Friday, Jan. 31, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
VIDEO: The Super Bowl commercial showing the apparent demise of Mr. Peanut.
SAY IT AIN'T SO!
MR. PEANUT DIES DURING SUPER BOWL AS PEANUTS GET SPOTLIGHT DURING BIG-GAME COMMERCIALS
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
Peanuts are a part of life, especially here in South Georgia , and Mr. Peanut is the industry's best known promoter of the legume .

So, it was surprising when Planter's Peanuts announced that Mr. Peanut dies in a pre-game commercial to be aired this Sunday before the Super Bowl . Quite frankly, it left many folks shell-shocked .

Planters "will kill off the iconic Mr. Peanut for the sake of good television ," Tifton's Tyron Spearman recently said on Southeast AgNet radio network. Spearman , who noted Mr. Peanut's "untimely demise" at the tender age of 104 , said "it could be Mr. Peanut is finally gone , or it could be just another marketing stunt ."

In the TV commercial , actors Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh are singing as they travel in the NUTmobile with Mr. Peanut driving. The three are ejected when Mr. Peanut swerves to avoid an armadillo , and the vehicle  crashes into a canyon. They are all holding into a branch which begins snapping , and Mr. Peanut gallantly lets go to save the others, falling into the canyon atop the NUTmobile, which then explodes.

Mr. Peanut is apparently roasted , and that's the commercial in a nutshell .

Planters is said to also have another commercial to be aired during the Super Bowl's third quarter about Mr. Peanut's funeral .

Spearman said Planters isn't the only company promoting peanuts on Sunday during the game. Mars Wrigley Associates will have a commercial about its recent World's Largest Snickers Bar , weighing more than 4,700 pounds and measuring two feet high and 26 inches wide .

It was made in Waco, Texas , and certified as the world's largest by the Guinness Book of World Records . The bar, using the same ingredients found in every Snickers bar – milk chocolate, nougat, caramel and peanuts – represents about 43,000 single-size Snickers bars put together.

By the way, a 30-second Super Bowl commercial this year is said to cost about $5.6 million – and we're not talking just peanuts!
GSP FIRES 32 TROOPERS
FOR CHEATING ON TEST
AMONG THEM, TROOPER IN TIFTON POST 13
A Georgia state trooper at Tifton's Post 13 is among the 32 troopers who have been fired after being accused of cheating on an exam , according to the Georgia State Patrol (GSP).

Jose Perez of Colquitt County was assigned to the Tifton post. He was a member of the 106th class of the Georgia State Patrol Trooper School . The entire class, which graduated Aug. 16, has been dismissed following an investigation of cheating on an online test , the GSP said Wednesday .

Col. Mark W. McDonough , commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety , said that 32 troopers were fired after being accused of cheating on an online exam for speed-detection operation . One other trooper has resigned .

McDonough said he has ordered an audit of the training department , which could lead to other disciplinary action . He said the scandal is a "punch to the gut."

The investigation began with allegations of two cadets cheating , McDonough said. Cadets were helping each other with the test, searching the Internet for posted test questions and answers , and setting up Snapchat accounts to help, he said. One cadet got someone outside of the GSP to take the test for him, the colonel said.

McDonough said an investigation confirmed four allegations: Every trooper cheated on the speed-detection operator exam ; a cadet helped another cadet with the exam; three cadets assisted another with the exam; and a training instructor printed a makeup exam and permitted two cadets , who had failed , to take it back to their rooms to study .

As a result of the cheating, the GSP will no longer use online tests , relying entirely on tests taken in person in front of instructors, McDonough said.
GET ADVANCE TICKETS AT THESE LOCATIONS:
Tickets may be purchased at Espresso 41, Fresco Italiano, K&K Custom Creations, and Destiny Fitness. Chocolatiers at the event include Cole's Cakery, Fresco Italiano, The Howard Center, K&K Custom Creations, Publix, Ruby Tuesday, and Taco Loco.
TIFT JOBLESS RATE
REMAINS AT RECORD LOW
Unemployment ticked up slightly in Tift County during December but still remained at a record low rate, according to the Ga. Department of Labor (DOL).

In data that the DOL recently released, the jobless rate in Tift County during December was 2.9 percent. It was 2.7 percent in November , but was 3.8 percent during the same period the year before .

In the Tiftarea , Cook County was 3.4 percent in December and 3 percent in November ; Worth , 3.3 percent ( Dec. ) and 3 percent ( Nov. ); Turner , 3.8 percent, and 3.2 percent respectively; Irwin , 4.4 percent, and 3.6 percent; Berrien , 4.4 percent, and 4.3 percent; and Ben Hill County , 5.5 percent ( Dec. ), and 4.9 percent ( Nov. ).

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said that 2019 was a banner year for the state with increases in jobs, work force and employed residents. 
 
The year-end numbers in all three categories were record highs, preliminary numbers showed. At the same time, the December unemployment rate was another record low
 
Georgia closed out 2019 on a very high note ,” Butler said. “We set records right across the board on all the major indicators . It’s kind of hard to have any better year than Georgia had.”
TIFT SHOW CHOIR PLACES FIRST
IN SOUTHEAST COMPETITION
Tift County Schools' "One Voice" show choir , consisting of students in grades 7-8 , swept several categories including first place overall in the Tallassee Capital City Classic in Montgomery, Ala. , last weekend.

In addition to winning overall First Place , One Voice won Best Vocals, Best Choreography and Best Show Design .

Choirs from across the Southeast competed, and more than 40 groups performed during the weekend event.

The One Voice show choir is comprised of 52 middle school students under the direction of Pam McClellan and Dr. Martha Boutwell , with choreographer J.J. Jackson

One Voice is participating in the Enterprise Southland Show Choir Classic this weekend in Enterprise Ala.
SRTC President Jim Glass strolls along campus with some of the students.
SRTC HITS RECORD ENROLLMENT
Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) announced Wednesday that it had achieved record student enrollment for the eighth consecutive term.

For the spring semester , SRTC’s total enrollment hit a record high for a spring semester of 4,997 students. This is a 15.1 percent increase in enrollment with a 15.4 percent increase in full-time equivalency when compared with SRTC’s spring 2019 figures.  

These numbers are more than triple the statewide average enrollment growth across the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), which has increased by about 4.5 percent during the same time period. All numbers are from the TCSG data center. 

The spring semester marks the third semester that Jim Glass has served SRTC as president .

“I certainly credit the faculty and staff of SRTC with our remarkable growth ,” Glass said. “They are committed to providing the kind of high-quality education that is required in our service delivery area. Our programs are thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of students, employers, and the communities we serve.” 

This year, the college will add a Saturday-only welding program called SRTC-Flex, continuing the college’s mission to provide convenient courses in high-demand fields . More new programs are anticipated this year.

SRTC has instructional sites in Tift, Turner, Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Thomas, and Worth counties.
RAIN FORCES IRWIN TO CANCEL
'EVENING WITH CHAMPIONS'
Because of anticipated rain, the Irwin County High Football Touchdown Club has cancelled the "Evening with the Champions" that was scheduled tonight (Friday) at Indian Field.

"The cafeteria is just not large enough to house the crowd we anticipated. The Touchdown Club will notify the community of the new date as soon as the date is confirmed," the Touchdown Club noted on social media.

"The Evening with the Champions" was scheduled as a fundraiser to help pay for the team's state championship rings, which have been ordered but not yet received.

The Irwin County High Indians won the Class A public high school state championship title during December in Atlanta.
ROTARY GETS UPDATE ON TRMC TOWER, HEART PROGRAM
The Tifton Rotary Club on Wednesday got an update on both the new patient tower under construction at Tift Regional Medical Center and the Georgia HEART program.

Chris Efaw , vice president for outreach and development for Tift Regional Medical Center and Southwell Inc., said the first floor of the new tower will house emergency services . The number of patient beds will not increase , but the additional rooms will allow each patient room to be a private one at Tift Regional.

This will create a better experience for patients , prevent the sharing of private information and prevent a possibility of spreading infections , Efaw said. A new state-of-the-art ICU will also be located in the new tower.

Efaw also discussed the Georgia HEART program , which allows residents to designate their state tax dollars to directly impact their local rural hospitals in the community – such as Tift Regional Medical Center .

Georgia lawmakers enacted the Georgia HEART rural hospital organization expense tax credit program to encourage taxpayers to contribute to aid patient offerings of rural hospitals, helping offset some of the cost of indigent care . The state allows for a 100 percent state tax credit for a contribution, making it attractive to individuals and corporations considering a philanthropic gift to their local rural hospital. 

For information , contact  TiftRegional.com/taxcredi t
TIFT COUNTIANS CAN AID CAT RESCUE EFFORTS
DONATIONS FOR SPAYING, NEUTERING FEES
COULD HELP LOCAL CATS FIND HOMES
Ten cats at the Tift County Animal Shelter stand a chance of being rescued by a rescue organization and finding homes if their spaying and neutering fees are paid by local residents.

Any pledges or donations toward this effort will make it possible for these cats to get the help they need. Some of them have been waiting for a long time, according to Tift Animal Rescue . As of Thursday night, $305 had been raised. To donate , Click Here!
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Visit the Tift County Animal Shelter, 1-6 p.m., Mondays-Fridays, 
at 278 Ga. Highway 125 South in Tifton.
YOUR WEEKEND
...at a Glance

FRIDAY, JAN. 31

  • Tift County High Blue Devils basketball @ Camden High, 6 p.m., Kingsland
  • Travis Tritt in concert, 8 p.m., Albany Civic Center, Albany

SATURDAY, FEB. 1

  • St. Anne's Relay for Life Yard Sale, 8 a.m.-Noon, St. Anne's Episcopal Church, Tifton
  • Stallion Day, 8 a.m., Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Tifton
  • Outrageous & Contagious Women's Conference, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton
  • Miss Georgia Irwin 2020, 10 a.m., Irwin County High School, Ocilla
  • Ground Hog Day Campground Craft, 10 a.m., Georgia Veterans State Park, Cordele
  • Wiregrass Kids: All About Ag Technology, 1:30 p.m., Ga. Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village, Tifton
  • Tift County High Blue Devils basketball @ Brunswick High, 6 p.m., Brunswick
candle-flames-banner.jpg
JAN. 23
Buddy Nobles, 53, Fitzgerald
Josh Holton, 32, Fitzgerald
William Patrick "Packy" O’Connor, 55, Ft. Pierce, Fla.

JAN. 24
Mary Louise Stolz York, 87, Tifton
Chalmes Pridgen, 84, West Berrien
Charles W. Bryant, 86, Lenox

JAN. 25
Charles “Doodle” H. Thomoson, 82, Tifton
Hilda Mae Sutton Stephens, 97, Sylvester
Malgram R. “Sam” Wright, 86, Fitzgerald

JAN. 26
Wylene Tucker Parr, 94, Tifton
Von Eugene Ives, 82, Albany

JAN. 27
Dr. Harry Louis Sutton, 88, Nashville
Jean Baker, 82, Lenox
Peggy Ann Warrick, 70, Pavo
Hattie Clay, Sylvester

JAN. 28
Charles Lewis "Sonny" Fletcher, 84, Irwin County
Lisa Darlene Roark, 61, Valdosta

JAN. 29
Pat Walls, 97, Chula
Edna Horne Swilley, 86, Adel
Charlene Rita Gould, 69, Ray City
Rebecca “Becky” Elaine Crissman, 43, Cordele
John Randolph Smith Sr., 82, Adel
JAN. 30
Colonel Bill G. Rippy, 89, Tifton
Richard Glen Temple, 82, Tifton

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Tifton Grapevine
e-published every Tuesday and Friday

Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
A Service of Sayles Unlimited Marketing LLC , Tifton, Georgia