APRIL 21, 2017
Tifton, Georgia

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A sign inside the Tifton store that told the winning ticket.
A Tifton man won $10 million on Wednesday on a scratch-off Georgia  Lottery ticket at the Lil' Party Food Store on  North  Tift Avenue, store owners say.

As of Thursday evening, the man's identity had not been released.  
According to the store, the man is a Tifton resident who is a regular customer at the convenience store.

He bought a $30 Super Max lottery card on Wednesday and scratched it at the store, revealing the $10 million  prize,  cashier Heena Patel told WALB-TV.

"I had never seen that big amount of money on a ticket," Patel said.

A Look at the Georgia Lottery:

Local cancer survivors and their caregivers will take the celebratory first lap at the annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Tift County event today, Friday, April 21, at Tifton's E.B. Hamilton Complex. The event begins at 6 p.m.
The solemn l uminaria ceremony begins at 9 p.m.  Each luminary bag represents a loved one lost to cancer, brings support to those affected by it and honors survivors. The Relay's closing ceremony will be at 12:30 a.m.
Each year, more than 5,000 Relay For Life events take place around the world.

Anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers are encouraged to join tonight's celebration. As the survivors walk, other participants will cheer them on in a demonstration of support and celebration. Following the lap will be numerous activities, including turkey bowling, cake walk and the luminary.
The Relay For Life of Tift County is a community event where teams and individuals come together to honor, c elebrate and raise funds and awareness in an effort to free the world from the pain and suffering of cancer. Money raised will help the American Cancer Society provide free information and support for people facing the disease and will fund cancer research for future generations.
Here's the schedule:
  • 6 p.m.: Survivor Registration & Reception; Kids Zone Opens
  • 6:30 p.m.: Campsite Judging Begins             
  • 7 p.m.:  Opening Ceremonies & Survivor Lap                          
  • 7:45 p.m.:  Banking on a Cure Auction 
  • 8:30 p.m.: Turkey Bowling; Kids Zone Closes
  • 9-10:00 p.m.: Luminaria Ceremony
  • 10:15 p.m.: Road to Recovery Race 
  • 10:45 p.m.: Turkey Bowling & Corn Hole 
  • 11:15 p.m.: Cake Walk
  • 11:30 p.m.: Tug of War
  • 12:30 p.m.: Closing Ceremonies/Awards
If you are a cancer survivor, caregiver or have lost a loved one to cancer and would like to be part of the Relay For Life , visit or contact Emily Lamontagne at 229-292-6088.


The Tift County School System has named Chris Wade its new head boys' basketball coach and Chris Martin as the new Northeast Campus principal.

"Both of these leaders have a distinguished record of working for our system," said Superintendent Patrick Atwater. "They have proven they are ready to take on these new roles."
Wade has served as Tift County's associate head coach since 2013.
"I am excited and thankful for the opportunity to take over the Tift County boys' basketball program," Wade said. "Tift County basketball has a rich tradition of excellence on and off the court. My plan is to build upon the foundation that has been laid by the previous coaches and players as well as respect and hold onto long-standing traditions of the program.

"There will be obvious differences on the court, but the core values of discipline, class and hard work that have been a part of this program for many years will be respected and carried on by myself, players and coaching staff," Wade said.
Wade is no stranger to leading championship teams. In addition to being a part of the 2014 and 2017 Tift County state championships, he led two collegiate basketball teams to regular season or conference tournament championships -- South Georgia Technical College in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and Miami Dade College in 2007

He was named Coach of the Year in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association in 2004, 2005 and 2006 while
taking the same title in the Florida College System Activities Association in 2007.
Wade succeeds Dr. Eric Holland, who has taken the position of principal at Rome High School. Holland was also serving as the interim principal at Northeast Campus.
Martin has spent his professional career exclusively in Tift County. After teaching and coaching for five years at Northeast Campus, he became the assistant principal of the school. He is currently the assistant principal at Eighth Street Middle School, where he has been since 2012.
"I am extremely honored to have been chosen as the next principal," said Martin. "Returning to Northeast Campus will feel like coming home. I began my career there and am very much looking forward to the chance to work with the staff to offer the best we can to our students."


Tift County High School's Drama Program, "the Blue Devil Players," were the featured program at T ifton Rotary Club's meeting Wednesday

The group is presenting "Les Miserables" April 27-30 at the TCHS Performing Arts Center. Freshman Madison Malcolm, second from left in the front row, sang the play's featured song, "I Dreamed a Dream."

Rotary Club President Jeremy Campbell, left in back row, stands with Jake Alley, drama advisor, third from left. Alley said many alumni from the TCHS drama program have gone on to excel in drama in college. He introduced students who spoke to the group: Noah Pierzchajlo, (third from right, back) student director for "Les Miserables," and Mary Catherine Howard, (center, back) president of the drama program, who both shared about their experiences. 

"I am the person I am today because of the Tift County Drama Department," said Howard, valedictorian of her senior class. 

The members of the group wore lapel pins designed by costume designer Meredith Lucas.

Tiftarea Academy students visit Tifton City Hall. Mayor Julie Smith is at bottom right.


Tiftarea Academy's eighth-grade students in Natalie Rippy's class took an extensive tour of Tifton on Wednesday, April 19. The tour capped off the students' study of Thornton Wilder's classic play, "Our Town."

The eighth graders spent the past week researching their hometown and presenting their findings.  The students started their morning with a tour of the Coastal Plains Experiment Station given by Dr. Doug Douglas and Brad Buchanan. From there, the students took in sights along the way to downtown, including the Fulwood Garden Center. 

Once in downtown Tifton, Mayor Julie Smith met the group at City Hall for a tour that included the Myon. From there, Michael Brogdon gave the students a tour of the Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts and educated them on the history of the building.

After lunch, the students traveled to Tift County's industrial park and learned about opportunities available in Tifton. This time outside the classroom opened the students' eyes to the possibilities and amenities that Tifton has to offer.


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A pilot program at the Tiftarea YMCA, in partnership with the Tift Regional Medical Center Foundation, recently taught water-safety and swimming basics to second-grade students at Annie Belle Clark Primary School.

"Learn to Swim" was a week-long program with daily one-hour classes at the YMCA pool. Students learned basic skills in how to swim and float, and what to do if they fall into water.

"Our goal is to ultimately reach all  second-graders," Darian Peavy, YMCA CEO, has told the Tifton Grapevine

He added that  the Tiftarea Y also is receiving a grant to offer swimming lessons to 100 underprivileged youths of all ages between now and November.


Physiologist Cristiane Pilon is the newest member of the University of Georgia peanut team. Her expertise in the physiological processes of the peanut plant and management of the plant's stress levels will help equip Georgia farmers with tools to produce an even better crop.

Pilon joined the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences on the UGA Tifton campus. She works with fellow peanut team members to answer questions from Georgia's peanut producers.

"The peanut team needed a physiologist here to try to help manage one of the state's high-value row crops. They had general agronomists, breeders, entomologists, all of whom have general areas of expertise for peanuts, but a physiologist was needed to help answer other questions," Pilon said.

She views drought as one of the main problems that Georgia peanut farmers face, especially because half of the state's peanut crop is produced in nonirrigated fields. Last year's drought, which spanned a couple of months in late summer and early fall, led to low yields for much of Georgia's peanut crop.

Drought conditions can make aflatoxin problems worse.  "When that happens, one big problem leads to another," Pilon said.

The carcinogen aflatoxin becomes more prevalent when a peanut plant undergoes drought and heat stress. The presence of aflatoxin, even on just one peanut, can severely downgrade a peanut load.

Pilon will study the physiological and metabolic processes of peanut plants and identify how the plants respond to stress conditions such as drought, high temperatures, insect and disease pressures, especially pressure from the tomato spotted wilt virus.

A native of Brazil, Pilon received her doctorate in cotton physiology from the University of Arkansas At UGA, Pilon's primary focus will be peanuts, a crop that Georgia farmers are expected to dedicate more than 700,000 acres to this year.  Georgia's peanut industry recorded more than $684.6 million in farm gate value in 2015, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.

The  Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts on Tifton's  Main Street holds its annual fundraiser, "Broadway and Bubbly," beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22 .

The fundraiser includes an evening of Broadway show tunes along with a champagne reception.


Sheriff Gene Scarbrough, left, School Superintendent Patrick Atwater and Spencer Principal Tammy Corbin recognize students who completed the C.H.A.M.P.S. program.
Fifth-graders at Charles Spencer Elementary School this week completed  the C.H.A.M.P.S. program sponsored by the  Tift County Sheriff's Office.

C.H.A.M.P.S. -- "Choosing Healthy Activities & Methods Promoting Safety" -- was designed by the Georgia Sheriff's Association in 2003 to address the challenges that today's youth encounter. 

Its mission is  " To provide an educational program for Georgia's youth, which provides guidance and the skills, ability and knowledge to be safe, healthy and happy in preparation for a successful life."

Tift County deputies taught the program at Spencerpromoting participation in healthy activities that are drug and alcohol free, non-violent and promotes safety. 

Some of the course programs include alcohol and drug awareness, choices and consequences, positive alternatives, bullying and seat-belt u sage.


A couple of alumni from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College are making news around the country.

Kim Matthias, a 1988 ABAC grad, is the  Fauquier County, Va., public school system's "Teacher of the Year."

Matthias is an agriculture teacher who works with about 120 students daily at Cedar Lee Middle School.

"I think it's the most important subject there is," she said. "Without agriculture, we would be naked and hungry."

After graduating from ABAC, the Ocala, Fla., native got her bachelor's degree in  agricultural extension and education from the University of Florida, and her master's degree in educational leadership from Shenandoah University.

Another ABAC alumnus, K.E. Long, an Atlanta native, who lives in Dallas, has a book of poetry being published by Dorrance Publishing Co.

"Profoundlessly Simple: A Poetic Compilation of Verse," is  Long's first collection of poetry. 

Long said he was raised in a family that had a natural appetite for nature. He began his career in the garden center industry in the early 1980s and went on to receive a degree in ornamental horticulture from ABAC. Long later became a certified Georgia nurseryman through the Georgia Green Industry Association and is an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist.

YOUR WEEKEND  yellow-tulip-field.jpg
. a Glance

  • Tift County Relay for Life, p.m., E.B. Hamilton Complex, Tifton
  • SELF Senior Dance, 7 p.m, Leroy Rogers Senior Center, Tifton
  • 5K Run for the City, 8 a.m., Fulwood Park, Tifton
  • Champions of Hope Sporting Clays Tournament, 8 a.m., Green Lakes Hunting Club, Ocilla
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Kids Carnival & Legal Food Frenzy,  10 a.m.-2 p.m., Fulwood Park, Tifton
  • Kiwanis Club's Chicken Barbecue, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., First United Methodist Church, Tifton
  • "Broadway & Bubbly," 7 p.m., Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Tifton
  • TRMC Foundation's Kentucky Derby Gala, 7 p.m., Golf Club of South Georgia, Tifton

In Memoriam

Eugenia Sasser Cobb, 85, Tifton
John Fisk, 74, Tifton
Wynell   H . Chestnutt, 86, Ocilla
Ken   Potts,  Sylvester
Joylein Alberta Howell, 86, Valdosta
Wylene Vaughn, 88, Wray

Joseph David Brooks Sr., 84, Tifton
Herman L. Walker, 81, Tifton
Dorothy Dianne Cravey Bacon, 66, Ashburn

Philip Bates, 82, Dawson 
Jonathan Graham Singletary, 34, Sylvester 
Bertha H. Barton, 95, Adel
The Rev. Warner Guthrie, 85, Nashville
Brendan Harpe, 26, Valdosta

Sally "Darlene" Sumler Burrous, 59, Tifton
Mary Ella Gilbert, 87, Tifton
Peggy Elaine Mathis, 67, Tifton
Daniel McKinney Sr., 80, Sparks
Johnny Moore Sr., 73, Wray
Glenn Cook, 84, Adel
Alfred "A.D." Ball, 99, Quitman

Toney Wayne Angle Sr., 50, Tifton
U.S. Rep. Dawson Mathis, 76, Nashville

Harry "Lee" Doss Jr., 54, Tifton
William Crosby "Buddy" Doles, 66, Elon, N.C., formerly of Tifton
Eller Lucrell Rogers Martin, 91, Fitzgerald

Mary Eileen Scannell Caringola, 74, Ashburn
Linda Sue Herring, 73, Fitzgerald

Elma Lee Harris Champion, 84, Dougherty County
Nancy McDowell Pettit, 71, Sylvester
Charlotte Burson Jones, 86, Quitman


2425 Michael Drive, Tifton, GA
MLS # 127279

NEW LISTING! 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1,854 square feet; totally updated: New windows and doors; new architectural shingle roof; new flooring; new cabinets and granite counter tops in kitchen.

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