Nov/Dec. 2018 Cherryland

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November/December 2018


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative

The UP200 Sled Dog Racers

MUSH ON Cherryland By The Numbers

Big Family, Bigger Hearts The Hermans Keep Season Merry And (Very) Bright

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In This Issue November/December 2018 || Vol. 38, No. 9

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives michigancountrylines

Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer Design and Production: Karreen Bird Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591710, 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, secretary-treasurer. 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

6 ENERGY Resources For Home Heating Assistance Programs 7 SAFETY Tips For Decorating Safely This Holiday Season 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN ‘Tis The Season For These Festive Recipes

ON THE COVER The UP200 is one of America’s premier, 12-dog, mid-distance sled races and draws mushers from around the United States and Canada. Pictured is Musher Sally Manikian of New Hampshire. Photo by Mitch Rusch.

Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Our Guest Chef Chili Recipe Will Warm You Up After Winter Adventures Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

Win $150 for stories published!

14 FEATURE The UP200 Sled Dog Racers Mush On

Guest Column

Emily Haines Lloyd

18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Best Of Michigan: Snowmobile Trails Grab a friend and hit these recommended trails for a new perspective on winter. Guess Our New Mystery Photo And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. Guidelines 1. Approximately 350 words 2. Digital photos must be at least 600 KB 3. Submit your guest column at under the MI Co-op Community tab

Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation (Required by U.S.C. 3685) 1. Publication Title: Michigan Country Lines. 2. Publication No.: 591-710. 3. Filing date: 10/1/18. 4. Issue frequency: monthly, except August and December. 5. No. of issues published annually: 10. 6. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Ste. 900, Lansing, MI 48933. 7. Complete mailing address of headquarters or general business office of publisher: 201 Townsend St., Ste. 900, Lansing, MI 48933. 8. Full names and complete mailing address of publisher, editors, and executive editor: Craig Borr, Christine Dorr, Casey Clark, 201 Townsend St., Ste. 900, Lansing, MI 48933. 9. Owner: Michigan Electric Cooperative Assoc., 201 Townsend St., Ste. 900, Lansing, MI 48933. 10. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding one percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: None. 11. Tax status: Has not been changed. 12. Issue date for circulation data below: Sept. 2018. 13. Extent and nature of circulation: Avg # of copies each issue during preceding 12 mo.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.

A) B) C) D) E) F) G) H) I)

Actual # of copies of single issues published nearest to filing date

Total No. of copies .......................................................... 221,033 ........................................... 241,500 Paid and requested circulation........................................ 221,033 ........................................... 241,500 Total paid and requested circulation ............................... 221,033 ........................................... 241,500 1) Free distribution by mail .................................................... 188 .................................................. 188 2) Free distribution outside mail ............................................ 920 .................................................. 920 Total free distribution .......................................................... 1,108 ............................................... 1,108 Total distribution ............................................................. 222,141 ........................................... 242,608 Copies not distributed ............................................................... 0 ...................................................... 0 Total................................................................................. 222,141 ........................................... 242,608 Percent paid and/or requested circ.................................... 98.7% .............................................. 99.7%

16. Publication of statement of ownership: November 2018 17. Signature and title of editor: Christine Dorr, Editor










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 CO-OP EDITORS Rachel Johnson Rob Marsh

OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m. TELEPHONE NUMBERS 231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.) ADDRESS P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637 WEBSITE

Cherryland Retires Over $2.2 Million To Members In December Cherryland’s board voted to retire $2,217,519 in capital credits to the membership this December. This amount is a direct passthrough of the retirement Cherryland will receive from their power supplier, Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, that same month. The amount retired to each member can be found on their December billing statements.

Cherryland Cares Awards $12,500 To Two Nonprofits At their third quarter board meeting, the Cherryland Cares board awarded grants to The Father Fred Foundation and ShareCare of Leelanau, Inc. Cherryland Cares has awarded $37,600 in grants to area nonprofit agencies this year. 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. If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, fourth quarter grant applications are due Friday, Dec. 7. For more information, please call Shannon Mattson at 231-486-9234 or email at

Cherryland Office Closed Over Holidays In observance of the holidays, the Cherryland office will be closed on the following dates: • Thursday, Nov. 22, and Friday, Nov. 23, for Thanksgiving • Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25, for Christmas • Monday, Dec. 31, and Tuesday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s 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.

Members May Give Input At Monthly Board Meeting The board of directors at Cherryland is offering an opportunity for members to provide direct input to the board on Monday, Dec. 17, at 9 a.m. at the cooperative office in Grawn.

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

Members are asked to come to the lobby and request to speak to the board. Members are asked to keep their comments to five minutes. Member attendance at the board meeting is allowed for the public input portion of the meeting only.

Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Members May Dispose Christmas Trees At Cherryland

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


Cherryland members are reminded that Christmas trees can be discarded at Cherryland’s office in Grawn. Trees can be dropped off on the right side of the Cherryland parking lot as you are driving in, just beyond where the two parking lots meet. This service is offered free to co-op members.

Numbers Talk Tony Anderson, General Manager

We have all heard sayings like “the numbers don’t lie” or “the numbers tell a different story.” Well, I recently looked at a whole host of numbers that deal with Cherryland Electric Cooperative’s community impact and member engagement. I initially put them in a drawer, as I have never been one to boast about any accomplishment by our great team of employees. Ultimately, I could not resist the urge to write about them (I also had a deadline and needed a topic for this column so…). For almost 20 years, Cherryland has had a zero-interest economic development revolving loan program. We have made loans to private individuals starting or expanding a business and also to fire departments and townships for emergency service vehicles. Since 1998, we have loaned out (with a zero-default rate) $3.6 million to 27 different companies and entities that helped to create or retain more than 200 local jobs.

Our use of Facebook has grown by leaps and bounds over the last six years. We have reached 1.75 million people with Facebook posts since 2015. People have liked, clicked on or shared Cherryland’s Facebook posts 187,000 times in the last three years. After reading my monthly column, many members comment in a blog set up on our website. Since 2015, this blog has had 72,000 views and members have left 960 comments. If you would like to engage with this column, take a few minutes and bounce over to our website. I see every comment and respond personally to most of them. In an effort to cover all forms of member communication, we started the “Co-op Energy Talk” podcast three years ago. These 30-minute shows are produced in-house every month. We have had 7,545 plays since entering this new medium.

“This is a lot of numbers to digest but they all tell a good story.”

In the nonprofit sector, our Cherryland Cares fund supported by more than 4,000 cooperative members has granted over $443,000 to 92 different area charitable organizations since 2006. On top of that, your cooperative sponsors approximately 100 different community events each year for an additional $60,000 annually. I wish I had stats for the number of volunteer hours Cherryland employees give to area organizations after the work day is done. I’m sure that total would be amazing too.

When it comes to communicating in various ways with cooperative members, the numbers tell a great story there as well. A recent survey indicates that 75 percent of our members read this magazine on a regular basis. Nine out of 10 readers agree that Michigan Country Lines is an objective, informative, relevant and enjoyable source of information.

We have been experiencing growth in our media relations as well. In 2012, the local newspaper, radio and television reporters recorded 49 stories concerning the activities of your cooperative (30 outage related and 19 “other”). In 2015, this grew to 74 stories (24 outage related and 50 “other”). During the year of 2017, there were 98 stories (24 outage related and 75 “other”). This is a lot of numbers to digest but they all tell a good story. Your cooperative is active and making a difference in the communities we serve in many, many ways. It is simply our mission to serve, lead, listen, innovate, evolve and communicate in meaningful ways. I think the numbers above show that we are walking our talk.



Home Heating Assistance Programs 2018–2019 Season Winter Protection Plan

Contact: Your Local Utility Company Income Guidelines 2018–2019 # in Household 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

150% Poverty Guide Maximum Income $18,210 24,690 31,170 37,650 44,130 50,610 57,090 63,570

The Winter Protection Plan (WPP) protects enrolled seniors and low-income customers from service shut-offs and high utility bill payments during the winter months (Nov. 1–March 31). If you are eligible, your utility service will remain on (or restored with the WPP) from Nov. 1 through March 31, if you: • pay at least 7% of your estimated annual bill each month, and • make equal monthly payments between the date you apply and the start of the next heating season on any past due bills.

the following requirements: • are age 65 or older, • receive Department of Health and Human Services cash assistance, including SSI, • receive Food Assistance, • receive Medicaid, or • household income is at or below the 150% of poverty level shown in the Income Guidelines chart at left. Senior citizen customers (65 or older) who participate in the WPP are not required to make specific payments to ensure that their service will not be shut off between Nov. 1 and March 31. Service for seniors can be restored without any payments.

When the protection period ends (March 31), you must begin to pay the full monthly bill, plus part of the amount you owe from the winter months when you did not pay the full bill. Participation does not relieve customers from the responsibility of paying for electricity and natural gas usage, but does prevent shut-off during winter months. You qualify for the plan if you meet at least one of

Note: All customers 65+ are eligible regardless of income. Customers are responsible for all electricity and natural gas used. At the end of the protection period, participants must make arrangements with their utility company to pay off any money owed before the next heating season.

You can apply for a Home Heating Credit for the 2018 tax year if you meet the income guidelines listed at left (110% of poverty level) or you qualify based on alternate guidelines including household income, exemptions, and heating costs. Additional exemptions are available for seniors, disabled claimants, or claimants with 5% or more of their income from unemployment compensation.

If you qualify, you may receive assistance to help pay for your winter heating bills. Forms are available mid-to-late January wherever tax forms are provided or from the Michigan Dept. of Treasury (517-636-4486, or The Home Heating Credit claim form must be filed with the Michigan Dept. of Treasury no later than Sept. 30 each year.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income, working individuals and families who meet certain requirements and file a tax return. Those who qualify will owe less in taxes and may get a refund. Even a person who does not generally owe income tax may qualify for the EITC, but must file a tax return to do so.

If married, you must file jointly to qualify. File Form 1040 or 1040A and attach the EITC.

State Emergency Relief Program (SER): mdhhs You do not have to be a DHHS client to apply for help with a past due bill, shutoff notice, or the need for deliverable fuel through the SER. This program, available Nov. 1–May 31, provides most of its utility assistance during this crisis season.

However, limited assistance is available outside the crisis season.

You may be able to receive help with weatherizing your home to reduce energy use if you meet low-income eligibility guidelines (200% of poverty guidelines) and funding is available. Weatherization may include caulking,

weatherstripping, and insulation. Contact your local Community Action Agency for details. Visit to find one in your area.

2-1-1 is a free phone service operating 24 hours daily to provide information about help that may be available in a

particular area with utilities and other needs. Dial 2-1-1 or visit to find available services.

Contact: Local Utility Company

You are protected from service shut-off for nonpayment of your natural gas and/or electric bill for up to 21 days, possibly extending to 63 days, if you have a proven medical

emergency. You must provide written proof from a doctor, public health or social services official that a medical emergency exists. Contact your gas or electric utility for details.

Shut-off Protection For Military Active Duty

If you or your spouse has been called into active military duty, you may apply for shut-off protection from your electric or natural gas service for up to 90 days. You may request

extensions. You must still pay, but contact your utility company and they will help you set up a payment plan.

Michigan Veterans Trust Fund Emergency Grant Program

The Trust Fund provides temporary assistance to veterans and their families facing a financial emergency or hardship

including the need for energy assistance. Contact the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund at 517-284-5299 or

Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) includes services that will enable participants to become self-sufficient, including assisting participants in paying their energy bills on time, budgeting for and contributing to their ability to provide for energy expenses, and being energy efficient. Shut-off protection is provided Nov. 1–April 15 for all residential

customers. The MEAP is supported by the state’s Low Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF). An electric utility that chooses not to collect for the LIEAF shall not shut off service to customers for non-payment between November 1 and April 15. For a list of electric providers that opt-out of collecting the LIEAF go to

Add $6,480 for each additional member.

Home Heating Credit Contact: Mich. Dept. of Treasury # Exemp.

0–1 2 3

Max. Income

$ 13,354 18,106 22,858

# Exemp.

4 5 6

Max. Income

$ 27,610 32,362 37,114

Add $ 4,752 for each exemption over 6.

Earned Income Credit

Contact: • U.S. Treasury Dept., Internal Revenue Service • Michigan Dept. of Treasury

Crisis Assistance Program Contact: Local Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

Low-Income Home Weatherization Contact: Local Community Action Agency

United Way

Contact: Call 2-1-1 or

Medical Emergency Protection

Contact: Local Utility Company

You may claim a Michigan earned income tax credit for tax year 2018 equal to a percentage of the federal earned income tax credit for which you are eligible.

If you receive a DHHS cash grant, you may vendor part of it towards heat and electric bills. Contact your local DHHS or call the Home Heating Hotline, 855-275-6424.

Contact: MI Veterans Trust Fund

MI Energy Assistance Program Contact: Utility or 2-1-1 in late November


Dial 2-1-1 for more information on heating and other human services programs.

SAFE DÉCOR FOR A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON It’s almost time to deck those halls! Statistics show that home fires and electrical accidents typically increase during winter months, so keep these holiday lighting tips in mind for a safe holiday season.

Carefully inspect all electrical decorations before you use them. Cracked or damaged sockets and/or loose or exposed wires can cause serious shock or start a fire.

Consider purchasing LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.

Never mount or support light strings in a way that might damage the cord’s insulation.

Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation.

Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses.

Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep.

Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International

The Carlson Family (L–R)——Ethan, Ivory, Paige, Payton, Dan, Lucy, Mary, Matai, Emery, Kaleb, Cameron, and Pearl


Hearts By Rob Marsh

“After we had three kids, we always joked, ‘What’s one more?’” When you have 10 children, you have to be lighthearted and have a good sense of humor. But unlike their joke, Cherryland members Dan and Mary Carlson would actually tell you that their decision to have a big family was far more purposeful. The Carlson family is the size it is today because they chose to not only have five biological children, but also chose to become adoptive parents to another five children—two of which were adopted in China. Also, three of their children have special needs. Before meeting Dan, Mary felt called to adoption. “As a young child, talking with my family, I always wanted a big house, so I could bring in all the homeless, all the orphans, anybody that needed a home,” she said. “I really had a heart for it growing up.” Their decision to become adoptive parents didn’t come around until


witnessing some friends go through the process of becoming foster parents. That, along with their faith, gave them the push to go through the eight-week foster care program. “We were initially thinking just an adoptive placement,” explained Dan. “But we realized these kids are literally in the worst situation that a kid can be in: to not be with their parents or family. So, we opened ourselves up to foster placement too, thinking that, even for a short time, that kid will have a home and a safe place.” As foster parents, they had welcomed several children into their home. “It was definitely an emotional roller coaster,” said Mary. “But the benefits outweighed the stress.” The biggest benefits from that experience were the three foster children that became their adopted children. The process of welcoming home their two other adopted children, Matai and Lucy, from China was quite different. They described it as time-consuming,

“It’s amazing how much love a child with special needs can bring to a family and

how much love we have

paperwork heavy, and expensive. “Well, we got to know all the notaries in town very well,” joked Dan. It took about a year for the Carlson’s to adopt their son, Matai. And, perfectly enough, they met their future daughter, Lucy, on that same trip to bring Matai home. “We met Lucy when she was nine months old at the same foster home as Matai. We fell in love immediately,” explained Mary. This past May, after a two year process, the Carlson’s brought home Lucy. Now with their family complete (“Yes, 10 is good!” chuckled Mary), the Carlson’s spend their days mastering the balancing act that is their kids’ schedules, hobbies, after-school activities, as well as the needs of their respective businesses. “There are very few things set up for a family of 12,” said Dan with a smile. “But we’ve never felt like having 10 kids is 10 times the hardship. Our normal is normal.”

Their kids have also embraced this normal, the Carlson’s explained, and believe that it’s an opportunity for them to be better people outside their home. “I think that, between the adoptions and the special needs, this will help them to be more compassionate in general and see the needs of other people.” For families considering foster care and adoption, the Carlson’s have two pieces of advice. First, and simply put, talk to someone who’s done it. And second, don’t be afraid to adopt a child with special needs. “It’s amazing how much love a child with special needs can bring to a family and how much love we have for them,” said Mary. “It seems scary, but the love they bring far, far, far outweighs that fear.” Looking back, being parents to biological, foster, adopted, and special needs children has had a profound effect on the Carlson’s vision for themselves and their family. “Initially we did this because we thought it would benefit our family,” explained

for them.”

Dan. “That flipped when we did the training, learned about these kids, their needs and what they were going through. It became more about us offering something to somebody else. We’re here to serve rather than gain.”

Holiday Favorites ‘Tis the season for these festive recipes! Photos—Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Red Velvet Cookies With Dark Chocolate Chips And Cranberries Michele Smith, Ontonagon County REA 2¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 (3.9 ounces) box instant chocolate pudding mix 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup butter, softened ½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup brown sugar 2 large eggs ½ teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar 1½ tablespoon red food coloring (use “holiday red” for a brighter red) 1 (12 ounces) bag dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 (3 ounces) bag dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix together flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt; set aside. Cream butter and sugars using an electric mixer; add eggs, vanilla, vinegar and food coloring. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and cranberries. Roll dough into 1½ inch balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake for 10–12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at


Kris Kringle Christmas Cookies Bonnie Langworthy, HomeWorks Tri-County 1 cup butter 1 cup sugar 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2½ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup white chocolate morsels 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in white chocolate morsels and cranberries. Drop rounded spoonfuls (about 2 tablespoons) of dough, 1½ inches apart, onto baking sheets. Bake for about 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for about 1 minute and remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Mashed Cauliflower Jane Ellison, Great Lakes Energy 1 1 1 1 1 •

head cauliflower stick butter 12-ounce package cream cheese cup shredded cheddar cheese full tablespoon horseradish salt and pepper, to taste


Upper Peninsula resident, Jessica Racine, offers up this delicious chili perfect for warming up after a day of dog sledding or cheering on the teams. Each spoonful is sure to fuel you for all your winter adventures.

Cut cauliflower into just bigger than bite-sized pieces. Steam the cauliflower for 30–35 minutes (if boiled, it will be too mushy). Drain the water from pot. Add all ingredients to the pot. Use a potato masher to mash and combine. Top with additional cheddar cheese and serve.

Chocolate, Coffee And Oatmeal Pie Violet Glas, Great Lakes Energy 1 3 ¾ ¾ 3 2

refrigerated pie crust eggs cup sugar cup dark corn syrup tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur tablespoons butter, melted and cooled ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup quick-cooking rolled oats 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips Preheat oven to 450 F. Prepare pie crust as directed for one crust with the baked shell using a 9-inch pie pan. Do not prick crust. Bake for 9–11 minutes or until lightly browned. If the crust has raised center, press down gently with the back of a spoon. Cool for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Meanwhile, beat eggs in medium bowl with wire whisk. Add sugar, corn syrup, liqueur, butter and salt; mix well. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Cover edges of crust with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake for 45–55 minutes or until top is golden brown and center is almost set. Cool at least 3 hours before serving.

Trailside Chicken Chili

1 package of chicken chili mix (stirred in 1 cup water) 20 ounces cooked chicken (2 cans, about 10 ounces each, or fresh chicken) 1 can of mushrooms, drained (reserve liquid) 1 can of Mexi-corn, drained (reserve liquid) 1 can Great Northern beans, undrained 2 tablespoons sour cream 5 ounces pepper jack cheese or white cheddar, shredded

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker.

Ultimate Burgers: due December 1 Easy Weeknight Dinners: due January 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!

Add another cup of water or use some of the drained water from the mushroom can and corn in place of water. Cook on low for a couple hours, being careful not to let it come to a boil. Serve and top with more sour cream and pepper jack cheese. Read the full story about the UP200 Sled Dog Race on page 14, and find this recipe and others at


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 06/30/18.

Comparison Of Fuel Sources Used Regional average fuel mix used* Your co-op’s fuel mix

Fuel Source Coal















Renewable Fuels












Solid Waste Incineration









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

Be Safe Around Transformers This Winter Breaking out your snow plow for another wintry season? Before you do, please be mindful of the pad-mounted transformers in your area. As snow piles up, it’s easy to forget where those big green boxes are. Accidentally plowing over a snowblanketed transformer can be very expensive and dangerous (like 7,200 volts dangerous!). Before plowing this winter, take note of the location of your transformer or, just in case, stick a marker nearby so you never forget. Remember, safety first!

Your Co-op’s Fuel Mix

Your Board In Action September Board Meeting Highlights • The board voted to retire $2,217,519 in capital credits to the membership this December. This amount is a direct passthrough of the retirement Cherryland will receive from their power supplier, Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, that same month.

Regional Average Fuel Mix

• The co-op’s electrical engineer presented to the board the co-op’s vision for a drone program. Cherryland is currently investing in drone pilot training and accreditation through Northwestern Michigan College for a group of its employees. Emissions And Waste Comparison lbs/MWh

Your Co-op

Regional Average*

Sulfur Dioxide



Carbon Dioxide







Type Of Emission/Waste

Oxides of Nitrogen High-level Nuclear Waste

*Regional average information was obtained from MPSC website and is for the 12-month period ending 12/31/17. Cherryland purchases 100% of its electricity from Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc., which provided this fuel mix and environmental data.


• The board supported a resolution for commitment to the Zero Contacts initiative, an initiative designed to provide cooperative CEOs, senior leaders, and field personnel with ideas and resources they need to help eliminate serious injuries and fatalities due to electrical contact and enhance co-op safety programs. Cherryland’s general manager and field personnel also made a voluntary commitment to the initiative. • The co-op’s engineering and operations manager reviewed with the board the major storm events of late August. Over the course of 19 hours, Cherryland’s service territory was struck by two major storms, knocking out the power to a total of 6,739 members. The power to all these members was restored within 39 hours.



AND (VERY) By Rob Marsh


Traditionally, the day after Halloween is reserved for putting away costumes, taking down decorations, and bouncing back from a sugar crash. For Cherryland members Dale and Sandy Herman, that day is reserved for work that would put Santa’s elves to shame. For the last 40 years, the Hermans have spent the month of November setting up one of the most elaborate Christmas light displays in the Grand Traverse region. To date, they estimate that they own and display 600 different holidaythemed light features on their Suttons Bay property. “It all started in the late ‘70s when I built a big star out of some wire, put lights on it, and hung it on my house, knowing it could be seen from M-22,” said Dale Herman. “Then it started growing.” From snowmen to Santa Clauses to Nativity sets, the Hermans began acquiring features from stores, garage sales, online, and even friendly passers-by. They now own enough that it literally fills their garage floor to ceiling. “This time of year, my job, twice a week, is to check the stores for new features,” chuckled Dale. The Hermans estimate that it takes approximately 240 hours to set up the Christmas display. And they do it under a tight deadline.

“Our goal is the Sunday after Thanksgiving our family will gather to watch us turn the lights on,” said Dale. Through the holidays, the Hermans welcome visitors from all over the region (and the world!) to stroll through their Winter Wonderland. Many evenings they draw a crowd. “Most days of the week, when I leave work and get home at 5 p.m., there will be people waiting on our road for the lights to come on.” Between the time and resources it takes to buy, install, repair, and run the light features, the Hermans’ light display is not an easy (or cheap) undertaking. But that hasn’t stopped them and there are no plans to in the future. “We enjoy sitting in the house and hearing the little kids out there running and screaming and just laughing, enjoying everything out there in the yard,” said Dale. “It’s worth it for the people.”

The Hermans welcome you to visit their Christmas light display this holiday season! They can be found at 10780 E. Murray Ct. in Suttons Bay.


The UP200 Sled Dog Racers

MUSH By Emily Haines Lloyd // Photos by Mitch Rusch and Carly Antor


he image of a bundled and booted individual on the back of a sled pulled by a dozen magnificent dogs seems like a scene out of the movies or a bygone era. However, on a snowy Friday evening in February, spectators can make their way to downtown Marquette, Mich., and take a step back in time and into all the wonder and romance that is sled dog racing. In the Upper Peninsula, finding ways to more than survive the cold and snowy months of the year, but actually to thrive and enjoy oneself, has always been an important part of the lifestyle. Skiing, sledding, ice fishing, fat tire biking and even luging have gained popularity, but the majesty of sled dog racing takes winter to a new and exciting level. It began back in 1988 when Marquette residents Jeffrey Mann, Scott and Elise Bunce, and Tom and Sarah Lindstrom struck up a friendship only to discover they each had a common interest


Remy LeDuc of New Brunswick, Canada entering Grand Marais during the UP200 1/2-way point.


or experience in sled dog racing. What started as a friendly conversation turned to serious planning and, in 1990, to the cheers of 10,000 spectators, the mushers of the first UP200 Sled Dog Champion race bounded down Washington Street in Marquette and into the wild. For years to come, the UP200 and other local sled dog races have been successful reminders of the power of one person and their team of dogs. “I was there for the first race back in 1990,” said Darlene Walch, Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association (UPSDA) president. “It was a remarkable thing to see. I started volunteering right after that, started mushing recreationally, and eventually started racing.” For the rigorous UP200, racers and their teams kick off their three-day 230-mile journey in Marquette to their first stop in Wetmore. This is a distance of approximately 64 miles on the upbound leg, then they go on to Grand Marais, where the teams turn around and continue their journey back to Marquette. Mushers encounter inclines, creek crossings, and isolation while tackling trail conditions ranging from fast hardpack to deep snow. A total rest time of 16 hours is required to ensure mushers and teams receive ample downtime, food and water breaks.

exude off of them, encouraging the musher and inspiring the crowds. “These teams are made of athletes,” said Walch. “We, the mushers, are just the coaches. We’re looking to improve on strengths, keep our team injury-free and help the team work together.” With 30 years under its belt, the UP200 continues to bring the joy of viewing worldclass athletes work in unison to accomplish something remarkable, delightful, and truly awesome to behold.

While many mushers race as a way to set personal goals, engage in the supportive community and simply enjoy the invigorating sport—others have sights on additional goals. The UP200 is a qualifying event for the Iditarod, coined The Last Great Race, which is certainly Alaska’s most well-known sporting event. The Iditarod is widely considered to be a critical part of saving the sled dog race culture and promoting the beautiful sport.

While the UP200 is certainly the Upper Peninsula’s longest race, sled dog lovers have several options to see these amazing teams in action.


230-mile race with 12-dog teams February 15–17, 2019

“The UP200 is an excellent litmus test for those interested in the Iditarod,” said Walch. “Mushers need to demonstrate the ability to manage a team over distance and manage unassisted checks. It’s an important race for mushers from the East Coast or Midwest, as many qualifying races are in Alaska and not a viable option.”

Midnight Run

90-mile race with 8-dog teams February 15–16, 2019

Jack Pine 30

While competition is certainly a big part of the sport’s make-up, Walch and others in the community will tell you that it is the dogs who are the heart and soul of each race. These dog breeds love running in the snow like Labradors love jumping in lakes and swimming. With each run, the joy and enthusiasm of the team

26-mile race with 6-dog teams February 16, 2019

Visit for more information. Musher Kris Sampson of Ontario, Canada.

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Photo Contest Celebrations 1. “Seven year old sweeps bracket at ‘Mopars Against The World’ weekend at Northern Michigan Dragway” by Erika Girven 2. “Jumping for joy” by Allison Sykes 3. “New outfit, new attitude, time to celebrate!” by Gloria Cobb 4. “Made it to senior year!” by Deb Dent


5. “Brayden’s first birthday!” by Taunya Rhodes




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The Recipes That Bind By Rachel Johnson, Member Relations Manager

If you’re a long-time reader of Country Lines, you are probably familiar with our recipes section. Most of us who write for the magazine joke that, no matter what we do, our columns will never be as popular as those darn recipes. And, we’re really not joking at all. When it comes to creating emotional attachment and joy, it’s hard to compete with food. My fondest holiday memories are of my grandmother bustling around in our kitchen, preparing food for our family. Cooking for us was one of the ways she nurtured her loved ones. My mom’s mom was a phenomenal cook (my mom is, too). And there is nothing that I loved more than my grandma’s pumpkin chiffon pie. Every year I would get two chances to enjoy that pie— Thanksgiving and Christmas. My mom, while nearly perfect, does have one flaw—she hates pie. She never made them, she never ate them. It was only when grandma came to town that we got pie. My grandmother passed away suddenly in between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 1994. That Christmas, armed with an old recipe box filled with 3x5 recipe cards, my mom made us grandma’s pumpkin chiffon pie. Kind of. Something went amok with the crust and it ended up very salty. And, because she doesn’t like pie, she didn’t know. And, because she had just lost her mother and we were all grieving, we didn’t tell her. Instead, my whole family—aunts, uncles, cousins and my grandfather just quietly ate that pie and remembered the woman who had cooked it for us for years. Eventually, my mom figured out her salt to sweet ratios and perfected her pies. I don’t want to speak for her, but

I would imagine that process was a way of keeping her mother’s legacy alive. And, like her mother before her, she cooks for us to show us her love. I still remember a call I got from my mom as I was cramming for my finals during my freshman year of college. She was on her way and she had something to give me to help me make it through my exams. She drove hours to deliver me a perfect pumpkin chiffon pie. My mom still has an old recipe box, filled with handwritten recipe cards. Some in my grandma’s script, some in hers. Like many families, this legacy of recipes passed down from one generation to another is ingrained into the fabric of our family history. That recipe box is essentially a family tree of food that can be traced for decades into the past and, hopefully, into the future. If you’ve made it this far, I guess I’ve finally found a way to compete with the almighty recipe. Or, maybe recipes resonate so much because of the family stories they often represent. That is certainly the case with my grandma’s pumpkin chiffon pie.

Grandma Bruce’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie If this column has you craving


dessert, head on over to our

recipe website ( and look for “Grandma Bruce’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.


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Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by November 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines. com 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 September issue is Gail Cook, a Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member, who correctly identified the photo as Eagle Harbor Lighthouse in Keweenaw County. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

September 2018

Best Snowmobile Trails The opportunities to experience a pure Michigan snow day are endless, and a day on a snowmobile is a perfect way to explore the winter scenery. With more than 6,500 groomed snowmobile trails that stretch from the Keweenaw Peninsula all the way down to Michigan’s southern border, there is plenty of opportunity for a snowmobile adventure. Along the way you can speed across frozen lakes, wind through forests and stop in snowmobile-friendly communities for a hot meal and good company. Start with some of the trails below suggested by fellow members.


Michigan’s Upper Peninsula A journey on a snowmobile across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula should be on every snowmobile enthusiast’s bucket list. There are more than 3,000 miles of groomed trails in the U.P. alone, featuring epic views. Get a new perspective on destinations like Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore or make your way to Eben Ice Caves or Grand Island Ice Caves to explore this unique destination.


White Pine Trail Cadillac has a trail system with over 200 miles of groomed trails. Trails include the White Pine Trail at Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park. The trail is 92 miles long with an 88-mile section open from Cadillac to Grand Rapids. Jeff Dorr, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op


Thumbs Up Snowmobile Trail Sanilac County has around 100 miles of groomed trails, all on private land. Enjoy the “Thumbs Up Snowmobile Trail” and take in the beauty of an eastern Michigan winter! Be sure to visit the Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve and the picturesque Port Sanilac Lighthouse. Calvin Foster, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative


Grand Marais Check out the Grand Marais area. The groomers do a wonderful job keeping the trails clear. This trail features wonderful trails and sights all around. Ivana Enright, Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association


Northeast Michigan and Presque Isle Northeast Michigan, Presque Isle and the adjoining county trails have a lot of well groomed trails. John Houk, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 18 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

Best of Michigan Up Next: Best Burgers In Our Great Lakes State Help us create a “Best Burger” bucket list. We will publish this satisfying list in our February 2019 issue. Submit your favorites at under the MI Co-op Community tab by November 20.

Capital Credit It’s the most wonderful time of the year to give you capital credits. Take a look at your December bill under Capital Credits and see how much money you got this year. Learn about capital credits and other cooperative beneďŹ ts at

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