Jasper County REMC - February 2023 Indiana Connection

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FEBRUARY 2023 Indiana Officially Our fixed wireless internet is now available.

Hi, my name is Stephanie Groves.

I am thrilled and humbled to be stepping into the editor role at Indiana Connection, succeeding the inimitable Emily Schilling. I am grateful to everyone at Indiana Electric Cooperatives for this opportunity, and I’m also extremely nervous. Have you ever felt that way when you started a new role or job?

Emily Schilling is someone that I respect immensely. She has been editing what is now known as Indiana Connection for 37 years, so the idea of anyone else doing this job just feels wrong — but I will do my very best to uphold Emily’s tradition of journalistic excellence.

A little about me: I was born and raised in Indianapolis and graduated from IU Bloomington. I moved to NYC for graduate school and worked in the magazine industry there for many years, but when it came time to start a family, my husband, Ryan, and I knew there was no better place than Indiana to do so. Our daughter is currently in first grade, and we are grateful every day for her. I am also a shameless animal lover and dog fosterer (my family is currently fostering three dogs as I write this), so if you ever meet me, please tell me about your family and your pets — I want to know about both!

That being said, Indiana Connection is not about me, it’s about YOU and all the other hard-working, talented Hoosiers that you know. The thought of sharing some of your stories is what I’m most excited about as I embark on this journey, so if you have an idea to share, please email me. I’d love to hear from you.

On the menu: May: Strawberry recipes, deadline March 1. June: Recipes using Jell-O, deadline April 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.


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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. Member’s cost per issue is approximately 32 cents, plus postage.


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Randy Kleaving President

Steve McMichael Vice President

Dr. Richard Leeper Secretary/Treasurer

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Richard George Biever Senior Editor

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Kiley Lipps Graphic Designer

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from the editor FEBRUARY 2023 3
Emily Schilling (left) and Stephanie Groves on Emily's last day in the office.

Romantic getaways in Indiana (NOT IN ALL EDITIONS)


Samsung recalls top-load washing machines (NOT IN ALL EDITIONS)

On the cover

Like every state, Indiana has claimed many natural and fabricated features and objects as officially “ours.” These items reflect Hoosier history and culture. As the state may be on the verge of adding an official sandwich, here’s a review of some of our state’s existing official “this and thats.”

cover story food 16 contents 4 FEBRUARY 2023 FEBRUARY 03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative 10 ENERGY Saving money and energy in your home 11 INSIGHTS 12 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Montgomery County 14 INDIANA EATS Mrs. Wick’s Restaurant & Pie Shop: A slice of nostalgia 16 FOOD Tasty pastry: Crescent roll recipes 18 COVER STORY Officially Indiana 22 SAFETY Don’t underestimate the risk of overloads 23 PROFILE Stephanie Lifford of South Central Indiana REMC
25 energy
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA Indiana Connection 10

Fixed wireless internet towers up and running

CONTACT US Office: 219-866-4601 / 888-866-REMC (7362)

Connect Internet Service Tech Support: 219-866-4601, prompt 3 888-866-REMC (7362), prompt 3 219-866-1147 (direct)

WEBSITE www.jasperremc.com www.connectjasper.com

EMAIL jasperremc@jasperremc.com connectjasper@connectjasper.com


7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday


280 E. Wood Road Rensselaer, IN 47978


P.O. Box 129 Rensselaer, IN 47978


Report your electric outage day or night by phone or through SmartHub® at jasperremc.com or the SmartHub app.

Jasper County REMC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


• High-speed internet: page 6

• Wreaths on veteran graves: page 7

• Apply for youth programs: page 8

• REAP and RELITE graduates: page 25

Don’t forget to search for two hidden account numbers within pages 5-8! If you find them, and one of them is your account number, call our office before the last working day of the month to claim your $25 bill credit.

As you know, we have been building and installing our ConnectInternet by Jasper County REMC fiber optic internet services for a few months now. The newest addition to our internet service infrastructure is now complete and we are able to offer fixed wireless internet to a huge part of Jasper County with eight brand new towers.

Towers located in the central part of the county will give us the ability to offer our Connect–Internet by Jasper County REMC service to over 1,400 of our more rural members. Our long-term plan is to provide fiber-to-the-home to as many of our members as possible, but this effort will take several years. The eight fixed wireless towers allow us to make a noticeable impact quickly to serve our communities. If you currently have a fixed wireless service, be sure to compare our speeds and costs with your current service. We think you will be pleased with our offerings.

The 120-foot towers scattered strategically around the central part of the county require line-of-sight from the antenna we will install at your property. The antenna needs to be able to “see” the equipment on the tower. We all love the trees on our properties but we hope they don’t impede your line-of-

sight to the fixed wireless tower in your area.

When you call our office to place your order for internet service, our technicians will do a line-of-sight study and let you know if you have a clear signal or if something is in the way. They will do their best to figure out where to put the equipment on your property to get around any obstacles. All wireless providers are presented with the same lineof-site challenges, but we hope to overcome as many as we can to provide you a valuable service. If we can’t serve you now with fixed wireless internet, rest assured that we will give you a call when our fiber-optic internet is being built in your area over the next few years.

If you are in our active fiber-optic internet areas or you think you might be on the fixed wireless map shown on the next page, please call our office. We will walk you through which service is available to you and help you decide on the best plan to fit your needs. As always, we look forward to serving you.

“If you are in our active fiberoptic internet areas or you think you might be on the fixed wireless map shown on the next page, please call our office.”

co-op news FEBRUARY 2023 5


Our Connect-Internet by Jasper County REMC project is moving along and we are now offering fixed wireless services to a large area along with two fiber areas. Call our office to see which service we can provide to your address.

If you are not in an available area, go to connectjasper.com to register your interest so we can call you when service is available.

Continued from page 5

Wreaths on veteran graves

Jasper County REMC was proud to be a corporate sponsor of the Wreaths Across America effort again in December. Your co-op has already committed to purchasing wreaths for December 2023 during the matching campaign. We commit to a number of wreaths and the local organization gets the same number of wreaths matched for free. Stephanie Johnson, Jasper County REMC marketing/ member services manager, commented, “Contributing early during the matching campaign lets the organization double their efforts at no additional cost.”

In 2021, our local DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) members and

volunteers placed 1,200 wreaths at ten Rensselaerarea cemeteries. But in 2022, a group of 150 volunteers placed wreaths at three additional Rensselaer cemeteries and laid a total of 1,650 wreaths on veterans’ graves. Coordinator Cindy Stath commented, “Our project has grown every year

Hayworth maintains gold status

Dain Hayworth is one of your co-op directors and is currently the vice president of the Jasper County REMC board. He continues to participate in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Director Gold program that recognizes directors committed to continuing

their education who have earned their Credentialed Cooperative Director and Board Leadership certificates.

Hayworth has, once again, completed his additional education to maintain his Director Gold status in 2023. Congratulations, Dain!

as the community has become more familiar with our efforts. Believe me when I tell you, this community really steps up for veterans!”

The program also spread to Wheatfield in 2022, and the Wheatfield American Legion Auxiliary placed approximately 275 wreaths.

co-op news FEBRUARY 2023 7
Dain Hayworth These were eight of the 1,650 wreaths that were placed on veterans’ graves in 2022.

Survey completed

Thank you to all of our members who completed the online survey that we sent to random names throughout our system. The report will be sent to us in early April and we will let you know how we scored. Hidden #19540001. It’s important that our members participate in our cooperative, and completing this survey helps us

youth programs APPLY FOR

Many of these opportunities are only available to public school, private school and home school students who are sons, daughters, or legal wards of a Jasper County REMC member. Page Day and the Art Calendar contest are open to ANY Indiana student.

Visit jasperremc.com to fill out the applications.


JUNE 7-10

This camp experience is available to students completing 6th grade in 2023.

Deadline: March 1


JUNE 11-18

This experience is available to students completing 11th grade in 2023.

Deadline: March 1


The winning artworks from grades kindergarten through 12 illustrate the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art that participating REMCs/RECs have distributed.

Deadline: March 24


Sign up for email notifications so we can tell you when our internet services are available at your address.


Please call us to update your phone and email information. We might need to contact you with electric or internet information.


You can see our outage map through the SmartHub app or on our website 24/7/365.


Visit our new electric website and our Connect-Internet by Jasper County REMC website.


Sign up for Auto Pay in SmartHub or call our office to have your bill drafted from a card or bank account each month.

Bruce & Sharon Nesius Memorial Scholarship

A $500 scholarship will be awarded to one successful candidate from KVHS, one from RCHS and one from all other high schools/ home schools in our service territory.

Deadline: April 7

4-H Electric

Sign up for 4-H Electric AND enter a project in the Jasper County Fair and we will provide a $15 electric bill credit after the fair.

Youth Power and hope awards

More information will be available in summer 2023.

co-op news 8 FEBRUARY 2023


With inflation driving costs higher on multiple fronts, including energy, finding ways to save money is crucial in the current economy.

There are two ways to go about home energy savings — energy efficiency and energy conservation.

The two are often confused as the same thing, but there are important distinctions.

Energy efficiency means using specific products that are designed to consume less energy.

For example, upgrading an old HVAC system or installing new windows are just a couple of ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Not only can you save money with improved efficiency, but there are a number of tax credits available for installing more energy-efficient home systems. Any system placed in service

between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2023, is eligible for a 22% tax credit provided other criteria are met. Those criteria vary from system to system.

Eligible systems include things like wood or pellet stoves, geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines and solar energy systems such as water heaters or panels.

If those projects are beyond your budget, there are still plenty of opportunities for energy conservation.

Energy conservation involves using less energy for cost and environmental reasons and making adjustments to your activities on a day-to-day basis.

Some examples are switching to energy-saving light bulbs, using smart power strips, installing a programmable thermostat, ensuring your home is fully insulated, washing clothes in cold water and letting them air

dry, washing dishes by hand, replacing air filters, using the microwave instead of the stove, taking advantage of natural light when possible, and dressing appropriately for the weather both inside and outside of your home.

These small things might not seem like much, but every little bit adds up to monthly savings. There are always ways to conserve energy — even if you can’t always be as energy efficient as you might want to be.

energy 10 FEBRUARY 2023


Kudos to Emily Schilling


Thank you for your years of service to Indiana Connection! I have come to know the magazine through just the last several years. That’s when I retired from 30+ years of teaching elementary school in Mitchell. The magazine never disappointed — a laugh, information, fun with a recipe, even a tear or two while reading a memorable piece.

Many blessings to you on your second act,


Via email

Retirement blessings

Happy retirement, Emily!

I love Indiana Connection magazine. May 2023 be a very prosperous, healthy, and happy new year for you in every way. I wish you much happiness in your retirement and that the Lord’s blessings be upon you richly. Enjoy your retirement.


Via email

Looking back

Congratulations on your retirement, Emily. Thank you for sharing some of your life in the “from the editor” blurb. I could totally identify with your column on clutter, nostalgia (I always wanted a pink princess phone) & changing hairstyles. Your pondering made me smile.

Thank you.


Via email

WE REPAIR LEAKY LAKES GUARANTEED We know how to find all water leaks underground. Call us! 812-987-4119 www.WhatsBelow.com MARKETPLACE Our Marketplace offers maximum exposure for your business or organization at a minimal cost. Please contact Cheryl Solomon, 847-749-4875 or cheryl@amp.coop, for other small business advertising opportunities in Indiana Connection. FEBRUARY 2023 11 insights

Montgomery County

Montgomery County’s seat of Crawfordsville features two historic sites that are now public museums. One fits into its selfproclaimed nickname as the “Athens of Indiana” because of the number of authors who were born or have worked there, and the other revolves around a novel form of incarceration.

The General Lew Wallace Study & Museum , 200 Wallace Ave. in Crawfordsville, was orginally designed and built by Lew Wallace as his personal study in 1895. Wallace was a lawyer by trade, but he was a true renaissance man: a Union general in the Civil War, governor of the New Mexico Territory, politician, diplomat, inventor, artist, musician and author. Today, he is most remembered for writing “BenHur: A Tale of the Christ.”

Published in 1880, the bestselling novel has been called “the most influential Christian book of the 19th century,” and has never been out of print. It outsold every book except the Bible until “Gone with the Wind” came out in 1936.

Wallace started “Ben-Hur” in the late 1870s while traveling and in Crawfordsville, where he often wrote outdoors during the summer, sitting under a favorite beech tree near his home. His study and accompanying

carriage house make up the museum and exhibit many of the artifacts that Wallace used during his lifetime, as well as several objects pertaining to his literary legacy. Located on 3.5 acres of wooded grounds, the museum is a National Historic Landmark.

For information about hours, tours, and admission charges, visit www.ben-hur.com or contact the museum directly at 765-362-5769. Email study@benhur.com for more information.

The Rotary Jail Museum is located in downtown Crawfordsville. The county’s third jail, completed in 1881, incorporated a rotary or carousel concept, which was designed by architect William H. Brown and built by the Haugh, Ketcham & Co. iron foundry in Indianapolis.

It was the first of 18 rotary jails built in the United States, the last to house prisoners, one of only three still existing, and the only one that still works. Montgomery County’s jail had its rotary mechanism disabled around the late 1930s and the jail closed in 1973. Two years later, the rotary mechanism was restored,

County Facts


NAMED FOR: Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed on Dec. 31, 1775, while attempting to capture Quebec City in the Battle of Quebec.


COUNTY SEAT: Crawfordsville


and the facility reopened as the Old Jail Museum. Also in 1975, the jail was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additional renovations and restorations occurred in the following years.

For information about hours, tours, and admission charges, visit rotaryjailmuseum.org or contact the museum directly at 765-362-5222. Email contactus@ rotaryjailmuseum.org, or find the museum on Facebook.

12 FEBRUARY 2023
PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA General Lew Wallace Study & Museum


still exists and can now produce over 10,000 pies in an 8-hour shift.

Where else would you find one of the best places for pie in Indiana than on “Cherry Street”? That’s where Mrs. Wick’s Restaurant & Pie Shop is located in Winchester. Founded by Duane “Wick” Wickersham and named after his wife, Ruby, Mrs. Wick’s is a full-service “bakery café” that has been in business for over 35 years.

Wick’s entrepreneurial spirit prompted him to open a cantina inside a local factory in 1944, and after selling the cantina to the factory to run, he started The Rainbow Restaurant in downtown Winchester. Wick used many of his grandmother’s recipes, and the pies, especially the sugar cream variety, became a hit. Wick sold The Rainbow Restaurant in 1947 to focus on his pie business, and he started selling hundreds of pies a day. In 1961, Wick purchased a building east of downtown Winchester and built a production line that allowed for the shipment of frozen pies. The building

When Wick retired from working in the pie factory in 1986, he opened Mrs. Wick’s Restaurant & Pie Shop right across the street. Wick sadly passed away in 2008, but members of the Wickersham family still run the restaurant and pie company today. Mrs. Wick’s restaurant is open Tuesday-Saturday from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. and is the perfect spot for early birds or lunch aficionados.

Inside the restaurant, you’ll find an outlet store with a rotating inventory that may include chicken pot pies, noodles and a variety of unbaked frozen pies.

Come hungry, because the hometown, hearty offerings are generous and tasty. Breakfast is served all day and includes favorites like biscuits and sausage gravy, Western omelets and blueberry pancakes. If you’re more in the mood for a sandwich, there’s “Wick’s Alley Oop,” which is a cheeseburger topped with cole slaw and served on Texas toast.

Regardless of what you start with, the main attraction at Mrs. Wick’s is the pie. The restaurant’s website claims they offer 36 varieties of pie every day, ranging from apple walnut to German chocolate. Every pie is available by the slice, and you can also top off your offering with a scoop of ice cream if you’re so inclined.

If you only try one thing, Mrs. Wick’s sugar cream pie should be it. Also known as “Hoosier Pie,” the sugar cream pie was named the unofficial pie of Indiana in 2009 after the Indiana Senate adopted a nonbinding resolution. Containing cream, sugar and nutmeg, the pie is similar in taste to crème brûlée: lightly sweet and smooth like a custard — and Mrs. Wick’s version is a knockout.

No matter what you choose at Mrs. Wick’s, one thing’s for sure: You won’t leave hungry, and you’ll want to come back soon to sample another slice of delicious pie.

your sweet tooth at this charming pie shop and restaurant in Winchester.
Indiana eats 14 FEBRUARY 2023 100 Cherry St. Winchester 765-584-7437 www.wickspies.com
MRS. WICK’S RESTAURANT & PIE SHOP A variety of delicious desserts are on display at Mrs. Wick’s Restaurant & Pie Shop. Mrs. Wick’s sugar cream pie

Tasty pastry



Doris Ann Kahlert, Berne, Indiana

1 lb. ground beef

½ cup chopped onion

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 package taco seasoning mix

1 (8 oz.) can crescent rolls

2 T. cornmeal

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded cheese

Optional: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado slices and crushed tortilla chips

Brown beef and onion; drain. Stir in tomato sauce and taco seasoning mix; set aside. Separate crescent dough and place in an ungreased pie pan; press across bottom and up sides of pan to form a pie crust. Sprinkle cornmeal over crust. Bake crust at 375 F for 5 minutes and remove from oven. Lower oven temperature to 350 F. Spoon meat mixture into the pie shell and spread the sour cream over the meat.

Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes. You can serve the pie topped with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado slices and crushed tortilla chips.


CHICKEN CRESCENTS Jean Orcutt, Warsaw, Indiana

3 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 T. butter, melted (2 T. for chicken mixture and 1 T. for baking)

1 (12.5 oz) can cooked chicken, drained

¼ t. salt

¼ t. pepper

2 T. milk

2 T. chopped onion

1 (8 oz.) can crescent rolls

¾ cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Blend the cream cheese and 2 T. butter. Add chicken, salt, pepper, milk and onion. Mix well. Chill mixture for at least an hour. Divide crescent rolls into 4 rectangles. Firmly press perforations to seal. Spoon ½ cup of the meat mixture onto the center of each rectangle. Pull corners of dough up over the meat mixture. Twist the top of the dough together and seal the edges. Brush tops of crescents with remaining 1 T. melted butter. Roll crescents in seasoned breadcrumbs. Bake in an ungreased 8-by-8-inch pan at 350 F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Laura Garza, Beech Grove, Indiana

1 (8 oz.) can crescent rolls

12 oz. cream cheese, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

(½ cup for filling, ¼ cup for topping)

1 t. vanilla

1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling

½ stick unsalted butter, melted

Grease bottom of an 8-by-8inch baking pan. Line bottom of baking pan with four of the crescent rolls, unrolling and spreading them out to cover

the entire bottom of the pan. In a large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese and ½ cup sugar until smooth and well blended. Add vanilla and beat until mixed thoroughly. Spread cheese mixture over crescent rolls in baking pan. Pour pie filling over top of cheese mixture and spread evenly. Top with remaining crescent roll dough and spread out to cover evenly. Pour melted butter over top of dough. Sprinkle remaining sugar over the melted butter. Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.

FEBRUARY 2023 17



State’s symbols and emblems reflect Hoosier culture and history

Every true blue-blooded, gold-torchcarrying Hoosier probably knows the official state bird is the native Northern cardinal. And most Hoosiers could likely recite at least part of the refrain of the state song, “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away,” whether they live along the Ohio River, the southern tip of Lake Michigan, or in the watershed of the Wabash, the state river itself.

Like every state, Indiana has claimed many flora, fauna, fabricated objects and natural features as officially “ours” through acts of the General Assembly, as noted and amended in the Indiana Code Title 1, Article 2. Though Indiana’s list of official “this” and “thats” is far fewer than other states, such designations raise awareness and foster interest in the given subject. The entire process of naming one can be a learning experience.

When a grade school student from West Lafayette discovered that Indiana had no state insect in 2014, she and her classmates researched insects and then lobbied lawmakers for two years before Say’s Firefly became the official state insect in 2018.

After unveiling his 2023 agenda last month, Gov. Eric Holcomb said a bill would be introduced in this year’s legislature to designate the breaded pork tenderloin as Indiana’s official state sandwich.

Jeanette Merritt with the Indiana Pork Producers Association told Inside INdiana Business the designation will benefit Indiana’s pork producers and the numerous restaurants throughout the state that offer breaded tenderloins. This month, as the General Assembly continues work on the biennial budget and a variety of other bills, including an official state sandwich, here’s a look at some of Indiana’s official “youname-its.”


The Republic Aviation P-47 Thunderbolt

Adopted 2015

Known as the “Hoosier Spirit II” and the “Indiana Warbird,” the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was a World War II-era fighter manufactured at Republic Aviation’s Evansville plant.

This snub-nosed aircraft was built in greater numbers than any other fighter aircraft because it was fast, dependable, could take major damage and survive, and packed effective firepower.

Getty Images Getty Images
18 FEBRUARY 2023
Photo by Richard G. Biever Photo by Radin Schreiber Indiana State Museum photo


Northern Cardinal Adopted 1933

Commonly known as the “Red Bird,” the Northern Cardinal (Richmondena cardinalis cardinalis) is one of America’s favorite backyard birds. Seven states — Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia — have made the bird their state bird. Widespread and abundant, cardinals stick around year-round to brighten our gray Indiana winters. They are recognized by their “cheer cheer cheer,” “whit-chew whit-chew” and “purty purty purty” whistles. Of course, if you follow the Ball State University Cardinals, the “cheer” is more like a “Chirp! Chirp!”

FLAG Adopted 1917

The blue and gold state flag of Indiana was adopted by the 1917 General Assembly as part of the 1916 Indiana centennial celebration. At the time, Indiana was the last state to have an official flag.

The Daughters of the American Revolution held a competition to design the flag, which was won by Paul Hadley of Mooresville.

The flag features a golden torch and 19 stars on a blue field. The torch is a symbol of liberty and enlightenment; the rays represent their far-reaching influence. Thirteen stars in the outer circle symbolize the original 13 states; the inner semi-circle of five stars represents the next five states to join the Union; and the large star above the torch is a symbol of Indiana, the 19th state.

FLOWER Peony Adopted 1957

Though extensively grown as an ornamental plant for its very large and scented blooms, the peony (Paeonia) is not without controversy.

The peony is native to China, not Indiana. So, how did it get to be the state flower? According to a 2017 article in the Indianapolis Star, it was all politics.

Indiana has had four official state flowers. The carnation (native to England) was adopted by the legislature in 1913. The second, the flower of the tulip tree (actually native to Indiana), was adopted in 1923. Third, the zinnia (from Mexico) was adopted in 1931, the year the tulip tree itself became the state tree.

In 1957, a bill in the Senate called for the tulip tree blossom to be reinstated. It was then changed to the dogwood blossom. By the time it got to the House, a representative who was a commercial peony grower pushed for an amendment to make it the peony — which passed.

In 1995, a grassroots effort to select an Indiana native plant as the new state flower settled on the fire pink, which has tiny clusters of red starlike wildflowers, but that effort wilted in the legislature.

FOSSIL Mastodon Adopted 2022

Unlike the state flower, the state fossil walked its way across

Indiana as far back as 2.5 million years ago. American mastodons (Mammut americanum) roamed Indiana until they became extinct about 10,500 years ago. Mastodons are now the most common Ice Age fossil found in the state.

Mastodons lived in herds and were predominantly forest-dwelling animals, as opposed to their contemporary, the larger, shaggier woolly mammoth, which mostly lived on grasslands.

The Indiana State Museum’s 2018 redesign allowed it to fully display Fred, the fossilized bones of a mastodon that was discovered in a peat bog near Fort Wayne in 1998.

INSECT Say’s Firefly Adopted 2018

The successful quest to name a state insect began with Kayla Xu, a West Lafayette second grader who realized Indiana was without a state insect during the 2014-15 school year.

Encouraged by her teacher, Maggie Samudio, Kayla and her classmates at Cumberland Elementary researched possible insects. In their research, they learned Purdue University entomologists had suggested Say’s Firefly 20 years earlier. Say’s Firefly, Pyractomena angulata, was a species first described in the 1820s by Thomas Say, the “Father of American Entomology” in New Harmony. The students picked up the torch for the firefly and carried it to the Statehouse.

Lawmakers from the West Lafayette area first joined with the students

continued on next page

FEBRUARY 2023 19

continued from page 21

to author bills in 2017. Then, in 2018, Holcomb backed their proposal, and it passed that session.

“I know this bill bugged some of my legislative friends,” Holcomb said afterward, “but the truth is it’s a big deal to young students around the state who have reached out to us in support … Beyond the satisfaction these kids will feel when they look out on a hot Indiana summer night and see the state insect flashing away, the real beauty of this bill is the civic engagement it inspired in our youngest citizens. It’s taught them a great deal about how our lawmaking process works — and that if they are engaged, they can make a real difference.”

Before students and guests at Cumberland Elementary's gym, Holcomb had Kayla rest her hand on his as he signed the firefly bill into law. (Links to two previous stories about the students and the firefly can be found in this story on our website.)


“Indiana” by Arthur Franklin Mapes Adopted 1963

The poem, by Kendallville’s Arthur Franklin Mapes, was written in 1961. In part, it reads:

God crowned her hills with beauty, Gave her lakes and winding streams, Then He edged them all with woodlands

As the settings for our dreams.…

Indiana … is a garden

Where the seeds of peace have grown, Where each tree, and vine, and flower

Has a beauty … all its own.

Lovely are the fields and meadows, That reach out to hills that rise

Where the dreamy Wabash River Wanders on … through paradise.


Grouseland Rifle

Adopted 2012

The “Grouseland Rifle” is a long rifle created in the early 1800s for the then-governor of the Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison. The firearm is kept in Vincennes at its namesake Grouseland, Harrison’s previous home as territorial governor.

The rifle was crafted by Col. John Small of Vincennes. The Grouseland mansion is now a museum maintained by The Grouseland Foundation at 3 W. Scott St. in Vincennes. Visitors can not only see the Indiana state rifle, but also an interpretation of territorial life and why the gun was important, and learn more about the legacy of William Henry Harrison, the westward expansion of the country and the development of the state of Indiana.


Wabash River

Adopted 1996

The Wabash is the longest river in Indiana, flowing some 500 miles through or along 18 counties and through 11 county seats.

From its origin in western Ohio, the Wabash enters Indiana as a trickle near New Corydon in northern Jay County. It then flows westerly across Northern Indiana until it takes a sharp lefthand turn southward to eventually form the state’s southwestern border with Illinois before flowing into the Ohio River.

Along the southwest corner of the state, the Wabash played a crucial role in the founding of Vincennes, Indiana’s first city, from where so much of Indiana’s history flows.

The Wabash River is also the theme of Indiana’s state song, is mentioned in the state poem, is part of the name of Indiana’s honorary award (the Sagamore of the Wabash), and runs beside Grouseland (home of the state rifle) and New Harmony, where Say discovered the state firefly.

20 FEBRUARY 2023
Kayla Xu chats with Gov. Eric Holcomb at the 2018 signing ceremony at her school that made Say's Firefly the state insect. Photo by Richard G. Biever




Versions of this pioneer scene are found on official Indiana documents as early as 1801, when it was the Indiana Territory. A state seal was provided for in the 1816 and 1851 Indiana constitutions, but it was not until 1963 that the Indiana General Assembly provided an official description for the state seal.

The Indiana seal design consists of a woodsman chopping a tree with his ax and a buffalo jumping over a log, with sycamore trees, hills in the background and a sun with 14 rays.


IndianaGrown Popcorn Adopted 2021

According to the USDA, Indiana was the nation's largest popcorn producer in 2021. Nearly 100,000 acres were devoted to growing popcorn, particularly in White and Pulaski counties. Orville Redenbacher’s, Pop Weaver and Cousin Willie’s are all popular popcorn brands that originated in Indiana.


“On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away”

Adopted 1913

The song was composed by Paul Dresser, reminiscing about his childhood home along the Wabash River in Terre Haute. Dresser wrote the song in 1897. Its bittersweet chorus begins, “Oh, the moonlight’s fair tonight along the Wabash.”

It was among the best-selling songs of the 19th century, earning over $100,000 from sheet music revenues, and it remained popular for decades. It was among the earliest pieces of popular music to be recorded.

Dresser’s birthplace and boyhood home, a state shrine listed on the National Register of Historic Places, now sits in Terre Haute’s Fairbanks Park, a stone’s throw from the river. Dresser was actually born “Dreiser” and was the older brother of novelist and social reformer Theodore Dreiser.



Adopted 1971

The Indiana variety of limestone, also called Salem or Bedford, is significantly quarried in south-

central Indiana. It is a high-quality stone that has been used in buildings such as the Empire State Building and the Pentagon.

Bedford is known as the “Limestone Capital of the World.” Limestone quarried and carved in Bedford is featured on famous buildings across America. Indiana’s Statehouse in Indianapolis was also built with southern Indiana limestone.

According to the Minerals Education Coalition: “Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed mostly of the mineral calcite and comprising about 15% of the Earth’s sedimentary crust. It is a basic building block of the construction industry and a chief material from which aggregate, cement, lime and building stone are made.”

TREE Tulip Tree

Adopted 1931

The tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), also called the tulip poplar or yellow poplar, has a distinctive leaf shape and huge, bellshaped flowers that appear in May or June. It is a tall tree that grows throughout Indiana. Incidentally, its flower was the state flower (as noted previously) from 1923-1931. The tree’s soft white wood has many uses. Though referred to as a poplar, it’s actually a member of the magnolia family.

Sources for this story include:


https://iga.in.gov/legislative/laws/2016/ic/ titles/001/


Photo courtesy of Marsha Williamson Mohr
FEBRUARY 2023 21
The Wabash River flows past the George Rogers Clark Memorial in Vincennes. Adopted as the state river in 1996, the Wabash is the longest river in Indiana, flowing 500 miles through or along 18 counties … and an incredible amount of Indiana history.

the risk of overloads

Don’t rely on extension cords to solve the problem of inadequate electrical outlets. Recognize the signs of an overloaded outlet; if your outlets are overloaded, head to your circuit panel and reset them. Familiarize yourself with your circuit panel before problems could occur.

It’s a common problem for most of us: relying on a handy dandy extension cord since we have so many devices and not enough outlets to plug them all into. For safety’s sake, extension cords should only be used short-term.

“It’s easy to grab an extension cord when you’ve run out of outlets,” said Jon Elkins, vice president of safety, training and compliance at Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “Their convenience is undeniable. But relying on them day in and day out means your home doesn’t have enough outlets.”

Why is that a potential problem?

Electrical overloads can occur when your home draws more electricity than a circuit can safely handle. When a circuit receives too much electricity, it causes the circuit breaker to trip. That shuts power off to the entire circuit.

Breakers are critical components to the circuit’s safety. If there were no breaker in the circuit, an overload would occur, causing the wires to overheat. That could lead to a fire.

There are several signs which could indicate whether circuits in your home are overloaded. Among them:

• Flickering, blinking or dimming lights


Many of us understand how to operate our personal electronics, but what about your home’s breaker box? Here’s what to do if your breaker is tripped:

• Unplug or turn off appliances in the room.

• The outlet switch covers are warm to the touch

• Burning odors from outlets or switches

• Frequently tripped circuit breakers

• Crackling, sizzling or buzzing from receptacles

• Mild shock or tingles after touching appliances, receptacles or switches

• Power tools, appliances or electronics seem to lack adequate power

If any of these things are occurring, head to your circuit panel. It’s usually located in the basement or garage. Check to see if any of the switches in the panel have been tripped or partially tripped. Turn them off — then back on again. Knowing what is on each circuit will help you navigate possible overloads in the future. Indiana Electric Cooperatives suggests consumers grab a notepad and pencil to map their home’s circuits. Do this before potential problems occur. You’ll be glad you took the time to familiarize yourself with the circuit panel ahead of time.

• Find your main breaker panel and open the cover.

• Locate the tripped breaker or blown fuse. A tripped circuit breaker will be in the “off” position or in a middle position between “on” and “off.”

• To reset the breaker, switch it to the “off” position and then back to “on.”

If the problem persists, there may be more serious issues. Contact an electrician to identify the problem.


• Keep extension cords away from water.

• Teach older kids how to safely plug in and unplug an extension cord — look out for exposed wiring and never yank on cords.

• Do not plug too many things into an extension cord. Are your gaming consoles, phone charger and computer all on one extension cord? You might want to consider moving them to other outlets.

• If your home is displaying signs of having an overloaded circuit, have a qualified electrician do an inspection. A heavy reliance on extension cords could indicate you have too few outlets.

22 FEBRUARY 2023 safety
Don’t underestimate

cooperative career

Professional progression:


In four short years, Stefanie Lifford has gone from taking calls from individual consumers to now working on the electric distribution side monitoring power flow, troubleshooting outages, and helping keep the lights on for large numbers of consumers at a time.

“That was really the big picture for me,” she said. “As a customer contact representative, I would take calls from customers saying they have an outage and submit the ticket for service. I didn’t really know what happened after that.”

After moving to the dispatch side of the business, Lifford began assigning to crews and servicemen those outage tickets she used to create. “It was nice seeing it go full circle — what happens with that information, how it’s processed, and how we get that result for the consumers.”

Lifford, 30, began her career at a large investor-owned utility that serves a large portion of Indiana. There, too, she started in the call center before moving into the department that investigated meter tampering and electricity theft.

At that utility, she said she felt more like a number, not a person. Meanwhile, in the six years she was there, she kept hearing

coworkers talk about South Central Indiana REMC.

“Everyone said it’s just a great place to work.” So, she applied and was hired at the REMC in June 2019.

“The work-life balance is here at the REMC, and the flexibility is here,” she said. “We just have a really good work dynamic. Everyone is willing to help each other out. It’s just very family-oriented here. If I hadn’t come to a cooperative, I don’t know that I still would be in this industry,” she said.

Soon after coming to South Central, Lifford said a coworker in operations pushed her to move to a dispatch position. Within a year, Lifford made that move and that employee became her mentor.

Lifford said she developed a passion for electricity and a love of learning as much as she could. The co-op enrolled her in the Northwest Linemen College where she is working to achieve system operator I certification. When that mentor left to pursue new opportunities at a cooperative in Colorado, Lifford was able to move up another notch.

The dispatcher and system operator, she explained, do the same thing. But the operator has more independence and is in charge. During an outage, for instance, an operator works with engineering to make decisions involving the remote switching that allows the co-op to reroute electricity from other substations to get around a problem area. This helps get affected consumers back in power more quickly. “I honestly love it,” Lifford said. “The switching part is kind of like a puzzle.”

She has now applied to Indiana Tech to earn an electrical engineering technology degree. “I would love to eventually move into management — but stay in the operation side, the electrical distribution side of everything.”

energy FEBRUARY 2023 23
Stefanie Lifford Team Leader
System Operations South Central Indiana REMC
INTERESTED IN AN ELECTRIC CO-OP CAREER? Visit WePowerIndiana.org to learn about available careers or tell us about yourself.
2022 PROMOTED Team Leader of System Operation South Central Indiana REMC 2022 Promoted System Operator II South Central Indiana REMC 2020 Moved Dispatcher South Central Indiana REMC 2019 Hired Contact Center Representative South Central Indiana REMC

Icicles dangling from your home’s gutters may be a sign that problems are about to gush in.

Many people think of icicles as one of winter’s picturesque images. If your roof faces the south, you may even see icicles forming during the day as the sun melts the snow. Yet icicles elsewhere on the roof, or with significant ice buildup on the roof, can potentially lead to significant issues. Icicles can signal an ice dam, which occurs when melting snow or clogged gutters cause water to collect and freeze on the roof. Ice dams are typically a sign that water is collecting where it is not expected — and can be causing damage.

“My concern would be the level of insulation that they have up in the attic, or if they have air sealing issues,” said Steve Hite, energy services supervisor for Hendricks Power Cooperative. “When snow lands on the roof,

you want that snow to melt at the top, outside. It’s the opposite when you see ice damming and icicles forming. You have the heat from the home escaping to the attic and melting the bottom of the snow, the part touching the shingles.”

Improper air sealing in the attic can cause issues, as leaks allow the warm air to move into the attic. A lack of attic insulation can let the home’s heated air escape and melt the snow on the roof.

Icicles can also form due to clogged gutters, which prevent water from draining as intended. As temperatures drop below freezing, the water that’s trapped in the gutters can freeze and form an ice dam. Over time, if snow accumulates in the gutters, melts, and then freezes again, it can cause the ice dam to get larger — and could potentially cause damage once the ice melts.

“Water damage is the big issue, because that water ends up

getting trapped, and it’ll actually go up underneath shingles,” Hite said. “It can come all the way into the house and cause issues with your drywall and water damage as well.”

Ice dams are typically a sign that water is collecting where it is not expected — and can be causing damage.

You can prevent the potential for water buildup by ensuring that your gutters are clean of debris. If you are concerned about possible issues in your attic, contact a qualified contractor to request a “blower door” test. This will determine where any air leakages are located so you can figure out how to best address any issues. You also can contact your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor with questions about your home’s energy use.

24 FEBRUARY 2023
Wabash Valley Power news
Icicles can impact your idyllic winter — and lead to serious issues

Chris Myers completes apprenticeship program

Twenty-four lineworkers recently graduated from Indiana Electric Cooperatives’ apprenticeship program, the Rural Electric Apprenticeship Program (REAP), including our very own Chris Myers.

REAP is a four-year program that professionally trains apprentice lineworkers. Myers completed 612 hours of classroom-related study and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training at our cooperative. He also completed four additional

Leadership graduate

Dylan Wicker, plant accountant/ work order clerk, has completed his final year of the Rural Electric Leaders-In-Training Exchange (RELITE) program. Hidden #18831001. This nationally-recognized leadership development program includes participants from electric cooperative systems throughout Indiana.

The two-year program focuses on leadership skills, team building, group facilitation, public speaking, interpersonal communications, personal mission and accountability to

create committed and effective leaders in their co-op and communities.

In the last year of the program, Wicker and the other secondyear participants acted as program planners and facilitators so they could apply their recently acquired leadership skills.

Dylan is pursuing an associate’s degree in business management from Ivy Tech Community College and is the eleventh Jasper County REMC employee to complete the RELITE program.

classes through Ivy Tech Community College to attain his Associate of Applied Science and journeyman lineman certificate.

“Lineworkers are the backbone of our operations, and their dedication to their communities and the consumers of Indiana’s electric cooperatives is outstanding,” said Jon Elkins, vice president of safety, training and compliance at Indiana Electric Cooperatives.

co-op news FEBRUARY 2023 25
Joe Banfield, apprenticeship training program director at Indiana Electric Cooperatives (right), presents Chris Myers with his journeyman lineman graduation certificate. Dylan Wicker

product recalls

Samsung recalls top-load washing machines

Samsung has recalled several models of its top-load washers with super speed wash. The washing machines can short-circuit and overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Samsung has received 51 reports of smoking, melting, overheating or fire involving the washers; 10 of which resulted in property damage. Three consumers have reported injuries due to smoke inhalation. The appliances were sold at Best Buy, Costco, The Home Depot, Lowe’s and other appliance stores nationwide and online at Samsung.com from June 2021 through December 2022 for between $900 and $1,500.

The units came in white, black, champagne and ivory colors and include model series WA49B, WA50B, WA51A, WA52A, WA54A and WA55A. The model and serial numbers are found on the washer’s label attached to the inside of the top lid. An additional label is located on the rear of the washer.

Contact: Samsung at http://www.samsung.com and http://www.samsung.com/us/support/ tlw-sw-update or by phone toll-free at 833-916-4555 if you cannot determine if your Samsung washing machine is involved in the recall, or if you want to learn how you can update the software of Wi-Fi equipped washers or wish to receive free software.

Air fryers pose fire and burn hazards

Newair has recalled two models of its Magic Chef Air Fryers. The air fryer can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards. Model numbers MCAF56DB (black) and MCAF56DW (white) are affected. The air fryers measure about 13 inches by 15 inches by 14 inches. They were sold online at Amazon.com, BedBathandBeyond.com, Walmart.com, Kohls.com, HomeDepot.com, Bluestem. com, QVC.com, Wayfair.com, Newair.com, Overstock.com, BestBuy.com and Ebay.com from July 2018 through September 2020 for between $115 to $138.

Contact: Newair at 833-715-1021, on online at https://www.newair.com/pages/newairmagic-chef-digital-air-fryer-recall or https://www.newair.com/pages/recall-registration for online registration.

Light fixtures recalled due to wiring problem

Forty-one models of Hunter lighting fixtures — from the Devon Park, Astwood, Highland Hill, Kerrison and Van Nuys lighting collections — have been recalled. Internal wires in the lights can be damaged, posing an electric shock hazard to the consumer. The units were sold online at www. hunterfan.com and other online lighting websites from October 2021 through September 2022 for between $110 and $450.

Contact: Hunter at 866-326-2003, or online at www.hunterfan.com and click on the “Recall” link at the bottom of the page or www.hunterfan.com/recall for more information.

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

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