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Jan. 10, 2017
Tifton, Georgia

478-227-7126
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CITY HIRES MANAGER,
OK's MUTUAL AID 
CITY OF TIFTON NOW WITHDRAWING LEGAL COMPLAINT AGAINST TIFT COUNTY AS RESULT OF AID AGREEMENT


Tifton City Council on Monday night formally hired Pete Pyrzenski as city manager, effective Jan. 27, and OK'd a mutual aid agreement with Tift County for fire suppression when requested during emergencies.
PETE PYRZENSKI

In its own meeting Monday, the Tift County Commission approved the same mutual aid agreement, which also prohibits either government from providing extrication and rescue services in each other's jurisdiction unless such assistance is requested.

With the  agreement 's  approval, the City of Tifton will now withdraw its  complaint in Superior Court seeking an injunction to stop Tift County from continuing to come into the city and handle vehicle extrication and rescue services.

In August, the city sought the injunction because the county indicated its intention to perform vehicle extrication and rescue services within Tifton city limits even though the county had "terminated the inter-local agreement between Tift County and Tifton for the joint provision of fire suppression and protection services."

The city said the county's actions regarding extrication provided duplicative  services  for motor vehicle collisions.

Regarding the city manager's position, council voted 4-0, with an abstention by Councilman Frank Sayles Jr., to hire Pyrzenski, currently project director for ESG Operations Inc., which oversees Tifton's contracted services for public works, utility services and fleet management.

Hunter Walker, a former Tifton city manager and a retired county manager in Florida, has been interim manager since July.

ABAC, BAINBRIDGE STATE
MAY CONSOLIDATE
BOARD OF REGENTS TO DECIDE WEDNESDAY

On Wednesday, Jan. 11, the University System of Georgia's (USG) Board of Regents will vote on a recommendation to consolidate Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Bainbridge State College into one institution to be called Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, with ABAC President David Bridges at the helm.

USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley's recommendation is expected to be approved, which would continue ABAC's ever-changing odyssey in higher education. 

In recent years, ABAC has successfully transitioned from a two-year school to a growing, four-year bachelor's-degree college; has seamlessly folded the Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village, formerly the Agrirama, into the college's assets; has opened new residence halls and new state-of-the art academic buildings; and has restored the historic front campus and buildings to a new splendor.

Consolidation with Bainbridge State, located about 85 miles away, would begin another chapter. ABAC has a student enrollment of 3,475; Bainbridge State, 2,468.

" ABAC has become a leader in new student recruitment, enrollment management and academic achievement and will bring these best practices to Bainbridge State, which has been facing enrollment declines over the last five years," notes the press release from the University System of Georgia.

Both ABAC's Bridges and Bainbridge State Interim President Stuart Rayfield said they will withhold comment on the proposed consolidation until the Board of Regents' action Wednesday.


"Best-Selling Truck for 39 Straight Years"


511 West 7th Street
(229) 382-1300
WFXL Fox31 photo
Gov. Nathan Deal, left, drives in Albany on Tuesday to assess storm damage.

TURNER, WORTH COUNTIES ADDED
TO STORM DISASTER LIST

Turner and Worth counties have been added to the counties Gov. Nathan Deal has designated as disaster areas following last week's tornadoes and severe storms.

Deal's original executive order had designated six disaster area counties:  Dougherty, Baker, Calhoun, Mitchell, Early and Miller.

On Monday, Deal extended the state of emergency in the eight counties until Jan. 18, pledging the state's help wth recovery. On Tuesday, Jan. 10, he signed a request for a federal emergency declaration.

Also on Tuesday, Deal visited some of the storm-damaged areas in Southwest Georgia.

TIFTON PEANUT CO. #2 MUST PAY $55,000 IN OVERTIME WAGES
AFTER  U.S. LABOR DEPT. PROBE

Tifton Peanut Co. Inc. #2, located at  225 Windy Hill Road near Oakridge Church Road, has been found in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and ordered to pay $55,323 in back wages to 46 employees, according to the U.S. Department of  Labor (DOL).

In a press release, the DOL said the  investigation by its  Wage and Hour Division's  Atlanta District Office found that Tifton Peanut Co. #2 violated the overtime and record-keeping  provisions of the  Fair Labor Standards Act, paying  46 employees straight time for all the hours that they worked rather than overtime payment at time-and-a-half their regular rates of pay for all hours worked beyond 40 in a work week.

During the peanut processing company's  busy season, employees who typically worked at the firm's primary location also performed work at a secondary location, and Tifton Peanut failed to include any hours worked at the second work site when calculating overtime, the DOL said.

The company also failed to maintain required time and payroll records.

"The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring that all employees receive the proper wages for all the hours they have worked," said Eric Williams, the Wage and Hour Division's district director in Atlanta.

"The outcome of this investigation serves as a reminder to all employers to review their pay practices to confirm that workers are being paid as the law prescribes, and that we will continue to work to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules."

Tifton Peanut operates two facilities in Tifton. Plant #1 is a shelling facility, and Plant #2 specializes in cleaning, drying and grading the peanuts.

or call 229-848-2366
SPRING SEMESTER BRINGS 
ANOTHER ENROLLMENT HIKE

Students from across the globe including 28 countries, 21 states and 154 of Georgia's 159 counties began spring semester classes this week as Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College experienced yet another enrollment increase.

Donna Webb, e nrollment management  director, said the number of students was slightly higher than the 3,122 students who enrolled for the spring term in 2016.

"On the first day of classes on Monday, we had around 3,158 students, which would give us another enrollment increase," Webb said.    

ABAC has increased its enrollment in three of the past four years. The spring term will continue through May 2.


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