Friday, August 6, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
ICU BEDS FULL AT TRMC, DIVERTING SOME PATIENTS TO OTHER HOSPITALS
SOUTHWELL RESTRICTS VISITORS AS COVID-19 SURGES
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
As COVID-19 cases surge in our area, Tift Regional Medical Center said Thursday that all 20 of its Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds are full and that ambulances and critical-care patients are being diverted to other hospitals.

Also, as of Thursday, visitor restrictions have been upgraded to the “purple,” or highest, level at Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC), meaning that no visitors are allowed in most cases, except under special circumstances.

Southwell Medical Clinic (formerly Affinity) and all of the health system's other departments and clinics outside of the hospital have upgraded to “red," which means that one designated visitor is allowed for non-COVID patients.

"The upgrade in restrictions is in effect due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in our area," Southwell healthcare said.

“In Georgia, COVID cases are growing at an alarming rate. Almost all of Tift Regional Medical Center's recent COVID-19 inpatients did not receive the vaccination,” said Claire Byrnes, Southwell's senior vice president for ambulatory operations.

"We strongly encourage all local residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible. People who are unvaccinated or do not receive their second dose of vaccine are prime targets for infection."

Southwell told the Tifton Grapevine that, as of Thursday, TRMC had 52 positive COVID-19 patients, "and the majority of them are unvaccinated."

Only 30% of eligible Tift countians are vaccinated, according to data from the Ga. Department of Health (DPH). Statewide, 41% are vaccinated, which ranks Georgia among the lowest vaccinated states.

In the past two weeks, Tift County has recorded 137 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, which translates to 336 per 100,000 population, the DPH said. The county has had a 12.3% testing positivity rate during the period.

During the past week, Tift has had 80 new confirmed cases and had 2 more related deaths, for a total of 3,687 confirmed cases and 104 deaths according to DPH data.

As of Thursday afternoon, Georgia confirmed 3,861 new cases within 24 hours with 35 additional deaths. The state has seen 949,716 confirmed cases and 18,797 total deaths during the pandemic.

With the surge in cases, the City of Tifton this week reimposed its mask mandate in city buildings and has again placed attendance restrictions in the Tift Theatre, limiting audiences to 200.

Southwell has also reopened its drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Tift Regional Community Events Center on Carpenter Road beginning today (Friday) with no appointment necessary and is also increasing its number of vaccination locations. Information is available at www.mysouthwell.com/covid-19
Recent ABAC graduate Jhonelle Chambers, left, who is from Jamaica and now lives in Tifton, visits with ABAC student Lindsey Winzell of Cairo. Winzell is among ABAC students coming back to campus for the start of the fall semester on Aug. 10.
ABAC EXPECTS MORE STUDENTS WHEN CLASSES BEGIN
FALL TERM OPENS ON TUESDAY, AUG. 10
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College expects another enrollment increase as more than 4,000 students are expected to strap on their backpacks and hike to class when the college opens its fall semester on Tuesday, Aug. 10.

It will be the second consecutive fall term in which ABAC has had an increase in enrollment, and President David Bridges says it will be a return to normal college life – or “as close to normal as we can.”

Bridges noted that because of the pandemic, “there was nothing normal about last year. Our primary concern this year is for ABAC students to receive in-person instruction in a safe environment. The virus is still with us, and we want to take the necessary precautions.” 

He said that he wants students “living in on-campus housing, going to club meetings, playing sports, and eating in the dining hall. Give our students what they deserve: The total college experience."

A total of 1,320 students are anticipated living in on-campus housing. And, if recent trends continue, females will far outnumber males in the fall term. Last year, there were 2,371 female students to 1,619 males.

Most ABAC students this year will be enrolled in four-year degree programs.

“Bachelor’s degrees are the lifeblood of this campus,” Bridges said. “ABAC offered only two-year degrees for 75 years, and we still have some outstanding students seeking associate degrees, particularly in nursing.

"But the future of ABAC rests on the shoulders of those students who will be with us for four years or more.”
'HOPE WE LEARNED LESSONS' FROM VIETNAM, VETERAN TELLS TIFTON ROTARY CLUB
By BONNIE SAYLES
Tifton Grapevine
“I am a Vietnam veteran, and it changed my life,” Warren Robinson told the Tifton Rotary Club on Wednesday

Robinson, a retired Lenox bank president, has written two books about his military experience and that of others in Vietnam.

When he returned to the United States in 1970, Robinson and his fellow G.I.’s didn’t want to talk about their Vietnam experiences.

“The happy-go-lucky teenagers were no longer,” he said. “They had seen it all and done it all.” They felt cold and battle hardened.

What saved Robinson after his experience was that his father coaxed him to work with him at a bank in Lenox. “I got very involved in the community, and I got married,” he said.

Planning to work for a short time, he ended up working there 41 years. 

His time in Vietnam continuously visited him in his dreams. Robinson’s wife told him, “‘You need to write these experiences down.’ All of a sudden, I couldn’t stop writing.” 

“Pretend you’re 19 years old,” he told his audience. "You’re halfway around the world from your family and friends.” He went on to describe the experience of being constantly on alert for people who want to kill you, with barely edible C-rations and little sleep. Hunting and killing the enemy was unlike any teenage game imaginable, he said. 

“You are hunting human beings, and they are hunting you. It was kill or be killed,” Robinson said. “Huge mosquitoes nearly as big as hummingbirds feed off you, and you see snakes of all kinds, huge rats, and spiders. Your head is constantly on a swivel” looking for the enemy. 

He told the story of Harold Pinky" Durham, a Tifton soldier who posthumously received the the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism in that war.

“More than 58,000 young men died in Vietnam in a senseless war,” Robinson said. “Thousands more were maimed. I hope we learned some lessons.” 

Robinson’s books about the American soldier in Vietnam are “Remembering Vietnam: A Veteran’s Story,” published in June 2017, and “No One Has More Love Than This...: Why We Remember,” published in February 2020.

He also wrote a historical account taking place in Lenox, “Death Waits at the Depot,” published in May 2018. 
DALE CARNEGIE COURSE
RETURNING TO TIFTON
Sayles Unlimited Marketing is partnering with the Dale Carnegie organization to bring the world-renowned Dale Carnegie Course back to Tifton.

This course gives you the human relations skills to thrive in any setting. Discover how to form closer, more rewarding relationships built on trust and respect. Increasing your confidence and competence in interacting with others will gain the influence you need to reach new heights in your personal and professional life.

Among areas of focus are improving interpersonal skills, communicating more effectively, developing leadership abilities, selling ideas, reducing stress and worry, increasing self-confidence, and inspiring and motivating other people.

Attendees become better equipped to perform as a persuasive communicator, problem-solver and focused leader.

The course is designed for anyone, at any level, who wishes to optimize his or her performance, lead with conviction, and have a consistently positive effect on their business's bottom line.

For more than a centuryDale Carnegie has been improving individual and business performance around the world. While the training techniques continue to evolve, the core principles remain true to a single vision: Real transformation begins within.

The course will begin this fall in Tifton. For information, call Frank Sayles Jr. at 229-848-7043.
LOCAL GROUPS COMBAT HEAT WITH WATER FOR TIFTON FIRE DEPT.
The Tifton Fire Department recently asked for donations of bottled water for its personnel, and several local residents immediately answered the call.

Among them were the Kappa Psi Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, who provided cases of water, and the local Citizens of Georgia Power employee volunteer group.

"We are asking very graciously for some help with donating cases of water to the department," the city fire department wrote on social media recently. "It has been a hot summer, and we cannot keep enough water in our stations. If you happen to find it in yourselves to donate any water, we would greatly appreciate it!"

Georgia Power employees donated 360 bottles of water to the Tifton Fire Department.

“They had a severe shortage of water for the fire crews,” said Sabrina Rouse, a senior data coordinator at Georgia Power and leader in the local Citizens chapter.

“If there’s one thing our line crews know a lot about, it is the South Georgia heat. We jumped into gear and bought several cases of water and delivered them to the local fire department,” she said.

During the hot month of July, the Tifton Fire Department said it responded to 82 calls – among them, 19 were accidents; 17 were medical; 14 were false alarms; 12 involved "hazardous conditions;" and there were three responses to trash fires, two to vehicle fires, and one grass fire. There were no structure fires.
PRINCE TOYOTA GIVES TO TRMC FOUNDATION
The Tift Regional Medical Center Foundation recently received a $5,000 donation from Prince Toyota in conjunction with Toyota Motor Sales

The Toyota Dealer Match program was established to support local Toyota dealerships and their community involvement by matching dealership contributions to qualifying charities. Prince Toyota has taken advantage of the program for the past 10 years, donating $50,000 to the TRMC Foundation

This donation will assist the TRMC Foundation with funding for scholarships, medical technology, community programs and financial aid for patient families. 

Pictured from left are Heidi P. Massey and Austin Stripling of Prince Automotive; Mandy Brooks, TRMC Foundation; Heather P. Stripling, Prince Automotive; and John Prince; Prince Automotive president.
TIFTON WOMAN'S CLUB GIVES TABS COLLECTED IN TIFTON TO RONALD McDONALD HOUSE
GFWC Tifton Woman’s Club recently delivered 535 pounds of pop tabs for recycling to the Ronald McDonald House of Central Georgia in Macon. The Ronald McDonald House provides lodging for families whose children are being treated in a regional referral hospital.

At left in the photo is club President Genie McCook and Shirene Daniell of the Tifton club along with Ronald McDonald and the tabs collected around Tifton.

The club thanked Tift County schools, local businesses, and club members and volunteers for collecting the tabs to benefit the Ronald McDonald House.
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YOUR GUIDE TO ACTIVITIES THIS WEEKEND IN THE TIFTAREA

This Saturday, Aug. 7, is
Purple Heart Day, a chance to reflect on the bravery of those who have fought for the nation and to ensure that their courage is never forgotten. The Purple Heart medal is awarded by the president to soldiers of the U.S. military wounded or killed while serving their country.
FRIDAY, AUG. 6
  • Tifton "First Friday" event, 5-8 p.m., Downtown Tifton
  • Sylvester Sip & Stroll/Concert with the Swingin' Medallions, Sip & Stroll, 5-7 p.m.; concert, 7-10 p.m., Main Street, Sylvester

SATURDAY, AUG. 7
  • "Personal SPACE" artist reception, 4-6 p.m., Plough Gallery, Tifton
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S DOG OF THE WEEK
“Blue," a young male pooch, is available for adoption at the Tift County Animal Shelter on Highway 125 S. To see all pets available, visit the shelter between 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  
candle-flames-banner.jpg

JULY 29
J. D. Gray, Jr., 85, Tifton
Flora Dobbins Saylor, 90, Plant City, Fla.
Sharon Lee Bundy Colby, 75, Sylvester
 
JULY 30
Sharon Marcia Lewis, 66, New Lois Community, Berrien County
Martha “Liz” Summerall, 62, Ray City
 
JULY 31
Harold Raymond Bennett, 72, Valdosta
Shirley Madeleine Ball, 73, Tifton
Margie Banister Kirkpatrick, 85, Tifton
 
AUGUST 1
Deborah “Kay” Wiggins Dunn, 69, Tifton
Agnes Marshall Wells, 80, Worth County
Tony Guthrie, 54, Adel
Margaret Nicole Shaw, 48, Nashville
Wenford Ewings, 66, Sylvester
 
AUGUST 2
 Jackie “Lynn” Talley, 63, Chula
Geneva Minchew Walters, 68, Tifton
Peggy “Peggie” Sumner Barrentine, 77, Enigma
Lewis Jackson “Jack Mack” Laminack, 83, Perry, formerly of Irwin County
 
AUGUST 3
George Harris Brown, 60, formerly of Ashburn
Charles "Charlie" Meadows, 84, Sparks
Johnnie Mae Carter, Sylvester
AUGUST 4
James “Harvey” Nichols, 74, Tifton
Maj. Robert Wayne Duffell, 73, Chula
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