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Melanie Ruberti

Position: Staff writer
E-Mail Address: mruberti@civitasmedia.com
Phone Number: 706-884-7311

Latest Stories by Melanie Ruberti

 In April, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a new law that will require state law enforcement agencies to adopt new practices to prevent eyewitnesses from incorrectly identifying criminal suspects. But the law is nothing new for the LaGrange Police Department. Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar said those same procedures have been in place at

LPD influences Ga. law

 In April, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a new law that will require state law enforcement agencies to adopt new practices to prevent eyewitnesses from incorrectly identifying criminal suspects. But the law is nothing new for the LaGrange Police Department. Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar said those same procedures have been in place at

A suspect in the April 14 fatal shooting of a man on McGregor Street made his first appearance in Troup County Magistrate Court on Thursday for a probable cause hearing.
Cordarius Collier, 21, is charged with five counts of aggravated assault, one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and five counts of violating the Ge

Murder suspect appears in court

A suspect in the April 14 fatal shooting of a man on McGregor Street made his first appearance in Troup County Magistrate Court on Thursday for a probable cause hearing. Cordarius Collier, 21, is charged with five counts of aggravated assault, one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and five counts of violating the Ge

The dog-gone days of summer just got a little brighter for a family in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
If dogs could talk, Michael Nelson's Boston terrier, “Lucy,” would surely have many tales to tell.
The 5-year-old pup was recently dropped off at the LaGrange Animal Control and Shelter after traveling more than 318 miles from Ocean Spri

Dog reunited with family

The dog-gone days of summer just got a little brighter for a family in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. If dogs could talk, Michael Nelson's Boston terrier, “Lucy,” would surely have many tales to tell. The 5-year-old pup was recently dropped off at the LaGrange Animal Control and Shelter after traveling more than 318 miles from Ocean Spri

For more than an hour Tuesday, LaGrange City Council members sat transfixed during a council meeting as public safety officials laid out statistics, facts and figures regarding the city's increasingly public gang problem.
LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar didn't hold back – he openly admitted the city is challenged by gang activity.
T

City has 'serious' problem

For more than an hour Tuesday, LaGrange City Council members sat transfixed during a council meeting as public safety officials laid out statistics, facts and figures regarding the city's increasingly public gang problem. LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar didn't hold back – he openly admitted the city is challenged by gang activity. T

Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services has something to smile about these days.
After a review by the nation Council on Accreditation or COA in April, the facility learned they scored all high ratings – something that has only happened once in the last 19 years.
Mike Angstadt, executive director of Twin Cedars, said COA focuses on children a

'This agency is the best of the best'

Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services has something to smile about these days. After a review by the nation Council on Accreditation or COA in April, the facility learned they scored all high ratings – something that has only happened once in the last 19 years. Mike Angstadt, executive director of Twin Cedars, said COA focuses on children a

A man faces drug charges after LaGrange Police Department officers pulled over a silver sedan for allegedly driving without headlights on about midnight at the intersection of Pine and Alford streets.
When officers stopped the vehicle, they allegedly saw a glass smoking device behind the passenger seat. They then searched the car and found a clear

Man wanted in Tennessee arrested in LaGrange

A man faces drug charges after LaGrange Police Department officers pulled over a silver sedan for allegedly driving without headlights on about midnight at the intersection of Pine and Alford streets. When officers stopped the vehicle, they allegedly saw a glass smoking device behind the passenger seat. They then searched the car and found a clear

The Georgia State Patrol said two people were killed and two people were injured after an SUV that law enforcement officials said was driving the wrong direction in the northbound lane of Interstate 185 Thursday night collided head on with another SUV. According to GSP, the two victims killed were in a red SUV that officials believe was struck

2 killed in crash

The Georgia State Patrol said two people were killed and two people were injured after an SUV that law enforcement officials said was driving the wrong direction in the northbound lane of Interstate 185 Thursday night collided head on with another SUV. According to GSP, the two victims killed were in a red SUV that officials believe was struck

When Dr. Robert Tucker and his neighbor pastor Michael Roland met across their adjoining fences behind their homes on Ware Street in 2012, the topic of conversation turned to exercise.
Roland told Tucker he was going to walk the track near LaGrange High School. When Tucker asked why Roland wouldn't use the park area just down the street from their

'Change from the inside out'

When Dr. Robert Tucker and his neighbor pastor Michael Roland met across their adjoining fences behind their homes on Ware Street in 2012, the topic of conversation turned to exercise. Roland told Tucker he was going to walk the track near LaGrange High School. When Tucker asked why Roland wouldn't use the park area just down the street from their

LaGrange police today were investigating an early morning shooting near a residence in the 1000 block of Borton Street.
Investigators said the victim initially showed up in the emergency department of West Georgia Medical Center shortly after midnight. He was suffering from four gun shot wounds to the legs, according to a police report.
The man w

1 hurt in shooting

LaGrange police today were investigating an early morning shooting near a residence in the 1000 block of Borton Street. Investigators said the victim initially showed up in the emergency department of West Georgia Medical Center shortly after midnight. He was suffering from four gun shot wounds to the legs, according to a police report. The man w

LaGrange police officers responded about midnight to a call for shots fired near a residence in the 800 block of Callaway Avenue.
The complainant told officers he saw two occupants, whom he knew, in a red Chevrolet Blazer approach his home. He told officers he saw the passenger-side window roll down and someone fire a pistol before the Blazer fled

Shots fired at Callaway Avenue home

LaGrange police officers responded about midnight to a call for shots fired near a residence in the 800 block of Callaway Avenue. The complainant told officers he saw two occupants, whom he knew, in a red Chevrolet Blazer approach his home. He told officers he saw the passenger-side window roll down and someone fire a pistol before the Blazer fled

LaGrange police responded to an apartment on Handley Street around 8 p.m. Monday night after a woman claimed her neighbor was pointed a knife at her small children and made threats while they played in the yard.
The woman told officers her next door neighbor gave her children, ages 3 and 5, a dollar bill. She said the children took the money then

Woman claims man threatened children with knife

LaGrange police responded to an apartment on Handley Street around 8 p.m. Monday night after a woman claimed her neighbor was pointed a knife at her small children and made threats while they played in the yard. The woman told officers her next door neighbor gave her children, ages 3 and 5, a dollar bill. She said the children took the money then

A LaGrange man will serve 18 years behind bars for his role in the violent armed robbery of a 79-year-old man.
Ladarius Dozier, 21, smiled at his family as he was escorted into Troup County Superior Court on Tuesday morning by sheriff's deputies. When presiding judge Travis Sakrison asked what Dozier's plea would be to the charges, Dozier answered

Alleged gang member, 21, pleads in robbery

A LaGrange man will serve 18 years behind bars for his role in the violent armed robbery of a 79-year-old man. Ladarius Dozier, 21, smiled at his family as he was escorted into Troup County Superior Court on Tuesday morning by sheriff's deputies. When presiding judge Travis Sakrison asked what Dozier's plea would be to the charges, Dozier answered

Rita Tanner is very particular when it comes to the layout and design of her store.
“Whoever left that rack there … that's not going to happen. And that shoe rack is a mess,” she said as she navigated her way through racks and tables of clothing, jewelry, shoes, accessories and more.
Tanner doesn't own a clothing store. She does

'I feel dedicated to this place'

Rita Tanner is very particular when it comes to the layout and design of her store. “Whoever left that rack there … that's not going to happen. And that shoe rack is a mess,” she said as she navigated her way through racks and tables of clothing, jewelry, shoes, accessories and more. Tanner doesn't own a clothing store. She does

A woman was allegedly dragged along the road from a moving truck by her husband on Wednesday on Davis Road.
The woman was riding in a truck with her husband and 2-year-old son down Davis Road around 11 a.m. when the couple got into an argument, according to a LaGrange Police Department report.
The victim told police her husband threatened to turn

Wife allegedly dragged along road in car

A woman was allegedly dragged along the road from a moving truck by her husband on Wednesday on Davis Road. The woman was riding in a truck with her husband and 2-year-old son down Davis Road around 11 a.m. when the couple got into an argument, according to a LaGrange Police Department report. The victim told police her husband threatened to turn

LaGrange police said officers pulled over a Honda Accord at the corner of Glenn Robertson and Colquitt streets about 8 p.m. Tuesday night after noticing the front seat passenger was not wearing his seat belt.
According to the police report, when the officer approached the car, he noticed a strong odor of marijuana. The officer asked all three occu

Police: Man runs during traffic stop

LaGrange police said officers pulled over a Honda Accord at the corner of Glenn Robertson and Colquitt streets about 8 p.m. Tuesday night after noticing the front seat passenger was not wearing his seat belt. According to the police report, when the officer approached the car, he noticed a strong odor of marijuana. The officer asked all three occu

When the Harmony House Domestic Violence shelter opened in October 2005, it was an emergency shelter only for battered and abused women.
Almost 10 years later, the organization has paved the way for more programs and services to help more women who have been sexually assaulted or in abusive relationships.
“We've gone from that to having out

Shelter seeking a new look

When the Harmony House Domestic Violence shelter opened in October 2005, it was an emergency shelter only for battered and abused women. Almost 10 years later, the organization has paved the way for more programs and services to help more women who have been sexually assaulted or in abusive relationships. “We've gone from that to having out

When you walk through the front door of the Emmaus Day Shelter, you are greeted warmly, then immediately ushered in to an “organized chaos” inside the tight quarters of the facility. Most days you cannot walk three feet in any one direction without running into either a piece of furniture or a crowd of people. The main room is the

Mother, daughter's close bond extends to workplace

When you walk through the front door of the Emmaus Day Shelter, you are greeted warmly, then immediately ushered in to an “organized chaos” inside the tight quarters of the facility. Most days you cannot walk three feet in any one direction without running into either a piece of furniture or a crowd of people. The main room is the

'I told him to stay off the streets'

Mike readily admits he does not get to see his son as often as he would like. Which is why it came as such as shock when he did visit Demetrius Alford, 19, this past weekend in LaGrange only to learn he had been shot in the leg. “I went over to his grandmama's house and saw him sitting on the couch. He had something wrapped around his leg,&

The West Point Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are searching for suspects in the killing of a West Point man.
WPPD said Tuesday that officers responded to an unresponsive man found inside a home in the 900 block of East 8th Street about noon Saturday.
Investigators found Phillip Bernard Huguley, 68, of West Point decease

Police: Man murdered in West Point

The West Point Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are searching for suspects in the killing of a West Point man. WPPD said Tuesday that officers responded to an unresponsive man found inside a home in the 900 block of East 8th Street about noon Saturday. Investigators found Phillip Bernard Huguley, 68, of West Point decease

LaGrange police have issued warrants for a fourth suspect wanted in connection with the April 14 murder of Tony Kennedy on McGregor Street.
Investigators are searching for Cherise Keteiana Newton, 21, of LaGrange. LaGrange Police Department officials said Newton is wanted for murder, five counts of aggravated assault and several gang charges.
The

Police search for fourth suspect in murder

LaGrange police have issued warrants for a fourth suspect wanted in connection with the April 14 murder of Tony Kennedy on McGregor Street. Investigators are searching for Cherise Keteiana Newton, 21, of LaGrange. LaGrange Police Department officials said Newton is wanted for murder, five counts of aggravated assault and several gang charges. The





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