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July 30, 2014
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KMMG makes $600,000 donation to THINC Academy
KMMG makes $600,000 donation to THINC Academy

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia recently presented a check for $600,000 to Troup County’s THINC College and Career Academy, representing an installment on KMMG’s $3 million commitment to the academy. Above, Randy Jackson, KMMG’s senior vice president of human resources and administration, presents the check for $600,000 to Troup County’s THINC College and Career Academy. Shown with Jackson are members of a variety of community organizations including the Troup County Board of Commissioners, the THINC College and Career Academy and Troup County Schools.

Special to THE TIMES-NEWS

WEST POINT — Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Inc. (KMMG) has contributed $600,000 to Troup County’s THINC College and Career Academy as part of the plant’s $3 million commitment to the school.

With the THINC College and Career Academy contribution, KMMG has donated more than $6.4 million to the local community since 2008.

“KMMG is a learning organization that is committed to supporting the community we call home,” said Randy Jackson, KMMG’s senior vice president of human resources and administration. “The THINC College and Career Academy contribution is the latest example of Kia’s long-term commitment to this region’s workforce of today and tomorrow.”

Ricky Wolfe, chairman of the Troup County Board of Commissioners, thanked KMMG for the support it was providing to Troup County’s workforce.

“We expect the career academy to have a positive impact on many of the families in this area,” said Wolfe. “We are fortunate to have a committed corporate partner like KMMG here in Troup County.”

THINC is a charter school approved by the Troup County Board of Education that will utilize partnerships with local businesses and industries to better prepare students for college and careers.

Valley budget revenue looks to be in good shape
Valley budget revenue looks to be in good shape

By WAYNE CLARK

VALLEY — The City of Valley is on track to meet its revenue projections for the current fiscal year.

At a city council work session held Thursday evening, July 24, City Clerk/Treasurer Regina Glaze said that approximately $7 million had been generated through the first three quarters of the current year. "We only need $2 million to hit our $9 million target," she said.

Sales taxes being brought in by an improving economy are a factor in this. Fees from business licenses are up, and Valley Parks & Recreation has had a good year in bringing in revenue.

"We had over $10 million in revenue last year. That was the best ever for the city," Mayor Leonard Riley said. "We will lose some revenue this year but still should be in good shape."

Lost revenue comes to around $530,000. Figured into this is the loss of revenue from the local hospital due to its merger with the East Alabama Medical Center, a loss due to the closing of the Red Roof Inn on Fob James Drive and a loss of warehousing rent due to the purchase of a cotton warehouse by the Norman W. Paschall Company.

"Our estimates are on target for now," Riley said. "Sales taxes have been coming in strong this month. I don't know if we will be able to fund all department head requests until we get to the bottom line."

A three-percent raise for city employees is under consideration. "That's not set in stone," Mayor Riley said. "We'll need to see the bottom line. We could have to make some adjustments, hopefully not."

The cost of health insurance could affect raises. "That will depend on Blue Cross/Blue Shield and what they do," Riley said.

Riley said the city's retirement system is something that bears watching. "It's in the state system, but all they do is manage it," he said. "We have 15 active retirees in our system. As the city gets older we will have more of them."

The current fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. "We should have a decent ending," the mayor said.

Riley said that an audit could be finalized by late August, and he could be ready to ask the council to approve a budget for the new fiscal year in late September or early October. He asked the council members for some goals they would like to set for the new year. "I need your feedback," he said.

The city will be realizing some savings on some recent refinancing. This should help the city stay up to date on its equipment needs. The police department recently received two new vehicles but could use some more. Valley EMS is seeking a new ambulance. The other departments have vehicle needs as well. The Public Works Department could use a new backhoe and a pickup truck, and Valley Parks and Recreation could use some new mowers.

The paving priorities for the coming year include (1) the street in front of Trammell Block in Fairfax, (2) the continuation of 30th Street and 12th Avenue to the city limits and (3) Columbus Road to 20th Avenue.

There's still some paving to be done on Trammell Avenue behind the new Family Dollar store in Fairfax.

The council has a decision to make on solid waste collection going into the new year. The current provider, Mr. Greenjeans, needs to know by the end of September if the city will continue with the current contract. "I need your feedback on this," Mayor Riley said.

At present, Valley residents pay $18 a month for garbage collection. Next to LaFayette, that's the lowest rate in the county. "Unless there's an increase from our provider, we won't be going up on it," Riley said, "but if there is an increase we will have to pass it on."

West Point Mayor, Council get city manager update
West Point Mayor, Council get city manager update

By CY WOOD

WEST POINT — City Manager Ed Moon offered the West Point Mayor and City Council a wide-ranging update of activities in the city during Tuesday evening's work session.

Moon began his presentation with an update on the city's payment in lieu of taxes from Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia.

He explained the payments began in 2013 with the city receiving $800,000 from KMMG and the West Point Development Authority $50,000.

This year KMMG's check was for $900,000, with the city getting $800,000 and the WPDA $100,000.

Those payments will be the same in 2015-2017, he said.

Through the first five years, the West Point Forward Fund will receive $2.5 million, the general fund will net $1.4 million and $100,000 will be appro-

priated for West Point Elementary programs.

Beginning in 2018, the payment will drop to $281,020 from KMMG for two years, with the city getting $181, 820 and the WPDA $100,000. From 2020-2028, the payment will be $181,818 with all going to the city.

Over the 16 years, Moon said KMMG will pay $6.65 million, with the Forward Fund receiving $2.5 million, the city general fund $3.25 million, the WPDA $650,000 and West Point Elementary $100,000.

Moon said work is progressing rapidly on the city's Phase II recreation project in the Avenue D/11th Street area.

Drainage structures are in place and grading has begun, he said. The area will have a grassed free play field, sidewalks to connect with the rest of the recreation complex, landscaping and a pavilion. Moon said the city will also clean up the area behind the old high school.

A splash pad is not part of this current project, he said. There really isn't space there for the splash pad, and the city is looking at locating it elsewhere. He said he hoped the splash pad would be ready for construction early in 2015.

City staff is doing an exception job in getting the 1506 Building on Highway 29 ready to relocate city utility departments, Moon said. "They're doing an amazing job, keeping it under budget and way ahead of schedule," he said.

Once the utility departments are relocated, the city will begin redevelopment of the land adjacent to city hall where those departments are now housed.

Moon said Hyundai Dymos on Kia Parkway has moved into its new building and should be ready to begin production by the end of August.

He said the city has completed its infrastructure work for another new industry KOPLA, which is building a plant in the Northwest Harris Business Park on Highway 103.

Wood said the city has met with Hogansville, which has solid waste collection service through C&C Sanitation, the company that will be taking over garbage collection in West Point. Wood said he would be meeting with C&C next week to iron out details for the changeover.

He reminded the mayor and council that parking has not been a problem over the summer, but Point University students will be returning for orientation Aug. 10 and classes will begin Aug. 13.

He said the downtown parking regulations worked well last year, and that efforts would be made to keep the parking problems to a minimum in the downtown area.

Wood said the city has had some requests for small neighborhood parks in West Point, and those are being considered, although the city's focus on recreation has been on developing the central recreation facilities around the gym.

High liability costs and maintenance expenses are two important considerations where such small parks are concerned, he said. Installing just the minimum amount of playground equipment can run $50,000 to $70,000, he said.

Moon said he expected progress in the near future on the construction of additional school bus shelters in the city.

Prior to Moon's report, the mayor and council heard a presentation from city Planning and Community Development Director Sammy Osborne on revisions to the city's sign ordinance. Osborne said the amendments are designed to assure that signs are the appropriate size and constructed of quality materials.

Different standards would be in place for signs in the downtown area, he said.

A public hearing on the sign ordinance amendments will be held at the next work session, Aug. 7 at 8:15 a.m.

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

Schools open fall camp next week
Schools open fall camp next week

By Scott Sickler

Sports Editor

Four of the seven local high schools will officially open fall camp workouts next week in preparation for the start of the 2014 high school football season.

Valley, Lanett, LaFayette and Beulah will open fall camps Mon., Aug. 4 while Springwood and Chambers in AISA play will open camp Thurs., Aug. 31.

The Troup Tigers began fall camp July 25.

It will be a very interesting year as Lanett will be the local team with the best shot of making a serious run at a state championship but a number of other schools should be playoff-bound as well.

Once in the postseason, anything can happen.

Valley moves up to 6A but opens the season Aug. 22 with rival 2A Lanett and is the first game between the local rivals since 2011.

Lanett’s offense against Valley’s defense should be a great matchup to kickoff the season.

All other local teams open the season Fri., Aug. 29.

•In addition, the Point Skyhawks football team will open fall camp, Fri., Aug. 1.

Happy Valley kickoff a big success
Happy Valley kickoff a big success

By Wayne Clark

News Editor

HUGULEY — Approximately 200 high school football players and coaches from local high schools gathered Saturday evening at Happy Valley Baptist Church for a dinner in their honor. The kickoff event was timed to coincide with the beginning of football practice for the 2014 season. It was free to all the invited teams and included pre-season fellowship and a steak dinner with all the trimmings. Schools invited were Valley High, Lanett High, Harris County High, Springwood School and Chambers Academy.

A local ministry, Iron Sharpens Iron, Inc., sponsored the event and funded it. Mitchell Hamilton of Water Break Ministries served as quarterback of the planning committee. He was assisted by Happy Valley pastor, Rev. John Samanie Jr. Julie Ambrose, vice president of the Troup/Valley Region for CharterBank, coordinated getting the food cooked and served by teams of volunteers. CharterBank provided some supplies and paid for the desserts. Rev. Tim Bass coordinated the cleanup team from Fairview Baptist Church.

Following dinner was a prayer by Rev. Napoleon Darden and singing by Kevin Dunn. Dunn sang two solos. For the second one, “How Great is our God?”, he invited the crowd to join in and sing it with him.

A local high school football living legend, Gary Barnes, spoke to the crowd. Barnes played for Doug Lockridge at Valley High in the 1950s. He later went on to play for Frank Howard at Clemson and spent seven seasons in the NFL.

He was a rookie with the Green Bay Packers in 1962 and played on the team that won the NFL championship. He later played for the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons. He’s best known for scoring the first touchdown in Atlanta Falcons history. He played in 60 career games with 41 receptions for 583 yards.

Barnes told the crowd he would always be grateful to Coach Howard and his staff at Clemson for giving him the chance to play college football. Most college coaches, he said, thought he was too thin to play at that level. He later proved a lot of them wrong.

Barnes said that one of his fondest memories was standing in the tunnel at Yankee Stadium and being introduced as a starting player for Dallas. He said that he’d never forget standing there in that tunnel, looking out on the field and seeing a giant U.S. flag flying over the stadium and statues of famous New York Yankee baseball players in Monument Park, just over the outfield wall. He said it was a special feeling hearing the public address announcer saying to the big crowd present “Starting at wide receiver for Dallas, Gary Barnes.”

The principal speaker of the evening, Rev. Buddy Norton, followed Barnes. A native of the Chattanooga, Tenn. area, Rev. Norton talked about his experiences with the game of football, both as a high school player and in being close friends with a lot of coaches over the years.

“I’ve always loved the game of football and being around athletes,” he said. “My life still bears the marks made on me by the men who were my coaches, and I want to thank the coaches who are here with us this evening for what you mean to your young men.”

Rev. Norton talked to the large group of players assembled for the program about the importance the choices they would make today would have on the rest of their lives. “The choices you make will shape your life and determine how it turns out,” he said. “Each day, each of us have choices and decisions to make.”

Rev. Norton mentioned some instances where one player with a bad attitude had cost his team a chance to something really special, like win a championship. He asked the boys present it they’d ever heard the name Aaron Hernandez. Lots of hands went up. “Did he make some bad choices?” he asked, getting lots of yeses in response.

Instead of continuing with a promising career in the NFL, the former New England Patriots star faces murder charges.

“Where you will end up five years from now will be the result of the kind of choices you made today,” he said.

At the conclusion of the message, a large number of the young men who were present came forward to receive salvation. They then met with a team of 15 pastors from churches in the local area who prayed with them. The pastors then offered to be available to them for follow-up discipleship.

Iron Sharpens Iron, Inc. is led by Julian Nealy, a Valley native and non-denominational pastor. Iron Sharpens Iron works with area churches and pastors to further the gospel and to promote the unity of faith among believers in the local area.

Nealy has been friends with Gary Barnes for years and from him learned about Buddy Norton Ministries and its successful outreach through football dinners.

Pastor Nealy said he would like for this pre-season steak dinner to be an annual tradition.

Former Valley standout Rudd named to Point football staff
Former Valley standout Rudd named to Point football staff

By Scott Sickler

Sports Editor

VALLEY — A familiar face to Valley High football fans will be roaming the sidelines for the Point University football staff this fall.

Lantorrance Rudd, a former standout for the Valley Rams, was recently named to coach David Rocker’s staff.

Rudd enjoyed a stellar career while at Valley High.

Rudd served as the Skyhawks strength and conditioning coach last year.

•In other Point football news, the team reported over the weekend for the start of fall camp.

Former Auburn All-American and NFL player David Rocker is back for his second-year as the Skyhawks head coach.

Point will open fall practice Aug. 1 with two-a-day workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and single workouts on Tuesday and Thursday.

The Skyhawks will have intrasquad scrimmages on Saturdays.

Morning practices will open at 8:15 a.m. while afternoon practices and scrimmages are set for 3:15 p.m.

Beginning Aug. 13, practices will be moved to once a day in the afternoon. All practices will be open to the public

Obituaries

Obituaries for Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Obituaries for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

No obituaries were reported today.

Obituaries for Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Obituaries for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

MRS. McCANTS

ELLENWOOD, Ga. — Mrs. Dorothy Ruth McCants of Ellenwood, formerly of Valley, died Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at her residence.

Funeral services are planned for Wednesday, July 30 at 1 p.m. at Rehoboth Baptist Church with the Rev. Karanja Story, pastor, offciating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.

Foreman Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.

MR. MEIGS

SALEM — Mr. Tony Wayne Meigs, 76, of Salem died Saturday, July 19, 2014, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's.

Funeral services were held Monday, July 21 at 4 p.m. at Jeffcoat-Trant Chapel. Burial followed at Garden Hills Cemetery.

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home and Crematory of Opelika handled arrangements.

MS. ROSE

LANETT — Ms. Daphne Mitchell Rose of Lanett died Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Midtown Medical Center in Columbus.

Funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday, July 30 at 1 p.m. at Davis Memorial Mortuary Chapel in Valley with Bishop Larry White officiating. Burial will follow at Pine Hill Cemetery in Lanett.

Davis Memorial Mortuary is directing.

MRS. SIDES

VALLEY — Mrs. Mary O. Sides, 83, of Valley died Friday, July 25, 2014, in Opelika.

Funeral services are planned for Tuesday, July 29 at 2 p.m. at Fairview Baptist Church in Valley with the Rev. Tim Bass officiating. Burial will follow at Langdale Cemetery.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.

Obituaries for Monday, July 28, 2014
Obituaries for Monday, July 28, 2014

MS. ABNER

LaFAYETTE — Mrs. Margaret Abner, 61, of LaFayette died Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at LaFayette Extended Care in LaFayette.

Funeral services are planned for Tuesday, July 29 at 1 p.m. CDT at St. John United Methodist Church in LaFayette with Pastor Julia Marbury officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.

MR. ELLIS

OPELIKA — Mr. Alizah K. Ellis of Opelika died Monday, July 21, 2014, at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika.

Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday, July 29 at 2 p.m. EDT at Rehoboth Baptist Church, 216 Huguley Road in Valley, with Pastor Karanja Story, officiant, and the Rev. Tifton Dobbs, eulogist. Burial will follow at Fairfax Cemetery in Valley.

Davis Memorial Mortuary of Valley is handling arrangements.

MS. GREATHOUSE

OPELIKA — Funeral arrangements are pending for Ms. Melissa Greathouse, 35, of Opelika, who died Saturday, July 26, 2014, in Tuskegee.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.

MR. HENDERSON

WEST POINT — Mr. John W. Henderson Sr. of West Point died Saturday, July 26, 2014, at West Georgia Hospice.

Visitation will held Wednesday, July 30 at 10 a.m. in the Zachry Center of First United Methodist Church in West Point, followed by a service in celebration of Mr. Henderson’s life in the sanctuary at 11 a.m.

A family service of interment will follow at New Rosemere Cemetery in Opelika in the afternoon.

McCarthy Funeral Home of West Point is handling arrangements.

MRS. HILL

LaFAYETTE — Mrs. LeMerle Hill, 88, of LaFayette died Friday, July 25, 2014, at LaFayette Extended Care.

Funeral services are planned for Monday, July 28 at 5 p.m. CDT at Pleasant Grove Christian Church in Union Hill with the Revs. Ricky Cummins and Paul Howard officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.

Jeff Jones Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.

MRS. HOLLOWAY

LaFAYETTE — Funeral arrangements are pending for Ms. Argia Hollow, 88, of LaFayette, who died Sunday, July 27, 2014, at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.

MR. LOVELACE

WEST POINT — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mr. Ralph "Tee-Shirt" Lovelace Jr. of West Point, who died Saturday, July 26, 2014, at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley.

The family may be contacted at the residence of Ms. Patricia A. Tucker, 1401 E. 12th St., Apt. 13 in West Point.

M.W. Lee Mortuary of West Point is in charge of arrangements.

MR. LAUDERDALE

LaFAYETTE — Mr. Nick Lauderdale, 63, of LaFayette died Saturday, July 26, 2014, at Bethany House Hospice in Auburn.

Graveside services will be held Tuesday, July 29 at 11 a.m. CDT at LaFayette City Cemetery with Mr. Tony Oliver officiating.

Jeff Jones Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.

MR. POWELL

VALLEY — Mr. Bobby F. Powell, 85, of Valley died Friday, July 25, 2014, at his residence.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, July 30 at 11 a.m. at 8802 Lee Road 279 in Valley with Brother Steve York officiating.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.

MRS. SIDES

VALLEY — Mrs. Mary O. Sides, 83, of Valley died Friday, July 25, 2014, in Opelika.

Funeral services are planned for Tuesday, July 29 at 2 p.m. at Fairview Baptist Church in Valley with the Rev. Tim Bass officiating. Burial will follow at Langdale Cemetery.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.

MS. STARGILL

LANETT — Funeral arrangements are pending for Ms. Andrea Stargill of Lanett, who died Saturday, July 26, 2014, at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Foreman Funeral Home of Valley is handling arrangements.

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