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October 18, 2017
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CCSO retirees honored by the Chambers County Commission
CCSO retirees honored by the Chambers County Commission

SUPPORT FOR RETIRING OFFICERS — A large group of officers from the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office was present for the Monday afternoon meeting of the Chambers County Commission. They wanted to be in attendance to show their support and best wishes to two people who are retiring. Brenda Gregory is leaving after seven years of service with the department, and Major Clay Stewart, the jail administrator, is retiring after 23 years with CCSO. He was one of the first people hired by Sid Lockhart after he was first elected sheriff in the early 1990s. Gregory and Stewart (at center) were presented plaques by Sheriff Lockhart and thanked for their years of exemplary service. (Photo by Wayne Clark)

By WAYNE CLARK

Times-News News Editor

LaFAYETTE — A large group of uniformed officers was present at the Monday afternoon meeting of the Chambers County Commission. They were with the Sheriff’s Office and wanted to show their support for two fellow officers who are retiring.

Major Clay Stewart, the jail administrator, is retiring after 23 years with the department, and Brenda Gregory is retiring after seven years with the CCSO. Sheriff Sid Lockhart presented each a plaque and each one received a loud round of applause from a large crowd gathered for the occasion.

The sheriff said that Major Stewart was one of the first people he’d hired after first being elected to the office. Lockhart also announced some promotions. Tommy Sims has been promoted to warden, Mike Parrish to assistant warden, Terry “T.J.” Wood to patrol commander, Teddy Hancock to corrections captain and Cassie Thomas to corrections lieutenant.

Sheriff Lockhart announced three new hires: Eric Laney, Wes Rudd and Steve Smith. Two of the officers are coming over from the LaFayette Police Department.

Lockhart thanked the commissioners oh having approved some raises for the officers. “It helps me keep good officers,” he said.

The commissioners approved a resolution allowing Major Stewart to keep his weapon. State law allows this for officers who retire after 10 years of good service. Commissioner David Eastridge joked that “We’d like to give him the jail, too.” That comment drew some loud laughter, underscoring the problem of dealing with a jail in need of some very expensive repair work.

The commissioners were most pleased to see a state official say some glowing things about the local Extension Office and the county’s 4-H program. Dr. Paul Brown, associate director of the state’s Extension Service, noted that 4-H is celebrating its 100th year in Alabama this year and that Chambers County has a very active program with more than 1,100 youth participating in it over the past two years.

The state’s Extension Service celebrated its centennial in 2014. In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation committing federal support for Extension services throughout the U.S.

“It’s the youth programs that make 4-H successful and sustainable,” Dr. Brown said. “We were an agrarian society 100 years ago. There has been much change since then, and we’re now tying to re-cast 4-H for a new century.”

Dr. Brown lauded the Chambers County 4-H program on having exceeded all its benchmarks . “It’s a program that continues to grow,” he said. “We are real excited about the direction the program is going in. Chambers County is a better place because of 4-H.”

Dr. Brown presented the club a Medal of Excellence and a Crystal Clover for having a first-rate program. He commended Extension Director Ken McMillan and Agent Rachel Snoddy, Assistant Agent Amanda Brown and Administrative Associate Robin Jackson on having done great work for the county.

He called McMillan “a real sparkplug” for the program. “He’s done some amazing things since being here,” he said.

The Commission heard a quarterly report from Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ashley Crane. She said the Chamber had welcomed some new businesses to the community over the last three months and had hosted its largest ever annual membership event with approximately 250 people present for a program at King Car Corner in Valley. She thanked J.R. King for being an excellent host for the well-attended get together.

In business at Monday’s meeting, the Commission approved a resolution backing the actions of County Manager Regina Chambers in taking some emergency action for the county Extension building, where some windows had fallen out.

Chambers got Blanton Restorations, LaFayette, to do the needed work for $14,950. “The work needed to be done immediately,” said Commission Chair Debbie Wood. “There was no time to bid.”

County Attorney Skip McCoy said the amount spent fell within the state bid law.

The Commission approved service agreements with Waste Management to take care of the courthouse and county shop. Mrs. Chambers said the company would be changing the size of the waste containers at the courthouse. It could save around $50 a month to do this.

A grant agreement was approved with the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Agency, Anniston. This is for the bus system.

The commissioners agreed to a request made by Capt. Jason Fuller of the CCSO to declare a 1998 two-door Chevy truck surplus. The maroon-colored vehicle was recently totaled in an accident. The county has agreed to a settlement with the insurance company in this matter.

The county has agreed to vacate a portion of County Road 182 near Resthaven Memorial Gardens. The road is in really bad shape. “It needs to be closed,” said Commissioner Eastridge, who represents the area. “I appreciate your diligence on this.”

Auburn-Georgia tailgate to be held at Chick-fil-A
Auburn-Georgia tailgate to be held at Chick-fil-A

By WAYNE CLARK

Times-News News Editor

LANETT —The oldest college football rivalry in the Deep South, the Auburn-Georgia game, celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. The two schools have been playing each other since 1892. There’s a local twist to mark this anniversary game on Saturday, November 11.

Chris Busby of the Chambers County Development Authority (CCDA) was present at Monday’s meeting of the Lanett City Council to discuss it,

“To celebrate the historic 125th year game between Auburn and Georgia, Chick-fil-A will be bringing fans of the two schools together for good food and a good game,” Busby said.

And it will all be taking place on the state line, between the cities of Lanett and West Point. Those who aren’t going to the game in Auburn can come to a temporary Chick-fil-A restaurant that will be set up on the east side of Highway 29 between Valley Vision Center and Bell’s Collision. People can park across the Highway next to Greene’s Super Drugs and the Langley Motors car lot. Local police will be on the scene to get people across the busy highway to safety.

Georgia fans are encouraged to wear red and black and Auburn fans orange and blue. The food will be free and will be served from a 40-foot-trailer. The Alabama side will be in orange and blue and the Georgia side in red and black.

Serving will begin a couple hours before kickoff. The time has yet to be determined. It’s likely a 3:30 p.m. EDT start, but the game time could be anywhere from noon till night-time kickoff. Rainy weather could be a factor in weather or not the event takes place.

Busby said that Chick-fil-A officials are looking at it as a giant tailgate party. A huge big-screen TV will be on site for people to watch the game right at the state line. “There will be games, entertainment and maybe some friendly competitions between the Georgia and Auburn fans from the two-state area,” Busby said.

A video crew will be in town to record the event for possible TV commercials for Chick-fil-A. They are interested in finding families. friends and office workers whose houses are divided by the rivalry and who have amusing stories to share.

There’s also the possibility the state line will be temporarily marked where the state line crosses Highway 29.

“We hope to see you all there,” said Busby. “Don’t forget to be decked out in your team’s gear. We will be releasing more details in the coming weeks.”

If there’s a big turnout and things go well, it could serve to convince Chick-fil-A officials that the West Point-Lanett-Valley area is a good place to locate a new restaurant. Even if you don’t care for football but love Chick-fil-A it’s a good idea to turn out for the November 11th tailgate party. And remember, the food’s free that day.

“This is exciting news for our area,” said Mayor McCoy. “We’re encouraging everyone to turn out for a day of fun and good food. We enjoy a very good partnership with the City of West Point. Earlier in the day on Saturday, November 11th we are planning on joining them for a Veterans Day program in the city park. We hosted a similar program here in Lanett last year.”

Traditionally, Veterans Day programs begin at 11 a.m. This marks the end of World War I – which was called the war to end all wars - which ceased at the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month in 1918.

In business at the Monday meeting, the council unanimously approved an application for an airport improvement project for the 2018 fiscal year. For the most part, this is a formality. The city has been approved for an estimated $3.5 million in grant funding, and work is currently under way at the airport to build a new 4,400-foot runway that can be seen from I-85.

The city rejected all bids for the TAP grant for the downtown area. Mayor Kyle McCoy doesn’t think this is a major problem, but could set back work for several weeks. The mayor believes the bids will be in budget when submitted with the proper figures. A typo in the original request for bids made the offers come in higher that expected.

A resolution was approved allowing the city to enter a financing agreement with AuburnBank. A ten-year, $610,000 loan will enable the city to purchase a new fire truck and a new bucket truck for the Electrical Department. The loan has an interest rate of 2.74 percent.

Another resolution approved by the council accepts the bid made by Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation (AMIC) for the city’s property/liability insurance. The three-year premium for this is $212,535 and starts Nov. 5th of this year.

The council authorized Mayor McCoy to execute a service agreement between the city and Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood for general engineering services for public works.

Council candidates discuss issues during public forum
Council candidates discuss issues during public forum

By GABRIELLE JANSEN

LaGrange Daily News

WEST POINT — All five candidates running for three seats on the West Point City Council spoke Monday night at the candidate forum at New Horizon Theatre.

The forum was hosted by the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, the Troup County Republican Party and the Troup County Democratic Party, and Georgia State Sen. Mass Brass served as moderator.

Council members Gloria Marshall and Joe Downs and challengers Tracy Bandy, Henry Hutchinson and John Morrison spoke about local issues. Some of the topics discussed included reducing the crime rate, growing West Point and the affordability of the city.

Here’s a look at what they had to say about three of the topics discussed during Monday night’s forum:

Crime rate

Bandy, who has a background in law enforcement, said crime is not that high in West Point. He said the police department should hire more locals and become more community oriented.

“[We should] hire local people, retain them and make people feel like they care for them,” Bandy said.

Downs said local law enforcement is policing certain areas of the city, including adding extra security cameras in the local housing authority. He said he believes crime comes from Atlanta and Montgomery, Alabama, but the city is still a safe place.

“I do believe it’s safe. I’ve enjoyed living here all my life,” Downs said. “The police department is increasingly targeting certain areas of the city where most of the crimes and most of the problems occur and the police department is trying to provide additional support to those areas.”

Hutchinson agreed with Downs that West Point is a safe community, but said that gangs aren’t coming from Atlanta and Montgomery. He said the city should promote neighborhood watches.

“Overall, I think this [place] is a safe community. I think to address the issues we continue to promote community policing with the neighborhood watch programs,” Hutchinson said. “Also, we need to address our citizen problem. A lot of young youth are going to jail. They haven’t come home.”

Marshall said she also thinks the community is safe and that crimes seem big because West Point is a small town.

“I do think that West Point is a safe community. We have had some crime over the last year. We haven’t had a lot, but we have had some,” Marshall said. “We are a small town, and it seems like when we have a problem, it seems like more than a problem because we are small, and it’s put out differently than it would if it was in a bigger town.”

Morrison said that while the community is safe, West Point can prevent crime by getting youth involved with different activities.

“I think there’s a two-part process there’s a short-term, and I think there’s a long-term. The short-term is enhancing to continue to support our police officers, bringing in the right people and working with different communities to find the answers to some of these problems and the rest of the issues,” Morrison said. “For a long-term solution, I believe it’s very important to start the education process and the early childhood education and other investments in our youth. Just giving our time to the children of this community will help them to grow up to become productive members of our society.”

Bringing more residents to West Point

Downs said people don’t know much about town, but the city council has approved two housing plans.

“People don’t know about West Point. They don’t know all the neighborhoods. They don’t [know] the possibilities in West Point,” Downs said.

Hutchinson said West Point needs new attractions for people to move to the city.

“We have to increase the number of businesses we’ve got, and we have to diversify the businesses we’ve got,” Hutchinson said.

Marshall said the council should concentrate on affordable housing and adding fast food chains through town.

“We do have some affordable houses coming soon and hopefully that will attract more people to West Point because it will give them a place to live,” Marshall said. “The other thing is that younger people are looking for things to do. There is a lot to do in West Point, there’s a lot to do downtown, but sometimes when you get off of work you want to drive through somewhere and pick up a meal instead of go sit down.”

Morrison agreed with the other candidates and said to diversify businesses downtown and add housing.

“Having industries — retail, fast food, things of that nature, some sort of entertainment sources here that we can all enjoy,” Morrison said. “We’ve been moving in the right direction, and as [Mayor Pro Tem Steve Tramell] has mentioned a few times, there are a lot of things in the works.”

Bandy said the city needs affordable housing, a better school system and self-promotion.

“I think the city needs to do a better job of promoting themselves. I think they need to hire somebody who will get out there and promote them,” Bandy said.

Affordable Living in West Point

Marshall said the council has partnered with Dependable Affordable Sustainable Housing to make housing affordable. She also argued that affordable is a vague term.

“Affordable is based on your income, if we’re going to do affordable housing, it should be based on income,” she said. “Everybody can’t afford a $500 or $600 house payment, and [the council] is aware of that.”

Morrison agreed with Marshall about affordability being income-based and said the city needs a diversity of housing.

“You need to have all spectrums covered in a feasible manner. It’s not going to be something that happens overnight,” he said.

Hutchinson said affordability is dependent on living expenses, and while he supports affordable housing, he would like to see mixed income housing areas.

“When we talk about affordable housing and low-income housing, to me, it’s still segregation in some way because you put certain people who make a certain amount of money in a certain area,” Hutchinson said.

Bandy said the city needs to lower utility rates to make West Point more affordable.

“I think it will be important for the city to lower utility rates so lower [income] people can afford to pay those utilities after they get in their own homes,” Bandy said.

Downs said affordability is not only about residents of West Point, but also for the council when trying to build these residences.

“It’s not just affordable for the person that’s renting or buying the residence, but it’s affordable for the city of West Point. We have to look at where are we getting the funds and who is paying,” Downs said. “We want to pay our share, but we don’t want to pay more than our share.”

Early voting began in West Point on Monday and will continue through Nov. 3. Polls will be open Nov. 7 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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LaFayette defense paving the way to success
LaFayette defense paving the way to success

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LaFAYETTE — In 2016, the LaFayette Bulldogs established an all-time school and local record of 646 points and it was the offense that rang up almost all the headlines. A year later, it’s the Bulldogs defense which has been the strength of the team and carried them last week to a hard-earned 21-7 2A-Region 5 win over Reeltown.

The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (6-1, 5-0) are now just one win away from setting up a showdown with No. 2 Lanett Oct. 27 for the region championship for the second straight season.

LaFayette’s defense has been stellar all year led by Lajaeron Bryant, Omar Boston, Corey Boston, Julius Bullard, Omar Turner and others.

In a 21-7 win over Reeltown last week, Bryant had a terrific game, posting 15 tackles as LaFayette shutout Reeltown for the last three quarters of the game.

Four local teams remain same in the polls
Four local teams remain same in the polls

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

MONTGOMERY — All four local high school football teams remained the same in their respective association polls this week.

Lanett (8-0, 5-0) sits at No. 2 in the ASWA AHSAA 2A poll while rival LaFayette (6-1, 5-0) is No. 4.

The Chambers Rebels (8-0, 4-0) are No. 4 in the ASWA AISA poll.

In the GSWA GHSA 4A poll, the surging Troup Tigers (7-0, 3-0) are No. 9 and face region rival and No. 10-ranked Cedartown in a showdown Friday on the road.

If Troup can defeat Cedartown, the Tigers will host top-ranked Cartersville for the region championship, Fri., Nov. 3 at Callaway Stadium. If that occurs, it will be the second successive season Troup and Cartersville will have clashed in the title game.

Lanett, LaFayette, Chambers and Troup are an all-time area best 29-1 on the season.

Valley, Springwood and Beulah are all involved Friday in games with playoff implications.

Lanett's Pollard named to Team Alabama
Lanett's Pollard named to Team Alabama

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

MONTGOMERY — Lanett High two-sport, two-time, first-team, all-state standout Anquaevious “Long” Pollard has been selected by Alabama high school football coaches to Team Alabama for the 31st Annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game Dec. 16 in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Pollard has enjoyed one of the greatest prep careers in AHSAA history in being a dominating figure in both football and basketball.

He has 106 career receptions for over 2,000 yards and 43 TDs, one of the most in AHSAA history.

He’ll be one of the top targets for Team Alabama in the showdown against Mississippi.

On the basketball court, Pollard has led Rev. Richard Carter’s team to back-to-back 2A state championships in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Lanett will be the 2A favorite once again this winter to claim its third straight state championship.

Obituaries

Obituaries for Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Obituaries for Wednesday, October 18, 2017

MRS. JONES

LaGRANGE — Ann Higginbothem Jones, 85, formerly of Lanett, passed away Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at the Florence Hand Home in LaGrange, Ga.

Visitation will take place at the Zachry Center, West Point United Methodist Church, at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 20, 2017, followed by a memorial service in the sanctuary at 11 a.m. EDT.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Bluffton Funeral Services, Lanett.

MRS. PRATHER

LANETT — Mrs. Jacquelin Ison Prather, 86, of Lanett died peacefully in her sleep while at her home on Monday, October 9, 2017.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will take place at Reed’s Chapel Baptist Church, West Point, at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday, October 19, 2017.

Jeff Jones Funeral Home in LaFayette handled the arrangements.

MR. TRAMMELL

WEST POINT — Mr. Tommy Trammell, 58, of West Point passed away on Monday, October 16, 2017 at his residence.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 11 a.m. EDT at the Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley. The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 7 until 9 p.m. EDT at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is directing.

Obituaries for Monday, October 16, 2017
Obituaries for Monday, October 16, 2017

MR. BREEDLOVE

VALLEY — Scott Sanders Breedlove, 45, of Valley passed away on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at his home in Valley.

Funeral services were held Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 3 p.m. EDT at the Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with interment in Hillcrest Cemetery. His family received friends at the funeral home on Saturday from 1 p.m. EDT until the service hour.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home directed.

MRS. ELDER

LANETT — Mrs. Lula Pearl Fears Elder of Lanett died Sunday, October 8, 2017 at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley. Funeral services took place Saturday, October 14, 2017. starting at noon from O.H. Ministries, Inc., Lanett.

Davis Memorial Mortuary directed. Public viewing took place on Friday, October 13, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. EDT at Davis Memorial Mortuary Chapel.

MR. MILNER

MILLTOWN — Jerry Delano Milner, 77, passed away at his home in Milltown, Ala. on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

Memorial services for Mr. Milner will be held on the Milltown School ball field on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 11 a.m.CDT with visitation taking place one hour before the service.

Jeff Jones Funeral Home, LaFayette, is in charge of the arrangements.

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