MRS. BETTY JEAN ROGERS BOWMAN

Mrs. Betty Jean Rogers Bowman, 74, of Centre passed away Sunday July 24, 2016 in a local hospital. Mrs. Bowman was born August 10, 1941, in Cherokee County. . She was retired from Cedar Bluff Manufacturing.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 P.M. (GA Time) Wednesday July 27, 2016 at Old Nazareth Baptist Church, with Rev. Davis Bentley, and Rev. Doyle Kerr, officiating. Interment will follow in Old Nazareth Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1:00 P.M. until 3:00 P.M. (Ga.Time) at Old Nazareth Baptist Church, County Road 29, Centre, Al. 35960. Parnick Jennings, Sr.’s Good Shepherd Funeral Home, 2750 Shorter Ave. Rome, GA. 30165 directing. Please visit our website, www.goodsheperdfh.net to sign the online guest book.

Survivors include, husband, Preston Bowman, sons, Timmy Rogers, Centre; Harold Gene (Lisa) Rogers, Centre; brothers, Ben Gaddison, Donnie Gaddison, Ricky Gaddison,and Roy Gaddison, David Gaddison all of Centre; sisters, Connie Almond, Centre; and Margaret Hill, Piedmont; seven grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Bowman was the daughter of the late Bill and Ruth Gaddison.

Longtime Rome Lions Club member Paul Camp dies at 87

Meals at the Rome home of Paul and Eulaine Camp tended to have quite a long intermission between being plated and being eaten. And not because they were bad or inedible.

“He had to go through and name the entire family and many friends during his blessings and say something personal about each of them,” said Eulaine Camp, his wife of nearly 65 years. “It would take so long sometimes that I was afraid the food had gotten cold.”

Camp, the son of the late Mary Butler Camp and Paul Watts Camp, Sr., of Rome, was a fixture in the Rome community. He died Monday at the age of 87.

Camp was a man of service. For 63 years, he was a member of the Rome Lions Club, for which he held every office, including the highest office in the state, 18-A District governor. His most consistent role was conservation chairman for the Club, which provides eye care to thousands of children and adults in need.

“He’s been a savior to so many people,” said Bill Pinson, owner of Pinson’s Inc. general contracting company in Rome and incoming president of Rome Lions Club.

Pinson first joined the Lions Club in 1976, one year after Camp served as district governor. “He was very outgoing and always had a smile on his face. And nothing was ever a catastrophe. He was a great leader because, to him, everything could be worked out. Everyone knew him and liked him. The Lions Club is Paul Camp.”

Over the course of those 63 years with the Club, Camp won countless awards, including Lion of the Year, the Presidential Service Award, White Cane Chairman, Distinguished Service Award, Tom Bingham Fellow Award, District 18-A Hall of Fame and the Melvin Jones Fellow by the Lions Foundation. He was also a Master Mason for 55 years with Lodge 113 Oostanaula of the Free Masons, a member of Home Builders Association and a leader in the Greater Rome Board of Realtors.

Camp was a man of business. He followed in his father’s footsteps to own his own real estate appraisal firm — Paul W. Camp Appraisers — in an office off Shorter Avenue for nearly six decades before retiring at the age of 83. He was known across north Georgia and east Alabama for being fair, vibrant and a man of integrity.

“He was my main squeeze,” United Community Bank Executive Vice President Ken Guice said, with a laugh. Guice worked with Camp in Rome for more than 20 years on real estate transactions. “There were three or four appraisers in town that everyone knew, and he was one of them. He was a great, common-sense appraiser and one of those people who always seemed younger than he was. He made everyone feel like they were his best friend. He would always treat people the way you wanted to be treated and was so joyful and full of life. He was what you always hope you’ll be when you get older.”

Camp was a man of music, perhaps his third-greatest love behind his Eulaine and his faith. Taking notice of the many parties being thrown in celebration of servicemen and women coming home from war, he and some friends started a big band when he was 14 and they became known as the “town band.”

He loved playing trombone so much that he played with the band at Boys High School in Rome, became a member of the University of Georgia’s Red Coat Marching Band in the late 1940s, played in the United States Marine Corps band with the 108th Airborne Division and started his own big band with friends called The Georgians, which traveled all over the Southeast and continues to do so after more than 60 years of existence. He played in the Rome Symphony Orchestra for several years, although Eulaine said he once told her it sometimes bored him because there weren’t many trombone parts and he would have to count several measures before his talents were needed again.

But most of all, Camp was a man of love. He loved his friends and family dearly, and even people he didn’t know but helped anyway. He loved sitting on his screen porch or driving out to a vacant parking lot to watch the moon come out of the sky. He loved laughing and playing practical jokes on his friends. He loved Wendy’s Frostys and The Varsity’s chili dogs. He loved watching his children and grandchildren perform in countless football games, dance recitals, plays, awards ceremonies — anything and everything he could attend. He loved his Georgia Bulldogs.

He loved his church and his church family at Trinity United Methodist Church in Rome, where he taught Sunday School to middle high and high schoolers for 32 years and helped Eulaine (whom he married at Trinity in 1951) start the Rah-Rah’s group, which gets elderly residents out of their homes for social events. And more than anything else, he loved God, Jesus and his Bible, which is worn and riddled with scribbles, notes and place-holders.

Eulaine knows he is now serving, playing and smiling with that greatest love of all.

A viewing will be held for Camp at Daniel’s Funeral Home in Rome from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday and the funeral service will be held at Trinity UMC at 11 a.m. on Friday.

Katy Ruth Camp is a granddaughter of Paul Camp and features/lifestyles editor for the Marietta Daily Journal.

 

Obituaries from the Wednesday, July 27, 2016 issue of the CalhounTimes

Bob Little

Robert “Bob” Little, age 84 of Duluth, GA passed away Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

Bob was a member of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church for 20 years, spent 28 years in the U.S. Air Force as a CMSGT and was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and son who enjoyed golf, fishing (really loved fishing) and loved to tell lies and kill flies.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Jess and Annie Little; son Robert W. Little and is survived by his wife of 56 years, Eula M. Little; son, Ronald C. Chesser (Patty); daughters, Terry L. Whitaker (Les) and Katherine A. Hess (Larry); sisters, Ruth Poarch and Mary E. McFarland; ten grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.

A memorial service was held at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 22, 2016 at Crowell Brothers Funeral Homes & Crematory. The family received friends on Thursday, July 21, 2016 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Mt. Tabor Baptist Church or the Alzheimers Disease Research organization. On-line condolences can be made at www.crowellbrothers.com. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Funeral Homes and Crematory, Norcross/Peachtree Corners, Georgia. 770-448-5757. Courtesy of Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home.

Dr. Melvin Waters

Dr. Melvin Winferd Waters, age 87, of Calhoun, passed away on Friday, July 22, 2016 at Hamilton Medical Center.

Melvin was born on Aug. 1, 1928 to the late J. “Benny” Waters and Pearl Casey Waters. He was the minister of Morningside Baptist Church in Dalton for over several years and Delashment Road Hixon Pike, Tenn. for 28 years. He his preceded in death by his brother, Frank Waters.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Dell Smith Waters of Calhoun; two sons, David Waters of Chattanooga and his son, Daniel, and his wife, Mickie, of Canton, and Greg Waters and his wife, Deb, of Demoine, Iowa and their two children; two step-sons, Steve Brown, and Scott Brown and his partner, Carrie; brother, Marshal Waters and his wife, Betty, of Dalton and their children Rod and Jeffrey and their families; granddaughter, Katie Anderson and her husband, Marcus; several nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren also survive.

Funeral Services were conducted on Monday, July 25 at 11 a.m. at Thomas Funeral Home with Reverend Danny Roberts, Reverend Terry Timms and Reverend Lee Byrd officiating. Burial followed at 3 p.m. in Hamilton Memorial Gardens in Hixon, Tenn.

The family received friends on Sunday from 3 until 6 p.m. at Thomas Funeral Home.

You may leave the family online condolences at www.thomasfuneralhomecalhoun.com

Thomas Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Dr. Melvin Winferd Waters.

Stevie Johnson

Stevie Lamar Johnson, age 59, slipped gently into the arms of his heavenly father on Friday, July 22, 2016. Stevie was born March 4, 1957, to the late Norman and Evelyn Stephens Johnson. He was preceded in death by his brothers James, Sammy and Billy Johnson and by a sister, Irene LeClaire.

Stevie leaves behind his brother, David Johnson; his loving sister and caretaker, Lynell Harris and husband, Nevin; a special nephew, Darren and his wife, Tracy; also great nephews, Joshua and Joseph; a special niece Jessica; and many nephews, nieces and cousins who loved him dearly.

Stevie fought a valiant fight with cancer for years, never complaining or becoming bitter because of his illness. Stevie’s courage and strength amazed everyone.

A gathering of friends and family was held Monday, July 25 from 5 until 7 p.m. from Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home. For memorials, the family suggests St. Jude’s Children’s research Hospital.

Condolences may be left online at www.maxbrannonandsons.com. Arrangements for Stevie Lamar Johnson are under the care and direction of Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home of Calhoun.

Patricia Page

Patricia Hobgood Page, age 64, of Dalton and formally of Calhoun, passed away suddenly July 23, 2016 at her residence.

Patricia was born on July 28, 1951 in Floyd County to Kelly Hobgood and Winnie Goble Hobgood. She was a member of Belmont Baptist Church. Patricia was a graduate of Calhoun High School class of 1969.

She is survived by her parents, Kelly Hobgood and Winnie Goble Hobgood; two sons, Ross Page and his wife, Connie, of Suwanee, and Trev Page of Dalton; two brothers, Barry Hobgood and his wife, Melinda, and John Hobgood and his wife, Susan; five grandchildren, Cole, Ireland, Sterling, Bryson and Ethan.

Funeral Services will be conducted on Thursday, July 28 at 11 a.m. from the chapel of Thomas Funeral Home with Dr. John Allen officiating. Burial will follow in Chandler Cemetery in Calhoun.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, July 27 from 5 until 8 p.m. at Thomas Funeral Home.

You may leave the family online condolences at www.thomasfuneralhomecalhoun.com

Thomas Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Patricia Hobgood Page.

Eddie Hall

Mrs. Eddie “Jack” Hall, 91, of Calhoun, died on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at Gordon Healthcare following several months of declining health. Eddie was born in Bartow County on Aug. 6, 1924; she was the daughter of the late Robert and Rena Hall. Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her sisters, Corley Autry and Sue Burnette; her brother, Dolpus Franklin Hall; her granddaughter, Shelia Ann Hall; her sons-in-law, Virgil Hyde, Howard Hall and Johnnie Rich. For many years, Eddie worked at Shepherds Restaurant.

Survivors are her daughters and son-in-law, Helen Hyde, Marie Hall, Linda Rich, and Deborah and Allen Stanfield; her brother and sister-in-law, RJ and Carolyn Hall; ten grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; other loving relatives and friends.

The Hall family received friends on Monday, July 25, 2016 from 5 until 9 p.m. at Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home.

The funeral service was conducted on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 11 a.m. from the chapel of Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home. Burial followed at Haven of Rest Memorial Park. Pastor Norris Sexton and Bro. Lamar Hand will officiate; Peggy Serritt will have charge of the music. Pallbearers were Larry Wilson Jr., Jason Hall, Justin Hall, Logan Hannah, Hayden Fowler, and Larry Wilson Sr. Honorary pallbearers were Jamie Hall, Bobby Hall, Terry Hall, and Adam Stanfield.

Friends may sign the online guest register at www.maxbrannonandsons.com. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home of Calhoun.

Howard Davis

Mr. Howard Benjamin Davis, 90, a lifelong resident of Calhoun, died at his home on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. Howard was born in Gordon County on Nov. 22, 1925; he was the son of the late Benjamin and Willie Davis. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Louise Davis, in 2008. Howard served in The United States Navy during WWII. While a seaman First Class with the LST 917, he saw action in the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Formosa. Even under attack, Howard and his fellow sailors made emergency repairs to their vessel and continued to fight. When he was discharged, Howard received multiple medals, including good conduct, ribbons for various campaigns, Battle Stars, and a victory ribbon. After his military service, Howard worked, until his retirement, for CM Jones Company and Buford Textiles. An avid coin collector, Howard also enjoyed the outdoors: gardening, hunting, and fishing. He was a longtime member of Riverview Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon.

Survivors are his sons and daughters-in-law, Michael Alan and Sandra Davis, Howard Steven Davis, and Tony and Melanie Davis; his daughter, LeGaina Sutherland; his grandchildren, Chad Davis, Todd Davis, Chris Davis, Tristen Davis, Kayle Davis Dutton, Blake Davis, Darah Moss, and Dalyn Moss; twelve great-grandchildren; his sister, Norma Rickett; other relatives and friends.

The Davis family received friends from 5 until 8 p.m. on Friday, July 22, 2016 at Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home.

Funeral services were conducted on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 10 a.m. from Riverview Baptist Church. Rev. Jamey Hunt officiated. Burial, with military honors, followed the service at Fain Cemetery. Rev. Winford Casey officiated at the graveside. Pallbearers and honorary pallbearers were Howard’s grandsons and his fellow deacons of Riverview Baptist Church.

The family suggests that memorials be made to Riverview Baptist Church Building Fund, 141 Liberty Road SW, Calhoun, Georgia 30701. Friends may sign the online guest register at ww.maxbrannonandsons.com.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home of Calhoun.

Lile Dean

Mr. Lile Dean, 81, of Calhoun, passed away Thursday, July 21, 2016 at Gordon Hospital following a brief illness. He was born in Gordon County on July 14, 1935, son of the late Chester and Lois Stanley Dean. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Jeanelle Hicks Dean on Jan. 26, 2016; and brothers, Lake Dean and Bradley Dean.

Mr. Dean was retired from Springs Industries. He was a longtime member and Deacon of Union Grove Baptist Church.

Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, Joann and Nevin Weaver of Calhoun; grandchildren, Megan Weaver and Garrett Weaver; and nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Services to honor the life of Mr. Lile Dean were held Saturday, July 23 at 1 p.m. from Union Grove Baptist Church, with Rev. Tim Spires officiating. Music was arranged by Tammy Freeman. Burial followed in Haven of Rest Memorial Park, with Rev. Donald Young officiating. Pallbearers serving included Hank Hazelwood, Robbie Evans, Garrett Weaver, Bruce Hicks, Michael Hicks and Danny Dean. Honorary pallbearers were the members of Union Grove Baptist Church.

The Dean family received friends at Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home on Friday, July 22 from 5 until 8 p.m.

Condolences may be left at www.maxbrannonandsons.com. Funeral services for Mr. Lile Dean are under the care and direction of Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home of Calhoun.

Sandra O’Neal

Sandra Onieta O’Neal, age 66, of Calhoun, passed away on Friday, July 22, 2016 at Calhoun Health Care.

Sandra was born on March 25, 1950 in Rome to the late John O’Neal, Sr. and Hazel Maxine Wright. She was a member of Calhoun First Baptist Church, and retired from Mannington Mills. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Stanley Wright O’Neal and John O’Neal, Jr; and nephew, Stanley O’Neal.

She is survived by her sister-in-law, Gail O’Neal; nephew, Haley O’Neal; niece, Lanea McKone all of Calhoun; a special friend, Chad Johnfroe; and several cousins also survive.

Graveside Services will be conducted on Wednesday, July 27 at 10 a.m. in Fain Cemetery with Dr. Bert Vaughn officiating.

You may leave the family online condolences at www.thomasfuneralhomecalhoun.com

Thomas Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Sandra Onieta O’Neal.

Mary Jones

Mary Gallman Jones, age 72 of Centre, Ala. and formerly of Gordon County, passed away on Sunday, July 24, 2016 at Redmond Regional Medical Center.

Mary was born on Sept. 21, 1943 in Gordon County to the late Ed Walker Gallman and Stella Mae Goforth Gallman. She was a past Grand Matron and Grand Chapter Nurse of the local Eastern Star. She was a retired registered nurse serving the Cherokee County Nursing Home of Centre, Ala.

She is survived by her son, Ken Jones and his wife, Kristy, of Centre; daughter, Toni Jones of Centre; brother, Joe Gallman and his wife, Barbara, of Calhoun; three step-children, Keith Jones and his wife, Kim, Karen Miner and her husband, Bruce, and Keena McEntyre and her husband, Mark, all of Calhoun; one grandson, Josh Jones and his wife, Lacy; and nieces and nephews also survive.

Funeral Services will be conducted on Wednesday, July 27 at 11 a.m. at the chapel of Thomas Funeral Home with Dr. Doug Roebuck officiating. Burial will follow in Fain Cemetery. Pallbearers serving will be Shawn Brehm, Mitchell Miner, Michael Miner, Jeff Gallman and Joey Gallman.

The family received friends on Tuesday evening from 4 until 7 p.m. at Thomas Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you support and vote for Donald Trump for President of the United States.

You may leave the family online condolences at www.thomasfuneralhomecalhoun.com

Thomas Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Mary Gallman Jones.

GUEST EDITORIAL: Wrong idea for government and religion

The First Amendment Defense Act is one of those proposals that will sound good to almost everybody — until you read beyond the title.

We applaud any effort to defend the First Amendment to the Constitution and its guarantees of Americans’ freedoms of religion, speech, press and peaceable assembly, as well as our right to petition the government.

But defending the First Amendment isn’t what this bill is really about. Introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, it plays offense more than defense. It’s a new effort by some in Congress to expand the definition of religious freedom to make it something more like religious privilege.

According to the official summary, the bill “prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that: (1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”

By “discriminatory action,” it means, among other things, government action to withhold tax exemptions, contracts, loans and licenses to people or corporations that defy federal laws requiring equal treatment of LGBT people.

The proposed law could be used “as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding and to obtain compensatory damages or other appropriate relief against the federal government.”

Sen. Lee has said the bill is pushback against the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage. It is meant to provide legal protection, should protection be needed, for religious groups that object to gay marriage.

This worries advocates of the LGBT community, who fear the bill could allow a business to deny time off to a gay or lesbian employee to care for an ailing spouse, an insurance company to deny coverage to a gay couple or a school to refuse to accept the child of gay parents.

It also should worry those who believe in what Thomas Jefferson called “a wall of separation between church and state.”

Americans should be free to believe and worship as they choose without interference from the government. They should not be able to wave their religious beliefs as Get Out of Jail Free cards to get around democratically elected laws that apply to everybody else.

Finally, Americans who believe in limited government should oppose a bill that would have the legal system act as a biased referee, tilting the playing field to the advantage of people of faith.

This wouldn’t strengthen the First Amendment. It would twist the First Amendment’s fundamental value.

 

Update: Ballots all counted, Thaxton to be new District 2 commissioner

Update as of 8:15 p.m. 

With all the votes counted, Polk County’s District 2 Commission race is over and a new member will be joining the board when the new term starts on Jan. 1, 2017. 

Chuck Thaxton came out as the winner of the seat with 746 votes, or 56 percent to 569 votes, or 43 percent for incumbent Ray Barber. 

Thaxton said after results were posted by the Board of Elections at the county administration offices in Cedartown that he was thankful for voters choosing him as their new representative on the Board of Commissioners, and thanked Ray Barber for her service. 

“Ray has served this community for several terms, and I give him praise for putting his name out there,” Thaxton said. “He went through a lot of fights, so I congratulate him for what he’s done.” 

Thaxton said that his first focus once he takes office in January will be on public safety and protection of the citizens. 

“We can always improve,” he said. “The volunteer system at the fire department is a good example. They work hard, but they need help. And we need to tackle some of the issues with crime and drugs in our community, and the only way you can do that is by putting more police officers on the street.” 

Barber, who will finish out his term in December, said that he was ready to hand off the job to Thaxton after the holidays later this year. 

“There’s a lot of turmoil in our country, and also in our county,” Barber said. “I hope that we can all move forward and make progress.” 

Barber said that he’s enjoyed serving through good times and bad, and that “I’m excited for Mr. Thaxton to have the opportunity to move our county forward.” 

Update: 

With the polls closed and votes continuing to be counted, the numbers are increasing for Chuck Thaxton and Ray Barber in the 2016 primary run-off to determine the next District 2 commissioner for Polk County. 

Thaxton remained in the lead with 494 votes over Barber’s 365 votes as two precincts – Fish Creek and Lake Creek – have submitted all their ballots and had them counted, adding to the early vote total. 

Check back for more updates over the next hours as the votes continue to come in. 

Previously posted: 

The polls are closed in Polk County, and the first round of election results are now available as the count of the early vote from the past several weeks is counted. 

The 684 ballots cast starting on July 5 and closing on July 22 has challenger Chuck Thaxton in the lead for the Polk County Commission District 2 GOP nomination over incumbent Ray Barber. 

Thaxton had 399 votes, or 58.33 percent of the total so far compared to Barber’s 285 votes, or 41.67 percent of the ballots. 

With no Democratic candidates running for office in 2016 in Polk County, this primary run-off will determine who the next commissioner will be starting in January 2017. 

Check back for updates on the vote total in Polk as the count continues at the Board of Elections.

Rasbury edges out Silvers in Republican Primary Runoff Election

Calhoun businessman Pat Rasbury has defeated incumbent Ricky Silvers in the Republican Primary Runoff Election for Gordon County Chief Magistrate.

Only 2356 voters turned out for the runoff election, with Rasbury garnering 58.47 percent of the vote, with Silvers receiving 41.53 percent.

In the General Primary in May, Silvers received 44.81 percent of the vote, with Rasbury receiving 34.14 percent. A third candidate, Larry Bain, received 21.05 percent of the vote. Because none of the candidates received the required 50 percent plus one vote during the general primary, the runoff was held to decide the Republican nominee for the office.

Things to do in Cherokee County Wednesday, July 27

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.

The Party Bridge Match is played at the Fort Payne Senior Center. For more information, call 256-927-7754.

A Varsity Girls Volleyball Camp will be held at Gadsden State. For more information call 256-390-3565.

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.

Ensley: Crape Myrtles – A summer sensation

Polk County Extension Office is located at 20 N. Main Street, Cedartown. Phone 770-749- 2142 or email uge2233@uga.edu

Crape Myrtles have put on their dazzling display lately. Crape Myrtles are a flowering tree that needs care.

As Crape Myrtle flowers fade, they turn to small hard green seedpods. Carefully cut these off, re-fertilize and water the trees to extend their season of glory.

Crape Myrtles may bloom again. Be careful not to cut off the new flower buds. They are probably forming just behind the old ones. For fertilization, use two cups of 10-10- 10 per 100 square feet of bed space. Spread it evenly around the plant and water it in.

Crape Myrtles need pruning of the unwanted branches at the base of the plant.

These “water sprouts” or shoots make the plant look unsightly and are best removed as soon as possible. Also, remove any weeds and renew the mulch around the trees.

We prefer to have two to four inch deep mulch around the tree out to the drip line.

Look out for pests. Aphids (aka plant lice) are 1/8 inch long and pear-shaped.

They suck plant juice and give off a clear residue, which sticks to plant leaves. This is called honeydew. A sooty mold grows on this residue. The mold can be scraped off with your fingernail.

Control aphids with regular sprays of insecticidal soap, malathion, cyfluthrin, bifenthrin or other labeled chemicals. Read and follow all label directions carefully.

A new chemical may give season-long control of aphids and other sucking pests.

Bayer Tree and Shrub Insect Control contains imidacloprid and can be used as a drench around many ornamentals. Control can last up to a growing season. Always read and follow all label directions when using any pesticide.

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More facts about this colorful addition to local landscapes:

Crape myrtles need full sun — eight hours or more of direct sun daily — in order to thrive and bloom Crape myrtles will not be their best will less than eight hours of direct sun light. Gardeners should check the sun patterns in their yards before planting crape myrtles.

Crape myrtles thrive in slightly acidic soils with a pH of about 6 to 6.5. If the pH level is off, the plant will not use fertilizer properly and the gardener will be left with substandard crape myrtles. You should take a soil sample to your local Extension office for testing if you don’t know your soil’s pH.

Prune in late winter, fertilize in early spring

Gardeners should prune the trees so that they maintain a natural shape and to thin out branches and allow light into the canopy. You should not cut off the top of your crape myrtle trees. This pruning method is so drastic it is often referred to as “crape murder.”