May 20, 2016
         Tifton, Georgia

    (478) 227-7126


Tift County High School will  graduate  485 seniors on Saturday, the school's largest  graduating class, according to the school system.

Graduation is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at Brodie Field. The processional begins at 8:45 a.m. Family and friends are asked to be in stadium by 8:30 a.m.

As of early Friday, there is about a 65 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 9 a.m. on Saturday. The morning is forecast to be cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny later Saturday with a high near 84, according to the National Weather Service.

"We are actively watching the weather to make a decision about graduation," says schools spokesman Stacey Beckham

"To get updates for the arrangements, text @tift2016 to 81010 (on your smartphone) to be added to the Remind 101 service. By doing this, you will receive updates instantly."

The final notification will be sent out no later than 7:30 a.m. Saturday, school officials say.

If there is inclement weather, Beckham says, "We don't want to relocate it (from Brodie Field) because then we have to limit the number of  people who can attend. We may have to move it to (later)  Saturday or Sunday ."

If the ceremony is delayed by weather and rescheduled for later Saturday, then the  processional will begin at 6:45 p.m. and the ceremony at 7 p.m. Graduates would need to report at 6 p.m. Notification of Saturday evening graduation plans will be sent out via Remind101 no later than 5:30 p.m.

The graduation ceremony will be moved to 7 p.m. Sunday at Brodie Field if there is inclement weather on Saturday night.

In addition to the text service, "we will post the decision to Facebook on the high school's and district's pages," Beckham says.

By the way,  umbrellas and balloons are not allowed in the stadium. 

Kaycee Altman is this year's valedictorian, and Jacob Del  Toro  is the graduating class's salutatorian
School officials request that family members in attendance stand quietly to be recognized when their graduate's name is called. The audience is asked to hold applause until all graduates on a row are called.

Early voting for the Tuesday, May 24, primary  election  ends today, Friday, May 20.

Registered Tift County voters may visit the early voting location at the old high school gymnasium building at Fourth Street and Chesnutt Avenue until 5 p.m. today.

The polls are closed on Monday. On Tuesday, May 24, Election Day, polls are open 7 a.m until 7 p.m.

The Road is a new congregation of believers in Tifton.

What makes us different? We have two pastors, Matt Strevel and Jason Jones.
We don't have a building; we meet in the Leroy Rogers Center
We are aiming to  keep it slim and trim to focus our resources on the kingdom
We have no  cliques, no long-standing traditions, no automatic programs. 
We do have a  strong commitment to biblical teaching and practice; so we're not
contemporary and we are not traditional. 
We just look to honor Christ
We  have a place for you!  

Join Us at 10 a.m. Sundays at Tifton's Leroy Rogers Center!

Our mission is:

We are passionate about God's glory. In all that we do from meeting for
worship on Sunday mornings, to raising our families through the week, or to
going across the world on mission trips, our aim is to display the glory of
God's grace! Our main hope and goal is that God would be glorified 
in the  life of our Church family.

At the heart of the Christian faith is a man suffering in the place of 
His  people for their sins and then rising from the dead after three days. 
All  who trust in Jesus are raised to new life with Him. We are a community of
faith that has been transformed by the gospel. In response we want to
proclaim that good news through every opportunity we have. We believe that
the whole of the Christian life should be centered on and driven by 
the good  news of God's grace.

The goodness of God's grace has been poured out on us in so many ways! 
And  now we want to share His goodness to the world around us. In love, Jesus
freely gave himself to us. In turn, we want to freely share His love to
others. We make it a priority to carry the gospel to places where people
need it most. We support and partner, locally and overseas, with
organizations which minister to the needs of hurting people. 
Come learn more  about ways you can help us share the love 
of Christ  to the world around us.


On Thursday, June 9, musician Buddy Greene, best known for co-writing the Christmas favorite, "Mary, Did You Know?" and for touring with gospel greats Gloria and Bill Gaither, will perform in concert at 7 p.m. at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center

This free event is open to the community.

The "Evening of Entertainment" will be held during the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church's Annual Conference session , which is June 8-11 in Tifton. The concert will honor Episcopal leader Bishop James King and wife, Rose, for their eight years of ministry to the South Georgia Annual Conference.

Born and raised in Macon, Greene brings a variety of Southern Americana influences to his music to create a hybrid of country, bluegrass, folk, gospel and traditional blues. In addition to his reputation as a singer-songwriter and guitarist, Greene has established himself as one of Nashville's finest harmonica stylists. His live concerts are equal parts hymn sing, jam session, revival and journey through his own musical history.

I n 1991, Greene collaborated with Mark Lowry to write "Mary, Did You Know?," which quickly became a modern- day Christmas standard, recorded by many of today's top recording artists, including Pentatonix, Clay Aiken, Kathy Mattea, Kenny Rogers, Wynonna Judd, Natalie Cole and Glen Campbell.

This concert is co-sponsored by the UMC South Georgia Conference and the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association. 


"Bike 2 Read," a community event this Saturday has  Georgia National Guard soldiers driving their motorcycles  from Atlanta to Tifton to support literacy

The soldier-bikers will read aloud to children, along with the wife of Gen. Joseph Jarrad, who is commander of the Georgia Army and the Georgia Air Guard. The  Georgia National Guard's youth director will also be speaking about the book, "The 7  Habits of Happy Kids."

The free event is open to all  children  and goes from noon-2 p.m. at the Tiftarea YMCA's Hunt Park campus off Westover Road.

The children will get a special tour of the motorcycles and will get photos with the soldiers and their bikes. A lunch of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks will be available of the kids.

For information, call 229-516-3665.


Coveris Performance Packaging's Tifton plant on Southwell Boulevard recently won two awards --
With the Supplier of the Year Award are, from left, Dwayne Outlaw, Active Mineral;  Gerald Zorn, Coveris; 
David NybergCoveris ; Terry Norman, Coveris; Gloria
Gunn,  Coveris Terri Kansler, Active Mineral; and  Tony Hanson,  Coveris.
Supplier of the Year and Safety.

Supplier of the Year was presented to the Tifton plant by Active Mineral's International for going above and beyond to help them make sure any changes to designs, order sizes and shipping dates were made as quickly as possible, even on short notice.
The Safety Award was presented to Coveris by the Paper Shipping Sack Manufacturers' Association (PSSMA) and is given to plants that achieve the best annual safety experience based on the lowest total incidence rate in each annual man-hour category, with the Tifton plant winning the 250,000 to 350,000 man-hour division.

These awards were announced to the industry and presented to winners at the recent PSSMA Production Managers' Conference in Atlanta.
Coveris is one of the leading global plastics packaging companies, offering both flexible and rigid packaging. 

Since its formation in 2013 through the combination of five packaging manufacturing companies, Coveris has continued to grow through acquisitions and operates more than 65 facilities in more than 20 countries. Its Georgia plants include Albany, Griffin and Tifton.

At left,  Dick Storat, p resident of the PSSMA, presents the safety award to  Jack Lee, Coveris' Tifton p lant manager.


If you enjoy canoeing or kayaking or you care about South Georgia's blackwater rivers, then you may wish to participate in the Fourth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race on Saturday, May 21.
It can be done as a race ($100 to first boat across finish line) or as a leisurely paddle (scenic three- to four-mile course). 

On-site registration is available on
event day from 8-9 a.m. The mass start is at 9:30 a.m. at Red Roberts Landing on Roundtree Bridge Road just north of Reed Bingham State Park in Adel.

The finish is about three miles downstream at the  park's lake. The 
event is limited to the first 50 boats.

Cost is $30 per boat plus $5 park entrance fee.

This is the year's only organized fundraiser event for the WWALS Watershed Coalition, a non-profit organization advocating for local rivers. It also helps support the Friends of Reed Bingham State Park

For information call 229-392-5513 or visit


The national small business movement, "Independent We Stand," named the Downtown Development Authority of the City of Tifton as a  quarterfinalist for the 2016 Independent We Stand " America's Main Streets " contest --  one step closer to winning the grand prize of $25,000 for downtown.

This current round of voting is  dependent upon the number of votes collected online for each community.  The voting  continues  through May 29 . You may vote once every 24 hours. 

"The goal of this inaugural Independent We Stand 'America's Main Streets' contest is to promote the importance and strong economic benefits of Main Streets and the small businesses that help them thrive," said Independent We Stand co-founder Bill Brunelle

To vote for Tifton's Main Street, Click Here!  

Please note: Only one vote is allowed from the same computer network or wifi every 24 hours; for example, if an office of several people are on the same computer network, the contest will allow only one vote from that office network every 24 hours.


A free, youth Blue Devil f ootball camp for boys in g rades 1- 6 is scheduled
9 to 11:30 a.m. May 26 and 27 at E.B. Hamilton Park, says Tift County High Head Football Coach Ashley Anders.
Tift Blue Devil logo

"Farmers for Football" is made possible by the generosity and support of Tift County agricultural businesses, Anders says.

The camp is free to all boys entering the first through sixth grade this  fall The camp is intended to teach fundamental football skills and is divided into two divisions -- grades 1, 2, 3 and grades 4, 5, 6. 

Instruction will come from Tift County High coaches and special guests .   Team competitions will conclude each day of camp.  Bus transportation will be available. Registration is required for all participants.

Fo r information, contact Coach Anders at 229-387-2475 .

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        a Glance

  • Last Day of Early Voting for May 24 Primary, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Old Gym, Fourth Street & Chesnutt Avenue, Tifton
  • Last Day of School for Tift County, Tifton

  • Tift County High School Graduation, 9 a.m., Brodie Field, Tifton
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Big Little River Paddle Race, 9:30 a.m., Roundtree Bridge Road, near Reed Bingham State Park, Adel

In Memoriam

MAY 13
James Vernon Bowen, 69, Rome
Brooklyn Shun'tia Cole, infant, Ty Ty

MAY 14
Jo Allene "Bootsie" Cottongim, 83, Tifton
Betty Sue Jones, 71, Fitzgerald
James "Jim" Henry Davis, 91, Ocilla
Debra "Debbie" Lynn Stoltz, 56, Valdosta

MAY 15
Elizabeth "Libby" Burgess Rowe, 76, Irwin County
Oris Ross, 82, Irwin County
Alma Earline Brogdon, 71, Nashville
Mary Evelyn Harris, 76, Adel
Hattie Thornton Thomas, 85, Sylvester

MAY 16
Melvin Eugene Barton, 80, Tifton
Sgt. David Lester Register, 52, Nashville

MAY 17
Charles Eugene Spicer, 77, Tifton
George Michael Fletcher Sr., 58, Chula

MAY 18
Inez Goddard Luke, 81, Stockbridge
Calvin H. Jones, 84, Warwick
Bennie B. Myers Jr., 89, Sparks
Timothy Daniel Robinson, infant, Irwin County

MAY 19
Ellen Paulk Boydston, 72, Fitzgerald
  218 W Oconee St., Fitzgerald, GA
MLS #: R126022A

Four bedrooms, two baths in this cute, two-story brick home in nearby Fitzgerald.
    Dwana Coleman

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 Frank Sayles Jr. 
Editor & Publisher
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