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Public provides comment on Superintendent Search
Local residents seek stability, focus on students in any new hire for new Superintendent

The Polk County Board of Education got to hear the first round of comments from local residents who are hoping their opinions will help shape the search for a new superintendent for the school system.

And it was a meeting that one of those speakers, Frank Plant, said was a great departure from the norm of how the Board of Education usually goes about picking their new chief.

"Has anyone ever been to a meeting like this in Polk County? I haven't," said Plant. "This is a first for me, that the board would be willing to hear the people speak before they make a decision."

Tuesday's session allowing for public comment in Rockmart about the Superintendent search ended with a round of applause for the board, and began with Board chair Tommy Sanders setting the tone.

"We're here because your opinion matters," Sander said.

And there were plenty of thoughts from local residents who wanted to be heard about what the Board of Education should look for in a new superintendent.

Four speakers signed up to share their thoughts - Plant, Carolyn Williams, new Rockmart High School Principal Robyn Teems, and Wayne Sanders.

With Rockmart City council member

Sherman Ross acting as the night's moderator, he called on Williams to come before the Board of Education first. Speakers were given five minutes

Williams, a member of the Polk County Support and Enhancement Team, said the group has tried to share thoughts about concerns with the school system, and she said the group was glad to get to share concerns over the new hire.

"What do we look at when we get these applications, and what does the Board of Education look at when they hire a new Superintendent? Over the past years, we've had what? Two or Three Superintendents? So what happened? What do we look for when we are employing these people, and then in a short period of time, we think we might have made a mistake," she said.

"The last person - and I'm not calling names - but the insult he made before you actually gave him his seat. To me, he should have been gone that night," Williams said. "The superintendent has to be someone who can deal with people even if people are wrong. You are the board. So that is one of the things that needs to be stressed."

Williams also cited the need to have concern for all students and to avoid any favoritism within the system, evaluating the system without any emotion, and to have final say over contract renewals to prevent losing teachers for personal, not professional reason.

She also sought to have the board choose a candidate who is willing to provide quarterly education sessions to teachers and administrators on how students are presented information, to avoid any language that would be considered political, for instance.

Plant's comments were mild for the former board member who has been highly critical of the board during past meetings, despite his own past history.

He said he felt a majority of the board members will "do the right thing" when hiring a new superintendent, but also cautioned them to be sure to dig deep into any candidate's background.

Teems used her time during the meeting to say that based on her past 27 years in the district in a variety of positions that the board should promote a candidate who has already submitted her name for the job, assistant Superintendent Laurie Atkins.

"I believe that when we look for our new leader, we should look at the results of our last school board election," Teems said. "The people of Polk County turned out en masse to elect our three new board members. Honest, integrity and transparency and hometown values are very important to our county and to our voters."

Teems said she felt for the first time in several years the Polk School District has stability and hope, and operating with the future of the students in mind.

"We need a superintendent that calls Polk County home, we need someone who wants what's best for our students, because it's what's best for our hometown," Teems said. "We need a superintendent that understands the educational process at all levels, Pre-K through graduation."

That one candidate pointed to Atkins, who Teems said but did not specifically name during her comments, believes will keep Polk School District in the same direction that was started in March following the departure of former Superintendent Darrell Wetherington, who took over for now retired William Hunter who had held the job since 2013.

Atkins acknowledged she has applied for the position, but had no further comment.

Adding final thoughts for the night was Sanders, a former educator in Polk School District, Rome City Schools, Shorter College and currently an online professor for the University of Phoenix.

He provided a list of items the school board should definitely seek out in their new superintendent, and characteristics that they should avoid.

Specifically, he said that a large amount of scrutiny should be placed on any candidate who lost their job as a superintendent previously.

"There's something not right in Denmark if a school system has let them go," said Sanders. "And don't hire anyone with negative vibes. And if you can, go observe that person in their job, preferably unannounced, and see what they are doing." Sanders said. "I've learned to go observe someone and see what they are like before I let a transfer go through."

At the conclusion of the meeting, board member J.P. Foster encouraged those in attendance to come again this coming Tuesday, June 28, to the Polk County College and Career Academy's new building at Cedartown High School for a second round of public comments.

"You saw that no one got beaten down, no one got ate up here. So I want you to encourage your family, your friends, your coworkers to come out to the meeting in Cedartown next Tuesday," Foster said. "This is your opportunity to be heard. So work those phone lines, get on your email, in the stores, or when you see your people or see your co-workers who are going to be effected by this next hire, you let them know to come out and support what we are trying to do with this input."

Those who can't attend the meeting have a second option, interim Superintendent Greg Teems said. They can email any comments to superintendentsearch@polk.k12.ga.us, which is being checked only by the consultant hired to help the board find a new hire.

"The purpose of it is for people not feel comfortable speaking in public, or can't come to the meeting to have a voice in the process as well," said James Wilson with Educational Planners, the consultant on the Superintendent Search.

Wilson is handling both the public comments and the applications from potential new hires, Teems said. He said that Wilson will be presenting a report to the board when his part of the process is completed.

The new consultant said that less than 25 emails had so far been sent into the board with comments.


Aragon Zoning Board denies gym variance

The latest step in the process for a local business owner who also calls the old Aragon School gymnasium home is facing the potential for having to find a new place to live.

Aragon's Zoning Board of Appeals met with only two members, and Melisa Hughes was named chair before getting into a decision over whether Judson Fee, owner of a local trucking company who operates his business out of the Aragon School gym and also lives in a remodeled area within, can continue to live in his residence due to it's zoning being set at C-1.

That classification of zoning makes no previsions for having a residence within a commercial building, unless the owners go through the process of seeking a variance for allowing both uses.

Hughes diverted from the board's agenda for the public hearing, immediately deciding that the board would go against the variance request without following the planned course for the Monday evening, June 19 meeting where Judson Fee had signed up to speak on the issue, along with Doug Rayburn.

She was asked twice whether she would allow Fee to speak, and said no both times.

"I make my decision based on how long this has been continued," she said. "It's my understand-

ing that this has been an ongoing process. He's had time to rectify what's wrong, and time to come and resolve the issues before him, and so that's why I think at this time I'm going to say no."

She also added when asked the second time and again saying no to further public comment from those signed up to speak at the public hearing that "What I think is, that I would like to not just hear from them, but I like to hear from the community also," Hughes said. "I would like to hear what their take is on this. To see how they feel about this."

Fee finally spoke up from his seat in the audience, and said again that he had previously brought signed statements from neighbors that "didn't have any problems with us living there. We've been living there for 15 years, OK? And what is it that you are saying that we've had plenty of time for. Time to do what?"

Hughes and Fee went on to argue about how the process had been handled in previous meetings, with the city council having sat to hear complaints on code enforcement issues with former building inspector and code enforcement officer Danny Forsyth.

Two months ago, that meeting saw the council decide to draft an amendment to Aragon's zoning rules in the charter to attempt to setup a new multi-use zone to accommodate the gym's multiuse purpose as part residence, part repair facility for Fee's trucking business.

"This has been a three month process that's been going on, " Fee said. "I didn't know I had to come before the zoning board until just this past month when (Mayor) Garry Baldwin showed up and told me I needed to file for a variance. So that's why I'm here. I'm not sure of the process as far as the variance goes."

As Fee tried to continue to explain the situation, Hughes asked whether his property had undergone any inspections following his renovations to make some of the space habitable within the gym. He said didn't know if it had.

He also said he'd asked for the property to be zoned commercial in the early 2000s, and that it was only recently corrected to reflect the change that had been voted on nearly two decades before.

"The problem is sir is that your home is not zoned residential, it's zoned for commercial," Hughes replied. "It has nothing to do with residential, it's a business."

She also pointed out when he asked why he had been allowed for the past 15 years to get away with living in the gym that "probably because the people who allowed it are no longer here."

She added that it was his responsibility to ensure that remodeling on his property had been inspected and found appropriate for residential use.

"It amazes me how you people can kick someone out of their home, and not feel a thing about it," Fee said.

Hughes did say that she sympathized with his situation, but that she had to follow the letter of the law and not allow any exceptions to the rules.

"I have to do what I feel is for the good of Aragon," she said. "I can't bend the rules for one person."

Fee got up and walked out of the meeting before the decision was finalized with a 2-0 vote by Hughes and board member Dale Brumbelow.

That recommendation will be forwarded along to the Aragon City Council during their upcoming July 11 meeting, according to Baldwin. Because Fee did speak out at the meeting, he said that though the agenda wasn't followed strictly it counted for the purposes of the public hearing.

The city council could overturn the decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals and allow Fee the variance to continue living in the gym.

Baldwin added that he was unsure of the process going forward, since the council has not yet met to make a final decision on the variance.

The latest meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals was also supposed to include member Kenny Mulkey. Baldwin said he had come to City Hall earlier in the evening before the meeting began, but begged off participation due to personal issues.


Aragon celebrates with BBQ

After the Field lights have turned off, all the fireworks been shot, and all the barbecue has been devoured the 43rd annual Aragon barbecue has came to an end this year. That being said this one can be said to be a success.

The winners of the Aragon barbecue soft ball tournament for 2017 is J Dutton to take home the prize of a T-shirt. The Second place team was called J Pace; there was ten teams total that played this year in the tournament.

Marcy Pope has been involved with running the Aragon Barbecue as a

kid since her mom was the mayor at Aragon while she was growing up. Over time pope has grown to love running this event year after year.

"I grew up with my mom and dad playing ball so i just always have had a love for ball ever since i was little." said Pope.

Joanna Brock has been a regular comer to the Barbecue for the past couple years and said it was a great event to bring her grandchildren to so they can have fun.

"I just like to come and bring my grand kids down to play, run around, and to see the fire works," said Brock, "that way we will be tired when we get home!"


First work session held on fire plan funding

The Polk County Commission will be bringing up the issue again when there are more members available to discuss what might be a way to fund the Polk County Fire Department's plans for future paid firefighters.

Only Commission chair Marshelle Thaxton and commissioner Chuck Thaxton were on hand for the work session held last Thursday to hear about plans County Manager Matt Denton has formed to figure out a future revenue stream for the Fire Department.

It involves the establishment of a Special Service District within the county that could charge a specific millage rate to residents in unincorporated areas - costing around $15 a month on average - of what amounts to 3.77 mills in separate taxes just for the fire department. The district would also include the City of Aragon, which no longer has its own fire department and relies off of help from the county and the Rockmart Fire Department for service.

"We considered a fee, but we know the legislature is contemplating again next year to enact rules that you can't attach fees to a tax bill," Denton said. "Even if they do, our Tax Commissioner (Kathy Cole) has advised me that she will not put a fee on our tax bills."

Without support for fees on tax bills, Denton said the Special Service District was likely the

only solution for funding the fire department heading forward.

"If we did this, it would have to be the entire portion of Polk County," he said.

Denton projected figures at different levels of funding based on millage rates set for the Special Service District at 3.77, 3.78, 3.79 and 3.8 mills per year, and would keep it at that rate for 10 years.

"That combined with the grant money for the first two years and partially the third year enough to build the six stations and man them around the clock with one person for the 10 years," he said. "That would allow us to get equipment on site, and then rely on volunteer help to fight the fires."

The hopes is the funds the Special Service District collections provide will supplement the SAFER grant the county has sought for establishing a paid fire department. The county would have to cover 25 percent matching on the grant the first two years as part of the stipulations of using SAFER money if the application is approved, and a 75 percent match the third year.

"We should hear something on that grant hopefully in September," Denton said.

He also warned again that if the county were to turn down the grant after it was sought and approved by officials controlling SAFER grant funds, Polk County would likely not be able to get the funds again. Especially since there's a chance that the grant will be cut by the Federal government in coming years.

Fire Chief Randy Lacey emphasized that more than half of the new hires - 55 in total - would actually be part time hires that are counted as full time for the purposes of the grant.

Some of those hires would come from the volunteers already helping the county out, Lacey said.

It includes three battalion chiefs and captains as well to form the administrative heart of the department and ensure that there's a commander on the scene that isn't Lacey fighting fires.

The fire plan would also shrink the county's fire stations from nine to seven, with six being relocated and one station being remodeled.

Denton pointed out that by relocating some stations and preventing a pressing problem of coverage in certain areas of the county - areas like the extreme northwest corner of the county with a high Insurance Service Organization rating - will help at least maintain an overall ISO rating of a 6 for the county, and help decrease those costs.

It would also solve several other problems, such as response times to fires. In the more than 60 structure fires during 2016 - which Lacey said was high for the year - the average response time was 20 minutes.

Also presenting information and providing help with the numbers was Rockmart City Manager Jeff Ellis.

Ellis added his thoughts that if the county is going to move forward, they better be prepared to spend.

"That's the reason that I've pushed and tried to bring everyone together to do have one fire department," he said. "Individually, it's costing our taxpayers way too much money to maintain the level that we're at. But Cedartown isn't going to give up the quality of service they have to do it, nor would my taxpayers give up the quality of service in order to come and make it there. But what you don't want to do is set yourself up to fail on this. You've got to be committed. ."

Both commissioners agreed that some sort of funding mechanism was needed for the establishment of a fire department, but weren't sure whether other commissioners would go along with the idea.

"I think this is something we've all got to discuss together," said Commission chair Marshelle Thaxton.

Thaxton called for the issue to be brought back up and added to the agenda for the July 10 work session for the County Commission.

Denton emphasized the commission needed to move forward soon on figuring out how funding will be handled. If the county receives more than $3 million in requested funds from the SAFER grant for firefighters over the first three years of the department, they have six months to get the department staffed and running.

SAFER grant funds would be used during the first three years mainly to pay for the firefighters while collections from the Special Service District would help generate fund balance for the department and give the county needed cash to build the replacement fire stations.

"Probably what will happen, we'll have to get firefighters hired first," Lacey said. "We'll have to make revisions to fire stations we have immediately and then begin working on new stations."

The question over whether to establish a full time paid fire department within Polk County - which mainly operates currently based on volunteer efforts, which are decreasing - has been an ongoing issue for many years.

Voters have twice declined ballot measures put forth by past Commissions to establish a paid fire department, the last one failing by only dozens of residents who voted against the measure.

The county has since moved forward with plans at first to establish limited firefighter protections, and then last year began seeking the SAFER grant.

Lacey said the county has also sought a SAFER grant to help get funds for volunteer recruiting efforts as well.

Automatic Aid agreements are also in place currently to help supplement efforts of volunteers with the Rockmart Fire Department, and the Bartow County Fire Department to cover the Taylorsville area.

Other commissioners weren't able to attend due to family issues that came up prior to the meeting last Thursday, with Burford, Hulsey and Tillery unable to attend the meeting called earlier in the week.

Commissioner Jason Ward remains at his new job in Florida. He's expected to resign from the board at the end of the July 11 regular meeting.


Local residents get chance to see flood maps

There's a saying in Georgia that in recent weeks has proved itself once again: "Don't like the weather? Wait around a while, it'll change."

That happened last week once again as local residents experienced sunshine and temperatures up into the 90s on one day, and then the heavy downpour of showers during the middle of thunderstorms the next..

All that rain has on negative impact despite the much needed free water for crops, gardens and flowers. It raises the levels of creeks, streams, lakes and rivers across the state, and if rain continues day after day, those waters top their banks and cause property damage.

Polk County's no stranger to floodwaters invading homes and washing away fields.

Fortunately, property owners can live easy knowing programs like the Georgia Flood M.A.P Program are in work studying communities and determining flood risks all over the state.

The entire state of Georgia is mapped out with varying degrees of flood threat, but with changing landscape and new infrastructure, the way rising water affects communities is changing constantly.

A June 21 open house served as another PDCC meeting (Preliminary Community Coordination Meeting) in which officials responsible for mapping flood areas presented updated flood zone data and discussed which areas might be in flood risk in

Polk County. These updates are usually done by means of FIRM panels.

FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) panels are simply maps that displays flood zones, and more specifically, they display special hazard zones and risk premium zones. They let individuals and businesses know how badly they might need flood insurance.

In Polk County, 6 FIRM panels were revised with an increased threat level. These revised panels are deemed higher risk because of the creeks and rivers close by such as Simpson Creek, Hutchings Creek, White River Cave Creek, and Tributary A.

Citizens could pull out maps and count the miles from their location and the creek, sure, but the absolute best means of determining flood risk is to simply use the www.georgiadfirm.com website supplied by the Georgia Flood M.A.P Program and check an address's respective threat level.

Entering and searching specific addresses will yield immediate results on flood risk and the flood risk of nearby areas.

The proposed flood map is still in a preliminary form, and none of the changes have gone into effect yet. In fact, after proposition, there is at least a 90 day appeal and comment period before a final letter of determination is issued. Those who find issue with the preliminary flood map are encouraged to speak their mind and send corrections or additions to Haydn Blaize, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Floodplain Management Office, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Suite 1152 E, Atlanta, Ga., 30334.

Flood insurance is still highly recommended even if in a low risk flood zone.

According to statistics provided by the Georgia Flood Map Program, "Nearly 25 percent of all flood losses occur in a low to moderate risk zones."

Furthermore, during a typical 30 year mortgage, a home owner is left a 26 percent chance of being flooded. This percent is massive when compared to house fires that only have a 9 percent chance of occurring during a 30 year mortgage.

Those who live in a high risk area have a 1 in 4 chance of being flooded during their 30 year mortgage.

Worst of all, federal disaster assistance will not pay for flood damage. A community is not eligible for disaster assistance until it is declared a federal disaster area.

Flood insurance can't be purchased directly from the National Flood Insurance Program, but insurers participating in the NFIP include companies such as Geico and Statefarm. Flood insurance covers contents and the building separately, so those with valuable objects may want to consider purchasing full coverage.

Typically covered items include: The building, foundation for the building, electrical and plumbing system, air conditioning system, refrigerators, cooking stove, built-in appliances, permanently installed carpeting, window blinds, detached garages, furniture, blinds, clothing washer and dryers, and more.

Pricing varies between insurer and plan, quality of home, items inside of home, and of course, flood level risk.

Flooding is a serious issue. It wasn't long ago that Polk County experienced a flash flood, and it could happen again.

Home and business owners are recommended to read the map and voice opinions before the preliminary period ends. Nature doesn't read flood maps.

The preliminary map and search function are all available on www.georgiadfirm.com.


Polk welder takes tops at SkillsUSA Nationals

AREA CALENDAR OF EVENTS

The First Baptist Church of Cedartown is holding a Patriotic service in honor of service men and women within the congregation and around Polk County. City and County officials are invited to take part in the service being held Sunday, July 2 at 11 a.m. Visit fbccederartown.org for more information.

Check out the Rockmart Farmers Market at the Silver Comet Trailhead behind Southcrest Bank on Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m. from now through Thanksgiving. Visit Rockmartfarmersmarket.com for more information about vendors and upcoming classes.

Polk County Police Office Andy Anderson is hoping the local community will help raise money for the Helping Hands Food Pantry by purchasing raffle tickets for a Rivergrille Rustler 40-inch vertical smoker. Single tickets are $2, or 3 for $5. Contact Anderson at the Polk County PD at 770-748-7331, or stop by the office at 73 Cline Ingram Jackson Road in Cedartown, or at the Polk County Sheriff's Office today. Sales end on July 13, with a drawing to fol-

low on July 14. Being at the drawing is not necessary.

Coming up in July is Rockmart and Polk County's annual celebration of all things local and summer, the Homespun Festival. Check out more information about the 40th anniversary of this year's event at polkgeorgia.com, learn about this year's sponsor Redmond Regional Medical Center, or find out how to take part in the July 21 from 5 to 9:30 p.m., and July 22 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The festival organized by the Polk County Chamber of Commerce includes the Homespun 5K Race, the Kiwanis Car Show, and find out more about weather alerts and pet policy at the festival. Questions? Call Mandy Mallicoat at 770-684-8760.

Fairview Baptist Church in Rockmart will be holding Vacation Bible School in Seaborn Jones park, downtown Rockmart on July 15, 2017. It will be held from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. There will be Bible study, crafts, music and lunch for ages 6-14.

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 of provide free civil legal services to persons with low incomes. This includes cases related to housing, employment, education, domestic violence, consumer fraud, wills, and more. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The next date will be in July. Check back for more updates.

AARP is organizing a Driver's Safety Class in Cedartown starting on July 20 at the First Baptist Church. This class-room-only course will cover a variety of driving areas. Cost is $15 for AARP members, $20 for non-members. All ages are welcome. Those interested should contact Gloria Brown 404-558-5255 for more information, or email gbrownga99@aol.com.

The next West Georgia Spay/Neuter Clinic is coming to the Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society today. 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 next clinic date is coming up in July.

Signups are underway now for the Celebrity Dance Challenge 5K Walk/Run being held on Saturday, July 22, 2017. The 7 p.m. race is being held to raise money for Team Tuck for the Rome Celebrity Dance Challenge, which benefits the Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia. Visit Studio Fit for registration forms or Cedartown Insurance Agency, or call Gwen Tuck at 770-630-1270 or e-mail gtuck62@aol.com.

The next spaghetti dinner at American Legion Post 12 will coming up on July 19 from 5 to 7 p.m. Meal is spaghetti, meatballs, garlic toast and salad for $5, all you can eat. This is open to the public. Trivia with Tom and Betty starts at 6 p.m. Participate for a chance to win free a dinner. Bring friends and enjoy the fun.

The Boaz Ministry in Rockmart's new food bank located at 708 W. Elm St., Rockmart, will be open in June on Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. No fee is required or donations accepted to obtain food assistance. All that will be required is a photo ID.

The Polk County Alzheimer's Support group will meet monthly on the first Monday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Polk Medical Center. Those interested can join for fellowship and lunch following in the hospital cafeteria. For more information call John Giglio at 678-246-8188.

The Church of God of the Union Assembly, 32 Prospect Road, Rockmart, is encouraging members of the community to join them for praise and worship each Sunday and Wednesday. 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 12 p.m. at the Cedartown Library 245 East Ave. Whether you are an experienced beekeeper, new beekeeper or want to learn all are welcome. For more information email polkcountybeekeepers@gmail.com or visit tinyurl.com/polkbees.

Cedartown First Baptist Church will hold their Fall Kickoff celebration during a two-day event starting on Saturday, Aug. 19 with a Tailgating party starting at 4 p.m., and worship with Dr. Daniel Heeringa, pastor of First Baptist Church of Houston, Texas. Following on Sunday, Aug. 20, there will be a 9 a.m. breakfast in the fellowship hall, worship services headed by Dr. Heeringa at 11 a.m. and a 6 p.m. concert with The LeFevre Quartet. Admission is free, all are invited to attend. A love offering will be taken up. Visit fbccedartown.org for more information or call 770-748-3120.

Signups are underway now for the Cedartown Performing Arts Center Lion King Summer Camp, taking place on July 17-21, July 24-28. Cost is $150 for the full 10 days of camp. Contact the CPAC at cedartownshows.com or call 770-748-4168.

The Polk County Extension Service's annual twice-weekly vegetable market will begin this year on June 27. They will have fresh veggies and fruits on hand from vendors on Tues-days and Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Call the extension office at 770-749-2142 for more information or to learn how to participate.

Cedartown Supper Club every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Held at 71 Woodall Rd. Seventh-day Adventist Church. Enjoy a vegetarian supper and participate in a lecture on healthy, happy living. Free and for all ages. Each evening provides a different menu and lecture topic. For more information call 678-901-9184.

Victory Baptist Church's Bread of Life Food Pantry is now open to help those in need. Pre-assembled bags of groceries will be handed out to those in need free of charge (ID required). There's a limit of 1 bag per person per week. Regular hours of operation for the pantry will be Mondays, 1 to 3 p.m., Tuesdays, 5 to 7 p.m. and Thursdays, 8 to 10 a.m.

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 Co. Department of Family and Children Services office, located at 100 County Loop Rd. in Cedartown. Information Sessions are held to explain what is required to become a foster or adoptive parent in the state of Georgia. For more information please call Robin Forston at 404-895-6517 or e-mail robin.forston@dhs.ga.gov or call 1-877-210-KIDS. Visit www.fostergeorgia.com for more information.

The Highland Rivers Health Governing Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. in the Cherokee County Recovery Center located at 191 Lamar Haley Parkway, Canton, Ga., 30114. The Finance and Corporate Compliance Committees will meet at 9:30 a.m. The meeting is open to the public. For additional information or directions, please call 706-270-5000.

Rivers of Living Water is hosting its 8th Annual "Your Best" talent show coming up on Saturday June 24, 2017 at Rivers of Living Water at 5 p.m. There will be a $100 drawing at the talent show. Admission for the talent show is $10. For more in-formation please contact Courtney Ripoll at 770-689-7838.

Join Paul Craighead at the Rockmart Cultural Arts Center gallery for weekly pottery classes. They are held Tuesday and Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for $15 each, and $12 for a Thursday class from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Materials are included in the cost of the classes. Call Paul Craighead at 770-843-5302 with questions. Registration open at the beginning of classes.

Celebrate Recovery continues to meet in the First Baptist Church of Rockmart, 311 E. Elm St., Monday nights with dinner at 6 p.m. A large group gathers at 7 p.m. and small share group at 8 p.m.

Victory Baptist Church will be hosting their annual Stockings of Love Christmas in July event on Saturday, July 22, 2017. Visit their website at www.vbcrockmart.com for more information.

The Alzheimer's Association Caregiver Support Group in Polk meets the first Monday of each month at First Baptist Church of Rockmart, 311 E. Elm St. The facilitator is April Williams. For more information call 770-546-5188.

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 3rd 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 information, contact aweaver@lsga.org or call 706-506-0649.

The Sit N' Stitch craft group at Rockmart First United Methodist Church is taking a summer break and won't be meeting again until after the Labor Day holiday. Contact Madeline Brown at 678-435-5032 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.

All Carroll EMC offices will close Tuesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. During the closing, make payments at the kiosks, automated phone payment system (770-832-3552), online at carrollemc.com or via the free Carroll EMC mobile app. To report a power outage, call 1-877-9-OUT-AGE (1-877-968-8243) or report it online or via the mobile app.

Lutheran Services of Georgia's Heritage Adoption Program partners with DFCS to find Forever Families for children waiting in Georgia's foster care system. Sessions are held on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Northwest Georgia office in Rome, located at 336 Broad Street. For more information, contact aweaver@lsga.org or call 706-506-0649.

Narconon would like to remind families that the use of addicting drugs is on the rise, take steps to protect your family from drug use. Call 800-431-1754 or visit the Narconon website at DrugAbuseSolution.com.

Need to get an item onto the Area Calendar of Events? Email kmyrick@npco.com today! All items must be in at least two weeks before the event to appear in the Standard Journal on time. Additionally, due to the July 4 holiday and deadlines having been moved to accomodate our staff to enjoy time with their families, please have all entires from the coming week's calendar in no later than June 28 at 5 p.m.