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3 more sign up for Rome election
• Qualifying ends today in Cave Spring but runs through Friday in Rome.

Bonny Askew

Bill Irmscher

JJ Walker Seifert

Three more candidates filed Tuesday to run for the Rome City Commission in the Nov. 5 general election.

The qualifying period in Rome runs through 5 p.m. Friday.

Cave Spring's qualifying period ends today at 4:30 p.m. City Clerk Judy Dick inson said there were no new candidates Tuesday. The filing fee is $45.

There are two open Cave Spring City Council seats and the incumbents, Tom Lindsey and Joyce Mink, qualified for reelection Monday. Rob Ware also qualified to run for mayor.

In Rome, there are three Ward 1 and three Ward 3 seats on the ballot. The elections are city-wide, with the top three votegetters in each contest winning the seats.

City Clerk Joe Smith said Bill Irmscher qualified Tuesday to seek another term representing Ward 1.

Political newcomer Mark Cochran qualified for the Ward 1 race Monday, as did an other incumbent, Milton Slack. The third incumbent is Sundai Stevenson, who has not yet signed up to run.

Two candidates qualified to run for Ward 3 seats Tuesday: Bonny Askew, who served on the board for two years in the 1980s, and local attorney JJ Walker Seifert.

Bill Collins, a Ward 3 incumbent, qualified Monday. The two other incumbents are Evie McNiece and Craig McDaniel.

Smith said he's had numerous queries about the election and expects several more qualifiers over the next three days. The filing fee is $252.

Candidates must live in the ward where they run. Ward 1 covers the downtown district and the area to the east, between the Oostanaula and Etowah rivers. Ward 3 is west of the Oostanaula and north of the Coosa River.

FCS presses on with projects
• Floyd County Schools facility projects move on to the next phases.

Jack Gardner

Jeff Wilson

Floyd County Schools is continuing progress on facility projects such as demolishing Pepperell Middle School and completing a new gymnasium for Armuchee High School, taking the projects to the next step.

Executive director of facilities for the system Jack Gardner informed the board Monday night that demolition at Pepperell Middle will be complete by the end of the week. The system has completed its inquiry into value engineering options according to the presentation Gardner showed at Monday night's board meeting, and Southern A&E has completed extensive redesign.

The system has been looking into value engineering options since March of this year when the threat of rising construction costs threatened to push the new middle school over its $19 million budget. Examples of value engineering options being implemented into the new school include eliminating urinals and changing the school's HVAC system from a "chiller plant system" to more rooftop and split units, according to Superintendent Jeff Wilson.

No set amount has been declared yet since the board is currently receiving bids on the project.

Wilson said on Tuesday the system is looking at a ballpark of $19 million to $20 million for the new school. Civil drawings have been submitted to Floyd County and bids for the project are due by Sept. 5.

"We are looking at ways that we can keep the building the way we want it and still come as close to budget, it's going to be tight," Wilson told the board during a previous board meeting. "I will find that money somewhere."

Brick on the outside of the new Armuchee High School gymnasium is complete as workers begin on the inside of the facility. The project broke ground in November and outside work has been delayed a few times due to rain. Despite this, the gym is scheduled to be fully operational by Christmas break.

Although not a construction project, the board did approve by unanimous vote to sell the property of the former Johnson Elementary School on Monday night. The Morrison Campground Road property has been demolished with nothing remaining but a concrete slab where the former school sat.

Garden Lakes Boulevard closed during train track maintenance

Greenwing youth outdoors event set for Saturday
• The event familiarizes youngsters with hunting in a controlled atmosphere.

The Rome chapter of Ducks Unlimited and Georgia Department of Natural Resources will join forces Saturday for the annual DU Youth and Outdoors Greenwing shooting event at Arrowhead Wildlife Management Area at 2502 Floyd Springs Road.

Youngsters will have a chance to participate in BB gun shooting, archery, .410 gauge shotgun firing at still targets and 20-gauge shotgun firing on the skeet range. Kids will be divided into appropriate age groups for participation.

"This introduces youth to the shooting sports. Across the United States, as a whole, we're losing adult hunters at a pretty good clip," said DU District Director David Culp. "The kids are not taking up hunting, not hunting with their dads or uncles. We're trying to keep the sport alive and introduce kids to it in a controlled atmosphere."

DNR Wildlife biologist David Gregory said members of the Region One Game Management staff will be on hand to assist with safety programming along with DNR Law Enforcement staff personnel.

"We are really seeking to recruit youth to the hunting experience," Gregory said. "As a hunter they are more likely to become familiar with our resources and have a better understanding of our natural resources."

Youth will all be exposed to the Outdoor Education Center at Arrowhead as part of the event as well. Culp said that in addition to exposing youngsters to hunting experience, one of the major things he hopes children and their parents take away from the event is the importance of wetlands conservation, which is one of the driving forces behind Ducks Unlimited.

AGC Pediatrics of Calhoun has come on as a major sponsor for the event this year.

There is a $15 fee, but that includes a DU Greenwing membership, T-shirt and pizza lunch Saturday. The event is open to boys and girls 17 and under. Registration will begin at 9 a.m., activity starts around 10 and will end around 2 p.m. Adults can participate in lunch for $5.

The two big lakes at the Arrowhead compound will also be open for fishing. Youth must be accompanied by an adult with a valid fishing license. Anglers are encouraged to use heavy line if they plan to fish Saturday since some of the catfish in the lakes can easily weigh-in at 6 to 8 pounds.

Special Olympics bowlers bring home medals
• Most on the team had never bowled before, yet earned gold, silver and bronze prizes.

The sheer fact that all eight athletes from the Rome and Floyd County Special Olympics Bowling Team brought home a medal from the State Masters Tournament last weekend is noteworthy enough.

But to Karen Cook — team organizer and mother of two of the athletes — the most impressive aspect of the entire experience was how well the local group followed the rules, showed good sportsmanship and quickly learned how to hit the pins without relying on lane bumpers.

"What I was most proud of was that although every one of them had such different abilities and all bowl differently, they all figured out how to make it work and work as a team," said Cook, who adopted three special needs children. "I didn't care how well they scored. I wanted to be sure they knew the rules and demonstrated good sportsmanship, and I can tell you they were better behaved and showed more courtesy than many of the other teams and even the adults."

The scores weren't too shabby, either, from this group that ranged in age from 23 to 64.

They won three gold, three silver and two bronze medals at the tournament in Warner Robbins that drew about 1,000 bowlers from across Georgia.

Justin Harrison, Pat McCoy and Andrew Cook came home with gold medals; Dora Nichols, Shannon Floyd and C.J. McGinnis won silvers; and Adam Tuck and Jaime Carter brought home the bronze.

"The majority of the bowlers there had been there before, but this was the first time our group had attended," Cook said, explaining that this team was formed from a group that already had been competing in soccer, baseball and basketball. "We were just trying to find something to do during the down times of January and June."

Cook said that besides learning various bowling techniques, they needed to learn how to sit and wait for their turns and to be courteous to others on adjacent lanes.

"For a lot of them, sitting still is hard," she said. "But they did it!"

Cook and bowling coach Florice Schneider also taught them how to bowl without the crutch of the bumpers that kept their balls out of the gutters.

"They gained a lot of confidence when they realized they could actually hit the pins without the bumpers there," said Cook, whose 23-year-old son Andrew has cerebral palsy and still managed to bowl a high of 236.

Schneider, who took into her home the team's oldest bowler, 64-year-old Pat McCoy, 10 years ago, said Tuesday the event turned out even greater than she expected.

"My guy was hysterical," Schneider said of McCoy, who has developmental disabilities. "He didn't get nervous at all. He was so nonchalant when he'd bowl a strike."

For Andrew Cook, it wasn't winning the gold medal that he recalls with the most fondness.

"Being there with my friends and watching them bowl," Cook said of his favorite takeaway from the tournament after getting home Tuesday from his job working for the Rome Braves.


J'marrcus Sullivan, a Main Elementary School sixth-grader