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J ANUA RY 2018



Wintry activities to ward off cabin fever

from the editor

A real page-turner

VOLUME 67 • NUMBER 7 ISSN 0745-4651 • USPS 262-340 Published monthly by:

This bookworm wants to hibernate with a good read. Though we’re focusing on winter activities in this issue, I must admit: if I had my druthers, I’d hibernate for the next three months, only to emerge when I’d be assured springtime weather had really returned. I don’t like walking in a winter wonderland even though everybody was singing about its magic at Christmastime. Seeing my breath in the chilly air, that frozen feeling in my nose and on my toes, and the occasional “splat” on the ice-covered ground: not for me! However, there is something I like about winter. Nothing beats snuggling under a blanket, hot beverage within arm’s reach, as I read one of many books in my “to-be-read” pile. I love to get lost in books: visualizing characters and scenarios, enjoying the suspense and plot twists, and admiring various authors’ wordsmithery. Although I read most nights throughout the year, I can’t think of a better way to spend an uninterrupted snowy day than lounging on a sofa with a good book. This winter, I’ve vowed to pepper my selection of autobiographies, chick lit, dystopian novels, and historical fiction with some oldies but goodies from my childhood. I’m going to revisit “Charlotte’s Web,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” Beverly Cleary’s Henry Huggins books and “Lord of the Flies.” I loved them then; we’ll see if I love them now. Do you like to read? If so, why not warm up with a book this month. Drop me a line and tell me what’s on your reading list.


On the menu: March — Potatoes; deadline Jan. 22. April —

Foods that Fool (Foods with unusual, unexpected ingredients or they aren’t what they appear to be.); deadline Jan. 22. May — High Carb recipes (to “fuel up” for the Indy 500!); deadline Feb. 19. If we publish your recipe on our food page, we’ll send you a $10 Target gift card.

Reader Submissions page: March — Weather-related photos;

deadline Jan. 22. April — Cat photos; deadline Jan. 22. May — Photos from the Indy 500; deadline Feb. 19.

Free brunch: Enter to win brunch for two courtesy of Tippecanoe Place Restaurant. The

South Bend eatery was profiled in last month’s Indiana Eats feature. Send an email to with the subject line “Free Brunch” by Jan. 19 to enter the drawing. If you submit a recipe for an upcoming food page or a photo for our reader submission page when you enter you’ll increase your chance of winning! Winner of the Christmas CD from December was Deanna Frye of New Albany.

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

entries for gift drawings, please use the forms on our website; email; or send to Electric Consumer, PO Box 24517, Indianapolis, IN 46224.

ELECTRIC CONSUMER 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 251,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. OUR ADDRESS 720 N. High School Road Indianapolis, IN 46214 TELEPHONE 317-487-2220 or 800‑340‑7362 EMAIL WEBSITE INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS Gary Gerlach President Walter Hunter Vice President Randy Kleaving Secretary/Treasurer Tom VanParis Chief Executive Officer EDITORIAL STAFF Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Member Relations/ Advertising Manager Ellie Schuler Communications Specialist ADVERTISING American MainStreet Publications, 800-626-1181; Crosshair Media, 502-216-8537; Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. UNSOLICITED MATERIAL: Electric Consumer 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: Readers who receive Electric Consumer through their electric co-op membership should report address changes to their local co-op. POSTAGE: Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Electric Consumer, P.O. Box 24517, Indianapolis, IN 46224. Include key number. No portion of Electric Consumer may be reproduced without permission of the editor.







product picks 03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS What’s happening at your local electric cooperative. 10 PRODUCT PICKS New year, new you! 12 INSIGHTS 16 INDIANA EATS Rensselaer’s Clauss Bakery and Cafe.



17 FOOD Sriracha sensations. 19 LEGISLATIVE Attacking the opioid crisis. 20 COVER STORY We say “let it snow” ... Indiana has enough outdoor activities for the cold to ward off cabin fever. 24 A  RT CONTEST

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

cover story reader submissions 26 E  VENTS CALENDAR


28 DO-IT-YOURSELF Color trends and tips for refreshing your home in the


new year.

Photo bombs away!

29 SAFETY Are you ready to safely ride out a winter storm? 30 BACKYARD Winter wasps.


34 PROFILE Reconnect with Gary Gerlach, the once and current state electric co-op leader (not in all editions).

On the Cover Indiana’s fickle winter climate might keep it from being a winter sports mecca like its

Find us on Pinterest

frosty Great Lakes neighbors to the north, but

Follow us on Instagram

ward off cabin fever that you can do with or

here are some great in-state activities to help without real snow or bitter temperatures. PHOTO COURTESY OF PERFECT NORTH SLOPES





Voluntary and Open Membership

Democratic Member Control

Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote), and cooperatives at other levels are also organized in a democratic manner.

Co-op’s Keys to Success No matter what their specialization is — be it electricity, agriculture,

Autonomy and Independence Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter to agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

concern for community Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.

housing, finance, health or something else — cooperatives are guided by seven principles. Back in 1844, a group of woolen mill workers formed a cooperative in Rochdale, England, to purchase

household supplies in bulk. These workers came up with the original Rochdale Principles. In 1995, the International Cooperative Alliance tweaked those original principles as follows:

cooperation among cooperatives Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

Member Economic Participation

education, training AND information

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public — particularly young people and opinion leaders — about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

o t au in

& y m o n

n e p e d

e c n e d



Member control: it’s kind of a big deal in a cooperative. Think of all the different businesses, service providers or organizations you deal with each day. The majority of them are probably not cooperatives. Cooperatives are owned by their members. Since you receive electricity from an electric cooperative, you are one of its owners. Being an owner means you have a say in how the cooperative is run. If you have a question or concern about anything at your cooperative, you have every right to have those concerns addressed. When co-ops partner with other entities or organizations, they do so with the understanding that their cooperative status is secure. Democratic member control is a hallmark of cooperatives and will always be maintained. You will always be “in charge” at your cooperative.

Here’s why local member control is so important: Members know what matters to them. Co-op members use their first-hand, personal information to make decisions for their cooperative. In investor-owned

Think about it...

electric utilities, for example, most board members do not receive power from that company. Thus, they can not fully understand the consumers’ needs. We exist to serve you. As a not-for-profit company, the co-op is not focused on how to pay back shareholders. Members are owners of a self-governing, self-help organization that only has them in mind when making decisions. You’re the missing puzzle piece. Our members are what keep our co-ops running. From defining goals and setting policies, to providing capital credits, we couldn’t bring electricity to your rural communities without YOU.

Consider these other forms of government. Can you think of circumstances where a certain type of government might actually be better for a society than democracy? If so, why? How would that other form of government affect you personally? How might you have to adapt if you had to

We all know that the United States runs under a democracy; a government ruled

live with those changes?

by the people. Government is necessary to the existence of civilized society, and there are many from which we can choose. Below are definitions of other forms of government, and examples of other systems of rule that may seem out-of-thebox to those who are used to a democratic ruling. Autonomy: Freedom from external control or influence; independence. Heteronomy: Subjection to something else. Lack of freedom. Democracy: Rule by the people. Kraterocracy: Rule by the strong. Governance where those who are strong enough seize power through physical force, social maneuvering or political cunning. Plutocracy: Rule by the wealthy; a system wherein governance is indebted to, dependent upon or heavily influenced by the desires of the rich.

Reflect on the role the government plays in society. What is its purpose? Which country’s government do you think works best? Is it successful? Why or why not? How can it be improved? Is it doing what’s best for its citizens’? Would you feel comfortable living under a different government than your own?

Geniocracy: Rule by the intelligent; a system of governance where creativity, innovation, intelligence and wisdom are required for those who wish to govern. Meritocracy: A system of governance where groups are selected on the basis of people’s ability, knowledge in a given area, and contributions to society. Technocracy: Rule by the educated or technical experts; decision-makers would be selected based upon how knowledgeable and skillful they are in their field. Timocracy: Rule by the honorable; a system of governance ruled by honorable citizens and property owners. Autocracity: Power resides in the hands of one single person. Oligarchy: Rule by a small number of people. Bankocracy: Rule by banks. Excessive power or influence of banks and other financial authorities on public policy-making.

As you can see, there are many different forms of government. Let your imagination run freely and think of the most outlandishly run government. Who would be in charge? How would the government be run? Would you personally benefit from this form of government?

Corporatocracy: Rule by corporations. JANUARY 2018


Your electric cooperative and independence go hand-in-hand. Your co-op is owned by you and other members like you! That “cooperative difference” makes your co-op special. But what does it mean to you? Help us define what independence means; we’ve already got it started for you:

I ntegrity N D edication E P ersistance E N D emocratic E C E quality



product picks

New year, new







Put candy canes and fudge behind you! It’s 2018 and time to get healthy.

3 6 1










You swore you’d eat better in 2018. But, those wings and fries keep calling your name. Answer the call with the Power 3.4 Quart Air Fryer XL. Swirling hot air cooks your food with little or no oil. It also bakes, steams and sautés. $120. 800-462-3966;

Can’t get motivated to exercise at home? Enter the Peloton Bike. Hop on the saddle and plug into live classes or choose from more than 4,000 on-demand rides that cover beginners, as well as elite cyclists who need tough challenges. $1,995. 866-650-1996;

We all vow to eat healthier when the new year rolls around. Now you can grow fresh herbs for flavor to replace oils and fats in your food. The Smart Garden 3 provides its own light and grows herbs from capsule pods. $100.;

You sleep every night. But, do you sleep well? Find out with the Jawbone Up Move Activity Sleep Tracker. Available in a variety of colors and designs, the Up Move also tracks food intake and activity, helping you live healthier. $18. 888-280-4331;

Are you smarter than a pair of socks? Before you answer, behold the Sensoria Fitness Socks and Anklet. This electronic tandem counts your steps, tracks speed and distance and identifies moves that may result in injury. $199. 425-533-2928;

If your lower back pain keeps you sedentary, get moving with Valedo, a device that offers back therapy via guided exercises. A sensor placed on your back monitors motion and corrects incorrect movements in real time. $359. 877-944-2200;







TO THE EDITOR THANKFUL FOR KIDDE EXTINGUISHER RECALL Thank you for printing a notice of the Kidde fire extinguisher recall in your December 2017 issue. I saw NO notice of that recall in any other location or publication … and I get a lot of them. Fortunately, none of the Kidde products I own were affected, but I did have to go to the Kidde website to enter all my model and serial numbers to ascertain that none were affected. Without the notice you published, I could have remained fat, dumb and happy with a defective extinguisher. You did me a service for which I am thankful.

from Mark Roth, email submission

MORE ON KIDDE NOTICE Thanks for bringing the Kidde fire extinguisher recall to attention. All of mine are on the list, and I wouldn’t have known about the recall if not for the Electric Consumer! Great job!

from Deborah Brannon, email submission Note to readers: You will find four more recent product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on page 31.

Point of

Auto dealers are bad at selling electric vehicles U.S. electric vehicle sales set another annual record in 2017, with nearly 174,000 plug-in cars sold just through November. But how much stronger would sales be if dealerships aggressively pushed EVs?


“There aren’t standards or processes that are implemented and communicated across the brand,” noted the researchers.


Last fall, a market research firm sent mystery shoppers to 141 dealerships in America’s 10 largest EV markets to document the EV sales experience. The surveyed dealerships offering both traditional vehicles and EVs received less than glowing marks.

automakers may claim their low electric-vehicle sales are a result of low demand, … automakers and dealerships often aren’t doing their

The research study documents a litany of issues at traditional brand dealers. Mystery shoppers largely encountered a “passive” process. Dealerships hadn’t customized the sales process for EVs. Electric cars often weren’t available on the lot to view or to test drive. EV ownership information, via sales staff or marketing materials was lacking.

part to sell them.

The sales process was “wrought with inconsistencies.” From one dealership to the next, even within the same brand family, one salesperson might be knowledgeable and eager to help shoppers find the right plug-in car, while the next might be woefully unprepared about EVs. The biggest takeaway is inconsistency.


no sale Worse, with on-the-lot EV inventory scarce and salespeople reluctant to search for or order an EV, mystery shoppers were often steered toward a hybrid or a traditional gasoline vehicle. The recent findings match those in a larger Sierra Club survey published in August 2016. “While automakers may claim their low electric vehicle sales are a result of low demand, the Rev Up EVs report shows automakers and dealerships often aren’t doing their part to sell them,” said co-author Gina Coplon-Newfield, the Sierra Club’s Electric Vehicles Initiative director.

To incentivize dealerships to push EVs, Connecticut launched the first statewide program offering EV rebates at the point of sale. The program includes a carrot for dealerships: a $300 incentive for each rebated EV. A looming threat to such statelevel incentive programs, though, is the federal tax reform legislation. The House would repeal the current $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles, while the Senate retains the credit. How lawmakers reconciled the difference between the two bills was being decided as this issue went to press. — Source: Greentech Media



Fourteen of the Project Indiana linemen who traveled to Guatemala last spring were recognized for their service at the Indiana Electric Cooperatives’ annual meeting last month. At the podium, Jesse Fisher of South Central Indiana REMC summed up some of the group’s feelings about providing electricity for the first time to the impoverished mountain villages.

Cornell engineers transform food waste into green energy In a classic tale of turning trash into treasure, two different processes soon may be the favored dynamic duo to turn food waste into green energy, according to a new study led by Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. “Food waste

Electric co-ops face ‘Turning Points’

should have a

The focus was on members like you when more than 400 Indiana electric coop-


erative directors, CEOs and key employees convened in Indianapolis Dec. 4-5 for

treating it as

the 83rd Annual Meeting of Indiana Electric Cooperatives, their statewide service

a resource,

association. During the meeting, speakers stressed key topics like communications

and we’re

and social media strategy. As well, attendees honored the 19 Indiana linemen who


brought electricity to a rural Guatemalan village last spring. Meeting highlights included a keynote address by former FBI Deputy Director and current Anderson University President John Pistole.

high value.

marketable products out of it,” said lead author Roy

The meeting, themed “Turning Point” focused on changes that co-ops will be fac-

Posmanik, a postdoctoral researcher.

ing in the coming years. Much of it will be in terms of manpower as co-ops face an

“Food waste is still carbon — a lot of

aging workforce and leadership. The co-ops recognized 90 employees and direc-


tors from around the state for a cumulative 2,625 years of service to consumers. Right: Devan Smith, Indiana’s Youth Leadership Council representative to the national electric cooperative association, recounts his experiences on the Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., last June and his follow-up trip in July as the YLC representative. He was sponsored by Jackson County REMC on June’s Youth Tour. Below: The five 2017 Youth Power & Hope Award recipients were also honored. They are, from left: Emma Gillard, Knox; Jozelyn Holmes, Berne; Adeline Myers, Lebanon; Kayelee Ogden, Greensburg; and Sarah Kouns, Zionsville.

The researchers show that by using hydrothermal liquefaction before anaerobic digestion, virtually all of the energy is extracted from the food waste. In hydrothermal liquefaction, the waste is basically pressure cooked to produce a crude bio-oil. That oil can be refined into biofuel. The remaining food waste, which is in an aqueous state, is anaerobically digested by microbes within days. The microbes convert the waste into methane, which can be used to produce commercial amounts of electricity and heat. Food waste is the single largest component going into municipal landfills in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. About one-third of the world’s food — nearly 1.3 billion tons — is lost or wasted, according to the United Nations. JANUARY 2018


Drug Companies Fear Release of the New AloeCure Big Pharma stands to lose billions as doctors’ recommend drug-free “health cocktail” that adjusts and corrects your body’s health conditions. by David Waxman Seattle Washington:

Drug company execs are nervous. That’s because the greatest health advance in decades has hit the streets. And analysts expect it to put a huge crimp in “Big Pharma” profits. So what’s all the fuss about? It’s about a new ingredient that’s changing the lives of people who use it. Some call it “the greatest discovery since penicillin”! The name of the product is the AloeCure. It’s not a drug. It’s something completely different. And the product is available to anyone who wants it, at a reasonable price. But demands may force future prices to rise. TOP DOC WARNS: DIGESTION DRUGS CAN CRIPPLE YOU! Company spokesperson, Dr. Liza Leal; a leading integrative health specialist recommends AloeCure before she decides to prescribe any digestion drug. Especially after the FDA’s stern warning about long-term use of drugs classified as proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec®, Nexium®, and Prevacid®. In a nutshell, the FDA statement warned people should avoid taking these digestion drugs for longer than three 14-day treatment periods because there is an increased risk of bone fractures. Many people take them daily and for decades. Dr. Leal should know. Many patients come to her with bone and joint complaints and she does everything she can to help them. One way for digestion sufferers to help avoid possible risk of tragic joint and bone problems caused by overuse of digestion drugs is to take the AloeCure. Analysts expect the AloeCure to put a huge crimp in “Big Pharma” profits.

The secret to AloeCure’s “health adjusting” formula is scientifically tested Acemannan, a polysaccharide extracted from Aloe Vera. But not the same aloe vera that mom used to apply to your cuts, scrapes and burns. This is a perfect strain of aloe that is organically grown under very strict conditions. AloeCure is so powerful it begins to benefit your health the instant you take it. It soothes intestinal discomfort and you can avoid the possibility of bone and health damage caused by overuse of digestion drugs. We all know how well aloe works externally on cuts, scrapes and burns. But did you know Acemannan has many of other health benefits?...

HELPS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM TO CALM INFLAMMATION According to a leading aloe research, when correctly processed for digesting, the Aloe plant has a powerful component for regulating your immune system called Acemannan. So whether it’s damage that is physical, bacterial, chemical or autoimmune; the natural plant helps the body stay healthy. RAPID ACID AND HEARTBURN NEUTRALIZER Aloe has proved to have an astonishing effect on users who suffer with digestion problems like bouts of acid reflux, heartburn, cramping, gas and constipation because it acts as a natural acid buffer and soothes the digestive system. But new studies prove it does a whole lot more. SIDE-STEP HEART CONCERNS So you’ve been taking proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) for years and you feel just fine. In June of 2015 a major study shows that chronic PPI use increases the risk of heart attack in general population. UNLEASH YOUR MEMORY Studies show that your brain needs the healthy bacteria from your gut in order function at its best. Both low and high dosages of digestion drugs are proven to destroy that healthy bacteria and get in the way of brain function. So you’re left with a sluggish, slowto-react brain without a lot of room to store information. The acemannan used in AloeCure actually makes your gut healthier, so healthy bacteria flows freely to your brain so you think better, faster and with a larger capacity for memory. Doctors call it “The greatest health discovery in decades!”

body’s ability to break down and absorb calcium. Aloe delivers calcium as it aids in balancing your stomach acidity. The result? Thicker, healthier looking hair…more youthful looking skin… And nails so strong they may never break again. SAVE YOUR KIDNEY National and local news outlets are reporting Kidney Failure linked to PPI’s. Your Kidney extracts waste from blood, balance body fluids, form urine, and aid in other important functions of the body. Without it your body would be overrun by deadly toxins. Aloe helps your kidney function properly. Studies suggest, if you started taking aloe today; you’d see a big difference in the way you feel. GUARANTEED RESULTS OR DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK Due to the incredible results people are reporting, AloeCure is being sold with an equally incredible guarantee. “We can only offer this incredible guarantee because we are 100% certain this product will work for those who use it,” Says Dr. Leal. Here’s how it works: Take the pill exactly as directed. You must see and feel remarkable improvements in your digestive health, your mental health, in your physical appearance, the amount inflammation you have throughout your body – even in your ability to fall asleep at night! Otherwise, simply return the empty bottles with a short note about how you took the pills and followed the simple instructions and the company will send you...Double your money back!

HOW TO GET ALOECURE This is the official nationwide release of the new AloeCure pill in the United States. And SLEEP LIKE A BABY A night without sleep really damages your so, the company is offering our readers up to 3 body. And continued lost sleep can lead to all FREE bottles with their order. sorts of health problems. But what you may not This special give-away is available for readers realize is the reason why you’re not sleeping. of this publication only. All you have to do is Some call it “Ghost Reflux”. A low-intensity call TOLL-FREE 1-800-591-2941 1-800-746-2951 and provide form of acid reflux discomfort that quietly keeps the operator with the Free Bottle Approval you awake in the background. AloeCure helps Code: JC025. The company will do the rest. digestion so you may find yourself sleeping Important: Due to AloeCure’s recent media through the night. exposure, phone lines are often busy. If you CELEBRITY HAIR, SKIN & NAILS call and do not immediately get through, Certain antacids may greatly reduce your please be patient and call back.


Indiana eats

Sweets and savories

Bakery’s lunch menu as popular as its pastries Many of the regular customers of Clauss Bakery and Cafe frequent the Rensselaer breakfast and lunch spot to indulge in its wide selection of homemade doughnuts, as well as other sweet treats like yeast rolls, cookies, pies and cakes. But State Sen. Ed Charbonneau prefers to make it a meal when visiting one of his favorite locally-owned restaurants. “I love their egg salad and chicken salad sandwiches at lunchtime,” the Valparaiso legislator said. And, he described Clauss’ red velvet cupcakes as “absolutely fantastic.” The bakery, located across from the Jasper County courthouse, has been owned by the Clauss family since 2004. Its diverse menu includes seasonal favorites like fruitcake at Christmastime, pumpkin doughnuts in the fall, and Paczkis, traditional Polish pastries, early each year before Lent. Hot and hearty homemade soups — like White Chicken Chili, Beef Vegetable, Stuffed Green Pepper, and Cheesy Broccoli — are especially popular on chilly winter days. So are coffee selections like Cafe Americano, cappuccino, latte and mocha. The fullystocked salad bar is a popular option for those want to save their calories for a doughnut (or two). Check out the bakery’s Facebook page for regular updates on what’s on the menu that day.

CLAUSS BAKERY AND CAFE 110 W. Washington St.

Rensselaer, Indiana



Our December 2017 Indiana Eats


restaurant, Tippecanoe Place in South

Mon-Fri, 5 am to 2 pm

Bend, is giving away two free brunches!

Sat, 5 to 11 am

See page 3 for details on how you could win!



ABOUT STATE SEN. ED CHARBONNEAU: Indiana State Sen. Ed Charbonneau represents Senate District 5, which is includes of all of Pulaski County and portions of Jasper, LaPorte, Porter and Starke counties. Charbonneau serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services. He also serves on several other Senate committees including Appropriations, the School Funding Subcommittee, Tax and Fiscal Policy, and Rules and Legislative Procedures.

food Can you handle heat? Grab some spicy Sriracha sauce or make your own for these flavorful recipes.

Sriracha Sensations

Honey-Sriracha Glazed Buffalo Wings Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying 4 lbs. chicken wings 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 2

/3 cup Sriracha

½ cup orange blossom honey 2 t. kosher salt Juice of 1 lime Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish 2 T. white sesame seeds, for garnish Preheat the oven to 200 F. Prepare a deep fryer by filling with oil to the manufacturer’s suggested fill level. (Alternately, a cast-iron or other wide heavy-duty pan can be used; fill with oil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches, but no more than halfway up the side of the pan.) Tuck the wing tips beneath the wing to avoid burning them, or remove the tips and save to make stock. Heat the oil to 350 F. Fry the wings in batches for 10 to 12 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Be careful not to crowd the pan, as this will lower the temperature of the oil significantly and result in soggy wings. Keep batches of cooked wings on a wired rack set over a baking sheet (or a foil-lined baking sheet) in the preheated oven until all the wings have been fried. While the wings are frying, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the Sriracha, honey, salt and lime juice, stirring to combine. Keep warm over low heat. Put the cooked wings in a large mixing bowl and toss with the Sriracha mixture. Plate the coated wings on a large platter, garnishing with cilantro and sesame seeds. JANUARY 2018




Homemade Sriracha 1¾ lbs. red jalapeño peppers, stems removed and halved lengthwise 3 cloves garlic 2 T. garlic powder, plus more as needed 2 T. granulated sugar, plus more as needed 1 T. kosher salt, plus more as needed 1 T. light brown sugar ½ cup distilled white vinegar, plus more as needed Water, as needed In the bowl of a food processor, combine the peppers, garlic, garlic powder, granulated sugar, salt and brown sugar. Pulse until a coarse

Sriracha Honey Slow Cooker Meatballs

puree forms. Transfer to a glass jar,

by Marilles Mauer, Greensburg

seal, and store at room temperature for 7 days, stirring daily.

1 cup Sriracha

Mix well. Do not overmix or you will

After 1 week, pour the chili mixture

1 cup honey

have tough meatballs. Place a 9x9”

¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)

sheet of wax paper on your countertop.

2 lbs. lean ground beef

Using a 2 T. scoop, portion out meat

into a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool, then puree in a food processor for 2 to 3 minutes, until a smooth, uniform paste forms. If the mixture is too thick to blend properly, feel free to adjust the consistency with a small amount of water. Pass the mixture through a finemesh strainer. Adjust the seasoning and consistency of the final sauce, adding additional vinegar, water, salt, granulated sugar, or garlic powder to suit your taste. Transfer to a glass jar, seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

1 cup panko bread crumbs

and place on wax paper. After all

¼ cup milk

meatballs have been scooped, roll

1 t. garlic powder

into balls and place them into slow

1 t. onion powder

cooker. Once about half of meatballs

1 t. kosher salt

are in slow cooker, spoon sauce

1 t. fresh ground pepper

over the tops of them. Add remaining

2 large eggs Combine Sriracha, honey and lime

is thoroughly coated in sauce before

juice in a slow cooker on high heat.

you add the next layer.

In a large bowl, add remaining

Reduce heat to low. Cover slow cooker

ingredients, except eggs. Stir Sriracha

and cook for 4-8 hours. Serve and

sauce in slow cooker until combined.


Taste and add additional honey or Sriracha as necessary to suit your heat preference. Add ¼ cup of sauce into meatball mixture, fold mixture together two times, then add eggs.



meatballs. You may have to layer them. Just make sure the bottom layer

Cook’s notes: You can take the lid off after 2 hours to allow the sauce to thicken or you can transfer the sauce to a saucepan on the stove top and cook until reduced by half, or to desired consistency. It is personal preference.



Attacking the opioid crisis in Indiana by Sen. Jim Merritt

changes to the body and the way the

for prescription drugs and a statewide

As a society, we are combating a

brain works. Long-term use can increase

prescription take-back program.

disease that could cause us to lose an

the possibility of physical dependency

entire generation of Hoosiers. Since

on the drugs, and after a while, people

1999, there has been a 500-percent

must take these drugs just to avoid

increase of drug-overdose deaths in

the excruciating physical withdrawal

Indiana. Every year, more people die


from drug overdoses than car accidents. The opioid epidemic impacts every household in our state in one way or another, and affects people from all walks in life. Though we are working diligently to kill this epidemic in Indiana, there is still work that needs to be done.

We cannot lose an entire generation to this epidemic. It is my mission and legislative priority to kill this scourge. Those who have lost friends and loved ones from this illness, I ask you to

We are taking a systematic approach

use your grief for good by spreading

to confronting this issue. During the

awareness of this illness. Together, we

last legislative session, we set the

can kill the opioid epidemic.

fundamentals. This session, I am introducing legislation to help in a few different ways. We need to fully utilize the INSPECT program by requiring

First, we need to change the culture

mandatory registration by all Controlled

around addiction. Opioid addiction is

Substance Registration-holders

an illness, not a character flaw. Once

and by making reports of the use of

someone begins taking opioids, whether

Naloxone accessible to providers.

prescribed by a doctor or acquired

To prevent prescription drugs from

illegally, the drugs can cause serious

getting in the wrong hands, we need to have mandatory lockable bottles

SEN. JIM MERRITT (R) is majority caucus chair of the Indiana Senate representing District 31 which includes portions of Hamilton and Marion counties. He is chair of the Utilities Committee and serves on the committees of Commerce and Technology, Homeland Security and Transportation, Joint Rules, Public Policy, Rules and Legislative Procedure and Veterans Affairs and the Military.



cover story

Let it

! w o Sn Wintry activities to keep you out and about





he trusty Farmer’s Almanac and the U.S. Energy Information Agency both agree this winter is

has all the prognostication of shaping up to be a doozy. But just because the snow may fly and the mercury my drop doesn’t mean we Hoosiers have to hibernate till spring. While Indiana might not be positioned like Michigan, Wisconsin or Minnesota, Great Lakes southern fingerhold that revel in their wintriness , Indiana still offers a variety of outdoor fun activities


he weather prognosticators at the trusty Farmers’ Almanac and the U.S. Energy Information Administration agree this winter is shaping up to be a doozy. But just because the snow may fly and the mercury may drop doesn’t mean we Hoosiers have to hibernate till spring. Indiana might not be positioned like Michigan, Wisconsin or Minnesota along the Great Lakes “snow belt,” but it still offers a variety of outdoor fun activities for all ages and physical abilities. Here are eight places offering outdoor activities and events to help ward off “cabin fever.”

for all ages and physical abilities. Here are 10 things to do to ward off “cabin fever.” The toboggan at Pokagon State Park reaches speeds of up to ?? miles RICHARD G. BIEVER is senior editor of Electric per hour. The Consumer. frozen track makes it available whether it snows or not!

cover story Now, in its 39th season, Paoli


Peaks is a perfect

Paoli, Indiana

place for family and friends to experience the thrills and chills of skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. Skiers

and snowboarders come from near and far — as far as Florida — for some snowcapped excitement.

Tubing lets families enjoy the wintry outdoors together at Paoli.

A 45,000-square-foot day lodge is equipped with everything you need



Folks around Paoli probably thought

Paoli Peaks

local physician Richard D. Graber had

2798 W. County Road 25 S, Paoli, IN 812-723-4696

fever and gone stir crazy after being

come down with a serious case of cabin snowed in for days in the winter of 1978.

to enjoy a day on the slopes, including rental, cafeteria, a cozy ski bar for the 21+ crowd, free WIFI, a full-line pro shop, a ski and snowboard school, and more. The hill itself offers 15 trails. A quarter of the terrain is beginner level,

That’s when he came up with the idea to convert a hog farm just west of town into


a ski resort.



Pokagon State Park

Hours:  •  Fri — 5:30-9 p.m.;

450 Lane 100 Lake James, Angola, IN 260-833-2012 Natural lakes and beauty abound in this Indiana State Park bordering Lake James and (appropriately for winter) Snow Lake in Steuben County. But it’s a man-made toboggan track that thrills 90,000 visitors TOBOGGAN RUN

from late November through

Pokagon State Park Angola, Indiana

February. Toboggans on the refrigerated quarter-mile run reach speeds of 35-40

miles per hour. With the 30-foot tower and dips and valleys, the total vertical drop is 90 feet over the course of the 20 to 30 second thrill ride.

 •  Sat — 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.;  •  Sun — 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Schedule: Extended hours during winter break. Open on New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents’ Day. Operates through Feb. 25. Cost:

The Indiana DNR has partnered with the Steuben County Tourism Bureau to bring a live video from the top of the Toboggan Run. To see the “Toboggan cam” go to

Sled rental per hour: $13 (renters are guaranteed


one ride per hour during peak times).

No cameras or video equipment

Park entrance fees apply.

allowed on ride. Toboggan will close if

Driver’s license is required as deposit, rents up to four toboggans. Must use

temperature drops to 0 degrees F or below.

park’s sleds. Rentals on first-come, first-

Warming Center concessions available

served basis. Maximum of four people

(carry-in food prohibited). Cross country

per toboggan (no exceptions).

ski rental is also available.



cover story CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE over half is intermediate and about 20 percent is advanced. Over 100 towermounted snow guns are capable of covering all trails with a foot of white stuff in 24 hours, temperatures permitting. Orange County REMC provides the electricity to keep the trails lit, allowing for skiing past dusk till the wee hours. The “Arctic Blast” snow tubing


facility includes 10 lanes, each 700 feet long, and its own day lodge

Lawrenceburg, Indiana

equipped with a concession area,


restrooms, lockers, indoor/outdoor viewing area and seating.



Perfect North Slopes

most powerful

19074 Perfect Lane, Lawrenceburg, IN 812-537-3754

systems in the Midwest,

Skiing/Snowboard Hours:  •  Mon — 10 a.m.-9 p.m.;  •  Tues-Thurs — noon-10 p.m.;  • Fri — 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (3 a.m. when there are midnight sessions)  • Sat — 9 a.m.-10 p.m. (3 a.m. when there are midnight sessions)  •  Sun — 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Snow Tubing Hours:  • Fri — 5-9 p.m. (1 a.m. with midnight session);  • Sat — 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (1 a.m. with midnight session);

has one of the snowmaking with a fleet of snow grooming machines to match. A day lodge with a fireplace, food and full service ski shop offers an

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games are just a month away. And while the snowy landscapes of South Korea may seem a world away from Indiana, at least one Olympic medalist, freestyle skier Nick Goepper, would feel right at home on the

inviting place to come in from the cold.

IF YOU GO Skiing/Snowboard Hours:  •  Sun-Thurs — 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.;  •  Fri-Sat — 9:30 a.m.-midnight

 •  Sun — 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

in the last Winter Games — the first

Snow Tubing Hours:   • Mon-Thurs — 1-9:30 p.m. (nonholiday);

Schedule & Rates:

Hoosier Winter medalist — first groomed

  • Fri-Sat — 9:30 a.m.-midnight;

his freestyle on these Dearborn County

  • Sun & Holidays — 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Hours and rates vary depending on the winter holiday periods. Go to for a complete list of hours, rates and special events. Miscellaneous: Paoli Peaks’ season runs through mid-March. Always check the Snow

Perfect North Slopes of Lawrenceburg. Goepper, the bronze medal winner

hills of his hometown. Located in the Southeast corner of the state, Perfect North is named after the family that developed and owns the resort — though the name may also fit the ski experience. General Manager Chip Perfect is proud of how the family business, that opened in the winter of

Report before going to Paoli Peaks

1980-81 on what was the family farm,

for daily updates on snow and tubing

has grown over the past 38 seasons and

conditions. Skiing, snowboarding

continues to reinvest.

and tubing are weather-dependent

Perfect North consists of 22 ski

Schedule & Rates: Hours and rates vary depending on the winter holiday periods and packages. Go to for a complete list of hours, rates and special events. Miscellaneous: Perfect North’s season runs through early March, depending on temperatures. Always check the Snow Report for daily updates on snow

activities and conditions and hours

trails, from beginner to advanced; five

are subject to change without notice.

chairlifts; six Magic Carpet conveyor

conditions. Conditions and hours

lifts; two rope tows; two terrain parks;

are subject to change without notice

and 23 tubing lanes. The facility also

depending on the temperatures.




Five Indiana DNR locations There’s something that touches you down deep when you see a bald eagle with your own eyes flying wild and free above the hills, trees and water that are part of your home state. Part of it is the majesty of witnessing these large raptors soaring and diving; part of it is the patriotic feelings our national symbol may stir; and part of it is the pride in just knowing how these birds were brought back from the verge of extinction. EAGLE WATCH

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources invites folks to

Salamonie Lake

“Eagle Watch” programs at five different locations around the state. Sites and their dates are:

Mississinewa Lake Turkey Run SP

 •  Patoka Lake, Jan. 6;

Monroe Lake

•  Mississinewa Lake, Jan. 20; •  Monroe Lake, Jan. 26-28;


Patoka Lake


•  Turkey Run State Park, Jan. 26-28; •  Salamonie Lake, Feb. 10-11. The highlight of the programs will include driving tours to hot spots for eagle viewing at each of the respective locations. This time of year, Indiana’s

MISSISSINEWA LAKE Location: Miami Recreation Area boat ramp, 4673 S. 625 E, Peru, IN

Location: Turkey Run Inn, 8121 E. Park Road, Marshall, IN Dates & Times: Fri, Jan. 26, 7-9 p.m.; Sat, Jan. 27, 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun, Jan. 28, 6:30 a.m.-noon.

resident bald eagles are joined by

Date: Saturday, Jan. 20

a number of others from northern

Time: 6:30-10:30 a.m.

states who spend winter here enjoying

Registration: Call 260-468-2127.

Indiana’s relative balmy temperatures

Miscellaneous: Caravan to bald eagle roost as they take morning flight. Small amount of walking involved.

Miscellaneous: Special lodging rates available, use group code EAG18 to make Inn room reservations at, or 877-563-4371.



Location: Fourwinds Resort, 9301 S. Fairfax Road, Bloomington, IN

Location: Interpretive Center, 3691 New Holland Road, Andrews, IN

and open waters.

PATOKA LAKE Location: Patoka Lake Visitor’s Center, 3084 N. Dillard Road, Birdseye, IN Date: Saturday, Jan. 6 Time: 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Cost: $15 per person; registration required (call 812-685-2447 or email; registration limited to 55 participants. Miscellaneous: Watch includes indoor & outdoor programs. A catered meal will be provided. Kid’s activities and crafts will be available from 12:45-4 p.m.

Dates: Fri-Sun, Jan 26-28 Time: All day Cost: $15 adult (age 16+), child $10 (age 6-15); advance registration available till Jan. 23 at visitbloomington. com/eaglesovermonroe; or walk-up. Miscellaneous: Special lodging rates available for event attendees. For more info, phone 812-837-9967.

Cost: $15 adult (age 13+), child $10 (age 4-13); plus regular park admission.

Dates: Sat-Sun, Feb. 10-11 Time: 3-7:30 p.m. Registration: Call 260-468-2127 Miscellaneous: Watch includes short indoor program, then caravan to outdoor roost site with small amount of walking. Hot dogs and hot drinks available for free-will donation to support raptor center at Salamonie Lake.




win $200

You could

ENTER YOUR BEST ARTWORK Fill the pages of the 2019 calendar!



Indiana public, private or home-schooled students in kindergarten through 12th grade during the 2017-18 school year are eligible to enter the contest.

A first-place artist will be selected for each grade, K-12, and will receive $200. The artwork of each grade level winner will also illustrate the cover and each month of the calendar. Up to nine additional artists will earn honorable mention awards and receive $50. Their artwork will appear in a special section of the calendar. An “artist of the year� will be selected from among the first place winners and receive an additional $100. Judges will also select merit award winners who will receive certificates.

DETAILS AND DEADLINE A complete set of rules and required entry forms are available at Artwork must be received by March 23, 2018.

Questions? Contact Electric Consumer 317.487.2220 or



It’s not too late

Order your 2018 calendar today!

to get your 2018 calendar

Please send _______ copy (copies)

The 2018 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art

of Student Art 2018 (at $6 each) to:

of The Cooperative Calendar

Cooperative Calendar of Student art 2018

is available at participating electric co-op offices across the state and available through the mail


from Electric Consumer. (Please see right to ADDRESS

order.) A year’s worth of award-winning art from Indiana students grades K-12 is only $6 from



Electric Consumer.

Produced by Electric Consumer for Indiana’s REMCs Cover art by Knox Coen, kindergarten division winner

In addition, Electric Consumer has limited

2018FrontCoversFINAL.indd 1

8/30/17 11:26 AM

supplies of student art calendars from previous years on sale for $3 a copy. While most are from recent years, there may still be some available dating back to 1999. Not all editions are available, but if there is a special year or years you are interested in receiving, send us an email to inquire about the availability. You can contact us through; email:; or write us at: Electric Consumer, P.O. Box 24517, Indianapolis, IN 46224.

STATE & ZIP Price includes shipping and Indiana sales tax.

Send this form and a check payable to “Indiana Electric Cooperatives” to:

Electric Consumer Calendar P.O. Box 24517 Indianapolis, IN 46224

Morton_IN_1.18.qxp_Layout 1 12/8/17 3:46 PM Page 1

Garages | Hobby Shops | Farm Buildings | Equestrian | Commercial | General Purpose | Homes

When you build with Morton, you build something that lasts. The quality of our materials, our craftsmen, and our industry-leading warranty will ensure your satisfaction for generations to come.

Buy now and save during our annual Building Value Days sale!

800-447-7436 | ©2018 Morton Buildings, Inc. A listing of GC licenses available at Certain restrictions apply. Ref Code 229



calendar NORTHWEST


FARM TOY SHOW, Winamac (Pulaski), Winamac Elementary School. Northern Indiana Power from the Past’s annual toy show. Lunch served. 9 am-3 pm. Admission charge. 574-946-3206.


15TH ANNUAL GARDENING SHOW, Valparaiso (Porter), Porter County Expo Center. Gardening speakers, demonstrations and much more! Tickets: $10 adults, children 12 and under free. 8 am to 4 pm (CST). 219-465-3555.


THE TIME TRAVELERS, Delphi (Carroll), Delphi Opera House. The band entertains with a family friendly and familiar song list featuring classic rock hits. 7:30 pm. Tickets, $15-$30. 765-5644300.



DIY MAPLE SYRUP WORKSHOP, North Salem (Hendricks). McCloud Nature Park. Discover the ins and outs of the maple sugaring process. Recommended for adults. 317-718-6188.


HEARTLAND FLY FISHING FESTIVAL, Lebanon (Boone), Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds. Event features demonstrations and more! Admission charge.



MARK VICE, Mitchell (Lawrence), Mitchell Opera House. Vice has been involved in gospel music for 30 years. 7-9 pm. Tickets: $12 adults, $6 children.


BRUCE BORDERS AS ELVIS, Mitchell (Lawrence), Spring Mill Inn. Dinner: 5:30 pm. Show: 7 pm. Tickets: $45 adult, $25 children. Use rate code: BDAY. 812-849-4508. specials.html#spring




WINTER GATE, Huntingburg (Dubois), 4th Street. Sample wine, shop and enjoy jazz music. 5-9 pm. gardengatefestival. com.



WINTER BRIDAL SPECTACULAR, Fort Wayne (Allen), Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Northern Indiana’s premier bridal show. 12-4 p.m. Admission: $10. Brides should pre-register. fortwaynebrides. com


SAVOR FORT WAYNE, Fort Wayne (Allen), around Fort Wayne. Enjoy 12 delicious days of menu deals. Participating restaurants offer deals for no more than $30 per person. visitfortwayne. com/savor/


WYNONNA AND THE BIG NOISE, Shipshewana (LaGrange), Shipshewana Event Center. Enjoy music featuring country legend Wynonna Judd and her band. 8-10 pm. Ticket and/or meal charge. 888-4474725.



“FUNNY MONEY,” Clarksville (Clark), Derby Dinner Playhouse. An outrageous comedy by Ray Cooney. 812-288-8281. Event runs through Feb. 18. View showtimes and ticket prices on its website.


NOT A CLUE: MURDER MYSTERY AT THE MANSION, Corydon (Harrison), The Old Capitol Tea Room. Tickets: $30 (includes appetizers and teas). Purchase tickets at 812-7340076, theoldcapitoltearoom@ or message them on their Facebook page.


AN EVENING WITH RICHARD MARX, New Albany (Floyd), Ogle Center — Stem Concert Hall. The Grammy-nominated artist will perform his charttopping hits. 7:30-9 p.m. Tickets: $40 (advance), $50 (at door). 812-941-2525.

This calendar is published as a service to readers and the communities electric cooperatives serve. Electric Consumer publishes events free of charge as space allows, giving preference to free community festival and events in and around areas served by subscribing REMCs/RECs. While Electric Consumer strives for accuracy, please note that events, dates and time may change without notice. Electric Consumer advises using contact phone numbers or internet sites to check times and dates of events before making plans. To add events to Calendar, please use the “Submit and Event” form under the “Talk to Us” or “Calendar” buttons at; or mail your info to: Calendar, Electric Consumer, P.O. Box 24517, Indianapolis, IN 46224. Please submit info two months before the date of the event.




Color trends BY RO BI N S M I TH

Thinking about changing up the colors in your home is one thing, but choosing a can of paint and rolling on that first

well as décor choices, all play into the


mood you want to set for each room.

and earth

Color forecasters So what colors will be popular this year?

tones are still major players, 2018 is bringing in plenty of richness into your home, too. The possibilities are endless

swath of color across the wall is another

There are key folks whose job it is to

matter entirely. When it comes to home

measure the current national mood and

improvement, painting can be one of

then make predictions on what they

the least expensive ways to update

believe will be popular color choices.

your space yet can create the biggest

They take inspiration from the fashion,

impact. How often can you completely

automotive, and housewares industries

change the vibe of your living room for

and visit showrooms, trade shows, and

under $100? But if it’s been awhile since

Online tools

scour magazines for trends. Using all of

If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of

you’ve made any big changes to your

that information, they’re able to translate

searching for just the right color, help is

home’s color palette, how do you know if

it into what colors we’ll be wearing and

at hand. It’s never been easier to create

the hues you’re choosing for your living

decorating with in the coming year.

a cohesive color palette for your home

space are in line with current trends?

The power of color

Dark as night Many paint manufacturers have taken a

The color of a room can change your

bold step in declaring their 2018 colors

mood, your stress level, or completely

of the year – “bold” being the key word

alter your experience. When choosing

here. Several have announced a version

paint colors, you want to answer one

of black as their number one standout.

key question: “How do I want to feel

They may have undertones of blue or

when I’m in this space?” If you want to

purple, but these “it” colors definitely say

convey a feeling of calm, cheerfulness,

we’re ready to embrace darker shades.

comfort, or drama, color is a powerful element that can make it happen. Certain paint colors also seem to have magical powers when it comes to the size of a room. If you don’t have the time or money to move walls and open up a room, a change in color can make a small room seem more spacious, or a large room feel cozier. Paint colors, as



Pratt & Lambert, one of the paint lines we carry, proudly unveiled Shadow of Night as its color of the year. This elegant midnight blue offers a calming effect that so many people are seeking in their hectic lives and in their homes. Other makers have also chosen very bold and deep tones this year. While

when it comes to choosing paint colors, but watching the trends is never a bad idea. And with the right help from our paint team, you’ll create a look and feel that you can’t wait to come home to.

by going online. For example, SherwinWilliams, the maker of our Best Look® line of paints, allows you to experiment with colors in a virtual settings to see what goes with your tastes, or perhaps create a new style. Then, visit your local Do it Best store to build your confidence in choosing the right color every time. ROBIN SMITH is a manager at Petersburg Do it Best® Hardware in Petersburg. Her family is a member-owner of Do it Best Corp., a Fort Wayne-based cooperative of thousands of hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards in the United States and around the world. (This article is for informational purposes only. Electric Consumer and Do it Best assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of its content, or for injuries, property damage, or the outcome of any project.)




Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning When using a generator, be sure you know how to Indiana weather can be unpredictable,

“That can bring power lines into contact

operate it and be aware of

especially during the winter months.

with the ground, trees, homes, vehicles

the risks of carbon monoxide

That’s why you should prepare for

and other objects. If people or pets

dangerous situations before a storm hits.

come in contact with a live power line,

It is especially important to develop a plan for prolonged power outages during

they can suffer serious injury or even death.”

poisoning. Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or

these harsh months. Heavy snows,

Due to these dangerous conditions,

other gasoline, propane,

freezing rain and ice storms can all

many residents may be confined to

natural gas or charcoal-

create electrical hazards.

their homes for days at a time. That’s

“Being safe around electricity is something you should focus on yearround,” said Tom VanParis, CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “Indiana winters can bring a whole slew of dangerous hazards, especially where power lines are concerned.

burning devices inside a

why it is important to have a plan in

home, garage, basement,

place, especially during these prolonged

crawlspace or any partially

outages. To better prepare you and your

enclosed area.

family for a power outage, your electric co-op recommends members keep a storm preparedness kit fully stocked. The basic supplies in this kit should include bottled water, non-perishable

“Snow and ice often accumulate on

food, emergency blankets, first aid kit/

power lines. The added weight may

medicine, flashlight, battery-operated

cause lines to snap off the poles or

or hand-crank radio, extra batteries and

cause the poles to break,” he added.


Keep these devices outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO buildup in the home. Although CO can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.




Winter wasps

Do you occasionally have to pick up dead wasps around your house?

Ask Rosie


n the dead of winter, we often find wasps on the carpet in our basement, but not always. Sometimes a dead wasp is on the windowsill, other times in a light fixture. We might see dying wasps crawling around lethargically or even attempting to fly. Like a lot of social insects, paper wasps survive subfreezing winter temperatures by hibernating as adults. Interestingly, though, only mated females hibernate. All other wasps in the nest die when winter sets in. Many other species of social Hymenoptera, including bumblebees, bald-faced hornets and yellowjackets also spend the winter as mated queens. In late spring, a mated queen comes out of hibernation as temperatures begin to warm. Such a queen is known as a “foundress,” the individual that starts a nest. After emerging from her long winter’s nap, the foundress begins to fly around, looking for a nest site. Paper wasps generally establish a nest in a protected location, such as under the eves of a house or barn. Once a wasp foundress finds a nest location, she has a lot of work to do. She must start constructing the nest, and in the case of paper wasps, that means chewing up wood to produce the carton-building material. The foundress starts building a nest, fashions a few cells in the comb, lays an egg in each cell, and begins collecting food — chewed-up insects — for her larvae once they hatch. Once the larvae in the paper wasp nest complete their development, they transform into the pupal stage before emerging as adult insects. These new wasps, called workers, take over the job of collecting materials to expand the nest. They also gather



food and feed their developing siblings. The workers become the protectors of their home, and almost anyone who has deliberately or accidently disturbed a paper wasp nest can attest to this fact. As the seasons progress, more and more wasps are produced and the size of the nest structure grows. As the fall season approaches, the wasp colony shifts from producing workers to producing male and queen wasps. Once these wasps become adults, the females mate and fly away from the home nest in search of a protected place to spend the upcoming winter months. So, how do these paper wasps end up in my basement? These are likely female wasps that decided to spend the winter in a fireplace chimney of our house. We didn’t use that fireplace this winter, but the winter sun often warms the interior of the chimney to springlike temperatures. Over time, a consistently warm chimney environment will send a false signal to the hibernating wasps that summer is on the way. The wasps break out of hibernation and make their way down the chimney and through the fireplace into the house. The house temperature was warm enough to keep the wasps alive, but there was no food available, and they ended up starving to death. I guess that is a good thing. I would not be a happy camper if a queen paper wasp started building a nest inside my house!

“I have some leaves from a tree I would like to identify. It is roughly 8 to 12 inches in diameter and fairly tall. The leaves are alternating with lengths of 1.5 to 2 inches long. The leaf stalks are all really short compared to the leaf length. Can you identify?” This appears to be Ulmus parvifolia — common name Chinese elm or lacebark elm. This species is quite attractive. It grows 40-50 feet tall at maturity and has attractive small leaves and interesting mottled bark. This species is quite adaptable to urban conditions, and so far, it appears to have good resistance to Dutch elm disease and elm leaf beetles. Do not mistake this species for the inferior Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila), which is far less ornamental and rather a weedy species. Find more information about Chinese elm from the Purdue Arboretum and Missouri Botanical Garden. B. ROSIE LERNER is the Purdue Extension consumer horticulturist and is a consumer of Tipmont REMC. Questions about gardening issues may be sent to “Ask Rosie,” Electric Consumer, P.O. Box 24517, Indianapolis, IN 46224; or use our “Talk to Us” form online at


by B. Rosie Lerner

product recalls


Older pendant light fixtures recalled Two models of imported Flos Romeo pendant lamps sold between 1996 and 2006 have been recalled because the glass diffuser can detach and fall. The recall involves lamps with a plastic ring holding the glass diffuser in place.

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 for full details of these recalls and for notices of many more.

Call 888-952-9541; or go to and click on “Notice to Customers”.



Portable generators can overheat Westinghouse iGen2500 and iPro2500 portable inverter generators have been recalled. Westinghouse has received four reports of the generators overheating and catching fire. No injuries have been reported. The iGen2500 has a bright blue plastic cover; the iPro2500 has a plastic gray cover. The generators were sold online and in various home and hardware stores from June 2017 through October 2017 for between $580 and $600.


Call 855-944-3571; or go to www.westinghouse and click on “Product Safety” located at the top of the page.


Outdoor camera adapter fire risk Netgear has recalled power adapters for outdoor Arlo cameras. Water can leak into the weatherproof connector on the power adapter and cause a short circuit, melting and overheating, posing a fire hazard. This recall involves only the VMA4700 after-market model sold separately. The cords were sold nationwide and online from June 2017 through October 2017 for about $20. Call 866-243-0513; or go to and click on the recall tab at the top of the page.



Table lamps pose shock hazard West Elm has recalled Industrial Task table lamps. The electrical wire that runs through the lamps can be cut by the lamp’s adjustable joint, posing an electric shock risk. No injuries have been reported, but West Elm has received 24 reports of the lamps shorting, sparking or getting hot. The lamps were sold at West Elm stores nationwide, West Elm’s catalog and online at from June 2014 through October 2017 for about $130 for the lamp with a USB port and for between $80 and $100 for the lamp without a USB. Call 866-577-9276; or go to and click on Safety Recalls at the bottom.

4 JANUARY 2018


Wabash Valley news

Power into the new year and save! If you have resolved to start the

from five or more years ago, recent

Before making

new year with a new water heater or

technology has greatly improved the

a purchasing

heating and cooling system, your local

efficiency of many heat pumps and

decision, you

electric cooperative can help!

water heaters. Doing a bit of research

are encouraged

now can help you learn more about

to contact your

what model works best for your budget

local electric

and situation — and you’d know how

cooperative to

much money it could save you.

discuss your

Your co-op offers POWER MOVES® incentives, which provide rebates for energy efficiency upgrades that will also save you money over the life span of the equipment. Water heaters

If your equipment is at least 10

along with heating, ventilation and

years old, you should probably start

air conditioning (HVAC) systems that

doing some research on potential

meet certain requirements and are

replacements. That way you are aware

installed in new homes or upgrading

of the technological improvements

existing homes are eligible for the

that have occurred over the last


decade, preparing you just in case your

Many consider upgrading their heating and cooling system or water heater only when it breaks down and needs to be replaced. Compared to models

equipment fails. Informative resources include, Consumer Reports, Green Building Advisor and Home Energy magazine.

questions, available incentives and specific requirements for incentive eligibility. For more information,



including rebate applications, visit www.PowerMoves. com/applications.

Hoosier Energy news

Indianapolis Business Journal honors Hoosier Energy’s chief financial officer Donna Walker, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Hoosier Energy, was selected as an honoree for Indianapolis Business Journal’s 2017 CFO of the Year.

2008 to recognize these individuals who are critical to the company’s management team and overall success.

Editors of the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) explain the significance of the award: “If the CEO is a captain of industry, then the chief financial officer is the navigator, with one eye on the charts, another on the stars, and both hands on the steering wheel. In IBJ’s ninth annual CFO of the Year program, we recognize these first officers who plot the safest financial course and allow their firms to make waves.”

“The selection process is always difficult for the awards program,” said Greg Morris, president and publisher of IBJ.

IBJ launched the CFO of Year awards in



Selection criteria includes the CFO’s dedication to his/her organization’s obligations, high ethical standards, contributions to his/her organizations’ overall growth and involvement in the community. Walker was in the private companies (revenue over $100M) category alongside CFOs from the Indiana Supreme Court and

the former CFO, now COO, of St. Vincent Health. “I’m very humbled and honored by the IBJ’s recognition,” Walker said. “I so enjoy working with DONNA WALKER the 18 member distribution cooperatives who own Hoosier Energy. To love what you do and to be recognized for it is truly a blessing.”


bombs away! When we asked for “Photo Bombs” in November, we thought in this day of ubiquitous cameras and perpetual selfies, the practice of sticking one’s head in other people’s photos was more prevalent. Apparently, Hoosiers are not the “Mad Photo Bombers” we thought. So, we supplemented a reader’s with a few of our own.

reader submissions Deb Hunter, talent and career awareness partner at Indiana Electric Cooperatives, and her husband, Dave, are bombed while having their photo snapped during a wedding anniversary dinner.

“Photo Bomb” was the name of the winning 12th grade division work in Electric Consumer’s 2018 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art. The painting of a reindeer, photo bombing the selfie of another, was by Madelyn Foutz, a 2017 graduate of Whitko High School.

As Alex Schrock gets ready to cut down his first Christmas tree, his dad, Ben, pops out unexpectedly. The Schrocks are Kosciusko REMC consumers.

Electric Consumer Senior Editor Richard Biever is an unrepentant serial photo bomber. Here, he bombs the selfie his daughter, Acadia, right, is shooting at a family Christmas party with special guest Grandfather Frost (Rob Silot) and helper, daughter Athena Silot.



Gary Gerlach profile

New state electric co-op leader is first to have a second go-round

History repeats itself, the old adage contends. It’s certainly true in Gary Gerlach’s case. This month, the Pulaski County farmer will take over the presidential reins of Indiana Electric Cooperatives (IEC), the service association for Indiana’s member-owned electric utilities. He was elected to the post at IEC’s annual meeting Dec. 4, 2017. Gerlach, a director of Carroll-White

reflected. “At this stage of my life,

REMC, previously served as the as-

there’s a sense of urgency. I’m in

sociation’s president from 2000-02.

my twilight years. It weighs heavy

This is the first time in IEC’s history

on me how I can leave the world a

that a past president has stepped

better place.”

back into this leadership role.

In today’s electric cooperative

Ascending to the presidency again

world, Gerlach observes, a huge

was not something he’d planned

wave of older employees is retir-

for. Back in 2013, a couple of his fel-

ing and the current workforce

low electric co-op directors asked

is charged with being more

him to consider running for IEC

nimble, multi-tasking to meet

secretary-treasurer that year. Being

the consumers’ many needs.

elected to the position was “an hon-

Electric co-ops are focusing

or beyond all belief,” Gerlach said.

on attracting new talent to fill

After a two-year stint, his counter-

increasing job vacancies. As

parts chose him to be the associa-

always, keeping connected to

tion’s vice president in 2015.

consumers, Gerlach said, is a top

When Gerlach began his first term


as president in 2000, he was 48

Priorities in Gerlach’s life are his

years old, relatively young for the

“support system.” That includes his

position. Yet, he’d already accumu-

family — wife Diane, son Cree, son

lated 20 years of experience in the

Kyle and daughter-in-law Amanda,

electric cooperative business. The

and granddaughter Brynley — and

Star City native was elected to his

his cooperative “family,” who’ve

local co-op board in 1979. “I was

inspired him with qualities like

blessed to get on (the board) at a

integrity and honesty and shown

young age,” he said.

him that no matter one’s leader-

Eighteen years ago, as he was assuming his new duties, he com-

ship style, a positive impact can be made.

mented, “Age is irrelevant. It’s your

For Gerlach, making an impact

mindset, your thought process.”

is all the more important at this

Now, at age 66, Gerlach is approaching his responsibilities from a different perspective. “The first time (I was president), the future was way out ahead of me,” he



stage of his electric cooperative career. “At times I feel like I’m overstaying my welcome,” he admits. “But I have a burning desire to make co-ops better.”



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January 2018 Electric Consumer  
January 2018 Electric Consumer