Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Tifton, Georgia
Tifton Grapevine
Curbside recycling is expected to be formally suspended in the City of Tifton effective April 1.

City Solid Waste Director Ricky Hobby and John Nail with Ryland Environmental formally requested the recycling suspension Monday night at Tifton City Council's workshop. Nail proposed a $1 monthly residential rate reduction from $18.33 to $17.33 with the suspension of curbside recycling.

"There is no market for single-stream" curbside recycling materials, Nail said. "There's nowhere to market it."

He said curbside recycling could return one day if economic conditions change and a market opens up for recycled materials.

Ryland Environmental, which collects the city's solid waste, said that with the suspension of the recycling program the company would expand other services, adding an additional day each week for collection of bulk items. Currently, city residents may put out five bulk items a week – such as appliances, furniture, and mattresses – to be picked up by Ryland if they are called at 229-382-4411.

City Manager Pete Pyrzenski said residential recycling bins will be picked up within the next 30 to 45 days, and that residents will be notified in advance.

City officials and Ryland will look at establishing potential recycling collection sites in the city where residents can take their recycling waste. Hobby said the CIty of Centerville operates a collection center manned by volunteers who make sure that materials are separated and are recyclable.

"This is the only way to get true recycling," Hobby said. "As I have said, all it takes is one can to contaminate the whole load."

In the interim, Pyrzenski said residents could take their recycling to a Tift County recycling center. One is available at the convenience center located on Pecan Street just off South Central Avenue behind the Community Center.

Ryland Environmental also asked the city to allow a 5% fuel surcharge just for commercial customers because of the continued rise in diesel fuel prices. City Council will address the proposals at its regular meeting March 21.
Tifton Grapevine
There was plenty of music, barbecue, entertainment, shopping, and fun this past weekend as a crowd estimated at more than 15,000 filled Fulwood Park for Tifton's Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival.

The Friday night kickoff party and all-day Saturday festival was widely acknowledged as the event's largest crowd ever.

"The 2022 Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival was definitely one for the books. We saw a bigger crowd than we ever had, more vendors than ever, and more activities," said one of the organizers, Angela M. Elder of the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association.
"The entertainment was incredible from Friday night and all throughout the day on Saturday. Our vendors have raved about the awesome day they had, with many food vendors selling out," Elder said.

"The weather could not have been any better. Everything from setup and check-in to competitions and sales truly was the best ever. And, of course, having The Food Network here was a blast. They were great to work with, and we are looking forward to seeing Tifton shine on screen this summer."

The Food Network visited the festival to follow some of the professional barbecue teams in the Georgia Barbecue Association-sanctioned competition, as well as some of the amateur barbecue-cooking teams in the "backyard" competition.
Mayor Julie B. Smith said The Food Network's show about Tifton and Rhythm & Ribs is expected to air during July.

"They could not say enough nice things about Tifton," Smith said of The Food Network crew. "They kept saying that Tifton is the nicest city."

In the professional barbecue competition during the festival, the Grand Champion was Flyin Pig BBQ, led by Bryan Griffis. Capturing the Reserve Champion award was Off the Chain BBQ, led by Chuck and Carrie East.

In the backyard competition, Wish & Walk BBQ, led by Eric Wisham of Tifton, won Grand Champion. The Reserve Champion was Deez Butts BBQ, led by Clint Holley and Casey Denney of Tifton.
Tifton Grapevine
Once again, positive COVID-19 cases in Tift County declined by half in the past two weeks, according to data Tuesday from the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH).

Tift reported a total of 33 positive cases within two weeks; 67 positive cases were reported in the previous two-week period.

During the past week, Tift recorded three additional COVID-related deaths, along with six confirmed PCR cases. During the two-week period, Tift saw 14 confirmed cases; the 33 positive cases are the total when positive rapid Antigen cases are added.

Tift has recorded a total of 6,266 confirmed cases with 163 deaths, the DPH said.

The state reported 996 positive cases Tuesday with 83 additional deaths and 123 new hospitalizations. Georgia reports a total of 1,916,379 cases with 30,183 related deaths, according to the DPH.
Tifton Grapevine
Spring has just been teasing us.

As the temperatures in the Tiftarea soared into the mid 80s in recent days, the weather is about to let us all know that winter hasn’t yet left. Come Saturday night, temperatures in the area will drop into the 20s, the National Weather Service reports.

"Saturday night will be the coldest night of the period. Lows will plummet into the middle 20s to lower 30s across the entire area. With winds not going completely calm, wind chills could fall to near 20," the Weather Service forecasts for the region, warning that "temperatures this cold could kill young and/or blossoming plants."

Sunday night is expected to be in the mid 30s, but don't put away those shorts and sandals yet – by the end of next week we are expected to back in the 80s.
Melissa Swindell, executive director of the Georgia Writers Museum and GAM Awards Chair, from left, ABAC’s Polly Huff, and Ephraim Rotter, president of the GAM Board of Directors, at the awards presentation.
Polly Huff, curator at ABACs Georgia Museum of Agriculture, recently received two peer-reviewed Georgia Association of Museums (GAM) awards for three of her 2021 museum gallery projects.
Presented at the annual GAM conference in Thomasville, the Special Project Award – Budget Category 1 went to a research project Huff completed on an 1899 harp mandolin owned by the late Donna Hatcher, an art professor at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Huff followed a long trail to find that the instrument was one of five Style 18, Ebony guard harp mandolins sold on Oct. 21, 1899, by C.F. Martin of Nazareth, Pa., the only one of the five that survived. 

Founded in 1833 and still in full operation today, the Martin Guitar Co. made 22 of the instruments between 1895 and 1899. Huff collaborated on the project with a long list of museums across the country.

Two other gallery endeavors prompted by the pandemic won the Special Project –Budget Category 2 Award. In summer 2020, Huff enlisted the help of restoration specialist David King to design and build a capsule from a centuries-old longleaf pine cut down in Tifton during the pandemic.

Selecting the lumber gave the project a sense of time, place, and meaning. The capsule was then filled with local historic artifacts representing life during the pandemic.

Huff collaborated with ABAC’s School of Arts and Sciences, the ABAC Foundation, and the ABAC Alumni Association to curate and exhibit the second project entitled “Beauty Amidst Trials: Capturing a Pandemic Year.” The exhibit had 98 photographs by locals depicting moments during the pandemic.
State Rep. Penny Houston, R-Nashville, has qualified to run for re-election in House District 170, comprised of Berrien County, and portions of Tift and Cook counties.

Before last year's redistricting, Houston represented Berrien and Cook counties and portions of Tift.
“Serving the people of House District 170 has been the privilege of my lifetime, and today I’m proud to announce my re-election campaign,” Houston said Monday.

“For decades, I’ve been known as the Voice of South Georgia at the Capitol. I’ve worked hard to advance the needs and best interests of South Georgians. I will continue to ensure investment in our communities, including healthcare, education, and broadband.”
First elected to the Ga. House of Representatives in 1997, Houston has led advancements for deaf and hard-of-hearing Georgians, including the first mobile audiology units in the state and public coverage of children's hearing aids. She also created the Firefighter Property Program, providing public property to local fire departments for training and emergency services.
Houston serves as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Economic Development, which oversees state funds for the Department of Agriculture, Department of Community Affairs, Department of Economic Development, Georgia Ports Authority, World Congress Center, Georgia Forestry Commission, Public Service Commission, and the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission.

Committees on which she serves include Ways & Means, Banks & Banking, Economic Development & Tourism, Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight, Appropriations, as well as the House Rural Development Council, the Joint House and Senate Fiscal Affairs Subcommittee, and is chairman of the Joint House and Senate Georgia Farmers’ Market and Produce Terminal Oversight.
Houston is a graduate of Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and the University of Georgia.
Home Free, the country music a cappella group, performed before an audience of nearly 2,000 people Friday night in Tifton as part of the group's Dive Bar Saints World Tour.

Austin Brown, the group's lead tenor, is a Tifton native and Home Free's youngest member. This was the group's first performance in Tifton since December 2019.

While in town Friday at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Brown got to spend some time with his mom, Betsy Haman of Tifton, pictured at left.

The group will tour throughout Canada during April and early May.
"Olivia," a female kitty, is among those available for adoption at the Tift County Animal Shelter. To adopt Olivia and see other pets available, visit the shelter from 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch's Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055
~ MARCH 9, 1950
The Tifton city manager announced on March 9, 1950, that three city intersections were scheduled to finally get traffic lights installed. The stoplights were being placed at the intersections of Second Street and Tift Avenue, Eighth Street and Love Avenue, and at North Central and Fourth streets.
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