Friday, May 29, 2015

Man arrested in stakeout

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 4:09 PM

"A Savannah man faces charges here and in Arizona after undercover officers responding to burglaries in the Pinpoint/Whitfield Avenue area teamed up with aviation unit officers Friday afternoon," a police department spokesperson says.

Willie Arthur Moore, 35, of a Grant Street address was arrested about 6 p.m. "after he fled from Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police in cars but could not elude officers in Metro helicopter Eagle One," police say.

He has been charged with possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), fleeing to elude police officers, unsafe turning, driving with no license, possession of a drug-related object for use and parole violation from Maricopa County, Arizona.

"Officers from the Southside Precinct Crime Suppression Unit were working undercover in the neighborhood about 5:45 p.m. when Moore was seen walking out of a wooded area and driving away in a gold 1997 Cadillac Deville," police say.

Undercover officers followed the car until a sergeant in a marked unit attempted a traffic stop, only to see the Cadillac speed away, its driver unaware of the police helicopter that had joined the pursuit. The sergeant discontinued his ground pursuit while other officers saturated the area where Moore and another male were seen walking away from the car.

"Moore was arrested trying to hide a substance later identified as cocaine under a backyard shed," police say. "Arresting officers later discovered the warrant from Arizona. They also seized scales used to weigh drugs and two cell phones."

Southside Precinct detectives continue to search for the second occupant of the Cadillac.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New Flannery O'Connor stamp design unveiled

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 3:45 PM

  • Copyright 2015 USPS
The 30th stamp in the Literary Arts series honors Flannery O’Connor (1925–1964), the Savannah-born, Milledgeville-educated author whose name is virtually synonymous with the phrase "Southern Gothic" and whose novels and short stories, combining religious motifs and darkly humorous observations of the frailties of human nature, continue to inspire writers around the world.

"The color portrait on this stamp, a watercolor painting completed digitally, is based on a black-and-white photograph taken when O’Connor was a student at the Georgia State College for Women from 1942 to 1945," says U.S. Postal Service spokesperson.

"Surrounding O’Connor are peacock feathers, a symbol often associated with the author," says the Postal Service of this "Forever Stamp" for items requiring additional postage  (The words “THREE OUNCE” on this stamp indicate its usage value.)

Two charged after officer injured in Southside collision

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 12:15 PM

A Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police patrol officer was transported for treatment and two people arrested and charged after a collision on Savannah’s Southside Saturday night.

Jose Maria Perez, 18, was charged by the Georgia State Patrol with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and failing to render aid, driving without a license, and failure to notify after hitting an object.

Margarita Ruiz-Gomez, 19, was charged by Metro Police with false report of a crime after she arrived at the scene and told police the gray, 2006 Nissan Altima involved in the crash had been stolen earlier that night.

The officer was transported to Memorial University Medical Center for treatment of injuries after the 8:54 p.m. crash at Tibet Avenue and Middleground Road and released.

"He was driving a marked Ford Crown Vic police car east on Tibet and entered the intersection with a green light when the Nissan sped through the intersection northbound on Middleground through a red traffic signal," a police spokesperson says.

"The Nissan broadsided the police car, spun through a pedestrian traffic signal and a privacy fence and then struck a townhouse on the corner of the intersection. The driver ran from the scene on foot as bystanders ran to the officer’s aid."

Ruiz-Gomez called police to report the Nissan stolen and arrived at the crash scene where she later revealed her boyfriend had been driving the car. Perez was located by Southside Precinct Crime Suppression Unit officers Sunday morning at their apartment on the 12000 block of Middleground Road and turned over to troopers investigating the crash. Both vehicles were destroyed.

SCMPD Patrol Maj. Larry Branson "has ordered Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) computer mounts in all police vehicles inspected immediately after it was determined that one of the officer’s injuries was received when the computer dislodged during the crash and struck his head."

State Troopers and precinct officers continue to investigate the crash and activities associated with it.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Zip code change from Pooler to Savannah completed

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 4:24 PM

After lobbying by the City of Savannah, the U.S. Postal Service has agreed to change mailing addresses "to acknowledge that residents living in and around The Highlands community off Jimmy DeLoach Parkway reside in Savannah rather than Pooler," a City of Savannah spokesperson says.

Beginning July 1, neighborhoods in The Highlands and subdivisions running along Benton Boulevard to just north of the Pooler Parkway will switch from a Pooler, GA 31322 address to a Savannah, GA 31407 address. These areas have been located in the City of Savannah since their development, but incorrectly identified by the Postal Service.

“July 1 is our independence day from Pooler,” said Alderman Van Johnson, who represents the area and has fought for the change.

“I am pleased that we were able to partner with the U.S. Postal Service to achieve that result in order to support the fastest-growing area of our city. I commend the City Manager and City staff who worked diligently for so long on this matter.”

To ensure a seamless transition, over the next year the Postal Service will deliver parcels as normal to addresses in this area whether they include the Pooler 31322 or the Savannah 31407 address. Residents should use this period to notify contacts of the zip code change. Residents living in Pooler will continue to use the 31322 zip code as always.

"Residents in The Highlands have complained for years that their mail indicated they lived in Pooler rather than Savannah, where the neighborhoods have been located since the area’s annexation into the City in the late 1990s, when it was still undeveloped timberland," says the City spokespserson.

"This caused confusion when unsuspecting residents attempted to request sanitation, water, sewer and other services. Residents calling 911 sometimes would mistakenly tell emergency personnel they were in Pooler, when they were actually living in Savannah."

The City began working with the Postal Service in 2012 to make the change.

"Such changes are rarely made by the Postal Service, and the City thanks local and regional Postal Service officials for working on a solution. The City of Savannah continues to work with residents on other areas to clarify residency and eliminate confusion," the spokesperson says.

The Postal Service sent letters to residents in affected areas this week, and will follow with more detailed letters over the next month. The City will conduct a series of educational efforts as well to ensure residents are fully informed of the change.

ShotSpotter aids in finding wounded gunfight participant in Yamacraw

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 11:58 AM

"Open gunfire between at least two people in Yamacraw Village Thursday night led to the breach of an apartment to aid one of the victims," police say.

Downtown Precinct patrol officers responded to the Housing Authority of Savannah complex at 11:40 p.m. after the ShotSpotter system alerted them to multiple gunshots in the area.

They found multiple shell casings in two locations, "indicating a gun battle between parties with a gun and evidence of an injury at one of them," police say.

"Officers were directed to an apartment where a victim was said to be hiding and eventually breached the door to find him hiding under a sink."

Deandre Lockwood, 21, was transported for treatment of a gunshot wound expected to be non-life threatening. A warrant previously issued against him for a felony parole violation has been referred to the Savannah Probation Office.

Two other apartments were found to have gunshot damage, including one in which the round penetrated a window and broke the support for a bed.

SCMPD Violent Crimes detectives continue to investigate and to try to identify the other participant.  

Child ejected from car, serious but stable condition, after crash at Habersham and Columbus

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 11:51 AM

Traffic officers are investigating a two-vehicle collision "in which a child was ejected and subsequently hospitalized Thursday afternoon," police say.

Jamaar Bostick II, 7, was listed in serious but stable condition at Memorial University Medical Center after the 5:38 p.m. crash at Columbus Drive and Habersham Street.

He was a passenger in a black 2015 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Jamon W. Epps, 33, that collided with a white, 2003 Toyota Camry, driven by Penny S. Breslow, 62. Three others were transported for treatment of less serious injuries.

"The Camry was traveling westbound on Columbus and attempted to turn left onto Habersham, striking the rear side of the Suburban. The collision caused the passenger side of the SUV to strike a utility pole, ejecting the child," police say.

Another passenger in the Suburban, Euquail Bowles, 10, and the 7-year-old were hospitalized. Both drivers were treated and released.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stolen boat found capsized in Savannah River

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 10:22 AM

Marine Patrol officers from the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department are investigating the reported theft of a 29-foot boat found capsized in the Savannah River on Friday.

The “Salt Daddy,” a 29-foot Century boat, "was found floating upside down in front of the port in the Savannah river after police were alerted to a capsized vessel about 9:45 a.m.," police say.

"Holes had been drilled in the hull in an attempt to scuttle the boat that had been reported stolen in St. Augustine, FL on May 10."

Crews from Tow Boat US worked several hours to upright the vessel which then was identified. All equipment, including twin motors, had been removed, including the identification numbers.

It had been valued at $145,000 at the time it was stolen. The owner of the boat was notified and the vessel was stored at a marina.

Pedestrian loses leg in bizarre accident

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 10:20 AM

Metro Traffic officers are investigating a two-vehicle crash that left a pedestrian in serious condition Tuesday morning May 19.

Samuel Preto, a college exchange student from Brazil, was transported to Memorial University Medical Center after he was pinned between a car and a utility pole, se
vering a leg.

"The crash occurred at Montgomery and West 52nd streets about 11:30 a.m. when a 2005 Volkswagen convertible driven south on Montgomery by a 19-year-old college student attempted a left turn onto 52nd," police say.

"The Volkswagen collided with a maroon 2002 Toyota Camry driven north on Montgomery by a 32-year-old Brandon, FL, woman. The Toyota veered onto the curb and head-on into a wooden utility pole on the north-east corner, pinning Preto who had been waiting to cross the street."

Multiple units from Savannah Fire and Rescue responded immediately from an unrelated call a block away and quickly removed Preto from the wreckage. The driver of each vehicle and the passenger in each of the cars were transported to Candler Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Officers from the Major Accident Investigation Team of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department continue to investigate.

16-year-old dies after shooting in Wessels Homes

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 10:19 AM

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police are seeking info on the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old male early last Tuesday morning, May 19, in a public housing complex.

Anthony Crawford was transported to Memorial University Medical Center where he was declared dead after the 12:13 a.m. shooting.

"He was found on the sidewalk of an apartment in the Fred Wessels Homes at Burney Drive and East Oglethorpe Avenue when Downtown Precinct patrol officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert," police say.

"The teen had a history with SCMPD and was treated for a non-life threatening gunshot wound on April 1 when he reported someone fired at him while he was riding his bicycle on the 1300 block of East 39th Street."

Violent Crimes detectives spent the night canvassing the area and trying to establish the crime scene.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Georgia DOT smacks down Palmetto Pipeline

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2015 at 11:44 AM

The Georgia Department of Transportation has denied Kinder Morgan's application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.

The certificate, if approved, would have allowed the company to use eminent domain to gain private land for the construction of their 360-mile petroleum pipeline.

"The decision comes after months of meetings, public discussion, protests and pushback from concerned groups, which even prompted a statement from Governor Nathan Deal opposing the project," says a spokesperson for the group Savannah Riverkeeper.

In a notice posted on the DOT website, Commissioner Russell McMurry made the following statement:

"After careful consideration of information in the application submitted by Kinder Morgan on behalf of Palmetto; numerous public comments submitted at seven (7) public meetings held by Palmetto; two (2) public hearings hosted by the Georgia DOT; and approximately 3000 public comments submitted online and by mail to myself and the Utilities staff, the Department has determined that it will not issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. The basis for the decision is outlined in our correspondence to Palmetto Products Pipe Line LLC."

Jen Hilburn, Altamaha Riverkeeper, active partner in the Push Back the Pipeline Coalition, responded to the decision today, saying:

"We are pleased to that the DOT responsibly reviewed and considered if there was a public need for a surplus supply of petroleum products and found that there was none. This proposed pipeline would cross 5 of our major rivers, countless acres of wetlands, both public and private and left our coastline at risk for environmental disaster. While we celebrate today, this step is likely just the beginning, and I don't think we have seen the last of Kinder Morgan."

Tonya Bonitatibus, Savannah Riverkeeper and founding member of the Push Back The Pipeline Coalition, who has voiced strong opposition to the Palmetto Pipeline, said:

"We are very happy with DOT's decision and we thank Commissioner McMurry as well as Governor Deal for responding to the people's wishes. We still have a long way to go in this process, and we urge everyone to keep following the issue." It is yet to be seen whether Kinder Morgan will appeal the decision.

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