Cummins recognized by state for environmental impact

The state of Indiana is honoring Cummins and six other companies around the state for efforts to reduce waste, chemical usage and energy,

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management recognized the Columbus based engine manufacturer and others with the Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence, the highest award the agency gives. The seven recipients were honored for extraordinary initiatives in protecting the environment.

Cummins was chosen for the company’s Pollution Prevention Clear-Coat Elimination Project.

According to the state, for 30 years Cummins washed and painted every engine made at the Cummins Mid-Range Engine Plant in Columbus. That included a dry-off and curing oven step, along with chemical washes. After a two year validation, the company determined the painting was no longer needed.

The elimination of the production steps means saving 23,500 gallons of chemicals a year, 14,000 gallons of clear-coat, 12,000 gallons a day of water, as well as natural gas and electricity. Cummins was able to reduce natural gas usage by almost 80 percent and energy use by more than 10 percent. Plus the company is no longer producing waste such as plastic caps, rags and paint filters.

The governor’s office presented the awards at the recent 25th Annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Tradeshow.

Muscatatuck River cleanup set for Saturday

A reminder that the Friends of the Muscatatuck River Society are planning a river cleanup on Saturday.

Registration starts at 8 a.m. in the morning at the Vernon Commons off of Jackson Street near the water access point.

Volunteers will be walking or paddling along the banks of the Muscatatuck collecting trash.

The cleanup will finish at noon at the Jennings County Highway Garage on State Road 3 near the fairgrounds, where you can dispose of your collected trash.

If you have any questions you can get more information at 812-592-0481.

Photo courtesy of Jennings County Parks.

Exhibit Columbus chooses theme for next round of talks, displays

Exhibit Columbus is announcing the theme for next month’s symposium and next year’s exhibitions at architectural landmarks around the city. It will be Public by Design.

Exhibit Columbus, launched in 2016, has two year cycles with a symposium hosted one year, and the installation of exhibits around the city next year. According to organizers, the upcoming cycle will celebrate “creative methods of collaboration that communities and designers can use to grow a sense of belonging and connection in public spaces.”

The theme is meant to explore revitalizing and reimagining historic downtowns as equitable, beautiful, healthy, and joyful places.

The symposium will be October 21st and 22nd in downtown Columbus. This year’s event will move away from the traditional symposium format, instead holding public events to create opportunities for engagement between the designers and the citizens of Columbus.

You can get more information at

Pence makes another trip to Iowa this week

Former Vice President and Columbus resident Mike Pence will be speaking in Iowa this week.

Pence will be the featured guest of the 15th Annual Kaufmann Family Harvest Dinner on Wednesday in Wilton. It will be Pence’s first public visit to Iowa since the Iowa State Fair in August.

Pence has been visiting states that figure prominently into the presidential primaries including New Hampshire and Iowa.

Last week, Pence told a group of students at an Utah event that he isn’t ready to comment on a run for president in 2024, saying only that he would keep people posted.

Columbus movie conversation set for tonight

The Columbus movie returns to Columbus today with a celebration of the film tonight at the former North Christian Church.

The low-key film, was shot in and around Columbus and local residents were used as extras. Stars Haley Lu Richardson and John Cho will return to Columbus for tonight’s event, along with director Kogonada.

There will be a reception at 5 p.m. and a conversation with the stars and director from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the church building at 850 Tipton Lane. It will be moderated by Holly Warren, the City of Bloomington’s Assistant Director of the Arts.

This event is made possible through support from the Columbus Area Visitor Center, and a grant from Indiana Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with the City of Bloomington.

You can sign up to attend the free event at EventBrite.

Our Hospice event exceeds fundraising goals

Despite a rainout, organizers of the Labor Day weekend Our Hospice Concert say that the event generated more than anticipated this year.

Our Hospice of South-Central Indiana is announcing that the fundraiser netted more than $147,000. That exceeded the goal of $122,000.

The hospice thanked title sponsors FORVIA Faurecia and Columbus Regional Health, and other sponsors for supporting the hospice with funds needed for the care of the patients and families served by the hospice.

There were 4,704 raffle tickets sold and a fish fry at the American Legion post raised $8,100. A drive-thru cookie, raffle & t-shirt sale held at NexusPark raised $4,754.

Mill Race Marathon street closings begin this morning

While the 10th annual Mill Race Marathon is coming up tomorrow morning you will already see some street closings in downtown Columbus this morning.

Sixth Street closed this morning between Washington Street and the alley west of Franklin Street and will remain closed until 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Sixth Street will also be closing between Washington Street and the parking garage starting at 8 today.

There is no parking on Washington Street between 5th Street and 7th Street until Saturday afternoon.

Fourth Street will close at noon today between Jackson and Franklin and will remain closed until tomorrow at 9 in the evening.

You will not be able to park on Washington Street between Third and Fourth Streets starting at 4 p.m. today. The street will close between Third and Seventh starting at 6 p.m. tonight and lasting until tomorrow evening.

You can expect streets to be closed all around the city during the races Saturday morning.
You can get more information on the routes on our website.

You can find a complete list of street closings here.

54th annual Hope Heritage Days kicks off Friday afternoon

The 54th annual Hope Heritage Days kick off today in the northeastern Bartholomew County town.

Booths open on and around the Town Square starting at 5 tonight and going through 10 p.m.

Entertainment starts with the Keith Swinney Band playing at the bandstand from 6 to 7:30 p.m. tonight, with the Gospel Sing at the Hauser High School Gym from 7 to 9 p.m. Tonight’s headliner will be Scott Haggard, son of country music legend Merle Haggard, at the bandstand from 8:30 to 10 p.m.

Booths are open from 8 to 10 on Saturday and from 9 until 5 on Sunday. The annual parade will start at 2:30 on Sunday.

Town officials say that the entire town square will be closed starting at 5 today and lasting until Sunday afternoon. The road behind the schools will be closing Saturday morning for a cross-country run. You can also expect to see West Jackson Street closed from Vine Drive to 670N starting Saturday afternoon and lasting until about midnight.

You can find a complete schedule of events at


Cummins unveils new tech at German trade show

Cummins is showing off its zero-emissions technology at a trade show in Germany this week, including unveiling the company’s new fourth-generation hydrogen fuel cells and a Meritor powertrain.

The Columbus-based engine manufacturer is making the announcements at the IAA transportation show in Hannover Germany.

Cummins says it has agreements with Daimler Trucks in North America and Scania in Europe to develop and integrate the next-generation hydrogen fuel cells into vehicles for demonstration. The new technology provides higher power density, power nodes and operating temperatures. That makes the cells more easily integrated into vehicles.

Meritor’s 17XE ePowertrain is being unveiled at the show. It is designed for heavy truck use and can support 44 tons of combined weight or more. The powertrain features Cummins’ new lithium iron phosphate battery technology.

Cummins acquired the formerly Columbus-based Meritor earlier this year.

Amy Davis, Vice President and President of New Power at Cummins said that meeting zero-emissions goals will require a range of technologies and the company’s portfolio demonstrates how it will meet customer need. She said that hydrogen is a viable solution.

Photo: Meritor’s 17XE ePowertrain. Photo courtesy of Cummins

Legislative candidates to debate in Seymour next month

The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Jacskon County Visitors Center will be hosting a candidate debate between statehouse candidates, before the November general election.

Incumbent State Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican, and his challenger Democrat Chad Harmon have agreed to participate in the event October 6th at Seymour High School’s Earl D. Prout Auditorium. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with the debate starting at 7

The event is free and you are invited.