Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
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GrapeNew
JULY TO ARRIVE WITH FIRST THURSDAY, FIRST FRIDAY EVENTS
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
July arrives this week, and with it, first-of-the-month celebrations in Tifton and Nashville.

Nashville Main Street hosts its First Thursday on July 1, and Downtown Tifton hosts its First Friday this week on July 2.

In Nashville, the Berrien County seat is promoting a shark theme for its event to go along with the outdoor showing of the movie "Shark Tale.” Participating First Thursday shops in Nashville will be open until 8 p.m., and there will be face painting and temporary shark tattoos for the kids.

The movie will get underway at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday with complimentary popcorn and soda for kids along with special seating for the children. Adults should bring their lawn chairs or blankets. Concessions will be available.

In Downtown Tifton, the Tifton Merchants Association and Tifton Main Street are hosting First Friday from 5-8 p.m. Friday. The event includes special extended downtown store hours, special sales, fun and live music in Tifton Gardens.

Area singer-guitarist Lizz Faith will be performing on the Tifton Gardens stage.

In the Tifton Grapevine’s Weekender Edition this Friday, there will be a roundup of area Independence Day events. To get your event listed in the roundup, email IHeardIt@TiftonGrapevine.com
Source: Rashod Bateman via social media
Rashod Bateman and his mother Shonda Cromer walk up the driveway to her new Tifton area home.
WITH HIS FIRST NFL CHECK, RASHOD BATEMAN BUYS
A HOUSE FOR HIS MOM
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
Tifton native Rashod Bateman, the former Tift County Blue Devil football star, former Minnesota All-American and a recent first-round NFL draft pick for the Baltimore Ravens, apparently hasn’t let the accolades change him.

Bateman remembers where he came from and how he got to his current level of success. And the first person he has thanked is his mother Shonda Cromer of Tifton. After recently signing his National Football League contract, Bateman then bought his mom a new house in the Tifton area.

"Dreams to reality," Bateman wrote on social media. "Welcome home mama; I love you."

Bateman said that "buying my mom a home has always been dream No. 1."
Numerous press reports have detailed how Bateman grew up watching his mother work multiple jobs to make ends meet for her children following his mom's divorce from his abusive stepfather.

As a single mother with young children, Shonda Cromer was forced to move several times, and money was tight. But she was always there for her children.

Bateman has never forgotten.

"As good a football player as Rashod is and all the success that he's had, he's probably a better person," former Tift Blue Devils Coach Ashley Anders recently told the website baltimoreravens.com.

"He'll probably be more successful as a person than he is as a football player."
RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS SURGE AS MASKS COME OFF,
SOME PHYSICIANS SAY
Doctors in Georgia and other Southern states have seen since April an unusual surge of a common respiratory virus that affects children and older adults, according to a report from Georgia Health News.

The spike in cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) at this time of year is linked, at least in part, to children and others no longer widely wearing masks or social distancing to prevent COVID-19 infection, experts say.

Dr. Flavia Rossi, a Tifton pediatrician, told Georgia Health News that her practice is seeing a substantial rise in RSV cases, and she linked the increase to masks no longer being worn as frequently.

When masks began coming off, “we knew we’d see a really bad RSV season,’’ said Dr. Stephen Thacker, a pediatric infectious disease specialist in Savannah. “Kids are getting infected at the same time.’’

To read the full story by Georgia Health News, Click Here.
TIFTON EXCHANGE CLUB MEMBERS GET CLUB, DISTRICT RECOGNITION
The Exchange Club of Tifton has awarded Angie Holloway Saturday the 2020-2021 Exchangite of the Year award. All club members voted on the award, which goes to a member who has displayed the values and mission of the Exchange Club.

Presenting the award in the photo above is club President Danny Hoover. Saturday will be serving as president-elect in the coming year.

Also, members of the Exchange Club of Tifton recently received awards at the Georgia District Exchange Clubs annual convention. 

In the photo below is Angela Elder, who was named the district's Outstanding Secretary of the Year. She is also editor of the club's newsletter, which won Best Bulletin. Club President Hoover was named the district's Exchange Club Member of the Year
BLUE DEVILS FOOTBALL SEASON TICKETS GO ON SALE JULY 5 WITH 8 HOME GAMES
Although it's early summer, high school football is fast approaching, and there is excitement in Tifton with a new head coach and new expectations.

Tift County High Blue Devil football season tickets and all sports passes will go on sale next week, July 5, at the high school and will be available Monday-Thursday for two weeks through July 15.

Tiftonites will get to see a lot of the Blue Devils this football season as Tift County plays eight of its 10 regular-season games at home at Brodie Field.

The Blue Devils will begin the season with a home scrimmage Aug. 12 against the newly renamed Turner County Titans.

The regular season begins Aug. 20 at home with Crisp County visiting. On Aug. 27, Dutchtown High from Henry County, comes to town. College Park's Banneker High comes calling on Sept. 3.

On Sept. 10, Appling County comes to Brodie Field, and on Sept. 17, Irwin County pays a visit.

Tift's homecoming is Sept. 24 against Worth County, followed by the Blue Devils' first away game Oct. 1 at the Valdosta Wildcats.

The Blue Devils then get a bye week and resume Oct. 15 with Lowndes County at the Brodie. The last home game is Oct. 22 against Camden County, with the regular season ending Oct. 29 at Colquitt County in Moultrie.
TIFTON-TIFT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RIBBON CUTTING
Healing Paws Animal Clinic of Tifton
116 Hunt Road, Tifton
June 25
PROPOSALS FOR TIFT TOURISM MARKETING GRANTS BEING ACCEPTED
The Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association is accepting grant proposals for promotion and marketing efforts to assist local organizations in bringing events to Tifton that will attract visitors.

State law requires that these grant funds be used only for promoting tourism, conventions and trade shows through advertising and marketing efforts. Those groups receiving funds must show how and where the grants were spent.

"Our community co-op grant program has been providing funds for area events for decades," said Angela Elder with the Tourism Association staff.

"It is a very unique program and one that others in the state often ask about. We are thrilled as a Tourism Association to have a community who loves to produce events for locals and visitors alike. We believe that providing grant funds is an excellent way to make sure these events are successful so that more people want to come to Tifton for a visit." 

More than $975,000 has been invested in the past 28 years through the Community Co-op Partners Program.

The deadline for grant proposals is noon July 23. All grant funds must be requested at this time. Requests for funds will not be considered throughout the coming year unless it involves a new event. The Tourism Association's Program Review Committee will make grant recommendations to the tourism Board of Directors on Aug. 18.

Proposals for advertising and marketing grants should be limited to two typed pages with a maximum of five support pages. The marketing and advertising plan should be clearly stated along with the impact on the local tourism industry and economy. 

The proposal should include the project's/event's cost estimate showing the requesting organization's investment and the anticipated attendance. Projects that include overnight stays by attendees will be favored over projects that only improve the quality of life for Tiftonites. Expected hotel room nights should be included.

Projects/events must reflect favorably on the Tifton-Tift County community. Funds are limited, and final approval is vested in the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association's Board of Directors.

Submit proposals to: Tyron Spearman, coordinator, Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association, 148 Ridge Ave. S., P.O. Box 273, Tifton, GA 317943.

For information, contact Spearman or Elder at 229-386-0216, or email them at spearmanagency@friendlycity.net
TIFTON-TIFT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RIBBON CUTTING
Thrive Jiu Jitsu & Fitness
102 Third Street E., Tifton
June 25
Todd McDonald, a nurse practitioner, left, and Dr. Louise Wilder offer primary care services at Southwell Medical Sylvester Primary Care.
SOUTHWELL SYLVESTER PRIMARY CARE MARKING 20 YEARS IN WORTH COUNTY
Southwell Medical Sylvester Primary Care is marking its 20th anniversary serving patients in and around Worth County.

Since July 2001, Sylvester Primary Care has offered full-time primary care and provided a range of acute, chronic, and preventive medical care. Dr. Louise Wilder, who is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, and Todd McDonald, a nurse practitioner and a Worth County native who has worked at the primary care since the beginning, are the two healthcare providers there.

“We are honored to have been able to serve this community for the past 20 years,” said Michelle Sturgess, the facility's practice manager. “We have loved working with this community, and we hope to continue serving our patients for the next 20 years or more.”
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR POLICY: 

Letters must address local issues only. All letters are subject to editing for brevity, for libelous statements and for egregious language. 

Include your name, phone number and address for verification purposes. Email all letters to: IHeardIt@tiftongrapevine.com and note that it is a Letter to the Editor.

LETS MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER ON COMMERCE WAY

TO THE EDITOR: I spoke in the public comments portion of the June 21 City Council meeting in opposition to the proposed plan to convert Commerce Way into a one-way street. I publicly want to thank the mayor and City Council for allowing me to speak and for listening to our concerns.

As I pointed out in the meeting, we are not opposed to changes on Commerce Way. We agree that there is a lot that can be done to beautify this street and make it more esthetically pleasing and safe. Our issues have been with converting it to a one-way street and reducing parking by nine spaces. We would love to see the sidewalks re-done so they will be safer, brick pavers, planters, railing, and landscaping. We want improvements as much as, if not more, than anyone else. 

We thank and commend the mayor for coming up with a viable solution – forming a committee that includes members of the Downtown Development Authority and property/business owners on Commerce Way so that a plan for improvements can be addressed that will work for everyone. We believe this is an excellent idea and a good way for the DDA, city, and business owners to work together. 

I would, however, like to clear up one misconception about the meeting because I was misquoted and misunderstood. I did not say that “it appeared that the CITY attempted to 'slip in' the one-way street plan without a lot of discussion.” I stated that “it’s as if this [project idea] was kept very quiet until it was made public at the workshop so that it could be slipped in and easily passed without any opposition.”

And I stand by that statement. That statement was not aimed at City Council; it was referencing those who were developing and proposing the plan to the City Council. I was not accusing the City Council of trying to slip anything in, but apparently that is the way it was perceived. And for that, I am truly sorry. I should have been clearer. I intended to imply that the business owners on Commerce Way were kept in the dark about this project before and up to the time it came before the City Council at their workshop on June 7.

No one involved in this project has ever contacted us about this proposal. No one has informed business owners on Commerce Way about the proposal, asked how we feel about it, or if we have any questions or concerns. I am sorry that the mayor or the council members misunderstood my statement and was offended by it. I do apologize for the misunderstanding and wanted to clear the air and set the record straight.
 
We are looking forward to working with the city and the DDA. We all want the same thing – to make our downtown great. We want to work in a spirit of cooperation with all sides listening respectfully to one another and offering input. Working together, we can accomplish greater good. Let’s move forward together
LaRae Moore 
Executive Director 
South Georgia Ministries Inc. 
LIFEhouse; Redeemed
Tifton 
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S CAT OF THE WEEK
"Rooster," a friendly male cat, needs a home and is available for adoption at the Tift County Animal Shelter. To adopt your next pet, visit the Animal Shelter from 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch's Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055
CITY COUNCIL, RAILROADS AGREE
TO BUILD RAIL PASSENGER STATION
– JUNE 30, 1916
At a meeting June 30, 1916, among Tifton City Council members and representatives of the Southern Railroad and Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, an agreement was forged to establish a new union passenger station on Central Avenue in Tifton. That station still stands and is now home to the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce.
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