Kosciusko REMC — February 2021 Indiana Connection

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Co-op careers.

Kosciusko REMC’s

VINEYARDS AT

Valentine’s

pages 17–20

Indiana's wineries continue pivoting to COVID challenges

FEBRUARY 2021



from the editor

Hoodie Hoo!

Counting the days until spring Some of my fondest memories have been of my silliest moments. I’m not one to laugh readily; my funny bone needs to be seriously tickled to bring on the chuckles. But I’m convinced that a good belly laugh is a powerful, restorative thing. It lifts your mood and the moods of those around you. It gives you a different perspective on things, sometimes when you need that perspective the most. And it just plain feels good! So, when I found out about a completely random, totally outrageous, February “holiday” (I use that term loosely!) that will surely inspire laughter from me and those around me, I just had to share it! It’s called Hoodie Hoo Day and it’s meant to be celebrated every Feb. 20 in the Northern Hemisphere. I’ve never seen it actually being celebrated though — and, believe me, Hoodie Hoo revelers would be quite conspicuous! To acknowledge this special day, you must go outside at noon on Feb. 20, wave your hands over your head and yell “Hoodie Hoo!” Why? Because by Feb. 20 you’re probably sick of winter. And if you, indeed, have had enough of the snow and the cold, and don’t care if an embarrassing video of you happens to show up on someone’s social media account, you may want to hearken spring with a hearty shout — just because. Your Hoodie Hoo outburst only has to last a moment. After you let out your wintertime frustrations, you can head back inside and enjoy your midday meal. But if you catch yourself smiling or giggling that afternoon, you know “Hoos” to blame! And I can guarantee you, that mood-lifting experience will give you just the boost you need to help you through the cloudiest of days.

EMILY SCHILLING Editor eschilling@indianaec.org

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

Giveaway: Enter to win a Satek Winery prize bundle and one of Jack Spaulding’s books. Visit indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/contests. Entry deadline for giveaways: Feb. 26.

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

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

VOLUME 70 • NUMBER 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 304,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 info@indianaconnection.org IndianaConnection.org INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Walter Hunter President Randy Kleaving Vice President Steve McMichael Secretary/Treasurer John Gasstrom CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Ellie Schuler Senior Creative Services Specialist Taylor Maranion Creative Services Specialist Stacey Holton Director of Creative Services Mandy Barth Vice President of Communication ADVERTISING: American MainStreet Publications Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200; amp.coop Crosshair Media 502-216-8537; crosshairmedia.net Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. UNSOLICITED MATERIAL: Indiana Connection does not use unsolicited freelance manuscripts or photographs and assumes no responsibility for the safe‑keeping or return of unsolicited material. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $12 for individuals not subscribing through participating REMCs/RECs. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you receive Indiana Connection through your electric co-op membership, report address changes to your local co-op. POSTAGE: Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. Include key number. No portion of Indiana Connection may be reproduced without permission of the editor.

FEBRUARY 2021

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contents

FEBRUARY

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15

insights 03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative. 10 ENERGY Your electric co-op is plugged into support statewide — and beyond. 11 I NSIGHTS

food

12 GRASSROOTS How a bill becomes a law. 13 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Jackson County. 14 INDIANA EATS Cerulean Restaurant the spot for Valentine’s Day dinners under the stars. 15 FOOD Going bananas.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Indiana Connection

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backyard cooperative career 17 COVER STORY Vineyards at Valentine’s: Indiana’s wineries continue pivoting to COVID challenges. 21 SAFETY Common reasons for power outages. 22 BACKYARD Here’s the scoop on pokeweed.

23 RECALLS 24 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS 25 OUTDOORS Jack Spaulding recalls early possum hunting days. 26 C OOPERATIVE CAREER Professional progression: Keeping the meters running.

On the cover Indiana’s wineries, like all locally-owned food and entertainment businesses, have had to do a lot of pivoting and dancing around measures to keep customers and employees safe during the COVID pandemic. Valentine’s Day is yet the latest “holiday” they’ve had to work through. Here is how they are coping with COVID and looking to a brighter 2021. PHOTO BY TAYLOR MARANION

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FEBRUARY 2021


co-op news

Committed to a Co-op Culture 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

USE WOOL DRYER BALLS TO REDUCE DRYING TIME Wool dryer balls can absorb extra moisture. These are an efficient alternative to dryer sheets, which can create buildup on the dryer’s filter and reduce air circulation. — U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Use your Co-op Connections Card to save at local businesses Pottery Bayou in the Village at Winona Half off one child or one adult studio fee. The studio fee covers the use of tools and underglaze while creating your masterpiece, as well as the final glazing and the kiln firing.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/kosciuskoremc

Kosciusko REMC is set apart from other utilities because we adhere to seven guiding cooperative principles that reflect core values of honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness, and service to the community’s greater good. When KREMC was founded in 1939, each member contributed an equal share to gain access to electricity that benefited individual families and the larger local community. Each member had an equal vote in co-op matters. That sense of equity and inclusion is still how we operate today. By paying your electric bill each month, you’re a member of the co-op, and every member has an equal voice and vote when it comes to co-op governance. This ties back to our guiding principles of equitable economic participation and democratic control of the co-op. We encourage all members to vote in KREMC’s director elections every year and participate in member surveys to weigh in on discussions that set co-op policies and priorities, such as our most recent project, high-speed internet. While our top priority is providing safe, reliable and affordable energy, we also want to be a catalyst for good in our community. Because we are your local electric cooperative, co-op revenues stay right here in our community. In turn, we invest in our diverse community base through scholarship programs, charitable giving, educational programs, and more. We strive to make long-term decisions that improve and enrich the communities we serve. While today’s world is radically different from when KREMC was founded, our cooperative values have stood the test of time and remain just as relevant today. We recognize that today’s co-op members expect more, and my pledge to you — the members we proudly serve — is to promote a cooperative culture of inclusion, diversity, and equity for all.

KURT CARVER President and CEO

KREMC rates and rebates RATES

REBATES

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

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

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

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

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Tips

for circuit breaker trips

Rachel Miller Promoted Kosciusko REMC member service representative Rachel Miller was promoted to administrative, payroll and finance specialist. Miller assumes the role from Kathy Gast who recently announced her retirement. Miller joined the KREMC member service team five years ago. She had previously worked in the customer service field for 20 years. As KREMC’s administrative, payroll and finance specialist, Miller will be responsible

Everyone should know these electrical control safety panel tips. The panel is where electricity enters a building. It contains circuit breakers and has a main switch for shutting off all power in an emergency.

Be prepared for when a breaker trips: Always keep a flashlight with fresh batteries stationed by your circuit breaker panel. Keep access to your circuit breaker panel clear. Keep your panel information up to date by posting a breaker directory on the inside of the panel door. The National Electrical Code states, “Every circuit and circuit modification shall be legibly identified as to be its clear, evident, and specific purpose or use.”

Write the number of the circuit breaker on the inside of each outlet and switch faceplate in your home with a marker. This way, when you’re preparing to perform electrical work, you can also be sure that you turn off the right breaker by popping off the faceplate and reading the breaker number.

If a circuit breaker frequently blows, the circuit may be inadequate for the equipment. Make sure all electrical systems are properly grounded, and always keep water away from the control panel! If there is a power outage, check the control panel first.

Reset it (them) to “off” or “on.” with one of the correct amperage. If possible, check why the circuit blew (or contact an electrician). Never overload a single circuit with high-wattage appliances. Check appliance labels. If there is frayed insulation or a broken wire, a dangerous short circuit may result and cause a fire. Circuit testers can be used to inspect circuits. If power outages continue, or if there is a frayed or broken wire, contact an electrician. — University of Maine Cooperative Extension, DirectEnergy.com

for payroll, monthly budget reports, end of year audits, and general accounting records. To her new role, Miller brings a precise eye for balancing numbers and prior experience in human resources and accounting. Congratulations, Rachel, and thank you for sharing your talents with a whole new department at KREMC.

MOVE YOUR FURNITURE, SAVE ENERGY If you feel a draft while you’re curled up on the sofa with a good book or your favorite TV show,

FEBRUARY 2021

warm by rearranging your furniture when it gets cold outside.

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Locate your bookcases against an outside wall and fill them with as

don’t crank up the thermostat.

many books as you can. The

Move the sofa.

wood, paper and cardboard will

The chilliest places in your home during the winter are right next to the windows. So, move your furniture away from the windows.

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Here are six other ways to stay

absorb some of the cold air that seeps through the walls so it won’t make it into your heated room.


co-op news

It’s simple to save money on water heating Besides heating and cooling your home, heating your water uses more energy than anything else in the house. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the typical family spends up to 18 percent of its utility bills on water heating. Good news: It’s simple to lower that cost. Here are eight tips:

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Get rid of your old showerheads and bathroom faucets: They pump out way more water than you need to comfortably get clean. In their place, install low-flow faucets and aerating

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showerheads. The less water you use, the less you have to pay to heat it.

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If you notice a leaky faucet, repair it immediately. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that a faucet that drips 20 times per minute will waste a full gallon of water every day. If that happens to be hot water, you are washing money down the drain with every drip.

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Insulate your electric hot water tank — but don’t cover the thermostat. If your tank is gas- or oil-fueled, don’t cover the top or bottom of the heater or its burner compartment. You might need to ask a plumber for help.

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Wrap the hot and cold water pipes that connect to the water heater — for about six feet out.

Built-up gunk in the water heater can make it inefficient because it has to work harder to transfer the heat to the water.

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If you’re in the market for a new water heater, choose a high-efficiency model with the ENERGY STAR label. High-efficiency water heaters use 10 percent to 50 percent less energy than traditional models.

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Water heaters last for up to 15 years, but new models are so much more energy-efficient than older ones. It’s worth it to replace yours if you’ve had it for seven or more years.

Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 F. The Department of Energy says that’s a safe and sanitary temperature, and it will keep you

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Similarly, hanging your

wall grids so your furnace gets

only block the stream of warm air

thermostat. The extra heat can

favorite quilt or tapestry

the airflow it needs to operate

from reaching the rest of the room,

trick the thermostat into cycling

on an exterior wall will

efficiently. And, if you’ve covered

it actually can absorb the heat.

the furnace off, even though the

help keep heat indoors and the

an ugly wall register with a poster

cold from seeping into the room.

or painting, it’s got to go. That

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comfortable at bath time, too.

Find the air-supply and return registers in every room. Sometimes they

are on walls and sometimes they are in the floor. Move furniture and carpet away from floor registers and scoot bookshelves far from

register needs to “breathe” in order for your heating and cooling systems to work properly.

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5

Drain about a quart of water from the tank every three months to remove sediment.

Your computer, TV and lamps generate some heat while they’re turned

on, so take advantage of it. Move

rest of the house feels cold.

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When it’s sunny outside, open the blinds and drapes so

those electric appliances away

the outdoor warmth can flood

Likewise, clear sofas,

from exterior walls so the warm

your room. But on cloudy days

chairs, beds and carpets

air the devices generate won’t

and after dark, keep windows

away from heating vents.

exit through the walls. Also, move

covered. The fabric will keep

those pieces away from your

your heated air indoors.

Fabric-covered furniture will not

FEBRUARY 2021

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SAVE ON FUEL COSTS THROUGH PROPER CAR MAINTENANCE Proper maintenance of your car or truck will increase its fuel economy and put dollars back in your pocket in the form of savings. The U.S. Department of Energy offers these tips:

CHECK TIRES REGULARLY. Underinflated tires not only can run hot, shortening their lives, they also lead to more gasoline use. About 4 million gallons of gasoline would be saved each day if Americans kept their tires inflated at the recommended pressure.

BUY THE GA S OLINE OCTANE AND OIL GRADE

Shred your identity theft fears Now’s a good time to go

sheets of paper at once;

through that ever-growing

others can destroy credit

stack of old bank statements

cards and even CDs. Most

and shred them.

people need a basic, single-

The Federal Trade

sheet shredder.

recommended in your owner’s manual. You do not need to buy fuel with higher octane than is recommended. It won’t give more “power;” it will only take money out of your

Commission warns that

Keep kids away from your

identity theft if the fastest

shredder. The Consumer

growing crime in the United

Product Safety Commission

States, and those old

has received reports of

documents — along with the

children injuring or even

tons of credit card offers that

amputating their fingers in

pocket.

arrive in the mail regularly —

the devices. Unplug your

could cause you big trouble if

shredder after each use, and

you don’t thoroughly destroy

store it out of the reach of

them properly.

small children.

TUNE YOUR CAR A S NEEDED. This will extend life and improve performance. A poorly tuned car uses 3-9% more gasoline than a welltuned one.

To shred safely, follow these tips:

Remove paper clips and staples from your documents before running

REPLACE THE ENGINE FILTER S as recommended

Buy a shredder than “cross

them through the shredder.

shreds:” that is, it shreds

Metal probably won’t break

in your owner’s manual; clogged filters waste gasoline.

each scrap in two directions

your shredder but it can dull

which makes it unlikely the

the cutting blades, making it

document can be taped back

less effective and reducing its

REMOVE UNNECESS ARY WEIGHT — i.e., don’t

together.

lifespan.

carry heavy items in your trunk, back seat or cargo compartment.

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FEBRUARY 2021

Choose a model with enough capacity for your needs. Some cut multiple



energy

Your electric co-op is plugged into support — statewide and beyond When several Hendricks Power Cooperative members contacted Energy Advisor Steve Hite for recommendations about contractors outside of that cooperative’s service territory, he didn’t know the answers. But he knew where to go to find them. He asked the energy advisors at nearby electric cooperatives for recommendations in their areas and then shared those suggestions with members. This is one example of “Cooperation Among Cooperatives,” which is one of the Seven Cooperative Principles that guide how electric cooperatives operate. It’s the cooperative difference: together, we can collaborate and work to better serve our members so that everyone benefits.

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FEBRUARY 2021

“I’m obviously very fortunate to have some energy advisors to talk with when I have a question or concern,” Hite said. “I appreciate the whole co-op mentality. It’s just a really good setting.” We receive a variety of questions from residential members, ranging from high bill complaints to new service or even questions about particular programs or calculating appliances’ energy use. When we don’t immediately know the answer to a question, we frequently reach out to our counterparts who may be more knowledgeable on specific topics or situations. “It’s like that across the board with all of the co-ops,” said Jake Taylor, energy advisor at LaGrange County

REMC. “It seems like pretty much everybody supports each other. Our energy advisors are pretty great, and they all have individual talents.” We also work with Indiana Electric Cooperatives, the organization that serves the 38 electric cooperatives in the state. IEC organizes ongoing training and events for electric co-op employees, including energy advisors. That provides us with an opportunity to meet and discuss recent events, and learn about new technology and tools that can help us support our members. We even have opportunities to meet and interact with energy advisors and employees across the U.S. through message boards and email lists organized by National Rural

Electrc Cooperative Association, our national organization that serves electric cooperatives. All of this support means that your local electric cooperative is also part of a much larger national network of support – one committed to providing the strongest support possible to the members we serve. “I think it makes us a lot stronger when we cooperate,” Hite said. “It’s a different way of working.”

by Jeremy Montgomery Energy Advisor Parke County REMC


CALENDAR CONTEST DEADLINE NEXT MONTH Indiana students who have a penchant for drawing, painting and collage have until March 19 to enter the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art contest to illustrate the 2022 wall calender. First place winners in grade divisions kindergarten through grade 12 will receive $200 each. Their winning artworks will illustrate the calendar’s

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

cover and the 12 months of the year. One “artist of the year” will also be selected and will earn an

Address:

additional $100. In addition, the judges will select honorable mention winners whose artwork will also

City, State and ZIP:

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

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.

indianaconnection.org/for-youth/art-contest. FEBRUARY 2021

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grassroots energy

HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW Understanding this process is an essential component of grassroots advocacy and civic engagement. While the process can be quite complex, when boiled down there are seven basic steps that lead to a bill becoming a law. There needs to be an idea. The idea is written down by a member of Congress, either a senator or representative, and is submitted as a bill.

upon by the presiding officer, the entire chamber can then offer amendments to the bill and vote on the passage of the bill and/or any new amendments.

The bill will be introduced to the legislative body in which it was written (either the Senate or House of Representatives). Then, the speaker of the house and the president pro tempore (or vice president/lieutenant governor) can assign the bill to a committee.

If successfully passed out by the chamber, the bill then goes to the other chamber. For example, bills that originate in the Senate are passed to the House of Representatives, and vice versa for bills that originate in the House of Representatives. Once in the opposite chamber, the bills go through a very similar process of committee assignment. The new committee then decides which of the remaining bills will be heard, and then begins the same process of research, discussion, amendments, etc. If the bill is voted upon and passed out of committee, it (with any new amendments that were also voted upon), it goes back to the full chamber. The full chamber can again propose new amendments and vote on the bill.

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2

Once in committee, the chairman of the committee decides which bills will receive public hearings and which ones will not. Members of the committee will research, discuss and offer amendments (or changes) to the bill. The public will also have a chance to testify on the bill and its proposed amendments. The chairman can then decide whether to offer the bill and/or amendments for vote by the whole committee. If passed out of committee, the bill and any amendments also passed go back to the entire chamber.

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The new bill (with any passed amendments) goes back to its originating chamber (either the Senate or House of Representatives). If called

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5

If both the Senate and House of Representatives have voted to pass the bill, then they must work out any difference between the two versions. For example, if the second chamber passed the bill with any new amendments, then the first chamber

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must also pass those new amendments. Both chambers must vote out the exact same bill. If it passes, it goes to the president (federal level) or governor (state level). Finally, the president or governor then considers the bill. He or she can approve the bill and sign it into law, or veto the bill, stopping it from becoming a law.

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It is important to note most bills never become a law. There are several ways to stop a bill, and the vast majority will stop before they can become a law. And, if a bill is lucky enough to get to the final stages and becomes a law, it often looks very different from the time it was introduced. Many times, amendments are added to change the bill and the law actually passed looks quite different from the bill that was introduced. As you can see, this process is quite complex, which is why it is so important to have people like you ready as grassroots advocates. Your voice is incredibly important and may need to be called upon at any of these stages.


county feature

Jackson County Jackson County was not named

about

after the President Andrew Jackson

small-town

— contrary to popular perception.

roots with

Rather, it was named in honor of

populist

Gen. Andrew Jackson, the hero of

“heartland”

the Battle of New Orleans at the

lyrics made

end of the War of 1812. Obviously,

Mellencamp

the same person — but different

a radio

circumstances.

staple in the

Jackson County was formed in 1816, even before Indiana became

1980s and 1990s.

a state, and long before Jackson

Mellencamp

became the seventh president in

also

1829.

became an

That some rowdy behavior and individuals should emerge from a county named for the fiery populist Jackson, who pushed individual

PHO TO PRO VI DED BY M ARSHALL M EM O RI ES PHO TO G RAPHY

John Mellencamp, who famously sang about his small town roots back in the 1980s, adorns this downtown mural in his hometown of Seymour.

accomplished painter and helped start and has supported Jackson County’s Southern Indiana Center for the Arts.

liberty while bending convention

Mellencamp’s Jackson County

and rules, is apropos.

past come alive with an audio

Jackson County was the site of the first recorded train robbery of a moving train in the United States. On Oct. 6, 1866, the Reno Gang robbed an Ohio and Mississippi Railway train, making off with over $10,000. Popular musician John Mellencamp, whose 1984 hit song about his fights with authority (“but authority always wins”), was born and grew up in Seymour. Mellencamp, who was first given the stage name of “Cougar” when he started cutting records in the 1970s, dropped the Madison Avenue name as his catchy songs

driving tour, created by the Jackson County Visitor Center. “The Roots of An American Rocker” offers a glimpse of Mellencamp that most people have never seen. The CD features stops at many of John’s old stomping grounds and a

y t n u Co acts F FOUNDED: 1816

NAMED FOR: Gen. Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans against the British in the War of 1812, who later became the seventh president of the United States. POPULATION: 44,111 (2018 estimate) COUNTY SEAT: Brownstown

detailed map of Seymour. The county is also home to the

fishing, hiking, photography and

Muscatatuck National Wildlife

enjoying nature.

Refuge, a refuge to provide resting

The 18,000-acre Jackson-

and feeding areas for waterfowl

Washington State Forest and

during their annual migrations.

Starve-Hollow State Recreation

The refuge is on 7,724 acres. In

Area offer some of the best

addition to wildlife viewing, the

camping and outdoor recreational

refuge provides opportunities for

opportunities in southern Indiana.

FEBRUARY 2021

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Indiana eats

Left: The Winona roll is just one of the specialty rolls on the Cerulean Restaurant’s inspired sushi menu. Smoked salmon, black tobiko, cream cheese and red pepper tempura make this roll a feast for the eyes — and the palate.

PAN-ASIAN CUISINE … AND IGLOOS?

Right: Wintertime outdoor dining is warm and cozy in one of Cerulean Restaurant’s igloos. Book an igloo for a Valentine’s Day dinner under the stars.

Cerulean Restaurant the spot for Valentine’s Day dinners under the stars BY J E NNI F E R BA R G ER Nestled in the heart of the Village of

herbs and veggies. The dining area

That’s an easy question: Valentine’s

Winona, overlooking the Winona Lake

delights the senses under white

Day dinner under the stars, in a

canal, you’ll find Cerulean Restaurant,

lights and there’s a buzzing bar

private glowing igloo, with superlative

home to superlative sushi, bountiful

with knowledgeable and friendly

sushi, bountiful bento boxes, and

bento boxes, and delectable desserts

bartenders. Throughout the warmer

delectable desserts!

that will tantalize your taste buds.

months of the year, there is live

Get a load of some of these desserts:

music, and on most nights, you'll find

crème brulee bread pudding,

a casual, no-rush atmosphere there

chocolate pralines crunch, blood

that lends itself to long conversations

orange sorbet. (#dontmindifido)

and big laughs.

The atmosphere at Cerulean is

Why are we talking about the Garden

perfect, with quiet and private high-

in February? Because the Garden got

back booths lining the walls. Cerulean

a serious upgrade this winter.

is a Valentine’s Day favorite — and the ideal spot for a quiet dinner out with friends.

IGLOOS! Adorable, cozy, warm, and glowing igloos. You can enjoy an amazing meal under the stars, or in

Please don’t take my word for it; you’ve got to give Cerulean a try. You won’t regret it. Jennifer Barger is manager of marketing and communication at Kosciusko REMC in Warsaw.

Cerulean Restaurant

However, if you’re more of a social

the snow, for that matter, without

butterfly, you might want to walk

sacrificing comfort or social distance.

1101 E. Canal St. Winona Lake

However, you've got to reserve the

574-269-1226

right past the quiet booths and head out to the Garden.

igloos. So, call ahead – what would be

The Garden is everything you’re

sweeter than Valentine’s Day dinner

imagining: An outdoor courtyard,

under the stars?

lined with boxes of home-grown

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FEBRUARY 2021

ceruleanrestaurant.com


food

Going

Bananas WE’RE WILD ABOUT THESE A-‘PEELING’ RECIPES

BANANA CRUMB MUFFINS Patricia Hall, New Salisbury, Indiana Topping: ½ cup all-purpose flour

1½ cups all-purpose flour 1 t. baking soda

¼ cup sugar

1 t. baking powder

1 t. cinnamon

½ t. salt

4 T. butter, room temperature

3 large ripe bananas, mashed ¾ cup sugar 1 egg, slightly beaten

Mix together topping ingredients and set aside while you prepare the muffin batter. For the muffins: In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl, combine the bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Mix well. Stir the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill muffin cups ⅔ full. Do not use paper muffin cups. Using hands, arrange coarse pea-size crumbs of the topping over the muffin batter. Bake at 375 F for 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Cook’s note: These freeze well in individual freezer bags. Take them out of the freezer the night before for a quick breakfast in the morning.

⅓ cup melted butter FEBRUARY 2021

15


food

BANANA BARS Pam Spinner, Derby, Indiana 1½ cups sugar 1 cup sour cream ½ cup butter, softened 2 eggs 1¾ cups (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed 2 t. vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose (or wheat) flour 1 t. baking soda ¾ t. salt ½ cup chopped pecans (optional) Frosting: 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened ½ cup butter, softened 2 t. vanilla extract 3¾ to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Grease and flour a 15 X 10-inch jelly roll pan.Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, sour cream, butter and eggs until they are creamy. Next, blend in bananas and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda, salt and blend them for 1 minute. Stir in pecans if desired. Spread the batter evenly into your pan. Bake for 20 -25 minutes until golden brown.When cooled completely, frost and cut. Yield: 36 bars. Cook’s note: These store great in the fridge. I have also frozen some of them

GENEVA’S BANANA OATMEAL COOKIES Glenda Ferguson, Paoli, Indiana ¾ cup butter, softened 1 egg, beaten 1 cup mashed bananas 1½ cups flour ½ cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar ½ t. baking soda 1 t.salt ¼ t. nutmeg ¾ t. cinnamon 3 cups oatmeal ½ cup nuts, optional Mix butter, egg and bananas together. Add the flour, sugars, soda, salt and spices. Stir in the oatmeal a little at a time. Drop onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes until cookies are browned around the edges. Yield: 3½ dozen cookies. Cook’s Notes: The cookies spread out a bit when baking, so allow space in between the drops of batter. Instead of adding nuts, I like to add mini-chocolate chips, so that there is a little taste of chocolate with the banana and oatmeal.

for later. FO O D PREPARED BY I NDI ANA CO NNECT I O N S TA FF PHO TO S BY TAYLO R MA RA NI O N

16

FEBRUARY 2021


A new vintage for Satek Winery sleeps under the January snow at Nob Hill Vineyard in Clear Lake in far northeasternmost corner of Indiana. PHOTO PROVIDED BY KAY AND RON KUMMER

VINEYARDS AT

Valentine’s Indiana's wineries continue pivoting to COVID challenges

BY RICHARD G. BIEVER

get out,” said Shane Christ, the

Valentine’s Day has always meant

Steuben County.

Rural Indiana has seen an

Though COVID has continued the

wine industry in the past 30 years.

wining and dining, dancing and romancing. But this year, the continuing cloud of COVID-19 has kept Cupid on the q.t. Leave it to Indiana’s enterprising wineries and vineyards to keep the crafted potables Hoosiers have come to love accessible and a part of this Feb. 14 or any special occasion,

winemaker at Satek Winery in

public hibernation into 2021, he noted, “There’s a lot of things we can do that do not require social gathering.”

Flourish extraordinary growth in the state’s This form of agritourism gets folks out into the Indiana countryside to enjoy the fruits of the vines and the

“Folks are finding ways to travel and

handcrafted labors of love.

get out, and wineries seem to be a

There are now over 120 wineries and

great outlet,” said Jill Blume, enology specialist with the Purdue Wine Grape

vineyards dotting the state. Thirty years ago, there were nine. Those

despite the pandemic.

Team which supports the wineries.

“In the past, we have always looked

“Some of these wineries are remote

jobs. Indiana’s wine production in

and a little hard to find,” she added.

2018 exceeded 2.4 million gallons (12

“So, it’s a little adventure in that sense.

million bottles) and was ranked 11th

It’s a fun country drive, and I think a lot

nationwide.

of people are ready to get some air.”

continued on page 18

to Valentine’s Day as one of the first ‘holidays’ where people unearth themselves from their house after a long winter and are anxious to

wineries provide almost 4,000 full-time

FEBRUARY 2021

17


continued from page 17

Indiana

WINE INDUSTRY ECONOMIC IMPACT

$95 million Indiana wine sold

continued from page 17 Eight wine trails, mapped out from Indiana’s southern shores of Lake Michigan to the northern banks of the Ohio River and almost everywhere in between, provide Indiana’s 630,000 annual “wine tourists” conveniently charted routes. Indiana’s wineries serve up vast varieties of fermentations from whites to reds, sweets to dries, and traditional grapes to any number of fruits and combinations. While for the past year social media has been filled with running jokes alluding to wine’s ability to see

$94 million tourism expenditures $603 million total economic impact 2.4 million gallons produced

many of us through such things as quarantines, social distancing,

$590,000 vineyard revenue

parents traumatized), the real spirit

“During the summer, the wineries

of Indiana’s wineries isn’t what’s

were a lot better able to pivot and seat

consumed. Rather, Indiana’s wineries

people and keep everyone socially

and vineyards are really about

distanced from each other. The

celebrating friendship, family and life’s

traditional model where you walk in,

good times together — very often in

stand at the bar and taste two or three

the beautiful rural settings.

samples and then make a purchase is

“We are really proud of that winery is,” said Rachel Gibson, executive director of the Indiana Winery and Vineyard Association.

SOURCE: 2018 DATA FROM THE INDIANA WINE GRAPE COUNCIL

18

JANUARY 2021

no longer a viable model while we’re fighting COVID,” Gibson said. “In a lot of cases, people have had to rethink their tasting rooms altogether to figure out seating areas and so on.”

“When you visit a winery, in most

Wineries have had to be creative

cases, you’re looking at the vineyard;

maintaining and growing their

you’re seeing where the grapes are

customer base during COVID,

grown.”

she said. “As an industry, we’ve

all small businesses, especially in the entertainment, food and tourism industries — has left many wineries

3,900 full-time jobs

Visit indianaconnection. org/talk-to-us/contests.

has kept the kids at home and some

The pandemic ­— as it has on most

$120 million paid wages

two wine glasses, a jar of chocolate sauce and a gift certificate to Satek Winery.

school closures and e-learning (that

agritourism element of what a farm

600 grapebearing acres

ENTER TO WIN

struggling. Wine bars and tasting

actually done pretty well. These are entrepreneurs. They’ve all figured out a different niche and a different business model and a different product they’re offering.”

rooms had to close or reduced

Wineries started offering curbside

capacity, and many special popular

sales and free delivery of online

annual events were canceled.

orders. Some offer virtual wine tasting


in which a customer buys a “wine-

The winery isn’t

sampling kit” at the winery, then goes

celebrating 20

home and logs into Zoom for the

years in 2021, like

virtual tasting experience with the

Satek, nor even 20

winery’s experts.

months. It opened

Wineries that have developed relationships with wholesalers and are able to sell their products beyond their tasting rooms have certainly been more insulated during the pandemic, noted Christ, who is the president of the winery and vineyard association. “If you look at the sales of your liquor stores and grocery stores … that’s what’s really been the lifeline to a lot of wineries.

15, 2020, and is celebrating two months in business this Valentine’s Day. Owner and one of its winemakers Adam Brockman, a chiropractor by day at his next door Complete Wellness Center, has turned his hobby into a

Day, wineries are preparing special

business.

traditional events, like pairings of wines and chocolates, were still scheduled at many of the state’s wineries. But, as with most things during this time, interested readers are

PHO TO PRO VI DED BY    BO TTO M O F    THE BARREL WI NERY

its doors Dec.

For special events, like Valentine’s boxes of selected wines. Some

Adam Brockman and Megan Harth opened Bottom of the Barrel Winery on Main Street in Tell City, next to his wellness center, just before Christmas.

Opening a new establishment during a socioeconomic hardship might not be ideal, but for Brockman, it’s become

works for Valentine’s Day that would include wine and chocolates.

an unlikely business plan. The

Bottom of the Barrel’s roots sprung

39-year-old Perry County native

from the building itself — which once

opened his first clinic across the river

housed a dry cleaning business —

Satek, which celebrates 20 years in

in Hawesville, Kentucky, in 2008

that Brockman bought about a year

business in 2021, will continue one

— during the great recession. “It’s

and a half ago. “The building needed

item that’s related to Valentine’s Day

something we’ve been through before,

a lot of repairs done,” he said, “so I

that Christ says has developed a “cult

and we’ve been able to build our

had been asked if they could drop a

following” in recent years. That’s its

clinic system.” (Brockman, who is also

dumpster in my clinic parking lot.” He

chocolate sauce. The sauce, which is

a doctor of naturopathic medicine,

ended up buying the building.

about 5% alcohol, is specially made for

has clinics in Evansville; Hartford,

Satek by a chocolatier in California’s

Kentucky; and Santa Rosa Beach,

He and fiancée Megan Harth, a nurse

Napa Valley using Satek wines. “It’s a

Florida, as well.)

always encouraged to visit the local wineries’ websites for latest details.

nice little gift item,” Christ said.

Fruition Down state from Satek, about as far down state as you can go without driving into the Ohio River at the bottom of the state, is Bottom of the Barrel Winery in downtown Tell City.

practitioner at his clinic, then asked themselves what would they want to

The winery on Main Street opened

see in town. “It was just like a lightbulb

with limited hours before Christmas to

clicked when we came up with the idea.”

allow holiday shopping. It then hosted

Two other wineries were already

a special New Year’s Eve gathering for a limited number of couples that included a bottle of wine and a meat and cheese board. He said a similar limited gathering for couples is in the

in Perry County. One, Winzerwald Winery, was 25 miles up the road along I-64; the other, Blue Heron, sits

continued on page 20 FEBRUARY 2021

19


continued from page 19 in the hills directly above the Ohio River at Rocky Point. Brockman said Bottom of the Barrel will join Blue Heron on the Hoosier Wine Trail that connects wineries along the river. “Our winery and theirs will really be able to play off of each other. You can come to Perry County, and you can see the beauty where Blue Heron is, and you can come here and have a little bit of a different atmosphere — like a big city vibe in a small town.” The name they chose for their winery, Brockman said, sums up their attitude: “Have fun; don’t take yourself, or the wine, too seriously; and make it through anything thrown your way.”

P H OTO B Y TAY LOR MARANI O N

the artifacts left behind. The cleaning

not to judge the wine under the 2020

chemicals, of course, and most of the

label by the memories.

old equipment were long gone. But before gutting the entire building down to its brick walls, they found clothing,

“One bright spot of 2020 was our growing year. Our summer was really hot; it was really dry; and it was really

Brockman and another winemaking

still in the plastic garment bags, that

hobbyist crafted Bottom of the Barrel’s

customers never claimed — including

wines with professional vintner Gary

wedding dresses. “That would be

Humphrey, who owned and operated

good for bachelorette parties,” he

River City Winery for over 10 years

quipped. “You can also come pick out

“Though the yields were about

upriver in New Albany. Humphrey

your dress.”

the same as a typical year, the

is on the board of the Indiana Wine Grape Council and produced the “Wine of the Year” at the 2012 Indy International Wine Competition.

He said originally, they hoped to have the winery open for the city’s annual Schweizer Fest in August. But when the festival was greatly pared down

long; and that proved to be one of the better growing years for producing fruit,” he said.

concentration of the flavors in the grapes was much higher, and the fruit chemistry was ideal,” he explained. “I am expecting some outstanding wines throughout the state.”

Brockman noted he intends to

because of COVID, they decided to

eventually create a vineyard on land

take a little more time with the wines

With the new vintage and the hope

he owns on the outskirts of Tell City.

and preparation. He did want to

COVID subsides soon, Christ predicts,

But for now, the grapes and apples

make sure they opened before the

“It’s going to be a great summer to

used to make their wines came from

end of the year. “I just thought it was

get out of the house. It’s going to be a

Indiana and Michigan. “The tanks

important to give people something

great summer to go visit. It’s going to

came from Italy,” he added. “We were

that we can look forward to; 2020

be a great summer to catch back up

fortunate that we ordered them before

wasn’t a great year, but 2021 is

with your friends and go out to dinner.”

COVID hit, otherwise we probably still

something we can look forward to.”

And along with catching up and dining,

wouldn’t have them.” Keeping in line with thoughts of Valentine’s Day and romance, one interesting thing about putting the winery in a building once occupied by a dry cleaner, Brockman noted, was

20

FEBRUARY 2021

Forward Shane Christ at Satek noted another thing wine lovers can especially look forward to this entire coming year is

there’s sure to be some wining, and maybe a little dancing and romancing.

Richard G. Biever is senior editor of Indiana Connection.

the 2020 vintage. The year itself might be best forgotten, but Christ advises

For more information on Indiana’s wineries and trails, visit IndianaConnection.org.


safety

power outages Common causes of Power outages are never convenient. Sometimes, it’s no mystery why we are left in the dark, like when lightning and thunder rattle windows and walls. Other times, an outage may come out of the blue. The length of time it takes to restore power will vary by the cause. Most electric cooperatives attempt to share outage information through social media platforms. Here are some of the most common causes your cooperative might be facing.

WEATHER The most common cause for power outages is Mother Nature. A heavy build-up of ice and snow on power lines, poles and equipment can bring them down. Wind also causes widespread damage. High winds following a heavy ice storm can be particularly devastating. Extremely hot weather can cause power lines to sag into vegetation and can also cause unusually high demand that can overburden transformers and other electrical equipment causing them to fail. Lightning strikes can cause major damage to electrical equipment, transmission towers, wires and poles.

If the lights go out in the middle of a thunderstorm, lightning is probably the culprit.

TREES During high winds, snow and ice, tree limbs can snap or entire trees can topple onto power lines.

ACCIDENTS A vehicle hitting a utility pole can break the pole and knock lines from their overhead perch. Excavation work can disturb buried electric service lines causing an outage. Always call 811 before any gardening or digging project.

PLANNED OUTAGES If an electric cooperative is performing maintenance or upgrading its equipment, it may need to temporarily turn off the power. The cooperative will usually try to notify consumers. This is why it’s always a good idea to make sure your cooperative has updated contact information. If you experience an outage, alert your cooperative. While most co-ops have upgraded to digital systems that automatically detect outages, others still rely on notification from their customers before they come out to investigate the cause and restore power.

ANIMALS Squirrels, snakes and other small animals and birds can climb on poles and electrical equipment which may cause a short circuit or equipment to shut down.

VANDALISM People shooting at insulators and transformers is still a sad cause for power outages in rural areas. Thieves also steal copper wire and other pieces of electrical equipment. Both acts of vandalism can be extremely costly and deadly.

RESIST THE URGE TO TALK TO LINE CREWS DURING OUTAGES Stopping your car or truck on roads near electric cooperative crews is hazardous, especially when road conditions may already be treacherous with ice and snow. For safety’s sake, the best thing for you to do when you see crews working is to let them do their jobs, without distractions. It is dangerous for others to be milling around when they’re repairing lines.

FEBRUARY 2021

21


backyard

Ask Rosie

B. ROSIE LERNER is the Purdue Extension consumer horticulturist and is a consumer of Tipmont REMC.

POKEWEED IS ON THE LOW END OF THE TOXICITY SCALE BY B. ROSIE LERNER

Q:

I have a lot of these plants (pictured below) growing in the field near my home. Can you identify this plant for me? And is it poisonous? I have horses and am concerned that this could make them sick.

A:

This is a very common weed called pokeweed. It is native to much of Eastern North America, including Indiana. All parts of the pokeweed plant are poisonous, especially roots and seeds, but its toxicity is generally considered to be low.

(According to the U.S. Forest Service, young leaves and stems when properly cooked are edible and provide a good source of protein, fat and carbohydrate. Regional names for the plant include poke, poke sallet, poke salad, and pokeberry.) Pokeweed can reach up to 10 feet tall and has distinctly red stems and berries that change from green to dark purple when ripe. It is perennial from a large tap root, dying back to the ground each year. The fruits are important food for mockingbirds, northern cardinals and mourning doves which spread the seed everywhere in their droppings. So, pokeweed can poke up in many new places each year. For more information on pokeweed and its toxicity, see Purdue Extension’s Guide to Toxic Plants in Forages. www. extension.purdue. edu/extmedia/ws/ws_37_ toxicplants08.pdf

22

FEBRUARY 2021

ROSIE RETIRES B. Rosie Lerner has spent her career making Indiana a more beautiful and bountiful state when it comes to flower and vegetable gardens. After 36 years, Rosie retired as the Purdue Extension consumer horticulture specialist at the end of 2020. In her role, she served two stints as the Purdue Master Gardener state coordinator; developed programs, publications, news releases and teaching materials for home gardeners; served as the horticulture liaison to the Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory; and was a member of various related boards and professional organizations. And while she has retired from Purdue, she has graciously offered to continue answering gardening questions for Indiana Connection readers. So, those with questions may continue asking them through the handy online “Talk to Us” form at www.indianaconnection.org/talkto-us/ask-rosie that allows you to upload photos, too; or mailing them to: “Ask Rosie,” Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240.


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

product recalls

Yeti power supply recalled This recall involves all Yeti 25A Fast Charge power supplies with model number 98080. The power supply is an accessory to and is used for faster recharging of Goal Zero’s Yeti power stations. The connection between the power supply module and the output cord can be loose, causing the electrical connections to overheat, posing a fire hazard. The power stations were sold at Bass Pro, Cabela’s and REI stores nationwide and online at Amazon, Backcountry and GoalZero.com from April 2019 through August 2020 for about $150. The model number can be found on the first line of the specifications on the product label. The Goal Zero logo and “Yeti 25A Fast Charge” can be found on top of the power supply box. Contact Goal Zero at 888-794-6250; or go online at www.goalzero.com/productfeatures/fast-charger-recall/ and fill out a form.

Electric fireplaces can cause a real fire An electric fireplace housed in a cherry wood-colored cabinet and sold exclusively at Lowe’s stores has been recalled. Wiring connectors in the allen + roth brand 62-inch wide, 5,120-BTU infrared quartz electric fireplace can overheat, posing a fire hazard. Importer L G Sourcing has received 28 reports of overheating, fire, or smoke. Several of these incidents reportedly caused smoke damage to the surrounding area and, in one instance, smoke inhalation. The units were sold at Lowe’s stores nationwide and Lowes.com from January 2013 through April 2018 for about $700. Contact L G Sourcing, Inc. at 888-251-1019, or visit lowes.com and click on Recalls & Product Safety at the bottom of the page for more information.

Sunbeam recalls express crock The Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cooker has been recalled. The multicooker can pressurize when the lid is not fully locked. This can cause the lid to suddenly detach while the product is in use, posing burn risks to consumers from hot food and liquids ejected from the product. Sunbeam Products has received 119 reports of lid detachment, resulting in 99 burn injuries ranging in severity from first-degree to third-degree burns. The multicooker was sold at Walmart, Target and other retail stores nationwide and online at Amazon and other online retailers from July 2017 through November 2020 for between $70 to $100. Contact Crock-Pot at 800-323-9519 , or go online at recall.crock-pot.com/ for more information.

FEBRUARY 2021

23


Wabash Valley Power news

Taylor connected a Sense, which is a home energy monitor that tracks electricity use in real time, to the LaGrange County REMC member’s circuit breaker box. The Sense is able to show the home’s electricity use in real-time as appliances in the home turn on and off. Over time, the home energy monitor also learns the energy use of individual appliances, systems and other devices, and tracks that use. Taylor and the LaGrange County REMC member learned that there were several issues with appliances that were contributing to the high energy bills. “Sense takes high level information about real-time electricity consumption and translates it into something that’s easy for homeowners to understand,” Taylor said. “You can look at your house’s energy use and see what it costs you. They’re amazing.”

24

FEBRUARY 2021

Home energy monitors can even indicate abnormal energy use that can be a sign of an issue. Laura Matney, who is marketing manager at Wabash Valley Power Alliance, had an electrician install a Sense at her home (electricians are recommended to install the device). The Sense showed that her basement’s lift pump, which moves water in pipes from the basement to ground level, was unexpectedly turning on several times an hour. She explored the issue and discovered that a leak was causing the pump to work more than normal. “I don’t know that I was expecting it to find particular problems,” Matney

on

yM rg

Taylor started in the homeowner’s basement, at the circuit breaker box. He didn’t have to travel any further.

Home energy monitors such as Sense parse out each device using electricity in a home. In many cases, the Sense can name the type of appliance such as a refrigerator or television (and may even know the brand of the device). It may take a few days – or even a few weeks – for the Sense to detect all of the devices, systems and appliances that cycle on and off in a home. That can be useful for homeowners to track and determine their home’s energy use.

ne

LaGrange County REMC Energy Advisor Jake Taylor helped a co-op member scour his house to find the culprit causing the member’s high energy bills.

it or

Home energy monitors can unearth interesting discoveries

SENS

om EH

e

E

said. “I got the Sense so I could get a better idea of what appliances are using energy and when.” She hopes that as she learns more about her family’s electricity use, the household can take steps to conserve energy. While she started discovering new details shortly after it was plugged in, she noticed it takes the Sense several weeks to discover the majority of devices and appliances that use power in the home. “I think it’s a good tool, but it’s not a device that is just a one-time setup and you’re done,” Matney said of Sense. “You learn along with it, and it’s an ongoing effort but the knowledge and savings can be worth it.”


outdoors

Trapper Jack Note to readers: Jack Spaulding has just released his second full-length book. In “Coon Hunter and the Kid,” Jack shares tales of a rural Midwestern boy’s journey to manhood and the lifelong bonds and lessons learned on the hunting trail. For this month’s column, we present an excerpt.

I asked Anders, “What’s for supper?” Anders just smiled and said, “Boy, it’s something special I know you will like!” Clara opened the oven, pulled out a roasting pan and set the main course

As a young boy, I considered myself to

catch possums. Rush County was full

be an excellent outdoorsman. Truth be

of possums. Heck, sometimes Mom

known, I didn’t own a gun; I didn’t catch

would hit a couple with the car just

many fish; and I had to be the worst

getting to town.

trapper in history. One entire trapping season, all I caught was a cold. It’s depressing for a budding mountain man to know he’s being continually outsmarted by the likes of a bunch of muskrats.

The bargain I struck with Mr. Mantooth gave me renewed incentive and confidence. And, sure enough, I found I was able to outsmart possums. All I had to do was get them into a gunny sack and drop them off on Anders’

About the time I was ready to call it

porch. Soon the silver was rolling

quits, our neighbor Anderson Mantooth

in. My best week, I racked up three

asked me how my trapping career

possums. I sacked up one small one

was going. Before I could tell Anders

and two 50-centers for Anders!

the muskrats on Flatrock River had advanced degrees in trap avoidance, he said, “If you catch a possum, keep me in mind. I’ll pay you 25 cents for a small one and 50 cents for a big one.”

One day the following summer, Anders asked if I would like to eat supper with him and his wife, Clara. Being polite and always half-starved, I readily agreed, washed up, and took a seat

Eureka ... my little eyes had dollar

at the table. Clara’s kitchen always

signs for pupils! Old Anders had just

smelled good, but this evening, it

made me a rich man! I knew I could

smelled especially good.

Giveaway!

Indiana Connection has four copies of Jack’s book to give away. To register to win one of the randomly drawn books, go to IndianaConnection.org and click on “Enter a Contest” under “Talk to Us.”

on the table. There, looking at me while swimming in a half-inch of grease was one of the 50-centers from last fall! As I recall the meal: the potatoes and corn were excellent, and the whole milk was nice and cold. As for the possum … it was good. The meat was a light yellow in color, a little stringy and greasy, and with just a few bites … very filling!

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.

FEBRUARY 2021

25


cooperative career Professional progression:

KEEPING THE METERS RUNNING Just out of high school, Scot Price was

Four years later,

uncertain about the direction he wanted

he graduated from

his life to take. He took a manufacturing

the apprenticeship

job assembling electric meters in West

as a full-fledged

Lafayette, knowing it wasn’t going to be

journeyman lineman.

long term.

Scot Price Senior Manager of Operations

Tipmont REMC

“By becoming a

remain the

In 1990, he took a job on the other side

journeyman lineman, I was a tradesman

backbone of the electric industry. “I loved

of the meter — at Tipmont REMC — an

and marketable to go anywhere in the

being a lineman. I loved being outside. I

electric distribution cooperative that

country. I had a skill set,” Price said. “I

thought it was the most rewarding career

makes some 24,000 meters spin. He’s

felt very blessed to have been given that

path for me and still, to this day, think it

been keeping meters running ever since

opportunity to have achieved that goal.

was a great opportunity for me. But I knew

along those lines — as he’s moved up the

From that progression, it opened doors

at some point I didn’t want to necessarily

chain of command for the Linden-based

throughout my career.”

be an old man getting up at 2 in the

electric cooperative over his 30-year

Today, Price is the senior manager

career.

of operations overseeing the outside

morning and changing out poles in the ice and snow.”

“I had a decent factory job, but I knew it

operations at Tipmont’s Battle Ground

“I often dreamed about what it would be

wasn’t really going to provide the future

office. He supervises 16 employees,

like to experience the trade in another

for me. Getting on at a co-op was an

which includes linemen at the co-op’s

area, but co-ops are so generous in their

amazing gift,” Price said.

northern hub. Tipmont, which serves

benefits,” Price noted. “Each year you

consumers in eight northwest central

stay, you acquire more vacation time,

Indiana counties, has a second line crew

accrue more benefits. It made it that much

based at its main office in Linden.

more difficult for you to want to go on and

His first job at Tipmont was as a groundman. The entry-level job assisted lineworkers as they worked on power lines. Within the first year, the REMC

After completing his apprenticeship and

had an opening for an apprentice

becoming a lineman in 1994, Price joined

lineman which Price pursued and got.

the special group of individuals who

1990 hired Groundman

1994 Job CHange Apprentice Lineman

2006 Promotion Journeyman Lineman

2007 JOB CHANGE Staking Engineer

26

FEBRUARY 2021

start somewhere else. I was treated so well … why would I?”

2008 Job change Assistant Line Superintendent

2010 Promotion Operations Supervisor

2016 PROMOTION Senior Manager of Operations