Officials from the Georgia Department of Transportation were joined by several from the City of Cedartown as well as the public came out to hear from officials themselves on plans for replacing the bridge on North Main Street.
It's still several years away from the start of construction, but the goal of the session was to start a process of figuring out the best way to detour around the construction, yet also allow access to local businesses for customers long acquainted with filling a prescription at Bradford Drugs on one side of the construction, or grabbing a pie at Pizza Hut on the other when the project starts.
Officials at the meeting from GDOT reported the replacement project isn't in their budget until the 2023 cycle, giving the city and state four years of planning and staging the bridge replacement ahead.
The proposed plans call for a whole new structure in place of the existing bridge over the Cedar Creek Tributary known as Skeeter Creek with a new structure and new roadway approaches. This bridge was built in 1938 and widened in 1949.
It is classified as having an unknown foundation. Due to the age of the bridge and its current conditions, it has been recommended for replacement by GDOT in a report posted on their website. The proposed mainline would consist of two 11-foot travel lanes, one 14-foot center turn lane with curb and gutter, and sidewalks.
It is anticipated the bridge will be closed to traffic and reconstructed in the existing location with an offsite detour. They additionally showed off their updated detour proposal as part of the session, held more as a meet and greet than a true town hall.
GDOT had a court reporter on hand to take down verbal comments, and also gave opportunity to also take written comments at the event but gave no formal presentation during the evening event to allow for more casual explanations of the project and for those curious about plans to peruse information at their own pace.
They are also taking additional public comments online at www.dot.ga.gov/PS/Public/PublicOutreach. Some navigation to the project, listed under Polk County and "SR1BU/US 27 over Cedar Creek Trib/Skeeter Branch will be required to find the comment link and leave thoughts about the proposal for GDOT to review and record.
Additionally, those willing can submit written statements concerning this project until Thursday, July 11, 2019.
Submit those to Mr. Eric Duff, State Environmental Administrator, Georgia Department of Transportation Office of Environmental Services at 600 West Peachtree Street, N.W. – 16th Floor, Atlanta, Ga., 30308.
Proposal documents online state the bridge is in fair condition overall and the deck in good condition, but the 81-year-old structure was built with a "H-15 vehicle, which is below current design standards."
GDOT is also planning to replace a section of the roadway north and south that will lead up to the new structure, starting 400 feet southwest of the Vance Avenue intersection and ending 260 northeast of the intersection with West Girard Avenue.
"Due to the age of the structure, structural integrity of the bridge pertaining to the design vehicle, and the unknown foundation of the substructure, replacement of this bridge is recommended," the report stated.
With all that in mind, GDOT will also have to work out how to handle currently buried utility lines and power poles near the structure. Those include gas, fiber optic lines for internet service, lines from AT&T, water and sewer from the City of Cedartown and Georgia Power electrical distribution lines.
The report stated that of two options available for the bridge's replacement, they are going with the $2.1 million cost and 12 month construction timetable.
Right now, the proposed detour route would take most traffic away from downtown Cedartown and out on the Highway 27 bypass. Additional routes on College Street are also available as a possibility for local residents or visitors heading downtown.
This week marks the celebration of the nation's independence, and the extravaganza of fireworks, barbecues and more started over the weekend with fun in and around Polk County.
But the local fireworks won't be popping until later in the month when the annual Homespun 2019 wraps up on Saturday, July 20. So where's someone to go when they want to watch the spectacle of the bombs bursting in air?
Here's a quick rundown of where to go today and tomorrow around Polk County:
In Rome tonight:
The free Independence Day celebration in Rome — Patriotic Party in the Park — is scheduled from noon to 11 p.m. today, July 3, in Ridge Ferry Park.
The Armuchee Ruritan Car Show, food vendors and inflatables area will open first. Craft vendors will be set up by 3 p.m. and registration for the games starts at 4 p.m. The hula hoop and cornhole contests begin at 5:30 p.m.
After the inflatables area closes at 6:30 p.m., the
evening's bands will take the stage. Dalton Dover is up first at 7 p.m., followed by T.J. Cochran at 8:20 p.m. and a patriotic program ramps up at 9:30 p.m.
Fireworks are set for 9:50 p.m., with Dover and Cochran closing out the evening in song starting at 10:10 p.m.
"Yes, it's a day early," County Manager Jamie McCord said. "Go see the Rome Braves July 4th and get fireworks two days in a row."
Fourth of July
The Rome Braves meet the Asheville Tourists at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at State Mutual Stadium. The highlight of the night will be an Independence Day celebration and major fireworks show after the game.
Before that, the 34th annual Cave Spring Fourth of July Parade is set for 9 a.m.
"It's a free-for-all. Anyone can join in," Mayor Dennis Shoaf said. "It's truly a grassroots parade."
Line-up is at 8:30 a.m. Motorized vehicles and horses — they must be diapered — meet on Perry Farm Road. Walkers gather at Joe Hill's Lawn Mower Shop at the Old Depot on Alabama Street. The best place to watch is from the Town Square.
Those closer to Cartersville than Rome can enjoy the 4th of July celebration starting in the morning at 9 a.m. in Dellinger Park at 100 Pine Grove Road in Cartersville, and wrapping up at 10:30 p.m. following fireworks.
A parade kicks off the day downtown in the annual event sponsored by the Rotary Club of Etowah, followed by the community-wide event att the park. Admission is free, but parking is $5.
Fireworks won't kick off in Cartersville until after 9 p.m.
Those willing to head eastward can find fun this weekend at the annual IndepenDance at the Pole Barn on Saturday, July 6.
The Taylor Farm Park will play host to the event from 5 to 7 p.m., with a concert featuring the Dallas Martin Band starting after the dancing fun, and fireworks to follow at 9 p.m.
The office of the Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner for the state reported a fire that killed an Aragon man was started by accident.
The agency reported that around midnight Wednesday, June 26, Polk County Fire Department responded to a residential fire at 11 E. Third St. in Aragon. When emergency personnel made their way inside the home, they found the body of Robert Eugene Brinkley, 83, of Aragon.
According to the release, the fire originated in the living room where it is believed the victim was smoking while oxygen was in use.
The home suffered extensive damage from the blaze.
Polk County Coroner Tony Brazier said Brinkley was pronounced dead on the scene by Chief Deputy Coroner Marty Robinson shortly after 2 a.m. last Wednesday.
The intensity of the flames were such that firefighters were unable to make entry into the home and attempt to rescue Brinkley.
They found his body when they were able to contain the
fire and enter what remained of the house.
Brinkley's body was held at Polk County's morgue until it was transported to the GBI Crime Lab for further forensic examination to determine the exact cause of death before his remains were turned back over to the family. At press time, Brazier said he was waiting final results from the crime lab to provide a full report.
Officials said in the release that the residence "was approximately 119 years old and 2,460 square feet at the time of the fire. No smoke detectors were found in the home."
State investigators with the Safety Fire Commissioner's Office assisted the Aragon Police Department, the Rockmart Fire Department and Polk County Volunteer Fire Department with this investigation.
In 2019, Georgia fires have claimed the lives of 42 individuals.
When all is said and done, Cornelius Moore Field will have a full 5,000 feet of runway for planes to fly in and out of Polk County in a project that began last year with an announcement from former Governor Nathan Deal.
More than a year later, the money Deal promised to help Polk and 10 other airport projects around the state is being put to use. Local and state officials gathered with contractors to mark the official start of Polk County's project in a groundbreaking ceremony held on June 25.
The project proposed by the former governor in early 2018 saw Deal coming to Cornelius Moore Field to sign an amended state budget to include some $25 million in funding to go toward the projects around the state.
Polk County's runway extension is set to cost around $8 million, most of that coming from
"We're excited to see what's going to happen with Polk County's economic development and what the future holds for us," Hulsey said. "This project is the combination of federal, state and local funds and all those entities working together to make it happen."
She added that none of it would have been possible without the help of several state officials, including Deal's decision in his final year to earmark money for runway improvements not just in Polk County, but at several others around the state and mainly targeting rural areas.
That sentiment was echoed by State Representative Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown) who spoke about the positive aspects of the project and how it will allow new opportunites to arise locally.
"As we have already seen throughout the community, progress has been made to improve economic development. The extension of the runway here at Cornelius Moore Field will certainly only add to that," Kelley said.
He added that ahead of the ceremony, he spoke with a local business he didn't specifically name at the event and found them excited by the prospect of a longer runway that will accomodate most business-sized jets, like those from Gulfstream or Learjet.
"We have a great story to tell in Polk County, and by allowing new types of transportation to land at our field it allows us to touch down here," he said. "It will open Polk County up to the world and help us better tell our story, and all the progress being made in Polk County."
Kelley added he was also thankful to work with local officials to "get this project done."
"Nothing worth doing is easy," he said. "There has been some not so easy times in this project, but working with our DOT and Governor Deal and his staff, and in continuation with Governor Kemp we've gotten this done."
He did add he appreciated those trying to keep the cost of runway improvements down for local taxpayers as well. He also offered up well wishes from Kemp, who at the time was in South Korea on a economic development mission of his own.
"I know that we will see the benefit of this investment made from our county, our state and the federal government pay of exponentially in the generations to follow after us in Polk County," Kelley said as he closed his remarks.
Additional comments from Georgia Department of Transportation's Carol Comer, the head of the Intermodal division, and an invocation provided by Polk County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jonathan Blackmon.
Bradford Drug and Gifts has been around Cedartown in one form or another for decades, whether it be in their original location downtown on Main Street or where it resides today at the corner of North Main Street and Girard Avenue can mark it as a landmark.
Through all that time, the drug store has seen different owners come and go. For the past 30 years as of Monday after press time for the print edition, Bill Brewster has been that man in charge.
The Cedartown native who came back home took ownership of the store on July 1, 1989, and it remains a decision he was thankful he made.
"I always had a desire to buy a store like this," Brewster said. He added that it was his chance to "get an independent store like this one" and in his
hometown to boot.
Brewster, who grew up in Cedartown until the age of 12 before his family moved to Rome and he went off to school, decided to come back the year he bought the store.
He still employs Dot McCoy, the wife of a previous owner of Bradford from 1964 to 1976, as well as employee Diane McClure for the past 37 years. She was formerly an employee of Hunt's Pharmacy before it merged with Bradford in the mid 1980's.
These days, Bradford has a full and part time staff combined of 22 people who help fill prescriptions and provide advice to customers six days a week.
Started in the early 1900's, Bradford was at one point one of five Main Street pharmacies competing for business in Cedartown. The business moved out to their current home in the late 1950's. Brewster said the pharmacy continues the tradition of providing top notch customer service and making deliveries to customers who have no means to come into the store.
They've added gift items and some home decor alongside their stock of health items over the years as well. Bradford is also works with Good Neighbor Pharmacy to provide online services to customers, including online refill requests at www.mygnp.com/pharmacies/bradford-drugstore-inc-cedartown-ga-30125/
Those who want to stop in and help Brewster celebrate his big day can stop by Monday morning. The pharmacy is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They are closed on Sundays.
Find out more about Bradford Drugs and Gifts by calling 770-748-3100 to inquire about their services.
The Cedartown Farmer's Market has a new location and time for the 2019 season. Market-goers are invited to come out to the corner of Ware and South Main Street in Cedartown starting this past Tuesday, June 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. Contact Five Cedars Farm to participate at 678-246-1216 to learn more about becoming a vendor.
The First Baptist Church of Cedartown is hosting a Patriotic Celebration Worship Service on Sunday, June 30 at 11 a.m. Blessed is the Nation whose God is Lord, and the church plans to live in that spirit as they will recognize servicemen from each branch of the service. Come and be a part of this Patriotic Service!
Summer Fun Day is coming to One Door Polk for local families and youth on Thursday, July 11, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., specifically tailored toward children birth to third grade. Want to volunteer? Contact email@example.com for more information.
Vacation Bible School is coming up at First Baptist Church of Cedartown on July through July 12. This year's theme is "In the Wild." The ending celebration of VBS will be held during Sunday morning services on July 14. Register at fbccedartown.org.
Need to get an item onto the Area Calendar of Events? Email firstname.lastname@example.org today! All items must be in at least two weeks before the event to appear in the Standard Journal on time.
Come enjoy an day in the park with good food and music on July 27 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Seaborn Jones Park where Feed My Sheep Ministry will be holding a Fish Fry to raise funds for their annual Thanksgiving Dinner coming up later this year. Money raised will go toward the purchase of toys and food for the meal. Gospel signing will be part of the day of fun at the Fish Fry. Those interested in helping out can contact Floreace Stocks at 678-719-1981.
Kathy Torres is offering Paint Parties on Tuesday, July 16 and August 27 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. for $20 each, which includes all supplies, at the Rockmart Cultural Arts Center. Have a fun time and take home a painting you made yourself.
RCAC has classes for toddlers, children and adults at the Rockmart Cultural Arts Center in drawing, painting, photography, yoga, chorus, piano, whittling, and pottery. For more information, call 770-684-2707 or email email@example.com
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.
The Rockmart History Museum on South Marble Street in downtown Rockmart is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Saturday 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The Museum welcomes visitors and group tours. Contact Pat Sampson at 678-764-5201 for information. RHM meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month and volunteers are welcome and encouraged to take part.
Interested in becoming a Foster or Adoptive Parent? Open your heart to a child in need and find out how you can help. Join others who seek the love of a child every second Tuesday night of each month at 6 p.m. at Polk County Division of Family and Children Services office, 100 County Loop Road in Cedartown. Information sessions explain what is required to become a foster or adoptive parent in Georgia. For more information call Robin Forston at 404-895-6517 or email robin. 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.
The American Legion in Rockmart is hosting their monthly all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner coming up this Wednesday, July 17. Meal of spaghetti, meatballs, garlic toast and salad, $5. They hold dinners on the third Wednesday of every month. Join the group for a good meal and to support veteran and children's programs. The Legion is located at 1 Veterans Circle, Rockmart.
USAPA Pickelball Ambassador Daneen England is holding a free pickleball clinic every Monday (weather permitting) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rockmart Tennis courts, located at 436 Hogue Avenue, Rockmart. Loaner paddles and all necessary equipment will be on hand to learn t he sport. This is a free event for anyone and they just need to wear comfortable gym clothes and tennis shoes. Contact England at 770-356-1282, or by 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.
Did you know that nationwide the American Red Cross assists 53 people every 60 seconds during personal and local disasters? Our Northwest Georgia Red Cross Chapter serves Polk County. If you'd like to do some meaningful volunteering, please contact Arthene Bressler at 762-231-9896 and visit our website at www.redcross.org/local/georgia.
Save the date: The Boys and Girls Club of NWGA is hosting a Polk County Golf Tournament on Friday, Aug. 16 at 9 a.m. at the Cherokee Golf and Country Club. Find more information at bgcnwga.org or call 706-234-8591.
Do you think you might be pregnant? You can know for sure. Contact Life Matters Outreach today to schedule a free pregnancy test. You have a right to know all the options available to you. We offer free evidencebased education and resources so that you can make a well-informed decision. The services provided at LMO Pregnancy Care Center are free of charge. Clients are treated with respect and unconditional acceptance. We are here to help YOU. Call 770-748-8911 for more information.
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.
Community Share Ministries is hosting "Hope for the Hungry" on the first Tuesday of every month to provide food assistance to the community. They'll be in town again on Tuesday, June 4. Food is provided free of charge, and no identification is required to get help. Those interested can visit Community Share Ministries Cedartown thrift store at 1116 N. Main St., Cedartown.
The Georgia Legal Services Program's Claire Sherburne will be on hand at One Door Polk in Cedartown every fourth Monday to help those in need with free civil legal services to low-income persons. This will include all cases related to housing, employment, education, domestic violence, consumer fraud, wills, healthcare and other issues involved in the legal complications of everyday life. Call 404-206-5175 for more information.
The Polk County Alzheimer's Caregiver Support group will meet monthly on the first Monday at 11 a.m. at Polk Medical Center. Those interested can join for fellowship and lunch in the cafeteria. For more information call John Giglio at 678-246-8188.
Aragon First United Methodist Church offers a food pantry for the community to use if they need assistance. They are open Mondays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and Tuesday mornings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. A picture ID is required to participate. Call 770-684-4855 for more information.
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, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Justusministries.com.
A caregivers support group meets on the second Monday of each month at 11 a.m. at Rockmart Presbyterian Church. Call 770-684-6289 for more information.
Take back your life and get help. Narconon can help you take steps to overcome addiction in your family. Call today for free for screenings or referrals at 1-800-431-1754.
The Rev. Gilbert Richardson and the Ware's Grove Church family of 200 Potash Road, invite everyone to join the Impact Service held each Sunday at 9:45 a.m., followed by regular worship services at 11:15 a.m. Bible class is held Wednesday nights at 7 p.m.
Anna Kresge United Methodist Church invites children, kindergarten age through middle school, to come to Kresge Kids each Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Supper is provided. There is also a high school youth program as well. For more information, call 706-346-3100.
Rockmart First United Methodist Church invites the community to come out and join in worship on Sundays and Wednesdays at the church located at 135 W. Church St. Sunday morning worship begins with Bible study at 9:45 a.m., followed by Sunday school at 10 a.m. for all ages, and an 11 a.m. worship service. Wednesday night includes at 5 p.m. community meal on the last Wednesday of every month, 6 p.m. Bible study and choir practice at 7 p.m. Weekly children's events at the church include a 5:45 p.m. children and youth meal, 6:15 Children's music and MYF, followed by L.I.F.E. at 6:54 p.m. All are invited to join in. Call Rev. Thomas Hall at 706-836-7378 or email email@example.com for more information or questions. The church also updates weekly on their website at rockmartumc.org.