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Polk County Fair continues through Sunday

The Polk County Fair opened this week after press time on Tuesday (or is just starting "tonight" for our subscribers and readers who get the paper early,) and continues through until it closes up on Sunday afternoon.

Gates open this evening at 5 p.m., and will stay open until 10 p.m. nightly through Thursday. Friday and Saturday the fair is open from 5 to 11 p.m., and they open on Sunday at 1 p.m. for a special final afternoon, a first for the fair in more than 40 years.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Youth 5 and under get in free.

Fairgoers will need to pay $20 for armbands each night of the fair to enjoy rides.

Parking is free, as always, and local youth in the Cedartown Police Explorers program, scouts and others along with Exchange Club members provide direction for those coming and going from the fairgrounds, located off the intersection of the Highway 27 bypass and Highway 278 just outside of Cedartown and next to the Det. Kristen Hearne Public Safety Complex.

Tonight (Wednesday) the fair continues with a $1 off for anyone who brings along a church bulletin for discounted entry, and several acts are lined up to perform as well. (See the entire list of performances with this story on Page A6.)

Trammel Lawn Care sponsors tonight's events. They're joined by this year's platinum sponsor CedarChem, and gold sponsor The HON Company. The fair on Tuesday night was sponsored by Richard Long.

Gammon, Anderson and McFall is sponsoring the evening of Aug. 30 at the fairgrounds, followed by Friday's sponsorship by GEO Specialty Chemical. Saturday is sponsored by Smith and Miller Funeral Home in Cedartown.

Another addition to this year's fair lineup is The Exchange Club Idol Contest, where local singers are competing for a trophy, gift card and title of XC Idol.

They were chosen from a previous audition and will perform for three local celebrity judges.

With the fair closing Sunday (no performances or sponsors were listed for the final day based on information available at press time,) and the annual traditions of various livestock contests, food, rides and fun there's plenty to see and lots more time this year to spend at the fairgrounds.

And for good reason. Money spent at the fair on items like the Exchange Club's famous footlong hotdogs, on entry fees and more goes right back into the community.

Each year the Exchange Club donates thousands of dollars to various organizations throughout Polk County including the Boys and Girls Club, Our House, the Boy Scouts and many others.

The Exchange Club also awards several scholarships to high school seniors from both Cedartown and Rockmart High School, while also honoring local law enforcement and firefighters in the community.

2018 Polk County Fair schedule

Tuesday (for early readers)

Sponsored by: Richard Long

6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Martin and Simon West

7:30 p.m. Cedartown Academy of Performing Arts

8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Redneck Romeos

Wednesday:

Sponsored by: Trammell Lawn Care

6:30 p.m. Mckena Schrader

7:30 p.m. Rock Root Revival

9 p.m. Scarlet Wool

Thursday:

Sponsored by: Gammon Anderson and Mcfall

6 p.m. Rockmart Yellow Jacket 10 and under Cheerleaders

7 to 8 p.m. Elvis

8 p.m. McPherson Street Band

Friday:

Sponsored by: GEO Specialty Chemcials

6 to 7 p.m. Ballet Ritmo Latino.

7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Unchained

9 to 10 p.m. Marissa Barden Band

Saturday:

Sponsored by: Smith and Miller Funeral Home

6 p.m. Exchange Club Idol

8 p.m. to close Benny Gray and the Trailer Park Cowboys


Playground repairs all done in Rockmart

Local youth and families can now enjoy getting back onto the swings and running around the fantasyland of the playground at the Nathan Dean Sports Complex.

It was previously closed for the past months due to needed fixes.

The wood - based playground was built in the 1990s, and sits next to softball, soccer and youth football fields at the Rockmart sports complex.

That equipment recently received updates thanks to the city's recreation and public works departments in the past weeks, and wrapped up in recent days as families returned to play when the park is open in the mornings through dusk.

Those included new swing set beams, see saws, repairs to the railing and platforms on the structures plus several other needed fixes through the playground area.

Fixes included trying to save the railing boards with original contributors on them and re-incorporating it back into the playground itself.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office also participated and helped out with the repairs.


Budget approved, millage rate vetoed
• County commissioners were set to meet on Tuesday for special called session to override veto of 11.475 mills

Depending on when someone picks up the newspaper this week, there might have already been an increase in the millage rate. Or not.

The winds of fortune for Polk County taxpayers completely depend on whether commissioners will vote to override a veto of the millage rate approved in a 4-1 vote in a special called session, or whether they'll have to decide on a new one.

Commissioners gathered on Aug. 21 and 22 in one session to discuss how once again they'll balance the budget, and the following night settled on spending numbers, but didn't settle where the revenue will come from.

Several rates were put up, but none stuck after Commission Chair Jennifer Hulsey vetoed two rates, and others were voted against as the board couldn't agree on where to set millage for 2018 tax bills in the county. They did approve the Polk County Board of Education's 16.08 millage rate, which this year is set lower than the previous year.

It marked the seventh discussion of the budget since it was proposed by the county administration.

They were set to meet Tuesday after press time after Commissioner Hal Floyd gathered enough signatures from the others who approved a rate of 11.475 mills for the county, but saw it shot down in a veto. If they successfully override the veto during the meeting, that will be the rate that shows up on tax bills.

County Manager Matt Denton said that should commissioners fail to override the veto, they can vote on others until they settle on a rate. They need to do so before Sept. 14, when the state is set to come and give their approval of the tax rolls for 2018.

Bills usually go out by the end of September with millage rates from the cities, school board and county and are due by December 1. If there is any delay past the Sept. 14 deadline to get the state to sign off and tax bills go out later, property owners will be given an extension past Dec. 1, Denton explained.

Last week's vote and subsequent veto mark the latest chapter in the story over the budget, which

began back in the spring when commissioners first sat down to determine revenues and expenditures for the 2019 fiscal year.

How it got to this point over two days is a story with several parts, which will start with an admission of error on the part of Denton.

Balanced, then not

Trying to come up with the right numbers for the county government's 2019 fiscal year hasn't been easy. A lot of figures have floated around since May, and keeping up with a target to hit for a balanced budget has moved around a bit based on what priorities the commission seek to fund as well.

Certain expenses can't be helped at the moment, such as the increase in the cost of group insurance. Others can, like how much the county spends on new computer equipment, for example.

The evening work session on Aug. 21 began with a new target of funding to hit before the budget was balanced due to a calculations error on the part of County Manager Matt Denton.

He explained at the start of the meeting that when he figured in budget revenues and expenditures based on requests of the commission to adjust revenues based on updated expectations of what should come in. Instead of figuring that less than 100 percent of tax collections will come in during the 2019 fiscal year.

After a finance committee meeting with commissioners last week on Aug. 15, he and board members in attendance thought they had the problem of needed additional revenue solved with a surplus in place without the need more funding sources to be found.

Denton did commend during his explanation of what happened Sheriff Johnny Moats for finding more money in the budget.

"When I met with Muriel (Dulaney, Director of Finance for the County) again, (I) quickly realized we were looking at the 100 percent number for the tax digest for the budget, and not the 95 percent number we usually use," Denton said.

He put together his latest handout to show that with the error, the county now needed more than $141,000 to balance the budget, without any requests for funds the commission sought to add on their own, like establishing retirement funds for constitutional officers, or to pay for needed items like an increase in costs for the contract providing medical services at the Polk County Jail, or food for those inmates.

The numbers differed from the target set back earlier in the month during a work session on the budget, where commissioners needed to find some $315,848 in additional revenue, along with another $603,202 in requests over the planned budget for the year.

Back in May, the county put forth a budget calling for $22 million in revenue and expenditures for FY 2019, and since then the actual dollars and cents needed haven't changed significantly.

Those numbers according to Denton's handout now stood at 22,044,371 after an additional $50,000 in departmental cuts, and then with $55,541 in musthave items, like inmate food and medical.

Some of the money needed to balance the budget added in – even after the error – was found by Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats, which Denton said was helpful to making up for shortfalls.

The county manager provided several options for commissioners to follow to figure out how to make up for the new shortfall.

Denton said one was to use additional funds on top of what is being planned for FY 2019 out of the landfill funds (currently $1.79 million, with $1.5 million of that coming from what would have been this year's payment to the fund,) to make additional cuts in expenditures to use in other areas and balance the budget, or raise the millage rate.

He provided several optional millage rate values, how much they would need to balance the budget and cover additional wanted items such as the inclusion of retirement for constitutional officers like Moats, Tax Commissioner Kathy Cole, Superior Court Clerk Sheila Wells, and Probate Judge Linda Smith.

That rate would take 11.299 without money used from the landfill. The county advertised a rate of 11.5 for 2018 tax bills, but has in the past years rolled that figure back.

Commissioners ended up approving a budget on Aug. 22 that for the moment uses landfill money to balance since no millage rate was set yet. The board can go back and amend the budget should they decide to set a millage rate above that.

Landfill vs. millage rate increase

The question over how to balance this year's budget comes down to two different thoughts on the money available to the county, and how it should be used or saved.

In the briefest of summaries as of last week's meetings, this is how the commission currently views budget figures and taxes:

Floyd said previously and in the two meetings last week that no matter what, he only wants to use this year's landfill payment of $1.5 million to help balance the budget and no other funds, and leave alone the balance of more than $8 million, and instead increase the millage rate.

His argument, along with that of Commissioner Jose Iglesias, is that commissioners left property taxes too low for too many years, and that an increase is needed this year to get things back in balance, with additional spending used to increase some pay scales while the commission waits for the return of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia to complete a pay study.

Commissioner Marshelle Thaxton during the Aug. 21 meeting agreed and said several times he felt the millage rate had been too low for his entire run in office, despite his votes to keep that rate low with other commissioners in past years. Thaxton isn't running for a new term in office on the county commission after 12 years of service.

Commissioner Chuck Thaxton also argued in past months to avoid touching the landfill money in the future, and agreed with ideas put forth to establish a trust fund for future generations with proceeds generated from the contract with Waste Industries on an annual basis. However he saw immediate needs that would require the use of this year's payment to cover, and maybe more.

Both Thaxton's voted for the 11.475 mill rate, along with Floyd and Iglesias.

Hulsey and Commissioner Scotty Tillery don't want to head in the direction of a tax increase this year, especially during a year when voters are being asked to extend the Special Purpose, Local Option Sales Tax after 2020 through 2026.

Instead, they want to keep the rate the same through 2019 after the Carl Vinson Institute pay study comes in, and then make adjustments next year to fix several issues including how much employees make.

Commissioners did agree on the budget during their Aug. 22 session, approving the revenue and expenditures for the year at just over $22 million in projected collections and spending, with the inclusion of retirement pay for the county's four constitutional officers.

Several items proposed to be added to that budget either failed to make it onto the county's agenda on Aug. 22, or were tabled until a future meeting until a millage rate was agreed upon.

Proper procedure

Commissioners did have a problem with the way the agenda was setup during the board's special called session on Aug. 22. For at least 20 minutes, board members called into question the way the agenda was setup.

Even County Attorney Brad McFall – who admitted he hadn't looked over the agenda before the meeting last week – said it seemed a bit confusing to him as well, since the millage rate question was placed after the approval of the budget, the first item up for consideration.

McFall did explain that in the past, commissioners had approved a budget "knowing that tax revenues were insufficient to cover the balance in that budget, and the board chose to supplement the funding through the landfill fund."

Tillery and Hulsey both tried to explain to board members they could approve the budget the way it was laid out without having to first approve the millage rate, since funds would be used from taxes before the landfill and amendments can always be made after passage.

Commissioners later tabled additional amendments proposed by Floyd on Aug. 22 as the question over the millage rate remained undecided.

During discussions over the budget, Iglesias tried on both nights to get specific answers from Dulaney about budget numbers, and was shot down by Floyd the first night before he insisted on an answer the second night when he asked how long the county had gone without a millage rate increase.

He'd begun arguing that "not having a millage rate increase is the same as someone getting an automatic tax exemption" and then specifically requested an answer from Dulaney, not her immediate supervisor Denton.

Thaxton provided his answer of "it's been about 12 (years)" but based on the five-year tax digest published in the Standard Journal, the rate was a low as 10.85 in 2013, and increased to 11.021 in 2014.

For and against a rate increase

After gaining all the signatures he needed late last week, Floyd said during a Saturday interview he felt that with a rate increase to 11.475, the numbers would match up. In follow-up discussions with Denton on his own and based on calculations he made of figures, the county should be close to only using the $1.5 million from the landfill payment for FY 2019 to supplement expenditures.

"Certainly it is a lot better than the 2.1 million we were going to take at one point in the process," Floyd said.

Comments were sought over the weekend from Marshelle Thaxton, but declined to add anything further.

Commissioners Chuck Thaxton and Iglesias were also sought for comment, but didn't return calls at press time.

Following her veto and ahead of the Tuesday meeting, Hulsey e-mailed the following statement about her veto of the millage rate to the Standard Journal on the evening of Aug. 23 following the Aug. 22 meeting:

"On Wednesday night, I vetoed two votes on the mil rate. The first was for 11.5 mil rate increase and then a 11.475 mil increase. The 11.5 increase vote failed because it was a 3 (yay) to 2 (nay) vote. With my veto it failed. The second vote of a 11.475 mil increase with a 4 (yay)to 1 (nay)vote I vetoed," the statement read. "If the commissioners that voted for the 11.475 tax increase wish to appeal my veto they can. The majority of the board can call to revoke my veto and pass the vote due to the fact it was a 4 to 1 vote. This vote was improper and I was not going to sit back and allow them to do it without making it clear I am adamantly opposed to their actions."

She added: "The taxpayers expect commissioners that represent them to be fiducially responsible. I feel this vote for an increase was not. What this vote says is that the county used tax payer money to balance the budget. The people of Polk County didn't gain services, they gained a bill. Yes we as commissioners must make tough decisions, and I take them very seriously because my vote speaks for the people."

Tillery also spoke out about why he doesn't want to see a millage rate increase as well.

"I made a motion to balance the 2018 budget using $211,762.00 from our healthy unreserved landfill fund balance and that motion failed," Tillery said in a statement. "At this point, I knew a planned mill rate increase was coming."

It continued "Understanding we have a fund balance in our general fund and our landfill fund, I made a motion to set the mill rate at 11.061, which is the same mill rate as 2017. My motion did not even get a second and it failed. I am not sure how many mill rate increases were proposed because I stopped counting at five. Later the majority voted to increase the mill rate from 11.061 to 11.45, with me voting against. The mill rate did not include any additional services to our taxpayers, any additional benefits to the employees or a plan to better our county. Basically, the mill rate increase will be used to balance the budget."

"I cannot justify raising our mill rate, unless we are increasing services, increasing all employees salaries or to better our county," the statement concluded.


POLKx coming to PCCCA in early September
• Cedartown campus to host business event in two weeks

Local business leaders are encouraged to take part – or even setup a booth to gain some clients – in an upcoming event at the Polk County College and Career Academy in early September.

The Cedartown campus is hosting the first ever POLKx event, styled around the idea of a TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference that have been growing in popularity since they began in the 1990s.

The conferences have since allowed for self-organized spinoffs, called TEDx events, to become part of a large network of events around the globe. Now Polk is getting its own version of the event, just not specifically affiliated with TED's organization.

"It's not an official TEDx event," Polk County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Blair Elrod said. "But it's going to be like going to one."

PolkX is set to feature as keynote speaker Andy Christiansen, an author, speaker and coach. The event will also feature Bing Oliver from Peake Coaching and Consulting; Chickfil-A Rockmart Social Media director Jared Stump; organizational and human behavior specialist Thomas Earp and author Doug Grady, a TEDx speaker and creator of the program "40 Days of Focus."

The POLKx Business Leadership Summit will start at 10 a.m. at the Cedartown campus of the College and Career Academy on Sept. 8. The event looks to wrap up by 2 p.m.

Along with speakers, POLKx will also feature a business-to-business expo, and workshops in several areas like social media and marketing. Elrod said those who wish to participate in the exhibit area and connect with other business owners with products and services like web design, business cards, accounting and more can sign up by getting in touch at info@polkgeorgia.com. To have a booth in the expo is $5.

Admission is $5 for the general public, and Chamber members get

in for free.

Pre-registration for POLKx can be found online at polkx.com, along with more information about the speakers and where to find several of their own books.

The Chamber, along with the Chick-fil-A of Rockmart and FOR Polk are sponsoring POLKx.

Georgia has plenty of other TEDx events coming up too, with one today alone at Georgia Tech, and several coming up in the metro Atlanta area in October, and several schools and universities around the state through next year including Emory, the University of Georgia and even Lambert High School.

Videos from past TED events, which inspired the forthcoming conference, can be found online at ted.com. They feature a variety of topics on everything from new computing capabilities to medical breakthroughs to stories from influential thinkers and leaders across the globe, and plenty more.

NPR also features TED talks and conversations about subjects in a weekly TED Radio Hour, broadcast on Tuesdays from 7 to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m.


AREA CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Mark those calendars now on Sept. 29 for the upcoming Outreach Tabernacle's night of southern gospel at the church at 1351 Co. Road 31 in Muscadine, Ala. They'll be hosting The Masters Touch from Valley, Ala., and Chattanooga's His Call and The Yarbroughs from Bremen. Outreach Tabernacle's church choir will also perform under the direction of GW Cash. The night of song starts at 5:30 p.m. Central.

Cedartown's 41st annual Fall Festival is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and applications are now open for vendors to sign up and take part. Arts and Crafts vendors are $40, food vendors $50, and booths for information only are $25. Children's activities are $75. Additional fees are required for power and drinks. Find forms on downtowncedartown.com to fill out and return to the Downtown Cedartown Association as soon as possible to be a vendor. Patrons can enjoy the parade, festival and more free of charge. Call or e-mail Ramona Ruark, Main Street Director at 770-748-2090, or e-mail her at rruark@downtowncedartown.com.

Taylorsville Baptist Church - Awana – Children and Youth Christian ministry begins Wednesday, Sept. 12. Classes open to Pre-school – 12th grade. Weekly schedule: Supper at 5:30 p.m.; Bible study activities

and recreation from 6 to 8 p.m. Children must be registered by an adult, but there is no charge. All children/youth are invited to come! Taylorsville Baptist Church, 19 Church St. Taylorsville.

The Cedartown First United Methodist Church's 44th annual Flea Market at the church at 201 Wissahickon Ave., Cedartown. The market begins Friday, Sept. 7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and continues Saturday, Sept. 8 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. House wares, furniture, a variety of clothing, toys and books are a few of the many items available for sale. Contact the church at 770-748-7862 to learn how to donate items.

Cedar Christian School is accepting students for enrollment for the start of classes this fall. Those interested in Christ-focused education for their youth can contact them at 678-901-3500, e-mail CCS@sda1844.org, or visit the Cedar Christian School Facebook page. The school located at 625 West Ave., Cedartown.

Do you have interest in studying the Bible and prophecies within? Contact Dr. Idel Suarez about a new study group being formed locally for serious scholars of the text. Contact him at 813-310-9350 for more information about how to participate and future meetings.

The Bold and Beautiful Red Hatters is hosting "A Journey in Time," and strap on some high buttoned shoes for a family fun night on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Polk County College and Career Academy campus at Cedartown High School. Tickets are $15. Wear the best costume from the 1860s to 1960s and be eligible to win prizes. Dance the night away with Dink Wilkes acting as DJ. Call Queen Patricia Smith Cannon at 770-546-4717 or Queen Sheila Angel at 770-883-3201 for more or the purchase tickets. All proceeds will be used for charitable giving.

Rivers Alive is coming up later this summer in September, and officials are asking volunteers to mark their calendars now. Come take part in the annual cleanup of local streams and waterways in Rockmart on Sept. 22, with more details to come soon. Contact Randy Cook for more information at rcook@cedartowngeorgia.gov or call 678-246-1083.

Get tickets now for the upcoming Farm to Table on Marble, set for Oct. 6. The dinner will take place in downtown Rockmart in the outdoors, with tickets starting at $60 for individuals or $225 for a whole table of six, stretching 200 feet in total. The meal will feature locally grown products, and will start at 6 p.m. Purchase tickets now by contacting Shonna Kirkpatrick at shonnakirkpatrick@gmail.com, Dan Bevels at dbevels@floyd.org, or to take part as a sponsor by emailing director@polkgeorgia.com.

The office of Exceptional Students of Polk School District is available to assist with the identification of children with disabilities and provision a free appropriate public education beginning at the age of three through the age of 21. If you suspect your child is experiencing any developmental delay or you suspect your child might have a disability and would like assistance or for more information about services available through Polk School District, contact the PSD Exceptional Student Services office at 770-684-8718.

The Polk County Democratic Committee meets on the second Saturday of every month at 9:30 a.m. During even numbered months the group meet at The Rockmart Library at 316 N. Piedmont Ave., Rockmart, and during odd numbered months the party meet at the Cedartown Welcome Center, 609 Main St., Cedartown. All are welcome to take part! Check out more information at the Polk County Democratic Committee at facebook.com/Polk-County-Democratic-Committee-GA -850067035038585/.

Aragon First United Methodist Church offers a food pantry for the community to use if they need assistance. They are open Mondays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and Tuesday mornings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. A picture ID is required to participate. Call 770-684-4855 for more information.

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.

The next West Georgia Spay/Neuter Clinic is coming to the Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society again on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. 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. Transports won't be scheduled again until Aug. 22.

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.

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 church, 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 and Stitch will meet at a new day this year at Rockmart First United Methodist Church in the fellowship hall. The group will meet the first and third Monday's of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting on Aug. 6, 2018. Participants can bring any craft they choose or help with a ministry project this year. The group is making crochet or knitted caps for donation to Helping Hands. A pattern will be provided and the group has crafters who can help those in need of instruction. Bring a sack lunch. Coffee or tea provided. Any questions please call Madeline Brown 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. Visit Rockmartfarmersmarket.com for details about vendors and upcoming classes.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints provides 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 nondenominational 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.

The Polk County Beekeepers meets the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at the Cedartown Library, 245 East Ave. Whether you are an experienced beekeeper, new beekeeper or want to learn all are welcome. For details email polkcountybeekeepers@gmail.com or visit tinyurl.com/polkbees.

Victory Baptist Church's Bread of Life Food Pantry is now open. One bag of nonperishable food, five items to pick from produce, eggs and milk and two items from frozen meats, breads and others will be available. ID is required. Limit of two IDs per address. Regular hours are Mondays, 1 to 3 p.m.; Tuesdays, 5 to 7 p.m.; and Thursdays, 8 to 10 a.m.