June 28, 2016
        Tifton, Georgia

   (478) 227-7126


Tifton developer Harold Harper Sr. on Monday received the 14th Annual Renaissance Award presented by the Georgia Cities Foundation during the Georgia Municipal Association's convention in Savannah.
Tifton Mayor Julie B. Smith with Harold Harper, who is holding his Renaissance Award on Monday at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.
The award recognizes an individual or organization that has " made a significant contribution to the revitalization" of a downtown area in Georgia. 

When presenting the award, Mike Starr, president of the Georgia Cities Foundation, called Harper a " visionary" and "a believer in the impacts of  downtowns."

"Without a viable downtown, you're not going to have that much of a community," Harper told city officials from across Georgia during a luncheon Monday in Savannah.

For the past 35 years, Harper has been investing in downtown Tifton buildings and renovating and refurbishing them. One of his major projects was the private-public partnership restoring the former Myon Hotel in 1984-86 into Tifton City Hall, private apartments and retail space. The Myon is the anchor of downtown Tifton and helped spur other restoration and development.
VIDEO: Harold Harper & Tifton

In recent years, he has restored and renovated several downtown buildings, including the old Union Depot into unique and well-appointed loft apartments as well as  The Avenue apartment building on Tift Avenue.

At age 86, Harper isn't slowing down as he is currently renovating the old twin brick tobacco warehouse buildings at  Tift Avenue and Second Street into apartments and possibly a restaurant

 That project is expected to be complete in approximately one year.

While Work Continues on Overpass

The Interstate 75 ramps at Exit 66/Brighton Road reopened late Friday after being closed Dec. 3 for reconstruction.

Work, however, continues on the overpass, which is expected to open sometime in July,  says the Georgia Department of Transportation.

"Best-Selling Truck for 39 Straight Years"

511 West 7th Street
(229) 382-1300

Dr. David G. Rileya professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Georgia's Tifton Campus, is the 2016 recipient of the Entomological Society of America's (ESA) Recognition Award in Entomology.

The ESA made the announcement on Monday, June 27.

Riley began his professional career at UGA as a student worker in the institute of ecology, graduating in 1981. He then spent two years as an agricultural extension Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. He obtained an M.S. in entomology at North Carolina State University in 1986, researching bean leaf beetle, and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Florida in 1990, researching pepper weevil

He has worked as a vegetable research entomologist throughout his career, at Texas A&M University and, since 1996, at UGA-Tifton. He is currently president of the Southeastern Branch of the ESA. Also, he is the graduate coordinator for the master's in plant protection and pest management degree, in which he has developed and taught graduate courses.

Riley has served as principal investigator for research grants totaling more than $4 million. He has authored or co-authored 86 journal articles or book chapters, 32 experiment station/extension publications, and 96 proceedings or experiment station reports, and has presented more than 310 papers at professional meetings. His career has focused on providing practical solutions for complex pest problems in high-value vegetable crops.

The award will be presented in November at the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Fla.

The Atlanta Falcons and Under Armour are bringing  a Youth Football Coaching Clinic to South Georgia
from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.  Saturday, July 16, at Valdosta's  Rainwater Conference Center.
The clinic is for any coaches at the youth level; it  is not a clinic for children.

This free, one-day clinic is designed to give youth football coaches the knowledge and skills to improve the youth football experience for their programs. Coaches will learn how to properly teach football fundamentals, improve practice organization throughout the season and be exposed to new offensive, defensive and special teams schemes. 

The clinic will be conducted by top local youth and high school coaches from around the state, including  Tift County High offensive coordinator Marc Beach; USA Football master trainer Dick Adams speaking on defense; new Valdosta State head coach Kerwin Bell discussing challenges of building a program; and former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry on proper tackling techniques.

Also, Positive Coaching Alliance's Cam Campbell and Growing Leaders' Sterling Brown will discuss how to coach millennials.

Coaches may register by clicking here.

Save the Date!

Friday, July 22, 2016      9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

   Tift County Health Department
      305 12th St E., Tifton


Morris Tankersley, chairman of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce, was a "celebrity reader" recently at the Summer Accelerated Reader Center at the local United Way office. 

Caroline Barksdale decided to turn the tables and read to Tankersley as well. 

The  Summer AR Center , sponsored by the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence , is open Tuesdays and Thursdays .
State Changes Fireworks Regulations

With Independence Day almost here, be aware that the state this year has adopted a law that restricts when and where fireworks may be used. 

In 2015, Georgia  for the first time  made it legal to sell, buy and possess fireworks
such as firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets and mortarsUnder that law approved last year, Georgians could ignite fireworks until midnight through most of the year and until 2 a.m. on New Year's and the Fourth of July.

However, lawmakers received many complaints about fireworks  exploding late at night throughout the year. So,  new legislation prohibits anyone from setting off fireworks after 9 p.m., with  exceptions allowing fireworks until 1 a.m. on New Year's and midnight on the  Fourth of July .

House Bill 727  also banned fireworks on roads and highways, and within 100 yards of a hospital, nursing home and prisons.

So, have fun this holiday weekend but watch out where and when you light those fireworks.


By The National Peanut Board

Bacteria are everywhere;  we co-exist and have a symbiotic relationship with many bacteria. That is true for other living organisms, including peanuts. And it is because of a certain type of bacteria that peanuts are able to convert, or "fix" their own nitrogen, which helps make them a naturally sustainable crop.

There are many factors that contribute to peanuts' small environmental footprint. Their  water consumption  is minimized by their short plant size and their ability to root deep underground. Research has led to more efficient peanut breeds that have higher yields without requiring more water.

But another sustainable aspect of peanuts is their natural ability to f ix nitrogen from the air and soil, thereby reducing the need for fertilizer.

Nitrogen exists in the form of a gas (N 2) all around us. It makes up approximately  80 percent of the atmosphere and is one of the life-sustaining elements that all organisms use. That said, N 2 in its inert state is unusable by most living organisms and must be converted to ammonia (NH 3) to be biologically viable.

Enter bacteria:  The conversion of N 2  to NH 3  is made possible in nature through bacteria. This conversion process, known as nitrogen-fixing, occurs regularly in the environment and benefits plants in natural ecosystems. Because plants use nitrogen from the soil, farming crops can often deplete the available fixed nitrogen in the soil faster than it can be regenerated. That's why farmers apply nitrogen-rich fertilizers to the field to replenish the land and "feed" the plants.

However, some plant species, including legumes, are able to generate their own nitrogen-fixing because they host bacteria in their roots. Peanuts are a legume with amazing nitrogen-fixing properties.

According to New Mexico State University peanut breeder Naveen Puppala, "peanuts have these bacteria called  Bradyrhizobium which are specific to the legume. There has to be a native bacteria present in the soil and that has to come into contact with the root of the peanut plant to form a nodule on the roots. And once the nodules are formed [the bacteria] takes the atmospheric nitrogen from the air and fixes the nitrogen from the air to the plant, from the plant to the soil."

The rhizobium bacteria, Bradyrhizobium, that develops in nodules on the peanut plant's roots live off the plant itself. They also give back to the plant by producing enough nitrogen to meet all of the plant's needs. And because peanuts can sustain their own nitrogen needs, that means there is an added benefit to the environment.

"The biggest advantage is we don't need to apply that much fertilizer," said Puppala. Since peanuts have the inherent ability to fix nitrogen instead of absorbing it from the soil, farmers don't have to continuously apply fertilizer to the crop. And less input into the field saves on everything from water and energy to financial costs.

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