The Bells of ABAC Chapel’s Chimes Ring After 5 Years of Silence

When the graduates of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College streamed out of Gressette Gym after the fall commencement ceremony last Thursday, they heard the chimes from the Chapel of All Faiths serenading them on their accomplishments. Silenced for the past five years because of technical problems, the chimes rang out loud and clear on a crisp blue-sky day as the graduates celebrated. ABAC Media Productions Coordinator Matthew Reid said it has been a long process to restore the music from the bell tower.  “It couldn’t have happened without everyone’s commitment and teamwork,” Reid said. Reid said the new digital system features a high-definition speaker that will produce a deeper sound throughout the front of the campus. “There are currently 5,000 song options, and we have the ability to add an additional 1,000 more,” Reid said. “It is truly a new technology to enhance an old system. We plan to ring the chimes on the hour just as they did when the chapel opened.” Reid said Paul Willis, vice president for finance and operations, was instrumental in bringing the project to fruition along with Arts Connection Director Wayne Jones, Fine Arts department head Susan Roe, and Chief Development Officer Deidre Martin.  Martin said restoring the chimes is only one step in a larger improvement plan for the chapel in the coming year. Donations from alumni and friends led by alumnus Tyron Spearman helped to get the project underway.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

How Environmental Consciousness in China is Good for Georgia Cotton Farmers: Taylor R. Sills, Georgia Cotton Commission

China for years has been the final destination for the products that we as American’s recycle, much to the dismay of the Chinese environment.  Apparently “enough is enough” as they say, as the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection notified the World Trade Organization that they would no longer accept shipments of 24 different types of plastic, including Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and many other industrial wastes, in a move to focus more on recycling domestic products and cleaning up extremely polluted surroundings.  Furthermore, polyester plants are being required to abate pollution or close.  While this policy shift is potentially damaging for the American recycling business that has depended heavily on exports, it is inversely positive for cotton farmers across the US. This comes as welcome news to a cotton market that has been extremely depressed over the past few years, as farmers have been producing the product below the cost of production.  The rise in use of low cost petroleum-based fibers has really hit the market for natural products over the past few years.  Over the past two years, the December 2018 cotton contract futures on the New York Board of Trade have gone below 60 cents per pound, are now in the low 70’s, but still have room to go up before producers become profitable.  Signals in the market show that over the next few years, consumers will shift from cheap polyesters to higher end natural and synthetic fibers. PET was invented in 1941 and is made from crude oil.  About 60% of PET made worldwide is made into synthetic fibers and another 30% is used to make plastic bottles.  Those bottles can be recycled and then spun into cheap polyester fibers.  While there are higher-end polyesters, a great deal of the polyester we seen in apparel is made quickly and cheaply.   This process produces toxic chemicals and uses lots of fossil fuel energy, which is the concern of the Chinese as they look to improve their environment. Pollution is a serious concern in China, as they account for just shy of 30% of carbon emissions released on the planet.  To make matters worse, much of the pollution is released in the eastern half of the country and a major portion of it is concentrated to a few cities.  Smog is so thick that in the capital city of Beijing video boards have been installed in Tiananmen Square and other landmarks to show pedestrians and tourists a virtual sunrise. Further developments in this matter will be interesting to watch.  A word to those interested, policies can change very quickly in China so this isn’t written in stone.  After a year of hurricanes, whiteflies and depressed markets – any news is good news.  It is always interesting to see how one change in a non-agricultural industry on the other side of the world can be a positive force for family farmers here in Georgia.  For more information about this topic and others, please contact the Georgia Contact Commission at or (478) 988-4235.

Higher Fencing A “Deerterrent” to Animals on I-75

Any driver who’s hit a deer or spotted one standing on the shoulder of the road understands why new fencing is being placed along portions of Interstate Highway 75 in the Greater Tiftarea. Old fencing with a height of four or five feet has being replaced with eight-foot game fence in various locations in Crisp, Turner, Tift and Lowndes counties through Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) maintenance service contracts.  Fence replacement just wrapped up in Lowndes County and must be inspected by GDOT. The other counties are now complete.  Contractors were also asked to use wire to fill in bottom gaps at low spots to prevent deer from getting under. Given a space of a foot or 18 inches, deer will “lay on their belly and scoot right under it.  “They’re pretty agile animals,” said Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist with the Ga. Department of Natural Resources. Last year 15,479 motor vehicle collisions with animals were reported on all routes statewide. Those specified as collisions with deer totaled 8,263. However, not all agencies and officers report in the same manner, so some of the 7,216 collisions with “animals” may also have been deer. The collisions resulted in 969 injuries and 16 fatalities statewide. Those are just the collisions that were reported through law enforcement. “It’s nothing for a deer to jump a five-foot fence. The eight-foot fence may reduce the number of deer that get onto the highway, which can prevent crashes and injuries to motorists,” said Scott Chambers, GDOT maintenance engineer.  While deer can jump eight feet, “they generally don’t unless they’re pressured,” Killmaster said. The fence height also reduces the chance of a pedestrian accessing the interstate from private property.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

The Martin News Wants to Give Back During National Soup Month

In many ways, America is the land of plenty. But for 1 in 7 Americans, hunger is a reality. More than 12 million families in America struggle with hunger. These are often hardworking families who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to make difficult choices between paying for food, utilities, transportation, medical care and housing. That is why The Martin News wants to help. So let’s get started! During the month of January, The Martin News will be collecting cans of soup. At the end of the month, we will donate all cans of soup to local churches to fill their food pantries. I feel that is important to give to those less fortunate and to those in our community. If you would like to donate, please email me at and I will be glad to pick those donations up. For every can you donate, you will be entered one time and we will draw a winner on February 1st. The winner will be treated to a gift certificate to a local restaurant. Thank you in advance for your help. Stay tuned for more information in next weeks edition.

Keeping Warm This Winter

Men United, Sylvester – Worth County Family Connections and The Martin News has been collecting jackets and coats for those less fortunate to keep warm this winter. I told Janya what we were doing and it came as no shock to me that she wanted to help us collect jackets and coats as well. Janya recently gathered all of her collected jackets and coats and met up with Mr. Larry Johnson with Men United to drop them off. The jackets and coats are going to keep people warm this winter. Thank you Janya.

Janya, The Martin News wants to thank you for everything you have done since we started covering you in The Martin News, Janya’s Journey. You are a very smart lady headed in directions that you will not let any one stop you. We appreciate you helping us in every endeavor we chose to take on. Thank you for everything that you and your mother, Linda, does for our community. Merry Christmas Janya and Linda. We love you both.

With 2018 fast approaching, The Martin News has many things planned. Please watch Janya’s Journey as Janya will be helping us and we are very excited!

The Customer Service Made the Difference

Just a few weeks ago I saw something on Facebook that touched my heart and I wanted to share it with you all. It is so nice to go to a store, any store, and receive good customer service. That is exactly what happened with Mr. Earl Rice. On any given day, at any given time, you may see Mr. Earl out and about in town. He is a happy fella that loves to interact with others. He visits the Dollar Tree from time to time and enjoys the customer service he receives especially from Mr. Tito Davis. Tito meets no stranger. He is such a joy and loves to help others in any way that he can and Mr. Earl can see that. Well one afternoon, Mr. Earl had just bought him a new pair of shoes, sharp looking shoes I might add. However, they didn’t fit so he had them in the truck to return but had to stop by the Dollar Tree first to grab a few things. When he did, Tito’s day changed for sure. As every other time in the store, Tito was there and greeted him with his big smile and wonderful personality. While Mr. Earl was there, he asked Tito would he like a new pair of shoes and Tito replied “yes sir”. They fit Tito perfect! Now isn’t that God working? He needed a nice, new pair of shoes but like most of us, Tito would not spend that money on himself because like all of us, he has bills to pay and pays them first. He put those shoes on with pride and a HUGE smile. He was so proud and appreciative for Mr. Earl, the shoes and the blessing that had just occurred. God tells us in Proverbs 3:27, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it” and Mr. Earl felt he could do it and did. Mr. Earl did not tell the story on Facebook because he was not one to tell his good deeds, Tito posted it and I am so thankful that he did. I was able to speak to Mr. Earl about that day and he was grinning ear to ear that he was able to help Tito and he felt that God did it all, in fact he said he was positive that God was in the midst of the entire situation. A blessing for God not only came to Tito and Mr. Earl but to all of us that read the story on Facebook. Thank you Tito for such great customer service and thank you Mr. Earl for giving back. May the Lord bless you both.

A Trip to the Zoo

December 27th, 2017 is “Visit a Zoo” day. If you are looking to make your zoo trip an overnight adventure for your family, consider visiting Zoo Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia. Zoo Atlanta dates back to 1889 when it was a traveling carnival operated by George W. Hall. It is home to some of the most exotic animals in the world. A number of rare and endangered species are featured in the park, including Komodo dragons, Arakan forest turtles and clouded leopards. In 1999, Zoo Atlanta introduced an exhibit of giant pandas, becoming the fourth zoo in the US to house the rare animals. The grounds of Zoo Atlanta cover 40 acres. It is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas. An indoor playground, an outdoor playground, a petting zoo and an interactive naked mole rat tunnel play area are available for children to enjoy. A zoo gift shop sells mementos, toys and collectible items. Always remember for a day trip, Chehaw in Albany is a great zoo to enjoy for the day with the family. There is a park to play in and enjoy a picnic, animals to visit, feed and interact with, train ride, gift shop to browse around in and much more. Be sure to plan your zoo trip and have a great time with the family.

~ Dates to Remember ~


25th ~ Merry Christmas from The Martin News
26th ~ Sylvester – Worth County Family Connections Meeting
26th ~ Disaster Relief Support Group at The Margaret Jones public Library
26th ~ Worth County Schools Out
27th ~ Worth County Schools Out
27th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
28th ~ Worth County Schools Out
29th ~ Worth County Schools Out


1st ~ Happy New Year from The Martin News
2nd ~ Books & Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
3rd ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
4th ~ WCMS Basketball Games
9th ~ Leadership Worth Class
9th ~ Books & Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
10th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
15th ~ City f Sylvester Council Meeting
16th ~ Books & Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
16th ~ City of Warwick Council Meeting
17th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
23rd ~ Sylvester – Worth County Family Connections Meeting
23rd ~ Books & Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
24th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
30th ~ Books & Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
31st ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester

Do you have an event that needs announced?
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Thank you for your support to The Martin News.

What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?

A new year is upon us. I can’t believe it is almost 2018. New Year’s Day has traditionally been seen as the ideal time to make your all important New Year’s resolution. Unfortunately, while our heart and minds are in the right place, New Year’s resolutions can cause a lot of unneeded stress. Don’t set yourself up for failure in 2018 by vowing to make changes that will be hard to keep. Instead use these steps to help make your resolutions for the New Year a success. 1. Pick one thing to change. If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with. Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a few weeks. Changing one thing at time will make you more likely to stick with the changes. 2. Realize ahead of time that it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Anticipate the problems you might face with the changes you want to make. Once you’ve identified these problems, they will be easier to cope with when they arise. 3. Pick a start date. You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. Pick a day when you know you will be enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. 4. Accept failure. If you do fail, don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of what caused your set back and learn from it. Trying is the key. Keep trying and you will succeed. 5. Reward yourself.
Rewarding yourself will help keep you going during the hard days. Remember, the harder you work at obtaining your goals, the more you will deserve and feel you have earned those rewards.
Good Luck at being the best you that you can be in 2018!