Friday, July 2, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
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GrapeNew
HOLIDAY FIREWORKS TO LIGHT SKIES THROUGHOUT AREA
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
Happy Independence Day weekend!

With the Fourth of July falling on Sunday, folks are celebrating all weekend this year. While there are no “official," publicly sponsored fireworks in Tifton again this year, fireworks can still be found throughout the area on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, weather permitting.

Here is Tifton Grapevine's rundown of holiday celebrations and where several fireworks displays can be found in our area:

Friday, July 2

Sylvester's "Fireworks & Fun" event gets underway at 6 p.m., with fireworks scheduled at 9:45 p.m., according to the Sylvester Main Street office. The setting is the Woolard Center at 709 W. Wallace St. in Sylvester. Live music begins at 6 p.m. with Charles McDonald "Fields Ensemble." At 7 p.m., the Voltage Brothers take the stage. Food trucks and other vendors will be available.

Saturday, July 3

The Enigma Volunteer Fire Department is hosting Enigma's all-day celebration at Enigma Park. Gates open at 11 a.m., and music and events are planned throughout the day with fireworks beginning at dusk. A Glow Party for kids is scheduled after the fireworks. There is a $3 admittance fee to the park (kids 10 and under are free), and $1 all-day waterslide passes will be available.

Fireworks will light the skies Tifton on Saturday night at Salem Baptist Church, 1142 Salem Church Road. The church is sponsoring "Freedom Fest" from 6-9 p.m. Live bluegrass music begins at 6 p.m., and special guest Adam Crabb is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Homemade ice cream and watermelon will be available. The grand finale will be a fireworks display. Folks are urged to bring their lawn chairs.

Sunday, July 4

The City of Fitzgerald will have its annual Independence Day Celebration downtown on the Fourth beginning at 5 p.m. There will be live music from Southern Confessional, hot dogs, drinks and chips available, a parade of bikes, golf carts and motorcycles through downtown. Everyone later heads to Paulk Park for the fireworks finale.

Downtown Albany also has its Independence Day celebration beginning at 5 p.m. at the Veterans Park Amphitheatre. There will be food, music and fireworks.

The annual fireworks display is scheduled outside Valdosta Mall in Valdosta beginning at 9:15 p.m.

And the popular, annual "Fireworks on the Flint" begins at 9:30 p.m. Sunday at Georgia Veterans State Park in Cordele.
ATTEMPTED TRAFFIC STOP RESULTS IN SHOOTING
IN WORTH COUNTY
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
A man is in serious condition after evading a traffic stop Thursday and being shot by a Worth County deputy.

The man was shot when he drove toward the deputy, who was on foot, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The GBI said that preliminary information indicates that at approximately 8:28 a.m. Thursday, a Worth County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a 2010 Mercury Milan on U.S. Highway 82 in Sylvester.

The vehicle, driven by Antwain Wade, 28, of Albany, did not stop, and a chase ensued, which ended on Highway 82 West near County Line Road, the GBI said. The deputy exited his car and told Wade to get out of his vehicle.

"Wade did not comply and, at some point, drove into the direction of the deputy," the GBI said. The deputy fired his weapon, striking Wade, who was transported to a local hospital and was in serious condition Thursday night.

The deputy wasn't injured.
  
The GBI is conducting an independent investigation that, once completed, will be turned over to the Tifton Judicial Circuit district attorney for review.

This is the 51st officer-involved shooting that the GBI has been requested to investigate this year.
DOT LIMITS LANE CLOSURES DURING HOLIDAY WEEKEND
To ease potential Independence Day holiday weekend traffic congestion, the Ga. Department of Transportation (DOT) is limiting construction-related lane closures.

The DOT said that from noon today, July 2, through 10 p.m. Tuesday, July 6, lane closures will be suspended on Interstate highways and closures will be limited on state routes that directly serve major tourist and recreation centers.

“This particular holiday weekend is considered to be one of Georgia’s heaviest travel times,” said DOT State Construction Engineer John D. Hancock. “By restricting lane closures, we hope drivers heading to holiday festivities or vacation destinations will encounter fewer delays and less stress.

The DOT reminds motorists that Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information, and allows motorists to request assistance 24 hours a day. Georgia 511 can be accessed from anywhere in the state by simply dialing 5-1-1.
OCILLA'S SEN. HARPER ANNOUNCES FOR GEORGIA AG COMMISSIONER
State Sen. Tyler Harper, R-Ocilla, announced his candidacy this week for Georgia agriculture commissioner.

Harper, a seventh-generation farmer and Irwin County native, has served in the state Senate since 2013. He seeks to succeed current Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

“For me, being a farmer is more than just a job: It’s a way of life. As agriculture commissioner, I will use my background, experience, and record of results to fight for our farmers, the consumer, our conservative values, and our way of life here in Georgia," Harper said.

He said he supports former President Trump’s "America First" policies and has worked closely with former U.S. Agriculture Secretary (and former governor) Sonny Perdue to deliver results for Georgia. 

Harper graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering and has an associate degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

He serves as vice chair of the Southern Legislative Conference Agriculture & Rural Development Committee.
TIFT COUNTY REPORTS 5 NEW
COVID-19 CASES IN PAST WEEK
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
Tift County has recorded 5 additional confirmed coronavirus cases in the past week, according to data from the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH).

As of Thursday, the DPH said Tift has had 101 deaths and 3,485 total confirmed cases of COVID-19. There were 7 new confirmed cases in the past two weeks, the DPH reported.

Tift County's positive testing rate during the two-week period is 1.9%.

On Thursday, Georgia reported 361 new cases with 10 additional deaths and 38 new hospitalizations. The state has had a total of 903,732 confirmed cases and 18,503 related deaths, the DPH said.
'ROSIE THE RIVETER' IN SPOTLIGHT AT GA MUSEUM OF AGRICULTURE EXHIBIT
A colorful new exhibit featuring one of the iconic symbols of World War II begins a short stay July 6 at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College's Georgia Museum of Agriculture in Tifton.

Museum Curator Polly Huff said "Rosie the Riveter" will be in the spotlight at the “Beyond Rosie: Women in World War II” exhibit in the Museum Gallery from July 6-31.

“The exhibit will explore the lives of real women in World War II,” Huff said. “I decided to display this exhibit as a thematic lead-in for our upcoming large fall gallery exhibition, which will feature preserved relief posters from the war.

“Rosie the Riveter is the iconic symbol of women's involvement in World War II. She is one part of a larger story about the many ways women contributed to and were affected by war. World War II changed the everyday social, cultural, and economic realities of life in the United States, especially for women,” Huff said.

The exhibit touches on Rosie, a fictional character created by J. Howard Miller to encourage women to join the workforce, which became the most enduring image of their involvement in WWII. The exhibit shows the many ways in which women were motivated by patriotism to serve and participate in the global conflict.

Exhibit hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.
ROTARY INSTALLS NEW PRESIDENT
The Rotary Club of Tifton on Tuesday installed its new president for the upcoming year. Outgoing President Rick Register, left, of Turner Furniture passed the gavel to incoming Club President Chris Beckham, right, of Legacy Village of Tifton.
Monica Springer, left, an instructor in ABAC’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences, congratulates Amy Miller of Ty Ty on receiving the college's Spirit of Nursing Award.
ABAC HONORS TOP NURSING GRADS
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College's nursing program recently honored its top graduates at a pinning ceremony.

Jason Boyette from Hahira received the South Georgia Medical Center Dedication to Nursing Award, and Sara Faulk from Cochran received the Clinical Excellence Award presented by Tift Regional Medical Center

Jeremy Spencer from Alapaha received the Academic Excellence Award, presented by Colquitt Regional Medical Center.

Maria Smith from Douglas, and Amy Miller from Ty Ty received the Lisa Purvis Allison Spirit of Nursing Award – Smith for the bridge track, and Miller for the traditional track.

A total of 80 students received associate degree pins, and 15 students received bachelor’s degree pins at the ceremony. ABAC's fall semester begins Aug. 10.  
GOV ANNOUNCES HIGH-SPEED INTERNET EXPANSION IN S.GA.
Gov. Brian P. Kemp announced this week that Irwin EMC plans to provide access to high-speed fiber broadband service for its 8,400 members in Ben Hill, Berrien, Coffee, Irwin, Tift, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth counties.

The Irwin cooperative has selected Conexon Connect, the Internet service provider subsidiary of Conexon, to lead the project.

Together, Irwin EMC and Connect will deploy a 1,900-mile fiber-to-the-home network in South Central Georgia, providing high-speed Internet access to all of its members.
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The "broadband project between Irwin EMC and Conexon Connect will have a significant impact on hardworking Georgians by providing new job opportunities, improved education tools, access to telemedicine, and more," Kemp said. "I know this project will have a direct impact on the lives of South Georgians by ensuring they have access to reliable, high-speed internet."

"The state Senate has made rural broadband access a top priority, and the announcement of this project continues to work toward our goal of closing the digital divide in our state," said state Sen. Tyler Harper, R-Ocilla.

"Our community deserves access to the tools that help our residents and businesses successfully participate in today’s economy," said state Rep. Clay Pirkle, R-Ashburn. "Thanks to Irwin EMC and Conexon Connect for making broadband a reality in this region.
GEORGIANS CAN HELP COLLECT POLLINATOR DATA IN AUGUST
Georgia residents will soon have the opportunity to help researchers find out what’s the buzz with insect pollinators.

The Great Georgia Pollinator Census, hosted by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, will be held Aug. 20-21. During the census, residents are asked to visit plants in their gardens or other spots frequented by insect pollinators and count how many pollinators they observe in a 15-minute window.

Those who participate then submit their counts online.

The inaugural census was held in 2019. With the pandemic last year, coordinators encouraged families to count at home together. They also shared recipes online for foods that rely on insect pollination and even created a pollinator-themed music playlist. In the end, 3,755 people representing 124 counties participated in the 2020 census, collecting close to 82,600 insect visit observations.

Additionally, 525 new pollinator gardens have been created as part of the project.
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.
TIFTON'S U.S. MAIL SERVICE NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
TO THE EDITOR: I am writing this letter to address the mail service or lack thereof here in Tifton.

When the mail sorting center was moved from Albany to Tallahassee, we saw a reduction in service with deliveries coming at 7 p.m. or later on some days. Recently, the service has deteriorated even more; there has been no mail delivered in the Cypress Ridge subdivision since last week, and the Post Office’s explanation is that the carrier assigned to this route is off and they haven’t been able to get a replacement carrier.

If this is happening on our route, I wonder just how widespread this problem is? I understand that the COVID pandemic has caused disruptions in the supply chain, but that excuse is really wearing thin.

With all the resources the government has thrown at the pandemic, it seems that some of those resources could be put to use to ensure a vital service like the mail.
Terry Krohn
Tifton
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YOUR GUIDE TO ACTIVITIES THIS WEEKEND IN THE TIFTAREA

Sunday, July 4, is Independence Day, marking the day in 1776 when the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence declaring America free and independent from Great Britain.
FRIDAY, JULY 2
  • Skate Jam at the Park,11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., public skate park, 715 N. Johnston St., Fitzgerald
  • First Friday, 5-8 p.m., Downtown Tifton
  • Fireworks & Fun, 6-10 p.m., Woolard Center, 709 W. Wallace St., Sylvester

SATURDAY, JULY 3
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Independence Celebration & Fireworks, 11 a.m.-until, Enigma Park, Enigma
  • Freedom Fest & Fireworks, 6-9 p.m., Salem Baptist Church, 1142 Salem Church Road, Tifton
  • Freedom Festival, 6 p.m., 315 Whittle Circle, Ashburn

SUNDAY, JULY 4
  • Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks, 5-10 p.m., Downtown Fitzgerald
  • Fireworks on the Flint, 9:30 p.m., Georgia Veterans State Park, Cordele
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S DOG OF THE WEEK
“Seymour” is available for adoption at the Tift County Animal Shelter on Highway 125 S. To see him and other pets available for adoption, 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  
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JUNE 24
Dr. Freddie Clinton "Pete" Waltz, 72, Tifton
Devaughn J. Harris, 77, Worth County
Mary Louise Etheridge, 76, Worth County
Lanny James "Big Daddy" Franks, 70, Tifton
Doug Motes, 64, Fitzgerald
 
JUNE 25
Patricia Ann McMillan Harris, 71, Enigma
Eva “Evelyn” Rutherford, 84, Valdosta
Melissa P. Brown, 57, Fitzgerald
Evelyn Dobbins, 82, Fitzgerald
Louise Hopkins, 69, Ashburn
Orean "Ted" West Jr., 82, Tifton
 
JUNE 26
Eric Rountree, 43, Adel
Michael Shane Summers, 58, Tifton
 
JUNE 27
Murray Carl Roberson, 71, 
Chula
Everette Allen Ivey, 80, Tifton
Jeffrey Kyle Lightsey, 36, Alapaha
William Milton “Billy” Hawkins, 89, Ashburn
Deloris Diane Guavara, 57, Berrien County
 
JUNE 28
Jerry Lamar Greeson, 51, Tifton
Sherod Lamar Fender, 84, Ray City
 
JUNE 29
Harland "Sonny" Ragland Jr., 68, Adel
Kayla Dawn Hall, 38, Nashville

JUNE 30
Susie Hall “Little Granny” Gilliam, 79, Nashville
Will Hendricks Hutchinson Jr., 87, Tifton
Bennett Thomas "Tommy" Pate, 71, Worth County
Mary Mildred Touchton Graham, 87, Tifton
Carrie Ann Walker Griner, 69, Fitzgerald
Gloria Ann Peak Dorminy, 78, Worth County
Tifton Grapevine
e-published every Tuesday and Friday

Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
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