Friday, Sept. 3, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
APPEALS COURT RULES EX-INMATE INVOLUNTARILY VIOLATED PAROLE
BECAUSE TIFT SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES 'KIDNAPPED,' 'DUMPED' HIM IN AREA HE WAS BARRED TO ENTER
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
The Georgia Appeals Court has reversed a decision that revoked a former inmate's probation after it found the man had been taken against his will by Tift County Sheriff’s Office deputies to a county that the man was legally prohibited to enter.

The Appeals Court on Aug. 23 ruled that the state did not show that Alfred Lee Jacobs had willfully violated his parole in July 2019 by being in Coffee County, part of an area from which he was banished.

In fact, state’s attorneys had admitted that Jacobs had been brought to Coffee County involuntarily, saying, “No one faults him for how he got here. He was, apparently, kidnapped by Tifton and dumped out over here for some reason.”

Instead, the state argued that Jacobs didn’t then leave Coffee County when told to be out within 48 hours. "But there is no evidence that Jacobs had the ability to leave the area within that time frame," according to the court's ruling.

The Appeals Court noted that testimony claimed that Jacobs had health issues, had no money to leave the area, "and under the conditions of his probation he could not hitchhike or work in the area to earn money."

In its ruling, the Appeals Court noted that during a hearing on revoking Jacobs' probation, testimony "showed that after Jacobs was released from prison, he met with his probation officer in Tifton, Georgia. The officer instructed Jacobs to register as a sex offender with the Tift County Sheriff’s Department. But when Jacobs went to the sheriff’s office, law enforcement officers transported him to Coffee County against his will."

Then in Coffee County, in Douglas, Jacobs was jailed for two days.

When reached Thursday evening, Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough told the Tifton Grapevine that he wasn’t familiar with the case or the ruling.

"I have absolutely no knowledge of this," the sheriff said. "I’ll have to get back with you tomorrow."

Appeals Court Chief Judge Brian Rickman issued a specially drafted opinion concurring with the other judges in reversing the revocation of Jacobs' probation – in other words, agreeing that his parole should not have been revoked.

Rickman called Tift County deputies' role in Jacobs’ probation violation “both troubling and unique.”

“I suspect our jurisprudence has simply never contemplated a probation revocation proceeding against a compliant and otherwise unwitting probationer for a violation created solely by law enforcement officers," the chief judge wrote.

"I find it perplexing, to put it mildly, that at no time on the record before me did the prosecutor nor the trial court even pause to consider whether the fact of Jacob’s 'kidnapping' and forced probationary violation by law enforcement officials should, at the very least, operate as an obstacle to re-incarcerating him for being present in a county from which he had been banished."
'RECOVERYFEST' SATURDAY AT FULWOOD PARK TO
FOCUS ON LOCAL RESOURCES
By BONNIE SAYLES
Tifton Grapevine
The local Celebrate Recovery program is teaming with the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse to bring a RecoveryFest event to Tifton's Fulwood Park at 12-3 p.m., this Saturday, Sept. 4.
 
Also, the group is sponsoring its first Ride for Recovery the same day, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Tifton Harley-Davidson, “kickstands up at 11 a.m.,” said Michelle Gilder, Celebrate Recovery ministry leader and Family Life Center director at First Baptist Church of Tifton. The motorcycle ride is $20 a bike or vehicle and ends at RecoveryFest at noon in Fulwood Park.
 
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12-step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind. It meets in the chapel at First Baptist on the corner of Love Avenue and 4th Street at 6:30 p.m. each Thursday
 
Gilder said the two events are kicking off National Recovery Month in September. 
 
“This has been on my heart for a couple of years,” she said. “I’m a person in long-term recovery. When I first entered recovery, I didn’t know what resources we have locally.” She said that in 2020, an estimated 93,000 people lost their lives to overdose – up 29% from the year before. 
 
“That’s around 255 people a day dying to overdose in the United States,” Gilder said. “These numbers are unacceptable. The one thing we can do is put information and resources in the hands and minds of those in need and their family members.”
 
That is the primary purpose of the RecoveryFest event. “We have invited every local recovery pathway and local resource to come and be part of this event. Tifton is so rich in recovery community, but it is sometimes hard to navigate or know where to start," she said. "We want to bring these resources in town and out of town to light. This is a great place to start and to remove the stigma.”
 
Here in Tifton, she said, “we have OASIS Recovery Community Organization and some sort of recovery meeting almost every day of the week.”

In addition to OASIS, among the 10 organizations to participate with tables and information at RecoveryFest are Ruth’s Cottage, Georgia Overdose Prevention, The Change Center, and Legacy of Valdosta. The event is free and open to everyone, with speakers, resources, free food, music, games, and a Narcan demonstration. Narcan is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose emergency.
 
Anyone interested in being a part of the event or volunteering may contact Gilder at mgilder@fbctifton.org or 229-326-0164. Treatment facilities in Tifton include The Start and the Beacon of Hope. “We do need more options,” Gilder said. 
 
The Ride for Recovery motorcycle fundraiser raises scholarship funds to help people get into treatment, Gilder said. “Most people in addiction have exhausted all resources and cannot afford the down payment required at a lot of treatment centers.”

Funds raised will be used to help with a partial down payment for anyone fighting to get into treatment. “The average down payment is $500; if we can help one person get on the road to recovery, it is worth it,” she said.
GA SEES ANOTHER PEDIATRIC COVID-19 DEATH AS CHILD CASES REACH HIGHEST LEVEL
TIFT COUNTY HAS 271 CONFIRMED PEDIATRIC CASES
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
Confirmed COVID-19 cases among the state's children are at the highest level in the pandemic as another child died this week from the virus in Georgia, officials say.

A 13-year-old died at home Tuesday in Rome in North Georgia, adding to the 17 confirmed COVID-related pediatric deaths in the Peach State as positive cases rise, according to state health data.

During the past two weeks in Tift County, there were 271 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among children up to age 17, said the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH).

And in a recent seven-day period ending Aug. 29, Georgia was third in the United States, behind Florida and Texas, in pediatric coronavirus hospital admissions, according to a federal report.

Meanwhile, as the latest surge in overall cases continues statewide, it is dropping slightly in Tift County. Tift reported 376 confirmed cases and 894 total cases, when rapid Antigen positive cases are added, the DPH reported.

In the past seven days, Tift reported 162 new confirmed cases, one additional death, and had a 22.6% test positivity rate. Overall, Tift County has had 4,556 confirmed cases and 109 related deaths, the DPH said.

On Thursday, the DPH reported 6,074 new confirmed cases within 24 hours in Georgia, along with 2,614 new Antigen cases, 131 additional related deaths, and 243 new hospitalizations. The state has recorded a total of 1,103,756 cases with 19,936 deaths, the DPH reported.

Also as of Thursday, 34% of eligible Tift countians have been fully vaccinated against the virus, and 40% have had at least one dose. Statewide, 44% are fully vaccinated, and 51% have had one dose, according to DPH statistics.
JUVENILE COURT DEALS WITH KIDS IN 'CRISIS,' JUDGE TELLS TIFTON ROTARY CLUB
By BONNIE SAYLES
Tifton Grapevine
Tift County needs more parenting mentors, Juvenile Court Judge Render Heard told the Tifton Rotary Club on Wednesday.

His court deals with children who are in crisis situations. 

Heard said dependency, delinquency, and "Child in Need of Services" are three main areas the Juvenile Court handles, all revolving around child welfare. The court serves Tift, Turner, Irwin, and Worth counties. 

In the area of dependency, the court is facing children who have been abused or neglected, Heard said.

“We have to step in and, in some way, get involved with the family. Sometimes it is through a protective order,” Heard said, "and the children remain in the home while we provide services to try to keep the family together.”

In worse scenarios, children are removed from a home and the court system works with the family to reunite them. 

“We spend a lot of time and energy trying to keep children with biological families,” Heard said. “We provide parenting classes and provide substance abuse treatment to try to make the family home a safe place for children to return.” 

Termination of parental rights occurs when “we can’t get the parents to get it together.” Then the court has to see about getting kids in foster care or adopted

The Juvenile Court refers to “delinquent acts” rather than calling them “crimes" when children are involved. And, they call it a “disposition" instead of “sentencing."

“We don’t want to tell a 12-year-old that he is a criminal,” Heard said. “We are primarily concerned with treatment and rehabilitation. I am not supposed to punish a child at all.”
 
Most of the Child in Need of Services, or CHINS, cases involve truancy, which is more than 10 unexcused absences in a school year. During 2020, when parents had to go back to work and leave children at home attending school online, truancy increased. The Tift County School System just appointed a CHINS coordinator for the schools to provide truancy intervention, Heard said.

He said he sees too many parents who have no idea how to parent. Too many parents weren’t parented themselves and need help in learning parenting skills for their children. Nearly every situation where a child is involved in delinquency, there’s a parent who isn’t skilled in how to supervise their children, Heard said.

He said Georgia is one of three remaining states in which children who reach the age of 17 are out of the Juvenile Court system and are charged as an adult in Superior Court. A “Raise the Age” bill has been proposed in the state Legislature to remedy that, raising the age to 18.
ABAC PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS CHRONICLE 2020
Kevin Sackenheim of Alapaha won the Donna Hatcher Best in Show Award at the recent Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College photography contest – “Beauty Amidst Trials: Capturing A Pandemic Year.”

Sackenheim’s photo depicts freshly cut lilies captured in front of a 2020 television broadcast that discussed the pandemic and widespread social unrest. Sackenheim received $500 for his winning entry.

“The GMA (Ga. Museum of Agriculture) Gallery is honored to be a part of capturing and preserving the spirit of 2020 as reflected in local photographs through this contest while honoring the memory of our dear friend and collaborator Donna Hatcher,” said GMA Curator Polly Huff.

Hatcher was a former ABAC art professor who died last year.

The contest featured five categories: abstract, agriculture, architecture, landscape, and nature & people. The five first place category winners received $200 each.

Winners of each category were: Abstract, “Straight from the Heart” by Jean Gay; Architecture, “BathHouse” by Suzanna Dorminy; Agriculture, “950” by Charley Lollis; Landscape, “Solitude” by Landon Rowe; and Nature & People, “Long Live” by Alisha McKellar.

Honorable mentions were: Abstract, “Autumn” by Daniel Shippey; Architecture, “Primitive Baptist Church” by Sydney Cromer; Agriculture, “Cuddles” by Leslie Jane Pannell; Landscape, “I Talk to Trees” by Catherine Wilson; and Nature & People, “Pedaling in a Pandemic” by Linda Powell.

All photos will be displayed in a public exhibit in the GMA Gallery during September.
TIFTON
2012 Pineview Ave., Tifton, Ga 31793
TIFTON-TIFT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
RIBBON CUTTING
Simply Ke Massage
601 N. Virginia Ave., Tifton
August 26




READING ALOUD

Tiftarea Academy's Lower School principal, Shelly Butler, reads to all K-5 classes this week as a part of their "community helpers: teachers and principals" lesson.

The students appear to be fully engrossed in the book.
WANNA CREATE A TROPICAL-PLANT DISH GARDEN? ABAC HORTICULTURE CLUB PLANS WORKSHOP
The community is invited to a tropical-plant dish garden workshop from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 23, offered by the Horticulture Club at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Club President Morgan Fritze said tickets are available for the class on the ABAC Horticulture Club’s Facebook page. The cost is $20.

“The cost of the community program will include all materials for participants to create an arrangement, which they can take home with them,” Fritze said. “Attendees at the tropical plant gardens’ class will learn how to care for tropical plants and create arrangements for their home.”

Dr. Frank Flanders, agricultural education professor, will lead participants with a presentation and an interactive demonstration of the proper way to care for plants. Horticulture Club members will then assist attendees in selecting materials and creating arrangements.

The workshop will be held in ABAC’s Environmental Horticulture Building. For information, call 407-212-1037.
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YOUR GUIDE TO ACTIVITIES THIS WEEKEND IN THE TIFTAREA

This Saturday, Sept. 4, is National Wildlife Day, a day to celebrate and reflect upon the natural world. As Henry David Thoreau wrote: “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”
FRIDAY, SEPT. 3
  • First Friday Tifton, 5-8 p.m., Downtown Tifton
  • Tift County High Blue Devils football vs. Banneker High Trojans, 7:30 p.m., Brodie Field, Tifton
  • Tiftarea Academy Panthers vs. Bulloch Academy Gators, 7:30 p.m., Panther Pit, Chula

SATURDAY, SEPT. 4
  • Ride for Recovery, 10 a.m., Harley-Davidson, Tifton
  • RecoveryFest, Noon- 3 p.m., Fulwood Park, Tifton
  • "Tracing Forward" exhibit opening reception, 1-6 p.m., Plough Gallery, Tifton
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S DOG OF THE WEEK
“Sheba" a female German Shepherd, is available for adoption at the Tift County Animal Shelter on Highway 125 S. To see all pets available, visit the shelter between 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch’s Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055  
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AUGUST 26
Lennox Dick, 81, Chula
L.V. McClain, 89, Adel
Gary W. Fowler, 66, Ben Hill County
 
AUGUST 27
Ray Tonaha Wallace Sr., 79, Ocilla
Lutrelle Walker Melchor, 77, Tifton
Lorrie Ann “Ganna” Hanks, 59, Nashville
John H. Shealey, 73, Brunswick, formerly of Ocilla
Sandy Adam Nieves, 76, Fitzgerald
 
AUGUST 28
Harold Eugene Greeson, 88, Tifton
Anna Woods Wynn, 73, Fitzgerald
Thomas F. Helms, 90, Fitzgerald
Idell Bradley, 73, Sylvester
 
AUGUST 29
Charles Bradford “Brad” Courson, 35, Tifton
Elmer W. Mallard, 81, Warwick
Thelma Pettiford, 81, Tifton
Ruth Gentry Melton, Irwin County
Walter Eugene “Gene” Crenshaw, 93, Ashburn
Isaiah James Owen Wise, 18 days old, Sycamore
Brenda Trawick, 59, Tifton
 
AUGUST 30
James Everett Griffin, 51, Tifton
Dorothy Green, 80, Sylvester
Thera Mae Sheppard Hall, 79, Sylvester
Brad Ivey, 52, Leesburg
Joyce McDonald “Buck” Watley, 85, Nashville
Clyde Leon Roberson, 78, Fitzgerald
Oliver Lee Bryan 75, Fitzgerald
 
AUGUST 31
Betty Margaret Lawson Jackson, 89, Omega
Steven Leonard Lyon, 73, Tifton
Ronald Keith Coleman, 61, Nashville
Rosetta "Rose" Raburn Smith, 87, Lanier County
Mary Ann Varnadore, 79, Waycross
Robin Denise Mixon, 61, Adel
Dana Leprell Bush, 53, Tifton
SEPTEMBER 1
Flavia Colin Reyes, 71, Tifton
Olegario Reyes, 75, Tifton
James “Jim” Perry Golden, 85, Enigma
James Lane Alexander, 61, 
Sumner
Idell Bradley, Sylvester
Belinda Ann Parks, 61, Tifton
 
SEPTEMBER 2
John Eston Lindsey, 71, Enigma
Eddie Nichols, 85, Tifton
Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
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Bonnie Sayles
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