Friday, Jan. 17, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
Cities in the Tiftarea are planning activities to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday ; Tifton has a full day of activities planned while Fitzgerald has extended its King celebration to all weekend .

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast in Tifton , sponsored by PLIGHT (Proud Loving Individuals Giving a Hand to Teens) will be at 8:30 a.m. Monday at the Tift County Recreation Department .

Keynote speaker will be Dr. I. Edward Mack , pastor at Unionville Missionary Baptist Church in Macon . Tickets for the breakfast must be purchased in advance. For information , call 229-326-0241 .

The breakfast is followed at 10:45 a.m. by the 13th annual Tifton-Tift County Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical Commemorative Service at Greater Springfield Baptist Church , 507 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Tifton .
The event, organized by Ambrose King Jr. , will include a community choir , a live painting by Tifton native Jason “Jhigh” Hightower , a medley by soprano M. Tyler Foster , singing by contemporary Christian artist Precious Melton ; Morehouse College student preachers and others.

Traditionally , the service is followed by a march to the Tift County Courthouse .

The City of Fitzgerald in Ben Hill County is celebrating the late civil rights leader throughout this weekend . Organized by the Fitzgerald Community Club , MLK Weekend Celebration events include a Visual & Literary Youth Art Contest at 4 p.m. Saturday followed by a Gospel Fest at 5 p.m. Both of Saturday's events will be at the Monitor Recreation Center in Fitzgerald .

At 3 p.m. Sunday , there is a special MLK observance church service at New Life Community Church Center in Fitzgerald . The speaker will be James Sirmans , principal of Fitzgerald High's College and Career Academy .

On Monday , a community luncheon at noon followed by a parade at 3 p.m. – both at the Monitor Recreation Center – concludes Fitzgerald's observance.
Turner County High's new head football coach Kevious Johnson with his family.
Kevious Johnson , a Fitzgerald native, has been named the new head football coach at Turner County High School in Ashburn .

Turner County High Athletic Director Chris Wade made the announcement this week. Wade said Johnson is well-respected and highly recommended .

Johnson has been the offensive coordinator for the Coffee High School football team . He was a standout running back at Fitzgerald High School and at Wofford College , where he was inducted into Wofford's Athletic Hall of Fame .

In college , Johnson was a four-year starter at running back and led the team in rushing all four seasons. He is ranked third in school history with 3,851 career rushing yards. In addition, he holds the school record for most carries in a game ( 36 ) and is sixth in school history with 607 career carries.

Turner County is his first head coaching job .

Johnson succeeds Nick Hayes , who had a 7-5 record in one year as Turner County head coach.
Newly promoted Col. Ray Merritt, left, with Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough.
Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough on Tuesday promoted Maj. Ray Merritt to chief deputy , which carries the rank of colonel .

" Colonel Merritt has served as the head of the Criminal Investigative Division and has served the citizens of Tift County with honor and distinction for 28 years with the Tift County Sheriff's Office ," Scarbrough said.

" Colonel Merritt will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Tift County Sheriff's Office."

Merritt succeeds Col. Larry Taylor , who retired  from the Sheriff's Office after serving more than 26 years.

"On behalf of the members of the Tift County Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Tift County , I wish Colonel Merritt much success in his new assignment , and Colonel Taylor much enjoyment in his retirement ," Scarbrough said.
From left are Kashi Johnson, Mackenzie Dunlap, Mariyah Batts, Kaden Ware and Nicholas Morgan who will represent the Tifton Elks Lodge in district competition.
Thirty young contestants recently competed in the Tifton Elks Lodge Local Hoop Shoot Contest , and five champions emerged to represent the local organization in district Elks competition .

This year’s champions representing the Tifton Elk’s Lodge 1114 in the South District Hoop Shoot are  Kashi Johnson, Mackenzie Dunlap, Mariyah Batts, Kaden Ware, and Nicholas Morgan .

The  local contest is co-sponsored by the Tifton Elks Lodge and the Tift County Recreation Department . The Hoop Shoot competition was divided into age categories for boys and girls: 8-9, 10-11, 12-13 .

Tifton’s champions will advance to the Georgia Elks South District Hoop Shoot Competition on Saturday, Jan. 25 .

The Elks Hoop Shoot competition is a national event held since 1974 . It is funded by the Elks National Foundation and is free to all participants. More than  1.5 million children compete annually. More than 1,950 Elk Lodges and more than 800,000 volunteers support the competition.
A new private school coming to Tift County “aims to teach students how to think rather than what to think,” Victoria Harris , head of Providence School of Tifton , told the Tifton Rotary Club on Wednesday .

“We plan to fill them with words to prepare them for middle school (and beyond) and not to fall prey to others’ words,” she said.

“They need to distinguish a good argument from that which is not," and to “speak elegantly and winsomely."

Classical Christian Education fully develops the entire person, she said. Latin and Greek will be among the subjects taught. The school's ultimate goal is to nurture the next generation of Christians and to equip them to glorify God with the rest of their lives, Harris said. 

She said the school is interdenominational and board governed . It has received 20-25 student applications with a plan to accept a maximum of 80 . The school will be completely tuition and donor funded , and its initial location will be announced Jan. 19.

A two-year capital campaign to locate and build a permanent location will begin later. The first day of class will be Aug. 7 , and classes will begin with Pre-K through sixth grade

“We’re planning to shape and form the next generation to spread the Gospel ,” Harris said.

Applications may be completed online at . For information , call 229-445-8180 .
The ninth annual Plant and Seed Swap will be held Saturday, Jan. 25 hosted by the Wiregrass Farmers Market at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture

The event in the museum lobby will be from 10 a.m.-noon.

Participants may bring plants or seeds to share or may just attend to find a few new things to try in the yard or garden. No money is exchanged ; this swap is an outreach event by the Wiregrass Farmers Market.
The smooth sounds of the Dave Potter Jazz Quartet will fill the Chapel of All Faiths at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 for ABAC's First Tuesday concert, free to the public.

Potter , the group's drummer, has performed with many well-known jazz artists and has recorded three albums with Jason Marsalis . Featured in a 2010 novel, “The New Face of Jazz,” Potter is based in Atlanta where he teaches and also tours the globe as a member of the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet.

Other members of the Potter Quartet are Greg Tardy on saxophone, Rodney Jordan on bass guitar and Bill Peterson on piano.  Tardy has been featured on several Grammy-winning recording and has recorded 11 albums of his own. In 1998 , he was nominated as Best Debut Artist in the New York Jazz Awards

A jazz studies professor, Jordan joined the Florida State University faculty in 2001 and has performed in Wigmore Hall in London with the Marcus Roberts Trio , the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C ., with Rene Marie , and the Monterey (Calif.) Jazz Festival .

Peterson is a professor of music in jazz studies and music theory/composition at FSU , teaching jazz piano, jazz arranging and jazz combo. He has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival , the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City , the Paraguay International Jazz Festival and the Savannah Music Festival .

No, you're not exactly seeing double – or are you?

The pet bulldog at right in the photo was attending the formal unleashing of "Razor," this week – the latest University of Georgia Tifton Campus dawg statue sponsored by Offroad Powersports at their location in Tifton .

There are 12 dawg statues in the Tifton area with each named and sponsored by a local business and/or organization.

"Call the Dawgs to Tifton" is an ongoing initiative of the UGA Tifton Agribusiness Club and Collegiate FFA begun in celebration of the  100th anniversary of the Tifton campus .
Meals on Wheels of Tifton , a nonprofit organization that provides daily meals to homebound residents , is seeking volunteers .

"It takes 60 people to fill all of the volunteer spots to deliver meals. We currently have 14 openings that are being filled by people going the extra mile," said James Marshall , local Meals on Wheels volunteer coordinator.

"It only takes from 30 to 45 minutes on one day every other week."

Marshall said each volunteer delivers eight to 12 meals every other week , picking up the meals in insulated bags at First United Methodist Church of Tifton and returning the bags after the deliveries.

The organization said it has had to turn down requests for meals from qualified individuals because there are not enough volunteers to handle the demand. Meal recipients are homebound and are unable to prepare meals for themselves and have no one at home who can do so.

Recipients are expected to pay for their meals, but no one is refused a meal because of their inability to pay. The organization gets about 20 percent of its funding from the United Way of South Central Georgia . The remainder comes from local donations , which are tax-deductible.

To volunteer , call Marshall at 229-392-2146 .
Your future pet is ready for adoption today.

Visit them at the Tift County Animal Shelter, 1-6 p.m., Mondays-Fridays, 
at 278 Ga. Highway 125 South in Tifton.


  • 'Sweets & Songs' Dessert Buffet & Choral Showcase, 5:30 p.m. dessert; 6:30 p.m. concert; Tift County High School, Tifton
  • Tift County High Blue Devils basketball @ Lowndes High Vikings, 6 p.m., Valdosta
  • Books & Brushes Kids Paint & Story Time, 6 p.m., Margaret Jones Public Library, Sylvester
  • Seniors Enjoying Life Forever (SELF) pot-luck dinner & dance, 7 p.m., Leroy Rogers Senior Center, Tifton


  • 'Sweets & Songs' Dessert Buffet & Choral Showcase, 1 p.m. dessert; 2 p.m. concert; Tift County High School, Tifton
  • Gun Powder Demonstration & Museum Tour, 2 p.m., Ga. Veterans State Park, Cordele
  • MLK Weekend Celebration Gospel Fest, 5 p.m., Monitor Center, Fitzgerald
  • 'Sweets & Songs' Dessert Buffet & Choral Showcase, 5:30 p.m. dessert; 6:30 p.m. concert; Tift County High School, Tifton
  • 'A Beautiful Night of Worship with Josh Baldwin,' 7 p.m., South Georgia Church of Good Tabernacle, Tifton


  • 'Sweets & Songs' Dessert Buffet & Choral Showcase, 1 p.m. dessert; 2 p.m. concert; TCHS Performing Arts Center, Tifton
  • MLK Weekend Celebration Church Service, 3 p.m., New Life Community Church Center, Fitzgerald
JAN. 9
Chester Ray Strayer, 58, Tifton
John Joseph Mihalek, 68, Chula
Charles Edward Roberson Sr., 92, Fitzgerald
Samuel "Zack" Martin, 81, Barwick
Marilyn Louise James, 56, Kissimmee, Fla.
Barbra Harrison Evers, 78, Ocilla
Eddie Monroe Douglas, 61, Fitzgerald
Betty Jean Bailey, 77, Ocilla
Verna Louise Farmer Cameron, 95, Sycamore

JAN. 10
Harrell Franklin Bloodworth, 85, Tifton
John William "J.W." Baker Jr., 85, West Berrien
James Bradley "Brad" Tennison, 53, Nashville
Kathaleen A. Lively, 61, Irwin County

JAN. 11
Billy Dean Stephens, 85, Omega
Benjamin Ray Senkbeil, 32, Sylvester
Jan Woods Morris, 66, Americus

JAN. 12
William “Bill” Sheperd Luke, 86, Adel
Loreia Jean Edwards, 86, Tifton
Wilma Huey Wallace, 89,

JAN. 13
Laverne Eteva Brown Moorhouse, 76, Tifton
Loreia Jean Edwards, 86, Tifton
Ruth Ann Shivers Jordan, 62, Ashburn
Harris Lee "H.L." Crumley, 89, Eldorado
Brian Patrick Peugh, 36, Macon
Mary Ellen Wene, 80, Sylvester

JAN. 14
John Franklin "Frank" Walker, 45, Nashville

JAN. 15
Clara Horton Warren, 59, Enigma

JAN. 16
Raymond Howell, Sumner
Paula Cook Pate, 64, Fitzgerald
Hanson Rawlins Carter, 87, Nashville
Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
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Bonnie Sayles
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