The new home of the West Point Police Department officially opened for business Thursday with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception. Elected officials, merchants, Chamber of Commerce representatives and law enforcement agencies from across the state, shown above, joined the momentous occasion. The new facility is located on West Ninth Street and also houses municipal court services. Purchase and renovation of the existing building was made possible by a loan from the West Point Forward Fund, to be repaid over the next three years. (Photo by David Bell)
By CY WOOD
WEST POINT — The city could be getting some help in the near future handling the high volume of after-hours customer service phone calls.
During Thursday morning's Mayor and City Council work session, City Manager Ed Moon outlined a proposal from Interactive Utility Communications to provide call answering services for the city.
Moon explained that during regular business hours, the city has adequate customer service representatives to handle a high volume of calls. However, after hours and on weekends, the city's 911 dispatcher winds up answering all calls, because there's no one to answer any other city phone lines.
City residents know what number to call if the power is out, but if no one answers, they wind up calling 911, Moon said. And, if there is a major emergency, such as the child who was killed when a tree fell during a storm, the emergency call can't be through because of the other calls.
Interactive Utility Communications would field all the calls coming in on city lines after hours weekdays and on weekends, and would pass the call to the appropriate on-call city employee.
Moon said the service has a lot of technical features, such as text and email notifications through the city's hyperweb system.
Moon said the company indicated it could be up and running by the end of July if the mayor and council approve their proposal.
The service would cost $1,000 a month for up to 400 live call minutes per month. The contract would be for one year, with cancellation thereafter with 90 days' notice.
The city would pay a one-time $1,300 programming set-up fee and $1,000 for training.
Prior to the work session, a public hearing was held on rezoning the property at 208 Sunset Drive from commercial to R-1A. The owner is making the request because the property is actually being used as residential and the rezoning would conform with surrounding property.
Chief Mitt Smith announced that the city would be benefiting from federal grant funds to replace older self-contained breathing apparatus for the fire department.
Smith said the city and Troup County applied for and received a grant in the amount of $633,600 for the devices. The city will pay a local match of $14,400, which Smith said was available. The SCBA cost $6,600 each, so the city is getting $158,400 in equipment (24 units) for the $14,400.
Moon updated the mayor and council on the renovations at Virginia Cook Day Care Center. Moon said electrical work is 90 percent complete, all the glass is in, the HVAC is in, a primer coat has been applied and the plumbing is in except for fixtures. He added that the project should be completed about on schedule.
Councilwoman Gloria Marshall asked if anything was being done about extending hours at the city's new splash park. Moon said the hours could be extended and he would talk with the rec department about having a free family evening at the splash park.
By DAVID BELL
WEST POINT — Former West Point Mayor and dentist Drew Ferguson IV continues to attract high-profile endorsements in his campaign for Congress. The latest comes from former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
"In politics, there are candidates with a record of doing things and others with a history of talking about things," Cain said in a statement released by the Ferguson campaign. "Drew Ferguson has helped rebuild a community knocked into the dirt by Washington trade deals, taxes and regulations. His record as a mayor and small businessman makes him a better candidate than any ten legislators who talk and campaign for a living."
"Herman Cain is a national champion of conservatism, but he is also someone with nearly unparalleled success in business," Ferguson responded in a statement. "His faith in me means a lot and I am excited to have his support."
Ferguson is facing former State Sen. Mike Crane of Newnan in a runoff election July 26 to replace retiring Georgia Third District Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, who has endorsed Ferguson as his successor. The winner will face Democrat Angela Pendley in the Nov. 8 general election.
Early voting for the runoff begins Tuesday, July 5 and ends July 22. Registered voters in Troup County can cast ballots at the government center in downtown LaGrange between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Residents in Harris County can vote at the Hamilton office of Elections Superintendent Sherrial Jarrett during the same days and times.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
BEULAH — The Beulah 11-12 majors baseball team continues to be the hottest team in the area as the local squad is unbeaten and 5-0 heading to the state tournament starting Thurs., July 14.
The Beulah stars have run over the opposition, outscoring them in five games by a staggering 56-9 count.
Beulah may not be the ’27 Yankees but they’re coming close with some incredible numbers in its current five-game run to the state tourney.
The team has a balanced offense and defense as they’ve recorded 41 strike outs (8.2 per game) and 11 walks (2.2 pg).
Offensively, Beulah has hit 30 singles, 11 doubles, seven triples and four home runs.
•Beulah began its five-game win streak with a 9-1 win over rival Valley.
•In Game 2, Beulah pounded Beauregard by a 12-4 score.
•Beulah ran its record to 3-0 in sub-district play with a 15-0 run rule win over Valley in the title game.
•In Game 4, Beulah routed traditional power Dadeville by a 10-1 score in district play.
•The Beulah stars then came back once again and rolled over Dadeville 10-3 to run its mark to 5-0 to claim the district championship.
It was Beulah’s first-ever district baseball championship.
The team will now travel to Bellingrath for the state tournament starting Thurs., July 14. Beulah will play Dadeville in the first game.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
MONTGOMERY — The Lanett Panthers open the first of what will be three 7-on-7 skills camps this summer when coach Clifford Story’s team travels to Alabama State University today for a multischool skills camp competition.
The camp today at ASU is one of three the Panthers will participate in and see where they stand against several top-notch programs.
Led by senior and three-year starter Tre Story at quarterback, Lanett will feature a potent offense, some excellent wideouts and good defensive play.
Lanett is looking to bounce back from tough seasons in 2014 and 2015 and earn a playoff spot, challenge for the region championship and make a big run in the AHSAA 2A state playoffs.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
WEST POINT — They won’t be hosting any all-star baseball and softball events this summer but the West Point Recreation Department will still have nine all-star teams competing for district and state honors, George Greene, West Point Recreation Department assistant director, told The Times-News Wednesday.
West Point will field six baseball all-star teams, including 10U, 10-11, 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U.
In addition, they’ll also field three girls softball all-star teams, including 10U, 12U and 16U.
Greene said the 10U and 12U baseball all-stars are competing this week at the District IV tourney in Peachtree City.
“The 10U and 12U baseball teams are the only two teams playing district tourneys,” Greene noted. “All of our other teams (four additional baseball and three softball) are advancing directly to state tourneys." State tournament play will open Sat., July 9, Greene added.
LaFAYETTE — Ms. Mae Greer, 86, of LaFayette passed away Thursday, June 30, 2016, at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala.
Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.
WEST POINT — Mr. Myron Q. Jackson, 76, of West Point passed away Wednesday, June 22, 2016, at West Georgia Hospice in LaGrange, Ga.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 2 at 11 a.m. at Bethlehem Baptist Church. “As I Knew Him” will be given by Dr. W. T. Edmondson, officiating with Brother Anthony Hixson, Mr. Jothaniel Zeigler, Mr. Donald Gilliam and Ms. Augusta Jackson-Wadlington. Burial will follow at Marseilles Cemetery.
M.W. Lee Mortuary of West Point is in charge of arrangements.
ROANOKE, Ala. — Mrs. Myra Seawright, 81, of Roanoke, formerly of Valley, died Tuesday, June 28, 2016, at Traylor's Nursing Home in Roanoke.
Graveside services will be held at 11:30 a.m. CDT Friday, July 1 at the Old Fredonia Cemetery with the Rev. Don Downs officiating.
Jeff Jones Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.
LANETT — Mr. Grady E. Smith of Lanett passed away Thursday, June 30, 2016, while residing at the Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home in Pell City, Ala.
A funeral service will be held in the chapel at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley Saturday, July 2 at 2:30 p.m. with burial to follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Lanett.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is in charge of arrangements.
LANETT — Mrs. Annie Lois Tyson, 82, of Lanett passed away Thursday, June 30, 2016, at Bethany House in Auburn, Ala.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 2 at 11 a.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with the Rev. Iris Adams and the Rev. Aubrey Adams officiating. Burial will follow at Resthaven Memorial Gardens.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley is in charge of arrangements.
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Mr. Charlie Barber Jr. of Stone Mountain passed away Wednesday, June 29, 2016, at DeKalb Medical Center in Decatur, Ga.
Arrangements will be announced by Lakes-Dunson-Robertson Funeral Home in LaGrange.
DAVISTON, Ala. — Mr. Johnnie R. Slaughter, 62, of Daviston died Monday, June 27, 2016, at University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham, Ala.
Funeral services will be held Friday, July 1 at 1 p.m. CDT at Leander Baptist Church in Daviston with the Rev. Calvin Trammell officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.
Vines Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.
No obituaries were reported today.