Friday, July 3, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
FIREWORKS CAN STILL BE FOUND ON INDEPENDENCE DAY
BUT NO FIREWORKS IN TIFTON, SYLVESTER, ENIGMA
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
The pandemic has caused the cancellation of some local firework celebrations for Independence Day , but there are still fireworks planned around South Georgia on July 4 .

Valdosta: The Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority (VLPRA) is hosting South Georgia’s largest fireworks show scheduled to begin at 9:15 p.m. Saturday . People are encouraged to watch the fireworks on the Valdosta Mall side of Interstate 75 between exits 16 and 18.

Anyone watching the fireworks should follow Gov. Brian P. Kemp ’s most recent executive order requiring social distancing, staying at least six feet away from people who live outside of your home, the VLPRA said.

If there is inclement weather , the Valdosta fireworks will be rescheduled for Sunday, July 5 .

Fitzgerald: The City of Fitzgerald says it is planning its annual fireworks show at Paulk Park on July 4 . Fireworks are expected to get underway at 9:15 p.m. The city asks that spectators watch from or around their vehicles to maintain social distancing.

Homerville:   The Clinch County city will have fireworks beginning at 8:45 p.m. Saturday at the city recreation park.

Bainbridge:   The annual fireworks display starts at at 9:45 p.m. July 4 at the Earle May Boat Basin.

The popular annual "Fireworks on the Flint" at Georgia Veterans State Park in Cordele has been postponed until Sept. 6 during Labor Day weekend. As of now, the fireworks are planned as part of the Gum Creek Music Festival at Lake Blackshear.

Sylvester, Enigma and Albany have canceled their annual Fourth of July firework celebrations.

Tifton has no fireworks planned; the Ga. Museum of Agriculture has not had a fireworks show since 2017 , but the museum had planned a daytime Freedom Festival for Saturday, July 4. However, the event has been cancelled because of COVID-19.

The ag museum did reopen its Country Store this week and says it now offers hand-dipped Blue Bell ice cream, along with freshly popped popcorn and cotton candy made right in the store.
"Scattered, smothered, and (faces) covered" – Wearing Waffle House masks, Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey are seen on their state tour this week urging Georgians to "mask up."
STATE COVID-19 CASES
SET RECORD AMID CALLS TO RE-CLOSE BARS, NIGHTCLUBS
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
COVID-19 cases rose by nearly 3,500 in Georgia on Thursday , setting a new daily record and punctuating calls by state healthcare professionals to re-close bars and nightclubs .

The Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH) confirmed 87,709 cases Thursday, an increase of 3,472 since Wednesday. The state also reported a toal 2,849 deaths from the virus.

Tift County had 767 cases as of Thursday afternoon with 26 deaths, the DPH reported.

Also Thursday , more than 1,400 healthcare workers sent an open letter to Gov. Brian P. Kemp , telling him that Georgia is "simply not prepared " for the surge in coronavirus cases.

“We are also seeing a very troubling increase in hospitalizations that, if continuing, will overwhelm our health care infrastructure, not only in metro Atlanta but also in rural Georgia ,’’ the letter reads.

The letter calls for a return to some restrictions , such as re-closing bars and nightclubs , prohibiting i ndoor gatherings of more than 25 people – including churches – and implementing a statewide mask requirement .

“We have an epidemic that’s getting out of control in Georgia,’’ Dr. Melanie Thompson , an Atlanta physician and HIV expert who signed the letter, told Georgia Health News.

The governor has been visiting cities around the state this week to encourage residents to wear face masks and to maintain social distancing , especially during the Independence Day holiday weekend.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” Kemp said Thursday in Brunswick . “We cannot grow complacent and weary ."
COMMUNITY COMES TOGETHER TO PROVIDE MEALS
The greater Tift County community came together to serve more than 2,000 meals to local youths while the Tift County Schools’ Summer Feeding Program was paused this week as school offices were closed.

The grassroots effort was organized by Priscilla Prince, her cousin Travis Williams, Steve Farley, Bryant Hill, Claire Moon and Pastor Cornelius Ponder.

Williams, a Tifton native who now lives in Atlanta, called Thursday an “historical day in my hometown. ... Thank you God for mercy, grace and favor over all of our lives. Tift County community, we stepped up once again to feed over 1,250 youths today."

Williams added that “o ver a two-day period, we fed over 2,100 youths."
The school system’s Summer Feeding Program has been providing meals to children on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but all school programs were shut down his past week as the school system closed for a holiday week.

That prompted several folks to organize an effort to ensure that kids still received meals. Several local businesses and individuals donated to the cause. The Peanut Butter & Jesus ministry lent the use of its vans.

Locations were set up this past Tuesday and Thursday at Puckett Park and at Community Mortuary to distribute the meals.

"Thanks for all the support," Williams said. "We appreciate every food donation from the local restaurants and businesses , and monetary donations from Tift County community, alumni, and all of our volunteers who helped out during our 'Feed the Community Rally' ... What a blessing from God."
ROTARY CLUB ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
FOR ABAC SCHOLARSHIPS
It is time to apply for the  Rotary Club of Tifton's  Past District Governor Scholarships for freshmen   at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. 

The  Rotary Club  plans to award  $1,000 scholarships  to ABAC students   in honor of the club's past Rotary District governors –  Leon Benefield, David Bedell, Pete Donaldson and Lamar Branc h.

Criteria  for the awards include   past community service, economic need and academic scholarship. Applicants must submit   an essay   detailing how their educational goals match Rotary's commitment to  "Service Above Self."

The application  deadline  is  July 15 ; applications   may be obtained by  contacting  Scholarship Chairman  Jeff Gibbs  at  jeffgibbs1206@gmail.com
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TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S PET OF THE WEEK
This dog is on stray hold at the Tift County Animal Shelter . If unclaimed, the pooch will be available for adoption. The shelter, located at 278 Georgia Highway 125 S., in Tifton, is open to the public for adoptions from  1-6 p.m. Mondays  through  Fridays .

For information , call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch’s Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055   
CORONAVIRUS CLEARINGHOUSE
Important Phone Numbers & Web Sites
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JUNE 25
Orris L. Hobby, 95, Tifton
Norma Jeannette Fernandez Martinez, 56, Tifton
Brenda Green, 74, Worth County
Martin Humberto Sanchez Fregoso, 36, Fitzgerald
Winter Olivia Turner, infant, Tifton
Robert L. Johnson, 81, Lenox
Aisha Sheria Hill, 23, Tifton

JUNE 26
Marjorie Highsmith, 59, Tifton
John W. Tompkins Jr., 72, Tifton
The Rev. Roland Boyett Averett, 96, Worth County
Emily Watson, 83, Adel
Mary Ann McDaniel, 83, Ocilla
James Griffin Jr., 62, Tifton

JUNE 27
Joan Katherine Duren Sirmans, 66, Moultrie
Juanita Romane Flancher Kirkland, 91, Omega
Doris Lamb Willis, 93, Damascus
Pearl Williams Barbee, 95,
Sylvester
Bobby Ray Hodges, 63, Fitzgerald
Jack Millard Bivins, 77, Moultrie
Terri Terrell, 70, Ocilla

JUNE 28
Juan Alvarez Sr., 59, Tifton
Inez Cook Gaskins, 88, Sylvester
Brenda Houck, 57, Tifton
Rebecca Annette Roberts, 81, Fitzgerald
Everlena Hooks, 68, Sylvester

JUNE 29
Cathy Elaine Moats, 55, Tifton
John Bunyan White, 85, Warwick
Mary Louise Singletary, 82, Sylvester
Annette Yvonne Cole Watson, Tifton
Joe “Porkchop” Reliford, 44, Fitzgerald
Kathryn Cannon Faircloth, 70, Fitzgerald
Angelia Moore, 79, Fitzgerald
Carl Elliott McDaniel Sr., 83, Ocilla
Vivian Searcy, 84, Sylvester


JUNE 30
Ernest “Ernie” Edward Carter, 67, Tifton
Five Eights Tillery Sr., 63, Sylvester
Steve Griffin, 73, Fitzgerald
Robert “Bob” McAllister, 75, Ashburn
Mary A. Floyd, 81, Ashburn

JULY 1
Michael Hubert Jones, 60, Chula
Joseph "Joey" Walker, 62, Ty Ty
Kenneth Pearson, 80, Enigma
Jimmy Lee, 85, Sycamore
Virginia Ruby Hiers, 76, Dixie

JULY 2
Annie Mae Johnson, Ashburn

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Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
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Bonnie Sayles
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