Friday, Sept. 4, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
Tifton Grapevine
Following a preseason like no other, the Tift County High Blue Devils finally take the gridiron tonight against another team for the first time since last fall; the Blue Devils travel to Crisp County to face the Cougars, kicking off the football season.

Because of the pandemic, spring sessions were cancelled, summer practices were different with as much social distance as possible, and there was no scrimmage against another team to help prepare for the games that count.

But finally, football is here, although there will be differences. At Crisp County High's football stadium, where tonight’s game starts at 7:30 p.m., seating is limited because of reduced stadium capacity for safety reasons.

And at Tift County’s Brodie Field, the capacity will be restricted to 70 percent this season in order to facilitate social distancing. Everyone must have a mask to enter Brodie Field on game days, according to the school system. 

During games, spectators are encouraged to wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible, according to the Tift school system. Children aged four and under won't be required to wear a mask or have a ticket as long as they can sit in the lap of an adult.

Tift County will have four regular-season home games. The Blue Devils make their first home appearance Sept. 11 against the Valdosta High Wildcats and their new head coach Rush Propst.

Other home games are Sept. 25 vs. Coffee County, Oct. 16 vs. Lee County, and Nov. 13 vs. Colquitt County.
With the Labor Day weekend getting underway, state and health officials are urging Georgians to remain cautious and be mindful of safety practices to lessen the spread of the coronavirus.

“Let’s don’t have a Memorial Day bump after Labor Day weekend; let’s don’t have a July Fourth bump; let’s try to avoid that spike,” said Gov. Brian P. Kemp.

Earlier this week, Kemp issued executive orders extending restrictions regarding business and restaurant operations through Sept. 15, including requiring restaurant workers to wear a mask when interacting with the public and that restaurant seating must be six feet apart or have physical barriers between seating groups if the space is less than six feet.

Kemp also renewed a shelter-in-place order for those in long-term care facilities and those who are deemed “medically fragile.”

"The seven-day average of cases is down, our positivity percentage continues to decline, and hospitalizations are the lowest since early July," the governor said.

"These are encouraging trends but we must stay viligant. Wear a mask, watch your distance, wash your hands, and follow the executive order. Together, we will protect people, paychecks, and Georgia's future."

Georgia has had a total of 277,288 COVID-19 cases with 5,868 deaths as of Thursday, according to the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH). Tift County has had 1,547 positive cases and a total of 51 deaths – two of them this week. During the past two weeks, Tift has seen 134 new cases, the DPH said.
The unemployment rate during July rose in all Tiftarea counties, according to the Ga. Department of Labor.

Tift County’s jobless rate hit 6.2 percent in July; it was 5.4 percent the previous month and was 3.7 percent one year ago. The Labor Department reported that 18,424 Tift countians were employed during the month.

Tift’s rate was still better than the state of Georgia's at 7.6 percent. The national rate is 10.2 percent. Georgia’s rate has decreased 5 percent since April

“I believe you will soon see a gradual decrease in the unemployment rate as employment catches up with increases in labor force,” said state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

In other local counties, Turner recorded an 8 percent jobless rate; Ben Hill County, 7.3 percent; Worth, 5.9 percent; Irwin, 5.9 percent; Berrien, 5.9 percent; and Cook County, 5.4 percent.
New SANR Leaders are, from left in front, Youry Gonzalez, Meredith McGlamory, and Cole Patterson; back row, Brittany Braddy, Katibeth Mims, Chrys Kirby, and Jamya Barnett.
Seven students have been selected as School of Agriculture and Natural Resources (SANR) Leaders at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. 

SANR Leaders are Chrys Kirby, an agricultural education major from Tifton; Cole Patterson, an agriculture major with a concentration in ag technology and systems management from Ty Ty; Katibeth Mims, an agricultural communication major from Donalsonville; Jamya Barnett, an agriculture major from Wauchula, Fla.; Youry Gonzalez, an agribusiness major from Douglas; Meredith McGlamory, a double major in agriculture with a concentration in animal science and agricultural communication from Rochelle; and Brittany Braddy, an agricultural education major from Mount Vernon. 

Suzanne Bentley, SANR academic and career coordinator, said the students play a key role in the growth of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Selection is based on grade point average, club/organization activity, and leadership skills.

The members of the group will be prominent at events sponsored by the SANR, Stallion Days, and other recruitment opportunities.
The rescheduled Race Tifton 5K & 1-Mile Run/Walk – Flashover Dash to benefit the Tifton Fire Department will start at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at the fire department.

Proceeds will be used for fire prevention materials and the department's smoke detector program.

All participants who registered for the original run, which was delayed, remain registered. The fire department and the City of Tifton encourage all participants to wear a face mask during registration and after the run during awards. Masks are not required during the run itself.

T-shirts for the original run may be picked up at the fire department before the day of the run or on race day.

To register for the 5K and 1-Mile Run/Walk, Click Here!
Tifton’s Locally Owned Digital Newspaper
To Subscribe, Click Here!

Your free subscription allows you to automatically receive our MidWeek and Weekender editions in your in-box, along with occasional sponsored editions.

To Contact Us, Call 478-227-7126
This boy is available for adoption or rescue at the Tift County 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
AUG. 27
Merle Kathryn Cauthen Hornsby, 90, Lenox
Janelda Ann Milton, 81, Quitman
George Woodfin Etheredge Sr., 95, Sylvester
William Ralph Rigdon Sr., 97, Tifton
Sandra Kaye Rowe, 63, Ben Hill County
Deborah Lynn Matthews, 64, Tifton

AUG. 28
Michael D. Davis, 75, Tifton
Gail Reynolds, 64, Fitzgerald
Keith Bernard Tucker, 48, Sparks

AUG. 29
Alvin Charles “Al” Powell, 67, Ty Ty
Paul E. Winser, 70, Nashville
Sherman Morley Charlton, 89, Nashville
Johnny A. Ryals, 74, Fitzgerald
Barbara Ruth Clifton Williamson, 87, Rochelle

AUG. 30
Bessie Ricks, 63, Sparks
James E. “Edwin” Paul, 76, Fitzgerald
Ona Love Cox, 41, Ocilla
Jerena Johnson, 34, Sycamore
Tony Snow, 52, Tallahassee, Fla.

AUG. 31
 Sara Delores Jackson Davis, 91, Tifton
Chad Tyson Fletcher, 34, Tifton
Blanch Douglas Pressley, 70, Ty Ty
Eileen Mixon Rowan, 74, Nashville
Gene Gandy, 86, Sparks
Alphonso Knighton III, 32, Moultrie

Buford Tyler Eason, 95, Leesburg
Carolyn Suggs Bentley, 84, Sumner
Mark Stephen Foss, 47, Nashville
Hubert Lamar Teal, 44, Nashville
Carl O’Scott, 47, Fitzgerald
Jeffrey T. Clark, 56, Fitzgerald
JoAnn Hobby Wallace, 88, Buford

Patricia Diann Womack Goodman, 77, Chula
Willard C Finch, 89, Tifton
Linda T. Moore, 74, Adel
Bobby Joe "Smokey" Day, 83, Nashville
Ann Breslin, 78, Lenox

Caleb Thompson, 18, Sumner
Irma W. Bozeman, Sylvester
Gelene Reaves Spradlin, 85, Fitzgerald

Tifton Grapevine
e-published every Tuesday and Friday

Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
A Service of Sayles Unlimited Marketing LLC, Tifton, Georgia