FEB. 20, 2018
Tifton, Georgia


A temporary moratorium on new construction of single-family residential homes within the City of Tifton was lifted Monday night as City Council adopted revised standards for sizes and locations of houses in specified zoning districts.

The moratorium had been placed on Jan. 25  to "allow sufficient time to formulate proper land use planning and best use of properties, and to consider amended requirements for minimum gross floor area, building locations and lot area and width for the benefit of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Tifton."

Among the revisions: Minimum gross floor area is now 2,000 square feet in Zone R-20 (previously 1,500); 1,400 feet in R-14 (previously 1,200); and 1,200 feet in R-12 (previously 1,000). Minimum lot  width has been changed from 80 feet to 50 in Zones R-14 and R-12; and from 80 feet to 40 feet in Zones R-10 and R-8.

Minimum road frontage is now 100 feet for R-20 (increased from 30 feet); 50 feet for Zones R-14 and R-12 (previously 30); and a minimum of 40 feet for R-10 (previously 30 feet) and 40 feet for R-8, (previously 60 feet).

Mayor  Julie Smith has said that t he city's Land Development Code "has always been a living, breathing code," subject to be adjusted as times change.

The adopted changes were recommendations by a committee that included a builder, a Realtor and City Council members.


Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College celebrates its 110th birthday today, Feb. 20, and college officials say that times may change but founding principles remain the same.

"Making the lives of young people better was the mission in 1908, and we're still doing that today," says ABAC President David Bridges. "The value of the ABAC experience is absolutely priceless."

Tifton's founder Henry Harding Tift  believed in the power of education. He led a delegation of 30 Tiftonites to Albany on Nov. 23, 1906, to submit a bid in hopes that Tifton would become the site for the Second District Agricultural and Mechanical School.  

Tifton's bid included $55,000 in cash, free lights, water and telephone service for 10 years, a sewage system, 315 acres valued at $50 an acre, and the timber on the land valued at $4,500. On the eighth ballot, the Tifton bid finally surpassed the bids of Albany, Camilla, Pelham and Ashburn.

"Of all the investments I have ever made, this school has brought me the biggest dividends," Tift said of the school that opened its doors to 27 students on Feb. 20, 1908
For a total outlay of about $95,700, Tifton became the home to the Second District A&M School, which became South Georgia A&M College in 1924, the Georgia State College for Men in 1929, and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in 1933. In 2016, ABAC's economic impact on Tifton and surrounding communities skyrocketed to $369,874,664.

"Captain Tift and the residents of Tifton invested in the Second District A&M School 110 years ago, and that investment continues to pay dividends in 2018," says Bridges, now in his 12th year as president.

"Whether we like it or not, change is the way to prosper. Prosperity for ABAC is defined by producing more graduates who have experienced the life-changing potential that goes along with the ABAC experience."


A total of 51 players, representing nine countries and seven languages, participated in the Fifth Annual Rally for Reading on Sunday.

The three hours of tennis fun  with the 17-member international tennis team from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College was a fundraiser; all sponsorships go toward the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence's "Terri Nalls  Reading Angel Chair." 

In the photo above are some of the participants. From left are Coach (and foundation executive director) Mike Brumby, Julia Tozzi, Riley Griffin, Terri Nalls (retired media specialist at Charles Spencer Elementary), Reading Capital p oster boy Solomon Nixon III, Caydence Gabel and Sofia Guaglianone

Solomon III  visited with players on all 12 courts, sharing his "read aloud" skills and learning useful expressions in all seven  languages spoken by the international participants.

Chamber Business and Workforce Chair Kelly Daniell, from left, First Community Bank's Patricia Brooks, Guna Chee, TCHS STAR Student Calvin Chee, Peng Chee, STAR Teacher Gloria Beard, TCHS Principal Kim Seigler and Tift Regional Health System's Gabe Reese.

The Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce recognized Tift County's STAR students and STAR teachers at its February membership meeting last Thursday.

Calvin Chee, son of Peng and Guna Chee, is the Tift County School System winner, and he selected Gloria Beard as his STAR teacher

Two students tied for the honor at Tiftarea Academy: Kendall Rowe, daughter of Tim and Melissa Rowe, selected Jon Koran as her STAR teacher, and Natalie Yaeger, daughter of Corey and Angela Yaeger, selected Natalie Rippy as her STAR t eacher

The students and teachers received plaques sponsored by Tift Regional Health System, and the students also received $50 checks from First Community Bank of Tifton

All of the selected students and teachers will be honored at the Region 10 Professional Association of Georgia Educators' (PAGE) STAR banquet March 8 in Valdosta, where the regional winners will be announced.
Chamber Business and Workforce Chair Kelly Daniell, from left,  Tiftarea Academy Upper School Principal Michael Heitzman, First Community Bank's Patricia Brooks, Angela Yaegar, Tiftarea Academy STAR Student Natalie Yaeger, Corey Yeager, STAR Teacher Natalie Rippy, Dr. Larry Creamer, Tiftarea Headmaster Stacy Bell and Tift Regional Health System's Gabe Reese.
Chamber Business and Workforce Chair Kelly Daniell, First Community Bank's Patricia Brooks, STAR Teacher Jon Koran, Tiftarea Academy STAR Student Kendall Rowe, Melissa Rowe, Dr. Larry Creamer, Tiftarea Headmaster Stacy Bell, Tiftarea Upper School Principal Michael Heitzman and Tift Regional Health System's Gabe Reese.
Tifton First United 
Methodist Church

107 W 12th St., Tifton, Ga.

Tifton First United Methodist Church has an opening for a church pianist.
This is a part-time position.

The pianist is responsible for preparing for and practicing with
 the chancel choir, orchestra and ensemble on Wednesday evenings
for about two hours and for playing at Sunday traditional services
 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., as well as at special services.  

Interested persons should contact Angie Carr at or call


Milton Thompson, left, with Gov. Nathan Deal.

Milton Thompson of Tifton has been reappointed to the State Well Water Standards Advisory Council by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Thompson is vice president of Bishop Well and Pump Service. He is licensed as a well driller, a master electrician and a public water system operator. Thompson is active with the Exchange Club of Tifton and attends First United Methodist Church in Tifton. 

He earned an associate degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and a bachelor's degree in management from Valdosta State University. He and his wife Susan have two sons and reside in Tifton.


Forestry students at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College planted a cherrybark oak sapling in observance of Georgia Arbor Day on Friday

Kip Hall, assistant professor of forestry, is pictured with the sapling, along with representatives from the Georgia Forestry Commission and ABAC faculty, staff and students. 

ABAC is a Tree Campus USA -- a national program created by the Arbor Day Foundation and sponsored by Toyota to honor colleges and universities  for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.


For its residential award, Keep Tift Beautiful  is recognizing Leon and Carolyn Sutton 's home  as the  "Beauty Spot of the Month"  for  February .


A local Georgia cotton industry member has been re-elected to a leadership position in the
National Cotton Council (NCC) for 2018 .

Re-elected a a NCC director is Andy Borem of Tifton. Borem is president  of  Chickasha , a cottonseed cooperative owned by several Southeastern cotton gins.

The board elections were  announced at the National Cotton Council's annual meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, earlier this month.


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