Aug. 12, 2016
           Tifton, Georgia

    (478) 227-7126


The Drifters
It's Tifton's premier event of the season: The Drifters, original members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, are coming to town for an evening of great music, spirited  dancing  and fine dining -- and all for a great cause.

On Thursday, Sept. 8, the Tifton-Tift County Public Library Foundation is bringing one of rock & roll's founding vocal groups to the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. This is the Library Foundation's annual fundraiser.

The Drifters have had numerous hits, such as " U p on the Roof," "Under the Boardwalk," "This Magic Moment," "There Goes My Baby," "Save the Last Dance for Me," "Spanish Harlem," "On Broadway" and "Stand by Me." They are  once again touring the United States under the auspices of their original management team, which has come out of retirement for this tour.

The Drifters were in the very first class of inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and were inducted along with The Beatles,  the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and the Supremes. Their classic tune "Under The Boardwalk" is the most played R&B record of all time.

They have played at the White House on three occasions, have given a benefit concert in Berlin the day the wall fell, have performed for the Pope, for the Queen of England, for Nelson Mandella and have toured the world for the USO in three war zones.

And now they will perform for you live in Tifton. Limited sponsorships are still available to reserve a table or two. Individual tickets are also on sale now at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center (click hereand at the Public Library. Individual dinner & show tickets are $80 each, and show-only tickets are $35.

Dress for the event is black-tie optional or 1950s attire.

For information, call 478-227-7126.


Bucking a nationwide trend of declining student numbers, enrollment at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College has increased for the third time in the past four years, according to the figures from the first day of fall semester classes Wednesday.

ABAC President David Bridges said the early enrollment data indicates a student population of 3,451, a slight increase from the 3,393 students enrolled for the 2015 fall semester. ABAC also increased its
ABAC students crowd the sidewalk in front of Conger Hall on Wednesday, the first day of classes. 
enrollment in 2013 and 2014, the only college or university south of Macon in the University System of Georgia (USG) to accomplish that feat.

"I have been studying the numbers all week, and it looks as if the enrollment from Florida, South Carolina and Alabama has pushed us past last year," said Bridges. "We're up 35 percent in those states.

"ABAC is a destination college for most of those students since the majority of them are involved in our bachelor's degrees in agriculture. I think the neighbor waivers certainly played a role in those students' decisions to attend ABAC."

The USG instituted a policy in 2015 allowing specified colleges to waive out-of-state tuition for students from bordering states. ABAC used its neighbor waivers as an incentive, resulting in a 24 percent increase in Florida students, a 79 percent increase in South Carolina students, and a 50 percent increase in students from Alabama.

"We usually attract students from 23 or 24 other states, and we've seen the number go up just in those three states from 168 students to 228 students this fall," Bridges said. "I have to believe that figure will be even higher next fall."

As has been the case every year since 41 students enrolled in ABAC's first bachelor's degree programs in 2008, the number of students seeking four-year degrees increased dramatically this fall. In fact, for the first time since 1933, over half of the students at ABAC are aiming for baccalaureate degrees.

Bridges said 1,741 students are majoring in bachelor's degrees, a 25 percent increase over 2015. The jump of 347 more students enrolled in bachelor's degrees is the largest single-year leap in history. Top bachelor's degree majors for ABAC students are agriculture with 612, biology with 307, natural resource management with 283, and business and economic development with 279. A dramatic 64 percent increase lifted the rural studies bachelor's degree numbers to 164 students. The new bachelor's degree in nursing has already attracted 22 students.

From left, Joe West, president of the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence; Temeka Butts, media specialist at Matt Wilson Elementary; Jason Clark, principal at Matt Wilson; Frank Sayles Jr., foundation past president and reading chairman; and Mike Brumby, foundation executive director.

At Thursday's meeting of the Tift County  Foundation  for Educational Excellence, Matt Wilson Elementary School was presented the Rotary Reading Cup for the school with the most Accelerated 
Heidi Prince  Massey  on behalf of Prince Automative presents a $2,500 donation to Joe West for the education foundation; Toyota matched the amount .
Reader (AR) points per  student earned this summer.

Wilson had 7.68 AR points per student earned during the Summer Reading Program that the foundation operated at the United Way of  South  Central Georgia community center. Students, school staffs and friends visited the center and took computerized tests for AR points on books they had read.

Matt Wilson Principal Jason Clark and Media Specialist Temeka Butts accepted the trophy  from  foundation President Joe West and Past President and Reading Chairman Frank Sayles Jr. Butts was also the  overall top reader with a total 1,139 AR points: "I even read while I was walking," she said.
Publix supermarket's Tifton Manager Glen Fogle presents a $1,000 donation to the foundation on behalf of Publix.

Overall, the Summer AR Program was a big success.  Total AR points earned this summer were 29,530, making a grand total of 5,667,030 AR points since Tifton became the Reading Capital of the World in 1997. Also this summer there were a total of  1,113 participants who took AR tests.

Three Tift County schools were also bonus winners during
Incoming foundation President Joe West presents a gift to outgoing President Frank Sayles Jr.
the summer program. For AR points earned by their staffs, Charles Spencer Elementary had 81 percent of its staff participating; Annie Belle Clark Primary, 80 percent; and Omega School, 68 percent, receiving $250 for their media centers.

Omega also qualified for a bonus in the friends category, with 29 percent of enrollment reading and passing AR tests, receiving another $250. And because Omega  qualified in two bonus categories -- something no school has ever done -- it received another $100 bonus.

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Ruth L. Lee of Tifton has been elected vice chair of the Georgia Council on Aging.

Lee was originally appointed to the council by the governor during 2013 and reappointed this past June
 24. She has served on numerous Council on Aging committees and is a registered nurse, earning her  diploma  in nursing from Georgia Baptist Hospital School of Nursing and getting a bachelor's degree in nursing from Albany State College

Lee was elected vice chair on July 13In accordance with the council's bylaws, officers serve for two years and cannot serve for more than two consecutive terms in the same office. Other officers elected are Vicki V. Johnson, chairperson; Rachel Hilliard, secretary; and John Rhodes, treasurer.
The Georgia Council on Aging was created by the General Assembly in 1977 to advise the governor, legislature and state agencies on matters relating to Georgia's seniors. Members of the 20-person council, drawn from every region of the state, also advocate for aging Georgians and their families, and make recommendations to lawmakers and agencies on programs for seniors.


The Golden Age Club of Tifton announced its dissolution on Thursday, Aug. 11 -- 50 years after its first meeting in 1966
Club members marked the occasion by presenting checks to Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County and to Leroy Rogers Senior Center. Vice President Marcie Collins said the club's membership has been steadily declining.

She said she viewed testimonials on the Literacy Volunteers website and was touched by what was said by those who were helped. She invited Bonnie Sayles, executive director of Literacy Volunteers, to speak to the club at the last meeting at Leroy Rogers. Sayles explained how the funds enable her to spend time recruiting and
training tutors and matching them with people who wish to learn to read or who may have dropped out of high school and wish to take their GEDs.  

Fran Kinchen, executive director of Leroy Rogers, told club members the donation would be used for craft supplies. The Club plans a day trip to Montezuma to tour the Mennonite community on Aug. 18

In the photo above, Sayles, at left, accepts a check from the club's oldest member, Mildred Wilson, 95. Along with Wilson are from left, Elaine JoinerTreasurer Ethel Walker, JoeAnn JenkinsPresident Mary GeigerVice President Marcie Collins, Bobbie Lightly, Faye Wood and Helen Hancock, seated. In photo at right,  Mildred Wilson presents a check to Fran Kinchen.


Outside lanes of Interstate 75 in Tift and Turner counties  are  being 
resurfaced this week, causing some lanes to be closed during overnight hours.

The work along I-75 South was begun on the south side of Hat Creek in Turner County and is ending south of Exit 59/Southwell Boulevard in Tift CountyThe contractor is resurfacing 18.8 miles of the roadway and off- and on-ramps. Striping will be done later from Hat Creek to south of Exit 78/state Route 32. 

The outside and middle lanes are being closed in the work zone for safety reasons. Although the contractor is working in the outside lane, the proximity of equipment and people to the middle lane requires closing both lanes. 

The contractor is working from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday through Thursday to minimize traffic interruptions.

The cost of the project is $19.8 million. This is the first major resurfacing of this section of I-75 since 2001. Work began along the interstate May 8 and is scheduled to be finished Jan. 31.

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A Cherokee County School District teacher, who is a Tift County High School graduate, has received a top award from an international entrepreneurship education program.

Sequoyah High School marketing teacher Kari Hanna Palmer was honored at this summer's 29th Annual
 Entrepreneurship Institute with the Dr. Paul DeLargy Angel Award.

The award is the highest honor the Institute bestows and "recognizes the educator who develops entrepreneu rship education best practices along with implementation plans that have the greatest potential for social impact and student transformation." The recipient also must "exhibit passion for student transformation and capture the very spirit of a social entrepreneurship angel."  

Palmer, daughter of Darlene and Herb Pilcher of Tifton, graduated from Tift County High with honors in 1993. She, along 
with Cherokee County special education teacher Linda VanFossen, developed a plan to increase high school graduation rates by involving more Career Technical Instruction (CTI) students in entrepreneurship career classes and by offering more experiential learning activities. 

CTI is a program that supports special education students enrolled in career, technical and agricultural education classes.

Only one high school teacher receives this annual award, which is named for Dr. Paul DeLargy, founder of Real LEDGE (Leading Economic Development through Global Entrepreneurship), in honor of his dedication to transforming student lives through entrepreneurship.

The Institute is presented by Real LEDGE in partnership with the Kennesaw State University Entrepreneurship Center to prepare K-12 and post-secondary educators and community-based organizations to teach entrepreneurship.


Honor those who are fighting cancer and remember those whose battle was lost by donating to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network with your purchase of a Lights of Hope luminary bag. 

Your donation of $10 or more per bag will help the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network urge lawmakers to make the fight against cancer a national priority. 

Lee Turner of Tifton will take the local luminary bags to Washington, D.C.
August is a busy month with back-to-school shopping, last-minute family vacations, registering for school and leaving for college. As summer comes to an end and the school year begins, people often forget to check if they and their family members are up to date on their vaccinations.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and the Georgia Department of Public Health reminds Georgians to get their vaccinations.
"August is a great time of year to engage the community regarding vaccinations," said Mecca Reeves, Tift County nurse manager. "It's the perfect time to make vaccinating a priority in our community."

Every adult in Georgia is encouraged to follow the recommended immunization schedule by age and medical condition. Vaccinations protect families and communities; especially infants and those who are unable to be immunized or have weakened immune systems. It is always a good idea to have the adult vaccine schedule nearby as a reference and to make sure you are current on your immunizations. 

The recommended adult immunization schedule can be found by clicking here.

The CDC has recently announced that live attenuated influenza vaccine, also known as the "nasal spray" flu vaccine, should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season because of poor effectiveness. Recommended is the annual flu vaccination, with either the inactivated influenza vaccine or recombinant influenza vaccine for everyone six months and older. 

First-year college students living in residence halls are recommended to be vaccinated with meningococcal conjugate vaccine. If they received this vaccine before their 16th birthday, they should get a booster dose before going to college for maximum protection. In addition, there have been several recent mumps outbreaks on college campuses. It's important for college students to remain up-to-date on all vaccines.


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YOUR WEEKEND Tift Blue Devil logo
        a Glance

  • Tift County High Blue Devils football scrimmage vs. Turner County High, 7:30 p.m., Brodie Field, Tifton
  • Downtown Tifton Farmer's Market, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Old Train Depot Platform, Tifton
  • Run for Love 5k/1m, 7:15 p.m., ABAC Tennis Center, Tifton

In Memoriam

AUG. 4
Donald Anthony Boling, 68, Adel
David Carl Lee, 68, Fitzgerald

AUG. 5
Ottis Karon Barton, 71, Tifton
Waymon Chance Kent, 21, Nashville

AUG. 6
Janice Gwendolyn Bridges, 71, Nashville
Charlotte Jarchow Drexler, 103, Fitzgerald

AUG. 7
Jacky Dean Doles, 59, Tifton
Tony S. McPeters, 72, Poulan
Alma McCranie Hamner, 98, Hahira

AUG. 8
Wynelle Hobbs Edwards, 85, Tifton
Louise Varnadoe Walker, 90, Tifton
James Anthony "Andy" Burdette, 36, Alapaha

AUG. 9
Narendrakumar J. Patel, 32, Fitzgerald
Robert S. "Bob" Varndoe, 76, Poulan

AUG. 10
John E. Rycroft, 72, Fitzgerald
2406 Northfield Road, Tifton GA
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