Southeastern IN REMC - July 2023 Indiana Connection

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JULY 2023 PAGES 21-25 tomorrows Electric co-op lineworkers bring power and light to a Guatemalan village BUILDINGbetter Southeastern IN REMC’s We’re here to serve you.

from the editor

Meet the team: Ashley Curry

Ashley Curry is the production and design coordinator for Indiana Connection and is the newest member of the team. She’s a creative whiz who designs beautiful magazine layouts — and is also a ray of sunshine to be around. Here’s more about her:

My role at Indiana Connection is to design the cover and many of the pages inside. Some of my favorite parts of the magazine to design are Indiana Eats and the cover story. I learn so much when I am working on the magazine each month! I love that it gives me the opportunity to learn about all the interesting people, places and events around the state.

Three facts about Ashley:

• My fiancé, Matt, and I have a 1-year-old Boston Terrier named Zoe. She is rambunctious and can be quite a handful at times, but we love the energy and joy she has brought into our lives. We consider her a full-fledged member of our family and treat her like our four-legged child.

• My hometown is Columbus, Indiana. It’s a small city with a big appreciation for arts and architecture. I feel lucky to have grown up in such a beautiful place, and it inspired me to have a creative spirit!

• I love to read and am always looking for book suggestions. I recently decided that I am going to take the time to go back and revisit some of my favorite series from my childhood, including the Harry Potter books and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

We are so fortunate to have Ashley as part of the team; she’s ultra-talented and exceptionally kind.

Love to read like Ashley? Win a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card to pick up a new book or two!

On the menu: October: Pork recipes, deadline August 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.

Giveaway: Win a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card! Visit talk-to-us/contests or send your contact information to the address below. The deadline to enter is July 31.

Three ways to contact us: To send us recipes, photos, event listings, letters and entries for gift drawings, please use the forms on our website; email; or send to Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606.


ISSN 0745-4651 • USPS 262-340

Published monthly by Indiana Electric Cooperatives

Indiana Connection is for and about members of Indiana’s locally-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. It helps consumers use electricity safely and efficiently; understand energy issues; connect with their co-op; and celebrate life in Indiana. Over 311,000 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.


8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220


Randy Kleaving President

Steve McMichael Vice President

Dr. Richard Leeper Secretary/Treasurer

John Cassady CEO


Stephanie Groves Editor

Richard George Biever Senior Editor

Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist

Lauren Carman Communication Manager

Kiley Lipps Graphic Designer

Ashley Curry Production and Design Coordinator

Amber Knight Creative Manager

Mandy Barth Vice President of Communication


American MainStreet Publications

Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200;

Crosshair Media 502-216-8537;

Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication.


Indiana Connection does not use unsolicited freelance manuscripts or photographs and assumes no responsibility for the safekeeping or return of unsolicited material.


$12 for individuals not subscribing through participating REMCs/RECs.


If you receive Indiana Connection through your electric co-op membership, report address changes to your local co-op.


Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Indiana, and at additional mailing offices.


Send change of address to: Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. Include key number.

No portion of Indiana Connection may be reproduced without permission of the editor.

JULY 2023 3
Ashley Curry

On the cover

Clint Heeke, left, and Austin Gearlds work on an electric pole high in the mountains of northwestern Guatemala. The two Indiana electric cooperative linemen were joined by 16 other linemen and support crew on the fifth Project Indiana trip to the Central America country this spring.

cover story food 18 contents 4 JULY 2023 JULY 03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative 10 ENERGY An energy audit can save you electricity and money 12 COUNTY Jefferson County 14 SAFETY Stay in the car! 16 INDIANA EATS West on Warren Gallery + Grill 18 FOOD Add exotic flair with tropical fruit 21 COVER STORY Building better tomorrows: Electric co-op lineworkers bring power and light to a Guatemalan village
Battle of Corydon Memorial Park
29 county travel FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA Indiana Connection 12
PAGES 21-25 tomorrows JULY 2023 Electric co-op lineworkers bring power and light to a Guatemalan village BUILDINGbetter 21




Fax: 812-689-6987



7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday

STREET ADDRESS 712 South Buckeye Street Osgood, IN 47037


P.O. Box 196 Osgood, IN 47037


To report a power outage: 800-737-4111 or SmartHub


Mike Thieman (District 6), President

Melissa Menchhofer (District 5), Vice President

Jesse McClure (District 4), Secretary

Vince Moster (District 1), Treasurer

Brad Bentle (District 2)

David Smith (District 3)

Darrell Smith (District 7)

Bonnie Boggs (District 8)

Casey Menchhofer (District 9)

Working to SERVE YOU

“We’re here to serve you.” We’ve all heard this phrase countless times. These words may sound generic, but to us – your local electric cooperative – they mean everything.

Southeastern Indiana REMC was created to serve our community. Back in the day, neighbors banded together and formed our co-op for the common good. In our case, it was the only way the community could bring electricity to the area where there was none. In doing so, Southeastern Indiana REMC helped the community thrive. That mission-focused heritage is the golden thread that is woven throughout our history.

Today, we continue to power the community. While our focus remains steady on providing reliable energy to our members, today’s energy landscape and consumer expectations are far different than they were decades ago. That’s why we’re adapting, to keep pace with changing technology, evolving needs and new expectations.

If you’re considering a rooftop solar installation, our engineering techs are happy to give an unbiased view of the pros and cons. Investing in a solar system is a major decision, and it’s important to fully understand the costs, responsibilities and potential energy savings. We understand that homeowners must undertake their due diligence, and we’re here to help you through that process by looking at the total energy picture to help you determine the best options for your home.

In a similar vein, we recognize that many members are considering electric vehicle options. Southeastern Indiana REMC provides information about EV charging and electrical requirements so you can make informed decisions about EVs. No matter what you drive, we want to help you achieve energy savings.

A fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) product with speeds from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps.

Residential pricing starts at $64.95 plus tax.


To safely provide reliable electricity and diversified services to the members and communities we serve.

As your trusted energy advisor, we want to help you save energy (and money) and provide advice and information on a broad range of energy topics. Our website contains energy-saving tips and ideas to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Understanding how your home uses energy can help determine the best ways to modify energy use and thereby keep more money in your wallet.

So, the next time you hear us use the phrase “we’re here to serve you,” we hope you know that we mean it. Service is deeply ingrained into who we are. We continue to evolve with the times, and in return, we’ve found additional ways to serve you and provide more options for you to power your life.

We’re here whenever you need us. Connect with us online, in person, through the Smarthub app or through our social media channels. However you choose to connect, please let us know how we can serve you better.

co-op news
JULY 2023 5

Rebates available


To qualify, you must occupy the home where the equipment is installed year-round (12 months), and unit must heat and cool the whole home, unless otherwise stated.

For more information on our rebates, visit


Air source and geothermal heat pumps and central air conditioning systems. Performed by licensed contractor.


• HVAC unit must be located in a home served by Southeastern Indiana REMC.

• Unit must be three or more years old and not have an existing preventative maintenance contract or agreement.

• The tune-up must be performed by a licensed HVAC contractor with itemized receipt.

• Submission for rebates must be within 90 days of tune-up service in the same calendar year.

Limit one rebate per member-consumer account per year. Rebates for qualifying service are the lesser of $50 or 50% of purchase price.

The cooperative has the right to deny rebate if terms and conditions are not met.


Air-source heat pumps can mean substantial savings for energy-wise consumers. If you’re considering replacing your existing fossil fuel system, replacing a non-air source heat pump or other resistant electric system or planning to build a new home, investigate this program.


• Must be installed in Southeastern Indiana REMC service area.

• Must show proof of sale, serial and model numbers, size of unit and compressor speed.

• SEER rating must be validated on the AHRI certificate.

REMC personnel retain the option to verify installation.

Minimum efficiency requirements:

Stick-built or modular housing

SEER ≥ 16, EER ≥ 10

Mobile/manufactured housing

SEER ≥ 14, EER ≥ 10

co-op news 6 JULY 2023


Single-room or whole-home installations.

• Single-room installation

• Replacing existing A/C, heat pump or new construction

• Replacing electric resistance heat


New construction or replacing gas or electric water heater.


• Minimum 40-gallon size

Secondary Requirements:

SEER ≥ 19, EER ≥ 12.5

Variable/multi-speed compressor required unless noted otherwise

• New water heater must be installed in Southeastern Indiana REMC service area.

• Must show proof of sale, model and serial numbers, size, make and energy rating.

REMC personnel retain the option to verify installation.

*No incentives for tankless water heaters.


The energy-saving potential provided by geothermal heat pump technology far exceeds that of all other consumer-based heating and cooling methods. Install a new geothermal heat pump system in a new home, replace your existing fossil fuel system or replace an existing air-to-air heat pump and receive $1,500.


• Must be installed in Southeastern Indiana REMC service area.

• Must show proof of sale, make, serial and model numbers, and size of unit.

• SEER rating must be verified by AHRI certificate.

REMC personnel retain the option to verify installation.


Rebate for qualifying equipment is 50% of the purchase price up to $50.

Qualifying equipment (corded or battery powered):

• Lawnmover

• String trimmer

• Leaf blower

• Chainsaw

• Snowblower

• Rototiller

• Pressure washer

co-op news JULY 2023 7

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Embrace a less ‘taxing’ audit


Many homeowners can benefit from an audit designed to keep money in their wallets.

An energy audit is an in-depth review and analysis of energy use in a home. The energy auditor will use an infrared camera to find “hot and cold spots,” and possibly include a blower door test to measure the amount of air infiltration happening through hidden holes, gaps and cracks in your home. The energy audit will also include recommendations on steps you can take to fix issues the auditor finds and to lower your home’s energy use — and with it, save on energy costs.

An energy audit will help you in several ways:

INFORM YOU ABOUT YOUR HOME’S ELECTRICITY USE. The audit will include an analysis of your energy consumption, including the electricity used by the appliances and heating and cooling systems in your home. People frequently believe that a particular appliance drives up energy costs.

However, the audit will provide specifics about the major energy drivers in your home. Homeowners are sometimes surprised by what an energy audit finds!


From potential leaky (or completely disconnected) ductwork to outdated and inefficient water heaters, the auditor will test and review energy use to determine ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency. After all, wasted energy also means wasted money! Places such as attics, crawl spaces and basements are often where the waste is hiding. That is frequently where leaks, gaps and cracks can be found. Those leaks and gaps let conditioned air escape from your home — leading to drafty areas in your house and causing your heating and cooling systems to work harder than needed, costing you money. Fixing these could drastically improve your comfort!

INDICATE IF AND HOW UPGRADES WILL HELP YOU SAVE ELECTRICITY AND MONEY. The audit results will include suggested steps you can take to improve your energy use. These tailored findings based on your home and personal energy use will include some recommended upgrades and the anticipated energy savings that they would provide.

Contact your local electric cooperative for more information about energy audits. Your cooperative may be able to provide a list of contractors conducting energy audits — or even provide the audit for you. Your local co-op may also offer incentives for energy-efficient improvements that will save you money over the lifecycle of the upgrade.

energy 10 JULY 2023
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Jefferson County COUNTY FACTS

Jefferson County was one of Indiana’s first counties. It was formed in 1811 before Indiana was even a state. Its seat, Madison, was one of Indiana’s largest cities until after the Civil War. Like most of the counties along the state’s southern border, Jefferson was shaped geographically, culturally and economically by the Ohio River.


Madison’s historic downtown, with its shops and cafés, still retains its quaint charm and beauty and is one of the country’s largest National Historic Landmarks.

The crown jewel of Madison’s historic sites is the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, which is open all year with guided tours. The town also celebrates its riverfront, annually hosting the fastest boats in the world and a music festival just before the Fourth of July.


As an Indiana Ohio River county, Jefferson was a gateway for African Americans escaping bondage from the slave-holding states of Kentucky and farther south.

Antislavery whites in Jefferson County were involved in aiding fugitive slaves as part of the Underground Railroad. The Neil’s Creek Anti-Slavery Society had more than 80 families involved in support of the Underground Railroad near Eleutherian College. Also a National Historic Landmark, the college building now serves as a local history museum. It was the second college in the United States west of the Allegheny Mountains, and the first in Indiana, to provide interracial education.


Irene Dunne was an American actress, singer and philanthropist who appeared in films during the Golden Age of Hollywood. After her father died when she was 12, Dunne’s family relocated from Kentucky to Madison to live with her grandparents. Dunne graduated from Madison High School in 1916 and went on to star in 42 movies — and was nominated five times for the Academy Award for Best Actress.


NAMED FOR: Thomas Jefferson




county feature 12 JULY 2023
Madison Eleutherian College Lanier Mansion



I was so glad to read the article on the NCAA Hall of Champions! As a grandmother with five grandkids involved in sports, it would be quite an outing to take them there. Your magazine is so informative with practical places to visit in our state. I look forward to reading it every month. Keep up your good work!



Great article, and I must say, with stops to rest and recharge, any tourist location that doesn’t have these charging stations available are missing an opportunity! 3-3.5 hours can mean a lot of tourist money into their economy. I see time to eat, and time to take in some of the sights and activities! Well, folks?



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JULY 2023 13 insights

CAR! STAY in the

Neighbors Missy and Beth were heading home after playing pickleball at a school gymnasium. They’d traveled this stretch of their county road together a hundred times over the years. But this drizzly morning was going to be like none before.

With their homes almost in sight, they topped a hill. Suddenly, three deer leapt into the roadway from an adjacent cornfield. Startled, Beth slammed on the brakes and veered to avoid them, but her tires slid on the wet pavement. The SUV went into the ditch, stopping with a thud. Its rear end came to rest against one of the utility poles lining the road.

Both women were unhurt. They hugged in relief. Then, they did something that could have turned this property damage accident into a multiple fatality: They stepped out of the car.

“Stay in the car, stay in the car, stay in the car!” is the mantra Indiana Electric Cooperatives wants drivers to remember.

“When a power line is involved, even a minor accident can become tragic,” said Jon Elkins, vice president of safety, training and compliance at

Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “Staying put for all involved, and warning passersby to stay away, too, cannot be stressed enough. Do not get out until after first responders and/or utility workers arrive on the scene and say it’s OK to do so.”

Staying put may go against your first inclination. You want to get out and check the car. But stepping out of the car immediately after striking a utility pole may KILL YOU. Here’s why:

• Power lines can fall. When a pole is struck, power lines and hardware can break loose from their insulated perches atop the pole.

• Fallen power lines can still be energized. Even touching the ground, power lines can be carrying 7,200 volts or more. They may not spark or buzz.

• Fallen power lines are hard to see. When knocked down and twisted with tall grass or trees as a background, especially at night, power lines are almost impossible to see.

• Electricity seeks all paths to the ground. If you get out

of the car and touch a live power line and the ground, you become that path. That amount of electricity passing through you can kill you instantly.

• If you are alive, you are safe. Immediately after a collision with a utility pole, you may not know if power lines have broken loose and are on your car. But if you are alive, you are not that deadly “path to ground.” If you were in that path, you’d already be dead. Stay put and stay safe.

• Call 911. After hitting a pole, call 911. Tell them you hit a pole and wait patiently. Tell passersby to stay back. First responders will see if power lines are down. If lines are down, they will call and wait on the utility’s responders to arrive before they can even approach the car.

Beth and Missy were fortunate. The impact didn’t break the pole or damage its hardware; the wires held tight. Had they fallen, the two women probably never would have known what hit them — and killed them.

safety 14 JULY 2023

How a Safe Step Walk-In Tub can change your life

Remember when…

Think about the things you loved to do that are dif cult today — going for a walk or just sitting comfortably while reading a book. And remember the last time you got a great night’s sleep?

As we get older, health issues or even everyday aches, pains and stress can prevent us from enjoying life. So what’s keeping you from having a better quality of life?

Check all the conditions that apply to you.

Arthritis Dry Skin

Insomnia Anxiety

Diabetes Mobility Issues

Lower Back Poor Pain Circulation

Then read on to learn how a Safe Step Walk-In Tub can help. Feel better, sleep better, live better

A Safe Step Walk-In Tub lets you indulge in a warm, relaxing bath that can help relieve life’s aches, pains and worries.

A Safe Step Tub can help increase mobility, boost energy and improve sleep.

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• Heated Seat – Providing soothing warmth from start to nish.

• MicroSoothe ® Air Therapy System – helps oxygenate and soften skin while offering therapeutic bene ts.

• Pain-relieving therapy – Hydro massage jets target sore muscles and joints.

• Safety features – Low step-in, grab bars and more can help you bathe safely and maintain your independence.

• Free Shower Package – shower while seated or standing.

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Season’s eatings

West on Warren Gallery + Grill is co-owned by longtime “Middlebury-ian” Carrie Boyer and her business partner (and stepdaughter)

Brittney Lehman, and the duo’s collective goal is to bring delicious food, inspiring art and a strengthened sense of community to the town of Middlebury.

The restaurant is located in a building that was erected in 1926 and originally housed a Standard Oil Company filling station, although the renovated interior now features a clean, urban design that showcases original artwork throughout.

Currently open for “summer hours,” West on Warren offers lunch Tuesday-Friday and dinner Tuesday-Saturday. The elevated menu rotates seasonally, and you’ll find familiar fare such as a classic chicken sandwich or a Caesar salad, but if you are a more adventurous eater, a variety of inventive dishes awaits.

For example, there is a wasabi cauliflower appetizer on the most recent menu, featuring the vegetable fried in a wasabi-seasoned coating and served with teriyaki dipping sauce. As far as dinner entrees go, one current standout is the “salmon en croute,” which includes a plump piece of

fish wrapped in puff pastry and accented with lemongrass mint chimichurri. There is also an expertly char-grilled ribeye and even a soft-shell crab poke bowl.

The cocktail offerings are created with the same level of care as the food, and the house drink menu also changes with the seasons.

If the weather cooperates, you can dine outdoors on the spacious two-story patio, and there is also occasionally live music offered on the patio during warmer months (check the event calendar on the restaurant’s website for up-todate information).

Whatever you opt for at West on Warren, you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll want to plan another visit to see what dishes arrive on next season’s menu.

“We aim to have something for every taste,” Boyer said. “Gluten-free? No problem! Vegetarian? We’ve got you covered! If you haven’t stopped in, please come and see us at West on Warren and find out why we’re the spot where good friends gather.”

Indiana eats 16 JULY 2023 WEST ON WARREN GALLERY + GRILL 200 W. Warren Street Middlebury 574-358-0045
Discover a rotating selection of entrees, desserts and cocktails at this seasonally-focused restaurant.
Salmon en croute





Amelia Patrie, West Lafayette, Indiana

4 cups plain, low-fat Greek yogurt

½ cup granulated sugar

2 mangos, peeled, pitted and chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt and sugar; reserve. Using a blender or food processor, puree the mangos with the lime juice and 1 cup of the yogurt/sugar mixture. Stir the pureed mango into the remaining yogurt/sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or overnight. Turn on your countertop ice cream maker and pour the mixture into the machine’s bowl and let mix until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. The frozen yogurt will have a soft, creamy texture. For firmer consistency, transfer the frozen yogurt to an airtight container and place in the freezer for about 2 hours (remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving).


Doris Ann Kahlert, Berne, Indiana

½ large pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed

1 papaya, peeled, seeded and cubed

2 kiwis, peeled and sliced

3 bananas, peeled

½ cup orange juice

½ cup sweetened flaked or shredded coconut

In a large bowl, mix pineapple, papaya, kiwi and 2 sliced bananas. In a blender, combine

1 banana and the orange juice; blend until smooth. Pour banana mixture over fruit. Cover and chill for several hours. Spoon into individual serving bowls and garnish with coconut. Makes approximately 8 servings.


1½ cups graham cracker crumbs

½ cup melted butter

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened

condensed milk

1 teaspoon rum extract

2 cups sweetened flaked or shredded coconut

1½ cups white chocolate chips

¾ cup dried pineapple, chopped

1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with baking

Marilles Mauer, Greensburg, Indiana

spray and line with parchment paper, then set aside. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Stir with a fork until combined. Press graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan with a spatula. In a small bowl, combine condensed milk and rum extract and gently whisk until combined. Set aside. Sprinkle coconut over the top of the graham cracker crust, followed by the white chocolate chips, pineapple and macadamia nuts. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 23-27 minutes; the bars are done when the edges are lightly brown.

JULY 2023 19

For the Man Who Gives Everything and Expects Nothing

Ifyou’re anything like my dad, you give your family everything. Your name, your time, your values — the people in your life know they can depend on you for practically anything. In exchange for imparting all of this energy and experience, you expect nothing in return.

e point? You deserve to treat yourself once in a while. You do so much for the people you care about. Now it’s time to focus on you for just a few minutes. at’s where the Men’s Due Volta Watch comes in. is astonishing innovation provides a digital readout that’s powered by a precise quartz engine, combining both analog and digital timekeeping. Out tted with a stopwatch, alarm, a.m./p.m. settings, and day, date and month complications, this timepiece stands out from the crowd. With its large face and handsome, masculine design, this watch is perfect for the back nine and the happy hour afterwards. Water-resistant up to 3 ATM, this timepiece won’t wimp out if you have a run-in with a water hazard.

Other hybrid watches can sell for thousands of dollars, but because we’ve built more than 1 million watches, we know how to create real value. at’s why we can o er this timepiece for just $59! If you’re not completely satis ed with this watch, return it for a full refund.

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Electric co-op lineworkers bring power and light to a Guatemalan village

The Guatemalan villager stood just inside the door frame of the cabin she shares with her husband in Peña Roja, high in the mountains near Mexico. Asked what she thought about the momentous event about to occur — electricity in her home for the first time — she

said rather matter-of-factly through an interpreter, “What am I going to think? I’m happy because I can see.”

She flipped the switch installed beside the door and a bare LED bulb lit up above and behind her right shoulder. This brought a broad smile to her weathered face.

JULY 2023 21
Children from the village of Peña Roja, high in the mountains of Guatemala, enjoy sweets provided by Project Indiana linemen while they work on bringing power to their homes.

Down the mountain, her husband boiled water so the 14 Indiana electric cooperative lineworkers who brought electric power to the tiny remote village could have hot showers. When told he now had electricity in his home, tears welled in his eyes.

“To know energy is already in my house … thank you,” he said in the Spanish dialect of northwestern Guatemala. Through an interpreter, he said, “Thank you to Indiana for sending you to this place. Thank you for remembering these poor and humble people. Here we are, very happy to have you here in front of us and that you continued to have us in your heart. Hopefully, we continue having this kind of happiness.”

Bringing hope is the mission of Project Indiana — subtitled Empowering Global Communities for a Better Tomorrow.

For just over two weeks in late April and May, the lineworkers from Indiana electric cooperatives continued

the international initiative to bring electricity to developing remote areas of Guatemala. This excursion, the fifth since Indiana began sending crews to the country in 2012, took them to elevations of 11,000-12,000 feet in the western mountains near the Mexican border.

When completed, 26 homes had electricity for the first time. The project team noticed the villagers moving a chest freezer into one of the homes at which power had been turned on. The villagers had been anticipating this time for so very long, and they were anxious to begin using modern appliances. This freezer will enable them to preserve things like meat so they can have regular protein in their diets.

“It’s a great opportunity to help improve their quality of living and give the children a better future,” said Kevin Bay, a lineman from JCREMC, headquartered in Franklin, making his second Project Indiana trip.

22 JULY 2023
Jamie Bell, a construction engineer at NineStar Connect, wires an outlet in a home soon to have electricity. Indiana line crews not only built power lines into the village, but they also helped the local Guatemalan electricians wire the homes. Photo by Ron Holcomb.

Once work was completed in Peña Roja, the Project Indiana team assisted the local cooperative with some necessary maintenance to several poles on the Mexican border, and they celebrated alongside their new friends from Peña Roja.

A few from the team had quietly made a “short” trip to the community of Cuilco to do a little shopping for gifts. After pooling their money, the team returned with 65 pairs of shoes, 65 coloring books, four soccer balls, piñatas, fireworks and some backpacks. Each Peña Roja child received a new pair of shoes and a coloring book. The lineworkers offered a version of a cornhole contest to give away the backpacks. They played soccer with the children and celebrated the festive day with fireworks and piñatas.

The next trip is already being planned for 2025.

Unless noted, all photos by Chris Todd.

LEFT: Working on a power pole at 11,000 feet above sea level provides a different perspective than along the county roads of central Indiana or even in the hills and hollows of southern Indiana. Clint Heeke, left, from Southern Indiana Power, and Matt Bassett, of Tipmont, take in a view as they prepare a pole for wiring.

BELOW: As with the previous four Project Indiana trips to Guatemala, local villagers did much of the heavy lifting, carrying and setting poles by hand and toting transformers and wire to where they were needed.

After flipping a new light switch by her cabin door, a Peña Roja resident looks back over her shoulder at the LED bulb bringing electric light for the first time to the home she shares with her husband. He teared up when he learned electricity was now in his home as he boiled water over a wood fire farther down the mountain so Indiana electric cooperative linemen could have hot showers.

JULY 2023 23
24 JULY 2023
A child from Peña Roja shows off a new pair of shoes given to her by the Indiana crew. The lineworkers dug into their own pockets after the build to purchase new shoes and coloring books and crayons. Collin Crabtree, left, and Frank Leach begin to attach line, hoisted by workers below, to the top of a pole. Project Indiana's 2023 crew pauses for a photo at a worksite along the Guatemalan-Mexican border as they wrapped up their work. Photo by Ron Holcomb.

ABOVE: Each trip to Guatemala ends with a celebration as the lights come on, and the local villagers thank the workers with gifts. In Peña Roja, each worker received a hat placed on their head by schoolchildren. Joe Banfield receives his, as the workers line up. Next in line are Nathan Clayton and Michael Bowman.

LEFT: Pole tags, similar to the ones electric co-ops use on every pole, are a little calling card from Indiana’s electric cooperatives left behind.


• Matt Bassett, Tipmont

• Kevin Bay, JCREMC

• Michael Bowman, Boone REMC

• Cody Campbell, South Central Indiana REMC

• Nathan Clayton, Clark County REMC

• Collin Crabtree, Decatur County REMC

• Ethan DeWitt, Northeastern REMC

• Austin Gearlds, NineStar Connect

• Tom Gettinger, Henry County REMC

• Clint Heeke, Southern Indiana Power

• Frank Leach, Carroll White REMC

• Terry Minic, Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative, Inc.

• Jason Morrison, Jackson County REMC

• Michael Newlin, Orange County REMC


• Joe Banfield, Indiana Electric Cooperatives

• Jamie Bell, NineStar Connect

• Ron Holcomb, Tipmont

• Chris Todd, Northeastern REMC

You can help support Project Indiana by visiting .

Matt Bassett is warmly welcomed home by his two sons at the Indianapolis International Airport when the crew returned May 13. After three weeks away, the linemen were greeted with cheers, kisses, hugs and banners by family and coworkers.

All donations are tax deductible. One hundred percent of your donation will be used to help those who currently do not have access to the opportunities we take for granted.

JULY 2023 25

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Hoosier Energy’s first-ever Community Impact Week saw 25% of the cooperative’s workforce participate over the course of the event in Bloomington this spring.

The first in a variety of projects involved volunteering with Backpack Buddies, a program through Community Kitchen that puts together bags of food for low-income children to take home on the weekends. Each bag contained a meal kit of chicken, ramen and vegetables, as well as other items such as applesauce, oatmeal and snack bars. In all, over 400 bags were packed and loaded onto a trailer for transport.

On the second day, employees were encouraged to sign up for the Red Cross blood drive held at Hoosier Energy headquarters the following week.

Community Impact Week continued Wednesday with a pair of events that occurred simultaneously. At Hoosier Hills Food Bank, a group of

approximately 15 employees formed an assembly line to fill boxes for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which aims to help low-income individuals aged 60 and over. Recipients receive two boxes of food and two blocks of cheese every other month. The CSFP at Hoosier Hills provides more than 1,000 boxes per month, and there is currently a waitlist.

Hoosier Energy representatives put together over 200 boxes that included cereal, canned chicken, pasta and more, averaging close to two boxes a minute before supplies ran out. Volunteers spent their remaining time assembling mailers for the U.S. Postal Service’s Stamp Out Hunger Program, which benefits Hoosier Hills Food Bank locally.

Wednesday was also the first of two days that employees worked with Monroe County Habitat for Humanity. The opening day crew completed the framing of interior walls, secured the

house wrap and made sure all nails were in place. The following day, a different crew set trusses in place and secured the decking to the roof.

“We are enormously grateful for volunteers like Hoosier Energy who believe in the power of affordable homeownership to transform lives and improve our community,” Habitat for Humanity posted on Facebook, while also sharing Hoosier’s drone video of the work.

The eventful week was capped off by “Fill the Truck Friday.” Hoosier Energy employees donated over 1,200 pounds of goods such as nonperishable foods, hygiene items and cleaning products that were provided to the Salvation Army and Monroe County United Ministries.

28 JULY 2023 Hoosier Energy news
Employees of Hoosier Energy fill boxes at Hoosier Hills Food Bank in Bloomington as part of Community Impact Week. Hoosier Energy employees participate in a Habitat for Humanity project.

Ask Rosie

Do you know what this plant is?

Q: A: It would be helpful to know the context of where this plant is located: Is it something you planted in a garden? Or did you find it growing “wild”? Do you notice a strong odor when handling the foliage, said to be camphor-like?

My best guess is common tansy, Tanacetum vulgare var. crispum, an herbaceous perennial that spreads vegetatively by rhizomes. Additional information on common tansy, courtesy of Illinois Wildflower, can be found here: cm_tansy_cr.htm

It looks as if we have some type of borer in one of, what I thought was, our healthiest tulip trees. It appears to be dying, and I was hoping that there might be a way to save it. We've started watering it extensively, put down a bit of fertilizer (14-14-14, I think), and added some mulch to keep moisture around the roots. Any advice is welcome!

Q: A: Wow, that’s quite a bit of damage. I can’t tell anything specific from the images you sent, but I wonder if there is more than one problem at work here? Is the tree starting to show any signs of regrowth? I suggest you submit a sample to the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab at to get a proper diagnosis. You can start with digital images, and they will advise if they want you to follow up with physical samples.

JULY 2023 29 backyard
Longtime Indiana Connection contributer B. Rosie Lerner, a Tipmont consumer, is a retired Purdue Extension consumer horticulturist. Questions about gardening issues may be sent to “Ask Rosie,” Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606, or use the form at Steve Clark's tulip tree. Shelley Oberwetter's mystery plant.


Commemorating Indiana’s only battle of the Civil War

The day before our nation’s “four score and seventh birthday,” the momentous question whether the United States would survive intact to celebrate any future birthdays hinged on the outcome of the Civil War battle fought at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

This month marks the 160th anniversary of that battle.

Fought July 1-3, 1863, Gettysburg is perhaps the most studied and arguably the most crucial battle of the Civil War. It was the first of only two battles fought north of the Mason-Dixon Line. The other, a minor battle, occurred just a week later. It was the Battle of Corydon, the only battle of the war fought in Indiana.

The Battle of Corydon Memorial Park commemorates the July 9, 1863, event. The park, just south of historic downtown Corydon, preserves a portion of the battlefield. It is part of the Harrison County Parks Department, is home to the Corydon Civil War Museum and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

On Saturday, July 8, the park will host a living history day to commemorate the battle. Reenactors in Civil War period costumes will be on hand. There will be demonstrations of Civil War weaponry, along with period music and food to fill the air with the sights, sounds and smells of history. The event, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is free.

This year’s plans for a full-scale reenactment of the battle were put on hold because of timing and ongoing construction at the reenactment site, organizers said at the end of May. The reenactment, however, is expected to return for a large two-day event and encampment in 2024.


On July 7, 1863, Confederate Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan and his cavalry unit, with some artillery, commandeered two steamboats at Brandenburg, Kentucky. Against orders, he crossed the Ohio River the next day. He planned to gather supplies and horses for Confederate troops, loot, plunder, destroy infrastructure, terrorize

the Hoosier locals and act as a diversionary nuisance to the North. As the Confederate raiding force of some 2,200 men made their way north through Harrison County, a small defensive unit of mostly local residents and members of the Indiana Legion of about 400 men mustered just south of the former state capital.

In the battle that ensued, the heavily outnumbered legion was routed, and Corydon surrendered. For the Confederates, 11 troops were killed and 40 were wounded. For the Hoosier defenders, four were killed, 10 were injured and 355 were captured. Without further hesitation, Morgan continued his looting raid north to Salem and then northeast toward Vernon and Dupont.

The Confederates then crossed into Ohio and continued plundering. This raid, though deemed irrelevant by historians, was the longest cavalry raid of the Civil War, covering more than 1,000 miles beginning near Sparta, Tennessee, and ending with Morgan’s surrender near New Lisbon, Ohio, July 26, 1863.

travel 30 JULY 2023
The Memorial Park is located at 100 Old Hwy. 135 SW, Corydon, Indiana. The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to dusk. For more information, visit: harrisoncountyparks. com/parks/battle-ofcorydon-memorial-park

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