Good morning Columbus. What you need to know — booze and a history-making Sunday, State Road 11 waterlogged, Bailey Hester, surprise for sisters, our Dancing C’s

Greetings Columbus —

This is sad commentary on where my mind was on Sunday at Kroger. I was pushing my cart through the produce aisle, past the deli counter and around the bread bend when I was confronted with history, about 85 years of Indiana history.

There I was surrounded by bottle after bottle of Jack Daniels, Yellow Tail, Jose Cuervo, Smirnoff, Heineken and Corona and was waxing poetic.

This was very likely the last Sunday I couldn’t buy a one of them. Cue the violins.

You know by now that Indiana has seen the Bud Lite, er, light, and is putting an end to the Prohibition-era regulation that banned sales of carryout alcohol on Sunday. This coming Sunday, if all goes as planned, you, me and everyone will be able to purchase alcohol on the Sabbath in Indiana.

In the grand scheme of things, Indiana’s upcoming history-making event is, in a way, a nothing-burger, or for those so inclined, a nothing-boozer.

We have been the last state standing when it comes to banning carry-out alcohol sales on Sundays.

But there a few bigger points in this long fight that have and are emerging on other more important issues.

For decades, powerful lobbyists were able to convince legislators not to change the law despite the fact that the public wanted an end to the Sunday carryout ban. So year after year, nothing got done even though the public wanted something done.

Then, after many were convinced little could break through the muscle and money of lobbyists, one person stood up and made his point. That was Jay Ricker, the owner of Ricker’s convenience stores. He got a restaurant license at a couple of stores, including one in Columbus, cooked up burritos and sold carryout cold beer.

Ricker’s move tapped into public sentiment and quickly became a tipping point in a debate that had raged for decades. That’s another point —  one person can make a difference.

Here’s a few things you need to know about alcohol and Sundays —

  • Gov. Eric Holcomb still has to sign the bill, and he says he will. If he does it this week, Sunday is expected to be our history-making day.
  • You’ll be able to buy booze from noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays. It’s 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. the rest of the week.
  • Indiana will still have sales regulations based on the temperature of alcohol. If you want to buy a cold one, you’ll have to go to a liquor store. Non-liquor stores won’t be able to sell cold beer. That is one of the ironies for Ricker in his fight — his convenience stores can only sell warm alcohol.
  • Your Sunday alcohol landscape will be changing. Expect liquor stores to be open on Sunday, and the ropes in Target and other stores to come down.

Yes, my Sunday cruise through the booze aisles was nostalgic. I remembered more than three decades ago, on my first trip to Indiana, I put a six-pack in my cart along with Cheetos, bread and Diet Coke — the meal of champions.

Here’s how the conversation went when I got to check-out line:

Ma’am, it’s Sunday, the young clerk said, eyeing my Miller Lite.

Thank you, I responded, thinking he was showing outstanding Hoosier hospitality, helping me with the date I would write on my check.

We don’t sell alcohol on Sunday, he replied.

I was dumbfounded.

Where would I be able to purchase beer today?, I said.

He rolled his eyes and shouted: Guys, we’ve got a newcomer here.

Here’s what else you need to know —

Water across State Road 11.
Columbus police issued a warning this morning: Water is across State Road 11 between Garden City and Columbus. The state highway department is on their way with barricades to shut the road down until the water recedes. Please take an alternate route and do not drive around high water/road closed signs. Get all the road closings here.

Students learn some Salsa dance moves during the Turning Point Dance Marathon 2018 held at Central Middle School, Saturday, February 24, 2018. Carla Clark | For The Republic

Photo gallery: Dancing the night away for a good cause
This Dance Marathon involving area high school students had a message: Never tolerate violence. See all the photos here.

Sign of the times: Area church learns about keeping worshipers safe.
A Columbus-area church got some lessons in safety, including how to handle a shooter, from the sheriff’s department. Link here.

‘How do you start a relationship with a sister when you are 60?’
Reporter Mark Webber has a heck of a story. Hilda Morgan, 62, of Remington, was born in Germany and adopted from an orphanage. She knew she had a sister, and for 22 years had been searching for her. Read all the twists and turns in Tuesday’s Republic.

Seymour's Zach Moore, left, defends as Columbus North's Bailey Hester, right, looks to pass the ball during a basketball game at Columbus North High School in Columbus, Ind., Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. Mike Wolanin | The Republic for The Tribune

It’s boys basketball sectional week, and being a gym rat pays off.
Sports editor Ted Schultz writes: Growing up the son of an athletics director, Bailey Hester always has had access to a basketball gym. The Columbus North senior has taken advantage of that opportunity by putting up thousands of shots over the years. That work has paid off this season for Hester, who ranks 16th in the state with his 47 percent 3-point shooting. Tuesday’s Republic.

Some new steps for our Dancing C’s.
The official rollout is April 25. Read all about how our iconic C’s are branching out. Story here.

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