Support for the Hearne family following the tragic death of Det. Kristen Hearne continues in Polk County this week, and among those who are thinking of ways of making a fitting tribute in her memory are the Polk County Commission.
Commission Vice Chair Jennifer Hulsey said during a combined night of work session and regular meeting for October held last week that discussions are ongoing about ways the county may properly honor Det. Hearne after she was shot and killed in the line of duty on Sept. 29.
"We want to honor her in a very respectful way," Hulsey said.
The rest of the commission echoed their own grief and support for the Hearne family, and also thanked law enforcement from around the area coming in to help the Polk County Police Department during and after the incident. That included the Cedartown Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff's Office, who worked during times when fellow police officers who worked with Hearne needed the time off to grieve themselves, and during the funeral on Oct. 3.
"When Polk County comes together, it really comes together," she said.
They also had praise for Officer David Goodrich, who they called a hero for his efforts during Hearne's shooting death.
More plans about how the Commission plans to honor Hearne will be forthcoming in the weeks and months ahead, Hulsey said.
As the community mourns, court proceedings are moving ahead against those accused in her shooting death, with formal indictments now being handed down.
Tallapoosa Circuit District Attorney Jack Browning said the formal indictments were handed down on Thursday, Oct. 12 against Seth Brandon Spangler and Samantha Michelle Roof on charges of murder, malice murder, aggravated assault, obstruction of law enforcement officers and theft by receiving stolen property. Spangler was additionally indicted on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Additionally indicted by only involved in the attempt for Roof to flee is Michael Anthony Fossett Jr. for methamphetamine possession and hindering apprehension or punishment of criminal.
Efforts continue by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into producing evidence for the criminal case, but they had not yet released any further information at this time. That included on whether they had found the gun and Spangler's clothing, which he shed before he came out of the woods on Sept. 29 and was apprehended by police.
In additional news, the City of Aragon confirmed that Lt. Matt Hearne, Det. Hearne's husband, made his resignation from the Aragon Police Department formal last week on Oct. 10.
Aragon City Clerk Christie Langston said his reason was to spend more time with his son and family.
Who is the best banker, the best pediatrician or who has the best biscuits in Polk County? Here's your chance to tell us yourself.
The annual Best of Polk County voting is going on right now, and we want to hear from you who stands out among the competition in 96 different categories of persons, places, businesses and food and drink in 2017.
Thousands have voted in the past, and we hope that thousands more will visit our Facebook page and click on the voting link, or go to npco.secondstreetapp.com/Bestof-Polk-County-2017/to take part.
Or turn to this week's edition on Page A5 to find a paper ballot that you mail in to take part in voting.
All paper ballots must be turned in by next Friday, Oct. 27. Online voting also comes to a close next week as well. Tallies will be decided and winners will begin being notified by the end of the month.
Please do no turn in photocopies of the paper ballot. They will not be accepted. Additionally, any ballots questionable considered questionable by those conducting the tally can be rejected.
We'll be releasing results of the Best of Polk 2017 in December, with a special section as we have in past years.
Aragon successfully added another event to the city's lineup of activities with the first annual Pumpkin Fest that brought food, crafts, pumpkins, hay rides, and live music to Tom Pittman Field for a day of celebrating what makes fall one of the best times of the year.
Upon arriving at Pumpkin Fest, citizens found vendor booths lining the walls of Pittman field with food, drinks and home-made crafts.
A variety of vendors were on hand offering up everything from funnel cakes to Halloween crafts and much more in between, but the star of the festival was definitely the orange gourds that mark the season.
Not all vendors were for profit, however, and corn and concession sales were raising money in for the Aragon Summer Food Program which strives to supply out-of-school children with daily meals.
"Last year we fed them for about 6 weeks," program cook Debbie Pittman said. "We're raising money so we can afford to feed the kids all Summer long this time."
Pittman makes all of the food herself from home and makes sure the children have a different meal option each day.
Other entertainment options included hay rides which took citizens around Pittman field by tractor, an inflatable bounce house which children could be seen jumping on non-stop, pumpkin decorating that let citizens show off their creative capability, and an art booth of locally drawn and colored pictures themed around fall.
Aragon Mayor Gary Baldwin was present during the festival and seemed to be enjoying what Aragon had accomplished.
"This is the work of the planning committee," Baldwin said. "I didn't have a part in this. It was slow, so they asked what we could do to get some excitement in the city-the Pumpkin Fest was the way to do it."
The Georgia Still Band was the festival's primary source for country, folk, and bluegrass tunes which passersby seemed to enjoy. Formerly known as the Dalton Dover Band, Georgia Still is centered in Polk where it was created by Dover. The country music played by the band is reminiscent of small town life and living in the titular state.
The festival seemed well received by attendees who were interested in what Aragon would produce for their first attempt at a fall festival.
"I heard about it on Facebook and texted my granddaughter and she wanted to go," attendee Pamela Mimbs said. "I went to Cedartown's and I plan to visit Rockmart's fall festivals, so I figured I would try Aragon's out too," spectator Lou Henley said. "It's a better turn out than I expected."
Aragon has an upcoming chili festival in November and will be seeing their second annual Christmas parade in December. Those looking to stay informed on the city's happenings can visit http://aragon.proactit.com/.
Only a trio of candidates are now seeking to be chosen as the next Polk County commissioner to take over the remaining term for the District 3 seat.
Larry Reynolds, Hal Floyd and Tim Yarbrough are the ones remaining out of an original five who sought the position, after two decided to drop out of consideration for the seat.
Previously, Ken Suffridge decided that he was going to give up on the idea of serving after discussions with family and friends about whether he should, since he had already retired from politics with the decision to not run for a second term as Aragon's mayor.
Edwin Britt, who also applied for consideration as a candidate for the District 3 seat, decided just before having to go before the Commission for a Q&A session on Oct. 9 that he would drop out as well.
That left Floyd, Reynolds and Yarbrough to take questions from Assistant County Manager Barry Akinson, who for a second time acted as moderator as the rest of the board sat in the audience and listened in.
Floyd was the first plant manager at Tiptop Poultry in Rockmart, and served up until the beginning of August on the Polk County Board of Education.
He resigned from his position back before the start of the school year — and replaced by Judy Wiggins — in the District 6 seat for the Board of Education.
He is a longtime resident of Rockmart after he moved to the area to open the Tiptop plant in the late 1980s, ran for the Board of Education seat on a campaign of both managerial and budgetary experiences, and on providing more transparent government for local residents to better understand the decisions made by the school board.
Reynolds, who previously held the seat he seeks to be the replacement for from 2009 through 2012, looks to return to the county commission following his loss to gain the seat back from former commissioner Stefanie Drake Burford in 2016.
His hopes are that if given a chance to serve again, he might bring better communication between all the commissioners on the board.
Reynolds, a U.S. Navy veteran who served after graduating from Rockmart High School until January 1965, went to work at 21 at Ford Motor Co.'s Atlanta assembly plant for 40 years, and has been retired for more than 20 years.
"I was born and raised in Rockmart, went to elementary school in Rockmart and graduated from Rockmart High School," he said.
His hopes are that if selected as a commissioner, he can do more to help the community he loves.
Local resident Tim Yarbrough is hoping his credentials and opinions about local issues will help him get selected.
Yarbrough, who started out as a chemist at Bekaert Steel in Rome and later went into full management at the facility for 22 years, now is finishing up his career at Angelica.
He stepped up as a candidate for the seat in order to help solves several issues the commission has faced over the past year.
The trio all provided varying answers to the same list asked of candidates who sought the District 1 seat during a question and answer session held in August which resulted in the selection of Jose Iglesias to serve in the position.
All provided different reasons when asked why they wished to serve the county, with Reynolds pointing to previous experience and his dedication to fact-finding without any agenda as his main impetus to take part.
Floyd had similar reasons for seeking the seat as well, but pointed to a desire to "help with current problems and future planning" in the county as it grows in the years ahead.
"It isn't a popular time to be a commissioner," Yarbrough said when given the chance to answer. He added that with a variety of problems faced by Polk County — from questions over the landfill to whether paid firefighters should be hired to serve — as just one of many he hopes to help solve if selected.
All also discussed their abilities with leadership and management in former and current work, and providing unifying voices to the board if chosen to fill the seat, among others during the question and answer session.
The Rockmart seat — vacated with the resignation of Stefanie Drake Burford as of Aug. 31 — must be filled before the end of the month by the commission meet a 60-day deadline imposed by an ordinance change in past years.
If the commission can't decide by a 4-1 vote on a new member to join, the process will be turned over to the Board of Elections to run an application process, then gets turned over the Grand Jury after a month to make the selection.
'I was born and raised in Rockmart, went to elementary school in Rockmart and graduated from Rockmart High School.'
Polk County commissioner candidate
'It isn't a popular time to be a commissioner.'
Polk County commissioner candidate
Join the Polk County Police Department to honor the memory of Det. Kristen Hearne at a blood drive this coming Tuesday. The police department and Dr. Mark Wall are teaming up with Blood Assurance to host a drive in the this coming Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Board of Commissioners meeting room at the Polk County Police Department. Those who donate will be eligible for a drawing for two winners of a $100 prize, and potentially more. Want more information? Visit bloodassurance.org or call Andy Anderson at the Polk County PD at 770-748-7331.
AREA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
The annual State of the Community address is coming up on Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with a focus on the state of government, industrial development, workforce and education and the state of service at In the Woods in Rockmart. Tickets are $25 and include heavy hors d'oeuvres. Contact the Polk County Chamber of Commerce for tickets and more information at polkgeorgia.com or by calling 770-684-8760.
Rockmart's annual Riverwalk Festival on the Euharlee is coming up in Oct. 21. Visit rockmart-ga.gov for more information about how to sign up to become a vendor and to participate in festivities.
Taylorsville Baptist Church, 19 Church St., Taylorsville, will hold their fall revival starting on Oct. 22 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., and continues from Oct. 23 through 25 at 7 p.m. nightly. Guest evangelist, Rusty Womack, Pastor of Lost Mountain Baptist Church, will be preaching. Special music will be presented each service.
The next spaghetti dinner at American Legion Post 12 will be on coming up tonight, Oct. 18. The meal is spaghetti, meatballs, garlic toast and salad, $5, all-you-can-eat. Trivia with Tom and Betty starts at 6 p.m. All money raised go to Veteran and children programs.
The first Aragon Chili Cook-off is coming up on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, at Tom Pittman Field, located at 105 Prospect Road. Enter your best chili or to sign up as a vendor call Jess at 770-896-1165 or visit Aragon City Hall to fill out a form and pay a $10 setup fee. A cash prize of $100 goes to the Judge's Choice chili, with a trophy for People's Choice and Showmanship. Gates open at 11 a.m. on Nov. 4.
The Cedartown First United Methodist Church is holding a Fall Festival and Trunk-or-Treat event on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free to the public. The church is located at 201 Wissahickon Ave., Cedartown.
The next West Georgia Spay/Neuter Clinic is coming to the Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society on Wednesday, Oct. 25. 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. The next pickup date available is Nov. 8.
The Bellview Baptist Church Fall Festival is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m. Games, inflatables, hayrides, candy, popcorn and more. The festival is free. The church is located at 2333 N. Bellview Road, Rockmart.
Homecoming services are being held at First Baptist Church of Cedartown on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 11 a.m., with guest speaker Joe Anderson. Lunch to follow in the Bob Holcombe Family Life Center. All are invited to participate.
New Harmony Baptist Church presents Judgment House 2017 on Oct. 25 through Oct. 27 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. in a journey from life to death and into eternity to show how choices made in life can lead to infinite consequences. The event is free on all three nights. Make a reservation by calling 706-340-2513. The church is located at 951 Prior Station Road, Cedartown.
The first ever Trunk or Treat event is coming up at the Polk County Police Department, located at 73 Clines Ingram Jackson Road in Cedartown on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Come join the fun at the department while officers hand out candy from the trunks of their police cruisers.
The First Baptist Church of Cedartown is holding a church Trunk or Treat on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. in the church parking lot. The event is open to the public.
Tickets are on sale now for a barbecue fundraiser to donate to the family of Detective Kristen Hearne of the Polk County Police Department. The barbecue will be from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Polk County Police Department, 73 Cline Ingram Jackson Drive in Cedartown. Tickets can be purchased from the Aragon Police Department, through Jada Campbell Edwards at the City of Rockmart, Kattie Trammell with the Polk County Emergency Management Agency and ALLSTAR Motors in Rockmart. Sosebee, Beth White and Richelle Barber Dodd are also selling tickets as well ahead of the barbecue itself. Find the trio on Facebook for more information.
A raffle will be held on Oct. 25 to draw for the winner of a custom made knife and sheath produced by Alex Hazell of Hazel Bladesmithing and Forge. Those interested in participating can purchase tickets for $5 each, or 5 for $20 at facebook.com/hazellforge.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 wants to talk to you. They are organizing an updated directory of 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 email@example.com or call 770-684-8760 for more information about being included in their updated church directory.
The regularly scheduled meeting of the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission is being held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Gordon County Agricultural Service Center in Calhoun. Special guest speaker for the meeting is Deputy Director Rusty Haygood of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Coosa Valley Regional Services is holding their monthly board meeting on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. in their main office in Rome at 3 Riverside Industrial Parkway NE. The public is cordially invited to attend.
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 Cedartown Sole Mates Introductory Line Dance Classes continue this Thursday through the next few weeks. The classes are from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Senior Center at 605 Lynton Drive (Northwest Park) in Cedartown. There is no charge for the classes and you do not have to be a senior to participate. After the last class, participants are encouraged to join in our regular classes. If you miss the first class, we can help you catch up. For details call Helen Keefer at 770-749-1962.
Get out to the Polk County Extension Service's annual twice-weekly vegetable market before the of the month of October to get fresh produce from local farmers. Market vendors gather on Tuesdays and Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Peek's Park in Cedartown. Call the extension office at 770-749-2142 for more information or to learn how to participate.
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.
Tickets are on sale now for a Veteran's Day concert in Cedartown. Visit Cedartownshows.com for more information to find out how to purchase tickets now for event being held at the Cedartown Performing Arts Center on Nov. 11. Prices are $12 in advance and $16 at the door. Free admission for all veterans and active duty personnel.
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.
Please join in the festivities coming up for the Cedartown High School Class of 1977's 40-year reunion coming up on Saturday, Oct. 21. Please visit the reunion's website www.chs1977reunion.com for registration and details, or contact Patty D. Tillery at 770-748-9038.
The East side Elementary School's annual Fall Festival is coming up this month, and promises to provide plenty of fun for the whole community. It'll feature a spooky science night, representatives from the Rockmart Fire and Police Departments and Redmond Regional Medical Center, plus inflatable play areas, a petting zoo, hayrides, carnival games, cake walk and more. Wristbands are on sale with unlimited access to games, inflatables and most activities. Food and drink will be on sale with cash only available with Chick-fil-A, Timbo's Smokehouse and others participating. Call the school at 770-684-5335.
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.
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.