May 3, 2016
        Tifton, Georgia

   (478) 227-7126


Tift County's 38th Annual Older Americans Month kicked off Monday, May 2, with Leon  and  Caroline Benefield receiving the George A. Wright Award for community service during the opening luncheon.
Leon & Caroline Benefield, left, accept award.

The free  senior lunch at First Baptist Church's Family Life Center begins a multitude of activities throughout May for Older Americans Month.

The Benefields are longtime community volunteers: Among  their many activities, Leon is a former Rotary Club district governor and
represents Santa throughout Tifton during the holidays;
  Caroline is a garden club and arts volunteer who also gives her time at local  assisted living centers.

On Facebook, Leon Benefield noted, "S o, we decorate for this luncheon every year, and we did again this year; but this year we were recognized for things we have been doing for ABAC, the arts community, our church, the Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Rotary, the Y, the elderly, the Fulwood Garden Center and the Dogwood Garden Club, the youth and otherwise limited citizens in our area for almost 40 years.
" Many people in our city and county do as much and more than Caroline and I do. We did not seek this recognition, but we accept it and encourage people to nominate individuals, with a heart to serve others, for this award."

The award names the Benefields as Tift County's Senior Citizens of the Year.

For information on Older American Month activities planned, call  229-382-3262.


Frank Strickland is the new Chief of Police at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College after serving as interim chief during the past five months. Also, two other ABAC officers received promotions, and four ABAC officers have received designations as corporals.

Strickland has served as police chief and public safety director in the towns of Griffin, Toccoa and Fort Valley. He has also worked as the pol ice  chief for the Medical College of Georgia and served as a police officer and supervisor for the University of Georgia's Police Department in Athens during his 35-year career in law enforcement.

He succeeds former ABAC Police Chief Bryan Golden, who was fired in November after making comments that President David Bridges called  "inappropriate ... reprehensible and inexcusable." Golden had told the ABAC student  newspaper that most rape allegations on campus are women "being stupid," and are " about as much a rape as a goat roping."

Officers receiving promotions include Sgt. Debbie Pyles, promoted to lieutenant and assistant chief of police; and Officer Tom Bruce, promoted to sergeant. Officers Todd Daunhauer, Pooja Patel, Jamie Powers, and Joe Weatherford received the designation as corporals. The new designation gives the officers additional responsibilities and duties. When necessary, they also serve in the absence of the sergeant.

Looking for that perfect Mother's Day Gift? 
Come visit our jewelry room, our bath product room with beautiful bath products and robes, 
our amazing kitchen room with kitchen products  that she is sure to love, 
and our home decor room filled with beautiful decor and amazing candles. 

If you are looking for something sentimental, visit our Christian room with many collectibles, including Willow Tree Angels. We offer beautiful free custom gift wrap and free delivery. 

We will be gl ad to put together a beautiful gift basket for you too. 

When seeking that special gift 
for your precious mom, remember:
 Annie's is the Place!
Phone orders are always welcome.

We also have one of the largest bridal and  baby registries in the area. 
As always, we offer  a free gift for registering. 
Stop by and register with us today!
We are located at 1019 Love Avenue, Tifton, GA. 
Phone 229-238-2851


The 2nd Annual Prater Music Festival, named in honor of the late R&B singer and Ocilla native Dave Prater of the hit duo Sam & Dave, will be May 12-14 in Ocilla.
Organizers have expanded the celebration to three days. New this year is a community worship service and an appearance by Macon musician Newton Collier, 71, a trumpet player in the original Sam & Dave band, who will be the keynote speaker during a tribute dinner.
"We're excited and happy that the Prater festival is returning to Ocilla for a second year," said Ocilla Mayor Matt Seale. "There are very few adults who haven't heard a Sam & Dave song over the years. Their music went global. We are extremely proud to be the birthplace of such a musical legend as Dave Prater."
Seale  added, "In future years, we hope to add more events and musical groups on multiple stages. We want to attract visitors from far across the state and the region to  Scilla and  Irwin County ."

Dave Prater was half of the Grammy Award-winning singing duo Sam & Dave. Their rise to international stardom produced such hits "Hold on, I'm Coming," "I Thank You," "Soothe Me," and their No. 1 hit  "Soul Man,"   later covered by the Blues Brothers.
The 2016 Prater Fest schedule includes:
  • Tribute Dinner: 6 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at the Community House, 711 S. Irwin Ave. (Highway 90 at Highway 129). Newton Collier, former Sam & Dave band trumpet player, will share his "Reflections on the road with Ocilla's own Dave Prater." The evening will also feature food from local restaurants and a silent auction of music memorabilia, gift certificates and other items. Tickets are $10 if purchased before May 10 and $15 at the door. Proceeds go toward a scholarship fund for Irwin County High School students interested in musical careers.
  • Street Party: A free block party on North Cherry Street between 4th and 5th streets kicks off from 6-9 p.m. Friday, May 13. The Irwin County High School Choral Ensemble and band will perform. There will be music by the Live 5 Band.
  • Worship service: A community worship service begins at noon Saturday, May 14, at Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church, 207 E. 7th St., where Prater grew up singing in the choir.
Information is available at or on Facebook.   Advance tickets may be purchased with a major credit card by calling Ocilla City Hall at 229-468-5141.

Mother's Day Buffet
Sunday, May 8

A fabulous menu will include roasted turkey, cornbread dressing, baked ham, 
sweet potato soufflĂ©, baby butter beans, squash casserole, roast beef, mashed potatoes, 
rice pilaf, macaroni and cheese, cream corn, Italian green beans, glazed carrots, asparagus, Southern fried chicken, rolls,  celebration salad, broccoli salad, pasta salad, 
24-hour fruit salad, Watergate salad, pimento cheese, chicken salad, grape salad, 
marinated vegetable salad,  chocolate pie, lemon meringue pie, pecan pie, 
carrot cake, chocolate cake, coconut cake, cheesecake, strawberry cake, chocolate Mousse -- and much more!
$12 per person; children age 4 & under are free

Special extended hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
           Reservations are Suggested:   
392-2913 or 382-6745

 BJ's at Springhill
  5 Springhill Drive E. (off U.S. Highway 82)
                                        Tifton, Ga.

The  Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a  local candidates forum at  5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at the  Leroy Rogers Senior Center in  Tifton.

Candidates invited include:  Austin Scott (incumbent) and  Angela Hicks, U.S. House of Representatives District 8; Tift County sheriff candidates  Gene Scarbrough (incumbent) and  Steve Wood; Tift Board of Education candidates  Jonathan Jones and  Kim Rutland (incumbent) for District 7; and  Amy Johnson and  John Waddell for BOE District 3; and Clerk of Court candidates  Charleston Carter, Gail Drayton, Ken Dunn and  Clay Pate.

The event is open to the public.

Some or all of the health care professionals performing skin cancer screening services are independent contractors and are not agents or employees of the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County Georgia d/b/a South Georgia Medical Center. Independent contractors are responsible for their own actions, and the hospital staff shall not be liable for the acts or omissions of any such independent contractors.


The Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence recently funded an incentive grant request for $934 from Kim Bruce, occupational therapist with Tift County Schools. The grant allowed purchase of materials for fine motor intervention and sensory motor intervention activities. Because of the Foundation's Special Hearts Chair endowment, Bruce's students have help transitioning to "academic/task attention" activities with others.


The  Tiftarea Ministerial Association will once again host the  National Day of Prayer  service at noon Thursday, May 5, at Veterans Memorial Park in  Downtown  Tifton .

The National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by Congress , when people are asked "to turn to God in  prayer  and meditation."

Each year since its inception, the  president  has signed a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.


1925 Whiddon Mill Road, Tifton


The University of Georgia Tifton Campus will honor this year's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences graduating class on SaturdayMay 7, during a graduation reception at 4 p.m. in the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center

Thirteen students from four undergraduate programs and one graduate program will be graduating from the UGA Tifton Campus this year. 

UGA Tifton agribusiness majors Jodie Stringer and Blake Yelverton; agricultural education majors UGA logo Catherine Bennett, Jesse Boland, Lindsey Hall, Hannah Queen, Ray Sanders and Morgan Watt; agriscience and environmental systems major Logan Moore; and biological science majors Lawson Conoly, Jeremy Long and Jameson Thomas have earned their undergraduate degrees.

UGA Tifton graduate student Michasia Dowdy has earned a master's degree in plant protection and pest management.

"It's definitely a privilege to watch our students mature and grow in the classroom under the guidance of some of the top scientists and instructors in the world. I have no doubt these graduates will be successful in the workforce because they've been trained by the best," said Breanna Coursey, recruiter for academic programs at UGA Tifton.

The size of this year's graduating class is comparable to previous years, said Jason Peake, UGA Tifton director of academic programs. But there is an upward trend in enrollment that will be reflected in future graduating classes.

"By far, our greatest achievement is our 99 percent graduation rate and 98 percent job placement rate. Industry is hungry for UGA graduates and they hire most of ours before they reach graduation," said Peake. "We are producing quality graduates and it is rewarding to see them enter high-paying positions."

The UGA Tifton Campus serves as a transfer school for students interested in pursuing a degree in agriculture and environmental sciences.


Motorists should prepare for nighttime ramp and lane closures and a reduction in speed as a project to resurface Interstate 75 from Tift County to Turner County begins this Sunday, May 8

Reames and Son Construction Co. Inc. of Valdosta will be resurfacing 18.8 miles of the roadway and off- and on-ramps beginning south of Southwell Boulevard in Tift County and ending south of state Route 32/Jefferson Davis Highway in Turner County. The $19.8 million project is the first major resurfacing of this section of interstate since 2001.

The contractor will work a Sunday through Thursday schedule. To minimize traffic interruption, all work will be done at night, and none will be done on Fridays or Saturdays

The Georgia Department of Transportation has implemented additional restrictions on lane and ramp closures. Single-lane closures are allowed from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Sunday; double-lane closures from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.; and ramp closures from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The speed limit on I-75 will be reduced to 60 mph within the work zone.

The existing pavement will be milled to remove the top layer of old asphalt and will be resurfaced with two layers of asphalt. Construction workers plan to start on I-75 North on the Southwell Boulevard end of the project. All northbound ramps will be milled and resurfaced first; the contractor expects to complete one on- and off-ramp per night. Once the ramps have been resurfaced, work will move to the outside shoulder, right (outside) lane, middle lane and inside (left) lane of I-75 North. 

When the northbound side is complete, the contractor will move to the southbound side. This type of work can be done only during favorable weather so inclement weather will affect the schedule. The project completion date is Jan. 31.

"Best-Selling Truck for 39 Straight Years"

511 West 7th Street
(229) 382-1300

The Upward Bound program at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College is sponsoring the U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Food Service Program. 

This year's program is being administered by the Office of Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

The Summer Food Service Program is designed to take the place of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program during the summer. The meals will be served at the Donaldson Dining Hall on the ABAC campus.

Meals will be available at no charge to eligible children and will be provided without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap or national origin. Children who are members of food stamp households or AFDC assistance units are automatically eligible for benefits at eligible program sites. To be eligible to receive free meals at a residential camp, children must meet the income guidelines for reduced price meals in the National School Lunch Program.

For information, contact James Lewis, 229-391-5144.

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