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August 29, 2016
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Work continues on replacing bridges washed out in flood
Work continues on replacing bridges washed out in flood

Chris Clark Paving & Grading worked through the weekend digging up the support structure for the washed away bridge on Cherry Drive in Lanett. This is something that needs to be done before the new bridge is built. Cherry Drive is one of Lanett's busiest streets. Part of it has been closed since the bridge was washed away on Christmas Eve. It's on schedule to be reopened before the year is out. (Photo by Wayne Clark)

Suspect held in shooting death of Lake Harding man
Suspect held in shooting death of Lake Harding man

By DAVID BELL

VALLEY – Lee County authorities are investigating the shooting death of a Valley man at his residence on Lake Harding.

Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 100 block of Lee Road 361 following a 911 call around 3:30 p.m. CDT Friday. Upon arrival they discovered the body of Jay Allen Danford, 46, in a bedroom of the home with a gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Lee County Coroner Bill Harris.

Less than three hours later, Valley police responded to a vehicle accident and found that the car involved belonged to the shooting victim. The 30-year-old driver was injured and transported to East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika for treatment. His identity has not yet been released.

During a search of the vehicle, authorities found a handgun, and later determined that the driver had been living at the victim’s home. He is considered a suspect in the case and continues to be questioned.

Danford’s body was sent to the Alabama Dept. of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery for a post mortem examination.

Woman drowns after falling from canoe in Lake Harding
Woman drowns after falling from canoe in Lake Harding

By DAVID BELL

LAKE HARDING — A Smith's Station woman reportedly drowned Saturday night after falling from a canoe near Sandy Point Park on Lake Harding.

According to Lee County Coroner Bill Harris, Charlotte Jean Jacobs, 55, was canoeing with a friend around 7:30 p.m. when she suddenly fell overboard. The woman was able to tread water for a few minutes before disappearing beneath the surface. The friend jumped in and pulled Jacobs out of the water and tried to revive her with CPR, but was unsuccessful.

When Lee County deputies and EMS personnel arrived at the scene, they found Jacobs to be unresponsive. She was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Harris said Jacobs and her friend were not wearing life jackets at the time of the incident, and alcohol is suspected to be a factor. The victim's body has been sent to the state medical examiner's office in Montgomery for an autopsy.

The incident remains under investigation by the Lee County Sheriff's Office, Lee County Coroner's Office and the Alabama Dept. of Forensic Sciences.

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No. 5 Lanett overwhelms Notasulga 61-25
No. 5 Lanett overwhelms Notasulga 61-25

By Wayne Clark

Times-News News Editor

NOTASULGA, Ala. — The Lanett Panthers went to 2-0 on the young season with an impressive 61-25 road win over the Notasulga Blue Devils Friday night.

The Panthers took advantage of two early miscues by the home team to jump out to a very early 14-0 lead and never looked back. Lanett had its first offensive series deep in Notasulga territory after the Blue Devils fumbled the opening kickoff. It took them only three plays to find the end zone with senior running back Melvaunta “Brent” Robinson scoring the first of his three TDs for the game on a seven-yard run. Rovilan Castro’s PAT made it 7-0 at the 10:54 mark of the first period.

Following Lanett’s second kickoff, Notasulga again coughed it up on their first offensive play. On a swing pass out of the backfield, C.J. Cook lost control of the ball after a hard lick from a Panther defender. Junior linebacker Ja’Won Howell picked up the ball and ran 27 yards for the second score of the game. Castro’s second PAT of the game made it 14-0 Lanett with 10:38 left in the quarter.

Most of the home crowd had yet to settle in their seats and their team was already down by two scores. It would get a lot worse before the Blue Devils got on the scoreboard. The Panthers would put up three more TDs to lead 35-0 before that took place.

The first came on a beautiful 60-yard pass from senior quarterback Tre Story to Jatavious Barrow late in the first period. Story then scored on the first play of the second period to extend the lead to 28-0. It went to 35-0 on a 15-yard run by Robinson with 7:29 left in the half.

That fast start pretty much settled the outcome. The two teams matched points the rest of the way, with Lanett outscoring Notasulga 26-25 to win 61-25. The lopsided score gave Lanett’s younger players a chance to see plenty of action.

Overall, the potent Panther attack racked up over 500 yards for the game, with the running game accounting for more than 370 of that.

Coach Clifford Story is always preaching to his team to finish strong. This was one game where the Panthers didn’t have to do that. “We have a lot to improve on,” he said after the game. “There’s a lot of little things we are going to have to correct for us to finish the season strong and have the kind of season we’re capable of.”

The Blue Devils got their first score of the game on a 25-yard pass from quarterback TraDarius Ezell to Walter Tatum. A try for two points failed, leaving the halftime score 35-6 in favor of Lanett.

After getting off to a red-hot start in the first half, Lanett did the same thing in the second half. Notasulga made the mistake of kicking the ball deep. This gave return man Terrion “the Terror” Truitt a chance to show how dangerous he can be with the football. He ran it back 98 yards for a touchdown and a 42-6 Lanett lead.

On the play, Truitt looked to be down somewhere around the 30, but somehow broke through a wave of defenders and found clear sailing down the left sideline. He showed some great balance and determination, but most of all just wanted to cross that goal line on the opposite end of the field.

The Blue Devils would have been better off had they simply pooch kicked it.

After Notasulga trimmed Lanett’s advantage to 42-12 on a scoring run by Cook, the Panthers responded with a scoring drive to run the lead back to 48-12. Truitt, who had more than 100 yards rushing for the game, scored on a five-yard run off a toss sweep to cap off the scoring drive.

After making six straight points after, Castro missed one this time. He went on to make seven out of nine for the game. That’s not bad for a high school kicker. The way Lanett scores touchdowns, he’s probably be going to use that foot of his a lot this year.

The Blue Devils scored on a long punt return by Walter Tatum to come within 48-18 late in the third quarter. Not to be outdone, the Panthers answered that on their next possession. A 13-yard run by Brent Robinson put more points on the board for the Panthers midway of the final period. That was touchdown number three of the game for Lanett’s fine senior running back.

That made the lead 54-18. It stayed that way when Castro missed the point after. (Perhaps the long trot back up to the other end of the field to make the kick had something to do with it.)

For some reason, extra point kicks aren’t allowed at the goal post on the far end of the field. A Notasulga official said it was because people who lived in a house just outside the fence didn’t like for footballs be kicked in their yard and for youngsters having to go there to retrieve them.

With backup players in the game, the Panthers forced Notasulga to punt it away on fourth and very long deep on their end of the field. It wouldn’t take Lanett’s second team very long to score a touchdown against a very tired Blue Devil defense. In fact, it took only one play.

Back up quarterback Kristian “Ken-Ken” Story got loose on a quarterback keeper off the right side of the line and raced 62-yards for a score. Most of the starters were resting on the bench when Story broke free down the sideline. By the time he crossed the goal line, they were jumping up, cheering, high fiving and hip bumping to celebrate this big play by a ninth grader.

One of the first to congratulate him when he returned to the sideline was older brother Tre Story. Ken Ken’s run was the third TD by a Story brother in the game.

Castro’s seventh PAT of the game made the score 61-18 in favor of Lanett with 3:54 left in the game. In the game’s final seconds, Notasulga managed one final score on a 19-yard run by Kevondre Woods. A point-after kick by Ezell made the final margin 61-25.

Moments after the game ended, the players knelt to form a big circle and to listen to some final comments from Coach Story and his staff. In a good showing of school spirit, they stood and held their helmets high as the Lanett High band played the school’s alma mater.

All in all a very good night for old LHS.

Tre Story had his usual productive game for Lanett. He ran and passed the ball for around 190 yards and accounted for two scores, one on a run and another on a pass. Brent Robinson carried the ball 10 times for 84 yards and scored three times. Junior back Ja’Won Howell ran it seven times for 34 yards and Truitt, just a sophomore, eight times for 102 yards. He also had a 98 yard kickoff return for a score. Jatavious Barrow was the team’s leading receiver with three grabs for 97 yards and a score.

Among the younger players seeing action late in the game, Zion Lynch had two carries for 23 yards, Larontavious Hurston had one carry for 14 yards and Jaquarius Houston ran it once for five yards.

Lanett’s defense had a good night with three interceptions, two sacks and a fumble return for a score. Playing well on that side of the ball were Braylon Harrington, who had eight tackles and a sack; Ken Ken Story, who had eight tackles and an interception; Kweze Bridges, seven tackles, an interception and a pass broken up; Ja’Won Howell, seven tackles and a fumble return for a TD; Jaren Ross, seven tackles; Maki Potts, six tackles and a sack; Keavis Sands and Travon Mathis, five tackles each, and Brent Robinson, three tackles and an interception.

After two impressive wins, the Panthers now head into all-important Region play. On Friday night they will be at home versus Horseshoe Bend. This team is not to be taken lightly. The Generals look to have one of the better teams they have had in a long time. Last Friday, they defeated Donoho by a score of 55-13.

Troup cruises to 38-12 win over Kendrick
Troup cruises to 38-12 win over Kendrick

By Times-News Sports Staff

LaGRANGE — The Troup High Tigers built up a 24-point half time lead over the visiting Kendrick Cherokees Friday at Callaway Stadium and cruised to a 38-12 win to even the Tigers’ season mark at 1-1.

Troup was the beneficiary of a very generous Cherokee squad. The visitors were flagged 19 times for 157 yards. They lost three fumbles, and all but eight snaps of the first half were played on Kendrick’s end of the field.

For the evening, Troup’s offense had 134 net yards. Its five scoring plays covered 131 yards. When the Tigers weren’t scoring, they weren’t moving the ball much.

Kendrick, on the other hand, amassed more than 300 yards on the ground, but couldn’t sustain but two scoring drives in the game, and both their touchdowns came on long running plays.

The Cherokee offense never got started in the first half, but it was more their own ineptitude than the tenacity of the Tiger defense. On its first three possessions of the first half, Kendrick had a holding penalty on first down on the first two and then fumbled the ball away on the third.

Positive signs for the Tigers included a strong kicking game. The Tigers averaged 38.7 yards on five punts and Carson Wreyford converted all five point-after kicks while adding a short field goal.

Troup’s offense opened the game, ran three plays and punted. Kendrick started out at its own 25, had a holding penalty, ran three plays and attempted to punt. A false start on the punt cost them five yards, and on the second punt attempt, a bad snap resulted in a four-yard punt.

Troup got the ball at the Kendrick 26 and on fourth-and-two from the 18, Camren Russell got loose for 17 yards down to the Kendrick one-yard line. Three running plays netted zero yards, but Wreyford came on to toe the 23-yard field goal at the 4:03 mark of the first quarter, giving Troup a 3-0 lead it would never relinquish.

A touchback on the ensuing kickoff gave Kendrick the ball at its own 20, and after a holding penalty on first down, the Cherokees wound up punting from their own 17.

With a holding call against Troup on the punt, the Tigers put the ball in play at their own 21 and punted from the 25 four plays later.

Kendrick got the ball back at its own 29 and on the first play fumbled. King Mwikuta recovered at the Kendrick 31.

A pass interference call against Kendrick gave Troup a first down at the Cherokee 16, and on the first play of the second quarter, Camren Russell had a 13-yard TD run. Wreyford added the point-after and with 11:51 left in the half, Troup led 10-0.

Kendrick had two penalties on its next possession and wound up punting from its own four-yard line. The return by Chanse Hill gave Troup the ball at the Kendrick 30.

After a bad snap was recovered by quarterback Montez Crowe for a 20-yard loss, Troup wound up punting to the Kendrick 15.

The Cherokees were able to record their first first down of the game when faced fourth-and-two from their own 23 and went for it. Kayleem Bonds got three yards to move the chains, but on the next play Kendrick lost another fumble and Troup took over on the Cherokee 23.

It took four running plays and the assistance of a pass interference call against Kendrick for Troup to score. Russell did the honors from eight yards out, Wreyford added the PAT and Troup’s lead increased to 17-0 with 2:27 left in the half.

The Cherokees mounted a short drive after the ensuing kickoff, reaching their own 40 before giving the ball up on downs with just 19 seconds left in the half.

The decision not to punt may have cost them a TD as Crowe promptly hit Kobe Hudson with a 37-yard scoring toss with 12 seconds left in the half. Wreyford’s kick upped the lead to 24-0 at the half.

Kendrick scored on the first snap of the second half as Keshon Willis dashed 52 yards for a score after the opening kickoff was returned by Wendell McGhee to the Kendrick 48. The PAT kick failed, leaving the score at 24-6 with 11:32 left in the third quarter.

Troup answered quickly. On first and 10 from the Troup 45 Crowe hit Hudson again, this time with a 45-yard scoring strike, Wreyford added the point-after and with 9:40 left in the third quarter, Troup was leading 31-6.

Three plays later, Kendrick cut into the lead again, this time with Bonds running 76 yards for a TD. A pass for two points failed, and the score stood at 31-12 midway of the third quarter.

The offenses cooled off at that point. The teams exchanged punts twice before Kendrick put together a drive late in the third quarter that fizzled at the Troup 27 early in the fourth quarter.

Troup picked up a pair of first downs before punting to the Kendrick 43. The Cherokees fumbled on first down, Eric Williams recovered at the Kendrick 43 but the Tiger offense couldn’t move the ball and punted to the Kendrick 7.

Kendrick had to punt from its own seven, Hudson fielded the kick at the Kendrick 40 and returned to the Cherokee 22. After Crowe lost six yards on first down, he hit Ken Truitt with a 28-yard scoring throw with 3:31 left in the game. Wreyford added the point-after to leave the final score at 38-12.

Kendrick added another 54 yards in rushing on its final drive of the came that ended at the Troup 24.

The Tigers will be at home Friday at Callaway Stadium against Bowdon.

Valley holds off Russell Co. for 21-20 win
Valley holds off Russell Co. for 21-20 win

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

VALLEY — Despite what first-year coach Brad Lowe called “a myriad of mistakes,” the Valley Rams (1-1) made the plays necessary to pull out a hard-fought and mistake-filled 21-20 home opener win over the visiting Russell Co. Warriors here Friday evening at Rams Stadium.

Valley’s aggressive team defensive play forced six Russell Co. turnovers, including five fumbles and one interception.

If not for two major breakdowns in special teams play, Valley could have won the game easily.

A muffed catch of a punt snap in the Rams end zone ended in a one-foot scoring drive of one play by the Warriors.

Another Valley special teams breakdown — this time a mess up on a kickoff fielded near the Russell Co. sideline at the eight — resulted in a 7.5-yard scoring drive for Russell Co. after the lost fumble. So just like that (in less than 20 seconds) the visitors, on a 24-game losing streak, had 14 points on Valley on a total of three plays and eight total yards. Say what? Yes indeed, 14 points to erase what was a 6-0 Valley lead.

But give Valley credit. They did what they had to do to pull out a badly needed and confidence-building win.

It was ugly but it’s a big win and something to build on with powerhouse Clay Central coming to Rams Stadium next Friday.

“Proud that we found a way to win, but, extremely disappointed in the myriad of mistakes and penalties,” said Lowe. “We have entirely too many penalties that aren't football plays. Most are players not being disciplined, and us as coaches have to do better at game management and operations. It's a process, we're still learning how to play the game.”

Next week’s foe, Central-Clay Co., Lowe noted, will present a big challenge for the youth-dominated and inexperienced Rams.

“We have our hands full next week, hosting a very good Central-Clay team. Our goal as a team this week was to come out fast, to create our own breaks — contrary to last week. We did that; the kids took it to heart. Defensively, I thought we played hard and executed assignments a lot better. We had some alignment issues mid-way through the second that we had to correct, and they made some adjustments to what they were doing that we had to counter. I thought we grew up some tonight on that side of the ball. Offensively, we have to stay out of the negative plays and playing behind the chains. We're struggling to move the ball, especially with penalties added in. We're still learning what our guys can do,” added Lowe.

“Jahleel Flournoy was a big factor for us tonight,” said Lowe. “He was our leading rusher with 14 carries for 44 yards, and had a run called back. He also led us on defense with six tackles, one assist, one sack, and two tackles for loss (TFLs). Isaiah Gooden had a good night with five tackles, one assist and one sack. Our front had to play well for us to win, and I thought they did. Quez Tucker had two tackles, four assists and a sack. Kaedon Harris chipped in with five tackles. Those guys are young but having to play a lot older. In the secondary, D.J. Dunn contributed with three tackles, one assist, one TFL and an interception. I'm proud of the grit that (quarterback) Taylor McDonald has shown. He's a competitor and would have good rushing numbers if not attributed for sacks.”

McDonald opened the scoring for Valley at 9:16 of the first quarter on a nifty run on a keeper in which he made two terrific moves, cut out, then back inside, a spill roll and in for the score from eight yards out and a 6-0 Rams lead.

Valley’s drive was four plays and 17 yards.

After back-to-back Valley special teams breakdowns led to 14 points for Russell Co. in a span of less than :20 seconds in the second quarter — both in warp speed fashion — erased a 6-0 Valley lead into a 14-6 deficit.

But once again, give the Rams the respect due as they didn’t fold, hung tough and made a terrific comeback and held on for the much-needed win.

Valley tied the game at 14-all with 1:46 left in the second after Mac Jackson scored on a nice eight-yard scamper around the Rams left flank and Jackson’s two-point PAT run.

Russell Co. countered and went ahead 20-14 at 6:18 of the third after a three-yard scoring jaunt around the right side of the Warriors line.

But Russell Co. missed the PAT and it proved to be costly.

Following the second of freshman noseguard Harris’ fumble recoveries (Valley forced six Russell Co. turnovers, including five fumbles), Valley went four plays and 14 yards to score the game-winning points in a 21-20 win.

Flournoy scored the eventual game-winner from four yards out and with 11:54 left in the game, it was 20-all.

Sophomore placekicker Daniel Etherton provided the one-point margin of victory with the PAT kick as Valley earned the lead at 21-20 and held on for the win.

•Valley will host powerhouse and region rival Central-Clay Co. Friday.

Obituaries

Obituaries for Monday, August 29, 2016
Obituaries for Monday, August 29, 2016

MR. BLACKSTONE

WEST POINT — Mr. James "Jim" Blackstone Jr., 81, of West Point passed away Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, at his residence.

Funeral services will be held Monday, Aug. 29 at 2 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with the Rev. Doug Decelle and the Rev. Jan Tolbert officiating. Burial will follow at Fairfax Cemetery.

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

MR. FEARS

WEST POINT — Mr. Willie Pete Fears of West Point passed away Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, at West Georgia Hospice in LaGrange, Ga.

Arrangements will be announced by M.W. Lee Mortuary of West Point.

MRS.LINDSEY

LANETT — Funeral services are pending for Mrs. Susie “Sue” Margaret Craft Lindsey, 80, of Lanett, who passed away Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, at her residence.

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

MRS. McCOLLOUGH

LANETT — Mrs. Laverne E. McCollough, 94, of Lanett passed away Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, at EAMC-Lanier Nursing Home in Valley.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 11 a.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with the Rev. Loren Sutton officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Lanett.

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

MR. McMANUS

LANETT — Funeral services are pending for Mr. Ronald McManus, 82, of Lanett, who passed away at his residence Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016.

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

MRS. ROUGHTON

VALLEY — Mrs. Jerri Ann Roughton, 71, of Valley passed away Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, at EAMC- Lanier Hospital in Valley.

Funeral services were held at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley Sunday, Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. with Rev. Brad Reed officiating. A private burial followed at Shawmut Cemetery.

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

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