May 2019 Cherryland

Page 1

May 2019


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative

UP IN THE AIR Michigan Sky Media’s Aerial Photography

Reduced Power Supply Costs, Money Coming Back

Kate Redman Finds Common Ground Meet Our Youth Tour Attendees


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In This Issue May 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 5


Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives



Your photo could be featured here. michigancountrylines

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Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr

Come share in the splendor of rural Michigan with us

Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer Design and Production: Karreen Bird 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; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, 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


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.

michigancountrylines Pro tip: Water and electricity don’t mix...unless you are mother nature. #donttrythisathome #beautiful : @andrew_long_expo

ON THE COVER Tyler Leipprandt, photographer and owner of Michigan Sky Media, captures a dangling shot of Michigan’s most iconic landmark, the Mackinac Bridge. Read the full story about his spectacular aerial drone photography on page 14.

6 & 7 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Columns 62 Years Of Michigan Marriage Linda McCoy, Cherryland Electric Cooperative Michigan’s Fishery Is Nature’s School Rick Fowler, Great Lakes Energy

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Breakfast And Brunch Recipes To Enjoy All Day Long


Feature Guest Chef

Tyler Leipprandt of Michigan Sky Media, shares a family favorite Pudgy Pie campfire recipe. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

14 FEATURE Up In The Air

Michigan Sky Media’s Aerial Photography Emily Haines Lloyd

18 SAFETY May Is Electrical Safety Month

Life-Saving Tips From Your Co-op Guess Our New Mystery Photo And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Michigan Country Lines, Your Communications Partner For more than 38 years, our co-op members have received Michigan Country Lines because it is the most effective and economical way to share information with our members. An empowering communication tool, Michigan Country Lines keeps members up-to-date about everything going on within their electric co-op. Issues contain news about our services, director elections, member meetings and management decisions that members need to know about as owners of the co-op. The magazine also includes legal notices that would otherwise have to be placed in local media at a substantial cost. Sending Michigan Country Lines to you helps the co-op fulfill one of its essential principles——to educate and communicate openly with its members. The board of directors authorizes the co-op to subscribe to Michigan Country Lines on behalf of each member at an average cost of $3.90 per year, paid as part of members’ electric bills. The current magazine cost is 49 cents per copy. Michigan Country Lines is published for us, at cost, by the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association in Lansing. As always, we welcome and value your comments at










Board Of Directors

TERRY LAUTNER President 231-946-4623 TOM VAN PELT Senior Vice President 231-386-5234 MELINDA LAUTNER Secretary 231-947-2509 DAVID SCHWEITZER Treasurer 231-883-5860 JOHN OLSON Director 231-938-1228 GABE SCHNEIDER Director 517-449-6453 JON ZICKERT Director 231-631-1337 GENERAL MANAGER Tony Anderson

Cherryland Cares Awards $15,000 To Six Nonprofits At their first quarter board meeting, the Cherryland Cares board awarded grants to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan, Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan, Grand Traverse Dyslexia Association, Leelanau Christian Neighbors, Leelanau County Cancer Foundation, and the Women’s Resource Center. Cherryland Cares awarded $15,000 in grants to these area nonprofit agencies. The Cherryland Cares board is comprised of five volunteer Cherryland members. The funds distributed by Cherryland Cares are a result of members electing to round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. Members can contribute to the Cherryland Cares fund by calling 231-486-9200, signing up through SmartHub, or emailing us at If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, second quarter grant applications are due Friday, June 7. For more information, please call Shannon Mattson at 231-486-9234 or email at

Bowl For Kids’ Sake Returns May 7 & 8 At Incredible Mo’s Join us at this year’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan Bowl for Kids’ Sake event! Cherryland is proud to sponsor one of the year’s largest fundraising events for the Bigs program. The event takes place on May 7 and 8 at Incredible Mo’s. To find out how to donate and join the fun, go to and click on the Events page.

Cherryland Joins The Annual Ideas For Life Senior Expo On May 15

OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m.

Cherryland will be one of at least 100 exhibitors at the Ideas for Life Senior Expo at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center on Wednesday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Bay Area Senior Advocates event features a variety of local and statewide services aimed at providing solutions for the changes families will experience with aging parents and spouses.

TELEPHONE NUMBERS 231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.)

Members Earn Rebates With Energy Efficiency Upgrades

CO-OP EDITORS Rachel Johnson Rob Marsh

ADDRESS P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637

PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637

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

Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Cherryland Office Closed Memorial Day


Follow us on Facebook. Follow us on Instagram. @cherrylandec

4 MAY 2019

The Cherryland office will be closed Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day. Normal business hours resume Tuesday, May 28. Line crews are on call to respond to any outages or emergencies. You can report your outage through SmartHub or by calling us at 231-486-9200.

Power Supply Cost Recovery


Tony Anderson, General Manager

s that a catchy title or what? The PSCR, or power supply cost recovery, is a rate mechanism that allows a utility to pass to consumer-members the actual costs paid for wholesale power and fuel. Essentially, it is a tool for keeping your cooperative on budget.

kilowatt-hour (kWh). For an average member using 750 kWh per month, their bill will be reduced by approximately $6.

Why is this happening? We had a reduction in our power supply costs in 2018 that caused us to collect $1 million more than we had budgeted to take in. We could keep Nearly 70 cents of every dollar expensed at Cherryland this as margins to be returned in 20 to 25 years, or we is spent on wholesale power costs. This leaves us only 30 could return it to the people who actually paid for it last cents to do every day things like buy gas, meet payroll and year. Since Cherryland is a not-for-profit utility and we maintain our electric system. This is a remain committed to only charging tight margin that could be drastically “Since Cherryland is a not-forthe minimum necessary to meet affected if we are off the mark in our our required financial and reliability profit utility and we remain wholesale power budgeting process. committed to only charging the targets, your board chose to return it sooner rather than later in the form of minimum necessary to meet our This tool was approved by the this 2019 PSCR credit. required financial and reliability Michigan Public Service Commission targets, your board chose to return As you may know, Cherryland for use by all utilities way back in 1982. It is used by virtually every buys 100 percent of our wholesale it sooner rather than later in the utility in the state. Until a couple of power supply from Wolverine Power form of this 2019 PSCR credit.” years ago, Cherryland used it via a Cooperative. The long-term stability separate line item on your bill. When we had our last rate and financial strength of Wolverine allow us to return this adjustment, wholesale rates were stable and predicted to money in 2019 confidently. Wolverine has locked in an be stable into the future. So, we dropped the separate line industry-leading portfolio of diversified fuel resources item from your bill. that was 62 percent carbon-free in 2018. As this decrease indicates, Wolverine met our mission of affordability as well. Well, as you can imagine, times change. I can feel you bracing for the bad news BUT hold on. This story has a Someday, in the future nobody can predict today, we happy ending this time. The separate PSCR line item WILL will have a PSCR increase that will help us balance our appear on your bill once again. budget in the other direction. For now, let’s all take this good news for what it is—the result of years of planning, I am happy to report that it will return in the form of a building, budgeting and developing a long-term portfolio small reduction. We expect this decrease to last a few of power supply by the men and women at Wolverine months. The reduction will be a negative 0.008 cents per Power Cooperative.




MI CO-OP Community

62 Years Of Michigan Marriage By Linda McCoy, Cherryland Electric Cooperative member


n July 7, 1957, as young newlyweds, we headed north from Indiana to see the sights.

and Spider Lake. The Driftwood Motel was our destination for many years. We stayed in condos after the Driftwood was no more. As a family of 17, we’ve experienced all the amenities the Traverse City area has to offer.

Our first stop was seven miles west of Kalkaska, Michigan into the Sand Lakes quiet area. Greatgrandpa McCoy was alone now at the nicknamed Visiting Underwood and Rennie orchards in “Bitzy” cabin where he and Great-grandma had July and mushroom hunting in the spring. Our spent many summers. It was a one-room log activities included climbing the dunes, rafting cabin with a hand pump on the porch and an down Crystal River, air shows on East Bay, outhouse out back. They fished the many area Parasailing, bicycling, marching lakes. I wondered how in the band concerts, horseback riding 1940s did they ever find this “Five families of at Ranch Rudolph, fishing and the secluded place? McCoys have an famous Cherry Festival parade. interest and still enjoy We again headed north to see Michigan vacations.” The “Bitzy” cabin was torn the great Mackinac Bridge. We down due to deteriorating logs marveled during the tour that and rebuilt in the ‘90s by the family as vacation took us under the bridge which had one span left to complete before joining Lower Michigan and the time permitted. It is now modern, which was a significant event, complete with power from Upper Peninsula. Cherryland Electric Cooperative. Five families of McCoys have an interest and still enjoy We had little money to spend, but we took in Michigan vacations. many first-time sights, and this would be the beginning of a lifetime of Michigan adventures. The once-newlyweds will celebrate over 62 years It was our home away from home. of marriage in July, and our lifetime memories of happy days with family throughout Michigan Our three children would know Michigan, as well bring us joy. as their spouses and our nine grandchildren. We camped in the early years at Interlochen and Glen Arbor. We rented cottages on Little Glen Linda has lived in Northeast Indiana for all of her 79 years. She is a retired beautician and enjoys caring for families in her community. and Big Glen, and years later at Lake Leelanau

6 MAY 2019

Michigan’s Fishery Is Nature’s School By Rick Fowler, Great Lakes Energy member


t 5 a.m. on any of the bodies of water I venture to, be it a lake, river, stream, or pond, I am inundated with a myriad of sounds. The slow, rhythmic lap of waves reaching the shore after a night of travel is indeed soothing early in the morning.

way toward the inlet. The rapid flow of water cascades down boulders forming a chaotic scene as it bubbles back up. My line remains steady in the calm water beyond the little falls. I remember not too many years ago bringing my two children here. Armed with fishing gear, Barbies and GI Joes, we had claimed our spot. Amid the yelps of lucky fishermen and those who weren’t so lucky, I heard the laughter of my kids. Today, even though both are now in their late twenties, I can still get them to “wet a line” with me.

The plop of fish on calm waters just before the sun breaks makes an angler’s heart race. The head turns quickly in an attempt to see what it was that raised so quickly and, like an Olympic diver, reenter with “The memories, the Every so often I feel like a little only splash rings remaining, stories, the sights that wave that thought his purpose spreading like oil on the water. a morning off ers keep was gone when he reached In fact, when the boat engine is me trickling back to the sandy shore. However, the cut or the paddles raised, the Michigan waters to fi sh.” memories, the stories, the sights serenity of a moment like this is that a morning offers keep me spine-tingling. trickling back to Michigan waters to fish. I have this sense that if I don’t, it will be the end of something. With a headlamp, waders, rod, small tackle box, flies and other bait, I descend the muddy bank of my favorite river. The eastern sky is lit brightly with Rick taught high school English in Boyne City for 34 years. For the past an easel of colors, making my climb down to the 25 years, he has been an outdoor freelance writer. waters edge flashlight free. The squish and clomp of my wading boots seem to be twenty decibels higher than they need to be. As I approach, there is an eerie screech reverberating from the tree Win $150 for stories published! line. The Blue Herons’ hollering momentarily blocks out the roar of the rushing water. As I near, the finger pier is empty of anglers on this particular morning. Many fishermen will be approaching the mouth soon to test their skill against the steelhead that are now making their

Guest Column: Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. For guidelines and to submit your guest column go to under the MI Co-op Community tab.



Commongrounds is slated to open in the fall of 2020.

Finding Common Ground By Rob Marsh


hen we work together, we can make our communities better. But one person’s idea of better is not always the same as another’s. That can make finding common ground difficult. Attorney and entrepreneur, Kate Redman, has devoted her life to doing just that: seeking common ground for the good of her community. Redman was raised in the small town of Dansville, Michigan, just southeast of Lansing. With a population of about 400, her hometown inspired her to pursue a career in community development. “I have always been interested in how spaces affect how people interact with each other,” explained Redman. “I knew that I wanted to do planning and zoning in rural areas with small towns and farming communities.” Becoming a lawyer, however, was not always the plan. In fact, she wasn’t too familiar with the profession. “I didn’t know what lawyers did. I also didn’t know any lawyers,” she chuckled. “I was going to go to planning school, but I thought, ‘I bet if I had a law degree, that would be helpful.’”

8 MAY 2019

In 2010, with a law degree in hand and community development on the brain, Redman moved to Traverse City to work in nonprofit, business, and local government law at Olson, Bzdok & Howard. While at the firm, she noticed a couple trends among her smaller clients. “Working with nonprofits and small businesses, I saw that the law often came up as a barrier and these organizations, overall, had a lot of the same challenges,” she explained. “My thought was, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if the law was something that didn’t get in the way of these organizations and they could also connect with each other and help each other out?’” In 2017, Redman started her own practice, Commonplace Law, and a nonprofit community incubator hub, Commonplace, in downtown Traverse City. Through Commonplace Law, she could help small, communityminded organizations by combining traditional legal services with other organizational needs at a reduced, flat fee. In Commonplace, these same entities could collaborate and learn from each other in a coworking space. “For a lot of small organizations, it can feel really isolating. With a shared workspace, it’s an easy way for these people

“ We have so many people who care about this community that discussions about the future and development can be pretty contentious. However, we know there is a bunch of stuff we can all agree that we want to see. We just have to ask ourselves ‘How can we use real estate development to make the community we love better, together?’” —Attorney and entrepreneur, Kate Redman

to connect if they’re coming to work every day and getting to know each other gradually and organically.”

together and help them energize and catalyze their hopes for the community.

Redman wasn’t the only one thinking about coworking spaces. About a year and half ago, she was approached by local coffee bar and roastery, Higher Grounds, about incorporating a coworking space in a building they were planning on 8th Street in Traverse City.

“We have so many people who care about this community that discussions about the future and development can be pretty contentious,” said Redman. “However, we know there is a bunch of stuff we can all agree that we want to see. We just have to ask ourselves ‘How can we use real estate development to make the community we love better, together?’”

In the months following this conversation, Redman found herself putting her law practice on hold and devoting her time and energy to what had become a multi-faceted real estate cooperative, Commongrounds. Commongrounds is not just any mixed-use building. The plans for the co-op include a café and restaurant, child care facility, primary care provider, performance space, artist residence, office and coworking space, and two floors of workforce housing. There are also plenty of spaces dedicated to education, wellness, and community gathering. All of it is owned by its tenants and their customers and the community. “It’s been so much fun to imagine what would you put in a building if you could just do whatever you wanted. I’ve been so fortunate to get the brains and the work of a ton of people in the community that care about this project.” With the co-op slated to open in the fall of 2020, Redman hopes that Commongrounds, along with past efforts, can bring community members

Redman partnered with the community to bring Commongrounds to life.



Breakfast & Brunch Start your day right with these savory and sweet recipes. Photos by Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Little Masterpieces (Homemade Doughnuts) Kris Hazeres, Alger Delta ½ 3 1¼ 1½

cup vegetable oil large eggs cups granulated sugar cups applesauce, mashed bananas, puréed strawberries, or puréed fruit of choice teaspoons vanilla extract teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional (good with apple or banana flavored doughnuts) teaspoons salt teaspoons baking powder cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour granulated sugar or cinnamon-sugar, for coating

a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If making muffins, bake for 20—23 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans. Note: If you don’t have doughnut pans, you can bake these in a standard muffin tin.

Note: these store well in the freezer. When it’s time to serve, pop them in the microwave for a minute or so, then plate them and fill with ice cream, fruit, pie filling, etc., for an over-the-top looking treat in just a few minutes!

1½ 1 1½ 1½ 1¾ •

Beat together oil, eggs, sugar, puréed fruit, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder until smooth. Add flour, stirring just until smooth. Fill wells of the doughnut pans nearly to the rim; use about ¼ cup of batter in each well. If using muffin pans, fill each well about ¾ full; the recipe makes about 15, so you’ll need to bake in two batches (unless you have two muffin pans). Bake doughnuts for 15—18 minutes, or until 10 MAY 2019

Remove doughnuts from oven, and loosen edges. After about 5 minutes, transfer to a rack. While doughnuts are still warm (but no longer fragile), gently shake them, 1 or 2 at a time, in a clean paper bag or baggie with sugar. If you’ve made muffins, sprinkle tops with sugar. Cool completely, and wrap airtight; store at room temperature for several days. To make fancy doughnuts: fill the hole in each doughnut with choice of ice cream, pudding, mousse, sliced fruit, etc. Top with sauce; add whipped cream if desired.

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at

Simple Savory Corn Cakes Deb Finedell, Great Lakes Energy 2 1 ½ 2 1 1 2 1 4 2 1 •


cups all-purpose flour teaspoon baking powder teaspoon salt cups frozen corn, thawed cup (4 ounces) smoked cheddar cheese, shredded cup fat-free (skim) milk egg whites, beaten whole egg, beaten green onions, finely chopped cloves garlic, minced tablespoon chili powder salsa

GUEST CHEF As Tyler Leipprandt of Michigan Sky Media and his family spend their summers camping across Michigan, they know that yummy campfire food is all part of the memorymaking. And no campfire cuisine is complete without a Pudgy Pie.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl with a wire whisk. Stir in corn, cheese, milk, egg whites, egg, green onions, garlic, and chili powder until well blended. Spray a large nonstick

skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Drop batter by ¼ cupfuls into skillet. Cook 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Serve with prepared salsa, if desired.

Sausage And Kale Frittata

3 ½ 2 1½ 4

Katie Schneider, Midwest Energy & Communications 8 ¼ ¼ ¹⁄ ³

large eggs teaspoon salt teaspoon black pepper cup milk

cups kale, stems removed, leaves chopped cup chopped red onion cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed teaspoons olive oil ounces Italian turkey sausage, cooked and crumbled ½ cup chopped red bell pepper 2 tomatoes, ¼-inch round slices, cut in half

Combine eggs, salt, pepper, and milk; stir with a whisk. Heat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Sauté kale, red onion, and garlic in olive oil until tender. Layer in sausage and bell pepper. Carefully pour egg mixture over sausage and bell pepper. Preheat broiler to high. Place tomato slices on top of eggs in a single layer. Cook over medium heat, 5 to 6 minutes, or until eggs are partially set; then broil 5 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned and almost set. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Tailgating Favorites: due July 1 Venison: due August 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 for more information and to register.

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Photo by Tyler Leipprandt

Pudgy Pies • • • •

Refrigerated tube biscuits Cooking spray Pudding or pie filling Wooden dowels

Use a 5-inch diameter wooden dowel attached to a roasting stick and spray wooden dowel with cooking spray. Flatten and stretch one biscuit over the end of the dowel. Roast over the fire slowly until biscuit cup is cooked through. Let cool and carefully remove from the dowel. Fill the biscuit cup with your favorite pudding or pie filling or make as a s’more with a roasted marshmallow and chocolate. Read the full story about Tyler Leipprandt on page 14, and find this recipe and others at



Powering Up After An Outage When the power goes out, we expect it to be restored within a few hours. But when a major storm or natural disaster causes widespread damage, extended outages may result. Our line crews work long, hard hours to restore service safely to the greatest number of consumers in the shortest time possible. Here’s what’s going on if you ďŹ nd yourself in the dark:

1. High-Voltage Transmission Lines: Transmission towers and cables that supply power to transmission substations (and thousands of members) rarely fail. But when damaged, these facilities must be repaired before other parts of the system can operate.

2. Distribution Substation: A substation can serve hundreds or thousands of consumers. When a major outage occurs, line crews inspect substations to determine if problems stem from transmission lines feeding into the substation, the substation itself or if problems exist further down the line.

3. Main Distribution Lines: If the problem cannot be isolated at a distribution substation, distribution lines are checked. These lines carry power to large groups of consumers in communities or housing developments.

4. Tap Lines: If local outages persist, supply lines (also known as tap lines) are inspected. These lines deliver power to transformers, either mounted on poles or placed on pads for underground service, outside businesses, schools and homes.

5. Individual Homes: If your home remains without power, the service line between a transformer and your residence may need to be repaired. Always call to report an outage to help line crews isolate a local issue.

Meet Cherryland’s


Every June, we sponsor two students from local high schools to represent Cherryland on the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour; a once-in-a-lifetime, allexpenses-paid leadership travel opportunity to Washington, D.C. Learn more about this year’s students and why they wanted to attend Youth Tour.

Emmalynn Kroupa

Reeve Katt

Where do you attend high school?

Where do you attend high school?

I am a sophomore at Traverse City West Senior High School.

I am a sophomore at Benzie Central High School.

What extracurricular activities are you involved with?

What extracurricular activities are you involved with?

I am a member of the National Honor Society and a fifthyear academic awards winner. I also have been in the choir program for five years, most currently in the West Senior High Bel Canto group. I have been playing tennis since I was very young and have been on the TC West Varsity Tennis team for two years now. I am interested in government, and I spent last summer working on our State Representative’s re-election campaign, as well as participating in other local political events throughout the years.

Why do you want to attend Youth Tour?

Youth Tour will open up so many opportunities for my future and give me the chance to meet kids from all over the country! It is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I am very excited to see government up close, and I am very honored I was chosen to represent Cherryland Electric Cooperative in Washington, D.C. this summer.

I am a member of Student Council, Interact Club, BC Pride, and the school newspaper. I participate in the annual fall play, the Benzie-Frankfort ski team in the winter, and the Benzie girls’ varsity soccer team in the spring. I love to draw, as well as read books and learn about history. I’ve volunteered at my local library since the seventh grade.

Why do you want to attend Youth Tour?

I would like to learn and understand even more about the history of our nation. You cannot truly solve problems if you don’t understand the underlying history and background behind them. I want to attend Youth Tour to continue to do just that, and hopefully make friends and connections from all over the country as well.

UP IN THE AIR Michigan Sky Media’s Aerial Photography By Emily Haines Lloyd

very artist finds a way to show others the world from a different perspective. For Tyler Leipprandt, photographer and owner of Michigan Sky Media, his perspective often comes from hundreds of feet in the air with his drone photography. Leipprandt never saw himself as an artist in his earlier life or even once he began working in drone photography for the commercial sector. An athlete growing up, Leipprandt spent most of his time in the gym and didn’t really see art as part of his future plans. Currently, he spends his days in education, instructing teachers how to integrate and use technology in the classroom. “It was my brother who got me interested in drone photography,” said Leipprandt. “No one in our area was really doing aerial shots for real estate, so that’s where I started. We did well in real estate, but I began to see how fun it was to use the drone in other ways.” Snapping cool photos around the state opened Leipprandt’s eyes to all sorts of opportunities; including a visit to the Port Austin Farmers Market where he saw some beautifully handcrafted cutting boards in the shape of Michigan that he noticed people admiring. The very next year, Leipprandt was back at the market, but in his own stall selling his photos that paid homage to

14 MAY 2019


Top left: Lake of the Clouds at sunrise. Top Right: This photo named “Don’t Look Down,” placed in the Top 25 in his category at Grand Rapids’ Art Prize competition. Bottom Left: Tahquamenon Falls at twilight. This Page: Leipprandt in the midst of capturing one of his signature dangling shots.

If you want to see more of Tyler Leipprandt’s amazing photography, visit him Saturdays at the Port Austin Farmers Market from Memorial Day through Fall (9am–5pm) or check out his portfolio at He can also be found on Facebook and Instagram @michiganskymedia.

the Great Lakes state. Last year he made the Top 25 in his category at Grand Rapids’ Art Prize competition.

was flying 120mph with the doors off. I’ve never been so cold in my life.”

“These are the places that locals have spent their vacations and spare time exploring all their lives,” said Leipprandt. “Places that you’ve seen a million times, but captured in a totally different way.”

Not all of Leipprandt’s excursions are quite so daredevilish. He, his wife and their four kids spend a good part of their summers exploring Michigan based on year-long pins they’ve stuck in a map. Before dinner, during grace, the kids never forget to say an extra prayer for an RV they can take around the state to cover more ground and capture even more beautiful memories.

Leipprandt’s photos are stunning, from twilight shots of Tahquamenon Falls to aerial feats over The Mighty Mac and University of Michigan’s Big House. Including Leipprandt’s now-signature shots of his feet dangling over the edge of bridges or from the sides of helicopters. “The dangling shots started by accident when my brotherin-law and I went to the U.P. last fall and through some wild circumstances ended up being invited to the top of the Mackinac Bridge,” Leipprandt said. “The Big House pictures were for a marketing promo—it was almost Thanksgiving, about 30 degrees outside and the helicopter

It’s that sense of exploration and curiosity that Leipprandt brings to his photography. The joy of seeing something unique and beautiful that not everyone has an opportunity to experience for themselves. “I love making people excited about where they’re from and what’s around them,” explains Leipprandt. “I want to help folks find new places they can explore for themselves.”

MCL SOCIAL MEDIA TAKEOVER! Watch Tyler Leipprandt as he does a live takeover of Michigan Country Lines’ social accounts, May 6–10. He’ll bring you some amazing, neverbefore-seen shots of the 2019 Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Mich.

May 6–10


Photo Contest Most Votes On Facebook!


1 3


Spring Flowers 1. “Spring blooms” by Kathy Zeits

2. “Spring is in the air!” by Abigail Stevens

3. “Pink dreams” by Kaylee Niezgoda

4. “Red, white, and blue spring” by Kirsten Cline

5. “The Kings of the Forest” by Norman Schillerstrom

16 MAY 2019

Submit Your Favorite “Four-Legged Friends” Photos! Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes from our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites.


Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Our May theme is Four-Legged Friends. Photos can be submitted through May 20 to be featured in our July/August issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest visit and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2019, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2019 bill.

Your Board In Action March Board Meeting • The board reviewed and approved minor changes to both the cooperative’s billing rules and data privacy tariff. Cooperative staff periodically review and recommend updates to such documentation to ensure it is meeting current standards and practices. • The board was updated on the ongoing construction project in the Grawn office. The cooperative is currently remodeling and updating the operations office area, break room and kitchen area. • The board voted to have the cooperative’s general counsel present at their monthly board meeting for the remainder of the year. The board will then evaluate the need for general counsel’s presence on an annual basis.

Access To Rules And Rates Please be advised that the following information is available to Cherryland Electric Cooperative members: 1. Complete rate schedules; 2. Clear and concise explanation of all rates that the member may be eligible to receive; 3. Assistance from the cooperative in determining the most appropriate rate for a member when the member is eligible to receive service under more than one rate; 4. Clear and concise explanation of the members’ actual energy use for each billing period during the last 12 months. The information can be obtained by visiting or contacting Cherryland Electric Cooperative at 231-486-9200.

BENEFITS OF TREE TRIMMING Clearing trees and overgrown vegetation is vital to provide safe, reliable power to our consumer-members. We clear certain areas in our service territory, known as rights of way, to: • Keep power lines clear of tree limbs • Restore power outages more quickly • Keep crews and members of our community safe • Reduce unexpected costs for repairs

Vegetation management improves service reliability for you—our members!

Guess this photo and enter to win a


energy bill credit!

May Is Electrical Safety Month

Electric cooperatives’ top priority is always to provide safe, reliable, and affordable energy to their members. Your well-being and that of the larger communities we serve are of paramount concern. This month, we share a few safety tips that we hope you never have to use. But if you do, they could save their life.

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by May 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at 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 March issue is Steven ZisslerHayes, a Thumb Electric Co-op member, who correctly identified the photo as Saint John Nepomucene Catholic Church Historical Marker. This church was established in 1885 and is located in East Jordan. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

March 2019

Life-Saving Tips That Can Save Your Life • If a car hits a utility pole, the vehicle may be charged with electricity. Anyone exiting the car could come in contact with thousands of volts of electricity from the downed line. In essence, when you step out of the car, you become part of the electricity’s path to the ground and could be electrocuted. It’s critical for everyone to stay in the vehicle until emergency crews have told you it’s safe to exit the car. • If the vehicle is on fire or you must exit for other safety reasons, jump clear of the vehicle. Do not let any part of your body or clothing touch the vehicle and ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and shuffle away (in small steps with your feet still together) to avoid electric shock. Keep moving away until you are at least 40 feet from the vehicle. • If you come upon a car accident involving a utility pole and downed power lines, keep your distance. A downed power line can energize the ground up to 35 feet away. The best action you can take is to alert emergency officials. Also, never drive over a downed power line or through water that is touching a downed power line. • If you have a downed power line on your property as a result of a falling tree, storm or other circumstance, do not go near the power line. Assume that the downed line is energized and dangerous. Never try to move the power line even if you think it’s not energized or if you are using a non-conductive material. Please wait until an electric co-op crew or emergency officials have confirmed that it is safe to do so. Contact your local electric co-op for additional electrical safety tips or if you would like to request a safety demonstration at your school or community event. Safety is a top priority!

Photo by Thomas Mann

18 MAY 2019

Hybrid Geothermal


Now we’re

even cleaner. You call this place home and so do we. That’s why we’re making clean and reliable energy affordable for all.

Our members

are now powered by...

62% carbon-free energy

Learn more by visiting