One final look back at 2018

Published 6:11 pm Friday, December 28, 2018

EDITORS NOTE: This is the final story in a four-part series looking back at the year 2018 in Chambers County and Troup County.

Oct. 2

Chuck’s Bar-B-Q celebrates 40 years

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Chuck’s was purchased in 1978 by Sheryl and Karen Stone and has been serving Valley BBQ ever since.

Oct 3

Valley High students hospitalized, one arrested after ‘adulterated drinks’

Several Valley High students were hospitalized after ingesting an unknown substance potentially containing codeine. Eighteen-year-old Armani Deshon Ransom was arrested and four other minors also faced charges.

Oct 4

Love’s Travel Stop purchases West Point land for new location

Love’s Travel Stops purchased 20 acres of land located near Exit 2 on Interstate 85 in West Point with plans to build a 12,000 square foot facility on the site.

Oct 9

Kia holds team member appreciation day

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia held its Team Member Appreciation Day for thousands of employees and its family members.

Oct. 12

Wake of hurricane felt in Greater Valley Area

A glancing blow from Hurricane Michael brought down trees and large limbs and caused localized power outages.

Oct 13

WPFA holds Dia de Los Muertos exhibit

The first ever West Point Fine Arts Dia de Los Muertos art exhibit was held on the patio of El Rio Grande. “It was exactly what I was hoping for,” said WPFA founder Thea McElvy. “We had a nice turnout that kept rotating so that it wasn’t ever too crowded or too busy.”

Oct. 16

Lanett gets “Sassy” with new business

Those in the Valley with a focus on looking fashion forward got another option, as boutique and consignment shop, Sassy Shelby’s, held its grand opening.

Oct. 18

Police arrest

suspect in break-ins

Torrien Shane Sanders, 24, of Lanett was charged with two counts of second-degree theft, two counts of fourth-degree theft and five counts of breaking into a vehicle after a string of break-ins in Valley.

Oct. 20

Mega Millions

reaches highest amount ever

The Chevron and Summit stores off exit two in West Point were swarmed with people eager to try their luck for the largest Mega Millions payout in history, reportedly more than $1 billion.

Oct. 24

River Market Thrift opens with ribbon cutting

Chamber members and community leaders such as Valley’s Mayor Leonard Riley, Valley Police Chief Tommy Weldon and County Commissioner Debbie Wood watched as the ribbon was cut and the store officially opened.

Oct. 26

Abrams visits Kia

Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor, took a tour of Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point. Abrams lost the election to Republican Brian Kemp in November.

Nov. 3

Former employee ordered to repay $300K to county

A former bookkeeper with the Chambers County Probate Judge’s Office was ordered to pay back nearly $300,000 of misplaced funds by the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts. Rene Hunt Welch may have deposited less money into the bank than she recorded. It was found that she is responsible for under depositing from Nov. 14, 2014 to Oct. 11, 2017.

Nov. 6

Hundreds attend annual fredonia


The lawn in front of the Fredonia Community House was full of tents, people and products, all there to celebrate the history of the Chambers County community at the Fredonia Heritage Day festival.

Nov. 7

story wins probate judge race

Paul Story, the Republican candidate for the position, pulled out the victory with a total of 6,359 votes and 56.41 percent of the vote.

Wood wins

District 38

Debbie Wood will be the next Alabama Representative for District 38 after beating challenger Brian McGee Tuesday night. With the victory, Wood becomes the first female representative from District 38.

Whorton secures Fifth Judicial

Circuit, Place 2

Whorton, a Republican, defeated his Democratic opponent Mike Segrest from Shorter in Macon County, by more than 4,500 votes, or 57 percent to 43 percent. Whorton was able to get 17,269 votes to Segrest’s 12,764.

Nov. 10

Valley Police look for reported


Darron Keith Earles, 16, of Valley, was last seen on Thursday, Oct. 25, as he left Valley High School with belongings in his backpack. Earles is still missing.

Nov. 20

HolidayFest brings in 2,000


The Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce held HolidayFest on the River on West Point River Park.

Nov. 27

Thanksgiving shooting at club in Lanett

A shooting Thanksgiving night in Lanett left two people injured and taken to a local hospital.

Nov. 30

Community split on school


Based on survey data, the Chambers County community appears to be split on the idea of consolidating LaFayette High and Valley High into one high school. The survey information was presented at two community meetings in November, and a total of 1,607 people responded to a questionnaire about consolidation. Similar meetings will be held throughout 2019.

Dec. 1


relocates to larger office

The move came after the chamber outgrew their location in the 900-square-foot Chambers County Development Authority building. Now located at 2918 20th Avenue in Valley, in the Chambers Square shopping center, the white office building is now emblazoned with the GVACC logo.

Dec. 4

Christmas tree farm in 30th year

Gilbert Christmas Tree Farm celebrated its 30th year of operation and has become the premier place to buy fresh Christmas trees for those not only in the Greater Valley Area, but in Auburn, Opelika, Roanoke, LaGrange and Columbus as well.

Dec. 14

Bomb threat in West Point part of national hoax

Captain Robert Fawley said a local business in the 1200 block of OG Skinner Drive received an email indicating there were possible explosive devices in the building. Fawley did not disclose the name of the business, however a sign on the door of CharterBank said the building was closed, stating “do not enter the building.” Nobody was injured.

Dec. 15

Career Tech hosts



Bringing five of the brightest high school students from the area out to the center’s auto-shop classroom, the Chambers County Career Technical Center’s first annual Local SkillsUSA Automotive Contest tested students’ proficiency and composition when repairing or upgrading a car.

Dec 18

Mental health in Alabama

A report released in June of this year shows Alabama Department Public Health data from 2016 that reveals the suicide rate in Alabama hovers around 16.2 people out of every 100,000 in the state.