Late Tuesday afternoon, new officers, board members and volunteers for the Chattahoochee Humane Society met in the Nettie & Hugh Jordan Room at Bradshaw-Chambers County Library in Valley to discuss plans for an upcoming Casino NIght fundraiser, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 1. It should be a lot of fun for everyone and raise money for a good cause. Shown above, in front from left, are Shirlee Ausman, secretary; Sharon Hawkins, president; April Parrish, vice president; and Jetta Wood, board member. On Row 2, l-r, are Barbara Clifton, volunteer, and board members Gayla Blades, Gerry Slaughter and Scarlet Beggs. On the top row, l-r, are Shon Sims, shelter director; Cale Parrish, manager of The Miserly Mutt pet store; Lana Wiggins, elected representative for the City of Valley; Carol Ikovich, Internet support; and Don Cleveland, attorney. Not shown are Wayne Scroggs, treasurer, and Debbie Wood, elected representative for Chambers County. (Photo by Wayne Clark)
By WAYNE CLARK
LaGRANGE — At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Troup County Commission recognized a host of people for outstanding accomplishments. The regular agenda included the recognition of Troup High student Jared Winkles, July Employee of the Month Sheila Matthews and service awards for employees who have been with Troup County from five to 25 years.
The presentations began with a surprise announcement that was not listed on the agenda. County Commission Chairman Richard Wolfe presented Commissioner Richard English a plaque in recognition for his being the longest serving county commissioner in the state. English recently received an award from the Georgia Association of Black County Officials on having achieved this distinction.
"He just doesn't look old enough to be the longest serving county official in Georgia," Wolfe said in presenting him the award. English received a standing ovation from his fellow commissioners and from a large crowd gathered inside the commission meeting room on the first floor of the Government Center.
Shelia Matthews has been with the county for 22 years. She's currently the assistant administrator for juvenile court. "She gets along well with everyone and is a master in communicating complicated issues," Wolfe said.
The nine people receiving employee service awards have collectively attained a total of 239,200 work hours. They include Ricky Ward, a sergeant in the marshal's office, who has been with the county 25 years; Kevin Norred and Keith Bonner, who have each been with the fire department for 20 years; Timothy Lee Huguley, 15 years with the correctional institute; County Engineer James Emery, 10 years; Sgt. Jeff Duran, 10 years with the sheriff's office, and Carmen Scarborough, E-911; Deputy Adam Richardson, sheriff's office, and Sgt. Jeremy Bolt, county jail, each five years with Troup County.
In business conducted at the session, the commissioners unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Cheryl May as the county clerk and Sonya Conroy and Valerie West as deputy clerks. This is some reorganization that follows the recent departure of former Clerk/Chief Financial Officer Scott Turk, who took a job on the west coast. Duties have been split with Hurbert "Buddy" Cashwell being named the financial officer and May the county clerk.
The commissioners approved a resolution formally adopting a Capital Improvements Element (CIE) update and financial report for 2014. This is required of Georgia counties by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to be in compliance with the Development Fee Impact Act. In many cases, counties have not been charging impact fees since the national economic downturn beginning in 2008.
Many counties are now resuming this due to the economy having improved.
Another resolution approved by the commissioners puts up for sale some county-owned land on Swanson Drive in LaGrange. The land was conveyed to the county by a previous land owner in order to avoid paying taxes on it. The land is described as an overgrown lot with an abandoned house on it. "We'll put it up for bids," County Manager Tod Tentler said. "The successful bidder will have 60 days to get rid of the house."
The commissioners backed a resolution approving Boatwright Certified Public Accountants, LaGrange, to do its annual audit for a fee of $145,000. This is up around $15,000 from previous audits to cover costs associated with some new software for the tax commissioner's office and a one-time fee of $5,000 for converting a large amount of account numbers between now and Dec. 31.
The commissioners approved its portion of an agreement with the City of LaGrange to permit the Downtown (LaGrange) Development Authority to operate Boyd Park and Amphitheater once the $7.5 million facility opens in downtown LaGrange.
The three parties will each have to have liability insurance on the site once it goes into operation. The county has a commitment to this since Troup County Recreation Department will be having activities three.
Wolfe asked County Attorney Jerry Willis if the county could seek some kind of firewall protecting it from legal issues relating to Boyd Park once the Downtown Development Authority begins operating it.
"Liability bothers me, even with the Swanson Drive property," he said.
Willis said the Swanson Drive property wasn't something the county anticipated having. "We need to get rid of it," he said.
Commissioner Tripp Foster said it was his understanding that House Bill 489 had given Georgia counties responsibilities in such areas. "I would hate for us to get caught up in any kind of issue there," he said.
Wolfe said that he's concerned that if there's ever an accident at Boyd Park the city, county and Development Authority could all be sued. "Let's study this and see what's at stake," he said.
By THE TIMES-NEWS
VALLEY — Bradshaw Chambers County Library is hosting a trip to Italy Oct. 8-18, 2015.
This is the second international trip offered by Chambers County Library through Collette Vacations.
“We are taking 26 travelers to Ireland on Nov. 11-18 and had an overwhelming interest from our patrons to visit Italy next. We are very excited to offer these travel opportunities to our community,” said Connie Beilfuss, adult program coordinator.
This 10-day “Discover Tuscany” trip guided by Collette Vacations begins with an overnight flight to Rome, Italy, the cosmopolitan capital of Italy. On the second day, travelers will get acquainted during a festive welcome dinner at a local restaurant where regional foods, fun Italian melodies and fine Italian wines kick off the Tuscan adventure.
Day 3 includes a tour of the medieval walled city of Assisi, the birthplace of the patron saint of Italy, St. Francis, and a tour of the magnificent Basilica of St. Francis. That evening will include traveling through the rolling countryside of Tuscany, ending in the spa resort town of Montecatini Terme, where guests will stay for the next six nights.
On Sunday, the group will enjoy a guided visit to Lucca, Tuscany’s best-kept secret, which offers Renaissance walls, Romanesque churches and medieval streets flanked by towers and delightful squares. A visit to the Basilica di San Frediano precedes a tour of the home of well-known composer Giacomo Puccini where you will see the piano on which he composed Turandot. After lunch, depart for Borgo a Mozzano and view the remarkable Ponte del Diavolo (Devil’s Bridge) and view the Gothic Line, built by the Germans as one of their last lines of defense during WWII. At the Museum of Liberation, visitors will see the actual fortifications and bunkers.
On Monday, discover the medieval village of San Gimignano in Tuscany. Enjoy free time for lunch and perhaps shopping before a special visit to a Tuscan winery for an opportunity to sample a selection of the local wines. During the visit, learn about the art of winemaking and the process of making Italian olive oil.
Tuesday, day 6, will be spent in Florence, the “Cradle of the Italian Renaissance.” A local guide highlights many of the city’s priceless treasures including the Academy Gallery, which houses Michelangelo’s monumental statue of David. At the Piazza del Duomo, which is the center of religious life in medieval Florence, travelers will see the impressive Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the gilded bronze doors of the Baptistery dedicated to St. John.
Day 7 will be spent relaxing and enjoying the local flavor of Montecatini Terme. There is also an opportunity to enjoy an optional excursion to the beautiful city of Siena, which includes a walking tour through Siena’s narrow Gothic streets and stunning palaces, mansions and the historic Piazza del Campo.
On Thursday, day 8, travelers return to Florence for a delightful day of exploration of the many treasures of this great city. Visit one of its world-class museums, indulge in a Tuscan lunch or shop for local crafts — the choice is yours! That evening, guests will attend a Tuscan feast featuring traditional cuisine and savory wines while overlooking the magical Tuscan countryside.
On the 9th day, travelers will depart for Rome. Upon arrival, you may enjoy the city at your leisure or you will have the opportunity to enjoy an optional tour of Vatican City to visit the collections of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. That final evening, join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner, complete with Italian music, to celebrate the end of a memorable and unforgettable region of Tuscany, which boasts to have a 70 degree average daytime temperatures and is in the middle of the fall harvest season for both grapes and olives.
This 10-day trip costs $3,699 (double rate) and includes airfare from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, ground transportation to and from the airport, tours, hotel accommodations, 13 meals and all taxes.
If you wish to travel to Italy with the Bradshaw Library Travelers, your $250 deposit secures your reservation and your final balance is not due until Aug. 8, 2015. If you have any questions about this trip or wish to attend an informational meeting, date to be announced, at Bradshaw Library, please contact Connie Beilfuss at (334) 768-2161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Scott Sickler
LANETT — If the Lanett Panthers are going to win back-to-back region titles for the first time since claiming four straight from 1992-95, a road win over region rival Woodland Friday will be a must.
Coach Clifford Story’s team (2-2, 1-1) is coming off a stunning 49-35 loss last week to region rival Ranburne High Bulldogs.
If Lanett is going to defend its region championship from a year ago, they’ll need to win out with Woodland, Randolph Co., LaFayette and Reeltown still left in 2A-Region 5 play.
The pressure is on Lanett and look for a senior-laden Panthers team to answer the challenge Friday.
Depending on what Ranburne does, Lanett may also need help to claim an all-important region championship.
•In other high school action this week, the Valley Rams host 7A Smiths Station, the Springwood Wildcats entertain AISA 1A Cornerstone Christian, and the Troup Tigers play the 5A Carver Tigers Thursday at Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
Coach Marshon Harper’s Valley Rams are looking to get back on the winning path Friday and it won’t be easy against a strong Smiths Station team at home.
Valley fell last week to Chelsea in its homecoming game 43-20 but the Rams will have to put together its best game of the season Friday in order to win.
Coach Thomas Hill and the Springwood Wildcats kept its postseason hopes alive last week after an impressive 48-14 win over Northside Methodist of Dothan.
The Wildcats host Cornerstone Christian Friday in a non-region contest as Springwood hopes to continue to build confidence and make a run in region play and earn a playoff berth.
Coach Lynn Kendall and the Troup Tigers dropped a hard-fought 28-21 game to Harris Co. last week and the schedule doesn’t get any easier this week as well in facing the 5A state-ranked Carver High Tigers Thursday at Memorial Stadium.
The Tigers ground game has been outstanding as it was last season when Troup ran for well over 3,000 yards.
In just three games this season, Troup has 763 yards rushing and nine running TDs.
Troup will need to play its best game of the season to upend a solid Carver team Thursday.
•In other games Friday, Beulah hosts Fultondale, LaFayette plays at Ranburne and Chambers hosts Lowndes Academy.
Coach Jarrod Wooten and the Beulah Bobcats picked up a huge 12-0 region win on the road last week at B.B. Comer.
It was just what the Bobcats needed to be rewarded for all their hard work with a big region victory.
Beulah will have its hands full this week against a very strong Fultondale team.
“Fultondale is probably right there with Montgomery Academy as the top teams in our region,” Wooten noted. “They are extremely athletic and physical. We have a great plan but we must be able to execute it on Friday night,” said Wooten.
“We’re working and improving daily,” says Wooten. “Fultondale is a team with lots of speed and that creates matchup problems. They have become a great program going back to Ardarius Stewart and his younger brother is on the team now making big plays. They took Lanett down to the last second in the playoffs last season and I expect them to play with a lot of confidence. We will have to contain their speed and keep the ball away from their offense.”
At LaFayette, coach James Lucas and the LaFayette Bulldogs are looking to get over what was a disappointing shutout loss last week to region rival Horseshoe Bend.
The Bulldogs have got to get its offense in gear as they did in a 35-0 season-opener win over Loachapoka.
LaFayette will have a tough task ahead of them with a game at Ranburne Friday.
Ranburne defeated No. 5 Lanett on the road last week 49-35.
Coach Jason Allen and the Chambers Academy Rebels earned its first win and a big region victory over Ashford on the road last week 40-15.
The win kept CA in the 1A postseason hunt and gave the team a much-needed confidence boost.
The Rebels host Lowndes Academy Friday at Torbert Field.
By Scott Sickler
LANETT — The Springwood Wildcats junior varsity football team clicked on all cylinders Tuesday evening as coach Alan Watkins squad rolled to a big 44-6 win over the visiting Lakeside Academy Chiefs.
Christopher Lancaster led the Wildcats offense with 136 yards on just eight carries and scored on an 80-yard run on the first play from scrimmage.
Lancaster had three TDs in the win.
Andrew Davis tacked on a 48-yard scoring run and tossed a 52-yard scoring strike to Lancaster.
In addition, Harrison Spivey added a 66-yard fumble recovery scoop and score for Springwood.
Wyatt Albertson scored on a punt return for the Wildcats as well.
Defensively, Albertson led the way with six tackles while Kyle Campbell tallied five stops.
Jonathan Davis recorded two tackles and a forced fumble.
By Wayne Clark
VALLEY — The bad combination of too many turnovers, missed opportunities and a really good Chelsea High Hornets football team to deal with cost Valley High dearly in Friday night’s homecoming loss at Ram Stadium. The visitors from Shelby County capitalized off four turnovers to jump out to leads of 22-7 at halftime and 36-7 in the third quarter to send the Rams reeling to their first loss of the season by a 43-20 final score.
Four Valley turnovers led directly to three Chelsea scores, and you simply can’t do that against a team with the offensive firepower of the Hornets, who’re now 4-0 on the year. Running back Zalon Reynolds ran for 180 yards for Chelsea and scored on runs of 57 and 72 yards. Quarterback Matthew Marquet had over 120 yards passing and wideout Tyler Blackburn had scoring catches of 80, 32 and 14 yards for the Hornets.
Valley quarterback Matravious “Tray Tray” Williams had a good game for Valley but had too much scoring on the part of Chelsea to overcome to keep Valley undefeated on the season. Williams passed the ball for 156 yards and ran it for 117 yards and two scores. He accounted for 273 of the team’s 389 all-purpose yards. He also had seven tackles on defense.
Inside linebacker Japai Robinson had a great game on defense for Valley, totaling 16 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. Tren Stringer and Keon Meadows each had a sack for the Ram defense.
Meadows finished the game with seven total tackles. Tyriec Martin and Rye Shiver each had eight stops, Deangelo Dunn six and Stringer, Jeremiah Darden and Keishon Moody each with four tackles.
With the loss, the Rams now head into the buzz saw portion of their schedule, which includes games against the likes of Smiths Station, Opelika and Benjamin Russell in their next four tilts.
The game was delayed approximately one hour due to lightning and when it got under way, the Rams had the first scoring threat on a long passing play from Williams to Harper Power. The play covered some 52 yards and gave the Rams a first and goal on the five. They were in great shape to score first but had their first missed opportunity of the game when they fumbled it away on the next play. The ball rolled into the end zone with the visitors making the recovery just acoss the goal line, giving them the ball on the 20.
On the first play of the series lighting struck, not literally from the sky but in the form of a pass from Marquet to Blackburn. It was nothing fancy, Marquet simply turned and tossed the ball toward the sideline to a receiver who was a couple of yards behind the line of scrimmage near the sideline. Blackburn madea move on a defender and was off down the visiting sideline for the game’s first score, showing some blazing speed in getting away from Ram defenders. Tyler Thomas’ point-after kick gave the Hornets a 7-0 lead with 2:53 showing in the opening period.
Instead of being ahead 7-0, a fumble and a poorly defended play had the Rams down by that score.
On Valley’s next series, two runs by Williams moved the ball from the 19 to the 33 and a first down. A false start then set back the Rams to the 28 before disaster struck in the form of another turnover, this time after a completed pass for a short gain. Chelsea linebacker Darren Christian recovered on the Valley 32 and just like that the visitors were in great shape to take a two-TD lead.
They did that four plays later on a pass from Marquet to Darrell Foster on the first play of the second quarter. The PAT failed, leaving the score 13-0 Chelsea’s favor with 11:45 left before halftime.
The Rams found themselves in an early hole but responded with an 81-yard scoring drive to cut the margin to six points, 13-7. The drive was highlighted by a 40-yard run by Williams and a nice pass from Williams to Brewer that gave the Rams a first down on the Hornet 14. A couple of plays later Williams scored on a six-yard run around right end. Bobby Colley Jr.’s extra point made the score 13-7 with 7:53 left in the half.
Valley stopped Chelsea on their next offensive series, but found themselves backed up near their own goal when a Hornet punt was downed on the three. They couldn’t move it and misfortune again reared its ugly head when on fourth down a mishandled snap was kicked out of the back of the end zone by the punter. This gave the visitors two more points on a safety, extending their lead to 15-7 with 4:44 left in the half.
Chelsea then put the ball in play on Valley’s 47 following a free kick and drove it in for another score, extending their lead to 15 points, 22-7 late in the half. The Rams looked like they might force a field goal try when a bad snap on a second-and-goal play from the two put the Hornets back on the 13, but on third and goal from there Chelsea pulled off a well-executed play to get the touchdown.
Marquet found Blackburn cutting across the field from the right and hit him with a short pass near the Valley 10. The fleet receiver then cut back toward the pylon, making it in for Chelsea’s third TD of the half.
Down by 15 points at intermission, Valley was actually in better position than they were a week ago in Oxford, when they pulled out an amazing come-from-behind win. Then, they were down by 18 points, 21-3, and on the road. This time they have a 15-point deficit at home.
Last week, Oxford made some third-quarter mistakes that kept Valley in it. This time, Valley made the mistakes. Those mistakes turned a 15-point hole into one that was 29 points deep.
Things appeared to be going Valley’s way early in the third period. After stopping the Hornets on their opening possession of the half, the Rams took over in great field position, on the Chelsea 40, following a very short punt.
For the second week in a row, it looked like Valley was going to make a second-half comeback!
Runs by Williams and Tyree Dardy gave Valley a first down on the 30 but from there the drive bogged down. On fourth and nine from the 29, Williams almost had a spectacular play to keep the drive going. On a passing play, he was almost sacked for a big loss but broke away and made it to the sideline. For a split second it looked like the big guy might score, but a Hornet defender managed to get to him and bring him down just short of the first down.
It was a great effort by Williams but it came up one yard short. The Hornets took over on their 20, having dodged a big bullet.
Once again, Valley’s defense played great, forcing the visitors into a three-and-out. Following a punt, the Rams took over in good field position. They had the ball with a first down near midfield before that dreaded turnover bug hit them again.
The ball came loose on a wide play to the left side of the field. A scramble ensue with the visitors claiming the ball at the Valley 33.
As good teams often do, Chelsea struck for the home run on the first play after the turnover and got it when Marquet found Blackburn wide open on a skinny post, slanting in from the left side of the field. A 33-yard pitch and catch and successful PAT made the score 29-7 Chelsea with 5:33 left in the third period.
Just when it looked like Valley might be able to make it 22-14, having that turnover and quick score go against you was a real killer.
The Rams couldn’t move it on their next possession and got bad break on third and five when it appeared that receiver Broski Peterson was hit before the ball got there on a pass play. As Valley’s luck would have it on this night there was no flag.
Valley punted it away and very quickly, Chelsea extended its advantage to 36-7 when Zalon Reynolds got free on a 47-yard scoring run off the left side of the line. Thomas’ fourth successful PAT in five tries padded the Hornet lead to 29 points with 2:45 left in the third quarter.
Though pretty much out of it by now, Valley did show some pride by driving the ball 64 yards on their next possession to make it 36-13. A couple of obvious interference calls helped (They did throw the flag this time!) and Williams did find receivers Co-Man Brewer and Zachary Miles open for big gains toward the Chelsea goal.
Williams got his second TD run of the game, this time from five yards out around right end to narrow the score. The PAT was blocked in the middle of the line to leave the score 36-13 with 12.5 seconds left in the third period.
In the fourth quarter, Valley stopped a Chelsea threat at the Ram 16 on a fumble recovery by Rye Shiver. From there, Valley rode Williams’ passing arm across midfield before losing it on downs at the Chelsea 25. Co-Man Brewer, Jalen Pruitt and LaGarrian Hutchinson made some key catches on the drive.
The Hornets got their final score on a 72-yard run by Reynolds off the left side of the line. Thomas’ PAT extended Chelsea’s lead to 30 points, 43-13, with 3:25 left in the game.
In the game’s final minutes, T.J. Lowe led the Rams on a 65-yard scoring march to make it a little closer. Lowe had some good runs from the quarterback position on the series and got the score on a one-yard run with 44.5 seconds left in the game. He accounted for 55 yards on the drive. Bobby Colley Jr. booted through the extra point to make the score 43-20.
The Rams attempted an on-side kick to have one more go at it on offense, but the ball didn’t go the required ten yards.
This week, Valley will be at home against the Smiths Station Panthers, a team that was walloped at home 48-0 by Prattville last Friday night. The Rams will then have an open date on Sept. 26 before taking to the road the following Friday to Chilton County.
WEST POINT — Mrs. Diane Davidson Cook, 79, of West Point died Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church of West Point with the Rev. Jerry Ledbetter officiating. Burial will follow at Marseilles Cemetery.
McCarthy Funeral Home of West Point is handling arrangements.
VALLEY — Mr. Norman Dwayne Daniel, 52, of Valley died Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Statesboro, Ga.
Funeral services are planned for Thursday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with the Rev. Rusty Tate officiating.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.
VALLEY — Mrs. Imogene "Jean" Williams, 86, of Valley died Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, at her residence in Fairfax.
Funeral services are planned for Friday, Sept. 19 at 11 a.m. at Fairfax United Methodist Church in Valley with the Rev. Ian Conerly officiating. Burial will follow at Fairfax Cemetery.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.
LaFAYETTE — Mr. Robert L. Barker, 72, of LaFayette died Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, at his residence.
Funeral services are planned for Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m. CDT at Auburn-Opelika Metro Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Opelika with Elder James Hudson, pastor, officiating. Burial will follow at Handy Cemetery in LaFayette.
Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.
VALLEY — Mrs. Martha Anne Whittaker Gaches (Nana) of Valley died Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, at EAMC-Lanier Nursing Home in Valley, where she had been a resident since June.
A memorial service is planned for Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. at Plant City Baptist Church, with the Rev. Brad Reed officiating.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
HUGULEY — Mr. William Edward "Buddy" Gainey, 74, of Huguley died Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika.
Funeral services are planned for Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with the Revs. Rusty Letson and Raymond Alexander officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery in Lanett.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.
VALLEY — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mrs. Imogene "Jean" Williams, 86, of Valley, who died Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, at her residence.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.