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Polk needs a checkup
• The county ranks 98th in the state for healthy living and rates of the uninsured.

Polk County's residents might need to work on their weight, diet and much more based on the latest national report that puts the local area well down on the list of areas that are healthy.

The 2018 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps lists Polk County as 98th out of the 159 counties in terms of overall health outcomes, and 84th for the health factors that affect local residents.

Floyd County by comparison is at 46th overall, Bartow County comes in at 42nd, while neighboring Gordon is at 57, Chattooga. Haralson County ranked 85th.

In general, rankings are higher in the metro Atlanta region and lower in the rural middle and south Georgia counties.

The annual report, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, looks at more than 30 factors such as education, jobs, and access to quality health care.

The goal, researchers said, is to show how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work, and play — and to provide starting points for change.

"We can't be a healthy, thriving nation if we continue to leave entire communities and populations behind," said Dr. Richard Besser, RWJF president and CEO, in a statement coinciding with the report's release.

Polk County has a lot of areas to work on. For instance, the rate of preventable hospital stays per 1,000 Medicare enrollees is at 58, compared to the national rank of 35, and a statewide number of 50.

Adult obesity is on the rise in the county as well, and probably one of the biggest health factors facing local residents. Over a 10-year average between 2004 and 2014, Polk County's obesity rate fluctuated but rose from 23 percent at the start of the period, to 35 percent by the end of the period. Current numbers weren't part of the report.

It goes well above the national and statewide trends, where across the United States the percentage rate of adults considered obese went from 24 percent to just 28 percent over three year averages. Georgia's statewide rate went from 26 percent to 30 percent.

The rate of smokers stood at 19 percent in the county as well, based on numbers in 2016.

Polk also has a much higher ratio of people to primary care physicians, a number that stands as of 2015 at 3,460 to 1. Statewide, it averages 1,520 to 1; and the best-served counties in the nation average 1,030 to 1.

Some improvements to note in the report mammography screening is up in Polk County, having taken a brief dip based on numbers of women between 67 and 69 getting screened. Between 2006 and 2014, the percentage of those women at that age getting screened started at 62 percent, but have gone up over the past years as high as 68 percent. The last year recorded in 2014 had the figure pinned at 65 percent.

Driving deaths are a little high as well. They stand at 16 percent in Polk, compared to 12 percent in neighboring Floyd County.

They were at 16 percent in Chattooga as well, 18 percent in Bartow, 33 percent in Gordon County and 23 percent statewide.

Additional improvements noted in the report as part of the socio-economic factors were the increase in the graduation rate, noted at 81 percent for the 2014-15 school year.

The report looked at the percentage of 9th-graders that graduated within four years. Here in Polk, that stood at 81 percent Statewide, the average among counties was 80 percent. Gordon County had 92 percent for the period covered by the analysis; Chattooga had 86 percent; and Bartow hit the 80-percent average.

Top-performing counties nationwide had an average of 72 percent of their adults with some college, which stands much lower at 45 percent in Polk County. The rates were 53 percent in Bartow, 44 percent in Gordon and 37 percent in Chattooga.

Meanwhile, one of the indicators also discussed in the report focused on uninsured adults. And, while the healthiest counties reported an average of 6 percent of their residents without health insurance, 16 percent of Georgians have no coverage. The uninsured rate was 18 percent in Floyd, Polk and Chattooga; 19 percent in Gordon; and 16 percent in Bartow County.

In Floyd and surrounding counties, Bartow also had the lowest percentage of residents aged 16 and older seeking employment, at 5.1 percent. The unemployment rate was 6 percent for Floyd, compared to 5.4 percent statewide and 3.2 percent in the top healthiest counties nationally.

The report also compared the difference in household income between the wealthiest 20 percent and poorest 20 percent of residents in a county. Nationally, income inequality for most counties ranged from 3.7 and 5.4. Top incomes in Floyd were 4.9 times that of the lowest 20 percent. The ratio was 4 in Bartow, 4.2 in Gordon, 4.6 in Polk and Chattooga and 5 statewide.

Julie Willems Van Dijk, director of the County Health Rankings & Roadmap project, said the data is a guide to addressing long-standing community challenges.

"This year's Rankings are a call to action to see how these persistent health gaps play out locally, take an honest look at their root causes, and work together to give everyone a fair shot at a healthier life," she said in a release.

Editor Kevin Myrick and RN-T Staff Writer Diane Wagner contributed to this report.


Commission stays busy at April meeting

Thought the Polk County Commission was keeping busy before? Compared to some of their previous sessions held over two days, the board has even more on their plate as the year moves into full-on spring and work can get underway on a number of projects.

Among those is one that has been put off for several years, but won't cost as much as was originally projected. Commissioners approved a bid from Chattanooga-based Big Woody's Tree Service, which put in prices for both leaving the material on the ground for the county to dispose of, or additional costs of having the company remove the leftover wood chips.

The board unanimously voted instead of having Public Works officials take up the task and spend extra man hours on the job, they'd pay to have it ground and removed and accepted the low bid of $39,000 to complete the work.

Commissioners did seek to know if the job could be put off a bit longer, worried that as revenue is still a source of great concern that even coming in much lower than what was thought to be the likely cost came in much lower.

"What would happen if this gets postponed," Commissioner Jose Iglesias asked. "What's the worst that the EPD can say to the county?"

County Manager Matt Denton said that even if the county wanted to extend the work, they faced the possibility of running afoul of the state's Environmental Protection Division, who had inquired already about the growing brush pile on county property.

"(Public Works Director) Michael Gravett has been the one communicating with EPD on this issue," Denton said. "... Our ultimate goal is that we're trying to avoid this becoming an inert landfill."

If the material goes any longer and does become an inert landfill, Denton said the county would face tougher restrictions on the property and would also face fines.

"This is going to have to be done, it's just a matter of when," Denton said.

Tillery added his thoughts on the concerns of the brush pile becoming an inert landfill if waiting any longer because "once you get into that, it becomes a whole different issue."

Brush collected from storms and winter weather events that have fallen onto roadways or right of ways owned by the county is the main source of the brush pile, along with general clearing of brush to ensure that roads have proper visual clearance on those maintained by the county's Public Works department. Several thousand tons of material have already been left at an undisclosed site the county owns, and if left longer will rot to a point where it must be left where it stands, and become an inert landfill if left uncorrected.

It is usually a job that done once every few years, and a job that normally only costs a few thousand dollars. The pile had grown much larger over the past several years due to increase in weather events, and lack of appropriations to complete the work.

Iglesias did inquire about whether the county might be able to purchase a grinder for themselves, but Denton said the investment would be at least $500,000 in equipment, not including the expense of operations, training, maintenance and repairs over the long term.

Probate Court office changes get OK

Off-hours work on the Polk County Courthouses will be completed by maintenance staff and are coming in at a cost of around $21,000 to expand the amount of room employees of the Probate Court have for office and storage space.

The renovations previously discussed in committee were given a final unanimous nod from the full board to allow Building Inspector and Maintenance Department head Brian McCray and his staff to move ahead.

Office space currently unused will be revamped and walls changed within Polk County Courthouse No. 1 to resolve a num ber of issues that were brought to commissioners attention by Probate Judge Linda Smith.

It will give her staff more work space, but also allow an employee currently housed in the file vault of the court to move out, and that space to be utilized for storage of important documents that are required to be kept for numerous years.

Most of the cost will be allotted for materials, along with around $2,600 of overtime pay for staff to complete the work during off-hours, so the court can still operate.

Commissioner Chuck Thaxton's only concern with the cost when he raised the issue was the overtime pay, wanting to know why the work couldn't be completed during regular business hours for the staff instead.

Denton did point out the maintenance staff were busy with other projects during the day as well, and that work would interrupt the court staff and office area during some of the project.

Budget changes

A mid-year budget amendment brought up in the finance committee got final approval with a unanimous vote to increase revenue and expenditures to cover costs for several items, and also take in some extra income that wasn't expected.

Much of the moves were to cover spending and move revenue into appropriate places, but also included one particular item that Commissioner Hal Floyd wanted pointed out: the increase doesn't show a lot of money coming into county coffers from new sources.

"Now our budget is at $22 million," he said. "It goes back to need and it goes back to revenue."

He again explained that he understood the needs of the county, but also wanted to keep expenses down as much as possible or find new sources of income for the county.

Current budget amendments covered moves from the Grady Road Landfill account totaling more than $600,000 to cover the increase. It also moved around some funds from line items to cover others after expenses came in under what was expected, or with additional funds that weren't accounted for when the budget was finalized in May 2017.

That included $9,000 in donations that are being used to cover the travel expenses related to an upcoming memorial being held in Washington, D.C. to honor fallen law enforcement officers during the past year.

Among those to be recognized and remembered is Polk County Police Detective Kristen Hearne.

The donations will cover the expense of Polk County Police administrators and Officer David Goodrich to attend the ceremonies in the nation's capitol in May.

Landfill update

During last week's work session, Polk County's commissioners recently offered locals a much-desired update on the notorious landfill that has plagued citizens with powerful odors, heavy truck traffic, and swarms of buzzards. In particular, the board met with upper management members at Waste Industries to review their contract and discuss potential violations of that contract. Commission Chairperson Jennifer Hulsey provided one of the monthly progress updates the commission has pledged to give.

"Over the past many months, the board of commissioners has heard many complaints and concerns regarding the ongoing operation of the Polk County landfill," Hulsey said. "The board has heard these complaints and take the matter very seriously. Over the past 6 months, the board has taken numerous steps to ensure our landfill is being operated in compliance with our contract with Waste Industries. Recently, the board has engaged in outside council to assist in the review and enforcement of our contract."

"Numerous items that our board considers to be potential violations of our contact have been identified, and last month the board met with members of upper management of Waste Industries to discuss various issues and concerns of the board of commissioners and citizens of Polk County," she continued. "While there were numerous issues discussed in this meeting, the issues that most directly affect the public include odor, buzzard control, litter control, and traffic control."

"Waste Industries has suggested numerous measures to solve the above reference problems, and the board of commissioners has insisted on a timeline to be submitted wherein Waste Industries will commit to implementing the measures discussed," Hulsey concluded.

While it may take time for the landfill issue to be resolved, citizens will be able to follow the problem on a monthly basis.

Find more online this week about County Commission votes and more from the board's latest session. They also gathered for a special called session to go into executive session to discuss litigation. Editor Kevin Myrick and SJ Correspondent Sean Williams contributed to this report.

'Over the past many months, the board of commissioners has heard many complaints and concerns regarding the ongoing operation of the Polk County landfill. The board has heard these complaints and take the matter very seriously. Over the past 6 months, the board has taken numerous steps to ensure our landfill is being operated in compliance with our contract with Waste Industries.'

Jennifer Hulsey Polk County Commission Chairperson


Conjunction Junction, what's your function?

Aragon officials hold work retreat

Conversations over what the city should do on everything from SPLOST spending to a direction to take in future developments were on the table for discussion during a long retreat over the weekend at city hall.

Council members joined Mayor Garry Baldwin and City Clerk Christie Langston for the hours long session in called work session for the board, where no decisions were made but ideas were put forth to consider.

Baldwin sought from the council guidance on what they thought was important to do going forward, but also to give them a clear idea of what money was available, and what might not be based on Special Purpose, Local Options Sales Tax collections.

One area where he was happy to report some progress and provided a promise of a due date back to the council were regarding past due audits.

Audits for previous years were caught up from 2009 to 2014 in late 2016 after new council members were elected to serve, but the final two missing years for 2015 and 2016 were still to be completed.

Baldwin said that those final two missing years will have audits completed "by September."

Once those are done, the city can then become eligible to apply for state money provided via grants and other opportunities, such as paving funds provided by the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant or LMIG program.

He added that "we've got someone who is experienced in writing grants and has expressed an interest in helping out with that part time" and that anyone who would be willing to help out the city provided a value not expressed in money, but instead interest in seeing Aragon move forward.

Recreation and parks were a big focus of council members and Baldwin during Saturday's retreat, as ideas for what to do about the old mill site to reworking Aragon's stage to have a better space to hold concerts or show movies during community nights are also among the areas of interest.

No matter what the outcome of conversations is, Baldwin and the council also recognized that for any future growth to happen, one thing needs to occur first: an upgrade to the city's sewage plant.

Baldwin said that he's working on starting discussions with the Polk County Water Authority, who owns the sewage facility following the close of Aragon's mill in the late 1960s, and because of that getting them to expand the facility has been difficult. At present, with new houses being built and completed needing sewer access in the new Oak Hollow subdivision on White Oak Road, Baldwin said that the plant will reach a capacity and won't be able to process any more sewage under state Environmental Protection Division guidelines based on the permit for the treatment plant.

"Without being able to expand that plant, we're at a standstill," council member Judson Fee said.

Another factor limiting what the council will be able to complete is whether SPLOST money will be available. Baldwin told the council that revenues from the fund have come in much lower than were estimated when the fund was designed and voted on in 2011 and 2012 and later implemented in 2014, Aragon officials asked for $509,000. They've only received 50 percent of those funds through 60 percent of the timetable — through 2020 — and the projects initially listed don't now fully match up with the needs and future expectations of city leadership.

However without a fire department anymore, one of the major spending areas no longer has a category for funds. Some $94,000 was set aside for fire department equipment when the list was put together in 2011, but then two years later the department was abolished when the city ran into financial difficulties and later sold off some of the equipment.

Baldwin said that if the SPLOST revenues fall short of the $509,000 requested, that all the fund will be used up until they run out, allowing for the fire department requests to fall off the list since the funds weren't available for use. He added that he'll have a more clear picture of where the city stands once audits are completed, and a full accounting of SPLOST spending is completed. Additionally, he asked for a list of areas where the city should request funds as the list is being drawn up for an extension past 2020.

Those will likely include funds for recreation spending, public safety equipment and vehicles, replacing the city's garbage truck, computer equipment and more.

Council members also had numerous comments and requests for changes being made to the city's personnel ordinance.

Baldwin explained that it was a process begun under City Clerk Sandy Norman and carried over following her departure, with Atlanta-based attorneys at the law firm of Ellerby and Thompson were completing the work.

In draft form, council members decided during the retreat during the final conversation of the day to ensure that they retained a lot of control over the process of handling grievances, appeals for changes to a employee's job such as a demotion, and one problem pointed out by fee during his evaluation of the document.

During his research, he found a clause that doesn't allow the city to change the salary of former Police Chief and now Sergeant Mark Riley since it would be lower than what he'd made previously despite the demotion in rank based on no fault of his own.

Fee said the city will have to fix the problem, and Baldwin agreed it was an oversight he missed during the process of deciding on a new chief for the Aragon Police Department.

He said he would go back and adjust the salary accordingly, and that despite his lowering in rank and duties that Riley had been compensated considering his time in service with Aragon.


School board completes work

Over the weekend, The Polk County Board of Education gathered for an early morning session to take care of a few business items not ready for the regular meeting officials wanted to get completed before Spring Break.

Among those were two security-related items that board members unanimously approved in order to ensure that teachers and administrators have a bit more control over keeping children safe and in place.

For starters, new locks will be going on the doors of every classroom that will allow teachers to lock their classrooms from the inside as well as out.

New locks will be installed as soon as orders from two different vendors already used by the Polk School District — Lovvorn Door and Windows and On the Spot Locksmith — to provide the new locks within each school. The actual work will be completed by maintenance workers.

Facilities and Maintenance Director Jeff Little said that they'll be spreading out the order for the new locks between the two businesses in order to get the work completed in a timely manner. He explained that if the district didn't move fast to order the new locks, they might not be able to purchase them for some months and leave a security measure unfixed.

"The supplier indicated that he had $10 million in quotes out and that is just a drop in the bucket there," he said. "If we disperse the order a bit we can get these back pretty quick."

Superintendent Laurie Atkins said that "all the vendors are facing this because all the other school districts are wanting to do the same thing."

Hundreds of locks at an average of around $147 each — will be replaced around the schools with final prices to be determined based on how many each business can provide with a fast turnaround.

These restrictive key systems can't be copied in the same way someone can do with many in their pockets or hanging on key rings near the door. Hardware stores can't reproduce these, since each is specifically designed to fit into just one tumbler.

School board member Jane Hamlett did express that if teachers are given keys to their own rooms to control, the school system needed to make it clear that if lost the cost to replace the core of the locks would come out of their pockets. "Individuals are going to have to pay for that if they lose a key," Atkins said. "We've not done that in the past, but now we're going to have to put some consequences in place."

Hamlett added that "There are people who have keys to things that they shouldn't have keys to, parents who have keys to gates they shouldn't have anymore, and I'm on board in changing the locks, and you've done a great job investigating the cost of this, and I appreciate that. But I think if we're going to do that, our staff, faculty and students are held responsible for these keys."

She wants keys to be signed out by a teacher with an administrator controlling them, and that costs will be attached for lost keys, since they are so expensive to replace. "I understand that people aren't going to be happy, but when we go through these measures and try to ensure safety, everyone has to do their part," Hamlett said.

Another security measure that was approved involved a request to spend $87,000 for new glass partitions to be installed at a few schools in the county in order to control who can come and go within the facility.

As it stands, a few of the buildings have doors that can be accessed, and allow visitors to bypass front offices and access school buildings without anyone immediately checking them in and providing assistance and controlling whether they should be coming in. To fix the problem, partitions will be installed in the two doors at a school always accessible to visitors and guests coming in, while at the same time allowing the rest of the doors to only open from the inside and thus let students get out still in cases where they might need to exit quickly, like a fire drill.

The partitions will be going up at Cherokee Elementary, Cedartown Middle and High School and Eastside Elementary.

Other schools already have measures in place to control visitor access.

Added to measures were also a request to add awnings at Rockmart High School, meant to protect students from the weather heading out to the Field House and other locations. That was tabled for the time being. Instead, school board members moved forward and approved getting materials for the new Agriculture Education facility at Rockmart High School.

Part of the 2017 E-SPLOST package approved in November, the new building will provide an arena, classroom space, a banquet-sized dining hall and kitchen space at the high school, meant to support the agriculture education side of Polk School District's various programs.

School board members approved R.K. Redding Construction to move forward on acquiring the metal for the facility.

Keith Redding also provided school board members with a list of additional items they did not include in their base bid for the building, which included items like kitchen appliances or wiring for the building for intercoms, or security cameras.

Board members decided to seek a list for the full cost of all the items on the list, and then determine whether to get everything from the contracting firm or bid out the items themselves.

Atkins said that with everything included, it would likely increase the price of the facility around $1.2 million, a cost that also includes a "healthy contingency fund."


AREA CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Mark your calendars now for the upcoming Cedar Valley Arts Festival organized by the Cedartown Junior Service League in Peek Park on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29. The festival opens with an 8 a.m. 5K Run and Road Race, and then continues from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the 2 p.m. dog show. Visit cedarvalleyartsfestival.com for more information on how to become a vendor, participate in the 5K or Dog Show, or come out and join the fun.

James Gregory is returning to the Cedartown Performing Arts Center with his comedy show on Saturday, April 28 for an evening of laughs and entertainment. Tickets start at $15. Visit Cedartownshows.com for more information, or call the box office at 770-748-4168 to purchase them now.

The Rockmart High School FBLA is hosting the 2nd Annual 5K Color Fun Run and Walk on May 19. Registration deadline is May 5. Proceeds to benefit the March of Dimes. Sign up at https://runsignup.com/Race/GA/Rockmart/RunattheRockColor5k or Email Janet Dover at jdover@polk.k12.ga.us for more information.

CALENDAR

The Annual 4 The Kids Car, Truck Show and Bike Ride will be held at Victory Baptist Church in Rockmart on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Cars and Trucks of all types will be on display from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Motorcycle ride will be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. There will also be a cornhole tournament (2-man teams) with cash prizes. The cost to enter any event is $20 each. Free admission to look around and enjoy yourself! Breakfast and lunch will be available. All proceeds benefit the Stockings of Love Ministry.

New Harmony Baptist Church will be hosting The Ball Brothers' "Music That Spans The Generations" at 6 p.m. at the church on April 29, 2018, located at 951 Prior Station Road, Cedartown. Admission is free.

Registration is open now for the Rockmart Cultural Arts Commission's summer camps. The first for grades Kindergarten through 5th grade will feature "Winnie the Pooh" on June 6 through June 15, followed by a camp for grades 6 to 12 for "Bye, Bye, Birdie" on June 18 through June 29. For more information on price and to sign up call 770-684-2707 today.

Derby Day is coming soon, and local Rotarians are holding a party to celebrate the 144th annual running of the Kentucky Derby. Contact a Rotarian today to learn more, or look in this week's edition of the Standard Journal for details. Tickets are $50 per person, and the festivities begin at 4 p.m. on May 5.

Rockmart First United Methodist Church invites the community to come out and join in worship on Sundays and Wednesdays at the church located at 135 W. Church St. Sunday morning worship begins with Bible study at 9:45 a.m., followed by Sunday school at 10 a.m. for all ages, and an 11 a.m. worship service. Wednesday night includes at 5 p.m. community meal on the last Wednesday of every month, 6 p.m. Bible study and choir practice at 7 p.m. Weekly children's events at the church include a 5:45 p.m. children and youth meal, 6:15 Children's music and MYF, followed by L.I.F.E. at 6:54 p.m. All are invited to join in. Call Rev. Martha Dye at 770-684-6251or e-mail marthadye@ngumc.net for more information or questions. The church also updates weekly on their website at rockmartumc.org.

Join the American Legion Post 12 for their upcoming monthly Spaghetti dinner on April 18. Dinner is held from 5 to 7 p.m. and includes spaghetti, meatballs, garlic toast and salad. All you can eat for $5. All proceeds are donations to veteran and children charities.

Register now for the Rockmart Cultural Arts Commission Art Summer camp for ages 7 through 12. This year's theme is "Go West." The camp is scheduled or July 9 through July 13. For more information on price and to sign up call 770-684-2707 today.

Mark your calendars for June 9 and the annual Kids Fishing Rodeo organized by the combined efforts of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and C.W. Matthews' owned Kenview Farms in Rockmart. Check back in coming weeks for more information on the annual fishing event.

The next West Georgia Spay/Neuter Clinic is coming to the Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society this Wednesday, April 18. Head over to the organization's office at 608 Adamson Road, Cedartown, on Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. or Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to fill out an admission and prepay for the surgery. Those wanting more information can call 678-361-7304 for more information. Vaccines and tests are available for extra cost as well.

The Good Neighbor Center Food Bank in Cedartown is looking for volunteers to help once a week on Monday's from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and will help with event tasks such as registering recipients, preparing food boxes and stocking shelves. Training available. Please call 678-901-9184. Food bank is located at 71 Woodall Road.

Members are invited to join the Cedartown Exchange Club weekly on Thursdays at 6 p.m. at the Cherokee Country Club for meetings and dinner. New members from across Polk County are encouraged to get involved by contacting club president-elect Edward Guzman at 770-546-2482 to take part in the organization that is involved in a wide range of community projects. Visit their website at cedartownexchangeclub.com to learn more. Annual dues are required to be a member.

Mark calendars now for Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church's upcoming celebration of Pastor Harold Davis' 9th anniversary with the congregation. They'll be holding an event on April 25 at 3 p.m. at the church at 194 East Point Road, Cedartown. Call Deacon Clarence Prior at 770-546-6668 or Deacon Jos. Chubb at 706-409-4295.

The Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society will be holding their spring Rabies clinic on Saturday, May 5 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m at the Cedartown Boys and Girls Club, 321 E. Queen St. $10 each for cats or dogs to get vaccinations. Call Charlotte Harrison at 706-252-4412 for more information.

Just Us Ministries Inc. Food Bank has distribution every Tuesday and Thursday at 904 Young Farms Road in Cedartown. On Tuesday the distribution is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. A picture ID is required. For more information call 770-687-1009 or 678-901-3354, e-mail justusmin.org@gmail.com, or visit Justusministries.com.

Harmony Baptist Church, 882 Little Harmony Rd, Cedartown (Esom Hill area) invites everyone to attend their weekly Sunday morning Services. First Sunday morning service begins at 9:45 a.m. with Sunday School followed by worship service at 11 a.m.. Our doors are open to all and we are looking forward to seeing you. For more information visit our Facebook page, Harmony Baptist chruch, Cedartown.

The Rotary Club of Polk County meets weekly at the Richardson Field Depot in Rockmart for lunch at noon every Tuesday and are encouraging members and potential new members to take part. Contact Missy Kendrick with the Rotary Club at 770-584-5234 for more on how to participate or become a member. Annual dues are required to be a member.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cedartown, hosts a genealogy group that meets from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday nights, except holidays. There are no fees for these sessions and they are open to anyone. Please bring all of your basic family history (if you have it) such as names, birth-dates/death dates of parents, grandparents, children, etc. Bring your laptop or tablet, if you have one. If not, we can still help. Questions? Contact us at 678-477-2861 and leave a message or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FamilyQuest42/

The Sit 'n Stitch crafters group meet each Wednesday except the last Wednesday of the month. Bring a sack lunch along, a project of your own to work on, or help out with a mission project and enjoy fellowship with other crafters learning the art. No special skills are required for participation, only a willingness to learn and have fun. For details contact Madeline Brown at 678-435-5032.

The Kiwanis Club of Cedartown encourages members to take part in weekly meetings on Fridays at noon at the Cherokee County Club. Potential new members are asked to get in touch with Rhonda Heuer, Club Secretary at 770-748-1016 to learn more about how you can take part in making the community a better place. Annual dues are required for membership. Visit kiwanis.org to learn about the club.

Check out the Rockmart Farmers Market at the Silver Comet Trailhead behind Southcrest Bank on Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m. after the holiday break. Visit Rockmartfarmersmarket.com for details about vendors and upcoming classes.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are providing opportunities to local residents interested in hearing the message of Jesus Christ. For more information about how you can speak to local Elders, contact 687-852-7497, or visit their meeting house at 10005 N. Main St., Cedartown for worship services at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

The Ferst Foundation Community Action Team meets the first Monday of the month at 5 p.m., alternately in Cedartown and Rockmart. Call 404-862-1273 for the meeting location. Find out more about how to help improve childhood literacy in Polk County at ferstfoundation.org.

Shiloh Baptist Church would like to invite the community to come participate in worship services weekly at their sanctuary at 433 Shiloh Road. Join the church for Sunday school at 10 a.m., followed by 11 a.m. service or Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. Call Pastor Jamie Newsome for more information at 404-425-8510.

The Georgia Legal Services Program's Claire Sherburne will be on hand at One Door Polk in Cedartown every fourth Monday to help those in need with free civil legal services to low-income persons. This will include all cases related to housing, employment, education, domestic violence, consumer fraud, wills, healthcare and other issues involved in the legal complications of everyday life. Call 404-206-5175 for more information.

The Cedartown Optimist Club meets on Thursday mornings at 7:30 a.m. for their weekly breakfast meeting and encourages members to join in and take part at the Goodyear Civic Center on Prior Street in Cedartown. Those interested in joining the Optimist Club and help local youth organizations can contact Ronnie Dingler by e-mail at nmvideo@bellsouth.net.

Cedar Lake Christian Center is a non-denominational community who invites anyone looking to find the holy spirit within them to come join in worship services on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. with the Rev. Neil Hopper, along with Hispanic services as well to the community. Those interested in participating can join in at Cedar Lake Christian Center, located at 1890 Rome Highway, Cedartown. For more information call 770-608-0651.

The Polk County Alzheimer's Caregiver Support group will meet monthly on the first Monday at 11 a.m. at Polk Medical Center. Those interested can join for fellowship and lunch in the cafeteria. For more information call John Giglio at 678-246-8188.

Join the Church of God of the Union Assembly, 32 Prospect Road, Rockmart, for praise and worship weekly. The church welcomes anyone to come and worship regularly on Sundays and Wednesdays as well. Praise and youth services are held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday nights, and services start at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday following Sunday School at 9:45 a.m. Call Pastor Jesse Starnes at 678-757-4572 for more information.

Need to get an item onto the Area Calendar of Events? Email kmyrick@polkstandardjournal.net today! All items must be in at least two weeks before the event to appear in the Standard Journal on time.