Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019
Tifton, Georgia
City Police Capt. Steve Hyman has been named Tifton police chief .

City Manager Pete Pyrzenski made the appointment Tuesday morning a fter reviewing applications and conducting interviews for the position.

Steve is fully capable of taking our police department to the next level . His deep knowledge of the department and our community puts him at a strong advantage to make a positive difference throughout Tifton and those who we serve on a daily basis,” Pyrzenski said.

“It is a new day for the Tifton Police Department , and I am excited to work with Chief Hyman in his new role.”

Hyman has more than 36 years of experience in law enforcement and has spent his career at the Tifton Police Department . Hyman was first employed with the department in 1983 as a patrol officer and has moved up the ranks.  He has held numerous positions within the department and most recently has been serving as captain .

Hyman currently serves as chairman of the Georgia Peace Officer Standard & Training Council and has served on many community volunteer boards Pyrzenski said that  Hyman’s commitment of community service is exceptional and his extensive knowledge, experience and leadership qualities make him a great fit for the chief's position.  
"I want to thank everyone for their support and confidence ," Hyman said Tuesday .  "I will continue to work hard for our community and our officers .”

Hyman succeeds Police Chief Buddy Dowdy , who recently retired .  
Damage is extensive in Irwin County's Mystic community.
A tornado touched down midday Tuesday in Irwin County causing considerable damage to Mystic and parts of Ocilla , officials said.

The tornado then headed into Ben Hill County . Several homes and buildings were heavily damaged in Irwin County , but there were no immediate reports of injuries to people in the area.

Shortly before noon Tuesday, the National Weather Service's Tallahassee office confirmed that a strong tornado was seen on radar over the Mystic community . Power lines were also down as well as numerous trees and limbs .

Mystic is an unincorporated community in Irwin County located along State Route 32, about 5.5 miles from Ocilla . Much of Southwest Georgia was also under a Tornado Watch , including Tift County , as the storms moved through the region at midday .

The tornado was part of the storms that had rumbled across Louisiana and Alabama , spawning several deadly tornadoes .
Irwin Head Coach Buddy Nobles celebrates with his team Saturday after the Irwin County High Indians win the state Class A public schools football championship.
Forty-four years after its last state title , the Irwin County High Indians captured the Class A public high school football championship Saturday in Atlanta.

Irwin bested Marion County High , 56-14 .

“This is a team of destiny ,” Irwin head coach Buddy Nobles said. “If there is a better Class A team in the history of Georgia high school football , I want to see them.”

Nobles has been a source of inspiration to his team and to the entire Ocilla community this year as he battles Stage 4 stomach cancer. Even though his health has been failing and he has had to resort to a wheelchair , Nobles has been on the sidelines for much of the year, including the state championship game.

In six seasons, Nobles has led the Indians to the state finals five times . This year, the Indians finished the season undefeated at 13-0 – for the first time since 1975 when they won their last state title .

As Nobles has had to face cancer treatment , Defensive Coordinator Casey Soliday has stepped in during the season to help keep the team on track . The community has rallied around the team and Nobles , and the rallying cry "Nobles Strong" has been heard throughout the team's winning season .
Tifton City Council on Monday recognized outgoing City Councilman Frank Sayles Jr. for his four years of service on the council. From left are City Councilmen Jack Folk and Johnny Terrell, Sayles, Mayor Julie Smith and City Manager Pete Pyrzenski.
Tifton City Council on Monday night approved a one-year contract with Golden Environmental of Tifton for garbage and waste collection in the city.

The contract , which begins when Golden's current five-year contract ends on Dec. 31 , extends service through 2020 . Residential garbage fees will rise by $3.50 per month from the current $15.91 to $19.41 a month.

The new contract adds weekly pickup of yard and bulk waste , and maintains every other week pickup of recyclables . Council approved the contract by a 3-1 vote, with Mayor Julie Smith and Councilman Frank Sayles Jr. and Johnny Terrell voting for it , and Councilman Jack Folk voting against it.

Councilman Wes Ehlers was absent from the meeting because of illness .

Folk said his issue is with including the cost of weekly pickup of yard waste and bulk items because he doesn't believe it is necessary on a weekly basis . Under the current contract , such waste is supposed to be collected every other week , but Folk said that has not always been done . If such debris and waste is collected regularly every other week , he believes it would be sufficient and less costly to residents.
Chris Dorman, president/CEO of Tift Regional Health System, writes a dedication that will be included on the Donate Life float in the 2020 Rose Parade. From left to right, sitting: Dorman; Carol Smith, chief nursing executive and senior vice president, acute care; standing: Mallory Moreland, Michael Thompson, Annsley Mathis and Maebry Garner.
Through a partnership with LifeLink of Georgia , an organization that promotes organ and tissue donations , Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) will be represented in the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day in the Donate Life Float

LifeLink partners with the national organization, Donate Life, which sponsors a Rose Parade float each year. The float includes a dedication garden , with roses and handwritten dedications from hospital CEOs across the country, including Chris Dorman , president/CEO of TRHS .

“We are excited to be a part of this celebration of life during the parade , and we are proud to show our commitment to organ and tissue donation ,” Dorman said. “This is an event that shines a light on organ and tissue donation in a big way, and we hope it will bring more about more awareness on this important topic.”

The 2020 Donate Life Rose Parade float , now in its 17th  year, is named “Light in the Darkness” to highlight the power of unity, light and love, as celebrated during Southeast Asia’s Diwali , or the Festival of Lights , a celebration of light shining in the darkness.

" Light in the Darkness is a theme that speaks to the gift of hope that organ, eye, and tissue donation provides to donors, families and recipients,” said Tom Mone , chairman of the Donate Life Rose Parade float committee.
Dr. Mark Kistler, center left, and ABAC alumnus Mark Davis, who owns Atlas Greenhouse, cut the ribbon to open the greenhouse at ABAC’s J.G. Woodroof Farm.
Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in environmental horticulture and agricultural education are using a new 3,600-square-foot greenhouse at the J.G. Woodroof Farm at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College .

“It has all the bells and whistles of a modern greenhouse ,” Dr. Mark Kistler , dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources , said at the recent ceremonial ribbon cutting . “It will benefit the entire campus, but primarily students involved in horticulture and ag education.”

Kistler thanked the Ga. Department of Education for a $150,000 construction-bond grant, which supplied the majority of the funding for the structure. He also credited Atlas Greenhouse, Barber Construction Co. and the ABAC administration for their support.

“This greenhouse will allow us to continue to expand our programs , and it has enough space that we can use it for a lot of things,” Kistler said. “The Horticulture Club can run its plant sale out of here at homecoming .”

Asparagus ferns from an interior plantscape class fill much of the greenhouse , which features both heating and cooling .
Visit Cookie & friends at the Tift County Animal Shelter, 1-6 p.m.,
Mondays-Fridays, at 278 Ga. Highway 125 South in Tifton.
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