Congressional Art Competition

Each Spring the United States House of Representatives sponsors an art competition for high school students.  The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. All high school students who reside in or attend school in the 8th Congressional District are encouraged to participate. The winning entry from Georgia’s Eighth Congressional District will be displayed in the United States Capitol for a year alongside artwork from every congressional district across the country.  Artwork submitted must be original, no larger than 26” x 26” x 4” and can be in the form of paintings (oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.), drawings (pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, markers), collage (must be 2 dimensional), prints (lithographs, silkscreen, block prints), mixed media, computer generated art, or photography. This year, all of the entries for our district will be displayed at the Perry Convention and Visitors Bureau in Perry, GA for a reception on Sunday, April 9.  In addition to community professionals judging the top artwork, we will continue the “People’s Choice Award.” All of the submitted entries will be posted on my Facebook page giving 8th district constituents the opportunity to choose their favorite.

 All artwork must be submitted by March 23rd at
one of the following five drop-off locations:

Howard High School: 6400 Forsyth Road, Macon, GA
Congressman Scott’s District Office in Warner Robins: 230 Margie Drive, Suite 500, Warner Robins, GA
Thomas County Central High: 4685 US Hwy 84, Thomasville, GA
Congressman Scott’s District Office in Tifton: 127-B Central Ave N, Tifton, GA
Lowndes County High: 1606 Norman Drive, Valdosta, GA

The first place art work will be displayed at the US Capitol for an eleven month exhibit beginning in June, 2017.  The winning student will receive two airline tickets to Washington DC for the national ceremony and ribbon cutting of the art exhibit.  The student will also be eligible to receive a $3,000 per year admission scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design, should they apply and be accepted.  The People’s Choice Award winner’s artwork will be displayed in my Washington D.C. office, unless it is the same piece that wins the overall competition, in which case the first place offerings apply. Please visit for more information and a release form that must be affixed to the back of all artwork submissions. 

Looking Back on the Week with Representative Austin Scott

On March 12th, Congressman Austin Scott, Representative of the 8th District of Georgia reported the following. The Martin News likes to be able to include his information when possible to keep everyone informed and up to date. Great things happening in and around our wonderful county! On Monday, March 6th, the House introduced the American Health Care Act, a comprehensive revision to the Affordable Care Act. Over the course of this week, the bill passed both the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Ways and Means. The Affordable Care Act’s mandates, coupled with limited competition in the insurance market, have increased premiums, restricted access to care, and hurt Georgia families who are already struggling to make ends meet. My top priority is to achieve policy solutions that will repair the serious damage that the Affordable Care Act has done to our healthcare system. I look forward to reviewing the American Health Care Act to ensure that it expands access and lowers health care costs for Georgians living in small communities and rural areas with limited health care options. On Wednesday, March 8th, the House voted on the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017. With my support, this bill passed the House and will now be sent to the Senate. This legislation is key in allocating funds to our nation’s warfighters and ensuring that our armed forces have the resources they need. In total, this year’s defense appropriations bill provides $577.9 billion in total discretionary budget authority for the Department of Defense for FY2017. In addition to allocating $516.1 billion for the Department of Defense base budget, which will directly benefit Robins and Moody Air Force Bases and the defense communities that surround them, this appropriations bill provides additional support to fight terrorist threats abroad. I am honored to serve as the only Georgian on the House Armed Services Committee, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to ensure that our troops have the resources they need to protect our country.  It was another great week in Washington, meeting with constituent groups, attending Agriculture and Armed Services Committee hearings, and voting on legislation. I had the opportunity to meet with members of Georgia Farm Bureau in my office in Washington on Wednesday afternoon. In addition to discussing some of the current issues facing Georgia’s farmers, we discussed the need to inspire younger generations of Georgians to get involved in the increasingly important agriculture industry that will need to feed future generations. It was great to see the energy and passion that these young leaders have for farming in our great state!  

Deadline to Register with FEMA for Disaster Assistance is March 27

Residents of Berrien, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Thomas, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth counties who were affected by the January storms, tornadoes and flooding have until March 27, 2017, to register with FEMA for disaster assistance. If you are a resident of one of these counties, here are the ways you can register for assistance: Go online to Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or VRS or require accommodations while visiting a center, call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open daily from 7am to 11pm. Download the FEMA app at Visit a
Disaster Recovery Center. To find the nearest center, go to

Public Health’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Program offers free services

Southwest Health District is offering a program for women 40 through 64 residing in Georgia that is aimed at reducing cases of breast and cervical cancer. “Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States and Georgia,” said Southwest Health District Women’s Health Program Director Cynthia Walters. “Early detection is critical for both breast cancer and cervical cancer.” She said the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Program was developed to help reduce the impact of breast and cervical cancer in Georgia by providing breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic services and referral to treatment as medically indicated to uninsured and under-insured women with limited income residing in Georgia.

Services include:
·         A physical exam
·         Pap smear (as indicated)
·         Pelvic exam
·         Clinical breast exam
·         Mammogram (as indicated)
·         Referrals as required

“You have to be a Georgia resident but don’t have to be a legal citizen to receive these services,” Walters said. There is no charge for services for women enrolled in the BCCP program. “State and National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monies are used to fund this program,” Walters said. Women interested in taking part in the program, or seeking more information, should contact their local county health department. For more information like this, please follow “Southwest Georgia Public Health District” on Facebook.

~ Dates to Remember ~


21st ~ Books & Bubbles at The Margaret ones Public Library 10:30am
21st ~ WCMS Choirs to District Festival in Lee County
22nd ~ Kiwanis Meeting 12noon
22nd ~ Taco Night at Old Mexico
22nd ~ WCHS Choirs to District Festival in Lee County
23rd ~ Preschool Story Time at The Margaret Jones Public Library 10am
24th ~ Donuts with Dad at WCMS
24th ~ Teacher vs. Student Basketball Game at WCMS
25th ~ Fire Ant Festival in Ashburn
27th ~ Worth County Schools Out
28th ~ Worth County Schools Out
28th ~ Books & Bubbles at The Margaret ones Public Library 10:30am
29th ~ Worth County Schools Out
29th ~ Kiwanis Meeting 12noon
29th ~ Taco Night at Old Mexico
29th ~ Worth County Schools Out
30th ~ Worth County Schools Out
31st ~ Worth County Schools Out

*** Email your questions or event listings to
and we will get them listed on the calendar ***

Attending The Still Pond Vineyard Festival

I love day trips more than overnight trips for sure. And one place that I love to go is Still Pond Vineyard. I absolutely love their festivals that they have and since one is coming up very soon, I wanted to share this information with you taken directly from the Vineyard itself. The next festival they have planned is on April 1st. You don’t want to miss it! Details are on a flyer inside this week’s edition. Driving 30 miles south of Albany, past fields of peanuts, corn, and cotton, you turn on to a road of red Georgia clay. Drive a couple of miles down this road and all of the scenes are those that you would expect to find in rural Southwest Georgia. Then you round a bend in the road and see what some have called Shangri-La… acres and acres of Muscadine vines (also known as Scuppernongs and Swamp Grapes) and the unexpected discovery of Still Pond Vineyard and Winery. Over 130 years ago, during the height of the Civil War, the discovery was just as exciting. Sitting on the banks of an isolated pond was a still, turning out peach brandy to provide comfort, relaxation, and escape for exhausted Confederate soldiers…thus the name Still Pond. Through the years, the legend of Still Pond was enhanced by other proprietors of the still. Still Pond Vineyard owner Charles Cowart remembers, ” When I was growing up the Hunt brothers lived here and were known for the spirits they delivered around. Dad used to pick them up and bring them home. He told about finding one of them under a pine tree one morning with frost on his beard. Evidently the croaker sack of liquor had been sampled too liberally during deliveries and he did not make it home.” The Legend Continues… Today, the Legend of Still Pond continues, but with a much more legitimate (and legal!) direction. Charlie Cowart Sr. started over 45 years ago by planting a few muscadines, a grape variety native to the South… Still Pond Vineyard was born. The vineyard did well and Charlie Sr., along with his wife Peggy, continued to expand the vineyard with additional plantings each year. After the deaths of the elder Cowarts, son Charles and his wife Susan took over the operation Still Pond. What started out as a location for weary Confederate troops to gain a little comfort with a bottle of peach brandy has now become one of the largest commercial vineyards in Georgia. Charlie Cowart Sr.’s small planting of muscadines has grown to become a commercial operation that is a reliable supplier of fresh Muscadine juice for a growing list of wineries across the Southeastern United States. Whether you call them Muscadines, Scuppernongs, or Swamp Grapes, this grape, native to the South, is a wonderful source of great taste.