~ Dates to Remember ~

February

12th ~ “Paws for Books” Book Fair at WCPS
12th ~ WCMS Soccer Game Away
13th ~ “Paws for Books” Book Fair at WCPS
13th ~ Leadership Worth Class
13th ~ Cookie Dough Fundraiser Ends at WCPS
13th ~ WCPS Open Building Night 5pm-7pm
14th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
14th ~ WCMS Soccer Game Home
14th ~ Happy Valentines Day from The Martin News
14th ~ “Paws for Books” Book Fair at WCPS
14th ~ Friendship Parties at WCPS after 1:30pm
15th ~ “Paws for Books” Book Fair at WCPS
15th ~ Reading/STEM Family Fun Night at WCPS
16th ~ “Paws for Books” Book Fair at WCPS
16th ~ The NED Show, A Character Education Program at WCPS
19th ~ Presidents Day
19th ~ City of Sylvester Council Meeting
19th ~ WCHS Intervention Day
19th ~ Winter Break for Worth County Schools
20th ~ Winter Break for Worth County Schools
20th ~ City of Warwick Council Meeting
21st ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
21st ~ Winter Break for Worth County Schools
22nd ~ Winter Break for Worth County Schools
22nd ~ Annual Chamber Dinner for Ashburn – Turner County Chamber of Commerce
23rd ~ Winter Break for Worth County Schools
26th ~ Read Across America Week Kicks Off
26th ~ WCMS Soccer Game Home
26th ~ National FFA Week
27th ~ Read Across America Week
27th ~ National FFA Week
27th ~ Sylvester – Worth County Family Connections Meeting
28th ~ Read Across America Week
28th ~ National FFA Week
28th ~ Kiwanis Club Meeting in Sylvester
28th ~ WCMS Soccer Game Home

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.

ABAC Speeches To Help Mark Black History Month

African-American History Month activities at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will be highlighted by speeches from Dr. Thomas Aiello from Valdosta State University and Wasdon Graydon, a 1970 ABAC alumnus and former ABAC administrator. Aiello, an associate professor of history and African-American studies at VSU, will speak at 6 p.m. Feb. 12 in Howard Auditorium; Graydon, managing partner with Graydon Enterprises, speaks at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 20 in Room 107 of the Health Sciences building. Aiello earned his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas in 2007. The bulk of his courses at VSU relate to African-American history from early slavery to “Black Power.” His research interests are broader, covering 20th century cultural and intellectual history. He will share his original research on police brutality in South Georgia in the decade following World War II. Aiello’s books include “The Battle for the Souls of Black Folk: W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington and the Debate That Shaped the Course of Civil Rights,” “Jim Crow’s Last Stand: Nonunanimous Criminal Jury Verdicts in Louisiana,” and “The Kings of Casino Park: Race and Race Baseball in the Lost Season of 1932.” Graydon was director of ABAC sponsored programs and the Minority Advising Program before his retirement in 2010 after a 37-year career. He was one of the first African-American students to enroll at ABAC in 1968. He earned his bachelor of science degree in history and education from Georgia Southern University and his master of education degree from VSU.  In 2001, Graydon received the E. Lanier Carson Leadership Award for College Administrators at ABAC and the President’s Award for Achievement, Leadership and Service. In 1994, he was named Arts Citizen of the Year in Tift County. Graydon served as a Tift County commissioner from 1984-1992 and was selected as a member of the Leadership Georgia program in 1991.
Source: Tifton Grapevine

Driver Safety Course Open To All

An AARP Smart Driver Safety Program is scheduled 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Leroy Rogers Senior Center in Tifton. The program is open to all drivers age 16 and up. The cost is $20 per person, with a $5 discount for AARP members with identification card. AARP initially developed the six-hour classroom refresher course to help drivers age 50 and older improve their skills and prevent crashes, but now the course is open to all drivers. It covers age-related physical changes, safety tips, rules of the road and updates on recent changes in the law. Participants may be eligible for up to a 20 percent discount on their automobile insurance premium. For class information or reservations, call 229-391-3956 or 229-391-9299 or email fkinchen@tifton.net

Source: Tifton Grapevine

40th Year For An Earnhardt In The Daytona 500

StarCom Racing, who recently acquired a Charter for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, signs Jeffrey Earnhardt to compete in this year’s historic 60th running of the DAYTONA 500, and the rest of the season. This will ensure keeping the Earnhardt name alive at the event for the 40th straight year. SCR’s recent Charter acquisition guarantees the team a position in the Great American Race, where it will showcase its partnership with VRX Simulators in the 00 Chevy Camaro, which will be piloted by 4th generation cup series driver Jeffrey Earnhardt. “I am so appreciative of everyone at StarCom Racing and VRX for having confidence in me and making this a reality,” said Earnhardt. “There’s been an Earnhardt driving in the 500 for 39 years so to be able to keep that streak going for a 40th year means a lot to me and I’m sure a lot of Earnhardt fans are going to be happy to hear this news.” SCR Team Manager and former DAYTONA 500 winner, Derrike Cope, has worked relentlessly with Crew Chief, Tony Furr, and team to put SCR in the best equipment possible heading into the 2018 season. Cope’s experience and Earnhardt’s tenacity will be a dynamic duo both on and off the track as they combine forces this year. “It was imperative for our young team to have a sponsored driver for our start-up year, and we did have several options. We felt that Jeffrey was the best fit for our team and VRX has already shown the type of enthusiasm and commitment that SCR has both for Jeffrey and for the sport. It will be a very exciting year for us,” comments Cope. “I knew Derrike casually before but I didn’t realize how much he knows about race cars. He’s got a tremendous amount of technical expertise and speaking with him gave me confidence that StarCom has big plans and I want to be part of that progression,” said Earnhardt. VRX Simulators, based in British Columbia, Canada is new to the NASCAR circuit. VRX integrates software and hardware to create the world’s most advanced racing and flight simulators for home and business. Daytona will mark its first race as a primary sponsor for VRX in the MENCS as part of its brand new VRX Motorsports program. “I’m very proud to partner with Jeffrey Earnhardt and StarCom Racing. We’re here to change NASCAR forever. We’re bringing the most powerful technology companies on the planet to do this,” said Robert Stanners, Founder of VRX Simulators. “We have been working on this for seven years, and it’s finally go time! We are proud to continue Earnhardt Nation and its legacy for the 40th year in the 60th running of the DAYTONA 500, with VRX Simulators on board the No. 00 Chevrolet!” “We are thrilled to welcome Jeffrey and VRX to the StarCom Racing team” says Matt Kohler, President of StarCom Racing. “The duo of Cope and Earnhardt bring experience and excitement for the 00 in 2018!”
Source: Nascar

Hope to see you tonight…

Make your plans now to attend the Annual Daddy Daughter Dance at Worth County Elementary School. It will be held on February 10, 2018 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. The dance is for 5th-grade students and younger. Tickets will be $25 per couple and $5 for each additional daughter. A picture CD will be available for $15.00. Stuffed animals, balloons candy, and ice cream will be available for purchase. More details will be posted soon. Purchase your tickets today at WCES, WCPS or the Sylvester – Worth County Chamber of Commerce.

Georgia Senate Recognizes Tifton’s Eunice Mixon As “Distinguished Older Georgian”

Eunice Lastinger Mixon, Tifton’s “grande dame” and a retired educator, was honored in the Georgia state Senate last week as the Distinguished Older Georgian for 2018. The resolution, introduced by Sen. Greg Kirk, R– Americus, commends Mixon for her decades of service to the state and to her community. “Mrs. Mixon served as a doorkeeper for the Georgia state Senate for 12 years and retired just before her 80th birthday. Mrs. Mixon has won numerous awards for her work throughout the state of Georgia and her experience is remarkable,” Kirk said. “Mrs. Mixon’s service to our community and state goes beyond the politics as seen in her personally raising more than $25,000 for Alzheimer’s disease, among many other selfless acts. I am honored to sponsor this resolution for my friend, a woman that has dedicated so much of her life to serving the citizens of our state inside and out of her work.”  The Senate resolution notes that Mixon was honored by an Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College scholarship recognizing her 23 years of service on the Georgia Student Finance Commission and was named a Distinguished Alumnus of ABAC; was recognized as one of the 40 Most Influential South Georgians by South Georgia Business Magazine; received the inaugural Eunice L. Mixon Award, created by the State Bar of Georgia to be presented annually to a non-lawyer Georgian for lifetime contributions to the judicial branch; was named one of 25 Women of the 21st Century by a Ga. House of Representatives resolution, sharing this honor with such women as Rosalyn Carter, Coretta Scott King and Betty Talmadge; served as a charter director of the Tift County Foundation for Educational  Excellence; served as the first chairman of the state’s Hope Scholarship Committee; and was appointed by the state Supreme Court to the Disciplinary Board of the State Bar of Georgia, serving from 1997 until 2013.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

Tiftarea Academy Names Football Coach

Tiftarea Academy is adding a popular name amongst South Georgians to its varsity football coaching staff: Coach Erik Soliday will trade in his Americus-Sumter High Panther gear for some Tiftarea Panther wear this fall. Headmaster Stacey Bell and Athletic Director Tim Hathcock made the announcement with Soliday at the school Monday afternoon. Originally from West Virginia, Soliday has been a South Georgia football household name since 1989 when he joined the Turner County Rebels as an assistant. He has spent the majority of his 29-year career in Ashburn, Americus and Perry. He led Americus High to back-to-back state championships in the early 2000s, and he has been named Coach of the Year countless times during his career. Hathcock and Bell echoed each other in their enthusiasm for the new coach. “Coach Soliday is an exciting addition to our staff. We feel he has all the tools necessary to lead our program to new heights,” said Hathcock. Bell added that Soliday’s principles of discipline on and off the field will translate to success at Tiftarea. A motto Soliday likes to live by is an old quote from former Notre Dame Coach Lou Holtz: “Why settle for second place when first place is available.” Tiftarea Academy had a 6-5 season last year under former Coach Tully Payne.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

Ex Tift Regional CEO Named to Hall of Fame: Tift Chamber Banquet Honors Locals

William T. Richardson, who recently retired as president/CEO of Tift Regional Health System, was named to the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce’s Wall of Fame during the chamber’s Annual Meeting & Banquet Thursday night at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. Other honorees Thursday included former state court judge and state Sen. John “Dickie” Crosby, who received the Stafford Award; Melinda Moore, named the Prince Business Woman of the Year; Danny Griffin, who received the John Hunt Entrepreneur of the Year; Jody Benson, winner of the J. Lamar Branch Award; Austin McAlpin, who received the Rotary Club of Tifton’s Ethics in Business Award; and Allison Powell, named Chamber Ambassador of the Year. Richardson, a native of Brewton, Ala., began as CEO of Tift General Hospital in 1988 and led its growth to Tift Regional Health System, a network serving 12 counties. Under his leadership, the hospital’s services grew to include specialties such as oncology, cardiovascular care and dialysis. Today, Tift Regional has 2,500 employees and a $554 million impact on the local economy. Crosby began practicing law in Tift County in 1962 and served as both a state court judge and Tifton city commissioner from 1971-78. He was elected as a judge to the Tift Superior Court in 1980 and served in that capacity for 20 years. In 2008, he was elected to the state Senate, where he represented this area for six years. He was named to the Chamber’s Wall of Fame in 2015. Moore is senior vice president of operations at South Georgia Banking Co. and is responsible for maintaining operations of the bank’s nine locations in five counties. She serves on the Board of Directors for Brother Charlie’s and on the finance committee at First Baptist Church. She has been a mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and has been involved with the Tift County Cooperative Extension and 4-H Endowment Board and was a past officer of the Organization of Professional Women. Griffin has led the growth of his family business since joining his father Dan to buy the local Ford dealership in 1986. Today, he owns Griffin Ford Lincoln and Griffin Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. He has served as the chamber’s economic development chairman, as a Tiftarea YMCA board member, board chairman for the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association and is a member at First Baptist Church. Benson, a sales consultant with Georgia Premier Services, is active in the Chamber of Commerce, serving as an ambassador. The J. Lamar Branch Award is given to a “rookie” chamber member who best exhibits Branch’s character, professionalism and leadership. McAlpin, through his company McAlpin Entertainment, has changed the local music scene by bringing big-name acts to the area, such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Vince Gill. Along with his wife, Kirsten, he has created the McAlpin Foundation to serve disadvantaged local youth. Proceeds from each of his concerts go back into the community in the form of school supplies, Christmas gifts and scholarships for kids to participate in organized athletics. Powell, with Rehabilitation Services of South Georgia, has been a chamber ambassador for several years, attending ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings and serving at special events, such as the annual golf tournament and other networking events. Also at the dinner, Chamber Chairman Tyron Spearman welcomed Bill Marsh, who will serve as chairman for 2018. Marsh is Tifton city president at Colony Bank. Brian Marlowe, chamber president and CEO, noted accomplishments in economic development during the past year, including construction of American Textile Co.’s new facility and several other industries who relocated or expanded.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

Georgia Peanut Commission Research Report Day set for Feb. 7

The Georgia Peanut Commission will hold the annual Research Report Day, Feb. 7, 2018, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory (NESPAL), located on the University of Georgia Tifton campus at 2360 Rainwater Road, Tifton, Ga. 31793. The event provides growers and industry representatives an opportunity to hear the latest reports and newest information available on peanut research projects funded by GPC in 2017. “The commission works to wisely invest peanut farmers’ dollars into research projects across Georgia in an effort to reduce production input costs and improve agronomic techniques,” says Donald Chase, GPC Research Committee chairman. “Although some of the findings are preliminary, the projects are exciting and many times new recommendations or observations are announced.” The GPC, on behalf of Georgia’s 3,400 peanut farmers, awarded $523,496 to peanut research facilities in the state during 2017. This effort funds 32 research projects from the University of Georgia and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. The Georgia Peanut Commission’s research programs primarily focus on peanut breeding for higher yield and improved quality; economics; conservation methods; irrigation and water management; pests, weed and disease management; and peanut allergy research. The agenda for the GPC Research Report Day is available online at www.gapeanuts.com. All research reports will be available online following the GPC Research Report Day.

Open Building Night Set for WCPS

Worth County Primary School will be hosting an Open Building Night for the public to view the finished, literacy-focused walls, with top-notch artwork by Mr. Chris Rumble. WCPS is very grateful for the businesses that donated to this project and how the Striving Reader grant afforded the opportunity to promote literacy throughout the entire building for all of their students. The words and the drawings are superb, and WCPS would like all residents of Worth County/Sylvester to come tour the building to see the awesome work that has been done.  WCPS has been transformed into a very student friendly atmosphere that focuses on literacy. Literacy is very important, and students must have a strong foundation in this area.  Please set aside some time to come and tour the building with Principal Jared Worthy and staff on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, between 5pm and 7pm. All stakeholders are welcome.