More than 300 residents from Albany and surrounding counties joined the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s in the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease at Modern Gas in Albany. Participants raised more than $90,000 to fund Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs. “It is a amazing to see a diverse group of people come together to support those living with Alzheimer’s disease”, added Dan Phillips, director, Walk to End Alzheimer’s. “We are fortunate to have the Albany and surrounding communities come together for a common goal to end Alzheimer’s”, added Phillips. Rhianna Belcher Purple Out was the top fundraising team at this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, raising more than $3,800. Rhiannon organized a PURPLE OUT night at Lee County High School football game. Her inspiration came from her own family connection to Alzheimer’s. “My goal is to do even more in 2018 and get more involvement from the students at Lee County High School”, added Rhiannon Belcher, team captain and organizer of Purple Out. “It is amazing to me how many students at my high school who have a connection to this disease”, added Belcher. In Georgia alone, there are more than 140,000 people living with the disease and 519,000 caregivers. In the United States, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth-leading cause of death in and the only disease among the top 10 causes that cannot be cured, prevented or even slowed. Additionally, more than 15 million family and friends provide care to people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Donations will be accepted until December 15, 2017 for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Albany at or call 800-272-3900. The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®; now the Alzheimer’s Association is continuing to lead the way with Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s – the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s research, care and support. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit® or call 800.272.3900.

Heritage Harvest at the Village Community Garden…. Janya’s Journey

Saturday was a very spiritual as well as very educational day for Janya at the Village Community Garden in Sylvester stated Janya. She learned things that she didn’t know actually existed. She was so interested in what everyone had to say that attended the event. “Everything that was said was very helpful to me as well as to all the people of the community” stated Janya. Janya loved all the activities that went on at the event but she explained that her favorite part of the day was the Spiritual Ceremony at sunset. While doing this ceremony, she learned many things about her culture’s history. I asked Janya about the Village Community Garden and its benefits to the community. She explained that the garden benefits the community by not only providing fresh vegetables, but by also providing the people in the community with an educational experience throughout the year even when there is no event taking place. If you or your group would like Janya to speak about the garden or need us to help with any events, please contact The Martin News at and we will do our best to help. The Martin News and Janya’s Journey wants to help our community as much as we can in what ever is needed. Thank you all for your support to The Martin News and most of to the support of Janya’s Journey.

Worth County Health Department Employee Awarded District Honor

Worth County Health Department Immunization Coordinator Cynthia McKinney has received an award from Southwest Health District’s Immunization Program for “Outstanding Service and Dedication.” McKinney was nominated by Worth County Health Department Nurse Manager Gina Connell, whose recommendation helped cinch her the award, said Rebecca Snow, who oversees the District Immunization Program. “The nominations came from throughout the District,” Snow said. “Cynthia’s dedication for assuring people in our community are properly vaccinated shows in her interaction with our patients,” said Connell.  “She is genuinely concerned and enjoys explaining all vaccinations to them. She does not mind taking extra time with patients who have a lot of questions because she wants them knowledgeable with all needed vaccines.” McKinney is quick to share the credit with her colleagues. “I feel that all of us at Worth are responsible for that award, we work as a team and depend on one another,” she said. “We are fortunate to have Cynthia as part of our team her at Worth County Health Department,” Connell concluded. For information on how immunizations safely and effectively protect against diseases, contact the Worth County Health Department at 777-2170. For great new stories like this and others, please follow “Southwest Georgia Public Health District” on Facebook!

Safe Around the Water

Pools, lakes, ponds, and beaches mean summer fun and cool relief from hot weather. But water also can be dangerous for kids if parents don’t take the proper precautions. Nearly 1,000 kids die each year by drowning. And most drownings happen in home swimming pools. It is the second leading cause of accidental death for people between the ages of 5 and 24. The good news is there are many ways to keep your kids safe in the water — and make sure that they take the right precautions when they’re on their own. Kids need constant supervision around water — whether the water is in a bathtub, a wading pool, an ornamental fish pond, a swimming pool, a spa, the beach, or a lake. Young children are especially at risk — they can drown in less than 2 inches (6 centimeters) of water. That means drowning can happen where you’d least expect it — the sink, the toilet bowl, fountains, buckets, inflatable pools, or small bodies of standing water around your home, such as ditches filled with rainwater. Always watch children closely when they’re in or near any water. If you’re not a swimmer yourself, it’s a good idea to take lessons and learn how to swim. And kids over 4 years old should learn, too (check the local recreation center for classes taught by qualified instructors). Kids who are younger (but older than age 1) also might benefit from swimming lessons, but check with your doctor first. Don’t assume that a child who knows how to swim isn’t at risk for drowning. All kids need to be supervised in the water, no matter what their swimming skills. And infants, toddlers, and weak swimmers should have an adult swimmer within arm’s reach to provide “touch supervision.” Invest in proper-fitting, Coast Guard-approved flotation devices (life vests) and have kids wear them whenever near water. Check the weight and size recommendations on the label, then have your child try it on to make sure it fits snugly. For kids younger than 5 years old, choose a vest with a strap between the legs and head support — the collar will keep the child’s head up and face out of the water. Inflatable vests and arm devices such as water wings are not effective protection against drowning. Don’t forget the sunscreen and reapply often, especially if the kids are getting wet. UV sunglasses, hats, and protective clothing also can help provide sun protection. Kids should drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, to prevent dehydration. It’s easy to get dehydrated in the sun, especially when kids are active and sweating. Dizziness, feeling lightheaded, or nausea are just some of the signs of dehydration and overheating. Water temperature is important, too. Enter the water slowly and make sure it feels comfortable for you and your kids. A temperature below 70°F (20°C) is cold to most swimmers. Recommended water temperatures vary depending on the activity and a swimmer’s age, as well as for pregnant women. But in general, 82°-86°F (28°-30°C) is comfortable for recreational swimming for children (babies are more comfortable when the water is on the warmer side of this temperature range). Body temperature drops more quickly in water than on land, and it doesn’t take long for hypothermia (when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it) to set in. If a child is shivering or has muscle cramps, get him or her out of the water immediately. Keeping children safe is the number one thing this Summer.

Keeping Our Precious Family Safe on the Fourth!

With warm weather and family events, the Fourth of July can be a fun time with great memories. But before your family celebrates, make sure everyone knows about fireworks safety. If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burn and eye injuries in kids and adults. The best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home — period. Attend public fireworks displays, and leave the lighting to the professionals. Lighting fireworks at home isn’t even legal in many areas, so if you still want to use them, be sure to check with your local police department first. If they’re legal where you live, keep these safety tips in mind: Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are just too dangerous. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) — hot enough to melt gold. Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer’s name and directions; illegal ones are unlabeled), and store them in a cool, dry place. Illegal fireworks usually go by the names M-80, M100, blockbuster, or quarterpounder. These explosives were banned in 1966, but still account for many fireworks injuries. Never try to make your own fireworks. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents. Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest. Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off. Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to more 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year. Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud. Don’t allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time. Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can. Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured. If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. Also, don’t flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention — your child’s eyesight may depend on it. If it’s a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn (do not use ice). Call your doctor immediately. Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed, but you’ll enjoy them much more knowing your family is safe. Take extra precautions this Fourth of July and your holiday will be a blast!

Is It Hot Enough For You?

This time of year is known for the appreciation of the air conditioning. I hear people say all the time that it is so hot. It makes me think back to when I was a little girl. I remember it being very hot, maybe not as humid but definitely hot! My grandmother and grand daddy lived in Gordy and did not have an air conditioning. I was probably almost 18 years old when they got central heat and air, so that was around 1995. All my childhood they had a window unit, one that it. They had it in the front living room that cooled the sitting area and the front bedroom. I thought I was in hog heaven in the afternoon. It was so nice to cool off. Now a days children probably couldn’t function. We have things so good now and especially our children do and they don’t even realize it. I hope everyone stays cool this Summer and has a GREAT Summer!

Tips on Having a Fabulous Fourth of July

With the Fourth of July approaching, staying safe while enjoying fireworks is very important. Some of the important safety tips brought to you by The National Council on Fireworks Safety are listed below. We all want to have a great Fourth of July and enjoy all the beautiful fireworks but we all want to stay safe as well. The first thing is to obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. The law stipulates that fireworks may only be lit between 10 a.m. and midnight, and those purchasing fireworks must be 18 years of age or older. Around New Year’s Day and Independence Day, the time extends until 2 a.m. Local governments are not permitted to enact any additional legislation on top of what the bill outlines. Next, know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. Each set of fireworks has a listing of the cautionary labels. Please be sure to follow them. It can be the difference in a safe event and an event with injuries. A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks. You want to protect your eyes. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away. Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles. Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby. No matter how careful you are, there can always be an accident out of your control. Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day. FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage. Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department. Following these simple safety tips will keep you safe during the Fourth of July. Happy Fourth of July from The Martin News!

Lightning Strikes…The Thunder Rolls

Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year. Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year. Lightning kills an average of 49 people in the United States each year, and hundreds more are severely injured. There are many tips to know about lightning safety. There is NO PLACE outside that is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!! If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up. Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder. Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity. Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets. Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches. Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls. If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk: Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks. Never lie flat on the ground, never shelter under an isolated tree, never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter, immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water and stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.). Safety from lightning is talked about mostly during the summer months but please stay prepared anytime during the year.

A Good Night’s Sleep Critical for Good Health


More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to a new study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. This is the first study to document estimates of self-reported healthy sleep duration (7 or more hours per day) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.

Healthy Sleep Tips:

  • Healthcare providers should routinely assess patients’ sleep patterns and discuss sleep-related problems such as snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Healthcare providers should also educate patients about the importance of sleep to their health.
  • Individuals should make getting enough sleep a priority and practice good sleep habits.
  • Employers can consider adjusting work schedules to allow their workers time to get enough sleep.
  • Employers can also educate their shift workers about how to improve their sleep.
  • For more information on CDC’s Sleep and Sleep Disorders Program, visit

3 Minutes Can Save a Life


The goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness Week) is to put the spotlight on the seriousness of eating disorders and to improve public understanding of their causes, triggers and treatments. By increasing awareness and access to resources, they can encourage early detection and intervention, which can improve the likelihood of full recovery for millions. This year, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is focusing on the importance of early intervention. The public is being encouraged to take just 3 minutes to complete the confidential online eating disorders screening at  Taking 3 minutes to complete the screening will help determine if it is time to seek professional help.  If someone is exhibiting signs or thoughts of struggling with an eating disorder, intervening during the early stages of development can significantly increase the likelihood of preventing the onset of a full-blown eating disorder. It also leads to greater chances of a full recovery. It can prevent years of struggle and can even save lives.