The Weekend Muck: September 17, 2023
From CPD’s Family Fun Day highlighting the strength and unity of our city’s police force, to officials declaring the week leading up to 9/11 as Public Safety Week in honor of our nation’s first responders, to the Fountain City’s ‘Favorite Nephew’ having his crime reporting Facebook page temporarily shut by Big Tech, here’s all the muck that’s fit to print from the Columbus, Georgia area, along with a look at what to expect in the week ahead.
The Weekend Muck is your look at all the muck that’s fit to print from the Columbus, Georgia area, brought to you by Muscogee Muckraker.
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COLUMBUS, Ga. — From CPD’s Family Fun Day highlighting the strength and unity of our city’s police force, to officials declaring the week leading up to 9/11 as Public Safety Week in honor of our nation’s first responders, to the Fountain City’s ‘Favorite Nephew’ having his crime reporting Facebook page temporarily shut by Big Tech, here’s all the muck that’s fit to print from the Columbus, Georgia area, along with a look at what to expect in the week ahead.


This story was first published September 11, 2023.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — The Columbus Police Department held its Inaugural Family Fun Day after receiving an outpour of support from officers and the community at-large to help bring the event to life.

The newly-created annual event was a massive success, bringing over 400 RSVP’d law enforcement attendees and their families to Cascade Hills Church this weekend on September 9, 2023.

A simple search on social media will flood your results with images and posts by attendees from all over the city.

The successful event also comes on the heels of CPD exceeding its recruitment goals, further demonstrating the tremendous shifts experienced by the department in the past four months.

Families of our city’s police force and the larger public safety community all came together to enjoy a day of fellowship rooted in their common dedication to the law enforcement profession. The beautifully-sunny day included a huge cookout, outdoor games, bounce houses for the kids, and even a dunk tank manned by the department’s own Deputy Chief Lance Deaton.

The event’s turnout, community support, and overwhelming success made it abundantly clear that CPD’s morale, culture, and unit cohesion are miles above where they were just a few short months ago. 

Back in August, CPD Interim Chief Stoney Mathis publicly announced the department’s plans for the event in hopes of reinforcing the already-strong sense of community and cohesion that has begun to become the norm within  the department.

According to Mathis, past experiences initially caused some naysayers to suggest that such an event wouldn’t likely receive much support. Those sentiments were quickly outweighed by the overwhelming support from officers themselves and the Columbus community at-large.

To help finance and organize the event, Mathis helped lead the department to start a simple fundraiser in hopes of collecting a few dollars for some hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, and coleslaw.

That fundraiser very quickly received about $22,000 in donations, which were later approved for acceptance by a vote of city council on August 22.

During that city council meeting, councilors asked Mathis to speak a bit about the event, the donations received, and the event’s importance to the Columbus Police Department.

Explore the full story to see what Mathis had to say, along with how a little leadership goes a long way in uniting people together for a common purpose.


This story was first published January 31, 2023 and republished September 12.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — The number of gainfully-employed people in the Columbus metropolitan statistical area (MSA) has fallen for the past 23 years, according to data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as compiled by FRED: Federal Reserve Economic Data. 

The Columbus MSA is the area defined by the U.S. Census Bureau to be economically anchored to the Columbus area. Throughout this article, use of the term Columbus refers to the MSA as a whole.

We analyzed 23 years of tabulated monthly Columbus employment data from the BLS and cross-referenced it with the MSA’s total population to determine true rates of employment. We then performed the same calculations for the nation as a whole to produce a relative baseline. We then compared the Columbus employment rate to that national baseline. 

Explore the full story to see the fully-visualized data for yourself in both graphs and downloadable tabulated formats. 


This story was first published September 13, 2023.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — We’re really curious to know your perspective on the many different challenges our city faces.

So we’re running a poll to find out.

The single-question poll will collect anonymous answers from readers like you on the following question:

What is the biggest problem Columbus, Georgia faces as a city?

  • Corruption
  • Crime
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Workforce
  • Other ________

The poll ran until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, September 16, 2023. 

Explore the full story for the details.


This story was first published September 14, 2023.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — The Columbus Consolidated Government formally recognized the heroic service of public safety officers both here in Columbus and across the nation by declaring the week preceding September 11 as Public Safety Week.

The proclamation was read during the city council meeting held on September 12, 2023.

The opening moments of the meeting were somber as officials, public safety officers, and the public in attendance reflected on the nation’s 22nd anniversary of that tragic day.

The meeting began with opening words from Mayor Skip Henderson, who then invited Columbus Fire & EMS Battalion Chief Mark Burnett to provide an invocation in prayer.

Henderson then invited all public safety officers present to lead the meeting in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Upon completion, the room erupted with a standing ovation of applause.

Mayor Pro Tem Gary Allen (District 6) then published a proclamation into the record to formally recognize the week of September 3-11 as Public Safety Week. 

We ask that you continue to read on past the proclamation below for a sincere closing sentiment from us at the Muckraker.

Explore the full story for the details and see the entire text of the city’s proclamation.


This story was first published June 26, 2023 and republished September 15. Residents may voice their concerns with the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley’s demand for local organizations to either collect data on local minor children’s sexuality or lose their funding by contacting their respective city council members.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Leaked documents including funding contracts now undeniably prove that the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley is forcing local Columbus nonprofits to either ask local children about their sexuality or lose the United Way’s funding.

The documents were obtained by the Muckraker from local Columbus-based nonprofits that exclusively serve children.

Back on June 13, we broke this story after hearing compelling evidence from several of those local nonprofits. The corroborated accounts all included the same descriptions of how a new funding contract from the United Way was now forcing them to collect data on the sexuality of the children they serve. If those local nonprofits did not provide the United Way with the data, the United Way would no longer fund the local nonprofit organization, effectively extorting them to either provide the data or go broke.

As a result, many of those local nonprofits turned to the Muckraker in hopes of shedding light on the problem for them. We were — and are — more than happy to oblige. 

Before we dive into the documents, it is important for the reader to understand that the United Way has already embarrassingly been caught in an outright lie by denying their requirement of the data.

You can read more towards the end of this article about how the local United Way flat-out lied to city council’s face — on camera — for the entire world to see. 

First, here’s the proof. It really helps paint a better picture of how despicable the UWCV’s cover-up was as they knowingly lied to city council’s face in hopes of no one finding out about this. 

Lucky for them, we at the Muckraker happen to specialize in exposing such malevolence.

Explore the full story to see the documents for yourself, along with how the United Way knowingly lied to City Councilors’ faces in an effort to cover it up.


This story was first published September 16, 2023.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — The Facebook page of our city’s ‘favorite nephew’ and widely-successful local crime reporter, Colin Scroggins CNAW News 2, was rendered inaccessible to the public on September 15.

The page, which has become an absolute staple for local news in the Columbus, Georgia area, was no longer able to be found by users on the social media site. The page had over 109,000 followers at the time of its disappearance.

Explore the full story for the details on what was allegedly preventing you from finding his content on Facebook. 


The Columbus City Council is scheduled to meet next on Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. on the second floor of the C. E. “Red” McDaniel City Services Center located at 3111 Citizens Way, Columbus, GA 31906.

The meeting’s agenda is scheduled to include whatever the City Attorney’s office unilaterally deems worthy of being known by the general public in advance, so long as city councilors continue to allow such suppression.

Until that is corrected, we can’t honestly provide you with any additional information on what can be expected to occur within the affairs of your own $336mm/annum city.

Join Today. Protect Tomorrow.

There has never been a better time to be a Columbus Police Officer! The Columbus Police Department is a state and nationally accredited law enforcement agency dedicated to protecting and serving the citizens of Columbus, Georgia. Become part of a highly trained law enforcement team focused on building and maintaining strong community partnerships that improve the safety and quality of life for every citizen. Join today and protect the promise of a better tomorrow.

A Look At Personal Safety

As the Columbus Police Department continues to unify under its new leadership model, violent crime is still likely to exist at higher levels than we would all like —  even in what have previously been thought of as the “safer parts” of our city.

We at the Muckraker want to encourage our readers and their loved ones to remain hyper-vigilant as they go about their daily lives. 

Based on  lifetimes of experience and the combined professional careers of us at the Muckraker and our associates, here are what we consider to be the most important ways Columbusites can make themselves “hard targets” to avoid becoming a crime victim:

Situational Awareness: Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep your head on a swivel. Don’t walk around with headphones in. Keep your eyes moving and scanning around you as you move about.

Trust Your Gut: If something inside of you is telling you that something isn’t right, trust that feeling. For example: If you’re parking your car at night and your gut tells you the dark shady spot next to the alley isn't the best place to park, don't park there. Your intuition is often more powerful and protective than you think.

Move With Confidence: Think about this one for a minute. Are criminals going to target the guy or gal who struts hard down the street like a freaking lion patrolling their own domain, or are they going to leave that hard target the heck alone? Keep your head up. Move from place to place with a purpose. Don't walk around with your face in your phone with your purse wide open. Don’t look weak. Look dangerous. 

Facts are stubborn things — and we’ll keep publishing them, whether city officials like them or not.


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