Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
A renowned Tifton athlete is among the upcoming inductees to the Valdosta State University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Larry Dean , who has had a a long professional career in both the National Football League and the Canadian Football League , will be among the inductees Jan. 25 at Valdosta State .

Dean led the VSU Blazers in tackles for three years and ranks second all-time in Valdosta State history in that category. His performance was so influential that he was named both an All-American and National Defensive Player of the Year .

He also was a four-time All-State player at Tift County High School and was inducted into the Tift County Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018 .

Dean played for Valdosta State in 2007-2010 . After college, he spent three years with the Minnesota Vikings and another year with the Buffalo Bills in the NFL . He later spent three years with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL . Last year, as a member of the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos , Dean was named Most Outstanding Defensive Player .

Through his local foundation , Dean recently partnered with the United Way of South Central Georgia to distribute free turkeys and other items to needy Tift County families .
The Tift County Sheriff’s Office has asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to assist in investigating the death of Earnest Fuller , 58, found dead Monday with a gunshot wound .

Early Monday , Sheriff's Office deputies responded to 2903 Wilton Ave. regarding an unresponsive male. Deputies discovered Fuller with a gunshot wound . Fuller was later pronounced dead at the scene, the Sheriff's Office said.

Fuller’s body was transported to the GBI's Macon Crime Lab for an autopsy .

Both GBI agents and Tift County investigators are re viewing leads in the case, authorities said.

Anyone with information about the matter is asked to contact the Tift County Sheriff’s Office at 229-388-6020 or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at 229-777-2080 .
Early voting is underway for the special election to fill the  state Senate seat  for  District 13   held by the late Greg Kirk .

Tift County elections officials said early voting will continue through Friday Jan. 31, on Mondays through Fridays  from  8 a.m.-5 p.m.  at the  Tift County Elections office  at  222 Chesnutt Ave . Also, early voting will be available on  Saturday, Jan. 25,  from  9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The special election is Feb. 4 .

Three candidates qualified for the special election:  Mary Egler  (Democrat),  Jim Quinn  (Republican), and  Carden Summers  (Republican). The special election is  non-partisan,  and the winner will serve the district for the remainder of the 2020 legislative session .

Another primary election will be held in May , and qualifying for that election will be held in March . The general election will be Nov. 3 .

District 13 covers Tift, Crisp, Dodge, Dooly, Lee, Sumter, Worth, Turner and Wilcox counties.
The Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Arts Council's "Third Thursday" includes two events which the Arts Council is sponsoring on Thursday, Jan. 16: the exhibit opening of the Wednesday Painters from 5-7 p.m. at the Carnegie Center , and the Reader’s Theatre production of the "Ben Hill Variety Hour" in the Grand Theatre's Garden Room beginning at 7 p.m.

The art exhibit opening is free , and light refreshments will be served.

Not many classes have existed for more than 50 years with only four teachers and three
generations of classes as has this class. Beginning in the mid 1960s , Bill Hendrix , a renowned artist from St. Simon’s Island , made the trip every Wednesday to Douglas to teach an art class . After 30 years of teaching, Hendrix handed the class over to Vincent Keesee , a retired ABAC art professor , who taught it for 10 years before moving to Virginia .
Now, Mary Ann Saylor , a retired Coffee High art teacher , and Toby Smith , a professional artist , share the responsibilities by alternating months to provide students with a variety of instruction .

Senior member Shirley Tanner , 94, studied with Hendrix when he taught the class. Her
daughter and granddaughter are also class members, most of whom are retired.

This exhibit will be on display through March 2 at the Carnegie Center at 120 South Lee St. in Fitzgerald.

Following the exhibit opening, the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Arts Council will host the Reader’s Theatre production of “Ben Hill Variety Hour.” Tickets will be available at the door and are available now at the Carnegie Center, the Depot, and Ben Hill-Fitzgerald Chamber of Commerce.
Shakespeare comes to Tifton on Jan. 28 when Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College presents the National Players ’ production of “As You Like It” at 7 p.m. at the Tift County High School Performing Arts Center.

With a 10-person ensemble, the National Players meld classic language with a contemporary staging of Shakespeare’s imaginative tale about city folk venturing into the woods. Research indicates that Shakespeare wrote “As You Like It” in 1599 . The performance is a part of the ABAC Art Connection’s ABAC Presents! Performing Arts Series.

“‘As You Like It’ is really a romantic comedy about girls, boys, losing oneself, and finding oneself again,” said ABAC Arts Connection Director Wayne Jones . “It’s a privilege for ABAC to bring a Shakespeare classic to Tifton.”

Limited tickets will be available at  www.purplepass.com/abac  or at 229-391-4895 .

Other events in the ABAC Presents! Performing Arts Series include the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players in “The Pirates of Penzance” on Feb. 7 at the TCHS Performing Arts Center, the Dallas Brass on March 5 in the Tift Theatre in downtown Tifton, and jazz vocalist Myrna Clayton with the ABAC Jazz Ensemble on April 16 in Howard Auditorium.
“Rust and Recreation,” an exhibition of 70 robots by Columbus native Dave Clegg , opens Jan. 25 at ABAC's Georgia Museum of Agriculture . Several of the robots will be for sale .

“‘Rust & Recreation’ celebrates the a treasure trove o f beautifully aging vintage objects out there just waiting to be discovered and assembled into something new,” said museum curator Polly Huff .

In a 10 a.m.-noon gathering in the museum gallery on opening day guests can meet Clegg , participate in a conversation about his work, tour his first public exhibition and sample coffee and pastries.

Rust & Recreation” will be open during the annual Wiregrass Plant and Seed Swap at the gallery. 

After graduating from Georgia State University in 1980 with a major in graphic design , Clegg had a long career as an illustrator . His clients have included Sports Illustrated, Hardee’s, Scholastic, Jelly Belly Candy Co. and Ranger Rick Magazine

The 2005 animated film “Robots” made an impression on him.
“Inspired to create robots of his own, Dave began collecting found objects , mostly things from around the house that were no longer of use,” Huff said. “Soon, he was frequenting thrift stores in search of anything metal , which led to his earliest creations being composed mostly of pots, pans, candlesticks and the like.” 

“Rust & Recreation” will remain on display through July 3.
The  Tifton SELF ( Seniors Enjoying Life Forever ) group is holding a  big dance on Friday at the  Leroy Rogers Senior Center  in  Tifton .

Doors open at  6 p.m. , and participants are asked to  bring  dish of food  and a  friend . The meal is at 7 p.m., and dancing begins at 8 p.m. with the Fred Hand Band.

Do you remember dancing to the stroll, the twist and the limbo?

All  local seniors  are invited. 

For  information , email  dashers@windstream.net
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