he City of West Point has started its first-ever Citizens' Police Academy. A total of 30 people who live or work in West Point have signed up for this 13-week course. The kickoff meeting took place Tuesday evening in the West Point Technology Center. West Point Police Chief Tony Bailey had a treat for them — a live video conference from the City of Acworth, Ga., which started its 15th CPA at the same time. Bailey was with that city's police department before coming to West Point eight months ago. "Enjoy yourselves. You'll have a ball," Nicole Williams of the Acworth PCA told the West Point participants. (Photo by Wayne Clark)
By WAYNE CLARK
WEST POINT — On Tuesday evening, the West Point Police Department hosted a meeting in the West Point Technology Center to kick off its first-ever Citizen's Police Academy.
A total of 30 people signed up for the program. Included in the group are local business owners, people who work in banks, the West Point Housing Authority and downtown restaurants, teachers in local schools, team members from Kia and its suppliers, retirees and other West Point residents who would like to be more knowledgeable about the day-to-day activities of West Point police officers.
There are lots of Citizen's Police Academies in towns and cities throughout the U.S. The programs vary by department. One common feature is the option to take part in a ride along with a police officer for a shift to see what the officer does in a typical day.
Typical academy content explores such topics as department organization and ethics, an overview of the legal system — criminal and constitutional law, the use of force and patrol procedures, firearms training, SWAT demonstrations, K-9 demonstrations, air support, homicide, traffic/DUI enforcement, jail tours, cadet training, bomb squad, forensics, recruiting and domestic violence.
West Point's inaugural academy will meet for the next 13 weeks. Police Chief Tony Bailey told the large gathering present for the first session that there's a big difference between living in a city and living in a community. A community, he said, is a place where partnerships and relationships between people thrive. "I'm blessed to be here," he said. "In order to provide the best service to our citizens, the West Point Police Department embraces the community as our own. We cannot understand the needs of the community if we do not understand the community itself."
The Citizen's Police Academy, said Chief Bailey, will allow the participants to see West Point police officers as people, not just law enforcement officers. "We're not just the guys who pull you over for speeding," he said to some laughter, "we believe in the community we serve."
Bailey thanked the group on having been the first to sign up for the program. A large number of city officials including Mayor Drew Ferguson, City Manager Ed Moon and Fire Chief Mitt Smith were present for the kickoff. Three members of the council — the Rev. Jerry Ledbetter, Steve Tramell and Ben Wilcox — are members of the first-year academy.
Chief Bailey said that people he knows throughout the state are always asking him how things are going in West Point. He said that he likes to tell them that the city is not just staying afloat, it's growing and growing in the right direction. "They ask me why we've been so successful," he said. "I tell them it's because of the collective expectations to do the things that make a community successful. Being able to come together like we are tonight is something that's good for the whole community."
With the aid of some modern technology, members of the first class heard from some fellow Georgia residents in the City of Acworth, which started its 15th Citizen Police Academy at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Acworth is a city of approximately 20,000 people and is located on the northern end of Cobb County not far from Lake Allatoona. Chief Bailey was with the city's police department before coming to West Point eight months ago.
With the aid of a tablet, Chief Bailey was able to have a video conference on a large screen inside the meeting room. Participants in the West Point Police Academy were able to hear Mayor Tommy Allegood and Nicole Williams of the Acworth Citizens' Police Academy talk about how their program has benefited Acworth and to wish West Point well with its program,
Williams, who does yeoman work in providing all the food for the Acworth CPA participants, said she had been part of a "really cool journey."
"We've learned a lot about what police need to know to do their jobs," she told the group. "They have to make split second decisions and many times it may seem like a thankless job."
Mayor Allegood said the Acworth CPA had done much to change the way people thought about policing a community. "It's been a game changer for us," he said. "We're starting our 15th Citizens' Police Academy tonight. To date, we have over 750 graduates. We hope that 15 years from now you will be looking back they way we are and seeing that having a Citizens' Police Academy was a turning point for your community."
Mayor Ferguson joked with Mayor Allegood that "We're glad we were able to steal Chief Bailey away from you." Mayor Allegood smiled at the comment and said they all missed Bailey and wished him well in West Point. He said he knew he'd do a first-rate job for the city. "We hope things continue to go well for you in Acworth," Mayor Ferguson said.
Chief Bailey told the Acworth crowd that he had fallen in love with West Point in the same way he'd fallen in love with Acworth before that. The Acworth group applauded the announcement that West Point had 30 people in its first class.
"I thought it would be neat to have them partner with us," Chief Bailey said when the video conference concluded.
Chief Bailey said it was important to get away from being iron fisted and being engaged in the community. He quoted Sir Robert Peel, the father of policing: "The police are the public, and the public are the police."
"It's important to have police officers on patrol who are engaged in the community," Chief Bailey said.
By THE TIMES-NEWS
VALLEY — Don Cleveland will again serve as the overall chairman for Valley Haven's Hike/Bike/Run.
Cleveland has been active in Hike/Bike/Run for 33 years and served as an area chairman for 21 years before becoming overall chairman.
Cleveland is an attorney with offices in West Point. He has practiced law in Chambers, Troup and Harris counties for over 38 years.
Hike/Bike/Run, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, is the main fundraising activity for Valley Haven each year.
Cleveland said more than 500 participants are expected to ride a trike, bowl, walk, ride a horse, ride a bike or run to raise funds toward the 2015 goal of $100,000. All funds raised in Hike/Bike/Run are used as the local match for state and federal grants that fund Valley Haven.
Assisting Cleveland as area chairpersons for Hike/Bike/Run are Tommy Barrow, Lessie Beck, Linda Bolt, Richard Bolt, Sam Bradford, Craig Brown, Tammy Carroll, Betty Carter, Heather Coker, Cindy Daniel Mary Ann Daves, Pete Davidson, Lynn Duncan, Brandi Easlick, Tony Edmondson, Billy Fetner, Shelby Flakes, Paula Frazier, Sherry Grady, Diane Greene, Robert Hale, Mary Hamilton, Dianne Harris, Essie Mae Harris, Rachel Harris, Lawrence Henry, Kelli Hodge, Genie Ingram, Ruth Johnson, Brenda Jones, Debbie Kelley, Eddie Lanier, Hattie Lett, Mary Lett, Sid Lockhart, Alfred Lyons, Liz Magby, Allyson Matthews, Lynn Oliver, Melvin (Crew) Pitts, Karen Poer, Ann Ponder, Tony Powers, Tim Reed, June Rogers, Valerie Sherman, Peggy Smith, Sandra Thornton, Jennifer Tidwell, Lisa Turner, Sandra Turner, Macy Whorton, Jo Ellen Weldon, Tommy Weldon, Irmgard Westfall, Wendy Williams, Tricia Williams and Cy Wood.
The concept of Hike/Bike/Run is simple. Participants trike, bike, hike, ride or run over a designated route for pledges. Prizes are awarded in several different categories. All participants who have $50 or more in pledges will receive the new Hike/Bike/Run T-shirt.
Other events this year include Horse Trail Ride on Saturday, March 28; Casual Days Thursdays in April; LaFayette Day, Car Show and Motorcycle Ride Saturday, April 11; Hike/Bike/Run Auction Friday, April 17; Peach Walk Friday, May 1; and Valley Bowl Tournament Tuesday, May 5.
"Hike/Bike/Run gives the residents of this area an opportunity to help support Valley Haven School, our area school for children and adults with special needs n the Chambers County area," Cleveland said. "We are gratified and grateful for the continued support and growth of Hike/Bike/Run. For the last 26 years, Hike/Bike/Run has raised over $100,000 each year. We plan to do it again this year. I am proud to help Valley Haven provide this valuable service to our community. I would like to call on everyone to join me and participate in the Hike/Bike/Run. Anyone of any age can participate."
New Hike/Bike/Run forms have been mailed to last year's participants. If you have not received a form, please call the school and forms will be sent to you. They are also available at area radio stations.
For more information, call 334-756-2868 or 334-756-7801 during the school day.
By ANNE GLENN-HOLLIDAY
VALLEY — After being introduced as the new executive director of the ARC of the Chattahoochee, Valley Haven School Friday afternoon, Craig Brown said that he's super excited but scared at the same time.
"I feel like Ray Perkins must have felt, when he followed Bear Bryant at Alabama," he said.
Retiring executive director Tony Edmondson, who's well-known throughout the state and is called on often, explained that Brown, an 18-year employee at the school, was chosen by the board of directors from a field of nine outstanding candidates.
Brown worked at Russell Mills Corporation in LaFayette from 1988 to 1995, at East Alabama Mental Health Brief Intensive Treatment Center, a short-term residential facility for people suffering from some form of mental illness or addiction, from 1995 to 1996, and at The Opportunity Center from 1996 to 1997.
While working at the Opportunity Center in Anniston, he was responsible for teaching job readiness, was responsible for job development and job coaching for potential employees referred through vocational rehabilitation services and served as job counselor to employees at the Opportunity Center, its in-house workshop.
Brown also worked at East Alabama Mental Health Center in Opelika, where he served as a mental health technician at the Brief Intensive Treatment Center, a short-term residential facility for people suffering from some form of mental illness.
"In both of these previous positions, Craig also worked with individuals with special needs," Edmondson explained.
Brown will intern with Edmondson until he retires in July, then he'll take over as Valley Haven's executive director.
A native of LaFayette, who currently lives in Wadley with his wife, Beverly, and his daughters, Mary Grace Brown and Toni Brown, he is a graduate of Troy University with a bachelor of science degree in human services, with a minor in psychology and sociology.
Brown also attended Chambers Academy and Southern Union State Community College.
He has been employed at Valley Haven since 1997, where he has served as an independent living community living skills instructor, and as the director pro tem.
Brown is a qualified developmental disability professional, is medication administration certified and is a certified CPI instructor, who's responsible for teaching non-violent crisis intervention to Valley Haven and the Randolph County Learning Center staff.
He has served as the chairperson for the school's LaFayette Day fund-raiser, as well as helped organize the run event for the school's annual Hike/Bike/Run. He has also served on the school's human rights committee.
Brown has helped promote Valley Haven School through speaking engagements at various civic group meetings and has helped educate the public through television and radio appearances.
Speaking of his predecessor, he said, "Tony is well-known throughout the state and is called on often."
Edmondson said that Brown is going to do a great job and said that Paula Frazier, a long time employee is going to be a big help.
He also said that he'll continue to support the school.
Board member Tony Powers served as the chairman of the search committee, and Lawrence Henry is the president of the board.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
BEAUREGARD — The Beulah Lady Bobcats softball team (1-1) fell to the rival Beauregard Lady Hornets here Tuesday afternoon in a 9-6 contest.
Leading hitters for coach Allison Aikens’ team included Megan Parton and Kinsey Brown each with two hits while Parton also added a run-scoring single.
Madison Green, Haley Rogers and Amanda Remmel all added RBI doubles as well.
Brittney Williams was the losing pitcher of record for Beulah in working six innings, allowed nine runs, no walks and struck out three.
Beulah will play at Loachapoka today.
•After claiming the Troup Co. championship in football this past fall, the powerhouse Troup High baseball team (5-1) will go for the baseball version of the county title Thursday when coach Craig Garner’s Tigers host rival Callaway High at Tiger Field at 5 p.m.
Troup defeated rival 5A rival LaGrange last week 6-2 and will look for the sweep against the 3A Cavaliers Thursday.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
BEULAH — The Beulah Lady Bobcats softball team scored five runs in the first three innings and cruised to a 10-0 win over Wadley High here Monday.
Madison Green led the Lady Bobcats offense with two hits, both run-scoring singles in the first and second innings.
Brittney Williams was dominant in the circle, tossing a five-inning, two-hit gem and struck out seven in the win.
•In other high school sports Monday, the Troup High baseball team (5-1) dropped its first game of the season after coach Craig Garner’s Tigers lost Monday at Northside of Columbus in a 3-0 game.
Defensive errors hurt Troup as Northside tallied all three of its runs off Tiger errors in the second inning.
Troup hosts rival Callaway High Thursday.
•In other high school action, the Valley Lady Rams softball team lost to Beauregard 2-1 in nine innings.
Lexus Burrows pitched a terrific game in a losing cause for the Lady Rams. Burrows worked seven innings and struck out 13.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
BIRMINGHAM — Senior Trevond Barnes scored 28 points and was named tournament MVP while sophomore guard Jatarvious Whitlow added 21 more as the LaFayette High Bulldogs (25-5) capped an amazing run to the AHSAA 2A boys basketball state championship here Friday after routing the defending champion Elba High Tigers (21-7) 69-39.
It was all LaFayette from start to finish in the state finals as was the case when the Bulldogs hammered Tanner in semifinal play as well.
In short, LaFayette was, without question, best in its class in Birmingham and won both games by a combined 61 points in dominating fashion.
In fact, if the starters played full games, the Bulldogs would easily have won both games by over 100 points they were that good.
Give the LaFayette players and coaching staff a lot of credit as the team upped its play in each game, met each challenge and simply laid waste to a pair of foes at the Final Four in business-like fashion.
The Bulldogs jumped all over Elba early and often and held a commanding 16-5 lead after the first quarter.
LaFayette was simply faster, more athletic, had much better ball movement, played great team defense and was a much better shooting team than Elba.
Add it up and it spells a blowout win and that’s exactly what happened as LaFayette was clearly the superior team in every phase of the game.
The Bulldogs made its huge fan base at the game happy early and it continued to snowball.
LaFayette outscored Elba 15-10 in the second quarter and held a 31-15 lead at the halftime intermission.
The game wasn’t over but another run early in the third quarter and a 20-9 advantage by the Bulldogs made it game, set and match as LaFayette led 51-24 after three periods.
Elba never had an answer for Barnes and Whitlow but the Bulldogs quickness on the defensive end of the court gave the Tigers all types of fits.
The Bulldogs emptied the bench midway through the fourth quarter and easily rolled to the 69-39 final score win.
LaFayette hit 19 free throws to just six for Elba and the Bulldogs defense made it a nightmare for Elba shooting the ball, (15-of-67 field goals, including 3-of-31 three-point goals.)
The Bulldogs outrebounded Elba 53-36, including 44-26 on the defensive end.
Barnes was named MVP and was sensational in his final game for the Bulldogs. He tallied 28 points, hit 8-of-10 free throws, had 11 rebounds, seven blocks and one steal.
Whitlow was dazzling as well and his ball-handling skills bewildered Elba all game. Whitlow was named all-tourney as was Quenten Ray.
Whitlow had 21 points and four steals and Ray had a solid, all-around game as well.
•LaFayette’s win was its fourth state title (1986, 1989, 2002 and now 2014-15).
LaFayette was a team on a mission ever since it took down rival Lanett for the area title two weeks back in a thrilling and emotion-packed 62-59 contest.
The Bulldogs were tough as nails and its iron-tight resolve made it an unbeatable team on a mission.
Talk about a team with strong resolve, LaFayette was it and used strong senior leadership, solid role players and good minutes from players off the bench and excellent game management to met challenge after challenge and won its fourth state championship.
LANETT — Ms. Janice "Jan" Ramsey Dozier, 56, of Lanett died Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, at Bethany House in Auburn.
Funeral services are planned for Thursday, March 5 at 1 p.m. at Mt. Hermon Life Center in Lanett with the Revs. Louis Upshaw, pastor, L.W. Booker, eulogist, Terry Magby, Minister Hattie Bridges, Bishop Donald Lancaster and the Rev. Arthur Walker Jr. officiating. Burial will follow at Pinehill Cemetery.
M.W. Lee Mortuary of West Point is handling arrangements.
LANETT — Funeral arrangements are pending for Ms. Barbara Blakes, 59, of Lanett, who died Monday, March 2, 2015, at EAMC-Lanier Memorial Hospital in Valley.
Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.
LaFAYETTE — Mrs. Betty Jean Hamby, 78, of LaFayette died Monday, March 2, 2015.
Graveside services are planned for Wednesday, March 4 at 11 a.m. CST at Tallapoosa County Memorial Gardens in Dadeville.
Jeff Jones Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.
LANETT — Mr. David Loyd Langley, 47, of Lanett died Monday, March 2, 2015, at his residence.
Funeral services are planned for Wednesday, March 4 at 2 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with the Rev. Rusty Letson officiating. Burial will follow at Marseilles Cemetery in West Point.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.
CAMP HILL — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mr. Carl Burns of Camp Hill, who died Sunday, March 1, 2015, at his residence.
Silmon-Seroyer Funeral home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.
LANETT — Funeral arrangements are pending for Ms. Janice "Jan" Ramsey Dozier of Lanett, who died Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, at Bethany House in Auburn.
The family may be contacted at the residence of Ms. Janice Ramsey Dozier, 2001 31st St. SW in Lanett, and at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. James Ramsey Jr., 2307 30th St. SW in Lanett.
M.W. Lee Mortuary of West Point is handling arrangements
LANETT — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mr. David Loyd Langley of Lanett, who died Monday, March 2, 2015, at his residence.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of of Valley is handling arrangements.
MOLENA, Ga. — Mr. X.E. Mitchell, 94, of Molena died Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, at Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston.
Funeral services are planned for Monday, March 2 at 11 a.m. in the chapel of Fletcher-Day Funeral Home in Thomaston, Ga. Burial will follow at 2 p.m. at Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Lanett.
Fletcher-Day Funeral Home of Thomaston is handling arrangements.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mr. Nakia A. "Kia" Morgan of Fayetteville, formerly of West Point, who died Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, at Piedmont Fayette Hospital.
The family may be contacted at the residence of Ms. Yvonne Mwikuta,106 Avenue N, West Point, and at the residence of Ms. Janie Ransom, 307 North Sixth Ave. in Lanett.
M.W. Lee Mortuary of West Point is handling arrangements.
LANETT — Mr. James Radford Siggers Sr., 81, joined our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, at Bethany House, after battling lymphoma and bone marrow cancer for 10 months.
The funeral service will be held Monday, March 2 at Lanett Congregational Christian Church at 11 a.m., followed by graveside services at Lanett Cemetery.
McCarthy Funeral Home of West Point is handling arrangements.