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December 9, 2016
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Lanett cleans streets for tonight's Valleywide Christmas Parade
Lanett cleans streets for tonight's Valleywide Christmas Parade

On Wednesday afternoon, a City of Lanett grounds crew was out on Gilmer Avenue doing work along the curb. This is partly in preparation for Thursday evening’s annual Valleywide Christmas Parade and partly to keep leaves and other debris from clogging the storm water drains. Lanett residents usually turn out in a big way along Gilmer Avenue every year the Christmas parade heads south along the four lane. Above, Kiley Allen is driving the street sweeper, Clarence Wright the backhoe operator and Scott Kelly is manning the leaf blower. (Photo by Wayne Clark)

Southern Union offers adults new career pathways
Southern Union offers adults new career pathways


The path to a successful career can be rocky for adults who never earned a high school diploma. But now, thanks to a new Career Pathways workforce development program at Southern Union State Community College, that path is getting smoother —and faster.

According to June Abercrombie, coordinator for SUSCC’s Career Pathways program, this new educational option allows adult learners to simultaneously take GED (General Education Development) and career-specific classes, all in an accelerated fashion that allows students to go immediately into the workforce once they have their GED in hand.

Abercrombie, a former K-12 teacher, administrator and at-risk coordinator with 39 years of experience in education, joined the SUSCC staff in July 2016 and hit the ground running to ready the Career Pathways program for launch. That launch will occur in January 2017 when the Career Pathways option becomes available at all 16 SUSCC Adult Education GED sites in Lee, Randolph, Clay and Chambers counties.

She is excited about the program’s potential to help students and area industries, both of which will benefit.

“The need for people to get into the workforce is great,” Abercrombie said. “And there is also a tremendous need for high-skilled workers.” That fact was illustrated when Abercrombie and SUSCC Adult Education Director Derika Griffin toured nine local industries this past summer.

“All of them said they need more workers now, not two or three years down the road,” Abercrombie said. “This is a national trend. The need is there and I do not see it going away. It is a call to action.”

Students participating in the Career Pathways dual enrollment program simultaneously work on their GEDs while also taking classes that give them skill certifications in a variety of high-demand career paths: truck driving, machine shop technology, nurse assisting, child development and business.

SUSCC’s Career Pathways program, which is funded by the Alabama Community College System, is part of a national initiative developed by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education. It’s been rolled out in many communities across the nation to great success and is now coming to the east central Alabama area through SUSCC and with the help of many other partners.

“Career Pathways focuses on partnerships,” said Abercrombie. “This is such a tremendous job that no one entity can do it alone.” To that end, Abercrombie is bringing together a coalition of federal, state and local agencies, institutions and businesses to help streamline and expand education, training and learning opportunities for adult learners.

Those partners include several internal SUSCC academic programs — Adult Education, Health Sciences, Technical Education and Workforce Development, Business and Child Development. Student Services are also involved to help with issues ranging from registration to financial aid.

Because this is an integrated career path program, the content is contextualized to help students gain knowledge specific to their career path while also learning the necessary GED skills. Tutors and faculty can work together in the classroom to help them learn subject matter and technical applications of those subjects. “It is seamless,” Abercrombie said.

The program also provides ways for students to continue their education well into the future. As students complete course work, they earn stackable credentials that allow them to continue to advance in their career paths. “They can get one certificate and build others on top of that and, hopefully, keep going,” Abercrombie said. “We are creating a ladder to success.”

Though SUSCC manages the program, it will also rely on external partners such as workforce and economic development agencies, employers, labor groups and social service providers to make it successful. The list of SUSCC’s local external partners already includes the Alabama National Guard, Goodwill Career Center, Alabama Career Center, East Alabama Workforce Investment Network, Family Resource Center, area civic clubs and others. And Abercrombie hopes that list will continue to expand.

These external agencies work in a variety of ways, including helping students hone their “soft skills,” such as how to handle an interview or dress for professional success. It also helps overcome some of the barriers that may keep adult students from going back to school. Chief among these are lack of childcare and transportation as well as funds for college.

Local groups are already helping by providing childcare services to students and several local industries have expressed interest in helping pay educational expenses for Career Path employees who want to get further training. Career Pathway students are also eligible to apply for financial aid through the federal Workforce Investment Opportunity Act and Pell Grant programs, and SUSCC’s staff is ready to help walk them through that process.

As part of her job, Abercrombie has created a Career Pathways plan, which she describes as a “living, breathing plan“ that will be flexible enough to respond to each individual student’s needs as well as industry needs. She is also actively seeking new partners for the program.

“We have been inviting ourselves to the table as area groups meet on related subjects, “ she said. Among those groups have been community organizations such as local housing authorities and civic clubs. And she is eager to meet with any groups or business interested in learning more about or becoming partners in the Career Pathways program.

“Our ultimate goal to better serve our adult students and integrate those students into a career pathway so they can leave with an industry-valued credential that enables them to go into the workforce,” she said. “But we also want to engage with anyone who wants to be part of it.”

“This is important for economic development,” said Abercrombie. But it is equally important for local citizens who want to better their lives, and she is dedicated to serving those students.

“Everybody at SUSCC is creating a pathway for students,” she said, “and we will give them every ounce of support possible.”

Potential students or partners can learn more about the program by contacting Abercrombie at 334-745-6437 (Ext. 5341) or 334-749-8480 or juneabercrombie@suscc.edu. Or just stop in and visit Abercrombie at SUSCC’s Opelika campus. She’s always ready to help smooth and speed up a pathway to success.

Police reports for Thursday, December 8, 2016
Police reports for Thursday, December 8, 2016

Valley Police

VALLEY — Amanda Hogan, 26, of Valley was arrested for domestic violence third degree.

Paul Newman, 27, of Valley was arrested for domestic violence third degree.

Willie Benton, 22, of Valley was arrested for cruelty to animals.

Andreious Johnson, 45, of Valley was arrested for cruelty to animals.

Theft of property fourth degree was reported in the 3500 block of 20th Avenue.

West Point Police

WEST POINT — An incident of disturbing the peace was reported in the area of Forest Mill Lane.

Theft by shoplifting was reported in the 200 block of East 10th Street.

Chambers Sheriff

LaFAYETTE — James Floyd, 34, of Lanett was arrested for failure to appear-possess-

ion of controlled substance.

Sheriff officials reported 115 inmates in the Chambers County Detention Facility.

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

Lanett boys, girls sweep Horseshoe Bend
Lanett boys, girls sweep Horseshoe Bend

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LANETT — Tuesday was a big evening for the Lanett High girls and boys basketball teams as they opened the home schedule with a pair of resounding wins over outmatched Horseshoe Bend here at the Panther Den.

In the girls game, coach Charlie Williams’ Lady Panthers (1-1) posted a decisive 69-32 win.

“It was a great team effort for our girls,” said first-year coach Williams. “We got a great defensive effort from Ambria Jackson and Jacy Howell, combining for 18 steals.”

All-state shooting guard Ataiya Bridges led the way with 22 points while Ambria Jackson tallied 12.

Other scorers for Lanett included Chasity Coty and Octavia Wright each had 10, Crystalyn Sprayberry added six while Jadyn Wynn and R’Tiana O’Neal each had five.

•In the boys game, the 2A defending state champions moved to 2-0 on the season after belting Horseshoe Bend by an 81-25 score.

Rev. Richard Carter’s team took control early and sealed the win in the first quarter in rolling to the impressive victory.

“We played a little better tonight,” said Rev. Carter. “I saw some improvement in our young players.”

Lanett is less than two weeks into training since ending the football season in the state seminfinals following an outstanding 11-3 season.

Jalen Madden led the way for the Panthers with 16 points, Terrion Truitt tallied 12, Manny Littles scored nine, Tifton Dobbs and Zameron Boozer each had eight and Braylon Harrington chipped in with six.

•In other high school basketball Tuesday, the Springwood boys team (3-6) defeated Calvary Christian of Montgomery and the surging Lady Wildcats (9-1) posted a 50-21 win.

“It was a big win against a big, strong team,” said boys coach Drew Dorsey.

Daryl Moore led Springwood with 18 points, Christian Lancaster had 12 and Gus Davidson added eight.

•In the girls game, Springwood rolled to a 50-21 win.

“We played a very solid game tonight in moving to 9-1 on the year,” said coach Rick Johnson.

Tasza Garrett-Hammett led the way for the Lady Wildcats with 23 points, Andie Martin tallied eight while Maya Battle scored six and Langley Matthews chipped in with five.

•Springwood is next in action Thursday at 3A-Region 1 rival Edgewood.

Valley's Meadows signs with Huntingdon College
Valley's Meadows signs with Huntingdon College

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

VALLEY — After a stellar career for the Valley High baseball team, Rams senior Ryan Meadows will play his college baseball for the Huntingdon College Hawks in Montgomery, the youngster announced at his college signing press conference last week.

Meadows has enjoyed a terrific career at Valley and will play a key role in the success of the Rams this spring as well as at Huntingdon.

“Ryan shows his love and passion for the game as he has a tremendous work ethic and wants to be great at his craft,” said new Valley baseball coach Patrick Shivers. “It’s exciting to see a young man work as hard as he did and take his game to the next level.”

Meadows honed his skills as a member of the Valley Thunder baseball travel team from age 8-12.

A four-year letterman for the Rams (2014-17), Ryan will take his talents to Montgomery to play college baseball for the Huntingdon College Hawks.

While at Valley High, Meadows was a multi-talented player as a righthander on the mound, also played second base and saw action at shortstop as well.

The son of Mike and Robin Meadows, Ryan is interested in a career in exercise science and physical therapy following college graduation.

Defending 2A champion Lanett boys open with win
Defending 2A champion Lanett boys open with win

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

HAMILTON, Ga. — The AHSAA 2A defending state champion Lanett High boys basketball team opened its 2016-17 season in style here Monday as Rev. Richard Carter’s Panthers (1-0) rolled over the homestanding Harris Co. High Tigers by a 72-58 score.

Despite a number of players who are still banged up from a state semifinal football season, Lanett had a strong effort across the lineup in posting the win.

Manny Little led Lanett with 19 points, Jalen Madden tallied 15, Tre Story had 11, Ty Truitt scored 10, Trikweze Bridges added eight, Anquavious Pollard chipped in with six and Dee Dobbs had three.

“It was a good start for us although we’ve got a number of kids trying to heal from injuries in football,” Rev. Carter said.

A new member of the Alabama High School Coaches’ Hall of Fame, it was Rev. Carter’s 535 all-time win, including a sensational 126-20 record at Lanett.

Lanett will host Horseshoe Bend this evening at 6 p.m. ET. The girls varsity will tip off at 6 while the boys varsity will follow.

•In other basketball Monday, the Lanett Junior High boys team opened the season with a big 33-27 win over Auburn.

Coach Earnest Webb’s team was led by Kelvin Tucker with 13 points and Travaunta Abner tallied eight.

•The Lanett Junior High girls (0-1) fell to Auburn, 49-14.

Lanett will travel to Gardner Newman Middle School in LaGrange Wednesday with a 5 p.m. ET tip off.

•In other high school action Monday, the Valley Lady Rams evened its record at 3-3 with a 49-44 road win over the Russell Co. Lady Warriors.

Coach George Grimes’ team was led by Ariel Patton with 18 points, Kenjadae Dunn had eight, Arieana Magby and Takayla Bussey each had seven, Starbresha Core scored five while Arteria Florence and Roniaseia Cofield each had two points.


Obituaries for Thursday, December 8, 2016
Obituaries for Thursday, December 8, 2016


LANETT — Mrs. Willie Mae Asberry Wright Baker of Lanett died Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, at Kennestone Hospital, Marietta, Ga.

Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Lanett with Pastor Fredrick James, Ph.D., officiating. Burial will follow at Pine Grove United Methodist Church Cemetery in LaFayette.

Davis Memorial Mortuary of Valley is in charge of arrangements.


VALLEY — Funeral services are pending for Mrs. Dorothy Whatley Bell, 85, of Valley, who passed away Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, at her resi-


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


CAMP HILL, Ala. — Ms. Princella Dickerson, 74, of Camp Hill passed away Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, at her residence.

Graveside services will be held Thursday, Dec. 8 at 10:30 a.m. CST at Mt. Traveler Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery in Waverly, Ala., with the Rev. C.W. Fielder officiating.

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

Obituaries for Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Obituaries for Wednesday, December 7, 2016


LaFAYETTE — Funeral services are pending for Mr. Willie James Spence, 57, of LaFayette, who passed away Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, at Midtown Medical Center in Columbus, Ga.

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


VALLEY — Mrs. Earnestine McCullough Walker of Valley died Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala.

Funeral services are scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Valley with Pastor Robert L. Carter officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Valley.

Davis Memorial Mortuary of Valley is in charge of arrangements.


LaFAYETTE — Funeral services are pending for Mr. Steve Williams, 44, of LaFayette, who passed away Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, at Bethany House in Auburn, Ala.

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


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