Friday, February 21, 2020

Woman arrested in Tuesday night shooting

Posted By on Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 12:45 PM

The Chatham County Police Department has arrested one woman in connection with a Tuesday evening shooting.

"Chatham County Police Department detectives arrested 21-year-old Devanae Johnson on Thursday, February 20, 2020. Johnson is charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime," police report.

"Officers were called to the Akshar Food Mart located at 5402 LaRoche Avenue for a report of a shooting at approximately 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. They found one female who had been shot. She was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries," police say.

Detectives say the shooting "was not random."


Thursday, February 20, 2020

Savannah Police seek suspect in West 60th Street homicide

Posted By on Thu, Feb 20, 2020 at 11:51 AM

Rashaun Padgett
  • Rashaun Padgett
Savannah Police Violent Crime detectives are seeking the public’s help locating a suspect in the February 8 homicide of a 17-year-old female on W. 60th and Montgomery streets.

"At around 8:15 p.m., officers responded to Memorial Hospital after a shooting victim, later identified as Alexis Devoe, was transported to the hospital by private vehicle. Upon arrival, it was discovered that Devoe succumbed to the injuries sustained from the shooting," police report.

A second individual also responded to the hospital by private vehicle with a non-life threatening injury.

"Throughout the course of the investigation, detectives identified Rashaun Padgett, 25, as a suspect in this case. He is currently wanted for murder and a separate armed robbery charge that is not connected to this case," police say.

Padgett stands approximately 6’5” and weighs around 210 pounds. He is known to frequent the 4100 block of Rockdale Drive.

Anyone with information on this case or Padgett’s location can contact detectives at (912) 525-3124 or CrimeStoppers at (912) 234-2020. Tipsters are anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward of up to $2,500. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Savannah Tree Foundation and Green Truck Pub to mark Georgia Arbor Day with block party

Posted By on Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 3:33 PM

Savannah Tree Foundation and Green Truck Pub are teaming up to celebrate Georgia Arbor Day and Chatham County’s trees. They will host the Georgia Arbor Day Block Party on Sunday, February 23, 2020, 12pm-4pm at Green Truck Pub.

"The celebration caps off Savannah Tree Foundation’s week of tree plantings across Chatham County in honor of Georgia Arbor Day on Friday, February 21," says a spokesperson.

Savannah Tree Foundation will plant 36 trees across Bloomingdale, unincorporated Chatham County, Garden City, Pooler, Port Wentworth, City of Savannah, Thunderbolt, Tybee, and Vernonburg.

Green Truck Pub is celebrating its 10th year by giving back to the community. Sunday’s event is the official kickoff to a month-long fundraising campaign for Savannah Tree Foundation at the restaurant.

Green Truck is encouraging its patrons to “give green” and donate to Savannah Tree Foundation. Green Truck will match donations made through this campaign, with the goal to fund the planting of at least ten trees. All funds raised will offset the cost of the Cool Schools tree planting at Jacob G. Smith Elementary.

On Sunday, the block party will feature crafts, face-painting, and a petting zoo, hosted by Hunter Cattle Co., for kids. Low Country Turners will host woodturning demonstrations throughout the day. Rob Cuilty, a local arborist and bonsai enthusiast, will be on-site demonstrating bonsai techniques. Local groups COR Compost and Farm Truck 912 will also join the fun, with DJ Jose Ray providing music.

Green Truck Pub will serve a brunch special in addition to the regular menu. Green Truck will feature mimosas, micheladas, and Two Tides Brewing on tap.

Savannah Tree Foundation will give away 450 free Willow oak and Eastern red cedar seedlings at the event. They will also raffle off a ginkgo tree, a bonsai tree, and a gift certificate to Green Truck Pub. All proceeds will support Savannah Tree Foundation.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

City Manager search, Downtowner app trigger debates at City Council

Posted By on Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 5:07 PM

The search for a new Savannah City Manager took a twist at today's City Council meeting — the second full meeting of the new Mayor and Council.

An agenda item to award the search contract to the consultant firm The Mercer Group was questioned by Alderwoman Kesha Gibson-Carter, who objected granting the contract "without us [Council] having an opportunity to own that process."

Mayor Van Johnson responded that "the quicker we're able to get a permanent City Manager on board, the quicker it solves many issues" the city faces.

There's a time crunch involved, as interim City Manager Pat Monaghan has said he would like to leave the position by this May.

Other Council opinion was split. Alderwoman Linda Wilder Bryan said Council will still get the final say: "For the sake of time I'd like to see this move forward."

Alderwoman Alicia Blakely said she wants the City to "start anew" with the search process, and discussed what she said were rumors that certain other local officials secretly wanted the job.

Alderman Nick Palumbo's motion to give the Mercer Group the contract failed. This meant Council could either choose to re-evaluate the four firms that had already passed the bid process — including the Mercer Group — or start the entire process over from square one.

Alderman Kurtis Purtee's motion for Council to reconsider the award between the four already-qualifying search firms did indeed pass.

Another much-discussed item concerned the annual award of $588,000 to the Downtowner app/rideshare firm, which contracts with the City to give free rides in the downtown area.

While the service is intended for service industry workers to safely and inexpensively get to and from work, anyone, including tourists, can download and use the app from the Florida-based company.

Alderwoman Blakely questioned why a much lower bidder, Chatham Area Transit, (CAT) didn't get the contract.

Parking and Mobility Services Director Sean Brandon replied that CAT's bid was contingent on developing an app with a third party vendor, whereas Downtowner already had its app.

Also, Brandon said, "CAT shuts down at midnight," while the Downtowner "really ramps up between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m."

Brandon said that while "I'd love to eventually work with CAT on this," the local transit system is simply unprepared at this point to deliver the service.

Brandon said that since this past May, the Downtowner has served 54,000 clients, with about 34,000 separate pooled rides, at an average cost of $17.29 per ride.

Alderman Palumbo defended the contract, saying "parking downtown is an ongoing issue, and it's extraordinarily expensive" for service industry workers.

With the price of the creation of a single garage space coming in at about $30,000, Palumbo said "we could only get roughly 20 spaces for the cost of this contract that services 54,000 people. It provides an effective service for residents and working people."

However, in the end City Council decided to continue month-to-month with Downtowner to give Council time over the next few weeks to meet with Chatham Area Transit in an attempt to gauge CAT's interest and ability to make a serious effort to take over the service. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

City outlines plans, details for St. Patrick's celebration

Posted By on Tue, Feb 11, 2020 at 4:01 PM

The City of Savannah outlined the key points for the upcoming St. Patrick's Day celebration this morning, with a particular emphasis on keeping trash and litter in the squares to a minimum.

"You've seen the photos, we've lived throught it all. We can do better as a community," said the City's Susan Broker, referring to viral photos from last year's celebration in which Wright Square was nearly overrun with discarded styrofoam coolers and other detritus from the party.

"We are asking this year that people not bring styrofoam at all into the squares," she said.

Another issue, described by Broker as "trampling on greenscapes," she addressed by saying "we are asking people to please help us take care of these wonderful assets we have."

The timing of this year's celebrations will be unusual.

The "official" City of Savannah celebration will begin Friday, March 13 at 6 p.m., and end Sunday, March 15 at 6 p.m.

To legally drink from a to-go cup in the "festival zone," which comprises most all of the Historic District, you are urged to purchase a wristband at $10 per day. The revenue goes to cover cleanup costs.

"The wristband is like a $10 cover charge for the party," is how Savannah's Waterfront Director Julie Musselman describes it.

The actual St. Patrick's Day Parade itself, however, doesn't happen until Tuesday March 17, and thus will be outside of the official City of Savannah celebration period.

This means no wristband will be required for to-go cup usage.

City Parking and Mobility Services Director Sean Brandon had some useful advice for the entire celebration, especially on parade day itself.

"We encourage people to look at other forms of transportation (other than by car), particularly on Saturday and Tuesday," Brandon said.

All City garages will be open for use on St. Patrick's Day for a flat $20 per day rate. Since many people will have to work downtown on parade day, Brandon said if you usually have a reserved space, you must be in it by 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, otherwise it's first-come, first-served.

Brandon said for garages, this will be the first year of credit card-only transactions for the garage parking fee.

An official rideshare dropoff point will be in use on Indian Street as per usual, Brandon said. But the City will experiment with a second dropoff point just off Johnson Square.

The entire Chatham Area Transit (CAT) system will be fare-free all day Tuesday, and the usual CAT shuttles will be in operation, with a pickup/dropoff point downtown at Oglethorpe near Price.

Brandon says there will be "heavy enforcement" of parking offenders who park their vehicles in bike lanes and on sidewalks.

The usual "land rush" for coveted spaces in downtown squares along the parade route will once again begin no earlier than 6 a.m. Those caught setting up overnight will be asked to leave and re-enter at 6 a.m. or later. 

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Two separate incidents Saturday result in two homicides

Posted By on Sun, Feb 9, 2020 at 11:44 AM

An afternoon shooting exchange on the Southside and an evening shooting in West Savannah resulted in two homicides. The total number of homicides in Savannah for 2020 has jumped from zero to five within the space of a few days.

In the first incident, the Savannah Police Department responded to a shooting in the 11000 block of Abercorn Street.

“Officers responded to a 911 call of a shooting in the parking lot of the Carey Hilliard’s around 5:20 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8. Upon arrival officers located Brian Brannen in the parking lot with serious injuries. Brannen was transported to the hospital by ambulance. Brannen succumbed to his injuries at the hospital,” police report.

“A short time later another victim, Niquae Richardson, was located on Austin Drive in Savannah, Richardson was suffering a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the leg. Richardson was also transported to a local hospital for treatment,” police say.

Police say the initial investigation “suggests that the shooting was not a random incident and that all parties involved have been identified. The details of the incident are still under investigation and charges have not been determined at this time.”

The incident did not involve the Carey Hilliard’s Restaurant, police say, “other than that the two parties wound up in their parking lot during the incident. Neither individual entered the restaurant during the incident.”

Police point out that this shooting is unrelated to the second shooting on Saturday night, in which Savannah Police Department responded to Memorial Hospital for a shooting that occurred near W 60th and Montgomery Streets.

“Officers responded to Memorial Hospital after a shooting victim arrived at the main entrance in a private vehicle around 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8. Upon arrival officers located Alexis Devoe, 17, had succumbed to her injuries from the shooting,” police say.

A second individual self-transported to Memorial with non-life threatening injuries. “Investigators determined that the shooting had occurred near the intersection of 60th and Montgomery Streets. Patrol Officers responded to the area of 60th and Montgomery Streets and were able to locate the crime scene,” police report.

Police say the initial investigation suggests that the shooting was not a random incident. The details of the incident are still under investigation and a description of the suspect(s) are not available at this time.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Double murder, death from January shooting bring homicide total to three

Posted By on Wed, Feb 5, 2020 at 4:20 PM

2020's homicide total in Savannah has jumped from zero to three within the space of a few days.

A double homicide occurred in West Savannah the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 4.

"At around 10:20 p.m., officers responded to Hancock Street and Summerside Avenue in response to a shooting," Savannah Police report.

"Upon arrival, they located Nathaniel Harvey, 22, and Kadijah Pendergraph, 25, in a vehicle with life-threatening injuries, which they succumbed to," police say.

In the care of the victims was an infant, who police say is unrelated to them. The child was in the vehicle at the time of the shooting but was unharmed.

The third recorded homicide stems from a Jan. 12 shooting on West 52nd St.

At around 2:30 p.m. Jan. 12, "officers responded to 800 block of W. 52nd Street in regards to a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located Darian Clark, Jr., 19, with life-threatening injuries. He was transported to the hospital for treatment. On Friday, January 31, Clark succumbed to his injuries," police report.

Detectives identified Ahmad Moore, 18, as the suspect in this case. On February 4, Moore was apprehended in Guyton, Georgia. He was charged with murder and transported to the Chatham County Detention Center without incident.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Suspect arrested in Jan. 29 Cedar Street shooting

Posted By on Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 12:34 PM

Maurice Baker
  • Maurice Baker
Savannah Police Violent Crimes detectives made an arrest in a January 29 shooting that seriously injured a 28-year-old woman.

"At around 1 p.m., officers responded to Cedar Street at Delesseps Avenue in response to a shooting. Upon arrival, they located Shalonda Moore with serious injuries. She was transported to a local hospital for treatment," police say.

Police say this shooting stemmed from a domestic incident, "and the parties involved are known to each other. Detectives identified Maurice Baker, 22, as a suspect in this case. He was apprehended on Friday, January 31 and charged with aggravated assault."

Baker was transported to the Chatham County Detention Center without incident. Detectives have a second person of interest in regards to this case. Anyone who has information about this case can call detectives at (912) 651-6728 or CrimeStoppers at (912) 234-2020.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Police seek suspect in investigation

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2020 at 4:25 PM

Savannah Police’s Family Violence Unit is requesting the community’s help locating a suspect in an on-going investigation.

"Jonathan Nathaniel Heyward, 26, is a black male who stands 5’8” and weighs approximately 165 pounds. He is known to frequent the area of the 100 block of W. 55th Street," police report.

Police say Heyward is currently wanted for aggravated assault DVA, battery DVA and probation violation.

Anyone with information on his locations is asked to contact detectives at (912) 525-3124 or CrimeStoppers at (912) 234-2020.

Suspect arrested in Dec. 22 homicide

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2020 at 11:44 AM

Alajuakee Chamell
  • Alajuakee Chamell
On the evening of Jan. 29, Savannah Police, with assistance from the U.S. Marshal’s Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force (SERFTF), arrested a 31-year-old male in connection to a fatal shooting in December 2019.

"At around 2:15 a.m. on December 22, officers responded to W. 37th and Whitaker streets in regards to a shooting. Upon arrival, they located shooting victim, Tori Sterling, 25, who sustained serious injuries. Officers also located Georgesta Bostick, 26, and Anthony Mitchell, 33, with non-life threatening injuries. Sterling was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to those injuries," police report.

During the course of the investigation, "detectives identified Alajuakee Chamell Solomon as a suspect in connection to this case," police say.

He was apprehended on January 29 and charged with murder, two counts of aggravated assault and probation violation.

Detectives continue to investigate. 

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