AUG. 3, 2018
Tifton, Georgia


Superior Court Judge Melanie B. Cross of Tifton is one of nine candidates on a short list sent to the governor Wednesday to fill two openings on the Georgia Supreme Court.

Cross is a judge in the Tifton Judicial Circuit and  oversees cases in Tift, Irwin, Turner and Worth counties.

The governor's Judicial Nominating Commission sent its short list to Gov. Nathan Deal from an initial list of 101 candidates.  Deal is expected to choose two from the list to fill the seats of Britt Grant, confirmed Wednesday by the U.S. Senate to fill a vacancy on the federal appeals court in Atlanta, and Harris Hines, the court's chief justice who is retiring Aug. 31.

Besides Cross, the other candidates on the short list are:
  • DeKalb County Superior Court Judge J.P. Boulee
  • Senate Majority Leader William S. Cowsert, founding partner of Cowsert & Heath law firm
  • DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Asha F. Jackson
  • Cobb County Superior Court Judge C. LaTain Kell Sr.
  • Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua
  • State Solicitor General Sarah H. Warren of the state attorney general's office
  • State Rep. Andrew "Andy" J. Welch III, R-McDonough, manager of the Smith, Welch, Webb & White firm
  • Fulton County Superior Court Judge Paige Reese Whitaker


The annual Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival, presented by Southern Living, returns this September after Hurricane Irma forced  cancellation of last year's event.

But the three-day festival is back this year on Sept. 14-16 with restaurants serving up their special
shrimp and grits dishes, new guest attractions, and what is sure to be another exciting cooking competition among talented chefs from around the state of  Georgia .

Restaurants represented in the contest include the 2016 winner and defending champion West Egg CafĂ© of Atlanta, as well as a returning 2016 contender, The LOCAL Kitchen:Bar of  Tifton.

Named "Best Festival" by the Southeast Festivals and Events Association, this is the only festival in Georgia dedicated to shrimp and grits -- the Southern coast's signature dish. The popular event regularly draws a large audience eager to sample the array of enticing flavors and take in the entertainment that fills 32 acres within Jekyll Island's National Historic Landmark District.

This year's event combines the classic Southern dish with family-friendly entertainment, an artists market, live music, a kids' zone, food tents, a craft brew fest and more.

Eighth Street Singing Company members 

With the 2018-2019 school year right around the corner, teachers across Tift County are about to return to their classrooms. Several of the county's sports teams are training for their upcoming seasons. The Blue Devil Brigade members are busy learning music and drill for their competition/half-time show. 

And members of the Tift County Show Choirs are preparing for the days ahead.  Eighth Street Singing Company , the high school large mixed show choir, has been in their two-week long camp . Last week they worked on vocals for their upcoming competition show, and this week they learned choreography

One Voice, the middle school show choir, began their camp this week. Ladies Choice, the all-female high school show choir; and Singers Incorporated, the choral department's newest small mixed show choir; will begin their work just as school begins, with camps to follow.

Costumes, set designs, sound equipment, choreography, music rights and competition fees are all costs that must be covered for the program to exist. Members of these groups work hard to raise money to cover their own expenses, which are $300-$450 per student.

On Dec. 6, the Eighth Street Singing Company and Ladies Choice show choirs will be performing at Walt Disney World in Orlando at the Candlelight Processional.

Show choir members are currently selling Tift County Chorus discount cards containing discounts for 20 local businesses. Members are also seeking businesses to sponsor them by purchasing ads (logos will be on the choral department shirt). 

Additionally, the 4th Annual Tift County Show Choir Yard Sale is this Saturday, Aug. 4, at Eighth Street Middle School. Profits from each of these fundraisers help to offset students' show-choir costs. 

To help support the choirs, email


Tifton's  Hometown Holiday Christmas Celebration is marking 20 years, and this year's theme 
is  "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

"We are looking forward to your Christmas decorations as we embrace 20 years of holiday cheer," says Lequrica Gaskins at Tifton's Main Sreet office.

Christmas parade participants are encouraged to decorate their entries according to the theme.

Festival organizers are currently accepting sponsors. For information, call the Main Street office at 229-391-3977

The Hometown Holiday Christmas Celebration is on  Saturday, Dec. 1, in  Downtown  Tifton.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that the Southern Georgia region's labor force jumped in June as summer job seekers hit the market. 
With the labor force growing faster than could be absorbed through hiring, the unemployment rate also ticked up for the month. 
Still, all indicators remain positive for the year.  The commissioner explained that despite an increase
in the unemployment rate, he remains confident about the overall job market
"The Georgia job market is very strong," said Butler. "An increase in the unemployment rate is common this time of year due to an increase in high school and college graduates entering the workforce."
The Southern Georgia labor force ended June at 182,602, up 2,865 over the past year. That number is up 970 over the past month, more than four times the monthly average increase over the year. 
As a result of this spike in the labor force, the unemployment rate in the Southern Georgia region increased by 0.8 percent to 4.5 percent. It was 5.3 percent a year ago. The rates in Georgia's 12 regions vary from a low of 3.6 percent in the Georgia Mountains to 5.2 percent in the Heart of Georgia and River Valley regions.
The number of employed residents in the region fell to 174,420, down 452 from the previous month. The area remains up 4,278 for the year.
In the Southern Georgia region, initial claims for unemployment were down about 15 percent for the month and down about 24 percent for the year. 
The Southern Georgia Regional Commission includes  Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Pierce, Tift, Turner, and Ware  counties. 

About 40 new University of Georgia faculty members will take a five-day tour of the state next week to learn more about agriculture and agritourism, industry, innovation, the Georgia coast and rural communities.

The New Faculty Tour will travel by motor coach through 48 counties, including stops in Tift County. The tour spends Thursday morning at the UGA Tifton campus, getting  a tour of the Future Farmstead renewable energy home, hearing from crop researchers and learning  how researchers in Tifton are using genetics to increase the peanut yield.


Charleston L. Carter, formerly of Tifton and now of Charlotte, N.C., has been sworn in as 
member of the board of directors of the National Association for Court Management, the largest organization of court management professionals in the world.

Carter is the first board member ever to be selected from North Carolina and will serve a term of three years

Carter was the court administrator of the Tifton Judicial Circuit when he left Tifton last fall to become t rial court administrator for the Superior Court of North Carolina's 26th Judicial District in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County. In that role, Carter directs 45 employees in the Trial Court Administrator's Office and assists nearly 30 judges by managing all non-judicial activities.

Carter has 23 years of legal and court administration experience.  He received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice from Valdosta State University and has earned several certifications, including a Master Certificate of Court Administration from Michigan State University and a Certification in Judicial Philosophy from Harvard University.


Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) President Dr. Craig Wentworth has announced the addition of Marjorie Mayfield to the SRTC Board of Directors
From left, Judge Richard Porter, Marjorie Mayfield and SRTC President Craig Wentworth.

Mayfield was sworn in by Senior Superior Court Judge Richard "Dick" Porter, a Technical College System state board member.

"I am excited to have Mrs. Mayfield join our SRTC Board of Directors as a new member from Decatur County. In her role as chief operating officer for Burke, Worsham & Harrell, she has a wealth of knowledge of local and business and industry, and a high level of energy and enthusiasm for improving Southwest Georgia," Wentworth said.

SRTC also announced that Eric Hughes will succeed outgoing board chair Ellen Eaton of Tift County at the conclusion of her current term. Hughes has been a member of the SRTC Board of Directors since 2016. He currently serves as vice president of Colony Bank in Ashburn and is a resident of Turner County. Hughes was also recently named to the Governor's Workforce Development Board.


Tifton First United 
Methodist Church

107 W 12th St., Tifton

Tifton First United Methodist Church has an opening for a nursery worker. This is a part-time position 
  available after September 18.

Regular schedule is 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sundays. Wednesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. is optional. 
The hourly rate is $10 per hour.

Applicants must be at least 21, meet background check for working with children, learn and enforce the Safe Sanctuary policy, and must be able to work with a wide range of people in a personable and friendly manner.  

Interested persons should send a letter of application stating their experience, qualifications 
 and relevant information to:

FUMC Church Secretary
Re: Nursery Worker
107 W. 12th St.
Tifton, GA 31794


Colony Bankcorp Inc., the holding company for Colony Bank, has appointed T. Heath Fountain as its president & CEO. Fountain most recently served as president & CEO of Planters First Bank.

He  succeeds Edward P. Loomis Jr., who is retiring. 
During his tenure at Planters First, Fountain led growth initiatives that included adding two new
markets, a secondary market mortgage division and increasing loans and deposits over $50 million in three years.  

Before that, Fountain  was the chief financial officer of Albany-based Heritage Financial Group and HeritageBank of the South. While at Heritage, Fountain was a key member of the executive team that grew that bank from six Albany offices and under $400 million in assets to a $1.8 billion financial services company with more 50 offices in four states.  
"Colony has a rich history and solid reputation as a great community bank in Central and South Georgia," Fountain said. "I look forward to working with the team to enhance that legacy and build one of the truly great community banks in the Southeast."  
Colony also announced that it has agreed to purchase the Albany branch of Planters First Bank. The transaction, expected to close in the fourth quarter, is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions and is expected to result in the transfer of approximately $20 million in loans and $10 million in deposits.

Colony Bankcorp Inc. was founded in 1975 and headquartered in Fitzgerald. Colony operates 26 full-service branches throughout Central and South Georgia .


Phillip "Tall Phil" Grimsley, 83, known for the phrase: "That's Adel, Baby!" as owner of Cook
County Ford for 31 years, died 
Wednesday, Aug. 1, at his residence.

Grimsley, a Colquitt native, served in the U.S. Air Force for 23 years and retired as a lieutenant colonel. He moved to Adel in 1978 to become owner of Cook County Ford and retired in 2009

He was well-known in his community, offering countless education scholarships and aiding many local organizations and charities.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today, Friday, Aug. 3, at Adel First Baptist Church.


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         . a Glance

  • Tift County Blue Devils 'Soap Bowl,' 5-7:30 p.m., TCHS practice field, Tifton
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market 9 a.m-Noon,  Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Cub Scout Pack 62 Kickoff, 10 a.m., First United Methodist Church., Tifton
  • Potters on the Porch, 10 a.m., Plough Gallery, Tifton
  • Run for Love 1-mile/5K, 7:15 p.m., ABAC Tennis Center, Tifton

In Memoriam

Richard T. Lawrence, 84, Adel
Ret. M.Sgt. Jerry "Jake" T. Martin, 82, Adel

Antley Harper Stephens, 79, Omega
Jon Anderson, 69, Adel
Mark T. Renfro, 55, Quitman

Les Miller Jr, 86, Nashville
Darryl Wayne Porst, 46, Umatilla, Fla.

John Robert "Johnny" Drake, 71, Nashville
William Harry "Bill" Thurman, 92, Monroe
Wava Nell Harrell, 77, Adel
Judy Martin, 81, Barwick

Shirley Beard Whiddon, 75, Tifton
Phyllis Castleberry Cannington, 79, Adel

AUG. 1
Susan Todd Hendley, 71, Nashville
Martha L. Frager, Ashburn
Lynn Hope, 61, Fitzgerald
Phillip Wayne Grimsley, 83, Adel

AUG. 2
Betty Worsley Barnes, 86, Tifton

175 Tifton Worth County Line Road, Tifton
MLS#  128889

This 3,609-square-foot home has 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, Kitchen with double ovens, Den, Gameroom, Sunroom, Lanai, in-ground pool, fountain, pond on 6.48 acres.


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