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.

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.

LaFayette tops in nation

By Alton Mitchell

The city of LaFayette, Alabama is number one in the nation, those were the words that LaFayette city councilor Tammie B. Williams explained to council on Monday night. Efforts by the councilwoman have led to LaFayette receiving national attention for its participation in the Lets Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties initiative.

The efforts of Councilwoman Williams led to her travelling to Washington D.C. on September 16th after receiving an invitation from first lady Michelle Obama to celebrate the activities and achievements that have been bestowed upon LaFayette and its strong participation in the national initiative.

Of more than 503 communities from across the nation whom chose to participate in the program LaFayette was only one of two from Alabama to be honored. The other was Selma, Alabama. However LaFayette was ranked #1 in the nation out of all of those communities for adapting and following the five goals that were set forth in 2012 by the initiative. These goals are set to target and fight childhood obesity issues with the help of elected officials, their staff, and communities.

The efforts of Councilwoman Williams were noted by First Lady Michelle Obama at a celebratory event at the White House. First lady Obama presented gold medals to LaFayette and 52 other communities for achieving the five goal areas that included; providing healthy school meals, opportunities for physical activity during and outside of school, and healthier early care and education programs.

For LaFayette to receive such recognition is truly amazing considering that it was in competition with cities and communities of all sizes from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Those 503 participating communities made up more than 80 million people who live in communities participating in the program.

It appears that despite receiving such a honor at the White House last week the work is still continuing here in LaFayette as soon a new healthy garden will be going up at Eastside elementary school also City Council and Mayor Moody have been working in recent weeks to get the Pee Wee football program for this year up and running to keep youth active as outlined in the initiative.

Valley voters okay Sunday liquor sales

By Alton Mitchell

On last Tuesday residents of Valley turned out to for a special referendum vote to see if alcoholic beverages could be sold in the city limits of Valley on Sundays. In many municipalities in the state of Alabama recently similar votes have taken place and passed. Valley joined that list on Tuesday as voters agreed that Valley should be able to sell alcohol on Sundays.
A total of 511 residents turned out to cast their votes for the referendum last week. Of those who turned out to vote the numbers in support of Sunday alcohol sales we astounding in favor for the sale. A breakdown of the vote showed 327 people said yes while 184 said no to the vote.

The approval of the vote allows business in Valley that already sell alcohol on Monday- Saturday to be able to sell the same product on Sundays. Residents and businesses hope the approval of Sunday sales can be used as a revenue generator for the city. Sunday alcohol sales mean that residents want to quench a Sunday thirst with a little kick will no longer have to drive to neighboring cities or states to pick up a beverage.

Sunday sales are still coming with some moderate stipulations being that on Sundays alcohol cannot be sold until noon and can continue being sold until midnight. The approval allows for the sale of alcoholic beverages in container and pouring form.

D.L. Office’s to close

By Paul Richardson

It seems no one in Montgomery knows exactly what is goin on.

It was announced last month that many state offices were closing for lack of operating funds. Most significant of these were 33 of the 75 State Driver’s License facilities.

During the last special session of the Alabama Legislature, a state wide budget was passed and it was announced the D.L. closures were put on hold.

However, Gov. Bentley confirmed Monday (Sept 28th) that the first round of closures (33) will proceed as scheduled October 1st.

That number still includes LaFayette.

Gov Bentley also said a number, yet to be determined, National Guard Armories around the state will close permanently for “lack of funding,” as well as the majority of State Parks.

An announcement of which parks selected will be made available this week.

Civil rights group marches thru county, on way to D.C.

Journey 1By Alton Mitchell

Early Friday morning history crossed into Chambers County from Lee County on U.S. Highway 29. America’s Journey for Justice marched along U.S. Highway 29 through Chambers County until reaching the Georgia State Line. The march through Chambers County only represented a small stretch of the massive journey in the name of justice.

In a time when America seems to find itself rediscovering its origins through its problems including police brutality, education reform, economic inequality, and conflict over the right to vote a group is making their voice heard through each step they take. Much as was demonstrated in the 1960’s Civil Rights movements here in Alabama and other locations groups would march to bring attention to issues which they felt were unjust. That meaning has again been discovered and Chambers County has become a part of the history connected to it.

America’s Journey for Justice is an 860 mile march that started in Selma, Alabama on August 1st. The March will go all the way to Washington D.C. and end on September 16th. The event is sponsored by the NAACP. The NAACP has issued a focus for each state.

In Alabama the focus is economic inequality, neighboring Georgia will focus on education reform. Other stops on the way include South Carolina where criminal justice reform will be the focus and North Carolina will focus on voting rights. The state of Virginia will be the rally point for the youth as youth rallying is the focus. The final stop is Washington D.C. where there will be a full advocacy agenda presented.

Journey 2When the group started its march on August 1st in Selma there were about 200 marchers present to kick off the march. Making the steps from Lee County into Chambers County about 11 a.m. on Friday morning were only about 20 marchers. However despite small numbers the group crossed the county line waving the American Flag and offering smiles and waves to passing motorist. Heavy police volume paved the way and escorted the enthusiastic group as they made their journey.

The small group picked up momentum and even a few new members as it made its way through Valley and towards Georgia as additional marchers joined in. The marchers hope to bring attention to things that they see as problems facing our nation now much as was the case over 50 years ago during the Civil Right era. Using historical reference to areas such as Selma which is famous for its marches during the 1960’s is being used as tool to focus on the severity of the problems this group sees facing America.

On September 16th, after and exhausting 860 mile journey through heat, humidity, rain, and thunderstorms the group will make its presence known in the nation’s capital. Chambers County can write this one in the history books as being a positive in the way of seeking equality and justice for all and how Chambers County played a role in the paving of that history.

Tax holiday starts Aug. 7

By Alton Mitchell

It feels like the start of a NASCAR race. All the drivers lined up at the starting point just waiting on the greenlight to give them the go ahead. However this is not Talladega motor speedway, but rather the mean and gritty world of anxious shoppers seeking out the best deal to save as much money as possible. This weekend may feel a lot like the notorious black Friday, but it will be Alabama’s back to school tax free holiday.

Along with many other locations in the state Chambers County shoppers will enjoy a weekend that includes the suspension of sales tax on the sales of certain goods. The purpose is to allow consumers an opportunity to purchase back to school items for children with a little relaxation at the register.

The tax holiday starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday August 7th, 2015 and runs until midnight on Sunday August 9th, 2015. During this time period there will be no sales tax charged on the purchase of certain school supplies, computers, books, and clothing. Statewide the state of Alabama has suspended its 4 percent sales tax on these items. In addition 304 localities have agreed to suspend their tax for the holiday as well. Included in our area are the cities of LaFayette, Valley, Lanett, Opelika, Auburn, Phenix City, Roanoke, and Alexander City. Chambers County as a whole as well as Lee County also adopted the resolutions and will not be charging sales tax during the holiday period.

The holiday in Alabama follows the same tax free style holiday in Georgia the weekend before. However the Georgia holiday only lasted Friday and Saturday. The Alabama holiday will run a 3 day course over the entire weekend. Georgia residents packed stores throughout the state over the past weekend to save on much needed school supplies. Retailers and shoppers in Alabama are hoping for the same result this year in the state of Alabama. While the holiday kicks off in the early hours of Friday it should be remembered that tax will not be excluded from all products only those listed as approved by the Alabama department of Revenue as tax exempt for

Montgomery, AL #1 for STD’s

By Alton Mitchell

The norm in the State of Alabama would be one in which rankings involving a top seeded position tend to involve sports such as University of Alabama Football or Auburn University Football. However over the past week one unlucky Alabama City has found itself in a number one position for a list that no one wants to be ranked highly on. Montgomery, Alabama was ranked the number one city in the nation for sexually transmitted diseases.

Montgomery beat out cities such as St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, and even Birmingham to top out the list. The data supplied in the study was compiled of dates from 2013 CDC data and supplied by rentapplication.com. The data does not go on a case by case analysis to compile the data, but rather uses a statistical approach and measure the number of cases in a community. This allows for the number of sexually transmitted diseases in a community to be measured in terms of 100,000 residents per city.

The total data shows that Montgomery has 4371 STD’s present based off the supplied data. Montgomery only having a population of 201,332 does not measure well against the total 4371 reported cases. The actual presented data shows that 1899.20 persons out of every 100,000 in Montgomery are carrying an STD of some sort. The second highest rate belong to St. Louis, MO with a population of 318,416 and 5942 cases reported giving the larger city with more cases a rate of only 1867.54 per 100,000 residents.

Alabama was not spared in other cities as well. Alabama’s largest city Birmingham ranked 36 nationally with 7267 cases. The state’s third largest population center Mobile ranked 53rd. Home to the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa ranked 71st to be followed closely by Dothan coming in at 75th. Interestingly Alabama’s 4th largest city Huntsville did not make the list of the top 100.

The survey only sampled data from high population centers therefore no Chambers or Lee County areas were included in the data sample. The closest city to make list in our area was Columbus, GA which ranked 40th nationally. That number made the city of Columbus the highest ranking city in the state of Georgia.


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