Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
CFL photo
Tifton native Larry Dean signs with his former Canadian Football League team.
TIFTON'S LARRY DEAN
RETURNING TO CFL FOOTBALL TEAM
Larry Dean , a renowned professional football player from Tifton , has signed a deal to return to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League .

Last season , Dean , 31, a linebacker , had left the Tiger-Cats to join the Edmonton Eskimos on a one-year contract during free agency. He had a stellar year with Edmonton , starting 17 games at middle linebacker and making 86 defensive tackles, eight tackles for a loss, three special teams tackles, one quarterback sack and four pass knockdowns.

He was named a CFL West Division All-Star and Edmonton’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player last year.

Just three weeks ago , Dean was inducted  into the  Valdosta State University Athletic Hall of Fame. He led the  VSU Blazers  in  tackles  for  three years  and ranks  second all-time  in  Valdosta State history  in that category. His performance was so influential that he was named both an  All-American  and  National Defensive Player of the Year .

Dean also was a  four-time All-State  player at  Tift County High School  and was  inducted into the  Tift County Athletic Hall of Fame  in  2018 .

The 6-foot, 226-pound Tifton native has appeared in 72 career Canadian Football League games with 69 starts at middle linebacker during four seasons with the Tiger-Cats (2016-18) and Eskimos (2019).

Dean is a three-time divisional CFL all-star . Before his arrival in the CFL, Dean played in 61 National Football League games with the Minnesota Vikings (2011-13) and Buffalo Bills (2014), registering 37 defensive tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

In 2012 , Dean was one of only 11 special teams players on the NFC’s Pro Bowl ballot .

Through his local  foundation Dean   in November partnered with the  United Way of South Central Georgia   to distribute  free turkeys   and other items to  needy Tift County families.
SOLIDAY NAMED IRWIN FOOTBALL COACH
Casey Soliday has been selected by the Irwin County Board of Education as the new athletic director and head football coach at Irwin County High School .

Soliday was an assistant coach and served as interim head coach this past season as Coach Buddy Nobles underwent cancer treatments . Nobles died last month but lived to see his Irwin County High Indians win the state Class A public high school football championship in December .

Soliday teaches biology at Irwin County High and has also served as a bus driver for the school.
EARLY VOTING BEGINS MONDAY
Early voting begins Monday, Feb. 24 , for one week for the runoff special election for state Senate District 13 .

Carden Summers and Jim Quinn are facing off in the runoff election to temporarily fill the seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Greg Kirk , R-Americus.

Tift countians may vote early next week, Monday through Friday , from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Tift County Board of Elections office (the old gym ) at the corner of Fourth Street and Chesnutt Avenue .

Election day is Tuesday , March 3 .
TIFT SHERIFF'S OFFICE OFFERS
SECURITY TRAINING TO LOCAL CHURCHES
Forty-eight people representing 27 churches participated Monday in church security training presented by the Tift County Sheriff’s Office and hosted by First Baptist Church of Tifton.

“It’s sad but necessary that we provide this church security training ,” said Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough .
 
Capt. Wingate Whitley of the Sheriff's Office told how to improve church security in Tift County's nearly 200 churches. he suggested churches have a plan dealing with:
  • Disruption of services
  • Violence
  • Natural disasters
  • Medical emergencies
  • Missing children

The plan should clearly define procedures to handle a variety of situations , Whitley said.

"Remember, the best security is awareness, and that good security can be in place with minimal intrusion to the congregation . There is no assurance that a violent episode can be avoided . By taking responsibility for the safety of your church , you will have done the best thing to prevent it," the Sheriff's Office said.
TIFTON WOMAN'S CLUB CELEBRATING
ITS PAST AND LOOKS TO FUTURE
After 115 years, the Tifton Twentieth Century Library Club believes it's time for a change.

Founded in 1905 , the club , a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs , is celebrating its past and changing its name to the Tifton Woman's Club to reflect its future . The public is invited to a community celebration at 6-8 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture .

Recognition of our founders and celebrating our future ” is the theme , said Club President Shirene Daniell . The club has held onto its name to observe its history as the founders of the first library in Tifton , but the purpose of the club goes beyond libraries , and it is time to change the name , the club members say.

Mrs. Henry Harding Tift was one of the first presidents of the club. A slideshow will highlight past and current activities of the club, which presents scholarships to ABAC students each year in addition to other ways of helping the community , the nation and the world .
TIFTON-TIFT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RIBBON CUTTING
Giggles Cafe
219 Main St., Tifton
Feb. 13
ROTARY SPEECH CONTEST HAS CHANCE FOR $1,000 SCHOLARSHIP
The Rotary Club of Tifton has announced a speech competition for grades 9-12, which will culminate in a $1,000 scholarship .

The topic of the speech should be either "Rotary International's Four-Way Test" or "How Rotary Connects the World."  The first level of the competition will be held at 6 p.m. March 5, in Tifton .

The winner of the local competition will go on to zone competition in Fitzgerald on March 21 . The final stage will be a district competition for the $1,000 scholarship. 

Those interested in entering the competition should contact Rotarian Joey Marta at   jmarta@georgialivingseniorcare.com  by March 2 .
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Frank Sayles Jr.
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