Friday, January 1, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
Tifton Grapevine
The clock has ticked past midnight, and a new year is underway. Little has changed since yesterday, except the calendar. But we can make it a better year.

Recently, I read about the new year's resolutions for 1943 penned by folk singer Woody Guthrie, best known for writing "This Land is Your Land." He had scribbled his resolutions in one of his notebooks among his doodles.

They were written in the middle of World War II; and although they reflect that time, they also contain some universal sentiments for any year, especially one in the midst of a pandemic.
Here are Guthrie's 1943 resolutions in his own words:

1. Work more and better
2. Work by a schedule
3. Wash teeth if any
4. Shave
5. Take bath
6. Eat good - fruit - vegetables - milk
7. Drink very scant if any
8. Write a song a day
9. Wear clean clothes — look good
10. Shine shoes
11. Change socks
12. Change bed cloths often
13. Read lots good books
14. Listen to radio a lot
15. Learn people better
16. Keep rancho clean
17. Don't get lonesome
18. Stay glad
19. Keep hope machine running
20. Dream good
21. Bank all extra money
22. Save dough
23. Have company but don't waste time
24. Send Mary and kids money
25. Play and sing good
26. Dance better
27. Help win war — beat fascism
28. Love mama
29. Love papa
30. Love Pete
31. Love everybody
32. Make up your mind
33. Wake up and fight

“Love everybody ... Stay glad ... Dance better ... Wake up and fight ... Keep (the) hope machine running” – that’s not a bad recipe for the Year 2021.

Happy New Year!
Tifton Grapevine
Georgia on Thursday recorded its highest number of new daily cases of COVID-19 with 8,551 in a 24-hour period. The state also reported 68 additional coronavirus-related deaths and 306 new hospitalizations on Thursday.

Georgia now has had 566,676 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic's start and 9,872 deaths of Georgians, according to the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH).

Tift County on Thursday reported 16 additional COVID-19 cases since Tuesday and one additional death, bringing the county’s total number to 2,881 cases and 71 deaths, the DPH said.

During the past two weeks, Tift has seen 216 additional coronavirus cases, translating to 529 per 100,000 population. During that period, Tift County has a positive test percentage of 19.1.

Because of the recent rise in cases in the area, Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC) has reopened its COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at the Tift Regional Community Events Center in Tifton, and all Southwell facilities, including TRMC, are reinstating a no-visitor policy. 

“Like most healthcare systems around the state and country, we are seeing a spike in COVID-19 patients,” said Alex Le, chief operating officer. 

“During the past few months, we averaged about 20 COVID-19 inpatients per day at TRMC. Now, as we are in the heart of the holiday season, we are up to 78 COVID-19 inpatients at TRMC. In addition, the TRMC emergency department and all of Southwell Facilities have seen a sizable influx of patients under evaluation for COVID-19.” 
The Tift County Development Authority and the Wayne County Industrial Development Authority will each receive $500,000 for infrastructure enhancements that will benefit the local economy, the Ga. Department of Community Affairs (DCA) announced recently.

The OneGeorgia Equity funding from the DCA provides financial assistance to rural communities to help build necessary infrastructure for economic development.

The Tift County Development Authority will use the investment to strengthen road infrastructure on Lamp Loop Road, an area that supports several Tift County businesses and soon up to more than 300 jobs, the DCA said in its announcement.

The OneGeorgia program is designed to serve as a flexible community and economic development tool, providing grants and loans for eligible projects in rural Georgia.

Wayne County will use the funds to extend water and sewer service to a newly acquired Wayne Commerce Center to prepare the site for industrial development.

“DCA is committed to bolstering local economies through partnerships and resources, and the utilization of OneGeorgia for these projects illustrates the initiative of the leaders in these communities,” said DCA Commissioner Christopher Nunn.
On Tuesday, Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough was sworn in to his third term by Probate Judge Suzanne Carter Johnson, who was also re-elected to her position in November.

"I am forever thankful to all the citizens of Tift County for allowing me to serve as your sheriff. I will strive continuously to serve you to the best of my ability, making Tift County a better place to live, work, and raise a family," Scarbrough said.

"I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fine men and women that make up the Tift County Sheriff's Office. You make my job much easier."
Jake Perry and his mother Amanda show the guitar and case found on Dec. 19 along an Interstate 75 off-ramp in Tifton.
Tifton Grapevine
Jake Perry, 18, of Ashburn was driving onto a northbound ramp of Interstate 75 in Tifton on Dec. 19 when, out of the corner of his eye, he saw some kind of bag on the side of the road.

"My boys are always finding stuff on the side of the road. Always. Sometimes it's a lottery ticket that's been scratched that actually has money on it waiting to be cashed in; sometimes it's huge semi straps or car jacks," said his mother Amanda Cook Perry of Ashburn.

She said that this time Jake "almost passed by without a second thought, but something told him to turn around."

The “bag” was a guitar case with a beautiful guitar inside – along with personal items.

"There are some priceless things inside to whoever lost it. Losing this for whomever it belongs to would be the same as me losing my books of handwritten recipes," Amanda Perry wrote on social media, sharing photos of the guitar.

Many of the items have ties to the St. Augustine, Fla., area, so Amanda reached out to The St. Augustine Record newspaper, which published a story about it Monday. The Perrys are hoping the publicity will help return the guitar, case and items to their owner.

As of Thursday, the owner has not been located, she told the Tifton Grapevine.

Among the items in the guitar case are old newspaper clippings by Lindsay Terry, who wrote a column called "Story Behind The Song" for the St. Augustine newspaper. Terry died in 2018 at age 85.

Amanda asks that the owner or owners contact her at 229-206-2225 if they can give her details about the guitar and the case's contents.

"It means nothing to me and may mean probably everything to them," she told The Record.
In what seems like the never-ending election season, it all comes down to election day on Tuesday when Georgia holds the runoffs for two U.S. Senate seats and a Public Service Commission (PSC) position.

Incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler face-off with Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, respectively. In the PSC race, GOP incumbent Lauren “Bubba" McDonald faces Democrat Daniel Blackman.

Polls will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday. Early voting ended on Thursday.

Tift County ended early voting Thursday with a total of 7,505 votes cast during the three weeks. A total of 1,963 absentee ballots have been accepted in the county, said Leila E. Dollison, Tift County elections supervisor.

Statewide, more than 2.5 million early votes have been cast in Georgia's runoff elections.
South Georgia Banking Co.'s Woody Davis, from left, Carla Jones, Jared Ross and Chris Cutts.
Woody Davis, city president of South Georgia Banking Co.’s headquarter location on Second Street in Tifton, is retiring, and SGBC announces several promotions.

Davis has been with the bank since 2001 has held many positions, including branch manager and regional credit officer. 

“During Woody’s 20 years with our bank, he has exemplified the customer-first approach we value,” said Glenn Willis, South Georgia Banking CEO. He delivered exceptional service to the bank and to his customers. Without a doubt, he will be missed, and we wish him well in his retirement adventures.” 

With Davis’ retirement, Chris Cutts, Jared Ross, Carla Jones, and Lynne Irvin have been promoted into new leadership roles. Cutts, a senior vice president, is now city president of the bank’s Tift County locations.  

Cutts joined the bank’s team seven years ago and has served as a lender and a branch manager. 

Ross, senior vice president, is now the bank’s regional credit officer for its Southern region. Irvin has been promoted to branch manager of the Tift Avenue location in Tifton, and Carla Jones has been promoted to branch manager of the bank’s Second Street location in Tifton.  

SGBC has locations in Tifton, Omega, Moultrie, Ashburn, Cordele, Vienna, and Sylvester.
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This happy boy is available for adoption at the Tift County Animal Shelter, located at 278 Georgia Highway 125 S. It is open to the public for adoptions from 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

For more information, call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch’s Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055  

On behalf of the Tifton Grapevine, we thank you for your continued support. The year 2020 was a challenging one for us all, and we appreciate our many subscribers and advertisers, understanding that you have had your own challenges to overcome.

We are thankful to be part of this amazing Tifton community, and part of our extended South Georgia community. There is no better place to live and to work. We look forward to helping keep you informed and helping our local businesses grow in 2021.
Thank You, and Happy New Year!
Frank Sayles Jr. & Bonnie Sayles


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DEC. 21
Cohen Jones, 96, Lenox
Jackie Gibbs, 77, Irwin County
Ruth Evelyn Riner, 85, Alapaha
Adolphus “Doc” Youghn, 92, Irwin County
G.M. Tucker, 82, Irwin County
Rita Ann Nier, 75, Fitzgerald
Demetrius Stubbins, 38, Tifton

DEC. 22
Lillian Allene Davis, 97, Tifton
Donald Savage, 61, Tifton
Elza Sharon Thompson Drawdy, 76, Lenox
David W. Register, 73, Fitzgerald
Larry Lee Clark, 64, Ashburn

DEC. 23
Albert Sizemore, 72, Omega
Johnny Elijah Smoak, 85, Sylvester
Beth Strecker Gebhardt, 46, Ray City
Harold Floyd Edwards, 90, Americus
Kevin Lee McKinney, 38, Ashburn

DEC. 24
David Richard Chalfant, 61, Tifton
Dixie Darden Arnett, 73, Tifton
Edna Cain, 82, Sparks
Phillip Clark, 81, Jackson, Tenn.

DEC. 25
Peggy Jean Barker Taylor, 76, Tifton
Walter James "Jimmy" Stalvey, 84, Adel
Robert Chester “Bobby” Gay, 83, Patterson
Charlie Will Jackson, 64, Sylvester

DEC. 26
Mary Lee Hayes Sheppard, 77, Tifton
Harold L. Pirkle, 75, Tifton
Kenneth Barnard Morrow, 47, Tifton
Geraldine Gandy Moser, 80, Sparks
Richard Franklin Cargile, 88, Ocilla
Sherry Ann Mallasch, 70, Fitzgerald

DEC. 27
Thomas "Tommy" William White, 59, Tifton
Ronnie Lee Keaton Sr., 69, Sylvester
Barbara Jean Grimes DeWitt, 91, Worth County
Carlton L. Whitley, 92, Ocilla
Gladys M. Beal, 95, Douglas
Katy Lou Meeler Wiley, 78, Sparks
Carlos Junior Moody, 54, Ocilla

DEC. 28
Manning Cecil Griner, 90, Nashville
Don Nelson Hall, 79, Nashville
Eddie L. Martin, Ashburn
Wendell Roberson, 63, Tifton
William Larry Cone, 70, Enigma

DEC. 29
Thomas James Clarke, 64, Tifton
Roger Smith, 79, Tifton
Frances Hutto Craig, 87, Tifton
Mary Joyce Hutchinson Norman, 83, Tifton
Jackie “Jack” Woods, 84, Tifton
Thomas Harlin McLain, 82, Adel
Katy Lou Meeler Wiley, 78, Sparks

DEC. 30
Etta Mae Phillips Collins, 91, Tifton
Virginia Myrtie Powell, 78, Sylvester
Enrique Corral, 65, Tifton
Betty Reeves Sims, 92, Fitzgerald

DEC. 31
Linda Matthews, Poulan
Evelyn C. Jackson Beck, 88, Adel
Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
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Bonnie Sayles
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