FEB. 2, 2018
Tifton, Georgia


William T. Richardson, who recently retired as president/CEO of Tift Regional Health System, was named to the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce's Wall of Fame during the chamber's Annual Meeting & Banquet Thursday night at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center.
Other honorees Thursday included former state court judge and state Sen. John "Dickie" Crosby, who received the Stafford Award; Melinda Moore, named the Prince Business Woman of the Year; Danny Griffin, who received the John Hunt Entrepreneur of the Year; Jody Benson, winner of the J. Lamar Branch Award; Austin McAlpin, who received the Rotary Club of Tifton's Ethics in Business Award; and
Chamber honorees, from left: McAlpin, Benson, Powell, Richardson, Moore, Crosby  and Griffin .
Allison Powell, named Chamber Ambassador of the Year.
Richardson, a native of Brewton, Ala., began as CEO of Tift General Hospital in 1988 and led its growth to Tift Regional Health System, a network serving 12 counties. Under his leadership, the hospital's services grew to include specialties such as oncology, cardiovascular care and dialysis. Today, Tift Regional has  2,500 employees and a $554 million impact on the local economy.
Crosby began practicing law in Tift County in 1962 and served as both a state court judge and Tifton city commissioner from 1971-78. He was elected as a judge to the Tift Superior Court in 1980 and served in that capacity for 20 years. In 2008, he was elected to the state Senate, where he represented this area for six years. He was named to the Chamber's Wall of Fame in 2015.
Moore is senior vice president of operations at South Georgia Banking Co. and is responsible for maintaining operations of the bank's nine locations in five counties. She serves on the Board of Directors for Brother Charlie's and on the finance committee at First Baptist Church. She has been a mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and has been involved with the Tift County Cooperative Extension and 4-H Endowment Board and was a past officer of the Organization of Professional Women.
Griffin has led the growth of his family business since joining his father Dan to buy the 
Outgoing Chamber Chair Tyron Spearman, left, passes gavel to Bill Marsh.
local Ford dealership in 1986. Today, he owns Griffin Ford Lincoln and Griffin Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. He has served as the chamber's economic development  chairman, as a Tiftarea YMCA board member, board chairman for the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association and is a member at First Baptist Church .

Benson, a sales consultant with Georgia Premier Services, is active in the Chamber  of Commerce, serving as an ambassador . The J. Lamar Branch Award is given to a "rookie" chamber member who best exhibits Branch's character, professionalism and leadership.
McAlpin, through his company McAlpin Entertainment, has changed the local music scene by bringing big-name acts to the area, such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Vince Gill. Along with his wife, Kirsten, he has created the McAlpin Foundation to serve disadvantaged local youth. Proceeds from each of his concerts go back into the community in the form of school supplies, Christmas gifts and scholarships for kids to participate in organized athletics.
Powell, with Rehabilitation Services of South Georgia, has been a chamber ambassador for several years, attending ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings and serving at special events, such as the annual golf tournament and other networking events.
Also at the dinner, Chamber Chairman Tyron Spearman welcomed Bill Marsh, who will serve as chairman for 2018. Marsh is Tifton city president at Colony Bank.
Brian Marlowe, chamber president and CEO, noted accomplishments in economic development during the past year, including construction of American Textile Co.'s new facility and several other industries who relocated or expanded.


The Georgia Ag Forecast seminar series, being held at six sites across the state, comes today to the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. UGA agricultural economists will present insights into the latest market and regulatory conditions for the state's largest industry.

Hosted by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the seminar series brings together  producers, agribusiness representatives and community leaders.

"The main objective of the Ag Forecast seminar series is to provide Georgia's producers and agribusiness leaders with information on where we think the industry is headed in the upcoming year," said Kent Wolfe, director of the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. 

"It helps producers plan for the next year, but it's also good for bankers and others who have businesses involved in agriculture or who will be impacted by the farm economy."

Church Pianist

Tifton First United 
Methodist Church

107 W 12th St., Tifton, GA

Tifton First United Methodist Church has an opening for a church pianist. This is a part-
 time position.

The pianist is responsible for preparing for and practicing with the chancel choir, orchestra and ensemble every Wednesday evening for about two hours and for playing at Sunday traditional services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., as well at special services at Christmas, Easter, etc.  

Interested persons should contact Angie Carr at or at


Because the weather forecast calls for a 100 percent chance of rain Sunday, the  Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence has postponed its Fifth Annual Rally for Reading tennis event to the following Sunday, Feb. 11.

The event, scheduled for  1:30-4:30 p.m. at ABAC's Red Hill Tennis Center, will help
raise money for the foundation's  Terri Nalls Reading Angel Chair

The  $100 tax-deductible entry fee is a donation to the TCFEE.

To create a foundation chair, $25,000 is needed. The campaign to fund the chair to honor Terri Nalls kicked off when she retired last spring as media specialist at Charles Spencer Elementary School Her friends and family have already given $8,000 toward the chair, and  George McCarty, a long-time foundation supporter, has offered $5,000 if the remainder can be raised.

For information, contact Mike Brumby at  229-392-2100 or email


African-American History Month activities at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will be highlighted by speeches from Dr. Thomas Aiello from Valdosta State University and Wasdon Graydon, a 1970 ABAC alumnus and former ABAC administrator.

Aiello, an associate professor of history and African-American studies at VSU, will speak at 6 p.m. Feb. 12 in Howard Auditorium; Graydon, managing partner with Graydon Enterprises, speaks at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 20 in Room 107 of the Health Sciences building.

Aiello earned his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas in 2007. The bulk of his courses at VSU relate to African-American history from early slavery to "Black Power." His research interests are broader, covering 20th century cultural and intellectual history. He will share his original research on police brutality in South Georgia in the decade following World War II. 

Aiello's books include "The Battle for the Souls of Black Folk: W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington and the Debate That Shaped the Course of Civil Rights," "Jim Crow's Last Stand: Nonunanimous Criminal Jury Verdicts in Louisiana," and "The  Kings of Casino Park: Race and Race Baseball in the Lost Season of 1932." 

Graydon was director of ABAC sponsored programs and the Minority Advising Program  before his retirement in 2010 after a 37-year career. He was one of the first African-American students to enroll at ABAC in 1968. He earned his bachelor of science degree in history and education from Georgia Southern University and his master of education degree from VSU.  

In 2001, Graydon received the E. Lanier Carson Leadership Award for College Administrators at ABAC and the President's Award for Achievement, Leadership and Service.

In 1994, he was named Arts Citizen of the Year in Tift County. Graydon served as a Tift County commissioner from 1984-1992 and was selected as a member of the Leadership Georgia program in 1991.


Registration is now underway through Feb. 9 for spring programs at the Tift County
Recreation Department.

Sports offered this spring include T-ball/coach pitch, youth baseball and softball, machine-pitch baseball, machine-pitch softball and girls fast pitch.

Fees are $50 for Tift County residents, with an additional $12.50 for out-of-county residents. Multiple registrants in the same household receive a 10 percent discount.

Evaluations will be held Feb. 15, and p ractices begin during the week of March 12 Picture day is scheduled April 7. The s eason begins around April 9 and goes through early June, pending the weather.

For detailed information about spring programs please, visit, find "Recreation" and then click on Activity Guide or call 229-382-3262, or email 

The Recreation Department's  main office is in the Multi-Purpose Building on Victory Drive.  

Byrnes speaks to Rotary with Hill, at right.

Ryan Byrnes, a chiropractor with Tift Regional Health System and a board member of Urban Elevation, explained to the Tifton Rotary Club the purpose of the year-old nonprofit: to create a spiritual solution to local poverty

"Tifton has great reactive ministries, providing school supplies food, and more," Byrnes said. "Few are establishing relationships. We are meeting kids right where they are and changing who they are."

Bryant Hill, CEO of Urban Elevation, is intent on building relationships with the kids he serves. The organization currently works with an average of 60 kids a day at 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the gym at First United Methodist Church.

"If we develop these youth, we can change an entire city," he said. "We want to build unity throughout the community. We're trying to break racism," he said.  


Three pianists will showcase a full range of works in "A Night of Piano Music" at the  First Tuesday Concert at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Chapel of All Faiths at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. The concert is free and open to the public.

Pianists Andy Lagrimas and Adam Booher will play classical music from baroque to modern pieces written for solo pianists and four-handed piano duets. The show will also feature ABAC alumnus Avery Atnip

"My colleague and I will be performing works by Scarlatti, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and Brahms," Lagrimas said. 

Lagrimas received his Ph.D. in piano and music education from Florida State University (FSU) and is in his second year at ABAC as assistant professor of piano and theory.  

A native of Nashville, Tenn., Booher began studying piano at the age of eight. He received his bachelor's degree from Lipscomb University and his master's degree from FSU. Booher teaches piano and music theory at Florida College

Atnip received his associate degree from ABAC in 2015 and is a senior music major at the Armstrong campus of Georgia Southern University

The First Tuesday series, now in its 16th season, features regional professional artists on the first Tuesdays of five months during the year.


The photo above shows the new entrance/lobby area at Tift County High School. Some of the new construction at the high school has opened for use, including some classrooms and science labs.

The construction is expanding the school to encompass all grades from ninth to 12th as the school system prepares for its reconfiguration next school year beginning this summer on Aug. 13.

Under the reconfiguration, all current primary and elementary schools will become kindergarten through fifth grade. Eighth Street Middle School and the high school's current Northeast Campus will be for sixth through eighth grades only. All this will allow students to attend only three schools during their time in the Tift school system.


A proposal in the state Senate by Sen. Tyler Harper, R-Ocilla, would make it easier and less expensive for hunters to teach basics to young anglers and hunters.

The  Georgia Youth Outdoors Passport Act  would create "hunter mentors" and
"hunter mentees." A mentee would be anyone who has never been issued a hunting license; a mentor would be anyone 18 or older with a current hunting license. 

A hunter mentor program would be established as a way for experienced hunters to provide "safe, memorable and positive introductions for first-time hunting experiences."
In return, hunter mentors could get a discounted hunting license.
"Outdoor activities, such as hunting and fishing, have long been staples of Georgia's culture and identity," Harper said in a written release. "Unfortunately, too many of our state's youth are passing up on the opportunity to participate in these and other forms of outdoor recreation. The Georgia Youth Outdoors Passport Act will help our kids connect with and embrace Georgia's history of outdoor recreation and will teach them to be good stewards of the environment."


Few students manage to make perfect attendance at school, especially when there is a season with so many children ill. As a way to reward students at Omega Elementary School who have made efforts to attend school each day during the nine weeks, their names are placed in a drawing for a new bicycle

Kaylee Lupo, third grader at Omega, has always wanted to win the bike giveaway. This past nine weeks, Kaylee's mom rearranged her schedule to allow her not to miss any days. Kaylee sat during the Pride program with her fingers crossed and couldn't believe it when her name was called.

In the photo, Kaylee tries out her new bike with Principal Victoria Melton.


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. a Glance

  • Estate Sale, 7 a.m.-6 p.m., 1485 Kennedy Road, Tifton
  • 2018 Georgia Ag Forecast, 8 a.m., UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton
  • Outrageous & Contagious Women's Conference, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton
  • Kids at Art Workshop, 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Museum of Arts & Heritage, Tifton
  • Little Miss Fitzgerald Pageant, 10 a.m., Grand Theatre, Fitzgerald
  • St. Anne's Got Talent, 7 p.m., St. Anne's Episcopal Church, Tifton
  • Super Bowl, 6:30 p.m., NBC-TV

In Memoriam

JAN. 26
F. Dean Hilliard Jr., 72, Tifton
Celeste Fulwood Bowen, 78, Tifton
James "Ty" Irvin, 45, Tifton
Merchea Depre Green, 30, Tifton
William C. "Bill" Lafaber, 75, Fitzgerald
Dorothy Barton Cole, 94, Turner County

JAN. 28
Morris C. Gill, 83, Oakfield

JAN. 29
Leon Orville "Buddy" Gaskins, 93, Tifton
Elizabeth Lorena Powers Griffin, 85, Tifton
Gladys B. Fleming, 98, Fitzgerald
Roy Monroe Reaves, 63, Fitzgerald
Ann Smith Brewer, 81, Fitzgerald

JAN. 30
Donald M. Marchant, 76, Tifton
Maj. Arthur E. "Gene" Overton, 85, Sylvester

JAN. 31
Lupita Bustamante Raya, 38, Omega
Lynn Wilcox, 59, Fitzgerald
Virginia Manus, 89, Sparks
Clark Roswell Futch, 96, Nashville

1404 Cypress Road, Nashville, GA 

3 beds, 2 baths; 1,347 sq. ft. 

Home with tray ceilings, updated kitchen, updated light fixtures,
walk-in closet   and fenced back yard. 


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