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Melanie Ruberti

Position: Content producer (reporter)
E-Mail Address: mruberti@civitasmedia.com
Phone Number: 706-884-7311

Latest Stories by Melanie Ruberti

It has been said that it takes an entire village to raise a child.
In the case of LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar's new organization, it will take an entire city to take back some of the community's more problematic areas.
The official name is the police chief's community outreach committee, but Dekmar is quick to point out the group is n

Committee focuses on making safer neighborhoods

It has been said that it takes an entire village to raise a child. In the case of LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar's new organization, it will take an entire city to take back some of the community's more problematic areas. The official name is the police chief's community outreach committee, but Dekmar is quick to point out the group is n

The LaGrange Fire Department and the LaGrange Police Department are investigating a fire that broke out around 6:30 a.m. Monday at a home in the 200 block of Grady Street.
Fire officials said when they arrived on scene the house was fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze quickly and determined the home was vacant.

Suspicious fire destroys home

The LaGrange Fire Department and the LaGrange Police Department are investigating a fire that broke out around 6:30 a.m. Monday at a home in the 200 block of Grady Street. Fire officials said when they arrived on scene the house was fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze quickly and determined the home was vacant.

LaGrange police investigators arrested Tabetha Ann Williams, 33, at a home in the 100 block of Cato Street Friday night. Sgt. Mark Cavender, head of LaGrange Police Department's special investigations unit, said they had received several complaints about Williams allegedly selling drugs and had been tracking her for some time. According to the

Woman charged with illegally distributing drugs

LaGrange police investigators arrested Tabetha Ann Williams, 33, at a home in the 100 block of Cato Street Friday night. Sgt. Mark Cavender, head of LaGrange Police Department's special investigations unit, said they had received several complaints about Williams allegedly selling drugs and had been tracking her for some time. According to the

A suspected seat belt violator lead an officer on a high-speed chase Thursday evening.
A LaGrange police officer attempted to make a traffic stop around 8 p.m. Thursday night at the intersection of Fendig and Whitesville Street. The officer said the driver of a black or blue Honda Accord was not wearing a seat belt.
The driver refused to pull ove

Driver leads LPD officer on high-speed chase

A suspected seat belt violator lead an officer on a high-speed chase Thursday evening. A LaGrange police officer attempted to make a traffic stop around 8 p.m. Thursday night at the intersection of Fendig and Whitesville Street. The officer said the driver of a black or blue Honda Accord was not wearing a seat belt. The driver refused to pull ove

Georgia State Patrol troopers from Post 2 in LaGrange got more than they bargained for during a routine traffic stop in the northbound lanes of Interstate 85 near Whitesville Road.
A trooper stopped a blue 2002 Ford F250 truck around 8 p.m. Wednesday night for a seat belt violation and a defective brake light, according to a GSP report.
The troop

GSP seizes 20 lbs of suspected heroin

Georgia State Patrol troopers from Post 2 in LaGrange got more than they bargained for during a routine traffic stop in the northbound lanes of Interstate 85 near Whitesville Road. A trooper stopped a blue 2002 Ford F250 truck around 8 p.m. Wednesday night for a seat belt violation and a defective brake light, according to a GSP report. The troop

LaGrange police responded to the Wingate Hotel off Lafayette Parkway about 8 a.m. Wednesday morning after two guests reported someone broke into their cars overnight.
A silver Acura TL had one window broken out and damage to the driver's side door as if someone was attempting to pry it open, according to the report. A second car, a silver Ford Esc

Thief breaks into cars

LaGrange police responded to the Wingate Hotel off Lafayette Parkway about 8 a.m. Wednesday morning after two guests reported someone broke into their cars overnight. A silver Acura TL had one window broken out and damage to the driver's side door as if someone was attempting to pry it open, according to the report. A second car, a silver Ford Esc

A-51-year-old pilot was injured Wednesday when his single-engine plane crashed at LaGrange-Callaway airport.
The pilot, identified by LaGrange police as Gary Coonan, was injured and taken to an Atlanta-area hospital after the crash. He had just taken off from the airport around 1:45 p.m. when he made a radio distress call about an engine malfuncti

Plane crashes at airport, pilot injured

A-51-year-old pilot was injured Wednesday when his single-engine plane crashed at LaGrange-Callaway airport. The pilot, identified by LaGrange police as Gary Coonan, was injured and taken to an Atlanta-area hospital after the crash. He had just taken off from the airport around 1:45 p.m. when he made a radio distress call about an engine malfuncti

It's an odd combination, but clean cars and a stocked food pantry will go hand in hand this weekend at the Mike Patton Ford dealership on Lafayette Parkway.
For five hours Saturday, folks can have their cars washed for as little as $1. The fundraising event will benefit the Emmaus Shelter – more specifically, re-stocking the facility's food

Car wash for a cause

It's an odd combination, but clean cars and a stocked food pantry will go hand in hand this weekend at the Mike Patton Ford dealership on Lafayette Parkway. For five hours Saturday, folks can have their cars washed for as little as $1. The fundraising event will benefit the Emmaus Shelter – more specifically, re-stocking the facility's food

LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar spoke this morning in Stockbridge at a conference of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies.
The meeting, hosted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, includes state-level law enforcement representatives from nine southeastern states. The focus of the conference is to discuss officer-inv

LPD chief heads regional conference

LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar spoke this morning in Stockbridge at a conference of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies. The meeting, hosted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, includes state-level law enforcement representatives from nine southeastern states. The focus of the conference is to discuss officer-inv

When you first meet or speak with Dan Eastridge, you would never know he was sick.
But the 58-year-old retired Troup County and West Point firefighter and AMR first responder is a three-time cancer survivor. Eastridge is currently fighting complications of the disease – liver issues, stomach infection, bowel obstruction and small stroke at t

'How can I pray for you?'

When you first meet or speak with Dan Eastridge, you would never know he was sick. But the 58-year-old retired Troup County and West Point firefighter and AMR first responder is a three-time cancer survivor. Eastridge is currently fighting complications of the disease – liver issues, stomach infection, bowel obstruction and small stroke at t

LaGrange police detective Wayne Cato is back on the job after a DUI arrest in West Point last month.
Cato, who has been with the department for nine years, was placed on administrative leave with pay while the LaGrange Police Department completed an internal investigation into the matter.
LPD shared its findings with the Daily News in a multi-pag

Detective keeps job after internal investigation

LaGrange police detective Wayne Cato is back on the job after a DUI arrest in West Point last month. Cato, who has been with the department for nine years, was placed on administrative leave with pay while the LaGrange Police Department completed an internal investigation into the matter. LPD shared its findings with the Daily News in a multi-pag

A woman was charged with DUI after she allegedly ran a red light and hit a vehicle Wednesday.
LaGrange police responded to an accident with injuries Wednesday night about 11:15 p.m. at the intersection of Morgan Street and Lafayette Parkway. According to the police report, a gold 2002 Isuzu Rodeo traveling westbound on Lafayette Parkway ran a red

Woman charged with DUI after crash

A woman was charged with DUI after she allegedly ran a red light and hit a vehicle Wednesday. LaGrange police responded to an accident with injuries Wednesday night about 11:15 p.m. at the intersection of Morgan Street and Lafayette Parkway. According to the police report, a gold 2002 Isuzu Rodeo traveling westbound on Lafayette Parkway ran a red

An LPD officer initially pulled over a Honda Accord at the intersection of Brenda Boulevard and Hamilton Street for a malfunctioning brake light.
When the officer approached the car, he smelled the strong odor of alcohol. He asked the driver to step out of the vehicle where he performed a field sobriety test.
The driver failed and also blew .09 i

Driver charged with DUI

An LPD officer initially pulled over a Honda Accord at the intersection of Brenda Boulevard and Hamilton Street for a malfunctioning brake light. When the officer approached the car, he smelled the strong odor of alcohol. He asked the driver to step out of the vehicle where he performed a field sobriety test. The driver failed and also blew .09 i

Gov. Nathan Deal signed the potentially life-saving, yet highly controversial, Haleigh's Hope Act into law Thursday.
The bill, also known as HB1, legalizes in Georgia medicinal marijuana in the form of cannabis oil. The act, written by Rep. Allen Peake, has been a two-year battle among politicians, medical care workers, law enforcement agencies an

Marijuana law: Locals react

Gov. Nathan Deal signed the potentially life-saving, yet highly controversial, Haleigh's Hope Act into law Thursday. The bill, also known as HB1, legalizes in Georgia medicinal marijuana in the form of cannabis oil. The act, written by Rep. Allen Peake, has been a two-year battle among politicians, medical care workers, law enforcement agencies an

Members of the Troup County Board of Realtors are now adding plates of barbecue along with their lists of homes and properties up for sale.
The organization is hosting its annual “Bar-B-Q Benefit,” a fundraiser that helps a variety of groups and organizations in the area. This year, the Realtors decided to donate the proceeds to the Di

Realtors' barbecue to benefit special-needs school

Members of the Troup County Board of Realtors are now adding plates of barbecue along with their lists of homes and properties up for sale. The organization is hosting its annual “Bar-B-Q Benefit,” a fundraiser that helps a variety of groups and organizations in the area. This year, the Realtors decided to donate the proceeds to the Di

People at Oakside Baptist Church on Hamilton Road are used to visitors stopping by the sanctuary.
The building is situated a short distance from Interstate 85 and less than a mile from the Troup County Jail. The church is known to help stranded motorists or folks recently released from jail.
But the congregation wasn't expecting the folks who sto

'We are grateful there wasn't more damage'

People at Oakside Baptist Church on Hamilton Road are used to visitors stopping by the sanctuary. The building is situated a short distance from Interstate 85 and less than a mile from the Troup County Jail. The church is known to help stranded motorists or folks recently released from jail. But the congregation wasn't expecting the folks who sto

LaGrange police officers responded to a call for a cutting or stabbing at a home in the 100 block of Webster Street early Tuesday morning.
When officers arrived, they found the victim with a cut on his left hand. The victim told police that his live-in girlfriend, Keshia Delaney, whose age was unavailable, got a knife and stabbed him during an arg

LPD searching for stabbing suspect

LaGrange police officers responded to a call for a cutting or stabbing at a home in the 100 block of Webster Street early Tuesday morning. When officers arrived, they found the victim with a cut on his left hand. The victim told police that his live-in girlfriend, Keshia Delaney, whose age was unavailable, got a knife and stabbed him during an arg

Detectives with the LaGrange Police Department arrested Nathaniel Middlebrooks, 37, of Miller Street and charged him with burglary.
Investigators said Middlebrooks is responsible for stealing a hydraulic pump generator, a metal pry bar and a fire extinguisher from two storage units located in sheds behind the LaGrange Fire Department's maintenance

Man arrested in connection to LFD burglary

Detectives with the LaGrange Police Department arrested Nathaniel Middlebrooks, 37, of Miller Street and charged him with burglary. Investigators said Middlebrooks is responsible for stealing a hydraulic pump generator, a metal pry bar and a fire extinguisher from two storage units located in sheds behind the LaGrange Fire Department's maintenance

Matt Mallory will be the first to say that, at one time, his knowledge of the March of Dimes organization was almost nonexistent.
“I knew two things only: their logo was purple and they did great things for babies,” he said. “It was embarrassing.”
Mallory didn't initially realize the organization helped one of his prematur

Marching for babies

Matt Mallory will be the first to say that, at one time, his knowledge of the March of Dimes organization was almost nonexistent. “I knew two things only: their logo was purple and they did great things for babies,” he said. “It was embarrassing.” Mallory didn't initially realize the organization helped one of his prematur

A man reported he was cut by his girlfriend on Fulton Street just after 10 p.m. Monday night. The victim told officers that he and his live-in girlfriend got into a heated argument that turned physical. The victim told police his girlfriend, identified as June Shelander, 33, grabbed a knife from the kitchen and cut him on the left wrist and ri

Woman allegedly cuts boyfriend during argument

A man reported he was cut by his girlfriend on Fulton Street just after 10 p.m. Monday night. The victim told officers that he and his live-in girlfriend got into a heated argument that turned physical. The victim told police his girlfriend, identified as June Shelander, 33, grabbed a knife from the kitchen and cut him on the left wrist and ri





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