Friday, June 19, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
Tifton Grapevine
Some observances are planned today in Tifton on "Juneteenth," long celebrated in the black community commemorating June 19,1865 , when slaves were freed in Texas , the last Southern state to do so after the Civil War .

Southwell health system is holding a "moment of solidarity" at 10 a.m. today in the Tift Regional Medical Center's emergency room parking lot.

Several other local residents are also planning a "Black Lives Matter Peaceful Protest Rally" for 3:30 p.m. outside the Tift County Courthouse.

In a letter to the community, Christopher K. Dorman , Southwell president/CEO, said, "We have the opportunity to bring our colleagues to stand together and observe a moment of solidarity in support of our black community and other minorities to reflect on the change we want to help bring about during these difficult times. 

"We hope you’ll join with us Friday, June 19, at 10 a.m. at the emergency department parking lot, or wherever you are at that time, for a moment of solidarity. For your safety, and the safety of others, we ask that all who join us wear a mask and practice social distancing," Dorman said.

The separate Black Lives Matter rally at 3:30 p.m. has a stated goal of promoting " unity and demanding justice for people of color everywhere through nonviolent means."

Nyshanti Ross , o ne of the organizers, said "t he purpose of this rally is to give a voice to those who fee l unheard and to shed light on the injustices that are so prevalent in our world and our community today. We hope to be an echo chamber for people who have been a victim of racism and injustice, and to give them a platform to share their story."

Juneteenth has long been observed in the black community as the end of slavery in the United States, but it was only the end of slavery in the states that had seceded during the Civil War .

On June 19, 1865 , Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger informed Galveston, Texas , that the war had ended the month before and that President Abraham Lincoln had actually freed enslaved people in rebel states in 1863 .

Texas at the time was the most remote of the Southern states, and it was the last of them to get the news that the war was over and that slaves were now free.

However, since Lincoln's proclamation only freed slaves in the states that had seceded from the union, there were still slaves in some border states. Slavery wouldn’t legally end in all states until the ratification of the 13th Amendment  in December 1865 .

But June 19 became a day of freedom celebration in Texas and eventually spread among black communities throughout the South during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Former  Tift County High Blue Devil standout  Rashod Bateman, University of Minnesota  receiver, has been named a Preseason All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

Bateman has caught at least one pass in all 26 games (tied for seventh in school history) in which he has played at the University of Minnesota. He also has made 111 receptions (tied for 12th in school history) for 1,923 yards (seventh in school history) and 17 touchdowns (tied for fifth in school history).

Bateman has seven 100-yard receiving games. He set school sophomore records in 2019 with 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 51 receptions and 704 yards in 2018 set Minnesota Gopher freshman records.

Bateman was named the Big Ten's Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year in 2019 and was also named All-Big Ten First Team. He was a Biletnikoff Award Finalist last season and was named AP Third-Team All-America.

Bateman was part of the  Class of 2018  at Tift County High, where, as a senior Blue Devil, he broke single-season school receiving records with  83  catches for  1,539 yards and  21  touchdowns. He was named  First Team All-State  and finished his high school career with  139  catches for  2,364  receiving yards and  26  touchdowns.

He is the son of  LaShonda Cromer  and stepson of  Roderick Cromer  of  Tifton .
Second Harvest of South Georgia and AgGeorgia Farm Credit on Wednesday announced a joint initiative to help combat some of the effects of COVID-19; " Homegrown Help" will benefit not just families needing food but also area farmers.

A fundraising campaign has been created to purchase "Georgia Grown" produce; in turn, the food bank will provide these fruits and vegetables to families in need.

AgGeorgia Farm Credit, as co-founder of the campaign, has committed $25,000 to this initiative as part of a larger $50,000 total donation to regional food banks in their service area.   

Second Harvest, Georgia's largest food bank, anticipates many individuals and businesses will want to contribute to this campaign.  Individuals can donate by texting “ HOMEGROWN ” to 619-870-1680 , or by going to

In a press release. both Second Harvest and AgGeorgia said that d isasters and emergency situations, such as the COVID-19 outbreak, compound the existing food-insecurity crisis. The pandemic and related closures have drastically increased the need for food assistance in South Georgia.  

Since March, Second Harvest has distributed double the amount of food it had in 2019 – an additional 2 million meals. The need is only anticipated to grow as unemployment benefits run out later this summer.  

South Georgia’s agriculture community has likewise been hit hard. With schools and restaurants closed this spring, area growers had fewer market outlets.

“We are thrilled to partner with Second Harvest on this campaign, and we invite other organizations and individuals to support this effort,” said AgGeorgia Farm Credit Board Chairman Dave Neff . “It is wonderful to be able to get local produce to families in need while simultaneously supporting Georgia farmers.”

For information, visit  or call 888-455-4143 .
Lowe’s of Tifton recently donated 2,000 KN-95 personal protective masks to Southwell for use at its hospitals, clinics, and outpatient centers.

"We are so grateful to Lowe's for this generous donation. We really appreciate their partnership and sharing of resources during this pandemic," Southwell said on social media. 

Pictured from left are Lowe’s Store Manager Corbin Neeley , Southwell Vice President of Outreach & Development Chris Efaw , Lowe’s Assistant Store Manager Phil Shiflet , and Lowe’s District Asset Protection Manager Robert Williamson .
It is time to apply for the  Rotary Club of Tifton's  Past District Governor Scholarships for freshmen   at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. 

The  Rotary Club  plans to award  $1,000 scholarships  to ABAC students   in honor of the club's past Rotary District governors –  Leon Benefield, David Bedell, Pete Donaldson and Lamar Branc h.

Criteria  for the awards include   past community service, economic need and academic scholarship. Applicants must submit   an essay   detailing how their educational goals match Rotary's commitment to  "Service Above Self."

The application  deadline  is  July 15 ; applications   may be obtained by  contacting  Scholarship Chairman  Jeff Gibbs  at
Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County is partnering with Hog-N-Bones to sell Boston Butts for the "Fourth of July and Beyond."

Tickets are $25 and may be redeemed at the Tifton restaurant location any day after 10:30 a.m ., beginning at the time of purchase. Tickets will be sold through July.
Pictured above, Bonnie Sayles , left, executive director of LVTTC; and Taylor Horton , ABAC intern, will take orders and deliver tickets to you. Email  or call 229-391-2527 . Proceeds benefit local literacy programs and GED test fees. 
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Frank Sayles Jr. & Bonnie Sayles
Sayles Unlimited Marketing
Tifton, Ga.
It's kitten season at the Tift County Animal Shelter . There are many cats and kittens available for adoption now . Please consider giving one a home. The shelter, located at 278 Georgia Highway 125 S., in Tifton, is open to the public for adoptions  1-6 p.m. Mondays  through  Fridays .

For information , call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch’s Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055   
As of Thursday, June 18, according to the Ga. Department of Public Health:

  • Tift County had 462 positive cases of COVID-19, representing 1,131.52 cases per 100,000 population; had 23 deaths and a total of 83 hospitalizations.

  • The state of Georgia had 60,912 confirmed cases; 2,605 deaths; and 9,663 hospitalizations.
Important Phone Numbers & Web Sites
Virginia “Annette” Browning Nichols, 85, Enigma
Twila Chambers Davis, 96, Adel
Janice Mortensen Sutton, 85, Nashville

Ronnie David Driver, 60, Waycross
Nancy Christine Neal, 82, Fitzgerald
Glenda Maria Wilson McCann-McNair, 72, Ashburn
Maurice Kyle Elston, 71, Adel

Mary Ann Wood Goff, 70, West Berrien
Billy Lee Smith, 77, Buford
Beau Grayson Hill, infant, Tifton
Bernice Rogers, 101, Nashville
Rhett “David” Gray, 53,
Irwin County

Mattie Bell “Pat” Brady Pogue, 93, Tifton
Ernest "Butch" Jobe Jr., 74, Adel
Rose Sykes Nether, 86, Sylvester

Johnnie Woodall Kinchen, 87, Tifton
Douglas 'Doug" Charles Spence 47, Quitman

Marie Grace Gibson, 96, Tifton
Kenneth Ashley, 85, Adel
Myrtice Kathryn "Dixie" Bryan Brooks, 73, Perry

Bonnie Mae Harper Watson, 75, Omega
Carolyn Patterson Pate, 81, Sylvester
Kenneth Lambert, 72, Adel

Barbara Bennett, Sylvester

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Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
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