The man accused of a double shooting, double homicide in Rockmart was brought back to Polk County to face his day in court and will remain in custody.
Day1on De1on Gamble, 27, was booked into the Polk County Jail at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, after a long trip back to Georgia from Indiana. Polk County Sheriff's deputies transported the fugitive after Gamble signed off on extradition after his capture in Indianapolis by federal and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police.
Gamble fled from Rockmart on the night of Jan. 24 after he shot five people in a stolen black Ford pickup truck later found in Bartow County. He is charged with the murder of Dadrian Cummings and Arkeyla Perry at a Rome Street address and Helen Rose Mitchell and Jaequnn Davis at a Williamson Street address.
The fifth victim Peerless Brown was hospitalized after he was shot in the neck and rushed to treatment at Atlanta Medical Center via airlift. He was later released from the hospital and spoke with reporters from WSB-TV.
Brown told the Atlanta station that he arrived at the scene at the same as Gamble kicked in the door and after a brief encounter was shot in the neck, then attempted to help save Mitchell and Davis from Gamble.
When asked about Brown's account, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Nelly Miles said they are not yet providing any further details about the shooting as their investigation continues.
After Gamble's arrival at the Polk County Jail, officials reported he will be facing a first appearance for a bond hearing on the charges of four counts of murder, a single count of aggravated assault as well as a felony count for theft by taking.
Money is coming to local schools thanks to the Polk County School Board accepting over $3 million from numerous federal grants.
While the money is just a portion of the district's operating income, federal grants do remain an important part of improving and running Polk School District, and this most recent round of grants has been pledged towards various programs like teacher training and English as a Second Language classes.
"When we talk about our resources, we have local funds, state funds, we have federal grants and we need to make sure we have an approval-that we're willing to accept these grants," Superintendent Laurie Atkins said. "And looking at the amounts up here, I have no idea why we would not accept these federal grants because it really helps us in supporting of our educational quality and instructional programs."
The Title I, Part A Grant, awarded to schools with high numbers of students from low-income families, alone is offering a sum of more than $2.5 million to Polk School District to help ensure all children meet the state-set standards.
It's common to see Title I grant money spent on extra teachers or summer programs, but the board did not mention any specific use of the funds during their February 5 work session.
The Tide II, Part A Grant offered up an additional $282,367 for the stated purpose of teacher training and learning, and the $75,326 from the Title III, Part A Grant was pledged toward the district's English language learning program.
Money for the district also came in the form of a Tide IV, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant in the amount of $177,041, and the Title V, Rural and Low Income Schools Grant for $145,304.
One use of the grants could be helping students from lower income families participate in field trips or out of school events like those approved during the work session. Both Cedartown High and Rockmart High wrestling teams were approved to travel for their competition trips in early February7, and the board approved the Rockmart Middle School Beta Club s trip to Orlando, Fla., on May 26 through May 31.
Before adjourning, the board gave back too and awarded Ferst Readers with a check for S2,570 to aid iii their goal of increasing literacy among youth. Tire move came shortly after members Patty Rogers and Betty Nelson spoke as a delegation about the organization and its upcoming fundraiser.
"We want to make sure we continue our support," Atkins said as she brandished the check. "Educators really support FERST Readers. We feel it's very important that we instill literacy' in our children from birth on up and that we continue to support each year."
Volunteers and guests gathered for an unforgettable prom night experience this past Friday night, where the red carpet was rolled out for attendees at the annual "Night to Shine" prom held at Second Baptist Church of Cedartown.
Created and sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, the 2019 event was hosted in 655 churches worldwide to celebrate over 100,000 individuals over the age of 14 who have special needs. Events all over the world were hosted on the same night of February 8.
The local event has been put on by New Hope Fellowship Church in Cedartown for the past four years, giving attendees a chance to walk in the spotlight.
Volunteers welcomed the guests into the building before they were then introduced to their "Buddy," or date, for the night.
Each Buddy escorted their guest to numerous rooms filled with royal treatment and entertainment.
The guests all received preparation for the dance, including hair styling, makeup, and shoe shines, and were presented with a crown or tiara before walking down the red carpet to the fun-filled night of events.
Entertainment was offered aside from the dance floor and DJ, including limo and party bus rides, a magic show, a clown, arts and crafts, karaoke, and a room full of dogs.
All guests and their dates were also professionally photographed in order to have a keepsake from the event.
Rockmart High School student L.J. Pace was one of many who volunteered as a Buddy.
"Being able to make someone's royal dream a reality is amazing," Pace said.
"Seeing an event where the most underserved people are being served is heartwarming," Pace added. "The smiles, hugs, and kisses are evidence that you have given the guest one of the greatest nights of their life. I was able to make a special connection with my Buddy through sign language. I believe I've made a lifelong friend."
Many volunteers were needed to make the large event a success for the number of guests.
"Tonight was the largest event we've had," assistant director Ronni Heard said.
She added that the Feb. 8 event hosted approximately 140 guests and 550 volunteers inside the Cedartown church.
Within the large group of volunteers, many committees are formed in order to make sure all roles and responsibilities are taken care of.
Rockmart and Cedartown High School teacher Brigitte Tillery has the position of "Buddy Coordinator," and works to ensure each guest is perfectly matched with a volunteer Buddy.
"It's so near and dear to my heart because I teach many of the high school students who volunteer as Buddies," Tillery said. "It is so rewarding to me to watch my students interact with the guests in the way that they do. Some of them build life-long relationships."
Director Mark Watters shed praise on the large volunteer base, and added that the number of volunteers grows each year.
"It takes every volunteer from the ones who open the car doors and park the cars to the ones who take the trash out and clean up at the end of the night," director Mark Watters said.
Numerous trained safety and medical groups were present, and the Army National Guard even made a visit to volunteer.
Watters said that volunteers worked from Sunday afternoon after the church's last service until Friday right before the event to have everything set up and ready for the guests to arrive. He added that the church would be back to normal by Saturday night.
"This community is amazing," Watters said. "Not only do they support us with volunteers, but they also provide all of the funds to put this event on."
Local fundraisers were held leading up to the event, including several Chick-fil-A Spirit Nights in Rockmart to raise the amount of money needed, which last year totaled to $8,000 in costs.
"But it costs the guests absolutely nothing," Watters said. He added that dresses and formal wear are provided through donations if needed.
Many even travel from surrounding counties to volunteer and experience the life-changing event.
Since Heard is a student at Jacksonville State University, she spread the word of the event to friends on campus.
Eighteen JSU football players showed up as volunteers during the Friday night, with most of them being Buddies for the guests.
"We had a good group this year," Watters said. "We couldn't have asked for a better night, and I hope next year is even better."
For those interested in becoming involved, look for updates on the organization's Facebook page, Night To Shine New Hope Fellowship, or visit https://www.timtebowfoundation.org/ministries/night-to-shine to find more events in surrounding areas.
The Super Bowl has come and gone, and as people packed up and headed out from Atlanta the following Monday morning from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport with smiles on their faces if they were Patriots fans, and maybe not so happy if they liked the Rams.
As they passed by the gift shops the opportunity was there for the fans to leave with a memento not just of the big game, but of Cedartown as well.
Cedarstream cranked up their presses around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday night, Feb. 3 to complete the order for the first batch of New England Patriots t-shirts for sale today in the airport, and more are to come in the aftermath of the 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
Jamie Morris, co-owner of the company with his wife Darcy, said they'd already completed an order over the past two weeks to ensure fans could buy t-shirts on game day at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta during the Super Bowl showdown. Those shirts featured both the Rams and the Patriots.
He said the work was just one of many big jobs coming for Cedarstream, who completed their move during recent weeks from their former home on Main Street in downtown Cedartown to their new spacious home in the city's Northside Industrial Park off of the Highway 27 bypass.
"And we've got plenty more room to grow," Darcy Morris said.
Their buildings on Main Street are set to be re-purposed for other ideas for growth the Morris family has, but aren't yet ready to announce plans. They also operate the Cedartown Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia.
The Morris's will hold an official grand opening of the new Cedarstream facility later in the year.
A cold case from city hall was solved as the longtime career of Rockmart Police Chief Keith Sorrells came to a close as February got underway.
Rockmart's Stacey Smith, the head of Community Development, gave out the details during a retirement party for the now former Chief of a long lost cooler that went missing for years from a community event many years before.
"For years he has falsely accused me of taking the cooler," Smith joked.
An "investigation" into the missing cooler wrapped up with it being delivered back to its rightful owner on Feb. 5, and the city provided another new cooler for his golden years to come as Sorrells called it quits. They also gave him and his wife money for a trip to enjoy now that he's able to without interruption.
His official duties ended just as the party honoring his long service to the community got underway as city hall closed at 5 p.m.
Sorrells offered up thanks to those who provided him with their well wishes and honors.
"The city went overboard, I expected nothing like that," Sorrells said. "I was shocked at the number of people there, and I appreciate everyone who came."
Chief Randy Turner, who took over for Sorrells as his final day came to a close, thanked the now-retired leader for being a mentor during Turner's tenure as Assistant Chief and prepared for the new leadership role, and also for all those he helped and lives he touched over a long career in law enforcement.
"Everybody who came in contact with him has something positive to say about him," Turner said during a presentation from the police department staff. "I hope I was able to get part of that in the last year and a half."
Mayor Steve Miller said that he was always grateful to know that Sorrells was in charge of the department during his tenure, and that he was glad to have Sorrells as a longtime friend and colleague.
"I have rested at night these past 10 years knowing that we had someone at the helm of our police department that will help keep us safe," Miller said. "Not just Keith, but the officers who have served under him as well."
"It's bittersweet in saying that you're leaving us as of today, but you're not leaving our community at all," Miller added.
Though he might travel some, Sorrells' deep roots in the community will stay firmly in place. A graduate of Rockmart High School, Sorrells began his career in public safety in 1974 as a radio operator for the City of Cedartown, and then a year later took a job with the City of Rockmart in the same position, and also as a firefighter.
Sorrells was sworn into duty with the Rockmart Police Department in April 1975, and went on to Floyd College's regional police academy in 1976. A year later, Sorrells switched uniforms and went to work for the Georgia State Patrol.
His career with the state's police arm landed him in executive security for several governors during the late 1970s and 1980s, which also gave him the opportunity to train with the U.S. Secret Service.
Sorrells also organized security during the 1980s for visiting governors, carried the Olympic Torch in 1996, and headed up security for Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. He served on the National Governors Security Association in several roles including its President in the late 1990s, and represented the Georgia State Patrol on the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund from 2003 to 2008.
Sorrells retired from the Georgia State Patrol in December 2007. After more than a year out of law enforcement, Miller said that he and City Manager Jeff Ellis asked Sorrells to come back to work in 2009 as Chief, and he was instrumental in developing the department's new station at city hall. Miller said Sorrells also undertook the Christmas is for Kids program locally during his tenure.
Sorrells is also a member of Oak Hill Church of Christ in Rome, where he serves as a deacon.
During his 43 year career in law enforcement, Sorrells said he had plenty to be thankful for and cherishes the experiences he had with many fellow officers. Among those he said were some of his favorite years were service as Troop A commander for Northwest Georgia in the GSP, and long relationships with governors during his time in executive security details.
Locally, he said that major upgrades in everyday safety equipment and vehicles for officers rank among his accomplishments in his decade-long tenure as police chief.
Sorrells pointed toward the upgrade of side arms, the addition of tasers, and a take home car finally implemented in the past two years being some of what he undertook in his time, along with the move of the police station as areas that will have long lasting positive impacts for Rockmart officers in the future.
The Mayor and Council passed a resolution honoring Sorrells for his long career, along with several other gifts and honors from the city and community.
Now that he's retired, what will Sorrells do next?
"That's the 100,000 question I guess" he replied.
But he and his wife are sure to visit family members they've not gotten to see on a regular basis, and he has some relatives who he also wants to see as well. He also plans to spend more time with his grandchildren and being more involved in their lives, as well as his church.
"One of my goals this year, and I've already started checking into it is to go to the Women's Fast Pitch Softball World Series at the end of May," Sorrells said of at least one specific plan for his near future.
Either way, he wants to continue his involvement in Rockmart no matter what.
"If the good lord is willing, this is always going to be home for me," Sorrells said. "I'm retired, but I'm still concerned about this community, that department and the city."
Anyone who is a member of the homeschooling community but also wants to take part in 4-H can stop by Camp Antioch this afternoon at 1 p.m. to see how their students 9 and up can take part in the organization and its programs. Ricky Ensley, Polk County Extension Agent, along with 4-H Program Assistants will be sharing information about how homeschoolers can take advantage of all the opportunities that the club has to offer. Camp Antioch hopes to host a 4-H Club for these students to be part of in the very near future, as well offering a welcome and meeting space to all 4-H groups as part of their student outreach. Contact 770-749-2242 for more information about 4-H programs.
Ferst Readers of Polk County will hold its annual Afternoon with the Authors on Sunday, Feb. 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. at In The Woods in Rockmart. We welcome donations throughout the year to fund the over 1,100 children in Polk County who receive free books each month. Ferst Readers is dedicated to early childhood literacy, mailing books to children ages birth to their fifth birthday.
On Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 9 a.m., the Polk County Republican Party will convene Precinct Mass Meetings to elect Delegates and Alternates to the Polk County Republican Party Convention at the Cherokee Country Club, 150 Club Drive in Cedartown.
Registration will begin at 8 a.m. The convention will start at 10 a.m., and costs are $10. Contact Dr. Marc Wall at 770-749-0420 about the upcoming convention and monthly meetings of the party.
Sign up now to take part in the forthcoming Chamber-sponsored Lunch and Learn series, coming up again on Friday, March 8. The bi-monthly classes provided by Chick-fil-A of Rockmart owner Zach Thomas gives people the opportunity to learn how Chick-fil-A promotes servant leadership at all levels of the company and in life. Visit polkgeorgia.com to learn more, or call 770-684-5686 to register today! Costs for the class include lunch.
Mark calendars now for fun during springtime in Cedartown. The Cedartown Junior Service league has their community Easter Egg hunt planned for Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 2 p.m. at Peek Park. Check back for more information about the event in March as it draws closer here in the pages of the Standard Journal.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 please call Robin Forston at 404-895-6517 or email robin. email@example.com or call 1-877-210-KIDS. Visit www.fostergeorgia.com for more information.
The Polk County Democratic Committee Meets on the second Saturday of every month at 9:30 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, 609 Main St., Cedartown, GA 30125.
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 e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com or call 706-506-0649.
Need help with the bills during the winter, and are a senior? Tallatoona CAP will begin accepting appointments for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for Senior Households 65 & older and Homebound Households. Appointments for the General Public will be accepted beginning in December. Appointments are provided on a first come first served basis until funds are exhausted. Polk County residents who qualify will receive either $310.00 or $350.00 toward their heating bill (heating source). To schedule an appointment or to request a homebound appointment, visit our website at www.tallatoonacap.org and click BookNow, or call 770-817-4666.
Belles of the Ball are bringing the chance for girls in need to have a chance to get a free prom dress for the forthcoming season. The organization is holding their first of two events in Carrollton at the University of West Georgia this Saturday, February 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A second event will be held in Atlanta on March 16 at the Atlanta YMCA off Pryor Road. The group's inventory includes more than 500 dresses, and DJs, food, vouchers for free hair styling and more are part of the fun. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Victory Baptist Church's Bread of Life Food Pantry is now open. One bag of nonperishable food, five items to pick from produce, eggs and milk and two items from frozen meats, breads and others will be available. ID is required. Limit of two IDs per address. Regular hours are Mondays, 1 to 3 p.m.; Tuesdays, 5 to 7 p.m.; and Thursdays, 8 to 10 a.m.
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.
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.
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, e-mail email@example.com, or visit Justusministries.com.
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.
A Pinto Bean fundraiser is coming up on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Live Oak Baptist Church in Aragon from 5 to 7 p.m. to help raise funds for the church's part in Operation Christmas Child's shoebox ministry to cover shipping costs. Pastor Anthony Osborn and the congregation invite everyone to come turn by Burton's Store on Live Oak Road and take part in the meal that includes pintos, limas, and navy beans plus cornbread, fried potatoes, slaw, onion and desserts.
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.
The Gold City Quartet is coming to the First Baptist Church of Cedartown for an evening concert on Sunday, February 17 at 6 p.m. a love offering is being taken up, but it is free to attend. Come join in a night of gospel at First Baptist Church of Cedartown, located at 101 N College St. Contact the church at 770-748-3120 for more information.
Rockmart First United Methodist Church invites the community to come out and join in worship on Sundays and Wednesdays at the church located at 135 W. Church St. Sunday morning worship begins with Bible study at 9:45 a.m., followed by Sunday school at 10 a.m. for all ages, and an 11 a.m. worship service. Wednesday night includes at 5 p.m. community meal on the last Wednesday of every month, 6 p.m. Bible study and choir practice at 7 p.m. Weekly children's events at the church include a 5:45 p.m. children and youth meal, 6:15 Children's music and MYF, followed by L.I.F.E. at 6:54 p.m. All are invited to join in. Call Rev. Martha Dye at 770-684-6251or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org 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.