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It's all about the midterms
• The 2018 campaign season concludes Tuesday, results can be found at Polkstandardjournal.com

Midterm elections are here, and the vote is just getting underway for some of our readers, while others will get the paper and will likely know the outcome of local and statewide races.

Coverage of how Polk County voted will be available starting Tuesday night (Nov. 6) online, and additional follow-up coverage will begin showing up on Polkstandardjournal.com sometime today.

All this comes as the Board of Elections reported that they expected the early vote tallies to top more than 7,000 in-person votes and several hundred paper ballots to add on top of that as deadline apprached on Nov. 2 and the three-week period before the Nov. 6 vote came to a close.

Several positions are up for vote this year, with local contested races including the District 2 County race between incumbent and current Commission Chair Jennifer Hulsey and challenger Ricky Clark. Voters are also deciding in a three-way race between Jerilyn Purdy, Ray Carter and Larry Reynolds on who will fill the remaining time for a District 3 seat.

Polk County's ballot also includes the proposed extension of the one-penny Special Purpose, Local Option Sales Tax to be renewed in 2020 for $32 million in projects.

Additionally, statewide contested races include a decision on a new governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, School Superintendent, Agriculture Commissioner, Insurance Commissioner and many more. Along with a number of state seats,

See a sample ballot online on Tuesday morning for more on who is on the ballot in 2018.

Uncontested races include

four school board seats that feature only single candidates and feature incumbents Tommy Sanders and Bernard Morgan, along with newcomers Vicki Mayes and Britt Madden Jr., along with soon-to-be new County Commissioner Gary Martin to represent the District 1 area.

Also uncontested on the ballot are State Rep. Trey Kelley and State Sen. Bill Heath in state races on the local level.

For those subscribers who get the paper on Tuesday morning, Polk's seven precincts on Election Day remain open for a 12-hour window from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Results will begin publishing online as soon as they are available for Polk County and the state level once voting has concluded and information is processed by election officials.

The Board of Elections can help voters determine where they should go to vote and those needing assistance can call 770-749-2103 for more information. Voters can only go to the precinct assigned on Election Day, and can't cast a ballot at the Elections office.

Registered voters can also check out the Secretary of State's website to find out where they should cast a ballot.

Polling places are located at Pine Bower Baptist Church at 100 Pine Bower Road in Cedartown; Aragon's Community Center across from Aragon First Baptist Church – parking available in the church parking lot; The Bert Wood Youth and Athletic Complex, 605 Lynton Drive, Cedartown; Victory Baptist Church, 15 Hendrix Road, Cedartown; Cedar Creek Christian Center at 1890 Rome Highway, Cedartown; The Rockmart Community Center, 436 Hogue Ave. Rockmart; and Young's Grove Baptist Church, 2255 Antioch Road, Cedartown.


Growth key theme for State of the Community event
• 2018 sees big projects started, new neighbors all over Polk County

GOVERNMENT | STATE OF THE COMMUNITY

A lot of good has come out of a busy year for local governments, from big announcements that included a trip from Governor Nathan Deal to Polk County, to seeing new business growth being completed in Cedartown and Rockmart.

These accomplishments and more were just some of the topics covered during the annual State of the Community event held as October was coming to a close, with a number of local officials providing reports back on items of note for the county as a whole.

If there was an unofficial theme for the night for 2018's event, it came down to this: growth. Everywhere Polk County is seeing new houses, new food options, the potential even for new hotels. Those who talked about the projects accomplished now are looking at what's to come, and they see positive results from projects put into motion in the past.

Here's a rundown of where representatives from the state and local governments hold are the top achievements of 2018:

Kelley seeks to pave the way for Polk

State Rep. Trey Kelley can enjoy knowing that investments of his time and politicking at the Gold Dome have borne real fruit for Polk County. During his address to local leaders during the State of the Community event, the 16th District representative talked about all the good things happening on the state level.

He touted recent positives like record low unemployment both locally and across Georgia, increasing graduation rates and one item that lawmakers love to mention: the state is No. 1 in the nation for business for the fifth year in a row.

Among the state business Kelley touted for 2018 was another strong state budget that included erasing the austerity measures take in education in past years during the previous recession, the first changes in the state's adoption code since the 1980s, and helping with elder care.

The highlight Kelley was most proud to talk about was the state's inclusion of funds to increase the length of Cornelius Moore Field, allowing Polk County to play host to small business jets alongside aircraft already utilizing the runway for skydiving and flying for personal reasons.

He said the project allows Polk County to truly be part of a "globally competitive environment, and we're going to be able to better highlight – Missy (Kendrick) at the Development Authority will be able to highlight – all the good things about our community."

Kelley also talked about the quick change of purpose coming soon to the former home of the Department of Labor in Cedartown's Northside Industrial Park to be utilized by Georgia Northwestern Technical College, and the Rural Healthcare Tax Credit program that matches dollar for dollar donations to hospitals like Polk Medical Center as a match for covering state income taxes.

"This is something each of you can take advantage of to help offset your tax income liability here in Georgia," he said.

The program has a $60 million limit annually, and Polk Medical Center can only take in $4 million of earmarked donations.

Kelley also talked about the need for additional work on rural high speed internet access, making the market competitive again for brick and mortar retailers with new online tax parity, and his goal to continue to bring down the state's income tax percentages.

Changes still underway in County Government

Commission Chair Jennifer Hulsey presented information from Polk County's government in 2018, and talked about many ongoing efforts underway by both the board and administration.

Those include a review and need for pay increases for employees across the board being conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, so as to be better competitive in pay with surrounding municipalities and counties.

Husley said the last review of pay happened in 2007, and needs addressing.

"Our employees are Polk County," she said.

Hulsey also talked about the county's updated aerial photography, the board getting more involved in the day-today operations of the county to be better informed, updates of fees that are set to be decided this week after press time, and even ongoing ordinance and zoning updates.

One of the biggest projects she touted for the year involved increases in paving throughout the county, including the repair and resurfacing of Cherokee Road with the help additional Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant funds from the state thanks to the help of Kelley.

"And Rockmart: Marquette Road is on our radar. You're next on our list," she said.

Among other areas that Hulsey addressed were a new camera system at both Polk County Courthouses, the Polk Drug Prevention Alliance, and a new accountability court being setup by Judge Mark Murphy within Juvenile Court to help keep families together.

She also addressed the Quality of Life projects proposed during the October's work session, where committees from Cedartown and Rockmart would work together to determine what those projects would entail. Each side of the county would get $300,000 out of the 2020 SPLOST to spend, and she promised twice that "No government officials will be involved."

Cedartown focuses on Recreation and Business

Cedartown City Manager Bill Fann is real proud of where Cedartown sits today. Compared to what he faced when he took on the job earlier in the decade, Cedartown is running smoothly and is on track to see new growth in the year to come.

Already the city is seeing some of their longtime projects coming to the construction phase. For instance, the Goodyear Park Soccer Complex is set to get underway this fall in hopes of being open in time for the spring and allow for the growing youth program to utilize it instead of baseball and softball outfields.

He said that project was about to go to bid when he addressed local officials during the Oct. 30 event, and also talked about the forthcoming project at Turner Street Park to cover the basketball goals, updates to Biggers Field and much more in Cedartown's overall community involvement.

Fann also talked about participation rate, with 649 youth signed up in programs in 2018, and 289 of those in soccer alone. He added that youth from unincorporated parts of Polk County made up 56 percent of the overall participation in Cedartown youth sports.

The city also made sure some 3,800 students in the area were well aware of fire safety thanks to the efforts of the Cedartown Fire Deparment's clowns visiting local schools. Fann touted that program as one that "everyone should experience at least once" during his address to community leaders.

"Take advantage of the opportunity when you have it," Fann said.

He also touted the city's public safety upgrades over the past year in the form of new air packs for firefighters, testing of hydrants and hoses, body cameras for police officers and the inclusion of Narcan nasal spray in patrol cars, much of that thanks to grants provided by the city's liability insurance provider GIRMA.

Citywide, business expansion is taking a lead as well. Norax and Cedarstream construction is on its way to being completed, the city is looking toward the possibility of hotel development around the Highway 27 corridor, and some 69 new businesses opened their doors in 2018.

Fann closed out the year's accomplishments with his praise for the Cedartown Welcome Center and Depot's inclusion as a regional visitor center this year, two recent television productions utilizing downtown Cedartown, visits from tourism and economic development officials and forthcoming wastewater upgrades for lift stations, underground piping and equipment at the wastewater treatment plant totaling $3 million.

New neighbors continue to join Rockmart community

Every day it seems like some new project is starting in Rockmart. Whether it be the now-finished Koch Foods feed mill reconstruction, or Captain D's opening their doors, the city continues to see real growth – especially along the Nathan Dean Parkway corridor.

Mayor Steve Miller talked about these new neighbors joining the Rockmart community in 2018, especially with the inclusion of new restaurants within the city limits like the still under construction Popeye's Chicken, or the long awaited arrival of the car wash next door to Martin's.

There's more. A new nursing facility is coming soon, industries like Meggitt are expanding, and the long awaited completion of the rebuilding and expansion of the feed mill on Highway 101 owned by Koch Foods is wrapping up which finishes a $24.5 million investment in Rockmart.

"We've come a long way from a little textile town," Miller said.

In the coming months work on the Church Street Manor property is set to get underway thanks to Appalachian Regional Commission grant and a Department of Natural Resources Rails to Trails grant to connect Van Wert Church to the Silver Comet Trail.

"We believe it will help enhance our community and bring more events to Rockmart," Miller said.

Miller also touted 40 new homes either finished or under construction within the city, inclusion in the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing and the cooperative efforts by Council member Sherman Ross to get Polk County's land bank started with the other cities and county this year.

No news from Aragon

The only local government or organization who didn't participate with a presentation at this year's State of the Community event was the City of Aragon.

Last year, the city provided updates on their increased recreation opportunities and goals toward doing more work this year. For the 2018 address, no officials came to provide information on Aragon's progress since the 2017 address.


Workforce, economic development priorities in 2018
• PSD, DAPC and Chamber all about providing assistance in their own way over past year

Local educators and officials are all about making a greater impact on the community over the past year with new initiatives, and got to show what they've achieved during the 2018 State of the Community event.

The annual dinner and address from local leaders sponsored by H&R Block, Georgia Power and Family Savings Credit Union was all about growth not just for local governments, but also for organizations helping businesses and industries, and for education as well.

Among all the notable changes in 2018, those happening within the schools seek to have an impact on not just the children who make up the future workforce, but those who have been out of a job and now find the labor market much easier to re-enter.

Here's how education, business and industry have fared in Polk County in 2018:

Wrap-around services a big focus for PSD

It used to be that schools worried about having enough textbooks and desks for students to use in classrooms across Polk

School District, just like all public schools experience across the nation. Yet times have changed, and educators find themselves in a whole new environment where they have to not just think about a child's safety within their buildings, but also how they are doing at home as well.

PSD Superintendent Laurie Atkins was joined by College and Career Academy CEO and Assistant Superintendent Katie Thomas both traded off on topics of how the system has been forced to change their focus over the past years, especially in the wake of deadly mass shootings inside of a Parkland, Fla., high school back in February.

Atkins said a security review had been underway that day when the news broke of the deaths of teachers and students alike in Florida, and drove home the need for PSD to do more.

She talked about the several security improvements made at local schools to force visitors into front offices and away from students when they enter a school, the addition of fencing, new door locks and much more to keep students safe. The biggest addition she addressed was the inclusion of the Polk School District Police Department, which provides an officer on each campus with the help of School Resource Officers from the Cedartown and Rockmart Police Departments already in place.

Atkins also talked about ongoing construction projects thanks to the 2017 E-SPLOST extension, allowing the forthcoming completion of the new Agriculture Education facility at Rockmart High School and the longawaited Fine Arts wing at Cedartown High School.

"Hopefully this time next year I'll be able to show you wonderful pictures of the new facilities," Atkins said.

Thomas then came up to talk about the Polk School District's new Graduate Polk program, and how much good it is offering students as they provide a variety of help to families in the community.

She reminded the audience of the success the Polk County College and Career Academy has enjoyed before she dove into the real heart of her presentation however. The 33 career pathways, 20-plus college classes and the top Dual Enrollment program in the state are just some of what she discussed as her role as the Chief Executive of PCCCA.

"That's not enough," she said. "We can say those are some of our accolades, and I'm proud of them considering where we started. But that's not enough."

In an effort to make sure that no students are left behind – including those sleeping on the floor of friends rooms because they have no place to go – the system has invested in Graduate Polk, where youth can go to get a variety of help within schools themselves.

It includes a food pantry and clothing closet at each high school within their PCCCA wings, spaces for students to receive help in nontraditional learning environments and on different schedules especially for those who dropped out and want to finish their education, and youth and teens going through many mental, emotional or family-related issues impacting their education with the assistance of the program in place with Willowbrooke at Tanner.

"With alternate scheduling available, we've had three graduate so far that were on the dropout list previously," Thomas said. "We're bringing them back and giving them purpose and hope."

A free English as a Second Language class being held at Cedartown High School and funded thanks to Gildan have signed up 60 participants after starting just two weeks prior to the Oct. 30 event, Thomas added.

"Let's start helping now, let's make a difference," Thomas challenged the audience.

Economic Development going strong

In her second year at the helm of the Development Authority of Polk County, Missy Kendrick finally got a chance to go before local leaders and talk about all positive growth happening with industry and business.

Two years ago she was just a few weeks into her new role, and in 2017 the schedule didn't permit her getting to address the community about economic development growth.

So Kendrick was glad to get to share her experiences in her leadership role, and talk about the positives Polk County provides to both existing industries and potential newcomers alike.

She definitely expects new neighbors in the months and years to come.

Kendrick described economic development as a three-legged stool during her Oct. 30 presentation, one that needs the strength of local startups and entrepreneurs, existing industries and new industry to create the right environment for growth.

Polk County has something for all of those legs, whether it be working to provide a good environment for entrepreneurs to start an enterprise, or a guide for locals who are interested in creating a startup.

Existing industries are working on their expansions too, like past announcements from Meggitt or the forthcoming completion of the new Cedarstream headquarters.

"We've seen continued evidence of strong pro-business environment," she said. "In just the past 2 years, 11 industries have invested $85 million into expansions in Polk County, and have created or retained 1,600 jobs."

New industry partners moving in aren't just all about manufacturing either.

For instance, the training center for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 926 announced back in June is getting all of the I's dotted and T's crossed before it gets well underway in the months to come.

What she also talked about that is just as important is the need for new leadership on the local level to take up challenges and provide Kendrick with advocates in the community as a whole when potential industries come looking at Polk County.

That's why she said the DAPC worked with the Chamber to re-work Polk's leadership program and have since seen two classes in 2017 and 2018 go through the program.

Kendrick also said another piece that will help keep the three-legged stool of economic development sturdy for years to come is a renegotiated intergovernmental agreement between the DAPC and local governments, which brings the Polk School District within the agreement again as well.

She said her greatest hope is that in the near future she'll be able to announce a new industry moving into Cedartown's SPEC building in the Northside Industrial Park, and get working on a future building in Rockmart.

"I feel very strongly by this time next year, we'll have a contract on our current SPEC building and will be starting construction on one in Rockmart," Kendrick said.

She added that with low unemployment and positive growth overall, the economic development outlook is good for Polk County.

However, she did add that business investment slowed down some due to uncertainty on the national stage.

"I do expect that activity will pick back up again after the midterms, and I'm pleased to say working with partners and stakeholders," she said. "We will continue to bring the world to our front door, and invite them in."

Chamber seeing own growth in members, programs

Blair Elrod is less than a year into her job as the Polk County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, but got a big compliment from attendees at the State of the Community event: a standing ovation for her efforts since she took over the job.

She was able to report during the Chamber-organized event that membership is growing since January, six new programs have been instituted and new board members will be coming on in 2019.

Among the items she touted was the start of the Chick-fil-A Lunch and Learn series, PolkX, the Downtown Comeback program, H&R Block's sponsored Halloween Hoopla and the folding of the Rockmart Business Alliance into the Chamber as the Downtown Rockmart Advisory Committee.

Elrod also announced a new discount card program on sale now that will allow local shoppers to get discounts at small businesses during the holiday season, are good for several months after and also enter individuals into giveaways leading up to Christmas, including a $1,000 prize at the end of the season.

More details can be found about that program on the Chamber's Facebook page or on Polkgeorgia.com, or in the forthcoming edition of the Standard Journal on Nov. 14.


Hurricane Help coming from Polk
Relief efforts coming from a variety of sources to help Florida panhandle, South Georgia recover from Michael's path of destruction

Hurricane season isn't technically over yet, but with cooler weather now fully in place it is more likely now the south won't experience the full fury of another storm hitting land.

At least that is the hope of those now in recovery mode along the Florida panhandle and throughout South Georgia, which continues to work toward the goal of getting back to normal after Hurricane Michael struck in October.

Polk County is lending their own support in many ways to ensure that needed supplies and people ready to work make their way to disaster zones as soon as possible.

Among those who have already been in the disaster zone are area EMTs and paramedics from Redmond EMS, who were sent down by HCA Healthcare to help with evacuation efforts from Gulf Coast Medical Center.

Redmond EMS Director Marty Robinson said a group of 10 went in a first wave just days after Hurricane Michael came and went, and crews have consistently been rotated down and back home to help transport people who are sick from the Panama City hospital to other area facilities.

He said because road conditions were through mid-October difficult, it took many hours each trip to transport people out of Gulf Coast Medical Center to other facilities. It was damaged by the storm and essentially only could take emergency cases, which have to be transferred elsewhere for more thorough care.

"We got that call around 7:30 on Thursday morning after the hurricane hit to get ready to move out," Robinson said. "Our first wave of crews left just after lunch."

They stayed busy for a long stretch of days to allow first responders and medical personnel in Panama City to go home and check on their families and homes, Robinson said.

He said the opening days in the area were "pretty rough" on all who lent support. And in the opening 10 day stretch and those that have followed, several crews from the area have taken part in efforts to help move patients from the hospital.

Robinson added that personnel from HCA came from all over the country to lend their help.

"I really don't know when it will be back to normal. The area was really devastated," Robinson said. "But to see people come together like that, makes me proud to be part of the company."

Redmond EMS isn't the only ones who are taking part in providing support either.

Several local agencies, organizations and the Polk School District are all working to gather donations of supplies to send down to disaster zones in south Georgia. The Department of Family and Children Services staff got donations together and sent them along on Halloween.

The Polk County Chamber of Commerce also got a donation to send along to sister organizations in south Georgia as well. Joining in that effort that continues through Friday is the Polk County Sheriff's Office, who are sending "Hope from Polk" down to Early County in the coming days as well.

Chief Deputy Jonathan Blackmon said the efforts are repeating those taken up in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017, where not only did they arrive with relief supplies but a group who went around to help with recovery efforts.

"We've been notified by several counties in South Georgia that they need help," Blackmon said. "Our goal is to head down to Early County and get tarps up on roofs and provide cleaning supplies to those affected by Hurricane Michael."

Blackmon said that several locations are receiving donations at this time, which include the Polk County Sheriff's Office main location and their satellite office at Rockmart City Hall, both lobbies of the Polk County Courthouses in Cedartown, the Polk County Administrative offices and Mary Miller's State Farm Insurance Agency office.

Those who want to make specific donations can contact Blackmon at 678-350-4502.

Efforts are also underway to collect supplies to send southward by the Polk School District, who are encouraging students, teachers and parents to take part in efforts to help southern Georgia counties as well.

They've taken up the call put out by State School Superintendent Richard Woods to provide everything from diapers and hygiene products to non-perishable food and bottled water. Those wanting more information about how to donate supplies via the schools can contact their local campuses or call the Central Office at 770-748-3821 for additional assistance.

If supply donations aren't an option, please consider giving to a charitable organization of one's choice online, or give to an organization like the Georgia Farm Bureau Foundation or Samaritan's Purse.


AREA CALENDAR OF EVENTS

The Stocks family is organizing their annual holiday meal for the community coming up on Saturday, November 17 at the Nathan Dean Community Center on Goodyear Avenue in Rockmart. The event includes a meal, a coat drive and much more. Donations to help with the meal or of toys to give to local youth in need are welcome and appreciated. Those interested in helping out can contact Stocks at 678-719-1981.

The 2018 National Revolution first place competition team from the Ballet Garden are back this week in Rockmart for their annual Holiday Fundraiser for 2019. They'll be hosting Photos with Santa this Saturday, Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fairview Baptist Church's Fellowship Hallo, located at 881 Fairview Road, Rockmart. Cost is $25 for a photo package with Santa or

a 10 minute session with Santa for $50. Additional activities for $5 include decorating a Christmas cookie, a craft table and story time. Reserve a time slot at https://squareup.com/store/the-ballet-garden-2/item/cookies-for-santa.

Come take part in the annual Rockmart-Aragon Community Thanksgiving service, this year planned for Rockmart Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. The community choir is being formed to provide music for the service, and those interested can join the church for a 5 p.m. practice at Rockmart Presbyterian prior to its start. James Hannah the pastor at Aragon Methodist Church will be providing the message. An invitation is extended to all of the community to join together as we give thanks and praise.

The next vegan cooking class hosted by Cedar Christian School is coming up on Sunday, Nov. 11 from 2 to 5 p.m. The focus of the upcoming class is breads and spreads. Register by calling 770-715-0419 or 770-748-0077. The school is located at 625 West Ave., Cedartown.

Cedartown First United Methodist Church invites the community to come out and participate on Wednesday, Nov. 28 in their Hanging of the Greens starting at 7 p.m., to be preceded by a Chili Cook-off at 6 p.m. The church encourages all who want to participate to come enjoy the Christmas season with them with their opening event of the season. They'll also hold a Christmas Concert featuring the church choir on Dec. 9 at 11 a.m., their annual Blue Christmas service on Dec. 23 at 11 a.m., Christmas Eve services at 6 and 11 p.m. on Dec. 24, and much more through the holiday season. Contact the church at 770-748-4731 for more information, or visit cedartownfumc.org. The church is located at the corner of Wissahickon Ave. and North College Street in Cedartown.

The Polk County Democratic Committee Meets on the second Saturday of every month at 9:30 a.m. In the "even" months (February, April, June, August, etc.) the organization meets at The Rockmart Library at 316 N. Piedmont Ave., Rockmart and during the "odd" months (January, March, etc.) they meet at the Cedartown Welcome Center, 609 Main St., Cedartown, GA 30125.

USAPA Pickelball Ambassador Daneen England is holding a free pickleball clinic every Monday (weather permitting) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rockmart Tennis courts, located at 436 Hogue Avenue, Rockmart. Loaner paddles and all necessary equipment will be on hand to learn t he sport. This is a free event for anyone and they just need to wear comfortable gym clothes and tennis shoes. Contact England at 770-356-1282, or by e-mail at howardd999@yahoo.com for more information.

The American Legion in Rockmart is hosting their monthly all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 14. Meal of spaghetti, meatballs, garlic toast and salad, $5. Join the group for a good meal and to support veteran and children's programs. The Legion is located at 1 Veterans Circle, Rockmart.

Rockmart Presbyterian Church is pleased to announce the expansion of its Music Ministry. First welcome Paul Campbell BM,MM,BD as Music Director and Organist, second the New Allen Organ in the Chancel and third, new program opportunities. The adult choir is accepting new members in preparation for its Christmas Eve program featuring "Christus Natus Est" by Cecilia McDonald. Sectional rehearsal are scheduled through the week. A new children's program includes Children's Choir on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. (FREE and open to all who wish their children to learn to sing). There will be an orientation meeting for parents and children on October 10 at 4 p.m. In addition to directing the new children's choir, Mr. Campbell will be offering Piano Lessons along with Shellee Wilson BM, BA, ME, will be offering singing/vocal lessons. Private lessons have a monthly fee. For information to joining our music program please stop in and see Paul Campbell at Rockmart Presbyterian or call him at: 404-312-7801.

Do you have interest in studying the Bible and prophecies within? Contact Dr. Idel Suarez about a new study group being formed locally for serious scholars of the text. Contact him at 813-310-9350 for more information about how to participate and future meetings.

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.

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.

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.

Rockmart First United Methodist Church invites the community to come out and join in worship on Sundays and Wednesdays at the church located at 135 W. Church St. Sunday morning worship begins with Bible study at 9:45 a.m., followed by Sunday school at 10 a.m. for all ages, and an 11 a.m. worship service. Wednesday night includes at 5 p.m. community meal on the last Wednesday of every month, 6 p.m. Bible study and choir practice at 7 p.m. Weekly children's events at the church include a 5:45 p.m. children and youth meal, 6:15 Children's music and MYF, followed by L.I.F.E. at 6:54 p.m. All are invited to join in. Call Rev. Martha Dye at 770-684-6251or e-mail marthadye@ngumc.net for more information or questions. The church also updates weekly on their website at rockmartumc.org

The next West Georgia Spay/Neuter Clinic is coming to the Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society again coming up this Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. 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. Transports won't be scheduled again until Nov. 7.

Members are invited to join the Cedartown Exchange Club weekly on Thursdays at 6 p.m. at the Cherokee Country Club for meetings and dinner. New members from across Polk County are encouraged to get involved by contacting club president-elect Edward Guzman at 770-546-2482 to take part in the organization that is involved in a wide range of community projects. Visit their website at cedartownexchangeclub.com to learn more. Annual dues are required to be a member.

Just Us Ministries Inc. Food Bank has distribution every Tuesday and Thursday at 904 Young Farms Road in Cedartown. On Tuesday the distribution is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. A picture ID is required. For more information call 770-687-1009 or 678-901-3354, e-mail justusmin.org@gmail.com, or visit Justusministries.com.

Harmony Baptist Church, 882 Little Harmony Rd, Cedartown (Esom Hill area) invites everyone to attend their weekly Sunday morning Services. First Sunday morning service begins at 9:45 a.m. with Sunday School followed by worship service at 11 a.m.. Our doors are open to all and we are looking forward to seeing you. For more information visit our Facebook page, Harmony Baptist church, Cedartown.

The Rotary Club of Polk County meets weekly at the Richardson Field Depot in Rockmart for lunch at noon every Tuesday and are encouraging members and potential new members to take part. Contact Missy Kendrick with the Rotary Club at 770-584-5234 for more on how to participate or become a member. Annual dues are required to be a member.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cedartown, 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, birthdates/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 and Stitch is back to sewing at Rockmart First United Methodist Church in the fellowship hall. The group will meet the first and third Monday's of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants can bring any craft they choose or help with a ministry project this year. The group is making crochet or knitted caps for donation to Helping Hands. A pattern will be provided and the group has crafters who can help those in need of instruction. Bring a sack lunch. Coffee or tea provided. Any questions please call Madeline Brown 678-435-5032.

The Kiwanis Club of Cedartown encourages members to take part in weekly meetings on Fridays at noon at the Cherokee County Club. Potential new members are asked to get in touch with Rhonda Heuer, Club Secretary at 770-748-1016 to learn more about how you can take part in making the community a better place. Annual dues are required for membership. Visit kiwanis.org to learn about the club.

Check out the Rockmart Farmers Market at the Silver Comet Trailhead behind Southcrest Bank on Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m. Visit Rockmartfarmersmarket.com for details about vendors and upcoming classes.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints provides opportunities to local residents interested in hearing the message of Jesus Christ. For more information about how you can speak to local Elders, contact 687-852-7497, or visit their meeting house at 10005 N. Main St., Cedartown for worship services at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

The Ferst Readers 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.

Shiloh Baptist Church would like to invite the community to come participate in worship services weekly at their sanctuary at 433 Shiloh Road. Join the church for Sunday school at 10 a.m., followed by 11 a.m. service or Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. Call Pastor Jamie Newsome for more information at 404-425-8510.

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 Cedartown Optimist Club meets on Thursday mornings at 7:30 a.m. for their weekly breakfast meeting and encourages members to join in and take part at the Goodyear Civic Center on Prior Street in Cedartown. Those interested in joining the Optimist Club and help local youth organizations can contact Ronnie Dingler by e-mail at nmvideo@bellsouth.net.

Cedar Lake Christian Center is a non-denominational community who invites anyone looking to find the Holy Spirit within them to come join in worship services on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. with the Rev. Neil Hopper, along with Hispanic services as well to the community. Those interested in participating can join in at Cedar Lake Christian Center, located at 1890 Rome Highway, Cedartown. For more information call 770-608-0651.

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.