May 2022 Cherryland

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May 2022


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative


Buckshot Communications

The Day The Lights Came On 2021 Annual Report

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Not seeing is believing.

Almost every backyard has a shrine to cold air. It’s called an a/c unit. WaterFurnace will help you take back that space. Air conditioners are unsightly and often located in the worst places. They’re vulnerable to the elements and can become home for small critters. But with geothermal, you won’t have an outside unit or any of these problems. So, reclaim your backyard. Plant some flowers and enjoy the unseen beauty that is WaterFurnace. Geothermal is the only renewable that provides reliable operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Your Local WaterFurnace Dealers Allendale Allendale Htg & Clg (800) 327-1937

Clifford Orton Refrig & Htg (989) 761-7691

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Indian River M&M Plmb & Htg (231) 238-7201 Lansing Candor Mechanical (517) 920-0890

The Reliable Renewable is a trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc.

Mancelona Top Notch Htg, Clg, & Geothermal (231) 350-8052 Michigan Center Comfort 1/Air Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500 Mt Pleasant Walton Htg & Clg (989) 772-4822 Muskegon Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665

Portland ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906 Sunfield Mark Woodman Plmb & Htg (517) 886-1138 Traverse City D&W Mechanical (231) 941-1251 Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000



May 2022 Vol. 42, No. 5



Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr


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

PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors.

6 ADVENTURE AHEAD AT DEER TRACKS JUNCTION In addition to being a safe haven for its animals, Deer Tracks Junction soothes the souls of its human visitors as well. 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN On The Grill: Fire it up for dinner tonight.

CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358


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.


Head over hooves about the weather warming up #spring @dds_photo (Danielle Sullivan)

18 GUEST COLUMN Floating Michigan Rivers: For one GLE member, time spent frolicking on the river is a source of enjoyment and daily life lessons.

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.

14 NICK BAUMGARTNER: MY NEW FAVORITE COLOR IS GOLD Persistence and determination helped an Iron River native capture gold at the Beijing Olympics ... providing the perfect culmination of his 30-year snowboarding career.

Be featured!

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

MI CO-OP COMMUNITY To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit

RECIPE CONTEST Win a $50 bill credit!

Up Next: Pasta Salads, due July 1 Submit your recipe at, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to

GUEST COLUMN Win $150 for stories published!

Submit your fondest memories and stories at

MYSTERY PHOTO Win a $50 bill credit!

Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo. See page 18.


3 /cherrylandelectriccoop @cherrylandec BOARD OF DIRECTORS

David Schweitzer, President 231-883-5860

Melinda Lautner, Senior Vice President 231-947-2509 Gabe Schneider, Secretary 517-449-6453 Tom Van Pelt, Treasurer 231-386-5234 Valarie Handy, Director 231-392-4705

Terry Lautner, Director 231-946-4623 John Olson, Director 231-938-1228

CO-OP NEWS Cherryland’s 84th Annual Meeting Is June 9 Cherryland’s 84th Annual Meeting will take place Thursday, June 9, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Incredible Mo’s in Grawn. For more information about this year’s event, refer to this issue’s cover wrap, and find updates and details on our website and through social media.

Vote In Cherryland’s Election Vote in the 2022 Cherryland Election, and you could win a $100 bill credit! Vote on SmartHub, by mail, or in person during our 84th Annual Meeting on June 9. For more information about voting, check the back of this issue or visit our website. This year, members will choose two at-large directors and a Benzie/ Manistee/Wexford county director, and vote on proposed bylaw revisions. You can read about the candidates and proposed changes in the Annual Report at the center of this issue of Michigan Country Lines.

Cherryland Cares Awards $16,000 To Three Nonprofits At its first-quarter board meeting, the Cherryland Cares board awarded grants to National Alliance on Mental Illness Grand Traverse, Grand Traverse Dyslexia Association, and Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency’s Northwest Food Coalition. Cherryland Cares awarded a total of $16,000 in grants to these area nonprofit agencies.

General Manager: Tony Anderson

The Cherryland Cares board is comprised of five volunteer Cherryland members. The funds distributed by Cherryland Cares come from 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

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

If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, second-quarter grant applications are due Friday, June 17. For more information, please call Courtney Doyle at 231-486-9224 or email her at

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

Members Earn Rebates With Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Co-op Editors: Rachel Johnson Courtney Doyle:

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

PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637 Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Cherryland members are eligible to receive rebates for energy-efficient upgrades in their homes or businesses. For a guide to our residential rebate program and a complete listing of rebates available, visit our website at

Cherryland Office Closed Memorial Day The Cherryland office will be closed Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day. Normal business hours resume Tuesday, May 31. Line crews are on call to respond to any outages or emergencies. You can report an outage by texting OUT to 800-442-8616, logging into SmartHub, or calling us at 231-486-9200.

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or computer. It has been a great tool when we need to go into more detail than a 600-word column. We have a great website designed to answer the most-often-asked questions. The website has it all, from rebates to electric vehicles to board meeting information. If you can’t get your questions answered there, you can find phone numbers of the people who can help you. This leads us to the members’ responsibility in the communications realm. If none of our methods of communication work for you, pick up the phone or stop by the office. I am happy to chat with anyone. Your co-op employees are happy to chat with anyone. You, the member, can be proactive and get any question you have answered in a very short amount of time. When your cooperative misses the target, we need to hear from you.

Buckshot Communications By Tony Anderson, General Manager


ommunicate. Communicate. Communicate. It seems like it’s all we do at times. Then, some days, people beat us up because we didn’t communicate properly. On a recent “one of those days,” I stopped to stare at our methods of communication. It reminded me of a shotgun blast on a wall. There are pellets everywhere. How can we ever miss anybody? We do the traditional magazine. (Thanks for reading this page—even if you read the recipes first. I’m good with being the second stop. Maybe third? Fourth?) In the magazine, we have to prepare early. I’m writing this column in March. You won’t read this until May. This requires strategy and planning. Sometimes, it just can’t be timely, as things can change on the proverbial dime in our world.

When the news needs to get to you in a hurry, we have press releases, email, and social media. Members and nonmembers read the local papers and watch local TV news. We have 24,000 email addresses from the 38,000 meters we serve each day. Then, we have thousands of followers on our social media channels. So, when the need to “spread the word” is immediate, we hit all of these in 24 hours. We also have our podcast, Co-op Energy Talk. Started in October of 2014, this podcast was the first podcast in the entire country done by an electric cooperative. Anybody can go back in time to review any episode of interest. I call the podcast “radio on demand.” When we have information to share or questions members need to be answered, we can sit in front of a microphone and talk it all out. You can get the podcast on your phone

Why don’t we take a rifle approach? To steal a quote from a favorite movie, we can’t afford to “aim small, miss small.” We serve 38,000 meters every day. We can’t reach all of them if we’re not taking a broader approach—a shotgun approach. Some members don’t read the paper. Others loathe social media. Then, there are the people who only read the magazine. If we were to use a rifle to communicate, we would miss far too many people. I know. The shotgun approach misses the mark at times too. I get it. We get it. Call us on it when we do. Seriously, it isn’t a problem. All we want to do is get you the information you need. We will load up another shell and try to hit the flying pigeon (clay ones only).

“ We serve 38,000 meters every day. We can’t reach all of them if we’re not taking a broader approach—a shotgun approach.” MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Adventure Ahead At Deer Tracks Junction By Emily Haines Lloyd


hile Deer Tracks Junction Adventure Park and Site 57 Safari isn’t an animal rescue, it might be hard to convince any of the hundreds of animals who call it “home” that it’s not. Deer Tracks Junction was started as a family-owned breeding stock facility by Hilary and Kelly Powell, raising whitetail deer and elk for sale. Ultimately, selling the animals became less and less inspiring, and sharing the animals became the family’s true passion. The Powells initially brought animals onto their 80 acres to ensure that their son, Tyler, had the experience of farm chores just like his dad had growing up. Once Kelly retired from his construction business, the animal adventure really got started. “People would inquire about our animals and ask for tours,” said Hilary. “Little by little, bit by bit—the idea of the park came into focus. And with blood, sweat, tears, and prayer—it became real and keeps evolving.” The park offers two entirely different experiences. The first—the Adventure Park—can include a fully immersive experience of petting pigs, feeding camels, snuggling rabbits, and bottlefeeding baby goats. Then there’s the Safari, which opened in 2020 on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a “trail” to wander the open terrain in your own vehicle. It provides an opportunity to feed animals like alpaca and bison from your car window. You’ll also drive through the black bear paddock and get about as close as you’d dare to these magnificent creatures. The bears actually were rescues who had only ever lived on cement. “They were so nervous at first,” remembers Hilary. “They’d never felt grass under their paws. They went from six years on cement to a really beautiful natural enclosure with a huge play structure that they can forage through. It’s so heartwarming to see them go from hesitant to happy.”


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The Powells’ goal is to take that hesitation out of their visitors as well, by offering opportunities to interact with the animals and see them up close. While bear feedings aren’t on the itinerary, climbing around on structures is something visitors can also enjoy. Handmade jungle gyms designed by Kelly and built with the help of Tyler, now in his mid-20s, are another joyful adventure for those who visit. Deer Tracks Junction is a family affair all around, with three generations all contributing to creating a one-ofa-kind experience—right up to the homemade churned ice cream served on-site in freshly made waffle cones.

It’s likely the close family ties and connections are the very reason visitors feel welcome and at home. The Powells have hosted family outings, date nights, and even wedding proposals. It’s a relationship as beautiful as those experienced between the guests and the animals themselves. “It’s not just about the adventure of seeing and experiencing the animals,” said Hilary. “It’s such a blessing that people choose to make family memories with us. We couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of people’s lives in that way.”

“It’s such a blessing that people choose to make family memories with us. We couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of people’s lives in that way.”

Deer Tracks Junction Adventure Park opens Memorial weekend and closes in September, depending on weather conditions. To find out more, visit 7850 14 Mile Road, NE Cedar Springs, MI 49319 616-863-3337



The Day The Lights Came On By Courtney Doyle


he year is 1941. A mother and her two young sons are making their way down Schneider Road, just about a mile east of the Hannah Church on the outskirts of Kingsley, in a hay wagon pulled by a team of borrowed mules. Richard was about 2 when his family packed up and moved to a farm they bought for $1,800, thanks to a loan from his Grandpa Schmuckal. “There was no electricity. They had a windmill to pump water. My parents always planned to buy a better farm later,” Richard explained. Their barn burnt down in 1946, along with the entire season’s harvest. Times were tough, but with the support of the rural community, they rebuilt. Richard recalls, “In those days all the farmers would come around to help. So during the winter of 1947, they cut logs all winter and they had a barn raising in the summer of 1947.” Still—the Schmuckal’s were without electricity. But not for long. On November 2, 1948, Richard’s family received an approved permit to become members of the Cherryland Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The following spring, Richard vividly remembers watching the world around him change right before his eyes. “When they came by, the REA (Rural Electric Association) dug a deep hole and put a big pole in the ground. I remember thinking, ‘WOW!’ They dug all the holes by hand, and then pretty soon they started stringing the line.” Before they could turn the lights on, the Schmuckals had to prepare. The tight-knit community of farmers once again worked together to share their talents. Richard says, “My

Just about everything we do requires electricity. You’d be hard-pressed to find a modern convenience that doesn’t need power. We’ve become so used to flipping a switch or clicking a button for so many tasks that it’s pretty tough to imagine what life was like before that was an option. But if you think about it, it really wasn’t that long ago when rural parts of northern Michigan turned the lights on for the first time. In fact, Richard Schmuckal, born and raised in Grand Traverse County, still remembers that day and how it changed his family’s life forever. Above: Richard Schmuckal displays his family’s original application for membership and electric service with Cherryland Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

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Cherryland lineman stringing line on a newly installed pole in 1943.

parents had a local farmer wire the house and wire the barn. I remember them looking at catalogs and talking about what kind of light they wanted to put in the kitchen, that sort of thing.”

From there, the Schmuckals were able to buy milking machines and grew to become one of the largest dairy farms in the area. “Once we got power and having registered Holsteins, wow, that changed everything,” he explained. They didn’t have to worry about lanterns causing devastating fires like the one that destroyed their barn just a few years earlier. They could now rely on motors to take care of much of what used to require physical labor.

“I remember the first evening. They said Tuesday night they’re going to have the power on. The lights were going to be turned on, and it changed our lives forever,” he recalled. Richard was “I remember 9 years old.

the first evening. They said Tuesday night they’re going to have the power on. The lights were going to be turned on, and it changed our lives forever.”

This exciting new resource opened countless doors for the Schmuckal family and many others just like them. “It was a big deal getting power,” Richard explained. “One of the most important things that happened was we could get a refrigerator! Up until that time, you could buy space in a cooler in Traverse City to keep your meat cool. We could have milk coolers. We could now have an electric stove. Mother used to have to can everything in the summer with a wood-burning stove. We got indoor plumbing. Now we could take a shower or bath and get a hot water heater. Until that time, mother would have a big cooker on the stove with water because that’s how you got hot water. All those little things we take for granted.”

In addition to making life a little easier, electricity also created opportunities for Richard’s family. “Dad got a radio for the barn. So when they were milking cows, they could listen to the markets. Corn is up. Wheat is down. Cattle are up. So, how valuable is that? Invaluable,” Richard said.

Cherryland’s early linemen from left to right: Bob Lambert (driver seat), Ernie Lehn, and Erv Stibitz lean up against the cooperative’s first truck in the late 1940s.

“My mother always said, ‘The boys don’t stay on the farm,’” recalled Richard. “My parents were able to do well and send all six of us kids off to school.” It allowed Richard to get an education, join the military, quickly rise through the ranks, and land a well-paying job.

Just like the farmers who came together to rebuild the Schmuckals’ barn or helped wire homes so families could have electricity, Richard and his family have always held true to an important core value—“We have to serve our community and give back, because of what the community did for us.” This is one of the values Cherryland is built upon. It’s the lifechanging foundation that brought power to many northern Michigan farmers and rural families, just like the Schmuckals. “Electricity—there’s no way of quantifying what it meant to all of us who were without power. It changed our lives. It’s hard for me to tell you just how it changed my life,” said Richard. “Most people have no idea just how valuable it is because you just turn the light on.”

Cherryland linemen in winter of 1947, working to bring electricity to rural parts of northern Michigan.



MI CO-OP Recipes

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

ON THE GRILL Fire it up for dinner tonight


Marinade: ¹⁄ ³ cup brown sugar ¹⁄ ³ cup teriyaki sauce ¹⁄ ³ cup soy sauce ¼ cup water ¼ cup oil 2 cloves garlic, minced • lemon juice, to taste Salmon: 2-pound salmon filet(s) • salt and pepper, to taste Pineapple: 1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into spears or slices ¾" thick ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup melted butter ½ to 1 teaspoon cinnamon (plus small amount for dusting)



energy bill credit!

10 MAY 2022

Pasta Salads due July 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, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to

Mix marinade ingredients and pour into a 1-gallon plastic bag with zip-lock seal. Season salmon filet with salt and pepper. Add seasoned salmon to plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate for at least two hours (overnight is best). Grill salmon until it flakes; time depends on thickness of filet. Can put salmon directly on grill (wiped or sprayed with oil) or use a grill pan. For pineapple, spray grill with oil or use a grill pan. Lay pineapple on pan in single layer. Dust with cinnamon. Mix the brown sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon to make a glaze. If the glaze is thick, microwave it for a few seconds until pourable. Pour over pineapple. Grill in single layer for 2–3 minutes per side or until golden and just tender. Great with a tossed green salad, asparagus, and crusty bread. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at

JALAPEÑO CRUNCH BURGER Joseph Brewer, Homeworks Tri-County

5 jalapeños, diced (w/ seeds to make it spicier/hotter, no seeds for a milder taste) 1 green bell pepper, finely diced 2 large yellow onions, finely diced 2 tablespoons butter, for sautéing 3 pounds ground beef (room temperature) 3 eggs 3 teaspoons black pepper 3 teaspoons salt 3 teaspoons red pepper (cayenne pepper) 3 teaspoons paprika 3 teaspoons cumin • queso dip or pepper jack cheese • Fritos or French’s Crispy Fried Onions (for the crunch)

Dice up your vegetables (jalapeños, green peppers, and onions), and sauté them in butter until tender/caramelized. You can sauté them together or separately. Once the vegetables are sautéed to your liking, set aside and allow to cool. In a large bowl, add in the meat, eggs, seasonings, and cooled sautéed veggies. Mix thoroughly, making sure to try and spread the seasonings and sautéed veggies as evenly as possible. Form your patties, and grill to desired temperature (if you are using pepper jack cheese, add it to your burger while it’s still grilling). Top burger with desired crunch (Fritos or French’s Crispy Fried Onions) and queso dip (or can have with pepper jack cheese). Serve on a sesame seed bun and enjoy!

TEQUILA LIME CHICKEN Mary Card, Great Lakes Energy

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves—trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry; set aside on platter ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice ¼ cup tequila (gold) ¼ cup fresh orange juice 1½ teaspoons chili powder 1½ teaspoons minced garlic cloves 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced, optional 1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper In a large bowl, prop up a large, open zipper-top bag and add the lime juice, tequila, orange juice, chili powder,

garlic cloves, jalapeño, salt, and pepper. Add chicken to bag and zip the top. Massage chicken in bag to combine and place bowl in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight, turning bag every few hours, or at least twice. Prep grill for medium heat (charcoal or gas). Drain marinade off chicken and place chicken on grill rack. Cook chicken 5 minutes, then turn and grill another 5–8 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, or internal temperature is 160 F. Move chicken to clean platter and let rest, covered with foil, about 5 minutes, to allow juices to set. Garnish with lime wedges for squeezing over chicken. Serves 6.

DUCK ON THE GRILL Margie Guyot, Great Lakes Energy 1 1 1 1 1 1 2

duck (5–6 pounds), defrosted tablespoon salt teaspoon black pepper teaspoon smoked paprika orange, cut into quarters head garlic, top trimmed celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces

Set up your grill for indirect grilling. For a gas grill, put a large drip pan in the center. Preheat the grill on high, then reduce the temperature to medium/low when the duck is placed on the grill. For a charcoal grill, arrange charcoal pieces around the side of a drip pan and let them burn until medium/hot (coals mostly covered in ash). Rinse the duck inside out with cool, running water. Pat dry. Use a large sharp fork and prick the skin all over, but be careful not to pierce the meat (or the meat will be dry). Mix the salt, pepper, and paprika. Rub the duck inside and out with the spice mixture.

Stuff the cavity of the duck with the orange quarters, whole head of garlic, and celery pieces. Fold the neck skin under to cover the cavity. Close with a skewer. Set the duck, breast side up, on a rack over the drip pan. Cover the grill and cook for about 1½ hours. If you’re using a charcoal grill, add 10–12 briquettes every half hour or so to keep the temperature up. After 1½ hours, drain the juices and fat from the drip pan and flip the duck, breast side down. Continue cooking for another 30–60 minutes until the meat is tender. Flip the duck back to breast side up for the last 10 minutes to crisp the skin. The internal temperature should be 175 F at the thickest part of the thigh. Allow the duck to rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes. Remove oranges and celery from the duck’s cavity and throw away (ideally on your compost pile). The roasted head of garlic can be used as a spread on bread. Carve duck and serve. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES



DO-IT-YOURSELF SAFETY TIPS Many of us are spending more time at home and finding new, creative ways to enhance our living space. Tackling do-it-yourself (DIY) projects for the home can be fun and cost-effective, so why not roll up those sleeves and get started! Whether you’re painting the front door with a fresh hue or finally upgrading those patio lights, successfully completing a DIY home project is incredibly satisfying. But many of these projects do not come without risks. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind as you get to work.

Start by selecting a designated work area.

The amount of space you’ll need will depend on the size and scope of your project, but make sure you have adequate lighting and ventilation (if necessary). Required tools and equipment should be located in your workspace and organized for easy access.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is your friend. We know you’re a pro, but investing a few bucks in PPE is essential for most home projects. Stock up on safety goggles, dust masks, earplugs (or noise reduction ear protectors), gloves, and any other kind of protection you’ll need for your project. Remember to wear appropriate clothing and shoes. (Ditch the sandals for this!)

Work slowly and clean as you go.

When you rush through a DIY project, you’ll likely end up with less desirable results than you intended, or worse, you could make a costly or dangerous mistake. Take your time and remember that you are in control of the project. It would be best if you also clean as you go to ensure a safer workspace. Pick up any scrap materials, tools that aren’t in use, and any tripping hazards.

Be cautious with power tools.

Annually, 8% of electrocutions in the U.S. are attributed to improper use of power tools. The Electrical Safety Foundation International offers the following safety tips: • Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) with every power tool to protect against electrical shock. • Never use power tools near live electrical wires or water pipes. • Use extreme caution when cutting or drilling into walls where electrical wires or water pipes could be accidentally touched or penetrated. • If a power tool trips a safety device while in use, take the tool to a manufacturer-authorized repair center for service. • Do not use power tools without the proper guards. • When using a wet-dry vacuum cleaner or a pressure washer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid electrical shock.

Remember, you should only tackle DIY home projects within your skill and comfort level. We strongly recommend you hire a licensed, qualified electrician for assistance for projects that require extensive electrical work.

To learn more about electrical safety, visit our website at safety-presentations.



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By Yvonne Whitman || Photography by Keven Zini

It’s not every day that an Olympic gold medal finds itself in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. But that’s what happened after Nick Baumgartner of Iron River captured first place with teammate Lindsey Jacobellis while competing in the mixed team snowboard cross event at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. This event, which made its debut in this year’s games, features a male and female rider from the same country paired and placed into a multi-team bracket. Competitors tear down a course with turns, jumps, rollers, and drops designed to push them to their limits. Competitive snowboarding is not for the faint of heart. “Snowboard cross is chaos in every sense of the word,” Baumgartner said. “We are doing something that is so unpredictable. We go down the course at highway speeds of 50–60 mph on a five-foot-long board with metal edges that are sharp as a sword, with

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nothing to protect us except for the helmet on our head.” At 40, Baumgartner was the oldest medalist in Olympic snowboarding history—but he started riding early. “When I was 10 years old, I got this funny-looking plastic snowboard for Christmas, and I took it to the sledding hill behind my house,” Baumgartner said. “Fast-forward 30 years, and that plastic snowboard and my persistence turned into an Olympic gold medal at age 40. To think that 18 years after I started on this team, here I am still going, I would never have

imagined it. You’re never too late to take what you want from life.” When reflecting on receiving his gold medal, Baumgartner said, “I’ve always been a huge fan of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ It hits a little bit different when you’re standing there on the podium and listening to it being played because of something you did. It was a proud moment and very emotional for me.” That emotional celebration followed him back to the U.P. A born and bred Yooper, Baumgartner wasn’t surprised when crowds of local people welcomed him home from Beijing. “I know the people of the U.P., and I know Yoopers, and it didn’t surprise me at all that the celebration started so far away with people standing out on the side of the road hooting and hollering in the freezing cold weather, holding signs that they had made,” Baumgartner said. And when he says, “so far away,” he means it: His supporters began lining the route 60 miles from his hometown, where a community parade awaited him.

But even a 60-mile celebration couldn’t hold a candle to the welcome home from his 17-year-old son Landon. “Getting a gold medal is wonderful, but Landon is my greatest accomplishment. It has meant so much to me to be able to share this journey with him and to have him be proud of me,” Baumgartner said, his voice brimming with emotion. “That’s what really matters to me. I’ve been trying to show him through my whole career what it takes to be a champion, how you don’t give up on your dreams, and that you can accomplish anything. I think he learned those lessons along the way, but winning the gold medal definitely cemented those ideas for him.” Nick Baumgartner is a model of commitment and determination. Entering the elite atmosphere of gold medal athletes did not come easy. It took considerable work, endless training, and competing at countless events for many years, but he made it to the top. Michigan is not just proud to be the home of an Olympic gold medal winner, but incredibly proud to be the home of Nick Baumgartner.


• This was his fourth time in the Olympics. He also competed in 2010, 2014, and 2018 (where he placed 4th). • He is an assistant coach on son Landon’s track team and will be the commencement speaker at Landon’s graduation ceremony. • When training, Nick lives out of a van four days a week with his dog Oakley to stay closer to his gym, which is 90 minutes from his home. • He played football at Northern Michigan University. • Nick built his own house. He is a union concrete worker. • No stranger to medals, Nick has also procured gold and silver in Snowboard Cross at the X Games. • He next plans to compete in the Snowboarding World Championships in 2023.




Antique Rides 1. “A boy and his dog.”—Carolyn Dib 2. “1940 Pontiac Deluxe”—Joey Turner 3. “James Fink and Shirley Royston almost bought a 1967 King Midget. The King Midget got 53 mpg!”—Shirley Royston 4. “Dad’s Austin when I was 12.”—Stuart Corpe 5. “The Penny Farthing. Bone shaker. “—Mickey McCann 6. “My grandparents’ car after an accident on the way to school in Coney Island, 1956.”—Michelle Forward


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Submit Your “Ice Cream” Photos By May 20!

Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes in our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. Our May theme is Ice Cream! 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 or visit for a link to the current photo contest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2022, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2022 bill.

16 MAY 2022

Fuel Mix Report

The fuel mix characteristics of Cherryland Electric Cooperative as required by Public Act 141 of 2000 for the 12-month period ending 12/31/21.

Comparison Of Fuel Sources Used Fuel source

Your Board In Action March Board Meeting • Cherryland’s chief financial officer updated the board on the co-op’s Power Supply Cost Recovery (PSCR) mechanism. After the board’s approval to reduce the rate in February, March billing reflected a $0.004 PSCR rate, down from $0.008. • The board reviewed and approved the audited financials for 2021.

Your co-op’s fuel mix

Regional average fuel mix
















Renewable Fuels












Solid Waste Incineration









NOTE: Biomass excludes wood; solid waste incineration includes landfill gas; and wind includes a long-term renewable purchase power contract in Wolverine’s mix.

Your Co-op’s Fuel Mix

• The board discussed and approved funding for necessary fire alarm system updates for cooperative buildings. • The board of directors elected Tom Van Pelt to serve a two-year term representing Cherryland on the Wolverine board of directors. • The board discussed and approved a new date for the June board of directors meeting. The board will now meet on Friday, June 17. Regional Average Fuel Mix

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 member’s 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.

Emissions And Waste Comparison lbs/MWh

Type of emission/waste

Your co-op

Regional average*

Sulfur Dioxide



Carbon Dioxide



Oxides of Nitrogen





High-Level Nuclear Waste

* Regional average information was obtained from the MPSC website and is for the 12-month period ending 12/31/21. Cherryland purchases 100% of its electricity from Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc., which provided this fuel mix and environmental data.


Guest Column

Floating Michigan Rivers By Julie Kate O’Brien, a Great Lakes Energy Cooperative member


he rivers of Michigan have danced through my soul since an early age. Bank fishing, trolling, and canoeing was where I learned much about family love and respecting the Good Lord’s grace in nature. The joy of big brothers upstream and the upland bird dogs romping and resting on the river’s edge taught the daily practices of contentment, gratitude, faith, and joy, as well as praying and dancing with the Great Spirit. The AuSable and Manistee Rivers are home. There is nothing better than watching a dog weave the river’s edge, flushing birds for hours, and then inflating our tube, floating back home, and dropping a line. Many lessons of life can be learned by watching anglers, rivers, and dogs, as well as those big brothers upstream. From age 7 to now age 70, big brothers have always been upstream watching over. Life’s successes and failures gain understanding because of family members just being on the river together. There appear to be three types of anglers on the rivers. The newbies, the locals, and the “don’t get it” crew, and on some rivers, we may fall into each category. The newbies are fun and often kindly referred to as “trunk slammers,” as they return to their vehicles frequently. They often have the newest fishing gear and are still learning about the concept of effortless movement. The locals may live anywhere but have fished the same area for generations. They move gracefully and effortlessly and understand going with the flow and the concept of catch and release on the river, as well as with life’s issues. The “don’t get it” crew is trying so hard that they don’t succeed much. They often share their frustration with others. Their movement reflects impatience. Setting healthy boundaries in life and respecting other people’s differences are two lessons learned on a river. So float, fish, canoe, grow old with your big brothers upstream, or just watch the rivers of Michigan ... experience the beauty of any season of life on the river banks and find the peace that nature brings.

Win a $50 energy bill credit!

Photo is from south M-72 bridge on the Manistee

Julie is retired from Otsego Memorial Hospital. She enjoys hiking and watching sports on TV (Go Green! Go White!). She loves shooting pool and having grilled ham and cheese at Tony Deckers in Oscoda.

WIN $150!

Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit to submit.

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo to the left by May 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at March 2022 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Lisa Brodeur, a Cherryland Electric Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as The Tridge in downtown Midland. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September, and November/ December.

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Pre-voting in the 2022 Cherryland Electric Cooperative election is open now until June 8! Visit our website to learn more.