JAN. 19, 2018
Tifton, Georgia


The Ga. Department of Public Health says the flu and influenza-like illnesses are widespread throughout the state, with five confirmed flu-associated deaths -- and more could be announced today when officials update the state's statistics

And we still face another 11 weeks in the  2017-18 flu season.

Flu is not only sweeping Georgia but the entire country; n ationwide, more than 12 million people have the flu, officials reported Thursday.
The Tift County School System acknowledged this week that the flu is widespread, but said "it's not as rampant as many think. Only approximately 7 percent of our teachers/students are out sick."

With the busy flu season, Affinity ExpressCare in Tifton is extending its hours, Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) said.

Due to the large number of viral illnesses such as flu, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and a variety of other diseases, TRHS is requesting that patients call their primary care provider for flu and simple gastrointestinal symptoms before coming to the emergency room. This will enable the emergency room to care for patients with life-threatening conditions more rapidly, officials said.

TRHS is also instituting visitor restrictions for the remainder of flu season, barring children under 18 from visiting the hospital, limiting visitors to two at a time and not allowing visitors with colds, flu-like symptoms and nausea/vomiting or diarrhea.

"If you have not done so already, get the flu vaccine -- it's not too late," said Mary Key, TRHS infection prevention director. " Receiving this simple shot can help increase your chances of staying healthy and avoiding getting others sick. If you do contract the flu, the flu shot will lessen your symptoms."

Key suggests following the following guidelines:

Wash your hands or use hand sanitizers frequently.
Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth.
Avoid crowds and stay home as much as possible.
* If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay at home for at least 24 hours except to get medical care or other necessities. 
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu. When shopping, wipe your cart with disinfectant wipes.

Artist's rendering of new Cook Medical complex in Adel.

The Hospital Authority of Tift County announced on  Thursday that the groundbreaking ceremony for the $35 million replacement facility of Cook Medical Center will be held on Thursday, March 8.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the construction site located off Exit 37 on Interstate 75. The facility will be built at the former location of the Cook County Forestry Department.

"We recognize the diligent work it has taken from many groups and individuals to officially begin
construction on this project. The current and future residents of Adel and Cook County can now feel secure that they have a facili ty to serve as an invaluable resource to receive outstanding patient care for years to come," said Christopher K. Dorman, president/CEO of Tift Regional Health System.

The replacement facility for Cook Medical Center will mirror the same services that are offered at the current facility, including acute in-patient care, medical imaging, laboratory services, rehabilitation, endoscopy, sleep center, geriatric psychiatric care at the Sylvia Barr Center, as well as skilled nursing care at Cook Senior Living Center

The current primary care clinics, Cook Family Wellness Center and Cook Primary Care will also have a new building housed at the replacement facility. Enhanced services will include an out-patient surgical suite. Potential surgical specialties include gastroenterology, general surgery, vascular surgery, orthopedics and podiatry.

Cook County has committed $12.5 million toward the $35 million project. T he Hospital Authority of Tift County will cover the remaining balance.  The replacement facility will have three operating rooms, 20 in-patient beds and a 95-bed skilled nursing home.  The hospital will also have a rural health clinic, but  not an emergency room

SNOW! (However Briefly)

Tift County only saw snow briefly Wednesday, but  many school children got a chance to run outside and revel in the unusual South Georgia weather. 

In the photo at right, Selena Johns' class at Annie Belle Clark Primary School have fun being outdoors  in the snow.

In the photo below, Charles Spencer Elementary students are excited about snow falling in Tifton.


Dr. Albert K. Culbreath, professor and plant pathologist at the University of Georgia's Tifton
Culbreath, right, receives award from Georgia Peanut Commission Chairman Armond Morris.
Campus, received the  Georgia Peanut Research and Education on  Thursday .

Culbreath received the honor during the annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center.

His current research efforts are directed toward epidemiology and management of foliar fungal diseases and tomato spotted-wilt virus in peanuts Culbreath received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University and his bachelor's and master's degrees from Auburn University.

The  42nd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference, sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission, allows farmers and those involved in the peanut industry to learn about the latest products, services and peanut research.


A Florida-based chapter of the International Organization of Women Pilots is launching a new air race this spring that will stop overnight in Tifton.

The inaugural Paradise 600 Air Race will take place May 24-26. The starting point will be  Key Field Airport  in Meridian, Miss. The 600-nautical-mile route will terminate at  Punta Gorda Airport  in Punta Gorda, Fla. Flyby and overnight stops will be made at  Moton Field Municipal Airport  in Tuskegee, Ala. Henry Tift Myers Airport  in Tifton; and  Williston Municipal Airport  in Williston, Fla.according to the  Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

"The goal of the race is fun and stretching your wings for an exciting cross-country adventure," said Terry Carbonell, a member of the Paradise Coast Chapter of The Ninety-Nines, which is hosting the event. Carbonell is handicap coordinator for the race. 

The race will be flown in daylight conditions. Airplanes are limited to stock, modified stock and experimental airplanes of not more than 600 horsepower.  Each team should consist of at least two participants, but only one needs to be a certificated pilot. 

Proceeds from the race will benefit the Paradise Coast chapter's scholarship fundFor information,  Click Here!

We're Seeking a
Church Pianist

Tifton First United 
Methodist Church

107 W 12th St., Tifton, GA

Tifton First United Methodist Church has an opening for a part-time church pianist.
The pianist is responsible for preparing for and 
practicing with  the chancel choir, orchestra and 
ensemble every Wednesday evening for about 
two hours and for playing at Sunday  traditional 
services  at  9 a.m. and 11 a.m., as well as at 
special services at Christmas, Easter, etc.  

Interested persons should contact Angie Carr at 
or call   229-382-6100 .


John R. Tibbetts, the Georgia state teacher of the year, told the Tifton Rotary Club on Wednesday  that  public education is  under

Tibbetts, a Tifton native, is currently on sabbatical from his job as a Worth County High economics teacher in Sylvester.

He said there is a shortage of teachers in the state and that some school systems are struggling with subpar facilities.


Jeff Sands, a former South Georgian, is the new agricultural adviser to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Sands has a degree in turf management from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton
and a master's in public administration from Valdosta State University.

After graduating from VSU in 2011, he worked for the Agricultural Retailers Association as public policy director from 2012-2014 before moving to the Syngenta company, where he was a manager of federal government relations and industry relations for corn.

Sands was a registered lobbyist working on such issues as renewable fuels, pesticide regulation and biotechnology.

In a recent interview with Agri-Pulse in Washington, D.C., Sands said his first priority at the EPA is "enhancing and institutionalizing two-way communication between ag and rural communities, and from EPA back to that same community." 


A one-act play with humorous elements, "The Dumb Waiter," will be performed at 7 p.m. Jan. 25-26 in Howard Auditorium at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Admission is $5 per person for the public. The funds will help to establish an ABAC theatre program scholarship. The performances are free to all ABAC students, faculty and staff.

Baldwin Players' Director Brian Ray said the production by Harold Pinter is an early example of
Brian Ray
Pinter's focus on the absurd nature of human experience. Using working-class characters, he examines the claustrophobic world people live in as they wait for significant life events. 

"In this play, Ben and Gus, contract killers, wait for their next assignment in the basement apartment of an old, closed restaurant," Ray said. "Periodically, they receive information and bizarre requests from an old dumb waiter. What ensues is a dramatic comedy of small talk and confusion with a surprise ending."

The cast includes Dylan Bennett from Sylvester as Gus, and Jannah Zinker from Sumner as Ben. Both students appeared in the Baldwin Players' fall production of "Greater Tuna."

The Baldwin Players will stage "I Do! I Do! I Do! I Do!" for the spring semester production at 7 p.m. March 8-10 in the Conference Room at ABAC's Georgia Museum of Agriculture.  

For information on the one-act performance, contact  Ray at 


Applications are being accepted for the 28th Annual Tift County Forestry and Pine Seedling Scholarship Pageant to be held  Feb. 24 at the  Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts in Downtown Tifton.

The number of  contestants are limited, and applications should be submitted as soon as possible.

Age divisions are:  Baby Miss, birth to 23 months;  Teeny Miss, 2 to 3 years;  Tiny Miss, 4 to 6 years;  Little Miss, 7 to 9 years;  Junior Miss, 10 to 12 years;  Teen Miss, 13 to 16 years; and  Miss, 17 to 24 years .

The competition is open to all surrounding counties. Queens will have the opportunity to promote the forestry industry with Smokey Bear during parades, festivals, ribbon cuttings, TV and radio appearances, etc.

Reigning queens are:  Madison Lynn, Miss;  Alexis Tucker, Teen;  Karley Barnes, Junior;  Kendall Bailey, Little;  Blair Summerlin, Tiny;  Bentley Rowland, Teeny;  Mallory Jane Grimes, Baby; and  India Barron, Miss Hospitality.

Queens receive their entry fee paid to the 79th Annual Miss Georgia Forestry Pageant to be held in Tifton. Other p rizes include round crown with emerald and crystal stones, matching crowning pin, silver engraved tray, custom embroidered sash, flowers, gifts, savings bonds and cash scholarships

All contestants receive  a trophy , and a winner and three runner-ups are named in each age group.

To enter, call 229-386-2681 or 229-238-2851 or email, or contact  Dianne Dominy, director,  1019 Love Ave.,  Tifton, GA 31794.


Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black is the featured speaker in a lecture series at 6:30
 p.m. Jan. 23 in the Chapel of All Faiths at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
Black will speak as a part of the ABAC Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow lecture series, "Agriculture's Footprint on Georgia." The event is open to the public at no charge. Those planning to attend should RSVP to Deidre Martin at 
Sponsored by the Georgia Agribusiness Council, the evening will include a question-and-answer session. 
Black earned a degree in agricultural education from the University of Georgia. He is serving his second term as Georgia's agriculture commissioner. He and his wife, Lydia, reside in Commerce, where they raise commercial beef cattle


Georgia's supply of sodded turfgrass will sufficiently cover demand this year, and the delivery cost is not expected to rise, according to the Annual Georgia Sod Producers Inventory Survey conducted by Clint Waltz, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialist, and the Georgia Urban Ag Council.

Thirteen Georgia sod producers participated in the survey, representing farms ranging in size from less than 300 to more than 900 acres.

"Only one producer indicated plans to add acres in 2018. This is a substantial decrease from the previous three years where 92 percent of surveyed producers reported adding acres into production," Waltz said. "2018 appears to be a slowdown, but Georgia sod producers have added over 1,000 acres of turfgrass since 2015."

The survey collected data on the stock of Georgia-grown Bermuda grass, centipede grass, St. Augustine grass, tall fescue and zoysia grass. The majority of the surveyed producers grow Bermuda grass.

Growers say the price of sodded turfgrass in Georgia should remain steady. On-the-farm and delivered prices for sod are expected to remain relatively unchanged or decrease compared to 2017 and 2016 prices.

The majority of the sod producers surveyed said most of their sod is sold to landscape contractors and golf courses


"Seniors Enjoying Life Forever," or "SELF," have a dance tonight,  Friday, Jan. 19, at the Leroy Rogers Senior Center in Tifton.

Doors open at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. and dancing beginning at 8 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring  their favorite dish of food to share.

The event is open to all Tift County seniors.


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        . a Glance

  • "SELF" senior dance, p.m., Leroy Rogers Senior Center, Tifton
  • "Sweets & Songs" dessert buffet/choral showcase
    6:30  p.m., Tift County High School, Tifton
  • "Sweets & Songs" dessert buffet/choral showcase,  2:30 p.m., Tift County High School, Tifton
  • "Mouth Water in Elbow Grease" exhibit opening, 5-8 p.m., Plough Gallery, Tifton

In Memoriam

JAN. 11
Barbara L. Bojorquez, 86, Omega
Thomas McCalvin, 78, Cordele
Betty Ashley, 80, Adel
Etta A. Taylor, 81, Fitzgerald
Sohan Singh, 81, Lenox
Delores Mainor, 81, Adel
Bonny "Fred" Tawzer, 76, Tifton
Carl Ellis Jones, 79, Irwin County

JAN. 12
Norma Willis Lankford, 95, Tifton
Darwin Walker Sr., 77, Enigma
Jake Thomas "Tommy" Whitley Sr., 75, Enigma
Eunice Harris Maples, 68, Poulan
Wilson Carr, 69, Fitzgerald
William E. "Eddie" Kretlow, 99, Sparks

JAN. 13
 William Lonnie Bartley, 62, Sylvester
LaVerne Turner Jeffords, 92, Sylvester
Dorothy Watson Warren, 69, Nashville
Charles Bryant, 78, Quitman

JAN. 14
John Latimer Tate, 78, Tifton
Jimmy Layman Summers, 72, Tifton

JAN. 15
Bobby Gene Hinson, 80, Omega
Jacquelyne "Jackie" Park Abbott, 71, Tifton
Connie Lou Jolley Sumner, 91, Sumner
Evelyn Boggus Kennedy, 91, Fitzgerald
Ruby H. Woodyard, 93, Rebecca
Melvin Devant Luke, 84, Nashville
David Pienda Duarte Jr., 25, Tifton

JAN. 16
Katie Hopkins, 75, Tifton
Rosene Mathis Bentley, Sylvester

Freddie James Weston , 80, Ashburn

JAN. 17
Nancy Elizabeth Quynn, 60, Tifton
Curtis Albert Cersey, 81, Nashville
Brenda N. Branch, 66, Fitzgerald
Pauline Childs, 84, Sycamore

3004 Park Ave. 
N.,  Tifton, GA 
* 4 BR * 3 baths 
* 3,151 sq. ft.
* MLS # 128074

Beautiful home with custom-built kitchen: Marble counter tops, double built-in ovens, gas stove, abundant cabinets. Formal dining area and cherry hardwood floors. Soaring cathedral ceilings . Large master bedroom with walk-in closet, shower, garden tub and travertine flooring. Private backyard, shaded back patio.


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