All posts by John Clark

Cummins unveils natural-gas powered engine

Cummins is introducing a 15-liter natural gas engine that the company calls a “game changer” as an option to traditional diesel power trains for heavy-duty trucking.

The Columbus-based engine manufacturer announced the new engine yesterday. The engine is expected to offer up to 500 horsepower and 1,850 foot pounds of torque, but still weigh 500 lbs less than comparable diesel engines. It won’t require Selective Catalytic Reduction to meet California or Environmental Protection Agency emission standards.

Company officials say the new engine is also the basis for the hydrogen internal combustion engine currently being tested.

The company says that when powered with renewable natural gas, using methane collected from organic waste as the primary fuel source, the system can produce net greenhouse gas emissions at or below zero.

For more on this story, click here

Camp Atterbury approaches 6,800 Afghan refugees at base

Editor’s Note: This story is courtesy of Network Indiana.

There are around 6,700 Afghan refugees now staying at Camp Atterbury. Around 150 more are due to arrive in the coming days.

The military base, which once served as a POW camp in World War II, is now a make-shift community with people living life as they usually would. But, they are also learning how to assimilate into American society with the help of teachers like Sara Jallal.

“They’ve adapted really well,” Jallal said. “We don’t give them as much credit. We don’t give kids as much credit as they deserve. Some of the adults are taking it a little harder and it’s harder for them to assimilate and learn how life is here. But, the kids have been doing really good.”

Jallal was born in Afghanistan and when she was five her family fled the country for America.

One of the people she is helping make the transition is Sulman Akbarzada. He and his then-fiance, Arzo, were supposed to be married the week that the Taliban converged on Kabul, but they had to cancel their wedding and decided to flee the country. They fled because their families had worked with U.S. forces while they were fighting the Taliban over the last 20 years.

“Because my father-in-law worked with the Army and the most dangerous was for her,” Akbarzada said. “Because the family of the Army people was not safe in Afghanistan.”

A couple of weeks after arriving at Camp Atterbury he and Arzo were allowed to be married at the base chapel. Now both are looking forward to starting a new life here in America. He and Arzo have plans to resettle in San Diego once they are allowed to leave Camp Atterbury.

“They can put us anywhere they want. I want to just be in peace. That’s all I want,” Sulman added.

Many other new lives were started here as well. As of this week, 10 babies have been born to Afghan refugees at Camp Atterbury, all of them automatically U.S. citizens since they were born here.

Refugees are also still able to hang on to the culture of their homeland, though. They are served three meals a day, all of which reflect Afghan cuisine. They also have access to 24-hour snack stations set up throughout their living quarters. The base also holds regular town halls so that refugees can speak directly with base leaders to express concerns and recommendations to make their stay a little easier.

Photo by Sgt. Dylan Bailey. An Afghan family has their wedding at Camp Atterbury, Indiana Oct. 9, 2021 after the original ceremony was postponed during the Afghanistan evacuation. 

Wanted man arrested after bicycle stop

Tyler Lucas. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

A wanted Columbus man was arrested Wednesday night after police found him carrying drugs.

According to Columbus police reports, police noticed 29-year-old Tyler L. Lucas riding a bicycle at about 6:15 near 12th and Franklin streets. Police noticed that Lucas was allegedly carrying methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and pulled him over. They found that he was wanted on three outstanding Bartholomew County warrants.

Lucas was arrested on preliminary charges of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, as well as the warrants.

Alabama woman arrested on identity deception charge

Whitney Aalfs. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department

An Alabama woman was arrested this week after she was found carrying drugs, other people’s mail and other people’s identification cards.

According to Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department reports, a deputy pulled over a vehicle on southbound Interstate 65 near the Edinburgh exit at about 11:55 Tuesday night. Police dog Szabi alerted to the smell of narcotics in the vehicle.

A search revealed narcotics and drug paraphernalia as well as the fake IDs, mail and license plates from other states. the driver initially gave authorities a fake name, but turned out to be 34-year-old Whitney Aalfs of Alabama, who was wanted on several outstanding warrants.

The U.S. Postal Service has been contacted and the investigation is ongoing.

Aalfs is facing new charges including dealing in and possessing methamphetamine, identity deception, false informing, maintaining a common nuisance and for possessing marijuana, paraphernalia, a schedule III and a schedule IV controlled substance.

Nashville Utilities issues boil water advisory after water main break

Nashville Utilities has issued a boil water advisory for some customers in its coverage area.

According to the utility, a water main break on Cardinal Drive led to the boil-water advisory for customers on Somerset Lake Drive, Cardinal Drive, Mockingbird Lane and Yellowwood Road.

You should bring your water to a boil for five minutes before drinking it or using it in food preparation. The advisory is in effect until 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Neighborhood patrol leads to 100+ THC brownies

Courtney James. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Columbus police found more than 100 pot-laced brownies at a home on Pearl Street Wednesday afternoon.

According to Columbus police reports, officers were patrolling in the 1300 block of Pearl Street at just before 3 p.m. Wednesday, when they noticed the front door of a home was open and they could smell marijuana inside. A woman, 37-year-old Courtney M. James, left the home and was allegedly belligerent with police.

After getting a search warrant, police discovered more than 100 brownies in plastic bags that were laced with THC, marijuana cigarettes, loose marijuana and syringes in the home.

James is facing charges of dealing in and possessing marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting law enforcement.

Columbus moves forward with mall site redevelopment plan

Columbus is moving ahead with plans for a new economic development area around the former Fair Oaks Mall.

The Columbus Plan Commission signed off on the plan for a new midtown development area covering the Nexus Park area, through Lincoln Park and the south side of Greenbelt Golf Course.

The plan identifies two critical properties in the district, including the former CCG property at 17th Street and Central Avenue and properties around 23rd Street and Central Avenue.

The economic development plan outlines goals such as providing parks and recreational opportunities, provide infrastructure to promote business growth and to support amateur sports and sports tourism in the development area.

Eventually the goal is to allow Tax Increment Financing to be used to help pay for improvements and remove blight in the area.

The city and Columbus Regional Health purchased the 35-acre mall site at 25th Street and Central Avenue in 2018 with an eye to making the property into a health, wellness, sports and recreation center for the city.

The commission found that the midtown development plan is consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.

Haunting Broadway musical fundraiser set for Thrive Alliance

Broadway stars will be haunting Brown County this weekend in a fundraiser for Thrive Alliance.

Broadway Fright Night will be held at the Brown County Music Center at 8 p.m. on Saturday night and again on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. The event will feature five Broadway stars performing songs from musicals with supernatural and horror themes in a combination never before put together.

Producer Stephen DeAngelis explains:

DeAngelis says the stars will be performing works they have honed over thousands of shows.

Scheduled performers include Richard Todd Adams, Sara Jean Ford, Alyssa Fox, Mason Alexander Park and Jenny Lee Stern.

Thrive Alliance serves as Indiana’s Agency on Aging for Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson and Jennings counties. Money raised from the show will go to support the agency’s dementia friendly programming with music and memory in-home services.

DeAngelis, a New York based producer and casting director, explains why he supports the music and memory program.


Tickets start at $25 and are available online at and

Exhibit Columbus to celebrate watershed Oct. 22 & 23rd

Exhibit Columbus will be holding events celebrating the Mississippi River watershed in Columbus, Friday and Saturday, October 22nd and 23rd.

The goal is to focus on the ecology of the watershed stretching from the Canadian Rockies to the Gulf of Mexico and from Appalachia to the Great Plains.

The public events will feature this year’s Exhibit Columbus photography fellows, University Design Research Fellow Derek Hoeferlin, and guests from the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Events will begin Friday with the photography fellows Virginia Hanusik and David Schalliol in conversation with co-curator Iker Gil, at the Columbus Area Visitors Center from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m..

On Saturday, Upland Columbus Pump House will be hosting events from 10 to 8 with the theme of Tracing Our Mississippi: Story Gathering and Field Studios.

The events are free and you are invited to attend. You can find links to register at