COUNTRY LINES Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association
Supporting Youth Agriculturists And Providing Food To The Community
Planting SUNFLOWERS, Harvesting SMILES Highlights Of 2021 Annual Meeting
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September 2021 Vol. 41, No. 8
/michigancountrylines 6 ROAD TRIPPIN' Christal Frost takes us to Ludington with the new all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Seafood: These recipes will be your catch of the day.
Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives
14 ADVENTURE AWAITS The pandemic inspired a Michigan jeweler to literally bury his livelihood ... much to the delight of treasure seekers throughout the state.
EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr
GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Karreen Bird
RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha
18 GUEST COLUMN Grandma's Quilt: Her grandmother's penchant for socking things away and her mother's love provided Tricia Udell with the quilt she'd always longed for.
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: 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 email@example.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.
Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.
Are Canadian geese just called geese when they’re in Canada? #repost @corey_niedzwieki
MI CO-OP COMMUNITY To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit countrylines.com/community
RECIPE CONTEST Win a $50 bill credit! Up Next: Asian Inspired, due Nov. 1. Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
GUEST COLUMN Win $150 for stories published!
Submit your fondest memories and stories at countrylines.com/ community.
MYSTERY PHOTO Win a $50 bill credit!
Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo. See page 18.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Affordable Electricity Powers Quality Of Life
By Mike Furmanski, General Manager
/algerdeltaelectric BOARD OF DIRECTORS
District 1—Big Bay Darryl Small 906-345-9369 • email@example.com
District 2—Harvey/Deerton Karen Alholm 906-249-1095 • firstname.lastname@example.org
District 3—Grand Marais Mike Lawless 906-494-2080 • email@example.com
District 4—Cedar River/Palestine Dave Prestin 906-424-0055 • firstname.lastname@example.org District 5—Gourley/LaBranche/Cornell Vacant District 6—Nathan/White Rapids Jesse Betters 715-923-4946 • email@example.com
District 7—Stonington/Rapid River Kirk Bruno 906-399-1432 • firstname.lastname@example.org District 8—Nahma/Isabella Don Johnson 906 280-0867 • email@example.com
District 9—Hiawatha/Maple Ridge Doug Bovin 906-573-2379 • firstname.lastname@example.org GENERAL MANAGER: Mike Furmanski email@example.com HEADQUARTERS: 426 N. 9th St, Gladstone, MI 49837 906-428-4141 • 800-562-0950 Fax: 906-428-3840 • firstname.lastname@example.org algerdelta.com OFFICE HOURS Monday–Thursday 7 a.m.–5 p.m. (EST) Alger Delta Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
ost of us use electricity, either directly or indirectly, at almost all times. Because electricity is so abundant and available with the simple flip of a switch, it’s easy to take it for granted. According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), the typical U.S. household now uses more air conditioning, appliances, and consumer electronics than ever before. The average home also contains 10 or more internet-connected devices. Considering everything powered by electricity, it’s no wonder we occasionally might wince at our monthly bill. But keep in mind, it’s no longer just the “light bill.”
Electricity powers quality of life Electricity powers our quality of life. From the infrastructure of your home (appliances, water heater, and HVAC system) to charging your smartphones, computers, TV, and Wi-Fi router, your energy bill covers so much more than lighting. Today, there is more demand for electricity than ever before. At home, in schools and businesses, and in commercial sectors such as transportation, the need for electricity is increasing. Typically, when demand goes up, so too does the price, as is the case with most goods or services, like cable or even your favorite specialty coffee. However, that’s not true with electricity. Let’s take a look at how the value of electricity compares to other common expenses. Over the last five years, the cost of rent increased 3.4%, medical care increased 2.8%, and education increased 2.2%. But the cost of electricity only increased 1%. Considering all the ways we depend on electricity, it remains a great value. So, the next time you’re enjoying your favorite podcast, TV series, or movie, consider the value of electricity and how it enhances your quality of life. We care about you, the members we serve, and understand that electricity is more than a commodity—it’s a necessity. That’s why Alger Delta Electric Cooperative will continue working hard to power your life reliably and affordably.
Notice to Members of Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association Case No. U-16589 2020 Renewable Energy Plan Annual Report Summary Michigan law required all Michigan electric utilities to get at least 12.5% of their power supply from renewable during 2020.
MARQUETTE ALGER DELTA
4 SEPTEMBER 2021
Under this requirement, Alger Delta Cooperative submitted an annual report to the MPSC regarding its Renewable Energy Plan. In 2020, Alger Delta acquired a total of 10,180 renewable energy credits for compliance. All credit transfers were directed through Alger Delta’s wholesale power supplier, WPPI Energy. WPPI Energy will continue to generate renewable energy and bank unused renewable energy credits for future use and compliance with statutory renewable portfolio standard requirements on behalf of all of its members. A full copy of the cooperative’s Renewable Energy Plan annual report that was filed with the MPSC is available on the cooperative’s website at www.algerdelta.com or at http://efile.mpsc.state.mi.us/efile.
Kassey Labadie with her prize-winning hog Athena. Kassey is the daughter of Alger Delta’s Finance Manager Lynn Labadie. She won overall showmanship at the 2021 Ben Lauren Memorial Show, and Athena won overall hog.
Supporting Youth Agriculturists And Providing Food To The Community F
or the second year in a row, Alger Delta Electric Cooperative purchased livestock from co-op member families participating in the Junior Market Lori Branstrom Memorial Livestock Sale auction. The auction was held on Aug. 21 at the Upper Peninsula State Fair, and Alger Delta was able to make these purchases through the generous financial support of WPPI. Supporting the community we live and work in is a core cooperative principle, and Alger Delta is proud to support these young agriculturists who worked so hard raising their animals. We want to double the impact of our communityminded purchase by donating the meat we purchased. As such, we are raffling off the meat bundles (average retail value of $100 each) to our members. To enter, please complete the form to the right and place it in an envelope postmarked no later than Sept. 25, 2021.
ENTER TO WIN $100 meat bundle Name: Account No: Service Address: Phone: To enter, complete this form and place it in an envelope postmarked by Sept. 25. Send to: Alger Delta Cooperative, 426 N. 9th St., Gladstone, MI 49837. Winners will be notified by phone on Sept. 30. Winners will need to arrange pickup from the processing plant in Hyde, Michigan.
Public Act 295 as amended: The Clean and Renewable Energy and Energy Waste Reduction Act 2020 Energy Waste Reduction Annual Report Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association MPSC Case Number U-20379 Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association contracted with the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA) to administer the Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) efforts to comply with PA-295 as amended. MECA filed a two-year EWR plan with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) on July 28, 2019, as required by PA 295, as amended. The MPSC approved this EWR plan on Dec. 8, 2019, and we began implementing our 2020–2021 EWR Plan on Jan. 1, 2020. Slipstream was selected to implement all residential, commercial, and industrial programs and the EWR website, www.michigan-energy.org. Slipstream has subcontracted with WES Utility Services, Michigan Energy Options, ES Contracting, and Nuwati, LLC to assist with implementing the EWR programs. MECA contracted with DNV-GL as the independent third-party evaluation contractor for the certification of kWh savings. In 2020, Alger Delta collected $252,892 through the EWR Surcharge and spent $158,985, resulting in an over-collection of $93,907. Alger Delta achieved 959 MWh of energy savings in 2020, compared to its annual kWh goal of 813 MWh. The full report can be obtained at your cooperative’s headquarters and www.michigan-energy.org or http://efile.mpsc.state.mi.us/efile.
Important Notice to Members Per Policy 229, section C, the Alger Delta Board of Directors will be discussing a possible rate change at its Sept. 15, 2021, regular board meeting. The public is welcome to attend this important meeting. For further information on this meeting, please visit algerdelta.com.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
It's Electrifying! Charging up the Mustang at Great Lake Energy's Level 3 fast charging station in Scottsville.
TO LUDINGTON WITH THE ALL-ELECTRIC FORD MUSTANG MACH-E By Christal Frost
t’s a picturesque Saturday morning in Traverse City as I arrive at Fox Motors to pick up the all-new, all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. I must admit, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of driving something that didn’t have an engine. Even my vocabulary suffered as I struggled to describe the car to my friends without using terms like “horsepower,” “fuel efﬁciency,” and “gear shifting.” The fact is, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, like her other electric counterparts, doesn’t have those things. But what the Ford Mustang Mach-E has in spades is moxie. After all, it takes moxie to present the iconic muscle of the Ford Mustang to the masses without the rumble of an engine. But stepping into this car—with its sleek and stylish interior and gorgeous curves—I knew I was stepping into the future of America’s favorite pony. On our latest Road-Trippinʼ episode, a round-trip Traverse City to Ludington adventure, we tested the limits of the Mach-E. Spoiler alert: I’m in love with this car.
THE RIDE THE CAR IS FAST.
A big thank-you to Cherryland Electric Cooperative and Fox Motors for making this test drive possible.
I am talking throw-your-head-back, heart-pumping, instant-smile fast. The Mach-E GT can go from 0–60 in an unbelievable 3.5 seconds, making it the quickest Mustang ever. Its superior acceleration and ability to produce immediate maximum torque truly make electric vehicles the Torque of the Town.
IT’S RIDICULOUSLY SMOOTH.
Without the constant vibration of an engine, the Mach-E delivers a downright serene and effortlessly steady ride. Upon returning my borrowed Mustang and getting into my gas-powered ride, I was uniquely aware of every pulse, oscillation, and tremor. The only bumps felt in the Mach-E are on the road, and even those seem softer.
YOU CAN HEAR A PIN DROP.
I’ve heard many people remark that electric vehicles might be too quiet, but I don’t see it this way after driving one. Yes, the ride is quiet. It’s supposed to be quiet. Without the revving of the engine, EV drivers are left with a tranquil and relaxed driving experience. Passengers don’t have to speak up to contend with the sounds of a motor. Listening to the radio is easier and, quite frankly, more enjoyable without the competition of shifting gears. Even the quietest combustible engine is no match for the silence of a battery.
THE BATTERY LIFE IS LEGIT.
Admittedly, the idea of a drained battery worried me. After all, no one wants a road trip to end stranded on the side of the road looking for charging stations. That isn't a problem with the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Depending on the model, the Mach-E has an EPA-estimated battery range of 305 miles. However, thanks to expanded technology and great partnerships with grocery stores and electric cooperatives, fast-charging stations are popping up across the state and beyond. Although we didn’t need the charge, we stopped by Great Lakes Energy in Scottville to check out the charging process at one of its four DC fast-charging stations. The Mustang was nearly fully charged after just 30 minutes. A full charge at a fast charge station has an estimated cost of under $4. Don’t forget to check with your electric co-op about electric car tax credits, incentives, and rebates!
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. She is also a feature columnist for GT Pulse on 9&10 News, published every Friday at 11 a.m.
THE TRIP AMBER ELK RANCH
We enjoyed a wagon ride at the Amber Elk Ranch, which introduced us to hundreds of prize-winning elk and even allowed us to feed them!
Pro Tip: Stay at the ranch to enjoy an incredible BBQ lunch.
LUDINGTON WATERFRONT PARK
The Ludington Waterfront Park offers a playground, breathtaking views of the harbor, and a series of sculptures. These are just a few of the sculptures scattered throughout Ludington, and they make up a part of the Mason County Sculpture Trail.
Fox Grand Traverse Ford, Traverse City
Pro Tip: Grab dinner to go in nearby downtown Ludington and enjoy incredible sunsets from the park!
Retail stores and restaurants abound in downtown Ludington, and you can ﬁnd everything you’re looking for at downtownludington.org.
Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Grawn
Pro Tip: Whenever you’re in
Ludington, don’t forget to check out Ludington State Park!
• Ludington Waterfront Park • Downtown Ludington • Ludington State Park
Great Lakes Energy, Scottville
See the FORD MUSTANG MACH-E in Action
Christal Frost ﬁlmed her adventure, now available on countrylines.com.
10 Amber Elk Ranch
Back To School Savings W
ith a hint of fall in the air, kids are heading back to school, and families adjust to new routines. Maybe it’s getting out of bed earlier to catch the bus or staying later for after-school activities. With these changes, now may be a great time to instill new habits around the house that will help save energy and reduce utility costs. Here are some easy tips you can work into your family’s routines at home.
Turn off lights you don’t need. It can cost up to $20 a year to leave one light on eight hours a day. • User dimmer switches to avoid over-lighting a room • Install lights with motion sensors • Turn off fans. Fans cool you, not the room
Minimize the number of times you open the refrigerator. The average refrigerator is opened 33 times a day. • An open door lets in warm air, which makes the compressor work harder • Plan meals and snacks before you hear, “I’m hungry,” and the kids are peering into the refrigerator, hoping something delicious will magically appear
Cook with your microwave. This is the most efficient way to cook, reducing energy costs by as much as 80%. • Less heat is generated • Shorter cooking times use less energy
Add it all up and do the math. We can all find ways to save. To learn more, call 877.296.4319 or visit michigan-energy.org.
ADD THESE TIPS TO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE AND SUBTRACT DOLLARS FROM YOUR UTILITY BILL. Turn off lights – an easy way to start saving. Open your refrigerator less frequently – average opens = 33 times a day. Use your microwave for cooking = less heat, shorter cooking times.
CONTACT US TODAY FOR INFORMATION michigan-energy.org • 877.296.4319
Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Incentive applies to qualified items purchased and installed between Jan. 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021. Other restrictions may apply. For complete program details, visit michigan-energy.org.
Water 1. Morning at the Yellow Dog Falls. Diane
Lang 2. The beauty of water and Pictured Rocks. Ivana Enright 3.Waterfowl paradise. George Nazarko 4. Gooseneck Lake. Terri Sivula 5. Pure bliss! Sara Kamerschen 6. Escanaba River sunset view. Laurie Copeland 7. Enjoying the peace of the wilderness in my kayak on Lyman Lake. Karen Lancour 8. Our beautiful waterfalls. Rebecca Soderna 9. Beautiful day for Stephenson’s prom as Jordan and Kennedy stop in Norway before heading to the Four Seasons Resort to be crowned king and queen. Brenda Gustafson
Submit a photo & win a
Submit Your Photos & Win A Bill Credit!
energy bill credit!
Upcoming Photo Topics And Deadlines:
Alger Delta members whose photos we print in Michigan Country Lines will be entered in a drawing. Four lucky members will win a $50 credit on their December 2021 energy bills! Santa Photos, due Sept. 20 (Nov./Dec. issue) To submit photos, go to http://bit.ly/countrylines. We look forward to seeing your best photos!
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
MI CO-OP Recipes
Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey
Fresh and light recipes from under the sea.
DAN’S SUPER DOOPER SALMON DIP
Deb Finedell, Great Lakes Energy 24 2 • 2 2 2
RECIPE CONTEST Win a
energy bill credit!
10 SEPTEMBER 2021
Asian Inspired due Nov. 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.
ounces cream cheese, softened tablespoons mayonnaise zest of 1 lemon tablespoons lemon juice tablespoons horseradish sauce pounds cooked salmon, chopped (or use canned, drained)
In a medium bowl, add the cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, and horseradish sauce. Stir very well until combined. Fold in the ﬁsh and stir again to combine. Serve immediately. This recipe makes about 4 cups of dip. Adjust recipe accordingly for smaller serving sizes. Enjoy!
Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos
Lynne Oosterhouse, Great Lakes Energy 4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon ﬁllets Marinade: ½ cup soy sauce 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons lemon juice 4 teaspoons sugar Wasabi sauce: ½ cup mayo 2 teaspoons soy sauce
Cheryl O’Brien, Great Lakes Energy 1 • • ¹⁄ ³ to ½ 1 • •
pound salmon ﬁlets Old Bay seasoning salt and pepper, to taste cup mayonnaise 16-ounce jar Chi Chi’s salsa parmesan cheese mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon lemon 2 teaspoons wasabi powder Combine the marinade ingredients and marinate the salmon for 2 hours. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add ﬁsh and marinade; cook 3 minutes. Turn ﬁsh over. Reduce heat to medium; cook 8 minutes or until ﬁsh is done. Combine the wasabi sauce ingredients and serve with the salmon.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut salmon into 2-inch squares and spread them on the bottom of 9x13 pan. Sprinkle generously with Old Bay seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread thinly with mayonnaise. Pour Chi Chi’s salsa over all. Sprinkle with parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake 45 minutes. Serve over rice if desired. This recipe became a regular on our menu during the summer tournament season. Enjoy!
Sandy Bartels, Great Lakes Energy Marinade: • zest of 1 lime 2 tablespoons lime juice 2 tablespoons olive oil • pinch of salt and pepper Salsa: 4 radishes, ﬁnely sliced ½ cup red onion, ﬁnely chopped 4 green onions, ﬁnely sliced ¾ cup red cabbage, ﬁnely chopped 1 medium fresh tomato, ﬁnely chopped • chopped cilantro or parsley 2 tablespoons lime juice 2 tablespoons olive oil Crema: ¹⁄ ³ cup sour cream 1 tablespoon lime juice Tacos: 1 pound mild white ﬁsh 4 corn tortillas 1 avocado, sliced • bottled hot sauce, if desired • jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped, if desired
Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Lay ﬁsh ﬂat in a glass pan and pour marinade over; turn a few times to coat. Let rest 10 minutes, then turn over and let rest for another 10 minutes. While the ﬁsh is marinating, prepare the salsa. In a medium bowl, add the radishes, red and green onions, cabbage, tomato, and cilantro/parsley. Add 2 tablespoons lime juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil and stir to coat; set aside. To prepare the crema, mix the sour cream and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a small bowl and set aside. Next, char the tortillas: Spray a skillet lightly with vegetable spray over medium heat and place the tortillas in the pan, one at a time, and move them around the pan. Turn to char both sides, remove from pan, and set aside. Add a bit of olive oil to the skillet and keep over medium heat. Put a tablespoon or two of the marinade in the pan, cook about a minute, and then add the ﬁsh. Cook about 5 minutes, depending on thickness of the ﬁsh. Flip and cook another 3–4 minutes until ﬁsh is ﬂaky, but not dry. Transfer ﬁsh to a plate and cool for 1 or 2 minutes, and cut into chunks. Assemble the tacos on top of the tortillas. Lay thin slices of avocado on each tortilla, add ﬁsh, and top with salsa. Add crema and hot sauce and/or jalapeño peppers if desired. Enjoy. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Planting SUNFLOWERS, Harvesting SMILES
The Halls’ granddaughter Brooklyn, expressing how she feels about the sunflower fields.
hen Teressa and Dan Hall began farming 40 years ago, they had no idea that Hall Farms would become a popular and sought-out public attraction one day. They began as dairy farmers, but, as Teressa says, “About 10 years ago, a friend suggested we try planting sunflowers as a crop, and that’s how it all started.” They sold their cows and began planting black oil sunflowers on just three acres of their 400-acre farm. Each year, they added a few more acres to expand to their current 20 acres of sunflowers. “Then we began getting phone calls,” Teressa recalls. “High school students wanted to know if they could have their senior photos taken in the sunflower fields. From there, it grew to engagements, weddings, and pregnancy photos. My husband said, ‘Why don’t we just open it to the public?’ So, we did.” And visitors
12 SEPTEMBER 2021
By Yvonne Whitman
to the eye-catching fields have been steady ever since. The past few years of social media attention have only increased the traffic from both locals and visitors from afar. On weekends, the farm will host over 1,000 visitors per day. “The folks coming out and the tourism aspect of it was a complete and total accident. Just like the flowers, it has really blossomed into something we never dreamed of,” Dan said. Creating the “sea of sunflowers” does require work. “In an average year, we start preparing the fields in early May, plowing, discing, and leveling the fields,” Dan explained. They plant 22,000 seeds per acre, and it takes about three hours to get the entire 20 acres planted. Ultimately, this results in about 440,000 sunflowers, with each sunflower producing about 2,000 seeds. The seeds are harvested in late October, when the seed heads
are very dry, yielding a crop of about 1,500 to 1,800 pounds per acre. The Halls use a combine with sunflower pans attached, and it takes about four hours to harvest the entire 20 acres.
the sunflower field, and we never know when he will make an appearance. Sunny doesn’t talk. He waves and shakes hands and does photos. He is shy, but popular.”
The seeds are then cleaned, stored, bagged, and sold on-site. They start to sell the birdseed in November. Aside from a bit of help from neighbor kids, Teressa and Dan do everything themselves. Along with the sunflowers, the Halls also grow hay, field and sweet corn, and pumpkins.
The Halls’ generous spirits are as big as their sunflower fields, and while donations are welcome and appreciated, they don’t charge admission. “We want everybody to come here with their kids and enjoy this,” Dan said. “There was a day and time in our life when we didn’t have a penny to our name. We don’t want anybody to be excluded because of money. We always say we don’t have customers. We just have a lot of good friends,” he said. “We enjoy the people as much as they enjoy the flowers.”
The fields open to the public in early August, and the flowers last for only about three weeks. “Their ‘prettiness’ is short-lived,” Teressa says with a chuckle. When they are immature/young, the flowers will move their heads to face the sun, but once they mature, the heads are too heavy, and they can no longer move. People often bring their own props for sunflower photo ops, and if they are lucky, field mascot “Sunny” will make an appearance during their visit. According to Teressa, “Sunny lives in
Kids are invited to bring hats and sunglasses to decorate the blooms at the farm.
HALL FARMS 2623 St. Nicholas 31st Road, Rock, MI /hallfarms.rockmichigan
“If I were a flower, I would be a sunflower. To always follow the sun, turn my back to darkness, stand proud, tall, and straight even with my head full of seeds.” —Unknown
“Sunny” making an appearance to visit with farm guests.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13
While the global pandemic offered its fair share of disappointments and loss, one couple opted to mine for the treasure in the mayhem and offer up a rainbow at the end of the storm. As a second-generation jeweler, apprenticed by his father, Johnny Perri always had an eye for treasure. An avid metal detector and admitted “eccentric,” Perri has always looked for adventure, as well as the silver lining in life. “Losing the rhythm of life and work had me in a real funk,” admits Perri. “I was going out of my mind a little.” Then, a bit of exciting news. Perri happened across an article about famed Santa Fe treasure hider Forest Fenn, who supposedly hid his treasure many years ago, with thousands of folks looking for it over the years. The article revealed that someone had ﬁnally found it.
with JOHNNY’S TREASURE QUEST By Emily Haines Lloyd
“’We should do that,’ I thought,” said Perri, ﬁrst to himself, then aloud to his then-ﬁancé, now wife, Amy. “It was that simple, that wild. What if I hid everything from the jewelry store? Buried it? And then came up with riddles and clues for people to go out and ﬁnd it?” With this simple but possibly crazy idea, Johnny and Amy spent the next several weeks driving around the state, basically dropping Perri’s entire livelihood into the ground (eventually replaced with GPS“infused” wooden X’s) to quite literally mark the spot where the treasure could be found. The couple created their website and let the world know that buried fortune was
just a treasure hunt away. The excitement and outpouring of interest was almost as improbable as a guy burying his life’s work in the ground. “People are as excited as we are,” said Perri. “Who hasn’t dreamed of uncovering a mystery or something valuable? It’s such a thrill.” Each quest is located in a different county in Michigan, with a private Facebook group for ticket holders and the perfect amount of Sherlock Holmeslevel sleuthing and Indiana Jones outdoor adventuring. The Perris recently expanded their treasure quests with a “Silver Ticket” hunt a la Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which was a fun extension for seekers.
people make when they’re out on the hunt. I couldn’t ask for more than that.”
The operation is still small and tightly knit, with a core of treasure buriers and administrators equally passionate about the process and keeping the surprises coming. “We’re so lucky to have the team we have, and I just can’t imagine doing anything else right now,” said Perri. “It’s so much fun for us to see the excitement in other people’s faces as they head out or come back from an adventure.” Those interested in embarking on just such an adventure can visit johnnystreasurequest.com and look for an open treasure hunt. Then buy your ticket and prepare for an adventure. “What we’ve come to realize is, yes, the treasure might be the immediate draw,” said Perri. “But it’s not about that, really. It’s the memories that people make when they’re out on the hunt. I couldn’t ask for more than that.”
START your QUEST johnnystreasurequest.com /johnnystreasurequest @johnnys_treasure_quest
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Approximately 200 Alger Delta Cooperative members attended the meeting, which was held in the Ball Room at the Island Resort & Casino.
Highlights Of 2021 Annual Meeting
n Wednesday, June 16, Alger Delta celebrated its 82nd Annual Meeting. Approximately 220 cooperative members attended the event at the Island Resort & Casino’s convention center in Harris. The event included dinner, a guest speaker, a business meeting, staff reports, and prize drawings.
Guest speaker Tom Butz gave an informational speech on power supply resources and an overview of the U.P. power grid.
“This was my first Annual Meeting, and I was pleased to be able to meet so many of the members we serve.” —Mike Furmanski., CEO
16 SEPTEMBER 2021
Director Darryl Small opened the meeting with an invocation. During the dinner, special guest speaker Tom Butz spoke. Butz, an electrical engineer whose areas of expertise are transmission and power supply planning, addressed the challenges presented by the U.P. power grid. After dinner, Board President Mike Lawless called the business meeting to order. Topics covered included approval of meeting minutes and seating of elected directors Alholm, Lawless, and Prestin. General Manager Mike Furmanski spoke next, providing an annual report and overview of Alger Delta operations and projects completed in 2020. He recognized the passing of long-time directors Paul Sederquist and Ray Young and introduced their respective replacements, Jesse Betters and Don Johnson. New business included a motion to adjust articles III and V of the bylaws regarding the eligibility of former management employees to serve as a director and removal of a director for excessive absences. These motions successfully passed by a vote of the membership. The meeting concluded with awarding of prizes to those lucky members whose ticket was drawn. “This was my first Annual Meeting, and I was pleased to be able to meet so many of the members we serve,” said Furmanski. “Hopefully, COVID restrictions will continue to be lifted, and next year, we will be able to have an even bigger and better meeting and accommodate more of our members to this important event.”
1. Susan and James Kiecker were the lucky winners of some new outdoor furniture. 2. L ucky prize winners at the meeting included Linda Gray, Shirley Jaeger, David Nelson, and Terry Soderman. 3. Alger Delta member Shirley Kwak took home this chest freezer from the meeting. 4. Regina Gramm was the winner of a jump starter. 5. R andy Motto went home with a new POWERbot vacuum, and Dan Nichols won a digital tower fan.
PRIZE DRAWING WINNERS
Your Board In Action January
• Approved employment agreement with Mike Furmanski as general manager. Moved by Director Netzel and supported by Director Prestin. • Finance manager position was offered to Lynn Labadie. • WPPI approved a Notice of Rate Change for 2021. • Recommendation to keep office lobby closed except by appointment even after COVID concerns end, to save money over time. • Operations Manager Tiernan reported that the Chocolay substation and distribution circuit are completed, with an expected May 2021 cutover date. • Approved purchase of a 2021 GMC Sierra for the general manager.
• CoBank Line of Credit is up for renewal in August. • Four candidates were interviewed for District 8. • Director Bovin made a motion to have General Manager Furmanski replace Tiernan on the WPPI board. Director Netzel supported this motion. • Two new linemen were hired. • Vanilla Direct Pay is now an available payment method for members, and payments can be made at participating locations. • Don Johnson was named as the new District 8 director. Motion made by Director Netzel and supported by Director Small.
• Six candidates were interviewed for the open District 6 position on the board. • Plans were confirmed for the Annual Meeting to be held on June 16, 2021, at the Island Resort & Casino. • Operations Manager Tiernan reported on work plans, maintenance, safety, and equipment. • Office Manager Priebe reported on CSR training, outages, service/work orders, and social media. • Finance Manager Labadie provided updates on the annual audit, insurance renewal, and payment on completed projects. • General Manager Furmanski reported on the UP Energy Task Force, MEDC, and the Peninsula Fiber Network. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17
By Tricia Udell, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member
y paternal grandmother was a talented woman whose greatest pride was taking care of her family. Her recipes remain family favorites, and the quilts she made for family members have blanketed them with love for years. I was always a bit jealous of my older siblings, who each had one of these quilts on their beds. I never got one, though, because my grandmother passed away from cancer when I was a toddler. When I was 11, my grandpa was getting ready to move out of the family home. I looked through all of the rooms remembering the times spent there, taking in the smells and sights. My grandma was a saver, and in the back bedroom closet, I had found the honey hole of my grandma’s stash! A true vintage ’60s and ’70s collection, olive greens and golden yellows, and bold ﬂower patterns. Among these assorted and varied fabrics, I found a quilt top! Imagine my excitement to see something she had made buried like a lost treasure. A crazy quilt stitched from small, tiny scraps of fabric. I could even see some of the same patterned pieces that were in my siblings’ quilts. I snagged that quilt top right up. I stored the quilt in a plastic bag and stuck it in my closet. Decades later, while cleaning, my parents come across this plastic bag, and to my mom’s surprise, she ﬁnds the quilt top with a scribbled child’s handwritten note that reads “from Grandpa Howard 1984.” She is astounded at the ﬁnd, we look at all the little pieces, and my dad has memories, “That piece is from Mom’s apron, and this is from a dress she wore.” Have you ever had that “ﬁlled up” moment when you feel all warm inside with happiness? I had that. My dad encouraged my mom to ﬁnish the project because he knew how much it meant to me. What a surprise on Christmas when I received the ﬁnished quilt as a gift. The quilt top is estimated to be over 45 years old, thread wears out, and material deteriorates. She painstakingly preserved each stitch. The quilt is a treasure! A combined project of my grandmother and my mom. I truly believe the adage, “Those who sleep under a quilt sleep under a blanket of love.”
energy bill credit!
Tricia is a member of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op. She enjoys spending time with family, staying busy on her hobby farm, and quilting.
Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit countrylines.com/community to submit.
Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo to the left by Sept. 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com/community. July/August 2021 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Paul Malhoit, a HomeWorks Tri-County Cooperative member, who correctly identiﬁed the photo as the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods, Indian River. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September, and November/December.
It Pays for Itself
WHAT DO OUR CUSTOMERS SAY?
Your financing cost and the cost to heat with Well-Connect is typically less than your current cost.
“Well-Connect is one of the best investments we’ve ever made. We are able to maintain our home at a warm and comfortable temperature during the cold months. Likewise, during the warmer months, the added benefit of the air conditioning keeps our home nice and cool. The best part is we are spending significantly less on our energy costs to have a more comfortable home."
M I C HI
- Aaron & Dawn Hamp, PIE&G member “When I could no longer physically cut 20 cords of wood, I installed a Well-Connect. The system has met all claims and surprised me. If people are heating and cooling with propane, fuel oil, or wood and have their own well, they have a need and don't realize it. That need is to cut those heating & cooling costs by at least half (as well as emissions). As for cooling, it has cost us $9 to cool this month (July)!!”
- Jess Steed, Cherryland Electric member
IT PAYS FOR ITSELF The cost to finance and heat with a Well-Connect is typically less than your current heating cost.
HOW DOES THE SYSTEM WORK? Attaches to your home’s existing heating system, it does not replace it. Delivers 90% on average of your home’s heating needs and 100% of your home’s cooling needs. If you have a well, simply add a Well-Connect to reduce your heating costs associated with traditional energy sources while enjoying a more comfortable home. Installs in a day.
CALL FOR A FREE HOME VISIT 989-356-2113 wellconnectgeo.com
ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS FOR HUNTERS This hunting season, we encourage all members to be aware of electrical equipment and take necessary precautions while hunting. Keep these safety tips in mind as you enjoy the great outdoors.
Take notice of posted warning signs and keep clear of electrical equipment. Do not shoot at or near power lines or insulators. Know where power lines and equipment are located on the land where you hunt. Be especially careful in wooded areas where power lines may not be as visible. Do not place deer stands on utility poles or climb poles. Energized lines and equipment can conduct electricity to anyone who comes in contact with them, causing shock or electrocution. Do not place decoys on power lines or other utility equipment. Any nonelectrical equipment attached to a pole can pose an obstruction and serious hazard to our line crews.