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MAY 15, 2018
Tifton, Georgia

478-227-7126
tiftongrapevine.com
TAX REDUCTION
PROPOSED TIFT EDUCATION BUDGET
INCLUDES  1-MILL DECREASE

A preliminary $69.5 million general fund budget for the Tift County School System's upcoming fiscal year contains a proposed millage rate reduction in school property taxes.

The  tentative budget has a 1-mill  reduction, with a mill representing approximately $1 in taxes per $1,000 in assessed property value

The Fiscal Year 2019 budget estimates that general fund expenditures will exceed revenues, but an expected fund balance at the end of this fiscal year on June 30 will more than cover the overage. As the proposal now stands, general fund revenues are estimated at $66,450,685, while expenditures are $69,572,327 -- a $3,121,642 difference.

However, the school system expects a $14,183,768 fund balance at the end of this fiscal year. Subtracting the anticipated  overage in next year's expenditures, a $11,062,126 fund balance would be left on June 30, 2019.

The largest expenditure in the proposed budget is $46,323,720 for classroom instruction. School administration expenditures would total $6,421,766. Maintenance and plant operation would cost $4,585,054.

The Tift County Board of Education is expected to approve the FY19 budget next month. To view the tentative budget, Click Here!

Tom Kraemer, right, with the Tifton Elks Lodge's dictionary committee, along with Jeannie Kraemer, not pictured, present Bonnie Sayles, left, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County, 60 dictionaries for adult literacy.
TIFTON ELKS LODGE
DONATES DICTIONARIES
FOR ADULT LITERACY

The Tifton Elks Lodge each year gives dictionaries to local schools, and this year the Elks
Michael Dalton, a Literacy Volunteers tutor, presents a dictionary to student Clarisell Neese.
gave  extra dictionaries for clients of Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County  and for Adult Education students at Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) in Tifton.

In addition to  definitions , the  dictionaries contain information on  every state in the union,  biographies of every president,   including Donald Trump, every major country in the world and every major body of water. They also include the periodic table and the U.S. Constitution

Literacy Volunteers will also share the dictionaries with other groups that tutor adults in reading, English Language Learning (ELL) and GED preparation.

The SRTC Tifton campus is starting its summer session this Thursday. Call 229-381-2615 for information on GED and ELL classes or Literacy Volunteers at 229-391-2526 for free one-on-one tutoring.

SGBC COLLECTS SODA CAN TABS FOR SCHOOL'S DONATION

Throughout the past school year, all South Georgia Banking Co. (SGBC) branches in Tift County have been collecting soda can tabs to be donated to the Shriner's Club through Len Lastinger Primary School's Parent Teacher Organization.  

Thousands of can tabs filled a two-gallon glass jar. Pictured with the jar are students of Len Lastinger whose parents work at SGBC

Front Row from left are Claire Henderson, daughter of Cliff and Carmen Henderson; Norah Campbell, daughter or Jeremy and Maghan Campbell; Caroline Crowley, daughter of Peter and Camille Crowley. Back row from left are Principal Richard Fisher, SGBC Marketing Director Maghan Campbell and the school's Assistant Principal Patsy Shivers.


MEET AND GREET
SRTC, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOLD NETWORKING EVENT

Southern Regional Technical College  and the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Spring Meet & Greet networking event last week at Tifton Gardens downtown.  Local businesses provided refreshments,  and SRTC Economic Development Director Kelly Daniell spoke about some of the things going on at the college. Several door prizes were also presented.
COTTON CROP EXPECTED TO GROW
AFTER TOUGH YEAR OF PESTS, STORMS

Researchers project that Georgia's cotton farmers will plant more than 1.45 million acres this year, an increase from 1.28 million acres in 2017, says Jared Whitaker, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension cotton agronomist.

Farmers plant cotton this month, and prices have increased from increased demand and strong U.S. exports. The UGA Cotton Team believes farmers can expect to price a portion of this year's crop between 72 and 75 cents per pound.

"There's a fair amount of optimism from the farmers I've talked with this year compared to the last couple of years. Yields have decreased because of things out of our control, like weather and insects, namely whiteflies, but we hope that's not the case this year," Whitaker said. " Prices have improved, which should encourage our farmers."

Silverleaf whiteflies and Hurricane Irma dampened cotton farmers' spirits a year ago. An unprecedented outbreak of whiteflies in Georgia in 2017 forced many producers to treat for the pest for the first time.

Whiteflies are tiny, winged insects found on the underside of leaves. They leave behind a sticky substance, called honeydew, that prevents plants from conducting photosynthesis.

The arrival of Irma in early September damaged most Georgia cotton fields, especially those that were affected close to harvest time.

"We obviously want good soil moisture throughout the growing season, but we don't want big storms that bring excessive rainfall and tremendous winds that damage yields," Whitaker said. "Storms can be a blessing at times, but we don't need another Irma."

In 2017, Georgia's average cotton yield was 863 pounds per acre, significantly below the state record of 1,091 pounds per acre, set in 2012.

Georgia remains the second-largest cotton-producing state, second only to Texas. According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Georgia's farm gate value for cotton in 2016 was nearly $967.7 million.

South Georgia Photography

TIFTAREA ACADEMY GRADUATES 2018 CLASS

Tiftarea Academy  graduated 43 seniors last Friday during a ceremony at First Baptist Church of Tifton.
  
Tift County High School holds its  graduation this coming  Saturday morning at Brodie Field .

'PINK OUT THE PARK' RUN FOR
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

A " Pink Out the Park" 5K and fun run for breast cancer awareness will be held beginning at 7:30 a.m.  Saturday, June 2, at Tifton's  Fulwood Park.


Registration forms and payment may be made at Never the Same Boutique on Kennedy Road.


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