Thursday, December 29, 2016

Savannah Bicycle Campaign gets grant from Governor's Office of Highway Safety

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2016 at 12:15 PM

The Savannah Bicycle Campaign announced today it has received a $27,549.40 grant from
the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).

The grant, which will continue through September 2017, "will help finance SBC’s education
programs, safety campaigns, work with local governments to improve infrastructure, printing of the popular Bike SAV bike map and guide, and other programs aimed at making Savannah and Chatham County safer for people who ride bikes for transportation and recreation," says an SBC spokesperson.

“The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is committed to keeping everyone safe on our
roads and highways,” says GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “This grant will help Savannah Bicycle Campaign reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities in Chatham County.”

“Census data reveals Savannah has the highest rate of bicycle commuting in Georgia,
confirming that thousands of people in our community rely on their bicycles for
transportation,” says John R. Bennett, executive director of the Savannah Bicycle Campaign and author of the regular News Cycle column in Connect Savannah.

“In addition, many residents use bicycles for healthy recreation and exercise, as do an
increasing number of visitors. Support from GOHS is critical to our goal of preventing crashes that injure and kill people who ride bikes," Bennett says.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Jan. 15 deadline to set out your storm debris for pickup

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2016 at 10:48 AM

The City of Savannah said today that the deadline to set-out storm debris from Hurricane Matthew will be January 15, 2017 for residents living within City of Savannah limits.

"City residents must have storm debris placed at the public right-of-way by this date for it to be eligible for pick-up by storm debris removal crews," a City spokesperson says.

"To date, the City has removed 307,488 cubic yards of an estimated 408,058 total cubic yards of storm debris."

They add, "Mixed debris will not be collected. Please separate vegetative waste from any other dry trash and household garbage."


Friday, December 23, 2016

50th homicide of the year

Posted By on Fri, Dec 23, 2016 at 9:54 AM

Detectives of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department arrested and charged Tamaron Varner, 25, in the shooting death of Joshua DeBerry, 35, on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Varner also faces pending charges in a separate shooting on Tuesday, Dec. 20 that seriously injured O’Neal Scrivens, 48.

At about 11 a.m. on Dec. 21, Metro located Varner at his house on the 700 block of East 39th Street, where he was arrested.

"At about 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday Central Precinct patrol officers responded to the 400 block of East 49th Street finding DeBerry outside his house suffering from a life threatening gunshot wound. DeBerry was transported to Memorial University Medical Center, where he died," police say.

Investigators believe DeBerry "was shot during a dispute with Varner regarding a business transaction."

Evidence also linked Varner to a Dec. 20 shooting on the 700 block of East 39th Street that injured Scrivens, police say.

Varner is charged with murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during commission of a crime in DeBerry’s shooting death. Regarding Scrivens’ shooting, Varner also faces charges of criminal attempted murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during commission of a crime.

Elderly woman injured when shots fired into residence

Posted By on Fri, Dec 23, 2016 at 9:52 AM

Police detectives are investigating after shots were fired into a home in the 5500 block of LaRoche Avenue and left one elderly woman injured, Dec. 22.

At approximately 8:53 p.m., Metro responded to the scene locating Beautine Saukter, 76, suffering from minor injuries.

"Reportedly, shots were fired into a home she was occupying and she was grazed as a result. Several occupants, including children and other elderly women occupied the home along with Saukter at the time of the incident. Saukter was treated on scene and there were no other reported injuries," police say.

Investigators do not believe this incident to be random. Detectives are working to identify any suspects and to determine the circumstances surrounding this incident.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Police investigate E. 39th shooting

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 10:18 AM

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police are investigating a shooting on the 700 block of East 39th Street that injured O’Neal Scrivens, 48, on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

At about 9:30 a.m. Metro officers responded to a store on the 2200 block of Waters Avenue, where Scrivens sought help after being shot. Scrivens was transported by ambulance to Memorial University Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Investigators are searching for a subject wanted for questioning. He is described as a black male in his late 20s to early 30s last seen wearing a black jacket and a red shirt.

Circumstances leading up to this shooting remain under investigation.

Anyone with information on this case should contact the SCMPD tip line by dialing (912) 525-3124.

Information may also be forwarded to CrimeStoppers at (912) 234-2020. Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.

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A-Town Get Down announces new date, location

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 10:17 AM

The A-Town Get Down Festival is moving to Indian Street near the Talmadge Bridge and will take place on March 25, 2017, according to its parent foundation, the Alex Townsend Memorial Foundation.

The festival will take place from noon to midnight and feature interactive creative experiences for all ages, multiple stages for live music acts and much more. The festival is free until 5 p.m., when it turns into a ticketed event for the headline performers.

The festival’s mission is to increase access to music and art to citizens of the region. Previously, the festival has been held at the Charles Morris Center but now in its seventh year is moving to keep up with growth. In addition to expanding capacity to attract larger numbers and accommodate headlining acts, the new space will bring increased and purposeful community outreach, while providing a springboard for the area’s revitalization.

A-Town Get Down was created in honor of art student and musician, Alex "A-Town" Townsend, who passed away in 2010.

“Alex loved the Talmadge Bridge,” said his father and festival creator, Tom Townsend. “And we, too, see the area beneath it as having great creative potential. Just for starters, it will allow us to increase the number of live art installations, musical performances and much more, against a unique and dramatic backdrop.”

Attendees can now expect to see larger stages, more bands, more live art installations and even a shipping container entertainment area under the Talmadge Bridge, with the help and support from the Savannah Department of Renewal Authority.

This year A-Town will again collaborate with Loop It Up Savannah to connect students from Title I school districts to free access to interactive art and music projects. The two organizations work together during the school year as well, preparing backdrops and other art for display at the Festival.

“The idea is to inspire our young people who lack the resources to truly experience live art and music, and discover the talents they have inside; to help them express their passions in positive, productive ways. They have the power to inspire others, themselves,” says Townsend.

For more information head to www.a-towngetdown.com, A-Town Facebook Page or email info@a-towngetdown.com.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Armstrong's economic monitor reports economy maintains pace in 3rd quarter, expected to slow

Posted By on Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 10:53 AM

Armstrong State University’s latest Coastal Empire Economic Monitor, which analyzes data and identifies trends affecting the regional economy, reports that the Savannah metro economy maintained its course of healthy growth through the third quarter of 2016. All current economic indicators increased from the second to third quarter, with the exception of retail trade. Among these, employment growth and port activity provided the most lift to the index of economic activity.

However, the forecasting index for the region declined during the quarter, which signals a potential slowdown on the horizon.

“Economic growth in the Savannah metro area is expected to slow through the end of the year and into mid-2017,” said Dr. Michael Toma, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Economics and the Director of Armstrong’s Center for Regional Analysis. “The effects of Hurricane Matthew caused some drag on the economy, slowing its momentum as the year ends.”

In the housing market, building permit issuance for single-family homes nudged up slightly, but is down by 9% from levels one year ago. The seasonally adjusted number of new residential homes permitted for construction was 447, compared to 439 in the second quarter. As expected, the average valuation of building permits for single-family homes dropped sharply, falling from $250,000 to $205,000.

Additional highlights from the latest Economic Monitor include:

· As predicted in the previous quarter’s Economic Monitor, underlying weakness in the forecasting index surfaced in the third quarter. The Coastal Empire leading economic index fell 1.5%, declining from 157.2 to 154.9. Further, consumer expectations in the south Atlantic states fell for the second consecutive quarter.
· Tourism activity grew healthily during the quarter. Hotel room sales and airport traffic increased by 3.3% and 3%, respectively. Alcohol sales taxes were up 5% and automobile rentals increased by 4%. The tourism sector employs 26,900 workers, the single largest employment sector of the regional economy.
· Overall, employment averaged 179,600 during the quarter, while the figure topped 180,000 for the first time ever in August.
· In the labor market, seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) fell by 16%. The number of new UI claims is 5% lower than one year ago and the regional unemployment rate held steady at 4.8%, as compared to 5.6% last year.

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 for free by email. To subscribe, email CRA@armstrong.edu.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Man arrested for phoning in death threats to police

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 8:13 PM

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department arrested a man, Dec. 14, "after he made threats to kill officers through phone calls to the Emergency Communications 
Robert Williams
  • Robert Williams
Center," police report.

The SCMPD Emergency Communications Center received "several erratic phone calls on Dec. 13 from an unidentified caller making threats to local law enforcement. In one of the phone calls, the caller threatened to kill officers. Investigators were able to locate the residence where calls were made from," police say.

Robert Williams, 57, was identified as the occupant of the residence, located in the 100 block of Millen Street. Due to the threat on law enforcement, officers conducted surveillance of the home before utilizing SWAT Team members to serve a search warrant on the home. The phone that made the calls was located inside the residence.

Major Richard Zapal, Criminal Investigations Commander said of the arrest, “The job of a police officer is difficult enough today. Now they often worry about their safety. Six Georgia law enforcement officers have been shot in the past two weeks.”

He added, ”Chief Lumpkin and the Command Staff of the SCMPD take any threat to our officers seriously. If anyone makes an overt threat to any of our police officers, we will utilize the necessary resources to bring this person to justice and eliminate the threat to our officers. Police officers are the guardians of our democracy and it is our shared responsibility to make sure they go home safely to their families."

Williams, who police say has a history of terroristic threats, is charged with felony terroristic threats and acts.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Leopold's to host Monday Night Moovies

Posted By on Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 10:47 AM

Leopold's Ice Cream will host two evenings of family movies.

"The Polar Express" will be shown on Dec. 19 and "Frozen" will be shown on Jan. 23. Both evenings, Leopold's Moovie Night ice cream — creamy caramel ice cream with caramel popcorn — will be available, as well as crafts and meal deals for kids.

"Bring in a non-perishable food item and we'll give you a coupon to be used on a future visit," says director of marketing Carey Ferrara.

Crafts start at 5 p.m. and the movie begins at 5:30 p.m.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Police investigate Skidaway Rd. shooting

Posted By on Mon, Dec 12, 2016 at 10:50 AM

SCMPD's Violent Crimes detectives are investigating a shooting that injured a woman in the early morning hours of Dec. 12.

Metro responded to Candler Hospital at approximately 2 a.m. where a victim had arrived in a privately owned vehicle seeking care of a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Reportedly, the shooting took place moments before near the intersection of Victory Drive and Skidaway Road.

"As the victim was leaving a nearby bar traveling north on Skidaway Road, another vehicle pulled next to the victim’s vehicle and opened fire," says Darnisha Green of the SCMPD Public Affairs Office.

Asha Harris, 27, was transported to Memorial University Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The suspect vehicle is described as a red older model two-door Ford pick-up truck.

Detectives do not believe this incident to be random.

Anyone with any additional information is asked to contact detectives directly on the SCMPD tip line at (912)-535-3124.

Information may also be forwarded to CrimeStoppers at (912) 234-2020. Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.

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