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Partnership Renovates Rome Amphitheater into Labyrinth

ROME, GA -- A public works project from the 1930s is getting a facelift as part of a public/private partnership.

The rock amphitheater on Jackson Hill is being renovated into a labyrinth by Ed Baker and the City of Rome. The labyrinth will consist of a winding brick path through many levels of the original stone amphitheater.

While Baker has only been a Roman for six years, his love for the community inspired him to bring the project to life.

"A year and a half ago, I got interested in labyrinths and their healing power. At the time, the closest one was in Marietta, so I wanted to bring one here," he said.

The amphitheater was chosen as a location because of its central location on Jackson Hill, and because the groundwork infrastructure was already in place.

Baker credits the City of Rome and the Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau for helping to jump start the project.

Floyd County is "Camera Ready"

FLOYD COUNTY, GA -- The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office recently launched the state's Camera Ready Community Program as part of Georgia's ongoing efforts to boost growing interest from the film and television industry.

Floyd County was among the first 16 Georgia counties designated "camera ready." Camera ready is a distinction put in place by the state to offer film and television production companies easier, faster and better access to local resources and information.

Representatives from the Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau attended a special recognition ceremony at one of Georgia's newest production facilities, EUE/Screen Gems Studio in Atlanta.

Rome Tourism Leaders Published in National Magazine

ROME, GA -- The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau has become a leader in the field of tourism economic impact, thanks to an article released this week.

Chris Cannon, director of communication, and Ann Hortman, sports marketing and event coordinator, penned an article called "Perspective: Evaluating Economic Impact" in the national magazine Sports Destination Management.

The article focused on teaching event planners how to understand, plan for and use economic impact studies correctly. THe GRCVB has vast experience in the field of economic impact, as they have determined their own impact results for a number of years.

Sports Destination Management is distributed to over 18,000 sports event planners in a multitude of disciplines.

"I developed a really strong working relationship with the magazine over the past year through advertising," said Cannon.

Woodstock Goes Wild

WOODSTOCK, GA -- Woodstock Goes Wild, an annual fundraiser event that honors foster children and families, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Woodstock (11905 Highway 92, Woodstock, 30188).

Woodstock Goes Wild is a fun-filled evening where children can meet and touch wild animals, enjoy musical acts and participate in other family-friendly activities. Ticket sale proceeds benefit Rome's Open Door Children's Home, a safe house for abused and neglected children.

This year will mark the 9th annual Woodstock Gone Wild and will host several special guests, including Mary Perdue, First Lady of Georgia and an advocate for foster children. Wildlife expert Pete Gros will be in attendance, along with a number of his animal friends from Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.

Take a Haunted Historical Tour of Rome

ROME, GA -- Rome residents and visitors have the chance to mingle with residents of Myrtle Hill and discover the dim, ghostly side of the city during two events slated for October.

The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau will host its annual Where Romans Rest: Myrtle Hill Cemetery Tours and Haunted on Broad: Downtown Ghost Tours on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Where Romans Rest: Myrtle Hill Cemetery Tour
10:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.
Departs from the main gate (Myrtle Street, Rome, 30161)
$8 for adults, $5 for children (12 and under)
Storytellers guide guests through the winding paths of Myrtle Hill Cemetery, stopping along the way to visit with the permanent residents of the cemetery.

Popular Photo Contest Returns to Rome

ROME, GA -- The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau is bringing back its popular photo contest with a new format and theme. The contest began Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 31.

The theme is "Fall in Georgia's Rome: Southern Culture & Classic Colors." The theme is open to interpretation; the only major requirement is that the photo must be taken in Rome or Floyd County.

Submissions must be in no later than midnight on Oct. 31. Once submitted, the photos will be uploaded to the Georgia's Rome Facebook page, where anyone can "like" their favorites.

The public will choose the winners in the new format, unlike the summer contest, which was judged by a jury. On Nov. 8, the winning photos will be announced.

GRCVB's summer contest, "Rediscover Rome," brought in over 1,500 photographs.

N.C. Wreck Claims 4 Members of a Gwinnett Family

Washington County, N.C. - - The North Carolina Highway Patrol confirms four members of a family from Gwinnett County, including two young children, died after an SUV lost control in a weather-related accident Thursday afternoon.

The wreck, on U.S. 64, west of Creswell, happened around 12:20 p.m.

The dead are identified as 27-year-old Daniel Alvarez, who was the driver, 29-year-old Natalie Owens, one-year-old Ariela Alvarez and three-year-old Zacharia Alvarez. Ezeikel Alvarez, Zacharia's twin, survived and is being treated at a hospital.

Witnesses told the Highway Patrol that the Jeep hydroplaned on the highway, and went off the right side of the road. The vehicle then ran down a small hill, hit an embankment and flipped over into a canal.

Troopers say those killed appeared to have drowned.