Tuesday, April 30, 2019

City of Savannah hires new Fire Chief

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2019 at 2:43 PM

  • Minard
City Manager Rob Hernandez has announced his appointment of Derik Minard as Fire Chief for the City of Savannah.

"Minard comes from Colorado where he served as Deputy Fire Chief of Operations for the City of Westminster," a City spokesperson says.

Minard’s experience includes 21 years in roles including Battalion Chief, EMS Chief, Captain and Lieutenant. He worked for three years in fire prevention as a Fire Plans Examiner and Fire Investigator.

As Deputy Fire Chief of Operations for the City of Westminster, Minard "commanded a full-service department responding to all fires, advanced life support-EMS response and transport, and special teams to include regional water rescue with public safety divers and underwater capabilities, technical rescue, hazardous material mitigation, and a wildland team that responds nationwide," the City spokesperson says.

Minard has an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science, Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety Administration, a Masters’ Degree in Leadership with an emphasis in Disaster Preparedness, and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer (EFO) program.

Minard replaces Interim Chief Mark Revenew, who prior to that had served as Interim Chief of the Savannah Police Department. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Mary Musgrove historical marker set for official dedication Friday

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 3:43 PM

The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) in conjunction with the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia (NSCDA-GA) will dedicate a new historical marker detailing the life of iconic Savannah historical figure Mary Musgrove.

The dedication happens Friday, April 26, at 5:30 p.m. in Lafayette Square.

"Visitors and residents of Savannah are afforded the opportunity to learn about this fascinating woman who is often considered, along with General James Edward Oglethorpe and Tomochichi, one of the most important individuals involved in the establishment of the colony," says a City spokesperson.

The marker reads as follows:

"Mary Musgrove was the daughter of an English trader and a Creek Indian mother. In 1717 she and her husband, John, established Cowpens trading post near the Savannah River which became a center of 18th century English-Indian trade for deer hides. After the colony’s founding in 1733, Musgrove became principal interpreter between Yamacraw Chieftain Tomochichi and Gen. Oglethorpe. Serving as Oglethorpe’s interpreter for ten years, she helped foster peace between the British and the Creeks. For her assistance she received financial compensation, political prestige, and lands from the Creeks making her the wealthiest Georgia landowner in the 1700s. The Georgia colony refused to grant Musgrove’s property rights to the Creek lands of St. Catherines, Sapelo, and Ossabaw Islands. After much dispute, Musgrove received the English title to St. Catherines Island in 1760, where she died c.1765."

Keynote speaker for the event is Stan Deaton, Ph.D., who serves as the Dr. Elaine B. Andrews Distinguished Historian at the Georgia Historical Society.

Other speakers and participants for the event include Mrs. Joy Daniel Schwartz, NSCDA-GA President; Mr. Aaron Bradford, Military Interpretation Coordinator at Historic Fort Jackson; The Honorable Eddie DeLoach, Mayor of Savannah; Mr. Gordon Varnedoe, Living History Interpreter; SCCPSS School Children and Massie Heritage Center; Mrs. Anna Duff, NSCDA President; and Mrs. Alice Jepson, NSCDA-GA.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

43rd Annual Savannah Scottish Games Brings Highland Style & Scottish Culture to Savannah May 4, 2019

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 12:22 PM

In it’s 43rd year, the Savannah Scottish Games is back and promises a grand celebration of Scottish heritage complete with music, dancing, athletic games, children’s activities, food and fun for the entire family.

On Saturday, May 4, 2018, the Games will kick off on the historic grounds of Bethesda Academy, located at 9520 Ferguson Ave., and offer an exciting day of some annual favorites including the highly anticipated Heavy Athletics Competition.

Opens at 9 a.m. to the public | Closing ceremonies at 4:30 p.m.

Please visit www.savannahscottishgames.com for information on tickets and a full schedule of events.

Applications Open for 2019-2020 Leadership Savannah Class

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 12:17 PM

Applications for the 2019-2020 Leadership Savannah Class are currently being accepted for the one-year class, which will be limited to 42 people. The selections committee is seeking representation from a cross-section of the community, including those active in business, education, the arts, religion, government, community-based organizations and ethnic and minority groups, and will reflect the diversity of the community. Applicants must have the full support of their organization or corporation they represent.

The programs for the year are being finalized but are expected to consist of monthly interactive sessions lead by top community experts within their fields. Sessions are expected to begin in September and conclude in June of 2020. Applicants will be expected to attend all of the sessions in order to graduate. All applicants must go through selections and full program fees will be $2,750, with a limited number of $1,000 scholarships available based on need.

Applicants must have approval from their supervisors. To apply, visit LeadershipSavannah.org and click on the apply button. The application period will close June 23.

For more information on the program, contact Margaret Mary Russell at MRussell@SavannahChamber.com or 912-644-6432.

SPD Arrests Woman for False Report of a Crime

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 12:15 PM

Savannah Police have charged a woman who claimed she was injured in a pedestrian-involved crash earlier today.

Around 11:10 a.m. officers responded to E. 67th Street and Waters Avenue for a hit and run resulting in an injury to a female. The Traffic Investigation Unit responded to the scene. Upon further investigation, video evidence showed that the female, who was identified as Rebecca Senecall, 28, falsely alleged serious injuries as a result of a hit-and-run crash.

Senecall was charged with false report of a crime.

On Earth Day, Savannah VOICE Festival Poised to Announce Lineup for 'Heaven and Earth"- themed season

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 12:13 PM

As Earth Day is celebrated around the nation, the Savannah VOICE Festival is reminding fans near and far that this year’s festival, aptly themed “Heaven and Earth,” is shifting into high gear and moving full-speed ahead.

In keeping with the theme, the festival features two celestially-themed operas, Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” and Portman’s “The Little Prince.”

The festival’s pre-season phase kicks off with the official lineup announcement on May 1, followed by a Cinco de Mayo-themed Prelude event on May 5 at a home in The Landings. At that point, Prelude attendees and VOICE Society members will be able to purchase tickets to festival events.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on May 20. Prelude tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting savannahvoicefestival.org.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Historic Savannah Foundation to mark Preservation Month

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 4:00 PM

Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) will lead the observation of Preservation Month in May with four unique events that celebrate the art of preservation and exhibit its significant impact on the past, present and future of Savannah.

visit www.myHSF.org. for more info of the event & to purchase tickets.

Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor or patron for Preservation Month events can call Kim Newbold at 912-233-7787 or email knewbold@myhsf.org. Various volunteer opportunities are also available for Preservation Month events. If you are interested in volunteering, please visit http://www.myhsf.org/giving/become-a-volunteer/.

Chatham County Police Investigating Early Morning Shooting

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 3:56 PM

The Chatham County Police Department is investigating an early morning shooting that happened on Liberty Parkway near ACL Boulevard.

The male victim tells police he was walking in the area when he was shot just before 1 a.m. He had a gunshot wound to the leg, and was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

At this time, there is no description of a suspect.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Chatham County Police at 912-652-6920 or Crime Stoppers at 912-234-2020. Tipsters are anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.

Friday, April 12, 2019

City Manager Rob Hernandez gives official resignation notice

Posted By on Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 11:49 AM

In an email to elected officials and City staff, Savannah City Manager Rob Hernandez said goodbye and announced his official resignation from the office after a controversial two and a half year tenure.

His resignation is effective June 30.

Excerpts from the letter:

"I joined the City on the heels of Hurricane Matthew on October 11, 2016, and since then we’ve weathered literal and figurative storms and overcame numerous obstacles in providing exceptional municipal services. We accomplished much during this time while simultaneously creating an organizational spirit focused on one simple concept: Forward," he writes.

"Forward is a fanatical passion for momentum, progress and achievement. It is an obsession with what is possible rather than the status quo. It is the driver behind our biggest accomplishment - SAVANNAH FORWARD, our guide to strategic policy-making and investments through 2025," Hernandez writes.

Hernandez went on to cite accomplishments including a budget surplus "approaching $13 million after one full budget year"; upgrading the City's bond rating to AA+; reestablishing the Savannah Police Department and lowering crime after a controversial de-merger; reducing the size of the City's workforce; expanding economic opportunities for city businesses "through new disadvantaged business enterprise, sheltered market, and local hire programs"; and "restricted hotel density in the landmark national historic district; and limited short- term vacation rentals."

Perhaps controversially, Hernandez also referenced that during his tenure the City "Shed obsolete real estate and relocated employees into healthier, more productive work environments."

One such deal, the sale of the iconic Gamble Building, fell through even as employees are set to take up new, leased offices. 

Woman charged with smuggling contraband into Chatham County jail

Posted By on Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 11:29 AM

Shelley Weins
  • Shelley Weins
Officers with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs (IA) Division arrested a woman on April 11 for allegedly smuggling contraband to inmates at the Chatham County Detention Center.

Shelley Weins was arrested in Effingham County and is charged with two felony counts of items prohibited by possession for inmates.

"According to Internal Affairs officers, they began investigating Weins after they were alerted that she was taking money off of multiple inmate accounts. For more than two weeks, investigators listened to recorded phone calls, monitored email activity and listened to video visitation calls between her and multiple inmates housed in the jail," the Sheriff's Dept. reports.

The Dept. says "surveillance revealed that Weins was dropping off contraband at the Sheriff’s Office training facility located adjacent to the jail next to the range. Inmates who worked in and around the facility were then obtaining that contraband and taking it into the jail. A cell phone, which was a part of one of the two contraband drops, has been confiscated by investigators." 

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