1989: Fishing tournaments draw crowds, TV station opens

Memoried Glances Julia Dyar

March 22, 2014

Marches past, 25 years ago.

From LaGrange Daily News, 1989.

Front Page News

Tourneys Lure Crowds of Fishermen — The boats may not have outnumbered the fish in West Point Lake this weekend, but it was close.

With three separate fishing tournaments and the kickoff of the 1989 Crappiethon, some lake area merchants report their best weekend in years.

Bait and tackle shops around the lake sold hundreds of Crappiethon badges, as anglers planked down $5 for a chance at landing fish worth up to $60,000. Money catches were few this first weekend, but many are expected as the competition continues through May 8.

Fishermen came from all over Georgia, Tennessee and several other states according to the merchants who welcomed them. One said, “People don’t realize how much of an impact something like this has on business in the area.”

Local Television Station Granted Broadcast License — A local community-based television station will be in operation by early summer and could begin airing on May 1, according to Sarah Beth Mallory, owner and general manager for WGBN, West Georgia Broadcast Network.

The low-power television station will be broadcast on Channel 33, the local station carried on LaGrange cable channel 15. It is expected to serve an area of 3,200 square miles, according to Mrs. Mallory.

The studio will be located in offices above Cleaveland-Dodd Company on Lafayette Square. The local station will air 24 hours a day and will emphasize coverage of local news events and community happenings.

(Later in month) New Television Station Buys Channel 10 — The owners of a new television station in LaGrange have also acquired the broadcasting rights to cable channel 10. Terms of the contract are confidential.

Mallory Communications President Sarah Beth Mallory said all locally originated programs on the new station WGBN, Channel 33 (channel 15 on cable) will be broadcast simultaneously on channel 10. WGBN may be on the air by May 1.

Channel 10 began broadcasting about 1966, when the Hurst brothers of LaGrange founded a cable company here. They sold the cable company a few years ago to The McDonald Group of Birmingham, Ala.

Duncan Humanitarian Award Honorees — Dr. Robert Copeland and Holmes Pharmacist Donny Toth have been named 1989 recipients of the Ruth B. Duncan Humanitarian Award.

This recognition is presented annually by the Social Services Department of West Georgia Medical Center to an agency and a physician who have demonstrated exemplary humanitarian acts. The award is given in honor of Mrs. Ruth B. Duncan, first social worker employed by City-County Hospital in LaGrange in 1960 and a social worker here for 25 years. Since 1960 the hospital’s social services staff has grown from one to five persons.

The awards ceremony was held in cooperation with National Social Work Month and Hospital Social Workers Day. Pamela Norred-Kidd is presently director of social services at the local medical center.

Skill Olympics Winners — Four LaGrange High School Vocational Industrial Club of America (VICA) students won awards recently in the Southwest Area Skill Olympics held at West Georgia Tech.

They are: first place in architectural drafting, Gene Leggitt; first place in graphic communications, Kevin Freeman; first place in machine drafting, Cretice Benefield; and third place in automotive service and technology, Cy Hume.

It’s No Blarney! Troup High Tigerette in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day Parade — Irish eyes will be smiling on a Troup High School student as the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade winds its way through the streets of Dublin, Ireland, on March 17.

Sonya Player, a senior and two-year member of the Tigerettes Drill Team, will be among the 112 selected participants of the National Cheerleaders Association’s “Spirit of America” Performance Team marching in the authentic St. Paddy’s Day parade in Ireland’s capital city.

Ten High School Seniors Get Lovejoy Scholarships — The Hatton Lovejoy Sholarship Committee today announced the award of 10 scholarships to outstanding high school seniors from this area who will graduate in June.

Each student will receive $1,000 per quarter of college attendance for four years provided he continues to remain qualified.

Six were given to LaGrange Sr. High School seniors: Leigh Ann Darden, Camille Holt Hampton, Kaz Larsen Holley, Georgia Edgar James, Donald George Morris III, Maurie Lynn Mintz; three to Troup County Comprehensive High School: Mary Junia Butts, John Austin Kirby and Lori Michelle Moore; and one to a LaGrange Academy senior: Joon Ahn.

This is the 25th year for the Hatton Lovejoy Scholarships established by Fuller E. Callaway Foundation in memory of the late Hatton Lovejoy, LaGrange attorney.

Julia Dyar, a retired journalist, is active in the Troup County Historical Society.