YEAR IN REVIEW: A look back at April, May and June

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, December 29, 2020

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EDITORS NOTE: This is the first of a four part series looking back at the year 2020 in Troup County.

April 2

Gov. Kemp announces statewide shelter in place order and school closures

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced he would sign an executive order implementing a statewide shelter in place order to initially run through April 13. Beyond ordering the shelter in place, Kemp also announced he planned on signing an executive order to close all K-12 public schools for the rest of the year. The Troup County School System had been closed since March 13.

April 6


closes Troup County 

manufacturing operations from April 6 to April 13

Interface closed its Troup County manufacturing operations and planned to reopen April 13 after  an Interface employee at the company’s facility in West Point tested positive for COVID-19. At that time, the West Point and LaGrange facilities were closed.

April 6 

Second Troup County resident dies from COVID-19

A second person died in Troup County from complications related to COVID-19. The second death was a 66-year-old female with underlying health conditions, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health website.

April 8 

Long time law 


officer loses life to cancer

Billy Baker, a longtime law enforcement officer and deputy with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, lost his life to cancer. Baker was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal terminal cancer in June and was given three to six months to live. But Baker fought for almost 11 months.

April 8 

Telluride wins World Car of the Year

At the 2020 World Car Awards, the 2020 Kia Telluride won World Car of the Year. The Telluride is produced at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point. 

“The Telluride has been a runaway hit for the Kia brand and we are proud to manufacture this “game changing” model in West Point, Georgia,” said KMMG President and CEO Jangsoo (Jason) Shin. “The hard work, along with the dedication and commitment to quality of the KMMG Team is on full display in this award-winning vehicle.”

April 13

Jackson Services uses products to create 

sterilization chamber

Jackson Services utilized its products to create a sterilization chamber to clean N95 masks for hospital workers.

April 14 

Fourth person in Troup County dies from COVID-19

A fourth person in Troup County died from complications related to COVID-19.The fourth death was an 82-year old female, according to GDPH. 

April 16 

Jeff Todd becomes full-time 

LaGrange city 


Jeff Todd, whose private practice represented LaGrange, Hogansville, West Point and Warm Springs for the last several years, agreed to work full-time as in-house counsel for the city of LaGrange.

April 20

Kemp to allow certain businesses to reopen 

Kemp announced that gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors were among businesses that could reopen. However, those businesses were asked to follow strict social distancing and hygiene requirements. Kemp said many of those businesses hadn’t been able to perform basic business functions during the shelter-in-place order.

April 21

Troup County tops 100 COVID-19 cases 

Troup County confirmed 100 positive COVID-19 cases, according to numbers from the Georgia Department of Public Health. 

April 22

KMMG extends suspension of vehicle production

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia extended its suspension of vehicle production through Friday, May 1. Vehicle production was scheduled to resume on Monday, May 4. The plant’s production had been suspended since March 30.

April 23 

Tilley takes the helm at Visit LaGrange

Visit LaGrange’s Kathy Tilley settled into her new role as president in April. Tilley has previously served as the chamber’s interim president and CEO of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce. 

April 25 

Man shot, killed after firing at officers in Hogansville

A Hogansville police officer was injured after an officer-involved shooting that resulted in a man’s death on April 25. According to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation press release, Faron Morris Hammond, 61, was shot and killed after firing at officers with a shotgun. 

April 27 

LHS senior dies in head-on crash with ambulance in Kentucky 

LaGrange High student Dylan Norvell died following a traffic accident in Louisville, Kentucky. Norvell was a passenger in a vehicle that struck an ambulance head-on, and he died that same day.

April 28 

LaGrange College names Susanna Baxter as new president

Susanna Baxter was named the 26th president of LaGrange College after a unanimous vote by the institution’s board of trustees.

May 1 

Troup County’s first COVID-19  patient goes home after many weeks in the hospital

David Simpson, the first person in Troup County to have a confirmed case of COVID-19, was released from the hospital. He had been hospitalized since mid-March.

May 6 

More than 50 dogs recovered from a Troup County home

More than 50 dogs were recovered from a Troup County home on Chase Road and taken to the LaGrange Animal Shelter. Deputies reportedly found 55 animals at the residence that were not adequately cared for.

May 11

Frady named TCSS Teacher of the Year

Hannah Frady, Troup County High School government and history teacher, was named the Troup County School System Teacher of the Year Award.

May 21

Troup County’s COVID-19 death total rises to eight

Two more people in Troup County died from COVID-19, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The newest deaths were an 81-year-old male and a 58-year-old female.

May 28 

LaGrange celebrates Bridge opening

The city of LaGrange celebrated the opening of the Greenville Street Bridge with an official ribbon cutting after it had been closed since February 2016. 

May 28 

KMMG employee dies from COVID-19

A Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia employee died from complications related to COVID-19, according to a statement from KMMG.

May 30 

46 residents test positive for COVID-19 at LaGrange Nursing and Rehab

A total of 46 residents tested positive for COVID-19 after testing by the Georgia Department of Public Health District 4 at the nursing home’s request. 

June 1

Dozens gather at Lafayette Square for protest about inequality

Around 50 people gathered at LaFayette Square to protest the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis, Minnesota man, killed by a police officer.

June 2

LaGrange Walmart 

associate honored for his 

26 years in 


Lots of love was spread as Carl Green celebrated his 26th anniversary as a Walmart employee in LaGrange.

June 2 

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper solves River pollution problem

Middle Chattahoochee Director Henry Jacobs found muddy water flowing into the Chattahoochee River upstream of the drinking water intake for the city of West Point. CRK tracked the source of sedimentation upstream to a 1,100-acre construction site in LaFayette, Alabama.

June 3

Hogansville hires new city 


The Hogansville City Council voted to hire Alex Dixon, who served as the LaGrange and Hogansville solicitor. Dixon accepted the position in June. 

June 4 

LaGrange man hit and killed by train

According to LaGrange Police Department Sgt. Robert Kirby, Lucious Cheeks was hit and killed by a CSX train traveling west near the Jefferson Street Bridge at approximately 11 p.m.

June 5 

Arrest made in accidental shooting of four-year-old girl

A LaGrange man has been arrested on cruelty to child charges following a May 18 incident where a 4-year-old girl was accidentally shot in the face. Leemarkese Melson, 28, was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal’s Office in Hogansville. 

June 10 

Local officials elected 

It was a busy night of local elections in June. Erin Hackley was elected as Troup County Coroner. Cathy Hunt was re-elected to second term on school board in District 5. Brandon Brooks was elected to second term in District 3 for school board. Ferrell Blair elected to school board District 2. Debbie Wade was elected as Troup County Probate Judge. Joe Franklin was elected to second term on TCSS board in District 6. 

June 13 

LaGrange identified as hotspot for COVID-19 cases

The New York Times website identified LaGrange as the No. 1 spot for the highest average daily growth rate of cases and the highest average daily growth rate of deaths.

June 20 

Charlie Joseph’s celebrates 100 years

In the 1920s, Charlie Joseph migrated to LaGrange, where he started one of the biggest staples in the community.

 In June, Charlie Joseph’s, the restaurant, celebrated 100 years in LaGrange. 

June 23 

71 inmates at Troup County Jail test positive for COVID-19, 21 sign refusal forms

District 4 Public Health received results from testing at the Troup County Jail on June 19. A total of 316 inmates were tested with 71 testing positive.  

June 24 

Seven arrested for alleged drug sales at Main Street Pub

A seven-month, joint investigation at the Main Street Pub, located at 120 Main Street in LaGrange, resulted in seven arrests for violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act.

June 30 

Lynn hired as city manager in


During a Monday night city council meeting, Hogansville made it official, as they hired Jonathan Lynn the city’s new manager. 

June 30 

Mallory released on parole

Peter Mallory, who was sentenced to 1,000 years in prison in February 2013 for multiple counts of possession of child pornography was released on parole, despite the opposition of District Attorney Herb Cranford.