Expanded Calling Area

TDS is working hard to make it possible in the near future for those on the island to make telephone calls to Charlevoix local calls.  Just recently the Michigan Public Service Commission rejected another filing for expanded service due to lack of positive response from customers.  PLEASE, send your comments to the Michigan Public Service Commission on or before January 30, 2003.  In the letter below you'll find a mailing address as well as an e-mail address.  Remember that all comments should reference Case No. U-13643.  The following letter is directed to all island TDS customers from Charlene Burnison, please read it and direct your comments appropriately to the addresses given.


Dear Beaver Island Customer:
Many of you have contacted us to request an expanded local calling area.  As a result, we are currently seeking approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission to expand your local calling area to include the Charlevoix exchange. 

In addition to asking the Michigan Public Service Commission to approve our expanded local calling plan, we have also asked for an increase in our rates for basic local service to cover some of the costs of implementing the expanded local calling plan.  As a result, your rates for basic local exchange service may change.  If approved, your monthly basic local service rate will increase by $1.75 (or $21 annually).  The plan will allow for 200 minutes per month of calling to the Charlevoix exchange, with a charge of 4 cents/minute for calling above the 200 minute level.

By law, you have the right to comment on or receive the complete details of the proposed rate alteration by calling the Michigan Public Service Commission at (517) 241-6180, or writing to the following address: Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 30221, Lansing, MI 48909.  You may also contact our office regarding the filing. You may also e-mail comments to: mpscefilecases@michigan.gov.  All Comments received in this matter will become public information.  All Comments should
reference Case No. U-13643, and must be filed with the Commission no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 30, 2003.

We take great pride in offering you the best service possible, and we hope that the plan will meet your demands for an expanded local calling area.  We appreciate the opportunity to serve you!

I urge all Island customers to make comments to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC)by January 30, 2003 in order for the MPSC to consider this filing.

Thank you for your support.

Charlene L. Burnison
General Manager Sales & Service

EMS Education Program Approved in Charlevoix County

Submitted by Joe Moore

Beaver Island has the only (Emergency Medical Services) EMS Education Program approved in Charlevoix County.

Beaver Island EMS (BIEMS), in conjunction with Beaver Island Community School (BICS), has offered a complete Medical First Responder program and a Basic (Emergency Medical Technician) EMT  Program to the high school students and adults of this community for the last 8 years or more.  This Allied Health program has to be approved by two different departments in the government structure of the State of Michigan - The Department of Education (MDE) and the Department of Comsumer and Industrial Services (MDCIS).  BICS takes care of the renewal of the instructor's MDE vocational certification while BIEMS is responsible for the MDCIS educational program sponsorship evaluation.  It can sometimes be tricky to complete all requirement of both of these departments in a small community with limited resources.  Approximately, 70 volunteer man-hours of effort went into the preparation for the MDCIS evaluation of our BICS/BIEMS educational program.

Beaver Island should be proud to announce that BIEMS is the only Emergency Medical Service education program sponsorship that is approved by MDCIS in Charlevoix County.  Our approval to provide these programs has been extended by the MDCIS for another three years.  Thanks go out to Mike Russell and Joe Moore for their volunteer time and effort to make this program available to the Beaver Island Community.

Efforts are also underway to get an articulation agreement with Northern Michigan Community College's Allied Health Department so our high school and adult EMT students might receive college credit for completion of this program.  Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan, has also expressed interest in a formal articulation agreement and as already provided college credit to BIEMS paramedics for completion of that program.

Congratulations, Patrick Cull!

Patrick Cull NGA.jpg (46640 bytes)Patrick Cull, son of Bruce and Patti Cull, proudly displays the metal he won as the Beaver Island Community School winner of the National Geography Bee.

This was the first year that the Beaver Island Community School participated in the National Geography Bee.  All of the 5th and 6th graders entered.  They practiced by studying current events, studying maps, playing geography games, and by visiting the National Geographic's website for their five daily questions.

On January 13th an elimination round was held and on the 14th, the finalists faced off.  It was very exciting to all those involved.  At the end Maeve Green finished in 3rd place, Hannah Connor was the second place winner and Patrick Cull was the school level winner.  On the morning of the 15th, Patrick arrived at school early to take the written exam for one hour.  This has been sent to National Geographic.  The top scorers on the written test will be invited to the state bee in April.  The next level, of course, is the National Bee.  Television personality, Alex Trebeck is the monitor for that contest with only the state winners participating

Patrick's teacher, Mrs. Donna Stambaugh, says that "if he receives an invitation to the next level you will see his gray-haired teacher running up and down the King's Highway shouting the news."  If that happens I'd like to be notified so I can get a picture of her.

Congratulations, Patrick, we're extremely proud of your accomplishment and wish you the best of luck as you move on to the next level!  We're just as proud of all the 5th and 6th graders who took part in this event.  The questions were very hard, and several of the kids are busy practicing for next year.

No Snow, But Beautiful Ice

This winter we seemed to have received the short end of the stick from Mother Nature in terms of snow for those who are into winter sports.  There is less than 5 inches on the ground, and that's if you pile it all up.  Nevertheless, the bitter cold temperatures have made wonderful ice for skating.  The harbor looks like a mirror as what little snow we do have has polished it to a gleam.   Donegal Bay, being on the west side of the island, gets more of the wind, as a result the ice formations there make it look like a moonscape.  I bundled up like Nanuk of the North and grabbed a few pictures today before I lost feelings in my fingertips.  Awfully hard to click the camera shutter with numb fingers.

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harbor1-20-03first.jpg (35781 bytes)


Saturday evening we attended a private party on the south side of the harbor and from the windows everyone kept commenting about how lovely the moon looked over the water so being the knuckle-head I am, I ventured out into the dark and cold (let me tell you it was cold!!) and tried to get a few pictures.  There is no way I could give justice to the scene with a simple camera, but I had to try.

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