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MAY 19, 2017
Tifton, Georgia


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TOURISM MEANS
$97 MILLION TO TIFT
TIFTON CALLED 'CROSSROADS OF SOUTH GEORGIA'

Tourism generates more than $97 million in annual  visitor spending in Tift County and supports 889 jobs here, the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce was told Thursday.

Tift County sees $2.8 million in local tax revenues; each Tift household would need to be taxed an additional $473 a year
PEACOCK
to replace taxes generated by tourism, said 
Amanda Peacock, the state Department of Economic Development's tourism project manager for the "Plantation Trace" region in Southwest Georgia.

Peacock was one of several speakers at the Chamber's membership meeting focusing on local tourism. Tyron Spearman, this year's Chamber chairman and Tifton-Tift County's tourism director, said there are 1,100 hotel-motel rooms in Tift County and more than 100 restaurants.

He said 100,000 people come through Tifton every day on major highways. "We are the Crossroads of South Georgia," Spearman said.

Dr. Joe West, head of the University of Georgia's Tifton campus, talked about his campus' 129,000-square-foot conference center with its 2,000-seat and 300-seat auditoriums.

"Tifton is very fortunate" to have such a facility, West said, which hosts hundreds of meetings, conferences and concerts. Last year, the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center hosted 51,000 people and was responsible for 4,000 overnight hotel stays, West said. The conference center's annual economic impact is $5.3 million, which West said is a conservative estimate.

Tift County Recreation Director Craig Sowell told the Chamber that youth recreation programs have an annual economic impact of more than $3.4 million, including district and state swim meets. The recreation department also hosts numerous baseball and soccer tournaments. Sowell said just the sale of soccer cleats locally generates more than $7,000 in the Tifton economy.

The Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, part of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College ( ABAC), had more than 40,000 visitors last year, said its director Garrett Boone. An additional 5,000 children came through the facility as part of an expanded youth agricultural program funded through $250,000 from the Harley Langdale Jr. Foundation. The museum also employs 39 ABAC students.

Tifton Mayor Julie Smith spoke briefly about Tifton's Outreach Marketing Group, which developed such events as the Rhythm & Ribs Festival; and Angela Elder of the Tifton tourism office mentioned the national Great Race coming through Tifton June 24, bringing 120 antique automobiles downtown.

TIFTON NATIVE
HAS  NEW FILM
CAITLIN CARMICHAEL'S 'A MERMAID'S TALE' RELEASED THIS WEEK

Tifton native Caitlin Carmichael, 12, already a veteran of many films, TV shows and commercials, had her latest movie, "A Mermaid's Tale," released Tuesday
CARMICHAEL

The young actress also has a Netflix movie expected to be out this summer, "Wheelman," in which she stars alongside Frank Grillo, who portrayed the character Crossbones in Marvel's "Captain America" movies. 

"A Mermaid's Tale" is available at all major retailers (Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.), digital platforms (iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay) and  VOD (OnDemand). Carmichael plays a
VIDEO: Click to see 'Mermaid' trailer
young girl who befriends a quirky teenage mermaid who's anything but mythical; their friendship could heal an age-old feud between humans and sea people. 

The film also stars Jerry O'Connell, whose credits include "Jerry Maguire" and "Stand By Me," and Barry Bostwick, from TV's "Spin City," "Cougar Town" and such films as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

In an interview e-published this week by the digital  Occhi Magazine, Carmichael said she just saw a screening of the Netflix film "Wheelman" with the cast and crew "and it is fabulous. 'Wheelman' is a high-impact, action thriller centered on Frank Grillo, who plays Wheelman and his struggle to do whatever it takes to protect his family. I play Wheelman's daughter, Katie."

Carmichael said her "role was unique and special to me because I got to play such a strong female heroine. I even got to learn to drive a 1982 Porsche 911 stick-shift for the movie."

The Tifton native is also in an upcoming feature film, "Life Itself," that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Annette Bening, Mandy Patinkin, Antonio Banderas and Olivia Wilde.

JOHN TIBBETTS A FINALIST
FOR STATE TEACHER OF YEAR

John R. Tibbetts of Tifton, the  Worth County School District Teacher of the Year, has been  chosen a Top 10 Finalist for Georgia's State Teacher of the Year

"Thanks to all my wonderful colleagues at Worth County High School for making this possible," Tibbetts said. "Go Rams!"

The Georgia Teacher of the Year will be named within the next few weeks.


CHAMBER HONORS STUDENTS OF YEAR

At Thursday's Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce monthly membership meeting, the 2017 Students of the Year were honored. 

Brianna Thomas, center above, is a senior at Tift County High School. Josie Jones, center below, is a senior at Tiftarea Academy. Both were joined by members of their family and staff from each school. 

Kelly Daniell, the Chamber's vice chair for community development, presented each of the winners with a plaque sponsored by Tift Regional Health Systems and a $50 check from First Community Bank

Thursday's program was sponsored by Wisham Jellies. The Chamber's membership meetings are held at noon on the third Thursday of each month at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture's conference room.




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REDDICK SCHOOL PUPIL
TIFT'S SIXTH GRADE
READER OF YEAR

Jozef Abantao  was honored as the  Reader of the Year for  J.T. Reddick School, Tift County Reader of the Year--Sixth Grade and the  Tift County representativ e for  Georgia Reader of the Year for Grades six through eight at the Reader of the Year Ceremony held recently at Annie Belle Clark Primary School.

Jozef has won Georgia Reader of the Year for two consecutive years. He is pictured with, left, Assistant Principal Jennifer Howell and ELA teacher Kayla Germaine.



COACH DOOLEY
VISITS AREA

Former UGA head football coach Vince Dooley and his wife  Barbara visited South Georgia this week to promote Coach Dooley's latest book.

In the photo, the Dooleys pose in Albany with Tifton native Beth English, center, who is executive director of Easter Seals Southern Georgia.

Dooley also made a stop in Tifton this week.

 His new book,  "The Legion's Fighting Bulldog,"  details the Civil War correspondence of Lt. Col.  William  Gaston Deloney, part of Cobb's Georgia  Legion Cavalry, and his wife Rosa Deloney

 It is a glimpse of the struggles of life on the  battlefield  and at home . Dooley calls Deloney "the  first Bulldog."



ROTARY STUDENT FROM COLOMBIA
ENDS YEAR AT ABAC WITH 4.0 AVERAGE

In the photo above, Tifton Rotary member Jeff Gibbs stands with Angela Ramos-Santodomingo, the Tifton Rotary Club's representative in the Georgia Rotary Student Program (GRSP).

Ramos is from Colombia and had a 4.0 average during her year at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Gibbs is the club's GRSP chairman. Ramos thanked the club for the opportunity to spend a year in Tifton at ABAC and said she learned that "every step you take on the way leads you to a better thing." 

In a recent Rotary program, she described her home country and said she felt like an ambassador for Colombia, to which she was not able to return for her entire year at ABAC. She said Colombia has the most complex jungle in the world, the most bird species and the world's second biggest Carnivale celebration after Brazil

She mentioned that the river of five colors is one of the natural wonders for which Colombia is known. Ramos also said of Colombia that: A 52-year cvil war recently ended; the drug war ended in 1989 with the death of Pablo Escobar; Santa Marta is the oldest city in the Americas, established in 1525; and in 2017 the Lonely Planet travel website named Colombia the second-best place to visit in the world. 

Coming to America was scary for her, she said. "Everything worth doing in life is on the other side of being afraid," she told Rotarians. "Be curious about the different; be uncomfortable; be afraid."


EDUCATION FOUNDATION AWARDS SCIENCE GRANT

Seventh-grade life science teacher Beth Hobby at Eighth Street Middle School holds the $466 Incentive Grant she has received from the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence.

The grant is for a Science Olympiad competition team. 

In the photo from left are Assistant Principals Dr. Michael Slaven and Amelia Gann. At right is Foundation board member and liaison Penny Peters.

The education foundation recently approved the awarding of $20,351 in Incentive Grants for projects in Tift County schools.


SRTC STUDENTS COMPLETE MEDICAL COURSES

Eight students were recently recognized at a medical assisting pinning ceremony at Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC). The students completed one semester of prerequisite coursework as well as multiple semesters of occupational coursework, including a series of clinical rotations at local medical offices.
Pictured left to right: Allison Barfield, Sherry Whitfield, Apryl Folson, Corrina Jones, instructor Sherry Harrison, Danielle Griffin, Shonta Broadway, Deary Encina, and Dawn Bell.

Apryl Folson of Tifton,  Allison Barfield of Thomasville, Sherry Whitfield of Ochlocknee, Corrina Jones of Cairo, Danielle Griffin of Moultrie, Shonta Broadway of Camilla, Deary Encina of Cairo, and Dawn Bell of Moultrie were recognized for completing the requirements of the medical assisting program. 

"I am incredibly proud of the accomplishments of this group of graduates and know they will represent our college and community as leaders in their field as they progress in their careers," said Sherry Harrison, medical assisting program chair for SRTC.

 
YOUR WEEKEND 
. ..at a Glance

FRIDAY, MAY 19
  • Indoor Yard Sale, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Leroy Rogers Senior Center, Tifton
  • "SELF" Senior Dance, 6 p.m, Leroy Rogers Senior Center, Tifton
  • Tiftarea YMCA Mother-Son Date Night, 6-9 p.m., TRMC Community Event Center, Tifton
SATURDAY, MAY 20
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Sylvester Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, downtown train depot, Sylvester

In Memoriam
BowenDonaldson

MAY 11
Ronnie Lee White, 53, Nashville
Kenota Wanard Snow, Sylvester
David Gaines, 71, Ben Hill County
Herbert Russell "Bussey" Coker, 84, Sycamore
Willie Pearl Ligon, Albany
Kenota Wanard Snow Sr., 36, Sylvester

MAY 12
Robert Keith "Butch" Payne, 62, Ty Ty
Robert Charles Patterson, 74, Tifton
James Edwin "Jimmy" Brown, 82, Irwin County
Command Sgt Maj. Paul D. Rosado, 84, Fitzgerald

MAY 13
Louis Perlis, 91, Cordele
Carla H. Moody, 50, Ocilla
Thedessia "Sis" Heys Dorminey, 80, Fitzgerald
Eva Nell West, 89, Irwinville
Diane Lee Peron Beard, 68, Ashburn
Oletha Harrell Brady, 57, Douglas
Jerry D. Shipman, 73, Cordele

MAY 14
Sandra "Jenell" Bush Doss, 74, Tifton
Bishop E.L. West, Ashburn
Frances Dale Evans, 70, Lenox

MAY 15
John Allen Collins, Sylvester

MAY 16
Dorothy Imogene McDonald, 85, Sylvester
John B. "Benny" Rowell Jr., 70, Wilcox County
Riley Giddens, 59, Ashburn
Mary Nations, 80, Lizella
Jenelle Singletary Budd, 79, Broxton
Marjorie A. Schirack, 89, Abbeville

MAY 17
Joel Milton Copeland Sr., 83, Alapaha
Andrew B. Miller Jr., 88, Marietta, formerly of Worth County
Laura Carithers Whitehurst, Ashburn
Virginia Jackson, Ashburn
Talley Sutton, 70, Nashville
Robbie Dodd, 61, Adel
Ron Miller, 71, Quitman

MAY 18
Ronnie Hall, Sylvester

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