Work began early this morning on Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project (CFCP) House No. 32. It's located on the corner of North 12th Avenue and North Eighth Street in Lanett's Jackson Heights community, across from the James A. Hardy gym. Weather permitting, the walls and trusses are going up today. It could be dried in by tomorrow with the work being completely finished by the end of the week. Kia and 4 Seasons Heating & Air are helping sponsor the project. Jocelyn Spence, who has four girls ranging in age from six to sixteen, will be the new homeowner. She works for a Kia supplier in LaGrange. The work is being done by local volunteers. They include a group from Spring Road Christian Church along with house captain Jason Moon and his construction crew. Todd Oliver is also a house captain. Doug and Jill Miller of Colorado are in town this week to assist with the project. They have been part of a lot of Fuller Center builds over the years. CFCP volunteers are also in the final stages of work to rehab a house on South Fifth Street in Lanett, where a veteran and his family will be living. (Photo by Wayne Clark)
By THE TIMES-NEWS
MONTGOMERY — Chambers County's unemployment rate dropped eight-tenths of a point in August, falling to 7.1 percent.
Employment in the county actually declined by 20 to 13,668, but the county's civilian labor force shrank even more, to 14,720 from July's 14,866.
The number of people classified as unemployed in Chambers fell dramatically as well, to 1,052 from 1,178 in July.
Chambers County's unemployment rate a year ago was 7.5 percent. In August 2014, the county had the 32nd lowest rate among Alabama's 67 counties.
Chambers County's unemployment situation was better than the state's, which saw a decline in unemployment to 6.9 percent from July's 7-percent reading.
Employment in Alabama actually declined as well, to 1,979,861 from July's 1,986,698. Alabama's unemployment rate in August 2013 was 6.5 percent.
Neighboring counties also had reduced unemployment rates. Lee County's rate fell to 5.8 percent from July's 6.2 percent, Macon County fell to 9.4 percent from 10.2 percent, Randolph dropped a full point to 7.5 percent from July's 8.5 percent and Tallapoosa fell to 8.3 percent in August from 9.6 percent in July.
“September’s unemployment rate drop is good news for Alabama,” Gov. Robert Bentley said. “We’ve seen more jobs come online, and those jobs are being filled by people who want to work. The Alabama workforce is strong, and our commitment to job creation is just as strong. Our job recruitment efforts will continue until every Alabamian who wants a job has the opportunity to find one.”
Wage and salary employment rose in August by 9,400. Monthly gains were seen in the professional and business services sector (+4,200), the construction sector (+2,300), and the government sector (+1,800), among others. The number of construction jobs the economy supported this month (83,400) marks the most that particular sector has seen since December 2010 (83,500).
“This month’s unemployment rate reflects what usually happens as the summer winds down,” Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said. “The slight decrease in the labor force reflects people going to back to school and no longer searching for work. Additionally, increases in jobs in local government and decreases in jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector further reflect the anticipated trend of people leaving summer employment and returning to school-related jobs.”
Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 19,500, with gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (+6,500), the manufacturing sector (+6,200), and the professional and business services sector (+5,200), among others.
By THE TIMES-NEWS
LaFAYETTE — The Chambers County Sheriff’s Department is cautioning county residents about a telephone scam involving the department.
“Over the past few days, the Chambers County Sheriff's Office has received numerous calls from citizens in reference to an individual(s) calling them and representing themselves as members of the Sheriff's Office,” Maj. Mike Parrish said. “The callers are stating that an amount of currency must be paid immediately or an arrest warrant will be issued. Several victims have paid this money.
“Citizens are strongly advised not to fall victim to this scam,” Parrish continued. “If you receive a call of this nature, please record the phone number and contact your local law enforcement agency.”
By Scott Sickler
VALLEY — The Valley Rams (3-2, 1-1 in 6A-Region 3) played hard but couldn’t generate enough offense as the Rams fell to visiting 7A foe Smiths Station Panthers 23-10 here Friday evening at Rams Stadium.
Coach Marshon Harper’s team played hard, was very solid once again defensively but Valley had a hard time consistently moving the ball and cashing in for TDs as it proved to be its downfall in the loss.
The Rams defense was the highlight for the home team as Valley was once again very stout in all aspects of its game.
Smiths Station converted a field goal and held a 3-0 lead after the first quarter.
Valley countered back when Bobby Colley booted a 37-yard field goal at 10:26 of the second quarter as the Rams tied the game at 3-all.
While the Rams defense continued to play well and deny Smiths Station a touchdown, the Panthers took the lead at 6-3 at 7:08 of the second after booting 31-yard field goal.
Valley was right in the game until later in the second quarter when Smiths Station tossed an 80-yard scoring pass with 4:38 left in the half for a 13-3 lead.
After Valley’s next offensive series was stopped, Smiths Station took over and made the Rams pay once again to take control of what was then anyone’s game.
Smiths tallied two TDs in a little over two minutes of play.
The Panthers scored on a 14-yard scoring pass with 2:11 left in the second for a 20-3 lead.
Smiths added another field goal in the third quarter, this time from 35 yards out, and the Panthers held a comfortable 23-3 lead.
Valley’s Martravious “Tre Tre” Williams tallied the Rams lone score of the game on a one-yard run off tackle with 9:44 left for the 23-10 final score.
It was a frustrating evening for Valley as the Rams totaled 12 first downs but were only able to score one TD in the loss.
Japai Robinson had a terrific game defensively for the Rams with a team and game-high 13 tackles, including eight solo stops.
Broski Peterson also had a solid game on offense for Valley with six receptions for 58 yards and quarterback T. J. Lowe completed 15-of-24 passes for 126 yards but had two costly interceptions.
Tyreic Martin had a monster game defensively for the Rams as the junior continues to dominate and display why he is considered one of the state’s top players in the class of 2016.
Martin had seven tackles, including five solo stops and three big sacks, all of which halted Smiths Station drives deep in Valley territory.
Valley rushed the ball 31 times for 88 yards as Williams had 25 yards on nine carries and one score while D’Qwentin Billingsley added 35 yards on 13 attempts and Lowe chipped in with 28 yards on nine carries as well.
Zach Miles also pulled down three pass receptions for seven yards.
Billingsley also forced a fumble.
Other defensive leaders for Valley included Keon Meadows with nine stops (5-4), Deangelo Dunn with seven (5-2), Rye Shiver also had seven (1-6) as did Martin (5-2). Enrique Evans chalked up six stops (4-2) while Terron Barker had five (2-3).
Martin (three) and Shiver (one) combined for four sacks.
•Valley looks to get back to the win column next week with a 6A-Region 3 game at Chilton Co.
By Wayne Clark
WOODLAND, Ala. — The Lanett Panthers came into 2014 season with high expectations. They were rated No. 2 in the state in Class 2A, and with a lot of key players coming back from last year’s third-round playoff team that won 11 games, the sky appeared to be the limit for the team.
But now with the season half over, the Panthers are only 2-3 on the year and 1-2 in Area play after a surprisingly easy 28-14 win by the Woodland Bobcats on Friday night.
Take nothing away from Woodland; they’re a fundamentally sound team that’s well coached and gets good results from the limited talent they have. In terms of athleticism, though, this game should have been a mismatch in Lanett’s favor and seeing the Panthers get totally dominated by a lesser skilled team was hard to understand.
Somehow, some way this team has undergone a train wreck, and it’s getting late in the year to get things turned around. To be honest about it, the rest of the year looks very ominous in terms of the schedule. Given the way this team has played the last two Fridays, three of the four teams the Panthers will play would appear to be prohibitive favorites.
Simply stated, if you lose to Woodland by two touchdowns you probably won’t beat 4A Handley or Area foes Randolph County (who a couple of weeks ago beat Woodland 28-12) and always tough Reeltown.
As disappointing as it is to admit it, a hometown team that started off the year ranked No. 2 in the state might finish the season not only out of the playoffs but with a losing record overall. At this point it looks like a team that started off ranked that high may win only two, maybe three, games for the season.
Lanett has some soul searching to do. If they want 2014 to be anything but a complete disaster they need to start turning it around in a major way this week.
On Friday, the Panthers started coming up short on the first series and things really didn’t get a while lot better.
After putting the ball in play on their 38 following the kickoff, they gained nine-and—half yards in three running plays. They went for it on fourth and less than one but were held short on a quarterback sneak.
The Bobcats took over on the Lanett 48 and took advantage of that short field by driving it in for a touchdown. Quarterback Tyler Gay did a good job of leading the team down the field and got the first score of the game on a 15-yard run on a fourth-and-five play. Hunter Baldwin’s PAT made the score 7-0 Woodland with 5:52 left in the period.
Running backs Justice Henry and Kendall Hudson accounted for most of the yardage on the drive. The Panthers missed out on a couple of chances to thwart the drive but failed to recover a fumble that laid on the ground a tantalizingly long time before Woodland got it back and failed to intercept a ball that was knocked high in the air for anybody to grab.
The Panthers tied the score on their next possession, going 65 yards in just three plays and getting a touchdown in a 55-yard run off the right side of the line by Marlon Bridges Jr. Bryce Clifton’s extra point tied the game at seven with 4:08 left in the opening period.
After stopping the Bobcats on their next possession, Lanett had a chance to take the lead. They drove the ball from their six-yard line to inside the Woodland 25 before being pushed back by a holding penalty. That killed the drive, forcing a punt.
Woodland took over on their 12 and ate up most of what was left in the second period by driving the ball, mostly on running plays, to the Lanett end zone. Runs by Henry and Hudson accounted for most of the yardage. The key play of the drive came on fourth and six from the Lanett 18. Hudson ran the ball off the right side of the line, getting the needed yardage for a first down on the 12.
On third and six from the eight. Henry found running room off the right side to score the go-ahead TD for the Bobcats. Baldwin’s PAT gave the hosts a 14-7 advantage with 2:25 left in the half.
Penalties killed Lanett’s final drive, and the half ended with Woodland having that one score advantage.
Lanett stopped Woodland on their opening possession of the second half and looked to be getting a drive going on their first possession when quarterback Tray Story had a 30-yard run to midfield. From there, though, things started to go sour.
The Panthers lost five yards on a bad snap. Bridges ran for seven on the next play, but on third and eight Story’s pass was intercepted on the Woodland 41, killing the drive.
The Bobcats then drove the ball 60 yards before being stopped short of the goal on a fourth down play. A 38-yard run by Gay highlighted the drive.
The biggest play of the game took place two plays later. On first down, Lanett was flagged for a false start. That put the ball back a couple of inches to the goal line.
On the next play the quarterback fumbled the ball on the center snap. It got loose with Woodland’s Hunter Henry recovering in the end zone for a touchdown. A successful PAT made the score 21-7 in favor of the Bobcats with 51.6 seconds left in the game.
With just one quarter left to play, a two-TD deficit is a tough thing to overcome for a team that’s scored only once in the game.
The Panthers did make things interesting by having a scoring drive late in the game and cutting it to 21-14. A run around left end by Cameron Trammell and a major distance penalty added on for targeting put the ball on the Woodland 26. A well executed pass play from Story to Trammell advanced the ball to the 10. A personal foul penalty for hitting out of bounds pushed it five yards closer, to the five.
On the next play, Trammell took a toss sweep around right end for the score. Clifton’s PAT cut the margin to one TD, 21-14, with 2:51 left in the game.
The Panthers then opted for an on-side kick. Woodland recovered and drove the ball in for one final score in the game’s final seconds.
By Scott Sickler
LANETT — The Springwood Wildcats (3-2, 1-2 AISA 2A-Region 1) put together a complete game on both sides of the ball in a dominating performance as coach Thomas Hill’s team won its second straight with a 40-22 win over visiting Cornerstone Christian Academy (CCA) here Friday evening at Springwood Stadium.
Since snapping a two-game skid two weeks ago against Northside Methodist, Springwood has really turned the corner for success and played impressive, fundamentally-sound football. The hard work as well as attention to detail has paid dividends and made the team a much more confident squad in its drive to earn an AISA 2A state playoff berth later in the season.
The Wildcats have scored 88 points the past two games and performing much better collectively on defense.
Springwood opened the scoring in the first quarter on a 38-yard aerial strike from quarterback R. J. McDonald to Maurice Fears. Add on Noah West’s PAT kick, it was 7-0 Wildcats.
While the Springwood defense continued to dominate the CCA offense, the Wildcats tallied three scores in the second quarter to turn what was anyone’s game into a commanding 27-0 halftime lead.
Fears scored on a 20-yard scamper off tackle followed by a 42-yard scoring run from Shykee Thomas to up the Springwood lead to 20-0.
Later in the second quarter, McDonald hooked up once again with Fears on another scoring strike, this time from 28 yards out, as the Wildcats pushed the lead to 27-0 at the halftime intermission.
Steven Stuntz added to the scoring parade for Springwood in the third quarter as the hard-nosed fullback tallied a two-yard TD run off tackle and a 33-0 Wildcats lead.
Springwood’s final score of the game was a 39-yard scoring run by Thomas, his second TD of the game, and a 40-0 Wildcats lead.
CCA tallied a pair of third quarter scores and one more TD in the fourth for the 40-22 final score.
West successfully converted on four of his PAT kicks as well.
Springwood rushed for 309 yards on 35 carries as Fears led the way with 127 yards on 11 carries and a pair of TD receptions and one rushing score while sidekick Thomas tallied 112 yards on just eight carries and two TD runs.
McDonald had another excellent game in leading the Springwood offense as the senior completed 9-of-11 passes for 139 yards and two TDs and had one pass intercepted.
Linebacker Michael Vo led the Wildcats defense with another stellar effort as he continues to shine in his senior season.
Vo tallied 11 total tackles (5-6), Fears, A.J. Braxton and Austin Teague also had big games defensively with seven stops each.
Elijah Carroll added five tackles while Aaron Benford also had five.
Sage Ferrell, Jeremy Kemp and David Miller all had four stops as well.
•Springwood renews a long-standing rivalry with the Chambers Academy Rebels Fri., Sept. 26 at CA’s Torbert Field in LaFayette.
VALLEY — Mr. Anthony George Booker of Valley died Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at South Village Nursing Home in Rocky Mountain, N.C.
Funeral arrangements will be announced by Foreman Funeral Home in Valley.
FIVE POINTS — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mr. Tart Holloway Jr., 79, of Five Points, who died Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at his residence.
Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.
AUBURN — Ms. Dominique E. Jackson of Auburn, formerly of Valley, died Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, at her residence.
Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. at Davis Memorial Mortuary Chapel in Valley with Pastor Connie Hall officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery in Lanett.
Davis Memorial Mortuary of Valley is handling arrangements.
OPELIKA — Mrs. Kathleen Elise Betts Fox died Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, at the age of 98 at Arbor Springs Health and Rehab Center in Opelika.
Services will be held Monday, Sept. 22 with visitation and viewing from 2 until 4 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley, followed by a chapel service at 4 p.m. at the funeral home.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.
LaFAYETTE — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mr. Eddie Frank Thomas Sr. of LaFayette, who died Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at Bethany House in Auburn.
Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.
BIRMINGHAM — James Richard (Dick) Walton, 82, died Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, at Brookdale Place Assisted Living in Birmingham, Ala., after a lengthy illness.
There will be a graveside service in LaFayette on Monday, Sept. 22 at 11 a.m. and a celebration of life at Briarwood Church in Birmingham on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m., with a visitation at 10 a.m. in the foyer.
Jeff Jones Funeral Home is handling arrangements.