2021 in Review Part 1: Living with COVID-19

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, December 28, 2021

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a five-part series looking back at the year 2021.

Jan. 6

Chambers County hits new high for single-day COVID-19 cases

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East Alabama Medical Center reached a new high in COVID-19 patients on Monday, and Chambers County also set a new record for positive COVID-19 cases reported in a single day.

Jan. 8

Point broadband awarded $51 million grant to improve service in chambers

Point Broadband was awarded a total of $78 million for work in five states — Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, New York and Virginia. In addition to Chambers County, Point was awarded funding for work in Barbour and Calhoun counties. $51 million will be allocated to Chambers County.

Jan. 11

19-year-old identified after being found near Cleveland Road

On the morning of Jan. 10, at around 8:40 a.m., the VPD was dispatched to a wooded area near the 200 block of Cleveland Road. A hunter had noticed the body of a black female lying just off a trail approximately 100 yards from the road, according to the press release.

VPD said there were no visible signs of foul play, but an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

The body has been identified as Kloe D. Crenshaw, age 19, of Valley.

Jan. 13

Long-time Badcock employee finds stolen truck

VALLEY — Long-time Badcock & More employee Tristan Flournoy took it personally when someone stole his delivery truck on Saturday, Jan 2. He kept a keen eye for it everywhere. This past Monday, he found it parked outside Kroger in Lanett. It had been painted gray, but Flournoy knew the truck well enough that a new paint job couldn’t hide from him a vehicle he knew so well.

Lanett Police officers pulled in behind two suspects at a convenience store on the corner of Gilmer and First Street, determined that the truck had been stolen and arrested the two men in the truck.

Jan. 15

Chambers County Courthouse, Annex closes for two weeks

The Chambers County Courthouse in LaFayette and the Lanett Annex have been closed until the end of January as a precaution against the continuing spread of COVID-19.

Jan. 23

Local school staffs receive vaccination

On Saturday, staff members from Lanett City Schools, the Chambers County School District, Springwood School and Chambers Academy will get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

With phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution starting on Monday, teachers and school staff are getting the opportunity to receive their vaccines.

Feb. 1

Fire destroys Lanett high school field house

Lanett High School caught fire on Monday morning, and coaches’ offices, a film room and weight room were extensively damaged. No one was injured.

The blaze was spotted by LHS Principal Bryant Lumpkin and assistant coach Ernest Webb at approximately 7:50 a.m. EST. The area on the far right of the school campus was fully involved with fire at that time. The Lanett Fire Department was immediately contacted, and three units including a ladder truck were on the scene in minutes. Fast action on the part of a dozen firefighters kept the damage from being far worse than it could’ve been.

Feb. 1

$2.5 million lighting project announced for exit 79

An ATRIP-II project approved by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is bringing an estimated $2.5 million in lighting improvements to Exit 79 on I-85. It’s thought to be the first major spending on lighting at the interchange since the opening of I-85 in the 1960s.

According to Chambers County Highway Engineer Josh Harvill, just under $1.2 million of the total will come from interstate maintenance funds, close to $1.3 million will come from Rebuild Alabama ATRIP-2 funds and $120,000 from Chambers County.

Feb. 16

Lanett Mayor McCoy arrested on felony ethics charges

Lanett mayor Kyle McCoy was arrested on three felony charges of using his official position or office for personal gain Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced on Tuesday.

McCoy surrendered at the Chambers County Jail Tuesday morning, with a bond set at $30,000.

Feb. 22

High-speed chase ends in chambers county

According to a press release from the Opelika Police Department, on Feb. 22 at 4:50 PM EST the Opelika Police Department responded to a high-speed chase on Interstate 85 Northbound which began in Auburn.

According to the release, OPD Officers pursued the vehicle into Chambers County where the suspects were ultimately taken into custody. “During the pursuit, an OPD officer was struck by the suspect’s vehicle. The officer received non-life-threatening injuries and was treated at the scene,” the press release said. Community Relations Specialist Allison Duke with the Opelika Police Department told Valley Times-News that speeds reached up to 120 MPH. The incident remains under investigation by local agencies.