july-fourth-sparkler.jpg GrapeNew       

JUNE 29, 2018
Tifton, Georgia


The "Rock The Block Street Dance" on Saturday, June 30, in downtown Tifton will include Tifton's fireworks display for  Independence Day.

The event, which includes live music, children's activities, and food and beverages, is scheduled from 6-10 p.m. on First Street. Holiday fireworks, formerly held at the Ga. Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village, will illuminate the downtown skies after dark. 

Visitors may bring their own chairs and blankets.
"Our Rock the Block events have always been really popular, but we think the addition of the fireworks is going to make it even more special," said Angela Elder, the event's coordinator. "It's a great display, and we appreciate everyone's help to make that happen."

Farewell Company will provide the musical entertainment, marking its second trip to Tifton this year. Elder said the group performed during the Friday night concert at the Rhythm & Ribs Festival in March and were so well-received that a return engagement was scheduled. The band will take the stage, set up on the west end of First Street near the intersection with Commerce Way, at 7 p.m.
As well as the live music, there will be cornhole games, water slides, rock painting and more.

"We'll have a lot of activities for the whole family," Elder said. "It'll be a great time to come downtown, enjoy some music, get something to eat and relax with your friends."


Tifton Grapevine

Retired Lenox banker Warren Robinson has written another book, " Death Waits at the Depot," about the true story surrounding a murder at the Lenox train depot in 1909. Robinson will be hosting a  book signing from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, July 8, at the Civic Center in Lenox.  

"The book is a true story about a murder that happened at the train depot in Lenox during the
early morning hours of April 26, 1909, and the events that followed. It is a very interesting true story of  the Georgia frontier of the early 1900s," Robinson said.

"I heard about this story from family as a small child, and it has always been intriguing to me. After retirement, I would occasionally do research on it, and the more I researched, the more I became interested. After more than 100 years, details seem to keep surfacing and there is a lot of irony involving the event and my family,"  Robinson told the Tifton Grapevine

"The story includes a lot of humor as well as tragedy, and harkens back to an era of South Georgia few now know little about."

According to a promotional blurb for the book: " This is the true story of two young men of the Georgia frontier who met by chance for the first time on the 
night of April 26, 1909. One was black, one was white. Fate brought their paths together at a railroad
depot in the new town of  Lenox, Ga. , and neither man would walk away from that encounter. 

"This story is suspenseful with many twists and turns, and covers more than 100 years of Georgia history during the 20th century, including many ironic discoveries. While it begins with the heinous act of murder and its legal consequences, it also includes an interesting story of frontier Georgia history and more than a few humorous stories that make it a book that most readers feel co mpelled to finish without putting it down."

Last year, Robinson published a memoir of his military service in the 1960s -- "Remembering Vietnam: A Veteran's Story," which was well received.

Robinson has many ties to Tifton and is a member of the Tifton Rotary Club.

Chris Beckham of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce addresses the Rotary Club of Tifton on Wednesday. Beckham cited local business growth and expansions.


Tift County's unemployment rate is at 3.5 percent -- the lowest since 1990, Tifton Rotarians were told Wednesday.

The jobless rate in May is a significant drop from the highest rate recorded in recent years -- more than 12 percent in 2009, said Chris Beckham, vice president of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce.

Beckham also said the majority of people who work in Tift County commute from outside Tift. According to figures he cited, 53.6 percent of Tift County's 17,630 workers are coming from surrounding and other counties across the state.

Regarding economic development, Beckham said a Bitcoin digital company is in negotiations for leasing about a third of the 318,000-square-foot former Shaw Industries building. He also cited several industrial expansions in recent years, including American Textile, Turner's Furniture Distribution Center, Heatcraft, Tifton Quality Peanuts and Kelley Manufacturing

Tifton's Bell Plantation, a manufacturer of peanut-related products, is transitioning to PB2 Foods under new management and is expected to grow significantly, Beckham said.

Among retail growth coming to Tifton, he cited Cook Out restaurant at the former Hunt office building on U.S. Highway 82 West; Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches, Chicken Salad Chick and Red Owl Coffee Co. on North Tift Avenue past Zaxby's; Ollie's Bargain Outlet at the former JC Penney location in Tifton Mall; and Harbor Freight Tools in part of the former Kmart building on Virginia Avenue.


The Georgia Department of Education will provide $500,000 to help 17 school districts implement middle-school computer coding programs, including Ben Hill County Middle School in Fitzgerald.

The State Board of Education approved the  funds on State School Superintendent Richard Woods' recommendation.

The grants target middle schools in rural, underserved or high-poverty school clusters. Each grant includes funding for equipment, training, curriculum and teacher professional development.

"Georgia students need to graduate ready for 21st-century careers; we can't be complacent and rely on the way we've always done things, and we can't wait until high school to start preparing our kids," Woods said. 

" Coding and computer science is a piece of that puzzle. This funding and these new courses for middle-school computer coding are part of the broader work we're doing at the department to expand opportunities for students in Georgia's public schools."


Effective  July 1 Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) formally takes over the former
Bainbridge State College (BSC)  campus .

When the official announcement was made about  SRTC acquiring the technical division of the former BSC , the question arose about what would happen with the baccalaureate programs that
BSC offered. This was remedied by a consolidation with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, which was effective Jan. 1. 

That merger paved the way for a seamless academic transition for those BSC students who were enrolled in programs not offered by technical colleges. 

Once that hurdle was cleared, SRTC was able to begin working toward acquiring the assets and implementing programmatic-curriculum updates to the technical division of the former BSC (now operating as ABAC). 

On July 1, all property formerly belonging to BSC on the main campus and Midtown education center will belong to Southern Regional Technical College. ABAC will be leasing space from SRTC at the main Bainbridge Campus, which will be branded as SRTC-Bainbridge.


Break out the red, white and blue on SaturdayJune 30, for the Wiregrass Freedom Festival at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College's Ga. Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village.    fourth-july-corn.jpg

Face painting, egg races, sack races, a hoop toss, three-legged races, tug-of-war, baseball and fishing with a cane pole. Activities are 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The 1914 Vulcan Steam Train  will be operating all day.  Crafts for kids and an Independence Day oration will add to the atmosphere, enhanced by a pie-baking contest and hand-dipped ice cream.

"We invite neighbors and guests from near and far to join us in celebrating America's birthday through fun, educational and unique activities," said Museum Director Garrett  Boone.

For information, call 229-391-5205.


Dr. Jaibun Earp has had her eye on Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College for a long time; now she gets to experience ABAC up close as the dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

"I have driven by ABAC for years on Interstate 75," Earp said. "I always turned my head and looked toward the campus and was quite attracted by the view."

Dr. Jerry Baker, ABAC provost and vice president for academic affairs, said Earp begins her duties July 1, succeeding Troy Spicer, who has decided to return to a position inside the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

"We believe that Dr. Earp has the vision and leadership skills necessary to address the challenges of combining two excellent nursing programs into one," Baker said, referring the former Bainbridge State College nursing program that is now a part of ABAC

Born in Seoul, Korea, Earp came to the United States in 1973.

"I really came to study and just explore the world," Earp said. "Seoul is a city of 20 million people so I know all about big city life. Since living in North Florida for the past 27 years, I look forward to becoming a part of the Tifton community."

A Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Earp has taught at two schools in Georgia -- Emory University and Columbus State University.

Earp's most recent position was with the U.S. Department of Justice as an advanced nurse practitioner with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Tallahassee

She previously was a professor and associate dean at the Florida A&M University School of Nursing. She has also worked at Howard University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Tennessee at Nashville, St. Luke's Hospital Center in New York, the Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville and the U.S. Army Hospital in Seoul.

A Teacher of the Year Award recipient twice and Advanced Teacher of the Year Award recipient at Florida A&M in 2003, Earp also received the Distinguished Service Award from the Emory University School of Nursing in 1992. She has served as president of the Big Bend Area Chapter of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and as vice president of the Florida Nurses Foundation.


The four-day  TIFWILAR alumni event is coming back to  Tifton on  Thursday-Saturday, July 5-8.

The TIFWILAR, or Tift County Industrial Elementary & High School - Wilson Elementary & High School Alumni Reunion, brings together members of those former schools' classes through 1975.

The reunion activities are held every two years for the former, traditionally black schools.  In 2016, approximately 400 people attended.  Organizers say this year alumni are registered to attend from all over the country and Germany, including two alumni from the classes of 1946 and 1947.

The  Wilson High Class of '68 will also gather for its 50th class reunion.

Scheduled activities during the four-day event include a memorial service, individual class gatherings, a "Disco Night," a motorcade parade, a "Golden Oldies Dance" and a Scholarship Awards Banquet with speaker Bob Yancey from the Wilson High Class of 1961.

The former Wilson Elementary and High School closed in 1970 and is now Matt Wilson school; the Industrial Elementary and High School became J.T. Reddick school in 1974.


Dave Richards of the Little River Woodturners Guild will be on the porch of Plough Gallery on Saturday, June 30, from 2-6 p.m., to share his woodturning technique. 

The Guild will also be present to discuss the craft. 

Richards has developed his own turning style that transforms discarded wood into multi-textured bowls, vases and vessels

Woodturning is a creative hobby but also a potentially dangerous one. Lathes can rotate wood at 3,000 rotations per minute; as they spin, wood turners use specially designed gouges to carve and shape the wood into smooth vessels. 

The vessels are then coated in a thick resin. But some wood turners buck this trend by leaving natural edges, not using thick resin and embracing the natural knots and divots in wood. 

Richards is one of the turners who has developed his own taste in how wood can be transformed. The demonstration and trunk show is free and open to the public.

Jared Ziegenbein's interactive exhibit "Highly Functioning Ceramics" is also be available for viewing. Guests are welcome to use soft mallets to create music with his hanging bowls. The gallery hosts a variety of ceramic, glass, fiber, photography work from artists across the country. In the main hall, Jack Deese's show "Timeshare" is on display.

Plough Gallery is located on Eighth Street in Tifton.


Tifton's Locally Owned Electronic Newspaper!

It's Free!
e-published every Tuesday & Friday / to Advertise, call
YOUR WEEKEND  fireworks-summer.jpg
         . ..at a Glance

  • "County Fair Day" at Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m,-Noon, Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Wiregrass Freedom Festival, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Ga. Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village, Tifton
  • Woodturning Demonstration, 2-6 p.m., Plough Gallery, Tifton
  • Miss Georgia Forestry State Scholarship Pageant, 3 p.m., 7 p.m., Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Tifton
  • Rock the Block Street Dance & Fireworks, 6-10 p.m, Downtown Tifton

In Memoriam

Dorothy "Ann" Yancey Atwater, 77, Tifton
Jessica Lynn Gayton, 30, Fitzgerald
Grace Day, 85, Adel
David R. Jones, 80, Sparks

Margaret Shivers Wood, 81, Moultrie
Lillian Garner Fowler, 89, Fitzgerald
Lamar Green, 86, Irwin County
Stevie Charles Washington, 46, Ashburn

James F. Phillips, 94, Fitzgerald
Hazel Kathleen Lee Butler, 87, Fitzgerald
J.L. Hasty, 82, Fitzgerald

Dr. John R. Young, 85, Tifton 
Mildred Frances Easters Branch, 92, Tifton
Jamaine Eulalie Anderson Nixon, 61, Tifton
Kenneth Thomas Fender, 66, Lakeland
Margaret Lunelle Coker Smith, 89, Sycamore

Nell Pearman Harrell, 87, Tifton
Larry Ledbetter, 88, Sylvester
Mike Sadler, 58, Irwin County
Ret. M.Sgt. Bobby "Bob" Davis Greer, 77, Adel

Robert Lawson "Bob" Puckett, 81, Nashville

William Paul Blalock, 62, Tifton

11 Edgewater Drive, Tifton
MLS#  128723

This 3,000-square-foot home has 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, high ceilings, custom trim, walk-in closet, an in-ground pool and underground sprinkler system.


Editor & Publisher


A Service of Sayles Unlimited Marketing LLC