Kosciusko REMC — August 2021 Indiana Connection

Page 1

Get up to speed with Kosciusko Connect.

Kosciusko REMC’s


pages 16–20


from the editor

Calm down

How do you relax? Perhaps you take a walk or ride your bike around the neighborhood. Maybe you de-stress in a warm bubble bath or while napping in a hammock. I personally enjoy temporarily escaping reality by immersing myself in a good book. No matter what method you use to calm your mind, it’s just important that you take the time to relax. But if kicking back and tuning out isn’t yet part of your regular routine, you may want to take note of a day devoted to that peaceful easy feeling. Aug. 15 is Relaxation Day. Mark that on your calendar and start planning your day. Many of us have experienced increased stress and anxiety during the pandemic. The uncertainty and isolation of these unprecedented times can take their toll on our minds and bodies. Now more than ever, not only is our own self-care a must; we need to encourage others in our lives to schedule time to rejuvenate their minds and bodies. Indulge in hobbies you may have been too busy to enjoy. Watch a movie that makes you laugh. Play board games with your family. Book a massage. Listen to soothing music while taking deep breaths to calm your mind. If you don’t do these things regularly, make Aug. 15 the day to start. Then make them part of your routine. I’m often overwhelmed by my always-full to-do lists and how there are never enough hours to accomplish all that want to do. But I know that burning out while ticking off my task lists is not healthy. Join me in a day of calm. It could make all the difference in your life.

EMILY SCHILLING Editor eschilling@indianaec.org

On the menu: December issue: Chocolate, deadline Oct. 1.

January issue: Sheet pan meals, deadline Oct. 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.

Giveaways: Enter to win a $50 gift card from The Log Inn, this month’s Indiana

Eats-featured restaurant. For details and to enter, visit indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/ contests. Entry deadline: 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 71 • 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 304,000 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 Digital and Layout Design Specialist Taylor Maranion Senior Brand and Visual Design Specialist Lauren Carman Communication Coordinator Stacey Holton Director of Creative Services Mandy Barth Vice President of Communication 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.








03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative. 10 ENERGY Mini-split systems are efficient, secure. 11 INSIGHTS






12 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Bartholomew County.



Mascoting as big cats is a family legacy.


21 SAFETY Educate children on bus safety before they leave for school.

Sustenance afield: Salt and preservatives preserve us. (Not in all editions)

The Log Inn famous for Lincoln visit — and fried chicken. 14 FOOD Pepper up.

22 BACKYARD Limelight pruning primer; Jim Dandy to the rescue. (Not in all editions)


Indiana Connection

24 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS 25 TRAVEL The Big Peach in Bruceville. 26 PROFILE Nick Stainbrook’s mindboggling blessing.

On the cover It’s all in the family for second generation mascot Mason Hinkle who fires up game day crowds as Pioneer Jr.-Sr. High School’s Pepe the Panther. He took over the role from his mom, Candice, five years ago. PHOTO BY RICHARD G. BIEVER



co-op news

Get up to speed with

KOSCIUSKO CONNECT 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

SHOPPING FOR LIGHTBULBS? Know the difference between lumens and watts. Lumens measure the amount of light produced by the bulb. Watts measure energy consumption. Energy-saving LEDs come in a variety of colors and brightness levels and last 15-25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. — U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Use your Co-op Connections Card to save at local businesses Warsaw Party & Rental 10% off retail party supplies.


As we enter our final month of summer, I want to give you an update on the status of our internet subsidiary, Kosciusko Connect. We are making steady progress on the construction of Kosciusko Connect’s fiber-to-the-home internet network, and we are looking forward to connecting the first KREMC members this fall. Right now, our crews are busy completing the final stages of construction in the eastern portion of our county, which is Zone 1 of Kosciusko Connect’s five-zone buildout plan. If you live in Zone 1, you have probably seen our crews installing conduit for our underground fiber cable, changing out poles, or hanging the aerial fiber cable from pole to pole. If you haven’t seen them, or if you live in Zones 2-5, they will be coming your way soon. Our crews put out red utility flags a few days before they start work in a new location, so you will know that they are coming. They will remove the flags when work is completed in your area. We recognize that construction projects like this one are not always convenient; thank you for being patient with us as we work to bring fiber internet to our county. Our contractors work hard to minimize the impact of this process. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about this stage of our buildout. If you are interested in signing up for Kosciusko Connect’s high-speed internet service in the future, we ask that you pre-register now. By preregistering, you are helping us ensure that we have enough equipment ordered and in stock to connect you when the time comes. Your preregistration helps us prepare logistically to meet the demand for connections as efficiently as possible. If you would like to learn more about Kosciusko Connect or if you would like to pre-register, you can find more information on pages 6 and 7 of this magazine. It’s always a pleasure to serve our KREMC members — we are thrilled to be able to serve you in this new and exciting capacity through Kosciusko Connect.

KURT CARVER President and CEO

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.




East Z O30NZone E 11 E a s t


Maple Z O NLeaf E Zone 2 M2 a p l e


Northwest Z O N E Zone 3 N3 o r t h w e s t 4 Kralis ZKralis O NZone E 4

ZSouth O NCentral E 5 Zone S o u5 t h C e n t r a l SKosciusko e r v i c REMC e TeService r r i t oTerritory ry

Ko s c i u s ko C o n n e c t w i l l b e g i n f i b e r c o n s t r u c t i o n i n Zo n e 1 . T h e p r o j e c t will continue by zone moving counterclockwise throughout the s e r v i c e t e r r i t o r y.

co-op news

Reliable, high-speed internet is coming soon! P R E - R E G I S T E R T O D AY. 100 MBPS - $49.95 500 MBPS - $64.95 1,000 MBPS - $79.95 TELEPHONE - $29.95



Pre-register for Kosciusko Connect by Sept. 1, and you could win a free month of our fastest service. Pre-registration does not obligate you to sign up for our service, but it does help us plan efficiently so we’re ready to go when you are. Go to kosciuskoconnect.com or give us a call — all you need is your address to get started. To pre-register over the phone, call our member service team at 574-267-6331. brought to you by






co-op news

payment options A CHANGE IN

As of Aug. 1, we are making a change to the way that we accept phone payments. For your protection, our member service team will no longer accept payments over the phone. If you wish to pay via a phone call, select option “2” when you call us to pay through our automated member service system. If you are interested in making a change to the way you pay your bills, we have many convenient payment options for you to consider:





We can help you set

You can make payments

Did you know that we

Come by any time to use

up your account to

online through our website

have an app? Download

our convenient, secure

automatically charge your

whenever you would like.

the KREMC app on your

payment kiosk or drop box.

credit card or withdraw

Go to www.kremc.com and

Apple or Android device to

If you prefer to say hello

from your bank account for

click on “My Account.” All

manage your account(s)

and see our smiling faces,

you — meaning you will

you need is your account

and pay your bills.

you are welcome to come

pay your bills on time every


inside or use our drive-

month without even having

through window during

to think about it.

business hours. Our office is open Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.



Our offices will be closed on Monday, Sept. 6, in honor of Labor Day.



comfort Add-on


DO YOU HAVE A RO O M THAT NE VE R RE AC H ES T H E TEM PE RATU RE YOU S ET A T Y OU R TH E RM OSTAT ? You are not alone! There are many reasons to consider adding additional heating and cooling to trouble areas like this and there is a solution I have found that is efficient and secure. Known as mini-split heat pumps, these units don’t require ductwork to provide heating and cooling solutions to your home. These units have

A common question I

window unit?” They are

with a system like this. If

get about these systems

cheaper to purchase and

you find that additional

is “Are they energy

don’t require professional

heating and cooling is

efficient?” Overall,

installation but there are

needed for a space in

yes. They are efficient

three things I want you

your home, mini-split

because air does not

to keep in mind:

systems provide a safe,

have to move from the unit located on one side of your home through ductwork to the other side. Mini-split systems are installed on a wall

• Window units only offer cool air.

noisy. • They can reduce the security of your

placed outside in close

home as it can be

proximity to the wall

challenging to secure

unit. This is one way

the windows they are

these units help increase

installed in. Conducting an energy

their own thermostat and

Another common

efficiency audit is always

can condition up to four

question is “Why

something I recommend


shouldn’t I just use a

before moving forward




• They tend to be

and the heat pump is


efficient solution to


Matt Brames

Manager of Cooperative Communication Dubois REC

MARKETPLACE Our Marketplace offers maximum exposure for your business or organization at a minimal cost. Please contact Cheryl Solomon, 847-749-4875 or cheryl@amp.coop, for other small business advertising opportunities in Indiana Connection.

Indiana Connection magazine, staffers receive awards Indiana Connection magazine — as


well as staff members Richard G.


Biever, Taylor Maranion, and Emily


Schilling — were recently honored

of cooperative

by the Cooperative Communicators




The magazine received a third place


award in the member publication category. Maranion, the magazine’s senior brand and visual design specialist, received the coveted photographer

Local Loan Originators We Lend in 48 States Loan Program Variety Low and No Down Payment Competitive Rates GSlater@ WaterstoneMortgage.com

of the year honor. Schilling, Indiana Connection’s editor, won first place in the headline writing category. Biever, the magazine’s senior editor, earned an honorable mention in the portrait photography category.

Nearly 500 entries representing the best in writing, photography, programs and projects and publications were submitted in this year’s competition by professional communicators from

The awards were presented at CCA’s

across the United

annual institute in June. CCA is a

States and Canada.

Indiana Connection Editor Emily Schilling earned a first place award for her “Haute Dogs” headline in the July 2020 issue. This photo was part of Taylor Maranion’s Photographer of the Year-winning portfolio.



The distinctive 192-foot spire of the North Christian Church is one reason the church, built in 1964, is a landmark in Columbus, a city of landmarks.

county feature

Bartholomew County Bartholomew County celebrates its bicentennial this year. Parts of the county’s yearlong celebration will focus on looking forward to what’s next. But in celebrating the county, the story of county seat Columbus cannot be emphasized enough. For a city of its size, Columbus, population around 46,000, has a unique place in the nation for its noted architecture and public art. The American Institute of Architects ranked Columbus sixth in the nation for architectural innovation and design — right behind Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The city’s visitors’ guide lists over 90 buildings and pieces of public art by internationally-noted architects and artists. Columbus has been called “Athens on the Prairie.” Seven buildings, constructed between 1942 and 1971, are National Historic Landmarks, and approximately 60 other buildings sustain the Bartholomew County seat’s reputation as a showcase of modern architecture. The seven are:

FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH, 1942 • 531 FIFTH ST. Completed in 1942, it was the first contemporary building in Columbus and one of the first churches of contemporary architecture in the United States. The design includes a 166-foot high free-standing bell tower.

CUMMINS INC. IRWIN CONFERENCE CENTER, FORMERLY IRWIN UNION BANK, 1954 • 500 WASHINGTON ST. The center is a low, glass-walled building set in a grove of trees.




County Facts FOUNDED: 1821

Unusual domed lights and an open interior creates a large open room and a feeling of openness and friendliness.



of Tippecanoe. He later

The Miller House is located in a residential neighborhood and is not accessible to the public. Entry is obtained via tours which start at the Columbus Visitors Center.

MCDOWELL EDUCATION CENTER, 1960 • 2700 MCKINLEY AVE. McDowell was designed as an elementary school with four cluster buildings that had three classrooms each and connecting open-air walkways. The school changed to adult education in 1988 and it was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in 1999.

NORTH CHRISTIAN CHURCH, 1964 • 850 TIPTON LANE The sloping roof of this six-sided building blends with the landscaped earth mound which surrounds it. This low line accentuates the slender 192-foot spire, topped with a goldleaf cross, which gives its distinctive design.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, 1965 • 3300 FAIRLAWN DRIVE First Baptist Church is positioned on the brow of a gently sloping knoll. This elevation, combined with its peaked non-dimensional bell tower, emphasizes the building’s function

Joseph Bartholomew, a general in the Indiana militia who fought at the 1811 Battle became a state lawmaker. POPULATION: 82,753 (2018 estimate) COUNTY SEAT: Columbus INDIANA COUNTY NUMBER: 3 as a place of worship. The steep roof, twice as high as the supporting brick walls, is covered with hand-laid slate. The highlight of the interior design is a wall of pierced brick at the front of the chancel.

THE REPUBLIC NEWSPAPER OFFICES, 1971 • 333 SECOND ST. The glass and steel design provided onlookers with a window into the business of communications. The open concept reflected the daily newspaper’s role as a central link in the information for the community. Originally, the paper’s printing presses could be viewed from the street. The newspaper later moved its offices near Fair Oaks Mall and the Indiana University J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program moved into the building in August 2018. Architecture tours are available. For more information, visit columbus.in.us/tour-options.

Indiana eats

INN-COMPARABLE The Log Inn famous for Lincoln visit — and fried chicken Its claim to fame as Indiana’s oldest

Elpers, and their

restaurant is reason enough to draw


curious diners to The Log Inn in Warrenton, Indiana, 12 miles north of Evansville. But once there, the restaurant’s locally famous fried chicken, always fresh and made to order, turns first-timers to fans.

Besides the

Family-style meal featuring fried chicken, corn, mashed potatoes and green beans.

chicken, fried low and slow using grandmother Victoria’s recipe,

The Log Inn was built by Henry

diners most

Haub in 1825. In the 1840s, it was

often rave about

a main stagecoach stop between

the catfish,

Evansville and Terre Haute, and an


inn. Abraham Lincoln, then an Illinois

coleslaw and

attorney, stopped there in 1844 while

pie. Family-style meals featuring

campaigning for his role model,

comfort food staples like mashed

presidential candidate Henry Clay.

potatoes and rolls are available for

The building fittingly later became a

parties of three or more. Diners can

stop on the Underground Railroad.

also order a la carte off the menu.

It served the community as a general

Lincoln-philes are thrilled to enjoy

store, tavern and dance hall through

their meals in the Lincoln Room where

the years and through various owners.

the revered 16th president spent

In 1965, Pete and Victoria Rettig

time in 1844. The Lincoln Room is in

opened The Log Inn restaurant in the

the original portion of The Log Inn;

building. The restaurant passed on to

through the years — starting post-Civil

their daughter, Rita, and her husband

War — the several additions were

Gene Elpers in 1978. It is currently

made to the building.

run by the Elpers’ children: Kathy

The restaurant’s walls are adorned with historical photos, artwork, awards, and

Rita Elpers and her family run The Log Inn.

memorabilia — many donated by local

residents and regular patrons of the landmark restaurant. Among the memorabilia: a copy of a 2016 “Time” magazine article which mentioned The Log Inn as one of 240 reasons to celebrate the Fourth of July. The Gibson County restaurant was also featured in the Food Network’s “The Best Of” Viewers’ Choice

Holzmeyer, Trish Elpers and Daryl


ENTER TO WIN a $50 gift card to The Log Inn

THE LOG INN 12491 County Road 200 E. Haubstadt, Indiana


Open for dinner every night except Sundays and Mondays.


theloginn.net AUGUST 2021


food SALSA

Patricia Kay Sharp, Monticello, Indiana 6 lbs. tomatoes ½ lb. peppers (suggested: 1 jalapeno pepper, ½ each yellow, red and orange bell pepper, 1 whole green pepper, and 3 banana peppers) 2 T. cilantro 1 (4 oz.) can green chiles 2 cups ketchup ½ head garlic, minced 1 cup white vinegar ¼ cup sugar ¼ cup pickling salt Rinse and dice all tomatoes; place them in a colander over the sink to drain excess liquid. Rinse and dice all peppers, removing stems and seeds first. Dice cilantro. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and rest of the ingredients; stir together thoroughly. Spoon into clean glass jars. This recipe makes one gallon so you can divide salsa into four quart jars or eight pint jars. Cover with lids. Place in refrigerator. Use salsa within one year. Cook’s Notes: You can adjust the peppers to your taste. This combination is very tasty but not hot. This is a great way to use up those extra tomatoes.



Pepper Up



CREAM CHEESE FILLED PEPPERS Glenda Sensenig Cutler, Indiana

In a small bowl, mix chili powder and brown sugar. Set aside. Wash, halve and seed peppers. Fill each pepper with ½ oz. of cream cheese. Cut bacon slices in half. Wrap ½ of a bacon slice around each

1 T. chili powder

pepper half, securing each with a toothpick.

½ cup brown sugar

Arrange in a baking dish. Sprinkle brown

8 mini sweet peppers 8 oz. cream cheese 8 bacon slices, raw

sugar mixture over pepper halves. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

K’S SUMMER PENNE Beverly Allen Sellersburg, Indiana

1 red pepper, cored and diced 1 yellow pepper, cored and diced 1 orange pepper, cored and diced 1 small sweet onion, diced Oil, cooking spray or butter 16 oz. penne pasta, cooked according to package directions Approximately 15 (more or less to taste) grape tomatoes, quartered Oregano, basil, salt, and pepper, to taste Shredded mozzarella if desired

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS ¼ cup pine nuts Fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, tarragon, basil, oregano, parsley Cooked, diced chicken Yellow summer squash, diced Saute peppers and onion in oil, cooking spray, or butter until tender. Add cooked penne and mix together. Add tomatoes and cook until heated (tomatoes should still have their shape, not mushy). Add seasoning and/or fresh herbs; mix together. Add optional additions if desired. Serve warm. Top with shredded mozzarella, if desired. Makes 8-10 servings.




OUT OF TH When Candice Hinkle — then Layman — first asked if she could don the fuzzy black suit and oversized head of her high school’s mascot, she let more than one cat out of the bag. Her high school was Logansport. The mascot was Felix the Cat, the famous feline of film and funny pages — and Indiana’s oldest mascot. “There was no actual ‘Felix’ being Felix,” Candice, Class of 1996, recalled. “They might catch one of the kids and say, ‘Hey, we need somebody to be Felix tonight. Would you do it?’” Given the chance to be Felix, Candice took the role and made it hers. She not only animated Felix in a way no Felix had been before (or since), she later went on to portray two other mascot cats, The Puma at







St. Joseph College on a mascoting

started with Felix when Candice was

onto the gridirons as normal school

scholarship, and Pepe the Panther at

just her son’s high school sweetheart.

activities are expected to resume. And

Pioneer Jr.-Sr. High School in Royal Center where she was teaching.

“I just have to laugh to think that my interest in mascoting would lead to an

mascots are a big part of that rah, rah, sis, boom, bah.

And to show that the claw doesn’t fall

entire family affair!” Candice, now 43,

“A mascot is the embodiment of

far from the paw: Candice’s then-

said recently. “They always say one

school spirit,” explained Matt Jones,

future sister-in-law, Shannon Hinkle,

decision can change your life. One

principal at Logansport High School.

followed in her pawprints as Felix;

decision as my 16-year-old self to step

“A mascot is there to cheer alongside

Candice’s son Mason took over from

out of my comfort zone changed an

the crowd and build a sense of

her as Pepe, the Pioneer mascot; and

entire family dynamic over 25 years

belonging to the school at its games

daughter Valerie hopes to step into the


and events. A mascot entertains and

Pepe costume next year after her big brother graduates.

MASCOT’S MEOW All over Indiana later this month, high school

heightens the engagement of the crowd.”

If all that wasn’t enough, Candice’s

students will step out of their comfort

Logansport, he noted, has all that in

mother-in-law, Barb, has always been

zones beneath veils of fleece, foam

Felix, as a source of entertainment

there, too. She was the seamstress to

and fuzz as fierce or farcical school

while being a big part of the history

adjust or fix all three costumes. She

mascots. They’ll lead their teams back


Mascoting is the Hinkle Family legacy. Candice Hinkle started it off, when she was still Candice Layman, in the mid-1990s by assuming the full-time role of Felix the Cat, the iconic Logansport High School mascot (inset photo at left). Her son, Mason, is now Pepe the Panther at Pioneer Jr.-Sr. High School in Royal Center (far left and far right). Below, Mason and Candice pose with Shannon Hinkle, far right, Candice’s sister-in-law who followed her as Felix in high school and Valerie Hinkle, Candice’s daughter, who hopes to follow older brother Mason as Pepe next year.




After she got the part of Felix, she

gave her a tryout slip at the start of her

and tradition of the high school.

started doing research into her role.

sophomore year.

(Please see story on page 20.)

She read about Felix and watched his

Jones, who grew up in Logansport

has antics. And Felix is kind of ornery

and whose father taught at the school, was five years ahead of Candice, but the legend of her portrayal of Felix lived on when he returned to the school system as a teacher and then

old black and white films. “Oh, so Felix sometimes,” she learned. “I can do that. Just being creative and thinking outside the box was my favorite part of being Felix.”

Because of the new awareness and celebrity Candice had brought to Felix, several students wanted to be the mascot the following fall, and tryouts had to be held. “I was someone who would never really talk to anybody; I really kept to myself,” recalled

Her biggest fan, she said, was her

Shannon. “And so I thought this would

boyfriend, Jeremy Hinkle. “It was a

be a perfect way to get out of my shell.

interactive personality,” he noted.

natural fit. It really was,” said Jeremy.

Candice had a lot of fun. And nobody

Candice said peering through the

“She’s always had a real bubbly

really knows who’s behind the mask

personality. And she’s always been

and the costume.”

administrator. “Candice took Felix to another level as an animated and

mesh eyes of the Felix costume, she found freedom to really clown around. “I was outgoing, but I didn’t know that I could entertain crowds of 4,500 people. It’s like a transformation. I found my groove when I became

outgoing and wanting to talk and play around with people and just be the class clown.” Jeremy said that as a farm kid, he didn’t get to attend too many high


school games, but he always made it

She said she learned so much about

appeared as Felix. The couple dated

herself — through Felix. “I learned that I’m kinesthetic. I move with my body. If I hear music, I’m moving my hands and my legs. And what made Felix was how much I moved. Mascoting is all about telling a story through your body. Because you can’t talk, right? So you’ve got to communicate in other ways.”




a point to attend the games Candice throughout high school and married just after college.

Shannon won the part as Felix for the 1996-97 school year and continued playing the role of Felix until she graduated in 1999. Shannon said she was always more introverted, not boisterous and a class clown like Candice — until she got into the Felix costume. “It’s kind of that switch that clicks, and you just feel invincible,” she said. “You just know

After Candice graduated from

what you have to do. And you know

Logansport, Jeremy’s little sister

that you make people smile. And when

Shannon tried out for Felix. As a

you make people smile, you feel good.

freshman, she knew Candice had been Felix, but she said she never thought much about it until someone

Felix the Cat, Logansport High School’s mascot since 1926, is everywhere around the school. Along with its celebrity mascot, Logansport also has the oddly unique nickname “Berries.” The dubbing is believed to have been aptly derived from the similarities in name and color to the red and black Loganberry.

Felix the Cat has been updated in looks (and costumes) over the years, but is still a mainstay at the Berry Bowl, the home gymnasium for the Logansport High School teams.

If it’s jumping around acting crazy,

grade son Mason asked if he could

then by golly, that’s what you’ll do. If

be Pepe. She let him try it on for size,

it’s sitting on the floor playing blocks

and he never gave it up.

with kids, then that’s what you need to do.”

Mason said he was more quiet than his mom. “I don’t normally like talking

Meanwhile, after graduation,

to people as much, … which is kind of

Candice had gone to St. Joseph

a nice thing because as Pepe you are

College in Rensselaer (which

expected to be silent,” noted Mason,

has since shuttered) on a softball

now 17 and entering his senior year.

scholarship. But the softball coach

“It’s a different mindset when you’re

He’s not kidding about “owning it.”

had also seen her perform as Felix

actually in Pepe. I’m happy chasing

Little sister Valerie, who’s a freshman

and recommended her for a mascot

people around, having my tail pulled

this fall, has asked about filling in as

scholarship, too. St. Joe’s mascot was

… off in some cases.”

Pepe. “She’s bugged me for the past

also a cat — a school-color purple feline known just as “The Puma.” Candice passed some of Felix’s zany

“From seeing both,” said Jeremy, “Felix as a cartoon was always kind of

himself. “So it took me until maybe all of eighth grade to fully go into it and just own it.”

two years to let her do it a few times,” said Mason.

the jokester, the prankster; Candice

So far, he hasn’t let her. But her time

tried to bring that to Felix when she

may come. She has been assisting

was on the basketball court during

Pepe, carrying his water bottle and

After college, Jeremy and Candice

halftime. Pepe, however, doesn’t have

making sure little kids don’t pull his

moved to rural Cass County as Carroll

a cartoon or anything to model after.

tail. She hopes to step into the suit

White REMC consumers. Candice

So, it’s kind of been Mason figuring

next year. “I want to get a taste for it,”

settled in as a fifth grade teacher in

out what he can get away with.”

she said. “I just like messing around in

antics and ornery humor on to the Puma during her four years there.

the Pioneer school system in Royal Center. In 2016, just like 22 years earlier at Logansport, she discovered Pioneer Jr.-Sr. High School had a mascot — another big cat named Pepe the Panther. Its costume was hardly being used. “I used to be a mascot,” she told folks at the high school. “Let me do it.” She reprised her crazy antics to the enjoyment of Pioneer fans. “I did it for three football games and had a blast,” she said.

“It has been fun watching Mason develop his own bag of tricks,” said Candice. “I never thought he’d stick with it this long, but he really has

front of other people, like dancing and stuff and not having to worry about them knowing who you are, because you have that mask on. ”

enjoyed himself — immensely! There


is a sense of pride as a parent to see

Candice took a year sabbatical from

that something so unusual you did and

her 20-year career as a teacher,

enjoyed as a kid, is now something

and then resigned to pursue a new

your own children like doing!”

calling — the ministry. She is working

Mason admits it took him a couple of years to grow into the role. “It was really hard at first to let go and not be Mason, anymore,” he noted. “I’m

Her comeback, however, was short

Pepe. I can do whatever I want. I don’t

lived. Out of the blue, her seventh

have to sit in the bleachers,” he told

to become a Lutheran minister. This summer, she’s been interning as a chaplain at Ascension St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. “We just had to do a thing about what are your CONTINUED ON PAGE 20 AUGUST 2021



open to multiple types of people, and

And then that clues you in for this

squashed dreams.‘Oh, I thought one

just be loving to them — from little

profession. I know to back off, or, go

kids to older folks. I learned in my

forward, or give them their space. Now

That was my biggest dream.’”

youth that God had given me a special

that I’m being called to be a pastor, I

While she was joking, she did note

skill to be able to relate to people of

can use those skills to be with people.”

all ages, and races, denominations,

day I’d be a mascot in Disney World.

that mascoting did prepare her for the calling she’s now undertaking. “By

ethnicities, everything. By being a mascot, you observe people and their

being Felix, I learned that I could be

body language and their emotions.



BAGGED FELIX THE CAT Don Oriolo, who carries on his father’s legacy as the artist of Felix the Cat, visited Logansport High School for two days in 2016 to celebrate Felix’s 90th anniversary as Logansport’s mascot.

Felix the Cat was among the first celluloid celebrities. Created in 1919, the anthropomorphic cat was a contemporary of the likes of Charlie Chaplain and predated Mickey Mouse. His cartoon misadventures made him as feline phenom in the early 1920s. So, how did such a big celebrity come to be the mascot at Logansport High School and recognized as the state’s first high school mascot? As the story goes … the Logansport basketball team was having its endof-the-season banquet at a hotel in downtown Logansport in March 1926. Next to the hotel, a store’s window display featured a small stuffed Felix toy which serendipitously sported the team’s colors of black and red. As the team entered the hotel, Coach Cliff Wells bought Felix at the store. He then sat it on a table at the banquet. At some point before the next season, Wells gave the doll to Raymond




“Curly” Hupp, his senior captain on the 1926-27 team. Hupp kept the doll in his locker. At a home game early that next season, Logansport found itself down at halftime. As the team returned to floor for the second half, Hupp grabbed Felix from his locker and placed it on the floor during warmup. When the team came back to win, Felix was seen as a good luck charm. “From that point on,” said Matt Jones, Logansport’s current principal, “Felix was the official mascot of Logansport High School and the first known mascot in the state of Indiana.” The cartoon Felix underwent changes in the ensuing decades: making talking cartoons, getting face lifts and getting a “bag of tricks.” New animated cartoons for TV by Joe Oriolo, who also created Casper the Friendly Ghost and was a protégé of the original Felix artist, brought Felix to a new

generation of youngsters in the 1950s and 1960s. Always highly revered at Logansport, Felix became a living, breathing mascot for the first time in the late 1980s when the first Felix costume was donated. Felix has been interacting with fans, dancing, acting silly and firing up the home team ever since. In December 2016, Logansport celebrated Felix’s 90th anniversary with the school. The celebration took place in conjunction with a girls/boys varsity basketball double-header. Other mascots — including Boomer from the Indiana Pacers and high school and college mascots from around the state — joined the Felix festivities. For the event, Logansport also brought Oriolo’s son, Don, who carries on his father’s tradition as the Felix illustrator, to town. Oriolo appeared at a community event, singing, drawing images of Felix and telling stories from Felix’s past. He also talked about cartooning to both high school and elementary classes. “The tradition of the cat story is such a critical part of our rich traditions,” noted Jones. “We’re just extremely proud with the connection with Felix the Cat. It just goes hand-in-hand with Logansport High School.”



Educate children on bus safety before they leave for school


he school bus stop is a place where friendships can be forged for life. But there are also hazards children should be aware of. Distracted drivers who don’t see or choose to ignore the stopped school bus lights are something children all need to watch for as they stand on the curb or cross the road. But there are also electrical hazards that children should be taught to avoid. “A lot can happen in the few minutes children are waiting for the bus,” said John Gasstrom, CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “It’s our duty as parents, grandparents or guardians to teach them of the dangers around them.” Keep these situations in mind when talking to your children about school bus and bus stop safety:

DON’T PLAY NEAR OR AROUND ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT • Warn your child not to climb up trees and electrical poles or on

guy wires that might put them dangerously close to overhead power lines. • Warn your child to stay away from pad-mount transformers (the big, usually green boxes) or other electrical equipment in your neighborhood. Children might view these as perfect for climbing and playing on or lying on while waiting for the bus. But 7,200 volts of electricity are usually coursing through them. • Do some homework yourself: before the school year starts, find out exactly where the stop will be. Check it out yourself for blind spots and dangers curious kids might get into while waiting in the morning.

THINK HOW TO STAY SAFE IN CASE THERE’S A BUS ACCIDENT • If the school bus is ever in an accident and ends up in a ditch, the bus may have hit a utility pole. Power lines may have dropped and

be touching the bus. Teach your child to assume any fallen lines are still energized and dangerous. Let your child know if he or she is OK after an accident, remain in the bus as the driver calls 911. • In an emergency, your child may need to exit the bus. Show him or her how to jump clear from the bus with both feet together, avoiding contact with the bus and the ground at the same time. Then, he or she should shuffle away with tiny steps, keeping both feet together and on the ground at all times. This will reduce the risk for electrical shock or electrocution. Tell your child to look closely for fallen power lines to avoid accidently walking into them. Take the opportunity to practice this with your child, even if it’s just from your own vehicle. Talking to your kids about scary situations can sometimes be difficult but having continuous and proactive conversations is a great way to help them remember should the time come.




Ask Rosie

Tipmont REMC consumer B. Rosie Lerner is a longtime Indiana Connection contributer who recently retired as Purdue Extension’s consumer horticulturist. Questions about gardening issues may be sent to “Ask Rosie,” Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606, or use the form at IndianaConnection.org.



Unpruned plants can get leggy

Hydrangeas in my yard (it’s

and weak, causing branches to

a big yard). They are 8 years old.

bend or break from the weight of

I’ve pruned them every winter. They

the blooms. When you do prune,

bloom profusely and are in great

do so in late winter or early spring

shape. My question is: Can I skip a

before the new growth begins. If

year pruning them, and, if so, how

you prune every two or three years,

might that impact them?

remove the largest third of the

Greg Kubala, via email


branches back to just above the base of the plant. For the branches

Wow, that is a huge planting

that remain, you can remove the

— and a lot of pruning! You

top one-third or so of the branches.

don’t have to prune them every

Make those cuts just above a pair

year. Limelight is a cultivar of the

of vegetative buds. You can find

Hydrangea paniculata, which

more information on pruning at

blooms on new wood. Pruning


can help make for a stronger,


less crowded plant structure and can encourage more productive blooming wood.



Last winter, I lost the male winterberry bush, Jim Dandy.

The three female winterberries I have are Red Sprite. I am having trouble finding a replacement for Jim Dandy. Is there another variety that would pollinate the red sprite that might be more easily available? Shirley Weidner, White County, Indiana


Jim Dandy is the recommended male

pollenizer for the Red Sprite winterberry because it is the earliest to flower and has the maximum amount of overlap with Red Sprite’s flowering season. Apollo and Raritan Chief are male cultivars that are not quite as early as Jim Dandy, but should have at least some overlap in bloom time with Red Sprite. But your best bet is Jim Dandy.




SUSTENANCE AFIELD SALT AND PRESERVATIVES PRESERVE US As long as mankind has hunted, fished and foraged, someone has always brought along something fairly edible to help stave off hunger and starvation. In ancient times, folks went afield with jerky, pemmican and leather bags of parched corn. Sucking on a mouthful of over-cooked, blackened corn has pretty much fallen out of fashion, as has the globs of pemmican — which consists of pounded meat, fat and berries. At least jerky — that dried, salted meat staple — despite the abundance of healthy and nutritious snacks modern outdoor trekkers have available, is still held aloft as one of the great foods necessary for sustenance afield. Like many die-hard outdoorsmen, I, too, shied away from things labeled as healthy and nutritious. I prefer salt-laden, high-fat content, deep-fried and heavy on the gluten. Some of the more obscure yet treasured treats of us old-school hunter-gatherers are still found on our grocer’s shelves. Top of the list are Vienna Sausages. The tiny cans containing finely ground, salty, extruded mystery meat has sustained many a sportsman. An amateur may pop the lid and perhaps pour off the salty brine, but a real woodsman will tip up the can sipping away as if partaking and relishing a fine wine. For the heart-healthy source of mega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil,

look no farther than the dollar cans of sardines. Granted, being salted and packed in mustard and Louisiana hot sauce may possibly lessen any health benefits, they will still take the edge off a hunger pang. Alongside the sardines, the sharp eye will pick out tins of kipper snacks. Even saltier than their tiny packed sardine cousins, the heavy smoked, strongly flavored herring will keep you going. Anyone accompanying you in the close quarters of a ground blind, however, may find your breath more than offensive. Turkey and deer hunting usually require a minimum of a couple of peanut butter sandwiches and a Thermos of hot coffee, but I’ve had to make due with far less. An instance comes to mind when my good friend Bill Barker and I found we were poorly stocked for snacks while turkey hunting. We both had a thermos of coffee, but lacked anything to go with it. Rustling through his hunting back pack, Bill pulled out a small foil packet, ripped it open and asked, “You want some of this?” My reply, as I looked at what appeared to be finely mashed, crushed pie dough with flecks of pink was, “What is it?” Bill simply said, “A week or so ago, it was a strawberry Pop-Tart.”

Years ago, I was sturgeon fishing on the Wabash River with my late brother-in-law John Malady. Bored and hungry, I spied a can of Pringles in John’s fishing tackle. I popped the can open and shoved a handful of the chips in my mouth. I immediately started gagging on chips that were retched! “What’s wrong with the Pringles, John?” He replied, “Nothing. They were fine when we opened them two years ago.” Sometimes, you just have to tough it out! Pass the parched corn please! till next time,


JACK SPAULDING is a syndicated state outdoors writer and a member of RushShelby Energy. Readers can contact the author by writing to this publication, or by e-mail to jackspaulding@hughes. net. Spaulding’s books, “The Best Of Spaulding Outdoors” and “The Coon Hunter And The Kid,” are available from Amazon.com as paperbacks or Kindle downloads.



Wabash Valley Power news

Sunny Savings? Talk with your local electric co-op about solar energy to avoid getting burned

These dog days of

actionable steps you can

available with arrays

certified to ensure that

summer might have you

take to minimize energy

in Indiana, Illinois and

you are maximizing

considering putting those

waste. Even upgrading

Missouri. Your energy

energy savings. You may

loitering summer sunrays

to LED lighting or to

advisor can provide

find that by taking these

to work making electricity

ENERGY STAR® certified


steps, your home will be

for your home.

equipment can lead to

Advances in technology

significant savings.

…But First: Seal, Insulate, Equip! Before

much more comfortable year-round while also lowering energy use

have helped make the

If you are considering

you consider a major

cost of solar energy more

buying solar panels,

investment, you should

affordable. More people

your energy advisor

first make your home

than ever before are

can help shed light on

as energy efficient as

considering adding solar

expectations. If a solar

possible. Consider air

panels to their home. But

energy company provided

sealing wasteful cracks

before you contact a solar

financial details about

and crevices to prevent

As solar energy becomes

panel sales company,

savings, your local energy

treated air from escaping.

more affordable, you may

review these steps to see

advisor can double check.

After your home is

be considering its benefits

if solar energy may be

Sometimes projected

properly air sealed, you

more than ever. You’ve

right for you.

savings can be based on

should maximize your

trusted your local energy

unrealistic assumptions.

home’s insulation. Once

advisor for answers about

Unfortunately, sometimes

you have done that, you

your home’s energy use.

people learn this after

can double check to make

You can trust him or her

they sign contracts. If

sure your home’s heating

as well to help answer

you want green energy,

and cooling equipment

your questions about

there may be lower cost

is efficient and properly

solar power That way, you

options. Some electric co-

sized for your home. You

can soak in the benefits

ops offer Co-op Solar, a

can search for equipment

without getting burned!

community solar program

that is ENERGY STAR®

Talk to Your Electric Cooperative If you want to lower your energy bill, your co-op’s energy advisor can review your home’s energy use and may even provide a home energy audit to provide



– saving money in the process – and lowering the amount of solar panels you need to purchase and pay for.

Peachy KEEN


Turn at the giant peach for produce and more PHO TO S BY RI CHARD G . BI EVER

How a roadside produce

But what has kept

make Knox County and

berries. Whenever family

stand called “The Big

locals and passersby

the surrounding areas a

members from Chicago

Peach” could become

coming to the Big Peach

melon mecca. Southwest

visit, they always have to

so iconic in the heart

for generations is its

Indiana’s sandy soils

visit the market. “They’re

of southwest Indiana’s

extraordinary variety of

and climate are well-

from the city so they like

melon country says a lot

fresh seasonal produce,

suited for producing

seeing a produce stand

about marketing. While

peach slushies, cider,

cantaloupes and melons.

like this.”

the popular family-

ice cream, and jars of

Small roadside stands that

owned market along U.S.

local honey, jellies and

rely on the honor system

41 north of Vincennes

jams, and salsa and

up to large enclosed

began with a peach

sauces. The family-

markets, like the Big

orchard on the property

owned market also

Peach, dot U.S. 41 from

in 1954, its giant 20-foot-

sells embroidery items,

Terre Haute south to the

tall concrete peach

T-shirts, homemade pies,

southernmost tip of the

alongside a yellow mini–

gift items, fudge, and


Washington Monument

more. Come autumn,

that make for a vintage

specials include caramel

and kitschy attention

apples, apple cider, apple


butters, pumpkin butter

“The kids get really

and persimmon pulp.

For the Flynn family, driving down from Terre Haute to Vincennes’ Rainbow Beach Family Aquatic Center, The Big Peach was a great rest stop before hitting the beach: A potty break for

“Everyone knows

the kids, and ice cream.

the Big Peach,” said

Dad Larry Flynn said they

Mattie Hagemeier, 24,

stop there all the time

a WIN Energy REMC

to check out the snacks,

consumer from up the

jams and jellies. “We

excited. They’ve just

Now’s the season for juicy

road in Carlisle, who

know they are localized

never seen a peach that

watermelons, cantaloupe

stopped in to purchase

here,” he said.

big,” said Esmeralda

and other melons that

some green beans and

Cavazos, who’s managed the shop for seven years. She said kids equate the peach with the popular children’s book and movie “James and the Giant Peach.” Copies of the books are sold at the market, too.

THE BIG PEACH is open daily from May through October, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Its address is 7738 N. Pierce Road, Bruceville, Indiana 47516, but it’ll be easier looking for the giant peach and Washington Monument on the west side of U.S. 41, just south of the Sullivan-Knox County line. Find The Big Peach on Facebook at facebook.com/Big-Peach-936988086647074. Gabriel Flynn cools down with a chocolate ice cream cone. His family made a pit stop at the Big Peach while traveling from Terre Haute to Vincennes.

cooperative career Professional progression:

A MIND-BOGGLING BLESSING When Nick Stainbrook joined JCREMC in 2001, he came in as a 19-year-old local kid waiting his turn to become a lineman. But he had to wait in line for an apprentice position to become available. So, for the first year and a half, his position meant taking care of the JCREMC building, cleaning, mowing grass, pulling weeds. Twenty years later, Stainbrook is now heading up the engineering and operations for JCFiber, the REMC’s young fiber subsidiary. He supervises six engineers and techs as the Franklin-based cooperative, serving consumers in Johnson, Morgan, Shelby and Brown counties, joins others across the state on the “splicing” edge to bring high-speed internet to rural Hoosiers. “I love the challenge,” said Stainbrook, now 40. “When I first took it on, it was definitely mind boggling how fiber optics work and how you handle them vs. the electric. It’s definitely a different animal than what I was used to.” Stainbrook worked nine years for JCREMC as a journeyman lineman after graduating from the four-year lineman apprenticeship program. Then, in 2015, he accepted a staking engineer position which began his introduction to fiber. The cooperative had installed fiber to tie its substations

2001 hired Utility Man



2002 promoted Apprentice Lineman

together as the electric utility industry became increasingly driven by information and reliant on realtime analytics. The employee who handled the fiber for the cooperative announced his plan to retire, which allowed him to mentor his successor. Stainbrook stepped up. “At that point, we had no real idea of what it was going to turn into,” he said. “We were connecting equipment and connecting substations, but we weren’t really selling it a whole lot to customers. I just raised my hand and said ‘I’ll do it,’ and didn’t really realize what I was getting into.” By 2018, JCREMC’s new CEO saw a need for high-speed fiber internet for residential and commercial consumers in the electric cooperative’s service area. Pilot programs were put in place and marketed, and Stainbrook was named director of fiber operations for the cooperative’s new JCFiber subsidiary. JCFiber now serves over 700 residential and 120 commercial customers. A multi-phase plan announced at the end of 2020 should bring service to an additional 5,000 JCREMC members over the next four years.

2006 GRADUATED Journeyman Lineman

Nick Stainbrook Director of Fiber Operations


Looking back, Stainbrook shakes his head while pondering the unbelievable changes within JCREMC and within himself in 20 years. Now, with a bachelor’s degree under his belt he’s managing a new side of the business that is helping bring a better experience to his community. “To land where I’ve landed — in such a good job with a cooperative — and then having the versatility to go into the fiber industry and, pretty much, lead the charge … most people don’t get those kind of opportunities. It’s been a blessing,” he said. “When I first started here at 19, I barely understood what the cooperative did. It was one of those things where you put in for a job and got it. And it turned into a career.”

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


2018 promoted

2019 promoted

Staking Engineer

Fiber Project Supervisor

Director of Fiber Operations

Know what’s below. Beneath the surface of our towns and neighborhoods lies a network of buried utilities that all play a critical role in our homes and communities. That’s why it’s so important to avoid damaging these underground lines when digging for projects large and small. When you contact Indiana 811 at least two full business days before digging, our member utilities will mark the lines they operate with paint or flags. If your dig site has private underground utilities, you’ll want to go one step further and identify the location of these private lines. That’s because Indiana 811 members will never locate privately owned facilities. Always contact Indiana 811 before you dig, and if you think private utilities may be near your planned dig site, contact a private utility locating company. To learn more about private utilities, visit Indiana811.org/myutilities.



What are public utilities on private property? • Any utility owned and/or operated by a utility service provider.

What are private utilities? • Not owned and/or operated by a utility service provider. • Run from the service meter to another location on the property.

• Run from main lines onto a property, ending at a meter. • Examples include service lines for electric (red), natural gas (yellow), communications (orange) and water (blue). • Indiana 811 members will mark these lines after you contact Indiana 811.

• Examples include phone or internet service to outbuildings, sprinkler systems, water pipes leading to pools, gas lines to fire pits, and septic systems. • Indiana 811 members will not mark these lines after you contact Indiana 811.

Follow us for damage prevention news and tips. @IN811

Indiana 811

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