Feb. 9, 2016
       Tifton, Georgia

   (478) 227-7126

The Tiftarea is bracing for an arctic blast during the next couple of days as freezing weather blows into the region. 

Tonight (Tuesday) will be mostly clear with lows about 29 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.   At noon Tuesday, the temperature was only 43 degrees at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton.

Meanwhile, light snow and flurries were seen across North Georgia earlier Tuesday.

Wednesday is forecast to be s unny in Tifton with a high near 47. Wind chill values will be as low as 20 degrees early in the  morning Wednesday night is expected to be c lear with a low a bone-chilling 28 degrees.

Residents are reminded to bring in their pets overnight and to keep their faucets dripping to avoid frozen pipes.

A slight warming trend is expected Thursday  with a high near 56 and low about  38 degrees. But beware: Saturday night is expected to plunge to about 29 degrees again.

And we thought the groundhog predicted an early spring!


Early voting for the March 1 presidential primaries began Monday in Georgia. In TiftonBryce Johnson was the first to vote in Tift County.

Also Monday, supporters of Sen. Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination announced the names of
two dozen state and local officials endorsing the Florida senator's presidential bid.

"The momentum behind Marco's campaign is undeniable, and we are excited to add an impressive list of Georgia leaders to the team today," said U.S. Rep. Austin Scott of
Austin Scott
Tifton, Marco's state chairman.

Scott, a member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, said Rubio has been a strong advocate for the military. Scott criticized GOP candidate Sen.  Ted Cruz  for voting against military appropriations bills.

"It was Senator Rubio who helped get the money back," Scott said, "after President Obama cut the military."

Also on the Tift County ballot for early voting is the continuation of the E-SPLOST for Tift County school improvements.

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Scores of folks gathered  Sunday afternoon for the annual  "Rally for Reading" tennis event sponsored by t he Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

The event at  ABAC's Red Hill Tennis Center paired locals with the ABAC men's and women's tennis teams and raised more than $2,000  the education foundation's summer reading program.

The Education-Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax
  • It is not a tax increase.  E-SPLOST V  is a continuation of the current E-SPLOST IV.
  • About 60% of Tift County's E-SPLOST revenue comes from people outside the county.
  • E-SPLOST V allows reconfiguration of grades to Pre K-5th, 6-8th, and 9-12th. Classroom space will be added to Tift County High School, requiring the sale of bonds.
  • Total projected collection in E-SPLOST V is $48,000,000 -- same as projected under the current E-SPLOST IV.
  • Tift County Schools would be forced to look at reducing and/or cutting computers, textbooks, instructional software, classroom furniture, PE equipment and school buses to make up lost revenue if the E-SPLOST is not continued.

Vote YES for E-SPLOST on March 1
Early Voting Begins Feb. 8
For More Information,  Click Here

To Learn More About E-SPLOST, come by the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Chamber at 6:30 p.m. Feb 18

Paid for by Friends United For Education of Tift County
Photo by Jeremy Roberts 
via Facebook
Country  music icon Willie Nelson visited Tifton on Monday night and played to a sold-out UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. The show was part of the Willie Nelson and Family Tour Coca-Cola Consolidated in Sylvester had a special Coke bottle made for Willie.

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The  Georgia Agribusiness Council has elected Jimmy Champion as its new chairman of its board. 

Champion and wife Pat operate Champion Groves, a pecan and row crop farm outside Sylvester.  

Champion has been a GAC member since 1995.


David Riley's work on the effects of cowpea curculio and other insects on vegetables has earned him the 2016 Recognition Award in Entomology from the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America.

Riley, an entomologist based on the University of Georgia Tifton Campus, will be recognized at the society's annual meeting March 15-16 in Raleigh, N.C.

To be eligible for the award, the nominee must have made significant contributions to agricultural advancement through work in the entomology field. The award is given each year to one applicant from across nine Southeastern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, along with one territory, Puerto Rico.

The winner must demonstrate an exceptional contribution to both the science of entomology and the advancement of agricultural production in the Southeast.

"It has been a thrill to be nominated and chosen by my federal, state and industry colleagues in the Southeast for this honor," Riley said. "This shows how research at the UGA Tifton Campus continues to be recognized across the region."

Riley works in the UGA Vegetable Entomology Research Lab in Tifton, and is dedicated to solving the insect problems that plague Georgia's vegetable industry, which recorded $1 billion in farm gate value in 2014, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development

Researchers at the laboratory study insects like whiteflies, stink bugs, pepper weevils, diamondback moths, cabbage loopers and thrips.

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