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REGIONAL ROUNDUP: Are people in Tifton cheating on surveys?

TIFTON, Ga. — Tift County Board of Education officials are extending the deadline for returning surveys meant to help board members weigh whether a school uniform policy should be developed after reports of cheating have surfaced.

The Tifton Gazette reports that school system officials have learned from parents and students that some of the surveys that were sent out are being shipped out-of-county to people who are urged to fill them out.

A statement sent out to parents, teachers and staff says that the data obtained was manipulated.

"On behalf of the staff and board members researching the possibility of school uniforms for Tift County students, we would like to thank those of you that participated in our recent survey. Unfortunately, it has been brought to our attention that our survey data has been intentionally manipulated."

Suzanne Lamb, the parent involvement coordinator at Tift County High School Northeast Campus, told the paper the cheating was "disheartening."

Folk Life Festival set for April 6

TIFTON — The annual Folk Life Festival has been set for April 6 at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

The Moultrie Observer reports that the festival will feature the American Legacy Quilt Show, a Wiregrass Farmers Market, a running turpentine still and much more.

The paper reports they'll be art and culture exhibitions, square dancing and a "Fiddlers jamboree" and other historical exhibitions including a tree debarking demonstration.

Deputies bust Decatur County marijuana grow operation

BAINBRIDGE — A Decatur County man is in jail after deputies found hundreds of marijuana plants growing on his property, officials say.

The Bainbridge Post Searchlight Phillip Byrd at 175 Kemp Road has been charged after investigators found more than 500 marijuana plants in plots in fields on his property in Southeastern Decatur County.

Byrd has been charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.