1. Men hijacked car from gas station before body was burned in trunk, police say: Three men hijacked a vehicle from a woman at a Columbus gas station less than 24 hours before authorities found a man’s body burned July 10 in the trunk of the car, authorities said. Darious Jamal Robinson, 18, Marquis Lamar Johnson, 20, and Fredret Shamar Culliver, 17, were identified as the suspects arrested in the July 9 carjacking at 2936 North Lumpkin Road. No murder warrants have been issued in connection with the death.
2. Local mom’s back-to-school photo becomes big hit on social media: Many mothers across the Chattahoochee Valley may have been thinking it, but Jena Willingham of Beulah, Ala., put it in a picture that went viral on the first day of school. The photo, which was staged on Sunday afternoon and posted Monday morning, shows Jena on a float in the pool, drink in hand, as her three children look less than pleased about the change in circumstances.
3. Columbus man kills home intruder in self-defense, police say: A homeowner shot and killed an intruder in self-defense late Monday on Kingsberry Street, according to Columbus police. Derrick Cureton, 23, was pronounced dead at 10:30 p.m. His body will be transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab for an autopsy, said Muscogee County Chief Deputy Coroner Freeman Worley.
4. Blue Cross Blue Shield move leaves major medical hole in Columbus: A decision by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia to pull out of all but 85 of the state’s 159 counties in 2018 looks to have a major impact on Columbus-area residents who aren’t on company-sponsored or Medicare coverage plans. The Atlanta-based health and medical insurer made the announcement Monday that it will neither be offering Affordable Care Act exchange coverage nor market-rate coverage to individuals off the federally subsidized exchange next year in Muscogee, Chattahoochee and Harris counties.
5. Restaurant from ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’ is landing in Columbus: A restaurant that once was featured on the hit Food Network road show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” is coming to Columbus. Metro Diner, a growing restaurant chain founded in Jacksonville, Fla., but now based in Tampa, confirmed Friday it is planning to open by mid-December at The Landings shopping center at 5524 Whitesville Road. That’s the address for the Fuddrucker’s hamburger eatery that closed its doors last October.