The Tifton Grapevine

Local News, Views & Previews

This Week in Tifton, Georgia -- July 26, 2013

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229.387.9688 and 229.848.7043



Under Federal Program: 

Tift School System to Provide Breakfast, Lunch to ALL Students at No Charge

Tifton Grapevine - Students Eat Free
Tifton Grapevine - Students Eat Free

 See the video above.


When the school year begins Aug. 8 in Tift County, parents will see an immediate savings -- breakfast and lunch will be provided at no charge for all students, saving Tift countians a total of more than $240,000.

Georgia becomes one of 10 states to participate in a federal program aimed at improving the way students get free or reduced-price lunches at school.

The Tift County school system is among the state's school districts to qualify for the Community Eligibility Option, a program that's part of the $4.5 billion Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act signed into law by President Obama in 2010.

Georgia was one of four states invited to join the program this upcoming school year before it goes nationwide in 2014-15.

The Community Eligibility Option program reduces the paperwork requirements associated with the meals, with the goal of streamlining the process.

For more information on the federal program, administered by the USDA, Click Here!


But BOE Warns About Next Year 


The Tifton Grapevine


Despite numerous rumors to the contrary, the Tift County Board of Education on Wednesday, July 24, voted to maintain the school system's millage tax rate at the current level this fiscal year, marking seven years without a property tax increase. 


But the superintendent warns that next year will be tougher: "The "likelihood of another Pat Atwateryear without a millage rate increase is questionable if not impossible," said Superintendent Patrick Atwater.  


The school system says it was able to maintain the tax rate even though the state is passing along cuts to the Tift County Board of Education of approximately $5.3 million for the upcoming fiscal year.


"The last thing we want to do in our system is cut any program or funding that could potentially take away from our faculty, staff or students," Atwater said. "But at the end of the day, there is only so much money, and we have to find a way to make it work."


Education officials said they reviewed each line of the budget to find ways to compensate for the state's underfunding.


For the second consecutive year, student instructional days have been cut, this year by four to a total of 176, saving about $32,000 in utility costs, the school board said. All faculty and staff members are also being furloughed six days, saving another $1.3 million.  


Other cuts include nearly $220,000 from the school system's media centers, and $22,000 from regional and local libraries.


  HGI building
Live Entertainment Each Saturday Night!
6:30 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday, July 27
       Come Join Us for Dinner!                        229-382-8484

Julie Smith Melissa Chevers

Julie Smith & Melissa Chevers
City Councilwoman, County Commissioner Meet Public 
Tifton City Councilwoman Julie Smith and Tift County Commissioner Melissa Chevers are hosting their "4th Saturday Chat" from 11 a.m.-noon on Saturday, July 27, in the board room of the Tifton-Tift County Public Library on Love Avenue.

"Melissa and I made this commitment to meet with anyone who wanted to discuss city and/or county issues, so please, come visit and let us know what is on your mind," Smith said.

"We've enjoyed meeting new friends, taking care of concerns and good dialogue over the past seven months. We ... hope to see you there."

Begins 8 a.m. Friday, July 26


The annual Back to School Health Resource Fair at the Tift County Health Department is from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 26


Find out about and get immunizations needed for school, certified birth certificates and screenings for hearing, vision and dental health. Various school and community resources will be available.


We have it from a reliable source that Professor Albus Dumbledore will be there to talk about the joys of the library and the upcoming Harry Potter Birthday Party (July 30 from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. at the Tifton-Tift County Public Library.)

The Tift County Health Department is located at 305 E. 12th Street. Call 229-386-8373 for information.




Mims Kids Inc., a local organization for the betterment of young people, has its second annual "Stay in School Rally" from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at the Tift County Recreation Department on Victory Drive.


The rally is for students in grades 9-12. This year's event includes school supplies, door prizes, refreshments, information tables, music and motivational speakers.

Rains Help, Hinder Local Farmers  

Some South Georgia farmers are seeing opposite extremes in their fields -- too much as well as too little rain. The Georgia Farm Monitor visits a Turner County farmer who is facing that predicament, bogging down in soggy fields while irrigation runs in adjacent fields.

Click the Video Below!


Rain Helps, Hinders South Georgia Farm Operations
Rain Helps, Hinders South Georgia Farm Operations

TRMC Men's Event

Workshop Focuses on Medicare 
Medicare logo

"Medicare Made Easy," presented by GeorgiaCares, is a three-hour workshop that will introduce the A, B, C and D's of Medicare and discuss the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Medicare.


The workshop is 9 a.m.-noon, Wednesday, July 31, at the Leroy Rogers Senior Center, Tifton.


The workshop is free but registration is required. Call Fran Kinchen at 229-391-9299 or Natasha Patrick at 229-391-3956, or go online and Click Here! 


This is an interactive presentation that will focus on your understanding of Medicare as a beneficiary, caregiver or a social services professional. Medicare Made Easy, presented by GeorgiaCares, is administered through the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services.

Sole July
Ga. Ag Museum's Profile Grows

Peanut Museum

Modern Farmer magazine and web site has named the Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village in Tifton as one of "Five Farm Museums that Preserve the Past and Educate the Future."


"Be sure to check out the Peanut Museum tucked inside this 95-acre site," Modern Farmer advises. "The museum within a museum includes peanut planting and harvesting equipment and a field of peanuts growing out back."


Besides the complex formerly known as the Georgia Agrirama, also recognized were the Farmers Museum of Cooperstown, N.Y.; Primrose Farm Park, St. Charles, Ill.; Queen County Farm Museum, Queens, N.Y.; and Loudoun Heritage Farm, Sterling, Va.


Reginas School


Busy Schedule Keeps You Running 

Ernest Lang

Earnest Tifton runner Ernest Lang (at left) shares the following list of upcoming road races in Tifton for the remainder of the year.  


"It's a great list of races and your support is needed to have a successful event," Lang says.


August 10: 24th Annual Run for Love Twilight Run; this is the annual fundraiser for the Tift County High School Cross Country team; 5K, 7:45 p.m. ($20 fee if registered by July 31 / $25 after); 1 mile, 7:15 p.m. ($15 by July 31 / $20 after), Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Athletic Center; contact Lynda Fisher, 229-388-1334 or or register online,; go to to print a registration form.


August 18: Beeman Half Marathon, 7 a.m.. ABAC Tennis Center (probably the Nurses Course), no awards, no traffic control, no T-shirts but definitely some support. Course maps will be available at race.


September 21: Run Four for Ruth's Cottage, 4 miles, 6:30 p.m; 1 Mile Patter for Patti, 6 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 200 Boo Drive; contact, 229-392-0879, or Click Here!  


September 28: Tiftarea YMCA Fun Mudder, 5K, Wave starts at 8:30, 9:15, 10, 10:45, 11 a.m.; $45 early/$55 after Sept. 15; 184 Connell-Ray Road, Tifton; call 229-391-9622.


October 5: Jog for Jake, 5K & 1 Mile, 6 p.m., Tift County High School.


October 12: Stepping Out for Your Heart, 5K & 1 mile, TCHS Northeast Campus, 8 a.m.; contact


October 19: TJWC -- Trick-or-Trot 2013, YMCA on Westover Road, 10k, 5k, and 1 mile, 8:30 a.m.; contact


October 26: Zombie Run, 1K Fun Run, 8:30 a.m., registration starts at 7:30 a.m. Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village, contact Polly Huff,


December 7: Holiday Run, 5K & 1 mile, 2 p.m., 8th Street at Forrest Avenue.


January 1: Resolution Run, 6 mile and 5K, 8:59 a.m., Tift County High football stadium.

The Tifton Grapevine

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Farm Tour Includes Stop
in South Georgia


Leesburg native Luke Bryan, the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Yearhas announced 5th annual Farm Tour, which includes a performance in Valdosta.


Tickets for the concerts went on sale during the past week to members of the "Nut House," Bryan's fan club. Tickets will be available to the public starting at 10 a.m. Friday, July 26.


Bryan opens the tour Oct. 2 in Statesboro; goes to Athens on Oct. 3; Columbia, S.C., Oct. 4; Macon, Oct. 5; Villa Rica, Oct. 9; Auburn, Ala., Oct. 10; Tallahassee, Fla., Oct. 11; and Valdosta, Oct. 12.


Last year's Farm Tour brought 100,000 fans to the outdoor venues, doubling the attendance record for the 2011 concert series. Eight scholarships were given to students from a farming family within the communities the tour played last year; the Luke Bryan Farm Tour Scholarship continues this year.


Bryan's latest album, "Crash My Party," is scheduled for release Aug. 13.

            At a Glance.... 

FRIDAY, July 26
  • Back to School Health Resource Fair, 8 a.m., Tift County Health Department, Tifton.
  • South Georgia Photography Exhibit, 1-5 p.m., Tifton Museum of Arts and Heritage, Tifton.
  • Kickoff to Men's Health, 9 a.m., Tift Regional Medical"s Community Events Center, Carpenter Road, Tifton.
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m., Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton.
  • Downtown Farmers Market, 9 a.m., Old Train Platform, Tifton.
  • 4th Saturday Chat with Julie Smith & Melissa Chevers, 11 a.m., Tifton-Tift County Public Library, Tifton. 
  • Stay in School Rally, Noon, Tift County Recreation Department, Tifton.
  • Brant Sandifer performs on the patio, 6:30 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, Tifton.
SUNDAY, July 28
  • South Georgia Photography Exhibit, 1-3 p.m., Tifton Museum of Arts & Heritage, Tifton.

In Memoriam


July 18
Sidney M. "Mickey" Martin, 65, Tifton
Eddie Lee Ferguson, 66, Tifton 

July 19
Jacquelyne "Jackie" Marie Fletcher, 78, Tifton
Joey Clifton King, 61, Enigma
July 20
Willie Bynes, 83, Tifton 
Judith Baker Chipley, 74, Ocilla 
Harry Mixon, 84, Ocilla 
Norma Ann Harris, 77, Nashville 
Eloise Brooke Dean, 95, Ashburn 
July 21
Walton E. Jordan, 56, Tifton 
Gene Benson Jenkins, 74, Tifton 
Evelyn W. Sellars, 80, Ashburn 
Mary Florence Porter Broadhurst, 80, Ocilla 
Elbert Lee "Bert" Wood, 44, Enigma 
July 22
Sadie Calvin White, 90, Tifton 
Sarah Lathem Ray, 84, Sycamore 
July 23
Thelma Marline Estella, 73, Tifton  
Virginia R. Cannon, 80, Hixson, Tenn. 
July 24
Victor V. Vickers, 82, Tifton 
Norma Ann Rainey Austin, 77, Ashburn
Tonya Loyd, 49, of Tifton 





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