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April 25, 2017
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Troup teachers will study at Harvard this summer
Troup teachers will study at Harvard this summer

A select group of Troup County school teachers have been chosen to attend a special training session this summer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The week-long course will focus on new and exciting learning experiences for students and effective teaching techniques for educators. Shown above are, seated from left, teachers Michelle Ashmore and Sara Proctor. Standing from left are Assistant Superintendent Karen Cagle; Superintendent Cole Pugh; teachers Andre Carter, Randy Hardigree, Shae Spencer and Kayla Yeargin; and Program Specialist Jim McMickin.

By DAVID BELL

LaGRANGE — Six Troup County school teachers have been selected to attend the Harvard Graduate School of Education this summer to learn about the Project Zero Classroom experience. This will be the second year in a row that the Community Foundation of Troup County, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley Inc., helped spur funding to send educators to this professional learning session.

During their weeklong stay at Harvard, the teachers will examine several areas of education including:

•What constitutes an effective and powerful learning experience in the 21st century.

•Teaching deeper understanding so learners can solve complex problems.

•Educators modeling intellectual curiosity and rigor.

•The shifting terrain of the profession.

•Responsiveness to complex social developments.

•Creating rigorous and relevant learning experiences that engage young minds.

Michelle Ashmore, an AP Government and Economics instructor at Troup High School, will be returning to Harvard for the second year. She said last year’s experience at Project Zero was, “truly unique and changed my perspective as an educator. I was able to bring innovative and engaging learning techniques back to my peers.” Ashmore will serve as a team leader for her fellow teachers attending this year.

Kayla Yeargin, an Accelerated Algebra instructor at Troup High and this year’s TCSS Teacher of the Year, is excited about being a student and attending classes on the prestigious Harvard campus.

“I look forward to bringing back a renewed learning experience for my students, and effective teaching strategies for my co-workers,” said Yeargin.

Other teachers making the trip are Shea Spencer, an English Language Arts teacher at Callaway High School; Randy Hardigree, a Life Sciences teacher at LaGrange High School; Andre Carter, a math teacher at Whitesville Road Elementary School; and Sara Proctor, a science teacher at Ethel W. Kight Elementary School.

“Each year, advisors to the Troup County Community Endowment Fund try to use grant funding in a way that moves the needle for Troup County,” said Betsy Covington, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley. “For these advisors, it’s all about investing in areas that pay big dividends. They believe that high-quality public education paves the way to a successful future.”

The Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley was formed in 1998 by a group of citizens interested in encouraging philanthropy and strengthening our communities. Since then, the foundation has grown to more than $140 million in assets and has awarded over $134 million in grants through its donor advised, unrestricted, designated, field-of-interest, scholarship, and organization endowment funds. As a local center for philanthropy, the Community Foundation works with individuals, families, corporations, private foundations and non-profit organizations to carry out their charitable objectives and address emerging community issues.

Local organizations that have joined the effort include The West Point Fund, Jindal Films, LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, Troup High Alumni Association, Rotary Club of LaGrange and Lions Club of LaGrange.

Alabama back to school sales tax holiday earlier this year
Alabama back to school sales tax holiday earlier this year

By CY WOOD

LaFAYETTE — Chambers County will be participating in the Alabama back to school sales tax holiday again this year, but the opportunity to save on back to school purchases will come earlier in the year.

The Chambers County Commission approved participating in the state sales tax holiday Monday. The holiday will be July 21-23 and during those three days consumers can save paying sales tax on clothing, computers and other school supplies.

Commissioners heard from property owner Rick McKay, who along with others had requested that the county vacate a roadway adjacent to their property. Dumping and vandalism is a problem on the stretch of road, and the county agreed to vacate the road and to pay half the cost of surveys necessary for the process.

The county agreed to participate in the cost of the survey, County Attorney Skip McCoy explained, because it was costing the county a lot of money to keep up the road and it served on public purpose other than for the adjoining property owners.

McKay explained that since the initial request for the road to be closed, some of the adjacent property had changed hands. He asked if it would be possible to forgo the owners paying half the survey costs, but stressed it would not be a deal breaker.

Commission Chairman Debbie Wood said the county’s participation in the cost is unusual but was done so for good reasons and will ultimately save the county money. Commissioner David Eastridge suggested the county clean up the area before turning the roadway over to the adjacent property owners.

Commissioner Charlie Williams asked if the county was setting a precedent by paying half the survey costs, but McCoy said no, that each situation would be evaluated on its own merits going forward.

McKay said he and the other property owners would pay their half so the process can proceed.

Wood pointed out that private roads in county subdivisions are a recurring problem, and asked Eastridge to chair a committee to review what the county might could do to assist property owners living on private roads. Wood mentioned problems with emergency vehicles being able to move along some of the private roads.

In other action at Monday’s meeting the commissioners:

•Approved a budget amendment to provide an additional $6,000 for Jackson Thornton, the company preparing the county’s financial statements.

•Approved a letter of engagement with Jackson Thornton to represent the county when the state auditors review the financial statements for fiscal years 2013, 2014 and 2015.

•Were advised by County Engineer Josh Harvill that the county is ready to start the right-of-way acquisition process for the Phillips Road project and suggested the commissioners consider holding a public hearing on the matter. All affected property owners will be notified by letter, Harvill said, but a public hearing would allow input from those property owners as well as other persons affected by the proposed project.

Commissioners agreed to ask if Huguley Elementary School could be used as a hearing site because of its central location.

•Were advised by Harvill that 18 pallets of electronic discards had been collected by the highway department and disposed of with the assistance of the City of Valley in a recent clean-up effort.

Valley declares three properties nuisance; city will clean up
Valley declares three properties nuisance; city will clean up

By WAYNE CLARK

VALLEY — The City of Valley is continuing to take action in cleaning up dilapidated properties.

At the Monday evening meeting of the city council, the costs of abating three such properties were confirmed at a public hearing preceding the meeting. Those properties were declared public nuisances in the regular session that follows. This clears the way for the Public Works Department to remove structures on the sites and to have them cleaned up.

The properties are located at 102 Denna Drive, 701 Spring St. and 2207 67th St. The Denna Drive site will cost $6,561.80 to clean up, the Spring Street site $9,310.44 and the 67th Street site $9,647.59. Liens will be placed on these properties to recover those costs.

In other action, the council accepted a donation of some property in the Langdale Mill village and a 1997 mobile home from Wells Fargo Bank N.A. Also approved was a resolution authorizing Planning and Development Director Travis Carter to sell some lots in the city. These properties came to the city through condemnation proceedings and are now considered surplus property available for purchase by interested buyers.

There are 17 such lots that are up for sale. Four of them have been spoken for. Two of the lots to be sold are located on Greenberry Circle, others are located on Walnut Street, Harmon Street, Bennett Street, 58th Street, Lower Street, Columbus Road, 55th Street, 20th Avenue, Truitt Street, 22nd Avenue and 26th Avenue.

The council approved the sale of some abandoned bicycles as surplus items. A motorized Panama Jack bicycle was purchased for $92.41 by Jason Fuller of Lanett. Josh Newborn of Lanett purchased an Ozone 500 Ultra Shock seven-speed bicycle for $21. Most of the available bikes were purchased by Eric Kennedy of Deatsville, Ala., for a combined total of $852.01.

With Mayor Leonard Riley being out of town, Mayor Pro Tem Jimmy Gilson presided over the meeting.

Police Chief Tommy Weldon told the council that this year’s Junior Police Academy will be taking place at Valley Community Center June 12-16. It’s usually a well attended program for youngsters in the 5-14 age group. The cost is $30 per student with applications being accepted through May 31.

Applications are available at the police department, the Community Center and at all area schools.

Valley Parks and Recreation Director Laurie Blount said that this past weekend’s senior softball tournament at Valley Sportsplex was a big success. A total of 42 teams from all over the Southeast took part. “They loved it here,” she said. “Milano’s and Sunny’s were filled on the days they were here.”

Blount thanked the Valley Dairy Queen on having provided Dilly Bars for half price at the concession stands. Blount added that Valley Parks and Recreation is at the midway point of the spring season and is busy making plans for the summer.

VPR has a new swim program director. Buzz Kuhn, who swam collegiately at LSU, is succeeding Bobby Poer, who recently accepted a similar position in Opelika.

Council Member Marquetta Madden thanked the Public Works Department on having taken care of a stop sign that had fallen down in her district.

Sports Sports icon 1 Sports icon 1 Sports icon 1 Sports icon 1

CA Rebels host Patrician in AISA 1A baseball quarterfinals
CA Rebels host Patrician in AISA 1A baseball quarterfinals

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LaFAYETTE — After winning its first region championship since the 2000 season, coach Matt Smith and the AISA 1A-Region 1 champion Chambers Academy Rebels baseball team (18-10) will host the Patrician Saints (19-14) Thursday in quarterfinal action at the CA baseball complex.

CA earned a first-round bye while Patrician defeated Cornerstone 11-5 and 8-6 last week.

“Patrician is a very scrappy team,” Smith said. "They defeated Cornerstone last week and they have good pitching, love to play small ball and put pressure on the defense.”

It’s been a terrific season to date for the Rebels but CA has lofty goals to make a run through the 1A playoffs and try to win the school’s first state championship since the 1999 team won the 1A title.

“Our guys are really excited about the opportunity to host a second- round playoff series,” noted Smith. “We have had a great season so far but we don't want it to end here. All the guys know that starts with having great mental focus at practice this week and preparing to play a very strong Patrician team.”

The CA-Patrician series is also the first time, Smith noted, that CA has hosted a home state playoff series since 2000.

From 1997-2000, the Rebels were an AISA powerhouse, won the 1999 state title led by Smith’s older brother, Scott, a lock down righthander with a devastating curve ball, Chris Busby and others. It was a very successful four-year run for CA with a plethora of great players, including Jamie Hancock. The slugger smashed a school and AISA record 24 homers his senior season in 1997.

The ’17 Rebels have been stout at the plate as well.

Hunter Davis leads CA with a .564 average with six home runs, 37 RBIs, eight doubles, nine triples, an OBP of .634, and an off-the-charts OPS of 1.682. By comparison, MLB star Mike Trout had an OPS of 1.105 last year. Davis is having one of the best seasons in CA history but he’s also got a lot of help as well.

Brock Ennis, a recent Birmingham-Southern football signee, has 26 RBIs, Dalton Thrower is hitting at a .376 clip with an OBP of. 459, Gavin White has an average of .325 and nine sacrifices, Braxton Allen is batting .329 and an OBP of .439 while Jordan Gillespie is hitting at a .315 clip with 15 stolen bases.

The Rebels pitching staff has been impressive as well.

Davis is 4-1 on the season with a 3.82 ERA, White is 3-2 with a 2.93 ERA and two saves and Thrower is 5-5.

•The CA-Patrician series is a best 2-of-3 games and set for Thurs., April 27 with Game 1 set for 1:30 CT. Game 2 will follow approximately 30 minutes after Game 1. The “if necessary” Game 3 would be played Friday at 1:30.

Brad Lowe resigns as Valley football coach
Brad Lowe resigns as Valley football coach

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

VALLEY — With a heavy heart, first-year Valley High football coach Brad Lowe has decided to step down after just one season as the Rams head football coach, the Times-News learned Friday afternoon.

A youth-dominated Rams team struggled to a 1-9 season in 2016 but prospects were looking bright next season with a solid year in the weight and conditioning programs and a plethora of outstanding talent returning on both sides of the ball.

Lowe was the eighth head football coach at Valley since Robert Maddox left his alma mater following the 1997 season.

“To all that are vested in the Valley program, it has been an honor to represent and develop our boys over this past year,” Lowe said. “Due to family issues, I have had to step down as head football coach; a decision that I have agonized over and done so with a heavy heart. Rest assured that we have made strides in a lot of areas, and the kids are to be credited for that. We have taken our lumps and done it with a process in mind for long-term, sustained success. I have no doubt that better days are ahead, and was looking forward to the upcoming spring and fall sessions with optimism and excitement. I will truly miss those that have supported us through the trials and tests, and am grateful to the administration that put their faith and trust in us. My intention from the start was to make a difference; I think we have achieved this by creating an awareness and mind-set for what kind of program we want to have. I feel that whoever takes over will be in a good position to take the foundation that has been laid and build on it for a revitalization of success. I will always hold a dear place in my heart for the players that have sacrificed to make us better. With love and God bless,” Coach Lowe said.

Valley rallies to post 2-1 series win over Jackson
Valley rallies to post 2-1 series win over Jackson

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

VALLEY — After falling in Game 1 4-0 Friday to the visiting Jackson High Aggies (17-10) in its AHSAA 5A first-round baseball state playoff series, first-year Valley coach Patrick Shiver knew his kids faced elimination and needed a strong response in Game 2 to stay alive.

They did that and then some in using that momentum to record a series-saving 3-0 win in Game 2 and a series-clinching 9-6 win in Game 3 to advance and move on to second-round play Friday.

Talk about answering the challenge, Valley did so and in resounding fashion.

While the Rams (17-15) struggled in Game 1 with four errors and numerous mental mistakes, Valley displayed the type of team baseball that produced its first region championship in 24 years.

Valley played a stellar game in surviving Game 2 in posting a 3-0 win.

Bubba Burrows was sensational tossing a three-hit shutout when his team needed him the most. Burrows struck out six in the win.

While Burrows dominated on the mound, freshman catcher Steven “Clutch” Coker tallied two hits and two RBIs, Eli Culpepper also banged out a pair of hits while Coby McDonald had one hit and one RBI while Ryan Meadows and Chris Conner also tallied hits.

In Game 3, Tyler Lott started for the Rams and allowed five earned runs on 10 hits while walking three.

McDonald came on in relief and was “lights out,” Shivers noted. McDonald threw four innings, allowed just two hits and no runs. “This is the kid we've been waiting for all year and he showed up at the right time,” Shivers added.

Coker once again led the way with two hits and three RBIs, Lott also banged out three hits and one RBI, Burrows chipped in with three hits and one RBI, Conner had two hits while McDonald and Chase Giongetti tallied hits.

“Jackson put a lot of pressure on us, more than any team has all year,” Shivers said. “They had tremendous team speed and relied heavily on it. It definitely gives us something to work on this week for sure. Every opponent presents a new challenge and we have to be ready.”

Valley will host the Charles Henderson High Trojans in AHSAA 5A second-round state playoff action. CHHS is coming off an 18-1 and 17-1 two-game series sweep Friday over Dallas Co.

Rams baseball notebook:

•Coker is batting .600 in last his nine games, noted Shivers. "He has come through for us as of late, finishing up strong in region play with the Beauregard series, Booker T. Washington series, now in the playoffs and he has continued to stay hot."

Obituaries

Obituaries for Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Obituaries for Tuesday, April 25, 2017

MR. CHAPPEL

VALLEY — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mr. Joe Chappel of Valley, who passed away Monday, April 24, 2017, at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala.

Foreman Funeral Home in Valley is in charge of arrangements.

MRS. DERVIN

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Mrs. Linda Johnson Dervin, 70, of Phoenix passed away Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in Phoenix.

Services will be held in Phoenix.

MR. FORD

DADEVILLE, Ala. — Funeral services are pending for Mr. Billy R. Ford, 73, of Dadeville, who passed away Monday, April 24, 2017, at Dadeville Health Care Center in Dadeville.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.

MRS. WITHROW

WEST POINT — Mrs. Elizabeth Withrow, 51, of West Point passed away Sunday, April 23, 2017, at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala.

Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, April 26 at 3:30 p.m. at Marseilles Cemetery in West Point.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is in charge of arrangements.

Obituaries for Monday, April 24, 2017
Obituaries for Monday, April 24, 2017

MR. CARMACK

VALLEY — Memorial services are pending for Mr. James Carmack, 74, of Valley, who passed away Sunday, April 23, 2017, at Bethany House in Auburn, Ala.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley is in charge of arrangements.

MR. FOSTER

PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Mr. Billy Foster, 81, of Pine Mountain passed away Friday, April 21, 2017, at his home.

The family received visitors Sunday, April 23 from 3 until 4 p.m. followed by a graveside service at 4 p.m.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley is in charge of arrangements.

MR. GOLATTE

CAMP HILL, Ala. — Funeral services are pending for Mr. Robert Golatte, 68, of Camp Hill, who passed away Friday, April 21, 2017, at his residence.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.

MR. ISON

LaFAYETTE — Mr. Render Lee Ison, 91, of LaFayette died Sunday April 23, 2017, at his residence.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday April 25 at 2 p.m. CDT at Mt. Zion Baptist Church with the Rev. Steve Powell officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery

Jeff Jones Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.

MRS. MINTON

LANETT — Mrs. Peggy Williams Minton, 65, of Lanett went to celebrate with Jesus on Saturday, April 22, 2017, at her home in Lanett.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley.

MRS. REAVES

VALLEY — Mrs. Annie “Doris” Reaves, 90 of Valley passed away Friday, April 21, 2017, at LaFayette Extended Care in LaFayette.

Funeral services were held Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with the Rev. Milton Newton officiating. Burial followed at Hillcrest Cemetery in Lanett.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley is in charge of arrangements.

MR. THORNEHILL

WEST POINT — Mr. Roger Thornehill Sr. of West Point died Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley

Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday, April 25 at 2 p.m. from Union Springs Baptist Church, 6710 Whitesville Road, West Point, with Pastor Kenny Johnson, officiant, and the Rev. Jerome Spence, eulogist. Burial will follow at Union Springs Methodist Cemetery in West Point.

Davis Memorial Mortuary of Valley is in charge of arrangements.

MRS. WITHROW

WEST POINT — Funeral services are pending for Mrs. Elizabeth Yearta Withrow, 51, of West Point, who passed away Sunday, April 23, 2017, at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley is in charge of arrangements.

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