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Cash, drugs found after car chase

A Rockmart man remained in jail without bond after a large amount of cash and drugs were found in the sports SUV he was driving that wrecked following a short pursuit by Polk County Police.

According to Polk County Police:

Jeffery Edward Hodges, 35, was driving a white 2012 Porsche Cayenne south on U.S. 27 near Lewis Road north of Cedartown on Friday afternoon when he was detected to be traveling 84 mph in a 60 mph zone.

A Polk County officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle, but Hodges continued to lead police on a shorter chase that ended a little farther south when the vehicle wrecked near the intersection of U.S. 27 and Lake Creek Road.

Hodges was taken into custody without incident and the ensuing investigation uncovered $59,138 and around 100 ecstasy pills.

Also seized were approximately six ounces of suspected cocaine, approximately eight ounces of suspected marijuana, 25 prescription pills and a 9mm Glock 26 handgun.

Hodges is charged with felony counts of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, trafficking in cocaine and 25 counts of possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance.

He is also charged with possession of ecstasy, possession of ecstasy with intent to distribute, trafficking in ecstasy, possession of cocaine, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, second-degree forgery, as well as several traffic violations.


Local
Polk 4-H’ers attend summer camp

A group of 35 Polk County fifth- and sixth-grade students recently returned from a five-day trip that included a variety of activities and events that will help them become a better person.

Polk County Cloverleaf 4-H members attended Cloverleaf Summer Camp at Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton from June 13-17, providing them with an outdoor summer program unparalleled in the nation.

An array of workshops offers a hands-on experience that makes learning fun. Of course, swimming, nature hikes, indoor and outdoor recreation time make sure that our week at camp was fun-filled from beginning to end!

Adult volunteers for the week were Tiffany Gibson and Ezekiel Smith. Teen Leaders were Anna Prince and Minnes Smith.

Classes included swimming, archery, canoeing, “farm to plate,” herpetology, zipline and climbing wall, and low ropes for team building and cooperation. Campers also were given a tour of the Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation, as well as a day at White Water park.

Every Georgia 4-H camp offers great adventure, friendships, and fun, and all seek to develop the camper’s four “H’s” — Head, Heart, Hands and Health — to make him or her a better person.

For more information on the Polk County 4-H program call the Polk County Extension Office at 770-749-2142 or e-mail polk.extension@uga.edu. Polk County’s 4-H leaders are Dora Williams, Crystal Hollis and Gibson Priest.


Local
Rodgers getting his place among local greats

Escue Rodgers had a tradition of winning. He nurtured success after success, cultivating an athletic program that yielded champions. Not just shiny gold and silver trophies, not just a lengthy line of wins in the column, but a legacy of determination and excellence.

For the most part, Rodgers and his athletes excelled without help. They did it without much recognition. They did it with very little equipment. Rodgers was head coach and athletic director at Cedar Hill High School from 1945 until the late 60s. “He was a beacon of light for us,” recalled Cedar Hill alumni Terry Nelson.

Nelson, class of 1959, played football from 8th grade through 12th grade under Rodgers’ leadership. “He was a beacon not only for athletics but also academics. Coach carried us places, gave us experiences we would have never had otherwise. He’d carry a carload to Atlanta to watch a game and showed us how to scout.”

Nelson also said that he kept close tabs on his players, checking on them nightly to make sure they were home. “I remember going to the West Cinema. We’d leave from the theater late at night and we’d see his car circling the parking lot,” he laughed. “We’d take off headed for home for sure. He was one of a kind.”

Football, basketball, track — the Cedar Hill High School Panthers came from a small school but had a big reputation for winning. In fact, Rodgers’ teams were so good, local schools often refused to play them. So instead, Cedar Hill athletes were squared off against much larger schools in Atlanta. Even with more formidable challengers, it wasn’t unusual for the Panthers to still bring home a win.

Nelson was part of the 1957 championship team, a win he will never forget. He said that Rodgers was a skilled master of designing football plays, even though Rodgers himself had never played on a football team. “He used Coca-Cola bottles,” Nelson explained. “He’d take a case of 24 Cokes and position those bottles to show us plays and tell us positions.”

The man who loved to wear his ball cap was not only a coach, he was an encourager. He valued education just as much as a championship title — and there were many of those. The Cedar Hill Panthers were perennial winners under Rodgers’ leadership. They won 85 trophies in 24 years. The Panthers once held the record for most points scored in one season. During his tenure, Rodger’s football teams won 45 football games, lost 18, and tied four.

Cedar Hill won the State Championship B title in 1951 and finished second in 1952. They won the North Georgia title for four years (1951, 1953, 1955 and 1957). Making the playoffs became a regular occurrence under Rodgers’ leadership, and in 1954, the Cedar Hill Panthers won the Class B State Championship in football in a victory over Wayne County Training School of Jessup.

Rodgers was selected as head coach for the North Team of the first Georgia Interscholastic Association All-Star Gem in Macon in 1950. He guided the Northern All-Stars to a 13-7 victory over the Southern All-Stars. He was also a coach for the East-West GIA All-Star Football game in 1962.

After integration in the late 1960s and the phase out of Cedar Hill High School in 1969, Rodgers attained a position at Cedartown High School as assistant coach under athletic director Jimmy Carter. Off the field, Rodgers was well-loved in the classroom. He taught math and was just as much the encourager to his kids in front of the chalkboard as he was to his kids in uniform. “He always told us grades first, then football and sports,” said Nelson, who played basketball and ran track as well.

And it was his students, The Cedar Hill High School Alumni Association, that put forth the herculean effort in having Rodgers recognized in his community for his accomplishments. They wanted his story told and recognized. They wanted his accomplishments celebrated by future generations.

An application was submitted by the alumni association to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. It was the group’s wish to have Rodgers inducted. It took several attempts and five years, but on May 22, 2021, their wish came true: Escue Rodgers was officially inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. But they didn’t stop there.

Another success was earned by the group in July 2021, as $30,000 was raised and applied towards the creation of a bronze life-size statue of Rodgers to be placed in the Polk County Sports Walk of Fame.

And in the winning tradition and determination of the Cedar Hill Panthers, the statue of their role model — a community coaching legend — will be unveiled on Saturday, July 2 at 11 a.m. at the new home of the Walk of Fame along Philpot Street next to the Doug Sanders Golf Museum on Sterling Holloway Place.

Rodgers will take his rightful place along with the six other bronze statues that are displayed along the Polk County Walk of Fame. These statues were unveiled in 2016 and include local athletic greats and Georgia Sports Hall of Famers Ray Beck, Edgar Chandler, Doug Sanders, Whitlow Wyatt, Doc Ayers and Jimmy Hightower.

Cedartown native and sculptor Julia Knight created the first set of statues and was honored to sculpt Rodgers as well.

“This has been such a long-time coming,” Knight said. “We are really talking about an untold story here, the story of Escue Rodgers. When I began researching information and gathering photos before starting the sculpture, I realized that information, those photographs hardly exist. The only photos that seemingly exist are tiny and came from the school yearbook.”

Because photos were scarce, Knight worked closely with the Cedar Hill Alumni Association to recreate his likeness.

Cedar Hill alumni Carolyn Gibbs (‘65) worked closely with Knight in order to get the statue just right. “People just didn’t take as many photos back then. We gathered up what we could,” explained Gibbs.

Gibbs reflected on her memories to paint a complete picture of Rodgers to aid in the sculpture process. She created a profile for Knight to work with, which included his general stature and personality. Rodgers loved his ball cap, Gibbs recalled with a chuckle.

“He just wasn’t Mr. Rodgers without that ball cap, and when he couldn’t wear it, it was folded up and stuck down in the pocket of his trademark tan jacket.” Former students of Rodgers will be happy to see that his cherished ball cap and jacket are featured on the statue. “The statue is absolutely wonderful.”

Cedar Hill Alumni welcome the public to attend the unveiling ceremony. Words of reflection will be given by various alumni and a special presentation will be made to the Polk County Historical Society on behalf of the Cedar Hill Alumni Association.


featured
Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, Georgia expected to put 'heartbeat law' into effect

Republicans across Northwest Georgia celebrated Friday as the announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court had overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion.

“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion,” Associate Justice Samuel Alito stated in the 6-3 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “The authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and its elected representatives.”

The case examined a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks. Five of the justices — Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett) — concurred with Alito’s opinion.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a concurring opinion that upheld the Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks but argued the court should not have overturned Roe. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan dissented.

In Georgia, that means the state will move to put into effect the “heartbeat law” Gov. Brian Kemp pushed through the General Assembly. Passed in 2019, it prohibits most abortions after the detection of a fetal “heartbeat,” typically around the sixth week of a pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.

A U.S. District Court ruling in 2020 deemed the Georgia law unconstitutional, putting it on hold.

The state appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellate court said it would hold off on a decision until the Supreme Court ruled definitively in the Dobbs case.

“The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will likely soon take action to ultimately put Georgia’s six-week abortion ban into effect,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia said.

Georgia Republicans, across the board, cheered the ruling.

Marjorie Taylor Greene

“Today’s landmark ruling is a historic victory for life,” said Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. “I look forward to its impact on the legal proceedings surrounding our historic LIFE Act, and hope our law will be fully implemented and ultimately protect countless unborn lives here in the Peach State.”

14th District Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene emotionally cheered the ruling on her social media pages.

Franmarie Metzler 

Rep. Barry Loudermilk

“Our prayers were answers at the Supreme Court today,” Greene wrote on her Twitter page among other video posts praising the decision. “Roe is overturned and we are one step closer to ending the mass genocide of abortion in America.”

11th District Rep. Barry Loudermilk took a more reserved tone, applauding the decision.

“This decision by the Supreme Court upholds the original intent of the Constitution, by limiting the federal government’s authority to only the powers enumerated in the Constitution,” Loudermilk wrote. “This decision effectively returns the power to decide abortion policy back to where it was intended to reside, with the American people and their state governments. As a result of this decision, voters will now have the ability to decide whether to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent children in their states, or to allow for abortion, and to what degree.”

Democrats, on the other hand, spoke out against the impact of the high court’s decision.

Marcus Flowers

Marcus Flowers, a Democrat who is challenging Greene in the November election spoke out against Friday’s announcement.

“The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade is an assault on the rights of women across America, which we cannot allow to stand,” Flowers wrote. “’We the People’ means something and we must exercise our voices in November, and refuse to let our country be pushed back 50 years.”

Raphael Warnock

“I’ve always believed a patient’s room is too small a space for a woman, her doctor and the United States government,” said Sen. Reverend Warnock. “The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade ends a core protection for women to make their own health care decisions, and is a departure from our American ideals to recognize and protect basic rights. This misguided decision is devastating for women and families in Georgia and nationwide.”

“As a Georgian and a mother, I am most concerned with the impact this decision will have on the women and girls in this state,” said state Sen. Jen Jordan, D-Atlanta, who is running for attorney general. She pointed out that Georgia has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country.

“The basic right of having control over one’s own body will now wholly depend on the action of leaders that we elect at the state level,” Jordan said. “Our fundamental rights are on the ballot this November.”

What happens now?

The decision sets the stage for a swift rollback of abortion rights in more than half of the United States.

There are 26 states — including Georgia — certain or likely to move quickly to ban or severely restrict abortion access following the court’s decision, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health think tank. These include 13 states with so-called “trigger laws” in place that will ban or severely restrict abortion rights immediately or through quick state action.

States with trigger laws are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

Meanwhile, nine states still have pre-Roe abortion bans on their books that will now become active, and another 11 have bans on early gestational age abortions that until now had been blocked, Guttmacher said.

“This is just a huge setback in the strides we’ve made for reproductive rights within this country,” said Dr. Joanne Stone, chair of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. “It’s been devastating to me to think about how this is going to impact women throughout the country.”

More than one-quarter of all U.S. abortion clinics are expected to face eventual closure, as 202 facilities come under state-adopted abortion restrictions following the ruling, according to a report from the University of California, San Francisco’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health center.

The decision will “particularly decimat(e) abortion access for pregnant people living in the South and Midwest, where most of these closures would occur,” the report said.


Local
Standard Journal Area Calendar of Events from the Wednesday, June 29, 2022 edition

The Rockmart Library has several summer events happening that invite children, teenagers and adults to visit the library at 316 N. Piedmont Ave. The Floyd County ECO Center will be on hand for a presentation June 29 at 11 a.m. For more information call 770-684-3022.

The Polk County Historical Society is hosting Children’s Story Time on Thursdays in June and July. Different storytellers hold free story times at the museum starting at 11:30 a.m. every Thursday. The Polk County Historical Society Museum is located at 117 West Ave. in Cedartown.

Anna Kresge UMC is sponsoring a clothing giveaway for children ages 5 and under on the first Thursday of each month. The next one is scheduled for July 7 from 10 a.m. to noon at McBrayer Furniture Co., 502 Main St., Cedartown.

The Good Neighbor Center Food Pantry, 71 Woodall Road, Cedartown, is open the second and fourth Sunday of each month from noon to 3 p.m. for anyone in need of food assistance. The pantry is located next to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. For more information call 678-901-9184.

Cedartown Seventh-day Adventist Church, 71 Woodall Road, Cedartown, is hosting its free Vacation Bible School July 18-22 for children ages 5-11. Each day’s activities will last from 2-5 p.m. and the theme is “Jasper Canyon — Where Every Kid is Treasured by God.” Please call 678-901-9184 and leave a message with your name, number of children, names and ages.

A free notary training class presented by Polk County Clerk of Superior Court Stacie Baines and the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority will be July 20 from 1-2:30 p.m. The class will be conducted via Zoom web conferencing. This presentation will cover best practices, Georgia notary law, and examples of do’s and don’t’s. To sign up contact Angel at the clerk of superior court’s office at 770-749-2114.

Sons of the American Legion Post 12 in Rockmart hosts a $5 All-You-Can-Eat spaghetti and meatball supper each third Wednesday of the month from 5-7 p.m. at 1 Veterans Circle. Each meal comes with garlic bread, salad and tea, and all proceeds got to veterans’ and children’s programs.

Tallatoona CAP is accepting appointments for the LIHEAP Cooling Assistance Program for households. Appointments can be scheduled online at tallatoonacap.org, or by phone 770-817-4666, Option 2, or 770-773-7730, Option 2.

The Rockmart Cultural Arts Center has several art classes scheduled for children and adults in 2022. Take time this year to learn something new and bring out your creative side. For more information, visit the RCAC Facebook page at facebook.com/rcac.ga or contact the Arts Center at 770-684-2707 or rcac@rockmart-ga.gov.

Want to get your event or announcement on the calendar? E-mail JStewart@polkstandardjournal.com.


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