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SEPT. 28, 2018
Tifton, Georgia



The 22nd Annual La Fiesta del Pueblo, one of the largest Hispanic celebrations in Georgia, brings Latin-flavored food and entertainment to Fulwood Park on Saturday.

From 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday, La Fiesta is a celebration of the taste, sound, history, culture and traditions of Latin American countries.

The event is free and is packed with non-stop entertainment, including Mariachi Espuelas de AmeĢrica, dancers and local performers on  two stages; the main stage will have professional dancers and the Syd Blackmarr stage will be occupied by singers and music to delight the dining area. 

A street dance featuring a live Radio Rumba from Atlanta will be from 7-10 p.m.

Typical Hispanic food prepared by vendors will be for sale as well as a variety of arts, crafts and commercial items. A  children's area will include face painting, crafts,  bouncing houses, giant slides, train rides, bungee jumping and more. 

Booths with information about health, education, social services and community organizations will also be located in the festival area. 

In 2017, La Fiesta attracted about 11,600 people from 36 counties in Georgia and from six surrounding states. It is the largest Hispanic heritage festival in South Georgia.

For information, contact Dina Willis at 229-386-7265 or 229-386-0354, or Angel Aguilar at 229-382- 8883, or visit


Plant diseases, such as leaf spot and white mold, are forcing Georgia peanut farmers to consider moving their harvest times up a few days, says University of Georgia Cooperative Extension peanut agronomist Scott Monfort.

"We're trying to make sure that everybody gets out in their fields to check the maturity of each individual field and adjusts their harvest plans based on these problems that we're finding," Monfort said.
Peanut comparison of healthy peanuts vs. peanuts infected with white mold disease.

A combination of rainy weather, persistent cloudiness and farmers' inability to get into fields and apply fungicides this summer led to the condition for many diseases.

"We have isolated areas where disease has gotten away from some farmers due to the weather. It looks like we're going to be digging peanuts a little bit early to make sure we don't lose too much of our crop there," Monfort said. "That's going to hurt a little bit on yield potential and grade."

Almost all varieties of peanuts grown in Georgia, including Georgia's most commonly produced variety -- Georgia-06G -- are somewhat susceptible to leaf spot. Leaf spot causes the peanut plant's leaves to wither, turn yellow and fall off. It can also form lesions on the stem and other parts of the plant.

Among diseases, white mold is one of top causes of peanut yield loss every year. When growers fail to use proper crop rotations, their peanuts are more at risk. If farmers consistently grow peanuts behind peanuts in the same field, their crop is at a higher risk of white mold disease.

Monfort estimates Georgia will produce 658,000 acres of peanuts this year, a significant decrease from the 828,000 acres produced last year. Three straight weeks of rainfall in late May and an increased commodity price for cotton led growers to switch from growing peanuts to growing cotton.

"We had, on average, about a 30 percent decline in peanut acres this time compared to last year," Monfort said. "It probably would have been more like 20 percent if it wouldn't have been for the cotton prices reaching 90 cents and the rainy weather conditions that kept our growers from planting their full crop. But I think that actually is going to help us. We needed to come down in acreage some and get this rotation thing under control."

Tifton Rotary Club #1 was  the First-Place winner of the Carnival of Knowledge trivia contest Thursday night -- a fundraiser for Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County. Team members from left are Dr. Bret Wagenhorst, Rotary student Alberte Dalsro Jorgensen and Frank Sayles Jr.


Approximately 125 people came out to Southern Regional Technical College Thursday night for the  19th Annual Howard Center Carnival of Knowledge conducted by the Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County as a  fundraiser for the nonprofit organization.
Dr. Drew Howard, left, and Dr. Kaylar Howard, far right, with winners of the 'HowardQ' audience trivia event, from left: Erika Johnson, Steve Carter, Jarrod Hammet, Bret Wagenhorst and Jimmy Carson.

A new feature this year was the "HowardQ" audience participation trivia segment in which everyone in attendance vied for $1,000 in cash prizes, donated by the Howard Center for Women's Health.

Five people won the HowardQ segment, each receiving $200 cash: Erika Johnson, Steve Carter, Jarrod Hammet, Bret Wagenhorst and Jimmy Carson.

The First Place team winners of the Carnival of Knowledge was Rotary Club #1 with Bret Wagenhorst,  Alberte Dalsro Jorgensen and Frank Sayles Jr.

Second Place was the Law Offices of Erika S. Johnson with team members Erika Johnson, Bryce Johnson and Tom Spear Coming in Third Place was the team Nacho Average NPs, one of the teams representing the Howard Center.


At a rain-soaked stadium Wednesday night on the campus of Jacksonville (Ala.) State University, severely damaged by  an EF-3 tornado earlier this year, several country music artists came together for a relief effort -- and Tifton was  well-represented.

The country music group  Alabama  put together the "Alabama &  Friends" concert to raise money to 
help rebuild the college; JSU had an estimated $70 million in damages from the tornado in March. Among the performers who donated their time and talents Wednesday night were Charlie Daniels, 
Jamey Johnson,  Shenandoah, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit -- and former Tifton resident John Berry along with Tifton native Austin Brown and his a cappella group Home Free.

The concert raised more than $1 million, according to published reports.

Alabama founding band member Randy Owen, a JSU graduate and a member of its Board of Trustees, had the idea for the relief concert. 

"We've been given this really great opportunity to help people, so why not do that while you're alive in this world," he said.

Dr. Doug Waid, a professor emeritus of wildlife and forestry at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, received the Jenkins-Crockford-Hayes Wildlife Conservation Award at the recent annual meeting of the Georgia Chapter of The Wildlife Society.  

Dr. Doug Waid, left, receives Wildlife Conservation Award from Daymond Hughes.
Daymond Hughes, president of the Georgia Chapter of The Wildlife Society, said the Jenkins-Crockford-Hayes award is designed to be a later career award to honor wildlife professionals who have made significant impact during their careers across a variety of avenues.  

"These may include but are not limited to, innovations in research and/or management techniques and contributions to students and professionals across the state, region, and nation," Hughes said. "The award is not given annually and is only presented to nominees considered worthy of its distinction." 

During the 23 years Waid taught at ABAC, he affected the lives of a number of students. 

"Dr. Waid not only taught students how to manage wildlife populations, but more importantly, he transformed students by demonstrating and instilling in them an unparalleled work ethic and a devotion to wildlife conservation," Hughes said. "That was both in the classroom and in his work with the ABAC Forestry and Wildlife Club, now the ABAC Wildlife Society.

Waid becomes only the third recipient of the award, created in 2010. The previous Jenkins-Crockford-Hayes Award recipients were Dr. Ernie Provost and Dr. Robert Warren, both legends in Georgia wildlife education and research.


Tift County's jobless rate declined in August but is higher than the state's unemployment rate, according to information released Thursday from the Ga. Department of Labor (DOL).

During August, Tift's unemployment was at 4 percent, a decline from 4.2 percent in July and down substantially from a year ago when it was 5.1 percent. Georgia's jobless rate in August was 3.8 percent.

There are 19,314 people in Tift County's labor force, and, in August, 18,540 were employed, the DOL reported.

Other jobless rates reported in the Tiftarea include:

  • Turner County -- 5.1 percent; 3,024 employed
  • Irwin County -- 5.5 percent; 3,011 employed
  • Berrien County -- 4.1 percent; 6,991 employed
  • Ben Hill County -- 5.9 percent; 4,964 employed
  • Cook County -- 3.6 percent; 7,531 employed
  • Worth County -- 4.3 percent; 8,902 employed

Jake Alley, left, with members of the TCHS Drama Club, from left: Julie Ryland, president of the Drama Club; Jada Gibbs, secretary; Rebecca Jones; Mary Mauldin Collins; Lizzie Connell; Christian Massa; and Will Jones. 


Members of Tift County High School's Drama Club, led by teacher Jake Alley, pictured above, visited the Rotary Club of Tifton on Wednesday. They talked about upcoming productions and presented a short musical piece.

Also during the meeting, the club's newest Rotarian was recognized with his Rotary pin. In photo at right, President Marion Curry, far right, congratulates Joey Marta, the executive director of Cypress Pond/Maple Court Senior Care in Tifton.

At left is Marta's sponsor, Rotarian Debbie Edenfield.


Southeastern Credit Union has donated $1,000 to the Alzheimer's Association in Tifton and to the Valdosta Walk to End Alzheimer's.

Pictured from left are  Ty Wilkerson, Miriam Holloway, Amanda Brack, Victor Pires, Buffy Hankinson,  Rita Bromlow and  Laura Willis .


Tifton Police  Chief Buddy Dowdy, left, is mugging for the camera as Lt. Garfield Rhaney, right, prepares to retire after 30 years of service to the Tifton Police Department.

"I don't know if I should be mad at him for leaving us or proud for him and his family," the chief noted on Facebook.

"He's been a fixture around here for a long time. He's one of the most loved and respected members of our department. This fine man cannot be replaced. We love you G, and we're going to miss you."

Today is Rhaney's last day on the job.


Several local organizations and businesses have joined forces for a "Countywide Fall Clean Up," scheduled 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Volunteers will gather at Beulah Hill Baptist Church, 512 W. 23rd St., beginning at 8 a.m. that day.
Along with roadside cleanup, the cleanup group will accept unwanted items from yards and will pick up items that folks are unable to bring. No hazardous waste will be picked up.

The organizations involved include Beulah Hill Baptist Church, Melissa Hughes' "One Street at a Time," Keep Tift Beautiful, Concrete Enterprises and S&S Specialty Contracting.

For information, call Melissa Hughes at 229-326-0241; Houston Shultz, 229-848-2627; or Cindy Mathis, 229-445-1348.


The San Francisco-based Grammy award-winning ensemble Chanticleer takes the Howard Auditorium stage at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Chanticleer's 12-man group performs original interpretations of vocal literature ranging from Renaissance, jazz and popular genres, as well as contemporary compositions.

ABAC Arts Connection Director Wayne Jones looks forward to Chanticleer's return to Tifton as a part of the ABAC Presents! Arts Series.

"Chanticleer is among the most celebrated professional male choruses in the world," Jones said. "I'm thrilled to have them back in Tifton."

Other performances in the ABAC performing arts series include "Broadway's Next H!t Musical" on Nov. 29, "The Crucible" on Feb. 7, the Albany Symphony Orchestra featuring Chris Brubeck's Triple Play on March 3, the Turtle Island String Quartet on March 28, and Byron Stripling with the ABAC Jazz Ensemble on April 18.

For information, call 229-391-4895 or visit

TOP TURF: Tifton-developed turfgrasses continue to get accolades. When the Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch in Bradenton, Fla., recently underwent a major renovation, all 18 holes now feature TifEagle greens with TifGrand fringes -- bermudagrass varieties developed at the UGA Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton. "It is considered one of the premier green surfaces available," reported The Business Observer of  Sarasota "It was the best surface we could have had," said club co-owner Kevin Paschall


Caitlyn McFarland's  first graders at  Annie Belle Clark Elementary School celebrated  World School Milk Day  on  Wednesday with  milk and  cookies. Coming up on  Dec. 4 is National Cookie Day -- another opportunity to bring out the milk ... and cookies.


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         . a Glance

  • ABAC Ag Class Golf Tournament, 8 a,m., Forest Lakes Golf Course,Tifton
  • 'Fun with the Son' mother-son date night, 6-9 p.m, Tift Regional Community Events Center, Tifton
  • Tift County High Football Blue Devils @ Bainbridge High Bearcats, 7:30 p.m., Bainbridge
  • Tiftarea Academy Football Panthers vs. Valwood Valiants, 7:30 p.m., Panther Pit, Chula
  • Countywide Fall Cleanup, 8 a.m., Beulah Hill Baptist Church, Tifton
  • La Fiesta del Pueblo, 10 a.m., Fulwood Park, Tifton

In Memoriam

SEPT. 20
Peggy Scott Smith, 81, Fitzgerald
Alice Hewitt, 82, Quitman

SEPT. 21
William "Benny" Jordan, 60, Tifton
Kenneth Grady Kimsey Jr., 80, Sylvester
William Thomas Davis Jr., 74, Albany
Corey Cole, 37, Nashville

SEPT. 22
David Milton Wilds, 62, Tifton
David H. "Bo" Grantham, 89, Wray
Sharon Barber, 54, Lands Crossing community, Irwin County

SEPT. 23
Donna Ruth Cooke Rawlins, 65, Ocilla
Edna Truelove, 87, Ashburn
Robert Lee Miley, 74, Hahira

SEPT. 24
Dorothy Dean Dillard Clements, 78, Tifton
Geneva McDonald Jones, 84, Sylvester
Agnes Young Dawson, 82, Albany
Rudean "Rudy" Rice, 83, Adel
Alice Ruth Marks, 87, Nashville
Aiden Carter Miley, 1, Tifton

SEPT. 25
Johnny Mack Brown, 62, Sylvester
Terri Lynn Alexander, 65, Fitzgerald
Jerry Davis, 69, Albany

SEPT. 26
Dr. G. Clarke Harkins, 85, Nashville
Mike McDaniel, 59, Fitzgerald
David Allen Pitts, 76, Sycamore
Gereline "Gere" Selph, 71, Quitman
Ora Mae Fincher, 79, Athens -- formerly Worth County

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