A Year in Review: A look back on October, November and December
Published 2:30 am Friday, December 31, 2021
EDITORS NOTE: This is the final part of a four part series looking back at the year 2021 in Troup County.
PREGNANT WOMAN, UNBORN CHILD DIE FOLLOWING CAR CRASH, SHOOTING
A pregnant woman and her unborn child died following a car crash and shooting that occurred on Highway 18. The victim was identified as Akeila Ware, 28, of LaGrange, who along with her unborn child died shortly after arrival at a Columbus hospital.
COUNTY COMMISSION REVOKE ALCOHOL LICENSES AFTER 10 STORES WERE CAUGHT SELLING TO MINORS
Letters of license revocation were sent to 10 convenience stores that were cited for selling alcoholic products to minors in September. Investigators with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division conducted an operation targeting the sale of alcohol to minors from the businesses. Investigators checked 19 locations in Troup County during the investigation and found that 10 locations did sell alcohol to a person under the age of 21.
MURDER SUSPECT IDENTIFIED IN SHOOTING OF MOTHER, UNBORN CHILD
A military man originally from LaGrange was identified as the murder suspect in the death of a Akeila Ware and her unborn child. The Troup County Sheriff’s Office identified Alonzo Dargan Jr. as the murder suspect. Ware was 33 weeks into her pregnancy.
CITING LOWER COVID-19 NUMBERS, TCSS CHANGES MASK MANDATE POLICY
As COVID-19 cases began to fall in October, the Troup County School Board made wearing masks optional, though they were still highly recommended. Masks were still required on all school buses, which follows the protocols from the Center for Disease Control.
GROUND BROKEN ON BRAND NEW INCLUSIVE FIELD, PLAYGROUND AT LAFAYETTE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
After six years of planning and praying, the Miracle League of LaGrange finally pushed forward on the development of its playground, which will include inclusive and sensory-conscious equipment for those with mental and physical disabilities. The project additionally included a Miracle League baseball/softball field and a fitness center on the grounds.
ANTHONY BERNARD CARTER WAS BURIED IN A CARDBOARD COFFIN WITH NO MARKER. FORTY YEARS LATER, HE HAS FINALLY RECEIVED A HEADSTONE.
Forty years after his murder, Anthony Bernard Carter, a 9-year-old Hogansville native whose death was linked to the 1970’s Atlanta Child Murders, was given a headstone over the area that is believed to be his grave. Many of Carter’s relatives still live in the area and voiced how the headstone ceremony is a first step to healing from a decades’ long tragedy.
LAGRANGE HIGH CLASS OF 1971 CELEBRATES 50 YEARS AT TROUP VS. LAGRANGE GAME
The LaGrange High School Class of 1971 hosted its 50 year reunion in the form of tailgate at the LaGrange vs. Troup game. This class was the first at LaGrange High to racially integrate. Many class members recalled how the integration would influence the football and cheerleading aspects of their school, as well as their friendships.
WOMAN INDICTED ON MURDER CHARGES IN CASE OF TWO BODIES FOUND IN WEST POINT LAKE
A Pine Mountain woman was indicted on murder charges related to the death of two men found dead in West Point Lake in August. On Nov. 1, a Troup County Grand Jury was presented evidence regarding the murders of Marcus Caswell and Travis Lodato and returned an indictment on Abbrianna Marie Williams, 25, charging her with two counts of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of making a false statement. Joshua Nutt, 39, was also arrested in August in connection to the murders.
REMINGTON FIREARMS TO OPEN GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS IN LAGRANGE
Gov. Brian Kemp announced in November that Remington (RemArms) is locating its headquarters and a new advanced manufacturing operation, as well as a research and development center, to LaGrange. The company said these projects will invest $100 million and create 856 jobs over a five-year period in Troup County. The company will be leasing a building within Callaway South Industrial Park until it decides where it would like to build its corporate campus.
STANDOFF WITH MAN AND LPD AT SUNNY POINT CIRCLE CONTINUES INTO TUESDAY NIGHT
The LaGrange Police Department were in a standoff at Sunny Point Circle and Moss Creek with a man, Brian Jessee, who was armed with several firearms and made threats on social media towards officers. The standoff would lead on into the following night and lasted a total of 18 hours.
FIRE OUT AT SUSPECT’S HOME, BUT STANDOFF CONTINUES
By Wednesday morning, the home Jessee had barricaded himself in had caught fire.
LPD: 18-HOUR STANDOFF CONCLUDES WITH DEATH OF POSSIBLE SUSPECT
Following the fire at the home Jessee had barricaded himself in, investigators were later able to enter the home where they recovered human remains, later identified as Jessee’s. Throughout the standoff, investigators attempted to gain entry into the home and negotiate with Jessee, who fired at investigators and, at one point, a drone.
SOLDIER FACING MURDER CHARGES OF MOTHER, UNBORN CHILD RETURNED TO TROUP CO. ON GOVERNOR’S WARRANT
Alonzo Dargan Jr. was taken into custody by TCSO after a governor’s warrant was executed. He was charged with two counts of murder and one count of a firearm during the commission of certain felonies for the death of 28-year-old Akeila Ware and her unborn child.
COUNTY SIGNS MOU FOR DOWNTOWN APARTMENT PROJECT
The Troup County Board of Commissioners approved and signed a memorandum of understanding with EYC Companies, LLC, a South Carolina-based company that will develop a 144-unit apartment complex in downtown LaGrange, to finalize several aspects to the future project. The site of the project will be on the former Loy’s Furniture Supply and Stephens Exclusives on the 200 block of Main Street.
MCCAMEY DEFEATS TUCKER, WINS DISTRICT 5 COMMISSION RACE
Dr. Jimmy McCamey beat out four other candidates who were all seeking the commissioner seat of the late Richard English, Jr. McCamey originally went up against Norma Tucker, Ernest Ward, Kendall Butler and Travis Hart in the specially called general election. McCamey and Tucker tied for a runoff election in the general election. McCamey won the seat with 249 total votes. Tucker finished with 186 total votes.
MIAMI MADE CHICKEN AND FISH CLOSES
After operating in LaGrange for six-and-a-half years, Miami Made Chicken and Fish closed its doors for good in December. The restaurant, known for its fried fish and chicken, officially announced the decision on its Facebook page, citing that the landlord of the building wanted to take the location in a different direction.
ZERO VOTERS? ONE PRECINCT HAD NO VOTES DURING TUESDAY’S COMMISSION RUN-OFF WITH LOW TURNOUT
Troup County’s runoff election for a District 5 county commissioner may have been record-breaking because it was so poor. Only 4.5% of eligible registered voters took part in the election. There were only 437 votes cast in the election — which was won by Jimmy McCamey — out of 9,575 registered voters at seven precincts. One precinct didn’t see a single voter all day. Election Supervisor Andrew Harper described the turnout as possibly the lowest he’s seen in his seven years as supervisor.
CAR OF LAGRANGE MAN MISSING SINCE 1976 RECOVERED IN CHAMBERS COUNTY, BONES FOUND
The car Kyle Clinkscales was driving when he disappeared in January 1976 was recovered in a creek in Chambers County and bones were found inside. Inside the car were 50 skeletal remains couple of bones, including a partial skull. Clinkscales, who lived and worked in LaGrange, was on his way back to Auburn University when he disappeared in 1976.
PARANORMAL TEAM FINDS POSSIBLE HINTS OF SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY AT LEGACY MUSEUM
Georgia Paranormal visited the LaGrange’s Legacy Museum on Main in December and what they believed were small hints that something otherworldly was visiting the LaGrange museum.
Investigators attempted to make contact with the spirit of Fuller E. Callaway, Sr., and at one point in their investigation received intense activity when they held a communication session at his old desk.
ISAIAH LOFTON DESCENDANTS, RESEARCHER, RECOGNIZE PARK PROCLAMATION AS THE FIRST STEP IN HISTORIC HEALING
The City of Hogansville officially dedicated Lofton Park to its namesake – Isaiah Lofton, a Hogansville postmaster who survived an assassination attempt in 1897. Two of Lofton’s descendants, Charlene Johnson-Brown and David Smith, as well as Dr. Tony Lowe, who researched Lofton’s story, attended the dedication and spoke on Lofton’s legacy and what it meant in terms of racial healing in the Hogansville community.
CORONER: REMAINS IN CLINKSCALES’ CAR MAY NOT BE IDENTIFIED FOR MONTHS
Troup County Coroner Erin Hackley said in late December that identifying the remains found in Kyle Clinkscales’ car may take several months or longer. The remains were sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s office to be investigated and could take time to investigate due to their age and condition.
TROUP CO. REPORTS HIGHEST NEW COVID CASE TOTAL SINCE SEPTEMBER
Troup County reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases since Sept. 13, according to data from the Georgia Department of Public Health. There were 43 new cases reported on Dec. 22, the first time Troup County had hit a number that high since having 50 in one day in September. Troup County was in the single digits daily for new COVID cases almost all of October and November but has seen numbers increase consistently since the start of December.