Good morning Columbus. What you need to know — school threats and this moment, I-65 motorists be warned, Billy Graham and our Dancing C’s

Greetings Columbus —

This certainly is a moment in America, and it’s young people who are leading us.

In Columbus and across the nation, we witnessing the intersection of a wide range of cultural, social and political issues, in ways we could not have imagined before Valentine’s Day, when 17 people where slaughtered at a high school in Florida.

And all of these issues — school safety, gun violence, mental wellness — are intensely local, involving students, educators, parents, law enforcement, all of us.

Look at what happened in the past 24 hours —

  • Area police are investigating five reports of school threats in Bartholomew County. One incident included plans to shoot up a school. Another involved a drawing of a pistol and of bodies identified by student and teacher names showing what appeared to be gunshot wounds. Story here.
  • Central Middle School students gathered around a flagpole to show their support forĀ  victims in Parkland. Across the nation, students left class to protest gun violence and honor the victims. Click here for the story.
  • Raw and riveting words from teachers, parents and students, who told their stories at the White House, at CNN Town Hall meeting and at the statehouse in Tallahassee. No matter how you come down on all these issues, how could you not be moved by the straight-forward testimony of these parents and young people who confronted politicians and urged them to act. They don’t use political-speak, and they don’t want to hear it from anyone else.

The question is whether this is a true tipping point, whether this moment will pass when the next big thing comes down the pike or if change will come.

Here’s what else you need to know —

Motorists, you have been warned.
Construction will begin in March with resurfacing of Interstate 65 between State Road 46 in Columbus and State Road 58 in Walesboro. Four lanes will eventually become six. Friday’s Republic.

What do you think? The Commons playground.
Maybe you have not scaled Luckey Climber, but city officials still want your input on how to reimagine the spot that has become a downtown destination for families. There’s a meeting next week and you can go here to share your ideas.

Get going. Plan your weekend.
Our Go! guide has dozens and dozens of events and activities. Click here.

Area residents remember Billy Graham.
Bob Langdon of Columbus said: I always was impressed with Billy Graham because of his humility, unlike a lot of the televangelists out there today. Story here.

One fun thing: Our Dancing C’s.

Have a great day. Send your story ideas to


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