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US 41 resurfacing soon
• South Wall Street, from Line Street to Erwin Street, is expected to be finished by early next year.

The resurfacing of a more than 2-mile stretch of South Wall Street could start soon, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The announcement comes after a $1.16 million construction contract was awarded to Calhounbased Northwest Georgia Paving Inc. for the project on April 5. The project includes 2.25 miles of milling, inlay and plant mix resurfacing on South Wall Street, beginning south of Erwin Street and extending to East Line Street. This project is scheduled to be completed by the end of February 2020.

"This project and others like it in northwest Georgia add up to these two things – better mobility and better quality of life for all our residents," said Grant Waldrop, district engineer at the Georgia DOT office in White.

The contract award to the local company was one of 29 approved by GDOT for statewide transportation projects totaling $89,369,686. The projects included in the award were advertised on Feb. 22, bids were received on March 22 and contracts were awarded to the lowest qualified bidders on April 5.

Information on construction and lane closure schedules on this project will be released before work begins.

The public is urged to "know before you go." For real-time information on active construction, incidents and more, call 511 or visit 511ga.org before you get into your car.


Mohawk to convert Lyerly plant to yarn warehouse
• The company is seeking to transition employees to other locations.

Mohawk Industries today announced that tufting operations at its Lyerly manufacturing plant will be shifted to other locations, and the Lyerly location will be converted to a yarn storage facility, according to a press release. The plant will cease manufacturing operations on June 30.

Mohawk's Lyerly site presently employs 250 people.

Some employees will remain to support warehousing operations, and the company will offer employment alternatives at nearby Mohawk facilities to as many people as possible. Job opportunities are available at the company's Summerville plant, where ongoing investments are expanding fiber production.

"The toughest decisions in our business are those that involve people's jobs, particularly in communities where we have established long and important relationships," said Michel Vermette, Mohawk's president of residential carpet, in a press release. "Like most businesses with a large operational footprint, we continuously assess how to best manufacture our products, which is resulting in this plant consolidation."

Rod Wedemeier, Mohawk's vice president of human resources, stated that the company valued the contributions made by the team at Lyerly and wanted to retain as many of the people as possible.

"Our employees in Lyerly have always been among our best, and our priority is to assist them throughout this transition," said Wedemeier. "For any individuals we cannot place, we'll partner with the Georgia Department of Labor to find additional opportunities in the area."

Mohawk Industries is headquartered in Calhoun and produces floor covering products for residential and commercial applications in North America and residential applications in Europe.


CSX, Norfolk repair crossings
• Railroad crossties are replaced and asphalt repaved at railroad crossings throughout Calhoun.

Anyone traveling through downtown Calhoun this week has likely noticed that a few railroad crossings are blocked off and CSX employees are hard at work on and surrounding tracks.

Groups of crossties were dropped off along the rail line over the past couple of weeks, and on Monday, CSX started working on repairing rail lines that cross through Gordon County, particularly those in Calhoun.

The company is conducting maintenance work on the rail line going through Calhoun, working with the city of Calhoun and Gordon County Public Works departments to close roads and keep the public safe, according to a CSX. They are replacing crossties and repaving asphalt where the tracks intersect with the road.

"They are working with Norfolk Southern Corporation and are providing the city government with daily reports on the different projects they're working on," Gordon County Public Works Director Steve Parris said.

According to a statement released by CSX, the repaving of each crossing takes three to five days depending on the weather and other unexpected disruptions. CSX will be repairing the crossties and repaving at railroad crossings along Oothcalooga Street, West Line Street, Fain Street, Mauldin Road, Henderson Bend Road, Craigstown Road and five private crossings.

"We appreciate the public's patience while we complete this work," the CSX statement said, "which is critical to ensuring the safety of motorists using these crossings and a safe, reliable freight rail network."


Scout creates giant periodic table
• As his final Eagle project, a senior builds a tool for learning the elements, donating it to CHS.

In a Calhoun High School science classroom is a demonstration of a periodic table. But this one isn't a poster on a wall or a picture in a text book – it's a portable 3-D chart with black lights and examples of what each element creates.

This chart was made by Eagle Scout Patrick Gilreath as part of a leadership project he had to complete in order to gain the highest rank a Scout can earn. And while other scouts were creating picnic tables for parks or cleaning grave sites, Gilreath, of Boy Scout Troop 22, was circuiting, constructing and connecting his project to science, his favorite subject in school.

"When I was in middle school, I saw the wall-sized periodic table of the elements at the Tellus Science Museum and knew I wanted to build something like that for my Eagle project," Gilreath said.

Since he was 6 years old, the Calhoun senior was involved with the scouting organization, and when he was 11, he moved from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, and has been considering what to do for his Eagle Scout project since he was in middle school.

According to Gilreath, the requirements of the project don't necessarily require the Scout to do everything, but to be a leader, delegate tasks and fundraise. Fortunately, Gilreath was sponsored by Calhoun City Schools for a majority of his project, and he also had a lot of help with the actual work of the assignment.

"My dad helped with the electronics because he's done all sorts of wiring," Gilreath said. "And I had a lot of people from Scouts helping me and some leaders helping."

Gilreath said he chose this project because of his love for science. He said his goal was to help other students better understand how elements can create objects people use on a regular basis through a visual demonstration.

As the main man behind the curtain, Gilreath's role included preparing the budget, gathering equipment and necessary tools, directing people to help in specific ways, and finding financial support for the project.

"With over 1,400 LEDs, over 500 feet of wire, an item representing each element in each of the 118 cubby-holes and over 600 screws," said a press release from the Boy Scout Troop 22, "the table allows the teacher to focus on an individual element or highlight various groupings of elements."

The table, which stands almost 6 feet tall and 10 feet long, stands on wheels and is able to be displayed in a classroom or travel down the hallway to assist a number of teachers.

When it was first delivered to Calhoun High School, the learning tool was displayed in the lobby, where Gilreath saw students and teachers looking at it, seeming to be interested in what took him nearly seven months to build.

"You see the periodic table on the wall there that's blank," Gilreath said, pointing to a colorless poster on the wall in a chemistry classroom. "This one is easier to remember all the elements, the buttons control the lights and you can focus on a singular group for teaching."

Gilreath's hard work for this project, his dedication to the scouting organization and his ranking as an Eagle Scout were each recognized at the Calhoun Board of Education meeting April 22, where Superintendent Michele Taylor and other board members expressed their gratitude for Gilreath's commitment to the school.

Being a part of the scouting organization for over 10 years now, Gilreath said he has learned some valuable skills he will take with him for the rest of his life – such as cooking, gardening, public speaking and personal management.

Gilreath is planning to go to Kennesaw State University in the fall and study graphic design and animation. He said his Eagle project is a testament to his passion for art and design.


Young Artists

The Calhoun Times is looking to feature student artwork in our Young Artists section. Pictures of artwork can be emailed to Managing Editor Spencer Lahr at SLahr@CalhounTimes.com. Please keep photos in their original format and do not alter them. Also, be sure to include the name of the student, their grade and the school they attend.