AUG. 10, 2018
Tifton, Georgia


Tifton's oldest African-American business --  Frank and Solomon Nixon Funeral Home -- was inducted Tuesday into the  National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association's Hall of Fame.
Solomon Nixon Jr. accepts honor on behalf of Nixon Funeral Home.

The  93-year-old Tifton funeral home was inducted during the national  association's convention held this week in Kissimmee, Fla.

"Receiving this prestigious honor is quite humbling. When I was informed of the recognition, I was in awe that our funeral home and family would receive such recognition," Solomon Nixon Jr. told the Tifton Grapevine.

"Our family has been in Tift County for over 100 years, and for our family business to have served this community at large for 93 years gives you an overwhelming since of appreciation and thanks."

The Nixon funeral home was founded in 1925 by Frank T. Nixon, along with the Rev. Jake Parson and Matt Wilson under the name Nixon Parson Wilson Undertaking Co., with Frank Nixon serving as the licensed funeral director. Both third- and fourth-generation Nixon family members are still actively working at the funeral home.  
Ann & Solomon Nixon Sr.

"We are honored to be recognized along with the other funeral service practitioners and funeral homes in Georgia, Florida and Alabama," Solomon Nixon Jr. said. "My grandfather Frank  started the funeral home based on one simple word -- Service

"My father, Solomon Sr., and mother Ann built upon that and
Frank Nixon, left and the Rev. Jake Parson
exemplified the word in every aspect of their lives. My brother
Ronald built upon that legacy of service in many ways in service to this community. To be a third-generation funeral director and be able to receive such an honor on behalf of the entire Nixon family, while representing the past founders, the City of Tifton and Tift County is amazing."

Solomon Nixon Jr. accepted the award on behalf of the funeral home

"We will continue to serve those with the same sense of honesty, integrity and stellar service that has been instilled in us. We live by one true family motto  -- Service," Nixon said.


Hot air balloons are back for the Harmony Jubilee festival this weekend in Fitzgerald.

The Hyggelig, a six-story-tall hot air balloon, will  fly high over Fitzgerald along with other balloons today and Saturday Aug. 10 and 11, with rides available.

The Harmony Jubilee starts today (Friday) with a hot-air  balloon demonstration at local schools and a "balloon glow" tonight along  the edge of Paulk Park lake. The balloonists will carefully synchronize igniting  their burners to create a light show. The balloon glow is a free event.

Saturday, Aug. 11, has events from morning until night. The balloonists start the day  with a sunrise flight. Then the Dorminy Medical Center Foundation kicks off its "Pedaling for a  Purpose" bike ride. This year they have charted three courses: the metric century, a 62-mile ride, a 30- mile ride and a seven-mile ride. 

At 9 a.m., the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Junior Board of Directors will host its  five-kilometer color run, followed by a one-mile fun run. The Junior Board has  color and water stations set up along the route, ensuring every runner gets a  chance to "run through the rainbow."

At 10 a.m., the Artisan Market opens at Paulk Park . The kid zone is also back with bouncy houses, rock climbing and more.

Throughout the day, the park's stage hosts young musicians, including Madison Carver and bands Pronto and Off 129 At lunch, the Selah Dance Group will showcase their latest routines, followed by  the pet fashion show benefitting the Fitzgerald Humane Society. 

The Grand Theatre on Saturday night will be rocking with a performance by Titans of Rock, a Journey and  Bon Jovi tribute band.


Raymond Drennon, retired captain of the Tifton Police  Department, has been named interim chief of the Sylvester Police  Department, effective Aug. 20.

Sylvester's current chief, Kenneth Washington,  is being reassigned within the department during what the city manager calls a reorganization

City Manager Autron Hayes said the city is bringing in an outside group of former law enforcement officials to review the structure and policies of the department and to make recommendations for improvement.


It's back-to-school time in Tifton and Tift County.

Tiftarea Academy (TA) opens its doors to students today in Chula, and Tift County public
schools begin the school year on Monday.

At TA, students have a new upper school principal, Teresa Sumner. She comes to Tiftarea  with more than a decade of experience in K-12 education. A graduate of both ABAC and Valdosta State University, Sumner obtained her bachelor's degree in early childhood education, her master's degree in elementary reading and mathematics, and her specialist's degree from Georgia Southwe stern in teacher leadership. 

She was named the Worth County Primary School Teacher of the Year in 2012.

Tiftarea Academy also has several new teachers this school year:

TIFTAREA ACADEMY'S NEW TEACHERS:  Front row, from left --  Stacey Tyson, art; Teresa Sumner, Upper School principal; Rachel Flake, Upper School math; b ack row: Dennis Gay, SRTC horticulture; Bethany Tanner, Upper School math; Mikel Soliday, weight training; Cheryl Alberson, third grade; Melissa Soliday, second grade; and Erik Soliday, head football coach. 
Not pictured is Kendra Gannaway, music teacher.


Earlier this week, Patricia Brooks, pictured left, retail market manager for Synovus bank, presented a $10,000 check to Lynn Lovett, chairman of the Ruth's Cottage Capital Campaign

Funds raised through the campaign will be used to build a new Tift County facility that will house domestic violence victims, along with program and administrative staff of Ruth's Cottage.  

For information call 229-387-9697 or visit

Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough recently returned from the Georgia Sheriffs' Association's annual Summer Training Conference on Jekyll Island.

One hundred fifteen sheriffs from around the state participated in the three-day event. The sheriffs had multiple training sessions, received timely information from high-level state officials and conducted association business.

The conference was devoted to training sessions to update the sheriffs on topics relevant to public safety and the office of sheriff. Speakers provided training on legislative and legal issues, the opioid crisis and legislation to combat mental health issues in Georgia, including transporting patients.
 During the conference,  Turner County Sheriff Andy Hester was installed as secretary-treasurer of the Georgia Sheriff's Association.


The Mabra Firm
116 E. 3rd St., Tifton
Aug. 8


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

New faculty and staff at ABAC include, front row, from left: Jennifer Morrell, Dr. I-Chun Lisa Chen and Dr. Scott Phillips; second row: Lillian Oglesby, Patricia Loveday and Jessica Harsh; third row: Dr. Sergio Pichardo, Chris Earls, Dr. Jennifer Huang, Dr. Andrea Krafft and Dr. Carlos Lopes; back row: Dr. Yavuz Agan, Dr. Doug Barlo and Jennifer Reid. Not pictured are Dr. John Lai and Dr. Joanne Littlefield.


Fourteen new faculty members will greet students at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College when classes begin for the fall semester on Wednesday, Aug. 15.

New faculty members are Dr. John Lai, assistant professor of agricultural economics and agribusiness; Dr. Sergio T. Pichardo, assistant professor of agronomy; Dr. Doug A. Barlow, physics lecturer; Christopher N. Earls, biology lab instructor; Jessica L. Harsh, agricultural communication lecturer; Dr. Z. Jennifer Huang, assistant professor of piano and music theory; and Dr. Andrea E. Krafft, assistant professor of writing and communication.

Other new faculty members are Dr. Joanne S. Littlefield, associate professor of agricultural communication; Lillian Oglesby, biology lab instructor; Dr. Scott D. Phillips, assistant professor of jazz music and music theory; Dr. Yavuz Agan, assistant professor of management; Dr. I-Chun Lisa Chen, assistant professor of business; Dr. Carlos J. Lopes, assistant professor of economics; and Jennifer C. Reid, business lecturer.

Among new staff members are Patricia Loveday and Jennifer Morrell, laboratory assistants in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.


The UGA Symphony Orchestra will perform at the Tift Theatre on Sept. 9 as part of the ABAC performing arts series.

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will host the Sneak Peek Preview of the 2018-2019 Arts and Culture Series at ABAC at 6 p.m. Aug. 16

The preview highlights new additions and spotlights the returning series, such as the ABAC Presents! Performing Arts Series, the First Tuesday concerts, An Evening for ABAC, the Baldwin Players' productions and other musical performances
New to the Arts and Culture Series at ABAC this year are the Georgia Poetry Circuit, ABAC History Lecture Series and cultural events for Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month. 

The preview will be held in the conference center of ABAC's Georgia Museum of Agriculture. The event is free but attendees should RSVP via phone by Aug. 13 at 229-391-4895.  

ABAC Arts Connection Director Wayne Jones said the preview includes a look at many free events as well as events which require admission, recognition of sponsors and a video highlighting performing arts events available to the community. Refreshments will be provided following the video, and sponsors will also have information tables.

First row from left: Kim Ivey, Cornellia Lane and Amber Walker; second  row: Emily Gandy, Chelsey Hartsfield;  third row: Shelbi Singletary, Cristina Huerta, Joesy Coronado;  back row: Will Byers, Nestor Nunez-Vazquez and Chandler Bearden.


Southern Regional Technical College held a pinning ceremony recently honoring the most recent class of practical nursing students from the Tifton campus. The ceremony commemorates the students' successful completion of their nursing coursework and clinical rotations

The pinning ceremony is a rite of passage into the nursing profession; each student received a pin and a small lamp.The pin is used to remind students of their purpose to serve the sick and infirmed. The lamp serves as a tribute to Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern-day nursing. At the ceremony, students recited the Nightingale pledge stating their dedication to upholding the standards of nursing.

The students that received pins on the Tifton campus are  Chandler Bearden of Sylvester, William Andrew Byers of Tifton, Joesy Coronado of Tifton, Emily Gandy of Sparks, Chelsey Hartsfield of Sylvester, Cristina Huerta of Tifton, Kimjuana Ivey of Tifton, Cornellia Lane of Tifton, Nestor Nunez-Vazquez of Omega, Shelbi Singletary of Tifton and Amber Walker of Tifton.

Nunez-Vazquez also received a Practical Nursing HESI Exit Exam Award for the  highest score on the exit exam on the Tifton campus

THE TOP 40: Tift County Schools' Chief Technology and Information Officer
Jonathan Judy has been named to Georgia Southern University's "Top 40 under 40." Judy is a 2006 GSU graduate. The GSU Alumni Association honors young alumni who are leading the way in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. ... YOU KNOW I CAN DANCE: Seniors   Enjoying Life Forever, or "SELF," holds their monthly dance on Friday, Aug. 17, at the Leroy Rogers Senior Center. Doors open at 6 p.m., and attendees are asked to bring a food dish.


Margaret Jacobs, Rotary District 6920 governor from Jesup, visited the Rotary Club of Tifton on Wednesday and thanked the club for its support of Rotary initiatives, such as the Rotary Foundation and the Coins for Alzheimer's Research Trust or " CART" program. 
In the photo above are, from left, former Rotary District Gov. Gary Smith of Fitzgerald; current District Gov. Margaret Jacobs; Chandler Day, the newest member of the Tifton Rotary Club; and Tifton Rotary President Marion Curry.

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YOUR WEEKEND  back_2_school.jpg
         . a Glance

  • Tiftarea Academy classes begin, 8 a.m., Chula
  • Ronnie McDowell in concert, 7 p.m., Tift Theatre for the Peforming Arts, Tifton
  • Tift County Schools Annual Day of Prayer, 9-9:30 a.m., various Tift County schools
  • Harmony Jubilee festival, 9 a.m., Paulk Park, Fitzgerald
  • Dynamic Fluid Art Class, 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m., Tifton Museum of Arts & Heritage, Tifton
  • A Night of  Southern  Gospel
    6 p.m., Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Tifton

In Memoriam

AUG. 2
Betty Worsley Barnes, 86, Tifton
Darrell Carter, 71, Adel
Lincoln Gaskins, 84, Alapaha
Wilma Jean Hall, 71, Nashville
Mary Ann Deese, 74, Fitzgerald
Randy Bullard, 54, Nashville

AUG. 3
Arthur "Wayne" Hartsfield, 63, Tifton
Sarah H. Folsom, 75, Adel

AUG. 4
W.L. Futch, 77, Fitzgerald
Robert Lee "Scamp" Hall Jr., 60, Sylvester

AUG. 5
Marjorie Catherine Sikes Sandifer, 82, Tifton
Gordon Lee Burgess Sr., 75, Tifton
David D. Garrison, 69, Fitzgerald
Mack Junior Patterson, 71, Worth County 
Billie Kay Floyd, 64, Fitzgerald
Gerald H. Thompson, 84, Fitzgerald

AUG. 6
Sue Hutchinson Spires, 76, Sparks
Daniel Isbon "Danny" Walker, 69, West Berrien
Marvin Whitley, 88, Ocilla
Kirk Gordon, 64, Adel

AUG. 7
Sharon Howell "Sherry" Mobley, 64, Irwinville
Edna Lurline Ellis, 95, Albany

AUG. 8
Jerry Herbert Young Sr., 67, Tifton
Ann Stephens Williford, 82, Ashburn
Bonnie Sue Spencer, 75, Barney

175 Tifton Worth County Line Road, Tifton
MLS#  128889

This 3,609-square-foot home has 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, Kitchen with double ovens, Den, Gameroom, Sunroom, Lanai, in-ground pool, fountain, pond on 6.48 acres.


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