All they want is your thanks

They show their physical and mental strength and determination every time they answer a call. To our children and others, they are touchable heroes who are willing to put their lives on the line.

And all they ask in return is a thank you and show of support.

Cedar Bluff Fire Chief Shawn Rogers shared a few words on behalf of first responders during a recent prayer vigil held in Cedar Bluff Town Park.

The event was arranged by Julie Farist, a 2016 graduate of Cedar Bluff High School.

“We are called to love one another and there are so many people who are living by that,” said Farist. “And it is a scary thing to know that our police who are willing to risk their lives for us are not guaranteed protection. But with God on our side we are guaranteed that he will protect us and He will give us a better home.”

“Proverbs 18:10 says ‘The name of the lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and Seek God and you will be safe,’” said Farist.

“On behalf of the town of Cedar Bluff and the fire department I want to thank everyone for being here,” said Rogers. “I want to start off by saying that we are thankful for the brave men and women who act as first responders in our community and across the nation. We are grateful for their commitment to serve the greater good. From you comes their great physical and mental determination and strength and our young children strive to be like them whether it be a police officer, a fire fighter an EMT or a rescue worker and they want to follow in their strong footsteps. And I pray for the nation to see our first responders today like our children do as touchable heroes. They are right around the corner ready to help. We give thanks to our first responders because they have pledged to protect us in our time of need. We stand in awe of their ability to remain calm in crisis situations and to act with determination and purpose when faced with violence, fires, accidents, disasters, medical emergencies.”

“I challenge you that if you see a first responder to go up and tell them thank you,” said Rogers. “A simple heartfelt thank you goes a long way this day and time. It may not seem like much to you but it means the world to us to know that we are appreciated. It not only boosts our morale, but it builds up our strength and courage.”

The Rev. Mark Cosby, pastor of Cedar Bluff First Baptist Church, opened the gathering in prayer and reflected on America’s greatness throughout the centuries. He stressed that America’s problem today is not racial nor political but spiritual.

“Alexis de Tocqueville (Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville) was a 19th Century French statesman, social philosopher, and in the 1830s he wanted to make a trip to America because he wanted to see why America was so great,” noted Rev. Cosby. “They were relatively a new nation. He wrote a two-volume work called Democracy in America and one of the most famous quotes in that work, many of you may be familiar with it, is where he says that America is great because America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. And one of the things that impressed him so much were the pulpits in America and how the pulpits were preaching righteousness and how the people were responding to the message that was being brought from the pulpits.”

“When he looked at America, he saw the Christian principles that she was founded upon and how that was in operation in every steer of life,” said Rev. Cosby. “As we go through the 1830s to 2016, we ask the question what happened? What has happened since then?”

“As a nation, unfortunately, we have regressed from where we once were,” said Rev. Cosby. “And as I said in a sermon a couple of weeks ago, the Examiner did a report in September of 2013 and in that report they did a study of the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision in 1962 to remove public prayer from the public school system and their findings were quite shocking. You can go on and they gave statistics on how we have declined a nation. Illegal drug activity has spiked, sexual immorality spiked, teenage pregnancy, teenage suicides, incarcerated all of these things increased ever since that ruling came down and as I began to think about that, some of the truths that I think we need to remember is that government is a God-ordained institution. Therefore it should be regulated by the commandments of God.”

“The purpose of our government is to protect and to serve us and at this time I want to respectively ask if all of our first reponders, policemen, firemen, EMT workers if you would all stand because we want to recognize you for the service that you provide in our community,” said Rev. Cosby.

“I want you not only to thank them, but we need to continue to pray for them each and every day for the work they do because they put their lives on the line so that you and I can have a quality of life so you and I can live with the freedoms we have and the protection that we have,” said Rev. Cosby.

“Another thing we need to remember is this,” said Rev. Cosby. “Even though there is a separation of church and state, there is not a separation of God and state. We need to remember how God has truly blessed our nation. The Bible says Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. And we are such a blessed people even with all of the struggles that we are going through as a nation we are still a very blessed nation and we need to remember that and to thank God for all He has done for us.”

“And we also need to remember that God will hold all of us accountable,” said Rev. Cosby. “He will hold all of our government leaders accountable for the choices they make, for the decisions they make, for the votes that they cast, and He will hold us accountable for how we respond to government authority. We never need to forget that His eye is always watching and as the omnipresent God.”

“He will hold all of us accountable and as I began to think about that, I realized what Franklin Graham said was true,” said Rev. Cosby. “He is the son of evangelist Billy Graham. He has gone on several shows and he has said this that I have treasured, it is a quote I believe in and I stand for Franklin Graham when he said this. He said ‘My hope is not in the Democratic Party, my hope is not in the Republican Party, my hope is in God and if we as a nation are going to get back to where we need to be, then our hope has to be in God and in our Lord Jesus Christ.’”

“I want to thank all of you for coming and I want to thank Tammy for helping me put this together,” said Farist. “Brother Mark and everyone who came out. I just thank you so much I just want to pray that this world gets better. I just want thank each and every one, oru police and firemen, everyone who helps and risks their lives for us.”

Coosa senior selected to Army All-American Marching Band

Keiley Rowland, a senior at Coosa High School, has been selected as a member of the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. Rowland will perform with the band’s color guard. She will join with select band performers from across the country to perform at halftime of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl football game in January at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The National Association of Music Educators selected 125 musicians and band performers to participate in the event.

Students singled out for this honor represent the best of high school marching band members in the country. Rowland and others tabbed to participate were selected from hundreds of qualified applicants for their outstanding performance ability, marching skill, attention to detail, ability to follow directions and maturity.

“We are proud to work with All-American Games, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Army Field Band on this program,” wrote Jane Mell Balek, executive director of the National Association of Music Educators, in her letter informing Coosa of Rowland’s selection. “It has truly become one of the most prestigious and competitive programs in the United States.”

The 2017 edition of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band will be the 10th year of the program. Selection to perform in the band covers all expenses of students for their trip to San Antonio. Since 2008, nearly 1000 high school seniors have taken part in the All-American Marching Band.

Rowland is also a top academic student at Coosa High as she was recently recognized as an AP Scholar by the College Board. An AP Scholar has earned grades of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.


County Commissioners expected to approve several contracts Tuesday

The Floyd County Commission is expected to approve on Tuesday a proposal to add new playground equipment at three county parks.

The board is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave.

Playground makeovers are planned at Cave Spring, Garden Lakes and Lock & Dam parks.

The Cave Spring project will cost $75,000, County Manager Jamie McCord said, while Garden Lakes park equipment will cost $110,000 and Lock & Dam will cost $113,000.

Commissioners also will again consider a contract with Safari Hospitality to manage The Forum.

Under the current proposal, the Atlanta-based marketing firm would take over on Aug. 1 and have a 20-month contract, through Nov. 1, 2017.

Commissioner Scotty Hancock, during the agenda-setting session Thursday, asked McCord to prepare a report on what the county is spending on The Forum now and what type of savings it can expect under Safari Hospitality’s management.

The commissioners will also have the chance to approve a contract with Plumbing Surgeon, Inc., to make sewer improvements at the jail.

McCord said Thursday the contract price would not exceed $276,100.

He said the money could be pulled from 2013 special purpose, local option tax funds, from the jail fund or from general funds.

Commissioners also are slated to announce that the county’s Fulton well project was named environmental project of the year by the American Public Works Association.


Martha Ann Pritchett Hobbs

Mrs. Martha Ann “Nanny” Pritchett Hobbs, age 81, of Centre, Alabama, formerly of Rome, Ga., passed away Saturday, July 23, 2016, in a Centre healthcare facility.

Mrs. Hobbs was born on October 3, 1934 in Cherokee County, Alabama. She was the daughter of the late Howard Lee Pritchett, Sr. and Ruth Farley Pritchett. She was a member of the Sherwood Forrest Baptist Church in Rome and retired from Klopman Mills. She was preceded in death by her husband Charles E. Hobbs, Sr., sons Charles E. Hobbs, Jr., Jimmy Davis, and Carlton Davis, brothers Jackie Pritchett, Howard Pritchett, Jr., and Joseph “Buddy” Pritchett, and sister Betty Ford.

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Survivors include: daughters Charlayne (Bobby Don) Rogers, Rome; Cynthia Banks, Shannon; grandchildren, Bradley (Heather) Rogers, Anna Rogers, Amanda (Jake) Lee, Jim Davis, Tiffany (Mark) Johnson, Christie (Michael) Mitchell, Misty (Jeff) Jackson, Michelle (Steven) Forsyth, eight great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren. Niece and nephews also survived.

Graveside and internment services will be held at 2:30 p.m. (GA time) Tuesday, July 26, 2016, at Pleasant Valley No. 2 Baptist Church Cemetery with the Rev. Jerry Patton and Lynn Hughston officiating. The family will receive from 12 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Parnick Jennings, Sr.’s Good Shepherd Funeral Home 2750 Shorter Avenue Rome, Ga., 30165.

Pallbearers include: Jake Lee, Roy Latty, Dee Miller, Kenny Farley, Gerald Farley, Stanley Rogers, Tim Ford, Shawn Rogers, and Trey Rogers.

Honorary pallbearers: Gunnar & Tanner Rogers and Cherokee EMS.

In lieu of flowers, make memorials to Alzheimer’s Association 225 N. Michigan Ave. Fl. 17 Chicago, IL 60601.

The family would like to express a very special thanks to the Cherokee County Health and Rehab Center and Alzheimer’s unit for their special care.

Parnick Jennings, Sr.’s Good Shepherd Funeral Home of Rome, Ga., has charge of arrangements.

Things to do in Cherokee County Monday, July 24

Centre Rotary Club meets at noon on the second floor of the First Southern State Bank Building.

The Party Bridge match is played at Centre First United Methodist Church. Call 256-927-7754 for more information.

The Cherokee County Commission meets at 5 p.m. in the Cherokee County Administration Building. The work session begins at 4 p.m.

The Farmers Market will be held in Centre City Park from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. All vendors are invited to participate.

Visit the beautiful Rock Village, home of some of the best hiking and rock climbing throughout the world. Enjoy fresh air and beautiful scenery. Go to the intersection of U.S. Highway, to the intersection of County Road 36 and County Road 70, turn left and follow 411 and Highway 68 in Leesburg, turn right, turn left on Cherokee County 36 the signs.

Grand opening for new tennis center scheduled for Friday

Children can help create some tennis-paintball art while their parents and others check out the new courts at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College.

The grand opening of the new SPLOST-funded facility off the Armu­chee Connector is scheduled for Friday.

“We are excited to invite the community to showcase this beautiful facility funded by SPLOST dollars,” Tom Daglis, executive director of the facility, said in a press release.

“We hope everyone can join us for the festivities to truly see how the tennis center will not only be a place for tournaments, but a place for our local tennis players and families to enjoy daily,” he concluded.

The day’s festivities will kick off with a 10 a.m. press conference, with open play scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m.

Several on-court activities will be held from 3 to 5 p.m., while kids can take part in face painting, photo booths and other activities between 1 and 5:30 p.m., according to the press release.

The grand opening ceremony, with opening remarks from different officials, will be held at 5:30 p.m.

Information on upcoming tennis programs, classes, events and services will also be offered at the tennis center, the release stated.

Courts can also be booked, pros can be met and equipment can be tested.

The Rome Tennis Center at Berry College has a total of 60 courts, including eight permanent 36-foot courts for players 10 and under, the release said.

The court was paid for with approximately $11.9 million of 2013 special purpose, local option sales tax funds.


LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trumpeters are putting Clinton in the White House

Early into Mr. Roger Hines’ guest column on July 6 (“The Nevers are slow to accept political reality”), I thought he was going to call the “leadership” of the Republican Party to task for not denouncing so spectacularly unqualified a candidate as Donald Trump at an early state of the primaries. He quickly disabused his readers of that notion in a poorly reasoned piece riddled with false choices, baseless assumptions, and ludicrous comparisons that sounded more like Stephen Colbert satire than serious arguments. That he taught anything other than political science or history is comforting. That he was a state legislator is scary.

A sprinkling of accurate statements in his piece can’t salvage it, and a proper rebuttal requires a column of equal length. But for fair-minded people who gave the column any critical thought, this won’t be necessary. Sadly, I believe Mr. Hines and his fellow Trumpeters are going to put Hillary Clinton in the White House. Worse yet, that is the best outcome, as a Trump Presidency would likely result in him being the last Republican president for at least 16 years (two two-term Democrats in succession).

Update: Police searching for armed robbery suspect

Update: Rome police officers were searching Saturday night for a man accused of robbing The Market on Second at gunpoint around 10 p.m.

“He came in the door, pointing a gun at me,” the female clerk said.

She described the suspect as a black man, approximately 5 feet, 6 inches tall wearing a black hoodie and a black mask.

The clerk, who was shaking and nervous after the encounter, said she told the man she couldn’t give him the cash in the register and asked him to “please don’t shoot me, or something like that.”

 The man then told her not to move while he went around the counter and took cash from the register.

The clerk said the intruder was holding a small, silver handgun that was about the size of his hand.

Rome police Sgt. Hank Jackson said he and the other officers were waiting on a manager to show up so they could review the security surveillance.

Jackson said he hopes the tape will help with a more detailed description and possibly identify how and in what direction the suspect left the store.

Previously posted: A man who police say robbed a Rome convenience store at gunpoint late Saturday is described as a 5-foot 6-inch tall black man wearing a black hoodie.

Previously reported: 911 dispatches indicate someone with a gun has robbed The Market on Second convenience store. A reporter has been sent to the scene.