Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 17 NO. 3  -  March 2014

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

We need an All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy 

by Jared Echternach, CEO

Electric cooperatives are disappointed—but not surprised—that last September the Administration officially abandoned an all-of-the-above energy strategy for a new, all-but-one approach that effectively removes coal from the nation’s fuel mix in the future.

The policy, proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sets stringent limits on carbon dioxide emissions from future coal or natural gas plants. Trouble is, the new standards are impossible to meet with existing technology.


RoundUp® Board to Meet 

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 Friday, April 4 at 4:30 p.m. 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 on the continuing page.


Great Northern Transmission Line Update 

by Sally Sedgwick

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) held public meetings in February for Minnesota Power’s Great Northern Transmission Line project, a 500 kV line running from the Canadian border in northwestern Minnesota to the Blackberry substation on the Iron Range. The transmission line will pass through North Itasca Electric service territory with several alternative routes passing near Northome, Effie, Bigfork and the Scenic area southeast of Bigfork.


Pederson new Line Superintendent 

by Sally Sedgwick

North Itasca Electric Cooperative has a new line superintendent, and he is a familiar face to many members.

Ron Root retired as line superintendent at the end of 2013, and in February Daryl Pederson was hired for the position. Pederson has been with the cooperative since 2003 and was assistant line superintendent.


You are invited to join us! 

Minnesota’s Touchstone Energy Co-ops to help state parks

Minnesota’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives will once again join together to help spruce up our State Park system this spring for project GreenTouch. This year, GreenTouch day is set for Saturday, May 3, when electric cooperative employees and members will volunteer in various parks throughout the state.

Locally, North Itasca Electric Cooperative employees and members will work together at Scenic State Park brushing, cleaning trails and park maintenance.


March Events 

March 8 - Cabin Fever Reliever

Billy Molls, star of the "Modern Day Mountain Man®," will return to the Marcell Family Center for its annual winter fundraiser, Cabin Fever Reliever. Molls will share stories and videos of his Alaskan adventures and will be joined by well-known pro fishing guide Brian "Bro" Brosdahl from Max, Minn. Official Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young scorer Ken Schaar will also be on hand to score personal trophies.

The Fever Reliever will be held on Saturday, March 8 starting at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour. Dinner will be catered by the Timberwolf Inn and the presentations will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 ($10, 12 and under) and can be purchased at the Family Center and Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center in Marcell, First State Bank of Bigfork, and Clafton Skate and Sport in Grand Rapids.

The evening will also include raffles, a silent auction, information booths, outdoor vendors, and giveaways and prizes for kids.

More events..

March 2014 Calendar of Events 

4 Statewide caucus day. Caucuses start at 7 p.m. Want to know where your precinct caucus is? Visit the Minnesota Secretary of State page at sos.state.mn.us
6 Storytelling at the Marcell Town Hall 6:30 p.m. Subject is "pets you have had or a trip you always wanted to take"
8 Annual Meeting of the North Woods Craft Store in the Northome Senior Apartments Community Room, 10 a.m. All members and guests welcome, refreshments served.
8 Family Fun Ski Day at Turtle Lake Trails, 40742 Turtle Lake Rd Co 43, 1-3 p.m. Need equipment? Call Catherine McLynn, 326-1314 or email to cat@mclynn.net.
10 Women of the Woods meet at 10 a.m. at Sand Lake Community Center. Call Pat Sievertson at 659-2157 or Marlys Maki at 659-2901
10 Deer River School Board meets, 6 p.m., public forum before meeting.
10 Blackduck School Board meets, 7 p.m.
11 Stop and Stitch at Marcell Family Center. Bring sack lunch, project and $1, come and go. 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact Rhonda 259-9220 or Judy at 832-3237.
11 Evergreen Friendship Club meets at noon at a local restaurant. For more info, call 659-2683