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SIPS feeling credit crunch

The ripple effects of the financial woes facing Wall Street and the banking industries have also trickled down to many of the small businesses on main street.

SIPS President Ron Harrigan confirmed this week that his company has been affected. Many of his customers who had placed orders with the company have canceled due to their lines of credit being pulled. As a result, SIPS had to lay off workers.

Harrigan assures the public that SIPS, which started up in the Decatur County Industrial Park a little more than two years ago producing structured insulated panels for the building industry, is not going under.

“We are going through a reorganization and working to better utilize our people and materials. We are still getting new orders, as the demand for energy efficient, environmentally friendly, green construction is still very much there,” said Harrigan.

The company is offering their stock options to bring in additional new investors.

“Sips panels are in demand, and we hope to see a turn-around the first quarter of 2009,” said Harrigan.

He added, “At that point we plan on being able to rehire.”

Wright joins Tuten Chiropractic team

Melba Wright recently joined the massage therapist team at Tuten Chiropractic, 406 N. West St.

A graduate of Core Institute in Tallahassee, Fla., Wright recently passed the national certification exam and is available to give massages daily, Monday through Friday, while therapist, Beth Dollar, continues to be available for appointments on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Wright was previously employed 20 years at Memorial Hospital and Manor, first as a monitor technician in ICU, then as a purchasing agent for the last seven years.

She decided to draw her retirement and return to school for a career change.

Wright said she was the oldest member of her class, but enjoyed it greatly.

She also enjoys her new occupation.

“This is a stressful world we live in, and it is kind of neat relieving other peoples’ stress. It makes me feel like I have a purpose,” said Wright.

Stembridge in HBA Hall of Fame

Helen Stembridge, SCANA Energy regional manager and Bainbridge native, was recently inducted into the Home Builders Association of Georgia Hall of Fame at the association’s annual convention held in Destin, Fla.

Stembridge began her involvement with HBA of Middle Georgia in 1978 as a volunteer. She has served four terms on the board of directors and has held the office of secretary and associate vice president of HBA. She was awarded the HBA of Middle Georgia Associate of the Year in 1989 and again in 1997, and was named HBAG Associate Member of the Year in 1990.

Unemployment rates rise

The Georgia Department of Labor has reported that the unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia area rose to a preliminary unadjusted rate of 6.9 percent in September, up two percentage points over the year from September 2007.

The jobless rate in southwest Georgia rose two-tenths of one percentage point from a revised 6.7 percent in August.

Meanwhile, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.5 percent in September, the highest rate in nearly 16 years. The jobless rate was up two percentage points from 4.5 percent at this same time last year. It remains above the national rate of 6.1 percent for the eighth consecutive month. The state’s jobless rate is up two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 6.3 percent in August.

The unemployment rate for Decatur County for September has risen to 8.5 percent.

Funeral Service Board actions

The Georgia State Board of Funeral Service held its monthly meeting Tuesday, Oct. 14, and approved orders to accept fine money for inspection violations on two area funeral homes.

• Williford’s Funeral Home, Cairo, fined $250 for failure to have a non-porous sanitary sink cover and failure to have pricing information on caskets.

• Guyton Brothers Funeral Home, Bainbridge, fined $50 for failure to have a non-porous sanitary sink cover.