Carroll White REMC — November 2021 Indiana Connection

Page 1

New CW REMC programs available.

Carroll White REMC’s





from the editor

It takes just three words “I appreciate you.” Three words. Three impactful words. We need to use them more. And mean them when we do. As we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving that was shared by Plymouth colonists and Native Americans this month, why not verbally honor the people around us who may not realize they’re making an impact? They could be co-workers who make your life easier by sharing the workload. They could be health care workers who comfort you when you’re frightened and feeling your worst. They could be young children who’ve created drawings just for you just because. They could be strangers who are kind to you when you’ve had a stressful day. Or, they could be strangers who you’re kind to when you sense they need a boost. Though “thank you” is a perfectly acceptable phrase to show appreciation, I think “I appreciate you” means so much more. I know when I receive the sentiment, I’m affected to the core. I feel recognized, valued, humbled. It’s like I’ve earned a gold star that I didn’t even realize I wanted. And when I say those words, I can see their impact on others’ faces. Appreciation is powerful. During this season when we reflect on our blessings and our gratitude, think about who you’re thankful for. Tell them how you feel. It just takes three words.


On the menu: February issue: Noodles, deadline Dec. 1.

March issue: Recipes featuring potato chips, deadline Dec. 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.

Giveaways: We have three outstanding giveaways this month for our readers!

Enter this month to win a chance at one of these prizes: Four tickets to the Bob Ross Experience in Muncie, a prize package from Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette and a $100 gift card from The Homestead (this month’s Indiana Eats profile). For details and to enter, visit Entry deadline: Nov. 30.

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 5 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: 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 Digital and Layout Design Specialist Taylor Maranion Senior Brand and Visual Design Specialist Lauren Carman Communication Coordinator 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.








03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative. 10 ENERGY Does daylight saving time help conserve energy?

Indiana eats 14 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Tippecanoe County. 16 INDIANA EATS Home sweet Homestead: More than just a restaurant. 18 FOOD Pumpkin to talk about.



Indiana Connection



cover story 20 COVER STORY Christmas ‘Tree’ditions. 24 SAFETY Shooting near electrical equipment can be costly and deadly. 25 OUTDOORS Rocky and his friends.


26 CALENDAR 27 TRAVEL Seeing a happy world thru Ross-colored glasses. 28 PROFILE Valedictory art is a tour de force. 30 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS

On the cover Toddler Max Holton enjoys his family’s traditional Christmas tree farm visit atop his father Travis’ shoulders. If your family opts to pick its perfect tree at one of our state’s 200 tree farms — as Max’s family always does — you’ll want to read the cover story beginning on page 20 so you’re all set for the choose and cut experience. PHOTO BY TAYLOR MARANION



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 INTERIM CEO Cathy Raderstorf BOARD OF DIRECTORS Kevin M. Bender, 219-863-6652 4280 W, 700 N, Delphi

Margaret E. Foutch, 219-279-2677 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



Kiger new REMC apprentice lineman Ab Kiger joined Carroll White REMC as an apprentice lineman on Sept. 7. He brings a strong work ethic, dedication and character with him as he begins his new job. Born and raised in Rensselaer, Kiger lives in the country near his hometown with his girlfriend, Samantha Jones, and their three-year-old son, Wesley. A 2015 graduate of Rensselaer Central High School, Kiger worked for the City of Rensselaer Line Department for three years. “I’m looking forward to getting to know a new area,” he said. He is also looking forward to getting to know and serve CW REMC members. A true outdoorsman, Kiger’s favorite hobby is riding and raising his four quarter horses.

AB KIGER Kiger with son Wesley and girlfriend Samantha Jones.

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

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

Aaron Anderson, 765-427-5592 6634 W, 300 S, Delphi

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

Safety, Service, and Community IMPORTANT DATES Cycle 1 October bills are due Nov. 5 and are subject to disconnect Nov. 23 if unpaid. Cycle 2 October bills are due Nov. 20 and are subject to disconnect Dec. 9 if unpaid. Meters are read using the Automated Meter Reading system. Cycle 1 meters will be read on Nov. 1. Cycle 2 meters will be read Nov. 15.

PREP YOUR HOME FOR THE UPCOMING WINTER CHILL Save energy and stay comfortable by caulking and weatherstripping areas that typically need sealing. Start by sealing around windows and doors. Seal plumbing, ducting, and areas where electrical wiring comes through walls, floors and ceilings for additional energy savings. — U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK carrollwhite.remc

Anderson joins REMC’s line crew Derek Anderson has been enjoying some significant life changes recently. He joined Carroll White REMC as a fourth year apprentice lineman on Aug. 30. On Oct. 1, Anderson, who worked at American Electric Power for two years and Kankakee Valley REMC for three years, completed his apprenticeship, becoming a journeyman lineman. Line workers undergo extensive training to earn the journeyman designation. During the four-year training program, an apprentice lineman works under the direct supervision of a journeyman lineman to compete assigned tasks. This work involves physical exertion, heavy lifting and sometimes inclement weather, not to mention working with high voltage energized line and equipment.

DEREK ANDERSON Anderson with children Colton and Grayson and wife Alex.

Anderson was raised in Rensselaer and graduated from Rensselaer Central High School. He is already settling into his new position. One of his favorite parts of the job is CW REMC’s community outreach involvement. “At my previous employer, we did a Community Day outreach,” he said. He also likes the camaraderie with others on the line crew. “At CW REMC, I’m working with a good group of guys and challenging myself to be better,” Anderson said. “I’m a hard worker and like looking out for the community.” Anderson and his wife of three years, Alex, currently live in Hanna, Indiana. They have two sons: Colton, 2, and Grayson, 1. His hobbies include boating, playing guitar, and hanging out with family and friends.




co-op news

NEW CW REMC PROGRAMS AVAILABLE OUTAGE INFO SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU This summer, Carroll White REMC introduced a new text feature which provides members with outage information targeted to their location. (The previous text program’s alerts weren’t location-specific.) Here’s how to sign up to receive these outage alerts: 1. You must be signed up for SmartHub.

MAKING GEOTHERMAL MORE AFFORDABLE Are the upfront costs of installing a geothermal heat pump keeping you from switching your home or business to this energy-efficient heating and cooling system? Carroll White REMC’s new Looped In program is here to help you!

2. Go to “Contact Methods” to make sure you are text enrolled. 3. Go to “Manage Notifications.” 4. Go to “Outages or Service Related.” 5. Go to “Power Outage and Power Outage Restored” and enable your cell phone number. 6. Make sure to hit “Save” at the bottom of each screen. You can enter more than one cell number and email in this process.

Carroll White REMC will pay to have a member’s loop system installed. The REMC will own the loop portion and will add a small rider to your monthly bill for your use of the loop. The process: • Call our energy advisor, Joe Spear, at 800-844-7161 to set up a home visit. • After consulting with Spear, you will select a licensed contractor to install the geothermal system and sign the necessary agreements and paperwork so work on the project can begin.

YOUR PROJECT PARTNER Are those money-saving energy

• Building envelope improvements

• Carroll White REMC will select a contractor for the loop installation.

efficiency projects on your to do list

• HVAC systems

• Post construction, Carroll White REMC will ensure all the work was done as expected and will finalize all rebates. A copy of the geothermal installation invoice from the member’s approved contractor will be required.

can help!

• Our billing department will then add the monthly lease fee to your electric bill.



too daunting? Carroll White REMC

Partnership for Efficiency provides low interest loans to rural families

• Heat pump water heaters • Motors • Appliance upgrades

and small businesses to help them

• Compressed air systems

with their energy efficiency projects.

• Boilers, dryers, heaters, and

Energy efficiency projects/ replacements may include: • Lighting improvements

process related equipment • Other activities and investments directly related to efficiency

ENTER THE VIRTUAL LOBBY You’re invited to visit our new Carroll White REMC Virtual Lobby Experience! While COVID-19 has limited our in-person interactions over the past year, through our new virtual lobby our customers can safely visit and engage with Carroll White REMC from anywhere!

What is a Virtual Lobby? The Virtual Lobby allows us to connect with our customers in a unique and safe way. The lobby’s tools and resources inform our customers about diverse topics in a fun, engaging way. You’ll find: • An interactive home energy use tool


How does it work?


Explore all that Carroll White REMC provides in your community with just a few clicks. Almost every element of this virtual town has a pop up with more information, including interactive tools and engaging videos.

• Easy-to-understand guide to electric vehicles • An explanation of how your power is generated • Ways to save on your heating and cooling costs • And so much more!

Here’s how Partnership for Efficiency works: 1. Member must contact our energy advisor, Joe Spear, to schedule a free energy audit. 2. Member should fill out the application. 3. A credit check is done to determine the loan amount. 4. Upon approval, the member chooses a licensed contractor to perform the work. 5. After the work is completed, the

Changing with technology Technology continues to evolve which affects our personal and work lives. This includes the way Carroll White REMC (CW REMC) members interact with us. As more and more members do business electronically and virtually, we are responding to meet their changing needs. Beginning in mid-December 2021, the Delphi front office will have a new virtual Member Services Representative (MSR) and a Virtual Lobby. Currently, many members are using a kiosk and dropbox in this location. To best accommodate members’ needs, the front office will be open an hour longer each day from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is simply no question that COVID-19 greatly slowed down the amount of front office and counter traffic in both CW REMC offices. To meet this changing flow, we will be moving the MSR from the Delphi front counter to Monticello. There will be no reduction in staffing. All CW REMC MSRs will maintain their positions. Today, members are using alternative payment methods, such as AutoPay, Pay by Phone or SmartHub to interact with us. In the past three years, we added nearly 1,300 members to SmartHub, bringing the total number of members utilizing this convenient payment method to over 6,200. That is over half of all CW REMC members! This number continues to grow monthly. We are confident members will appreciate our new option to pay bills. Carroll White REMC is partnering to use InComm Payment locations. Members can pay their CW REMC bills while they are out in the community. This will be a cash only method of paying your bill. InComm Payment allows in-person payment at retail locations, even in small communities inside and outside our service territory. This option also provides extended retail store hours for members’ convenience.

member contacts our energy advisor

Find retailers at

to perform another energy audit to

For more information, contact Carroll White REMC at 800-844-7161 or by email at

validate the energy efficiency was achieved. 6. Carroll White REMC pays the contractor. 7. Carroll White REMC adds the monthly loan charge to the

InComm Payment Locations

• Family Dollar

• Speedway

• Dollar General

• Kum & Go

• CVS Pharmacy

• Kwik Trip

• 7 Eleven

• Walgreens

• Pilot Travel Centers • Go Mart Inc.

member’s electric bill. NOVEMBER 2021


co-op news

From the boardroom The Carroll White REMC

date. The board approved

Valley Power Alliance

Gerlach was appointed

board of directors met

June 6, 2022, as the

and Cooperative Finance

to serve another year

on Sept. 24. Roll call was

annual meeting date.

Corporation, as well as

representing Carroll

each department giving

White REMC on the IEC

its monthly information.

board of directors. Kevin

taken, and minutes of the previous board meeting were approved.

C.O.O. Cathy Raderstorf then gave the financial report. Reports were given

The upcoming Indiana

The board then heard a

for the NRECA regional

Electric Cooperatives

proposal of next year’s

meeting, Indiana Electric

annual meeting was

possible annual meeting

Cooperatives, Wabash

discussed. Director Gary

have you checked out ouR

PODCAST? SEARCH ‘CARROLL WHITE NEWS & NOTES’ ON SPOTIFY OR APPLE ITUNES Learn about what’s happening at Carroll White REMC and in our communities. We will chat with our energy advisor about ways to be more energy efficient and save money on your monthly bill.



Bender was named as the alternate director for IEC.



Can’t change the time? change your energy use As the time shifts,

DAYlight saving

here are two things you can do to help reduce your home’s energy use. If you are replacing equipment, be sure to look at the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). The

Highly debated, does the time shift help conserve energy?

SEER tells you how

Daylight saving time

pass through seven time

found that observing

will be at using energy.

has had a rocky past

changes according to

daylight saving in

The higher the number

in the U.S. In 1918, the

Indiana equates to

the better.

a 1-4% increase in

As you heat and cool

shift in time was first observed — often seen as a World War I effort. Following the war, the time change was repealed in 1919 leading to a variety of times being observed across the nation. The same thing happened again during World War II.

In 1963, Time magazine published an article about industry leaders and farmers calling for bills to reform what was labeled “a clock chaos.” Their voices were heard and the chaos was mitigated through the 1966 Uniform Time Act that standardized when

residential electricity demand. Research finds

to two degrees or less. The more

longer in the afternoon

you ask your HVAC

and evening. This

system to meet large

growth in residential

temperature changes

HVAC use offsets the

will increase your

benefits of using lights

energy use.

less due to longer hours of daylight.

saving time remained a

take place in standard

No matter when the

challenge into the 1960s

time zones. We now

sun rises or sets,

because changes in time

spring forward and

daylight saving time will

were set by individual

fall back each year but

continue. At least we

states. At one time, a trip

does the time shift help

don’t have to go through

from eastern Ohio to the

conserve energy?

multiple time changes

would cause travelers to



A three-year study published by MIT Press,

temperature changes

and cooling their homes

daylight saving would

— a 35-mile journey —

your home, keep

consumers are heating

The adaption of daylight

edge of West Virginia

efficient the equipment

when traveling from Loogootee to Osgood!

by Jackie


Communication Specialist Daviess-Martin County REMC


United States Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation 1. Publication Title: Indiana Connection. 2. Publication Number: 0745-4651. 3. Filing Date 9/21/21. 4. Issue Frequency: Monthly. 5. Number of Issues Published Annually: 12. 6. Annual Subscription Price: $3.54. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: Indiana Electric Cooperatives, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, Marion County, IN 46240-4606. Contact Person: Emily Schilling. Telephone: 317-487-2220. 8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: Indiana Electric Cooperatives, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, Marion County, IN 462404606. 9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Address of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor: Publisher: Indiana Electric Cooperatives, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, Marion County, IN 46240-4606. Editor: Emily Schilling, Indiana Electric Cooperatives, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, Marion County, IN 46240-4606. Managing Editor: None. 10. Owner: Indiana Electric Cooperatives, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None. 12. Tax Status (For completion by nonprofit organizations authorized to mail at nonprofit rates). The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes has not changed during preceding 12 months. 13. Publication Title: Indiana Connection. 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: Oct. 2021. 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation: Electric co-op members in Indiana. a. Total Number of Copies (Net press run): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 307,308. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 308,484. b. Paid Circulation (By Mail and Outside the Mail). (1) Mailed Outside-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include paid distribution above nominal rate, advertiser’s proof copies and exchange copies): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 305,878. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 307,208. (2) Mailed In-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include paid distribution above nominal rate, advertiser’s proof copies and exchange copies): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 0. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 0. (3) Paid Distribution Outside the Mails including Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid Distribution Outside USPS: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 0. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 0. (4) Paid Distribution by Other Classes of Mail Through the USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 0. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 0. c. Total Paid Distribution ((Sum of 15b (1), (2), (3), and (4)): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 305,878. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 307,208. d. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (By Mail and Outside the Mail). (1) Free or Nominal Rate Outside-County Copies included on PS Form 3541: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 275. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 275. (2) Free or Nominal Rate Copies In-County Copies Included on PS Form 3541: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 0. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 0. (3) Free or Nominal Rate Copies Mailed at Other Classes Through the USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 0. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 0. (4) Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the Mail (Carriers or other means): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 0. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 0. e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (Sum of 15d (1), (2), (3) and (4): Average No. Copies of Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 275. No. Copies of Single issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 275. f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and 15e): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 306,153. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 307,483. g. Copies not Distributed (See Instructions to Publishers #4 (page #3): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 1,155. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 1,001. h. Total (Sum of 15f and g): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 307,308. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 308,484. i. Percent Paid (15c divided by 15f times 100): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 99.91 %. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 99.91 %. Publication of Statement of Ownership. If the publication is a general publication, publication of this statement is required. Will be printed in the November 2020 issue of this publication. 17. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager or Owner (Signed): Emily Schilling, Editor. Date: 9/21/21 I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties).




HANG AWARD-WINNING STUDENT ART ON YOUR WALL The 2022 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art is available at participating electric cooperative offices across the state. • Bartholomew County REMC • Boone REMC • Carroll White REMC • Clark County REMC • Dubois REC • Fulton County REMC • Harrison REMC • Heartland REMC • Hendricks Power Cooperative • Henry County REMC • Jasper County REMC • Jay County REMC • Johnson County REMC • Kankakee Valley REMC • Kosciusko REMC

• LaGrange County REMC • Marshall County REMC • Miami-Cass REMC • Newton County REMC • Noble REMC • Northeastern REMC • Orange County REMC • RushShelby Energy • Southeastern Indiana REMC • Steuben County REMC • Whitewater Valley REMC • WIN Energy REMC


STUDENT ART ARE $7 EACH. Price includes shipping and Indiana sales tax. Make check payable to “Indiana Electric Cooperatives.” Send a note and check to Indiana Connection Calendar; 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600; Indianapolis, IN 46240.

MARKETPLACE Our Marketplace offers maximum exposure for your business or organization at a minimal cost. Please contact Cheryl Solomon, 847-749-4875 or cheryl@amp. coop, for other small business advertising opportunities in Indiana Connection.

WE CLOSE LOANS IN 30 DAYS GUARANTEED! Local Loan Originators We Lend in 48 States Loan Program Variety Low and No Down Payment Competitive Rates JWeingart@

county feature

The voyageurs land at Fort Ouiatenon Historic Park for the 2017 Feast of the Hunters’ Moon.

Tippecanoe County


“Tippecanoe” is easily the most poetic and fun-to-say county in the state. But its meaning has nothing to do with capsizing a boat. Tippecanoe is the anglicized word for a Miami Indian term meaning “place of the succor fish people” — because succor (also known as buffalo fish) were abundant in the waters in the area. The county takes its name from the Tippecanoe River that flows into the Wabash River northeast of the county seat, and also from the historic battle that occurred near the confluence of the two rivers 210 years ago this month. The clash and ultimate confluence of two cultures — Native American and European explorers/settlers — are commemorated in historic sites around the county. Like the two rivers, one culture added to the other but its individual identity ended, while the other carried on. Every early autumn, the Feast of the Hunters’ Moon celebrates the county’s early history of generally peaceful and mutually beneficial relations between the Native and European cultures with reenactments, programming, crafts, and food on the grounds of the Fort Ouiatenon Historic Park. The park is a 1930s re-creation of the original fort that was established on the banks of the Wabash by French fur traders in 1717. Remains of the original fort, abandoned in 1791, were discovered in the 1960s just a stone’s throw farther down river from the recreated historic park. Relations between Native Americans and the encroaching settlers from the east coast and



Europe deteriorated steadily through the latter 1700s. Finally, the two cultures came to a bloody confrontation Nov. 7, 1811, at the Battle of Tippecanoe. Soldiers, led by William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana Territory, defeated a confederation of Native Americans, led by the Shawnee leader The Prophet. The confederation, organized by The Prophet and his brother Tecumseh, who was away recruiting more forces, never recovered. The Battle of Tippecanoe is seen as the beginning of the end of the indigenous peoples’ way of life in the Midwest. The battle also helped launch Harrison’s political career. Given the nickname “Old Tippecanoe,” he won the U.S. presidency in 1840, with running mate John Tyler, using the memorable “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” slogan. Today, Harrison stands out to most people as the president who served the shortest term; he died a month after his 1841 inauguration. The Tippecanoe Battlefield is now a National Historic Landmark that includes a museum, a memorial marker to Harrison and his soldiers, picnic grounds, hiking trails and a nature center.

County Facts FOUNDED: 1826 NAMED FOR: Tippecanoe River and the Battle of Tippecanoe (after Kethtippecanoogi — “Village of the Succor Fish People”) POPULATION: 199,562 (2021 estimate) COUNTY SEAT: Lafayette INDIANA COUNTY NUMBER: 79

South of Battle Ground, along the Wabash River, is Prophetstown State Park. The park commemorates the Native American village founded there in 1808. The park also features the open-air Museum at Prophetstown, with living history exhibits including a Shawnee village, and a 1920s-era farmstead.

For more information about Fort Ouiatenon and the Tippecanoe Battlefield, please visit:



For info about Prophetstown State Park, go to: or prophetstown-state-park


Indiana eats


Serving homestyle food in so many ways

When is a restaurant not a restaurant? When it’s so much more than that. The Homestead, with locations in Remington and West Lafayette, definitely fits the bill as a food industry unicorn. • It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, offering homemade soups, sandwiches, desserts and a large salad bar amidst a farmstead chic décor. • It’s a bakery, selling delectable pies,

their locations … and they want them to enjoy home-cooked meals like Mama used to make. Sandwiches shine at The Homestead. The Homestead Stack — ham, turkey, salami, melted Colby cheese and Thousand Island dressing on a Ciabatta bun — is a restaurant specialty. Fans Homestead’s version, piled high with corned beef, Guggisberg Baby Swiss, Dressing. The Reuben’s signature flavors are replicated in the Reuben Bake Casserole, available on the frozen

variety of deli meats so you can make

food menu.

delicious sandwiches at home.

With the holidays approaching, consider

and small. • It’s a place to buy bulk products like candies, pasta, pretzels, spices, jams and jellies, and local honey. • It’s your sanity saver if you’re looking

stocking up on The Homestead’s Dressing, Holiday Cheeseballs and pumpkin pies, breads and cake rolls — as a Christmas gift to yourself. And if you’re holiday shopping in the Remington or West Lafayette area take a coffee or smoothie break at The

casseroles, soups and sweets that

Homestead, and pick up some gifts

are full of flavor — not preservatives

while you’re there.

or fillers.

Homestead, the overriding goal of owners Mike and Jody Bahler and their staff is to simplify and enhance their customers’ lives with tasty, foods that hearken back to the good ol’ days.




seasonal specialties — like Holiday

to speed up meal prep with frozen

No matter what brings you to The


of Reuben sandwiches should try The

cookies, cakes and more.

• It’s a catering service for events large


to feel at home whenever they visit

sauerkraut and Thousand Island

Troyer Cheese products including a

a $100 gift card to The Homestead.

Simply put, they want their customers

breads, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts,

• It’s a deli where you can pick up



THE HOMESTEAD 36 S. Ohio St. Remington, Indiana 219-261-2138

1550 Win Hentschel Blvd. West Lafayette, Indiana 765-838-1590



PUMPKIN FLUFF DIP Gale Rhodes Battle Ground, Indiana 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin

Mix pumpkin, dry pudding mix and

1 (3.4 oz.) package vanilla flavor instant pudding

spice in a large bowl with whisk until

1 t. pumpkin pie spice

Refrigerate one hour. Serve dip into

1 (8 oz.) tub non-dairy whipped topping, thawed Small pumpkin Cinnamon graham crackers or gingersnap cookies for serving



blended. Stir in whipped topping. a small hollowed out pumpkin with crackers or cookies.

food PARMESAN PUMPKIN FRITTERS Marilles Mauer Greensburg, Indiana

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl. Stir to combine well. The mixture should

Oil for frying 1¼ cups shredded pumpkin 4 T. flour 1 egg 2 T. milk ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese 1 t. baking powder ¼ t. salt 3 dashes pepper Thai sweet chili sauce for serving


barely bind together and not be wet or watery. Using a spoon, scoop out the mixture and drop it gently into the hot oil. Fry in batches until both sides turn golden brown and the inside is cooked through. Remove the fritters from the oil with a strainer and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve hot with Thai sweet chili sauce.


to talk about


Barbara Scott Markleville, Indiana

3 cups kabocha squash (prepare by baking, cooling and pureering)

2 (12.2 oz) cans evaporated coconut milk

2 cups brown sugar, packed

2-3 unbaked pie shells

2 T. flour

Mix eggs and pre-cooked/pureed kabocha squash. Stir in brown sugar, flour, salt and spices. Stir in evaporated coconut milk. Pour into unbaked pie shells. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, then 350 F for 3540 minutes. To test: knife inserted in middle should come out wet but clean.

1 t. salt 2 t. cinnamon 1 t. nutmeg 1 t. ginger ½ t. cloves

Cook’s note: You can also substitute evaporated milk for evaporated coconut milk and kabocha squash for pumpkin in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe.





'tree'ditions IF CHRISTM AS TO YOU is all about celebrating faith and savoring experiences with family and friends, then let the festivities begin with the centerpiece of most holiday gatherings: the Christmas tree … the lordly evergreen … the old “O Tannenbaum” … the Noble Fir, the Scotch pine, the spruce and the cedar.

Whether your family is young and you are wanting to start a tradition, or is seasoned and you’re hoping to recapture the smells and memories of Christmases past, traveling over the river and through the woods to a nearby Christmas tree farm is a great way to start the season, and Indiana has some 200 tree farms you can visit! “There’s just something magical about seeing that big, beautiful tree out in the wild before bringing it home,” said Stacey Holton, marketing director at Tipmont REMC. “I’m a sucker for traditions, and we like to make a whole day of the affair.” She and husband Travis have started the holiday season with a tree farm visit ever since they were married in 2008. This will be the third Christmas they’ll be joined by their now 2-yearold son, Max. As soon as they get the tree home, she said they crank up the Christmas carols as they string lights and decorate. “Then, we sit in the dark enjoying the glowing lights of the newly decorated tree and a fire in the fireplace,” she added.



Max Holton scouts out the perfect tree with his dad, Travis, at Dull's Tree Farm in Boone County. PHO TO BY TAYLO R M ARANI O N

What to expect at a choose & cut farm

PL AN AHEAD Before heading out, measure from the floor to ceiling and the horizontal space where the tree is going. Tree size is sometimes hard to judge in the open field. Measure the height of the tree stand and topper, too.



Wear comfortable shoes and old clothes. Bring rain gear if the weather is threatening. The “cutter downers” and the “loader uppers” should also have gloves.

Saws are usually provided by the farm operator, but call ahead. Bringing your tape measure might also be handy. Be careful carrying the saw.





Select the tree that fits your space. Check the trunk to be sure it's sufficiently straight (pine will usually have at least some crook). Also check that the tree has a sufficiently long stump to accommodate your stand.

In the fall, all conifers shed some of their oldest needles. This is normal as the tree prepares itself for winter. Most tree farms provide shaking or blowing services so that you will depart with a perfectly clean tree.

Cutting the tree is easiest as a two-person project. The “cutter downer” usually lies on the ground while the helper pulls lightly on the tree opposite the side of the cut to ensure that the saw does not bind in the cut.

Bring the tree to the processing area where it will be cleaned and netted. Netting makes transporting and handling the tree much easier. Most farms will have helpers to assist with cutting and loading.

PRICING Some farms measure and price trees individually, others sell them by the foot. Ask about the pricing policy before heading out in the field.

Now you’re ready to load up and head home to decorate your Real Christmas Tree. SOU RCE: National Christmas Tree Association

A young child riding on dad’s shoulders, little mittened hands clinging tightly to mom’s … these are the memories tree farms provide as you wander the lanes among the stands of trees under an open sky. And if the snow flies? Even better! Most farms offer hot chocolate and snacks and maybe even a firepit to stay warm and cozy as you wait for your fresh

pick to be shaken clean of dropped needles, netted and tied to the roof of your vehicle. Some farms also offer a gift shop and a chance to meet Santa and even his reindeer. During the COVIDcrimped Christmas of last year, tree growers noted a silver lining: increased sales and visits to tree farms nationwide over previous years. With the

pandemic protocols and COVID's health concerns still lingering, that may mean another good year for real tree sales as folks look to get outdoors and find the simple things that really matter. “Clearly, the thought process is leaning toward experience, toward making the holiday a bright part of the year,” said Marsha Gray,

executive director of the National Christmas Tree Growers promotion board. “Consumers tend to turn toward things that make them feel good and happy.” “We hope to continue this tradition yearly, especially as Max gets older and we can explain to him the importance of supporting local businesses,” Holton added. “When we have

continued on page 22 NOVEMBER 2021


continued from page 21 family in town over the Thanksgiving weekend, we even include them in the tradition. My brothers like to joke that I go to the farms to pick the tree so I can be sure I’m choosing the biggest one they have. They’re probably not wrong!” If you are planning your first — or your “Nth” annual — outing to a tree farm this year, Indiana Connection has gathered some tips from

the National Christmas Tree Growers Association and from the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association to help you bring home a tree you’ll always remember. Be sure to visit the Indiana Christmas Tree Grower's website to find growers near you. And while you’re at a tree farm, ask about the 2021 “Trees for Troops” that provides real Indiana Christmas trees and other donated support for families in the military.

How to safely decorate your tree Whether your real tree comes straight from a tree farm or from a retail lot, putting it in water as soon as you get it home and keeping it watered throughout the holidays is key to a fresher, safer tree. If your tree has been precut, make a fresh cut at least a half inch up on the trunk before placing it in water. Display the tree indoors away from heat sources that may cause it to dry more quickly. At least close and cover any nearby heat register. Avoid placing your tree near a woodburning fireplace. Display your tree in a sturdy stand with adequate water capacity – at least 1 quart for each inch of trunk diameter. Check the water at least once daily and replenish as needed to maintain the water level above the base of the tree trunk. Trees are very thirsty. If the water level drops below the fresh cut on the base of the tree, a new seal will form and the tree will not be able to take up any more water. Only use lights that produce low heat. Check all electric lights and connections before decorating your tree. Don’t use lights with worn or frayed cords. Don’t overload electrical circuits. Turn off all lights and decorations before going to bed and any time you leave your home. SOURCE: Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association







HUNT WHAT’S IN SEASON Hunting season brings outdoorsmen

Indiana Electric Cooperatives

of all skill levels and experience into

encourages all hunters and gun

and keep clear of electrical

rural Indiana, often to unfamiliar

owners to be aware of electrical


areas. While most hunters follow safe

equipment in their surroundings while

hunting practices, Indiana’s electric

enjoying the great outdoors. Here are

cooperatives remind all those afield to

things to keep in mind:

be mindful of their surroundings and to be aware of electric power lines and equipment in the air and electrical equipment on the ground.

“Skilled hunters understand the potential hazards of discharging a firearm and would never shoot blindly toward electric infrastructure. But there have been instances over the years of accidental damage and intentional vandalism to some power poles and hardware.”

• Never shoot near or toward

the poles can conduct electricity to anyone who comes in contact

equipment. Sometimes the

with them, causing shock or

damage, such as to an insulator,


isn’t noticed until it rains. Then it can cause an outage or a fire. • Familiarize yourself with the


“We want everyone to enjoy the great outdoors and all rural Indiana has to offer,” noted Gasstrom. “Electrical

location of power lines and

equipment can be found even in

equipment on land where

remote areas and is sometimes hard

you are hunting. Landowners

to see. Please just be aware of what’s

are encouraged to remind those

out there.”

hunting on their property to be aware of power lines and other electrical equipment. • Damage to the conductor can

the electricity goes to ground, there is the possibility of electrocution and fire. • Be especially careful in wooded areas where power lines may not be as visible.


or for supporting deer stands.

bullet can cause damage to

line from its perch. If it’s dry and

damage can even spark a fire.

used in your hunting activity

poles or substations. A stray

happen, possibly dropping a

customers relying on that power. The

towers to support equipment

Energized lines and equipment on


gunshot is costly to the utility and to

• Do not use utility poles or

overhead power lines, power


Electrical equipment damaged by

• Take notice of warning signs


‘Rocky and his friends’ …


Over the years of writing my column,

he noted it didn’t look quite like a

butter, he reported, and he had one

I have received many letters and

“regular” squirrel. It had what looked

even nibbling peanut butter off the

emails from readers. On occasion,

like extra skin between its front

tip of the knife he was using to fill a

the correspondences can be a little

leg and back leg. A little research

woodpecker feeder that the squirrels

squirrely; however, one of the latest

revealed the little irregular squirrel

feed from. “We have seen as many

I received was way squirrely… but in

was a flying squirrel. The extra skin

as four or five squirrels at one time.”

a really neat way.

was what spreads out so it could

It was an email from husband and

glide between the tree limbs.

You can tell the Allens are fellow wildlife lovers as Randy finished his

wife Randy and Terri Allen of West

Flying squirrels only come out after

story, “Our flying squirrels are our

Lafayette. They have the good

dark and are much smaller than

cheap nightly entertainment.”

fortune of living next to a huge old

other squirrels. Randy reported the

maple tree which has some unique

largest they have seen was only


about 10 inches the tip of its nose

Randy wrote that they started noticing them in 2018 when Terri heard some scratching up in the

to tip of its tail. “They don’t seem

till next time,


very shy, and a camera flash doesn’t seem to bother them,” he said.


tree that is about eight feet from the

The Allens named the adult ones

front porch. Then she watched a

Rocky and Rachael. Randy said they

very small squirrel come down the

have big eyes, but from the photos

tree to the couple’s bird and squirrel

he sent, apparently, they don’t wear

feeders, and she called for Randy to

aviator helmets or goggles like

writer and a member of

come out to take a look.

Rocky the Flying Squirrel of “Rocky

RushShelby Energy.

and Bullwinkle” fame. They do seem

Readers can contact the

“At first, I thought it was a baby gray or fox squirrel,” he wrote, except

to like sunflower seeds and peanut

is a syndicated state outdoors

author by writing to this publication, or by email to Spaulding’s books, “The Best Of Spaulding Outdoors” and “The Coon Hunter And The Kid,” are available from Amazon. com as paperbacks or Kindle downloads.





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.




CHRISTMAS AT THE CANAL, Delphi (Carroll), Wabash and Erie Canal Park. Crafters and artisans, demonstrations, gifts, food. Tour the Pioneer Village decorated for the holidays. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 765-564-2870.

Through “A CHRISTMAS STORY” COMES HOME, Hammond (Lake), Indiana



Welcome Center. Scenes from “A Christmas Story.” Special events, contests, photos on Santa’s Mountain and gift shop. Free. 219-989-7979,

Nov. 19-20, 26Dec. 31




SEASONAL TREASURES ART AND CRAFT FESTIVAL, Lafayette (Tippecanoe), Arrowhead Bowl. Artist/crafter collaboration featuring unique Christmas pieces. Fri: 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat: 9 a.m.–3 p.m. 765-743-0552.


CHRISTMAS IN THE CABIN AND PARADE, Lebanon (Boone), Lebanon Memorial Park. Hot chocolate and cookies, Santa and Mrs. Claus, carriage rides around the park, evening parade. Free. 765-482-8860.




TRAVELING TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER, Salem (Washington), Salem Armory. View a scale model of the original located in Washington, D.C. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. FERDINAND CHRISTKINDLMARKT, Ferdinand (Dubois). German heritage market with over 200 booths of handcrafted items, antiques, food, and wine. Live Glockenspiel, Black Forest Organ Grinder, Marionette Theater, Reindeer Reserve Meet-n-Greet, free concert by musicians from the Evansville Philharmonic, free tours of the Monastery Immaculate Conception, shuttle service to all six market sites, etc. Sat: 9 a.m. -5 p.m. EST, Sun: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. EST. Free. 800-968-4578.

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.



DOWNTOWN PERU CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE, Peru (Miami). Parade, shopping, prizes, food sampling, Santa. Free. 765-472-1923.




SHIPSHEWANA LIGHTS OF JOY, Shipshewana (LaGrange), Shipshewana Flea Market. Drivethru light experience featuring more than two million LED lights. Admission charge. 260-768-4129;


ESA 31ST ANNUAL ARTS AND CRAFTS MARKET, Seymour (Jackson), Girls Inc. office. Handcrafted home and holiday items including baked goods, jewelry, paintings, wood crafts, hand-woven rugs, and hand-sewn items. Candles and fragrance products. Lunch available. Free. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 812-445-3815. LIGHT UP CORYDON, Corydon (Harrison), Downtown. Browse the stores, live entertainment, carriage rides, and Santa visits. Free. 888738-2137.

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.

energy travel




COLORED GL ASSES Bob Ross was a man who could move mountains at a whim. He could conjure clouds from a pale sky and raise lofty pines with waves of his hand. And he inspired and convinced many others they could do the same. The soft-spoken artist with the bushy hair became a Public TV icon in the 1980s-’90s through his show, “The Joy of Painting.” In each half-hour class, he taught viewers how to create beautiful landscapes. And though Ross died in 1995, his gentle demeanor, calm voice and upbeat attitude ensured his enduring popularity. “This is your world,” he’d tell viewers as he’d stand at his easel, “and you can create anything you want in it.” Now, his fans and followers can stand before that very easel in the exact spot where he stood as they enter his “happy” world — the “Bob Ross Experience” — at the Minnetrista museum in Muncie. Ross filmed every episode of the “The Joy of Painting” at Muncie PBS station WIPBTV. And from the show’s beginning in 1983 to 1988, the WIPB studio was the

living room of the former home of Lucius L. Ball. The home today is part of the Minnetrista campus, a 40acre museum and gardens. For each show, Ross would stand before an empty canvas mounted on an easel and greet his TV audience. A black curtain was the background. Then, he’d quietly paint, instruct and chat about art and life. Seemingly after a few dabs of paint here, daubs there, and thwackings of his big brush against the easel for cleaning, he’d have a finished work. More importantly, viewers were encouraged to try it, too. Phase I of the Ross exhibit opened Oct. 29, 2020, which would have been his 78th birthday. It recreates that living room studio — black curtains, TV cameras and easel. Displayed is an original Ross painting and the brushes he used. The interactive exhibit continues to a recreated 1980s living room where visitors can plop down on a couch with a console TV and continue learning his story. Ross was a native of Florida who traveled the country giving seminars on his

simple approach to painting and sharing his philosophy of “fearless creativity.” Ross happened to be in Muncie giving multiple sold-out seminars when he approached the folks at WIPB-TV about bringing his instructions to a broader audience through a TV show. The station agreed. And, from the heart of Muncie, within just a few seasons, Ross had become another endearing, kind of quirky, PBS personality nationwide. He was like the grownup’s answer to Mr. Rogers.

Phase II of the Bob Ross Experience opened this Oct. 29, expanding to the home’s second floor. Visitors can now view a larger gallery of his paintings and paint in workshops in the same home where he painted for his show. So, if you go, as Ross might have said, “Happy traveling, and God bless.”









Danielle Sommerman, now a DePauw University freshman, won her second Best of Show award in the 2022 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art Contest.


Valedictory art is a tour de force


anielle Sommerman’s valedictory submission for the Indiana Electric Cooperative student art contest was a tour de force. Her senior work from the contest not only won her grade division — which was her seventh first place award — but also earned her a Best of Show for the second time. The mixed media illustration of colored pencils and Copic Markers will illustrate December in the 2022 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art, joining winning works from all grades, from the contest judged last April. Danielle’s illustration itself, red and green shiny Christmas ornaments resting on a bed of seashells, combines a few of her favorite things — favorite things to illustrate, favorite holiday memories, and favorite subject of study. The first one is obvious: the Christmas ornaments. “I absolutely love drawing reflective objects. I love tiny detail and not huge expanses of one color,” said Danielle, now a freshman at DePauw University in Greencastle. Reflecting on the work completed last March, she added, “I



definitely wanted to use a Christmas ornament because I love staring at them when I pass them at different stores or on my own Christmas tree. I thought: ‘OK, how can I do just basic Christmas ornaments, but make them unique?’

science — especially geology, environmental geoscience, environmental biology, archaeology, and anthropology — are her pet subjects and where she sees her future. So hidden among the seashells, she noted, she tucked a Petoskey stone.

“I thought: ‘Hmm, what if I do multiple small objects with them?’”

“I thought a Michigan rock amidst a sea of Florida shells was hilarious and sneaky.” It also has sentimental value; it came from Michigan’s Christmas Cove Beach where her family has vacationed in summer. (The pebble-sized stone is actually a combination of fossil, rock, and coral found along Lake Michigan).

That leads to the second favorite thing: Christmas memories … in case you were wondering what seashells have to do with December’s calendar artwork. “Oh, I go down to visit my grandparents every other year in Florida,” she noted, “a lot of shells down there.” So, she illustrated ornaments on the beach. But to the sharp-eyed observer, Danielle wasn’t done. She loves art. But

The Cooperative Calendar of Student Art, now in its 24th edition, will be available at participating electric cooperatives around Indiana and by mail through Indiana Connection (please see page 12 for details on

where to get the 2022 edition). Some 1,300 pieces of art were entered in all grades, kindergarten through 12, for the 2022 calendar. In addition to the first-place winners selected for each grade, 13 honorable mentions were also selected and will appear in a special section of the calendar. Cash prizes are awarded for first-place and honorable-mention winners, and a bonus $100 prize is given to the artist who wins Best of Show. The contest to illustrate the Silver Anniversary 2023 calendar is now beginning and has a March 18, 2022, deadline. For details, please visit Danielle completed her years of participation in the art contest as the most prolific winner. While the 2021 calendar’s winning senior, Evan Olinger, who served as a judge for the 2022 calendar contest, won three Best of Show honors on his way to amassing seven consecutive grade division awards (2015-2021), Danielle’s work appeared in nine calendars. Along with her Best of Show for the 2022 and 2020 calendars; and first place awards (fifth grade in the 2015 calendar and consecutive seventh-12th grade wins in the 2017-2022 calendars), she also earned an honorable mention in third grade and sixth grade for works appearing in the 2013 and 2016 calendars. “It was the best way to finish out such a long time of doing this contest,” Danielle said, “and it made my two months of working through extreme migraines really pay off.” The detail work on the some 120 shells was painstaking — with an

Danielle earned an Honorable Mention in the art contest as a third grader.

Danielle’s 12th Grade Best of Show-winning artwork emphasis on the “pain.” “I tend to hyperfocus on what I'm drawing,” she said. “So, I end up putting my face too close to the page, and then I get headaches. It's worth it, though. It's so worth it when you achieve the realism that you get.” Looking to the future, Danielle, who was the Class of 2021 valedictorian at Crawford County High School last May, has not declared her major. “As of right now, it’s not set in stone fully what I want to do, but definitely something science related.” she noted. “I want to learn everything; I want to do everything; I want to be everything. “It’s just a steady process of trial and error and figuring out what you want your life to be and what you want to do with it because success doesn't necessarily mean money, doesn’t mean fame. It means being content with what you’re doing with your life.”

While a high school sophomore, Danielle won her first Best of Show award.

As a valedictorian, Danielle Sommerman offers some advice for younger student artists coming after her.

It is not cheating to look at things to learn how to draw them. Use reference photos, pose different things, stare at them, to fully learn how something looks so you can draw it. Don't just go off memory if you're trying to do something realistic.



Wabash Valley Power news

SMART STUFFERS: Some holiday stocking ideas will teach you about your energy use This holiday season you’ll probably see lots of advertising for “smart” home this and “smart” home that. Commercials will highlight gadgets that make your life better because they make your home so dang smart. Rather than make promises about how “smart” these devices are, let’s talk about how they can be more helpful in your home.

HOME ENERGY MONITORS These devices come in two different types. Both types of home energy monitors provide you with helpful information about how your home is using electricity, though there are unique advantages and challenges to each. One kind monitors each circuit of your home’s circuit breaker box to tell you how much electricity is used at each circuit. SiteSage is an example of that type of monitor. Circuit level devices are often a more expensive kind of sensor, but if your circuit breaker box is well-labeled you can quickly see how much even the tricky appliances are using. The downside is that if there are several small appliances plugged into the same circuit. Those circuit level monitors are not able to separate those smaller loads. The other type uses electric harmonics and machine learning to detect appliance patterns to “learn” what devices are using electricity in your home. The Sense home energy monitor is an example of that type. The devices powered by machine learning are usually more affordable, and have been on the market long enough that they can identify many common appliances fairly quickly. Monitors using electric harmonics can struggle with some appliances, making it a challenge for the monitor to ever “see” those appliances.

WI-FI OUTLETS & POWER STRIPS Wi-Fi outlets are a way to help a Sense-style energy monitor “see” the electric use of those tricky appliances and vampire loads running all the time. Some, like Kasa and Wemo, work with some energy monitors to let you tell the monitor exactly what is plugged into the smart plug. The energy monitor then knows that information, and will be able to share it with you as well.



WI-FI THERMOSTATS Wi-Fi thermostats are a proven technology. Nest, Ecobee, and Honeywell offer Wi-Fi thermostats you’ve probably seen advertised. Unlike programmable thermostats that came before them, these Wi-Fi thermostats are much easier to set up a schedule or adjust on the fly. Some models utilize machine learning to figure out how deep of a setback your home can handle to maximize energy savings. Similarly, some have a “Max Savings” setting that will turn the heat pump on before the scheduled time to prevent the heat pump’s auxiliary heat from energizing, maximizing heat coming from the more efficient and affordable heat pump.

Any of these devices will be helpful in making you smarter about your home — because you should be the smart one, not the gadgets plugged into your home. For more energysaving tips and advice, contact your local electric co-op’s energy advisor or visit