Monday, November 25, 2019

Brighter Day to change hands as Janie and Peter Brodhead announce retirement

Posted By on Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 11:34 AM

In 1978, a couple of idealistic 24-year-olds — Janie and Peter Brodhead — bucked the odds and opened Brighter Day Natural Foods in a then-uncertain neighborhood of Savannah – all before “natural” became mainstream.

Forty-one years later the Brodheads are passing Brighter Day on to Kristin Russell and Brad Baugh.

Russell owns The Sentient Bean, Brighter Day’s next-door neighbor. For 18 years Russell’s motto at The Sentient Bean has been, “building community.” Like the Brodheads, Russell has supported nonprofit efforts.

Russell is a food activist and a believer in local farms. Ten years ago she co- founded the Forsyth Farmers Market, today one of most successful markets in the Southeast. Russell sits on the board of Georgia Organics, a nonprofit designed to connect organic farmers with Georgian families.

“While it's scary taking on this legacy, it’s such a good fit that we felt it was worth the risk,” said Baugh about buying Brighter Day. “We shop there all the time. We believe in the store’s core values. We knew Janie and Peter were thinking of making a change. We didn’t want to see it go.”

Russell says they have no immediate plans to change the staff or the general direction of the health food store. “We're especially passionate about opportunities to reduce the environmental footprint, support local farmers, and of course serving great, healthy food.”

Janie bristles at the word “retiring,” preferring to say, “We are re-firing.”

While the business changes hands Dec. 31, the Brodheads plan on working at the store until the end of February. Then, said Janie, “We look forward to returning as customers.”

Friday, November 22, 2019

Telfair Museums announces curatorial promotions

Posted By on Fri, Nov 22, 2019 at 1:49 PM

Telfair Museums announces two curatorial appointments, promoting two current staff members to new roles.

Effective November 25, Erin Dunn will be promoted to the position of Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Effective January 1, Jessica Mumford Estes will assume the title of Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the museum.

Erin Dunn has been a member of Telfair’s staff since 2014, most recently holding the title of Assistant Curator. During her tenure at the institution, she has curated more than 20 exhibitions and played a vital role in Telfair’s #art912 initiative, which raises the visibility of artists living and working in Savannah through exhibition opportunities and public programs.

Her upcoming projects at Telfair include Youthful Adventures: Growing Up in Photography (2020) and a retrospective of photographer Bruce Davidson (2021). 

Jessica Mumford Estes has been on staff at Telfair since 2005, most recently holding the title of Collections Manager/Registrar. Highlights of her tenure include managing the expanded exhibition calendar and collections that accompanied the opening of Telfair’s Jepson Center in 2006, directing the conversion of Telfair’s collections management software, and revising art storage at Telfair’s three sites.

As Director of Collections and Exhibitions, Estes will be the member of the museum’s senior management team responsible for directing the scheduling and
production of all museum exhibitions; the maintenance and storage of museum collections; and the packing, movement, and documentation of artwork in support of the museum’s diverse programming.

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Homicide on Fairmont Avenue

Posted By on Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 12:31 PM

Savannah Police’s Criminal Investigations Unit detectives are investigating the fatal shooting of a 45-year-old male on the Southside this morning.

"Around 2 a.m., officers were called to a residence on Fairmont Avenue in response to a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located Leopoldo Corona suffering from life-threatening injuries, which he succumbed to. Detectives are continuing to investigate this homicide," police report.

Anyone with information is asked to contact our tip line at (912) 525-3124. Information can also be forwarded to CrimeStoppers at (912) 234-2020. Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.

Bike Walk Savannah awarded grant for safety and education programs

Posted By on Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 10:11 AM

Bike Walk Savannah has received a $31,869.28 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).

"The grant will help finance BWS’s education programs, safety campaigns, work with local governments to improve infrastructure, printing of the popular Bike SAV bike map and guide, pedestrian safety materials, and other programs aimed at making Savannah and Chatham County safer for people who ride bikes and walk for transportation and recreation," the organization says.

“The loss of one life on our roads is one too many, and the fact that almost all fatal traffic crashes can be prevented is one reason why we are awarding this grant,” said GOHS Director Allen Poole. “The target of zero traffic deaths in our nation is achievable, and we will continue to help develop and implement educational messages, enforcement campaigns, and other safety initiatives aimed at bringing us one step closer to our goal.”

“Many people in Savannah and Chatham County depend on biking and walking for daily transportation,” said Caila Brown, executive director of Bike Walk Savannah. “And many more make the choice to add biking and walking to their mobility options, whether for transportation or recreation. We are grateful for the support of GOHS as it allows us to continue and expand the programs we’ve been offering, with the goal of improving safety for all people on the streets of Chatham County, no matter their mode of transportation.”

The grant year for this award is Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Lobby local elected officials on Dec. 6

Posted By on Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 11:12 AM

Each year, on the second Monday of January, the Georgia Legislature gavels in for a 40 day session.

Hundreds of paid lobbyists flock to the Capitol to “work the velvet ropes," but it is always difficult for your average Chatham County constituent to get to Atlanta to talk with their elected officials.

Many bills are discussed and voted on during the first few months each year, but with all votes occurring on weekdays, your average citizen might feel unheard.

Now is your opportunity to have your voice heard.

On Friday, December 6, state lawmakers are meeting at at the Savannah Convention Center, Jasper Boardroom, 1 International Drive to hold the Chatham County Legislative Delegation Pre-Legislative Forum.

To reserve a 15 minute slot of their undivided attention, email Donna Harley at or call 404-656-5115.

“This is one of my favorite times of the year, because all of the Chatham Delegation is in one place with open ears, minds and hearts to listen to our constituents,” said Rep. Craig Gordon. “It’s a great learning opportunity for me personally.”

“For all groups looking to get in front of the Chatham delegation this is the time,” said Rep. Ron Stephens. “A gentle reminder we are looking at budget cuts this year.”

The state is looking at sweeping 4% - 6% statewide budget cuts.

One such cut proposed by the GBI to the Governor would affect the processing of DNA rape kits, which is already woefully underfunded, by eliminating three forensic scientists and two lab technicians.

It is always a good idea to have your concerns listed on a piece of paper with your contact information, that way your elected officials can follow up with you.

So whether you have a question, problem that needs to be fixed, a great idea for legislation, an opinion to share about a bill or an issue, or you just want to convey some good news about things going on in our community, your elected officials will be ready to greet you and listen - but you must have a reserved spot on the agenda, so call now because slots are filling up fast.

SCCPSS Calendar

There are few SCCPSS School Board issues that bring greater attention than the academic school calendar. It is talked about by parents and teachers in carpool lines, coffee shops, and at the proverbial water coolers across Chatham County.

This month, the calendar proposed by the administration, which had teachers starting back on July 27 and students returning on August 3, was pulled from the Board agenda because the outcry of parents, staff, and stakeholders was deafening.

Board Members are currently receiving comments from their constituents for development of a revised calendar that they will eventually vote on for the 2019 - 2020 school year.

Contact your School Board members now to make comments about start date, holidays, half-days, etc.

Joe Buck, President
(912) 354-0155 ​

Julie Wade, District 1
(912) 332-2455

Dionne Hoskins-Brown, District 2
(912) 484-5437

Connie Hall, District 3
(912) 596-9414

Shaun Kachmar, DIstrict 4
(912) 695-6984
Irene Hines, District 5
(912) 355-2410

David Bringman, District 6
(912) 961-4032

Michael Johnson, District 7
(912) 604-0797

Tonua Howard-Hall, District 8
(912) 441-5471

Union Mission set to serve 300 Thanksgiving meals to the needy

Posted By on Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 10:50 AM

In the spirit of the holidays, Union Mission will serve 300 Thanksgiving dinners, provided by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation with the support of Sodexo, to local families and individuals in need.

The event happens Wednesday, November 27 at Grace House, 120 Fahm St., 11 a.m.– 1:30 p.m.

Volunteer opportunities are still available that day at Grace House from 8:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will have the opportunity to serve a meal or assist with donation giveaways.

Space is limited. Register here.

“The holidays can be an especially difficult time for those experiencing homelessness,” says Glenn Hayes, Union Mission’s Culinary Arts Coordinator, who helps to oversee the kitchen and holiday meal prep. “Amid the season’s themes of family and community, the demeaning and uncertain nature of homelessness can leave individuals feeling all the more forgotten.”

Hayes believes feeding the homeless and spending the holiday with them helps them feel a sense of connection and purpose.

“I’m happy to be in a place to support the community and get a chance to work with others and help others,” said Hayes. “I’m glad to be here for Union Mission’s Thanksgiving meal this year.”

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Early voting now open for City of Savannah runoff elections

Posted By on Tue, Nov 19, 2019 at 10:59 AM

Early in-person voting for the City runoff elections is now open. Incumbent Mayor Eddie DeLoach is taking on Van Johnson, and incumbent Sixth District Alderman Tony Thomas is taking on Kurtis Purtee.

You do NOT need to have voted in the general election to be eligible to vote in the runoff.

Election Day itself is Dec. 3.

The hours and locations for early voting are:

Main Voter Registration Office — 1117 Eisenhower Dr., Suite E
Nov. 19-Nov. 27     
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 24,  noon– 5:00 p.m.

Additional Voting Locations– Nov. 25 – Nov. 27, 2019

Civic Center: 301 W Oglethorpe Ave Monday – Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Bull Street Library: 2002 Bull St Monday – Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Historic Savannah church on Georgia Trust's 'Places in Peril' list

Posted By on Thu, Nov 14, 2019 at 3:06 PM

Asbury UMC on Abercorn Street. - PHOTO BY REBECCA FENWICK
  • Photo by Rebecca Fenwick
  • Asbury UMC on Abercorn Street.

A historic African American church in Savannah is on the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation's annual "Places in Peril" list.

The Asbury United Methodist Church at 1201 Abercorn St. — not to be confused with a church with a similar name on Savannah's Henry Street — dates from the late 1800s. The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation says it is "currently working with members of the congregation to help find a preservation solution for this historic building."

With a congregation celebrating 150 years, the Asbury United Methodist Church on Abercorn Street "stands as the only African American United Methodist church in the historic Victorian District. The building dates to 1887 and needs many repairs to regain its place serving the full community," the Trust says.

Deterioration due to water intrusion has left many portions of the building unusable, the Trust reports. "Faced with the choice of remaining in the historic building or seeking a new place of worship, the congregation is determined to raise the necessary funds to stay."

Each year, the Georgia Trust releases a new "Places in Peril" list, to "raise awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes. Through this program, the Trust encourages owners and individuals, organizations and communities to employ preservation tools, partnerships and resources necessary to preserve and utilize selected historic properties in peril."

For a full list, go here

Monday, November 11, 2019

Flacos Tacos owner arrested again, charged with meth trafficking

Posted By on Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 10:09 AM

Adolfo Mitchell
  • Adolfo Mitchell

The Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT) announces the additional arrest of a local business owner, 34-year-old Adolfo Mitchell of Guyon.

On November 7, 2019, CNT arrested Mitchell after he turned himself in.

"Mitchell, also known as Flaco, was charged with Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine. In 2016, Mitchell was the subject of a large narcotics investigation involving multiple local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies spanning from Chatham County to Portland, Oregon," CNT reports.

"Mitchell conspired with others to have large amounts of crystal methamphetamine shipped to him from across the United States for the purpose of distributing the narcotics throughout Chatham County and the surrounding areas. Additionally, Mitchell directed others to transport crystal methamphetamine to various locations and states to include Virginia. CNT presented the case to the Chatham County Grand Jury in late October resulting in a True Bill. Mitchell is currently being held in the Chatham County Detention Center."

On March 7, 2018, following a traffic stop conducted by the Georgia State Patrol, CNT arrested Mitchell and found him to be in possession of marijuana and two firearms. A juvenile was also in the vehicle at the time of the incident.

"On April 25, 2019, the Chatham County Grand Jury returned a True Bill on the charges Mitchell was originally arrested on in March. The Grand Jury also gave a True Bill on two additional charges; Using a Minor for an Illicit Transaction and (2cts) Furnishing a Pistol to a Minor. Mitchell was re-arrested on the new charges on May 1, 2019, at Flacos Tacos restaurant in Richmond Hill and later posted a $8,500 bond," CNT says.

Mitchell is the owner of Flacos Tacos, which has multiple locations throughout Chatham and Bryan Counties.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Arena contract debate leads to contentious post-election meeting; Gamble Building approved for sale

Posted By on Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 4:07 PM

The first Savannah City Council meeting since this week's election was marked with open dissent and tension, mostly over the award of another Arena contract.

Saying "I don't think this Council should vote on anything at all" until the new Council is seated in January, Alderwoman Estella Shabazz objected to the award of another phase of the Arena management contract to OVG.

Alderman John Hall, who was defeated on Tuesday, replied that "Our term of office didn't end on Nov. 5."

Mayoral candidate Alderman Van Johnson, who faces Mayor Eddie DeLoach in a Dec. 3 runoff, also asked why the vote couldn't be delayed.

Shabazz requested that the official vote go to the electronic board for full visibility, but then delayed her vote to have more time to discuss.

DeLoach said it was time to vote, and when Shabazz refused, he banged the gavel down several times.

Initially he said it was to adjourn the entire meeting, but that was then changed to a five-minute recess.

After the recess, Johnson — who originally voted Yes only in order to have the prerogative to ask to reconsider the vote — changed his vote to No, and the measure passed.

The other major discussion was over the sale of the Thomas Gamble Building next to City Hall, declared surplus in 2017. A condo development plan by the Foram Group fell through.

A Texas-based company formed for this project, Gamble Partners, wants the City Council to approve negotiating a proposed $7.5 million deal for the building, to be a "guesthouse complex" with some retail.

The local realtor heading the highest money bid, but second-highest ranking bid, Richard "Dickie" Mopper, spoke to Council at length about the inadequacies and perceived unfairness of the current Request for Proposal process with regards to City real estate. The process relies on a matrix of things other than just the bid price.

Mopper's client bid $100,000 more than Gamble Partners, but lost.

"I think your point system is absolutely nuts," Mopper said, pointing out that nearly every entity involved in his bid was local, in contrast to the high-ranking bid.

Alderwoman Shabazz said, "I am in total agreement" with Mopper, "because I strongly advocate local. We have got to.... have priority for those persons who work, live, pay taxes, in our local community."

In addition, Mopper said his client found out they lost the bid by reading the Savannah Morning News.

"I had to call my client and say I just read the front page of the Savannah Morning News, and that the mayor and alderman were going to vote to approve somebody else's proposal and he didn't know anything about it. That's insane."

Alderman Julian Miller, who didn't run for reelection, said, "I'm fearful we're resting on our laurels about how far we've come and not doing more to see what we can do to work better with people. What Mr. Mopper asked for is no more than a common courtesy."

The sale was approved, with the typical dissenting trio of Van Johnson, Estella Shabazz, and Tony Thomas disapproving.

With the new Council taking office in 2020, they are likely to find themselves in a new governing majority — including Johnson if he prevails in the Dec. 3 runoff with DeLoach.

Connect Today 06.04.2020

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