AUG. 31, 2018
Tifton, Georgia

Tyron Spearman, left, is surprised as his name is called Wednesday in Atlanta as recipient of the state tourism Lifetime Achievement Award. Tifton Chamber President Brian Marlowe, right, congratulates Spearman as Rep. Penny Houston looks on.


Tifton's Tyron Spearman received the  Tom Kilgore Lifetime Achievement Award on Wednesday from the  state tourism industry.

Spearman, longtime executive director of the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association, is well-known throughout Georgia for his  indefatigable promotion of Tifton. He was recognized  during the Georgia Governor's Tourism Conference in Atlanta

Hosted by the Ga. Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, the annual industry event brings together more than 400 tourism industry professionals from across the state.
Joining award recipient Tyron Spearman at the state tourism conference Wednesday are, from left, Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce President Brian Marlowe, Chamber Vice President Chris Beckham, Abbey Bowen of the Spearman Agency, Tyron Spearman, Rep. Penny Houston, Angela Elder of the Spearman Agency, Mayor Julie Smith and City Manager Pete Pyrzenski.

Spearman was caught off-guard by the award. "It was a big surprise," he told the Tifton Grapevine. "I really appreciate it." 

Several local and state officials were present for the award presentation, including Rep. Penny Houston, R-Nashville; Tifton Mayor Julie Smith, City Manager Pete Pyrzenski, and Brian Marlowe, president of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to his tourism duties, Spearman runs the Spearman Agency in Tifton, a marketing business, and  is editor of the Peanut Farm Market News, a peanut market newsletter, marketing editor of The Peanut Grower Magazine and is e xecutive director of the National Peanut Buying Points Association.

He has held many leadership positions such as v ice president of communications for the Southwest Georgia Tourism Association, executive director of the Georgia Agrirama Foundation, district director of Master 4-H Club and is a two-time president of the Exchange Club of Tifton.

Spearman also had served 10 years as the executive secretary of the Georgia Peanut Commission based in Tifton, initiated the American Peanut Council's Export Promotion Program -- visiting more than a dozen countries promoting peanuts -- is a former president of the American Peanut Council and is a former public relations and alumni director at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.


The "Moving Wall," a traveling half-size rendition of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located   in  Washington, D.C., is at Georgia Veterans State Park in Cordele through this  Sunday.

On Wednesday, approximately 150 motorcyclists escorted the moving wall memorial to the state park. The wall lists more than 58,000 names of those who died in the Vietnam War.

The wall exhibit opens today, Friday, Aug. 31, at the state park and ends with a closing ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2. Visitors to the park pay a $5 entrance fee. 

The Moving Wall has been traveling around the country  since 1984. The memorial  visited Tifton in 2008 and was set up outside Eighth Street Middle School. For that visit, 10,000 flags lined Tifton's streets, and an estimated 25,000 people visited the exhibit during its five-day stay here.

Celebrating the  endowment  of the Terri Nalls Reading Angel Chair are Education Foundation Executive Director Mike Brumby, from left, Margaret Kelley, Terri Nalls and Foundation   President Claire Byrnes.


The  Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence (TCFEE) announced Tuesday that the Terri Nalls "Reading Angel Chair" has been funded.
At Tuesday's Education Foundation meeting, incoming President Claire Byrnes recognized Past President Mike Davis.

The Chair honors the longtime, retired Tifton educator and the  originator of the foundation's   Accelerated Reader (AR) program. Nalls spent nearly a quarter-century  as Charles Spencer Elementary's    media specialist. 

Foundation Executive Director  Mike Brumby has long referred to  Nalls as Tifton's "Reading Angel;" Nalls was awarded her first education foundation  Incentive Grant in  1996 to purchase the  AR program and five computers for Spencer school's media center. Within weeks, the school erupted with students reading scores of books. 
"Terri embodies the  foundation's mission: 'To foster and enhance academic excellence,'" Brumby has said. In  1997, she was the first media specialist to be "tapped" for the foundation's Excellence in Teaching Award, which she won again in  2009.

The  TCFEE now has 18 Academic Chairs. A Chair is endowed in perpetuity and finances annual grants on a competitive basis in specified academic fields. A minimum of  $25,000 is needed to fund a Chair. Only  90 percent of a Chair's annual interest earned may be awarded, insuring that the endowment can only grow through the years.


Tift County's jobless rate dropped again in July along with the average  Southern Georgia region's unemployment rate, Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday.

At the same time, the 17-county region saw its labor force shrink and the number of employed grow. All major indicators remain positive for the year, Butler said. 
"Georgia continues to be in a period of sustained growth. There are no indicators in July that Georgia is going to slow down anytime soon," the labor commissioner said.

Tift's July unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent, down by 0.2  percent from June, the state Department of Labor reported. It was 5.1 percent one year ago.

The Southern Georgia region as a whole also saw a 0.2 percent decline in joblessness during July with a rate of  4.3 percent.   The labor force dropped by 199 in July to reach 182,360 total members. The number has climbed by more than 3,600 during the past 12 months, or about 300 a month. 
The region added 191 employed residents in July, pushing its total to 174,557. That number has grown by more than 5,300 in the past year, or about 440 a month, the Labor Department said.  

The July unemployment rate among area counties include: Turner, 4.9 percent; Irwin, 6.7 percent; Ben Hill, 6.8 percent; Worth, 4.5 percent; Cook, 4 percent and Berrien County, 4.2 percent.

Saturday, Sept. 1
8 a.m.-Noon
2801 Rebecca Road, Tifton

Assorted furnishings, bunk beds, dishes, clothes, boy's bicycle, and much, much more!


Scores of c ommunity and  businesses leaders gathered early  Thursday at the  Georgia Chamber of Commerce Regional Office on Love Avenue in  Tifton for the annual  Legislative Appreciation Breakfast  sponsored by the  Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce .

In the photo above is, from left, state Sen. Greg Kirk, R-Americus; Don Koehler of the Georgia Peanut Commission, with his back to the camera, speaking with state Rep. Sam Watson, R-Moultrie, on the other side of Koehler; state Rep. Penny Houston, R-Nashville; and state Rep. Clay Pirkle, R-Ashburn. 

The state lawmakers spoke about the recent General Assembly session and how rural Georgia is getting a lot of attention on the state level.

"It's now cool to be rural," Watson noted.

Music from Ludwig van Beethoven all the way to a movie classic from 1961 will highlight the performance of the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 9 as part of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College ABAC Presents! Performing Arts Series. 

At a 3 p.m. performance at the Tift Theatre, the symphony will honor the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein with "Symphonic Dances" from "West Side Story." The orchestra will also spotlight Beethoven's "Fifth Symphony." In between, the "Mother Goose Suite" pulls timeless childhood classics into the present day.

ABAC Arts Connection Director Wayne Jones looks forward to the symphony's return to Tifton

"I am so happy we are able to bring the UGA Symphony back to the Series this year," Jones said. "This will be the symphony's third appearance in the ABAC Presents! Performing Arts Series since it started. The program this year promises to be one of the most exciting we've heard."

Other performances in the ABAC performing arts series include Chanticleer on Oct. 11, "Broadway's Next H!t Musical" on Nov. 29, "The Crucible" on Feb. 7, the Albany Symphony Orchestra featuring Chris Brubeck's Triple Play on March 3, the Turtle Island String Quartet on March 28, and Byron Stripling with the ABAC Jazz Ensemble on April 18.

For information, call 229-391-4895 or visit

Swingin Medallions
Dinner-Dance Fundraiser for the Public Library
Thursday, Sept. 13
UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center

Tifton-Tift County Public Library Foundation Presents The Swingin' Medallions
Watch VIDEO above!

       Get Your Tickets Today at the 
    Tifton-Tift  County
Public Library 
                     or Online:
                       Click Here!

        Call 478-227-7126 for information


Darcie Norton with Coastal Plain CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), seated above, speaks to a potential volunteer at the 4th Annual Volunteer Recruitment Fair, held Thursday at the Tift Regional Community Event Center. Many local nonprofits displayed their services and signed up volunteers at the event, coordinated by Norton and Julie Mitcham with CASA. One attendee won a Michael Kors purse donated by The Howard Center

 Heather Land has a knack for finding the funny out of the frustrating. Leaving no stone 
 (or people) left unturned, she hilariously unravels everyday events that causes us to laugh 
 not only at each other, but more often than not, ourselves. From ex-husbands to failed diets, 
 her ability to deliver consistent comedy in a self-deprecating style has made her adored by  millions of people of all ages.

 Join us at Azalea City Church of God in Valdosta, Georgia, for a fun-filled night beginning 
 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale for $20 each and available by Clicking Here! and will be 
 available at the door for $25 each. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. 

Azalea City Church of God
247 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta

We can't wait to see you here! 


T he Tiftarea YMCA is hosting its fourth annual Mother and Son Date Night on Friday, Sept. 28, at the Tift Regional Community Events Center adjacent to the YMCA on Carpenter Road
This year is a beach theme, "Fun With the Son." Dinner, dancing, a 4x6 photo and more is planned. 

"Get dressed up and come and join the excitement," says Sarah Odom, YMCA marketing and communications coordinator. 

For information, call 229-391-9622 or visit 


A total of 220 students at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College spent time at the Alumni House on Tuesday afternoon to write thank-you letters to their scholarship donors during what has come to be called the annual "Milk and Cookies Day." 

ABAC awarded more than $600,000 in scholarships through the ABAC Foundation this year.  Advancement Coordinator Josie Smith said the students were treated to milk and cookies from the ABAC Alumni Association after penning their letters. 


Tifton First United 
Methodist Church

107 W 12th St., Tifton

Tifton First United Methodist Church has an opening for a nursery worker. This is a part-time position 
  available after September 18.

Regular schedule is 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sundays. Wednesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. is optional. 
The hourly rate is $10 per hour.

Applicants must be at least 21, meet background check for working with children, learn and enforce the Safe Sanctuary policy, and must be able to work with a wide range of people in a personable and friendly manner.  

Interested persons should send a letter of application stating their experience, qualifications 
 and relevant information to:

FUMC Church Secretary
Re: Nursery Worker
107 W. 12th St.
Tifton, GA 31794

Renata Elad shakes hands with Rick Register.
Joe Sheffield


Dr. Renata Elad, dean of the Stafford School of Business at ABAC, and Joe Sheffield, civil engineer, both members of the Tifton Rotary Club, shared their stories with the club Wednesday.

Elad grew up in Cameroon on the west coast of Africa "in the under-arm of the boomerang of the continent of Africa," 30 miles from the coast, at 1,100 feet altitude. She went to school in Nigeria and decided to pursue agricultural economics at UGA in Athens

" Culturally, it was different, and nutritionally it was different," she said. Very little on the college menu looked like food she had grown up eating, and she lost 20 pounds. 

Elad received her Ph.D. in 1999 and came to Tifton, planning to spend one year. 

"I made friends," she said. "Good friends who make me drink beer with them and bad friends, sitting over there, who make me run 26.2 miles with them." 

Joe Sheffield was born in France into an Air Force family. He told about how civil engineers preceded most other engineers because after military engineers built weapons, "they needed roads, bridges and almost anything big to get the equipment where they needed to go." 

He worked for the Ga. Department of Transportation and moved to Tifton in 1982. He was the project engineer for I-75 in Tifton.

Later in 2004, Sheffield became district engineer responsible for 32 counties in South Georgia. He now works for a a firm that allows him to work from home. He and the former Susan Spradley married in 1990. His son Joe William graduated UGA with a finance degree and is interning with Carr Riggs and Ingram. His son Samuel is a senior in high school.


The 18th Annual School of Agriculture and Natural Resources Classic Golf Tournament at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will be Sept. 28 at ABAC's Forest Lakes Golf Club

There will be an 8 a.m. flight and a 1 p.m. flight. A complimentary lunch will be served between flights. 

The tournament is hosted by the ABAC Ag and Natural Resources Alumni Council and the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources to generate scholarship funds for students. 

Tournament coordinator Vonda Fenn said the student scholarship funds are raised by tournament sponsorships and player registration fees. There are six sponsorship levels from $100 for a Century Level Sponsor to $5,000 for a Stallion Level Sponsor.

Open to the first 100 golfers who register, the tournament will be a four-person scramble with a shotgun start. There is an entry fee of $125 per person or a $500 entry fee for each four-person team that includes lunch, cart, greens fees, and an embroidered golf shirt with tournament logo. 

Prizes will be awarded for both morning and afternoon flights. Prizes will also be awarded for the longest drive and closest shot to the pin on designated holes.

For information, contact Fenn at 229-391-5067 or at


Tifton's Locally Owned Electronic Newspaper!

It's Free!
e-published every Tuesday & Friday / to Advertise, call

Occasionally you will be emailed sponsored editions from our sponsors. 
 This enables you to receive the Grapevine news free of charge.

         . a Glance

  • Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall, 8 a.m., Ga. Veterans State Park, Cordele
  • Tift County High Blue Devils Football @ Worth County High Rams, 7:30 p.m., Sylvester
  • /bliNG!/ exhibit opening reception, 
    5-8 p.m., Plough Gallery, Tifton
  • U.S. National Forestry Pageant, 6:30 p.m., Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Downtown Tifton

In Memoriam

AUG. 23
Martha Jane Pearman, 89, Tifton
John Daniel "Danny" Renfroe, 65, Oakfield
Yoshie "Tommie" Yaggi Shaw, 81, Tifton
Teresa Lynn Wishum Abbott, 65, Enigma
Ann Poulos, 66, Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

AUG. 24
Barbara Connor Minter, 74, Tifton

AUG. 25
Danny McDonald, 75, Dougherty County
Stephen Wayne Sizemore, 61, Gurnee, Ill.

AUG. 26
Vauda Lee Skinner, 93, Fitzgerald
Betty Jean Moore, 69, Irwinville
Laura Montgomery, 87, Quitman

AUG. 27
Fleta Lou Riddle, 87, Sylvester
Virginia "Bootsy" Griffin, 83, Lenox
Mable Lee Fowler, 79, Nashville

AUG. 28
Brian Chandler McRae, 45, Chula
Audrey Deloris Shepard, 77, Quitman
Ernest C. Rice, Atlanta

AUG. 29
The Rev. Franklin "Grady" Jones, 98, Tifton

AUG. 30
Ronald D. Jones, 66, Tifton
William Sledge, Sylvester

105 Fulwood Boulevard, Tifton
MLS#  128970

This 1,731-square-foot home has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, fenced-in backyard, guest house, circular paved driveway, large breakfast/family room and formal dining/den combination.


Editor & Publisher

A Service of Sayles Unlimited Marketing LLC