Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019
Tifton, Georgia
VIDEO: John and Robin Berry post a message Tuesday about John's "little hiccup" regarding his health.
G rammy Award-winning singer/songwriter John Berry on Tuesday shared an upbeat, positive message about his health after a malignant tumor was found on both of his tonsils .

Berry , who has many friends in Tifton , spent about a year living in Tift County in 2012 before relocating back to the Nashville, Tenn. , area.

The singer and his wife Robin posted a video message to fans and the music industry Tuesday and, in an accompanying press release , calls his medical condition a " bump in the road" at the start of the new year.

Treated with antibiotics for a tonsil infection that started in November , Berry made it all the way through his 21-city annual Christmas tour without incident, but his condition never cleared up , even after a second round of antibiotics and steroids.

He then saw a specialist in Nashville on Jan. 4 who ordered a CAT scan , which revealed what appeared to be a tumor in one of his tonsils . Berry went into surgery to have both tonsils removed Jan. 10 , and while in surgery it was found that the tumor was larger than his tonsil on one side. A small portion of his soft palate was also removed .

Upon receipt of the biopsy report, it was confirmed to be a malignant tumor on both tonsils . The expected treatment is just five weeks and has over a 90 percent cure rate.

Berry and his wife are asking folks to lift them up in daily prayers , asking God for healing, strength, wisdom and patience as they go through these next few months.

According to the press release, " 2018 was a great year , and 2019 promises to be even bigger , with several projects in discussion, a growing tour schedule and more music to come later in the year. God is good , and they are thankful for His grace and mercy. He knows the plan and has made their path in His perfect timing."

Friends and fans may send Berry a message at johnberrymusic413@gmail.com or at P.O. Box 353 Gallatin, TN 37066
Alice Archie, left, and Melissa Hughes were both recipients of the "Spirit of Service Award" from PLIGHT during the MLK Day Breakfast on Monday at the Tift County Recreation Center.
"Be a mold-breaker " the audience was urged Monday during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast in Tifton , sponsored by the PLIGHT organization – " P roud L oving I ndividuals G iving a H and to T eens."

The Rev. Daniel Simmons of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Albany was guest speaker and said Dr. King was a "mold-breaker" who "went against the customs of his day." He said the Rev. Billy Graham also was a mold-breaker who opened his sermons to all races side-by-side.

Simmons said all of us are molded by the society in which we grow up and it takes conscious thought and effort to break out of the mold to see and live a higher truth .

Paraphrasing King, Simmons also noted, " Injustice anywhere creates injustice everywhere ."

During the breakfast, PLIGHT gave its "Spirit of Service Award" to two recipients this year – Alice Archie and Tift County Commissioner Melissa Hughes.
Brian Marlowe , president of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce and the Tift County Development Authority , officially introduced Gov. Brian Kemp  at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce's Eggs & Issues breakfast last Wednesday at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta .

More than 2,000 business leaders and elected officials from across the state gathered for the event to hear Kemp's first speech after his inauguration . Marlowe was also selected as part of Kemp's transition team in November .
VIDEO: Congressman Austin Scott, R-Ga. (Tifton) speaks on the U.S. House Floor urging colleagues to support an amendment that he and Congressman Sanford Bishop, D-Ga. (Albany) co-sponsored to increase emergency assistance to agricultural producers who suffered hurricane losses.
Congressmen  Austin Scott , R-Ga. (Tifton), and Sanford Bishop , D-Ga. (Albany), have joined forces for an amendment to increase emergency assistance to agricultural producers who suffered losses from hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters in 2018 .

The amendment is to the Supplemental Appropriations Act .

Farmers and rural communities across our country have been reeling from the impacts of devastating losses from natural disasters . In my home state of Georgia alone, damages have been estimated at over $2.5 billion with many producers losing not only this year’s crop but impacting them for years to come,”  Scott said. 

“For months now, Sanford Bishop and I have worked to deliver relief to farmers and rural communities in Georgia . I thank him for his support on this amendment. ... Hurricane Michael devastated Southwest Georgia and left a path of destruction into Virginia. Across the State of Georgia , many producers suffered near 100 percent crop losses ."

In response to natural disasters in 2017 , Congress created the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The program provides disaster payments to agricultural producers to offset losses from natural disasters .

The Scott-Bishop amendment ensures $3 billion will be appropriated into WHIP to provide relief for producers impacted by Hurricane Michael and other natural disasters in 2018 .
During December , the Tift County Sheriff's Office arrested 96 people, some on multiple charges, reports Sheriff Gene Scarbrough.

He said that 39 charges of parole/probation violation were filed, 11 crimes against persons charges, six property crimes charges, nine weapons charges, three child-support cases, 11 obstruction cases and 29 non-traffic cases.

Traffic stops conducted by deputies led to 11 charges of driving under the influence, nine drug charges, 18 individuals having a suspended or revoked driver’s license as well as two weapons charges and the arrest of a wanted person .

Scarbrough said deputies served 159 warrants, 84 civil papers and 104  subpoenas. Deputies responded to 2,785 calls for service, conducted 553 business and property checks, 239 mobile home park and subdivision checks with six school checks in an 11-day period as the numbers for the complete month are unavailable because of E-911’s conversion to a new computer-aided dispatch system .

The sheriff said deputies completed 461 reports, worked 39 accidents, issued 448    traffic citations, 120 traffic warnings and patrolled 55,374 miles.
University of Georgia vegetable horticulturist Tim Coolong , formerly of Tifton , received the Donnie H. Morris Award of Excellence in Extension during the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference recently in Savannah .

The annual award is presented by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association to a UGA Cooperative Extension employee for contributions made to the state fruit and vegetable industries.

“It was a great thrill. It was a great honor not only to be nominated by them but to actually receive the award,” Coolong said, at left in photo with Dick Minor of Minor Brothers Farms.

Coolong has worked with more than 25 vegetables, ranging from popular crops like watermelons and peppers to obscure commodities such as kalettes , a cross between kale and brussels sprouts .

Before Coolong joined the UGA Tifton campus in 2013 , Georgia’s farm gate value for vegetables was $935.5 million for 2012 , according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. In 2016 , the farm gate value for vegetables was $1.1 billion.

“There were a couple of things when I came in that I wanted to focus on. We had not had a vegetable specialist in that position for about four years, so I wanted to make sure I was able to get back out there in front of the growers and provide a service for them,” Coolong said.

“The other thing that I spent a lot of time on was establishing a variety screening program. We really didn’t have many strong relationships with the vegetable seed companies and their breeders . That was my top priority when I started — to build those relationships and start a program. I think we were successful with that.”

In 2018 , Coolong moved to the UGA Athens campus , where he now focuses on organic vegetable production.

UGA Extension vegetable plant pathologist Bhabesh Dutta of Tifton and Appling County Extension Agent Shane Curry were also honored, being named to the first class of Fruit and Vegetable 40 under 40 award winners.

Since joining the vegetable pathology program at UGA Tifton in 2012 , Dutta has been part of multiple research projects that have impacted Georgia vegetable producers. He provides growers with management options for multiple fungal, bacterial and viral diseases in vegetables , as well as leading a national effort on center rot , an important bacterial disease of onions .

Dutta also led a project to improvement the management of botrytis leaf blight in onions through early- and late-season fungicide spraying .
In a fir st for the Tift County 4-H Shooting Sports Teams , Haley Brannen has been named to the All-State BB Gun Team .

Only five of more than 600 competitors were named to the team , says Coach David Haire , seen in the photo with Haley .
The Tift County High School chapter of Future Business Leaders of America recently won several awards at the Region Leadership Conference in Moultrie .

“We had an awesome day in Moultrie with our Tift County FBLA students today (Friday, Jan. 18 ). We had many, many winners as well as state qualifiers . We even received a membership award for having the second-largest local chapter in Region 1. We had 39 individual winners in 24 total events,” said lead advisor Marla Thompson

The chapter has 121 student members who attend Tift County High School and 10 professional members which include members of the community and four advisors. The chapter is under the leadership of advisors Marla Thompson, Christi Fletcher, Xavier Holmes, Luarell Mullen and Melissa Busbin
Among award winners are:
1st Place Introduction to Information Technology: Lleyton Callison , state qualifier
1st Place Spreadsheet Applications: Reed McPherson , state qualifier
1st Place Business Ethics: Lizzie Connell and Julia Ryland , state qualifiers
1st Place Client Service: Sydney Pridgon , state qualifier
1st Place Introduction to Business Presentation: Sharia Williams and Akosua Owusu  
1st Place Banking and Financial Systems: Alexandria Whitacre  
1st Place Entrepreneurship: Sharia Williams , state qualifier
1st Place Marketing: Henry Huang
1st Network Design: J ames Kemerait
1st Place Parliamentary Procedure: Liam Young, Lizzie Connell, William Goodman, Chrishawn Chappell, Aubrey Gay
2nd Place Political Science: James Applewhite , state qualifier
2nd Place Web Design: Liam Young and Aubrey Gay
2nd Place Introduction to Public Speaking: Chrishawn Chappelle , state qualifier
3rd Place Graphic Design: Yaretzi Cordova
3rd Place Banking and Financial Systems: Evalynn Rosales
4th Place Emerging Business Issues: J ulio Del Toro, Giselle Chavez and Rebecca Tello
4th Place Management Decision Making: Brianna Biggers and Rylea Madison Taylor
5th Place Accounting I: Chayla Lopez , state qualifier
5th Place Business Communications: Hayley Burns , state qualifier
5th Place Impromptu Speaking: Sergio Perez , state qualifier
5th Place Public Speaking: Chelsea Ryan
6th Place Introduction to Information Technology: Dillon Turner , state qualifier
6th Place Personal Finance: Katie Lovering , state qualifier 
8th Place Economics: Jalessa Williams , state qualifier
8th Place Introduction to Financial Math: Phillip Spader , state qualifier
9th Place Introduction to Business: Taylor Slater , state qualifier
9th Place Introduction to Information Technology: Phillip Spader , state qualifier
10th Place Economics: Pashen Barthell , state qualifier

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
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