DEC. 30, 2016
Tifton, Georgia



Here we are ~ on the cusp of a new year.

And as the new year comes in Saturday night, a comet will soar near the moon and be visible to those looking west -- at least to those with  binoculars.

NASA says Comet 45P, also known as the  Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova Comet, named after the astronomers who discovered it in 1948, will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere right next to the moon.

Besides the comet, there is sure to be plenty of man-made lights in the sky as well. That's because Gov. Nathan Deal has lifted his ban on using fireworks across most of Georgia; he had earlier prohibited fireworks temporarily because of the lack of rainfall across the state during the autumn months.

Also earlier this year, the governor signed legislation allowing the use of fireworks until 1 a.m. on New Year's. In 2015 Georgia legalized the use of most types of fireworks allowing folks to sell, buy and possess such fireworks  as firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars.

But new restrictions were added this year following complaints from residents across the state who said fireworks were going off at all hours. The new restrictions ban fireworks after 9 p.m. most of the year (except on New Year's and Independence Day), and lets local governments extend those limits if they choose.

People also are restricted from using fireworks along roads and highways, as well as within 100 yards of a hospital, nursing home or prison.

" W hat an honor it has been to serve this year as Tifton's mayor. I look forward to the work we'll do in 2017 with great partners, team members and others. 

"I know this Council is absolutely committed to being the best public servants we can possibly be for each and every citizen and constituent. Have a very safe and Happy New Year!"

Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries

Tifton First United 
Methodist Church

Tifton First United Methodist Church (TFUMC) in Tifton, Georgia, is seeking a full-time Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Responsibilities will be focused on 7th grade through college undergraduate. The Director will be expected to work with other staff members under direction of the Senior Pastor. 
The successful candidate should possess or be pursuing a bachelor's degree; have experience working with and developing youth and young adult ministries and educational programs; and possess a strong personal faith consistent with the United Methodist tradition.

We are looking for a vibrant, energetic person who can get TFUMC youth and young adults excited about the Lord and can recruit and motivate volunteers to lead and teach under his/her direction.
Available January 2017. Salary will be commensurate with education
and experience. 
Please Click Here for a complete job description and application details. 
Applications should be received by January 4, 2017. 

"Best-Selling Truck for 39 Straight Years"
511 West 7th Street
(229) 382-1300

Savannah Moate from  Sylvester , at right, won a  $500 tuition grant at the recent  Stallion Day event at  Abraham 
Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.

The event gives prospective students and their families an opportunity to see what the college has to offer. 

On hand for the presentation was Ms. ABAC -- Anna Marie Pugh -- who is from Mathews, Ala. The next Stallion Day event is scheduled on campus Feb. 4.

It's not too late to give to the Tree of Life!
Remember your friends and loved ones by contributing to the 31st  Annual Tree of Life.  Your tax-deductible gift will help provide for the special needs of patients of Hospice of Tift Area and the Anita Stewart Oncology Center of Tift Regional Medical Center. 
Contributing is easy; give online at
Donations will be accepted through December 31st.


Lt. Steve Hyman of the Tifton Police Department has been reappointed to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

Gov. Nathan Deal made the appointment recently.

Hyman is the community relations and training coordinator for the Tifton Police Department. He has worked as a patrol officer, deputy sheriff, detective and field training officers' crime suppression supervisor throughout his 33 years in law enforcement. 

Hyman was honored as the Tifton Police Officer of the Year in 1990, 1996 and 2000. He earned an associate's degree from Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College and graduated from the FBI National Academy and the Georgia Command College. Hyman has two children and resides in Tifton.


Tifton's "Seniors Enjoying Life Forever," or "SELF," has a New Year's Eve dance on Saturday, Dec. 31, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

As usual, the senior dance will at the Leroy Rogers Senior Center on Second Street.

All Tifton seniors are invited to attend.


Kudzu bugs are not native to Georgia, but in the past seven years, they've made their homes in soybean fields across the southeastern U.S.

While they don't cause damage every soybean season, they can cause yield losses of between 20 and 60 percent. That can create a big loss for farmers who tend the approximately 80 million acres of soybeans grown in the U.S. each year. 

Fortunately a
Working with UGA molecular plant breeder Wayne Parrott, former UGA graduate student Adam Bray is able to identify soybean varieties resistant to damage caused by the invasive insect.
team of University of Georgia researchers may be on the verge of a solution.

"I think we're going to have to think of the kudzu bug as a cyclical pest, like the soybean aphid," said Adam Bray, a recent doctoral graduate from the UGA Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

"Populations have died down, but we want to be ready if they do come back."

Working with UGA molecular plant breeder Wayne Parrott, Bray was able to identify varieties of soybean that are resistant to the damage caused by the invasive insect. Identifying resistant varieties of soybean is the first step to breeding new, resistant varieties.

"This is a move toward developing crop varieties that require fewer insecticides and thus can be more sustainably and economically grown," said Parrott, a professor of crop and soil sciences in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Kudzu bugs, or Megacopta cribraria, have green and brown bodies, stippled wing covers and wide back ends, and they produce an odor that has been compared to odorized natural gas.

They are sometimes confused with brown marmorated stinkbugs, but they are only distantly related.  Kudzu bugs were initially identified in Northeast Georgia in 2009 . They feed on Georgia's most famous weed -- kudzu -- but they will eat any legume plant, including soybeans.

Numbers seem to have dwindled across the state in recent years, but the insects are still present in soybean fields. Farmers dread another population boom like they saw between 2010-13.

Keep Tift Beautiful announces its annual 
live Christmas tree recycling program  at 
Fulwood Park from 9 a.m. to noon 
Jan. 7, 2017. 
Bring your Christmas tree 
and receive a free seedling!


An increase in enrollment, the addition of two new bachelor's degrees and the opening of the laboratory sciences building and the Freedom Gallery highlighted the 2016 calendar year at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

The fall semester enrollment increase to 3,475 students was the third positive bump in its student population in the past four years. The number of students enrolled in bachelor's degrees increased to 1,828, the highest in the college's history.

"In 2008, we had 41 students in baccalaureate degree programs," ABAC President David
Bridges said. "Now we have over 1,800 studying for bachelor's degrees. That is a stark contrast to most of the other state colleges in the
University System of Georgia. Our vision is to be a destination college; and because of our affordability, I believe that will happen. Life is better at  ABAC ."

Bridges is hopeful that this year's announcements of new bachelor's degree programs in nursing and agricultural education will fuel future enrollment increases.  The announcement of the new nursing degree came during the 50th anniversary of the first students entering the associate degree in nursing program.

Dr. Jerry Baker, dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has already received many inquiries about the new B.S. degree in agricultural education. And i ncreasing the number of students majoring in the bachelor's degree in biology at ABAC is a primary focus of Dr. Johnny Evans, dean of the School of Science and Mathematics. He believes the sparkling, new $8.5 million laboratory sciences building will provide a springboard toward that goal.

Bridges has a different objective for the Freedom Gallery in Tift Hall, which opened Oct. 13.  "We are doing this because I want future generations of ABAC students to know that we respect the honor, the integrity and the valor of those who serve in the armed forces of our country," Bridges said.

Other highlights included the $2.3 million grant renewal of the High School Equivalency Program in the Office of Multicultural Education, the awarding of nursing scholarships to the entire inaugural class of bachelor's degree nursing students and the $250,000 gift from the Harley Langdale Jr. Foundation to the ABAC Foundation for the Destination Ag project, which enhances programming at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village.

Registration Begins at 9 a.m. and the Contest starts at 1:30 p.m. 
 i n the gym on Victory Drive.
 Sponsored by TCRD and Tifton Elks Lodge No. 1114


The Rotary Club of Tifton is seeking nominations for its Tifton Rotary Ethics in Business Award to recognize a local business that has demonstrated exceptional ethical behavior.
Criteria for the award, which will go to a business physically located in Tifton or Tift County, were  developed by a committee of Tifton Rotary Club members. The nominated business must have consistently demonstrated high ethical standards of honesty and integrity in dealing with employees, customers and contractors while enhancing the economic well-being of the company and providing local jobs, opportunity and profits. 
In addition, the business must have participated in activities beneficial to the community beyond the provision of economic benefits of the business and must adhere to fair and truthful business practice reflected in the  Rotary Four-Way Test
1.     Is it the TRUTH?
2.     Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3.     Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIP?
4.     Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Nomination applications are available from the Tifton Rotary Club, which meets for lunch each Wednesday at noon at the  Tiftarea Conference Center on  Highway 82, and are on the club's Facebook page, Click Here!
Applications must be submitted and received by  Jan. 10, and may be sent to: Tifton Rotary Club, P.O. Box 1354, Tifton, GA  31793.


The renowned a cappella group Home Free, which includes Tifton native Austin Brown, released another video a couple of weeks from their new Christmas CD

The song "Full of Cheer," written by Home Free's own Tim Foust, is an outrageously fun  holiday song that we thought we'd share before the holidays end this weekend.

. a Glance

SATURDAY, DEC. 31 ~ New Year's Eve
      7:30 p.m., Leroy Rogers Senior Center, Tifton
SUNDAY, JAN. 1 ~ New Year's Day
  • Happy New Year!
In Memoriam

DEC. 22
Linda Lee Colson, 57, Fitzgerald
Jeffery "Jeff" Barnes, 53, Albany
Dr. Harmer Oran Eason Jr., 83, Sylvester
Fred B. Reynolds Sr., 89, Worth County
Patricia Sarah Fountain White, 80, Adel
Grace Dorminy Troupe, 90, Fitzgerald

DEC. 23
Hill C. Griffin, 76, Tifton
Ralph Snead,  58, Dothan, Ala. (formerly of Tifton)
Delores S. Graham, 56, Ashburn
John Christopher Goss, 62, Cordele
Matthew Lovett, 48, Adel
Lisa Daniels, 51, Statenville

DEC. 24
Ethel Arnold Talley, 106, Chula
Beverly Jean "The Pool Lady" Helms, 75, Brookfield
William Henry Fletcher, 34, Blair, Neb., (formerly of Waterloo)
John Royce Reynolds, 69, Waterloo
Annie Ruth Jones Bass, 87, Warwick
Zayden Zayne Ellis, infant, Fitzgerald
Jinnie Lee Price, 80, Quitman
Ellen Giddens, 84, Quitman

DEC. 25
Carolyn  Coleman,  Tallahassee, Fla. (formerly of Tifton)  
Charles Henry Flanders, 91, Alapaha
Carroll Brown Guthrie, 86, Ray City
Evelyn Rowe, 67, Alapaha
David King, 52, Fitzgerald

DEC. 26
Patricia "Pat" Mae Sapp Morrow, 68, Tifton
Juanita Powell Sumner, 86, Omega
Patricia Fletcher, 38, Tifton
Robert Ellis Jr., 56, Ty Ty 
John Fletcher, 78, Sylvester

DEC. 27
Betty Nell Daniels Smith, 85, Tifton
Billy Brooks, 68, Fitzgerald

DEC. 28
Sheila Louise Faulkner Powers, 51, Ocilla
Wendall Horten, 69, Sylvester
Melba Holley, 78, Ashburn
Walter F. Gordon, Ashburn
Earlene Belflower Brockington, 72, Fitzgerald

DEC. 29
Cathy Darlene Avery Sumner, 58, Adel

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