Oct. 2019 HomeWorks

Page 1

October 2019


COUNTRY LINES HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative


Celebrate National Co-op Month

Apply For A Classroom Grant or College Scholarship Tips For A Safe Harvest


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In This Issue October 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 9

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives






Your photo could be featured here.


Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr

Follow Us On Instagram!

Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer Design and Production: Karreen Bird

Come share in the splendor of rural Michigan with us

Recipe Editor: Christin McKamey Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association

michigancountrylines The fish around here don't stand a chance. @906_rose_photography

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.

IRONMAN 70.3 athletes gear up for the swim portion of the race in late August as Traverse City hosted 2,500 athletes from around the world. Flip to page 14 to read about the grueling 1.2 mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run.

POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association officers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com countrylines.com


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.

6 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Column: Fall Road Trippin’ With Christal Frost

From Harbor Springs to Cross Village, Christal shares her fun fall adventures. So grab a pen, take notes on her journey, and get ready to follow in her footsteps!

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Up Your Cooking Game With These Flavorful Venison Recipes


18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Resources For Home Heating Assistance

Win $150 for stories published! Guest Column: Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. For guidelines and to submit your guest column go to countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab.

Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Featured Guest Chef: IRONMAN training coaches from Organic Training share a smoothie recipe to help the body recover after training sessions and to prepare for upcoming workouts. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

14 FEATURE IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City: Anything Is Possible Emily Haines Lloyd

Best of Michigan UP NEXT! Best Restaurants With A View: Tell us about your favorite spots with sights to behold. We will publish this member–recommended list in our February issue. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by November 15.













National Co-op Month A Time To Celebrate What Sets HomeWorks Apart



Portland office/Mail payments to: 7973 E. Grand River Avenue Portland, MI 48875 Open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday Blanchard office: 3681 Costabella Avenue Blanchard, MI 49310 Open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday Night deposit box available at both locations. Electric bill/account questions: 517-647-7554 or 1-800-562-8232 Pay by phone, anytime: 1-877-999-3395 Service questions/outages: 517-647-7554 or 1-800-848-9333 (24 hours for emergency calls) Tri-County Propane: 1-877-574-2740 HomeWorks Connect 1-800-668-8413 homeworks.org Email: tricoenergy@homeworks.org

Board of Directors District 1 — John Lord Vice-Chairman 2276 Plains Rd., Leslie, MI 49251 517-974-2518 jlord@homeworks.org District 2 — Jim Stebbins 7139 Peddler Lake Rd., Clarksville, MI 48815 616-693-2449 jstebbins@homeworks.org District 3 — Luke Pohl Chairman 15560 W. Hanses Rd., Westphalia, MI 48894 989-292-0427 lpohl@homeworks.org District 4 — Kimber Hansen 6535 N. Wyman Rd., Edmore, MI 48829 989-506-5849 khansen@homeworks.org District 5 — Corinna Batora 7655 N. Watson Rd., Elsie, MI 48831 517-256-5233 cbatora@homeworks.org District 6 — Ed Oplinger Secretary-Treasurer 10890 W. Weidman Road, Weidman, MI 48893 989-644-3079 eoplinger@homeworks.org District 7 — Shirley Sprague 15563 45th Ave., Barryton, MI 49305 989-382-7535 ssprague@homeworks.org Editors: C harly Markwart Jayne Graham, CCC

Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/homeworks.org 4 OCTOBER 2019

Mark Kappler, General Manager


ctober is a special month at HomeWorks, as we celebrate National Co-op Month. It’s a month when we take time to recognize what makes your electric Cooperative different than investor-owned utilities or municipalities.

commitment to investing Co-op resources into proven reliability efforts. Regularly maintaining our electric system, moving circuits to the road for easier access, and clearing trees away from our lines costs time and money, but these are the most effective steps we can take to help prevent outages and keep your power reliable. Later this month, your board will hold a special open member meeting to consider potential changes to our rates and tariffs, in part to help cover the rising costs of these maintenance efforts. (See notice on page 12.)

Several characteristics separate us from other utility companies, but the main difference is YOU. You are not just a customer of HomeWorks TriCounty Electric; you’re a member. Better yet, you’re a member-owner. As a Cooperative, we’re a not-forprofit utility owned by you and your neighbors who use our electric service. We answer to you, and our Just over 80 years ago, mid-Michigan sole mission is to provide you and families like yours founded our Co-op your family to provide electricity to with energy, rural areas that weren’t “Every member comfort and being served by the has a voice and a communication larger utilities. Last solutions that year, we embarked on a vote, and that truly will enhance your similar journey when your distinguishes us quality of life. board voted to establish from other types of HomeWorks Connect to utilities.” When we have provide access to highmargins, or speed fiber internet to profits, they’re returned to you, as our service area. In true cooperative our board determines our financial style, though, HomeWorks Connect strength will allow. So far, they’ve is not just benefiting the members returned over $24 million to you, in the who sign up for internet service. The form of capital credits. maintenance and upgrades we’re completing to prepare our poles Speaking of our board, did you know and power lines for the fiber internet our directors are members, just like network are making our system you? One of the seven cooperative stronger than ever. That’s part of the principles that guides our operations reason your power was 99.94% reliable is democratic member control. Our in 2018. governing body is elected by you and your neighbors, who select a director Every morning when I come into to represent each of our seven districts. work at HomeWorks, I feel incredibly Every member has a voice and a proud to have the opportunity to lead vote, and that truly distinguishes us an electric cooperative that is solely from other types of utilities. committed to meeting the needs of those we serve. During National I am happy to report that your Co-op Month and always, I hope you current board has shown a continued are just as proud to be a member.

October is National Co-op Month.

Electric co-ops are proud to power more than 20 million homes, businesses, farms, and schools across America.

Here in mid-Michigan, your Co-op is proud to have been serving rural families like yours since 1937. Thank you for being a member of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative!

Tri-County Electric Cooperative


MI CO-OP Community

Fall pin’ p i r T d Roa With Christal Frost, Media Personality



all is my absolute favorite time of year, and northern Michigan is the perfect place for a fall road trip! My traveling companion and I began our autumn adventure with a trip to Harbor Springs, driving along the famed “Tunnel of Trees,” a 27-and-a-half-mile scenic route in Emmet County. The winding road unveils a forest canopy of fall color that is absolutely breathtaking and the perfect way to start our journey! Of course, every road trip includes a good breakfast, and we found ours in Harbor Springs at Sam’s Graces, a charming cafe with excellent food that looks and feels like something you might find in France. Sitting outside on the patio, surrounded by herb gardens and tomato plants, we sipped our coffee in an eclectic assortment of mugs that reminded me of breakfast at my grandma’s house. After breakfast, we made the short walk downtown and browsed the incredible selection of spices at Spice Harbor before checking out the amazing array of exquisite jewelry and hand-made art by American artists. We continued down Main Street to find what is now my absolute favorite shop—Ivy Boutique. Ivy has adorable dresses, cozy sweaters and accessories that will brighten up every season. Our stroll then led us to Harbor Springs Harbormaster. Offering seasonal and transient boat slips, the marina is surrounded by an array of public parks and restaurants. One restaurant in particular is an absolute must for lunch or dinner—Stafford’s Pier Restaurant. A waterfront landmark in Harbor Springs since before prohibition, it was acquired by Stafford’s

6 OCTOBER 2019

Hospitality in 1970, and today Stafford’s Pier offers a variety of dining options, including Dudley’s Deck, Harbor Springs’ favorite outdoor venue. We dined in The Pointer Room, which extends out toward the beautiful yacht basin and enjoyed the chef’s special, a bacon lettuce and tomato on Naan bread with the most delicious local tomatoes I have ever tasted. After lunch, it was time to embark on the scenic drive along M-119 from Harbor Springs to Cross Village. The drive is remarkable—every curve reveals another surprise, including the charming Pond Hill Farm. This working farm offers beer and wine tastings, a café, general store, and livestock. We meandered through the General Store to the bar and café where I enjoyed the cider and wine tasting, while my friend sampled several of Pond Hill Farm’s famous beers. Then we came upon my favorite of activity of the day— vegetable sling shots! Buying a bucket of potato and squash as ammunition, we fired in-season vegetables at a variety of targets. The food never goes to waste since owner and farmer Jimmy Spencer assigns the goats and pigs to clean up duty in the target zone after the farm closes. From Pond Hill, we continued our drive along M-119, passing meadows and the occasional panoramic view of Lake Michigan—finally reaching Cross Village. Cross Village has a rich and varied history, which dates back to the 1600s when the Odawa and Ojibwa Indian tribes resided in this area. Today, Cross Village is best known for Legs Inn, the most


s Vill a



Downtown Cross Village: • Legs Inn


See Harbor Springs And Cross Village In Action

Christal Frost filmed her Harbor Springs and Cross Village adventure, now available on countrylines.com.


nic Driv

Fall is a special time in northern Michigan. So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy the ride!





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iconic restaurant in northern Michigan. Owned by the Smolak family for almost 100 years, Legs Inn offers more than homemade Polish cuisine and fresh, locally caught whitefish. Legs Inn is equal parts food, views and history. One visit to Legs Inn is never enough to appreciate its artistry and unusual architecture. As for the food, the pierogi is phenomenal and the smoked whitefish pate’ is a must.

For behind-the-scenes footage, see the “Road Trippin” story highlight album on our Instagram @michigancountrylines.




il dH lF

Christal Frost is a media personality who can be heard on Today’s Country Music-WTCM, The Christal Frost Show on NewsTalk 580-WTCM AM.

• • • • • •

Sam’s Graces Spice Harbor Ivy Boutique Harbor Springs Harbormaster Stafford’s Pier Restaurant Dudley’s Deck

Ha r


Downtown Harbor Springs:

r Sp ri







co-op entrepreneurs SUBMIT A NOMINATION TODAY!

Michigan Country Lines is on the hunt for entrepreneurial movers and shakers to showcase in our March 2020 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.

Cast a ll p e S on Phantom Energy SAVE ENERGY & MONEY

Ghosts and goblins may visit only on Halloween, but phantom energy lurks in your home all year long. Phantom energy is the power used by devices even when they are turned off. Lower your home’s phantom energy use today…

• UNPLUG UNUSED computer and phone chargers • USE POWER STRIPS to turn off computers, TVs, and gaming consoles • SHUT OFF ELECTRONICS automatically with smart power strips

MICHIGAN-ENERGY.ORG | 877.296.4319 Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit michigan-energy.org.

Snap Shot Snap Shots 2020—Win $10 If Your Photo Is Printed In Country Lines Magazine • Each member whose submitted photo is printed in Michigan Country Lines will receive a $10 bill credit the following month. Up to $50 per month will be awarded! •S end us your BEST photos. We will consider the first three sent in by any member for each monthly theme, so pick out and share the ones that really illustrate the subject. •D igital photos should be a minimum of 600 KB, preferably 1 MB or larger. •A dditional submissions, or smaller photos, may be used in the monthly Snap Shot spotlight on our Facebook page, but will not be eligible to win a bill credit.


Favorite Costumes 1. Jill Talicska from Stanwood says, “Our son Michael, age 3, loves tractors and all things farm. We made this costume for him.” 2. Shelby Olson from Lakeview shared this photo. “My daughter Allison Davis loves Captain America,” she reports. 3. Marlene Alvera of Lakeview snapped a photo of grandson Grayson, dressed up for Halloween in a uniform representing what he wants to be when he grows up. 4. Jean Simon of Fowler sent in a photo of Woody (Henry Simon) and Buzz (Novi Simon) enjoying some of their Halloween candy.




Upcoming Snap Shot Contest Topics And Deadlines “Take the Cake,” Deadline: Nov. 15 (January issue)

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

“Around the World,” Deadline: Dec. 15 (February issue) “Cute Kids,” Deadline: Jan. 15 (March issue) Go to homeworks.org and select Country Lines under the Electric tab to submit your photos and see all of the 2020 Snap Shot themes. It’s fast and easy. To send by mail: include your name, address, phone number, photographer’s name, and details about your photo. Mail to Attn: Country Lines Snap Shots, 7973 E. Grand River, Portland, MI 48875. Photos will not be returned. Do not send color laser prints or professional studio photos.

Submit Your Photos!

Contributors whose photos we publish in 2020 will receive a $10 bill credit the month after publication. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES



Up your cooking game with these creative and flavorful recipes. Photos by Robert Bruce Photography Recipes Submitted By MCL Readers And Tested By Recipe Editor Christin McKamey

Winning Recipe!

Venison Swedish Meatballs Jessica Arnold, Great Lakes Energy ¾ 1 2 3 2 1½ 1½ ½ 2¾ 2 1 1 ¼

cup seasoned breadcrumbs medium onion, chopped eggs, lightly beaten tablespoons parsley teaspoons ground pepper, divided teaspoons salt pounds ground venison cup all-purpose flour cup half and half (10½ ounce each) cans beefy mushroom soup, undiluted tablespoon Worcestershire sauce package (16-ounce) egg noodles cup butter

In a large bowl combine breadcrumbs, onion, eggs, 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 teaspoon pepper, ¾ teaspoon salt and ground venison. Shape into 1½-inch meatballs. In a large skillet, brown meatballs. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain; reserve drippings in pan. For gravy, stir flour into drippings; cook and stir 2—3 minutes. Gradually whisk in half and half until smooth. Stir in the soup, Worcestershire sauce, remaining 1 teaspoon pepper and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened——return meatballs to pan. Cook, uncovered, 10 OCTOBER 2019

15—20 minutes longer or until meatballs are cooked through, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; toss with butter. Serve with meatballs; sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. Serve immediately. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos

Comfort Foods: due November 1 Savory Cherries: due December 1 Chili Cook Off: 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


energy bill credit!

Dad’s Venison Carbonade


Barbara Warzywak, Presque Isle 6 slices bacon (thick-cut works well, or add a few more slices if using thin bacon) ¼ cup flour ¹/8 teaspoon pepper 2 pounds boneless venison, de-fatted and cut into 1-inch cubes 1 can beer 10 ounces low-sodium beef broth 1 envelope dry onion soup mix 1 medium onion, sliced 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon thyme leaves 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon parsley • hot buttered noodles (or rice/ mashed potatoes) Preheat oven to 350 F. Using an oven-proof dutch oven or large frying pan, fry bacon until crispy, reserving bacon fat in pan. Cool


bacon, crumble and set aside. Combine flour and pepper and put into a shaker bag. Shake venison cubes in flour in the bag. Brown the venison cubes in bacon fat. Stir in the can of beer, broth, onion soup mix, honey and thyme. Bring to a low boil for a few minutes. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Uncover and stir in sliced onion. Continue baking for another ½ hour until venison is tender. Remove from oven and stir in red wine vinegar, parsley and crumbled bacon. Serve over buttered noodles (or over mashed potatoes or rice, if preferred).

Thinking of gearing up for the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City Race? IRONMAN U certified coach Tyler Guggemos and wife, Carly, from Organic Training share a great recipe to help the body recover after a training session and to prepare for upcoming workouts.

Hunter’s 6-Layer Casserole Christine Gonnering, Presque Isle

1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes 1 tablespoon butter 1 (6-ounce) package long grain wild rice (regular or quick-cooking), with seasoning packet included 1½ pounds venison burger 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper 1 can sauerkraut, drained 1½ cups sour cream 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Drain tomatoes and save liquid. In a medium saucepan, add enough water to tomato liquid to make 2½ cups (follow directions on box of long grain rice for amount of liquid). In a saucepan, add butter, rice, and contents of seasoning packet to tomato liquid. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover tightly and cook over low heat till all liquid is absorbed. Check directions on wild rice box and cook for approximately 25 minutes depending on regular or quick-cooking rice. While rice is cooking, brown venison burger, drain, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon rice into 2-quart glass baking dish. Layer sauerkraut, sour cream, venison burger, chopped tomatoes, and cheese over rice. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake uncovered at 350 F for 30—35 minutes until heated through.

Organic Coaching’s Tropical Orange Pineapple Smoothie 1 ½ ½ 1 1

cup orange juice frozen pineapple cup (fresh or frozen) banana scoop vanilla protein powder handful fresh spinach

Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth. For more information on blending smoothies like a pro, check out Coach Carly’s blog post on the topic at https://www.organiccoaching. biz/post/how-to-build-the-perfectsmoothie-for-all-occasions. Read the full story about the IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City on page 14, and find this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.



Notice to Members of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative A Special Member Meeting is set for 9 a.m. October 28, at the Cooperative’s Portland office

Your Board In Action Meeting at Portland on Aug. 26, your board of directors: • Reviewed member feedback from the Cooperative’s 2019 Annual Meeting of Delegates, held on Aug. 17. • Learned about progress made by HomeWorks Connect in building a highspeed fiber-optic internet network. • Increased the Co-op’s debt cap to accommodate growth of the HomeWorks Connect fiber-optic internet business.

The board of directors will consider changes to the Cooperative’s rates and tariffs at its meeting on Oct. 28, 2019, to be held at the Cooperative office at 7973 E. Grand River Ave., Portland, MI. The meeting will start at 9 a.m., and is open to all members of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative.

• Set the dates for the Cooperative’s 2020 board meetings.

The session will begin with an opportunity for members to provide direct input to the board of directors, without filing a formal request under Cooperative policy. Members are asked to come to the lobby by 9 a.m. and request to speak to the board; staff will direct interested members to the meeting room. Time constraints on each member’s comments will be at the discretion of the board president, but members are asked to keep comments to less than 5 minutes.

• Learned there were 125 new members in July.

The following item will be considered. Members will have an opportunity to address the board on the proposed changes prior to board action. 1. Revise the Cooperative’s electric rates to meet current and future financial needs. Notice of any changes or additions to the Cooperative’s rates or service rules shall be sent to all members, as required by P.A. 167, by publication in Michigan Country Lines at least 30 days prior to their effective date. Participation: Any interested member may attend and participate. The location of the board meeting site is accessible, including handicapped parking. Persons needing any accommodation to participate should contact HomeWorks Tri-County Electric at 800-562-8232 a week in advance to request mobility, visual, hearing or other assistance. Comments may also be made before the meeting date by calling General Manager Mark Kappler at 517-647-1281, or by email at mkappler@homeworks.org.

• Named Vice-Chairman John Lord and Secretary-Treasurer Ed Oplinger to serve as the board’s audit committee for the next year. • Reviewed the Co-op’s 2018 IRS Form 990. • Discussed and accepted Board Policy 313 – Use of Personal Communications Devices, with some wording changes. • Acknowledged the July safety report, listing employee training as well as minor employee and public incidents involving electric, fiber optic, or propane.

Time Set Aside for Members to Comment Before Cooperative Board Meetings The first 15 minutes of every board meeting are available for members who wish to address the board of directors on any subject. The next meetings are scheduled for 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 28, and Monday, Nov. 18, at Portland. Members who need directions to the meeting, or wish to have items considered on the board agenda, should call 517-647-7554.

People Fund Supports Library, Local Families On August 28, the Tri-County Electric People Fund board made five grants totaling $7,750, including: • $1,000 to Richland Township Library, Vestaburg, to purchase books; • $500 to an Isabella County family to assist with housing expenses; • $2,500 to a Montcalm County family for housing expenses; • $2,450 to a Mecosta County family to help with housing expenses; and • $1,300 to another Mecosta County family for housing expenses.

How to Apply for a Tri-County Electric People Fund Grant The Tri-County Electric People Fund provides grants to individuals and organizations in the Co-op’s service area for food, shelter, clothing, health, and other humane needs, or for programs or services that benefit a significant segment of a community. Write to 7973 E. Grand River Avenue, Portland, MI. 48875, for an application form and grant guidelines, or visit the People Fund tab at homeworks.org. Note: Applications must be received by Nov. 5 for the November board meeting.

12 OCTOBER 2019

Applications are now being accepted for our 2020 classroom grants and college scholarships! For Teachers:

We offer grants of up to $2,000 to help teachers in our service area provide S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education in their classrooms.

Applications due Dec. 16

For Students:

Current high school seniors living on our electric lines could be eligible for one of our one-time $1,000 scholarships to help with 2020-21 college expenses!

Applications due March 16 For more info or to apply for either program, visit: bit.ly/HWSchools.

Ariel view of the swim leg at the IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City.


By Emily Haines Lloyd Photography by Greg Shamus/Getty Images for IRONMAN

raverse City played host to the most recognizable name in endurance sports on August 24 as athletes from around the world came to compete in an IRONMAN 70.3 race. For those who don’t spend their free time thumbing through Runner’s World magazine and using their fun money on race entry fees, IRONMAN is a worldrenowned brand that hosts a bevy of full-and-half endurance races in all corners of the planet, the most notable race in Hawaii that is televised annually on NBC Sports.

A full IRONMAN race consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile run, raced in that order and without a break. Feel free to adjust your glasses, take a deep breath and read that line again. The IRONMAN 70.3 or “Half IRONMAN” as many refer to it is exactly that—half the distance in each of the staminademanding areas: a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run. Those slightly-smaller numbers don’t make the feat any less impressive and daunting. As IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 races take place all over the world in places like Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, and Dubai, it begs the question of how the quaint lakeside community of Traverse City hit the radar of IRONMAN organizers. Local tri-athlete, Patrick McIntyre, who had competed in an IRONMAN 70.3 race himself, reached out to the IRONMAN organization and recommended Traverse City as an ideal locale for a 70.3 IRONMAN race.

Competitors compete in the bike leg at the IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City.

14 OCTOBER 2019

“Traverse City has all the things you want in an IRONMAN destination,” said IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City Race Director Joel Gaff, also an IRONMAN athlete himself. “This

Matt Hanson of the Storm Lake, Iowa celebrates his first place finish.

Jackie Hering of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin celebrates her first place finish.

community offers all the benefits of a gorgeous destination spot—a food and drink scene that’s off the charts, natural amenities, and a community that is very active-minded with swimmers, runners, and cyclists who appreciate the amazing scenery as a backdrop to their activities.”

There’s a reason not everyone does endurance sports and why not every endurance sport athlete signs up for an IRONMAN. The toll both emotionally and physically can be demanding, but as most athletes will tell you—it is most certainly worth it.

Traverse City certainly sold its natural attributes and community charm, as IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City sold out faster than any other 70.3 race in the brand’s history. That means approximately 2,500 athletes pursuing their athletic dreams, over 1,500 volunteers, and a team of dedicated race staff and spectators descended on the lakeside town in late August. While many of those dreamers come from out of the country and out of the state—for the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City, there are plenty of local endurance athletes taking their shot as well. IRONMAN U certified coach, Tyler Guggemos, of Organic Coaching, led a group of around 15 athletes in training for the August 2019 event.

“IRONMAN events bring athletes of every shape and size, each with a story that isn’t exactly like anyone else’s,” said Gaff. “What you’re struck with at an IRONMAN race is that everyone is there trying to achieve something that is very personal to that individual. It reminds me of the IRONMAN motto— ‘Anything Is Possible.’” Missed the 2019 race? Don’t worry, they’ll be back in 2020, and you’ll have a chance to see thousands of faces showing you just what “anything is possible” looks like.

“As soon as the rumors started that Traverse City would be hosting an IRONMAN race, athletes started reaching out to me,” said Guggemos. “There is so much excitement around a race like this, and anyone who has spent any time in endurance sports knows you need a team of people to support you in achieving something like this.” Whether that looks like professional coaching advice, family support, or understanding friends, every IRONMAN knows that the achievement is bigger than race day. Guggemos, an IRONMAN alumnus himself, encourages folks interested in the 2020 race, to begin their training regimen now. Training includes workout and nutrition planning, as well as conversations with loved ones about the significant time commitment.

Kids competed in the IRONKIDS race prior to the IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City.


Tips For A Safe Harvest For the farmers in our service area, we know harvest season brings long, exhausting hours of hard work this time of year. It’s our priority to help keep you safe through harvest and always, so please remember during the busy weeks ahead that rushing the job to save time can be very dangerous (even deadly) when working near overhead power lines. We urge farm operators and workers to keep the following safety tips in mind:

Use care when operating large machinery near power lines. Inspect equipment height to determine clearance. Always keep equipment at least 10 feet away (in all directions) from power lines. Remember to lower extensions when moving loads. If a power line is sagging or looks to be dangerously low, please call us immediately. Source: SafeElectricity.org

Tri-County Electric Cooperative




Living in rural Michigan has many perks, but in most places, reliable internet hasn’t been one of them. HomeWorks Connect is working to change that by making high-speed fiber internet available to all of our members. Don’t miss out when our high-speed internet is made available in your area!


Learn more today at Join.HomeWorksConnect.org or call 800-668-8413! This service is not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission.


Home Heating Assistance Programs 2019-2020 Season Winter Protection Plan

Contact: Your Local Utility Company Income Guidelines 2019–2020 # in Household 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

150% Poverty Guide Maximum Income $18,735 25,365 31,995 38,625 45,255 51,885 58,515 65,145

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 2019 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 $6,630 for each additional member.

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

0–1 2 3

Max. Income

$ 13,739 18,601 23,463

# Exemp.

4 5 6

Max. Income

$ 28,325 33,187 38,049

Add $ 4,862 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 2019 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

18 OCTOBER 2019

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

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