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Cedartown commission sends ‘brunch bill’ to voters

Voters who live in the city of Cedartown will get to decide on more than just three city commission seats in November’s election.

The city commission unanimously approved a resolution at their meeting on July 12 to place a question on the Nov. 2 ballot asking voters to decide whether the city should allow restaurants to serve alcohol as early as 11 a.m. on Sundays.

As the law stands now, those who wish to imbibe must wait until 12:30 p.m. If approved, restaurants with pouring permits would be able to serve alcoholic drinks as early as 11 a.m. on Sundays. The current start-time is 12:30 p.m. The vote would not affect package sales.

“There have been requests by restaurants and residents that the commission would consider at least a referendum,” City Manager Edward Guzman said.

Commonly referred to as the “brunch bill,” the Georgia General Assembly passed a law in 2018 that allows communities to decide for themselves if they’ll allow alcohol to be served with brunch on Sundays.

Once the results of the voting are determined by the Polk County Board of Elections and Registration, the city would either take action and amend the alcohol ordinance if it passes, or leave it alone if it does not.

Both Rome and Hiram have passed and adopted the earlier serving time in recent years. It is unclear how many Cedartown restaurants would take advantage of the new ordinance if it is approved.

In other business, the commission also approved the conditional use requests for two new businesses set to open along the Main Street corridor in downtown Cedartown.

One is for a new auto repair shop operated by Janeira Orellana at 631 S. Main St., while the other is for an indoor axe throwing venue operated by Kristina and Mark Richardson at 411 and 413 Main St. Both received recommendation for approval from the city’s citizen-led planning commission.

Two upcoming events were also given preliminary approval by the city commission.

The Cedartown High School Gridiron Club requested the closure of a section of Prior Street where it intersects with Main Street on Aug. 12 from 6-9 p.m. for a community pep rally. The event will also utilize Holloway Park just in front of Polk County Courthouse No. 2.

Also, Life Matters Outreach requested use of the Cedartown Welcome Center for its 5K/1-mile Fun Walk fundraiser on Oct. 9. The race will take place on the Silver Comet Trail and go from the welcome center east to Kimoto Tech and back.

The meeting also included a moment to recognize the retirement of Cedartown police officer Teress Henderson. Henderson spent 15 years with the department and was lauded by city and agency officials for her hard work and dedication.

She was presented with a handmade wood swing by the city in celebration of her retirement.

Cedar Hill alumni, city mark fundraising goal for statue of Rodgers

The lessons of former Cedar Hill High School coach and teacher Escue Rodgers instilled a spirit of determination and dedication into the students whose lives he touched.

Last week, a group of those students joined the Cedartown City Commission and the Polk County Walk of Fame Committee to see one of their longtime goals take the next step.

The Cedar Hill Alumni Association presented the city with a check on Monday, July 12, for $30,000 of donations to go towards the life-size bronze statue of their former coach and mentor that will be placed in the Polk County Walk of Fame.

Along with a $45,000 donation from the W.D. Trippe Foundation, the cost for sculptor Julia Knight to complete the statue has been covered.

Robert Baker, spokesman for the Cedar Hill Alumni Association support committee, thanked the city of Cedartown, the Walk of Fame committee and the alumni for helping bring the statue closer to reality.

In order to be eligible to have a statue on the Walk of Fame, a person must be selected to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. The Cedar Hill Alumni Association nominated Rodgers in 2017 and got word in May that he was being inducted into the group’s Legends category.

“We got a lot of support from the city commissioners, the county commissioners, some other prominent members of the Walk of Fame committee like Dale Tuck and Jane Wyatt, congressman Trey Kelly, and a number of Cedar Hill alumni,” Baker said.

“It’s been a phenomenal process.”

Once Rodgers’ induction was announced it took little time before the Walk of Fame committee approved the inclusion of the statue. The city then became the group’s fiscal agent for all funds for the statue.

Rodgers, who passed away in 1978, coached athletics at the former school for more than two decades during the 1950s and 1960s. He coached football, basketball and track for 24 years at Cedar Hill, and his teams won 85 trophies during that time.

The Cedar Hill Fighting Panthers football team was a perennial winner. During the time of segregation, Rodgers was named head Coach of the North Team, the first ever Georgia Interscholastic Association All-Star Team.

Rodgers was honored during his lifetime with numerous coaching and teaching awards including Coach of the Year from Fort Valley State in 1953, Morris Brown College Outstanding Coaching Achievement Award in 1956, and the distinguished Coaching Award from the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association in 1974.

“I played basketball for a couple of years, and he was one of my teachers for three or four years. It’s just an honor and a privilege to see him awarded with that honor,” Baker said. “It’s just an opportunity to acknowledge his legacy.”

Knight sculpted the likenesses of the first six athletes unveiled for the Walk of Fame — Howard “Doc” Ayers, Ray Beck, Edgar Chandler, Jimmy Hightower, Doug Sanders and Whitlow Wyatt.

Baker said she has already begun the process to create the statue of Rodgers, starting with a miniature model and then building up to a life-size version in clay that will be used to create the mold for the bronze statue.

Baker said the plan is to hold the unveiling of the statue July 2, 2022, during the Cedar Hill alumni’s class reunion weekend.

GBI: Aragon man shot while driving at GSP trooper

A 27-year-old Aragon man was shot in the arm by a state trooper while reportedly driving his vehicle at the officer.

The Georgia State Patrol has asked the GBI to conduct an investigation into the incident that happened Friday in Taylorsville.

According to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation release:

An Aragon Police Department officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop at around 11 a.m. on a vehicle driven by Shannon Thompson, 27, of Aragon.

Thompson refused to stop and a chase ensured. The Aragon officer requested GSP assistance in the pursuit that led from Polk County into Bartow County.

A GSP trooper executed a PIT maneuver on Thompson’s vehicle, causing the vehicle to veer off the road and into a field off of Main Street in Taylorsville.

PIT stands for precision immobilization technique. It involves law enforcement hitting a fleeing car, causing it to spin out of control.

Thompson then drove out of the field towards the trooper, who was standing in the roadway. The trooper fired several shots at the vehicle and at least one hit Thompson in the arm.

Thompson continued to drive away, pursued by officers with the Polk County Police Department, Aragon PD and GSP.

The trooper tried a second PIT maneuver. Thompson rammed the trooper’s car, but lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a ditch. Thompson then jumped out of the vehicle and ran into a nearby wooded area.

The law enforcement officers followed, and a trooper deployed his Taser at Thompson and arrested him.

The officers and troopers provided medical attention to Thompson after finding the injury to his arm. He was taken to Floyd Medical Center for treatment.

The GBI will conduct an independent investigation and, upon completion, the case file will be provided to the Bartow County District Attorney’s office for review.

This is the 53rd officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate this year.

Standard Journal Area Calendar of Events from the Wednesday, July 21, 2021 edition

Sons of the American Legion Post 12 in Rockmart hosts a $5 All-You-Can-Eat spaghetti and meatball supper the third Wednesday of the month (July 21) 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.

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at First Baptist Church of Rockmart, 311 E. Elm St., on July 22 from 2-7 p.m. The Rockmart Masonic Lodge will be serving barbecue sandwiches to all donors. There is a critical need for blood at this time due to many people traveling and on vacation.

A fish fry is scheduled for July 24 in Seaborn Jones Park in Rockmart as a fundraiser for God’s Loving Angels. The local group organizes the annual Feed the Community event every November. The event is from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will also include hotdogs for sale. The day will also include live entertainment.

Several local law enforcement agencies are scheduled to host an informational meet and greet event on Monday, July 26, about the new youth Explorer program. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the county commission meeting room, located behind the Polk County Police Department at 73 Clines Ingram Jackson Road in Cedartown.

The annual Youth Summerfest/Stockings of Love event is scheduled for Saturday, July 31, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Northwest Park in Cedartown. The drive-thru event will include free backpacks of school supplies, a sack lunch, free haircuts and optional clothing for kids. Physical distancing will be observed. There will not be Church Olympics or transportation for this year’s event. For more information contact Courtney Ripoll at 770-689-7838.

Kresge United Methodist Church’s clothing bank is open the first Thursday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at McBrayer Furniture at 502 Main St. in Cedartown. The church offers free clothing for ages birth to 5 years old.

Rockmart First United Methodist Church, 135 West Church St., will start a Sit ‘n’ Stitch group in August. The group will meet in the church’s fellowship hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of each month. The first meeting will be held Aug. 9. The group invites sewers, quilters, and crafters to bring a project, work on a ministry project, or just come and sit and enjoy fellowship and friendship. For more information contact Madeline Brown at 678-435-5032.

The Office of Exceptional Students of Polk School District is available to assist with the identification of children with disabilities and provision of a free appropriate public education beginning at the age of 3 through the age of 21. If you suspect your child is experiencing any developmental delays 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 Polk School District Exceptional Student Services, 770-684-8718.

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.

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


A suspect was arrested by Cedartown Police on July 6 and booked into the Polk County Jail after giving officers the name of Cedartown resident James Jarrell. The suspect was not James Jarrell and his true identity was later determined. Jarrell was not arrested and does not face any charges. The initial report from the Polk County Jail included Jarrell’s name and was printed in the July 14 edition of the Polk Standard Journal. We apologize for the error.