Carroll White REMC — December 2020 Indiana Connection

Page 1

Local companies help you stay connected.

Carroll White REMC’s



pages 19–23

Hoosiers turn eyes to wondrous skies


from the editor

End the year on a high note Commemorate this unprecedented year with a Christmas giveaway In my Christmas column last year, I talked about the gift of warmth. This year, sharing the holiday spirit with those we love and with others less fortunate is more important than ever. To say it’s been a tough year is quite the understatement. This year has transformed our habits, accelerated our fears, altered our lexicon, shattered our lifestyles and pounded our pocketbooks. In just a few months, everything changed. And we’ve all had to adjust to the changes. That’s why during this holiday season I encourage you to pause and celebrate the special times you share with others. Make memories with loved ones. Spread joy to those who need joy at this time. The holidays may be a little different this year. Isolation has been the norm for months now. But what’s really important — faith, family and friends — has never changed. So end the year on a high note. And be thankful for your blessings. Thank you for being part of the Indiana Connection family. To help you celebrate surviving 2020, I’ve pulled together a special gift pack: an ornament decorated with key phrases from this unusual year, a box of green tea (my go-to pandemic beverage), a handstitched face mask (made by me!) and other goodies. See below to find out how to enter this drawing.


On the menu: May 2021 issue: Kabobs, deadline Feb. 1.

June 2021 issue: Berries, deadline April 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.

Giveaway: Enter to win Emily’s special gift pack to commemorate this Christmas season. Visit Entry deadline for giveaway: Dec. 16.

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; email; or send to Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606.

VOLUME 70 • NUMBER 6 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 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 Vice President of Communication ADVERTISING: American MainStreet Publications Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200; Crosshair Media 502-216-8537; 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.











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

Spotlighting Adams County.

10 ENERGY How wind, natural gas (and more!) power your day.


12 I NSIGHTS 13 GRASSROOTS Why politics matter to co-ops and how you can help.

16 INDIANA EATS Procopio’s serves up Italian comfort food in Southern

17 FOOD Homemade treats make the best Christmas gifts. 19 COVER STORY Star struck: Hoosiers turn eyes toward wondrous skies.


Indiana Connection




24 DIY Storage solutions for those ‘other’ spaces. 25 SAFETY Debunking myths about electricity. 26 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS


29 TRAVEL A ride to Reindeer Ridge completes the Santa story. (Not in all editions) 30 PROFILE A splice of an outside plant technician’s life.

28 PETS Gift ideas for your furry family members. (Not in all editions)

On the cover The stars of our Milky Way galaxy tower above the Cataract Falls Covered Bridge and the flowing Mill Creek in Owen County. The bridge was built in 1876. The Milky Way — at about 13.5 billion years old — has been around a little longer. PHOTO BY ZOLT LEVAY, COURTESY OF THE INDIANA ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY



co-op news

“This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.” CARROLL WHITE REMC P.O. Box 599; Monticello, IN 47960 800-844-7161 (Toll Free) MONTICELLO OFFICE 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday DELPHI OFFICE 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday EMAIL CEO Randy W. Price BOARD OF DIRECTORS Kevin M. Bender, 219-863-6652 4280 W, 700 N, Delphi

Margaret E. Foutch, 219-279-2677 7535 W, 500 S, Chalmers

Gary E. Gerlach, 574-595-7820 9833 S. Base Road, Star City



Just as rural Americans faced the challenge of receiving electricity in the 1930s, many rural communities are now seeking access to high speed internet/broadband. In the past few Indiana Connection issues, we’ve explored rural broadband connectivity in our area. We connected with four key local providers: TWN Communications, LightStream, Yeoman Telephone/ Swayzee, and Monon Telephone Company. By understanding these companies’ business models, we can better understand how they can impact the future of rural connectivity. In the last issue, we highlighted TWN Communications and LightStream. This month, we’ll focus on Yeoman/Swayzee and Monon Telephone.

Kent P. Zimpfer, 765-479-3006 4672 E. Arrow Point Court, Battle Ground

Tina L. Davis, 219-204-2195 7249 W, 600 S, Winamac

Over 100 years of service to rural areas

Ralph H. Zarse, 219-863-6342 1535 S, 100 E, Reynolds

MISSION STATEMENT “Creatively enhancing our community through safety and service.”

Safety, Service, and Community IMPORTANT DATES Cycle 1 November bills are due Dec. 5 and are subject to disconnect Dec. 29 if unpaid. Cycle 2 November bills are due Dec. 20 and are subject to disconnect Jan. 7 if unpaid. Meters are read using the Automated Meter Reading system. Cycle 1 meters will be read on Dec. 1. Cycle 2 meters will be read Dec. 15.

Happy holidays

from the board of directors and employees of Carroll White REMC Our office will be closed on Dec. 24–25 for Christmas and Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 for New Year’s. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK carrollwhite.remc FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

Yeoman Telephone Company has served Carroll County for over a century. Considered an incumbent telephone company (An incumbent local exchange carrier is a local telephone company which held the regional monopoly on landline service before the market was opened to competitive local exchange carriers.), it provides landline service to the Yeoman area. That includes the east, south and southwest portions of land surrounding Lake Freeman. It also serves Swayzee, Sheridan, Frankton and Lapel. It is now starting service in Frankfort. The Miles family purchased Yeoman Telephone Company in 2015. “In 2019, we started the trek toward fiber optic replacement in Yeoman,” Tim Miles, company president, said. Through its

fiber service, Fiberhawk, the company built its first fiber-to-home product around the Quiet Water Circle area to outside the Landings. “Building fiber optic service is slow and expensive,” Miles said. The company, under General Manager David Blacker, plans David Blacker, to continue building general manager around Lake Freeman, north to the bridge to Monticello, on the east of Lake Freeman and north to near the airport on the west side of Lake Freeman. “The rest of the northwest and north side of Lake Freeman will eventually be served by our friends at LightStream,” Miles said. “In 2020, we will also be building connections in the town of Yeoman itself. Once the more densely populated areas in our continued on page 6 DECEMBER 2020


co-op news continued from page 5 service territory are covered, we plan to expand to rural and farm areas in our ILEC territory.” Miles hopes that the entire service area will be covered in the next 10 years. “When we speak about economic development in a primarily rural area like ours, we are mainly talking about farmers,” Miles said. Farmers, he said, need fiber more than most people realize. “From hog barns to soil samples, farmers are the ones creating data, sending it to a processing center and making crucial decisions based on the results. “A single decision could mean the difference between an entire season’s success or failure,” Miles said. “It is important for companies like ours to take the farmers’ role in our society seriously and build them a network faster and more reliable than a wireless system. “The biggest challenge we face is cost and Return-On-Investment (ROI),” Miles noted. “When you partner, it can get even dicier. Responsibilities, ownership of plant and equipment, operational costs … it can all get very confusing.” However, Yeoman Telephone Company, is open to partnering with other companies to grow and provide excellent service for its customers.

A legacy of pioneering service In August 1900, Monon Telephone Company was franchised to operate a telephone exchange in the town of Monon. Exactly when operation of the exchange began is not clear, but service was in use in April of 1902.



In 1921, Thaddeus E. Hanway, the owner of the Monticello Telephone Company, purchased Monon Telephone Company. The next year, he sold the company to his son, Herbert T. Hanway. Herbert was owner-manager of the company until his death in 1963. Thad Hanway, Herbert’s son, was assistant manager from 1949 to 1963 and then became general manager until his son, Bruce Hanway, assumed those duties. Thad’s other son, Curtis Hanway, is assistant general manager. In the early days, the company employed seven operators and one lineman. Until December 1941, old local battery telephones were used, and the phone was cranked to get the local operator. A new dial exchange, located at 315 N. Market St., was later brought into service. It was the first dial exchange in White County and remained the only one for many years. “​ From the dial installation in 1941 until the late 1950s, long distance circuits were operated by the Monon company to Monticello, Reynolds, Francesville and through Lafayette to the rest of the world,” said Bruce Hanway, owner of Monon Telephone Company. Back then, different codes needed to be dialed depending on

where a call was being placed. This confusing arrangement was changed in 1960 when Monon became the Clearwater 3 exchange in the 219 area.

Bruce Hanway, owner-manager

​“During business hours, the company employed an operator to handle all long distance calls when it operated its own separate circuits to the surrounding towns,” Hanway said. “When the operator was on duty, a call was placed by dialing her and giving her the instructions. She would then place the call and inform you when the connection was completed.” It wasn’t until 1972 that Monon subscribers were able to dial their own calls. “In 2008, we realized modern highspeed broadband would be needed in our service area for everybody and we prepared to completely replace the existing copper wires with fiber optic cables,” Hanway said. The following year, the company began construction in Monon. Construction continued until in 2017, when all its 600 customers had access to gigabit internet. “We see a fiber optic network as a critical part of both business and personal life. With the availability of very high-speed broadband in

co-op news our service area, we are ready to provide the means to boost economic development in this area and attract residents looking for the necessary support for their connected lifestyle,” Hanway said.

in good hands “The exploration of how broadband is impacting Carroll White REMC members has been insightful and educational,” said Casey Crabb, CW REMC communications and public relations manager. “There is a long history of collaboration and dedication to improving the quality of life in the rural communities we serve,” Crabb said. “By working together,

we enhance economic development opportunities which impact each of us. I am excited to see what the next chapter of this journey brings by ensuring all rural areas have access to high speed connectivity. Our future depends on this.”

Listening to members “In recent months Carroll White REMC has received a great deal of interest from members and community stakeholders relating to broadband services in the areas we serve,” said CW REMC CEO Randy W. Price. “We understand the challenges our unique region presents to internet service providers. We understand

that inadequate broadband services pose constraints on our members’ quality of life, including educational opportunities, economic development opportunities, agricultural business management, or in simply ensuring that members have service level options at a fair cost,” Price said. So, in response to our members’ inquiries, the Carroll White REMC board of directors has asked TransWorld Communication to conduct a survey to determine members’ interest in broadband service. The cooperative has a long-standing partnership with TWN Communications. When we receive the survey results, we will share the data with our members as the CW REMC board examines our broadband role in the future.

Seven non-profits receive Operation Round Up grants In the final 2020 Operation Round Up® quarter, seven area non-profits received funding. A total of $9,750 was distributed this quarter. That brings Operation Round Up’s contribution total for the year up to $48,403.94. Two local entities received $2,500 each. West Central Music Boosters will update or replace the band program’s broken instruments with its grant. “Music stays with students for the remainder of their lives,” noted Operation Round Up board members. Carroll County Council on Aging’s $2,500 grant will be used to purchase a new vehicle to transport seniors and disabled Carroll County residents. The Carroll County Community Center received $2,000 to purchase

a complete security camera system. “This system will protect adults and kids in this community,” said grant writer Jessica A. Dill. The security system will also protect the facility’s equipment. Two $1,000 grants were awarded. The First Presbyterian Church of Monticello’s Mission Team will buy gift cards with its funds so needy families can purchase shoes for their children. Brookston’s Frontier Rotary Club will use its $1,000 grant to refurbish Waugh Park in Brookston. The grant will be used for new benches, a brick walkway and table. The Rotarians will provide labor as needed. West Central High School received $500 to update the outdated and non-functional softball sound system. Delphi Community

High School received $250 to purchase books for students. Through Operation Round Up, Carroll White REMC members can “round up” their energy bills and donate that spare change to help those in need throughout the communities served by REMC. With an average donation of only $6 per year and never more than 99 cents a month, members can make a small investment that pays big dividends. To participate in Operation Round Up, please sign up at



co-op news

DIRECTOR NOMINATION PROCEDURE How a member can be nominated to serve on CW REMC’s board


he following are the guidelines

writing over their signatures not more than

regular and special meetings, or fails to

from the bylaws detailing Carroll

three (3) weeks after the district meeting

attend three (3) regular or special Board

White REMC’s director nomination

and the Secretary shall post the same at

meetings during the twelve (12) month

the same place where the list of nomina-

period commencing the first meeting fol-

tions is posted. Nominees and members

lowing the Cooperative’s Annual Meeting

making such nominations must be from the

of the Members, unless such absences

district in which a director is to be elected.

are attributable to illness, injury, or other

Nominations from the floor at the annual

just cause as determined by the board of

meeting of the members will not be accept-


procedures. The bylaws state: It shall be the duty of each director to call a meeting of the members of their district during the year in which a director is to be elected for their district at least 75 days prior to the annual meeting, and during such meeting and by the vote of the members present from such district, one person from such district shall be nominated for director for such district and shall be certified by the Member Teller of such meeting to the Board of the Cooperative within five days after such meeting. Persons seeking nomination at a district meeting shall declare their intent to seek nomination by providing a petition with the signatures of at least fifteen (15) members at least three

ed. The Secretary shall be responsible for mailing to each member of the Cooperative at least ten days prior to annual meeting, a statement of the number of Directors to be elected and showing separately the nominations made by the several districts.

ELIGIBILITY No Person shall be eligible to become or remain a Director of the Cooperative who: a. Is not a member and bona fide resident in

(3) weeks before the designated date for

the district from which he/she is nomi-

the district meeting. Such petitions shall

nated; or

be presented to the Cooperative headquarters. No nominations from the floor will be received at the district meetings. Each candidate seeking nomination shall be permitted to speak at a district meeting for the candidate’s district. The Board of Directors shall determine the maximum time to be allowed for each candidate’s comments. All nominations and voting at such meeting shall be by secret ballot, and each member present shall cast only one ballot. If two members are candidates, then member with a majority of the votes shall be certified by the Board. If more than two members are candidates for nomination, the member receiving a plurality of the votes shall be certified by the Board. In addition to the district meeting nomina-

b. Is or their spouse is, in the opinion of the board, employed by or holds a voting interest in an enterprise the board rea-

the last three (3) years.

EXPIRING TERMS Those directors whose term expires and are up for election at the next annual meeting on June 23, 2021, are: • District 1: Vacant with recent passing of Milt Rodgers • District 6: Gary Gerlach The following are the

Gary Gerlach

boundary lines for those districts. • District 1: The townships of Clay, Madison, Monroe, Democrat, Burling-

Cooperative in providing services to the

ton and Carrollton in Carroll County,

Cooperative or members of the Coop-

Indiana, as well as the townships of Ross

erative. Notwithstanding the foregoing,

and Owen in Clinton County, Indiana.

the board may find that such interest is

Also, the townships of Deer Creek and

nominal and is of minimal impact on the

Jackson in Cass County, Indiana, and the

Cooperative. In such case, the board may

townships of Ervin and Clay in Howard

waive the conflict of interest. Further, a Director’s election to the Board of Direc-

County, Indiana. • District 6: The townships of Lincoln,

tors of the Indiana Electric Cooperatives

Jackson and Cass in White County, Indi-

or to Wabash Valley Power Association,

ana, and the Jefferson, Boone, Clinton,

Inc. does not make such Director ineligi-

and Washington townships of Cass

ble and does not constitute any conflict of

County, Indiana. Also, the townships


of Liberty and Washington of Carroll

c. Fails to attend two (2) consecutive meet-

members may make other nominations in

ings of the Board of Directors, including


or a subsidiary of the Cooperative within

sonably believes to be competing with the

tion process, any twenty-five (25) or more


d. Has been an employee of the cooperative

County, Indiana, and the Indian Creek and Van Buren townships in Pulaski County, Indiana.



How wind, natural gas (and more!) power your day


ew people turn on

electric distribution co-

a living room lamp

ops in Indiana.

and ponder how it can turn on. Not many consider the complex path taken by the power that propels nearly every appliance and system

The path that electricity takes to power your day is an interesting one. See the information to the

It goes through a transformer, increasing the voltage to push the energy long distances through large transmission lines.



you use during the day

It’s also interesting to

to brew your morning

note that the electricity

coffee, keep your home

you are using now was

comfy, and entertain

just recently produced —

you with those dog and

energy is consumed as it

cat social media videos

is used, in real time.

on your phone and desktop.

Electricity is made at a power plant using fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, and renewable energy, including sun and wind.


So now that you know

When it arrives at a substation, the voltage is decreased so the electricity can move through smaller power lines.


how energy is produced, Most electric

the next time you turn

distribution co-ops

on a lamp in your

purchase electricity

home you, too, will feel

from a generation and


transmission (G&T) cooperative that owns and maintains the transmission equipment

Once it’s in your neighborhood, the power travels through smaller transformers — you might see these boxes on poles or the ground — to reduce the voltage again so it’s safe to use in your home.


carrying electricity to your community (your local electric co-op delivers it to homes and businesses in your town). Wabash Valley Power Alliance and Hoosier Energy are the generation and transmission cooperatives that serve



Dalton Caley


Energy Advisor Kosciusko REMC

Then, after passing through a meter that measures how much electricity your family uses, it goes into a service panel in your basement or garage, where breakers protect the wires in your home from overloads. After all of that, it finally goes into the walls so you can plug in!



It’s time editor to get

Letters to the Likes hearing about job opportunities

I like your Career Profile column. People entering the work world need to be aware of the variety of job opportunities available. Not everyone wants to gain a degree and may still be unsure about what they might want to do.

Karen Weesner, via email

Remembering the legend Enjoyed your article about James Dean (September 2020 issue) and you are correct when you speak of him as a legend. Became a lifelong fan after seeing “East of Eden” in the spring of ’55 after returning to Purdue after two years of Army. Was sitting at the stoplight at the bottom of Chauncey Hill (in West Lafayette) late night in my new ’55 Ford hardtop on Sept. 30, 1955, when I heard on the radio that he had died. He was two years older than me so he would be 89 now and I would like to think he would still be running those sports cars.

Steve Mills, Flora, Indiana

Organizing the spice cabinet Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your letter in the October issue of Indiana Connection. You must be quite the cook. I was very impressed by your spice line-up. Such a great article. I have been doing the same. Lots of old stuff back in the back of the cabinet. Thanks for a good laugh.

Donna Arrivo, Noblesville, Indiana



‘artsy’ Christmas break is the perfect time for students to pull out their paints, pencils, crayons, paper and canvases, and begin working on their entries for next year’s Cooperative Calendar of Student Art contest. The deadline to submit artwork to illustrate the 2022 student art calendar is March 19, 2021. First place winners in grade divisions kindergarten through grade 12 will receive $200 each. Their winning artworks will illustrate the calendar’s cover and the 12

months of the year. One “artist of the year” will also be selected and will earn an additional $100. In addition, the judges will select honorable mention winners whose artwork will also appear in the calendar. They will receive $75 each. The contest is open to Indiana public, private or home-schooled students. They must be in grades kindergarten through 12th grade during the 2020-21 school year. A complete set of rules and required entry forms are available at for-youth/art-contest.

ORDER YOUR 2021 CALENDAR TODAY! Please send ______ copy (copies) of the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art 2021 at $6 each to:

Name: Address: City, State and ZIP: Price includes shipping and Indiana sales tax. Make check payable to “Indiana Electric Cooperatives.” Send this completed form and a check to Indiana Connection Calendar; 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600; Indianapolis, IN 46240. Some electric co-ops have free calendars available for pickup in their offices. Contact them directly for more information.

Why politics matter to co-ops

and how you can help For most people, their electricity

context of the electric cooperative

provider is just the company that

program, "grassroots" is a powerful

keeps the lights on. But an electric

word. In fact, the historical success

cooperative’s relationship with

of the electric cooperatives can

its consumer-owners is different.

be largely credited to that single

Since the 1930s when Indiana’s


electric cooperatives were formed, they’ve thrived because of the political engagement between their consumer-owners and local, state and federal governments.

The electric cooperative definition of “grassroots” is “electric cooperative activists — directors, managers, employees and consumer-owners — who take an

Indiana’s electric cooperatives

active role in the political process

advocate for rural Hoosiers like

to protect their cooperative from

you on the state and federal levels

harmful legislation and regulation,

so they can continue providing

as well as to promote the value of

safe, reliable and affordable energy

cooperative ownership to their

— and maintain the quality of life


in rural communities. But electric cooperative consumer-owners need to participate in the process, too. Indiana’s electric cooperatives thrive when their consumer-

Grassroots involvement means communicating with local, state and federal legislators on issues affecting electric cooperatives.

owners stay politically engaged

Grassroots — the unified efforts

and advocate for policies that

and voices of the nation’s electric

help cooperatives best serve their

co-op supporters — has proven to


be the foundation of the industry’s

How can you do this? It all starts with grassroots activism. In the

85 years of success in serving electric co-ops, their owners and their communities.

What does a grassroots advocate do? By registering as an advocate for Indiana’s electric cooperatives, you will be kept up to date on major legislative and political utility issues, at both the state and federal levels. You will receive monthly communication via email or text alert, ranging from educational pieces, surveys, story collections, and even calls to action. Grassroots advocates for Indiana’s electric cooperatives help keep rural Indiana strong and the cooperative voice heard. Advocates may also be called upon to contact their legislators and speak up for Indiana’s electric cooperatives. As a grassroots advocate, you will be on the front lines of keeping rural Hoosiers’ voices loud and strong.

To become a grassroots advocate for Indiana’s electric cooperatives, visit

county feature

Adams County Though the first non-Native settlers in Adams County were from New England, encouraged by the new Erie Canal, it was the arrival of the first Amish/Mennonite settlers in 1840 and the German-Swiss immigrants that followed that left a lasting impact on the culture of the county, especially in its southern half. Berne was settled in 1852 by immigrants who named the community for the capital of Switzerland. The first train to arrive at the Berne railroad depot came Christmas Day 1871. The railroad brought a steady stream of Swiss and German people into the area. Simultaneously to the south of Berne, two neighboring towns merged in 1871 to create Geneva, named after another Swiss city. Perhaps the most well-known individual from Adams County was Gene Stratton-Porter. Though she was originally from Wabash County, her career as a best-selling writer of fiction, non-fiction and essays; nature photographer; naturalist; and silent movie-era producer, began with her love of the flora and fauna of a vast wetland known as the Limberlost Swamp. The swamp once straddled the Adams-Jay county line south of the Wabash River. After moving to Geneva in 1888, Stratton-Porter began spending much time exploring, observing nature, sketching, and making photographs at the nearby wetland. She also began writing nature stories and books. The swamp was the setting for two of her most popular



The Limberlost Cabin in Geneva is where Gene Stratton-Porter lived from 1895 to 1913. Stratton-Porter immortalized the area’s Limberlost swamp in her writings, photography and work as a naturalist. She was ahead of her time in championing the importance of wetlands as they were being destroyed. Today, the home is a maintained as a museum to Stratton-Porter and part of the Limberlost State Historic Site.

novels, Freckles (1904) and A Girl of the Limberlost (1909).

y t n u o C acts F


NAMED FOR: John Quincy Adams, President of the United States, 1825-1829, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts, 1831 until his death in 1848, when the county was founded.

But at the very time she POPULATION: was immortalizing Lim35,777 (2019 estimate) berlost in her writings and photographs, the COUNTY SEAT: Limberlost was being lost Decatur — drained to collect its gas deposits and create farmland. With the destruction of her beloved natural area, a group of local residents who she purchased land for a new home recognized its environmental on Sylvan Lake in Noble County and historical importance. with the profits from her successful (The restoration was previously writings, and the family moved in documented in two issues of this 1913. publication.) At approximately 1,500 The Limberlost Cabin, where she lived in Geneva from 1895 to 1913, today is the Limberlost State Historic Site. The state operates the site, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, as a house museum. Part of the original swamp was restored beginning in 1991 by

acres, the Loblolly Marsh, taking the original Native American name for the swamp, today once again offers habitat to many different types of birds and other wildlife. Nature programs throughout the summer also offer visitors a chance to enjoy guided tours of the land surrounding the site with an onstaff naturalist.

Indiana eats


Procopio’s Serving up Italian comfort food in Southern Indiana

Italian food is comfort food for many of us. It warms our souls and stomachs, and tantalizes our taste buds. In Vincennes, Procopio’s Pizza and Pasta is the first choice for diners looking for Old World flavors in a comfortable setting. Established in 2006, the family-owned business, run by Procopio Palazzolo and Kristen Maeder, is located in a renovated historic building on the corner of Second and Broadway streets in Vincennes’ downtown. Procopio’s extensive menu includes all the traditional favorites — plus some exclusive selections. The Bruschetta is a fan favorite appetizer as are the Bosco Sticks, mozzarella-filled breadsticks garnished with garlic butter, parmesan and oregano. Popular entrees include the stuffed pizza and stuffed pastas. The Pasta Rosa, which blends alfredo and meat sauce with ham and mushrooms, is a Procopio’s specialty. Salads, sandwiches, desserts and a kids’ menu (creatively called Little Italy) round out the offerings.

There's more than one way to top a pizza. Procopio's Supreme Pizza (front, left) features nine tasty toppings. But the Vincennes restaurant will also prepare its pies however you like them — whether you prefer a simple cheese version or want to focus on pepperoncini and other vegetables.

Though Knox County residents are most familiar with Procopio’s, the local treasure is getting statewide recognition on two of Indiana Foodways Alliance’s “Indiana Culinary Trails”: “Za Pizza Trail” and “Cultural Cuisine Trail.” The restaurant hosts a candlelight dinner for two on the first Saturday of every month featuring two entrees, two side salads, two pieces of homemade bread, two soft drinks and a dessert (the Tira Mi Su and cannoli are favorites). Thursday is Steak Night. Procopio’s can cater your next event – or host a get-together for a crowd in its party room. A full bar is available as well.

Procopio’s Pizza and Pasta CANNOLI: Cinnamonflavored shell filled with a sweet ricotta cheese and a chocolate chip mix.



127 N. Second St., Vincennes, Indiana 812-882-0914


From your kitchen,


18 oz. semi- sweet chocolate chips (3 cups) 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk 2 T. butter ¼ cup chopped almonds ¼ cup chopped red candied cherries 1 t. almond extract

Line an 8- by-8-inch square pan with foil. Grease foil. In microwave, melt chocolate chips, condensed milk, and butter for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave and stir in 15 second intervals until mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in cherries, almonds, and almond extract. Spread into pan. Chill for two hours. Lift from pan and peel away foil. Cut into squares. Store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature to serve. Makes about 24 pieces.

Editor’s note: Need a quick gift for your book club pals or those at the office? Spread fudge into holiday-themed cookie cutters (as shown above), chill for two hours and then place into individual treat bags. Tie bags with festive ribbons. DECEMBER 2020


food TEDDY BEAR BROWN SUGAR PECAN COOKIES Simon May, Fort Wayne, Indiana 2 ½ cups flour ¼ t. baking powder ¼ t. salt ¾ cup packed light brown sugar 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 t. vanilla Whole pecans 1 cup chocolate chips Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Beat the brown sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed until completely incorporated. Divide the dough in half, pat into two discs about ¼-inch thick, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about one hour and up to overnight. Position oven racks in the top and

PEANUT BUTTER-WHITE CHOCOLATE POPCORN Patricia Piekarski, Harvey, Illinois

bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Line

6 cups salted popcorn

two baking sheets with parchment paper. Let the

1 cup cocktail peanuts

dough sit at room temperature for a few minutes to make rolling easier. Roll out one disc of dough at a

1 cup red and green candy-coated chocolate pieces

time between two sheets of parchment paper until

½ cup peanut butter chips

it is ⅛ inch thick. Cut out teddy bears with cookie cutter and arrange about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Place a pecan diagonally across the chest of each bear and carefully fold the arms up to hug the nut. Bake until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom, 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely. Gently gather any scraps into a ball and press into a disc; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate the disc until it is firm enough to roll, about 1 hour. Cut out as many cookies as possible, decorate with pecans as above, and bake. Decorate the cookies by melting the chocolate chips, placing them in a plastic bag, cutting the corner to make a very small tip, and dotting ears, eyes, mouth and feet with small dots of chocolate. Cook’s note: Everyone is looking for that Instagramable moment when it comes to holiday baking and this one takes the cake … I mean cookie!



¾ cup sugar ¾ cup light corn syrup ⅛ t. salt ¼ cup creamy peanut butter 4 oz. white chocolate, chopped Line baking sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray. Combine popcorn, peanuts, candy-coated chocolate pieces and peanut butter chips in a large bowl. Heat sugar, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan over medium heat while stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Whisk in peanut butter. Let cool 5 minutes. Whisk in white chocolate until chocolate is melted. Pour over popcorn mixture, quickly stirring to coat. Place on baking sheet, using two forks to spread mixture over the foil. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Break into pieces. Fill cellophane bags for giftgiving. Makes 11 cups. FO O D PREPARED BY I NDI ANA CO NNECTI O N STA FF PHO TO S BY TAYLO R M ARAN I O N



Hoosiers turn eyes to wondrous skies BY RICHARD G. BIEVER On a clear night, J im Tague can see forever. Through his backyard telescope, he can look out across the eons. What he finds there among the ancient dapples of starlight and emptiness, he’s sometimes not sure of. But that’s what’s kept him stargazing since he was a boy. “What draws me to it is that mystery. It’s a big universe to wonder about,” he said. Most nights are routine. He almost takes for granted the galaxies and star clusters he’s visited so often. But sometimes, even this 76-year-old retired banker, a Kosciusko REMC member from Winona Lake, is struck by the magnitude of it all. “There are times you’ll think, ‘My word, I’m looking across 2 million light years of space.’ Sometimes it just dawns on you.”

On a clear night, Zolt Levay attaches his digital camera to a tripod planted

continued on page 20 A barn in Monroe County stands against a Milky Way backdrop. PHOTO BY ZOLT LEVAY/ZOLTLEVAY.COM COURTESY OF THE INDIANA ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY



Comet NEOWISE hangs in the heavens above Brown County. Discovered just last March, the dirty “ice ball” made its appearance just before sunrise and after sunset for a couple of weeks this summer. PHOTO BY ZOLT LEVAY/ZOLTLEVAY.COM COURTESY OF IAS

continued from page 19 firmly on terra firma and opens the shutter. During the day, the vastness of the universe is lost in the sun; everything is awash with light. But at night, that curtain is lifted. Levay captures aweinspiring images of what’s really out there beyond the veil. Levay said it’s the curiosity and mystery of the night sky that intrigues him as the heaven and the Earth come together in his images. “The sky is so different from our experience of the terrestrial environment,” he said. His photos of the spangled trail of the 13.5 billion-year-old Milky Way against earthly well-worn and weathered barns and covered bridges offer a whole new meaning of grandeur and the concept of age. “Our personal experience on the Earth is this tiny little place. Even just looking at the night sky gives you a glimpse of that,” he said. “As you begin to study the universe and learn, and you begin to understand what you’re looking at, it makes the universe larger, in a sense.



It gives this three-dimensionality to the universe that it otherwise doesn’t really have.”

On clear nights, all across rural Indiana, far from the glare of city lights, astronomers like Levay and Tague turn the lenses of their cameras and telescopes of all sizes and shapes into the swirling starry skies. Some of these starfaring voyagers are fascinated by the simple sights of the night sky, the well-traveled constellations and planets. Others like the physical challenge of tracking down obscure astronomical objects to see what relatively few others have seen. Still others are looking for things no one has ever seen. Some simply enjoy the camaraderie in the astronomical clubs or “societies” around the state that devote an evening or two a month to these heavenly pursuits. About a dozen astronomical societies are scattered across the state and on the borders. Their memberships range in size from a dozen astronomers to

240. Members vary from newcomers and casual observers to hard-core amateurs who intensely delve into research. Membership fees are generally around $25-$30 per year and may include a subscription to national monthly publications and usually a club newsletter. John Molt is president of the Indiana Astronomical Society, which includes members from central Indiana and is the state’s largest group. He said they count 40-50 regularly active members who attend meetings and events. Of course, “regularly” in this year of COVID-19 has taken different meanings. Most all the planned public gatherings Indiana’s astronomical societies usually hold throughout the year had to be canceled. Members still met privately in small groups to gaze into the night skies, especially when Comet NEOWISE showed up for a brief couple of weeks in the morning, then evening skies as it looped its way around the sun this summer. (If you missed it, the 3-mile wide ice ball isn’t expected to be back again for another 6,800 years.)

Molt, 65, is a certified arborist and said he’s interested in all things outdoors. “I just like looking at the interesting things in the sky. I don’t think too much how they got there, how long they will be there. I just enjoy the visual part of seeing them.” Levay is also a member of IAS. He moved to Bloomington with his wife, a native Hoosier, after he retired a few years ago from the Space Telescope Science Institute that operates the Hubble Space Telescope. The 68-year-old Levay, who has a degree in astronomy from Indiana University, worked on the Hubble Space Telescope for 35 years in the institute’s outreach office in Baltimore. His job was to take the data Hubble gathered to produce those incredible photographs and graphic illustrations the public saw from Hubble. Kurt Eberhardt, 63, a Kosciusko REMC member and long-time president of the Warsaw group, had intended on making astronomy his livelihood when he went to Indiana University in the mid-1970s. But the space program was beginning to wane and the few jobs available were becoming even more scarce. He was advised to go into astrophysics.

after a meeting, conversations can be probing and lively — from various astronomical topics to the origins of man and theology to Star Trek. Molt and Eberhardt both noted the groups thrive on the diverse interests that members bring. Some members, like Levay, excel at photography. Others love the public outreach and speaking to school groups. Still others just enjoy the simplicity of learning the night sky and being able to point out the constellations. “There are bunch of different ways to approach the hobby,” Eberhardt said. “You find all these other people who share a common language and interest, but they all approach it from a different way. Areas that you may not have thought of before, you watch another guy doing it, so you learn about all kinds of stuff.” Group members speak at libraries and schools and host public “star parties” throughout the year where folks can come out to learn and observe the skies through a number of telescopes. Many of these societies have built their own observatories through

continued on page 22

But Eberhardt didn’t want to be stuck inside. “I’d rather be out under the telescope,” he said, than pushing a pencil with numbers and readings.

For hearty souls willing to bear the nighttime chill, the heavens will produce some extraordinary sights this month and next if the sky is clear:

Dec. 13-14 Geminids Meteor Shower. Considered by many to be the best meteor shower, the Geminids will produce up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour during this peak time. The shower runs annually Dec. 7-17. The nearly new moon will ensure a dark sky. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

Dec. 21 Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. This coming together happens every 20 years, but this will be the closest they’ve appeared since 1623. The two bright planets will appear like a bright double planet. Look to the west just after sunset.

Dec. 21-22 Ursids Meteor Shower. The Ursids is a minor meteor shower producing about 5-10 meteors per hour at its peak. The shower runs annually Dec. 17-25. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Ursa Minor, better known as the Little Dipper, in the northern sky, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

He then studied geology and eventually became a high school science teacher. Though retired from teaching, he still combines his interests in astronomy and geology by studying meteorites. He said members of the groups all bring different backgrounds and interests to astronomy. And when they get together at McDonald’s


Jan. 2-3 Quadrantids Meteor Shower. PHOTO BY RICHARD G. BIEVER

Kurt Eberhardt adjusts the Warsaw Astronomical Society’s 12-inch Meade Schmidt–Cassegrain telescope at its observatory at Camp Crosley YMCA in North Webster.

The Quadrantids is an above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at its peak. The shower runs annually from Jan. 1-5. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, but can appear anywhere in the sky. DECEMBER 2020


continued from page 21 fundraisers and donations that they open to the public. Others have access to public observatories. The Indiana Astronomical Society has use of Indiana University’s historic Link Observatory. Amateur astronomer and noted Indianapolis surgeon Dr. Goethe Link built the observatory and equipped it with a 36-inch reflector telescope, the largest in Indiana at the time, for his own personal use in the 1930s. In 1948, Link donated it to IU with an endowment and stipulation that it be used to generate interest in astronomy with the general public. The telescope is still the second largest in Indiana, behind Butler University’s Holcomb Observatory. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the observatory, situated atop a wooded ridge south of Mooresville, was the site of many asteroid discoveries. But by the early-1980s, the observatory had become obsolete for IU’s research purposes. In 1986, IU handed the key to the observatory to the amateur society. Before the pandemic, the observatory was regularly open on clear weekend nights to the public. Steve Haines, the event and outreach coordinator for IAS, said his interest in astronomy is creating interest for others by showing them the sights. “One of the things you will never forget in your life is the first time you see Saturn through a telescope,” he said. But seeing isn’t always believing, Tague and Eberhardt discovered. The Warsaw group’s observatory is on a hilltop inside Camp Crosley YMCA near North Webster. Often on clear nights during special camp sessions, group members open up the roof for the campers and their parents to gaze through their larger telescope. When groups from Chicago had come, Tague said they would show them Saturn and its rings. “I don’t know how many times this happened, but they would actually look around to see if



The moon takes on added three-dimensionality when viewed in phases other than full because the sun is lighting it from the sides, revealing its craters in deeper shadows. PHOTO BY KURT EBERHARDT, COURTESY OF THE WARSAW ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

we didn’t have a picture of that thing hanging there. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing.”

with astronomy you have that realworld connection of being able to see the night sky.”

Eberhardt said one guy was so incredulous, he came up after everyone else had left and said, “Be honest with me, you’re showing us a picture, right?”

Haines noted young students always have interesting comments as they try to relate what they know about space, such as asking if astronomy club members are “astronauts.”

“No, we’re showing the real thing,” Eberhardt told him. To convince the man, Eberhardt turned a second telescope outside toward Saturn and let him look again. “You wouldn’t happen to have two pictures would you?” the man asked … “Am I REALLY seeing it?”

They may not be astronauts, but when you look at distant stars, you are space voyagers — and time travelers. “People always talk about telescopes as being time machines,” said Levay. “And that’s another aspect of studying the sky and studying astronomy that’s attractive to a lot of people. The farther we look, the farther we’re actually looking back in time, as well, because light takes time to travel to us. So, we’re really seeing things as they were thousands, or millions, or even billions of years ago.”

Eberhardt noted that’s one of the neat things about astronomy: Many of the most popular objects are there for all to see in real time, and one never tires of seeing them. Some are a little more challenging and take some skill to find. Astronomy is one science that is accessible to everyone in the most basic sense, noted Levay. “Everybody sees the moon, and everybody sees the same moon all over the Earth. Everybody can experience it. The average person has no real world experience with a lot of areas of science, such as nuclear physics, but

On a clear night, the rural sky reveals heavenly highways and hamlets, byways and burgs to travel upon and visit. Astronomers and stargazers leave this tiny tired and torn old world to both wander and wonder about all that’s above: whether it means looking through a large telescope or

simply gazing upward from a grassy hillside; whether it means discovering a variable star or wishing on the first star seen tonight. Some look to the clear night sky for answers to questions asked since the dawn of time: How did we get here? Where do we fit in the grand scheme of it all? Where are we going? Some astronomers find tiny specks of answers in telescopes, collected data, computations and calculations. Some find a deeper faith in God amid the mysteries and incomprehensible vastness. And if the clear night sky causes us just to stop to ponder these things for even a moment, … then maybe that’s just what a clear night is for.

Richard G. Biever is senior editor of Indiana Connection. This story is an updated account of one he wrote for this publication 25 years ago.

Star Tubin’ Instructors have long sought new ways to liven up their lecture classes. But Ivy Tech Community College associate professor Kurt Messick has boldly gone where no prof has gone before. For his summer and fall astronomy classes, made virtual by COVID-19, the Bloomington instructor has tapped a well of guest speakers that reads like “Star Trek” cast reunions and a who’s who of science fiction and pop culture phenoms. And his students are loving the cameos and their quips. Some 45 stars have contributed the mostly short, 1-3 minute, unscripted videos. Messick usually injects them during announcements, special emails, introductions to lectures, or discussion-board pieces. He said he gathered them after “carpet bombing” Hollywood with requests during quarantine downtime, initially only expecting a few stars to respond. William Shatner, Capt. James T. Kirk of the original “Star Trek” crew, told the Bloomington Ivy Tech students that their minds, like the Starship Enterprise, were on a “voyage of discovery.” “You push the boundaries of what we know very quickly,” the affable actor said. Messick plans to plug the clips in as long as classes remain virtual, and even beyond. But you don’t need to enroll to see them. Messick has posted them on YouTube. Find the links with this story at

DON’T GIVE THE ‘CLOSET TELESCOPE’ FOR CHRISTMAS If you’re new to astronomy and thinking of gazing upon a Christmas star through a new telescope, Indiana’s astronomical societies have some advice: wait — and first join a nearby astronomical society, or at least attend a society meeting or public event (which may be virtually until COVID concerns pass).

Do not blindly buy a telescope. Steve Haines, the outreach coordinator for the central Indiana-based Indiana Astronomical Society Folks that do, Haines noted, especially those who purchase inexpensive telescopes on a tripod

from department stores, will often be dissatisfied because the instrument won’t perform as advertised or as the recipient might expect. And soon, the common fate is the instrument is relegated to a closet. Many members of astronomical societies love sharing their interest with newcomers and will help you pick the right instrument based on your interests — what you hope to see in the night sky and learn, how mobile you want the scope to be, and how much you can afford. In addition, members of astronomical clubs are always upgrading their equipment, too, which means well-maintained, used scopes are often on sale to fellow club members for a fair price.

Finally, a good pair of binoculars often will satisfy a newcomer — plus binoculars have the added practicality of mobility and can be used in watching sports or observing wildlife. When Comet NEOWISE appeared low in the evening sky this past summer, binoculars were sufficient in seeing the fuzzy-tailed snowball against the haze on the horizon. A list of the active astronomical societies around Indiana can be found with this story on our website at DECEMBER 2020



Storage Solutions for Those ‘Other’ Spaces This year, many people had extra time at home to devote to storage and organization in their living spaces. But sometimes the non-livable spaces became haphazard catch-alls for household items and outdoor tools. If so, devote some time, tools, and a new mindset to those spaces, and start the new year with a clean(ed) slate.

The Garage: If this is where you store all the stuff you can’t bear to part with, you may have kicked out its intended occupant — your car. After your home, your car is your next largest investment, so bring it back inside or just add a little more room to maneuver. Keep long-handled tools and yard implements safely off the floor with a handy storage rack that hangs everything where you can see it. There are lots of options for garage shelving, and four- or five-tier steel units with corrosion-resistant finishes fare best in damp or humid conditions. Look for free-standing units with a high weight capacity for bulky items like fertilizer bags or gas cans. For smaller items, wall-mounted shelving units are great. Just make sure to secure them safely to the wall studs with an anchor. Don’t forget your garage’s vertical space. Overhead storage racks are a



popular choice for storing totes and hanging items like bicycles, sporting, and camping equipment.

The Attic and Basement: Even a small attic is a great place to keep items safely out of the way. But before tossing items into an unfinished attic or basement, consider their fragility. Noninsulated attics are like ovens in the summertime and ice boxes in winter. The hot and cold cycles of the seasons can wreak havoc on them. To avoid fading or decay, don’t store paperbased keepsakes like baseball cards, scrapbooks, and photographs there. Items that can stand the heat but not dampness should be placed in strong plastic bins with snug-fitting lids. A small container of Damp-rid would come in handy here as well. Large vinyl storage bags with handles are


great options for airtight and watertight sealed storage. Large or bulky attic-worthy items like artificial Christmas trees do well with just a tarp covering to keep dust or dampness off its limbs. Your home’s ceiling often makes up your attic floor, but open drywall won’t hold you or your stuff. Consider laying down some thick plywood with strong screws across the floor beams. There are many storage solutions for all those other spaces around your home. With a little creativity and desire to pull it all together, you’ll have all your spaces tidy and manageable in no time. Visit your local Do it Best store or for thousands of the best home improvement products, including storage solutions for all areas of your home.

Don and Sally Merriman

Don and Sally Merriman are the owners of Doc’s Hardware in Albion. They are member-owners of Do it Best Corp., a Fort Wayne-based cooperative of thousands of hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards throughout the US and around the world. (This article is for informational purposes only. Indiana Connection and Do it Best Corp. assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, or for injuries, property damage, or the outcome of any project.)


Debunking myths about

electricity When it comes to electricity, what you don’t know can kill you.

Among other electricity myths:

Unfortunately, sometimes we think we’ve got the facts when what we really know are popular myths perpetuated by social media, movie exaggerations and unreliable sources.

TRUTH: That’s true only if they are 100 percent pure rubber with no holes or tears (the kind that electric lineworkers wear and are regularly inspected). The gloves a lineman wears are laboratory tested to withstand 20,000 volts. Typical cleaning gloves and shoes, which are made with rubber mixed with cheaper materials, aren’t going to protect you in an electrical encounter.

“That old saying ‘knowledge is power’ is very true, especially when electric power is involved,” said John Gasstrom, CEO at Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “That’s why we take every opportunity we can to educate our consumers, young people and other folks in the community about electric safety.” One myth that could be particularly dangerous this time of year is the one suggesting that when a power line falls on the ground, it automatically becomes dead. “You should always stay away, 30 feet or so, even if you don’t see sparks,” Gasstrom said. “Assume a downed line is a live line.” Call your electric cooperative or 911 immediately when you see a downed line so trained personnel can take care of the problem. Along that same line: If you’re in a car that strikes a utility pole, stay in the car, call 911 and wait until the utility workers tell you it’s safe. Dropped power lines are hard to see, especially at dusk or at night. Stepping from your car may create a path to ground for electricity or you may walk into a fallen line and be electrocuted.

MYTH: Rubber gloves and rubber shoes protect you from electricity.



Power lines are insulated. NOT TRUE: At least 90% of them are NOT insulated. Ones that might have been insulated could have lost insulation as a result of years of being exposed to the sun and weather.

If a power line is not high voltage, it’s safe. NOT TRUE:

MYTH: All power lines are insulated. TRUTH: As a rule, power lines aren’t insulated. So, how come birds don’t get electrocuted when they perch on a power line? They don’t provide a path to the ground for electricity flow. If a bird were to touch two wires at once, or a wire and the ground, it would be electrocuted.

Despite what you may hear, voltage won’t kill you, amperage will. Just 1 amp will cause fatal heart irregularities. Between 100 and 200 amps run through an average house.

A live wire will always spark when it fails. NOT TRUE:

MYTH: Power lines outside carry the same 120-volt electricity we use in our homes. TRUTH: Here in Indiana, most power lines carry 7,200 volts. Some carry up to 19,000 volts. You can’t tell the voltage by just looking at it.

Sometimes, but not always. When the line makes firm contact, it will spark. If it doesn’t make firm contact, it won’t … but it could still be carrying its electrical charge and kill you.



Wabash Valley Power news

PLAN FOR THE WASTES OF ENERGY PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE AND SAVE ON ENERGY COSTS This holiday season, while preparing for the fun that comes from the enjoyable winter holidays, you also can prepare for the higher bills caused by the Wastes of Energy Past, Present, and Future. By overcoming these energy phantoms, you can make amends for past wasted energy and prevent them from taking more from your wallet in the future. Energy Past: This one frequently raises its head around this time of year. The holiday decorations and lights hibernating in attics and garages 10 months a year typically emerge each winter to smile at neighbors and passersby. Yet these decorations often show their age on your energy bill; if your decorations are five years old or more, they may be gulping significantly more electricity compared to their newer, more



energy efficient counterparts. You also can add timers for your decorations to ensure that they are turned on when it makes the most sense. Energy Present: With families spending more time at home during the holidays (and more time than ever in 2020 because of the pandemic), you can expect energy bills to reflect the increased energy use. Yet there are options you can consider (or even gift!) that can help lower that energy use. Options range from advanced power strips that turn off idling equipment to minimize energy waste all the way to ENERGY STAR-certified appliances that can replace older, more inefficient devices that may be toward the end of their lifecycle. Energy Future: It’s never too early to plan for the future! You

can contact your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor for insights on your home’s energy use and ways you can improve. Your energy advisor may even recommend that your home receive an energy audit, which includes an in-depth review and will provide you with action items to reduce your home’s energy use. You can ensure yourself and your guests are comfortable while minimizing your energy use, regardless of how frightful the weather is outside. With a little planning, you can take steps to lower your energy use this holiday season and beyond. And much like the Jelly of the Month Club, smart energy use is the gift that keeps giving all year long! Learn more tips about saving energy year-round at

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The Indiana Connection staff wishes you and yours a safe and happy holiday season. We’re looking forward to a new year, and to continuing to bring you stories about the people, places, food and travel experiences that define the Hoosier state.

co-op news

Board member Rodgers was a true public servant CW REMC board member Milton (Milt)

Rodgers treasured

Dean Rodgers passed away on Oct.

the opportunity

9. The board representative for District

to learn timeless

1 since 2011, Rodgers was 76.

leadership lessons

Rodgers was committed to providing safe, secure and reliable electricity for the REMC’s member/owners, while striving to enhance our communities. “Milt cared deeply,” said CW REMC Board President Kevin Bender. “He was such a true public servant. Milt was always concerned with what was best for our cooperative and its members. “Milt loved his association with CW REMC and everything about the electric cooperative world,” added Bender. “He fully immersed himself into the job. His attentiveness, his actions, his concerns challenged each director to perform at a higher level.”

on Gettysburg’s historic, hallowed ground. Through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Rodgers took classes to earn and maintain a Director Gold Credential (DGC. Besides serving on the CW REMC

Milton (Milt) Dean Rodgers

board, Rodgers was a member of the Wabash Valley Power Alliance board of directors

never forgot those he represented, and his business and technical acumen were an asset to WVPA. As

“For most of us who knew Milt through

since 2015. In his role at WVPA,

REMC, we learned that he had one

he attended monthly meetings and

of the best work ethics that a person

participated in strategic planning

Rodgers will be deeply missed.”

could have,” said CW REMC CEO


The son of Albert Milton and Wilda

“Milt represented CW REMC so well

(Davidson) Rodgers, Rodgers was

Randy W. Price. “No matter how complicated the topic was, Milt would be the one who would prepare the most. His study and research would navigate board discussions through technical and ethical decisions. Milt always put the community and others first.” One of Rodgers’ most memorable CW REMC experiences was being invited to be part of the Gettysburg (Pennsylvania) Leadership Experience for Co-op Leaders. A history buff,



in the Wabash Valley Power Alliance boardroom,” Bender said. “He was so attuned, so ‘dialed in’ to everything that the company was involved in … he understood their language. He loved to relay and report their activities

a board member and a friend, Milt

born on July 8, 1944, in Logansport. He grew up on a dairy farm in northern Cass County, and was a 10-year 4-H member and a junior leader. His work ethic was chiseled on the farm. Discipline, hard work

back to our local board.”

and purpose were necessary to meet

“Milt’s work serving on the WVPA

family member had to pitch in.

board was exemplary,” said Jay Bartlett, president and CEO of Wabash Valley Power Alliance. “He

the challenges of farm life, and every A graduate of Metea High School, Rodgers received his bachelors’


degree in mechanical engineering

photography, gardening, and

technology and two associate degrees

agriculture. But what he loved most

from Purdue University.

was to spend time with his family.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed that

For 39 years, Rodgers worked as a

His survivors include his wife of 54

successful people haven’t become

senior manufacturing engineer for

years, Patricia (Pat) (Frushour); his

successful on their own. Many times,

Delphi Automotive in Kokomo. “Milt

sons, Jeffrey (Traci) Rodgers and

we witness success as the result of

was a thinker,” Bender said. “He

Scott (Danielle) Rodgers, both of

good parents and extended family. Milt

attended to detail. This was probably

Indianapolis; sister Anita Delight

Rodgers spoke frequently about the

due to his many years of training and

(Phil) Conn; brother William (Lynne)

people he learned from in life.

work as an engineer.”

Rodgers; grandson Noah Rodgers;

I’m going to miss dreaming with Milt and

“Milt’s upbringing and career as an

and several nieces and nephews.

laughing about how he’d rather work a

engineer proved to be as valuable to

schedule like a college student … not

CW REMC as lineman skills,” Price

waking before the sun rises and studying

said. “The only difference is that Milt

late. I’ll miss his late night text messages

would be setting high goals to climb

and e-mails on deep subjects.

in the boardroom instead of climbing

I admired Milt’s commitment and


dedication, not only in business, but in

Rodgers was a 49-year member of

his personal life. I saw the way he loved

Burlington United Methodist Church;

his wife, Pat. He modeled the way God

a 40-year member of Kiwanis, where

designed a husband to love his wife.

he served as president twice; and

Pat, please know that in all the business

a Carroll County 4-H leader. He was a Carroll County Economic Development Corporation charter member and past president, a Burlington Community Park board member, and a Burlington Community Club member. He enjoyed traveling,

From the boardroom The Carroll White REMC board of directors met on Oct. 22. Roll call was taken and minutes of the previous board meeting were approved. The board reviewed policies, amending some and rescinding others as recommended by the policy committee.

experiences we enjoyed together, what made Milt most happy was being with you. I’m certain there are men, like myself, who would say he made us better husbands and men. Milt was one of the most patient guys I’ve ever known. A lot of us overtalk a subject, including me. Milt was just the opposite. I never knew anyone who could say so much in so few words. Honestly, his leadership drove many of us to try harder. We didn’t want to disappoint or let him

Chief Operating Officer Cathy Raderstorf presented the financial report for board review, and new memberships were approved. Casey Crabb, communications and public relations manager, reported on Operation Round Up grants presented this quarter which awarded $9,700 to seven different organizations. Other departmental reports were presented by the management team.


Reports from Indiana Electric Cooperatives, Wabash Valley Power Alliance and Cooperative Finance Corporation were presented. Directors and staff attending NRECA’s Online Regional Week reported on meetings held virtually Oct. 13-16.

him as the guy in heaven who runs up to

The board discussed broadband and Carroll White REMC’s role. Carroll White REMC will complete a member survey and feasibility study to determine the cost associated with installing fiber throughout the service territory and what options there may be. Director Tina Davis was designated to serve as Director of Wabash Valley Power Alliance representing Carroll White REMC. The meeting was adjourned.

Since Milt left this world, I believe he’s as busy as ever. As important as it was for Milt to do God’s work on earth, I imagine Jesus with a carpenter’s toolbox asking, “God, what more can I do for you?”

Randy W. Price, Carroll White REMC CEO DECEMBER 2020


career profile

Splice of life Top 3

responsibilities in a day: •

Splice internet fiber in the air or on the ground.

Happy customers: Make sure they’re pleased before I leave the job site.

Be available for any service interruptions or other problems that might arise during the day.

What part of your job do you find to be most fulfilling? No matter how much experience you have in this field, there could be something new to learn every day. It’s also gratifying to turn on new services to our customers or restore services in the event something takes down our network. What’s the most challenging part of your job? Probably troubleshooting; there is always something a little different about each problem. You aren’t going to be able to take the same steps each time, so you can never really master the craft of troubleshooting.

Dustin Mayhugh Outside Plant Technician NineStar Connect

Have you had to master new skills in this role? “Mastering” something in this line of work is pretty hard because you can always get better and quicker at what you’re doing, and the technology is constantly changing. It’s more about being consistent day in and day out. How would you describe working for a co-op? I work with some great people!



They’re easy to work with. You come in every day, and people are happy about being here. It’s just an all-around good company.

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