West Cinema open for business
After rumors that the historic theater had closed for good, local residents Ken and Teresa Browning announced that the theater, in fact, had not closed, rather it just changed hands.
The previous owners, after announcing in November that they were closing the cinema’s doors, sold the business back to the Brownings, who had operated the theater for decades.
Firemen given Valor Award
Two Cedartown firemen, Lucas Green and Ryan Dobbs, were presented with Valor Awards for their heroic actions during a rescue mission. The firemen entered a burning home on Sixth Street in November and rescued a man from the flames.
The firefighters were also honored with a proclamation from the City of Cedartown.
Cindy Wright named Polk Teacher of the Year
Cindy Wright, an eighth-grade language arts teacher at Cedartown Middle School, was honored as Polk County’s Teacher of the Year.
Individual winners were Bridgett Tillery of Cedartown High School; Joan Hunt of Cherokee Elementary; Kerri Alred of Northside Elementary; J. D. Malone of Rockmart High School; Shan Lanham of Rockmart Middle School; Sheryl Payne of Van Wert Elementary; Kristi Ivie of Westside Elementary and Wanda Brewster of Youngs Grove Elementary.
Policemen honored with Valor Award
Three Cedartown officers received medals of valor and two Polk County Police Department officers were given recognition regarding their heroic efforts in an Oct. 4 robbery and hostage incident at Fred’s store in Cedartown.
Valor recipients were Sgt. Bradley Coppock, Senior Patrol Officer Justin Short and Senior Patrol Officer Matt McLendon, all of the Cedartown Police Department. County officers Sgt. Josh Martin and Cpl. Ken Scott were also recognized for their involvement in the apprehension of the suspect.
Madden named editor and publisher
Aimee Harmison Madden was named as the editor and publisher of The Cedartown Standard and The Rockmart Journal. Madden, a life-long resident of Cedartown, had previously worked for The Cedartown Standard for more than nine years in varying roles.
Voters replace sheriff, house incumbents
Polk County elected a new sheriff and a new state representative in November.
Republican Johnny Moats was elected as sheriff with 57 percent of the vote and Republican newcomer Trey Kelley was elected as State House Rep for the 16th district with 65 percent of the vote.
Voters also OKd the countywide sale of alcohol on Sunday both by the drink and at package stores.
County’s animal control building expanded
Construction was completed on a new addition at Polk Animal Control’s existing facility. The expansion added housing for an additional 50 to 60 animals.
Community Share ministry opens women’s shelter
The Community Share Ministry, spearheaded by Jason Slaughter, officially opened a new women’s shelter in October. The shelter can hold up to 10 people and is located on College Street in Cedartown.
The organization also opened a men’s shelter in 2011.
Cedartown Fred’s store robbed at gunpoint
The Cedartown Fred’s store was robbed at gunpoint and a store employee was taken hostage on Oct. 4.
Kelly Jack Mayo, 45, of Fort Payne, Ala., was arrested and charged with felony armed robbery, felony kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of false imprisonment from the incident. He also faced charges for a similar crime in Alabama.
Georgia State Patrol vacates Cedartown post
In September, Georgia State Patrol officials announced that the agency would vacate their building in Cedartown following a breakdown of negotiations with the Polk County Board of Commissioners. The GSP post was located inside the Polk County Public Safety Complex just off Hwy. 278.
Troopers continue to patrol Polk County and respond to traffic crashes and other calls for service in the same manner as they did previously, according to the GSP.
City manager leaves; Fann named as replacement
Robbie Rokovitz stepped down from his position as city manager in August after accepting a position with the City of Hiram. He was with the city for two years.
Bill Fann, who previously worked as public works director and assistant city manager, was tapped to fill Rokovitz’s shoes.
Florida man dies in Polk plane crash
Ronald James Murphy, 68, of Callahan, Fla., died on July 20 when the two-seater plane he was flying crashed on Treat Mountain. The crash occurred in a rural area of Treat Mountain near Fire Tower Road and Highway 278 West, near the Alabama-Georgia border.
County manager steps down
Clinton Lester stepped down from his position as county manager in July after working in that capacity since 2007. Lester began his career with the county in 1978. Matt Denton was named interim manager and then later named as county manager.
Young mother killed in brutal stabbing
Elizabeth Hutcheson, 27, of Cedartown, was stabbed to death on June 7 while making a delivery for Domino’s Pizza to a home on Thompson Street in Cedartown.
Cadedra Cook, 18, and Eddie Clark, 15, were indicted in August for the stabbing and are awaiting trial.
Vietnam Land Clearers hold reunion
More than 200 Vietnam veterans and family members converged on Cedartown on June 7 for a reunion of the Vietnam Land Clearers Association. During the war, soldiers in the 20th Engineer Brigade, 18th Engineer Brigade and 62nd Engineer Battalion cleared trees and other jungle growth from hundreds of thousands of acres of jungle, often under fire, to uncover hidden enemy strongholds.
Cedartown High School graduation
Cedartown High School graduated 197 students on May 27. The 197 graduates included 62 honor grads who maintained grade point averages of 89.5 and above for all four years of high school. The highest grade point averages were maintained by Rachel Marie “Ree” Palmer, the CHS 2012 valedictorian, and Maria Rodriguez, the salutatorian.
Jones announces retirement
Joyce B. Jones announced her intentions to retire as Polk County Probate Judge in May.
Jones resigned her position effective July 1, ending 37 years of service. Jones was chief clerk for 16 years and probate judge for 21 years. She was also the first woman elected as a judge in Polk County.
Polk Medical Center transitions under Floyd management
Polk Medical Center transitioned to management under Floyd Medical Center on April 1.
The hospital was previously operated by Hospital Corporation of America/Redmond Regional Medical Center.
Cedartown Idol winners announced
Cedartown’s Alexis Robinson took first place in the Cedartown Idol category for ages 16 and up, winning $1,000. Jacob Barker, also of Cedartown, took first place for the 15 and under age group, also receiving a $1,000 prize.
Goggins selected as STAR student, Mayes selected as STAR teacher
Austin Goggins was honored as Cedartown High School’s STAR student for 2012. Goggins was a senior at the time of the honor. Goggins picked CHS teacher Vicki Mayes as the STAR teacher of the year. To obtain the STAR nomination, a high school senior must have the highest score on a single test date on the three-part SAT test and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class, based on grade point averages.