Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
TIFT'S COVID-19 CASES RISE DRAMATICALLY
TIFT HAS 98 NEW CASES; 7 GA COUNTIES IN 'DELTA DANGER ZONE'; SOUTHWELL RESTRICTS VISITORS; CDC REVERSES INDOOR MASK POLICY
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
COVID-19 cases are dramatically increasing in both Georgia and Tift County, with Tift seeing 98 new cases in two weeks – 23 of them since Thursday, according to state data.

And seven Georgia counties are among the nation's top 20 counties in the “danger zone” for the coronavirus Delta variant, according to a national health nonprofit report, with Folkston and Charlton County leading the nation in new cases.

Georgia reports that its positivity rate for the virus has increased to 13% Tuesday, while Tift County's has jumped to 11%.

Because of "the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in our area," Tift Regional Medical Center, Southwell Medical, and all the health system's clinics and departments moved to "Level Orange" on Friday, which restricts visitation to one visitor per patient per day, with some exceptions.

With the rising number of cases nationwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday changed its mask recommendations, now asking that even vaccinated residents in areas with rising cases to resume wearing masks indoors in public areas, including in schools.

CASES CONTINUE RISING IN TIFT

Tift County has recorded 98 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the past two weeks, the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH) reported Tuesday. That translates to 240 cases per 100,000 population.

Tift has had a total of 3,583 confirmed cases and 102 related deaths, the DPH reported.

On Tuesday, the state reported 1,975 new cases in a 24-hour period with 10 additional deaths and 107 new hospitalizations.

The DPH reports that 30% of Tift County’s population – that is eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations – have been fully vaccinated. In Georgia, 40% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated, the DPH reported.

GEORGIA MOST AT RISK FOR DELTA VARIANT

As the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads around the country, Georgia is the most at risk, according to Surgo Ventures, a nonprofit organization focused on solving health and social problems.

The organization said it analyzed July's data from the CDC and pinpointed the top 20 counties in the nation most at risk for COVID-19's Delta variant, and seven of those counties are in Georgia, the most of any state.

Charlton County, where Folkston is the largest city, is ranked the No. 1 county in the United States as a "Delta Danger Zone" by the health organization. It said that Charlton has an average of 62 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 population; only 14.5% of the eligible county residents are vaccinated.

Lanier County, where Lakeland is the county seat, is ranked No. 9 in the nation on the Delta Danger Zone list. Other Georgia counties listed are Telfair, Heard, Jeff Davis, Treutlen, and Bacon.
TIFTON MALE, 17, FOUND DEAD IN YARD WITH GUNSHOT WOUND
Staff Reports
A 17-year-old Tifton male was found dead with a gunshot wound Monday night, according to the Tifton Police Department.
 
Blake Haggins of Tifton was found with an apparent gunshot wound in a yard in th1500 block of Garrison Avenue, police said.
 
At approximately 10:38 p.m. Monday, Tifton Police responded to a call on 13½ Street regarding shots being fired. A short time later, police were dispatched to Garrison Avenue in reference to a dead male with an apparent gunshot wound
 
Tifton Police requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Sylvester field office to assist with the investigation. Haggins’ body was transported to the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta for an autopsy. 

Authorities released no other details.

If you have any information on this case, authorities ask that you contact the GBI Tip Line at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477) or leave a message with Tifton Police Detective Lt. Chris Luckey at 229-382-3132.
NASHVILLE POLICE CHARGE MAN WITH MURDER, ASSAULTS
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
A Berrien County man is charged with felony murder and aggravated assault and battery during an incident in Nashville in which three people were injured, authorities say.

Jared Dean Zisman, 20, is charged with one count of felony murder, one count of felony aggravated battery-family violence, and two counts of felony aggravated assault-family violence, police said.

At about midnight Saturday, Nashville Police officers were dispatched to a possible homicide at a residence in the 700 block of S. Davis Street, said Nashville Police Chief Chuck Edwards.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers found Jared Dean Zisman at the front door, and detained him.

As officers entered the home, an adult female was found in a bedroom with severe bleeding wounds to the head and face. As officers continued to clear each room, a dead adult male, also with severe head trauma, was discovered in a separate bedroom, police said.

A third victim, a 19-year-old male, who also in the residence at the time of the assaults, sustained non-life threatening injuries, police said.

The injured woman was transported to South Georgia Medical Center and later moved to a medical facility in Jacksonville, Fla., where she was listed in critical condition.

Zisman is currently in the Berrien County Jail.
24 SRTC STUDENTS RECEIVE
NURSING PINS ON TUESDAY
Source: Southern Regional Technical College
Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) held its first drive-through pinning ceremony Tuesday during which 24 associate of science in nursing (ASN) students from the LPN to RN Bridge program received nursing pins.

The ceremony commemorates the students’ successful completion of their nursing coursework and clinical rotations. These prospective nurses represent the nursing bridge program of SRTC's Moultrie campus.

Students receiving pins were: Kalonty Chaney, Maritza Delgado, Queen Rouse, Dixie Turner, and Kristen Coker of Tifton; Nestor Nunez Vazquez of Omega; Chandler Bearden of Sylvester; Rachel Haynes of Berlin; Ashley Merritt of Lake Park; Jennifer Campos-Alvarado, Taylor Cook, Judy Folsom, Shelly Hagin, Lora Holifield, Ruby Martinez, Savannah Morgan, Jessica Newsome, Brandi Nunes, Kristal Sheffield, Lori Sherling, and Qusanna Sharp of Moultrie; Elizabeth Brunot, Keosha Jackson, and Yesha Patel of Valdosta.

Several students were recognized for exceptional achievement: Yesha Patel earned the Highest Exit Exam Award with a conversion score of 99.31. The Clinical Excellence Award was given to Ruby Martinez. The Colquitt Regional Medical Center Leadership Award was presented to Kristal Sheffield, and the Nightingale Award recognized the accomplishments of Taylor Cook.
'STUFF THE BUS' WITH SCHOOL SUPPLIES
The Tift County School System is holding its annual "Stuff the Bus" event on Wednesday, July 28, to help get school supplies to students in need.

This year's school supply drive is from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. outside Big Lots on Virginia Avenue in Tifton.

The donated school supplies will support students in kindergarten to 12th grade.
TIFTON-TIFT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RIBBON CUTTING
Central Jewelry
(Grand Re-Opening)
301 Main St., Tifton
July 26
FOOD DISTRIBUTION ON SATURDAY
Second Harvest of South Georgia is holding another free food distribution beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center.

Along with pantry boxes and other perishable food, child nutritional boxes will also be distributed through a state grant from the Georgia Nutrition Assistance Program.

For the child nutritional boxes only, proof of eligibility must be shown, such as a PeachCare for Kids card, an EBT food stamp card or a student identification card for a local school system.

No such identification is required for the regular food boxes. No more than two households per car is allowed.

Call 888-453-4143 for information.
SENIORS TO 'SHAKE A LEG' ON FRIDAY
"Seniors Enjoying Life Forever" (SELF) is holding a seniors' dance beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 30, at Tifton's Leroy Rogers Senior Center on Second Street.

All seniors are invited to come after dinner and enjoy fellowship and some favorite music by the Fred Hand Band.

The club will provide sodas and snacks.

For more information, email dashers@windstream.net
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S CAT OF THE WEEK
"Charlie" is seeking a "furever" home. To adopt Charlie and to find your next pet, visit the Tift County 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
CONSTRUCTION STARTS ON
TIFTON'S UNION DEPOT
JULY 28,1899
Work began July 28, 1899, on the Union Depot in Downtown Tifton. “The long anticipated Union Depot is fairly underway at last,” according to news reports at the time. The contract was let to W.A. Miller of Waycross, and the “building is to be finished in 90 days.”
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Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
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