APRIL 13, 2018
Tifton, Georgia


Tift County High School is one of 213 schools in Georgia named an Advanced Placement (AP) STEM Honor School for 2018, state School Superintendent Richard Woods announced Thursday.

Georgia saw an increase in the amount of AP STEM Schools, which have students testing in at least two AP math courses and at least two AP science courses.

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM schools focus on those subjects to help students gain the skills required to succeed in today's world. This includes the ability to think critically, solve complex problems, and drive advancements in science and technology.

Woods named a total of 
685 AP Honor Schools in various categories. Only one other school in the Tiftarea was on the AP Honor list: Fitzgerald High School, which was named an AP Challenge Honor School. The Challenge Honor Schools have an enrollment of 900 or fewer students with the students testing in four of the core areas (English, math, science and
social studies).

"Georgia's schools continue to expand opportunities for their students, including through their AP offerings," Woods said. "We know the AP program produces strong results. For example, the graduation rate for students who complete just one AP course is 98 percent."

AP exams are administered by the College Board, which also administers the SAT. AP courses are one of several ways Georgia students can access college-level learning at the high-school level; students who receive a 3, 4, or 5 on an AP exam may receive college credit.

Georgia  is ranked 15th in the nation  for the percentage of students scoring 3, 4, or 5 on at least one AP exam during high school, and 12th in the nation for AP participation.

The Georgia Department of Education began recognizing AP Honor Schools in 2008

Claire Slocum Byrnes received the Outstanding Health Care Professional Award from the ABAC Alumni Association recently. On stage for the presentation are, from left, Alumni Association President Niki Vanderslice, Melissa Pierzchajlo, Byrnes, and ABAC President David Bridges.    

Claire Slocum Byrnes of Tifton received the Outstanding Health Care Professional Award from the ABAC Alumni Association during the recent Homecoming awards luncheon at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

The ceremony recognized ABAC alumni who have had significant impacts on the college and on their communities.
Byrnes is a 2004 ABAC graduate who is the senior vice president for ambulatory services for Tift Regional Health System (TRHS). An employee at TRHS since 2008, Byrnes provides executive oversight for the system's ambulatory division, including physician clinics, oncology, hospice/palliative care, musculoskeletal services, rehabilitation, wound care, neurodiagnostics, and more.
She received her bachelor's degree in health services administration from the University of Central Florida and her master's degree in health administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Other ABAC Alumni award winners included Jimmy Hill of Dawsonville, Distinguished Alumnus; T.E. Moye of Newton, Master Farmer; Ada Beth Spruill of Hartsfield, Helen Brown Sasser Award; Dr. Anna Daniel Reddish of Atlanta, J. Lamar Branch Award; Steve Spooner of Sumner, Outstanding Business Leader; Nancy Purcell Hyte of Atlanta, Outstanding Educator; Ben Kennedy of Bluffton, S.C., Outstanding Young Alumnus; the family of Clarie Whitfield from Worth County, Family Legacy Award; Spencer Highsmith of Wray; Rising Star Award; and Sen. Jeff Mullis of Chickamauga, Honorary Alumnus.


Members of the Ga. Department of Transportation crew in Turner County wore orange on Wednesday in memory of the last Southwest District DOT employee killed in a work zone.

Survey Party Chief Tommy G. Hudson of Ocilla was working on the shoulder of State Road 107 in Turner County in 2005 when a vehicle crossed the center line and struck him. 

Assistant Maintenance Foreman Travis Butler and equipment operators Jerome Holley, Larry Johnson and Johnny Collins chose orange to honor Hudson during National Work Zone Awareness Week.


During Tift County schools' spring break last week, the Tifton Lion's Club, Tifton-Tift County Public Library, the Society of St. Andrew, Tift County Commission on Children and Youth, the Youth Ministry of First United Methodist Church and the Tift Housing Authority hosted a spring break event at the Bellview Community Center.

Lunch was provided for the children along with sports, games and other activities. A fire truck at the scene was also a big hit with the kids.
Natalie Rippy and Amy Walker


Tiftarea Academy has recognized Natalie Rippy as Upper School Teacher of the Year, and  Amy Walker as Lower School Teacher of the Year for the 2017-2018 school year. 

Rippy teaches eighth and ninth grade English at Tiftarea Academy. She has more than 13 years of classroom experience with six years at Tiftarea. She and her husband, Bob, have two children, Garrett Rippy (TA Class of 2011) of Greenville, N.C., and Ali Rippy (TA Class of 2014) of Tifton.

Rippy was also named STAR Teacher this year by senior Natalie Yaeger

Walker is a graduate of Tiftarea Academy and has been teaching first grade at TA for 17 years. She and her husband, Brian, have two children, Brooks and Audrey

Both teachers were selected by their peers for the honor.


The Tift County Sheriff's Office wants residents to be aware that the Sheriff's Office continues to receive calls about a local phone scam in which the scammers impersonate law enforcement personnel to fraudulently obtain money from innocent victims.

The scammer can also manipulate caller ID to make the number appear to come from the local area code, local law enforcement, the sheriff's office or 911. The caller tells the person there is a warrant out for their arrest for a certain amount of fine. The reason for the warrant is represented as having missed jury duty.

The scammer then tells the potential victim they may pay $500 or a warrant will be issued for their arrest.

The scammer provides instructions on how the payment should be submitted, usually through an "eGift" cash card or similar payment to a specified by the caller. These scam artists use pre-paid phones and many times are not even in Tift County, making their apprehension difficult.

The Tift County Sheriff's Office will never ask for payment over the phone or offer to negotiate for reduced payment in lieu of arrest.

Anyone who has been a victim of this scam, or who receives such a call, is encouraged to take down as much information as possible, such as a name and call back number, without giving any information away. Then, immediately contact the Tift County Sheriff's Office at 229-388-6020 or call 911.


The Tiftarea YMCA's 9th Annual Tour de Tifton/Ilse Boyette Memorial Charity Bike Ride is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, April 14

The ride begins and ends at the TIftarea YMCA Hunt Park on 1823 Westover Road. There will be a beginner's 11-mile course, intermediate level 25- and 45-mile, and 62- and 100-mile century routes for advanced riders.
All individual pre-registered participants will receive a T-shirt. Family registrants will receive one T-shirt per family. Participants completing either of the century courses will receive a special gift. Lunch will be provided.
Proceeds benefit Tiftarea YMCA programs and scholarships for underprivileged youth, and the book fund for Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College nursing students in memory of Ilse Boyette.
For information, call the Tiftarea YMCA, 229-391-9622, or email

Let's Play 


The Brumbys  are hosting a Pickleball event
on the Brumby Tennis Courts
(3602 Fulwood Road, Tifton)
 this Saturday, 9:00-12:00.  

Balls and  paddles are furnished.

Coaches Mike & Moppy Brumby will conduct an orientation/warm-up at 9 a.m. The event is all doubles. 

Coach Brumby will pair you with different partners
and opponents each round. 

The cost is $10.

If you have questions and/or wish  to sign up, email
 or call 229-382-7515  to speak to Mike or Moppy.

No previous experience is required.


Ashley Carroll, the new face of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Tift County 4-H Youth Development program, has roots in Tifton.

A 2015 graduate of the UGA Tifton campus, the Moultrie native is thankful she's back in a community she once called home and believes her alma mater prepared her for this opportunity.

"As an agricultural education major, I had the opportunity to work with students in Tift andsurrounding counties in various capacities, and I believe that really gave me a head start in my career," Carroll said. 

"I did a lot of networking while at UGA Tifton; and now that I am back in the Tifton community, it's nice to be able to call on those who I worked with, whether they are professors or the students I graduated with."

Carroll has been passionate about 4-H since she was an active member in Colquitt County. After high school graduation, Carroll worked as a 4-H program assistant in the Southwest District Extension office and as a 4-H educator in Dougherty County.

In addition to her degree from UGA, Carroll earned a master's degree in agricultural and extension education, and a graduate certificate in youth development and leadership from North Carolina State University.

As the Tift County 4-H agent, Carroll leads a thriving 4-H organization of more than 1,700 students. Tift County 4-H offers programs such as Project Achievement, livestock showing, Project S.A.F.E. (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education) shooting sports, residential summer camps, leadership and citizenship programs and a multitude of judging teams for students in fifth through 12th grades.

"This is my dream job, and I am so proud to represent the 4-H'ers in Tift County," she said.
Carroll started in her position in Tift County two months ago.


WoodmenLife Hosts Veterans Dinner

The Tifton Chapter 144 of WoodmenLife hosted a veterans dinner at the chapter hall Thursday night

Armed forces veterans in the community were invited as guests.  Dinner served was a meal of fried chicken and BBQ from Wishbone of Tifton. 

Chapter members thanked the 15 veterans in attendance. 

The chapter holds member meetings at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at 1644 U.S. Highway 82 E., Tifton. A potluck-style dinner is held before the business meeting. 

FROM ASHBURN TO USAF:  U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Oceana Barber
has graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas
The airman, a 2008 graduate of Turner County High Schoolcompleted an intensive, eight-week program.  Barber is the daughter of Chiquita and Darrell Bivens and granddaughter of Lonnie and Wayne Ford, all of Ashburn
...  PLANTAPALOOZA:  UGA Tifton  students have been hosting a
plant sale on campus that  ends today from  noon-2 p.m. The annual sale at the UGA Tifton greenhouse helps to cover the cost of UGA Tifton seniors' attendance at the  National FFA Convention.  ... PUT ON YOUR DANCIN' SHOES: The Tift SELF group (Seniors Enjoying Life Forever) is hosting a dance next Friday, April 20, at the Leroy Rogers Senior Center. Doors open at 6 p.m., and participants are asked to bring a dish of of their favorite food for dinner.


The Agricultural Engineering Technology Club at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College is hosting the annual spring truck and tractor pull this weekend at the ABAC Pull Track

Gates open at 6 p.m. and pulling will begin at 7 p.m. today (Friday). On Saturday, gates will open at 5 p.m. and pulling begins at 6 p.m. 

The event kicked off Thursday with Amateur Night.

Highlighting the truck and tractor pull will be ABAC's own Altered Allis in the competition. 

The Southern Pullers Association was formed in the early 1990s to help organize local pullers who had been pulling for years under other sanctioning bodies. Some of the regular pullers have been pulling since the early 1970s and are still dedicated pullers with the Southern Pullers Association organization today.  

For information, visit


The Rotary Club of Tifton on Wednesday heard about Diversified Enterprises from its director, Dave Wilbur.

In the photo from left are Tifton Rotarian Marion Curry, Wilbur and Tifton Rotary Club President Shaundra Clark. Wilbur succeeded Curry as director of the agency 16 months ago after a nationwide search. 

Diversified Enterprises is in its 49th year, having been started in 1969 by 20 parents of disabled adults. The agency is governed by the Tift County Board of Health. Diversified serves 16 counties and assists disabled adults with finding work, finding volunteer opportunities and helping them with transition into group homes, host homes and some independent homes, rather than a housing facility. 

The mission is to empower individuals to live, work and participate fully in their community.


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         . a Glance

  • Plant Sale, Noon-2 p.m., UGA Tifton greenhouse, Tifton
  • Pre-Show Cruise-In: Goin' Hog Wild Car Show, 6 p.m., UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton
  • AET Truck & Tractor Pull, 7 p.m., ABAC Pull Track, Tifton

  • Tour de Tifton Bike Ride, 8 a.m., YMCA Hunt Park, Westover Road, Tifton
  • Goin' Hog Wild Car Show, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Pickleball Event, 9 a.m.-Noon, Brumby Tennis Courts, 3602 Fulwood Road, Tifton
  • Kiwanis Club Chicken Q, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Social Hall, First United Methodist Church, Tifton
  • Men's Wild Game Supper, 5:30 p.m., Tifton Missionary Baptist Church, Tifton
  • An Evening with Antonio Jones, 6 p.m., Leroy Rogers Senior Center, Tifton
  • TRMC Hearts & Diamonds Gala: 'Havana Nights,' 7 p.m., UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton
  • AET Truck & Tractor Pull, 6 p.m, ABAC Pull Track, Tifton
  • National Pecan Day, 7 p.m., The SPOT, Moody Air Force Base, Valdosta


In Memoriam

Ruth Thrasher McCormick, 94, Tifton
Gary Leon Flanders, 71, Tifton
Alan Ferris Moore, 58, Ray City
Pamela Nichole Carlo, 28, Adel

Nellie E. Castleberry Selph, 94, Tifton
Lillian Louise Mickel, 81, Nashville
Sara Lyon Owens, 74, Douglas

Norma Lynn Cranford Benter, 65, Tifton
Herman Gartrelle Graham, 81, Fitzgerald
Samantha Alisha Hall, 27, Nashville
Brad Allen Thompson, 30, Valdosta
Sonya Yvette "YMama" Norman, 68, Jacksonville, Fla.

Thelma Purvis Rowan, 86, Tifton
James W. "Jimmy" Ray, 80, Tifton
Wiley Lovett Griffin, 89, Fitzgerald
Rita Ann Walker, 50, Adel

Randall "Scott" Bennett, 52, Sparks
Lydia Michelle "Shelly" Skinner, 46, Enigma
Thomas Mathew Fussell, 86, Macon
Sara Ann Moree, 84, Fayetteville
Patricia Jo Miley, 67, Adel

Donnie Lester Griffin, Sr., 74, Tifton
Ruby F. Clemons, 81, Fitzgerald
Bill Edward Padgett Sr., 84, Fitzgerald

Mary Tucker Georgeson, 59, Tifton

Louise Sanford, Sylvester

322 Brighton Road, Tifton, GA
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