Goose, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois deployed as a K-9 with the Valley Police Department, recently won first place in the narcotics detection competition of the Mantracker Public Safety Training Conference in Newnan. The week-long session was held at the Coweta County Fairgrounds, and Goose competed against 30 other dogs to take top honors. Shown above with Goose is his partner, Officer Lawrence Howell, proudly displaying the first-place trophy. (Photo by David Bell)
By DAVID BELL
WEST POINT — New Horizon Community Theatre held its 13th annual awards banquet Tuesday night to recognize cast members and others who have contributed to the theatre's success over the past year. Awards were presented for Best Young Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor-Female, Best Actor-Male and Director's Award.
Recipient of the Young Actor's Award was Annah Lee, a member of the chorus in the production of “The Music Man Jr.,” directed by Noelle Reed. Nominees for the honor are selected by fellow cast members.
Of the five main shows presented by the theatre during the past season, "Happy Days - The Musical" exceeded all previous ticket sales in the theatre's 30-year history, and its cast members swept the top award categories.
Chase Golden, who played Ralph, was selected as Best Supporting Actor, while Noelle Reed, who played Pinky, took the award for Best Actor-Female. Receiving the award for Best Actor-Male was Matthew Oleson, who gave an outstanding perform-
ance as Fonzie.
Each of the winning actors was presented a golden statue known as the "David," named in honor of theatre founder David O'Keefe.
A selection committee made up of individuals who attended each of the theatre's season productions compiled a list of five nominees in each category. The names were then placed on ballots and mailed to all season ticket holders, who cast their votes for the winners.
The recipient of the Director's Award, selected by Artistic Director Bill Nixon, was Susie Maxwell, who has been involved with the theatre and each of its productions from the beginning. She, too, was presented a "David" for her achievement.
In addition to acting and director awards, New Horizon presented college scholarships of varying amounts to seven local high school students who have participated in the theatre's success, either as actors or workers behind the scenes. The scholarships are awarded through an application process on an annual basis. Those receiving scholarships this year included Jordan Thompson, Beth Anne Moore, Katie Kirby, Sarah Etherton, Tessa Frank, Abby Stodghill and Libby Wheeler.
"This theatre has come a long way from where it started in 1986," said Nixon. "Just during the past year alone, we installed new seating in our auditorium and a marquee above our main entrance. As we look to the future, we plan to expand our stage to include the capability of more props, lighting and special effects."
New Horizon has one production left in the current season. “Robin Hood” opens May 19 and runs through May 21, with a matinee performance on Saturday, May 21. Tickets are available online at www.nhct.org.
In addition, the theatre will present its seventh annual Performing Arts Camp June 13-18 with the theme "Under the Big Top." The camp is open to students ages 6 to 15 who are interested in all aspects of the theatre.
This fall, New Horizon will enter its 32nd year of operations, with another great lineup of shows that will include "13 - The Musical," with no cast members older than age 13, "The Crucible," "A Christmas Carol," Singing in the Rain Jr." and "Sister Act."
By THE TIMES-NEWS
ATLANTA — Interface, the world’s largest commercial modular carpet company and a sustainable business pioneer, this week announced a significant milestone in the company’s Mission Zero journey: the Interface Americas manufacturing sites now operate using 96 percent renewable energy, bringing the company’s global renewable energy usage to 84 percent.
This milestone is being achieved with the addition of directed biogas to meet the thermal energy needs of the company’s flagship operations in Troup County, Ga.
“Getting our factories in Americas to near 100 percent in renewable energy is a significant achievement — one that is a first for our industry and likely for industry in general,” said Erin Meezan, vice president of sustainability for Interface Inc. “When we began our focus on Mission Zero 22 years ago, renewable energy was at the heart of our strategy to eliminate our carbon footprint. Four years before our milestone year of 2020, we are ahead of plan and on track to achieve our 2020 goals.”
Mission Zero is the company’s promise to eliminate its negative environmental impacts by 2020.
As Interface has worked to shift away from fossil fuel derived energy and towards renewables, the company has deployed a variety of strategies. In 2005, Interface pioneered the direct use of landfill gas derived from a local landfill at one of its Troup County facilities. Beginning in 2015, Interface started supplementing this landfill gas use by procuring directed biogas, whereby the renewable attributes of biogas injected at one point on an interconnected pipeline system are matched with the same quantity of natural gas at another point on the system.
Today, directed biogas makes up 53 percent of the company’s local renewable energy profile, which is rounded out with 42 percent renewable electricity, 4 percent propane and 1 percent landfill gas.
“A clean energy economy depends on business having options when it comes to accessing renewables, especially because they are not always plentiful or practical from a local perspective,” said Meezan. “Using directed biogas is a win/win — we are reducing emissions and turning waste into fuel in one community, and distancing ourselves from fossil fuel energy in another. We hope that Interface's use of biogas will contribute to creating a marketplace for more innovation in renewables.”
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
VALLEY — The Valley Lady Rams fast pitch softball team (16-14) are two wins today from defending its area tournament championship after coach Adam Hunter’s squad pounded rival Russell Co. 15-0 in a three-inning (15-run mercy rule) win over the Lady Warriors here Wednesday at the AHSAA 6A-Area 4 tournament held at the Valley Sportsplex.
Valley jumped all over Russell Co. pitching early and often in recording the decisive win.
The Lady Rams had four players each with two hits.
Lexus Burrows, Kayden Cannon, Kelsey Davis and Kelsi Schlehmeier all tallied two hits each.
Davis and Cannon each had three RBI, Burrows added two RBI and Schlehmeier had one RBI.
A Point Lady Skyhawks signee, Davis earned the win in the circle for Valley in working three innings, allowed no hits, faced the minimum nine batters, struck out six and walked one in a dominating effort for the win.
•Valley will play rival Opelika at 12 noon ET today in a winner’s bracket game at the Valley Sportsplex.
The Lady Rams have been one of the most dominant teams in all of AHSAA softball over the course of the last five seasons.
If Valley can win the area tourney title, they’ll qualify for the South Regional held in Gulf Shores, May 12-14.
The state tourney will be played at Lagoon Park in Montgomery, May 18-21.
Russell Co. and Benjamin Russell will play in an elimination game today following the Valley-Opelika showdown.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
VALLEY — After winning the AHSAA 6A-Area 4 regular season championship, coach Adam Hunter’s Valley Lady Rams fast pitch softball team (15-14) will host the four-team, double elimination tournament today and Thursday at the Valley Sportsplex.
As the regular season champion, Valley is the No. 1 seed and they’ll face fourth-seeded Russell Co. today at 2 p.m. ET in the first game of the day, Hunter told The Times-News this morning.
Second-seeded Opelika will face third-seeded Benjamin Russell in the other game at 4 p.m.
The Valley-Russell Co. and Opelika-Benjamin Russell winners will then play while the two losers will also clash with the loser of that game eliminated with two defeats.
The AHSAA 6A Regional will be played at Troy University May 12-14 while the state tournament is May 18-21 at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.
•In other high school softball tourney action, the third-seeded Beulah High Lady Bobcats will face second-seeded Central Coosa at 11:30 a.m. ET today in the 3A-Area 5 tourney with the winner facing host and top-seeded Prattville Christian at 1:30 also Wednesday.
•In other softball tourney play, the third-seeded LaFayette Lady Bulldogs play second-seeded Horseshoe Bend at 11 a.m. ET at Reeltown High School.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
LANETT — After a standout career at Lanett High School, Lady Panther basketball star Alycea Sharpe will take her talents next year to Division-I Delaware State University.
Sharpe signed a national letter-of-intent (grant-in-aid basketball scholarship) at the Lanett High Media Center Monday morning.
The Delaware State Lady Hornets play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the school is based in Dover.
Delaware State is one of 13 schools that make up the MEAC.
Sharpe played five years for the Lady Panthers and helped lead the team to several outstanding seasons under coach Jennifer Norris.
In her career, she played 128 games and averaged 5.9 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game.
As a senior, Sharpe averaged 9.9 ppg and 8.2 rpg.
She was a part of a Lady Panther program that won over 20 games three times in her prep career.
WEST POINT — Mrs. Mattie L. Houston of West Point passed away Wednesday, May 4, 2016, at her residence.
Foreman Funeral Home in Valley is in charge of arrangements.
HULL, Ga. — Mr. Winston Morrow Miles, 80, of Hull, formerly of LaFayette, passed away Thursday, April 21, 2016, at his residence.
Memorial graveside services were held Sunday, April 24 at 2 p.m. at Athens Memory Gardens with the Rev. Eric Buffington officiating.
HAPEVILLE, Ga. — Mr. Roger L. Smith Sr., 78, of Hapeville, formerly of Lanett, passed away Tuesday, May 3, 2016, at South Fulton Hospital in Hapeville.
Graveside services will be held Friday, May 6 at 2 p.m. at Oakwood Cemetery.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley is in charge of arrangements.
BEULAH, Ala. — Mrs. Martha Lou Rearden Billingsley, 91, of Beulah passed away Tuesday, May 3, 2016, at Bethany House in Auburn, Ala.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 5 at 11 a.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with Evangelist Van Billingsley officiating. Burial will follow at Fairfax Cemetery.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is in charge of arrangements.
WADLEY, Ala. — Mr. Jimmy Michael Sheppard, 60, passed away Tuesday, April 26, 2016, in Wadley, Ala.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. EDT Saturday, May 7 at Fredonia Holiness Church, County Road 289, Lanett.
Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory is in charge of arrangements (www.jeffcoattrant.com).
LANETT — Mrs. Mozell A. Turner, 85, of Lanett passed away Monday, May 2, 2016, at her residence.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 5 at 1 p.m. EDT at Mt. Nebo Baptist Church in Cusseta, Ala., with the Rev. Arthur Thomas, pastor, officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.
Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.