~ Dates to Remember ~


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.

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!

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.

Some Day We Will Laugh About This

Well want you look a here? There’s another day to celebrate. I love these kind of days. They can be so much fun and bring many laughs. So this day is “Some Day We Will Laugh About This”. Do you have one of those moments in your life? Well I sure do. We laugh now but we were NOT laughing then. When I was about 13 or 14, I took my mother’s car for a spend through mother and daddy’s pecan orchard. Now I had learn to drive about the age of 11. Mother and Daddy wanted me to learn early because of my sister’s terrible driving record. So by 13 or 14, I was pretty dog gone good at driving. Well it was on a Saturday and mother was getting ready to go to work at my aunt’s restaurant, Blackbeard’s. She was in the house getting ready and I took it for a spin. My friend, Allison Elam was with me and she had learned at an early age to drive also. So we both could drive good. Well I was spinning around those trees like a pro. Allison was waiting for me to get back when mother came out the garage door and said “ Where’s Lynn, Where’s my car”… about that time I come around and saw her and I pulled right to her and slammed on those breaks. Boy did she look mad so I locked the doors and got out on the other side so I could get a running start. Oh boy she was past mad… BUT she did not spank me nor put me on restriction for any of my fun things so I thought I was good UNTIL she said I could not drive for a month! I think my heart skipped two or three beats. Do you know how terrible that was?? It was awful. We lived in the big ole country, Gordy and I could drive to my grandma and grandpa Dupree’s anytime I wanted but I didn’t for that month and when I got my privileges back, I NEVER broke the rules of driving again. We laugh now but I was NOT laughing then and neither was my mother!

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!

Never Forget Where You Come From

We all want to remember where we come from and that is exactly what Country Music Singer, Luke Bryan did this past Friday night. Luke is a Lee County High School Alumni and came home Friday to see the Lee County Trojans play and WIN their first ever Football State Championship Game. With 7,000 people in attendance, Luke was just part of the football family. He took time to speak to people and take pictures with fans. And our own Sylvester, Steven Danford was having a blast meeting Luke too. Luke loves the Country Music Life he is Blessed to live everyday but he always remembers where he came from. Luke has had many trials in his life but he never loses faith and continues to know Leesburg will always be his home. His sons, Bo and Tate enjoyed the game on Friday night as well. Congratulations Lee County Trojans on a well deserve win!

Toy Safety: A Must at Christmas Time

The holidays are here and your children may already be receiving gifts from friends and family. While most toys may seem harmless, every year many children are injured by their favorite toys. It is very important to inspect your child’s toys and adhere to all age suggestions listed on the packaging. Not all toys are right for all children. The following tips can help ensure you have a safe holiday season.
Read the label. Warning labels give important information about how to use a toy and what ages the toy is safe for. Make sure your child knows how to use the toy the right way.

2. Make sure all toys and parts are larger than your child’s mouth to prevent choking.

3. Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air. They can cause serious eye injuries or choking.

4. For younger children, avoid play sets with small magnets and make sure batteries are secured within the toy. If magnets or batteries are ingested, serious injuries and/or death can occur.

5. Look for stuffed toys that are well made. Make sure all the parts are on tight and seams and edges are secure. It should also be machine washable. Take off any loose ribbons or strings to avoid strangulation. Avoid toys that have small bean-like pellets or stuffing that can cause choking or suffocation if swallowed.

6. Inspect toys for sturdiness. Your child’s toys should be durable, with no sharp edges or points. The toys should also withstand impact.  Dispose of plastic wrapping material immediately on toys as they may have sharp edges.

7. Inspect all toys before purchasing.  Monitor toys that your child has received as gifts to make sure they are appropriate for your child’s age and developmental level.

8. Avoid toys with toxic materials that could cause poisoning. Make sure the label says “nontoxic.”

9. Avoid hobby kits and chemistry sets for any child younger than 12 years. They can cause fires or explosions and may contain dangerous chemicals. Make sure your older child knows how to safely handle these kinds of toys.

10. Be careful when buying crib toys. Strings or wires that hang in a crib should be kept short to avoid strangulation. Crib toys should be removed as soon as your child can push up on his hands and knees.

For more information, visit www.healthychildren.org.

The Light Shines In His Cards

I know I have said all the great things I love about Christmas. Let me tell you another favorite of mine. I LOVE Christmas cards! I love, love them so much. Reading Christmas cards from everyone is the neatest thing. They are made with all designs and precious words. I received one recently that was a Thomas Kinkade card. It was very beautiful. I love his art. I am at loss for words over his paintings. According to his biography, in the very beginning of his artistic career, Thomas Kinkade put his entire life savings into the printing of his first lithograph. Though at the time he was already an acclaimed illustrator, Thom found that he was inspired not by fame and fortune, but by the simple act of painting straight from the heart, putting on canvas the natural wonders and images that moved him most. It was this dedication and singular-minded focus on the ultimate goal of Sharing the Light™ that made Thomas Kinkade, a simple boy with a brush from the small country town of Placerville, California the most-collected living artist of his time. Throughout his life Thomas Kinkade shared his joy and used his paints in support of hospitals, schools, and humanitarian relief. Though the recipient of countless awards and honors, it was Thom’s profound sense of purpose that his art was not just an accessory, but also a ministry, that continues on as his legacy. From custom images that were sold for The Salvation Army, Hurricane Katrina relief, Rotary International, to donations that now grace the halls of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the White House, The Vatican, and Britain’s Tate Museum, Thom raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over his lifetime for charity. The artist was also a devout and loving family man. It was this devotion for his family that inspired him to add symbols of his love to his artwork. Numerous paintings contain hidden “N’s” representing Thom’s lovely wife Nanette and many other paintings include the numbers 5282 as tribute to their wedding date May 2, 1982. Thom’s four daughters were also included in his artistic process- after the birth of each of his daughters, Thom painted adoring images in each of their namesake; Evening at Merritt’s Cottage, Chandler’s Cottage, Winsor Manor and Everett’s Cottage. Thomas Kinkade, the Painter of Light™, emphasized simple pleasures and inspirational messages through his art – and the branded products created from that art. From textiles, to collectibles, to music and books, Thom gave credit to a higher power for both the ability and the inspiration to create his paintings. His goal as an artist, who was Christian, was to touch people of all faiths, to bring peace and joy into their lives through the images he had created. Thom’s dearest wish had always been that his artwork would be a messenger of hope and inspiration to others – a message to slow down, appreciate the little details in life, and to look for beauty in the world around us. As millions of collectors around the world sit back and enjoy his artwork in their homes, there is no doubt that Thomas Kinkade had indeed achieved his goal of Sharing the Light™. I hope everyone enjoys this Christmas Season and thank you to everyone that I have received cards from. I absolutely love them all!

Mason Jars Full of Goodies

I say this is my favorite time of the year and I guess it really is. I love all times of the year and can always find fun things to do but it seems at this time of the year there is so many neat crafts and fun gift gestures to fix for friends and family. Look at these adorable Mason jars full of goodies. You are able to fix goodies or if you are like me just have somebody make them for you and then put them in the jars and decorate the jars. It’s hard for me to say which one my favorite of these are but I am leaning more toward the reindeer. It is ADORABLE. You can fill them with Chocolate Milk Balls. For all the others, just pick something in the color theme, decorate the jar, fill it up and share with friends! Happy Holidays!

Good Ole Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread House Day is a day that can be celebrated in a wide variety of fun ways and will be a day that children in particular will really enjoy and always remember. Celebrating National Gingerbread House Day involves creating a gingerbread house. But, the best part is that once the house has been created it can be devoured! And it will be yummy! Gingerbread House Day should be a social event and be used as something that engages children and adults alike. Children and parents can make a gingerbread house together and then, later, the gingerbread houses can be eaten at a party especially laid on for the occasion. Alternatively, a giant gingerbread house can be created by several people, with guests invited to decorate it with icing, sugar or sweets. Did you know that charities also benefit via Gingerbread House Day. Portions of a gingerbread house, or mini gingerbread houses can be sold to raise funds for the charity which is used as a great fundraiser. Larry and I love to build gingerbread houses because you don’t have to be perfect in building it and you can be as creative as you want or not creative at all. We love to build the houses but then we love to eat some of it too! Have fun building your gingerbread house today and be sure to post them on Facebook for everyone to see.