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Rockmart blood drive continues amid pandemic

Giving blood is a way to help people in need by providing something more precious than money or clothing. It’s a life or death scenario that few donors get to see play out.

Currently, the nation’s healthcare system and medical community is being publicized more than ever due to the precautions and treatments for COVID-19. But the American Red Cross is hoping people will remember to continue to be a part of the process as well.

For Dora Dryden and the volunteers at the bimonthly Red Cross blood drives in Rockmart, they are working to keep donations up, provide important information and make sure all donors are safe.

The blood drives now occur twice a month, every other month, at the Great Room fellowship center at The First Baptist Church of Rockmart. The second drive of the month was added recently to try and make up for other community blood drives that were forced to cancel at the height of the pandemic.

“Plus with schools canceling classes in the spring, many spring blood drives at schools had to be canceled, and the Red Cross depends on those a lot,” said Dryden, who serves as the Blood Program Leader for Rockmart.

The cancellation of many special event drives has led to a critical need for blood as regular donors may have concerns about donating in the midst of a pandemic and others don’t get reminded to give either at their work or school.

There are several precautions taken at blood drives to help limit the threat of the new coronavirus, such as temperature checks when entering the building, requirements for wearing face masks and the use of only prepackaged juice and snacks for donors to take after giving blood.

Physical distancing is also put into place, with waiting areas and donating tables spread out to avoid close proximity with others. Donors can also sign up for an appointment online to encourage fewer people coming at once. Dates and times to sign up can be found at www.redcrossblood.org/give.

“So far we are making our goals, and we’re very lucky that we’ve been able to do that,” Dryden said.

The first Rockmart drives of the month have a goal of around 40 donors, which is set by the Red Cross. Since the second drive of the month is newer its goal is around 20 donors.

The next blood drive in Rockmart is scheduled for Sept. 17 from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. November will be the next month for the blood drives, with drives on Nov. 10 and Nov. 19.

Van Ausdal drops out of NW Ga. congressional race

Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal announced Friday he is withdrawing from the 14th Congressional District race against Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The district covers Polk and 11 other counties in Northwest Georgia.

“I am deeply saddened by the personal and family reasons that prevent me from continuing on as a candidate ... Although all the details will remain my family’s alone, please understand this was not an easy decision. We are real people managing hard choices,” he said.

Van Ausdal — who was campaigning vigorously as late as last Wednesday night — said he will be moving out of Georgia. He thanked his supporters in a statement released by his campaign, and urged them to shift their support to a new nominee.

It was unclear Friday if there will be a replacement or if Greene will be the sole candidate for the seat held by U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, who did not run for reelection.

“Because we’re so close to the election, it changes the dynamics. You have to be deceased or disqualified to be replaced at this point,” said Wendy Davis on Friday.

Davis, a Rome city commissioner, is a member of the Democratic National Committee and serves on the executive committee of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Davis said since Van Ausdal is leaving the state he could be declared disqualified. The final decision was set to be made by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, after the formal paperwork is filed.

“When the secretary of state makes that determination, the party would name a candidate the next day,” Davis said.

The Associated Press reported that Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said Friday the window has passed for Democrats to replace Van Ausdal.

Key dates

♦ Tuesday, Sept. 15, is the first day absentee ballots may be mailed out, under Georgia law.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has set up an online portal where all registered Georgia voters may request absentee ballots.

No reason is required, but the information must match exactly with what’s already on file. Visit the Georgia My Voter website for a link.

♦ Oct. 5 is the last day to register to be able to vote in the Nov. 3 general election.

Registration can be done online through the My Voter Page or county elections office websites and in-person at the elections office and at any Georgia Department of Driver Services office. The one in Floyd County is at 3390 Martha Berry Highway.

Mail-in applications also are available at many public facilities, including libraries, schools and state offices such as DFCS and the Department of Labor.

Voters must be legal residents of the United States, Georgia and the county where they are registering, and at least 18 years old by Election Day. Georgia does not allow anyone serving a felony sentence to vote.

♦ Oct. 12 is the start of the early in-person voting period, which runs through Oct. 30.

Runoffs, if needed, will be on Dec. 1 for local and state offices and Jan. 5, 2021, for federal offices.

Standard Journal Area Calendar of Events from the Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 edition

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at First Baptist Church of Rockmart, 311 E. Elm St., on Sept. 17 from 12:30-5:30 p.m.. There is a critical need for blood at this time.

Crossroads Bridging the Gap, 512 E. Gibson St., Cedartown, is having its grand opening from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26. Food, games, and other activities are planned for both adults and children. Crossroads Bridging the Gap aims to meet the physical and educational needs of neighborhood residents through after-school tutoring for children, adult literacy classes, food distribution, counseling and other services. For more information call Willie Mae Simpson at 678-249-5323.

Tallatoona CAP is accepting appointments for the LIHEAP CARES Cooling Assistance Program for the general public for assistance with their electric bill. All households that did not receive LIHEAP CARES Cooling Assistance during the month of July are eligible to apply. For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit www.tallatoonacap.org or call 770-817-4666, option 2, or 770-773-7730, option 2.

The Spooky Spokes Bike Ride and Halloween Village is being planned for Oct. 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. at 605 Lynton Drive. This is not your typical trunk or treat. In fact, there are no trunks, only good-old fashioned fun. Join us for seasonal kids’ activities, hay ride, a costume contest, bike ride and more! Keep up with event updates on cedartowngeorgia.gov.

Market on Main is coming up this fall on Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in downtown Cedartown. The annual festival on Main Street will showcase a variety of vendors, along with the annual parade, dog contest, kid’s activities, food and more. Visit Cedartowngeorgia.gov to find updates on Market on Main.

The Northwest Georgia Center for Independent Living holds a COVID-19 Peer Support call every Monday at 2 p.m. via the Zoom website and by phone. For the link and password, or if you need assistance, contact Christina Holtzclaw at 628-246-1825 or choltzclaw@nwgacil.org.

The NWGA Center for Independent Living is offering free Personal Protection CARE Kits to people with disabilities who live in Northwest Georgia. The kits include three face masks, two disposable thermometers, give pair of gloves and alcohol wipes. To request a kit and become a consumer, contact the center at 706-314-0008 or info@nwgacil.org.

The Rockmart Farmers Market is back in business, though with social distancing and sanitation guidelines in effect. Come take part in the market on Waters Street in downtown Rockmart on Thursdays starting at 2 p.m. Find weekly updates about available produce and more at facebook.com/rockmartfarmersmarkert.

Milltown Music Hall has information on shows that are being scheduled for this summer at milltownmusichall.com.

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

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

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