- May’s Blood Drive was plagued by stormy weather. The goal for the event was 95 units, but only 81 units were collected from 87 potential donors. Thanks to this month’s sponsors Ryland Environmental Waste Management and Gibson’s Animal Hospital.
- SAS SUPER BOWL will be held on Saturday, June 3rd, 2023, at Ritch Alley in Waycross. It is a Bowling tournament for our community’s First Responders. The fun begins at 9:00 a.m. The public is invited.
- REMINDER: New SPLOST tax begins in Ware County on July 1, 2023.
THE STATE OF THE STATE WITH REPRESENTATIVE JAMES BURCHETT
James Burchett returned from Atlanta to report Southeast Georgia had fared well during this past legislative session.
Knowing that the progress on the Ossie Davis overpass issue would be first and foremost on most of the audience members, he began there: the “first shovel of dirt” will be July 2024 following extensive planning and right-of-way issues. Completion is predicted to be in 2039. Recently, Governor Kemp was in Waycross and was treated with the experience that all of us sometimes experience on a daily basis – being held up by a slow or stopped train on the railroad crossing. He was late for a meeting!
He is encouraged that several of the new House leaders are from the southern part of the state. Burchett is the House of Representatives Majority Whip. Ware and some surrounding counties have benefitted from a 1.2 million-dollar grant for recreational parks.
A number of House and Senate Bills introduced in this session affect the region.
- Sports Betting. Not passed; however, he warned that the issue is not dead and there are numerous powerful special interests groups lobbying for legalization.
- Truth In Advertising – targets attorney’s billboards.
- Damage to critical infrastructure – people or groups who damage critical infrastructure will be held accountable.
- Streaming Consumers – who have been unable to cancel subscriptions will have recourse.
- Truck Weights – have been adjusted to benefit the state’s carriers.
- Road Repairs Budget Increase – to offset the impact of large truck traffic
- Tort Reform – as Georgia is the #1 state to do business in, SB 74 is a protective order that shields high-ranking executives from lawsuits if they do not have direct knowledge of a case.
CARLOS NELSON WITH AMVETS POST 62!
In honor of Memorial Day this weekend, Carlos Nelson shared the story of one of Waycross’s most beloved veterans of World War II. In 1941, C. C. Stephens graduated from Albany Bible & Training School (now Albany State University).
He immediately went to the Army recruiter’s office. He had received an “invitation” to join the Army after graduation.
He was already 25 years old, but he was needed. He was assigned to Ft. Benning at the rank of Tech Five to train the “colored” recruits to read and write before going to war.
Despite the fact that he dealt with segregation he proudly served his country and returned to civilian life after the war.
Mr. Stephens passed away three years ago at the age of 107.
He served as the first commander of the Georgia AMVETS Association and also served as commander of the AMVETS POST 621 in Waycross. At the age of 104, Mr. Stephens flew to Hawaii where he was recognized for over 58 years of service at the 69th annual AMVETS National Convention. It is the dedication and love of service that members like Mr. Stephens brought to this organization that allows our vets to truly impact the veteran community and help those in need.
The local post began with ten members and now has a membership of fifty. Most are life members.
Post 621 activities include:
- Placing U.S. Flags on Veterans’ graves on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day
- Visiting veterans in Senior Centers on Holidays.
- Mentoring younger service members and JROTC students on how to access educational services.
- Helping others to navigate the VA system.
- Reaching out to homeless veterans.
- Award high school graduates four scholarships each year.
Please thank our veterans, current service members, and their families for allowing us to have all that we have, not just on Memorial Day, but every day.