Prepare for winter with a whole home backup geanerator.
Southeastern IN REMC’s
GOING FILL YOUR BAG WITH HOMETOWN GOODS
from the editor
Feeling grateful November is here, and that means the holiday season is upon us. For many, these are days filled with family and festivities, while others utilize the time to reflect and reassess. This is the month that many of us celebrate Thanksgiving here in Indiana, and we are often reminded, through various store displays and social media posts, to be grateful. I am making a concerted effort to take the concept of gratefulness to heart. Each and every day, I am going to attempt to slow down and focus on the moments that fill me with joy, such as the embrace of a loved one or a contagious ripple of spontaneous, doubled-over laughter. I’m planning on reaching out to friends that I haven’t spoken to in months to reconnect — and putting down my phone and fully engaging with them when we’re spending time together. This month also kicks off a flurry of cooking, baking and hosting. If you’re not sure what to make when the in-laws come over, or just want to try something new, why not put together a baked potato bar? Check out pages 18-19 for inspiration. In addition to the frenzy of feasts and fun, I never want to forget that Nov. 11 celebrates our military veterans and the sacrifices they have made for our country. I am forever grateful to those who have served or are currently serving. I have a bounty of blessings to appreciate, and a lot of thanks to give. For starters, on behalf of the entire Indiana Connection team, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your readership and support.
Stephanie Groves Editor email@example.com
On the menu: February: Game-day recipes, deadline
Dec. 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.
Giveaway: Win a holiday prize pack, valued at $40, including a
cookie baking tablecloth, jigsaw puzzle, gloves and an ink pen set. Visit indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/contests or send your contact information to the address below. The deadline to enter is Dec. 1.
Three ways to contact us: To send us recipes, photos, letters and entries for gift drawings, please use the forms on our website indianaconnection.org; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or send to Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606.
VOLUME 73 • 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 311,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. Member’s cost per issue is approximately 32 cents, plus postage. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 email@example.com IndianaConnection.org INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Randy Kleaving President Steve McMichael Vice President Dr. Richard Leeper Secretary/Treasurer John Cassady CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Stephanie Groves Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Lauren Carman Communication Manager Kiley Lipps Graphic Designer Ashley Curry Production and Design Coordinator Amber Knight Creative Manager Mandy Barth Vice President of Communication ADVERTISING: American MainStreet Publications Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200; amp.coop Crosshair Media 502-216-8537; crosshairmedia.net 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 safekeeping 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, Indiana, 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 Electric co-ops revise planning to account for renewables
12 COUNTY Starke County
26 PROFILE Lisa and Dennis Wilson, owners of Chandelier Barn Market
18 FOOD Sass up spuds with a baked potato bar
cover story 20 COVER STORY Going Local: Fill your bag with hometown goods this holiday season
16 SAFETY Winterizing your home
28 HOOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS 29 TRAVEL Indiana war memorials (NOT IN ALL EDITIONS) 30 OUTDOORS Spot a whooping crane this winter (NOT IN ALL EDITIONS)
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GOING WITH FILL YOUR BAG GOODS HOMETOWN
NOVE MBER 2023
Five years ago, Kerry and Jocelyn Clouse turned his hobby of roasting coffee beans in a hot-air corn popper into Country Roads Coffee. Today, the roastery beside their rural Albion home turns 1,800 pounds of green coffee beans into freshly roasted blends they distribute monthly in northeast Indiana and online. PHOTO BY RICHARD G. BIEVER
4 NOVEMBER 2023
www.seiremc.com CONTACT US 812-689-4111 800-737-4111 Fax: 812-689-6987 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org OFFICE HOURS 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday STREET ADDRESS 712 South Buckeye Street Osgood, IN 47037 MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 196 Osgood, IN 47037 SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS To report a power outage: 800-737-4111 or SmartHub BOARD OF DIRECTORS Darrell Smith (District 7), President Brad Bentle (District 2), Vice President Casey Menchhofer (District 9), Secretary Jesse McClure (District 4), Treasurer Melissa Menchhofer (District 5) Vince Moster (District 1) Sherry Shaw (District 8) David Smith (District 3) Mike Thieman (District 6)
PREPARE FOR WINTER WITH A WHOLE HOME BACKUP GENERATOR As the days grow shorter, our thoughts naturally turn to the colder months ahead. Winter in our region can be unpredictable, with snow, ice, and power outages all too common. That's why we want to encourage our valued members to consider investing in a whole-home backup generator from Southeastern Indiana REMC before winter weather sets in.
Why a Whole-Home Backup Generator? A whole-home backup generator is not just a luxury; it's a smart investment in your family's comfort, safety, and peace of mind. Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider one: Uninterrupted Comfort: Winter storms can lead to prolonged power outages, leaving your home without heating. A whole-home generator automatically kicks in during an outage, ensuring you stay warm and comfortable. Protection for Your Home: Freezing temperatures can cause pipes to burst, resulting in costly damage. A backup generator keeps your home's essential systems running, preventing such disasters.
A fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) product with speeds from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps. Residential pricing starts at $64.95 plus tax.
OUR MISSION To safely provide reliable electricity and diversified services to the members and communities we serve.
Food Preservation: An extended power outage can lead to food spoilage. With a generator, your refrigerator and freezer will continue to operate, preserving your perishables. Safety: Lighting, heating, and medical equipment are crucial during winter. A whole-home generator ensures your family's safety by
keeping these essential systems powered. Peace of Mind: With a generator, you don't have to worry about the inconvenience and potential dangers of power outages. You can go about your daily life without interruption.
Why Choose Southeastern Indiana REMC for Your Generator Needs? When it comes to backup generators, you can trust your REMC for quality, service, and expertise. Here's why: Expert Guidance: Our knowledgeable team will help you select the right generator size and type for your home's unique needs. Professional Installation: We offer professional installation services to ensure your generator operates flawlessly when you need it most. Maintenance and Support: We provide ongoing maintenance and support to keep your generator in top condition year-round. Local and Reliable: We're a local, community-focused organization committed to serving our members with dedication and integrity. Prepare for winter's worst with a whole-home backup generator from Southeastern Indiana REMC. Don't wait until the first winter storm strikes. Contact us today to discuss your options and ensure your home stays warm, safe, and comfortable all winter long. Your peace of mind is worth it. NOVEMBER 2023
HVAC UNIT 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. 6 NOVEMBER 2023
EARN REBATES! HVAC INSTALLATIONS AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMP Stick-Built/Modular Housing SEER ≥ 16, EER ≥ 10 Mobile/Manufactured Housing SEER ≥ 14, EER ≥ 10
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.
Dual/variable/multi-speed compressor required unless replacing a 100% electric resistance heat or installing in a mobile/manufactured home. UP TO $1,500 GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMP UP TO $1,500 MINI-SPLIT HEAT PUMP SEER ≥ 19, EER ≥ 12.5 Dual/variable/multi-speed compressor required. Single room and whole home installations are eligible. UP TO $1,500
HVAC TUNE-UP Must be performed by a licensed HVAC contractor. Unit must be located in the member's primary residence. The unit must be three or more years old and not have an existing preventative maintenance contract or agreement. UP TO $50
View the full list of rebate requirements at www.seiremc.com/rebates NOVEMBER 2023
Rebates APPLY BY DEC. 15
The 2023 Residential Rebate Program deadline is approaching. The deadline to apply is Dec. 15. All applications received after the deadline will be applied to the 2024 Residential Rebate Program requirements.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
Geothermal Heat Pump
Rebates are offered for newly constructed heat pumps or the replacement of an existing electric resistance heat, gas, A/C or 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.
Electric Outdoor Equipment
Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump
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 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 maintenance tune-ups for air source, geothermal heat pumps and central air conditioners.
Rebates are offered for newly constructed water heaters or the replacement of an existing water heater.
For more information and the full list of requirements, visit www.seiremc.com/rebates 8 NOVEMBER 2023
A SEASON OF
Electric co-ops revise planning to account for more electricity from renewables
lectric cooperatives are transforming how they plan to meet energy demands to account for more renewables, such as solar and wind, powering the energy grid. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., known as MISO, manages high-voltage electricity transmission in 15 central U.S. states and Manitoba in Canada. MISO has updated planning requirements for electricity providers to ensure that they can fulfill consumers’ energy needs. MISO now requires electricity providers to plan to meet their peak demand for each season of the year, along with a larger reserve margin requirement in the winter. The two generation and transmission cooperatives in Indiana, Hoosier Energy and Wabash Valley Power Alliance, have incorporated the changes into their long-term resource planning for powering their member electric distribution cooperatives. “MISO is recognizing that each season has its own characteristics, in terms of load and demand, as well as the fleet generating electricity,” said Vicki Myers, manager of power supply
for Wabash Valley Power Alliance. “The organization wants to plan for the variance in demand and make sure that the generation resources can appropriately meet the need for each season.” The fluctuating conditions that Mother Nature throws at us can affect renewables’ generation capabilities. But coal and natural gas power plants can generate electricity as needed; some run up to 24 hours per day. In the new model, electricity providers need to plan for about 25% additional capacity beyond the projected seasonal peak load in winter — more than in summer, which is about 8%. “The impact initially may include cost implications,” Christy Langley, director of power supply portfolio and risk management for Hoosier Energy, said of the new requirements. “The amount of required capacity for the winter season is much higher than it has been in the past.” MISO also changed the electricity generation capacity credit based on the ability of renewable resources to produce energy during different
seasons. Solar arrays generate more electricity in the summer than winter, while wind turbines are the opposite, said Matt Moore, executive vice president of power supply for Wabash Valley Power Alliance. MISO accounts for the fact that solar arrays produce more electricity in the summer and that wind turbines produce more in the winter. “The primary goal set by MISO for these changes is to increase reliability,” Langley said. “If MISO’s efforts prove successful toward that goal, an increase in reliability could help member electric distribution co-ops, along with Hoosier Energy and Wabash Valley Power Alliance, as it plays a part in overall grid stability.”
by Josh Durbin Energy Advisor Steuben County REMC
10 NOVEMBER 2023
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Starke County Home to one of Indiana’s largest natural lakes, Starke County is named after John Stark, a general in the Revolutionary War. An “e” was added to the county’s name after its founding. Historians believe this was because a scribe — or Stark himself in his signature — wrote the word “Stark” with a flourish at the end that made it resemble “Starke.”
COUNTY FACTS FOUNDED: 1850
NAMED FOR: General John Stark Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/fingerhutbakery
SWEET TREATS Fingerhut Bakery is a family-owned business originating in Bohemia — a region that now comprises a portion of the Czech Republic — where Frantisek Fingerhut first opened his small bakery in the 1700s. Descendants of Fingerhut emigrated to Chicago in 1895, and when sixth-generation baker Joseph Fingerhut moved from Chicago to North Judson in 1946 to pursue farming, he also bought the local bakery that had gone out of business due to rationing during World War II. Today, brothers Doug and Greg Fingerhut carry on their family’s tradition and bake donuts, coffee cakes and more at Fingerhut Bakery’s two locations in North Judson and Knox.
COUNTY SEAT: Knox
INDIANA COUNTY NUMBER: 75
Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/melody.drivein
DINNER AND A SHOW The Melody Drive-In Theatre premiered in Knox in 1949 as a single-screen theater surrounded by picturesque farmland. Now, it’s one of the few operating drive-ins left in Indiana. From April into September, locals and vacationers at nearby Bass Lake can enjoy viewing movies ranging from family-friendly flicks to horror films and snack on hot dogs, delicious breadsticks and popcorn from the theater’s concession stand.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/ geodesandgemstones
NATURAL BEAUTY Geodes & Gemstones is a store in Knox that sells little pieces of history collected from across the world, such as quartz crystals from Indonesia and dinosaur fossils from Utah. The store’s owners, Dennis and Holly Kraftor, also travel to schools, 4-H programs and libraries across northern Indiana to teach hands-on classes about rocks, minerals and fossils. - Nicole Thomas
12 NOVEMBER 2023
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United States Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation
HANG AWARD-WINNING STUDENT ART ON YOUR WALL Limited quantities of the 2024 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art are available at participating electric cooperative offices across the state. • 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 • JCREMC • 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* • 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.
2024 CALENDAR TODAY! SEND US A CHECK AND A NOTE WITH YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS. COPIES OF THE COOPERATIVE CALENDAR OF STUDENT ART ARE $7 EACH.
2024 PRODU CED
BY INDIAN A
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STUDENT ART IC COOPE RATIVE
Cover art by
Seren ity White , kinde rgarte n divisi on winne
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.
14 NOVEMBER 2023
1. Publication Title: Indiana Connection. 2. Publication Number: 07454651. 3. Filing Date 9/18/23. 4. Issue Frequency: Monthly. 5. Number of Issues Published Annually: 12. 6. Annual Subscription Price: $3.46. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: Indiana Electric Cooperatives, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, Marion County, IN 46240-4606. Contact Person: Stephanie Groves. 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 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: Stephanie Groves, 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. 2023. 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: 312,823. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 313,646. 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: 311,743. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 312,669. (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: 311,743. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 312,669. 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: 158. 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: 158. 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: 311,901. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 312,827. g. Copies not Distributed (See Instructions to Publishers #4 (page #3): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 922. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 819. h. Total (Sum of 15f and g): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 312,823. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 313,646. i. Percent Paid (15c divided by 15f times 100): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 99.94%. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 99.94%. 16. Electronic Copy Circulation. A. Paid Electronic Copies: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 0. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 0.b. Total Paid Print Copies (Line 15c) + Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 311,743. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 312,669. c. Total Print Distribution (Line 15f) + Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 311,901. No Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 312,827. d. Percent Paid (Both Print & Electronic Copies (16b divided by 16c X 100): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 99.94%. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 99.94%. I certify that 50% of all my distributed copies (electronic and print) are paid above a nominal price. Publication of Statement of Ownership. If the publication is a general publication, publication of this statement is required. Will be printed in the November 2023 issue of this publication. 17. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager or Owner (Signed): Stephanie Groves, Editor. Date: 9/18/23 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).
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WINTERIZING YOUR HOME
before the bitter chill
s your home’s electrical system ready for winter? The best time to find out is long before you hear about the season’s first approaching winter storm, suggests Jon Elkins, vice president of safety, training and compliance at Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “Taking a little time to prepare your home for colder weather has many benefits,” said Elkins. “You’ll be more comfortable when those icy winds blow. And, even more important, you’ll have the confidence that your house will keep you safe on the chilliest nights.” Elkins recommends several simple steps to winterize your home:
• Winterize electrical outlets on outside walls with insulating covers by carefully selecting outlet kits made to fit. Turn off power to each outlet and check for loose wires or
16 NOVEMBER 2023
connections that could cause shocks or electrocution. If an outlet wiggles or seems to have loose wires, have a qualified electrician repair it.
• Check space heater cords for signs of wear or overheating and make sure the plug fits securely in the outlet.
• Never run cords under carpeting or rugs. Cords can be damaged when people step on them and are a trip hazard. They can also overheat and lead to a fire.
• Make sure trees are properly trimmed and away from your electrical wires. Tree branches can fall and snap your power lines during a winter storm. NEVER approach a downed power line; it could still be energized.
• Check your furnace or heat pump before you need it. A service technician can
thoroughly clean it. Check your air filters and replace them if they are dirty.
• If you notice odd sounds or smells coming from your furnace or heat pump, turn it off and call a service technician. Mechanical problems can lead to fires. Furnaces that use combustion can also release gases, such as carbon monoxide.
• Have working flashlights or battery-powered lamps with fresh batteries on hand in case of a power outage. “Now is sweater weather,” Elkins said. “When you feel chilly indoors, putting on a sweater instead of turning up the thermostat a couple of degrees can add up to substantial savings. Each time you turn the thermostat up a degree, you can add as much as 2 to 3% to your heating costs, and you put more wear and tear on your heat pump or furnace.”
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SASS UP SPUDS WITH A BAKED POTATO BAR A serve-yourself baked potato bar is easy to assemble, affordable — and a spud-tacular way to host friends and family. When you’re shopping for potatoes, look for those that are firm and without wrinkles, cracks or green spots. Follow the no-fail recipe on the opposite page to bake your taters. After they have finished cooking and are cool enough to touch, slice into each one lengthwise with a knife and then wrap it individually in foil. Finish by setting out an array of toppings in bowls, such as shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, diced ham, sliced jalapeños, salsa, sour cream and chives, along with some tongs and spoons for serving. The potato possibilities are endless!
18 NOVEMBER 2023
PERFECTLY BAKED POTATOES 8 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean 1 cup water 4 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Poke each potato 6-8 times with a fork to make small holes in it. In a medium bowl, combine the water and salt. Roll each potato in the liquid and then transfer the potatoes to a wire rack nestled inside a baking pan. Place pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes (the internal temperature of each potato should be 205 F when ready). For crispier skin, brush the potatoes with vegetable oil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
FOOD PREPARED BY BARBARA BUTZ. STYLED BY STEPHANIE GROVES. PHOTOS BY KILEY LIPPS.
GOING FILL YOUR BAG WITH HOMETOWN GOODS
“When you buy from a small business …,” said the handwritten note on a sidewalk chalkboard in the photo making the rounds on Facebook recently, “… You’re helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, moms and dads put food on the table. Shop local.” Small Business Saturday is Nov. 25. It’s a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. Small Business Saturday is dedicated to supporting the diverse range of local independent businesses that create jobs, help boost the economy and enhance neighborhoods around the country. What started as a marketing promotion by American Express to get holiday shoppers in the doors of small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2010 has evolved into the “Shop Small” movement. Shop Small celebrates small businesses, ranging from retail stores and restaurants to fitness studios, and everything in between. In Indiana, there are over a half million small businesses, says the U.S. Small Business Administration, co-sponsor of the day. That’s over 99% of the state’s total number of businesses. In addition, Indiana’s small businesses employ 1.2 million people, about 44% of Indiana’s employees. Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration helps small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream. SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital and contracting expertise as the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses. “Our member cooperatives are invested in local communities by nature,” said John Cassady, CEO of Indiana’s electric cooperative association. “Supporting local business helps the communities where our members live and serve.” To learn more, visit Shopsmall.com.
20 NOVEMBER 2023
BY RICHARD G. BIEVER
Couple turns love of roasted coffee into robust cottage industry
In his first letter home to his mom and dad from Army boot camp in Texas, Jaydrian Clouse said the guys in his platoon had dubbed him with a new nickname, “Roads” — for singing “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in the shower. His parents, Kerry and Jocelyn Clouse, were fans of the late John Denver’s folky country pop tunes, and that one must have struck a chord with Jaydrian. Perhaps he was thinking of his “home far away” in Noble County. “So, that just kind of became our theme song as a family,” Jocelyn recalled. That was in September 2018. Six weeks later, the Clouses, both 46, were looking for a catchy name for the gourmet coffee beans they had begun roasting as a hobby. The little bags they’d given as gifts over the previous years were so popular, friends and family urged them to start a business. So, Jocelyn, a retired preschool teacher, decided to sell Kerry’s coffee
alongside the crafts she made for an annual open house and area Christmas bazaars. As a nod to Jaydrian, who turns 24 this month and is now a medic at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, Kerry and Jocelyn also turned to the 1971 Denver hit. “November was coming, and we were like, ‘We should put a name on it,’” Jocelyn said. “‘Country Roads Coffee’ … it just came, and we just kept saying it.” “Take Me Home, Country Roads” was the 20th century’s version of “Over the river and through the wood….” It may have been an ode to West Virginia, but it’s a paean to rural places and memories. And no time of year stirs that yearning to be home like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
‘TAKE ME HOME’ Much like beer connoisseurs who turned their love of homebrew into craft micro-breweries, Kerry Clouse
SMALL BUSINESSES DELIVER UNIQUE GOODS In September, Indiana Connection reached out to readers asking for suggestions for local businesses we could highlight in this issue for “Small Business Saturday.” We received blurbs about businesses across the state from readers, electric co-op employees and small businesses themselves. Here are four of the responses:
Kerry Clouse pours green coffee beans into one of the commercial-sized roasters at his home-based roastery. Photos by Richard G. Biever
loved good coffee but found a bitter taste in the cost. That spurred an interest in roasting his own. “Before I even started roasting, we would go to coffee shops and buy quality coffee. continued on page 22
RHINESTONES AND ROSES Shoprhinestonesandroses.com Locations in Fort Wayne and North Manchester “Rhinestones and Roses in North Manchester brings something special to the town. It’s a family business run by three sisters featuring a clothing boutique and gift shop, as well as a top-rated florist.” -Jill Jackson
Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/ rhinestonesandrosesfloralboutique
GOING LOCAL continued from page 21 I wanted to figure out how to roast on my own so we could enjoy great coffee every day, not just on special occasions,” he said. For Christmas about 10 years ago Jocelyn presented Kerry with his first “coffee roaster” — a standard hot-air corn popper — and eight 1-pound bags of green coffee beans. “And that’s how we started,” she said. Then, came that Christmas of 2018 when they decided to try selling a few bags of Kerry’s roasted coffee along with Jocelyn’s crafts. The coffee sold better than her crafts, she noted. “We sold out, and we started getting messages for bigger orders to the point Kerry could not keep up with the popcorn popper.” They splurged on a $350 roaster that could do 1-pound batches of beans. In the spring of 2019, Kerry took their increased provisions of coffee to his first farmers market looking to recoup the investment on the roaster. Again, the packages sold out quickly. He started doing some calculations.
The tool-and-die-operator-by-day at nearby C&A Tool in Churubusco didn’t need special software or calipers to assess the dilemma. “The roaster would do 1 pound every 20 minutes. And even if I sell 20 or 30 pounds at the market, I’m going to be roasting all week long.” Shortly after, before the summer of 2019 began, they purchased a commercial roaster that would roast up to 8 pounds of beans in 10-12 minutes. To pay off the new roaster, Kerry hit the pavement to get Country Roads in stores. “I’m making phone calls. I’m hustling because I want my money back. We took a big hit.” The market for their coffee grew so fast that they added a second commercial roaster the next summer. In the meantime, their coffee business soon took over the entire pole building he built beside their home as a garage and for storage in 2017. It’s now the roastery, coffee storage and business center. Instead of smelling like a typical garage,
it’s almost heaven — scented of roasted coffee. As the business expanded, Kerry also continued researching coffee and experimenting with natural flavors that are added to the roasted beans while they’re still hot. Country Roads offers a variety of light, medium and dark roasts, along with flavors such as pumpkin in autumn and snickerdoodle for Christmas. They get their low-acidic, organically grown beans from fair trade importers. Kerry said that means the coffee is grown and picked by workers who are paid a livable wage. The beans come from the mountains of Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea. “We’re pretty picky about who we’re buying from,” he said. A dozen burlap bags of raw beans, weighing about 150 pounds each, arrive on a wrapped pallet by truck right up to the roastery’s garage door each month. Kerry said they roast and sell about 1,800 pounds of
BEADED BY KENNA Beadedbykenna.bigcartel.com “I wanted to tell you about my favorite small business — my daughter’s, BeadedbyKenna. Makenna has been running this small business for two years. She is 18 and a freshman at Ball State University studying speech-language pathology, but in her spare time, you might find her in her dorm room creating silicone and wood bead designs such as lanyards, wristlets and keychains. Makenna has a heart for community and giving back, and 10% of her proceeds are given back to her favorite mission, Laurel Mission.
Makenna Schwartz; photo by Leaha Meinika
22 NOVEMBER 2023
“Makenna stays very busy selling at local farmers markets, craft shows, fairs and local boutiques. This year her products were available at the FFA Country Market during the Indiana State Fair, where she sold 500 items — her biggest project yet! You can also find Makenna’s products online at her Etsy site or website, as well as on social media, where she engages with her many customers. I may be a bit biased, but I think this small business is pretty special!” -Leann Schwartz (Makenna’s mom)
beans monthly. He usually spends a couple of nights a week roasting and preparing the beans. During the holiday rush, those hours might include some weekends, too. Kerry and Jocelyn occasionally are assisted by their two adult daughters, 27-year-old Shylyn Caldwell and 19-year-old Braya, in preparing the packages. Country Roads Coffee can be found in coffee shops and grocery stores in Noble County, Fort Wayne, Fremont and elsewhere across northeast Indiana, or online at Countryroadscoffee.com, Facebook and Instagram. Country Roads Coffee will host an open house, Nov. 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the roastery, 690 E. 200 S., Albion, Indiana, 46701.
As Country Roads Coffee has grown, the Clouses have added more varieties and specialized the packaging.
After being roasted, the beans are dropped into another hopper, where they swirl around until cooled.
HINSHAW ROCK ’N GEMS
Siebertsclothing.com Locations in Jasper, French Lick and West Baden
1232 S. County Road 650 W. | French Lick
“Siebert’s is a small clothing store in Jasper. They are a 101-year-old business run by the Siebert family. They have small satellite stores in the West Baden Springs Hotel and the French Lick Springs Hotel. They carry very nice clothing lines, which is so hard to do on their small scale. They have always offered free alterations (on anything purchased at regular price) and provide tuxedo rentals for many local weddings and proms. It’s such a cool place to shop close to home.” -Miriam Fallon
“When I needed a special pair of earrings for a friend, I traveled off the beaten path to the unique Hinshaw Rock ‘N Gems shop in French Lick, 10 minutes from the French Lick Resort. If you want a customdesigned piece, artist, lapidarist and silversmith Merrill Hinshaw can do that for you. His wife, Janis, and other family members are also involved in the business. The Hinshaws collect rough stones and then cut and polish the stones by hand, which all ages enjoy watching.
Merrill and Janis Hinshaw
“There are so many choices of handcrafted earrings, which are just one of the types of items for sale. They also sell pendants, bracelets, rings, money clips and much more. I found a light lavender amethyst mounted in sterling silver at a reasonable price, which my friend was thrilled to wear like a work of art.” -Glenda Ferguson NOVEMBER 2023
1920s Style for a 1920s Price
t was a warm summer afternoon and my wife and I were mingling with the best of them. The occasion was a 1920s-themed party, and everyone was dressed to the nines. Parked on the manse’s circular driveway was a beautiful classic convertible. It was here that I got the idea for our new 1920s Retrograde Watch.
Impossib le P ONLY rice
Never ones to miss an opportunity, we carefully steadied our glasses of bubbly and climbed into the car’s long front seat. Among the many opulent features on display was a series of dashboard dials that accentuated the car’s lavish aura. One of those dials inspired our 1920s Retrograde Watch, a genuinely unique timepiece that marries timeless style with modern technology. With its remarkable retrograde hour and minute indicators, sunburst guilloche face and precision movement, this design is truly one of a kind. What does retrograde mean? Instead of displaying the hands rotating on an axis like most watches, the hands sweep in a semicircle, then return to their starting point and begin all over again. Retrograde watches by the big brands can set you back thousands; one recent offering from a big French fashion house is selling for more than $150,000! But because we’ve designed the 1920s Retrograde Watch in-house, we can offer it to you for just $99! This watch is so wildly popular with our customers that we’re actually concerned about running out; we only have 937 729 left for this ad!
Join more than 1 smart people who love stauer watches Watch Specifications: • Precision movement • Stainless steel case, caseback and crown • Retrograde hour and minute indicators • Water-resistant to 5 ATM • Brown genuine leather band • Fits wrists up to 8" 1920s Retrograde Watch $399 $99* + S&P Save $300 *Special price only for customers using the offer code.
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AFFORD THE EXTRAORDINARY
Popular CoQ10 Pills Leave Millions Suffering Could this newly-discovered brain fuel solve America’s worsening memory crisis? PALM BEACH, FLORIDA — Millions of Americans take the supplement known as CoQ10. It’s the coenzyme that supercharges the “energy factories” in your cells known as mitochondria. But there’s a serious flaw that’s leaving millions unsatisfied. As you age, your mitochondria break down and fail to produce energy. In a revealing study, a team of researchers showed that 95 percent of the mitochondria in a 90-year-old man were damaged, compared to almost no damage in the mitochondria of a 5-year-old. Taking CoQ10 alone is not enough to solve this problem. Because as powerful as CoQ10 is, there’s one critical thing it fails to do: it can’t create new mitochondria to replace the ones you lost. And that’s bad news for Americans all over the country. The loss of cellular energy is a problem for the memory concerns people face as they get older. “We had no way of replacing lost mitochondria until a recent discovery changed everything,” says Dr. Al Sears, founder and medical director of the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine in Palm Beach, Florida. “Researchers discovered the only nutrient known to modern science that has the power to trigger the growth of new mitochondria.”
Why Taking CoQ10 is Not Enough Dr. Sears explains, “This new discovery is so powerful, it can multiply your mitochondria by 55 percent in just a few weeks. That’s the equivalent of restoring decades of lost brain power.” This exciting nutrient — called PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) — is the driving force behind a revolution in aging. When paired with CoQ10, this dynamic duo has the power to reverse the agerelated memory losses you may have thought were beyond your control. Dr. Sears pioneered a new formula — called Ultra Accel II — that combines both CoQ10 and PQQ to support maximum cellular energy and the normal growth of new mitochondria. Ultra Accel II is the first of its kind to address both problems and is already creating huge demand. Over 47 million doses have been shipped to men and women across the country and sales continue to climb for this much sought-after brain fuel. In fact, demand has been so overwhelming that inventories repeatedly sell out. But a closer look at Ultra Accel II reveals there are good reasons why sales are booming.
Science Confirms the Many Benefits of PQQ The medical journal Biochemical Pharmacology reports that PQQ is up to 5,000 times more efficient in sustaining energy production than common antioxidants. With the ability to keep every cell in your body operating at full strength, Ultra Accel II delivers more than just added brain power and a faster memory. People feel more energetic, more alert, and don’t need naps in the afternoon. The boost in cellular energy generates more power to your heart, lungs, muscles, and more. “With the PQQ in Ultra Accel, I have energy I never thought possible at my age,” says Colleen R., one of Dr. Sears’s patients. “I’m in my 70s but feel 40 again. I think clearly, move with real energy and sleep like a baby.” The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and Dr. Sears receives countless emails from his patients and readers. “My patients tell me they feel better than they have in years. This is ideal for people who are feeling old and run down, or for those who feel more forgetful. It surprises many that you can add healthy and productive years to your life simply by taking Ultra Accel II every day.” You may have seen Dr. Sears on television or read one of his 12 best-selling books. Or you may have seen him speak at the 2016 WPBF 25 Health and Wellness Festival in South Florida, featuring Dr. Oz and special guest Suzanne Somers. Thousands of people attended Dr. Sears’s lecture on anti-aging breakthroughs and waited in line for hours during his book signing at the event.
Will Ultra Accel II Multiply Your Energy? Ultra Accel II is turning everything we thought we knew about youthful energy on its head. Especially for people over age 50. In less than 30 seconds every morning, you can harness the power of this breakthrough discovery to restore peak energy and your “spark for life.” So, if you’ve noticed less energy as you’ve gotten older, and you want an easy way to reclaim your youthful edge, this new opportunity will feel like blessed relief. The secret is the “energy multiplying” molecule that activates a dormant gene in your body that declines with age, which then instructs your cells to pump out fresh energy from the inside-out. This growth
MEMORY-BUILDING SENSATION: Top doctors are now recommending new Ultra Accel II because it restores decades of lost brain power without a doctor’s visit.
of new “energy factories” in your cells is called mitochondrial biogenesis. Instead of falling victim to that afternoon slump, you enjoy sharp-as-a-tack focus, memory, and concentration from sunup to sundown. And you get more done in a day than most do in a week. Regardless of how exhausting the world is now. Dr. Sears reports, “The most rewarding aspect of practicing medicine is watching my patients get the joy back in their lives. Ultra Accel II sends a wake-up call to every cell in their bodies… And they actually feel young again.” And his patients agree. “I noticed a difference within a few days,” says Jerry from Ft. Pierce, Florida. “My endurance has almost doubled, and I feel it mentally, too. There’s a clarity and sense of wellbeing in my life that I’ve never experienced before.”
How To Get Ultra Accel II This is the official nationwide release of Ultra Accel II in the United States. And so, the company is offering a special discount supply to anyone who calls during the official launch. An Order Hotline has been set up for local readers to call. This gives everyone an equal chance to try Ultra Accel II. And your order is backed up by a no-hassle, 90day money back guarantee. No questions asked. Starting at 7:00 AM today, the discount offer will be available for a limited time only. All you have to do is call TOLL FREE 1-800-803-6263 right now and use promo code ICUA1123 to secure your own supply. Important: Due to Ultra Accel II recent media exposure, phone lines are often busy. If you call and do not immediately get through, please be patient and call back.
THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE. RESULTS MAY VARY. 15.
‘A magical experience for all’ Lisa and Dennis Wilson All photos by Nostalgic by Kara Lee
Lisa Wilson describes the Chandelier Barn Market as a fairytale event. “Have you ever had a dream in your head that you can see but are not sure what it would look like put together in real life?” said Wilson, who owns Chandelier Barn Market, LLC, with her husband, Dennis, who has worked at Daviess-Martin County REMC for over 30 years and is currently the director of operations. “That is what Chandelier Barn Market is. You feel the love, joy, excitement — and most of all, the creativity of humans.” The Chandelier Barn Market is a marketplace show in southern Indiana that includes barns full of handmade items, furniture, antiques, jewelry, art and more. Attendees can also enjoy live entertainment and food. CBM hosts three shows a year: a spring, fall and Christmas event. The Wilsons celebrated the market’s 10th anniversary Sept. 15-16 this fall. The show “was a huge success,” Wilson said.
The duo’s first show began with a desire to bring a family-oriented, unique event to Daviess County, Wilson explained. “The first thing I did was hang a chandelier in the old barn on our family farm, and that’s when it became ‘Chandelier Barn Market,’” she said. The initial market drew more than 2,000 people to the farm, and over time, attendance reached upward of 7,000. “That is when we decided we needed to move off the farm and go somewhere local and open our store,” Wilson said. Since moving to their current location at Montgomery’s Gasthof Amish Village, the Wilsons have continued to offer three shows a year, and the newly renovated barn is also used to host weddings and events. They have also opened a retail shop named Chandelier Barn, featuring curated items from across the country.
Visitors browse at a fall Chandelier Barn Market event.
26 NOVEMBER 2023
Discover unique and handmade finds at Lisa and Dennis Wilson’s Chandelier Barn Market Wilson said that her favorite aspect of the work is meeting people from all over the world, and she also enjoys seeing the character and work ethic of the vendors — including their passion and their smiles. The market boasts more than 100 vendors, ranging across art and craft disciplines, and Wilson is also a creative herself. “When CBM was born, I had a small jewelry business called Altered Elements, and my jewelry was featured in two local shops,” she said. “I still love collecting antiques and one-ofa-kind finds. I love the thrill of the hunt.” Chandelier Barn Market’s next show is Nov. 10-11, and Wilson hopes that attendance continues to grow. “It truly is a magical experience for all.” -Jenna Williams
CHANDELIER BARN MARKET
Nov. 10, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Nov. 11, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 6747 Gasthof Village Road Montgomery 812-486-2316 Chandelierbarnmarket.com
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Hoosier Energy news
Changing for the As one of Hoosier Energy’s strategic priorities, continuous improvement has always been a key part of the company’s mindset.
A commissioned team spent over a year developing a program centered around this concept. As a result, Hoosier Energy’s new Rural Electric Continuous Improvement Program (RECIP) is now active. Starting this past May, all Hoosier Energy employees have been offered the opportunity to learn about the new program through both in-person and remote training sessions. After four months, over 84% of Hoosier Energy employees have undergone training on how they can make their jobs easier and less frustrating while enhancing business operations.
Hoosier Energy employees participate in a Rural Electric Continuous Improvement Program (RECIP) training session with Pathom’s Pat Thomas (center, in black).
The Continuous Improvement team,
industry,” Wayt said. “This first wave
The RECIP training sessions
led by Continuous Improvement
of ideas is identifying opportunities
were well received, with over 120
Manager Paul Wayt, will continue
and improvements that affect people
improvement ideas generated —
to develop these ideas, as well as
every day. These may be small
not to mention the discovery of
input new suggestions and work
changes, but they are big frustrations.
several talented artists. Part of the
to maximize the opportunities that
All of these improvements are going
training program required teams of
Hoosier Energy employees are
to add up in the long run.”
employees to illustrate some classic
bringing to the table.
“wastes” (tasks that use resources
The steps for submitting an idea
Some continuous improvement ideas
are simple, as the training sessions
are already being implemented,
showed, and there’s more than one
including improving visibility at
way to do so. In addition to an online
a company exit and reducing
form, employees are encouraged
the frustrations associated with
to share their thoughts via emails,
rescheduling training classes.
phone calls or even Post-it® notes.
designs, but overall, the interactive
“Enhancing Hoosier Energy
There’s no wrong way to ensure that
activity helped employees tap into
operations is vital to being
continuous improvement continues
competitive in a constantly changing
without adding value) discussed by instructors Pat Thomas and Tom Baker of Pathom, a value discovery company that is consulting with Hoosier Energy. The results ranged from stick figures to architectural
28 NOVEMBER 2023
BRING FAMILY TOGETHER
WITH FIBER FOR MORE INFORMATION 812-689-4111 www.seiremc.com
LOOKING FOR A WINTER WILDLIFE ADVENTURE? Head to Goose Pond to spot a whooping crane
oo often we view the colder months as a time to hunker down and avoid venturing outside. After all, many of our birds have headed south to warmer climates. Our Indiana reptiles and amphibians have retreated below the frost line. Mammals are difficult to observe in the best of times. Just what is there to see? May I introduce you to the whooping crane — North America’s tallest bird, and one of the rarest. Fortunately for us Hoosiers, this amazing bird chooses the winter months to visit our state. Standing nearly five feet tall, with a wingspan that can exceed seven feet, the whooping crane is a physically impressive bird. The adult’s pure white color, with eye-catching red skin on the head and cheeks, makes it difficult to miss.
A whooping crane photographed by George R. Sly.
This is a species that has come back from the brink of extinction. By 1942, the entire population of whooping cranes consisted of around 20 birds. Habitat loss and unregulated hunting had taken its toll. The size of the whooping crane population was likely never huge; perhaps a few thousand at its peak. Today, because of conservation efforts, there are over 800. Whooping cranes originally ranged over much of North America east of the Rockies. Reduced to the one small group previously noted, the cranes wintered near the Gulf Coast of Texas in what is now Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. In the summer, they migrated northward. The locality of their breeding grounds was unknown. Then, in 1954, the site was discovered in Alberta Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park. The vulnerability of the single, western population was of concern and an attempt was made to establish a nonmigratory population in Florida. This undertaking was unsuccessful and was replaced by a project to establish an eastern population that migrated between Wisconsin and Florida. This Eastern Migratory Population (EMP) currently numbers around 70 birds. The cranes initially learned their migration route by following an ultralight aircraft. Today, wildhatched chicks, captives reared at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin and birds raised at partner organizations all have joined the population. But guess what? Whooping cranes on their southward migration are arriving at Greene County’s Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area and staying! Finding the 9098-acre expanse of wetlands and prairies (and the thousands of acres of surrounding agricultural fields) to their liking, the whooping cranes are setting up camp here. This “short-stopping” cuts their migration journey from 1200 miles to only 500. At times, from October through March, nearly 25% of the EMP can be found on and around the property. So, if you are looking for a cold-season wildlife adventure, head to Goose Pond FWA near Linton. Stop by the visitors center for assistance, and if you are lucky enough to spot a whooping crane or two, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve just seen one of the world’s rarest birds.
30 NOVEMBER 2023
-George R. Sly
NATURAL GAS SAFETY
Cold weather drastically increases the amount of natural gas we use. To keep you and your family safe, always remember: Sight, Sound, and Smell when you suspect a natural gas leak. Sight – Look for dead vegetation, frozen soil or ice, vapor clouds, bubbling water or blowing dirt. Sound – Listen for a hissing sound. Smell – Natural gas is odorless, but a product called mercaptan is added to give it a pungent “rotten egg” smell. For more tips on natural gas safety, as well as what to do if you suspect a leak, please go to www.inpaa.org/pipeline-safety. Always be sure to follow the Five Steps to Safe Digging:
PLAN YOUR PROJECT
CONTACT INDIANA 811
WAIT FOR THE MARKS
CONFIRM THE MARKS
Follow us for damage prevention news and tips. @IN811
DIG WITH CARE
36 FEBRUARY 2019