Year in review: January-March

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, December 27, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a four-part series looking back at the year 2023 in Chambers County.

Jan. 6

TORNADO TOUCHDOWN

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One confirmed EF-o tornado hit the northernmost part of Chambers County during the storm in January, according to a survey crew from the National Weather Service in Birmingham.

Jan. 10

COMMUNITY THANKS LOCKHART DURING RECEPTION

The Community Room at Valley Community Center was a very busy place for three hours on Jan. 9. A reception was held for Chambers County’s outgoing sheriff, Sid Lockhart, to give people a chance to thank him for serving the county for 28 years and wish him well in retirement.

Jan. 11

‘GETTING THE BALL ROLLING’

In January, Chambers County Commissioners voted to move all county buildings, including the Lanett annex, to central time starting on March 6.

Jan. 11

TEACHER PROTESTING SCHOOL LOCATION

Two LaFayette High School teachers spoke on behalf of the LaFayette Teachers against Displacement (L-TAD) as a call to action during the LaFayette City Council meeting. They denounced the board’s decision to place the new consolidated school in Valley.

Jan. 13

DEVASTATION: TORNADO BARRELS THROUGH STANDING ROCK COMMUNITY, AT LEAST ONE FAMILY OF SIX DISPLACED

A powerful tornado touched down in parts of northest Chambers County, downing large trees, causing power outages, ripping roofs off of some homes and destroying a modular home off County Road 278 just east of Standing Rock.

Jan. 17

A NEW ERA BEGINS

A large crowd was present for Sunday afternoon’s swearing-in of a new sheriff. Jeff Nelson was the county’s first new sheriff since 1995.

Jan. 21

NO DECISION YET

The United States and the defense rested their cases in the new school site hearing of the Chambers County School District. The wait began as Judge W. Keith Watkins said he would allow parties 60 days to file briefs before he rendered a verdict.

Feb. 1

ETCHED IN HISTORY

The Atlanta Falcons have honored the late Jimmy Cribb, a Lanett native, for his 39 years of service to the team by dedicating the team’s new media room to him.

Feb. 3

HOUSE FIRE CLAIMS LIFE OF VALLEY WOMAN

Valley resident Jackie Earnest, a nurse for Chambers County School District, passed away in a house fire Feb. 2. The Board of Education sent a press release addressing the loss.

Feb. 18-19

DIVERSITY, INCLUSION EXPERT ADDRESSES COMMUNICATION ISSUES WITH SCHOOL BOARD

During the Feb. 15 Board of Education meeting, Dr. Travis Smith, founder of the United Corps, addressed the Board on their lack of communication with him as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion expert for the school district during consolidated school discussions.

Feb. 21

REMAINS OF CLINKSCALES CONFIRMED

Remains found on Dec. 8, 2021, were identified as Kyle Clinkscales, who disappeared in 1976. The vehicle Clinkscales was driving when he disappeared was located submerged in a body of water off County Road 83 in Chambers County.

Feb. 22

DENISE MCCAIN NAMED NEW CHIEF OF POLICE FOR LANETT

In a 3-2 vote, Denise McCain was elected to chief of the Lanett Police Department. She’s been with the LPD for the past two years as an investigator after retiring following a 25-year career with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

Feb. 25-26

UNITED FOR HEALTH

After nearly a month of demonstrations, LaFayette OnMed Telehealth station opened to patient visits, and it was free for the first 60 days.

March 9

HALL OF FAME BOUND

Former LaFayette basketball coach John T. Woody was named an inductee to the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.

March 11-12

CHARGES DROPPED

Charges against Valley resident Nortasha Jackson for failure to pay an $85 trash fee were dropped for being unlawful on Feb. 22 in Chambers County District Court.

March 18

OPERATION WIPE OUT: ERADICATING CERVICAL CANCER

In March, over 25 nurses from Chambers County School District trained to become community educators for cervical cancer prevention and HPV vaccination in partnership with Operation Wipe Out.

March 28

COUNTY ASSESSING STORM DAMAGE TO ROADWAYS

West Point and Chambers County began the week assessing tornado and flash flooding damage after a weekend of severe thunderstorms.

March 29

OPEN HOUSE SOARS AT LANETT REGIONAL AIRPORT

An estimated 1,500 people came to the airport’s long-awaited open house in March. Flight schools from Auburn flew in and gave plane rides to local kids.

March 30

STATE OF EMERGENCY

LaFayette citizens are being asked to conserve water after March 26-27 thunderstorms resulted in the city’s water pump to fail.

March 31

CHAMBERS COUNTY RANKS 43RD IN HEALTH IN ALABAMA

Chambers County saw its rank fall in a study that ranks the state of Alabama’s counties’ health and wellness. They went from 39th to 43rd.