Stephens Music Company has settled into its new space in Central Plaza, 500 East Second Avenue in Rome. The company just moved from space in the Etowah Crossing shopping center off Hicks Drive in East Rome.

Owner Shane West said he was in the Hicks Drive space for almost eight years before deciding to make the move, largely for economic reasons. "I didn't look at any place that wasn't cheaper per square foot," West said.

The shop in Central Plaza has approximately 1,200 square feet of space more than the shop on Hicks Drive. He said that means a much larger showroom to display all of the company's musical inventory. "It means more lesson space and more storage, too," West said.

West started out as an employee of Travis Stephens at the business' original location in Calhoun.  Stephens decided to retire in 2006 and West bought the company. He made the decision to open a second location in Rome in the fall of 2010 and ultimately closed the Calhoun shop in 2015.

West also owns Broad Street Guitars, a spin-off of SMC at 338 Broad Street in downtown Rome. He said was doing the same kind of lease shopping for that business and that Hardy Realty of Rome brokered both the downtown and Central Plaza moves.

MJ's Grill now serving in Shannon

MJ Haltom and her husband Jamey have had a hankering to open their own restaurant for a while and have made that dream come true at MJ's Grill  on Georgia 53 at Georgia 140 in Shannon. The restaurant opened its doors for lunch this past Friday June 1.

"We're going to have wings, burgers, chicken strips and sandwiches among other things," MJ said. "This is new for us."

She is a teacher, however her husband has had some experience in the restaurant industry. "Jamey wanted to get back into this and I'm just supporting him," MJ said.

The building is still owned by Dennis Nolan who ran Opi's in that location for a while. The restaurant has turned over a couple of times since Noland closed. MJ said the fact that she and her husband have lived in the area for so long and they know so many people who have said they would check out the restaurant leads her to believe they can make a go of it.

She has been a teacher for Gordon County Schools for years and will not give up teaching. 

The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 or 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. "It depends on long they want to stay," MJ said.

Corps now taking hunting permit applications at Allatoona

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Allatoona Lake is now taking applications for hunting permits on Corps property for the 2018-2019 hunting season. There is a $20.00 special activity permit fee assessed accessed on all permits issued.

Requests are being taken by mail with applicants needing to include the hunter’s name, address, telephone number, pertinent State hunting license number, e-mail address, self-addressed stamped envelope and check or money order.

All hunters are required to have a permit in order to hunt within USACE hunting areas. The Corps typically issues 400 permits to hunters who would take advantage of more than 2,700 acres of public land, but note - these permits do not apply to the Allatoona Wildlife Management Area, where hunting is overseen by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Specific maps for the Corps acreage are available online at www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/AllatoonaLake/Hunting.aspx.

For additional information, including specific fee data contact Corps officials at 678-721-6700

Requests should be sent to:

Allatoona Lake Project Management Office

1138 State Route 20 Spur, SE.

Cartersville, GA 30121