FEB. 23, 2018
Tifton, Georgia


Tifton Grapevine

It's a mystery with few real answers.

A military headstone, belonging to a World War II veteran buried in Tifton's Oakridge Cemetery, was recently discovered buried in Lenox on some overgrown property owned by Vietnam veteran Warren Robinson.

"It's quite a story," Robinson told the Tifton Grapevine. "We don't know how it ended up there."

He has been unable to locate a living family member of the deceased veteran.

Robinson, a retired Lenox banker, is the author of "Remembering Vietnam: A Veteran's Story."  He recently was the featured speaker at Tifton's first Mayor's Prayer Breakfast.

Robinson said he has owned the small piece of land in Lenox since 2001 and has rented it to people for parking their mobile homes.  Several weeks ago, one of the renters asked if he could clear an area at the back of the property. When the man was moving a mound of dirt with a shovel, he struck an object that sounded like a large rock.

It was a military headstone for Edgar Willis Dean, U.S. Army, World War II, who died in 1978.

"I'm from Lenox," Robinson said. "I was born and grew up within two blocks of that lot, and I never heard that name or heard of that family." He said neighbors also never heard of Dean or the Dean family.

After doing some research, Robinson discovered that Edgar Willis Dean had been born in 
Dean's grave in Tifton with the recently discovered military headstone placed at the site by Robinson.
Cordele. After serving in WWII, Dean joined his parents who had relocated to Orlando, Fla. Dean then worked many years with a forest products company in Orlando. At the time of his death, he  had a sister who lived in Tifton. Dean was buried in Oakridge Cemetery, where his sister, Dorothy Carroll, is now also buried.

And that is where the trail ends.

There is already a small headstone on Dean's grave in Tifton.  Robinson theorizes that the military headstone, similar to ones at Arlington National Cemetery, likely was sent to a family member by the Veterans Administration or a funeral home.

"Apparently, some family member must have lived on that lot at one time or another," Robinson suspects, and the headstone was just never taken to the grave in Tifton.

"It weighs about 400 to 500 pounds and would not be easily moved," he said.

Robinson decided to clean the headstone and have it placed it at Dean's gravesite in Tifton. He reached out to the  Vietnam Veterans of America in Adel, who will be coordinating a memorial tribute to Dean at noon March 17 in Oakridge Cemetery.

"We have been unable to locate any living relatives. Hopefully, some living relative will get word of this," Robnson said. "We want to invite as many people as possible to join in a final tribute to this seemingly forgotten soldier."

And, Robinson adds, "It's all still a mystery."


The Exchange Club of Tifton is holding its 25th  Annual Bids for Kids, a televised auction, between 5-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24.

The auction will be televised on Channel 11 on both Plant TiftNet and Mediacom cable systems . Viewers may call 229-391-9800 to make their bids. The auction will also be broadcast live on Facebook.

Approximately $35,000 in donated items will go the highest bidders. Money raised goes toward local programs combatting child abuse, including the Tift County Commission on Children and Youth, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and The Patticake House.

Donations are tax deductible.


Workers on Thursday gathered to plan next week's pouring of concrete to top off the paving at the intersection of U.S. Highway 82/State Route 520 and South Main Street in Downtown Tifton.

Because rain is in Monday's forecast, contractor Reeves Construction Co. is scheduling to begin the concrete phase on Tuesday night. Portions of five lanes will be topped with concrete, which holds up longer than asphalt under the conditions, officials say. 

The work requires lane closures, and is being done between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. to avoid interfering with daytime traffic Highway crews are repairing ruts and cracks  in the road caused by h eavy trucks braking and stopping at the downtown intersection.

The entire maintenance service contract for the pavement preservation project is expected to be completed within two weeks, weather permitting. The Ga. Department of Transportation has awarded an $817,827 maintenance service contract for the project.


The annual Community Care Day Resource Expo is set for 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 10, at the Tift County Recreation Department  on Victory Drive.

The free event, open to the public, includes health and wellness information, medical
Participants gather at a previous Community Care Day Resource Expo.
screenings, refreshments, giveaways and children activities.

Community Care Day is sponsored by the Tift County Recreation Department, Tift Regional Medical Center, WellCare, South Georgia Learning Resources System, the Tift County Commission on Children and Youth, the Tift County Board of Education, ABAC, the Tift County Health Department, the Jay Deason Fund and other community partners.  

Beth Lewis, planning committee member, said the goal of the expo is to raise awareness about available community resources in such areas as fitness, disability, wellness, recreation, personal development, counseling, financial guidance, employment and education.
"We know it is often difficult for individuals and families to locate and access the resources they need, and this event is a tremendous opportunity to discover the resources available in our community," said Lewis. "It is always inspiring to see a community pull together with caring efforts to support one another and meet the needs of others."

For information, contact Craig Sowell at 229-382-3262 or by email at


The Sine Nomine Singers will perform in "A Night of Choral Music" at the First Tuesday Concert at 7 p.m. March 6 in the Chapel of All Faiths at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

The free concert is open to the public. 

The singers are under the direction of Dr. David Lee Johnson, professor emeritus/voice, from Valdosta State University. Dr. Susan Roe, head of ABAC's Fine Arts and a professor of voice, said the singers' performances are of the highest caliber, presenting the most varied and challenging music in the choral art. 

"Whether they are singing early Renaissance choral literature or a toe-tapping spiritual, Dr. David Johnson has his choir so prepared they can inspire an audience to an unbelievable listening experience," Roe said. 

The choral ensemble is a semi-professional group of singers from Valdosta and surrounding areas. Members are selected based on their musicianship, vocal ability and desire to achieve excellence in choral performance. 

"You leave these concerts thrilled and wishing they would have sung more," Roe said. 

The First Tuesday series, now in its 16th season, features regional professional artists on the first Tuesdays of five months during the year.  For information, contact Roe at


Pictured in the photo above, from left, are Ana Rodriguez, Michal Gregus, Emma Mendieta, Mary Mauldin Collins, Jeronimo Herrera, Will Jones and Hays Jones who all represented Tift County in the 2018 Georgia Music Educators Association All-State Chorus event held Feb. 15-17 in Athens

These students passed two auditions in order to participate in the statewide event. Ana, Michal, and Emma attend Eighth Street Middle School. Their choral director is Pam McClellan.

Mary and Jeronimo attend the Northeast Campus of Tift County High School. Their choral director is Sheri Wyles. Will and Hays attend Tift County High School, and their choral director is Scott Rains.

Tifton First United 
Methodist Church

107 W 12th St., Tifton, Ga.

Tifton First United Methodist Church has an opening for a church pianist.
This is a part-time position.

The pianist is responsible for preparing for and practicing with  the chancel choir, orchestra and ensemble on Wednesday evenings  for about two hours and for playing at Sunday traditional services  at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., as well as at special services.  

Interested persons should contact Angie Carr at or call



Still thinking about which films to check off on the Oscar ballot before awards season wraps up March 4 with the 90th Academy Awards? Consider "Baby Driver," "I, Tonya," "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" and "DeKalb Elementary."
They all were filmed in Georgia and contributed to the $9.5 billion the film industry brought to the state last year, the University of Georgia reports.
"It's an exciting time," said Lee Thomas, deputy commissioner of the Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office of the Ga. Department of Economic Development. "It's amazing what has happened here. It's so much bigger than anyone thought it would be."
A scene from 'The Waking Dead' is filmed in Georgia.
The state's foray into movie-making is the focus of this year's UGA Charter Lecture, "Hollywood South: The New $9.5 Billion Georgia Industry," at 2 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Chapel on the Athens campus.
In addition to Thomas, panelists include Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer of "The Walking Dead," and Will Packer, executive producer of "Straight Outta Compton." It will be moderated by Jeffrey Stepakoff, executive director of the Georgia Film Academy.
The industry has grown in the past decade from $240 million in 2007 to its current $9.5 billion.
Now, there are an average of 30 to 40 productions going on at any given time across the state.
That growth benefits not only the people working on the productions, but also the towns where they're being filmed. Thanks to "The Walking Dead," downtown Senoia has seen a revitalization. When production started, only six storefronts were occupied, Thomas said. Today, all 50 are occupied, including Nic and Norman's, started by one of the show's stars, Norman Reedus, and special effects make-up artist Greg Nicotero.
More than 92,000 people in Georgia work in jobs with ties to the entertainment industry. "The Walking Dead," which occasionally films on UGA's Griffin campus, boasts a crew in which Georgians make up more than 90 percent.
Because tax credits create significant cost savings, they are an important part of why production companies choose to come to Georgia. According to, the state's Entertainment Industry Investment Act provides a 20 percent tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production and post-production in Georgia, either in a single production or on multiple projects. The state grants an additional 10 percent tax credit if the finished project includes a promotional logo provided by the state.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is another draw. The many direct flights to and from Los Angeles and other locations make it easy to transport the cast, crew and equipment. 
The state's temperate climate and varied terrain also make filming here easy for production companies. They can find coastal areas to mountainous peaks and metropolitan cities to small towns, all within a few hours' drive.
"All the stuff you need to make a $300 million movie is here," Stepakoff said, "as well as all the stuff you need to make a 10-episode Netflix streaming series."


The Wilson High School Class of 1965 Alumni Association has awarded a $1,500 scholarship to Tift County High School graduate Janya Sims.

Sims graduated with superior honors last year. She also received scholarships from
Georgia's HOPE program, Aramark Corp., Georgia Business Education Association, Tifton Junior Woman's Club, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Wilson Class of 1966 and Heath-Pittrnan & Smith Reunion.

Sims is a certifled nursing assistant, past president of the Future Business Leaders of America, former member of the National Technical Honors Society, Beta Club and JROTC.

She won the Miss Strands of Excellence in the Precious Pearls Leadership and Scholarship Cotillion Program She is currently a sophomore at Georgia State University, majoring in biology and planning to become an obstetrician-gynecologist.

Sims is the daughter of Felicia Sims and Jamie Brown.

We build pole barns for any use: garage, equipment, campers, farm usage, etc.

Installation is Fast and Guaranteed!  

Call us for a free estimate!



320 Magnolia Ave.
Moultrie, GA

Visit our website:


The community is invited to the Spring Revival at Tifton's First United Methodist Church beginning Sunday, March 18, and continuing through Wednesday, March 21. All services will be at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. 

Congregational singing and special music by various groups will be led by Angie Carr, FUMC director of
music. A children's revival will be held during the services for children ages three through first grade. A nursery will also be provided.
The preacher for the services will be Dr. D. Craig Rikard of Valdosta. Rikard is a member of the South Georgia Annual Conference and has pastored United Methodist churches in Warner Robins, Alma, McRae, Columbus, Macon and Valdosta. He holds degrees from Valdosta State, Asbury Theological Seminary and Columbia Theological Seminary.

Rikard is the author of two books, the first of which won the  Georgia Writers Association's Georgia Author of the Year in the memoir category.

He and his wife, Gail, have been married 44 years and live in Valdosta. They have two daughters and one granddaughter.


A $198,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture-sponsored Conservation Innovation Grant will support ongoing University of Georgia research on cover crops and their effects on water quality for row crop production.

The grant enables scientists from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in Tifton to join Clemson University on this research.

Wes Porter, UGA Cooperative Extension irrigation specialist, and George Vellidis, CAES precision agriculture expert, conduct the cover crop research on the UGA Tifton campus. The research started on Sept. 21, 2017, and will continue through July 2020.

The grant funds research focused on water quality and conservation, Porter said. The UGA team wants to determine whether deep-rooted crops, specifically wheat and rye, reduce nutrient runoff and improve infiltration and soil moisture in fields.

"We want to demonstrate these techniques at an Extension site to show producers how implementing these methods can help in a production scenario. If we implement a thorough cover crop strategy and manage it properly, we can reduce water consumption and improve water quality," Porter said.

Cover crops are used as part of a conservation tillage system that builds soil's organic matter. They are planted during fields' fallow or dormant times. After the grower harvests a row crop -- such as cotton, peanuts, corn or soybeans -- the cover crop is planted and covers the field during the winter. The grower then kills the cover crop before planting the row crop the following spring.


An opening reception will be held from 5-8 p.m. March 3 for a new exhibit at the Plough Gallery in Tifton

"Connected" by Kelly A. Stevenson showcases her contemporary ceramic sculpture depicting interactions between humans and animals.

The Montana native, a visiting assistant professor at Berry College, will be in attendance at the reception in the gallery on Eighth Street.


Tifton's Locally Owned Electronic Newspaper!

It's Free!
e-published every Tuesday & Friday / to Advertise, call

. a Glance

  • Advocate-Celebrate-Educate Recovery Community Organization Symposium, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Southern Regional Technical College, Tifton
  • 21st Annual Sweetheart Run,10 a.m., Rehabilitation Services of Tifton, Old Ocilla Road, Tifton
  • Bids for Kids televised auction, 5-10 p.m., Channel 11, Plant TiftNet & Mediacom, Tifton
  • 28th Annual Miss Tift County Forestry Scholarship Pageant, 5 p.m., Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Tifton

In Memoriam

FEB. 15
Christine Bryan Hardy, 75, Tifton
Bill Denny, 77, Tifton
Ella Mae Jones, 84, Sylvester
Willa Mae (Smith) Combs, 91, Berlin
Jimmie Jean Luke Bostic, 76, Nashville
James Welch, 71, Sparks

FEB. 16
John Daniel "J.D." Goff, 84, Tifton
Timothy Virgil Branch, 67, Tifton

FEB. 17
Katie T. "Bobbie" Jackson Walker, 83, Sylvester
Mary Ann Maxwell, 78, Monticello, Fla.
Ruth W. Luke, 88, Fitzgerald
Lana Dale Whiddon, 66, Adel
Jody Lokey, 50, Sparks

FEB. 18
James Alton Carter, 87, Willacoochee
Willie Gray, 80, Tifton
Phillip Larry Bogert, 69, Sylvester
Melinda Padgett Walker, 44, Fitzgerald
John Smith, Sylvester
John Lewis Smith, 80, Sylvester

FEB. 19
Margie Webb Souter, 74, Sumner

FEB. 20
Phillip Henry Musslewhite, 69, Fitzgerald
Faye Slappey, Sumner
Jessie Spillers, Albany 
William Russell "Bill" Crawn, 75, Nashville

FEB. 21
Gloria Lucia Falcon, 69, Tifton
Van Graves, Chula

FEB. 22
Glenn O'Connor, Tifton 

533 West Road, Poulan, GA
MLS #128174

Farm with mixed hard wood, long leaf pines; woods are loaded with turkey, birds and a large pond with migratory ducks.


Editor & Publisher

A Service of Sayles Unlimited Marketing LLC