Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 21 NO. 6  -  June 2018

Major construction projects on Hwys 38, 46 

by Sally Sedgwick

Two area construction projects will require detours this summer for traffic between this area and Highway 2. A regrade and resurface of Highway 38 will close the road to through traffic until the fall; resurfacing, culvert replacement and turn lane construction on Highway 46 will continue through July.

Highway 38

Road construction on Highway 38 from Marcell south to Pughole Lake has begun. The road will be closed to traffic except for emergency and local access for the rest of the summer, with project completion planned for this fall. The official detour follows (south to north) County Road 19, Highway 6 and County Road 286.


Welcome to the 2018 Annual Meeting  

by Brad Dolinski, CEO

Good afternoon from the offices of your North Itasca Electric Cooperative!

If time flies when you’re having fun, we must be having a blast! I want to say thank you to all the mothers out there! We are just wrapping up the Mother’s Day open house, I had a great time visiting with everyone that stopped in for a cup of coffee, doughnut, and to chat. Now we are gearing up for our new Father’s Day open house, this one is going to be a little different. We’re looking more to firing up the grill and rather than giving dad a flower we’re going to pin something different on him. You’ll have to stop in and check it out! We might even have a deal on a grill, cooler, or generator if you’re in the market.

Jerry has been busy planning the annual meeting. I’m excited to have a chance to talk your ear off! I think my slide show is down to 99 slides of numbers and reports. OK, just kidding, I don’t have a slide show and I’m a fairly fast speaker. We’re highlighting our Operation Round Up program this year. You may hear this phrase again, “do you know anyone on the Northome, Squaw Lake, or BF Fire Departments, or any kids in school?” Well, you probably have helped a neighbor through Operation Round up if you do. The Round Up board recently met and decided how to divide out our spare change from the last 6 months and 59 groups received a total of $10,900, that’s a lot of change! GRE, our G&T, sent us a cheque today to add to our Operation Round Up fund of $1000, thank you GRE. Operation Round Up just makes me smile, this is a true example of our commitment to community, we are working together to help neighbors out.


The life of a Member Services Manager  

by Jerry Loney

Along with title changes comes a whole different job perspective. Just before our 2017 annual meeting last year my title changed from Load Management Specialist to Member Services Manager. My existing duties have not changed (being responsible for off-peak load control), but I inherited a few additional duties as well.

The variety of work makes the days go by so quickly I cannot believe it's time to go home when 4:30 comes around. One never knows from one day to the next what new experience will take place each day. I may make plans to accomplish things for one day, but before long, the phone will ring or a member stops by for assistance and my plans all change. As I start a project, the phone rings and a contractor requests me to meet him at a job site to set a meter and program a radio receiver. Sometimes someone may stop in to discuss what is the best heating system to install in their new home or cabin and order the equipment needed.


Father’s Day Open House  

New in 2018!

North Itasca Electric Cooperative has had the tradition of hosting a Mother’s Day Open House every year. Why not Fathers as well?

North Itasca Electric will be hosting an open house on Friday, June 15 for you fathers who have also contributed to making your families the best they can be.

Come and join us for some refreshments and conversations. Look over all the new Pelican products, gas grills and generators we’ve added on the showroom floor.


If Your Power Goes Off  

by Daryl Pederson, Line Superintendent

Electricity is an important part of our lives. We strive to maintain power and minimize the length of time anyone has to be without power. By being prepared and informed, you can help us restore your power as quickly as practical.

When an outage occurs

  • the loss of power was caused by your system. The problem may be with your wiring and may require the services of an electrician.
  • Call your neighbors to determine if they have electricity. This helps pinpoint the extent of the outage.
  • If the cause of the outage is not in your wiring, please call (218) 743-3131 or (800) 762-4048.


Congratulations to North Itasca Electric Scholarship winners:


  • Sophia Eitenmiller, Northome
  • Samantha Hollinday, Bigfork
  • Jetta Lievsay, Northome
  • Jaden Meyer, Bigfork
  • Tiana Weidenborner, Northome

June 2018 Calendar of Events 

Bowstring Chapel Pie & Ice Cream Social and Lunch 4:30-7 p.m. Homemade pie, ice cream, bake sale, craft sale, sloppy joes and hot dogs.
28 Memorial Day
28 Blackduck High School Memorial Day Band Concert, 9:30 a.m.
29 Women of the Woods meet at 10 a.m. at Sand Lake Community Center. Call Pat Sievertson at 659-2157. Note change of day this month.
30 Northome First Responder Open House, 7 p.m. Northome Senior Center. How to respond to common medical emergencies, how to become a licensed medical medical responder, free blood pressure, blood oxygen and sugar testing. Dessert & door prizes.
Reception for “You Never Were Alone,” paintings by Adam Swanson at the Edge Gallery, Bigfork, 5-7 p.m. Exhibit runs May 31 through June 30. The Edge Gallery is open Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
2 Bigfork Valley Pharmacy hosts a Drug Take-Back Event in partnership with the Itasca County Sheriff’s Department, 9 a.m.-noon.