Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
WELCOME BACK!
ABAC REOPENING BUT 'THERE'S NOTHING NORMAL'
VIDEO: Dr. David Bridges, ABAC president, in this video from Farm Monitor talks about the college and some of the changes that students will see as classes get underway on Wednesday, Aug. 12.
COLLEGE EXPECTED TO SEE NEARLY 4,000 ENROLLMENT
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College begins its fall semester on Wednesday, Aug. 12, opening classrooms to nearly 4,000 students for the first time since March 13 when the pandemic moved all instruction online.

“There’s nothing like the excitement of the first day of fall classes: Seeing the seniors, some of them only months away from graduation, and watching the freshmen as they find their way around campus,"said ABAC President David Bridges.

"I love having the students back.”

But Bridges adds that “there’s nothing normal about the classrooms they are returning to. Masks, social distancing, and many hand-sanitizer stations give the ABAC campus a whole new look.”

Social distancing extends to apartment-style student housing at ABAC Place and ABAC Lakeside. For the first time, every student living on campus has a private bedroom, limiting the housing capacity to 1,200 students. Rental property in Tifton is a hot commodity as a result.

ABAC students will see a compact calendar for the fall term because of the pandemic. Classes will end Nov. 19, and all final examinations will be over by Nov. 24. When students go home for the Thanksgiving holidays, they will not return until just before the start of the spring semester on Jan. 11.

“Our primary concern was students going home for Thanksgiving and then coming back with the virus,” Bridges said. “Those extra weeks will give us time to thoroughly clean classrooms, the residence halls, and the dining hall.”
TIFT SCHOOLS OFF TO
GOOD START, OFFICIALS SAY
Tift County public schools began in-person classes Monday on an every-other-day rotation schedule – essentially splitting classes in half – and officials say the school year is off to a good start.

“I feel really good about it,” Superintendent Adam Hathaway told the Tift County Board of Education on Tuesday.

“I’ve gotten nothing but great remarks from everybody in the buildings. I’m very pleased about where we’re at."

Hathaway said staff and students have worn masks when necessary, are social distancing, and staffers are doing well in sanitizing facilities.

“Our kids and our community have responded unbelievably well,” he said.

School officials said there also have been no issues on school buses, which have averaged about 10 students on each bus, with some buses carrying up to 18 students and some others carrying fewer.
From left are Carla Hall, medical clinics director; Tiffany Jones; and Mandy Brooks, TRMC Foundation director.
TRMC FOUNDATION AWARDS NURSING SCHOLARSHIP
The Tift Regional Medical Center Foundation recently presented Tiffany Jones, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in the Employee Medical Home at Southwell, with the Renee Moorman Scholarship.

The $1,500 nursing scholarship was established by Dr. Larry Moorman and family in memory of the late Renee H. Moorman for her love of nursing. This scholarship is awarded annually to an LPN pursuing a registered nurse degree and is used for school expenses.  

This year’s recipient, Tiffany Jones, is enrolled in the bridge program at Southern Regional Technical College. She has been with Southwell Employee Medical Home for five years and continues to work full time while in school.

“Nursing is not just a job to me, it has always been a passion to serve, care and to give the best quality care to patients,” she said.  

For information, contact the Tift Regional Medical Center Foundation at 229-391-3310.
GA HAS BIGGEST 1-DAY INCREASE IN COVID DEATHS, BUT IN TIFT HOSPITALIZATIONS DECLINE
While Georgia had the largest single-day increase Tuesday in reported coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began, there was some good news in Tift County.

Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC) began this week with 22 in-patients testing positive for COVID-19 – a steadily declining number during the past dozen days. On July 30, TRMC reported 45 positive in-patients; one week ago, the number at TRMC was 35 in-patients.

But in statewide numbers, there was little good news. During the 24 hours between Monday and Tuesday, the state had 137 coronavirus-related deaths for a total of 4,351. Tift County’s total deaths are 40. Georgia reported an additional 3,639 positive cases in 24 hours for a total of 222,588 cases since the pandemic began. Tift has a total of 1,363 cases.

In the past two weeks, Tift County reported an additional 171 cases, according to the Ga. Department of Public Health. Tift's numbers represent 3,338 cases per 100,000 population, the DPH said.
In the back row, from left, are Courtney McKee, Amber Dowdy, Tiana Gartman, Nicole Wheeler, Charlette Hudson, and Lania Newton. In front are Shanna Martin and Megan Warren.
SRTC PINS STUDENTS FOR COMPLETION
OF SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM
Southern Regional Technical College’s (SRTC) surgical technology program held a pinning ceremony Monday, Aug. 3, marking the program completion of eight students.

The students and their instructor met in a classroom for the pinning, which was broadcast via the Internet to family and friends. Tiana Lynez Gartmen of Tifton, Charlette Danielle Hudson of Ashburn, Amber Dowdy of Tifton, Shanna Marie Martin of Tifton, Courtney Skye McKee of Tifton, Lania Marissa Newton of Ocilla, Megan Lynn Warren of Valdosta, and Nicole Maria Wheeler of Ashburn were honored.

In addition to the customary pin, instructors gave each student a charm bracelet representing their strength and determination, and a pearl symbolizing their wisdom. 

The surgical technology degree program prepares students for employment in a variety of positions in the surgical field, including as surgical technologists.

SRTC’s fall semester begins Aug. 18.
TIFTON-TIFT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RIBBON CUTTING
Independent Retirement Professionals
605 West Second St., Tifton
Aug. 5
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S PET OF THE WEEK
This kitten is among those available for immediate adoption or rescue at the Tift County Animal Shelter. Visit the Animal Shelter from 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch's Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055
FIRST WOMEN SERVE ON TIFTON JURY
– AUG. 12, 1954
For the first time, women were called to Tift County juries on Aug. 12, 1954. A total of 14 women – nine for criminal cases and five for civil cases – were drawn to serve. Virginia Quattlebaum has the distinction of being the first woman drawn from the jury pool to serve on a Tift County jury.
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