Inspired Women of Worth Outreach to Hold Workshops in 2017

Beginning January 19, 2017, Inspired Women of Worth Outreach will be providing workshops for the community at Margaret Jones Public Library. Inspired Women of Worth is an uplifting resource, inspiring women to become self-sufficient through motivational and educational resources to be grounded in today’s workforce. The workshops will focus on vital skills to help you succeed in today’s workforce and are designed with one goal in mind: to assist you on your road in becoming self-sufficient. IWOW will also provide the professional attire you will need to assist you on your journey towards a rewarding job leading to a great career path. For more information or transportation, contactDenise Foster at (229) 206-4766.

Article by VaLenia Meeks Milling

Flu season hasn’t peaked yet, there is still time to vaccinate

So far, flu activity in Southwest Georgia has been moderate, with both Type A and B cases confirmed; and residents who haven’t yet gotten vaccinated against the infection should consider doing so, says Southwest Health District Health Director Dr. Charles Ruis. “Flu season hasn’t peaked yet,” he said. “And this season’s flu vaccine is proving to be a good match for the strains of influenza virus that are circulating so far.” December 4 – 10 is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a time to remind everyone six months and older it is not too late to get the flu shot, Ruis said. “Flu season typically peaks between December and February, but significant activity can occur as late as May.” Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue and in some instances upset stomach. For young children, older adults, those with chronic health conditions such as heart disease or asthma – and even for some healthy people – flu can cause serious complications that may lead to hospitalization or even death. Ruis said it is also important to get the vaccine if you care for anyone at high risk, including babies younger than six months because they are too young to get the vaccine. To learn more about high risk conditions, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm. “Children six months through eight years of age who are getting vaccinated for the first time may need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected,” Ruis said. “If a child has not received his or her first dose, get them vaccinated now. For children who are six months through eight years of age and who have been vaccinated with one dose, parents should check with the child’s doctor or other health care professional to see if a second dose is needed.” He said flu vaccine is available at county health departments, pharmacies and other healthcare providers. “Getting the flu vaccine is simple, and it’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from the flu,” Ruis said. “Flu shots are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, PeachState, WellCare, Amerigroup, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna and Coventry at your county health department.” For more information about seasonal flu, go online to www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org. or www.cdc.gov. To stay up to date with all the latest information, be sure to like them on Facebook.

Worth County High School Receives $3 Million Grant for College & Career Academy

Representatives of Worth County High School and the Worth County Community traveled to Atlanta today to attend the Technical College System of Georgia Board Meeting. During the meeting, Worth County School System was awarded the Georgia College and Career Academy Grant totaling $3 million! CTAE Director Melissa Edwards, along with Counselor Laura Siskey, School Improvement Coordinator Teresa Sumner, Assistant Principal Michelle Greer, and Work-Based Learning Coordinator Tina Pate worked diligently writing the grant. In addition, there were countless other stakeholders, including grant team members, teachers, students, parents, community, and business partners, who provided input and assistance during the tedious process. The grant will provide more opportunities for students as they work to be better prepared for their futures.

County Leaders Graduate From The Georgia Academy For Economic Development

The Board of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development announces Worth County graduates from the 2016 Region 10 Multi-Day Training Program. Class participants represented a number of professional and non-professional economic development fields, including elected officials, public servants, business leaders, educators, and social service providers from 9 counties in Southwest Georgia. The Academy provided each of the graduates an opportunity to gain a unique understanding of the complexities of economic and community development on the local, regional, and state levels. Worth County graduates at the November 17 ceremony included: Melissa Edwards, and Chris Shipp. Created in 1993, the Academy assembles a cross section of economic development professionals and resources to provide this training in all twelve service delivery regions in Georgia. The Board of Directors of the Academy represent public and private economic development organizations and agencies from across Georgia. Since its organization, the Academy has provided training for thousands of professional and non-professional economic developers around the state, and since 1998 the Academy has been offered annually in all twelve regions of the state. Georgia EMC and Georgia Power provide facilitators for the program, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs provides staff support to this important program. Georgia EMC’s Vice President, Community and Economic Development (CED), Pat B. Merritt, CEcD says, “Our Community Development team is proud to partner with and provide facilitation and presentation services on behalf of Georgia’s electric membership cooperatives. Involved since its inception, the team’s work with the Academy graduates has enhanced levels of leadership capacity and community development preparedness for continued economic development progress throughout the Region.” In Region 10, CED cooperative members are Colquitt EMC, Sumter EMC, Mitchell EMC, and Diverse Power-Pataula District.” “Georgia Power has historically played a major role in the State’s economic development. The Academy has formalized the opportunity to bring together stakeholders to share best practices, leverage expertise, and build relationships among our communities with the same goal in mind: ensuring economic growth and prosperity for our state. We are proud of the strong partnership that delivers this program in each of our regions every year,” says Georgia Power Company Community Development Manager Johnna Robinson, chair of the Georgia Academy board. “One of the goals for the multi-day regional Academies is to encourage multi-county cooperation,” says Corinne Thornton, Director of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. “Many times the participants discover the issues facing their community are the same as those facing other communities in their region, and can then combine limited resources to address the issue.” The Academy’s multi-day program, taught one day a month over a four-month period, includes training in the basics of economic and community development, plus specialized segments on business recruitment and retention, tourism product development, downtown development, planning, and other essentials for community success. In addition, the curriculum features specific leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service, collaborative leadership and other segments needed for effective community leadership in economic development. Local elected officials may receive certification training credits through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association for completion of this program. The next Region 10 Georgia Academy for Economic Development will begin in August 2017. For more information on this, please contact Gina Webb at 404-387-1429 or by email at gina.webb@dca.ga.gov.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Day… What Will You Be Wearing?

Have the holidays let you down? Do you feel like the magic and mystique of Christmas has faded with maturity and age? Well fear not my fine friends. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is here to save you. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is a day of light hearted fun and a day to be yourself and not that buttoned up corporate version of yourself you have grown to despise. Most importantly, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is a day to make the holidays fun…the way they were intended to be! So this National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, leave the school uniform at home, keep the preppy office blouse in your closet, and whatever you do, don’t even think about taking your suit to work. All you need to wear is your ugly Christmas sweater because this is your day, this is our day, and this is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day according to nationaluglychristmassweaterday.org. Some people will actually hold Ugly Christmas Sweater parties and have guests dress in the tackiest sweaters they can find. It is so much fun to do. It is even more fun if you make your own ugly Christmas sweater or get you one from maybe a consignment or goodwill store and add some of your own ideas to it. This day has become so popular among people, that you can find ideas on websites on how to decorate your own sweater or where you can buy a sweater. So go ahead and start planning for your ugly Christmas sweater party. Plan for your friends to come over and maybe even bring a snack food with them and everyone can enjoy snacks and laugh this wonderful time of year. Another great idea is to judge and have everyone vote for their favorite ugliest Christmas Sweater! If you plan a party, let The Martin News know and we will be glad to come and visit it and even cover the story in the weekly publication. This could be so much fun!

National Christmas Tree Lighting In Washington, DC

Since 1923, the United States has held a tradition of lighting a National Christmas Tree in Washington, DC each holiday season. In 1978, a live 40-foot Colorado blue spruce was transplanted from York, Pennsylvania to its present site on the Ellipse, the grassy area south of the White House. In 1954, a “Pathway of Peace,” 56 smaller, decorated trees representing all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia were planted surrounding the National Christmas Tree. Each year sponsoring organizations from each state provide ornaments that are encased in a protective plastic globe to shield it from the weather. The lighting of the National Christmas Tree is the beginning of a three week Washington, DC Christmas tradition. The decorations are unique each year and visitors from around the world come to check out the displays and live performances throughout the holiday season. This year, the lighting of the tree will take place on Thursday, December 1, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. The event is held rain or shine. The ceremony will be broadcast on the Hallmark Channel on December 5th at 7 p.m.  During the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, nationally known entertainers and a military band will perform and the President brings a message of peace to the nation and the world. Academy Award-winner Reese Witherspoon will host this year’s event. We hope you all enjoy the event.

Unity Youth Give Back to Operation Christmas Child

Recently, youth from Unity Baptist Church participated in Operation Christmas Child to give back those less fortunate. From children to seniors, people pack shoebox gifts each year to bless children in need around the world. Parents often use the project to teach their kids about giving. Year-round volunteers support these efforts across the country. Churches and groups of all sizes collect boxes from their communities. Some churches also serve as drop-off locations for shoeboxes the third week of November every year. Thousands of volunteers serve annually inspecting and preparing shoeboxes for international shipping. Every hour work stops for a few minutes to pray for the children who will receive the boxes. Long before shoeboxes arrive in more than 100 countries, volunteer National Leadership Teams train pastors and community leaders who want to share the message of the Gospel and bless children. The leaders learn how to host child-friendly outreach events, and how to implement The Greatest Journey follow-up discipleship program. Pastors around the world host shoebox distributions in places where people may not know Christ and invite them to follow Him. Other churches use the boxes as resources for outreach in orphanages and other at-risk areas. In many places, they also offer The Greatest Gift, a Gospel story booklet Samaritan’s Purse developed for shoebox recipients. As a result of what they learn in The Greatest Journey, boys and girls grow in Christ and share with friends and family. The students also invite others to their graduations where the Gospel is shared. This often brings parents, siblings, and friends to accept Christ and become active members in the local church. Families are reached, churches grow, new churches are started, and communities are transformed. Thank you Unity Baptist Church and others churches that helped a great cause.