Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 20 NO. 10  -  October 2017

Telling the Stories of Bear Country  

by Sally Sedgwick

“If I can’t tell a story in words, I’ll tell it in a photo," said Rena Troy.

It's the love of stories, photography, writing and people that came together for the Northome native when she decided to start a monthly newspaper last fall.

Now the Bear Country Chronicles is a biweekly. That happened this spring to respond to reader interest.

Each issue is distributed free to the Northome, Mizpah, Gemmell and Kelliher areas, and other locations by subscription. A year after launch, she is sending copies as far afield as Florida, California and Texas and receives new subscriptions every month.


CEO Report  

by Brad Dolinski, CEO

Good afternoon.

What a beautiful day out there today! It’s hard to think that in just a few short months we’ll be talking about that “s” word… Snowmobiling!!! I’m excited to be in the heart of excellent snowmobile country where it always makes me think of my dad when I am out on the trails. He introduced me to the fine sport and the cooperation it takes to have good trails. There are landowners that allow us to make and maintain paths across their property. There are clubs that have the responsibility of maintaining these trails. Oh, and there is a Local Unit of Government that is responsible to watch over the whole thing and make sure we have the funding necessary to groom these beautiful trails.


Bigfork School Garden: Dream becomes reality  

by Tom Renquist

In 2015, a group of Bigfork citizens calling themselves "Healthy Community Conversations" began monthly discussions around the community's number one health concern: obesity. Out of that group arose the dream of a Bigfork School Garden.

What better way to teach children that food doesn't just magically appear in a grocery store? What better way to instill a love for gardening and healthy eating habits which will last for a lifetime?

Agreeing to lead the project, Jeanette Pangburn and Tom Renquist met first with school principal, Scott Patrow, who enthusiastically supported the project. Teachers and other concerned citizens joined the planning meetings as well.


Espes choose load control  

by Roxanne Prather

Around a year ago, Donald and Joyce Espe lost their house to a fire. They also came close to losing their lives as well. If it was not for a couple of bullets heating up and exploding, they would not have woken up to escape.

They had lots of heartache but were surprised by the hospitality of their neighbors and how this small community pulled together. The Espes expressed much gratitude to their insurance company, Nationwide, who truly was on their side. The Espes said they were so helpful and “Gracious, they would never go with anyone else.”

When Donald and Joyce came to North Itasca Electric for information on our load control programs when rebuilding, it was clear for Donald the options they would like to go with. The Dual Fuel heating program was selected along with installing a ductless mini-split Air Source Heat Pump and a storage water heater.


What can 13 cents buy?  

by Jerry Loney

13 cents is the price of electricity per kWh North Itasca Electric members are charged for the energy they use.

Depending upon the electrical device, consumption changes with the amount of work performed. Energy consumed is measured in kW per hour, which changes in proportion to the amount of work being done. For example: A space heater with multiple settings will change its consumption depending upon the setting. On a setting of 500 watts, a space heater will heat a room for 2 hours, for 13 cents, on a setting of 1000 watts, it will heat the same space for one hour, and on the highest setting of 1500 watts, 40 minutes.


Touchstone Energy Community Award nominations sought  

Do you know an organization that has made outstanding contributions to the local community? North Itasca Electric is seeking applications for the Touchstone Energy Community Award, which recognizes businesses, nonprofit and community groups that have shown a strong commitment to the community. Any organization that has helped in servicing North Itasca Electric’s service territory making it a better place to live and work is eligible for a $500 cash award.

Community members may nominate an organization, association or business by completing an application form available at North Itasca Electric, 301 Main Avenue Bigfork MN 56628 or online at www.northitascaelectric.com. Questions may be directed to Jerry Loney at (218) 743-3131. The application will require a description of the program or event and the positive impact it brought to the community. Completed applications must be received at North Itasca Electric’s office by October 31.


October 2017 Calendar of Events 

1 Spring Lake Store 101st Birthday Party, 1:30-3 p.m. Cake and ice cream, pictures, movies of the railroad and stories told by the Heide family. Fireside Room at the store.
3 Mizpah City Council meets in Mizpah Community Center, 7 p.m.
5 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall building, 6:30 p.m. Story topic: “Just reminiscing.” Coffee and treats served, all ages welcome.
6 Opening reception for October Edge Gallery Show: The Sporting Arts Show, 5-7 p.m. The Edge Gallery is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
6 Piatigorsky Classical Concert at the Edge Center in Bigfork,