Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
Among evacuees in Tifton are Greg and Nancy Walsh of Cocoa, Fla., with their dogs Tuesday in Tifton’s Dog Park at Fulwood Park.
HURRICANE BRINGS VISITORS, NOT SEVERE WEATHER,
TO TIFTAREA
By BONNIE SAYLES
and
FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine

As Hurricane Dorian ambles up along the East Coast, evacuees and utility workers have filled Tifton's hotels , officials say.

"All major hotels are full with a wait list, " Tyron Spearman , Tifton-Tift County Tourism director, said late Tuesday afternoon .

Spearman said it is difficult to estimate the number of evacuees in town because there are also many utility crews here from elsewhere awaiting Dorian's impact and possible power outages along the coast .

"We have a (utility) team from Nebraska with their trucks here," Spearman added.

The only real effect of Hurricane Dorian in the Tiftarea is expected to be the number of evacuees and visitors. According to the Tift County Emergency Management Agency , "our area is under no threat of severe weather or flooding ."

Nancy and Greg Walsh from Cocoa Fla. , near Cape Canaveral , are among the folks who have fled to Tifton , along with their two dogs Tico and Kita , to escape the storm. They chose Tifton , they said, because it has the closest dog-friendly hotel they had found in Georgia

On Tuesday , the Walshes and their dogs visited Tifton’s Dog Park at Fulwood Park .

“This is a nice park ,” Nancy Walsh told the Tifton Grapevine . Asked how they found it, she replied, “Googled it.”

They said they are used to a two-acre dog park that opened five years ago in their town , where the dog owners have become friends and meet up each morning to walk and talk. Other evacuees with dogs , including one from West Palm Beach , have also discovered Tifton's new Dog Park .

Coastal Georgians have also begun fleeing inland as Gov. Brian Kemp issued a mandatory evacuation of Georgia's coast east of Interstate Highway 95 . The Ga. Department of Transportation has instituted "contraflow" on Interstate 16 from Savannah through U.S. 441 in Dublin to allow evacuation traffic the opportunity to use all four lanes of I-16 in the westbound direction.

The hurricane has also disrupted Tiftarea Academy's varsity football schedule . This Friday's game against Frederica Academy of St. Simons Island has been cancelled . Because of the mandatory evacuation , the coastal school is temporarily closed.
Famed USDA turfgrass breeder Wayne Hanna, at left, a UGA Tifton professor of crop and soil sciences, receives the National Association of Plant Breeders Lifetime Achievement Award from Jim McFerson, director of Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center.
UGA TIFTON'S HANNA GETS LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM PLANT BREEDERS
University of Georgia scientist Wayne Hanna of Tifton has gotten many awards , but he says there’s something special about the Lifetime Achievement Award he received at the National Association of Plant Breeders annual meeting Aug. 28 .

“I think the biggest satisfaction that comes from winning the award is that the efforts in Tifton are recognized and acknowledged ,” Hanna said.

Hanna has served as a part-time professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences on the UGA Tifton campus since 2003 . This followed a successful 32-year career as a research geneticist and research leader with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Tifton .

Hanna , whose specialty is crop genetics and plant breeding , has authored or co-authored more than 670 scientific papers. He’s developed and released 31 cultivars and 35 parental lines, inbreds and improved germplasms of turf , ornamental and forage genera; this includes 27 plant patents and four plant patents in final review.

His cultivars are planted across the world as forage for summer grazing and on landscapes , golf courses and athletic fields — including those staging the World Cup, Super Bowl and Olympics .

He has been inducted into the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame and into the Agricultural Research Services Science Hall of Fame . Hanna was named Inventor of the Year by the UGA Research Foundation in 2003 , and has received the C. Reed Funk Achievement Award from the Turfgrass Breeders Association .

But Hanna is most proud of the impact his career has made on consumers .

“Say, a lady calls me from north Atlanta and says, ‘Wayne, TifBlair has given me the prettiest lawn I’ve ever had.’ That’s the best award you can get,” Hanna said.

“Or you have a cattleman from Texas that says, ‘This grass that you developed has made me more money than anything I’ve ever done.’ Those are really good feelings .”
PRINCE TOYOTA AWARDS GRANT TO
TIFT COUNTY EDUCATION FOUNDATION
For the eighth consecutive year, Prince Toyota has awarded a Toyota Matching Grant ( $5,000 ) to the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence .

Pictured from left are Austin Stripling, Heidi Prince Massey, Heather Prince Stripling and Paige Keith , who assumed the role of Foundation president on July 1.
CLUB OFFERS LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES
Members of the Tifton Twentieth Century Library Club decorated "Little Free Libraries" recently at the headquarters of the Tift County Commission on Children and Youth.

The libraries are being placed at locations around town such as businesses , residences and apartment complexes .

To request a free library , send a message to the library club on their Facebook page.

Pictured from left are Sandi Newman, Lillie McEntyre with the TCCCY, Club President Shirene Daniell and Genie McCook
'ABAC AT THE TIFT' TO FEATURE LIVE
'MICHAEL JACKSON EXPERIENCE'
Michael Jackson’ s magical music and dance moves will be on display at the historic Tift Theatre on Sept. 26 when Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College presents the first show in the new "ABAC at the Tift" entertainment series.

Entitled “I Am King: The Michael Jackson Experience,” the show features Jackson tribute artists singing and dancing live on stage. The creators of the show lined up talented musicians and dancers from Broadway and Las Vegas to bring the legendary entertainer’s hits to life.

“Other historic theatres around the state are doing well with tribute and nostalgia shows, and that’s what the 'ABAC at the Tift' series is all about,” said ABAC Arts Connection Director Wayne Jones . “It’s just another way to engage people at the Tift and support live arts in the community .”
In a joint agreement with the City of Tifton , ABAC began managing the Tift Theatre on July 1, 2018 . The venue is owned by the city and available for rent for a variety of events.

For information , call 229-391-4895 .
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