A northbound motorist along Highway 29 was in for quite a scare Friday morning when the top part of a three-story brick wall collapsed and fell into the roadway, striking his car. The driver was not injured, but the vehicle sustained some significant damage. "Traffic was diverted in order for work crews to respond to repair lines and clean up debris," said Lanett Police Chief Angie Spates. Much of the old Lanett Bleachery & Dye Works building has been torn down as part of the ongoing mill demolition project. Most of the west wall, which is close to the highway, is still there. (Photo by Wayne Clark)
By WAYNE CLARK
LANETT — On Friday morning, part of a wall to the old Lanett Bleachery & Dye Works building collapsed and fell onto Highway 29, striking a north-bound car on the busy four-lane. The driver was not injured in the incident, but vehicles had to be rerouted for several hours.
"Traffic was diverted in order for work crews to respond to repair lines and clean up the debris," said Lanett Police Chief Angie Spates. "The structure that partially collapsed onto the roadway is presently being torn down."
Much of the 1895 Dye Works building has been torn down, but most of the west wall facing Highway 29 is still intact. A portion of the third floor near the midway point of the wall gave way around 9:30 a.m. and tumbled into the roadway, striking a car.
Work crews from the City of Lanett and WOW! were soon on the scene to remove debris from the highway and to repair downed lines. While this was under way, Lanett police officers directed traffic around the site via First Street onto South First Street near the Lanett Post Office and back onto Highway 29 a couple of blocks away.
Chief Spates advises north-bound motorists passing by the old building to be cautious of debris that could make its way onto the roadway. The wall is obviously not stable, and other portions could give way. For safety's sake, people definitely need to stay off of the mill site property while it's being torn down. The land is privately owned, and there are all sorts of potential dangers for anyone who might want to wander around there.
The old Dye Works site along with the adjacent Lanett Mill site are in an industrial park and are outside the Lanett city limits. For anyone who seeks information on the demolition site, Chief Spates recommends getting in touch with Chambers County Commissioner Debbie Wood at (334) 864-4311.
By THE TIMES-NEWS
LaGRANGE — Results from the fall administration of the Georgia High School Writing Test show that 95 percent of Troup County School System, first time test-takers met and exceeded GHSWT standards, compared to the state’s 94 percent.
The percentage of students meeting and exceeding writing standards in the district increased over last year, while the state saw a slight decrease.
After equaling or slightly mirroring the state for the three years, the percentage of Troup County School System students meeting and exceeding standards has finally surpassed the state. Now for four consecutive years, county high schools — Callaway, LaGrange, and Troup — have topped the 90 percent mark.
"This increase is a direct result of hard work and focus. We commend our students, parents, teachers and administrators for working together to achieve such outstanding results," said Superintendent Cole Pugh. "We are very pleased with our progress and look forward to further gains in writing and other content areas."
The state introduced a new curriculum in 2007, and since that time, the school system has gained ten percentage points compared to the state’s gain of three. Students taking the writing test for the first time at each of the three high schools performed well by either closely mirroring or surpassing state scores.
As in prior years, the writing and English/language arts academic coaches work with a core group of teachers from across the district to develop scoring guides used to assist teachers in evaluating student work. In addition, professional development for teachers on the subject contributed to effective instructional strategies. Efforts extend across divisions, with both middle and high school students participating in writing activities in every class.
Eleventh grade students were tested this past September. Students were assessed on their ability to construct persuasive essays on an assigned topic. Essays were evaluated on ideas, organization, style, and convention.
Success on the writing test is required for graduation. Students can score at three performance levels: Does Not Meet (100-199), Meets (200-249) and Exceed (250+). Students who do not pass the writing test will have additional opportunities to retest during the remainder of this school year and their senior year.
The Charter Foundation has approved a grant in the amount of $19,975 for the New Horizon Community Theatre. The money will be used to purchase new sound equipment. Located in downtown West Point, the theater is currently undergoing a major expansion. The new stage will be four times larger than the former one and seating will more than double, going from 105 seats to 218, A very popular production of the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol" debuts Thursday. Evening performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, along with matinees on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, have sold out. Shown above making the presentation on behalf of the Charter Foundation is Susan Bullock (at center), manager of the West Point office of CharterBank; accepting on behalf of the Theatre is Elizabeth Rouquie, board chair. Also shown are Bill Nixon, artistic director, NHCT; Susan Oswalt, board member, NHCT, and Bill Gladden, Charter Foundation (on the left). In back, at right, are Paul Meadows of project contractor Batson-Cook and Leslie Smith, board member (Photo by Wayne Clark)
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
LaGRANGE — The Troup High Tigers boys and girls basketball teams opened up the 2013-14 season here Tuesday evening against the Harris Co. Tigers as the Lady Tigers (1-0) picked up a big 67-51 win while the boys squad (0-1) fell in a hard-fought 79-73 loss.
After a 3-18 season in 2012-13, it was a terrific start for coach Carla Thornton’s Lady Tigers.
Junior D’Aushanique led the Lady Tigers with a team and game-high 24 points, including a pair of 3-point goals.
Other scorers for Troup included sophomore Gabby Lockhart with 12 points while freshman Ahyka Mitchell and senior Fermanda Caldwell each scored 10.
•In the boys game, Troup trailed Harris Co 17-14 after the first period and were outscored 26-11 in the second in being down 43-25 at the halftime intermission.
But first-year coach Paul Brewer’s Tigers made a terrific second-half rally only to come up short in the 79-73 loss.
Troup outscored Harris 20-19 in the third period and 28-17 in the fourth only to fall short.
Troup was led by junior Jamal Wilkerson with a game-high 29 points, including 26 in the second-half when the Tigers made its rally.
Of his 29 points, 21 of which came on a hailstorm of seven 3-pointers.
Quaydo Florence and Darryl Dunlap both scored 11 points as well for Troup.
•In other high school basketball Tuesday, the Valley Lady Rams (2-0) defeated Russell Co. in the road 58-43.
Leading the Lady Rams were Audrianna Walker with a team and game-high 18 points, Alexia Huguley tallied nine, Raven Houston had seven, Taylor Miller scored six, Breyunna Bussey had five and Yasherica Core added three points.
Tatyana Darden, Diamond Walker, Ariel Patton and Ma’Tika Johnson all scored two. Takalya Bussey also had one point.
No information was reported on the Valley boys varsity and B-team games vs. Russell Co.’
•In other high school action Tuesday, the LaFayette Bulldogs remained unbeaten (4-0, 1-0) as coach Obidiah Threadgill’s team posted a convincing 52-25 win over visiting Horseshoe Bend.
JaTarvious Whitlow led the Bulldogs with 14 points.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
THOMASTON, Ga. — The Troup High Tigers will remain in 4A-Region 5 but will have four new schools to join them in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 classification years.
On Tuesday, the Georgia High School Athletic Association (GHSA) unveiled its region assignments for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.
Troup High will remain in 4A competition and the Tigers are one of four teams which remained in Region 5 including Sandy Creek, Carrollton, and Fayette Co.
The four new schools to join Troup, Sandy Creek, Carrollton and Fayette Co. include Woodward Academy, Whitewater, Grady and Pike Co.
Woodward, Whitewater and Grady are all very solid football programs and Pike Co. has fielded some strong teams through the years as well.
It will be an eight-school region and most likely split into crossovers with an A and B regions. The top two teams from A and B will thereby earn the four state playoff berths.
Troup’s rival LaGrange High chose to play up in 5A and will be a part of Region 1-AAAAA along with Harris Co., Bainbridge, Thomas Co. Central, Carver-Columbus, Columbus, Hardaway and Northside-Columbus.
With the new classifications, the three Troup Co. schools will all be in the different classifications.
Troup will remain in 4A, Callaway High stays in 3A and LaGrange will move up to 5A.
That will, however, allow the schools to perhaps continue rivalry games as all three schools will have two open games.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
VALLEY — The Valley High Rams split action with the 6A Smiths Station Panthers here Monday evening at the VHS gym.
The Runnin’ Rams boys squad (1-2) dropped a 56-54 heartbreaker while the Lady Rams (3-0) rolled to a 50-35 win.
•In the boys game, the Runnin’ Rams were led by senior guard Caleb Jenkins with 20 points and seven rebounds while senior point guard Keylan McCauley tallied 15 points and five assists.
Other scorers for coach Marshon Harper’s Rams included senior forward Kieon Core with eight points and seven rebounds while sophomore forward Jamon Pressley chipped in with six points.
•In the girls game, Valley was dominant in its 50-35 win over Smiths Station.
Tatyana Darden led the way with 12 followed by Diamond Walker with eight points, Breyunna Bussey had seven, Taylor Miller tallied six points while Audrianna Walker, Alexia Huguley and Areil Patton all had four points.
Other scorers for the Lady Rams included Carissa Harper, Ma'tika Johnson and Ny'kerria Buckhanon all with two points each.
Valley is next in action tonight at Russell Co.
•In Springwood basketball action Monday, the Wildcats lost to Calvary Christian in Columbus by a 60-52 score.
Maurice Fears led coach Drew Dorsey’s team with a team and game-high 29 points.
Anterrion Stephens also had a big game for Springwood with 10 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
The Wildcats also had strong play off the bench from Andrew Oswalt and Joe Neil, Dorsey noted.
•In the girls game, the Lady Wildcats improved to 5-1 after a big 45-31 win over Calvary Christian.
The Lady Wildcats jumped out to a 13-4 first quarter lead but had difficulty in the second quarter as Calvary Christian employed a matchup zone, holding Springwood to just one basket the entire quarter, closing to a 15-11 margin at the half.
The game remained tight in the third quarter, noted Springwood coach Rick Johnson, as Calvary drew within a point on three occasions.
However, the fourth quarter belonged to Springwood as the pressure defense started to pay dividends, leading to several fast break baskets.
The Lady Wildcats posted a 22-11 scoring margin in the fourth quarter.
Leading Springwood was Fannasy Garrett-Hammett, who tallied 18 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. She also led the team in assists.
Her sister, Tazsa tallied 14 as well, Johnson noted.
“Jordan Self returned to action following a medical situation to score five points, including a big basket inside to hold off the final Calvary run,” Johnson said.
The five wins now surpasses the total victories in any of the past three seasons.
•In other Springwood basketball action, the junior varsity boys team lost to Calvary Christian 56-23.
McLane Martin led Springwood with 14 points, Ricky Simmons tallied four, Chase Merritt had three while Beck Terry had two points and nine rebounds.
Springwood returns to action Dec. 10 when they play Coosa Valley in Harpersville.
•In other basketball action Monday, the W.F. Burns boys basketball team improved to 2-1 with a 42-18 win at Smiths Station.
W.F. Burns led 19-11 at the half and pulled away in the second-half, noted coach Jason Phillips.
Leading scorers for the Rams were Jarrious Jefferson with 11 points and Hakeem Shabazz with 10.
Other solid games for WFB included Legarrian Hutchinson and Quez Trammell each with six points.
In addition, Keauntae Holloway had four points, Lanzio Ramsey tallied three while Keionte Dent chipped in with two points.
Jefferson and Holloway led the way in rebounds, each pulling down six.
Jefferson also added six assists for the Rams. W.F. Burns will be back in action Thurs., Dec. 5 at Gardner-Newman.
DOTHAN, Ala. — Mr. Milton “Bo” Brookins, 83, of Dothan died Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, at Campbellton-Graceville Hospital in Graceville, Fla.
Funeral services are scheduled at Edgewood Hall of Striffler-Hamby, 4071 Macon Road in Columbus, on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. with the Rev Al Smith officiating. Burial will follow at Parkhill Cemetery.
Condolences may be offered at www.shcolumbus.com.
AUBURN — Dr. Robert Hill Couch, 76, died at Bethany House in Auburn on Dec. 2, 2013.
A graveside service was held for friends and family at Town Creek Cemetery in Auburn on Thursday, Dec. 5.
A memorial service followed at 2 p.m. at the Auburn United Methodist Church's Founder's Chapel.
MIDLAND, Ga. — Mr. Lee Allen Housel, 75, of Midland died Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, at Gentiva Hospice in Columbus.
Funeral services are planned for Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with the Rev. Jeff Skinner officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
LANETT — Mrs. Kathyrn "Mu" Power, 86, of Lanett died Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, at Lanier Memorial Nursing Home in Valley.
Memorial services are planned for Saturday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley with the Rev. Rusty Williams and Frank Lyons officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.