INTERIM CITY MANAGER
TIFTON BRINGS BACK EX-CITY MANAGER HUNTER WALKER
Tifton City Council
in a special meeting Thursday unanimously appointed Hunter Walker as interim city manager, effective Monday, July 18.
Walker, who had
served as Tifton's city manager from 1988 to 1995, recently retired as county administrator of Santa Rosa County, Fla., population 160,000, on the Gulf Coast, spending 20 years in that
He has been hired in Tifton as an independent contractor on a month-to-month basis. In his role as interim city manager, Walker will handle all duties of the position and will assist the city in the search and employment of a city manager.
Mayor Julie Smith praised Walker's experience and said the city has an opportunity for a "fresh beginning."
Tifton city manager
Walker served simultaneously
Tift County manager
employment services agreement
city and county
Before coming to
was county administrator for
Grady County, Ga.
; was city planner for
; and was regional planner for the
Lowcountry Council of Governments
, beginning in
Walker received a bachelor of arts in political science/economics from the University of Alabama in 1977 and received a master of public administration from Alabama in 1978.
STACEY BELL TAKES OVER AT TIFTAREA ACADEMY
Tiftarea Academy has
appointed Stacey Bell
as headmaster. Bell, of Fitzgerald, began his tenure on July 1.
are thrilled with this new hire and are looking forward to the progressive direction Stacey will move our
school," said Board Chairman
"He has proven leadership within the public school system, and we feel confident he will lead
Tiftarea Academy to new heights," Jones said.
Bell has served as
Fitzgerald High School since
2012. Under Bell's leadership, the school's
graduation rate increased significantly, and the school has been recognized as a
High Progress Reward School, among other accomplishments.
Before moving to Fitzgerald,
Bell served the
Worth County Board of Education in various roles for more than
13 years, 11 of which were spent in administration. During Bell's tenure,
Worth County High School received the
Governor's Cup for improved SAT scores, and the
graduation rate increased by nearly
15 percent. In total,
Bell has served
31 years in education with
16 specifically in
Tiftarea is one of the
premier independent schools in this area, and I am grateful for the opportunity," Bell said. "I am looking forward to getting to know the faculty, staff, students and parents, and working in conjunction with them to ensure the school reaches its
Aug. 18 for
Tiftarea Academy's 2016-2017
BRIGHTON ROAD OVERPASS REOPENS
The new Exit 66/Brighton Road overpass on Interstate 75 in Tift County opened to traffic shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
When it opened, a small amount of asphalt work remained to be done but was not expected to create major traffic interruptions, state highway officials said.
The new overpass replaces a bridge that was built in 1959. The interchange closed last December for reconstruction, which included relocating and improving the ramps for improved sight distance and additional distance to slow down to exit or speed up to merge.
The construction cost of the project was $16 million. The prime contractor was The Scruggs Co. of Hahira. Subcontractor Southern Concrete Construction Co. Inc. of Albany dismantled the old bridge and built the new overpass.
"We know people who live and work in the area have been eager to see this project completed," said Chad
Hartley, Southwest District engineer with the Georgia Department of Transportation.
"We are pleased to provide drivers with an updated and safer interchange that meets current design standards. These are much-needed improvements to our infrastructure, and we appreciate the public's patience during construction."
COLQUITT COACH'S SUSPENSION WAIVED
Colquitt County High head football coach
Rush Propst will
not be suspended for a year for
head-butting one of his players during a game
last December, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission decided
coach of the two-time 1-AAAAAA defending state champion Colquitt County High Packers, had
appealed his suspension to an administrative law judge, who
recommended a reprimand. The state commission then approved the recommendation.
During the second quarter of Colquitt County High's state semifinal game against Mill Creek High last season, an over-energized and excited Propst walked over to a player returning to the sideline and head-butted him. The player, place kicker Luis Martinez, was wearing his helmet. Propst, naturally, was not, opening a bloody gash on the coach's forehead.
The incident was broadcast
live statewide as the game was on
Georgia Public Television.
"Best-Selling Truck for 39 Straight Years"
511 West 7th Street
REAL (Read Aloud) "Celebrities" County Commissioners Grady Thompson (chairman) and Buck Rigdon are joined by two readers from Atlanta, Emerson and McKenzie. The girls had heard that Tifton was aiming to become the "Read Aloud Capital of the World." Note the girls' Reading Capital T-shirts.
READ ALOUD 'CELEBRITIES' HELP CONCLUDE
TIFTON'S SUMMER AR CENTER
Summer Accelerated Reader (AR)
Center, sponsored by the
Tift County Foundation for Educational
Excellence, ended its
six-week session on
Thursday, and many local
"celebrity" readers visited in recent days to help
Tifton become the
"Read Aloud Capital of the World."
Among recent readers were Tift County Commissioners
Grady Thompson and
Buck Rigdon, and Tift County Schools Superintendent
Also, children at the
got a special treat when
local author Tamika Royster visited to share her book, "Ben Frog's Birthday Party."
he center was hosted
at the Betty Jo Roach Community Center by the United Way of South Central Georgia.
Readers, besides getting the
intrinsic value of reading, took computerized tests on the books they read and earned
AR points for the school media center or library of their choice to buy new books.
This year, Omega School operated a satellite Summer AR Center to make it more convenient for residents there.
Local author Tamika Royster, at left, reads to children at the Summer AR Center on Thursday before the center closes its doors
for another season.
MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESS CONFIRMED IN LOWNDES COUNTY
Lowndes County has tested positive for
Eastern equine encephalitis, the
Georgia Department of Public Health reported this week.
"While we see
these types of reports each year, it's still important for us to remember the importance of preventing mosquito bites whenever possible," says Kenneth Lowery, district epidemiologist. "Mosquito-borne illnesses can cause severe sickness, brain damage or death in some cases."
mosquito-borne illnesses are transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.
"Even though it's rare for a human to be infected with these illnesses, anyone can become ill after being bit by an
infected mosquito. The risk is higher for people who spend a lot of time outdoors, live in wooded or swampy areas, or have traveled overseas to certain areas," says Lowery.
Public health officials are encouraging South Georgians to
- Use insect repellent containing DEET, picardin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing.
- Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
- Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels, wading pools and other containers. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
- Be sure to use repellent and wear protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider indoor activities during these times due to peak mosquito biting hours.
VA MEDICAL CENTER TO HOLD ANOTHER
INFORMATION SESSION IN TIFTON
The Carl Vinson Veterans Affairs Medical Center will host an informational fair at the
Leroy Rogers Senior Center in Tifton from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today, July 15, in anticipation of the opening of the new Tifton VA Clinic.
The fair will
provide information about VA programs and services and serve as a VA "meet-and-greet" with the Tifton community, says Tifton VA Clinic manager Donna Ammons.
Veterans will hear about services to be provided at the Tifton clinic and how to start receiving their basic health care at the new location.
The Tifton VA Clinic will be located at 1824 Ridge Ave. North in Tifton. Hours of operation will be Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; services will include primary care, mental health and other basic health care. Additional services will be available through Tele-Health, a new VA initiative that allows veterans to access some healthcare needs using interactive visual technology.
A PLANT OF THE 'CENTURY'
plant," or agave, has flowered near the corner of King Street and Baldwin Drive (seen at left) in Tifton.
Such plants only flower once in their lives and then die. Although called a century plant, it typically only lives 15 to 30 years.
Near the end of its life, the plant sends up a tall stalk that can shoot up to about 30 feet with yellow blossoms at its top.
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...at a Glance
- GRPA BC State Swim Meet, 9 a.m., Tift County Recreation Pool, Baldwin Drive, Tifton
- GRPA BC State Swim Meet, 9 a.m., Tift County Recreation Pool, Baldwin Drive, Tifton
- Downtown Tifton Farmer's Market, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Old Train Depot Platform, Tifton
- Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
- Ronnie Milsap, 8 p.m., UGA Campus Conference Center, Tifton
Betty Lewis Connell, 91, Fitzgerald
Roger Dale Howell Jr., 45, Tifton
Robert William "R.W." Youngblood, 82, Fitzgerald
Ronnie Croft, 59, Fitzgerald
Linton Alvin Griffin, 73, Ty Ty
Harold Thomas Foster, 85, Ray City
Eugene "Gino" Maddamma, 80, Irwin County
Roy Exum, 77, Cochran
Misty Dawn Trent, 53, Albany
Hazel Adkison McElmurray, 81, Ashburn
Maurice Curry, 38, Sylvester
Clifford Joseph Domingue, 75, Tifton
Eugene G. Pirkle, 95,
Stephen Wayne Mullis, 47, Blairsville
Charles A. Perry, 83, Tifton
Jashubhai M. Patel, 83, Tifton
Edna Faye Decker Whittington, 86, Tifton
Sammy Odom, 76, Adel
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