Locate South Georgia Leads kicks off it’s 2nd class in Sylvester – Georgia, Worth County at Southern Woods Plantation

The Sylvester-Worth County Chamber and Economic Development Authority were proud to be the kickoff co-host of the 2nd Annual Locate South Georgia Leads Regional Leadership Class.  Karen Rackley, President of The Sylvester – Worth County Chamber of Commerce thanks the Southern Woods, for their wonderful hospitality and beautiful accommodations! They made it easy to provide a wonderful welcome to over forty five guests throughout the region.  Karen also thanks Con-Agra home to Peter Pan Peanut Butter for hosting a tour for the guests. We have a great community with great resources and it was easy Karen stated to show why we are WORTH the Trip! With representation from 21 counties across South Georgia, LSGL is an eight-month leadership experience that develops individual leadership skills while engaging participants in discussions of regional importance around economic development, identify and influence, workforce development, and community growth that are both unique and relevant to South Georgia.  Developed in 2015 as a partnership of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia, and the region’s economic development professionals and affiliates that make up Locate South Georgia, LSGL engages its second class of emerging leaders.

Chamber Chat

As with every week, brings a busy, busy Sylvester – Worth County Chamber of Commerce and this week was definitely no different. Karen Rackley, President of the Sylvester – Worth County Chamber of Commerce, enjoys getting out in the community and representing the members of the Chamber.

Karen makes all businesses feel welcomed in our great town of Sylvester – Worth County and she backs the Chamber Business Members 100%. She recently congratulated UGA SBDC on 40 years of help in Small Business. 40 years is amazing!

The Chamber of Commerce along with the Education Committee strives to promote education in our community. You will see on the Sylvester – Worth County Chamber of Commerce page where they share all the school information from the various schools. Please be sure to like the chamber Facebook page to stay in touch with all the school news as well.

Who doesn’t like contests? The Chamber always wants to get us in the loop of winning. Colony Bank is having a Tailgate Giveaway on August 23rd. Be sure to check out either the Chamber of Colony Bank Facebook Page and register to win. You do not want to miss this! The gift pack is FULL of goodies. I have registered, have you?

The Chamber of Commerce feels it is very important to promote jobs in our hometown. Following their Facebook page will keep you in the know of that as well. How this weeks Chamber page, the City of Sylvester has a job posting as well as a real estate office. If you or someone you know is looking for employment, please check in with the city of Sylvester of the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

The Chamber staff wants to make you all aware that an unknown entity is calling the chamber membership to get updated information. They are claiming to be the Chamber of Commerce. They are not affiliated with our local Chamber of Commerce, any state or national chamber. They are not calling on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce. The number they are calling from is 229-231-2485.

Upcoming events are always great with the Chamber. Be sure you have your calendar marked for these upcoming events. Don’t miss an opportunity to connect with fellow Chamber professionals! You and a (potential-member) guest are invited to the Chamber Mix n’ Mingle hosted by the Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce on August 22nd. This networking event gives current members a chance to connect and help prospective members become more familiar with the vision and goals of the Sylvester – Worth County Chamber of Commerce.  RSVP by sending a confirmation email to info@swcountychamber.com. Also, they will have a drawing during the evening of the Mix n’ Mingle so please be sure to bring your business card for a chance to win.  Wednesday, August 23rd is the Lunch and Learn at the Chamber at 11:30. Having access to clear information can go a long way in helping you reach decisions that keep you comfortable today and in the years to come. Guest Speaker, Cortney Massey, will discuss lessons of a financial journey. Lunch and Learns are free to chamber members and $15 for non-members.

The Chamber recognizes a weekly business. The Weekly Business Spotlight is a FREE member benefit!
Each week a business member with a Chamber Mini-Page is highlighted on Facebook and in all our social media outlets. Get your business featured by setting up your Free Page today! Already have one? Make sure it’s up-to-date because they will use a picture from the page, and visitors will be reading what you have there! This week the Chamber Business Weekly Spotlight is Rocky’s Music. Rockys Music has a good selection of acoustic & electric guitars, Banjos,Violins, Mandolins, Dobros, amps, keyboards, Drums, Live and Recording Sound Equipment, accessories and more available. They offer lessons, recordings and band instrument accessories at reasonable prices. Their products are supported by skilled repair services and a knowledgeable and friendly staff. They are focused on educating and helping the customer. Their after-sale follow up turns one-time shoppers into lifelong customers.
Rockys Music: Owner, Rocky Duckworth. They are located at 113 East Front Street in Sylvester. You can reach them at 229-821-3158.

These are just a few reasons why being a member of your local Chamber of Commerce is vital for your business. If you have any questions, please feel free to give Denise or Karen a call.

~ Dates to Remember ~


21st ~ Solar Eclipse
22nd ~ Books & Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
22nd ~ Pre-K Parent Orientation and Open House at WCPS
22nd ~ 1st Annual Sylvester – Worth County Chamber of Commerce Mix N Mingle
22nd ~ Senior Make up Picture Day at WCHS
23rd ~ Picture Day at WCHS
23rd ~ Picture Day at WCES
23rd ~ Lunch & Learn at Sylvester – Worth County Chamber of Commerce
23rd ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
23rd ~ Weekly Bible Lesson at FBC Sylvester
25th ~ Worth County Rams Football
25th ~ Wild West Book Fair at WCPS
26th ~ Sylvester Downtown Farmer’s Market
26th ~ Peanut Pageant
26th ~ Mary Alice Shipp CDC Community Awards Banquet
27th ~ Ugandan Thunder Live at Unity Baptist Church
28th ~ Wild West Book Fair at WCPS
29th ~ Wild West Book Fair at WCPS
29th ~ Books & Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
30th ~ Weekly Bible Lesson at FBC Sylvester
30th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
30th ~ Wild West Book Fair at WCPS
30th ~ Worth County Schools Progress Reports
31st ~ Title I Annual Parent Meeting at WCPS 5:15pm
31st ~ PTO Kick-off Meeting and Open House at WCPS 6pm
31st ~ Wild West Book Fair at WCPS
31st ~ Eggs & Issues Political Forum with the Sylvester – Worth County Chamber of Commerce
31st ~ Worth County Rams JV Football

Do you have an event that needs announced?
Please email your questions or event listings to info@themartinnews.com
and we will get them listed on the calendar.
Thank you for your support to The Martin News.

Janya’s Journey

Janya has been busy this week but The Martin News did catch up with her for a few minutes. On Saturday, Janya stated that she was doing great. That morning her motto was Rise to Shine…Beginning A New Journey! Janya encourages everyone to read your favorite Scriptures. She along with her mother does this on a daily basis for the peace and understanding it brings. What great advice! While I visited with Janya, she stated that she wanted to share this message of awareness and the importance of being careful on Monday, August 21st as everyone is viewing the eclipse. “ ‪In Georgia, we will be able to see the eclipse extremely well. Everyone is excited about the eclipse, but have you heard that you cannot view it directly without proper eclipse glasses or filters for telescopes?” stated Janya “Looking at the sun without eclipse glasses or solar viewers can cause eclipse blindness or retinal burns”. Janya stated that she read this information from Nirav Shah, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. If you normally wear eyeglasses, the American Astronomical Society says to keep them on and put your eclipse glasses on over them or hold your handheld viewer in front of them. Janya wants everyone to that she loves us all and to remember knowledge ‪is power! “The eye-sight you save could be your own! ” Enjoy this day, put on the whole armor of God, pray and speak healing and restoration for mankind, show love and kindness, watch your surroundings” stated Janya. What great words of encouragement that Janya offers to each and everyone of us.

Stay tuned for more on Janya’s Journey.

New Volunteers With CASA in Turner County

Recently, FIVE new volunteers were sworn in by the Juvenile Court Judge, Render Heard, and there will be a SIXTH volunteer sworn in soon as well!! Three of these ladies will be the first volunteers in Turner County in a while! It’s with these selfless volunteers that their assigned foster child(ren) will have a voice, an advocate to speak on their behalf, fight for what’s best for the foster children of their community! Turner County is so proud and elated to have these ladies a part of the CASA family

Solar Eclipse Plan for Turner County Schools

Turner County Schools will close at 12 p.m. on August 21, 2017 for the eclipse. NASA recommends finding a reputable vendor for viewing the eclipse and has a list on https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters. Also, if you’d like to be the most safe, you can watch the eclipse on NASA’s live streaming page. https://www.facebook.com/NASA/videos/10155497958441772/. Do you have a plan for the eclipse? Remember to stay safe!

A Healthy Start Begins with On-Time Vaccinations

August is a reminder that children need vaccines right from the start. Immunizations give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before age 2. To celebrate the importance of immunizations for a healthy start and throughout our lives – and to make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need – Turner County Health Department is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month. “Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of getting the disease or illness and of having a severe case,” said Mary Anne Sturdevan, RN, county nurse manager. “Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect your child and others in the community from infectious diseases. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional to make sure your child is up to date on all the vaccines he or she needs.” Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox. There are many important reasons to make sure your child is vaccinated: Immunizations can protect your child from 14 serious diseases before they turn 2 years old. Vaccination is very safe and effective. Immunizations can protect others you care about. Immunization can save your family time and money. Immunization protects future generations by reducing the prevalence of serious diseases. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their family and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions. Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents or call Turner County Health Department at 229-567-4357.

Solar Eclipse Shortens School Day in Tift County

The solar eclipse on Monday will not only shorten the amount of daylight; it will also shorten the local school day. The eclipse is expected to be at its peak in Tifton at approximately 2:40 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, and local schools will dismiss students early. Tift County public schools will be releasing early on Monday as, it says, a “safety precaution.” Each school will dismiss students three and a half hours earlier than the normal dismissal time. Tiftarea Academy will also dismiss early — at noon Monday — for the solar eclipse. In Tift public schools, for example, students normally released at 3:30 p.m. will be let out at noon. Students will receive lunch before they leave, the school system said. The Kids Advocacy Coalition after-school program will be closed. Student athletes are asked to talk with their coaches about practices on Monday. Practices can be held after 4 p.m., but it will be up to each coach whether or not to do that because transportation could be an issue. “After thoughtful deliberation and research concerning the upcoming solar eclipse, the decision has been made to release students early Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. As superintendent, I realize there are many items for consideration with the most important being student safety,” Tift Schools Superintendent Patrick Atwater said in a written statement. “As a school system, we have plans for natural disasters, fire drills, tornado drills, bomb threats, inclement weather, chemical threats, intruders on campus and multitudes of other protective plans for faculty, staff and students. However, we do not have a plan for a 100-year solar eclipse,” Atwater said. “After consulting with local ophthalmologists, reviewing research from NASA and other reliable sources, it has been determined for the safety of students, we will dismiss early. … We strongly encourage parents/guardians to educate their children of the dangers of improperly viewing the solar eclipse.” Tiftarea Academy noted that solar eclipses are never safe to watch without taking special precautions.  “The solar eclipse will occur throughout our normal dismissal time. In order to ensure the safety of our students and staff, we will follow our early dismissal schedule. This action is being taken as a result of safety concerns related to this event. We feel it will be safest for our students to be off of the buses and roads during the actual eclipse,” Tiftarea Academy said in a statement released. *We realize this is an educational moment, and each teacher will use this opportunity to teach their students about the event in the days leading up to it. However, the safety of our students is always our No. 1 priority.*  Tiftarea Academy will follow a normal half-day schedule with no lunch or break. Bus riders will be dismissed at noon, and car riders/drivers at 12:10 p.m.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

College Course Expand with Five New Bachelor’s Degrees

When fall semester classes begin Wednesday at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, a record number of students will be enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs; among the 13 bachelor’s degrees are five new programs approved Aug. 8 by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. “This is the largest number of bachelor’s degrees we have offered in the history of ABAC,” says President David Bridges. “It’s also the most number of students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in the history of ABAC. I think it bodes well for the future of this institution.” The Tifton college says 1,973 students are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs as compared to 1,828 students enrolled in those programs in 2016. At its most recent meeting, the Board of Regents approved ABAC bachelor’s degrees in agribusiness, agricultural communication, history and government, rural community development, and writing and communication. “We already have about 200 agribusiness majors. That program is off to a very strong start. I think the addition of the new degrees gives us a broad range of programs for students to choose from for their ABAC education,” Bridges says. “I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: The value of an ABAC education is absolutely priceless. The ABAC experience is life-changing for these students.” ABAC offered only associate degrees for 75 years until 2008 when 41 students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs. Bridges says ABAC added nursing and agricultural education last year, “Adding ag education to our curriculum last year is going to have a phenomenal impact on our legacy in agriculture,” Bridges says. “The more ag education teachers we have out there, the more students we will get back. I believe ag teachers have more influence on the students they teach than maybe any other teacher in high school.” ABAC also offers bachelor’s degrees in agriculture, biology, business and economic development, environmental horticulture, natural resource management, and rural studies. Bridges expects the overall enrollment to be close to the 3,475 students enrolled during the 2016 fall term, which included students from 154 of Georgia’s 159 counties, 21 states and 26 countries. “We have increased our enrollment over the previous year in three of the past four fall semesters,” Bridges says. Freshmen began moving into ABAC Lakeside and ABAC Place on Saturday. Bridges said both housing complexes are almost full with 1,300 students living on campus. Combined with the students who are living in the community, the start of fall semester classes grows the Tifton population by several thousand people within a few days. Those students are a big reason why ABAC has a $330 million annual economic impact on Tift and surrounding counties, the college says.
Source: Tifton Grapevine

Worth County School News

School is moving right along for Worth County Schools. The Martin News wants to keep you up to date on all the great happenings at each school but please remember to like each school’s Facebook page to see event dates, important announcements and many pictures.

WCPS is ecstatic about their upcoming book fair. Their Scholastic Book Fair is a reading event that provides the books kids want to read. It’s a wonderful selection of engaging and affordable books for every reading level. Reading for pleasure inside and outside of school has real and long-lasting benefits. It unlocks the power of information and imagination and helps children discover who they are. Please make plans to go to their book fair and be involved in shaping your child’s reading habits. Remember, all purchases benefit the school. See you at the Book Fair! Students will be given the opportunity to shop during their regular media center times. You can also shop online at
http://www.scholastic.com/bf/wcpslambs. On August 31st, WCPS invites you to come visit your student’s teacher and shop the book fair. Also the order forms have recently went home with your child for the Ram spirit shirts. Show your Ram spirit this year with the Wednesday School Spirit Shirt. Shirts are available in both short and long sleeve options. If you have any questions, please give the school a call. Fun was happening in Mrs. Crowe & Mrs. Judy’s 2nd Grade classes during their Creative Friday activity. The students enjoyed painting rocks to hide in their local community. The students are excited to see their unique creations show up in their area. WCPS Rocks!

WCES is getting ready for pictures! Picture day is Wednesday, August 23rd. WCES is using a new vendor this year for their school pictures. They are using BPI Photography out of Tifton, Georgia. One change with this vendor is that picture packages will not be pre ordered. All students will receive a proof of their picture with an order form (several days after pictures are taken) and then you can decide which package you would like to order.

WCMS has updated their Facebook page with the Softball, Cross Country and Football Schedules.

Please go out and support any of our WCMS Ram teams. All WCMS students must complete a Social Science project this semester. Letters and recently went home with students and are due back by Friday, September 1st. Projects are due on November 10th. Two big moments from WCMS this week was covered through out The Martin News so please be sure to read those.

WCHS CTAE Director Melissa Edwards Announced as Locate South GeorgiaLEADS Participant. Math tutoring will be provided for students on Tuesday and Thursdays in Room 148. Several big moments from WCHS was covered in The Martin News so please be sure to catch those.

Worth County Schools is working in collaboration with the Health Department to collect accurate information on the possible outbreak of Staph infections in some of the schools. As of August 17th, there are a possible 20 cases in the Primary and Elementary schools. Worth County Schools is waiting on lab results from the Department of Health before a true determination of the type of outbreak they are dealing with. Once identified, Worth County Schools will make every effort to communicate the news to the public. Please be assured, that the safety of the students and staff is their main priority! If you have any questions or concerns, you may connect Sandi Giddens, Student Services Coordinator at 229-776-8600. On August 21st, Worth County Schools will be in the path of nearly 90% totality for the solar eclipse. This event is being called “The Great American Solar Eclipse,” because it is the first time since 1918 a solar eclipse will be visible on a path across the entire continental United States. Worth County Schools is planning educational activities leading up to the eclipse and on the day of the eclipse, however, they are not planning on any outdoor activities after 12:30 pm on August 21st. These activities include recess, PE, or other instructional activities. All athletic events and practices will be delayed until 4:30 pm. SCHOOLS WILL BE RELEASED AT THEIR NORMAL TIMES. Safety is always the top priority for the students and staff. Please help Worth County Schools inform your children of the safety tips to ensure everyone’s safety. 1. DO NOT look directly into the sun/eclipse. This is true on any day as well. 2. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. 3. Do not look directly at the sun through unfiltered cameras, telescopes, binoculars, or other optical devices, with or without glasses. For more information on viewing the eclipse safely to prevent eye damage, please visit http://eclipse.semo.edu/safety. Parents wishing to checkout their students between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm are welcomed to do so without any attendance consequences. All checkouts during that time range will be excused and not counted in any way towards your child’s attendance. If you plan on checking your student out early on this day, please communicate with your school Principal for any specific protocols on the 21st.