The qualifying period is over, and this year residents in the cities and those voting for the school board race in Rockmart will get to see some political newcomers in the race, while at least two incumbents have decided they're stepping down from their seats at year's end.
The ballots are set for the 2017 municipal elections coming up in November, when residents in Aragon, Cedartown and Rockmart will head to the polls to decide on city council and city commission seats, along with a special election to officially fill a school board seat.
In the Board of Education race, the interim District 6 member Judy Wiggins will seek to keep her spot after being appointed to the job in replacing Hal Floyd, who stepped down from his seat to avoid an issue with nepotism rules.
Wiggins, a longtime educator and administrator in the Polk School District, comes into the role with 33 years of overall experience.
Prior to getting the seat on the school board, Wiggins had filled in as a interim principal at several schools in the Polk School District following her retirement.
She'll face two challengers in the race in her temporary incumbency as a Rockmart-area school board member.
Chris Culver, a local business owner who lives in the district, decided he wanted to run for the board as a political newcomer. He said that with his own children and many nieces and nephews in the system, he's well versed in the issues of the school board and seeks a chance to make an impact from the other side.
Also joining the race for school board this year is Carolyn Williams, who was the third and final candidate to enter the November special election. Municipal elections have also drawn political newcomers in Aragon, a trio of which are in the race along with a recent incumbent for seats.
Local landscaping business owner Kelsey Collum, who took over the seat for Duel Mitchell after his resignation at the beginning of the year, seeks to keep his seat on the Aragon City Council in the coming months.
Several others joined the race later in the week when incumbent council member Hunter Spinks announced on Facebook on Aug. 22 he wouldn't seek re-election this year. Spinks was up for the seat formerly held by Kevin Prewitt, who left the city in June 2016 to move to Cartersville. He had previously sat on the council but decided not to run after his seat expired in 2015.
The trio new candidates who are vying for the seat held by Spinks through the end of 2017 and for one left open when Tammy Mulkey resigned from her council seat in May are Judson Fee, owner of Gracie Trucking Company, along with, Amy Causey and Linda Hilburn.
More will be forthcoming about their candidacy in the Sept. 6 edition. Meanwhile in municipal elections in Cedartown, one political newcomer has joined in the political campaign while a longtime commissioner will not be seeking a new term.
Jessica Payton, a neuromuscular therapist who owns Balanced Movement in Rome and lives in Cedartown, said that her goal in running for the City Commission is to both do her best to help move the mission of the current board forward into the future, and to help better inform citizens in the community how they can better achieve the changes they want to see in the city in the near term.
Joining her in the race are incumbents Matt Foster and Jordan Hubbard, both who qualified for their seats early in the week to retain their positions on the city commission. Foster, a Northside Elementary teacher and Hubbard, a local business owner and Rockmart High School dual enrollment history teacher, are both seeking second terms on the commission.
Also in the race for the at-large seats is Patrick McNally, who joined in late last week before qualifying ended.
McNally, who has run for the commission twice before and failed to get in office, is seeking his latest run for office as one longtime commissioner plans to end his term in 2017.
Incumbent Larry Odom, who in 2016 served as chair for the city commission, decided not to qualify for the coming election. The Standard Journal tried to contact Odom several times for comment but were unsuccessful in reaching him.
The set of council races in Rockmart meanwhile will go uncontested for the coming year, with no candidates deciding to step up against council members Lucille Harris, Joe Hederson and Sherman Ross on this year's ballot.
Editor Kevin Myrick contributed to this report.
A big investment is being made by an international company to add jobs, improve their equipment and upgrade facilities at a Rockmart plant according to a release from Gov. Nathan Deal's office last week.
Meggitt Polymers and Composites announced through Deal's office that they plan to spend $30 million in the coming years and add 211 new employees to their plant in Rockmart, located at the old home of Goodyear Rubber and Tire.
"Georgia values Meggitt's steadfast commitment to creating jobs and investing in Polk County," said Deal. "Meggitt's decision to expand its workforce is a reflection of Georgia's ability to retain dynamic manufacturing companies with our business-friendly environment and highly skilled workforce. We are looking forward to growing our relationship with Meggitt and seeing the company continue to succeed here in Georgia."
One of Polk County's largest employers with more than 1,000 people working within its facility on Goodyear Street, Meggitt will mainly be investing in workforce and equipment with the upcoming spending the company plans to undertake according to Missy Kendrick, the President of the Development Authority of Polk County. Meggitt's business is specifically focused on the design and manufacture of military and commercial aircraft fuel tanks, fuel systems and advanced composite structures, including radomes for in-flight satellite communications.
"As Meggitt Polymers and Composites continues to grow globally, we will also continue to expand here in Rockmart, Georgia," said David Horner, president of Meggitt Polymers and Composites. "I would like to thank Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Department of Economic Development for all their hard work and collaboration. The state of Georgia is the perfect environment for us to accelerate our business growth and create more jobs in the near future."
The news was especially good for Rockmart, who has already seen a number of local investments so far this year.
JCG Farm's Feed Mill was another multi-million dollar investment for the city after it's demolition late in 2016 following an explosion, along with the addition of new restaurants and stores going up along Nathan Dean Parkway getting close to opening.
So for the city, it marked just another sign of economic growth continuing for the community.
He said in the release from the Governor's office last week that the move is one that the entire city appreciates, since the investment will bring new jobs in a variety of fields to the city, and hopefully impact the local economy in other ways as those new employees live and spend in Rockmart.
"We are thankful for their continued support and trust in our community over the years and we extend our welcome once again and for many years into the future," Rockmart City Manager Jeff Ellis said. "Together we will continue to grow and prosper. We thank them for believing in us as much as we do them."
Last week's announcement was additional good news for expansion in Polk County, which has included in past weeks the additional investments being made by The HON Company, and on the same day, Cedarstream.
Kendrick said the investment by Meggitt is just more proof that existing industries are continuing to make positive impacts on the community, and that their growth is good for all as other industries in Polk County decide on what their economic futures hold.
"The Development Authority of Polk County works hard to support our existing industries and help them create jobs and capital investment in Polk County," said Kendrick. "We value Meggitt's presence in our community and we are pleased that they have chosen to expand in Rockmart. We stand ready to assist them as they continue to grow."
More information is expected from Deal's office in the coming weeks about the Meggitt announcement, Kendrick said.
Formerly in the home of Goodyear Rubber and Tire, where Macy's Day parade balloons were made at one point, the plant was taken over by Engineered Fabrics Corporation in the late 1980s and eventually the plant was taken over by Meggitt in the early 2000s.
The company has contracts with a number of military and civilian aerospace companies, along with the U.S. Air Force, among others.
'We are thankful for their continued support and trust in our community over the years and we extend our welcome once again and for many years into the future. Together we will continue to grow and prosper. We thank them for believing in us as much as we do them.'
Rockmart city manager
Festivities are ongoing this week at Cedartown High School and wrap up on Friday night with the crowning of a queen for 2017 for the annual celebration of Homecoming for the Bulldogs.
Though technically Cedartown's football team hasn't been on the road yet this year in the regular season, they are getting the game in early on this year's schedule to keep it from conflicting with region play later on in the year.
Cedartown will host Gilmer County on the gridiron for this year's homecoming game, but before the players take the field there's plenty more activities to keep fans interested.
On Friday, the homecoming court will have an official presentation at a pep rally event in the gym, followed later in the afternoon by the annual homecoming parade set for 2 p.m. down Main Street in Cedartown.
Participants for the parade were expected to have their entries in at the beginning of the week to be able to enter the parade lineup.
This year's court is made up of six seniors: Rhonda Bevel, Sarai Diaz, Katrina Harris, Chloe Lee, Hannah Marchbanks and Yovanka Pineda.
Junior court members include Madison Coffin, Hayley Moore, Nicole Porter and Shae Smith, along with sophomore court members Leslie Cervantes, Gisselle Guzman, Lacy Smith and Jayla To and freshmen court members Ava Allred, Farleigh Glen, Emily Haney and Reagan Peek.
An official presentation of the court and announcement of the 2017 queen will be completed during halftime of Friday's game.
Check in the upcoming edition of the Standard Journal to learn who won this year's title.
A big idea born inside of a small office in downtown Cedartown has grown rapidly, yet with sharp prudence, over the past three decades.
What went from a husband and wife duo of creating, inspecting, folding, and packing each product by hand has now morphed into a team of 46 specialized employees, with modern technology streamlining the process. But this isn't the end of the story. A new chapter will be written in the coming years as hometown entrepreneurs Jamie and Darcy Morris grow their "big idea" again.
And this time, the sky's the limit.
After 30 years, the Cedar stream Co. is announcing that they'll be growing in the coming years and are making a move from their current headquarters in downtown Cedartown into a facility more tailored to their needs and future growth.
Increasing demand for the variety of printed products that Cedarstream produces has prompted the growth, which the Morris family has taken in ever-increasing steps.
Last year, they added sign printing capabilities with large new printers moved into the business. They already printed t-shirts, have gotten into car graphics, and much more.
Cedarstream needs more room to grow, and so it's time to find a bigger area to accommodate the equipment and employees that will make expanding their printing business possible.
The company's headquarters, located at 225 N. Main Street Cedartown, will be moving in 2018 to a new facility in the business park located just off the Highway 27 bypass near Cedartown Middle School.
A rendering of the design presented with news of the company's plan to move to a new home in Cedartown shows off what the Morris family business will be moving into next year. It features a modern glass front that frames the 38,800 squarefoot building — a far cry from the cramped office space where it all began back when the company was first established in 1987.
"When Darcy and I started this business, we started in a little hole-in-the-wall office in the 400 block of downtown Cedartown. We did everything. I would print the shirts and Darcy would inspect my work. She wouldn't mind chewing me out if it looked the least bit crooked," he laughed.
Later, the company moved from there into the current location that shares a store front with a few other local businesses plus an impressive Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia — which is another Morris family venture, spearheaded by their son, Daniel. Cedarstream also has another storefront in Rome.
Another reason for the location change: consolidation.
"We really needed to have everything under one roof. This new facility will do that, plus give us even more room to use in the future," Jamie Morris said.
The decision to relocate came to a head this year as Darcy Morris explains.
"We had gotten to the point where we had to turn away business. We just can't continue to do that. Everyone wants their products fast and the move will alleviate those logistics issues, as well as pave the way for the next 30 years," she said.
Along with the move comes new jobs — something that everyone likes to hear — and an investment of $4.5 million dollars into the local economy.
"We're confident that we will be able to add 15 new jobs to the market fairly soon. We're already interviewing and hiring and getting them trained so we're ready to run," Jamie Morris said. "It is a substantial investment in jobs and in our community."
They are no strangers to adding to the local economy. Just last year, the family opened up the Cedartown Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia in part of the former bottling plant next door to their facility. It celebrated it's first anniversary back in June, which has drawn thousands of visitors to downtown so far.
For full disclosure, part of the Standard Journal offices are located in the Coca-Cola building, and the Morris family own the space.
When Cedartown City Commissioner Matt Foster considers local entrepreneurs that have put Cedartown on the map, Jamie and Darcy Morris immediately come to his mind.
"Over the past three decades, through both Internet booms and global recessions, they consistently invested in Cedartown, adapting their business plan to multinational markets, and they continue to find success. In this move and expansion, they are growing their company while continuing to invest and create even more jobs in Cedartown," Foster said. "I am grateful for Jamie and Darcy's local commitment, and I'm extremely excited for this new chapter in Cedarstream's history."
But now that the big news is out, another question remains: What's going to happen to the current facility?
Jamie Morris is quick to point out that vacancy is not an option.
"Plans are already under way to redevelop the buildings that we will be moving from. We have some great ideas that we're not quite ready to announce yet."
One thing that the Morris' do want everyone to know is that they appreciate local support.
Though they are a nationwide business, Jamie Morris says that he never wants to see someon e walking a rou nd Cedartown in a shirt he didn't print. He says that with a slight grin, but the local entrepreneur side of him is strictly serious about that statement.
"We are very fortunate to be where we are. That could not have happened without local support. This town is wonderful to me, my family, my business. We've had to extend our business reach across the U.S., but that does not mean that we aren't truly grateful for hometown business," he said.
Cedarstream is known nationally as the company that "prints America" and locally as the friendly, family-owned business that prints any type of shirt imaginable — from Little League jerseys to special fundraisers.
The company is known for their screen printing on shirts, but they do so much more than that.
"Anything that can be printed on, we can do," said Jamie Morris. "Tshirts of course, but cups, hats, watches, insignia rings, any type of promotional item. We provide embroidery services and we've recently added a sign shop that handles everything from political yard signs to vehicle wraps."
They are a company that has not only changed with the times, but embraced that change as technology, capabilities and work orders increased.
Marietta Street United Methodist Church is hosting its annual anniversary celebration through music on Sept. 16 at 6 p.m., followed by a special sermon on Sept. 17 with the Rev. Vincent Dortch of Antioch Baptist Church in Carrollton as the guest speaker. The church will then hold a revival from Sept. 18 through Sept. 20, 7 p.m. nightly with a theme for the week of "Revive the Passion!" The public is invited to the fiveday event at the church on Robert L. Parks Boulevard, Cedartown. For more information call Annie Vaughn at 770-748-4200.
Golfers get ready to tee off this fall for the first ever CASA of Polk and Haralson County golf tournament. The upcoming fundraiser will be Sept. 22 at the new Cedar Valley Country Club next to Petro's in Cedartown at 1811 Buchanan Highway. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast available to players, and a tee time at 9 a.m. Prizes and a complimentary lunch are included. There's also a Hole in One for a new car prize being sponsored by Hardy Chevrolet Buick and GMC. Call Brett Hunter at 256-239-7882 for more information. Cost is $100 per player, $400 for a four-person team.
Please join in the festivities coming up for the Cedartown High School Class of 1977's 40-year reunion coming up on Saturday, Oct. 21. Please visit the reunion's website www.chs1977reunion.com for registration and details, or contact Patty D. Tillery at 770-748-9038. Planning meetings are coming up on Sept. 12 and Oct. 3 for those interested in participating at 6:30 p.m. each night at The Avenue restaurant on East Avenue in Cedartown.
The Sit n' Stitch crafters group will resume on Wednesday, Sept. 6, in the Fellowship hall of Rockmart First United Methodist Church from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The group will meet each Wednesday except the last Wednesday of the month. Bring a sack lunch, a project of your own, or help out with a mission project and enjoy fellowship with other crafters. No special skills are required. For more information, contact Madeline Brown at 678-435-5032.
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.
The Harrell-Weaver reunion is coming up on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Bellview Baptist Chruch in Rockmart from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring enough food for you and your family plus some to share. Email Shelia.Stanczak@spsx.com for more information.
The annual Bicycle Ride Across Georgia will be making a stop once again in Polk County at Skydive Spaceland off Grady Road during their annual U.S. Bicycle Route 21 event. The ride is begins in Chattanooga on Sept. 29 and continues until Oct. 1 where it will end in Atlanta. Riders will be at Skydive Spaceland on Sept. 30 after coming from Summerville, and evening entertainment is scheduled as well. Check out brag.org for more information.
The next spaghetti dinner at American Legion Post 12 will be on Wednesday, Sept. 20. Meal of spaghetti, meatballs, garlic toast and salad, $5 for all-you-can-eat. Served from 5 to 7 p.m.. Trivia with Tom and Betty starts at 6. Come join us for some fun and a great, inexpensive meal.
Check out the Throttle Jockeys Fourth Friday Cruise-in monthly — weather permitting — in front of Polk County Courthouse No. 2 parking on Prior Street in Cedartown from 5 to 9 p.m.
Polk Family Night at State Mutual Stadium for the Rome Braves is coming up on Sept. 2 as the Braves face off against the Columbia Fireflies. Get tickets by calling the Chamber at 770-684-8760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more on how to take part.
Ferst Foundation Community Action Team meets the first Monday of the month at 5 p.m., alternately in Cedartown and Rockmart. Call 404-862-1273 for the meeting location. Find out more about how to help improve childhood literacy in Polk County at ferstfoundation.org.
Rockmart's annual Riverwalk Festival on the Euharlee is coming up in Oct. 21. Visit rockmart-ga.gov for more information about how to sign up to become a vendor and to participate in festivities.
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 later this month.
Get ready now for the annual Labor Day Bike Ride on the Silver Comet Trail in Cedartown. It'll start at the Cedartown Welcome Center in the Depot and run along the Silver Comet Trail following an 8 a.m. registration on Monday morning, Sept. 4. Call the Cedartown Welcome Center at 770-748-2090 for more information about the bike ride and how to participate, or email email@example.com.
The 43rd annual Flea Market at the Cedartown First United Methodist Church is coming up on Labor Day weekend! Mark calendars now for Friday, Sept. 1, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 2, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Don't miss a chance at getting housewares, furniture, clothes, toys, books and more.
The next West Georgia Spay/Neuter Clinic is coming to the Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society on Wednesday, Sept. 6. 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 first pickup date for the coming month is Sept. 27.
Vendor applications are out now for the annual Cedartown Fall Festival being held on Saturday, Oct. 7, on Main Street. Festivities begin with the 10 a.m. Shriner's parade, a dog contest at 11 a.m. and live entertainment throughout he day. Those interested in a vendor space can contact Ramona Ruark at the Cedartown Welcome Center at 770-748-2090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Join the Church of God of the Union Assembly, 32 Prospect Road, Rockmart, for praise and worship weekly. The church welcomes anyone to come and worship regularly on Sundays and Wednesdays as well. Praise and youth services are held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday nights, and services start at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday following Sunday School at 9:45 a.m. Call Pastor Jesse Starnes at 678-757-4572 for more information.
The Polk County Beekeepers meets the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at the Cedartown Library, 245 East Ave. Whether you are an experienced beekeeper, new beekeeper or want to learn all are welcome. For more information email email@example.com or visit tinyurl.com/polkbees.
Get ready for the Polk County Fair organized by the Cedartown Exchange Club annually to help raise funds for the club to donate to local organizations. This year's fair is scheduled from Tuesday, Sept. 12, through Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Polk County Fairgrounds; 5-10 p.m. nightly Tuesday through Thursday, and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Check back for more information in coming editions.
The Polk County Extension Service's annual twice-weekly vegetable market has begun. Find 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 Road. 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 non-perishable food, five items to pick from produce, eggs and milk and two items from frozen meats, breads and others will be available. ID is required. Limit of two IDs per address. Regular hours 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 County Division of Family and Children Services office, located at 100 County Loop Road 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 email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-210-KIDS. Visit www.fostergeorgia.com for more information.
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., on Monday nights with dinner at 6 p.m. A large group gathers at 7 p.m., and small share group gathers at 8 p.m.
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 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 information, contact email@example.com or call 706-506-0649.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-506-0649.
All Carroll EMC offices will close Thursday, August 31 at 12 noon. 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-OUTAGE (1-877-968-8243) or report it online or via the mobile app.
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 for more today. visit the Narconon website at DrugAbuseSolution.com.