Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
The film crew sets up in downtown Tifton.
LIGHTS, CAMERA,
TIFTON....
ANOTHER MOVIE IS BEING FILMED IN FRIENDLY CITY
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
It’s no secret that another Bruce Willis movie is currently being filmed in Tifton. The “Die Hard” actor has been spotted around town again in recent days, including having dinner at a local restaurant.

And the film crew has been conspicuously at work inside and outside buildings downtownamong other locations.

In a message to downtown businesses and property owners, the Downtown Development Authority office said that “Tifton is again serving as a film location for a movie production. Some scenes will occur in Downtown Tifton and will include outdoor filming. The filming plans discussed over the next few weeks should not disrupt you or your businesses.”

Local residents will recall that Willis just wrapped up another movie, “Gasoline Alley,” last month in Tifton. And just a few days ago, he finished filming “A Day to Die” in Jackson, Miss.

Some of Willis’ co-stars in the current Tifton film have also been seen around town. Michael Rooker, perhaps best known for his roles in the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” and TV series “The Walking Dead,” was spotted this week. And former “Bond girl” Olga Kurylenko, who co-starred with Daniel Craig in the James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace,” is also said to be in the current film.

The production team is being tight-lipped about details. Crew members have said that the film’s working title is “White Elephant.” However, an indie comedy of that name by producer Corey Moss was just released last fall.
As the Tifton Grapevine reported in March, the working title of the next Tifton film was said to be “Purple Hurricane” about a successful, aging mob-enforcer getting ready to retire. “A final job goes horrifically wrong, and he finds himself wanted by the very cartel he worked for,” the Grapevine was told.

It’s unclear whether or not that is the current film being shot in the Friendly City, including at some local private residences. Monty Veazey says the movie crew has been filming at his place.

“They turned my barn into a hospital,” Veazey told the Tifton Grapevine.

Several local residents have been hired as extras in the current Tifton film, which is among the film projects noted by the Georgia Film Crew social media group based in Atlanta that posts jobs on movies being made in the Peach State.

Andi Douglas, who had attended ABAC and lives in Scooterville, said on social media that she spent 12 hours Monday as an extra on the Tifton movie set alongside Willis and Rooker.Such a fun and cool experience to have,” she said.
Photo by Rick Hayes
Tifton photographer Daniel Shippey, center, with actors Vadhir Derbez, left, and Michael Rooker in Tifton.
Minnesota All-American Rashod Bateman, right, a former Tift County Blue Devil, revisits the TCHS campus this week with Principal Chad Stone.
TIFTON'S RASHOD BATEMAN COULD BE A FIRST-ROUND NFL DRAFT PICK
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
The National Football League 2021 draft opens Thursday, and there has been a lot of buzz in football circles about Tifton's Rashod Bateman, the All-American receiver from the University of Minnesota.

Bateman, 21, a former Tift County High Blue Devils star, has lit up the Big 10 in recent years and is widely considered to be a first-round pick in this week’s NFL draft.

The draft, which runs Thursday to Saturday, is the annual meeting of National Football League franchises to select newly eligible players for the upcoming season.

Bateman has been the subject of draft speculation on sports pages around the nation; his name has been linked to about a half-dozen NFL teams that may be interested in the 6-foot, 190-pound receiver.

The Nashville Tennessean on Tuesday made a case for Bateman to go to the Tennessee Titans.

"You see the receiver making ridiculous grabs with one hand, gliding away from defensive backs, high-pointing catches, using his size. And making it all look so effortless," the newspaper gushed.

"Man, this is it; the kind of footage that makes you grab the phone or jump on social media. Just to tell someone. Just to ask around. Seriously, is anyone else seeing this?"

Among other possible football homes mentioned for the Tifton star are the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bateman is currently home in Tifton and plans to watch the draft with his family. As he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune the other day: "I believe in a higher power; God has a destination for me, and I'm going to go wherever I'm needed and wherever I'm wanted.

"That's the mind-set that I have, and the mind-set I'm going to continue to have."
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SOUTHWELL TO OFFER FREE DRIVE-UP VACCINATIONS WITHOUT APPOINTMENT
SPECIAL EVENT SET FOR MONDAY
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
Southwell is offering free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines without an appointment on Monday, May 3, at a drive-up clinic at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Tifton.

Open to the community, the vaccines will be available from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The church is located at 2110 S. Park Ave.

For additional information, call the Southwell Medical Community Health Center at 229-388-5690.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tift County has increased slightly during the past two weeks, the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH) reported Tuesday.

In the past week, Tift reported 11 new confirmed cases and 16 new cases during the past two weeks. In the two-week period before that, Tift County had six new confirmed cases of COVID-19.

During the past two-week period, Tift had a testing positivity rate of 5.9%, compared to 3.3% in the prior two weeks, the DPH reported.

In the past year, Tift County has had 3,420 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 96 related deaths, the DPH said.

Georgia reported 841 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday with five additional deaths and 117 new hospitalizations. The state has reported a total of 876,933 confirmed cases and 17,425 related COVID-19 deaths in the past year.
WEEKEND STORM CAUSES FEW ISSUES AROUND TIFTON
By BONNIE SAYLES
Tifton Grapevine
Saturday's severe weather in South Georgia, which included tornadoes and heavy thunderstorms, left Tifton relatively unscathed.

Only two downed trees were reported in the city: One at 20th Street and Davis Avenue, and another on 17th Street, both falling out of yards into the street; both were cleared without delay.

“All the maintenance we’ve been doing for storm-drain outlets has proven valuable,” said Tifton City Manager Pete Pyrzenski.

He said that the city has worked hard to remove obstructions and to clear out storm drain covers and ditches all over town. 

“We had a lot of rain, and it all ran where it’s supposed to go,” Pyrzenski said.

A total of 6.36 inches of rain was recorded Saturday at UGA Tifton's Coastal Plain Experiment Station.
TIFT 4-H SHARPSHOOTERS PLACE 2nd, 12th AT STATE BB RIFLE MATCH
At the "World's Largest BB Rifle Match" at Rock Eagle 4-H Camp last weekend, Tift County 4-H Sharpshooters teams placed second and 12th at the state competition.

The Sharpshooters' Team RedHaley Brannen, Colin Williamson, Charlee Anne Walls, Dalton Billings, Kallie Gaskins, Melvin Hines IV and James Wise – fired a 2,327 with 53 center shots for second place. The team also made a perfect 500 points on the safety test.

Team White – Norah Owens, Case Crosby, Glaven Stone, Gabriel Milton, Courtland Pellegrino, Aayden Harten and Tyson Craig – placed 12th with a score of 2,168 with 29 center shots and 488 points on the safety test out of 35 teams and 250 competitors, said Coach David Haire.

Tift's Haley Brannen, the defending state BB champion, won again, along with a fourth place in standing, third place in sitting, and second place in kneeling for a total score of 485-20 center shots.

Norah Owens fired 99-8 center shots for second place overall in the prone position.



BLUE DEVILS
SWIM TEAM ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIPS

The Tift County High Blue Devils Swim & Dive Team has announced that this year's scholarship recipients are JD Bengston and Karoline Ponder.

Bengston has received the Adam Sattler Memorial Scholarship, and Ponder was awarded the Sophia Fisher Memorial Scholarship.
At the check presentation of Tour de Tifton proceeds are, from left, Dr. Bret Wagenhorst; Paul Horst; Jason Bishoff, Tiftarea YMCA CEO; Mandy Brooks, TRMC Foundation executive director; Dustin McAlpin; and Joe Gray. 
YMCA DONATES PART OF TOUR de TIFTON PROCEEDS TO TRMC FOUNDATION
The Tiftarea YMCA recently donated a portion of the proceeds from its 11th annual Tour de Tifton and Ilse Boyette Memorial Bike Ride to the Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC) Foundation. 

The donation will benefit the Ilse Boyette Book Scholarship made possible through the TRMC Foundation. Two $500 scholarships are awarded on a yearly basis to non-traditional students who need assistance with obtaining textbooks.

The late Boyette was an avid bicyclist who helped organize, volunteer and participate in the first Tour de Tifton in 2009. She was also a dedicated registered nurse at Tift Regional, where she spent more than 20 years making an impact on others.

Her family established the scholarship in an effort to help nursing students obtain a college education.
  
Tour de Tifton was held March 27 with 161 cyclists participating in the bike ride. The route included scenic routes between 11 and 100 miles long for beginner and experienced riders.   
UGA TIFTON'S KEMERAIT RECEIVES TOP AWARD FOR PUBLIC SERVICE, OUTREACH
Dr. Bob Kemerait of the University of Georgia Tifton campus has been named the 2021 Hill Fellow –– the Walter Barnard Hill Fellow Award is UGA's highest award for public service and outreach.

The award is comparable to a distinguished professorship.

Kemerait has been a professor and extension specialist in plant pathology at UGA for 21 years. During his tenure, he made significant inroads in securing the food supply, both in the U.S. and abroad, by helping growers protect their crops against diseases, nematodes and weather.

He specializes in disease and nematode management of peanuts, corn, cotton and soybeans, and led the effort to create "Peanut Rx," an internationally recognized disease forecasting tool for peanut farmers. Kemerait has also been a part of USAID-funded development projects with farmers in Guyana, Haiti and the Philippines.
GOV NAMES TIFTON MAN TO
STATE BOARD OF GEOLOGISTS
Edward Rooks of Tifton, a program manager and geologist with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, has been appointed to the State Board of Geologists.

Gov. Brian P. Kemp announced the appointment Monday.

Rooks has 30 years of experience as a contractor, consultant, manufacturer, and regulator. He earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Emory University and a master’s degree in earth resources management from the University of South Carolina.

Rooks has been a registered professional geologist in Georgia since 1995.
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S CAT OF THE WEEK
"Mortimer" is available for adoption at the Tift County Animal Shelter. To adopt your next pet, visit the Animal Shelter from 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch's Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055
TIFTON ON 'DIXIELAND TRAIL'
– APRIL 25, 1963
The Georgia Department of Industry and Trade on April 25, 1963, placed the City of Tifton on the "Dixieland Trail," a 2,200-mile tourist route through Georgia and Southern states.
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