May 13, 2016
         Tifton, Georgia

    (478) 227-7126

TifTuf Now Available

The newest University of Georgia turfgrass release, TifTuf Bermuda grass, is now available to homeowners

TifTuf's drought tolerance and shade tolerance make it one of the best choices for establishing a new lawn, UGA says.  TifTuf is for homeowners who are serious about maintaining carpet-type coverage.
TifTuf is used at UGA's Future Farmstead in Tifton

The new drought-tolerant turfgrass was developed by a team of researchers led by Dr. Wayne Hanna and Dr. Brian Schwartz at UGA Tifton. TifTuf has been in testing at the University of Georgia since 1993 and was selected for release from a pool of more than 27,700 potential cultivars because of its extreme drought tolerance and high turf quality. In tolerance testing, TifTuf maintained its quality and green color the longest.

While other Bermuda grasses survive drought conditions by going dormant and then greening at the first exposure to moisture, TifTuf stays green because it doesn't go dormant under drought stress. In UGA tests, TifTuf uses 38 percent less water than Tifway Bermuda grass while maintaining better turf quality.   

Other than drought, the most common problem seen with Bermuda grass lawns is stress brought on by too much shade. TifTuf thrives in light ranging from full sun to partial shade. While it won't grow in full shade, it is more shade tolerant than any of the other Bermuda grass varieties that have been used.

"TifTuf sets the new industry standard for sustainability and drought resistance," says Aaron McWhorter, president of NG Turf. "Not only does it actually need less water to thrive, it boasts superior wear tolerance, early spring green up, excellent fall color retention and rapid grow-in rates. TifTuf is destined to become a customer favorite for both residential and professional applications."

Ken Morrow of the Turfgrass Group, which is the exclusive licensing company for the production of TifTuf bermudagrass, says, "With the extreme drought conditions recently experienced in California and around the United States, there has never been a greater need for a drought-tolerant grass like TifTuf. We know it will create sustainable, environmentally friendly lawns, sports fields, and golf courses  around the country because it uses significantly less water than other grasses available on the market today."


NAPA auto parts distribution center in Sylvester's industrial park will shut down by July 31, company officials say.
The Sylvester operations are being transferred to existing facilities in Atlanta, Birmingham and Jacksonville. On Thursday, Genuine Parts Co., NAPA's parent company, issued a statement that read:

"This was a difficult decision, but is necessary to best serve our customers and optimize our distribution network.  ... We have communicated this change to our Sylvester workforce of approximately 40 employees and are working with each of those affected by the change to ensure we provide them with the appropriate resources to help them and their families through the transition. 

"These include potential job opportunities in other Genuine Parts locations as well as on-site career transition services and assistance with the State Employment Center and local staffing companies."

The NAPA facility has been in Sylvester for more than 40 years.


A couple has been arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, according to the Tift  County  Sheriff's Office.

Arrested were Thomas Edward McDonald, 34, and Lyris Elizabeth Parson, 35. Bothare being held at the Tift County Jail.

On Tuesday, Tift County deputies responded to a drug tip at 4466 Highway 319 South in Tift County. When arriving at the residence, deputies spotted what they believed to be a methamphetamine lab. Agents with the Mid-South Narcotics Task Force were notified. After drug agents arrived, enough probable cause was developed to obtain a search warrant.
Agents then discovered six "one-pot" meth labs, which uses one container to manufacture the methamphetamine. The process causes an extremely high amount of pressure to build inside the container, which will cause an explosion if not  handled  properly.
Agents also discovered five HCL gas generators inside the residence. HCL gas is made by mixing certain acids with other ingredients which then form Hydrogen Chloride Gas. The HCL gas is used to convert the methamphetamine, which is in liquid from when produced in the "one-pot" lab, to crystals and in turn crystal methamphetamine.
Agents also found numerous other materials used to manufacture methamphetamine and seized the items.


The Tift County Board of Education this week formally approved the school system becoming a
Georgia Charter System

The  State Board of Education last week had approved the Tift BOE's charter system application, as the Tifton Grapevine reported last Friday.

A charter system is a local school district that operates under the terms of a charter between the State Board of Education and the local district, which receives  flexibility from certain state rules and regulations in exchange for greater accountability. There is an emphasis on  school-based leadership and decision-making.

Tift school officials say the charter program will allow the school system to focus on incorporating individualized learning and technology into classrooms, and will allow  adjustments in  class sizes and school starting times.

The school system also plans to reconfigure the grades within schools so that individual schools will house PreK through 5th, then 6th through 8th, and ninth through 12th, which means students will attend three schools during their public school years rather  than  the current  seven-school format in Tift County.

Call or email us to sign up or ask questions:   382-7515 or


Pictured above are the winning teams of the 17th Annual Nanci Bowen Charity Golf Tournament held Monday, May 9, at Spring Hill Country Club in Tifton. The event benefits patients of Hospice of Tift Area and the Anita Stewart Oncology Center at Tift Regional Medical Center

The tournament is named for long-time supporter and Tifton native Nanci Bowen, retired LPGA tour player.

The winners, pictured from left, are:

First place winners of the women's tournament -- Joyce Corry, Karen Goes, Katie Lodge and Betty Bowen.

First place winners of the men's tournament -- Chad Aldridge, Joe Pitts, Allen Pate and Jody Seagraves.


Early voting for the May 24 primary  election  continues in Tift County through Friday, May 20.

Registered Tift County voters may visit the early voting location, which is the old high school gymnasium building at Fourth Street and Chesnutt Avenue, to cast their ballots from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

This Saturday, May 14, early voting is available from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.


The 24th annual Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is this Saturday, May 14. Residents are asked to collect and bag non-perishable food and place it by their mailbox for letter carriers to pick up and take to local food kitchens.

The food should be in cans or unopened boxes; do not include glass containers. Stamp Out Hunger
This the nation's largest one-day food collection event, providing letter carriers, other postal employees and thousands of volunteers across the nation the opportunity to meld their forces together to conduct the drive in their local communities.

" Letter carriers touch every residential and business address in this country at least six days a week," said Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers. "Our continued effort in the fight against hunger -- often in our own neighborhoods -- has made us all too familiar with the staggering numbers of people in need."

Last year's drive collected approximately 71 million pounds of non-perishable food nationwide that was left in bags next to postal customers' mailboxes. It was the 12th consecutive year that letter carriers have collected more than 70 million pounds of food, and it brought the drive's grand total to more than 1.4 billion pounds of food collected.

The drive is held each year on the second Saturday in May.

"Best-Selling Truck for 39 Straight Years"

511 West 7th Street
(229) 382-1300


Tifton was the fourth stop Thursday evening of a six-city tour for WALB-TV news.

On Thursdays, the television station is broadcasting its 6 p.m. news show in a different South Georgia town; residents are invited to come out and watch -- and they did Thursday in Downtown Tifton.

In photo at right, news anchors Ben Roberts and Melissa Hodges go on the air on Tifton's Main Street in front of the Downtown Gateway.

In photos below, Roberts is surrounded by well-wishers.


Gwinnett County teachers were in Tifton on Thursday, learning from Tift County's reading recovery program -- a literacy intervention program that provides intensive, individual instruction for children with the lowest reading performance in first grade.

Tift Tourism Director Tyron Spearman met them downtown and shared some peanut samples with them. With Spearman, at left, are, from left, Cora Baker, Sue Duncan and Hope Griffin

Duncan said Tift County Reading Recovery teacher trainer Heidi Burns told them that Tift County is observing 20 years this month as one of the best reading recovery school programs in the state, and 4,000 children have benefited from the program.

Legacy Village of Tifton
1934 Whiddon Mill Road

Voice-activated tractors are the future of farming, says University of Georgia agricultural engineer Glen Rains.
UGA photo

Through research on the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences campus in Tifton, and in partnership with Georgia Tech, Rains is researching voice-activated software that will cause tractors to stop in the event of an emergency.

"Say a farmer had a heart attack or fell off of a tractor. With the voice activation, they could stop the tractor by using just their voice," said Rains. 

He envisions the tractor stopping in the event of an emergency, notifying 911 and providing the farmer's location and alerting the farmer's family.

The innovation consists of a series of microphones that are mounted onto the tractor. Noise cancellation devices allow the farmer's voice to be heard over the sounds of the tractor or other piece of farming equipment. 

The farmer must be within 10 meters -- about 32 feet-- of the microphone for it to detect his voice.

"We just need to delve into more of the broader aspects -- multiple types of tractors and voice types," Rains said. "We need to test multiple algorithms for noise cancellation and voice recognition outside the tractor."

This is challenging because the microphone is trying to pick up the volume of a person's voice over other noises, he said. Since all voices are different, the system must be trained to recognize each distinct voice.

Rains is focusing on the mechanical parts of the device that control switching the tractor off and calling 911. His colleague, David Anderson, professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, is working on the voice activation and noise cancellation aspects of the project. Rains is also receiving assistance from the AGCO Corp., an agricultural equipment manufacturer headquartered in Duluth.

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        a Glance

  • Prater Music Festival Street Celebration, 6-9 p.m., N. Cherry Street, Ocilla
  • Tiftarea Academy Graduation, 7 p.m., First Baptist Church, Tifton

  • Early Voting Available, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Old Gym, Fourth Street & Chesnutt Ave., Tifton
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • 4-H Car Wash, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 4-H Office, Carpenter Road, Tifton
  • Prater Music Festival Community Worship Service, Noon, Mt. Olive AME Church, Ocilla

In Memoriam

Terry Randall Courtoy, 72, Tifton
Hansel George Steedley, 85, Tifton
Sarah Ann Hendley, 86, O cilla
James Newell, 32, East Dublin

Marilyn Shankweiler, 68, Americus

Semmie Dixon Wilson, 93, Ocilla
Jackie Nadine Duren Wallace, 81, Adel

Barbara Gann Goins, 75, Ty Ty
Wanda Jean Fansler Goode, 87, Deland, Fla.

Rodney "Ronnie" Judson Phillips, 65, Tifton
Betty Rose Hurst, 71, Valdosta
Randy Holloway, 59, Nashville

Stephen "Claude" Hendricks Jr., 83, Tifton
Jerry Jones, 55, Albany
Bobbie "Bob" N. Webb, 90, Tifton
Lisa Marie Bradford Tolley, 52, Nashville

MAY 10
Luel Buckholts Turner, 93, Lakeland, Fla.
Gary Phillip Brogdon, 63, Nashville
Earl Wayne "Wimp" Gray, 78, Nashville
Richard Chapman "Dick" Owens Sr., 89, O cilla

MAY 11
Vicki Karen Hallman, 67, Doerun

  22 Chase CircleTifton, GA
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