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Fort Valley funeral director dies

Claybon J. Edwards, former owner of C.J. Edwards Funeral Home in Fort Valley has died. He was 86.

Edwards operated the funeral home for 52 years before retiring. Edwards was also formerly a Fort Valley city councilman and is remembered for his contributions to the city's youth.

His funeral service is Sunday at the Peach County High School Auditorium. Visitation will be at C.J. Edwards Memorial Chapel noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.

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UPDATE: Alcohol suspected in fatal Peach Co. wreck

One person is dead and eight other people were injured in an accident on I-75 North Friday morning.

The Georgia State Patrol says it happened around 1 a.m. near mile marker 144.

According to Peach County Coroner Kerry Rooks, the deceased is 30-year-old Leonard Patrick, Jr., of Cordele. Rooks said the man was driving south in a Northbound lane.

But Sergeant Craig Smith of the Georgia State Patrol could not confirm that and said the cause of the accident is still under investigation. He had no information on the condition of the other eight people.

According to the Georgia State Patrol, Patrick, who was driving a G6, drove his vehicle into the path of a 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe and a Mercury Montego. Patrick was ejected from the vehicle and landed in the left lane of I-75, according to the GSP.






Growers say good pecan crop this year

Growers are going nutty at Lane Southern Orchards since the pecan harvest has just begun.

"It's been one of the best crops we've had in the past few years," said Abel Aguilar, a farm labor supervisor.

He says Lane's harvest started in the past two weeks and will continue until around Christmastime.

"We usually harvest it one time," he said, "We come back for the second time trying to get all the nuts of the trees."

Once the nuts are shaken off the trees, they're harvested, then dumped to be taken to the cleaning facility.

Aguilar on a good day, they will harvest up to 100,000 pounds of nuts.

"A good portion of the Georgia pecan crop goes overseas to China every year," said Phillip Rigdon, a farm manager, "I would say somewhere between 50 and 60 percent."

FVSU female drum major featured in NY Times

Defying gender roles is how one Fort Valley State University Student got a feature in the New York Times.

Taheera Hansen's name was listed among 20 other female drum majors in the country.

"I woke up to millions of notifications," said Hansen. "So many shout-outs and other different articles."

She was the first drum major discussed in the article and was pictured in a Superman stance.

Hansen joined her middle school band in 6th grade. While in high school, she took things up a notch and auditioned for the role of drum major.

"My friends were like, 'You should try out for drum major.' I was like, 'What?' They were like, 'Yeah, you'd be good.' I was like, 'OK,'" said Hansen.

Before auditioning, she was given several tips, including one she's held onto throughout college.

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Handcuffed suspect eludes Crawford deputies for hours

An overnight chase late Sunday in Crawford County started with a traffic stop for a problem with a taillight and ended up with a suspect getting arrested near a high school.

According to the Crawford sheriff's office, Joshua Ryan Chambley, who's 25, was a passenger in the car and was wanted on an outstanding warrant.

A deputy says he lied about his name and age, but they learned who he was, and arrested and cuffed him.

That's when he managed to jerk away and run into some woods, according to a sheriff's office news release.

After a search that lasted all night, deputies found Chambley just before 8 a.m. Monnday near Crawford County HIgh School, still handcuffed.

He faces several charges, including obstructing law enforcement officers, escape, and giving false information.

Fort Valley community learns about horse therapy


A ranch in Fort Valley held an information session Saturday to educate the community about horse therapy.

Gwendolyn Coley, the owner of the Peach Pit ranch, said you can learn a lot from horses without even sitting in the saddle.

Peach Pit holding demonstration on therapy with horses

Coley is the owner of a ranch in Fort Valley called the Peach Pit.

She says it's a non-profit that offers mental health counseling with horses.

While therapy involving horseback riding exists, Coley says this type of counseling is different.

"We use the EAGALA model, the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association model," she said.

Coley says people use props, like traffic cones and pool noodles, and interact with the horses to find a solution to their problems.

She says she and a horse specialist will guide the person during their session.

"We may point out what the horses are doing and the client may say, 'You know what? That's just like me and my sister or that's just like my coworkers and I'," said Coley.

To explain what the Peach Pit does, she is holding a free demonstration Saturday afternoon.