from the editor
Here’s the thing about being a writer in a deadline-oriented job: Sometimes your deadlines and your brain don’t see eye to eye. Words don’t always travel from the cortex to the fingertips and finally to the computer screen as quickly as I’d like. (Hello, writer’s block!)
Sometimes I waste precious time staring out the window waiting for inspiration to hit. Then, confident that I’ve discovered my “a-ha” moment, start expounding on a train of thought that ultimately leads nowhere. Too often, I don’t realize my ideas are hitting a dead end until I read over my carefully wordsmithed paragraphs with fresh eyes the next day and end up nixing all of them. Thank goodness for the clarity new days bring!
But when words do flow freely, there’s nothing like a well-turned phrase and a point that can be made succinctly and cleverly thanks to an ample vocabulary and a mind that is usually editing what I write before I press the keys. I enjoy the writing process immensely when that happens.
I am sometimes asked where I find ideas to write about. The answer: Anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes I read articles that enlighten or amuse me, and I can’t help but comment on the content. I might have some thoughts about an event occurring that month or things happening in my life that you might relate to. Often, I wonder if I should amp up the adventure in my life to give me more fodder for my columns. That thought is actually kind of funny: shouldn’t living life more fully be enough of a goal itself? Why am I more concerned about writing about it?
That’s easy to answer. I’ll do whatever it takes to create topics to avoid writer’s block. Well, anything within reason!
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 indianaconnection.org; email email@example.com; or send to Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, I
VOLUME 72 • 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. Member’s cost per issue is approximately 32 cents, plus postage.
CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 firstname.lastname@example.org IndianaConnection.org
INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Randy Kleaving President
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EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor
Richard George Biever Senior Editor
Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist
Lauren Carman Communication Manager
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Amber Knight Creative Manager
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of Indiana Connection may be
without permission of the editor.
means his dad’s
pie. And so,
Winona Lake student shared a slice with us all in his 11th grade entry in the
of Student Art
The work not only won his grade division but also won Best of Show.
CONTACT US 812-689-4111 800-737-4111
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mike Thieman (District 6), President
Melissa Menchhofer (District 5), Vice President
Jesse McClure (District 4), Secretary Vince Moster (District 1), Treasurer Brad Bentle (District 2) David Smith (District 3) Darrell Smith (District 7) Bonnie Boggs (District 8) Casey Menchhofer (District 9)
Enhance your holidays with
SEI Fiberby B.J. Myers, Director of Communications and Creative Services
At Thanksgiving time, the focus is typically on food, family, and the blessings of the past year. With all this excitement, you may not be thinking much about SEI Fiber and how it could enhance your holiday activities.
Does your family like to stream football games, holiday movies, or music to officially kick off the holiday season? You might be pleasantly surprised at the improved quality of the entertainment experience with a fiber optic internet connection.
Businesses can also benefit from having a fiber optic connection. SEI Fiber helps businesses speed up the payment process allowing them to move people through the lines at a quicker pace. This is good for the business because it helps increase their sales for the day and customers appreciate it because they can get in and out of the store quickly.
To safely provide reliable electricity and diversified
Maybe you’re into Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping instead. Personally, I’ve never been much of an in-person Black Friday shopper because I would rather sleep in and relax the day after Thanksgiving. However, I do like the option of online shopping on Cyber Monday and many other days throughout the year. You can’t beat the speed and reliability of a fiber optic internet connection – especially if you’re participating in an online auction and are trying to submit the winning bid in time.
While SEI Fiber is not available everywhere yet, over 2,000 members signed up as soon as their fiber zone opened. These folks have been able to take advantage of the free installation offer (valued at over $600), which is only available for a limited time. So, while you’re counting your blessings this Thanksgiving season, be sure to add SEI Fiber to the number of things you’re grateful for. And if you’re interested in signing up for fiber service, contact us at 800-838-4111 or visit www.seiremc.com/seifiber.
There are many things to look forward to in the fall. While enjoying the changing colors of the leaves and the cool temperatures, you might overlook some of the seasonal maintenance your home needs. Fall is an excellent time to assess the condition of your HVAC and prepare your home (and electric bill) for the winter months.
WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE YOUR HVAC UNIT
If your unit has reached its life expectancy (10 to 15 years old), it may be time to replace it. Some ways to tell if this is the case is if your system needs frequent repairs, is abnormally noisy, or if your energy bills are increasing when your use isn’t.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR NEW HVAC UNIT
When choosing an HVAC unit for your home, one size does not fit all. If a system is too large or too small for your heating/cooling space, efficiency will be lost. This can result in increasing utility costs. There are several factors when considering a new system including climate, the size of the space you are heating/cooling, your home’s foundation, insulation value, air filtration, whether your home is heavily shaded or gets lots of sun, etc. A general rule of thumb is 1 to 1.5 ton for every 1,000 square feet of space, although it is always a great idea to ask a professional HVAC contractor for his/her opinion.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SELECTING A CONTRACTOR
Make sure the contractor you hire has an HVAC license and has certifications required by the state of Indiana. Do your research to ensure that his/her company is reliable, ask for references/referrals and check their business with the Better Business Bureau.
MAINTAIN YOUR HVAC
Did you know that your HVAC should have a tune-up one to two times a year? These maintenances are typically serviced in the spring and fall, to ensure your HVAC is prepared for peak demand periods in the summer and winter months. Some things to do periodically are to change your filters monthly, vacuum around the furnace to keep dust from collecting, and keep the area around your system’s condenser clear from grass/weeds, debris, etc. Remember not to store objects around the furnace or to put anything on your condenser that could reduce the air it needs to take in to cool itself.
located in the
APPLY BY DEC. 15
The 2022 Residential Rebate Program deadline is approaching. The deadline to apply is Dec. 15. All applications received after the deadline will be applied to the 2023 Residential Rebate Program requirements.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
Rebates are offered for newly constructed heat pumps or the replacement of an existing electric resistance heat, gas, A/C or heat pump.
Electric Outdoor Equipment
Rebates are offered for newly purchased corded or battery equipment including lawnmowers (minimum of 36 volts), string trimmers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, snow blowers, rototillers and pressure washers.
Rebates are offered maintenace tune-ups for air source, geothermal heat pumps and central air conditioners.
Geothermal Heat Pump
Rebates are offered for newly constructed geothermal heat pumps or the replacement of an existing electric resistance heat, gas, A/C/ or heat pump.
Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump
Rebates are offered for single room or whole home installations for new constructions or the replacement of an existing electric resistance heat, gas, A/C or heat pump. Equipment requirements depend on what equipment is being replaced and housing type.
Heat Pump/Hybrid Water Heaters
Rebates are offered for newly constructed water heaters or the replacement of an existing water heater.
information and the full list of requirements,
KNOW WHAT’S IN STORAGE:
What to consider when adding a battery system to your home
From solar power systems to electric vehicles, you may have noticed an increase in how often batteries and electric storage are discussed. Some homeowners may consider adding battery systems as a home backup power source.
Adding a home battery system is a major investment: possibly more than $10,000, and even higher if you install a large system. Before you sign a battery system purchase contract, there are a few things you should consider.
WHAT DO YOU WANT THE BATTERY TO DO?
This is the first question your electric co-op’s energy advisor will ask. If you are concerned that your home is losing power frequently, co-op employees can research the issue and come up with potential fixes, which may save you from spending any money.
If you plan to charge the battery at night and then use it during peak demand or sell it back to your co-op,
the math may not yet add up. Timeof-use rates offered by some co-ops can help make the batteries more affordable. Yet the large upfront cost of most battery systems can lead to longer paybacks (and there is no guarantee they will break even). Understanding your needs will help your contractor find the battery system best suited for you.
WILL IT POWER WHAT YOU EXPECT IT WILL?
It’s important to consider not only the battery system’s storage capacity, but also its discharge rate (how much power in terms of watts the battery discharges into your home). Storage capacity is not the discharge rate! You need to understand prior to purchase what your battery system will do and not be surprised after it is installed. Your co-op’s energy advisor can provide insight on the energy needed to power certain appliances and systems.
HOW MANY BIDS HAVE YOU RECEIVED?
Once you know the battery system you want, seek multiple bids from different contractors. It’s important to understand what each contractor is offering. Question each salesman’s assumptions. Does he or she know your cost of electricity? Will a contractor provide a walkthrough on set up or support after installation? A good contractor should be willing to answer questions even after service is completed.
By knowing the right questions and considerations, you can be sure that the battery system you purchase will meet your needs. Your electric co-op’s energy advisor is always available to answer questions about energy storage and your home’s energy use. Be sure to contact your co-op before you sign a contract to make sure that the dollars make sense!by Joe Spear Energy Advisor Carroll White REMC
of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: Indiana Electric Cooperatives, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, Marion County, IN 46240-4606. 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. 2022. 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: 310,134. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 311,148. 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: 308,896. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 310,010. (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: 308,896. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 310,010. 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: 273. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 158. (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: 273. No. Copies of Single issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 158. f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and 15e): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 309,169. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 310,168. g. Copies not Distributed (See Instructions to Publishers #4 (page #3): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 965. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 980. h. Total (Sum of 15f and g): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 310,134. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 311,148. i. Percent Paid (15c divided by 15f times 100): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding
• Bartholomew County REMC
• Boone REMC
• Carroll White REMC
• Clark County REMC
• Daviess-Martin County REMC
• Decatur County REMC
• Dubois REC
• Fulton County REMC
• Harrison REMC
• Heartland REMC
• Hendricks Power Cooperative
• Henry County REMC
• Jasper County REMC
• Jay 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
• Southeastern Indiana REMC
• Steuben County REMC
• Whitewater Valley REMC
• WIN Energy REMC
Newton County REMC and Southeastern Indiana REMC have inserted calendars in this issue of Indiana Connection. Copies are also available through the mail from Indiana Connection.
Daviess County County Facts
Daviess County might be named for a Kentuckian, but it’s embraced, produced, perpetuated, and exported one of Indiana’s greatest crops: basketball — including bushel baskets of ballplayers.
Washington High School ranks third in the list of most Indiana High School boys basketball state championships. It has seven, one behind Marion and Muncie Central, who are tied with eight.
Washington’s first three came in 1930, 1941 and 1942, long before the advent of the IHSAA class tourney. The last four came as 3A champs, led by the legendary Zeller boys: Luke, Tyler, and Cody.
None of the Zellers were born in Daviess County (they moved to Washington in 1993 when the oldest, Luke, was 6), but they soon owned its hardwood and brought back the hardware. From 2001 to 2011, they led Washington High School to four state championships — 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2011. Luke’s one championship in 2005 came with his legendary lastsecond, midcourt, game-winning shot in overtime.
All three brothers were named Indiana Mr. Basketball their senior year and a McDonald’s All-American. Luke graduated from Washington in 2005; Tyler graduated in 2008; and Cody in 2011. After high school, all three received scholarships at storied college basketball programs — Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Indiana, respectively. All three played, at least briefly, in the NBA.
But before the Zeller trio came, there was Robert David “Big Dave” DeJernett. Born appropriately on George Washington’s birthday in 1912 in Kentucky, the future Washington
Hatchet star came to Daviess County soon after. A member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, DeJernett is remembered for integrating the Washington Hatchets and leading them to their first Indiana state title as a junior in the 1929–30 season. The Hatchets were the first integrated high school basketball state champions in U.S. history.
As a 6-foot-3, 230-pound sophomore, DeJernett was put on the varsity squad in 1928 and was named to the All-State team after the Hatchets lost in the 1929 state finals.
In the 1930 championship game, DeJernett led Washington over the Muncie Central Bearcats 32–21. Muncie was also led by a Black player, Jack Mann, who stood 6-foot-6 but could not outjump DeJernett which contributed largely to the victory. The Hatchets finished with a 31-1 record that year.
As a senior, DeJernett’s Hatchets were favored to win a second state crown in the spring of 1931. Prior to an important regional match up, DeJernett received a threatening letter from the Ku Klux Klan that hinted if he played he’d meet the same fate as the two young Black men who had been lynched in Marion, Indiana, the previous summer. DeJernett not only played, he scored 14 points to lead Washington’s 22–19 victory. In the quarter finals of the state tourney, however, Muncie Central avenged their previous year’s loss to Washington, eliminating Washington 21-19 on the way to their second state championship.
Two weeks later, Notre Dame’s legendary football coach Knute
Rockne was a featured speaker at a banquet of unity honoring both the Hatchets and the Washington Catholic Cardinals, winners of the 1931 Catholic Boys’ State Championship. Afterward, Rockne shook hands with members of each team. DeJernett thought Rockne might not want to shake hands with a Black man and passed by him. Rockne grabbed DeJernett by the hand and shook it. Two days later, Rockne died in a plane crash in Kansas.
In his three years on the team, DeJernett led Washington to a 75-17 record and was named All-State three times. He also became the state’s first dominant Black collegiate player. From 1931 to 1935 DeJernett played for the integrated Indiana Central College team, now known as the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds. The 1934 Greyhounds went 16–1 and posted the state’s top collegiate record. As a pro, DeJernett played for barnstorming teams, including the Harlem Globetrotters. He died suddenly of a heart attack in Indianapolis in 1964.
SLOW COOKER RECIPES STRESS CONVENIENCE AS WELL AS FLAVOR
FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES
Amelia Patrie, West Lafayette,
Cook’s note: Any leftovers can
• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 2 (10.75 oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
• 2 (0.87 oz.) envelopes chicken gravy mix
• ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
• 1 (4 oz.) can sliced mushrooms
Place chicken in a slow cooker. Mix chicken soup with gravy mix and Worcestershire sauce. Pour mixture over chicken. Cook on Low for 6-8 hours. Break chicken into bite-sized pieces before serving.
BAVARIAN POT ROAST
Cook’s note: Don’t make the gravy. You only need the dry mix. The broth from the chicken will do the rest. Feel free to substitute chicken thighs or tenderloins in place of the chicken breasts. Add mixed vegetables if desired.
• 3-4 lbs. beef arm pot roast
t. vegetable oil
medium apples, cored and quartered
Wipe roast well and trim off all the excess fat. Lightly rub top of meat with oil. Dust with salt, pepper and ginger. Insert cloves in roast. Place apples and onions in slow cooker and top with roast (cut roast in half, if necessary, to fit easily). Pour in apple juice. Cover and cook on Low setting for 8 to 12 hours.
small onion, chopped
cup apple juice or water
• 3-4 T. flour
Remove roast and apples to warm platter. Turn slow cooker to High setting. Make a smooth paste of the flour and water; stir into slow cooker. Cover and cook until thickened.
Nancy Moore, Kendallville, Indiana
MEAN OL’ DADDY’S CHICKEN AND GRAVY Joe Squier, Corydon, Indiana
JUST WHAT IS 25 YEARS?
It’s 300 months. It’s the “Silver Anniversary.” It’s a quarter of a century, and, for the average American, it’s a third of a lifetime. Come January, it’s also the amount of time editions of the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art have been adorning walls of electric consumers all over Indiana.
The 2023 calendar — the 25th edition — is now printed and available at participating electric co-ops. (Please see page 11 for distribution details.)
The calendar is illustrated with the artwork of Indiana students in grades kindergarten through high school senior. These are the winning works from the art contest Indiana’s electric cooperatives held last spring.
The first contest was held in the fall of 1998. Those winning works illustrated the 1999 Cooperative Calendar. For all but one edition since, the calendar has followed a simple formula. Since there are 12 grades in school and 12 months in a year, first graders are asked to illustrate January; second graders are assigned February; and so on through 12th graders who are assigned December.
Like all calendars, the student art calendar represents a transition of time through a single year. But
Co-op calendar serves up 25 years of student art
through the imagination and talent of the students themselves, each turn of the calendar page depicts their transition from childhood to junior high to adulthood. Kindergartners were given the cover to illustrate to welcome each year and open the contest up to all 13 grades.
“We’re proud to have encouraged tens of thousands of young artists to craft such beautiful masterpieces throughout these last 25 years of the calendar art project,” said Emily Schilling, editor of Indiana Connection. “And, by having their artwork reproduced in a wall calendar, we’ve been able to share their talents with so many Hoosiers around the state.”
Schilling and Senior Editor Richard Biever came up with the art contest/ calendar concept early in 1998 to celebrate student artists. In addition, the calendar became a much-anticipated holiday gift and informational piece consumers received from participating REMCs/ RECs. Indiana Connection staff has been coordinating the project for participating co-ops ever since.
“The calendar is a great way to bring art into homes, and inspire other kids to pick up crayons, pencils and paint brushes and create magic,” Schilling added.FLYNN CISSELL Borden
Had his pie, and ate
of Student Art contest was selected the “Best of Show.”
Andrew Zink is a student illustrator successfully touching subject matter about as allencompassing as the initials of his first and last name.
Landscape? His work as an eighth grader of a backyard bonfire beside a lake on a starry night graced the August page of the 2020 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art.
Figures? His illustration as a 10th grader of a young boy carving a pumpkin illustrated the October page of the 2022 Cooperative Calendar.
Still life? His apple pie on a plate will grace the November page of the 2023 Cooperative Calendar. And the work, which won the 11th grade division in last spring’s Cooperative Calendar
“Since it was for November,” says Andrew, “our family does this thing with apple pies. It's just the smell that always reminds me of November. It's a tradition that stemmed from my mom and dad.”
More than tradition, it’s how his dad won his mom over.
“Before we started dating,” explains his mom, Kristy, “my husband called me up kind of out of the blue. We didn't really know each other, we just had mutual friends, and I was sicker than a dog with a cold.
The next day, he dropped off a homemade apple pie he made himself with his grandma's recipe.
“So, he makes apple pies every Thanksgiving. We go up and pick apples in Michigan a lot. Most of the fall is apple pies, ‘apple this’ and ‘apple that.’”
For the artwork, Andrew assembled the objects for the still life … gathered apples and peeled one, cinnamon sticks, canister of flour, plate. But for the scrumptious-looking slice of pie, Andrew admits it’s not his own or even his dad’s. Having created the artwork late last winter for the mid-March deadline, he opted for a frozen apple pie from ALDI that he baked. He then composed and shot as a reference photo of it all
to create the illustration. He rendered the work primarily in colored pencil. Though obviously the pie couldn’t have tasted like his dad’s, he says it was still pretty good. One of the benefits of photographing the pie was it was still edible when he was done. The work not only earned him $200 for his third first-place win in the contest, but $100 extra for being Best of Show.
In addition, the work will become the still life he was still needing as part of the portfolio he plans to submit for his college entrance.
“Since I didn't have a still life, I thought this would be a good subject,” he says.
Andrew turns 18 later this month. The homeeducated Winona Lake senior plans to attend
Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he wants to study gaming animation. Lipscomb is a private Christian liberal arts college with a nationally recognized animation program.
He had attended public and private Christian schools up through his sophomore year, the last being Lakeland Christian Academy in Winona Lake. He and his parents decided to homeschool his junior and senior years to have the time to concentrate on building a portfolio in hopes of being accepted into Lipscomb’s art program.
He plans to focus on the gaming side, not the film side, of computer animation.
“I really like designing characters and armor and sci-fi sort of stuff.”
Andrew says he started thinking seriously about art as a career in eighth grade, the year he first won his grade division in the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art contest. He credits his art teacher, Jorie Bail, at Lakeland for encouraging him to pursue his artistic talents.
His mom says the artsy roots for both Andrew and his sister started when they were young. His sister, Emmaline, three years his senior, is already studying art at Lipscomb. She won an honorable mention in 2021’s calendar art contest as a high school senior.
“They've been drawing since I could throw the crayons down on the floor and say, ‘Stay busy, I've got something to do,’” she says. “They have just been surrounded by it their entire life.”
Andrew draws from both his parents for his artistic inspiration, and not just subject matter. His mom’s a freehand artist and graphic designer who loves illustrating people while his dad is a mechanical engineer who works with computer design in the high-tech
world of orthopedic medical devices of which Warsaw is the center.
His mom credits Legos Andrew loved when he was younger to help him see in three-dimensions and translate perspective to paper. An offshoot of Legos in the early 2000s, Bionicles, gave him his first tastes of the science-fiction fantasy and computer animation he now loves. His love of computer gaming furthered that interest.
“He can do very technical drawings,” she says. “So, he gets that technical part and being able to see in three dimensions from his dad.”
Andrew enjoys entering the Cooperative Calendar Art Contest, he says, because it’s statewide.
“It's such a bigger thing than just a local contest. I get to display my art to the entire state.” Plus, he notes he can’t lie: the big cash prize is a nice incentive, too.
“I always strive to make something different, or just be creative,” he says. “I've been always wanting to create stuff that's nonexistent. I like to create.”
“It’s a God-given talent to create,” says his mom, “so use it, use it.”
Richard G. Biever is senior editor of Indiana Connection
PAST WINNERS PURSUE passion
Rachel Linnemeier (then Rachel Crisp) won her grade division as a junior in the 2007 calendar and a senior in 2008’s. Her work as a junior was also named 2007’s “Best of Show.”
After high school, the Adams Central High School graduate earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from Indiana University’s Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. She soon began carving out a niche in Indy’s art circles with a series of paintings that created visual plays on words.
She has since moved to Tucson, Arizona, and is still painting. She has had works accepted into exhibitions in many locations including Barcelona and Dublin. From January to March 2023, a selfportrait of hers will be included in an exhibition at the 33 Contemporary Gallery in Chicago.
During the COVID shutdown of many in-person gallery events, she began writing and illustrating a children’s book focused on desert animal facts. She hopes to self-publish it within the next year or two.
Readers might remember the portrait of baseball legend Hank Aaron in an Indianapolis Clowns Negro Leagues uniform on the cover of the April 2022 issue.
That was painted by Athena Silot, another past winning student artist. Athena was four-time grade division winner, 8th through 11th, appearing in 2013-16 calendars. After graduating from Avon High School, Athena earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.
She has begun setting up an art studio in a new home outside Peoria, Illinois, where she plans to pursue commissioned and freelance work, and continue painting for exhibitions and for fun.
Q:Does the length of the sweet potato vine affect the yield? I have some 6 feet long. Should these be cut back to about 3 feet?— Allan McKinley, Borden
A:Cutting back sweet potato vines is not generally recommended. Healthy vigorous vines generally should improve yield. Although overabundance of nitrogen can promote foliage growth at the expense of root formation, this should not be a problem if you have appropriate balanced nutrient availability in the soil.
More information on growing and harvesting sweet potatoes can be found at purdue.edu/hla/sites/yardandgarden/ time-to-harvest-sweet-potatoes/
Longtime Indiana Connection contributer B. Rosie Lerner, a Tipmont REMC consumer, is a retired Purdue Extension consumer horticulturist. Questions about gardening issues may be sent to “Ask Rosie,” Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606, or use the form at IndianaConnection.org.
Q:Help! We really like rhubarb, however, mine has not fared well the last couple years. It is not producing much, and the stalks are thin and spindly. It is in a raised bed and has a soaker hose. I always use the leaves from cuttings as mulch. It is 22 years old and has always been good until recently. Do I fertilize or what? It has full sun.— Gen Dornbush, Avilla
A:Sounds like your rhubarb could benefit from dividing to rejuvenate the planting. You can dig and lift the plants in early spring before the new growth starts. Divide the crowns so that each section has three-four buds. Reset the divisions so that the buds are only about 2 inches deep.
Find more information at hort.purdue.edu/ hort/ext/Pubs/HO/HO_097.pdf
KEY BENEFIT OF ELECTRIFICATION CONFERENCE
Electrify Indiana 2022 conference attendees not only learned more about beneficial electrification, they had a chance to network face-to-face with others involved in various aspects of the utility industry.
The Electrify Indiana 2022 conference was held Sept. 22 in Indianapolis. It was co-hosted by Hoosier Energy and Wabash Valley Power Alliance along with the Beneficial Electrification League.
What got the over 270 attendees, 33 sponsors and 23 exhibitors buzzing was the interaction.
With utilities, businesses and industry leaders all gathered under the same roof, the opportunities for such interaction were almost endless. Most of all, the discussions were highly productive.
“Face to face is still good, not just a Zoom or Teams meeting,” said Norm Campbell, an Electrify Indiana panelist and federal team manager for Go Electric, headquartered in Anderson. “The information and the crosstalk were excellent. I made several good connections that I think are going to be very fruitful in the big picture, not just from a business perspective but helping move solutions in the right direction.
“In my opinion, you need to have utilities engaged and involved because it’s their distribution system
that gets impacted even if you work behind the meter,” Campbell continued. “There’s a lot of mutual benefit to having customers and utilities understand what each other can do.”
The vendors on hand, ranging from California-based Camus Energy and Enel X Way to familiar national brands like Milwaukee, Altec and Generac to the homegrown three-person staff of Hoosiers For Renewables, helped facilitate even more understanding.
“It’s been interesting to hear the perspective from the vendor side,” said Tom Castle of East Kentucky Power Cooperative. “For example, the guys from Rheem talked about how 70 percent of product recommendations come from the contractor. That actually makes sense and makes me wonder if we should work more with the contractors rather than pushing (products) ourselves.”
Communication went both ways, as the vendors also benefited.
“There’s a different feel with those bigger shows, just standing at a booth all day,” said Bianca Jimenez of Enel X Way. “Here you get to know people and interact more.”
Added Steven Brisley of Camus Energy: “It feels more like a family reunion than a trade show.”
It was a reunion that sent everyone home with optimism for the future.
“The connectivity between utilities, end users, policy makers and people that are in the business space was great,” Campbell said. “… (Electrify Indiana) brought a connectivity to some of us in the industry we didn’t have before. I’m looking forward to reaching out and offering some of our ideas to make (improvements) even better and faster.”
safety HOLIDAY FOOD PREP Ingredients for safety
Keep your family safe during these joyful times by learning some basic holiday food preparation safety tips before you start cooking.
During the holidays, family and friends gather to celebrate. Usually, food is involved. But not all feasts turn out festive. The United States Fire Administration estimates more than 2,000 residential fires are reported each Thanksgiving, with cooking the leading cause.
“The holidays are supposed to be a wonderful time for families to be together in celebration,” said Jon Elkins, vice president of safety, training and compliance at Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “We just want them to take precautions and be safe.”
Protect your home and family from fire hazards by installing smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. Test the batteries in each smoke alarm every month and replace them once a year. Creating an escape plan for the whole family will ensure that no matter the circumstances, everyone knows how to exit safely.
Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires; always be sure someone takes over the preparation when needed. Before cooking, clean the stovetop and oven to wipe away any grease or dust to prevent a fire.
While cooking, it’s easy to forget about something in the oven, especially when you’re entertaining guests. Use a kitchen timer to make sure your dish doesn’t burn to a crisp, creating a fire hazard. When cooking on the stove, protect you and any reaching hands from spills or burns by using the back burners. If children are in the room, keep a close eye on them, or guide them out of the kitchen. If cooking over a hot stove, wear short or closefitting sleeves to avoid a fire. Always locate appliances away from the sink to avoid any electrical dangers. Plug countertop appliances into Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)-protected outlets and keep cords away from hot surfaces like toasters. When finished with these appliances, always unplug them to save energy and avoid electrical hazards.
Before your family can sit down and enjoy the meal you just prepared, be sure all appliances have been turned off. Then you can all enjoy each other’s company during the holiday season with peace of mind knowing everyone is safe.
Checklist for kitchen safety
Are any appliances plugged into extension cords on a permanent basis?
If the answer is “yes,” have a licensed electrician install new outlets where needed or move equipment closer to an outlet. Extension cords are for temporary use and can become a fire hazard.
Are all appliance cords placed so they will not come in contact with hot surfaces?
If you answered “no,” move cords away from all heat sources to avoid them melting or burning from the excess heat.
Is any cord cracked, frayed or otherwise damaged?
If you answered “yes,” do not used damaged cords, especially if there are exposed wires. Have a licensed electrician replace the cord or replace the equipment.