Carroll White REMC — May 2020 Indiana Connection

Page 1

Living healthier through EggLife.

Carroll White REMC’s

DRIVEN to give back pages 19–24

MAY 2020

from the editor

Not quite drive time Though each month of the year is significant in its own way, what with holidays and special events peppered throughout our calendars, diehard race fans live for May. The Indianapolis 500 is such a big deal that the entire month is filled with other events and race-related activities — not just at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but throughout the capital city. But this May will be different. Various traditional pre-race events have been canceled. IndyCar drivers are still slated to start their engines — but they won’t be doing that until August. That’s when the Greatest Spectacle in Racing is being rescheduled due to COVID-19. When the race takes place on Aug. 23 this year, the heroes who are helping us through the pandemic — including doctors, nurses, first responders and the National Guard — will be honored for their selfless work in these uncertain times. It will thus be an even more special and celebratory event. In this month’s issue, we’re spotlighting popular IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe, who is a hero in his own right. He’s been a tireless advocate for the Red Cross, raising awareness for the critical need for a constant blood supply. Turn to page 19 to find out why Hinchcliffe is so passionate about this cause. And, learn how some other “fast trackers” are making a difference through their passion projects. Throughout these past few weeks, so many Hoosiers have displayed the caring, selfless spirit that typifies what is great about Indiana. And I know they will continue to do so — this month, this year and in the years to come. Yes, there are heroes among us, just as there are heroes who make a living driving 200 mph. Together, we’re proving we’re all champions.


On the menu: August issue: Recipes featuring vinegar, deadline

June 1. September issue: 30-minutes or less recipes, deadline June 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.

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

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

VOLUME 69 • NUMBER 11 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 280,000 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: Walter Hunter President Randy Kleaving Vice President Steve McMichael Secretary/Treasurer John Gasstrom CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Ellie Schuler Senior Creative Services Specialist Taylor Maranion Creative Services Specialist Stacey Holton Creative Services Manager Mandy Barth Communication Manager 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.

MAY 2020







03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative. 10 ENERGY How your thermostat can save you money. 12 I NSIGHTS


Indiana eats






Backroad Baker’s cookies taste as good as they look.

What’s going on around the state.

30 BACKYARD A poison ivy primer. (Not in all versions)

17 FOOD The return of rhubarb.



19 COVER STORY IndyCar drivers like James Hinchcliffe are champions in the community as well as on the track.


14 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Hendricks

Quoth the cardinal.

Buying a new home? Make sure its electrical system is up to snuff.

32 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS 33 TRAVEL All aboard for history. 34 PROFILE Trevin Alford at the oven.



Indiana Connection

On the cover IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe takes a selfie with a blood donor at a Red Cross blood drive he hosted leading up to last year’s Indianapolis 500. Hinch has become a driven advocate for blood donations ever since he almost bled to death from injuries in a 2015 crash. INDYCAR/IMS PHOTO BY CHRIS JONES


MAY 2020

co-op news “This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.” CARROLL WHITE REMC P.O. Box 599; Monticello, IN 47960 800-844-7161 (Toll Free) MONTICELLO OFFICE 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday DELPHI OFFICE 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday EMAIL CEO Randy W. Price BOARD OF DIRECTORS Kevin M. Bender, 219-863-6652 4280 W, 700 N, Delphi

Committed to you —

now more than ever!

Margaret E. Foutch, 219-279-2677

It seems our world has changed in the blink of an eye. But, Carroll White REMC’s commitment to our members has not changed.

7535 W, 500 S, Chalmers

Gary E. Gerlach, 574-595-7820 9833 S. Base Road, Star City

Kent P. Zimpfer, 765-479-3006 4672 E. Arrow Point Court, Battle Ground

Tina L. Davis, 219-204-2195 7249 W, 600 S, Winamac

Milton D. Rodgers, 765-566-3731 3755 S, 575 E, Bringhurst

Ralph H. Zarse, 219-863-6342 1535 S, 100 E, Reynolds

MISSION STATEMENT “Creatively enhancing our community through safety and service.”

Safety, Service, and Community IMPORTANT DATES Cycle 1 April bills are due May 5 and are subject to disconnect May 26 if unpaid. Cycle 2 April bills are due May 20 and are subject to disconnect June 9 if unpaid. Meters are read using the Automated Meter Reading system. Cycle 1 meters will be read on May 1. Cycle 2 meters will be read May 15.

PUT YOUR GRILL TO USE During summer months, cooking outdoors is a great way to save energy and eliminate unwanted heat from cooking indoors. — U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


technology that allows many of our functions to be completed remotely. Some of our employees are working from home and we’ve separated departments as much as possible so they can practice social distancing even when they’re in the office. As always, the phones will be answered when you call.

As you focus on keeping your family safe, Carroll White REMC is focused on powering our community … and your world. While nothing else seems certain right now, we want to assure you that our team will continue providing you with the quality service and value you expect from us.

Alternate Ways to Pay

Cooperatives routinely plan for emergency situations and our emergency plan has served us well in a variety of circumstances – from ice storms, to tornadoes and flash floods, to these unprecedented times. As well, we’ve taken some additional unprecedented steps to help ensure you and our REMC employees stay safe and your power keeps flowing.

• Phone Call 800-844-7161 to speak to a member service representative

Office Closed We are fortunate to have

Most transactions can be completed electronically and over the phone. • SmartHub The app is available on your mobile devices • Online Visit and click “Manage Your Account”

• Pay By Phone by calling 877-760-6772 • Drive-through window in Monticello. • Drop Box We have one in Monticello and one in Delphi • Kiosk in the Delphi entryway.


MAY 2020



co-op news

Turkey Fiesta Soft Taco Wraps

Living healthier through


From adversity, sometimes new

EggLife was born when Claiborne

alternatives. After lots of trial and

ideas are hatched that can impact so

was forced to eat healthier. “I was

error, I came up with some pretty

many lives. Just ask Peggy Claiborne,

diagnosed with hypoglycemia

great recipes.” She swapped egg

whose company, EggLife, moved into

and my doctor said I needed to

whites for flour to make tortilla-like

its new 60,000 square-foot facility in

cut out carbs and sugar … easier

wraps that were a hit with her three

Wolcott’s Mid-America Commerce

said than done,” she said. “It wasn’t

sons — Coby, now 21; Brice, now 20;

Park in October 2019.

until I was diagnosed that I really

and Cameron, now 18 — and their

started working on creating healthy



MAY 2020

launching EggLife wraps, I have heard from so many people,

co-op news

many sharing significant health improvements since introducing

Buffalo Chicken Salad

the wraps into their diets,” she said. “I never imagined the recipes to be as successful as they are today, but I am absolutely thrilled that they have made it to the plates of so many people.”

“It occurred to me that I could help people with these recipes,” she said. “It could make a difference for people, like me, who needed or

EggLife Foods is perfect for many different dietary lifestyles — low carb, gluten-free, low-calorie, dairyfree, Paleo, Keto or Whole 30. The

wanted to cut carbs and sugar.”

business is dedicated to helping

Farm raised

families, filling a major gap for

Claiborne grew up on a 10-acre farm


just across the White County line in

“I hope to grow EggLife Foods into

Carroll County. “I was the youngest

a national brand with additional

of six children, four brothers and one

products,” Claiborne said. “I want

sister,” Claiborne said. “With only 10

EggLife Foods products to be

years separating my oldest brother

available to as many people as

and me, we were all incredibly close.”

possible. With more product options,

During her “growing up” years on

we can provide more delicious

the farm, her love for fresh and clean

options for people with allergies and

food took root. Farm life also instilled

diet restrictions and those that just

a strong work ethic. “My first job at

want to eat healthy foods with clean

the age of 13 was with Meals on


Wheels,” Claiborne recalled.

For more information about EggLife LLC, visit

She began working at Rose Acre Farms in 1988, while still a student at

make positive changes for many

I would say my business and personal philosophies are one in the same: do all that you can to help people. From a young age, I have always dedicated myself to helping others and giving what I can to people that need it most. I follow this in my personal life, and it serves as a guiding philosophy for EggLife Foods.

Peggy Claiborne, EggLife LLC

Delphi Community High School. She remained there until 2017, when she created EggLife Foods.

EggLife offers four flavors of wraps — original, rye, Italian and southwest.

“I have always loved to cook,” Claiborne said. “I was known at Rose Acre Farms for bringing food into the office for tastings. I love putting my own spin on different dishes and creating meals on the fly.”

Food functional and emotional For Claiborne, food is not only functional, but emotional. “Since MAY 2020



Disconnection Policy Suspended We know many of our consumers may face economic hardship during this time. We will not disconnect members for non-payment, and late fees will be waived until further notice. As we transition back to normal in the coming weeks and this grace period ends, we will work with those impacted by COVID-19 who are behind on their bills and offer payment arrangements.

Line Crews Like the office staff, line crew members are separated as much as possible to safeguard against spread of the virus. Trucks have been kept outside our garages so line workers won’t be transporting any virus into the shop area. Vehicles are cleaned and wiped down daily. Line crews are concentrating on outages and maintenance. This time of year, we know spring storms are inevitable. We’re committed to addressing any outages caused by those storms as soon as possible. The other Indiana electric cooperatives are standing by to help if we need it. Although it’s not business as usual, our focus is on helping your life proceed as normally as possible. As the public health response, recommendations and mandates evolve, Carroll White REMC will continue adjusting to meet your needs. Please visit www.cwremc. coop and our social media channels for updates. We’re here for you.

The Carroll White REMC board of directors met by conference call on March 26 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Roll call was taken and minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed and approved. The board reviewed the financial report from Chief Operating Officer Cathy Raderstorf, and new memberships were approved. The board then heard reports from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) annual meeting, Indiana Electric Cooperatives and Wabash Valley Power Alliance, as well as


management reports.



From the boardroom

The Center of Customer Engagement

You can manage your account right from your smart phone with SmartHub.

Make payments, notify customer service of account and service issues, check

your usage and communicate directly all at the touch of a button. Download the FREE mobile or tablet app in the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace. Download today and manage your account anywhere!


MAY 2020


How to get thermostats to work for you As we head into the summer months, keeping your home comfortable and your energy bill low are seemingly at odds with each other. But it doesn’t haven’t to be that way! You can better manage your energy use and the comfort of your home by selecting and using the right thermostat. There are three main types of thermostats — manual, programmable and smart.

The most common thermostat used is a programmable unit. It will let you control when air is conditioned in your home through assigned temperature change schedules.

four hours at a time, this is where you can make a small increase in temperature of a few degrees. It is important to know that small temperature adjustments of one or two degrees help reduce energy use.

To determine how to set a programmable thermostat properly, begin by reviewing the schedules of everyone in your household. If nobody is home for more than

Many smart thermostats available today take the process of setting schedules out of the equation as they learn when you come and go to adjust the temperature — helping you reduce

energy used to cool your home. An added benefit of these units are that they can be controlled from an app on your phone – at home or when you are away. Selecting the right thermostat for your family and setting it up properly can help reduce your energy use as you keep your home comfortable this summer.

S MA R T T H ER M O S TA TS These thermostats learn when you come and go — adjusting the temperature for you. These devices connect to your Wi-Fi network and can be controlled remotely from an app on your phone for added convivence.

P ROGRAM M A B L E T H ER MO S T A T S These thermostats often provide four periods to set and schedules to assign per day of the week.


MAY 2020


Barry Lauber

Director of Marketing, Key Accounts and Business Development Southeastern Indiana REMC




Letter to the editor Talking about time I enjoyed your recent article about the crazy calendars (February 2020, page 3). Check out the 13-month calendar used by Eastman Kodak up to 1989. That’s right ....13 four-week months and an extra

Saluting those who are helping others

“Year Day” to get to 365 days per year. This calendar is also called the

When the going gets tough, communities come together to meet the challenges.

fought over this issue for more than 100 years. And the idea of “Fast

These last several weeks of pandemic stress and uncertainty have also been a time for countless

International Fixed Calendar. It makes a lot of sense. And it was in use in such a large company until recent times. But nobody messes up time like the State of Indiana. The state should be (geographically speaking) in central time. They have Time” and “Slow Time” confused me greatly as a kid. I recently stopped in Evansville to get a burger. But it wasn’t available because we had now left Eastern Time and they didn’t start lunch until 11 a.m. Central Time. How confusing! And the grandkids were hungry!!

Dave Thompson, Fulton County REMC member

expressions of hope and humanity.

inspired by stories of people helping people in so many ways. That’s why we’re dedicating our July issue to your stories about what you and your neighbors are doing to help others — and what others have done to help you. If you would like to nominate someone for the “Here for You” Crew — our moniker for folks who have made life easier for others in these uncertain times — email your story to or submit it via our website Submit photos if you have them. Deadline for submissions is May 21. Let’s celebrate the spirit that brings all of us strength even in the toughest times!


MAY 2020

Greenfield farmer is ‘Returning the Favor’ Central Indiana farmer Jonathan Lawler’s mission of feeding the hungry is getting national recognition through the Facebook Watch series “Returning the Favor.” Lawler, CEO of Brandywine Creek Farms in Greenfield, was recently interviewed by series host Mike Rowe in an episode which premiered on Feb. 24. “Returning the Favor,” now in its fourth season, spotlights outstanding people creating positive change throughout America’s heartland.


We’ve all been encouraged and


host of "Returning the Favor”

Lawler, also known as “the Punk Rock Farmer,” is committed to standing up for those left behind by society. He and his wife, Amanda, donate over 80 percent of their crops to those in their community who cannot afford it. He also travels to the inner-city Indianapolis “food desert” to ensure the disadvantaged there have access to food. Watch the episode about Lawler’s calling to help the hungry, “The Farmer Feeding the City,” at videos/196516658099955.

Representing Indiana Sarah Mahnesmith, Indiana’s delegate to the Youth Leadership Council, participated in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s annual meeting in early March. The Jasper County REMC member was selected to be part of the YLC during the Indiana Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., last summer. Mahnesmith is a senior at Rensselaer Central High School.

Marketplace Our Marketplace offers maximum exposure for your business or organization at a minimal cost. A limited number of display ads (such as the one to to the right) are available each month.

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county feature

Hendricks County Hendricks County is one of the state’s fastest growing counties, mostly because Marion County/ Indianapolis is its neighbor to the east. But the county’s two largest towns are joining in the downtown revitalization boom to keep the young local folks at home. Both Brownsburg, along the I-74 spoke out of Indianapolis, and Plainfield, along the I-70 spoke, are embracing projects to enhance their older traditional downtowns and turning them back into destinations for shopping, dining, entertainment and recreation. In the past 30 years, Brownsburg has more than tripled in population, going from just over 7,600 in 1990 to approaching 28,000 today. Yet in that time, the downtown remained confined and separate from development to the north near I-74. About a decade ago, a $90 million public-private mixed-used development began transforming an area a couple of blocks north of its downtown into a pedestrian-friendly economic center. New and much-needed commercial, residential and retail options were created along with restaurants and bars that will, it’s hoped, transform into a vibrant downtown atmosphere.

In 2016, the town completed a 12-month comprehensive planning process for the entire community. That study evaluated land use, zoning, infrastructure, and governance across all areas of Plainfield. One of the recommendations was to renew the downtown as a civic and cultural hub. A multi-level parking structure, nearing completion, is the first public piece. The parking structure will include 250 parking spaces for businesses and entertainment in downtown Plainfield. Just up the street, a private, $21 million mixed-use development, which will include 117 apartments, commercial space and 150 parking spaces, is under construction, too. Meanwhile, the economic engine of Plainfield continues to be the sprawling warehouse district on the east side of town, close to the Indianapolis International Airport, that boasts approximately 45 million square feet of space. Plainfield provides roughly half of all warehouse jobs in central Indiana.

Countaycts F FOUNDED: 1824

NAMED FOR: William Hendricks, third governor of Indiana, 1822-1825. POPULATION: 167,000 (2018 estimate) COUNTY SEAT: Danville

To the south, Plainfield, the largest community in the county, has begun a similar redevelopment.


MAY 2020

The Marching Black & Gold of Avon High School is among the nation’s elite bands, renowned for two decades of excellence.


Indiana eats


Luse’s cookies taste as good as they look

Through her on-line cookie business, Backroad Baker, Luse makes, bakes and creates custom decorated edible works of art that look as awe-worthy on her Instagram page as they do on a platter at a special event. Though she’s enjoyed baking since childhood, Luse, 28, didn’t really discover her true cookie calling until 2014, when she prepared a batch of royal icing-decorated cookies for her family’s Easter dinner. “One of my cousins asked if she could order some for a bridal shower she was hosting soon after, and she was my first paid order,” Luse remembered. “The rest is history!” Luse’s cookies start with a traditional soft vanilla sugar cookie recipe she’s used ever since she started her cookie business. “The flavor of my cookie itself is pretty mild,” Luse said. “Most


MAY 2020

of the flavoring for my cookies comes from my icing.” Almond flavoring and Luse’s “secret” ingredient are the key to her icing’s signature taste. That taste — combined with Luse’s custom designs and deftness with a piping bag — is what makes Backroad Baker creations so popular. “The goal for me is to give my customers the designs they want and a great taste at the same time,” she said. “I think the fact that my cookies taste as good as they look is really my ‘secret sauce.’ Since most cookies don’t meet both criteria, I definitely think the taste is what makes my cookies unique.” “Outside the cookie jar” thinking comes in handy in the custom cookie business, and Luse has been able to showcase her creative streak with every order. But among her most memorable orders were pig-themed wedding treats for clients who raise show pigs and cookies decorated to resemble knee implants that a customer ordered for her knee replacement surgeon. Luse has also recreated a treasured vintage china pattern on cookies that looked like miniature plates.

Luse spends anywhere from one to three hours decorating a dozen cookies. That doesn’t include the one to two hours it can take to prepare the cookies and icing. As is the case with all types of art, every cookie is different in size and complexity of design. On the average, the price for a Backroad Baker original is $4-$4.50. That’s a small price to pay for a true work of art. P HO TO C OU RT E SY OF I NDI ANA FARM BUREAU

Bringing joy to others matters — now more than ever. And Olivia Luse of Lebanon, Indiana, enjoys spreading joy — one baking sheet at a time.

Backroad Baker To order cookies, email To see examples of Olivia Luse’s work, visit backroadbaker.


The return


Potluck Rhubarb Punch Patsy Frost, Corydon, Indiana

8 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb 8 cups water 2½ cups sugar 2 T. strawberry gelatin powder 2 cups boiling water 2 cups pineapple juice ¼ cup lemon juice 6 cups chilled ginger ale Fresh pineapple wedges, sliced strawberries and sliced lemon, optional

In a Dutch oven, bring rhubarb and water to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. (Save rhubarb for another use.) In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and gelatin powder in boiling water. Stir in pineapple and lemon juice. Stir in rhubarb liquid. Refrigerate until chilled. Just before serving, pour into a punch bowl and stir in ginger ale. If desired, garnish with fruit.

food Aunt Mae’s Rhubarb Meringue Pie Pam Baxter, New Haven, Indiana 3 egg yolks, slighlty beaten 2 T. flour or tapioca 1 cup sugar ½ t. salt 3 cups fresh, chopped rhubarb 1 unbaked single pie shell Butter Meringue 3 egg whites, stiffly beaten 4 T. powdered sugar Combine egg yolks with the flour or tapioca, sugar, and salt. Add rhubarb.

Rhubarb Raspberry Cookies

Toss well. Put in unbaked pie shell. Dot

Rhubarb Raspberry Cookies

with butter. Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes.

Marilles Mauer, Greensburg, Indiana

Reduce temperature to 325 F and bake for 30 minutes or until filling sets. Remove from oven. Cool slightly.

1 cup diced and peeled rhubarb

1 egg 1 t. vanilla

powdered sugar. Pile on top of pie. Brown

1 cup fresh raspberries (or frozen raspberries that have been thawed)

1 t. baking soda

in oven for about 12 minutes.

⅔ cup butter, softened

½ t. baking powder

Cook’s note: A “heritage” recipe from my

¾ cup brown sugar

½ t. salt

mother-in-law’s aunt.

½ cup sugar

Meringue: Beat egg whites until stiff. Add

2 cups flour

Wash, peel and dice the rhubarb finely and set aside. Wash raspberries and dry them. Add the butter and sugars to a large bowl and mix until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix well. Mix the flour with baking soda, baking powder and salt, then add to mixing bowl. Mix until just combined. Add the rhubarb and raspberries. Mix gently and quickly. Place in the refrigerator for one hour. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop or drop a 2 T. portion of dough on the cookie sheet with adequate space in between each cookie. (Only put 6-8 cookies on the sheet. Cookies will spread out a lot.) Bake 12-15 minutes. Take out of oven and let cool on the baking sheet a minute or two. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Editor’s Note: We drizzled the cookies with icing to make them extra-photogenic! Aunt Mae’s Rhubarb Meringue Pie


MAY 2020




IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe turned the pain of his almost fatal accident at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2015 into a new driving passion: doing all he can to promote blood drives and donation awareness for the American Red Cross. The popular driver required 22 pints of blood, almost twice the average person’s blood volume, before he was patched up and stabilized immediately after his crash. He also helps organize and hosts blood drives at IndyCar race locations. I NDYCAR/ I M S PHO TO BY CHRI S J O NE S

During a practice lap just days

Rushed to Indiana University Health

before that year’s Indianapolis 500,

Methodist Hospital in downtown

his car’s right front suspension broke

Indianapolis, Hinchcliffe’s body

at the Indianapolis Motor

going into the third turn of the famed

was minutes from shutting down.

Speedway, IndyCar driver

oval. He slammed the outside wall at

Before doctors were able to stop

around 224 mph.

the bleeding, 22 pints of blood,

Five years since his nearfatal run-in with the wall

James Hinchcliffe now

The crash left him concussed and

pokes a little fun at his

battered in the cockpit. But the

injuries. But on May 18, 2015, it was deadly serious.

bigger immediate concern quickly became apparent: Hinchcliffe was bleeding to death. A piece of the car had shot through the tub of the

about twice the amount a normal body holds, ran through him. “The joke I like to make is: I had two full oil changes,” the now 33-year-old Hinchcliffe says. “I was losing it as fast as they could put it in.”

cockpit spearing Hinchcliffe’s right

A fan favorite, the Canadian

thigh and left leg — and slicing the

driver, who has made his home in

leg’s femoral artery.



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 Indiana since 2009, returned most auspiciously to racing the following year. He earned the pole position for

something that required me to get

life since mid-March. It has shut down

blood to learn blood is always in short

public gatherings, schools, churches,

supply and is always something we

businesses and industry. It’s erased or


postponed sports that are supposed

the start of the 100th running of the

While it took a horrific accident for

Indianapolis 500 in 2016.

Hinchcliffe to begin encouraging blood

Since then, “Hinch,” or the “Mayor of Hinchtown” as he’s also affectionately

donations, giving back is just part of his character. “I understand and

to distract us from real world problems — the NBA, NCAA, baseball and now even the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indianapolis 500.

appreciate how lucky I am to get to do

But what it hasn’t stopped is the

what I do. I’m a very fortunate person

persistence of the other uncertainties

who was able to pursue their passion

of life: illnesses, injuries, medical

and their dreams and get to the top

conditions, and disease. And because

level in their sport. I know that’s a rare

of that, IndyCar drivers — like

thing. And it doesn’t just come down

Hinchcliffe — continue racing behind

to talent. That comes down to a lot of

the wheels of their manifold charities

luck and timing and people supporting

and charitable foundations. Despite

you. So now, if I’m in a position to help

the postponement of IndyCar events,

others and pay that forward a little bit,

they continue to provide support for

then I’m going to jump in.”

the never-ceasing afflictions that pay

stirred a new passion: He’s become a


no heed to pandemic quarantines.

leading spokesman for the American

The coronavirus pandemic has

Red Cross blood services.

brought about one of the most

known: finished as runner up on a season of “Dancing with the Stars”; appeared on an episode of “Celebrity Family Feud” featuring IndyCar drivers; became reacquainted with a high school prom date who he married last August; and rejoined the Indianapolis-based Andretti Autosport racing team, the team with which he celebrated his first IndyCar victory in 2013. In addition to that, his brush with death

“The biggest thing for me is just awareness,” Hinchcliffe said in a telephone conversation. “I can only donate so much blood myself. So, the big key is really getting the messaging

reminder of how crucial blood supply

unsettling and uncertain times in modern world history. Beyond the formidable illness itself, it’s challenged the entire healthcare industry and the world’s economy. COVID-19 has permeated every aspect of American


out there. It took me going through

Hinchcliffe’s accident is just a

James Hinchcliffe slams the third turn wall at 224 mph during practice days before the 2015 Indianapolis 500. The popular driver almost bled to death. The force of the crash shot a broken part through the cockpit which struck him in the right thigh and left leg and cut the femoral artery. INSET PHOTO: Hinchcliffe, left, greets Trauma Surgeon Dr. Timothy H. Pohlman at a blood drive in February 2016. Pohlman helped stabilize Hinch after the May 2015 crash.



MAY 2020

James Hinchcliffe embraces his parents, Arlene and Jeremy Hinchcliffe, outside Gasoline Alley after winning the pole for the 2016 Indianapolis 500. “Hinch” was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, near Toronto. But he’s lived in Indianapolis for the past 11 years pursuing his dream of being an IndyCar driver. His parents and two older siblings are his four biggest fans. INDY CAR/ I M S PH OTO B Y C H R IS OWE NS


is for communities. “Every two

blood drives held at IndyCar race sites

seconds, someone in the United

the past several years that Hinch has

States needs blood,” said Duchess

helped organize and host. What began

Adjei, communication director for the

as one at the Indianapolis 500 in

Indiana Region of the American Red

2016 grew to 10 at the various tracks

Cross. “Regardless of what’s going on,

around the country last year. Those,

people still should donate.”

too, have been postponed for now.

The Red Cross depends on blood

As of early April, 10,000 blood

donor heroes to collect enough

drives had been canceled because

blood to meet the needs of patients

of COVID-19 concerns nationwide.

at approximately 2,600 hospitals

That means an estimated 300,000

In 1998, when Hinchcliffe was 11,

throughout its nationwide network. In

fewer donations. The Red Cross

his maternal grandfather died from a

Indiana alone, the Red Cross requires

reminds folks that blood donations are

rare cancer, coincidentally a cancer

about 450 donors each day to support

essential to community health and part

of the blood, called Waldenstrom’s

patients at 80 hospitals across the

of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

macroglobulinemia — or WM for short.

state. Donors of all blood types are

Healthy individuals can still donate

He was 72. It was so rare the family

needed to help those who rely on

where shelter-in-place declarations

could find no information about it when

blood products.

have been issued.

he was diagnosed. They didn’t know

“A massive percentage of blood

“While the world has had to go on

donations is received from drives at

standstill, unfortunately the need for

Not long after his grandfather died,

colleges and universities,” Hinchcliffe

blood doesn’t,” Hinchcliffe added.

Hinchcliffe’s mom, Arlene, felt she

said. “With all the schools shut down,

“The need for blood is constant. It’s

had to do something. “Mom took it

that’s a ton of drives that have been

not just trauma patients that need it:

on herself to start a support group,”

canceled. Big businesses host drives

It’s cancer patients; it’s burn victims.

Hinchcliffe said. “And then it grew into

all the time; obviously those are pretty

All these things are still happening so

a full charity.”

much shut down.”

people still have this need, but we’re

Another source of donations has been

just a little bit more stymied on how we collect it.”

Hinchcliffe’s passion for the Red Cross may have been borne from his own experience with trauma, but the passion to serve others may have been borne in the blood of his birth. “It was probably something I got from my mom when I was younger,” he said.

who to turn to for advice and support.

“I just knew there had to be a few



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21 people needing support,” Arlene Hinchcliffe said via email. “I knew what it felt like to have no one to talk to even as a caregiver.” At the first meeting, 24 people showed up. “From that moment on, these people embraced each other, and we all reached out to anyone else who found out about us.” Three years later, Arlene and the group formed a nonprofit charitable foundation for all of Canada. Around the same time, a WM group organized in the United States. The two groups joined to create the International WM Foundation that is now worldwide. Hinch and his older siblings, Rebecca and Christopher, have aided their

mom in WM foundation fundraisers

and friends,” she added. “We can only

and other events. As Hinch’s racing

lead by example, and I am so proud

success and fame grew, he would

that they are all paying it forward.”

participate in other ways, too. “James would also donate to our silent auction


with his race suits, gloves, shoes, etc.,

The Hinchcliffe family strongly

which always ended in bidding wars,”

supports James’ racing career.

Arlene said.

Mom and dad, Arlene and Jeremy

Arlene noted her son’s passion for the Red Cross doesn’t surprise her. He offered his help and time to others since he was small. “So maybe it is in our DNA,” she said. “James would have been doing this regardless

Hinchcliffe, typically attend 10-12 races each season. “To this day, James says he can hear me shouting in the stands,” she added. “The Indy 500 is the one race I can say I am most anxious about.”

of his position in life. However, he

Most Hoosiers and race fans know

experienced firsthand what it felt like

by now that the 500 won’t be run

to be vulnerable and need others to

on Memorial Day Sunday this year.

get him through a difficult time.

The race has been moved from its

“Our children saw what it meant to me to give back to my community, family P HO TO PRO VI DED BY AM ERI CAN RED CRO SS

scheduled May 24 date to Sunday, Aug. 23. By then, it’s hoped COVID-19 will have run its course. When racing does resume, look for Hinchcliffe in the Andretti Autosport No. 29 Honda carrying Genesys colors, orange, white and charcoal. Genesys is a worldwide communications management software company employing 850 people in Indianapolis.

ENOUGH TO GIVE In racing, numbers and statistics mean everything. Hinchcliffe said sometimes he wonders if his work with the Red Cross makes a difference. “I’m just going around trying to tell as many people as I can,” he said. “My goals are very simple and transparent. But when they come up to me at the end of the year, and they have a spread sheet …” James Hinchcliffe receives a surprise: meeting two of the people who helped save his life. In 2018 he was inducted into the American Red Cross Hall of Fame for his work helping to promote blood donations. At the ceremony that night at its Indiana regional office in Indianapolis, Hinchcliffe was introduced to blood donors who supplied four of the 22 units of blood he needed following his almost fatal May 2015 crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The American Red Cross located and invited donors Madelynn Guerra, left, and Madison Mowry. Two other donors, serving in the military and unable to attend, greeted Hinchcliffe with videos.


MAY 2020

He said the Red Cross tracks the number of people donating at the drives he hosts. They tell him, “We potentially saved this many lives ….”

James Hinchcliffe sails down the backstretch in his orange and gray No. 29 Genesys virtual IndyCar during the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in April. The virtual race, conducted on interlinked video race simulators, was the second event in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge. The virtual series has kept IndyCar drivers occupied while their real race cars have been garaged during the coronavirus pandemic. I RL P HO TO B Y C H R IS GR AY T H E N , GE TTY IMA GE S


INDIANAPOLIS 500 RESCHEDULED In case you have taken “social distancing” and “sheltering in place” to extremes and haven’t heard: The Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge has been rescheduled for Sunday, Aug. 23, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” was originally scheduled for Sunday, May 24, in its traditional spot on the calendar during Memorial Day weekend.

“When you see those numbers on a

“James is such a humble person. He

are always followed, extra precautions

piece of paper in front of you, it is a

is such a caring person. There is no

are being taken now. People can sit in

pretty cool thing,” he said.

better model than to have someone

their cars until their specific time slot is

who has actually gone through

ready and social distancing practices

something so life threatening who has

are followed.

He’s also proud that many of the donors at the IndyCar race sites are first-time donors. “That’s something the Red Cross loves to see because first-time donors usually become

become an advocate for the work that we do,” she said. “He’s definitely part of the American Red Cross family.”

“So, if you’re not feeling sick, and you’ve not been exposed to anybody that’s had it [COVID-19], then we

second-time donors, and so on.

Hinchcliffe said he feels as indebted

absolutely encourage you to swing by

It shows that we’re imparting the

to the two dozen people who donated

and try to make a difference,” he said.

message to a new group of people.”

the blood that kept him alive five years

Hinchcliffe’s work with the Red Cross has gone beyond blood donations. “He’s helped us connect with IndyCar in a way that has been

ago as he does to the skilled surgeon, nurses and others who saved his life that day. Without their blood being there, he wouldn’t still be here.

“In this time, I know so many people are looking for ways to give back, and it’s hard,” Hinch said. “It’s hard to volunteer at places because they’re trying to keep people apart. And with

transformational,” Adjei said. Along

“For something that takes just a little

everything that’s happening with the

with the blood drives at race venues,

bit of your time, you can quite literally

economy, people are holding onto their

the nonprofit was the title sponsor of

save lives. It’s a very rewarding thing

pennies; so financial donations might

the first virtual iRacing Challenge —

to be involved in,” he said.

not be something you can afford.

Hinch repeats the words from the Red

“But everybody’s got blood. And

Cross about donations during the

everybody’s got enough to give.”

the “American Red Cross Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.” Drivers Conor Daly and Colton Herta

pandemic. He suggests folks make an

are also now working with the Red

appointment. While safety protocols at

Cross, Adjei said.

each blood drive and donation center

Richard G. Biever is senior editor of Indiana Connection. MAY 2020


IndyCar stays green supporting community causes In racing vernacular, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the red and even the black flags of postponement and cancellation for almost every sporting event from mid-March through at least May. But the charitable causes and the needs that the IndyCar community supports in Indiana continue on. And so, even under these extraordinary times, drivers and teams continue finding ways to give back.

gastroenterology procedure under anesthesia at Riley. “We have now seen with our own eyes how the donations we make as a community make an impact on kids. Our community’s amazing support is the reason that Riley is not just an ‘adequate’ children’s hospital,” wrote Kanaan, “it is now one of the top 10 children’s research hospitals in the nation! This is what our kids here in Indiana deserve.

Along with James Hinchcliffe, featured in the cover story, here are just a few of the things Indiana-based drivers and teams are involved in.

“Now that our family has chosen to make Indiana our home year-round, we have decided we want to make an impact right here.”

Ed Carpenter

Michael Andretti

Owner/Driver • Ed Carpenter Racing

Owner/Former driver • Andretti Autosport

• Giving Ambassador for the Riley Heroes campaign for the Riley Children’s Foundation at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis. Learn more at Heroes.

Tony Kanaan Driver • A.J. Foyt Racing


• Indy Family Foundation. This is a charity within the motorsports community that offers financial aid in times of needs caused by death, injury, or illness. http://www.

• Created his own charitable foundation in 2003 following his retirement from full-time professional driving.

• Riley Giving Ambassador — with his own personal connection. He and his wife, Lauren, and their four children are also a “Riley family.” When their IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter visits son Max was 2 years children at Riley Hospital for Children old, he needed to in Indianapolis. Carpenter, the Riley undergo an exploratory foundation’s Heroes Ambassador, has


MAY 2020

handed out capes to Riley kids, who he calls the real heroes, and spends time with them and their families.

• Andretti confirmed he would carry on the #CheckIt4Andretti message started by his cousin, IndyCar and NASCAR driver John Andretti, who died Jan. 30, 2020, after a threeyear fight against colon cancer. John Andretti’s campaign spread the message on the importance of colon cancer screenings. • With the shutdown of regular racing team activities because of the coronavirus, Hinchcliffe noted that some of the Andretti Autosport team employees, drivers and wives, began volunteering their weekends to pack boxes for central Indiana Meals on Wheels. And while speedy delivery might be more in the Andretti team wheelhouse, Hinch noted they would not be behind the wheel driving the Meals on Wheels.



Scammers use pandemic to trick unsuspecting folks The coronavirus outbreak has been big business for scammers. First it was fake

How the Scam Works: You get a text message that

application in order to receive their stimulus check.

looks like it comes from

No matter what the

the U.S. federal govern-

message says, don’t

ment. Current reports

click! These texts are

say that scammers are

phishing for personal

impersonating the U.S.

information. They also can

Department of Health and

download malware to your

Human Services, but they

device, which opens you

Since the pandemic began

are unlikely to stop there.

up to risk for identity theft.

in late winter, the Better

The message tells you that

Business Bureau has been

you must take a “manda-

tracking numerous reports

tory online COVID-19 test”

of “official-sounding”

and has a link to a website.

scams attempting to fool

But there is no online test

people into giving away

for coronavirus!

masks, then fake government grants, then fake COVID-19 tests. Every catastrophe brings out both the best in people and — and sadly, the worst.

cash, personal information used for identity theft, or both.

• If you think your text message is real, be sure it’s directing to a web address like “agency. gov” or “,” not “agency.otherwebsite. com.”  • Check for lookalikes. Be sure to do your research and see if a government agency

Tips to Spot a COVID-19 Text Message Scam:

or organization actual-

• Government agencies

agency to be sure the

ly exists. Find contact info on your own and call the organization or

do not typically com-

person you’ve heard

These are far from the only

municate through text

from is legitimate.

coronavirus text message


scams (often known as

• Ignore instructions to

Phony text messages

“smishing” for SMS phish-

text “STOP” or “NO” to

claiming to be from a

ing). BBB has also gotten

prevent future texts.

government agency is one

reports of texts urging

This is a common ploy

of the latest to be on the

recipients to complete “the

by scammers to confirm

watch for.

census” or fill out an online

they have a real, active phone number.

If you’ve spotted a scam (whether or not you’ve lost

money), report it to Your report can help others avoid falling victim to scams.

MAY 2020


calendar NORTHWEST


SUMMER MARKET ON THE LAKE, Hobart (Lake), Festival Park. Ethnic foods, crafts, live music, beer garden, kayaking, outdoor movie and more! 4-9 p.m. Free. Event continues until Aug. 27. 219-942-4511.


LAPORTE CHAIN OF LAKES PADDLE, LaPorte (LaPorte) Soldiers Memorial Park. Paddling tour of Stone, Hennessey, and Pine Lakes by canoe and kayak. Life jackets required. Hiking trails, picnic areas, and a public swimming beach. Noon-4 p.m. Potluck lunch at the beach house following the paddle. https://www.



QUEEN OF ALL SAINTS PARISH FESTIVAL, Michigan City (LaPorte), Queen of All Saints Parish. Music, food, rides, beer garden, bingo, kids’ games and more. Free. 219-8729196.



9TH ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY 5K RUN/1 MILE WALK, Terre Haute (Vigo), Deming Park. The one-mile fun run begins at 8:40 a.m. The 5K run/ walk begins at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Pre-register to guarantee that you receive a shirt and avoid long lines the day of the race. Pre-registration ends May 13. 812-232-0147. www.terrehaute. /departments/parks/6th-annual-terre-haute-parks-departmentmemorial.html



HOOSIER HILLS FIBER FESTIVAL, Franklin (Johnson), Johnson County Fairgrounds. Vendors offering yarns, spinning fibers and handmade goods. Workshops, demonstrations, competitions, and door prizes. Friday, 10:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Free. 317403-5667.



HARRODSBURG HERITAGE DAYS, Harrodsburg (Monroe), Community Center. Fish fry, parade, baby contest, food booths, kiddy tractor pull, arts and crafts, free entertainment under outside pavilion. Kids’ rides and games. Hours vary by day. 812-320-3020.


HURON MEMORIAL DAY FESTIVAL, Mitchell (Lawrence), Railroad Street. Local food, games, flea markets, bands, tractor show, yard sales and parade at 2 p.m. Free. 812-583-2987. https:// event/huron-memorial-day


MAY 2020



FORT BRANCH TOWNFEST, Fort Branch (Gibson), Fort Branch Community Park. Food, kid-friendly entertainment, parade, 5K, car show and beer garden with live music. Events vary daily. Free. 812-664-6737.



Due to the ever-changing coronavirus situation, please note that the events below may not occur at their originally scheduled times. Be sure to reach out to the event contacts below to ensure that the programs you are interested in are still taking place.


2223 2930

PBR MEMORIAL DAY BULLFEST, Shipshewana (LaGrange), Michiana Event Center. 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. Stay for the after party. Tickets start at $24.95. 260-768-3300. /event/2019/1/21/pbrbullfest-z8bbh FARMHOUSE LIVING FAIR, Angola (Steuben), Buck Lake Ranch. Hundreds of interior designers, curators, small shop owners and producers. Concert featuring Hillary Klug, Adam Wakefield, Craig Wayne Boyd and Casey James. Friday, 3-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. $22 weekend entry. $29-$99 for concert. 269-625-0364. info@ www.



POW WOW-NCGLNAC 17TH ANNUAL GATHERING, Portland (Jay), Tri-State Antique Gas Engine Association grounds. Native American drums, singers, dancers, vendors, food, pre1840s camp, free kids’ activities. Event opens 11 a.m. Native dancing — Saturday, 1-4:30 p.m., 6-9 p.m.; Sunday, Noon-4 p.m. Admission charge. 765-6501028.


1516 23

SMOKE ON THE SQUARE, Hope (Bartholomew), town square. BBQ competition in pork ribs, pulled pork, chicken and brisket categories. Pulled pork and brisket available for purchase. Vendors, activities, live entertainment. Free. 812-546-4499. Friday, 4- 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. or SmokeOnTheSquareHopeIndiana SWIFT CREEK GARDEN RAILWAY OPEN HOUSE, Greenville (Floyd), Swift Creek Garden Railroad (6265 Buttontown Road). Garden railway with a miniature city built around it. 5 p.m. to dusk. Free. 812-9231537. SwiftCreekRailroad



METAMORA STRAWBERRY DAYS, Metamora (Franklin), downtown. Strawberry shortcake and live music. Visit specialty shops and the Grist Mill. Train and canal rides available. Free. 765-647-1212. MetamoraStrawberryDays

This calendar is published as a service to readers and the communities electric cooperatives serve. Indiana Connection publishes events free of charge as space allows, giving preference to free community festival and events in and around areas served by subscribing REMCs/RECs. While Indiana Connection strives for accuracy, please note that events, dates and time may change without notice. Indiana Connection advises using contact phone numbers or internet sites to check times and dates of events before making plans. To add events to Calendar, please use the “Submit and Event” form under the “Talk to Us” or “Calendar” buttons at; or mail your info to: Calendar, Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240. Please submit info two months before the date of the event.

MAY 2020



Quoth the

Cardinal B Y JA C K S PA U LD IN G

Once, on a late afternoon, I was sitting in my upstairs office writing my latest column of outdoors lore when suddenly, I was surprised to hear a tap, as if someone had gently rapped, upon my second story back door. Since even our family and close friends use the front door, the knock got my immediate attention. I rose from my office chair and prepared to welcome whoever was game enough to go around the backside of our house and climb up the stairs to the second story deck to see me. As I approached the door, I heard another tap followed by a soft flutter.

male cardinal slammed into the glass, attacking the reflection it perceived as a rival suitor. This caused me to jump back. Laughing at my initial cowardice, I pulled back the curtains and placed my face close to the window glass. The cardinal’s next launch of aggression was greeted by my huge smiling, toothy face instead. My tactic was effective, as the cardinal returned nevermore. I’ve always found the change in the behavior of male cardinals as spring progresses interesting.

In late winter, with a little snow on the ground, all the males are I eased up to the door and looked compadres, like the St. Louis out the window. Immediately, a Cardinals at spring training. In one instance a few years ago, I counted in my backyard an Last May, I wrote about the collective names attached to awesome 26 male cardinals various clusters of critters. The Northern Cardinal was so — at the bird feeder, on named because the male’s rich red feathers reminded the ground or perched in the nearby juniper bushes early Europeans to North America of the red vestments and small trees. It was an worn by Catholic cardinals in the church hierarchy. The unbelievable sight! The birds bird’s crest is also reminiscent of religious headgear. were feasting on sunflower Therefore, I guess it’s no surprise that a flock of cardinals seeds, and enjoying each you might see in winter at your bird feeder can be other’s company. called, like gatherings of religious leaders, a “college,” “conclave” or “Vatican.”


MAY 2020

By the time April rolls

around and continuing well into May, the kid gloves come off and male cardinals viciously challenge any other males brash enough to invade their territory. The battle for territory is usually over by the end of May, but there are exceptions. Even longer ago when we lived in an old country house, we had a male cardinal wake us when it attacked its reflection in the living room window. Starting at first light, it continued throughout the day. And the bird’s behavior continued from early March until late July. We gave this cardinal the nefarious title of “The Crimson Crusader.” ‘til next time,


JACK SPAULDING is a syndicated state outdoors writer and a member of RushShelby Energy. Readers can email him directly at jackspaulding@ Jack’s first book, “The Best of Spaulding Outdoors,” a compilation of his favorite articles over 30 years is now available as a Kindle download or as a 250-page paperback from


BUYING A NEW HOME? Make sure its electrical system is up to snuff


ay is traditionally a big month for buying and selling homes. May is also National Electrical Safety Month. Your friends at your electric cooperative want to be sure that if you are buying a new home you don’t overlook the hidden system of wires that surrounds you in the home. “Curb appeal, location, floor plans, schools, even the kitchen countertops and window treatments are the things everyone thinks about first,” said John Gasstrom, CEO at Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “A home’s electrical system — the wiring, outlets, light switches — isn’t flashy stuff, but it’s something that every home uses constantly and is vitally important.” Gasstrom says you should always have a licensed electrical inspector thoroughly check out any home you’re buying, especially if it’s older. “You just want to make sure the electrical system is up to snuff because the last thing you want is to have an electrical fire in your new home,” he said.

During an inspection, the electrical professional will: • Make sure all the electrical components are working safely. • Identify any problem areas/wiring mistakes or problems associated with older wiring. • Identify any fire or safety hazards. These include frayed, exposed

or damaged wires as well as inside and outside receptacles that are not protected with arc- or ground-fault circuit interrupters and tamper-resistant outlet electrical receptacles. • Help you meet insurance risk assessment inspection requirements.

Once you have moved into your new home, there’s still some “homework” to do. • Make sure all circuits in the service panel are labeled correctly for the rooms or major appliance they serve. • Make sure adults and teenagers in the home familiarize themselves with the service panel and know how to work the circuit breakers or replace fuses. • Make sure everyone knows which is the master power switch. While you’re at it, make sure everyone knows the locations of the main shut-off valves for the water and gas lines and how to work those, too. • Make sure the lightbulbs you’re using are the correct wattage for the fixtures. If the wattage is higher than recommended, the wiring in the fixture may be damaged from the excessive heat.

GFCIs save lives If you’re looking at purchasing an older home, an inspection by a licensed electrical inspector will determine if the home has working ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) installed properly. If it doesn’t, ask the seller to have them installed or compensate in price. Some sellers or home inspectors may dismiss the value of GFCIs, but the Electrical Safety Foundation International says thousands of lives have been saved by them since their introduction into the National Electrical Code (NEC) in the 1970s. GFCIs can greatly reduce the risk of shock by immediately shutting off an electrical circuit when that circuit detects a shock hazard. GFCI protection is required by the 2017 NEC for newly installed and replacement 15- and 20-amp receptacles on kitchen countertops; in bathrooms, outdoor areas, unfinished basements and crawl spaces, garages, boathouses, and laundry areas; and within 6 feet of sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls.

MAY 2020



A POISON IVY PRIMER By B. Rosie Lerner Perhaps you’ve heard of the old saying: “Leaves of three, let it be?” That’s still excellent advice for those who are sensitive to the poison ivy plant. But navigating past poison ivy in a sea of green leafy plants along the fence rows or forest paths can be downright confusing.

A perplexing plant Poison ivy is generally a woody plant and can be in the form of a shrub, ground cover, and/or climbing vine. Though the “leaves of three” may seem to be three individual leaves, poison ivy leaves are compound rather than simple. A single leaf is actually a cluster of three “leaflets.” Plants with three leaflets are often referred to as being trifoliate. The two lower opposite leaflets are attached by a very short or absent stalk. The third or top leaflet is attached by a relatively long stalk. The leaflets can be quite variable along the edge, sometimes scalloped, toothed, or irregularly toothed. Poison ivy flowers are rather inconspicuous and usually not noticed by gardeners. The subsequent fruits are greenish white, smooth berries in clusters about the size of currants. Birds and other wildlife eat the berries and then spread the seed in their droppings. So poison ivy can show up just about anywhere. Poison ivy often has outstanding red fall foliage.

Lookalikes There are a few look-alike plants that gardeners could mistake for poison


MAY 2020

ivy. Boston ivy is a common landscape vine that is trifoliate, but only in the very young foliage. In Boston ivy, each leaflet is attached by a stalk. In poison ivy, generally only the top leaflet is attached by a stalk. Mature Boston ivy leaves are three-lobed, but not separated into separate leaflets. Fragrant sumac, a small shrub, is also trifoliate, but none of the leaflets have stalks. Their fruit are red and slightly fuzzy. Other plants also may have three leaflets and add to your confusion, so if there is any doubt, it is always best to proceed with caution.

Eradicating poison ivy


Several herbicides are available for control of poison ivy. Keep in mind, though, that any herbicide that will kill poison ivy, will also kill any desirable plants. If you plan to spray or pull poison ivy, be careful to avoid exposing your skin to the plant. Wear gloves, long pants, socks and shoes, and a long-sleeved shirt, and wash or discard the clothing when done. Remember, the offending chemical in poison ivy is contained in oil that can be carried on tools, pets, clothing or other items that come in contact with the plant. NEVER burn poison ivy! The smoke from burning the plant contains particles that can cause serious injury to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. For more information on Poison Ivy, see Purdue Extension Bulletin HO-218-W, https://www.extension.

B. Rosie Lerner is the Purdue Extension consumer horticulturist and is a consumer of Tipmont REMC. Questions about gardening issues may be sent to “Ask Rosie,” Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606, or use the form at

product recalls American Honda recalls portable generators due to fire and burn hazards Honda has recalled its EB2200i, EU2200i, portable generators. The portable generator’s inverter assembly can short-circuit with the presence of salt water. This causes the unit to smoke or catch fire, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers. The recalled portable generators were sold with a red or camo cover. The name “HONDA” and the generator model name are printed on the control panel. The serial number is located on a lower corner of one of the side panels of the generator. The generators were sold at authorized Honda Power Equipment Dealers, The Home Depot and other home improvement stores nationwide, and online from February 2018 through January 2020 for between $1,100 to $1,300. Consumers who took part in the previous recall for these generators should also take part in this recall. Call American Honda toll-free at 888-888-3139, or go online at com/ and click on “Recalls and Updates” at the bottom of the page for more information.

Children’s tool kits fail safety requirements Two models of Grizzly Children’s Tool Kits have been recalled. A number of pieces in the 11- and 12-piece kits contain excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead content standard, or do not meet toy safety requirements. The recalled Children’s Tool Kits have two different model numbers: H3044 and H5855. Model numbers are printed on the front upper right hand corner of the packaging. “Grizzly Industrial” is printed on multiple items of the tool kits. The kits were sold at Grizzly Industrial’s showrooms nationwide and online from September 2002 through November 2019 for about $20. Call Grizzly Industrial at 888-615-7944 anytime; or go online at and click on “Recalls.”

‘Wireless Power’ reclining furniture has fire hazard This recall involves Southern Motion “Wireless Power” reclining furniture powered by lithium-ion batteries. The batteries, installed internally as an optional equipment upgrade in custom configurable reclining furniture, can overheat, posing a fire hazard. The black rectangular batteries, visible when looking under the upholstery in the rear of the furniture in a black mounting bracket, are marked with the word ENouvation. Recalled furniture has a white label on the back underside of the footrest ottoman which states “Options: WP”, indicating “Wireless Power”, along with the product’s unique serial, style, and cover fabric numbers and the custom production date. The furniture was sold nationwide from January 2019 through September 2019 for between $1,000 and $2,500. Call Southern Motion at 800-368-8865; or online at and click on “Product Safety” for more information.

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

MAY 2020


Wabash Valley Power news

Stay comfy this summer and save! The summer sun quickly drives

— be sure to turn the fan off when you

is properly insulated, which will help

up outdoor temperatures. Rather

leave the room.

maintain your home’s temperature. Finally, if your house is properly sealed

than perpetually running your air

and insulated, you may need to look

can save you energy, leading to lower


electric use. Steps you can take to

annual inspection and maintenance to

can even receive a Power Moves® rebate

reduce your energy costs are to:

get the most out of your home’s heating

to help offset the cost of upgrading to

and cooling systems. Also, be sure to

a qualifying energy efficient system!


regularly replace your furnace filter —

By ensuring your house is properly

this single step can ensure your system

sealed and insulated, you may find that

in the evening and overnight can keep

runs efficiently, minimizing energy

a smaller piece of equipment will keep

you comfortable without the need for

waste and saving you money.

you comfortable.



changing the temperature settings on

efficiency. Your local cooperative may

your thermostat can cause your air

have a list of contractors conducting

conditioner to work much more than

energy audits in your area; your

Reducing the sun’s heat will reduce the

needed — wasting energy and costing

co-op may even provide the audit

energy needed to cool your home.

you money! “Smart” thermostats, such

for you. An energy audit will include

as the Nest and Ecobee, include tools

a thorough review and testing of

such as energy reports and smart phone

electricity use in your home, along with

controls to help you use your HVAC

recommendations on how to improve

system as efficiently as possible.

your home’s efficiency.

allow you to raise the thermostat up to


4 degrees Fahrenheit while maintaining

three keys to maximize your efficiency!

the same level of comfort. But turn the

Start by sealing any air leaks in your

fan off when you are done! The couch

house to prevent your chilled air from

doesn’t need to be kept cool after you

escaping — and hot air from seeping

leave the room. Treat fans just like lights

indoors. From there, ensure your home

Taking a few extra steps can reduce your energy use and bill during the summer and even year-round. To learn more energy-saving tips, visit

conditioner, some strategic planning

into updating your HVAC system. You

turning on the air conditioner.



a great way to learn about your home’s

reports that a ceiling fan in the room will


MAY 2020

These are




he late legendary singer Johnny Cash rode the “train song” genre through his career until he ran out of track. One of his songs lamented the passing of the American passenger train as the main mode of transportation. “In this fast-moving world that we live in, nobody rides them much these days,” he sang. If you, like Johnny Cash, have a “thing about trains” or simply would like to go for a train ride, there are still a handful of places around Indiana where old locomotives have not totally faded from the scene. Each offers various regular excursions or specially themed events. Find an excursion near you and hop aboard.

FORT WAYNE RAILROAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY 15808 Edgerton Road, New Haven 260-493-0765 The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive no. 765 has been restored to the way it looked and sounded when it was originally built in 1944. The 765 is one of only a handful of mainline steam engines that still operate in North America. Since its 1979 restoration, the 404-ton locomotive as taken passengers on

outstanding, hands-on, educational experiences into history. Plans for Fort Wayne’s multi-phased riverfront development includes “Headwaters Junction” which is an ambitious plan to showcase Fort Wayne’s railroading

25 miles of track from French Lick to Jasper that take guests back to a time when rail travel was the primary means of long-distance travel.


201 Mill St., Jasper 812-482-9229 |

HESSTON STEAM MUSEUM 1201 E. 1000 N., LaPorte 219-872-5055 | The outdoor museum, operated by the LaPorte County Historical Steam Society, is home of four different gauge railroads along with numerous other pieces of steam powered and vintage farm equipment.

HOOSIER VALLEY RAILROAD MUSEUM 507 Mulberry St., North Judson 574-896-3950 | The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum offers visitors an opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and smells of railroading during its heydays. Visit the museum or take a train ride on an authentic caboose pulled by a vintage diesel locomotive.

INDIANA RAILWAY MUSEUM 1 Monon St., French Lick 800-748-7246 The Indiana Railway Museum, operating as the French Lick Scenic Railway, runs passenger trains over

SPIRIT OF JASPER The restored Spirit of Jasper Passenger Train offers excursions departing from the Jasper Train Depot. Excursions include an 18-mile round-trip dining experience and a 25-mile run to the French Lick resorts and casino.

WHITEWATER VALLEY RAILROAD 455 Market St., Connersville 765-825-2054 The Whitewater Valley Railroad preserves the historic branch line running from Connersville to the historic town of Metamora. In that train song, Cash sings, “When my little boy says, ‘Daddy what was it like to ride a train?’” He says he’ll respond, “It was a good way to travel when things didn’t move quite so fast. And I’m sorry, son, that you can’t ride one. Trains are a thing of the past.” Passenger trains may mostly be a thing of the past, but you can still catch Amtrak. Or you can get a glimpse of riding the rails at Indiana’s historic railroads. MAY 2020





at the oven BY HOLLY HUFFMAN

Last fall, Alford “battered” the competition, winning season seven of the Food Network’s “Kids Baking Championship.” The program featured nine kids, ranging in age from 10-13, tackling various baking challenges. As the winner, Alford received $25,000 and a feature in Food Network magazine. His proud parents, David and Carrie Alford, are ecstatic. “This is a pipe dream come true,” said his mom. Luck, skill and word-of-mouth all played a part in Alford’s screen time success. Alford began baking at age 9 when he attended a camp which offered activity electives. He chose baking since he liked watching baking shows on the Food Network. He soon discovered a passion for the craft and continued to learn by watching YouTube videos. He then began making — and selling — baked goods around his hometown. He even started an Instagram account (@trevin_tdabakes) on which he would post photos of his creations. Others began talking about his baking prowess and one of his customers


MAY 2020

sang his praises to a friend who works in casting in Los Angeles. Days later, Alford was applying to be on “Kids Baking Championship.” Alford relocated to LA for the show’s filming. While on the show, Alford showcased his skills by baking fun and imaginative creations. “During the competition, I made things like Angry Bird cupcakes, a peanut butter and banana poke cake, nectarine pie and the winning recipe: pineapple vanilla cakes,” Alford said. One of the hardest parts of the competition for Alford was staying mum about the results of the competition for the three months before the show aired last September. Since garnering the top prize, he has continued to build on his successful baking business, T-Da Bakery. He’s got business booked to December of this year. With his prize money, he’s been able to build a work area on his family’s property. “I’ve been able to do so many things and have had a lot of opportunities,

Trevin Alford's Chocolate Cheesecake is one of his many specialities.

including speaking to groups, because of the show,” Alford said. In the future, he plans to attend culinary school and run his business full time. Holly Huffman is communication support specialist for Indiana Connection and Indiana Electric Cooperatives.

Recipe! Check out Trevin’s recipe for Pineapple Vanilla Cake, which helped him win the Kids’ Baking Challenge, at


Imagine your dream coming true at age 13. That’s exactly what happened to Trevin Alford, a middle school student from Washington, Indiana.