WCHS Held It’s College and Career Fair

WCHS students in 11th and 12th grades had the opportunity to talk with multiple colleges and many representatives from different careers at the 2018 WCHS College and Career Fair. Almost 40 different colleges, technical institutes, state and local businesses, and representatives from the United States Armed Forces were present to talk with our students.  WCHS is very thankful to those who came and shared information with the students.  The WCHS Guidance Department organized the event.  Each student was given a Scavenger Hunt created by the Guidance Department that included many different questions to help the students engage with the presenters.  This was helpful as students made their way around the Worth Community Center visiting each presenter’s table.  Presenters shared their knowledge and hand-outs about their college or career.  WCHS greatly appreciates the sponsors for today’s event: City of Sylvester, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Phoebe Medical Center, Piggly Wiggly, RCI Electric, Sylvester Walmart and Worth County Board of Commissioners. 

Source: WCSD Web Page

The History Of Presidents’ Day

Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government according to history.com. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present. The story of Presidents’ Day date begins in 1800. Following President George Washington’s death in 1799, his February 22 birthday became a perennial day of remembrance. At the time, Washington was venerated as the most important figure in American history, and events like the 1832 centennial of his birth and the start of construction of the Washington Monument in 1848 were cause for national celebration. Presidents’ Day: The Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The shift from Washington’s Birthday to Presidents’ Day began in the late 1960s when Congress proposed a measure known as the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Championed by Senator Robert McClory of Illinois, this law sought to shift the celebration of several federal holidays from specific dates to a series of predetermined Mondays. The proposed change was seen by many as a novel way to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers, and it was believed that ensuring holidays always fell on the same weekday would reduce employee absenteeism. While some argued that shifting holidays from their original dates would cheapen their meaning, the bill also had widespread support from both the private sector and labor unions and was seen as a surefire way to bolster retail sales. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act also included a provision to combine the celebration of Washington’s Birthday with Abraham Lincoln’s, which fell on the proximate date of February 12. Lincoln’s Birthday had long been a state holiday in places like Illinois, and many supported joining the two days as a way of giving equal recognition to two of America’s most famous statesmen. McClory was among the measure’s major proponents, and he even floated the idea of renaming the holiday “President’s Day.” This proved to be a point of contention for lawmakers from George Washington’s home state of Virginia, and the proposal was eventually dropped. Nevertheless, the main piece of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed in 1968 and officially took effect in 1971 following an executive order from President Richard Nixon. Washington’s Birthday was then shifted from the fixed date of February 22 to the third Monday of February. Columbus Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day were also moved from their traditionally designated dates. (As a result of widespread criticism, in 1980 Veterans’ Day was returned to its original November 11 date.) Presidents’ Day: Transformation. While Nixon’s order plainly called the newly placed holiday Washington’s Birthday, it was not long before the shift to Presidents’ Day began. The move away from February 22 led many to believe that the new date was intended to honor both Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as it now fell between their two birthdays. Marketers soon jumped at the opportunity to play up the three-day weekend with sales, and “Presidents’ Day” bargains were advertised at stores around the country. By the mid-1980s Washington’s Birthday was known to many Americans as Presidents’ Day. This shift had solidified in the early 2000s, by which time as many as half the 50 states had changed the holiday’s name to Presidents’ Day on their calendars. Some states have even chosen to customize the holiday by adding new figures to the celebration. Arkansas, for instance, celebrates Washington as well as civil rights activist Daisy Gatson Bates. Alabama, meanwhile, uses Presidents’ Day to commemorate Washington and Thomas Jefferson (who was born in April). Washington and Lincoln still remain the two most recognized leaders, but Presidents’ Day is now popularly seen as a day to recognize the lives and achievements of all of America’s chief executives. Some lawmakers have objected to this view, arguing that grouping George Washington and Abraham Lincoln together with less successful presidents minimizes their legacies. Congressional measures to restore Washington and Lincoln’s individual birthdays were proposed during the early 2000s, but all failed to gain much attention. For its part, the federal government has held fast to the original incarnation of the holiday as a celebration of the country’s first president. The third Monday in February is still listed on official calendars as Washington’s Birthday. Presidents’ Day: Celebrations and Traditions. Like Independence Day, Presidents’ Day is traditionally viewed as a time of patriotic celebration and remembrance. In its original incarnation as Washington’s Birthday, the holiday gained special meaning during the difficulties of the Great Depression, when portraits of George Washington often graced the front pages of newspapers and magazines every February 22. In 1932 the date was used to reinstate the Purple Heart, a military decoration originally created by George Washington to honor soldiers killed or wounded while serving in the armed forces. Patriotic groups and the Boy Scouts of America also held celebrations on the day, and in 1938 some 5,000 people attended mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City in honor of Washington. In its modern form, Presidents’ Day is used by many patriotic and historical groups as a date for staging celebrations, reenactments and other events. A number of states also require that their public schools spend the days leading up to Presidents’ Day teaching students about the accomplishments of the presidents, often with a focus on the lives of Washington and Lincoln.

IR-2018-20 Tax Tips

With the 2018 filing season in full swing, the Internal Revenue Service today offered taxpayers some basic tax and refund tips to clear up some common misbeliefs.  Myth 1: All Refunds Are Delayed: The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Eight in 10 taxpayers get their refunds faster by using e-file and direct deposit. It’s the safest, fastest way to receive a refund and is also easy to use. While more than nine out of 10 federal tax refunds are issued in less than 21 days, some refunds may be delayed, but not all of them. By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds for tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. The IRS began processing tax returns on Jan. 29. Other returns may require additional review for a variety of reasons and take longer. For example, the IRS, along with its partners in the state’s and the nation’s tax industry, continue to strengthen security reviews to help protect against identity theft and refund fraud. Myth 2: Delayed Refunds, those Claiming EITC and/or ACTC, will be Delivered on Feb. 15: By law, the IRS cannot issue EITC and ACTC refunds before mid-February. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or debit cards starting Feb. 27, 2018, if these taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. The IRS must hold the entire refund, not just the part related to these credits. See the Refund Timing for Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit Filers page and the Refunds FAQs page for more information. Myth 3: Ordering a Tax Transcript a “Secret Way” to Get a Refund Date: Ordering a tax transcript will not help taxpayers find out when they will get their refund. The IRS notes that the information on a transcript does not necessarily reflect the amount or timing of a refund. While taxpayers can use a transcript to validate past income and tax filing status for mortgage, student and small business loan applications, they should use “Where’s My Refund?” to check the status of their refund. Myth 4: Calling the IRS or a Tax Professional Will Provide a Better Refund Date: Many people mistakenly think that talking to the IRS or calling their tax professional is the best way to find out when they will get their refund. In reality, the best way to check the status of a refund is online through the “Where’s My Refund?” tool at IRS.gov or via the IRS2Go mobile app. The IRS updates the status of refunds once a day, usually overnight, so checking more than once a day will not produce new information. “Where’s My Refund?” has the same information available as IRS telephone assistors so there is no need to call unless requested to do so by the refund tool. Myth 5: Calling the IRS is the Most Convenient Way to Get Answers to Tax or Refund Questions: The IRS encourages people to check IRS.gov first before calling. The official IRS website – IRS.gov – provides many self-service tools for individuals, businesses and tax professionals. For example, taxpayers can view their tax account, get answers to common questions such as eligibility for a tax benefit or find free tax preparation help. Myth 6: The IRS will Call or Email Taxpayers about Their Refund: The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize the telltale signs of a scam. See also: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door. The IRS will NEVER Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill if taxes are owed. Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have people arrested for not paying. Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone. For more information on tax scams see Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts. For more information on phishing scams see Suspicious e-Mails and Identity Theft. Help for Taxpayers: The IRS reminds taxpayers they have a variety of options to get help filing and preparing their tax return on IRS.gov. Taxpayers can also, if eligible, receive help from a community volunteer. IRS.gov/filing provides complete information on filing options and assistance. About 70 percent of the nation’s taxpayers are eligible for IRS Free File where IRS partners offer free brand-name software to individuals and families with incomes of $66,000 or less. Free File Fillable Forms provides electronic versions of IRS paper forms to all taxpayers regardless of income. Before starting, please visit our Fillable Forms User’s Guide & Help page. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) offer free tax help to people who qualify. Go to IRS.gov and enter “free tax prep” in the search box to learn more and find a nearby VITA or TCE site, or download the IRS2Go smartphone app to find a free tax prep provider in your community. The IRS also reminds taxpayers that a trusted tax professional can provide helpful information and advice about the ever-changing tax code. Tips for choosing a return preparer and details about national tax professional groups are available on IRS.gov.

Source: IRS.gov and brought to you by Tatina’s Taxes

Getting Prepared During Severe Weather Preparedness Week

Georgians are encouraged to prepare for the unexpected during Severe Weather Preparedness Week which is held February 5th-9th. Each day focuses on a different preparedness topic, giving residents the opportunity to learn about each severe weather threat and take one simple action to prepare. On Monday, February 5th it is Family Preparedness/NOAA Weather Radio Day. They recommend that families purchase a life-saving NOAA Weather Radio and choose an out-of-state friend as a “check-in” contact to call if your family gets separated. This is a great plan to have any many of us do not think about it until the emergency arises. Following this recommendation helps us to be prepared for the emergency. On Tuesday, February 6th it is Thunderstorm Safety. It is recommended to learn the difference between a thunderstorm watch and a thunderstorm warning. A severe thunderstorm watch (SAME code: SVA; sometimes referred to as “blue box” or “yellow box” by meteorologists and storm chasers) is issued when weather conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms. A severe thunderstorm warning (SAME code: SVR) is issued when trained storm spotters or a Doppler weather radar indicate that a thunderstorm is producing or will soon produce dangerously large hail or high winds, capable of causing significant damage. On Wednesday, February 7th is Tornado Safety (and PrepareAthon! drill for tornado safety) – Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning, and find out how to practice your preparedness skills during the PrepareAthon! drill for tornado safety. When the danger arises, it is better to already have the plan in place. On Thursday, February 8th is Lightning Safety – Learn the 30/30 rule. Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder. This seems easy enough to me to follow. And on Friday February 9th is Flood Safety (alternate date for PrepareAthon! drill for tornado safety) – Copy important documents, seal them in a watertight container and add them to your Ready kit. People often think you must live near water to have a flood however this is not true. If large amounts of rain fall in a short amount of time, this can cause local flooding. Always be prepared with the most important information that you can move in a quick hurry!

Go RED for Women

Celebrate National Wear Red Day® on Friday, February 2, 2018. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (N.I.H.) in the U.S, Coronary Heart Disease is the “#1 killer of women in the United States”. National Wear Red Day®, which was first observed in 2002, is a day when men and women are encouraged to wear red as a symbol of their support for women’s heart health. Tips to help control your risk for heart disease:
Get active
Control your cholesterol
Eat better
Manage your blood pressure
Lose weight
Reduce your blood sugar
Stop smoking
For more information on “Life’s Simple 7”, go to www.goredforwomen.org.

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.

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

Just A Reminder: Phoebe Worth Announce Visitation Guidelines During Flu Season

Flu season is here and to help protect their patients and visitors, Phoebe Worth Medical Center has implemented the following temporary visitation guideline. As they work to provide a safe environment for their patients and staff, they apologize for any inconvenience these visitation guidelines may cause. The guidelines are patient visitation should be limited to care and support of the patient, children under the age of 18 should not visit the hospital, do not visit if you have any signs or symptoms of influenza, if you have a fever, cough, body aches, or a sore throat, please postpone your visit until you have been symptom free for 24 hours and anyone coming into the hospital with flu and coml. Symptoms will be asked to wear a mask.

Wash Your Hands… It’s the Right Thing to Do and Keeps You Well Too!

It’s National Hand Washing Week and we want to help keep everyone well. I know we at The Martin News has ran this information several times but if just one new person reads it this week, that may be a few more people that keeps the sicknesses down this winter. Hand washing is easy to do and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness in all settings which includes from your home and workplace to child care facilities and hospitals. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community. Many people ask when they should wash their hands. The answer is quiet simple and includes but is not limited to these. Before, during, and after preparing food, Before eating food, Before and after caring for someone who is sick, Before and after treating a cut or wound, After using the toilet, After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet, After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste and After touching garbage. Well as simple as that sounds, many say they do not know the right way to wash their hands. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us to Wet our hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water and last, Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. Often we are out and about and need to wash our hands and may not have soap and clean, running water. Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of microbes on them in most situations. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy. You may ask “how do you use hand sanitizers?” Apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount). Rub your hands together. Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. With December being Hand Washing Awareness Week, please take these tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and use them all year long!