Friday, Sept. 17, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
OPINION
FORT BENNING SHOULD BE RENAMED FOR TIFTON'S
RALPH PUCKETT
TIFTON GRAPEVINE URGES PUBLIC'S SUPPORT
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
A federal commission is seeking the public's suggestions for renaming military bases that currently honor Confederate generals; retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Puckett, a Tifton native, is a fitting choice for the renaming of Fort Benning in Columbus.

The Tifton Grapevine urges readers to cast a vote for changing Fort Benning to "Fort Puckett."

Puckett, 94, received the Medal of Honor in May for his heroism during the Korean War. The medal's citation recognized Puckett for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty" while leading his severely outnumbered men in battle during November 1950.

During the Medal of Honor ceremony, President Joe Biden called Puckett, who resides in Columbus, "a true American hero" whose recognition is "long overdue."

Puckett grew up in Tifton. He is a 1949 West Point graduate who joined the newly established U.S. Army Ranger Department, serving as an instructor and tactical officer, and commanding companies at Fort Benning and in the Ranger Mountain Camp. He went on to lead companies in Vietnam, train cadets at West Point and organize military leadership courses in Colombia.
The Col. Ralph Puckett Leadership Award series was named for him, honoring top officers in the U.S. Army Rangers, which is the most elite and highly trained of the Army's combat forces. Puckett is considered a Rangers legend. The Army's Ranger School is based at Fort Benning, which makes it appropriate to be renamed for Puckett.

The federal Naming Commission says that “the names of our military installations should appropriately reflect the courage, values, sacrifices, and diversity of our military men and women, with consideration given to the local or regional significance of names and their potential to inspire and motivate our service members.”

The Naming Commission, which will make its recommendations to Congress, is seeking submissions online HERE. The changes were authorized in the most recent Department of Defense authorization bill.

A dozen military institutions are to be renamed, including Fort Benning and Fort Gordon in Georgia. U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, is the only member of Congress on the Naming Commission.

We urge support for recognizing Col. Ralph Puckett, a solder's soldier, by renaming Fort Benning in his honor.
Sponsorships and Dinner Tickets Still Available by Clicking Here!
TIFT COVID CASES DECLINE AS VACCINATION RATE SLOWLY RISES
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
As of Thursday, 36% of eligible Tift countians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a 1% increase in the past week and a 2% rise within two weeks, according to the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH) .

Statewide, 46% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated, the DPH said.

As the vaccination rate slowly increases, the number of new cases of the coronavirus in Tift County is declining. During the past two weeks, Tift reported 141 confirmed cases and 360 total cases, when rapid Antigen positive cases are added, the DPH reported. In the prior two-week period, the county had 232 confirmed cases and 538 total cases.

Tift County’s confirmed cases in the past two weeks represent 345 cases per 100,000 population, and 882 cases when the Antigen cases are added. Tift's testing positivity rate for the virus was 14.4% during the two-week period, the DPH said.

Just in the past seven days, Tift County recorded 4 additional deaths related to COVID-19 along with 69 confirmed new cases.

On Thursday, the DPH reported 4,103 new confirmed cases within 24 hours in Georgia, along with 1,954 new Antigen cases, 174 additional related deaths, and 249 new hospitalizations. The state has recorded a total of 1,177,656 cases with 21,143 deaths, the DPH reported.
"Mamma Mia!" at Theatre Albany
Sept. 17-26
514 Pine Ave., Albany, GA
Nightly Performances at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday performances at 2 p.m. on Sept. 19 & 26

Told through the legendary music of ABBA, 
"Mamma Mia!" has become a worldwide sensation
that has audiences everywhere dancing.

For Tickets, Click Here!

Visit Our Website: www.theatrealbany.com
IT'S U.S. CONSTITUTION DAY
Constitution Week was kicked off Thursday morning at Tift County High School with a program presented by members of the TCHS Student Council and Junior ROTC, along with members of the Tallassee Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Today, Sept. 17, is "Constitution Day." The U.S. Constitution was signed at 4 p.m. Sept. 17, 1787, and local DAR members will ring the bell at 4 p.m. today at St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Tifton to celebrate the signing and the Constitution's 234th birthday.
Free Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccinations
(First Dose and Second Dose Shots Available)

MONDAY, SEPT. 20 and TUESDAY, SEPT. 21
41 South Farmers Market
Located in Tifton at 2502 Hwy 41 South
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
(Closed for lunch 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm)
No appointment necessary

Southwell urges you to get your shots!
COVID-19 vaccination has proven to be the best defense against the pandemic. Vaccination prevents severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
EXCHANGE CLUB NAMES FIREFIGHTER OF YEAR
The Exchange Club of Tifton has presented the Firefighter of the Year Award to firefighter William Sumner with Tift County Fire and Rescue.

Sumner has been with the department as a career firefighter since 2019 and was a volunteer for several previous years.
 
Training Chief Jason Walker said that from the start, Sumner has been prepared, even working more than necessary on many occasions.

“He has always stepped up to the plate when we needed someone. He has always shown up when we asked and often done a lot that he didn’t have to do,” Walker said.

Pictured presenting Walker with the award is Tifton Exchange Club Public Safety Chair Angie Saturday.
TCHS HOLDS SUMMER GRADUATION
Tift County High School held its Summer graduation ceremony this week at the school. These Class of 2021 students were praised for their hard work and persistence in completing their graduation requirements.
A player decodes clues at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture's "Unleashed Escape Room."
AG MUSEUM CREATES 'ESCAPE ROOM' EXPERIENCE THIS FALL
Visitors may experience a new Halloween thrill at the "Unleashed Escape Room" at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College's Georgia Museum of Agriculture this fall. 

The Unleashed Escape Room will be open on Friday nights in October beginning 5-9:30 p.m. Oct. 1 with four sessions available each of the five Friday nights. 
A minimum of four tickets must be purchased to reserve an escape room session. Groups are limited to seven participants per session, which are private experiences with only one group present in the room.

Players begin their experience being “locked” as a group safely in the Clyatt Cabin to be protected from "frightening creatures" that have overrun the Historic Village. Safety is only fleeting, though, and groups must work together to decode clues, solve puzzles, and open locks to solve the mystery before it’s too late. 

Groups have 60 minutes to successfully escape before time runs out.
The event is recommended for ages 13 and over. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. 

The event is part of the “History After Dark” series providing guests the chance to experience the museum after hours. The series features evening programs throughout the year on a variety of topics and immersive activities.

For information, contact Chloe Holbrook at cholbrook@abac.edu, 229-391-5213
TIFTON
2012 Pineview Ave., Tifton, Ga 31793
BLUE DEVIL BASS TEAM PLACE
IN FLORIDA TOURNAMENT
Members of the Tift County Blue Devil Bass Team placed in the Florida Bass Nation tournament held recently in the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fla.

The two-day tournament hosted 161 boats from Florida and Georgia, including the boat of legendary Bass Pro Scott Martin and his daughter Hillary. There were six Blue Devil boats competing, consisting of three high school teams and three junior teams.

Tift's top finishes for the first day were Logan Cargle and Gavin McDuffie in 20th place for the high school division, and Emma Thompson and Canton Moore in 19th place for the junior division.

The top finishes on the second day were Emma Thompson and Canton Moore at 13th place, and Walton Slaven and Sophie Guess at 16th place in the junior division.

Also competing on the high school side were Conner Jackson, Carter Jackson, Cole McDaniel, and Mason Grist. In addition, on the junior side, the Blue Devils had Mason Lundy and Zach Ring.

Logan Cargle attained Angler of Year points with a 7-pound bass on the first day, followed by a 6-pound bass the final day of the tournament. The next Blue Devil bass tournament will be held at Lake Seminole in November.
COUNTY SETS SCRAP TIRE AMNESTY FOR TIFT COUNTIANS OCT. 8-9
The Tift County Board of Commissioners and the Tift County Public Works Department are holding a scrap tire amnesty event Oct. 8-9.

Tift countians may bring scrap tires to the Tift County Public Works Department at 2011 Whiddon Mill Road from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, and 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Oct. 9.

Scrap tires can only be passenger, tractor trailer, or front and rear farm tractor tires. No heavy equipment tires, especially skidder tires, nor tires with rims will be accepted. No scrap tires be accepted from retail tire dealers, or commercial scrap tire generators. 

Participants must bring proof of Tift County residency. For information, call 229-386-7856. 
WALB-TV photo
Part of the expansion underway at Southwell Medical in Adel.
INCREASE IN PATIENTS, SERVICES PROMPT EXPANSION AT SOUTHWELL IN ADEL
Source: WALB-TV
Construction has been underway recently at Southwell Medical in Adel. The hospital opened in 2019 and as since outgrown its space.

Because of an increase in patients and surgeries, Chief Operating Officer Jay Carmicheal said it was time to expand and accommodate the demand for additional services.

“In doing so, what that allows us to do is be able to keep more patients right here in Adel so they don’t have to travel quite as far to receive some of those procedures,” said Carmichael.

There will be 10 new rooms, bringing the total to 17, and a fourth procedure room will also be added.

“Sometimes healing happens a little better when you’re at home and close to home. So, this expansion to services not only allows us to offer some additional services, but it also allows us to recruit new physicians to the area and offer more services,” Carmichael said.

This article is published through the Tifton Grapevine's partnership with WALB.
Relief supplies leave Tifton this week for Houma, La., an area still recovering from Hurricane Ida.
TIFT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SENDS EMERGENCY SUPPLIES TO LOUISIANA
Emergency response supplies from the Tift County Sheriff’s Office were unloaded Thursday in Houma, La., as that area strives to recover from the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Ida.

The Tift County Sheriff's Office adopted the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office in Houma to provide emergency supplies to all the first responders in Terrebonne Parrish.

Tiftarea first responders, businesses, churches, and individuals donated supplies, such as non-perishable food, hygiene items, outdoor cookware, flashlights, gloves, masks, and many other items that were trucked to Houma this week.

Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough said that Sheriff Tim Soignet of Terrebonne Parrish and his team are grateful for those who made "this initiative a very blessed success. May God bless each of you who have made a contribution."
ALZHEIMER'S WALK IN PERSON
THIS YEAR, DIRECTOR SAYS
By BONNIE SAYLES
Tifton Grapevine
The Alzheimer’s Association is walking again this year in person, across the nation, says Buffy Hankinson, program director for Southwest Georgia.

The Tifton Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be Oct. 16 at ABAC.

The event was canceled last year because of the pandemic, so safety measures will be in place this year, Hankinson said. Registration is mobile, and starts at 9 a.m. Participants and donors may sign up now by visiting the walk page at www.alz.org
 
“We will be out in plenty of time for football Saturday,” she told the Tifton Rotary Club on Wednesday. “It’s one of my favorite times of the year.”

Rotary President Chris Beckham, administrator at Legacy Village, and Joey Marta, administrator at Cypress Pond and Magnolia Manor, are co-chairs of the Tifton walk.
 
“This is time to honor our loved ones,” Hankinson said. Caregiving for someone with dementia is different from caregiving for a loved one with heart disease, stroke, or diabetes, she said. “It’s a 24-7 job. It’s emotionally and physically demanding.”

Funds raised locally will stay in Georgia, she said. “Just show up and walk, or support a team. You’d be surprised how much is raised and what we can do with it.” 

More than 6.2 million people in America are living with dementia, a general term that describes cognitive memory impairment. Alzheimer’s is the most common type; 60-80% of dementia is Alzheimer’s.
GA SETS FREE FISHING DAY SEPT. 25
The Ga. Department of Natural Resources is hosting free events across the state to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 25.

In addition to the events, a free fishing day is offered to all Georgia residents. On Sept. 25, residents will not need a fishing license or a trout license to fish on any public waters in the state including lakes, streams, ponds, and public fishing areas. 

At Paradise Public Fishing Area (PFA) in Enigma, not only will there be free fishing on Sept. 25, but Outdoor Adventure Day and J.A.K.E.S. Day will be observed.

From 7:30 a.m.-noon that day, a Kids Fishing Event will be held at Paradise PFA's Lakes Cup and Saucer, and bass fishing for kids under the age of 16 at Lake Bowl. Fishermen will provide their own bait.

At 9:30 a.m., a casting contest is scheduled, sponsored by Tifton BassBusters. At 10 a.m., the Department of Natural Resources K-9 unit will give a demonstration.

Registration opens at 9 a.m. for J.A.K.E.S. (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) Day events, a program sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation. Hunter education will be offered to youths, the archery range will be open, and Tift County 4-H will have a skeet range.

Both ABAC Forestry and the Georgia Forestry Commission will have displays available. The Mell Baptist Association is providing free bottled water and snacks.

The National Wild Turkey Federation is providing a free lunch at noon in the picnic area; prize drawings are scheduled after lunch.

To get to Paradise PFA from Tifton, head east on U.S. Highway 82 for eight miles to Brookfield. Turn right onto Whitley Road, and travel approximately 100 yards; take the first left onto Brookfield-Nashville Road and travel 1.5 miles. Entrance to the area is on the left.

For information, contact the PFA office at 229-533-4792, Danny Sparks at 229-455-3735, or the Waycross Fisheries Office, 912-285-6094.
HOPE SCHOLARSHIP AIDS STUDENTS AND STATE'S ECONOMY, GOVERNOR SAYS
Georgia's HOPE Scholarship program not only has helped more than 2 million students go to college but is contributing to the state's economic well-being, Gov. Brian P. Kemp said this week.

“The HOPE Scholarship program has been a game-changer for our state and helped over 2 million Georgia students achieve greater opportunity,” Kemp said.

“With more than $12.6 billion awarded, HOPE has allowed Georgia students to pursue education beyond high school and laid the foundation for Georgia’s recognition as the No. 1 state for business for eight years in a row."

Funded by the Georgia Lottery Corp., the HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) Scholarship program was created in 1993 by Gov. Zell Miller. HOPE has served as a model for state financial aid programs around the country.
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YOUR GUIDE TO ACTIVITIES THIS WEEKEND IN THE TIFTAREA

This Sunday, Sept. 19, is "International Talk Like a Pirate Day," when folks can channel their inner Jack Sparrow or Long John Silver. Created by two friends in 1995, the observance took off when former newspaper columnist Dave Barry popularized the event. It has since spread to other shores around the globe, and is a day when you can greet folks with "Ahoy maties," along with a few well-placed "Arrghs!"
FRIDAY, SEPT. 17
  • Tift County High Blue Devils football vs. Irwin County High Indians, 7:30 p.m., Brodie Field, Tifton
  • Tiftarea Academy Panthers @ Charlton County High Indians, 7:30 p.m., Folkston
  • "Mama Mia" performance, 7:30 p.m., Theatre Albany, 514 Pine Ave., Albany

SATURDAY, SEPT. 18
  • "Mama Mia" performance, 7:30 p.m., Theatre Albany, 514 Pine Ave., Albany

SUNDAY, SEPT. 19
  • "Mama Mia" performance, 2 p.m., Theatre Albany, 514 Pine Ave., Albany
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S DOG OF THE WEEK
“Barkley" is available for adoption at the Tift County Animal Shelter on Highway 125 South. To see all pets available, visit the shelter between 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch’s Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055  
candle-flames-banner.jpg

SEPTEMBER 9
Debra Charlene Hickman Treadwell, 57, Ocilla
Connie Herndon, 70, Nashville
Earnest Roberts, 82, Tifton
Frederick Leroy Webb, 72, Poulan, formerly of Tift County
 
SEPTEMBER 10
Rosalia Aguilar Lopez, 35, Tifton, formerly of Mexico
Marjie Lindsey, 91, Adel
Tony Royce Smith Sr., 56, Brookfield
Michael Raymond “Ricky” Peters, 62, Brunswick, formerly of Tifton
Hazel Anita Ward Law, 95, Chula
Linda Wheeler Peacock, 73, Ashburn
 
SEPTEMBER 11
Jose Luis Perales, 53, Tifton
Annette Dixon, 77, Worth County
Eric Andrew Nichols, 47, Tifton
Daphene Harper Lewis, 88, Tifton
James D. Collins Jr., 79, Tifton
James Franklin Griffin, 69, Fitzgerald
Sylvia P. Camp, 67, Ocilla
Daphne Ann Veal Coley, 84, Fayetteville, formerly of Ocilla
 
SEPTEMBER 12
Charles “Charlie” Lindsey Giddens, 94, Tifton
Linda Lois Justice, 77, Fitzgerald
Tracy Buchanan White, 50, Ocilla
Willis Russell Collins, 76, Rebecca
 
SEPTEMBER 13
Ronald Hugh Sturdivant, 87, Tifton
Dennis Champion, 65, Worth County
Tonnie Ruth Denby Carter, 86, Tallahassee, Fla., formerly of Tifton
W.E. Hughes, 87, Nashville
Chesley Craig Barber, 69, Tifton
Lavada Mathis Hogan, 86, Fitzgerald
Michael Glenn Taft Sr., 59, Ashburn
Tanya Taylor, 69, Tifton
SEPTEMBER 14
JoAnne Pearce Pippin, 71, Chula
Charley Fred McKinney Jr., 76, Sylvester
Edna Gibbs, 79, Sparks
Repsie Rose Godwin James, 93, Lenox
Ronald Dale “Ronnie” Sumner, 74, Irwin County
Jody Pafford, 86 of Nashville
Vence Michael "Mike" Scarborough, 64, Warwick
 
SEPTEMBER 15
Nina Storey Shaw, 67, Tifton
Gail Rogers, 67, of Albany, formerly of Worth County
Deborah Lynn Leach, 68, Nashville

Tifton Grapevine
e-published every Tuesday and Friday

Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
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