January Is Birth Defect Prevention Month

Birth defects are serious conditions that are changes to the structure of one or more parts of the body. Birth defects affect 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States each year. Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. That translates into nearly 120,000 babies affected by birth defects each year. Birth defects can affect almost any part of the body. They may affect how the body looks, works, or both. Birth defects can vary from mild to severe. The well-being of each child affected with a birth defect depends mostly on which organ or body part is involved and how much it is affected. Depending on the severity of the defect and what body part is affected, the expected lifespan of a person with a birth defect may or may not be affected. Not all birth defects can be prevented. But, there are things that a woman can do before and during pregnancy to increase her chance of having a healthy baby. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, see your healthcare provider. Seeing your healthcare provider before you get pregnant can help you have a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal care, which is health care received during pregnancy, can help find some problems early in pregnancy so that they can be monitored or treated before birth. There are other steps a woman can take to increase her chances of having a healthy baby: Get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day, starting at least one month before getting pregnant, Don’t drink alcohol, smoke or use “street” drugs, Talk to a healthcare provider about taking any medications including prescription and over-the-counter medications and dietary or herbal supplements. Also talk to a doctor before stopping any medications that are needed to treat health conditions. Learn how to prevent infections. If possible, be sure any medical conditions are under control, before becoming pregnant. Some conditions that increase the risk for birth defects include diabetes and obesity. Birth defects can occur during any stage of pregnancy. Most birth defects occur in the first 3 months of pregnancy, when the organs of the baby are forming. This is a very important stage of development. However, some birth defects occur later in pregnancy. During the last six months of pregnancy, the tissues and organs continue to grow and develop. Certain things can increase the chance that a pregnancy will be affected by a birth defect. These are called risk factors. There are some things that you can change to reduce your chances, while other things cannot be changed. Some risk factors that can increase the chances of having a baby with a birth defect: include: Smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking certain “street” drugs during pregnancy, Having certain medical conditions, such as being obese or having uncontrolled diabetes before and during pregnancy, Taking certain medications, Having someone in your family with a birth defect, Being an older mother, typically over the age of 34 years. Having one or more of these risks doesn’t mean you’ll have a pregnancy affected by a birth defect. Also, women can have a baby born with a birth defect even when they don’t have any of these risks. It is important to talk to your doctor about what you can do to lower your risk. For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov.

Air Race to Include Tifton

A Florida-based chapter of the International Organization of Women Pilots is launching a new air race this spring that will stop overnight in Tifton. The inaugural Paradise 600 Air Race will take place May 24-26. The starting point will be Key Field Airport in Meridian, Miss. The 600-nautical-mile route will terminate at Punta Gorda Airport in Punta Gorda, Fla. Flyby and overnight stops will be made at Moton Field Municipal Airport in Tuskegee, Ala.; Henry Tift Myers Airport in Tifton; and Williston Municipal Airport in Williston, Fla., according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. “The goal of the race is fun and stretching your wings for an exciting cross-country adventure,” said Terry Carbonell, a member of the Paradise Coast Chapter of The Ninety-Nines, which is hosting the event. Carbonell is handicap coordinator for the race.  The race will be flown in daylight conditions. Airplanes are limited to stock, modified stock and experimental airplanes of not more than 600 horsepower. Each team should consist of at least two participants, but only one needs to be a certificated pilot. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Paradise Coast chapter’s scholarship fund.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

Georgia Peanut Farm Show Provides A Day Of Education For Farmers

More than 1,300 attendees were able to fine-tune their farming operations with information gained at the 42nd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference on Jan. 18, 2018, at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. The show is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission. The one-day show offered farmers a chance to view the products and services of more than 109 exhibitors, as well as a day of education. The University of Georgia Peanut Team presented an educational peanut production seminar focusing on insects, fertility, disease and nematodes as well as a year in review of the 2017 crop. An industry seed seminar was held, which highlighted peanut varieties available for 2018. The Georgia Peanut Commission presented awards to individuals and businesses for their service to the peanut industry and promotion of peanuts across the United States. The award recipients are: Distinguished Service Award – Jeff Johnson, retired president of Birdsong Peanuts; Research and Education Award – Albert Culbreath, University of Georgia plant pathologist; Media Award – Craig Harney, video producer of special projects at WTOC; and Georgia Peanut Special Award to Matt Baldwin, professional bullfighter who promotes Georgia peanuts. The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award, sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and BASF, was presented to Elton Baldy of Norman Park, Georgia. The award is presented to one Georgia peanut farmer based upon the applicant’s overall farm operation; environmental and stewardship practices; and leadership and community service activities. Baldy’s farming operation includes 750 acres of cropland where he grows peanuts, soybeans, corn, wheat, hay and vegetables. On the farm, Baldy has implemented a variety of important stewardship practices including cover crops, strip tillage, crop rotation and using non-drift nozzles when spraying. Baldy also uses Peanut Rx to help with managing diseases in his peanut crop. He continues to incorporate multiple modes of action when applying herbicides to assist with weed control. Baldy also utilizes irrigation with low pressure nozzles to conserve water and grid soil sampling to identify areas of a field that need improvement. Baldy was active in 4-H and FFA through high school. He continued to be active in many agricultural organizations including Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Young Farmers. He currently serves as a board member on the board of directors for the Colquitt County Farm Bureau. In addition to farming, Baldy provides auction services for the sale of farm equipment, livestock and other aspects of the ag industry. Baldy receives a sign to display at his farm and a trip to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in July. In addition to the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award, the Georgia Peanut Commission and Agri Supply presented the Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmers of the Year Award to individuals representing each of the commission’s five districts. The GPC board members started this award to honor farmers each year who have the passion, diligence, leadership and desire to see the peanut industry in the state of Georgia continue to be the highest quality. Winners include: District 1 – Ike Newberry, Arlington; District 2 – Chip Dorminy, Fitzgerald; District 3 – Charles Smith Jr., Wadley; District 4 – James ‘Roy’ Malone Sr., Dexter; and District 5 – Marvin and Dania DeVane, Cuthbert. These farmers received a sign to display at their farm and a $100 gift card from Agri Supply. At the close of the day, the presentation of the Grand Door Prize package donated by Kelley Manufacturing Co. was presented to Lamar Merritt of Wray, Georgia, and Shane Pridgen of Broxton, Georgia. Merritt received one season’s use of a new KMC peanut combine and the option of purchasing the combine from a KMC dealer with $15,000 off the list price at the end of the 2018 season. Pridgen received one season’s use of a new KMC digger shaker inverter or dump cart and the option of purchasing the peanut digger or dump cart from a KMC dealer with 10 percent off the list price at the end of the 2018 season. Amadas Industries also provided the Grower Door Prize to Stanley Corbett of Lake Park, Georgia. Corbett received one season’s use of a new Amadas peanut digger/inverter or a certificate good for the amount of $10,000 towards the purchase of a new Amadas self-propelled combine or $5,000 towards the purchase of a pull-type peanut combine. For photos and additional information on the Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference, visit the Georgia Peanut Commission website at gapeanuts.com.

IRS Tax Tip 2017-87

Taxpayers can take steps to ensure smooth processing of their 2017 tax return next year. Here are three things taxpayers should know about the tax returns they will file next year.

1) It’s important to gather documents
The IRS urges all taxpayers to file a complete and accurate tax return by making sure they have all the needed documents before they file. This includes: Forms W-2 from employers, Forms 1099 from banks and other payers and Forms 1095-A from the Marketplace for those claiming the Premium Tax Credit. Typically, these forms start arriving by mail in January. Taxpayers should check them over carefully, and if any of the information shown is wrong, contact the payer right away for a correction.

2) Taxpayers with expiring ITINs should renew promptly
Some people with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number may need to renew it before the end of the year to avoid a refund delay and possible loss of key tax benefits. These ITINs expire Dec. 31, 2017: ITINs not used on a tax return in the past three years and ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80. Anyone who needs to renew an ITIN should submit a completed Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. They should mail the Form W-7, along with original identification documents or copies certified by the issuing agency. Once an individual files a completed form, it typically takes about seven weeks to receive an ITIN assignment letter from the IRS.

3) Choose e-file and direct deposit for a faster refund
Electronically filing a tax return is the most accurate way to prepare and file. Errors delay refunds and the easiest way to avoid them is to e-file. Combining direct deposit with electronic filing is the fastest way for a taxpayer to get their refund. With direct deposit, a refund goes directly into a taxpayer’s bank account.

There are several e-file options:
IRS Free File, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs, Commercial tax preparation software and Tax professional. Taxpayers should note that the IRS cannot by law issue refunds for people claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. This law helps make sure that taxpayers receive the refund they’re due by giving the IRS more time to detect and prevent fraud. The IRS expects the earliest refunds related to EITC and ACTC to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2018, if the taxpayer uses direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return.  This additional period is due to several factors, including the Presidents Day holiday and banking and financial systems needing time to process deposits.
Source: IRS and brought to you by Tatina’s Taxes

Worth County Middle School FFA Celebrates National FFA Week

News Press Release from Sylvester, Georgia: Worth County Middle School FFA will celebrate National FFA Week February 25 – March 3, 2018. “I Can. We Will.” is the theme this year and more than 653,000 members around the nation will participate in National FFA Week activities at the local and state levels. “I Can. We Will.” represents the positive attitude and leadership abilities of FFA members. It’s also a call to action for others to work in unity. FFA members set a positive example with their leadership, work ethic and community service activities. The focus of National FFA Week is to tell America about the great opportunities available for youth in agriculture. From its beginnings in 1928 as the Future Farmers of America, the National FFA Organization today reaches out to all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. From urban to rural schools, FFA is committed to developing character and leadership skills and preparing members for a lifetime of success in one of the 300 careers in agriculture. As a part of National FFA Week, Worth County Middle School FFA members will participate in the following special events:

Mrs. Sevier, Principal; signing the FFA Week Proclamation
Wear FFA Colors Day (National Blue and Corn Gold)
Agricultural Awareness Facts and Activities
Community Service for Local Ag Businesses
Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day

FFA members are success-oriented students who are driven to achieve their goals and be the leaders of tomorrow. They stand out by recognizing the importance of being active in their schools and in their communities and are urged to step up when volunteers are sought, friendship is needed and leadership is required. Through classroom instruction and hands-on learning, agricultural education and FFA are making a positive difference for members every day. FFA members have opportunities to attend leadership contests, develop a supervised agricultural experience project, learn life skills and serve their communities with civic engagement. FFA members are our future engineers, scientists, teachers and producers. One of every five Americans is employed in the food, fiber and natural resources industries of agriculture, and Worth County Middle School FFA members are the future of these important industries. The Worth County Middle School FFA Chapter has 85 active members. While membership on the national level is over 653,000 strong, Georgia has over 300 Chapters and is currently third in membership with approximately 41,000 members.

Con Artist Targeting the Ashburn Community

Please be aware that there is a con artist targeting the Ashburn community.  The scammer called the Ashburn – Turner County Chamber of Commerce recently claiming to be the “Project Manager for Turner County High School” from a number from Fort Worth, Texas.  She is calling asking for monetary donations for the high school or different groups, specifically the Cheerleaders.  Ashley Miller, Interim President & CEO of Ashburn – Turner County Chamber of Commerce, spoke with the school and the cheerleader’s coaches and they are NOT raising money right now. If they were, they would be going face to face and asking in person – not through Fort Worth, Texas. When Ashley asked this scammer what project she was managing, she simply said, “I’m the project manager for the school”. As always, if someone is trying to get money from you or your business and you don’t feel comfortable or if anything seems wrong about it, do not feel obligated or guilty for saying no. Unfortunately, we live in a world where we have to stay vigilant about these things.  ​Please make sure to let everyone know that this is a scam targeting our area currently. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact your local chamber. 

~ Dates to Remember ~


29th ~ Georgia Association of Educators Meeting at Jackson Soul Food 5:30-7:30pm (Public invited)
30th ~ Books & Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
30th ~ Cookie Dough Fundraiser starts at WCPS
30th ~ Help A Child Smile Dental Van at WCMS
31st ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester


1st ~ Annual Chamber Dinner for Sylvester – Worth County Chamber of Commerce
1st ~ Annual Chamber Dinner for Tift County Chamber of Commerce
2nd ~ Happy Ground Hog Day from The Martin News… Will there be more winter days??
3rd ~ Wild Game Dinner at Unity Baptist Church
6th ~ Progress Reports from Worth County Schools
7th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
8th ~ “Paws for Books” Book Fair at WCPS
9th ~ “Paws for Books” Book Fair at WCPS
9th ~ Muffins with Mom at WCMS
10th ~ Daddy Daughter Dance at WCES (birth – 5th grade)
11th ~ Science Fair Regional Competition in Tifton – WCMS
12th ~ “Paws for Books” Book Fair at WCPS
13th ~ “Paws for Books” Book Fair at WCPS
13th ~ Leadership Worth Class
13th ~ Cookie Dough Fundraiser Ends at WCPS
14th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
14th ~ Happy Valentines Day from The Martin News
14th ~ “Paws for Books” Book Fair at WCPS
15th ~ “Paws for Books” Book Fair at WCPS
15th ~ Reading/STEM Family Fun Night at WCPS
16th ~ “Paws for Books” Book Fair at WCPS
19th ~ City of Sylvester Council Meeting
19th ~ WCHS Intervention Day
20th ~ City of Warwick Council Meeting
21st ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
22nd ~ Annual Chamber Dinner for Ashburn – Turner County Chamber of Commerce
26th ~ Read Across America Week Kicks Off
27th ~ Read Across America Week
27th ~ Sylvester – Worth County Family Connections Meeting
28th ~ Read Across America Week
28th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester

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.

Are You Left Handed or Right Handed?


There is a day to celebrate most anything and this week one of those days happens to be handwriting day. What hand do you write with? I am actually a right handed person. My sister, VaLenia is a left handed person. Our mother writes with her right hand and our daddy wrote with both. He actually wrote really well with both hands. If I write with my opposite hand, you may never figure out what it says. Everyone writes so different. Some write better in cursive while others write better in print. There is also a writing type known as a doctor’s handwriting. Now I do ok reading a doctors handwriting because I have been doing it for years but I will never forget trying to read Dr. Dixon’s handwriting when I began in the medical field in 1996. He was a Psychiatrist in Albany that I absolutely loved working for and learning from but his writing was hard to read from time to time. This past Christmas, I was the unknown Elfie at my work place, Lee County Health and Rehab. I dropped off goodies and cards. I had to sign the card everyday in a different handwriting and that gave me an appreciation for different hand writing. It brought many days of laughter though watching my co-workers try to read the cards. In today’s time, our children don’t write near as much as we did while growing up which may be a handicap to them. They have so many types of technology that allows them to type it instead of write it. This also handicaps them with spelling. The types of technology the children have today allows them to start typing the word and they can click on the one they want so misspelling never really happens. But what will happen when they have to actually write out something whether it will be in school or in everyday life as an adult? Will they write legible? Will they spell correctly? Writing will matter to all of us. Think about your writing skills the next time you write out something. So which way do you write better?

Grant Providing Car Seats To Eligible Tift Families

The Tift County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded a 2018 Car Seat Mini-Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Injury Prevention Program. Through the Mini-Grant, the Sheriff’s Office and the Tift County Health Department will work together to provide car seats and education to financially eligible families in Tift County. This program, funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, help ensure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in motor vehicles. Since 2007, the education, car seats and booster seats provided through the program prevented serious injury or death and saved 344 of Georgia’s children who were involved in crashes. “It’s our responsibility to keep our children safe,” said Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough. “The Car Seat Mini-Grant is a great opportunity to help our community and help protect our children from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes.” In Tift County, the Sheriff’s Office and the health department will educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats, will offer car-seat inspections and provide car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families.  Each recipient must meet certain economic guidelines. They then sign up at the health department for a monthly class that members of the Sheriff’s Office teach, pay a $10 fee and attend the two-hour training class. The class is held the last Tuesday of each month at the health department from 5 to 7 p.m. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages one to four years old in passenger cars. Car seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash, and they are most effective when installed and used correctly. Nearly three out of four car seats are not used properly, placing children at unnecessary risk, the NHTSA says. For information about the Tift County car seat program, call the Sheriff’s Office at 229-388-6021 or the Tift County Health Department at 229-386-8373. If you would like information regarding other counties in the program, contact the Ga. Department of Public Health’s Child Occupant Safety Project at injury@dph.ga.gov or by calling 404-463-1487.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

Scientists Map Peanut Genetic Code

An international group of agricultural scientists have mapped the genetic code of the peanut, according to the non-profit Peanut Foundation, which directs and supports peanut research on behalf of the peanut industry. The culmination of a five-year research project will give scientists around the world a map with which to unlock some of the genetic potential of the peanut plant. The data will be openly available to all scientists. This discovery by the Peanut Genome Consortium, a group of scientists from the U.S., China, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, India, Israel, and several countries in Africa, gives scientists the capability to find beneficial genes in cultivated and wild peanuts that can lead to greater yields, lower production costs, lower losses to disease, improved processing traits, improved nutrition, improved safety, better flavor and virtually anything that is genetically determined by the peanut plant. “Study of peanut genome structure and order makes a great detective story, where many clues are found and linked together to unlock mysteries of genetics and gene regulation. This is exciting work,” said University of Georgia Professor and Eminent Scholar Scott Jackson, chair of the Peanut Genome Consortium. The U.S. team included scientists from the University of Georgia, University of California-Davis, Texas A&M University, N.C. State University, Auburn University, University of Florida and the USDA-ARS in Tifton and Griffin, and in Stillwater, Ok.; Ames, Iowa; and Stoneville, Miss. In 2012, the United States peanut industry urged the Peanut Foundation to initiate research to map the genetic code of the peanut plant. The International Peanut Genome Initiative was, and remains, the largest research project ever funded by the industry, with the $6 million cost shared equally among growers, shellers and manufacturers.  “Mapping the genetic code of the peanut proved to be an especially difficult task, but the final product is one of the best ever generated,” said Steve Brown, executive director of the Peanut Foundation. “We now have a map that will help breeders incorporate desirable traits that benefit growers, processors, and most importantly, the consumers that enjoy delicious and nutritious peanut products all over the world.”

Source: Tifton Grapevine