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January 16, 2017
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Confederate veteran's remains returned to Fairfax
Confederate veteran's remains returned to Fairfax

There was an Old South ceremony at Fairfax Cemetery on Friday morning. The great-great-grandfather and grandmother of Valley resident Leonard Heard were laid to rest in Alabama soil. Their remains had been removed from their final resting place in northern Virginia and relocated in a family plot with some of their descendants. James W. Heard (1838-1887) was a sergeant with the 57th Virginia Infantry and had fought for the Confederacy in such battles as Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and the Siege of Richmond. His wife, Ann, was born in 1835 and died in 1879. Leonard Heard (shown above at far right, next to the Confederate flag) told The Times-News that he’d been trying to do this since 2004 and that there had been lots of legal hurdles to clear and expenses to take care of. He was pleased with the gravesite ceremony that took place on Friday. Among the uniformed re-enactors taking part were Marty Hall of West Point, Wayne Bradford of Walhalla, S.C., Don Lay of Birmingham and Scotty Myers and Whit Myers of Jasper, Ala. (Photo by Wayne Clark)

Fire departments call volume dominated by medical events
Fire departments call volume dominated by medical events

By DAVID BELL

LaGRANGE — Times have changed over the years in many different ways. For example, two decades ago, firefighters were dispatched mainly for the purpose of battling structure fires. But over the same period of time, those duties have shifted to become more medical related.

Troup County Fire Chief Dennis Knight presented an overview of his department’s activities to the county board of commissioners during a Friday work session, which included a breakdown of the calls for service over the past calendar year.

“Of the 3,235 calls we received in 2016, only 60 involved structure fires,” said Knight. “Our highest volume by far was medical and rescue situations, which totaled 2,085. Rather than going to a hospital emergency room for non-life threatening medical issues, a greater number of people are calling 911 for medical assistance. Currently, firefighter/-EMT personnel are dispatched for such calls, and if we are dispatched, we go.”

Knight said the dramatic shift is part of a national trend affecting fire departments across the country, and plans are being developed to increase the capabilities of fire and rescue units to handle a wider range of medical emergencies.

“As future budgets allow, we would like to upgrade the types of drugs and medical supplies we carry on each of our seven rescue vehicles, which would cost between $2,000 and $4,000 annually per vehicle,” said Knight.

The revelation prompted Commissioner Morris Jones to suggest that the county may need to place a limit on the types of medical calls firefighters respond to. But Commissioner Richard English erred on the side of caution.

“We don’t want to do anything that would lessen or harm duties of the fire department in terms of protecting public safety,” said English.

While dealing with this growing issue will be a challenge for county commissioners, other aspects of fire department operations will require attention as well.

Major equipment upgrades over the past several years, such as new fire trucks, have been purchased through special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) funds, which have also been used to renovate full-time fire stations.

“There are plans to upgrade volunteer fire stations with future SPLOST funds if approved by voters,” Knight told the board.

The fire department currently maintains a headquarters and training facility on Hamilton Road. The majority of individual fire stations are manned by full-time paid personnel, but there are still a few locations in outlying areas that depend on the service of volunteers.

“Most of these sites have functioned exactly the same as when they were constructed during the 1970s with little or no improvements,” said Knight. “Some are now showing signs of structural compromise that will need to be addressed in the short-term future.”

Knight added that each of the manned fire stations are designed to be staffed with two firefighters 24 hours a day. But due to sick leave, vacation schedules, off-site training, etc., the department as a whole averages three firefighters short on any given day.

“Consequently, some stations may only have one person on duty during a shift, and that’s just not practical or safe,” Knight said. “My goal moving forward is to have enough personnel available to make sure each site is fully staffed every shift.”

The most challenging task ahead for county commissioners regarding public safety will depend upon the results of a current study on salaries and benefits for county employees. Hourly workers are paid less than their counterparts in surrounding counties and those of comparable size across the state. As a result, many highly-trained personnel, especially law enforcement officers, have left their jobs in Troup County for the better paying positions elsewhere.

The study, which began in December, is expected to be completed by June, just as commissioners are crafting their final proposal for next fiscal year’s budget.

16-year-old from West Point held in LaGrange shooting
16-year-old from West Point held in LaGrange shooting

By DAVID BELL

LaGRANGE — A 16-year-old juvenile from West Point has become the sixth person arrested thus far in connection with a fatal shooting in LaGrange last month. The teen has been charged with nine counts of aggravated assault and two counts of participation in criminal street gang activity.

As a result of information obtained in a continuing investigation, authorities believe the juvenile was one of several individuals who fired multiple gunshots at a residence on Newnan Street the night of Dec. 17, striking occupant Devan Tucker, 20, who later died from his wounds. The incident has been described as the culmination of an ongoing dispute between rival gang members.

The juvenile, who is being charged as an adult, is the third teenager from West Point to be apprehended in the case, along with an 18-year-old from Lanett. The other two suspects are from LaGrange.

Authorities also believe at least two of the assailants were involved in a drive-by shooting earlier that evening at Granger Park across from LaGrange High School. Fortunately, no one was injured in that incident.

More arrests are expected in the case. Meanwhile, anyone with additional information should contact the LaGrange Police Department at 706-883-2603, or Troup County Crime- Stoppers at 706-812-1000.

Sports Sports icon 1 Sports icon 1 Sports icon 1 Sports icon 1

Lady Rams, Lady Panthers post big wins
Lady Rams, Lady Panthers post big wins

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

After a weather delay, it’s showdown Monday for the Lanett and LaFayette boys and girls basketball teams.

Boys B-team action will tip-off today at 3 p.m. ET followed by the girls varsity pitting a pair of 4-0 area teams and the much-anticipated boys varsity game in the last game.

•In other high school basketball over the weekend, the Valley Lady Rams (8-5) defeated Beauregard 49-36 while the Runnin’ Rams boys team (6-11) fell to Beauregard 64-61.

Ariel Patton led Valley with 17 points and 14 rebounds, Starbresha Core added 10 points and 15 rebounds, Arieana Magby tallied 10, Kenjadae Dunn and Emerald Floyd each had four while La’Teazia Stringer and Roniaseia Cofield both had two.

•In other action over the weekend, the LaFayette Lady Bulldogs (4-6, 4-0) routed Reeltown 46-31.

•In games played Friday at Fort McClellan, the Lanett boys team lost to Sacred Heart 89-54 while the girls team posted a 69-30 win.

Ataiya Bridges led Lanett with 20 points, 15 assists, nine steals and nine rebounds.

Makaiya Broughton added 18 points, 10 steals and nine assists, Octavia Wright tallied seven points, had 15 rebounds and four blocks, Jasmine Martin added six and had eight rebounds.

Crystalyn Sprayberry also added six points, five rebounds and four assists and Jadyn Wynn scored five points.

In addition, Ambria Jackson had five points, six assists and eight steals while Chasity Coty tallied five points and 10 rebounds.

“We had a great, all-around effort by the ladies,” said coach Charlie Williams.

No information was reported on the Lanett-Sacred Heart boys game.

The Lanett boys (6-5) also fell on the road Saturday at 7A Central-Phenix City by a 79-67 score.

Springwood girls, CA boys post wins
Springwood girls, CA boys post wins

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LaFAYETTE — The Springwood Wildcats and Chambers Rebels renewed their longstanding rivalry Thursday evening as the No. 2-ranked Lady Wildcats and the CA Rebels boys varsity teams both posted wins.

•In the girls game, coach Rick Johnson’s Lady Wildcats (17-3) posted a 48-23 win for a 2-0 season sweep while coach Jason Allen’s Rebels evened its mark against Springwood, defeating the Wildcats 48-46.

Tazsa Garrett-Hammett led Springwood with 21 points and seven other Lady Wildcats scored in rolling to its 17th win of the season against three defeats.

Springwood surged to a 10-5 lead after one quarter and outscored CA 38-18 for the duration in the 48-23 final score win.

Junior guard Amaya Battle added eight points and senior Langley Matthews hit a pair of 3-point goals and a free throw to tally seven points.

Tate Reese led CA with 12 points.

“The win ties the class of 2017 with the class of 1985 for most wins all-time in Springwood basketball history at 87,” noted Johnson.

Next up for the Lady Wildcats is a rematch with the undefeated Glenwood Lady Gators (21-0) in Phenix City Tuesday.

•In junior varsity play, Springwood lost to CA 32-23. McKayla Barber led the team with seven points.

In addition, the junior varsity Lady Wildcats qualified as the No. 2 seeded team for the JV 3A state tournament, added Johnson.

The tournament will be held Saturday at Lee-Scott Academy in Auburn. First game for the Lady Wildcats will be at 1:30 p.m. ET against Morgan Academy from Selma.

•In the boys game, CA posted a second-half rally, overcoming an eight-point, halftime deficit, to record a 48-46 win for the season series split with Springwood.

“We played quite well at time in the first half, but we didn't take care of minor details to extend our lead,” said Wildcats coach Drew Dorsey. “Coach Allen made some great adjustments defensively, which gave us fits. I didn't coach well enough to give my boys a chance to win tonight.”

Christian Lancaster led Springwood with 25 points while Gus Davidson added 12.

Malik Lyons led CA with 16 points, Peyton Allen had 11, Kaine Thomas tallied eight and C.J. Lyons scored six.

•In junior varsity boys play, Springwood won over CA 27-21.

Tyler Ly led the Wildcats (6-8) with eight points, Chalyb Lenker and Coleman Hull each had six points.

Lanett boys an amazing 50-2 at home since 2013
Lanett boys an amazing 50-2 at home since 2013

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LANETT — They’ve been one of the most dominant boys teams in all of AHSAA basketball for the last quarter century and some of the most amazing numbers include its home record in recent years.

I’m talking about the Lanett High boys basketball team — the defending 2A state champions.

Lanett is 50-2 in home games in the last five seasons (2012-13 to 2016-17) under the leadership of Rev. Richard Carter, now in his 46th year of coaching and a recent Hall of Fame member.

In those five years, Lanett has lost only two games — to Whitfield Academy in 2013-14 and to LaFayette 62-59 in overtime for the area championship in the 2015 season.

The Bulldogs used that win to not only claim the season series 2-1 but win the area tournament championship and earn a sub-state game at the Dog Palace.

LaFayette defeated R.C. Hatch and went on a 7-0 run to end the season in claiming the school’s fourth state championship in impressive fashion in Birmingham.

Lanett had to journey to Francis Marion in sub-state play and was upset, ending its season.

It was all the motivation Lanett needed last winter to do the same — a magical, 7-game run to the state championship.

The Panthers defeated LaFayette in the area title game and — just like the rival Bulldogs — used that momentum in rolling to its first-ever state championship in a 29-6 season.

Lanett is also 84-12 in home games since the 2008-09 season, been ranked No. 1 five times in the last two decades and will be the odds-on favorite to defend its state title in Birmingham next month.

It’s still weeks off but there’s a chance No. 3 Lanett and No. 2-ranked R.C. Hatch could meet at the Central Regional. The two schools have a long history of battles.

Obituaries

Obituaries for Monday, January 16, 2017
Obituaries for Monday, January 16, 2017

MRS. BRYAN

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Mrs. Doris Virginia DeLoach Bryan passed away Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in Chattanooga.

No services are planned.

MRS. GILBERT

LANETT — Mrs. Daisy Brown Gilbert, 76, of Lanett passed away Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, at Diversicare of Lanett.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. at Huguley United Methodist Church with the Rev. Rusty Tate and the Rev. Albert Smith officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery in Lanett.

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

MRS. MINTER

LANETT — Mrs. Martha Minter, 70, of Lanett passed away Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley.

Graveside services will be held Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 3 p.m. at Waverly Cemetery in Waverly, Ala., with the Rev. David Bradshaw officiating.

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

MRS. TURNER

ROANOKE, Ala. — Funeral services for Mrs. Lois Rice Turner, 91, of Roanoke were held Sunday, Jan. 15 at 3:30 p.m. CST at Quattlebaum Funeral Chapel in Roanoke with the Rev. Derek Farr officiating. Burial followed at Cedarwood Cemetery.

Quattlebaum Funeral Home in Roanoke is in charge of arrangements.

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