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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Columbus, GA

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Columbus, GA You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Columbus, GA

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Columbus, GA

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Columbus, GA

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Columbus, GA

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

phone Call Now
 Trucking Insurance Columbus, GA

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
phone Call Now
 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Columbus, GA

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

phone Call Now
 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Columbus, GA

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Columbus, GA phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Columbus, GA phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Columbus, GA phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Columbus, GA that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Columbus, GA

Latest News in Columbus, GA

Columbus lawmakers approve Golden Park lease to bring back Minor League Baseball

Columbus Council voted to OK a lease with Diamond Baseball Holdings to bring a Minor League team back to Golden Park, after about a 90-minute closed meeting.That means the city will spend up to $50 million in a bond issue to upgrade the 1920s ball park to Minor League standards.The lease council approved was for 20 years, with the option of five-year renewals.Mayor Skip Henderson said later Tuesday that the team will be the Double-A Braves, based in Pearl, Mississippi, outside Jackson. His statement was followed by a pre...

Columbus Council voted to OK a lease with Diamond Baseball Holdings to bring a Minor League team back to Golden Park, after about a 90-minute closed meeting.

That means the city will spend up to $50 million in a bond issue to upgrade the 1920s ball park to Minor League standards.

The lease council approved was for 20 years, with the option of five-year renewals.

Mayor Skip Henderson said later Tuesday that the team will be the Double-A Braves, based in Pearl, Mississippi, outside Jackson. His statement was followed by a press release by Diamond Baseball Holdings saying the Atlanta Braves’ Double-A club will continue to play as the Mississippi Braves in Pearl, MS, through the 2024 season.

“This is an exciting day for Columbus and the result of hard work and dedication from a number of parties invested in the future of our community,” Henderson said. “. . . This project, anchored by the return of professional, affiliated baseball to Columbus, will have a transformative impact on not only our downtown area but the lives of our residents as well.”

Councilors in executive session were presented the lease agreement, a document the city attorney circulated privately among the representatives before the meeting.

Proponents have told city leaders the Minor League venture could draw $350 million in private investment in mixed-use development around the ball park, with residences, offices, hotels and retail shops.

Those opposed have said it’s a gamble that may never pay off, as a Minor League team is unlikely to stay here, and could leave the city with little to show for its expense.

Historic Golden Park sits on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Ga. The park has served as the home for several minor league baseball teams, including the Mudcats and the RedStixx. It also hosted the 1996 Olympic Softball games. By Mike Haskey

Henderson has said the stadium must be ready to open for the first pitch of the 2025 season.

Several other stakeholders in the development weighed in with their support of the project, including the head of hte Development Authority of Columbus.

“This is a great day for Columbus and the surrounding area. Being able to attract Minor League Baseball back to Columbus is a big deal, especially having the Braves’ Double-A affiliate. I believe this is the #1 brand in all of baseball, especially in the Southeast,” said Heath Schondelmayer of the DAA.

Among those attending Tuesday’s council meeting was Shea Guinn of Diamond Baseball Holdings.

After council approved the lease, Guinn spoke briefly, saying the company was ready to move on the project. He finished by saying, “Go Braves!”

Council held a specially called meeting Dec. 21 to give city administrators the OK to seek financing for the bonds, to renovate Golden Park, but it has not yet voted to issue those bonds, so another vote will be required.

Among the upgrades needed are dugout improvements, additional locker rooms, including some for female umpires, press box expansion, team offices, more seating, and luxury suites, the mayor said.

Comparable ball field development can be found in Greenville, S.C.; Spartanburg, S.C.; and Birmingham, Ala., he said.

Golden Park over the decades has hosted many Minor League teams, but all have pulled out when attendance dropped.

Here are some of the teams that have been based there over the years:

City leaders have been talking about redevelopment in the South Commons area that includes Golden Park since February 2023, when council voted with no public discussion to remove restrictive covenants on the property.

That restriction in a state law said the property “shall be kept open and used only for the purpose of a public park and playground and devoted to such amusement and pleasure as ... the City of Columbus may designate.”

Councilors discussed this during a Feb. 28 closed-door session to discuss real estate, an exception to the state open meetings law, which allows private meetings involving “negotiations to purchase, dispose of or lease property.”

Council then voted on a resolution asking state legislators to remove the covenant, with the resolution presented as a last-minute “add-on” to the city manager’s agenda, so it was not on the council agenda publicized before the meeting.

The Georgia General Assembly later removed the restrictive covenant, opening the property to private development.

In May, the mayor added a last-minute resolution to council’s meeting agenda saying the city “wishes to explore the possibility of bringing a minor league MLB baseball team back to Columbus,” and resolves to offer its “enthusiastic support” of that effort.

It authorized the mayor and his staff “to continue discussions with Diamond Baseball Holdings and other parties to explore opportunities to relocate a minor league team to Golden Park.”

That and the vote on exploring bond financing were the only discussions council has held publicly. Otherwise it has weighed its baseball options in private, using the same open-meetings law exception for real estate.

Council got a private briefing on the baseball proposal Dec. 12, but took no vote then.

City Attorney Clifton Fay announced at Tuesday’s meeting that councilors again were holding a closed session to discuss real estate, as they delved further into the baseball venture.

Besides Guinn, of Diamond Baseball Holdings, others included in council’s private session were Columbus Chamber of Commerce President Jerald Mitchell and W.C. Bradley Real Estate Division President Pace Halter.

Halter, who with Green and Columbus Development Authority Chairman Heath Schondelmayer was at council’s Dec. 21 called meeting, said then that his company was only a “facilitator” for the project, and not directly involved in the expected development.

This story was originally published January 9, 2024, 3:58 PM.

Follow more of our reporting on Stories shared from The Ledger-Enquirer’s Instagram account

See all stories

Atlanta Braves Minor League Baseball team headed to Columbus after city seals lease deal

Columbus Council voted to OK a lease with Diamond Baseball Holdings to bring a Minor League team back to Golden Park, after about a 90-minute closed meeting.That means the city will spend up to $50 million in a bond issue to upgrade the 1920s ball park to Minor League standards.The lease council approved was for 20 years, with the option of five-year renewals.Mayor Skip Henderson said later Tuesday that the team will be the Double-A Braves, based in Pearl, Mississippi, outside Jackson. His statement was followed by a pre...

Columbus Council voted to OK a lease with Diamond Baseball Holdings to bring a Minor League team back to Golden Park, after about a 90-minute closed meeting.

That means the city will spend up to $50 million in a bond issue to upgrade the 1920s ball park to Minor League standards.

The lease council approved was for 20 years, with the option of five-year renewals.

Mayor Skip Henderson said later Tuesday that the team will be the Double-A Braves, based in Pearl, Mississippi, outside Jackson. His statement was followed by a press release by Diamond Baseball Holdings saying the Atlanta Braves’ Double-A club will continue to play as the Mississippi Braves in Pearl, MS, through the 2024 season.

“This is an exciting day for Columbus and the result of hard work and dedication from a number of parties invested in the future of our community,” Henderson said. “. . . This project, anchored by the return of professional, affiliated baseball to Columbus, will have a transformative impact on not only our downtown area but the lives of our residents as well.”

Councilors in executive session were presented the lease agreement, a document the city attorney circulated privately among the representatives before the meeting.

Proponents have told city leaders the Minor League venture could draw $350 million in private investment in mixed-use development around the ball park, with residences, offices, hotels and retail shops.

Those opposed have said it’s a gamble that may never pay off, as a Minor League team is unlikely to stay here, and could leave the city with little to show for its expense.

Council’s vote on the lease agreement was not unanimous. Three representatives voted no: Glenn Davis of District 2, Charmaine Crabb of District 5, and JoAnne Cogle of District 7, which includes Golden Park.

Cogle said the city has other pressing recreation needs, and residents should have a voice in the matter if property tax rates may increase to fund the ball park improvements.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to make this decision without the input of the citizens,” she said.

Davis, who play professionally for the Houston Astros when it had a farm team here, also said the city’s other recreation facilities need work: “They’re not where they need to be.”

He also was not satisfied with the lease agreement, he said. “What I cannot do today is I cannot agree to the terms of the lease, what’s being put before me,” he said, adding he also found the financing problematic.

“I just think there’s probably a better way to do this financially,” he said. “I don’t have any assurances on that, or where this is going.”

Historic Golden Park sits on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Ga. The park has served as the home for several minor league baseball teams, including the Mudcats and the RedStixx. It also hosted the 1996 Olympic Softball games. By Mike Haskey

Henderson has said the stadium must be ready to open for the first pitch of the 2025 season.

Several other stakeholders in the development weighed in with their support of the project, including the head of hte Development Authority of Columbus.

“This is a great day for Columbus and the surrounding area. Being able to attract Minor League Baseball back to Columbus is a big deal, especially having the Braves’ Double-A affiliate. I believe this is the #1 brand in all of baseball, especially in the Southeast,” said Heath Schondelmayer of the DAA.

Among those attending Tuesday’s council meeting was Shea Guinn of Diamond Baseball Holdings.

After council approved the lease, Guinn spoke briefly, saying the company was ready to move on the project. He finished by saying, “Go Braves!”

Council held a specially called meeting Dec. 21 to give city administrators the OK to seek financing for the bonds, to renovate Golden Park, but it has not yet voted to issue those bonds, so another vote will be required.

Among the upgrades needed are dugout improvements, additional locker rooms, including some for female umpires, press box expansion, team offices, more seating, and luxury suites, the mayor said.

Comparable ball field development can be found in Greenville, S.C.; Spartanburg, S.C.; and Birmingham, Ala., he said.

Golden Park over the decades has hosted many Minor League teams, but all have pulled out when attendance dropped.

Here are some of the teams that have been based there over the years:

City leaders have been talking about redevelopment in the South Commons area that includes Golden Park since February 2023, when council voted with no public discussion to remove restrictive covenants on the property.

That restriction in a state law said the property “shall be kept open and used only for the purpose of a public park and playground and devoted to such amusement and pleasure as ... the City of Columbus may designate.”

Councilors discussed this during a Feb. 28 closed-door session to discuss real estate, an exception to the state open meetings law, which allows private meetings involving “negotiations to purchase, dispose of or lease property.”

Council then voted on a resolution asking state legislators to remove the covenant, with the resolution presented as a last-minute “add-on” to the city manager’s agenda, so it was not on the council agenda publicized before the meeting.

The Georgia General Assembly later removed the restrictive covenant, opening the property to private development.

In May, the mayor added a last-minute resolution to council’s meeting agenda saying the city “wishes to explore the possibility of bringing a minor league MLB baseball team back to Columbus,” and resolves to offer its “enthusiastic support” of that effort.

It authorized the mayor and his staff “to continue discussions with Diamond Baseball Holdings and other parties to explore opportunities to relocate a minor league team to Golden Park.”

That and the vote on exploring bond financing were the only discussions council has held publicly. Otherwise it has weighed its baseball options in private, using the same open-meetings law exception for real estate.

Council got a private briefing on the baseball proposal Dec. 12, but took no vote then.

City Attorney Clifton Fay announced at Tuesday’s meeting that councilors again were holding a closed session to discuss real estate, as they delved further into the baseball venture.

Besides Guinn, of Diamond Baseball Holdings, others included in council’s private session were Columbus Chamber of Commerce President Jerald Mitchell and W.C. Bradley Real Estate Division President Pace Halter.

Halter, who with Green and Columbus Development Authority Chairman Heath Schondelmayer was at council’s Dec. 21 called meeting, said then that his company was only a “facilitator” for the project, and not directly involved in the expected development.

This story was originally published January 9, 2024, 3:58 PM.

Follow more of our reporting on Stories shared from The Ledger-Enquirer’s Instagram account

See all stories

‘Heart and soul.’ Columbus school dedicates court to beloved coach battling cancer

Principal Robert Ogburn calls Jay Wilson “the heart and soul” of Veterans Memorial Middle School. Now, anyone who walks into the gym will see the evidence.In a ceremony Wednesday evening, the school’s basketball court was named Jay Wilson Court in honor of the beloved educator who is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer.Wilson, a physical education teacher, went on medical leave after he was diagnosed five months ago. He has bee...

Principal Robert Ogburn calls Jay Wilson “the heart and soul” of Veterans Memorial Middle School. Now, anyone who walks into the gym will see the evidence.

In a ceremony Wednesday evening, the school’s basketball court was named Jay Wilson Court in honor of the beloved educator who is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Wilson, a physical education teacher, went on medical leave after he was diagnosed five months ago. He has been the school’s only athletics director, head football coach and girls basketball coach since the north Columbus school opened in 2007.

“He is one of the humblest and hardest-working individuals I have had the pleasure of meeting,” VMMS principal Robert Ogburn told the Ledger-Enquirer.

No wonder the VMMS staff elected him as the school’s Teacher of the Year in September.

During its November meeting, the Muscogee County School District board unanimously approved Ogburn’s request to honor Wilson. In his letter to superintendent David Lewis and the board members, Ogburn said the news of Wilson’s diagnosis “has been devastating” to the school family.

Wilson has been an educator for 25 years. He started his career as an English teacher and the seventh-grade head football coach at South Girard Junior High School in Phenix City. In 2001, he joined MCSD as an eighth grade social studies teacher and assistant football coach at Blackmon Road Middle School, then transitioned to physical education in 2005 and became the BRMS athletics director as well as the head coach for football, boys basketball coach and track.

Wilson’s commitment to the youth of Columbus goes beyond school. He has coached baseball and softball and umpired for Pioneer Little League. He has been a deacon and Sunday school teacher at Britt David Baptist Church.

“It is evident to anyone that is fortunate to come across Coach Wilson’s path that he is dedicated to serving students and athletes and has given many years of his life in service to them,” Ogburn wrote in the letter. “Beyond the field and the court, Coach Wilson’s main priority is instilling life-long lessons and values in order to help his students and athletes grow into respectful, hardworking, and compassionate individuals. He truly has a way of connecting and building relationships with students that is rare to come by; whether it be through humor, kindness, or sternness.”

After the ceremony, Wilson told the Ledger-Enquirer seeing the court dedicated to him was a humbling honor.

“I’ve never liked the limelight,” he said. “I like being in the back. But sometimes, I guess, I’ve learned putting others first makes you become first. It’s funny how God works.”

Having their family and friends attend the ceremony made it even sweeter, Wilson’s wife, Tracy, told the Ledger-Enquirer.

“It was very overwhelming,” said Tracy, a physical education teacher at Brewer Elementary School. “… I mean, I know how special he is because I’ve been married to him for 36 years. But just to know that there’s so many people that love him and they want to honor him that way, it was just wonderful.

“When he was first diagnosed, it was pretty gloomy, but from day one he’s been fighting it. Whatever God’s will is for him, we except that, but he’s fighting.”

Jay has a few more chemotherapy treatments left before he and his care team will consider whether to have surgery to remove a tumor. Regardless, he plans to be back at VMMS next school year.

“My plan may not be God’s plan — He knows better than I do — but we’ll have to wait and see,” he said. “I’m still very motivated to reach young kids. That’s our future.”

Jay grew up in Columbus. He attended Northside Elementary School (now named Allen), Arnold Junior High School (now named Arnold Magnet Academy), Hardaway High School and Columbus College (now named Columbus State University).

His goal when he became a teacher was to make a positive difference in at least one child’s life. Wednesday’s ceremony showed he has achieved well beyond that standard.

“A lot of times you get discouraged when kids aren’t listening,” he said, “but then a kid comes back and tells you that they were, and then you know you’re still doing the right thing, that you’re still on the right path.”

Severe weather in Columbus causes widespread power outages affecting hundreds

Severe weather rolling across Columbus overnight into Tuesday morning knocked out power to customers and brought torrential rain to the region, closing schools and causing widespread disruption.The Georgia power outage map shows multiple power outages across Columbus affecting hundreds of customers.One of the largest reported outages in the city is in the Walker Street and Mesa Street area in south Columbus with Georgia Power reporting an outage affecting 114 customers.Another outage on the map is reported to be affectin...

Severe weather rolling across Columbus overnight into Tuesday morning knocked out power to customers and brought torrential rain to the region, closing schools and causing widespread disruption.

The Georgia power outage map shows multiple power outages across Columbus affecting hundreds of customers.

One of the largest reported outages in the city is in the Walker Street and Mesa Street area in south Columbus with Georgia Power reporting an outage affecting 114 customers.

Another outage on the map is reported to be affecting an area encompassing 18th Avenue, Phelts Drive, 40th Street, and parts of other streets affecting 164 customers.

A couple outages have been reported in the Benning Hills area and scattered outages have been reported throughout east Columbus, according to the map.

A large outage has been reported near Midland near County Line Road and Central Church Road that is affecting 1,045 customers, according to the map.

Data reported from the Columbus Metropolitan Airport by the National Weather Service at 9:51 a.m. shows the airport received around 1.76 inches of rain within a three hour period.

Georgia power said in a statement:

“Today, as the storm conditions subside making it safe and efficient to work, Georgia Power crews will enter and remain in the field around the clock working until every service for every impacted customer is restored.”

The impending weather prompted multiple schools in the area to close or transition to virtual operations for Jan. 9.

The Muscogee County School District moved to virtual learning for Jan. 9 with other systems like Russell County also moving to virtual learning for the day.

Harris County School District moved to completely cancel all operations due to the weather.

Local colleges followed suit with Chattahoochee Valley Community College closing due to the weather and Columbus State University moving to virtual operations.

The storm was part of a larger system that caused havoc across the South and Midwest, according to reports by the Associated Press.

The violent storm with 55 mph (88 kph) winds and hail moved through the Florida Panhandle and into parts of Alabama and Georgia by sunrise Tuesday, along with at least several reports of radar-confirmed tornadoes, the National Weather Service said. A wind gust of 106 mph (171 kph) was recorded before dawn near the coast in Walton County, Florida.

“We still have potentially strong storms in that area through (Tuesday) morning and the potential for more severe weather and tornadoes,” meteorologist Lance Franck in Tallahassee said.

A section of Panama City Beach, Florida, showed parts of roofs blown away, furniture, fences and debris strewn about and a house that appeared tilted on side, leaning on another home, WJHG-TV reported.

In Panama City, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away, police early Tuesday asked residents to stay indoors and off the roads “unless absolutely necessary” as officers checked on damage from the storms, including downed power lines and trees.

A number of schools were closed in the region and more than 140,000 customers were without power in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, according to the PowerOutage.us website, according to the Associated Press.

This story was originally published January 9, 2024, 11:34 AM.

Severe weather in Columbus causes widespread power outages affecting hundreds

Severe weather rolling across Columbus overnight into Tuesday morning knocked out power to customers and brought torrential rain to the region, closing schools and causing widespread disruption.The Georgia power outage map shows multiple power outages across Columbus affecting hundreds of customers.One of the largest reported outages in the city is in the Walker Street and Mesa Street area in south Columbus with Georgia Power reporting an outage affecting 114 customers.Another outage on the map is reported to be affectin...

Severe weather rolling across Columbus overnight into Tuesday morning knocked out power to customers and brought torrential rain to the region, closing schools and causing widespread disruption.

The Georgia power outage map shows multiple power outages across Columbus affecting hundreds of customers.

One of the largest reported outages in the city is in the Walker Street and Mesa Street area in south Columbus with Georgia Power reporting an outage affecting 114 customers.

Another outage on the map is reported to be affecting an area encompassing 18th Avenue, Phelts Drive, 40th Street, and parts of other streets affecting 164 customers.

A couple outages have been reported in the Benning Hills area and scattered outages have been reported throughout east Columbus, according to the map.

A large outage has been reported near Midland near County Line Road and Central Church Road that is affecting 1,045 customers, according to the map.

Data reported from the Columbus Metropolitan Airport by the National Weather Service at 9:51 a.m. shows the airport received around 1.76 inches of rain within a three hour period.

Georgia power said in a statement:

“Today, as the storm conditions subside making it safe and efficient to work, Georgia Power crews will enter and remain in the field around the clock working until every service for every impacted customer is restored.”

The impending weather prompted multiple schools in the area to close or transition to virtual operations for Jan. 9.

The Muscogee County School District moved to virtual learning for Jan. 9 with other systems like Russell County also moving to virtual learning for the day.

Harris County School District moved to completely cancel all operations due to the weather.

Local colleges followed suit with Chattahoochee Valley Community College closing due to the weather and Columbus State University moving to virtual operations.

The storm was part of a larger system that caused havoc across the South and Midwest, according to reports by the Associated Press.

The violent storm with 55 mph (88 kph) winds and hail moved through the Florida Panhandle and into parts of Alabama and Georgia by sunrise Tuesday, along with at least several reports of radar-confirmed tornadoes, the National Weather Service said. A wind gust of 106 mph (171 kph) was recorded before dawn near the coast in Walton County, Florida.

“We still have potentially strong storms in that area through (Tuesday) morning and the potential for more severe weather and tornadoes,” meteorologist Lance Franck in Tallahassee said.

A section of Panama City Beach, Florida, showed parts of roofs blown away, furniture, fences and debris strewn about and a house that appeared tilted on side, leaning on another home, WJHG-TV reported.

In Panama City, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away, police early Tuesday asked residents to stay indoors and off the roads “unless absolutely necessary” as officers checked on damage from the storms, including downed power lines and trees.

A number of schools were closed in the region and more than 140,000 customers were without power in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, according to the PowerOutage.us website, according to the Associated Press.

This story was originally published January 9, 2024, 11:34 AM.

Severe weather headed towards Columbus brings risk of flooding and potential tornadoes

A storm front heading towards Georgia could bring severe weather conditions Monday night through Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.A post by the National Weather Service Atlanta on X states that the storm system is expected to impact north and central Georgia. The post said this system could bring strong severe thunderstorms and the potential for tornadoes.The National Weather Service said the storms are expected to bring heavy rainfall and the risk for localized flash flooding and river flooding.C...

A storm front heading towards Georgia could bring severe weather conditions Monday night through Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

A post by the National Weather Service Atlanta on X states that the storm system is expected to impact north and central Georgia. The post said this system could bring strong severe thunderstorms and the potential for tornadoes.

The National Weather Service said the storms are expected to bring heavy rainfall and the risk for localized flash flooding and river flooding.

Columbus can possibly expect two to three inches of rain, according to a diagram from the National Weather Service Atlanta X page.

Multiple areas in the state can expect the same amount of rainfall while some locations east and northeast of Atlanta can expect up to four inches of rain, according to the diagram.

The storms will move from southwest to northeast Monday night, becoming more widespread on Tuesday, according to the post.

Columbus can expect rain to begin around sunset tonight and last throughout the night with thunderstorms starting around daybreak, according to a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

The forecaster said the best severe weather chances will hit the area between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Winds will also hit the area throughout the night with sustained winds around 10-20 mph with gusts around 30-40 mph, according to the forecaster.

The Muscogee County School District has announced that schools will go virtual for Jan. 9 due to possible inclement weather.

The school district said that all academic field trips are canceled for tomorrow along with all athletic, extracurricular and after-school activities.

St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School will also move to virtual learning on Tuesday due to the predicted severe weather.

Chance Corbett, Emergency Management Director for the Columbus Consolidated Government, said the city is watching the severe weather and working with the National Weather Service to monitor the situation.

The storm is also expected to bring severe weather to parts of Alabama. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is encouraging people to avoid driving during severe events.

ALEA’s secretary Hal Taylor said the following in a statement:

“Forecasters continue to predict severe weather that could have dramatic impacts across our state, but especially the southern portion over the next 48 hours. Our Agency stands ready to assist with all divisions and units developing and implementing severe weather operation plans for this storm system. However, we strongly encourage and recommend that both citizens and visitors prepare now for the incoming weather. In the event conditions worsen, we urge motorists to adjust travel plans and avoid driving in severe weather if possible.”

The Russell County School District announced that schools will adjust to remote learning for Tuesday due to possible inclement weather.

The Harris County School District has announced it will cancel all operations on Jan. 9 in anticipation of severe weather.

“The safety of our transportation and school communities is our priority. Heavy rain and high winds could compromise travel conditions for buses and cars, raising concerns for student and staff safety,” said Justin Finney, HCSD assistant superintendent of business services and technology, in a statement.

Phenix City administrative offices will have a delayed opening until 11 a.m. EST on Jan. 9, according to a news release.

This story was originally published January 8, 2024, 12:52 PM.

Here’s how Columbus and surrounding areas are celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Over the upcoming weekend, organizations across Muscogee County and the surrounding weekend are hosting events to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.President Ronald Reagan signed legislation to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the third Monday in January, as a federal holiday on Nov. 2, 1983. It is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service encouraging all Americans to ...

Over the upcoming weekend, organizations across Muscogee County and the surrounding weekend are hosting events to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

President Ronald Reagan signed legislation to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the third Monday in January, as a federal holiday on Nov. 2, 1983. It is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service encouraging all Americans to volunteer and improve their communities, according to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The Ledger-Enquirer compiled the following list of Martin Luther King Jr. Day events taking place in Columbus, Phenix City and Harris County over the holiday weekend.

9 a.m. - 11 a.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Serve-A-Thon

Keep Columbus Beautiful is hosting a tree planting and cleanup event at Carver Park on Hunter Rd.

Individuals who need more information may contact the organization at kcbc1987@columbusga.org or 706-225-4008.

8 a.m. | Courier/Eco Latino MLK 1 Mile Walk

Participants will begin their walk or run in Columbus at the A.J. McClung YMCA and end at the Government Center on 9th Street and 1st Avenue.

9 a.m. | The Dream Lives Procession

Participants should gather at the Government Center on 9th Street and 1st Avenue in Columbus.

9 a.m. - 3 p.m. | MLK Birthday Community Project

The Mission Continues and MLK Jr. Elementary School is hosting a community service project at MLK Jr. Elementary in Columbus. Participants include students, teachers, parents and community members who can volunteer online.

10 a.m. | MLK: The Dream Lives 2024

This year’s event will be held at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center.

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Serve-A-Thon

Keep Columbus Beautiful and Turn Around Columbus are hosting their seventh annual community cleanup of the MLK Learning Trail.

Volunteers should gather at 10 a.m. at one of the following two meeting points:

The groups will travel and meet up at the George Washington Carver Victory Garden and Farm at 1830 Shepherd Dr.

Volunteers will take a group photo and Community Service Certificates will be issued. Chester’s BBQ will provide lunch for all volunteers.

Anyone interested in volunteering should register online.

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. | MLK Day of Service Project

The Columbus Parks and Recreation Department will be decorating bowls for its upcoming Empty Bowl event, which supports the Feeding the Valley Food Bank by providing funding for kids who need meals.

This service project will be held at the Pop Austin Recreation Center at 1311 Alexander St. in Columbus.

11 a.m. | 2nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Celebration

The Phenix City MLK Committee is presenting this event that will take place at the Gaines Chapel AME Church on Dillingham Street in Phenix City.

Pastor Lee B. Walker Jr. will be a guest speaker.

12 p.m. | 30th Annual MLK Day in Hamilton, GA

The Harris County Men’s Club is hosting a celebration, parade and tailgate program in Hamilton at the HCSD Performance Learning Center/ Old Carver High School at Carver Circle.

Participants in the parade will line up at noon with the parade commencing at 1 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded for the “Best Float” and “Best Car” decorations.

A program and scholarship presentation will follow the parade at 2 p.m.

12 p.m. | MLK Day Unity Service

This program takes place at the Metropolitan Baptist Church on 5th Avenue in Columbus

2 p.m. | MLK Bike Ride: Columbus Bikes

Participants should meet at the Metropolitan Baptist Church and will ride along the MLK Walking Trail.

5 p.m. - 7 p.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration of Life

The Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church on Fifth Street in Columbus is hosting a Celebration of Life event for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led by Pastor J.H. Flakes, III.

If your organization is hosting an MLK Day event not included on this list email Brittany McGee at bmcgee@ledger-enquirer.com.

This story was originally published January 11, 2024, 1:00 PM.

What is Columbus, OH Known For? 10 Things to Love About This City

Welcome to Columbus, Georgia – a city that effortlessly weaves together history, adventure, and Southern charm along the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Columbus invites you to discover its unique blend of heritage, excitement, and warmth. It’s a destination where every corner promises a new and delightful exploration. So whether you’re searching for apartments in Columbus, ...

Welcome to Columbus, Georgia – a city that effortlessly weaves together history, adventure, and Southern charm along the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Columbus invites you to discover its unique blend of heritage, excitement, and warmth. It’s a destination where every corner promises a new and delightful exploration. So whether you’re searching for apartments in Columbus, homes for sale, or want to learn more about what Columbus is known for, this Redfin article will be your guide.

1. Whitewater rafting

Columbus earns its reputation for thrilling whitewater rafting experiences along the Chattahoochee River. The city offers the world’s longest urban whitewater rafting course, attracting adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. With various rapids and scenic views, Columbus provides an exhilarating and unforgettable rafting adventure for visitors of all skill levels.

The National Infantry Museum in Columbus is a renowned attraction that honors the history and sacrifices of the U.S. Army Infantry. The museum showcases an extensive collection of artifacts, interactive exhibits, and immersive experiences that pay tribute to the infantry’s legacy. Visitors can explore the museum’s outdoor monuments and indoor galleries, gaining a deeper understanding of the infantry’s pivotal role in American history.

3. Historic District

Columbus’s historic district is a charming area known for its well-preserved architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant cultural scene. The district features a mix of art galleries, boutique shops, and restaurants housed in historic buildings, creating a unique and picturesque atmosphere.

4. Springer Opera House

The Springer Opera House in Georgia is recognized as one of the most historic theaters in the United States. This iconic venue has hosted world-class performances and entertainment for over 140 years, showcasing various theatrical productions, musicals, and events. The Springer Opera House continues to be a cultural hub, captivating audiences with its timeless charm and exceptional performances.

5. Fort Benning

Columbus is home to Fort Benning, a central U.S. Army installation and a significant military training center. The base is pivotal in shaping and preparing soldiers for service, offering various training programs and educational opportunities. Fort Benning also hosts public events and ceremonies, allowing visitors to understand the military’s dedication and commitment to national defense.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

High-paying jobs. High-tech industry. The Columbus area now is closer to getting more

A local alliance dedicated to attracting semiconductor and related supply chain businesses to the Columbus area has taken a major step toward achieving that goal.Led by the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, the alliance is among 22 finalists out of 565 applicants nationwide now eligible to compete for four to eight federal grants ranging from $20 million to $50 million in this economic and workforce development initiative.The alliance officially is named ...

A local alliance dedicated to attracting semiconductor and related supply chain businesses to the Columbus area has taken a major step toward achieving that goal.

Led by the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, the alliance is among 22 finalists out of 565 applicants nationwide now eligible to compete for four to eight federal grants ranging from $20 million to $50 million in this economic and workforce development initiative.

The alliance officially is named Chattahoochee Hub for Innovation and Production of Semiconductors, but most folks refer to it as CHIPS4Chips (as in computer chips) or C4C.

The Economic Development Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the finalists in this contest called Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program.

EDA also announced C4C as one of 24 recipients of a $500,000 Strategy Development Grant to increase local coordination and planning.

“This grant will help us create the workforce of the future in the Chattahoochee Valley, which is the key component in attracting industry investment and high-wage jobs,” Ben Moser, president and CEO of the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, said in a news release.

The program is designed to renew economic opportunities in communities with insufficient business development and jobs. It targets areas where prime-age (25-54) employment significantly trails the national average.

In 2022, Congress passed the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) and Science Act. It authorizes as much as $280 billion in federal grants to boost national and economic security by creating a highly skilled workforce for high-paying jobs and by recruiting semiconductor industry and other advanced manufacturing, including nanotechnology, clean energy, quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

As part of the CHIPS Act, Congress authorized $1 billion for the Recompete Program, including $200 million in initial funding this year.

Becoming a finalist also allows the Columbus-based C4C alliance to receive technical assistance to strengthen its plan.

C4C, according to its news release, is a public-private partnership comprising local leaders from businesses, nonprofit organizations, education and government in the Chattahoochee Valley of west Georgia and east Alabama.

“One of our community’s greatest strengths lies in its ability to bring together individuals from various backgrounds, fostering collaborative efforts that consistently produce outstanding work recognized on a national scale,” Retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Andy Hilmes, a consultant for C4C, said in the news release.

Moser noted the collaboration between the United Way and C4C “is an an incredible asset and benefits our entire region. We are grateful to so many community leaders and organizations, as well as local, state, and national officials, who are supporting this work.”

Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia considers this a historic opportunity for the Columbus area.

“This economic development designation and grant award position the Chattahoochee Valley to bid for one of the most significant programs we passed in last year’s economic development and infrastructure bills,” Ossoff said in the EDA’s news release. “. . . The United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley and its partners have been instrumental in getting us this far. Full steam ahead for Columbus and the region.”

Chairman Ben Moser, president and CEO of United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley.

Vice chairwoman Dionne Rosser-Mims, vice chancellor of Troy University-Phenix City

Betsy Covington, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley

Rodney Close, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley

Shaun Culligan, economic development manager for Phenix City

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. (retired) Patrick Donahoe, former commanding general of Fort Benning (now Fort Moore)

Melissa Gauntt, president and CEO of the East Alabama Chamber of Commerce

Pace Halter, president and COO of W.C. Bradley Real Estate

Jim Livingston, executive director of the River Valley Regional Commission

Robbie Raybon, head of acquisitions for Covey Equity

Stuart Rayfield, president of Columbus State University

Gwen Ruff, senior vice president of Columbus Water Works

Heath Schondelmayer, West Central Georgia and East Alabama division CEO for Synovus Bank, chairman of Columbus Development Authority and chairman of Columbus 2025

Will Thompson, East Alabama market president for Synovus Bank

George White, senior director of strategic partnerships for Georgia Tech

This story was originally published December 27, 2023, 5:00 AM.

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