Friday, Sept. 11, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
Tifton Grapevine
Tift County head football coach Ashley Anders has been admitted to Tift Regional Medical Center after testing positive for both influenza and COVID-19 as the Tift County High Blue Devils are set to make their home debut tonight at Brodie Field.

"Coach Anders started developing symptoms this week and immediately quarantined. He has not been in physical contact with the football team since last Friday," the Tift County School System said in a statement released late Thursday.

"Please keep Coach Anders and his family in your prayers as he battles these illnesses."

In early August, Tift football practice was briefly halted and coaches and players quarantined after one of them tested positive for the coronavirus. Following that, everyone was healthy, Anders had said.

The Blue Devils tonight are hosting the Valdosta High Wildcats and their new coach Rush Propst. In non-region playlist week, Tift County fell to Crisp County; Valdosta won its game against Warner Robins.

Today’s game begins at 7:30 p.m., and it is Senior Night.

Because of the pandemic, the Tift County School System is reducing capacity in the football stadium to 70 percent for social distancing. Everyone "must have a mask to enter the stadium on game day," the school system said.

"During the event, we encourage wearing a mask when social distancing isn’t possible. Children ages 4 and under are not required to wear a mask or purchase a ticket as long as they can sit in the lap of an adult."

Meanwhile, the Tiftarea Academy Panthers open their season on the road at 7:30 tonight against Community Christian in Stockbridge.

Community Christian is requesting that all fans sit in family groups tonight and social distance as much as possible. The Stockbridge school is encouraging fans to bring chairs so that they can spread out around the field. Masks are recommended, and pre-packaged items will be available in the concession stand.
Tifton City Council members practice social distancing during Tuesday’s workshop.
Tifton Grapevine
Following years of discussion, a proposed Youth Center in South Tifton is closer to reality now that the City of Tifton has been awarded a $750,000 grant toward its construction.

"I think I cried for about an hour" after getting the news about the grant, said Mayor Julie B. Smith. "This is just the tip of the iceberg for what's going to happen in South Tifton and the urban redevelopment area, and it’s a long time coming."

The Community Development Block Grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Development through Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs. The Youth Center project in the Matt Wilson Elementary School neighborhood has a total price tag of $911,207.

“This is the catalyst that we were waiting for to set a new standard for this community. This is a definite win for Tifton, and we are really proud,” City Manager Pete Pyrzenski said at Tuesday night’s City Council workshop.

He said the community building will host the Tiftarea YMCA and "make a difference in a lot of people's lives, children and adults, from GED classes, to meetings, to the YMCA feeding campaign, to you name it."

Councilman Johnny Terrell, whose council district encompasses the area where the youth center will be built, said he is excited.

“We’ve been looking at the same thing (in South Tifton) for the past 60 years and now, all of a sudden, you can feel the excitement that there is something new ... for our community," he said. "I can hardly wait."

Mayor Smith added that the grant is “an affirmation that we are moving in the right direction. It’s the first step of a lot of good things to come for this area."

Last year, City Council created the Tifton Urban Redevelopment Agency, whose initial focus is on the greater South Tifton area. City officials have been working with South Tifton residents on a redevelopment project for several years. The city had commissioned a study on the area which pinpointed the needs for affordable residential housing, property investment, improvement of blighted areas, sustainable redevelopment, and preservation of cultural assets.
Tifton Grapevine
U.S. Census data collection is ending soon, and Tift County's response rate currently stands at 56.4 percent, ranking 63 out of 159 counties, officials say.

An undercount can have a major impact on Tift County for the next decade. Tift has lost $164 million in federal funds during the past decade because 8,204 county residents were not counted during the last U.S. Census in 2010, the Tift Census Complete Count Committee has said.

Ten years ago, Tift County had a 78.8 percent response rate.

The Census, conducted every 10 years, helps determine federal funding, congressional representation, and where businesses and industries decide to locate.

Currently, Georgia’s response rate Is 60.8 percent. Georgia ranks fifth among states for the highest possible undercount in percentage terms, with blacks, Hispanics and children under age five at the biggest risk, according to the Urban Institute.

The Census Bureau is sending “enumerators” – people following up door-to-door – to Georgia from out of state to help count residents before the deadline, including hundreds of enumerators to South Georgia. Many of them are based in Tifton, helping fill local hotels.

"I know that there are enumerators in our area but not sure of the number," said Miriam Jordan, chair of the Tift County Complete Count Committee. "I know for our Area Census Office, which is out of Columbus, that only 39.2 percent of the non-response follow-up has been done, she said Thursday.

During a hearing of the U.S. House Oversight Committee last week, its chair, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., cited Georgia as among the states that would be most harmed by an inaccurate Census count.

Maloney questioned why the Trump administration initially set Oct. 31 as the Census completion date and then reversed itself, setting it at Sept. 30, even though an internal Census document showed bureau officials warning that the shortened time would significantly damage the count.

A recent court order and a hearing scheduled for Sept. 17 could possibly extend the Census collection period.
Dr. Nick T. Place has been named dean of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and director of the UGA Cooperative Extension and agricultural experiment stations.

Place is currently dean for extension, director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service and a professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida.

His appointment at UGA is effective Jan. 1, 2021.

“I am delighted that Dr. Place will serve as the next dean and director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “With his far-reaching experience as a scholar, practitioner, educator and administrator, he will provide outstanding leadership to the college in the years to come.”

He previously served as associate dean and associate director of University of Maryland Extension and as a faculty member at UF. He began his career as an extension agent at Penn State University, where he conducted educational programs in dairy, livestock, 4-H youth development and community development.

Place earned his bachelor’s degree in dairy husbandry at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania. He earned his M.S. in dairy and animal science and his Ph.D. in agricultural and extension education from Penn State University.

Dr. Joe West of Tifton, the former assistant dean at the UGA Tifton campus, is currently serving as interim dean and CAES director at UGA in Athens. Dr. Michael Toews is the current assistant dean of the Tifton campus.
Betty Cromer, left, Golden Deeds chair for the Tifton Exchange Club, presents the 'Golden Deeds' volunteer award to Becky Langenfeld of Tifton.
The Exchange Club of Tifton this week awarded its 67th Golden Deeds Award to community volunteer Becky Langenfeld.

The club said it received many letters nominating Langenfeld and citing the various projects with which she has been involved, including Peanut Butter and Jesus, children's ministries at various churches, the House of Hope and most recently, making "God Gowns" and masks for frontline health professionals at Southwell medical system.

"Anytime there is a need, people call Becky," the club noted. "She will do all she can to raise funds or gather materials to meet a need. She finds her purpose in serving others."

When surprised with the award, Langenfeld said, "I just do what the Lord tells me to do."

The Book of Golden Deeds Award is a national project of the Exchange Club that recognizes dedicated volunteers who give endless hours of their time and talents toward making their communities better places to live.

The Golden Deeds award is the longest running project of the Exchange Club of Tifton. The Tifton award was renamed in honor of longtime chairperson Helen Rainer, who died in 2013.
The Tiftarea Greenway Association (TAGA) is seeking community support as the group continues its efforts to create two trails for walking and biking in Tifton.

One trail would connect Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College to the Tift County Public Library with spurs to Len Lastinger Elementary and Eighth Street Middle schools. 

TAGA said this trail would utilize wider streets that will allow car traffic as well as a two-lane pedestrian/bike path.

The other trail would be more of a greenway and run along the abandoned CSX rail bed connecting the Tiftarea YMCA on Carpenter Road with the Interstate 75 overpass

"This second trail is already well shaded and will allow access to many of the restaurants and hotels on Highway 82," the organization said in a press release.

"TAGA believes that this second trail will attract visitors to stop for the night in Tifton because the greenway will be a good place for travelers to stretch their legs and walk the dog after a long drive."   

According to TAGA, multipurpose trails benefit businesses looking to attract and retain employees and can increase the customer base for establishments along the trail route.  

A 2013 study on the economic impact of the Silver Comet Trail west of Atlanta found that for every dollar spent to establish the trail, it created at least three dollars from tourism, recreation-related purchases, restaurants, and lodging.

"Moreover, these trails have been shown to increase the value of real estate by 4 to 7 percent within a quarter mile of the trail. The 7.2-mile greenway in Moultrie is the single most-used recreation area in the city, TAGA said.

The Tift Area Greenways Association was formed to foster a healthy community through the creation and safe use of quality bicycle and pedestrian networks and greenways. It can be reached through its Facebook page and website.
Master craftsman Jack McKey will discuss his Naturalist and Native American Technology collection in the ‘Blood, Bone, & Stone’ multimedia event at ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture on Sept. 19.
A multimedia event, “Blood, Bone, & Stone,” will be in the spotlight at ABAC's Georgia Museum of Agriculture beginning at 10 a.m. Sept. 19.

The event features Jack McKey, a master craftsman of naturalistic and native American technology. Guests of the day-long event will participate in the world premiere of McKey’s biographical film, created by Dr. Thomas Grant, an associate professor in the School of Arts and Sciences, and a team of ABAC journalism students.

Grant said the documentary was filmed during a period of two years and features multiple interviews with McKey, his family and associates. The film includes extensive footage of a trip to the American West when McKey and the ABAC crew visited states and places significant to McKey’s life story.

Following the film premiere at the Opry Shelter, guests will walk to the Gallery for the opening of McKey’s exhibit, which features several hundred hand-crafted artifacts.
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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 at the Animal Shelter, located at 278 Georgia Highway 125 S. It 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
Irma W. Bozeman, Sylvester
Gelene Reaves Spradlin, 85, Fitzgerald
Bobby Loran Harnage, 77, Waycross
Mirakle Brown, 1, Tifton

Vanlora Teel, 63, Tifton

George Robert Fricks, 97, Tifton
Tyrone Cole, 45, Ty Ty
Curtis Lawton Wingate Jr., 77, Nashville

John David Edenfield, 38, Norman Park
Joseph Hicks Ezekiel Jr, 62, Tifton
Lois E. Dye, 86, Ashburn
Donald Richard Czech Jr., 63, Sanford, Fla.

Dr. Fred M. Evers, 64, Tifton
Bonnie Gail Roberson Chaney, 78, Nashville
Thurles W. "Coonie" Dukes, 88, Ashburn
Linda Joan Sidorenko, 77, Nashville
George “A. J.” Dierker Jr., 52, Fitzgerald
Charles Thomas Crosby, 85, Nashville

Frances Gordon Watkins, 90, LaGrange

Mack "Keith Doss" Jr., 72, Waycross
Brenda Jean Nichols, 72, Fitzgerald
Jessie D. Dawson, Leary

SEPT. 10
Jerry Lamar Crumley, 77, Omega
Floyd Coates, 76, Moultrie
David Allen Howard, 56, Fitzgerald
Tifton Grapevine
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