Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
GrapeNew
WOMAN FACES MURDER CHARGE IN SHOOTING DEATH
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
A 22-year-old woman has been arrested and charged with felony murder in a shooting death Friday night on Union Road in Tift County, says the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).

Alexis Danielle Banks of Albany is charged with felony murder and three counts of aggravated assault, the GBI said. She is being held in the Crisp County Jail.

Jada Golson, 23, was shot and later died at Tift Regional Medical Center following an incident at approximately 10:45 p.m. Friday at a "house party" in the 4800 block of Union Road, the GBI said.

Chadwick Sears, 31, and Tenaya Ladale Hill, 20, both of Tifton, were also shot and were transported to the hospital for treatment.

Golson’s body was sent to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy. The Tift County Sheriff's Office had asked the GBI to assist in the investigation.
GRAND JURY INDICTS SYCAMORE MAN IN ALLEGED $2.6M CARES ACT FRAUD
Staff Reports
A Turner County man has been indicted on 12 counts alleging bank fraud, money laundering and making false statements related to the Coronavirus CARES Act, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Georgia.

Anthony C. Boncimino, 46, of Sycamore was indicted July 8 by a federal grand jury on four counts of bank fraud, four counts of money laundering and four counts of making false statements. If convicted, he faces a maximum 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for bank fraud, a maximum penalty of 10 years and a $250,000 fine for money laundering, and a maximum five years and $250,000 fine for making false statements.

Boncimino was released on bond.

According to the filed indictment, Boncimino allegedly submitted at least four fraudulent loan applications to the Small Business Administration and third-party banks for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans on behalf of shell companies, which suffered no losses. 

The government alleges that those businesses either did not exist, did not conduct business or only existed on paper. As a result of the fraud, Boncimino obtained approximately $2.6 million in PPP loans, conducting numerous transactions with the money.

“Fraudsters who attempt to capitalize during a global pandemic will face the possibility of federal prosecution for their crimes,” said Peter D. Leary, acting U.S. attorney. “Federal investigators will persist in unraveling the often-complex CARES Act fraud schemes and bring criminals to justice.”

“While businesses were suffering and trying their best to make it through the pandemic, others chose greed," said James E. Dorsey, special agent in charge with the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. "IRS-CI will continue to use its financial expertise to track and recommend prosecution of criminals taking advantage of a crisis.”
ASHBURN YOUTH WINS NATIONAL
JUNIOR OLYMPIC AIR PISTOL TITLE
Source: UGA Cooperative Extension
An Ashburn youth has earned a spot to compete in the International Shooting Sports Junior World Championships this fall in Lima, Peru.

Remington Smith of Ashburn recently won the men’s division at the National Junior Olympic Air Pistol Championship. Winning the women’s division was Katelyn Abeln of Douglasville, who will also represent Georgia at the international competition.

Both sharpshooters are products of the Georgia 4-H Air Pistol Team.

Volunteer coach Faye Belflower became involved with the 4-H Air Pistol Team in 2015 through the Turner County 4-H, which was coordinated by the local 4-H agents with UGA Cooperative Extension. Belflower built from there to create a large program in the state.

Remington was one of Belflower’s first students. He has been shooting for seven years. He had told Belflower that he is setting his eyes on the 2024 Olympics.

After only being firmly established for six years, the Georgia 4-H Air Pistol competition is still the smallest shooting sport, but its growth and achievements are making it a top-tier competition sport.
TIFT COUNTY RECORDS 10 NEW COVID-19 CASES WITHIN TWO-WEEK PERIOD
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
Tift County has recorded 10 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks, according to the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH) on Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, the DPH also said Tift has had one additional death in the past week, bringing the county's total number to 102 related deaths. Tift County's positive testing rate during the two-week period is 4%.

Tift County's confirmed cases during the past two weeks represent 24 per 100,000 population.

On Tuesday, Georgia reported 725 new cases with 19 additional deaths and 109 new hospitalizations. The state has had a total of 908,348 confirmed cases and 18,592 related deaths, the DPH said.
VACCINATION CLINIC OFFERING CHANCE FOR UGA FOOTBALL TICKETS
Those individuals getting COVID-19 vaccinations this Friday at a special drive-thru clinic will get a chance to participate in a giveaway for two UGA football tickets.

The free drive-thru vaccination clinic is scheduled 8 a.m.-noon Friday, July 16, at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center.

The clinic is sponsored by UGA Extension Service and the the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy in partnership with the local Walmart Marketplace; no registration will be required.

The clinic is open to all UGA and U.S. Department of Agriculture faculty, staff, students and family members aged 18 and over, as well as to the community at large.

Pharmacists from the Walmart Marketplace will administer the Moderna vaccine, approved by the FDA for those 18 and over.

In addition for a chance to receive free UGA football tickets, people getting vaccinated have an opportunity to participate in giveaways of $100 Walmart gift cards. Free UGA T-shirts will also be given out as supplies last.

For information, call 229-386-3338 or email terish@uga.edu
ABAC GETS $2.4 MILLION FEDERAL GRANT FOR MIGRANT EDUCATION
With a five-year $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Migrant Education, the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will continue assisting farmworkers for the 21st consecutive year.

Scott Pierce, ABAC sponsored programs program, said the college's program is one of only two in the state that provide these services to the agricultural workforce.

“HEP is ABAC’s largest grant at $475,000 a year. This money helps support the students, the instructional staff, the educational resources, and a small project team to organize everything. The fact that this grant has been funded for 20 years is a real testament to our fantastic team,” Pierce said.

Since 2001, HEP has served more than 1,400 students from Georgia and neighboring states. The program assists 70 agricultural workers and their dependents each year in receiving a high school equivalency diploma and subsequently finding better employment, enrolling in an institution of higher education, or enlisting in the military.
The program has produced many professionals and entrepreneurs including Dr. Remigio Padilla-Hernandez, an assistant professor and director of mathematics at Thomas University in Thomasville. He credits the program and obtaining his General Educational Development (GED) diploma as the foundation for his professional career.

“The fact that HEP is housed at ABAC is a significant factor in inspiring GED graduates to pursue their college careers,” Padilla-Hernandez said. “Taking classes on a college campus allows HEP students to envision what it would be like to attend college. It inspired me to pursue my education after earning my GED.”
TIFT CHILD-CARE CENTER ADDED TO PROGRAM OFFERING HEALTHY FOOD
A Tift County child-care center is among eight programs in Georgia added to Quality Care for Children's U.S. Department of Agriculture-sponsored Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Love Unlimited Learning Center on Timmons Drive has been selected to help give children, living in local food-insecure homes, more access to healthy food.

“By sponsoring food programs for our state’s child-care providers, we help them provide a greater variety and healthier selection of food choices while saving money, which is badly needed after the challenges of the past year,” said Pam Tatum, president and CEO of Quality Care for Children.

Meals are available to children enrolled in the program at no additional charge, helping provide them with regular and nutritious meals daily at their child-care program.

Congress established the Child and Adult Care Food Program in 1968 to ensure that children in licensed or approved day-care and recreation centers receive nutritious meals.

Approximately 20 years later, following the passage of the Older American Act, select adult day-care centers could also participate.
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S CAT OF THE WEEK
"Chip" is seeking a "furever" home. To find your next pet, 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 COTTON MILL WORKERS
GET PAY RAISE, FEWER HOURS
– JULY 14, 1933
As of July 14, 1933, Tifton Cotton Mill employees began working under a new negotiated plan that reduces their work to a maximum 40 hours a week and increases their pay to a minimum of $12 a week.
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