Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018
Tifton, Georgia
On New Year's Eve , New York has its Crystal Ball Drop , Atlanta has its Peach Drop , and now Tifton will have its ... "Gnat Drop?!"

That's right. A committee has been quietly planning Tifton's first Gnat Drop to mark the new year in Tift County.

It's the brainchild of Tift County Commissioner Melissa Hughes . She said gnats are so ubiquitous in the area that it made sense, in a crazy way.

"One day at work I got to thinking about it, and I’m like, that is so crazy , it just may work ,” Hughes said.

Plans are to slowly drop the "gnat," ( seen in the accompanying photo) between 6 p.m. and midnight on New Year's Eve outside the County Administration Building on Tift Avenue.

The organizers hope to have entertainment and refreshments available during the event.

For information , contact Hughes at 229-326-0241 .
Tifton City Councilmen Wes Ehlers and Jack Folk, from left, with Natasha Patrick, Mayor Julie Smith, Candace Amos, Morgan Atwater, Kiefer Daughtry and Emily Beeman at the health incentive grant presentation.
The City of Tifton is receiving a $5,000 grant for programs enhancing the health and well-being of city employees and their families .

The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) selected Tifton to receive the Employee Health & Wellbeing Incentive Grant , which are awarded to cities around the state to promote worksite health programs .

This is Tifton's second consecutive year receiving the grant. Awards are made to members of the GMA's Life and Health Insurance Fund , underwritten by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia . The criteria includes a city’s commitment to employee health and its demonstrable collaboration with community organizations engaged in health promotion.

Workplace well-being programs have a track record of i mproving employee health and quality of life while reducing medical claims and improving workplace morale , the GMA said.

As part of the grant process, Tifton designated a city health promotion champion, Natasha Patrick, to develop a workplace health promotion action plan and attend training.
Paul Williams presents the GEAC Fundraising Award to Dr. Deidre Mercer Martin.
Dr. Deidre Mercer Martin of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College received the Georgia Education Advancement Council (GEAC) 2018 Award for Excellence in Educational Fundraising at a recent conference in Savannah .

“Giving to the ABAC Foundation has increased 196 percent since her arrival,” says Paul Williams , ABAC vice president of external affairs and advancement. “Campus participation in our annual ‘Give Back to ABAC’ campaign has increased 568 percent . She is just phenomenal .” 

Martin , ABAC’s chief development officer, joined the advancement office in 2015 after retiring as vice chancellor for university advancement at the University of South Carolina in Aiken

“When Dr. Martin decided complete retirement might not be her cup of team, we had a need at ABAC that fit her like a hand in a glove,” Williams said. “The rest is history.”

Williams said Martin bolstered the sponsorship at the annual fundraising event, “An Evening for ABAC.”  He said sponsorship levels were 96 percent more in 2018 than the year prior to Martin joining the ABAC advancement team.
Tifton rapper Bernard Jabs received a positive review on Billboard magazine's online site for his performance Monday night, Nov. 26 .

Jabs opened a concert by rapper Pusha T  at New York City’s Irving Plaza.

"The show got off to a great start with an opening set by newcomer Bernard Jabs . The 17-year old rapper out of Tifton, Georgia , served the audience a taste of his musical abilities with charismatic performances of 'Move the Same' and 'End Goal,' Billboard wrote.

"The young MC took some time during his set to have fun with the New York audience by engaging in a 'Yerr' call and response chant. Jabs continued to bask in the New York vibes by bringing out Brooklyn native and GS9 affiliate Fetty Luciano on stage for a performance of his heat-seeking single 'On the Wall.' "
Early voting is underway in Georgia for the Dec. 4 runoff election.

As of Tuesday in Tift County , 257 voters have cast ballots, and there are 453 mailed absentee ballots, says Leila E. Dollison, election supervisor with the Tift County Board of Elections & Registration.

Early voting is available in Tifton for this week only, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. through Friday, Nov. 30, at the Tift Board of Elections office at the corner of Fourth Street and Chesnutt Avenue .

On the state ballot are tw o races  in which neither Democratic nor Republican candidates received a majority of the vote in the Nov. 6 general election:

  • Secretary of State: Democrat John Barrow vs. Republican Brad Raffensperger
  • Public Service Commission District 3: Incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton vs. Democrat Lindy Miller

All registered voters are eligible to participate in the runoff election, even if they didn’t cast ballots Nov. 6 .

The Tift Regional Joint Replacement and Spine Care Center held a one-mile walk Nov. 17 for patients who recently had joint replacement or spine surgery
“We understand that the road to recovery from joint replacement or spine surgery is rewarding but long . We wanted an opportunity to celebrate our patient’s journeys with this walk to showcase their improvement,” said Debbie Harvey , orthopedic care coordinator.

“Our first walk allowed us to celebrate patients like Mr. Rockwell , who recently had a right total hip replacement .”
Before his surgery, Reginald Rockwell said he had a low quality of life and a difficult time moving around.

“Anything that required walking , short or long distances, caused me pain . I could not even bend over and pick things up off of the ground. I enjoy fishing and became unable to move myself from my truck to the pond,” Rockwell said.
Rockwell decided it was time for a change after a camping trip. “I had a very hard time getting around during our trip, and my wife encouraged me to go to a doctor to look into why I was experiencing so much pain .”

He met with Dr. David Banks at Georgia Sports Medicine who suggested a right total hip replacement . Just a few short months later, Rockwell is now able to comfortably exercise on the treadmill and celebrated his success by participating in the walk .
The 14th annual Kiwanis Run for the Kids 5K/one-mile run/walk is 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, beginning near the corner of Forrest Avenue and Fourth Street in Tifton at the Spurlin/Sertoma baseball fields .

Prizes will be awarded to the fastest runners in two categories, along with prizes for the Best Christmas Costume .

Children doing one mile will receive medallions ; Christmas gifts will be available to all participants and Dr. Seuss-themed long sleeved T-shirts .

Call 229-388-2142 for information .

The Tifton Grapevine is now publishing yard sales in Friday editions . The yard sales are text only, no photos , and is part of a list linked from the Grapevine edition to our web page .

The cost is $1 per word , and yard sales must be paid in advance via credit card or PayPal .

For information , email yardsales@tiftongrapevine.com
Tifton Grapevine
e-published every Tuesday and Friday

Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
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