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Fort Valley Police increasing patrols for holidays

James Khoury is the owner of Khoury's menswear in downtown Fort Valley.

He says while the holidays bring in more shoppers, some of them can be dishonest.

"This is our busy season of the year. It's also a busy time for the shoplifters," said Khoury.

To help, the Fort Valley Police Department is sending out more officers to patrol around homes and retail businesses during the holiday season.

"We've had a program such as this in place for a number of years. What has happened is over the years, we've refined it," said Police Chief Lawrence Spurgeon, "We've learned what worked and what didn't work."

Spurgeon says now the patrols include detectives dressed in plain clothes and using unmarked vehicles.

He says the city, like many others, sees more robberies and burglaries during the last two months of the year.

Man shot on College Street in Fort Valley


ID=75866004Fort Valley Police say a man was shot in his upper torso at a home on College Street in Fort Valley around 6:45 p.m. Friday.

According to a post on its Facebook page, officers tried to speak with 33-year-old Antonio Ford, of Marshallville, Ga., about the shooting at the Medical Center of Peach County, but he was uncooperative. He is listed in stable condition, according to the post.

FVSU inducts new class into College of Education

Eighteen students were inducted into the College of Education for Fort Valley State University Thursday.

Young engine builders set national record

Local auto engine builders are setting national records for speed and skill, and they're all in high school.

Peach County High's team is number one in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Competition. Now they hold the national record.

"It feels good to be number one," said Kyle Windham.

The contest requires a team of five properly dissemble and reassemble a car engine using hand tools.

You can think of Windham as the quarterback of the team. His task doesn't look like much compared to his teammates, but his job requires details.

"I have to make sure everything is ready to go back on the engine whenever they bring it to the table," said Windham.

The team swept the Sema competition early this month in Las Vegas. They beat the old record by 11 seconds, and set a new one of 16:11.

Study ranks FVSU number 1 for African-American math graduates

Fort Valley State beat out some Ivy League schools, such as Harvard and Georgetown, when it comes to African-American math graduates.

An academic journal, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, recently named the university number one in the nation in producing African-American math graduates.

Rocio Castillo is a sophomore math major at FVSU and wants to get a second degree in geosciences.

"When you have a degree in [math], it's almost like you can almost go anywhere and say, 'Hey, look, I have this. I can work with you to basically mold myself into anything you want from me because I have a math degree'," she said.

Castillo is in the university's Cooperative Developmental Energy Program, or CDEP.

Veterinarians prepare for disasters at Fort Valley State

Several veterinarians and veterinary technicians gathered at Fort Valley State University this weekend to prepare for the next big disaster.

The American veterinary Medical Association has several VMAT or Veterinary Medical Assistance teams throughout the country ready to help animals during disasters.

Whether it's a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina or man made like September 11, these teams come in as a first response to provide care to animals. Dr. Cheryl Eia is the coordinator for emergency preparedness and response for the association. She said they have a plan for any situation.

New and 10th FVSU president named

The Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia named the new and 10th president of Fort Valley State University Tuesday.

According to a news release from the school, Paul Jones previously served as interim president of Darton State College in Albany. Hank Huckaby, the Chancellor for the USG, said Jones has a good leadership track record within the system.

"Paul's success at Darton combined with his leadership capabilities have made it clear he is the ideal candidate to be appointed permanent president of Fort Valley State University," he said in a statement. "With his solid background in finance and fiscal affairs, combined with his proven experience as president within our system, Paul will work quickly to build a close, team relationship with Fort Valley State University faculty and staff."