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Melanie Ruberti

Position: Content producer (reporter)
E-Mail Address: mruberti@civitasmedia.com
Phone Number: 706-884-7311

Latest Stories by Melanie Ruberti

A LaGrange police officer attempted to stop a Nissan Altima for a window tint violation near the intersection of Glenn Robertson Drive and Kelley Street. The officer said after initiating his blue lights and siren, the car didn't stop.
According to the report, the driver drove at a high rate of speed east on Kelley Street, swerving from one lane t

Man leads police on chase

A LaGrange police officer attempted to stop a Nissan Altima for a window tint violation near the intersection of Glenn Robertson Drive and Kelley Street. The officer said after initiating his blue lights and siren, the car didn't stop. According to the report, the driver drove at a high rate of speed east on Kelley Street, swerving from one lane t

West Point police officers said the 2002 black Pontiac Firebird driven by off-duty LaGrange police detective Wayne Cato crossed the center line on Highway 29, nearly hitting two other cars before crashing into a home Saturday night on U.S. Highway 29.
West Point Police Department released its report of the incident Monday evening.
According to th

Report released on officer's arrest

West Point police officers said the 2002 black Pontiac Firebird driven by off-duty LaGrange police detective Wayne Cato crossed the center line on Highway 29, nearly hitting two other cars before crashing into a home Saturday night on U.S. Highway 29. West Point Police Department released its report of the incident Monday evening. According to th

Investigators with the Troup County Sheriffs Office arrested and charged Achyutbhau Patel, 33, of LaGrange with one count of theft over $1,500.
Investigators said Patel unlawfully took at least $300,000 from the Days Inn on Whitesville Road. Patel posted bond and was released from the Troup County Jail.
No further information was available as of

Man charged with stealing $300,000 from business

Investigators with the Troup County Sheriffs Office arrested and charged Achyutbhau Patel, 33, of LaGrange with one count of theft over $1,500. Investigators said Patel unlawfully took at least $300,000 from the Days Inn on Whitesville Road. Patel posted bond and was released from the Troup County Jail. No further information was available as of

A video showing a group of 14 to 16 dirt bikes and ATV's riding north on Interstate 85 has gone viral on Facebook.
The video, shot from someone inside a car following the riders, shows the group's trek starting from the West Point on ramp at exit 2 to I-85 north to the Kia exit. In the video, people are singing and laughing about the stunt.
Offic

GSP: Viral video of I-85 ride 'no laughing matter'

A video showing a group of 14 to 16 dirt bikes and ATV's riding north on Interstate 85 has gone viral on Facebook. The video, shot from someone inside a car following the riders, shows the group's trek starting from the West Point on ramp at exit 2 to I-85 north to the Kia exit. In the video, people are singing and laughing about the stunt. Offic

A home in the 500 block of Youngs Mill Road was struck by lightning this morning, a resident said.
LaGrange police and fire officials responded to the home shortly after 8:30 a.m. after a resident there called 911, reported the strike and said smoke was inside the home. No one was injured.
The resident of the home said she believed lightning stru

Home struck by lightning, resident says

A home in the 500 block of Youngs Mill Road was struck by lightning this morning, a resident said. LaGrange police and fire officials responded to the home shortly after 8:30 a.m. after a resident there called 911, reported the strike and said smoke was inside the home. No one was injured. The resident of the home said she believed lightning stru

A LaGrange police officer is on paid administrative leave after being arrested Saturday night on a DUI charge.
LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar confirmed Sunday that detective Wayne Cato, 29, was taken into custody.
According to the West Point Police Department, officers responded to a crash about 9 p.m. Saturday night in the 1000 block of

Updated: Officer arrested after car hits house

A LaGrange police officer is on paid administrative leave after being arrested Saturday night on a DUI charge. LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar confirmed Sunday that detective Wayne Cato, 29, was taken into custody. According to the West Point Police Department, officers responded to a crash about 9 p.m. Saturday night in the 1000 block of

A LaGrange police officer is on paid administrative leave after being arrested Saturday night for DUI.
LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar confirmed Sunday that detective Wayne Cato was taken into custody.
According to the West Point Police Department officers responded to a crash around 9 p.m. Saturday night in the 1000 block of U.S. Highway

Officer faces DUI charge after car hits house

A LaGrange police officer is on paid administrative leave after being arrested Saturday night for DUI. LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar confirmed Sunday that detective Wayne Cato was taken into custody. According to the West Point Police Department officers responded to a crash around 9 p.m. Saturday night in the 1000 block of U.S. Highway

More than 6,000 people packed Pyne Road Park last May to catch three days of boat races on West Point Lake that were described as a Daytona 500 on water.
While the LaGrange Powerboat Grand Prix races seemed like it pleased the crowds, the event wasn't a money maker for LaGrange and Troup County – and won't be making a return trip this year.

Chamber plans new lake draws

More than 6,000 people packed Pyne Road Park last May to catch three days of boat races on West Point Lake that were described as a Daytona 500 on water. While the LaGrange Powerboat Grand Prix races seemed like it pleased the crowds, the event wasn't a money maker for LaGrange and Troup County – and won't be making a return trip this year.

A woman faces DUI charges after a LaGrange police officer responded to a possible drunk driver on Lafayette Parkway. The officer said he spotted the car weaving all over the roadway, then run three red lights at Morgan Street, East Lafayette Square and South Lafayette Square.
When the officer stopped the car, he said he smelled alcohol. The driver

Woman charged with DUI

A woman faces DUI charges after a LaGrange police officer responded to a possible drunk driver on Lafayette Parkway. The officer said he spotted the car weaving all over the roadway, then run three red lights at Morgan Street, East Lafayette Square and South Lafayette Square. When the officer stopped the car, he said he smelled alcohol. The driver

For Bobby Hicks, working at Jackson Heating and Air was never just about having a job, it was a way to help people he always considered part of his family.
That is why it was hard for him to leave work on Thursday afternoon. After 39 years with the company, Hicks decided to hang up his work belt and retire from the job he described as “not r

'It wasn't just a job, it was fun'

For Bobby Hicks, working at Jackson Heating and Air was never just about having a job, it was a way to help people he always considered part of his family. That is why it was hard for him to leave work on Thursday afternoon. After 39 years with the company, Hicks decided to hang up his work belt and retire from the job he described as “not r

Some area children with special needs will have a new school to call home next school year.
Lafayette Christian School is expanding its program for students with learning differences into a more comprehensive program. The Discovery Cottage, located next to the LCS Early Learning Center, will focus on helping children who may be low-functioning, au

New special-needs school to open

Some area children with special needs will have a new school to call home next school year. Lafayette Christian School is expanding its program for students with learning differences into a more comprehensive program. The Discovery Cottage, located next to the LCS Early Learning Center, will focus on helping children who may be low-functioning, au

LaGrange police responded to a residence in the 200 block of Wright Street, where a woman said her car was stolen.
According to the report, she told officers she parked her red 2002 Chevrolet Camaro in front of the home for 30-40 minutes. When she returned her car was gone.
The victim also told officers she left the doors unlocked and the keys in

Car stolen after left unattended

LaGrange police responded to a residence in the 200 block of Wright Street, where a woman said her car was stolen. According to the report, she told officers she parked her red 2002 Chevrolet Camaro in front of the home for 30-40 minutes. When she returned her car was gone. The victim also told officers she left the doors unlocked and the keys in

On April 10, 2013, five Gwinnett County Firefighters responded to a routine medical call that turned out to be anything but normal.
The firefighters were lured to a home by Lauren Brown, 55, who claimed to be having chest pains. As soon as the men encountered Brown in a back bedroom, he produced an arsenal of hand guns and rifles, and took the fir

LFD hosts hostage seminar

On April 10, 2013, five Gwinnett County Firefighters responded to a routine medical call that turned out to be anything but normal. The firefighters were lured to a home by Lauren Brown, 55, who claimed to be having chest pains. As soon as the men encountered Brown in a back bedroom, he produced an arsenal of hand guns and rifles, and took the fir

While conducting searches at LaGrange Municipal Court, LaGrange police officers said they discovered that Dina Michelle Starnes, 42, had a suspected methamphetamine pipe in her possession. The device was located in a small bag inside her purse.
Starnes was arrested and charged with amphetamine possession. The pipe was sent to the GBI crime lab for

Police: Woman brought alleged meth pipe to courthouse

While conducting searches at LaGrange Municipal Court, LaGrange police officers said they discovered that Dina Michelle Starnes, 42, had a suspected methamphetamine pipe in her possession. The device was located in a small bag inside her purse. Starnes was arrested and charged with amphetamine possession. The pipe was sent to the GBI crime lab for

Two people received DUI charges after being pulled over by police on Monday.
LaGrange police officers pulled over a red Chevrolet Malibu on Lafayette Parkway around 10:50 p.m. for impaired driving. The officer conducted a field sobriety test, which the driver failed. The driver was charged with DUI less safe for anti-depressants and alcohol, and o

Drivers face DUI charges

Two people received DUI charges after being pulled over by police on Monday. LaGrange police officers pulled over a red Chevrolet Malibu on Lafayette Parkway around 10:50 p.m. for impaired driving. The officer conducted a field sobriety test, which the driver failed. The driver was charged with DUI less safe for anti-depressants and alcohol, and o

What looked like a bleak outcome for the medical marijuana proposal, HB 1, as it passed from the Georgia House of Representatives to the Senate, became a little more hopeful on Thursday for families and legislators still fighting for the bill.
Dale Jackson believes it was a miracle.
Jackson, whose 7-year-old son, Colin, is autistic, testified bef

A glimmer of hope

What looked like a bleak outcome for the medical marijuana proposal, HB 1, as it passed from the Georgia House of Representatives to the Senate, became a little more hopeful on Thursday for families and legislators still fighting for the bill. Dale Jackson believes it was a miracle. Jackson, whose 7-year-old son, Colin, is autistic, testified bef

Jonathan Patterson had it all – a family, good job, car, house and sense of financial security – but within a year, the web developer and grant writer lost it all. Patterson first lost his job, then his possessions and family. He suddenly found himself homeless and, for five years, moved from shelter to shelter across the country.&

Making a difference

Jonathan Patterson had it all – a family, good job, car, house and sense of financial security – but within a year, the web developer and grant writer lost it all. Patterson first lost his job, then his possessions and family. He suddenly found himself homeless and, for five years, moved from shelter to shelter across the country.&

When it comes to birthdays, most little girls ask for clothing, dolls and toys, plus all the latest gadgets.
For Saralynn Pelt, 8, her wish list was very different.
“I asked people to bring medical supplies instead of presents for my seventh birthday party,” Saralynn explained.
So on her birthday, July 24, instead of opening brightly

Presents for Haiti

When it comes to birthdays, most little girls ask for clothing, dolls and toys, plus all the latest gadgets. For Saralynn Pelt, 8, her wish list was very different. “I asked people to bring medical supplies instead of presents for my seventh birthday party,” Saralynn explained. So on her birthday, July 24, instead of opening brightly

It was standing room only when Rose Jackson stood up to speak in front of a few friends and dozens of strangers inside the LaGrange Memorial Library.
Her pain was still fresh, but her voice was strong as she remembered Jan. 14, the day her daughter Courtney Jackson, 22, was shot and killed by boyfriend Kendell Robinson, 26, in a home the couple sh

Stopping the violence

It was standing room only when Rose Jackson stood up to speak in front of a few friends and dozens of strangers inside the LaGrange Memorial Library. Her pain was still fresh, but her voice was strong as she remembered Jan. 14, the day her daughter Courtney Jackson, 22, was shot and killed by boyfriend Kendell Robinson, 26, in a home the couple sh

You don't have to look too hard to see how much Courtney Jackson loved life.
Dozens of Facebook pictures capture the sweet innocence of the 22 year old; a smiling, free spirit with a genuine happiness that sparkles in her eyes and reaches out to your soul.
According to her mom, Rose Jackson, that captivating happiness also translated over into re

Remembering Courtney

You don't have to look too hard to see how much Courtney Jackson loved life. Dozens of Facebook pictures capture the sweet innocence of the 22 year old; a smiling, free spirit with a genuine happiness that sparkles in her eyes and reaches out to your soul. According to her mom, Rose Jackson, that captivating happiness also translated over into re





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