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To recognize Black History Month, Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge Home will co-sponsor a workshop to help locals trace their African American roots at the Rome-Floyd County Library from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2nd.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Theta Omicron Omega Chapter and the Rome-Floyd County Library will co-sponsor the workshop which will feature a presentation by Emma Davis Hamilton, a genealogist who specializes in African American ancestry, particularly when searching for enslaved relatives owned by Native Americans.

Many African-Americans who trace their ancestry are surprised to find the connection with Native Americans. For the Cherokee, the use of African slaves for large-scale labor emerged after the United States became its own nation. In general, slave holding in the Cherokee Nation was limited to a wealthy minority of Cherokees, including Major Ridge. On the Chieftains property, Major Ridge owned 15 and 30 slaves and three slave cabins.

Chieftains Executive Director Heather Shores, will offer guidance, re-sources and exercises to unlock their African American ancestry.

The February 2nd workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To make your reservation, or for more information, please contact the museum at 706-291-9494 or via email at chmuseum@bellsouth.net prior to Jan. 30.

Steel King honored for fourth year in a row

Steel King Industries, which has plants in Wisconsin and Rome, has been awarded a Most Valuable Supplier designation by the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association.

The award recognizes outstanding business practices exhibited by member suppliers. This marks the fourth year Steel King has been honored with the award.

Steel King puts a strong emphasis on many of the practices MHEDA recognizes, which include a strong commitment to their distributor net-work, industry advocacy, community support and employee safety and continuing education.

The company manufactures a full line of material handling products from production facilities in Stevens Point and New London, WI, and the Floyd County Industrial Park off U.S. 27 south near Georgia Highlands College.

Products include selective pallet racks, dynamic flow storage systems, AS/RS racks for mini-loads or unit loads, cantilever racks, portable racks and custom shipping racks, along with industrial steel containers and guard railing. Products are made using only U.S. steel.

For more information, call Steel King at 800-826-0203, or visit them at www.steelking.com online.

Berry rolling with Spires development

Berry College broke ground near Eagle Lake, the old rock quarry this fall for its new continuing care retirement community this fall and last week picked up building permits for over $30 million dollars worth of construction.

Four permits were issued through the Rome-Floyd Building Inspection office for facilities at 600 Eagle Lake Trail. One building, listed as institutional hospital was valued at $16.5 million, a lodge building was valued at $2.5 million, an apartment building was listed at $8.6 million and a commons building was valued at $2.9 million.

The first residential units in the retirement community are expected to sometime some during 2020.

DNR identifies rare plants on Johns Mountain

Georgia Department of Natural Resources personnel have confirmed that a hunter who is a regular participant at hunts on the Johns Mountain Wildlife Management Area north of Rome discovered a rare pink-flowering plant this year which he didn't realize was a rare species.

After reading about pink ladyslippers in a DNR publication in November, the man reported his finding to DNR personnel who have added the sighting to its database kept by the Wildlife Conservation section. The site is now subject to additional land management protection efforts.