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Staff reports

New gas tax now in effect

Wednesday marked the first day of the state of Georgia’s newly imposed gas tax on its residents.
Gas prices were expected to rise around six cents per gallon in order to collect $900 million per year as a part of House Bill 170 that was passed earlier in the year.
The money collected for the new tax will go toward repairing roads throughout the state after Gov. Nathan Deal made transportation a priority. Georgia’s roads have slipped in national rankings from ninth to 13th since 2009.

Summer heat arrives

We knew it was coming and summer South Georgia heat has made its blistering appearance in Screven County.
With temperatures hitting 100 degrees Fahrenheit and still climbing since the start of the week, everyone is urged to drink lots and lots of water to stay hydrated. Unless it is necessary, it is wise to minimize your time in the blazing sun, especially during the peak temperature hours daily after noon.

What’s happening? Plenty. Get ready to mark your calendar

Screven County has plenty of different event scheduled over the upcoming weeks.
Along with various Screven County sports contests involving the school system and the county recreation department, here are just some of the local happenings --
On Sept. 18, the 17th annual fish fry for the 12th Congressional District will be at the Pathway Center on Highway 301 starting at 6:30 p.m.
On Sept. 20, a Plantation Airpark Fall Fly-In will start at 9 a.m.
On that same day, Wild About Screven will be held on the Screven County Courthouse Lawn from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

GSU, Phinizy Center talk Ogeechee River Project

Georgia Southern University hosted the first of four Ogeechee River Research public information sessions on Tuesday, Aug. 26 at the Performing Arts Center, to discuss a two and a half year Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) titled “Assessment of Hydrological, Biological and Environmental Components of the Lower Ogeechee River Ecosystem.”
The project is an opportunity for the university and the Phinizy Center for Water Sciences to conduct basic research designed to ensure a long-term and holistic approach for research on the river.

Johnson named new United Way director

A life-long resident of the community has been named as the new executive director of the United Way of Screven County, according to the fund-raising organization’s board of directors.
Tina Johnson officially began her position Tuesday. She has quickly become acquainted with the various aspects of the county’s United Way. Johnson resides in Screven County with her husband Jody and the couple’s two children.
Johnson graduated from Screven County High School before obtaining her diploma as a nurse from Ogeechee Technical College.

Wild About Screven this month

The Wild About Screven Festival will be Sept. 20 as the Screven County Chamber of Commerce and the GFWC Sylvania Junior Woman’s Club have been working on several events.
First of these events is the Wild About Screven Catfish & Bass Fishing Tournament.
Starting Friday, Sept. 19, anglers are invited to fish the waters of Screven County for the biggest fish they can land. There will be a weigh-in at the Amphitheater behind the Screven County Courthouse at 11 a.m. on Sept. 20.  
For more information about this event, please contact Barry Durden.

Get your engraved bricks now for Kelly Stadium rededication

Friday night marks a home scrimmage football  game against Effingham County for the Screven County High School Gamecocks.
Kickoff at Kelly Memorial Stadium is at 7:30 p.m.
Next week on Saturday, Aug. 23, the season begins for real and Sylvania will have something extra to begin its 2014 campaign.
The stadium will be rededicated to honor Army Maj. Charles Kelly on the 50th anniversary of his death during the Vietnam War.

State’s retailers ready for sales tax holiday

Georgia retailers are getting ready for the sales tax holiday this weekend, as residents enjoy a tax break on computers, clothes and school supplies on Friday and Saturday.
The sales tax holiday applies to both the 4 percent state sales tax, and any local sales taxes – in most Georgia counties shoppers will save from 7 percent to 8 percent total in taxes.
In Screven County, shoppers can take advantage of 7 percent tax savings on the purchase of such items as “S” T-shirts or polos that adhere to the county’s dress code.

Tax-free holidays begin Aug. 1

Georgia shoppers for school supplies again will have a chance to save money with the tax free holidays that will start at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 1 and conclude at midnight Aug. 2. A second period will be later this year from 12:01 a.m. Oct. 3 and conclude at midnight Oct. 5.
According to the Georgia Department of Revenue during the July/August sales tax holidays, the following items will be exempt:
• Clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item;

Locals compete at state on county recreation fields

Two of the Screven County all star teams finished fourth while the other was seventh during the GRPA State Tournaments at the county recreation department.
The tourneys concluded Saturday, July 12, as the Screven County Flea Boys and Midget Boys were fourth and the Flea Girls were seventh. Twenty-five teams competed in the 8-and-under Fleas and 12-and-under Midget baseball.
Visiting Jeff Davis County did well as their Flea Girls and Midgets won the state titles. Jeff Davis’ Flea Boys were runners-up to Evans County.

Runoff early voting concludes Friday; election Tuesday

Screven Countians are reminded that in-person early voting continues through Friday, July 18, for three runoff elections.
On the Democratic Party ballot, Alisha Thomas Morgan and Valarie D. Wilson face each other in a runoff for the party’s state school superintendent nomination.
On the Republican Party ballot, J.H. “Jack” Kingston and David A. Perdue face each other in a runoff for the party’s nomination for U.S. Senate, a seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss.

We have the ‘X’ factor

“The X Factor” on Fox TV afforded individuals the opportunity to showcase their talents for a corps of judges and an in-studio and national broadcast audience. The “X” in the “X Factor” title referred to a profound “something” that makes the person or collective group a singing star.

Sparklers only: All other fireworks still illegal in Georgia

While sparklers and similar non-explosive fireworks devices are legal in Georgia, Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens urges citizens to use extreme caution to avoid injuries when using legalized fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday.
“Even legal fireworks should only be used with close adult supervision,” Hudgens said. “For the sake of safety and seeing a spectacular display, your best bet is to attend a professional show.”

Boater education requirement mandatory starting July 1

Boaters, do you know the law on life jackets, minimum age limits for boat operators, or the punishment for boating under the influence? The Georgia Department of Natural Resources wants boaters to know the rules and be safe on the waterways in Screven this summer.
A new boater education requirement has been set for all vessel operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1998, making a boater education course mandatory July 1, 2014.

County recreation department hosting state tourneys in July

The Screven Co. Recreation Department will host GRPA State Tournaments July 9-12 at the SCRD Complex Fields 5-8.
Twenty-five teams will compete for a state championship in the following age divisions: Flea Girls (8&U) Softball; Flea Boys (8&U) Baseball; and Midget Boys (12&U) Baseball.
Each of the Screven County All-Star teams in these age divisions will compete.
Brackets for the tournaments can be found at www.screvenrec.com.

Screven County Boy Juniors capture district title

The Screven County Junior Boys (14&U) All-Stars won the GRPA District 1 Championship on Monday, June 23, in Hawkinsville. They went 4-0 in the tournament by defeating Glennville, Evans County, Hawkinsville, and then beat Hawkinsville again in the championship game. Players on bottom (from left) Braden Mock, Johnathan Roberts, Dixon Powell, Edward Lovett, and Antonio Stewart. Standing are Coach Andy Powell, Dalton Mock, Zackie Pendergrass, John Scott, Davien Perry, Ethan Bragg, Kashawn Robinson, John William Pollock, and Coach Josh Sheley. Not pictured was JD Johnson.

Governor to attend new yarn plant groundbreaking

Screven County Development Authority has extended an invitation to everyone to attend a groundbreaking for SV Pittie Textiles Monday, July 7, at 10 a.m. at Screven County Industrial Park.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will make remarks.  
Authority officials urge the public to “come join in and welcome our new partners to the community.”

‘Old Glory’ retirement, ‘Congress on Corner,’ identification kits & music festival Saturday

Multiple events are scheduled before noon Saturday and a music festival also is planned to be an all-day affair.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars  Post 7116 and the Brier Creek Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will host an American Flag Retirement Ceremony June 14 for Flag Day.
The event will start at 10 a.m. behind the Sylvania Fire Department and Police Department.

Eight state honors awarded to Telephone

The Sylvania Telephone won eight Georgia Press Association awards at the 2014 Better Newspaper Contest June 6 at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel during the group’s 128th annual convention.
Earlier this year, the Telephone received five GPA advertising awards for the 2013 calendar year to earn the Sylvania newspaper 13 state association honors.
This year’s GPA judges were from Virginia.

Gamecocks to host wrestling camp

The SCHS Gamecock wrestling coaching staff and wrestlers will host a wrestling camp June 9-13 at the middle school gym.
It will be open to all kids aged 5-13 with each camper receiving a Screven County Gamecock wrestling camp T-shirt on the final day. Each day the camp will begin at 8 a.m. and will last until 11 a.m.
Registration for the camp is $50 and will take place between 7 and 8 a.m. on June 9.
“It is vital for the future of our wrestling program that we introduce the sport to athletes at a young age,” said SCHS head coach Matthew Sheley.

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