Year in review: July – September

Published 9:00 am Friday, December 29, 2023

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

July 6

Life-saving actions

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Troup County Sheriff’s Deputy Carrla Querry’s quick actions saved two lives after a traffic accident resulted in two people being trapped in a burning vehicle.

July 6

LaFayette native has written five books since 2021

LaFayette native and author Sid Mickle self-published two books in 2023. The first is a tribute to Chambers Academy’s class of ‘73, delving into the history of the school.

July 11

Area churches make a bold move: Exodus from United Methodist Church

In 2021, a mass exodus of churches from the United Methodist Church began. In the North Alabama Conference, 332 exited from the denomination including at least six in Chambers County recently.

July 12

The City of Valley reclaims

Riverdale Mill Site

For the second time, the City of Valley became the owner of the Riverdale Mill site. The city council approved a to accept a donation for the 17-acre site from Riverdale Mill LLC; the land had been appraised value of $585,000.

July 19

Lanett City Council tackles

overgrown lots and garbage rates

The Lanett City Council set new rates for garbage collection. The commercial rates went up from $14 a month to $21 and the residential rates rose from $17.82 to $21.

July 26

‘In the nick of time’

After four months the construction on the City Lake Spillway repair was completed. The spillway was damaged due to the flooding in March, which led to a brief water crisis.

July 27

Drug takeback box installed at

wellness center

A drug takeback box was installed at the Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center after an anonymous sponsor donated to have one purchased.

July 29-30

Lanett Senior Center honors COVID victims with memorial bench

A memorial bench was dedicated at the Lanett Senior Center in memory of local residents who died during the COVID pandemic.

Aug. 4

Hometown Mercantile: The new face of LaFayette downtown square

The Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and LaFayette community members welcomed a new business downtown called Hometown Mercantile on the Square with a packed storefront. The store offers cultivated local goods such as purses, candles, hats, pillows, and custom goods.

Aug. 18

Thank You Valerie Grey sets her sight on retirement from CCDA

The Chambers County Commissioners honored retiring Chambers County Development Authority Director Valerie Gray for her years of service to the county.

Aug. 22

Inspire Academy gives students

options

Chambers County School District’s Inspire Virtual Academy kicked off the school year with consistent enrollment numbers of returning and new students almost daily after a successful inaugural graduating class in spring 2023.

Aug. 23

West Point street closed by sinkhole

A sinkhole was discovered at 2nd Avenue and West 9th Street by West Point city officials blocking the roadway in August.

Aug. 26-27

Keeping up with Technology

In the past five years, Artificial Intelligence has become more readily available to consumers. Schools and Universities have watched AI pervade the college sphere in particular. Online work has had a helping hand with autocorrection, predictive text and even generating entire essays.

Aug. 26-27

Two 19-year-olds olds killed in

accident

Police were called to a one-vehicle accident on I-85 North in the area of the 73-mile marker. On arrival, it was found that the driver and a passenger had died due to injuries sustained in the accident. They were both 19 years old from Lanett.

Sept. 7

Police Jurisdiction Abolished

The Lanett City Council has voted unanimously to abolish its police jurisdiction. Under a new state law, the city can not collect any sales tax in the police jurisdiction. The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office will assume responsibility for the jurisdiction on Jan. 1.

Sept. 9-10

Two former LPD officers indicted

Two former Lanett Police Department officers — Christopher Looser and Amber Bolt — have been indicted by a Chambers County Grand Jury. Looser was indicted for assault after he allegedly knocked out a man’s teeth while he was in the back of his patrol car. Bolt was arrested in an ethics investigation leading to a grand jury indictment.

Sept. 12

Owner of Valley’s Third Eye Surgery arrested for Drug distribution

Steven Cody Templeton, 28, the owner of Third Eye Surgery, was arrested on five counts of illegal drug distribution at his business.

Sept. 13

Changes to trash collection

West Point announced last week that Amwaste will be breaking trash collection up into two days. Rather than picking up waste on Friday, trucks will collect trash on Tuesday and Wednesday beginning this week.

Sept. 21

Volunteer to rebuild home

destroyed by tornado

Approximately 40 volunteers with Carpenters for Christ will be on Smith Street building a new home for Mary Ann Smith. The daughter of a former West Point chief of police, Smith lost her home in the tornado and has since been living temporarily in a utility building on the lot.

Sept. 26

Smithsonian exhibit heading to

Roanoke

An exhibit from the Smithsonian visited to the Annie L. Awbrey Library in Roanoke, Alabama, to tell the story of the history of rural towns in America and their evolution. Crossroads: Change in Rural America is a Museum on Main Street (MoMS) traveling exhibition, which toured many museums and libraries in cities across the country.

Sept. 27

We are ready to move forward

The Chambers County School District began moving forward with plans to build a consolidated high school in Valley that will open in fall 2026, following the written opinion from U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins issued Friday.

Sept. 28

LaFayette protests at the BOE meeting

LaFayette Teachers Against Displacement held a rally to protest against the board’s decision to build the new consolidated high school in Valley just days after district court judge Keith Watkins released his full ruling, OK’ing the decision. In June, Watkins’ order was released, ordering LaFayette High School to stay open while the school district moves forward with building at the Valley site.

Sept. 29

West Point court recognized

West Point municipal court was recognized with a clearance rate excellence award by the Judicial Council of Georgia. City Manager Ed Moon said the award recognizes the efficiency and effectiveness of the municipal court at managing their caseloads.

Sept. 30-Nov 1

LF decides not to pull back its police jurisdiction

During Thursday’s council meeting, the LaFayette City Council decided not to adopt an ordinance to pull back its police jurisdiction to its city limits in response to the state law which prevents them from collecting taxes in the area.