Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
At the 'Live, Work, Play City Award' ceremony in Atlanta: Georgia Trend Publisher Ben Young, from left, Tifton Councilmen Wes Ehlers and Johnny Terrell, Mayor Julie Smith, Tifton City Clerk Jessica White, Councilman Frank Sayles Jr. and GMA President Linda Blechinger.
TIFTON RECEIVES
STATEWIDE AWARD FOR QUALITY OF LIFE
ONE OF ONLY 9 CITIES HONORED
Tifton is one of nine cities in Georgia  honored with a 2019 Live, Work, Play City Award from the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) in conjunction with  Georgia Trend Magazine during GMA’s annual Mayors’ Day Conference this past weekend in Atlanta .

The other cities honored are Valdosta, Canton, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Carrollton, Toccoa, Senoia and Avondale Estates .
Though each city provides different services, contest judges praised the winning cities for their success in advancing job creation, housing offerings and recreational amenities.

“These nine cities truly embody well-rounded communities that benefit residents and businesses alike,” said GMA Executive Director Larry Hanson . “They also serve as examples for local governments across Georgia. Officials in these cities have demonstrated advanced problem-solving , exceptional management and teamwork to increase the overall quality of life for all residents."

Tifton Mayor Julie Smith said to be recognized by GMA and Georgia Trend Magazine is "a testament to the many partnerships and resources that work together to make Tifton a standout community in our state.

"And I’m very excited about the good work being done by our City Council to build upon this foundation . We are honored and humbled to accept this designation," Smith said. 

Judges for the 2019 Live, Work, Play Cities Award represented Georgia Power ’s office of Community & Economic Impact , the Ga. Department of Community Affairs , the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government and the Georgia Council for the Arts.

While attending the GMA conference, Tifton City Council members met at the Capitol with state legislators to discuss Tifton issues on behalf of Tifton city residents .
GDOT MAKING CHANGES TO U.S. 82 INTERSECTION
Work has started to improve traffic flow and enhance safety at the busy commercial intersection of U.S. Highway 82/SR 520 and Hunt Road in Tifton .

Improvements include building a U.S. 82 westbound right-turn lane onto Hunt Road and realigning the Interstate 75 south off-ramp with Hunt Road . Currently, motorists who exit I-75 south and want to cross Highway 82 to reach Hunt Road must shift to the right .

Installing the right-turn lane will move traffic out of the through lane , which can prevent rear-end crashes . Realigning the southbound off-ramp will reduce the likelihood a driver will travel into the wrong lane , officials say.

Drivers can expect shoulder and lane closures on Highway 82 west and the I-75 south off-ramp . Work will be done during daylight hours and isn't expected to take more than a month to complete. The contractor is Jim Boyd Construction of Albany , and the cost is $176,818 .

This is a Ga. Department of Transportation Quick Response Project . Such projects typically cost less than $200,000 and can be completed within a short time period . The money comes from the state motor fuel tax and is primarily used for small operational improvements and safety and maintenance projects along the state route system.
ABAC students Maricarmen Tinajero, left, from Douglas and Neel Patel, right, from Tifton thank Tift Regional Health System President & CEO Chris Dorman for the TRHS contribution to An Evening for ABAC.
TRHS CONTRIBUTION TO FUND 6 ABAC SCHOLARSHIPS
Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) is increasing its contribution this year to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College's "An Evening for ABAC" scholarship fundraiser. TRHS's $15,000 contribution will result in six scholarships for ABAC students next fall semester.

For the 2018 scholarship fundraising event. TRHS donated $10,000 , resulting in scholarships for Neel Patel from Tifton , Maricarmen Tinajero from Douglas , Jaylee Bass from Adel and Kasey Kight from Fitzgerald .

Patel and Tinajero are both nursing majors. Bass majors in writing and communication ; and Kight majors in health sciences .

Sponsored by the ABAC Foundation , "An Evening for ABAC" is scheduled Feb. 23 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center . Tickets are $125 for singles, $225 for couples and $1,500 for a reserved table of eight . A portion of the ticket price is tax deductible.

For information , call 229-391-4895 .
RHYTHM & RIBS BBQ FEST SET MARCH 2
The sixth annual Rhythm & Ribs Barbecue Festival is set for Saturday, March 2 , at Fulwood Park .

“I think last year was the biggest year we’ve had in terms of the number of teams and the number of visitors we had to the park,” said Angela Elder with the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association.

“Our payouts for both the professional and backyard competitions are among the best in Georgia , and we received a lot of feedback from the teams that this is one of their favorite competitions to compete in.”

Fifty barbecue teams participated last year, and Elder said registration is picking up for this year. Registration forms may be found at  www.tiftonribsfest.com

The professional competition is sanctioned by the Georgia Barbecue Association . Professional teams compete for the Grand Champion trophy and $3,000 in prize money. The Reserve Champion wins $1,500 and a trophy, while the top 10 in each category receive cash prizes .

In the backyard competition , the Grand Champion receives $1,000 and a trophy. Also, cash prizes are awarded to the top five finishers in each category.

Brent Cobb and Cedric Burnside will co-headline the entertainment . Cobb is a native of Ellaville and burst onto the major music scene with his major label debut “Shine on Rainy Day,” which was nominated for a 2017 Grammy .

Burnside is also a Grammy-nominated artist who grew up around the blues scene in Holly Spring, Miss.




BEACH BOYS TAKE TIFTON

The Beach Boys made a "surfin' safari" into Tifton on Sunday and created some "good vibrations" at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center .

A large audience welcomed the band to The Friendly City .

In the accompanying photo, Gail Hargett of the UGA Tifton Conference Center poses with Beach Boy Bruce Johnston .

MINI GRANT PROVIDES CAR SEATS, EDUCATION TO ELIGIBLE FAMILIES
The Tift County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded the 2019 Car Seat m ini g rant by the Ga.  Department of Public Health , Injury Prevention Program .

Through the m ini g rant, the Sheriff’s Office and the Tift County Health Department work together to provide car seats and education to financially eligible families in Tift County .

The program is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to help ensure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in motor vehicles .

Since 2007 , the education, car seats and booster seats have prevented serious injury or death and saved more than 300 children involved in crashes, authorities say.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages one to four . But nearly three out of every four car seats are not used properly , placing children at unnecessary risk, officials say.

In Tift County , the Sheriff’s Office and the Health Department educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats , offer car seat inspections and provide car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families.

For information , call 229-388-6020 or 229-386-8373 .
SRTC HONORS TOP STUDENTS, TEACHER
Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) recently honored its finalists and the winners of the 2019 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL), the Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE), and the Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Education.
 
The three awards represent excellence in their respective areas of technical and adult education .
 
The EAGLE program celebrates adult learners in pursuit of excellence. The program recognizes students who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in statewide adult education classes.

This year’s winner, Joshua Jackson of Tifton , will represent the local program at the state EAGLE Leadership Institute in Atlanta.
GOAL competition begins during the fall semester, when technical college instructors across Georgia identify their most promising students and nominate them for GOAL based on academic achievement and personal leadership .

This year’s winner is Jordan Baugham of Thomasville , enrolled in the radiologic technology program.
The Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction honors the Technical College System of Georgia’s most outstanding instructors. The award has been an ongoing statewide event since 1991 and is designed to recognize technical college instructors who make significant contributions to technical education .

The winner of this year’s award is Tiffany Fox , who teaches psychology on the Tifton campus .
WHICH WAY THE WIND BLOWS IN OMEGA
Recent breezy days call for weather vanes , and students at Omega Elementary have been studying weather in class and applying their new skills .

 First graders in Robin Lasseter's room created their own weather instrument to check wind direction . They learned which way was north and how to read a compass . They have also have been tracking the temperature daily all month long using their own calendar .
TIFTON-TIFT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
RIBBON CUTTING
Capstone Premier Staffing
816 Love Ave., Tifton
Jan. 25
TIFTON FRESHMAN RECEIVES
MASONIC LODGE SCHOLARSHIP
Matthew King , a freshman engineering major from Tifton , has been awarded the Masonic Lodge of Tifton No. 47 and No. 745 F&AM Endowed Scholarship from the ABAC Foundation at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College .

ABAC Chief Development Officer Deidre Martin said the purpose of the scholarship is to provide support to a graduate of a school in Tift County who demonstrates high standards of character and personal integrity . Recipients must be enrolled fulltime at ABAC with a 2.5 or higher grade point average .

“I am so proud of the great work of the members of the Masonic Lodge of Tifton No. 47 and No. 745 ,” Martin said. “Two years ago, they began an effort as individuals and as an organization to create an endowed scholarship at ABAC. Just this month, they made the final donation to fully endow the scholarship.

“I want to give special thanks to the late Lamar Jackson and Mr. Gerald Branch who led the effort to make this possible. Their desire to support young people pursuing their dream of a college education is inspiring ."
HURRICANE RECOVERY ASSISTANCE INFO
AVAILABLE AFTER GEORGIA AG FORECAST
South Georgia farmers, community leaders and business owners recovering from Hurricane Michael can learn about additional recovery assistance available at a free resource fair immediately following the 2019 Georgia Ag Forecast meetings in Bainbridge on Jan. 31 and in Tifton on Feb. 1.

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension will host the resource fair along with agricultural agencies , other UGA divisions and private entities that can assist with hurricane recovery.

According to UGA Extension Associate Dean Laura Perry Johnson , Georgia Ag Forecast organizers have invited participants from state and federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service , Rural Development , and Natural Resource Conservation Service ; agricultural lending agencies; UGA Public Service and Outreach ; and the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College .

“The Ag Forecast meetings in Tifton and Bainbridge provide the perfect opportunities to offer additional resources to those affected by Hurricane Michael . These meetings are in the heart of both agriculture and the affected areas ,” said Johnson.

The registration fee has been waived for this year’s Georgia Ag Forecast seminars in Bainbridge and Tifton thanks to support from Georgia Farm Bureau along with AGCO.

Georgia Ag Forecast is an annual seminar series presented by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) in partnership with the Georgia Department of Agriculture . At the events, UGA agricultural economists address Georgia farmers, lenders and agribusiness leaders about the latest trends and economic conditions in Georgia agriculture .
Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
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