June 2021 HomeWorks

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June 2021


COUNTRY LINES HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative

IT TAKES GUTS 5 Reasons To Switch To Tri-County Propane

Districts 3 and 6 Election Results Three Solar Energy Options For Your Home


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Contents countrylines.com

June 2021 Vol. 41, No. 6



Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr


RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Emily Haines Lloyd

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


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.

Cover: Keenan Jackson fires a rocket two finger shot at Bataan Memorial Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

6 WILD ART With a couple of creative twists, Sherry Sanville turned mushroom foraging into a huge Instagram following. 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Fruity Desserts: Make your summer even sweeter.


14 IT TAKES GUTS Guts, a Frisbee-based game invented in the UP, combines strategy and skill for players who have the fortitude to try it. 18 GUEST COLUMN Building a Backyard Bird Oasis: If a fondness for feeding birds makes Dawn Hovie an old lady, she’s okay with that.

I can see why they say “Leland Blues.” Every imaginable tone of blue is found in the rock, sky and water. @lexannrebecca (LexAnn De Weerd)

Be featured!

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


To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit countrylines.com/community


Win a $50 bill credit!

Up Next: Fish & Seafood, due July 1; Around The World, due Aug. 1; Instant Pot & Slow Cooker, due Sept. 1.


Win $150 for stories published! Submit your fondest memories and stories at countrylines.com/community.

Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to recipes@countrylines.com.



Answering Your Top Five Questions About Electric Vehicles

homeworks.org /homeworks.org tricoenergy@homeworks.org Portland office/Mail payments to: 7973 E. Grand River Ave. Portland, MI 48875 Open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday

Blanchard office: 3681 Costabella Ave. Blanchard, MI 49310 Open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday Night deposit box available at both locations. Electric bill/account questions: 517-647-7554 or 1-800-562-8232 Pay by phone, anytime: 1-877-999-3395

Service questions/outages: 517-647-7554 or 1-800-848-9333 (24 hours for emergency calls) Tri-County Propane: 1-877-574-2740

HomeWorks Connect 1-800-668-8413 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

District 1 — John Lord, Vice-Chairman 2276 Plains Rd., Leslie, MI 49251 517-974-2518 • jlord@homeworks.org

District 2 — Jim Stebbins 7139 Peddler Lake Rd., Clarksville, MI 48815 616-693-2449 • jstebbins@homeworks.org District 3 — Luke Pohl, Chairman 15560 W. Hanses Rd., Westphalia, MI 48894 989-292-0427 • lpohl@homeworks.org District 4 — Kimber Hansen 6535 N. Wyman Rd., Edmore, MI 48829 989-506-5849 • khansen@homeworks.org District 5 — Corinna Batora 7655 N. Watson Rd., Elsie, MI 48831 517-256-5233 • cbatora@homeworks.org

District 6 — Ed Oplinger, Secretary-Treasurer 10890 W. Weidman Rd., Weidman, MI 48893 989-644-3079 • eoplinger@homeworks.org District 7 — Shirley Sprague 15563 45th Ave., Barryton, MI 49305 989-382-7535 • ssprague@homeworks.org Editor: C harly Markwart, CCC

By Brandon Trierweiler, Energy Advisor


lectric vehicles (EVs) continue to become more prevalent and affordable, and as your electric cooperative, we at HomeWorks want to be a trusted resource that you can come to as you seek information on this rapidly evolving technology. We know you may have questions as you consider an EV for your household’s next vehicle, so we’ve been doing our research to be able to provide you with the answers you need. As HomeWorks’ energy advisor, I’ve been lucky enough to become very familiar with our Co-op’s own all-electric Chevy Bolt, and I’ve driven and reviewed several other electric vehicle models as well. Based on my own experience and my extensive analysis, here are my answers to the top five electric vehicle questions I’ve been getting from HomeWorks members: 1. What will owning and operating an electric vehicle do to my electric bill? The average electric vehicle costs about 3 cents per mile to operate. That’s a significant savings when compared to an equivalent gasoline-powered, fourdoor sedan with gas mileage of 35 miles per gallon, which costs about 8 cents per mile to operate. 2. How far can an electric vehicle travel on one charge? Our Chevy Bolt has an estimated range of 240 miles, and that’s really just scratching the surface of what some of the electric vehicles out there can do on a full charge. Some manufacturers, like Tesla, are putting out electric vehicles that can easily get over 300 miles per charge. 3. Where do I charge an electric vehicle? An electric vehicle can easily be charged in your own garage using a simple 240-volt charger. With the range of most electric vehicles reaching 250-300 miles, up to 90% of all charging occurs in the owner’s garage. When you travel longer distances in an electric vehicle, there is an ever-growing nationwide network of DC fast-charging stations and Level 2 public charging stations available to you. These stations can be easily found while on the road via a variety of convenient apps that can be downloaded from your smartphone’s app store. 4. How do the maintenance costs compare to a gas-powered vehicle? When members tell me they feel electric vehicles are still too expensive to purchase, I remind them of the fact that EVs require no oil changes and have far fewer moving parts to maintain than gas-powered vehicles. Plus, there are currently significant federal tax rebates available to offset the upfront cost of purchasing an electric vehicle. When you consider those factors, you might come to the conclusion that the cost to own an electric vehicle is very comparable to that of a gas-powered vehicle. 5. What is HomeWorks doing to promote the use of electric vehicles? We offer a $500 incentive for qualified residential members who purchase a Level 2 charger for their home. We’re also currently looking into the possibility of deploying a network of public Level 2 charging stations across our service territory in the near future. If you have any other questions about electric vehicles, check out our EV page at HomeWorks.org, or feel free to give us a call at 800-562-8232.

4 JUNE 2021




Become A Connector Today!



To pre-register, visit Join.HomeWorksConnect.org or call 800-668-8413!

This service is not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission.



ushrooms are unassuming and hard to unearth sometimes, but totally worth the time and effort to bring out into the light. A little like the woman who spends her days foraging for these earthy gems and the beautiful art she makes with them.

By Emily Haines Lloyd || Photos courtesy of Sherrie Sanville

Sherrie Sanville, a member of the Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association, didn’t grow up with a passion for fungi. But her husband, who like herself, is from northern Michigan, grew up foraging morels, and he introduced her to the practice of wandering their 120-acre property in Delta County for glimpses of the mushroom equivalent of gold. On those walks, Sanville began noticing the wide variety of mushrooms that peppered the ground and trees all around her. “My husband took me to some of his morel ‘hot spots’ and I couldn’t even see them the first time,” said Sanville. “But then I started to notice all kinds of mushrooms—and I got hooked. Especially when you see these pops of color—purple, red, yellow—I became a little obsessed.” Sanville’s walks increased in volume, as did her identifying skills, although she’s quick to note she’s no expert, just an “enthusiast.” The enthusiasm prompted her to pull out her phone and start snapping pictures of some of the fungal treasures she happened upon. She’d then post them to Facebook for family and friends.


JUNE 2021

While some of her audience was less than impressed with what some considered “gross,” her dear friend, who was also a forager and gardener, planted an idea on how Sanville might share her fascinating finds. “She was like ‘you should totally post these to Instagram! You might find some like-minded folks there,’” recalls Sanville. “I barely knew what a hashtag was, but I trusted her. I named my account @shroom_momma

because that was the nickname my daughters gave me after I became interested in mushrooms.”

“For people who are worried about overpicking mushrooms, there’s no need,” says Sanville. “Mushrooms are the fruiting body; the mycelium is still there. It’s like picking an apple from an apple tree. It will refruit again and again.”

To say that there were more than a few “like-minded folks” could easily be called an understatement. What began with quick snapshots in 2018 of her quirky finds on daily walks became something altogether different as Sanville tapped into her artistic side. However, she humbly argues she’s not an artist. Sanville began shooting gorgeous compilations of mushrooms she would gather, along with flowers and other found objects. Her following skyrocketed to an impressive 60,000 followers. It’s no wonder a company reached out to turn one of her images into a puzzle, while others have used some of her shots in greeting cards. “I recently spoke with a mushroom magazine and they asked me how it felt to be an ‘influencer,’” said Sanville. “I just don’t consider myself that. It’s almost funny. I’m just a lady who walks in the woods and takes pictures.” Sanville’s Instagram account is as organic as her topic and attracts people from all over the world, who crop up much like the mushrooms she features. If people are attracted, they are likely drawn in as much by her authentic curiosity and behind-the-scenes foibles as by the fascinating subjects she shoots. There’s a delightful post on a gorgeous pumpkin fairy house tableau she designed—that went up in flames thanks to the interior candle. Sanville shows the honest, sometimes cringing, truth behind the “Instagram-worthy” process. So, it’s not surprising that she not only has fans worldwide, but that she’s made friends with people from across the globe.

Find Sherrie on Instagram


“I never thought the mushrooms in my yard would lead to friends from all over the world,” said Sanville. “When you’re passionate about something, it’s amazing how you will always find a community that joins in with you. That has, for sure, been the best part of this whole process.”



Notice to Members of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative A Special Member Meeting is set for June 28, 9 a.m., at the Cooperative’s Portland office* The board of directors will consider the item(s) listed below at its meeting on June 28, 2021, to be held at the Cooperative’s office at 7973 E. Grand River Ave., Portland, Michigan.* The meeting will start at 9 a.m. and is open to all members of HomeWorks TriCounty Electric Cooperative. The session will begin with an opportunity for members to provide direct input to the board of directors, without filing a formal request under the Cooperative policy. Interested members are asked to come to the lobby by 9 a.m. and request to speak to the board; staff will direct members to the meeting room.* Time constraints on each member’s comments will be at the discretion of the board president, but members are asked to keep comments to less than five minutes. The following item(s) will be discussed and considered: 1.

Participation in the State of Michigan’s Low Income Energy Assistance program at the cost of a surcharge, to be determined by the state, on each residential customer’s monthly energy bill.

Notice of changes or additions to the Cooperative’s rates or service rules shall be sent to all members, as required by P.A. 167, by publication in Michigan Country Lines at least 30 days prior to their effective date. Participation: Any interested member may attend and participate. The location of the board meeting site is accessible, including accessible parking.* Persons needing any accommodation to participate should contact HomeWorks Tri-County Electric at 800562-8232 at least a week in advance of the meeting to request mobility, visual, hearing or other assistance. Comments may also be made prior to the meeting date by calling CEO Chris O’Neill at 517-647-1284, or contacting him by email at coneill@homeworks.org. Notice of the board meeting shall be sent to all members, as required by P.A. 167, by publication in Michigan Country Lines. *Note: At print time, the June 28 board meeting is tentatively scheduled to take place in person at the Co-op’s Portland office. However, dependent on public health guidelines, safety regulations, and/or executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be determined that the meeting needs to be held remotely instead. Any interested member is asked to please contact the Co-op at 800-562-8232 at least one week prior to the meeting to confirm the meeting location.

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Dad And Me

1. K ate Barbour of Lake Odessa submitted this photo of Jeremey and Maya Barbour playing in the snow. 2. Halie Schafer of Farwell snapped this picture of Josh and Broden Brooks. “They’re two John Deere-lovin’ boys,” she says. 3. Cindy Postma of Stanwood took this photo of Lucy Jo Postma and her dad, Joe, hiking together. 4. T erry Vanderhagen of Chesterfield (receiving service in Lake) submitted this photo taken during a family outing at Eight Point Lake. It features Terry with his two sons, Tatum and Terry Jr.


5 Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

5. Lynn Thelen of Westphalia took this picture featuring three generations of Thelen men: Jim, his son, Kyle, and grandsons Jacob (22 months) and Henry (5 months). 6. DeLynn Rice of Stanwood submitted this photo of Tatum Rice showing off the fish he’d just caught with his proud dad, Keith Rice, and grandpa, Dan Rice. 7. Brianna Schneider of Fowler snapped this photo of Declan Schneider proudly checking out the buck his dad, Mitchell Schneider, shot during bow season last year. 8. Brenda Schneider of Fowler says, “This picture shows my dad, Bill Trierweiler, and I dancing together at my son’s wedding.”







Upcoming Snap Shot Contest Topics and Deadlines

“Water,” Deadline: June 15 (September issue) “Pet Costumes,” Deadline: July 15 (October issue) “Scared Of Santa,” Deadline: August 16 (November/December issue) Go to HomeWorks.org, select the Energy tab, then choose Member Services>Country Lines to submit your photos and see all of the 2021 Snap Shot themes. It’s fast and easy. To send by mail: include your name, address, phone number, photographer’s name, and details about your photo. Mail to Attn: Country Lines Snap Shots, 7973 E. Grand River Ave., Portland, MI 48875. Photos will not be returned. Do not send color laser prints or professional studio photos.

Submit Your Photos! Members whose photos we publish in Country Lines in 2021 will receive a $10 bill credit the month after publication.



MI CO-OP Recipes

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

FRUITY DESSERTS Make your summer even sweeter.



Deanne Keegan Quain, Great Lakes Energy 2 ½ 12 ¼ 16 3–4 20 18 ½ • •



energy bill credit!

10 JUNE 2021

Fish & Seafood due July 1 • Around The World due Aug. 1 • Instant Pot & Slow Cooker Favorites due Sept. 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. Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to recipes@countrylines.com.

cups graham cracker crumbs cup unsalted butter, melted ounces cream cheese, at room temperature cup granulated sugar ounces whipped topping, divided bananas, sliced ounces crushed pineapple, drained well ounces fresh strawberries, sliced cup walnuts, chopped chocolate syrup maraschino cherries

Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until crumbs are evenly moistened. Spread into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Refrigerate while preparing filling. Mix together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in 8 ounces (half) of the whipped topping——spread mixture on top of graham cracker crust. Arrange banana slices on top of cream cheese filling. Top with an even layer of crushed pineapple, then a layer of strawberries. Cover with the remaining 8 ounces of whipped topping. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, then drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with a maraschino cherry on individual servings. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos


Michele Cochrane, Great Lakes Energy 1 prepared white cake mix (can also use pound cake or angel food cake), cut into 1-inch cubes 4 cups prepared vanilla pudding 16 ounces whipped topping

RHUBARB BUTTER CRUNCH Mary Jean Troyer, Cherryland

4 cups diced fresh rhubarb ¾ cup sugar 3 tablespoons + 1½ cups flour, divided ¾ cup brown sugar 1 cup rolled oats ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup butter

2 cups each fresh strawberries (diced), blueberries and raspberries Use a clear bowl and layer ¹⁄ ³ of cake mixture, pudding, whipped topping, and fruit. Repeat to create three layers. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight, then serve.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease an 8x8 pan. Combine the diced rhubarb, sugar and 3 tablespoons flour, and add to the baking pan. Combine the brown sugar, rolled oats, remaining 1½ cups flour, and baking soda. Cut the butter into the mixture. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the rhubarb mixture. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. This is an old-fashioned family recipe that has stood to be a prized dish in the spring.

DANISH APPLE PIE MaryAnn Ogden, Great Lakes Energy

½ cup all-purpose flour (or oat flour, which is oatmeal pulverized in blender or food processor) ¹⁄ 8 teaspoon salt, optional 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ –¾ cup sugar 1 cup diced apples ½ cup chopped walnuts 1 egg, slightly beaten Preheat oven to 400 F. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Add diced apples, chopped walnuts, and egg and stir. Pour into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 20–25 minutes. This is delicious with ice cream or whipped cream.



Pohl, Oplinger Re-elected To Board n May, two members of the HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative Board of Directors were re-elected to serve members for another three-year term.


In District 3, which includes Clinton County, except Bingham, Duplain and Greenbush townships (which are part of District 5), Luke Pohl (incumbent) of Westphalia retained his seat in an uncontested election. Pohl was first elected to the board in 2014. He serves as chairman of the board and also represents HomeWorks on the Spartan Renewable Energy board. In District 6, which includes Clare and Isabella counties, Ed Oplinger (incumbent) of Weidman won re-election over Tim Wolff of Lake Isabella. Oplinger has represented District 6 on the board since 2009. He also represents HomeWorks on the board of the Co-op’s power supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative.

Balloting was completed entirely by mail, since 2021 district membership meetings, where in-person director voting typically takes place, were held virtually due to the COVID19 pandemic. Ballots, along with candidate profiles, were mailed to all members in Districts 3 and 6 with their April issue of Country Lines magazine. Mail-in balloting has supplemented HomeWorks’ in-person voting process since 2018, when it was implemented as an alternative option for members who were not able to attend and vote at district membership meetings. This year, automated calls went out to all members in Districts 3 and 6 in early April, advising that because of the virtual format of district meetings, mail-in ballot would be the only voting option this year. In 2022, elections will be held for the Districts 1, 5 and 7 board seats, currently held by John Lord of Leslie, Corinna Batora of Elsie and Shirley Sprague of Barryton. Watch Country Lines magazine, HomeWorks.org and the HomeWorks Facebook page for information on the nomination process, which begins in January.


Attended By 600 Member Households

Hundreds Of Excellent Engagement & Prizes Given Away Participation

“ I’ve wanted to attend my district meeting in the past, but it never worked out with my family’s busy schedule. I loved that the virtual format allowed me to participate this year. Thanks for a great meeting! ” - Kylie P., HomeWorks Member

Didn’t get to attend? We’ve got you covered! Watch a recording of your meeting at HomeWorks.org.

Your Board In Action Meeting remotely on April 26, your board of directors: • Approved April 2, 2021, as the Record Date for determining the members entitled to receive notice of 2021 district meetings and acknowledged the official Record Numbers indicating the number of active members as of that date, per district. • Authorized management to use 5.74% as the weighted average cost of capital to discount estate capital credit retirements made in 2021. • Authorized management to renew its auditor contract with Eide Bailly LLP, a certified public accounting firm based out of Fargo, North Dakota. • Elected voting delegates for the upcoming Wolverine Power Cooperative annual meeting and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) state director election. • Reviewed quarterly reports for both the Tri-County People Fund and the Co-op’s Energy Optimization program. • Accepted Tri-Co Services, Inc.’s annual audit report from Eide Bailly LLP.

• Discussed and accepted Policy 302 – Employment Practices, with minor amendments. • Discussed and accepted Policy 312 – Employee Purchases, and Policy 402 – Allocation of Non-Operating Income. • Learned there were 119 new members in March. • Acknowledged the March safety report, listing employee training as well as minor public incidents involving electric, propane, or fiber optic.

Time Set Aside for Members to Comment Before Cooperative Board Meetings The first 15 minutes of every board meeting are available for members who wish to address the board of directors on any subject. The next meetings are scheduled for 9 a.m. on June 28 at Portland and July 26 at Blanchard. However, at the time of this printing, some of our meetings are temporarily being conducted remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Members who wish to have items considered on the board agenda should call 517-647-7554.

People Fund Supports Food Programs And Local Fire Department Meeting remotely on April 28, the Tri-County Electric People Fund board made two grants totaling $2,198, including: • $1,198 to Angels of Action in Big Rapids to purchase totes for two different charitable food programs; and • $1,000 to the Ashley Fire-Rescue Department to help purchase a thermal imaging camera.

How to Apply for a Tri-County Electric People Fund Grant The Tri-County Electric People Fund provides grants to individuals and organizations in the Co-op’s service area for food, shelter, clothing, health, and other humane needs, or for programs or services that benefit a significant segment of a community. Write to 7973 E. Grand River Ave., Portland, MI 48875, for an application form and grant guidelines, or visit the People Fund page at HomeWorks.org. Note: Applications must be received by July 13 for the July meeting or by Aug. 24 for the September meeting.

Offices Will Be Closed July 5

Please note that our offices will be closed Monday, July 5, in honor of Independence Day. While we are closed, you will still be able to reach us at 800-848-9333 to report an outage, or at 877-999-3395 to pay your bill via phone. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13

Father/son duo Mark Banghart and Michael Banghart of the Boomtown Saints chase down a disc that's been deflected by teammates.



ou’ve got to ask yourself—what does it take to stand in a line with four other people while someone with a steely gaze just 14 meters away throws an object at your head at a speed upwards of 80 mph? And not hit the deck, but instead, try to catch the flying object?

Ryan Scott of the Boomtown Saints fires a forehand shot at his opponents.


At the very least—it takes Guts.

“lost decade” in the ‘90s. Guts was being played before its better-known counterpart, disc sports, became big. Ultimate Frisbee and disc golf have found devoted audiences, with ultimate appealing to the physically fit crowd willing to run lengths of a soccer field and lay out to catch a toss. Disc golfers are more inclined to pack up their drivers and putters and walk courses at a leisurely pace with friends or family.

It might sound like a crazy thing to do, but for the men and women who have discovered the little-known sport of Guts Frisbee, it’s an adrenaline high wrapped up in a family reunion.

“Guts is a great combination of the two,” said Klemmer. “It’s got the quick action and adrenaline of ultimate and the strategy piece of disc golf. It’s just happening simultaneously while someone throws an 80-mph disc at you.”

Guts was invented in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by the Healy family, who were looking for a backyard game using items they had around, as well as one that allowed them to hold their beverage of choice at the same time. Enter a couple of lines of people, a Frisbee, fast-flying throws, and one-handed catching. Its rules are simple, if not a little brutal sounding.

In 2007, Guts made a bit of a resurgence at the International Frisbee Tournament’s (IFT) 50th anniversary meet. What started with a mostly Michigan crowd has grown to other states and has good showings internationally. While sports enthusiasts may not have heard of Guts, it maintains a small but devoted following, allowing for the opportunity to play around the world at the highest levels.

“Guts had become quite popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s when superteams were formed to win the prize money being offered,” said USA Guts Communications Director Donny Klemmer, Jr., who plays for Buck’s Brigade out of metro Detroit. “My first experience was actually with my mom, who was playing while pregnant with me.” It’s that sort of hardcore grit and commitment to the game that has seen it through even tough times like its 14 JUNE 2021

Ryan Scott, who plays for the Boomtown Saints out of Lansing and is considered one of the top players in the sport, has traveled around the world with Guts. “Never in my life could I have imagined when I started playing this sport, it would take me to London, Vancouver, and Japan. I’ve gone to Columbia to teach Guts, and just

Carter Nettell of Shottlebop unleashes his wicked left-handed thumber shot.

GUTS went to China to play in 2019,” said Scott. “When you travel for a purpose, you get a chance to experience not only the place but the people in a really unique way.” With such an impassioned group of folks playing the sport and the promise that it’s accessible to those of all ages, it begs the question of why folks from around the country, if not the world, aren’t taking up this relatively inexpensive sport?

Takayoshi Suda of Japan travels to Michigan annually to compete in Guts tournaments.

By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos courtesy of Barb Thornton and Ginger Leach

“ T he

t r u t h is,

Guts can look intimidating at first, but once you get in there, you realize how much the folks are there to support you. We want to get as many people as possible to have the experience not just of the sport, but the community.” —D

onn y K lemmer

“The truth is, Guts can look intimidating at first, but once you get in there, you realize how much the folks are there to support you,” said Klemmer. “We want to get as many people as possible to have the experience not just of the sport, but the community.” Scott echoes the sentiment and notes that if people reach out to the organization, Klemmer will put some discs in the mail (some traveling as far as Rwanda and Thailand) and try to find other Guts players in the area who can run an impromptu clinic. This sort of grassroots outreach makes a good case that this little-known sport could find another boom down the road. “It would be great to see Guts featured on ESPN,” said Klemmer enthusiastically. “In fact, I’d love for it to become the first team sport on the X Games.” Who knows, if these athletes keep showing up with the same level of passion, energy, and well, guts, it just might be.

Guts tournaments attracted thousands of spectators in the '70s and '80s to a festival-like atmosphere.





Five Great Reasons To Consider HomeWorks Tri-County Propane We’ve been delivering propane throughout our rural midMichigan footprint since 1999, but we’re often surprised to discover that some of our electric members still aren’t aware of this offering. We’re proud to answer that yes, your Co-op does offer an exceptional propane service, and here are five reasons why we think you should consider making the switch to HomeWorks Tri-County Propane today: 1) Safety: The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority at HomeWorks Tri-County Propane. Our propane operations manager is a certified trainer through the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), and when it comes to propane safety, he ensures that his team is trained above and beyond the call of duty. All of our field and office employees are certified through the NPGA’s Certified Employee Training Program, and our field operations crews regularly attend additional propane-specific safety meetings. The bottom line is that you’ll always know without a doubt that we’re working to keep you safe around our propane product. 2) Reliability: You already count on HomeWorks to provide you with reliable electricity; why not turn to us for your home heating needs too? Tri-County Propane provides the same trustworthiness that you’ve come to expect from your Co-op, so you’ll be able to approach each heating season with the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll never be left out in the cold without propane in your tank.

16 JUNE 2021

3) Value: Tri-County Propane provides a superior service at an exceptional value. What more can you ask for? Our prices are highly competitive, we offer a guaranteed capped winter price and our dedicated team works day in and day out to ensure that our customers get the most out of their money. 4) Service: Our customer service at HomeWorks Tri-County Propane is second to none. Just ask our current customers. In our most recent customer survey (September 2019), they gave us an extraordinary 90%+ rating for timely deliveries, friendly and courteous employees, and responding promptly to service requests. 5) Simplicity: Are you tired of all those add-on charges that seem to cause your bills to go through the roof? We guarantee that your Tri-County Propane bill will be simple and straightforward, with no hidden fees. Plus, we offer several options tailor-made to fit your needs, including metered service, budget billing, auto-fill service, and more.

Give us a call today at 877-574-2740 and ask how you can receive your first 100 gallons free!

Building A Brighter Future, Together Did you know that HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative and other Michigan electric cooperatives powered by Wolverine Power Cooperative lead the state in providing members with electricity that is more than 60% carbon free and nearly 20% renewable? Those percentages continue to grow, too, because we are committed to finding innovative ways to source energy that is not only renewable, but also reliable and cost efficient for you. One way we achieve that is through solar energy. Since June is National Solar Energy Month, we thought we’d highlight the three solar programs we offer to help our members support bringing more renewable energy to their communities and save money at the same time.

Community Solar

Distributed Renewable Energy


Think of community solar as a way to have the benefits of rooftop solar, without the cost and hassle of installing solar panels on your roof.

Offset your energy usage with your own electric generation at your home. Use what you need; sell what you don’t.

Become a generator. Install a solar or wind system on your property and sell all the energy it produces to us.

How Does It Work?

How Does It Work?

How Does It Work?

You purchase a panel subscription in our Spartan Solar community solar array, which entitles you to a share of the energy produced by the array. We continue delivering your energy, and you’ll receive solar credits on your bill each month. There is nothing to install or maintain on your end, and you can cancel at any time.

After you complete the installation of a renewable energy generation system, we’ll install a special twoway meter that records how much electricity you use and how much you are putting on the grid. Every kWh you produce and use at your home is a kWh you don’t have to buy from us. If you use more than you produce, you’ll be billed for your usage. If you produce more than you use, a credit of $0.056 per kWh will be placed on your bill for the excess.

You install an energy generation system on your property. We’ll install a meter on your system that tracks all the energy you produce. We then buy all of the energy the system generates. With this option, you are a true energy supplier to your Co-op. If your goal is to generate more energy than your annual usage, buy-all/sell-all is the way to go.

Interested in learning more about any of these programs? Call us today at 800-562-8232 and we’ll put you in touch with our energy advisor, Brandon Trierweiler.

MI CO-OP Community

Guest Column

Building A Backyard

Bird Oasis

By Dawn Hovie, Great Lakes Energy member


arlier this month, I was sitting in the lunchroom trying to think of something to add to the usual lunchtime banter. “Oh, check this out! I had some yellow finches at my new feeder!” I excitedly showed the video from my phone of four birds happily enjoying the seeds out on my back deck. “So now you’re that person who takes movies of her bird feeder?” my friend jokingly asked. Wow, did I suddenly feel old. I don’t know why taking movies of my bird feeder classified me as the old person in the room. I have always liked birds. My grandma was an avid bird watcher and had many feeders in her backyard, along with her “Pocket Guide to Birds” book and binoculars next to the window. I’m not that bad yet. But I have fond memories of visiting my grandma in Vicksburg, Michigan, and sharing her love of birds. She would tell me about how blue jays are the “bullies of the backyard feeder.” I always enjoyed watching her yell “Shoo!” at those pretty birds. For the last few years, we’ve always had some sort of feeder in our yard. I half-heartedly filled them with whatever birdseed I found in the garage. It was usually the same stuff I threw in the chicken coop. However, this year, I became interested in getting more serious about my bird attraction at my home outside of Charlevoix. I ordered an oriole feeder and then read an article about how to attract them (with oranges). And what not to feed them (grape jelly—contrary to popular belief). I had already used a gift certificate to buy a cute yellow finch feeder to replace the thistle seed socks I hung around the yard last winter. I just love yellow finches. They are probably my favorite bird. That feeder is on my deck railing, hanging to the outside of the deck so that my cats won’t mistake it for a lunch buffet. This year I also decided I was going to make an effort to attract not only orioles and finches, but also robins.

WIN $150!

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Robins are so quintessential to spring in Michigan that I just had to have them in my yard, too. I did some reading about what they like to eat, which prompted a Saturday trip down to Traverse City, resulting in a new eco-friendly feeder and some songbird mix, complete with raisins and dried mealworms. My new hobby seems to be paying off. Just tonight, there were about 50 little birds that I have never seen before, going crazy over my finch feeder. After a quick search on my computer, it turns out they are called common redpolls. I have never even heard of those, but they sure are pretty. So I guess what I am saying is that I’ve turned into my own grandma, and if that makes me the old lady in the lunchroom, so be it. Just don’t be surprised if I whip out my phone and show you a video of the orioles when they finally make their way to my feeder.

Dawn is a reading specialist at Charlevoix Elementary School and writes a monthly column for the local papers, Petoskey News-Review and Charlevoix Courier. She likes to spend her free time working in her backyard and playing Frisbee with her dog.

Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit countrylines.com/community to submit.

Geothermal Made Affordable

“Why wouldn’t someone do this?”

Lynne loves her home in the woods but found it challenging to keep her vaulted-ceiling home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Keeping it cool in the summer was especially important for Lynne because of her four-legged, furry friend, Tara. Lynne W., South Boardman, MI | Member, Great Lakes Energy

Make your home more comfortable year-round. (989) 356-2113 wellconnectgeo.com SCAN TO LEARN MORE


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? d a o r e h t t i Ready to h As you start to get out more this summer as public health guidelines allow, please help us keep our crews safe by slowing down when you see this out your windshield.


Tri-County Electric Cooperative