Oct. 2020 HomeWorks

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October 2020


COUNTRY LINES HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative

October Is National Co-op Month

Top 5 Reasons To Consider Tri-County Propane

Getting Getting The

Apply For A Classroom Grant Or College Scholarship

Chills Chills



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Contents countrylines.com

October 2020 Vol. 40, No. 9



Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Karreen Bird RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. Postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS.

Association Officers: Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, president and CEO.

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


Cover Photo: Boots Wright

Just a sunflower, waiting on the sun @chadronald

6 LEARNING THE LINES WITH JMAP Top-notch training program gives Michigan lineworker apprentices an edge in their field.

14 GETTING THE CHILLS Johnathan Rand’s popular “Michigan Chiller” series pairs spooky stories with kids’ favorite Up North destinations.

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN These simple but flavorpacked dishes can be whipped up in no time at all.


18 ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS FOR KIDS Share these tips with your children to help them stay safe around electricity.

Be featured!

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

To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit countrylines.com/community




Up Next: Stir-Fry Favorites, Soups Share your favorite recipes.

Up Next: Restaurants With A View Tell us about your favorite dining location with a scenic Michigan view you can pair with the cuisine.

Submit your fondest memories and stories.

Win a $50 bill credit!

Win $150 for stories published! MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Then And Now


Rural America Needs Co-op Voters

/homeworks.org tricoenergy@homeworks.org Portland office/Mail payments to: 7973 E. Grand River Ave. Portland, MI 48875 Open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday

Blanchard office: 3681 Costabella Ave. 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 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

District 1 — John Lord, Vice-Chairman 2276 Plains Rd., Leslie, MI 49251 517-974-2518 • jlord@homeworks.org

By Chris O’Neill, CEO


ctober is National Co-op Month, so I thought I would start this column out by tossing a little bit of electric cooperative trivia at you.

Did you know that President Franklin D. Roosevelt championed the launch of electric co-ops in America when he created the Rural Electric Association (REA) in 1935? FDR believed that bringing electricity to rural America would be key in his mission to foster economic recovery across the nation in the wake of the Great Depression, and he was right. In the mid-1930s, nine out of 10 rural homes were without electricity, but by 1953, thanks in large part to the REA and the dawn of electric co-ops across the nation, 90% of U.S. farms had been electrified. With electricity came access to new resources, more jobs and the opportunity for economic growth. Here in mid-Michigan, did you know that your electric Co-op was founded in 1937 by farmers in Eaton, Ingham and Jackson counties? They came together to bring electricity to their rural communities when the state’s larger utility companies refused to serve their areas because of a lack of profitability. Now, over 80 years later, we’re walking that same historic path on our way to bringing access to highspeed fiber internet to all of our members.

District 2 — Jim Stebbins 7139 Peddler Lake Rd., Clarksville, MI 48815 616-693-2449 • jstebbins@homeworks.org

Back to trivia, did you know there are over 900 electric cooperatives across the United States, and all of them follow the same Seven Cooperative Principles? One of those principles is Democratic Member Control. Every member has a voice and a vote. The elected representatives who serve on our board of directors are accountable to our membership.

District 4 — Kimber Hansen 6535 N. Wyman Rd., Edmore, MI 48829 989-506-5849 • khansen@homeworks.org

As democratic organizations, the success of electric cooperatives depends on member engagement with the co-op, but it also depends on member participation in local, state and national elections. Here at HomeWorks, I work regularly with our management team to engage our state representatives in order to advocate for the issues that matter to you, our members. In the same way, your Co-op and your rural community depend on Co-op Voters to cast their votes on matters such as broadband access, grid security, vegetation management and small business administration programs.

District 3 — Luke Pohl, Chairman 15560 W. Hanses Rd., Westphalia, MI 48894 989-292-0427 • lpohl@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 Rd., 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 Editor: C harly Markwart, CCC

Election Day is November 3, and I implore you to take part. If you want to learn more about the issues and the candidates in state and federal elections, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association provides great resources at www.vote.coop. Electric co-op members have been in this together for more than eight decades, and our democratic participation is no less important today than it was in 1935. Let’s turn out this coming Election Day and make our voices heard on the issues that matter to our cooperatives and to rural America.

4 OCTOBER 2020

It’s National Co-op Month...


...And HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative is proud to be celebrating 83 years of serving rural mid-Michigan families like yours. Thank you for being a member and an owner of our Cooperative! We are proud to be your electric provider.


The forward march of electric cooperatives has an even more profound significance in terms of our fight to preserve democracy. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tri-County Electric Cooperative

Rural communities depend on Co-op Voters. Learn about the issues. Talk to your family and friends. Here in mid-Michigan, your Co-op is proud to have Castserving your vote. been rural families like yours since 1937.

Election Day is November 3, 2020

Thank you for being a member of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative!

Tri-County Be a Co-op Voter. Be an active participant in our democracy. Electric Cooperative


Becoming an electrical lineworker is a rewarding career that serves an essential need for cooperative communities. Interested in a career? If you love being outdoors, working with your hands and are committed to learning a trade on the job, then becoming a lineworker might be the career for you. Visit your cooperative’s careers page to learn about current opportunities.



LEARNING THE LINES With JMAP, Michigan’s Most Widely Used Lineworker Apprentice Program By Shannon Hamner

he job of an electrical lineworker is physically demanding, can involve long hours in emergency situations, and requires the utmost concentration and focus on safely dealing with lifethreatening voltages. Often referred to as the first responders of electricity, lineworkers are vital to ensuring the lights stay on for all.


Because of their essential role, ever-changing technological advancements, and growing skill set needs, lineworkers need the most advanced training to gain the skills and experience to become masters in their field. In Michigan, every electric cooperative and most municipal

utilities receive this training from the Joint Michigan Apprentice Program (JMAP) located at the Wolverine Training Center in Lake City. “Having the Wolverine Training Center has been instrumental in bringing the overall quality of the apprentices to the next level,” said Mike Appleford, senior training advisor, Northwest Lineman College. “Developing a well-trained, sustainable workforce is an essential piece to providing safe, reliable energy to homes and businesses.” The JMAP is a partnership between Wolverine Power Cooperative, the International Brotherhood

of Electrical Workers Local 876 (IBEW), and Northwest Lineman College (NLC)—an industry-leading educational institution that provides pre-apprentice, apprentice, and journey-level training for hundreds of companies throughout the United States and internationally. “The instructors that NLC brings to the JMAP are among the best in the world,” said Appleford. “Our instructors have a passion for the trade and for teaching others.” The JMAP, founded in 2017, is a Department of Labor certified program that requires apprentice lineworkers to complete 7,000 hours of on-the-job training, plus eight weeks of the classroom and hands-on skills testing over four years. The first-class instruction and experience take the apprentice from the basics of learning to climb and work from elevated positions through a deep understanding of electrical systems, including transformers,

protective grounding, and utilization of specialized equipment. And, most importantly, keeping the safety of the apprentices, their fellow lineworkers, and the communities they serve at the forefront of their minds. “The training has been excellent and offers a great deal of information with both in-class and hands-on education,” said Nick Kuz, lineman with Great Lakes Energy and an apprentice from the JMAP. “I feel confident in the amount of training I have received to advance in my career; it’s been great to expand my knowledge and be able to bring it back to the rest of my crew.” While JMAP is proud to train the utility lineworkers of the future, the first step to becoming a lineworker—and entering the JMAP program—is to be hired as an entry-level apprentice at an electric utility. Once hired, the utility provides training in the field from senior lineman and through an apprentice program like JMAP.

“The training has been excellent and offers a great deal of information with both in-class and hands-on education. I feel confident in the amount of training I have received to advance in my career; it’s been great to expand my knowledge and be able to bring it back to the rest of my crew.” —Nick Kuz, Great Lakes Energy lineman and JMAP graduate



Out-’Smart’ Your TV W

atching something on the “big screen” conjures up memories of hot buttered popcorn, Snowcaps candy, and the excitement of buying tickets at the movie box office. Today, the “big screen” is the huge flat-screen Smart TV in your family room where you stream and binge-watch your favorite shows or movies 24/7. TV screen time has increased, meaning in-home energy use is also on the rise. But there are easy ways to save energy while still streaming your favorites.

Why choose ENERGY STAR®? • ENERGY STAR certified TVs are, on average, 25% more energy-efficient than conventional TVs. • With an ENERGY STAR TV purchase, you may qualify for a $20 rebate.

Energy-efficient TV features to consider: • Automatic Brightness Control (ABC) • Local dimming • Preset picture settings

Gaming? Configure your gaming console to use less energy. Today’s gaming consoles provide many great features like voice control and gesture recognition, but these features also require more power to operate. To save: • Activate the power savings settings on your console, • Turn off the controllers when not in use, • Utilize the “smart” function on your Smart TV. The built-in streaming capabilities are much more efficient than streaming from your gaming equipment.

Utilize a smart power strip. Many electronic products continue to draw power from the outlet even when they are turned off. Using a smart power strip is a convenient solution. It senses when the master electronic device—such as a TV—is turned off. Then, it automatically shuts down other associated devices like your child’s PlayStation. For a complete list of rebates available from the Energy Optimization program, visit michigan-energy.org or call 877-296-4319.

Upgrade and earn cash incentives when you purchase an ENERGY STAR® qualified TV! V I S I T : michigan-energy.org C A L L : 877.296.4319


Beautiful Birds

1. Karen Retter of Jerome (receiving service in Barryton) says, “This group of sandhill cranes left at just the right time one cloudy grey evening to look like flying silhouettes over Stoney Lake in Jackson County.” 2. Doug Swayze of Lake Isabella submitted this photo of a Baltimore oriole sampling a bright canna flower on a June evening. “We put out oranges and grape jelly to encourage orioles to spend the summers in our yard,” he says. 3. Jenna Irani of Blanchard took this picture of a Baltimore oriole, two brown-headed cowbirds and a female rosebreasted grosbeak. “We have enjoyed watching the many different types of birds in our backyard,” she says. 4. Corinne Curtis of Barryton submitted this shot that she captured featuring a Baltimore oriole. 5. Casie Bayless of Portland says, “Bluebirds are beautiful. This was taken off of my mom’s back deck, overlooking the bird bath.” 6. Rebecca Miller of Farwell submitted this photo of a wood duck gliding on Mill Pond.




3 Enter to win a


energy bill credit!


Upcoming Snap Shot Contest Topics and Deadlines “Magic Of Winter,” Deadline: Nov. 16 (January issue) “Cutest Couple,” Deadline: Dec. 16 (February issue) “Wild Animals,” 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 2021 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 Ave., Portland, MI 48875. Photos will not be returned. Do not send color laser prints or professional studio photos.

6 Submit Your Photos! Members whose photos we publish in Country Lines in 2020 will receive a $10 bill credit the month after publication.



MI CO-OP Recipes

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

EASY RECIPES Quick, easy, and on your table fast.



Jean Alexander, Great Lakes Energy 1 (15-ounce) can yellow corn, rinsed and drained 1 (15-ounce) can white corn, rinsed and drained 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained ½ cup finely chopped onions ½ cup finely chopped green bell peppers ½ cup diced tomatoes 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro ½ cup Italian low-fat or regular dressing

Win a


energy bill credit!

10 OCTOBER 2020


Stir-Fry Favorites due December 1 • Soups 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.

Place canned items in bowl and mix. Stir in rest of ingredients and mix. Drizzle Italian dressing over salsa and stir. Serve chilled with nacho chips. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos

DARK CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE Leslie Brasure, Alger Delta 2 ¼ 1 3½ ¼ ¼ 2 2 •

tablespoons unsalted butter cup dark chocolate chips large egg tablespoons buttermilk teaspoon vanilla cup sugar tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder tablespoons self-rising flour pinch of salt

Combine the butter and chocolate chips in a large mug. Microwave for 30 to 60 seconds until melted. Add the egg and whisk it in with a fork. Stir in the buttermilk, vanilla, sugar and cocoa. Add the flour and salt. Beat the batter until smooth. Divide between 2 mugs. Microwave separately for 1 to 2.5 minutes each, until risen and firm. Topping ideas: whipped cream, fresh berries, or shaved chocolate. Serve immediately.

SIMPLE, SCRUMPTIOUS CASSEROLE Deb Finedell, Great Lakes Energy

1 package frozen tater tots or potato rounds 1 pound ground beef 1 package frozen broccoli 1 can french fried onions 1 tomato, chopped 1 can cream of mushroom soup ¹⁄ ³ cup milk 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ¼ teaspoon garlic powder ¹⁄ 8 teaspoon ground black pepper Preheat oven to 400 F. Place potatoes on bottom and sides of pan. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Brown beef; drain. Place remaining ingredients over potatoes, reserving some cheese and onions for topping. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Put the rest of the cheese and onions on top and cook for another 2–3 minutes.

GREEN OLIVE DIP Jennie Lewandowski, Presque Isle

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese 1 (10-ounce) jar sliced green olives Let cream cheese soften, or soften in microwave. Add entire jar of green olives (brine too). Mix well! This dip is served best with regular Doritos!

CHRIS’ CORNY CASSEROLE Christine McAfee, Presque Isle

4 eggs 1 (14-ounce) can creamed corn 1 cup corn muffin mix (Jiffy is a brand option) ²⁄ ³ cup canola oil Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix all ingredients together in an ovenproof bowl. Bake 45 minutes or until center is set. Serve immediately. Note: You can up the cornbread mix to a whole box or lower the amount of oil or even the eggs, but none of the above changes will be as fluffy or light as the original recipe. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Your Board In Action Meeting in Portland on Aug. 24, your board of directors: • Conducted its annual reorganizational meeting, in which District 2 Director Jim Stebbins and District 4 Director Kimber Hansen were seated (after both winning re-election in May), and directors Luke Pohl, John Lord and Ed Oplinger were re-elected as board chairman, vice-chairman and secretary-treasurer, respectively.

• Learned about progress made by HomeWorks Connect in building a high-speed fiber-optic internet network. • Discussed and accepted the new preamble to the board policies of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative. • Learned there were 127 new members in July. • Acknowledged the July safety report, listing employee training as well as minor employee and public incidents involving electric, propane, or fiber optic.

• Discussed and approved dates for regular monthly board meetings to be held in 2021. • Reviewed and authorized a new union contract, to take effect Jan. 1, 2021, upon the expiration of the current contract. • Re-elected directors John Lord and Ed Oplinger to serve as the board’s audit committee, and directors Corinna Batora and Shirley Sprague to serve as the board’s policy committee. • Heard a presentation from Wolverine Power Cooperative CFO Zach Anderson, on Wolverine’s proposed new rate structure.

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 Oct. 26 and Nov. 23 at Portland. However, at the time of this printing, some of our meetings are temporarily being conducted remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Members who wish to have items considered on the board agenda should call 517-647-7554.

People Fund Grants Over $3,500 To Support Local Families In Need Meeting remotely Aug. 19, the Tri-County Electric People Fund board made three grants totaling $4,050, including: • $2,330 to a Mecosta County family to fix a well; • $1,220 to a Mecosta County family to modify and relocate electric lines; and • $500 to Organizers for Youth, of Mecosta, to purchase personal protective equipment to allow the center to be opened back up.

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 Ave., 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. 4 for the November meeting or by Dec. 15 for the December meeting.

12 OCTOBER 2020

HomeWorks Cares

When the Ionia Free Fair was canceled due to COVID-19 this summer, HomeWorks was proud to donate $1,675 to cover the cost of an online youth livestock show. The show ensured that participants of Ionia County 4-H didn’t miss out on the opportunity to sell the animals they worked so hard to raise this year.

Applications are now being accepted for our 2021 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 2021-22 college expenses!

Applications due March 16 For more info or to apply, visit Homeworks.org or call 517-647-1210.

Getting Getting The

Chills Chills

WITH JOHNATHAN RAND By Emily Haines Lloyd || Photography by Boots Wright

In “Mayhem on Mackinaw Island,” siblings Sandy and Tim Johnson spend their usual summer on Mackinac Island. But this particular holiday, they find themselves on not just a school vacation, but a reallife adventure.


Johnathan Rand wrote the story of the Johnson children and their curious adventure in 2000. The book joins nearly two dozen more stories in his “Michigan Chiller” series. They are an homage to the thrillers he would read under the covers at night with a flashlight when he was a kid. Could he have imagined that his own life would be a thrilling ride, not unlike the ones he depicts in his novels? “I was the guy who brought a book wherever I went,” said Rand. “My wife used to look at me like I was crazy to grab a book on the way out to dinner. I wouldn’t read at dinner, but ‘what if?’ Books have always been important to me.” Rand, his pen name, started in radio as Christopher Wright. And then eventually Christopher Knight, to avoid confusion

14 OCTOBER 2020

with a competing on-air personality. While there, he became the go-to guy for writing and producing advertising spots, which were the real money maker for the station. Everyone loved how he threaded stories into his 30-second spots, and that was the first nudge Rand received that he’d like to become a writer. “I’d write the spots using characters and situations to make the stories come to life,” said Rand. “But then I realized I had a bunch of interesting story ideas bouncing around in my head. So, I finally decided to do something with them.” His first novel, an adult thriller written back in 1995, was originally picked up by a publishing house where, like many manuscripts, it sat. Not one to wait for something to happen, Rand, who wrote his

RAND’S BOOK SERIES adult ventures under Christopher Knight, wrote his second and then third offerings, which he chose to self-publish.

“It’s an old adage, but when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,” said Rand.

It was in 2000 that he started his “Michigan Chiller” series for younger readers, also self-published. Rand imagined families venturing to Northern Michigan for their vacations and kids wanting to take away a story from their travels. While bookstores are rarely on the itinerary for tourists, Rand knew that everyone needed to eat, sleep, and get gas while in town. So, he and his wife would pack up their car with books and stop into every motel, restaurant, and gas station they could find, offering books on spec to the establishments.

Rand and his wife also opened up ChillerMania, a bookstore in Indian River, betting against the old norm that northern vacations wouldn’t include a stop at a bookstore. He also offers writing seminars and book camps. It’s the speaking engagements in the schools that Rand speaks especially warmly about. It’s as if he’s looking to inspire another young person to sneak a book and flashlight into bed at night for a chance to read just a few more chapters.

“At first, folks balked. But years in radio and advertising kicked in,” Rand joked. “I’d make it easy, leave some copies and check in later. No commitment. And I’d leave before they had time to argue.” Sooner, rather than later, Rand would get a call from the establishments asking for more copies and regaling him with tales of families asking if there were more stories and where they could find them. The stories were up in Rand’s head and eventually came pouring out at an alarming rate. With 20 in the “Michigan Chiller” series, 43 in “American Chillers” plus other series—”Freddie Fernortner” and “Dollar Store Danny,” along with others—it’s a wonder Rand can keep up the creative pace.

“I love talking to kids about reading and writing. Especially when I see a kid who didn’t like to read, but does after getting ahold of one of my books,” said Rand. “I also let them know it’s hard work. A book may be fun and easy to read, but there’s a lot of hard work behind it.” For a man who writes about things that are meant to give the reader a bit of a fright, it’s clear hard work isn’t something that Rand has ever been afraid of. Learn more about Johnathan Rand’s book series online and on Facebook: • • • •

americanchillers.com facebook.com/Chillermania/ facebook.com/americanchillers/ facebook.com/johnathan.rand.9

“I love talking to kids about reading and writing. Especially when I see a kid who didn’t like to read, but does after getting ahold of one of my books.”



Top Five Reasons To Consider HomeWorks Tri-County Propane Pictured: Our propane field team

Whether you’re thinking of changing to propane heat for the first time or simply looking to switch propane providers, you need a service you can rely on to keep your family safe and comfortable all winter long. Here are five reasons why we think you should look no further than HomeWorks Tri-County Propane: 1) Safety: The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority at HomeWorks Tri-County Propane. Our propane operations manager is a certified trainer through the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), and when it comes to propane safety, he ensures that his team is trained above and beyond the call of duty. All of our field and office employees are certified through the NPGA’s Certified Employee Training Program, and our field operations crews regularly attend additional propane-specific safety meetings. The bottom line is that you’ll always know without a doubt that we’re working to keep you safe around our propane product. 2) Reliability: You already count on HomeWorks to provide you with reliable electricity; why not turn to us for your home heating needs, too? Tri-County Propane provides the same trustworthiness that you’ve come to expect from us, so you’ll be able to approach each heating season with the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll never be left out in the cold without propane in your tank.

16 OCTOBER 2020

3) Value: Tri-County Propane provides a superior service at an exceptional value. What more can you ask for? Our prices are highly competitive, we offer a guaranteed capped winter price and our dedicated team works day in and day out to ensure that our customers get the most out of their dollars. 4) Service: Our customer service at HomeWorks Tri-County Propane is second to none. Just ask our current customers. In our 2019 customer survey, they rated us well over 90% for timely deliveries, friendly and courteous employees, and responding promptly to service requests. 5) Simplicity: Are you tired of all those add-on charges that seem to cause your bills to go through the roof? We guarantee that your Tri-County Propane bill will be simple and straightforward, with no hidden fees. Plus, we offer several options tailor-made to fit your needs, including metered service, budget billing, auto-fill service and more.

Give us a call today at 877-574-2740 and ask how you can receive your first 100 gallons free!

We Are Proud To Power Rural Mid-Michigan Farms.

Thank you, farmers! While you are working from sunup till sundown and beyond to keep us all fed this harvest season, please stay mindful of the electric lines around you and stay safe. Your friends at HomeWorks wish you a prosperous harvest! Thank you for all you do every day.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS When children are old enough to understand rules, then it’s a good idea to have house rules around electrical safety. Make sure that an electrical safety plan is part of your overall emergency preparedness plan. When your children know what to do and not to do around electricity, accidents are less likely to occur.



DON’T plug too much stuff into one outlet or extension cord. It could damage the electrical

Keep electrical stuff far away from water. Water and

electricity never mix. Use caution outdoors and keep all electrical appliances at least 10 feet away from hot tubs, pools, ponds, puddles and wet surfaces. Never place electronics near the shower or bathtub, and keep liquids and drinks away from computers, video games, and TVs, or anything that has a cord and plug.

system in your house or even cause a fire. Show children how plugs work, and let them know that even if they are curious about the slits of an electrical outlet, nothing else should be placed inside.


Never put metal objects in an appliance or outlet.



DON’T yank an electrical cord from the wall. Pulling on a

DON’T ever climb the fence around an electrical substation. If a ball or

cord can damage the appliance, plug or outlet.



DON’T FLY! Teach children to never

fly kites or carry helium balloons on long strings under or near power lines. Electricity is always looking for a route to the ground; kites and balloons make the perfect conduits. If a kite gets stuck in a tree that’s near power lines, don’t climb up to get it. Contact your local electric cooperative for assistance. The kite and the string may conduct electricity—sending it right through you to the ground.


some neighborhoods, power lines are buried in the ground. It can be difficult to tell where these lines are located. Teach children not to dig in the ground in any areas you have not told them are safe.


pet gets inside the fence, contact your local electric utility for assistance— they’ll come and get it out for you.



Transformers are often large, green, metal boxes sitting on the ground. Teach your children that these are not mountains to be climbed or treasures to explore. Tell your children that if they notice one of these boxes open, they should alert an adult immediately.


Look out for power lines before you climb a tree. The electricity can go right through the tree branch—and right through you!



When lightning strikes, it’s time to head inside. Children should know to go indoors when storms are approaching, but especially when thunder sounds and lightning strikes.



Mornings are for coffee,

not tending a woodstove.

Reduce your dependency on traditional heating methods, like wood, and SAVE TIME, EFFORT, AND ENERGY when you add a Well-Connect to your current HVAC system.











HOW IT WORKS Our hybrid geothermal heat pump provides affordable renewable heating and cooling by harnessing your existing water well as a free and clean energy source. Adding a Well-Connect to your current system provides year-round home comfort, helps you save on monthly energy bills and time chopping wood.


989.356.2113 • WellConnectGeo.com

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Prepare for the holiday season; GET FAST & RELIABLE INTERNET AT YOUR HOME WITH



Become A Connector Today!


To pre-register, visit Join.HomeWorksConnect.org or call 800-668-8413! This service is not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

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