Members of the West Point City Council and Mayor Drew Ferguson wore pink at a recent meeting to show support for October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the city. Above, from left are City Clerk Richard McCoy, Councilman Steve Tramell, Ferguson, Councilman Joe Downs, Councilwoman Sandra Thornton, Councilman Ben Wilcox, Councilman Jerry Ledbetter and City Attorney Jeff Todd.
By CY WOOD
WEST POINT — A lot of emphasis has been placed on breast cancer awareness during the month of October, and one of West Point's own brought the mayor and city council up to date on the disease during an Oct. 9 work session.
Margaret Downs (Mardi) Schaufler, M.D., who grew up in West Point and sees a lot of West Point patients in her gynecological practice in LaGrange, told the Mayor and City Council that breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in women and the second leading cause of death among women.
Breast cancer has been around a long time, but it seems more prevalent today, she said. That's because breast cancer becomes a greater threat as women age, and women are living longer, so there's a greater risk (one in eight women will contract breast cancer if they live long enough).
The good news is that the death rate is declining, Schaufler said. Around 80 percent of women now find their own cancer through breast self-exams
She noted that mammography didn't exist until the 1970s, and even though there are disagreements about at what age mammograms should begin and how frequently they should be performed, the consensus is that the exams are very important. But something else is even more important, she said.
"It's most important that women know their own breasts," Dr. Schaufler said. She added that annual medical exams are also important.
Schaufler said that lifestyle choices have an effect on breast cancer. Obesity, high-fat diets, sedentary lifestyles and excessive alcohol consumption can be factors, she said.
"Women know their own bodies," Schaufler said, "and patients must be their own advocates."
This year 230,000 women and 2,300 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, she said, while 40,000 women and 450 men will die of the disease.
By THE TIMES-NEWS
WEST POINT — Kris Paronto, one of the co-authors of the best seller book, "13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi," will be in West Point Monday, Nov. 3 for a book signing and discussion being held at the Irish Bred Pub, 727 Third Ave. in historic downtown.
Paronto was part the CIA annex security team that responded to the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 11, 2012, helping to save over 20 lives while fighting off terrorists from the CIA Annex for over 13 hours.
Paronto’s story, along with stories from his five surviving annex security team members, is told in the book “13 Hours” written by Mitchell Zuckoff. Paramount recently bought the film rights to the best seller and already have a screenwriter and producers attached to the project. The book promises to “set the record straight” on what happened on the ground, but does not dwell much on the politics or bureaucratic wrangling in Washington.
"13 HOURS" presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of Sept. 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the U.S. State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. Killed in the attack were Ambassador Chris Stevens, Retired Navy Seal Tyrone Woods, Retired Navy Seal Glen Doherty and Diplomat Sean Smith. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale. This is their personal account, never before told, of what happened during the thirteen hours of that now-infamous attack.
"13 HOURS" sets the record straight on what happened during a night that has been shrouded in mystery and controversy. Written by New York Times best-selling author Mitchell Zuckoff, this riveting book takes readers into the action-packed story of heroes who laid their lives on the line for one another, for their countrymen, and for their country.
Paronto (Tanto as he is affectionately known in security contracting circles) is a former Army Ranger from 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment and private security contractor who has deployed throughout South America, Central America, the Middle East and North Africa. He also worked with the US Government’s Global Response Staff conducting low profile security in high threat environment throughout the world.
Paronto was born in Alamosa, Colo., and obtained his bachelor’s degree from Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo., and master’s degree from University of Nebraska at Omaha. He served four years in the U.S. Army and an additional four years in the U.S. Army National Guard, reaching the rank of sergeant, then becoming a commissioned officer in 2003. He started contracting for Blackwater Security Consulting in 2003 and continued to deploy on various security contracts, to include the Global Response Staff until 2013.
The community is invited to this family-friendly event to meet Partono, a true American hero. The main event will take place in the Pub’s restaurant downstairs from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend. Books will be sold during the event for $28 and will be autographed. Profits from sales of the book will benefit The Shadow Warriors Project created by Mark Geist, another co-author and private security contractor, who was injured during the attack in Libya.
By THE TIMES-NEWS
Friday is Halloween, and trick-or-treating hours have been set by local police departments.
In Lanett, trick-or-treating will take place from 4 to 7 p.m., in West Point from 6 to 8 p.m., in Valley from 6 to 8 p.m. and in LaFayette from 6 to 9 p.m. All times EDT.
Police officials offer the following tips for a safe Halloween.
•Make sure children wear reflective costumes or carry flashlights/glow sticks,
•Check all candy and make sure to discard homemade treats and anything that is open.
•Make sure to trick-or-treat in groups, use sidewalks and watch for motorists.
•Wear costumes that don’t obstruct vision. Use makeup and face paint as alternatives.
•Parents should accompany young children at all times.
•Tell children to only stop at homes where the outside lights are on.
•Trick-or-treat while it's still light out, if possible. If dark, choose well-lit streets.
•Do not allow children to eat their treats until an adult has inspected them. Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your local police department by calling 911.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
The regular season comes to a close this week for AHSAA schools Valley, LaFayette and Beulah as well as Springwood and Chambers in AISA play.
•Lanett (4-5, 2-4) concluded its season last week in a 26-19 loss to Reeltown.
•The Valley Rams (3-6, 1-5) will close out the year at 7A playoff-bound Prattville High.
Coach Marshon Harper’s Rams have lost six straight and defeating Prattville at the Lions Den is going to be a tall order in the season finale.
The Lions hope to make another run for a state championship.
•The Beulah Bobcats (3-6, 2-4) will close out the season for homecoming on Halloween against 2A playoff-bound Randolph Co. at Bobcats Stadium.
It’s been a good season for coach Jarrod Wooten’s team, although the Bobcats were just a win away at Prattville Christian from securing a 3A state playoff berth.
•The LaFayette Bulldogs (1-8, 0-6) will play an 8-1 Saks High team on the road in its season finale.
It’s been a rough year for coach James Lucas’ Bulldogs but better days are ahead next year.
•The Troup Tigers (3-5, 0-3) face a must-win scenario the next weeks to earn a GHSA 4A state playoff berth. The Tigers must defeat Fayette Co. Friday and Whitewater the following week. Both games are at home.
•In AISA play, Springwood (6-4, 3-3) hosts Glenwood Friday and Chambers (5-4, 3-2) are on the road at Coosa Valley.
Springwood will play at Marengo in the 2A state playoffs Fri., Nov. 7 while Chambers will face South Choctaw in the 1A playoffs also on Nov. 7. Troup must win the next two games to be in as well.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
LaFAYETTE — The Chambers Academy Rebels (5-4, 3-3) scored early and often as coach Jason Allen’s playoff-bound team easily rolled to a 45-13 win over Lyman Ward Military Academy here at Torbert Field on a rare Monday night game.
After clinching an AISA 1A state playoff berth after defeating South Montgomery Co. Academy (SMCA) a week ago, coach Allen was hoping his team would play sharp for Monday’s Senior Night activities.
They did that and a lot more as the Rebels overwhelmed a mistake-riddled LWMA Academy team and easily rolled to a 33-0 halftime lead and cruised home to the 45-13 final score win.
Chambers opened the scoring at 3:04 of the first quarter when quarterback Tae Henry found Jay Tinsley all alone, behind the LWMA free safety.
Henry fired a strike to a wide open Tinsley, who gathered in the pass at the LWMA 30, and trotted in for the 55-yard score and a 6-0 CA lead.
While the Rebels offense had their way with the LWMA defense, the CA defense also put on a dominant display against the Rangers offense. The Rangers had a plethora of penalties in the game, most of which were mental mistakes, and CA took full advantage of the errors.
CA pushed the lead to 14-0 at 10:35 of the second quarter when senior Corey Richardson powered his way up the gut of the LWMA defense on a nine-yard TD run and now a 12-0 Rebels lead.
Tinsley then tacked on the two-point PAT run for the 14-0 lead.
Chambers scoring drive was a nicely executed 70-yard march on seven plays.
The Rebels added another score just two minutes later when Richardson tallied his second TD of the game, this time on a 22-yard jaunt untouched off left tackle, and CA was in complete control with a 20-0 lead still with 8:28 left in the half.
CA’s scoring drive was just 29 yards on two plays.
The Rebels pushed the lead to 26-0 just one minute later when Jontavious Flournoy tossed a 13-yard scoring strike to Tinsley and with 7:17 left, it was CA 26-0.
Chambers scored three TDs in three minutes to turn a close game early on in a rout.
The lead ballooned to 33-0 CA when Henry scored on an 11-yard run with 4:18 left in the half.
The Rebels scoring drive was 23 yards on just three plays.
LWMA scored on a 83-yard TD pass to cut the CA lead to 33-7 with 5:09 left in the third.
Henry then tallied his second score of the game, this time on a 13-yard run, and with 2:14 left in the third quarter, Chambers held a commanding 39-7 lead.
CA’s scoring drive was six plays and 50 yards.
LWMA added one final score to make it 39-13 with :44.7 seconds left in the third.
Malik Lyons tallied the final TD for CA on a five-yard run off the left flank at 11:39 of the fourth for the 45-13 final score.
•Chambers will complete regular season play at Coosa Valley Academy (0-9) in Harpersville Friday. The Rebels will be on the road at No. 1 seeded South Choctaw Academy, Fri., Nov. 7 in the AISA 1A playoffs.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
LANETT — What was a very promising season for Lanett High (4-5, 2-4) officially came to a heartbreaking end here Friday evening at Morgan-Washburn Stadium after Lanett lost a gut-wrenching, last-minute 26-19 contest to 2A-Region 5 rival Reeltown High (8-1, 5-1).
As has been the case for much of the season, Lanett had a terrific start to the game as coach Clifford Story’s Panthers held leads of 6-0, 12-0 and 19-7 at the halftime intermission, only to lose the lead and the game in heartbreaking fashion late in the game.
With still a chance at securing a 2A state playoff berth with a win and other mathematical factors involved, Lanett came out of the gates on fire and was all over Reeltown early in the game.
In short, the Panthers played the way most thought they would throughout the season as Lanett displayed poise, toughness, character, leadership and a will to win not shown in many other games this season.
The lead lasted only so long, however, and despite having three to four other good scoring opportunities to pad its lead, particularly in the second half, Lanett succumbed in the end due to penalties, lost its focus and ultimately, the game in the closing minute.
It was hard to watch and you had to feel compassion for the kids and coaches as a season so bright early on (ranked No. 2 in the preseason) had come to a bitter end Oct. 24.
Lanett grabbed the early lead at 6-0 after the Panthers drove 67 yards on just five plays for the opening score.
Marlon “MJ” Bridges scored on a three-yard run off tackle at 10:07 and things were looking good for Lanett.
Bridges ripped off huge chunks of real estate on the scoring drive with runs of 43 and 14 in the march for points.
After a big stop by a fired up, attacking and swarming Lanett defense, the Panthers offense took over and made Reeltown pay once again on one of the best scoring drives of the season.
Lanett went 80 yards on 10 plays with a terrific mixture of inside and outside runs as Bridges, Cameron Trammell, Demontavious Daniel and Tavaris Geiger all had nice contributions to the scoring march.
Geiger capped the scoring march with a nifty 11-yard TD run around the right flank and with 2:26 still left in the first quarter, Lanett was already in complete control at 12-0.
But mistakes, penalties and a lack of focus came back to haunt Lanett once again and all of those factors had a role in letting Reeltown back in the game and ultimately led to Lanett’s defeat.
Reeltown cut the Lanett lead to 12-7 after a nicely executed 53-yard, five-play scoring drive was capped on a 17-yard TD run around the left flank.
But later, Lanett got a huge break, thanks in large part to the super athletic ability and alertness of Bridges just before the half.
On a third down pass play, Reeltown’s quarterback fired the ball out in the left flat on a pass that was actually a lateral by about one-half yard.
The receiver bobbled the ball and dropped it but it was behind the line of scrimmage, making it a lateral and a live ball. Bridges then darted in on the play from his safety spot, scooped the ball up and displayed a scorched earth policy on the rest of the Reeltown offense.
Bridges took it back 72 yards for a Panthers TD with just 1:32 left in the opening half and a huge emotional lift for Lanett and now a 19-7 lead.
But give Reeltown credit, they didn’t quit and displayed one they are one of the best small school programs in the state and made a great comeback in the second half.
The Rebels cut the Lanett lead to 19-13 with 4:52 left in the third period after a textbook 80-yard, 14 play drive resulted in a two-yard TD run off left tackle and it was now just a one score game.
But once again, penalties and turnovers, particularly fumbles, really hurt Lanett.
A pair of fumbles doomed Lanett in the second-half and ill-timed penalties, many of which were mental mistakes in being offsides, including back to back plays, are just not acceptable, especially in Week nine with your season on the line.
One of the fumbles gave Reeltown a first-and-10 at the Lanett 32 and less than two minutes after cutting the Panthers lead to seven, the Rebels cashed in again thanks to Lanett’s miscues.
At 3:14 of the third quarter, Reeltown capped a 32-yard, two-play drive on a seven-yard scoring run and just like that, it was a tie game at 19-all.
Lanett held a 19-7 lead with 5:00 minutes left in the third and less than two minutes later, the game was tied at 19-19.
Both teams displayed good team defense until very late in the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately for Lanett fans, it got more painful, a lot more, in fact, in the last minute of the contest.
Reeltown drove down the field and scored the game-winning TD on an eight-yard pass play with just :42.7 seconds left in the game to give the Rebels a 26-19 lead over a stunned Lanett team.
On the play, a Reeltown back rolled out of the backfield towards the Lanett sideline, caught the ball at the Panthers three, Bridges shot over from his safety position and made the tackle on the goal line (see photo) but the back fell over the goal line for the game-winning TD and it was now 26-19 Reeltown.
Lanett made a valiant effort in the finals seconds, including an unbelievable run and effort from Bridges on a screen pass play in which Bridges weaved his way in, out and around Reeltown defenders for 45 yards and finally down at the Rebels 11.
Unfortunately, the buzzer sounded ending the game and Lanett’s season in heartbreak.
Bridges had another remarkable game for Lanett with over 200 yards rushing and several crunching tackles from his safety post.
Bridges and offensive/defensive tackle Branquavious Bussey will both go on next year to play college football.
While the hurt won’t likely end for Lanett players, coaches and fans alike for some time, the senior class has a lot to be proud of and helped put Lanett football back on the map with state-wide respect and helped to re-establish the Panthers as a small-school power once again.
No obituaries were reported today.
WADLEY — Mr. J.T. Hardnett, 62, of Wadley died Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Ala.
Funeral services are planned for Thursday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. CDT at Greater Pine Hill Baptist Church in LaFayette (Penton community) with the Rev. Rodney Thomas Sr., pastor, officiating. Burial will follow at Standing Rock Cemetery in LaFayette.
Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.
TULLAHOMA, Tenn. — Mr. Robert "Bob" Smith died Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at Kindred Hospital in Nashville, Tenn. Born April 12, 1930 in Lanett, he was the son of the late Lorraine and Tom Smith of West Point.
A memorial service was held Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. in the Tullahoma Funeral Home Chapel. Online condolences may be sent to www.tullahomafuneralhome.com.
WEST POINT — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mr. Lundy Brooks, 71, of West Point, who died Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, at EAMC-Lanier Medical Center.
Lakes-Dunson-Robertson Funeral Home of LaGrange is handling arrangements.
WEDOWEE — Ms. Leola Boyd, 67, of Wedowee died Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at Talladega Health Care in Talladega, Ala.
Funeral services are planned for Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. CDT at Antioch Baptist Church in Wedowee with the Rev. W. Steinway Cash officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.
Vines Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.