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Where's the water going?
• The Cedartown City Commission is set to discuss and figure out where millions of gallons of water are going.

An unsolved annual issue reported by the City of Cedartown in yearly audits is starting to bubble to the surface as officials seek to plug the problem.

Millions of gallons of city-treated water is being lost and there doesn't seem to be an immediate reason where the water is going or why, according to City Manager Bill Fann.

In actual terms, the water isn't really lost to the community since there could be several reasons for the reported loss recorded in loss audits the city has been putting together since 2012.

Fann said previously, a group was contracted to complete a survey of the system and see if there were any significant leaks that could account for the numbers.

"We had them look to see if there were any major problems that could explain the issue, or several minor leaks," he said.

"They found leaks, but nothing that would account for the losses we've seen."

The water itself isn't evaporating into thin air and disappearing. Fann said the problem is that when the city pulls water out of Big Spring at the treatment facility and sends it to customers, each gallon goes through meters so it can be charged to individual, commercial or industrial accounts.

Non-metered water is the real issue. Water used by city departments, or lost when leaks occur before they are fixed, or by firefighters when they are sent out to an emergency isn't tracked and no charges are associated with it.


Relay for Life coming up this Saturday at Fairgrounds

It's not too late to get involved in the fight against cancer as the annual Polk County Relay for Life gets underway on Saturday at the fairgrounds in Cedartown.

For instance, there are still several fundraising campaigns underway locally to help teams raise money for the American Cancer Society's annual event.

Underway now is the Paint Polk Purple campaign, seeking $10 donations for ribbons to hang up during the week prior to the Relay for Life. Businesses and residents are encouraged to participate and call Kara Lawrence at 770-546-6014 or Lean Breandon at 770-500-0051 for more on how to participate.

Ribbons started going up on April 30, so don't wait long to get one.

Vase Floral Expressions donated the ribbons to hang on mailboxes or business doors during the week.

Along with the purple ribbon campaign is also the annual kiss a pig contest.

Formal challenges of participants in teams in the Relay for Life can donate any amount to get someone to kiss a pig.

Those challenged to pucker up to a porker's snout can get out of the kiss by matching or exceeding the donation amount pledged in the initial challenge.

The Kiss a Pig challenge is taking place during Relay for Life, and all money raised will go to Sarah's Crusaders Relay team.

The day before Relay will see the final event take place, and organizers are encouraging folks to join a team today for the Co-Ed softball tournament being held at the Nathan Dean Sports Complex starting at 6 p.m.

It's a one-pitch, double elimination tournament, and costs $225 per team for a donation to participate. Contact Nancy Wright at 678-591-3191 for more information.

Relay for Life kicks off at the Fairgrounds at 4:30 p.m. with the survivor dinner, then officially gets started at 6 p.m. with the survivor lap following at 6:15 p.m., and the caregiver lap at 6:20 p.m. Luminaries are set to be lit by 10 p.m.

For more information or to start a team, check out relayforlife.com/polkga.


Arts festival marks full arrival of spring

College Street was lined with cars over the weekend and Peek Park was packed full of people to make spring's arrival in Polk County official with the celebration of the 53rd annual Cedar Valley Arts Festival in Cedartown.

Dozens of vendors from Polk County and out of town took part in the annual festival organized by the Cedartown Junior Service League as one of their largest fundraisers of the year.

Among the vendors this year was one young entrepreneur busy showing that arts and crafts doesn't always have to conform to traditional merchandise usually seen at the festival.

Shae Wagoner, mother of young entrepreneur Della Kate Wagoner, helped out with sales at DK's Rainbow Slime booth over the weekend. The slime, a simple homemade concoction sold in small cups in a variety of colors, was something that the Westside student made on her own.

"My daughter started making it about 5 or 6 months ago," she said. "She and her friends had a lot of fun with it, and then she took it to First Baptist gym and a lady suggested that she bring it to the arts festival."

Organizers encouraged Della Kate's participation in the festival, Wagoner said, and her daughter ended up making 1,600 cups and kept busy helping customers throughout the day.


Little Library now open on Silver Comet

Visitors to downtown Rockmart — whether local or just passing by on the Silver Comet Trail — can now find something new to read in the first Little Free Library in Polk County.

Sharon Cleveland, the director of the Rockmart Library, decided it was about time that local residents get involved in the international project to bring books to where they are needed.

"I had seen them, and I thought that it would be a good way to connect with the rural community and potentially start up community libraries like these," she said.

"Sometimes it takes someone taking the first steps to get people interested, so I thought it was a good first step to take and get the ball rolling."

The spirit of the Little Free Library is to lend out books without requiring the requirement of a set date to return, like you would in a traditional library lending system.

Instead, patrons of Little Free Libraries are asked to instead swap a book, keeping literature of all different types circulating in the community.

Cleveland said that already the idea is taking up steam.

One of the first patrons of the Little Free Library — a four year old whose name she didn't catch — agreed to give one back from her collection for taking a Dora the Explorer book.

"Inside the books, we have information about the program to help people understand and get them interested," Cleveland said. "But it's a lend one, give one back program."

The Little Free Library — located right at the Silver Comet Trailhead at Seaborn Jones Park — is open all the time and books can be swapped out or donated at the Rockmart Library for future circulation within the box, which is shaped like a colorful, large birdhouse.

Cleveland said the Little Free Library is not officially affiliated with the Rockmart Library or the regional library system, but that she will take donations of books if people are interested in giving to help keep the stock up.

Her hope is that with the formation of the first Little Free Library box in Rockmart, others will take up the cause of building their own around the community and forming small lending groups to maintain them.

It's not hard to make a box, and so long as it is registered at littlefreelibrary.org, it can join thou sands of others around the globe.

Cleveland said the boxes can be any kind of shape people want to try out, so long as they have a door that can protect the books from the weather, and a way to ensure that books are kept stocked within.

Boxes can also be purchased from the Little Free Library website and can be put up within a day. Cleveland purchased a box pre-made from the website so it would be easy for the city to put up.

"I would really love to see people get really creative with their designs," she said. "People have made them look like old phone booths and other things, or even used old phone booths repurposed, bookshelves repurposed. Everything about this is repurposed."

Information about upcoming Rockmart Library events and programs are also being posted on the side of the Little Free Library as well, Cleveland said.

Any kind of book can be shared in the library, so long as it is appropriate for all audiences, Cleveland said.


AREA CALENDAR OF EVENTS

The Rockmart Farmers Market begins their summer and fall schedule this week with extended hours. Check out the market in downtown Rockmart behind the Rock mart History Museum and Southcrest Bank on Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m. from now through Thanksgiving. Visit the website at Rockmartfarmersmarket.com for more information.

The next West Georgia Spay/Neuter Clinic is coming to the Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society today. 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. The next date coming up is May 17. Vaccines and tests are available for extra cost as well.

The next spaghetti dinner at American Legion Post 12 will be Wednesday May 17. Spaghetti, meatballs, garlic toast and salad for $5, all you can eat. Serving from 5 to 7 p.m. Trivia starts at 6 p.m. Bring your friends and come join the fun.