MARCH 6, 2018
Tifton, Georgia


During Monday's Tifton City Council workshop, City Manager Pete Pyrzenski presented council with a proposed list of priority water, wastewater and storm drainage system projects.

Proposed priority water system projects include replacing water lines in the Pebble Brook area and in some of the areas already approved for repaving and  resurfacing.

Regarding the Pebble Brook area, Pyrzenski noted there was been continuing complaints from residents there about "red water," and there have been frequent water leaks. The existing water line is undersized, and the proposal is to replace the existing two-inch to six-inch water lines with eight-inch water lines. The cost of that project is $1 million.

In preparation for a street paving and resurfacing project around Tifton that City Council approved last fall, Pyrzenski recommends replacing old water lines in some of those areas to avoid cutting into new pavement for future repairs, The project would replace old galvanized, ductile iron and cast iron pipelines ranging from two to eight inches in diameter. 

Those areas to be replaced in conjunction with the planned paving include:
  • 16th Street at Tift Avenue
  • Pineview Avenue between Eighth and 12th streets
  • Park Avenue between 12th and 20th streets
  • Ninth Street between Central and Park avenues
  • Emmett Drive between 20th and 28th streets
That project is estimated to cost $750,000. Among other proposed water projects are replacement of old industrial/commercial water meters, conversion to chlorine gas for water disinfection, replacement of old and inoperable fire hydrants around the city, and replacing old water, sewer and drainage pipelines in the Phillipsburg/Matt Wilson Elementary School area.

The total water priorities list would total approximately $4.2 million. Council will consider the projects, along with additional wastewater/sewer projects, at a future City Council meeting. 


The  Georgia Supreme Court on  Monday upheld the  murder conviction of a  Tifton man who had  appealed his  conviction and  life prison sentence .

Reno Byron was found guilty of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of Virgil White at a Tifton nightclub in July 1999. Byron claimed on appeal to the high court that the evidence presented at his trial was insufficient to support the jury's guilty verdicts and that his trial lawyer provided ineffective assistance.

The Supreme Court said it found no merit to either of those claims and affirmed Bryon's convictions.

Former state Rep. Tony McBrayer, a Republican, has announced his candidacy for the District 3 seat on the Tift County Commission.
District 3 is comprised of Brookfield, Eldorado, Omega, Docia and parts of Ty Ty. The district is currently represented by Robert Setters.
"I look forward to earning the trust and support of my neighbors in this district. I am running to ensure that the voices of the people are heard. Of all the citizens with whom I have discussed
the issues, not one of them is happy about the county creating its own fire department. They expressed their opposition when the idea was being discussed, and they feel that they were ignored," McBrayer said.

"Tift countians are also concerned about the ongoing conflict between the city and county governmental bodies. The constant strife has cost us real tax dollars in the form of legal fees, duplication of services and lost opportunities for economic development. As state representative, I never had a problem sitting down with those of a differing opinion and working together to find common ground. It is time for a change and, if elected, I pledge to bring effective leadership, a common sense voice and conservative values to the commission."
McBrayer serves on the Tift County Planning & Zoning Board of Appeals. He is a graduate of Leadership Tifton and past president of Tifton Gideons. He serves on the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and as chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce.
A native of Tifton, McBrayer is a graduate of Tift County High School. He graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Valdosta State with degrees in business administration and accounting.

McBrayer and his wife Diane have two sons and are members of Pineview Holiness Baptist Church, where McBrayer serves as an Adult Sunday School teacher, choir director and treasurer. He is a board member of Peanut Butter & Jesus Community Ministry.

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   A Pool  Party for the students and their families will be held at the 
Tift  County  Recreation Department.

A Violin Recital will be scheduled at the end of the summer sessions.

Contact Miss Rita TODAY!


If the voice mailbox is full, please send a text.

Jarrett Haswell   of  Tifton has announced that he is running for the District 5 seat on the Tift County Board of Education.

"I want to be a part of the community," Haswell said. "I was born and raised here; it's
enriched in my blood. My mother-in-law teaches at Sixth Street Academy."

District 5 is currently represented by Marian Richbourg.

Haswell is vice president of Master Craft Industrial Equipment in Tifton and founded both Jade Properties and Tifton Self Storage.

He studied banking and financing, accounting and marketing management at Wiregrass Technical College and Moultrie Technical College.

Haswell serves on the CASA board of directors and has a black belt in taekwondo.

He and his wife have two children currently attending Len Lastinger Primary School.

Macon native Molly Stevens performs Saturday at the Rhythm & Ribs Festival. Stevens has been chosen for singer Kelly Clarkson's team on NBC-TV's "The Voice."

Tifton's annual Rhythm & Ribs Festival was another success Saturday as thousands of folks from around the region came to Fulwood Park for music, fun and barbecue.

The Georgia Barbecue Association judged the professional BBQ competition, awarding the  Grand Champion trophy to the "Off the Chain" team. The  Reserve Champion was "Hootie Q."

In the professional competition, "Hootie Q" placed first in the Pulled Pork category; "Off the Chain" first in Pork Loin; and "Southern Hogs" first in Ribs.

In the  Backyard BBQ cooking competition, the  Grand Champion was "Whitewater Smokers." In the  Pulled Pork category, placing first was " Deez Butts;" in the  Ribs category, " Whitewater Smokers;" and in the  Chicken category first place went to " SmokeStache."

Live music filled the outdoor stages from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., with the headliner Southern Avenue getting the crowd on its feet and rocking.


The annual Hunting Heritage Banquet fundraiser, hosted by the Tiftarea Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), is at 6 p.m. Friday, March 9, at the Tifton Elks Lodge.

The NWTF's Hunting Heritage banquets raise funds for wild turkey conservation while combining a meal with a chance to win prizes and purchase items unique to the NWTF, such as sporting art, hunting firearms, knives, wildlife calls and outdoor equipment.

NWTF members raise money through ticket sales, silent auctions, live auctions and raffles. The money is combined with donations from corporate sponsors and individuals concerned about wildlife conservation.

The Tiftarea Chapter of the NWTF is donating proceeds from the event to local organizations such as the Tift County BB competition shooting team, Tift County archery team and Tiftarea Sporting Clay shooting team

Tickets are available by calling Chad Branch, 229-392-0175; Ryan Branch, 229-326-3772; or Jay Phillips, 229-392-6677.


The Relay For Life of Tift County is seeking female contestants to participate in the Relay For Life Tift County Pageant , scheduled April 7, at Southern Regional Technical College in Tifton.

Age groups fall into two-year categories up to 23 years old. The entry fee is $50 with additional categories for $10. All proceeds benefit the America Cancer Society.
Registration must be received by March 31. All participants will receive a certificate. Optional winners will receive a medal. All runners up will receive an engraved tray. The queens in each age group will be expected to appear at the Tift County Relay for Life at the E.B. Hamilton complex on April 27. They will all be recognized on stage. Queens are also expected to be in the Tifton Christmas parade in December.
"After having cancer myself, I have a stronger determination to do my part in eliminating this dreaded disease," said Connie Cone, pageant administrator. 

"I have really enjoyed directing this pageant for several years now. I have met many wonderful young ladies that all share a desire to wipe away this terrible disease called cancer." 

For information, email or call 229-392-1001.


U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, this week announced the start of the 2018 Congressional Art Competition. All high school students (ninth-12th grade) who reside in or attend school in the 8th Congressional District may participate. 

The winning entry from Georgia's Eighth Congressional District will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year alongside artwork from every congressional district across the country.
All artwork must be submitted by  March 23 at one of the following five drop-off locations:
Three award-winning works of art will be selected by a panel of local judges. This year, incoordination with the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, all entries from across the district will be displayed at the Valdosta Mall for an exhibit lasting from  March 30-April 23
Scott will announce the winners at an awards ceremony and reception at the Valdosta Mall at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 22.

The first-place art work will be displayed at the U.S. Capitol for an 11-month exhibit beginning in June. The winning student will receive two airline tickets to Washington, D.C., for the national ceremony and ribbon cutting of the art exhibit. The student will also be eligible to receive a $3,000 per year admission scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design, should they apply and be accepted.

Additional details can be found on Scott's website, Click Here. For questions, contact Alice Johnson in Scott's Tifton office at 229-396-5175.

Jennifer Richter, bottom left, and Kara Brett from ABAC participate in the women's cross-cut sawing event at the conclave held at Clemson University in 2016. 


College students from across the South will compete in contests ranging from axe throwing to cross-cut sawing at the 61st Annual Southern Forestry Conclave on March 22-24 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Students from the University of Georgia, North Carolina State, Auburn, the University of Florida, Clemson, Louisiana State, Mississippi State, the University of Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Alabama A&M, the University of Arkansas, Louisiana Tech and Stephen F. Austin University are expected to participate.
Kip Hall, assistant professor in the ABAC School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, who serves as the event coordinator, said the conclave features physical and technical competition.  The 14 physical events include axe throwing, bow sawing, knife throwing, cross-cut sawing, underhand chopping, log rolling, pole climbing and archery.  

Also included is birling, a game originally played by two lumberjacks in which each tries to balance longest on a floating log while rotating the log with their feet.

The eight technical events include categories such as c ompass and pacing, tree estimation, dendrology, photogrammetry, pole classification, timber volume estimation, wildlife and wood technology. 

 In 2017, the ABAC team at the conclave finished third in the technical events and fourth overallABAC students are not expected to participate in the events this year. Harrison Booker, senior forestry major and president of the ABAC Forestry Club, wants the focus to be on being a great host.

"Students from these schools like LSU and Tennessee have never heard of ABAC," Booker said."They don't know what our program can do. We proved last year that we can compete with them, and now we want to show off the ABAC campus."

Top events for public viewing are set for the afternoons of March 23 and 24.


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