July 18, 2014
     Tifton Georgia

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Tifton Grapevine


It must be something in the water, or perhaps it is in the fragrant South Georgia air. Whatever the reason, we produce voices as sweet and clear as moonlight through the pines.


Precious Melton of Tifton is our latest musical example, winning WFXL Fox 31's Southwest Georgia "American Idol" auditions last Saturday to become the "Tifton Idol" and moving on to represent our region at the "American Idol" auditions Aug. 4 in Nashville, Tenn., in front of the national TV show's producers.


Meanwhile, Austin French, worship pastor at Tifton's Journey Church, continues his journey this Sunday on ABC-TV's national singing competition "Rising Star." (Tune in at 9 p.m. Sunday; the audience will vote on who stays in the competition.)


Just a few months ago, Tifton native Austin Brown and his a cappella group "Home Free" won NBC-TV's national competition on the network show "The Sing-Off." And last year's Tifton Idol winner, Marcus Holloway of Moultrie, competed on national TV on "American Idol."


Then there's Tifton native Kip Moore, one of country music's newer rising stars, and Tifton native Cyndi Thomson, who had a No. 1 country hit with "What I Really meant to Say," and who performed on the Grand Ole Opry.

American Idol logo


Jennifer Nettles, one-half of the county music duo Sugerland, is a native of nearby DouglasAnd hailing from Leesburg, just up the road from us, are country music superstar Luke Bryan and past "American Idol" winner singer-guitarist Phillip Phillips.


Is every other person in our area a budding music star just waiting to get discovered by a national audience? 

Precious Melton -
VIDEO: Precious Melton - 'One More Chance'

Getting back to last weekend's local "American Idol" auditions, Precious Melton blew away the competition. Melton, a 2014 graduate of Tift County High School, is the daughter of Victoria and Daughtry Melton.


She performed her first solo at the age of four as a member of a church choir. 


She recently recorded her first music video, "One More Chance."

   By the way, at 10 a.m. this Saturday, July 19, the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association is unveiling new road signs noting that Tifton is the hometown of Kip Moore
The event will be at the welcome center located at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture on Whiddon Mill Road.



The Moving Vietnam Wall, a traveling version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., is once again coming to South Georgia on Sept. 4-7, making a stop in Ashburn.


In 2008, the Moving Wall visited Tiftonsetting up at the Eighth Street Middle School track. The Moving Wall is one-third the size of the original and contains the names of the 58,256 men and women who died in the Vietnam War. Their names are listed on the wall in the order of their deaths.


The local Wall Committee is seeking photos of James Larry Harris and Tommy Johnson for the official program for the wall's appearance. The two men are Ben Hill County veterans who were killed in Vietnam. Any pictures may be emailed to call 229-567-3655.


As part of the Moving Wall exhibit, Ben Hill County will have a delegation presenting a wreath for a Ben Hill County display.


The Wall will be set up in Ashburn just off Exit 82 of Interstate 75. There is no charge to see the exhibits. No drinks, other than water, no cell phones and no music are allowed in the area immediately around the wall. 


Counselors and ministers will be on hand.


For information, call Ashburn City Hall at 229-567-3431.



Local artist Mary Ann Cox 
  is organizing her fall art classes for 
both children and adults beginning in August.
      Classes are for children, ages 7 and up, and for small groups of adults.  For more   information, please contact her at 229-387-5012 or e-mail her             



Fall semester classes at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College begin Aug. 13 and continue through Dec. 3. The deadline for fee payment is Aug. 1 by 3 p.m. 


Students may pay for fall term classes in three different ways. The preferred process for payment is via eStallion through Payment of fees can be made on eStallion with a credit card or electronic check.  


Students also have the option of paying for fall term classes in person at the cashier's office located on the second floor of the J. Lamar Branch Student Center. The cashier's office is open Monday-Thursday from 8:45 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Friday from 8:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Students who wish to pay by phone can call 229-391-4999.


The fall term kicks off with Welcome Week beginning Aug. 9 and concluding Aug. 14. A variety of activities and events will be offered for both new and returning students. The week culminates with the college's annual convocation ceremony on Aug. 14 at 3:30 p.m. in Gressette Gym.


On Oct. 6, the 14th Annual Ag Classic will take place at ABAC's Forest Lakes Golf Club from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. High school students interested in attending ABAC can visit the campus on Nov. 15 for Stallion Day.


During the fall term, the entire campus will be closed Sept. 1 in observance of Labor Day. Students and faculty will enjoy the fall break on Oct. 13-14 and Thanksgiving holidays on Nov. 26-28.


Final exams will be Dec. 4-5 and Dec. 8-9. The fall commencement ceremony will be held in Gressette Gym on Dec. 11 at 10 a.m.


For information, visit or call 229-391-5004.  


                                      At a Glance.... 


  • GRPA State Swim Meet, 9 a.m., Tift County Recreation Department pool, Tifton.
  • Downtown Tifton Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Old Train Platform, Tifton.
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m-Noon, Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton.
  • GRPA State Swim Meet, 9 a.m., Tift County Recreation Department pool, Tifton.
  • Unveiling of Kip Moore Road Signs, 10 a.m., Welcome Center, Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton.

In Memoriam


July 10 

Mary Etta Exum Purvis, 51, Leesburg, Fla. 


July 11

Laurine K. Gibbs, 84, Fitzgerald 

Lauryn Nicole Goodman, 21, Sylvester 


July 12

Kenneth Lee Layfield, 56, Tifton

Thelton H. Goff, 84, Sylvester

Catherine "Peggy" Lillian Fuller Powell Collins, 82, Tifton

Mattie Collier Moncrief, 97, Tifton

Vicki Hewett, 56, Sparks

Johnny Register, 72, Adel  


July 13

 Joseph David "J.D." Taylor, 91, Nashville 


July 14

Charles "Buddy" Grady Goins, 68, Ty Ty

Henry Daniel Jarvis, 67, Fitzgerald

Fronie Mae Monk, 91, Griffin

Mary Ellen McCard, 69, Ashburn  


July 15

Ronald Thomas "Ronnie" Chambley, 63, Chamblee 

Ellen Jeanne Sawyer, 71, Sylvester

Hubert "Huddy" Heath, 68, Berrien County

James "Jim" Marvin Fussell, 68, Lehigh Acres, Fla.  


July 16

 . Daphine Horten Pate, 73, Sylvester

Mary Catherine Thomas Barber, 81, Tifton

Edward Ray Black. 81, Sycamore

Adelia Ann Ford, 74, Cocoa, Fla.


July 17

 Leslie A. Glass, 72, Irwin County







This spacious 3 BR/2.5 bath brick home is located close to Tift Regional Medical Center. This house features hardwood floors, a real fireplace, updated kitchen with a cook-top stove and double ovens. Dishwasher, fridge and Ice-maker included, as well as an abundance of cabinet space. Beautiful easy maintainable, mature landscaping surrounds the home. This house also offers a swimming pool, sauna, hot tub as well as an outside grill/cook area. There is a pool house/mother-in-law suite complete with kitchen and living quarters. This gorgeous home is just waiting for a family!


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