Dec. 29, 2015
                 Tifton, Georgia

         (478) 227-7126


Tift County's jobless rate has dropped by 1.3 percent in the past year, with more Tift countians working this holiday  season compared to 2014, according to the Georgia  Department  of Labor.

In preliminary unemployment statistics released the other day, Tift County's jobless rate was 5.3 percent in November; it was 6.6 percent one year ago

Statewide, Georgia's seasonally adjusted November unemployment rate was 5.6 percent, down from the 6.7 percent in November 2014.

"In Georgia, we've had a very good year as far as job growth goes. Right now, we're showing us having 93,000 more jobs this time than we did the same time last year, which, by the way, represents a 2.2 percent job growth over the last 12 months, which beats the national average," said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

According to the Department of Labor, about 60,000 new jobs across the state have been posted on its web site in the past month.

Unemployment rates last month in other area counties include: Turner  County, 5.4 percent; Worth, 5.8; Irwin, 7.5; and Ben Hill County, 8.2 percent.


The 40th Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show will be Jan. 21, at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center.

The one-day show offers farmers the opportunity to view the products and services of more than 100 exhibitors and learn throughout the day at educational seminars. Nearly 2,000 farmers are expected to attend the show, which includes awards ceremony and door prizes for farmers. 

The Peanut Farm Show opens at 8:30 a.m. on  Thursday, Jan. 21, with UGA Peanut Production Seminars and  Industry Peanut Seed Seminars on such topics as market outlook, the role of micronutrients and u pdates on current breeding research.

Tifton's Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival, coming in March, is having a T-shirt design contest for a $100 cash prize. Contest rules may be found on the Rhythm & Ribs Facebook page, Click Here!  All submissions are due Thursday, Dec. 31, and must be submitted to in PDF or high resolution JPEG format.


Tifton's  2016 Team Fitness & Wellness Challenge (formerly "Tifton's Biggest Loser") begins Jan. 4 and will go for 12 weeks. 
Teams of four to six people will compete to win cash by earning the most points (losing weight). The cost is $40 per person with proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of Tift County.

Winners are determined based on the most points earned. The majority of points are awarded for percent of weight lost. The top two teams that earn the most points will win a cash prize. If there are enough competitors, the male and female losing the largest percentage of weight will each be awarded a cash prize as well as the third place team. 

There are numerous opportunities throughout the competition. Examples include keeping food and exercise logs, participating in fitness tests, participating in the annual  Sweetheart Run , entering weekly contests, and winning weekly contests.  

The cash prize amounts and Relay for Life donation will be determined based on the number of participants. Tifton Fitness & Wellness Center/Rehabilitation Services of Tifton sponsors the competition and  takes the registration fees, subtracts costs and divides the remaining money. Half is donated to Relay for Life, and half is awarded to the competition winners. 

T he first-place individual male and female each won $95 in 2014's competition. The first place team won $1,015, and $2,025 was donated to Relay for Life

For information, contact Sommer Dunston at  Tifton Fitness & Wellness Center/ Rehabilitation Services of Tifton on  Old Ocilla Road, 229-386-5200.


Spring semester classes begin on Jan. 6 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and the s pring term continues through April 27 with final exams set for April 28-29 and May 2-3

The spring commencement ceremony will be at 10 a.m. May 5. The only time during the term when the entire campus will be closed is on Jan. 18 for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Faculty and students will be away for spring break on March 14-18.
ABAC Presents! Performing Arts Series brings the Peach State Opera Company's production of 'Don Giovanni' on Feb. 11.
Other activities on the campus this spring include the annual Evening for ABAC scholarship fundraiser featuring the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra on March 4, Stallion Days for prospective students on Feb. 13 and April 2, the regional science fair on Feb. 12, the Mr. ABAC contest on March 30, Honors Day on April 6, and the annual jazz band concert on April 21

The Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at ABAC will also host the annual Folklife Festival on April 9.

Homecoming Week on March 28-April 2 will feature the Alumni Awards Luncheon, the ABAC Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the Gee Haw Whoa Back Rodeo, Students vs. Alumni Softball Game and the Run for the Nurses 5K and half-mile marathon.

First Tuesday Concert Series performances for the spring term include " A Night with Duo-Allant "  Feb. 2, " A Night of a Choral Music " on March 1, and " A Night of Broadway Music "  April 5. All First Tuesday performances will be held at the Chapel of All Faiths on the ABAC campus at 7 p.m. The concerts are open to the public at no charge.

Other performances during the spring term include the Spring Choral Concert on April 7, the Spring Band Concert on April 11-12, the Spring Music Recitals on April 19 and 25, and the Spring Music Student Ensemble Recital on April 26.

The ABAC Presents! Performing Arts Series will offer a wide variety of entertainment beginning with the Peach State Opera's " Don Giovanni" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on Feb.  11 at 7 p.m. in Howard Auditorium, followed by the Dallas Brass on March 8 at 7 p.m. in the Tift County High School Center for Performing Arts, and saxophonist Greg Tardy with the ABAC Jazz Band on April 21.

The Baldwin Players ' spring production of " Nunsense" will take place at Howard Auditorium March 31-April 2 at 7 p.m. and on April 3 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased online at

The Virtuoso Chamber Music series will feature pianist Jasmin Arakawa on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. in Howard Auditorium. This concert is free.


The American Red Cross has blood drives scheduled in the area this month. Especially needed are donations of blood types O negative, A negative and B negative, as well as platelets and type AB plasma.

Here are the blood drives:
  • Today, Tuesday, Dec. 29: 2 p.m.-6 p.m., Pruitt Health, 185 Bowens Mill Highway, Fitzgerald; 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Affinity, 2225 Highway 41 North, Tifton.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 30: 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Tift Regional Medical Center, 901 E. 18th St., Tifton.
  • New Year's Day, Friday, Jan. 1: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Tifton Mall, 458 N. Virginia Ave., Tifton.
  • Jan. 8: 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Margaret Jones Library, 205 East Pope St., Sylvester.
  • Jan. 11: 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Northside Baptist Church of Tifton, 4605 Murray Ave., Tifton.

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
University of Georgia

You took time to select and decorate the perfect Christmas tree for the holidays. Now put a little forethought and time into recycling it.

University of Georgia Extension specialists have several suggestions for creatively recycling this year's tree.

"Sunk into private fishing ponds or lakes, Christmas trees make excellent refuge and feeding areas for fish," said UGA Extension DeKalb County agent Gary Peiffer
                                                                                                                                             Keep Bartow Beautiful photo
 Recycle your Christmas tree this year into something useful like a bottle tree or mulch      for your garden. Bartow County residents are shown transforming Christmas trees into  fish habitats.

Extension wildlife specialists suggest anchoring the tree in a large coffee can with concrete first. The concrete weights the tree down so it stands upright. This natural fish attractor will draw bream and bass and offer a safe haven for young fish. 

For safety's sake, drop the tree well away from swimming areas.

Wildlife lovers can also turn their holiday tree into a winter bird feeder and shelter. 

"Just add some orange slices, bread and suet to attract birds and brighten up your winter landscape," Peiffer said.

A decomposing Christmas tree can also provide valuable food for insects and worms, as well as a good hiding place for birds and other creatures. If you love wildlife more than a perfectly manicured landscape, use the holiday tree to create an untidy thicket habitat for little birds, like cardinals and white-throated sparrows.

Crafty types can clip away branch tips and needles to provide aroma for sachets and potpourri.

UGA Extension horticulturist Matthew Chappell has several suggestions for how to recycle Christmas trees. His list includes the following:
  • Whittle a walking stick. "It takes a lot of whittling. You can give it as a gift next Christmas." This is Chappell's favorite use.
  • Create a coat rack. Cut all the branches off except for a few at the top, those should be trimmed 3 inches to 4 inches from the trunk. 
  • Build a bottle tree. Cut all the branches about a foot from the trunk and put empty wine bottles on them. "My friend in Charleston, S.C., started that trend in his yard at Folly Beach," he said. "It's definitely better with different colored bottles."
  • Craft a longbow. "My brother-in-law made a longbow out of last year's Christmas tree. A lot of bow hunters are going back to the old style, the old world way of hunting," Chappell said.
  • Shape a vine pole. Trim the branches off, but leave some for vine support. Sink the trunk in the ground and use it as a trellis for a climbing plant like a morning glory or clematis.
  • Create kindling. Chop up the smaller branches and make kindling for winter fires.
Christmas tree branches and the trunk can also be chipped and turned into valuable mulch for landscape and garden plants.

If you don't have a chipper, take your tree to the local "Bring One For The Chipper" event.

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Custom-built home with all updated and upgraded fixtures. Large open kitchen with utility island, ceramic tile counter top. Foyer has woodgrain-stained ceramic tile. Entertaining back deck with sunken hot tub, above ground pool with extra foam siding for sides and bottom that absorbs heat for longer use of pool. Master Bedroom with custom master bath tub, cabinets, walk-in shower, and walk-in closet. Two bedrooms share hall bath and half bath located in large laundry room with private entrance for use at pool or hot tub. Den with wood-burning fireplace with fan for even distribution, cathedral ceiling. Large detached double carport with separate shop, all located on extra-thick concrete floors. This home is located just minutes from downtown Tifton, Industrial Park, I-75 and Ga. Highway 41. Call today for your private tour of this custom home.
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