Community Briefs 10-7-15


The Union Hill Commmunity
Club Neighborhood
Watch meeting will
be held on October 8 at
6:30 p.m. CST. This will be
a covered dish supper.


The West Chambers
FD will hold their monthly
covered dish supper and
meeting on October 13 at
6:30 p.m. CST.


The Chambers County
Democratic Committee
will meet Thursday, October
8 at 6:00 EST. The
meeting will be at the Library
in the Valley. We will
be discussing the Democratic
elected officers and
candidates for 2016 election.


The Christian Service
Center will take applications
for Christmas assistance
on Wednesdays,
October 7, 14, 21, 28.
9a.m.-1 p.m. Low income
families will need to provide
birth certificates, picture
ID, current electric bill
with name and address
showing,and verification of
income.Parents or legal
guardians of children birth
through 12 years are eligible
to apply. Please bring a
list of your child’s clothing
sizes and gift ideas. The
Center is located at 5342
Cusseta Road in Lanett

The 24th annual Waverly
Bar-B-Q will be held
October 10 at the Waverly
Community Center on
Patrick Street from 8:00
a.m. til 3:00 p.m. Food
served from 10am-3pm.
Barnyard bingo, Cowboy
Church gospel band, Live
entertainment, greased pig
chase, raffles, arts & crafts
and much more. Bring your
lawn chairs! No alcoholic
beverages. Handicapped
parking and all animals on


The Foster and Adoptive
Parent Association for
Chambers County will be
selling Boston Butts in
order to raise money for a
scholarship fund that enables
the foster children of
the area to be able to go to
further their education.
Please contact Brent Wilson
at 334-742-3362.
Boston Butt is $25. Payment
is due at the time of
order. Orders must be
placed before Oct. 15.
Pickup at DHR in
LaFayette 10 a.m.-12 noon
on Oct. 30.

For anyone dealing
with the pain or loss and
feeling the need for support,
a “Grief Support/Divorce
Group will meet every
Tuesday at Oak Bowery
United Methodist Church
beginning at 1:30-5:30
p.m. CST. For more information
contact Pastor
Bill Parker at (334)459-
0214 or (706)518-9122. If
no answer please leave a
message. Contacts will be
held confidential. There
are no charges involved.


The LaFayette Police
Department is offering free
participation in the `Are
You OK`program for the
elderly or anyone that lives
alone. If you are interested
please call 334-864-2211.
Participants must live in
the city limits or police jurisdiction.


The Low Income
Home Energy Assistance
program (LIHEAP) of
Community Action Committee,
Inc. of Chambers-
Tallapoosa-Coosa Counties
are accepting calls for
those needing assistance.
Call 256-825-4287, Ext.
201 to schedule an appointment.


The Head Start program
of Chambers-Tallapoosa
is now taking
applications for the 2015-
2016 program year. Children
can be accepted
anytime during the year (if
an opening is available)
once the child has turned
three years of age. Children
with disabilities are
also accepted. Call the
Head Start Central office
in Dadeville at 256-825-
4204 or any Head Start
Center in your area.


To purchase a Disable
American Veterans Tag call
or write the Alabama Department
of Veterans Affairs,
P.O. Box 1509,
Montgomery, AL 36102-
1509 — Automated phone
line 1-800-827-1000. If
you prefer to talk to someone
you can call one of the
phone numbers or write
below: Veterans Service
Officers, 215 South 9th
Street, Opelika, AL 36803
Phone: 1-855-212-8028, 1-


Become a foster parent
with Alabama Mentor by
attending the free foster
parent classes every Monday
at 5:30 p.m. CST.
Contact Gina at 334-705-
8877 for more information.


Come join us in fellowship
at Jackson Memorial
Baptist Church with the
new pastor Dr. Bobby N.
Duck. Sunday School –
9:30 am CST. Morning
Worship – 10:30 am CST.
Wednesday Night Service –
4:30 pm CST.


On October 29th a
muscadine workshop will
be taught at Five Points
Farms (2185 County Road
261, Five Points, Al) in
Chambers County. Please
call the Chambers County
Extension office at 334-
864-9373 by Monday, October
26th to pre-register.
The program will begin at
9:00 a.m. and will conclude
around 11:00 a.m.
There is no cost for attendance.


The Chambers County
Commission will hold a
public hearing Monday,
October 19 at 3:30 p.m.
CST (4:30 p.m. EST) at the
commission chambers at 2
South LaFayette Street in
LaFayette. The purpose of
the meeting is to hear public
comment as to the possibility
of consolidation of
voting precinct in the City
of Valley and the Huguley
area, as well as the relocation
of the voting precinct
site for the City of

No bond for Gray

GrayBy Alton Mitchell

A Chambers County murder case from this past summer that has gripped the headlines of two states has proven to grow even larger over the past week. New evidence was brought to light last Tuesday as Stacey Demar Gray appeared before a Chambers County Judge. The evidence that came out at the hearing was enough to show that probable cause exists to push the murder charges against Gray to the next level.

In July a young woman from Columbus, Georgia was reported missing over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Only days after her disappearance from her 46th Street home in Columbus investigators over thirty miles away discovered her body in Osanippa Creek near Hopewell Road in Valley. Investigators from Valley worked closely with detectives from Columbus to see if the body they had found belonged to 26-year-old Renee Eldridge. Forensic evidence was used to determine that the body discovered in Valley was that of Eldridge.

A week following the July 7th discovery of Eldridge’s body in Osanippa Creek investigators had developed a suspect. The suspect was a 45-year-old man who was identified as Stacey Demar Gray whom had multiple address ties to East Alabama and West Georgia. Investigators were hot on Gray’s trail pursing him by vehicle and foot through Macon County, Alabama in a more than 10-hour manhunt that took resources from several local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Gray was taken into custody and brought back to Chambers County to face charges related to the gruesome death of Eldridge. On Tuesday the true extent of the brutality of Eldridge’s death was brought to light in the courtroom.

The details behind the death of Renee Eldridge were horrific in the description that was given in the courtroom. Evidence was presented that suggested prior to her death Eldridge was bound and tied with nylon rope. Evidence also suggested that a cement block was used as a source to conceal her body in Osanippa creek as a sinker that was also tied to her face down body at its discovery.

Before being disposed of in the creek it is also believed that suspect Gray kidnapped, raped, and ultimately beat Eldridge to death. The relationship between Gray and Eldridge as well as her family goes back beyond the July kidnapping and murder of the young woman who friends described as energetic yet a people person. In the hearing on Tuesday DNA evidence collected from suspect gray showed that his DNA was a match to those of a suspect in 2014 rape case of Eldridge from December of 2014. In that case an Army Ranger from Fort Benning was arrested and held in custody for nearly three months before DNA evidence released him as a suspect.

Evidence has also surfaced to show that Gray was a friend of the Eldridge family even having a sexual relationship with the mother of Renee Eldridge at times. The family viewed him with a lot of trust and he was believed to even be in possession of a key to the Eldridge home. On the night of July 4th when Renee Eldridge disappeared Gray, along with Renee Eldridge and her

Pow Wow festival here Oct. 17-18

Pow WowBy Alton Mitchell
As the heat of summer has taken a break and given way to cooler Fall temperatures, those mild temperatures have also ushered in a host of outdoor festivities including Fall Festivals. One of the most popular ones in the local region will be held in LaFayette on October 17th and 18th. On Monday night the LaFayette City Council was able to get an update on the project from Barbara Andrews, the Executive Director of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Council members listened anxiously as Barbara Andrews outlined the exciting events that will grace the Chambers County Agricultural Center in the coming weeks. The two day event that is being held for only the second time in the Chambers County community will be packed with fun and educational opportunities at the same time. Mrs. Andrews summarized the events to include food, demonstrations, and so much more.

Prior to coming to the Chambers County area the Native American Heritage Festival and Pow Wow was held in Hamilton, Georgia in Harris County. However about 3 years ago interest and turnout in the event seemed to be dwindling and the event was cancelled. However despite the low turnout there was still an interest in holding the heritage event. Prior organizers reached out to the Chamber and was able to get the festival relocated to Chambers County for its inaugural year last year. The popularity was there to allow for the festival to grow in popularity and that has led to a much larger festival to be held this year.

Barbara Andrews explained to the Council exactly how much larger this year’s event will be thanks to a mass marketing campaign that is taking place to grow interest in the festival. This year there will be radio advertising, as well as media advertising to boost awareness in the event. Mrs. Andrews also expressed the importance of the educational attribute the festival brings and was happy to inform the City Council that last year only schools from Chambers County Schools were able to send students to the festival this year that number has increased tremendously as the festival will host 1100 students from around the region including students from Chambers, Lee, Randolph, and Tallapoosa Counties. Those students will be able to attend the festival on the opening day of Friday from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Andrews noted to the Council that the cost of hosting the event was a little on the expensive side, but she also notes that it despite the cost it will be a beneficial event in the long run. While not only paying off in the educational enrichment of youth and attendees the event will allow Chambers County to showcase what it has to offer and be able to showcase the Chambers County Agricultural Center. More information on the event can be found on the Chamber of Commerce’s website.

OB unit at Lanier to close

East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) officials today announced that the obstetrical unit at EAMC-Lanier in Valley will close on December 31, 2015. The unit, which delivers fewer than 25 babies a month, has seen a decline in births for a period of time.

Plans are currently being developed and implemented, including notification of this change to Valley-area women who are currently pregnant, with extra details being given to those who expect to deliver around that time of the year. In addition, the Emergency Department physicians, nurses and staff members at EAMC-Lanier will receive added training for providing emergency obstetrical care should a patient arrive in active labor.

EAMC, which delivers more than 1700 babies a year—many from the Chambers County area, is only about 20 miles from EAMC-Lanier. There is also a hospital in LaGrange, Georgia—also about 20 miles from Valley—that provides 24/7 obstetrical care.
“This is not a decision that we made lightly; it has been months in the making. Childbirth is one of the greatest times in life—it’s the giving of new life—and we know it is a very joyous time for families, but can be stressful as well. We are notifying families of this decision now, so that they can adequately allow for their childbirth experience.”

“Our obstetricians are already making their patients aware of the change, so we expect a smooth transition when the calendar year ends, but will be prepared if someone present to the ER in an emergent OB situation.” Said Greg Nichols, EAMC-Lanier Administrator.

Get in fall spirit at Jack O Lantern Lane

Jack O Lantern 1By: Rachael Abney

Fall has officially begun, bringing us cooler weather, changing leaves, and pumpkin flavored everything! Lafayette comes alive in October with activities and events. One of my favorite places to visit is Jack O Lantern Lane located at 18151 Veterans Memorial Pkwy in Lafayette. Families can take part in a wide range of fall activities with a little something for everyone. Kids can enjoy a wagon ride and picking out their own pumpkin. The pumpkin patch offers a large variety of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes ready to be selected right off the vine. There are inflatables, train rides, a petting zoo, gem mining, and face painting. Families can also use the picnic area to enjoy lunch together. Homemade Ice Cream is available on Saturdays and Sundays (and yes there is a pumpkin flavor).

October is a great month to take time and enjoy family activities together. Outdoor events are more inviting this time of year with the cooler weather and changing leaves. The pumpkin patch is a nearby getaway that will not hurt your wallet. Wagon ride and pumpkin is just $7 per person, kids 2 and under ride free. Admission is free. Inflatables, train, gem mining, and face painting are priced separately. There are great backdrops for family photos so make sure to bring a camera! Concessions are also available and a country store for souvenirs. For more info visit .
Jack O Lantern 2

Sunday alcohol sales now legal in Valley

By Alton Mitchell

A drive down US. Highway 29 more commonly known as 20th Avenue through Valley showed something new this past weekend. It was history in the making, as October 4th provided a landmark in the history of Chambers County’s largest city as for the first time in memorable history the purchase of alcoholic beverages became legal on a Sunday in the city limits of Valley.

Residents from Valley and the surrounding communities including LaFayette and Lanett made the short journey to Valley to embrace the newly earned right. Voters in Valley came out for a special referendum vote on September 22nd and approved the sale of Sunday alcohol in Valley. As crowd’s embraced local stores Sunday for the first time it showed that the residents of this quiet border town were ready for this newest act of progressive movements in Valley.

Shop owners in Valley had initial fears that Sunday liquor sales may not be successful in the city. This is a fear that was mimicked in other communities that approved similar legislation prior to Valley’s approval. Much like its predecessors these fears were short lived as residents in need of quenching a certain type of thirst poured into local alcohol retailers. Fears for shop owners had initially included that Sunday sales would not be successful in the Bible belt and the operating cost would outweigh earning on Sundays.

Residents quickly eased those fears as smiles could be seen on shop employees faces at local stores. In addition to increased earnings for retailers local leaders have something to smile about as well. Sunday alcohol sales increase revenue for the City, County, and the State. Tax dollars that had been pouring to other communities and even neighboring Georgia on Sunday’s now stays in Valley. Also additional revenue can be earned from buyers coming from outlying areas and spending their dollars in Valley.

Following its inaugural week of sales, Sunday liquor and alcohol sales have proven to be a winner for the city of Valley and Chambers County. In addition to being a revenue generator it has also been a beacon light to those in the area for out of the box thinking that could lead to further growth for the local economies.

Outdoor Expo set for Oct. 3

Danny Singleton will be the keynote speaker at the seventh annual Chambers County Outdoor and Wild Game Expo on Saturday, Oct. 3. Singleton is the former Men’s Ministry Director for Woodstock Baptist Church, Woodstock, GA, and the founder of Danny Singleton Ministries. He is in great demand for Christian mens' retreats and a frequent speaker at outdoor events. Singleton will speak at 1:00 pm CDT.

Danny Singleton will be the keynote speaker at the seventh annual Chambers County
Outdoor and Wild Game Expo on Saturday, Oct. 3. Singleton is the former Men’s Ministry
Director for Woodstock Baptist Church, Woodstock, GA, and the founder of Danny Singleton
Ministries. He is in great demand for Christian mens’ retreats and a frequent speaker
at outdoor events. Singleton will speak at 1:00 pm CDT.

October third will celebrate the return of the Chambers County Outdoor and Wild Game Expo for the seventh year. The Expo will be held from 9:00 until 2:00 in the fields surrounding the LaFayette Heights Baptist Church Family Life Center. There will be no admission charge.

Cody Clark, who serves as this year’s co-chairman along with Joe Higgins, said that this is a great opportunity for sportsmen and outdoor lovers to share their appreciation of God’s great outdoors and to hone their skills and increase their knowledge of the sporting activities they love.

The Expo has grown significantly over the past six years with the number of guests increasing every year. This year promises to be even bigger than before. One major change Expo visitors should be aware of is a change in parking locations. Parking this year will be at the Chambers County Agricultural Park and Rodeo Arena. The main entrance and registration table will be through the gate leading from the Arena to LaFayette Heights. Only handicapped parking for vehicles with proper identification will be allowed in the church parking lots.

An underemphasized aspect of the Expo, but one of the features most enjoyed by guests, is the fact that the best wild game cooks and grillers in Chambers County will be demonstrating their cooking skills and sharing samples of the wild game they harvested from last hunting season. From year to year, the variety is different, but in past years you could have enjoyed wild turkey, pheasant, quail, alligator tail, rattlesnake, catfish, frog legs, elk and lots of venison. Also, in the past, much of the wild game has been prepared in stews and chilis. Again, this year, Jeff Hadaway and Woody Harmon will be preparing a whole hog cooked intact over a open pit.

Cook teams from Center Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove Congregational Christian Church, Antioch Baptist, Abanda Baptist, LaFayette First Baptist, Riverview Baptist, and five from LaFayette Heights bring the total number of cook teams to twelve. Food prepared by the cooks is offered in sample size servings, and all of it is free. Visitors have the opportunity to graze from tent to tent and enjoy something from all of the cook teams. Food is available until it is consumed which (take note) occurred about 11:00am last year.

Among the speakers at the Expo will be John Davidson, Game Warden for Chambers County. He will be talking about Alabama hunting regulations and specifically about any changes which hunters may be unsure of. In previous years, this has been one of the most entertaining segments of the program because hunters always have some interesting questions for the Game Warden.

Also speaking will be Jimbo Lindsey from Woodhaven Custom Calls. He will be performing demonstrations of wild game calls and instructing hunters on their use.
Steve Lucas from Buckmasters will be there to score and certify your antler racks at no cost (a service that typically incurs a fee). People who bring their mounts to be scored will be eligible to win a Moultrie Panoramic 150 digital game camera. The game camera will be awarded to the deer with the highest score. Only deer taken during the 2014-15 Alabama season will qualify for the prize.

The keynote speaker this year will be Danny Singleton from Woodstock, Georgia. He is a frequent speaker at men’s conferences including many wild game events. He was formerly the Men’s Ministries Director for Woodstock Baptist Church and has now formed Danny Singleton Ministries which is focused on supporting men, marriages, and ministries. Singleton will take the stage at 1:00 pm. All exhibits and activities will shut down at that time as a courtesy to enable all attention to be given to the speaker’s inspirational message.

Musical guests for the day will be Hawkins Ridge from Livingston, Alabama. This group sings music which they write about God’s Great Outdoors and growing up in the South. They have country-bluegrass style with a 50’s feel.

A large number of vendors and exhibitors will be on hand to demonstrate their products and to answer questions from Expo visitors. In many cases items being demonstrated will be available for sale.

For the third year, the Expo will be open to gun exhibitors and dealers. State and federal firearm laws will govern the sale of any guns and ammunition, so change of gun ownership may not be able to take place on site. There will be no gun trading, and only exhibitors at the Expo with Federal Firearms Licenses can bring guns onto the premises.

Vendors and exhibitors that have committed to attend include: Buckmasters, Wall Hanger Taxidermist, Chop Shop Deer Processing, Defensive Firearms Training Group, The Chambers County Gun Club, the National Rifle Association, Woodhaven Custom Game Calls, Holmes Guns, John Newman Guns and Farm Supply, King Ford and Kawasaki, State Line Marina, Men Under Construction, Rock World, The Soap Lady, Fun Carts, The Christian Motorcycle Association, Nina McCormick, June Johnson, Youth Archery, and Leon Perryman Custom Grills.

Many door prizes will be given away during the day with the large prizes being given away at the conclusion of the day’s activities. The grand prize this year is a Browning A5 automatic shotgun, camo-clad, with a 30” barrel. Ownership of the grand prize can only be transferred to a person, over the age of 18, who is eligible to purchase a gun under existing Federal and Alabama Firearms Laws. The winner of the shotgun must accept responsibility for the payment of any taxes by completing at IRS Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Information).

Winners of hunting knives which will be given away during the day must be 16 years old and above. For all prizes given away during the day, the winner must be present at the time of the drawing and claim the prize in a timely manner.

The Expo Organizing Committee invites everyone to come out and enjoy a great day with us.

Landowners to hear about money, EPA

Foresters In Attendance At 2014 Meeting

Foresters In Attendance At 2014 Meeting

The annual Chambers County Forest Landowner Meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST, October 8 at the Farmers Federation Building in LaFayette.

This year the Committee is focusing on SAFE INVESTMENTS and NEW ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS. Every landowner, wood manufacturers and wood producers will face changes that will effect future managers.

Everyone knows that our national debt is approaching 20 trillion dollars with no effort to stop the deficit much less pay off the indebtedness. During our life time our generation has faced periods labeled recessions, but no depression. A depression is when valuables are no longer valuable. The only thing of value is what is necessary for subsistence. The money that you have in your bank account will be worthless. It is scary in view of an intolerable national debt.

Carl “Brandt” McDonald, Jr will address safe investments that will protect the the investor in times of national economic chaos. Brandt developed McDonald Financial Services, LLC, with over 600 clients representing over 100 million in assets. Brandt is a 1989 graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor Of Science Degree. Is timberland a safe investment?

Recently EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) operating in Alabama as ADEM (Alabama Department Of Environmental Management) has extended water shed management to the ditch that runs through your back yard. Due to numerous appeals to legislature, as of now, it is not clear that they have authority to enforce this mandate. A landowner in the future will not be allowed to dump a wheel barrow load of dirt out of his yard without a permit. Where this has really generated a lot controversy is pond management as you not dam a stream on your property without a permit.

John Stiver, a registered Forester in Alabama, will tell of the difficulties encountered while building a pond on his clients stream. John is retired from the National Forest Service and is a Consulting Forester. John has a BS in Forest Management from University Of Arkansas at Monticello.

The REUNION GOSPEL QUARTET with local talent will open the meeting. Danny Curtis (leader), William Harry (Lanett) and David White and Kenny Hood (LaFayette) make up the group. The group has agreed to furnish the electronics for the meeting which is a real asset to the Committee.

Mark Mitcham (Mitcham Auto Parts) and “Bodine” Dodgen (Jeff Dodgen Logging) has donated a chain saw for the major door prize. This is no cheap chain saw, but a commercial model. Also, there will be a variety of other door prizes that will make attendance a lot more interesting. If you leave at the meal break, you will be making a mistake.

Let us not forget the meal furnished including dessert and drink for $4.00. Ed Yeargan will put his specialties of tenderloin, casserole and home made rolls on the serving line.

Continuing Education credit of 1.5 hours has been approved for Registered Foresters, Society Of American Foresters and Loggers.

Parking at the meeting site is never a problem. Committee member Motto Williams and other Alabama Forestry Commission personnel will get you parked.

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