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 Donna.Harley@house.ga.gov 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
joe.buck@sccpss.com ​

Julie Wade, District 1
(912) 332-2455
julie.wade@sccpss.com

Dionne Hoskins-Brown, District 2
(912) 484-5437
dionne.hoskins-brown@sccpss.com

Connie Hall, District 3
(912) 596-9414
cornelia.hall@sccpss.com

Shaun Kachmar, DIstrict 4
(912) 695-6984
shawn.kachmar@sccpss.com
Irene Hines, District 5
(912) 355-2410
irene.hines@sccpss.com

David Bringman, District 6
(912) 961-4032
david.bringman@sccpss.com

Michael Johnson, District 7
(912) 604-0797
Michael.Johnson2@sccpss.com

Tonua Howard-Hall, District 8
(912) 441-5471
tonia.howard-hall@sccpss.com

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.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

ELECTION 2019: Eddie DeLoach, Tony Thomas headed to runoffs; incumbents lose across the board

Posted By on Tue, Nov 5, 2019 at 11:02 PM

A 2019 election marked by a huge disparity in funding between incumbents and challengers saw the big money lose out for the most part, as challengers posted sweeping gains.

Incumbent Mayor Eddie DeLoach, with a massive money advantage over challengers Van Johnson, Regina Thomas, and Louis Wilson, garnered less than 40 percent of the vote with nearly all precincts reporting at 11 p.m.

He will head to a Dec. 3 runoff with lead vote-getter Alderman Van Johnson, who received about 47 percent of the vote. DeLoach's key precincts consistently underperformed his winning 2015 totals.

Controversial incumbent Tony Thomas of District 6 heads to a runoff with challenger Kurtis Purtee. Thomas received about 46 percent of the vote, with Purtee getting about 39 percent.

Incumbent Bill Durrence in District 2 was unseated by Detric Leggett, who ran against him four years ago and lost narrowly.

Incumbent John Hall of District 3 was unseated by Linda Wilder-Bryan.

In the Alderman at Large races, Kesha Gibson-Carter narrowly defeated incumbent Carol Bell, seen as a key DeLoach ally.

For the open At Large seat, Alicia Miller Blakely defeated Tony Center.

In Van Johnson's vacated District 1 seat, Bernetta Lanier cruised to victory.

Running unopposed to victory were Nick Palumbo in District 4 and Estella Shabazz in District 5. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Union Mission prepares for Homeless Awareness Month

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 1:09 PM

Union Mission estimates that "on any given night there are between 750 and 1,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in our community. In order to bring much needed awareness to this issue, November serves as Homeless Awareness Month."

Union Mission invites the public "to influence change" by participating in any or all of the following activities:

Attend a Union Mission Lunch N’ Learn on Thursday, November 14 from 11:30am – 12:30pm at Grace House (120 Fahm Street). This program allows individuals the opportunity to learn more about homelessness in Savannah and the services Union Mission provides. Lunch will be provided by Starfish Catering. Reserve your seat at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HXG25PT.

Order Starfish Catering. Their social enterprise offers a number of options from party platters, box lunches or buffet-style breakfast and lunch. Contact (912) 238-2777 or catering@unionmission.org to place an order.

Organize a Dress Down Day at Your Company. Designate a casual day(s) where employees donate a minimum of $5 each to wear jeans. All proceeds benefit Union Mission.

Donate to Giving Tuesday. Union Mission will be raising funds for Giving Tuesday during the month of November to remodel 4 bathrooms at Magdalene Project, a 20-bed emergency shelter for homeless women and their children. Each bathroom will cost $2,000 to remodel. Donate at https://unionmission.ejoinme.org/Givingtuesday. If you or your civic organization is interested in sponsoring, contact Suzanne Willis at (912) 238-2777 ext. 1315 or swillis@unionmission.org.

Volunteer at Union Mission for the Thanksgiving Meal on Wednesday, November 27th at Grace House (120 Fahm Street) from 8:30am to 10:45am or 10:45am to 2:00pm. In the spirit of the holidays, Union Mission will serve 300 free Thanksgiving dinners, provided by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation with the support of Sodexo, to local families and individuals in need. Volunteers will have the opportunity to serve a meal or assist with donation giveaways. Space is limited so register at https://unionmission.volunteerhub.com/lp/happyholidays/.

Connect Today 11.21.2019

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