Cardboard boat race brings out children’s ingenuity

Twelve-year-old Griffin Girard has been making objects out of cardboard since he was five, but Saturday was the first time he tried floating a cardboard boat in water.

He was one of five who entered the Rolater Regatta Cardboard Boat Race, which benefits the Alton Holman Heritage Arts Inc., on Saturday.

The boats could only be held together with a small amount of duct tape or glue.

Griffin’s boat, sporting a windshield, spoiler and motor made out of cardboard, looked like a regular speedboat. He named it the S.S. Boaty McBoat Face.

“If it turned out to be a fail, I’d rather go down in this water than at home,” Griffin said.

However, his boat didn’t fail. In fact, he won first place in the middle school division.

A student at Berry Middle School, Griffin said the most complex cardboard creation he has made was a working skeeball machine.

Logan Faslun, 7, was a last-minute entry.

His boat wasn’t painted, but it kept out of the water well enough for him to win first place in the elementary school division.

When the registration attendant asked him what he wanted to name his boat, he said the “Shipwreck.”

“I named it Shipwreck because it’s probably going to wreck,” Logan said, adding he wasn’t worried about sinking because his life jacket would probably make him float.

However, he made it across the lake in less than a minute, a recorded time fast enough to win.

Two younger children tried to paddle their way across Rolater Lake in the S.S. Chicken Little, but it capsized after traveling roughly 8 feet on the lake.

Larry Wilkins, father of Chicken Little’s co-captains Hosanna Grace Wilkins, 5, and Caden Tanner’s pastor at the Way of the Cross Church, said the youth program at the church helped paint and build the boat.

“We just kind of folded it up and threw it together,” Wilkins said, adding they were curious how long it would stay afloat.

Their answer came as the boat capsized about 20 seconds into the race.

Hosanna said she enjoyed painting the S.S. Chicken Little and she couldn’t wait for the race.

Annie Morrow, the director of AHHAS, said a second boat race will be held in the future and she hopes for more participants.


Most Dangerous Animals in Canada

Whether you’re an avid outdoorsman or just like to enjoy nature from time to time, you’re aware of the sense of inner peace it can give you to separate yourself from society, if only for a moment. However, when in Rome, you must do as the Romans do. Likewise, you must understand the nature of nature when you’re in the wilderness.

Animals and other creatures here have a primary goal: to stay alive. When they see potential threats, there are a number of defense mechanisms they can employ. That’s why it’s important for you to be aware of some of Canada’s most dangerous animals and understand how they behave.

  1. Bears

Grizzly BearBears are not uncommon in the country, and, for the most part, they don’t attack. However, attacks on humans have been on the rise since the 1960’s. These animals are large in size and far stronger and faster than even the most notable athletes. Therefore, if you find yourself face-to-face with one, it’s important to know what to do.

If you’re unarmed and have no means of protection, the best thing to do is play dead. Bears are not known to have a taste for human meat, and attacks are usually the manifestations of territorial or fear reactions. However, if you come equipped with bear spray, you can give yourself the upper hand. These products incapacitate the animal long enough for you to seek safety, and finding the best bear spray has never been easier with the help of the Internet.

  1. Mountain Lions

Mountain LionAnother creature that can quickly turn a fun day outdoors into a terrifying situation is the mountain lion. They aren’t your standard cat. In fact, according to Defenders of Wildlife, they can leap as high as 15 feet and as far as 40 feet. While they are typically solitary in nature, they are also highly territorial.

If you find yourself in the presence of a mountain lion, there are some tips you should follow to protect you and your companions including:

  • Make loud noises to frighten the animal
  • Try to make yourself appear larger by doing thing such as putting your arms up over your head.
  • If possible, get on the shoulders of one of your companions to present a larger appearance.
  1. Wild Dogs

Wild dogAnother common and potentially dangerous animal well-known to the Canadian landscape is the wild dog. They come in many shapes and sizes. From coyotes and wolves to foxes and more, it’s not uncommon to come across one as you enjoy the outdoors.

Should you find yourself in the presence of a wild dog, understand that they interpret direct eye contact as a sign of aggression. This can trigger them to attack. Rather, you should attempt to take a subordinate approach. Tilt your head downward, and, unlike with cats, lower yourself to show your submission. This will often cause the animal to lose interest in pursuing combat. For more information on how to survive a dog attack, Secrets of Survival offers lots of valuable information.

Knowledge is Key

knowledge is keyIgnorance can cause a number of small problems in your life. However, when you are blissfully unaware of how to react during an animal encounter in the wilderness, it could quickly turn into a matter of life and death. These tips and information can help you better understand your surroundings and make the most of a safe and exciting outdoor adventure.

Third-ranked Gamecocks down Liberty 48-19

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Jacksonville State wrapped up the non-conference portion of its 2016 schedule with a resounding road win over one of the most successful FCS programs of the past decade.

Eli Jenkins rushed for two touchdowns and threw two more as the third-ranked Gamecocks pounded Liberty 48-19 Saturday night at Williams Stadium. Jacksonville State’s suffocating defense snuffed out the Flames by limiting them to only 181 yards, far below their season average of 336.

Roc Thomas added 114 yards, one touchdown on the ground and caught a TD pass as Jacksonville State improved to 3-1.

Jacksonville State amassed 563 total yards with Jenkins accounting for 345 himself (224 passing, 121 rushing).

“It was a quality, quality win,” said Jacksonville State head coach John Grass. “It was a great performance in a lot of places.”

Liberty (1-3) managed only 41 yards and was 0-for-10 on third-down conversions in the first 30 minutes.

Jacksonville State need 53 seconds to score after forcing the Flames into a three-and-out on the opening series. Jenkins was 3-for-3 on the quick drive, hitting a wide-open Thomas for a 51-yard touchdown pass just three minutes into the contest.

Connor Rouleau’s extra point put the Gamecocks in front 7-0 at the 12:06 mark in the first quarter.

Liberty’s only first-half highlight came on a 31-yard field goal by Alex Probert.

Another long three-play drive extended Jacksonville State’s lead to 14-3 midway through the first. Jenkins ripped off his longest run of the season, a 76-yard sprint to the end zone, with 4:48 remaining in the quarter. It was the senior quarterback’s longest run since an 83-yarder against Charleston Southern in last year’s FCS playoffs.

Josh Barge, who earlier became the sixth player in Ohio Valley Conference history to surpass the 3,000-yard milestone for career receiving, returned a Liberty punt 75 yards for touchdown early in the second quarter. Barge became the first Gamecock to return a punt for a touchdown since Alan Bonner went 64 yards against Alabama A&M in 2009.

Jenkins scored on a one-yard sneak and Cade Stinnett’s kick gave JSU a 27-3 halftime lead.

“They could not get anything going on offense. I thought it was just a great performance defensively,” Grass said. “Offensively, we wanted more explosive plays and we got it. It was a night of explosive plays.”

That explosiveness continued after Liberty had closed to within 27-10 entering the final quarter.

Thomas scored on a two-yard run one play after breaking free on a 57-yard scamper on the first play of the fourth. Shaq Davidson hauled in a 69-yard touchdown pass from Jenkins five minutes later, and reserve back Justice Owens broke loose on an 87-yard touchdown run to make the final 48-19 with 1:27 remaining.

Jacksonville State sacked Liberty’s quarterbacks six times and intercepted two passes. The Flames managed only 44 yards on 36 rush attempts.

The Gamecocks begin their quest for a third straight OVC championship when they host Tennessee Tech on Oct. 8. Kickoff at The Snow is set for 1 p.m.

1st homes are nearing completion in Joe Wright Village

The first three housing units in the Joe Wright Village gated public housing community, off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, are expected to be ready for occupancy by Feb. 1, 2017.

Northwest Georgia Housing Authority Director of Technical Services Martin Duke said there is a chance the two single-family homes and one duplex could be complete before then but did not want to commit to an earlier completion date.

The housing authority is serving as its own general contractor for the project to save money and will do so in the future, Executive Director Sandra Hudson said.

“My goal is to have our own construction company so we can bid on other work in this community,” Hudson said.

Executive Director Sandra Hudson said a duplex unit and a two-bedroom home under construction are each expected to come in right around $150,000 each.

A three-bedroom home is expected to cost between $160,000 and $170,000.

Duke said that when the housing community is completed it will include 11 or 12 duplexes and 10 or 11 single-family homes. The uncertainty about the actual number of units is related to issues with the lot sizes, he added.

“We just don’t have the footprint worked out yet on each one of the lots.”

The homes in the gated village are being paid for by replacement housing funds stemming from the demolition of the Altoview Terrace apartments off Spring Creek Street in East Rome, the Charles Hight homes at Turner McCall Boulevard and Fifth Avenue and the Fairgrounds apartments on the property where Joe Wright Village is being constructed.

Hudson said the authority has more than $1.6 million in that pool of funds at this time.

Another $1 million is available for the Joe Wright Village from the sale of the Charles Hight homes property to Madison Retail, the developer of the Charles Hight Square shopping center on Turner McCall.


Top-ranked Piedmont stays perfect after downing Class 4A, No. 6 Leeds

PIEDMONT – The Leeds Green Wave was the only team to blemish Piedmont’s 2015 football record on its way to a Class 3A state championship.

Payback came on Friday night at the Field of Champions.

Behind senior quarterback Taylor Hayes’ 162 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries and 94 yards through the air with another score, the Class 3A top-ranked Bulldogs downed the Class 4A, No. 6 Green Wave 29-14.

“It’s a big win for us,” Piedmont head coach Steve Smith said. “I have much respect for the Leeds program. A lot of people expected this year to be the demise of Leeds, but anyone watching the game tonight can see that Leeds is a quality program.”

The game started off well for the Bulldogs (6-0).

Leeds (4-2) fumbled on the second play of its first drive, with Bulldog senior linebacker Chase Bobbitt pouncing on the ball. Piedmont then scored its first touchdown on a 1-yard keep from Hayes, but the Bulldogs failed to convert on the PAT.

Leeds responded with a score of its own after intercepting a Hayes pass. Running back Jermaine Williams scored on a 4-yard rush, and the Green Wave would successfully convert the PAT, taking a 7-6 lead.

In the second quarter, Hayes would strike once again for the Bulldogs, scoring on a 6-yard rush. The Bulldogs converted the 2-point conversion on a Hayes-to-Bobbitt pass play.

Piedmont took the lead before halftime, as Hayes connected with sophomore receiver T.J. Fairs for a 24-yard touchdown. After an offside penalty against the Green Wave during the point after attempt, the Bulldogs decided to go for two once again. And, once again, the Bulldogs converted on a Hayes rush.

Both defensive squads would come out strong after halftime, with neither side scoring in the third quarter, but Leeds would close the Piedmont lead to just one score in the fourth quarter on a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jaylen Washington to receiver Jakobi Hunter. A successful PAT made the score 22-14.

Hayes would deliver the dagger late in the fourth quarter with his 4-yard rushing touchdown, followed by a successful PAT from Easton Kirk.

Junior running back Lee Stanley added 70 rushing yards on 13 carries for the Bulldogs.

Senior receiver Derrick Baer collected 71 yards on three receptions.

Piedmont hosts the Weaver Bearcats (4-1) in their return to Class 3A, Region 5 action on Friday. Leeds, which has now lost two straight games, looks to rebound at home against Holtville.

Crews will reinforce retaining wall while Big Spring Park is closed for repairs

Cedartown’s Big Spring Park will be closed to the public over the coming weeks due to repair work along the historic waterway’s overflow channel.

The retaining walls that direct the spring’s overflow away from the water plant are deteriorating. Some parts of the 1930s-era retaining wall are visibly crumbling, while other parts have been completely eroded. Work crews will be at the park on Monday bringing in equipment needed to replace the retaining walls and starting work site preparations. Actual replacement of the walls is scheduled to begin the first week in October.

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JH Benefield & Sons Inc. contracting company will oversee the project. Both sides of the channel will be repoured with concrete and the small footbridge will be replaced.

During this time, the park will be closed to the public.


Marvin Harvey Pendergrass Jr.

Mr. Marvin Harvey “Buzz” Pendergrass, Jr., age 72, of Silver Creek, passed away Thursday morning, Sept. 22, 2016, at his residence.

Mr. Pendergrass was born in Floyd County on May 12, 1944, son of the late Marvin Harvey Pendergrass, Sr. and the late Estelle Sargent Pendergrass. He was also preceded in death by 3 sisters, Bobbie Pruitt, Lena Buttram, and Mary Yarbrough. Mr. Pendergrass owned and operated B. & D. Hauling, Grading, and Septic Tank Service here in Floyd County for a number of years. Prior to his retirement, he was employed with Hon in Cedartown for several years. He was a former Mason, Shriner, and was a member of Hollywood Baptist Church.

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Survivors include his wife, the former Dorothy Akins, to whom he was married on January 1, 1987; 2 daughters, Robin Pendergrass Atkinson, and her husband, Greg, Armuchee, and Debra Alverson, and her husband, Michael, Rome; 2 sons, David Gilmore, Rome, and Chris Gilmore, and his wife, Kendi, Knoxville, TN; 7 grandsons, Kyle and Luke Atkinson, both of Armuchee, Ethan and Austin Gilmore, both of Rome, Ben Alverson, Augusta, and Caleb and Peyton Gilmore, both of Knoxville, TN; nieces and nephews also survive.

The family will receive friends at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, on Sunday from 1 until 3 pm. At other hours, they may be contacted at the residence. Services following the visitation will be private.

Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, has charge of the funeral arrangements.

KKK rally planned for Oct. 1 in Rockmart called off

A Ku Klux Klan rally planned for Rockmart’s Seaborn Jones Park on Oct. 1 has been called off, according to a press release from the Rockmart Police Department. 

The release stated that Chris Bailey, who originally applied for and received a permit for the October rally for the International Keystone Knights at the park, asked in writing for his name to be withdrawn from the application allowing the organization to hold their event. 

Bailey asked for his name to be pulled from the permit on Friday. 

“Mr. Bailey indicated that he longer wanted his name to be associated with the planned event,” the release stated. “Mr. Bailey understood that, once the permit application was withdrawn, the permit would be revoked, and the event would be cancelled.  A copy of the written request to withdraw the application is available at Rockmart City Hall and the Rockmart Police Department.” 

See the attachment on this story for the handwritten note. 

Here’s the full text of the press release: 

“The International Keystone Knights event originally scheduled for October 1, 2016 in Seaborn Jones Park has been cancelled.  On September 23, 2016, Chris Bailey, who originally applied for and was granted an assembly permit for the event, came to the Rockmart Police Department and formally withdrew his application for the permit.  Mr. Bailey indicated that he longer wanted his name to be associated with the planned event.  Mr. Bailey understood that, once the permit application was withdrawn, the permit would be revoked, and the event would be cancelled.  A copy of the written request to withdraw the application is available at Rockmart City Hall and the Rockmart Police Department.”