Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 16 NO. 3  -  March 2013

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

Electric cooperatives born in politics  

by Jared Echternach, CEO

Glenn English, the 19-year CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, has retired. One of his last official acts of duty was to conduct the NRECA annual meeting last month in New Orleans. During one of his speeches he referenced how electric cooperatives were born in politics. While the word politics nowadays often conjures a negative image, like it or not, electric cooperatives and their member-owners find themselves smack dab in the middle of the political arena.


Empty Bowls Project 

by Lynn Nachbar

On Thursday, March 2, it will be possible to have a wonderful meal, take home a handmade pottery bowl, have fun and help the Northern Itasca Food Shelf all at the same time. How can you beat that? The event is held at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church in Bigfork. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cost is $10. All of the money goes to the Northern Itasca Food Shelf.


Operation Roundup® trustees to hold grant meeting 

Thanks to the generosity of nearly 80 percent of the Members of North Itasca Electric Co-op., the Board of Trustees for Operation Round-Up will have over $10,000 to distribute to various communities and organizations in the area. The deadline for grant applications is Tuesday, April 2. Application forms along with instructions can be obtained by calling the office at 218-743-3131 or 1-800-762-4048, by e-mail to joelk@nieci.com or online here, by contacting your North Itasca Electric Co-op., Inc. Director or by contacting one of the Trust Board Members listed below:


Energy conservation program presentation 

On February 19, Jerry Loney, energy management specialist from North Itasca Electric, gave part of a webinar presentation at the invitation of Clean Energy Ambassadors. More than 40 cooperatives and other utilities stretching from east to the west coast joined in the webinar.


Perchjerker's, St. Urho's Saturday  

It’s the purple and green…and some fishing on Saturday, March 16. The day includes the annual Perchjerkers fishing contest on Round Lake followed by the traditional St. Urho’s Day parade.

A fundraiser for the Squaw Lake Volunteer Fire Department, the Perchjerkers will run from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Follow the signs to the public access. Anglers can choose one of many fishing holes to compete for cash prizes, hope for a door prize and enjoy grilled food on the lake. Entry is $8, under 12 free.


Update: Great Northern Transmission Line  

by Sally Sedgwick

The Great Northern Transmission Line is a new project proposed by Minnesota Power to connect Canada’s hydropower resources to the Iron Range. Initial public meetings on the study areas for the transmission line routing were held last fall. The next round of public meetings is scheduled for April where alternate routes will be identified, according to the inaugural February issue of the project newsletter, Great Northern News.


March 2013 Calendar of Events 

2 Cabin Fever Reliever fundraiser at Marcell Family Center. 5:30 p.m. cash bar social hour, 7 p.m. presentation by Billy Molls. $20, $10 kids 12 & under.
2 Help record Effie's history! Every Sunday in March at 2 p.m. come to the Effie Cafe and share stories and pictures about Effie's history - do you recall the Fair, gypsies, CCC Camps? Coffee and cookies served.
5 North Country Gardeners, Marcell Family Center, 7 p.m. "Think Spring," how to choose seeds and early planting, catalogs by Master Gardener Jane Hillstrom, Everyone invited.
7 Storytelling, Marcell Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. Subject is "March events and your favorite car that you have owned." Everyone invited. Coffee and treats served.
10 Daylight Savings begins at 2 a.m. Set clocks one hour forward.
10 Book reading by author Frank Anselmo at Edge Center, 2 p.m. Free.