SEPT. 8, 2017
WAITING FOR THE WALLOP, EVACUEES FLOOD TIFTAREA
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
As Hurricane Irma approaches the East Coast, the Tiftarea already is feeling the effects as thousands of Florida residents have fled to South Georgia to escape the storm's wrath.
For several days, all 1,160 hotel rooms in Tifton/Tift County have been full and are booked at least through Tuesday, hotel and tourism officials say. Some travelers have even been sleeping in their cars in local hotels' parking lots.
"Yes, they are sleeping outside, coming in exhausted and waiting around inside while we get rooms cleaned and try to get the people who are due out today on their way so we can get the arriving people in and to bed," said Kathleen Moore, general manager of Tifton's Hilton Garden Inn.
"It is so sad," Moore told the Tifton Grapevine on Thursday. "We are trying to go further with some of the older people and help them try to find rooms further away when we do not have anything. A lot of them are not Internet/GPS/cellphone savvy."
Moore said her hotel even contemplated putting up people temporarily in the hotel's meeting rooms.
The scenarios are being repeated at hotels
throughout Tifton. The Comfort Inn & Suites also have had travelers sleeping in their cars while seeking rooms. The hotel is helping people find accommodations and have had to look as far away as Tennessee in some instances.
"As far as we know, the hotels are all sold out until next Tuesday" in Tifton, said Angela M. Elder of the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association. "There are cancellations every now and then, but those rooms are sold again as quick as they cancel."
With Hurricane Irma aiming toward the Eastern coastline of Florida and Georgia, Elder predicted that now "we will be flooded with those folks, too, and everything is already full.
It's a very sad situation."
Two American Red Cross shelters are opening in Tifton at 6 p.m. today (Friday). The locations are Gressette Gym at
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and at the Tift County Recreation Department gym on Victory Drive, the
Tift County Emergency Management Agency
Traffic on Interstate 75 between Georgia and Florida already was three times the average Thursday, according to the Georgia
Department of Transportation. However, t
here are no plans to reverse lanes on I-75, said Southwest Georgia DOT District Engineer Ritchie Swindell. "With three lanes on I-75 north and the alternate routes in our area, we should have the capacity to handle traffic," he said.
Although the hurricane's path could change, as of early today the forecast is that South Georgia will see the first impact late Sunday/early Monday. The National Weather Service (NWS) says that tropical storm conditions are possible in Tifton late Sunday night. On
Monday in Tifton, h
urricane conditions are possible with heavy rain, possibly over five inches, and winds from 60 up to 74 mph, the NWS reports. By Tuesday, Tifton should be clear with a forecast for sunny weather.
TIFT COUNTY, CITIES OK SPLOST PROJECTS
AT JOINT MEETING THURSDAY NIGHT
city councils of
Tifton, Omega and
Ty Ty met jointly with the
Tift County Commission on
Thursday and approved resolutions
clearing the way for the
Special Purpose Local Sales Tax (SPLOST) to be placed on the
from the cities and county, meeting at Tifton's
Leroy Rogers Senior Center
for the proposed
, anticipated to generate
Under the proposal,
Tift County would receive
58.81 percent of the revenue; the
City of Tifton,
35.26 percent; and the cities of
Ty Ty, both receiving
2.97 percent, or
$1.8 million each.
Among Tift County's
SPLOST projects are
$5.2 million for a
courthouse addition and
county buildings. Nearly half (
$9.5 million) of the
City of Tifton's allocation would be used for
road, street, bridge, drainage and parking projects.
reduces allocations to both the
Tift County Development Authority (TCDA) and the
Downtown Development Authority (DDA) by
25 percent each. This means the
TCDA would receive a total of
$6 million, with the
$1.5 million. City Councilman
Frank Sayles Jr. said he is
downtown authority by
$500,000 but would
acquiesce in the
spirit of compromise in order to
keep from delaying the SPLOST
The county is under
strict state deadlines for getting the SPLOST issue on the
Nov. 7 ballot. The county must now wait
30 days before formally placing the
SPLOST resolution on the
TIFTON, OMEGA, ASHBURN, WORTH COUNTY GET COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT FUNDS
State Sen. Greg Kirk, R-Americus, on Thursday announced that eight communities in Senate District 13, including Tifton, is being awarded Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,
administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
"The awards being granted in District 13 are going to help with economic development throughout these cities and counties," Kirk said "By allowing improvements to keep building up these communities, we will see the direct impact that new jobs and better standards of living will bring to our communities."
City of Tifton is awarded $376,887 for its redevelopment of parking areas along Commerce Way.
"We appreciate the partnership with CDBG and the Department of Community Affairs to allow for enhancements to the Commerce Way parking lot," said City Manager Pete Pyrzenski.
The City of Omega is receiving $370,713 for drainage/street improvements; Ashburn is getting $237,639 for water improvements; Worth County, $391,937 for drainage/street improvements; Cordele, $500,000 for drainage/street improvements;
Crisp County, $243,891 for water improvements;
Dooling, $630,094 for neighborhood revitalization; and
Vienna, $715,000 for neighborhood revitalization.
BE A PEPPER: OMEGA PEPPER FESTIVAL
TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY
A hot time is planned this
for the 14th Annual
Omega Pepper Festival
Friday, Sept. 8
, with an opening ceremony at the
Following the ceremony at
6 p.m. today is a
Gospel sing with
Mandy Harrell, In His Name, The Faithful Servants, and
All day Saturday
at Ponder Park and the Omega Clubhouse will be music, food and live entertainment, as well as arts and crafts vendors and the Pepperpaloosa Kiddie Park.
10:30 a.m. is the Omega Pepper Festival Parade; center field and stage entertainment starts at noon with the Dialed BMX Sports Show. Other entertainment throughout the day includes the Omega Stompers, the Adams & Lott Wildlife Show, Russ Still and the Moonshiners, Sara Brown, the Kason Layne Band and the Danny Dawson Band.
And, of course, there will be peppers galore available.
GEORGIA PEANUT COMMISSION OPENS EXHIBIT
Officials at the
Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) were joined by members of the
agricultural industry and local residents for the
dedication Wednesday of the GPC's new
The Center features self-guided
activities, and scenic
murals painted by local artist
he murals depict peanut production and feature peanut agribusinesses.
Peanut Commission is located at
445 Fulwood Boulevard in
THOSE WHO SERVE
Comfort Inn and Suites hosted a special
Tift County first responders, volunteers and community resource agencies on
breakfast was a way to
thank those folks who
serve the local
community in a variety of ways.
TIFTAREA ACADEMY ANNOUNCES HOMECOMING COURT
Tiftarea Academy has named its 2017 Homecoming attendants for the school's homecoming game Friday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Chula. The homecoming queen will be crowned during the halftime festivities.
Pictured from left, front row: Eighth-grade representative
Anslee Jones, daughter of
Derrick Jones and Tracey Jones-Darnell of
Marley Gunter, daughter of
Chad and Myla Gunter of
Missy McKay, daughter of Dave and Susie McKay of
Grace Hall, daughter of
Kyle and Chrystal Kendrick of
Marlee Marlowe, daughter of
Brian and Marla Marlowe of
Kaitlynn Willis, daughter of
Greg and Helen Willis of
Carson Ball, daughter of
Helen and Joe Ball of
Back Row, from left : Sophomore
Carlie Strenth, daughter of
Dwayne and Amy Strenth of
Peyton Matt, daughter of
Joey and Pam Matt of
Reagan Ward, daughter of
Michael and Jennifer Ward of
CHARLES SPENCER SCHOOL
USES BIRTHDAY TO GIVE STUDENT UNIFORMS
Ridley Monk, a student at
Charles Spencer Elementary School and son of
David and Tracy Monk of
Aug 27. Instead of presents for his
birthday party, he asked his guests to bring
uniforms for other
students at Spencer Elementary.
Ridley exemplifies what being a CSE student is all about. Thank you, Ridley!" reads a post on Charles Spencer Elementary's
TIFTON ROTARY GETS MOVING
Professional body builder Desiree (Cookie) Jackson got the Tifton Rotary Club moving last Wednesday, discussing techniques to improve flexibility and fitness. She discussed "patterns of movement" that involve people keeping their arms at their sides in sitting, standing and walking.
"As seniors, we often lose the motion to get our arms up over our heads," Jackson said. She got the room of Rotary Club members lifting and waving their arms and acknowledged that some may hear a little pop in the uncommon movement.
Jackson is a personal trainer, a posing coach and a physical therapy assistant at Zebulon Park Health and Rehabilitation in Macon. She said she entered her first body-building competition at the age of 53.
She teaches posing for competitions, and she judges competitions. Jackson talked about the "new cardio," which preaches high interval training: 30 seconds of high intensity movement, followed by 30 seconds of rest for a duration of 20-30 minutes. She said our traditional long cardio, such as an hour on the elliptical machine, burns too much muscle versus fat. She demonstrated body weight exercises and encouraged drinking a gallon and a half water daily.
The Tifton Rotary Club meets at noon each Wednesday at the Tiftarea Conference Center. Guests and potential members are welcome.
A solitary chimney, covered with
weeds, stands as a silent memory of days gone by. A barn with one end of its tin roof
collapsed will never again relive its glory days when it flourished as a center of
These are the types of images on display when the
Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village showcases a gallery exhibit and outreach program entitled
"Abandoned Rural America." It begins with a reception at
2 p.m. Sept. 16 in the
Museum Gallery. The reception is open to the public.
Many of the participating
artists will travel from across the state to participate in a
gallery talk, give tours, and answer questions about their work.
Swamp Daisies," one of the Abandoned Rural America
musical partners, will be featured in a
performance during the reception. Several local artists will occupy space in the exhibit and showcase their work on rural
Wiregrass Georgia as guests of Abandoned Rural America.
2011 by a group of
Georgia artists that has now grown to include the works of over
20, this exhibition pays
homage to the American small family
farmers, their dedication to the land and their craft that has fed countless people," said
Polly Huff, museum curator and assistant director. "The exhibition includes photography, paintings, drawings and various 3-D objects, as well as written word, video and traditional music."
changing face of
America has sprouted numerous
abandoned farms and
rural houses since it was first settled. Abandoned farmhouses dot the countryside everywhere in rural America; yet most are ignored by those who pass by their ruins. Left to decay by their former owners, these structures eventually deteriorate into the
landscape. Often the chimneys are left standing for decades after the main structure is gone.
Abandoned Rural America Exhibition and Outreach can be viewed
9 a.m.-3 p.m., and
9 a.m.-4 p.m. beginning
Sept. 19. The exhibit will remain on display at the GMA Gallery until
TIFTON MAYOR PROCLAIMS ADULT EDUCATION & FAMILY LITERACY WEEK SEPT. 4-8, LITERACY DAY SEPT. 8
Julie Smith joined Gov.
Nathan Deal in recognizing this week as
Adult Education and Family Literacy Week and today,
Friday, Sept. 8, as
one in five adults cannot read or write,"
Smith read from the proclamation. "In Georgia, roughly
1.1 million adults over the age of
18 have not completed high school or received a GED diploma." She said "
Illiteracy is a social problem, which can be alleviated through increased
public awareness and broader support for volunteer literacy programs on the local, state and national levels."
Tifton residents benefit from free
GED classes and
English language classes offered at
Southern Regional Technical College and from the services offered by
Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County: tutoring for basic reading and math skills and GED test scholarships.
Shown from left are Mayor
LVTTC executive director;
Carolyn West, SRTC transition specialist for adult education
; LVTTC tutor Michael Dalton; LVTTC President Victor Pires; and Immediate Past President Sharonda Murphy-Henton, SRTC medical assisting faculty.
..at a Glance
- 14th Annual Omega Pepper Festival, 6 p.m., Ponder Park, Omega
- Tift County High Blue Devils football @ Valdosta High Wildcats, 8 p.m., Valdosta
SATURDAY, SEPT. 9
- Benefit Auction, 10 a.m., Elks Lodge, Victory Drive, Tifton
- 14th Annual Omega Pepper Festival, 10:30 a.m., Ponder Park, Omega
Family Promise "Evening of Praise," 7 p.m., First Church of the Nazarene, 3024 Tift Ave., Tifton
- "Paws on Love" art exhibit reception, 2-4 p.m., Museum of Arts & Heritage, Tifton
John W. Johnson, 85, Hahira
Phyllis C. Hall, 65, Doerun
Genette Tison, 81, Oakfield
Jason "Cry Baby" Douglas, 44, Ashburn
Larry Flythe, 59, Hahira
Edwin J. Branam, 97, Fitzgerald
Angela Faye Moore Reynolds, 59, Fitzgerald
Dr. J. C. "Jack" Greene Jr., 89, Ashburn
Noel Childers, 75, Barney
Cora Belle McFarland McCrary, 93, Tifton
John Michael Ellis Moore, 60, Tifton
Judith Wilkerson, 69, Sycamore
Julius Eugene Luke, 87, Stockbridge
Gail Eugene Russell, 83, Tifton
Jewel "Jeannette" Johnson Beard, 89, Tifton
Lottie Naomi Salter Houston, 90, Sylvester
Jewel "Jeannette" Johnson Beard, 89, Tifton
Alverda Lorraine Hall, 91, Nashville
Julia Price Gray, 98, Tifton
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