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April 18, 2015
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Seven-mile walk will honor Jane Carmack's memory
Seven-mile walk will honor Jane Carmack's memory

A walk to honor the memory of Jane Carmack, who worked for 36 years at Valley Haven School, will be part of this year’s Hike/Bike/Run fundraiser for the school. Among those already committed to the walk are, front row, Candace Coker, Cindy Daniel, Sandra Tucker, Alison Yarbrough and Lakeisha Russell; second row, Danita Sims, Allison Richards, Eve Milner, Caleb Duke, Minnie Green, Jennifer Hunt, Kathy Kendrick and Diane Adair.


VALLEY — A special event at this year’s Hike/Bike/Run will be a seven-mile walk in memory of Miss Jane Carmack, who served at Valley Haven for 36 years.

“Miss Jane” was not only special to those around her at Valley Haven, but also special to many employees at EAMC-Lanier Hospital, where her daughter, Cindy Daniel, works as director of in-patient services.

There are many others in the community who knew “Miss Jane” and they, too, want to participate in this special event to honor what she meant to them.

Friends and family are organizing a team to walk in loving memory of “Miss Jane.” The walk will begin at 8 a.m EDT on Saturday, May 2 at Capital City Bank in West Point, and will continue for seven miles along Highway 29 to the Valley Haven campus. There will be pickup locations along the way should anyone wish to walk less than the designated seven-mile stretch. Anyone interested in joining the team, or making a donation, should contact Cindy Daniel at cdaniel@lanierhospital.com, or by calling (334)756-1387.

For more information, visit Valley Haven’s website at www.valleyhavenschool.org, or call (334)756-2868. All proceeds will go directly to the operation of Valley Haven School, which provides services for the area’s children and adults with special needs.

Troup BOE honors top graduates, awards food service contract
Troup BOE honors top graduates, awards food service contract


LaGRANGE — The Troup County Board of Education recognized top scholars at its three high schools, got good news on its energy conservation program and chose a new provider for school lunches during Thursday's regular meeting.

Students in the Governor's Honors Program, STAR students, distinguished honor graduates, salutatorians and valedictorians from Callaway, LaGrange and Troup high schools were recognized by the board.

Troup High's STAR student and valedictorian is Shekinah Glory Hall, daughter of Dr. Melvin and Saundra Hall.

Governor's Honors finalists at Troup include Jennifer Sue Aplin, daughter of Tim and Connie Aplin, in brass instrument (French horn); Holly Marie Lord, daughter of Gerald and Terry Lord, dance; and Elizabeth Cassandra Wheeler, daughter of Stephen and Holly Wheeler, social studies.

Distinguished Honor Graduates at Troup included Rachel Joe Arnold, daughter of Joe and Starlette Arnold; Madison Coral Cauthen, daughter of Brock and Veronica Simmons; Hayley Kendall Morris, daughter of Lance and Kristy Morris; Ashley Lashae Murphy, daughter of Fred and Bar-

bara Murphy; Anna Brooke Stallings, daughter of Allen and Donna Stallings; Peyton Elizabeth White, daughter of Patrick and Tonya White; Madison Kelly Wreyford, daughter of Michael and Christy Wreyford; Dameco Recardez Young, son of Joy Phillips; Emily Christein, daughter of Olaf and Diane Christein; and Shekinah Glory Hall, daughter of Melvin and Saundra Hall.

Troup High's salutatorian is Emily Christein, daughter of Olaf and Diane Christein.

Sandy Melton reported that the system has realized more than $4 million in energy savings over the past five years, and that's $2.3 million more than was projected when the program was put in place. She said the system staff has fully supported the effort and Troup has a sustainable energy conservation program.

The board approved Superintendent Dr. Cole Pugh's recommendation to award the food services contract to The Compass Group through its Chartwells Dining Services. Chartwells scored 525 points on its bid evaluation, compared to 465 points for Aramark Educational Services and 461 points for SODEXO, which has held the contract for five years.

In other action at Thursday's meeting the board:

•Agreed to schedule their state-mandated three hours of group training.

•Extended Pugh's contract for one year following his evaluation. Board Chairman Ted Alford expressed the board's appreciation to Pugh for his performance.

•Approved renewal of licenses for the system's financial software at a cost of $49,550.

•Approved a playground equipment contract with Southern Playgrounds for the new Ethel Kight Elementary at a cost of $76,577.

Alabama unemployment rate down to 5.7 percent
Alabama unemployment rate down to 5.7 percent


MONTGOMERY – Gov Robert Bentley Friday announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted March unemployment rate is 5.7 percent, down from February’s rate of 5.8 percent, and well below March 2014’s rate of 7.2 percent.

The last time Alabama’s rate was 5.7 percent or lower was in July 2008.

“We continue to see decreases in Alabama’s unemployment rate, and increases in both of our employment measures, which is a testament to the strong economic development efforts we have prioritized,” Bentley said. “We have gone 16 months with no increase in our unemployment rate. This steady progress is further evidence that, as far as employment indicators go, Alabama has regained its pre-recession standing. My priority as governor remains job creation, and I will continue my effort until every Alabamian who wants a job has the opportunity to have one.”

Current Population Survey (CPS), or household, employment measured 2,021,806 (seasonally adjusted). The last time CPS employment was higher was in September 2008, when CPS employment measured 2,033,383. This also marks the fourth month in a row that CPS employment has measured over two million, which has not occurred since 2008.

Wage and salary employment, totaling 1,936,800 in March, increased by 6,300. March’s wage and salary employment figure is at its highest point in seven years for the same time period.

Monthly gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector (+3,800), the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+1,800), and the professional and business services sector (+1,100), among others.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 28,600, with gains in the professional and business services sector (+8,400), the leisure and hospitality sector (+6,700), and the education and health services sector (+5,700), among others.

JobLink, the state’s online free jobs database (www.joblink.alabama.gov), registered 21,673 active job orders in March.

“Every county in Alabama currently has a lower unemployment rate than they did a year ago,” Alabama Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said. “Wilcox County, despite traditionally having one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, has seen a five percentage point decrease in its rate over the year. That’s great news!”

Wilcox County’s March 2014 unemployment rate was 18.6 percent, compared to its current rate of 13.6 percent.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 3.9 percent, Lee County at 4.7 percent and Elmore, St. Clair, and Autauga Counties at 4.9 percent.

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Rams, Wildcats open baseball state playoffs
Rams, Wildcats open baseball state playoffs

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

One local team will be on the road and the other at home Friday as the Valley High Rams and the Springwood Wildcats baseball teams open the AHSAA and AISA state playoffs.

In AHSAA 6A play, Valley (11-12, 4-2) will be on the road at Dothan (23-15) today for doubleheader action with the first pitch scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CT.

The second game will follow approximately 30 minutes later.

A third “if necessary” game would be played Saturday at 1 p.m.

Like all AHSAA and AISA baseball series, it’s a best 2-of-3 games series and the Rams and Wildcats can both take a huge step towards advancing to second-round play by winning the all-important Game 1 of each series.

One of the keys in the Valley-Dothan series will be a big game from sophomore righthander Mitch Myers.

The Rams will need a win from the hard-throwing youngster to have a chance at upending Dothan on the road.

Look for Valley’s senior class to play a big role in the success of the team in this series. Coach Stevie Coker’s Rams are a much better team than their record indicates and could be a dark horse in the 6A race.

Seniors Austin Graben and Tri Nix have been hot at the plate and expect that trend to continue against Dothan.

•At Springwood, Dr. Walter Banks’ Wildcats (18-5, 4-2) are the No. 2 seed in the AISA 2A playoffs and will host No. 3 seed Evangel (4-12) today at Founders’ Fields.

First pitch for today’s doubleheader has been moved up to 1 p.m. ET and Springwood officials hope to get in both games before the rain enters the area.

The Wildcats need strong outings on the mound, productivity at the plate from its 3-4-5 hitters, especially in driving in runners in scoring position, and must play error-free baseball. Solid team defensive play is crucial for Springwood advancing in a series they should win.

This may be Springwood’s best baseball team since winning back-to-back 2A state championships in 1998-99 seasons under David Beaird and Jamie Morrison.

•In other high school baseball news, the MaxPreps No. 1-ranked Troup Tigers baseball team (19-2, 10-1) will complete its GHSA-Region 5 series today against Fayette Co. with doubleheader action at Tiger Field.

First pitch for the twinbill will be 5 p.m. ET.

Troup has an 11-game win streak, its longest since 1985 when the John Wilson-led Tigers won 16 straight in a state runner-up season.

The Tigers are also ranked No. 3 in the AJC poll and region rival Whitewater is first in region play at 11-0.

Troup needs a twinbill sweep of Fayette Co. today to set up next week’s region title showdown vs. Whitewater.

Troup has not won a region title since the 1995 season.

Valley Lady Rams beat BRHS 5-2; clinch area title
Valley Lady Rams beat BRHS 5-2; clinch area title

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

VALLEY — The 6A area champion Valley Lady Rams softball team (19-12) tuned up for the upcoming area tourney with a big 5-2 win over visiting Benjamin Russell here Wednesday evening at the Valley Sportsplex.

Coach Adam Hunter’s Lady Rams are getting terrific pitching performances from Ryan Simpson and Lexus Burrows.

Simpson earned the win in the circle against BRHS, working all seven innings, struck out nine and scattered seven hits.

Kelsey Davis led the offense with a pair of home runs and three RBIs, Hunter noted.

Other hitters for Valley included Hayley Vickers, Lacy Striblin, Allie Davis and Kayden Cannon all with one hit each. Striblin and Davis’ hits were both run-scoring singles.

With the win, Valley clinched the area title for the third season in a row and its first year in 6A competition.

“It’s a big accomplishment to win the area three straight years and I’m proud of our girls,” Hunter said. “When you win the area, you also get to host the area tourney, so that’s big for us as well. We’re really excited but have our work cut out for us. We need to perform well in the area tourney,” added Hunter.

It’s been another successful season as the Lady Rams hope to make a run for state honors in the 6A playoffs.

“The girls are working extremely hard and have really progressed throughout the season,” Hunter said. “We need a couple girls to step up at the plate and if that happens, I think we’ll have a great chance at making it to regionals in Gulf Shores and then on to state.”

Springwood golf team defeats rival Glenwood
Springwood golf team defeats rival Glenwood

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LANETT — The Springwood golf team defeated AISA rival Glenwood earlier this week in a match played at the Point University Golf Club, coach Bill Edwards reported.

Springwood’s four-person score was 170 while Glenwood fired a 183.

The Wildcats were led by Bruce Andrews 41, Smith Collins and Blake Carter both had 42s, McLane Martin 45 and Mary Charles Spivey 47.

“All of the scores were close together and we have to find that final four or five-stroke improvement,” Edwards noted.

Also competing for Springwood were Jordan Plank 54, Jack Brown 56, Anna Bolton 66 and William Andrews 67.

Springwood’s next match is at Lee-Scott today.


Obituaries for Friday, April 17, 2015
Obituaries for Friday, April 17, 2015


CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ms. Barbara Anne Gibson, 67, of Cleveland, formerly of Lanett, died Friday, April 3, 2105, at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield, Ohio.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, April 18 at 3 p.m. EDT at Ebenezer Baptist Church with the Rev. Eugene Cooks and the Rev. Bernard Williams officiating.

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


DADEVILLE — Ms. Kelia Genae Turner, 46, of Dadeville died Sunday, April 12, 2015, at her residence.

Funeral services will be held at Baskin Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church Saturday, April 18 at 1 p.m. CDT with burial to follow at the church cemetery.

Vines Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.


LaFAYETTE — Mr. Allen Whitlow, 58, of LaFayette died Monday, April 13, 2015, at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 18 at 1 p.m. CDT at Friendship Baptist Church No. 1 in LaFayette with the Rev. Cornelius Reese, pastor, officiating. Burial will follow at Handy Cemetery in LaFayette.

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

Obituaries for Thursday, April 16, 2015
Obituaries for Thursday, April 16, 2015


WAVERLY HALL, Ga. — Mrs. Varion Yvette Morgan Ascardi, 66, of Waverly Hall died Thursday, April 9, 2015 at Oak View Nursing Home

Funeral services will be held Friday, April 17 at 11 a.m. at Mt. Hermon Baptist Church with the Rev. Louis Upshaw, pastor, The Rev. Walter Hall, eulogist, and Dr. Bertha Hodge officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery.

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


WEST POINT — Funeral services are pending for Mr. Len McCullough of West Point, who died Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange.

The family may be contacted at the residence of Ms. Margie "Sally" McCullough, 1300 East 10th St., West Point.

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


LaFAYETTE — Funeral services are pending for Mr. Charles Huguley, 78, of LaFayette, who died Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika.

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


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