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BOE runoff election pending
• Cedartown voters return incumbents and elect Payton to the City Commission.

The vote is over for most of this year's contested ballot in Polk County. However, there remains a pair of candidates who will be continuing until Dec. 5 for the remaining slot on the Board of Education, when a runoff is planned to decide who will take over the District 6 seat permanently.

The Board of Elections reported that the first Tuesday in December will be the upcoming runoff election day, and only for voters in the School Board's District 6 in the Rockmart area.

Elections officials don't know yet if early voting will be possible due to the short amount of time ahead of the upcoming runoff contest, but are reviewing options with the state.

More information will be forthcoming about the runoff as it becomes available.

In the Nov. 7 special election in Rockmart, Judy Wiggins and Chris Culver drew the most votes. Wiggins drew in 42 percent of the vote and Culver nearly 39 percent, with Carolyn Williams coming in third place with 18 percent of the ballots.

Wiggins, who has been serving in an interim capacity on the board, didn't gain the 50 percent plus 1 vote majority she needed to take the seat outright.

Wiggins will now have to face Culver again in the runoff.

"I was very pleased with the results last night, and I'm excited about the chance to continue to talk to voters in District 6," Wiggins said. "I'm tickled I have some more time to serve on the board, as I have since August. I hope to see a lot of the voters come back out, and I know it is a tiny election, but it is critically important as we finally put someone in the seat to represent district 6 for the school board."

She added that "I really hope I get to continue in this seat and serve the citizens of District 6."

Culver offered his congratulations to both Wiggins and Williams for conducting a tight race and a great campaign.

"It was an exciting night, and the voters turned out. I thought the turnout was great, and we anticipated fewer voters. It shows they are concerned and want to put the right person in office," Culver said. "I've asked my supporters to go back one more time to the polls, to go to work for me one more time so I can go to work for you for the next three years."

He added that "I look forward to another month of working toward getting this position."

The campaign is over for the Cedartown City Commission, with a pair of incumbents and a political newcomer taking the trio of seats that were up in this year's municipal election.

Commissioner Matt Foster said that he was thankful for the voters for giving him a second term in office and to continue on a track of growth in Cedartown.

"The people of Cedartown se the positive progress that has been made and is being made, and in this election, the voters affirmed that our city is on the right course," Foster said. "I am humbled and grateful or their support, and I look forward to continuing to work on their behalf."

Political newcomer Jessica Brewster Payton took third place in the race, garnering more than 28 percent of the vote as a political newcomer to both local politics and now the Cedartown City Commission.

She said that she expects to work hard in the first years to do her best to live up to the voter's wishes for Cedartown.

"I've been excited about the direction Cedartown has been headed the last few years, and I'm grateful that the people of Cedartown have elected me to be a part of the positive progress I already see happening," Payton said.

Commissioner Jordan Hubbard, who along with his business interests also teaches dual enrollment classes at Cedartown and Rockmart High Schools, wasn't immediately available for comment.

Foster took just slightly over 31 percent of the vote in Cedartown, with Hubbard close behind at 29.56 percent and Payton gaining 28.16 percent of the total 1,424 voters. Patrick McNally earned just 11.1 percent of the ballots.

Also gaining a great amount of support locally to extend on in the coming years is the Education-only Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax fund's extension through 2026.

Superintendent Laurie Atkins said that she was "so thrilled the community supported us in the ESPLOST effort."

"We feel this will give us the opportunity to continue our plan to enhance and make instructional programs stronger for our students," Atkins said.

The first work to do as the school system gets ready for another round of construction projects at Cedartown and Rockmart High Schools is to find an architect and construction manager to do the work, and to also put together a bond proposal and sale.

With the list of projects already prioritized, the plans currently are to start with the Fine Arts addition at Cedartown High, and the Agriculture Education addition at Rockmart High, Atkins said.

Much of the work following will be in upgrades and repairs to all of the schools in the system in some capacity, but a lot of the maintenance work will focus on heating and air units at the schools.

The school district plans to fund the various phases of construction through bond sales to be paid back by the SPLOST proceeds, and that those sales will be pending, likely in 2018.


Cedartown man killed at home
• Police charge Kevin Millsap, 55, of Lindale with murder.

A Lindale man remained in jail without bond on felony murder and other charges after he was accused of killing a Cedartown man in his home during an argument where the victim was shot through the wall into another room, according to local officials.

Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd reported that Kevin B. Millsap, 55, of 77 Pullen Road, Lindale was jailed last week for felony murder, aggravated assault and tampering with evidence, along with misdemeanors for pointing or aiming gun or pistol at another and reckless conduct.

Millsap is alleged to have killed Thomas Elbert Mills, 49, of 132 E. Point Road in Cedartown, early on Nov. 6.

According to witness statements, Mills wasn't involved at all in the early morning altercation that began when Millsap came to the East Point Road home.

Millsap had arrived to confront another unnamed individual and during the argument words became more heated and Millsap fired off a single round to threaten and scare the person he was arguing with at the time, Dodd said. That round went through two sheet rock panels and struck Mills in the head while he was sitting on a couch in another room.

Not long after the round struck Mills, witnesses called Polk County 911 to have public safety officials respond to the shooting at 2:10 a.m. Though lifesaving efforts began immediately on the scene and Mills was rushed to the Polk Medical Center Emergency Room where procedures continued, he was pronounced dead at 2:58 a.m.

After an initial investigation after the death on Nov. 6, Millsap was officially charged after having already been taken into custody for questioning.

Interviews and evidence collecting efforts went on for several hours into Monday after the shooting at the East Point Road home.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist in the case, and Mills' body was taken to the GBI crime lab in Decatur for a full autopsy.

Polk County Coroner Tony Brazier reported on the morning of Nov. 9 the autopsy resulted in the death being ruled a homicide by single gunshot wound to the head.

As of Nov. 8, Millsap had not yet been before the Tallapoosa Circuit Superior Court for a first appearance, and no bail has yet been set.


Polk County seeks landfill information

The Grady Road Landfill is a hot topic once again, this time with the Polk commission concerned about an ongoing problem that has Waste Industries seeking answers due to a pollution notice published in past weeks.

Commissioners called upon Waste Industries' George Gibbons to answer some tough questions about information that they neglected to share about the higher levels of a mineral element showing up in Cedartown's Wastewater Treatment plant.

Before Gibbons could even begin to make a statement, Glenn Campbell and Ed Burnley jumped out of their seats and protested his inclusion in the meeting since he had not been mentioned on the agenda.

Commission Chairman Marshelle Thaxton ordered the pair to sit, and Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd also asked Campbell and Burnley to sit before Gibbons went on.

The Waste Industries representative was called before the board to explain a question over why the company that operates the Polk County Landfill about a notice printed in the Oct. 18 edition of the Polk County Standard Journal that reported the company and the HON Co. had exceeded the permissible levels of molybdenum and cadmium, respectively, being processed by the Cedartown Wastewater Treatment facility.

The big question of the night, one posed by Commissioner Jennifer Hulsey and expressed in comments by others, was why the county first learned of the issue through the ad, and not through direct communication with the county itself.

"Why weren't we notified before we were put in the paper? Because I know for a fact that if you want to advertise something in the paper, it takes more than a week to get that done. And furthermore, why wasn't Matt (Denton) informed, because we got this on a weekend, and we're all wondering what is going on," Hulsey said.

Gibbons said it was an oversight, and promised that in the future he'll provide more specific information. He said he'd had many conversations with the city about the issue before the statement was posted, and didn't think to tell county officials other than "that you might be blindsided by it."

"We were blindsided by it," Hulsey said. "I know you said all that, and I know in our contract that he (Denton) is the point of contact for stuff that is going on."

"And we also have to mention that the wastewater treatment plant is an agreement that we have with them," Gibbons said. "...If you want me to apologize, I understand that. But we were working with the city."

The problem centers around the 42nd element on the periodic table, one that is used a lot in making alloys and is usually found in a state in nature where it is part of a compound with other elements, especially those in nature used to as a catalyst to break down chemicals into their component atoms. 50 different bacterial enzymes use molybdenum, for instance. Most compounds containing molybdenum have low solubility in water, but are found in organisms big and small.

In low concentrations, molybdenum isn't much of a health concern and no one really notices the trace elements found in the plants and animals eaten daily Chronic ingestion of more than 10 milligrams a day can lead to a number of problems, according to the CDC. Those include irritation of the eyes, nose, throat; anorexia, diarrhea, weight loss; listlessness; liver, kidney damage.

It is to be noted that toxic exposures to molybdenum usually comes through inhalation, but ingestion can be a concern if concentrations are too high.

Gibbons explained the company is allowed .034 parts per million (or ppm) of molybdenum to be part of the leachate that comes out of the landfill while trash is decomposing. In previous tests, those levels were recorded at .067 ppm, nearly twice the amount permitted for Waste Industries to include in their pumping of leachate into city's sewer system for processing.

"What happened wa during the past couple of years, we've seen spikes in the Moly (molybdenum,) going up," Gibbons said. "Those limits are set very low. As time goes on and chemistry changes with the garbage breaking down, so the Moly began to rise. And like I said, Moly is a mineral. And at no time was the wastewater treatment plant out of compliance."

What the wastewater treatment plant in Cedar-town has been processing — which Gibbons complimented their work on — is leachate. It is the mix of the liquid leftovers generated by trash being compacted and decomposing, and includes a number of chemicals that are processed in collection ponds at the landfill itself, going through several steps before being pumped out by a private firm and then disposed of in the Cedar-town Wastewater system, where it is further processed back to clean water before it is released back into the creeks, and along into rivers.

Gibbons added that there has been no environmental impact in the process.

Cedartown's wastewater treatment plant makes a byproduct of their own in the processing of sewage that is trucked into the Polk County Landfill as part of the agreement for Waste Industries using the city to provide a final cleaning on the leachate at the landfill.

He said the cause for the increase — recorded twice in biannual testing between August 2016 and September 2017 — is still unknown and further work is being done to track down the cause.

He emphasized the Molybdenum isn't ending up in the water supply since it is being processed out with other wastewater, but the increase violates a contract level set when the agreement between the landfill and the City of Ce-dartown, which is the reason why it was reported.

Those levels were set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, and though Gibbons said it was his hopes the levels could be increased so the landfill would be in compliance, he wasn't sure yet whether that was an option.

He added that if necessary, the Landfill would potentially take the leachate elsewhere for processing in order to ensure that it would go back into compliance. They face fines and additional charges for water processing if they don't get the levels down, he said.

"What that entails for us is we have to do some further testing to track down the problem, and we have to bring that Moly (level) back into compliance," he said. "If we don't bring it back into compliance, we're subject to surcharges and fines on our POTW (the agreement to treat their leachate.) But with it being such a large area at the landfill, it isn't a problem we can solve by just adding something to the Moly. It just doesn't happen that way, it is all done through chemistry."

Gibbons added that "we are coming up with a game plan with how to proceed," but said he didn't have a definite timetable for Waste Industries correcting the level since they weren't sure why the levels had increased.

"It may take longer, but we're working on a solution to the problem," he said.

Gibbons said they take samples twice annually, and additional sampling is underway to get a composite sample with Cedartown officials to find the specific problem.

Commissioner Jose Iglesias asked a question that was on the mind of the rest of the board: what steps are being taken about the problem?

Gibbons said he would provide further information about Landfill operations, and invited commissioners out for a tour of the facility.

"I've toured the facility already and I think what Commissioner Hulsey is being clear on is that for the landfill to have communication, and with Matt and (Barry) Akinson were there, and nothing was mentioned that day," Iglesias said. "We'd like you to be more informative whether it is good or bad, so we can inform the citizens of Polk County. So you don't have to let a newspaper put something out there without us being notified through Matt.... You had an opportunity there to at least mention it, and say look 'this is coming out.'"

Gibbons added that he had guidance from "region managers and corporate people" who were involved.

"You have to understand our position, we have to be transparent with the people of Polk County," Iglesias said. "We have to have communication so we aren't alarmed. ... That sets an alarm on Polk County, and we look bad."

Complaints about the landfill and want for further information about operations being made public were the reason Burnley came back before the commission Monday night prior to Gibbons being added to the night's agenda.

In response to those comments, new Commissioner Hal Floyd said that even in the first days on the job, he's already received some information about what is going on with the landfill and is learning more about the contract, and seeks to know as much as possible and providing that to the public as soon as possible.

"I want to find out everything that I can about it," he said. "I want to know what we've legally committed to, what they are responsible for, and what sort of enforcement there is going on. You're right in your assumption that it will probably cost an arm and a leg to close it. But let's make sure that they are covering it like they are supposed to.... I promise you I'm going to find out. I believe in transparency, and I believe in providing people the truth."

Additionally, commissioners were all in agreement about getting the roadway in front of the landfill fixed on Grady Road, where trucks have through turning movements caused a dip to form in the roadway. Hulsey wanted a firm deadline on when the work will be completed. They voted for that work to move forward during the Tuesday, Nov. 7, regular session

"I would like us to get a timetable on that work," Hulsey said last week. "We've been asking about fixing this problem for a while now."

Waste Industries has agreed to help with sharing the costs, Denton told commissioners. He said no specific numbers had yet been proposed for how much the landfill operator would contribute, or no timetable on when the money will be given over.


Cedartown honors veterans
Veterans honor their fallen comrades

The annual celebration of America's veterans saw dozens out bundled up against a chilly November morning over the weekend in Cedartown's Veterans Memorial Park.

Command Master Chief Wade D. Willingham provided a somber tribute to local veterans during the Saturday event, celebrated at the same time the end of World War I on the western front went into effect on Nov. 11, 1918 at 11:11 a.m.

He spoke about his memories of growing up in Cedartown's Goodyear Village, surrounded by heroes who instilled in him the character that drove him into service. Heroes who he played baseball with as a young boy, who he went to high school with and experienced the joys of youth, and who eventually he marched off to war in southeast Asia..

Many of Willingham's friends wouldn't come back from the Vietnam War, and he choked up as he remembered their sacrifice.

Willingham entered the U.S. Navy in 1964 after graduating from high school, served aboard six different ships over a 31 year career, and included a tour as the seamanship and battalion chief at the Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I. He retired after serving in Norfolk, Virginia, as Command Master Chief in 1995.

He also encouraged folks to become active in supporting Veterans Affairs, and he said there are many ways to thank a veteran. The most heartfelt is to spend you time showing up and supporting local ceremonies like the one held Saturday morning, Willingham said.

Around 175 people took part in the weekend ceremony, one of many held in Polk County to show appreciation and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Decorations for this year's service was provided by participants of the Tallapoosa Circuit Drug Court, who on Nov. 4 gathered to place flags around the monuments at the park honoring the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard members who have served in Cedartown and Polk County.


A closer look at health department
• Inspections at restaurants, hotels and pools help to keep Polk county safe.

There's a lot to be said for the work the Polk County Health Department does on a daily basis to keep the public safe from all kinds of hazards. Most people don't pay much attention to this work as they fight a constant battle to ensure the public at large remains healthy and that undue harm isn't inflicted by the bad habits of business owners and local residents alike.

The Polk County Health Department is part of the Northwest Georgia Public Health division of the Georgia Department of Public Health, one of 10 counties in the district. The organization is responsible for a lot of different areas where they touch the lives of local people, from providing health care services as part of the Women, Infant and Children program, vaccinations, inspections for a variety of service-based businesses and more.

For the past 6 years, the statewide Department of Public Health has operated as a standalone agency so funds could be solely focused on providing health-related services within a narrow purview to the public. Overall, there are 18 districts in the state, employing thousands of people in Georgia with the goal of keeping epidemics from spreading, food safe to eat, and more.

That overall mission of keeping the public healthy will be the focus in the coming months of a multi-part series on the various ways officials impact the lives of local residents, and in many ways people might not have considered before. Read more in this first installment below to learn about how the health department touches the lives of Polk County morning, afternoon, evening and night by ensuring the food they are served, hotel beds are clean and pools are well maintained.

Inspecting the chefs

Posted in every establishment cooking and serving food in Polk County is a sign that looks a lot like a complicated report card, and printed in big numerals and a letter grade is the score. The rules require this document be in plain view for customers to see and decide if they want to eat food from that kitchen, whether good or bad.

That's the job of Polk County's Environmental Health Manager Kathy Couey Miller, who among her many daily assignments is tasked with poking around local kitchens and dining rooms serving customers daily. Through inspections that can take hours to complete, Miller searches through store rooms and looks over steel surfaces all with one goal in mind: ensuring that food served up is as safe to eat as she can possibly make it.

Miller takes the job seriously. Upon entering a kitchen in the Cedartown area in the past weeks, her first stop is to wash her hands at the closest sink she can find, looking to make sure that it has soap and paper towels. She's looking to see if it is being used by employees.

Then she looks around for other potential problems. Anywhere along the line where food is stored, then prepared and served up can cause contamination from bacteria or viruses that can make customers sick. That's her job in a nutshell whenever she is sent out to inspect a restaurant: making sure people don't get sick from eating an otherwise good meal.

Whenever she is in a kitchen, Miller is constantly checking and searching for anything that doesn't look right. She wants to make sure machines used in preparing food are cleaned and covered up when not in use, and then is being kept clean once it has come into contact with ingredients. She's looking at how plates, silverware and cups being removed from tables in the dining room through the dishwashing process, making sure they are stored properly until used again for another order.

Miller's goal is to find nothing wrong, but like all people no one is ever perfect. She usually finds problems in food storage, labeling and one particular place that is a constant problem: ice machines.

"Ice machines are a particular problem," Miller said. "If they aren't cleaned regularly, they can develop mold and bacteria growth, especially during the summer when there's more humidity."

The small problem s are usually the ones that get a kitchen into hot water with the Health Department, and usually don't subtract much from the overall score. It is when Miller finds bigger problem that a restaurant will get a lower score, and she'll go back within a few weeks to see if management has corrected problems and rescore the restaurant for the month.

Additionally, restaurants with failing scores are also required to undergo more food safety training with staff to ensure that the same problems aren't coming up again. Complaints from customers made to the department can also cause a surprise inspection, and in those times Miller can find problems just as much as she can find that nothing is wrong at all.

When a restaurant fails to live up to the Health Department's requirements, they go through several different levels of corrective efforts before they reach a point where they are shut down. Miller said that the Health Department's goal isn't to force a restaurant to close, but to work with business owners to get problems fixed.

"Our goal isn't to get in the way of a restaurant from serving people," she said. "We want to help a business do a better job of preparing and serving food safely. We want a restaurant to be successful, and we want them to do a good job so our job is easier to do."

A task sometimes difficult to complete.

It is when those problems persist that they end up in formal proceedings, facing shutdown from health officials and a hearing before the board of health on whether the restaurant should be allowed to continue operations.

Those instances are rare, and with more than 100 food service establishments under the health department's purview in the county alone, the hours can add up for the amount of time spent in kitchens for Miller and her assistant.

Miller's role as manager also places her in charge of looking over the operations of kitchens used to prepare food in catering service, and for those who also operate food trucks like Timbo's barbecue.

Also in most cases, when a restaurant proposes to open and are building or remodeling a space for a kitchen, Miller and her department are involved in the design and flow of the space to ensure the least amount of potential food contamination by starting with the layout of a kitchen, eliminating points of contact by using architectural plans.

One area where the Health Department doesn't usually inspect is self-service food and drink stations at local gas stations. Though they are inspected, that falls under the job of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and their inspectors.

No inspections are required for local residents who provide food at events like the Homespun Festival in Rockmart, where since it is a fundraiser is excluded from usual food service rules. Additionally, those who are making cookies and cakes for bake sales or school events are also not under the health department's purview, since those organizations usually fall under a non-profit organization.

Miller did say that those participating in those kinds of events should take proper precautions against food contamination, for the simple reason to keep customers happy and healthy with their food.

Searching the sheets, diving into pool safety

Kitchens aren't the only area Miller is inspecting on a daily basis. Her job takes her into a lot of different places, but one not thought about much but with big implications for public health are also checked for cleanliness.

Hotel rooms are in popular culture seen as a germophobe's worst nightmare, but in reality are kept to just as strict standards as restaurants.

Miller and her assistant are required to look just as thoroughly through local hotel rooms as they are through a restaurant's kitchen. Miller has more specific requirements in her search of temporary residences, looking at the cleanliness of beds and sheets, of toilets and tubs and more.

"Several of our hotels on the outside might look older, but I can assure you after years of looking at rooms in Cedartown and Rockmart that every one of our facilities is safe to stay in," she said.

Just as restaurants are required to keep a score posted in public view, so are hotels.

Lucky for Miller, the other inspection area that touches the lives of Polk County residents — or at least their summer visitors — is in the pair of hotel pools.

Miller makes sure pH levels are kept right and machinery is pumping treated water through the system right, and that proper maintenance and testing is being done by hotel employees to keep water-borne illnesses are kept at bay.

The goal is to avoid bacteria and viruses that can cause people to get sick just by jumping in for a quick swim during the summer months.

Environmental Health Manager Kathy Couey-Miller uses a thermometer to check the temperature of warm foods, like the pizza shown above, and cold foods, like the beverages below, to make sure everything is kept at a safe optimum temperature.


AREA CALENDAR OF EVENTS

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 and 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 770-749-0869 or email asams@bgcnwga.org.

The annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Nathan Dean Community Center in Rockmart is coming up on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., provided for free by the Stocks family. Along with the holiday meal, there will be live music, toys and face painting for children along with much more. Donations are being sought. Contact Stocks to help at 678-719-1981.

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.

Crossview Community Church is holding a Community Thanksgiving Potluck Meal on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at 510 N Piedmont Ave., Rockmart. Visit www.rockmartpotluck.com to sign-up now for the free meal. The Thanksgiving outreach includes a giveaway to those in need of blankets, coats, gloves hats and scarves for the winter.

The Victory Baptist Church Stockings of Love Christmas Bazaar will be on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Over 60 vendors will be selling all types of crafts, Christmas decor and a variety of gift items. Free admission and there will be homemade baked goods, apple butter, local honey, canned items and so much more. Breakfast and lunch will be served. Lunch plates are $5 in advance or $6 at the door and include BBQ Sandwich, Slaw, Baked Beans and Dessert. Brunswick stew and homemade potato chips will also be available. All proceeds go to purchase Christmas gifts and food for the children in Polk County.

On Nov. 1, 2017, Tallatoona CAP will begin accepting appointments for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for Senior Households 65 and older and Homebound Households. Appointments for the General Public will be accepted beginning Dec. 1, 2017. 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.

The Victory Baptist Church Stockings of Love consignment sale will be held on Saturday, November 18 in conjunction with the Christmas Bazaar from 9 am. to 3 p.m. Items include home goods, Christmas decor, small furniture, anything you may need except for clothing. There will be a half price sale starting as 12pm for items not marked "X" or "Firm". All proceeds go to purchase Christmas gifts and food for the children in Polk County.

The next West Georgia Spay/Neuter Clinic is coming to the Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Head over to the organization's office at 608 Adam-son 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. December pickup dates are Dec. 6 and Dec. 20.

Order T-shirts now through the Polk County Police Department to help raise funds for the trust of Isaac Hearne. Contact 770-748-7331 to find out more details.

Also selling T-shirts is Sherry Anderson, with the next order being finalized today. Call the City of Aragon 770-684-6563, or through Anderson directly at 678-901-2065 for more information.

Have a fundraising event for the Hearne family? Email kmyrick@npco.com or call 770-748-1520 to share how people can donate to your efforts.

In charge of community relations at your local church? The Polk County Chamber of Commerce would like very much to talk to you. They are presently in the process of organizing an updated directory of area houses of worship in the community and are hoping for the help of those organizers who want to get their information to as many people as possible. E-mail Mandy Mallicoat at mmallicoat@polkgeorgia.com or call 770-684-8760 for more information about being included in their updated church directory.

Crossview Community Church is getting ready for helping those in need with their Christmas Shoes Project. Get involved in providing new shoes for children in the community by contacting Crossview at 770-684-4070.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cedartown, Georgia, hosts a genealogy group that meets from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday nights, except holidays. There are no fees for these sessions and they are open to anyone. Please bring all of your basic family history (if you have it) such as names, birth-dates/death dates of parents, grandparents, children, etc. Bring your laptop or tablet, if you have one. If not, we can still help. Questions? Contact us at 678-477-2861 and leave a message or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FamilyQuest42/

The Sit 'n Stitch crafters group 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 details 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 details about vendors and upcoming classes.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are providing 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.

The Cedartown Optimist Club selling the Turkey Raffle tickets for $1 each and in a giveaway of 15 turkeys this year. Those interested purchase tickets from any Optimist Club member, with all proceeds go to the development of our youth. Ticket sales end with the raffle drawing on Nov. 16.

The 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.

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 includes cases related to housing, employment, education, domestic violence, consumer fraud, wills, and more. Call 404-206-5175 for more information.

The Polk County Alzheimer's Caregiver 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 in the 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 details email polkcountybeekeepers@gmail.com or visit tinyurl.com/polkbees.

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 about the supper club call 678-901-9184.

Victory Baptist Church's Bread of Life Food Pantry is now open. 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 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, 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.forston@dhs.ga.gov 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.

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 aweaver@lsga.org 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.

All Carroll EMC offices will close Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24 in observance of Thanksgiving. 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.

Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of accidental death in the United States with heroin and other opiates being the largest contributor. Don't let a love one struggle with addiction. They do not have to be alone. Narconon can help. Visit narcononnewliferetreat.org/drug-rehab/ or call 1-800-431-1754 for help today.