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April 18, 2014
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Point University Community Band holds spring concert
Point University Community Band holds spring concert

On Tuesday evening, the Point University Department of Fine Arts presented a spring concert by the Point University Community Band. Conducted by Michael Daniell (at left), the concert took place inside the Point University Fine Arts Performance Hall, which is located across West Fourth Avenue from the Academic Center. Selections included "Fanfare and Hymn: A Mighty Fortress" by Jay Bocook, "Amparito Roca (Spanish March)" by Jamie Texadore, "Jerusalem" by C.H.H. Parrny, "Themes from First Suite in E" by Gustav Holst, "Joy," by Frank Ticheli, "Grace" by Randall Standridge, and "Ascentium" by Ed Huckeby. Three Point students – Daniel Harbin on the violin, Rachel White on the flute and Lindsay Carter on the oboe – did an especially nice version of "Finale from Grand Trio" by Frederick Kuhlau. Other members of the band include Suzanne Bryan, Leana Kuhnert and Judy Beach on clarinets; Sarah Etherton on the alto sax; David Jennings, baritone sax; Ken Holewinski and Margaret Cook, trumpets; Howard Bryan and Gretchen Montieth, French horns; Duncan Lord, trombone; Art Metcalf, euphonium; John Miller, tuba, and Daniel Harbin, Jamia Johnson and Andrew Henry, percussion. Some of the band members make a weekly trek from the metro Atlanta area to participate in the Tuesday evening rehearsals. "The band appreciates your attendance and your attentiveness," Daniell told the crowd taking in the concert. "May the Lord bless and keep you on this cool evening." (Photo by Wayne Clark)

Fifth suspect is arrested in Griggs murder case
Fifth suspect is arrested in Griggs murder case


LANETT — Lanett Police Department have arrested a fifth murder suspect in the April 9 murder of Christopher Michael Griggs, 27, of Lanett.

Officers arrested Charlie Sigers Jr., 36, of Valley in connection with the April 9 murder. Sigers is awaiting a bond hearing at the Chambers County Detention Facility.

Previously charged with murder in the case are Jacob Chase Shaddix, 18, of Valley; Rocky Tyler Starkey, 18, of Valley; Thomas Brent Starkey, 23, of Valley; and Paul Teague, 25, of Valley.

Griggs died of a gunshot wound in a shooting incident reported to Lanett police at 3 a.m. Wednesday, April 9 at a residence in the 3200 block of 44th Avenue SW.

Newton named principal at LaFayette Lanier Elementary
Newton named principal at LaFayette Lanier Elementary


LaFAYETTE — On Wednesday, the Chambers County Board of Education named a new principal for LaFayette Lanier Elementary School. The board unanimously backed Superintendent Dr. Kelli Hodge's recommendation that the school's interim principal, Russell Newton, be named to the permanent position.

Newton has been the interim principal at the school since January, succeeding Christopher Walker, who had resigned. Newton will serve the standard, two-year probationary period, at which time he could be offered a three-year contract.

Newton has a B.S. degree in business administration, an M.S. in education and an administration certificate from Troy University. He worked with the Georgia Power Company from 1986 to 1999 and has been with the Chambers County School System since 2000.

He's been a fourth grade teacher at Fairfax Elementary School (2000-2011) and an assistant principal at W.F. Burns Middle School (2011-2014). He was the ninth grade head football coach at Burns in 2008-09.

There was a total of 37 applicants for the position, 29 of whom were qualified with the right degree. A three-member panel interviewed six people with teachers offering their input.

In other business at Wednesday's monthly meeting, the board approved a contract to Richard Sprouse Construction to install a new roof and to do some exterior painting at Bob Harding-Shawmut Elementary School. Sprouse offered the lowest of three bids received, offering to do the roof for $84,500 and the painting for $18,000.

Dr. Hodge said this offer was much lower than expected and leaves some bond money that can be applied to more roofing projects. The Bob Harding-Shawmut roof has been on the school since the early 1990s and is in need of replacement.

The board approved textbook adoptions recommended by a textbook committee. Books reviewed this year are in social studies. Dr. Hodge recommended that the board approve the full list recommended by the state. The trick now is figuring how the $31 per student that's provided by the state for textbooks can purchase textbooks that cost more than $80 per book.

Dr. Hodge reviewed what the state legislature has been doing in the way of funding education this year. She said that Gov. Robert Bentley had signed an education budget that was probably "as good a budget as we could have hoped for." It includes increases for insurance of $714 to $780 per employee per month.

The signed budget does not include the two-percent pay raise Gov. Bentley had wanted, and it's possible there could be a special session later on to act on that.

Chambers County will benefit from an increase in Other Current Expenses (OCE), which is up by some $17.7 million in the budget. This figures to around $15,967 per teacher unit, compared to $15,661 last year. "This is truly, truly important for us," Dr. Hodge said.

Funding for student materials is going up from $300 to $310 per teacher and funds for textbooks will be going from $31 to $35 per student. The problem for local systems is that most new textbooks cost more than $100 each with the math texts costing more than $200 each.

There's a small increase for transportation, and the county's 10- mill match will be going from $2.6 million to $2.7 million. To receive any money from the state, the local system has to provide that. Chambers County also has to have a one month operating balance of $2.7 million.

"Overall, I'm pleased with what's been done, and I appreciate that Gov. Bentley has not called a special session," Dr. Hodge said. "He said he would be watching this and could call a special session later on if there's enough money in the pot. This could mean a teacher raise later on."

The board approved a contract to low bidder King Ford for a new cargo van for use by the system's painter. The van presently being used dates to 1994 and has more than 250,000 miles on it. "It's been breaking down a lot," Dr. Hodge said. The new vehicle will cost $21,993.75.

The board extended a lease on the Milltown school property for one more year. This is something the system has had to do for a number of years now because there's no clear deed on the property.

In other action, the board backed Dr. Hodge's recommendation for this year's summer school location to be at Bob Harding-Shawmut and not Fairfax Elementary, as previously approved by the board by mistake. At the outset, the special education summer school was meant to be at Bob Harding-Shawmut but was grouped with the regular summer school, which will be taking place at Fairfax. "This is just clearing up a mistake we made previously," Dr. Hodge said.

The board approved a field trip for some students from the Chambers County Career Technical School. They will be going with teacher Seth Stehouwer to Pensacola, Fla., April 25 and 26 to participate in the Emerald Coast Electrathon Classic. They will be driving a battery-powered car they built in a competition. The car was on display at Saturday's LaFayette Day, where a number of people got to drive it along the downtown streets.

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Don Cleveland headed back to Boston for 118th marathon
Don Cleveland headed back to Boston for 118th marathon

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

WEST POINT — Like approximately 40,000 other runners from the 2013 race, West Point attorney Don Cleveland won’t ever forget the shocking and tragic events at the 117th running of the famed Boston Marathon last April.

An avid runner for many years, Cleveland is headed back to Boston for the third straight year and that’s not an easy accomplishment for anyone, especially the 62-year-old.

He first ran in the marathon back in 2012 after qualifying for the race with a time of 3:50:00 in January of 2011, Cleveland noted.

His qualifying run took place at the Soldier Marathon run in Fort Benning, Ga.

Cleveland also improved his time with a 3:45:00 in 2012 when he again qualified for Boston in November of 2011 for the 117th running of the race last year.

In the tragic events of 2013, Cleveland had finished the race approximately 10 minutes earlier when he heard what he thought then was perhaps a trash dumpster being dropped or heavy construction work on a building.

As it turned out, it was a pair of bombs in two backpacks which killed three spectators along the race near the finish line and injured well over 100 others in a cowardly terrorist attack.

Cleveland, like all others at the event, was deeply moved by the loss of life but is thankful to have earned another trip back to the “city of champions” next Monday in the 118th running of the race as coordinated by the Boston Athletic Club.

Cleveland earned his third trip to the race this year after posting a 3:42:00 time in November 2012, so he’s most definitely proving as he points out “I’m getting older faster than getting slower with my times,” he chuckled.

With times of 3:50:00, 3:45:00 and 3:42:00, Cleveland is proving he’s like a fine French wine — he’s getting faster and better as he ages.

The 118th running of the Boston Marathon will take place Mon., April 21, Patriots Day, also a federal holiday in the Commonwealth state and one other New England state.

Patriots Day in Boston usually means three things: 1) the marathon race; 2) the Red Sox are playing at Fenway Park; and 3) Lexington and Concord are busy with reenactments of the battles of the British for independence in 1776.

At 62, Cleveland will run in the 62-64-year-old division and his number is “20,930” and will be sporting a blue running bib reflecting his spot in the third corral of the third wave with runners from 18,000-26,999.

As part of the third wave of runners, Cleveland will take off at approximately 10:25 a.m. ET with three intervals starting at 10 a.m. every 25 minutes for three sets — 10, 10:25 and around 11 for the last wave of runners.

In addition, race organizers are planning to push the entry field up to nearly 50,000 for Monday’s race, Cleveland noted.

The entry fee to run in the Boston Marathon is $175 for Americans and $225 for international competitors.

•PART II Friday — learn more about Don Cleveland’s journey to Boston in Friday’s sports pages of The Times-News.

Weathers, Troup upset No. 3 Columbus Blue Devils 4-1
Weathers, Troup upset No. 3 Columbus Blue Devils 4-1

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LaGRANGE — The Troup High Tigers (11-9, 6-5) used a sterling effort on the mound from senior righthander Brannon Weathers and big hits from sophomore Miles Cameron and junior Jonathan Foster to upset the No. 3-ranked and 12-time state champion Columbus High Blue Devils 4-1 here at cold Tiger Field Tuesday evening.

Weathers was outstanding for Troup in only his second start of the season and the Tigers facing a must-win situation with a possible playoff berth on the line.

He tossed a 105-pitch, four-hit gem in striking out six Columbus batters in the process for the win.

After allowing Columbus a first inning run, Weathers kept the Blue Devils offense off balance and frustrated for the rest of the game in a stellar effort for the youngster.

Troup came back to take a 2-1 lead in the first which remained the same until the fifth inning.

Tyler Kemp ripped a single and Kemp and Foster both scored after a mammoth shot off the centerfield fence from Cameron off a 3-2 pitch and two outs for the 2-1 Troup lead.

It was a terrific job of hitting by Cameron, who fouled four pitches on a full-count, got his pitch, extended his arms, and hit a frozen rope off the fence in dead centerfield for a two-RBI double and as it turned out, enough run support for the win.

Holding a precarious 2-1 lead in the fifth, Foster sealed the win for Troup in blasting a tape measure, two-run homer to left field — a good 60-feet past the fence — to give the Tigers two big insurance runs and a 4-1 lead.

Troup had five hits in the game as Cameron, Foster, Kemp, Winston Turner and C.J. Tatum all had markers.

It was a huge win for coach Craig Garner’s Tigers and puts Troup right in the mix for a GHSA 4A postseason berth with three Region 5 contests remaining.

Springwood baseball team sweeps LaGrange Academy
Springwood baseball team sweeps LaGrange Academy

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LANETT — The Springwood Wildcats baseball team enjoyed its best performance of the season Friday as coach Walter Banks’ Wildcats posted an impressive doubleheader sweep (21-0 in Game 1 and 16-0 in Game 2) over visiting LaGrange Academy here at Founders’ Fields.

•In the Game 1 win, six players each had two hits to lead the offense.

Noah West, R.J. McDonald, Connor Caldwell, Jake Sullivan, Chris Caldwell and Justin McDiarmid all tallied two hits each.

Connor Caldwell also earned the win on the mound for Dr. Walter Banks’ team.

•In Game 2, Jordan Walls provided the big blow for Springwood with a grand slam in a three-hit game as the Wildcats completed the sweep with a 16-0 whitewashing of LA.

Other hitters for Springwood included Chris Caldwell with three hits, McDonald and McDiarmid each posted two hits while West, Connor Caldwell, Sullivan and Harrison Spivey all had one.

•In other high school sports Friday, the Troup High Tigers (10-9, 5-5) baseball team dropped another one-run heartbreaker to region rival Carrollton High Trojans Friday in Carrollton.

For the second time this season, Troup led Carrollton late in the game only to see the Trojans erase a 5-4 Troup lead in the last of the seventh for the 6-5 win.

Tyler Kemp and Tyler Bunn each had two hits for Troup.

Troup hosts Columbus Tuesday.


Obituaries for Thursday, April 17, 2014
Obituaries for Thursday, April 17, 2014


CUSSETA — Mr. William Larry Ogle, 58, of Cusseta died Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at LaGrange Hospice in LaGrange, Ga.

Funeral services are planned for Friday, April 18 at 2 p.m. EDT at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with Rev. Jason Roberts officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery.

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


LANETT — Mr. Mark Edward Phillips, 51, of Lanett died Friday, April 11, 2014, at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 17 at 2 p.m. at Mt. Hermon Baptist Church in Lanett with the Rev. Louis Upshaw, pastor, and the Rev. Alfred Booker presiding. Burial will follow at Pine Hill Cemetery in Lanett.

Foreman Funeral Home of Valley is in charge of the arrangements.

Obituaries for Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Obituaries for Wednesday, April 16, 2014


LANETT — Mr. Mark Edward Phillips, 51, of Lanett died Friday, April 11, 2014, at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 17 at 2 p.m. at Mt. Hermon Baptist Church in Lanett with the Rev. Louis Upshaw, pastor, and the Rev. Alfred Booker presiding. Burial will follow at Pine Hill Cemetery in Lanett.

Foreman Funeral Home of Valley is in charge of the arrangements.


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