~ Dates to Remember ~

November

29th ~ Books and Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
30th ~ Kiwanis Cub Meeting

December

1st ~ Sylvester Christmas Parade 6pm
3rd ~ Lee County Christmas Parade 10am
3rd ~ Santa in Sylvester at the Vintage Nest 11am-2pm
6th ~ Books and Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
7th ~ Kiwanis Meeting
8th ~ Phoebe Worth Love Lights A Tree Ceremony 7pm
10th ~ Santa and Elf on the Shelf in Sylvester at Barnyard Creations 11am-2pm
10th ~ City of Poulan Christmas Parade 2pm-5pm
13th ~ Books and Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
14th ~ Kiwanis Meeting
19th ~ Worth County Schools Closed for the Holidays
20th ~ Worth County Schools Closed for the Holidays
20th ~ Books and Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
21st ~ Kiwanis Meeting
21st ~ Worth County Schools Closed for the Holidays
22nd ~ Worth County Schools Closed for the Holidays
23rd ~ Worth County Schools Closed for the Holidays
26th ~ Worth County Schools Closed for the Holidays
27th ~ Worth County Schools Closed for the Holidays
27th ~ Books and Bubbles at The Margaret Jones Public Library
28th ~ Kiwanis Meeting
28th ~ Worth County Schools Closed for the Holidays
29th ~ Worth County Schools Closed for the Holidays
30th ~ Worth County Schools Closed for the Holidays

*** Email your questions or event listings to
info@themartinnews.com
And we will get them listed on the calendar ***

Helping Feed Those in Need

It is better to give than to receive and that is exactly what Worth County Elementary School faculty and students did during the Thanksgiving Season. In a country that wastes billions of pounds of food each year, it’s almost shocking that anyone in America goes hungry. Yet every day, there are millions of children and adults who do not get the meals they need to thrive. Communities work to get nourishing food – from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers – to people in need. At the same time, we also seek to help the people we serve build a path to a brighter, food-secure future. Faculty members and students of WCES donated canned goods and other nonperishable items for this year’s food drive. Mrs. Monica Willis’s 3rd grade homeroom won for bringing in the most items. All of this food that WCES collected will stay right here in Sylvester/Worth County to service our local food banks. Food was boxed up and given to Pinson Methodist Church Food Bank, First Baptist Church Food Bank and the Family Visions Outreach Center. Pinson Methodist Church and First Baptist Church have food that they are able to give out to those in need. Family Visions Outreach, Inc. is dedicated to building affordable housing in  Sylvester, Georgia and surrounding areas, educating the at risk youth and  feeding needy families of Sylvester and Worth County. What great programs that are offered here in our own wonderful community. Thank you again, WCES, for a job well done!

Miss WCMS is Back!

Miss WCMS is back!   The pageant will be held Saturday, December 17th starting at 4PM at Worth County Middle School. Deadline for applications and $30 entry fee is December 1st.  Each contestant will compete in their grade.  There will be a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade queen. 
Please return application to the front desk of the Middle School or return to school with your child. Please make checks payable to WCMS Spirit Cheer. Below is a list of a few important details regarding the pageant.

Each contestant will compete in their grade.
6th-8th grade constants will compete in gown only.
This is a natural pageant, which means age appropriate makeup and pageant gowns.
The walk will be a basic T walk.
All contestants will be judged in Pageant Wear, for Poise/Personality, Beauty and Projection.
6. Each contestant will be asked an on stage question.

All proceeds benefit the Worth County Middle School Spirit Cheer squad.  If you have any questions please contact Kelly @  229-603-3143 or Rachel @ 229-206-3523  Make sure all applications are returned by  Thursday Dec. 1, 2016.  Thanks for supporting our Middle School RAM spirit cheerleaders! Go RAMS!

Sylvester Fire Department Receives Monies Recently

During the Sylvester Town Hall Meeting held on Tuesday evening, Mr. Jack Colby, Fire Chief for Sylvester Fire Department was excited to announce some great news. Mr. Colby reminded everyone about the story that was done at the SFD on Cody, from Easter Seals. He then explained that Cody’s great aunt lives in Texas and works at Microsoft. She donated $5,000 to the Sylvester Fire Department. Microsoft says that if an employee gives a donation such as this, they will match it so the SFD is in the process of receiving these funds as well which will make it a $10,000 donation that the SFD received. Mr. Colby stated they will be using the money to improve the personal protective equipment of the employees in the department. He feels this is just another blessing from the good Lord.

Save the Date: Georgia Cotton Commission 10th Annual Meeting Jan. 25, 2017

The Georgia Cotton Commission is pleased to announce the Commission’s 10th Annual Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. The annual meeting is held in conjunction with the UGA Cotton Production Workshop conducted by the Research & Extension Cotton Team. The UGA Cotton Production Workshop will feature breakout sessions where attendees will learn the latest technical production strategies from the researchers whose projects are funded by the Commission’s research program. The Georgia Cotton Commission Annual Meeting will follow the breakout sessions and feature speakers from several industry organizations. Following the Annual Meeting speakers, the Commission will host lunch where sponsors will be recognized and door prizes will be given away. The meeting, production workshop, and lunch are open to not only cotton growers, but anyone interested in the cotton industry. The UGA Cotton Production Workshop breakout sessions will be repeated after lunch. There is no charge to attend. Pre-registration is requested to help with meal plans. Registration details will be announced closer to the meeting date. For information on becoming a sponsor, please contact the Commission office at 478.988.4235.

Annual Sylvester Town Hall Meeting was a Success

The 2016 Town Hall Meeting was held Tuesday evening at the Sylvester City Hall. There was many in attendance and exciting information given about our great community. Efficiency in the Making was the focus of this year’s town hall meeting. Sylvester Mayor, Bill Yearta welcomed everyone for attending the Annual Town Hall Meeting and asked Councilman, Randy Hill to please bless the meeting. It was a very spiritual prayer thanking the Lord for all he has done and will do for the town of Sylvester. It is very important to me personally to have the Lord in any and all things we do for where his hand is blessings will fall. After the prayer, the Mayor introduced the council and asked them to speak on their ward. Mr. Melvin Powell, Councilman for Ward 1 spoke highly on what a great, clean vibrant community that we have here in Sylvester. He mentioned the booths that were set up at the event and encouraged the constituents to visit the booths because of the great information that was being provided. He mentioned two of them, one being tips on energy saving and the other regarding adopting a street which is pertaining to picking up litter. He feels it’s very important to take pride in our community. Mr. Charles Jones, Councilman for Ward 3 was next to speak and kept it short and sweet by saying there was several changes this year, the majority for the good. He also stated that he enjoyed serving his ward and being a part of the community of Sylvester. Mr. Randy Hill, Councilman for Ward 2 then spoke by simply saying he was here to serve his community and the people in it. He mentioned briefly about the two projects going on in his area which is the Daisy Gamble Learning Center and the Holley Gym. Mr. Larry Johnson was the last Councilman to speak. He represents Ward 4. He mentioned the block grant that was in conjunction with Ward 1. He also spoke about the Community Garden Ribbon Cutting that will be taking place on the 18th and invited everyone at the meeting to attend. The Mayor then spoke again to make the announcement that most had already heard but was still surprised by. Mrs. Debbie Bridges is retiring. The Mayor stated that the city owes gratitude to her for all she had done. Mayor stated how much she absolutely loved Sylvester and loved her role as the City Manager for Sylvester. Mrs. Bridges started with the City of Sylvester at the age of 17 and the Mayor stated that she had done an outstanding job. He was very proud of her for the work she had done and was proud of her for the stage of life she was at now which is her family and most of all her precious grandbabies. Mrs. Bridges last official work day is November the 29th and her retirement date is March 1st, 2017. He introduced her to speak for a few moments. She thanked the Mayor, the council and the entire City of Sylvester for all they had done for her. She stated the it was all about team work with her and her staff and she introduced the department managers. Glenice Stephens, Jack Colby, Tyree McGee, Kathy Wise, Cecil Rash, Kenneth Washington, Issac Adams, Jana Dyke, Richie Childers, Larry Thomas and Amanda Hendrix whom was not able to attend due to an out of town work training. In closing, Mayor Yearta wanted to speak on some projects that were either completed or in the works to be completed. The Irene P. Hall Park, which is located on West Street, was completed in the summer. It was originally a mobile home park some years back and due to all the flooding it experienced, the city was able to get a FEMA grant and move the families that lived there to better housing and make a walking track and park there for the community to enjoy. If it rains and a flood, then it dries back out pretty quickly and there is no damage done. Another project he spoke on was the Train Depot. It has been repaired/redone and now is home to the Sylvester City Hall. What was the coolest thing to me was the graffiti on the wall that they chose to leave there when redoing the building. The Mayor stated that it is not actually graffiti but a piece of history. This building is also where the City Council meets there on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month. The airport was a topic of conversation at the Town Hall Meeting and a great conversation at that. It has actually been a conversation in Sylvester for about 30 years. Mayor Yearta stated that he could remember Mayor Hardin speaking about the airport during his term as Mayor of Sylvester. The issue with the airport was simply the length of the run way. The run way was 3500 feet long and now has been lengthen to 4525 feet. The reason for needing to lengthen it is simply growth for Sylvester. When people wanted to visit out community, they had to land in Moultrie or Albany. People visit for many things such as hunting in our community or even wanting to bring a business here but if they land in other communities, they may begin to think “why not just give this community my business.” That is definitely not what we want them thinking so now they can land here and that is what some have started doing. They hope to continue to grow the airport by eventually adding fuel, an operator and facilities to park planes there as well. Another great project in our community was the addition of covered park benches as the Gervaise Park. Mr. Lawhorne also donated property years ago to the city which sits behind the duck pond and is in the process of being cleared out and will be a walking area and more to the duck pond that is already there. This will be a great addition to this area because families and churches do hold events and gatherings there. Another after school learning program is being added to Sylvester on Pinson street. This is to provide for our youth which I think many will agree is a blessing. This center is called the Daisy Gamble Learning Center. The first part of the Isabella Street project was completed about 5 years ago with the first grant. The second grant will begin to finish the sidewalks on Isabella Street. This allows the schools to be tied in to downtown and allows many to use the street for exercise. Mayor Yearta mentioned another project which was the Quest Line Tips located on the City of Sylvester website that would be good for all people to look at and utilize. Several other things the Mayor mentioned was the GEFA project which was the water project. He also mentioned us having industrial sites. One is located on the west side, one on the east side and the older one located on the north side of the city. These are great for our town and for growing our community. An important part of our community and project area is the SPLOSTS Projects. One of those is the Sylvester Police Department. It was build about 10 years ago stated the Mayor and was financed for 20 years. This is being paid for by your sales tax dollars which is the SPLOSTS monies. This is why shopping local is important because our dollars spent here provides for our wonderful community. A few other mentions were with resurfacing projects in the city and the CHIP program which provides grants up to $500,000 providing monies to revamp houses that can’t afford to do repairs such as painting, insulation, and roofs. This money comes from federal monies. Mayor Yearta stated that the Council has a vision for Sylvester which is to grow, be attractive and bring more jobs here. He stated that he and the council agrees usually on about 95% of all things brought up before the Council. Last but not least, the Mayor introduced the New City Manager, Mr. Autron Hayes. His duties will officially begin on November 30th. He comes from the city of Loganville which is near Atlanta. He has been in City government almost all of his life. He stated that he actually started as a grave digger which got many laughs from those in attendance. The Mayor thanked everyone for coming and asked that they come again next year. A drawing was held for everyone that brought in their light bill. Credits were given in the amount of $50, $75, $100 and $150 off of their light bill for the month. Everyone that won was super excited and very appreciative. Thank you to all who came.

Ribbon Cutting at Village Community Garden

The Village Community Garden, located at 201 Paulk Street in Sylvester, held its Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with the Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce on Friday, November 18th. The Village Community is supported by Fort State Valley University and 4-H. Those who attended got to see modern gardening for healthy living at its best using Aeroponics. Thanksgiving donations bags of food were also given to those who attended. What a wonderful addition to our community!

Article by VaLenia Meeks Milling

Community Comes Together for Worth County Students

Once again our community has come together for the children of Worth County! In September of this year, Rocky and Dona Duckworth, who own and operate Rocky’s Music and Rocky’s Theater on Front Street in Sylvester, were privileged enough to be able to get author Jaclyn Friedlander to come share her work and passion with their students. The Duckworths also made it possible with the permission of Worth County Schools for her to visit the primary, elementary and middle schools. In addition to being an author of the “Friends with Fins” series of books for children, Jaclyn Friedlander is an actress and producer, as well as a Marine Life and Ocean Conservation expert. The students enjoyed meeting Mrs. Friedlander and were the first students to hear her latest book, “Goodnight Midnight Ocean”. Students were given an opportunity to purchase one of the books which was autographed by Mrs. Friedlander for $10. For Dona Duckworth this was not good enough. She felt like every Worth County Primary School student deserved one of these autographed books. The primary school age children were chosen as this is the target age of the books. She knew, however, that not every family would be financially secure enough to purchase the book. That is when Mrs. Duckworth’s commitment to and faith in her community kicked in! She approached a number of local business owners with the idea of having collection containers placed in their shops for customers to put their spare change in. The containers would be collected periodically and books purchased until there were enough books for each of the 1,100 students at Worth County Primary School. She was overwhelmed with community support. Badcock Furniture, Carltons, Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce, Daniel Auction Co, Farmer’s Furniture, Glenn’s Corner Pharmacy, Globe Financial Services, Rumors Salon & Merle Norman, 3G’s Auction, and Worth Insurance readily joined her on her mission and continue to support this community book drive. Worth County Primary School, although not involved in the fund raising efforts, have been very supportive and appreciative of the community support for the students at their school. To date, over 400 books have been purchased. Those involved in the book drive are committed to continuing this effort until all 1,100 books have been purchased and are in the hands of each of our primary school students. If you are interested in supporting this community book drive by purchasing a book or by placing a collection container in your business, please stop by Rocky’s Music at 113 East Front Street in Sylvester or contact Dona Duckworth by phone at (229) 206-2623. You can also mail a check made payable to Jaclyn Friedlander to Rocky’s Music. Each book costs $10. Article by VaLenia Meeks Milling

Animal Safety During the Cold Days Ahead

I do like this time of year though. We are able to wear scarves, hats, gloves and warm clothes but sometimes people think about how they bundle up and we forget about how animals need to bundle up. One easy thing to remember is don’t leave dogs or cats outdoors when the temperature drops! Regardless of the season, short-haired, very young or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Dogs and cats are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. No matter what the temperature is, wind-chill can threaten a pet’s life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia when they are outdoors during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage. A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic. Pets that spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal. These are just a few basic tips to remember that was offered by the humane society. Just remember over the next few days to bring pets inside if possible – laundry room or bathroom works well for outdoor pets. No pet deserves to be outside in this weather, without proper houses, blankets, and heat source. Animal control will be actively watching for violations, and as always, non-compliant owners should be reported to Animal Control Division at (229)777-7774 (leave a message during non-business hours). Urgent issues should be reported to 911. Thank you to everyone for keeping our furry friends safe during what seems like will be a very, very cold winter.

Christmas in Sylvester

Growing up in Sylvester and Worth County has always been great but as I get older, I see just how great it is! With the holidays
approaching, Sylvester knows how to celebrate Christmas! The beautiful lights they have hanging in the town are absolutely breath taking. Not many towns in Georgia put such heart and soul into decorating their town. They are getting the lights ready now so they can turn them on usually around Thanksgiving. The Christmas parade will be on December 1st and that is always so beautiful to me. A night parade that has all the pretty lights on the floats is simply gorgeous. I am excited for this time of year! I really get excited when it is time for the Downtown Christmas Open House! And guess what… it is this weekend! Please go downtown and support our local businesses. Also support businesses in Sylvester this coming weekend too as there will be many specials and who likes specials this time of year?? ME for sure. It’s time to start making those Christmas lists so get them made and head out the door on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for good sales and treats along the way! And while you are out shopping, be sure to stop by and enjoy some of the great food that Sylvester has to offer. Supporting local restaurants is important too and you will get some wonderful, yummy food! The Martin News hopes to see you and about because we plan to be shopping and
eating too!