Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
TIFTON'S VEAZEY AMONG '100 MOST INFLUENTIAL GEORGIANS'
GEORGIA TREND RECOGNIZES MONTY VEAZY
In its January edition, Georgia Trend magazine has named Tifton’s Monty Veazey, president and CEO of the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, as one of the "100 Most Influential Georgians."

“Georgia Trend’s 24th annual list of 'Most Influential Georgians' features a group of remarkable leaders who have had a tremendous positive impact on the strength and character of our state,” said Georgia Trend Publisher Ben Young.

“Our year-round process involves vetting and selecting 100 outstanding individuals out of thousands who work tirelessly to create a better Georgia.

Monty Veazey is a prime example of the leaders we are fortunate to have who are passionate about improving the daily lives of our state’s citizens. His ongoing work helps ensure Georgians in rural areas continue to have access to quality healthcare.” 

Veazey has been called a leading voice on healthcare policy in Georgia for years. His work focuses on protecting access to comprehensive hospital care.

In 1976, Veazey, at age 22, became the youngest member ever elected to the state House of Representatives.

“I appreciate Georgia Trend’s recognition because it shines a light on the crucial service that community hospitals provide,” Veazey said. "Over the past two years, hospitals have provided the frontline in the battle against COVID and undoubtedly saved thousands of lives at a time when many healthcare providers had closed their doors.

"I’m honored to have my name included on a list with so many distinguished Georgians I admire.”
COVID CASES RISE SHARPLY IN TIFT, STATEWIDE
TIFT SEES 216 CONFIRMED CASES, 15.1% POSITIVE RATE
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
Cases of COVID-19 are exploding across the Peach State, including in Tift County, based on data released Tuesday by the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH).

Georgia reported 55,973 new confirmed cases between Saturday and Tuesday, and another 11,637 probable cases from rapid Antigen tests.

DPH's Tuesday report was the first of the new year; no report was issued Monday because the department said it was overwhelmed with new testing data to record.

Tift County recorded 216 new confirmed COVID-19 cases during the past two weeks. That compares with 42 confirmed cases during the previous two weeks, while there were only 10 in Tift during the two weeks before that, the DPH said.

When Antigen results are added, Tift County has seen 503 cases in the last two weeks. Also, when calculated per 100,000 population, Tift's cases represent 529 confirmed cases and 1,232 confirmed and probable cases in two weeks, according to the DPH.

Tift County's test positivity rate during the latest two-week period is 15.1%. Tift's positivity rate had been 6.7% before that, and 1.1% the two weeks previously. There have been a total of 5,128 confirmed cases and 142 COVID-related deaths in Tift County, the DPH said.

Tifton City Council has called a special meeting for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5, to consider reimposing mask requirements for all city facilities.

Georgia has recorded 1,475,883 total confirmed cases and 26,400 related deaths as of Tuesday. Between Saturday and Tuesday, the state saw 965 new COVID-related hospitalizations.
Jason Bishoff, Tiftarea YMCA CEO, left, with "Polar Bear" Mike Beeman, present a check to Nancy Bryan, executive director of Ruth's Cottage, after Beeman's New Year's Day plunge.
'POLAR BEARS' PLUNGE INTO YMCA POOL; RUTH'S COTTAGE A BIG WINNER
Staff Reports
The weather wasn’t quite arctic, but seven local charitable organizations still collected some cool cash contributions on New Year's Day from the Tiftarea YMCA's Polar Bear Plunge.

The annual fundraising plunge into the YMCA pool raised $8,494 for the local charitable organizations, with Ruth's Cottage receiving $4,049 of the funds raised.

Seven challengers vied to raise the most contributions for their charity of choice with the charity of the person raising the most getting 100% of that person's fundraising – as long as the individual took the plunge into the YMCA pool on Jan. 1.

Mike Beeman, a Tift County High teacher and coach who chose Ruth's Cottage as his charity, came in at the top in earnings.

Other organizations represented and splitting their fundraised contributions with the YMCA were Hospice of Tiftarea, Tifton Animal Rescue, Meals on Wheels, Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence, and Tift Area Greenways Association (TAGA).

The pool's water temperature was in the 70s this year on Jan. 1, making for a refreshing New Year's splash.
JUDGE PERRYMAN SEEKING
ELECTION IN ALAPAHA CIRCUIT
Superior Court Judge Richard L. "Dick" Perryman III announced Friday that he is seeking election to the Superior Court bench in the Alapaha Judicial Circuit.

Earlier this year, Gov. Brian P. Kemp appointed Perryman to the Superior Court following the retirement of Judge Howard McClain. 

“While serving on the bench, I have spent my time addressing the backlog of civil cases throughout our circuit. The pandemic created a backlog of civil cases, and I am proud to say I have effectively eliminated that backlog," Perryman said.

"Since serving as Superior Court judge, I have already received over 50 hours of training and have more training hours scheduled. Also, as Superior Court judge, I drafted an application to receive grant money for the Alapaha Judicial Circuit. I am excited to announce we have been approved for over $300,000 in relief funds for our circuit. This grant will save the taxpayers of this circuit money and allow us to push forward with criminal case trials.”

Perryman had served as district attorney, being re-elected three times by voters in the Alapaha Circuit. He has served 20 years as an attorney, practicing both civil and criminal law.

A Berrien County resident, Perryman attends Nashville United Methodist Church. He received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University at Montgomery, and his law degree from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.

Perryman has served on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Cook County, on the board of the Berrien County Chamber of Commerce, on the board for the Berrien County Collaborative, and was previously elected and served on Nashville City Council.
SOUTHWELL'S PERSONAL MESSAGE
PART OF ROSE PARADE FLOAT
Among New Year’s Day traditions is the Tournament of Roses Parade marking the Rose Bowl football game in Pasadena, Calif., and part of the parade each year is the Donate Life float.

Once again, Southwell CEO and President Chris Dorman signed a personal message of hope and remembrance honoring organ donors, recipients, and their families, which was placed in a vial that was part of the float design.

One of the trademarks always incorporated into the Donate Life float design is the "Dedication Garden" made entirely of roses, with heartfelt messages from individuals and organizations affected by organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

This year's float, titled "Courage to Hope," celebrated the parade theme of "Dream. Believe. Achieve." and featured dozens of participants, including riders who have received transplants, walkers who are living donors, as well as recognizing deceased donors memorialized in "floragraph" portraits integrated into the float's design.

As a partner with Donate Life, Southwell said it was proud to be represented on this float. Pictured next to Dorman is Kim Wills, Southwell health system's chief financial officer.
TIFTON
2012 Pineview Ave. Tifton, Ga 31793
TRMC CELEBRATES
FIRST BABY OF 2022

Tift Regional Medical Center announced that its first baby born in the new year is Oakley Marie Normand, who arrived at 12:45 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Oakley came into the world weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces. The proud parents are Railey and Jarrett Normand, who are from Tifton and now live in Ashburn.
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S CAT OF THE WEEK
"Mia," a female kitty, is ready for a good home. To adopt Mia and to see other pets available for adoption, visit the Tift County Animal Shelter from 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch's Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055
TIFTON CITY COUNCIL DECLARES
ELECTION WINNERS, SETS MAYOR'S PAY
~ JAN. 2, 1893
Tifton City Council met Jan. 2, 1893, in the office of Capt. H.H. Tift, and opened and read the results of the recent city election, declaring that J.C. Goodman, J.A. McCrea, and W.T. Hargettas were elected to serve two years on council. Councilman E.P. Bowen was elected mayor pro tem, and J.H. Goodman was named city clerk and treasurer. Council voted to set Mayor W.H. Love's salary at $100 a year.
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