New Eats, New Dance Steps and Where's That Sergeant? Trenton Runaround--June 15

Denizens o' Dade, The Planet knows you are so riveted by every scintillatin' detail of the county and school board budget process that it's hard to take time out to eat and sleep. But life keeps chugging along here at the center of the universe regardless of across-the-board insurance increases and the price of body bags (which BTW the coroner's office says is through the roof). So see if you can tear yourself away for a minute or two for a glance at what else is going on around Dade today, this weekend and this month, in this helpful Friday edition of...

The Trenton Runaround!

First, readers seem to have been missing The Planet's favorite cop, Sgt. Chad Payne, information officer for the Dade County Sheriff's Office, as bad as The Planet has, because complaints have started to pour in: "Whar mah Sgt. Chad's Arrest Roundup?" readers have begun to shout, more or less. (Actually, that's the question posed to the sergeant by The Planet; the readership has been more polite.)

The Planet regrets to inform Sgt. Chad's ravenin' readers that the officer was swanning it on the beach last week on vacation, then out of town for the next three in an extended training session. The Planet has requested an ETA from the errant Sgt. Chad (pictured here with K-9 Officer Daisy), and is as anxious for the resumption of his inimitable weekly report as anyone else. Patience!

4-H Rudderless!

Another unsettling AWOL The Planet just learned about is Katie Hammond, the county extension agent under whose able guidance Dade 4-H has been booming for the last several years. Through the aforementioned budget process it came to the attention of anyone able to stay awake through the columns of figures that there was a hole where the county extension agent's salary used to be. Ms. Hammond has been promoted onward, upward and out of Dade! County Clerk Don Townsend seemed confident Dade will receive a new extension agent in the fullness of time but could not predict when that would be--only refer to the gap of years between the death of cherished former agent Ted Dyer and the appointment of the also-esteemed Ms. Hammond.

Dance, dance, dance!

Today, Friday June 15, is the day to get your kids--or yourself--registered at Dade County Dance Center's early registration sale. Dade's first dance studio is in the Gross Shopping Center on North Main and doors open at 4:30 p.m. Registration fee is waived today, but if you miss out, don't fret--you can register online beginning Saturday at noon. Owner Paige Retchko is recruiting girls and boys of all ages for classes in ballet, jazz, tumbling, tap and hip-hop. There will also be an adult class. Go to The Planet's homepage to find a feature article about Dade County Dance Center, or visit the studio's website,

American Legion Dinner

Don't forget that this Saturday at 5 p.m. is American Legion Post 106's benefit dinner at the post's meeting hall at 13205 N. Main St. The $10 admittance fee will buy you grilled burgers, dogs and all the fixin's--and will help the veterans pay off the mortgage that a couple of years ago was threatening to lose them their hall. The vets want to get R done by July 4 so they can have a mortgage-burning celebration and celebrate their own independence on the big day.

Genealogical Workshop

Come and join the Dade County Historical Society Saturday morning, June 16, at 10:30 a.m. for its quarterly meeting followed by a free genealogy workshop. The meeting will be held at the Dade County Public Library. It will last approximately one hour and then adjourn so members can assist others in using equipment and materials in the library.

If you are searching for an ancestor or trying to find the answer to a family riddle or puzzle, then please come at 11:30 if you can’t attend the meeting. Do you have old photographs to be digitized? Come and members will help you learn to use the equipment at the library. Using is free to all Georgia residents in the public libraries of Georgia. Bring a snack or lunch so that you can take advantage of the time in the library from 10:30 until 1:30.

Star Party

This Saturday night, June 16, come to the Star Party at Cloudland Canyon State Park sponsored by the staff and Friends of Cloudland Canyon State Park and conducted by the Barnard Astronomical Society. Come see the wonders of the night sky through powerful telescopes. Venus and Jupiter will be visible. The moon will also be in a good position and spring constellations will be observed as well as DSOs (Deep Sky Objects) like star clusters, nebulae and other galaxies like our own Milky Way. Be at the starting point of the Disc Golf Course 8-10 p.m. FREE to all. Usual parking fee at the park applies. If the weather is “iffy” call (941) 544 3420 after 6 p.m. on Saturday for update. ​

​Another interesting thing to do this Saturday, June 16, is visit Lookout Lavender Farm at 1039 N. Moore Road in New Salem on Lookout Mountain. You can U-pick a lavender bouquet for about $5, view the blooming lavender for free, and look over the farm store's stock of lavender-based oils, candles and toiletries. The farm is open on Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through the end of the month and will reopen after July 4 on Saturdays as the lavender holds out. Visit Lookout Lavender Farm on Facebook.

New restaurant on Lookout! Lookout Mountain has someplace new to eat! The building that formerly housed The Lookout Trading Post is empty no more as The Trading Post Smokehouse dishes up "Colty's BBQ" plates as well as sandwiches Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. The Smokehouse, run by Marvin Kilgore, opened its doors in May at the corner of highways 136 and 157. Dine in--the patio's great--or take out. For more info you can call (706) 398-0528.

Vote in the Runoff!

Early voting starts July 2 for the primary election runoff. Early voting runs Monday through Thursday 8 a.m.-and Friday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. All early voting in the county will be in the Dade Administrative Building. Voters may vote in their regular precincts on the actual runoff Election Day, July 24, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. There will be no Saturday voting in this runoff. In Dade County, the only local runoff race is between incumbent Scottie Pittman and challenger Phillip Hartline for the District 2 commission seat on the Republican ticket. But statewide there are four runoffs in the Republican primary and one on the Democratic side.

New Salem Fireworks June 30

A big epic Cecil-B.-DeMille-style, 1945-motif Independence Day celebration is planned for July 4 itself, a Wednesday (visit The Planet's homepage to access an article about that). But please don't forget the New Salem Fire Department and Community Center's yearly fireworks blowout the Saturday before, June 30. Festivities will start in the Community Center on Highway 136 East at noon with music and barbecue served until 2 p.m., or until it runs out. Then hot dogs will be available for the rest of the day. Fireworks get started after dark, usually around 9:30 p.m. All this for free-will donations! Remember, not just New Salem but all Dade's volunteer fire departments depend on your help!

Finally, Trenton Streets Commissioner Monda Wooten complained at Monday's Trenton City Commission about some local businesses' casual attitude about mowing the grass, and enlisted the media's help to slut-shame them into municipal pride. Thus The Planet thought it might be nice to end this Trenton Runaround on a positive note, with businesses that were spiffing up voluntarily. Below, workmen install new awnings on the North Main building that houses Ken's on Main and Ann-Other Florist. Happy, Monda?

Bduh, bduh, bduh, that's all, folks! Until next time, this has been yet another installment of that friendly Planet news feature...

The Trenton Runaround!

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