Friday, April 23, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
Photo by Brittney Sadler Roberts
Alexander Kane, with his painted-on tattoos and Fitzgerald cap, poses on location with other actors during filming of "A Day to Die" in Jackson, Miss.
FITZGERALD ACTOR HAS ROLE IN NEW BRUCE WILLIS FILM
By BONNIE SAYLES
Tifton Grapevine
Alexander Kane of TMG Studios One in Fitzgerald, who has brought several film projects to South Georgia including Tifton, is acting with Bruce Willis in a new action film, “A Day to Die,” currently shooting in Jackson, Miss.

Filming there will wrap on Sunday.

In the film about a bank heist, Kane plays a character named Steve from Fitzgerald, Ga., a role specifically written for him by the director, Wes Miller.
 
“Steve is a former special ops sniper who is a loud, funny, flag-waving, patriotic, gun-toting, explosion-creating redneck from Fitzgerald, Georgia. He’s no doubt the peacock of the film, spreading his feathers and keeping the humor going with Southern phrases throughout the film while he’s kicking ass,” Kane told the Tifton Grapevine.

The character joins his former special ops team in their hour of need to pull off a heist in order to save someone’s life, Kane said. He wears a purple Fitzgerald cap during the film.

"Finally stepping into a bigger action role," he noted on social media. Kane has 15 film credits and has produced several others.

His Internet Movie Database (IMDb) biography says he is “known for his thick, authentic Southern accent, big smile and rugged throwback style. Rather than moving to LA, ATL, or NYC to pursue his goals… he brought major productions to his small rural hometown in South Georgia. It is there that he created a studio, which has become a major player in the film industry.”

Kane is co-executive producer of the most recent movie filmed in Tifton and Fitzgerald, “Gasoline Alley,” with Bruce Willis, Luke Wilson, and former NFL player Vernon Davis, which wrapped in March. Davis is also in the current movie filming in Jackson.

Last month, Kane had told the Tifton Grapevine that another movie is expected to begin shooting in South Georgia during April. There already is a buzz on social media with calls being made for vehicles to be used in an upcoming area movie along with sites being scouted.

“We are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in Tift and Ben Hill counties,” Kane told the Tifton Grapevine in February. “I bring the films to Fitzgerald, because I love my hometown.”

“Breach” and “American Siege,” both starring Willis, were filmed in Fitzgerald. “Reactor” with Willis was filmed at Lake Blackshear and in Cordele. “Breach” has been released on Netflix and is currently the platform’s second most popular movie in Europe, where it is known as “Anti-Life.”

“American Siege” and “Reactor” will be released this fall. 

Kane has said that he has about a half-dozen productions on the books for this year and wants to continue providing jobs and opportunities for South Georgia.
Refreshing careers for Tifton area CDL drivers and more. 
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AREA JOBLESS RATES DROP,
EXCEPT IN TURNER COUNTY
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
The jobless rate during March dropped in Tift and other Tiftarea counties, except in Turner, where the Ashburn area saw a slight increase in its unemployment rate, according to data released Thursday by the Ga. Department of Labor (DOL).

Tift County saw its jobless rate decline to 3.6% in March from February's 3.8%. One year ago, it was 3.4%. During March, Tift reported total employment at 20,610 out of its labor force of 21,371, the DOL said.

Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percentage points to 4.5% in March while the state saw a significant increase in the number of jobs.
 
March is yet another month where we have seen job growth throughout the state,” said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, adding that Georgia is “showing triple the amount of job listings that we were seeing at the start of the pandemic."

The March unemployment rate, followed by February's percentage rate, in area counties includes:

Cook, 3.2%; 3.6% in February; Berrien, 3.5%, 3.8%; Worth, 3.9%, 4.5%; Irwin, 4.3%, 4.9%; Turner, 6.5%, 6.1%; Ben Hill, 5.3, 6.0%.
Tiftarea Academy STAR student Kaylee Miller with her STAR teacher Johnny Branton.
TIFTAREA ACADEMY NAMES STAR STUDENT, TEACHER
Kaylee Miller has been named Tiftarea Academy's 2021 STAR student, having the school's highest SAT score.

She has been a student at Tiftarea Academy for 14 years. Kaylee has been involved with one-act play and literary competition, and won the region in her respective category this year placing second in the state in two categories.

Kaylee, who will attend Mercer University this fall, chose chemistry teacher Johnny Branton as her STAR teacher.
TIFT REPORTS 9 NEW COVID-19 CASES
Tift County has recorded nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past two weeks, the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH) reported Thursday.

Tift's coronavirus-related deaths remained unchanged during the period, the DPH said.

Tift County's new confirmed cases translate to 22 per 100,000 population, the DPH reported. The county’s positive testing rate during the two-week period is 3.9%.

Since the pandemic began, Tift has reported 3,412 confirmed cases with 96 deaths.

On Thursday, Georgia reported 997 new cases with 34 additional deaths and 93 new hospitalizations. The state has had a total of 872.396 confirmed cases and 17,304 related deaths, the DPH said.
WEATHER CONCERNS CAUSE TCHS TO RELOCATE PROM; GRADUATION SET
Tift County High School's prom on Saturday has been relocated from Brodie Field to the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center because of expected bad weather.

The National Weather Service predicts showers and thunderstorms throughout the day and evening Saturday, with a 90% chance along with winds at 10-15 mph.

The Senior Walk is scheduled at 9 p.m. Seniors have already received four tickets for admission to the Senior Walk, and no additional tickets will be available for sale at the door.

The Senior Walk may be viewed via live stream Here!

Tift County High has also scheduled this year's graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021. The ceremony begins with the processional at 7:45 a.m. Saturday, May 22, at Brodie Field. Each senior will receive 10 tickets for admission.

The ceremony will also be live-streamed.
AMERICANS LOSING 'NATIONAL MEMORY,' AUTHOR TELLS ROTARY
By BONNIE SAYLES
Tifton Grapevine
“You can’t love someone you don’t know; by the same token, you can’t really love a country you know hardly anything about,” author and historian Randolph Russell of Brunswick told the Tifton Rotary Club on Wednesday.
 
An advocate for civic literacy, Russell is author of “American History in No Time – A Quick and Easy Read for the Basics."
 
“A lack of knowledge of the basics of U.S. history is pervasive across all age groups and all academic levels,” Russell said. 

In the most recent testing of high school seniors by the U.S. Department of Education, only 12% were proficient in American history, far below the results in reading, math and science, which seem to get more attention, he said.
 
The Intercollegiate Studies Institute tested college students at institutions including Harvard and Yale. “They scored so poorly that the average grade was an F,” Russell said.

In its annual survey, the Freedom Forum Institute found that less than 1% of adults could name one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment

“Our connection to our heritage is fading,” he said. “We are losing our collective national memory.” He cited reasons “we need to fix this problem, as a nation and as individuals.” 

“It’s part of our identity as Americans to know something about our country. We don’t need to be historians. But there is a general body of information that everyone should learn and never forget, so that every citizen at least knows the fundamentals, and it becomes a part of who we are.” 

Having an understanding of the past makes us better citizens, Russell said, and makes our lives richer and more meaningful. Quoting historian David McCullough, he said, “It gives us a scale of our own brief period on earth and its value. Indifference to history is a form of ingratitude.” 

In addition to the fundamentals, Russell said, we should know why our capital is called the District of Columbia. We should also know where we can find an ancient Native American earthen pyramid with a larger footprint than any pyramids in Egypt, he said. 

He decided to tackle the project in his book, a short overview, and a refresher in just 100 words, written chronologically.

“Consider it a civic duty and a family responsibility to be familiar enough with our nation’s history to be able to pass it down to our children and our grandchildren. Young and old alike are drawn to a good story. Our history provides an unlimited supply of amazing stories,” he said.

Russell, who has also been a professional musician, ended his talk by playing "America the Beautiful" on the saxophone.
James Herring, from left, David Moore, and Jim Moore in front of the John Lewis Herring portrait in ABAC’s Herring Hall.
HERRING FAMILY DONATES PORTRAIT OF J.L. HERRING TO ABAC
Descendants of John Lewis Herring recently gathered to present his portrait to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, where it will occupy a distinguished position in the building named in his honor. 

To honor their family’s connection to ABAC, Jim and Martha Moore donated the re-creation of their treasured family oil painting of Herring, a prominent citizen instrumental in bringing the Second District Agricultural and Mechanical School to Tifton

He was publisher of The Tifton Gazette when Second District A&M, the forerunner of ABAC, opened in 1908.  

An area high school, Second District A&M later became South Georgia A&M College in 1924, the Georgia State College for Men in 1929, and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in 1933

When Tifton was selected as the school's site in 1906, the Gazette headline proclaimed, “The Hallelujah Day Has Come, Tifton Lands the A&M School.”

Herring Hall, located on ABAC Circle at the front of the campus, is named in Herring’s honor. The building houses the offices for the vice president for finance and operations, admissions, and human resources. In a recent homecoming ceremony, the Herring family received the Family Legacy Award from the ABAC Alumni Association.

“Since 1908, at least 18 of Mr. Herring’s descendants have attended ABAC, making it a true family tradition including grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren,” said President David Bridges. “This family has made a lasting impression on ABAC.”
BOARD OF REALTORS AWARDS SCHOLARSHIP
Tiftarea Academy senior Marlee Taylor is awarded the Nancy Courtoy Tiftarea Board of Realtors scholarship. She will use the scholarship as she enrolls at the University of Georgia in the fall.
OBSERVING EARTH DAY IN TIFTON
In honor of Earth Day on Thursday, the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence hosted an Earth Day event: For each donation to the foundation's new Mother Earth Environmental Studies chair, donors received a plant.

A variety of native Georgia flowers, herbs, vegetable plants, fruit trees and vines were given out at Tifton's First United Methodist Church parking lot.
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YOUR GUIDE TO ACTIVITIES THIS WEEKEND IN THE TIFTAREA
This Saturday, April 24, is National Pigs in a Blanket Day, so if you have a pig, be sure to swaddle it in a blanket.
SATURDAY, APRIL 24

  • 9th Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race, 8 a.m., Red Roberts Landing, Reed Bingham State Park, Adel
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Strawberry Jubilee, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Rutland Farms, 5641 Union Road, Tifton
  • Youth Apprentice Info Session, 9 a.m.-Noon, Country Store, Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Drive-Thru Food Giveaway, 1-3 p.m., Tifton First Assembly, 1800 Central Ave., N., Tifton
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S DOG OF THE WEEK
“Milo,” a male dog, is available for adoption at the Tift County Animal Shelter, located on Highway 125 S. The shelter is open to the public for adoptions from 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch’s Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055  
candle-flames-banner.jpg
APRIL 15
Steve Dickson, 77, Tifton
Isabelle Romero White, 95, Tifton
Cora Lee Mims Simmons, 62, Tifton
Jackie Eugene “Jack” Kennedy, 81, West Berrien Community
Mark Owens, 68, Tifton
Bobby Dale Hancock, 66, West Berrien Community
Jen Hasty Reed, 79, Ashburn
Curtis D. Fuller, 69, Adel
Jimmy Neloms Sr., 70, Jacksonville, Fla.
Rex Ring, 64, Fitzgerald

APRIL 16
Preston Thomas Kaiser, 3, Tifton
Lola Britt Pearson, 66, Tifton
Andre L. Smith 48, Tifton
Shirley McConville Cooper, 68, Adel

APRIL 18
Mary Lee James Webb, 82, Tifton
Delmas Griner, 80, Madison, Fla.
Robert L. Bradford Sr., 82, Gray

APRIL 19
Carroll Daniel Applewhite, 92, Tifton
Jason E. Littleton, 45, Leesburg
Robert Lee Dales, 64, Nashville
Curtis Robert Keagle, 56, Fitzgerald

APRIL 20
Betty “Lunette” Golden Williams, 86, Enigma
Dale Lee Dennis, 43, Tifton
Reid Mullis, 84, Sylvester
Robert W. “Bobby” Dixon Sr., 76, Fitzgerald
Jerry Franklin Hanson, 55,
Sylvester

APRIL 21
Laura Bryan Moore, Adel
James “Jim” Karras, 85, Nashville

APRIL 22
Donald Whiddon, 79, Chula
Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
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Bonnie Sayles
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