May 17, 2016
                         Tifton, Georgia

                       (478) 227-7126



Don't be alarmed; it is just a test.

When you hear sirens and see emergency workers scurrying around the area today, be advised that it is merely a drill; the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) is holding its statewide, full-scale hurricane exercise, or " Hurrex."

The exercise is conducted to help emergency managers and emergency personnel test the incident command structure, 
communications, logistics and operations in th event of a disaster.  GEMA says it  has been more than 20 years since Georgia has experienced direct devastation from a hurricane or tropical storm, and historically speaking, the state is overdue.

Hurricane season starts June 1, and this is "Hurricane Prep Week" in the state.

The Tift County Department of Public Safety is participating in the statewide Hurrex, in conjunction with GEMA and the Georgia Hospital AssociationThis year's scenario is a hurricane making landfall in Florida along the Gulf Coast and proceeding along a northeastern path up U.S. Highway 319
Tift Regional Health System will enact a scenario that, as a result of the hurricane, a tornado has hit and affected both the Tift Regional Medical Center main campus in Tifton and the Cook Medical Center campus in Adel The disaster drill, expected to begin locally near lunchtime, is enacted using actors playing victims in order to allow hospital staff to receive the most realistic experience possible.

Approximately 30 volunteers will act as victims at TRMC, and 10 will act as victims at Cook.

Also participating the Hurrex are  the Tift County School System, the Tifton-Tift Co Fire Department, the Tift County Department of Public Health, Tift County Department of Family and Children Services, the American Red Cross, Tift County Office of Emergency Managment, Tift County EMS, Hope EMS, the City of Tifton, public works, and others

If you have any questions or concerns, call the local Office of Emergency Management at 229-388-6062.


Tift County High School's Class of 2016 was the first class to begin kindergarten at the new Annie Belle Clark Primary School in 2003 when it opened. On Monday, graduating TCHS seniors, who had attended Annie Belle Clark, went back for a visit to show the younger students how hard work pays off.  In the photo above, they pose with their kindergarten principal at the time,  Tammie Sylph Smith, standing at center . Tift County High's graduation is 9 a.m. this Saturday at Brodie Field.


Members of the Class of 2016 pose in front of the school wearing T-shirts from the college each plans to attend this fall.

Tiftarea Academy graduated 42 students last Friday night at Tifton's First Baptist Church. To honor their accomplishments, the school created an "Almost Alumni" luncheon held during the days before graduation.

For the lunch, students wore a T-shirt from the college they have selected to attend in the fall. Heather Fletcher, director of development and marketing, said she hopes this new tradition will encourage more students to attend college. 

"Our hope is that when our lower and middle school students see these seniors that they look up to so much being honored with a luncheon and wearing their selected college shirts, that it will in turn inspire and encourage them to work  hard to make the grades so they too can attend the college of their choosing," she said.

Call or email us to sign up or ask questions:   382-7515 or


Kip Moore, country singer and Tifton native, is continuing to  build skateparks for kids through his  Comeback Kid Skatepark Project, and, according to his web site, a skatepark in Tifton is in the future.

Billboard magazine recently asked Moore why he felt he was led to do this work.

" There were six kids in my family, and my dad was a very blue collar guy who didn't make a lot of money, but we always knew we had two parents who cared about us and had a safe place to go at night," Moore said. "I witnessed a whole different side of life with basketball in the inner cities, and I never forgot that. Building these skateparks is just giving these kids a sense of pride and a safe place in their communities. 

"There was a kid named Reggie in Nashville who had never skated. He's 11 or 12, and he's telling me he's never loved anything the way he loves this. His mom is telling me this park has solely kept him out of the gangs because he comes there every day after school. He was being highly recruited by the gangs. If this just gives him a sense of hope and sparks him into a whole other area in life, then the whole thing was worth it," Moore said.

The country singer has been drawn to the outdoors and alternative sports for much of his life as an avid rock climber, surfer, skateboarder, and outdoor enthusiast. He also has a heart for small-town and inner-city kids growing up with too few options. As a result, his Kip's Kids Fund provides alternative outlets for youth to engage in healthy habits and physical activities like skateboarding, in addition to the traditional sports offerings where they live.
Moore's first skatepark was built in Nashville, Tenn There  are also projects in Annapolis, Md.; San Marcos, Texas; and Boston.

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Students who want to get a head start on the fall semester can enroll in summer term classes at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College main campus in Tifton or at the Moultrie location at ABAC on the Square. Summer term classes begin May 31.

The main campus will offer more than 70 classes during the summer in the areas of mathematics, literature, history, agriculture, science, nursing, and physical education. ABAC on the Square will offer classes in literature and mathematics over the course of the summer. Students may also take advantage of a variety of online courses offered by the college.  Regular summer classes do not meet on Fridays.

Transient students are welcome to enroll at ABAC during the summer term. They may complete the ABAC application online and then submit it with the $20 application fee along with the transient permission and immunization forms.
Students interested in financial aid as a transient student may contact the financial aid office at their home institution. The deadline for tuition and fees for all students enrolling for the summer term is May 24 at 4:30 p.m. 

Students who are graduating from high school this month may also take classes during the summer. That includes those students who will be attending ABAC and those who may be attending another college or university in the fall.

The ABAC Office of Admissions may be reached by email at or through the website at

The summer term runs through July 21 with final exams July 25-26. Fall semester classes begin Aug. 10.

Dedication of the new St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Ray City is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 21.

When Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer consecrates the new church building, it will mark the uniting of three communities: Queen of Peace Parish in Lakeland, St. Margaret Mary Parish in Adel and St. Mary Parish in Nashville.

The dedication is also the culmination of a longtime dream of Pastor Fr. Fredy Angel to bring together a diverse community of African-American, white, Latino and Asian-American Catholics.

The new $3 million church building at 2530 Garner Road in Ray City sits on 12 acres donated by retired Air Force Gen. John Folkerts and his wife, Catherine. Another five-acre donated parcel is the future site of a soccer field and pavilion.

The 17,000-square-foot church seats 300. The complex includes a 16-seat day chapel, pastoral offices and a nursery, and a multi-purpose facility which holds 150 people and includes a cooking kitchen. Future plans call for religious education classes to be held in the facility.

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