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June 26, 2017
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Relay for Life raises over $38,000 despite inclement weather
Relay for Life raises over $38,000 despite inclement weather

Though inclement weather was a factor Friday, the Greater Valley Area Relay for Life still generated more than $38,000 to aid the fight against cancer. The event was held at the Chambers County Agricultural Arena in LaFayette, and spearheaded by the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce. Activities began with an opening ceremony followed by a survivors lap, where those who battled cancer and beat the odds led the relay’s starting march (shown above). The event also featured live entertainment, food vendors, children’s games and various raffles. The evening concluded with a luminary ceremony in memory of those who lost their lives to cancer. (Photo by David Bell)

Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project dedicates Home No. 37
Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project dedicates Home No. 37


WEST POINT — Despite a lot of rain last week, volunteers working on Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project (CFCP) Home No. 37 got lots of work done. In fact, the house is much closer to being completely finished at this point than are most newly constructed Fuller Center homes.

“It’s absolutely done on the outside, and there’s very few things left to do in the inside,” said House Captain Charlie Thell at Friday afternoon’s home dedication ceremony. “It will be ready to move into very soon. At this point, it’s the closest to being completely finished of any house I’ve ever had a part in building.”

Thell and fellow co-captain Tim DuBois are both from St. Cloud, Minn., and have been to many Fuller Center builds all over the U.S. They’ve been to the Valley several times, and it’s one of their favorite places to go. “Everything is so well organized here, and the community is really behind what’s going on,” Thell said. “You don’t have that everywhere you go. I’m glad (CFCP Executive Director) Kim (Roberts) invited us down.”

For the house to be this close to being finished, a volunteer work crew of approximately 40 people did some great work over the 10-day period the house came up from a concrete slab. Taking part in this were West Point first responders, employees of CharterBank and West and the men of New Birth Ministries, Valley.

“I really, really like what’s been done here,” said CFCP President Curt Johnson in addressing a crowd gathered for Friday’s 3 p.m. dedication ceremony. “It’s been a great project, and I want to thank our sponsors and our volunteers. Even with the weather we had this week we have a house that’s very close to being completely finished, and we’re grateful for that.”

Sponsors include Home Depot of LaGrange, which provided $25,000 for the project through the Home Depot Foundation, and CharterBank, which contributed $10,000 through the Charter Foundation. Both sponsors have partnered with the CFCP in numerous local builds.

Since its founding in the early 1950s, CharterBank (then known as First Federal) has helped local people into having home ownership. At the outset, people were purchasing the homes where they’d been living in the local mill villages.

John Brown of New Birth Ministries thanked the CFCP for the opportunity to volunteer for the project. The organization is a men’s Christian discipleship ministry with approximately 25 members. “We can do work like this,” he said. “I want to commend each one of the men we had here this week. We do everything on biblical principles, and they did that well here this week.”

Derrick Staley of the West Point Fire Department told the crowd that he and the other first responders from the city were glad to have taken part in the project. “We were glad we were able to come out and offer assistance,” he said.

When the few remaining details of the inside work get taken care of, the new home at 609 Frank Hall Jr. Street will be the home for Carla Ross, a nine-year veteran of the U.S. Army, and her seven-year-old son, K’Hairi.

It almost didn’t happen. One of Carla’s relatives told her about the opportunities made available by the CFCP for home ownership, but she was hesitant. "She was reluctant to talk to Kim out of fear she’d be turned down,” Curt Johnson explained.

Her cousin was persistent, Carla finally agreed to go see Kim and today has the opportunity to own her own home. Fuller Center clients make monthly mortgage payments like any other homeowner, but it’s in a price range they can afford.

Steve Tramell told the gathering that it was a privilege for him to be serving as the mayor of West Point. “It’s a really special place,” he said.

Tramell said that good, affordable housing is hard to come by. “It takes an organization like the Fuller Center to do it,” he said. “The two weeks we spent here will make a lifetime of difference for Carla and K’Hairi.

A special thank you went out to the local churches and individuals who brought food to the work crew every day. Among these were West Point First Methodist, West Point First Baptist, Shawmut Methodist, Freedom Church of Lanett, Bethlehem Baptist, Upper Room Church, Matt Livingston, Railroads of West Point, Kevin Johnson of ALFA Insurance and Mayor Tramell.

Pastor Bogey Cotney of the Upper Room Church presented Carla and K’Hairi a new Bible, and House Captains Tim and Charlie gave them a new U.S. flag to fly in front of their new home.

Pastor Cotney said that it really makes a difference when people come together to change someone’s life in a positive way and that’s what’s happened with the construction of this new home. “God empowered us to make that difference,” he said.

Tim and Charlie are veterans and active members of their local VFW chapter in Minnesota. They said they were most proud to present a fellow veteran with a flag. They thanked the volunteers for what they’d done over the past two weeks. “I’ve been doing this for 12 years now,” said Charlie, “and I’ve never been in any other community that comes together like this one does. No task is too big or too small. Everyone wades into it. This is the best build I’ve ever been a part of.”

Charlie said that he believed in uplifting communities. That’s done not just by building one home for one family but by improving neighborhoods by building more homes for more families.

Roberts said that the CFCP still has a lot more work to do in building new homes for deserving people in the Chattahoochee Valley. “Stay close to your telephones,” she said. “I will be calling you when we start our next build, and I want to see each one of you there.”

Police Reports for Monday, June 26, 2017
Police Reports for Monday, June 26, 2017

Lanett Police

LANETT — Jimmy Blakes, 28, of Lanett was arrested for failure to appear-traffic.

Elizabeth Heard, 45, of Lanett was arrested for DUI.

Quintavious Lamartez Ridgeway, 26, of Lanett was arrested for failure to pay.

William D. Childers, 36, of Lanett was arrested for failure to appear.

Clifford McClure, 25, of Lanett was arrested for attempting to elude law enforcement.

Reigahn Twana Lashae Stiggers, 20, of Lanett was arrested for assault third degree.

Domestic violence third degree was reported in the 1200 block of First Street.

Theft of property first degree was reported in the 300 block of North Gilmer Avenue.

Assault third degree was reported in the 1200 block of 21st Street SW.

Unlawful breaking and entering a motor vehicle, theft of property fourth degree and criminal mischief second degree were reported in the 300 block of South Third Avenue.

Burglary third degree and theft of property second degree were reported in the 600 block of South Second Avenue.

Domestic violence third degree was reported in the 3400 block of 38th Avenue SW.

Domestic violence third degree was reported in the 1800 block of 68th Court SW.

Criminal trespass second degree and criminal mischief third degree were reported in the 1000 block of South Fifth Street.

Valley Police

VALLEY — James Darien Wilcher, 51, was arrested for theft of property fourth degree.

Jeffery Riddell, 29, of Lanett was arrested for DUI.

Justin Anthony Meadows, 27, of Five Points was arrested for failure to pay-traffic.

Charles Wayne Allen, 75, of Opelika was arrested for DUI.

Harassment was reported in the 2900 block of 20th Avenue.

Theft of property first degree and criminal trespass third degree were reported in the 6100 block of 20th Avenue.

Theft of property second degree and theft of property fourth degree were reported in the 1700 block of 44th Street.

Theft of property fourth degree was reported in the 4300 block of Fairfax Bypass.

Theft of property first degree was reported in the 7600 block of School Street.

West Point Police

WEST POINT — William Cooksey Hester of LaFayette was arrested for DUI.

Criminal trespass was reported on East 10th Street.

Theft was reported on Cleveland Street.

Assault was reported on East Ninth Street.

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Inaugural BCW Basketball Camp set for June 26-30
Inaugural BCW Basketball Camp set for June 26-30

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LANETT — Three local basketball legends will combine over 100 years of high school basketball expertise June 26-30 when Thermond Billinglsea, Rev. Richard Carter and John T. Woody headline the inaugural BCW Basketball Camp held at the Lanett High gym.

The camp features three of the greatest coaches in AHSAA history in Billingslea (Lanett High and Troup High and nearly 40 years), Rev. Carter (Bullock Co., Valley, Greenville, Ga. and Lanett High for 46 years) and Woody (LaFayette High for 35 years).

The Chambers Co. trio have combined for approximately 1,500 wins, five state championships, 12 state final appearances and nearly 25 Final Fours.

“The BCW basketball camp was started to give young men and women an opportunity to enhance their fundamental basketball skills in the areas of ball handling, passing, rebounding and shooting,” said Charlie Williams, girls coach at Lanett High and former standout on Billingslea’s Panthers boys team in the late 1990s. “The camp is named in honor of coach Billingslea, coach Carter and coach Woody, all of whom have been pillars of their communities, as well as leaders in the academic and athletic arena for years.”

Coach Carter is already in the AHSAA Hall of Fame and Billingslea and Woody are also locks for the HOF in the future as well.

“They have coached and mentored thousands of young people, who have gone on to compete at the collegiate level and beyond,” Williams noted.

The camp is open to boys and girls ages 8-18.

Registration will take place on site beginning at 8 a.m. the first day of camp.

The cost is $50 per camper and two sessions will be held — Session I: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for ages 8-13; and Session II: 2-5 p.m. for ages 14-18.

For additional information, contact camp instructors Charlie Williams (706) 773-2451 or Morris Finley (205) 381-2499.

West Point Recreation to host 10, 11 & 12U baseball tourneys
West Point Recreation to host 10, 11 & 12U baseball tourneys

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

WEST POINT — If the weather will cooperate, we’ll have youth baseball tournament action Saturday at West Point City Park in three different age divisions, George Greene, West Point Recreation Department assistant director, told The Times-News Friday morning.

West Point will serve as host for the 10U, 11U & 12U tournaments.

The 11U West Point all-star team will play Peachtree City at 9 a.m. ET and another game at 11 a.m.

In 12U play, West Point will host Peachtree City at 10 a.m. and 12 noon.

The 10U West Point all-stars will also play Saturday at times to be announced.

Blake Craft takes over as Troup boys basketball coach
Blake Craft takes over as Troup boys basketball coach

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LaGRANGE — The Troup High Tigers didn’t have to go far to find its next boys basketball coach.

It was about 10 miles, in fact, as Blake Craft, an assistant at arch rival LaGrange High for the last five seasons, was recently named as the new boys coach at Troup High.

A native of Conyers and former standout at Heritage High (Ga.) and LaGrange College, Craft also played tennis in college.

He is a high energy coach with a fire and passion for the game.

Troup fans will like what they see on the court next winter with all-out hustle, strong team defensive play and up-tempo, fast break offense.

Craft played a key role in what was a remarkable run of success at LaGrange High for the last five seasons.

He served two years as the ninth grade coach, one as head coach of the middle school program and his last two seasons under coach Mark Veal as the top assistant on the boys varsity.

Craft cut his teeth on a Granger program that is historically been one of the best in GHSA history.

LaGrange has won four state championships, runner-up five other times, claimed 23 all-time region championships and has had a plethora of great college players.

They currently have 12 players in the college ranks, one of the highest totals in all of GHSA basketball.

Craft served under veteran coach Mike Pauley early in his career at LHS and his last two years under coach Veal on the varsity as LaGrange recorded a 49-11 two-year mark, won three successive region championships and four region titles in his five years with the school.

The Heritage High grad has a deep passion and energy for the game, an infectious, positive, can-do attitude and is as hard a worker as you’ll ever find.

In short, Craft was a perfect fit for the Troup High boys basketball program and is excited to take the reigns of the program.

He’s been hard at work this summer meeting with the players and leading skills and conditioning drills.

Troup returns every player from last year in what should be a much improved team this winter.

One of his goals has always been to be a head coach. That’s now reality and he’s excited to put his stamp on the program.

“I believe Troup is a gold mine, Craft said. “We have everyone back on a team that made it to state playoffs for the first time in six years. We have some strong guards coming back with great toughness and leadership. One of the biggest strengths of the team will be the inside presence we have. Our goal for this year is to get better each day, and to trust the process. The kids are really buying into it, and it is fun to watch. I thought Paul Brewer and his staff did a great job last year in starting the rebuild process.”

Craft is trying to lay the foundation for a Tiger boys program which enjoyed tremendous success under coach Thermond Billingslea. Billingslea led the Tigers from 2001-2002 through the 2012-13 season.

The Tigers also went 22-0 in the regular season in the 2004-05 under Billingslea in a GHSA 4A state runner-up 28-2 campaign. The Tigers fell to Dunwoody in the state finals in Macon. ?Billingslea won over 125 games in his 12-year tenure at the school and won 20 or more games five times.

The program fell on hard times the last four seasons, sporting a 29-69 overall record, including 10-37 in region play.

But Troup made progress last year, going 10-18 and 4-8 in region play to earn a No. 4 seed in the 4A state playoffs.

It was Troup’s first state playoff appearance in the last five seasons.

The Tigers lost five games by six points or less and with every player returning from last season, Troup could have a solid season this winter.

Craft will have all the pieces in place to do just that.

Troup has won three region titles in its history (1966, 1968 and 1974.)


Obituaries for Monday, June 26, 2017
Obituaries for Monday, June 26, 2017


CAMP HILL, Ala. — Mrs. Evelyn L. Bennett, 74, of Camp Hill passed away Monday, June 19, 2017, at Lake Martin Community Hospital in Dadeville, Ala.

Funeral services will be held Monday, June 26 at 1 p.m. CDT at Ebenezer District Center in Camp Hill with Elder James Rowe officiating. Burial will follow at New Canaan Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery in Camp Hill.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.


VALLEY — Ms. Mary Ruth Waites Duffee, 90, of Valley passed away Sunday, June 25, 2017, at EAMC-Lanier Nursing Home in Valley.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, June 27 at 2 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with burial following at Johnson Memorial Gardens.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is in charge of arrangements.


OPELIKA, Ala. — Ms. Mary Alice Russell, 69, of Opelika died Saturday, June 17, 2017, at her residence.

Funeral services were held at Pine Grove Baptist Church in Dadeville Saturday, June 24 at 1 p.m. CDT with the Rev. G.H. Pulliam officiating. Burial followed at the church cemetery.

Vines Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.


LaFAYETTE — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mrs. Louise Smith, 65, of LaFayette, who passed away Sunday, June 25, 2017, at Bethany House in Auburn, Ala.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.


VALLEY _ Mr. Mark Tillery, 49, of Valley passed away Sunday, June 25, 2017, at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Ga.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley.


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