By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Nashville, Ind.

1. The DCS mystery continues

Here are your final power lunch talking points for the week: There’s something going on at the Department of Child Services. We just don’t know what the mystery is about. In mid-July, Associate Director Todd Meyer abruptly resigned. Neither Gov. Eric Holcomb or DCS Director Terry Stigdon offered an explanation. We asked the governor's office for an explanation on Wednesday and were referred to the Department of State Personnel, which ignored our inquiry.

Stigdon brought on Meyer after receiving a report from the Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group, which included some 20 recommendations. In a July 18 HPI Interview, Holcomb said he was satisfied with the pace of reforms at DCS. "I am very proud of DCS personnel and leadership," Holcomb said. "They are executing and implementing those recommendations with courage. It’s making a difference. Kudos for Terry Stigdon and her whole crew. They know I’ve got their back. It’s one of the toughest jobs one could imagine." The success of those reforms will be a key component to the governor's reelection campaign.

Democrat gubernatorial challenger Woody Myers told HPI in Thursday's interview, "DCS is clearly by any measures not doing what we need it to do. There has been a turnover of leadership that is worrisome. Todd Meyer was brought in to clean up the legal components of DCS, to hire lawyers, to use his prosecutorial background to fix those entities, to fix the component of what wasn’t working. He seems to have been asked to leave suddenly  with no explanation from the state as to what that was all about. The position was created for him to do that job, so we know there was something going on, and we have an obligation to find out." We'll keep asking and keep you posted.

2. Trump seeks 'intelligent background checks'

Departing for vacation this morning, President Trump was asked about gun reform in the wake of three recent massacres and said, “Frankly, we need intelligent background checks.” Trump said he talked with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who is “totally on board.” And Trump said of the NRA, which opposes background checks, saying, “I have a great relationship with the NRA” and added that the advocacy group "may be a little more neutral." Trump will determine whether anything passes. Case in point is Indiana U.S. Sens. Todd Young and Mike Braun, who have taken nebulous positions on reforms. “We gotta do common sense things so that those of us that believe in the Second Amendment don’t have harsher restrictions that get put in place,” Braun said. Young added, “We are, of course, dealing with a constitutional right here, in the Second Amendment – recognizing that every single right has its limitations.” As goes Trump will determine where our senators will likely end up. And, perhaps, we'll learn what "intelligent" and "common sense" reforms look like before the next massacre.

3. Warnings and a jittery nation

Venezuela, Uruguay and Japan issued traveler warnings about U.S. gun violence. Japan's consulate in Detroit warned its citizens that the U.S. is a "gun society,"  and advised its citizens to pay attention to the potential for gunfire "everywhere." Here in Indiana, there have been guns seized in or near schools in Muncie and Indianapolis this week, resulting in two arrests. And in Missouri, an off-duty firefighter held a man dressed in body armor with a rifle and 100 rounds  at a Springfield Walmart.

4. Mayor Pete's rural health plan

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg unveiled a rural health plan that would fund an expansion of telehealth, increase the availability of providers in rural areas, and ensuring access to maternal and mental health services. “It is time to break with the politics of the past, meet the urgency of this moment, and usher in a new era for rural America,” Buttigieg said. “We need to lift rural communities up as places of opportunity, both for this generation and future ones. That work begins with securing the health of all rural residents.”

5. Holcomb expands rural broadband

Gov. Holcomb also has his eyes on rural Indiana. The governor announced $22.1 million in funding for 11 broadband expansion infrastructure projects across the state as a part of the initial round of the Next Level Broadband program. This round will bring access to 4,800 homes in 12 counties. “Hoosiers need affordable, quality internet regardless of where they live, work or go to school,” Holcomb said. “Access to broadband brings countless opportunities and that’s why I’m excited to see these key infrastructure projects positively impact economic development, health, agriculture and quality of life.”

Have a great weekend, folks. It's The Atomic!