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This week’s top stories from the Ledger-Enquirer | February 25 - March 3

Cottonmouths coach and general manager discusses search for new ownership

Jerome Bechard, general manager and head coach of the Columbus Cottonmouths, talks about owner Wanda Amos' decision to cease operations at the end of the season if new ownership cannot be found.
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Jerome Bechard, general manager and head coach of the Columbus Cottonmouths, talks about owner Wanda Amos' decision to cease operations at the end of the season if new ownership cannot be found.

1. Cottonmouths to cease operation if new owner can’t be found, Wanda Amos says

If new ownership can’t be found in the coming months, the Columbus Cottonmouths are prepared to cease operations at the end of the current season, owner Wanda Amos said Thursday. “We have been trying to sell the team, but haven’t found a buyer,” said Amos, who has owned the team for 17 years, including the last 13 as the primary owner.

2. W.C. Bradley to start construction on $52 million downtown apartment complex

The W.C. Bradley Co. is poised to announce the largest real estate venture in its long history on Wednesday when it goes public with plans for a $52 million residential and retail complex along the Chattahoochee River in downtown Columbus. Earlier this week, company officials outlined the aggressive project that will add 226 new apartments in a five-story structure just north of the 13th Street bridge.

3. Driver charged in crash that killed 2 children on Victory Drive

A 32-year-old Columbus woman who was driving the car in which two children died in a single-vehicle crash on Saturday has been charged with homicide by vehicle. According to the Muscogee County Jail, Francisca Taperia-Santiago has also been charged with failure to maintain lane, unsafe tires, no state driver’s license, reckless conduct causing harm/endangering safety and child restraint.

4. Someone in Columbus area holding million-dollar Georgia lottery ticket

Folks in Columbus and the surrounding area might want to check their Fantasy 5 lottery tickets closely. A winning ticket, worth $1.163 million and change for Saturday night’s drawing was sold in Columbus, according to the Georgia Lottery website. The winning numbers are 07, 12, 15, 27, 28.

5. Girl, 13, reports stranger tried to lure her into his SUV outside school

A stranger tried to lure a 13-year-old Arnold Middle School student into his sport-utility vehicle Monday as the girl waited for a ride just outside a breezeway at nearby Allen Elementary School, according to Columbus police and the girl’s family. The eighth-grader said her grandmother was to pick her up, and she thought she saw the grandmother’s black pickup coming, so she walked from the breezeway across Allen’s entrance road to look. A black man about 50 years old, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and driving a dark brown SUV, came by and invited her into his vehicle, she reported.

Lauren Gorla: 706-571-8647, @gorla94

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