September 2021 GLE

Page 1

September 2021


COUNTRY LINES Great Lakes Energy Cooperative



Board Election Results

Your Community Grant Giveaway Winners Shaping Leaders: Sheriff’s Explorer Program



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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


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.


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


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.

Be featured!

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

RECIPE CONTEST Win a $50 bill credit! Up Next: Asian Inspired, due Nov. 1. Submit your recipe at, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to

GUEST COLUMN Win $150 for stories published!

Submit your fondest memories and stories at community.

MYSTERY PHOTO Win a $50 bill credit!

Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo. See page 18.


3 /greatlakesenergy /jointruestream BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Robert Kran, Chairman, District 6 231-464-5889

John LaForge, Vice-Chairman, District 9 269-623-2284 Dale Farrier, Treasurer, District 5 231-564-0853

Paving The Way For Electric Vehicles

Howard Bowersox, Director, District 8 219-670-0977 Paul Byl, Director, District 7 231-861-5911

Mark Carson, Director , District 2 231-675-0561

David Coveyou, Director, District 1 231-348-1278 Richard Evans, Director, District 3 231-883-3146

Shelly Pinkelman, Director, District 4 989-390-6222 PRESIDENT/CEO: Bill Scott 888-485-2537 COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR/EDITOR: Brett Streby 231-487-1389 • BOYNE CITY HEADQUARTERS 1323 Boyne Ave. Boyne City, MI 49712

Hours: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. M–F Phone: 888-485-2537 Email: TO REPORT AN OUTAGE: Call 888-485-2537 or login to your account at

Change of Address: 888-485-2537, ext. 8924 Great Lakes Energy is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Bill Scott, Great Lakes Energy President/CEO


he journey toward excellence runs along a road that never ends. To continually improve, building upon each step made before requires the understanding that perfection may never be fully reached. In striving for the loftiest goals, the milestones we surpass represent growth and advancement. Last year, we announced the availability of our free electric vehicle (EV) charging network throughout the GLE service area. This year, I am proud to share that we have crossed another milestone and expanded upon our efforts with the recent installation of a new Level-3 fast charging station, with more on the way. The introduction of these new chargers provides our members, and those passing through our service area, a means for a speedier EV charge. Level 3 EV chargers deliver a much faster experience in comparison to our free Level 2 chargers. Another notable difference is that a ChargePoint account is required to use the new, paid charging stations. As we continue to enhance our grid and communities with more of these chargers, we will plot our progress on for all to see. The new charger is located in Scottville, at the GLE office. Along with all future locations, this location was and will be selected in coordination with the Charge Up Michigan Program. The state of Michigan program matches partner funding and assists in the strategic placement of EV charging stations. Through this partnership, optimal exposure and demand for each new station are ensured. Embracing new technology like Level 3 chargers greatly benefits our members and the communities we serve. With these new charging stations, we maintain a better understanding of the impact placed upon our grid as electric vehicles become more prevalent. This also helps to ensure that our infrastructure can meet and exceed the demands of the future. These new chargers further open the door to EV owners from around the state and beyond. By eliminating barriers for EV owners, we help to make our beautiful communities even more accessible. Our unwavering commitment to serve our members and community with excellence continues. While we may have only crossed another milestone, rest assured many more will come to pass throughout our journey.

Three Directors Elected

District 1— David Coveyou


District 2—Mark Carson

hree directors were elected by mail-in ballot to the Great Lakes Energy Board of Directors.

Elected by GLE members in their districts to threeyear terms were David Coveyou of Petoskey, District 1; Mark Carson of Boyne City, District 2; and Paul Byl of Shelby, District 7. David Coveyou received 823 votes, Mark Carson received 619 votes, and Paul Byl obtained 277 votes.

District 7—Paul Byl

David Coveyou is a farm and business owner in Petoskey. Mark Carson is a manager with Gordon Food Services. Paul Byl is a farm owner in Shelby. Great Lakes Energy members in districts 1, 2, and 7 received their mail-in ballots in the July/August issue of Michigan Country Lines. Voters returned their ballots to a private CPA firm by August 19, and winners were announced August 25 at the cooperative’s annual business meeting in Boyne City.


TO $1,000 FOR A NEW EV AND CHARGER Great Lakes Energy is excited to offer rebates for its electric vehicle (EV) owners. 

Members who install a Level 2 smart charger can receive up to a $500 rebate.*

Members who install a Level 2 smart charger AND purchase a new EV can receive a $1,000 rebate.* Visit to learn more *For qualified members, offer subject to change and expiration at any time. Restrictions may apply.

It's Electrifying! Charging up the Mustang at Great Lake Energy's Level 3 fast charging station in Scottsville.



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.





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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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

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

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.


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




Water 1. Lovin’ the beach!—Katie Ostrom, Fife Lake  2. Evening on Torch Lake—Meta Steeb, Central Lake  3. On the bay with Norway the Norwegian Forest cat!—Robert Suess, Grayling  4. SPLASH—Ceil Heller, Branch  5. Hey lil’ guy, make room for me—Mary Soldan, Gaylord  6. Ludington sunset on the water—Paula Brink, Stanwood


Enter to win a


energy bill credit!







Submit Your “Santa” Photos!

Each month, members can submit photos on our website for our photo contest. The photo with the most votes is published here along with other selections. Our September theme is Santa. Photos can be submitted by Sept. 20 to be featured in the Nov./Dec. issue.

How To Enter: Enter the contest at Make sure to vote and

encourage others to vote for you, too. The photo receiving the most votes will be printed in an issue of Michigan Country Lines along with other favorites. All photos printed in the magazine in 2021 will be entered to win a $200 bill credit in December 2021.



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.



Deb Finedell, Great Lakes Energy 24 2 • 2 2 2



energy bill credit!


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, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to

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


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


Ensuring Reliability Through Vegetation Management Trees are the most common cause of power outages for Great Lakes Energy members. To achieve greater reliability for our members, our Vegetation Management department performs routine maintenance of trees and other vegetation on our more than 11,000 miles of overhead lines.

We clear certain areas in our service territory known as rights-of-way to:

Keep power lines clear of tree limbs Restore power outages more quickly Keep crews and members of our community safe Reduce unexpected costs for repairs

Have questions? Contact the Vegetation Management department at 888-485-2537, ext. 8221 (central and south counties) or ext. 1295 (north counties).

YOUR COMMUNITY GRANT GIVEAWAY WINNERS! GLE members are surrounded by organizations aiming to directly improve and enhance the communities in which they reside. They give and work selflessly for the benefit of others. The Community Grant Giveaway program provided a means for “the others” to give back to some of these impactful organizations. Within a brief, two-week window between July and August, more than 1,000 GLE members cast their votes to determine the three organizations that would receive $5,000 each. With so much good being done by these groups, it is only fitting that such an overwhelming amount of people took a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the groups’ efforts in the form of these votes.

ONLINE NOMINATIONS 526 total nominations

ONLINE VOTING 1,094 qualified votes


Thank you to everyone who contributed through nominations, voting, or both. Your three winners, along with the description provided by the nominating member, can be found below.

Good Samaritan Family Services—North “They help those in need with food, clothing, emergency assistance, and family resources. They will cover just about anything that is needed, and they have a dedicated staff who give of themselves to help people.”

Bread of Life Food Pantry—Central “COVID has put a strain on everyone, but particularly the poor. Bread of Life Food Pantry is located in the poorest county in Michigan. Expenses for food assistance, utilities, and transportation assistance are an increasing burden for all and are felt by Bread of Life. Every week, they unload trucks, shop for food, stock shelves, and reach out into the community while feeding the families that come every Wednesday.”

Stony Lake Therapeutic Riding Center—South “From 2016-2018, this riding center had a small therapeutic horseback riding program at the public riding stable. They provided weekly equine therapy during the summer months to numerous local families. They realized that in order to benefit the kids long term, they had to pursue a full-time, year-round therapy program. To accomplish this, they started a 501c3 nonprofit called Stony Lake Therapeutic Riding Center. They have been able to construct a 62-by-120-foot indoor riding arena. They currently have 26 weekly students and are able to provide progressive equine therapy to serve, encourage, and promote growth in individuals with physical, mental, social, and emotional challenges, improving their quality of life using horses as a catalyst.”


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.

"It’s the

memories that

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 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 @johnnys_treasure_quest





ake County Sheriff Rich Martin fully embraces the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The Explorer Program provides young adults with the unique experience of hands-on training and practical community work alongside the sheriff and deputies. Sheriff Martin established the program in 2018 as a means for engaging with the community and to provide opportunities for growth for kids in the area. “This is more of a mentorship program. It’s not just for kids who want to go into criminal justice, but it creates some structure and lets them be a part of a team,” explains Sheriff Martin. “We generally train twice a month for two to three hours. They learn anything from a basic knowledge of law enforcement training, criminal justice, criminal law, defensive tactics, and handcuffing. They’ve been through taser training, they’ve been through traffic stops, and crowd control. Then they work events throughout the county with the other officers. They wear uniforms like the road patrol, but these say ‘Explorer’ across the back.” 16 SEPTEMBER 2021

Drawing from his experience as an educator, Sheriff Martin takes extra measures to ensure the interest of the Explorers is maintained. With a broad age range of participants, from sixth-graders to recent high school graduates, this is no small task. “I try to make this program dynamic in nature. No one wants to spend more time in a classroom. I try to make it fun. There are times we’ll have to lecture, but there must be an element of fun. If it’s not engaging, they won’t want to do it. That’s just the way kids work,” the sheriff recounts. “I do my best to have more hands-on activity—exercises where they’re walking up to a vehicle in a parking lot, or K9s are coming in, or they are putting the spikes down and can see how that goes. That’s the way I have always learned. I can sit and read through a book four times, but I have to be out doing something to really pick up on it.” Maintaining the interest of the Explorers is not the only challenge the sheriff needs to balance in the program. At times, parents must commit just as much effort as their children in order to make the program

work, with travel to and from events. Additionally, the allure and excitement in working so closely with the deputies have faded in recent years. “Law enforcement has been painted in a negative light, and that sometimes makes it harder. This is a similar challenge we face with recruiting for peace officers and deputies, and it’s just not very popular. As the sheriff, I’m not just law enforcement, but someone who brings unity to the people who live in this county. We have to be able to earn the community’s respect, and I think we do it with programs like this. We aren’t striving for law enforcement with a heavy hand, but walking handin-hand instead,” Sheriff Martin said. Despite waning interest in working for local law enforcement, a recent Explorer graduate has been hired as a Lake County marine deputy. The success of the program is validating for Sheriff Martin. Before the program was in place, many predicted it would fall flat. “Going against the odds, going against the naysayers, and actually proving that we can make this a successful

“As the sheriff, I get to mentor them and create these relationships that will help them grow into amazing people. A lot of these kids will be future leaders one day.” program in the community is one of the greatest accomplishments of my career,” Sheriff Martin said. “One thing that I had heard was that kids don’t want to do anything. Kids don’t want to participate. You’re not going to be able to get anybody involved. But we did. We had six participants right off the bat. All different parts of the county. All different walks of life. We have come together and made it happen. The program takes a lot of coordination. Many instructors contribute, and it takes a lot of effort to maintain, but I think it is important to spend our time with the Explorers because the dividends that are paid out with the kids are tremendous.” The only real criteria for joining the Explorer Program is a genuine interest to improve, learn, and grow. To wear the uniform and join the ranks of the sheriff and deputies signifies a yearning and excitement to serve the community and make it a better place for everyone. All other factors are removed the moment the uniform is buttoned up.

“This is a team effort, wearing the uniform. It’s not about drama. Let the drama exist elsewhere. Everyone here is going to be treated the same, respected without singling anyone out. We’re all part of a team, and we’re all wearing brown. We’re all deputies. That’s how it works whether you are an Explorer or you are out on road patrol,” says Sheriff Martin. “They may not always have the most ideal situation, but they are making the best out of the hand they are dealt. It’s hard enough growing up as a kid in the world we live in and growing up in a community where there isn’t a whole lot of opportunity. These kids are trying to rise above that. As the sheriff, I get to mentor them and create these relationships that will help them grow into amazing people. A lot of these kids will be future leaders one day.” With the contributions of Sheriff Martin and the future leaders of the Explorer Program, their village will truly thrive.

Notice to Members of Great Lakes Energy Cooperative Case No. U-16593 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 sources during 2020. Under this requirement, Great Lakes Energy Cooperative submitted an annual report to the MPSC regarding its Renewable Energy Plan. In 2020, Great Lakes acquired a total of 202,400 renewable energy credits and 3853 incentive credits. All credit transfers were directed through Great Lakes’ wholesale power supplier, Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc. Wolverine 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 filed with the MPSC is available on the cooperative’s website at or by request at any of the cooperative’s offices or at

Public Act 295 as amended: The Clean and Renewable Energy and Energy Waste Reduction Act 2020 Energy Waste Reduction Annual Report Great Lakes Energy Cooperative MPSC Case Number U-20383 Great Lakes Energy Cooperative contracted with the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA) to administer the Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) efforts to comply with PA-295. 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. WECC was selected to implement all Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Programs and the Energy Waste Reduction website, 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.

The Lake County Sheriff Office was awarded a $2,500 grant through the Great Lakes Energy People Fund in support of the Sheriff’s Explorer Program. To learn more about the People Fund, sign up, or apply for a grant for your qualifying nonprofit organization, visit

In 2020, Great Lakes Energy collected $2,898,656 through the Energy Waste Reduction Surcharge and spent $3,149,827, resulting in an under-collection of $255,171. Great Lakes Energy achieved 15,473 MWh of energy savings in 2019, compared to their annual kWh goal of 13,776 MWh. The full report can be obtained at your cooperative’s headquarters and or http://efile.mpsc.state. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17

Guest Column

Grandma’s Quilt

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.”

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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.

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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 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.

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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."



- 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.


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