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April 25,
 Tifton Georgia

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Tifton Grapevine


At its workshop Thursday, April 24, Tifton City Council continued to discuss changes to the sign portion of the Land Development Code and heard from six citizens opposed to the changes and from one businessman who applauded council.


Attorney Buck Rigdon, internist Dr. Steve Rigdon, historic district residents Darlene Pilcher and

Tifton Grapevine - City Council Workshop April 24
VIDEO: Tifton Grapevine - City Council Workshop April 24

Eloise Styer, Tommy Nalls and Fun Channel owner Hayward Fowler all spoke passionately against the changes in the sign portions of the LDC and the Historic District guidelines.  


The proposed changes would allow any business one banner sign on its property. A-frame (sandwich-board signs) and stick signs would be allowed anywhere in the city. These signs would no longer be considered temporary, but would be required to be removed if tattered. 


Electronic Graphic Display (EGD) signs would be considered in the historic district and other areas of the city under the guidelines for "illuminated" signs and would require a certificate of appropriateness, approved on a case by case basis by the Historic Preservation Commission.


"I'm very concerned that we can have numerous signs in every neighborhood," said Darlene Pilcher. "Think of what this will cost the city in the next 50 years, and the extra few months to seriously consider what you are doing is not that much." 


It compromises Tifton's reputation with the state and potential future grant money, she said. Signs do not bring in business as much as social media marketing, she said.


"Tifton, Georgia, is going to grow in spite of those who want it to remain stagnant!" said Hal Baxley, owner of Endless Summer Day Spa. "The sign issue is a good thing. I applaud you for what you are doing," he said to the mayor and City Council. He said his business is in an enterprise zone that would qualify him for grant money for improving the property, but he refused it. 


"I didn't buy my building for anyone to grant me money," he said.


Tommy Nalls, who serves on the Tifton Planning & Zoning Commission, said he was speaking as a concerned resident. He urged council to "uphold the integrity of Tifton and reconsider this and put some teeth in it." He lamented the flashing scrolling signs inside windows of businesses that he said are worthless in getting the attention of a driver in the few seconds it takes them to pass by on the road.


Mayor Jamie Cater said, "I don't have any appetite to go inside a business and regulate something inside their business. This is America!"


City Councilman Wes Ehlers mentioned the pro comments in the proposed changes, but said there were no "con" statements cited. "Not everything is pro in this ordinance. What about the comments by the lady with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources?" 


Staff said they would add those comments to the proposed ordinance to be voted on at the next meeting.


Eloise Styer said that she and her family have studied historic preservation guidelines from cities across the state and nation, and "none of them allow EGD signs, which I consider the most egregious electronically lit signs." 


Dr. Steve Rigdon asked incredulously if the new law would allow signs on every property in every residential neighborhood of the city, and he was told it would. "This destroys the sense of repose we have in our homes," he said.  


City Clerk Rona Martin said the key is having a business license. "Everyone with a business license is entitled to have a sign. We have a couple of hundred home-occupied businesses" in Tifton, she said.

The opening ceremony of the annual Relay for Life of Tift County is at 7 p.m. today (Friday) at the E.B. Hamilton Complex and Optimist Park. Festivities actually begin with the cancer survivor reception at 6 p.m. at the pavilion.


The Relay for Life honors cancer survivors and remembers loved ones lost. At 9 p.m., the luminary ceremony is a solemn event in honor of those who lost their battle to cancer.


The goal this year is raise $150,000 for cancer research. In past years, the Tift County Relay for Life has been recognized for being among the top relays in the nation for our community's size.

The Tiftarea YMCA holds its annual Healthy Kids Day from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, April 26, at the Y's Hunt Park sports complex off Westover Road in the Airnasium next to the swimming pool.
There will be many fun activities for kids as well as information available for families about healthy habits.
For information, call 229-391-9622.



Frank Sayles Jr., has been named facility administrator of Southern Care Assisted Living of Tifton, one of the region's premier senior communities and its only licensed assisted living facility.


"We are thrilled to have Frank joining the team at Southern Care Assisted Living. The families in the Tifton area who look to Southern Care for their loved ones' well-being will find a dedicated leader and true friend in Frank," said Mike Pigg, vice president of Finance and regional vice president of Operations at Legacy Senior Services LLC.


Sayles served more than 11 years as publisher of The Tifton Gazette and most recently has operated a marketing and communication business, and was the local sales representative of The Alzheimer's Store, an online store that provides unique products for those suffering with Alzheimer's and other dementias.


He is the editor and publisher of the Tifton Grapevine and serves as vice chairman of the Tift County Public Library Foundation, secretary of the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence, immediate past president of the Tifton Rotary Club, current board member and former president of the United Way of South Central Georgia, former president of the Tiftarea YMCA, former secretary of the Tifton Merchants Association and former community development chairman of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce.


For more information about Southern Care Assisted Living, Click Here!

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ABAC student Matt Fryman from Acworth and Kim Bridges, wife of ABAC President David Bridges, lead the way on Thursday, April 24, when Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College staged a Carry The Load tribute to honor the sacrifices of the military, law enforcement, firefighters and rescue personnel. 


ABAC students, faculty, staff and administrators participated as well as the Regional Police Academy at ABAC and some students from Tiftarea Academy. The walk served as a prelude to the National Carry The Load Relay which begins in West Point, N.Y., on April 29 and ends in Dallas, Texas on May 25.  Stafford School of Business Dean Dill Driscoll will make the entire 2,000-mile trek with seven ABAC students and Placement Coordinator Lyndsey Walters. Driscoll said the vision of Carry The Load is to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day


For information, Click Here!

                       At a Glance.... 
  • Tift County Relay for Life, 7 p.m., E.B. Hamilton Complex, Tifton.
  • Tifton Truck & Tractor Pull, 7 p.m., American Legion Fairgrounds, Tifton.


  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton.
  • Healthy Kids Day, 10 a.m., Tiftarea YMCA's Hunt Park, Tifton.
  • Tifton Truck & Tractor Pull, 7 p.m., American Legion Fairgrounds, Tifton.
  • The Parent Trap," movie, 3 p,m, Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Tifton.

In Memoriam

April 17  

Pamela Frances Morse Stracke, 54, Tifton

Beverly Anne Davis, 65, West Berrien Community

Cheryl Gurganious Warren, 62, Nashville  


April 18

 Sara Welch, 53, Nashville


April 19

Sherry "Darlene" Baker, 55, Sylvester 

Antonieta "Toni" B. Wilson, 61, Sycamore 


April 20

 Zeno Haywood Ball, 52, Tifton

Mary Louise Smith Crews Law, 80, Sylvester  


April 21

Clyde Wilkerson Jr., 69, Ty Ty 

 Marsha Marie Gibson Orr, 67, Cumming

Martha (Benny) Tanner Benson, 84, Sylvester

Josephine Ford, 94, Nashville

Marlin Drexel Roberson, 78, Alapaha

George Thomas Davis, 62, Ashburn

Agnes L. Dowdy, 89, Irwin County 


April 22

Bernardo Avalos "Slim Jr." Jr., 65, Tifton  

Gaylord N. Bice, 84, Sylvester

Sealy Jewell Hembree, infant, Sylvester

Jeff T. Griffin, 59, Cecil

Walter Loyd Martin, 94, Adel

Gary "Bull" Giddens, 59, Fitzgerald

Gaylord N. Bice, 84, Sylvester  


April 23

Catherine J. Cook, 92, Sylvester 


April 24

Imogene Hill Hall, 71, Tifton  

Debbie Suggs Patterson, 54, Sumner 

Gary A. Leymeister, Sylvester






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