Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
TIFT SCHOOLS TO GET $2.7 MILLION IN COVID-19 RELIEF
PART OF $411 MILLION ALLOCATED STATEWIDE
Georgia public school districts will receive a total of $411,452,867 in COVID-19 federal relief funds this month. The Tift County School District is earmarked to get $2,709,430 , according to the Ga. Department of Education (DOE).

The State Board of Education on Monday voted to allocate the money based on each school districts' percentage of students at and below the poverty level , which federal guidelines require.

Georgia had applied for the funding through the Education Stabilization Fund Program Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund , part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – the federal stimulus aimed at COVID-19 relief.

"We remain committed to getting the funds to districts as quickly as possible, as we know the need is immediate ," said state School Superintendent Richard Woods .

"We will continue to pursue all possible funding avenues to help our school districts through the COVID-19 crisis and the related economic downturn ." 

Among school districts in the Tiftarea , Ben Hill County will receive $1,486,334 ; Worth County, $1,084,185 ; Cook County, $988,226 ; Berrien County, $971,365 ; Turner County, $694,907 ; and Irwin County, $503,725 .

The CARES Act funds are flexible ; districts may use them for a variety of efforts including distance/remote learning, school meals, supporting at-risk student populations, mental and physical health, supplemental learning, facilities/equipment, and maintaining continuity of core staff and services.

The funds can be used to reimburse expenses retroactive to March 13 , and do not expire until September 2022 . The Ga. DOE will release the funds after school districts submit detailed plans for using the allocations .
Gov. Brian Kemp, center, visits Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany on Tuesday while being briefed by Phoebe CEO Scott Steiner, second from right.
GOV TOURS MOBILE HOSPITAL UNIT OPENING IN ALBANY FOR COVID-19
Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday toured a modular COVID-19 hospital unit opening Wednesday in Albany and thanked medical and community leaders for their efforts in combatting the coronavirus in Southwest Georgia .

"We know how hard this has been on everybody , no matter what part of the state you’re in, and it’s certainly been harder than most right here in Albany and Southwest Georgia ,” Kemp said.

The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) oversaw the project to build a 24-bed modular hospital unit at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany as part of the state’s effort to increase capacity for COVID-19 patients. The shipping containers used to construct the facility were delivered on April 15 , and the unit will be ready to accept patients May 6 .

Kemp said the state is now setting up another mobile hospital in Gainesville .

"We've bought four of these, placing them strategically around the state ,” Kemp said. “One of the places we're going to be standing a unit like this is up is Gainesville , which is something we're probably going to need right now . They're being stressed pretty hard up there."

As of Tuesday night , the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH) reported 29,905 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia with 1,295 deaths. There have been 200,814 tests administered in the state, the DPH said.

Tift County reported 132 positive cases and five deaths. Southwell health system, which includes Tift Regional Medical Center , reported a total of 368 cases and 26 deaths at the Tifton hospital, most of them residents of counties outside Tift .

Tift County's positive cases represent 323 cases per 100,000 population – more per capita than reported in Atlanta area counties. Both Fulton and DeKalb counties' cases represent 288 per 100,000 population.

The number of cases in Albany/Dougherty County , which has been especially hard hit by the coronavirus , represent 1,724 per 100,000 population.
A Message from Todd Tillman,
our Local Business Development Manager:
ABAC PLANS ON-CAMPUS RETURN AUG. 12
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College plans to return to on-campus instruction at all its instructional sites for the fall semester beginnng Aug. 12 .

ABAC and the other 25 colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia suspended physical classes this spring and summer because of the coronavirus pandemic. A virtual commencement ceremony is set online for Thursday, May 7 , for ABAC's spring semester .

Applications continue to be accepted for the online summer term , which begins May 26 . Donna Webb , ABAC enrollment director, said SAT or ACT scores will not be required for all summer and fall semester applicants .

“We can generate the admissions decision based on the student’s success in high school,” Webb said. “ Summer term may be an appealing choice for students who are graduating from high school and want to get a head start on the fall semester.”

For information about summer or fall classes, call 229-391-5000 or email  admissions@abac.edu
TIFT COMMISSIONER HUGHES NAMED SECOND VP OF COUNTIES ASSOCIATION
Tift County Commissioner Melissa Hughes was recently sworn as second vice president on the 2020-2021 Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) Board of Managers

In her role, Hughes  will work alongside other board members to lead the association and guide policies during the next year. The ACCG board's initiatives include increasing county efficiencies , enhancing continuing education and fostering strong relationships among counties, the state and federal governments.

Hughes said she is humbled to serve the association on behalf of Tift County .

"There is a quote by Carl Gustaw Jung that says, 'You are what you do , and not what you’ll say you will do .' This quote reminds me each day that we are just as a piece of a puzzle ," Hughes said.

"If one piece of the puzzle is missing , that puzzle is not complete . Let us complete the puzzle by continuing to work together during these times.”
Cars line up early Friday on Eighth Street past Fulwood Park heading to the Ga. Museum of Agriculture on Whiddon Mill Road for the Second Harvest food distribution.
CROWD COMES OUT FOR FOOD DISTRIBUTION AT GA MUSEUM OF AG IN TIFTON
Traffic backed up all over Tifton early Friday as Second Harvest of South Georgia , the region's leading hunger-relief organization, held its second free distribution of food in Tifton within a month .

Food was distributed at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture' s parking lot to more than 1,750 families on a first-come, first-served basis Friday morning . Vehicles lined up early, and the line stretched past Fulwood Park on Eighth Street heading west toward Whiddon Mill Road .

The  Georgia National Guard  and the  Georgia State Defense Force aided Second Harvest in unloading the boxes of food and placing them in local residents' vehicles. The Tifton Police Department , the Tift County Sheriff's Office and ABAC Police helped keep order and kept the lines moving smoothly.

Second Harvest of South Georgia has been holding similar food distribution events throughout South Georgia in recent weeks .
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S PETS OF THE WEEK
Tift Animal Rescue recently organized a fundraiser to treat three female dogs for heartworms at the Tift County Animal Shelter . A total of $875 was raised, and another dog was added to the list. "We could not have done this without your help !" Tift Animal Rescue wrote on social media. "A big thank you to all who donated ! These four will soon be heartworm-free living a healthy, happy life !"
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch's Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055
SINGER JOHN BERRY SEEKS PHOTOS
TO HONOR 2020 GRADUATES
Country singer John Berry , a former Tift County resident, is asking graduating seniors to send him photos for a music video that he is creating.

"If you are a graduating high school or college senior and your graduation ceremony has been affected due to Covid-19 restrictions, I would like to honor you in a video that I am putting together," the Grand Ole Opry star wrote on social media.

"Please send a favorite photo of you in your cap and gown , or holding a graduating class sign , to leadershipartists@gmail.com no later than May 10, 2020 . I am very excited about this project. Graduating from high school or college is a great accomplishment and should be celebrated ," Berry said.
TIFTON NAMED SITE OF STATE'S NEW AGRICULTURE EXPERIMENT STATION
– MAY 2, 1919
At about 9 p.m. Friday, May 2, 1919 , Tifton received word that it was selected as the site of the state's new Agriculture Experiment Station , which is today's University of Georgia Tifton Campus . "The good news was announced to the people by a long blast of the fire whistle ," according to press dispatches at the time.

Locals had lobbied hard for the experiment station, citing the General Assembly's decree that the station should be placed where it would serve the greatest number of farmers . "This being true, then Tifton is the logical place for it," local officials said.
REACH THOUSANDS OF FOLKS IN THE TIFTAREA ~
ADVERTISE IN THE TIFTON GRAPEVINE!
Call Us at 478-227-7126

Your Locally Owned Digital Newspaper!


To Subscribe, CLICK HERE!
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