Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 15 NO. 10  -  October 2012

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance

Northome Repair  

Northome Repair by Sally Sedgwick

When Jim Jankowsky was unexpectedly laid off from his job last January, he and his wife Sue wanted to stay in the Northome area where Sue had grown up and was a long time employee of Northome Healthcare.

They debated what to do. Jim did have a special talent. He had grown up fixing cars.

He approached Bill Eitenmiller of Northome Repair for a job. Eitenmiller didnít need an employee, but he had a suggestion: that Jim buy the business.

While the paperwork was being completed, Jim worked with Bill as an unpaid trainee. On June 8, the Jankowskys received the keys to the shop and became small business owners.


Touring Coal Creek  

Coal Creek Tour by Ron Root

On September 10, Great River Energy hosted a tour of the Falkirk Mine and the generator plant at Coal Creek Station, located north of Bismarck, No. Dak. Our tour bus started at North Itasca Electric Headquarters building in Bigfork, then to Northome where 48 people including 8 North Itasca Electric directors departed to Bismarck.

In Bismarck our GRE tour guide pointed out the booming economy shown in overflowing car lots to housing developments due to the oil fields of North Dakota.

Our first stop was the Falkirk Mine where our tour guide drove us up close to see the gigantic equipment that is used to supply about 8 million tons of lignite coal each year to Coal Creek Station. We took a picture of all the trip participants in one dragline bucket Ė weighing 250 tons.


My view from the board table  

by Wes Waller, Director, District 2

Last month I talked about the Emerging Technology Seminar I had attended and of all the innovative ideas that were discussed there. I also mentioned that I am a technology dinosaur and actually not too unhappy about being one. The problem is that itís too easy for me to stay in my own little comfort zone.

Shortly after last monthís article appeared I was talking to a couple of friends who had read it. They pulled their iPhones from their pockets and asked if I was finally going to get one. As I fingered the $14.98 TracFone in my pocket, I mumbled something about looking into it. My youngest son who is always awaiting the next generation of phones gets mad every time he sees my TracFone. He is constantly berating me for being behind the times. So in an effort to keep harmony, I have finally promised him to at least turn my current phone on occasionally. It's all about baby steps.


Roxanne's Sales Talk  

by Roxanne Prather, sales assistant

Things to consider when you are ready to purchase a new refrigerator!

There are four different types of refrigerators to choose from: Freezer on the top, freezer on the bottom, a side-by-side or the French door bottom freezer. There are pros and cons to each of these different kinds. I will try to go over all them.


Surge Arrester Program Discontinued  

Whole house surge arresters are being rented from North Itasca Electric for a fee of $3.95 per month. These arresters are no longer being manufactured. The company has moved from arresters being installed on the meters themselves to those installed on the electrical panel inside the home.

The current arresters North Itasca Electric has installed on its system have, or are reaching their warranty life. Without a replacement, North Itasca Electric cannot warranty this equipment. Even though the arresters are functioning properly, North Itasca Electric cannot charge for something not under warranty.

For those wishing for their arrester to remain installed, North Itasca Electric will leave it in place for the protection it can still provide, but North Itasca Electric will not be responsible for the home's protection without warranty. Because we cannot warranty protection or maintain this equipment, monthly charges will no longer apply.

If you would like a surge arrester installed on your panel inside your home, contact an electrician in your area for a quote.

October 2012 Calendar of Events 

1 North Country Gardeners joins the Grand Rapids Garden club for a banquet and speaker Don Breneman, retired U of M photographer, 6 p.m. at United Methodist Church, Grand Rapids. Meal and program cost about $18.
2 Blood drive at Bigfork Valley, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For appointments, call Amy at (218) 929-7361
4 Edge Gallery exhibits Landscapes by Mary Lingen through Oct. 27. Opening reception Oct. 5, 5-7 p.m. The Edge Gallery is open Thurs-Sat, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
6 The Edge Center, Bigfork, features Sam Miltich and Charmin Michelle, 7 p.m.
8 Columbus Day
8 Women of the Woods meet at 10 a.m. at Sand Lake Community Center. Call Kim Giehler at 659-4654 or Marlys Maki at 659-2901
8 VFW meets in Bigfork second Monday at 7 p.m.
8 Deer River School Board meets, 6 p.m.
8 Blackduck School Board meets, 6:30 p.m.