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Main Street's Fall Festival coming this Saturday
• Traffic detours in Downtown Cedartown from Ware to Sycamore Streets for this weekend's event

Cedartown's annual Fall Festival is coming up this weekend, and those who want to come out and enjoy the annual Shrine Parade should find a spot to park and get to the Main Street sidewalk before a 10 a.m. start.

That means the Main Street will be closed down starting before the 9 a.m. kickoff of the festival from just above Ware Street to just below Sycamore Street until it concludes this Saturday afternoon, and people will need to detour around if they don't

wish to stop for the fun.

Locals and visitors alike should be able to find parking off of Main Street without a problem and ought to stop by and enjoy what promises to be a busy day for all.

The festival itself will kick off at 9:30 a.m. with the first half a Hair and Fashion show being put on in front of F.H.F. Hair Design at 303 Main Street, with the parade to follow, and the second half of the fashion show after at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday's fashion show in front of the Main Street salon is being put on by F.H.F. Hair Design, The Brave Sparrow and Nicki's Dress Up Boutique.

The plans are to showcase what is in store for fall fashions available at The Brave Sparrow and Nicki's Dress Up Boutique, as well as the hair and make-up transformations undertaken at F.H.F. Hair Design.

Events continue throughout the day with a Dog Show put on by the Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society in the south Main Street park, an 11:30 a.m. finale of the fashion show in front of F.H.F Hair Design, and then dance performances from 1 to 1:45 p.m. put on by the Cedartown Academy of Performing Arts Dance Studio at the Holloway Park stage.

Downtown Cedartown Association Executive Director Ramona Ruark said it's nice to see the festival have a lot more to offer for visitors and local residents alike.

Ruark added around 50 vendors with a variety of arts and crafts, food, and more for sale will be lining Main Street this Saturday.

"We'll have our food court between Ed's Cleaner's and the Coca-Cola building on Main Street," Ruark said.

Additionally, the day includes the Polk County Historical Society's archaeology day for youth ages 6 to 10 to allow them to participate in an 'Artifact Dig' for $2 each. Each junior archaeologist will get to keep one item that could range from shark teeth, glass beads, or even arrowheads.

The museum will also be hosting the Throttle Jockeys in their parking lot to give visitors the chance to see classic and antique cars from bygone days.

Visitors will also get to enjoy watching arrowheads being made and spinning cotton on a wheel as part of the festivities as the museum's new location at 117 West Ave.

The 41st annual Fall Festival is hosted and sponsored by the Downtown Cedartown Association.

Live music will also be among the attractions for the annual event, held in Cedartown each year on the first weekend in October. Businesses downtown will also have sidewalk sales and specials during the festival.

DA's office seeks justice for child victims
• Latest conviction a rare example of abundance of evidence in child molestation case

When local prosecutors head to trial on a case, they usually do so with only one thought in their mind: get a conviction so justice for a victim can be served.

It's not easy to get the win when some defendants come to trial and stand accused by victims without a lot of evidence or witness testimony to prove what happened. Especially when those victims are children, and the accusations made involve unspeakable violations committed by adults.

Yet that's the job of Assistant District Attorney Jordan Amendola (formerly Stover,) who pointed to her latest conviction against a Cedartown man accused of child molestation in late 2016 as one of the reasons why her job is hard but rewarding at times.

Ronald Shirey, arrested on Christmas Eve 2016, was found guilty on charges of child molestation, cruelty to children in the first degree and sexual battery of a person under 16 after the trial concluded last Thursday, Sept. 27.

He'll face sentencing on the trio of charges in late October, according to Amendola.

The charges stemmed from a December 2016 incident where Shirey was accused of molesting a 14-year-old female relative in a house with 17 different people living under one roof, and others in the room at the time according to Amendola.

She said it was a rare case where all the pieces lined up as they should: victim is willing to come forward, physical evidence from exams following the incident were available, and eyewitness testimony placed Shirey in the room and committing the crime.

"We definitely almost never have witnesses in a child molestation case," Amendola said.

Having a lack of evidence or witnesses when accusations are made of child molestation is a problem District Attorney Jack Browning is fully willing to admit makes gaining convictions difficult.

"At the end of the day these are some of the hardest cases to prove in a trial," Browning said. "When folks come in, everyone wants to see a child molester instantly convicted. But when it comes down to it, it often times comes

comes down to a child's word against an offender's word. A jury can sometimes get nervous about the thought of taking the word of a child over an adult. So when we get a conviction on these, it's kind of a big deal to us."

He added that "It's always the focus of our office to prosecute these cases and try to bring these folks to justice. We never lose focus on that. We also have to be mindful of how difficult these cases are to prosecute."

Sometimes it's a lack of evidence, or testimony that makes convictions difficult. Other times, it is because accusations are made against people who are considered trusted friends or family members, and those can be difficult for people to both believe and pursue.

It isn't stopping the Tallapoosa Circuit District Attorney's office from pursuing the cases, however.

Amendola has become the "resident expert" according to Browning within the District Attorney's office on child molestation cases, having won three so far, and two of those just this year. There's plenty more where that came from, Browning said. The trial calendar remains full of examples of difficult prosecutions for child molestation cases.

"These cases are the most heartbreaking to lose, but when you win them it's the most rewarding thing about this job," Amendola said.

The DA's office also has programs in place like victim advocacy, which provides people who have suffered from crimes of all kinds to give those individuals a voice in the process, as well as partnerships with organizations like the Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia.

However, the first step toward winning those cases is that a crime is reported at all. Anyone who has information about child predators are encouraged to call police now and report what they know, by either dialing 9-1-1, or calling local law enforcement on nonemergency lines. The Polk County Police Department can be reached at 770-748-7331, the Cedartown Police at 770-748-4123, and the Rockmart Police at 770-684-6558.

'Know in 24' Promise Reflects Breast Center's Commitment

Susan Grout's stress level would have been lower in 2001 if she didn't have to wait. She was diagnosed with breast cancer that year. It took three weeks and a second mammogram before she finally met with a surgeon to find out what would happen next.

The following summer a lump was found in her other breast and she had to wait a week to find out it wasn't cancer.

"That week," she said, "was longer than the three weeks because I knew what would happen if it was cancer."

Seventeen years later, she can still recall the anxiety of not knowing. The staff at the Breast Center at Floyd pledges to make sure no one has to experience that feeling of living in limbo ever again. With its "Know in 24" promise, the center is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of delivering a quick and compassionate response to patients who get a mammogram.

"I think from the minute you walk in the door it is a welcoming place. Those ladies at the desk are very friendly and helpful," Grout said.

Susan Grout's husband, John Grout, is impressed with the Know in 24 promise and understands how difficult it is to make process changes work. He is a business professor at Berry College and is an expert in production and operations management. Grout also advises the quality committee of Floyd Medical Center's board.

The willingness to absorb necessary labor costs and create work schedules that get the job done requires a commitment.

"That costs money and it is all the more admirable that Floyd is not going to cut that cost, because I think knowing in 24 hours is a wonderful gift to the community," he added.

Dr. Paul Brock, a general surgeon with Harbin Clinic who was instrumental in the creation of The Breast Center at Floyd, agrees with Grout about the importance of the promise.

"It's always been the right thing to do," Brock said. "It's a logistical problem for the center but it becomes a personal problem for the patient. Now patients are diagnosed within 24 hours and are in a surgeon's office in a week with treatment plans being made."

That ability to respond quickly to all patients required planning and cooperation, said Aimee Griffin, Director of the Breast Center at Floyd.

"My understanding is that in the past at other places, if you were a medical professional or if you knew people who knew people it got you certain treatment, and you would know faster than three weeks," said Griffin. "We asked ourselves 'how can we deliver that level of service to everybody?'" she said.

Griffin said the process has gotten so efficient that now, a lot of times if a woman comes in for a mammogram in the morning, they'll get a call about the results after lunch. That is the culture at the center, thanks largely to a dedicated staff of around 35.

"Very quickly the staff begins to see the impact that has on a patient," she said about delivering results quickly. "So, now every time they make that phone call they get to hear many women exhale and say 'thank you very much.''

The Breast Center at Floyd is located on the third floor of the Harbin Clinic Tony E. Warren, M.D., Cancer Center, 225. W. Fifth St., Rome. Call 706.509.6840 to schedule an appointment.

Why is the Paper Pink?

For the seventh consecutive year, the Polk County Standard Journal has gone pink to recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Pink Paper honors all those who have been touched by breast cancer, from victims and survivors to loved ones who provide help and love along the way.

This week's change in color also serves as a reminder from The Breast Center at Floyd, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary educating and empowering cancer patients.

Early detection is crucial to successfully treating those with breast cancer. Some 252,000 women in the United States were diagnosed in 2017, and many of those are now survivors thanks to continuing innovation in detection and treatment.

Since 2001, Floyd Medical Center has focused on breast health awareness month in October and the Standard Journal is helping to spread their message of hope.

Doctors Reflect on Breast Center Revolution of Care

Drs. Paul Brock, K. Daniel Phillips and Steven Hom are experts in different branches of medicine, but when it came to the creation of The Breast Center at Floyd a decade ago, all three agreed something transformational had to be done to better diagnose and treat patients in northwest Georgia.

"The delay of treatment for the women in our community was prevalent," said Dr. Brock, a general surgeon with Harbin Clinic. "The time between mammograms, diagnostics and treatment was as much as one or two months. That was unacceptable."

Aimee Griffin, director of The Breast Center at Floyd, said they were seeing women with advanced stages of breast cancer whose survival rates would have been much higher had they been diagnosed earlier.

Creating an environment where women could get an accurate diagnosis within 24 hours of having a mammogram seemed daunting at the time. Radiologists, pathologists and surgeons all had to be on the same page before The Breast Center at Floyd's Know in 24 promise could become a reality.

"It was significant in that it required the different specialties to change the way they did things," said Dr. Phillips, a radiologist with Rome Radiology Group. "It reprioritized the importance of breast care and we had to trust one another. We were looking as a collaborative whole at what was in the best interest of the patient."

He said the success of their efforts is visible and he credited Floyd Medical Center for its role.

"Women know they

come to The Breast Center at Floyd and the will receive the highest level of care possible in a patient-centric way. None of this would have been possible if it wasn't for the administrative support of Floyd Medical Center."

Dr. Hom, president of SouthEastern Pathology, P.C., agreed that working together resulted in what was best for the patient, a 24-hour turnaround time.

"I can fully appreciate the anxiety produced in having to wait for a result, and reporting results this quickly is very gratifying to us," Dr. Hom added. "The major concern when we began this program was not sacrificing quality for a quick diagnosis and with the help of the histology departments at Floyd Medical Center and SouthEastern Pathology we can have the slides quickly including special stains."

Griffin called the collaboration between Rome Radiology Group, Harbin Clinic and SouthEastern Pathology outstanding.

"We have created a state-of-the art program where women in northwest Georgia have access to the most efficient, compassionate and highest quality care available," she said.

The Mobile Mammography Coach has also played a huge role in reaching more women earlier.

"It was critically important to us to realize there were certain women not getting screened because they were the primary breadwinners in their families and they worked in businesses and industries that did not allowed them to take time off," Dr. Brock said. "That mammogram machine now goes to industries throughout seven counties and we do mammograms for women who would probably not otherwise make it to a routine screening."


Learn more about diabetes and how to eat healthy with the disease in an upcoming class being held this Thursday, Oct. 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Nathan Dean Community Center in Rockmart (604 Goodyear Ave.) The event being held by the Polk County Extension Office includes a lot of useful information about the disease, risk factors and healthy habits. Preregistration is required by Sept. 27. Those who attend are entered into a drawing for a FitBit. Contact 770-749-2142 or e-mail to take part.

On Thursday October 4 at 11 a.m., the Rockmart Library will host the Rome Library Puppeteers. This entertaining and engaging puppet show features stories, songs and audience interaction with children ages 0-5. This puppet show is entitled "Welcome, Friends!" and centers around getting to know the friends around you. This program is free of charge.

October is Clergy Appreciation Month, and a celebration is planned for a Clergy Connection Breakfast hosted by Polk Medical Center on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 a.m. Guest speaker for the event is Judge Mark Murphy. Mark those calendars and share with clergy contact and plan to join for the morning event. The event is being sponsored jointly by Polk Medical Center and the Polk County Chamber

Commerce. For more information, contact

Halloween Hoopla continues this week on Friday, Oct. 5 for Spooky Stories at the Library. Visit for more information about the Halloween Hoopla and other events on the calendar through the end of October.

Cedartown's 41st annual Fall Festival is coming up this Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the annual Shrine Parade kicking off the event on Main Street, with additional festival activities and vendors to follow. Visit to learn more.

Get tickets now for the upcoming Farm to Table on Marble, set for Oct. 6. The dinner will take place in downtown Rockmart in the outdoors, with tickets starting at $60 for individuals or $225 for a whole table of six, stretching 200 feet in total. The meal will feature locally grown products, and will start at 6 p.m. Purchase tickets now by contacting Shonna Kirkpatrick at, Dan Bevels at, or to take part as a sponsor by emailing

Georgia author Mr. Raymond Atkins will be at the Rockmart Library on Wednesday October 10 from 5 to 6 p.m. He will be introducing his latest novel "Set List" which is centered on two young men from Sequoyah, Georgia, with limited prospects and big dreams in the music industry. Atkins is a multiaward winning author and longtime resident of Floyd County.

Get ready for another rocking night at the Cedartown Performing Arts Center as Polk County welcomes WILKES to the stage with several special guests on Saturday, Oct. 27. Doors will open for the show at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are on sale now and start at $15. WILKES will be joined by Kaleb Lee, Pryor Baird and Garrison Ray for the event. Call the box office at 770-748-4168 to reserve tickets now, or go online to

Rockmart Library is pleased to announce a new monthly class that will introduce new users to computers. The first class will be held on October 11, 2018 at 5 p.m. and is free of charge. Space is limited and reservations can be made by calling 770-684-3022.

Bethel "Crossroads" Baptist Church in Taylorsville is hosting Cooper and Princess Preslie to present Our Pastor book signing and dedication on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Books are available for purchase and signing on the porch, along with free refreshments and activities for youth. Organizers also ask that participants bring a coat for the church's drive. Bethel Baptist Church is located at 450 Iron Hill Road, Taylorsville.

Get ready for the annual Riverwalk Festival in Rockmart along the Euharlee coming up on Saturday, Oct. 20 in Rockmart's Seaborn Jones Park. Vendor registration is underway now, and those interested in taking part can visit for more information, or call 770-684-2706 to talk to special events coordinator Jeff Holstein. Admission to the festival is free for the general public.

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.

If you are interested in things that go bump in the night, the Georgia Paranormal Investigators will be presenting their best case evidence at the Rockmart Library on October 18, at 5:30 p.m. This unique opportunity will let attendees see various types of evidence collected from real paranormal investigations and ask questions of their own! The public is invited to attend this free of charge event.

The 2018 First Baptist Church Homecoming is being held on Sunday, Oct. 28 in the North College Street sanctuary. Lunch will follow in the Family Life Center. Call 770-748-3120 for more information, or visit

Cedar Christian School is accepting students for enrollment for the start of classes this fall. Those interested in Christ-focused education for their youth can contact them at 678-901-3500, e-mail, or visit the Cedar Christian School Facebook page. The school located at 625 West Ave., Cedartown.

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.

Join the First Baptist Church of Cedartown for Halloween fun with their Trunk-R-Treat event being held on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 5:30 p.m. in the church's parking lot. Call 770-748-3120 for more information, or visit

Join the Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society for their annual Spayghetti Dinner, this year being hosted by the First Presbyterian Church of Cedartown on Saturday, Oct. 20 from 4 to 8 p.m. It's a dine-in or take-out meal, and a 50-50 raffle is also being held. $10 per person. Call Charlotte Harrison at 706-252-4412 for more information.

Anyone who enjoys local history will want to come listen to Georgia author Lisa Russell discuss her newest book entitled "Underwater Ghost Towns of North Georgia." This talk centers on the history of North Georgia's manmade lakes and the towns that were displaced to create them. Russell will be at the Rockmart Library on Tuesday October 30 from 5 to 6 p.m.

The Harrell-Weaver Reunion is coming up in October, and family members are invited to come take part in the annual gathering. Relatives are asked to come to Fairview Baptist Church in Rockmart on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring food enough to feed immediate family members, and additional to share. E-mail for more information.

Second Baptist Church of Cedartown is hosting the Reaching Every Generation conference which is open to the public to attend from Monday Oct. 22 through Wednesday, Oct. 24. The event kicks off during Sunday, Oct. 21 with a morning worship service featuring Dr. Don Dowless, President of Shorter University and an evening event featuring First Baptist Church of Rockmart pastor Jason Odom. From Oct. 22 through Oct. 24, the evening's speaker will feature Dr. Wayne Bray, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Simpsonville, S.C. Additionally, an evening meal is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 (RSVP for the conference, and especially the meal is required) and worship continues each night at 7 p.m. following. Scarlett Wool will also perform on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Visit for more information, call 770-748-5252 or e-mail Pastor Justin Carter at for more information and to RSVP for the conference.

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.

Halloween fun is coming to Cedartown and Rockmart on Wednesday, Oct. 31. The Downtown Cedartown Trick or Treat goes from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., with a costume contest to follow featuring children 12 and under in Holloway Park, and the dog costume contest to follow. Rockmart's annual Festival of Treat's in downtown Rockmart kicks off at 4:30 p.m. to wrap up at 6:30 p.m., with a costume contest at 5:30 p.m. and the pet costume contest at 6 p.m.

Celebrate the Bible Month September with us! Facts and testimonies from and about the Bible! The event is coming up this Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Sept. 27, 28, and 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Holloway Park (in front of the Court House). Bible displays and much more. More Info at: 770-748-0077 or 770-715-0419, or by visiting; The event is being put on by the International Missionary Society of Seventh Day Adventist, Reform Movement.

The Polk County Democratic Committee meets on the second Saturday of every month at 9:30 a.m. During even numbered months the group meets at The Rockmart Library at 316 N. Piedmont Ave., Rockmart, and during odd numbered months the party meet at the Cedartown Welcome Center, 609 Main St., Cedartown. All are welcome to take part! Check out more information at the Polk County Democratic Committee by searching for them on Facebook.

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 for more information or questions. The church also updates weekly on their website at

The next West Georgia Spay/Neuter Clinic is coming to the Cedartown-Polk County Humane Society again on Wednesday, Oct. 24. 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 and Nov. 28, 2018.

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 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, or visit