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Looking back at October, November and December 2019

EDITORS NOTE: This is the fourth of a four-part series looking back at the year 2019 in Troup County.

Oct. 1
Video depicts man aiming gun at another’s head

A video posted on Facebook showed a man who was identified in the post as Justin Caswell, a former Troup County firefighter, shows the man pointing a gun at another man outside of a LaGrange residence. Caswell was arrested for pointing a gun at another and criminal trespass, according to the police report and Troup County Jail records.

Oct. 4
City of LaGrange officially opens fire station after months of construction

The City of LaGrange Fire Department officially opened Station 5 on Vernon Road. The station was dedicated to Kay Durand, LaGrange’s first female city council member.

Oct. 8
Pot arrest leads to resignation

A LaGrange resident has been arrested on charges of manufacturing marijuana, and his wife, Nancy McCormick, a longtime Troup County employee, resigned. Rick McCormick, 45, was arrested Oct. 3 on charges of manufacturing marijuana after a search of his property, according to a press release from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office.

Rockweave rocks city’s downtown

Thousands of concert-goers filled downtown LaGrange during the Rockweave Music and Arts Festival. 

Oct. 10
Animal advocate requests update to ordinances

Local animal rights advocate Evie Kettler asked the LaGrange City Council to simplify an ordinance specifying when bedding is required for outdoor pets in order to make it easier for city employees to enforce. The LaGrange City Council later voted to uphold cold weather shelter requirements during the months of December through March.

Oct. 17
West Point candidates speak at forum at Active Life Center

All five of the West Point City Council candidates gathered to speak to the West Point Active Life community. There were three seats up for grabs on the West Point City Council. Incumbents Gerald Ledbetter, Sandra Thornton and Deedee Williams would later win out over challengers, Wiky Gladden and Kesha Edwards-Coniglio.

Oct. 18
House Study Committee on Gang and Youth Violence Prevention holds meeting in LaGrange

The Georgia House Study Committee on Gang and Youth Violence Prevention met at West Georgia Technical College in LaGrange to discuss the rising rate of gang violence in Georgia. The meeting was one of several hosted by the committee in different portions of the state to determine legislative recommendations for the 2020 legislative session. 

Oct. 22
400 Year Journey

The LaGrange community honored the 400-year anniversary of the first slave ship arriving to America in 1619. The project was coordinated by Ark Refuge Ministries in LaGrange, and more than a dozen workshops were held throughout the weekend.

McAlexander announces plans to retire

LaGrange College President Dan McAlexander announced his intention to retire next year, after completing 11 years of service with the institution.

Oct. 23
Hogansville candidates discuss why they should be elected

Four of the six Hogansville City Council candidates participated in a political forum at the Hogansville Active Life Center. Mandy Neese, Mark Ayers and Toni Striblin would ultimately unseat incumbents George Bailey and Theresa Strickland and overcome Brenda Geter in the November election.

Oct. 24
LaGrange District 1 candidates talk ideas, platforms

The third and last series of the political forums was held Wednesday morning for the LaGrange City Council candidates at LaGrange’s Active Life Center. Incumbent Mark Mitchell would ultimately win out over challengers Latasha Dudley and Curtis Brown in the November election.

Oct. 29
CCRPI Scores on the Rise: TCSS still below state average, but 13 schools see scores improve

Thirteen schools in the Troup County School System saw improvements in the newest College and Career Readiness Performance Index scores. TCSS saw its overall score climb from 66.1 in 2018 to 70.5 in 2019. Even with the gain, TCSS remains below the state average of 75.9. However, the state average fell nearly a full point from 76.6 in 2018, while TCSS gained 4.4 points.

Nov. 1
County commission moved some meetings to afternoon

The Troup County Board of Commissioners discussed adding evening meetings and publishing video recordings of its meetings online to make it easier for citizens to find out what happened. The board of commissioners would officially announce twice monthly evening meeting days and times on Dec. 8.

Nov. 8
Fallen soldier’s remains return to Hogansville after 69 years

The remains of Sgt. Billy Joe Maxwell, a Hogansville native, were flown home, and the army veteran was given a hero’s welcome by the Troup County community. Maxwell was reported missing in action Nov. 30, 1950.

Nov. 19
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia celebrates 10 years in Troup County

Chris Miller, Chief Administrative Officer at KMMG, kicked off a 10-year celebration inside the West Point Kia plant with local and state officials gathering. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp headlined the number of government officials, which also included U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, State Representatives Randy Nix and Vance Smith, as well as West Point Mayor Steve Tramell and LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton.

Nov. 23
One arrested, one sought in Leeman Street shooting

Zari Askew, 21, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault-other weapon in connection to the Leeman Street shooting, which took place Oct. 22. Dmetrius Lemon, 24, of Lanett was later arrested for aggravated assault in connection to the case.

Dec. 13
Puppy Pipeline makes 1,000th pick up

Puppy Pipeline picked up the 1,000th animal from Troup County, and LaGrange Animal Shelter Supervisor Chris Bussey said the shelter hopes to send out one more group before the end of the year.

Dec. 14
Local kids pastor arrested in prostitution sting

A local children’s minister was arrested for allegedly attempting to pay for sexual acts with an undercover officer posing as a prostitute in Newnan. According to Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, Thomas Daniel Spradlin was listed as a “Kid’s Ministry Director” for Callaway Baptist Church in LaGrange. Spradlin was arrested and charged with pandering.

Man wanted in connection to Murphy Ave. shooting

Randall McRae, 34, was wanted in connection to a shooting on the 800 block of Murphy Avenue that left a man hospitalized, according to information from the LaGrange Police Department. The victim was sent to another area hospital for further treatment.

Dec. 17
Nurse arrested for sexual contact with inmate

Dorathy Pike, 26, a nurse working in the Troup County Sheriff’s Office medical unit, was arrested for having sexual contact with an inmate, according to TCSO.

22-year-old female killed in parking lot

A 22-year-old Da’Jai Green was killed in the parking lot of the Racetrac on Lafayette Parkway. On Dec. 19, Tierre Tyrell Williams was apprehended by United States Marshals, according to a LPD press release. Williams was the suspect in the shooting that resulted in the death of Green.

Man shot, killed at Motel 6

A Columbus man is wanted for a murder that occurred at Motel 6 in LaGrange. Tony Galvan Reynoso, 27, of Columbus, Georgia, was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, on Dec. 26, and Joshua D. Osterman, 32, of Columbus turned himself in at the LaGrange Police Department shortly thereafter.

Dec. 26
Gang member sentenced

Tavion Deshan Harton, 19, pled guilty to two violations of the street gang terrorism and prevention act, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and one count of possession of firearm during commission of a felony, according to a press release from District Attorney John Cranford.