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Local
Merry Christmas from the Standard Journal

By the time all of the subscribers have received their papers, Santa’s ride is over and families have gathered around the tree for an annual exchange of gifts. Stores and offices are closed midweek nationwide, and people are enjoying a day full of holiday cheer before returning to work on Thursday.

First, we wish all our readers a happy holiday season, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as a turbulent 2019 winds down into what promises to be a landmark year of 2020. With less than a week left in 2019, we’ll begin online coverage on Thursday of looks back on stories that made an impact over the year and provide some updates on items of interest from earlier editions.

As a reminder to readers across the county and the wider world as the holiday season continues, though many who take in these pages have the means to enjoy their Christmas a New Years celebrations and not have to go without, there are others who do not get to enjoy the holiday season with their families and friends.

So too there those out there who can’t afford gifts for their children, or great gatherings of family and friends.

During the holiday season, continue in the giving spirit by helping local organizations make sure that families in crisis, children who are out of their homes, the homeless and hungry all have opportunities to celebrate.

The Standard Journal encourages donations to organizations like the Our House Women’s Shelter, the Rockmart Homeless Initiative, the Good Samartian Food Bank in Cedartown and the Helping Hands Food Pantry in Rockmart, the Department of Family and Children’s Services in Polk County, Community Share Ministries, the United Way, Goodwill, or simply one of your choice.

Is not giving the reason for the season? Since we believe so, we encourage our readers to even give simply a dollar to any of these groups as the year comes to an end. Donations can also be tax deductible for non-profit organizations.

Thanks to the readers and subscribers of the Standard Journal for another wonderful year in Polk County.


Local
Celebrating the Lord's birth: Camp Antioch hosts nativity during holiday season

A local church put on their annual nativity display during the Christmas season for the second year.

Antioch Baptist Church hosted their drive-thru live nativity scene in recent days, and brought out more than 370 people attending during the two day event on Dec. 14 and 15.

The event was hosted at Camp Antioch, across the street from Antioch Baptist Church. When people arrived, they found church members ready to provide a pamphlet explaining each scene on display. The event also served as a canned food drive that brought in donations for those in need during the holiday season.

Opening the drive thru experience was also the beginning of the nativity story, where Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel, sent to Nazareth to bless her and bring about the foretold King of Kings and savior.

Moving onward, those who came out to experience the Christmas season saw the young couple brought to life as Mary and Joseph made their way to Bethlehem with only a donkey to carry the soon to be mother along the road.

Then when the time came for Jesus’ birth, people who came to Camp Antioch found the shepherds in the field outside the village, keeping watch over their flocks at night when the angel bringing forth the good news appeared before all.

When drivers reached the final scene, they found “The Manger,” that culminates with the story of the birth of Jesus and the wise men who followed the East Star and stopped where baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

“We wanted to do something very special as an outreach to the community,” Organizer Cathy Campbell said.

The church also hosts vacation bible school and other community events throughout the year.

“Our main goal is to spread the true meaning of Christmas so that all can be reminded that Jesus is the reason for the season,” Campbell said.

Campbell noted how blessed they were to have so many volunteers, especially students.

“It’s going to be bigger and better next year,” Campbell said. “We are hoping to have another church or two involved along with us, as well as a choir.”


Local
CPAC Art Show a big hit for holidays

With nearly 40 different works from over 30 different artists available to see and purchase, the Cedartown Performing Arts Center has made dreams come true with their new “Winter Dreams” art gallery.

Locals have been free to browse the various paintings and sculptures since November 18, but the gallery’s December 14 reception offered the chance to view the works later at night, dine on refreshments while doing so, and to speak to some of the contributing artists.

Susan Waters, whose “O Holy Night” exhibit is featured at the gallery alongside the other 40 works, could be seen mingling with guests, and local artist James Dingler was nice enough to answer questions about the various paintings he created.

“Winter Dreams” was originally designed to encompass the winter season, but the presence of various works such as Waters’ sculptures and Dingler’s acrylics in the same gallery is demonstrative of how the exhibit evolved to include works of all styles and contents.

“Originally, we wanted to do a themed show, and it was gonna be all encompassing of the winter season,” CPAC Director Oscar Guzman said. “I got a little concerned it wouldn’t pan out the right way – especially since we announced it maybe three months before. So, we changed it to be open to anything.”

With paintings of snowy forests on display down the hall from warm, sunny islands, this melting pot of art was immediately evident.

The gallery featured everything from a recreation of Van Ghogh’s “Starry Night” to abstract portraits of people and everything in between.

However, the exhibit doesn’t distinguish itself solely through the types of works displayed. “Winter Dreams” offers a smaller, more intimate art experience than some of the larger scale galleries the CPAC has done in the past.

“This is a more intimate gallery because it’s only Susan’s exhibit and 30 artists,” Guzman said. “I think there may be 40 odd pieces of art on this side, which is very different from what we usually do. The gallery in March has over 300 works. It is pretty intimate, so I’m glad to see the crowds are still coming out and seeing it. It’s the highest traffic we’ve had as far as during normal viewing hours.”

It’s not too late to contribute to that traffic, either. The gallery will continue during the CPAC’s regular hours until later on January 6 when the exhibit closes. Those interested in private tours or similar viewing experiences have those options available.

“We are open to private tours, so if someone wants to see it Saturday or bring a church group on Sunday, we can accommodate that,” Guzman explained. “It’s just a matter of calling and setting up an appointment. That’s a free service.”

Many of the items were, and still are, available to purchase. As Guzman mentioned, approximately 80 percent of the sales go to the artist and the remaining 20 percent is donated to the gallery. Those interested in making a purchase can do so at any viewing session.

More details about the Cedartown Performing Arts Center, Cedartown shows, and galleries like “Winter Dreams” can find more information by visiting https://cedartownshows.com/.


Local
County approves agreements for radio system

The Polk County Commission is moving ahead on the project to upgrade the radio system used by public safety and emergency personnel like Redmond EMS to communicate with 911 in the field with Motorola and other entities.

In a special called session ahead of the holidays, the Commission voted unanimously to approve a contract with Motorola to purchase the new APCO (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials) standard P25 mission critical public safety communications system along with handheld radios, links to Cobb County’s core and new towers to improve coverage across the county.

The tallied increased to a final approved sum of more than $7 million to build a new radio system for 911 operations in Polk County, up slightly from the $6.8 million sum the county originally discussed as the price tag for Motorola’s estimate on the upgrade. The reason those costs went up was the potential need for a fifth tower to be put up, with concessions made by Motorola on the final tally.

Commissioner Ray Carter laid out the broad strokes of the plan for the board, starting with costs the county will incur for installation of four new radio towers. He explained that the contract price built in an option on a fifth tower site in case the system requires it for full coverage of the county.

Carter said that testing of the system with four tower sites will determine whether the fifth will be needed or not.

“It gives us the ability to use their (Motorola’s) criteria and formula for guaranteed coverage areas,” he said.

So if the county doesn’t need the fifth tower site, they’ll save on the cost of the system in the long term. Their agreement with Motorola also includes a 10 year maintenance and replacement plan

To pay for the system, the county is going to use a mix of funds from what they have set aside from payments on landfill operations, alongside a $3 million loan through the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia at 2.1 % interest.

Commissioners look to have an aggressive payoff of the loan for the system over the next five years based on the agreement they took up on Dec. 16.

The county is not charging interest to the cities for the split payments they’ll be able to make for handheld radios they need for police officers and firefighters to use in the field. They are also picking up the costs of filing paperwork and advertising for variance applications needed at radio tower sites in the Taylorsville area and one in Rockmart.

“There still may be small incidential things, like putting up a service pole or installing utilities on the ground,” County Manager Matt Denton also pointed out to the Commission that is not part of the cost of Motorola’s contract.

Commissioners also responded with an explanation of the requirements for upgrading the system on a short time frame. Commission Chair Jennifer Hulsey asked Carter to explain that when the county previously installed their system, previous administrations didn’t take swift action on a required switch over by the Federal Communications Commission from analog to digital radio systems.

“Polk County and entities involved in public safety made a quick choice,” Carter said.

He admitted he didn’t quite have all the details on the process, but understood that in the aftermath of the recovery from the 2008 housing crisis and recession that followed that “finances were quite different.” The system at the time was selected at minimal cost.

”That’s what happened six years ago, and right after 2008, and the revenues declining like they were, and all entities did what we had to do to keep communications going,” Carter said.

Now the goal of the new system is to fix issues with the old, and added to that warranty now expired as of September 30 on parts that are no longer being manufactured, the county determined that they needed to move ahead with plans as far back as 2017 when issues have continually cropped up between the new 911 center equipment and radios in the field over the past two years.

Hulsey said the board not only made the right choice to help public safety in the county, but also in making sure that taxpayers were getting a good deal with Motorola.

”I’m very proud of this board in the sense that every board member has gone through this contract, line by line,” she said.

She also said the county is taking a brunt of the costs of the 911 radio system upgrade because “we feel like “it is our responsibility.”

With approval of the contracts and agreements for maintenance with Motorola, the county also gave their unanimous yea votes to subscriber agreements from the City of Cedartown, Rockmart, Aragon, for the Polk School District Police and Redmond EMS.

Commissioner Scotty Tillery said he felt the system was one that would be built for the long haul.

”This is going to last for 30 years, and not five or six,” Tillery said. “Hopefully for our lifetime.”

Thanks were also offered by the board for the work put in by former Assistant County Manager Barry Atkison on the project, for Motorola’s efforts in negotiating costs downward and for the work of the county’s administration to find funding options as the contract work was completed.


Local
Standard Journal Area Calendar of Events from the Wednesday, December 25, 2019 edition

Come take part this week in a service meant to honor those suffering from loss during the holiday season at Cedartown First United Methodist Church. They’re holding their annual Blue Christmas service at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. They’ll additionally be holding a Live Nativity Scene and Petting Zoo will be held on Christmas Eve on the Church’s lawn on Tuesday, Dec. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m., which includes a Children’s Glow Light service at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve in the church’s Fellowship Hall. The annual Candlelight Service honoring the birth of Jesus is being held at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary.

Rockmart Presbyterian is holding their Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. Visit the church’s website at rockmartpresbyterian.org to find out more.

Celebrate Recovery meets every Monday night at the First Baptist Church of Rockmart starting with dinner at 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Large Group at 7 p.m. and Small Share Group at 8 p.m.

The Polk County Democratic Committee meets on the second Saturday of every month except December at 10 a.m. In the “even” months (February, April, June, August, etc.) the organization meets at the Rockmart Library at 316 N. Piedmont Ave., Rockmart and during the “odd” months (January, March, etc) they meet at the Cedartown Welcome Center, 600 Main St., Cedartown, GA 30125. There will be no meeting in December due to the holidays.

The Cedartown Farmer’s Market has a new location and time for the 2019 season. Market-goers are invited to come out to the corner of Ware and South Main Street in Cedartown continuing on Tuesdays from 1 to 5 p.m. Contact Five Cedars Farm to participate at 678-246-1216 to learn more about becoming a vendor.

RCAC has classes for toddlers, children and adults at the Rockmart Cultural Arts Center in drawing, painting, photography, yoga, chorus, piano, whittling, and pottery. For more information, call 770-684-2707 or email rcac@rockmart-ga.gov

Give a child a safe place to go after school and learn valuable lessons about community, life and academics by getting involved in the Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Georgia in Cedartown. Visit their center at 321 E. Queen St., Cedartown from 2:30 to 6 p.m. on weekdays and bring your children ages 5-18 for afternoon activities. For more information on how to participate or volunteer, call our office at 770-749-0869 or email asams@bgcnwga.org.

The Rockmart History Museum on South Marble Street in downtown Rockmart is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Saturday 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The Museum welcomes visitors and group tours. Contact Pat Sampson at 678-764-5201 for information. RHM meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month and volunteers are welcome and encouraged to take part.

Interested in becoming a Foster or Adoptive Parent? Open your heart to a child in need and find out how you can help. Join others who seek the love of a child every second Tuesday night of each month at 6 p.m. at Polk County Division of Family and Children Services office, 100 County Loop Road in Cedartown. Information sessions explain what is required to become a foster or adoptive parent in Georgia. For more information call Robin Forston at 404-895-6517 or email robin.forston@dhs.ga.gov or call 1-877-210-KIDS. Visit www.fostergeorgia.com for more information.

The American Legion in Rockmart is hosting their monthly all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner coming up this Wednesday, January 15. Meal of spaghetti, meatballs, garlic toast and salad, $5. They hold dinners on the third Wednesday of every month. Join the group for a good meal and to support veteran and children’s programs. The Legion is located at 1 Veterans Circle, Rockmart.

USAPA Pickelball Ambassador Daneen England is holding a free pickleball clinic every Monday (weather permitting) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rockmart Tennis courts, located at 436 Hogue Avenue, Rockmart. Loaner paddles and all necessary equipment will be on hand to learn t he sport. This is a free event for anyone and they just need to wear comfortable gym clothes and tennis shoes. Contact England at 770-356-1282, or by email at howardd999@yahoo.com for more information.

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.

Lutheran Services of Georgia’s Heritage Adoption Program partners with DFCS to find Forever Families for children waiting in Georgia’s foster care system. Information Sessions are held on the third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Rome Office, located at 336 Broad St., Suite 200. Individual sessions may be scheduled to accommodate families as needed. For more email aweaver@lsga.org or call 706-506-0649.

Did you know that nationwide the American Red Cross assists 53 people every 60 seconds during personal and local disasters? Our Northwest Georgia Red Cross Chapter serves Polk County. If you’d like to do some meaningful volunteering, please contact Arthene Bressler at 762-231-9896 and visit our website at www.redcross.org/local/georgia.

Get assistance

Do you think you might be pregnant? You can know for sure. Contact Life Matters Outreach today to schedule a free pregnancy test. You have a right to know all the options available to you. We offer free evidence-based education and resources so that you can make a well-informed decision. The services provided at LMO Pregnancy Care Center are free of charge. Clients are treated with respect and unconditional acceptance. We are here to help YOU. Call 770-748-8911 for more information.

Anna Kresge Memorial United Methodist Church will be sponsoring a clothing bank for children ages infant to 5 years old on the first Thursday of each month beginning in September from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the conference room of One Door Polk in Cedartown. Contact 770-748-6811 for more information on how to donate or participate in the giveaway.

Victory Baptist Church’s Bread of Life Food Pantry is now open. One bag of non-perishable 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.

Community Share Ministries is hosting “Hope for the Hungry” on the first Tuesday of every month to provide food assistance to the community. They’ll be in town again on Tuesday, June 4. Food is provided free of charge, and no identification is required to get help. Those interested can visit Community Share Ministries Cedartown thrift store at 1116 N. Main St., Cedartown.

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 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.

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.

Soup and Savior, a local nonprofit organization, meets from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays to provide needed items to deserving people. This includes a free meal (soup), clothing and gives other assistance. Meetings are held at Glad Tidings, located at 703 Robert L Parks Blvd. in Cedartown. Donations are accepted.

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, email justusmin.org@gmail.com, or visit Justusministries.com.

A caregivers support group meets on the second Monday of each month at 11 a.m. at Rockmart Presbyterian Church. Call 770-684-6289 for more information.

Take back your life and get help. Narconon can help you take steps to overcome addiction in your family. Call today for free for screenings or referrals at 1-800-431-1754.

Churches

The Rev. Gilbert Richardson and the Ware’s Grove Church family of 200 Potash Road, invite everyone to join the Impact Service held each Sunday at 9:45 a.m., followed by regular worship services at 11:15 a.m. Bible class is held Wednesday nights at 7 p.m.

Anna Kresge United Methodist Church invites children, kindergarten age through middle school, to come to Kresge Kids each Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Supper is provided. There is also a high school youth program as well. For more information, call 706-346-3100.

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. Thomas Hall at 706-836-7378 or email tg.hall@ngumc.net for more information or questions. The church also updates weekly on their website at rockmartumc.org.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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 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/

Clubs and Organizations

The Ferst Readers 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.

The Cedartown Optimist Club meets on Thursday mornings at 7 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 email at nmvideo@bellsouth.net.

The Polk County Beekeepers are now meeting the second Thursday of each month at the Polk County College and Career Academy’s Cedartown High campus in the community room at 7 p.m. Whether you are an experienced beekeeper, new beekeeper or want to learn all are welcome. For details email polkcountybeekeepers@gmail.com or visit polkbees.com for more information.

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.

The Rotary Club of Polk County now meets weekly at Polk Medical Center’s conference room on Highway 278 for lunch at noon every Tuesday unless otherwise noted 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 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.

Arts

The Sit and Stitch is back to sewing 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. 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.

Have a hidden singing talent, or want to get back into a chorus? Lend your voice and take part in the Rockmart Community Chorus on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. The choir is preparing for it’s Spring and Christmas concerts. Contact Debbie Miller, director, about taking part by calling 404-219-9572 or debbiebmiller@aol.com.

The Rockmart Cultural Arts Center’s Children’s Classes hosted by Margaret Bearden include monthly classes for children 3 to 6 years old on the second Wednesday of each month from 10 to 11 a.m. ($15 per child per class.) Bearden hosts Drawing and Painting classes for students seven to 12 years old on Mondays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. ($60 for 6 classes paid at first class, or $15 per.) Classes are also available on Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. for students 7 to 12 for Home School Mixed Media ($60 for 6 classes on first class, or $15 per) and Paint Parties are available as well. Contact Bearden at 770-500-4207 or by email at margaretbearden@gmail.com.

Pottery by Paul Craighead continues through the winter season at the RCAC, which includes Beginning Hand building on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Prices are $145 for 8 weeks. He also hosts an Open Studio for more advanced potters Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. $15 per class. 16 and up for all classes, but Age 8 and up if accompanied with a parent or approved by Craighead. Contact him at 770-843-5302 or by e-mail at rivoletti@netzero.net.

Learn Drawing and Painting at the RCAC with James Hill on Wednesdays 6 to 8 p.m. or other days if available. Ages 12 to adult, $90 for a six week class. Contact Hill at 770-355-1535 or by email at jhill2411@gmail.com

Take part in a bi-monthly class for adults influenced in arts and self-empowerment, HeARTS and SOUL at the RCAC. $20 per person, includes all supplies. Dates and times to be announced. Contact Donna Duff at 770-855-7767 or by email at ctwarts@gmail.com.

The RCAC is hosting Now and Then of Rockmart to provide students with help gaining an eye for seasonal and home decor. Classes are being planned for Thursday nights and Saturday mornings, but dates are to be determined based on interest. Contact Tina Lanier at 678-883-9300 or by email at thenandnowofrockmart@gmail.com.

Piano lessons are available from Madelyn Stringer through the RCAC on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesdays 1 to 5 p.m. Ages 6 to adult, all skill levels. $15 per weekly half hour private session, or $25 for an hour. Contact Stringer at 678-988-4133 or by email at madelynaudrey2000@gmail.com.

Carla Redding is providing a variety of photography classes this winter at the RCAC, ranging from getting to know a camera and how to take good photos, to using professional level software like Lightroom and Photoshop CC. Additional outings are available as well. Contact Redding for prices and schedules at — 770-546-3943 or ctr7510@aol.com.

Beginning Yoga can help people gain greater flexibility and stregth while maintaining graceful movements. Learn from Ramona Camp for $12 for an hour long class on Tuesdays from 9 to 10 a.m. or Thursdays 6 to 7 p.m. Age 12 to adult, but those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent. Bring a mat, pillow, water bottle and wear comfortable clothing and get ready to stretch out at the RCAC! Contact Camp at 706-621-2306 or ramonacamp7@gmail.com to sign up!


Local
President Trump impeached by House

President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives last week, becoming only the third American chief executive to be formally charged under the Constitution’s ultimate remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors.

The historic vote split along party lines, much the way it has divided the nation, over the charges that the 45th president abused the power of his office by enlisting a foreign government to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election.

The House also passed a charge that the president then obstructed Congress in its investigation.

Northwest Georgia’s Congressman, Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, voted against both articles.

“In 2016, the American people voted to elect Donald Trump the President of the United States. But, for the last three years, politicians in Washington have been working to overturn the will of voters,” Graves said in an emailed statement. “This partisan process has only pushed Congress, and our country, further down a path of division. I am disappointed in this unnecessary outcome. Our country and our President deserve better.

U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Cassville was among the Republicans who spoke against the impeachment during a lengthy House debate that lasted past 8 p.m.

Loudermilk voiced “strong opposition” to the process, saying Trump’s constitutional rights to call witnesses and be presumed innocent were violated.

“One week before Christmas, I want you to keep this in mind: When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers during that sham trial,” Loudermilk said. “Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded this President in this process.”

The articles of impeachment, the political equivalent of an indictment, now go to the Senate for trial. If Trump is acquitted by the Republican-led chamber, as expected, he would have to run for reelection carrying the enduring mark of impeachment on his purposely disruptive presidency.

Democrats led the Dec. 18 voting, framed in what many said was their duty to protect the Constitution and uphold the nation’s system of checks and balances.

Republicans stood by their party’s leader, who has frequently tested the bounds of civic norms. Trump called the whole affair a “witch hunt,” a “hoax” and a “sham,” and sometimes all three.

The trial is expected to begin in January in the Senate, where a vote of two-thirds is necessary for conviction. While Democrats had the majority in the House to impeach Trump, Republicans control the Senate and few if any are expected to diverge from plans to acquit the president ahead of early state election-year primary voting.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, once reluctant to lead Democrats into a partisan impeachment, now risks her majority and speakership to hold the president accountable.

“Today we are here to defend democracy for the people,” Pelosi said opening debate.

Trump, who began Wednesday tweeting his anger at the proceedings, scheduled an evening rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.

As the House debated the articles of impeachment throughout the day, Trump registered his anger with the process on Twitter, in all capital letters: “SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!” he wrote.

What Pelosi called a sad and solemn moment for the country, coming in the first year that Democrats swept control of the House, unfolded in a caustic daylong session that showcased the nation’s divisions — not only along party lines, but also by region, race and culture.

The House impeachment resolution laid out in stark terms the two articles of impeachment against Trump stemming from his July phone call when he asked the Ukraine president for a “favor” — to announce it was investigating Democrats ahead of the 2020 election. He also pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to probe unsubstantiated corruption allegations against Joe Biden, the former vice president and 2020 White House contender.

At the time, Zelenskiy, a young comedian newly elected to politics, was seeking a coveted White House visit to show backing from the U.S. ally as it confronted a hostile Russia at its border. He was also counting on $391 million in military aid already approved by Congress. The White House delayed the funds, but Trump eventually released the money once Congress intervened.

Narrow in scope but broad in its charge, the resolution said the president “betrayed the nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections,” and then obstructed Congress’ oversight like “no president” in U.S. history.

“President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,” it said.

Republicans argued that Democrats are impeaching Trump because they can’t beat him in 2020.

“This vote is about one thing, and one thing only: They hate this president,” said Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah. “They want to take away my vote and throw it in the trash.”

But Democrats warned the country cannot wait for the next election to decide whether Trump should remain in office because he has shown a pattern of behavior, particularly toward Russia, and will try to corrupt U.S. elections in 2020.

“The president and his men plot on,” said Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., of the Intelligence Committee that led the inquiry. “The danger persists. The risk is real.”

The outcome brings the Trump presidency to a milestone moment that has building almost from the time the New York businessman-turned-reality-TV host unexpectedly won the White House in 2016 amid questions about Russian interference in the U.S. election — — and the rise of the “resistance.”

Democrats drew from history, the founders and their own experiences, as minorities, women and some immigrants to the U.S., seeking to honor their oath of office to uphold the constitution. Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., spoke in Spanish asking God to unite the nation. “In America,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., “no one is above the law.”

Republicans aired Trump-style grievances about what Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko called a “rigged” process.

“We face this horror because of this map,” said Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Ala., before a poster of red and blue states. “They call this Republican map flyover country, they call us deplorables, they fear our faith, they fear our strength, they fear our unity, they fear our vote, and they fear our president.”

The political fallout from the vote will reverberate across an already polarized country with divergent views of Trump’s July phone call when Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate Democrats in the 2016 election, Biden and his son, Hunter, who worked on the board of a gas company in Ukraine while his father was the vice president.

Trump has repeatedly implored Americans to read the transcript of the call he said was “perfect.” But the facts it revealed, and those in an anonymous whistleblower’s complaint that sparked the probe, are largely undisputed.

More than a dozen current and former White House officials and diplomats testified for hours. The open and closed sessions under oath revealed what one called the “irregular channel” of foreign policy run by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, which focused on investigating the Bidens and alternative theories of 2016 election interference.

The question for lawmakers was whether the revelations amounted to impeachable offenses to be sent to the Senate for a trial.

Few lawmakers crossed party lines without consequence. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J., who is considering changing parties over his opposition to impeachment, sat with Republicans. Rep. Justin Amash, the Michigan conservative who left the Republican party and became an independent over impeachment, said: “I come to this floor, not as a Republican, not as a Democrat, but as an American.”

Beyond the impeachments of Andrew Johnson or Bill Clinton, this first impeachment of the 21st century is as much about what the president might do in the future as what he did in the past. And unlike investigation of Richard Nixon, who resigned rather than face the House vote over Watergate, the proceedings against Trump are playing out in an America already of mixed views over Trump.

Rank and file Democrats said they were willing to lose their jobs to protect the democracy from Trump. Some newly elected freshman remained in the chamber for hours during the debate.

“This is not about making history, this is about holding a lawless president accountable,” said Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I.

GOP Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia said of the Democrats: “You’ve been wanting to do this ever since the gentleman was elected.’’

Top Republicans, including Rep. Devin Nunes on the Intelligence Committee, called the Ukraine probe little more than the low-budget sequel to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mueller spent two years investigating the potential links between Moscow and the Trump campaign, but testified in July that his team could not establish that Trump conspired or coordinated with Russia to throw the election. Mueller did say he could not exonerate Trump of trying to obstruct the investigation, but he left that for Congress to decide.

The next day, Trump called Ukraine. Not quite four months later, a week before Christmas, Trump was impeached.