March 13, 2015

                             Tifton Georgia                                                                                                                                                      
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Eric Wisham of Tifton, owner and creator of Wisham Jellies, received the People's Choice Award this week at UGA's  annual F lavor of Georgia food product contest in Atlanta. His  Cranberry Pepper Jelly was voted the tastiest of 29 products sampled by the hundreds of people.

The event was Tuesday during the Governor's Ag Day at the Georgia Freight Depot in downtown Atlanta.

The Flavor of Georgia contest is sponsored by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development in partnership with the Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, the Office of the Governor, Walton EMC, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agribusiness Council.


Events such as this help entrepreneurs spread the word about their products, and many have landed spots in regional and national grocery chains like Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Earth Fare, Kroger and Harvey's.


Adriana Coppola, a native Italian living in Johns Creek, won this year's Flavor of Georgia grand prize with her A&A Alta Cucina Italia Balsamico al Mirtillo, a blueberry balsamic vinegar reduction.




Tifton's Caitlin Carmichael co-stars in a Hallmark Channel original movie, "Portrait of Love," whose world premiere is at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 14.


The film on the Hallmark Channel also stars Bree Williamson, Jason Dohring, Frances Fisher and Corbin Bernsen. It is "an inspiring story that takes viewers on a journey of renewal and captures the essence of love, happiness and life," says Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming for Crown Media Family Networks.


Among Caitlin's other upcoming films are her sequel, "Wiener Dog Internationals,"  being  released on DVD this spring, and her American Girl movie "Grace Stirs Up Success," being  released  in June. You can find out more about Caitlin's acting projects by Clicking Here.





Caitlin Carmichael in scenes from the Hallmark Channel's original movie, 'Portrait of Love.'

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TRMC Foundation's Heart Safe Community Program

Superior Court judge grateful for local services 

after heart attack

A heart attack makes one think about mortality.  Chief Judge Bill Reinhardt of the Superior Courts, Tifton Judicial Circuit, knows this all too well after recently being rushed by ambulance to the emergency room at Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC). 


Experiencing the symptoms of a myocardial infarction, Reinhardt was transported to the hospital's cardiovascular

Judge Reinhardt was recently treated for a heart attack by    Tift Regional Medical Center and learned that vital     equipment used in the ambulance was donated by      the hospital's foundation.
unit and treated for blockage in his right coronary artery. Though it was a scare, he also considers it a blessing.


"The whole episode gave me a sense of renewal," said Reinhardt. "It made me realize that I have to take better care of myself, not just for me, but for the family, friends and co-workers who count on me. I had to eat better, exercise more, reduce stress and find more balance in my life. It also made me eternally grateful for the services we have available in our community for heart care."


In December, Reinhardt was burning some brush at his mother's farm in Sycamore when he started having shortness of breath, followed by dizziness and chest pain. "I am friends with cardiologist Dr. Paul Murray and was once the president of the local chapter of the American Heart Association," he said. "So, I knew I was exhibiting the classic signs of a heart attack."


Reinhardt said he drove himself to the Turner County EMS in Ashburn.  "By time I reached the EMS, I had increased chest pain, I was sweating profusely and my biceps and jaw started to really hurt," he recalled.  The EMS staff evaluated Reinhardt and transported him to TRMC by ambulance.


"I didn't know this until later, but the emergency medical technicians communicated with the hospital during the ambulance ride using a 12-lead EKG donated by the Tift Regional Medical Center Foundation," said Reinhardt. "I can't imagine the outcome if the EMS did not have this technology."


Placing several pads on the chest, arms and legs, a 12-lead EKG is an electrocardiogram device which measures electrical activity of the heart. 


"A reading of my heart rate and rhythm was transmitted to the physicians in the emergency room so they could prepare for my arrival," he said. "After a brief evaluation in the E.R., they transferred me to the heart and vascular center for cardiac catheterization. The procedure was performed by cardiologist Dr. Jonathan Tronolone, and he determined I needed a stent inserted in my artery to alleviate the blockage."


After the procedure, Reinhardt remained a guest at TRMC for three nights as he recovered. "Dr. Murray was out of town, but my wife talked to him on the phone," he said. "We were amazed to learn that Dr. Murray was able to read my EKG study on his smart phone and he reaffirmed my course of treatment. We told him that Dr. Tronolone, the nurses, technicians and other staff took great care of me."


When he first awoke after the procedure, Reinhardt didn't realize he would have such a euphoric feeling. "I was actually filled with such positive energy," he stated. "Since being discharged from the hospital, I think more clearly and have been eating smarter, exercising more frequently and losing weight. I feel like I have a new lease on life."


Reinhardt is a Tifton native. After earning his undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Georgia, he considered joining a law firm in Chicago. But after some reflection, he decided to return to Tifton and practice with his father's law firm, which is now Reinhardt, Whitley, Summerlin & Pittman, P.C. He and wife Lisa have three children: Will, Charlie and Georgia. After years serving as an attorney, he decided to run for superior court judge and won election for the Tifton Judicial Circuit in 2006. His current term expires in 2018. 


"Though the cases can be hard and the decisions tough, I am honored to be able to work in this capacity," he said. "However, my experience with this heart issue has taught me that I need to better offset the stress. That's why I am focusing on my health physically, mentally and spiritually. I owe it to myself, my loved ones and the community I serve."


Since 2004, the Tift Regional Medical Center Foundation's Heart Safe Community program has donated eight 12-lead EKGs to county EMT departments throughout South Central Georgia. The program has also provided 77 automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to area organizations such as schools, fire stations, senior centers, recreation departments, shopping centers and more. In addition, the Heart Safe Community program financially aids the families of TRMC cardiac rehabilitation patients with special needs. Cardiologist Dr. William Hancock serves as the medical director.


"With a recently completed expansion and renovation, TRMC has a topnotch heart and vascular center served by some outstanding physicians, including Dr. Paul Murray, Dr. Bill Hancock, Dr. Jonathan Tronolone, Dr. Bill Kaiser and Dr. Joe Turner," said Dr. John Dorminy, chairman of the TRMC Foundation. "The goal of the foundation's Heart Safe Community program is to complement these services and raise the overall level of heart health within the region. Incidences of cardiovascular disease in our area are higher than the state and national averages, so our mission is critical."


The main fundraising source for the Heart Safe Community program is the TRMC Foundation's annual Hearts & Diamonds Gala. This year's black-tie optional event will be held on Saturday, March 21 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. Tickets are $125 per person and include fine dining, cocktails, musical entertainment, dancing and a chance to win a diamond. A casino and silent auction will also be featured. This year's theme is a "Mardi Gras Masquerade" with masks being optional. To obtain tickets, visit or call 229-391-3310.


"There is an old saying: the Lord is at the jail," said Reinhardt. "What I learned was: the Lord is in the ambulance.  This experience has been life-changing, and I thank God for the services available in our community. I am a testament that it has made a difference."





New coaches have been named to fill openings in the ranks of the Tift County High varsity football staff.


Mark Beach has been named offensive coordinator, succeeding Chris Boden, who is heading to Rome High with former Tift Head Coach John Reid. Beach is coming from Sea Breeze High School.


Sherard Reynolds will be the Blue Devils new defensive backs coordinator, taking over for Alonzo Hamptonwho took a position coaching collegiate football in Florida. Reynolds is coming from Carroll County Schools.


Mike West will be the new defensive coordinator, leaving Candler County SchoolsChris Bragg will stay at Tift County as the offensive line coach.

Ashley Anders took over last month as the Blue Devils head coach, succeeding Reid. Anders formerly was Tift County's defensive coordinator.


The Tifton Special Olympics is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 1 at the track at Eighth Street Middle School with a variety of sporting competitions.

In the event of rain, the Special Olympics will be rescheduled for April 14, organizers say.

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Tifton, Georgia



Tift grasses developed at the University of Georgia's Tifton Campus may be used on 2020 Olympic fields in Tokyo, Japan.

Representatives from Japan's largest sod company visited the Tifton campus this week to look over  varieties  of grass developed by UGA researchers The grass is expected to be used in stadiums for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.

Tift grasses were used on most of the fields at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

"It's satisfying to know that the research, the time, the effort, the testing, long-term testing, diverse locations where we tested around the world, that when we release one, it's good," Dr. Wayne Hanna with the Tifton UGA Campus told WALB-TV.


  • Chili for Children, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Tift County Recreation Department, Tifton
  • 'An Evening in Paris' -- Mom & Son Prom, 7 p.m., Sumner Gym, Sumner

In Memoriam



Alice Lee Ash, 88, Fitzgerald

 Rayford Charles "Buddy" Moore, 60, Nashville

 Burrell W. Thomas, Jr., 81, Smithville 

Deidre LaShion Fields, 3, Albany
Jerry Dean "JD" Dorminey, 79, Landrum, S.C.



William A. "Bubba" Fletcher Jr, 92, Tifton

Joann Baker McBrayer, 76, Jacksonville, Fla.
Edith Pope McCarter, 66, Leesburg



Raymond "Earl" Copeland, 63, Tifton

Hubert Hogan, 91, Fitzgerald

Brenda L. Davis, 59, Sycamore

Carrie Mae Rivers, 57, Ashburn

Gladys Davis, 90, Sylvester
Margaret P. Revills, 91, Adel

Dr. Robert T. Morgan, 83, Adel

Otto Sorensen Jr., 71, Adel


Clara "Miss Clara" Patten Morris, 91, Adel

Mattie Mae Floyd, 95, Sylvester


Peggy Copeland Bowman, 85, Sparks


Austin "Chance" Batten King, 17, Tifton

Valerie Lee Lewinstein Eastman, 77, Del Ray Beach, Fla., & Tifton

Bernard E. Hobby Sr., 84, Sycamore

Avie Mae Pinion, 71, Valdosta

John Russell Ramey, 53, Adel


Paul Prince Coleman, 68, Waynesville, N.C.



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Dwana Coleman

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