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Animal Medical of Covington, Inc. 7120 Industrial Blvd. Covington, GA 30014 770-786-0522

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Dr. Kristian & Susann Shriver

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Welcome to Newton County! Inside this magazine, you’ll find an A-to-Z guide to one of the truly communities in the South. We’ve seen rapid growth in Covington and Newton County over the past couple of decades, and one visit here will show you why. Our people make the difference. Our diverse community enjoys a high standard of living and growing opportunities for employment. Even if it’s your first time to visit, you may feel like you’re someplace familiar due to Covington’s well-earned reputation as the Hollywood of the South. Whether it’s “In the Heat of the Night,” “Vampire Diaries” or “The Dukes of Hazzard,” images of our old homes, bustling downtown and beautiful streets have been beamed around the world. Facebook announced earlier this year it would locate a large data center here in Newton

County. Its across-the-street neighbor, Shire, recently received Food and Drug Administration approval for its first product at a biopharmaceutical plant. These high-tech firms easily co-exist with thriving mom-and-pop businesses and everything in between. And our schools are adapting to the changing workforce, turning out graduates ready for college or a career. Whether you’re planning your first visit to our town or a lifelong resident, I hope you’ll find something in this guide to educate you and delight you about this special place. And, I hope your time in Newton County will be a success.

David Clemons Editor and Publisher, The Covington News

Buying or Selling?

Cathy Dobbs can help you make your next move an easy one. A licensed Realtor since 2003, Cathy is well educated in buying and selling homes and land.

As a longtime resident of the Newton area I am well acquainted with the housing market. Knowledge of an area is essential when selecting a new home. Making sure all the details are taken care of and solving any problem that may arise is a job I take very seriously. Being informed will enable you to make the right decisions when purchasing or selling your home. I will work hard to obtain the information you need when making this important decision. I will go the extra mile to make your real estate transaction a smooth one! Coldwell Banker Gerri Murphy Realty 1123 Washington Street • Covington, GA 30014 770-787-8400 • 404-626-5075

4 The Covington News

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

TABLE OF CONTENTS Publisher Letter Index of Advertisers Contact Us A - Arts Association in Newton County B – Business C – Clubs D – Downtown E - Elected Officials F – Facebook G – Growth H - Health care I – Industry J – Judges K – Keep Covington Newton County Beautiful L – Libraries M – Movies N - Newton County O – Outdoors P - Public Safety Q - Q&A with The News R – Recreation S – Schools T – Trash U – Utilities V - Voting Precincts W- Walking Trails X - X marks the spot Y - Youth Sports Z - Zero Unemployment

4 74 5 6 9 10 11 14 22 25 28 30 32 34 35 36 44 47 50 54 57 59 63 64 65 67 69 71 72


David Clemons

Gabriel Stovall

Brian Worton

Jackie Gutknecht

Darryl Welch

Lee Ann Avery

Cynthia Blackshear Warren

Sydney Chacon

Editor and Publisher

Managing Editor

Advertising Director

Sports Editor

Staff Writer

Advertising Representative

Web Editor

Legals Clerk

NEWCOMERS 2018 is a special presentation of

Published Sunday by Newton Newspapers Inc., 1166 Usher St., Covington GA 30014.

Amanda Ellington Circulation Director

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

Susan Grajko

Advertising Representative

Telephone 770-787-6397 Online

The Covington News 5


rts association

The Arts in Newton County An active arts community enriches life in Newton County. Dance, music, theater and galleries are all part the cultural life of the area. Numerous art-related activities and camps are offered for children throughout the year, but especially during the summer months. Arts Association in Newton County, (1106 Washington St. SW, Covington; 770-786-8188) A non profit organization, the Newton County Arts Association offers something for everyone. The Arts Association also maintains a list of private music teachers and studios. Covington Regional Ballet Founded in 2001, the Covington Regional Ballet presents high quality dance programming that provide local dancers with pre-professional instruction and performance opportunities. Twice a year, the ballet offers spectacular productions—The Nutcracker and a contemporary piece in the fall, with another production in the spring. The CRB strives to entertain, educate and inspire audiences of all ages, engaging the community in a celebration of the arts through a wide variety of dance programming. Newton County Community Band Since 1993, the Newton County Community Band has presented community performances, including Christmas and spring concerts, a concert with the eighth-graders of Newton County School System; a Fourth of July concert at Covington’s Square; and an annual concert for Oxford 6 The Covington News

College’s “Oxford Day.” The band is made up of volunteers. Oxford Singing Children, Little Singers & Youth Singers Oxford Little Singers is made up of children in first through third grades. Students in this choir learn introductory vocal and musicianship skills performing elementary choral works and musical theatre repertoire. Students in fourth through seventh grade audition for the Oxford Singing Children’s Choir, which provides them with basic music skills and performance experience, while building friendships and learning the benefit of teamwork. Students in eighth through 12th grade can audition for the Oxford Youth Singers, which enhances musical skills and offers experience in musical theater and choral performance. The Oxford Singing Children and Oxford Youth Singers perform Christmas in Covington in December, and collaborate to present a musical in the spring. Auditions for new members are in August of each year. Art-themed Summer Camp Sponsored by Newton Federal Bank, the Newton County Arts Association offers Creative Kids Camp during the summer on the campus of Oxford College off of Emory Street. Camp specializes in music, musical theater, dance and theater, all age-appropriate. Tuition is charged and scholarships are available through the Arts Association office at 770786-8188 or True Colours Youth Art Exhibit

Each March, the artistic talents of local art students are celebrated and exhibited in the community. Art teachers from the Newton County School District select up to 10 pieces of artwork created by their students for display. Youth Strings & Orchestra One of the Arts Association’s newest programs, the New County Youth Strings specializes in using the Suzuki method of teaching, Private 30-, 45- or 60-minutes lessons in violin, viola and cello begin at age 4. Group lessons, 30 and 45-minutes long,

begin in the spring semester. Studio recitals are held once a semester, usually in November and March. Orchestra rehearsals are held once a week. Heartscapes Art Gallery, (1132 Monticello St. SW, Covington, GA 30014; 770-385-5834) Heartscapes Studio and Gallery is owned by Nick and Kathy Cuiffi. Kathy continues to share her talents with the community and offers art classes at the studio. The gallery sells oil paints, mediums, canvas, and brushes. Whether you need a gift, mental/

Tory Bouchillon | The Covington News

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

er you need a gift, mental/art therapy, a special piece of artwork to add that finishing touch to a newly decorated room, a frame for your child’s last art project, or just some me time, come join in the fun and let Kathy and Nick help you discover talents you never knew you had. Southern Heartland Arts, (1132 Monticello St. SW, Covington, GA 30014; 770-788-8799) Southern Heartland Arts, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization supporting the visual arts in Newton County. Incorporated in 1988, SHA brought together Newton County artists, along with artists from Rockdale, Newton and Henry counties and is one of the oldest visual art guilds east of metro Atlanta. Membership dues, the corporate sponsorships of United Bank and ACS and multiple corporate and individual donations have helped SHA Inc. to fulfill its mission to bring visual art to Newton County. Newborn’s bluegrass pickin’ and down home playin’ On the second Saturday night

of warm weather months, the Newborn Pickers Circle gathers for an evening of bluegrass pickin’ at Newborn’s Town Park near City Hall, 4221 Highway 142. Presented by Rick Holder, The Front Porch acoustic series is held on the third Sunday of each month at the historic Old Schoolhouse, 4224 Highway 142, Newborn. The music, beginning at 6 p.m., might be Bluegrass, might be Irish or might be country. Concerts include local musicians, and have been branching out to include players from around the state. Oxford College at Emory University, (Oxford; 770-784-8389) The Artistic/Lyceum Events series at Oxford College brings experts and performers to campus for lectures, concerts and theatrical presentations. All events are free, unless otherwise noted, and open to the public, though seating is limited. Porterdale’s Tuba Christmas concert It’s a holiday celebration featuring tuba players and their festively decorated instruments—tinsel,

Tory Bouchillon | The Covington News

In Home Care for Seniors and Disabled Adults Right at Home of East Atlanta



Put Your Mind at Ease with the Right Care for YOUR Loved One Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

The Covington News 7

bows, flashing lights—and it happens every year in Porterdale, and more than 200 cities nationally and internationally. Open to all levels of players, musicians usually register at city hall on the day of the concert. That’s followed by an hour-long rehearsal, and then it’s a free public performance at the History Gym Amphitheater on Main Street. The Social Circle Theater, (Main Theater, 650 Ashley Drive; Theater Annex, 169 Thurman Baccus Rd.; 770464-2269) Committed to providing the facilities and human resources for quality, affordable family entertainment, the Social Circle Theater is a non profit organization founded in 2000. Founders Bob and Mabel Standridge believed the theater could preserve the town's history and unify the community through storytelling and folklore. The theater has entertained and shared the history of Social

Circle ever since. Rising Stars The youngest troupe, ranging in ages from 4 years to fifth grade, meets weekly throughout the school year and focuses on singing, dancing and acting skills. Typically, the Rising Stars appear in two performances per season, one around Christmas and one in the spring. The Well Diggers A performance-based troupe for the young adults of Social Circle Theater, the Well Diggers meet weekly throughout the school year to focus on dancing, singing and acting skills. The Well Diggers have won awards at the MTI Junior Theater Festival and Access Broadway. They typically perform in two productions a year in the theater. They also take these shows to schools as field trips, to the local nursing homes and hospitals.

Gerri Murphy Realty 1123 Washington Street SW Covington, Georgia 770-787-8400

Bill Blair Cathy Dobbs Mathea Elliott LaKisha Felton Pamela Kimbrough Tricia Kuhn Ed Laposki Connie Malone Teresa Martin 8 The Covington News

770-337-5262 404-626-5075 404-861-4610 404-468-7012 678-427-5513 404-641-1277 678-522-3706 770-883-6541 404-312-3598

Tory Bouchillon | The Covington News

Buying or Selling – Put our agents to work for you! We are a traditional real estate company with traditional values. Cheryl Mitchell Cindy Moon Tami Moody Jamie Peterson Rick Spires Kristy Stubbs-Henderson Pat Swords Smith Mia Johnson-Thompson

770-653-9407 770-331-7451 404-732-8228 678-230-1976 770-733-2230 912-659-8900 770-784-5591 404-357-8560 Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019



A WORD FROM: RALPH STAFFINS, COVINGTON-NEWTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Welcome to Covington! I would like to personally welcome you to Covington and Newton County. Here you will find the best quality of life in the Metro Atlanta region. We offer our citizens the small-town atmosphere with the amenities of a larger city. We know that you will fall in love with our community whether you are relocating or just visiting. Covington-Newton County will continue to grow and outpace the rest of the region for several reasons that I want to share with you. Our community continues to attract new people because we strive to create quality jobs, focus and improve on our entertainment district, and continue to be “Hollywood of the South.” The Covington-Newton Chamber of Commerce’s first priority is to help create

high-paying, quality jobs in the industrial, retail, and film industries. In fact, Newton County is home to some of Georgia’s biggest industries: Shire, General Mills, Bard, Facebook, SGD and Bridgestone Golf. We also boast some of the best dining options outside of the perimeter. Downtown Covington is quickly becoming a busy entertainment district with a multitude of dining and shopping options as well as live music. While our Downtown continues to grow, businesses all across our county are increasing employment and growing at a record pace. Another industry that is an integral part of our community is the film industry, and is the reason Covington is known as the “Hollywood of the South.” As you visit you will come to know that New-

ton County has been the home to over 100 featured films and television shows. Some of them include “Vampire Diaries”, “Miracles from Heaven”, “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Remember the Titans”, and “In the Heat of the Night”. People come from all over the world to see the locations where their favorite TV shows and movies are filmed; these tourists have an economic impact to Newton County of $120 million in direct tourist spending. As you can see there is something for everyone here in Covington and Newton County. We welcome you to our community and encourage you to dine in our restaurants, play in our parks, visit our downtown, and shop with all of our great Chamber Members. We are an active,

growing Chamber of over 600 member businesses. As your Chamber President I welcome you to Covington-Newton County, where you won’t be a newcomer for long – you will be a friend and neighbor. Ralph Staffins Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce

Handyman & Remodeling Services

Rotten Wood Replacement • Decks • Basement Remodeling 35 Years Experience We Have 1 to 3 Man Crews Available • No Job Too Small

Certified Home Inspector File photo | The Covington News

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

The Covington News 9


lubs & Organizations

American Legion Post 32 Second Thursdays, 3132 Legion Drive, Covington If you are a war veteran living in Newton County and you need some assistance, contact American Legion Post 32 Benevolent Protective Order of Elks Lodge 1806 7:30 p.m. first and third Tuesdays, 135 Crowell Road, Covington Covington Garden Club 10 a.m. on first Wednesdays,

meet at various homes of members Covington Kiwanis Club 12:30 p.m. Thursday for lunch, Covington First United Methodist Church Covington Lions Club 7:30 p.m. second and fourth Thursdays, 3120 Conyers St., Covington Covington Woman’s Club 9:30 a.m. second Tuesdays, Historic Woman’s Club building on College Avenue

Submitted | Newcomers

The Rotary Club of Covington volunteers annually with Camp Sunshine in Rutledge.

Golden Fleece Masonic Lodge No. 6 Dinner 6:30 p.m., meeting 7:30 p.m., second and fourth Tuesdays, except second Tuesday only in December, 1104 Clark St. SW, Covington Oxford Lions Club Noon on firs Thursdays, 7 p.m. on third Thursdays, Allen Memorial United Methodist Church, Oxford Pilot Club of Covington 7 p.m. on most first Thursdays,

sometimes third Thursdays, First Presbyterian Church of Covington Rotary Club of Covington Noon Tuesday for lunch, Covington First United Methodist Church Satsuki Garden Club 10:30 a.m. second Tuesdays, Newton County Public Library Southern Heartland Women’s Club 4 p.m. on first Sundays, Southern Heartland Art Gallery on the Covington Square

Submitted | Newcomers

The Kiwanis Club of Covington hears from Kelly Lawson, of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.


enter C e r a C r a C Your Complete 982! Since 1 770-787-6030

4108 N. Elm Street • Covington, Georgia • Visit our website for coupons & specials 10 The Covington News


Specializing in Storm Damage


Jason Owensby 678-334-8996 | Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019



Main Street provides grown, revitalization for downtowns The Main Street movement grew out of the recognition that a community is only as strong as its core. In an era when many people had given up hope about the commercial and cultural viability of downtown and when suburbs, shopping malls and big-box retailers were dominating the American landscape, this seemed like an unlikely proposition. But, the practical framework outlined by the Main Street Approach, as well as the passion of professionals and volunteers who make up the Main Street network, helped

pave the way for the renaissance of healthy, vibrant downtowns that we’re experiencing today. Main Street USA Community is shaped by its cultural and commercial center. The Main Street movement grew out of a call from people who began to miss a town center, who wanted more than shopping malls and big-box stores. Main Street is about creating a place in town where people gather on a summer’s evening to listen to music or bring their children for the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree. Main Street Covington In Covington, the downtown

historic district has been brought back to life. Restaurants and boutiques are joining professional services in storefronts around and just off the square. For more information on Covington Main Street, contact Main Street Director Lauren Singleton at 770-385-2077 or lsingleton@ Main Street Porterdale An award-winning Main Street Program was launched by the mill village to revive the downtown business area. Brick buildings have been refurbished and restaurants, stores and studios have opened. For more information on Por-

terdale Main Street, contact Main Street Director Josephine Kelly at msporterdale@cityofporterdale. com or 770-786-2217. Main Street Social Circle Working hard to continue to make “Georgia’s Greatest Little Town” a historic and economic hub, Social Circle Main Street has continued to revitalize downtown and offer events throughout the year. For more information about Social Circle Main Street, contact Downtown Director Velinda Hardy at 770464-1866 or



We’re proud to be your local school system and we welcome you to Newton County.

Newton County School System 2109 Newton Drive NE • Covington 770-787-1330

Our mission is to provide educational excellence for all students! Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019


The Covington News 11

Photos by Jackie Gutknecht | The Covington News

12 The Covington News

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

Our mission is to provide our customers with clean safe drinking water while reclaiming wastewater in an environmentally sound manner while focusing on cost efficiency and value oriented service. Proudly Serving Our Customers for 48 Years.

Community Since 2012

770.787.1375 - NCWSA.US


lected officials


John “Johnny” Isakson SENIOR SENATOR





Serving Newton, Rockdale & surrounding counties for over 33 years!

We meet or beat any price you have in writing.

12 Months Same as Cash Financing Available We specialize in Brand Names of: Carpet, Vinyl, Hardwood, VCT, Luxury Vinyl Tile, Custom Made Rugs, Luxury Vinyl Plank Residential & Commercial

770-786-9245 • 2227 Emory Street NW • Covington, GA

14 The Covington News

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019


Brian Strickland SENATOR, DISTRICT 17



Tonya Anderson SENATOR, DISTRICT 43



Newton County is divided between District 17 and District 43 at the Georgia Senate level, represented by Senator Brian Strickland and Tonya Anderson, respectively. In the Georgia House of Representatives, Newton County is divided into District 109 (Dale Rutledge), District 110 (Andrew Welch), District 112 (Dave Belton) and District 113 (Pamela Dickerson).

Valuable information for new residents: ■ Customer Service (24-hours): 770-385-2000

Visit us at www.cit

■ Covington Police Department (non-emergency): 770-385-2053 ■ Covington Fire Department (non-emergency): 770-385-2100 ■ Covington-Newton County 911 (in case of emergency): 911


■ Planning and Zoning: 770-385-2020 ■ Code Enforcement: 770-385-2020

Watch Covington’s local access stations on Charter channels 180, 183 & 184

■ Sanitation Department: 770-385-2046 ■ Electric Department: 770-385-2120 ■ Water/Sewer Department: 770-385-2035 ■ Newton County Library: 770-787-3231

welcomes you!

City of Covington City Hall ♦ 2194 Emory Street N.W. Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

Covington, GA 30014 The Covington News 15


Marcello Banes CHAIRMAN








Newton County local government consists of five district commissioners and a chair elected county-wide. The Board of Commissioners meets the first and third Tuesday of every month at the Historic Courthouse on the Covington Square.


Ronnie Johnston MAYOR


The Covington City Council meets at Covington City Hall, 2194 Emory St. NW, on the first and third Monday of every month.

Kenneth Morgan COUNCILMAN, WEST WARD 16 The Covington News


Anthony Henderson COUNCILMAN, WEST WARD Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019


Arline Chapman MAYOR





Lowell Chambers COUNCILMAN, POST 5

Porterdale city council meets for regular meetings the first Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m., with work sessions on the second Tuesday and fourth Thursday, at City Hall, 2400 Main St., Porterdale, GA 30014.

NEIGHBORHOOD! are you connected? We repair tablets & smart phones! ••••••••• On-Site Service available for home or business ••••••••• Walk-ins are always welcome!

Our staff welcomes the opportunity to serve you! Stop in and browse our large selection of name brand, quality hardware and software!




6157 Highway 278 NW, Suite 14 • Covington • 770-788-7000 • Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

We specialize in upgrades, computer & printer repair, service & networking! We sell new & used computers, laptops & printers. The Covington News 17


Jerry Roseberry MAYOR




The Oxford City Council meets the first Monday of every month and holds a work session every third Monday at City Hall at 110 W. Clark St.




Services: Alignments • Brakes • Wheels CV & Drive Axles • Lift Kits & Accessories Steering & Front End • Road Force Balancing Suspension, Shocks, and Struts Suspension Repair • TPMS Service Wheel Balancing • Nitrogen Inflation 3288 Highway 278 NE • Covington, GA 30014


Monday-Friday 8am-6pm • Saturday 8am-5pm

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Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019


Jefferson Riley MAYOR

Perry Lundsford COUNCILMAN

Helen Robertson COUNCILWOMAN

Ashlan Troutman COUNCILWOMAN




Robert Bratton COUNCILMAN

City council meetings are held the second Monday of every month, with work sessions the first Thursday, at the Mansfield Community Center.


Gregg Ellwanger MAYOR

City council meetings are held the first Monday of every month at the Town Hall 4224 Highway 142.

Wayne Sims COUNCILMAN Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

Martha Ellwanger COUNCILWOMAN The Covington News 19


Hal Dally MAYOR





The Social Circle Mayor and City Council meet on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Room at 138 E. Hightower Road in Social Circle. There is usually a work session immediately prior to the meeting at 5:30 p.m.



Ezell Brown SHERIFF



20 The Covington News

Tommy Davis CORONER

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home Dogwood Hill Crematory

As a Full-Service Funeral Home, Crematory and Cemetery, We Have Many Offerings Available to Our Community, Including:       

Pre-Planning and At-Need Arrangements Tailored to Honor One’s Life Wide Range of Traditional and Cremation Service Packages Inviting, Spacious Facilities to Accommodate All Sizes of Crowds Private, On-Site Crematory Knowledgeable, Professional and Courteous Staff Grief Support Groups And Many More…

1215 Access Road - Covington, GA • • (770) 786-7062 Perpetual Care Ground Burials Mausoleum Entombments Veterans Memorial Section Columbarium Niches Urnarium Niches Cremation Garden Flower Plans  Marker Sales

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1111 Access Road - Covington, GA

(770) 787-8314



Facebook Official Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, is working to build a massive data center in northern Newton County. The California-based company has made a multimillion-dollar investment at Stanton Springs near Social Circle. “The No. 1 company in the world in terms of active users has chosen the No. 1 state for business for a significant economic development project,” Gov. Nathan Deal said. The first phase of Facebook’s Newton Data Center will include an investment of about $750 million with a 970,000-square-foot facility. Monroe-based Walton Electric Membership Corp. will provide it with renewable energy using outdoor air instead of air conditioners. Facebook will have more than 100 full-time employees, and officials said thousands of construction jobs will be needed for the project. The data center is expected to come online in the first quarter of 2020. It will be the ninth U.S. data center for Facebook Inc. “We’re excited about Facebook being in our community,” Marcello Banes, chairman of the Newton County Board of Commissioners, said. “It’s a wonderful partnership. We look forward to being partners with Facebook. “Facebook is a household name throughout the world. Everybody’s on Facebook. To 22 The Covington News

File photo | The Covington News

The entrance to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., is shown in a handout photo provided by the company.

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

have Facebook in our community along with Shire, so many possibilities open up and we’re excited about it. We welcome them to Newton County. Go Facebook!” U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., said he expects the compa-

ny’s investment “will open the door to hundreds of jobs for Georgians, while strengthening key industries that are spurring economic growth statewide. “Under the leadership of Gov. Deal, Georgia has be-

come a powerhouse for businesses. In fact, we are now consistently ranked as one of the top states in which to do business.” Hice gave credit to Shane Short, executive director of the Development Authority

of Walton county, and Serra P. Hall, the director of commercial development of the Newton County Office of Economic Development, for their work to bring Facebook to the area. Short and Hall said the

File photo | The Covington News

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

The Covington News 23

company is looking to hire talented people locally when possible. Opportunities for construction work, security and technology jobs will all be posted on the Facebook Jobs page online. “They’ve launched their new Facebook page (Newton Data Center) and we were told that they maintain that, that will be constantly updated with progress of the park, news and information of what’s going on with the new campus, so that‘s a great way for somebody to follow it, watch it, share it and watch that for leads about what they could do in the future to stay connected with the data center,” Hall said. Stanton Springs is a project of the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton Counties and TPA Group LLC. It’s the home to Shire PLC and the Georgia Bioscience Training Center and is located where Morgan, Newton and Walton counties converge along Interstate 20, about 45 miles east of downtown Atlanta.

Site of Facebook’s 416 acre campus

File photo | The Covington News

DESIGN FOR ALL Eastmore is a new, mixed-use community that celebrates the role of great design in daily life. Here, you’ll find a variety of beautifully crafted homes, shops, restaurants and office space designed within a walkable community in a pleasing natural setting.

Single-Family Homes


Multi-Family Homes & Townhomes


Retail & Office District

1785 Parker Road, Suite D-310, Conyers, Georgia 30094 | Prices, amenities and availability are subject to change without notice.

24 The Covington News

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019



Newton County Population Population estimates (July 1, 2017) 108,078 Under 5 years old


Under 18 years old 26.3% Over 65-years-old Females



Male 47.3% White 50.7% Black 45.6% American Indian


Asian 1.1% Hispanic or Latino 5.6%

Bachelor’s degree or higher 19.8%

Education High school graduate or higher


Bachelor’s degree or higher 19.8%

*Information from the United States Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

High school graduate or higher 84.4% The Covington News 25

Population characteristics Veterans 7,691 Housing Housing units 39,153 Owner-occupied housing unit rate 68.2% Median value of owner-occupied housing units $117,900 Building permits (2017) 582 Income and poverty Median household income $51,068 Individuals below poverty level 17.5% *Information from the United States Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates

Since 1893

J.C.Harwell & Son FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION CHAPEL 2157 East Street SE • Covington, GA 30014

770-786-2524 A Traditional Funeral Home Offering: Traditional Funeral Services, Cremation and Pre-Need Arrangements

According to the United States Census Bureau’s 20112015 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates, there are 7,691 veterans in Newton County


Adopt-aMile Any family, organization, business, club, or other group can adopt-a-mile!

“Dependable friends in time of need.” Tommy & Mary Evelyn Davis

125 Years of Service to the Community We Call Home 26 The Covington News


Participating groups agree to clean up roadside litter along their adopted mile 4 times per year. Signs are erected to advertise and acknowledge groups who participate.

Visit KCNB’s website: or call to sign up or to get more information

Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful 1113 Usher Street Covington, G 30014 Phone: 770-

-20 5


Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

Welcome to Sigman Veterinary Clinic At Sigman Veterinary Clinic, each member of our team is committed to giving superior care to your pets whether it be small animal or equine. Dr. Michael Sigman founded the business in December of 1975. We have provided outstanding quality veterinary care to Newton and the surrounding counties for more than 40 years. Our clinic offers both routine and specialized care from immunizations to caring for your sick and senior pets. Our services include immunizations, radiology, ultrasound, dental care, orthopedics, surgery, laser therapy, geriatric wellness and more. We have an in-house laboratory and a fully equipped facility for accurate diagnostics and treatment of your pet. Our staff stays up to date on the latest medical advancements. When needed, we offer consultations or referrals to specialty care facilities. At Sigman Veterinary Clinic, we pride ourselves on being active members of the community by volunteering our time and services to local organizations which may include the FFA, public school systems, charities, etc. We strive to treat your pets like the valued family members they are, and to meet your needs, we have a veterinarian and support staff on duty 6 days a week. If you are looking for a veterinary clinic with knowledgeable veterinarians and a friendly staff, please call our office or browse our website at to find out more about our services. We are conveniently located at 10257 Highway 142 North in Covington. Call us today at 770-787-1581.

Veterinarians: Dr. Mike Sigman, Dr. Tricia Suttles, Dr. Sherri Miller Licensed Veterinary Technician: Chrissy Davis

10257 Hwy 142 N • Covington, GA 30014 770-787-1581 Monday-Friday 8am-6pm • Saturday 8am-12pm • Closed Sunday

The Rotary Club of Covington meets for lunch, informative program and networking every Tuesday at noon at Covington First United Methodist Church.

Formed in 1939, the club serves Newton County through its empty stocking fund, camp sunshine, nationwide and international contributions. For more information, visit or find us on social media: @RotaryCovington @RotaryCovington @RotaryCovington 28 The Covington News


ealth care

Newton County Health Center The Gwinnett, Newton, & Rockdale County Health Departments work to protect and improve the health of those who work, live and play in our community, and continually strive to meet the varied health needs of residents and visitors. Located at 8203 Hazelbrand Road NE, in Covington, the Health Center can be reached at 770-786-9086 or by fax at 770-786-0715. The office is open Monday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. “The local public health department improves the health of our community by operating a number of state and federal health programs, and by serving as a community partner to schools, medical providers, businesses and other governmental agencies,” Lloyd Hofer, M.D., MPH, dis-

trict dealth director. “Together with the Fire and Police Departments, the Health Department is the third component of a public safety program for our community.” Piedmont Newton Hospital Piedmont Newton Hospital has served Newton County and the surrounding communities for more than 60 years. On Oct. 1, 2015, Piedmont Newton joined the Piedmont Healthcare system. Located at 5126 Hospital Drive NE in Covington, Piedmont Newton is staffed by more than 750 employees and more than 250 physicians. It provides 24-hour emergency services, plus all major medical, surgical and diagnostic care. Piedmont Newton CEO Dr. Eric Bour is focused on making Newton County’s hospital community-cenNewcomers guide 2018 - 2019

tered through offering luxury benefits to residents right in their own backyard. “The No. 1 thing that most residents of any community probably want is to not have to travel for health care, whether that’s seeing their primary care doctor or seeing certain specialists, urgent care, quick

care or the ability to get to an emergency department quickly or having ambulance services,” he said. “So, the ability for somebody to have that care locally is really kind of how Piedmont views its place in this community and many communities.” Piedmont plans to continue

to call Newton County home for a long time to come and Bour hopes local residents realize the quality of service offered. “When you talk about rolling out the red carpet, we want to be the provider that rolls out the red carpet for the citizens of Newton Coun-

ty,” he said. “That’s our role. That’s why I sit on the chamber board. That’s why I go to the community improvement district meetings. We need to make those connection points because the community needs to realize that we’re rolling out the red carpet for them.”


Newton County Health Center


Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

The Covington News 29



Made in Newton Newton County continues to grow, attracting retail shops and industrial and manufacturing plants. The products made here range from the fibers used to make disposable diapers to dry cereals to golf balls. Pactiv Corporation, Covington, was opened in 1984 and employees almost 500 people. The company makes packaging for food service industries, and grocery and convenience stores. Bard Urological Division, Covington, was established in 1967 and employs more than 500 people. The company manufactures health care products for urological procedures such as catheters, trays and other tools. Specialty Yarn and Converting in Porterdale has been in operation since 1917. Recently purchased by Continental tires, it engineers textiles such as rubber thread and yarns. The plant employs more than 200 people. Oldcastle Glass, Covington, opened in 1981 and employs more than 100 people. The plant creates custom-engineered curtain and window walls, archi-

30 The Covington News

tectural windows, storefront systems, doors, skylights and architectural glass. Guardian Automotive, Covington, was opened in 1969 and is responsible for creating decorative automotive trims and insulated glass. It employs 310 people. FiberVisions, Covington, employs 225 people and opened in 1967. The plants makes the fibers, called polypropylene staple fibers, that go in to the making of disposable mops and dust cloths, disposable diapers and feminine products. General Mills is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The Newton County plant makes dry cereal and employs 400 people. It opened here in 1989. International Storage Systems, Covington, makes metal shelving and storage products at its Covington plant. Opened in 1986, it employs 150 people. SKC, Inc., Covington makes polymer and polyester film used in packaging, industrial, imaging, electrical, bio-compostable and solar applications. Production began in the spring of 1999, using cutting edge robotics and tech-

nology designed and engineered to transition into the 21st Century. The Newton County plant employs 331 people. Clarion Metals Corporation, Covington, is a full-service metal stamping plant with tool and die, engineering, subassembly and special packaging capabilities. Opened in 1989, it employs 180 people. Bridgestone Sports, Covington, makes golf balls and assembles golf clubs at its Newton County plant. The plant opened in 1989 and employs 172 people. Beaver Manufacturing, Mansfield, opened in 1971 and makes yarns used to reinforce hoses. The company employs 140 people. VERESCENCE, based in France, has a branch plant in Newton County where they make and decorate luxury glass bottles for cosmetics and perfumes. The company opened its Covington branch in 1996 and employs 290 people. Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing, Inc., Covington, is a state-of-the-art facility that opened in 1997. The 325 employees make molded disc pads for

braking system. Rock Tenn, in Covington opened in 1972 and employs 110 people. The company makes corrugated and fiber boxes Michelin Tread Technologies, Covington, was upgraded to allow burn off of VOCs before being released into the air. The plant, which opened in 1999, manufactures tires. Leftover rubber tread is recycled. Contract Packaging, part of Kelly Products, manufactures and packages for chemical companies by formulating small package production and distribution of insecticides, pool and spa chemicals and wildlife scents and attractants. Shire, in Social Circle, is a pharmaceutical company focusing on rare diseases. U.S. Corrugated, Covington, celebrated its facility opening in January of 2018. The full line corrugator plant supplies the strongest, most reliable packing products available on the market with the capability to produce any size, shape, graphic or board. Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019


The residents of Oxford, the Mayor and the City Council members would like to welcome you to Oxford. Oxford Mayor and Council

Jerry D. Roseberry, Mayor Council Members: David S. Eady, Mike Ready, George R. Holt, Jeff Wearing, James H. Windham and Sarah T. Davis

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

The Covington News 31




Covington Academy



Enrolling Now

(678) 625-9025 •K4-12th Grade •College Preparatory •Private School •Competitive Sports •Credit Recovery Program •Home school Program


Call today to schedule a school tour! 396 Elks Club Road | Covington, GA 30014 32 The Covington News

Judge W. Kendall Wynne, Jr. NEWTON COUNTY JUDICIAL CENTER 1132 USHER STREET, ROOM 208 COVINGTON, GA 30014 Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019


Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time.


If making a positive impact in the lives of children and members of your community is something you have a calling for, we’d love to meet you.



The Kiwanis Club of Covington has been serving our community since 1927. We meet every Thursday at 12:30pm in the Fellowship Hall of the Covington First United Methodist Church. Kiwanis-Club-of-Covington-Georgia Serving the Children of the World


Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

The Covington News 33


eep covington-newton beautiful

As an affiliate of Keep Georgia Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful, Keep Covington Newton Beautiful provides environmental education in Newton County. KCNB works on various projects focusing on litter prevention, beautification, recycling and water pollution prevention. KCNB staff and volunteers visit schools with puppet shows and other educational programs, speak at club and organizational meetings, and participate in festi-

Town of Newborn

P.O. Box 247, Newborn, GA 30056 770-787-1660

vals and expos. KCNB also sponsors cleanups, recycling events, and awareness contests throughout the year. KCNB relies upon government and grant funding, private contributions and volunteer participation. Four Priorities Litter Prevention: • Adopt-a-Mile Program • Litter Free Events • Great American Cleanup • Community Cleanups Beautification and Community

“A Town with Characters” Mayor: Gregg Ellwanger Mayor Pro Tem: Tom Krieger Council Members: Rob Bratton, Wayne Sams, Martha Ellwanger Clerk: Elisa Rowe Assistant Clerk: Leata Sears Public Works Department: Donald Clement & Darren Mitchell

Home of the Hornyhead Fishing Tournament 34 The Covington News

Greening: • Detective Seymore Green Puppet Shows • Other School Lessons and Programs • Flower and Tree Planting Projects • Arbor Day Waste Reduction and Recycling: • Electronics and paint/pesticide/aerosol can recycling • Event Recycling bins (loaners made available to organizers for community events) • Recycling Centers

Water Resources Education: • Rivers Alive! river, lake, and stream cleanup • Stormwater Education Programs • Enviroscape and other nonpoint source pollution demonstrations To volunteer or to schedule any of these activities, please contact Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful at 770-784-2015 or email

Farm-Fresh Christmas


Fresh Cut Fraser Firs Choose & Cut Your Own Christmas Tree this Year!

70 Mt. Tabor Road Covington, GA 30014 770-786-5833 or 770-786-1370 Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019



NEWTON COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM Covington Branch Library 7116 Floyd St., Covington 770-787 - 3231 Tuesdays and Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Jeanette Adams Zeigler Library 4224 Highway 142, Newborn 770-787- 1126 Monday and Wednesday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Porter Memorial Branch Library 6191 Highway 212, Covington 678-729-1388 Monday and Wednesday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

UNCLE REMUS LIBRARY SYSTEM W.H. Stanton Memorial Library 407 W. Hightower Trail, Social Circle 770-464-2444 Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.


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BOGO 50% OFF Chicken Fajitas 22 oz. Draft Beer $1.99 Tuesday: $1.00 Tacos (Carnitas, Pastor or Asada Beef and Shredded Chicken) 16 oz. Mixed Drinks $3.99 Wednesday: Taco Salad $3.99 Lime House Margaritas $3.99 Steak or Chicken Family Fajitas $19.99 Trivia 7 pm-9pm Thursday: BOGO 50% OFF Combination Dinners Wine & House Margaritas $3.99 I

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4139 Hwy. 278, Covington, GA 30014 The Covington News 35

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Known as “Hollywood of the South,” Covington has become a mecca for the television and film industry. Easily transformed into a Civil War village, a 1950s town or a modern day city, Covington’s scenic locations, moderate temperatures, airport accessibility

and community support have become a real draw for filmmakers. Most recently known as Mystic Falls, Virginia, for “The Vampire Diaries,” Covington and Newton County has also been home to The Dukes of Hazzard, In the Heat of the Night and more than 60 film productions.

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Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

Discover everything Downtown Covington has to offer! With annual events and great shopping and dining options, there’s something for everyone. To stay up to date on what’s going on in Downtown Covington, subscribe to our weekly e-Newsletter by texting ILOVECOVGA to 22828.



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ne home furnishings.

We have over 30,000 square feet of furniture on display since restoring several large historic buildings across the street from our main store. Come see us at 1145 Clark Street near the Newton County Courthouse. At Ramsey’s, your account is still a name and not a number. We offer a personal customer service experience when you are shopping for your home furnishing needs. Our everyday low prices and next day delivery help save you time and money. Ramsey Furniture Company is a family owned and operated business. We look forward to serving you with quality furniture at savings like the Ramsey family has been famous for since 1919. Sincerely,

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Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. / Wed. 9 a.m.-12 noon / Closed Sunday

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Covington-Newton County United Way

Thank You for Your Donations Throughout the Years! Your donated dollars stay in Newton County to support these agencies… • A Child’s Voice • Action Ministries • Covington Family YMCA • Empty Stocking Fund • Faith Works • Food Pantry • Miracle League of Newton County • Newton County Resource Court

• NCCP • Newton County Career Academy • Newton County Senior Services • Newton County Special Olympics • Newton Mentoring • Project ReNeWal • The Salvation Army • Washington Street Community Center


Covington-Newton County United Way 1172 Usher Street • Covington, GA 30014 770-786-7638


ewton county

Then and Now Newton County’s proximity to Atlanta provides it with some of its greatest opportunities to become a business and quality of life destination for the state. But to get to that point, however, the county experienced a vibrant rural life and rich history since being created in 1821. A number of historic sites speckle the landscape of Newton County. The Hightower Trail at the northeast corner of Gum Creek and Hightower Trail in Oxford brought Native Americas from Augusta toward the Etowah River into Alabama. Factory Shoals (located at 450 Newton Factory Bridge Road, Covington) is a site dating back to 1820 and indicative of advanced water-power of early industrialization. The First United Methodist Church of Covington (located near the Covington Square, 1113 Conyers St. SW, Covington) was built in 1854. The church’s pews were removed 44 The Covington News

and the building was used as an infirmary during the Civil War. The Washington Street School (located at 4138 School St. SW, Covington) was founded in 1889 as Newton County’s African-American school. The Newton County Jail (located at 1177 Hunter Ave. NW, Covington) was designed to be the most secure and best jail in the state and was in use from 1901-1983. The Newton County 4-H Program (located at the intersection of Highway 36 and Highway 162 in Covington) commemorates the Newton County Boys Corn Club as well as national 4-H program from 1904, and reflects the booming farming industry of Newton County’s history. A manufacturing boom in the 60s and 70s brought a number of big-time industries to the county, including Hercules (now Fibervisions), Mobil Chemical Co. (an ancestor of Pactiv) and Bard Urological Division, now C.R. Bard. In the

1980s and 1990s, General Mills and SKC continued the trend and located new plants in Covington. (Find out more about our industry on Page 17.) During the early 2000s, Newton County was one of the 10 fastest growing counties (by percentage population growth) in the entire United States. The dairy farms and forests of western Newton County were replaced with sprawling subdivisions as the population swelled. Through significant community effort, much of the county’s rural nature, including its greenspace, forests and farms have been maintained. (Find out more about our recreational sites on Page 36.) Our future path has been set in recent years with the addition of Shire’s production plant (formerly Baxter and Baxalta) a reinvigorated downtown and a recent announcement of a massive film, television, music and video gaming production facility. The arts are alive in Newton County with a growing music scene, a strong vi-

sual arts community, and performance arts that rival that of large metropolitan cities. (Find out more about our arts on Page 22.) Despite all the talk about growth and future opportunities, if you were to ask many residents where the county’s heart lies, they’d point you to the Historic Covington Square. The Square remains the town’s calling card, accompanied by its iconic Historic Courthouse, which continues to be a prominent fixture in TV shows and movies looking to capture the essence of small town America. This town square serves as true community gathering spot, whether its weekday lunch concerts, Saturday car or tractor shows or massive festivals, or an uptick in nightlife at restaurants and music venues. The charm of the county’s smaller cities cannot be forgotten. Porterdale is building on its history, including historic Cedar Shoals (located at at 16 Main Street) which was a prosNewcomers guide 2018 - 2019

Main St.) which was a prosperous industrial site dating back to 1821, and using its location off the recreational Yellow River to reestablish its identity five decades after the death of its textile mill. Oxford, the calm city founded by the Methodist Church, remains quaint and quiet, while Oxford College, a two-year college partner of Emory University, continues to grow quietly in size and stature. Old Church was the first chapel of Emory University (located near Oxford College of Emory University, 1011 Wesley St.) and the first gravesites in Oxford Historical Cemetery (located off Emory Street and Collingsworth Street) date back to 1839. Kitty’s Cottage (located on Wesley Street behind Old Church) is named after Miss Kitty, an enslaved woman later free occupied the quarters from the 1840s-1850s. Newborn and Mansfield remain the ideal of the American small town – a couple hundred residents mixed in with a few businesses with no need for stoplights. (Find out more about our local government on Page 43.) There is lots of history and character in Newton County… and plenty of real characters. Our history is rich and our future is bright.

File photo | The Covington News


































The Newton County Sheriff’s Office is recognized by the National Sheriff’s Association as a Triple Crown agency.



The Newton County Sheriff's Office is a full service, state certified and nationally accredited law enforcement agency dedicated and committed to enforcing the laws enacted for the protection of the lives, persons, property, health and morals of all citizens in Newton County.


15151 Alcovy Road NE • Covington, GA 30014 Ezell Brown, Sheriff

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

The Covington News 45

Where Health Meets Beauty

Rob Whiddon PA-C | Emily de Golian, M.D. | Michelle Juneau, M.D. | Elise Barnett, M.D. | Kate Kaufman, PA-C

Dermatology Consultants delivers excellent dermatological care for the entire family. We utilize our state-of-the-art facility and cutting-edge technology to provide services for our patients in our Covington location. We provide the BEST in medical, surgical & cosmetic dermatology. Our team is led by board-certified dermatologists, fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic and reconstructive surgeons, certified physicians assistants, and laser licensed aestheticians. •Skin cancer screening, treatment and maintenance •Diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases •MOHS Micrographic surgery for skin cancer Injectables & Fillers: Botox Cosmetic, Voluma, Juvéderm XC, Radiesse, Restylane Silk & Lyft,Refyne, Defyne, Vollure, Volbella, Kybella, Dysport, Sculptra Aesthetic, Belotro, Versa, Aqua Gold

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(770) 784-0343 Covington 4151 Hospital Drive Covington, GA 30014



Farm to table Some small-farm farmers are offering two different ways for Newton County residents to support local agriculture: either by purchasing shares in a farm’s seasonal offerings or by subscribing to receive an email which lists the week’s offerings and prices. Neither way beats the prices

in the big box grocery stores, but both ensure freshly harvested and, for the most part, organically grown, produce. For example, 6 ounces of baby kale from Flying Horse Farm in Newborn, which notifies customers of what’s in by newsletter, was $4. At Yellow Hen Farms, to keep things simple, vegetables are priced at $3, whether it is for one head

of lettuce, 4 ounces of kale or Swiss chard, or 3 ounces of arugula. “I'm not trying to compete with Walmart, so you'll find that my prices are higher,” Sara Vinson, of Yellow Hen Farm in Covington, said. “Our CSA is not free food,” Daniel Parson, manager of the organic farm at Oxford College at Emory University, said. “It’s

not volume food or geared toward canning. Last year was a great year for squash and people were freezing it. This year may not be [good for squash], but could be for tomatoes.” The Oxford organic farm sells its produce by subscription, or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares. So, too, does Alcovy Organic Farms and Double B Farm.

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Shares run between $25 and $30 a week for a full share, typically between five to nine items a week of the current crops. The definition of season can vary by farm. Oxford offers spring and fall 13-week seasonal shares, and a summer, eight-week share, while Alcovy offers three 12-week seasons with the possibility of a winter season. Double Bee Farm in Oxford offers three 12week shares at $30 per half share and $50 per full. There are 50 shares available each season at the Oxford College Organic Farm, Parson said. The spring season begins on April 28, and shares are nearly sold out. However, this year, the farm will sell produce at the city of Oxford’s Farmers Market off of Emory Street, on Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. CSA shareholders can pick their weekly produce up there as well. There’s also a drop-off site at Emory University. Need in the community

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“We’re inspired by the need of the community for fresh food,” Parson said. “We’re inspired by the health department telling us we’re part of the food desert. We think there’s a need here, and we’re trying to serve people in our community first.” The Oxford College organic farm is certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Alcovy Organic Farms will be certified in July. The certification verifies compliance with USDA organic regulations and takes 36 months to prove compliance. Certifications must be renewed every year, and only certified producers can call themselves “organic,” according to USDA. Yellow Hen, Double B and Flying Horse farms are all Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) producers. CNG farms receive peer review certification, and grow crops without synthetic chemicals or genetically modified organisms. All three compost and build up nutrients in the soil through fertilizers such as blood- or bone-meal, and use only natural pesticides, if any. Selecting weekly Both Yellow Hen Farm and Flying Horse Farm release a weekly list of what crops are available at what price. Customers place an order and the boxes are dropped off at a location weekly.

48 The Covington News

Yellow Hen Farm drops boxes off on Thursday at Oxford College at 9:15 a.m. and Covington Square at 9:45 a.m. Glenna Wright and her husband Doug of Flying Horse Farm drop off their produce boxes at the Newton County Main Library branch on Thursday at noon. The Wrights also deliver in Madison and Rutledge on Wednesdays. “Not everyone wants the commitment of a CSA,” Wright said. “A lot of our customers have voiced the opinion on other occasions. They had specific things they wanted and they would end up with something they didn’t like or didn’t know how to cook.” Flying Horse Farms grows “a lot of heirloom vegetables,” she said, “those originally introduced no later than the 1950s, though a lot from [varieties] grown as far back as the 1700s. They are seeds that predate the hybrids. Sometimes, they aren’t as beautiful as some of the vegetables in the store. Those are bred for a longer shelf life and the flavor has been bred out.” The Wrights say they believe it’s important to carry forward seeds that have been supplying food for generations and purchase their organic heirloom seeds online. The table and beyond Most of the farms grow similar items – varieties of spring greens such as kale, Swiss chard, arugula, collards; beets; sweet potatoes; melon; varieties of squash and other vegetables common to the area. Some may offer berries, watermelons, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Some, like Flying Horse Farm, offer blueberries, ginger and turmeric. Others offer melons and pea and bean varieties. In addition to seasonal vegetables, herbs and eggs, Yellow Hen Farm sells handcrafted soaps, moisturizer, scrubs and an all-natural mosquito repellent. “If a customer tells me they want something, I’ll explore it,” Ballard said. “I had a lady ask me about sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes.” “There’s a reason I sell my produce this way, instead of the grocery store,” agreed Parson. “If I did that, I’d never get to know my customers. I hear from customers they like the same thing. “It’s a wonderful thing to have food growing in our communities,” he said. All of the farmers encourage people to come visit their farms and see how food is grown. “We’re on a small scale, and people can visit the farm,” Parson said. “It’s important for people to recognize Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

the effort that goes in to growing food,” said Wright. “We touch every seed, pick every plant, pick off every bug “When people come out to see what’s actually done, it gives a new appreciation for what’s grown,” she said. All agree that there are significant benefits to buying produce and other agricultural products from local vendors. One benefit, Parson said, is the produce is “way fresher. It takes days or weeks for things to get to the grocery store. We pick and pack the day before. It’s as fresh as anything you can get.” Like Parson, Vinson said her customers have said the fresher produce tastes better. “Customers often tell me that they’re amazed when lettuce that they purchased one or two weeks ago is still fresh in the refrigerator. They’re used to produce lasting only a few days after purchase. I think I’ve also read that the fresher produce is the more nutritious it is. “And, environmentally, food purchased locally has a smaller carbon footprint,” she said. File photo | The Covington News

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The Covington News 49


ublic Safety


Newton County Fire Service Michael Conner, Chief 4136 Highway 278 NE, #A, Covington 678-784-2116

Covington Fire Department Jeremy Holmes, Chief 2101 Pace St., Covington 770-385-2100

2185 Pace St • Covington GA

770-786-8777 Mon-Thurs 10-6 • Fri-Sat 10-7 Sunday By Appointment No Credit Check Financing and Delivery Available Locally Owned and Operated for 25+ Years 50 The Covington News


Social Circle Fire Department Kenneth Zaydel, Chief 165 East Hightower Trail, Social Circle 770-464-0621

Covington – Newton County 911 Center 8146 Carlton Trail, Covington Emergency: 9-1-1 Non-Emergency: 678-342-8790

Best Prices in Atlanta on L&P Adjustable Bases Quality Bedding - Low Price Leader Twin Sets Starting at $199 Queen Sets Starting at $299 King Sets Starting at $699 Adjustable Bases Starting at $750 Mattresses • Box Springs • Frames • Adjustable Bases Pillows • Sheets • Bedcovers

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019


Newton County Sheriff’s Office Ezell Brown, Sheriff 15151 Alcovy Road NE, Covington General Information: 678-625-1400 Jail Information: 678-625-1420

Covington Police Department Stacy Cotton, Chief 1143 Oak St. SE, Covington 770-786-7605

Porterdale Police Department Jason Cripps, Chief 2602 Main St., Porterdale 770-786-2226

Alpine Helen, Ga Oxford Police Department David Harvey, Chief 110 W. Clark St., Oxford 770-788-1390

No Passport Needed! 2018 Festhalle Events

2019 Festhalle Events

Taste of Helen – August 15 Oktoberfest – Sept. 6-9, 13-16, 20-23; Daily Sept. 27-Oct. 28 Oktoberfest Parade – Sept. 8 Christkindlmarkt – Dec. 1-2, 8-9 Christmas Parade – Dec. 8 New Years Eve Event, Dropping of the Edelweiss

Fasching – Feb. 16 30th Annual Helen Trout Tournament – March 30 Spring Bierfest – May 11 Bavarianfest – May 25 Taste of Helen – August 14 See website for more dates, times and info

1074 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen, GA 35045 Social Circle Police Department Tyrone Oliver, Chief 138 E Hightower Trail, Social Circle 770-464-2366 Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019


Oktoberfest Festhalle Friends The Covington News 51

Discover Historic Olde Town Conyers Take a stroll through this quaint, historic area of Conyers. Enjoy unique specialty stores, restaurants, entertainment, and festivals in this Main Street community.

Brunch - Lunch - Dinner Appetizers, Desserts & Cocktails A Great Place to Celebrate Any Occasion!

Live Entertainment Thurs, Fri & Sat Sunday Brunch 10AM-3:30PM

All-You-Can-Eat Fried Shrimp Every Friday Starting at 5 PM

935 Railroad Street • Olde Town Conyers 770-785-5008 | Follow us on Facebook!

The Sandwich Factory EST. 1977

In Historic Olde Town Conyers

907 Commercial Street Conyers GA 30012


Monday-Friday: 9am-5:30pm Saturday : 10am – 2pm Expert Watch Repair on All Types of Watches

R Serving Rockdale and Newton County for 38 Years

Under New Ownership

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Monday thru Friday • 7:30 am - 5:00 pm | Saturday • 10:00 am - 3:30 pm

Creamberry’s Ice Cream

We sell an experience and the Ice Cream comes with it!

Waffle Bowls & Cones ~ Sundaes Shakes ~ Floats ~ Soft Pretzels Hrs: Tues.-Sat. 12 pm-9 pm ~ Sun. 1 pm-8 pm ~ Mon. Closed ~ Like us on Facebook 925 Commercial Street ~ Conyers, GA ~770-860-1786

933 Center Street Conyers, GA 30012


Owner Ora Bailey

Conyers Jewelers, Inc. Your Friendly Hometown Jeweler Since 1949 • In House Repair Service & Appraisals • Pearl Restringing • Ear Piercing • Custom Jewelry Designs 868 N. Main Street Conyers, GA 30012 (In Olde Town) 770-483-4213 Open Monday-Friday: 9:00AM-5:30PM

NATURE SEEN Gallery & Frame Shop

Custom Framing • Prints • Art Work by Orrin Morris Mirrors • Shadow Boxes and Much More! Providing Profession Courteous al, Ser for 40 Year vice s!

914 Center Street NE, Olde Town Conyers


Hours: Tues-Fri 10 am-5 pm, Sat 10 am-2 pm

Olde Fashioned Soda Fountain and Local Artists Gift Section Delivery Service & Online Refill Available Monthly Dose Packs Beasley’s Compounding Lab specializes in Hormone Replacement Therapy, Veterinary Medicines, Topical Analgesics, and much more!

Your Neighborhood Irish Pub & Eatery for 18 Years!

Great Food, Great Friends, Great Atmosphere

Lunch served Wed. thru Sat. 11:30 am-3:30 pm Dinner served Nightly till 10:00 pm Happy Hour Daily 4:30 pm-6:30 pm Open 2 pm Sunday

It’s always a good time at The Celtic Tavern! 918 Commercial Street in Olde Town Conyers 770-785-7001 • Wed: Open Mic 8:30pm • Thurs: Team Trivia 7pm Fri: Live Music 6pm-midnight • Sat: Karaoke 9pm-1am Sun, Tues, & Thurs: Texas Hold’em 8pm

The Conyers School of Ballet Instruction in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Creative Movement Since 1980!!

931 Center Street Olde Town Conyers


It's Not Too Late Register Now! 2018 ust 4, Classes Start Aug



How did The Covington News get its start in Newton County? What changes have been made since then to make it the newspaper we know today? The Covington News began in 1865. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to start a business in the months after the Civil War in Georgia, but the newspaper has thrived in the 152-plus years since. There have been numerous changes in tech-

54 The Covington News

nology, from the types of presses to the advent of computers and the internet. Where the number of issues published in a week has ebbed and flowed, we now are capable of publishing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the internet with, a site dating back to the early 2000s. Now we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too for readers to connect with us in a variety of ways. In whatever ways people


Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

want to consume local news, and however businesses want to connect with potential customers, we’ll be there for at least another 150 years. What does it mean to be the legal organ of the county? Being the legal organ of the county is a tremendous honor. Public notices are important. They serve as record of what goes on in Newton County – probate matters, news of public hearings, bids, zoning changes, tax matters, etc. There is an important permanence that comes with printing these in a newspaper, and it’s worth nothing we upload them for free to a searchable statewide website at no extra charge to the advertiser. I have a story, how can I contact the newspaper to have it published? How does the newspaper select what it publishes each week? We try to have as much news as possible in our newspaper. I define news as what people are talking about. That can be a big thing, like a crime, court case or business opening, or something as small as a church or library event. We try to find a place for everything – or at least as much as possible – in print or online. You may reach us with an email to, send us a message through our Facebook page, or stop by at 1166 Usher St. NW in downtown Covington. I am new to the area, how do I subscribe to the newspaper? Welcome! We’re glad you’re in Newton County. Subscribing to the local paper is a great way to find out all about your new community. For a subscription, call our office at 770-787-6397 and we’ll be happy to get you started. Or, you may visit and get set up that way, any time of day or night. Your subscription will include a printed newspaper, our magazine products, and full access to our website. Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

The Covington News 55

Mayfield Hardware Celebrating 45 Years of Helping our Neighbors in Newton County and Surrounding Areas!

Welcome to Newton County!

The Mayfield Ace Hardware family is dedicated to providing the highest quality products and services to meet the needs of our neighbors! Come experience the locally owned difference!

2171 Elm Street NE, Covington, GA 30014





Caring Community & Premier Achievement

Enjoy Newton’s natural beauty

Beaver Park (Highway 213, Mansfield)

With lakes on its northern and southern borders, rivers and streams running throughout, and City Pond Complex (13501 City landscape dotted with farms dozens Pond Road, Covington) of miles from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, Newton County is an exConyers Street Gym (1146 Coemplification of natural beauty. There are plenty of opportunities nyers St. SE, Covington) 147the Alcova Drive to enjoy county’ s natural landscape.Social Here Circle, is a lookGAat30025 how and where770-464-2731 to get out and enjoy Newton Denny Dobbs Park (6244 HighCounty. way 212, Covington) CITY PARKS Academy Springs Park (3120 Conyers St. SE, Covington) Baker Field (1146 Conyers St. SE, Covington)Chimney Park (7116 Floyd St. NE, Covington; 678-6251235) Legion Field Park (Covington)

Mary Louise Fowler Park (Covington By-Pass, Covington)

B.C. Crowell Park (Porterdale) Cedar Shoals Park (Porterdale) Porterdale Community Garden (Porterdale) Porterdale Pocket Parks (Porterdale) Porterdale Memorial Gym (Porterdale)

Pactiv Field (7150 Alcovy Road, Covington)

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

Jackie Gutknecht | The Covington News

Caring Community & Premier Achievement

Old Cousins/Wolverine Field (8134 Geiger St. NW, Covington) South Street Park (2201 Emory St. NW, Covington) Spillers Park (9134 Jefferson Ave. SW, Covington) Stone Road Complex (Four miles off I-20 exit 93 on Stone Road, Covington)

Veterans Memorial Park (Porterdale)147 Alcova Drive Social Circle, GA 30025 Yellow River Park (2400 Main St., Trail Blazer Park (3112 Clark St. 770-464-2731 Porterdale) SW, Covington) Newton County Parks & Recreation (6185 Turner Lake Road, Covington; 770-786-4373)

147 Alcova Drive Social Circle, GA 30025 770-464-2731

RotaDyne Field (9150 Industrial Blvd., Covington)

Caring Community & Premier Achievement

Newborn City Park (Newborn)

Caring Community & Premier Achievement

147 Alcova Drive Social Circle, GA 30025 770-464-2731

Turner Lake Complex (6185 Turner Lake Road, Covington) The Covington News 57



East Newton Elementary School 2286 Dixie Road Kim Coady – Principal Geri Hawkins- Assistant Principal Phone (770) 784-2973 Fax: (770) 784-2976 Fairview Elementary School 3325 Fairview Road LaMoyne Brunson-Principal Yoli D.Curry - Assistant Principal Phone (770) 786-2636 Fax (770) 784-2938

Flint Hill Elementary School 1300 Airport Road Lynne DiNardo-principal Kelly Walker-assistant principal Donna Evans- assistant principal Diana Hipps-assistant principal Phone (770) 784-2969 Fax (770) 784-2994 Heard-Mixon Elementary School 14110 Highway 36

Marquita Wilkins-principal Angelia Cameron - assistant principal Phone ( 770) 784-2980 Fax (770) 784-2984 Live Oak Elementary School 500 Kirkland Road Ericka Anderson-principal Chasha Williams - assistant principal Tyler Smith - assistant principal Melissa Daniell - assistant principal

Phone (678) 625-6654 Fax (678) 625-6021 Livingston Elementary School 3657 Highway 81 South Patrick Carter- principal Amber St.Clair- assistant principal Phone (770) 784-2930 Fax (678) 625-6230 Mansfield Elementary School 45 East Third Avenue Chris Haymore-Principal Teresa Sauls- assistant princi-




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11818 Hwy. 212 W, Covington, GA (1 Mile from Jackson Lake)

Wed-Thurs 4PM-9PM Fri 4PM-10PM Sat 11AM-10PM Sun 11AM-9PM Sunday Lunch Buffet 11AM-3PM Regular Menu Available


Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019



Trey Bailey DISTRICT 1

Eddie Johnson DISTRICT 2

Shakila HendersonBaker DISTRICT 3

The five members of the Newton County Board of Education serve as policy makers for the efficient management and operation of the school system. They are elected by districts to serve a four-year term.

Abigail Coggin DISTRICT 5

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Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

The Covington News 59

A WORD FROM: SAMANTHA FUHREY, NEWTON COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM Welcome to Newton County and the Newton County School System where our mission is to provide educational excellence for all students. I hope you have had an excellent summer filled with great times shared with family and friends. The 20172018 school year was an exciting year and included many accomplishments! Our Newton High School girls’ and boys’ basketball teams made history; both teams made it to the “Final Four” competition during the same year with our Lady Rams moving on to play for the State Championship! Additionally, the Class of 2018 broke the Class of 2017’s $30 million dollar scholarship record by receiving approximately $39.5 million dollars in academic, athletic, and fine arts scholarships. I look forward to the accolades and recognition our students will receive during the 2018-2019 school year. It is my honor and privilege to serve as your school system Superintendent! I look forward to working together to achieve our vision of student success--all students will be well-rounded and prepared for the future. The Newton County School System staff believes it is our responsibility to provide students with a quality education in a safe, orderly environment that fosters innovation, creativity, and high expectations. It is our goal to ensure our students experience positive, engaging learning environments in which they can excel.

Samantha Fuhrey SUPERINTENDENT Our partnerships with parents and families serve as the foundation for our continued advancement. My request of our parents is to be supportive of our schools and make certain students read and attend school regularly. When children are not in school, they miss important information and are likely to fall behind. Often, it is believed that missing a day or two “doesn’t hurt,” but research indicates that over time, consistent absenteeism significantly impacts student learning. Unless your child is not feeling well, please ensure he/she gets to school. Over the last several years, we have experienced exceptional growth in student achievement. Our students continue to outpace the state with regard to graduation rates, and our graduating seniors have been awarded millions of dollars in athletic and academic scholarships including the Posse, Gates Millennium, and Stamps Scholarships. Our

laser-like focus on teaching and learning prepares students to be college and career-ready thereby opening a multitude of opportunities beyond high school. Our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) emphasis begins as early as kindergarten; we believe it is imperative that every student attending the Newton County School System experiences rigorous, relevant learning opportunities via the STEM problem-solving model. We anticipate, in the near future, expanding our STEM program to include the arts. STEAM programs round out students’ educational experiences by immersing them not only in traditional studies, but also high quality artistic programming. Additionally, in an effort to meet the needs of our students, we have instituted a “Young Scholars Program” in our elementary and middle schools through the use of advanced coursework. Finally, we are fortunate to be the home of the very first STEM certified College and Career Academy in Georgia. Reading is the single most important indicator of success. In the Newton County School System, it is expected that all students read at or above grade level prior to moving to the next grade. In addition to their regular studies, the more children read, the more likely they are to experience success in school. If your child is entering school for the first time, reading with him/

her daily and discussing what you have read will prove beneficial. An international study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development confirms that children whose parents frequently read with them in their first years of school continue to reap the benefit long after the completion of elementary school. For all students, regular “outside-of-school” reading is critical to expanding vocabulary and building background knowledge. All students should read challenging books of interest to them for at least 20-30 minutes each and every day. The Newton County School System enjoys a tremendous level of community support. Our partnerships with businesses and community agencies demonstrate a commitment to continued economic development, future growth, and support for our students, teachers, leaders, and staff. I am happy to continue to work to enhance our strong relationships and invite others to get involved. Again, welcome to our community! I look forward to an excellent school year, and thank you, in advance, for your support of our school system; I encourage every student and parent to make the 2018-2019 school year the best school year ever! Samantha Fuhrey Superintendernt, Newton County School System

Whether buying or selling real estate YOUR AGENT MATTERS



6259 Hwy 278 NE Covington, GA 30014 678-342-8504 60 The Covington News

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

FROM PAGE 58 Middle Ridge Elementary School 11649 South Covington ByPass Road Rhonda Battle- principal De’Wanda Chester - assistant principal Ronald Edwards - assistant principal Phone (770)-385-6463 Fax (770) -385-6466

Terrence Martin - Principal Alison Smith- assistant principal Aaron Robinson - assistant principal Phone (770) 786-7311 Fax (770) 784-2991

Oak Hill Elementary School 6243 Highway 212 Brenda Gammans-principal Tara Lynn - Assistant Principal Phone ( 770) 385-6906 Fax (770) 385-6069

Indian Creek Middle School 11051 South Covington ByPass Road Marc Dastous - Principal Karen Gibbs- assistant principal Valerie Reed - assistant principal Phone ( 770) 385-6453 Fax (770) 385-6456

Porterdale Elementary School 45 Ram Drive Clydia Newell - principal Sabrina Grant - assistant principal Phone (770) 784-2928 Fax (770) 784-2993

Liberty Middle School 5225 Salem Road Keisha Vincent-principal Malcolm Brown-assistant principal Phone (678) 625-6617 Fax (678) 625-6200

Rocky Plains Elementary School 5300 Highway 162 South Miranda Jones -principal Millicent Crews-Assistant Principal Phone (770) 784-4987 Fax (770) 784-4988

Veterans Memorial Middle School 13357 Brown Bridge Road Takila Curry -principal Jeanne Rachels -assistant principal Shanta Mayes - assistant principal Phone (770) 385-6893 Fax (770) 385-6899

South Salem Elementary School 5355 Salem Road Terran Hovers-principal Mr .Jeffery Hughes - assistant principal Andrea Kinney - assistant principal Phone (678) 342-5907 Fax (678) 342 -5908 West Newton Elementary School 13387 Brown Bridge Road Sammy Fudge- Principal Leah Green-assistant principal Phone (770) 385-6472 Fax (770) 385-6475 Clements Middle School 66 Jack Neely Road Fredrick Richard-principal Ashante Everett -assistant principal Dawn Ward - assistant principal Phone (770) 784-2992 Fax (770) 784-2992 Cousins Middle School 8187 Carlton Trail N.W.

Alcovy High School 14567 Highway 36 Sandra Owens - principal Kristopher Williams- assistant principal Gina Clark - assistant principal Carla Peck -assistant principal Jacob Vuiller-assistant principal Phone (770) 784-4995 Fax (770) 784-4996 Eastside High School Jeff Cher-principal Gloria Griffith-assistant principal Phillip Davidson - assistant principal Bart Buff - assistant principal Phone (770) 784-2920 Fax (770) 784-2918 Newton High School 1 Ram Way Shannon Buff-principal Carla Hull- assistant principal

Veronica Bacote- assistant principal Vincent Byams-assistant principal Michael Chapple - assistant principal Matt Body- assistant principal Katrina Stanfield-assistant principal Phone (770) 787-2250 Fax ( 770) 784-2957 Newton County Theme School at Ficquett 2207 Williams Street Naomi Cobb -Principal Ashante Everett- assistant principal JoAnna Fish - assistant principal Ryan James - assistant principal Phone ( 770) 784-2959 Fax ( 770) 784 -2963 Newton College & Career Academy 144 Ram Drive Chad Walker -principal Atosha Logan-assistant principal Carol Burke - assistant principal Phone : 678-625 -6769 Fax (678) -625-6041\ College: Oxford & Emory College 110 Few Circle Douglas Hicks- Dean Phone (770) 784-8888 Georgia State University Newton Campus

239 Cedar Lane Peter Lyons-Dean Phone (770) 278-1200 ab out-p erimeter-college/ our-campuses/newton/ Georgia Piedmont Technical College Newton Campus 16200 Alcovy Road Dale Burgess -Dean Phone ( 404) 297-9522 Private Schools Alpha Omega Preparatory Academy 3824 Salem Road Jon Davenport-Director Phone (770) 788-7100 Fax (770) 788-7159 http://www.alphaomegaprep. com/ Covington Christian Academy 4271 GA-212 Phone (770) 788-6343 Grace Christian Academy 1705 Access Rd Tim Allen-principal Phone (770) 385-7390 Fax (678) 212-0363 Montessori School of Covington 4108 Summers St Jane Moons-director Phone (770) 788-7779 Rise Academy 10714 Covington By Pass Road, Suite 3 Covington, GA 30014-3800 Telephone 678.625.6826 Phalanda Perriman, supervisor

The latest workout equipment • Group Exercise classes • Cybex weight machines The Coach Approach™ - exercise support program • Free weights FitLinxx - computerized tracking system • Child watch while you work out • 770.787.3908 2140 Newton Drive Covington, GA 30014 •


S 1 8 15 22 29

Jul 2018 M T W T F S 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 20 21 23 24 25 26 27 28 30 31


19 New Teacher Orientation (July 19, 20, 23)

24 Pre-Planning for Staff (July 24-27, 30-31) 26 Open House-High School (5-7 PM)/NCCA (4:30-6:30 PM)

S 5 12 19 26

Aug 2018 M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 22 23 24 25 27 28 29 30 31

27 Open House-Middle School (5-7 PM)

30 Open House-Elementary School and Theme School (5-7 PM)


1 First Day of School for Students Sep 2018 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Oct 2018 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

S 4 11 18 25

Nov 2018 M T W T F S 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 20 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 30

Dec 2018 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

62 The Covington News

24 Early Release Day for Professional Learning


3 Labor Day Holiday

6 Progress Reports Issued to Secondary Students

14 Early Release Day for Students for Parent Conferences


3 End of 1st Nine Weeks 8 Fall Break (Oct. 8-12) 18 Report Cards Issued 6


Teacher Work Day/Election Day-No School for Students

15 Progress Reports Issued to Secondary Students

19 Thanksgiving Break (Nov. 19-23)


21 Early Release Day for Students for Teacher Work Day End of 2nd Nine Weeks

24 Winter Holiday Break (Dec. 24-Jan. 4)


7 Teacher Work Day-No School for Students

8 Students Report for Second Semester 10 Report Cards Issued

Jan 2019 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

21 Martin Luther King Birthday Holiday


1 Early Release day for Students for Parent Conferences

14 Mid-Winter Break/Inclement Weather Make-Up Days (Feb. 14-15; 18-19) 21 Progress Reports Issued to Secondary Students


15 Early Release Day for Students/Teacher Work Day 18 End of 3rd Nine Weeks

Feb 2019 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Mar 2019 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

21 Report Cards Issued


1 Spring Break (April 1-5) 25 Progress Reports Issued to Secondary Students


Apr 2019 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

24 Last Day of School for Students/Report Cards Issued

27 Memorial Day Holiday 28 Post Planning for Staff (May 28-29)

May 2019 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Jun 2019 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019



Newton County offers Trash Collection Convenience Centers to its residents in the form of six centers. These centers, which are strategically located throughout the county, accept household garbage, bulk waste and recyclables. Up to 10 bags of trash a week will be allowed. A $155 fee and vehicle hang tag is required for access to all six centers. The tags expire on June 30. Attendants at the con-

venience centers began check for these hang tags upon entrance to the centers. For all hang tags residents must complete an application and show proof of residency with a tax or utility bill, mortgage statement or lease agreement. Residents may purchase hang tags online at or in person at Newton County Historic Courthouse, 1124 Clark St., Covington, GA

Sigman Bottle Shop

Mon-Thurs 9am-10pm | Fri & Sat 9am-11:30pm Sun 12:30pm-6:00pm

30014. Purchases at these two locations are available Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - noon and 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Full Service Convenience Centers - bulk waste, household trash, yard waste and recyclables: Adams Circle – 2010 Adams Circle Stone Road – 70 Stone Road Stewart – 14645 Highway 36 Piper Road – 10545 Highway

36 Oak Hill – 112 Oak Hill Road Bypass - 11575 Covington Bypass Road The six centers to remain open, with adjusted hours of noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. If you have any questions or would like more information on hang tags, call 404-922-1545.

Largest Liquor Store East of Atlanta!

439 Sigman Road NW, Conyers, GA 30012 • (Ga. 20 & Sigman Road, across from Rockdale Hospital)

770-929-8797 • GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon general, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

The Covington News 63



WATER AND SEPTIC LINES Newton County Water and sewerage authority 11325 Brown Bridge Road, Covington, GA 30016 770-787-1375


City of Covington 770-385-2075 City of Oxford 770-786-7004 City of Mansfield 770-710-8235 Snapping Shoals EMC 770-786-3484 Georgia Power 404-329-4001 Walton EMC 770-267-2505

64 The Covington News

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019


oting precincts

Visit My Voter Page at the Georgia Secretary of State’s website to obtain your voting precinct.

COUNTY PRECINCTS AND POLLING LOCATIONS Alcovy: Newton County Library, 7116 Floyd Street,NE, Covington, GA 30014 Almon: Almon Community Center, 65 Mount Tabor Road, Covington, GA 30016 Beaverdam: 13 G a t e way Community Church, 11677 Brown Bridge Road, Covington, GA 30016 Brewers: Red Oak Methodist Church, 15105 Highway 36, Covington, GA 30014 Brick Store: St. Augustine Catholic Church, 11524 Highway 278, E, C ovington, GA 30014 B u c k C r e e k : Zion Baptist Church, 7037 Highway 212 N, Covington, GA 30016 C e d a r Shoals: Porterdale Baptist Church, 2 Palmetto Street, Porterdale, GA 30070 City Pond: Central Community Church, 11157 City Pond Road, Covington, GA 30014 Covington Mills: American Legion Post #32, 3132 Legion Drive, CovNewcomers guide 2018 - 2019

ington, GA 30014 Crowell: The Potter's House, 1120 Crowell Road, N, Covington, GA 30014 Downs: Prospect United Methodist Church, 6752 Highway 212, Covington, GA 30016 Fairview: Belmont Baptist Church, 3275 Iris Drive, SE, Conyers, GA 30013 Gum Creek: Gum Creek Precinct Building, 325 Dial Mill Road, Oxford, GA 30054 Hub: Berean Baptist Church, 20 Old Social Circle Road, Social Circle, GA 30025 Leguinn: High Point Baptist Church, 12025 Highway 36, Covington, GA 30014 Livingston: County Line Baptist Church, 3325 Highway 162, S, Covington, GA 30016 Mansfield: Mansfield Community House, 3158 Highway 11, Mansfield, GA 30055 Ne w b or n : Newborn United Methodist Church, 118 Church Street, Newborn, GA 30056 Oxford: Oxford City Hall, 110 W Clark Street, Oxford, GA 30054 Rocky Plains: Harvest Baptist Church, 2075 Highway 212, Covington, GA 30016 Stansells: Voice of Pentecost, 4648 Salem Road, Covington, GA 30016 Town: Washington Street Community Center, 4138 School Street, Covington, GA 30014 The Covington News 65

MUNICIPAL POLLING LOCATIONS City of Covington: Covington City Hall, 2194 Emory Street, NW, Covington, GA 30014 City of Mansfield: Mansfield City Hall, 3146 Highway 11 (Main St), Mansfield, GA 30055 City of Newborn: Newborn City Hall, 4224 Highway 142, E,

Newborn, GA 30056 City of Oxford: Oxford City Hall, 110 W Clark Street, Oxford, GA 30054 City of Porterdale: Porterdale City Hall, 2800 Main Street, Porterdale, GA 30070 City of Social Circle: Social Circle City Hall, Community Room, 138 E Hightower Trail, Social Circle, GA 30025

Real Estate Appraisal Services Paige Alexander Owner/Commercial Appraiser

770-787-5135 2117 Clark Street Covington, GA 30014 66 The Covington News

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019


alking trails

COVINGTON/NEWTON COUNTY TRAILS The Cricket Frog Trail is a 15mile rail trail running through central Newton County, along the route once travelled by the Central of Georgia Railroad. Approximately 6.5 miles of mostly primitive trail are open for public use. In February 2017, Newton Trails began hard surface paving of the trail with a 12-foot-wide concrete section .65 miles long between Elm Street and Conyers Street in downtown Covington.  While the primitive sections are best suited to hiking and mountain biking, the concrete trail is accessible for all non-motorized traffic and wheelchairs.

The Eastside Trail runs 2.5 miles from downtown Covington to Eastside High School. A multi-use greenway, the 10-foot wide concrete path begins off Ramsey Drive, just west of the Newton County Public Library, and runs between pasture land and woods south to the high school. The Lake Varner Trails, located just north of Covington, feature a short, paved trail along Newton County’s main reservoir, and an unpaved, primitive trail leading through the woods to a granite outcrop. The Oxford Trail is a 1.2-

mile, 8-foot-wide concrete trail that was developed in partnership with the City of Oxford and Oxford College. The wooded path runs behind the campus and along Turkey Creek, and features benches, a kiosk with information about native forest and meadow habitats, and a large deck under the trees behind Oxford’s historic Old Church on Wesley Road. The Charlie Elliott Trail is a 4.7-mile, soft-surface multi-use trail at the Wildlife Center, just south of the City of Mansfield. The Yellow River Trail is a 1,480-foot concrete loop that fol-

lows a curve in the river. Used for fitness workouts and accessing the Yellow River Water Trail, the loop will be linked to the Historic Train Depot trailhead at Broad Street and eventually, to Newton County’s planned Turkey Creek/ Yellow River Greenway and Turner Lake Park. A disc golf course opened this year in the park. Turner Lake Park’s Trails feature 3 miles of paved and unpaved walking trails around Turner Lake and ball fields, and pass by outdoor classrooms and the site of an old Newton County homestead.

Center is a 15,000-square-foot complex of offices, lecture halls, classrooms and library space, all surrounded by native plant gardens. Other facilities on the 115-acres site along the Alcovy River include pavilions, an executive retreat house and a log cabin. Hunter and angler heritage education programs are also offered. The Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All visitors must check in with the front office upon arrival and departure. The Georgia FFA/FCCLA Center FFA Road (Highway 36), Covington; 770-786-6926) The Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center is a non profit educational facility designed to provide Georgia’s youth with a site for leadership and career development. Started in 1937, the site is one of only two FFA-FCCLA centers in Georgia, and

has evolved into a premier camp facility and conference center for FFA and FCCLA Organizations, as well as other youth and adult organizations. Programs include wildlife camps, horse camps, parent and children adventure camp and a rope course program. Lake Varner/Cornish Creek Reservoir (11905 Alcovy Road, Covington; 770-7842049) The Cornish Creek Reservoir offers a natural setting to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Fish, picnic, read, enjoy nature and watch wildlife within minutes of downtown Covington. The reservoir is managed in coordination with the Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division and is stocked with a wide variety of fish. Park facilities include two covered picnic pavilions, picnic sites with charcoal grills

OTHER RECREATION AREAS Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center (563 Elliott Trail, Mansfield) Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center features 6,400-acres managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Offering a variety of activities and programs, this beautiful area is centrally located in the state in a beautiful wooded setting near Mansfield, making it easily accessible from Atlanta, Athens and Macon. Factory Shoals (450 Newton Factory Bridge Road, Covington) Now a nature park situated along the Alcovy River in the Southern portion of the county, Factory Shoals represents one of Georgia’s earliest experiences in water-powered industrialization in the U.S. Archaeological remains of five mills, ranging from large textile factories to small mills, exist within a one mile section of Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

the river, some built as early as 1820. Today, the 450-acre park hosts picnickers, campers, rafters and hikers. Swimming is permitted. Park hours are from 8 a.m. until dark. Camping is available from March 1 through Dec. 1 on a first come first serve basis. Georgia Wildlife Federation Alcovy Conservation Center (11600 Hazelbrand Road, Covington) Headquartered in Covington at the Alcovy Conservation Center, the Georgia Wildlife Federation’s (GWF) mission is to encourage the protection and restoration of waters, wildlife, forest and field through advocacy, education and stewardship. Affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation, GWF offers educational programs that use the swamps of Alcovy River as an interpretive backdrop. The Conservation

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Jackie Gutknecht | Newcomers

Lake Jackson touches Newton, Jasper and Butts Counties.

two covered picnic pavilions, picnic sites with charcoal grills and parking, public restrooms, children’s playground, dual launch boat ramp, paved and primitive nature trails, open field areas for recreation, swings and benches with great views of the water, accessible bank fishing areas and an ADA-accessible fishing pier. Newton and Walton County residents are not charged fees for use. There’s a $5 per boat and $5 per vehicle charge for all out of county residents. Jackson Lake

One of the oldest reservoirs in Georgia, Jackson Lake is situated within parts of three counties—Jasper, Newton and Butts. Though relatively small—about 4,750 acres with 135 miles of shoreline—Jackson Lake is formed by the confluence of the Yellow, Alcovy and South rivers. Tussahaw Creek is a tributary, and below the Lloyd Shoals Dam, built in 1910 by Central Georgia Power, the lake’s outlet is the Ocmulgee River. Jackson Lake still generates electricity while providing a location for water sports,

boating, skiing, wake boarding and fishing. Gaither Plantation, (270 Davis Ford Road, Covington; 678625-1200) This 256-acre Gaither Plantation is one of the few remaining examples of mid-19th to late 20th century farms and cotton plantations in Northeast Georgia. Built in 1850, the plantation house was the center of a rural Georgia farm community for more than 100 years. The Gaither family lived in the home until the 1920s, and for the next 76 years,

was a private residence owned by others. In 1986, Newton County purchased the property as part of the Bear Creek Reservoir project. In addition to the house, there is a 1830s log smokehouse, a pole hay bar, agricultural fields, two 19th century cemeteries, and other historic buildings relocated from elsewhere in Newton County. Groups of 10 or more have been able to tour the plantation on certain days, but reservations are required. The plantation is available for weddings, gatherings and other events.

7200 Highway 278 Suite 201 United Bank Building Covington, GA 30014


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marks the spot

To celebrate the growth of the film industry across the state and locally, Covington was part of Georgia Tourism’s Georgia Film Selfie Spot Tour that launched last year. The self-guided tour aimed to highlight Georgia’s rapidly growing film tourism sites across the state. “Georgia has grown to become a top destination for film-

makers and a top destination for film fans,” Kevin Langston, GDEcD deputy commissioner for tourism said. “Visitors come from all over the world to follow in the footsteps of their favorite movie and TV personalities and the new Georgia Film Selfie Spot Tour will help them do just that. This is a fun and exciting way to experience these locations scattered all

over Georgia.” With its rich history in the film industry, Newton County has a long list of perfect selfie spots to make you feel like you are walking with the stars. • In the Heat of the Night — the Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast in Covington • The Vampire Diaries — the Mystic Grill in downtown Covington

• Dukes of Hazard – the Historic Newton County Courthouse in downtown Covington • Remember the Titans – Sharp Stadium in Covington • Cannonball Run – Church Street in downtown Covington See a full list of movies filmed locally at www.filmcovington. com.







7275 TURNER LAKE RD (770) 728-1237 | PUSHBYALCOVYFITNESS.COM #JOINTHEMOVEMENT Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

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outh sports

High school and college sports get the brunt of the headlines, but Newton County’s recreational department sports programs offer high quality competition and fun to the athletes who take part. Particularly strong in the area are its recreation baseball teams, several of which are competitive, if not championship-caliber, in the United States Speciality Sports Association, with several winning World Series champion-

ships in various age brackets over the last several years.

-Girls basketball -Spring softball

Boys -Football -Boys basketball -Spring baseball -Fall baseball

Also, the county’s recreation program hosts the Newton County Miracle League Baseball Program which provides physical activity through baseball for special needs children, and camps in martial arts, basketball, football, golf and tennis are available.

Girls -Cheerleading

Also, the Covington YMCA offers a plethora of youth sports

Recreation department sports programs for youth are as follows:

activities that range from baseball, basketball and flag football to soccer and swimming. Complete information on all of the Newton County Recreation department’s offered activities can be found online at or by calling 770786-4373. For more information on the Covington Y’s offerings, go to or call 770-7873908.

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Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

Submitted | The Covington News

10u Royal all-star team won sub-state, the state championship, and placed fourth in the USSSA World Series that was played in Gulfport, Miss. June 27 through July 1st.

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ero unemployment

Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston has announced a goal of zero unemployment throughout his tenure as an elected official. “At first people laughed when they heard me say that, but they laughed a little less each year,” he said. “What I use that phrase for – because I think it’s important in any successful business, like a paper or a city government to effectively brand yourself about what you really are and that’s where that zero came from and to eradicate poverty. Those are my two main objectives. It was about trying to keep those in everybody’s minds. “What I’ll say about the Covington/Newton County Economic Development Office, can you imagine the pressure that’s put on them because growing our local economy and bringing new jobs is their job and they’ve got a mayor that’s funding the source to do that job and I’m going around telling people unemployment will be zero. “It has that kind of effect on people.” Johnston said through the addition of companies like Facebook, U.S. Corrugated and Three Ring Studios, jobs are coming to the area. “The issue of ‘Are you going to have enough jobs?’ … The great thing about the city is that not only do we have what I call ‘cool jobs’ – because one of our goals was to have a diversity of jobs – we’ve got bioscience; we’ve got Facebook; we’ve got movie things, so we’ve got some 72 The Covington News

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cool jobs and some very wellpaid jobs, but they all require different levels of education,” he said. “You don’t have to have a doctorate for most of these jobs. “The truth of the matter is, we never had enough people for all these opportunities. If you look, we’ve reversed this transient thing. It used to be everybody lived here and drove to Atlanta to work, or wherever. I used to, the first two years I lived here, I drove to Norcross every day and got back up here and life was great. Right now there are people who live in Buckhead who are commuting to Covington for a job. It’s a big deal if you start thinking about it. To me, it’s actually a little bit

better too. “That’s what’s going to happen and it’s already starting to happen. It’s part of our challenge because we want to get everybody a job here, that’s why when I have the opportunity to talk to people I’m direct about now’s the time. “It’s here. Get your stuff in order. Get whatever course you need. Get whatever you need to because you’re going to have opportunities. If you don’t take those – even if we don’t have another industry come here, you know how much we have now? If you don’t take those, someone is going to come here to take them and that’s unfortunate, but I can’t control that.”

At first people laughed when they heard me say that, but they laughed a little less each year

Newcomers guide 2018 - 2019

discover what’s around the corner conyers, georgia

A casual stroll, a yummy bite, a beauty touch-up … it’s all just around the corner.

Take a stroll through 70,000 sq. ft. of shops, restaurants, medical services and office space. Ten uniquely-crafted buildings capture the charm of Conyers, Georgia.

Just one block west of Hwy. 138, the intersection of Flat Shoals and Parker Roads offers premier visibility and easy access to the 30094 community. • proximity to affluent neighborhoods • signalized intersection with 3 entrance points

so, discover what’s around your corner! Space available for brand-minded tenants: • Cafes + Restaurants • Small Business • Professional Services

Contact us today. FAYE PHILLIPS, CCIM, CPM® 770.922.2794 • for a complete list of shops and restaurants The Covington News 73

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS Abbey Hospice 75 Advanced Hearing 47 Alcovy Fitness and Wellness 69 Alexander Appraising 66 Allstate Jim Dolvin 42 Animal Medical of Covington 2 Atlanta Gastroenterology 59 Baldpates 10 Beasley Drug Co. 53 Benny C. Phillips P.C. 68 Berry’s Tree Farm 34 Best Septic 71 Blue Willow Inn 14 Bradley’s Bar-B-Que 38 Bread and Butter Bakery 39 Brendales 41 Bulldog Tire 10 Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home 21 Candlelight Bridal by Gigi 41 Cathy Dobbs 4 Cherokee Run 74 City of Covington 15 City of Oxford 31 Conyers Jewelers 53

Conyers School of Ballet 53 Corner Market Conyers 73 Covington Academy 32 Covington Ghost Tours 41 Covington Hearing 2 Covington News 49 Covington Women’s Health Specialists 76 Covington-Newton County United Way 43 Creamberrys 52 Dermatology Consultants 46 East Metro Board of Realtors 60 Eastmore Development Company 24 Edward Jones 48 Element Funding 40 E-Station 53 Fletchers Jewwlry Co. 40 Frank’s Restaurant 58 Georgia Inspection Solutions 9 Georgia International Horse Park 54 Gerri Murphy Realty 8 Hardy’s Floor Covering 14

Helen Chamber of Commerce 51 Historic Olde Town Conyers 52 J.C. Harwell & Sons Funeral Home 26 Keep Covington Newton County Beautiful 26 Kiwanis Club of Covington 33 Linda Hays 11 Los Bravos 36 Main Street Covington 37 Mayfield Ace Hardware 56 Nature Seen Gallery & Frame Shop 53 Newton County School System 11 Newton County Sheriff’s Office 45 Newton County Water & Sewage 13 Olde Town Awards 52 PC After Dark 17 Piedmont Newton Hospital 3 Plain Nuts Catering 41 Pockets Billiards 60 Ramsey’s Furniture 38

Randy’s Carpet Plus 58 Rest Easy Mattress 50 Right at Home 7 Rotary Club of Covington 28 Shelvie Jean 38 Sherwoods Flowers & Gifts 39 Sigman Bottle Shop 63 Sigman Vet Clinic 27 Snapping Shoals EMC 35 Social Circle City Schools 57 Southern Heartland Art Gallery 40 Tello’s Mexican Grill 35 The Celtic Tavern 53 The Sandwich Factory 52 Tire South Inc. 18 Town House Café 40 Town of Newborn 34 Town Square Olive Oil 38 Tropical Nails 39 Truvi’s Hair Barn 39 Westmoreland’s 52 Whistle Post Tavern 52 WildArt 41 YMCA 61 Your Pie 42

Play the Run Cherokee Run Golf Club is an Arnold Palmer-designed masterpiece.The course and driving range are open to the public year round.

Dine at the Run Retreat to the Palmer Room or clubhouse veranda for daily lunch or a refreshing beverage. Bring the family out for our Sunday brunch buffet.

Celebrate at the Run Weddings, Receptions, Banquets, and Meetings…the event opportunities at Cherokee Run are endless.

1595Centennial 1595 Centennial Olympic Olympic Parkway Parkway Conyers, Ga. 30013 770-785-7904

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Abbey Hospice’s 13-bed inpatient unit is located in the heart of Walton County. We provide hospice services to surrounding areas up to a 50-mile radius, including Newton, Rockdale, Morgan, and Jasper counties.

215 Azalea Court Social Circle, GA 30025 770-464-5858 GA License#: 107-151-H Medicare Provider#: 11-1530

Expert Care Close to Home Dr. Michelle White

Maternity Care at Piedmont Newton • •

Dr. Jessie Bender

• • • • • • •

Dr. Sherley Samuels

Caring nursing team specializing in women’s services in an intimate environment First hour of life – Newborn experiences uninterrupted Skin-to-Skin with mother and father Neonatology Specialist care for all newborns. Level II, Special Care Nursery for preterm infants 32 weeks and greater – Emergency Service for all infants with transfer to nearby NICU if needed. All RNs are trained and qualified to support mother’s feeding choice – Certified lactation consultants on staff Mother/baby couplet care WI-FI available in your private room Community specific programs/resources – First Steps Piedmont Newton offers classes and tours – register online at

WE CHOOSE NEWTON! Our Obstetricians delivered their babies at Piedmont Newton Hospital because of the hospital’s exceptional care.

4181 Hospital Drive NE, Suite 101 & 104 Covington, GA 30014 5154 Cook Street NE, Covington, GA 30014


We Choose Newton

Newcomers Guide 2018  
Newcomers Guide 2018