Arrowhead Farm was selected as the Chambers County Farm City Century Farm at the 2014 Farm City banquet held Tuesday evening at the Alfa Building in LaFayette. It was originally purchased by John M. Vernon in 1865 and has remained in the same family for 149 years. His great-great-great-grandsons, Perry, Martin and Allan Vajda, currently own the property, where they grow hay and timber. In the past, the family grew row crops and raised cattle on the farm. Two important and historically significant structures on the farm are the corn crib and the home, which were both built in the 1930s. Shown from left accepting the award is Perry Vajda, Susan Bradford, center, who presented the award on behalf of Commissioner John McMillan and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, and right, Darrell Bishop. (Photo by Anne Glenn-Holliday)
By SCOTT SICKLER
LANETT — These are exciting times in The Greater Valley Area, and the city of West Point is a leader in the revitalization in both the private and public sector with job creation through new business as well as dramatic growth in terms of quality and affordable housing.
Speaking to members of the West Point Lions Club Wednesday at Riverside Country Club, West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson told club members of the many activities in which the city is playing a leading role.
“These are exciting times in the community,” Ferguson said. “We have a plan and a way to execute that plan.”
In the last five years, Ferguson said West Point has added 47 new businesses and created an additional 300 jobs in the process. Over $2 million has been invested, Ferguson noted.
Since the arrival of Kia and its suppliers five years ago, Ferguson noted, over 14,000 manufacturing jobs have been created.
With that thought in mind, there’s been a strong movement and commitment to provide quality and affordable housing, meeting the needs of the workers to reside where they work.
Ferguson said some workers in the area drive up to 60 miles.
“There’s a huge gap between public housing and poverty,” Ferguson added. It’s vitally important, Ferguson said, to create quality, affordable housing. “We are on the cusp of exciting things here. One of our goals is to develop affordable housing,” said Ferguson.
In addition, an apartment complex is also in the works locally.
Job creation, housing and a sense of place are all keys, Ferguson noted, thanking the development efforts of his predecessors in Mayors Billy Head and Scott Huguley.
“West Point is a vibrant community and a sense of place is important,” Ferguson said. “We think West Point is a cool place to live and we’re excited about that.”
Another interesting development Ferguson discussed was the city being chosen as the site for a craft brewing operation in 2015.
The craft beer industry is booming across the country.
“A gentleman from Boston is going to build a small brewery here next year,” Ferguson said. “His goal is to brew the beer and distribute it as well.”
By CY WOOD
LaGRANGE — The Troup County Board of Education approved a tax abatement request from Caterpillar Inc. for an expansion of its operations in LaGrange.
The BOE is joining with other governmental agencies in approving the financing plan for the project.
The expansion is expected to create up to 265 jobs in 2015 and another 315 over the next five years.
During Thursday's meeting, the Teachers of the Year from schools within the Troup system were recognized with plaques by Coca-Cola.
Elementary honorees include Kay Allen, Berta Weathersbee; Nicole DeMooney, Callaway; Kim Whaley, Ethel Kight; Donna Bradley, Franklin Forest; Julie Conner, Hillcrest; April Cook, Hogansville; Joanie Henderson, Hollis Hand; Lindsey Sabens, Long Cane; Tiffany Payne, Mountville; Heather Wallace, West Point; and Shelly Smith, Whitesville Road.
Middle and high school honorees included Susan Horton and Broderick Stargell, Callaway Middle; Tiffany Graham and Linda Stephens, Gardner Newman; Melinda Golden and Kathy Hulett, Long Cane Middle; Sandra Langley and Jason Sherrer, Callaway High; Teresa Dennis and Jessica Bowden, LaGrange High; Trina Williamson, HOPE Academy; and Tabitha Stephens and Michelle Ashmore, Troup High.
In action taken at the meeting the board:
•Set meetings dates for board meetings for the year 2015.
•Approved a contract for $31,733.97 to purchase Dell Chromebook Mobile Sets.
•Approved a Microsoft License renewal in the amount of $31,879.52.
•Heard a report from Karen Cagle, assistant superintendent of curriculum and construction, on the recent A World in Motion program held for fifth and eighth graders in the Troup system. The program is underwritten by funds from Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia and helps students apply science, technology, engineering and math )STEM) principles in projects.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
VALLEY — A stellar prep career both in the classroom and on the athletic playing field has led a Valley High softball star to fulfill her dream to be rewarded with a softball scholarship.
Valley High senior student-athlete standout Lacy Striblin signed a national letter-of-intent (grant-in-aid softball scholarship) Thursday with NCAA Division II Peach Belt Conference power Georgia Southwestern College.
Striblin has been a standout for coach Adam Hunter’s Lady Rams throughout her career and in the process, she’s become one of the greatest softball players not only in Valley history but also AHSAA via the record books.
She’s been a versatile player throughout her career, playing left field, first base, third base and pitcher.
Valley’s career record during Striblin’s career is 92-52 with a season to go, including a postseason mark of 18-8.
Valley set a school-record last season in posting a 34-14 overall record and earning a spot at the prestigious AHSAA Elite Eight state tournament at Lagoon Park in Montgomery. In addition, Valley won the region title last season in what was a record-setting year for the Lady Rams.
Valley won back-to-back area titles in 2013-14 and was area runner-up in 2012.
With her senior year still to play, Striblin has 189 hits in 406 at-bats, a sizzling .466 average at the plate with 111 singles, 50 doubles, nine triples, 19 career homers, including 78 extra-base hits. Lacy also has put up a sensational .773 slugging percentage.
Her on-base percentage is outstanding as well at a clip of .556. She’s also has scored 154 runs and had 141 career RBIs.
This spring, Lacy will have a chance at moving very high on the list of all-time AHSAA softball records, including: 1) single-season HBPs; 2) needs 12 hits to make the AHSAA record book for career hits; 3) she’s 26th all-time in the record book with 50 doubles; 4) needs just one home run to make the record book for career HRs; 5) needs just three RBIs to earn recognition for career RBIs.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
LANETT — The Springwood boys and girls basketball teams split action with visiting Evangel Christian Academy here Thursday evening at Boswell gym.
Coach Drew Dorsey’s much-improved boys team (3-1) defeated Evangel by a 65-58 score while coach Rick Johnson’s Lady Wildcats (2-2) fell to a highly-acclaimed ECA girls squad by a 53-46 score.
In the boys game, Springwood jumped all over ECA, leading 21-7 at the end of the first period before visitors rallied, outscoring the Wildcats 24-13 as Sproingwood held a 34-31 lead at the halftime intermission.
ECA outscored Springwood 14-6 in the third to take a 45-42 lead before the Wildcats rallied in the fourth for the win.
Springwood outscored ECA 25-13 to post the 65-58 win.
Agrlin Braxton had a super game for Springwood, scoring a team, game and career-high 33 points.
Maurice Fears tallied 19 points as well and McLane Martin continued his fine game, chipping in with 10 points.
•In the girls game, Springwood led 16-11 after the first period and were up by two at 26-24 at the half.
ECA, however, rallied in the second-half to defeat the Lady Wildcats 53-46.
Tazsa Garrett-Hammett led Springwood with 19 points, sister Fannasy Garrett-Hammett chipped in with 13 while Langley Matthews scored eight.
Other scorers for Springwood included Jordan Self with four points and Anna Drake with two.
Coach Johnson says he expects the two teams to see each other later this winter in tourney play.
Springwood made the AISA 3A girls Final Four last winter and has all the tools in place to make another run this winter as well.
•In the boys junior varsity game, Springwood won 32-16.
Christian Lancaster led Springwood with 13 points while Chris Lancaster added 10.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
LaGRANGE — The Chris Clark Grading & Paving Raiders 12U youth football team of the West Point Recreation Department reigned supreme here Monday evening at the annual Textile Bowl youth football championships held at Callaway Stadium.
In the finals against the rival LaGrange Hurricanes, the Raiders broke open a scoreless game with a TD less than 30 seconds into the third quarter and never looked back in posting a dominating 31-0 win to claim the championship.
Game co-MVPs Trey Williams and Victor Tolbert led the Raiders with two TDs each.
Jabralin Gooden added the other Raiders score late in game.
Williams opened the scoring for West Point on a 51-yard run and Tolbert’s scoring run later gave the Raiders a two-score lead at 13-0 in the third quarter.
Williams another his second TD of the game, this time on a 53-yard jaunt, to give the Raiders a commanding 19-0 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Tolbert tallied his second score on a 61-yard run off tackle for a 26-0 lead midway through the final quarter.
Gooden provided the final points for the Raiders on an 11-yard run for the 31-0 final score.
WEST POINT — Mrs. Gabrella "Gay" Graham, 90, of West Point died Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. at Bethlehem Baptist Church in West Point with the Rev. Dr. Willie T. Edmondson, the Rev. Gary L. Fanning, the Rev. Tommy Gilbert and the Rev. Ronnie Jones officiating. Burial will follow at Fort Tyler Cemetery.
M.W. Lee Mortuary of West Point is handling the arrangements.
VALLEY — Infant A'Legacy LouMemories Rashad Herron of Lanett died Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley.
Funeral services will be held during the noon hour EST Monday, Nov. 24 at Foreman Funeral Home in Valley with the Rev. Bernard Williams and the Rev. Leonard Autry officiating. Burial will follow at the Handy Cemetery in LaFayette.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Foreman Funeral Home.
WEST POINT — Mrs. Sarah Howell, 77, of West Point died Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, at Vista Hospice in Stockbridge, Ga.
A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. at Bethlehem Baptist Church in West Point with Dr. W.T. Edmondson officiating. Burial will follow at the New Zion Baptist Church Cemetery.
Lakes-Dunson-Robertson Funeral Home, LaGrange, is in charge of the arrangements.
LANETT — Mr. Timothy S. Pitts, 63, of Lanett died Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, at his residence.
Funeral services are planned for Sunday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with the Rev. Chuck Anderson officiating. Burial will follow at Johnson Memorial Gardens.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.
JONESBORO, Ga. — Mr. Charlie Sims Jr. of Jonesboro died Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, at Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, Ga.
The celebration of life service will be held Saturday, Nov. 22 at 11 a.m. at Bethlehem Baptist Church in West Point with Dr. W.T. Edmondson officiating. Burial will follow at Pine Hill Cemetery in Shawmut.
Lakes-Dunson-Robertson Funeral Home of LaGrange is handling arrangements.
VALLEY — Mrs. Effie C. Wallace Barnes Williams of Valley died Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley.
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. EST at Evergreen Baptist Church, Valley, with Pastor Frankie Hutchinson officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery, Valley.
Davis Memorial Mortuary in Valley is handling the arrangements.