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May 3, 2012 Issue

Relay For Life to kick off Friday
First Lady Deal reads to students...
Hospital plans to offer Safe Sitter class
Car buyers, married couples and more will feel law’s impact

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Relay For Life to kick off Friday

By Bonnie K. Sargent

Relay For Life was first started in 1985 by a man named Dr. Gordy Klatt in Tacoma, Wash. Since then, Relay For Life events have been held in cities throughout the world, raising millions of dollars for the American Cancer Society.

In 2011, Relay For Life had more than 5,000 events in 50 countries and raised $345 million to help the ACS reach its ultimate goal: to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.


2012 marks the 18th year that Jefferson County has participated in Relay For Life. Over the years, the event has brought citizens together and united them in the fight against cancer.

The theme for this year’s Relay is “Making Cancer Walk the Plank.” Andi Van Airsdale, community manager for the American Cancer Society, said 15 teams have registered so far.

Teams that have registered are KaMin Chalkwalkers, Wrens United Methodist Church Youth, WMS Colts Kickin’ for a Cure, Disciples for Life, Louisville Middle School, Wrens Elementary Schoolhouse Rockers, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Wadley Plankwalkers, Heritage Healthcare, Jefferson High School Walking the Warrior Way, PaPa Charlie’s Angels, Queensborough Quackers, Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed, Wrens YMCA and Louisville Academy.

This year’s goal is $68,800. The teams have been striving to reach that goal for the past several months through fundraising and sponsors. So far almost $10,000 has been raised online and with Relay just around the corner, the teams are preparing for their on-site fundraisers on the big night. Some teams will be selling food, including hotdogs, hamburgers, BBQ, chicken wings, chicken strips, baked goods, fruit, coffee, cotton candy andfunnel cakes.

“Every dollar raised is a strike against cancer,” said Van Airsdale. “Every dollar brings hope. Hope for education to prevent cancer and for early detection of cancer, hope for patient services to diminish suffering in cancer patients, hope for cancer research and hope for cancer patients and their families.”

Some of the corporate sponsors for this year’s Relay include Southern Health Partners, Samsons, Hiram Bobo III, CPA, PC; M. B. Jones Oil, Sprint Food Stores, Town and Country Gas and Battle Lumber.

This year’s Relay will be held at the Jefferson County High School track. The high school approached the committee with the idea and the committee voted in favor of the move because the location offered better sound and lighting.

“A lot of credit goes to Dr. Alan Long who is providing so much for the community at this venue,” said Van Airsdale.

Van Airsdale said the committee members have heard wonderful things from the community about the inclusiveness of the Relay, now that it is more centrally located.

“It is our goal to improve participation by being centrally located as well as provide a great place to have it by using the high school facilities,” said Long. “Anytime we can showcase our school and our students we will be excited to do that. JCHS is the hub of the community and is the one school that all Warriors will attend so we welcome the opportunity to house community events.”

“The high school itself has bent over backwards to make the event all it can be,” Van Airsdale said.

It has also been expressed that the high school is seen as a much safer location. There will not be an entrance fee this year, because there is not a need for the added security.

In 2011, Jefferson County Relay for Life raised more than $70,000 in the fight against cancer. Almost 500 participants attended the event and around 200 cancer survivors were honored.

At every Relay For Life event, the lives of those who have battled cancer are celebrated through the Survivor’s Lap and survivor recognition. The survivors lap will be at 6:45 p.m. on May 4.

“The strength of survivors inspires others to continue the fight,” said Van Airsdale. “We also remember loved ones lost to the disease, and those who have survived and are currently battling cancer with our Luminaria Ceremony. At Relay, people who have walked alongside those battling cancer can grieve and find healing.”

Survivors can register online at www.relayforlife.org/jeffersonco or by calling Susan or Laura Beth Bargainnier at 478-625-8413 or Cathy Hadden at 706-547-2994. Survivors can also register at the Relay for Life at the survivors’ tent between 5-6 p.m. Survivors who register at the Relay may still receive a T-shirt, while supplies last.

The Relay For Life will be held May 4-5 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the JCHS track.

The Relay will open at 6 p.m. with a welcome by Carmen Bennett, the 2012 Event Chair, Master of Ceremonies Billy Valduga and Scotty Calhoun, an opening prayer by Jason Burton, followed by a presentation of colors by the JCHS ROTC. The national anthem will be sung by Oraleethia Morgan, followed by the Survivor Lap, the Caregiver Lap and Team Lap.

At 7 p.m. there will be a karate demonstration, followed by a presentation by Stephanie’s Dance Explosion at 7:30 p.m. At 8 p.m. there will be a Limbo and Ex-Smokers Lap. The Luminaria Service will take place at 9 p.m. followed by hours of fun and games to keep people awake and walking throughout the night.

“The Relay For Life is a great event for Jefferson County that gets much participation,” said Long. “We hope that our entire community will come out and support this great cause for Jefferson County.”

First Lady Deal reads to students...

Sandra Deal, wife of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, read aloud to students at both Wrens Elementary and Glascock County Consolidated School last week for Read Aloud Georgia Day. She read from Who I’d Like To Be, written by a 90-year-old Georgia author, Elizabeth Brown, and gave copies of the book to the classes.


Hospital plans to offer Safe Sitter class

By Bonnie K. Sargent

Starting Saturday, May 31, Jefferson Hospital will offer Safe Sitter classes. Safe Sitter is a program geared towards teaching baby sitters how to better nurture and protect children.

The classes begin with an introduction to CPR aimed at students who are at least 11 years of age. Students will not be CPR-certified through this course, but are taught the Friends and Family version of American Heart Association CPR by a certified CPR instructor.


More than 500,000 graduates have completed the course at hundreds of cities across the country. Graduates are able to handle emergencies when caring for younger children and are equally equipped with the tools needed to stay home alone safely.

Injuries are the leading cause of death in children up to age 5. Safe Sitter is a well-rounded youth development program with a medical basis that aims to reduce the number of avoidable and unintentional deaths among children being cared for by young teen babysitters. The program follows American Heart Association standards for rescue skills as well as instruction in first aid techniques from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The course focuses on thinking about baby sitting as a business, child care essentials, preventing problem behaviors for infants through school age children, choking rescue for children and infants, introduction to CPR for children and infants, as well as safety for the sitter. Students will be taught in a small group format with 6-8 children per class. Ashlee Arrington, with Jefferson Hospital, said the number of classes held will depend on the interest from the community. There are two classes scheduled for May so far. The first class will be May 31 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students are encouraged to bring their own lunch.

The cost of the class is$35, which covers the cost of materials for the class, including the Safe Sitter manual and certification for the course.

To graduate from the Safe Sitter course and receive a completion card, students must pass a rigorous practical and written test that indicates their mastery of key concepts and life and safety skills.

According to the Safe Sitter website, the idea for the classes was born from a tragedy. On a spring day in 1980, pediatrician Patricia A. Keener, M.D., Medical Director of Nurseries and Pediatrics at Community Hospitals Indianapolis, was called to the emergency room. An 18-month-old girl, in the care of an adult sitter, choked on her breakfast. Her adult sitter did not know what to do.

Despite her best efforts, Keener could not save the little girl. If the adult sitter had known CPR, the story could have ended differently. That tragedy inspired Keener to create Safe Sitter, the only national, non-profit group exclusively devoted to babysitting training.

Jefferson Hospital became a Safe Sitter certified site this year in order to teach safety skills to baby sitters so they would be safe, as well as improving the safety of the children they keep. There are scholarships available for students who qualify. The instructors have been trained through the Safe Sitter program to teach the program. The names of students who complete the Safe Sitter program will not be released to the public, but students may be able to advertise individually that they have been Safe Sitter certified.

Those wishing to participate in the Safe Sitter classes need to sign up before May 17. To sign up, contact Ashlee Arrington at (478) 625-7000 ext. 244.

Car buyers, married couples and more will feel law’s impact

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill last Thursday during a manufactuerers conference in College Park that will bring changes to the state’s tax code.

Car buyers, married couples, manufacturers, farmers, Internet shoppers and retirees -- all will feel the new law’s impact.


“This tax reform package makes Georgia a better place to run and grow a business, and makes it an even better place to raise a family,” Deal said. “These reforms could not have been made without the leadership of the General Assembly, and these significant changes will serve Georgians well.”

Laws include:

• The new bill eliminates the annual ad valorem on motor vehicles that owners must pay by their birthdays. The Governor’s Office said those who buy cars after Jan. 1, 2013, will no longer have to pay the tax to their county. Instead, they will pay a one-time fee instead of sales taxes and the annual ad valorem tax due each birthday. Those who have cars purchased before that time will pay the tax for 10 years before being exempt. The title fee rate will go from 6.5 percent to 7 percent, which is less than or equal to the sales tax in most counties.

• The bill reinstates the sales tax holidays for shoppers seeking back-to-school products Aug. 10-11 and energy-efficient appliances Oct. 5-7. The former covers a range of items, including clothing, computers, books and paper. The latter covers federally approved energy-efficient appliances and goods for personal use, including dishwashers and windows. Historically, Georgia is known as one of the first states to establish the popular tax holiday. This cuts sales tax by an estimated $35 million every year for three years for Georgia consumers.

• There will be an elimination of a sales tax on certain products used in agricultural industries. The exemption takes effect Jan. 1.

• Online retailers will be required to collect state sales taxes, if they have a physical presence in the state of Georgia, beginning Oct. 1, which includes online affiliates.

• The bill also created a permanent 1 percent sales tax exemption on commercial aviation fuel beginning July 1.

• The income tax exemption for married couples filing jointly will be increased from $5,400 to $7,400, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

• The retirement income exemption for seniors will be capped at $65,000 or $130,000 per couple, also beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

• The state sales tax on energy used in manufacturing will be eliminated. The tax will be phased out beginning Jan. 1, 2013, and should be fully eliminated by Jan. 1, 2016. The governor has said that this provision helped the state land two companies during a sluggish economy. Figures show that by eliminating the tax, it could cost the state about $95 million.

“The elimination of the marriage penalty in our income tax code will cut costs for Georgia families, totaling an estimated $140 million a year,” Deal said. “Furthermore, the removal of state sales tax on energy used in manufacturing is key to competiveness and to reaching our goal to make Georgia the number one state in which to do business.”

Governor Deal said successful tax reform has been a goal of the General Assembly for decades. In the 2010 Legislative Session, the General Assembly passed HB 1405 which established the Tax Council to make recommendations and the Special Joint Committee to consider legislation.

This Special Tax Reform Council was comprised of economic and business experts who devoted time and resources to work on a proposal to make Georgia’s tax code friendlier and more attractive to employers. The council was created to present a tax proposal for the state that would help create jobs and move Georgia towards a fairer and more economically attractive tax structure for private citizens and businesses alike, Deal said.

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Last modified: May 2, 2012