May 2019

Page 1

May 2019


COUNTRY LINES HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative

UP IN THE AIR Michigan Sky Media’s Aerial Photography

Streaming TV Options With Fiber Internet

Electrical Safety Tips Tri-County Propane Celebrates 20 Years


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


Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives



Your photo could be featured here. michigancountrylines

Follow Us On Instagram!

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













10 Reasons To Join Us At Your District Meeting


Mark Kappler, General Manager


Portland office/Mail payments to: 7973 E. Grand River Avenue Portland, MI 48875 Open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday Blanchard office: 3681 Costabella Avenue 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


his year’s district membership meetings start May 13 at the Fulton Elementary Gym near Middleton, and end on May 22 at the Eagle Park Hall.

Here’s our Top 10 list of reasons why you should come to your district meeting this year:


10a (bonus) If you purchase electricity from HomeWorks in District 1, 5 or 7, you can vote for your board representative at the meeting (as long as you didn’t vote by mail), then stay and hear the voting results afterward.

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

Learn about your electric utility! How did we do financially in 2018? Are we keeping up with maintenance to make sure the electric system stays reliable?


Win prizes, from a credit on your energy bill to a 43" smart TV. Kids aged 5–16 can register to win an iPad. (Must be present to win!)


We’ll have a gift for everyone who attends—including for the kids.


Sign up to be a delegate to the Annual Meeting in August, and enjoy many of these Top 10 pleasures all over again!


Pick up a copy of the latest Michigan road map, Pure Michigan tourism guide, and an updated “Meet Your Michigan Legislators” book.


Take a closer look at our all-electric Chevy Bolt.


Stock up on LED bulbs (limit 12), nightlights, and other energy-savers with our instant rebates, and recycle your old “swirly” CFL bulbs.


Pre-register for HomeWorks Connect, our fiber optic internet service, and stay updated on the progress of the construction as we bring it to your neighborhood!


District 6 — Ed Oplinger Secretary-Treasurer 10890 W. Weidman Road, Weidman, MI 48893 989-644-3079

Enjoy a tasty light supper of sloppy joes, potato chips, cookies and ice cream.


Visit with your neighbors (bring a deck of cards or the latest photos of your grandkids to share).

District 7 — Shirley Sprague 15563 45th Ave., Barryton, MI 49305 989-382-7535

2019 District Meeting Dates:

HomeWorks Connect 1-800-668-8413 Email:

Board of Directors District 1 — John Lord 2276 Plains Rd., Leslie, MI 49251 517-974-2518 District 2 — Jim Stebbins 7139 Peddler Lake Rd., Clarksville, MI 48815 616-693-2449 District 3 — Luke Pohl Chairman 15560 W. Hanses Rd., Westphalia, MI 48894 989-292-0427 District 4 — Kimber Hansen 6535 N. Wyman Rd., Edmore, MI 48829 989-506-5849 District 5 — Corinna Batora Vice-Chairman 7655 N. Watson Rd., Elsie, MI 48831 517-256-5233

Editors: C harly Markwart Jayne Graham, CCC

Join us on Facebook. 4 MAY 2019

District 1, May 21, Charlotte

District 2, May 15, Lake Odessa

District 3, May 22, Eagle

District 4, May 20, Blanchard

District 5, May 13, Fulton

District 6, May 14, Beal City

District 7, May 16, Remus

Cutting the Cord:

How Do I Watch TV without a Cable Provider? One of the benefits of having a highspeed fiber internet connection, such as those offered by HomeWorks Connect, is the ability to watch videos from the internet without excessive waiting times or buffering. This can be great for a variety of reasons, but one ability that it gives Connectors is to ‘cut the cord’ with their cable TV provider and instead seek alternatives online. The leap from a cable subscription to using the internet for your television needs can be overwhelming and scary due to the wide variety of options and opinions on how to make the jump. However, the benefits can be worth it as using an online service is typically much cheaper than traditional cable packages and offers more flexibility into which channels you’re paying for. To cut the cord, you really only need two things: an online service that allows you to watch, or ‘stream’, your favorite shows, and a device that is compatible with that service. By understanding these and the differences between them, your decisions become much easier.



Comparing streaming services can be hard to do, especially at a macro-level. This is because each service has channel offerings that vary based on zip code. Before subscribing to any streaming service, it is best to check that your devices are compatible with the service. You can do this by visiting their website.

In order to be able to access a streaming service, you’ll need a device from which you can access it. Depending on your service, you’ll be able to watch your favorite channels on not only your television, but also on your tablet, smartphone, or computer. Before purchasing any streaming device, it is best to check that it is compatible with the streaming services you are considering using.

Popular examples of live TV streaming services are HuluTV, DirecTV NOW, Sling TV, and YouTubeTV, with more options becoming available each day. These services allow you to watch live events such as sports, or catch the latest episodes of your favorite TV shows. There are also on-demand streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. These don’t offer live TV channels, but offer a variety of movies and TV shows that can be watched at any given time. The deciding factors that help to make the decision on which service to go with are the type of devices the service is compatible with, the channels they carry, and their extra features such as DVR or number of screens that can stream at once.

Need Faster Internet? Become A Connector Today!




Learn more today at! This service is not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Commonly used streaming devices include Roku Streaming Media Players, Amazon Fire TV sticks, Apple TVs, and Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Players. These devices all specialize in streaming, or allow you to convert your television into a streaming device. However, many devices, such as tablets and smartphones, are able to add apps for the streaming service you choose. When deciding on a streaming device, it is important to consider the streaming services you might be using and ensuring your device will be compatible with them. You should also decide on where you’d like to be able to stream and purchase a device that best fits that need.


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 offers 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 fish.” 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.



Recycle Old Appliances To Save Energy And Money!


o you have an old, working refrigerator or chest freezer taking up space in your basement or garage? While you may not think about these appliances often, they could be adding hundreds of dollars to your utility bill each year. Declutter your home and save money with the Energy Optimization program. You can earn $50 for removing and recycling a secondary refrigerator and freezer!*

Free Appliance Pick Up Made Easy: The Energy Optimization team will pick up and recycle your old refrigerator(s) and freezer(s) for FREE. You can choose to send along an old window air conditioner or dehumidifier for recycling as well. NOTE: All items must be in working condition.

How To Participate: Contact the Energy Optimization team at 877-296-4319 to schedule an appointment. A representative from our

Cash incentives are available for the following: Appliance Type

Pick up or Ride-Along Item

Incentive Amount


Pick up


Chest Freezer

Pick up


Window Air Conditioner






*Limit two appliances per year, per residence. All items must be in working condition.

team will come to your home for the pick up, and a cash incentive will be mailed to you. It’s that simple!

More Ways To Save! Working on a remodeling project? Your electric utility’s Energy Optimization program provides cash incentives toward qualifying new ENERGY STAR® appliances, including refrigerators, washers and dryers, ceiling fans, room air conditioners, televisions, and more. Please visit for more information, or call 877-296-4319 with any questions.

Get $50 for your old refrigerator or freezer. Stop wasting energy and money! Recycle old, functioning appliances and earn cash incentives:

Recycle and


■ ■ ■ ■

Refrigerator = $50 Freezer = $50 Dehumidifier (ride along item) = $15 Window Air Conditioner (ride along item) = $15

Contact the Energy Optimization team to schedule a free pickup.

Shopping for new appliances? Receive cash incentives when you purchase ENERGY STAR® appliances. Visit our website for a complete list of savings opportunities.

ONLINE: PHONE: 877-296-4319

Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit All items must be in working condition.

Snap Shot 1


Spring Flowers 1. K aren Retter from Jerome (service at Barryton) says, “I know when the Hepaticas bloom that winter is officially over and I love their polka dotlike centers!” 2. A. Burns from Eagle snapped this spring tulip in Eagle. 3. Denise Schneider from Vestaburg sent in this photo of “our one-yearold granddaughter Alane, enjoying the flowers in our flower bed in Vestaburg on a beautiful day outside.” 4. Shelby Olson of Lakeview reports, “This was taken at Holland’s tulip festival last year. I call it “Dare to be Different.” Don’t be afraid to be yourself no matter what you are surrounded with.” 5. Casie Bayless of Portland shared this photo of early spring Crocuses peeking through the mulch. 6. Buffy Meyers of Sunfield says “these snowdrops and other early spring flowers are sheltered by saplings on the farm where I grew up. My grandparents planted these decades ago.”





Upcoming Snap Shot Contest Topics And Deadlines

Enter to win a

“Four-Legged Friends,” Deadline: May 15 (July–August issue)


energy bill credit!

“Sunrise/Sunset,” Deadline: July 15 (September issue) Go to and select Country Lines under the Electric tab to submit your photos and see additional 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, Portland, MI 48875. Photos will not be returned. Do not send color laser prints or professional studio photos.

Submit Your Photos! Contributors whose photos we publish in 2019 will be entered into a drawing. Country Lines will choose two winners for a bill credit of $100 each on their December electric bill, due in January 2020! MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


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



Your Board In Action Meeting at Portland on March 25, your board of directors: • Accepted the annual audit report from representatives of Eide Bailly. • Authorized staff to apply for membership in, and pay annual dues to, the Telecommunications Association of Michigan, and the Small Business Association of Michigan. • Approved use of unclaimed capital credits from 2013 to apply for matching donations of $2,500 each for RAVE—Relief after Violent Encounter, Montcalm County; Portland Community Fund—Backpacks for Bellies; and Saint Vincent de Paul Society (SVDP) St. Michael’s—Grand Ledge, for their food bank and emergency assistance program. Also approved use of further unclaimed capital credits for several community donations including additional Classroom S.T.E.A.M. Grants and scholarships.

People Fund Update March 6, 2019——12 grants totaling $14,888.81, including: • $1,860 to Barryton Area Mobile Food Pantry, for food truck deliveries; • $1,250 to Sunny Crest Youth Ranch, Sunfield, to support their vocational program for boys;

• Reviewed the 2018 year-end MPSC Distribution Standards, in which the Cooperative exceeded the minimum requirements in every reported category. • Learned there were 58 new members in February. • Acknowledged the March safety report, listing employee training as well as minor employee and public incidents involving electric, fiber optic, or propane.

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 May 20 and June 24 at Portland. Members who need directions to the meeting, or wish to have items considered on the board agenda, should call 517-647-7554.

• $2,500 to a Mecosta County family for funeral expenses; • $1,500 to a Montcalm County family to purchase and install a gas water heater; and • $700 to a Montcalm County family for housing expenses.

• $500 to Springport Food Pantry, to purchase food pantry items;

How to Apply for a Tri-County Electric People Fund Grant

• $700 to Safe Center, Saint Johns, to purchase counseling and educational materials for child victims;

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.

• $4,000 to Portland Community Fund, to assist with flood recovery and support the Backpacks for Bellies weekend food program; • $1,285 to YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, to provide the 3rd-grade water safety program in partnership with Ionia Public Schools; • $593.81 to an Isabella County family to assist with housing expenses;

Write to 7973 E. Grand River Avenue, Portland, MI. 48875, for an application form and grant guidelines, or visit the People Fund tab at Note: Applications must be received by May 21 for the May board meeting, and by July 2 for the July board meeting.

Notice Of Member Access To Rules And Rates As a member-customer (member) of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative (Cooperative), the following information is available to you from the Cooperative, upon request: 1. Complete rate schedules; 2. Clear and concise explanation of all rates that the member may be eligible to receive; and 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. For more information, visit or call 800-562-8232.

12 MAY 2019

2019 iPad winner Carol Smith-Schroeder (left) accepts her prize from HomeWorks customer service representative Sara Nartker.

2019 iPad winner Olivia Feldpausch (left) accepts her prize from HomeWorks customer service support representative Karen Beard.

Go Paperless and Win!

Any HomeWorks member who is signed up for paperless billing by August 31, 2019 will be entered into a drawing to win a free iPad! We’ll draw two winners in September. Make the switch today via SmartHub or by calling our office. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13

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


Prevent Electrical Hazards At Home Below are some quick, easy-to-follow tips to help you and your family stay safe around the electricity in your house.

HOME ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS Never overload your home’s electrical system. Overloaded electrical circuits are a major cause of residential fires. Only use light bulbs that meet (or are below) the maximum wattage listed on the lamp or fixture. Exceeding that wattage can cause overheating and potential fire hazards. Extension cords should not be used as permanent solutions. Contact a licensed electrician to install additional outlets.

Never use electrical cords that feel warm to the touch or are damaged in any way. Replace old cords when needed. Frequently tripped circuit breakers and blown fuses are clear warning signs of faulty electrical wiring. Contact a licensed electrician for an inspection.

Safety starts with you!

Learn more electrical safety tips on page 18, and at: 16 MAY 2019

Pictured Above: Our propane field operations team. From left to right, Shaun Oliver, Andy Beard, Jeremiah Mergenhagen, Randy Halstead, Trevor Wood, Andy Fredricks, Dan Peiffer, and Lanny Withey. Not pictured: Clinton Beaulieu.

This summer, Tri-County Propane will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Since the company was founded in 1999, our propane field team has driven nearly three million miles to deliver over 40 million gallons of propane to our customers. When the weather is at its worst, they’re called to perform at their best, working in all conditions to make sure our customers’ homes stay warm all winter long. In the office, our customer service representatives have stayed busy, too. They work each day to provide friendly service to our customers, answering their questions and making sure they have all of the information they need regarding their propane account. They’ve achieved that goal, too, resulting in exceptional customer service satisfaction scores year in and year out. For 20 years, all of our propane employees have worked to provide top-notch service. They’ve maintained guaranteed capped winter rates, a rarity in the industry, and offered sought-after options like metered service and auto-fill. Most importantly, they’ve strived to leave our customers with a smile, every time. We salute our propane team for two decades of outstanding service! To learn more about Tri-County Propane, call 877-574-2740.

Our Propane Team Field Operations: Andy Beard Clinton Beaulieu Andy Fredricks Randy Halstead Jeremiah Mergenhagen Shaun Oliver Dan Peiffer Lanny Withey Trevor Wood Customer Service: Becky Beard Jessica Goodemoot Mary Jane Hoppes Angie Martin Scott Maynard Stacey McEvoy Sara Nartker Cheri Rauch Erin Storey Meter Readers: Larry Bowling David Parkhouse Cinnamin Piggott MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17

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

SEE IF YOUR HOME IS A GOOD FIT AT WELLCONNECTSAVES.COM (989) 356-2113 NOW AVAILABLE AT 989-356-2113 SELECT STORES Report Outages: 1-800-848-9333




COMING TO YOUR DISTRICT THIS MONTH! Check your mailed invitation, or, for your district’s meeting date and other details. We look forward to seeing you there!

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