Kosciusko REMC — October 2021 Indiana Connection

Page 1

How to stay safe if you get a scam call.

Kosciusko REMC’s


INNS From a calaboose to a caboose, Indiana offers unique places to stay




from the editor

Pumpkin and spice and everything nice? Eighteen years ago, Starbucks unleashed pumpkin spice lattes on the world, and autumns have never been the same. Who’d have thought a fruit formerly famous strictly for its guises as jack-o’-lanterns and Thanksgiving table pies would suddenly become a worldwide obsession — and continue to be fall’s flavor of choice. Pumpkin and the aromatic mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice that are so crucial to pumpkin pie’s signature taste have since popped up not just in other foods, but in products of all kinds. Some make sense; others have me wondering “why?” Pumpkin spice cereal is one of my favorite autumn indulgences. I buy extra boxes just so I can enjoy them months later. Though I haven’t tried them yet, I “get” how pumpkin spice bagels, cream cheese spread, candy and Twinkies would have a fan base. But macaroni and cheese? Last year, Kraft packaged a limited number of mac and cheese dinners (available only through a sweepstakes promotion) with pumpkin spice augmenting the usual powdered cheese. Hormel, meanwhile, introduced pumpkin spiced SPAM a couple of years ago. It sold out in hours, either eagerly scooped up by curious foodies or fans of SPAM’s undeniable kitsch factor. A 12-oz. can of it now goes for as much as $150 on eBay. Folks majorly obsessed with all things pumpkin spice can start their day with products like flavored toothpaste, deodorant, cologne and lip balm. And those needing a jolt stronger than pumpkin spice coffee can get their pumpkin spice fix (hopefully later in the day) in various alcoholic beverages. Later this month, pumpkin spice will make its debut appearance in Nissin brand instant ramen noodles. “For the full pumpkin spice experience,” a company spokesman actually suggests, “top it with whipped cream.” Really? Whipped cream atop a container of noodles is taking the pumpkin spice craze a tad too far! I think if I dollop whipped cream on anything it will be on a good old fashioned slice of pumpkin pie!

EMILY SCHILLING Editor eschilling@indianaec.org

On the menu: February issue: Noodles, deadline Dec. 1. March issue: Potato chips, deadline Dec. 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.

Giveaways: Enter to win a prize package from Greater Rensselaer Chamber of

Commerce (value $75). For details and to enter, visit indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/ contests. Entry deadline: Oct. 29.

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 info@indianaconnection.org; or send to Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606.

VOLUME 71 • NUMBER 4 ISSN 0745-4651 • USPS 262-340 Published monthly by Indiana Electric Cooperatives Indiana Connection is for and about members of Indiana’s locally-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. It helps consumers use electricity safely and efficiently; understand energy issues; connect with their co-op; and celebrate life in Indiana. Over 304,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 info@indianaconnection.org IndianaConnection.org INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Walter Hunter President Randy Kleaving Vice President Steve McMichael Secretary/Treasurer John Gasstrom CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Ellie Schuler Senior Digital and Layout Design Specialist Taylor Maranion Senior Brand and Visual Design Specialist Lauren Carman Communication Coordinator Mandy Barth Vice President of Communication ADVERTISING: American MainStreet Publications Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200; 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 safe‑keeping or return of unsolicited material. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $12 for individuals not subscribing through participating REMCs/RECs. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you receive Indiana Connection through your electric co-op membership, report address changes to your local co-op. POSTAGE: Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. Include key number.

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








03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative. 12 INSIGHTS 14 ENERGY How to avoid being haunted by frightening energy bills.



16 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Jasper County. 17 FOOD Pizza party. 20 INDIANA EATS Pizzerias that are “all in the family.” 22 COVER STORY Out-of-the-box inns: Unique places to stay in Indiana.


Indiana Connection



28 CALENDAR 29 SAFETY Electrical overloads: Unloading the circuit. 30 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS 32 BACKYARD


33 TRAVEL All aboard for chili. (Not in all editions) 34 PROFILE Diana Martinez’s professional progression. (Not in all editions)

Spotlight on herbaceous perennials. (Not in all editions)

On the cover There’s a new sheriff in town! Patty Hawley welcomes “inmates” to the Old Jail Inn, a unique place to stay in Rockville that served as the Parke County jail for 120 years. Hawley bought the inn from its original owner early this year and moved to Indiana from Nevada. PHOTO BY RICHARD G. BIEVER




co-op news


www.kremc.com CONTACT US Local: 574-267-6331 Toll-Free: 800-790-REMC EMAIL mail@kremc.com OFFICE HOURS 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday-Friday ADDRESS 370 S. 250 E., Warsaw, IN 46582 SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS To report a service interruption after hours, please call 267-6331 or 800-790-REMC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS William Stump Jr., Chairman Dan Tucker, Vice Chairman John Hand, Secretary/Treasurer Kim Buhrt Terry Bouse Tony Fleming Pam Messmore Steve Miner Rick Parker

SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY Seal all of your exterior doors with weather stripping. If you have an old exterior door, consider replacing it with a newer, energy-efficient model. — U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Use your Co-op Connections Card to save at local businesses Beyond Beauty $10 off a variety of makeup and hair services.


Electric cooperatives like KREMC are a catalyst for positive change. It is our responsibility to engage with our members to improve the overall quality of life and economic opportunity of our entire community. Sometimes, that means doing things that might otherwise be impossible — like when we first brought electricity to rural Kosciusko County in 1939. We take this responsibility very seriously. We support youth programs and offer scholarships for 4-H and education, we give back through sponsorships and Operation Round Up, we work hard and efficiently to keep rates low for our members, and much more. Most recently, as you may know, we are working to bridge the digital divide in our rural community. We started our subsidiary, Kosciusko Connect, because we want to provide the reliable, high speed internet service that our members deserve. Many of our members do not have any access to internet service where they live, because the larger, national companies often refuse to serve rural areas — just like with electricity over 80 years ago. As a cooperative, we felt it was our responsibility to once again step up and provide this essential service to our community. Though Kosciusko Connect is a separate company, it was founded based on the same principles that drive our cooperative. Co-ops put people first — that’s the cooperative difference — and customers of Kosciusko Connect will experience that difference too. This National Co-op Month we are thankful for you, our members, and for the opportunity to serve you in this exciting new way. We are determined to continue making our community a better place, and we cannot wait until we are able to connect our first members to reliable, high speed internet later this fall.

KURT CARVER President and CEO

KREMC rates and rebates RATES


Residential and farm service Service charge ............................$24.50 per month Kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge ......@$.0922 per kWh Tracker charge .................... @$0.001487 per kWh

Electric water heaters 50 gallons or larger: • Gas to electric replacement — $125 • New construction water heater — $125 • Geothermal desuperheater — $50

Outdoor Lights* 40w LED........................................$8.75 per month 70w LED......................................$12.25 per month

HVAC: • Geothermal system installation — $250 • Air-source heat pump system — $150 • Programmable thermostat — up to $25 Visit www.kremc.com for complete guidelines and restrictions. Additional rebates can be found at powermoves.com.



co-op news

Closing your lake house for winter Are you saying goodbye to our

NEW EMPLOYEES Join us in welcoming two new member service representatives to our KREMC team — Haley Donahue and Carrie Jackson!

lakes for the winter? This is your



friendly reminder to winterize your

Haley Donahue

Carrie Jackson

is a Warsaw

worked in

native who


electric account! If you have a lake home that you leave empty over the colder months, make sure to open your online KREMC account before you leave. Your online account will allow you to keep an eye on your home through your energy use reports. Keeping an eye on the

worked in human


service for 15 years before



coming to

before transitioning to her new role

KREMC — most recently at a local

at KREMC. She views working at

bank. She was ready for a change,

KREMC as a lifetime opportunity, and

and she looks forward to learning and

she is excited to be a part of the team

growing in a new environment.

kilowatt-hours used at your lake

for the launch of Kosciusko Connect.

location while you’re away can help

Donahue lives in Warsaw with her

entire life. She enjoys getting to know

husband and two young children.

new people, and she is excited to

Outside of work, she enjoys spending

connect with our members here at

time outside with her family.


alert you to any potential problems that you should investigate when heading back to your lake house in the spring. Setting up your online account only takes a couple of minutes, but it offers great peace of mind for the months you spend away. Visit kremc.com/service to get started.

Jackson has lived in the area her

We are excited to welcome Haley and Carrie to the team. They will play a key role in helping our members and future customers of Kosciusko Connect. Feel free to come and say “hi” to them at our front counter. They can help you with account questions and payments or get you pre-registered for internet service. — Stephanie Scott, KREMC manager of member services

OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH During the month of October, be on the lookout for our linemen wearing pink hard hats in support of those who have fought or are currently fighting the battle against breast cancer!



co-op news

stay one step ahead of

SCAMMERS Have you ever received a suspicious call from someone claiming to be KREMC? Scammers have been targeting our members; sometimes, they are even able to make our number show up on your caller ID. We cannot keep scam calls from happening, but we can help you stay safe when you get one.

How do I tell if I’m dealing with a scammer or KREMC? • Is the call threatening to turn your power off unless you pay them? We understand that sometimes it’s easy to forget to pay a bill, or that circumstances outside of your control can make it challenging to pay on time. We want to help you get back on track.

• Is the call demanding immediate

representatives can no longer

I received an automated call telling me my power would be going off soon. Is that a scammer?

accept payments over the phone.

Occasionally, you may receive a

payment? For security purposes, our member service

Instead, they will direct you to our automated payment system.

What should I do if I suspect a scam call?

If you have an overdue bill, we will

• Hang up immediately!

send you a series of reminders

• Call us at 574-267-6331 to confirm

call from us letting you know about a planned outage. These outages help keep our linemen safe as they maintain or repair our power distribution system. If you receive a call about an upcoming planned outage that does not ask for payment

by phone and email well before

and to let us know about the

information, that call is most likely

service is disconnected. We do not

scammer so that we can alert the

from us. If you have any concerns

wait until the last minute to let you

rest of our members.

about the call, feel free to reach out to

know about an overdue bill.

us for confirmation.

UPDATE YOUR CONTACT INFO Do we have your current phone number? If not, you could be missing important information about your electric account. If we can’t get in touch with you, we can’t tell you about planned outages, time-sensitive payment information, or account issues that could affect your bills and your connection to power. Updating your account’s phone number is easy. Simply call us at 574-267-6331 and press 3. Our automated system will guide you through a few quick steps!









Thank you so much for the wonderful article about our business in the July issue of Indiana

Tell us about your Christmas traditions

Connection. You should be very proud of the professional job you do with your publication. We look forward to its arrival each month and read it cover to cover. Having our business highlighted in such a

The countdown to Christmas has begun. And now’s the time to share what makes your family’s Christmas so special.

well written piece is a special treat.

Our December issue will showcase our readers’ favorite holiday traditions with their friends and family. We’d also love to see your photos from Christmases past that illustrate what you love the best about your seasonal celebrations.

Larry Stewart and staff Weenee World

Deadline to send us your stories and photos is Oct. 29. If we publish your submission, we’ll send you a check for $50. We’ll also send $50 to a randomly selected reader with a tradition to share. Our address: Indiana Connection, Holiday Traditions, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240. You can also submit your tradition to us online at www.indianaconnection.org/tell-us-what-makes-yourchristmas-special.

Again, thank you.

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

HELP CHANGE THE WORLD WITH A SINGLE TICKET Raffle benefits Project Indiana initiative Empowering global communities takes commitment, passion, hard work … and money. To help fund its fifth trip to bring electricity and a better way of life to rural Guatemala, Project Indiana — the philanthropic partnership between Indiana’s electric cooperatives and supporters like you — is holding a raffle. Twenty prizes are available including Big Green Egg and pellet grills, getaway packages, a chainsaw and an autographed football from the Indianapolis Colts.



The raffle is limited to 300 tickets being sold at $100 each. The drawing will be held on Oct. 20. Winners will be contacted after the drawing. To purchase tickets, send a check made out to “Project Indiana” to Project Indiana Raffle, Indiana Electric Cooperatives, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240. Contact Mandy Barth at mbarth@indianaec.org for more information about the raffle and Project Indiana.

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





plan now to avoid being haunted by

FRIGHTENING energy bills


he arrival of ghoulish costumes and

creatures to your door this Halloween has nothing on

be causing conditioned

insulation. By adding

The best way to diagnose

the lurking horror of high

air to escape. You should

insulation properly, your

issues in your home is to

energy bills this fall and

search for and seal

HVAC system will have

schedule an energy audit.


any air leaks. The most

to work less to maintain

You can contact your

important leaks to seal are

the temperature in

local electric cooperative’s

With the autumn weather

in your attic and down

your house, saving you

energy advisor for details.

temperatures dropping,

low in your basement or

electricity and money.

Your co-op may even

you may have noticed

crawlspace. Framing and

your house feeling colder

places where plumbing

than you remembered

or electrical wiring or

last year. Or, you may

ducts poke through the

have been reminded

ceiling also need to be

that your HVAC system

checked. Sealing air leaks

isn’t working the way

keeps your warm, cozy air

you liked. To avoid being


plagued by scary energy

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE PROPER SYSTEMS TO HEAT AND COOL YOUR HOME. After you have sealed air leaks and properly insulated your home, you can check into new equipment. Now that some of your home’s

can ensure that you’re


prepared for extreme

should be taken after

equipment to properly


sealing air leaks. Air

heat and cool your home.

leaking through the

A smaller, right-sized and


insulation decreases

more energy-efficient

its benefits. If part of

system will increase

your home feels chilly,

your HVAC’s ductwork

electricity savings,

then creepy crawlies may

is located in the attic

helping your wallet well

not be the only things

space, it is especially

into the future.

hiding in your attic or

important to seal that

crawlspace! Air leaks may

ductwork and bury it in

bills, three words – seal, insulate, and equip –



issues are resolved,

be able to provide the audit, which includes recommendations on steps you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency. You can get an idea of what options – and rebates – are out there to keep you comfortable all year long!

you may need smaller


Jake Taylor

Energy Advisor LaGrange County REMC


county feature


Jasper County Most towns have a mural or two depicting aspects of the town’s history or famous residents. But Jasper County has turned itself into a giant art gallery for murals — painted on buildings throughout the county seat of Rensselaer. Beginning with just one mural a half dozen years ago, Rensselaer now hosts an annual mural festival — RenARTWlk — attracting artists from around Indiana, the nation, and the world. Some 40 giant works of art have brought a kind of renaissance to Rensselaer’s once staid downtown. “It’s done a great thing to give Rensselaer an identity,” said Ryan Preston, an artist and contractor who, with his wife, founded 181 Properties. He was contracted to restore a dilapidated building in Rensselaer and turn it into a restaurant and event venue. Preston brought Cameron Moberg, a San Francisco-based muralist, into town to do the mural. Moberg ended up falling in love with the community and was soon bringing in muralists from around the world for the festival he helped organize three summers ago. “Cameron just thought it was just such an awesome place. Hoosier hospitality definitely won him over

and has won over all the artists that come to visit,” Preston said. Rensselaer’s fortuitous location on Interstate 65 midway between Chicago and Indianapolis has made for a meeting ground amid the brew houses, restaurants, and boutiques that have been popping up. “There’s a lot more business going on now that is geared toward creative outlets,” Preston added. “Rensselaer is becoming a place that is very motivated to decorate time with music and decorate space with art.” In addition, the towns of Remington to the south and DeMotte to the north, as well as several other small towns in neighboring counties, have also joined in the hosting murals. “I don’t think we really realized the impact,” Preston said. “But we brought in some artists and got some buildings painted. And we started noticing how the buildings looked much fresher and lively. We started seeing people come to town to view these murals, and they made a day of it. So, it was something that gave a lot of pride to the people that live in Rensselaer.” The area arts groups and economic development organizations soon



County Facts FOUNDED: 1838 NAMED FOR: William Jasper, a noted sergeant in the Revolutionary War POPULATION: 33,270 (2018 estimate) COUNTY SEAT: Rensselaer INDIANA COUNTY NUMBER: 37

joined, supporting the mural projects, helping support the artists and finding business owners willing to turn the outside of their buildings into the artist canvases. “Just look at the murals,” noted Preston. “They are uniting the community, helping give identity, and also springing economic growth.”

For more information about the murals, go to: renartwlk.org jaspernewtonfoundation.org 181properties.com instagram.com/renartwlk

Pizza Party


Add pizzazz to pizza night with these non-traditional takes on everyone’s favorite pie

ASIAN PIZZA Prepared pizza dough to make one 12-inch pizza 2 T. Asian stir fry sauce 1 2 1 1 2 1 1

carrot, finely chopped leaves green cabbage, finely chopped leaf red cabbage, finely chopped green onion, chopped T. chopped cilantro t. powdered ginger t. chili oil

Stretch dough into a large circle on a large oiled pizza pan. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Spread the stir fry sauce on the dough, leaving ½ inch around the outside. Sprinkle the carrots, cabbage, half of the green onion, half of the cilantro, ginger, and chili oil over the top. Bake for about 15 minutes until crust is golden brown and crispy. Top with remaining cilantro and green onion.




FANCY FRUIT PIZZA Crust 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar ½ cup cold butter, cubed Glaze 5 t. cornstarch 1¼ cups unsweetened pineapple juice 1 t. lemon juice Toppings 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese ⅓ cup sugar 1 t. vanilla extract 2 cups halved fresh strawberries 1 cup fresh blueberries 1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained



Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix flour and confectioners’ sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto an ungreased 12-inch pizza pan. Bake until very lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. In a small saucepan, mix glaze ingredients until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly. In a bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread over crust. Top with berries and mandarin oranges. Drizzle with glaze. Refrigerate until cold. Editor’s note: We made mini versions of the Asian and fruit pizzas for our photo shoot. We were able to make about 3 mini pizzas per each 12-inch pizza recipe.


Get creative on your crust Go beyond pepperoni and marinara NEXT LEVEL PIZZA TOPPINGS Asparagus


Broccoli florets Brussels sprouts Caramelized onions Cauliflower florets Chopped bratwurst Gorgonzola cheese Green tomato slices Gyro meat

Pulled pork Shiitake mushrooms Shredded rotisserie chicken Shredded steak Shrimp Sliced potatoes Sun-dried tomatoes

INSTEAD OF PIZZA SAUCE TRY … Alfredo sauce Barbecue sauce Garlic and oil Hoisin sauce Hummus

Pesto Salsa Tapenade Thai Chili sauce



Indiana eats



These pizzerias are ‘all in the family’

Local “mom and pop” pizza places are community treasures: unique to their hometowns and dedicated to sharing lots of love from their pizza ovens.

Burns Family Pizza

Homemade “secret recipe” sauces and crusts, and toppings ranging from traditional to a bit unusual, nourish hungry patrons after football games, on date nights, on too-busy-to-cook weeknights, and whenever “the hungries” hit. Here are a few familyowned pizzerias throughout the state with their own takes on everyone’s favorite comfort food.

BRUNO’S PIZZA 1800 E. Market St. Logansport 574-753-2861

following. Locals rave about the pizza and Italian Beef sandwiches — and, just as importantly, the friendly service. Owners Teddy and Selena Burns offer a discount for those who pay in cash.

www.brunoscarryoutpizza.com This fifth-generation, family-owned business — currently run by Gina Dingo Curl — opened in 1960. The recipe for these hand-tossed pizzas hasn’t changed in 50 years. The cheese is ground by hand, the sauce is handmade from a secret family recipe and the dough is hand-rolled every night.

BURNS FAMILY PIZZA 806 15th St. SE Demotte 219-987-4992 Just a year-and-a-half after opening (during a pandemic to boot!), Burns Family Pizza has already gained a loyal


DUNELAND PIZZA 520 Broadway Chesterton 219-926-1163 www.dunelandpizza.com

CAFÉ PIZZARIA 405 E. Kirkwood Ave. Bloomington 812-332-2111 www.cafepizzaria.com Back in 1953, when it was simply called The Pizzaria, this landmark restaurant introduced “pizza pies” to Bloomington and to current co-owner Larry Webb. Webb was immediately hooked. Thirty years later, he bought the restaurant that he now runs with wife Sharon, son David, and grandson Crosby. Café Pizzaria was voted one of the top 100 pizza restaurants in the country by Popular Plates magazine.

Voted “Best Pizza in Porter County” in the area’s pizza wars in 2015, Duneland Pizza offers more than 25 toppings and five types of crust. Open since 1972, Chesterton’s oldest familyowned and family-operated pizzeria is run by Craig Berg with help from his daughter and grandson. Duneland Pizza is open Fridays through Sundays.

FAYTASTIC PIZZA 220 Main St. Shoals 812-247-2115 Fay Jackson started serving “Faytastic Pizza” in 1994. The restaurant’s

Duneland Pizza OCTOBER 2021

eclectic menu includes pizza in six sizes in either thin crust, deep dish or stuffed crust. There are also nine versions of bread sticks with six choices of dipping sauces. Plus, in an unusual spin for a pizza place, Faytastic Pizza serves Mexican food, too!

JIM’S PIZZA 405 E. Wayne St. Kendallville

PIZZA SUBS & BBQ 519 Washington St. St. Joe 260-337-0222

Papa’s Pizza

PAPA’S PIZZA 824 N. Lake Shore Drive Culver



Original owner Jim Wiggington opened Jim’s Pizza in 1962. Now owned by Mark and Wendy Grubb, Kendallville’s first pizzeria still uses Wiggington’s crust and sauce recipes. Jim’s is open for dinner Thursdays through Sundays for take-out only (no dine in or delivery). Frozen pizzas are available so you can have hot-from-the-oven pizza at home.


MAZERELLA’S UPPER CRUST PIZZA AND PASTA 949 S. Indiana Ave. Sellersburg 812-248-7000 www.mazpizza.com Craig Padgett has owned and operated Mazerrella’s Pizza for over 20 years. The restaurant’s 15 topping pizza, the Big Z, is guaranteed to satisfy the biggest appetites. Pizza is available on Mazerella’s Specialtez menu as well as on the lunch buffet. Build your own pizza by choosing from over 20 toppings and seven sauces.

Mazerrella’s Pizza Lunch Buffet

Papa’s truly is a family affair. Started by Jim McCormack in 1976, it is now operated by his son, Brian; Brian’s wife, Carla; Carla’s sons, Jason Newman and Matt Newman; and Matt’s wife, Catie. The menu goes far beyond pizza so there’s something for everyone. Papa’s take-and-bake pizzas allow you to enjoy fresh-from-the-oven Italian pies at home.

PERILLO’S PIZZERIA 5 S. Broadway St. North Salem 765-676-4171 Visit tiny North Salem in Hendricks County for New York or Sicilian-style pizza made by Damiano Perillo, who came from Sicily to Indiana in the late 1990s. Owned by Perillo and wife Meredith since 2011, this pizzeria is housed in a former doctor’s office built in the 1890s. Pizza is available as 18inch pies or in large slices. The buttery garlic rolls are not to be missed.

St. Joe is the home of the annual Pickle Festival. So, if you’d like to try a Pickle Town Pizza, Pizza Subs & BBQ is THE place to go! Owners Steve and Christine Weirauch opened their pizza shop in 2013 and say their number one goal is having their customers leave the restaurant with smiles on their faces.

TOMATO PIE PIZZA JOINT 100 W. Union St. Paragon 765-537-9000 Owner Kim Raia ages her pizza dough 48 hours for maximum flavor. The pizza is baked in a deck oven and is served by the pie or by the slice. The hand twisted breadsticks get rave reviews.

ZWANZIGZ PIZZA 1038 Lafayette Ave. Columbus 812-376-0200

ZwanzigZ Pizza’s Half Lasagna Pizza / Half Veggies Deluxe Pizza

www.zwanzigz.com ZwanzigZ Pizza started as a oneroom pizza shop in Columbus, Indiana, back in 2002. Owned by Kurt and Lisa Zwanzig, it is now a 6,000 square foot pizzeria and brewery with over 10 specialty pizzas including the 14-topping Ultimate Pizza (the 18-inch version can weigh more than five pounds) and the unique Lasagna Pizza topped with ricotta, mozzarella, provolone and white cheddar cheeses.



Patty Hawley welcomes “inmates” to the Old Jail Inn. The red glove on the door of Cell 1, no doubt left by the “Woman in Red,” is a sure indication this is the “John Dillinger Cell.”




From a calaboose to a caboose, Indiana offers unique places to stay S P E N D I N G A N I G H T or weekend in jail probably isn’t high on most people’s bucket lists … unless the stay’s at the Old Jail Inn in Rockville. The inn is literally the old Parke County pokey … hoosegow … the slammer … the calaboose … or “the Rock,” as TV’s Deputy Barney Fife might have called it. But from Girl Scouts to motorcycle mamas, newlyweds to grandparents (with the grandkids in tow), folks have found the jail’s accommodations a fun and unique place to stay ever



since the jail building was converted to an inn some 12 years ago. “People come here for the unique experience … to have fun doing something you just can't do every day,” said Patty Hawley, who bought the inn from its original owner and developer earlier this year. “How many jails can you spend the night in — and not because you did something wrong?” she asked. The Old Jail Inn offers five cell-block rooms in the building that housed

the Parke County Sheriff’s office and jail from 1879 to 1998. Choose from the John Dillinger, Al Capone, Thelma & Louise, Elvis Jailhouse Rock, and Jesse James cells. If a jail cell isn’t your thing, try one of the inn’s four suites with more privacy and comforts of home that still have the barred doors of former holding cells.

After Parke County moved its jail to a new facility in 1998, the old office and jail on the eastside of the courthouse square sat empty for about 10 years. Then, when Parke County resident Debra Olson

The inn was voted among the Top 10 Best Unique Sleeps in Indiana last year by readers of the VisitIndiana.com website. (The list is featured on page 25.) The cozy rooms, each done in a different outlaw theme, are the actual cells of the old county jail.

went to purchase just an old iron barred door and window, the county offered her the deed to the whole works. Turning lemons to lemonade, she cleverly and creatively converted it into the kitschy fun place to stay. She ran the inn for about a dozen years until selling it to Hawley and Hawley's significant other, Troy Riggs, early this year. Hawley, 67, a retiree from the U.S. Postal Service, and Riggs, 61, who owned a nostalgia/antique store, moved from their homes in Reno, Nevada, to Rockville. “My boyfriend and I wanted to get out to the Midwest in a small town like this and just try something different,” Hawley said. “We feel a little safer here: smaller town, nicer people, not so crazy.” The inn keeps her busy she said, but she’s loving her first months as innkeeper, er, jailer, and Riggs was able to continue selling his nostalgic signboards and memorabilia down the street. Hawley said she doesn’t plan any changes for the inn, and the inn continues hosting the “Drunk Tank Winery” — a quaint wine tasting venue in the basement. Trina Poynter continues offering samplings of various wines from around the world with her entertaining humor and wit. Hawley noted that although the inn doesn’t produce its own wine, Huber Winery from Southern Indiana produces a medium-bodied Concord-

Merlot blend exclusively for the Old Jail Inn. Visitors to the inn will find its white painted walls serve as the guestbook and are encouraged to leave their own versions of “Kilroy was here.” The walls are covered in graffiti, doodles, poems and notes about the guests' stays in "the slammer." Though none of the graffiti remains from the building’s original guests (real inmates), a cross, said to be carved into the floor of the cell block by an inmate who found Christ while incarcerated and wanted to share his newfound faith, is still visible. Some of the messages left by guests are sweet short notes; some are like diaries of what brought the person to the inn; some are about hearing the ghostly plodding of the night watchman’s boots on the cellblock floor and other unaccountable sounds in the night. Some of the graffiti touches on politics, which of course, brings a response from others. And Hawley admits not all the graffiti may be suitable for a general audience. “Most people put great things because people come here, and they just really have fun. Some people get a little political. I tell people before they come that guests sign the walls, and some of it's not kosher. They know that when they come.” In just the short time she and Riggs have owned

The Old Jail Inn sits on the Parke County Courthouse square in Rockville.

In the cellar below the jail cells, Trina Poynter serves up samplings of wine and bottles of humor in the Drunk Tank Winery.

the inn, she said folks have come from Missouri, Michigan, … all parts of the U.S. One Girl Scout troop came from the Iowa/Illinois border for a weekend. She said that was a mystery trip for the girls who didn’t know they’d be spending the night in a jail. The girls had a blast, she said. They really enjoyed trying on the traditional black-and-white horizontal striped jailbird tops and orange prison garb hanging alongside Parke County Sheriff's Deputy shirts on a rack on the cellblock and getting photos. Hawley said guests checking in sometimes joke about visiting the Drunk Tank in the basement and then being able to stumble

upstairs to their cell. They all refer to this as “pulling an ‘Otis Campbell,’” a reference to the town drunk on the old Andy Griffith Show who let himself in and out of jail at will. And while the Old Jail Inn is a fun and friendly place like Mayberry, returning guests, or “repeat offenders,” as they are called, need to check back in first. And, sorry, Otis, during Parke County’s Covered Bridge Festival each October, reservations are a must. Old Jail Inn 127 S. Jefferson St. Rockville, IN 47872 765-592-6737 or 217-808-1309 OldJailInn.com OCTOBER 2021




Patoka Lake Winery

PATO K A L A K E WI N E RY is now offering overnight accommodations attached to its tasting room, gift shop and wine production facility. Unique to the winery are two beautifully decorated two-story suites converted from round silos. Three other suites are also available. Lodging guests enjoy a complimentary tasting and souvenir wine glasses in addition to amenities such as a fireplace, jacuzzi tub, and kitchenette in each of the five suites. Meanwhile, the winery offers over 20 wines to choose from and has two event spaces. The Silo Suites have an open upstairs bedroom, a fireplace with comfortable seating, a furnished kitchenette and more. Patoka Lake Winery, 2900 N. Dillard Road, Birdseye, IN 47513, 812-685-2203, patokalakewinery.com

FO R A N U N FO R G E T TA B L E rustic camping experience, Tipis at Sleeping Bear Retreat won’t disappoint. Each Tipi has four cots with access to picnic tables, a shelter house, a charcoal grill, and firewood. Its location among 50 beautifully wooded acres in French Lick makes Sleeping Bear Retreat the perfect weekend getaway. Campers should be prepared for the weather and bring sleeping bags appropriate for weather conditions since the tipis are not heated or air conditioned, bug spray with high DEET if you plan to go into the woods, food and drink in a cooler (ice is available in the gift shop), fire starting apparatus, fire starting supplies, and basically anything that makes you comfortable. (“Camping is supposed to be a happy time.”) Sleeping Bear Retreat, 2773 S. County Road 1000 W., French Lick, IN 47432, 812-865-6898, SleepingBearRetreat.com

MEDIEVEL CASTLE E S C A PE TH E C H AO S and stress of the modern world at Clayshire Castle, a medieval-style bed and breakfast in the tranquil countryside of western central Indiana where guests are treated like royalty. Many activities are available on the 120-acre property: Stroll through the gardens, wander the hedge maze, hike the hills, soak in the aromatic cedar hot tub, or get immersed in a good book in the library. Visitors can even try on a medieval costume to get into the spirit! Clayshire Castle, 8780 E. County Road 75 N., Bowling Green, IN 47833, 317-797-3822, ClayshireCastle.com



Clayshire Castle

UNIQUE SLEEPS The Indiana Destination Development Corporation’s VisitIndiana website conducted a “Best of Indiana” campaign in 2020. Readers to the site were asked to vote on several categories; one was the Best Unique Sleep in Indiana. From historic hotels to jail cells and from B&Bs to tipis, the top 10 list included an array of incredible experiences across the Hoosier State. Four of the top 10, featured on pages 22-26, were the Old Jail Inn, Sleeping Bear Inn Tipis, Patoka Lake Winery’s Silo Suites and Union Station’s Crowne Plaza railcars. The other six were:

Joseph Decuis Farmstead Inn

HISTORIC HOMES OV E R N I G HT ACCOM O DATI O N S are available at two Inns: The Inn at Joseph Decuis is a meticulously restored 1910 home located in Roanoke within walking distance to the Joseph Decuis restaurant. It offers four rooms, appointed with period furniture and decor. The Joseph Decuis Farmstead Inn is located six miles from the restaurant on the Joseph Decuis Wagyu Farm. The Farmstead Inn includes a restored 1884 farmhouse, carriage house, and barn. It features six bedrooms, each with a private bath, a loft for meetings and receptions, and private dining.

F RENCH L ICK RE S OR T 8538 W. Baden Ave., West Baden, IN 47469 812-936-9300, FrenchLick.com CH A RL E Y CREEK INN 111 W. Market St., Wabash, IN 46992 260-563-0111, CharleyCreekInn.com F L OAT ING C A BINS AT PAT OK A L A K E 2991 N. Dillard Road, Birdseye, IN 47513 812-685-2203, PatokaLakeMarina.com S T ORY INN 6404 IN-135, Nashville, IN 47448 812-988-2273, StoryInn.com HERI TAGE FA RM 4175 N. 1200 W, Flora, IN 46929 765-860-1220, HeritageFarms.com GR A N T S T REE T INN 310 N. Grant St., Bloomington, IN 47408 812-334-2353, GrantStInn.com For more information, go to visitindiana.com/ best-of-indiana/winners/63-unique-sleep.

Guests earn their keep by helping with optional farm chores before bedding down in restored historic digs that date back to 1884. The Joseph Decuis restaurant serves up one of the best farm-to-table meals in the entire state. Inn at Joseph Decuis, 492 N. Main St., Roanoke, IN 46783 | Joseph Decuis Farmstead Inn, 6756 E. 900 S., Columbia City, IN 46725, 260-672-1715, info@josephdecuis.com

Story 25 Inn



Crowne Plaza



C R OWN E P L A Z A in downtown Indianapolis was originally America’s first Union Station, built in 1888. Each space in the hotel has been converted into upscale accommodations and the station’s Grand Hall now serves as a ballroom with 60-foot ceilings and 3,200 square feet of original stained glass. Thirteen 1920s Pullman train cars have been converted into guest rooms named after influential people of the past. The train cars hold two rooms each and provide one of the most unique lodging experiences possible. Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station, 123 W. Louisiana St., Indianapolis, IN 46225 CrownePlazaIndyDowntown.com

R I L E Y ' S R A I LH O U S E is housed in a New York Central Freight Station that was built in 1914. The Railhouse has since been restored and offers five different rooms for guests. Among these is a New York central boxcar rerepurposed into two separate rooms. The Queen Ann Caboose, a luxury caboose with Victorian styling, is a favorite stay for rail fans. The building has been restored and updated with modern amenities while carefully preserving the integrity of the original architecture. The Railhouse is three miles from the Indiana Dunes National Park and Indiana Dunes State Park. Riley's Railhouse, 123 N. Fourth St., Chesterton, IN 46304, 219-395-9999, rileysrailhouse.com

Riley's Railhouse




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



16 30

HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH OF LOWELL CRAFT FAIR, Lowell (Lake), Hope Community Church. Free food, free Bibles, hourly door prizes, handmade items from local vendors and a kids’ lemonade stand. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 219-690-8889, office@hopechurchlowell.com, hopechurchlowell.com HALLOWEEN TRAIN, North Judson (Starke), Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum. Twilight train excursion. Passengers disembark to enjoy a “Not-So-Scary, Scary-Animal Show” before continuing to English Lake. Excursion lasts approximately 2¾ hours. Dress in costume or come as you are. 4 p.m. (Central Time). Cost: $9 and up. 574-896-3950, marketing@hoosiervalley.org, hoosiervalley.org






MISCHIEF ON MERIDIAN, Lebanon (Boone), Downtown. Enjoy entertainment and trunk or treating. 5-8 p.m. info@heartoflebanon.org, facebook.com/mischiefonmeridian/


DELTA THETA TAU GIFT & HOBBY SHOW, Shelbyville (Shelby), Shelbyville Middle School. Handcrafted toys, jewelry, florals, confections, apparel, and more. Refreshments available. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Santa Claus will be present 11 a.m-1 p.m. Free. 317-401-5078, giftandhobbyshow.com






CHILI COOK OFF, Tell City (Perry), City Hall Park. Businesses, groups, organizations and individuals will cook their best pot of chili and serve the public. Music in the City Hall Gazebo. 2-5 p.m. Free. 812-547-7933, cvbbetty@ psci.net, facebook.com/perrycounty THE ART OF CHARACTER: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE GLENN CLOSE COSTUME COLLECTION, Bloomington (Monroe), Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art. Exhibition includes clothing and accessories that actress Glenn Close began collecting at the beginning of her career. Advance reservations strongly suggested. Walk-in availability may be limited. museumhelp@iu.edu., events.iu.edu/artmuseum/all/search/ reservations

This calendar is published as a service to readers and the communities electric cooperatives serve. Indiana Connection publishes events free of charge as space allows, giving preference to free community festival and events in and around areas served by subscribing REMCs/RECs. While Indiana Connection strives for accuracy, please note that events, dates and time may change without notice. Indiana Connection advises using contact phone numbers or internet sites to check times and dates of events before making plans.



DELTS’ HOLIDAY CRAFTS & GIFTS SHOW, Portland (Jay), Jay County High School. Over 150 booths. Food available all day. Admission charge. 260-7266729, dttcraftshow@yahoo.com., visitjaycounty.com




AUTUMN HARVEST FESTIVAL, Columbia City (Whitley), Whitley County Fairgrounds. Craft and food vendors, kids’ games, car show, and farm toy show. Demolition derby begins late afternoon. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 260-244-7615, whitleycounty4h.com


FORT VALLONIA DAYS, Vallonia (Jackson), various locations. Food, craft and flea market vendors. Parade Saturday at 1 p.m. Live entertainment, 5k run/walk, baby contest, and Muzzleloader shoot. Tomahawk, horseshoe and knife throws. Free. 812-498-2925, facebook.com/ fortvallonia AUTUMN ON THE RIVER, Bethlehem (Clark), School House ground. Daily music, food, shops and museum. Saturday auction, veterans’ tribute, parade, Sunday car show. Free. 317-491-4148, autumnontheriver. wordpress.com

To add events to Calendar, please use the “Submit and Event” form under the “Talk to Us” or “Calendar” buttons at indianaconnection.org; or mail your info to: Calendar, Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240. Please submit info two months before the date of the event.




hen Ralphie Parker’s “old man” attempts to plug his “major award” — the infamous plastic leg lamp — into an overloaded wall outlet in the classic movie “A Christmas Story,” there first came a “snap of a few sparks” and the “whiff of ozone” before the lamp blazed forth in the living room front window.

your home doesn’t have enough outlets. Instead of grabbing an extension cord or multiple-outlet plugs that turn your outlets into octopuses, call a qualified electrician who can install more outlets and update circuits and wiring.

While that’s a funny movie scene, those at Indiana Electric Cooperatives remind you overloaded circuits and sparks are never funny. Local fire departments respond to an average of more than 35,000 home fires involving electrical distribution and lighting equipment each year, causing 490 deaths and 1,200 injuries nationwide.

• Never plug more than two appliances into an outlet at any one time; don’t “piggyback” extra appliances on extension cords or wall outlets. Use only outlets designed to handle multiple plugs.

“It’s easy to plug in too many devices onto the same circuit,” said John Gasstrom, CEO at Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “Everyone has a role in keeping homes safe — whether it’s the cooperative keeping consumers informed or homeowners doing their research.” The electrical systems of many older homes, especially, are not properly equipped to respond to today’s increased power demands and may lack the needed number of conveniently placed outlets. Relying too heavily on extension cords and multi-plug power strips may mean


• Know the amount of power you’re placing on an outlet or circuit. Some recommend each outlet or circuit should not exceed 1,500 watts. • Major appliances (refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, etc.) should be plugged directly into their own wall outlets since they are heavy power users. If you find you are overloading an outlet or circuit in your home, you may need to contact a professional to help

resolve the problem. An electrician can add outlets and inspect your home’s wiring system.

MAPPING YOUR HOME’S ELECTRICAL SYSTEM Whether you draw up an intricate floor plan of your home or just make a simple list, it’s a good idea to map out your home’s electrical system. Getting to know your home can help you or an electrician if there is an overload. Go to the breaker box — usually found in a basement or garage — and turn off one of the breakers stamped with a “15” or “20” at the end of the switch. Be sure to note where circuits lie on the panel.


Walk through the house and try all of the lights, ceiling fans and plug-in appliances. Your electrician should have labeled all of the circuit areas, but there could be outliers they may have missed — like the outlet that powers your blender on the garage lighting circuit.


Write down everything that doesn’t have power and note which room you’re in. If you want to get really specific, plug a light into each outlet and record all the ones that don’t work.


Turn the breaker back on and continue down the electrical panel — yes, it’s that simple!




They may even be problems that other co-ops regularly encounter. Sometimes additional training and knowledge are needed to learn about emerging challenges. WVPA is often a conduit to help member co-ops obtain training, reimbursing co-ops for Tipmont REMC Energy Advisor Kevin Carpenter talks with Jeremy Montgomery, energy advisor at Parke County REMC, during a building performance training session sponsored by Wabash Valley Power Alliance.

expenses or hosting experts to train co-op staff members. Those training sessions help many co-op energy advisers obtain the knowledge and gear (such as


infrared cameras, blower doors and energy monitors) to help families and businesses in their community. WVPA even has sponsored commercial business training to show co-op staff members analytics and skills that

Electric co-ops partner to problem-solve and support the families and businesses on their lines

are helpful to meet the unique needs of businesses in their communities. By leveraging the network of staff members at electric co-ops in the

When your local electric

cooperative that provides

Midwest and beyond, your local

cooperative’s energy advisor

electricity for 23 distribution

cooperative is equipped to be able

is stumped by a perplexing

co-ops in Indiana, Illinois and

to power your day – every day, all

power problem, the solution

Missouri. And WVPA cooperates

year long.

may come from a fellow energy

with those co-ops to ensure they

advisor in another town – or

can meet the energy needs of the

even another state.

families and businesses on their

Local electric cooperatives,


including your power provider,

Support among electric co-ops

vary in size and the number

doesn’t always come in the form

of homes and businesses they

of power plants, poles and wires.

serve. Yet they are part of a much

Excessive energy use – and waste

larger international group of

– can be a problem bewildering

not-for-profit electric distribution

anyone from small households to

cooperatives that are guided by

massive factories. Getting to the

the Cooperative Principles, which

root of those energy problems

includes Cooperation Among

isn’t always an easy solution.

Cooperatives! Your co-op’s power

Our member co-ops are quick to

supplier, Wabash Valley Power

ask staff at other co-ops for their

Alliance (WVPA), is an electric

insights to solve those problems.

generation and transmission



Nick Dombrosky, energy advisor at Hendricks Power Cooperative, tests a heat pump during a building performance training session sponsored by Wabash Valley Power Alliance. WVPA hosts events and training throughout the year to inform energy advisors on new technology and developments that can help them serve their electric co-ops’ members.



Ask Rosie

Tipmont REMC consumer B. Rosie Lerner is a longtime Indiana Connection contributer who recently retired as Purdue Extension’s 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.

Spotlight on herbaceous perennials

CREEPING CHARLIE (also known as ground ivy)



How can I safely

plants would be most susceptible to

control/stop Creeping


Charlie in the garden?

Some have found some success

Don Kochert,

with very careful spot application of

Floyds Knobs, Indiana

broad-leaved herbicide in the fall,


when desirable plants are a little

Creeping Charlie (also known as ground ivy) is an

herbaceous perennial that spreads by seed as well as horizontal, above-ground stems called stolons or runners. These runners are easy to hand pull, especially after rain or irrigation but the plant will produce new runners. You have to keep pulling throughout the season. Digging up the mother plants is more effective, but tedious. It’s especially important to prevent seed formation by keeping them pulled when flowering. A layer of mulch 2-3 inches deep will help discourage the plants, but likely won’t be completely effective. Any herbicide that would effectively control Creeping Charlie would be risky to use around your garden plants. This weed is most vulnerable to herbicide in springtime during active growth but this is also when your desirable



less susceptible and the Creeping Charlie is still actively growing. Using a wick application method can help keep the herbicide from reaching desirable plants but is



I have several coral bells plants that I’ve had for about

three years. This winter has been

tedious in a garden setting. Be sure

hard on them and some of the leaves

the herbicide product is labeled

look brown and burned. Should I just

for controlling Creeping Charlie

cut the bad ones off or severely trim

(ground ivy) because not all broad-

the plant down?

leaved weed killers are effective on this species. Read and follow all label directions. Any spray that contacts your desirable plants could damage or kill them. So, I’ll repeat,

Phyllis Tucker, Corydon, Indiana


Since coral bells plants are considered herbaceous

perennials, it is normal for their stems

using herbicide around your garden

and leaves to die back to the ground

plants can be risky and is not the

each year. In milder winters, it is

best approach for most gardeners.

common for this particular species

More information including photos to help identify this pesky weed at www.purduelandscapereport.org/ article/spotlight-on-weeds-groundivy-creeping-charlie-glechomahederacea.

to retain some foliage overwinter, behaving as evergreen, but can look pretty ragged by spring. You can just remove the badly damaged foliage or trim off all the foliage, either approach is fine. New foliage will emerge from the crown of the plant.

energy travel

“From the great Atlantic Ocean to the wide Miss’ippi shore, it’s the biggest chili cook off with scores of pots to explore. It’s visited by thousands and loved by one and all. It’s a food and fundraising combination called the ‘Wabash Cannonball.’”






If sampling a wide variety of

Cannonball Chili Cook Off

chili from cooks all around

committee member. Weaver

the Midwest stokes a fire in

has been a part of the event

your belly, then you’ll want

from the beginning as also

to hop aboard the Wabash

the owner and an on-air

Cannonball Chili for Charity

personality of Wabash radio

351 E. Market St. Wabash, Indiana

Cook Off, Oct. 16.

station 105.9.


Billed as “the largest annual

“Everybody’s got their own


chili cook off east of the

idea of what chili is,” Weaver

Mississippi,” the event has

said. “Some people make the

attracted as many as 80 to

chicken chili. Some people

100 cooks in the past.

make chili with macaroni in it

The fundraiser is a day of food and fun. Visitors wander from booth to booth tasting

— which I don’t think is chili. I’ve never tasted two made the same way.”

LOCATION: Paradise

Spring Historic Park ADDRESS:

One high-voltage chili for

for the past decade. “It’s

visitors to try is the “Electric

about our commitment to

Chili” of Heartland REMC.

our community. The event

The co-op, which electrically

brings the whole community

serves Wabash County, is

together to support our local

a founding participant in the


chili and voting for their

The main thing, though, he

cook off. Its chili slogan is

favorites. Some cooks do

noted, is for all to have fun.

“shockingly good taste.”

Admission to the event is $5

While the Heartland team

pots empty quickly once the

— and that’s for all the chili

has never won the cook

crowd gathers steam and

one can eat. Some 4,000

off, it did place third in the

the shoveling of the coal-hot

to 7,000 chili lovers have

Judge’s Choice category

chili begins — so don’t miss

packed the cook off in past

one year. “For us, it’s not

the train. “Make sure you get

years. All the money raised

about winning,” said Rachel

there around noon,” Weaver

supports charities within

Olsen, who handles the

emphasized. “It’s usually

Wabash County. A total of

REMC’s marketing and

gone within two and a half

“It’s definitely worth the

$615,000 has been raised

communication and has

hours.” — by Richard G.

trip,” said Wade Weaver, a

from previous years.

been its chief chili chef

Biever, senior editor

straight chili preparation, while others create a theme to go with their chili. Props and costumes add to the fun. This is the 18th event since it began in 2003; last year’s was canceled because of COVID.

Despite the vast array of chili combinations to sample, the



cooperative career Professional progression:

FROM BOTH SIDES NOW Diana Martinez used to be a “face” of Carroll White REMC as the member services representative working closely with consumers who had billing issues and questions. Now, she’s made a 180-degree shift. As operations coordinator, she literally and figuratively has gone from front to back: from the front offices to the back operations; from helping individual consumers on their side of the meter to helping bring that electricity to all the meters. In the operations position she’s finding more responsibility working closely with the line superintendent, dispatching a service crew or crews when there are outages, processing work orders, working with mapping and staking engineers. She still gets to talk to consumers, she noted, mostly by phone. “There are a lot more calls to answer — especially after a storm. But the job duties definitely changed.” When the previous operations coordinator announced her retirement


in 2018, Diana applied. “I wanted to learn more about the other side of the REMC. Being a member services representative in the front, I helped members. But I wanted to see what happens out in the field with a line crew and get that background as well.” She quickly familiarized herself with the technical ins and outs of electric operations. “There are a lot of things that now make sense when I answer the calls about blinking lights or why this or that happened. When someone calls in about a line down, now I know not just what to ask but why I’m asking it. Before, I didn’t really have a whole lot of knowledge with that. But you could ask me anything about payments, and I could tell you,” she noted with a wink at the defensiveness. “I definitely do like knowing both sides now.”

Diana Martinez Operations Coordinator Carroll White REMC

Diana said one of the great things about working at her hometown REMC is the opportunity to find new professional challenges without leaving town or even changing employers. “There’s always room for growth. You can reach other goals you would like to achieve,” she said. “I absolutely love that because then you already have a relationship with all the employees, you know the different departments and what they do and how they all interact with each other. REMCs are great places to work, very family oriented, and there are always opportunities to grow.”

INTERESTED IN AN ELECTRIC CO-OP CAREER? Visit WePowerIndiana.org to learn about available careers or tell us about yourself.

2011 hired


Member Services Representative

Operations Coordinator


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