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Audit finds no criminal issues at Polk PD

A report has come back from the Polk County Police Department that provides a clear answer to allegations made in past months via a letter from Sheriff Johnny Moats.

The summary of that report: there's nothing wrong with the police department that more manpower and funds couldn't fix.

County Attorney Brad McFall's audit report was expected to present the audit report following the Standard Journal's deadline, and comments weren't immediately available for this report from commissioners.

According to his findings, he interviewed 34 out of 36 officers with the department and found that the responses to a survey he put together to question officers about issues raised in a May 5 letter sent by Moats previously were overwhelmingly "indicate that a vast majority of the employees at PCPD do not perceive problems in the areas indicated in the Sheriff's letter."

That survey put together by McFall used a 1-10 scale to determine a rating for command staff, and asked yes or no questions on whether there was favoritism, acts of criminal activity and cover-ups, retaliation, lying, supervision and direction problems, gossiping and lack of coverage and support for the police department's patrol division.

It also pointedly asked whether the command staff should be replaced, and whether they had officer's trust. The command staff received a 7.9 out of 10 on the scale, with the upper end of the ratings better than the lower end.

The form also required officers to sign and date it at the bottom. Those original forms were not included in McFall's report.

The report didn't provide a unanimous majority among those officers interviewed. McFall stated that two of the employees he discussed issues with believed the problems raised were valid, and merit further investigation.

It did clearly state however that officers are extremely dissatisfied with the level of pay and the lack of manpower in the department. McFall reported that he was told repeatedly that "PCPD is the lowest paying law enforcement agency in the county and in surrounding counties" and that turnover and officer unhappiness all stems from pay.

"The survey responses clearly indicate that the county does not have a departmental problem at the Polk County Police Department beyond low morale based upon poor pay," McFall stated in the report.

McFall took the audit a step beyond just talking to current employees. He also was able to speak to four former employees according to his report, three of which he said had no different opinion about the issues raised by Moats' letter than those on staff. He did point out that two of those four did point to potential problems with favoritism, but McFall said they added the caveat that it also exists to some degree in all law enforcement agencies. Three of those former employees said they also trusted the command staff, with one stating they did have concerns about the admistrators in the department applying policy in a consistent manner.

"This particular former officer was vocally critical of the leadership at PCPD and felt like that many of the issues raised in the May 5 letter from the Sheriff were true," the report stated.

Overall, McFall's report states clearly he feels there's no evidence to continue forward.

" The responses to the questionnaire reveal very little support for the allegations raised by the Sheriff's letter of May 5, 2017," the report stated. "In fact, the inter-views suggest that two, perhaps three, employees of PCPD are extremely unhappy with the Command Staff but I saw no evidence that as many as "eighteen Police Officers are currently employed by the County Police" feel that they are working in a "pressure cooker" or that they feel like their work place is comparable to "purgatory."

When asked about the audit, county manager Matt Denton said the commission would have to decide whether they will accept the findings and close the case, or continue to look into issues.

Responding to the report, Moats said he maintains his May 5 letter was only meant to get the county to look into the issue, and he said that if the county is happy with the results of the audit, he is happy to let the issue drop since he wasn't the one making allegations, but simply reporting them via 18 anonymous officers.

"My thought is that a bunch of people lied, or the audit process wasn't going to work the way it was designed to based on the fact that officers had to sign the bottom of the form," he said. "I wouldn't have been truthful if I were told I had to sign the bottom of the document."

Moats added that two of his former jailers - which he did not divulge the names of - previously left the Sheriff's Office to work as patrol officers in the Polk County Police Department, making better pay than they had while working for him. Those two officers have since returned to their former positions as jailers, taking the pay cut.

"People do leave for better paying jobs," he said. "But if it were all about the money, why would you come back to a lower paying job?"

Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd had no comment on the audit report at this time. County commissioners were also sought for comment, and only Commissioner Chuck Thaxton said he wished to have a more full discussion before he would make his feelings known.

All total, the county will spend somewhere around $4,025 for the audit conducted by McFall, who charged $175 an hour for the work based on 23 hours of interviews. On average, McFall is calculated to have spent around 40 minutes with each officer or administrator in the department.

Further coverage of the response to the report will be available online at Polkstandardjournal.com on Tuesday.

'The interviews suggest that two, perhaps three, employees of PCPD are extremely unhappy with the Command Staff but I saw no evidence that as many as "eighteen Police Officers are currently employed by the County Police" feel that they are working in a "pressure cooker" or that they feel like their work place is comparable to "purgatory."


Aragon's public hearing for budget coming up Thursday

The first step in finalizing Aragon's budget for the 2018 fiscal year starts on Thursday night and the public is invited to come out and comment on the proposed revenue and spending for the city in the months ahead.

Aragon residents are asked to come to City Hall before the start of the 7 p.m. budget to sign in and take part in the meeting, where they can voice their opinion on proposed spending.

This year's budget calls for $863,270 in projected revenue and balances out with the same in expenditures for the FY 2018 budget, with $213,500 of that expected in real property taxes. It's the first budget in several years where property taxes have outweighed municipal court fines for Aragon's budget in several years. Expected municipal court fines were set at $205,000 for the year.

The rest of the revenue sources broke down to $125,000 in funds from Local Option Sales Tax, $76,900 in insurance premium taxes, $25,000 in alcoholic beverage excise taxes and $63,000 in garbage collection charges. Another $20,020 will be taken in from general government costs.

$15,000 is also expected to be generated in revenue from recreation fees, and $54,800 in franchise taxes as well. One area that continues to decrease following the change in how car tags are charged annually is motor vehicle and ad valorem taxes, which together total up to $25,000. The

city also brings in a total of $22,050 from a variety of sources including licensing and permit fees, from public safety and public works departments, interest revenue, sale of capital assets that have been put into surplus, and the receipts from the annual Aragon Barbecue to be held in June 2018.

Aragon's largest amount of spending for the coming year is projected to be in the Aragon Police Department, which has requested $231,130 for the year. The Public Works department also requested more than $145,000, and the City Clerk's office more than $149,000. Council and mayor's salaries and expenses were totaled up at a combined $100,077. Elections are expected to cost $1,250, financial administration set aside at $21,000, and a combined $16,120 in costs for sanitation, code enforcement, and safety risk management has also been set aside.

This year's annual collections and costs are increased over what was called for in the FY 2017 budget approved in June 2016.

Those figures last year included $756,775 in revenue, based off of $190,000 municipal court fines, $155,000 in property tax revenue and other sources before the end of this year. After adjustments made midyear to the budget to increase revenue and expenditures, those figures tallied up to $771,775 after the council approved the revisions previously.

As of the June financial report from new financial consultant Rick Hartley, the city had thus far brought in 87 percent of the annual budget at $677,165 as of May 31.

That included $379,852 in taxes out of $485,000 that had been expected in the revised budget figures, $12,399 - or 18 percent over the budgeted figure of $10,500 in income on licenses and permits, and also more money for what the city has dubbed "other services" that has brought in more revenue than anticipated, at $102,535 compared to the $86,025 for approved numbers, or a 19 percent increase over what the city had expected.

By the end of May, the city had spent 98 percent of what it had expected for the year, with $732,456 in bills paid compared to the $745,691 that was budgeted for the year.

That will cut into the fund balance, which was budgeted for a final $421,571 for the year and increase slightly over the $396,571 the city started the fiscal year with in 2017. It'll look to end instead $55,291 short according to the latest figures presented by Hartley.

Three areas of spending have the city over budget for the year on expenditures. First, the city's elections cost more than was budgeted with a total spent of $3,750 for the year compared to the $1,250 set aside for council and mayor's elections.

Costs were 44 percent over the budgeted amount for the year for spending on the city hall's buildings, with $76,104 spent on maintenance-related issues and bills compared to $52,670 budgeted.

The Public Works department and sanitation were also over their annual budgeted amounts before the end of May, but only slightly. there was a 2 percent variance in sanitation costs that added up to $119 difference between the $5,250 budgeted and $5,369 spent. Those are tipping fees paid to Waste Industries for the city to dump garbage, which because of an increase in tonnage has gone up.

Public Works additionally spent 9 percent over their budget for the year, $142,304 versus $129,719 by the end of May. Repairs to equipment accounted for much of that, along with an increase in workers salaries and temporary help used.

Figures weren't available to vote on before the end of the year due to Hartley's hire back in March, according to Garry Baldwin.


Candidates can qualify for November vote in August

The Polk County Board of Elections is getting ready for another round of voting this fall, and will soon be taking in the applications for those who are seeking office on municipal ballots in November.

Qualifying for seats in Aragon, Cedartown and Rockmart begins on Aug. 21 and continues through until Aug. 25 for the Nov. 7 vote, in which a variety of seats are open this year in Polk County's three cities.

Aragon voters will get to decide whether they will keep two council members who came onto the board in recent months. Hunter Spinks, who joined the council last year, will be up again for election along with the most recent addition Kelsey Collum, who was unopposed in his taking over the remaining time of former council member Duel Mitchell.

Voters in Aragon will also have to decide who will fill the seat left open by council member Tammy Mulkey, who resigned in May prior to her moving away from the city due to financial issues.

Qualifying fees for the three positions are $36.

Meanwhile, Cedartown voters

will get to decide on three commissioners of their own. Qualifying fees hadn't yet been approved by the Cedartown commission, which were set to meet on Monday following press time.

Cedartown's three seats open are currently filled by Commission chair Jordan Hubbard, commissioner Matt Foster and commissioner Larry Odom.

Qualifying fees had not yet been set either for the Rockmart City Council, likely to vote on the issue during their upcoming July meeting on Tuesday evening after press time. A trio of council members are also up for vote in positions currently held by Lucille Harris, Joe Henderson and Sherman Ross.

Elections Director Karen Garmon said she's also had no word yet from the Polk County Board of Education on whether they intend to have the previously proposed Education-only, Special Purpose, Local Option Sales Tax on the ballot for the November vote as well.

Previously, the SPLOST was proposed and approved for addition to the ballot in March, but when new members of the board took over their seats in January 2017, one of the first items that was voted down 4-3 was providing funding for that ballot measure and a request for a delay to the upcoming election.

Garmon said the Board of Education has until late August when she will need to order ballots for the upcoming election to decide whether a new SPLOST will be included for vote in November.

The proposed SPLOST would be used to continue building projects and upgrades around the district, with a good amount of the money being used to improve the classrooms used for the arts, band and theater programs at Cedartown High School, along with significant changes to the cafeteria, library, administration and the addition of classrooms.

Funds would also have gone to making improvements at other schools for athletics and community facilities, and to construct a brand new agriculture education building at Rockmart High School.

The current SPLOST approved by voters in 2014 is being used mainly to pay back bonds sold to fund now-finished construction projects in the district, and collections continue through 2021 to pay back interest and principal on the borrowed funds to start building work immediately. That included the new College and Career Academy facility at Cedartown High School, improvements to the CCA wing at Rockmart High School along with their new field house and gym entrance, and additional classrooms at Eastside Elementary.

Bond money also paid for a variety of technology and security upgrades at local schools.

Garmon said she believed it would better serve the Board of Education to wait to propose another E-SPLOST on the ballot until midterm elections in 2018, when interest in the vote will be more likely to gain better turnout to the polls.

Those interested in qualifying for local offices in the upcoming municipal elections should first contact their municipal government for specific requirements for residency and candidacy within each city's charter and municipal code before they apply in August.

Those with further questions or needing applications can contact the Board of Elections office at 770-749-2103.


Lazy days of summer return to Polk County

It's not been too hot out lately in Polk County as summer is now in full swing and families get to spend time outdoors enjoying sunshine and warm weather in local parks, like Big Spring Park in Cedartown.


CASA needs you to volunteer

There are children who daily in Polk County by no fault of their own ending up in foster care and have no one in their lives to support them through a tangled and difficult process.

As of July 6, 138 of Polk County's children - the second highest county in the state based on the total population - are in foster care, and likely will remain there for some time. More than 60 of those kids have no support when they go through the difficult process of being separated from their families and away from their homes according to Belinda Bentley, executive director of the nonprofit organization Court-Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA.

She wants local residents who have the time and an open heart to become CASA volunteers,

who she said are the real "everyday heroes" for the children in Polk County.

CASA of Polk and Haralson Counties - who at the moment serve more than 200 children total between the two counties, a majority of those coming from Polk - needs more volunteers to help ensure that each child in the custody of the Department of Family and Children Services, and have a stable and supportive person in their lives.

Only 25 volunteers are currently working between the two counties to help children, which leaves many children without any support at all locally.

"We need help," said Bentley. "Our children need you. We are in a crisis. We want to serve 100 percent of those children in foster care, but we can't do that without volunteers."

The organization in late June graduated three more volunteers for their program, which provides training and guidelines in helping children in the foster care system, and what to expect when those children end up in the middle of court battles between their parents and DFCS.

"These are three really great volunteers who have gone through our class and will be helping our local youth," Bentley said.

However, the new additions to the program only slightly increase the amount of children who can be served. Bentley said that without more people signing up for classes in August and learning what they can do now to help a child, the number of those children going without any support in their lives will continue to grow, and only get worse as more children are taken into foster care and in DFCS custody.

That problem is only getting worse, Bentley said. Many of the children in DFCS custody currently are in foster care because their parents suffer from addiction problems with methamphetamines and a now resurgent reliance on heroin, but that increasingly domestic violence and sexual abuse are also becoming prevalent reasons.

She said in recent months, Polk County has also seen a number of children who have ended up in DFCS custody as a result of sex trafficking arrests of adults, and the children have had nowhere else to go.

It's these kids that Bentley said are the ones who need the volunteers the most, and that getting volunteers to take part in the program has been a big barrier to 100 percent support for children. Without that support, she said it's hard to make a dent in the foster care problem overall.

A limited pool of potential volunteers in Polk County that can volunteer with CASA - which does have strict guidelines in place on who can interact with foster children, including background checks - also hinders efforts for recruitment.

"It also takes time and resources," she said. "These people have to spend gas money driving to go see the kids once a week. That alone impacts our ability to get volunteers because many of those we'd love to have serving with us can't afford the cost."

Bentley's hope is that in the coming months that with an increase in visibility in the community and with additional class time on the weekends available for those who traditionally don't have time on weeknights to participate will help increase numbers.

She's also hoping that former teachers will also look at her program and think about taking part, an potential pool of volunteers that so far the organization hasn't been able to make inroads with as much as Bentley would like.

Bentley also encourages younger people who might be interested in a future in social work to get involved, since they can include it on their resume and get a leg up on understanding issues that impact a community while in school, or before they find full time work.

She said it's been difficult to get that age group to volunteer.

"These are the type of people we want," she said.

Bentley added that if the community wants to solve problems rather than complain about how they continue to grow worse, now is the time to get to work and "get their hands dirty."

"We know the problems, everyone knows what they are," she said. "Let's get together and make a change, and do positive things. The one hour you spend a week watching your favorite television program is the hour you can spend a week on a home visit with a kid who doesn't have anyone else in their lives but those who are getting paid to come and see them."

Bentley said those interested in making a change and helping a child can start by contacting CASA by email at contact@polkharalsoncasa.org or calling 678-901-1021.

The next round of volunteer training classes begin on Aug. 8 on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. A Saturday-only class held weekly will also begin the same weekend on Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


AREA CALENDAR OF EVENTS

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.

Mount Tabor Baptist Church located at 3068 Old Alabama Road ; Taylorsville will hold their Vacation Bible School from July 17 through July 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. nightly. Classes are provided for all ages. Supper will be served each night at 6 p.m. A parade through Taylorsville will be conducted Saturday, July 15 at 5 p.m. beginning and ending at the church. Food and fellowship will be provided after the parade. Commencement Service will be conducted Sunday,

July 233 beginning at 6 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend as we learn about "GOD'S FAMILY." For more information contact Pastor Brent Edwards at 770-715-6167.

The 4 the Kids Consignment Sale to benefit Victory Baptist Church's Stockings of Love Ministry will be held on Friday, August 4 from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fall and winter clothing, shoes, toys, accessories, bedding, infant equipment, most anything for children and teens will be available at reasonable prices. A half-price sale begins at 12 p.m. on Saturday.

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

The Little Mission House offers free adult and kid size clothing, diapers, and baby supplies to families in need. It is located at 2330 N. Bellview Road, Rockmart, across from Bellview Baptist Church. They will be open again on July 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information you can call 770-684-3941 or check out www.bellviewchurch.org.

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.

Help out the Polk County State Special Olympics team with their efforts to raise money by stopping by their produce stand in downtown Cedartown today. The stand - located at One Door Polk at 424 N. Main St., Cedartown - provides a variety of fruits and vegetables for sale with the proceeds going to support their practice costs, jerseys, and competition fees to compete at the State Special Olympics Masters Bowling competition in Warner Robbins in August. The stand is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and run by local volunteers. Call 706-302-0462 for more information.

The Cedartown Band Boosters are getting their football program guides ready for the coming season, and remind the general public that those wishing to buy advertising space in the 2017 Bulldog Football program need to submit money and the ad no later than July 28. Contact Carolyn Peek at Cadertown@gmail.com, Alinda Dawson at adwson.evergreen@gmail.com or Misty Puckett at misty@mtetravel.com.

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 on Wednesday, July 26. 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, see more in the coming week's edition of the Standard Journal.

A night of song is coming up at the Outreach Tabernacle at 1351 County Road 31, Muscadine, Ala. on Saturday, July 29 at 5 p.m. central. The evening's performers include Sacrifice of Rossville, Ga. and the Yarbroughs of Bremen. Free refreshments and $50 will go to whoever brings the most in attendance. Contact Pastor Rouzelle Sanders at 770-712-1032 for more information.

The Court Appointed Special Advocate of Haralson and Polk County needs your help today in making sure that foster children have positive influences in their life and to help the best interests of our community's youth. Help out today and become a CASA volunteer by enrolling in upcoming classes being held on weekdays on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning on Aug. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m., or ongoing Saturday classes starting on Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact CASA today by email at contact@polkharalsoncasa.org or call 678-901-1021 for more information on how you can make the life of a child in need better.

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 Tuesdays and Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Peek's Park in Cedartown. 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. 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 2 IDs per address. Regular hours of operation for the pantry are 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.

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.

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.