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Effingham Winter 2017

LIVING Who you gonna call?

Look inside

Newcomers Guide

to Effingham County

Welcome messages from our cities’ mayors

Springfield Music & Arts Center

...giving art a new home

Better Fresh Farms

finds a better way to farm in Effingham County

Lorrie Gurganious Realtor 912-655-5732

Patricia French Broker/Owner 912-661-1610

Tara Robinson Associate Broker 912-713-6648

Heather Perry Transaction Coordinator 912-826-1000

Alicia Howe Associate Broker 912-272-8183

Amanda Beard Realtor 912-507-3337

Kara Thompson Property Management 912-826-1000

Amber Sewell Director of Operations 912-661-3950

Jennifer Huntley Realtor 912-398-0535




Dianne Dunford Realtor 912-667-2470

Joni Bacon Realtor 912-658-4428

Brandy White Realtor 912-257-8351

Erv Bordner Realtor 912-296-0460

Felica Brown Transaction Coordinator 912-826-1000





a look inside


Better Fresh Farms

Established Summer of 2007

Written by Angye Morrison Photography by Angye Morrison��������������������������������������������������������������������������������


Joe McGlamery Publisher

From dream to reality Written by Angye Morrison

Kim Dennis

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General Manager

Community Resource Guide ������������������������������������������������������������������������������


Executive Editor

School Calendar Information������������������������������������������������������������������������������


Zack Lee Angye Morrison Editor

Hunter McCumber



Angye Morrison


Photo courtesy of Better Fresh Farms. Grant Anderson smiles as he points toward the Leafy Green Machines he and his cousin and partner Zach Conaway have set up in rural Effingham County. The duo are bringing a unique method of hydroponic farming to the area.


Art Director

Winter 2016

LIVING Who you gonna call?


for information, numbers

WELCOME MESSAGES from our cities’ mayors

SPRINGFIELD Music & Arts Center

...giving art a new home

Christy Scroggs Anna Mollet Sales & Marketing Consultants

Anna Mollet Ben Brengman Photographers


finds a better way to farm in Effingham County

ola. Bonjour. Guten Tag. Ciao. Namaste. Salaam. Aloha. There are a billion ways, it would seem, to say hello. You can say it in every language known to man. There are also a few ways to say hello that, well, aren’t so much known to every man. “ ‘Sup.” “What’s crackalackin’?” “Top o’the mornin’ to you!” “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Okay, so if you’re not a fan of the movie, “The Princess Bride,” you won’t get that last one. But you get my point. I want to take this opportunity to greet you, good folks of Effingham County. I’ve taken on the daunting yet exciting task of being the new editor for Effingham Living magazine. It’s something I’m truly “juiced” about. (Note: There are a million ways to say “excited” also…) I’ve looked through back issues, and I like what I see. Not just in the content that’s there, but in the community. And I look forward to seeing more. I look forward to getting to know the community and the people who call it home. I look forward to listening to you and to telling your stories. I’m just, well, looking forward. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? It’s about looking forward as we begin a new year, looking forward as we begin a new season, and looking forward as we embark on a new journey together. In this issue we are providing information on realtors and developments in our area, along with recreation, clubs and community groups, and health and wellness information. We are also providing you with all the information you need for Effingham County schools, public safety, and city and county government. In addition, you can look to this issue for directories when you need contact information. In this issue we are providing you with local information so that you know who to call...whatever the need. We have also provided you with a couple of features. One shines a spotlight on a new business, Better Fresh Farms. There’s also a feature on the Springfield Music & Arts Center, a relative newcomer to the area’s arts scene that has already made a significant impact. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. If you are new to Effingham County, welcome! If you’ve been around forever, we’re glad you call this wonderful place home.

Effingham Living is proudly produced by:

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION, PLEASE E-MAIL: cscroggs@effinghamherald.net amollet@effinghamherald.net kdennis@effinghamherald.net

FOR EDITORIAL QUESTIONS, PLEASE E-MAIL: zlee@effinghamherald.net PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 586 South Columbia Ave, Suite 13 Rincon, GA 31326 p: 912.826.5012 f: 912.826.0381

FOLLOW US on Facebook. We want you to “like” us. Check out our Facebook page and keep up with the exciting things happening in Effingham. You’ll find us at EffinghamLiving.

TWEET A little birdie told us you might want to send little tweets about each issue. Our tag is @LivingEffingham.

effinghamliving.com 4 • Effingham Living

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Grant Anderson is shown with a mature row of mustard green plants.

8 • Effingham Living

Grant Anderson is shown placing a wedge in the planter. The method is used to insert and remove seedlings.

Better Fresh Farms:

Taking farming to the next level in Effingham County


Written By Angye Morrison | Photography By Angye Morrison

rant Anderson developed an itch while he was a student at Georgia Tech. After two years, he realized he didn’t want to be an engineer, so he switched to a business major. After college, he worked in finance at first, then later at a corporate job in Atlanta. He still had an itch. Anderson moved his family back to Effingham County after the birth of his child to be near extended family. He bounced around a bit, career-wise. Still…the itch. He soon realized that he needed to do something for himself. In January 2016, he read an article about a couple in Boston, Massachusetts, who had purchased two refurbished freight containers from Freight Farms. In the past three years, the Cooneys have expanded from two containers to eight, and are now considered the largest urban farm in Boston. Anderson’s interest was piqued. Winter 2017 • 9

Cousins Zach Conaway and Grant Anderson have paired up to bring hydroponic farming to Effingham County. Photo courtesy of Better Fresh Farms

And the itch seemed, well, less. Anderson was raised on farms, and had worked for his grandfather growing up, as well as a local farmer in Effingham County, when he was in college. But he had never considered it as a potential profession. “My interest (in Freight Farms) led to a couple of phone calls, which led to some emails, which led to a flight to Boston. I went and looked at these containers and at their management team. I just really liked it. I came back more excited than when I left,” he said. Freight Farms is a Boston-based company that takes second-hand freight containers and refurbishes them, equipping them to be used as hydroponic farming containers. The containers are designed so that a purchaser can, once they are placed on the ground, simply hook them up to electricity and get to farming. The systems can be hooked up to a water line, or water can be hauled to them. As he researched the company and hydroponic farming, Anderson found that there was only one place in the Southeast where anyone was doing this type of farming – South Florida. He said he spoke with the Department of Agriculture at the University of Georgia, and a local Georgia Grown representative, asking if this type of farming 10 • Effingham Living

would work, and why no one is doing hydroponic farming in Georgia. He found that there are some small-scale operations, using greenhouses or aquaponics of some variety, but those systems are influenced by environmental factors like weather or pests. The systems from Freight Farms allow a farmer to grow 365 days a year, regardless of external factors. “So I just didn’t see a reason why not,” he said. Anderson is the founder and operations manager for Better Fresh Farms, and monitors the day to day operations of the farm. He also handles the website and the operation’s social media accounts. His cousin, Zach Conaway, partnered with him, and is in charge of farm development. He manages the farm site and develops plans for the mix of produce grown at Better Fresh Farms. Conaway is a very family-oriented guy, and says that partnering with his cousin is something he enjoys and considers a blessing. “Being able to give back to the community is a perk,” he added. With the start of Better Fresh Farms, Anderson finally began to scratch that itch. He began with the order of two of the units, which are placed on family land near

Guyton in Effingham County. The property is equipped with electricity, and a water line from a deep well on the property. “What we would like to do is eventually fill this field with containers,” he said. “We have enough space to hold roughly 12 of these on this property, and we also have some property elsewhere in the county that we’ve talked about. If we got to a point of needing more room, we could move there.” The passion Anderson and Conaway have for what they are doing stems from concern about what they were feeding their own children, and knowing there are other people who share that concern for their own families. “What better to get behind than fresh, local food? It’s not difficult to tell somebody that you believe in something when you really believe in it,” he said. Conaway says he believes what they are doing is the “wave of the future.” “As time progresses, I feel like we will be able to provide food for a lot of folks, and as we grow, provide jobs for people one day,” he said. He added that he hopes they will also one day be able to hand the business over to his three sons, along with Anderson’s son. “That would be a blessing to have a family owned and family operated business,” he

said. He also is quick to give credit to the wives behind Better Fresh Farms. He said he and Anderson have worked long hours to get the farm up and running and did so, at first, while working full-time jobs. He continues to work a full-time job in the timber industry, while Anderson recently went fulltime at Better Fresh Farms. Conaway says their wives have been their cheerleaders and an unfailing support system at home. “We wouldn’t be anywhere close to where we are now if it wasn’t for our wives,” he said. When they first started out, Anderson said they were looking to be a source of food for local restaurants in Savannah, and had partnered with at least one restaurant. Over time, they realized that perhaps a direct consumer approach would be more beneficial for the area. They’re working on figuring out the details on how to retail their products to people directly in Effingham County and beyond. Better Fresh Farms is currently growing 10 varieties of lettuce, including Arugula, Butterhead, Oak Leaf, Romaine, Summer Crisp and Bibb. The containers are uniquely equipped to handle leafy vegetables, due to the vertical growing system. Anderson said they are also growing some collard and mustard greens, and are experimenting with watercress, dill and other herbs. One of the most exciting features of this type of farming is the quick turnaround. “We can go from seed to fully grown plant in eight weeks. If there was a drought and people couldn’t get a certain product, we could shift to growing it and provide it in eight weeks. If there was a kale shortage, in a matter of eight weeks, we could shift to kale. Or basil, or what have you. We can react to the market a lot quicker than your typical farmer,” he said. It’s a truly unique approach to growing food, he added. “If a chef contacts us and says, ‘This fall I’d like to have ‘X’ on my menu, but the price isn’t great or the quality isn’t great. Could you grow something for me?’ We could specifically grow a crop for a chef for his menu,” he said. Anderson says they have a large crop in a small space, with roughly the equivalent of 3 acres of planting land. It’s also a sustainable operation. “To feed roughly 4,500 plants and 2,500 seedlings per day per container, it takes less than 10 gallons of water,” he said. They also

have installed a dehumidifier, which draws moisture from the air and recycles it back into the system. The water that is used is caught in gutters below the vertical growing racks, and channeled back into tanks, where it is reused. There is no wastewater; it’s a closed loop. One of the most innovative features of the system is an app the duo uses on their smartphones. Developed by Freight Farms for use with the systems, the app is called Farmhand, and it allows them to do everything from ordering seeds and supplies to monitoring and adjusting the conditions in the containers. Anderson and Conaway truly believe in this type of farming. “Part of what made me believe that (hydroponic farming) is viable is that USDA articles say that the supply chain won’t be able to handle the population growth projected by 2020. Local farmers will be more in demand, because it will be more difficult to ship food all over the country. Local chefs are already having issues; they see a lot of spoilage,” he said. At Better Fresh Farms, there’s about two weeks of shelf life on the produce, because they deliver it the same day it’s harvested, and the plants still have the roots attached. In the bag, the moisture from those roots causes condensation, and it creates an atmosphere that allows the plant to continue to live for several days past the harvest. Anderson said they are growing more than 10,000 plants currently. The seeds are placed in a growth plug made of organic matter, and allowed to germinate for five to seven days. Then they are transferred to troughs, where they sit for about two weeks, growing to the proper size for transfer to the growing towers, where they remain until maturity. When they work with the plants, Anderson and Conaway wear rubber gloves. “At no point in time do we ever touch the plants. They are what’s considered clean greens. They’ve never been touched by a pesticide or herbicide. They are truly clean,” he said. And so, Anderson has eliminated that itch as he has found his calling – in a couple of shipping containers filled with truly clean produce and the promise of a bright future. He and Conaway believe it will make a difference in the local community. “We really believe we could be a great food source for Effingham County,” he said.

Shown are some of the hanging planters that line the walls in the freight containers at Better Fresh Farms. So far, there are two containers in use, with plans to add more. The containers house the same amount of plantings as you would find on 3 acres of land. Winter 2017 • 11

It’s never too early... Call today to reserve your spot in the Spring Edition! Call (912) 826-5012

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12 • Effingham Living

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Effingham County Health Department We’re here for your health.

We provide: • Adult and childhood immunizations • TB skin testing • Women’s Health Services • Pregnancy testing • Head Start physicals • WIC (Women, Infants, Children nutrition program) • STD testing and treatment • Health checks for children • Children’s Medical Services (medical care for children from birth to age 21 who have disabling conditions or chronic diseases.) • Lead screening • Breast and cervical cancer screening for low income, uninsured, or underinsured women • Environmental Health Services • A whole lot more! We want to help you and your family be the healthiest you can be.

For more information on the services provided by the Effingham County Health Department, please call 754-6484 or go to www.gachd.org/effingham

Effingham LIVING

FOLLOW US on Facebook. We want you to “like” us. Check-out our Facebook page and keep up with the exciting things happening in Effingham. You’ll find us at EffinghamLiving

TWEET A little birdie told us you might want to send little tweets about each issue. Our tag is Effingham Living

effinghamliving.com Winter 2017 • 13

From dream to reality: 14 • Effingham Living

Springfield Music & Arts Center gives the arts a home

Written and Photographed By Angye Morrison Winter 2017 • 15


Shown are Joshua Sharp, Brittany Chernich and Kelly Sharp, pictured in front of the wall of stringed instruments offered at Springfield Music & Arts Center.

t started with a vision and a sense of purpose. Kelly Sharp is a general music teacher at Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, Georgia. She teaches grades kindergarten through fifth, and leads the fourth and fifth grade chorus. She’s been teaching at the school for nine years. She’s also taught private piano lessons. But when it came to music lessons and music education, she wanted to do more. So she and her husband, David, invested together in the development of the Springfield Music & Arts Center. The center is located in downtown Springfield, at 311 Main Street, and opened Sept. 1, 16 • Effingham Living

2015. Providing music lessons and music education is exactly what the center has as its core purpose. “I saw that as a need as a music teacher. So many of my families would ask me, ‘Now Mrs. Sharp, where can we go for…?’ Fill in the blank for instruments and lessons. So I got tired of sending people to Savannah. Or even from Springfield as far as Rincon. For our families, that’s demanding on this end of the county. So my thought was, ‘I’ll teach piano lessons,’” she said. But Sharp quickly found that with her full-time teaching job, along with the responsibilities of being a wife and mother, there just weren’t enough hours in the day. She began to think about having a place where people could come and teach, so they wouldn’t have to teach out of their homes,

something she says, in this day and age, just isn’t smart due to liability and financial issues. The center is a long-held dream for Sharp. While she was in graduate school in Huntsville, Texas, she worked for a woman who ran a music school, keeping the books and teaching Kindermusik. The woman encouraged her to start her own school, and allowed her to soak up as much knowledge as she could. “I felt like a sponge. And now, it’s great to finally be able to let it all out,” she said, adding that everything she has done up to this point prepared her for opening and running the center. When the couple began the process, Sharp says it was a learn-as-you-go thing. “How do you go about making a deal?

Coming up with a business plan, going to the bank and asking for a loan, and then when somebody believes in you and gives you a loan. And then not wanting to let that trust down,” she said. “The whole thing was a learning process.” They eventually made a deal on the former Butch Kieffer property on Main Street. In its past lives, it had been a video store and had even been used for fencing lessons in the back rooms. Kieffer had used it for selling paint and decorating supplies, as well as ammunition, and even had two barber chairs on the premises. The front porch area of the property was legendary for its rocking chairs and tall tales. Sharp said they worked hard to keep the original feel of the place. “This was a spot of community. I think we paid tribute to that by keeping it,” she said, referring to the porch, which was left intact as a focal point in the center. “We started with a shell. We just thought, if money wasn’t an option, what would we do? And then we just scaled it to budget, and then made it feasible for us to come in and be practical. I am proud today of what we did,” she said. She added that in hindsight, as is always true, they found there were things they may have done differently. “But the big picture of giving music and arts a home, we accomplished. I think we did exactly what we were looking for at that time. That feels good,” she said. Sharp said her piano students made the transition from lessons in the home to the center seamlessly, and they have gained more students as well. The growth at the center has been slow and steady, she said. “As a music educator, that just makes my heart thrilled,” she added. The venture is a joint family project, Sharp said. The couple’s children work at the center alongside their parents. David undergirds what the store does, she added. “He’s not the face of the business,” she said, laughing. “But he does handle the retail portion of the store. I just can’t do it all. We have certainly made this investment as a family.” The store features a wall of stringed instruments, as well as drum kits, keyboards and just about any instrument accessory one would need. They also sell electronic equipment for guitars, music, method books, vinyl and sound systems, both portable and permanent. Sharp says they offer consultations on sound systems, as well

as assistance installing them. The main thing offered at the store is simple: Support for the music student and his or her family. And they do so at affordable rates. “We try to keep our price point at a place where you can afford it. You don’t have to be a professional player to come in and pick up an instrument. You don’t have to come in and lay that kind of money down,” she said. There are a number of teachers at the center teaching piano, guitar, woodwind, saxophone and oboe. They hope to add voice lessons soon, and replace the drum teacher that recently was lost due to illness. “I would love to be able to say, any instrument you need, we can teach,” she said. Teachers at the center are from Effingham County, as well as music students at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, which Sharp says is an advantage for her students. “They operate at a higher degree of musicality. It’s really good for the middle school students,” she said. Teachers include Bethany Chernich, piano; Jim Walsh and Jack Walsh, guitar; Steven Cooler, woodwinds; and Sharp, piano. Fees are $90 per month for lessons, if you pay in cash. If you choose to use credit, it’s $115. Families are responsible for purchasing any curriculum needed for those lessons, and Sharp says they provide everything in the store, so that parents don’t have to travel to obtain them. Last summer, Sharp said they offered music camps for piano and woodwinds. “You could come in for two to three hours each day,” she said. “The guitar teachers did a rock band camp, and there were four middle school boys who rocked out for three hours, five days a week. That was fun.” Sharp said the camps were important because they afforded them the opportunity to tweak their programs. They plan to continue to offer camps, and hope to add more. In addition to the music offered at the store, there is art on display by John Newton, a local artist. Sharp invites other local artists to display their work, at no charge. She says the center benefits from the in-house art, and it’s good for the community to see it. This year, Sharp says they’d like to add community jam sessions. “It would be a come-in-and-cut-loose

Kelly Sharp, center, is joined by her son, Joshua Sharp, and piano teacher Brittany Chernich behind one of the drum kits for sale at the store.

kind of thing. There would have to be some structure to it, otherwise it’s a mess. But where the adult can come and do some stuff and learn. I would really like to do that,” she said. They would offer after-work hours to make it accessible, she added. She also would like to add more creative art opportunities, like the family art day they had this year, and the crafting camp this past summer. “I do want this to be more than just a music place, but a very creative place. And so, add the art aspect. I would love to add drama. I would love to grow that. I think that could feed in to the Mars Theatre very nicely,” she said. The Sharps are also adding two recording studios in the back of the building, across from the private music lessons rooms, used for individual and group lessons. Sharp is excited about whatever the new year brings, and invites the community to be a part of it. “If you love music and you love the arts and want to grow in it, come check us out. That’s my heart and that is why I do what I do here,” she said. The center is open Monday through Friday, 4 to 7 p.m., and some Saturdays. Call for more information at (912) 346-6072.

Brittany Chernich reaches to open the door of one of the private instruction rooms at the center. Winter 2017 • 17

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New Year, New Beginnings!

I look forward to serving all of your Buying, Selling, and Leasing Real Estate needs in 2017!


O: 912.826.2151 | C: 912.596.3678 5719 HWY 21 SOUTH | RINCON, GEORGIA 31326 WWW.PLATINUMPROPERTIESHOMES.COM 18 • Effingham Living

No publication loves Effingham County more than your

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20 • Effingham Living

Friends. Community. Family. Family. Family. Friends. Friends. Friends. Community. Community. Community. We’re all in this together. State Farm® has a long tradition of being there. That's one reason why I'm proud to support our local community..

Darrel Hutcheson, Agent 4919 Augusta Road Garden City, GA 31408 Bus: 912-964-5535 darrel@darrelhutcheson.com

Hutcheson, Darrel Darrel Hutcheson, Agent Agent

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Join us for a

Taste of State Farm, Bloomington, ILEffingham!

Thursday, March 2 from 5 to 7pm Rec. Dept. Gym on Hwy. 119 in Springfield GEORGIA STATE SENATE

Jack Hill


“PLEASE CALL IF I CAN BE OF SERVICE!” P.O. Box 486 | Reidsville GA 30453 Tel: 912.557.3811 | Fax: 912.557.3522 234 State Capitol | Atlanta GA 30334 Tel: 404.656.5038 | Fax: 404.657.7094 Toll Free: 800.367.3334 jack.hill@senate.ga.gov

Join us for a couple of hours of FUN, FOOD, and FELLOWSHIP at the 7th annual Taste of Effingham. Sample the wonderful choices that Effingham has to offer in food and beverage! Live music by Harry O’Donoghue and friends, and a great silent auction with vacation getaways, fabulous art and more! Call the Chamber for tickets or more information.

For more information on events and activities in Effingham County, visit the Effingham Chamber of Commerce.



Winter 2017 • 21

Government Information

City of Springfield On behalf of the city of Springfield, I would like to welcome you to Effingham County. You have moved to a growing, active county. The city of Springfield is the county seat, designated as such by the Georgia Legislature in 1799. The county offices are all located within Springfield. The Effingham County courthouse is located here, as are the tax and tag offices. The Board of Education, Effingham County Sheriff and Voter Registration offices are also here. Effingham County’s only hospital, Effingham Health System, is located in Springfield. They have 24-hour emergency services, with board-certified emergency physicians available. A top quality extended care facility is adjacent to the hospital. Springfield is not only the geographic center of the county, but also the cultural and entertainment center. We are home to the recently restored Mars Theatre, owned and operated by the city. We show first-run movies, as well as host concerts by nationally popular artists. Our popcorn has been voted the best in Effingham! Every October we sponsor a fall festival, a two-day, fun-filled celebration. Laurel Street, our main street, is closed to vehicular traffic, allowing us to have many street vendors, selling everything

from arts and crafts to food and beverage. We have free, open-air concerts on Friday and Saturday nights during the festival. Headliners last year were Confederate Railroad and Joe Diffie. The Effingham County Historic Society is headquartered in Springfield, operating the Old Jail Museum and Living History Site. The museum, housed in the old county jail, contains historic relics tracing the history of Effingham County from the Ice Age through current times. Every spring, the Historic Society sponsors Olde Effingham Day at the Living History Site. Volunteers recreate life in early Effingham County, with exhibitions on syrup making, blacksmithing, and even how to operate a moonshine still! Confederate re-enactors set up an authentic Civil War-era encampment. We in Springfield share a feeling of family, a long history of traditions and a strong sense of hometown pride. Please join us in Springfield and share in our exceptional quality of living. Barton A. Alderman Mayor, City of Springfield

City of Rincon

Having lived much of my life here and now having the honor of being mayor of Rincon, I have a special bond with this area. I have raised children here, and now have grandchildren here. I worked 40 years for a local employer, have been able to provide for my family, and make it to an enjoyable retirement. For newcomers, Effingham County has all the amenities of a large city, but is spread out enough that you can choose a country setting if desired. The county public schools are some of the best in the state, with thriving extracurricular activities and sports. Many of our residents choose to commute to the Savannah area to work, and come back home to the slower pace. Oh yes, Savannah is just a few minutes away, so big city activities are available for the taking.

All one has to do is look at the growth in this area over the past 10 years. Houses are being built, more service providers are choosing to do business here, and the roadways have continued to improve to address the change in the community’s needs. Rincon was named “Best Place to Raise a Family” – and I believe it. Welcome to all newcomers. Neighbors, I know many, many of you on a first-name basis and plan to meet even more. Take advantage of the great life opportunity in our community like I have. You’ll be glad you did. Ken Lee Mayor, City of Rincon

City of Guyton The city of Guyton welcomes you to experience our small town atmosphere. Whether it’s the various “Sales Along the Trail,” the annual community picnic or the Christmas tree lighting, we believe you will find that all of our local events are conducive to this feeling, and we encourage you to make them a part of your family’s traditions. Furthermore, we boast a number of small businesses to meet your daily needs, including a grocery store, a general store, a beauty shop, a pharmacy, several antique shops and so much more. I believe that, in time, you will love our small town as much as we do, as you begin to recognize familiar faces in your excursions to these businesses, and you begin to feel more like a friend or family member, and far more than just another customer. While these establishments can accommodate your daily needs, Guyton also offers a number of other businesses, including accounting, fabricating, cabinet making and plumbing. Along with our small businesses, you’ll find neighbors throughout the city who not only care for the city, but who care for each other. In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, I witnessed the compassion of these neighbors, as we

22 • Effingham Living

all helped each other recover from the effects of the storm and return to our everyday lives. Citizens gladly stepped forward and joined in the work of the city employees and emergency responders, who were busy cutting up downed trees and limbs and removing debris. Local businesses and churches donated and prepared food to feed those workers, as well as those who were without, due to circumstances beyond their control. Occasionally, one might have needs that cannot be met in Guyton; these items can easily be found in our neighboring cities of Springfield or Rincon, who have additional commercial offerings. Effingham County’s Recreation Department offers numerous opportunities for county residents to participate in a variety of activities and programs, designed for young and old alike. Again, we welcome you to experience small town living in the great city of Guyton, and we look forward to seeing you soon. Jeff Lariscy Mayor, City of Guyton

Government Information City of Springfield 130 S. Laurel St., Springfield, GA 31329 Phone: (912) 754-7617 Fax: (912) 754-7261 www.cityofspringfield.com Barton A. Alderman, Mayor Council Members: Charles Hinely Jerry Maennche Steve Shealy Kenny Usher| Gary Weitman Justin Cribbs Council Meetings: Second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. Brett Bennett, City Manager City of Rincon 302 S. Columbia Ave., Rincon, GA 31326 Phone: (912) 826-5745 Fax: (912) 826-2083 Ken Lee, Mayor Council Members: Reese Browher James Dasher Ann Daniel Christi Ricker Levi Scott Paul Wendelken Raymond Dickey Council Meetings: Second and fourth Mondays each month at 7 p.m. Police Department building, 107 W. 17th St., Rincon Wanda Hendrix Simmons, Interim City Manager City of Guyton 310 Central Blvd.,Guyton, GA 31312 Phone: (912) 772-3353 Fax: (912) 772-3152 Jeff Lariscy, Mayor Council Members: Steve Collins, Alderman, Post 1 Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Franklin Goldwire, Alderman, Post 2 (Post 3 Open) Michael Johnson, Alderman, Post 4 City Council: Meets each second Tuesday at 7 p.m. Planning and Zoning: Meets each fourth Tuesday at 7 p.m. Robert C. Black, City Manager

Effingham County Board of Elections & Registration 284 GA Highway 119 South Springfield, GA 31329 Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Phone: (912) 754-8030 Fax: (912) 754-8408 Email: boe@effinghamcounty.org

Mike Wirth, Code Enforcement Officer Phone: (912) 754-2105, ext. 4510 Email: mwirth@effinghamcounty.org R.C. Barenchik, Zoning AdministratorEmail: rcbarenchik@effinghamcounty.org

Effingham County Office of the Tax Commissioner P.O. Box 787 Springfield, GA 31329 Physical address: 901 N. Pine Street Springfield, GA 31329 Phone: (912) 754-2121 Fax: (912) 754-8411 Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., Monday-Friday Online: www.effinghamtax.com Linda McDaniel, Tax Commissioner

Effingham County Animal Shelter 307 Hwy 119 South Springfield, GA 31329 Mailing Address: 601 North Laurel Street Springfield, GA 31329 Office: (912) 754-2109 Fax: (912) 754-2199 Humane Enforcement: (912) 754-4195 Email Address: AnimalShelter@effinghamcounty.org Office Hours Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Animal Drop-off Hours 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Adoption and Kennel Hours Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Thursday (for Veterinarian visit) 1- 4:30 p.m. Excluding county holidays ( Call to verify hours) In most cases, if a county holiday falls on a scheduled veterinarian visit day, the veterinarian visit will fall to the next business day. Saturday-Sundays - Closed

The Probate Court: 700 Pine St., Suite 146 Springfield, GA 31329 Phone: (912) 754-2112 Fax: (912) 754-3894 Email: bmosley@effinghamcounty.org Probate courts have limited but exclusive jurisdiction over: the probate of wills and the administration of estates of deceased persons, the appointment of guardians of the person and property of incapacitated adults, the appointment of guardians of the property of minors, and the appointment in certain circumstances of guardians of the person of minors. Probate Courts also issue certain licenses and permits and perform certain administrative duties. The Probate Judge also serves as the vital records custodian for the county. In addition, the Effingham County Probate Court provides the following services to citizens: • Marriage licenses • Birth and death certificates • Concealed weapon • Passports Effingham County Planning and Zoning 601 N. Laurel Street, Springfield, GA 31329 Phone: (912) 754-2105 Fax: (912) 754-8450 Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday Effingham County Planning and Zoning meets the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m.

Kayla Phillips, Executive Assistant Email: kphillips@effinghamcounty.org Online: www.effinghamcounty.org

Effingham County Board of Tax Assessors 901 N. Pine Street, Suite 106 Springfield, GA 31329 Phone: (912) 754-2125 Fax: (912) 754-9506 Office hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Janis Z. Bevill, Chief Appraiser Email: jbevill@effinghamcounty.org Online: www.effinghamcounty.org Board of Tax Assessors: Tim Mathews, Chairman Larry (Brad) Green, Vice Chairman Lowell Morgan Loyd (Al) Trimm Gussie Nease The Board of Tax Assessors meets the first Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Tax Assessor’s office.

Winter 2017 • 23

Government Information Effingham County Commission Chairman — Wendall Kessler Elected through 2016 District 1 — Forrest Floyd Elected through 2020 District 2 — Vera Jones Elected through 2018 District 3 — Jamie Deloach Elected through 2018 District 4 — Reggie Loper Elected through 2020 District 5 — Phil Kieffer Elected through 2018 County Clerk Stephanie Johnson 610 North Laurel Street Springfield, GA 31329 Phone: 754-2123 Fax: 754-4157 County Administration County Administrator Toss Allen State Lawmakers Gov. Nathan Deal Office of the Governor 206 Washington Street Suite 203, State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: (404) 656-1776 Web site: gov.georgia.gov Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle Office of the Lieutenant Governor Administrative Staff 240 State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: (404) 656-5030 Fax: (404) 656-6739 Web site: www.ltgov.georgia.gov State Web site: www.georgia.gov Effingham’s General Assembly Delegation State Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville) Capitol Office State Capitol Building Room 234 Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: (404) 656-5038 Fax: (404) 657-7094 Email: jack.hill@senate.ga.gov District Office P.O. Box 486 Reidsville, GA 30453 Phone: (912) 557-3811 Fax: (912) 557-3522 Committees: Appropriations (Chairman); Finance; Natural Re- sources and the Environment; Regu-lated Industries and Utilities; Rules (Vice Chairman) 24 • Effingham Living

State Rep. Jon Burns (R-Newington) Majority Leader Capitol Office State Capitol Building Room 338 Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: (404) 656-5052 Email: jon.burns@house.ga.gov District Office 5829 Clyo-Kildare Road Newington, GA 30446 Committees: Agriculture and Consumer Affairs; Appropriations; Economic Development and Tourism; Game; Rules; Ethics; Transportation State Rep. Bill Hitchens (R-Rincon) Capitol Office 408-C Coverdell Legislative Office Building Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: (404) 657-1803 Email: bill.hitchens@house.ga.gov District Office 2440 Rincon-Stillwell Road Phone: (912) 663-8941 Committees: Appropriations; Defense and Veterans Affairs (Vice Chairman); Public Safety and Homeland Security; Transportation,Economic Development and Tourism Federal Lawmakers U.S. Rep. Rick W. Allen (R-Augusta) Capitol Office 513 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-2823 Fax: (202) 225-3377 Website: allen.house.gov District Office 50 E. Main Street Statesboro, GA 30458 Phone: (912) 243-9452 Fax: (912) 243-9453 Committees: House Committee on Agriculture; House Education and Workforce Committee Subcommittees: General Farm Commodities and Risk Management; Conservation and Forestry; Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions; Higher Education and Workforce Training U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) Capitol Office 432 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-5831 Fax: (202) 226-2269 Website: buddycarter.house.gov District Office 6602 Abercorn St., Suite 105B Savannah, GA 31405

Phone: (912) 352-0101 Fax: (912) 352-0105 Committees: Education and the Workforce Committee; Homeland Security, Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittees: Subcommittee on Transportation Security; Oversight and Management Efficiency; Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions; Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education; Healthcare, Benefits and Administrative Works; Government Operations U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-Sea Island) Capitol Office 383 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Phone: (202) 224-3521 Fax: (202) 224-0103 Website: perdue.senate.gov Regional Office 191 Peachtree St. NE Suite 3250 Atlanta, GA 30303 Phone: (404) 865-0087 Fax: (404) 865-0311 Committees: Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Budget; Foreign Relations; Judiciary; Special Committee on Aging Subcommittees: State Department and USAID Management (chairman); Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources (chairman) U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Marietta) Capitol Office 131 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Phone: (202) 224-3643 Fax: (202) 228-0724 Website: isakson.senate.gov Regional Office 1 Overton Park 3625 Cumberland Boulevard, Suite 970 Atlanta, GA 30339 Phone: (770) 661-0999 Fax: (770) 661-0768 Committees: Finance; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Veterans’ Affairs; Select Committee on Ethics; Foreign Relations Subcommittees: Subcommittee on International Trade; Customs and Global Competitiveness; Taxation and IRS Oversight; Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy; East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy; Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, Global Women’s Issues

EFFINGHAM COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION Academic Calendar 2016-2017 July 28 – August 3

Pre-Planning for Teachers

August 1

Open House for middle and high schools, 4 – 7 p.m.

August 2

Open House for elementary schools, 4 – 7 p.m.

August 4

First Day of School / First Day of the First Nine Weeks

September 5


September 6

Issue First Nine Weeks Progress Reports

October 5

Issue First Nine Weeks Report Cards

October 6

Last Day of First Nine Weeks

October 6


October 7


October 10 – 11


November 11


November 14

Issue Second Nine Weeks Progress Reports

November 21 – 25


December 19 – January 2


January 2


January 5

Last Day of the Second Nine Weeks; End of First Semester

January 11

Issue Second Nine Weeks Report Cards

January 16


February 8

Issue Third Nine Weeks Progress Reports

February 9


February 10


February 13


March 15

Last Day of the Third Nine Weeks

March 17


March 22

Issue Third Nine Weeks Report Cards

April 10 – 17


April 26

Issue Fourth Nine Weeks Progress Reports

May 26

Last Day of School; Last Day of Fourth Nine Weeks; Last Day of the Second Semester

May 26

SEHS Graduation – 7 p.m. at The Corral

May 27

ECHS Graduation – 7 p.m. at Rebel Field

May 29

Post-Planning for Staff

May 31

Fourth Nine Weeks Report Cards released on Parent Portal @ 5 p.m. Office of Curriculum & Technology Effingham County Schools Winter 2017 • 25

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The Effingham Herald has been the source Effingham County counts on for local news about schools, local government, area sports, community and church events as well as happenings around the county. In addition to our printed publication, you can get breaking news all day, every day at EffinghamHerald.net! Read and post blogs, upload photos and share events on our community and regional calendar.

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Effingham Living Winter 2017  

Features Newcomer's Guide, Better Fresh Farms and Springfield Music & Arts Center

Effingham Living Winter 2017  

Features Newcomer's Guide, Better Fresh Farms and Springfield Music & Arts Center