Friday, April 17, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
Photo by Jack E. Bryan
Trees were snapped Monday morning by a brief EF-1 tornado near Ty Ty.
Tifton Grapevine
The National Weather Service (NWS) has confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down briefly in Tift and Worth counties Monday morning as deadly storms roared through the South .

The NWS said the tornado had estimated winds of 90 mph . An EF-1 rated tornado has wind speeds between 86 and 110 mph . There were no injuries associated with the Tift-Worth tornado , which caused minor structural damage with a widespread area of trees uprooted and snapped , the NWS said.

At 5:36 a.m. Monday , the tornado touched down in Worth County just southwest of U.S. Highway 82 west of Ty Ty . The tornado then continued for 3.17 miles northeast, crossing Highway 82 , with damage reported on Little River Road and Whiddon Mill Road , according to the Weather Service.

The tornado lifted one mile north/northeast of Ty Ty in Tift County at 5:40 a.m. and had a maximum width of 100 yards , the NWS reported.

The Weather Service previously confirmed a brief tornado in western Irwin County on Monday morning. That tornado was also an EF-1 at 90 mph and had a width of 50 yards . It touched down at 5:59 a.m., north of Five Bridges Road , five miles east/southeast of Harding .

It traveled a total of 3.96 miles , crossing Five Bridges Road near Palm Road and lifting at 6:04 a.m. near Palm and Peach roads , four miles west/northwest of Gladys . There were no injuries , but " many trees were snapped ," the NWS said.

The storms briefly left more than 5,100 customers without electricity in the Tiftarea.
Tifton Grapevine
The Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH), South Health District , on Thursday reported the first confirmed COVID-19 related death in Adel/Cook County .

The health district also reported additional virus-related deaths of residents in Tift and Turner counties.

The Cook County individual was a 77-year-old female with underlying medical conditions, the DPH said. There have been 11 confirmed cases in Cook .

The Tift County death involved a 91-year-old male with underlying medical conditions; the DPH reported that as of 6:30 p.m. Thursday , four Tift County residents have
died from COVID-19 , with 79 confirmed cases involving Tift residents.

The Turner County death was a 75-year old female with underlying medical conditions; there are 49 cases in Turner County .

“It is critical that the residents of our district take this disease seriously so we can try to prevent more individuals from contracting this devastating disease ,” said Dr. William R. Grow , district health director.

Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany on Thursday reported nine additional deaths of positive COVID-19 patients. 

"That equals the highest number of deaths we have reported on any single day since this public health emergency began," the hospital system said in a press release. "That fact alone should be a wakeup call to anyone who thinks he or she is safe from this virus."  

Phoebe Putney noted that "while the number of coronavirus cases has plateaued for now, most of the COVID patients coming into our ER are critically ill . No one is safe from this virus as it continues to claim lives in our community . We need to take this virus seriously and continue to shelter in place ."

Albany/Dougherty County leads Georgia in the number of coronavirus deaths with 88 . It has had a total of 1,358 confirmed cases. Worth County has had four deaths and 114 confirmed cases. Valdosta/Lowndes County has had three deaths and 79 cases.

Irwin, Ben Hill and Berrien counties have had no deaths and have, respectively , 13, 10, and 10 cases. There are a total 617 deaths in Georgia as of Thursday night with 16,368 confirmed cases of COVID-19 .
Dr. Melinda Knight with some of the art work displayed along the “Hall of Hope.”
Dr. Melinda Knight , a Southwell urologist who practices with Tift Regional Urology , had an idea to create an art wall to honor healthcare workers and the important work they are doing. 

Through a community effort , the artwork was installed at Tift Regional Medical Center on the third-floor corridor that connects the two units where all of Southwell’s COVID-19 patients are being treated .

Knight worked with several community groups, including Plough Gallery in Tifton, to create the “Hall of Hope,” which contains 70 pieces of art from people throughout the community.

“I wanted to take this initiative because I really felt that it would help to brighten up the space at the hospital and hopefully bring a smile to the faces of staff and patients ,” Knight said. “I also thought this would be a great opportunity for local artists to showcase their work in a unique way.”

Some of the art features messages of appreciation ; some depict images of healthcare workers on the front lines .

“Art has the power to inspire us, to motivate us, and to keep us going," Knight said . I think that is what we need in the midst of this pandemic , and my hope is that this installation is able to bring inspiration and encouragement to our patients, visitors, and frontline staff.”
With hand sanitizer being a premium commodity these days, Moon's Pharmacy of Tifton on Tuesday donated 10 gallons of hand sanitizer to Tift County EMS to support local first responders. Pharmacy Director Floyd Moon, pharmacist Catherine Moon Maraman and their team stand with members of the Tift County Fire/Rescue Paramedic Unit.
Former ABAC Stallion Kyle Farnsworth during one of his stints with the Atlanta Braves.
With major league sports on hold because of the pandemic, sports writers are searching for topics upon which to opine. The other day, On Tap Sports Net in Chicago decided to remember Chicago Cubs "legend" Kyle Farnsworth , a former baseball player for Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College .

Farnsworth , who attended ABAC in 1994-95 , had a 15-year career in major-league baseball as a pitcher with a multitude of teams – the Cubs , the Atlanta Braves , the Detroit Tigers , the New York Yankees , the New York Mets , the Kansas City Royals , the Tampa Bay Rays , the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Houston Astros .

The Chicago writer noted that Farnsworth was a Chicago Cubs legend , "but not for the same reason many other former Cubs are now considered legends . If you grew up in the ’90s , odds are you remember Kyle Farnsworth for a multitude of skills: His ability to anger other teams , his 100-plus mph fastball , and his perfect form tackle on  Paul Wilson " of the Cincinnati Reds .

Drafted by the Cubs in the 47th round in the 1994 draft, Farnsworth began his career as a starting pitcher with the Cubs . "A solid reliever throughout his career ... he was most well known for his aggressive antics ," the Chicago sports site noted.

In 2003 , he tackled the Reds' Paul Wilson to the ground , bringing both benches to the field. "In 2004 , Farnsworth decided a cooler in the Cubs dugout would be his next victim . Unfortunately for #44, the cooler won that battle; Farnsworth ended up with a hairline fracture in his leg after that bout," the website noted.

While with Detroit in 2005 , he was involved in another bench-clearing brawl . He also tackled a Royals pitcher and was ejected from a game. In 2009 , Farnsworth hurt his hand breaking up a fight between his two American bulldogs .

"The man has a sixth sense for brawls ," the Chicago sports site wrote.

He most recently took his tackling skills to the football field, playing defense for the Orlando Phantoms in the Florida Football Alliance between 2015 and 2018 , having 11 sacks one season.

Farnsworth just celebrated his 44th birthday this past Tuesday, April 14 , in typical style – tackling the weights in his gym . "When it’s your 44th birthday , you squat 225 lbs 44 times , right?!!" he wrote on social media accompanied by a short video of him weightlifting .
Alma Young from Tifton has been named the 2020 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award recipient by the ABAC Alumni Association at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

The award is usually presented at the Alumni Awards Luncheon at Homecoming each April but was postponed because of the pandemic. The event will be rescheduled .

The Outstanding Young Alumnus Award recognizes young alumni, 40 and younger , who have distinguished themselves through professional achievement , community service and service to ABAC.

A 2005 ABAC graduate , Young received her associate degree in fashion merchandising. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in higher education administration from Georgia Southern University

Young serves as director of the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at Valdosta State University , managing a $2 million grant budget to help students from migrant and seasonal farm-working backgrounds succeed in college.

Earlier in her career, Young served as the CAMP associate director at ABAC as well as the Goizueta Scholarship coordinator and as an academic advisor.

Young is a volunteer at the Casa Colibri hospitality home , is a board member for Mission 3E , and is a member of the South Georgia Immigration Support Network . She served three years as a member of the University System of Georgia Regents Advisory Committee for Hispanic/Latino College Completion .
The pooch pictured here is among several animals recently rescued by Tift County Animal Control . If this is your pet, please call the animal shelter to claim, 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
Mary Martin York, 86, Ty Ty
Susie Tompkins Pendley, 76, Warwick
Alice DeVane, 75, Valdosta
Melisa Haws, 39, Lowndes County

Bobby Ray Hamilton, 77, Fitzgerald

Edwin King, 83, Tifton
Danielle Membrives Jernigan, 76, Enigma
Franco Grava, 41, Norman Park
Mary Beth Harris, 91, Nashville
Bonnie Joe Parker Nix, 77, Nashville
Clara Evelyn Weeks Shivers, 89, Nashville  
Bobby Gene Logeman, 58, Fitzgerald
Rhonda Renee Watts, 47, Enigma  

Tony McDonald, 82, Sylvester

Joseph "Joe" Ray Ledlow, 54, and Jane Broadway Ledlow, 64, Tifton
Joan Latrelle Barksdale Brooks, 82, Tifton
Mary Lee Palmer Fox, 87, Tifton
John P. McGowan Sr., 81, Tifton
Melody Jane Mitchell, 53,
George Herman Connell Jr., 75, Atlanta
Tracy Lee Weaver, 55, Albany
Lawrence Clayton Mauldin, 80, Tifton

Foy Lee Harrell, 91, Tifton
Patricia J. Adkison, 81, Rebecca

Ida Mae Stephens Kilcrease, 95, Sylvester
Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
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Bonnie Sayles
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