Friday, Feb. 28, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
Georgia’s farmers and forest landowners will soon have $347 million in federal disaster relief funds available to help with the billions of dollars in damage that Hurricane Michael caused in South and Middle Georgia during October 2018.

Gov. Brian P. Kemp and Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black made the announcement on Wednesday .

Help is finally on the way for our farm families and rural communities ,” Black said. “No one will approach being made whole, but it is our hope that the Georgia Farm Recovery Block Grant will bring much relief and stability to our farming communities.”

Kemp said: “The recovery process is far from over , but together we will stand with those still reeling from Hurricane Michael’s impact and continue to support them on the road to recovery .”

Farmers in 95 counties who have suffered Hurricane Michael-related losses to infrastructure, timber, beef, dairy, poultry, fruit and vegetables or pecans will be eligible to enroll online in Georgia’s Farm Recovery Block Grant at
Online applications for grants will be accepted for three weeks between March 18 and April 8 . The agriculture department hopes that payments will begin sometime this spring . The University of Georgia estimates total agricultural losses from the storm in Georgia at more than $2.5 billion .

The funding is part of a $19.1 billion disaster aid package that Congress passed last year after months of infighting and a feud between President Trump and congressional Democrats over disaster aid to Puerto Rico.

For more information and a guide to help prepare applicants for enrollment visit,
Twenty years into the 21st century , the GFWC Tifton Twentieth Century Library Club entered its second century with a name change and celebration Thursday night.

Tifton Mayor Julie Smith , GFWC Georgia State President Tina Daniel , GFWC Southern Region President Kay Chadwick, members of clubs from Albany, Morrow, Valdosta and Vienna , and the Tifton Junior Woman’s Club congratulated the renamed Tifton Woman's Club on 115 years of existence.
The first meeting of the Twentieth Century Library Club was attended by only seven or eight women because of rain, said current club President Shirene Daniell . The second meeting was better attended , and by 1920 the club had more than 100 members.

Immediately after establishing the club, members joined the Georgia Federation of Women’s Clubs and the national General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC).

The club organized a library and housed it in their club house until the county assumed responsibility for the library, Daniell said. The club paid a librarian and purchased books for the library. In 1915 , it established committees to work with each of 27 rural schools to ensure they had libraries .

“This project was written up in the November 1915 issue of McCall’s Magazine ,” Daniell said. “One of the ladies raised pigs in her front yard to have money to buy books for her school.”

The current club has funded scholarships for many Tift County High School students going to ABAC . In 2019 , the club awarded a scholarship for nontraditional students who are going to school at ABAC after years of being in the workplace. 

“You are trailblazers ,” said Mayor Julie Smith . “You have a legacy to carry forward, to build on the foundation (started by these ladies).” She cited a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson : “Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail .” Smith said, “That is what you are doing.” 

In 1939 , the larger club established the Tifton Junior Woman’s Club , and its current President Becky Smith brought greetings and invited women to join her club. 

With an impromptu drumroll , incoming President Genie McCook announced the new name of the club, GFWC Tifton Woman’s Club .

“I just want to tell you what an honor it is to be a member of this club. We still work with libraries and with veterans . There are a lot of great projects with which we are involved,” she said.
Longtime Tift County educator Julian David Cannon , 95, of Tifton died Wednesday, Feb. 26 , at Tift Regional Medical Center.

A U.S. Army veteran, Cannon began his career in Tifton in 1956 at Tifton High School , teaching social studies and English , and serving as a counselor and an assistant principal before being named principal of Tifton Junior High School in 1960

After retiring in 1980 , he served as headmaster of Tiftarea Academy , as a substitute teacher at Tift County High School and as a part-time assistant principal at J.T. Reddick school.

A native of Treutlen County , Cannon was a member of  Eastside Baptist Church of Tifton . He attended Norman Junior College and graduated from Georgia Teachers College , and earned a master's degree from the University of Alabama .

In 2014 , the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence established the Julian Cannon Chair of Reading and Writing Skills Enhancement to help students improve language, grammar, reading and writing skills , helping ensure their future success in the work force .

Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29 , in Oak Ridge Cemetery with the Rev. Keith Norris officiating. No formal visitation will be held.

In lieu of flowers , donations may be made to the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence, P.O. Box 714, Tifton, GA 31793.
Dr. Jeffrey Ross has been named the interim dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College .

Ross , who is from Donalsonville , has been teaching practical, associate and baccalaureate nursing degree level programs for 15 years. He has served as nursing chair for the practical and associate degree programs at ABAC Bainbridge .

He received his associate degree from Darton College , his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Albany State University and his Ed.D. in nursing education from the University of West Georgia . Ross also maintains certification through the National League for Nursing as a certified nursing educator.
The training on Wednesday, March 4, is not limited to the hospitality and
medical segments of the community – it is open to anyone interested in learning more about human trafficking.

There are two sessions on March 4: From 9-11:30 a.m., and from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
at the Leroy Rogers Senior Center on Second Street.

The event is free but attendees are asked to register here!

Here is a message from Tifton Mayor Julie Smith about the training:
The training event is made possible by the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force, the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, PAC, GPSTC, Tift County Sheriff’s Office, and Tifton Police Department.

Coty James , a junior at Tiftarea Academy , recently placed first in his division in the ACUI Collegiate Clay Target Lower East Coast Championship shooting competition.

James placed first  in Sporting Clays with a score of 99 out of 100 , placed first in  American Trap shooting with 97 out of 100 , and won the highest overall score in the High School Division , shooting a total of 332 out of 350

He attended the event with the SCTP Westwood team , which placed first in the High School Division.

James has participated on the Tiftarea Academy Shotgun Team since he was in the eighth grade . He has previously shot with the Worth County 4-H team that won a national championship in 2018 .

He is hoping to continue shooting collegiately after high school. He is the son of Greg and Christine James.
The Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce recently honored the STAR students and STAR teachers at Tiftarea Academy and at Tift County High School. They received plaques from Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) as well as a $50 check from Synovus.

In the Tiftarea Academy photo above are, from left, Jennifer Yawn with Synovus, Rachel Elizondo with TRHS, Tiftarea Academy Headmaster Stacey Bell, STAR Teacher Jacqueline Beals, STAR Student Dhruvi Patel, Mr. & Mrs. Kamlesh Patel, Chris Efaw with TRHS and Alan Moore with Synovus.

In the Tift County High photo below are, from left, Rachel Elizondo with TRHS, Tift County High Principal Kim Seigler, Mr. & Mrs. Patrick Conner, STAR Student Audrey Conner, STAR Teacher Cindy Marzen, Chris Efaw with TRHS, and Jennifer Yawn and Alan Moore with Synovus.

Conner will represent the area at the STAR Student banquet in Valdosta on March 12 where a regional winner will be chosen.
Contractors are scheduled to begin work next week on pavement preservation and repair in Tift, Coffee and Crisp counties to help maintain state routes and improve ride quality , according to the Georgia Department of Transportation .

Maintenance will require lane closures on some busy routes and motorists should be alert for changing traffic patterns. All work is scheduled to start Monday, March 2 , but the date could change depending on weather.

In Tifton , a contractor will fill cracks , remove imperfections and inlay asphalt on U.S. Highway 82 / State Route 520 from east of Salem Church Road to west of Magnolia Drive . All work will be done overnight ; the scheduled completion date is June 5 .

In Douglas , a contractor will be removing asphalt at the intersection of State Route 206 and SR 32 and replacing it with concrete . There are no restrictions on when the contractor is permitted to work. The scheduled completion date is April 18 .

A contractor will repair the concrete slabs on SR 300 in Crisp County from west of the SR 300 connector to east of the Interstate 75 northbound off-ramp of Exit 99 . The contract includes off- and on-ramps for I-75 Exit 99 and US 41 / SR 7 to and from SR 300 . Repairs will be done during the day with scheduled completion on June 5.
Members of Tiftarea Academy's Builders Club made Valentine's Day extra special for some local senior citizens

The students took handmade Valentine's Day cards and sweet treats to the residents of Maple Court and Cypress Pond senior living facilities . It was a good experience for both the residents and the Tiftarea Middle School students

The Builders Club is a civic organization , affiliated with the Kiwanis Club of Tifton, and is made up of sixth- through eighth-grade students. 


  • CBC In-House Investment Services Kick Off, Noon-5 p.m., CBC Bank, Tifton
  • ABAC Wildlife Student-Led Hike, 6 p.m., Reed Bingham State Park, Adel
  • Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder in concert, 7 p.m., Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Tifton


  • Mind & Body Wellness Health Fair, 8 a.m.-Noon, sponsored by Ga. Department of Public Health's South Health District, Leroy Rogers Senior Center, Tifton
  • Chili Cook-Off, 11 a.m., Main Street, Nashville
  • Parent Interest Meeting, 2 p.m., Fitzgerald High School, Fitzgerald
  • Pottery Workshop, 2 p.m., Ben Hill Arts Council, Fitzgerald
  • Wildlife Program with ABAC, 2 p.m., Reed Bingham State Park, Adel
  • An Evening for ABAC, 6 p.m., UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton
  • Glowing Night Hike, 7 p.m., Georgia Veterans State Park, Cordele
FEB. 20
Willie Kenneth “Ken” Moore Jr., 36, Tifton
David “Shorty” Varnedore Sr., 70, Fitzgerald

FEB. 21
Della Scarborough Barrett, 68, Ocilla

FEB. 22
Arthur Cross, Ashburn

FEB. 23
Daphne Wheless Fisher, Atlanta
Mamie Ellender Sullivan Vaughn, 94, Cordele
Frank Owens, 73, Fitzgerald

FEB. 24
Louise Howell Franks, 85, Tifton
Daisy Pauline Weaver Gray, 93, Tifton
Elizabeth Ann McCurdy Jackson, 80, Tifton
Milton Clarence “Tubby” Hawkins, 94, Omega
Ann C. Parks, 80, Sylvester
Charlene Hart Doggett, 63, Worth County
Ronald "Ronnie" Smith, 70, Thomasville
Ethel Lee Patterson, 81, Ashburn

FEB. 25
Randall Allen “Randy” Greer, 67, Norman Park
Gary Lee Goldinger Sr., 79, Bluffton, S.C.
Dorothy Simpson Newberne, 86, Hahira
Kurt Sanford, 36, Ben Hill County
Mallie Caroline Phillips, infant, Fitzgerald

FEB. 26
Julian David Cannon, 95, Tifton
Rita Ann Lucas Griffin, 67, Tifton
John “Tuck” Tucker, Jr., 74, Brookfield
Ginger Lee Greene Sheldon, 46, Valdosta
Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
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