Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018
Tifton, Georgia
The statewide runoff election was held Tuesday for tw o races  in which neither Democratic nor Republican candidates received a majority of the vote in the Nov. 6 general election:

  • Secretary of State: Democrat John Barrow vs. Republican Brad Raffensperger
  • Public Service Commission District 3: Incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton vs. Democrat Lindy Miller

I n early statewide results Tuesday night , Republicans in both races were leading their Democratic opponents by a wide margin. With 84 percent of the statewide vote reporting, Raffensperger had 59.12 percent to Barrow's 40.88 percent. The PSC race had a similar margin.

In unofficial Tift County results, Raffensperger received 3,551 votes ( 74 percent) to Barrow's 1,246 ( 25.97 percent) for secretary of state .

In the PSC race, Tift countians chose Eaton , 3,579 ( 75.35 percent) to Miller , 1,171 ( 24.65 percent). The votes are expected to be certified on Friday .

Of the 22,064 registered voters in Tift County, 4,809 , or 21.8 percent, voted in Tuesday's runoff election .
Tifton City Council lit the city's Christmas tree above City Hall on Monday night following the City Council workshop meeting.
Tifton's Christmas Parade has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. this Friday, Dec. 7 . The planned Hometown Holiday Christmas Celebration events will be held at a later date after the first of the year .

The parade and holiday events , including carnival rides, "ice" skating, zip-lining and live entertainment, were originally set for last Saturday but were postponed because of inclement weather.

Friday's parade check-in begins at 4 p.m. at Third Street and Magnolia Drive behind Tractor Supply Co. 

The parade route is the same as initially planned, beginning at Second Street and Magnolia Drive , traveling east on Second Street , turning left on Main Street and ending at the corner of Eighth Street and Love Avenue .

You can still register to participate in the parade by Clicking Here!
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal will be awarded posthumously to U.S. Reserve Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas Smarr on Friday, Dec. 7, for his heroic actions on Dec. 7, 2016, while serving as a police officer with the Americus Police Department .
The presentation ceremony will be at noon Friday at the Georgia Southwestern State University School of Nursing , 800 GSW State University Drive.  
A member of the Marine Forces Reserve , Individual Ready Reserve and an Americus police officer, Smarr , who was 25 , had responded to a reported domestic dispute . After being dispatched, Smarr and Georgia Southwestern State University police officer Jody Smith then pursued a suspect. 
Both officers were shot in the head during an ensuing ambush . Although mortally wounded , body camera footage shows that Smarr crawled to Smith and administered first aid until he could no longer do so. 
Smarr selflessly performed chest compressions until he finally succumbed to his own wounds, authorities said.

"Although Officer Smith , too, eventually died , Lance Cpl. Smarr's actions have been credited with keeping him alive long enough for his organs to be donated . By his courageous and selfless actions in the face of great personal risk , Lance Cpl. Smarr reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service ," the Marine Corps said in a written statement.

Smarr had been with the Americus Police Department for one year .

Smarr and Smith had known each other their entire lives and were best friends . Smarr was to serve as the best man at Smith's wedding that was scheduled in May 2017.
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal will be presented to Smarr’s family by U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Charlie Daniel .
Woody Leonard , former band director at Tift County High School (TCHS) and band director at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College , will be inducted into the National High School Band Directors Hall of Fame at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 in Valdosta

Leonard’s induction into the Hall of Fame will be during the Azalea Winds Christmas Concert at the Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Recreation Authority Senior Center on East Park Avenue in Valdosta.  

Leonard is a member of the Azalea Winds and will conduct one of the numbers during the concert. There is no charge for admission.

The National High School Band Directors Hall of Fame recognizes and promotes the nation’s outstanding high school band directors  and advocates for the teaching of music in public schools .

Leonard served as band director at TCHS from 1986-2005 , Dalton High School from 1980-81 , and Cook Middle School from 2008-15 . He was also the assistant band director at Lowndes High in 1976-79 and 1981-86 , as well as serving as a graduate assistant with the Auburn University band program from 1979-80 . His tenure at ABAC was from 2007-12 .

“This is an overwhelming honor for me,” Leonard said. “I feel very fortunate to be included in this prestigious group of band directors.”

During his 19-year tenure at TCHS , the Blue Devil Brigade won numerous regional marching contests and performed pre-game and half-time shows for Auburn University, Tulane University, Troy State , the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons .

Under Leonard , the Brigade was the sole representative for the state of Georgia in 1988, 1991 and 1995 at the Festival of States National Band Championships in St. Petersburg, Fla.  Awards received at this five-day event included Best Drum Majors and Percussion (1991) and Best Jazz Ensemble and the prestigious Heart of St Petersburg Award (1995). 

The Blue Devil Brigade marched in the nationally televised Brach’s Holiday Parade in Chicago , Ill., (1996), the Bank United Thanksgiving Day Parade in Houston, Texas , (1998) and the Orange Bowl Parade (2000) in Miami . In 2004 , the Brigade represented Georgia at the ABC-6/Boscov’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia .  

Leonard continues to judge band competitions throughout the state and has conducted numerous concert and jazz ensemble honor bands . In 2015, Leonard was named by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve on the Governor’s Arts Learning Task Force , a 16-member organization charged with making recommendations to improve arts educational achievements.  

In 1984 , Leonard was selected as an "Outstanding Young Man" by the National Jaycee Association, and in 1996 he received an "Excellence in Teaching Award" from the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence. Leonard also received the “Pacesetter Award” in 2012 from students at ABAC.
Atlantic & Southern Equipment, LLC
4186 U.S. Highway 82 West, Tifton
Nov. 29
Gov. Nathan Deal has reappointed Ruth Lee of Tifton to the Georgia Council on Aging .

Lee retired as the director of oncology services in Tifton . She was previously the executive director of Hospice of Central Georgia in Macon and the director of Hospice of Tift Area at Tift Regional Medical Center.

Lee was previously a member of the Ga. Department of Medical Assistance Hospice Advisory Committee and the Quad State Hospice Medicaid Advisory Committee.

She earned a nursing diploma from the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University , a bachelor’s degree from Tift College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Albany State University .

Lee and her husband, Michael , have three children and six grandchildren. They reside in Tifton .

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) has announced a $8,595 grant to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College for participation in the GOHS Georgia Young Adult Program (GYAP).

GOHS addresses young adult driver crashes, injuries and fatalities. It also partners with colleges and universities to implement the GYAP. The program has proven to be successful using strategies such as peer education, providing educational speakers to schools, and encouraging schools to develop creative, innovative techniques to reduce young adult crashes, injuries and fatalities in their communities.

“The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is committed to changing the tragic trend of young adult driver deaths in Georgia,” GOHS Director Harris Blackwood said.

“We’re here to make changes, and I believe the students at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College can help us achieve the goal of lowering driver, crash, injury and fatality rates statewide. Who better to address the challenges and dangers facing young adults than their peers? I’m confident these students can convince their peers to be safer , more conscientious drivers.”

The GYAP program at ABAC coordinates events such as impaired driving prevention programs including DUI simulators and professional speakers .

Blackwood said grant funding runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2019 .
Photographer Kamia McWilliams has developed a new body of work, specifically for her show at Fitzgerald’s historic Carnegie Center , entitled, “Aisha: She Who Lives.”

The exhibit opening reception is 5-7 p.m.  Saturday, Dec. 8.
The portrait series is a contemporary twist on traditional African style . There will be six poster-sized portraits on display as well as smaller prints. The prints were created through a partnership among the library at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College , McWilliams and the Fitzgerald Ben Hill Arts Council. 

McWilliams has used her art to draw attention to the struggles she and her loved ones face. In one series entitled “I’m depressed, not defeated,” she photographed young women who battle depression and interviewed them about their experiences. 

“Both women touched my heart and also gave me hope when it came to my personal experience with depression,” she wrote. 

In another, she took portraits of her stepfather and his extensive scars. Milton Magwood experienced serious burns after an explosion at his job. His primary concern was his coworkers and didn’t know how severe the burns were until he arrived at the hospital. He underwent nearly 40 surgeries. McWilliams photographed him shirtless , exposing the scars across his body. But Magwood did not look weak in the portraits, instead he flexed his arms, showing his strength

In addition to six previously unseen portraits by McWilliams, she has produced a poetry book in conjunction with her show. 

In addition to running her photography business , which recently opened a studio in downtown Fitzgerald , McWilliams is a 911 operator in Tifton . Her husband, Sable McWilliams , has produced his own modern take on African music for the exhibit. 

The exhibit will be on display for two months at the Carnegie Center , 120 S. Lee St. in Fitzgerald .

Pictured are some of the Stafford Co. employees who purchased bricks for the “Pave the Way for Victims” campaign in support of a new Ruth’s Cottage domestic violence shelter and administrative offices. 

Employees’ donations were matched by Stafford , a longtime partner to Ruth's Cottage and the Patticake House.

The total Stafford donation was $25,000 .
The Rotary Club of Tifton is seeking nominations for its annual Rotary Ethics in Business Award , which will be presented Jan. 31 at the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting .

To be considered for the award, a business must be located in Tift County and be a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

Also, the business must have consistently demonstrated high ethical standards of honesty and integrity in dealing with employees, customers and contractors while enhancing the economic well-being of the company and providing local jobs , opportunity and profits. 

Nomination applications must be received by Dec. 21 . The nominations may be submitted by anyone other than an owner or manager of the nominated business or their family members.

Nominations must be mailed to the Tifton Rotary Club, Attn: Ethics in Business, P.O. Box 1354, Tifton, GA 31793. To get the nomination form, Click Here!

The first recipient of the Rotary Ethics in Business Award was Central Jewelers in Downtown Tifton . In the photo above, John Falotico of Central Jewelers , left, receives the award on May 1, 2013 , from then-Rotary president Frank Sayles Jr.
The Environmental Health Services section of the Tift County Health Department conducted 31 food service inspections during November in Tift County .

Any violations are divided into two categories – public health interventions to control food-borne illness risks and good retail practices

Risk factors are food preparation practices and employee behaviors most commonly reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as contributing factors in food-borne illness outbreaks.

Good retail practices are preventive measures to control the introduction of pathogens, chemicals and physical objects into foods.
To see the Tift County food service inspections for November ,   Click Here!

The Tifton Grapevine is now publishing yard sales in Friday editions . The yard sales are text only, no photos , and is part of a list linked from the Grapevine edition to our web page .

The cost is $1 per word , and yard sales must be paid in advance via credit card or PayPal .

For information , email yardsales@tiftongrapevine.com
Tifton Grapevine
e-published every Tuesday and Friday

Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
A Service of Sayles Unlimited Marketing LLC , Tifton, Georgia