Good morning Columbus. What you need to know — bikes in Columbus; another school shooting; can Purdue advance?

Greetings Columbus —

Today’s the first day of spring and we’re in the midst of a winter weather advisory. Not having it. Nope. We’re ignoring that “wintery mix” forecast and gearing up with a topic much more springlike — bikes.

Our first bike story is about, as reporter Mark Webber writes, one of Columbus’ largest and well-known bicycle shops, Bicycle Station on Washington Street. The business owned by Matt Battin and Melissa Rose will essentially double in size.

Battin and Rose are passionate about biking. They are expanding their business, but over the years they have extended their reach into the community by sponsoring rides and fundraisers, as well as supporting causes including the Bicycle Co-op, the ColumBIKE share program and Adopt-a-Trail, Webber writes.

Read the story and see photos of their expansion here.

Our other bike story is about one of the causes Battin and Rose have supported — ColumBIKE, a program where you can rent bikes from stations around town.

The program started in May 2016, as in the case in many cities, officials are looking for that sweet spot in pricing and exposure to take the program to the next level.

Reporter Matt Kent writes: ColumBIKE Riders completed 2,967 trips the first year of the program, which ran from May to December. But that number dipped to 2,634 rides for 12 months full of 2017. In addition, the number of annual $80 memberships that were purchased dropped to 40 last year from the 79 that were purchased during the inaugural year.

Officials are reaching out to other communities — Spokane, Washington, McAllen, Texas, Savannah, Georgia, and more — to find out what is working and what isn’t in those areas.

A couple of areas officials are initially zeroing in on are lowering the annual membership fee and increasing the time riders can use the bikes. Now it is an hour.

I am all for extending the time to use the bikes, especially in Columbus where a tour of our architectural treasures certainly takes more than hour. We don’t want anyone speed-viewing our masterpieces, right?!

See Wednesday’s Republic for all the details.

Here’s what else you need to know:

We’re monitoring this: Another school shooting incident.

This is what AP is reporting:

A sheriff’s spokeswoman says three people have been injured in a shooting at a high school in southern Maryland, including the shooter.

St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Cpl. Julie Yingling says there have been no fatalities in the Tuesday morning shooting at Great Mills High School.

Couple dies in accident.
They were devoted to each other, and they died together. Jesse and Eunice Tays were at church on Sunday and then spent time with fellow church members in Columbus. Story here.

Can Haarms keep Purdue on track?
Republic sports writer Frank Bonner is an Indiana University graduate but his analysis of Purdue chances in the Sweet 16 is spot on and funny. He writes: Matt Haarms is much more than Sunday’s hairstyle malfunction that sent the Internet world into a frenzy wondering what hair products he’s going to use to hold up his hair for Friday’s Sweet 16 matchup against Texas Tech. … Not many people know about Haarms on the national level, but all he needs is two solid games to help Purdue make the Final Four.

March for Our Lives on Saturday. Are you going? Let us know.
Marches are planned all across the nation to draw attention to finding solutions to gun violence and mass shootings. Axios is reporting that there are 819 marches — 725 in the U.S. and 94 abroad. Here’s a link to find out where the marches are being planned: Click here. If you plan to go to one of the marches, please let us know. We would like to talk to you for a story. Send an email to: [email protected].

Columbus-centric Instapic: Dale Chihuly by Kim_a_mitchell

insta pic

Have a good day. Send your story idea to ssyse@therepublic.