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July 29, 2015
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THINC Academy holds orientation for staff
THINC Academy holds orientation for staff

Troup County School Superintendent Dr. Cole Pugh welcomed THINC Academy instructors on the opening day of a leadership orientation session. The academy will officially open Thursday with a ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. on the campus of West Georgia Technical College in LaGrange, providing high school students hands-on experience and high tech job training.

By DAVID BELL

LaGRANGE — Instructors and administrators at the THINC College and Career Academy on the campus of West Georgia Technical College in LaGrange began a four-day orientation session Tuesday to discuss leadership and qualities that embody a leader. The orientation is being conducted by representatives from the Fanning Institute at the University of Georgia.

"These classes are designed to help new THINC instructors 'think outside the box' when it comes to leadership. In addition, throughout the school year, academy students will participate in classes that focus on their soft skills to help expand their leadership abilities. The instructors are heading the effort as a different approach to academics and learning that will combine the classroom setting with employee needs in the local business community," said Troup County School Superintendent Dr. Cole Pugh.

The orientation is the last phase of preparation before the THINC Academy officially opens with a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday at 4 p.m. It is a collaboration between West Georgia Technical College and the Troup County School System to provide high school students an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience through hands-on, high tech job training. Students can also take college courses in a variety of career fields toward creation of a better prepared workforce in today's advanced local job market.

Approximately 500 students are enrolled in the inaugural class this fall.

West Point residents will get discount on electricity
West Point residents will get discount on electricity

By CY WOOD

WEST POINT — West Point residents and businesses will be getting some good news in their utility bills — what amounts to a five-percent discount.

During Tuesday evening's work session of the West Point Mayor and City Council, City Manager Ed Moon explained that the city had adjusted its base electrical rates several years ago to keep the power cost adjustment (PCA) from creating big swings in electrical costs from month to month.

This year, he said, the city has not had a PCA on its electrical bills.

That's due to lower costs for electricity and the city running an efficient electrical system.

Now, he said, the city is in a position to offer a negative PCA on electrical bills. That means customers will be getting the equivalent of a five-percent discount on their electrical bills.

"It's something we can give back," he said.

Mayor Drew Ferguson IV commented that it's highly unusual for utility customers to get such a discount, and said the city utility department is doing a good job in delivering electrical service to its customers while taking advantage of the market conditions that have lowered the cost of electricity.

Moon said the city needs to come up with a policy on distributive generation of electricity, where utility customers actually generate power themselves.

Moon said new state legislation requires the city to purchase any excess distributive generation power from its customers, but the city already has more power than it needs, so it is already selling excess power capacity.

He said he would have some officials at the next work session to explain what the city needs to do in addressing this new aspect of being an electricity supplier.

Ferguson said West Point will support efforts by the Georgia Municipal Association to have legislation passed giving municipalities authority to regulate fireworks within the city limits.

Ferguson said he supports the GMA effort, and noted that West Point has had some problems with fireworks, both from a safety and a nuisance standpoint, since the General Assembly legalized fireworks in the city.

Planning and Development Director Sammy Osborne reported on the new downtown riverside park. He said the area has been planted with grass seed, and the grassy areas are being watered twice daily.

The contractor is expected to start work on renovating the old fire station, which will become a performance pavilion in the park, Thursday. He said the street running next to the park will remain closed until the work is completed.

Moon said the project has about $110,000 left in the budget, and with the addition of a splash pad ($75,000), relocating the boat ramp ($48,500) and construction of a walkway connecting the park to the river overlook pavilion ($75,000), the city needs about $198,500 to complete the project.

Moon said the city could ask West Point 2100 for some funding and could use Forward Fund money to complete the project.

Moon said there are three projects under consideration for Forward Fund grants or loans. They include the Virginia Cook Day Care Center building, the West Point Police Department relocation and the downtown riverside park.

Moon said the police department building renovation could be done with a loan from the Forward Fund, which would be repaid through the city general fund. The Virginia Cook building would be a grant, he said.

He asked if the mayor and council were ready for a preliminary budget on the police department building, and was told yes.

In another piece of good news, Moon reported that the Forest Mill apartment project will almost ready for occupancy.

Ferguson reported that the West Point Development Authority at its Monday meeting approved $100,000 in funding for the Troup County College and Career Academy (THINC Academy). Ferguson said this would be a good investment by the WPDA in promoting workforce development in Troup County.

Moon reminded everyone that a public meeting on the city's comprehensive plan update would be held Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the West Point Technology Center on O.G. Skinner Drive.

West Point residents will get discount on electricity
West Point residents will get discount on electricity

By CY WOOD

WEST POINT — West Point residents and businesses will be getting some good news in their utility bills — what amounts to a five-percent discount.

During Tuesday evening's work session of the West Point Mayor and City Council, City Manager Ed Moon explained that the city had adjusted its base electrical rates several years ago to keep the power cost adjustment (PCA) from creating big swings in electrical costs from month to month.

This year, he said, the city has not had a PCA on its electrical bills.

That's due to lower costs for electricity and the city running an efficient electrical system.

Now, he said, the city is in a position to offer a negative PCA on electrical bills. That means customers will be getting the equivalent of a five-percent discount on their electrical bills.

"It's something we can give back," he said.

Mayor Drew Ferguson IV commented that it's highly unusual for utility customers to get such a discount, and said the city utility department is doing a good job in delivering electrical service to its customers while taking advantage of the market conditions that have lowered the cost of electricity.

Moon said the city needs to come up with a policy on distributive generation of electricity, where utility customers actually generate power themselves.

Moon said new state legislation requires the city to purchase any excess distributive generation power from its customers, but the city already has more power than it needs, so it is already selling excess power capacity.

He said he would have some officials at the next work session to explain what the city needs to do in addressing this new aspect of being an electricity supplier.

Ferguson said West Point will support efforts by the Georgia Municipal Association to have legislation passed giving municipalities authority to regulate fireworks within the city limits.

Ferguson said he supports the GMA effort, and noted that West Point has had some problems with fireworks, both from a safety and a nuisance standpoint, since the General Assembly legalized fireworks in the city.

Planning and Development Director Sammy Osborne reported on the new downtown riverside park. He said the area has been planted with grass seed, and the grassy areas are being watered twice daily.

The contractor is expected to start work on renovating the old fire station, which will become a performance pavilion in the park, Thursday. He said the street running next to the park will remain closed until the work is completed.

Moon said the project has about $110,000 left in the budget, and with the addition of a splash pad ($75,000), relocating the boat ramp ($48,500) and construction of a walkway connecting the park to the river overlook pavilion ($75,000), the city needs about $198,500 to complete the project.

Moon said the city could ask West Point 2100 for some funding and could use Forward Fund money to complete the project.

Moon said there are three projects under consideration for Forward Fund grants or loans. They include the Virginia Cook Day Care Center building, the West Point Police Department relocation and the downtown riverside park.

Moon said the police department building renovation could be done with a loan from the Forward Fund, which would be repaid through the city general fund. The Virginia Cook building would be a grant, he said.

He asked if the mayor and council were ready for a preliminary budget on the police department building, and was told yes.

In another piece of good news, Moon reported that the Forest Mill apartment project will almost ready for occupancy.

Ferguson reported that the West Point Development Authority at its Monday meeting approved $100,000 in funding for the Troup County College and Career Academy (THINC Academy). Ferguson said this would be a good investment by the WPDA in promoting workforce development in Troup County.

Moon reminded everyone that a public meeting on the city's comprehensive plan update would be held Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the West Point Technology Center on O.G. Skinner Drive.

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Point's Strickland named to three NFL prospect sites
Point's Strickland named to three NFL prospect sites

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

WEST POINT — Point University two-time senior All-American punter David Strickland has been named to three NFL prospect sites, the Times-News learned Monday.

A Beulah High grad and former standout at Wallace State, Strickland has enjoyed an outstanding career for the Skyhawks football program.

The son of Vickie and Daryl Strickland, David has consistently been one of the nation’s leading punters and his talents haven’t gone unnoticed.

Strickland was named to three NFL prospect sites for NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA players.

He is on the Pro Player Insiders (PPI) Others to Watch list and ranked among the Top-18 in the nation, the website reported.

In addition, Strickland is also an NFL Draft Diamond (NFLDD) 2016 small school prospect. He is one of just nine punters in the nation to be named by NFLDD.

RedZone Insider (RZI) also ranked Strickland as the No. 4 punter out of the Top-20.

Strickland enjoyed a terrific prep career at Beulah High in both baseball and football.

New Point coach Mike McCarty will count upon Strickland to help the Skyhawks win the field position battle with his booming punts.

EAB 11U stars win Grand Slam World Series
EAB 11U stars win Grand Slam World Series

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — The East Alabama Baseball (EAB) 11U team won the Grand Slam World Series championship held here last weekend.

The local all-star baseball team is made up of youngsters from Valley, Auburn, Opelika, Smiths Station and Columbus.

East Alabama Baseball enjoyed a terrific summer of tournament baseball.

The squad posted an overall record of 18-5 and won four tourney championships in five events entered.

Members of the team include: Kaiden Baxley, Brooks Bryan, Hunter Meadows, Austin Stephenson, John Austin Cochran and Todd Clay, Brock Beyleu, Taylor Lowe, Cade Beyleu and Wyatt McLean. Coaches for the team include Bo Bryan and Anthony Meadows.

High school football season just around the corner
High school football season just around the corner

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

Players, coaches and fans alike are counting down the days as we’re only a little more than three weeks from the start of the 2015 high school football season.

The Valley Rams and Lanett Panthers will officially kick off local play Fri., Aug. 21 when Lanett journeys to Rams Stadium to take on rival Valley in the renewal of one of the AHSAA most tradition-rich rivalries.

The Martravious “Tre Tre” Williams-led Rams posted a 21-0 win over the Panthers last year at Morgan-Washburn Stadium and coach Clifford Story’s Panthers will be looking to return the favor on Valley’s home field.

•Coach Marshon Harper’s Rams jumped out to a 3-0 start last fall but ran into some tough games, losing its last seven straight in a difficult 3-7 and non-playoff season.

The Rams will be led by all-star candidate defensive tackle Tyreic Martin, who already has 16 scholarship offers on the table.

•Lanett will be led by rising junior quarterback Tre Story, who’s a year stronger and a lot more confident.

The Panthers also had a rough year in 2014, posting a 4-5 mark and are determined to rebound with a playoff berth this fall.

•Tanner Glisson’s Troup Tigers have been busy implementing a Baylor-like offensive attack and hope to make a run for the GHSA 4A playoffs from Region 5A.

•The Springwood Wildcats made the AISA 2A state playoffs last fall and hope to do the same this year as well.

•The Chambers Rebels in AISA 1A, LaFayette Bulldogs in AHSAA 2A and the Beulah Bobcats in AHSAA 3A all hope to challenge for postseason berths this fall as well.

Obituaries

Obituaries for Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Obituaries for Wednesday, July 29, 2015

MR. GARNER

WEST POINT — Mr. Kay Arthur Garner, 66, of West Point died Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at EAMC-Lanier Memorial Hospital in Valley.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 30 at 2 p.m. at Bethlehem Baptist Church with the Rev. W.T. Edmondson, pastor, the Rev. Michael Stiggers, eulogist, and the Rev. Tommy Gilbert officiating.

M.W. Lee Mortuary of West Point is in charge of arrangements.

MRS. KEEBLE

VALLEY — Mrs. Lera S. Keeble, 85, of Valley passed away Monday, July 27, 2015, at Bethany House in Auburn.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 30 at 4 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with with the Rev. Bernie Doffinger officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery.

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

Obituaries for Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Obituaries for Tuesday, July 28, 2015

MS. BROOKS

LaFAYETTE, Ala. — Funeral services are pending for Ms. Dorothy Nell Brooks, 73, of LaFayette, who died Monday, July 27, 2015, at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home in LaFayette is handling arrangements.

MR. BROWN

ATLANTA, Ga. — Funeral services are pending for Mr. Willie Lee Brown, 79, of Atlanta, who died Monday, July 27, 2015, at his residence.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home in LaFayette is handling arrangements.

MR. GRIFFIN

LANETT — Mr. Curtis B. "Buz" Griffin, 70, of Lanett died Monday, July 27, 2015, at his residence.

Graveside services will be held Wednesday, July 29 at 11 a.m. at Oakwood Cemetery in Lanett with the Rev. Milton Newton officiating.

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

MRS. PRESTRIDGE

LaGRANGE, Ga. — Mrs. Mary Ellen Weldon Prestridge, 83, of LaGrange passed away Sunday, July 26, 2015, at Hospice LaGrange.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 29 at 10 a.m. at the Higgins LaGrange Chapel Funeral Home with Chaplain Mark McGee officiating. Burial will follow at Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Lanett.

Higgins LaGrange Chapel Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

MS. TOLBERT

MARIETTA, Ga. — Ms. MurRee Tolbert, 90, of Marietta, formerly of Lanett, died Wednesday, July 22, 2015, at Cobb WellStar Hospital in Austell, Ga.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 29 at 2 p.m. at Greenwood Baptist Church with the Rev. James McTier, pastor, the Rev. Louis Upshaw, eulogist, the Rev. Lucious Lynch and Rev. John Samanie officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.

M.W. Lee Mortuary of West Point is in charge of arrangements.

MS. MOORE

WEST POINT — Funeral services are pending for Ms. Sylvia Moore of West Point, who died Monday, July 27, 2015, at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley.

M.W. Lee Mortuary of West Point is in charge of arrangements.

Obituaries for Monday, July 27, 2015
Obituaries for Monday, July 27, 2015

MR. BROOKS

VALLEY — Mr. Jesse B. Brooks of Valley died Friday, July 24, 2015, at his residence.

Funeral services and survivors will be announced by Davis Memorial Mortuary in Valley.

MS. DOZIER

ATLANTA, Ga. — Funeral services are pending for Ms. Sherry Dozier of Atlanta, formerly of Lanett, who died Thursday, July 23, 2015, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Altanta.

Contact address is Mrs. Griggs, 1929 31st St. SW, Lanett. Contact number is Mrs. Lockhart, 770-401-7596.

Foreman Funeral Home of Valley is in charge of arrangements.

MS. HOLLOWAY

LaFAYETTE — Ms. Rosa Holloway, 84, of LaFayette died Sunday, July 26, 2015, at LaFayette Extended Care in LaFayette.

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

MRS. WOOD

LANETT — Mrs. Mavis Huddleston Wood, 81, of Lanett passed away Saturday, July 25, 2015, at LaFayette Extended Care in LaFayette.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 29 at 2 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with the Rev. Howard Longshore officiating. Burial will follow at Shawmut Cemetery.

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

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