JULY 10, 2018
Tifton, Georgia

Artist's rendering of Commerce Way facade with parking lot behind it.

The Tifton Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is recommending that the facade be retained of one of two buildings slated for demolition on Commerce Way.

The vacant structure at 327 Commerce Way, owned by downtown businessman Jack Stone and built in 1908, has been determined by the state to be of "historical significance."  Because of that finding, the city has already agreed to document the building with photographs and to erect an
Both of these buildings on Commerce Way are to be razed. The state says the structure at right has "historical significance."
"interpretive display," or kiosk, at the site to note the history of the structure.

But the DDA would like to save the front wall of the building along Commerce Way when the rest of the building, and one next door, are razed for additional downtown parking. Tifton has lost much of its history and this would be a way to save a small part of it, some DDA members say.

The DDA has hired Bret Henderson of Henderson Structural Engineering to assess the feasibility of saving the front-facing wall. Henderson said the brick facade could be retained with strucutral steel braces helping to support it. The facade would be a pedestrian gateway into the proposed parking lot.

Henderson recently told DDA and Tifton City Council that the cost to retain the facade would be  approximately $292,300

The city has received a Redevelopment Fund Grant from the Ga. Department of Community Affairs in the amount of $376,887 for the parking project that includes razing the building under discussion along with the adjacent building at 325 Commerce Way currently occupied by Davy Davis' music shop.

No final decision has been made about saving the facade.

A metal threshold plate at one of the doors at 327 Commerce Way.

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College is among recipients of an arts grant from the Ga.  Department of Economic Development's Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA). 

The Partner, Project and Arts Education grants for Fiscal Year 2019, totaling  more than $1 millionhave been awarded to 132 organizations throughout the state.  Funds awarded by Georgia Council for the Arts include appropriations from the General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

"Georgia is home to a dynamic arts and culture community, and the work done by artists and arts organizations across the state fuels the cultural identity and vitality of communities of all sizes and in all regions of Georgia," said Karen Paty, GCA executive director. 

"Each of the artistic programs we reviewed were extraordinary. And while we are unable to fund each one, the impact of the work we have been able to support is far reaching, providing access to the arts and spurring economic activity throughout our state."

Grant recipients include theaters, dance companies, museums, cities, colleges and multi-discipline arts entities.

Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough recently completed an intensive two weeks of public safety leadership training with Israel's top policing executives. 
He joined police chiefs, sheriffs and public safety commissioners and officials -- and a senior corporate security manager -- in a 21-member delegation of senior law enforcement officials from Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee who participated in the  Ga. International Law 
Tift Sheriff Gene Scarbrough, left, and Lt. Gen. Roni Alsheich, head of the Israeli Police Force.
Enforcement Exchange's (GILEE) 26th annual peer-to-peer training program in partnership with Israel

While there, the group studied best practices and the latest advances in community policing, counterterrorism, emergency management, advanced technologies and homeland security policies. 
"In GILEE's 26 years, our partnership with the world's top public safety experts has returned more than 720 public safety officials home with the knowledge and skills they need to keep our communities safer," said Robbie Friedmann, GILEE's founding director and professor emeritus at Georgia State University

"Among the program's many benefits, our delegates return home with a better understanding of effective ways to address modern policing challenges and increased communications and collaboration among different agencies, external organizations and the greater community."
This year's peer-to-peer training emphasized community policing, the textbook definition of which was developed by Friedmann while he was a GSU professor.
Founded in 1992, GILEE is a Georgia homeland security program. The organization works to improve public safety by enhancing inter-agency cooperation, partnerships and professional educational training among the world's top law enforcement communities, most recently in Israel and Hungary

Tifton Police Chief Buddy Dowdy attended the training in 2015.

UGA Extension entomologists host insect scouting at the Tifton Campus Conference Center and the Southeast Georgia Research and Education Center in Midville.


Even in a world of  remote-monitoring stations and  farm technology , farmers haven't found anything better than the  human eye to  identify emerging crop  problems .

"Insect scouting" -- sending people into a  field of crops to spot  early signs of  pest problems -- is both a  tradition and an  art form.  University of Georgia Cooperative Extension entomologists recently hosted insect scouting schools at the Tifton Campus Conference Center and the Southeast Georgia Research and Education Center in Midville.

"Over  2 million acres of Georgia were planted with  cotton, peanuts and soybeans this year," said  Phillip Roberts , UGA Extension  entomologist . "These types of trainings and demonstrations are a great resource for scouts to learn  pest identification , and for growers to learn  pest management before they cause crop loss."

UGA Extension has offered insect scouting schools annually for the past  four years. The free
 event encourages participants from all backgrounds to attend and receive the trainings.

An estimated  130 scouts, county extension agents, growers and Georgia Farm Bureau staffers attended lectures on insect anatomy, biology, monitoring and damage as well as plant anatomy and pathology for peanuts, cotton and soybeans. 

After the  lectures , participants headed into the  field to learn  scouting procedures and practice  insect identification .  


The Georgia State Patrol's Tifton post made 13 arrests for driving under the influence during June in Tift County, troopers say.

Troopers in the county also issued 203 citations for speeding, 49 for seatbelt violations and 14 for child-restraint violations. A total of 417 warnings were also given.

GSP Post 13 also reports that troopers  during June investigated 36 traffic accidents in the county involving 16 injuries and a fatality.


"Seniors Enjoying Life Forever," or "SELF," have a big dance scheduled  Friday, July 13, at the Leroy Rogers Senior Center in Tifton, featuring music of the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

Doors open at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. and dancing beginning at 8 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring  their favorite dish of food to share.

The event is open to all Tift County seniors.


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