Top 10 stories you need to know about for Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2022

Hillside Montessori of LaGrange Expanding – Hillside Montessori of LaGrange, is expanding its location. The new facility will be about 17,000 square feet, with a community center, a performing arts center and a new toddler program. It’s expected to cost $6.5 million by its completion.

Prince Andrew Lawsuit – A New York judge has given the green light to a lawsuit against Prince Andrew by an American woman who says he sexually abused her when she was 17. Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote that Andrew’s lawyers failed to successfully challenge the lawsuit the woman filed against him in August. His lawyers said that the lawsuit lacked specificity, and was disqualified by a deal she reached in 2009 with lawyers for Jeffrey Epstein.

Murder Convictions Vacated – Tennessee judge cleared a couple from a 1988 conviction of the rape and murder of a four-year-old girl. Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton found no compelling scientific evidence that the couple, Joyce Watkins and Charlie Dunn, committed the crimes against Watkin’s niece, Brandi.

School Double Testing Efforts – Schools across the country will soon be able to double their testing efforts for COVID-19. Starting later this month… the White House will send five million free rapid tests to schools every month.

Increase in COVID case in Alabama – Alabama, COVID-19 cases among students and staff have nearly quadrupled, from 750 cases to almost 3,000 this week, forcing some school districts to adopt remote learning. Alabama ranks among the lowest for child vaccination rates.

Chambers County School District Going Virtual – Chambers County students will *not report for in-person learning for the remainder of the week, and course work will be posted online. Teachers and support staff will still report in-person today and Friday. The district plans to return to in-person instruction by next Tuesday.

Opelika Court Forgiveness Program – The City of Opelika is offering its first ever Court Forgiveness Program, allowing those with certain municipal court charges to clear their cases without concern of being arrested.

Charges Dropped in 2003 Murder – Charges have been dropped against Alvin Barfield, who was held on murder charges awaiting trial for the 2003 murder of Albert Woolfolk. Woolfolk was found dead in his home on July 18, 2003. Police said he was strangled and stabbed more than 20 times. Just last week, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed the case.

Murder Suspect Arrested – Columbus police said Corey Troupe, 24, was arrested in South Carolina. Troupe is awaiting extradition back to Muscogee County from, where he faces a murder charge in connection with the shooting death of Marcel Samedi at Wilson Homes on June 5, 2021.

More Charges in Kamarie Holland Murder – New details have emerged in the murder and rape of 5-year-old Kamarie Holland of Columbus. The new capital charges against Jeremy Williams include murder in the course of kidnapping, rape and sodomy. Two additional charges – producing child pornography and abuse of a corpse – provide more details. The next step is a preliminary hearing where the state will present its evidence against Williams. That has not been scheduled.