Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives
EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark
EDITOR: Christine Dorr
GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Karreen Bird
RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey
COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Emily Haines Lloyd
PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association
Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional ofﬁces. It is the ofﬁcial publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933.
Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors.
Postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS.
Association Ofﬁcers: Tom Sobeck, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op, chairman; Gabe Schneider, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Chris O’Neill, HomeWorks TriCounty 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
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.
10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN
Baked Goods: Comforting recipes straight from your oven.
A look inside Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel Stables.
18 GUEST COLUMN
Hunting with Dad: The embarrassment of Gari Nowland’s ﬁrst hunt was quickly replaced by her father’s love and pride.
MI Co-op Community
Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.
See details on page 10.
Win a $50 bill credit!
See details on page 18.
Win $150 for stories published!
6 SCHOONER HURON JEWEL Hugh and Julie Covert inspire others while living the dream.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
23899 M32 S, Hillman MI 49746 989-657-4358
• Term Expires: 2023
Allan Berg, Chairman 8400 Lost Lake Rd., Hawks, MI 49743 989-734-0044
• Term Expires 2023
Sandy Borowicz, Secretary 5341 Carlson Rd.,Cheboygan, MI 49721 231-627-9220
• Term Expires 2024
John Brown, Vice-Chairman
21 W. Devereaux Lake Rd., Indian River, MI 49749 231-625-2099
• Term Expires 2023
1849 W. 638 Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-4196
• Term Expires 2024
Facts About PIE&G Connect Fiber InternetTom Sobeck, President & CEO
Over the past several months, I have mentioned PIE&G Connect and our fiber-to-the-home project, but I haven’t really dedicated an entire column to it. So, this month, I’m going to talk about a few aspects of the project that have created questions among the membership.
How do I sign up for fiber internet service?
The best way to sign up is to visit www.piegconnect.com and click on the “I’m Interested in Fiber Internet” button at the top right of the web page. This will take you to our interest tool, where you can enter your electric service address and determine if we will be in your area. Once we complete construction and open your area to service, we will contact you to let you know the next steps. Depending on your location, this may be several months from now.
How do I know if fiber service is currently available in my area?
7630 Wallace Rd., Alpena, MI 49707 989-884-3037
• Term Expires 2022
Brentt Lucas 15841 Carr Rd., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-3678
• Term Expires 2022
Daryl Peterson, Treasurer P.O. Box 54, Hillman, MI 49746 989-742-3145
• Term Expires 2024
6737 State St., Posen, MI 49776
• Term Expires 2022
President & CEO: Thomas J. Sobeck firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications Director/Co-op Editor: Mairè Chagnon-Hazelman
Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 3149 Main Street (M-211)
Onaway, MI 49765
Business Office & Billing: 989-733-8515
Gas Emergency Toll-Free: 800-655-8565
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.
Currently, there are three feeders, or zones, on the Onaway substation that are open for service—ON 1, ON 4, and CC 3. You can easily tell if that includes your service area by looking at the “Map Location” box on your electric bill. If the map location begins with ON 1, ON 4, or CC 3, you are within the area that is now open for service. I’ve included a graphic on the next page for your reference. If you have registered with our interest tool, you will be notified of the next steps. If you’ve not registered using our interest tool, you will need to take that step first, before we can begin your service application. If your map location is not yet available for service, please check for updates on www.piegconnect.com. The next feeders that will open are CC 4, BL 3, BL 4, and BL 1, in that order. We are working to develop a timeline to open the remaining feeders in Phase 1 of the project for those whose map location begins with the letters FB and ML.
We started in Onaway because we wanted the electronic equipment necessary to operate the fiber network to be located as close to our office as possible. Starting an entirely new service offering from the ground up is incredibly challenging. We wanted the first connections to be located near our office so personnel could respond quickly to service locations to resolve any issues we, or our members, might encounter.
I hope this column is helpful. Please visit our websites, www.pieg.com and www.piegconnect.com, for further information. You can also check our page on Facebook. We will do our best to provide timely information on our progress and service offerings. Just like the electricity we started supplying in 1937, we’re proud to deliver another vital service that other providers have chosen not to offer. It’s the Cooperative way!
Onaway already had access to another internet service. Why did you start there?
Find your map location on your PIE&G electric bill here to see where fiber internet is or will be available.
Your Board In Action
The following actions were taken by the PIE&G board of directors at its most recent meetings:
• Set the Fall Member Regulation Special Meeting date and time for Sept. 27, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.
• Nominated members to serve on the Election and Credentials Committee.
• Approved participation in the Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF) for the billing months of Sept. 1, 2022, through Aug. 31, 2023.
• Approved the 2022 Annual Membership Meeting Notice.
• Approved a resolution for restatement of the cooperative’s retirement and 401k plans, as required.
• Appointed voting delegates to serve for the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (NRUCFC) and CoBank annual elections.
• Authorized CEO Sobeck to research the Employee Retention Tax Credit application.
• Authorized CEO Sobeck to apply for membership in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Broadband Membership Tier.
• Approved Resolution 2022-16 recognizing retiring employee Qually Kimball (on right in above photo, with CEO Tom Sobeck), for 16 years of dedicated service during his employment with Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op.
• Approved the 2023 General Plant Capital Expenditure Budget in the amount of $1,565,600.
• Recommended Director Sally Knopf and CEO Sobeck to serve on the Spartan Renewable Energy Board of Directors.
• Accepted Team Reports.
SCHOONER HURON JEWEL
For anyone who has considered moving to an island to pursue a passion for sailing, take inspiration from Hugh and Julie Covert. After making a “bucket list” on New Year’s Eve in 2010 and pondering it for a couple of years, the couple transformed their dreams into reality.
Julie met Hugh in Baltimore in 2009, and describes the encounter as “essentially love at ﬁrst sight.” Shortly thereafter, she learned to love sailing as much as he did. Hugh spent 20 years captaining tall ships on both the East and West Coasts, through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Bahamas. When skippering a schooner in Traverse City, he searched for property to support his dream of having a place where he could moor a sailboat in his backyard. He had purchased a property in 2003 and built a house on Shelter Island, a small island just off Drummond Island.
In 2010, they moved to Shelter Island and began to fulﬁll their dream of building their own schooner. Great timing and happenstance supported their dream when Julie learned the local paper, the Drummond Island Digest, was for sale. Purchasing the paper in 2014 aligned with her writing and photography interests, plus the paper would serve as a tool for communicating progress on the schooner’s construction.
“I kept hoping someone would bring a tall ship to Drummond Island,” says Hugh. “Then I decided it could be me.”
By the time the couple moved to Shelter Island, Hugh had built seven
boats. Sailing since age 4, Hugh had both sailing and engineering in his genes. The Coverts knew the logistics of getting materials and volunteers to Shelter Island would be challenging, whereas Drummond Island would allow friends and neighbors to view progress as they constructed the schooner. They purchased property on Drummond Island, then built a structure that included a 30-by-72-foot workshop and an insulated room to keep epoxy glue and paint warm, plus power to run a chop saw and drills.
For two and a half years, the couple worked seven days a week to construct their own schooner. They were assisted by more than 50 volunteers (both residents and seasonal visitors) who swept ﬂoors, painted the hull, or donated trees for
the project. Julie reported progress in a monthly blog.
Constructed of 18 types of wood and epoxy, the 78-foot Schooner Huron Jewel yields sleeping quarters for Captain Hugh, First Mate Julie, two deckhands, and six passengers. Its name reﬂects its birthplace and Hugh and Julie’s initials. Cedar trees harvested from Drummond Island formed the gaff and boom. The Schooner Huron Jewel was christened with 15-year-old rum amid a crowd of island residents in 2018, then set sail for the start of many adventures as the Drummond Island Tall Ship Company.
The location for Drummond Island Tall Ships offers an ideal vantage point for all the excursions they offer aboard the Huron Jewel. TheThe Drummond Island tall ship on a day sail.
island’s surroundings are a labyrinth of channels, inlets, and harbors.
Each season, Hugh and Julie also provide the opportunity for two deckhands to learn to sail the waters surrounding Drummond Island and Canada’s North Channel. To train deckhands trying to gain experience to work on bigger schooners as Hugh did, they’ll take deckhands with no experience but enthusiasm, curiosity, and willingness to learn.
Hugh believes that writing down dreams is essential versus just talking about them. “You have to actually do it. You have to make it happen and there’s no time better than the present,” he says.
After the pandemic gave them time to reﬂect on what is important, Hugh and Julie were even more motivated to encourage others to follow their dreams. They set out on a ninemonth voyage this past August to sail from their homeport through the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence Seaway, then south along the eastern seaboard. They plan to participate in
Left: First Mate Julie Covert and Captain Hugh launched the Drummond Island Tall Ship Company in 2018 with sailing trips on their handcrafted Schooner Huron Jewel.
Right: First Mate Julie Covert and deck hands raising the sails.
the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race and Annapolis Sailboat Show, and most importantly, at each port of call, they will encourage people to live their dreams. They’ll continue south for the winter spreading their message, and return to Drummond Island in Spring 2023. On their “dream inspiration tour” of over 8,000 nautical miles, their mission is to share their story with thousands of people to inspire others to live their dreams.
Sailing with the Coverts and crew is a relaxing yet adventurous experience. It’s also as interactive as you wish. Passengers can assist with raising and lowering sails and even taking the wheel under Captain Hugh’s watchful eye. The Schooner Huron Jewel is allowing the Coverts to live out their motto, “sailing the dream,” while sharing their experience with passengers with great delight.
For the blog, more photos, and schedule, visit:
Flag: United States
Rig: Gaff rigged
Homeport: Drummond Island, Michigan
Waters: Great Lakes Season: June–September
Built: Drummond Island, Michigan
Designer: Hugh Covert
Length: 60 ft. on deck, 78 ft. overall
Beam: 14 ft. 8 in.
Draft: 4 ft. 4 in. with centerboard raised; 9 ft. with board lowered
Rig Height: 60 ft.
Sail Area: 1,700 sq. ft.
Displacement: 40,000 lbs.
Spar Material: Wood
Hull: Wood, epoxy, and ﬁ berglass cloth
Power: Twin 100 hp Yanmar diesels
Hull Speed: Estimated 10.3–14 knots
Passengers: Six passengers plus crew; sleeps six plus crew comfortably
Crew: Sails with two crew
Ownership: Drummond Island Tall Ship Company
Don’t Be Afraid To Save More!
Did you know heating and cooling accounts for more than 50% of the energy used in your home? Investing in a highly efficient HVAC system is therefore extremely important. Heat pump technology is a leading-edge solution for high-efficiency heating and cooling. It can help you save energy, save money, and keep your family comfortable for years to come.
Is a Heat Pump Right for My Home?
Just about any home can benefit from a heat pump system, though it is important that your home is well insulated and airtight prior to installation to maximize energy savings. Generally, the following are some of the best candidates:
• Heated by electric furnace or electric baseboards
• Heated by propane, wood, or fuel oil
• Looking to add air conditioning
• New construction or new room additions
• Manufactured homes
Heat Pump Benefits
• Use considerably less energy for heating and cooling
• More consistent temperatures = increased comfort
• Superior indoor air quality and dehumidification
Incentives start at $1,000 for heat pumps from the Energy Optimization program!
There are a wide variety of heat pump incentives. A new ground-source heat pump system can earn you $1,500 for the heat pump and $2,500 for the ground loop, plus an extra $500 if it has a desuperheater. For a complete list of incentives available from the Energy Optimization program, visit pieg.com/eo or call 877-296-4319
An energy-efficient heat pump can save energy, money, and keep your family comfortable.
More than half your home’s energy is used for heating and cooling. Heat pumps don’t create heat – it moves heat from one place to another. In the winter, heat is extracted from outside and transferred inside. It reverses the process to provide air conditioning in summer. Some heat pumps are specially designed for cold climates and can heat efficiently and reliably below 0 degrees.
VISIT: pieg.com/eo CALL: 877-296-4319
1. Goofy feathers under beak; looks like he has a mouth. Dennis Downie 2. Ada and chicken Patty. Kara D’Andrea 3. Lake May loons. Wendy Martin 4. A long way from home. Cameron T. 5. Grandchildren visit the farm. Robin Chapman 6. I’m not your average woodpecker. I can drill holes all the way through a tree trunk! Carol May 7. Psst, the water is fine. Heather Preston 8. Flying jewel. Patricia Garrett 9. Romance on the water. Christine T.
Enter to win up to a $50 energy bill credit!
Submit Your “Outdoor Adventures” Photos By Oct. 20! Submit your best photo and encourage others to vote! The photo receiving the most votes in our photo contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. Our October theme is Outdoor Adventures. Photos can be submitted through Oct. 20 to be featured in our January 2023 issue.
To enter the contest, visit pieg.com/photocontest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2023, you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of four $50 credits on your January 2024 bill.
Win a $50 energy bill credit!
Healthy Living due Nov. 1
National Cherry Month due Dec. 1
Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video.
Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email
(include your full name and co-op) to email@example.com.
Carr, Midwest Energy
cans crescent rolls
ounces cream cheese, room temperature
cup sour cream
tablespoons Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
package dry ranch dressing mix
teaspoon garlic salt
teaspoon garlic powder
cup broccoli ﬂorets, ﬁnely chopped
cup cauliﬂower ﬂorets, ﬁnely chopped
medium carrots, ﬁnely chopped
cup cherry tomatoes, halved Preheat oven to 375 F. In an ungreased 9x13 pan, lay crescent rolls ﬂat. Press the dough on the bottom and sides of the pan to form a crust. Bake for 10 minutes. In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, Miracle Whip/ mayo, ranch dressing mix, garlic salt, and garlic powder until well combined. Spread over crust evenly. Arrange broccoli, cauliﬂower, carrots, and tomatoes evenly over cream cheese layer. Serve immediately or refrigerate 1–2 hours before serving.
Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videosPhotos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey MI
SHARON’S CARROT CAKESharon Tylenda, Great Lakes Energy
2 cups ﬂour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups sugar
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup canola oil
2 cups raw grated carrots
1 (8½ -ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup chopped nuts
1 (3½ -ounce) bag ﬂaked coconut
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
¼ cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine ﬂour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, buttermilk, canola oil, and eggs. Mix well. Add carrots, pineapple, nuts, and coconut. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake 20 minutes. Turn temperature down to 275 F and bake approximately 45 minutes longer until cake tester comes out clean. Be careful not to under or overbake. Let cake cool to room temperature. Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at low speed until ﬂuffy. Add powdered sugar gradually until light and ﬂuffy. Spread on cake. This cake is delicious, and is even better the next day.
CHOCOLATE TOFFEE NUT SQUARESAmy Gutowski, Great Lakes Energy
1 (4-ounce) package regular saltine crackers
1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
1 cup brown sugar, ﬁrmly packed
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven 350 F. Line the bottom of a cookie sheet with saltines, salty side up. Place butter and margarine in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted. Add the brown sugar and stir until ingredients are well blended and a sauce-like consistency. Pour the brown sugar syrup evenly over the crackers, smoothing with a wooden spoon.
Place in oven 6 to 8 minutes (mixture will bubble on top of saltines and form a toffee layer underneath). Remove cookie sheet from the oven; realign the saltines with a wooden spoon (they get out of line as they bubble). Pour chocolate chips evenly over saltines and put back in oven for 2 minutes to melt. Remove from oven and quickly spread melted chocolate chips as if you were frosting a cake. Sprinkle evenly with nuts and place in freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from freezer and cut into squares with a sharp knife. Cover with foil or store in a container in the refrigerator or freezer. Makes 30 squares.
CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
Cindy Thome, Alger Delta
½ cup butter
½ cup vegetable oil
1¾ cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2½ cups ﬂour
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup soft butter
½ cup soft cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and ﬂour a 9x13 pan. In a large bowl, mix together all cake ingredients until combined. Pour into the pan. Bake for 40–45 minutes. Cool completely before frosting. To make the frosting, in a small bowl, combine all of the frosting ingredients and beat in a mixer for 2 minutes. Frost the cake and enjoy.
Cheryl Dillenbeck, Great Lakes Energy
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1½ cups sugar, divided
½ cup butter, cubed
1 cup ﬂour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine berries with the lemon juice and ½ cup of the sugar.
Bring to a boil, take off from heat and set
aside. Add butter to a 11x7 baking dish and melt in the oven. When melted, remove from oven. In a smaller bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, ﬂour, baking powder, salt, milk, and lightly beaten egg. Pour this batter over the melted butter in the baking dish. Pour the blueberry mixture next, but don’t stir. Bake 40–45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I love this recipe because I can use fresh or frozen berries.
LURKS AROUND EVERY CORNER AT TEE LAKE RESORTBy Yvette Pecha
If you’ve ever wanted to walk through a giant clown’s head, the Halloween season seems like a good time to do it. And you can do exactly that and much more right now at Tee Lake Resort’s Halloween Spooktacular event in Lewiston, Michigan. The resort, a Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member, celebrates its 12th year hosting the event. This seasonal spectacle is the brainchild of Andy Bauer and his husband Dave Gugel—who started it based simply on their love of Halloween, and then watched it grow into an extravaganza that attracts thousands of people a year. As Andy put it, “We created a monster.”
Dave, who grew up in Lewiston, met Andy when they both worked at Walt Disney World. They started investing in and making Halloween decorations when they first moved in together, and
their collection grew steadily over the seven years they lived in Florida. They moved back to Lewiston in 2010 after Dave’s parents, who had managed the Tee Lake Resort since 1985, decided to retire. Andy and Dave took over the business, and when the busy summer months began waning in their first year of ownership, they used their extra time and abundance of seasonal décor to transform the resort into a haunted haven. It was a hit with guests and locals, and they began adding to it each year. Dave says there’s now about three acres’ worth of property decked out. “Every little spot of the place has something Halloween,” he said.
The Halloween Spooktacular is a self-guided, immersive (and free!) adventure that guests can either walk or drive through (walking better allows visitors to see all the details). The display is enhanced with light
shows and eerie music, and it features six themed sections: Halloween Hootenanny, Voodoo, Day of the Dead, Abandoned Carnival (yes, featuring the giant clown head), Cemetery, and Trick-or-Treaters. If you’re really in the spirit, you can stay in one of the two cabins that are also decorated: Igor’s Hideaway and The Witch’s Cottage, as they’re known in October.
It takes about four weeks to physically set up the Spooktacular, but it’s really a year-round process. Andy and Dave—the resort’s only employees— keep busy cleaning cabins and working at their two gift shops, but they say whenever they have a spare moment, they’re prepping for Halloween. They’re constantly on the lookout for additional items and thinking of new spooky things to create. Andy is a graphic designer, and Dave is good at carpentry, so they’re able to bring a lot of their ideas to life. And then there’s the normal wear and tear that naturally affects a display of this magnitude that’s exposed to the elements. One item they regularly replace is the Styrofoam “tombstones” in the cemetery section.
“For some reason, the woodpeckers love them and put holes through them,” Andy said.
The upkeep of the attraction is labor-, time- and cost-extensive, but Andy and Dave wouldn’t have it any other way. Andy loves being able to provide a method of escapism for visitors. “Whether they’re here for 10 minutes or an hour, it’s time when you can forget about your troubles and everything that’s going on,” he said. And Dave, as someone who grew up in the area and knows firsthand that there’s considerably less to do once summer is over, is happy to have created a sort of family tradition for the off-season. “There was a kid, maybe 5 years old, who after going through the display, went home and asked if he could do chores so he could earn money and donate it to us, and I thought that was the sweetest story,” Dave said. “I like to think about a kid who grows up and says, ‘Remember that place in the middle of the woods where at first it was pitch black, and then you turned the corner, and the trees were glowing and there were jack-o’-lanterns everywhere?’”
The resort is open from May to October, and it has four cabins available for rent. Cabins must be rented weekly from June through August, but they can be rented for a two-night minimum in the non-peak season. Each cabin features two bedrooms, a bath, and a kitchen/ living great room.
There are two gift shops associated with the resort: the Tee Lake Mercantile, which is a gift/souvenir shop in downtown Lewiston, and a shop on the premises that sells Spooktacular-themed items on weekends when the display is running.
If you want to stay in a Halloweenthemed cabin, make your plans early. They are sometimes rented as early as a year ahead of time.
The display begins the last weekend of September and ends on Halloween. In that time period, it glows every night from dusk to 10 p.m.
Spooktacular is family-friendly! Sure, it’s spooky, but as Andy said, “No one’s going to jump out at you.”Freaky Facts About Tee Lake Resort and its Halloween Spooktacular /TeeLakeResort /teelakeresort Photo by Dean Orewiler.
A look inside Grand Hotel StablesBy Emily Haines Lloyd
If you’ve ever visited Mackinac Island, there is a familiar sound unique to the gorgeous vacation destination—the clip-clop of horse hooves along the streets. Automobilefree for over a hundred years, it’s the majestic horses of Mackinac that make things move on the island. And none quite so beautiful as the naturally high-stepping, ﬂashy Hackney horses of the Grand Hotel Stables.
The heavily-muscled, wide-chested beauties move gracefully through the streets and along the drive leading to the Grand Hotel’s majestic white pillars. They carry VIP guests and those looking for an exceptionally breathtaking view of the island from one of the Grand Hotel Stables’ Hackney-drawn carriages.
Unlike carriage horses you might see in city streets, the Hackneys of Mackinac Island beneﬁ t from fresh air without working alongside cars or trucks and their noxious fumes. Horse experts agree that horses that are well-cared for, with proper shoeing and ﬁ tting equipment, are in their element pulling carriages. The breed is desperate for purpose and has developed for just such a task over the centuries.
While the Hackneys love to work hard, they are treated like royalty at the Grand Hotel’s 8,700-squarefoot working stable. One can only describe the barns as pristine, with well-tended stalls and fresh air for their resting time. In fact, as staff speak about the horses, it’s as if they are describing any other co-worker, with knowledge of their personalities, peccadilloes, and preferences.
“He has a thing for women, it’s terrible,” Mosley said. “Like, he’ll walk away from you to go see a girl.”
Another stable lover is Scotty, who is not above resting the side of his face against Mosley’s shoulder to get some special attention.
“I’ve never seen a horse right from the start in love with everybody,” Mosley said. “He’s super comfortable with everyone he meets.”
While the relationships with the horses and the staff are strong, it’s not a lifetime occupation for the Hackneys. A decade is about as long as most work as carriage horses on the island, and then the stable manager’s job is to ﬁnd appropriate retirement gigs for the equine employees. A recent
retiree was having a harder time with Michigan’s cold winters and, through the Hackney grapevine, found a perfect warm-weather ﬁt with a woman in Savannah. She hooks him up and drives with him occasionally, but otherwise, he lives a life of leisure.
Another found his way to a woman in California and is still doing a little pleasure driving and prancing in the ring for a horse show or two every year. His new owner just loves him.
“The two of them seemed to hit it right off,” Mosley said. “It was one of those things where you felt like you were a matchmaker, and they just kind of clicked.”
The adoration of the horses is clear. Everyone seems to fall in love with the Hackney horses of Grand Hotel Stables, from the staff to retirement owners to the guests who excitedly climb into the carriage.
On your next visit to the island, stop by the 8,700-square-foot working stable to learn more about these iconic animals, and take a free and interactive self-guided tour of the approximately 30 antique sleighs and carriages. It’s free of charge and open to all Mackinac Island visitors. grandhotel.comStable Manager Ben Mosley regales folks with tales of the horses like Chief, the local ladies’ man.
Know the Signs of a SCAM
It’s no secret that consumers with water, gas, or electricity services have long been targets of utility scams, but fraudsters have changed their tactics since the COVID-19 pandemic. As consumers became more reliant on technology for work, school, and commerce, scammers noted these shifts and adapted their tactics to this changing environment.
Imposter scams are the number-one type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission. While scam artists may come to your door posing as a utility worker who works for the “power company,” in today’s more connected world, attempts are more likely to come through an electronic device, via email, phone, or text.
Common Types of Scams
A scammer may claim you are overdue on your electric bill and threaten to disconnect your service if you don’t pay immediately. Whether this is done in person, by phone, text, or email, the scammers want to scare you into immediate payment, so you don’t have time to think clearly.
If this happens over the phone, simply hang up. If you’re concerned about your bill, call Presque Isle Electric & Gas (PIE&G) at 1-800-423-6634. Our phone number can also be found on your monthly bill and our website, www.pieg.com.
If the scam is by email or text, delete it before taking action. If you’re unsure, you can always contact our member services representatives, or use PIE&G’s SmartHub tool on our website or with the free mobile app to check your account status. Remember, PIE&G will never attempt to demand immediate payment after just one notice.
Some scammers may falsely claim you have been overcharged on your bill and say they want to give you
a refund. It sounds easy. All you have to do is click or press a button to initiate the process. If you proceed, you will be prompted to provide banking or other personal information. Instead of money going into your bank account, the scammers can drain your account and use personal information such as a social security number for identity theft.
If this “refund” scam happens over the phone, just hang up and block the phone number to prevent future robocalls. If this scam attempt occurs via email (known as a “phishing” attempt) or by text (“smishing”), do not click any links. Instead, delete it, and if possible, block the sender. If you overpay your energy bill, PIE&G will automatically apply the credit to your next billing cycle. When in doubt, contact us.
Defend Yourself Against Scams
Be wary of calls or texts from unknown numbers. Be suspicious of an unknown person claiming to be a utility worker who requests banking or other personal information.
Never let anyone into your home that you don’t know unless you have a scheduled appointment or reported a problem. PIE&G employees usually drive trucks with our logo and carry ID badges. When we perform work on our members’ property or come into your home, our employees are professionals and will always identify themselves.
PIE&G wants to help protect our members against utility scams, and you can help create the first line of defense. Please report any potential scams to us so we can spread the word to prevent others in the community from falling victim.
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) & Fiber Internet Project Updates
• 31,000 electric meters deployed (about 89% of the total 34,600 active meters).
• Installation of an additional 18 one-hundred-foot communication poles is expected to be completed by mid-October. The poles were constructed locally by Moran Iron Works.
• In 2023, plans are to deploy natural gas AMI modules and additional communication sites.
• Over 195 services connected in Onaway area (ON 1 and ON 4 zones are open for service).
• Canada Creek (CC 3) zone opened for service Sept. 6.
• Over 390 miles of fiber installed.
• Over 2,900 members have submitted interest in receiving PIE&G Connect high-speed internet.
Capital Credit Refunds Coming
85th ANNUAL MEETING
PIE&G will conduct its annual membership meeting on Friday, Oct. 28, at Onaway High School. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The general business session starts at 10:00 a.m., when
members will hear various reports on the cooperative. The meeting concludes with director election results. Lunch will be provided after the meeting.
For more information about the meeting and your director candidate ballot, please refer to your September issue of Country Lines
If you received electric service from PIE&G in 1990 and/or 2005, you will soon receive your capital credit refund check! Your refund amount is proportionate to the energy you purchased during those years. Checks are expected to be mailed by the last week of October.
Capital credits reflect one of the many ways that your electric and gas cooperative differs from investor-owned utilities—our members share in the success of our operations. Thank you for being a Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member!
First Time Bow Hunting With DadBy Gari Nowland, Great Lakes Energy Cooperative member
Every fall, I have the same warm and wonderful memory of my ﬁrst year of bow hunting with my dad. My dad put me in his usual tree stand, a pine tree at the edge of a ﬁeld. He said he was certain I would see deer in this spot.
The ﬁrst thing I realized is I’m terriﬁed of heights, but I stayed up in the tree, knowing my dad wouldn’t put me in a spot that wasn’t safe and the best chance to see deer. My determination to push past my fears was rewarded soon. I had deer coming out regularly. I had six arrows. I had let my ﬁrst one ﬂy. I missed. Then I let my second, third, fourth, and ﬁfth arrows ﬂy as well. Missed every time. Who knew how much a pine tree moved in the wind, or how different it was shooting down, instead of straight across?
Well, I was learning with every arrow. Crazy enough, the deer kept coming back in, I was given one more chance, so I pulled back, waiting for the swaying to line up, held my breath, and let it ﬂy. Finally, I got one!
What I remember most is my dad’s face lighting up with pride when he saw the trail of the one I did hit. Oh, he laughed that I used every arrow and thankfully only hit the one. I actually ended up making a great shot on that one, and it helped feed our family. Seeing my dad smile at me as he did with such pride, mixed with humor, is my most cherished memory with my dad. It’s moments like that, that I learned even embarrassing stories can hold the most loving memories. My dad took the time to teach me how to hunt, track, clean, and process a deer. It was my dad who ﬁrst taught me to appreciate, honor, and care for nature.
As it can help care for us, in many ways. I tend to think of my dad more often when I’m outside, as my love for nature started with him.
Gari was the last of ﬁve children in her family and is named after her dad. She enjoys ﬁshing, hunting, watching nature, reading, writing, and crafting.
Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit countrylines.com/community to submit.Guest Column
“Seeing my dad smile at me as he did with such pride, mixed with humor, is my most cherished memory with my dad.”
Well-Connect is a hybrid geothermal heat pump designed to operate with your existing furnace. Similar to how a hybrid vehicle signiﬁcantly reduces the need for gas, doubling the vehicle’s fuel e ciency, a Well-Connect signiﬁcantly reduces the amount of propane or fuel oil needed to heat a home, quadrupling the overall e ciency of the heating system. This approach dramatically reduces the installation cost of the geothermal system while reducing a homeowner’s heating cost by 50% to 75%. It also provides e cient air conditioning all summer.
“Propane is so expensive to heat with. Why wouldn’t someone do this?”
Lynne W., South Boardman, MI Member, Great Lakes Energy
Lynne loves her home in the woods but found it challenging to keep her home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Keeping it cool in the summer was especially important for Lynne because of her four-legged, furry friend, Tara. Lynne was familiar with geothermal energy because her father was an executive at Detroit Edison and she knew that it is clean, green, makes a home more comfortable and is a big money saver.
Can be installed in one day, any time of the year. DIY or have it professionally installed.
Focused on YOU.
Electric cooperatives were created to serve their members. Because we’re a co-op, we’re able to adapt to our community’s unique needs. That’s the power of co-op membership.