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October 20, 2014
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Native American Pow Wow draws crowd to LaFayette
Native American Pow Wow draws crowd to LaFayette

It was the East versus the West Friday and Saturday at the Native American Pow Wow at the Chambers County Rodeo Arena in LaFayette. Jim Sawgrass (at right) played the part of a Creek warrior from 200 years ago and Little Big Mountain (on the left) a Southern Plains Comanche from the same time period. In an hour-long presentation that was educational and at times humorous, the two warriors tried to dispel some myths about Native Americans that have been portrayed on TV and in the movies and tried to get across what daily life was like for the continent's indigenous peoples. "At one time there were over 500 tribes here," said Little Big Mountain. "They all had different languages, clothing and lived in different kinds of housing." Saying that the word "Muscogee" means "swamp people" in the Creek language, Jim Sawgrass said that Native Americans were the original swamp people, that they hunted alligator in Southern swamps long before settlers arrived. (Photo by Wayne Clark)

Chambers unemployment rate falls to 6.3 percent
Chambers unemployment rate falls to 6.3 percent


MONTGOMERY — Chambers County's unemployment rate fell by eight-tenths of a percent in September as Alabama experienced a statewide jobless rate decline of three-tenths of a percent.

The Alabama Department of Labor reported Friday that Chambers County had an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent in September, compared to 7.1 percent in August. Alabama's unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent from August's 6.9-percent reading.

The state numbers showed that the civilian labor force in Chambers County fell by almost a hundred in September, 14,606, compared to 14,702 in August. Employment stood at 13,690, up 33 from August's 13,657.

Unemployment in the county fell to 916 from August's 1,045.

Neighboring counties showed similar job gains. Lee County saw its unemployment rate drop to 4.7 percent from 5.8 percent, Macon saw its rate drop to 7.9 percent from 9.4 percent, Randolph's rate fell to 6.6 percent from 7.5 percent and Tallapoosa's rate fell to 7.2 percent from 8.2 percent.

“The number of jobs employers reported in Alabama in September is the highest we have seen since December 2008, and that is thanks to the strong economic development efforts we have put in place to create jobs,” Gov. Bentley said. “Our economy is supporting more jobs today than it has in the past five years, and our efforts will continue until every Alabamian who wants a job has the opportunity to have one. September’s unemployment rate is the lowest rate we’ve seen in seven months, and we are confident that this trend will continue.”

“Every county in Alabama experienced a decrease in their unemployment rate this month,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said. “Five counties with traditionally high unemployment rates saw their rates drop more than two percentage points.”

Monroe (-2.0), Dallas (-2.2), Sumter (-2.3), Wilcox (-2.3) and Perry (-2.8) counties all experienced decreases of more than two percentage points.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.3 percent, Lee and Cherokee counties at 4.7 percent and Blount County at 4.8 percent.

Bowling tournament to benefit Boys and Girls Club
Bowling tournament to benefit Boys and Girls Club


VALLEY — Bowling enthusiasts will have a chance to bowl and help out the Chambers County Boys and Girls Club Thursday.

A bowling tournament fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club will be held beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Valley Bowl.

Four-member teams will compete for recognition. Scores will be scratch.

Team entry fee is $60, which includes shoe rental and bowling.

Entry forms and entry fee can be sent to Valley Bowl, 3212 20th Ave., Valley, Ala. 36854. Deadline for entries is Oct. 22.

For more information, call James Caldwell at Valley Bowl, 334-768-2729.

Another big event is on tap at Valley Bowl the following day. Valley Bowl will host a Hot Rods and Bike Night, with special vehicles on display in the Valley Bowl parking lot from 6 p.m. until.

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Lanett routs rival LaFayette 47-6 to stay alive for playoffs
Lanett routs rival LaFayette 47-6 to stay alive for playoffs

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LaFAYETTE — There’s no doubt that it’s been a frustrating season for the highly-regarded Lanett Panthers (4-4, 2-3).

With just one week left in the regular season Friday at home against Reeltown, it’s still uncertain if they’ll even make the 2A state playoffs.

But give Lanett credit, under a ton of pressure to win to have any chance at all of earning a playoff berth, coach Clifford Story’s Panthers put together by far its best all-around and overall game of the season here Friday as the preseason No. 2-ranked Panthers blasted the rival LaFayette High Bulldogs (1-7, 0-6) 47-6 here at Bulldog Stadium.

In all honesty, the score could have been much worse if Lanett’s first-stringers weren’t pulled in the third quarter and young players playing the majority of the game in the second-half.

In was all Lanett on both sides of the ball and they showed why they were considered one of the premiere 2A teams in the state.

The Panthers are fast, athletic, very physical, have quality depth and they displayed all those attributes and a lot more in a terrific team performance here Friday.

Lanett was so dominant, in fact, that they rang up 335 yards rushing in the first-half alone in rolling to a commanding 34-0 lead at the intermission.

For the game, Lanett rushed for 482 yards and would have been much higher if the starters were not pulled.

Lanett also recorded five interceptions, including a pick-6 and recovered three LaFayette fumbles as well.

Leading the way for the Lanett offense was Marlon “MJ” Bridges, Demontavious Daniel, Melvaunta Robinson, Tavaris Geiger, Terrion Truitt, Khari Jones and others.

Lanett made quick work of LaFayette early on.

Bridges opened the scoring for Lanett on a two-yard scoring run off tackle at 9:31 of the first for a 6-0 lead.

Lanett’s scoring drive was 68 yards on six plays.

While the Lanett offense blew open huge holes in the LaFayette defense, the Panthers defense puts the clamps down on the Bulldogs offense, limiting LaFayette to just 12 yards rushing at the half.

The first quarter ended with Lanett up by just six points but would have been much more if not for a myriad of penalties and a couple of turnovers.

But Lanett took complete control in the second quarter, outscoring LaFayette 28-0 for a 34-0 halftime lead.

Bridges tallied his second score of the game, this time on a sizzling 71-yard jaunt around the left flank and with 10:44 left in the second, it was Lanett 13-0.

Lanett’s scoring drive was 78 yards on just three plays.

The Panthers upped its lead to 20-0 at 5:25 of the second after a nicely-executed 60-yard, nine-play drive was capped by a 10-yard scoring run from Geiger.

The Panthers pushed the margin to 27-0 with 3:41 left in the half after quarterback Tre Story fired a beautiful strike to flanker Anquavious Simpson down the Lanett sideline from 41 yards out for the score.

Lanett’s scoring march was 58 yards on three plays.

But Lanett wasn’t finished with its offensive blitzkreig.

Bridges capped the first-half scoring for Lanett on his third TD of the game, this time from nine yards out, and with 1:12 left, it was 34-0 Panthers.

Lanett’s scoring drive was 63 yards on six plays.

LaFayette had a good scoring chance with under :30 seconds left when the pass was picked off in the Lanett end zone by Simpson, who leaped high for the ball, and ran out of the end zone to negate the Bulldogs scoring chance.

Even with eight penalties and a pair of fumbles, Lanett was still up by five scores with another half to play.

Lanett continued its onslaught when Story fired a frozen rope of a pass to Jaelin Ross from 21 yards out for another TD with 5:46 left in the third and now a 41-0 Lanett lead.

It was the best scoring drive of the game for Lanett as the Panthers went 74 yards on 15 plays and culminated in a Story-to-Ross TD strike.

Truitt tallied the final score of the game for Lanett on a beautiful pick-6 from 36 yards out with :6.2 seconds left in the third quarter and a 47-0 lead.

LaFayette tallied its lone score on a seven-yard TD strike for the 47-6 final score.

Lanett leads the 40-game series history with LaFayette, 30-9-1.

•Lanett will close out the season at home against Reeltown Friday at Morgan-Washburn Stadium.

Beulah 3A playoff bid denied by Prattville Christian
Beulah 3A playoff bid denied by Prattville Christian

By Wayne Clark

Times-News News Editor

PRATTVILLE, Ala. — With a 3A playoff berth on the line, the Beulah Bobcats appeared ready to take that big step when they jumped out to a 12-0 halftime lead over the Prattville Christian Academy (PCA) Panthers, but the home team took complete control of the game in the second half, scoring on three touchdown drives and holding the Beulah offense at bay to win the game 21-12.

The loss drops the Bobcats to 2-6 on the year and 2-4 in 3A Region 3. Beulah will close out the season with a road game at LaFayette and their homecoming game versus Randolph County. PCA nailed down the Region’s fourth playoff spot with the win.

The Bobcats played some inspired football in the early going. They took a 6-0 lead before much of the crowd had sat down in their seats on homecoming night at Panther Stadium. They extended that lead to 12-0 when quarterback Tony Brown scored on an 11-yard run off the left side of the line midway of the second period.

The scoring play capped off a 55-yard drive that was set up by a nice punt return by Christian Gillespie. Runs by Brown and Ty McCants accounted for most of the yardage on the drive. The Bobcats made a big play on fourth and two from the Panther 35 when Brown ran up the middle for eight yards and a first down on the 27.

Runs by McCants and Kelvin Miller got the ball to the 11. Following a time out, Brown kept the ball around left end, following a host of good blocks to get the ball into the end zone.

Beulah went for two on the conversion, and it looked like they were going to make it when McCants, who was running right, turned and passed back to a wide open Brown on a flea flicker play. The pass was low but catchable, and Brown probably would have scored had he caught the ball but he couldn’t find the handle.

Even with that missed opportunity, the Bobcats were in good shape at that point, holding a 12-0 lead with 6:15 left in the half.

The home team then showed some offense for the first time, driving the ball to a first down on the Beulah 12 in the final minutes of the half. The Bobcats stopped them, though, on an interception by Kelvin Miller near the goal line with a little less than two minutes to play.

Miller returned the pick to the Bobcat 13. From there, Beulah moved for one first down before time ran out. At halftime, the Bobcats could almost taste that playoff spot, holding a 12-0 lead.

In the second half, the Panthers were a completely different team, and Beulah could do little to get things turned back around to their advantage.

The home team drove the ball 80 yards for a score on their first possession to get the momentum going their way. Quarterback E.J. Spencer ran the ball effectively both up the middle and on the flanks to get the ball past midfield. On second-and-ten from the Beulah 38, big, bruising fullback Chase Bernard broke a big run off the left side of the line, running all the way to the Beulah one and a first and goal.

Spencer scored on a run up the middle on the next play and just like that, the Panthers had cut the Bobcat lead in half, 12-6. Holt’s PAT made the score 12-7 with 7:55 left in the third period.

The Panthers held Beulah to a three-and-out on the first Bobcat possession of the second half, and after a Zach Massengale punt, PCA had the ball on their 43 with a chance to take the lead. They did that on the running of Spencer, Bernard and Dawson Roy, driving it 57 yards for a score.

The key play came on fourth and two from the Beulah 22. Following a big line surge, Bernard ran right up the middle all the way to the Bobcat four. A facemask penalty added on put it on the two and from there, Bernard scored on the next play. Holt’s second PAT of the game gave PCA a 14-12 lead with 1:22 left in the third quarter.

At that point, Beulah was still very much in it, but they needed to get something going on offense. After a very shot kickoff, they started in good field position on their 36 but once again was held to a three and out.

A reverse play on third and seven looked promising, but a dropped handoff resulted in a four-yard loss.

Beulah punted it away on the first play of the fourth quarter. PCA put it in play on their 24 and began a third straight scoring drive. Once again, there were no pass plays and not much going wide. For the most part it was keeping it between the tackles and keeping the chains moving on power run plays.

The Bobcats got a break at one point when PCA was flagged for a false start, but on the next play Spencer got the yardage needed for a first down on a quarterback draw.

Most of the yardage on the drive came on fullback smashes up the middle by big No. 44. The Bobcats knew what was coming but could do little to stop it. On five of the next six plays, Bernard carried the ball up the middle, closer and closer to the Beulah goal. On the fifth time he touched it it was first and goal on the two.

From that close, he easily powered across the goal line against a very tired defense. Holt’s third PAT of the half extended PCA’s lead to 21-12 with 5:12 left in the game.

Now down by nine points, Beulah’s offense got their first first down of the second half on a run by Tony Brown. That gave the Bobcats a first down on the PCA 47, but that would be as far as they could get. On the next play Brown was sacked while attempting to pass. After an incomplete pass and a pass in the flat that lost two yards, Brown launched a Hail Mary on fourth and 21. The pass fell incomplete and PCA took over on the Beulah 43.From there, they ran out the clock ending the game with a 21-12 win on homecoming night.

Valley Rams fall to No. 8 Benjamin Russell 44-28
Valley Rams fall to No. 8 Benjamin Russell 44-28

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

ALEXANDER CITY — The Valley Rams (3-5, 1-4) lost its fifth straight game as coach Marshon Harper’s Rams dropped a 44-28 decision to the No. 8-ranked Benjamin Russell Wildcats in AHSAA 6A-Region 3 play here Friday evening.

It was a costly loss for Valley as the Rams dropped to just 1-4 in region play and will have to defeat Pell City in Valley’s Senior Night game Friday and also get a lot of help and other formula’s to have any chance at securing a playoff spot.

Valley had a difficult time stopping a potent BRHS offense as the home team rang up 21 first downs to just eight first downs for the Rams.

While the Valley offense did throw for 207 yards on 10-of- 22 passes led by T.J. Lowe and Martravious “Tre Tre” Williams,Valley’s tough ground attack was held to just 69 yards on 23 carries and no TDs.

Lowe and Williams each tossed scoring strikes to Deangelo Dunn and Williams was also on the receiving end of two aerial scores as well.

For the game, Lowe completed 8-of-12 passes for 140 yards and one score.

Linebacker Japai Robinson led the Rams defense with 16 tackles, including 10 solo stops in a terrific game for the college prospect.

Williams had two receptions for 95 yards and two TDs, eight carries for 31 yards, completed 2-of-10 passes for an additional 67 yards, recorded an interception and had four tackles.

Williams continues to prove he’s one of the most versatile and talented players in the state and once again, well deserving of all-state recognition.

While Robinson led the Rams defensive troops with 16 tackles, several others also had big games as well.

Trent Stringer tallied nine stops (7-2), Dunn added eight (5-3), Rye Shiver also had eight stops (6-2), Keishon Moody chipped in with seven (6-1), Terron Barker added five (4-1), while Williams (3-1), Jahleel Flournoy (4-0), and Keon Meadows (4-0) all had four.

Moody and Shiver each recorded sacks as Valley upped its total to 35 sacks on the season.

No other scoring details of the game were reported as of press deadline today.


Obituaries for Monday, October 20, 2014
Obituaries for Monday, October 20, 2014


LANETT — Mrs. Ruth Talley Hawkins, 84, of Lanett died Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, at Hospice LaGrange in LaGrange.

Funeral services were held Sunday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m. at Penton Church of God in Penton. Burial followed at the church cemetery.

Jeff Jones Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.


LaFAYETTE — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mr. John A. Heard, 81, of LaFayette, who died Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, at his residence.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.


LANETT — Miss Gale Arlene Martin, 65, of Lanett died Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, at EAMC-Lanier Memorial Hospital in Valley.

Funeral services were held Sunday, Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with the Rev. Tim Bass officiating. Burial followed at Fairfax Cemetery in Valley.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley handled arrangements.


LANETT — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mr. Raymond E. Osborne, 73, of Lanett, who died Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, at EAMC-Lanier Memorial Hospital in Valley.

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


LaFAYETTE — Mr. Robert Owens, 83, of LaFayette died Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika.

Funeral services are planned for Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. CDT at Rock Springs Baptist Church with the Revs. James Caulfield and Tom Leverett officiating. Burial will follow at LaFayette City Cemetery in LaFayette.

Jeff Jones Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.


CAMP HILL — Mrs. Ludie Mae Pitts, 66, of Camp Hill died Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, at her residence.

Funeral services are planned for Tuesday, Oct. 21 at noon CDT at Ebenezer District Center in Camp Hill with the Rev. Melvin Kelley officiating. Burial will follow at Finley Cemetery inLaFayette.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.


VALLEY — Funeral arrangements are pending for Mr. Eddie B. Walton Sr., 78, of Valley, who died Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 at EAMC-Lanier Health Services in Valley.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home of LaFayette is handling arrangements.


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