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EYESORE, HISTORIC OR BOTH?
DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT
TWO OF TIFTON'S OLDEST HOUSES ARE RAZED
Two of Tifton's oldest houses -- each more than a century old -- are in the process of being torn down in the 600 block of Tift Avenue. Both structures have been eyesores for decades, although they remained inhabited until the past few weeks.
Frank Sayles Jr.
Earlier this fall, City of Tifton Code Enforcement took the out-of-town owners to court, and city Judge Herbert Benson ordered that the properties either be repaired or demolished. It is said that the cost of refurbishing the houses was more than 50 percent of their value.
The point of restoration apparently had passed for these
homes, and razing them appears to be the viable option now. However, it didn't have to come to this. In the past decade, four or five different individuals had offered to buy the structures to renovate them, but the owner declined to sell.
The houses could have been saved in the past through private enterprise along with incentives available for Historic District renovations. Once again, Tifton has lost a small bit of its past.
There are folks who scoff at calling any structure in Tifton "historic." After all, we are not Savannah, or Macon. But any structure more than 100 years old in Tifton is old for us and part of our history. Tifton wasn't founded until 1872 and wasn't incorporated until 1890, long after many other towns in Georgia. We are a relatively young city.
Before we lose pieces of our past, it would be beneficial if, at the least, residents were made aware before the fact. In this instance, bulldozers were tearing down the houses before hardly anyone knew it. CIty Manager Larry Riner was caught off guard. City Councilwoman Julie Smith, whose district encompasses the houses, said she didn't know about the demolition until it was under way.
City Council has created procedures for structures to be razed within the city's Historic DIstrict partly for this purpose. These include approvals through the city's Historic Preservation Commission and the submission of a post-demolition plan for use of the property. This was not followed in this instance.
When asked if the judge's order supersedes the city's procedures, City Attorney Rob Wilmot said he would have to research the issue. "That's a good question," Wilmot said, noting that he too was surprised about the houses being demolished.
As noted, at this point, demolition is most likely the best option if renovation would be cost-prohibitive and if any potential buyers are long gone, that is if the owner would even consider selling.
Yes, times change and sometimes the old must make way for the new. That is progress. But there should be a balance. Jean Porter, whose family years ago led the preservation effort in Key West, Fla., once said, "A town or city must know and preserve its past so that it can understand its present and visualize its future."
'SING-OFF' CHAMPS INCLUDE TIFTON NATIVE
AUSTIN BROWN & HOME FREE
RELEASING ALBUM, TOURING
VIDEO: Home Free wins NBC's The Sing-Off
Tifton native Austin Brown along with his all-male a capella group Home Free are releasing an album, "Crazy Life," in a couple of weeks on the heels of winning NBC's "The Sing-Off" competition on Monday, Dec. 23.
The Minnesota-based five piece group -- Chris Rupp, Tim Foust, Rob Lunquist, Adam Rupp and Brown -- is releasing their debut album on Columbia Records; it will be available digitally on Jan. 14 and in stores on Feb. 18.
The album will feature original music, as well as covers, including Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," which earned the group major praise from the judges -- Jewel, Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman -- on the NBC reality singing competition.
Video: Home Free & Jewel -
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
Home Free's album will also include the medley of Hunter Hayes songs the outfit performed on Monday's show. Immediately following the show, which was taped, Austin Brown made a surprise appearance at Tifton's Ruby Tuesday's restaurant, where locals had gathered to watch the program and cheer on Brown.
Home Free and other finalists from the show will take part in "The Sing-Off Live Tour," starting Feb. 19 in Verona, N.Y. For winning the SIng-Off, Home Free won $100,000 and signed a recording contract.
Home Free will perform in Tifton in June. More details as they become available.
4th ANNUAL MCDONALD'S TIFT INVITATIONAL
FRIDAY, DEC. 27 & SATURDAY, DEC. 28
14 teams from 3 states / 2 full days of prep basketballl
at Tift County High School
Tift County High Blue Devils / Colquitt County High, Moultrie / Cook County High, Adel /
Valdosta High Wildcats / Vidalia High Indians / Celebration (Fla.) High / Lake Wales (Fla.) High / Johnson High, Savannah / Mills Creek High, Hoschton / W. Orange High, Winter Garden, Fla. / Northside Warner Robins High / Ware County High, Waycross / N. Florida Educational Institute, Jacksonville, Fla. / Maplewood Comprehensive High, Nashville, Tenn.
Games Both Days at Noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.
Who are "we"? We are your community restaurant,
not just a restaurant in your community. Our commitment
goes beyond sponsoring this tournament to include efforts
such as scholarship programs, McTeacher's Night and supporting numerous fundraising efforts in our area.
We take great pride in providing career opportunities
for people that are literally -- our neighbors.
We are your McDonald's.
Enrollment Increase, Front Campus Opening Highlight 2013
One of the highest student enrollment increases of any college in Georgia and the grand re-opening of the historic front campus highlighted 2013 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.
Fall semester classes included an enrollment of 3,394 students, a 5 per cent increase above the 2012 fall term. ABAC President David Bridges said every room was filled at ABAC Lakeside and ABAC Place. Almost 1,000 students were enrolled in bachelor's degree programs, the highest number in the 105-year history of the college.
"We have known it for a while but I think students in the state and the nation are now recognizing ABAC as a bona fide baccalaureate degree-granting institution," Bridges said.
Only 13 colleges and universities in the 31-unit University System of Georgia reported enrollment increases for the 2013 fall term. Only two, Southern Polytechnic and Atlanta Metropolitan, topped the size of the ABAC increase. Students came from 151 of Georgia's 159 counties, 19 states, and 24 countries.
The historic front campus rededication on March 1 included the opening of the George T. Smith Parlor, the History Room and the Presidential Gallery in Tift Hall, as well as the re-opening of Lewis Hall and Herring Hall. The multi-year project also included a complete revamping of the front lawn, a bronze statue of the Stallion mascot and a new sign in front of the college.
Fitzgerald sculptor Randy Anthony carved busts of Henry Harding Tift and Abraham Baldwin out of 500-pound blocks of Georgia marble to complement the Tift Hall entranceway.
Other events at ABAC during 2013 included U.S. News & World Report naming ABAC one of the top public schools in the South region of the United States in its annual "Best Colleges" ranking.
621 Virginia Ave Suite A
Tifton, GA 31794
> Low/0% interest financing available
> Processing most insurance benefits
> Free lifetime service & lifetime programming
> Free video ear wax inspection
> Risk-Free 30-day trial
> Full time, full service Hearing Aid Center
TEAM FITNESS & WELLNESS CHALLENGE
WEIGHT LOSS COMPETITION BEGINS SOON
The local Team Fitness & Wellness Challenge, which begins Monday, Jan. 13, is a
weight loss competition benefitting the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of Tift County.
This event replaces the former "Tifton's Biggest Loser" competition. The new event is similar but was changed for several reasons: The new competition takes some of the focus off the scales by using a points system. The idea is to promote a lifestyle change, and organizers were concerned that the "Biggest Loser" event had so much focus on the weight scales that some people were doing unhealthy diet practices. Also, organizers hope a new name and logo will help attract more attention to the competition.
The 12-week competition begins with participants dropping by Tifton Fitness & Wellness Center, 1488 Old Ocilla Road, between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Jan. 13 to register and weigh in.
Teams of four to six people will compete for a cash prize. Winners are determined based on the most points earned. The majority of points will be awarded for losing weight. Points may also be earned throughout the competition by keeping food and exercise logs, participating in fitness tests Jan. 18 and April 5, participating in the annual Sweetheart Run and winning weekly contests.
"This competition is designed to be a 12-week kickoff to a healthier lifestyle," said event coordinator Sommer Dunston of Rehabilitation Services of Tifton. "We are not just focusing on the scales. We are promoting activities which will lead to long-term success."
The cost to compete is $40 a person. All competitors will receive an event T-shirt. The competition is sponsored by Tifton Fitness & Wellness Center and Rehabilitation Services of Tifton.
FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Voices Heard (Devising Theatre for Adults)
Come join in fellowship on Monday mornings at 10 a.m. This class is designed to serve you, our citizens, as a healthy way to reconnect with the past and share those stories with your peers. We will be reading from published scripts and devising works of art based around your stories. Think of it as Oprah's Book Club, but with your stories told on stage.
January 6 - April 8
Mondays 10-11 a.m. (Adults)
Total Class Cost: $25
Tunes for Toddlers
Take a breather from Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer and engage your little one(s) in our move and groove series. This class is used to introduce them to sound, movement and voice on stage. Move right along with them as they explore the theatre as you plant the seed for cultural appreciation.
January 7 - February 25
Tuesdays 10 - 10:40 a.m. (3 - 5 year olds)
Total Class Cost: $25
Back to Basics (Acting I)
The Tift Theatre is revitalizing its Community Theatre Program and needs YOU! In this introduction to acting class, you will learn the basics of the stage, what it means to act and how to build a character.
January 7 - February 25
Tuesdays 5 - 5:45 p.m. (Kindergarten - 6th Grade)
Tuesdays 6 - 6:45 p.m. (7th Grade- 12th Grade)
Total Class Cost: $35
Musical Theatre Madness
Do you like to act, sing or dance? Do you like watching musicals? Do you dream of being on Broadway? If you answered yes to the above questions, then this class is for you. "Musical Theatre Madness" is designed to explore the mechanics of what makes musical theatre unique. You will learn some of the tools of success that all great actors use and how to apply them to your own acting style.
January 9-February 27
Thursdays 6 - 7p.m. (Kindergarten - 6th Grade)
Thursdays 7:15 - 8:15 p.m. (7th Grade- 12th Grade)
Total Class Cost $35
GEORGIA CHEESE RECALL
SOME HAVE RISK OF SALMONELLA
State Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black, on Thursday, Dec. 26, alerted Georgians to the recall of Flat Creek Farm & Dairy's Heavenly Blue and Aztec Cheddar cheeses, sold in Georgia and Florida, because the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
Georgia Department of Agriculture inspectors will be checking retail stores and food warehouses to make sure the recalled product is removed from sale. Here is the recall
announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
Flat Creek Farm & Dairy of Swainsboro, Ga. has recalled 90 pounds of Heavenly Blue and 78 pounds of Aztec Cheddar cheese, because of potential contamination of Salmonella. Flat Creek is in the process of notifying all of the purchasers. No illnesses have been reported to date.
The cheeses were distributed in certain parts of Georgia and Florida, and six online orders (www.flatcreekdairy.com), which are in the process of being notified. The product is packed in clear plastic and ranges in sizes from � pound to whole wheels. The recall is specific to product marked with the lot codes 130916XHB (Heavenly Blue) and 130823XAZ (Aztec Cheddar), which can be found on the front of the package.
The recall was the result of a routine sampling program conducted by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which revealed that the finished products were potentially contaminated.
Consumers that have purchased this product are urged to return the product to the place of purchase. They may also call Flat Creek Dairy & Farm at 478-237-0123 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for more information.
To view a comprehensive list of food and feed recalls affecting Georgia, Click Here! If this recall expands or additional details become available, the website will provide the most up-to-date information.
NEWS FROM ELSEWHERE
SOME THINGS WE FOUND INTERESTING...
You hit the jackpot ... and get a ticket! Florida cops give lottery tickets to speeders on Christmas (Yahoo News) Click Here!
Did a bulb burn out? Atlanta area Christmas display prompts emergency response (AP) Click Here!
A real sticky situation: Florida woman arrested for flinging peanut butter at brother (UPI) Click Here!
At a Glance....
- 4th Annual McDonald's Tift Invitational basketball, beginning at noon, Tift County High School, Tifton.
- Tift County Blue Devil Brigade Drum Line performs (at Tift Invitational) 6 p.m., Tift County High, Tifton.
- Harry King performs (at Tift Invitational), 7:30 p.m., Tift County High, Tifton.
SATURDAY, DEC. 28:
- 4th Annual McDonald's Tift Invitational basketball, beginning at noon, Tift County High School, Tifton.
- High Definition Hip Hop Dance Team performs (at Tift Invitational) 6 p.m., Tift County High, Tifton.
- Tifton Gymnastics performs (at Tift Invitational) 7:30 p.m., Tift County High, Tifton.
- Precious Melton performs (at Tift Invitational) 9 p.m., Tift County High, Tifton.
June B. Corbett, 93, Adel
Miller B. Tucker, 84, Chula
Georgia Young Bowman, 79, Sylvester
Nelline Buchans, 73, Ambrose
Derry Wayne Walker, Sylvester
Emma Jean Hendley, 73, Nashville
William Derryl "Dub" May, 49, Nashville
Lattie Gene Futch, Tifton
Feras Hasan Alshalabe, 47, Lenox
Grace Jeanette Avera, 88, Nashville
Versacola Sutton, 99, Nashville
SERVING YOU WITH PROFESSIONALISM
BEFORE, DURING & AFTER THE SALE
New Construction: 3 BR, 2 bath, 1,800-square-foot home in well-established subdivision on the west side of Tift County. Custom-built home with hand-skewn laminate floors in foyer, formal dining, den, kitchen and breakfast room. Large MBR with master bath suite, oversized soaking tub, separate shower, double sinks. Split bedroom plan and each additional bedroom with walk-in closets. Double garage, country front porch, patio at rear. Separate kitchen island with custom pot rack and lighting system.
HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR IN YOUR NEW HOME!
Give Dwana Coleman a call to make it happen!
229-386-4222 or 229-821-1174
Blue Skies & Sunshine
Through Each & Every Real Estate Transaction!