Dec. 15, 2015
                 Tifton, Georgia

         (478) 227-7126

Tifton has already received renown for developing several "green," energy-efficient structures, such as the Georgia Peanut Commission's net-zero energy headquarters, UGA's "Future Farmstead" on the Tifton campus and the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence's net-zero energy "green" house built with help from local students and later sold as a private residence.

Now, Tifton is going further down that green road with a couple of solar energy projects soon under way -- one at the UGA Tifton campus and another off Tifton Eldorado Road.

The University of Georgia's Tifton Campus is working on a project that entails the generation of up to 3 megawatts of solar electricity generation at the Tifton campus. Kevin Kirsche, director of sustainability at UGA in Athenssays there are several steps to complete before this becomes a reality.

"There is always more that we can do in the realm of renewable energy efforts," he said. "But UGA is making significant strides toward researching, teaching and practicing renewable energy technologies that result in cleaner air, improved water resources and a positive return on investments."

The UGA Tifton project could amount to a nearly 20-acre "solar farm" that demonstrates crop diversification and supplemental income generation for Georgia farmers; reduces UGA's energy costs and carbon footprint while addressing sustainable energy goals; and creates instructional and research opportunities for students and visitors to the UGA Tifton campus.

According to the UGA Office on Sustainability, the Athens campus is also planning a 1 megawatt solar project. UGA's goal  is to produce 12 percent of its electricity with on-site solar electric production by 2040 

The private Tifton Eldorado Road project involves creation of a solar farm in conjunction with Georgia Power Co.'s Renewal Energy project; there are plans to put a 1 megawatt solar electricity system with multiple solar panels on about five acres providing electricity for up to 150 homes.

Last week, Tifton City Council OK'd rezoning that property from multiple residential to suburban agricultural to allow the project


Two students received top honors as the most outstanding graduates during last Thursday's fall commencement ceremony at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Matthew Daniel, a rural studies-social and community development major from Summerville, was named recipient of the ABAC Alumni Association Award for bachelor's degree graduates; Marlee Mathis, a nursing major from Nashville, received the George P. Donaldson Award for associate degree graduates.

Both recipients received a plaque and a check for $500 from the ABAC Alumni Association
Marlee Mathis and Matthew Daniel, at center, received the top graduate awards from ABAC President David Bridges, right, and ABAC Alumni Association President Chuck Scarborough, left, at ABAC's fall commencement ceremony.

Keri Jones, a 1999 ABAC graduate, was the commencement speaker. She told the graduates to "pursue growth and learning throughout your life. Capitalize on making your strengths stronger. Learn them and grow them.  Force yourself to be around people who are not like you. It is likely that the people who are going to be keys to your success won't be anything like you."

Daniel has been active on campus. He served as a senator with the Student Government Association, was a participating member of the Rural Studies Club and played both intramural football and softball. He has also been a member of the Baptist Collegiate Ministries, serving as an officer since 2012, and ABAC's collegiate 4-H, serving as president from 2011-2012. 

A community assistant with the ABAC Housing Office, Daniel was named community assistant of the month (March) and community assistant of the semester (spring) in 2013. He has excelled academically, receiving an ABAC Foundation Scholarship from 2012-2015. Daniel also made the Dean's List in spring and fall of 2014 and the spring of 2015.

The son of David and Nancy Daniel, he has volunteered with the Tift County Extension, Lifehouse Ministries, Ruth's Cottage and the Patticake House, the Tift County Council of Child Abuse and the Tift County Commission on Children and Youth. He is a member of Northside Baptist Church.

"During my time at ABAC I have experienced my share of personal trials and triumphs," Daniel said. "I held onto the feeling that ABAC is where I needed to be. Through all of the hardships that I have faced during my journey at ABAC, this has been the place that has supported me and played a part in molding me into the man I am today. There is truly no place like ABAC."

Daniel will begin an internship with Northside Baptist Church in Tifton in preparation for his enrollment at a seminary.
Mathis has held positions in the Georgia Association of Nursing Students, serving as both the historian and president.  She served as the Student Government Association representative for the School of Nursing .  

Mathis has been active in the community. As a representative of ABAC and its nursing program, Mathis attended Cook High School's Career Day, volunteered with the annual Run for the Nurses, the Alzheimer's Benefit Ball, the Georgia Cancer Coalition Organization's "Play Day for Hope," and Carry The Load. She also helped plan events for charitable causes including diabetes awareness and prevention of domestic violence. 

Mathis has received the ABAC Foundation Scholarship, the Christy V. Murphy Nursing Scholarship, the J.H. Dorminy Nursing Scholarship, the Pattie G. Clark Memorial Scholarship, the ABAC Scholars Scholarship, and the Ms. ABAC Scholarship.

The daughter of Greg and Tammy Mathis, she was crowned Ms. ABAC 2015, a role she embraced as a representative for the college .

Mathis was recognized as an ABAC honors student during the 2014 and 2015 Honors Day events. She was also named to the fall 2012 President's List and the spring 2013 Dean's List.

"My journey through the nursing program has been difficult," Mathis said. "I have faced every obstacle imaginable that I never believed I could overcome. Through this experience, I have come to believe that God handpicks our nurses. Until someone has sat down and prayed with a patient and their family or held the hand of a dying man until his very last breath, no one will ever be able to understand that being a nurse is not just a job; it is a way of life."

Mathis plans to obtain a bachelor's and a master's degree in nursing.

A total of 173 graduates participated in the ceremony. ABAC will close for the holidays on Dec. 23 and reopen on Jan. 4, 2016. Classes begin for the spring semester on Jan. 6.

Christmas is more than presents, lights, and flying reindeer. It's the birth of our Savior and 
 God's hope for the world.

The people of St. Anne's Episcopal Church warmly invite you to worship with them at their Midnight Mass this Christmas Eve. Doors open at 10 p.m., followed by a Christmas concert at 10:30 p.m. 
The Mass begins at 11 p.m. 

A Tifton tradition for over 30 years, St. Anne's Midnight Mass is a unique way to celebrate the true reason for the season. Expect candlelight, scripture, and beautiful music featuring St. Anne's choir and 
a brass ensemble under the direction of Minister of Music Stan Smith. 
The Rev. Lonnie Lacy, Rector of St. Anne's, will preach. 
 A free, festive reception follows in the Parish Hall.

St. Anne's is located at 2411 N. Central Ave. Admission is free. 
Seating is offered first come, first served. A professionally staffed nursery is available at no charge.
For more information, contact the church office at  (229) 382-7505  or visit  
WALB-TV photo
Juan Johnson, left, Pat McKinnon and Velva J. Johnson at the Male Summit.


Approximately  200 people attended the "Male Summit: From Boys to Men" last Saturday, Dec. 12, at Southern Regional Technical College in TiftonYoung men had the opportunity to learn about educational opportunities, employment, goal setting and volunteerism. 

"I am actually a little surprised to see the turnout we got, but we are definitely excited about it,"  said speaker Michael Phillips. "It put a smile on everyone's face to ... see all the kids come in."


More than 80 students in Jimmy Cargle's agriculture education classes at J.T. Reddick School in Tifton recently made holiday wreaths with live greenery. The greenery was donated by Brumby-White Christmas Tree Farm and by Griffin Brothers Farms.

Director of Children's Ministries

Tifton First United Methodist Church in Tifton, Ga.
is seeking a full-time Director of Children's Ministries.  

Responsibilities will be focused on kindergarten through 6th grade and include oversight of the nursery program. The Director will work with other staff members under the direction of the Senior Pastor.  

The successful candidate should possess or be pursuing a bachelor's degree; have experience working with children's ministries and/or children's educational programs; experience working in and developing children's ministries and possess a strong personal faith con sistent with the United Methodist tradition.  

Click Here  for complete job description. 

Anticipated start date is January 2016.  Salary will be commensurate with education and experience.  

FUMC Secretary
RE: Director of Children's Ministries
107 W 12th St. 
Tifton, GA 31794
Phone:  (229) 382-6100 
Address specific questions related to job responsibilities and duties to Lisa Forshee, Staff Parish Relations Committee Member and Search Committee, email:

Tifton's Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival, coming in March, is having a T-shirt design contest for a $100 cash prize. Contest rules may be found on the Rhythm & Ribs Facebook page, Click Here!  All submissions are due Thursday, Dec. 31, and must be submitted to in PDF or high resolution JPEG format.

Click below for pre-launch activities at 7 p.m. EST Tuesday. 
Launch of the world's latest healthy weight-loss system at 8 p.m. EST.

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
UGA Tifton

End-of-year rainfall and poor harvest conditions have been tough on Georgia's cotton crop and tested Georgia's cotton farmers, says University of Georgia Cooperative Extension's new cotton agronomist.

"The rain and extended periods of cloudy weather hurt much of the crop when it was just starting to open. Much of the earlier maturing portions of the crop suffered from weathering and worse-than-normal boll rot," said Jared Whitaker, who
                              Cotton is dumped into a trailer in Tifton.           Clint Thompson/UGA photo
assumed the post at the UGA Tifton Campus on Dec. 1.

Inclement weather throughout the harvest season delayed the cotton harvest statewide. The rain on Dec. 2 sidelined some Georgia producers who were unable to pick their crop, though it has been ready to harvest for quite some time. According to UGA's Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network, the UGA Tifton Campus recorded 1.81 inches that day, and UGA's C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park logged 1.80 inches.

Last week's heavy rains followed downpours on Nov. 18 and 19, which also helped to delay harvesting. Despite the recent rainfall during the past three weeks, Whitaker is optimistic about the progress that producers have made in getting their crop out of the field.

"The fact that we're still picking some cotton and the fact that very few people are done, compared to last year, there is no doubt we're later. In general, though, we normally pick cotton in December," Whitaker said.

Though the quality of Georgia's cotton crop may be low, Whitaker is still hopeful about the state's total production. However, cotton prices are a different matter.

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture has us pegged at 995 pounds per acre, which would be the second-largest crop we've ever made. I tend to agree with it. But you don't hear the normal optimism associated with a crop of this size due to cotton prices. We needed a big crop just to attempt to remain profitable, and the excitement isn't there," Whitaker said.

Cotton prices are currently 63 cents per pound, far below the 80 to 85 cents producers strive for.

"We certainly didn't make the high-end crop that we sometimes make. We didn't have a lot of three-plus bale cotton from that weathering. But the dryland cotton was very strong in a lot of places. There's a lot of 1,000-pound or better cotton, which is really good," Whitaker added.


SANTA will have more than Rudolph's nose to  guide his sleigh on Christmas: 
 He'll get some help from a rare full moon.

"The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,  Gave a luster of midday to objects below," so wrote Clement Clarke Moore in his "A Visit from St. Nicholas," better known as "The Night Before Christmas."

But most areas of the country, especially the Tiftarea, will see nary a snow flurry this Christmas.

By the way, only three full moons have lit the night sky on  Christmas since 1900; and this will be the fourth.

The full moon will peak after 3 a.m., and there won't be another one on  Christmas until 2034, so enjoy it.

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Newly Renovated 3-bedroom 2-bath home located minutes away from I-75, schools, restaurants, stores, and hospital. Formal living room, formal dining room, a bonus room that would be great for a recreation room or large office (playroom, the possibilities are endless) and a very spacious laundry room. Eat-in kitchen features a ton of cabinets and large pantry space with granite counters as well. Built-in linen closet in main bathroom. Bathroom also offers granite counter tops and private dressing area. All three bedrooms are carpeted with built-in closets. Master bedroom has walk-in closet and a full master bath with tile walk-in shower and granite counter tops. Huge screened-in back porch; sip your lemonade and enjoy the shade with friends and family with room to spare. Workshop with separate 220 AMP. Could be a shop, a mother-in-law suite, a man cave with very little renovation. Water and electricity and covered porch. There is also a lean-to for mower parking, boat parking, etc.

    Dwana Coleman
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