-lined plate. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!!
4 cups cooked rice PINEAPPLE BLACK BEAN SALSA 2 cups pineapple tidbits, ﬁnely diced 1 15-ounce can black beans, well rinsed and drained ¹⁄ ³ cup red onion, ﬁnely diced ½ cup cilantro, chopped 1 lime • pinch red pepper ﬂakes (optional) ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste JERK CHICKEN 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about ²⁄³ pound each) 1 tablespoon jerk seasoning 1 tablespoon cooking oil Begin cooking your rice ﬁrst. While the rice is cooking, prepare the pineapple black bean salsa. Combine pineapple, black beans, red onion, cilantro, one tablespoon of lime juice, red pepper ﬂakes and salt. Add more salt or lime juice if needed.
Pizza Party: due February 1 Best Of Vegetarian: due March 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!
Next, prepare the jerk chicken. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken to eliminate splatter, then gently pound the chicken breasts into an even thickness using either a rolling pin or a mallet. Sprinkle the jerk seasoning over both sides of the chicken and use your hands to rub it into the surface, making sure the chicken is completely coated. Add the cooking oil to a large skillet, or preheat your grill. Once hot, add the chicken and cook until well browned on both sides and completely cooked through (about 7 minutes each side). It should no longer be pink in the center and the juices should run clear. Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, slice the chicken into ½ inch-wide strips. To serve, place about a cup of cooked rice on a plate and top with about a cup of the pineapple black bean salsa and a few strips of the jerk chicken. Slice the remaining lime into wedges and squeeze fresh juice over the chicken just before eating. Read the full story about YoungMin You on page 14, and ﬁnd this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.
G Com & E I P
munities First F und
AWARDS $23,372 IN LOCAL GRANTS
resque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op members continue giving generously through their voluntary round up of change on their electric and natural gas billings to assist area community organizations and individuals. These member contributions to the PIE&G Communities First Fund enable grants and scholarships in their local communities within PIE&Gâ€™s service area. At its June meeting, the PIE&G Communities First Fund board of directors finalized the review of applications and made awards of $11,628.50, and at its September meeting, awarded $11,743 in grants to the recipients below.
ALPENA COUNTY Alpena Area Senior Citizens Council Inc. ($1,100) to purchase nutritional supplements for the liquid nutrition program for the most frail, homebound, and nutritionally at-risk seniors participating in the Alpena County Meals on Wheels program. The grant will be distributed equally among the 11 participating seniors. The mission of the Alpena Senior Citizens Council is to promote and protect the dignity, independence, and welfare of older adults living in Alpena County. Long Rapids Township Volunteer Fire Department ($2,500) to aid in the purchase of an on-site air tank pressure unit (cascade system), which will be installed at the emergency facility. The unit is capable of quickly refilling and pressurizing a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) to full capacity so resources are quickly available when needed by the firefighters. Thunder Bay River Restoration Inc. ($2,543) for equipment purchases for the Thunder Bay River Restoration Improvement Project, including three chainsaws, four life vests, one life-saving throw ring, two winch cables and two gallons of chain saw fuel. The group strives to keep the channel open by cleaning up fallen trees and debris, such as the stretch between the James Road access in Green Township and the Herron Road Bridge in Maple Ridge Township.
CHEBOYGAN/PRESQUE ISLE COUNTIES Black Lake Preservation Society (BLPS) ($300) for signage and brochures regarding their invasive species education, prevention & control program. The BLPS produced brochures to increase awareness of invasive species (mussels, weeds, and other marine plants and animals), as well as informational signs which were placed at locations around Black Lake, including at the boat launch in Onaway State Park.
MONTMORENCY COUNTY Brush Creek Mill ($323) toward the purchase of a new computer and monitor. The existing computer is failing and outdated. The all-volunteer organization relies on the computer to conduct operations, including accounting, maintaining the membership database, preparing meeting minutes and marketing materials, managing the gift shop consignment program and the video history project, and for archiving records. Hillman Area Senior Citizens Inc. ($1,500) toward the furnace replacement project at the Hillman Senior Center. The center has been in operation for 38 years and hosts a variety of events. Itâ€™s also used to prepare and serve meals both on-site and for delivery to homebound seniors.
Hillman United Methodist Church ($700) to purchase school supplies and hygiene products for the “Back to School Bash.” At this one-day event, the church gives school supplies and hygiene products to children returning to school, as well as providing other services such as eye exams and haircuts. For seven years running, the Back to School Bash has grown from helping 32 children the first year to 141 last year. The event helps to alleviate the financial stress on families in need as the school year begins. Lewiston Downtown Development Authority ($750) for the purchase of craft supplies (paintable fall ceramics) for the Lewiston Fall Fest. The free event promotes family bonding and development with family activities, including hayrides, a petting zoo, a hay maze, pumpkin bowling, craft projects, a balloon artist, and musical entertainment. Every child receives a free pumpkin and goodie bag. Montmorency County 4-H Fair Association ($705.50) for campground electrical service upgrades to enable families to use water heaters, air conditioners and space heaters in their campers while attending the fair. The improvements will make the 25 campsites safer and expand comfort options.
Peace Lutheran Church ($1,000) to purchase personal hygiene items for the Peace Hygiene Pantry. The pantry is open every third Monday of the month. It gives away about 40-50 bags of hygiene supplies such as shampoo, bar soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, toilet paper, laundry soap, and dish soap to about 100 people (adults and children). Metz Township ($2,950) to purchase trees, plantings and fauna-flora interpretive signage for Metz Fire Historical Trailside Park. Metz Township is constructing a rustic campground at the Trailside Park, and the proposed campground will be located parallel to the NEST bike trail within the park property boundary. Rogers City Area Schools ($1,500) to purchase six Wright Foam Plyo Cubes (20 inches by 24 inches by 30 inches) for the Weight Room Project. Additional equipment and improvements will accommodate students in a class or a team, so all can use the equipment during the session or practice. The new exercise equipment will help students focus on their physical health.
Village of Hillman ($500) to purchase sand to build new horseshoe pits at Emerick Park. The Emerick Park Horseshoe Pit Project was formed to construct professional horseshoe pits that meet National Horseshoe Pitchers Association standards so that tournaments can be hosted at Emerick Park. The pits will also be available for public use.
OSCODA COUNTY Together We Can Food Pantry ($2,400) to purchase a two-month supply of food from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for the Together We Can Food Distribution project. The pantry distributes food to residents of Oscoda County and serves, on average, 193 households, or approximately 420 people, each month.
PRESQUE ISLE COUNTY Presque Isle Township ($2,780) to assist the Presque Isle Fire Department in purchasing four Mustang Ice Commander Rescue Suits. The Presque Isle Fire Department serves Long Lake and Grand Lake, and the rescue suits allow the department to be prepared with the necessary equipment to perform emergency ice or water rescues.
Rogers City Community Theatre (RCCT) ($500) to cover the cost of costumes for the Junior Summer Jamboree— titled “Lions, Panthers and Pumbaas—Oh My!” The jamboree is a three-day workshop where students ages 8 to 17 participate in the Summer Youth Theatre program. Taught by professional actors and musicians, the program increases confidence and improves conflict resolution and team-building skills. The RCCT cast approximately 20-30 youth in the Junior Summer Jamboree, and held rehearsals the following eight weeks leading up to the performance of “The Lion King Jr.” Rogers City Youth Football Inc. ($1,320) to purchase four football helmets. The organization serves fourth- through eighth-graders, and safety is the organization’s priority. Its mission is to instill ideals of good sportsmanship, honesty, loyalty, courage, and respect in the game of football and life. The league is comprised of youth from Rogers City, Onaway, Hillman, Posen, Atlanta, and Mio.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) YoungMin You:
YoungMin You Piano Arrangement
q = 72
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he trouble with odds is they œ œ œ to account œ œ forœ œ œ œ œseem œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ never œ œ passion, faith, and œ œ a positive œ œ œ
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œ œLloyd || PhotosœCourtesyœof AndyœHewitt and œ Ryan Gearhart œ œ œ ByœEmilyœ Haines œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ
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Words and Music by Hillsong United
YoungMin had the opportunity to study abroad in the United States, as his sister had before him. He found himself about to embark on a journey that would change his life in ways he couldn’t imagine.
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As he found himself in Adrian, Michigan, his passion for music, and piano speciﬁcally, had kicked into high gear. While he was immersed in American culture and cultivating a strong grasp of a second language, YoungMin was equally interested in learning to really play piano.
“I was just so in love with the piano, so I started teaching myself through YouTube,” said YoungMin. “I would practice ﬁve to six hours a day. I was obsessed.”
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With high school graduation fast approaching, YoungMin made the brave decision to apply to only one college—Wheaton College-
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“I feel like music is my way of putting a positive message into the world.” Conservatory of Music near Chicago. He decided that if he didn’t get in, he would go back to South Korea. YoungMin did get accepted at the conservatory and was quick to realize that his lack of formal training was something he would have to overcome. What were the odds that he could overcome his lack of formal education and catch up to his classmates? “I was so lucky to have professors who cared,” said YoungMin. “Cared, but were worried. My technique was not where it should have been, but I worked hard and got better.” YoungMin put his heart and a positive attitude into his craft. Through his efforts, he got so much better that he ended up being top in his class that semester. Passion and positivity may well have led YoungMin to love as well. During his ﬁrst year of college, he met Chantelle, a vocal performance major, who would eventually become his wife. After the two were married in 2016, the couple had to decide where they would go next. Cities like Chicago and New York came up in conversation, as both YoungMin and Chantelle were artists, and the cities offered a lot of opportunities in their ﬁelds. But after much discussion, another town came up—Petoskey, Michigan. Chantelle had fallen in love with
the picturesque lake community. YoungMin’s experience with high school in Michigan and Chantelle’s Midwest roots were both strong pulls. “Ultimately, we talked about where we wanted to make a life for ourselves, where we wanted to raise a family,” said YoungMin. “Beyond that, Petoskey has such a rich arts community. The fairs and festivals have a wonderful musical focus— it became an easy decision on whether to go big city or small town.” While YoungMin and Chantelle have settled on their own family home, YoungMin is still very much connected to his parents and sister in South Korea. He video chats with them regularly using Great Lakes Energy’s Truestream ﬁber internet. Upon settling in Petoskey, YoungMin had jobs as a music director,
accompanist, and playing for both weddings and funerals, but he eventually changed directions and decided to concentrate on his original faith-based music and arrangements. Now, you will ﬁnd him creating music on virtual platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, and posting inspiring videos on YouTube, where he ﬁrst learned to play the piano. “I love making music so much, and I wanted to ﬁnd a way to reach as many people as possible. These platforms make that possible,” said YoungMin. “I feel like music is my way of putting a positive message into the world.” Maybe the odds are stacked against an artist with a message of hope and positivity. But if there is anyone who is up for beating those odds, it’s a young man with talent, purpose and passion like YoungMin You.
Northern Michigan weather is hard to predict. The day of the video shoot, during which YoungMin played a piano rendition of “Hillsong’s Oceans” on Walloon Lake, there was a fresh two to three feet of snow on the frozen water. With the help of about 20 friends who volunteered and some friendly ﬁshermen who assisted in making a pathway, the 800-pound piano arrived at its destination on a sled dragged by a snowmobile. The task was mighty, but once again, passion won the day. Watch the full video here and be inspired:
youtube.com/watch?v=5n-e6lOhVq0 MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 15
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Quick Tips To Avoid High Winter Bills Looking to lower your bills this winter? Use the 10 tips below to conserve energy.
Seal air leaks and insulate well to prevent heat from escaping and cold air from entering your home. Reduce waste heat by installing a programmable thermostat. Turn off lights when not in use. Lower your water heater temperature. The Department of Energy recommends using the warm setting (120 degrees) during fall and winter months. Unplug electronics like kitchen appliances and TVs when youâ€™re away. Open blinds and curtains during the day to allow sunlight in to warm your home. Close blinds and curtains at night to keep cold, drafty air out.
Use power strips for multiple appliances, and turn off the main switch when youâ€™re away from home.
Wash clothes in cold water, and use cold-water detergent whenever possible.
Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, which use at least 75 percent less energy.
We’re excited to announce that we have a new website! The new site has improvements to layout and functionality, plus it’s optimized for mobile users. If you already have an existing SmartHub account, your account will transition over to the new site. If you’ve never used our website or if you want to check out our SmartHub account manager, we hope you visit us soon at pieg.com!
PIE&G HAS A NEW & IMPROVED WEBSITE!!
Scholarships For Graduating Seniors Applications due March 1
he PIE&G Communities First Fund has been awarding scholarships to graduating high school seniors since 1999. The scholarship program includes all accredited colleges or universities located in Michigan. The award is $1,000 and payable upon the successful completion of the first semester. The A. Barkley Travis Memorial scholarship ($500) is also available. Eligibility requirements and applications are available online at pieg.com or by contacting PIE&G at 800-423-6634, extension 1011. Completed applications with all supporting documentation must be received at PIE&G by March 1. Scholarships will be awarded by June 1.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17
Guess this photo and enter to win a
MI CO-OP Community
energy bill credit!
Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by January 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com or send by mail to: Country Lines Mystery Photo, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Include the name on your account, address, phone number and the name of your co-op. Our Mystery Photo Contest winner from the November/December issue is Karen Malburg, a Midwest Energy & Communications member, who correctly identified the photo as the “Believe” wall mural, which is part of the “Power of Words Community Mural Project.” It was painted by artist Mia Tavonatti on the exterior wall of the Blackstone Pizza Company located in downtown Iron Mountain. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.
Reaping What You Sow By Mike Lavens, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op
s we get older, it seems we start to cherish friends and family more and materialistic things less. At least, in my case, that’s what has occurred. A recent request by a distant nephew to come camp at our place north of Hillman came on short notice but was answered with a quick “yes.” You see, Roy was one of the sons of my wife’s cousins who many, many years ago, I took out deer hunting in southern Michigan when he was 10 years old. Roy told us years later that visiting us that summer is when he caught the outdoor bug. I have watched and enjoyed Roy’s adventures while growing up over the years —his ﬁshing, hunting, camping and kayaking, all the while, as he lived downstate. Our place is on a private lake and sits just off Long Lake, where we share a lot with some neighbors. It is the best of both worlds, with water recreation on the “big lake” and quiet, no- gas motor ﬁshing on the other lake. Roy, with his very ﬁrst ﬁsh, broke his personal best with a 27-inch pike. He was in heaven for the next four days, ﬁshing, kayaking, and enjoying the peace and quiet away from the city. He called us his outdoor parents during that stay, and it was a joy to see him take on the outdoors like a pro. Lucky for him, his “camping” visit turned into a more extended stay in our spare bedroom. It was nice to share yet again the outdoors with family and nurture such an important part of our human existence, even if it was just for a short time. We will cherish the memories made and the questions asked. The excitement in Roy’s voice as he explained about the loon coming up to the boat, the ﬁsh he caught, and how far down in the water he could see while kayaking. Share what you can, while you can, with whomever you can; you may never know the enthusiasm you may instill in someone or the memories you will make while doing so. Living where we do gives us a unique opportunity to do just that, treasure it and enjoy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
November/December 2019 Josh Herman, Thumb Aerial Photography
18 JANUARY 2020
Mike is an FCA (Chrysler) engineer. He was the ﬁrst person to sign up for the Dodge Demon race in Arizona. Mike has been married for 33 years and loves America.
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YEAR 1 What if it could cost less to enjoy a more comfortable home? With Well-Connect, it does. Well-Connect is an affordable alternative to heating and cooling rural homes and works in combination with your homeâ€™s current heating system. This hybrid approach allows almost any existing well to become a free, clean energy source for heating and cooling your home. Well-Connect heats for 50%-75% less than propane, fuel oil or electric, and those savings more than cover the cost of 100% financing the system.
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