This Week in Tifton, Georgia  
Aug. 30, 2013

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Move Will Save Taxpayers $3 Million, City Manager Says

Tifton Grapevine - City Net Debt
VIDEO: City Manager Explains CityNet Refinancing



Tifton Grapevine


The City of Tifton has refinanced its debt for CityNet, the city's former high-speed internet, TV cable and telephone services sold in 2009, saving more than $3 million.

The refinancing adjusts the debt from a 20-year note to a five-year note with $1.3 million due each year. City Manager Larry Riner says the city hopes to pay off the note in less than five years, so "we get that monkey off our back."

CityNet has been controversial almost from its beginning. In 1998, the city issued $7.9 million in revenue bonds to get CityNet started; services began in October 1999. Within a few years, CityNet was borrowing heavily from other city accounts. In 2004, CityNet had borrowed $2.3 million from the gas fund, $1.9 million from the general fund and nearly $200,000 from the water fund.

In 2006, the Tift County Development Authority, in a controversial move, approved $10.7 million in bonds for CityNet with a 20-year payback. Although city officials aggressively denied they were going to sell CityNet, three years later the operation was sold to Plant Telecommunications.
Ga. Peanut Commission in National Study
      Ga. Peanut Commission
Photo by Frank Sayles Jr.                   
Tifton Grapevine

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the Georgia Peanut Commission's net-zero energy headquarters building in Tifton as one of 12 commercial structures in the nation to participate in a pilot project creating a national standard for assessing energy performance.

The DOE is "developing software to assist and analyze buildings for energy efficiency," says Simone du Boise -- architect of the Peanut Commission's building -- with Cadmus Construction in Roswell.


"They selected 12 buildings to be analyzed in the United States; we're No. 9 of 12," she told the Tifton Grapevine.


The "Commercial Building Energy Asset Scoring Tool" is being developed to evaluate the physical characteristics and energy efficiency of buildings and will identify cost-effective improvements that, if implemented, can reduce energy bills and potentially improve a building's value.


du Boise said the project will take several months.


The Peanut Commission's building, which opened last year near Interstate 75 on Fulwood Boulevard, is the state's first net-zero energy governmental building.


du Boise was also the architect of the net-zero energy "green house" which the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence constructed on Tifton's Park Avenue will the aid of Moultrie Tech students and others.


  HGI building
Live Entertainment Each Saturday Night!
ADAM SMITH performs
6:30 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31 
       Come Join Us for Dinner!                        229-382-8484
Walk Georgia

Registration Opens Sept. 1

Walk Georgia, a 12-week program to encourage physical activity, opens registration on Sept. 1.


"You can compete with people all over the state," says Roxie Price, UGA family & consumer sciences agent at the Tift County Cooperative Extension Office.

Walk Ga logo


"It is not just walking; it is any type of physical activity. You record your minutes and those minutes are
converted to miles, online, then you virtually walk across Georgia, learning information about the counties you reach," Price explained.


You may participate as an individual and track your progress with other individuals in your county and state or form a team of four to exercise together.


This fall's program runs from Sept. 1 to Nov. 23.


For more information, Click Here!

Affinity Pediatrics

Grand Opening for Carpenter Road Site
Tifton Grapevine - Tiftarea YMCA's Grand Opening
VIDEO: Tiftarea YMCA's Grand Opening
The Tiftarea YMCA and the adjacent Tift Regional Community Events Center held their grand opening on Aug. 28 at the new location on Carpenter Road.
Representatives from the YMCA, Tift Regional Health System, the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce, local volunteers, officials and interested residents all gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the facility.
See the video above.

Swingin' Medallions

ABAC Faculty Recital Open to Community


The School of Liberal Arts at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College presents a joint faculty recital at 7 p.m. on Sept. 10 in Howard Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.


SRoe WJonesPerforming at the recital will be Dr. Susan Roe, ABAC's music director, and Wayne P. Jones, Arts Connection director, accompanied by music instructor Gina Lawhon.


Vocal selections will include "Quando m'en vo'" from La Boheme; George Gershwin's "Summertime" and "Bess, You Is My Woman Now;" Franz Schubert's "Grechen am Spinnrade;" and"Heimliche Aufforderung" and "Morgen" from Vier Lieder, Opus 27 by Richard Georg Strauss.


Tift Regional Now Offers 

Weight-Loss Surgery

Surgeon to discuss Lap-Band procedure

 at free community seminar


 Tift Regional Medical Center will be holding a free community seminar to provide information about Lap-Band weight loss surgery with three opportunities to attend in the fall.   


Titled "Lap-Band Surgery: Are You a Candidate?," board-certified general surgeon

Christopher Smith, M.D. will discuss the procedure and what the eligibility requirements are for patients. The dates for the events are Sept. 21, Oct.12 and Nov. 16 at the Tift Regional Community Events Center, located in the Tiftarea YMCA at 1657 S. Carpenter Road in Tifton. Each seminar is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and is free and open to the public.  

To register, call 353-2263 or visit


  Lap Band"Lap-Band surgery is a minimally-invasive, adjustable gastric banding procedure to make the stomach smaller," said Dr. Smith. "The surgery limits the amount of food the stomach can hold. It helps people eat less and feel full sooner, leading to weight loss. It is meant for patients who have struggled with obesity and have been unsuccessful with traditional weight-loss methods."


Dr. Smith said more insurance providers are covering Lap-Band surgery for people who are medically-eligible for the procedure. A self-pay option is also available. 


"Not every person who is obese is a candidate for Lap-Band surgery," said Dr. Smith. "A certain criteria must be met. At the seminar, we will discuss Lap-Band, how it works, who medically qualifies for the procedure and more. I'll also answer any questions from the audience."  



 Dr. Smith is holding a clinic for evaluations and post-operative visits at the Tift Regional Weight Loss Center, located at the TRMC West Campus, 2224 Highway 41 North in Tifton. The Lap-Band procedures are being performed at the TRMC Surgery Center.  


Trained and experienced in bariatric surgery, Dr. Smith is a board-certified general surgeon who has practiced in Albany since 1983. A native of Tifton, Dr. Smith earned a B.S. degree from the University of Georgia and his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Smith completed his internship and residency in general surgery at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta, where he also served as chief resident. He is a board certified Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.


"I am pleased to be able to offer Lap-Band surgery in Tifton," said Dr. Smith. "It makes it more convenient for area residents. TRMC offers a first-rate surgical facility that rivals the ones found in hospitals and academic centers in larger metropolitan areas."


Dr. Smith said that Lap-Band weight loss goes beyond the surgical procedure. "We have an excellent team dedicated to providing education, follow-up care and support to patients to help them achieve long-term success," said Dr. Smith. "That is what makes our Lap-Band program so unique."


For more information, call 353-2263 or visit

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Garden Center
            At a Glance.... 
  • Decorator Show House, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fulwood Garden Center, Tifton.
  • Tift County High Football vs. Westover, 8 p.m., Brodie Field, Tifton. 
  • Annual Yard Sale by Girl Scouts Troop 40366, 7 a.m., Victory Baptist Church, Tifton.
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m., Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton.
  • Downtown Farmers Market, 9 a.m., Old Train Platform, Tifton.
  • Decorator Show House, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fulwood Garden Center, Tifton.
  • Adam Smith performs on the patio, 6:30 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, Tifton.
  • Decorator Show House, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Fulwood Garden Center, Tifton.

In Memoriam


Randy Hampton, 50, Ashburn
Beverly Crosby Clyburn, 49, Adel 
Eva L. McCoy, 86, Tifton 
Aug 24
Preochia  Chymeria Billington, 17, Tifton 
Aug. 25
Hansel William "H.W." Lott, 88, West Berrien

Aug. 26
Eula C. McKee, 92, Tifton
Barbara Plair Dorden, 54, Tifton 
Eulalio Hernandez Dominguez, 84, Ty Ty 
Barbara Dorden, Tifton 
Ruth Cowart Tyson, 93, Tifton 
Aug. 28
Myrtle L. Dorough, 91, Adel
George William Jones, 67, Ty Ty





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  Frank Sayles Jr. 
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