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DAPC hires Schwindler for new president

Terry Schwindler

The Development Authority of Polk County made their final vote and approved a new hire to take over as President and CEO of the organization during their latest meeting.

Economic Development Director.

She served in that role for the past six years and in the process recruited 80 new companies and kept another 58 companies in the county northeast of Macon. Prior to her hire to head up Putnam County's Development Authority in 2013, she served as the Manager of Business and Industry for the Macon Economic Development Authority.

Schwindler holds a Bachelor's degree from the BSBA in Marketing University of Florida and an Master's in Business Administration and Marketing from Kennesaw State University.

DAPC Vice Chair Karen Nissen said in a press release that the board is excited to welcome Schwindler to Polk County.

"Terry (Schwindler) brings to us an impressive amount of economic development experience and expertise to the table," Nissen said. "We look forward to future growth through her new efforts once she begins in November."

Schwindler is no stranger to Polk County. She said that her family has been through the county before on the Silver Comet Trail. She added she has a preference of rural communities over cities, and when the position opened up she saw it as a huge opportunity.

She added that Polk County's SPEC building program is one area of positive growth, along with additional resources already available in the community.

"One of the other things I would like to do is develop some GRAD sites — or Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development," she said. "I'd like to do that some on a few properties, and shorten the amount of time to get a company to put shovels in the ground and provide security on a project."

Schwindler won't be starting in November, but will be taking part in the upcoming State of the Community address organized by the Polk County Chamber of Commerce on October 29 to begin introducing herself to community stakeholders and leaders.

She comes into the position after it sat vacant for more than two months following the departure of former DAPC President and CEO Missy Kendrick. Kendrick left the post to take on the same role at the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority at the beginning of August.

The vote to hire Schwindler was the final bit of business for the Development Authority during their Oct. 11 session, which brief discussions of project activity before they went into executive session.

The DAPC board also tabled approval of the financial report for the previous month and an item to purchase new computer replacements, which were delayed over the past two months.

Events coming for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is perhaps the most cause-heavy time of the year.

While breast cancer awareness and drug prevention are certainly important topics to remember and provide assistance, it is crucial to also recognize that this month marks National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Millions of men and women will suffer physical and mental abuse from their partners or loved ones each year. It's an issue that affects people regardless of race, religion, status, or origin, and while many locations don't have the resources needed to combat domestic violence, Polk County does.

Our House continues to provide temporary shelter, temporary protective orders, legal advocacy, support group references, referral services, and many other services for those in need. The group's 24-hour crisis line – 770-749-9330 — ensures help is always available, and between July 2010 and

June 2015, Our House received approximately 1,358 crisis calls and sheltered 377 women and 271 children.

The group's legal advocate, who locals can schedule an appointment with by calling 770-748-6633, aided 353 victims in obtaining temporary and permanent protective orders during that same time span.

The shelter's stays open in part thanks to the contributions of locals, and with the arrival of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Polk citizens have new opportunities to give back and help end the cycle.

The group is hosting its annual charity golf tournament, a four-man scrabble, on Oct. 18 at Cherokee Golf Club. Those interested in team information or sponsoring a hole can call 770-748-2300. More information about the club can be found by visiting https://www.facebook.com/CherokeeGolfClubCedartownGA/.

On Oct. 25, the group is hosting a candle light vigil in the court yard of Cedartown's Court House #2 at 7 p.m. The event is focused on both remembering the victims of domestic violence and honoring those who've survived their abuse.

There's also the day-long #PaintPolk-Purple event on Oct. 28. Citizens are being asked to post a picture of themselves wearing their best purple on a social media of their choice with the hashtag #paintpolkpurple.

Purple is the official color of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so those who can't participate in any of the events can still help out simply by wearing the color.

Our House was organized in 1995 by a group of women who found the growing number of domestic violence incidents in Polk disturbing. The team grew to over 50 volunteers before establishing a 24-hour crisis line, and the financial support of Polk citizens, as well as various state agencies, helped pave the way for Our House to be officially named a "safe house" by the Department of Human Services.

A life of fear and abuse is not the norm, and those in need are urged to contact the shelter.

A Bunch of Hocus Pocus
Chamber events continue through month's end for Halloween celebration

Halloween Hoopla so far is proving to be a lot of fun for folks around Polk County as events continue through the spooky season thanks to the Chamber of Commerce.

One event that will prove to be a lot of fun for the whole family and also lend opportunity for some scares is the forthcoming Hocus Pocus Family Night scheduled for Thursday, October 24 at 6 p.m.

For the second year in a row, the Chamber with the help of H&R Block will be showing the cult Halloween classic "Hocus Pocus" in the auditorium at the Rockmart campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College, with the opportunity for ghouls and gremlins of all sizes to enjoy trick-or-treat bags, popcorn, a coloring station and a chance to win a Hocus Pocus-themed door hanger during the event.

The hanger will be raffled off following the conclusion of the movie.

Those who want to dress up for the evening are also encouraged to do so. The event is free for all who wish to participate.

Chamber Executive Director Blair Elrod said the whole of the community is encouraged to come out and show their love for the Halloween season.

"We are looking forward once again to a fun Hocus Pocus Family Night, but it's not the only celebrations we're having for Halloween," Elrod said. "There's plenty of fun to be had before the season ends."

That included Slime Time Kitchen for youth is being held for youth this Friday, Oct. 11. Those interested in participating still have time to sign up and pay the fee at polkgeorgia.com.

There's also forthcoming Halloween Costume Contest for businesses being sponsored by H&R Block as part of the Halloween Hoopla events for the year.

Businesses are encouraged to dress up together in a theme — whether it be from a movie, decade or just about anything — and send in photos to info@polkgeorgia.com by 12 p.m. on October 31 to be eligible to win. The photos will be going on Facebook by 1 p.m., and the business with the most likes by Nov. 1 at noon will win this year's costume contest trophy.

The Chamber is also participating in Rockmart's annual Festival of Treats on Halloween, starting at 4:30 p.m. Instead of a Halloween costume contest this year, organizers decided that they'll instead hold a Halloween parade of costumes starting at 5:30 p.m. to allow everyone to participate.

Halloween Hoopla also included a county-wide Scarecrow Contest for 2019. The winners included Century Bank of Rockmart in first place, Southcrest Bank in Cedartown in second place, and Southcrest Bank in Rockmart in third.

Century Bank's featured a scarecrow busy in the garden, while the Southcrest Bank's two winning scarecrows featured the Monopoly Man in Cedartown, and a Pirate theme in Rockmart.

Aragon hosts Fall Festival over the weekend

The City of Aragon never fails to put Tom Pittman Field to good use.

Residents gathered together over the weekend the first-ever Fall Festival, locals got the chance to celebrate all things October in traditional Aragon fashion.

While the city has held events like the Pumpkin Fest in years past, the Fall Festival saw even more activities and games for citizens to take part in. Attendees were kept busy with hayrides, live music, inflatable rides, hatchet-throwing, face painting, rock climbing, mechanical bull rides, bungee trampolines, basketball games, and much more.

Admission was free, and while some items did cost money, the outdoor showing of "Casper" gave everyone a chance to come together and enjoy themselves at no cost.

Even members of Aragon City Council could be seen joining in the fun, and since the festivities were scheduled for 10 a.m. through 9 p.m., locals were free to stop by at almost any point during the day.

Different events were scheduled over the course of the Oct. 12 festival, but regardless of when citizens showed up, they were treated to live performances

from some of the county's most talented musicians.

Dalton Dover, Aspen Ruff, and Becca Sides all took turns on the stage playing both covers of famous rock and country tunes and some of their own original songs.

Events like these also give local vendors a chance to set up shop and sell goods, so while the kids were taking turns bouncing on the inflatables, the parents could be seen shopping from the likes of Jessica Glover Crafts, Silvia's Crafts, AU Natural Skincare, Vintage by Nikki, and many others. Much of the food served at Fall Festival also came from Aragon businesses, and locals could be seen dining on lunch from the likes of Barn Belly Burgers, Angel Fire BBQ, Pappy & Gigi's Kettle Corn, and Taco Man.

While Aragon may be the smallest city in Polk County, their size doesn't stop them from hosting events and having a good time.

Those who enjoyed the event owe thanks to the various sponsors and organizers who helped put on the event such as members from the Aragon City Council, the Aragon Police Department, and many others.

Cotton Hill Cemetery volunteer work continues, underway
New fundraiser is underway to help purchase a gazebo to place on the property, continue preservation efforts

The graves of hundreds of people were at the beginning of the year hidden away in the woods just outside of the Aragon city limits on Prospect Road, where a century ago a church stood.

Now a group of volunteers continue to bring back the final resting place of people whose names in many cases were never recorded on their gravestones, and provide a reminder of what came before in Polk County.

The work began earlier in the year thanks to the efforts of J.R. Forsyth, who is now heading up a new effort on the Restore Cotton Hill Cemetery Facebook page and with an GoFundMe campaign to match to bring a gazebo to the property that used to be home to Shady Grove Methodist Episcopal Church.

The campaign sought to raise $3,500 toward the goal of placing the structure in the

same spot where at one point a pavilion once stood. They raised $450 online by Friday morning.

During the week, Forsyth updated the organization's Facebook page to announce they found a gazebo for a low price, and were picking it up and bringing it into place on Friday after press time.

"We are trying to preserve this historic site for future generations heritage," organizers said on the campaign website.

The site also reports the plan to use a local company to complete the work.

Volunteer work continues and estimates of the number of graves top more than 270 after a summertime figure of 180 was initially provided by volunteers on the site. They continue to find headstones that were buried under the soil many years before.

When Forsyth started the work previously in February, it was mainly a project to begin clearing the area of debris near the roadway. Then with the help of additional volunteers, they began finding graves and clearing more of the space around Cotton Hill Cemetery.

Forsyth said when he began work, the area was previously flooded.


The 2019 Riverwalk Festival on the Euharlee is coming to downtown Rockmart on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with music and make-up Homespun fireworks planned from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Join the fun at Seaborn Jones Park for arts and crafts, food and the Rotary Duck Races. Call 678-883-9024 for more information or email trailhead@rockmart-ga.gov.

The Community is invited to the Historic Van Wert Church & Cemetery on October 19 at 10 a.m. for a Veterans Memorial Service that will feature the 8th Regimental Band. The church is located at 72 Church St. Rockmart.

Taylorsville Baptist Church is having their annual Homecoming Service on Sunday, Oct. 20 starting at 10:30 a.m., with the message being provided by Brother Tommy Harris, former pastor. The service will also feature music from The Avenue Trio. Lunch and fellowship to follow, all are welcome to attend. Taylorsville Baptist Church is located at 19 Church Street in Taylorsville, Ga.

Anna Kresge Memorial United Methodist Church in Cedartown is hosting their Homecoming Service on Sunday, October 27 with worship to begin at 10:55 a.m. The church is celebrating 15 years in their sanctuary at 15

Booger Hollow Road. The public is invited to come out, and then return later in the evening from 5 to 7 p.m. for a Trunk or Treat event.

Who says adults can't have fun? Businesses are encouraged to dress up together in a theme on Halloween day. This could be a movie, a decade, anything. Send photos to info@polkgeorgia.com by 12 p.m. on October 31. Photos will be posted on the Chamber Facebook page by 1 p.m. Each "like" counts as a vote. The business with the most likes on November 1st at 12 p.m. wins a trophy.

Plan to get in costumes and come out and enjoy an evening of fun during the Hocus Pocus Family Night as part of the annual Halloween Hoopla events organized by the Polk County Chamber of Commerce. The event is being held on Oct. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. and the community is invited to participate at the Rockmart campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College for a special showing of Hocus Pocus. All ages are invited to participate.

Rockmart's Festival of Treats is coming up on Thursday, October 31 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Local businesses will be out with candy for Trick-or-Treaters, there's a costume parade open for all participants in this year's event, and much more! The event is being sponsored by Family Savings Credit Union, the Downtown Rockmart Advisory Committee and the Polk County Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets are on sale now for the 2019 State of the Community Address coming up on Tuesday, October 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. The annual gathering is returning to In the Woods in Rockmart and covers topics that are insightful and relevant for the business community. A buffet dinner will be served. Visit polkgeorgia.com to learn more and register now.

The annual Thanksgiving meal in Rockmart provided by the Stocks Family is coming up on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The meal is offered up for free, and will include live entertainment throughout the midday event. Those in need will also be able to take home food baskets, clothes, coats and blankets. Toys for children in attendance will also be given out during the meal. God's Loving Angels will be assisting with the annual event. T-shirts will be on sale for $12; contact Floreace Stocks at 678-719-1981 for more information on how to purchase, or how to help put on the annual feast.

Wendy's Whimsical World Art Exhibit continues through Oct. 26 at the Rcokmart Art Gallery in the city hall complex on Piedmont Ave. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 4 pm. on Wednesdays through Saturdays, or by appointment. Call 770-684-2707 to learn more.

Celebrate Recovery meets every Monday night at the First Baptist Church of Rockmart starting with dinner at 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Large Group at 7 p.m. and Small Share Group at 8 p.m. They'll be hosting their 5th anniversary celebration on November 11, 2019 starting with dinner at 6 p.m. The guest speaker will be Kris Castro.

Cedartown's Christmas parade is coming up on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. on Main Street! This year's theme is "Candy Lane" and entries are being accepted to participate. Visit Cedartowngeorgia.gov to learn more now!

The holiday season is coming up soon for Rockmart's annual Christmas parade, kicking off a weekend of events on the evening of Friday, Dec. 6 through the downtown square on South Marble Street and ending with the annual Christmas tree lighting. The Unwrap the Joy of Christmas event will continue on Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8 in downtown, including carolers, a Christmas 5K and much more. Check back for more in the weeks to come.

The Cedartown Farmer's Market has a new location and time for the 2019 season. Market-goers are invited to come out to the corner of Ware and South Main Street in Cedartown continuing on Tuesdays from 1 to 5 p.m. Contact Five Cedars Farm to participate at 678-246-1216 to learn more about becoming a vendor.

RCAC has classes for toddlers, children and adults at the Rockmart Cultural Arts Center in drawing, painting, photography, yoga, chorus, piano, whittling, and pottery. For more information, call 770-684-2707 or email rcac@rockmart-ga.gov

Give a child a safe place to go after school and learn valuable lessons about community, life and academics by getting involved in the Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Georgia in Cedartown. Visit their center at 321 E. Queen St., Cedartown from 2:30 to 6 p.m. on weekdays and bring your children ages 5-18 for afternoon activities. For more information on how to participate or volunteer, call our office at 770-749-0869 or email asams@bgcnwga.org.

The Rockmart History Museum on South Marble Street in downtown Rockmart is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Saturday 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The Museum welcomes visitors and group tours. Contact Pat Sampson at 678-764-5201 for information. RHM meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month and volunteers are welcome and encouraged to take part.

Interested in becoming a Foster or Adoptive Parent? Open your heart to a child in need and find out how you can help. Join others who seek the love of a child every second Tuesday night of each month at 6 p.m. at Polk County Division of Family and Children Services office, 100 County Loop Road in Cedartown. Information sessions explain what is required to become a foster or adoptive parent in Georgia. For more information call Robin Forston at 404-895-6517 or email robin. forston@dhs.ga.gov or call 1-877-210-KIDS. Visit www.fostergeorgia.com for more information.

The Polk County Democratic Committee Meets on the second Saturday of every month at 9:30 a.m. In the "even" months (February, April, June, August, etc.) the organization meets at The Rockmart Library at 316 N. Piedmont Ave., Rockmart and during the "odd" months (January, March, etc.) they meet at the Cedartown Welcome Center, 609 Main St., Cedartown, GA 30125.

The American Legion in Rockmart is hosting their monthly all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner coming up this Wednesday, October 16. Meal of spaghetti, meatballs, garlic toast and salad, $5. They hold dinners on the third Wednesday of every month. Join the group for a good meal and to support veteran and children's programs. The Legion is located at 1 Veterans Circle, Rockmart.

USAPA Pickelball Ambassador Daneen England is holding a free pickleball clinic every Monday (weather permitting) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rockmart Tennis courts, located at 436 Hogue Avenue, Rockmart. Loaner paddles and all necessary equipment will be on hand to learn t he sport. This is a free event for anyone and they just need to wear comfortable gym clothes and tennis shoes. Contact England at 770-356-1282, or by email at howardd999@yahoo.com for more information.

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.

Lutheran Services of Georgia's Heritage Adoption Program partners with DFCS to find Forever Families for children waiting in Georgia's foster care system. Information Sessions are held on the third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Rome Office, located at 336 Broad St., Suite 200. Individual sessions may be scheduled to accommodate families as needed. For more email aweaver@lsga.org or call 706-506-0649.

Did you know that nationwide the American Red Cross assists 53 people every 60 seconds during personal and local disasters? Our Northwest Georgia Red Cross Chapter serves Polk County. If you'd like to do some meaningful volunteering, please contact Arthene Bressler at 762-231-9896 and visit our website at www.redcross.org/local/georgia.

Get assistance

Do you think you might be pregnant? You can know for sure. Contact Life Matters Outreach today to schedule a free pregnancy test. You have a right to know all the options available to you. We offer free evidence-based education and resources so that you can make a well-informed decision. The services provided at LMO Pregnancy Care Center are free of charge. Clients are treated with respect and unconditional acceptance. We are here to help YOU. Call 770-748-8911 for more information.

Anna Kresge Memorial United Methodist Church will be sponsoring a clothing bank for children ages infant to 5 years old on the first Thursday of each month beginning in September from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the conference room of One Door Polk in Cedartown. Contact 770-748-6811 for more information on how to donate or participate in the giveaway.

Victory Baptist Church's Bread of Life Food Pantry is now open. One bag of nonperishable food, five items to pick from produce, eggs and milk and two items from frozen meats, breads and others will be available. ID is required. Limit of two IDs per address. Regular hours are Mondays, 1 to 3 p.m.; Tuesdays, 5 to 7 p.m.; and Thursdays, 8 to 10 a.m.

Community Share Ministries is hosting "Hope for the Hungry" on the first Tuesday of every month to provide food assistance to the community. They'll be in town again on Tuesday, June 4. Food is provided free of charge, and no identification is required to get help. Those interested can visit Community Share Ministries Cedartown thrift store at 1116 N. Main St., Cedartown.

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 will include all cases related to housing, employment, education, domestic violence, consumer fraud, wills, healthcare and other issues involved in the legal complications of everyday life. Call 404-206-5175 for more information.

Need to get an item onto the Area Calendar of Events? Email kmyrick@polkstandardjournal.com today! All items must be in at least two weeks before the event to appear in the Standard Journal on time.