Friday, Aug. 28, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
Tifton native Caitlin Carmichael, second from right, is the female lead in the BYUtv television series 'Dwight in Shining Armor.'
Tifton Grapevine
Tifton-born film and television actress Caitlin Carmichael says her family-fantasy TV series, “Dwight in Shining Armor,” is returning this fall for a fourth season while she is wrapping up her new movie with Bruce Willis and Megan Fox.

"I'm so excited for Season Four (of 'Dwight in Shining Armor') to premiere on Sunday, Sept. 20. We had so much fun with this season and get to embark on a whole new chapter in our story now that we've killed our enemies – the 1,000-year-old Tovenars – in last season's finale," Carmichael, 16, tells the Tifton Grapevine from her Los Angeles home.

"We filmed Season Four last year, and we finally get to see the magic we created.”

"Dwight in Shining Armor" airs on BYUtv; it involves a present-day teenager who awakens a warrior princess (Carmichael) from a 1,000-year magical slumber.

"I'll be tuning in to watch Season 4 as I wrap up filming my new movie, 'Midnight in the Switchgrass.' I am so excited to be working with Bruce Willis, Megan Fox, Emile Hirsch, Lukas Haas, and Machine Gun Kelly. And, Sistine Stallone – yes, Sly's daughter – is playing my older sister," Carmichael says.

"We started filming in March in Puerto Rico and had to stop due to COVID-19. Puerto Rico implemented a mandatory curfew, then quarantine, and shut its borders. So we came back to LA to wait until we were cleared to return. We spent three more weeks there in July and will wrap up production in September. It has been an exciting adventure."

"Midnight in the Switchgrass" is an upcoming crime-thriller film directed by longtime producer Randall Emmett in his directorial debut. It is based on the true story of Texas' most dangerous serial killer – dubbed the "Truck Stop Killer."
'Midnight in the Switchgrass' – The film’s director, Randall Emmett, from left, poses with cast members Caitlin Carmichael, Megan Fox, Emile Hirsch and Lukas Haas. They flew on Emmett’s private plane while filming in Puerto Rico to minimize exposure to the coronavirus.
Tifton Grapevine
“The No. 1 key to us being successful in the community” in slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to maintain social distancing, the Tift County Schools’ superintendent said Wednesday.

Adam Hathaway, during a virtual online meeting with the Rotary Club of Tifton, noted that county schools are now under a “Green” designation, meaning schools are being run in a traditional manner with additional safety protocols and face-to-face instruction.

“Please spread this message: The key to us staying Green,” the superintendent said, “will be our ability to limit the number of direct exposures we have in our community.”

He said that health officials define direct exposure as being within six feet of another person, with or without a mask, for more than 15 minutes. Tift schools’ first priority in reopening schools was to get right the social-distancing component, Hathaway said, noting that he dislikes that term.

“We are physically distant, not socially distant; we’re in the relationship business,” he said.

The superintendent acknowledged that there are “deep-seated ideas around COVID-19; it’s a very emotional topic. … My prayer every day is that everybody will slow down a minute and offer everyone a little bit of grace, a little bit of love, and a little bit of understanding.”

Hathaway praised the school systems’ teachers, administrators and staff for successfully working through never-before-seen issues. Because of that, he said, “We are so far ahead of a lot of systems around the state. … It is because of the character of our faculty and staff.”

Tift County schools have had a “great start” this year, he said. “It’s the best start to any school year I’ve ever seen; it’s as smooth a start as I’ve ever seen.” He added that the “kids have done amazingly well.”

Approximately 70 percent of students are physically attending classes and 30 percent are taking instruction online; all are receiving the same instruction, the superintendent said. He noted that online instruction has been “different for every kid. Some of these kids have flourished; some have been a struggle. … One of our biggest struggles is access to the Internet.”

Hathaway called school sports “one of our biggest challenges.” The Tift County High Blue Devils football team begins its season Sept. 4 at Crisp County. He said the Tift coaches and players are doing “a phenomenal job at practices” in staying as safe as possible. But he said much depends upon how the community acts, both at games and during day-to-day activities.

“If we don’t handle it the right way as a community, if the community is not doing what it needs to do as a whole, we could lose some of these sports,” Hathaway said.
The Exchange Club of Tifton this week recognized Dalton Ridgdill as the club's Georgia State Patrol Officer of the Year.

Ridgdill has been a GSP communications equipment officer for four years.

Dispatchers have to deal with a lot of personalities, not only from troopers, but also from callers. Capt. Rusty Harrellson said that Dalton “does an excellent job of listening, being polite and professional. I wish we had more like him.”

Pictured from left are Exchange Club Public Safety Chair Carla Carlson, GSP Lt. Stan Stalnaker, Ridgdill and Harrellson.
Colony Bank, which is headquartered in Fitzgerald, on Thursday announced the Colony Leadership Academy, designed to nurture potential young leaders and encourage students to develop leadership skills.

The program is available to high school juniors during from the last half of their junior year through the first half of their senior year. The curriculum encourages students to become familiar with all aspects of their community and develop skills enabling them to take an active leadership role.

Colony Leadership Academy will use professional leadership trainers through the University of Georgia's Fanning Institute.

"We are very excited about this program, especially because it allows us to put into practice our mission of giving back to our communities,” said T. Heath Fountain, president and chief executive officer of Colony Bankcorp.
"While students will benefit from getting to know one another and through the exchange of ideas and experiences, they will also gain knowledge and understanding about crucial issues facing their community while building solid leadership skills that they can use in their college life, careers, volunteer work and in everyday interactions within their communities.”

To be chosen, a student must submit an application and meet qualifications that include a minimum GPA of 3.0 or equivalent. Each student applying for the program must be nominated by a community resident, have their application approved by parents and their school’s administrator, and supply two personal references. Nominations can be submitted from through Sept. 25.

Applications will then be sent. In November, a total of 30 successful applicants will be announced. Classes will be quarterly from February through graduation in November 2021. Upon completion, participants will receive a $1,000 scholarship to the college/university of their choice.

For the nomination form, Click Here!
Skoll Axe Throwing
Aug. 26
8th Congressional District
School Lunch and Breakfast Program, Rural Education, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance, Community Development Block Grants, Federal Pell Grant Program, Title 1 and Head Start, Special Education Grants to States, Foster Care and Adoption Grants, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and WIC, Formula Grants for Rural Areas, Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities, Highway Planning and Construction, Child Welfare Services State Grants, Child Abuse and Neglect State Grants, Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse, State Wildlife Grants, Hunter Education and Safety Program, and the list goes on. 

One hundred and thirty-two federal programs used Census Bureau statistical data to distribute more than $675 billion in funds during fiscal year 2015 alone.
Conducted every 10 years, the Census provides valuable information that dictates how our state is represented in Congress and how much federal funding our local schools, public safety services, and public infrastructure receive. That’s why it is important that each Georgian be counted in the 2020 Census.
Currently, a little over 59 percent of Georgians have responded to the 2020 Census, with the national response rate at 63.6 percent. That means nearly 4.3 million Georgians have yet to be counted, which means Georgia will lose out on billions of dollars in federal funding over the next ten years.
This impact will be felt especially hard in rural communities, which are currently underreporting in Georgia. Georgia’s Eighth District, which is classified as 43 percent rural, is currently reporting a Census response rate at just over 54.6 percent. That means nearly 325,000 of our 710,000 residents are currently not being counted in the 2020 Census. If this low response rate holds, Middle and South Georgia will receive significantly less federal funding from programs that utilize Census Bureau statistical data to distribute funds.
Census data does more than direct federal funding, it also dictates how many U.S. representatives our state sends to Congress and influences business development in communities based off the size and age of the local workforce. Plainly put: Census results are vitally important to our local communities.
One of the most common reactions I hear from constituents is fear. Please know that the information you provide to the Census will never be used against you. By law, responses to the Census are kept confidential, and your answers can only be used to produce statistics. Your response is safe, secure, and protected.

I strongly encourage each Georgian to complete the Census today – it only takes a few minutes. You can visit for more information or to take the Census online. To take the Census by phone, you can call 844-330-2020 for English and 844-468-2020 for Spanish.

If you are an employer, please share this with your employees; educators, please share with your parents; pastors, please share with your congregation. The deadline to take the Census is Sept. 30, so don’t wait. Take a few minutes to shape the future of our communities and state today by taking the 2020 Census.
Gov. Brian P. Kemp has appointed Jimmie "Spud" Bowen of Tifton to the state Board of Corrections. Bowen, a recent unsuccessful candidate for the state Senate, is president of Spud Bowen & Associations - Herff Jones. ... GOT MILK? The local Salvation Army is sharing 5,000 gallons of milk with Tift countians beginning at 9 a.m. today (Friday) at the Tifton Mall. The milk is sponsored by Borden dairy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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This dog is currently on stray hold at the Tift County Animal Shelter. If not reclaimed, will be available for adoption or rescue. The Shelter, located at 278 Georgia Highway 125 S., is open to the public for adoptions from 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

For more information, call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch’s Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055  
Important Phone Numbers & Web Sites
AUG. 22
Ethan Q. Webb, 30, Tifton
Carolyn Davis Bailey, 82, Sylvester
Phyllis Turner Bailey, 73, Nashville
James Earl Hughes, 91, Nashville
Willie Mae Rogers, 93, Fitzgerald
Betty Jo Higgins Greene, 89, Ashburn

AUG. 23
Linda Diane Hatchell, 72, Tifton
Willie Griffin, 82, Worth County
James Waters, 69, Tifton
Iris Giddens Carnine, 77, Adel
Ada Mae Mack, 79, Ashburn

AUG. 24
Hector J.N. Almaguer, 44, Omega
LaVerne P. Hobby, 91, Sylvester
Betty Jean Ray Summerlin, 86, Nashville

AUG. 25
Tony Willard Hathcock, 83, Sylvester
Eunice Earline Bevill, 80, Nashville
Sara Lucile Sellars, 92, Nashville
Elaine Mathews Smith, 77, Fitzgerald
Zelda Mae Sandiford Spicer, 93, Irwin County

AUG. 26
Luis Jaime Moreno, 54, Tifton
Karen Hurndon Bibby, 60, Sylvester
Pamela "Pam" Dixon, Sylvester
Mary Outler, 70, Tifton
E.D. "Mac" McMillan, 81, Nashville
Eddie Chambers, Sylvester
Billy Wayne Gaskins, 72, Nashville

AUG. 27
Merle Kathryn Cauthen Hornsby, 90, Lenox

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Tifton Grapevine
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