JULY 7, 2017
Tifton, Georgia

A Service  of
Sayles Unlimited Marketing


It's July in South Georgia, so we expect it to be hot. But with temperatures in the mid to upper 90s recently and the humidity high, the heat index has been more than 100 degrees -- meaning that the days feel hotter than the official air temperature.
On Thursday in Tifton, the temperature hit 96 degrees with h eat index values as high as 103, officials say.

This hot weather can be dangerous. Here are some tips from  Georgia Emergency Management and the American Red Cross about dealing with these hot days of summer:

* Drink fluids throughout the day, even if you're not thirsty. Curtail drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine.


* Eat frequent, small, light meals.


*Stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible, and limit exposure to the sun.


* Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take breaks.


* Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Protect your face and head with wide-brimmed hats. Use sunscreen on exposed skin.


* Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.


* Check on elderly neighbors, friends and family members.


* Make sure pets have plenty of water and shade, and avoid over-exercising them.


* Heat exhaustion symptoms are heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin, and possible fainting and vomiting. Heat stroke, a severe medical emergency, occurs when the body temperature reaches 106 degrees or higher. Symptoms include hot dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. Summon immediate medical assistance.

The heat may break slightly this weekend as scattered showers and thunderstorms are forecast Saturday and Sunday.


Nicole Shaequita Lataria Sears, who grew up in Tifton, was one of more than 200 female inmates at  Lee Arrendale State Prison in North Georgia recently receiving a GED high-school equivalency diploma at a prison ceremony attended by the governor.

According to WABE 90.1 public radio in Atlanta, the GED recipients wore graduation gowns over their prison jumpsuits and entered the room to processional music played from a portable stereo. Some prisoners cried as class valedictorians 
WABE Radio 90.1 photo
gave speeches and awards to their favorite guards and teachers.

More Georgia inmates are getting high school diplomas in prison these days, about 2,300 in the past year -- nearly double from the year before, WABE reported. Prisoners who complete the GED requirements may get their sentences reduced by as much as a year.

Gov. Nathan Deal told the graduating prisoners that 70 percent of people in the Georgia correction system do not have a high school diploma when they are first incarcerated, the radio station reported.

"When you get an education, you significantly improve the possibilities of you not getting in trouble again," Deal said.

Sears told the radio station that she was working toward her GED when she was arrested for theft in 2015.

"It's what I really wanted in the first place for myself before I got put in this predicament," she told the radio station, "And also what my mom wanted before she passed. Even though she's not here, I can still make her proud ... up in heaven."

Sears took welding classes in prison and said the GED will help her get a job, she told WABE

"Things don't go the way we plan all the time," she said, but on the day she received her GED diploma she also got her parole papers releasing her from prison.


Warren Robinson, retired banker in Lenox, has written a book about his Vietnam War experience:  "Remembering Vietnam, A Veteran's Story." 

"It is the story of my journey to, through, and home again from Vietnam in 1969," Robinson says. "Any and all profits from the sale of this book will be
donated to the Wounded Warrior Project."

Robinson had planned to attend law school after completing his undergraduate degree. He saw a career in law as a chance to leave his small hometown for a new life in the big city.

In another time, Robinson might have achieved his goal. But the year was 1967, and the Vietnam War was reaching its bloody height. Knowing he would be drafted if he went ahead with his plans, Robinson asked for his name to be put at the top of his community's Selective Service list. Doing so meant he would have two years of military service, and then he could return to law school.

However, a greater power had other plans for the young man.

In Vietnam, Robinson would know moments of abject terror. He would also experience the camaraderie and loyalty that came from serving in the U.S. First Infantry Division. And one night, on guard duty in a region filled with enemy activity, he would receive a divine promise that would shape his life, both during his military service and back home.

Robinson will be doing a book signing from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, July 30, at the Lenox Civic Center in Lenox.


6005 Westlake Drive
Tifton, GA  31794

New Price: $339,000

Beautiful brick waterfront home at Forest Lakes Subdivision at the end of a quiet 
street. 4 Bedrooms/3 Baths with  over 3,200 square feet. Many windows for views 
of the lake.  Open floor plan, Media room, Vaulted ceilings, Granite  countertops, 
Plantation  shutters, Hardwood, and Ceramic tile floors. An additional 1,100-square-
foot building with  screened porch that could be used as a man cave/shop, guest 
house,  or for  entertainment! Including an additional 2-car garage, full bath, and 
built-in cabinets.  Must see to appreciate!

 Joe Pope

Century 21


Chiffon Johnson is the first Tifton recipient of the Shirley Carver Miller Scholarship and the first for Southern Regional Technical College. Eight Georgia residents were recipients in 2016.

The scholarship, created by the Technical College System of Georgia, honors Georgia's former First Lady and wife of former governor and senator Zell Miller. It is awarded to GED diploma recipients who are nominated by a Certified Literate Community Program, are legal residents of Georgia and are accepted for enrollment or currently enrolled at a TCSG
From left are Melissa Burtle, SRTC adult education director; Judy Abell, adult education instructor at SRTC Tifton; Chiffon Johnson, scholarship recipient; Bonnie Sayles, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County.
technical college.

Johnson is enrolled at Southern Regional Technical College, Tifton Campus, in the medical billing and coding program. She plans to eventually earn a diploma in early childhood development.

"I would like to work in the medical field and one day open my own child day care," Johnson said.

She began GED classes in January 2015 to be a better mother and provider for her kids. "My main goal is to get off public assistance," she said.

Johnson worked in fast-food restaurants until her youngest child was born in 2014. "Caring for my own children has taught me the need for quality day care," she said. "This scholarship will help me be able to attend SRTC and get a job in medical billing or early child care. A better job will mean better benefits and working hours."

In her letter of recommendation, Johnson's GED teacher Judy Abell, an adult education instructor at SRTC Tifton, wrote: " Chiffon did not give up even though she faced some personal family difficulties and also had to take off a period of time for surgery in 2015. However, she came back strong and has persevered to obtain her GED. Chiffon is a single mom with a young child still at home."

According to the scholarship website, " Shirley Miller is a warrior for literacy. As a former first lady of Georgia, she became and remains one of adult literacy's strongest advocates. Her passion is that Georgia stays focused on the eradication of illiteracy through support of literacy programs, adult education and the Certified Literacy Community Program in Georgia.

Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County is one of 37 Certified Literate Communities in the state. As executive director of LVTTC, Bonnie Sayles nominated Johnson, saying, "I am proud of Chiffon for trying to make a better life for herself and her children. She is a real example to others in Tifton in her same situation and as such, will spark others to make the effort to attend Adult Education at SRTC Tifton."

For information about tutoring through Literacy Volunteers, call 229-391-2527. For information about free-of-charge GED and English language classes  at  SRTC Tifton, call Adult Education  at  229-391-2615.


Georgia's Health Care Reform Task Force  will hold its third public meeting, hosted by Tift Regional Medical Center, at 10
a.m. Monday, July 10. The group will hear from health-care experts and is evaluating reforms to enable rural communities to develop high-performance health-care systems.

"Georgia's health-care system demands reforms. Statewide, costs are too high -- and increasing by too much, too quickly -- while access and choices for care are too limited," said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. "It is time for Georgia to act on behalf of all our patients, families,and communities across all geographic regions of our state."

Cagle said the task force is committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders to find solutions that reduce and control the costs of care, that modernize delivery models to better match patients' needs and that encourage innovation and market competition.


Glenn Pait Willis Jr., president of South Georgia Banking Co. in Tifton, has been elected by his peers to serve a two-year term on the board of directors of the Georgia Bankers Association (GBA).
"I was delighted when Glenn's colleagues in the state elected him to the board. He is a strong banker who will provide valuable leadership to the GBA as one of its directors," said Palmer Proctor, GBA chairman and president and CEO of Fidelity Bank headquartered in Atlanta.
Willis has a long history of service to GBA, having previously served as a Group 2 officer. Willis currently serves on the GBA Community Bankers Committee, Public Affairs Committee and on the board of directors of the GBA Insurance Trust.
Willis' banking career began in 1985 at South Georgia Banking Co. He was named president in 2007. He  earned a bachelor of business administration degree while majoring in accounting at the University of Georgia.
He is past chairman of the Tiftarea Academy Board of Trustees, past chairman of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce and a 2003 graduate of Leadership Georgia. Willis serves on the boards of the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and the Tifton Museum of Arts and Heritage. He is a member of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Alumni Association, the ABAC President's Club, Tifton Rotary Club and the American Cancer Society.


Columbus-based Synovus, parent of First Community Bank of Tifton, has been named "Most Reputable Bank" in the United States in the annual Survey of Bank Reputations conducted by Reputation Institute and published by American Banker. 

Of 42 banks included in the survey,  Synovus ranked first overall , first among non-customers and in the top 10 among customers. Synovus ranked second overall in 2016.

"We are proud to be named as the country's most reputable bank, and I am deeply grateful to the entire Synovus team for making this recognition possible," said Kessel D. Stelling, Synovus chairman and CEO. "This year's ranking demonstrates that who we are, what we stand for, and how we do business resonate strongly with customers and non-customers. It also validates the strength of Synovus' service-focused culture as we transition to a single brand in 2018." 

All 28 local banks under the Synovus umbrella are being rebranded as "Synovus." The rebranding of Tifton's First Community Bank is underway with the new name and signage expected to be in place during the coming weeks.

"This transition will improve efficiency and productivity by consolidating system, administrative and other functions, and will culminate in 2018 with the transition to a single brand -- Synovus," the company noted in its annual report. "The single bank and single brand transitions will increase our value proposition and improve the customer experience; reduce brand confusion by aligning signage in all markets with Synovus-branded cards, statements, digital channels and other specialty lines; and raise awareness of Synovus' broader capabilities as a regional bank."

Synovus Bank, through its 28 locally branded divisions, has 248 branches and 328 ATMs in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. Synovus was named " Best Regional Bank, Southeast" by  Money Magazine for 2016-17.


The fourth annual Watermelon Crawl 5K and Fun Run will be SaturdayJuly 8, at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

The event is a fundraiser to establish the Jerry Moore Memorial Scholarship. Once the endowment funds are in place, the scholarship will be awarded each year to a student majoring in agriculture. Moore was an ABAC alumnus who died in 2013 at the age of 46.

Individual runners may register for the Watermelon Crawl for $23 that includes a T-shirt and runner's bag. Phantom runners who may not be able to participate in the race may register for $25, and families (up to six members of immediate family) may register for $75. Registration is open at

Participants may also register on race day for $25 for individuals and $85 for families. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m. on race day, and the 5K starts at 8 a.m. Those not participating in the 5K may walk the 5K path or take part in the one-mile fun run, which begins at 8:30 a.m.

Tax-deductible donations also may be made to the scholarship fund, payable to the ABAC Foundation. For information, visit  or contact Josie Smith at  or at 229-402-3655.


Longtime local literacy supporter Liz Carson Keith won the drawing for two tickets to An Evening with Idina Menzel, July 22, at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

The drawing was a fundraiser for Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County.

Jana Register, a rural studies student at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and intern for Literacy Volunteers, seen at right, did the honors in drawing the winning ticket.

. a Glance

  • District Swim Meet, 8 a.m., Tift County Recreation Pool, Tifton
  • Watermelon Crawl 5K/Fun Run, 8 a.m, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Tifton
  • Irwin County Farmers Market, 8 a.m., 5th Street, Ocilla
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Sylvester Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, downtown train depot, Sylvester
  • Watermelon Express Train Ride -- Sam Shortline Excursion Train, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Cordele

In Memoriam

Lory "Ernest" White, 56, Sumner
Charlie Dale Vick, 69, Quitman
Louise Hamilton , 76, Sylvester
Roger Reaves, 72, Wilcox County

Jewell Cagle Walker, 91, Tifton

Irma Lee Howell, 80, Adel
Debra S. Register, 63, Adel
Bobby Pearson, 72, Valdosta

Michael Anthony "Tony" Kent, 67, Nashville

Patricia "Pat" Jean Joiner, 70, Lakeland
Elizabeth Jackson Johnson, Sylvester
Detra Dickerson, 48, Cordele

Bobby L. Logan, 80, Adel
Shelby Jean Daniell, 78, Lee County
Vicky W. Folsom Barwick, 58, Adel
Donald "Don" Tyner, 70, Adel

Betty Catherine "Grandma" Collum Roberts, 81, Tifton
Juanita Pitts Gray, 66, Tifton

Wilma Jewell Hamilton Harbin, 87, Tifton


166 Dogwood Lane, Tifton, GA
MLS # 126878

PRICED TO SELL:  3 BR, 2 BA home, 1,641 square feet, with Cathedral Ceilings, Master Suite with Jacuzzi Tub, private back yard with deck.
Dwana Coleman
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