JUNE 2, 2017
T-SPLOST ON BALLOT
REGION COUNTIES SEEKING SALES TAX FOR TRANSPORTATION WORK
The 18-county area of the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC), which includes Tift County, is moving forward with plans for a referendum next year on implementing a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or T-SPLOST.
Under state law, when a majority of counties in a region endorse a transportation sales tax, the referendum will be on ballots throughout that region. A majority of SGRC counties have passed resolutions to initiate the process for a regional 1- percent sales tax for transportation purposes.
The Tift County Commission approved a resolution in April supporting the T-SPLOST referendum on the ballot.
A Southern Georgia Regional Transportation Roundtable, consisting of the county commission chair and a mayor from each of the 18 counties, has now named its five representatives to an Executive Committee that will be responsible for reviewing transportation projects submitted from cities and counties in the region and developing a draft list for the Roundtable's consideration.
Tift County Commission Chairman Grady Thompson has been named to the Executive Committee, along with Adel Mayor Buddy Duke and County Commission chairs Bill Slaughter of Lowndes, Neal Bennett of Pierce, and Lace Futch of Atkinson County. The Executive Committee also will include
two members from the state House of Representatives and one from the state Senate, who have not yet been named.
The Roundtable also elected Valdosta Mayor John Gayle as the non-voting chairman of the Executive Committee.
The next step is for the Roundtable to review and adopt criteria for transportation projects, which could include pavement maintenance, road construction, bridge work, and aviation-, bicycle- and pedestrian-related projects. The group will then
prioritize the proposals.
Under state law, 75 percent of T-SPLOST revenue is used for projects on the regional list, and 25 percent is for transportation projects selected at the local level.
The Southern Georgia Regional Commission is a regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency. Its 18 counties are Tift, Turner, Irwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Cook, Clinch, Lowndes, Coffee, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Brooks, Charlton, Lanier, Echols, Pierce and Ware.
ABAC HELPS 'CARRY THE LOAD'
team has made it to
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College announced on its Facebook page this past weekend as ABAC students in the national "Carry the Load" relay reached their destination for Memorial Day.
ABAC students were part of the national relay's
2,000-mile trek from West Point, N.Y., to Dallas, Texas, to call attention to the true meaning of Memorial Day.
The goal of
Carry The Load is to restore
Memorial Day's meaning by connecting Americans to the
military, law enforcement, firefighters and rescue personnel. Carry The Load was established in
2011 by former members of the Navy's Sea, Air, and Land (
ABAC students participating in the national relay this year included Hunter Gainous from Brunswick; Shannon Kehoe from Myakka City, Fla.; Ginger Orton from Tifton; Landon Rowe from Ocilla; Mitchel Sheffield from Donalsonville, Dustin Thomas from Plainville; Collin Vickers from Alapaha; and Madison Woodson from Jesup.
They joined thousands of other participants in Dallas for a "National Moment of Remembrance."
G.O. BAILEY PRIMARY SCHOOL
RECEIVES INCENTIVE GRANTS
The Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence
recently presented Incentive Grants totaling $3,927 to G.O. Bailey Primary School for specified projects.
Award winners are Sara Askew for "Moving Minds Fidget Busters" made possible through the foundation's McCarty School Counseling Chair endowment and "High Touch-High Tech Sounds Like Fun" workshop; Kymberly Buchanan for a visit to the school from the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences; Kimberly Jacobs for a live presentation from the Chehaw Education Migration group; and Emy Aultman for "MakerSpace" stations in the school's media center.
GEORGIA TECHNICAL COLLEGE COMMISSIONER
TO SPEAK AT SRTC GRADUATION
Gretchen Corbin, commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), will be the guest speaker June 15 at
Southern Regional Technical College's (SRTC) commencement ceremony.
More than 315 graduates are anticipated at the ceremony to be held at 7 p.m. in the Colquitt County High School gymnasium.
"Commencement ceremonies are defining moments in life. We are delighted to have Commissioner Corbin share this
experience with our graduates, faculty, staff, family and friends as we pay tribute to those who have worked tirelessly to reach this milestone in their lives," said SRTC President Dr. Craig Wentworth.
"As the leader of the Technical College System of Georgia and the former deputy commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, she (Corbin) has a first-hand knowledge of the demands of a 21st century skilled workforce and the role our graduates will play in meeting those demands," Wentworth said.
Corbin serves the mission of 234,000 students and trainees of the TCSG by leading its divisions in a multi-faceted approach to meet the economic needs of the state. She strives to meet the goals of "Complete College Georgia" while building the system's reputation as the state's primary resource for workforce development.
During her tenure, TCSG has seen advances, including an influx of dual-enrollment students; new options for GED completion and transcript acquisition; a tax credit program for employers who encourage GED completion, the opening of the Georgia BioScience Training Center and other new facilities, and a mobile app to facilitate college registration.
Corbin is involved in a number of professional and civic organizations, including Leadership Georgia, where she has served as president and chairman. She is a member of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute External Advisory Board, the University of Georgia's Board of Visitors, and the Fanning Institute Board of Directors. She is also a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow and has been named the last four years as one of Georgia Trend magazine's 100 most influential Georgians. A native of
Cedartown, she, her husband
David, and their two daughters reside in
UGA TIFTON 'DISTINGUISHED RESEARCH PROF'
HAS IMPACT ON AGRICULTURE, PEANUTS
The professor of
is widely recognized as a
n apomixis, the asexual production of seeds in plants.
phenomenon was intensely studied for decades, there was little to show for these efforts.
Ozias-Akins took a
pioneering approach and applied a combination of forward genetics, genetic engineering and genomics to the problem. She was among the first to ever localize apomixis to a chromosomal region, and later she found the
first plant gene associated with apomixis.
Her work lays the foundation to begin research into systematic application of apomixis in plant breeding, which could have a major
agriculture in both
Ozias-Akins has been equally successful in applying the
molecular biology tools that she has developed to specific cases of
crop improvement, most notably the
peanut. Her decades-long focus on
peanut improvement has had significant scientific, agricultural and economic impact,
TIFTON-TIFT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
908 Bellview Ave.,
From left are Leadership Scholarship recipients Emma Norman, Emily Salter, Jayna Sims and Elizabeth McClain.
TIFTON JR. WOMAN'S CLUB AWARDS
FOUR LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIPS
The Tifton Junior Woman's Club has awarded four $1,000 Leadership Scholarships to local students. The scholarships are a result of the club's fundraising efforts through its annual Glow Run.
The scholarship recipients are, from Tift County High School, Emma Norman, Emily Salter and Jayna Sims; from Tiftarea Academy, Elizabeth McClain.
"These young ladies excelled in both their commitment to community service as well as in their academics," the Junior Woman's Club said.
TIFTON FIRST UNITED METHODIST PRE-K GRADUATES
Twenty-seven children in Tifton's First United Methodist Church's Pre-K4 program received diplomas in a recent graduation ceremony.
The Preschool is an outreach ministry of First United Methodist Church for children ages infant through Pre-K4.
The 2017 graduates are Mason Abbott, Ella Abney,
Allie Barton, Cullen Boney, Mabre Braswell, Amy Lister Brown, Branden Chung, Claire Dove, Bailee Duke, Will Fresh, Trenton
Fulp, Paul Fulwood, Ella Kate Harrison, Miles Hudson, Ava Kelley, Brendan Kinsey, Harper Lovell, John David Marchant, Katherine Paulk, Aria Pittman, Luke Schmeisser, Marlee Schwartz, Sullivan Tubbs, Maddox Ward, Miller Ward, Will Webster and Jaxson White.
At the ceremony, 51 three year olds also performed songs they had learned throughout the year with parents and grandparents in the attendance.
SEN. KIRK TO CO-CHAIR 'COPS' TASK FORCE
State Sen. Greg Kirk, R-Americus, was recently appointed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to serve as co-chair of the Compensation of Police and Sheriffs (COPS) Task Force. Kirk serves alongside Cagle and state Sens. Tyler Harper, R-Ocilla; Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega; John Wilkinson, R-Toccoa; and Tonya Anderson, D-Lithonia.
"Georgia's law enforcement community is composed of the best and brightest officers in the nation who put their lives on the line daily to keep us safe," Kirk
"It is time we return the favor by ensuring our officers are receiving the compensation and benefits they deserve for their selfless service to our state."
During the recent legislative session, Kirk sponsored three bills which made up a legislative package known as "Back the Badge." These bills sought to increase the compensation for Georgia's law enforcement community. Kirk also co-sponsored the fourth bill in the package, Sen. Harper's "Back the Badge Act of 2017," which increases the penalties for those convicted of attacking a public safety officer.
The COPS Task Force will bring legislators, law enforcement agencies and community partners together to address ways to increase officer retention, compare officer compensation and benefits with other states, as well as identify any unnecessary regulations keeping officers from performing their jobs as efficiently as possible.
The Task Force will include staff from the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, the Georgia Municipal Association, the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Georgia Sheriffs Association.
..at a Glance
Tifton Invitational Swim Meet
, 8 a.m., Tift County Recreation pool, Tifton
- Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
- Sylvester Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, downtown train depot, Sylvester
- World Atlatl Day, 9 a.m., Ga. Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village, Tifton
- Summer Reading Kickoff, 2-3 p.m., Tifton-Tift County Public Library, Tifton
Christopher James Brown, 42, Ty Ty
Andre McLeod, 60,
Charles Leroy Harper, 87, Nashville
Betty Jane Myers Hubbard, 81, Fitzgerald
Keith Revels, 57, Eastman
Gene Carswell, 79, Ashburn
Daniel Baker Nail, 93, Quitman
John "Wade" Hartsfield, 59, Tifton
Velvia Faye Nolan, 71,
Anne Marie Lambert Tucker, 58, Tifton
William Franklin "Billy" Junkins Sr., 80, Tifton
Jim Morgan "Jimmy" Fouche Jr., 73, Tifton
Forrest J. Caldwell Sr., 73, Adel
Faye Stone Clark Roberson, 64, Ocilla
Janet Mincey Brockett Spires, 50, Tifton
, 92, Decatur, formerly of Tifton
Butch Stein, 76, Quitman
Angela Rena Merritt
, 58, Tifton
Randall Carlton "Hippie" Sumner, 77, Nashville
E.L. Duckworth, 87, Irwin County
Carolyn Jones, 79, Lilburn
Frances Lollie Edwards McGinty, 90, Tifton
Myrtle Grace Paulk Willis Cook, 76,
Betty Carol Jerkins Dean, 77,
Lucy Vivian Brooks, 76,
Johnny W. Booth, 75, Worth County
Madison Taylor Gray, 14, Nashville
Jerry Weeks, 71, Sparks
Earnest Jermaine Brown, Albany
J.N. Pilkinton, 75,
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