Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Tifton, Georgia


Your Local Digital Newspaper for Tifton and the Greater Tiftarea

478-227-7126 ~ www.tiftongrapevine.com




Tifton Grapevine

Cyndi Thomson is back.

The Tifton native who spent three weeks at No.1 on Billboard's country music charts a generation ago, has just released a new single and last month returned to the Grand Ole Opry, her first appearance there since her debut on that hallowed stage in 2001.

Her new single, "The Georgia in Me," is getting good reviews, and she plans to release a new song each month this year.

It's been a long time coming for Thomson, who stepped away from recording a year after skyrocketing to country music fame upon the release of her debut album in 2001 and her hit single, "What I Really Meant to Say."

The years 2001 and 2002 were a whirlwind of performances – opening on tours for Alan Jackson, Jo Dee Messina, and Trisha Yearwood – and high-profile appearances on such stages as "The Tonight Show" and the Grand Ole Opry. Thomson became overwhelmed and decided to step back to take a breath and compose herself, to focus on songwriting, to spend time with her new husband, and to start a family in Tennessee.

During the intervening years, she also started a line of her jewelry designs and performed just a few times.

"It’s just been really a sweet life," Thomson told themusicuniverse.com in an interview released Tuesday. "There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I haven’t thought about singing again, or country music, or the fans, or making music. And on and off throughout the years I’ve written songs and played out here and therenot too much, just still been very quiet.”

She told the music news website that she was inspired to return to music after a conversation with her dad before he died.

“A couple of years ago, my dad passed away. But before he passed, I was sitting with him, and we were just talking about life and all that my mom and dad had done" for me, Thomson said.

"And, I was just kind of talking with him about that, and he passed that night, and I just kept thinking about I didn’t play the Opry again. I wanted to make a record. So I drove around the next day throughout my hometown, and I just was, like, you know, ‘God, I want to make a record. I want to make a country record, and I’m tired of talking about it, thinking about it. I’m just going to do it.’ And as soon as I kind of made that agreement with myself, all the stars aligned, and everything began to fall into place."

A month ago, Thomson returned to the Grand Ole Opry, sharing the stage with Vince Gill.

“Joining Vince Gill on the Opry stage was an incredible and surreal moment," she said. "It felt like a homecoming, and I’m eager to share that same energy with fans through ‘The Georgia In Me.’” 

Thomson said when she began making new music, she decided there had to be a song about Georgia.

"I’m from Georgia; that’s where my roots are planted; that’s where I was born and raised, and it’s still where my family lives. And so for me, there’s still the sense of home," she told themusicuniverse.com.

"And so for the old fans and the new fans, I wanted to just kind of give an ode to Georgia and just say, ‘Hey, this is where I’m from.’"

To hear Thomson's new song "The Georgia In Me," click the image below:

"The Georgia in Me" by Cyndi Thomson

The Heart and Vascular Team at Tift Regional Medical Center after implanting the first Tapered ENROUTE Transcarotid Stent System in the United States.


Tifton Grapevine Staff Reports

Vascular surgeon Dr. Tim Fuller and his team at Tift Regional Medical Center in Tifton are the first in the nation to implant a new generation of transcarotid stents that better tailor the procedure to a patient's anatomy.

Silk Road Medical Inc., a company focused on reducing the risk of strokes and their impact, recently launched its tapered ENROUTE transcarotid stent, expanding the company's existing ENROUTE Transcarotid Stent System for the transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) procedure.

Tift Regional said the ENROUTE Transcarotid Stent System is a minimally invasive treatment of carotid artery disease, providing best-in-class stroke protection while minimizing adverse events.

"I am continually impressed with the amazing team we have at Southwell," Fuller said. "Our selection as the site for the first deployment of this evolution of the ENROUTE stent in the U.S. further exemplifies our team's dedication to bringing cutting-edge care to our patients in South Georgia."

Chris Dorman, Southwell president & CEO, said Fuller's "utilization of the ENROUTE stent underscores our dedication to innovative patient care. His expertise and forward-thinking approach exemplify our commitment to pushing the boundaries of healthcare excellence."

Fuller, a West Point electrical engineering graduate, transitioned from an Army Ranger with two Bronze Stars from five combat deployments to a board-certified general and vascular surgeon. After completing his medical degree at Mercer University and residencies in general and vascular surgery, he is board-certified in both and maintains his license as a registered physician in vascular interpretation.




Tifton Grapevine

Effective July 1, an Atlanta-based company will begin handling Tift Regional Medical Center's (TRMC) emergency department in partnership with TRMC.

Core Clinical Partners will provide emergency medicine and clinical oversight at the Tifton hospital.

“This collaboration will bring Core's expertise and innovation to the more than 40,000 annual visits at Tift Regional's emergency department,” said Dr. Boykin Robinson, Core's CEO.

Core Clinical Partners brings a proven track record of improving patient outcomes, enhancing operational efficiencies, and fostering a positive work environment for healthcare professionals,” Robinson said.

"We are genuinely excited to embark on this partnership with TRMC. Our aligned visions for delivering patient-centered care and our dedication to community health make us optimistic about the positive impact this collaboration will have. We are committed to delivering exceptional emergency medicine services and becoming an integral part of the Tifton community,” he said.

Core currently oversees 38 emergency medicine and hospital medicine programs in 11 states, serving more than 1 million patients annually.

Christopher Dorman, president/CEO of Southwell medical, said the collaboration with Core is part of TRMC’s ongoing journey of performance improvement. 


“Tift’s mission has always been to provide our community with accessible, high-quality healthcare,” Dorman said. “Partnering with Core is a strategic step towards enhancing our emergency medicine services. We are confident that Core’s expertise and innovative approaches will elevate the level of care received by our patients.”

Core Clinical Partners will be recruiting emergency medicine physicians and advanced practice providers to join the team at TRMC.




Tifton Grapevine

A man has been arrested and charged in the shooting death of a Sylvester man at a Sylvester lounge early Saturday.

Juamarino White, 43, is in the Worth County Jail charged with one count each of voluntary manslaughter, possession of firearm by a convicted felon, and tampering with evidence – all felonies, according to jail booking reports.

White was arrested Monday at a Covey Street residence in Sylvester, authorities said.

He is charged in connection with the shooting at approximately 3 a.m. Saturday at the This and That Lounge on Sylvester's South Main Street. In that incident, James Otis Collins, 53, of Sylvester, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sylvester Police Department at 229-776-8501.



Tifton Grapevine Staff Reports

A 28-year-old Florida man was found dead Monday at a Turner County rest area off Interstate 75, authorities say.

Jesse Conor Savasta-Kunkel of Trenton, Fla., was discovered at 1:37 p.m. Monday at the southbound rest area. It is unclear how he died.

“We’ve got a lot of unanswered questions,” Turner County Coroner Jim Lumpkin told WALB-TV.

The Florida man had apparently rented a vehicle in Albany; his family did not know why he was in South Georgia, the television station reported.

An autopsy may be performed in the coming days.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Turner County Sheriff’s Office at 229-567-2401.



Tifton Grapevine

As part of the "Big Read" promotion in Tifton, a unique survival preparedness event is scheduled from 5-9 p.m. Saturday at the Gaskins Forest Education Center in Alapaha.


The "Stars & Stories" event will feature book reading and star-gazing. It is designed to answer the question, “What does it mean to rely completely on nature for survival?”

Activities include venison tasting, foraging nature walks, deer-hide tanning, arrowhead wrapping, and a presentation on astronomy by Valdosta State University.

The event requires registration; click on the "Tickets" link on the Tifton-Tift County Public Library's Facebook page, or contact the library at 229-386-7148, or Click Here.

Participants are encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes and to bring their own picnic meal, bug spray, a flashlight, sun protection, camping chairs, and water. Telescopes may also be brought for the astronomy portion. 


In the event of inclement weather, the event will be canceled. A decision on cancellation will be posted to social media by Thursday.

The Tifton library is one of only 62 organizations nationwide selected to receive a "Big Read" grant for 2023-2024 from the National Endowment for the Arts. The $5,000 grant supports a community-wide reading program during March and April focused on the book, “The Bear,” by Andrew Krivak.

“The Bear” is described by Amazon.com as “a cautionary tale of human fragility, of love and loss,” and as “a stunning tribute to the beauty of nature's dominion.” In the book, based in the future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a mountain. The father teaches the girl how to fish and hunt, the secrets of the seasons, and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last of humankind.

The NEA Big Read grant is made possible by Arts Midwest and by local sponsors: the Tifton-Tift County Public Library Foundation, Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County, the Tifton Council for the Arts, the City of Tifton, Think Tifton, and the Gaskins Forestry Center.


"Raven," a male kitty, is hoping for a new home so he can say "nevermore" to the animal shelter. Come visit Raven and see other pets available for adoption between 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the Tift County Animal Shelter on Highway 125 South, or call 229-382-PETS (7387).



~ MARCH 27, 1928

The Federal Radio Commission on March 27, 1928, granted a permit for a 20-watt radio broadcast station to Kent's Furniture and Music Store in Tifton. It was one of 16 new radio stations in the South for which the federal commission issued permits.


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Tifton Grapevine

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Frank Sayles Jr.

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Bonnie Sayles

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