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MARCH 23, 2018
Tifton, Georgia

The Hospital Authority of Tift County presents $100,000 to Nancy Bryan of Ruth's Cottage. From left is Jimmy Allen, Wasdon Graydon,  Christopher Dorman , William Bowen,  Nancy Bryan, Lynn Lovett ,  Jessica Beier, Dallas Hunt,  Jim Laycock  and  Joyce Mims .


Tift Regional Health System has donated $100,000 and the Tift Regional Medical Center Foundation contributed $50,000 to the Ruth's Cottage capital campaign

Funds will be used to help build a new, expanded facility for Ruth's Cottage and the Patticake House, whose  services include aid to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. 

The organization's current women's shelter is an older home that is deteriorating. In addition, the current shelter size prohibits it from being able to accommodate male victims, disabled victims and victims with multiple children. A proposed new facility will increase the capacity to help more victims. The new facility will be more than 11,000 square feet and have 24 beds while also housing administrative offices.  

A Community Development Block Grant is being sought through Tift County but additional funding is needed for the $1.6 million project.

Tift Regional Medical Center Foundation members present $50,000 to Ruth's Cottage's Nancy Bryan. From left is William Guest, Christopher Dorman, Mandy Brooks, Bryan, Lynn Lovett and Jim Laycock.


Ashburn's Fire Ant Festival , held annually during the last weekend of March for the past  23  years, gets underway
  today and goes through Saturday .

This year's event has a luau theme. While a carnival goes on today, a Kids' Burger Challenge is at 5 p.m., a Lip Sync Competition at 6:30 p.m., a showing of the Disney movie "Moana" at 7:30 p.m., capped by fireworks at 9:30 tonight.

Saturday begins with the Fire Ant 5K run at 8 a.m.; official opening at 9 a.m. with presentation of the colors, the national anthem and the Main Street Band; a pet parade at 10 a.m.; and then a full day of dancing, music, various    activities, carnival rides, a fire ant calling contest, a hula hoop contest, an Elvis tribute and ending with a street party from 8-10 p.m.

The 2018 Youth of the Year finalists -- back row, from left: Emily Claire Dawson, Natalie Yaeger, Cali McDuffie, Bret Dixon Bernard, Cameron Kozma, Nicholas Spader and Olivia Thomas. Front row, from are: Marlee Marlowe, Mia Savelli, Alyssa Brown and Kacey Bailey Roberson. 


The Exchange Club of Tifton named  Mia Savelli of Tiftarea Academy as its 2018 Youth of the Year during the club's  annual luncheon Monday to honor the winner and the other 10 Youth of the Year finalists

The high school seniors are from Tift County High School and Tiftarea Academy. Savelli, a  daughter of Brent and Sherri Savelli,   received a plaque and a $500 scholarship. She  will go on to represent the Tifton Exchange Club at the district competition level.

In edition to Savelli, the club's Youth of the Year finalists honored were:

From Tift County High School --

* Nicholas Spader, son of Gilbert and Patricia Spader
* Olivia Thomas, daughter of Karen Thomas
* Emily Claire Dawson, daughter of Kevin and Jamie Dawson

From Tiftarea Academy --

* Natalie Yaeger, daughter of Corey and Angela Yaeger
* Bret Dixon Bernard, son of John and Beth Bernard
* Cali McDuffie, daughter of Wayne and April McDuffie
* Marlee Marlowe, daughter of Brian and Marla Marlowe
* Alyssa Brown, daughter of Jeff Brown
* Cameron Kozma, daughter of Marton and Hope Kozma
* Kacey Bailey Roberson, son of Jamie and Paula Roberson

The seniors were judged on the basis of their extracurricular activities, grades, a short essay and a longer essay on "Strengthening America Through Socially Responsible Communities."

A point system was assigned to each category. Points were averaged to determine the winner. All participants received plaques and a monetary award.

"The Exchange Club of Tifton is very proud of these students, all of whom have been accepted to college. This group is the cream of the crop with aspirations to be doctors, professors, physicists and more," the club said.


A Tifton woman is one of five women featured in a recent article entitled "Women with Migraines," which described the challenges women face when they have a migraine headache.

Carly Kilby told the health magazine web site that   "I would give birth a hundred times before getting a migraine." Kilby had her first migraine attack at age 16. An enduring memory from her high school prom is throwing up in the front yard of the photographer's house.

"For years, Kilby took pills to control her symptoms, which didn't help much; she got so nauseous, she threw them up. In fact, she threw up so much that she frequently ended up in the emergency room because she was dehydrated," wrote.

"I don't like going to the emergency room," Kilby said. "Only if I've been throwing up for more than six hours."

Once while having a migraine, Kilby thought she was having a  stroke. "I couldn't even get my body to function. I was trying to get upstairs to check on my son and couldn't get my feet and arms to move, everything was so heavy," she said. "My speech was slurred."

Now, she takes an i njection migraine medication and uses Botox shots to reduce her migraine frequency and severity.

Kilby is a  staff member with Tift Regional Health System. The American Migraine Foundation recently sponsored her to attend the 11th annual "Headache on the Hill" in Washington, D.C., organized by the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy. 

She  was one of more than 200 people from 42 states to meet with lawmakers. The goal was to advocate for a bipartisan bill, the Opioids and Stop Pain Initiative Act.


The Tift County Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) will be holding its 6th Annual Golf Tournament & Annual Fundraiser at Springhill Country Club on Saturday, April 7.

The money raised will help make a difference in the lives of local youths. In past years, FCA has enabled youths to attend individual camps such as leadership camp, wrestling camp, basketball, golf and football camps. 

Approximately 91 percent of the funds raised are used in Tift County to support athletes and coaches, and some of their  activities, such as providing Bibles, cookouts, devotionals and related meetings

To sign up for a golf team, sponsor the tournament or to get involved, contract Lynn Kelly, 229-382-2421; Derek Sumner, 229-402-9983; or Marvin West, 229-347-1249.


Tiftarea Academy recently held its 18th Annual John Hunt Grandparents and Special Friends Day. 

More than 400 grandparents and friends attended the program and were treated to breakfast and musical performances by Lower and Upper School students. The Lower School's musical messages were centered on a love for the Lord and the importance of putting God first After the program, grandparents were invited to classrooms to see some of the students' work. 

Development Director Heather Fletcher said this year's event attracted a record number of visitors. 

"We love being able to celebrate our students' grandparents each year. We are so excited that so many chose to join us, and we hope to keep this tradition alive for many years to come," Fletcher said. 


FROM TY TY TO THE WHITE HOUSE?:  A Ty Ty man is seeking the Democratic nomination for president. The Rev. Samuel Lee Pridgon, 50, a Tifton native, is pastor at Bethany Missionary Baptist Church in Ty Ty, and hopes to be on the presidential ticket in the 2020 election. Pridgon calls himself a  "libcon," saying he is liberal on some issues and conservative on others. He has never held elective office. ... TOSSING THE AXE: There will be some axe throwing at 1 p.m. today, knife throwing at 1:45 p.m., and
STAR student Calvin Chee and Star teacher Gloria Beard with Mike Davis, seated, president of the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence.
pole felling at 2:30 p.m. as 
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College hosts the 61st Southern Forestry Conclave today and Saturday. Students from colleges, including the University of Georgia, Auburn, North Carolina State and the University of Florida, will compete in the events, including pole climbing, log rolling and crosscut sawing on Saturday. ... SEEING 'STARS': The Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence  board of directors recently recognized Tift County High STAR student Calvin Chee and STAR teacher Gloria Beard at the foundation's board meeting.


Jana Barfield is the newest advocacy coordinator at Coastal Plain CASA. She was sworn in Tuesday by Juvenile Judge Render Heard, at right.

Barfield will be recruiting, training and supervising CASA volunteers as they advocate for children in foster care.  

If one is interested in becoming a CASA volunteer, contact Barfield at or call 229-386-9765.  

For more information on Coastal Plain Court Appointed Special Advocates, visit



Visitors can experience South Georgia's rural heritage during the annual Folklife Festival on April 7 at the Ga. Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village

Showcasing history and culture, the event runs 9 a.m.-4 p.m. with interactive activities for all ages.

The Vulcan Steam train will offer rides, and the ceremonial firing of the turpentine still at 11 a.m. signals the Historic Village's annual turpentine distillation. Museum guests will have
Greg Tucker performs metal work in the blacksmith shop.
the opportunity to see this age-old process that is central to South Georgia's cultural heritage. The turpentine still will be running throughout the day and discharging close to 4 p.m.

The Folklife Festival is about hands-on activities including tree debarking and hewing, sawmill demonstrations, sheep shearing, mule-plowing and quilt-square sewing demonstrations. Guests may also visit the antique and model tractors on display on the Tift west lawn. The antique tractors will parade through the Historic Village at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
ABAC athletes from bygone days will be in the spotlight in "The Glory Days" exhibit in the Museum Gallery. Gloves, bats and assorted relics from ABAC Athletics Hall of Fame athletes will be included in the exhibit.
In the J.L. Sweat law office, three engravings from 1865 will be on display. The engravings feature Andrew Jackson, Martha Washington and William Henry Harrison.   

In the Tift House, a new display in the dining room will spotlight Bessie Tift's personal china. In the Peanut Museum, the American Legacy Quilt Show will showcase fiber work. A temporary photo exhibit of the barn quilts of Kentucky's Buffalo Gal Trail will also be showcased. In the main exhibit hall, guests will be able to use an interactive code to watch a turpentine documentary, and the same code will be made available outside by the turpentine still.
For more information, call 229-391-5205.


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YOUR WEEKEND  spring-word-flowers.jpg
. a Glance

  • Fire Ant Festival activities, 5 p.m., Ashburn

  • Spring Fling Vendor & Charity Expo, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton
  • Fire Ant Festival, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Ashburn
  • Easter Egg Hunt, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., E.B. Hamilton Complex, Tifton

  • Living Last Supper, 6 p.m. Sanctuary, First Baptist Church, Tifton
In Memoriam

Mittie Vernell Ray Dorminy, 98, Tifton
Betty Jewell Griffin Freeman, 89, Ocilla

Larry Bennett Conley, 74, Tifton
Leatrice Whitley, 91, Ocilla

Elritha Warren Adams, 85, Alapaha
Larry Gregory, 78, Sycamore
Brenda J. Reaves, 54, Waynesville

Charles G. "Bud" Koehler Jr., 92, Tifton
Minnie Irene Morris Harper, 101, Ocilla

Linda Pitts Barnes, 70, Chula
Dorothy Perkins Riner Hale, 86, Tifton
Jewell Farmer Raines, 91, Jackson
Joel Anthony Rogers, 64, Sylvester
Johnny L. Chambers, 67, Fitzgerald
Timothy Nelson, Valdosta

Dr. Clifton A. Baxter, 80, Tifton
Grace Oliver Cannington, 94, Tifton
Warine P. Boone, 87, Sylvester
Warren C. Dunbar Jr., 73, Fitzgerald
Mary Jo Hawkins, 91, Lenox

Sandra Lynn Branch Barnhardt, 75, Tifton
Mary K. Rigsby, 78, Tifton
Christopher Ellis Bullard, 50, Adel
Gladys M. Dunn, 88, Fitzgerald
Thomas "Tommy" Davis, 65, Alapaha

Lillie "Evelyn" Webb, 88, Tifton
Bobby Eugene Dean, 80, Chula

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