LaGrange Banking Co. began operations in January at 206 W. Haralson St., the first locally originated bank since 1984. Later in the year, the bank began construction of a main office next to Hughston Clinic off La-fayette Parkway.
LaGrange Personal Aid marked its 85th anniversary on Jan. 29, the same day its dental fund reached its 25th anniversary. The local United Way agency, founded in 1923 as LaGrange Welfare Association, also operates a food closet and coordinates a variety of programs serving people in need.
Kia Motors received more than 43,000 applications for the estimated 2,500 jobs planned at its West Point plant. The open application period closed Feb. 7.
Eiland and Ruby Lipham celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary Feb. 14.
On April 10, Community Action for Improvement celebrated its 41st anniversary at a banquet featuring Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Benham and U.S. District Court Senior Judge Horace T. Ward. CAFI, based in LaGrange, provides a variety of programs for low-income residents in Troup, Heard, Carroll, Coweta and Meriwether counties.
Construction began in April on the $8.9 million, two-mile first phase of the South Loop highway from Pegasus Parkway to the Callaway South industrial park. It’s supposed to be completed next summer. A second phase will take the two-lane highway to Roanoke Road.
After 38 years as director of the LaGrange-Troup Council of Church Women Clothing Center, Yolanda Jabaley retired in May. On her retirement, the council voted to rename the center in her honor: the Yolanda K. Jabaley Clothing Center. Along with keeping records, Jabaley, 80, had to oversee the center’s five moves to different locations. The clothing center first began in 1951.
In late May, the Troup County school system started moving into its new $5.3 million Administrative Services Center on North Davis Road. The former administration building on Mooty Bridge Road will become the new location of HOPE Academy alternative school.
On Aug. 14, West Georgia Tech dedicated its new west campus in the former Hughes Georgia/Raytheon Systems building on Orchard Hill Road, financed by a local campaign that raised $1.2 million in six weeks to match $6 million from the state.
Clark-Holder Clinic became “Emory Clark-Holder Clinic” on July 1 when the local physician practice joined Emory Specialty Associates, a subsidiary of Emory Healthcare of At-lanta. The acquisition is expected to bring more doctors and technology to LaGrange. Meanwhile, Tony Dattilo retired in November after eight years as the clinic’s executive director of the clinic.
On July 1, the Troup County Commission adopted a new zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations aimed at ensuring quality growth while preserving the county’s rural character and natural resources. Each new development has to achieve a minimum score before it can even be considered for approval. A scorecard system had never been tried in Georgia, although it has been successful in other parts of the country.
Caterpillar marked 10 years in LaGrange with a ribbon-cutting at its expanded facility in Jim Hamilton Industrial Park.
The state Department of Driver Services announced plans in August to relocate from the State Patrol barracks on Hamilton Road to the more spacious former county administration building at 900 Dallis St. The local chapter of the American Red Cross is also moving into the Dallis Street building from its current location on Main Street in LaGrange.
Plans were announced in 2008 for a $1.7 billion residential and commercial project along Kimbrough and Lower Glass Bridge roads in southwest Troup County. Macauley Investments of Atlanta plans to develop the 1,358 acres over the next 20 years with retail shops, offices and up to 5,000 housing units. It will “basically be a self-contained city,” said Stephen Macauley.
The County Commission agreed to rezone the property in December provided the developer meets a variety of conditions, including road improvements.
Ocie L. Brittian of East Depot Street turned 104 on July 19, and Betty Jarrell reached the same age on Dec. 1 at LaGrange Nursing and Rehab. Jarrell’s birthday was marked by a visit from grandson-in-law Billy Gibbons of the rock group ZZ Top.
All-Pro Auto Group ac-quired Johnson Motors, Troup’s oldest automobile dealership, in August. The Johnson family had operated the business since 1944.
The former Coleman Library, built in 1955 on Lincoln Street, was dedicated Sept. 5 as the new headquarters for Twin Cedars Youth Services and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Troup County
Troup County native Marjorie Champion Salamone was among the 184 victims remembered at services dedicating a memorial of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack on the Pentagon.
LaGrange College reached its fundraising goal for the new Frank and Laura Lewis Library, scheduled to open in early 2009. The $19.9 million for the library and related renovations to Quillian and Banks buildings are the centerpiece of a $65 million “Defining Moments” campaign.
Thirty-six percent of Troup County voters took part in early voting for the Nov. 4 general election, largely motivated by the presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain. In local races, incumbents carried the day, including Sheriff Donny Turner, County Commissioner Ken Smith and school board member John Darden.
Jane Fryer retires today after nearly 30 years as executive director and president of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, but will stay on for a year as secretary of the LaGrange Development Authority. Page Estes was tapped to succeed Fryer at the chamber.
An interchange on Interstate 85 opened in December to serve the Kia Motors plant in West Point. The $80.7 million project included Kia Boulevard, Kia Parkway and other road and bridge projects.
Hogansville City Council decided earlier this year to give up trying to rehabilitate its aging water plant and get its supply from elsewhere. By February, the Oak Street plant should be shuttered and Hogansville will be getting its water from separate pipelines to LaGrange and Coweta County.
The year 2008 saw a number of new businesses come to Hogansville, including a children’s theater, a host of new restaurants, retail stores like a computer repair business, dress shop and photography studio, and a new Love’s travel stop at the Interstate 85 interchange.
n West Point:
While West Point waits for commercial development near the newly opened Kia Parkway, downtown businesses already are springing up. The year 2008 saw the arrival of two new Korean restaurants, including a sushi bar, and other businesses. The city also was able to mark another “milestone” in December: since renovation of downtown sidewalks along Third Avenue were complete, the Valley-wide Christmas Parade used the street as its route through West Point.
n West Point Lake:
Mother Nature, who seemed to turn her back on West Point Lake in the last two years, changed her mind this summer. The lake, which dropped to near-record lows in the summer of 2007, stayed nearly full from spring through most of the fall at 635 feet above mean sea level. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the lake, drew the lake down to 628 feet this month, according to its rules, despite wet conditions south of here.
• United Way
The United Way of West Georgia kicked off its fundraising campaign this fall with a new and enhanced mission: Live United – give, advocate, volunteer. The new mission is meant to stress the importance of the United Way and its 29 member agencies year-round, not just during the annual fundraising drive.