JAN. 26, 2018
Tifton, Georgia


In a special called meeting Thursday, Tifton City Council placed a 45-day moratorium on new construction of single-family residential homes within the city.

The moratorium does not affect projects in which a valid construction permit has already been issued.

The purpose of the moratorium, according to the temporary ordinance, is to "allow sufficient time to formulate proper land use planning and best use of properties, and to consider amended requirements for minimum gross floor area, building locations and lot area and width for the benefit of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Tifton."

City Attorney Rob Wilmot said, for example, road frontage width requirements "appear to be way off" with 30-foot road frontage required within some zoning districts. He also suggested that setback requirements be addressed, especially at the rear of properties.

Both Mayor Julie Smith and City Manager Pete Pyrzenski said the city is not attempting to do any harm to builders and construction suppliers with the moratorium but is ensuring that current construction requirements make sense for Tifton's neighborhoods.

The city's Land Development Code "has always been a living, breathing code," Smith said, subject to be adjusted as times change.

The mayor decided to appoint a citizens-councilmember committee to work on proposed amendments. Members are expected to include builders, suppliers and Realtors. On a motion by Councilman Johnny Terrell, Vice Mayor Wes Ehlers and Councilman Frank Sayles Jr. were also named to the committee.

Any proposed changes will also need to go through the city Planning and Zoning Commission.

Initially, the residential construction moratorium was proposed for 60 days, but City Council members said that was too long a period. They intend for the entire process to be completed in less than 45 days.

Georgia mayors at the White House include, from left: Boyd Austin, Dallas; Kay Pippin, Jackson; Jim Thornton, LaGrange; Julie Smith, Tifton; Phil Best, Dublin; Vince Williams, Union City; Rusty Paul, Sandy Springs; Dorothy Hubbard, Albany; Mike Bodker, Johns Creek (in back); Steve Edwards, Sugar Hill; Vanessa Fleisch, Peachtree City; Rey Martinez, Loganville.



A dozen Georgia mayors, including Tifton Mayor Julie Smith and Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard, were among approximately 100 mayors from around the country who met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday at the White House, where the president committed more than $1 trillion for
Photo by Julie Smith 
Trump speaks to mayors.
infrastructure improvements.

The White House invited mayors to "Mayors' Day at the White House: A Conversation with President Trump"  to discuss municipal infrastructure needs and to build relationships between mayors and administration officials.

The meeting took place in the East Room of the White House, where Trump kicked off the program by telling mayors he would announce in his State of the Union address a $1.7 trillion investment in infrastructure.

"We're partnering with the state and local governments, like yours, to find the most innovative ways to rebuild our roads, bridges, waterways, and airports on time and under budget," Trump said.

"If he keeps his word on infrastructure  funding , this could be  huge ," said Tifton Mayor Smith .
Photo by Julie Smith
  Vice President Pence

She said Trump also committed to streamlining federal regulations to help local projects get funded as quickly as possible.

Vice President Mike Pence also spoke to the group, and the final part of the meeting featured a panel discussion with cabinet officials, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation and Department of Commerce.

Smith said it was "surreal" to be inside the White House with the president. "The beauty of the White House is amazing," she said, noting that it was an honor to represent Tifton there.

The event was an opportunity to connect with White House and federal officials about municipal capital improvement needs.  Georgia's cities will require $11.2 billion during the next five years to pay for critical needs ranging from water and sewer, transportation and public safety, to green infrastructure and recreation facilities, according to the Georgia Municipal Association.


Sonny Skinner, the head golf professional at Spring Hill Country Club in Tifton, was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame on Saturday

Skinner, of Sylvester, is a PGA teaching professional who has won two Nike Tour events. The Worth County High School graduate attended both Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton and Shorter College in Rome, competing on the golf team at both and winning six collegiate events.

He turned professional in 1982 .

Skinner joined the PGA Tour in 1990 and then began a successful professional playing career.  He won the 1993 Nike Shreveport Open and the 1994 Nike Dominion Open. In 2001, he won his first event on the Georgia Section of the PGA schedule at the Griffin Classic

He was the first player in the history of the PGA of America to earn both the PGA Professional Player of the Year (2008) and the Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year (2010, 2011, 2012). Skinner finished as low club professional at the 2011 Senior PGA Championship.

A winner of several competitions administered by the Georgia PGA section, Skinner has received Georgia PGA Player of the Year and Georgia PGA Senior Player of the Year honors multiple times. He has also served as  a teaching professional at River Pointe Golf Club in Albany.

Also inducted in the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame were  Stephen Hamblin  of Alpharetta, who is the longtime executive director of the American Junior Golf Association and has dedicated more than three decades to junior golf;  Martha Stacy Leach of  Hebron, Ky., a USGA national champion and former University of Georgia standout; and  Wright Waddell  of Columbus, who is a lifelong amateur golfer winning on nearly every level and devoting time back to the game.

The induction ceremony Saturday was at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek.


Tourism has a $60.8 billion economic impact on Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal said this week . The impact includes $3.1 billion in state and local tax revenues and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, the governor said.

He made the comment Tuesday as he 
was joined by tourism officials for the annual Tourism, Hospitality & Arts Day at the Capitol.

"Georgia's tourism industry is a powerful economic development tool for local communities and our state as a whole," said Deal. 

"This impact goes well beyond direct spending by visitors, as the industry provides job opportunities for more than 450,200 Georgians, accounting for approximately 10.6 percent of the state's non-farm workforce," Deal said.

"As this industry continues to grow, this success reflects our state's status as a world-class tourism destination and once again affirms that Georgia is on the minds of travelers around the globe."

In Tift County, tourism generates more than $97 million in annual visitor spending, according to the Ga. Department of Economic Development. Tift County sees $2.8 million in local tax revenues from tourism.

The governor also unveiled the cover of the 2018 state travel guide, which features Georgia-native Jason Aldean, the reigning Academy of Country Music "Entertainer of the Year." The cover photo was taken in Macon, Aldean's hometown, at The Big House Museum where original members of The Allman Brothers Band lived and wrote some of their first songs.


Rhythm Nation takes the stage at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College'annual scholarship fundraising event "An Evening for ABAC" on March 2.
Sponsored by the ABAC Foundation, the annual event includes a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, dinner and entertainment. Rhythm Nation is a group that blends elements of popular and timeless music genres. 

The event at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center aids the student scholarship fund.
Rhythm Nation will perform at the annual scholarship event.

"An Evening for ABAC in 2017 was the most successful in the 46 years the ABAC Foundation has sponsored the event," said Paul Williams, interim vice president for external affairs and advancement.

"We had over 500 alumni and supporters who helped us raise over $100,000 for student scholarships."

That support has been ongoing since 1972 when the ABAC Foundation sponsored a fundraiser featuring Anita Bryant to complete the funding for the Chapel of All Faiths. In 1973, Eddie Arnold came to town for another ABAC Foundation-sponsored event, and the program called "Dollars for Scholars" was born.

The ABAC scholarship fundraiser became the social event of the year in Tift County with entertainers such as Ray Stevens, Louise Mandrell, Debbie Reynolds, Kathy Mattea, Marie Osmond, Helen Reddy, Ronnie Milsap, Lorrie Morgan and the Temptations.  

Trisha Yearwood attracted the largest crowd for the event in 2006 when more than 1,800 patrons attended her show. The ABAC Foundation changed the name of the event to "An Evening for ABAC" in 2008 and focused all efforts on raising funds for scholarships.  

Tickets are $125 for singles, $225 for couples, and $1,500 for a reserved table which seats eight. A portion of the ticket price is tax deductible. For information, call 229-391-4895.

We're Seeking a
Church Pianist

Tifton First United 
Methodist Church

107 W 12th St., Tifton, GA

Tifton First United Methodist Church has an opening for a part-time church pianist.
The pianist is responsible for preparing for and 
practicing with  the chancel choir, orchestra and 
ensemble every Wednesday evening for about 
two hours and for playing at Sunday  traditional 
services  at  9 a.m. and 11 a.m., as well as at 
special services at Christmas, Easter, etc.  

Interested persons should contact Angie Carr at 
or call   229-382-6100 .


Lynn McDonald, volunteer coordinator at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture (GMA), has some volunteer opportunities available.

"Several scientific studies, including one from Harvard University, have indicated that volunteering is good for your mental outlook and physical health," McDonald said. "By volunteering, you will make
Volunteer Parker Gerdes feeds wood into the sawmill boiler.
new friends, learn about history and maybe even stimulate the mind of a young person."

Two information sessions about volunteer opportunities will be held at the GMA on Jan. 30 at 5:30 p.m. and on Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. in the East Conference Room of the Main Exhibit Hall. 

"Volunteering is very flexible," McDonald said. "You might be helping out in the Historic Village or assisting with one of our many festivals. Whether you have two hours on a weekday or maybe even one day a month, we can work with your schedule."

McDonald said other benefits for volunteers include free admission and the ability to earn tickets for friends and family.

"On a typical day in the village, you could be sharing the beauty of the Tift House, the wonder of the farm or the treats of the drug store," McDonald said. "On other days, you could be playing games of the 1880s, treating guests to open-fire cooking or sharing customs of the past.

"Volunteers are also needed in our Destination Ag program which seeks to educate elementary school children about how agriculture impacts their lives today and the future of agriculture and natural resources."

For information, email or call 229-391-5223.


An AARP Smart Driver Safety Program is scheduled 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 24 at the  Leroy Rogers Senior Center in Tifton.

The program is open to all drivers age 16 and up. The c ost is $20 per person, with a $5 discount for AARP members with identification card.

AARP initially developed the six-hour classroom refresher course to help drivers age 50 and older improve their skills and prevent crashes, but now the course is open to all drivers.  It covers age-related physical changes, safety tips, rules of the road and updates on recent changes in the law. 

Participants may be eligible for up to a 20 percent discount on their automobile insurance premium. 

For class information or reservations, call  229-391-3956 or 229-391-9299 or email 


Pegasus, the literary magazine at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, is now accepting submissions for the spring edition.

The regional journal publishes work by high school and undergraduate students enrolled in Alabama, Florida, Georgia or South Carolina high schools, colleges and universities, as well as ABAC alumni, faculty and staff.

Student writers in Alabama, Florida and South Carolina are part of ABAC's "Neighbor Waiver" program .

Pegasus encourages submissions by women, minorities and other "traditionally under-represented" groups. 

Submissions must be submitted by 11:59 p.m.  Feb. 21.

Details can be found by Clicking Here.


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        . a Glance

  • Plant & Seed Swap, 9:30-11 a.m., Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • "For the Love of Mud: The Works of Walter Hobbs," 10 a.m., Museum Gallery,  Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Faithful Servants 10th Anniversary Gospel Sing, 6 p.m., Victory Baptist Church, 3917 U.S. Highway 319 S., Tifton

In Memoriam

JAN. 17
Nancy Elizabeth Quynn, 60, Tifton
Curtis Albert Cersey, 81, Nashville
Brenda N. Branch, 66, Fitzgerald
Pauline Childs, 84, Sycamore
Randall Shiver, 82, Tifton

JAN. 18
Lou McMillan McKeever, Charlottesville, Va.
Dorothy Pafford Joiner, 73, Sparks

JAN. 19
Sarah Ann Beasley, 70, Moultrie
Brigham Allen Dominy, 80, Dublin
Henrietta Edmondson, 95, Ashburn

JAN. 20
James F. Howington, 83, Poulan
Richard E. Webber, 72, Sylvester
Billy Jack Turner, 76, Nashville
Wilma Ruth Simmons Smith, 89, Adel
Jackie Moore Tidwell, 70, Nashville
Kendall Graham, 74, Quitman

JAN. 21
Jane Lancaster Davis, 94, Covington
Rosemary Griffin, 77, Fitzgerald
Edward Davis, 84, Nashville
The Rev. John Thurman Gandy, 92, Adel

JAN. 22
Tommie "Butch" Harrell Jr., 70, Sparks

JAN. 23
Joe Ann Parkerson Hayes, 61, Tifton
Wendell Richwine, 83, Nashville

JAN. 24
William Harry Corbett, 82, Tifton
Dr. Norman J. Crowe, 93, Sylvester
Claudia Thagard, 101, Quitman

JAN. 25
John Mason, 64, Tifton

3004 Park Ave. 
N.,  Tifton, GA 
* 4 BR * 3 baths 
* 3,151 sq. ft.
* MLS # 128074

Beautiful home with custom-built kitchen: Marble counter tops, double built-in ovens, gas stove, cabinets. Formal dining area and cherry hardwood floors, cathedral ceilings . Large master bedroom with walk-in closet, shower, garden tub and travertine flooring. Private backyard, shaded back patio.


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