News & rants: A blessing for community policing — and a shot in the arm for the local economy.

News & rants: A blessing for community policing — and a shot in the arm for the local economy.

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Above, how the back end of Myrtle Hill looked at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday vs. last Sunday (below) where the branch was over the Sims’ family headstone (as well as surrounding grass and other growth). Hometown photos.

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RANT OF THE DAY: A blessing for community policing — and a shot in the arm for the local economy.

A good place to start. So here were the senior officers with the Rome Police Department gathered as socially distanced tables to talk community concerns with area pastors. It was a two-hour respite where all were encouraged to put issues about race, policing and community on the table — hard questions and all. While similar gatherings have been held, including a police academy for pastors, this was more of a breakthrough rather than breakout session. The pastors learned a lot more about local law enforcement and the officers learned how to open some additional channels into the neighborhoods they serve. Monday’s meeting came as police practices have come under intense national review. We’re glad to know what’s being done right in our community will soon be even better. Special thanks to Senior Pastor Jody Hagerty of Cornerstone Church for helping make it happen.

Jail reports with just the facts: Hometown Headlines joined some of our print and web colleagues around the country on Tuesday in ending the use of jail inmate mug shots in our daily police report — unless the charges in question merit using their faces. The belief is these mugs have little news value and only serve to generate hits and readership — which is why you still see those little mug shot books at the checkout line at convenience stores. So bye-bye click bait. We expected a backlash but so far, we’ve heard very little reaction. For that, we’re grateful — and we should have made this move years ago.

That was fast: We took another cruise by Myrtle Hill on Tuesday morning to discover a much-improved look toward the back side of the historic resting place. The lawn was mowed, most weeds were gone and crews were busy landscaping this home of 20,000 souls — or in the final process at least. Was it scheduled maintenance or karma from Monday’s rant? We don’t care. We thank the crews for doing what needed to be done.

Our kind of 10K: The Cartersville-Bartow Chamber has been aggressive in helping the business community cope with the economic challenges of the pandemic. But this latest move under the hashtag ForBartow banner is a beaut: On Tuesday, beginning at 10 a.m., the chamber will match any $100 gift card purchased made online through its set up with Bartow retailers and restaurants. You won’t know the merchants until closer to the promotion. It is called a $10,000 giveaway which, to us, means about 100 people can take advantage of the idea. We think it is a brilliant way to inject that much money into the local economy. Remember the chamber rules: Those dollars continue to circulate locally.

Flattening the panic: Or is that the curve? Whatever, we don’t want anyone to panic as we continue to report the numbers associated with the coronavirus in our area. Our goal is to post the qualified reports we receive and for you to digest and react accordingly — if reaction is needed. That said, we’re a little wary of an increase in local hospitalizations and no decrease in the number of new cases being reported. Sure, more tests mean more cases — and that’s why we’re doing so, to find out how much of this stuff is still left in our community. If you want a clearer answer, drive by the Floyd County Courthouse today. You’ll hopefully be allowed back in starting Monday.

His two cents worth: A frequent commenter on all things Hometown — a gentleman who’s wisdom we’ve valued for 18 years now — was a little offset by our comments about the wolf, Romulus and Remus and how we wouldn’t mind seeing them disappear from the steps of city hall. He writes, “Please don’t kick the wolf under the bus again – she’s had too many undeserved kicks over the years already.” So we’ll stand down; we promise no petitions from this keyboard or microphone.

Bracing for impact: By this time Thursday morning, that’s tomorrow, we expect to have the latest look at unemployment in our area. In just weeks, we’ve seen unemployment in record-low territory only to surge to levels never before recorded here. We expect the May reports to be a little bit better than April — but we also wonder what the long-term cost of the rush to reopen Georgia will be. Or maybe we covered that a few rants earlier today. Time will tell.

The big chill: And finally our weather. If you’ve been outside already today, you’re enjoying another cool morning. To see low to mid 50s this late in June is a bonus, especially with summer and the longest day of the year this Saturday. That said, we’re still five or so degrees above record for this time of year, most set in 1948. Enjoy this break; we’re back into the low 90s by the weekend.


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