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FEB. 28, 2017
Tifton, Georgia

478-227-7126
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$4.9 MILLION INVESTMENT
IN DOWNTOWN TIFTON LAST YEAR

Private and public investment in Downtown Tifton last year totaled nearly $4.9 million, according to the Tifton Main Street Program.
Downtown Tifton's Gateway Park

A 2016 Community Impact Report, which the Ga. Department of Community Affairs (DCA) compiled based upon information from Tifton Main Street, shows total downtown investment at $4,884,129 and a net increase of 109 jobs.

There were a total of 20 new businesses opening or expanding downtown last year, the report shows; there were also 18 public improvement projects.

A total of 69 promotional events were held downtown, which includes such activities as sidewalk sales and Tifton's Hometown Holidays Christmas Celebration, says Lequrica Gaskins, Tifton's downtown economic development director.

It's estimated that 70,439 people attended the events.

According to the DCA, $31 million has been invested in Downtown Tifton and a total of 696 jobs created since Tifton was designated a Main Street community in 1986.


'RHYTHM' STARTS BEFORE THE 'RIBS'
MUSIC KICKS OFF FRIDAY NIGHT AT FULWOOD

Tifton's Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival will have the scent of barbecue wafting through Fulwood Park all day Saturday but the "rhythm" part of the event gets underway Friday night, March 3.
Daniel Parrish, left and Derrick Dove

The festival's kickoff party goes from 6-10 p.m. Friday with local musicians Derrick Dove and Daniel Parrish. Both are well-known in the area. Dove is from Tifton and can be found playing many venues around town; Parrish is originally from Thomasville, lived in Valdosta and performs throughout the area.

Both musicians were part of the "South Georgia Strong" benefit concert last Sunday to raise money for victims of local tornadoes.
On  Saturday , along with national and regional acts, are some Tifton performers. On the community stage at Fulwood Park, local favorite  Carolyn Ellis' School of Dance will perform, as will the Mood Doctors .

The Mood Doctors from Tifton, also known as "Mood Doc," are guaranteed to lift your mood. They perform regularly in the area. 

In the photo at left, the Mood Doctors are: from left to right, Roger Stone, drums and vocals; John Hicks, electric guitar; Tyler Hogan, vocals and acoustic guitar; Steve Barrow, bass guitar, vocals.


NAMED FOR OCILLA NATIVE IN SAM & DAVE DU0
DAVE PRATER MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP OPEN TO IRWIN COUNTY SENIOR MUSICIANS

Applications are now being accepted for the first Dave Prater Music Scholarship, open to Irwin County High School seniors interested in pursuing careers in music.
 
The application deadline for the $1,500 award is 10 p.m. March 31.
 
Named in honor of the Ocilla native and R&B music legend from the Grammy Award-winning duo Sam &
DAVE PRATER
Dave, the scholarship was made possible through funds raised during the first two years of the "Soul Man" Dave Prater Music Festival.

The event, which started in February 2015 and was brought back in May 2016, has included a tribute dinner, downtown street fest with live music and a church service in honor of Prater's gospel roots. Organizers want to continue the festival each year and hope it will grow into a major regional event.
 
Proceeds from the dinner, T-shirt sales and private sponsorships have gone into a scholarship that will be awarded every year.
 
This year's music fest will feature a church service Wednesday, May 10, at Mt. Olive AME Church on East Seventh Street in Ocilla; a tribute dinner on Thursday, May 11;, and a street festival on North Cherry Street on Friday, May 12.
 
The scholarship winner will be announced at the May 11 tribute dinner, which will be held at Irwin County High School this year.
 
Interested students must complete an application form available for download at www.PraterMusicFest.com and follow the instructions for submitting their entries online to PraterMusicFest@gmail.com
 
To be eligible students must:
  • Express a sincere intent to pursue a career in music in various fields.
  • Be a graduating senior at Irwin County High School. 
  • Submit two (2) letters of recommendation: one from a teacher who is not his or her music teacher and another from a community member who is not a relative.
  • Complete a brief application form that answers one of the following questions: Why is music important to you? Who are your music role models and why? How has knowing that Dave Prater was born in Ocilla inspired you?
The scholarship committee is chaired by Sylvia Lockett, chairwoman of the Irwin County School Board, who will lead a panel of community members in selecting winners. The other judges are: Prater's sister, Helen Deberry; ICHS band director Bill Belcher; ICHS choir director Chris Oldham; ICHS principal Kerry Billingsley; Anytime Fitness owner Sheri Rhodes; State Farm Insurance agent Courtnie Parrish; Irwin County Recreation Director Dewayne Vickers; musician Jerry Moss of the Live Five Band; and former Irwin County Department of Family and Children Services Director Mary Lynn Bracewell.
 
The late Sam & Dave had numerous hits in the 1960s and '70s, including "Soul Man" and " Hold On, I'm Comin'."

For information on the scholarship or the festival, visit the official Prater Music website:   www.PraterMusicFest.com

Miss Rita's School Mobile

This Summer, Take Only Six Weeks to a Better Grade! 
Private Tutoring - 401 N. Ridge Ave., Tifton

CALL OR TEXT   941-313-0614

to REGISTER  NOW
FOR SESSIONS BEGINNING 
JUNE 12 - JULY 21

Miss Rita will be in Tifton  during the week of March 13 
for you to meet her & pick up your student's materials
 
You Must be Registered and  Make an Appointment 
to see Miss Rita in March





Patience  *  Persistence

GA & FL Certified Reading Specialist

References available upon request



                Pool party on June 24 
for registered students  & families  at Tift County Rec Pool!


Miss Rita's Tutor Room has been operating in Manatee and Sarasota Counties in Florida for the past 40-plus years. 

She brings to Tifton her teaching talents as Reading Specialist through Miss Rita's School Mobile, and is eager to build a strong foundation in the youths who are struggling readers. 

Other areas of expertise include math, language arts and violin.

Serving the Tiftarea since 2009
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From left are T. Graham Brown, guitarist DJ Goodman, Cyndi Thomson, John Berry, Ray Scott and Buddy Jewell at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center.
No. 1 hitmakers Cyndi Thomson and John Berry

S.GA STRONG
Local and national country music stars performed Sunday in Tifton at the "South Georgia Strong" benefit concert for victims of the recent tornadoes. All proceeds go to storm victims.
...and T. Graham Brown


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SCIENCE OLYMPIAD TEAM PLACES IN REGION,
MOVES ON TO STATE

Tift County Schools Science Olympiad Team placed second at the regional Science Olympiad competition this month at Georgia Southern University. The team narrowly missed first place by 3/10ths of a point.

The team will compete at the state level on March 18.

The team consists of seventh, eighth and ninth grade students.  Pictured with their trophy are the ninth grade members of the Science Olympiad Team, from left:  Gloria Del Toro, Audrey Conner, Rebekah Larger, Aeriel Lewis and  Hays Jones. Not  pictured is Gavin Pust.


NIGHT TO BE FILLED WITH CHORAL MUSIC

The Southern Chorale, the premier choral ensemble from Georgia Southern University, and acclaimed a cappella barbershop ensemble Southern Gentleman will perform during "A Night of Choral Music" at the First Tuesday Concert Series at 7 p.m. March 7 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

The concert at the ABAC Chapel of All Faiths is open to the public at no charge.

The Chorale will perform a dozen selections, including "Ave Maria" by Guiseppe Verdi and Ross C. Berhardt's "Irish Blessing." This performance is part of The Southern Chorale's Georgia Southern University Choir Tour. The Southern Gentleman ensemble sings music steeped in the tradition of barbershop harmony and standards from the American songbook.

For information on the First Tuesday Concert Series, email sroe@abac.edu


TIFTON-TIFT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RIBBON CUTTING

My Georgia Hometown Magazine
Covering seven counties:
Atkinson, Berrien, Ben Hill, Cook, Irwin, Lanier and Tift
Feb. 28

AS PECANS BUD, FARMERS HOPE WEATHER STAYS WARM

Unless Georgia has a cool spell soon to slow things down, a lot of pecan buds will begin to break within two weeks, says the Southeast Farm Press.

"We haven't had much of a winter this year. We've only had four days where temperatures dipped below
UGA photo
Pecan seedling
freezing in Tifton, and the average temperature since November has been 57 degrees as opposed to 55 degrees last winter. We've also accumulated only 368 chill hours as opposed to the 559 chill hours by this time last year," the Farm Press reports.

For many fruit trees, once buds have entered dormancy, they will be tolerant to temperatures below freezing and will not grow in response to mid-winter warm spells.

It's  not clear how many chill hours pecans need, probably because there is so much variation from one variety to the next. It is reported that 300-500 chill hours are required for Desirable, Mahan, Success and Schley varieties, while Stuart reportedly requires from 600-1,000, the Farm Press reports.

The weather has been unseasonably warm this season. Azaleas are blooming in yards, and some pecans are even budding already. 

As pecans begin budding, farmers hope for a warm spring with no late freeze, which could cause problems after the shoots begin expanding. So, pecan authorities say,  from this point the weather needs to stay warm.

FIRST UNITED METHODIST HOSTING CONCERT WITH PRIZE-WINNING MUSICIAN

Dr. Monica Harper Deklea prize-winning,  nationally recognized musician, will give an organ concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 19 at  Tifton First United Methodist Church.
DEKLE

The concert, in  the church sanctuary, will showcase the church's recently refurbished p ipe organ.

Dekle is director of music and organist for Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church in Savannah She was  appointed  chorusmaster of the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus in July 2014. 
 
At Wesley she provides organ music for weekly services and directs the Chancel Choir, Youth Choir and  Children's choirs. Under her direction, the Chancel Choir has grown to 50 members and was invited to sing  at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in Summer 2013. They have since been invited to sing concerts  across the Southeastern United States as well at Cologne Cathedral and St. Thomas Church, Leipzig.


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