April 15, 2016
        Tifton, Georgia

   (478) 227-7126


ABAC had a total economic impact of $329,844,725 on Tift and surrounding counties during the 2014 fiscal year, according to a  recent study commissioned by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia .

President David Bridges said the economic impact figure represents an all-time high in the 108-year history of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

"It's an amazing number, and a variety of factors played a role in producing that number," Bridges said.  "We were fortunate to have four consecutive semesters of enrollment increases, and we are filling up every available residence-hall space on the campus every fall semester," Bridges said.

"Students are staying at ABAC longer because of the bachelor's degrees. They are eating in the restaurants, buying from the stores and contributing to the local economy. And some of them will find jobs here, settle down in the community and contribute even more to the economy long term."

Dr. Jeff Gibbs, professor emeritus of economics and former dean of the business school, analyzed the data from the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.

" ABAC creates substantial economic impact in terms of output, value-added (gross regional product), labor income and employment," Gibbs said. "The economic impact of ABAC on its host community includes $112 million in output, $70 million in value added, $35 million in labor income and 1,344 full and part-time jobs."

Gibbs also included ABAC's initial spending of $111,838,713 which covers personal services, operating expenses, student spending and capital outlays in the economic impact figure.

"These projections are from identifiable direct expenditures by ABAC," Gibbs said. "There are other tangible economic benefits to the community from ABAC but not included in these calculations."


The Seventh Annual Tour de Tifton, an on-road bicycle ride through picturesque rolling rural countryside, is Saturday, April 16.

The Ilse Boyette Memorial Charity Bike Ride has registration beginning at 7 a.m. and the mass start at 8 a.m. near the swimming pool at the Tiftarea YMCA's Hunt Park campus on Westover Road.

There will be a beginner's 11-mile course, intermediate level 24- and 45-mile loops, and 62- and 100-mile century routes for advanced riders.  An event T-shirt and post-ride meal are included in the registration fee. Riders completing one of the century routes (metric or full) get a special gift.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Tiftarea YMCA youth programs, Y scholarships for low-income residents and the Boyette book fund for local nursing students at Tift Regional Medical Center.
Online registration is available at

A " Pre Tour de Tifton Slow-Speed Social Ride" occurs at 6 p.m. today, Friday, April 15, starting and ending at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture. Helmets are required but Spandex is not, says local cyclist Paul Horst.


The Tift County Schools Special Education Department is using a $828 incentive grant from the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence to establish a lending library of autism resources.

The incentive grant is through the foundation's George McCarty School Counseling Chair and is  the result  of a request from teacher Kim Bruce.

Thirty-eight books were purchased with topics such as Autism and Reading Comprehension, a Social Thinking Curriculum and a positive behavioral guide.

In the photo at right, Kim Bruce leads a "social thinking" lesson using the Superflex social curriculum from the Lending Library.

Join Us For Our

Saturday, April 16

2-3 p.m. / The Cove at Willow Creek
6 Sweet Gum Trail, Tifton
3 BR/2 BA       $209,500 
117 Surrey Circle, Tifton
3 BR/2.5 BA with an office       $235,000

53 Surrey Circle, Tifton
3 BR/2.5 BA      $199,000



Publix Charities has donated $22,400 to the United Way of South Central Georgia based in Tifton. The check was a corporate match based upon the $32,000 that Tifton Publix supermarket associates are contributing to the United Way.

At the check presentation were, from left,  Publix District Manager Keith Gilbert, United Way board member Denise Verdesoto, United Way President Charleston Carter, Executive Director Pat McKinnon, Publix Manager Glen Fogle and United Way board member Crystal Reese.

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ESG Operations, which is contracted to handle the City of Tifton's  utility and public works operations, has  been recognized by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) for outstanding facility operations.

Among the ESG partnerships cited is Tifton's  water  system one  of the winners of the 2016 Water Gold Award.

The GAWP awards process, conducted by regulatory agency professionals in Georgia and operators from other systems, is rigorous and requires year-round preparation.  

"We would like to thank the GAWP and their staff for their continued support of water and wastewater utilities in Georgia. These prestigious industry awards provide validation that ESG Operations Inc. is the foremost utility contractor in the state of Georgia. ESG Operations Inc. has received more awards for operational excellence in Georgia and across the Southeast than all of our competitors combined. 

"We extend our sincere thanks and congratulations to all ESG associates who invested countless hours preparing for the facility inspections as well as assisted all of our Top Op applicants," said ESG principals Clay Sykes and Dan Groselle.

Groselle is a Tifton native.

As one of the nation's fastest-growing full-service utility operations and public works management companies, ESG Operations provides solutions to a wide range of environmental and infrastructure projects. ESG's corporate headquarters is in Macon, and has 20 other offices across the Southeast.

Tift Regional Health System selects Cerner for health IT system

Cerner will bring physicians and staff together on one clinical and financial digital system

Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) has selected Cerner to implement an integrated- electronic health record (EHR) and revenue cycle management system across its acute and ambulatory facilities.

"We are committed to providing the highest quality of care possible to Tift County and the surrounding communities," said William T. Richardson, president and CEO, TRHS. "Cerner understands our long-term vision, and we value its position and commitment to transforming health care IT across the globe."

With the enterprise-wide Cerner Millennium system, TRHS will have the ability to manage and integrate
From left, Jay Carmichael, Cerner southeast client executive; David McEachin, MD, TRHS chief medical information Officer; William T. Richardson, TRHS president/chief executive officer; Christopher Dorman, TRHS chief operations officer; and Guy McAllister, TRHS chief Information officer and vice president.
clinical and financial data to help direct patient activities across the continuum of care. By reducing interfaces and niche third-party systems, Millennium's integrated workflow will enable model processes to support the health systems' needs, culture and mission. 

"We look forward to achieving the benefits expected from having many of our physicians on one EHR," said Guy McAllister, chief information officer and vice president, TRHS. "Having access to integrated clinical and financial information will provide us with a platform that works for our organization versus our organization working around a disconnected system." 

"Cerner and TRHS will leverage the advanced health IT system to work toward our measurable goals of increased physician usability, strong patient outcomes and improved cost efficiency," said David McEachin, MD, chief medical information officer, TRHS.

As part of the new Cerner relationship, TRHS has signed up for interoperability services, including CommonWell Health Alliance to use its functions for patient identity management, record locator service and document query and retrieval. CommonWell services will enable patients to share their existing medical records with TRHS care providers and others that provide care, regardless of geographic location or health IT system affiliation. 

"Together, we'll use our collective talents to support quality health care and improved outcomes to benefit the patients and families in Tift County, across Georgia and throughout the nation. We look forward to working with Tift Regional Health System physicians and staff," said Zane Burke, president, Cerner.
About Tift Regional Health System
Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) is a leading health care provider serving 12 counties in South Central Georgia. Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC), the flagship hospital for TRHS, is a 181-bed regional referral center offering signature services in surgery, oncology, cardiovascular care, women's health and more. TRHS comprises of TRMC and the TRMC West Campus in Tifton, Cook Medical Center and Cook Senior Living Center in Adel and Tift Regional Physician Group with clinics located throughout the region. Please visit or for more information.  
About Cerner
Cerner's health information technologies connect people, information and systems at more than 20,000 facilities worldwide. Recognized for innovation, Cerner solutions assist clinicians in making care decisions and enable organizations to manage the health of populations. The company also offers an integrated clinical and financial system to help health care organizations manage revenue, as well as a wide range of services to support clients' clinical, financial and operational needs. Cerner's mission is to contribute to the systemic improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities. For more information about Cerner, visit, read our blog at, connect with us on Twitter at and on Facebook at Our website, blog, Twitter account and Facebook page contain a significant amount of information about Cerner, including financial and other information for investors.

Thursday, April 28
7:15 a.m.
Elk's Lodge, Tifton

RSVP by April 22 * Contact Mike Davis, 229-391-4704
Proceeds Benefit the Boy Scouts of America 
 and will Help Fund a District Executive in Tifton
Breakfast Committee
Mike Davis, Chairman
Glenn Willis
Wes Ehlers
Pat Atwater
Judge Bill Reinhardt
Vince Funk
Carl Hutcheson

O'Sullivan with the Viewers' Choice winning quilt: "Bella Celtic."

Linda O'Sullivan of Tallahassee earned top honors in three categories at last weekend's Wiregrass Quilters Guild (WQG) show in Tifton.

The show was a main feature of the Georgia Museum of Agriculture's 2016 Folk Life Festival.

Viewer's Choice, wall hanging and bed quilt categories were captured by O'Sullivan. "Bella Celtic" was selected for viewer's choice and wall hanging categories, and "Spring Fling," a double wedding ring pattern, was named in the bed quilt section.

Other winners were Margo Martin of Tifton in the challenge quilt category for her "Midnight Mosaics"  kaleidoscope quilt, and Cathy Brady of Albany for her grandson's "One Fish, Two Fish" first quilt in show entry.

Jane Rodgers, WQG president, said that she felt this year's seventh annual show was the most successful in terms of attendance, participation and funds raised.

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(229) 382-1300

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1 BR apartment: $650 month
2 BR apartment: $750

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404 N. Tift Ave.,  Tifton, Ga.


Internationally acclaimed saxophonist Gregory Tardy performs April 21 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with the ABAC Jazz Ensemble at the ABAC Jazz Festival
Gregory Tardy

Before the 7 p.m. sold-out concert in Howard Auditorium, the festival will feature high school jazz bands from across Georgia performing all day on the ABAC campus.

Arts Connection Director Wayne Jones said the concert represents the final segment of the ABAC Presents! performing arts series for the 2015-16 year. No more tickets to the evening event will be available but fans of jazz music can enjoy the high school jazz bands in their free performances during the day.

Sponsored by the ABAC School of Liberal Arts and the ABAC Arts Connection, the Jazz Festival promotes jazz and jazz education in South Georgia. Activities begin at 10 a.m. at The Meadows with performances from 12 high school jazz bands.

Lee County High School kicks off the day at 10 a.m. followed by Worth County High School at 10:25 a.m., Colquitt County High School at 10:50 a.m., Valdosta High School at 11:15 a.m., Creekside Christian Academy at 11:40 a.m., Americus Sumter County High South at 12:05 p.m., Eighth Street Middle School at 12:30 p.m., Thomas County Central High School at 12:55 p.m., Lanier County Highat 1:20 p.m., Hampton High School at 1:45 p.m., Riverdale High School at 2:10 p.m., Appling County High School at 2:35 p.m., and the ABAC Jazz Choir at 3 p.m.

Tifton's Locally Owned Electronic Newspaper!

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        a Glance

  • 'Goin' Hog Wild' Car Show Cruise In, 6 p.m., UGA Tifton Conference Center, Tifton
  • Relay for Life, 7 p.m., E.B. Hamilton Sports Complex, Tifton
  • Tour de Tifton, 7 a.m., Tiftarea YMCA Hunt Park, Westover Road, Tifton
  • 'Goin' Hog Wild' Car Show, 8 a.m., UGA Tifton Conference Center, Tifton
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Open House, 2-3 p.m., Advantage Realty, Tifton
  • Open House, 2-4 p.m., D Coleman Realty Group, Tifton

In Memoriam

Charlie Gordon Gunter, 67, Tifton
Van W. Phillips Sr., 82, Adel
James Richard Phillips, 90, Ray City
Melvin "Skeet" Sumner, 67, Leesburg

Nelda Sue Moore-Rentz, 75, Orange Park, Fla.
Rhonda Lynn Hendrix, 58, Statenville
Michael Shipp, 52, Valdosta

Shirley Marie Cox Hickman, 78, Tifton
Ervin Eugene "Gene" Hall, 78, Sylvester
Geraldine Lane, 77, Sylvester
Elaine Herlovich, 86, Fitzgerald

Jimmie Rae Tyndall Wood, 89, Tifton
Louise Jackson, 82, Enigma
Jennifer Lee White Vinavong, 45, Worth County

Jennifer Lee White Vinavong, 45, Worth County
Richard "Rickey" Eston Giddens, 59, Ray City
Janet Ester Winter Cochran, 71, Ashburn

Charles Henry Majeski Sr. "Charlie," 84, Tifton

Stanley Michael Rutland 64, Tifton
30 Riverview Way, Tifton
Mark McGill
22 Chase Circle, Tifton
Dickie O. Smith


39 Chase Circle, Tifton
Dickie O. Smith
26 Chase Circle, Tifton
Dickie O. Smith

7011 Conoly Way, Tifton
Dwana Coleman
3004 N. Park Ave., Tifton
Terri Branch

606 N. Ridge Ave., Tifton
Vernon Willis
47 Henry Way, Tifton
Glen Green & Kevin Green, subdivision builder 

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 Frank Sayles Jr. 
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