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1980

Celebrating 40 Years Of

MICHIGAN

2020 January/February 2020

COUNTRY LINES Thumb Electric Cooperative

YoungMin You:

BEATING THE ODDS Save The Date—June 13 Annual Meeting

Meet Lineman Jason Kuhl


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In This Issue January 2020 || Vol. 40, No. 1

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

Follow Us On Instagram! @michigancountrylines

countrylines.com

facebook.com/michigancountrylines 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 editor@countrylines.com 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.

14 FEATURE

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

3


HURON

TUSCOLA

SANILAC

A New Year Dallas Braun, General Manager

Happy New Year, everyone. Thumb Electric Cooperative 2231 Main Street Ubly, MI 48475-0157 1-800-327-0166 or 989-658-8571 E-mail: tec@tecmi.coop

tecmi.coop

facebook.com/thumbelectric

Board Of Directors HURON COUNTY Randall Dhyse, Treasurer District 1 • 989-551-6533 Don Wolschleger, Director District 2 • 989-975-2027 Beth McDonald, Secretary District 3 • 989-550-7470 SANILAC COUNTY Kim Nunn, Vice President District 1 • 810-679-4291 Mike Briolat, Director District 2 • 989-284-3405 Duane Kursinsky, Director District 3 • 810-837-3828 TUSCOLA COUNTY Louis Wenzlaff, President District 1 • 989-683-2696 Jonathan Findlay, Director District 2 • 989-551-8393 Carl Cousins, Director District 3 • 989-871-4449 Dallas Braun, General Manager PAYMENT STATIONS Huron County Bad Axe—Northstar Bank Pigeon—Northstar Bank Tuscola County Akron—Northstar Bank Caro—Northstar Bank Mayville—Mayville State Bank Millington—Mayville State Bank Sanilac County Sandusky—Northstar Bank Thumb Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

4 JANUARY 2020

2019 was a busy year for Thumb Electric. TEC employees and contractors worked safely throughout the year, making many continued improvements to the electric system. While some minor incidents caused strains and sprains, TEC employees achieved a goal of going one year without a loss-time accident. Congratulations, TEC employees! As we move into 2020, here are some things for TEC members to look forward to: • In January, the Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) surcharge will be eliminated for all commercial and industrial accounts. The surcharge for other accounts will be reduced from $0.00216/kwh to $0.001/kwh. We will continue to offer a full slate of EWR programs as we have in the past for all members. • Also in January, the Power Supply Cost Recovery (PSCR) Factor will be a negative 2 mills/kWh. A $0.002/kWh credit will be reflected on the monthly electric bills. This is due to continuing favorable terms and pricing from our wholesale power supplier, CMS Energy. • A new community solar program is expected to be available to TEC members this spring. This program is designed for those who want to use solar energy without having to deal with the significant upfront costs and maintenance issues of installing a solar array on their property. TEC will own, install, and maintain an array on TEC property. Members who want to participate in the program will pay a subscription fee for each panel and will get the energy output from that panel credited on their monthly electric bill. • Contractors will complete the four-mile single phase to a three-phase rebuild construction project in Bingham and Greenleaf Townships along Morrison, Bad Axe, and Huron Line roads. • Contractors will rebuild five miles of single-phase to a three-phase in Greenleaf Township along Cumber, Gilbert, Jackson, Hoadley, and Seeger roads. • Contractors will rebuild 1.75 miles of single-phase to a three-phase in Vassar Township along Caine Road. • TEC crews will install two automatic sectionalizing switches on the 41.6 KV transmission line serving the O’Connel substation. This will reduce the substation outage exposure serving members in parts of Bridgehampton, Forester, Sanilac, and Custer townships. • We will see continued deployment of our Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system. Just one of the many advantages of an AMI system will be that members will no longer have to read their own electric or propane meters. • An in-depth fiber-to-the-home feasibility study and business plan will be conducted by consultants to determine if TEC should get into the fiber/internet business like other electric cooperatives in Michigan and across the nation. This action is a result of a strategic planning session held by the TEC board last summer.

We look forward to another safe and busy year. We wish everyone the best in 2020. Be sure to continue to read Michigan Country Lines and follow TEC on Facebook. As always, if you have any questions, give the office a call.


SAVE THE DATE

FOR THE JUNE 13 ANNUAL MEETING

T

his year’s Annual Meeting will again be held at the Octagon Barn near Gagetown. The meeting will be held on Saturday, June 13, 2020, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. and the business meeting starting at 10 a.m. You will be listening to updates on cooperative improvements and the results of the Director elections will be announced. As always, there will be entertainment for the kids with balloons, face painting, and bucket truck rides. When the meeting concludes, lunch will be served and you will then be free to enjoy the Octagon Barn sites and exhibits.

$

$$

Want less clutter in your life? Want to be environmentally friendly? Would you like to save yourself and your co-op members money?

Go paperless! Go Paperless And Win A $50 Bill Credit Four Winners Will Be Chosen! • All members who are signed up for paperless billing by June 11 will be entered in the drawing. • Sign up online at tecmi.coop or via SmartHub. • Winners will be announced at TEC’s Annual Meeting on June 13.

• Paperless members will receive an email or text letting them know their bill is available to view. No physical copy of the bill will be mailed unless a member falls into shutoff status.

Annual Election Notice For TEC Members JUNE 2020 In March 2020, a nominating committee of nine Thumb Electric Cooperative members will meet to select a slate of candidates for one director position for District 3 in Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties. Members served by the cooperative will have an opportunity to vote for positions in each county. The official election results will be announced at the 2020 Annual Meeting on June 13. The District 3 director positions are currently held by Beth McDonald, Duane Kursinsky and Carl Cousins. Any co-op member interested in running for a district director position should write a letter to the Thumb Electric nominating committee chairperson prior to Feb. 14, 2020, indicating his or her interest in being nominated. The committee will review the prospective nominee’s qualifications to determine whether he or she meets bylaw requirements and whether he or she should be placed on the ballot. If you would like more information, please contact the co-op’s general manager, Dallas Braun, at 800-327-0166 or 989-658-8571.

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

5


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

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.


Guest Columns

$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.


Notice To Members Of Data Privacy Policy The Thumb Electric Cooperative Board of Directors has adopted a policy governing the collection, use and disclosure of member account information and usage data. A full copy of the Data Privacy Policy can be found at: Part V of Thumb Electric’s Tariff Book, Sheet C-24.00, https://static1.squarespace.com/static/53d1298ee4b05883d212ae70/t/5c93e084 e79c70e6a7d67127/1553195141567/Thumb+Electric+Cooperative+Rate+Book.pdf. If you would like a hard copy of the Data Privacy Policy, call our office at 1-800-327-0166 or contact us at tecmi.coop/tec-contact-form.


2

Take The Cake 1. We did an event at work to raise money for a veterans memorial. That’s my husband getting a pie in the face. By Diane Marcotte

1

2. My cakes may not be professional, but my daughters think they are awesome! By Tracy Scott

Photo Contest Enter to win a

$50

energy bill credit!

Submit Your “Cute Kids” Photos!

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

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.

To enter the contest, visit facebook.com/thumbelectric and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at tecmi.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 one of four $50 credits on your December 2020 bill.

Our January theme is Cute Kids. Photos can be submitted through January 20 to be featured in our March/April issue.

2019

PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS 1

2

1. Amy Engelhard (July)

3. Steve Niemiec (Sept.)

2. Debra Polega (Sept.)

4. Patricia Eaton (Nov.)

TEC awarded four members with a $50 bill credit for being selected in a random drawing of all contest entries that appeared in Michigan Country Lines in 2019.

3

4

Thank you to the many TEC members who participated. Members are welcome to send in photos for our 2020 contest. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

9


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

Winning Recipe!

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

3

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

$50

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.


Q

with jason kuhl

How long have you been a lineman?

I’ve been a lineman for almost 25 years, and I’ve been with TEC for nearly two.

Did you start your trade right out of high school?

I didn’t. I began work at my dad’s steel fabricating business, Kuhl Construction, which serves the farm community. I would cut and weld steel parts for farm equipment. I enjoyed my time at the shop, but my dad encouraged me to get into linework.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

When you’re a lineman, it’s never the same day twice. You’re always on a new job site where there is a new challenge and something different to look at. I’m thankful to get to work outside.

What’s the most difficult part of your job? Being on call 24/7.

Tell me about your family.

I’ve been married to my lovely wife, Anissa, for 22 years. Together, we have two sons—Dawson (15) and Treston (10).

Do you have any family traditions?

We head north to our family cabin in Roscommon, where we enjoy hunting,

12 JANUARY 2020

A

snowmobiling, sledding, and riding dirt bikes with the boys. We take annual summer vacations traveling to different states. We’ve also participated in the Huron County Fair with our boys raising animals.

What kind of animals do your boys raise?

Dawson has raised feeder steers for the past six years. The steers start as young calves and grow to 650+ pounds. Treston began raising goats. It’s a good experience that teaches the boys responsibility.

Do they sell them at the fair?

They do. Parting ways was a little tough at first, but the boys know the trade-off is more free time, along with money to put in their savings accounts.

Do you have any hobbies?

I enjoy bowling, and I golf when I can. My boys and I are each on a bowling league.

What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you? Never stop learning.


Jason wears

a lot

usher at St. Peter church

Lineman at THumb electric cooperative

of hats

in this

town

You call this place home, and so do we. In fact, not only was Thumb Electric Cooperative built by this community, we belong to it. Any profits we make are shared back with our members.

Huron County Fair Goer League Bowler at Green Meadow Lanes (208 average)


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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.

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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


Metering and Service Equipment

Thumb Electric Cooperative is responsible for repairs to the meter itself. We are also responsible for the service drop, which is the line either above ground or underground running from the utility pole to your home or commercial facility. You are responsible for all other equipment at the meter location, including the service entrance cable. Contact a licensed electrician to complete any repairs that are your responsibility.

METER EQUIPMENT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Service Line

Service Bracket or Hook Weather Head Pipe Riser

Meter Can

Electric Meter

Service Entrance Cable

Thumb Electric Cooperative installs and maintains your service line (1) and electric meter (6). Installation and maintenance of the service bracket or hook (2), weather head (3), pipe riser (4), meter can (5) and service entrance cable (7) are the member’s responsibility. These items fall under the National Electrical Code and by regulation must be installed by a licensed contractor and be inspected by your local inspection authority. If your service line (1) or electric meter (6) is damaged, please call 989-658-8571 or 800-327-0166

16 JANUARY 2020

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Beware Of Third-Part

If yo onl be s del Thu thro tecm

If you pay your bill through a thirdparty online payment site (i.e. doxo.com), you may be subject to hidden fees and processing delays. Avoid these risks by paying your Thumb Electric Cooperative bill online through our SmartHub app or our website, tecmi.coop. It’s fast, easy and free!

Beware Of Other Online Payment Sites

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aying your Thumb Electric Cooperative bill online is fast, easy and free when you use our website— tecmi.coop. Beware of hidden fees from other payment websites. Pay your TEC bill online at any time. If you accidentally select another payment website to make your bill payment, you risk possible extra charges and payment processing delays. Make sure our website with the address as written above appears before making a payment. Some websites allow visitors to pay their local utility bills with the utility’s name and company logo appearing on the site. Thumb Electric Cooperative is not affiliated with any third-party website that offers utility payment service. If you pay your Thumb Electric bill on a third-party website, you risk:  • Extra charges levied by the third party for each transaction on their website. • Delays up to two weeks or more before the payment is posted to your TEC account. For some members, the delay could result in the account being disconnected for nonpayment if payment is not received in time to avoid shut-off. Even if late payment does not result in a shutoff, late payment fees could be charged to the account. Members can avoid these risks by taking advantage of payment options offered directly from their cooperative. 

Thumb Electric offers several free and convenient payment methods. Choose whatever option works best for you: • AutoPay: Your payment is automatically deducted each month from either your checking or savings account, credit card or debit card.  • SmartHub: Pay with the app or online at tecmi.coop. Make a one-time payment from your checking or savings account, or credit card or debit card. • Mail: Send in payment to our Ubly office at 2231 Main St., Ubly, MI 48475. • MoneyGram: Cash option at MoneyGram locations. • Any location of Northstar Bank or Mayville State Bank. • PhonePay: Pay at any time by using our automated pay-by-phone service. We accept payment by credit card or checking or savings over the phone. Simply dial 800-327-0166 or 989-658-8571, then choose option 1 to make a payment. • In person: Ubly office counter, drive-through or night deposit dropbox. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17


Guess this photo and enter to win a

GUEST COLUMN

MI CO-OP Community

$50

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

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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 home’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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January 2020  

January 2020