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November/December 2018

MICHIGAN

COUNTRY LINES Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op

The UP200 Sled Dog Racers

MUSH ON PIE&G Communities First Fund Annual Report


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

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

countrylines.com facebook.com/ 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 editor@countrylines.com countrylines.com

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 countrylines.com 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

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

3


CHEBOYGAN PRESQUE ISLE

OTSEGO

MONTMORENCY

ALPENA

OSCODA

ALCONA

Board Of Directors Charles Arbour

23899 M32 S, Hillman MI 49746 989-657-4358 • Term Expires: 2020

Allan Berg, Vice-Chairman

1117 E. Heythaler Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-0044 • Term Expires 2020

Sandy Borowicz, Secretary

5341 Carlson Rd.,Cheboygan, MI 49721 231-627-9220 • Term Expires 2018

John Brown, Chairman

21 W. Devereaux Lake Rd., Indian River, MI 49749 231-625-2099 • Term Expires 2020

Sally Knopf

1849 W. 638 Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-4196 • Term Expires 2018

Kurt Krajniak

7630 Wallace Rd., Alpena, MI 49707 989-884-3037 • Term Expires 2019

Brentt Lucas

15841 Carr Rd., Posen, MI 49776 989-379-4694 • Term Expires 2019

Daryl Peterson, Treasurer

P.O. Box 54, Hillman, MI 49746 989-742-3145 • Term Expires 2018

Raymond Wozniak

6737 State St., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-2498 • Term Expires 2019

President & CEO: Tom Sobeck tsobeck@pieg.com

Co-op Editor: Maire Chagnon-Hazelman

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 19831 M-68 Hwy., P.O. Box 308 Onaway, 49765

Business Office & Billing: 989-733-8515 Toll-Free: 800-423-6634 Gas Emergency Toll-Free: 800-655-8565

pieg.com Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/PIEGCooperative

Most PIE&G natural gas rates and charges are not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

4 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

We’re Still Busy

Acting Like A Co-op! Tom Sobeck, President & CEO

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op has had another busy year in furthering its mission and commitment to its communities. In May, acquiring Aurora Gas Company was an opportunity to maintain vital services and preserve jobs in our home community. Employees from both companies have integrated well and our organization and community are financially stronger as a result. The addition of nearly 3,000 natural gas accounts allows PIE&G to continue spreading its costs over a greater base. This summer, we participated in a fiber-to-the-home pre-feasibility study to determine if it makes sense for your cooperative to provide high-speed internet access in our service territory. If northeast Michigan is to prosper, access to high-speed data services will become increasingly vital. After the results of the study are available, we will next determine if the project is viable and, if so, how best to accomplish the goal of connecting our members to the digital world. We’re also actively exploring the construction of a new building to better serve and accommodate the future needs of our members. This will likely involve a significant investment and may impact rates. The balance between rates and service reliability is considered with nearly every decision and this one particularly highlights that difficult challenge. Our building is over 60 years old, and while it may appear structurally sound, there are age-related problems and constant repairs required to keep it functional. We’ve outgrown the office and warehouse spaces, and the garage no longer accommodates our truck fleet and equipment. It’s time to acknowledge that, if we are to remain here for another 60 years, we’re going to need more advanced facilities than we have today. We view this investment as part of our mission and continued commitment to northeast Michigan and our members. We’ve again retired capital credits; refund checks totaling over $2,392,000 were recently mailed to you. The board of directors continues to support the cooperative business model through the retirement and refund of patronage capital back to you.  A final note, the PIE&G Communities First Fund continues to benefit our area through grants and scholarships (see pages 12-13 in this issue). We’re pleased that many of you choose to help us support our communities through the voluntary rounding up of your bill. It’s always a pleasure to visit with people and organizations who received these grants to hear the great things they are doing in our communities. These grants make a significant impact in northeast Michigan, and all money donated by members is returned back to our communities. If you don’t already participate in the Communities First Fund, I encourage you to call us to enroll. By donating your small change on your utility bill, you’re helping to make a big difference in the lives of fellow members.


Low Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF) Charge

Your Board In Action At their most recent meetings, the PIE&G board of directors:

Gov. Snyder signed into law Public Act 95 in 2013, creating the Low Income Energy Assistance Fund or “LIEAF,” authorizing the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to raise up to $50 million annually for low-income energy assistance payments. The money would come from a surcharge of no more than $1 per meter per month for all Michigan electric utilities participating in the LIEAF program.

• Approved $1,060,600 for the 2019 General Plant Expenditures (Capital) Budget.

On July 24, 2018, the MPSC issued an order that the monthly surcharge shall remain at 93 cents per meter for September 2018 through August 2019 billing months. The surcharge is limited to electric bills only and to one electric residential meter per residential site. The surcharge is effective on PIE&G’s electric bills generated on or after Oct. 1, 2018, for service rendered in September. Annual bills will be prorated accordingly.

• At its special open board meeting held in September, the board approved and set the 2019 Power Supply Cost Recovery (PSCR) factor to a maximum of (negative) (-$0.00757)/kWh for bills rendered on or after Feb. 1, 2019.

• Rescheduled the November board of directors meeting to Thursday, November 29, and the December board of directors meeting to Monday, December 17.

Holiday Office Hours Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op will be closed for the holidays on the following dates: Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov. 22, and Friday, Nov. 23 Christmas Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25 New Year’s Day Tuesday, January 1, 2019

As always, you may access your account anytime online at pieg.com or by calling toll free 1-866-999-4571. To report outages or other emergencies, please call 1-800-423-6634. For a gas emergency only, please call 1-800-655-8565.

From our families to yours, have a safe and happy holiday season!

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

5


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 michigan.gov/treasury). 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): michigan.gov/ 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 mcaaa.org 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 mi211.org 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 michiganveterans.com

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 michigan.gov/mpsc.

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 irs.gov/EITC • Michigan Dept. of Treasury michigan.gov/treasury

Crisis Assistance Program Contact: Local Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) michigan.gov/mdhhs

Low-Income Home Weatherization Contact: Local Community Action Agency

United Way

Contact: Call 2-1-1 or UWmich.org/2-1-1

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

6 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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


8 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


WHAT TO DO: IF YOUR CAR CRASHES INTO A UTILITY POLE Accidents happen. Would you know what to do if your car crashed into an electric utility pole? Knowing what to do could be the difference between life and death.

Always consider power lines and other electrical equipment to be live and dangerous!

IF A POWER LINE FALLS ON YOUR VEHICLE AND THERE IS NO FIRE:

Fuel Mix Report The fuel mix characteristics of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op as required by Public Act 141 of 2000 for the 12-month period ended 06/30/18.

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

Fuel Source Coal

34.5%

48.8%

Oil

0.3%

0.4%

Gas

12.1%

17.0%

Hydroelectric

2.0%

0.9%

Nuclear

32.2%

26.8%

Renewable Fuels

18.9%

6.1%

Biofuel

0.6%

0.9%

Biomass

0.3%

0.5%

Solar

0.3%

0.1%

Solid Waste Incineration

0.1%

0.1%

Wind

17.3%

4.1%

Wood

0.3%

0.4%

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.

Your safest option is to stay inside your vehicle until help arrives. The vehicle acts as a path for the electrical current to travel to reach the ground. You are safe inside the vehicle, but if you get out, you could be electrocuted.

Your Co-op’s Fuel Mix

Call 911 or your local electric utility for help.

Regional Average Fuel Mix 40 ft.

IF A POWER LINE FALLS ON YOUR VEHICLE AND THERE IS A FIRE: Only attempt to leave your vehicle if it is on fire. To exit safely: • Jump out of the vehicle, making sure NO part of your body or clothing touches the ground and vehicle at the same time.

Emissions And Waste Comparison lbs/MWh

Type Of Emission/Waste

Your Co-op

Regional Average*

• Land with both feet together and in small, shuffling steps, move at least 40 ft. away from the vehicle.

Sulfur Dioxide

2.3

3.7

Carbon Dioxide

1,319.7

1,999

• The ground could be energized. Shuffling away with both feet together decreases the risk of electrical shock.

Oxides of Nitrogen

Call 911 or your local electric utility for help.

High-level Nuclear Waste

0.9

1.4

0.0100

0.0083

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

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

9


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 micoopkitchen.com/videos

10 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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

FEATURED GUEST CHEF

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 micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register.

Enter to win a

$50

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 micoopkitchen.com.

MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 11


Powering Communities, Empowering Members

2017 PIE&G Communities First Fund Awards:

$57,276 The generosity of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op members and their desire to better their communities allow the PIE&G Communities First Fund to fulfill its philanthropic mission of distributing funds to help individuals and organizations in need throughout its service area. Members who volunteer to “round-up” the change on their energy bill to the next dollar (averages 50 cents monthly) provide funds overseen by an independent, all-volunteer board of directors. Funds are granted through an application process, and small contributions add up to make a BIG difference in northeast Michigan. To those who participate in the fund—THANK YOU! For those who would like to join the cause and help their community, please see page 13 of this issue to enroll.

2017 COMMUNITIES FIRST FUND GRANT SUMMARY APPLICANT AMOUNT

APPLICANT AMOUNT

Thunder Bay River Restoration, Inc. Recreation Improvement Project. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,005 Atlanta Senior Citizens, Inc. Chair Replacement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000 Presque Isle County Council On Aging Purchase AED for Senior Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,199 Women’s Resource Center of Northern MI LLT Playground Project. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,500 Hillman Community Schools Operation Update. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000 Cheboygan Compassionate Ministries Table & Chair Replacement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,477 Alpena Area Senior Citizens Council, Inc. Liquid Nutrition Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,000 Case Township-Summer Youth Program Kids Helping Kids. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,227 Kiwanis Club of Cheboygan Foundation Kiwanis Park Project. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,000 Cheboygan County 4-H Summer Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,500 Posen Consolidated School District #9 Football-Blocking Sled. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000 Junior Achievement-Tip of the Mitt Cheboygan & Indian River Programs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $250

Wolverine Community Schools Flexible Seating. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,167 Cheboygan Area High School Woodworking & Cabinetmaking Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,000 United Way of Northeast Michigan PI County Project Connect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,500 Cheboygan Hockey Association Needs Based Registration Scholarship Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,200 Onaway United Methodist Church Caring Closet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,500 Roger City Area Schools Technology for 2nd Grade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,250 Peace Lutheran Church Peace Hygiene Project. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000 Montmorency County Commission On Aging Atlanta & Hilman Senior Center Kitchen Equipment Replacement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,000 Roger City Community Theatre, Inc. RCC Theatre Production—’Shrek the Musical’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3,000 Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum Replace Trailer for Portable Exhibit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000 Straits Area Services Inc. Community Integration-Passenger Bus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,000 16 High School Seniors College Scholarships. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $15,500

12 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018


PIE&G Communities First Fund Statements of Financial Position December 31, 2016 and 2017 ASSETS

2017

CURRENT ASSETS: Cash

$

$100,539

Cash – Restricted

$

3,000

Accounts Receivable TOTAL ASSETS

2016* 96,398 3,000

3,966

3,975

$

107,505

$

103,373

$

70,055

$

72,323

NET ASSETS Unrestricted Unrestricted, designated Permanently restricted TOTAL NET ASSETS TOTAL LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS

$

34,450

28,050

3,000

3,000

107,505

103,373

107,505

$

103,373

$50,810

$

51,868

ACTIVITIES AND CHANGE IN NET ASSETS REVENUE Contributions – Members

$

Contributions – PIE&G Accounts Receivable TOTAL REVENUE

11,105

13,703

95

92

$

$62,010

$

65,663

$

32,273

$

39,565

EXPENSES Grants Scholarships

14,500

16,500

Professional Fees

800

3,500

Program Expense

8,933

8,895

Directors’ Mileage Expense

1,372

1,308

57,878

69,768

4,132

(4,105)

TOTAL EXPENSE CHANGE IN NET ASSETS NET ASSETS, beginning of year NET ASSETS, end of year

103,373 $

$107,505

107,478 $

103,373

*2016 Financial Position Data is Unaudited.

HOW CAN I HELP MY COMMUNITY? The PIE&G Communities First Fund was created in 1998. Funds for this program are generated when PIE&G members volunteer to “round up” their utility bills to the next whole dollar. The average contribution is about 50 cents per month per meter. All contributions are tax deductible. Please call our Member Services Department at 800-423-6634 to join. You may also mail the completed enrollment form on this page with your utility payment.

Enroll To Help Your Community

Yes!

I want to participate in the COMMUNITIES FIRST FUND. Please enroll me and “round-up” my bill to the next highest dollar each month.

Name (please print) Account Number Mailing Address

Signature Date Include this coupon in your next bill payment, or mail to: PIE&G COMMUNITIES FIRST FUND, P.O. Box 308, Onaway, MI 49765


The UP200 Sled Dog Racers

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

T

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

14 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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

ON


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.

UP200

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 UP200.org for more information. Musher Kris Sampson of Ontario, Canada.


SPOTLIGHT ON

co-op

Entrepreneurs SUBMIT A NOMINATION TODAY!

Michigan Country Lines is on the hunt for entrepreneurial movers and shakers to showcase in our March 2019 magazine. We know co-op members are awesome and there is no shortage of pioneers, innovators and leaders in our service territory. Featured entrepreneurial endeavors can be small start-ups, large operations or anything in between. If you know a friend, neighbor or coworker we should consider, nominate them by December 31 at countrylines.com. Self-nominations are accepted.

GIVE THE GIFT OF ENERGY SAVINGS Treat your loved ones to energy-efficient electronics and devices that will help them save money for years to come. You’ll save too! Shop by December 31 to receive cash incentives for:

Merry

& bright

• ENERGY STAR® TVs • ENERGY STAR computers • Smart thermostats • LED bulbs

michigan-energy.org P H O N E : 877.296.4319 ONLINE:

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 michigan-energy.org.


Photo Contest Celebrations 1. One of three bears...too close for comfort. By Julie Scheels 2. “Fish Camp!” on Little Bear Lake. This group has been traveling northern Michigan and fishing lakes all their lives! By Bill Dyer 3. Our dog, Mollie, is wishing our daughter and son-in-law happy anniversary. By Karen Patterson 4. Celebrating a U.P. road trip with a detour for a waffle from Wood Winds. By Suzanne Aidif

1

2

4

Submit Your “Cutest Kids” Photos!

Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes from our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites.

Enter to win a

$200

energy bill credit!

Our November theme is Cutest Kids. Photos can be submitted from November 1 to November 20 to be featured in our January 2019 issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

3

To enter the contest visit facebook.com/PIEGCooperative and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at pieg.com/content/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 2019, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2019 bill. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17


Guess this photo and enter to win a

1

$50

4 5

energy bill credit! 2

3

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.

1

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.

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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 countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by November 20.


pieg.com

PIE&G School Friday Folders

It’s time for PIE&G to announce another delivery of “Friday Folders” to member students enrolled in local public elementary schools for the 2018-2019 academic year. PIE&G has donated the student folders since 2003 to help teachers send important student papers home for parents’ review. The laminated folders are customized with the school name, mascot, and colors and were distributed to students in September.

Best wishes to all kids and teachers for a successful year of learning!

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