Monday, November 30, 2015

Mayor's Christmas Motorcade set for Wednesday

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 1:04 PM

Mayors from across southeast Georgia will join forces in Savannah to provide a brighter holiday for those in need at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, as part of the 57th annual Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade.

"Mayors from dozens of cities in the region will gather at the National Guard Armory on Eisenhower Drive, bringing with them gifts donated by citizens of their communities," says Carol Lasell of the City of Savannah's Public Information Office. "The mayors will then travel motorcade-style to Georgia Regional Hospital, where gifts will be delivered to deserving patients." 

The Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade was started in 1958 by the Georgia Municipal Association at the request of then- Governor Ernest Vandiver as a way of providing holiday gifts for the patients of Georgia’s mental health and retardation hospitals. The program is aimed at raising awareness of the needs of Georgia’s mental hospitals.

There are currently seven regional mental hospitals in the state, serving some 3,200 Georgians. Many of these clients have lived in the hospital facility for much of their lives and receive little, if any, support from their families. Without the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade, many of their clients would not receive a gift for the holidays.

Tourism Leadership Council calling for scholarship applications

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 12:58 PM

The Tourism Leadership Council (TLC) is seeking qualified applicants for the TLC scholarship, which benefits students studying for careers in tourism, hospitality and related fields.

The scholarships will be given at the 18th Annual Tourism Awards & Scholarship Dinner on February 18, 2016.

"Typically, scholarships range from $500 to $3,000, which is paid directly to the recipient and can be used at the recipient’s discretion," says Claire Sandow, communications coordinator at the TLC. "To date, the TLC has given more than $70,000 in scholarships."

“A more educated workforce is beneficial to everyone in the tourism community,” said Michael Owens, President/CEO of the TLC. “It’s a highlight of every year to give back and help students achieve their goals.”

The TLC will be accepting scholarship applications until December 18, 2015. To apply, gather the following items to upload at
· An essay explaining how and why you plan to join the tourism community.
· Your current resume.
· Two letters of recommendation.
· Your most recent transcript showing you have a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Applications must be completed and returned to the TLC by the deadline, December 18. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Interview notification and scheduling will begin shortly after. Applicants must be available for face-to-face interviews during the month of January. Students must be enrolled in a technical school, college or university for the 2015-2016 school year.

TLC raises funds for the scholarship program through raffles at TLC’s monthly Connection Luncheons and proceeds from the Savannah Food & Wine Festival. For more information on how to submit applications, please visit

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Two dead in 'murder-suicide' gun battle between two cars

Posted By on Sun, Nov 29, 2015 at 10:21 AM

At about 7 p.m. Saturday night, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police officers responded to a report of a domestic dispute. "The dispute involved two individuals, driving in separate vehicles on Abercorn St. Dispatchers could hear shots being fired from one vehicle at the other," police say.

The dispute continued until the vehicles reached the area of Edgewater Rd near Montgomery Cross Rd. "The driver of one vehicle crashed into the other vehicle. Both drivers were deceased with gunshot wounds upon officers’ arrival at the scene."

SCMPD Violent Crimes detectives, forensics officers and the Chatham County Coroner responded to the scene. "Detectives’ initial investigation appears that the incident is a murder-suicide, but the investigation is ongoing. The names of the deceased are being withheld at this time," police say.  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Homicide on Wheaton Street

Posted By on Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 5:05 PM

About 4 a.m. Friday, Savannah- Chatham Metropolitan Police officers responded to shooting at 703 Wheaton Street (G3 gas station). Officers found Mario Williams, 29, in the parking lot of the business suffering from a fatal gunshot wound. A crime scene was established and SCMPD detectives and forensics responded. 

Incidents appearing to target Yusuf Shabazz are "linked," police say

Posted By on Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 5:04 PM

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division is investigating three apparent criminal incidents that appear to be linked.

"On November 25 at 6:22 p.m. officers responded to the Shabazz Seafood Restaurant at Victory Drive and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. ShotSpotter and citizens reported gunshots in the area," police say.

"Two victims described a white male, with a beard, and a tattoo on his forehead, driving a black Camaro as the offender. This male pointed a pistol at the victims and fired several rounds. Shell casings were found in the area. No one was struck by the bullets and there was no visible damage to any of the surrounding structures. The owner of the restaurant, Chatham County Commissioner Yusef Shabazz, was on the premise at the time of the gunfire," police say.

"On November 26, at 11:30 p.m. officers responded to a residence in Georgetown on a report of damage to property. This residence is the home of one of the victims from the shots fired call at Shabazz Seafood. The mailbox to the residence in Georgetown was damaged and a threatening note left inside. Detectives and forensics responded and the investigation into this incident continues," police say.

"On November 27, at 12:15 a.m. SCMPD and Savannah Fire and Emergency Services (SFES) responded to a structure fire on the 2600 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. SFES extinguished the blaze. The building sustained significant structural damage. Police, fire investigators and agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are working to determine whether arson is the cause of this fire. This building is a church and owned by Yusef Shabazz. There were no injuries reported from this fire," police say.

Investigators are looking for a male subject seen in the area when the fire started. The male, whose race is undetermined at this time, is described as having a fair complexion, standing about 5'10" and weighing roughly 180 pounds. He wore all black clothing and a covering over his head and face. The subject was last seen heading toward Burroughs Street from the lane behind the church.

Anyone with information regarding any of these cases should call CrimeStoppers at (912) 234-2020 or text CRIMES (274637) using the keyword CSTOP2020. Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.

A confidential tip line also is open directly to investigators at (912) 525-3124.

Suspect sought in homicide near DeRenne

Posted By on Sat, Nov 28, 2015 at 4:15 PM

At approximately 7:40 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, SCMPD officers responded to 13 Oak Forest Lane in reference to a dead body. Officers found Bobby Owens, 43, of Savannah, deceased in front of the residence. Detectives and forensics also responded to the scene.

"A suspect in the homicide has been identified and an arrest warrant has been obtained for Johnathan Maurice Gibbs, 18. Gibbs is described as a black male, 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing approximately 130 pounds and is considered to be armed and dangerous," police say.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Statement On This Week's Cover Image

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 8:22 PM

We're sorry. WE MESSED UP. BIG TIME.

Here’s the deal: Our most recent cover has generated a lot of anger and concern. We wanted to share an explanation of why we published the cover and also our respect for and acknowledgement of the anger it has caused.

As what is usually considered "Savannah's liberal paper," we assure you no racism or sexism was intended. The cover is based on the often-parodied, iconic painting by Norman Rockwell called "Freedom From Want" (see image). The image depicts an all-American family. The woman holding the turkey i
n the original painting is not a servant, but the respected head of the household.

Our intent was to depict all the candidates in the runoff as one big happy family who squabble with each other but in the end work together. In the planning process we believed the homage to the Rockwell paint ing to be a solid visual representation of bringing all candidates together in a comical fashion for the holiday.

However we clearly miscalculated that Mayor Jackson might be interpreted as a servant or in an inferior position. The effect was far from what we hoped to achieve.

We misjudged the humor aspects, badly. We apologize without reservations for the anger and pain we've caused and the harm we have done to a community trying hard to come together.

This cover concept clearly was not adequately thought through. It's something we now recognize and take responsibility for.

We promise to do better, much better, in the future and regard this as a teachable moment for our staff and the paper.

Connect Savannah exists to unite and inform Savannahians of all walks of life. Obviously in this case, we failed in that mission.

Let us be clear: Mayor Jackson is a talented public administrator of the City of Savannah, who's dedicated her life and career to doing the best for our city and to the cause of Civil Rights. While there will always be people who disagree with any public official, none of that diminishes the fact that Mayor Jackson is a smart, dedicated woman who has, through her own hard work, risen to a notable and respectable position in our city. WE SINCERELY APOLOGIZE TO MAYOR EDNA JACKSON FOR ANY SLIGHT WE HAVE CAST ON HER PROFESSIONALISM AND HER CAREER, AND ON HER PERSONALLY.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Armstrong's Economic Monitor reports mostly positive news for third quarter

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 12:43 PM

 Armstrong State University’s latest Coastal Empire Economic Monitor reports mostly positive news, even as the Savannah-metro economy hit the pause button during the third quarter of 2015.

"Solid gains in total employment and consumer confidence were offset by dips in port activity, retail sales and air travel," says Allison Hersh, director of marketing and communications for Armstrong. "Electricity and hotel sales effectively were flat, along with the coincident index of economic activity for the region."

The Economic Monitor, which analyzes data and identifies trends affecting the regional economy, tracks key growth areas. The Coastal Empire coincident index remained level, after averaging a 1.3 percent annual pace for the previous three quarters. Growth in total employment provided most of the lift to the index while increases in consumer confidence across the region also played a supporting role.

However, seasonally adjusted retail sales did not rise with consumer confidence, falling roughly 10 percent from the previous quarter, and remain 4.7 percent below sales this time last year, after inflation adjustment.

“Jobs in the business and professional services sector continues to boom, adding another 500 during the quarter, which topped last year’s number by 15 percent,” said Michael Toma, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Economics and the Director of Armstrong’s Center for Regional Analysis. “The continued momentum in this sector has vaulted it over total government employment into third place behind leisure and hospitality and education and health in terms of sector size. Increases in retail and local government have also contributed.”

In the housing market, building permit issuance for single-family homes has consistently remained robust, with 500 permits per quarter for three consecutive quarters. The seasonally adjusted number of new residential homes permitted for construction was 491, equal to the second quarter figure, and a slight dip from 493 in the first quarter.

Building permit issuance is up 11 percent from one year ago and has experienced the healthiest nine-month run since the first pre-recession quarters of 2007. During the previous two years, building permits for single-family homes have been issued with an average value of $202,500. In the third quarter of 2015 the number was $198,300, a 9.6 percent decline from the previous quarter of $219,400.

Additional highlights from the latest Economic Monitor include:

· The Coastal Empire leading economic index increased, but at a slightly slower pace than the second quarter. Favorable trends continued in the labor market, while housing held steady. Consumer expectations in the south Atlantic states declined substantially during the second quarter.

· Fourth quarter expectations are somewhat reduced from earlier projections, but regional economy is expected to close out the year on a modestly upbeat note. Economic growth is expected to continue through the first half of 2016, but modestly so.

· Seasonally adjusted employment in the three-county metro area increased 1,500 jobs to average 171,500 for the quarter. Throughout the year, employment growth trended down from four to three percent. However, in the Savannah area, employment growth remains well above the long-term average of 1.6 percent growth since 1990.

· Other service sectors remain positive. Retail employment increased by 400 workers and local government added 300 workers. In general, service sector employment increased 1,600 jobs and tourism employment was steady during the quarter.

· Port activity merits attention because of recently changing dynamics regarding east versus west coast trade. Labor strife in the west resulted in a diversion of cargo to the east coast. The norm of four-to-three market share in cargo trade for west versus east had fallen to be nearly even. However, a new labor pact was ratified by west coast labor unions in May and cargo trade is now beginning to return to previous patterns.

· In the labor market, seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) fell 3.5 percent to 707 per month from 732 claims. The number of new UI claims was 8.6 percent below previous year data and is below the expected numbers, given the size of the workforce. With falling UI claims and steady job growth, the unemployment rate fell four-tenths of a percentage point to 5.4 percent (seasonally adjusted).

The Coastal Empire Economic Monitor presents quarterly economic trends and short-term economic forecasts for Savannah’s Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The quarterly report measures the heartbeat of the local economy, based on the analysis of economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the City of Savannah, Georgia Power and the three counties in the MSA—Chatham, Bryan and Effingham.

The report presents a short-term forecast of the region’s economic activity in the next six to nine months and is available free by email. To subscribe, email

Armstrong’s Center for Regional Analysis, housed in the university’s economics department, meets the applied research needs of Savannah's business and community organizations. Areas of concentrated research include regional economic forecasting, economic impact analysis, economic development and business expansion, tourism development, survey-based research and specialty reports on topics of state, regional and local interest.

Tags: ,

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Early morning shooting on Westside

Posted By on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 3:08 PM

Detectives seek to identify the suspects who fired gunshots, that injured Onesimus Franklin, 40, on Burroughs and West 39th streets on Saturday morning.

At about 7:15 a.m., "Metro responded to West 35th and Burroughs street, where Franklin was suffering from a non-life-threatening shrapnel wound. He was taken to Memorial University Medical Center in a privately owned vehicle for treatment," police say.

"Franklin was at a stop sign when at least two unidentified subjects opened fire at his vehicle. Franklin sought help on 35th and Burroughs streets," police say.

Both suspects are black males. The first suspect stands roughly 5-4 and weighs 165 pounds. The second suspect stands about 5-3 and weighs roughly 156 pounds.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Shooting during game ruled 'accidental'

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 5:47 PM

Detectives have determined that a Friday afternoon shooting on the 1300 of East 54th Street was accidental.

"At about 12:46 p.m. Metro responded to the scene finding Rakeem Scott, 20, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported by ambulance to Memorial University Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries," police say.

"Detectives believe Scott had a gun in his possession while playing basketball with friends. He fell during the game, causing the gun to discharge."

The Most: Read | Shared | Comments

Recent Comments

Right Now On: Twitter | Facebook

Copyright © 2020, Connect Savannah. All Rights Reserved.
Website powered by Foundation