COUNTRY LINES Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association
April 18 Is National Lineworker Appreciation Day
Meet Your Directors College Scholarships For 2022
Food Network’s Holiday Baking Champion—
Michigan’s Beth Meyer
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March 2022 Vol. 42, No. 3
6 TAKING THE LONG ROAD Long Road Distillers promises “no shortcuts” ... and the great lengths they go to in securing a gin ingredient reﬂect that promise. Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives
10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Italian: Crowd-pleasing recipes you’ll love. 14 FOOD NETWORK’S HOLIDAY BAKING CHAMPION— MICHIGAN’S BETH MEYER The dazzling cakes baked by Beth Meyer have done everything from help her make connections in a new community to landing her a television appearance.
EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr
GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Karreen Bird
RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Emily Haines Lloyd
Cover photo courtesy of Food Network
PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association
18 GUEST COLUMN Sweet Surprises: A day of sap collecting yields not only delicious syrup, but precious memories as well.
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 email@example.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.
Be featured! Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.
When it’s so cold that boiling water freezes in mid-air. #mpenbaeffect @christina.b.lee (Christina Lee)
MI CO-OP COMMUNITY To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit countrylines.com/community
RECIPE CONTEST Win a $50 bill credit!
Up Next: Tomatoes, due April 1; Potatoes, due May 1 Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
GUEST COLUMN Win $150 for stories published!
Submit your fondest memories and stories at countrylines.com/community.
MYSTERY PHOTO Win a $50 bill credit!
Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo. See page 18.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
algerdelta.com /algerdeltaelectric BOARD OF DIRECTORS
District 1—Big Bay Darryl Small 906-345-9369 • email@example.com
District 2—Harvey/Deerton Karen Alholm 906-249-1095 • firstname.lastname@example.org
District 3—Grand Marais Mike Lawless 906-494-2080 • email@example.com
District 4—Cedar River/Palestine Dave Prestin 906-424-0055 • firstname.lastname@example.org
District 5—Gourley/LaBranche/Cornell Steve Wery email@example.com
By Mike Furmanski, General Manager
District 6—Nathan/White Rapids Jesse Betters 715-923-4946 • firstname.lastname@example.org
District 7—Stonington/Rapid River Kirk Bruno 906-399-1432 • email@example.com District 8—Nahma/Isabella Don Johnson 906 280-0867 • firstname.lastname@example.org
District 9—Hiawatha/Maple Ridge Doug Bovin 906-573-2379 • email@example.com GENERAL MANAGER: Mike Furmanski firstname.lastname@example.org HEADQUARTERS: 426 N. 9th St, Gladstone, MI 49837 906-428-4141 • 800-562-0950 Fax: 906-428-3840 • email@example.com algerdelta.com OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (EST) Alger Delta Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 1 3 2 9 7 5 6
4 MARCH 2022
ower cost is a topic that is not frequently discussed in our day-today lives. At Alger Delta, electric rates have not changed over the last 12 years. It was 2010 when the retail rates were last changed.
Over the past 12 years, some significant factors have contributed to these stable rates. The first factor is the preponderance of natural gas in recent history. Natural gas has been the primary driver of wholesale electric energy prices for quite a few years now, since fracking for natural gas became widespread. With fracked gas being very affordable and widely available, power prices have remained stable or decreased over the past 12 years or more. A second factor in keeping rates stable has been the increase in sales to our members. Our sales are up about 41% from 2010 to 2021. This increase in sales helps keep rates stable by having more kWhs to spread fixed costs across. Recent coal plant retirements have shifted the energy landscape somewhat as well. Much of the fossil fuel generation has moved from coal to natural gas as these plants have been removed from service. The recent increase in natural gas prices puts upward pressure on electric power costs. Adding low-cost renewables to the generation mix is helping, but they are still a relatively small and intermittent part of the overall mix. We anticipate our wholesale costs to be about 5% more in the 2022 budget than in the 2021 budget. Wholesale costs represent nearly 50% of our overall budget. Over the last 12 years, other costs here at Alger Delta have also gone up. Materials, fuel for our trucks, insurance, and taxes have all seen increases. We are nearing the point where we will be facing deficits in our budget. Deficits translate into no margins back to you, our members. Margins made in a year are returned to the membership through capital credits. Showing positive margins also helps us to borrow money at favorable rates. We have started looking at all of our costs and revenues to see what adjustments should be made. As we are just beginning what is likely to be a lengthy and deliberate process, I do not anticipate any changes in the immediate future. Anytime the need arises to look at these aspects of the utility business, it is likely to produce changes.
Alger Delta Helps Bay Cliff Health Camp A
lger Delta Cooperative Electric Association recently donated a total of $4,000 to the Bay Cliff Health Camp. Two checks of $2,000 each were presented to Bay Cliff Director Clare Lutgen by Darryl Small (District 1-Big Bay-board director) through WPPI Energy’s Community Contribution Fund and CoBank’s Sharing Success Program. WPPI is Alger Delta’s wholesale power provider, and CoBank is the utility’s financial partner. Bay Cliff is a year-round, nonprofit therapy and wellness center for children and adults with disabilities. Located in Big Bay, Michigan, Bay Cliff’s flagship program is a sevenweek, summer therapy camp session serving children with disabilities. The children work toward goals of increased independence and living a fuller life. Bay Cliff also provides a number of programs year-round, including an adult program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, an adaptive paddling workshop, and a number of weekend family camps. To learn more about Bay Cliff, visit Baycliff.org.
April 18 Is National Lineworker Appreciation Day
Snow, wind, rain, sleet, or more snow, Alger Delta line crews are ready for any challenge that the U.P. weather has for them. A big thank-you to all of Alger Delta’s lineworkers for their hard work and dedication.
Curt Knauf MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
LONG ROAD By Emily Haines Lloyd
f Emerson’s ethos holds true and life really is about the journey and not the destination, then the folks at Long Road Distillers are taking the scenic route for sure.
in Northport, apples from Peach Ridge Farms in Alpine Township, sunﬂower seeds from Paulson’s Pumpkin Patch in Belding, and perhaps the most elusive ingredient from a location stand point—juniper.
Long Road Distillers, the ﬁrst distillery in Grand Rapids, has built its brand around its own moniker—No Shortcuts. It’s a nice sentiment and looks good on t-shirts, but it can be harder to commit to with invoices, payroll, and then for good measure—a pandemic staring you in the eye. But that’s what makes Long Road a special breed of business.
Most juniper for U.S.-based gin is sourced from the Paciﬁc Northwest, where the weather and soil are perfect for the piney/woodsy-ﬂavored berries. So, how do you keep your promise to source locally?
“Michiganders have a long history as makers,” said Jon O’Connor, co-founder of Long Road. “When Kyle and I started, we knew we wanted to make a product we could be proud of. There’s always a faster, cheaper, or easier way to do things, but that’s not why we started Long Road.” O’Connor and co-owner Kyle VanStrien took that simple premise into creating their line of spirits. Take, for instance, their MichiGin. It’s a clever name and, again, could be a nice gimmick, but not to this company. This gin is not only 6
distilled and bottled in the Great Lakes State, but each and every ingredient is sourced here. The gin’s base spirit is distilled from red winter wheat from Heffron Farms in Belding, Michigan, that was milled on-site at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ West Side. It has been redistilled with a variety of Michigan botanicals, including sumac, white pine, and goldenrod wild-foraged in Byron Center and Greenville, Galena hops from the Michigan Hop Alliance
“We were camping with family one weekend, and my wife’s cousin told me about the juniper bushes all over Beaver Island,” said VanStrien. “It took no time at all for Jon and me to set up a trip to go see for ourselves.” In 2015, VanStrien and O’Connor took their ﬁrst trip to Beaver Island, the 56-square-mile island surrounded by the blue waters of Lake Michigan, to scout for the wild juniper. Locals and owners of Island Airways, Paul and Angel Welke, offered the wide ﬁeld behind their house for the crew to look at. From there, word spread, and other generous folks offered their land or passed off tips on where they’d seen the juniper bushes on the island.
“We’ve been lucky to forge some great relationships with families here. They know we want to highlight Beaver Island, not take advantage of it.”
longroaddistillers.com Locations in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, and Cadillac
“It’s a small, tight-knit community. It was important to us always to be mindful of how we approached our picks,” said VanStrien. “We’ve been lucky to forge some great relationships with families here. They know we want to highlight Beaver Island, not take advantage of it.” In 2019, 27 employees made the trip over on the ferry owned by Bill McDonough, who also owns the local grocery store and often tosses car keys to the Long Road team for them to use on the island. In 2020, just a skeleton crew of six arrived by plane, due to COVID-19. Luckily, in 2021, things rebounded a bit, and the team returned with a group of 24, who
harvested over 150 pounds of wild juniper over three days. The team stoops, squats, and sits around low, spreading juniper bushes, pulling off ripe berries, with others clinging tightly for next year’s harvest. Conversations between team members vary from cocktail recipes, cooking techniques, sports scores, or gentle ribbing of one another from their individual bushes. Nearly 200 pounds of juniper berries are harvested each trip that eventually yield just under 1,000 bottles of MichiGin. The berries have a woodsy, earthy ﬂavor that is distinct to the terroir of Beaver Island. Unique ﬂavors for a truly unique product.
“It just wouldn’t be reasonable for a large distillery to go out and handpick juniper. It’s costprohibitive,” said VanStrien, “But for us, it’s personal. As we grow as a company, it’s this great reminder of our mission and doing things the right way. We’re proud to be able to produce something that features the farmers and families we are able to partner with around the state.” If the most epic journeys include taking the road less traveled, then it’s clear the folks at Long Road are okay taking an uncharted course. But they know, as all good travelers do, that the company you keep and the friends you make along the way end up being the real reward. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
SNAP SHOT 1
Pet Showcase 1. Forever friend, Sam. Maxine Sibbald 2. Somebunny is tired. Sara Kamerschen 3. Enjoying a game of beach frisbee! Diane Lang 4. K eebler the birthday boy. Steve Martin 5. Take time to smell the flowers. Shelia Cook 6. All set for a day on the lake! Shannon Martin 7. B rooklyn is obsessed with winter and loves getting her pictures taken. Kelsey Vincent 8. Finn and Scout enjoy winter snuggles. Jan Gratteau 9. H eading over the Mighty Mac. Ruth McMartin 10. Henrietta saw we were leaving and hopped in a car seat to join us! Monica Eriksen 11. Winter snuggles. Lindsey Bernard
Submit a photo and win a $50 energy bill credit!
Submit Your Photos & Win A Bill Credit! Alger Delta members whose photos we print in Michigan Country Lines will be entered in a drawing. Four lucky members will win a $50 credit on their December 2022 energy bills!
Upcoming Photo Topics And Deadlines: Antique Rides, due March 20 (May/June issue) Ice Cream, due May 20 (July/August issue) To submit photos, go to http://bit.ly/countrylines. We look forward to seeing your best photos!
8 MARCH 2022
MI CO-OP Recipes
Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey
Crowd-pleasing recipes you’ll love.
SWEET POTATO TURKEY SAUSAGE MINESTRONE SOUP Janet Cather, Midwest Energy
• 1 2 2 4 1 2 1 3 4 1 • 1 • •
RECIPE CONTEST Win a
energy bill credit!
10 MARCH 2022
Tomatoes due April 1 • Potatoes due May 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
butter or olive oil, for sautéing large onion, chopped cups chopped celery pounds fresh or frozen sweet potatoes, cubed (around 1 inch) large carrots, sliced package Polish turkey sausage, sliced (I use Eckridge Farm Smoked) (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained (15-ounce) can Great Northern beans or butter beans, rinsed tablespoons Italian spices cups chicken or vegetable broth cup water salt and pepper, to taste bunch fresh kale (stripped from stem), chopped, or 1 package frozen or fresh spinach Parmesan/Asiago shredded cheese for serving hot sauce, for serving, optional
Sauté onion, celery, sweet potatoes, and carrots in a large saucepan with butter or olive oil. When veggies start to brown, add sausage and stir every few minutes. Transfer into a slow cooker (adding a liner makes cleanup a breeze). Add all remaining ingredients (note: depending on how large your slow cooker is, you may want to add the kale ﬁrst, so the other ingredients weigh it down). Turn slow cooker on “Low” and cook for 6 hours. Serve with Parmesan/Asiago (or your favorite shredded cheese) or hot sauce, if desired, on top. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos
GRANDMA’S MEATBALLS Sharon Libich, Presque Isle • 1 ½ ½ 4 4 4 6
olive oil cooking spray pound ground chuck pound ground pork pound ground veal ounces dried breadcrumbs large eggs ounces whole milk ounces grated Romano cheese
3 ounces grated Spanish onion 2 ounces ﬁnely diced fresh garlic 2 ounces ﬁnely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves 2 ounces ﬁnely chopped fresh basil leaves • salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a baking sheet with the cooking spray. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Add more breadcrumbs if the mixture feels a little loose. Using a small scoop, roll each meatball to the size of a golf ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cook for approximately 35–40 minutes. These meatballs can be used in sauce for a spaghetti dinner or part of a meatball sandwich. Enjoy!
TOMATOES AND LINGUINE Lois Korpalski, Great Lakes 8 2 1 1 ½
ounces linguine noodles cups chopped tomatoes tablespoon dried basil teaspoon salt teaspoon black pepper
3 2 ½ 4
green onions, sliced garlic cloves, minced cup grated Parmesan cheese tablespoons butter
Cook linguine according to package directions, to al dente. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper, green onions, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Drain linguine and add butter to it while hot. When melted, add tomato mixture and enjoy.
ITALIAN SALAMI AND CHEESE STUFFED BREAD Valerie Donn, Great Lakes Energy
ITALIAN TORTELLINI SOUP Theresa Mandeville, Cherryland
1 pound Italian sausage, browned and drained 1 bag frozen cheese-ﬁlled tortellini 2–4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 sweet onion, chopped 4 cups beef broth 1 cup red wine 2 cups chopped carrots
1 teaspoon basil 1 teaspoon oregano 2 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 2 cups quartered zucchini
Brown the sausage and set aside. Prepare the tortellini according to package directions; cool and set aside. Sauté the garlic and onion until onion begins to tenderize. Combine the broth and wine; bring to a boil. Add the carrots and simmer until desired tenderness. Add the basil, oregano, diced tomatoes, sauce, and paste; continue to simmer. Add the zucchini and simmer until just tender. Add the browned sausage, onions/garlic, and tortellini. Serve.
1 tablespoon butter, melted 1 teaspoon ﬁnely chopped fresh garlic 1 (1-pound) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed ¼ pound thinly sliced deli Genoa salami
6 (1-ounce) slices mozzarella cheese, cut into strips ½ cup ricotta cheese 2 green onion stalks, diced 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Stir together butter and garlic in a bowl. Roll out bread dough on a lightly ﬂoured surface into a 12-inch square. Place on lightly greased baking sheet; brush with butter mixture. Layer salami and cheese, spread ricotta, and add onions down a 3-inch strip of center of dough to within ½ inch of top and bottom, leaving 4½ inches of dough on each side of ﬁlling. Sprinkle Italian seasoning over the top of the salami and cheeses mixture. Cut twelve 3-inch-long strips, 1 inch apart, along both sides of ﬁlling. Fold strips across ﬁlling at an angle, alternating sides to give a braided effect. Pinch dough at bottom and top to seal. Cover; let rise in warm place 30–45 minutes or until almost double in size. Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine egg and water in a bowl; brush over braid. Sprinkle top of bread lightly with Italian seasoning. Bake for 25–35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, cool slightly, and cut into slices. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Downed and Dangerous If you see a downed power line, always assume it is energized and dangerous. Avoid going near it or anything in contact with the power line.
35 ft. Downed power lines can energize the ground up to 35 ft. away—so keep your distance.
Never drive over a downed line or through water that is touching the line.
!!!! If you see a downed line, notify the local authorities immediately.
Never try to move a downed power line, even if you think the line is deenergized or if you’re using a nonconductive item—this will not prevent injury or death! Source: ESFI.org 12 MARCH 2022
MEET YOUR RE-ELECTED DIRECTORS DARRYL SMALL
Darryl Small, Jesse Betters, and Doug Bovin have been re-elected to the Alger Delta board of directors to represent Districts 1, 6, and 9 respectively. All three will serve a three-year term that will end in June 2025. All candidates, who ran uncontested, have been important members of the board for many years. Please read on to learn more about each board member.
DISTRICT 1 — BIG BAY
I am the incumbent director from District 1— Big Bay and have served on the Alger Delta Board of Directors for 15 years. My experience as a small business owner for 30 years in small, rural communities has given me valuable insights in running a successful business. I am familiar with profit and loss, customer relations, rules and regulations, budgeting, employee relations, and goal setting. As a director, I will continue to
DISTRICT 6 — NATHAN/WHITE RAPIDS
My name is Jesse Betters and I am running for director in District 6. I have held this position since March of 2021 when I was appointed by the board. I work for Stephenson Marketing Cooperative (SMC) and hold the position of CEO. I have been at SMC for approximately nine years and have been CEO for the past six years. Since becoming CEO six years ago, SMC has had two of the most
work towards implementing renewable energy programs in these challenging times. I will also support paying capital credits to members while keeping Alger Delta financially strong. I will work for the benefit of all members in balancing these challenges and goals. A vote for me is a vote for knowledge, experience, and leadership on the Alger Delta board.
successful years back to back, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have strong ties with the community. I was on the board for the Sons of American Legion and I currently serve on the Menominee County Fair Board. I feel with my experience I have a lot to contribute. I wish to continue working on this board so that we can continue to do good things for District 6.
DISTRICT 9 — HIAWATHA/MAPLE RIDGE
My wife, Bonnie, and I have been members of Alger Delta Electric Cooperative for 50 years, and I am asking to represent you as Hiawatha District 6 director. Experience, ability, and willingness to serve are important. I demonstrated these qualities in the Michigan House of Representatives and on the Energy and Technology Committee working with all utilities and the MPSC. As a vocational accounting instructor, I am uniquely qualified to understand the financial considerations that are important
to you and the co-op. As a past city manager, I have a record of success at updating facilities and equipment while lowering taxes. Finally, I am a traditional Yooper. I grew up at that “Camp in the Woods,” and I appreciate the ability to escape to the back 40 or lake. If you have ideas, I want to hear them, because cooperation and understanding is how we can improve and enjoy our U.P. lifestyle. Thank you.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13
Photo courtesy of Food Network
Food Network’s Holiday Baking Champion—
Michigan’s Beth Meyer By Emily Haines Lloyd
here is a scientiﬁc precision that goes into baking, with a combination of chemistry, biology, and physics at play. For those who decorate cakes, there’s another equally important part, which is the creativity, whimsy, and joy. Baker Beth Meyer shows there is a vital third ingredient to a successful creation, and that is the love and care she puts into each cake she bakes that truly turns each one into a work of heart. Meyer, who recently found herself on the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship: Gingerbread Showdown, began her love of baking on a much smaller stage—her mother’s kitchen. While she would dutifully crack eggs or fry doughnuts, she marveled at how her mother would take sheet cakes and cut them into shapes to create delightful showstoppers for birthdays and special occasions. “They weren’t exactly masterpieces,” said Meyer. “But the care my mother
14 MARCH 2022
took to make these cakes the centerpiece of an event made them feel extra special.” Following her mother’s lead, Meyer would lovingly make cakes for her own children’s parties. As she grew in her skill and creativity, her cakes quickly became the talk of the party. While living in Texas, Meyer threw her son’s birthday party with a Southwest theme, including both Texas Longhorn and cactus cakes covered in fondant, as well as specialty cookies decorated as snakes and other animals as party favors. Soon, Meyer was ﬂooded with requests from other parents asking if she could make a cake for their upcoming celebrations. Even in the Texas heat, things snowballed. “Then one day, my husband told me his company was sending us on an overseas assignment,” said Meyer. “In some ways, it made it difﬁcult to even dream about baking for a living, but the cakes actually helped us connect with our new communities.”
“Cakes have always been about helping people celebrate their big moments in their lives, to make memories. That day reminded me life is worth celebrating. Every moment of it.” While on an assignment in Africa, Meyer was deﬁnitely feeling disconnected. She brought one of her cakes to a party where the United States ambassador and his wife were in attendance. The ambassador’s wife reached out later and asked Meyer if she would create one for their upcoming anniversary. She ended up making several more in her time there.
The whirlwind of meeting television producers over Zoom, being selected, and ﬂying out to Tennessee to shoot the show on a soundstage would be enough to spin a person’s head. However, there was still baking left to do. Meyer and Dowling created a gorgeous holiday window vignette that impressed judges and eventually won them the $10,000 grand prize.
“There’s nothing quite like the Secret Service coming to your door to pick up a cake,” said Meyer. “It also drove me to keep wanting to get better.”
Meyer knew exactly what she wanted to do with her winnings—make her dream of a brick and mortar bakery come true. Meyer located a perfect spot in her hometown of Mattawan to open The Cake Boutique by Beth Meyer and got back to the work she loves—creating cakes that dazzle and elevate any celebration. One look at her gallery of cakes on her website and you see how special her gift is and how much care she puts into each one. So, when asked if she could possibly pick a favorite, it was surprising that she knew right away which one held the most meaning.
Once the family returned stateside— ﬁrst Texas and then Michigan, Meyer went back to her profession of teaching while remaining a student, as she would take cake decorating, sugar ﬂower, or isomalt classes on weekends. It was at a cake show in Arkansas that she met MaryJo Dowling from Pittsburgh. MaryJo, or MJ, was equally enthusiastic about baking and decorating, and while the two lived nearly 400 miles apart, they maintained their friendship. Just a couple years later, Dowling reached out to Meyer with an interesting proposition. Dowling had been selected to interview for a Food Network competition show. While COVID-19 had initially put it on hold, they were now moving forward— quickly. And Dowling needed a partner. “When MJ called, I didn’t even need to think about it,” said Meyer. “I simply told her ‘I’m in.’”
“Without a doubt, the heart cake,” said Meyer. The cake, an anatomically accurate heart, was commissioned in October, and without asking many questions about the event, Meyer assumed it was for Halloween and asked how gory of a cake the client was looking for. The client said that just a plain heart would be ﬁne. So, when Meyer went to deliver the cake the day of the event, she was
If you’re looking to commission Meyer for one of her masterpieces, make sure to give yourself at least two weeks to order, and more if you’re smart. Meyer’s cakes are in high demand and just the thing to bring special occasions to the next level.
both surprised and touched to ﬁnd out her cake was the centerpiece of a party to celebrate a young man’s one-year anniversary of his heart transplant. The young man hugged Meyer and left an impression that seems unlikely to fade. “Cakes have always been about helping people celebrate their big moments in their lives, to make memories,” said Meyer. “That day reminded me life is worth celebrating. Every moment of it.”
56300 City Center Circle, Mattawan 281-387-0640 bethscakeboutique.com
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Your Board In Action OCTOBER • Four candidates were interviewed for the open District 5 director position. • NRECA training took place Oct. 27 at the Delta Chamber of Commerce, where strategic training was the focus. • During a rates discussion, Director Alholm moved to discontinue payments to Energy Optimization due to a surplus. This motion was supported by Director Small, and the motion was approved. • A presentation on Form 990 was given by Eide Bailly and a draft of Form 990 was approved. • Pat Wheeler presented a 10-year load forecast. • Approval was granted for the purchase of a new bucket truck. • Staff reports were given by Tiernan, Priebe, and Labadie.
NOVEMBER • An update on Aquila Resources was given by Jason Hanselman. • The annual meeting date for June 15, 2022, at the Island Resort and Casino, was approved. • WPPI provided data related to rates for the board to consider.
DECEMBER • Aclara meters had begun being installed in the Deerton service territory area. • A discussion was held regarding lowering the capital credits margins in the future. • The board initiated a job performance evaluation of MECA Executive Director Craig Borr.
• The board approved an AMI opt-out policy.
• The board requested Manager Furmanksi to provide ideas to deplete the remaining Energy Optimization fund.
• Staff reports were given by Tiernan, Priebe, and Labadie.
• Staff reports were given by Tiernan, Priebe, and Labadie.
Statement Of Nondiscrimination In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or 3. email: email@example.com. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
16 MARCH 2022
$1,000 Scholarships Applications are now being accepted for two $1,000 Alger Delta Cooperative college scholarships for 2022!
1. High school seniors may submit an essay to win one of two
$1,000 scholarships. The student (or his/her parent or legal guardian) must be a member of Alger Delta Cooperative.
2. High school seniors must plan to attend a two-year technical college or a four-year university.
3. Essays should be on the theme: Our Community Connection: The Value of Cooperative Power. Essays should be between 500 and 1,000 words, typed and double-spaced, and include the following information on the cover: • • • • •
Student’s first and last name Home address Phone number Name of parent(s) or legal guardian Utility account information (name on account, billing address, account number)
4. The deadline for submitting essays is March 31, 2022. Please submit all essays and the completed application form to: Online: https://bit.ly/ADscholarship Or by mail to: Alger Delta Electric Cooperative Association 426 9th St. Gladstone, MI 49837
RESOURCE MATERIALS If you would like to know more about public power, Alger Delta Cooperative is the best source of information, through both printed materials and employee interviews. Information about public power is also available at libraries and on the internet. Websites of particular interest include those of our wholesale power supplier WPPI Energy at wppienergy.org; the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) at NRECA.coop; and the Utility Connection at utilityconnection.com. One particularly interesting book about the history of the electric cooperative movement is “The Next Greatest Thing: 50 Years of Rural Electrification in America.”
At Alger Delta Electric, we join forces with other local not-for-profit utilities through WPPI Energy to share resources and lower costs. Visit us at algerdelta.com or call us at 906-428-4141. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17
By Paige Hutter, Great Lakes Energy Cooperative member
t’s 7 a.m. and I sit up in bed, dreading the bitter cold waiting outside. I rub my eyes, get out of bed, and fumble my way downstairs. In the kitchen, my Grandma is busy cooking wafﬂes. I perk up at the smell wafting from the wafﬂe iron. After I eat, I get my snow clothes on. It is ofﬁcially sap season, and we are busy collecting sap to make maple syrup. Since my sister, Lexi, is the only one ready, she is the only one that comes along for morning sap collection. When we get out into the woods, I start hauling sap that dripped from the trees overnight. I look into several buckets, hanging from the maple trees, but they are empty. The sap is barely running this morning. We pour the sap we did collect into the giant bin that’s on the trailer, which is hooked to the quad. Then, we all climb on the trailer and drive to the next cluster of maple trees. I hop off the trailer and race to the best tree. JACKPOT! A sap icicle hangs down from the tree. I snap it off and start sucking on the slightly sweet ice. Just then, Lexi runs over to me, waving an even bigger sapscicle! I laugh and return to my work. I pour the slushy sap into the big bin and return the bucket to the tree, hoping the tree will give us even more sap at the next collection. Finally, we get to the last cluster of trees. There’s just a little sap in the bucket beneath each of these trees. I sigh and once again pour the sweet sap into the big bin on the trailer. Just then, Grandma comes up behind me. She points to the top of the trees, and I gasp. A huge barred owl is sitting in the branches of an oak tree. Usually, the syrup is my sweet treat for helping with sap, but this was even sweeter! Paige is a homeschool student in the sixth grade. She loves reading, drawing, and horseback riding. Paige enjoys being outdoors in nature. Sap collecting is one of her favorite times of the year because she gets to make memories with her family.
energy bill credit!
Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit countrylines.com/community to submit.
Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo to the left by March 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com/community. January 2022 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Dallas Bond, an Ontonagon County REA Cooperative member, who correctly identiﬁed the photo as the 45th parallel marker on U.S. 31 in Kewadin, Michigan, just north of Elk Rapids. It is constructed in honor of Hugh Gray, the former Michigan Dean of Tourism. The crypt contains information from each of Michigan’s 83 counties and engraved stone from each county. Photo courtesy of Judy Gasco. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September, and November/December.
18 MARCH 2022
Add Well-Connect geothermal heating for $0 down and as little as $80/month. Typical heating cost savings over $100/month. Well-Connect pays for itself.
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Lineworkers know how to get the job done. Let’s thank them for powering our lives.
Lineworker Appreciation Day April 18, 2022 #ThankALineworker