Sand Rock opens volleyball season with tri-match sweep of Cherokee County, Spring Garden

CENTRE – The Sand Rock Lady Wildcats opened the 2016 volleyball season Thursday with a pair of victories over Cherokee County and Spring Garden.

The Lady Wildcats (2-0) defeated host Cherokee County 25-18, 23-25 and 15-13. They also earned a 25-21, 25-10 win over Spring Garden.

Haylie Pruitt led the charge with 19 kills. Erin Langley added 19 assists and five aces. Paige Norris contributed 19 digs. August Gilliland collected eight kills and eight digs. Savannah Blackwell tallied seven kills, 11 digs and four aces. Audrey Richardson finished with 13 assists.

Sand Rock plays in a tournament at Sardis on Saturday.

GUEST COLUMN: Migration has started

Where there are birds, there is migration. That birds of all sizes, from giant cranes to tiny hummingbirds, journey thousands of miles twice a year has always fascinated us. We wonder why birds migrate, how they store enough energy for the trip, and how they find their way.

Why birds migrate seems easy to answer. Who wouldn’t want to avoid a Canadian winter by spending some time in the tropics? But that doesn’t explain why they leave the tropics in the first place. Why does a bird fly thousands of miles north just to build a nest when it could build the nest where it spends the winter? The complete answer to that question is complex but mostly boils down to overcrowding and food supply. By flying north, birds can exploit the wide open, food-rich, bug-infested wilds of North America.

North America provides excellent breeding grounds, which produce millions of baby birds. And it is these baby birds that make migration really amazing — baby birds, not much more than a month old, somehow find their way south to their species’ wintering grounds. And they do it without the help of their parents or a map. The young birds spend the time immediately after fledging playing with their fellow nestlings, honing their flying skills, and learning how to find food. Then suddenly they are struck with a case of Zugunruhe — that’s German for “migratory restlessness.”

Instantly the fun is over and they start getting antsy. They eat constantly and nearly double their body weight. Then late one night, when the weather is just right, they fly into the black night sky and away from the only world they know.

Using the stars, the earth’s magnetic field, and instinct inherited from their parents, they stream south. Some of them make short flights, stopping along the way to eat and rest; others fly nonstop. No matter the dangers that await them, they have only one option, to fly. Blackpoll warblers, for example, take off from Nova Scotia, fly hundreds of miles out over the Atlantic Ocean, turn right just east of Bermuda, and fly 86 hours nonstop to South America.

Bird migration is as diverse as it is amazing. The cardinal pretty much stays in the same place all year and the snowy owl only migrates when there is a food shortage. Juncos only fly as far as they must to find consistent winter food. The bobolink can’t get far enough south: it flies all the way to Argentina.

The 4-ounce, 15-inch long Arctic tern nests in the high Arctic but likes to spend its winter way down in Antarctica. It leaves North America in late summer and flies east across the Atlantic to Europe. Then it works its way south along the coast of Africa and finally on to Antarctica. By the time it completes the annual round trip it has flown nearly 22,000 miles.

Equally diverse is the time of day when different birds make their flights. There are birds that only travel at night, others that fly only during the day, and some that don’t seem to care when they fly. Most songbirds fly at night, which is unusual because the rest of the year they roost at sunset. Flying at night protects them from hawks and falcons that migrate during the day. Ducks and geese migrate either day or night.

Nighttime migration fooled many early naturalists who thought birds hibernated in a secret underground hideout. Other observers believed that birds flew to the moon for the winter. And once upon a time, people thought hummingbirds were not strong enough to fly across the Gulf of Mexico — and so rode the backs of larger birds across the Gulf.

A combination of length of day, temperature, and weather triggers the urge to migrate. When all conditions are just right, the birds make their move.

Huge flocks of them go for it at the same time — the beating of their wings and the path of their flight determined by genetic mandate. Radar has detected as many as 15 million birds flying south over Cape Cod on a single night. Can you imagine 15 million birds overhead? That would be the wrong night to forget to take your washing off the clothesline.

For those of you who don’t have radar, here is something fun to try. About 11 p.m. on a clear, moonlit night in September or early October, focus your spotting scope or binoculars on the moon. You will be surprised how many birds you may see passing the moon on their way south. I tried it and saw hundreds of silhouettes thousands of feet up in the night sky.

Give it a try. Migration has started.

In the meantime, practice saying, “Zugunruhe.” You know you want to.

Rome native Stanley Tate sits on the Berry College Board of Visitors. He retired as executive vice president and chief environmental officer of Southwire and now writes a nature column that appears in several Georgia newspapers. Readers may write him at


Standard Journal area new arrivals from the Aug. 24, 2016 edition

Kaci Holland and Matthew Wray of Cedartown announce the birth of a son Holland Thomas Wray. He was born on Aug. 6, 2016.

Jennifer Edwards and Christopher Edwards of Aragon announce the birth of a daughter Addison Faith Edwards. She was born on Aug. 5, 2016.

Carrie Crowley of Cedartown announces the birth of a son Clinton S. Crowley. He was born on Aug. 3, 2016.

Tiffany Shea Thurmon and Bradley Thurmon of Lindale announce the birth of a son Riley Thurmon. He was born on Aug. 2, 2016.

Breanna Perez and Brett Johnson of Cedartown announce the birth of a son Damien Elijah Johnson. He was born on Aug. 1, 2016.

Lori Shiver and Neal Shiver of Rockmart announce the birth of a son Liam Neal Shiver. He was born on Aug. 12, 2016.

Chelsey Byars and Matthew Byars announce the birth of a daughter Remy Ava Grace Byars. She was born on Aug. 1, 2016.

YOUTH SOCCER: 3 Arsenal teams enjoy tourney success

Three of the Rome YMCA’s Arsenal teams saw tournament action last weekend. The G14 and B16 were in the Chattanooga Fall Invitational with the B16s winning their division against teams from Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Atlanta. The G15s won the U16 division in the Smyrna Adidas Mundial Series-Summer Cup.

The G14 lost to the Signal Mountain Storm 3-0 on Saturday. They were defeated by the Chattanooga FC Elite 6-2 with goals from Payton Brown. On Sunday they lost to GA Storm 7-0.

The G15 beat NGA 3-0 Saturday morning. They advanced to the final after defeating Chiefs Futbol Club’s U15 Blue team out of Atlanta, 6-0, on Saturday afternoon. The goal scorers were Haley Guerrerro (two), Amarantha Hernandez, Maggie Eddins, Anna Ruth Parker, and Jayden Boswell. Emma Couch earned the shutouts in goal for Arsenal.

The team then beat Hampton’s Thunder team in the championship coming away with a 9-0 victory. Scorers were Belle Bryant (two), Guerrerro (two), Boswell, Anna Dupree, Lauren Akemon, Eddin, and Ashley Medrano. Couch earned her third shutout of the tournament.

The B16 beat the Chattanooga FC Premier 7-0 on Saturday morning with a hat trick from Andreas Svardh, and goals from Christian Fonseca, Oscar Segura Cruz, Libni Ramirez, and Jordan Dupree.

In the afternoon they beat the Huntsville FC Maroon 5-3 with another hat trick from Svardh and goals from Luis Guzman and Dupree. Sunday they beat the Hernando (MS) Express 3-0 with a goal from Braden Camp on an assist by Svardh, and two goals by Svardh, one assisted by Dupree.

In the championship they beat SSA Chelsea Blue 3-0 with goals from Svardh, assisted by Fonseca, Dupree and Fonseca.


Thuings to do in Cherokee County Friday, Aug. 26

The Family Care Center in the Piggly Wiggly Shopping Center in Centre includes a Thrift Store open to the public Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Family Care Center helps others by giving clothing, food and possibly hope to families in their time of need. The Center asks for your help by supporting its thrift stores. There are currently three locations, the one in Centre, another at 5511 Main St. in Hokes Bluff and another in Cedar Bluff. The Center is currently helping more than 100 families per week and thanks the community for its continued support. Director is Cindy McGinnis.

Celebrate Recovery, Centre, meets every Friday at 5 p.m. at the ROC. The following support groups are available: Loved Ones of the Chemically Dependent, Divorce Issues. Meal at 5 p.m., Large Group at 6:15 p.m., Small Groups at 7:30 p. and Grief, Domestic and Sexual Abuse, Men’s Issues, Chemical Dependency, and Emotional. Childcare is provided. For more information call (256) 393-2861 or (256) 927-5427.

Mentone Movie Night featuring the film “Southern Heart” which was filmed party in Mentone, will be shown at 7:45 p.m. Formore information, dall 404-218-6845.

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.

Visit the historical Cornwall Furnace on Cherokee County Road 92 in Cedar Bluff.

Polk County unemployment rate slightly up for July figures, down from 2015

The unemployment rate went back up for the month of July in Polk County according to preliminary figures released by the Georgia Department of Labor early today. 

The preliminary July 2016 rate came in at 6.3 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the revised June figure of 6.2 percent. 

Polk County’s rate was down eight-tenths of a point from the July 2015 rate of 7.1 percent, according to state figures. 

The number of claims rose slightly from 1,126 in June to 1,160 in July, according to the state’s statistics. 

The unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region was unchanged at 5.6 percent from June to July. The rate in July 2015 was 6.4 percent.

While the rate was unchanged, the number of employed residents grew by 3,293 to 386,826. At the same time, the number of unemployed residents rose by 427 to 23,076. The labor force, which consists of employed people and those who are unemployed but actively looking for jobs, grew by 3,720 to 409,902 in July.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 1,677, or 61.8 percent, to 4,390 in July. Most of the increase came in manufacturing and administrative and support services, which includes temporary staffing agencies. And, over the year, claims were up by 755, or 20.8 percent, from 3,635 in July 2015.

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.6 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 7 percent.  

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for July was 5 percent, down from 5.1 percent in June. It was 5.7 percent in July 2015.

Prep Golf: Lady Jackets recognized, receive championship rings

Members of the Calhoun girls golf team will now have a visible reminder of their second straight state championship they earned last season any time they look at their hand.

The Lady Jackets were recognized and presented with their state championship rings prior to last Friday’s Douglass at Calhoun football game at Phil Reeve Stadium. The team defeated Blessed Trinity last May in a playoff at the Class AAA Girls State Tournament in Hephzibah to win their second straight state crown. The team also won their ninth straight region title earlier in the season.

Team members pictured during Friday’s pregame ceremony are: head coach Clay Stephenson (from left), Katie Kauffman, Maddie Crump, Kate Mashburn, Katie Rose Rawls and assistant coach Roger Gresham.

Berry adviser recognized for Viking Fusion website

Steven Hames, adviser and technology specialist for Berry College Department of Communication, has earned a 2016 Honor Roll Broadcast Adviser Award from the College Media Association.

Hames is the adviser for Viking Fusion, a student-run multimedia website that seeks to inform and entertain both the Berry student community and the public. Content on the site is exclusively authored and produced by Berry students.

The Honor Roll Adviser Award is presented to a College Media Association member with fewer than five years’ experience in college media advising who has distinguished him- or herself in the area of service.

“It’s humbling to receive an award for doing a job that I love,” said Hames, who became Viking Fusion’s staff adviser in 2011. “Looking back at Viking Fusion’s accomplishments during my five years at Berry, it makes me proud that I was able to guide them to such success.”

During his time at Berry, Viking Fusion has won and been nominated for multiple awards from national, regional, and state organizations, such as the Southeast Regional EMMY Awards, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards, the CMA Pinnacle Awards and College Broadcasters, Inc. National Student Production Awards.

“I get to see up close every day his dedication to our students, his leadership of our co-curricular Viking Fusion multimedia news and entertainment hub, and his collaboration across the College to create teaching and learning opportunities for our majors,” said Brian Carroll, professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Berry.

Before coming to Berry, Hames spent 15 years as a producer, director and editor for local television stations in north Georgia. Over the course of his career, he has won six Telly Awards.

“Steven has the unique ability to bridge the gap between being a boss and a friend,” said alumnus Elizabeth Blount. “He empowers his staff to take leadership in their roles in the studio and honors the student-run nature of the organization.”

For more information about the Berry Communication Department and Viking Fusion, go to

The College Media Association is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to serving the needs of collegiate student media programs and their advisers.


City of Fairmount awarded GMA Safety and Liability Management Grant

The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) is proud to announce the City of Fairmount received a Safety Grant check in the amount of $3000, and a Liability Grant check, also in the amount of $3000, for the purchase of body armor, traffic control panels, reflective jackets and warning lights.

Eileen Thomas, marketing field services representative with GMA, said, “This program allows each city to stretch their budget dollars and provide a safer work environment for their employees.”

The GMA Safety and Liability Management Grant program was introduced in 2000 to provide a financial incentive to assist members in improving their employee safety and general public liability loss control efforts through training and the purchase of equipment or services. Since the inception of the program, over 130 cities have received grant money through the program, over 500 grants were approved totaling nearly $1.5 million to fund items such as bulletproof vests, training videos, confined space entry equipment, reflective safety vests, fire department turnout gear and police department in-vehicle video systems. These grant funds have helped leverage the purchase of over $2.6 million in this type of equipment training.

The City of Fairmount purchased body armor, puncture/cut resistant gloves and reflective jackets for the Fairmount Police Department. The city purchased warning lights for street department vehicles and heavy equipment and high visibility clothing was also purchased for the street department.

The Safety and Liability Management Grant program is made available to members of GMA’s property and liability insurance program (the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency) and GMA’s workers’ compensation insurance program (GMA Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance fund).

Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, on-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and consulting services to its over 500 member cities.

EDITORIAL: Georgia ‘Freedom’ rankings offer something to chew on

Georgia gets a middling score in libertarian Cato Institute’s “Freedom in the 50 States” rankings, a list that measures such things as the tax burden, regulatory policy and personal freedom.

A dim view of restrictive governmental policies is taken by the “Freedom” authors, William P. Ruger, vice president of policy and research at the Charles Koch Institute and Foundation, and Jason Sorens, lecturer in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College.

“We weight public policies according to the estimated costs that government restrictions on freedom impose on their victims,” assert Ruger and Sorens.

The term “victims” gives you a clue to the libertarian thinking of the authors, who rank the states on more than 200 policies “encompassing fiscal policy, regulatory policy and personal freedom.”

Components of the rankings include:

  • fiscal policy, 29.5 to 32 percent — including state and local taxes, government subsidies and debt;
  • regulatory policy, 38.7 percent — including land use freedom 10.5 percent and local rent control 6 percent, health insurance freedom 7.4 percent, labor market freedom 5.7 percent (including general right to work 2.8 percent;
  • personal freedom, 29.4 percent — including arrests and incarceration 6.6 percent, marriage freedom 4 percent (including same-sex partnership laws counting for 2.2 percent), education 3.2 percent, gun control 3.2 percent, alcohol 2.9 percent (including blue laws, and marijuana freedom 2.1 percent.)

On those policies, Georgia is ranked 22nd among the states, down seven points from the last “Freedom” list in 2012. The state had a low of 27 in 2006 and a high of 12 in 2010. The latest ranking puts Georgia just ahead of Alabama, ranked 23.

As for other states in the Southeast, Tennessee is 6 on the “Freedom” list, Florida is 8, South Carolina 15, and Mississippi 36. The top five are, in order, New Hampshire, Alaska, Oklahoma, Indiana and South Dakota. The bottom five: Maryland at 46, New Jersey 47, Hawaii 48, California 49 and New York 50.

The Cato authors credit Georgia as one of the fastest growing states in the South, “perhaps due in part to one of the best regulatory environments in the region.” In addition, Georgia’s “fiscal situation has been improving as well.”

Other factors cited in Georgia’s favor include: state tax collections, at 4.5 percent of personal income, are significantly below the national average, although local taxes (4.3 percent of income) are a little higher than the average. Subsidies to businesses are lower than the national average and debt is substantially lower, while government employment has declined from 13.2 percent of private jobs in 2010 to 12 percent in 2014.

Georgia “does well on labor and land-use policy,” with a right-to-work law and no minimum wage, “a relatively good civil liability system,” but “does poorly on occupational freedom” — with licensing “a bit broader than the national average, and health care professions face generally tight scope-of-practice rules.”

On personal freedom, the Cato authors cite high incarceration rates and failure to reform civil asset forfeiture sufficiently — but say Georgia is “one of the best states for educational freedom, scores well on gun rights and regulates tobacco use lightly compared with most other states.” And at the end of 2014, “it was also one of the worst states for marriage freedom.”

Thus, policy recommendations by the authors for Georgia include cutting out business subsidies and liberalizing the health care professions, such as allowing dental hygienists to clean teeth without a dentist present in safety-net clinics, nursing homes, school clinics and federally qualified health centers — a freedom allowed in 45 other states.

That’s something to chew on, no doubt, but don’t expect such changes to come about any time soon, the Cato recommendations notwithstanding. Legislation providing for such practice died in the Georgia General Assembly last session because of opposition from the state dental association.

The “Freedom” rankings tell us Georgia has plenty of room for improvement. And that’s up to its citizens. Which brings to mind the oft-quoted admonition: “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.”