Clark County REMC — March 2022 Indiana Connection

Page 1

Plan to attend our Annual Meeting on April 2!

Clark County REMC’s


pages 5-8

MARCH 2022

from the editor

DOWN AND DIRTY I remember eating dirt as a preschooler totally oblivious to the fact that it was, well, dirty. And, in the not-so-distant past, though I certainly washed my hands throughout the day, I rarely used disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. I would, I suppose, when I wasn’t near a faucet before digging into my French fries at lunchtime. But I certainly never did before grabbing and pushing a shopping cart at the grocery store. Nowadays, most of us are on high alert for germs, and we think twice before touching anything on which nasty bacteria may be lurking. But how do you know exactly where those germs are lurking? As it turns out, it may be places that you may not even consider. •

Our workplaces are germ-filled minefields. We might want to carry a canister of wipes wherever we go, wiping down door handles, office equipment, telephones, and breakroom appliances whenever we touch them. Desktops are apparently the filthiest places in our offices, harboring 21,000 bacteria, viruses, and fungi per square inch. That’s 400 times more than a toilet seat. A telephone is even worse with 25,000 germs per square inch. At home, kitchens and bathrooms are the main areas germs thrive. A favorite haunt for E. coli, mold, salmonella and other bacteria: dish sponges — since they stay wet and moist. You can reduce the germs by microwaving the sponge for 30 seconds every five to six days. Although I’m not a fan of scanning QR codes at restaurants to view their menus on my phone, I read once that restaurant menus (and salt and pepper shakers) are germ magnets (since they’re handled by so many but so rarely cleaned). I’m fine with forgoing menus. But if a restaurant does provide you with a menu, be sure you wash or sanitize your hands after you order and never lay your silverware on top of your menu. When I’m at a restaurant, I usually plop my purse on the floor since I’ve heard purse snatchers can easily grab it if you hang it on your chair. But floors are dirty places so I need to remember to wipe the bag with mild soap or disinfectant every few days and let it air dry. I mentioned shopping carts earlier. If there are cart wipes near where you grab the cart at the store, use them. Those cart handles could contain 11 million microorganisms! A swipe of a disinfectant wipe will kill nearly 100 percent of those germs.

Bottom line: Though we’ll never be able to avoid all germs we can be more vigilant about keeping them at bay. Disinfect, disinfect, disinfect!


On the menu: June issue: Summer salads, deadline April

1. July issue: Fresh from the garden recipes, deadline April 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.

Giveaway: Enter to win a $30 gift card from The Mean Bean Bistro and Brew in Bremen. Enter the contest at

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.

VOLUME 71 • NUMBER 9 ISSN 0745-4651 • USPS 262-340 Published monthly by Indiana Electric Cooperatives Indiana Connection is for and about members of Indiana’s locally-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. It helps consumers use electricity safely and efficiently; understand energy issues; connect with their co-op; and celebrate life in Indiana. Over 304,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Randy Kleaving President Steve McMichael Vice President Dr. Richard Leeper Secretary/Treasurer John Gasstrom CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Ellie Schuler Senior Digital and Layout Design Specialist Taylor Maranion Senior Brand and Visual Design Specialist Lauren Carman Communication Coordinator Chuck Snider Director of Communication and Creative Services Mandy Barth Vice President of Communication ADVERTISING: 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. UNSOLICITED MATERIAL: Indiana Connection does not use unsolicited freelance manuscripts or photographs and assumes no responsibility for the safe‑keeping or return of unsolicited material. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $12 for individuals not subscribing through participating REMCs/RECs. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you receive Indiana Connection through your electric co-op membership, report address changes to your local co-op. POSTAGE: Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. Include key number.

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

MARCH 2022




10 14A-D energy

co-op news




14 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Jay County.

COUNTY REMC See you at the drive-through Annual Meeting. 10 ENERGY Continuing to explore EVs.

14A-D CO-OP NEWS 16 FOOD Potato chips: Out of the bag and into readers’ recipes.


Indiana Connection 4

MARCH 2022



cover story 18 INDIANA EATS Mean morning (and midday) meals at Mean Bean Bistro and Brew. 20 COVER STORY Keepers of the bees.


25 DIY Join the outdoor improvement boom. 26 SAFETY Be prepared for spring’s fickle foul weather.


On the cover Join us for our 2022 Drive-through Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 2. We look forward to seeing you!

A message from CONTACT US Office: 812-246-3316 / 800-462-6988 Outages: 866-480-REMC Fax: 812-246-3947 To pay your bill by phone or inquire about your account: 877-484-4042

CEO Jason Clemmons


As the new CEO, I couldn’t be more

introductions in the months to

humbled to have this opportunity

come. But this month, let’s turn


to serve you, the members of Clark

our attention to some very exciting

County REMC.


As I reflect on my 18 years in the

The Annual Meeting is back! After

electric industry, I incessantly

a two-year hiatus caused by the

keep the cooperative model near

COVID-19 pandemic, the 83rd

and dear to my heart. It’s the idea

Annual Meeting will take place on

that those who use an enterprise

April 2, though it will look different

– the members – should also

than annual meetings from years

own and govern it. Democratic

past. Your board of directors

member control is the defining

weighed all the options, and to

characteristic separating a

keep our members and employees

cooperative like Clark County

as safe as possible, we are planning

REMC from other businesses.

a drive-through meeting.

You, the member-owners of this

You can cast your vote at Silver

organization, get to decide who

Creek High School on April 2

is in charge. And in a world with

between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Rather

multi-national corporations

than voting inside the building,

getting bigger every day, and

you will stay in your car and

political divisions widening with

our staff will get you registered,

each election, those in rural

hand you a ballot, and give you a

America can feel like they’ve lost

registration gift. I’ll be in the drive-

their voice. But at Clark County

through line, and I can’t wait to

REMC, you still have a voice.

meet you. See you there!

OFFICE HOURS 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday STREET ADDRESS 7810 State Road 60 Sellersburg, IN 47172 MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 411, Sellersburg, IN 47172 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Paul Graf, President Candy Meyer, Vice President John Biesel, Secretary/Treasurer Joe Basham Steve Dieterlen Mark Huber Jeff Myers UPCOMING BOARD MEETINGS March 15 at 5:30 p.m. April 5 at 5:30 p.m. May 3 at 5:30 p.m. EMPLOYEE ANNIVERSARIES Brittany McNay - 9 years Brian Omerso - 8 years Brian Tanner - 14 years

Like us on Facebook ClarkCountyREMC

I am delighted to serve you as CEO, and there will be more

Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram


Follow us on LinkedIn

Find more information on voting instructions, director candidates and 2021 financial information on the following pages as well as 14A-D.

MARCH 2022



director candidates

Exercise one of the greatest benefits of being a member of an electric co-op by voting for the upcoming year’s board of directors. Members can vote online, by mail or through SmartHub. Receive a $5 bill credit (one per household) for voting! Early Voting March 3 - 31. Vote in-person on April 2 at Silver Creek High School.


Steve Dieterlen DISTRICT 2 (Incumbent)

and have three adult children and four

to keep each member’s needs at the


forefront of every decision. I serve as

What motivates you to serve as a

Clark County REMC’s representative on the Hoosier Energy board where I

Steve Dieterlen is

director for Clark County REMC?

a senior operations

I am motivated by the opportunity to

support specialist

affordable, and sustainable energy

continue to serve an organization that

with the United States


has had such a positive impact in our

Postal Service.

community. I am also proud of Clark

He is a graduate of New Washington

County REMC’s heritage of providing

High School, and earned an Associate in Applied Science degree in mechanical engineering technology

innovative programs designed to help individual members while benefiting all members. This heritage continues to

from Purdue University. He has

define our cooperative.

completed extensive technical and

I am honored to serve on a board

managerial training at the U.S. Postal

that values and represents the seven

Service. Dieterlen has participated in

cooperative principles. I serve with the

numerous NRECA training courses

intention of keeping our cooperative

focused on issues and practices

strong and vibrant, a valuable and

important to the electric industry and,

relevant resource for our community

more specifically, to cooperatives.

– working for us now, and working for

In 2019, he completed the NRECA

generations to come.

Director Gold Program. He has completed training in Lean Six Sigma and holds a Green Belt certification. He is also a USPS certified instructor.

What qualities do you possess that distinguish you as the best director candidate for Clark County REMC?

advocate on your behalf for reliable,

I am dedicated to the electric industry and the challenges that lie ahead. I have served on the Clark County REMC board for 15 years, seven as board president. On the Hoosier Energy board I serve as employee relations committee chair. I have been passionate over the last 15 years to educate myself on emerging challenges and opportunities in order to better serve our members. Examples include: distributed generation, battery storage, increased renewable energy capacity, and electric vehicles, to name a few. It is a very technical and analytical background, along with a fiduciary commitment to our members, that

There are necessary qualities for good

shapes my understanding of these

board members: honesty, integrity,

issues. It is this perspective that I

humility, and a commitment to put the

bring to both boards. I believe that

interests of the members above their

Dieterlen and his wife, Lisa, have

a problem is best solved when it is

own. I and the entire board possess

been members of REMC since 1987

completely understood, and it is only

these qualities and strive each day

Dieterlen is an elder of Otisco Community Church and a member of the Charlestown Lion’s Club.


MARCH 2022

through a diversity of perspectives that

experience would positively contribute

He is a graduate from Scottsburg High

a problem is completely understood.

to the REMC’s culture, strategic

School, and also earned a machine


focus, effectiveness, and financial

shop certification from Prosser

sustainability. I look forward to serving

Vocational School. He completed the

as an ambassador and advocate for

U.S. Department of Labor Office of

the co-op.

Apprenticeship Certificate as well as the

DISTRICT 1 Amberley Kendall is an expedited closing specialist at Farm Credit Mid-America. She earned a BSBA in business management from the University of Louisville (2002).

What qualities do you possess that

Apprenticeship Line Maintainer.

distinguish you as the best director

He is a member of Kimberlin Creek

candidate for Clark County REMC?

Baptist Church in Scottsburg, the

I hold a degree in business management from the University of Louisville, and have worked in the field of finance for 23 years. The vast

Scottsburg Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #156, the Scott County Conservation Club, and the Scott County Moose Lodge #2324.

She is a member and Sunday School

majority of those years have been

McNeely has been a member of REMC

teacher at Zoah Christian Church.

spent working for community banks

since 1979 and has two adult children.

Kendall is a past board member

as a branch manager and business

for Scott County United Way, Scott

development officer. I also have

County Family YMCA, and The Scott

experience working as fiscal director

County Partnership.

for a local not-for-profit agency. As a

Before retiring as a lineman, I had

Kendall and her husband, Jason, have

result, I have a strong understanding

the opportunity to travel to Monument

of budgets, fiscal policy, strategic

Valley in Arizona to work on the Light

planning, fiscal responsibility, and

Up Navajo Project, which is establishing

Brandt (14).


power for the first time to the Navajo

What motivates you to serve as a

In addition to my career, I have many

been members of REMC since 2002 and have two children, Avery (18), and

director for Clark County REMC?

years of board experience serving

I’ve been raised to believe that we

including the Scott County United

should use our gifts and talents to give back to the communities and organizations that are important to us. This is evidenced by my past experience serving on local boards, being actively involved in my church,

on local boards for organizations Way, Scott County YMCA, and the Scott County Partnership. I’ve always said that while I have a mind for business, I have a heart for community organizations.

What motivates you to serve as a director for Clark County REMC?

on the reservation. I saw first-hand how power can improve the comfort, livelihood and security for people. I am motivated to serve as a director because I want to ensure the people of District #1 continue to be provided safe, reliable and cost effective power. What qualities do you possess that distinguish you as the best director candidate for Clark County REMC?

and engaged in our schools.

Serving as a director for Clark County REMC would allow me

I believe I am a good candidate for

I’ve been a member of Clark County

to use my formal education, past

director representing District #1 because

board experience, and fondness for

I have knowledge and experience in

community organizations to serve our

the industry. I retired from Scottsburg

members well.

Electric in 2019 as a journeyman

REMC for 20 years and feel that being a director would allow me to use my skills in management and finance, past board experience, and passion

Credit Mid-America) and believe in

Mark McNeely

the value these types of organizations


for serving others on a larger scale. I’m also employed by a co-op (Farm

bring to their members and the community at-large. I believe that my education and

lineman. My experience as a lineman includes knowledge of the equipment and operations, which would provide value for anyone serving on the Clark County REMC board of directors.

Mark McNeely is a retired journeyman lineman from Scottsburg Electric. MARCH 2022


Early Voting Instructions Mail



• Request a paper ballet by calling our office.

• Log into SmartHub at clarkremc.

• Access the web ballot at

• Mark your selections by filling in the square next to the candidate of your choice.

• Enter your email address and SmartHub password.

• Enter your Member Number and Election Passcode (listed on the postcard you will receive in the mail).

• You may vote for one candidate in each district. • Detach ballot and place in the enclosed return envelope. • Mail to: Survey & Ballot Systems P.O. Box 46430 Eden Prairie, MN 55344 • Envelopes must be received no later than March 31.

• Click VOTE NOW • Online voting begins March 3rd and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST, March 31.

• Follow online voting instructions. • Online voting begins March 3 and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST, March 31.

• Don’t have a SmartHub account? Enroll at clarkremc.smarthub. coop or call 812-246-3316 to enroll.

• If you have any problems voting online, please email

• SmartHub voting can be done in a web browser or on the SmartHub mobile app.

You can also vote in-person at our drive-through Annual Meeting on April 2 at Silver Creek High School from 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Enter your information to win a prize! If you are a senior or youth REMC member, you may be eligible to win a prize. Fill out the postcard in this issue with your information to enter. To be entered to win you must register by April 15. You can return the postcard by mail, enter online at, bring this card to our drive-through Annual Meeting on April 2, or give us a call.

Senior Registration

Members who are 75 years and older are eligible to enter to win.

Name: Age: Birth Date: Address: Phone Number: Are you an REMC member?

Youth Registration

Children ages 0-18, whose parent(s ) or guardian(s) are REMC membe rs, are eligible to sign up to win.

Name: Age: Birth Date: Address: Phone Number: Are you an REMC member?

To be entered to win you must register by April 15. You can return this card by mail, enter online at eeting, bring this card to our drive-through Annual Meeting on April 2, or give us a call.

Find more annual meeting information on pages 14A-D.


MARCH 2022


Better read this if you are 62 or older and still making mortgage payments. It’s a well-known fact that for many older Americans, the home is their single biggest asset. With interest rates near historic all-time lows while home values are still high, this combination could create the perfect dynamic for getting the most out of your home equity. But, many aren’t taking advantage of this unprecedented period. According to new statistics from the mortgage industry, senior homeowners in the U.S. are now sitting on more than 10.1 trillion dollars* of unused home equity. Not only are people living longer than ever before, but there is also greater uncertainty in the economy. With home prices on the rise, ignoring this financial option may prove to be short-sighted when looking for the best long-term outcome. All things considered, it’s not surprising that more than a million homeowners have already

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It’s times like these that your largest asset can be a life saver. Today, HECM loans are simply an effective way for homeowners 62 and older to get the extra cash they need to enjoy retirement. Although today’s HECM loans have been improved to provide even greater financial protection for homeowners, there are still many misconceptions. For example, a lot of people mistakenly believe the home must be paid off in full in order to qualify for a HECM loan, which is not the case. In fact, one key advantage of a HECM

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is that the proceeds will first be used to pay off any existing liens on the property, which frees up cash flow, a huge blessing for seniors living on a fixed income. Unfortunately, many senior homeowners who might be better off with a HECM loan don’t even bother to get more information because of rumors they’ve heard. In fact, a recent survey by American Advisors Group (AAG), the nation’s number one HECM lender, found that more than 9/10 clients are satisfied with AAG’s service.** While these special loans are not for everyone, they can be a real lifesaver for senior homeowners — especially in times like these. The cash from a HECM loan can be used for almost any purpose. Other common uses include making home improvements, paying off medical bills or helping other family members. Some people simply need the extra cash for everyday expenses while others are now using it as a safety net for financial emergencies. If you’re a homeowner age 62 or older, you owe it to yourself to learn more so that you can make the best decision for your financial future.

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Continuing to explore EVs

With the government

be even greater on some

may not have full power

use by 15-40%, depending

directing funds to


for an EV, they do still have

on driving patterns, but

some capacity to be used

this is more than offset

as a power storage device

by the savings in gas. For

— charge them with solar

example, if you pay 10

build a robust charging infrastructure and automobile manufacturers

How do you dispose of the used batteries?

ramping up production, the

This is one of the

or wind, and then use

cents per kilowatt-hour for

interest in electric vehicles

developing stories as the EV

that energy to meet needs

electricity, your monthly EV

is growing. We received

industry grows. Lithium-

in inclement weather or

recharging cost would be

several responses after a

ion batteries can be

during demand spikes in

$25 to $33 per month if you

recent article on EV myths,

recycled, and one company

the electrical grid.

drive 1,000 miles.

so we want to explore some

is reclaiming the elements

of those questions in a

from batteries to transform

While this information

follow-up article.

waste into high-value

Where are EV batteries made?

material for future batteries.

The EV battery industry is

the EV industry will

How much does it cost to replace the batteries in at EV?

The process for recycling

dominated by companies

continue to evolve

and upcycling batteries

in Asia, including China,

rapidly in coming years

still has a long way to go

South Korea and Japan. The

as manufacturers phase

Cost varies depending on

to be clean and efficient,

silver lining for the United

out production of internal

the make and model of the

but as we start to see more

States is that federal and

combustion engines.

car, but generally it will cost

EV batteries retired, there

private-sector funding is

about $5,000 to replace

will then also be a greater

expected to significantly

an electric vehicle battery.

demand for recycling that

increase U.S. EV battery

However, many electric

will likely lead to more

production by 2030.

vehicles sold in the United

advances in recycling

States have a warranty on

processes and help lower

the battery pack that covers

associated costs.

eight years and at least 100,000 miles. That may


MARCH 2022

Another option is to reuse them. Although, batteries

reflects today’s situation,

How much will our electric rate go up with all these EVs? Adding an EV to a home increases the electricity

by Nick


Energy Advisor Harrison REMC


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n the blockbuster film, when a strapping Australian crocodile hunter and a lovely American journalist were getting robbed at knife point by a couple of young thugs in New York, the tough Aussie pulls out his dagger and says “That’s not a knife, THIS is a knife!” Of course, the thugs scattered and he continued on to win the reporter’s heart. Our Aussie friend would approve of our rendition of his “knife.” Forged of high grade 420 surgical stainless steel, this stick tang knife is an impressive 16” from pommel to point. Secured in a tooled leather sheath, this is one impressive knife, with an equally impressive price. This fusion of substance and style can garner a high price tag out in the marketplace. In fact, we found stainless steel blades with bone handles in excess of $2,000. Well, that won’t cut it around here. We have mastered the hunt for the best deal, and in turn pass the spoils on to our customers. But we don’t stop there. While supplies last, we’ll include a pair of $99, 8x21 power compact binoculars, and a genuine leather sheath FREE when you purchase the Down Under Bowie Knife. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Feel the knife in your hands, wear it on your hip, inspect the impeccable craftsmanship. If you don’t feel like we cut you a fair deal, send it back within 30 days for a complete refund of the item price. Limited Reserves. A deal like this won’t last long. We have only 1120 Down Under Bowie Knifes for this ad only. Don’t let this beauty slip through your fingers at a price that won’t drag BONUS! Call today and you under. Call today! you’ll also receive this

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The deadline to enter artwork in the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art Contest is March 18. This is the 25th anniversary of the contest and calendar. First place winners in grade divisions kindergarten through grade 12 will each receive $200. Their winning artworks will illustrate the calendar’s cover and the 12 months of the year. One “artist of the year” will also be selected and will earn an additional $100. In addition, the judges will select honorable mention winners whose artwork will also appear in the calendar. They will receive $75 each. The contest is open to Indiana public, private or home-schooled students. They must be in grades kindergarten through 12th grade during the 2021-22 school year. A complete set of rules and required entry forms are available at


Painting the town Send us your mural photos for June feature

Our June issue will focus on photos of murals taken by you, our readers! Do you have a favorite mural in your hometown that you marvel at whenever you see it? Is there a mural that best represents your hometown’s or state’s spirit? The murals can be painted either indoors or outdoors. When submitting your photo, please indicate where the mural is located and include any background information you may have about the mural and what you like most about it. Submit your photo by April 15. If we publish your photo, we will send you a $50 check. One randomly selected submission will also receive $50. Our address: Indiana Connection, Murals, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240. You can also send us your photo online at


MARCH 2022

I just wanted to let you know how much I thoroughly enjoy this publication! I look forward to receiving it each month and save many of the stories, recipes, and travel destinations. So many of the stories are heartfelt and inspirational. Who knew that I would be crying when reading a magazine from my electric cooperative! Thank you and your staff for all that you do to make the magazine possible!

Laura Duwel, via email

SETTING THE EV RECORD STRAIGHT I want to set the record straight about the article on electric vehicles in the January issue. I am an engineer in the IC engine and power industry and this article does not represent the facts. The biggest issue I see with the article is that it failed to mention the efficiencies associated with the coal-fired power plant. This ranges anywhere between 33-35% according to multiple sources (i.e. 65% or more of the energy is lost in the process). There are also electrical transmission and distribution losses. For the state of Indiana, these losses average around 6%. Also, the modern automobile internal combustion engines average around 30-35% efficiency (not 20% as stated in the article). Finally, coal has one of the highest CO2 emissions per BTU of energy released (from burning). If you take all this into account, a car engine operating on gasoline actually emits almost half the CO2 compared to an EV deriving all its power from coal. Please don’t get me wrong. I am a huge fan of EVs. The message just needs to be clear that we need to focus on renewable forms of electrical energy like solar, wind, hydro-electric and nuclear.

Joe Reynolds, Memphis, Indiana

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MARCH 2022


county feature

Jay County Jay County, which sits along on Indiana’s eastern edge with Ohio, is a portal into significant passages of Indiana geography, history, and culture. To name three: The Wabash River. Indiana’s official state river enters Indiana through Jay County. The river’s origin is just over the state line, and the Wabash meekly flows in along Jay County’s northeastern corner, south of the tiny burg of New Corydon. Then, the river draws a wide inverted “J” shape as it loops some 500 miles around the state — upward and westward through northern Indiana and then sharply southward to form the state’s southwestern border with Illinois. Two-thirds of the state’s landmass lies within its watershed. The Salamonie River, a tributary of the Wabash, originates near Salamonia in southeastern Jay County and flows northwestwardly into Blackford County before joining the Wabash River in Wabash County. Native Americans. Jay County is home to the National Center for Great Lakes Native American Culture. NCGLNAC is not-for-profit organization whose mission is to continue and preserve traditional Great Lakes Native American art, history, and culture by passing those traditions on to Native people and educating the general public about its importance. The area was home to Woodlands peoples and is within traditional Miami territory. Nineteen years ago, the Jay County Fair Board donated 30 acres of wooded land north of the county fairgrounds in Portland to NCGLNAC. The site includes a


MARCH 2022

cleared grassy area, a variety of woods and wetlands, and a small lake. Though it is not developed, an ambitious master plan for the site includes a cultural center. In the meantime, NCGLNAC continues hosting an annual gathering of Native American nations at the Tri-State Antique Gas Engine and Tractor Association Grounds, which are adjacent to the county fairgrounds. The pow wow is scheduled for June 11-12. On April 2-3, NCGLNAC hosts Cultural Arts Classes Session 1 at the Lions Civic Center in Portland. Session 2 will be May 21-22. Loblolly Marsh Nature Preserve. Said to be named for the original Miami word for “stinking river,” Loblolly is 440-acre restored wetland in northern Jay County that was once was part of the large Limberlost Swamp. The swamp covered some 13,000 acres straddling the JayAdams county line just south of the Wabash River. The swamp attracted international attention in the early 1900s thanks to Hoosier writer, photographer, and naturalist Gene Stratton-Porter. She visited the swamp from her nearby home in Geneva to photograph and write about the Limberlost’s flora and fauna. Discovery of oil and natural gas in the area, along with the desire to increase farmland, led to the draining of the swamp at the very

Jay County is home to the 19th Annual Jay County Fiber Arts Festival, March 11-12 in Portland. Learn more at

County Facts FOUNDED: 1835

NAMED FOR: John Jay, co-author of The Federalist Papers, Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the Articles of Confederation, and first Chief Justice of the United States. It is the only county in the United States named for Jay. POPULATION: 20,478 (2020 estimate) COUNTY SEAT: Portland INDIANA COUNTY NUMBER: 38

time Stratton-Porter was using it as the backdrop to her beloved novels. In the early 1990s, the land for Loblolly was purchased from five different landowners who entered their land into the Wetland Reserve Program and work began to restore parts of the historic wetland. The return of the natural habitat has brought a resurgence of the natural insects, birds, and wildlife to the restored area. It helps complete the story of Stratton-Porter that begins at her Geneva home, an Indiana State Historic Site. Writing about the wetland restoration and Stratton-Porter in the March 2020 of Smithsonian Magazine, Kathryn Aalto, a historian and educator, noted the “the greatest tribute to her by far is the Loblolly Marsh Nature Preserve.”

Saturday, April 2 | Silver Creek High School

Drive through event 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. All members casting a vote will receive a $5 bill credit.

Members who attend the meeting will receive a retractable lantern flashlight. Kids who attend the drive through meeting will receive a gift and goody bag.

Virtual Business Meeting Business Session Prize Drawing Election Results These will be announced via live stream at at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 2nd.

Enter the drive through at Silver Creek Middle School entrance.

MARCH 2022





(Residential Average)

(Residential Average)






$166.83 2019


$161.89 2020

AVERAGE MONTHLY KWH USED (Residential Average)

$158.81 2021









Residential and Farm




Purchased Power

19% Commercial


Operating Expense

19% 8% Depreciation



MARCH 2022




5% Taxes &


2% Operating


FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS 2021 CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF REVENUES Operating Revenues Purchased Power Operating Expenses Depreciation Taxes Interest Expense

Total Cost of Electric Service Operating Margins

Financial records of your rural electric cooperative are maintained in accordance with the Uniform System of Accounts prescribed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. All statements that appear in the Annual Report were prepared in accordance with standard accounting procedures from the books of the corporation. In the opinion of your board of directors, the financial statements present fairly and accurately the financial position of Clark County REMC as of Dec. 31, 2021 and 2020, and the results of its operations for the years then ended. Our financial records are audited annually by the accounting firm of LWG CPAs & Advisors. Copies of the reports are filed in the office of the REMC. At the time of the Annual Report printing, the financial statement audit for the year ending Dec. 31, 2021,


38,902,121 11,187,519 4,803,776 828,483 2,387,884

39,172,789 10,692,625 4,671,505 826,808 2,338,440

58,109,783 1,106,930

Hoosier Energy & Other Patronage Allocations Other Income & Deductions

Treasurer’s report


$ 59,216,713 $ 59,002,720

Net Margins


57,702,167 1,300,553

1,789,771 260,631

3,157,332 $

CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS Utility Plant, Net Investments & Other Assets Current Assets


Equities Long-Term Debt Deferred Credits & Other Liabilities Current Liabilities


Total Assets

1,059,407 233,893


2021 110,210,700 $ 30,294,264 9,640,440

2020 106,563,703 29,086,096 10,256,489

77,554,158 $ 60,077,929 1,662,259 10,851,058

76,780,807 56,755,928 1,484,231 10,885,322

$ 150,145,404 $ 145,906,288

Total Equities and Liabilities

$ 150,145,404 $ 145,906,288



SOURCES AND USES OF CASH513,137,805 MARGINS KWH Purchased 498,811,069 SOURCES AND USES OF CASH MARGINS FOR KWH Sold FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 497,376,610 31, 2021 476,074,624

Line Loss THE YEAR ENDED Average Number of Consumers Miles So ur c e s ooff Line Cash Average Consumers per Mile

DEC. 31,3.07% 2021

Received for electric services Borrowings from CFC (financial lenders) Receipt of patronage revenue Receipt of construction advances Total Sources of Cash

Us es o f C a s h Payments to power supplier and vendors New construction and replacement of utility plant Debt service payments Retirement of patronage capital to membership Member deposits

26,361 1,898 13.89

4.56% 25,526 1,865 13.69


60,167,727 5,900,000 606,189 246,651




(50,909,552) (8,472,417) (4,965,624) (2,408,171) (56,633) (66,812,397)

had not been finalized.

Total Uses of Cash



Net Increase in Cash




MARCH 2022


2021 ANNUAL MEETING REPORT In 2021, for the second consecutive

the in-person annual meeting due to

hired by REMC to conduct the

year, REMC members elected

the public health emergency.

electronic and paper ballot voting. It

directors by early voting without an in-person annual meeting due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which continued its spread throughout the United States and the world.

The election of directors for Districts 4 and 5 was held by electronic voting and mail-in paper ballots as allowed by the bylaws. This report serves as the record of the election results for

Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a series of

2021, in place of in-person meeting

monthly Executive Orders continuing


his declaration of a public health

was reported that there were 22,773 members eligible to vote in the 2021 election. In order to have a valid election, a quorum of members must vote. A quorum constitutes one-fiftieth of the total of all REMC members. REMC had 29% voter participation – a clear quorum – with 6,731 members

Prior to voting, the following persons

casting their votes in the election. The

were nominated by written petition

officers of the Credentials and Election

signed by a minimum of fifteen (15)

Committee certified the election


results and declared the following

In District 4 the nominees were


incumbent Director Joseph “Joe”

In district 4, Joseph Basham was

Basham and Jennifer James Koenig.

elected to a three-year term as

people. Under the circumstances,



it would have been impractical to

In District 5 the nominees were Robert

In District 5, Mark Huber was elected

emergency. Under these directives, the gathering of large crowds was to be avoided without precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining safe social distancing. Annual meetings have historically drawn crowds of well more than 1,000

maintain safe social distancing. It was determined that an in-person annual meeting would pose a public health risk. The board of directors invoked the cooperative’s bylaws and canceled


MARCH 2022

“Bob” Kleehamer and Mark Huber.

to a three-year term as Director.

The 2021 election results were

The REMC will resume in-person

prepared, certified, and notarized by Survey and Ballot Systems (SBS), an independent third-party company

annual meetings in the future unless prevented by public health and safety or other emergency circumstances.

In reviewing the 2021 annual meeting minutes, found above, we found no unfinished or old business. If a member has any concern or suggestion to bring to the board of directors, please call our office during business hours. Topics must be reported to the Clark County REMC office no later than March 25, 2022, to be discussed at the April board meeting.


Stand Up Straight and Feel Better Discover the Perfect Walkertm, the better way to walk safely and more naturally It’s a cruel fact of life, as we age, gravity takes over. Our muscles droop, our bodies sag and the weight of the world seems to be planted squarely on our shoulders. We dread taking a fall, so we find ourselves walking less and less– and that only makes matters worse.


Old Way

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Well, cheer up! There’s finally a product designed to enable us all to walk properly and stay on the go. It’s called the Perfect Walker, and it can truly change your life. Traditional rollators and walkers simply aren’t designed well. They require you to hunch over and shuffle your feet when you walk. This puts pressure on your back, neck, wrists and hands. Over time, this makes walking uncomfortable and can result in a variety of health issues. That’s all changed with the Perfect Walker. Its upright design and padded elbow rests enable you to distribute your weight across your arms and shoulders, not your hands and wrists, which helps reduce back, neck and wrist pain and discomfort. Its unique frame gives you plenty of room to step, and the oversized wheels help you glide across the floor. The height can be easily adjusted with the push of a button to fit anyone from 4’9” to over 6’2”. Once you’ve reached your destination you can use the hand brakes to gently slow down, and there’s even a handy seat with a storage compartment. Plus the Perfect Walker includes Stand AssistTM handles which make standing from a sitting position simple and easy. Its sleek, lightweight design makes it easy to use indoors and out and it folds up for portability and storage.

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POTATO CHIP BROWNIES Kathi Tooley, Berne, Indiana

2 sticks butter, melted 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips 2 cups sugar 4 eggs 1 t. vanilla 1 cup flour 1 t. baking powder 3 T. cocoa powder 1 cup potato chips, broken into pieces 1 cup milk chocolate chips



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Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 9-by-13-inch pan. Line with parchment paper. Combine melted butter with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Whisk until the chocolate is melted. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla. Fold in flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Spread half of brownie batter into the pan. Top with potato chips. Spoon remaining batter over the potato chips. Bake 45-50 minutes. Cool. Melt the milk chocolate chips. Drizzle over the cooled brownies. (If desired, you could sprinkle more potato chips on top at this point.) Refrigerate until firm (20 minutes). Cut into squares.



Alberta Millikan, Plymouth, Indiana

1 cup brown sugar

2⅔ cups flour

1 cup white sugar

1 t. baking soda

1⅓ cups butter (2 sticks plus 5 T.)

2 cups crushed potato chips

2 eggs

2 cups butterscotch chips

2 t. vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

Cream sugars and butter. Add eggs and vanilla, then add rest of ingredients. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 F.


Doris Ann Kahlert, Berne, Indiana 3 cups diced ham

½ cup sweet pickle relish

2 t. minced onion

2 t. prepared mustard

¾ cup mayonnaise

1 cup diced celery

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

1 T. lemon juice

¼ t. salt

1 cup crushed potato chips

¼ t. pepper Combine all ingredients except potato chips. Place in a casserole dish. Sprinkle potato chips on top. Bake, covered, for 20 minutes at 425 F. Yield: 8 servings.

MARCH 2022


Indiana eats

Big Daddy Biscuit

Panino Italiano Sandwich

Caesar Salad

Mean morning (and midday) meals The Mean Bean Bistro and Brew

varieties as well as classic style), and

in Bremen is one of those places

a breakfast croissant sandwich with

that refuses to be pigeon-holed. It’s

egg, cheddar cheese and choice

a cozy coffee shop, brewing up all

of protein (a veggie version is also

your favorite hot and cold beverages

available). A variety of pastries is

— and not just of the java variety.

available as well as a la carte items

It’s a breakfast spot, serving a variety

like fruit, yogurt and granola, and


of classic and trendy must-tries. (Is

baked oatmeal.

that an Avocado Toast calling my name?) And, for the lunch bunch, Mean Bean has perfected the three midday menu “S’s”: sandwiches, soups and salads.

Sandwiches are served in half and whole sized portions. Meat lovers shouldn’t miss the Panino Italiano, a tasty combo of ham, pepperoncini, and provolone.

Bremen native, is a regular at the

The Chicken Salad Croissant and

bistro which joined Bremen’s

Chicken Classic sandwich are other

restaurant scene in April 2015.

favorites. Mean Bean also serves

Through the years, owner Kim

seasonal salads and a variety of

Wilcox’s menu has delighted both


through the quaint northern Indiana town.

When it comes to “brews,” choose between a variety of popular coffee styles and flavors, including plain

Everyone from the hungriest eaters

drip coffee and a cup of strong Red

to those who crave just a light bite

Eye coffee. Chai, iced and hot tea,

should start their day at Mean Bean.

hot cocoa, Italian soda, smoothies,

Favorites include the Big Daddy

lemonades and other soft drinks

Biscuits (homemade biscuit, hash

are on the menu as well. Frozen hot

brown casserole, bacon, ham,

chocolate, a not-to-be-missed treat,

sausage gravy and two over easy

is another a Mean Bean specialty.

eggs), pancakes (three special


MARCH 2022

110 W. Plymouth St. Bremen

Enter to win a gift card from The Mean Bean Bistro and Brew in Bremen. Learn more on page 3.

pepperoni, salami, tomato, onion,

Indiana Sen. Ryan Mishler, a

local diners and those traveling

The Mean Bean Bistro and Brew

ABOUT STATE SEN. RYAN MISHLER: Sen. Ryan Mishler has represented District 9, which includes Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph counties, in the Indiana Senate since 2004. He chairs the Appropriations Committee and also serves on the Health and Provider Services, the Tax and Fiscal Policy and the State Budget committees. Mishler is president of both Mishler Funeral Homes and Bremen Monument Company. He serves on the Bremen and Kosciusko County chambers of commerce and is a member of the American Legion Post 191, the Masonic Lodge 414, the Scottish Rite of South Bend, and the United Methodist Church.

s e Be


Protecting pollinators is rewarded with bountiful harvests and honey BY RICHARD G. BIEVER


Between a drought and a lack of pollinators, the Community Share Gardens at Lebanon’s St. Peter’s Episcopal Church had little harvest to share in 2013. But help soon came from above — on the wings of … not a snow white dove … but honeybees. From the church’s small but active congregation (weekly attendance is 30-some adults and children), two parishioners in particular, Chuck and Sandy Dailey, looked into what could improve the then 2-year-old garden ministry. The husband and wife team of now-retired Rolls-Royce engineers spent 2014 researching options, including beekeeping. By the spring of 2015, the St. Peter’s Apiary ministry was born. Chuck Dailey, now the ministry’s senior and a certified master beekeeper, has overseen up to nine hives on the church’s 8-acre grounds. “Once we got the bees, our gardens became so much more,” Dailey said. “The harvest is so much better.” But he noted honeybees don’t pollinate everything. By making their

gardens safe for their honeybees — by practicing natural pest control methods and no longer spraying pesticides — it also brought back native pollinators like bumblebees and butterflies. “The native pollinators have really been bountiful because of our honeybees.” The cornucopia the church began producing on half-acre plots and raised beds allowed the church to share its wealth of produce with the larger Boone County community, and beyond. Produce went to the food pantry run by St. Joseph’s, the Catholic church in Lebanon. Produce went to the Shalom House, a Saturday soup kitchen in town for seniors. And through beekeeping, St. Peter’s also connected with the Indiana Black Farmers Co-op.

Members of the cooperative grow gardens where they can in Indianapolis for those living in Indy’s food deserts where fresh healthy produce is harder to come by. Four groups from the co-op accepted an offer from St. Peter’s in 2020 to come north to Boone County to farm a halfacre plot the church provided. They then take the produce they grow there back to the markets in Indy. “We’ve been really trying to expand our ‘Care of Creation’ ministry,” Dailey, 63, noted. “That is taking watch over what we’ve been given and being good stewards of the earth and everything that we have.” continued on next page MARCH 2022


continued from page 19

Plight of the humble bees Honeybees play essential roles in pollinating plants that humans and animals rely on for food. Declines in bee populations — including 20% of honeybee colonies per year in Indiana — threaten that food supply. Insecticide exposure, loss of flowering plants and nesting habitats, disease and parasites like varroa mites, and poor hive maintenance are all factors in the decline. The national media has been abuzz with the plight of honeybees on and off for some 16 years. Dubbed “Colony Collapse Disorder” in 2006, the syndrome includes widespread honeybee deaths and the mysterious abandonment of hives by worker bees. Since then, much research has been directed at honeybees that help pollinate three quarters of the grown food we consume. Overall, the number of honeybees kept in the United States has been declining since 1950. The Department of Agriculture said there were some 5.6 million honey-producing colonies then. Today, there are around 2.8 million. In Indiana, it’s estimated there are currently over 6,000 honeyproducing colonies. Most colonies will have around 60,000 bees which include the workers we most often see gathering the nectar, the male drones that mate with the queen, and the one queen who lays the eggs. While culturally honeybees appear everywhere symbolizing natural goodness — from breakfast cereals to perfume to even alcohol (mead) — most people who slather golden honey across their breakfast biscuit or drop a dollop in their midday tea may not realize that honeybees are not native to North America. They are imports from Europe. The first colonists


MARCH 2022


Children from the summer Caring Hands Camp suited up to get a close up look at beekeeping at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lebanon. The camp is an annual program of the Boys and Girls Club of Boone County.

brought domesticated honeybees with them in the early 1600s for the natural sugar and the wax they provide.

analysis, 28% of North America’s 47 bumblebee species “face some level of extinction risk.”

The plight of the honeybee is real, but honeybees are hardly at risk of extinction. “They’re not a native species. So, they’ll never be an ‘endangered species’ in the United States,” said Kathleen Prough, chief apiary inspector with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “In Europe they can be but not here.”

They don’t get the media attention, but native pollinators — bumblebees, butterflies, hummingbirds — also pollinate plants that grow into the fruits and vegetables we eat. And some of the same issues affecting honeybees, especially pesticides, is affecting native pollinators. Many, like bumblebees, nest in the ground. Any pesticide on the ground can kill them.

In fact, more honeybees are on the planet today than at any time in history noted Alison McAfee, a honeybee researcher at North Carolina State University, writing in Scientific American. “For some reason, maybe because they are small, honeybees are not generally viewed as the massively distributed livestock animal that they are.” Scientists, meanwhile, know little about the population status of most indigenous bees. Data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature indicates that many species are declining. Of particular concern: bumblebees. According to a 2015

“The biggest thing I tell people,” Prough said, “is if you plant flowers, the more native flowers you plant the better because they’ll attract native bees. And the honeybees will show up, as well.” She also noted a large variety of native flowering bushes and trees that attract both honeybees and native pollinators. For folks interested in becoming a beekeeper, Prough, 60, who is retiring this month from the DNR, suggests connecting with other beekeepers at their local meetings. “Talk to the beekeepers, go out with a beekeeper

into their hives,” she said. “You have got to get used to bees flying around you. That freaks some people out even with a hat and veil.”

Healing power of bees “The Keeper of the Bees” was the last work of famed Hoosier writer and naturalist Gene Stratton-Porter. Published originally as a magazine series shortly after her December 1924 death in a vehicle accident, the story was pollinated with her common theme of nature’s power. The piece spoke of reconciliation and healing for a wounded World War I veteran, an aging ailing beekeeper and a precocious child who come together through beekeeping. Stratton-Porter seemed to foreshadow how beekeeping would come to be used to heal the afflicted. Veterans suffering PTSD, people with all kinds of physical and mental conditions find relief in bees. “They’re getting veterans into beekeeping because once you get in the hive, you just calm right down,” Prough explained. “You don’t want to be super hyper when you’re in the hive because the bees will know. You just calm down and just go slow and watch the bees.” Ross Harding, 36, an Indianapolis-area beekeeper who makes his living keeping bees and selling the honey, noted humans and honeybees have been working together since the days of the Old Testament. “It’s a special relationship we’ve had for thousands of years, a long, long time. So, there’s all this folklore about people talking to bees, and how statistically beekeepers live longer …. It’s weird ... it’s like that all across the world,” he said. The ancient Greeks spoke of a special healing power in bees. And Harding noted “apitherapy” — that uses honey, pollen, bee secretions like “royal jelly,” and bee venom — is a thriving alternative medicine for many people in the U.S. Apitherapy is considered a traditional medicine in some parts of Europe and Asia.

stewards of the Hives and the earth It’s apropos that the apiary at St. Peter’s has become a ministry. St. Peter’s likes to note that most all churches offer coffee and doughnuts. But what other churches can offer coffee, doughnuts, and honey — especially honey that’s harvested on the church grounds? continued on next page

YOUR PERFECT LAWN COULD BE KILLING POLLINATORS Once upon a time, running barefoot through the yard meant treading carefully for fear of stepping on a bee making its way from one flowering white clover to the next and getting stung. And there was a time kids put dandelion and clover flowers into old jelly or peanut butter jars and then caught honeybees. They’d watch the bees up close and hear them buzz around next to their ear for a bit before opening the lid and letting them fly away. Throughout much of suburbia and even down country lanes, those are cherished memories younger generations never experienced. That’s because at some time between “once upon” and now, Americans started spending $75 billion a year for the perfect lawn. But in getting rid of clover and dandelions, we also rid our yards of honeybees and native pollinators. While those flowering “weeds” may be unsightly to you, it’s important to remember they’re food to bees and other pollinators, said Doug Richmond, a professor of turfgrass entomology and applied ecology for Purdue’s College of Agriculture. He joined other researchers studying the impact lawn care practices have on pollinators several years ago. These researchers created a pollinator-friendly guide for lawn care that includes:

Wait until May or June to apply pesticides if you need to use them at all. Early-season pollinators and colonies of bees are still recovering from winter stress in March and April.

Use granular formulations of insecticides, which fall to the ground and avoid direct contamination of flowering portions of blooming plants. If you must spray, mow first to remove the flowers and the presence of pollinators. Establish plots of diverse, pollinator-friendly native plants that bloom from early spring to fall. Check with your local Master Gardeners for ideas on what to plant. Source: Purdue University

MARCH 2022


Ross Harding looks over a frame of bees pulled from a hive. Harding, a professional beekeeper for about 10 years, cares for hives around urban and suburban Indianapolis. He sells the honey he collects to numerous restaurants and venues. PHO TO BY ESTHER BO STO N PHO TO G RAPHY

continued from page 21 Dailey noted that while honey is a beneficial byproduct, “Our main focus is teaching beekeeping.” Last year, the ministry welcomed over 200 individuals, adults and children, who visited its hives to learn about the importance of pollinators. “We suit them up and take them in,” he said. The church offers regular tours of the apiary twice a month. But if someone just stops by the church, Dailey said he and Sandy, who live nearby, are there about every day tending the hives or working in the gardens. Dailey is also the education chair for The Beekeepers of Indiana. With local groups all around the state, the association brings beekeepers and those interested in beekeeping together to share information and insights. Dailey regularly gives talks across the state on beekeeping, including at the Indiana State Fair. In the meantime, St. Peter’s developed another new ministry — “The Harvest House Community Center” — led by Sandy Dailey, a certified master gardener. In an 800-square-foot teaching kitchen beside the church, the


MARCH 2022

Daileys and a member of the Boone County Master Gardeners lead young people from the community through activities based on the Junior Master Gardeners curriculum. They teach the basics of gardening, the need for pollinators, and basic canning and food preparation techniques. The food grown by the youth at the church is either used by the youth themselves or donated to local food pantries. “And so we’re trying to be good stewards, we try to be good teachers,” said Dailey. And the church tries to be good neighbors, too. A bottle of honey is given every year to those who live alongside the church. “A lot of them grow fruit trees and different vegetables and things,” Dailey said. “That’s just more food sources our bees have.”

pollinators back … back here, anyway. Bumblebees are huge here. They’re probably one of the hardest working pollinators.” The Care of Creation ministry uses pollinators as a teaching tool to youngsters about the fragile balance in the greater circle of life. And Dailey said the humble honeybee and other pollinators highlight humankind’s role. “We’re placed here to leave the earth better than we found it,” he said. “I have my ‘Masters Certification’ in beekeeping, but we’re placed here as stewards, not as masters. And not just honeybees, but native bees. They’re all important to us because our food source really depends on these guys.” Richard G. Biever is senior editor of Indiana Connection.

Was it just honeybees that turned St. Peter’s gardens around after that one rough harvest in 2013?

For more information about beekeeping, visit The Beekeepers of Indiana website:

“No,” Dailey said. “It was a combination of honeybees and being very conscientious about what we do. Our realization that ‘hey, stop putting stuff on plants that kills pollinators’ has really brought our native

For more information about St. Peter’s Apiary Ministry and the other “Care of Creation” ministries at the Boone County church, visit

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Waylan Case, left, and Mitchell Werner, right, with Andy McComas, institutional director at North American Lineman Training Center.

Hoosier Energy news

CLIMBING TOWARD THEIR DREAMS SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS GRADUATE FROM LINEMAN TRAINING SCHOOL Whether it was first grade or eighth grade, the dream began early. On Dec. 17, 2021, that dream became reality for Jasper, Indiana’s Mitchell Werner and Greensburg, Indiana’s Waylan Case as they graduated from the North American Lineman Training Center. Both claimed their diplomas from the school in McEwen, Tennessee, with the help of a scholarship from Hoosier Energy. Werner and Case are the inaugural recipients of the W. Eugene Roberts and Daniel L. Schuckman Memorial scholarships, respectively, a tribute to more than 35 years of dedicated service to Hoosier Energy and its members.

THIRD GENERATION CAREER It is a third-generation dream come true for Werner, whose grandfather, Eugene, and father, Matthew, also worked as linemen. And he knew it early on in life. “In first grade, we were asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow


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up?’” Werner recalled. “I drew a picture of a lineman because of my dad and grandpa.” However, where his father broke into the business by signing on as an apprentice, the son opted to attend lineman school.

“I was interested in welding or electrical work, but welding was being inside too much for me, so I decided to pursue the lineman thing,” said Case, a graduate of Greensburg High School and member of Decatur County REMC.

“It shows that you’re not messing around,” Werner said. “You spent (a lot of money) already, so they know this is something you want to do, that you’re serious about it.”

He also had uncles who worked as electricians, so Case got some experience doing wiring. But he wanted to do more than go from the breaker to the outlets; he wanted to go from the power lines to the breaker.

Now he has his first job, working for Duke Energy in Bloomington.

Earning the scholarship was a bonus.

FROM THE POWER LINES TO THE BREAKER It’s a similar story for Case, although his dream began a little bit later in life. His father, Alex, is an agricultural seed salesman whose clients are sometimes both farmers and linemen. So, when Case showed interest in the electrical field as an eighth-grader, his dad mentioned the possibility of becoming a lineman.

“Anyone who goes to school is hurting for money or has a loan, so this was a good opportunity to help keep me afloat,” Case said. “It sure helps a lot.” So will the job Case begins for Brink Constructors, a traveling contractor. Case will head to Colorado to begin his career and perhaps pursue his interest as an avid outdoorsman between shifts.


JOIN THE OUTDOOR IMPROVEMENT BOOM Many folks have rediscovered the importance of home improvement, and that’s led to a renewed focus on enhancing their outdoor spaces. Young homeowners today are taking more pride in their yards, largely bypassing paid services for a DIY approach. Whether it’s a basic cleanup, adding pizzazz to your next backyard gathering, or improving curb appeal, we’ve got some tips for getting your piece of the outdoors in shipshape this spring.

spots a lawnmower can’t reach. A leaf blower can quickly disperse wayward grass clippings.

growth. If it’s all in good condition, simply turn mulch over with a rake to give it new life.

CLEAN UP — If your driveway,

GREEN UP — Several

sidewalks, and paved walkways are looking dingy, a pressure washer easily cuts through the grime. The same goes for vinyl siding, especially on the north side where algae can form. Enhance it with an application-specific detergent that’s safe for kids, pets, and plants.

POWER UP — When yard

Clear debris from your landscaping and ditch old mulch and dead foliage. Lay a new sheet of weed control fabric with cut-outs to accommodate plants and shrubs, then spread fresh mulch. Pruning shears and hedgers help redefine shapes, keep the overgrowth from blocking sunlight near windows, and spur new

varieties of grass seed are available for large areas or small bare spot repair. Multi-step lawn fertilizers, weed inhibitors, and disease control products are great preventatives that do require consistency. Prep for dry summer months with multifunctional lawn sprinklers and sprayers, and keep hoses tidy with a wheeled or fixed storage unit or wall hanger.

work requires extra oomph, invest in some key pieces of outdoor power equipment. Many tools — including lawnmowers — have gone cordless as consumers seek greener options, and that’s resulted in even longer-life batteries. Gas-powered equipment is still plentiful: just make sure to buy the right oil for mixing if necessary. Chainsaws and pruning saws make quick work of dead trees and limbs. Trimmers clear out weed overgrowth and do double duty as an edger and grass trimmer in


GUSSY UP — Even a small connection to nature makes your home more inviting and improves curb appeal when selling. Try some perennials, annuals, or bulbs in porch or windowsill plant boxes. Or create a large planter to anchor your patio with a colorful focal point. Handheld

garden tools like a cultivator, trowel, and bulb planter will get you started. Hardscaping materials like river rock, decorative stone pavers, edging, and border walls take a little more muscle but are very achievable DIY. Decking, pergolas, fencing, and outdoor lighting add a “wow factor” that takes your outdoor space to another level!

LIVEN UP — Before inviting guests to gather, freshen up your patio furniture with a cleaner and some elbow grease. Or upgrade to a decorative chat set with comfy padded chairs and a festive patio umbrella. Visit your local Do it Best store or doitbest. com for thousands of the best home improvement products.

Brian Baker

Brian Baker is the owner of Builders Lumber and Hardware in Shelbyville. He’s a member-owner of Do it Best Corp., a Fort Wayne-based cooperative of thousands of hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards throughout the U.S. and around the world. (This article is for informational purposes only. Indiana Connection and Do it Best Corp. assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, or for injuries, property damage, or the outcome of any project.)

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Wear proper safety material. As you are cleaning up, wear proper protection to prevent injury. Work gloves, safety


pring is a fickle season that brings nature’s renewal of buds and blooms to the trees and fields and also brings dark, powerful rolling storms that can wreak havoc. From 2016 through 2020, the National Weather Service recorded 28 deaths, 133 injuries and over $64 million in property and crop damage from weather events in Indiana alone. Weather disasters can occur yearround, but most of the worst storms Indiana receives come in the spring. “While not all damage can be prevented, being prepared can minimize damage and reduce injury or death,” said John Gasstrom, CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives. Here are some tips from your electric cooperative for staying safe before and after a storm hits.

BEFORE THE STORM • Make sure your cell phone is charged. Consider purchasing an external battery charger for your phone to charge it without electricity. • Have a battery-operated radio available so you can stay updated on the latest weather watches and warnings. • Unplug appliances and other electrical items, such as computers. Damage can occur from power surges caused by nearby lightning strikes.


glasses, heavy-duty work shirt

• Have an emergency kit ready and create a family communication plan.

with long sleeves, work pants, and steel-toe work boots are a good idea if you are clearing large amounts of broken,

FOLLOWING THE STORM • If you are driving and come upon fallen power lines, turn around. Never drive over or around fallen lines.

splintered or sharp debris. •

Always assume a downed power line is live. Downed

• If a downed power line falls on your vehicle, stay in the vehicle. Call 911. Exit only if your life is in immediate danger from a fire or other reason. Then, jump clear of your vehicle being certain to never touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time; then shuffle away keeping your feet together at all times. • While checking for damage outside your home, be aware of hazards from exposed nails, broken glass, and broken tree branches dangling on other limbs.

Stay away from power lines.

power lines pose a particularly dangerous threat in areas where individuals are clearing fallen trees and branches from roads and lawns. Let the professionals handle this job. It’s not worth the risk. If you see a downed power line that is sparking or on fire, call your electric utility immediately. •

Stay away from damaged buildings or structures. If a building has been subjected

• To avoid the chance of a fire or explosion, use a flashlight, instead of a candle or torch, to inspect your home in the dark.

to flood waters or high winds,

• Since downed power lines could still be energized, do not touch them or any objects in contact with them. Call 911 to report the downed lines.

until professionals can

When the spring storms arrive, know how to keep yourself, your family and your property safe from harm during severe weather.

it may not be structurally safe. It’s best to stay away from these types of structures assess the extent of the damage. •

Never operate gasoline-powered equipment indoors. Gas engines emit carbon monoxide — an odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas you should never breathe.

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There's more to 811 than

SUBMITTING A TICKET You know you need to contact 811 before you dig—but did you know that there is much more to safe digging than that, and contacting 811 is just the first step?

Quick 811 Spring Tips: • Submit your free locate request at at least two full working days before you plan to start digging for your spring projects. • Working days are every day except Saturday, Sunday, and state and national holidays. • If a contractor is needed for the project, request they contact Indiana 811 before they start digging. • It’s fast, easy and free. As always, please follow the Five Steps to Safe Digging:



Follow us for damage prevention news and tips. @IN811

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