JUNE 9, 2017
Tifton, Georgia

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U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, is facing a challenger in his own party for Scott's congressional seat.

Danny Ellyson, a Houston County business owner and disabled Iraq War veteran, is  against Scott in the 8th congressional district, which encompasses the I-75 corridor from the Macon suburbs through Tifton and Valdosta.

In his campaign material, Ellyson calls himself an "Independent Republican." He is running under the auspices of " Brand New Congress," a non-party political action committee helping Democrats, Republicans and Independents run for office in
a grassroots campaign that does not accept funds from special interest groups.

Brand New Congress was begun by some supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, to help recruit candidates across the country who oppose big money in politics and promote a progressive agenda. Ellyson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he is not a Sanders supporter but does believe that Congress needs overhauling.

"The progressive nature of what we're doing, and I do identify as a progressive Republican, is not about just throwing laws up because laws can be thrown up," he told the AJC. "It's simply saying that I believe in taking away laws that are not productive. I believe in the restructuring and the evaluation of everything that's in existence."

Ellyson said he wants to help businesses and veterans, expand public transportation across the region and help South Georgia farmers being squeezed by large agrochemical companies.

Ellyson has been a military police officer, an active duty Georgia National Guard recruiter and a career counselor for soldiers. He received an honorable discharge as a sergeant first class.

He later  " founded a small family landscaping business back in my hometown of Warner Robins," Ellyson said in his campaign material. "I love running a small business that not only helps provide for my family, it also creates employment for our community in Houston County. I share the joy of my two children with my husband Nate, a nine-year old son and five year-old daughter."

While Congressman Scott has not formally declared re-election to his seat, the Tifton Republican is expected to run again. He reportedly already  has more than $400,000 in campaign funds.

On the UGA Tifton campus, workers, including Kalen Fleming and Melissa Brannon, weigh watermelons that are part of Associate Professor Tim Coolong's research trials.

VIDEO: Ga. Watermelon Association
Watermelon season is starting in South Georgia. Not only are they tasty but watermelons are big business in Georgia with a $124.5 million farm gate value in 2015,  according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. 

But along with ripening watermelons, f
usarium wilt is also rising in Georgia watermelon fields. UGA scientists are studying whether this fungal disease can be managed through fumigation.

Fumigation is a method of pest control that involves using volatile compounds in a restricted area to kill pests and pathogens. Research on fumigation with the fungicide Proline is yielding promising results, according to Bhabesh Dutta, UGA Cooperative Extension vegetable pathologist at the UGA Tifton campus.

"I am encouraged by the outcomes of the first year of this trial. We conducted this trial in a field with a history of fusarium wilt. To get a reduction in disease incidence down to as little as 4 percent is encouraging," he said.

Dutta is collaborating with UGA Extension vegetable specialist Tim Coolong and UGA Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agents Will Gay in Turner County and Josh Grant in Crisp County. The research team plans to continue conducting field trials on the interactive effect of using both a fumigant and a fungicide to control fusarium wilt.

In the past four to five years, fusarium wilt emerged as the biggest disease that watermelon farmers face.


Chris Wade, Tift County High School's new head basketball coach, told the Tifton Rotary Club on Wednesday that there is a decades-long tradition of a first-class basketball program at TCHS, and he will work to continue that tradition.

Wade said Tift's state-championship team will be in a rebuilding phase next season, and there is some up-and-coming talent.

The former assistant coach was named head coach when Coach Eric Holland resigned recently to accept the position of principal at Rome High School.

In the photo above, Coach Wade, at right, stands with Tifton Rotary Club President Jeremy Campbell.

Country music star Vince Gill sold out the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center on Thursday night. The Country Music Hall of Famer has 21 Grammy Awards, more than any other male country music artist, and has been honored by the Country Music Association with 18 CMA Awards. Gill has recorded more than 20 studio albums, charted over 40 singles on the Billboard charts and has sold more than 26 million albums.


South Georgia Bank Holding Co. recently announced the addition of two members to the company's board of directors. Glenn Willis' and Brian Ponder's appointments will expand the board to 13 members.
Willis is president of South Georgia Banking Co. a position he has held since 2007. He began his banking career in 1985. A
Tift County native, Willis graduated from Tift County High School and UGA. He is active in legislative and leadership roles with the Georgia Bankers Association, serving on the GBA Insurance Trust Board or Directors, GBA Board of Directors, the Community Banks Committee and the Public Affairs Committee.

Locally, Willis volunteers with the Georgia Museum of Agriculture, the Tifton Museum of Arts and Heritage, the ABAC Alumni Association, ABAC President's Club, Tifton Rotary Club and the American Cancer Society. He is a deacon at First Baptist Church of Tifton, where he teaches a sixth-grade Sunday School class and participates in the adult sanctuary choir.
Ponder is co-owner and operator of his family farm, Pond-O-Gold, in Omegawhere he and his brother, Ken manage 3,000 acres of timber and farmland. Their operation consists of 1,200 acres of cotton, 650 acres of peanuts, 300 acres of corn and 120 acres of watermelon.

Ponder is a past winner of the Tift County Farmer of the Year Award, 2007 ABAC Alumnus Master Farmer of the Year and a recipient of the Georgia Soil and Water Conservationist of the Year Award. He serves as a district supervisor for the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Committee, a Tift County Farm Bureau director and is on the Board of Trustees with Road Less Traveled Ministries in Tifton. He attends Union Grove Church.
South Georgia Banking Co. ranks 27th in asset size of state-charted banks in Georgia with assets of more than $460 million. SGBC has eight locations in Colquitt, Tift, Turner, Crisp and Dooley Counties. Its operations center is in Tifton; the company's employees number more than 115.  


The Wound Care and Hyperbaric Clinic at Tift Regional Medical Center has been helping raise awareness of chronic wounds. The fourth annual Wound Care Awareness Week ends today.

It is estimated that chronic wounds affect 6.7 million people in the U.S., and the incidence is rising, fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and the late effects of radiation therapy. If left untreated, chronic wounds can lead to diminished quality of life and possibly amputation of the affected limb.

"We see patients living with non-healing wounds for a prolonged amount of time due to the lack of awareness of advanced wound care options," said Dr. D. Scott Covington, chief medical director for healogics. 

"We work to educate community physicians about which of their patients can benefit from advanced wound care, and then provide coordinated care to heal that patient's wounds."

The TRMC Wound Care and Hyperbaric Clinic recently received the Robert A. Warriner III Center of Excellence Award. The clinic achieved outstanding clinical outcomes for 24 consecutive months, including patient satisfaction higher than 92 percent and a minimum healing rate of at least 91 percent within 30 median days to heal. T he clinic also was awarded President's Circle Honors, which places the clinic in the top 15 percent of all healogics network wound-care facilities nationwide.


The annual University of Georgia Insect Scouting Schools are open to farmers, consultants and those interested in learning how to diagnose insect damage on high-value agricultural crops such as cotton, peanuts and soybeans.
Mark Abney, UGA Extension
peanut entomologist

The schools will be held at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton on Monday, June 12, and at the Southeast Georgia Research and Education Center in Midville on Tuesday, June 20.

UGA Cooperative Extension entomologists Mark Abney and Phillip Roberts will conduct both trainings from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants will learn basic identification of insects and damage, pests' natural enemies and scouting procedures. The schools will include an in-field review and cover insect and caterpillar pests, beneficial insects and safety.

"No matter the year, you can almost guarantee that insect pressure will be high. Whether you're talking about burrower bugs in peanuts, thrips in cotton and peanuts, or the kudzu bug in soybeans, there are pests out there that can inflict significant damage on crops if our farmers are not monitoring carefully," Roberts said. 

"That's why we stress the importance of scouting and scouting regularly."

For information, call Debbie Rutland at 229-386-3424

. a Glance

  • Miss Georgia Forestry State Scholarship Pageant, 5 p.m., Tift County High Performing Arts Center, Tifton

  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Sylvester Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, downtown train depot, Sylvester
  • Wellness Expo & Fun Fair, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Beulah Hill Family Life Center, Tifton Eldorado Road, Tifton
  • Miss Georgia Forestry State Scholarship Pageant, 5 p.m., Tift County High Performing Arts Center, Tifton
  • Tifton Terminal Railway Museum Open House & Exhibit, 5:30 p.m., Railway Museum, Tift Avenue, Tifton

In Memoriam

J.N. Pilkinton, 75, Sycamore
James Paul Griner, 83, Nashville
Tommy W. Owens, 81, Fitzgerald
Maximino Mendoza, 87, Quitman

Steven Mitchell Sumner, 55, Omega
Martha Jane Evans Pendley, 75, Tifton 

Gerald L. Hallman, 74, Doerun
Thelma Louise Griffin, 75, Nashville

Jeanette Eason Doster Benson, 86, Tifton
Donnie Roger Jackson, 68, Omega
Bernard Grice, 79, Fitzgerald
Charles Lewis Ryals, 72, Fitzgerald
Lucille "Ms. Tillie" Hallford, 88, Quitman

Bernice Davis Peavy, 60, Tifton
Willie Mae Nelson, Tifton
Frederick James McCann, 72, Fitzgerald

Carol Ann Johnson Martin, 65, Tifton
Virginia Harper, 75, Largo, Fla.
Mary Lou "Betty" Goff Call, 81, Sparks
William "W. D." David Hutchinson, 60, Valdosta

Jewell Earnest Seymour, 76, Tifton
John M. Terrell, 68, Adel
Betty Elaine Royals, 61, Nashville
James Gibbs, 60, Fitzgerald
Michael Patrick Carr, 49, Jacksonville, N.C.
Eugene J. "E.J." Wetherington, 95, Crawfordville, Fla.


2074 Old Ocilla Road, Tifton, GA
MLS # 126142

RECENTLY REDUCED: This  125.97-acre farm land is in an excellent location. Just minutes from Tift Regional Medical Center, schools, I-75 and Highway 319. All paved road frontage. Must See!

Dwana Coleman
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