SRTC Tifton Student First Local Recipient of Scholarship Honoring Ex First Lady

Chiffon Johnson is the first Tifton recipient of the Shirley Carver Miller Scholarship and the first for Southern Regional Technical College. Eight Georgia residents were recipients in 2016. The scholarship, created by the Technical College System of Georgia, honors Georgia’s former First Lady and wife of former governor and senator Zell Miller. It is awarded to GED diploma recipients who are nominated by a Certified Literate Community Program, are legal residents of Georgia and are accepted for enrollment or currently enrolled at a TCSG technical college. Johnson is enrolled at Southern Regional Technical College, Tifton Campus, in the medical billing and coding program. She plans to eventually earn a diploma in early childhood development. “I would like to work in the medical field and one day open my own child day care,” Johnson said. She began GED classes in January 2015 to be a better mother and provider for her kids. “My main goal is to get off public assistance,” she said. Johnson worked in fast-food restaurants until her youngest child was born in 2014. “Caring for my own children has taught me the need for quality day care,” she said. “This scholarship will help me be able to attend SRTC and get a job in medical billing or early child care. A better job will mean better benefits and working hours.” In her letter of recommendation, Johnson’s GED teacher Judy Abell, an adult education instructor at SRTC Tifton, wrote: “Chiffon did not give up even though she faced some personal family difficulties and also had to take off a period of time for surgery in 2015. However, she came back strong and has persevered to obtain her GED. Chiffon is a single mom with a young child still at home.” According to the scholarship website, “Shirley Miller is a warrior for literacy. As a former first lady of Georgia, she became and remains one of adult literacy’s strongest advocates. Her passion is that Georgia stays focused on the eradication of illiteracy through support of literacy programs, adult education and the Certified Literacy Community Program in Georgia. Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County is one of 37 Certified Literate Communities in the state. As executive director of LVTTC, Bonnie Sayles nominated Johnson, saying, “I am proud of Chiffon for trying to make a better life for herself and her children. She is a real example to others in Tifton in her same situation and as such, will spark others to make the effort to attend Adult Education at SRTC Tifton.” For information about tutoring through Literacy Volunteers, call 229-391-2527. For information about free-of-charge GED and English language classes at SRTC Tifton, call Adult Education at 229-391-2615. Pictured is from left are Melissa Burtle, SRTC adult education director; Judy Abell, adult education instructor at SRTC Tifton; Chiffon Johnson, scholarship recipient; Bonnie Sayles, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

2017 Georgia’s Best Shrimp & Grit’s Cooking Competition

The annual Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival is a quintessentially Southern, one-of-a-kind tradition celebrating one of Georgia’s most beloved dishes: shrimp and grits. The 2017 Festival will take place September 15-17 and Jekyll Island has once again invited chefs from top restaurants around the state to battle it out in a professional cooking competition for the title of “Georgia’s Best Shrimp & Grits.” Help your favorite area restaurants qualify for the final: Online voting for the top restaurant from each Georgia region begins at 9 a.m., Friday, July 7. Cast your ballot indicating your favorite restaurant from each region. Voters may cast a ballot a maximum of one time per day. Voting concludes Friday, July 14, at 5 p.m. The chef/restaurant with the most votes in each regional will be named regional champion and advance to the Georgia’s Best Shrimp & Grits competition to compete against the other regional winners at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. Please visit and cast your vote today.

Source: Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce

Tift Regional Medical Center to Host State Health Care Reform Task Force Meeting

Georgia’s Health Care Reform Task Force will hold its third public meeting, hosted by Tift Regional Medical Center, at 10 a.m. Monday, July 10. The group will hear from health-care experts and is evaluating reforms to enable rural communities to develop high-performance health-care systems. “Georgia’s health-care system demands reforms. Statewide, costs are too high — and increasing by too much, too quickly — while access and choices for care are too limited,” said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. “It is time for Georgia to act on behalf of all our patients, families, and communities across all geographic regions of our state.” Cagle said the task force is committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders to find solutions that reduce and control the costs of care, that modernize delivery models to better match patients’ needs and that encourage innovation and market competition.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

Looking Back

Last week’s #throwbackturner from Ashburn – Turner County Chamber of Commerce is shamelessly photocopied from the book ‘Turner County, A Pictorial History’ By David Bawldwin and Gail Walls. If you are interested in learning about Turner County’s history come by the Chamber and pick up a copy! Proceeds benefit the Ashburn Historic Preservation.

Source: Ashburn – Turner County Chamber of Commerce

Citizens Raise Over 1,000 books for Chamber Book Drive

When Stevi Thompson found out there was a need for books in her community, she stepped in. The Ashburn Turner County Chamber Commerce president and her office staff set to work soliciting donations of new or gently used books for an after school program, Turner County Connections. “Our goal was to collect 500 books. Honestly, I assumed we would have to purchase some to get to that goal. To receive over 1,000 is overwhelming and humbling,” said Thompson. Turner County Connections is launching a new initiative for the 2017-2018 school year, Step Up and Read.  The program will focus on strengthening reading and comprehension skills for kids 3-13 years old.  “We borrowed collection boxes and had them at the office and at our banks, Colony Bank and South Georgia Banking Company,” said Thompson. The books will need to be boxed up and moved the Turner County Connection’s offices where they will be sorted according to difficulty. “It’s a blessing and an inspiration, it really is,” said Mrs. Patrica Harris, the program’s Executive Director. ​”We had people donate anywhere from 1 book to 200 books at a time.  The community made this happen and we say ‘Thank you!” said Thompson.  ​Pictured: Patrica Harris (left) and Stevi Thompson (right) sit with the stacks of book donations. ​ ​For more information, contact the Ashburn Turner County Chamber of Commerce​ 229-567-9696 or follow us on Facebook. 

~ Dates to Remember ~


10th ~ Pleasant Grove Baptist Church VBS, Shingler 9am-noon
11th ~ Pleasant Grove Baptist Church VBS, Shingler 9am-noon
11th ~ Books and Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library in Sylvester 10:30am
12th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
12th ~ Pleasant Grove Baptist Church VBS, Shingler 9am-noon
13th ~Pleasant Grove Baptist Church VBS, Shingler 9am-noon
13th ~ Date with a Dinosaur Family Fun Night at The Albany Mall
13th ~ Lego Building 10am – 11am
14th ~ Pleasant Grove Baptist Church VBS, Shingler 9am-noon
15th ~ Sylvester Downtown Farmer’s Market
15th ~ Fishing Rodeo 8am-noon
17th ~ City of Sylvester Council Meeting
18th ~ Books and Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library in Sylvester 10:30am
18th ~ Book signing at The Margaret Jones Public Library with Mart Trim 5pm-7pm
19th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
20th ~ Lego Building 10am – 11am
20th ~ Rockets & Robots Family Fun Night at The Albany Mall
22nd ~ Sylvester Downtown Farmer’s Market
25th ~ Books and Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library in Sylvester 10:30am
26th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
26th ~ Open House 9th Grade Only WCHS 4pm-6pm
27th ~ Musically Speaking Family Fun Night at The Albany Mall
27th ~ Lego Building 10am – 11am
27th ~ Open House WCPS, WCES, WCMS 4pm-6pm
27th ~ Open House 10-12 Grade Only WCHS 5pm-7pm
29th ~ Sylvester Downtown Farmer’s Market
31st ~ Worth County Schools Start

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Helping Out A Friend Helped Out My Tummy

So recently a friend of mine, Patrice Toomer Bennett whom owns Creative Creations and Party Innovations was asking for help to build up her likes on her facebook page. I know exactly where she is coming from so I wanted to help. I honestly did not realize that she was giving away goodies to the one friend that referred the most people that liked her page. Well I won!! And boy did I win!! There was dipped strawberries, dipped cookies, candied apples, pretzel sticks and dipped pretzels. I am telling you that I was in Food Heaven. There was anything in that box that wasn’t good. Go on to facebook and like her page and then check out all the party planning and food making that she does. Prices are very reasonable and she is a Worth County girl so let’s support her. Once from here, always from here! Thank you again Patrice for my goodies…they were DELICIOUS!

Sylvester Native, West Point Cadet Completes Internship for Rep. Austin Scott in Washington D.C.

Austin Griffin, son of Misty and Jerry Griffin from Sylvester, has just completed a three week internship in Washington, D.C. with U.S. Representative Austin Scott (GA-08). Griffin is a Law and Legal Studies major at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. “Our internship program provides college students or recent graduates an opportunity to learn more about the legislative process while gaining valuable work experience. It allows them to experience how our federal government works firsthand,” said Rep. Scott. “I thank Austin for his hard work these past few weeks, and I wish him the best and thank him for his service to our great country.” “I’m grateful for the opportunity to personally experience and participate in the daily operations of the Federal Government. I gained valuable knowledge regarding how Congress operates and how it impacts me as a future 2nd Lieutenant. Experiencing our nation’s capital for the first time was also a surreal experience,” said Griffin. Congressman Scott offers internships to college-aged students, and those who have recently graduated from college with an interest in the legislative process. Young constituents selected to be interns have the opportunity to gain a comprehensive view of the practices and procedures of a Congressional office and how the legislative process works. In some cases, college students may be able to obtain academic credit. Students interested in interning for Congressman Scott can visit for more information. Internships in Congressman Scott’s offices are available to students in all areas of study.

Source: The Office of Representative Austin Scott