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LaFayette whittling down police candidates

LaFAYETTE — The City of LaFayette is getting close to naming a new police chief. The city council’s three-member police committee has interviewed a number of candidates and has narrowed the field down to a few finalists. An announcement on the new chief could be made in the very near future.

“We have some really good candidates,” Mayor Barry Moody told The Valley Times-News after the meeting. “We screened applications from an original group of eight candidates, and we have made several interviews. When they have made a decision, the committee will make a recommendation to the full council.”

The council could vote on the recommendation either at a called meeting or the next scheduled council meeting, which will be taking place on Tuesday, May 29.

At Monday’s council meeting, Mayor Barry Moody and members of the council discussed what rate of pay the interim chief, veteran LaFayette officer George Rampey, should be paid for the period he served as acting chief.

Rampey has been with the LaFayette Police Department for 21 years and in Chambers County law enforcement for 25 years.

Mayor Moody was authorized to determine what the previous interim chief was paid and to pay Rampey at that same rate.

In other action, the council voted to deny a claim made against the city by Bobby Lee Moore. City Attorney Mac Tucker recommended denying the claim based on the fact Mr. Moore did not have standing in this matter. The property, he said, is in the name of T.J. and Penny Moore. It needs to be in the name of Bobby Lee Moore for him to make a claim in regard to the property.

The council asked Tucker to write a letter to previous claimant Antonio Jones, explaining why the city had denied his claim. He’d previously claimed that his big-screen TV became inoperable due to an electrical problem involving the city. The problem with that claim is that he waited too long to make it. There is a set time period for claims to be made to be considered valid.

Council Member Neal McCurdy commended the city’s recreation department for the job it had done with the T-ball program. Mayor Moody agreed with that.

“We started T-ball last year with two teams,” he said. “We have six teams this year. That’s three times as many, which is great. You want to see that kind of growth with your recreation program. It just lights up your eyes to see this kind of participation. I’ve been told we are going to have an even bigger turnout for football this fall.”

The council presented four $2,500 scholarships to 2018 graduates of LaFayette High and Chambers Academy. The scholarships are made possible by LaFayette’s membership in the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, or AMEA.

This year’s recipients are William Brinson Sheffield, Holli Elizabeth Traffanstedt, Jasmine Sharday Pitts and Ronald Mack Waldrop.

Sheffield is a senior at Chambers Academy and plans to attend the Opelika campus of Southern Union State Community College, majoring in finance. He’s been on the Headmaster’s List and has attained Presidential Excellence. He has earned the highest average among the school’s football and basketball players. His volunteer service includes helping Chambers Academy with fundraisers and school events.

Traffanstedt is also a senior at Chambers Academy. She plans to attend UAB after graduation and to major in biology. She’s a member of the National Beta Club, a varsity basketball player, captain of the school’s Scholars Bowl team and a member yearbook staff. Traffanstedt is also a junior ambassador and participated in Chambers Academy’s Work Days, works in the theatre and at the concession stand at horse shows.

Pitts is a senior at LaFayette High. Following graduation, she plans to attend the Wadley campus of Southern Union State Community College and to major in massage therapy. She has been a member of the school’s basketball, volleyball and track teams. Her volunteer work includes data entry and organization at the LHS media center.

Waldrop is a senior at Chambers Academy. He plans to attend the Opelika campus of SUSCC after high school graduation. He played varsity football and was a member of Interact. He helped out with school fundraisers and helped drag the chains at the JV and pee wee football games.