Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 16 NO. 8  -  August 2013

Koochiching County Fair 

It’s an old fashioned county fair – complete with family friendly events and contests – and it’s been held annually for 108 years.

Last year a photographer who had visited all of the state’s county fairs for a 2009 book was asked to pick her favorite for the Star-Tribune’s “Best in Minnesota” series. It was Northome’s Koochiching County Fair. The fair was the most creative, she said, with scarce resources, pointing to the kiddie barrel train rides, Veggie Creature contest and animal bingo.


Making Life Better  

by Jared Echternach, CEO

What would make life better in our service territory? I’m not talking about winning the lottery - that only makes life better for one person or a small group. But more jobs? Better health care? Improved parks? Those are areas that benefit everyone in our area.

North Itasca Electric Cooperative exists to power communities and empower you, our members, to improve your quality of life. The cooperative business model offers the perfect tool for tackling tasks too big for one person to handle alone. But we need a common purpose to effectively wield the power of cooperation.


Routing alternatives for Great Northern Transmission Line  

by Sally Sedgwick

Minnesota Power is developing routes for a 500 kV transmission line running from the Canadian border to a substation on the Iron Range and eventually connecting to Duluth.

All of the proposed alternatives funnel through the Bigfork/Effie and Scenic areas as shown on the inset map. Detailed maps are available at GreatNorthernTransmissionLine.com.


New memory care facility to break ground in August 

A new $4.9 million project will be built in Bigfork.

At a special board meeting on July 19 the Bigfork Valley board authorized the construction of a new 20 bed secure memory care facility on its campus. The new building, called Aspen Circle, will replace the 13 bed Balsam Lane community.

The building, under development for a number of years, will incorporate some of the latest concepts on improving quality of life for dementia patients. Private rooms will each have large windows, reclining chairs and space for caregivers to safely transfer patients unable to do so themselves. In the commons area, skylights and a windowed wall will bring in sun to live garden, activity and dining areas. A walking area will circle the open commons to allow wandering without obstacles.


Roxanne's Sales Talk 

by Roxanne Prather, sales assistant

A few ways to make your life a little simpler

Did you know there are many different options to pay your monthly bill with North Itasca Electric Co-op? You can call in and give us your email address so we can set you up with paperless billing. You would then receive your bill via email and you could pay it with a debtit or credit card, or you can receive a normal bill in the mail. If you haven’t already done so, you could go to this website and set up an account.


Area events in August 

39th annual Arts & Crafts Fair

It's an opportunity to browse the work of many local artisans - all for a good cause! The 39th annual Arts & Crafts Fair will be held Friday, August 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bigfork School. Organized by the Bigfork Valley Hospital Auxiliary, the fair raises money for scholarships awarded to local students enrolled in a health care program each summer. A $1 admission will give access to crafts from woodworking to sewing, and from painting to jewelry.

There will also be a bake sale (come early!), the Northwoods Saddle Club used book sale and the famous wild rice salad lunch (sloppy joes are also available). A short step away is the Edge Gallery, opening a new exhibit The Path of the Pleine Air Painter (see p. 6), featuring the outdoor work of Derek Davis. The opening reception is during the Arts & Crafts Fair from 1-3 p.m., the exhibit is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free. Raffle tickets are available from auxiiary members and other local outlets and winners will be drawn at the end of the fair. The Arts & Crafts Fair is co-sponsored by the Edge of the Wilderness Community Center and ISD318 Community & Family Education.


August 2013 Calendar of Events 

1 Storytelling at the Marcell Town Hall 6:30 p.m. Subject is "Unusual hospitality or a good deed you have experienced." All ages welcome.
2-4 25th annual White Oak Rendezvous and History Festival, just north of Deer River on Hwy 6. Experience living history of the 10th, 15th and 19th centuries, 10 am.-7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Adults $5, under 10 free.
2 Arts & Crafts Fair at Bigfork School, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Bake sale, wild rice salad, used book sale, many booths. Admission $1.
2 Opening reception for "The Path of the Plein Air Painter" featuring artist Derek Davis, Edge Center Gallery, Bigfork, 1-3 p.m. Show runs August 1-31. Gallery open Th, F, Sat, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
6 MBC bloodmobile at Bigfork Valley, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Call 743-4249