Kosciusko REMC — February 2020 Indiana Connection

Page 1

The annual meeting has moved locations!

Kosciusko REMC’s


Candy Land Trail Delight your sweetheart with Hoosier-made treats pages 20–23


from the editor

If you think this is a long month... For all those who complain that time passes by too quickly, good news! We have an extra day this month. It’s a leap year and there are 29 days in February this year! But here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know: at least twice upon a time, February consisted of 30 days! In one case, February gained days back in the 18th century when Sweden switched from the Julian calendar to its own unique calendar in 1700. In the Julian calendar, 1700 was a leap year, but, instead, it wasn’t acknowledged that year. That basically was the start of Sweden’s calendar getting way out of sync with how the rest of the world measured time. So, in 1712, when Sweden decided to use the Julian calendar again, two “leap days” were added to February, making that year one of the oddest in any country’s history. However, the year 1753 was even stranger. Sweden finally converted to the Gregorian calendar (which is used by everyone today) which meant the 11 extra days the Swedes accumulated the previous 41 years of calendar confusion had to be forfeited. So, the day after Feb. 17, 1753, was March 1. Talk about short month! Feb. 30 was also included in a revolutionary calendar created in the Soviet Union in 1929. From 1930-31, this Soviet year consisted of five-day weeks and 30-day-long months with the extra five or six days afterward designated as “time off.” In other words, weekends didn’t exist. This calendar didn’t replace the Gregorian calendar; both calendars were used simultaneously in the Soviet Union until 1940. My take on all this calendar madness? It doesn’t matter what day it is. What matters is what you do with every day you’re blessed to have. Don’t waste any of them! Live them to the fullest, whether it’s Feb. 28, 29 or even 30!

EMILY SCHILLING Editor eschilling@indianaec.org

Giveaway: Enter to win a $100 gift card to doitbest.com, courtesy of

Do it Best. Visit indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/contests. Entry deadline for giveaway: Feb. 29.

On the menu: June issue: Cherry recipes, deadline April 1. August

issue: Recipes featuring vinegar, deadline June 1. September issue: 30-minutes or less recipes, deadline June 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.

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 69 • NUMBER 8 ISSN 0745-4651 • USPS 262-340 Published monthly by Indiana Electric Cooperatives Indiana Connection is for and about members of Indiana’s locally-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. It helps consumers use electricity safely and efficiently; understand energy issues; connect with their co-op; and celebrate life in Indiana. Over 280,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 info@indianaconnection.org IndianaConnection.org INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Walter Hunter President Randy Kleaving Vice President Steve McMichael Secretary/Treasurer John Gasstrom CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Ellie Schuler Senior Creative Services Specialist Taylor Maranion Creative Services Specialist Stacey Holton Creative Services Manager Mandy Barth Communication Manager ADVERTISING: American MainStreet Publications Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200; amp.coop Crosshair Media 502-216-8537; crosshairmedia.net Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. UNSOLICITED MATERIAL: Indiana Connection does not use unsolicited freelance manuscripts or photographs and assumes no responsibility for the safe‑keeping or return of unsolicited material. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $12 for individuals not subscribing through participating REMCs/RECs. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you receive Indiana Connection through your electric co-op membership, report address changes to your local co-op. POSTAGE: Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. Include key number. No portion of Indiana Connection may be reproduced without permission of the editor.








cover story



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

Spotlighting Howard County.

10 ENERGY Running electric space heaters improperly can run up your energy bill. 12 I NSIGHTS




26 EVENTS CALENDAR What’s going on around the state.

Roanoke restaurant raises own Wagyu.


17 FOOD You can’t go wrong when you combine sweet and salty.


20 COVER STORY On the Candy Land Trail.


Indiana Connection


Wren invasion?

Plug into safety when charging your devices. 30 PETS Responsible pet ownership begins with spaying and neutering. (Not in all versions)


32 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS 33 TRAVEL Maple syrup festivals: Tapping into an ancient tradition. 34 PROFILE Whitewater Valley REMC Human Resources Director Melody Lynch. (Not in all versions)

On the cover Trevor and Taylor Franklin from Indianapolis are like kids in a candy shop as they sample some of the sweet morsels at the DeBrand Fine Chocolates shop in Indy. PHOTO BY TAYLOR MARANION



co-op news

We love serving 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

ARE YOU USING YOUR FIREPLACE EFFICIENTLY? Remember to turn down the thermostat when burning a fire, and close the damper when a fire is not burning. — U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


With Valentine’s Day approaching, we can’t think of a better time to express how much we love this community and serving you, the members of KREMC. When KREMC helped to bring electricity to rural Indiana 80 years ago, the quality of life improved for everyone. We continue to help meet our community’s longterm needs to ensure it continues to thrive — because we live here just like you. While our top priority is to provide you safe, reliable and affordable energy, equally important is our mission to enrich the lives of our consumer-members. Our focus to benefit the larger community is fundamental to the way we operate as a cooperative. KREMC knows that electricity is a critical need for modern-day life, but it takes more than poles and power lines to make a community. Our co-op has evolved to meet the changing needs of our community, thereby improving the quality of life for everyone. That can mean many different things. It can mean programs for Indiana’s youth, such as scholarships for continued education and 4-H projects, Indiana Youth Tour, and Touchstone Energy Camp. It means organizing food drives and contributing more than $1 million to Operation Round Up. It means partnering with organizations like the Kosciusko Community Foundation and Combined Community Services for Operation Winter Warmth, which helps local families in need pay their utility bills. Over the last eight decades, our community-focused programs and other giving projects have supported local schools, fed hungry families, enabled those in need to keep the lights on, and so much more. We couldn’t do any of this without your membership and support of these programs. We are proud to power your life and bring good things to our community. We hope you will continue to guide our efforts by sharing your perspective as we plan for the future. Together, we can continue to give our community the power to live.

BRUCE GOSLEE President and CEO

Use your Co-op Connections Card to save at local businesses Kerlin Motor Company, 9944 S. State Road 15, Claypool 10% off any scheduled maintenance plus a free car wash. Additional $100 off any new car. Excludes discounted service specials. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/kosciuskoremc

KREMC rates and rebates RATES


Residential and farm service Service charge ............................$24.50 per month Kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge ......@$.0922 per kWh Tracker charge ..................... @-$.003330 per kWh

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

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

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



co-op news

Director nomination procedure The annual meeting for Kosciusko REMC is slated for Saturday, March 28. According to the bylaws of the coop, it is the duty of the KREMC board of directors to appoint a nominating committee, not less than 30 days or more than 150 days, before the date of a meeting of the members at which directors are to be elected. As stated in the bylaws, the nominating committee shall consist of five to 11 members that are representative of all geographical areas of the cooperative.

ELIGIBILITY In order to be eligible to serve on the board of directors for KREMC, a candidate must meet the following requirements: 1. reside in KREMC service territory; 2. be in good standing with KREMC; 3. be at least 18 years of age; 4. must not be a convicted felon; 5. must not be the designated representative of a firm, association, corporation,



partnership, body politic or subdivision which is a bona fide member of KREMC; 6. must not be employed in any way by the cooperative; 7. must not have been employed by KREMC within two years of being elected a director; 8. must not be a close family member of a current employee of KREMC; 9. must not be in any way employed by, or have a controlling financial interest in a competing enterprise or business that sells or provides a material amount of commodities, products or services to the cooperative or any subsidiary of the cooperative; and 10. within three years of becoming a director, unless excused by the board for good cause, must receive a Credentialed Cooperative Director designation, Director’s Certificate, or similar certification from NRECA.

NOMINATIONS The nominating committee will produce a list of nominations for directors at the KREMC office at least 20 days before the annual meeting, as required by the bylaws.

ADDITIONAL NOMINATIONS Other nominations can be made by KREMC members from any area from which a director is to be elected. This is done in writing and requires 30 or more signatures. These nominations must be made not less than 30 days prior to the annual meeting on March 28. The secretary will post these nominations along with the list of nominations made by the committee. Copies of the Kosciusko REMC bylaws are available to any member by contacting the KREMC office.

EXPIRING TERMS The following director’s terms expire this year: • Terry Bouse • Steve Miner • Rick Parker

We’ve moved! This year we are so excited to host the KREMC’s annual meeting at Christ’s Covenant Church in Winona Lake! Please mark your calendars for March 28 and pin your GPS for 2090 E. Pierceton Road, Winona Lake, IN 46590. We hope to see you there!

co-op news

2020 annual meeting

candidate announcement T his year, the KREMC annual meeting will be held on March 28 at Christ Covenant Church from 8–11:30 a.m.


Candidates for the board of directors are...

projects at Johnson & Johnson Depuy in Warsaw. Airgood is actively involved in his church (United Methodist Claypool), 4-H and the United Way. He also operates a small farm in Kosciusko County. He and his wife, Kari, have two children and two grandchildren.

• Terry Bouse (i) opposed by B. Andrew Airgood • Steve Miner (i) opposed by Dillon Whitacre • Rick Parker (i) opposed by Ken Anderson II Profiles for each candidate are below. They are also featured in a lobby display at the KREMC office. You can also read more about the candidates on our website (www.kremc.com).

TERRY BOUSE: Terry Bouse has been a KREMC member for 40 years. He has served on the board of directors for 21 years. He was the board’s secretary/treasurer for 12 years. Bouse is retired from farming and Synergy Feeds. Today he works with his son and family at Bouse Farms, LLC. He and his wife, Susan, live in Silver Lake; attend Warsaw Community Church; and have four children and 10 grandchildren.

Andrew Airgood has been a KREMC member for over 20 years. He is the finance lead for new acquisition and integration

STEVE MINER: Steve Miner has been a Kosciusko REMC member for 39 years and has served on the KREMC board of directors for 33 years. He operates a grain farm and hog business. Miner has served on the board of Pork Producers, as well as on a market research panel for Successful Farming magazine. He and his wife, Sandy, reside in the Pierceton area. They have two daughters and two granddaughters.

DILLON WHITACRE: Dillon Whitacre has been a KREMC member for six years. He is the owner of Kirkdorffer Milk Transport, LLC, serving three dairy cooperatives and over 50

cooperative members. Whitacre is the assistant wrestling coach for Wawasee High School. He and his wife, Kristin, have four children: Marin, Sloane, Collins and James.

RICK PARKER: Rick Parker has been a KREMC member for 45 years and has served on the board of directors for 11 years. He is the second-generation owner of Parker and Sons Equipment. Parker farms and raises dairy replacement heifers. He and his wife, Jill, have four children and 11 grandchildren. All of the children are involved in the family business.

KEN ANDERSON II: Ken Anderson has been a KREMC member for 15 years. He has worked at Da-Lite in sales, technical support and production for over 13 years. Anderson is now a senior manager in quality control. He has served on the board for InterComm and volunteered for worthy organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, Fellowship Missions, and Simpson Park Camp. He and his wife, Kathy, have two children: Ken III and William.



co-op news

APPLY FOR YOUTH PROGRAMS touchstone energy camp

Indiana Youth Tour

A fun, powerful

on a weeklong,

and unique camp experience designed

JUNE 3–6

Kosciusko REMC wants to send you all-inclusive trip of a lifetime to

JUNE 18–25

John h. Anglin scholarship KREMC is giving away 10 $1,000 scholarships to our members and their

Washington, D.C.


for students

Monuments, museums, legislators,

entering seventh

APPLY: Fill out the scholarship

friends, history. Must be a high

grade in 2020. Horseback riding,

application on kremc.com/

school junior to apply.


APPLY: Apply by March 2 at

and send it to us by Monday,


March 16. Your name will be

canoeing, zip lining, learning about electrical safety and bucket truck rides.

entered into the scholarship

APPLY: Apply by March 2 at

drawing held at our annual


meeting. You must be present at the KREMC Annual Meeting on March 28 to win.


Give us a call at 574-267-6331.




Running electric space heaters improperly can run up your energy bill If you shiver when walking into particular areas of your home, you may have considered an electric space heater to warm up the area. When used properly, electric space heaters can effectively (and temporarily) heat certain parts of your home. Yet many people mistakenly believe that using space heaters requires less energy than setting the thermostat to a higher setting. In fact, most of our winter high bill

They are unlikely to save you money if you use them as a primary heating source.

Proper air sealing and

and information about

insulation will keep more

a home energy audit. A

conditioned air in your

home energy audit will

home, lowering your long-

include actionable steps

An electric space heater

term energy costs and

you can take to improve

keeping you comfortable.

your home’s energy use.

is small but uses a lot

Specific, sparing use.

heater running for eight

Space heaters should

heater, make sure to

only be used when you

properly follow directions

are in the same space.

to ensure safe operation,

They should be used

as it can pose a fire

to heat a specific area

hazard if used improperly.

hours each night for a month can add about $43 to your electric bill. Running multiple space heaters can run up your energy costs.

Consider air sealing and adding insulation if your home is drafty.

should be used sparingly (when you are in the same space and you need to warm up).

If your home feels very

Your local electric co-op’s

running electric space

chilly, you may want to

energy advisor can give

heaters! Some important

check that it is properly

you specific details about

aspects about space

air sealed and insulated.

your home’s energy use,


Space heaters are not energy efficient. ENERGY STAR®, which provides energy efficiency information and labels appliances meeting certain energy efficiency requirements, states on its website that it has no plans to label any model in the near future!



a portable electric space

(where you are) and

complaints involve people

heaters to consider

If you do choose to use

of energy! A 1,500-watt


Matt Walters Energy Advisor Boone REMC


Get out those art supplies! Students encouraged to enter calendar art contest Indiana students in grades kindergarten through 12 are eligible to enter the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art contest. Winning entries will illustrate the 2021 art calendar sponsored by Indiana’s electric cooperatives. Artwork must be received at the Indiana Connection office by 5 p.m. on March 20. The address is Indiana Connection, Calendar Art Contest, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240. A complete set of rules and the required entry form are available at www.IndianaConnection.org/for-youth/2021-contest. A first place artist will be selected for each grade and will receive $200. The artwork of each grade level winner will illustrate either the cover or one month of the calendar. Up to nine additional artists will earn honorable mention awards and will receive $75. Their artwork will appear in a special section of the calendar. An “Artist of the Year” will be selected from among the first place winners and will receive an additional $100. Judges will also select merit winners who will receive certificates. Contact either Emily Schilling (eschilling@indianaec.org) or Richard G. Biever (rbiever@indianaec.org) at Indiana Connection if you have questions about the art contest.



Toymakers had busy Christmas season

Danielle Sommerman sits at her drawing table at her English, Indiana, home. The Crawford County High School student was named “Artist of the Year” in the 2020 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art contest.

Low-income families can get help for heating bills

We have had so many calls, orders, emails and yesterday an unsigned Christmas

Now that winter is upon us and frigid temperatures are the norm, we use more electricity to stay comfortable. Therefore, heating and electric bills are

card wishing us holiday

higher. Hoosiers at certain income levels who require assistance to help pay

greetings from the

their heating bills should apply for benefits through the Low-Income Home

article (Toy Wonders) in

Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

the December issue. Foot traffic in the store has increased greatly from

This federally funded program is a one-time benefit to help with home energy

nearby people and those that are

bills and offer support to those about to be disconnected. It does not cover

driving almost two hours to come

all heating and electric costs. If you plan to take advantage of this assistance

to see. The walnut trains are a killer though …. everyone wants one and

you should continue to pay your bills regularly. Some Hoosiers may even

we hope to finish them up today and

qualify for an additional benefit if all their utility bills are paid on time.

get them out of here! Thanks again for doing such a wonderful article.

The tired elves, Darren and Teresa Martin-Gay



Applications for heating benefits are being accepted through May. For eligibility requirements and more information, visit www.in.gov/ ihcda/2329.htm#What%20is%20EAP.


broadband story? HOW HAS HIGH-SPEED INTERNET CHANGED YOUR LIFE AT WORK OR HOME IndianaEC.org/ YourBroadbandStory

Marketplace Our Marketplace offers maximum exposure for your business or organization at a minimal cost. A limited number of display ads (such as the one to to the right) are available each month.

Don’t miss this opportunity to reach over a half million consumers at an affordable rate! Please contact Cheryl Solomon, 847.749.4875 or cheryl@amp.coop, for other small business advertising opportunities in Indiana Connection.



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county feature


Countycts Fa FOUNDED: 1844 NAMED FOR: Gen. Tilghman Ashurst Howard, a U.S. Congressman from Indiana who died in 1844 POPULATION: 82,363 (2017)



Though its seat is known as “City of Firsts,” Howard County was one of Indiana’s last counties. Howard and southern neighbor Tipton joined the state the same day, Jan. 15, 1844, as the 90th and 91st of the state’s 92 counties. Howard County’s wide rectangular shape filled in some of the last remaining unorganized territory in the state. Originally, the county was named Richardville — to honor Jean Baptiste Richardville, a chief of the Miami people, who had died in 1841.

which was named after one of Richardville’s sons. As noted, Kokomo has long prided itself for its “firsts” in industrial and technological innovations. The Kokomo Tribune cites 14 “firsts” associated with Kokomo. This includes everything from America’s first commerciallyproduced automobiles in 1898 to the first pneumatic rubber tire to America’s first howitzer military shell to the first all-transistor radio.

The name was changed to Howard County in 1846 to honor of Gen. Tilghman Ashurst Howard, an Indiana politician who was appointed chargé d’affaires to the Republic of Texas two months before his untimely death in 1844. In the heart of the county is Kokomo, the seat,

Haynes and his associates built a number of other

Feb. 7, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Kokomo First Church of the Nazarene 2734 S. Washington St. Kokomo, IN 46902



The discovery of natural gas in the area in the 1880s brought a large number of industrialists. One of them was Elwood Haynes, an inventor, scientist, industrialist, educator, and later philanthropist. He developed an early internal combustion engine automobile and, on July 4, 1894, took the first road trip by car, notes a historical marker.

Kokomo Chocolate Celebration


The Elwood Haynes Museum in Kokomo

autos over the next few years and became the first commercially successful auto manufacturer. His success lured others in the fledgling auto industry to the area. A number of firsts came from Delco Radio Division of General Motors. Delco developed the first push button car radio, the first signal-seeking car radio and the first all-transistor car radio. Haynes and his life’s work, which also included the invention of Stainless Steel flatware in 1912, is remembered and preserved at his 1916 mansion, where he lived until his death in 1925. The mansion is now preserved as a public museum. A substantial portion of Kokomo’s employment still depends on the automobile industry. Richard G. Biever is senior editor of Indiana Connection.

Love chocolate? Enjoy a large variety of delicious chocolate creations from local bakeries, caterers, restaurants and businesses that will make your sweet tooth happy! Arrive early for best selection. Admission is free. Tickets are 3 for $10 with each ticket redeemable for a chocolate item of your choice while supplies last. Chocolate gift items are also available for purchase to get ready for Valentine’s Day. Chocolate Celebration is presented by J. Edwards Gourmet, a Kokomo maker of fine chocolates and gourmet cakes.

Indiana eats

Unforgettable dining experience Roanoke restaurant raises own Wagyu Restaurant reviewers on OpenTable. com have named it Indiana’s number one restaurant. It has consistently earned Wine Spectator magazine’s “Best of Award of Excellence” honor. The culinary buzz certainly inspires foodies looking for an unforgettable dining experience to flock to tiny Roanoke, Indiana, and take a seat at the renowned Joseph Decuis gourmet restaurant. Invariably, once they sample the farm-to-fork fare at the four-diamond-rated Joseph Decuis (pronounced day-QUEEZ), they’re hooked. Located in an old bank building which houses six unique dining areas, Joseph Decuis — which opened its doors in 2000 — is the only restaurant in the United States to raise its own Wagyu beef. Wagyu beef — initially produced only in Japan — is the tenderest and tastiest of all beef and is the star of the menu. In fact, those who order it are invited to choose a unique antler horn-handled steak knife to slice their meat! The Wagyu is offered three ways: Full Blood (100% Wagyu), F-2 (75% Wagyu, 25% Angus) and F-1 (50% Wagyu, 50% Angus). A Wagyu Tasting option includes four courses of Wagyu plus dessert.

porium, serves meals from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. There, diners can feast on new, more informal, takes on Wagyu — as burgers, corned beef (on Reuben sandwiches), hot dogs, bone broth soup, and Po’ Boy sandwiches. Salads, soups, an array of sandwiches and sides, quiche, and stir fries round out the casual-style menu. The Joseph Decuis experience, though, goes beyond the dining table. Guests can spend the night at the Farmstead Inn, located six miles from the restaurant, and the Inn at Joseph Decuis, in downtown Roanoke just footsteps away from the restaurant. Farmstead Inn guests are able to see where the animals featured on Joseph Decuis’ menu, including the Wagyu beef, are raised. The farm is also a prime locale for events including weddings, corporate events and

191 N. Main St. Roanoke, Indiana 46783 260-672-1715 josephdecuis.com Tuesday-Saturday: 5-9 p.m. Emporium: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Lunches at Emporium: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

charitable fundraisers.

Though the flagship restaurant is only open for dinner five days a week, a café located in Joseph Decuis’ nearby retail store, the Em-


Pete and Alice Eshelman own the “farm-to-table” restaurant with Pete’s brother, Tim. FEBRUARY 2020


Best of

You can’t go wrong when you combine salty and sweet

Both Worlds Corny Snack Mix

Angela Roach, Peru, Indiana 3 quarts popped popcorn 1 (15 oz.) box Corn Pops cereal 1 (15 oz.) bag corn chips 2 (10-12 oz.) pkgs. vanilla or white chocolate chips In several large bowls, combine popcorn, cereal and corn chips. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt chips. Stir until smooth. Pour over popcorn mixture and toss to coat. Spread in two 15-by-10-by-1-inch pans. Cool. Stir in airtight containers. Makes 7 ½ quarts of snack mix.

food Salted Caramel Cracker Bites Marilles Mauer, Greensburg, Indiana 4 cups oyster crackers ¾ cup butter 2 t. vanilla

Sweet and Salty Pretzel Mix

¾ cup brown sugar 1 t. kosher salt Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick cooking

Sweet and Salty Pretzel Mix Lana Schaeffer, Charlestown, Indiana

spray. Spread crackers in an even

1 (17.9 oz.) box Crispix cereal

Mix cereal, pretzels, and peanuts

layer on cookie sheet. In a large

1 (10 oz.) bag pretzel sticks

in a large roasting pan. In a

pan on medium heat, melt butter.

1 (16 oz.) dry roasted peanuts

Add brown sugar and vanilla. Stir until brown sugar is dissolved. Turn up heat until mixture begins to boil. Stir continuously for about 4-5 minutes while mixture gets bubbly

2 cups brown sugar 1 cup (2 sticks) butter ½ cup white corn syrup 1 ½ t. baking soda

saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Boil for 1 ½ minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour mixture over cereal mix. Stir. Bake for 1 hour at 250 F, stirring occasionally. Spread out on waxed paper to cool.

and lighter in color. Turn off heat and quickly pour over top of the

Editor’s note: We used mini pretzels when testing the recipe.

crackers. Mix gently with a rubber spatula until all the crackers are completely coated. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake 8-10 minutes. Salted Caramel Cracker Bites

Sweet and Salty Corn Chips Kathleen Tooley and Doris A. Kahlert, Berne, Indiana

Sweet and Salty Corn Chips

1 cup light corn syrup 1 cup sugar 1 cup peanut butter ½ cup salted peanuts (optional) 10 ½ oz. corn chips In a greased pan, place the corn chips. In a saucepan, bring corn syrup and sugar to boil. Mix in peanut butter. Pour over chips and mix. Break apart. Cook’s note: Can melt milk chocolate and pour over the mix if desired, as the Indiana Connection staff did when testing this recipe.






his time of year, you gotta have heart … sugary

hearts and hearts of chocolate-covered candy goodness. Miles and miles and miles of heart, if you take the old musical about love and baseball to heart. Fortunately, Hoosiers have miles and miles and miles of chocolate makers and candy shops where they can find just the right kind of sweet to win the heart of their sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. Each has individual stories as unique as the candies and flavors they produce.


Many, like Charlie’s Caramel Corn and Candy Shop in Vincennes, began simply in home kitchens and by word of mouth. Then there’s Ghyslain Chocolatier on the opposite side of the state in Union City. Its chief chocolatier and namesake, Ghyslain Maurais, is an inter-


nationally-trained pastry maker and chef. Indiana Connection has reconnoitered some of the best places all around the state from where Cupid can aim his love-tipped, candy-covered and creme-filled arrows. No matter if you live in northern, central or southern Indiana, we hope you’ll jump aboard our “Candy Land Trail.” Chart your own course to sample the wares of some of the best Hoosier-based chocolate and candy makers.


Candy Land Trail Delight your sweetheart with Hoosier-made treats

We invite you to check out the websites of all the chocolate and candy makers to learn more about their individual histories and stories. And if you discover other Hoosierbased candy and chocolate makers along the way which we missed, drop us a note at info@indianaec.org, and we’ll add them to our website.

Chocolate and candy connoisseurs can easily visit several of the state’s sweet spots in one day. The handy dandy candy map above shows where the candy makers featured in our article are located.



SOUTH BEND CHOCOLATE COMPANY 3300 W. Sample St. • South Bend sbchocolate.com In 1991, Mark Tarner founded the South Bend Chocolate Company. In August 1994, the company incorporated and now has 15 company-owned stores and franchises in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The factory site also offers tours and a Chocolate Museum. Among the museum’s artifacts is a 1,300-year-old Mayan chocolate pot along with hundreds of tins, containers and chocolate boxes of all shapes and sizes featuring American chocolate companies.

LITTLE CHOCOLATES 916 First St. • LaPorte littlechocolates.net

ALBANESE CANDY Factory Outlet Store: 5441 E. Lincoln Hwy. • Merrillville Outlet Store: 1910 81st Ave. • Merrillville albanesecandy.com People from all over the country come to learn about Albanese’s process of making the “World’s Best Gummi Bears” and chocolates. And, its factory is the only candy company that offers a public tour for gummi manufacturing in the United States.

DeBRAND FINE CHOCOLATES 10105 Auburn Park Dr. • Fort Wayne (with other locations in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis)


SO GOOD CANDIES 25 W. Third St. • Peru sogoodcandies.com

GHYSLAIN CHOCOLATIER 350 W. Deerfield Road • Union City ghyslain.com Ghyslain Maurais is the master chef of the company that bears his first name. The Québec, Canada, native is a culinary artist expressing himself through chocolate and pastry. Certified in French pastry, chocolate décor, candy making, blown/pulled sugar and bread making, Maurais has served as the head chef for the Québec Delegations in New York and London. While working at the Inn of Versailles in Ohio, Chef Ghyslain met his wife, Susan. Together they relocated to her hometown in Union City to establish Ghyslain Chocolatier.



2106 W. Sycamore St. • Kokomo

6255 W. Kilgore Ave. • Muncie


loweryscandies.com continued on pages 22–23

continued from pages 20–21

ZACHARY CONFECTIONS/CANDY SHOPPE 2130 W. State Road 28 • Frankfort

THE ORIGINAL GOOD’S CANDIES 116 S. Main St. • Kennard goodscandies.com

zacharyconfections.com Zachary Confections has been going strong for more than six decades under three generations of the Zachary family. Located right next door is its Candy Shoppe which is always filled with the freshest, latest confections.

In the tiny crossroads town of Kennard, the Original Good’s Candies is operated by the great-grandson of the founders, John and Pauline Good.

GOOD’S CANDY SHOP 1423 W. 53rd St. • Anderson goodscandyshop.com Randy Good and son Jason, fourth and fifth generation candy makers, continue a family tradition begun in Kennard in the 1940s.

ABBOTT’S CANDIES 48 E. Walnut St. • Hagerstown 3744 E. 82nd St. • Indianapolis abbottscandy.com Abbott’s Candies has always been a family owned and operated business beginning in 1890. In 1993, a branch candy store was opened on the northeast side of Indianapolis by Jay and Lynn Noel of Indianapolis. The Noels purchased the entire company in 2012 and are continuing Abbott’s family-run tradition by including their own sons.

GREENFIELD CHOCOLATES/ J. EVELYN CONFECTIONS 15 W. Main St. • Greenfield jevelynconfections.com

SCHIMPFF’S CONFECTIONERY 347 Spring St. • Jeffersonville schimpffs.com This unique confectionery and lunchroom opened in its present location in 1891 and is one of the oldest, continuously operated, family-owned candy businesses in the United States.


Its Candy Museum and Candy Demonstration Area offer a glimpse into the world of historic candy making, packaging and advertising.

110 E. Fifth St. • Jasper chocolateblissandkitchenessentials.com Starting as a gourmet chocolate shop in 2005, Bliss branched out to also offer something unique and special to the community. Its kitchen store is full of the coolest gadgets to furnish your home while enjoying delectable chocolates!

CHARLIE’S CARAMEL CORN AND CANDY SHOP 427 N. Second St. • Vincennes charliescandy.com In the heart of Vincennes, Charlie’s Caramel Corn and Candy Shop has been serving the sweet teeth of Indiana’s “first city” since 1955.




611 Main St. • Lafayette kathyskandies.com

2200 Elmwood Ave., Suite A4 • Lafayette richelleinahandbasket.com

McCORD CANDIES 536 Main St. • Lafayette mccordcandies.com

DONALDSON’S FINER CHOCOLATES 600 S. State Road 39 (Jct. I-65 and SR 39) EXIT 139 off I-65 • Lebanon donaldsonschocolates.com

WOLF’S FINE HANDMADE CHOCOLATES 503 S. Council • Attica 1185 Sagamore Parkway West • West Lafayette wolfschocolate.com

THE BEST CHOCOLATE IN TOWN 880 Massachusetts Ave. • Indianapolis bestchocolateintown.com

MARTINSVILLE CANDY KITCHEN 46 N. Main St. • Martinsville facebook.com/Martinsville-Candy-Kitchen327897332174

BLOOMINGTON CHOCOLATE COMPANY 2506 E. Third St. • Bloomington bloomingtonchocolatecompany.com The company slowly began taking shape after Linda Armes won an Emeril Live contest and appeared on Food Network. She launched her chocolate business in 2011 and moved into its own retail location in 2014.

An old-fashioned candy store, soda shop and ice cream parlor founded in 1919, Martinsville Candy Kitchen features handmade candy canes, divinity, cherry cordial bark and a whole lot more. Kids of all ages will love the large window into the kitchen area where they can watch candy canes being made by hand.

calendar NORTHWEST


BUS TOUR OF INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL PARK, Porter (Porter), Indiana Dunes Visitor Center. Join a ranger for a two-hour tour of the park in a heated shuttle bus. 1 p.m. Free (reservations required). 219-395-1882. https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/event-details.htm?id=66C8484BEE9A-21DC-17CF02E235974246


DINO BREAKFAST, Schererville (Lake), March MAXWELL QUARTET, Munster (Lake), Schererville Community Center. Breakfast, Munster Auditorium. costume contests, dance time, crafts Scottish string quartet. and coloring, and more. Children must Adult,$30; children, be accompanied by a paid adult ticket. $10. 7 p.m. 219Children 11 and under, $11; Age 12 and up, 923-7879. https:// $16.50. Pay in cash. 9 a.m.-Noon. lakeshoreconcerts. https://www.southshorecva.com/event/ org/maxwell_quartet/ dino-breakfast/13999/




FORD 66TH ANNUAL INDIANAPOLIS BOAT SPORT & TRAVEL SHOW, Indianapolis (Marion), Indiana State Fairgrounds. Boats, RVs, fishing tackle, travel destinations, ATVs, seminars and entertainment. Admission and parking charge. 877-892-1723. indysportshow.com


WABASH VALLEY COIN AND CURRENCY SHOW, Terre Haute (Vigo), Wabash Valley Fairgrounds. Buy, sell or trade coins and currency. 9 a.m.3 p.m. Free. 812-877-3631. kellyfam6@yahoo.com



MARSH MADNESS SANDHILL CRANE FESTIVAL, Linton (Greene), Humphreys Park and Goose Pond FWA. Enjoy the spring Sandhill Crane migration. Kickoff dinner with keynote speaker and live auctions on Friday. Birding bus tours, arts and crafts vendors, food, live raptors and reptiles on Saturday. Admission charge. Hours vary. 812-847-2145. friendsofgoosepond.org

March OLD POST BLUEGRASS March INDIANA HERITAGE QUILT JAM, , Vincennes (Knox), SHOW, Bloomington Vincennes University’s (Monroe), Monroe Jefferson Student Union. Convention Center. Over Open jam sessions throughout 200 quilts on display, the day and scheduled workshops taught by afternoon performances. nationally known Acoustic instruments only. 10 instructors, variety of a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 800-886-6443. vendors and community http://visitvincennes.org/ exhibits. Admission events/2020/03/01 charge. Hours: Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 812334-8900. ihqs.org







To ensure our readers have sufficient time to plan ahead to attend these events, we have revamped the timeline of our calendar. Our events listing runs from the 15th of the current month to the 15th of the next month. We hope you find this revised schedule helpful.


1316 29

FORT WAYNE BOAT SHOW, Fort Wayne (Allen), Allen County War Memorial Coliseum More than 56 exhibitors including dealers from Indiana and Michigan. Hours vary. Adults, $10; Children 12 and under, free. Parking charge. https://www.visitfortwayne.com/event/39th-annual-fort-wayneboat-show-%26-sale/25117/ 47TH ANNUAL PANCAKE & WHOLE HOG SAUSAGE DAY, Peru (Miami), Miami County Fairgrounds (1029 W 200 N). Benefits the Miami County 4-H Council. Carry out and bulk meat sales available. 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tickets: Children 4-11, $3; Children 3 and under, free; Adult, $5 in advance or $7 at the door. 765-472-1921. tjhattery@earthlink.net

March JAY COUNTY FIBER ARTS FESTIVAL, Portland (Jay), Jay Community Center. Demonstrations, vendors, sheep shearing, classes, lectures and kids’ area! Adults,$1; children 12 and under, free. 260-726-3366. https://fiberarts. visitjaycounty.com




ROCKIN’ TERRY LEE & HIS MILLION DOLLAR BAND, Corydon (Harrison), Corydon Live (220 Hurst Lane). Rockabilly, ‘50s and ‘60s rock ’n‘ roll, and more. 7:30 p.m. Adults, $12; children 6-12, $7; children under 6, free. 812734-6288. http://www.corydon.live/tickets.html

March SIXTH ANNUAL APPRECIATION DAY, Jeffersonville (Clark), Vintage Fire Museum. Nationally known collection of firefighting engines and artifacts dating back to 1756. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. with a short program offered at 11 a.m. Adults, $6 ; children age 3 to 15, $2. Members and children under 3 are free. Discounts are offered to firefighters, senior citizens, and groups. 812-9488711. http://www.vintagefiremuseum.org


This calendar is published as a service to readers and the communities electric cooperatives serve. Indiana Connection publishes events free of charge as space allows, giving preference to free community festival and events in and around areas served by subscribing REMCs/RECs. While Indiana Connection strives for accuracy, please note that events, dates and time may change without notice. Indiana Connection advises using contact phone numbers or internet sites to check times and dates of events before making plans. To add events to Calendar, please use the “Submit and Event” form under the “Talk to Us” or “Calendar” buttons at indianaconnection.org; or mail your info to: Calendar, Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240. Please submit info two months before the date of the event.





Invasion? B Y J ACK SPAULDI NG One Sunday morning before Christmas,

enclosed porch side. Their dilemma now

Thinking the wave of intruding wrens

appeared to be finding a way out.

must be because of a mid-winter

as my wife and I were sitting down to

Before setting off for church, I propped

lunch, my sister Mary Jo called from her

the screen door partially open. When we

home in Ingalls, Indiana.

came home, our Carolina Wren visitors

“You’ll never guess who dropped in to

had found their way out.

migration, I was surprised to find Carolina Wrens don’t migrate. They actually expand their range slightly during fall and into the winter. They are brave little birds and are well known for

see me this morning,” she began. “I was

My sister said she tried the same.

flying into open garages and porches

still in bed when I heard something

She followed hers to the kitchen and

looking for food.

flutter by my head. I looked up, and there

propped open a door. But, instead

on my dresser was a little tiny bird … a

of going out the door, “It flew off the

Carolina Wren.

kitchen counter and landed in the

“It was friendly enough, because it

Christmas tree,” she said.

According to folklore, being visited by a wren is uplifting and inspirational. Guess I need to call Mary Jo back to find out if that lore still holds true if you

flew off the dresser and landed on the

She’d done laundry the night before, and

chase them off by socking it to them

covers right next to me,” she continued.

seeing the basket still in the living room,

with stern words and balled socks.

“I shooed it away, and it flew into the

she said she grabbed the first ordnance


she could find. “I tried to flush it out of

“What are the odds?” I exclaimed.

the Christmas tree by throwing some rolled up socks at the tree. It finally came

That same morning, I told her, I saw

out and landed on the chandelier,” she

what I thought was a big round leaf on

said. Then she sternly told the bird, “It is

our screened-in back porch. Then it

time for you to go!

hopped. It, too, was a little fat Carolina Wren bustling about. As I started to turn away, I saw a second wren

“And danged if the little feller didn’t fly right out the door,” she reported.

perched on the screened window. My

Apparently, my sister’s feathered friend

twosome must have roosted in the eve

gained access through the dog door

of the porch the evening before. When

leading outside.

morning came, they exited on the



‘til next time,

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


Plug into safety

when charging your devices

Charging a cell phone is something we all do every day. No big deal, right? Wrong.

electronics from trusted sources and

wireless speakers are not equipped

be sure they have been tested or

with a safety mechanism known as

marked by a nationally recognized

a ground-fault circuit interrupter

testing laboratory like Underwriters

(GFCI), which shuts off power to the


device when it gets wet.

It’s also important to inspect your

In the U.S., building codes require

charging cords for damage. Any cord

you to use outlets equipped with a

• You need a new charger. So, you

that carries electrical power becomes

GFCI in bathrooms, kitchens and

head to the nearest gas station

a fire hazard when it’s damaged and

other household spaces where an

and grab one at a discounted

wires are exposed. As soon as you

electronic device might come into


see damage to a cord, stop using it.

contact with water. Regardless of the

Take these familiar scenarios, for example:

• You typically charge your phone in the bathroom — using an un-


wieldy 10-foot cord.

It’s safest to charge your devices on

• You like keeping your phone

cool, well-ventilated surfaces away

close, so you plug it in next to

from flammable objects. A well-ven-

your bed and tuck it under your

tilated spot will help prevent your


device from overheating. Devices

• You’ve run out of outlets, so your

tucked under a pillow, nestled on the

phone charger has taken perma-

carpet or resting on a bed or couch

nent residence plugged into an

don’t allow for this.

extension cord.

And, always unplug charging

All pose dangers. Here’s why:


cords when they’re not in use. Cords that are plugged in are constantly drawing power. If

Whether you need a replacement or

the cord isn’t plugged into a

just want an extra phone charger,

device that power can be trans-

it can be tempting to purchase the

ferred to flammable objects,

low-priced option rather than the

such as fabric, carpet or wood,

higher-priced charger from the

and cause it to ignite.

manufacturer. However, purchasing a bargain charger could have


disastrous consequences.

Once your phone is plugged

Most of the time, these products are unregulated and untested. Their components are often low quality and are not backed by a manufacturer’s warranty. Only purchase charging devices and

into an outlet it becomes a potential electrical hazard. And, unlike a hair dryer or electric razor — devices meant to be used in a bathroom — phones, laptops and

type of cord you’re using, if you drop your phone into water you could be electrocuted. Don’t make your electronic devices even more complicated than they already are. Always stay plugged into safety when using a device’s charging cord!

To ensure your newly neutered puppy heals properly, he should wear a cone for 7-10 days postsurgery to deter him from disturbing the affected area.


Responsible pet ownership begins with

spaying and neutering Rural residents need little convincing there’s an animal overpopulation problem. Beyond the city and county shelters, they are the ones who often must deal with the unexpected and unwanted litters dumped along country roads in the night by irresponsible pet owners. “A good home in the country” is not what awaits most abandoned kittens and puppies. February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter cats and dogs are euthanized. Though the number has been declining, obviously more pet owners need to understand the costs of NOT fixing their pets.

HEALTH BENEFITS Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors in female cats and dogs. A neutered male will be less susceptible to testicular cancer and some prostate problems. Male cats and dogs that have not been neutered have a strong desire to roam in search of mates, making them more likely to get hit by a car and fight with other males.





Spaying and neutering early stops many unwanted behaviors in both cats and dogs. A neutered or spayed pet will be less distracted, and more easily trained.

Millions of tax dollars are spent every year to care for unwanted, abandoned and neglected animals. By spaying or neutering your pet, you’ll help control the pet homelessness crisis.

While cycles vary, female cats usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. Breeding season is generally March through September but can run as long as February to December. To attract mates, they’ll yowl and frequently urinate — sometimes all over the house. Female dogs can also become aggressive during their heat cycles. Messy heat cycles for both cats and dogs will also attract stray and potentially aggressive male animals to your home. Left unneutered, male cats and dogs will mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine and be more aggressive. A neutered dog will be less likely to make inappropriate sexual approaches toward people and objects.

Determine the best time to spay or neuter your kitten or puppy with your veterinarian. Female cats can have their first heat as early as 4 months old and dogs as early as 5-6 months old. If they can come into heat, they can get pregnant. It is generally considered safe for kittens as young as 8 weeks old to be spayed or neutered. The traditional age for fixing a dog is 6-9 months. Taking away your pet’s desire to breed does not take away its beloved personality. A fixed pet will be more contented and safe, and live a longer, happier life. And it will not accidentally contribute to the heartbreaking problem of overpopulation.

Wabash Valley Power news

Busting Myths about Energy Efficiency There is a lot of great advice on how to be more energy efficient—using ENERGY STAR® rated devices, for example. But then there’s the not so great advice: the misinformation, mistakes, and myths that could lead you astray in your efforts to save on your electric bill. But fear not! Here are a few common myths we encounter – and the truth to bust them.

Myth: Switching appliances, computers, and electronics off when you’re not using them will wear them out faster.

Myth : Adding insulation in the attic will cause more heat to leak out the windows.

Truth: Nope! Modern electronics and appliances are

maintain a stable temperature. Adding insulation to your attic (and, more importantly, sealing your ceiling) is a great way to help make your home more energy efficient.

built to perform just as well with frequent shut-offs. In fact, most computers are actually built with this in mind, and use the on-off cycle as an opportunity to install updates and perform other necessary selfmaintenance. So go ahead—shut off, and save power.

Myth: Your HVAC system uses less energy if you close vents in your unused rooms. Truth: This one seems counterintuitive, but unless those unused rooms are somehow sealed up airtight, the air is still going to circulate. In fact, closing vents can even make your HVAC system work harder than normal by causing a backup in internal pressure. You’d be better served by adjusting your thermostat or switching to a more efficient system. Sealing your ductwork, air sealing your ceiling and band joists, and adding insulation also will ensure that your home minimizes energy use and helps keep you comfortable.



Truth: Any added insulation will help your home

Myth: New homes are required to be more energy efficient. Truth: Not necessarily! A home’s age doesn’t always tell you whether or not it’s energy efficient. A home’s energy efficiency depends much more on the way the house was constructed. That’s why we recommend looking for homes built to the specifications of the Power Moves Home Program, which are designed specifically with energy efficiency in mind.

If you’d like to learn more truths about energy efficiency, contact your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor or visit www.PowerMoves.com.


IF YOU GO: LM Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival 321 N. Garrison Hollow Road Salem, Indiana

FEB. 29-MARCH 1, MARCH 7-8. Along with the festival in Salem, here are some others to check out:

FEB. 15 History of Maple Syrup Prairie Creek Park-Sugar Cabin 3230 W. French Drive Terre Haute, Indiana

FEB. 29 Maple Syrup Special Event Southeastway Park 5624 S. Carroll Road New Palestine (Marion County), Indiana

FEB. 29-MARCH 1, MARCH 7-8 Parke County Maple Fair Parke County Fairgrounds 1472 N. US 41 Rockville, Indiana

MARCH 7, 14 Maple Syrup Days McCloud Nature Park 8518 Hughes Road North Salem, Indiana

MARCH 14-15, 21-22 Maple Syrup Time Deep River County Park 9410 Old Lincoln Highway Hobart, Indiana

MARCH 28-29 National Maple Syrup Festival Story Inn 6404 SR 135 Story, Indiana

APRIL 24-26 Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival 100 W. Waterford St. Wakarusa, Indiana

Maple Syrup festivals In the hush across Indiana’s wintry hinterlands soon will come a tap, tap, tapping and a drip, drip, dripping as the days get longer and warmer. That’s the sound of spring a-coming. That’s the sound of maple syrup season. As sap starts running up from the trunks of maple trees this time of year, Hoosiers north and south will join the ancient ritual of tapping into them to collect some of the sugary water. The sap is then boiled to evaporate most of its water, leaving the amber syrup we love on pancakes and waffles, and mixed in other recipes. Indiana isn’t among the largest maple syrup-producing states — like Vermont, which depicted the process on the back of its state quarter — but as the “Land of Indians,” Indiana is a perfect place to celebrate the process. Maple syrup, after all, is a gift of the Native Americans. Indigenous peoples in the northeast discovered the process long before Europeans ever arrived. Beginning this month and continuing into April, multiple maple syrup festivals and programs around Indiana will show how it’s

Tapping into an ancient tradition

all done and — the best part — offer ample opportunity to sample the sweet syrupy goodness of the labor. One place is LM Sugarbush, LLC, a 140-acre farm located in Salem, Indiana. Established in 1981 as Leane and Michael’s Sugarbush, the family-owned operation is hosting its 29th annual Maple Syrup Festival over two weekends, Feb. 29–March 1 and March 7–8. The festival, which draws up to 12,000 people each year, offers not just delicious pancakes and waffles but includes demonstrations and tours of the farm. There’s a Woodland Indian maple syrup making demonstration and a demonstration of pioneers boiling the sap. Festival-goers can tour the sugarbush and learn about modern sap collecting, too. In addition, visitors can enjoy maple-barbecued chicken, pork chops, pulled pork, music, over 50 craft and food vendors as well as many activities and games for young and old. Visit the Sugarstore and stock up on delicious Pure Maple Syrup and other maple goodies, T-shirts, mugs, and much more! FEBRUARY 2020


career profile

Helping employees become their best selves Top 3

responsibilities in a day: •

Employee relations. I work with our employees to develop solutions to make sure we’re all providing the best service to our consumers.

Employee training and development. I help make sure our team has the resources they need to meet their goals.

Special projects. There is always something different that I’m working on.

What education and training were needed for your position? I started working at the cooperative right out of high school as a customer service representative and have gained a lot of on-the-job training simply by being curious. I later earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and human resources management, which brought me to my current role.

Why did you decide to work for a cooperative? I first accepted the job because it was close to home, but later came to realize how great the work environment, benefits and relationships were. This



Melody Lynch Human Resources Director Whitewater Valley REMC job has provided a great living for my family and the people I have met have become some of my closest friends.

What part of your job is most fulfilling? It’s helping our employees become the most successful version of themselves.

What part of your job is most challenging? The same as the most fulfilling! Sometimes, fear holds people back and it can be challenging to help them let go of those fears.

What are your professional goals at the cooperative? I want to find new ways to help our team succeed and provide services to our consumers.

How is your cooperative involved in the community? There are always opportunities to get involved with the important issues in the communities we serve. Over the years, we’ve been involved with things like community service projects, Junior Achievement, Relay for Life, holiday parades, and more.

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