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Rotary Club hosts food box exchange club in partnership with Exchange Club, Davies Shelter

Over 2,000 boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables will be distributed from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds on Wednesday as part of an event hosted by the Rome Rotary Club and Seven Hills Rotary Club.

Rome Rotary Club President Nancy Smith said they were approached by the Rotary Foundation about the event and said if they raise half the money for the program with other local clubs, the international organization will pay for the other half.

Around 74 pallets of boxes will be delivered to the fairgrounds by the United States Department of Agriculture. Each box weighs around 25 pounds and is filled with all kinds of produce from farms all over the Southeastern United States.

Some of the produce includes potatoes, eggplants, oranges, apples and zucchini, but Smith says it varies depending on where they get it.

“You’re actually helping a farmer out if you come get a box,” Smith said. “The USDA is sponsoring the program and they’re paying the farmers to get food out of the field. It’s helping the farmers, helping the people that get the box and it’s just helping all the way down the line.”

The club was only given about a week’s notice for the event, but Smith feels good about how quickly they’ve put it together.

The Rotary Club partnered with the Exchange Club of Rome for the venue and the Hope Alliance and local Boy Scout troops will help load and unload the boxes.

According to the Davies Shelter and Hope Alliance director Devon Smyth, Southeastern Mills will be providing a forklift and driver, as well as other volunteers.

One of Smyth’s favorite parts about the event is there is no registration or prerequisites to receive a box.

“We’re just neighbors helping neighbors,” she said. “Neighbors need things right now and this is a way for neighbors to reach out and share what bounty there is.”

When entering the fairgrounds off of Kingston Highway, go through the back gate and follow the directions for the drive-thru. Once your car is loaded by a volunteer, you can exit through the front gate.

The Rome Shrine Club received a check Friday for $2,854.87, the amount which was left in the old John Wisdom Wagon Train account. Mike McDougald (third from right) said former City Manager Al Crace helped him start the Wagon Train with $3,500 from the city 40 years ago. The amount turned over to the Shrine club was what was left in the account after the final ride last fall. Coming together for the presentation were Bob Mount (from left), Charlie Carney, Frank Nealey, Shane Dover, McDougald, Billy Puryear and Rita Smith. Dover, president of the Shrine club this year, said the membership will decide if the money will be used for local charity work or be donated to the Shriners’ hospital system which has been hurt this year by the lack of fundraising efforts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Turkey harvest way up in Georgia this spring

Anyone who may have been looking for a silver lining during the COVID-19 pandemic need look no further than the nearest clearing in a nearby forested area.

Brent Womack with the Department of Natural Resources Region One office in Armuchee said Friday that the region enjoyed a tremendous turkey harvest this year. Statewide the turkey harvest was up 27% this year.

“It was a great way that people could maintain social distancing and yet still get out and be active” Womack said.

The wildlife biologist said he doesn’t have any way of knowing how many of the hunters were new to the sport, but said license sales were up pretty significantly this spring. DNR Communications officer Melissa Cummings reported that between March 1 and July 15, the sale of recreational hunting and fishing licenses in Georgia increased by 28% over last year.

“Some of our efforts have been around the three R’s, recruitment, retention and reactivation,” Womack said. “We want to recruit new hunters, keep propel hunting and then try to reactivate people who may have hunted as a kid but stopped.”

The ridge and valley region of the state across Northwest Georgia is one of the prime areas for turkey. Hunters took 2,253 gobblers from the region this spring.

“In the Southeast there has been a general trend of the turkey population as declining slightly over the last several years, but Northwest Georgia has seemed to be able to retain its population and in some areas it has actually increased,” Womack said.

He said the turkey population has remained very strong across the lower Coosa Valley region, particularly counties like Floyd, Polk, Paulding and Haralson.

‘They are all some of the higher success turkey harvest areas in the state. It’s something we can be proud of,” Womack said. The harvest on public lands across the state was up 26% this spring. The state managed Wildlife Management Areas, such as Johns Mountain, Allatoona, Crockford-Pigeon Mountain and Berry College WMAs are included in those figures.

Historically speaking, the Berry has provided some of the strongest habitat for turkey. Gobblers were trapped from the Berry area four decades ago for relocation and restocking efforts around the state in what has become a major success story for hunters and wildlife enthusiasts.

German auto parts maker building plant in Whitfield County

ATLANTA — A German auto parts manufacturer is bringing its first manufacturing plant in the Southeast to Northwest Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Friday.

GEDIA Automotive Group will invest $85 million in a state-of-the-art plant in Whitfield County that will create 200 jobs in the greater Dalton area. The facility will produce parts for electric vehicles.

“As we are a national leader in manufacturing, logistics and workforce training, I’m confident this family-owned business will be very pleased with their decision to join the growing electric vehicle ecosystem here in Georgia,” Kemp said. “Once again, the state’s consistent investment in our Germany-based European office is paying off.”

GEDIA supplies lightweight automotive parts to Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and other automakers around the world. The Georgia plant will be the company’s second in the United States, joining a plant in Michigan.

Friday’s announcement came as state Commissioner of Economic Development Pat Wilson was traveling in Germany to meet with government officials and trade partners. GEDIA’s German headquarters in the Bavaria region is among Wilson’s stops.

“This project is an essential step into the future for GEDIA,” said Markus Schaumburg, one of two GEDIA Automotive Group CEOs. “Moving closer to the original equipment manufacturers allows us to serve the American market even better.”

The new plant is expected to begin operations during the third quarter of next year.

Floyd Medical Center earns awards for cardiac programs

Floyd Medical Center has received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for the fourth consecutive year. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring heart failure patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on latest scientific information.

The goal is speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.

Floyd is also recognized on the association’s Target: Heart Failure Honor Roll which mandates that hospitals meet specific criteria that improve adherence to medication, provide early follow-up care and coordination, and enhance patient education.

Floyd earned the Get With The Guidelines award by meeting specific quality achievement measures which evaluate proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies. Before discharge, patients also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health.

“Floyd is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients with heart failure by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-HF initiative,” said Lee Clevenger, Floyd’s Director of Critical Care and Cardiovascular Services. “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

“We are pleased to recognize Floyd Medical for their commitment to heart failure care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., National Chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association, more than 6.5 million adults in the United States are living with heart failure. To learn more about heart failure care provided at Floyd, visit

Obituary: Annie Ross

Death Elsewhere

Annie Ross, jazz singer turned actor, dies at 89 in New York

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Annie Ross, a popular jazz singer in the 1950s before crossing over into a successful film career, has died. She was 89.

Ross’ manager, Jim Coleman, told the Washington Post that the entertainer died Tuesday at her home in New York, four days before her 90th birthday. She had battled emphysema and heart disease.

Ross rose to fame as the lead vocalist of one of jazz’s most well-respected groups, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. The trio became known for the 1952 hit “Twisted,” a tune by saxophonist Wardell Gray and written by Ross.

A decade later, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross went on to win a Grammy Award for the album “High Flying.”

Despite the success, Ross decided to leave the group while feuding with group member Jon Hendricks while she battled heroin addiction.

Ross eventually cleaned up her life, married English actor Sean Lynch and ran a nightclub for a short stint in London. But around 1975, she declared bankruptcy, lost her home and divorced Lynch, who soon died in a car crash.

While Ross struggled to find work as a singer, she turned her attention to acting. She appeared in plays such as “A View From the Bridge” along with the musical production “The Pirates of Penzance.”

Ross broke through as a familiar face in the 1979 film “Yanks,” which led to other roles. She appeared as a villain in “Superman III,” a writing student in “Throw Momma From the Train” and an aging jazz singer in Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts,” which helped revive her career.

Ross ultimately reinvented herself as a witty cabaret singer. Despite her transition, she received the Jazz Master honor from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2010.

In 2014, Ross released the album “To Lady With Love,” a tribute to Billie Holiday. She often performed at the Metropolitan Room until the venue closed in 2017.