New Volunteers With CASA in Turner County

Recently, FIVE new volunteers were sworn in by the Juvenile Court Judge, Render Heard, and there will be a SIXTH volunteer sworn in soon as well!! Three of these ladies will be the first volunteers in Turner County in a while! It’s with these selfless volunteers that their assigned foster child(ren) will have a voice, an advocate to speak on their behalf, fight for what’s best for the foster children of their community! Turner County is so proud and elated to have these ladies a part of the CASA family

Solar Eclipse Plan for Turner County Schools

Turner County Schools will close at 12 p.m. on August 21, 2017 for the eclipse. NASA recommends finding a reputable vendor for viewing the eclipse and has a list on Also, if you’d like to be the most safe, you can watch the eclipse on NASA’s live streaming page. Do you have a plan for the eclipse? Remember to stay safe!

A Healthy Start Begins with On-Time Vaccinations

August is a reminder that children need vaccines right from the start. Immunizations give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before age 2. To celebrate the importance of immunizations for a healthy start and throughout our lives – and to make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need – Turner County Health Department is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month. “Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of getting the disease or illness and of having a severe case,” said Mary Anne Sturdevan, RN, county nurse manager. “Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect your child and others in the community from infectious diseases. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional to make sure your child is up to date on all the vaccines he or she needs.” Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox. There are many important reasons to make sure your child is vaccinated: Immunizations can protect your child from 14 serious diseases before they turn 2 years old. Vaccination is very safe and effective. Immunizations can protect others you care about. Immunization can save your family time and money. Immunization protects future generations by reducing the prevalence of serious diseases. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their family and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions. Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at or call Turner County Health Department at 229-567-4357.

First Urgent Care Clinic Opens in Turner County

If Turner County residents became sick over the weekend, they used to have to drive nearly half an hour to get to the nearest hospital, but that just changed with the opening of a new clinic. Ashburn Family Practice and Pediatrics held its grand opening Wednesday, marking it as Turner County’s first urgent care clinic. The clinic is currently taking patients of all ages for both urgent care and other appointments, including immunizations, wellness checks and sports physicals. “This is a great opportunity for the community to have care that’s local, easy to access, and they don’t have to drive 30 to 40 minutes to a hospital or clinic out of town,” family nurse practitioner Mimi Wright said.
The clinic is located at 317 East Washington Avenue in Ashburn. It’s open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and they also offer a call service 24 hours a day for any medical questions.

Source: WFXL News

Ashburn Holds First National Night Out Against Crime Small City Supports First Responders in a Big Way

National Night Out Against Crime is a national event that will take place  Tuesday August 1, 2017. It is an event meant to show support for local police, but when Ashburn PD decided to put on the event, they knew they wanted to include everyone that responds in emergencies. “We wanted to make sure to include everyone, fire departments, sheriff’s office, EMS not just City Police,” said Ashburn Police Captain Richard Purvis, one of the organizers of the event. The community will not be short of anything to do that night at the event, which will last from 6-9 p.m.  Organizers will have hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill to give away to attendees. The different first responder’s groups will also be giving away school supplies to those who need them in Turner County, however children must be present to receive school supplies. The Ashburn Turner County Chamber of Commerce will host a blood drive going on in honor of first responders.  There will be a slime making station hosted by the Ashburn Women’s Club.  The Turner County Sheriff’s Office will have a Turner County ROCKS painting station. There will be bingo games, wheel of fortune, a cake walk where players can win prizes, and other fun activities throughout the night. Turner County citizens can purchase memorial candles for the candle light vigil that will be held at 9 p.m.  The candles will have navy blue for Ashburn police departments, red for both city and county fire departments, green for sheriff’s office, and royal blue  for EMS. Candles are $1 and the funds will be used to support public safety workers. If your organization would like to be take part, please contact Amanda Stephens with the City of Ashburn at 229-567-3431 to sign up.  The event is free of charge for everyone involved.

Source: Ashburn – Turner County Chamber of Commerce

Turner Rocks!

These children in Turner County are having a blast finding rocks with Turner Rocks. The rocks are decorated by families and businesses and then hid for people to find. Once they are found, you can keep them and hide some of your own or re-hide the ones you found. Everyone is having so much fun finding and hiding the rocks. Happy Hunting!

Sheriff Hester Participated in the 25th Annual Peer To Peer Training Program

Sheriff Andy Hester has returned from Israel after an intensive two weeks of public safety and counterterrorism training with the country’s top policing executives. Hester was among a 20-member delegation of senior law enforcement officials from Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee who participated in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange’s (GILEE) 25th annual peer-to-peer training program in partnership with Israel. While there, they studied the latest advances in counterterrorism, emergency management and other public safety and homeland security challenges and strategies. “In GILEE’s 25 years, our partnership with the world’s top experts in counterterrorism has returned more than 700 public safety officials home with the knowledge and skills they need to keep our communities safer,” said Robbie Friedmann, GILEE’s founding director. The need has never been greater. From January to May, 2017, there have already been more than 500 terrorist attacks around the world with over 3,500 fatalities, according to a crowdsourcing map published by ESRI. “It takes a multitude of ideas and partnerships to accomplish the essence of our purpose in law enforcement,” said Deputy Chief Gina Hawkins of the Clayton County Police Department, a former GILEE delegate. “The ability for us as leaders in law enforcement to exchange and collaborate on our ideas for public safety has proven to be successful with the GILEE program. “Our issues are not just localized to our small communities of influence. Our issues are worldwide, and the possibilities of our solutions have been discussed, shared and improved through the peer-to-peer training and relationships built within this program.” Founded in 1992, GILEE works continuously to improve public safety by enhancing inter-agency cooperation and educational training among the world’s top law enforcement communities, with Israel a key partner in this exchange. To date, it has offered more than 200 special briefings to more than 29,000 law enforcement officers, corporate security personnel and community leaders. The program has carried out more than 430 programs and produced 1,500 graduates. GILEE is a research unit within Georgia State’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, which U.S. News & World Report ranks among the nation’s top 25 public affairs graduate schools. GILEE operates in more than 25 countries and more than half of the U.S. “Our GILEE delegates have returned with new ways of developing, collaborating on and using police and intelligence strategies to minimize the production of crime,” said Friedmann. “And after 25 years, many of these graduates now serve in key leadership roles in Georgia and beyond.” Learn more about the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange at gilee.or

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. 

Southern Peanut Farmers Federation launches ‘Peanut Program Works’ website and video

The Southern Peanut Farmers Federation today launched a campaign website,, and video to showcase the benefits of the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program in the 2014 Farm Bill and highlight its importance to farmers, their families and communities. The website, through a series of farmer profiles, an informational video and fact points, demonstrates how so many peanut farmers rely on the stability brought to their market through the PLC program, which is known as the Peanut Program, and why it must be retained in the upcoming Farm Bill. “The Peanut Program works,” said Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission and member of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation. “It creates stability giving farmers the ability to secure loans, contract with shellers, buy from chemical and feed companies, and invest in farm capital equipment.” The Peanut Program has given farmers like Michael Davis, a sixth-generation farmer from Graceville, Florida, the reassurance they need to continue farming. “The Peanut Program serves as an important backstop allowing us to plan for the long term. Without the Peanut Program, I believe that one-third of the farmers I know would go out of business, which would dramatically impact our communities.” Through the website, SPFF aims to educate policymakers, farmers and the agriculture community about why the Peanut Program must be retained in the upcoming Farm Bill. The Peanut Program is a sound, market-based solution that offers farmers a necessary price floor to support continued stability and access to lending, regardless of what is happening in the larger market. The program also helps to meet the ever-increasing demand for peanuts both domestically and internationally. Peanuts have seen continued per capita consumption growth for years, jumping from 6.60 pounds per capita to 7.41 between 2012 and 2016.* Caleb Bristow, executive director of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, said: “In the supply chain for peanuts, what’s good for farmers is good for consumers. Changing the Peanut Program would have detrimental consequences for not only family-run farms like mine and rural communities across the southeast, but it would threaten the availability of a healthy and nutritious energy source for billions of peanut lovers around the world.” Peanut Program Works’ main message directly combats the attempts by the Florida Peanut Federation to drastically lower reference prices and destabilize a program that works for peanut farmers, their families and their surrounding communities. Don Koehler, executive director of the Georgia Peanut Commission and a member of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, said that the policy advocated by the FPF would benefit only a small number of their members at the expense of peanut farmers throughout the Southeast. “The fact is the Florida Peanut Federation would undermine the market-based Peanut Program that works for peanut farmers, our families and our communities by pushing to dramatically lower the reference price and championing a self-serving effort on behalf of a few farmers who want to arbitrarily declare peanut base – a move that would put farmers in our community out of business and wreak chaos in the marketplace,” Koehler said. “Peanuts aren’t publicly traded on the futures market so the price of peanuts isn’t set until well after the peanuts are planted, and we’ve sunk big money into our crop. In order to meet the growing global demand for peanuts, farmers need a system in place that provides stability over time. And fortunately, we have one,” said Mike Jordan, a Jackson County, Florida farmer. The website, which was launched while the peanut industry was meeting at the 21st Annual USA Peanut Congress, urges and equips users to take initial steps towards understanding the Peanut Program and its sustained benefits, as well as the unreasoned claims made against it. Protect the Peanut Program that helps protect us-visit to learn more.

Source: USDA Peanut Stocks and Processing report; excludes peanut oil