Year In Review: October-December

Published 10:45 am Saturday, December 30, 2023

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

Oct. 3

Progress being made on West Point house destroyed by tornado

Email newsletter signup

In October, a two-day volunteer project by the Carpenters for Christ saw much progress in building a new home for a West Point woman whose single-wide mobile home was seriously damaged in a March 29th tornado. 

 

Oct. 4

Lanett thanks commissioners for help installing traffic signals at exit 79

The City of Lanett officials have thanked county and state representatives for their help in securing a $2 million project to improve the lighting and to install new traffic signals on US 29 at Exit 79 on I-85. 

 

Oct. 6

Growth Academy receives grant for library, aim to improve literacy

To encourage student reading, Representative Debbie Wood presented a $1,500 check to the Growth Academy for a new library room as a part of the state Educational Fund.

 

Oct. 7

Community fired up for Food Truck Festival

Downtown LaFayette was filled with food trucks for the fourth LaFayette Main Street Food Truck Festival. Starting later than usual, the food truck officially began at 5 p.m. CT with music from the LaFayette High School Marching Band.

 

Oct. 21

Valley woman arrested after driving off in ambulance

On Oct. 17, Serenity Nyanda Trinea Rolland, 21, was charged with theft and attempting to allude after leaving  East Alabama Medical Center Lanier in a Lanett Fire Department ambulance. 

 

Oct. 25

Protestors’ signs banned from school board meeting; assistant superintendent brings his own sign to protest

Chambers County School Board meeting got off to an interesting start when LaFayette-Teachers Against Displacement protesters were told they couldn’t have their signs inside the board room. The day before, LaFayette city officials and CCSD Board signed a Memorandum of Understanding stating that signage and other disruptions would not be permitted in the meeting room. Later in the meeting, Assistant Superintendent David Owen went outside to counterprotest with his own sign.

 

Nov. 7

Local dance event aids cancer survivors

Three cancer survivors received checks after the Blessed Body and Fitness gym’s second annual fundraiser “dancing for a cure.” According to Blessed Body and Fitness owner Pamela Whitlow-Holloway, two survivors received a $500 check and another received a $100 check.

 

Nov. 7

CCDA event held to honor Gray

Industry and community leaders from across the county gathered at the Five Points Farm vineyard in November to celebrate local industry and Valerie Gray for her service as the Chambers County Development Authority (CCDA) Director for the past 25 years.

 

Nov. 7

Patrick joins Thornton, Ledbetter on West Point City Council

West Point City Council incumbents Sandra Thornton and Jerry Ledbetter retained their seats with 515 and 457 votes respectively. Kevin Patrick gained the third spot with 504 votes in the 2023 municipal elections. 

 

Nov. 14

West Point restaurants coming together to cook Thanksgiving meals

West Point businesses and Mayor Steve Tramell continued the tradition of passing out Thanksgiving meals this year. Around 200 meals were passed out on Martin Luther King Dr and 10th St from 10:30 a.m. to noon on the day of Thanksgiving.

 

Nov. 15 

Ribbon cutting held for Love’s Truck Stop in West Point

West Point is welcoming the country’s largest Love’s Truck Stop station to date at exit 2 just off of the interstate. The LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce held a packed-out ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new location on Wednesday. 

 

Nov. 15

Two protesters arrested at the Chambers County School board meeting for signs

Two protesters — Tytianna Smith, 24, and Yolanda Ratchford, 45 — were arrested during the Chambers County School board meeting for refusing to leave signage outside of the room where the board meeting was taking place.

 

Nov. 18

Ribbon cutting held for Krave Korner reopening

Residents of LaFayette gathered to celebrate the reopening of Krave Korner. The restaurant and catering business moved to the corner of LaFayette Street South and 2nd Avenue Southwest.

 

Nov. 18

1-year-old killed in Highway 50 crash

A 1-year-old from Valley was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Alabama Highway 50, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. The child was critically injured when the 2005 Toyota Camry the child was a passenger in was struck by a 2006 Mack tractor-trailer.

 

Nov. 21

RockingFest draws big crowd as unofficial start to holiday season

Downtown Lafayette hosted the fourth annual RockingFest on the Square in November. The event, hosted by the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce (GVACC) and the City of Lafayette, saw around 2,000 people and 68 vendors.

 

Nov. 27

Community rallies around humane society during power outage

The animals at the Chattahoochee Humane Society were without heat for almost two days due to a power outage after a breaker box exploded. The CHS staff sent out a plea for help with igloo dog houses and straw to keep the animals out of the cold and quickly received donations.

 

Dec. 4 

LaFayette police officer was arrested on harassment charges, as was second man

LaFayette Police Department (LPD) Sgt. Derrick Coley turned himself into the Chambers County Jail on Nov. 15, after warrants for harassment and harassing communication were filed against him. The two warrants were filed by private citizen, Jeremy Loftin, who was also arrested for harassment of Coley.

 

Dec. 5

Fairfax native takes her 67th turn around the Valley Merry-Go-Round

For 80-year-old Ellen Prickett’s family, the tradition has become a part of the Merry-Go-Round history. Prickett has taken a ride on the carousel every year since it opened in the 1950’s.

 

Dec. 8

Smoke detectors save lives of Beulah family

Beulah Fire responded to a residential fire in the early hours of the morning to find smoke emitting from the kitchen of a double-wide mobile home. The flames had been extinguished, damage contained, and the family safely outside. The residents had just changed out the batteries of their smoke detectors the day before. 

 

Dec. 11

Victims identified from two fatal accidents on I-85

Two people were killed in a multiple-collision accident that happened on I-85 South near exit 77. Two separate accidents happened in a “chain reaction” leading to multiple injuries and two deaths.

 

Dec. 14

LaFayette OnMed station is busiest in the country

The Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center had another record-breaking month for visits. LaFayette now hosts the country’s busiest OnMed station with over 90 health patients for November. 

 

Dec. 14

Ferguson will not seek re-election

Congressman Drew Ferguson (GA-03) announced Thursday that after the 118th Congress, he will be retiring from the House of Representatives.

 

Dec. 19

Locals celebrate Christmas with LaFayette parade

Locals lined LaFayette’s square to watch over 40 floats in the annual Christmas parade. The activities for the day started much earlier at 10 a.m. with a new tradition, the Cookie Crawl.

 

Dec. 23

Chambers, Lanett school districts below average in state assessments

Both the Chambers County School District and Lanett City Schools were below the state average in assessment scores. Overall, Chambers County School District fell 10 points below the state average with a districtwide score 73. Last year, CCSD had a 79 overall score and in 2019 — pre-COVID — CCSD scored a 78.

 

Dec. 23

CCSB reveals details on new high school

In the Chambers County School Board’s last meeting of the year, Superintendent Casey Chambley revealed the first look, mascot, and colors of the new consolidated high school to the board members. The school will be named Chambers County High School.

 

Dec. 29

Two dead in Valley crash during police chase

A two-vehicle crash that occurred at approximately 9:46 a.m. on Dec. 28, has claimed two lives. Aron C. Haynes, 98, of Valley, was critically injured when the 2005 Nissan Altima, he was a passenger in, collided head-on with the 2018 Kia Forte driven by Wesley T. McKinnon, 20, of Troy. McKinnon was in a police chase starting in Lee County when the crash took place.