Thursday, May 30, 2013

Meth organizations 'dismantled'

Posted on Thu, May 30, 2013 at 2:42 PM

The Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT) announced the "arrests and dismantling of two separate methamphetamine organizations operating throughout Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, and Bulloch Counties."

In 2011, CNT began investigating several members of the Basham family following complaints of suspected drug activity resulting in the arrests of a husband and wife. Thomas and Melodie Basham were arrested in Bryan County by CNT in December 2011 following the seizure of a meth lab. Both Thomas Basham and Melodie Basham were charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine by CNT and both were also charged with meth related charges by the Richmond Hill Police Department in a separate investigation.

Thomas Basham, purported head of a Bryan County meth organization
  • Thomas Basham, purported head of a Bryan County meth organization

February 2013, Thomas Basham’s brother, Roger Basham and Hope Mitchell were both arrested by Richmond Hill Police following the seizure of a meth lab in Richmond Hill and were charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine.

During the following month, Thomas Basham while out on bond for the CNT arrest in 2011, was again arrested, this time by the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office. Marcus Lindsey was also arrested. In that case, Thomas Basham and Lindsey were arrested after being found in an unlawful possession of pseudoephedrine, a precursor for methamphetamine, obtained in Chatham County. Both were charged with Unlawful Possession of Pseudoephedrine by the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.

Following the multiple arrests of the Basham family members in the surrounding counties "and knowing manufacturing methamphetamine often includes multiple persons, CNT focused its investigation on the Basham’s criminal empire" rather than the individual persons arrested in the separate incidents. There, CNT found additional family members and associates were conspiring to purchase large amounts of pseudoephedrine and other items needed for the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

CNT learned the organization made or attempted to make over 236 purchases of pseudoephedrine over 17 months. In some cases, the attempted purchases were denied due to state and federal laws restricting the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can purchase within a month.

The purchases were made in 12 counties in Georgia and two counties in South Carolina. Based on the known amount of purchased pseudoephedrine, it’s estimated the organization "had produced over 14 ounces of methamphetamine and produced an estimated 200 methamphetamine labs. The produced methamphetamine would have an estimated street value of up to $40,000."

March 26, 2013, CNT began a separate investigation following the discovery of a discarded meth lab on Cuyler Road in Bryan County. During that investigation, CNT found components of the meth lab were purchased or obtained in Chatham County. CNT identified a total of four people connected to the lab, Christopher Davis, Heather Dunn, Kimberly Carney, and Lisa Williams. "Persons manufacturing methamphetamine often discard the finished lab by simply throwing it into a wooded area or by leaving it on a roadway," a spokesman says.

On June 22, 2013 ten people in the Basham organization and all four in the discarded lab incident were indicted in the Superior Court of Chatham County.

Early yesterday morning, CNT in a working partnership with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tri Circuit Counter Drug Task Force, executed multiple arrest warrants and one search warrant throughout Chatham, Bryan and Bulloch Counties. A total of ten people were arrested.

The search warrant in the 4100 block of Bacontown Road in Pembroke resulted in the arrests of several of the wanted persons, seizure of methamphetamine and items commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Of the ten arrested yesterday, Christopher Davis, Heather Dunn and Hope Mitchell were already in custody in the Bryan County Detention Center on methamphetamine related charges. Roger Basham turned himself in at the Bryan County Detention Center earlier this morning.

Says CNT Director Everette Ragan, “This is CNT following through on its promise to the community to conduct long term investigations thus identifying all persons involved and dismantling the entire organization.”

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Moshe Safdie to speak at SCAD graduation

Posted By on Tue, May 28, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Moshe Safdie, designer of Savannah's Jepson Center for the Arts, will address the SCAD graduating class of 2013 this Saturday, June 1, at commencement ceremonies.

Safdie will speak to graduates at SCAD’s 33rd Savannah commencement ceremony at the Civic Center, and then will address graduates at SCAD Atlanta’s 7th commencement ceremony at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Born in Israel in 1938, Safdie moved with his family to Canada at a young age, later studying at Montreal's McGill University. His experimental town of stacked housing units in Montreal, known as Habitat 67, is widely considered a revolutionary design in the history of architecture.

In 1970, Safdie established a Jerusalem branch office and began an intense involvement in rebuilding Jerusalem. He was responsible for major segments of the Old City’s restoration and reconstruction of the new city center. Over the years, his involvement expanded and included creation of the new city of Modi’in, the new Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and the Rabin Memorial Center.

Many of his firm’s buildings have become regional and national landmarks, including Exploration Place Science Center, Wichita, Kansas; Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, Utah; Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts; Springfield Federal Courthouse, Springfield, Massachusetts; Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California; Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He also designed six of Canada’s principal public institutions including the Quebec Museum of Civilization, the National Gallery of Canada and Vancouver Library Square.

Major international projects Safdie Architects is currently constructing or has recently completed include a national museum of the Sikh people in the Punjab, India; the United States Institute of Peace Headquarters in Washington, D.C.; a high-density residential project in China; the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri; and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, in Bentonville, Arkansas, for Walmart heiress Alice Walton.

Telfair hearts the military

Posted By on Tue, May 28, 2013 at 1:05 PM

TheTelfair Museums will honor active military service members and their families by offering free admission to any of the Telfair Museums from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Free admission is offered as part of the Telfair’s partnership with the Blue Star Museums program, which offers military families the chance to visit museums across the country free of charge this summer. Blue Star Museums is a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 1,800 museums across America.

Admission is free to active duty U.S. military members or any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card. Free admission applies to up an individual serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps as well as up to five family members.

The Telfair owns and operates the Jepson Center (207 W. York St.), the Telfair Academy (121 Barnard St.), and the Owens-Thomas House (124 Abercorn St.).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ft. Pulaski to extend hours for summer

Posted By on Thu, May 23, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Fort Pulaski National Monument will begin an extended summer schedule. Effective June 1, the Visitor Center and the historic fort will be open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM. Park gates will close at 6:15 PM.

To coincide with the extended hours, additional daily Ranger programs will be available:


10:30 — Guided Fort Tour OR Trail Walk

12:00 — Musket Firing

1:00 — “Ranger’s Choice” (Subject of tour varies)

2:00 — Musket Firing

3:00 — Guided Fort Tour

4:30 —Musket Firing


10:00 — Guided Fort Tour

11:00 — Cannon Firing

12:00 — Musket Firing

1:00 — Cannon Firing

1:30 — Guided Fort Tour

2:30 — Musket Firing

3:00 — Cannon Firing

4:00 — Guided Fort Tour

An entrance fee of $5.00 per person is charged; ages 15 and under are free.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Calling all hackers

Posted on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Savannah Chapter is seeking groups from across the area to participate in the first ever National Day of Civic Hacking on June 1-2, 2013.

The event will be held at ThincSavannah, at 35 Barnard St and will be sponsored by TAG Savannah and The Creative Coast.

National Day of Civic Hacking will bring together citizens, software developers, and entrepreneurs to collaboratively create new solutions using publicly-released data, code and technology at events all across the nation. Savannah communities along with 80 other communities, will be able to leverage the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit of those outside of government to drive meaningful, technology-based solutions to solve issues that are important to their local area.

“Civic hackers are engineers, software developers, designers, entrepreneurs, activists, and concerned citizens who collaborate with the government and others to invent ways to improve quality of life in their communities,” said Tino Mantella, TAG President and CEO.

Activities for National Day of Civic Hacking Savannah will include: An introduction into civic hacking; demos of civic apps; a discussion with City Of Savannah reps about issues and opportunities; a brain storming session on leveraging technology to solve local issues; and a full day of civic hacking with Savannah area participants.

Interested individuals or groups may see examples of challenges or submit their own here.

Savannah Hackers interested in participating in events in their local area should go here.

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Do you know this bank robber?

Posted on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 10:41 AM

The FBI Violent Crime Task Force and Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police investigators have released photos of a man who tried to rob the Carver State Bank branch on Skidaway Road this past Friday, and are asking the public to help identify and locate him.

At about 10:30 a.m. officers responded to reports of a man armed with a pistol attempting to enter the branch on the 7100 block of Skidaway Road. The suspect tried to open a door on the building’s eastside. "The doors, however, were locked by employees prior to the suspect’s arrival, preventing him from gaining entry," police say.


The suspect was described as a black male wearing a dark blue hoodie, baggy blue jeans and white tennis shoes. He is about 5-6 with a slim build. He fled the scene on foot traveling eastbound. No money was taken.

Anyone with knowledge of the gunman’s identity or location, or with any other information on the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (912) 234-2020 or text CRIMES (274637). Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward. A confidential Tip Line also is open directly to investigators at (912) 525-3124.

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SAL honors Sand Gnat pitcher

Posted on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 10:19 AM

For the second time in three weeks, Savannah Sand Gnat’s RHP Rainy Lara has been named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for May 13-19. He was also named Pitcher of the Week for April 22-28.

Lara threw eight innings in his start versus the Augusta GreenJackets on May 16. He allowed only two hits and one walk while striking out nine. Although the win was awarded to teammate Bret Mitchell, Lara’s performance helped the Sand Gnats break a four-game losing streak coming out of Charleston.

Lara’s next start comes tonight against the Charleston RiverDogs at home at Grayson Stadium. The series is an opportunity for the Sand Gnats to regain the lead in the SAL after falling 0.5 games behind the RiverDogs during the long road trip last week.

In his seven starts this season, Lara is 4-1 with a 1.17 ERA. The Bani, Dominican Republic native joined the Mets organization in 2009 as a non-drafted free agent.

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City partners with SCAD, Goodwill

Posted on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 10:16 AM

In an effort to control the amount of left-behind personal items as SCAD students leave town after graduation, starting Friday, May 31, the City of Savannah is partnering with SCAD, Goodwill and Keep Savannah Beautiful to help students recycle, put into reuse, or properly dispose of these items.

During this period, SCAD students can take advantage of free pickup of items such as furniture and appliances, from Friday, May 31 to Tuesday, June 4. Residents should place such items where they normally place refuse carts.

Staff will also set up in the old Sears building parking lot on Henry Street, between Bull and Drayton, from 9:00 am to 2:30pm, where students can also bring items for pickup. Dump trucks will make rounds from Habersham to MLK and Henry Street to East Waldburg.

Goodwill will be at the site to collect reusable goods.

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Georgia Historical Society show gets two Emmy noms

Posted on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 10:12 AM

The Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) nominated 'Today in Georgia History' for two regional Emmy awards.

The nominations are for writer Dr. Stan Deaton, and producers Keocia Howard, Don Smith and Bruce Burkhardt in the categories of Outstanding Achievement: Television News and Program Specialty Excellence, Historic/Cultural and, Outstanding Achievement: Television Crafts Achievement Excellence, respectively.

The program is a joint production of the Georgia Historical Society and Georgia Public Broadcasting. These are the first Emmy nominations for Today in Georgia History since it began airing in September 2011.

"The nomination itself is an honor because it is validation by peers in the broadcast industry that Today in Georgia History is a program of high quality and lasting value," said Dr. Stan Deaton, Senior Historian for the Georgia Historical Society and Host of Today in Georgia History.

The Emmys will be presented at the annual gala, Saturday, June 8, at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead in Atlanta, GA.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Arrest in Wesley Franklin murder

Posted By on Fri, May 17, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Brandon Mackey, 26, was taken into custody by Savannah-Chatham Metro Police investigators and the Fort Worth Police Department in Watauga, Texas, last night.

Mackay is charged with the murder of Wesley Franklin, who was shot and killed during a robbery at Deb’s Pub and Grub on Norwood Avenue in June 2012.

Despite multiple video captures of the assailant, it seemed as if there would be no concrete leads.

More details are pending.


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