Good morning Columbus. What you need to know: MLK and the fierce urgency of now; Hancock hospital hacker demands Bitcoin; slow down; winter farmers market

Good morning Columbus:

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In America 2018, his work and messages could not be more relevant.

King’s words and actions continue to be beacons, still urging us to not be silent, still urging us to chose love over hate and still urging us to judge all by the content of their character not the color of their skin.

Yes, we have made progress toward racial equality, but much still needs to be done in our country when it comes to our racial stain.

Just in the past year, just in the past few days, we’ve seen race baiting and racial hatred, including on the streets of Columbus, Indiana. And we’ve seen how the Columbus community has responded with Not In Columbus, a growing coalition rallying against white supremacy efforts.

“We must,” King said, “build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”

King, a Baptist minister, was a master orator, and so many of his words are memorable.  It’s difficult to pick a favorite passage, and I am finding the ones that stand out for me changes as our times change.

In the past, I was drawn to:

Martin Luther King faith quote

Martin Luther King quote -- love not hate

Now I am gravitating to his oratory about the fierce urgency of now: We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.

Or the one Brittany King, a speaker at this morning’s CommUNITY Breakfast, is addressing in her talk at Columbus North High School.  The theme of the event is “MLK50 Forward: Together We Win with Love for Humanity” and she plans to weave in this King quote:

Martin Luther King quote time is neutral

What King passage speaks to you?

Finally, when I need to be buoyed, I turn to the quote that King paraphrased: Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

Here is the full quote by abolitionist Theodore Parker from the 1800s:

Look at the facts of the world. You see a continual and progressive triumph of the right. I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. But from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.

Columbus has MLK activities planned today, including a showing of the excellent movie “Hidden Figures” and two panel discussions: “Columbus Then and Now: How Far Have We Come, How Far Do We Have To Go?” and another on King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

Click here and participate.

We’ve got reporters and photographers out and about covering MLK events.

Here’s what else you need to know today —

Greenfield hospital falls victim to computer attack; hacker demands Bitcoin.
We’ve got a fascinating story out of Hancock County, where the hospital was a target of a cyber attack, with a hacker demanding ransom to relinquish control of part of the computer system. Read about it here.

Drive carefully.
Allow extra time in the morning for travel. As of 6:30 a.m. today, the Bartholomew County 911 Emergency Operations Center had reported four accidents in the previous two hours — each causing property damage. All the latest details here.

Who’s getting solar panels?
They may not get much juice today, but  find how much this apartment complex will save each year: Link here.

Solar panels instagram

Farmers market, even in winter.
We’ve checked out the Columbus City Winter Farmers Market, and found lots of goodies —  baked goods, honey, homegrown nuts, fruits, eggs, meats and fresh vegetables. Tuesday’s Farm Indiana page in The Republic has everything you need to know about getting the goods when it’s freezing out.

First-hand account: Ballistic missile inbound to Hawaii.
Associated Press correspondent Caleb Jones was with his daughter at their Honolulu home when state emergency officials mistakenly sent out a cellphone alert warning of a missile heading for Hawaii. He recounts the panic that he, like other islanders, felt not knowing for several minutes if the threat was real. Link here.

Have a great day. Click here to send us your story ideas.

Author photo
Scarlett Syse is group editor of The Republic. Contact her at