JUNE 22, 2018
Tifton, Georgia


The State Road and Tollway Authority this week awarded about $18.1 million for 19 transportation infrastructure projects, including projects in Ocilla and in Irwin and Worth counties.

The funding is through the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (GTIB), said Gov. Nathan Deal.

"Here in the No. 1 state for business, we continue to make strides to keep up with and plan for Georgia's future growth," Deal said. "The GTIB program provides valuable resources to improve mobility in local communities while also strengthening Georgia's transportation network."

Among the projects are:
  • OCILLA -- McKinley Street Widening: $49,198.79 grant
The project will widen McKinley Street from East 11th Street to Frank Road. The portion that is 21 feet in width will be resurfaced; the remaining section that is 16 feet will be widened to 21 feet. The project will improve safety and mobility by preventing vehicles from having to pull over on the shoulder to allow oncoming cars to pass and will address maintenance issues.
  • IRWIN COUNTY -- Clarence Paulk Road Paving Phase I and II: $486,240.06 loan; $261,289.49 grant
The project will pave and widen Clarence Paulk Road ( County Road 37), which is currently a dirt road, for approximately 1.6 miles. This will improve safety and make the road passable during inclement weather, improving reliability for residents and commercial businesses utilizing the route.
  • WORTH COUNTY -- Medders Road Connector: $328,133.40 grant
This project will widen and pave Medders Road for 2.2 miles from SR 112 to Isabella Terrell Road. The project will improve paved road connectivity and reduce travel times for residents, emergency services and the delivery of agricultural goods.


Fort Rucker' s new garrison command sergeant major is Sgt. Maj.  Jasper C. Johnson, a Tifton native.

The change of responsibility ceremony was held last Friday, June 15, at the U.S Army Aviation Museum in  Fort Rucker near Daleville, Ala.

Johnson enlisted in the Army in 1990 and since his time in basic training has served in every leadership position from team leader to command sergeant major.
Fort Rucker Public Affairs Office photo
Command Sgt. Maj. Jasper C. Johnson, right, accepts the garrison colors from Col. Brian E. Walsh, Fort Rucker garrison commander.

He's served in multiple assignments across the globe, including battery first sergeant for the 4- 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in Bamberg, Germany; interim command sergeant major operations sergeant major for the 1-37th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armor Division in Fort Bliss, Texas; and his most recent assignment as the command sergeant major for 1st Battalion, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, "The Old Guard," in Fort Myer, Va.

Johnson has also served on multiple deployments, including Kosovo in support of Operation Joint Guardian, two tours in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Johnson has also received numerous awards and decorations during his tenure in the Army, including the Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal (ninth award), National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, Korean Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 5), Overseas Service Ribbon (Numeral 5), NATO Medal with one Bronze Star, Navy Unity Commendation, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, Canadian Parachutist Badge and German Parachutist Badge.

He has also been inducted into the Order of Saint Maurice, the Order of Saint Barbara and the Order of Saint George.


A ccording to a new analysis from the financial news publication " 24/7 Wall St. ," Albany ranks as the seventh worst city in America.

The report, released last week, notes that " populations of several cities ... are shrinking, but few are losing residents as fast as Albany, Ga. In the last five years, Albany's population declined by 4.8 percent, even as the U.S. population expanded by 3.7 percent. 

"The falling population is likely attributable in part to bleak economic conditions. Some 32.5 percent of city residents live in poverty, more than double the state poverty rate of 16 percent and the U.S. rate of 14 percent," the report notes. 

Also, Albany has a jobless rate of 7 percent, which the report says is the  highest unemployment rate  of any Georgia metro city.

Only one other Georgia city made the list. Atlanta is ranked as the 47th worst city in the nation because 22.4 percent of its residents live below the poverty line and the city has a high violent crime rate.

The "worst cities" at the top of the list are: No. 1, Detroit; No. 2, Flint, Mich.; No. 3, St. Louis; No. 4, Memphis; No. 5, Cleveland; No. 6Wilmington, Del.; and  No. 7, Albany, Ga.

The financial news publication said it reviewed U.S. Census data and compared crime rates, employment, access to amenities, education levels and housing to determine the rankings.


Last year's summer peach crop was disastrous, but Georgia's peach crop has rebounded following colder weather in December and January, says Jeff Cook, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent.

"We were very optimistic this winter, but then we kind of got our feelings hurt because of that late-season freeze in March. But I will say that everybody is excited about having a lot more peaches this year than last year," Cook said.

The mild winter in 2017 contributed to an 80 percent loss of Georgia's peach crop. Cook estimated that about 70 percent of those losses could be attributed to a lack of chill hours.

Peaches need chill hours with temperatures between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit to mature. Most trees need between 900 and 1,000 chill hours.

Peaches require chill hours to grow, though temperatures that dip below freezing can also hurt the quality of the crop. Peach trees bloom in early to mid-March, so late-season freezes can also damage the crop. Cook said a late-season freeze affected this year's crop.

"We started the season with low volume, but now that we are into our high-chill-hour peaches, that volume is picking up with good quality and size," he said.

With district awards are, from left, Tifton Exchange Club members Will R oberts, President Thad Paulk, Angela Elder and Regenia Wells.


The Exhange Club of Tifton won several awards at a recent Exchange Club district convention.
Thad Paulk, left, presents Joy Hill Bids for Kids Award to Roger Hobbs.

The Best Fund raising Award went to  Will Roberts;   Outstanding Secretary Award,  Angela  Elder Best Newsletter Award, Angela Elder Community Service Project for  Public Safety Awards, Regenia Wells, the public safety chair.

The Exchange Club also presented club awards and installed its 2018-2019 officers and board members on Monday

The 2018 Joy Hill Bids for Kids Award, given to a person who went above and beyond for this year's Bids for Kids televised auction, was presented to Roger Hobbs
Incoming President Betty Cromer, left, presents Paulk with a clock.

The 2018 Wallace Bodkin Exchangite of the Year Award, given to one dedicated to meeting the needs of  the Exchange Club, was presented to Betty Cromer .

2018-2019 officers and Board of Directors members are: Betty Cromer, president; Jimmy Cole,president elect; Thad Paulk, past president; Angela Elder, secretary; and Bryan Truelove, treasurer. Two-year board members are Carla Jones, Will Roberts and Nancy Bryan. One-year board members include Regenia Wells, Kristin Morrison and Nancy Bryan

Cromer also presented Paulk with a clock in appreciation for his "time" serving as president this past year.


The 79th Annual Miss Georgia Forestry State Scholarship Pageant is this weekend and next at the Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts in Downtown Tifton.

Today (Friday, June 22) the Teeny Miss competition is at 1 p.m.; Baby Miss, 4 p.m.; and Tiny Miss, 7 p.m.

The pageant resumes Saturday with the Little Miss competition at 3 p.m.; and Junior Miss at 7 p.m.

Next Saturday, June 30, the Teen Miss competition is at 3 p.m., with the Miss and Ms. categories at 7 p.m. at the Tift Theatre.

In addition to receiving scholarships, queens get to serve as ambassadors with Smokey Bear in promoting the Georgia forestry industry. The Forestry Pageant is the oldest scholarship pageant in Georgia.


Jim Glass speaks at the Tift Chamber membership meeting.
One third of students at Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) are dual-enrolled high school  students, the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce was told Thursday.

Jim Glass, SRTC  provost and vice president of academic affairs, said the dual enrollment program allows high school students to also attend SRTC classes for college credit. He said many students at both Tift County High and Tiftarea Academy are taking advantage of the program.

Glass said SRTC is also tailoring some of its training to specified needs of local businesses. SRTC had a record enrollment last fall of 3,903 credit students. This past spring and summer semesters, enrollment increased by 10 percent and 5 percent, respectively. 

He also said 55,000 adult students statewide are enrolled in GED® classes in the Technical College System of Georgia. Those classes are free


Rob Kellner, district chairman for the Georgia Rotary Student Program, stands with Tifton Rotary Club President Shaundra Clark at her last meeting as president of the Tifton club in photo at left.

Kellner said Georgia Rotary clubs are hosting 50 students a year from foreign countries, spending a year in the state as part of Rotary's initiative to " promote peace through understanding." The Tifton Rotary Club has hosted students from Colombia, Ireland and Norway in recent years. 

Kellner said that a former student who came to Valdosta from Russia became a lead anchorman on a Russian television station. He is now working with an international diplomatic program.


Watermelon harvests are under way around the state. According to UGA Extension vegetable horticulturist Tim Coolong, at right, prices are about 20 cents per pound, which is good news for farmers

Coolong and his research team harvested watermelons this week on the University of Georgia Tifton Campus.


Break out the red, white and blue on June 30 when visitors show their patriotic pride at the Wiregrass Freedom Festival at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College's Ga. Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village.    fourth-july-corn.jpg

Face painting, egg races, sack races, a hoop toss, three-legged races, tug-of-war, baseball and fishing with a cane pole. Activities are 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The 1914 Vulcan Steam Train  will be operating all day.  Crafts for kids and an Independence Day oration will add to the atmosphere, enhanced by a pie-baking contest and hand-dipped ice cream.

"We invite neighbors and guests from near and far to join us in celebrating America's birthday through fun, educational and unique activities," said Museum Director Garrett  Boone.

For information, call 229-391-5205.

Volunteers and children at the Tiftarea YMCA's summer camp helped 'pay it forward' Thursday, aiding in gleaning and bagging 1,800 pounds of vegetables.


The Society of St. Andrew is calling upon volunteers in the Tiftarea to help with gleaning sweet corn today, June 22, and Monday, June 25, from 7:45 a.m.-noon.

Gleaners will meet in front of the First United Methodist Church activities center in Tifton and  then carpool to the fields.

Volunteers are asked to call  Sandi Newman at 229-386-5800.

Since 1983, the Society of St. Andrew has salvaged fresh, nutritious produce from farms -- produce that otherwise would be left to rot -- and delivered it to agencies that serve the needy.  


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         . a Glance

  • 'Coffee with a Cop,' 8-10 a.m., Starbucks, U.S. Highway 82, Tifton
  • Miss Georgia Forestry State Scholarship Pageant, 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m., Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Tifton
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m,-Noon, Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Amateur Radio Field Day, 2 p.m., Ashburn Fire Station No. 2, Ashburn
  • Miss Georgia Forestry State Scholarship Pageant, 3 p.m., 7 p.m., Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Tifton

In Memoriam

Eddie Hillmon, 64, Ashburn
Alice Cox Montgomery, 68, Valdosta
Dean Ashton, 63, Dixie

Chad William Griffis, 46, Tifton
Carolyn Weldon Adcock, 84, Suwannee, Fla.
Richard Lynn Robinson, 63, Little Rock, Ark.
Rosalie Khory Harvey,102, Jacksonville, Fla.
Michael Alvin Browning, 54, Valdosta
Agnes Bruce, 98, Boston
Ernest Eugene Yawn, 84, Orange, Texas

Annis Webb Graham, 91, Adel
James Edward Howard, 84, Irwinville Community, Chula

George E. "Skeebo" Warren, 74, Sylvester
Glee Burch Bradley, 69, Screven and Fitzgerald

Araceli Bueno, 54, Tifton
Daniel DeKalb "Dan" Gibson Sr., 81, Palmetto, Fla.
Wendell Raymond Connell, 87, Nashville
Richard M. Seagroves, 77, Midway
William Dukes Jr., 78, Quitman

Shianne Marie Roberts, 22, Irwin County
Gene Arlin Sumner, 79, Sparks

The Rev. Joe Dennie Wiggins, 90, Tifton

11 Edgewater Drive, Tifton
MLS#  128723

This 3,000-square-foot home has 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, high ceilings, custom trim, walk-in closet, an in-ground pool and underground sprinkler system.


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