Friday, June 11, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
This artist rendering depicts what a "parklet" and outdoor dining area could look like on Commerce Way. The dining area could be used by patrons of both food trucks and established nearby restaurants.
CITY CONSIDERS 'PARKLET,' ONE-WAY STREET ALONG COMMERCE WAY
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
As Commerce Way continues to be developed with new businesses and eateries, the City of Tifton is considering making the street one way heading north and creating a "parklet" with an outdoor eating area.

The proposal was formally presented to Tifton City Council at its workshop Monday night, and council members voiced no initial opposition to the concept.

The Downtown Development Authority is in "full alignment with that," said City Manager Pete Pyrzenski. "This seems to be the best approach for Commerce Way."

Mayor Julie B. Smith said that Commerce Way is "a very visible corridor for our downtown," and that converting the block to one-way traffic would be "a lot safer coming off Highway 82."

Trey Gavin, senior vice president with ESG Engineering, made the presentation based on extensive study. He said the concept would make the area more handicapped accessible, would slow and limit traffic, improve esthetics and would be "a major enhancement for every business" on the street.

The current sidewalk on Commerce Way is a "two-tiered sidewalk with irregular steps," Gavin said, noting that the sidewalk has a "four-step different elevation." The plan would convert the sidewalk to a two-step elevation.

The parklet would take over three current parking spaces to create the space for sitting and dining. Gavin said converting the street to one-way would allow reclaiming some of these spaces on the other side of the street.

City Manager Pyrzenski added that storm water issues along the street would also be addressed with the proposed project.

Because City Council was in a workshop meeting, no action was taken on the proposal. It will be brought back at a full City Council meeting.
SHOTS FIRED IN STANDOFF WITH TIFTON POLICE
No one was injured during a 45-minute standoff between Tifton Police and an armed man Wednesday morning, authorities said.

At about 6 a.m. Wednesday, Tifton Police responded to a report of an armed man and a domestic dispute in the 1000 block of Madison Avenue. Officers on the scene saw a man on the front porch of a residence with a gun in his hand.

Against officers' commands, the man went inside the house and shut the door; police then heard two shots fired inside the residence. Officers surrounded the house and contacted the man through a cell phone.

After 45 minutes, the man agreed to leave the gun in the house and leave the home. Zachary Bryant, 38, was detained and transported to Tift Regional Medical Center for evaluation. Charges may be pending.

Police said that Bryant did not fire shots at officers and did not injure anyone inside the home.
NASHVILLE BUSINESSMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MILLIONS IN BANK FRAUD
A Southwest Georgia businessman and owner of a tractor supply company pleaded guilty to orchestrating a complicated fraud involving millions of dollars of loans by multiple creditors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.

Rickey Carter, 60, of Nashville, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud on Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson.

Carter faces a maximum 30 years in prison to be followed by at least five years of supervised release and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled Sept. 15. There is no parole in the federal system.

Carter admitted to being accountable for an intended fraud loss totaling more than $3.5 million but not more than $9.5 million.

“Rickey Carter’s decision to concoct various illegal schemes to keep his failing business afloat has damaged small businesses, community banks and defrauded the federal government. Carter’s criminal actions will ultimately land him in federal prison,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.

“Carter thought he was smart enough to swindle millions of dollars from these banks, but he wasn’t smart enough to avoid being caught and punished,” said Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta.

Carter was president and CEO of Nashville Tractor, which sold and leased agricultural and construction parts and equipment.

As part of the fraudulent scheme, Carter falsified his company's financial records in order to inflate the company’s net worth, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Carter provided false and fraudulent information to banks and to the Small Business Administration for loans, the government said.
TIFTON STUDENT SELECTED FOR JR. NATIONAL YOUNG LEADERS MEET
Claudia Tanner of Tifton is joining outstanding middle school students from across the nation this coming week at the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C.

The conference is one of the Envision by WorldStrides family of programs that enable students to explore their interests and experience learning beyond the classroom.

Claudia was nominated to attend the forum by one of her seventh-grade teachers at Northeast Middle School. She has maintained a high academic record.

In addition to participating in One Voice show choir, Claudia is on the competition dance team, Silver Lining, at Mallory Ward’s School of Dance. She is also active at Tift Avenue Church of God, where she works on the media team and is a part of the youth ministry.

She has dreams of being either a doctor or lawyer.
TIFT COUNTY REPORTS 2 MORE
COVID-19 DEATHS SINCE TUESDAY
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
Tift County has recorded two additional coronavirus-related deaths since Tuesday, according to data from the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH).

As of Thursday, the DPH said Tift has had 101 deaths and 3,475 total confirmed cases of COVID-19. There were six new confirmed cases in the past two weeks, the DPH reported.

Tift County's new confirmed cases translate to 34 per 100,000 population, the DPH said. The county’s positive testing rate during the two-week period is 3.9%.

On Thursday, Georgia reported 371 new cases with 35 additional deaths and 63 new hospitalizations. The state has had a total of 898,715 confirmed cases and 18,260 related deaths, the DPH said.
A total of 40 Agricultural Education students graduated from ABAC under the guidance of faculty members, front row front left: Dr. Sallie McHugh, Dr. Frank Flanders, Dr. Mark Kistler, Dr. Andrew Thoron, Dr. Farish Mulkey, and Ridge Harper.
ABAC AGAIN TOPS SOUTHEAST IN AG EDUCATION GRADS
For the third consecutive year, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College produced more graduates with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education than any other college or university east of the Mississippi River.

Forty agricultural education students graduated from ABAC at the recent commencement ceremony.

“The spring 2021 ABAC cohort was by far the largest graduating class from any institution in Georgia in the history of agricultural education,” said Dr. Frank Flanders, agricultural education program coordinator. “These graduates will help with the severe nationwide shortage of Ag Ed teachers that has existed for over 40 years.” 

The Ag Ed graduates were inducted into the profession in a special pinning ceremony following graduation. Graduates received the ABAC Agricultural Education pin, and many received awards for outstanding leadership and student teaching.

The ABAC Ag Ed program continues to thrive with increased enrollment as well as new programs. Current enrollment is at 217 students, which makes ABAC one of the largest producers of Ag Ed graduates in the nation.

During the past year, an elementary agricultural education teacher program was established at ABAC, the first of its kind in the nation. ABAC also established a partnership with Murray State University to encourage graduates to continue their education in a master’s degree program. 
UGA Weather Network Director Pam Knox checks one of the data-logger boxes maintained by the network. All of the observational instruments connect to the data-logger, which collects and transmits weather data at 15-minute intervals.
UGA WEATHER NETWORK
MARKS 30 YEARS
The University of Georgia's Weather Network celebrated 30 years of continuous weather data on June 1, making it one of the oldest state weather networks in the nation.

In 1991, the first four UGA agricultural weather stations were placed in Tifton, Griffin, Midville, and Watkinsville.

Since then, the UGA Weather Network has grown to include 87 stations scattered across the state, providing weather data to a variety of users.

There are two UGA weather stations in Tift County – at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station and at UGA's Bowen Research Farm.

The network, originally known as the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network, was the brainchild of Gerrit Hoogenboom, then an adjunct professor in the UGA College of Engineering.

“One of the main goals of the network when it was initiated was to be able to provide access to near real-time weather data for the main agricultural regions across Georgia," Hoogenboom said.

Most of the stations are located in agricultural areas and measure not only weather information such as temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and humidity, but also agriculturally important variables such as solar radiation, and soil moisture and temperature at three levels.

Information is collected every 15 minutes.

To access the Tifton data, Click Here!
Refreshing careers for Tifton area CDL drivers and more. 
Click the link below to apply.
TIFT MIGRANT SUMMER SCHOOL TEACHES 'STEM' LESSONS
Migrant summer school students are participating in fun and interesting "STEM" (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) lessons in Tift County schools. Pre-K through fifth-grade students are learning about the diet of barn owls and are extending their learning to create diagrams of food chains.
ABAC ASSISTANT VP RECEIVES
LEADERSHIP AWARD
Dr. Amy Willis has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the E. Lanier Carson Leadership Award at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Willis serves as assistant vice president of academic affairs and registrar.

Established in 1973 as the Carlton Award for Administrative Excellence, the Carson Leadership Award recognizes leadership contributions of an ABAC administrator who is not eligible for a faculty or staff award. 

An ABAC employee since 1997, Willis received the Roy Jackson Award for Staff Excellence in 2011. She earned associate degrees in computer science and business administration from ABAC, a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Valdosta State University, an MBA from Albany State University, and a doctorate in education from VSU

Willis has a long list of responsibilities that range from serving on numerous campus and University System of Georgia committees to completing semester processes.

“I possess a huge passion for what I do, which I hope is evident in my excitement, animation, commitment, and straightforward personality," Willis said. "I encourage others by having fun and laughing in the work environment and showing others that I care in small, subtle ways.”
CONGRESSIONAL APP CHALLENGE LAUNCHES JUNE 24
The 2021 Congressional App Challenge for Georgia’s Eighth District launches June 24 for middle and high school students.

The App Challenge is designed to inspire, include, and innovate efforts around STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), coding, and computer science.

Middle and high school students may submit original code applications for the chance to be selected for recognition by Congress, win prizes, and have their work put on display in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

The winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Georgia’s Eighth District will have the opportunity to attend a #HouseofCode event in Washington and will have their app showcased on the official U.S. House of Representatives website. Each student will also receive a $75 gift card from Southwest Airlines and a $100 Amazon Web Service credit.

"The demand for STEM skills only continues to grow, and I’m glad to host this annual competition to give our students and educators the opportunity to implement these in our Georgia classrooms," said U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton.

For information on the App Challenge, Click Here!
ROBERT 'LARRY' LAMB, FORMER
OMEGA MAYOR & BUSINESSMAN, DIES
Robert “Larry” Lamb, a Tiftarea businessman and former Omega mayor and former City Council member, died June 5.

Lamb, 76, was born in Tifton and graduated from Omega High School. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, graduated from Officer’s Candidate School in Fort Benning, and served In Vietnam. He served in military intelligence, where he earned the rank of first lieutenant.

Along with his wife, Vicki, Lamb was involved in multiple businesses. He constructed commercial buildings in Tift and surrounding counties through Lamb Construction, receiving numerous awards. He leased commercial properties through Commercial Leasing Associates, Lamb Leasing, and Corporate Leasing and Investments.

Through these, he contributed to the economic growth of the Tiftarea. Lamb was a member of Omega Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, royal ambassador leader, and choir member.
BROOKFIELD UMC HAS FREE CLOTHES GIVEAWAY
Brookfield United Methodist Church will be holding a free clothing giveaway on Saturday.

The free giveaway includes miscellaneous sizes of various clothing.

The event is from 8-11 a.m. Saturday, June 12, at the church located at 2470 U.S. Highway 82 E.
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YOUR GUIDE TO ACTIVITIES THIS WEEKEND IN THE TIFTAREA
Friday, June 11, is National Corn on the Cob Day. In Plainview, Minn., the annual celebration, Corn on the Cob Days, includes a festival, parade and fireworks.
FRIDAY, JUNE 11
  • Glenn Roberts Memorial Blood Drive, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., 352 Fitzgerald Highway, Ocilla
  • Food Truck Friday - Adel, 4-8 p.m., Downtown Adel

SATURDAY, JUNE 12
  • Tifton Kiwanis Fishing Rodeo, 7 a.m., 536 Paradise Drive, Enigma
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Day Out with Thomas the Train Party Train Tour, 9 a.m., SAM Shortline Train Station at Georgia Veterans State Park, Cordele
  • Rock the Block, 6-10 p.m., Downtown Tifton
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S DOG OF THE WEEK
“Snickers" is available for adoption at the Tift County Animal Shelter on Highway 125 S. To see pets available for adoption, 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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JUNE 2
Wyman Earl Bryant, 70, Tifton
William “Dean” Layne, 82, Tifton
Sara Jeane Spivey Milam, 95, Tifton
Dessie Mae Bennett, 82, Vanceville

JUNE 3
Connie Williams Wicker, 65, Tifton

JUNE 4
David Alan Gray, 47, Nashville
Curtis Avery Smith, 63, Nashville
Margie Roberson, 80, Cross, S.C.
Tommy Milner, 74, Fitzgerald

JUNE 5
Robert "Larry" Lamb, 76, Omega
Rose Shyann Jolly, 19, Worth County
Carolyn Ruth Webb Willett, 88, Moultrie
Tina Louise Davis, 50, Fitzgerald

JUNE 6
Betty Jean Allen Walls, 89, Tifton
Susan Idora Smith Vaughn Walker, 62, Tifton
Christopher Lev Norman, 52, Tifton
Blondean “Dean” Baker Snow Harbin Porter, 84, Enigma
Richard “Lee” Roberts, 44, Tifton
Velma Louise Johnson, 88, Alapaha

JUNE 7
Freddie Chaney, Tifton
Bobby Jim Hall, 84, West Berrien Community
Willie C. Richardson, 67, Sylvester
Herbert Roy O’Boyle, 81, formerly of Worth County

JUNE 8
Nell Weeks, 87, Norman Park
Marsha Johnson, 66, Tifton
Mike Ledbetter, 58, Adel
Jessie Jefferson, Sylvester

JUNE 9
Warren Washington, Tifton
Brenda Faye Morgan Paul, 75, Fitzgerald
JUNE 10
Connie Lee "Buddy" Talley Sr., 85, Chula
Tony White, 85, Worth County
Eugene Joseph Oncale Jr.,
Sylvester
Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
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