Year in Review Part IV: Looking back at the final months of 2018
Published 6:58 pm Friday, December 28, 2018
EDITORS NOTE: This is the final story in a four part series looking back at the year 2018 in Troup County:
Paint the Town Pink/H.O.P.E. for a Day held
Paint the Town Pink and H.O.P.E. for a Day, the annual event held to promote breast cancer prevention and awareness, was held in downtown in LaGrange at the end of September.
Abrams tours Kia
Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor, toured Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in October. Abrams received a tour of the plant and spoke with KMMG leaders about the state of the industry and Kia overall. Abrams lost the governor’s race to Republican Brian Kemp in November.
LPD hostS active shooting training
The LaGrange Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies held active shooting training for a week in October. The training was held at Whitesville Road Elementary School and gave officials a chance to role play through scenarios in case of an active threat.
Troup scores below average on CCRPI
The Georgia Department of Education released Career and College Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores in late October. The Troup County School System received a cumulative score of 66.1, which was below the state average of 76.6.
Rhodes moves on from Troup County
Cajen Rhodes, director of the Troup County Parks and Recreation, accepted a job in Peachtree City. Rhodes officially left his position on Nov. 30.
Burdette to retire
The Callaway Foundation Inc. and Fuller E. Callaway Foundation announced that Speer Burdette was retiring at the end of December. Paul S. “Tripp” Penn III was elected to serve as his successor.
Ferguson re-elected, Robertson elected
On Election Day, Drew Ferguson was elected to his second term in the U.S. House, where he will represent District 3, which includes Troup County. Bob Trammell defeated Leonard Gomez to win the House 132 seat and Randy Robertson defeated Valerie Haskins to represent District 29 in the Georgia Senate.
Tentler recognized for 20 years of service
A retirement party was held for longtime county manager Tod Tentler in November. Tentler worked for Troup County for 20 years, including six as county manager.
Fire Chief Chosen
John Brant was selected as the new fire chief for the LaGrange Fire Department in November. Brant took over for Lou Dekmar, who had served as Public Safety Chief, overseeing the fire department and police department.
Council pursueS nuisance abatement on Apartments
The LaGrange City Council unanimously voted to file a nuisance abatement against Tall Pines Apartments in November, hoping the possibility of court action might force management to improve living conditions.
LHT winner picked
Our Circle and LaGrange College Campus Circle won LaGrange Has Talent in November. The competition, now in its second year, allows locals to show off their skills in front of a live audience.
DA will not prosecute officer involved shooting
District Attorney Herb Cranford announced in November that he would not prosecute local law enforcement officers involved in a fatal civilian shooting on Lower Big Springs Road in June. Cranford, after reviewing the investigation from the Georgia Bureau Investigation, determined the shooting was a result of Roger Dale Sims not obeying officers’ commands to drop his weapon. Sims made a false 911 call and opened fire on officers when they arrived.
Housing Authority closes on renovation
The LaGrange Housing Authority officially signed the last document necessary to perform just over $9.2 million in renovations to the Lucy Morgan Homes. Construction on the buildings was expected to begin in January.
Annual Christmas parade held downtown
The annual Christmas parade, organized by the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, was held in downtown LaGrange.
Georgia Radio Hall of Fame exhibit opens
The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame museum exhibit opened at the Legacy Museum on Main in December. The exhibit will be on display at the museum until June 15 and organizers are hoping it’ll help find a permanent home for the museum.
Sweetland announces lineup
Sweetland Amphitheatre announced its 2019 Concert Series in December. The lineup was highlighted by country artist Dwight Yoakam and also included John Prine, Buddy Guy, Black Jacket Symphony and Mavis Staples with Anderson East.
New president named at WellStar
Jerry Fulks announced he is retiring from WellStar West Georgia Medical Center in January. Coleman Foss, who has served as the CEO of Tenova Healthcare-Cleveland in Tennessee since 2007, has been named president of WGMC.
Bomb threat in West Point part of national hoax
A business in West Point was sent an emailed bomb threat in mid-December, but hundreds of businesses nationwide received a similar threat. The business was not identified by police, but a sign at CharterBank on the 1200 block of OG Skinner Drive, said the building was closed. No one was injured and no explosive was found.
School board approves budget for LHS gym
The Troup County School Board unanimously approved a $15.5 million guaranteed maximum price for construction of the LaGrange High School athletic facility. The price was an increase from the budget the board originally approved for $13.4 million due to the increase in material cost and other factors.
In December, the LaGrange City Council awarded the Flame of Excellence to Speer Burdette, who is retiring from his position as the president and general manager of the Callaway Foundation.
Capital City Bank in West Point was robbed in December. The suspect gave a teller a note demanding money and left the scene.