March 28,
 Tifton Georgia
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Tifton's Arts in Black Festival, a celebration of arts, music, dance, food and crafts, returns on 

Arts in Black 2014, Tifton, Georgia
VIDEO: Arts in Black 2014

Friday, March 28, with a Talent Show at 7 p.m. at the Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Tifton.


The 28th annual festival then gets in full swing on Saturday, March 29, with  full day of activities at Fulwood Park, beginning at 11 a.m. Entertainers include the Live Five Band and Tifton's own Michael Prince, a comedian and Hollywood actor.


In the event of rain, the event will move to the Tift County High School gym.

The Arts in Black Festival concludes on Sunday, March 30, with a Poetry Contest at 3 p.m. in the Leroy Rogers Senior Center in Tifton.  For information, call 229.386.4360 or 229.256.3971.


Ashburn welcomes the Fire Ant Festival back this weekend, Friday and Saturday, March 28 and

 29. Known for its wacky and off-the-wall activities, the festival offers family-oriented fun for all ages.


Activities include the fire-ant calling contest, the giant fire-ant maze, carnival, arts and crafts, fireworks, bands, photo contest, art contest, health fair, BBQ cookoff, Strawberry cookoff and much more.


Tickets for the festival canival are available in advance at the Ashburn-Turner County Chamber of Commerce, Colony Bank, or South Georgia Bank in  Ashburn. Arm Bands may be purchased atthe carnival for $15. 


This year's festival theme is "Gone With the Fire Ant!" -- a movie songs theme. Friday night 's activities include balloon rides, a lip sync contest, dancers and fireworks. Festivities continue all day Saturday with a run, a pet parade, a BBQ cook off, live music, a street dance and much more.


See schedule below:  


Friday, March 28

6 P.M. - Tethered Balloon Rides near TCES

7:30 P.M. - Lip Sync Contest - Movie Themes

8 P.M. - Dancers Pointe-Movie Themes

9 P.M. - Fireworks at Heritage Park


Saturday, March 29

8 A.M. - Fire Ant 5K Run and 1 mile Fun Run at Alternative School on Gilmore Street

9:45 A.M.- Presentation of Colors by Major Gavin & National Anthem by TCHS Chorus

10 A.M. - Tethered Balloon Rides near TCES

10 A.M. - Noon - Health Fair starts at Alternative School Gym

10 A.M. - 1 P.M. - Art Show and Photo Contest at Alternative School Gym

10 A.M. - Pet Parade, Arts & Crafts, and Food Vendors Open, BBQ Bash and Cook Off at Heritage Park

10 A.M. - Free Entertainment at Heritage Park All Day

10 A.M. - Registration for Poker Run at Elementary School

10:30 A.M. -Todd Allen Herendeen Band from Panama City, FL. in Heritage Park

11 A.M.- Disc Connected K9's World Famous Frisbee Dogs

11 A.M. - Poker Run at TCES

11 A.M. - Juggler Wade Henry

11:30 A.M. - Todd Herendeen Band

Noon - Carnival Opens

Noon - Dancer's Point in Heritage Park

1 P.M. - Todd Allen Herendeen Band in Heritage Park

1 P.M. - Disc Connected K9's World Famous Frisbee Dogs

1:30 P.M. - Fire Ant Calling Contest at Heritage Park

1:45 P.M. - Men's Panty Hose Contest at Heritage Park

2 P. M. - Todd Allen Herendeen Band in Heritage Park

2:30 P.M. - Juggler Wade Henry

3 P.M. - Disc Connected K9's World Famous Frisbee Dogs

3:30 P.M. - Todd Allen Herendeen Band

4 P.M. - Strawberry Cook Off

4:30 P.M. -  Strawberry Cook Off Awards

5 P.M. - BBQ Bash and Cook Off Awards 

6 P.M. - Tethered Balloon Rides near TCES

7 P.M. - Street Dance with Dance with Dr. Doctor Band in Heritage Park


The Georgia General Assembly ended its session last week, and House Speaker David 
Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, said a key achievement was passing a sweeping gun bill expanding where guns can be carried.

"We have worked in good faith to strengthen the Second Amendment rights of Georgians," he said. "I think we got the best bill we could get and I think it was important we get a bill and we did."


The legislation removes restrictions on guns in churches and bars, but prohibits firearms on college and university campuses. The measure will allow licensed gun-owners to take firearms into many government buildings and schools. Churches can "opt in" if they want to allow members to carry while in the sanctuary.


Questions remain, however, especially for county officials and sheriffs. The bill would allow licensed gun owners to take firearms in government buildings that don't have metal detectors. With 159 counties, Georgia has a lot of unsecured government buildings.


And some sheriffs say one provision will essentially make licensing meaningless.

"If I'm out on patrol tonight, and I see a guy in a high-crime, drug traffic area -- a straight thug with a pistol stuck in his back pocket -- I will not be able to ask that individual if he has a license to carry a gun," Sheriff Howard Sills of Putnam County told Georgia Public Broadcasting.

"If you're going to have that language in there, there's no point in even having a license." 
The Second Annual Big Little River Paddle Event, rescheduled because of flooding along the Little River, is set for this Saturday, March 29, weather permitting.

Reed Bingham State Park in Adel decided to reschedule the event because flooding along the Little River from last week's rain created unsafe paddling conditions.

Registration on March 29 begins at 9:30 a.m. and the mass start is at
11 a.m. at Reed Bingham State Park in Adel. Only canoes or kayaks are allowed.

The proceeds benefit Friends of Reed Bingham State Park and the WWALS (Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems) Watershed Coaltion.

For information, call 229-392-5513.

Earlier this week, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College announced that it will offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Economic Development for the first time.



"This is another history-making day for ABAC," said President David Bridges. "Not only can studentsearn a business degree, but they can couple it with many of our other degrees like agriculture or communications to earn a degree in ag business or business communications. This provides new options for our bachelor's degree students."


Academic Affairs Vice President Niles Reddick echoed Bridges' comments.


"One student may choose to focus entirely on the business aspect," Reddick said. "Another might choose to concentrate on the economic development angle, particularly rural development.  I think the degree captures a niche here because it could be all about preparing to take over a small family business."


Dill and Susan Driscoll, deans of the Stafford School of Business, were almost ecstatic with the endless possibilities the new degree offers.


"Let's say a student wants to focus on distribution," Dill Driscoll said. "We can send him to Lake

Placid, N.Y.for an internship where he learns the business inside and out. We already have a couple of students going to London for an internship with a small family business. They will actually do the work from beginning to the end product."


 "We can truly focus on creating an educational track that fits the student's needs vs. a pre-set curriculum such as marketing, accounting or finance," Susan Driscoll said. "This degree is perfect for students who want to be managers of a business or create successful new businesses. Then we have the economic development courses for those who want to focus on building great communities through that avenue."


The freshman class enrollment in the Stafford School of Business was up 55 per cent last fall and 13 per cent overall in business. The Driscolls believe the new degree could prove to be the launching pad to greater heights.


"We started with 40 students in our bachelor's degree programs in January of 2008," Bridges said.  "Now we have over 1,000 students enrolled in bachelor's degrees." 

The United Way of South Central Georgia, based in Tifton, is launching the Marion Culpepper Whiddon Women's Circle on Early Literacy.
Whiddon The late Marion Whiddon quietly served the community for decades and was a bridge between the Twentieth Century Library Club and the Head Start program, scheduling volunteer readers at schools each month and ensuring that local students received a new book each Christmas.
Through donations to the Circle, the local United Way will purchase books for children; the United Way is also organizing volunteers through the Circle to read to students and to advocate for effective early literacy policies.

"Having watched our mother serve so faithfully for so many years, we are thrilledto see her legacy for children honored and extended through the creation of the Marion Culpepper Whiddon Women's Circle on Early Literacy at the United Way of South Central Georgia," said Whiddon's children, Margaret Powers and Robert Whiddon
"We encourage everyone to join in continuing mom's work of loving children and providing for their future through access to reading."


The Tifton Community Lenten Lunch Series continues each Wednesday through April 16 at the Leroy Rogers Senior Center with a different pastor.


The purpose of the annual community event is to bring Christians together from different denominations and traditions to worship and bear witness to a common faith in Jesus Christ in the Easter season.


Each program is noon-1 p.m.; the lunch is $3.


The remaining schedule is:

  • Wednesday, April 2: Justin Ferguson, Our Divine Savior Catholic Church
  • Wednesday, April 9: Hugh Ward, First Presbyterian Church
  • Wednesday, April 16: Stephen Webb, First United Methodist Church




A well-established and respected gastroenterologist who has been serving the region for many years, Michael Dawson, M.D., will be closing his practice, Digestive Disorders and Liver Clinic of South Georgia, and will be joining Affinity Clinic as of April 7.


Dr. Dawson will be working alongside fellow gastroenterologosts Josh Zara, M.D., and George Yared, M.D., at Affinity Clinic


Dr. Dawson is available for the diagnosis and treatment of digestive, pancreatic, and liver diseases. This includes disorders of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon or large intestine, rectum and anus, liver, pancreas and biliary tract. 


After earning his medical degree from the University of Miami, Dr. Dawson completed an internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at the Naval Hospital San Diego. He is certified in gastroenterology by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has been practicing in Tifton for several years.   


To make an appointment with Dr. Dawson at Affinity Clinic, please call 229-391-4100. To learn more, Click Here!



The Tifton Police Department's "Citizen's Police Academy," a free six-week community program, starts May 6


Classes meet at the Tifton Police Department from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and on two Saturday Tifton Police logo mornings. Topics will include Introduction to Criminal Justice, Crime Scene Processing, Internal Affairs Investigations, Patrol Procedures, Georgia Criminal Law, Drug Investigation and The Role of the Judge and Prosecutor in the criminal justice system.


The classes are designed to give a better understanding of the types of crimes in our community, the methods used by the Tifton Police Department to prevent crimes, the methods used by investigators to solve crimes and a better understanding of the judicial system.


Previous classes have been so successful that an alumni association has been formed to partner with and support the Tifton Police Department in its efforts to educate, protect and serve citizens.


Those interested in attending the Citizen's Police Academy may obtain an application at the Tifton Police Department. For information, contact Maj. Raymond Drennon, 229-382-3132.

March 27
Tift County Board of Education 
Tom Coogle is sworn in on Thursday, March 27, as the newest member of the Tift County Board of Education.


Tiftarea YMCA Sports Complex

March 21
UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center
Folks get dinner before viewing the Birmingham Children's Theatre's production of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" during the United Way's Family Dinner Theater to benefit the United Way of South Central Georgia.

Body by Budweiser? Beer blogger gives up food for liquid diet (UPI) Click Here!

It's all in the name... Woman named Crispi tries to set ex's house on fire with bacon (UPI) Click Here!
He hasn't read it yet! Man hits girlfriend with anger management book (UPI)  Click Here!
                       At a Glance.... 
  • Fire Ant Festival, 6 p.m., Heritage Park, Ashburn.
  • Arts in Black Talent Show, 7 p.m., Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Tifton.


  • Fire Ant Festival, 8 a.m., Heritage Park and surrounding area, Ashburn.
  • First Baptist Church Fit Family 5k & Fun Run, 8 a.m., Northeast Campus - Tift County High School, Tifton.
  • Big Little River Paddle Event, 9:30 a.m., Reed Bingham State Park, Adel.
  • Arts in Black Festival, 11 a.m., Fulwood Park, Tifton. 
  • Arts in Black Poetry Contest,  3 p.m., Leroy Rogers Senior Center, Tifton.

In Memoriam
March 20
Julie Oliver Pickle, 46, Sparks
Edna Ruth Aycock, 74, Alapaha 
March 21

Bernardo "Slim" Avalos, Sr., 90, Omega

Dorothy Clyde Register Eubanks, 91, Tifton

Ann Lucile Ricks Richardson, 81, Sylvester

Philip Clayton Jay Jr., 91, Fitzgerald 

Juanita (Minnie) Courtoy, 78, Dowling Park, Fla. 


March 22

 Buford G. Dowdy, 83, Sylvester

Martha M. Mobley, 69, Irwinville

Mike Pickard, 60, Fitzgerald  

 Linda Gail Layfield, 59, Albany  


March 23
Betty June Lamarand Hnilo Pirkle, 79, Tifton 
Betty Ann Barrentine Lee, 74, Enigma 
Jeanette Griffin Manning, 70, Nashville 


March 24

  Margie Annie Dover Walker, 95, Tifton

Danny Ray "Bo" Carter Sr., 60, Douglas  


March 25
Robert Eugene Paulk Sr., 80, Tifton 
Joseph Allen Clement Sr., 77, Tampa, Fla. 


March 26

Flavis L. "Tate" Griffis, 81, Omega

Minnie Marin Perez, 57, Ty Ty



Give Dwana Coleman a call today! 
229-386-4222 or 229-821-1174
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  Frank Sayles Jr. 
Editor & Publisher
Call (478) 227-7126
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