JAN. 6, 2017
Tifton, Georgia



As the National Weather Service confirms that an EF1-level tornado hit near the Worth County-Dougherty County border Monday night, some Worth County residents were still without electricity late Thursday as clean-up efforts continue.

The tornado touched down at 10:32 p.m. Jan. 2 just inside the Dougherty County line
Worth County Sheriff's Office photo
Trees block Hillhouse Road in Worth County.
along Cordele Road before moving northeast into Worth County with peak winds at 105 mph, the Weather Service said. The tornado lifted just east of Highway 313 at 10:42 
p.m. and traveled 9.16 miles with a swath 600 yards wide , according to the Weather Service.

Most of the storm damage was in the Greater Albany area in Doughtery County. Although Albany itself was not hit by a tornado, according to the Weather Service, the city sustained severe storms with winds up to 85 mph, causing widespread damage. A tornado was confirmed in Mitchell County.

One death was attributed to the severe storms; William Major, 73, died on Julienne Road in Turner County when storms struck the storage building he used as a home, authorities said.

Meanwhile, Worth County schools are scheduled to reopen today. Because of  school internet/phone outages, each school is equipped with one front-office cell phone. The numbers for each location are: Board of Education, 229- 206-4701; Worth primary, 229- 445-6476 elementary, 229- 206-5257; middle school, 229- 317-3113; and Worth County High School, 229- 357-0178. The Worth County School's  Bus Shop can be reached at 229-272-1020.

Worth County  Sheriff Jeff Hobby reported Thursday night that  Mitchell EMC was still working with power outages on Fowler Road, Ausby Road and Blue Springs Road, as well as other scattered areas without power.

Worth officials on Thursday opened the Worth County  Community Center as a comfort station providing restrooms and water for residents displaced by Monday's storms. However, the station was closed by 8:30 p.m. when no  one had used it.


Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently implemented a plan for a $567,200 Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant. 

With funds provided by the USDA Rural Development program, the project tackles the need for bachelor of science in nursing degree-trained nurses and the increase of accessible health care services in the more rural areas of South Georgia.
The project establishes a distance-learning network between ABAC's School of Nursing and Health Sciences and six area hospitals to deliver a registered nurse to bachelor's degree completion program, says ABAC Vice President for Technology and Chief Information Officer Robert Gerhart.
"The college is making strategic investments in its technological capabilities, and telehealth will be the newest addition to our academic portfolio, Gerhart says. "The addition of cutting-edge communications, video-conferencing and content distribution services will expand ABAC's influence beyond the physical campus. Not only will we be able to engage the local and regional communities, we will extend our presence to global audiences."
Gerhart said the funds will be used for infrastructure and equipment to place mobile video-conferencing units at ABAC hub sites in Tifton and Moultrie that connect with the Brooks County Hospital in Quitman, the Miller County Hospital in Colquitt, the Phoebe Worth Medical Center in Sylvester, the Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center in Cuthbert, Grady General Hospital in Cairo and the Mitchell County Hospital in Camilla.

"This grant provides us the means to extend educational opportunities to nurses all over South Georgia and begins the latest chapter in our 50-year history of nursing education at ABAC," says Dr. Tami Dennis, coordinator of the RN to BSN Completion Program.


As the 115th Congress convened Tuesday, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, at left in photo, swears in U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., of Tifton, for another term. With Scott is his wife, Vivien, and  daughter Gabriela.

"I am honored to represent Georgia's Eighth Congressional District in the 115th Congress and remain committed to working hard for the people of Middle and South Georgia," Scott said.

The Washington Post mentioned Scott in an article about the " teeming line of politicians, spouses, grandparents, babies and press secretaries" snaking through Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol to get their pictures taken with the House speaker.

"You know what, I've seen worse," Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican from Georgia said, his wife by his side," The Post reported. "It's moving pretty quick right now. We've got 435 members of the House. When you run the math, it's not as bad as it seems."

" Scott, a conservative who rode the tea party wave into Congress in 2010, isn't normally one to compliment the efficiency of government operations. But now that Republicans have the House, the Senate and the presidency, he is feeling a kind of positive energy he had not felt before during his time in the House. He's not alone," The Post reported.

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The deadline for photo entries is 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, for the "Back Roads of Georgia 2" exhibit at the gallery of the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Georgia photographers 18 years and older, both hobby and professional, are invited to submit work to be juried for inclusion in the exhibit. "Back Roads of Georgia 2" is sponsored by Georgia Backroads Magazine and the ABAC Rural Studies program. The photography exhibit depicts rural life and culture in the state.

The gallery will host an opening reception for the exhibit and an awards ceremony for the winners of the photo competition at 5 p.m. Jan. 21

The top seven finishers in the photo competition will receive a portion of the $1,000 cash award provided by the Tifton-Tift County Arts Council as well as publication consideration by Georgia Backroads Magazine and annual museum passes.

The exhibit will remain on display until April 1. For information, interested persons contact Museum Assistant Director and Curator Polly


Institute Communications
Georgia Institute of Technology

At an early age,  Deborah Phillips had a front row seat to witness the lasting impact educators can make. Her mom taught home economics, and her dad taught vocational agriculture -- both at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.

"There were students all around my parents," Phillips said. "I saw what a difference my parents made in the lives of others, but I also saw that the students made a difference in my parents' lives. It was interesting because even at my mom's funeral there were a lot of
Dr. Deborah Phillips in the classroom at Georgia Tech.
her friends, but the majority of the people were her students."

The experience had a profound impact on Phillips, leading her to work as director of education and governmental liaison for a not-for-profit organization. She has also served as a governmental liaison for a not-for-profit organization, then as director of training and marketing for a national real estate company. But, as her career progressed, she held on to an interest in teaching because she had strong mentors, and she believed she could make an impact.

"I always say it's easy to make impressions on people, but when you make an impact on someone, it's definable," she said. "It's something you can measure. I measure a person's success by what kind of impact have they made."

Today, Phillips is a certified property manager and president of an international consulting firm, The Quadrillion.

She also is a lecturer and industry liaison in Georgia Tech's College of Design's School of Building Construction, where she enjoys helping others discover their gifts and abilities.

Phillips says she sees teaching as more of her pastime. "I'm also president of the Georgia Apartment Industry Education Foundation , and teaching is my hobby job," she said. "Nobody goes into teaching because they're going to get rich. They go into teaching because they want to make a difference in somebody's life. I look at my job as loving, investing, and growing," she said. "I look at my job as seeing students as not who they are, but who they can be."

Phillips teaches Real Estate Asset and Income Property Management. At the beginning of each semester, she sets the tone for the class regarding expectations.

"If I let students leave class unprepared, not only have I failed them but I have diminished the Georgia Tech brand. Every day that I walk into the classroom, I have a huge responsibility to get it right," said Phillips, who has undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. from Georgia Tech.

or call  229-848-2366

Spring semester classes begin Monday, Jan. 9, at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Spring term classes will continue through May 2.

The spring commencement ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. May 11. The only time during the term when the entire campus will be closed is on Jan. 16 for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
'The Grapes of Wrath' performed by the Olney Theatre's National Players is one of the entertainment offerings available to the community this spring.

Faculty and students will be away for spring break on March 13-17.

Activities on campus this spring include the annual Evening for ABAC scholarship fundraiser featuring the Mark Randisi and The Motor City Horns on March 3 and the annual jazz band concert April 20.  

First Tuesday Concert Series performances for the spring term include "A Night of Wonderful Singing" on Feb. 7, "A Night of Choral Music" on March 7, and "A Night of Broadway Music" on April 4.

The ABAC Presents! Performing Arts Series will offer a wide variety of entertainment beginning with The National Players production of "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. in Howard Auditorium.


The Rotary Club of Tifton is seeking nominations for its Tifton Rotary Ethics in Business Award to recognize a local business that has demonstrated exceptional ethical behavior.
Criteria for the award, which will go to a business physically located in Tifton or Tift County, were  developed by a committee of Tifton Rotary Club members. The nominated business must have consistently demonstrated high ethical standards of honesty and integrity in dealing with employees, customers and contractors while enhancing the economic well-being of the company and providing local jobs, opportunity and profits. 
In addition, the business must have participated in activities beneficial to the community beyond the provision of economic benefits of the business and must adhere to fair and truthful business practice reflected in the  Rotary Four-Way Test
1.     Is it the TRUTH?
2.     Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3.     Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIP?
4.     Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Nomination applications are available from the Tifton Rotary Club, which meets for lunch each Wednesday at noon at the  Tiftarea Conference Center on  Highway 82, and are on the club's Facebook page, Click Here!
Applications must be submitted and received by  Jan. 10, and may be sent to: Tifton Rotary Club, P.O. Box 1354, Tifton, GA  31793.

Keep Tift Beautiful announces its annual 
live Christmas tree recycling program  at 
Fulwood Park from 9 a.m. to noon 
Jan. 7, 2017. 
Bring your Christmas tree 
and receive a free seedling!


Family Promise of Tift Area meets Monday, Jan. 9, at 6:30 p.m.  at the Church of the Nazarene's multipurpose building behind the church, located at  3024 Tift Ave. N., in Tifton.

Family Promise is an organization seeking solutions for homeless families in Tift County. Interested citizens are invited to attend.
Registration Begins at 9 a.m. and the Contest starts at 1:30 p.m. 
 i n the gym on Victory Drive.
 Sponsored by TCRD and Tifton Elks Lodge No. 1114

YOUR WEEKEND  fireplace_feet_warm.jpg
. a Glance

  • 'Bring One for the Chipper' Christmas tree recycling, 9 a.m.-noon, Fulwood Park, Tifton
  • Elks National Hoop Shot /Free Throw Contest, 1:30 p.m., Tift County Recreation Department, Tifton
  • 'Back Roads of Georgia 2' photo competition deadline, 4 p.m., Ga. Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village, Tifton


In Memoriam

DEC. 29
Cathy Darlene Avery Sumner, 58, Adel
John C. Ferreira Jr., 76, Ocilla
Daniel "Danny" Royce Hendley, 71, Nashville 

DEC. 30
Ronald Joseph Drummonds, 64, Tifton
Nadine Willis Haywood, 88, Sylvester

DEC. 31
Charles "Drayden" Hester, 47, Tifton

JAN. 1
Oleta Taylor, 79, Tifton
Mary Lou Duggan, 94, Adel
Elton Eugene Griffin, 53, Ray City

JAN. 2
Ruby Nell Barnes Franklin, 85, Enigma

JAN. 4
Dorothy B. Phillips, 83, Ocilla
Cecil "Calvin" Cox, 64, Fitzgerald
Ida L. Miner, 96, Tifton
Barbara Bearden, 78, Morven
Richard Riemann, 41, Valdosta

JAN. 5
Lonnie "Wayne" Harris, 69, Omega
Jimmy Carroll Henderson, 83, Irwin County
 James Roscoe Yates, 97, Quitman


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