Cummins keeps powering up

Columbus-based Cummins Inc. was in the news last week for a couple of big deals that bode well for its future and its ambitious goal of decarbonizing.

First, the company is involved in a state effort to procure federal funding for a “hydrogen hub” for northwestern Indiana that could be a game-changer for zero-emission hydrogen-powered vehicles that Cummins sees in its future. Other countries are already rolling out hydrogen-fueled vehicles. With a thoughtful, coordinated public and private effort, that can accelerate here, too, with untold positive benefits for Cummins, Columbus and Indiana.

Second, Cummins procured what it called a “major defense contract” to develop, manufacture, test and produce generators “to meet the electrical power needs of the Department of Defense and its Large Tactical Power System, or LTPS programs.” As The Republic’s Andy East reported, the LTPS consists of dual 500-kilowatt generators in a power plant configuration.

Both developments are a tribute to Cummins’ innovative spirit and legacy of engineering expertise and could lead to big boosts for the company and the community.

Diversity Gala’s many happy returns

Organizers of Su Casa’s Diversity Gala had lots of cause for celebration on Nov. 4. First, it was the the first time since 2019 that the event was held live and in person due to the pandemic. Second, the event was a smashing success, raising an estimated $100,000 for the Columbus nonprofit that serves as a cross-cultural bridge between Bartholomew County’s Hispanic and non-Hispanic populations.

A sold-out crowd of 352 people packed The Commons to dance to Manhattan Band and celebrated the diversity of our community with assistance from organizations including Cummins Latino, Pride, and the East Asian Employee Resource Groups of Cummins.

As The Republic’s Brian Blair reported, gala organizers “have emphasized that helping Latino families acclimate to Bartholomew County as smoothly as possible makes the whole community stronger.” That’s what Su Casa does, and we are indeed a stronger community when everyone who lives here feels at home. Here’s to the welcome return of the live, festive and welcoming Diversity Gala.

Can Saturday save Colts Sundays?

Turning to sports, it’s been a tough year for Indianapolis Colts fans, but an even tougher one for players and coaches who had high expectations for 2022. In the fifth year of a mostly agreeable tenure, head coach Frank Reich couldn’t survive a woeful 3-5-1 start and an offense that has fallen from bad to awful.

The thin ice Reich had been on this season gave way this week. Colts owner Jim Irsay fired Reich and stunningly named Jeff Saturday as interim coach. Saturday has no coaching experience but loads of experience as a leader on and off the field. After snapping the ball to quarterback Peyton Manning most of his career, including in Indy’s only Super Bowl win, Saturday later was the key negotiator who brought players and owners together a decade ago to avert a potential NFL strike.

When questions arose about Saturday’s lack of coaching experience, Irsay said, “You want to bet against this guy? Put your money down, people … this is for eight games, hopefully more.”

Irsay took a chance on Saturday in 1999, when the future fan favorite was an undrafted free agent out of college, just looking for NFL his shot. He has another one now. For longtime fans, it sure will be fun to watch how this plays out.