Morning News Briefs for 10-3-16

| October 3, 2016

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The City of Valdosta has partnered with the University of Georgia’s Housing and Demographic Research Center to conduct a survey that will explore housing, neighborhood and transportation preferences among people working in Valdosta. The opportunity is open until November 4th to persons who work at Valdosta’s top five employers—which includes South Georgia Medical Center, Valdosta State University, Lowndes County Schools, Valdosta City Schools and Lowe’s Regional Distribution Center. Employers will encourage their workers to participate in a brief survey located on the city’s website. City and County workers are also urged to participate in the survey. No personal information will be solicited, and all responses are kept confidential. Survey questions will help the city collect information about why people choose to live inside or outside the city limits, how they commute to and from their places of employment, and how affordable these quality of life resources are, among other helpful community development data. To participate in the survey beginning Oct. 1, visit www.valdostacity.com or contact the Neighborhood Development Division at 229-671-3617 for additional information.


Lowndes Associated Ministries to People, Inc (LAMP) is hosting a Celebrity Southern Soul Macaroni Cook-Off Competition on Thursday, November 17th at 6 pm during National Homeless Awareness week. Currently, the organization is seeking sponsors to support the event. Local restaurants, individuals and churches are invited to participate. There will be a professional category, Foodie and open category of People’s Choice. This event is not only to highlight local cooks skills in a favorite southern dish, but to bring awareness of the issues of homelessness during the cold holiday months. Applications for competition will be sent out beginning October 4th. LAMP services nine surrounding counties and is the only shelter in those counties that serve single men, single women and families with children. For more information about the competition or to learn how to become more involved in assisting the shelter contact 229-245-7157, sdenton@lampinc.org or visit www.lampinc.org.


The City of Valdosta will host the 2016 Affordable Housing Summit and Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Mildred M. Hunter Community Center, located at 509 S. Fry Street. The free event will provide affordable housing information and resources from over 20 agencies and organizations, along with service information from several City of Valdosta departments. A Town Hall Meeting will be held at 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. and again at 1 – 2 p.m. These meetings will include several elected officials and city staff members who will address topics such as the Small Business Seed Loan Program, and other community programs and services. For more information, contact the city’s Neighborhood Development Division at 229-671-3617.


The 100 Black Men of Valdosta will host its first Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament on Friday, October 7, 2016, at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club. Contact Nathaniel Haugabrook at 229-247-4617 or Greg Powell at 229-503-6024 should you have any questions.


The Lanier County Board of Commissioners, the Mayor and Council of the City of Lakeland will host the official dedication of U.S. Highway 22 and SR31 in Valdosta in Lowndes County as the James Slaton “Jay” Shaw Memorial Highway. The road dedication ceremony will be held on Wednesday, October 19 at 1:00 pm at the Arts & Civic Center 99 East Burnt Church Road in Lakeland. The public is invited to attend. Shaw served on the State Transportation Board from 2010 to 2015 and in the Georgia General Assembly where he represented House District 176.


The Georgia Department of Community Affairs launched a new mortgage assistance program that will allow homeowners who owe more than their home is currently worth—to apply for up to $50,000 in financial assistance. Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson, a member of the DCA Board, encourages community residents to take advantage of this one-time opportunity. “This program is intended to help those with home mortgages that exceed the value of their home due to market effects from the nation’s housing crisis,” The window of opportunity is open until Oct. 18, and Georgia residents who meet the eligibility requirements will be able to visit www.UnderwaterGeorgia.org to complete a pre-application for these funds. For more information call 877-519-4443.


A new City of Valdosta program using federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds will make available low-interest loans of up to $10,000 each to qualifying new and existing small businesses within the City of Valdosta. The Small Business Seed Loan Program (SBSLP) is an economic development activity of the city’s Neighborhood Development Division, which will utilize a portion of the CDBG funds the city receives to offer financial and technical assistance to local low- to moderate income entrepreneurs. A total of $50,000 in loans of various amounts (no single loan greater than $10,000) will be awarded annually through this program. Among other requirements for consideration, a small business must be located in the City of Valdosta and be licensed by the city to conduct business. For more information about the loan program or to pick up a loan application, call the Neighborhood Development Division at 229-671-3617.

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