Jan. 1, 2016
                 Tifton, Georgia

         (478) 227-7126


As we turn another calendar page, we look forward to a new year with hope and anticipation.

Beginning today, 2016 is unwritten. Remember these words from Thomas Paine "We have it in our power to begin the world over again."

There is no better time than with the beginning of a new year. 

"Whatever you do or dream you can do -- begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it," wrote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. 

So here's to beginnings: May you have many more of them than endings.

TIFT COUNTY HIGH BASKETBALL fans have much to be happy about as we begin a new year: The Blue Devils compete for the Arby's Classic basketball championship title against Wayne High of Huber Heights, Ohio at 6:30 p.m. New Year's Eve in Bristol, Tenn.

On Wednesday night, the Tift High Blue Devils defeated the David Crockett High Pioneers of Jonesborough, Tenn., by a score of 72 to 55 in the Classic's semi-finals.

A photo of Dawon Barnes (no. 14) of the Blue Devils was featured on the front of the Bristol Herald Courier's sports section Thursday (see image at right).

The Arby's Classic brings together some of the top teams in the country to compete in the annual holiday tournament.

Closer to home Wednesday night, the Tift County Lady Devils won their own championship -- the Holiday Hoopfest Tournament in Thomasville -- defeating Bainbridge, 39-25.

    The Holiday Hoopfest champions Tift County High       Lady Devils basketball team celebrate Wednesday       night after their win over Bainbridge in Thomasville     in photo at left.

Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) is being represented in the Rose Parade on New Year's Day in the Donate Life float.

The local hospital is a partner with Lifelink of Georgia, an educational and procurement organization for organ and tissue
William Richardson, center, signs the vial that holds a flower in the Rose Parade float. At left is TRHS COO Chris Dorman; at right is Chief Nursing Officer Carol Smith.
 donors and recipients. Lifelink is a partner of the national organization  Donate Life, which sponsors a Rose Parade float each year. 

The float features a Dedication Garden where donor families, recipients, hospitals and transplant cent ers can dedicate Donate Life Roses. All Lifelink partners are given the opportunity to sign a vial which is placed in the Dedication Garden to decorate the Rose Parade float. 

William Richardson, TRHS president/CEO, signed the vial which has been placed in the float for Friday's parade.

"We at TRHS are grateful that we can be a small part of a nationally known parade, especially if it will help bring more awareness about organ and tissue donation," said Carol Smith, TRHS chief nursing officer.

More than 121,000 children and adults await life-saving transplants in the United States. More than 4,100 of them are in Georgia.


Hunter Walker served as Tifton's c ity manager from 1988 to 1995, a time when Downtown Tifton experienced a resurgence sparked by the completion in 1986 of the Myon Complex renovation. Walker left Tifton in 1995 to become county  administrator in Santa Rosa County, Fla., population 160,000, on the Gulf Coast

There, he has remained for the past two decades and is retiring today.

"I never thought that I was taking my terminal job, that that was going to be the last job that I would ever have," Walker, who was 45 when he took the position, told the Pensacola News Journal. "I wouldn't even have thought about it."

Before coming to Tifton, Walker was c
ounty administrator in Grady County, Ga., from 1986-1988; was c ity planner for Beaufort, S.C., 1985-1986; and was r egional planner for the Lowcountry Council of Governments in Yemassee, S.C., 1979-1983.

According to the Pensacola newspaper, Walker has seen Santa Rosa County through hurricane and flood recoveries, the renourishment of Navarre Beach and development of the first county-constructed parks.

"Just so much happens over 20 years," Walker said. "I mean, that's a full generation, so it's just a lot that's happened. And I don't know that I had any more to do with it than just sitting in the seat that oversaw it."


This Saturday, Jan. 2, you can bring your formerly live Christmas tree to Fulwood Park in Tifton between 8 a.m.-noon to have it recycled.

The annual event is sponsored by Keep Tift BeautifulThe first 50 people who bring their tree will receive a dogwood seedling.

According to the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation"Bring One for the Chipper is Georgia's annual Christmas tree recycling program. Each year, Keep Georgia Beautiful works with private sponsors to organize the recycling event. ...

"The Chipper program involves hundreds of Georgia communities and thousands of volunteers. Since its inception, the program has recycled an estimated 6 million Christmas trees. The mulch from these trees has been used for playgrounds, local government beautification projects and individual yards."

You are invited to Tifton's
FIRST FUN Coloring Party for Grown Ups!

Sponsored by the Tifton-Tift County Public Library and the 
GFWC Tifton Twentieth Century Library Club, 
the Keep Calm and Color event will be held 
at 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12
 at the Tifton Museum for Arts and Heritage.

Coloring sheets and colored pencils, pens and markers will be provided along with soup and snacks. Brenda Rose
will read from her book, "Dogwood Blues", and award-winning club members will read their poetry and short stories. 

Learn more about the 20th Century  Library  Club and  library  services. 
Come see what this new trend is all about and spend a creative, relaxing time together 
with friends in a beautiful environment.


Three incumbents have been nominated to remain on the  Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) board of directors during recent meetings in Tifton, Cochran and Oglethorpe.

The  Georgia Farm Bureau Federation conducted the meetings during which peanut producers nominated peers to represent the Peanut Commission's districts 2, 4 and 5. The terms of the commission members who currently represent these districts expire in May 2016.

The GPC District 2 nomination meeting was held at the Tift County Farm Bureau in Tifton on Dec. 22. Armond Morris is the incumbent and was nominated to remain on the board for another term. Counties in District 2 include: Atkinson, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Thomas, Tift, Turner and Worth.

The GPC District 4 nomination meeting was held at the Bleckley County Farm Bureau in Cochran on Dec. 21. Rodney Dawson of Pulaski County is the incumbent and was also nominated to remain on the board for another term. Counties in District 4 include: Bleckley, Crisp, Dodge, Dooly, Houston, Laurens, Pulaski, Telfair, Twiggs, Wheeler, Wilcox and Wilkinson.

The GPC District 5 meeting was held at the Macon County Extension Service Office in Oglethorpe on Dec. 21. Donald Chase of Macon County, the district incumbent, was nominated to remain on the board for another term. Counties in District 5 include: Chattahoochee, Clay, Lee, Macon, Marion, Peach, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Terrell and Webster.

"The Georgia Peanut Commission plays an important role in promoting the industry, conducting research and educating producers and the public about industry issues," said  Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall.

The Georgia peanut production area is divided into five districts based on acreage distribution and geographical location, with one board member representing each district. Each nominee must produce peanuts and live within the district for which he or she is nominated.

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In Memoriam

DEC. 24
Mack Wesley Suggs, 89, Tifton
Willie Lewis Johnson , 61, Tifton
Antonina Sullivan, 90, Nashville
Kenneth Ford, 79, Landrum, S.C.

DEC. 25
Connie Banks Hall Pickelsimer, 67, Sylvester

DEC. 26
Willie Belle Clanton, 92, Adel
Roger Dale Morgan Sr., 70, Adel
Kenneth Michael "Mac" Barber, 54, Lenox
Vernell Barber, 83, Lenox
Ethel Ellen Wassmuth, 82, Lake Park

DEC. 27
Frances Marie Fendley, 73, Tifton
William R. "Bill" Spurgeon, 61,  Poulin
Florence E. King Lawrence, 87, Worth County
Ruth Gentry Shaver Yarbrough, 93, Macon
Bobby G. Hammond, 87, Macon

DEC. 28
Alfreda "Freda" D. Russell Horton, 55, Irwinville
Inez Harper Harbin, 87, Tifton
Gwen Allen Cornelius, 70, Adel
Bobby Neil Clower, 67, Fitzgerald

DEC. 29
Minnie Wood Bullington, 101, Pelham
"Pearl," Rita Cynthia Pearl Green Deen, 83, Tifton
Michael Lancaster Geiger, 77, Atlanta
The Rev. James Robert "Bob" Cauthen Sr., 86,  Tifton
Tina L. Duke, 55, Sylvester
Lillian Rowan, 81, Adel

DEC. 30
Effie Joyce McCurry, 82, Tifton
Sarah Whatley, 85, Fitzgerald
Leon Perry Weeks, 88, Sparks

DEC. 31
Earline Robbins Holley, 86, Fitzgerald


   606 N Ridge Ave.,  Tifton, GA
MLS #: R125310A

Great Victorian Home located in Tifton's Historic District. Open country porch, and room to grow in this great 5-bedroom 3-full bath home with formal dining, living, den, eat-in kitchen. Master bedroom and baths are located downstairs. Upstairs are 4 spacious bedrooms with ample closet space and full bath. All floors are hardwood, newly stained and sealed. Fenced-in back yard with alley access. Located conveniently close to schools, shopping, ABAC, Rural Development Center, Downtown Tifton, UGA Experiment Station. Minutes from I-75, Highway 41, U.S. 319.

    Dwana Coleman
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