Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Tifton, Georgia
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GrapeNew
REMEMBERING
TIFT COUNTY COACH
ANTHONY BATEMAN CALLED
A 'FATHER TO MANY, A MENTOR TO ALL'
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine

Sometimes we don't realize how special someone is until they are gone .

Of course, everyone who was touched by Anthony Bateman at Tift County High School already knew he was special . But his sudden, unexpected death from a heart attack Saturday afternoon left an immediate void at TCHS and in the hearts of thousands of students and friends he had known through decades at the school .

Coach Bateman , or "Bate," was an assistant football, basketball and track coach. He had been part of the coaching staff since 1991 , but Bateman , 52, was a Blue Devil all his life. He was part of the Class of 1986 at Tift County High .

"Our entire community is saddened over the loss of this Tift County icon ," Tift County Schools posted on social media. "He lived the spirit of our 'T.' "
Former TCHS Head Basketball Coach Eric Holland said: "Coach Bateman truly changed my life . ... He's the greatest Blue Devil ever ." Recent Head Basketball Coach Chris Wade said on Saturday : "Today, the world lost the most decent human being I’ve ever been around."

Bateman's legacy is the many students he worked with, both on and off the athletic fields and courts . Many posts on social media are similar to these: "The students have lost one of the best-known mentors that has ever walked the halls of our schools." ... "He said if we could get just one troubled teen to move in the right direction , then we accomplished something good ." ... " Anthony Bateman was more than a coach-teacher-administrator ; he was a father to so many . He was an inspiration . He was a motivator . He was an influencer . He was REAL ! His goal was to make everyone he encountered a better person ."

A candlelight vigil will be held in honor of Coach Bateman at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Mott Litman Gym at 2425 Emerson O'Bynes Road. Family Fellowship will be from 6-7 p.m. Friday at Mt. Zion Baptist Church . The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in the TCHS gymnasium .
SEWER MAIN REPLACEMENT CLOSES VICTORY DRIVE
Victory Drive in Tifton is temporarily closed from Second Street to the Tift County Recreation Department because of a sewer main replacement project that is underway, according to the City of Tifton .

The street is expected to be reopened by end of the day Thursday, the city said.
SRTC PINS 15 NURSING STUDENTS THIS WEEK
On Monday, Aug. 5 , Southern Regional Technical College held a pinning ceremony for 15 associate of science in nursing students from the LPN-RN Bridge program.

The ceremony commemorates the students’ successful completion of their nursing coursework and clinical rotations . This class of nursing students will officially be registered nurses (RN) pending the passage of their board exams .

Students receiving pins were: Stacey Abell of Tifton , Crystal Bullard of Adel , Penny Daniels of Valdosta , Ashli Dasher of Lakeland , Kyra Fackler of Nashville , Shelly Flynt of Meigs , Angela Giltner of Lakeland , Sheana Lucio of Moultrie , Summer Snipes of Pelham , Felicia Spangler of Valdosta , Kristen Suarez of Valdosta , Maylen Tejera Frometa of Moultrie , Tosha Tidd of Tifton , Robyn Tillman of Moultrie , and Rachel Wilsey of Valdosta .

Several students were presented with special recognition . Tidd was recognized with the Clinical Excellence Award ; Tillman earned the Leadership Award ; the Nightingale Award was given to Dasher; and Bullard earned the Highest Exit Exam Award.
TIFT COUNTY TO ACCEPT SCRAP TIRES
The Tift County Board of Commissioners and the Tift County Public Works
Department are holding a scrap tire amnesty event on Aug. 16-17 .

Residents within Tift County and its municipalities may bring scrap tires to the Tift County Public Works Department , 2011 Whiddon Mill Road, between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. during the free two-day event .

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

Specifications will be strictly enforced with no exceptions to the dates, times or tire types. I dentification will be needed to verify residency in Tift County . For information , call 229-386-7856 .
'CARNIVAL OF KNOWLEDGE' LITERACY FUNDRAISER CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
The 20th Annual Howard Center Carnival of Knowledge is coming Thursday, Sept. 12 , and Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County is seeking sponsors of three-person teams to compete for the title of Tift Trivia Champions
 
A big hit last year, the “Howard-Q,” will once again award a prize of $1,000 to the winners of the audience-participation game based on the smart phone app “HQ Trivia.”

Last year, more than 100 participants scrambled to answer 12 questions, read by Dr. Drew Howard , and five finalists split the winnings. The event will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 , at Southern Regional Technical College Conference Center at 52 Tech Drive, Tifton .
 
Once again, the Howard Center is a platinum sponsor of the event, and the carnival is under the direction of past winner and trivia expert Dottie Freeman . It begins with a free pasta dinner to help participants to “Use Your Noodle!”
 
“The goal is 24 teams signed up at $150 a team, and the general public can fill in on sponsored teams for no charge,” said Bonnie Sayles , executive director of Literacy Volunteers. Individuals, church groups, civic organizations, and businesses may sponsor teams. 
 
“Even if they don’t have members to play, they may sponsor a team,” Sayles said. “When local trivia buffs fill in for free, the entertainment value is enhanced. Audience participants may come empty-handed and go home with some awesome prizes,” Sayles said.

Last year, the Rotary Club of Tifton took first place in the trivia competition. Those wanting to play, sponsor a team, donate a prize or volunteer to help may call Sayles at 229-391-2527 or email  tiftlv@gmail.com
 
“If you believe that improving literacy in Tift County is key to our economic success , you need to support this fundraiser in the strongest way possible,” Sayles said.

“Each school dropout that earns a GED diploma, each person that learns to read better or speak English better helps to improve our society as a whole. We owe it to ourselves to make sure we can continue the programs that make this possible.”

According to the Technical College System of Georgia , the state has 1.1 million citizens over the age of 18 who have less than a high school education . That is 18 percent of Georgia’s adult population. In Tift County that number is 20 percent , according to the statewide Certified Literate Community Program , of which Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County is a member.
CHAMBER GOLF CLASSIC SET FOR OCT. 7
The 26th Annual Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce Golf Classic is Monday, Oct. 7 , at Springhill Country Club , and some morning spots are still available.

For those companies wanting to participate, the Chamber says there are 8:30 a.m. tee offs available with breakfast and lunch. The afternoon spots are filled .

The four-man Lauderdale format shotgun starts at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., with lunch served at noon .

The tournament includes a Hole-in-One contest for a new car, Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive prizes, cash prizes awarded to the top four teams and a revolving trophy awarded to the top team .

All chamber members and Golf Classic participants are invited to the award ceremony on the patio immediately following the conclusion of the afternoon competition.

For information , call the Chamber of Commerce at 229-382-6200 .
ALUMNUS TO SPEAK AT FRESHMAN CONVOCATION
Valerie Touchstone , an ABAC alumnus who founded a marketing and public relations business in Tifton , will be the keynote speaker at the 15th annual Freshman Convocation on Aug. 12 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College .

The 11 a.m. ceremony in Gressette Gymnasium serves as the opening of the academic year. 
Touchstone is a 1985 ABAC alumnus and founded The Big Picture in 2000 after serving 12 years as marketing and public relations director at Tift Regional Medical Center .

Touchstone has an associate degree in business from ABAC , a bachelor of arts in journalism with an emphasis in public relations from the University of Georgia and a master of science in communications management from Syracuse University .

She will teach a social media marketing class for ABAC students. Fall semester classes begin Aug. 13.
UGA SCHEDULES REGIONAL
WORKFORCE CONFERENCE IN TIFTON
The University of Georgia ’s inaugural Innovating Georgia’s Workforce Pipeline Conference will be held Aug. 22 on the UGA Tifton campus.

Hosted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government , a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit, the event is 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Tifton’s Innovating Georgia’s Workforce Pipeline features a program to help workforce professionals learn more about opportunities and challenges in rural Georgia and explore solutions , including the benefits of experiential learning and successful ways of building talent for small businesses .

“We’ve designed this conference to share new ideas for rural workforce development programs. Successful workforce development efforts require teamwork , and this will introduce people to new partners and new solutions that really help build their workforce program,” said Vinson Institute faculty member Greg Wilson .

Information is available at  www.cviog.uga.edu/tifton

The Tifton conference is one of two Innovating Georgia’s Workforce Pipeline Conferences this year. A second conference , the Metro Atlanta Innovating Georgia’s Workforce Pipeline Conference , will be held Sept. 26 at UGA Gwinnett .
TIFTON-TIFT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
RIBBON CUTTING
Homestar Financial
106 W. 10th St., Tifton
July 30
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