Kosciusko REMC — August 2020 Indiana Connection

Page 1

Don’t be left in the dark. Update your contact info.

Kosciusko REMC’s

Furballs of Fame pages 19–23



from the editor

Truly embracing MY FIVE SENSES

Does your everyday life get in the way of your “best life?” I know I’m usually taking care of multiple demands, deadlines, appointments, and other responsibilities — you know, that day-to-day stuff — and not focusing on what’s really important. So, to help me realign my priorities, I’ve come up with a personal mission, based on our five senses, to help me reclaim “me.” SEEING: Seeing involves observing and studying, and also having vision. I must stay focused on the things that are truly important, and contribute my time and talent to causes to which I could make a difference. HEARING: Listen to what others are saying — and what they’re not saying. There is more to communication than words. We can all “hear” by observing. No matter what means of “listening” I use, I need be open to what others are communicating. SMELLING: Stop and smell the roses. It’s not only OK to slow down; slowing down is necessary to enjoy life’s journey. I need to take the time to acknowledge milestones, successes and especially the happy times. TOUCHING: Make an effort to touch others’ lives every day. By making a positive impact on others, I can make my little corner of the world a little nicer for all concerned. SPEAKING: Talk is cheap … unless you walk the talk. My words have the power to inspire others — and motivate myself. What we say matters. Don’t say something unless you mean it. I want to learn new things and then share my experiences with others. That’s what using my five senses is all about. And it’s my way to leave a legacy.

EMILY SCHILLING Editor eschilling@indianaec.org

On the menu: December issue: Homemade food for holiday

gift-giving, deadline Oct. 2. January 2021 issue: Recipes featuring oatmeal, deadline Oct. 2. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.

Giveaway: Enter to win four tickets to the Mascot Hall of Fame. Visit

indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/contests. Entry deadline for giveaway: Aug. 31.

Three ways to contact us: To send us recipes, photos, event listings, letters

and entries for gift drawings, please use the forms on our website indianaconnection.org; email info@indianaconnection.org; or send to Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606.

VOLUME 70 • NUMBER 2 ISSN 0745-4651 • USPS 262-340 Published monthly by Indiana Electric Cooperatives Indiana Connection is for and about members of Indiana’s locally-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. It helps consumers use electricity safely and efficiently; understand energy issues; connect with their co-op; and celebrate life in Indiana. Over 280,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 info@indianaconnection.org IndianaConnection.org INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Walter Hunter President Randy Kleaving Vice President Steve McMichael Secretary/Treasurer John Gasstrom CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Ellie Schuler Senior Creative Services Specialist Taylor Maranion Creative Services Specialist Stacey Holton Creative Services Manager Mandy Barth Communication Manager ADVERTISING: American MainStreet Publications Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200; amp.coop Crosshair Media 502-216-8537; crosshairmedia.net Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. UNSOLICITED MATERIAL: Indiana Connection does not use unsolicited freelance manuscripts or photographs and assumes no responsibility for the safe‑keeping or return of unsolicited material. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $12 for individuals not subscribing through participating REMCs/RECs. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you receive Indiana Connection through your electric co-op membership, report address changes to your local co-op. POSTAGE: Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. Include key number. No portion of Indiana Connection may be reproduced without permission of the editor.








cover story



05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative.


10 ENERGY Electric vehicles silently charging into town. 12 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Marshall County.


Barbecue and brews at Lizton’s Rusted Silo. 17 FOOD The Vinegar Vault: A suite of sour recipes. 19 COVER STORY Furballs of Fame: Whiting’s Mascot Hall of Fame celebrates sideline entertainers.


Indiana Connection




24 OUTDOORS Home restoration: What to do with a displaced nest.



29 CALENDAR Find out what’s happening around the state. (Not in all

Drones pose electrical safety issues.




Making your pet photos bark and purr. (Not in all editions)


On the cover Blue, the lovable fuzzy-coated, warm-hearted and hammy mascot of the Indianapolis Colts, basks in the falling confetti and glory of being inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Indiana. Blue joined Boomer, the mascot of the Indiana Pacers, and the mascots of the Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Canadiens in the 2020 class of inductees. PHOTO BY THE MASCOT HALL OF FAME



co-op news

Don’t be left in the dark At Kosciusko REMC, we are continually striving to improve our operational efficiency so we can provide the most reliable electric service possible for our members. www.kremc.com CONTACT US Local: 574-267-6331 Toll-Free: 800-790-REMC EMAIL mail@kremc.com OFFICE HOURS 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday-Friday ADDRESS 370 S. 250 E., Warsaw, IN 46582 SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS To report a service interruption after hours, please call 267-6331 or 800-790-REMC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS William Stump Jr., Chairman Dan Tucker, Vice Chairman John Hand, Secretary/Treasurer Kim Buhrt Terry Bouse Tony Fleming Pam Messmore Steve Miner Rick Parker

INSTALL A SMART POWER STRIP It’s a quick and easy way to save money and make your home more energy efficient. Smart power strips can actually cut power off to save energy since they are able to detect when a device is in standby mode.

We rely on accurate data for nearly every aspect of our operations, so we need your help. Please make sure we have your most accurate and complete contact information on record. Accurate information enables us to improve member service and enhance communications for reporting and repairing outages. Up-to-date contact information can speed up the power restoration process during an outage. For example, the phone number you provide is linked to your service address in our outage management system. When you call to report an outage, our system recognizes your phone number and matches it with your account location. Accurate information helps our outage management system predict the location and the possible cause of an outage, making it easier for our crews to correct the problem. While we always do our best to maintain service, we occasionally plan outages to update, repair or replace equipment. In these instances, we can provide advance notification to affected members through automated phone messages, text messages, or email if we have your updated contact information and communication preferences. Keeping us updated with your information also helps us when there’s a question about energy use or billing. Additionally, discrepancies on your account can be taken care of promptly if KREMC has accurate account information. Many of you have been members of the co-op for years, and it’s likely that your account information hasn’t been updated for some time. We recognize that many members now use a cell phone as their primary phone service, and we might not have that number in our system. I want to emphasize that in providing your contact information to us, we will never share this information with any third parties. It is only used by KREMC to send relevant information to you. Please take a moment to confirm or update your contact information by giving us a call. Or, head over to your account at kremc.com and updated your information there. By doing so, you will be helping us improve service and efficiency so we can better serve you and all members of KREMC.

KURT CARVER President and CEO


Use your Co-op Connections Card to save at local businesses Millennium Sounds, 574-268-2236 10% off every product LIKE US ON FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/kosciuskoremc

KREMC rates and rebates RATES


Residential and farm service Service charge ............................$24.50 per month Kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge ......@$.0922 per kWh Tracker charge ................... @-$0.002315 per kWh

Electric water heaters 50 gallons or larger: • Gas to electric replacement — $125 • New construction water heater — $125 • Geothermal desuperheater — $50

Outdoor Lights* 40w LED........................................$8.75 per month 70w LED......................................$12.25 per month

HVAC: • Geothermal system installation — $250 • Air-source heat pump system — $150 • Programmable thermostat — up to $25 Visit www.kremc.com for complete guidelines and restrictions. Additional rebates can be found at powermoves.com.



co-op news


UPDATE YOUR KREMC ACCOUNT Don’t be left in the dark if an outage strikes your neighborhood. Make sure we have your current phone number on file. Keeping your account updated with us makes reporting an outage quick, easy, and accurate. And we will be able to alert you when your power is restored!

1 Call


2 Press #3 3 Enter your

new number

KREMC receives an award for safety Safety is a pretty big deal to us at KREMC; in an industry such as ours, it’s a matter of life and death. We take safety efforts and regulations very seriously. We are proud to receive an award of recognition from Federated Insurance Company for 440,432 working hours without an incident resulting in lost time since August 2014. “An award like this doesn’t come from the efforts of a few people,” said Kurt Carver, president and CEO of KREMC. “Our entire KREMC team is diligent with safety practices. It’s thanks to them and their daily awareness of safety that we’ve earned this award. I’m very proud of every member of our team.”



Photo (from left): Kurt Carver, president and CEO; Jon Justice, operations supervisor; Jeff Moore, manager of engineering and operations

Local students win awards for artwork Each year Kosciusko REMC urges students throughout the area to enter their artwork into a statewide contest sponsored in part by the cooperative. Young artists have a chance to see their artwork published in a calendar distributed to thousands of homes and businesses across Indiana.

co-op news


This year Violet Kessler, a student at Washington Elementary School, was the first-place winner in the first grade division. The Cooperative Calendar of Student Art will feature Violet's artwork for January. In recognition of this achievement, KREMC congratulated Violet with a gift of art supplies (pictured above). She will also receive $200 from Indiana Electric Cooperatives (IEC). Just down the road, another young artist, Emmaline Zink, a senior at Lakeland Christian Academy, earned an honorable mention. Emmaline received $75 from IEC and a gift from KREMC. “We are always delighted to recognize our young artists and their talents. I'm glad to see our area schools getting behind these great programs,” said Kurt Carver, KREMC president and CEO. “We rely on the teachers to spread the word and encourage involvement. Our gratitude goes to the students’ art teachers, as well. We hope to see more students enter the contest each year, and we look forward to recognizing future winners. I'm endlessly impressed by

the talent we have in our community. These kids astound me!” KREMC proudly supports several youth programs like the calendar art contest. It also assists students with the John H. Anglin scholarship. It sends four sixth-graders to summer camp each year and two high school juniors to Washington, D.C. This year, KREMC added a new scholarship geared for kids; this new 4-H scholarship will be awarded to 10 students each year to help with the cost of being involved in 4-H.


“There is no denying, these kids are our future,” said Carver. “We make it a point to support them every way we can.” AUGUST 2020


co-op news

TIPS for HOT DAYS Use less water, heat less water

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that heating water for use in your home accounts for 12 to 18 percent of your energy bill. Here’s how to lower that number:

from the hardware store that will turn it on and off automatically, but it could take a couple of years before your energy savings repays you for the investment.

The simplest way to use less hot water is to take shorter showers.


DO TAKE SHOWERS , though; you’ll use a lot more hot water filling a big bathtub than you will during a 10-minute shower.

TURN THE WATER HEATER OFF if you’ll be away from home for a few days. You could buy a $50 timer

Hot days remind us to use energy wisely

The hottest days of summer remind us that poor energy habits can make our house uncomfortable. It’s never too late to make a few changes around the house to help keep things cool. A bonus: You could lower your energy bill during air-conditioner season.



notice if your home still has single-pane windows: They’re typically so energy inefficient that they allow cool air to escape from your home during the summer and hot air to escape in AUGUST 2020

dating 1992 poured 5.5 gallons of water out a minute. Newer models use 2.5 gallons or less. The less hot water you use, the less energy you’ll spend to heat it. The DOE estimates you can save 25 to 60 percent on water use and heating with low-flow fixtures.

INSULATE YOUR WATER HEATER. If yours is relatively new, it has plenty of built-in insulation. If it’s older, wrap it in a blanket designed for the water heater. You also can insulate the first few feet of the hot and cold pipes that connect to your water heater. That reduces heat loss, and could heat the water up quicker. For electric water heaters, buy pipe sleeve insulators with polyethylene or neoprene foam.

FIX LEAKY FAUCETS. The less water you waste, the less you’ll have to pay to heat.

the winter. Replacing old, inefficient windows now is an investment that will pay for itself in energy savings all year round — and keep your home more comfortable, too.

system is trying to do during the summer.

If you’re still using your old stash of incandescent lightbulbs in lamps and



When air conditioner filters get dirty, they get clogged — and the air can’t flow freely through them. That forces your a/c to work


overhead fixtures,

Both are far more energy efficient than old-fashioned lightbulbs. One reason: incandescents produce more heat than light. And that can complete with the job your air conditioning

INSTALL A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT, which automatically adjusts the temperature so you use less energy to cool your home when no one is there. The device can save you up to $100 a year on cooling and heating bills.



Sound of Movement:

Electric vehicles silently charging into town

In an (almost) noiseless charge into your town, electric vehicles (EVs) are no longer just a dream. They have arrived! The technology for electric vehicles has developed significantly over the last decade – particularly in the last several years – to the point that they are comparable to gas-powered vehicles. Several reasons to consider an EV include: EVs are terrific lowmaintenance options for commuters. For EVs, gasoline is not needed to power a motor, which means less wear and tear. There’s also no need for an oil change at 3,000 or 5,000 miles – or ever! Fewer brake pad changes are needed with regenerative braking options available in some vehicles. EVs



can run longer with less money out of your pocket for maintenance. Battery ranges are improving – and more public chargers are on the way. Technology in EVs is vastly improving. CNBC reported in May 2019 that many second generation models routinely have batteries with a 200mile range, and the Tesla Model S has up to a 370-mile range. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that there are now more than 20,000 electric vehicle chargers across the U.S. Companies such as EVgo and Electrify America are committed to installing more nationwide. Trucks – and more – soon will arrive. In the

last few years, electric truck maker Rivian received financial backing from Ford and Amazon. The Verge reported that Rivian is planning to debut its R1T pickup and R1S SUV in 2021 after the pandemic delayed the launch. More automobile manufacturers also have plans to develop different types of EVs. Charging your car with electricity costs less than gas – and you’re buying local! According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s eGallon calculator, electric vehicles cost about half the price of gasoline vehicles to refuel. Also, when you recharge your vehicle with electricity at home, you are paying for energy provided by your local electric

cooperative – which helps keep your dollars in your community! As electric vehicles become more prevalent, there is a lot to learn. Fortunately, your local co-op is here to help. Your local electric cooperative can help answer your questions and provide other advice that can help you determine if an electric vehicle would be a good choice for you.


Steve Hite

Energy Advisor Hendricks Power Cooperative


county feature

Marshall County The first American settlers in Marshall County arrived a year before the county’s formation in 1836. They came from primarily New England Puritan descent. Thus, Plymouth — after Plymouth, Massachusetts — was the name selected for the county seat. But two locations just south of Plymouth form notable chapters of the county’s history. On the south side of a chain of natural lakes, remnants of the last ice age, is a monument to Chief Menominee and his band of Potawatomi Indians. The monument commemorates the starting point of the largest forced relocation of Native Americans from within the state of Indiana just two years after Marshall County formed. Though the Potawatomi had ceded their lands to the federal government under a series of treaties beginning in 1818, Chief Menominee and his band at Twin Lakes (which is Cook and Myers lakes) refused to leave. After a final August 1838 deadline passed, an armed Indiana militia was authorized to escort the group from the Twin Lakes area and Indiana. Beginning Sept. 4, 1838, some 859 members of the Potawatomi nation were marched to reservation lands in what is now eastern Kansas. By the end of the 660-mile journey on Nov. 4, 1838, more than 40 people



The “R. H. Ledbetter” rests anchored at Culver Academies on Lake Maxinkuckee. The flagship of the Culver Summer Naval School, the 65-foot, threemasted ship is the largest fully rigged square-rigged vessel on fresh water in the world and is listed in the Tall Ships America registry. It has 15 sails and requires 21 students to sail it.

died, most of them children. The forced relocation became known as the “Trail of Death.” A little farther to the south is Lake Maxinkuckee, the second largest natural lake within Indiana. The lake’s northern shoreline is home to the Culver Academies. Culver Academies is a college preparatory boarding school composed of three entities: Culver Military Academy for boys, Culver Girls Academy, and the Culver Summer Schools and Camps. Culver Military Academy was founded in 1894 by Henry Harrison Culver. The Girls Academy opened in 1971. Many political and business leaders graduated from a Culver Academies school. The 1,800-acre Culver campus is also home to the Black Horse Troop: the largest remaining mounted cavalry unit in the United States. The Troop has ridden in 13 Presidential Inaugural Parades starting with President Woodrow Wilson’s in 1913 through President George W. Bush’s in 2001. The school’s three-masted ship, docked on the school’s lakefront, is sailed as part of training as well. Both the campus, with its oldschool red brick buildings and tall

y t n u o C acts F FOUNDED: 1836 NAMED FOR: James Marshall, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court who died in 1835 POPULATION: 46,248 (2018 estimate) COUNTY SEAT: Plymouth

ship, and the adjoining lakefront town of Culver, radiate a kind of New England coastal vibe. Coincidentally appropriate for a county whose seat is named after one of the most famous New England “rocks” in American history, the lake’s name, Maxinkuckee, is derived from the Potawatomi word Mog-sin-ke-ki, which means “big stone country.”

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Cardinal distraction The following letter was addressed to our longtime outdoors columnist, Jack Spaulding. Dear Mr. Spaulding, I read your May article in Indiana Connection with great interest. I have been having the same experience as the one you cite in your last paragraph, except that it is a female cardinal who keeps making the attacks. She started about the time the coronavirus restrictions began and I have to admit she has been a welcome distraction. I was even inspired to write a poem about it. I notice you refer lightly to Poe’s raven in your title and first paragraph, which I also did in my poem.

I discovered by Googling that this behavior is also a characteristic of


robins. There are plenty of robins around here, but none of them has ever

How do you get into the “spirit”

attacked my windows. In fact, this female cardinal is the only one to do so

of the Halloween season? You

in the 10 years I have lived in this house. If she conforms to the same rules

have until Aug. 17 to let us

as the male cardinal at your old country house, I guess I have a couple

know and possibly be featured

more months of it to look forward to.

in Indiana Connection’s October

Thanks for your many interesting nature articles in Indiana Connection.

issue. Five random readers will

I find it interesting that this cardinal is a female since these attacks are supposed to be a characteristic of male cardinals. Occasionally she is accompanied by a male, but he usually does nothing but feed her a seed. Once I saw him make a couple perfunctory attacks, but nothing since.

Kristine J. Anderson, Tipmont REMC member, Tippecanoe County

Looking for kids who are making a difference Indiana’s electric cooperatives, along with Indiana Connection, are accepting applications for the Youth Power and Hope Awards. This awards program honors fifth through eighth graders who are leaders in their communities. Five winners will receive $500 and be featured in an upcoming issue of Indiana Connection. Interested students must submit an application, examples of how they have been involved in their local communities, and a reference letter from a trusted adult by Friday, Oct. 2. Visit indianaconnection.org/?p=230 for an application and to learn about past award recipients. Contact us at info@IndianaConnection.org or 317-487-2220 if you have any questions.



also be “treated” to a $50 prize. Tell us about your favorite DIY Halloween costumes and how you made them. What are your decorating tips and recipes for family favorite treats? Do you have trick-or-treat memories you’d be willing to share? We’d love to hear from you. There are three ways to contact us: our website (www.indianaconnection. org); through email (info@ indianaconnection.org); or mail (Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240).

What’s the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing? When it comes to cleaning, not all jobs are created equal. When you’ve got a big mess in the kitchen –– do you clean, disinfect or sanitize? These terms are often used interchangeably, but believe it or not, each are different. Cleaning dirt or food from a surface, for example, doesn’t necessarily kill germs and bacteria that can cause us to become sick. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between disinfecting and sanitizing. The CDC offers the following guidance: Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Hospitals, for example, disinfect areas that have come into contact with bodily fluids, and parents typically disinfect areas where a baby’s diaper is changed. Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection. Most people sanitize kitchen surfaces that come into contact with food. Pay close attention to hazard warnings and directions on product labels. Cleaning products and disinfectants often call for the use of gloves or eye protection. For example, gloves should always be worn to protect your hands when working with bleach solutions. Visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus for more information on how to protect yourself and your family.

New cook stoves mean cleaner air

This simple vented cooking stove is bringing cleaner indoor air and better health to this San Jacinto, Guatemala, woman and her family. During its 2019 mission trip to San Jacinto, Project Indiana made an agreement with the village and its electric utility that every home the Hoosiers wired for electricity would have a vented cooking stove installed. Though the stoves still burn the area’s abundant wood, a ventilation pipe carries the smoke outside, ensuring clearer air in the kitchen and living quarters of the small huts. Studies have shown that vented stoves will reduce the frequency of respiratory infections in children. Now that a few San Jacinto families are beginning to install these life-changing stoves, those at Project Indiana are hoping others will follow suit. To learn more about Project Indiana and how you can support developing global communities, visit ProjectIndiana.org.

Indiana eats

Barbecue and brews OPEN PIT SECRET TO RUSTED SILO’S SMOKY MEATS Finding your favorite

Disney Company in Paris



and Orlando. A native


barbecue ribs may be is

of Florida, Ecker is not

zucchini and

as easy as heading to the

only a master of upscale

tomatoes, cole

rustically decorated shack

cuisine, he’s perfected

slaw, potato

by the railroad tracks in

old-fashioned Southern

salad and ranch

Lizton, Indiana. Rusted

barbecue as well.

beans round out

heading to college through

the “sides” offerings.

the Rusted Silo Fund.

Silo Southern BBQ and Brew House, a converted package liquor store located off I74, boasts a rotating smoker filled with hickory and cherry wood that transforms meats like ribs, brisket, chicken, pork and sausage into mouthwatering barbecue masterpieces.

Although the open pit

Save room for dessert

center stage at Rusted

too. The peach cobbler,

Silo, don’t overlook the

banana pudding, and

side dishes at this rustic

bourbon pecan pie all

farm-to-table restaurant.

get rave reviews. And,

The mac-n-beer cheese

consider ordering from the

puts a unique spin on

massive selection of craft

this classic dish with

beers to cool down from

three cheeses, a splash

the summer’s heat.

of beer and a sprinkling

Rusted Silo’s owner and

of Goldfish crackers. The

pitmaster, Rob Ecker,

stone-ground yellow corn

worked over 25 years

grits get a sharp cheddar

as a chef for The Walt

cheese flavor boost.



Since the restaurant

smoked meats take the

ensures its employees are fully compensated for their work, patrons’ tips are earmarked for philanthropic causes through the fund. So, not only can you get your fix of tasty barbecue and brew when visit Rusted Silo, you

Ecker is a strong

can support a local eatery

community advocate and

and help others, too.

he supports those in need as well as local students

411 N. State St. Lizton, IN 46149-9226 317-994-6145 rustedsilobrewhouse.com

NORMAL HOURS: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday


The Vinegar





food MEXICAN PICKLED CARROTS Suetta Tingler, Corydon, Indiana 2 lbs. large carrots, scraped and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds 1 T. canola oil 5 cloves garlic, peeled and diced 1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar 8 black peppercorns 1 t. salt 10 whole bay leaves 1 ½ cups water 6 oz. pickled jalapenos Heat oil in a large saucepan. Saute the garlic until a light golden color. Add carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes. Carefully add vinegar, peppercorns, salt and bay leaves; bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add water and


jalapenos to carrots; simmer for 10 minutes.

Darlene Baty, Springport, Indiana

Allow to completely cool before transferring carrot mixture and liquid into a covered container. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Store the carrot mixture in the liquid. Do not eat bay leaves. Remove before serving with a slotted spoon. Cook’s note: These are great for adding color and summer crunch to meals or can be served as an appetizer with a bite of zing.

2 cups water 1 cup apple cider vinegar 1 ½ t. Worcestershire sauce 1 T. sugar ½ t. black pepper 1 cup melted butter 1 ½ t. garlic (optional) Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan and warm before using. Keep warm on the end of the grill while applying to chicken. Be sure chicken is warm on the grill before you baste the first time. Baste the chicken every time you turn it over.

WILTED LETTUCE Shirley A. Todd, Columbus, Indiana Chopped lettuce 5 strips bacon ½ cup sugar ½ t. salt ½ cup vinegar Small white onion, very thinly sliced, or sliced green onions (optional)



Chop lettuce and set aside. Brown bacon; drain on paper towel. Crumble bacon and set aside. Remove skillet from heat. To the skillet (containing bacon fat), add sugar, salt and vinegar. Return skillet to heat and stir mixture until it is boiling rapidly. Immediately pour over chopped lettuce. Stir and toss. Add crumbled bacon. Serve at once. (If desired, top with onion before pouring dressing over lettuce.)


of fame


“You can never have enough confetti!” said Reggy Funfurhuggin, the purple party dude and official spokescharacter of the National Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting. And with that, fanfare blew and confetti flew as the Hall welcomed the class of 2020 — its four newest furry, fleece and foam-faced members. Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, the Mascot Hall of Fame is the world’s only interactive shrine dedicated to the lovable zany characters of professional and collegiate sports. These anthropomorphic critters and blobs, nut- and baseball-headed humanoids, and colorful creative amalgams not only entertain fans with their sideline shenanigans, but they also bring warmfuzzy feelings to folks in quieter places not always in the glare of stadium lights. What makes these previously unsung costumed characters so special that they now have their own Cooperstown and Canton? The answer can be found in places like hospitals, schools and nursing homes where they’re often at their best. “To me, it’s real simple,” said Al Spajer, the Hall of Fame’s director of community engagement. “It’s the attention that they pay, generally and specifically, to people. “They’re entertainers,” he said. “They’re wonderfully conditioned athletes. They can just CONTINUED ON PAGE 20 Boomer, the blue panther mascot of the Indiana Pacers NBA team, proudly shows off his Mascot Hall of Fame ring he received with his induction in June. PHO TO PRO VI DED BY THE I NDI ANA PACERS



Two Indiana mascots inducted into Hall of Fame BOOMER Boomer, the Pacers Panther, has become one of the most popular mascots in all of sports. His amazing cat-like athletic abilities and comedic antics have won over fans and drawn laughs from even the opponents and referees.


Boomer became the Indiana Pacers mascot in the fall of 1991 and the current performer has been Boomer since 1997. He performs at every Pacers home game and makes more than 300 community appearances each year. His school convocations across Indiana focus on varying topics such as anti-bullying, health and fitness promotion, anti-drug messages, and proper studying techniques. “We’ve always known Boomer’s one of the best mascots,” said Jamie Russell, Pacers associate of game operations. “Since it’s the fans voting on this, it really makes it extra special to know how much they love and appreciate Boomer.”



do all sorts of physical activity. But it’s the way they treat their fans. It’s just incomparable. They are able to capture hearts and minds and imaginations.” This year’s Mascot Hall of Fame class, the second since the facility opened its doors the day after Christmas in 2018, included its first Hoosiers. The mascots from both of Indiana’s major-league professional franchises made the grade: Blue, the hammy swivel-hipped horse of the Indianapolis Colts, and Boomer, the acrobatic panther of the Indiana Pacers. Inducted alongside Blue and Boomer were the Oriole Bird, of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, and Youppi!,

Blue is the official mascot of the Indianapolis Colts. He’s now in his 14th season providing gameday entertainment, skits, and sideline antics for Colts fans.

the first international mascot who represents the Montreal

Blue travels the state making P H OTO C OU R TE SY O F THE IN D IA N A P OLI S CO LTS over 300 appearances a year. Blue performs more than 100 school shows each year, visiting more than 55,000 students across the state.

together was just fantastic. They’re both such great

In 2018, Blue introduced a new show, “Choose Love.” The show is geared toward middle school and high school students where Blue takes off his mask, encourages students to stop hiding behind their own masks, embrace themselves and treat others with love and respect.



Canadiens of hockey. Youppi! originally represented the Montreal Expos baseball team which relocated in 2005. “We’ve always known Boomer’s one of the best mascots,” said Jamie Russell, Pacers associate of game operations. “And Boomer and Blue getting recognized ambassadors for our city, our state, and our franchises.” “Blue and Boomer are worthy additions, but that’s not something that gets manufactured,” Spajer emphasized. “You got to win the vote.” To be eligible for the Mascot Hall of Fame, the character must have existed for a minimum of 10 years. It must also impact both its sport and community, inspire its fans, and consistently give memorable and groundbreaking performances. This year’s inductees emerged from an

original slate of 19 nominees selected

The museum worked with Calumet

and vetted from the pantheon of

College of St. Joseph in Whiting and

performing characters last October. To

Trine University in Angola to develop

earn induction, they faced two rounds

lesson plans and

of public online voting. Almost 127,000

exhibits based on

votes were cast from 41,000 ZIP


codes and 57 countries to narrow the


number to 10 and then to four.


Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, the Mascot Hall of Fame has been closed to the public since mid-March. The planned live June induction celebration was held online. Spajer said the Hall hopes to reopen later this year, depending, of course, on the pandemic recovery.

engineering, arts, math) educational principles. The museum’s goal is to educate, spark creativity, promote fun and engage in the community — while

On the outside, the Mascot Hall of

honoring the mascots and their trade.

Fame Interactive Children’s Museum

The mascots’ mascot — Reggy Funfurhuggin, lower left — and a crew of team mascots are permanent fixtures greeting visitors at the Mascot Hall of Fame.

Every inch of the 25,000-square-foot


looks like a giant funhouse: Reggy —

building pays homage to the creatures

the mascot’s mascot, with his giant

that, for a lot of fans, are the faces of

purplish visage, googly eyes and

the professional and college sports

out things like how much force is

inflatable dancing tubes of golden

teams they follow. Exhibits for the

needed to jump off a mini tramp

locks ­— looks down Whiting’s main

“Mascot University” include:

and dunk a basketball from the

street. But, as its full name implies, it is also a storehouse for learning.

• Fureshman Orientation, an introductory film hosted by Reggy,

“This is a place where there’s a lot

the mascot of the Mascot Hall of

of overt fun, but a ton of subliminal

Fame (and about the only talking

education,” noted Spajer. “Everywhere

mascot around), that tells the story

you go, there is a master plan as to

of mascots.

what the facility is trying to do. There’s

• Department of Phuzzical

geography. There’s nutrition. There’s

Education, an interactive play area

exercise. There’s acting. There’s

that includes the chance to virtually

building. There’s mathematics.”

shoot a T-shirt cannon.


• Science of Silliness which points

3-point line — as Boomer does; just how hot does it gets under those furry faces; or just what is that fur even actually made of. • Mascot Studies that includes a map locating where the mascots come from and a chance to learn about mascots through history. • The Department of Furry Arts where visitors can design their own mascot, perform as a mascot, and Build-A-Mascot with a Build-ABear brand workshop.

Enter to win four tickets! Learn more on page 3.

That a world-class national shrine to mascot silliness should be located in the small hard-working city of Whiting (population about 5,000) in Indiana’s industrial northwest corner in the shadow of Chicago is not as improbable as it may sound. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22 AUGUST 2020


IF YOU GO... The Mascot Hall of Fame is located just across the railroad tracks from Whiting’s Lakefront Park on the Lake


To know Whiting, the folks there say, is to appreciate a sense of whimsy. After all, Whiting’s biggest event each year (when there’s no pandemic) is the Pierogi Fest. It attracts over

Michigan shoreline. The

300,000 people over the

HoF has been closed during

course of a July weekend.

the pandemic. Check its

All for a Polish dumpling.

website for latest details on

“It is a parody on parades

reopening dates and times.

1851 Front St., Whiting, IN 46394

and festivals. We poke fun at our Eastern European heritage,” Mayor Joseph Stahura, now in his fifth term, told the Indianapolis


Star when the mascot shrine opened.


instead of motorcycles. Old ladies

“We have a lawnmower brigade

Al Spajer, who goes by “Grandpa Mascot” at the Hall, stands with some of the giant inflated balloons featuring the likeness of inductees hanging from the rafters. PHO TO BY RI CHARD G . BI EVER

dress up in house coats, twirling

David Raymond, the original Phillie

plungers and rolling pins. Mascots just

Phanatic mascot, channeled the


fit smack in the middle of that theme.”

tongue-in-cheek outrage to a new

Tues-Wed, Fri-Sat: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

And a little farther up the western Lake

Thurs: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m Sun: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Mascot HOF is closed on Mondays and the following days: New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Michigan shoreline from Whiting is Milwaukee where the whole notion of a Mascot Hall of Fame had its birth. It was July of 2003. During the usual “Sausage Race” at a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game, in which four people dressed as a variety of 7-foottall sausages dash around the field, a Pittsburgh Pirate leaned over the dugout railing with a bat and playfully

ADMISSION: Adults and children: $12

clubbed the Italian sausage named Guido on the back of the head as they ran by. The whack was well above

Children under 2: Free

the head of the young woman inside

Teachers and seniors (over 65): $10

the costume and didn’t hurt her, but it

Active military: Free Free parking!

was hard enough to make her lose her


Raymond founded the Mascot Hall of Fame, a virtual shrine that lived online. From 2005-2008, 16 mascots were inducted. But he always dreamed of putting it into brick and mortar. When Stahura became mayor in 2004, he brought a vision for expanding Whiting’s tourism beyond pierogis and its popular summertime beach. Over 9.5 million people live within just about an hour’s drive of Whiting. He was looking for a year-round attraction for a plot of city land just across the railroad tracks from Whiting’s lakeshore park. In 2013, he came upon Raymond’s online Hall of Fame.

balance. Guido fell, taking down the

Feasibility studies and an economic

racing Hot Dog beside him, as well.

analysis later, a $14 million tax-

The incident became a rallying cry for “mascot rights.”


awareness for their craft. In 2005,

increment financing package was approved by the Whiting

Redevelopment Commission. A non-

Spajer, who now makes his home as

gone over and over protocols and

profit entity to operate as the mascot

a Kankakee Valley REMC consumer

practices. “Whatever group comes

museum was created. Construction

in Valparaiso, said folks who know him

through here, not only do I want them

began in 2016. The official grand

best say he’s finally found his calling.

to FEEL safe, I want them to BE safe.”

Kidding aside, he noted, “The HR

But even cleaning up after mascots

person is always looking for the

can provide a chuckle. “When we

organization to improve, to be

took the pause for coronavirus, we

innovative, and to do what’s right.

did a very extensive deep cleaning,”

When I look at mascots, I’m like, ‘Yep,

he said. “As soon as we started, we

they check all those boxes. And they

got a leaf blower in here, and we

certainly know how to treat people.’

were marshaling confetti. There was

opening and ceremonial ribbon cutting was held April 6, 2019.

Spajer had just retired from a 40-year career directing human resources at a steel company in the region when he was asked to be the museum’s

a heckuva lot more than we thought

executive director in the early stages

“For seven years, I’ve had the

of its planning. His community and

privilege to follow those guys and girls

charity work, most notably with the

around and see what they do,” Spajer

Lake Area United Way, made him

added. “I’m behind them, so I’m

well known among area civic leaders.

looking at the kids. I see their eyes, or

He stepped back into the role as the

I’m looking at the family … and how

Mascot fans eagerly await the

executive director this spring. But

special they feel. I’m not looking at

museum’s reopening; everyone could

Spajer prefers to be called “Grandpa

the mascot; I’m looking at the person

sure use some mascoting right about


who’s looking at the mascot. That’s

now. And when that happens, let the


fun return — and that confetti fly.

the softer, sillier side of sports might

And from his background in the

seem a like departure for a native

steel industry, Spajer is also super

Richard G. Biever is senior editor of Indiana Connection.

Chicago Southsider who spent his

safety minded. So when it comes to

life working in the steel industry and

reopening the hands-on museum after

watching and playing hockey. But

COVID-19, he said museum staff has

Heading up a museum dedicated to

we’d ever find. It was everywhere. In the rafters. In all the nooks and crannies. Confetti is a staple of the mascot trade.”

Mascots gather with David Raymond, left, the original Phillie Phanatic who started the Mascot Hall of Fame, and Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura, at a 2019 fundraiser. PHO TO PRO VI DED BY THE M ASCO T HALL O F FAM E

Visit indianaconnection.org for a list of the 24 members of the Mascot Hall of Fame. AUGUST 2020





A slightly forlorn tone tinged my wife’s voice when she said, “There is something in the garage I want to show you.” As I walked into the garage, I saw, lying on one of my work tables, a wide light maple branch holding a small woven bird’s nest containing three tiny ivory colored eggs. The nest was larger than a hummingbird’s and about 2 ½ inches across. The eggs were a little larger than the size of a cooked Northern bean. “I was trimming the low branches in the side yard where we mow, and I didn’t see the nest until it floated to the ground,” she said. The broad light tree branch covered with leaves made for a natural parachute, and the nest came to rest on the ground with no damage to it or to the eggs inside. “What are we going to do?” she asked.



I said, “We’re going to put it back.” I cut a few lengths of stout twine, and we headed back to the side yard where Chris remembered lopping off the limb. Pulling the severed limb down, Chris held it while I tightly lashed the limb containing the nest and eggs to the top of it. Then, we eased it back into position. The reconfiguring put the nest on about the same level and only about two feet back from its original location. The next day, I carefully walked into the side yard, and I saw two very small, sparrow-like birds leaving the canopy from the vicinity of the relocated nest. It seems they have accepted the relocation of the nest. Backing off and giving them their space, I have curtailed my curiosity to give the birds a chance to get used to their newly relocated housing.

Wildlife is much more tolerant of human intervention than many think. If you find a young bird out of its nest, simply pick it up and put it back. The parents will pay no attention to the human scent on its young and will continue to care for it. ‘til next time,


JACK SPAULDING is a syndicated state outdoors writer and a member of RushShelby Energy. Readers can email him directly at jackspaulding@ hughes.net. Jack’s first book, “The Best of Spaulding Outdoors,” a compilation of his favorite articles over 30 years is now available as a Kindle download or as a 250-page paperback from Amazon.com.



POSE ELECTRICAL SAFETY ISSUES The use of drones has increased rapidly in the past several years. Coming in various sizes ranging from hummingbird to bald eagle, these remote-controlled aircraft are being used in a vast number of ways by government, industries, commercial enterprises and hobbyists. Electric utilities have come to rely on drones to help inspect power lines, including during storm restoration work when it might be difficult to access certain areas. While drones have not yet filled the skies, as many predict they one day will, Indiana’s electric cooperatives remind both hobbyists and commercial users to be aware of dangers when operating the little aerial devices near power

with electricity, drones still present

number. If you still are unable to

safety concerns their pilots need to

contact the utility, call 911 and


ask for assistance. Depending

Some things drone operators, both commercial and recreational, should keep in mind include:

equipment. Power lines can interfere with the radio signals to your drone causing it to veer off course or crash. This can pose danger to any people below or damage your drone or the power lines. • Should your drone get caught in power lines or crash into a utility pole or substation, never attempt to retrieve it yourself. Attempting to free the drone by

electrocuted. Call your electric

Cooperatives. “While drones are not tethered to you with a string like a kite that can fall across overhead power lines and put you in direct contact


substations and other electrical

“Some of the same things we

Gasstrom, CEO of Indiana Electric

or damage to the electrical

away from power lines, electrical

entering a substation is not only

carry over to drones, too,” said John

it could cause a power outage

• Keep drones at least 100-150 feet

lines and electrical equipment. learned about flying kites as kids

on where your drone has landed,

criminal trespassing, you can be cooperative for assistance. • If you are in an unfamiliar area or don’t know the name of the utility, most poles and all substations are marked with the utility’s name and

CONSIDERING PURCHASING A DRONE AND BECOMING A RECREATIONAL PILOT? Here are some quick tips and facts from the Federal Aviation Administration: • Fly only for recreational purposes. • Keep your unmanned aircraft within your visual line-of-sight or within the visual line-of-sight of an observer who is co-located and in direct communication with you. • Do not fly above 400 feet above the ground. • Never fly near airports. • Do not fly in controlled airspace without an FAA authorization. For full details of becoming a drone pilot, visit faa.gov/uas.

may have an emergency phone AUGUST 2020




Nothing garners attention

on social media these days like cute critter photos. The photos you make and share of your dog or cat can be just as memorable as the photos you see in magazines or on Instagram. But rarely do they just “happen.” Here are some tips to keep in mind to make your “snap shots” of Fido and Fluffy bark and purr like the planned professional shots we see.

Use natural or available light

sleep on your head. So,

at it. Don’t pause to

when shooting photos of

examine what you’ve shot,

If possible, use natural light.

them, don’t act as if they

or you’ll miss the next for

suddenly have “dog germs!”

sure. Try different views

or the mange.

and compositions. Worry

Natural light, especially in the morning or late afternoon, is soft light that can fill their eyes and define their furry head against their body. If you cannot go outside, try shooting images in the light coming through the glass of a storm door or window.

Focus on the eyes

Shoot them like you like them

The eyes are the most

If you’re like most indoor

important thing in any type of portrait photography. As they say, “The eyes are the window of the soul.” That includes those of pets. Keep those eyes crystal clear and razor sharp. And while you’re focusing on your pet’s eyes, try to get it to focus its attention on something that turns its eyes slightly your way. Focus, then snap your fingers or hold out a toy, then shoot the image before it moves its body.



pet owners, you probably constantly snuggle with them watching TV. You let them lick your face or

Get in close, just as you would when shooting photos of children. Get down on their eye level. Sit on the floor or lay on your belly if you have to.

Keep on shooting Keep your cell phone handy because sometimes the first shot is the only shot you’ll get in capturing a fleeting moment of frisky furry joy. But, after that first shot, if the pet’s still cooperative, keep working

about the results later. The number of digital photos you can shoot is limited only by the few seconds you take later on to delete shots you don’t like. So, if your pet is in a pose you love, check the light, the focus, the framing, move in close and keep shooting until you feel you have captured the decisive moment … or until your pet gets bored and starts grooming itself or sticks its nose into your lens wondering what the heck you’re doing.

product recalls

Path light kits recalled for shock hazard

This recall involves Hampton Bay, Patriot Lighting and Paradise light kits sold with Sterno Home LED power supplies. The Sterno Home LED power supply is defective; it has a plug blade that can remain in the AC outlet when the LED power supply is pulled from the outlet, posing a risk of electric shock to the user. The light kits were sold at Home Depot and other hardware stores nationwide and online from March 2017 through May 2020 for between $50 and $100.

Call 888-867-6095; or go online at www.sternohome.com/recalls or www.sternohome.com and click on RECALL NOTICE in the top left corner or for more information.

As a service to our readers and to promote electrical safety, here are some recent recall notices provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Visit www.cpsc.gov/en/recalls for full details of these recalls and for notices of many more.



Wabash Valley Power news

The Silent Charge:

Electric co-ops planning for electric vehicle growth Technology advances in electric

utilities are offering Time of Use

hold the key to larger utility scale

vehicle development have shifted

rates that provide discounts during

batteries in the future. Battery

heads to considering possibilities

non-peak time. This helps the utility

storage would enable electricity

for the energy industry.

avoid paying high prices during

generated to be stored and then

high demand times, which saves

used later during times of higher

everyone money. It also provides a

demand. Even cars themselves

use for energy generated during the

hold potential: there has been

evenings and overnight times when

consideration of how EV batteries

power plants are still running but

could help power a home during a

without much load to serve.

storm outage. While the technology

EVs are still a small portion of the total U.S. automobile sales but it’s growing rapidly. CNBC reported in May that an industry research firm predicts that the global market for EVs, which are automobiles

is not there yet, it is being explored.

powered by a rechargeable battery

EVs support a greener, diversified

rather than gasoline, will top 3

energy supply. Over the last 10

EV technology under the hood has

million in 2021. And the utility

years, your local electric co-op’s

the potential to impact the entire

industry is paying attention because

power supply has incorporated

energy industry and those tech

several developments could have

a greater amount of alternative

advances can even be beneficial

far-reaching implications:

energy sources. More wind and

to people who have no plans

solar energy resources have been

to ever own an EV. For more

added while our reliance on coal

information about EVs, including

has decreased. As EVs replace

to see if one would be a good fit

gas-powered vehicles, society as a

for you, contact your local electric

whole likely will become less reliant

cooperative’s energy advisor or visit

upon fossil fuels.


More effective use of the energy grid. The addition of thousands of recharging EVs could put a strain on the energy grid – particularly if they charge during the utility’s peak time, when people use the most energy. To encourage EV

Batteries provide future potential.

owners to charge off-peak, many

Battery technology in EVs could






Due to the ever-changing coronavirus situation, please note that the events below may not occur at their originally scheduled times. Be sure to reach out to the event contacts below to ensure that the programs you are interested in are still taking place.



1516 29 Sept.


YELLOWSTONE TRAIL FEST, Hamlet (Starke), Starke County Fairgrounds. Special guests: Marty McFly and Doc Brown. Lookalike contest, magic, repurposed metal sculpture contest, Dr. Bones, kids’ water activities, baby contest, parade, vendors, music. Free. 547-8060500. YellowStoneTrailFest.com INDIANA BACON FESTIVAL, Delphi (Carroll), downtown square. Live music, local foods, craft beer and wine, Backyard BBQ cook-off, family fun zone and bacon eating and hog calling. Admission charge. 3-11 p.m. 765-564-6757. indianabaconfestival.com ROCK ‘N’ RAIL MUSIC & STREET FESTIVAL, Griffith (Lake), downtown on Broad Street. Live music, food vendors, arts and crafts, and children’s activity zone. Free. 219-924-7500. griffith.in.gov




GAS BOOM DAYS, Redkey (Jay), downtown. Antiques, vendors, live bands, petting zoo, cake walk, cornhole tournament, games, parade, shops and more. Free. 260-729-7040. VisitRedkey.com/ gas-boom-days GRABILL COUNTRY FAIR, Grabill (Allen), downtown. Handmade crafts, food vendors, monster truck rides, nightly entertainment. Saturday morning parade, children’s games and contests. Free. 260-627-5227. grabillcountryfair.com



WABASH VALLEY COIN AND CURRENCY SHOW, Terre Haute (Vigo), Wabash Valley Fairgrounds. Buy, sell and trade coins and currency. Free. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 812-533-0783. membam17@gmail.com


SULPHUR SPRINGS COMMUNITY DAYS AND MUD BOG, Sulphur Springs (Henry), downtown. Car show, vendors, musical entertainment, bingo. Mud Bog Saturday night with $5 admission charge. Trucks and ATVs eligible. Rules to enter on Facebook page. 765-524-4669. fb.com/ sulphurcommunitydays


2223 Sept.


CAVE WEEKEND, Mitchell (Lawrence), Spring Mill State Park. Explore caves and learn about the history and ideas tied to them. Unless otherwise noted, programs are at the Lakeview Activity Center. https://www.in.gov/ dnr/parklake/2968.htm ARCHAEOLOGY DAY, Jasper (Dubois), Dubois County Museum. Activities related to Archaeology Month in Indiana. Admission charge. 812482-7733. https://duboiscountymuseum.org/

This calendar is published as a service to readers and the communities electric cooperatives serve. Indiana Connection publishes events free of charge as space allows, giving preference to free community festival and events in and around areas served by subscribing REMCs/RECs. While Indiana Connection strives for accuracy, please note that events, dates and time may change without notice. Indiana Connection advises using contact phone numbers or internet sites to check times and dates of events before making plans.



MADISON RIBBERFEST BBQ & BLUES, Madison (Jefferson), Riverfront. This scaleddown festival includes BBQ competitions, music and more. Admission charge. 800-559-2956. madisonribberfest.com


LANESVILLE HERITAGE WEEKEND, Lanesville (Harrison), Heritage Park. Queen/Princess pageant. fiddlers’ log-sawing and horseshoe pitchin’ contests. Antique farm equipment with demonstrations, steam engines, hit ‘n’ miss engines, sawmill and crafts demonstrations, tractor pull. Free. 812-952-2027. lanesvilleheritageweekend.com


To add events to Calendar, please use the “Submit and Event” form under the “Talk to Us” or “Calendar” buttons at indianaconnection.org; or mail your info to: Calendar, Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240. Please submit info two months before the date of the event. AUGUST 2020


career profile

Ensuring power

keeps flowing Top 3

responsibilities in a day: •

Gather materials. It’s important we have all the supplies we need when we leave the warehouse for the day.

Run the digger truck. This is the truck that digs the holes for the utility poles and helps set them upright.

Learn. It’s important for me to observe everything going on around me and to ask good questions.

Why did you choose to accept a job at an electric cooperative? I grew up in this area and knew it was a great place to work. It’s a great family-like culture; everyone is here to help and that makes it such a nice work environment. What’s a typical day like? The most common day includes changing out poles and installing new electric services. However, it seems like every day is different, which I enjoy. Have you had to master new skills to be successful in your position? Everything I’ve done in this position is all new to me but I’m eager to learn. Probably the most important things I’ve had to learn about are the cooperative’s electric



Dylan Hart Groundman Carroll White REMC

distribution system, how to read the mapping, and how to run the digger truck. It’s also essential to ask good questions. Do you see opportunity for growth? Yes. At my cooperative the position of a groundman is a stepping stone to the start of your career in the industry. I am currently enrolled in the electric line apprentice program. When I’m done, I’ll be a journeyman lineworker and will also have earned an associate’s degree through Ivy Tech Community College.

What part of your job do you find most fulfilling? At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure the power keeps flowing. The most fulfilling part of my job is restoring service following an outage. Dylan Hart now serves Carroll White REMC consumers as an apprentice lineman.

INTERESTED IN AN ELECTRIC CO-OP CAREER? Visit WePowerIndiana.org to learn about available careers or tell us about yourself.