News Line for Coastal Georgia

Tybee residents, merchants take up plastic bag ban discussion
Tybee Island merchants and residents lined up on opposite sides of a proposal to ban the use of single-use plastic shopping bags in the city at a workshop this week.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah City Council contracts for crime prevention planning services
The Savannah City Council on Tuesday followed through with a promise to start the Project Ceasefire Initiative and implement a strategic plan for fighting back against violent crime in area neighborhoods.
Source: Savannah Morning News

As city tackles "worst" list, blight concerns continue
Six designated properties have been brought into compliance since the city of Savannah announced it would target the 100 worst eyesores as part of an anti-blight initiative launched on Aug. 20.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah Fire's Class 1 ISO status kicks in Dec. 1
“We’re in the top less than one-quarter of 1 percent of departments nationwide,” said Savannah Fire Chief Charles Middleton. With the new ranking, Savannah residents can call their insurance companies and say they live in an ISO class 1 city.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Homeless Prevention Program turns 16
Hinesville’s Homeless Prevention Program celebrated 16 years last month. Program Coordinator Daisy Jones said her department of three had modest beginnings, but it now networks with dozens of churches, civic organizations and service agencies dedicated to helping the homeless and hungry in Hinesville and Liberty County.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Employee raises saved, tax increase higher
The first action item on Thursday’s Hinesville City Council meeting agenda was to approve a revised budget for fiscal year 2015.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Richmond Hill approves new logo
Members of Richmond Hill City Council voted to update the city's "brand" Tuesday night, approving by a unanimous vote a new city logo modeled after the Ogeechee River's famous -- at least to locals -- Seven Mile Bend.
Source: Bryan County News

Port could earn Foreign Trade Zone designation
It may take as long as a year before an agreement can be reached to purchase a 725-acre industrial site in St. Marys.
Source: Brunswick News

Statesboro TAD map faces Dec. 31 goal
After voters granted the city of Statesboro redevelopment powers through a Nov. 4 referendum, business leaders, city officials and consultants are scrambling to map a Tax Allocation District, or TAD, for downtown and to adopt a redevelopment plan before Dec. 31.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Midway residents help update land-use map
Fewer than a dozen Midway residents joined Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission officials Thursday at the Liberty County Community Complex to discuss and assist updating the Midway subarea land-use map.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Garden City ready to pass $7.6 million budget
Though it was widely unpopular when implemented last June, Garden City officials say a new property tax might prove to be the boost needed to rejuvenate their town.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Majority oppose districts at meeting
L.J. Williams knows how difficult it is for a minority to get elected to St. Marys City Council.
Source: Brunswick News

Brunswick approves more business incentives
Brunswick Commissioners approved a resolution naming the city’s second enterprise zone, a label that allows for possible tax breaks and incentives for new and existing businesses.
Source: Brunswick News

Officials and bicycle enthusiasts want Fernandina Beach-St. Marys water taxi back on the water
Officials on both sides of the St. Marys River want to restore water taxi service between Fernandina Beach and St. Marys and in a telephone conference call Wednesday they discussed ways make it economically viable.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Savannah fines train operator for blocking traffic
The city of Savannah — with the help of a surveillance camera — has begun enforcing a local ordinance meant to stop trains from backing up traffic for excessive periods of time.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City officials reject expanding military zone
City officials have rejected a study’s recommendation to expand the Military Land Use Notification Area around Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.
Source: Brunswick News

City report: More than 75 alcohol allegations went unheard by Statesboro City Council
More than 75 alleged violations of Statesboro's Alcoholic Beverages Ordinance, from July 2011 through August 2013, never went before City Council for hearings on the businesses' alcohol licenses.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Pooler Council awards contract for construction of new city hall
Pooler officials this week signed off on a contract with Savannah-based Elkins Constructors to build a new city hall next door to the existing structure on U.S. 80.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah area sees strongest quarters of hotel/motel tax collections on record
The city of Savannah, Chatham County and Tybee Island each had its strongest first three quarters ever for hotel/motel tax collections, according to a report compiled by Visit Savannah.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Springfield presents slightly higher budget
City Council members in Springfield were presented with a budget for 2015 based on a slight property tax increase and no increase in fees.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Port of Brunswick continuing to grow
The 224,197 automobiles and other rolling cargo that drove off the massive ships calling on the Georgia Ports Authority’s Colonel’s Island Terminal so far this fiscal year marks another positive gain for the Port of Brunswick.
Source: Brunswick News

Effingham IDA considers Rincon's help with Research Forest
Effingham County's Industrial Development Authority may vote Thursday on whether to allow the City of Rincon to annex 400 acres of the Research Forest Tract if the city gets permission for an at-grade rail crossing and builds a road from McCall Road to Ga. 21.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Barge port planned for former paper mill site in St. Marys
A developer group said it plans to buy the former Durango-Georgia paper mill site on the North River and build a barge port with rail connections, officials said.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Tybee Island council considers public swimming pool vote
Tybee Island officials want to let the voters decide if the town should build a public swimming pool.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Plans for Savannah Canal District drawing enthusiasm, questions
Altogether, the city’s proposed Canal District, located north of Gwinnett Street and west of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, is being touted as an extension of the downtown Historic District and a future draw for tourists and residents.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Clarity needed on city's height map
Members of the city’s Historic District Board and others engaged in robust, yet healthy, debate last Wednesday about the city’s height map.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Company announces plans for mill site
A New York-based company announced plans Thursday to acquire the former Durango-Georgia Paper Co. site from federal bankruptcy court and develop the site as a port.
Source: Brunswick News

First voting district meeting draws dozens
About 50 St. Marys residents took the first of three opportunities Nov. 6 to share their opinions on how to elect a city council.
Source: Tribune & Georgian

City Council eyes water rate hike
City of Savannah residents will pay more for water service and garbage collection next year, while Savannah-Chatham police will have additional opportunities for advancement and increased pay under the city’s proposed 2015 budget.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City millage rate increasing by up to .94 mills
After more than an hour and a half debate Thursday over possible cuts to make up a $1.3 million budget deficit, city leaders conceded they have to increase the property taxes by .94 of a mill, though maybe less.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Rincon agrees to fee cut for Habitat project
Rincon City Council members agreed last month to cut the fees by $100 for a home being built by Habitat for Humanity of Effingham County.
Source: Effingham Herald

Savannah approves short-term rental rules
The Savannah City Council unanimously approved new requirements to regulate homeowners who rent their properties to vacationers although Thursday’s vote did not address all the mayor’s and aldermen’s concerns about the growing trend.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah's new police chief settles in
Savannah’s new police chief, Joseph “Jack” Lumpkin Sr. settled into his new office at Savannah-Chatham police headquarters on Monday afternoon, holding his first press conference after being sworn in earlier in the day.
Source: Savannah Morning News

County Commission delays decision on Recorder's Court
Chatham County commissioners say they aren’t ready to make a choice on whether to continue to share the costs of funding the Chatham County Recorder’s Court with the city of Savannah.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Israeli police delegation comes to Savannah
A delegation of Israeli police officers visited Savannah on Friday and Saturday as part of a learning exchange program aimed at sharing techniques and culture.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Council plans to tackle new budget with SPLOST failure
Failure of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum to pass in last week’s election was hardly mentioned until the end of Thursday’s city council meeting.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Chatham County manager: Recorder's Court pact not working, needs overhaul
Chatham County Manager Lee Smith does not think the county’s participation in Chatham County Recorder’s Court is working and needs a complete re-evaluation.
Source: Savannah Morning News

State lawmakers eyeing gambling on Savannah's Hutchinson Island
Savanannah state legislators confirmed on Wednesday that an effort is under way to allow gambling casinos on Hutchinson Island.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Pooler voters approve smoking ban
It was modeled after an ordinance passed by the city of Savannah four years ago, but that’s where the similarities between the smoke-free air ordinance supported by Pooler voters Tuesday and the ordinance in Savannah come to an end.
Source: Savannah Morning News

St. Marys to hold first meeting on single member election districts Thursday
The City Council will hold its first of three public discussions Thursday night in hear citizens' concerns and to take questions on a proposal to divide the city into voting districts.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Powierski, Nutter headed for victory in St. Marys City Council race
With all but absentee ballots counted in the St. Marys City Council election, Elaine Powierski appeared to have defeated former mayor Rowland Eskridge for the Post 2 seat and incumbent Bob Nutter held a comfortable lead on Jay Moreno for the Post 1 seat.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Statesboro voters OK Redevelopment Powers Law
Statesboro's Redevelopment Powers Law easily passed, according to unofficial election results released Tuesday night.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Incumbent and political newcomer win St. Marys election
Incumbent Bob Nutter was re-elected Tuesday to a second term on St. Marys City Council and Elaine Powierski narrowly defeated former mayor Rowland Eskridge for the Post 2 seat, unofficial returns show.
Source: Brunswick News

Election Day: From US Senate to special city of Statesboro question
The only truly local election Tuesday gets its own ballot.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Savannah City Council planning legislative priorities
Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson has not forgotten Chatham County’s attempt early this year to get state lawmakers’ support for the de-annexation of Hutchinson Island from the city.
Source: Savannah Morning News

St. Marys council race
St. Marys City Council posts 1 and 2 will be contested in Tuesday’s elections.
Source: Brunswick News

Local officials revive discussion of urban transit system
Brunswick and Glynn County representatives say they’re interested in reconsidering an idea to start a public transit system.
Source: Brunswick News

Council contenders: Eagles hold forum before Nov. 4 election
St. Marys City Council candidates answered questions about the airport, the Gilman boathouse property and voting districts Tuesday during a forum hosted by the Eagles.
Source: Tribune & Georgian

Savannah City Council OKs westside stadium site
If the city is ever able to raise the funding to pay for it and the westside area is developed as planned, Savannah’s proposed Canal District may include a baseball stadium.
Source: Savannah Morning News

LCPC recommends Flemington annex property straddling city line
The Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission on Tuesday recommended that the city of Flemington annex eight parcels of land that mistakenly were identified as un-zoned county property.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

City study of storm water utility under way
Brunswick is in the process of determining whether residents and businesses in the city will pay an all-new tax that’s based on the amount property that won’t absorb rainwater.
Source: Brunswick News

City, St. Joseph's/Candler joiin in home ownership initiaitive
The city of Savannah and St. Joseph’s/Candler are partnering to launch a pilot home-ownership program to help employees of the healthcare provider buy homes and build wealth.
Source: Savannah Morning News

New Savannah taxi rules, rates proposed
A lot has changed since Savannah’s 1907 “taxi” ordinance required a sober male behind the reins of a horse-pulled carriage that cost $1 an hour for a lift.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Selling Savannah to Hollywood
The Savannah Economic Development Authority has retained veteran moviemaker Ralph Singleton to market and sell the Savannah region as a location for film, television and other productions, SEDA officials announced Wednesday.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah conducting tourism survey for industry improvements
After an online survey in 2012 was criticized for being unscientific, the city is making another attempt to gauge the sentiments of residents and industry representatives toward the tourism industry.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah rejects latest county police merger proposal
Chatham County and Savannah officials are continuing attempts to work out a new police merger agreement, but the effort recently took a step backward, according to City Manager Stephanie Cutter.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Kingsland reverses itself, votes to lease ambulances to city
Just two weeks after voting to keep its ambulance service going, the Kingsland City Council shifted into reverse Monday night and approved a lease agreement to give Camden County use of two of its three ambulances
Source: Florida Times-Union

Savannah city manager nixes stadium site study, proposes Westside instead
City of Savannah staff members are recommending a baseball stadium be considered as a part of the planned Canal District west of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, where the city also intends to build an arena.
Source: Savannah Morning News

St. Marys to hold public meetings on proposed single member City Council districts
Citizens can voice their ideas and concerns on proposed voting districts in the city during three public meetings.
Source: Florida Times-Union

St. Marys to hold public meetings on proposed single member City Council districts
Citizens can voice their ideas and concerns on proposed voting districts in the city during three public meetings.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Concerns linger as Savannah's pension plan recovers
As a human resources analyst for the city of Savannah, Gale Dick regularly crunches the numbers with older city workers considering retirement. To the younger employees who are prone to roam, Dick said she touts the importance of sticking around long enough to qualify for the city’s pension plan.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Tybee advances plastic bag ban
A proposed ban on plastic bags for Tybee Island is moving forward after Thursday’s City Council meeting.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Council approves balanced budget
The Hinesville City Council approved a balanced budget for fiscal year 2015 during a special called meeting Wednesday afternoon in city hall.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Biscuits and Business to address local issues
Local and state business seekers will get a chance to tell out-of-town investors why they should seriously consider Brunswick and the Golden Isles when looking for a place to build or expand during a morning meeting today at the college.
Source: Brunswick News

Statesboro City Council pauses annexation for drainage, density concerns
Asked by developers to annex 14 more acres along S&S Railroad Bed Road near Cawana Road and the S&S Greenway trail, Statesboro City Council hit the pause button with questions about housing density and drainage.
Source: Statesboro Herald

City seeking alternate designs for former MLK pharmacy site
After tearing down a historic building deemed structurally unsound, city officials are trying to figure out what to build in its place.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Water, sewer could get more costly in Richmond Hill
More than 4,800 water and sewer customers in Richmond Hill will see their bills go up again in January if the city follows through on measures aimed at helping pay for a new $24 million wastewater treatment plant.
Source: Bryan County News

Tybee to consider ban on plastic bags
Ashley Workman is not a fan of the plastic bag, those flimsy staples of the modern checkout counter. That’s because the Tybee resident, whose passion is surfing, often sees bags where they don’t belong.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Questionnaire gives insight on new Savannah-Chatham chief's plans
Joseph “Jack” Lumpkin Sr. provided some insight into his plans for when he takes over as chief of the Savannah-Chatham police department next month in a questionnaire the retiring Athens-Clarke County police chief had to fill out as an applicant for the position.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Tybee beach renourishment kicks off
With a backdrop of dredging equipment, officials including Tybee Mayor Jason Buelterman, Corps Savannah District Commander Col. Thomas Tickner, state Sen. Buddy Carter, State Rep. Ben Watson and U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston kicked off Tybee’s latest beach renourishment project on Tuesday with a “sand throwing ceremony” near 4th Street.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Dixville residents discuss ideas for improvement
If Brunswick’s Dixville community wants to see improvements now or in the future, it will have to come together, a veteran of the city police department told a roomful of residents Monday.
Source: Brunswick News

Springfield will pay $17,000 to tear down house
Springfield’s City Council members have agreed to pay $17,400 to tear down a burned house they purchased at 505 N. Oak Street.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Hinesville mayor speaks at RH Rotary
In an effort to drum up support for Fort Stewart, which is facing threats in the form of sequestration and BRAC, Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas spoke to the Richmond Hill Rotary Club on Thursday at the City Center in J.F. Gregory Park.
Source: Bryan County News

With grant funds denied, St. Marys and developer may fund plans for Gilman boathouse property
After failing to win a state tourism grant, city officials hope they have pieced together a plan to pay for concept renderings for a hotel they would like to see built on the downtown waterfront.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Tybee Island gets 'back to normal' with Community Day
Hundreds of people gathered Sunday at Memorial Park on Tybee Island for the third annual Tybee Community Day.
Source: Savannah Morning News

SEDA to promote Savannah to film industry
With consistent efforts to address infrastructure and labor issues, the film, television and commercial production industry represents one of Savannah’s greatest opportunities to further diversify and expand its economy, according to a study conducted three years ago for the Savannah Economic Development Authority.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Priorities for new Savannah-Chatham police chief
Joseph “Jack” Lumpkin will take over as chief of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department on Nov. 9. What does that jurisdiction look like? There’s obviously the Historic District, often teeming with tourists and routinely home to special events.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah's crime battle comes with costs
As a culture of violence and distrust of law enforcement spurs more shootings and other crimes, the city of Savannah is betting on new crime-fighting tools and added manpower to address the trend.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City gives clearance for fed building remodel
After going back and forth over the project for more than two years, the city of Brunswick Wednesday entered into an easement agreement with the U.S. General Services Administration that will allow the federal agency to remodel the Frank M. Scarlett federal building downtown.
Source: Brunswick News

Work planned on St. Marys gateway property
Work on a two-acre tract of city owned land known as the St. Marys Intracoastal Gateway could begin as early as next summer.
Source: Brunswick News

Savannah City Council approves officer body cameras
Savannah-Chatham police officers will soon have a third eye watching over them and the public they interact with.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah Serves touted as downtown 'game changer'
The Savannah Serves mission, set out by city and community leaders, is to promote a clean and safe downtown as well as enhance the experience for residents, businesses and visitors.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Mayor Jackson to represent Savannah in China
Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson will be flying overseas next week as a representative of the state and city during an international conference in Shanghai.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Hutchinson development spurring Savannah's fire, police station plans
To accommodate the expected residential and commercial influx on Hutchinson Island, the Savannah City Council today will considering leasing 1.1 acres from the Georgia Ports Authority to build a joint fire and police station on the island.
Source: Savannah Morning News

3 Brunswick police dogs getting protective vests from nationwide drive
Three city police dogs will receive ballistic vests to protect them from bullet and stab wounds under a nationwide Groupon drive that raised more than $335,000, Brunswick Police Capt. Kevin Jones said in a release
Source: Florida Times-Union

County disputes accusations of unfair bidding practices
Officials in Glynn County and in the city of Brunswick are preparing to embark on a multimillion-dollar upgrade of the public safety radio system, and some communications companies want to be sure they’re getting a fair shot at the contract.
Source: Brunswick News

Port continues to see growth, plans expansion
The Port of Brunswick has seen a record-setting year in 2014, and more growth and prosperity are on the way.
Source: Brunswick News

Joseph Lumpkin hired as Savannah-Chatham police chief
After an almost seven month search, Joseph “Jack” Lumpkin Sr. has been named to lead the Savannah-Chatham police department as his new boss tries to keep the department from being split in two.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Pembroke Police Dept. to add precinct office
Pembroke will again have a police precinct office at Miller Village, after city council voted Monday night to accept an offer of office space from Claxton Housing Authority.
Source: Bryan County News

City makes plans to join parks with trails
Brunswick officials are working to install sidewalks and trails along city streets with the goal of making it safer to walk from one area of town to another.
Source: Brunswick News

City’s fitness drive gets national attention
‘NBC Nightly News’ follows employees’ movements around the Boro.
Source: Statesboro Herald

New Savannah-Chatham police chief to be named Tuesday
One of the three finalists has dropped out of the running for the next Savannah-Chatham police chief and the city is expected to announce today who is getting the job.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah City Council considering aldermen salary increase
Mayor Edna Jackson and aldermen will consider on Thursday increasing the pay of future Savannah City Council members.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Firefighters spread the message
The curriculum for about half an hour Thursday at Richmond Hill Primary School covered the basics of fire safety, including how to crawl under smoke and stop, drop and roll.
Source: Bryan County News

Police graduates honor late detective
Graduates of the Savannah Technical College Peace Officer Academy honored the memory of one of Richmond Hill’s finest Friday morning.
Source: Bryan County News

Sidewalk work to start
Work on Richmond Hill’s sidewalks master plan will start later this month after city-council members Tuesday approved a bid of $385,863 to get the project under way.
Source: Bryan County News

Treatment for underage drinking?
After diagnosing Statesboro as having an underage drinking problem, police leaders this week proposed a treatment that involves hiring an alcoholic beverage control officer, creating a “hospitality review board” and giving licensees a role in policing themselves.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Affordable housing sought for homeless veterans
An Atlanta-based development company is working with the Hinesville Housing Authority to build affordable one-bedroom units with a priority of being given to homeless veterans.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Savannah Fire gets $300,000 grant
Savannah Fire & Emergency Services has received a nearly $300,000 federal matching grant that supports the continued implementation of the department’s maritime and all-hazards preparedness efforts.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Kessler River Street hotel project granted height and mass approval
Hotelier Richard Kessler’s $220 million West River Street project continued its forward momentum on Wednesday as the Historic Board unanimously approved the initial height and mass of four new buildings for the site.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Broughton developer: 'It's not my project'
The developer who’s bought 37 properties along Savannah’s historic Broughton Street and released plans detailing a potential streetscape makeover told the downtown business community Wednesday he only wants to spark improvements.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah-Chatham police to request body cameras
Officers on Coastal Georgia’s largest police force may soon be wearing body cameras. The Savannah-Chatham police department is asking approval to outfit its patrol officers and some on specialized units with the devices.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Richmond Hill approves sidewalk project
The City Council of Richmond Hill approved a bid in the amount of $385,863 for a sidewalk project that will connecting neighborhoods to schools, parks and retail establishments during the Oct. 7 city council meeting.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Update: City follows county lead
More than 100 manufacturing jobs may be on way to the Belfast Commerce Centre in Richmond Hill.
Source: Bryan County News

Statesboro holds alcohol hearings, wonders why it didn’t before
As Statesboro City Council issued warnings Tuesday to six restaurants for one instance each of an employee serving alcohol to someone under age 21, the question kept coming up why the council did not holding any similar hearings during several previous years.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Voting district chages discussed in St. Marys
Former Camden County Commissioner Artie Jones was in office when a minority voting district was created in St. Marys in 1993.
Source: Brunswick News

Brunswick piecing together grant applications to link bicycle trails
The city is seeking grant money to add another segment of bicycle/pedestrian trail to one it completed early in 2013.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Survey: Historic District now airport's top destination
Five years ago, 59 percent of passengers flying into Savannah were headed either to the downtown Historic District or Hilton Head Island, with the bulk of them — nearly 40 percent — bypassing Savannah for the South Carolina resort.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Budget hearing gets loud, unruly
Thursday’s Hinesville City Council meeting got a little loud and unruly when the floor was turned over to public comments about the 2015 fiscal-year budget.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Mainstreet Brunswick gives businesses chance to communicate
As head of a small business, Peggy Parrish’s time is limited. That’s why the owner of Ned Cash, a jewelry store in downtown Brunswick, is grateful for the assistance of the Downtown Development Authority, an organization which helps merchants succeed. From events like First Friday and Rhythm on the River to national programs like the Mainstreet initiative, Parrish says the support provided is invaluable.
Source: Brunswick News

Annual Picnic in the Park draws thousands to Forsyth Park
Capping off a busy weekend in Savannah, thousands of people spread their blankets and set up their lawn chairs at Forysth Park on Sunday afternoon for the annual Picnic in the Park sponsored by the city of Savannah and Parker’s Corp.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Fallen firefighters remembered during Sunday ceremony in Savannah
The 30th annual firefighters memorial service and proclamation of the memorial day was held Sunday in front of the Savannah Fire & Emergency Headquarters to commemorate the fallen who gave their lives in the line of duty.
Source: Savannah Morning News

American Planning Association names Savannah's Victorian District one of 10 great American neighborhoods
An area that includes Savannah’s Victorian districts and Dixon Park has been named by the American Planning Association one of America’s 10 great neighborhoods.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City's $14M riverwalk extension planned for $280M hotel investment
On Thursday, the Savannah City Council agreed to partner with two hotel developers to transform the west end of River Street into a site shoppers, diners and sunset lovers can’t ignore. But first, the city has to figure out how to cover a $14 million price tag.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Council not sold on stadium
Members of the Savannah City Council on Thursday questioned the methodology and findings of a $55,000 report recommending the construction of a multi-use stadium.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Coal-fired steam locomotive to ride St. Marys' rails starting this weekend
There will be a couple of smells in St. Marys during this weekend’s Rock Shrimp Festival, one familiar and the other from a bygone time.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Turpentine Festival celebrates Portal history
Live music, plenty of food, crafts and children's rides will bring folks from all over the region to the town of Portal on Saturday, when the community celebrates the 33rd Annual Catface Country Turpentine Festival.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Residents receive notices to move out for new Savannah-Chatham police station
Residents of the Meldrim Row apartments were given notice last week that their monthly rental agreement will end Oct. 31 to make way for the demolition of the historic structures for the city’s new central police precinct.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Chatham County sends official letter ending police merger agreement
Chatham County Commission Chairman Al Scott today sent Savannah City Manager Stephanie Cutter an official letter stating the county's desire to end the Savannah-Chatham police merger agreement.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City will consider new public safety radios
Brunswick officials will soon be weighing signing on with a proposed major overhaul of the public safety radio system.
Source: Brunswick News

Statesboro officials were ready to allege 28 alcohol violations at Rude Rudy’s
If a City Council administrative hearing had proceeded, Statesboro police were prepared to present reports of at least 28 violations of the city Alcoholic Beverages Ordinance at Rude Rudy's.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Frontage road considered for Hampstead/DeRenne project
What benefits will come from proposed changes to Hampstead Avenue remains to be seen, but city staffers recently reviewed a plan to widen Hampstead to try to accommodate residents who say they are on the losing end of the deal.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Metropolitan Planning Commission gets transportation plan update
Planning commissioners received a roundup of regional transportation projects on Tuesday at the Metropolitan Planning Commission, looking ahead at ways to ease present and future congestion problems and promote better connectivity throughout Savannah.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Mayor revives 'SF' memories during Washington trip
Mayor Jim Thomas has made frequent lobbying trips to Washington, D.C., on behalf of the Hinesville-Fort Stewart community. During his most recent trip, however, the trip became personal when he ran into nearly 80 former Special Forces soldiers, many of whom served with Thomas in Vietnam.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

St. Marys City Council candidates says it's time for single-member district elections
Of the upcoming elections for St. Marys City Council, one race in particular exemplifies a lingering condition for which some would like to find some relief. The gated community of Osprey Cove on the southeastern outskirts of town is typically home to more than one sitting member on the council.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Study recommends new stadium for Savannah River site, downgrade for Grayson
A consulting firm recommends the city of Savannah move forward with the construction of a multi-use stadium at the Savannah River Landing site east of downtown.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah Rotary Club breaks ground on $342,000 playground
The Rotary Club of Savannah broke ground Monday afternoon for a new $342,000 all-accessible playground in Forsyth Park.
Source: Savannah Morning News

LCPC holds land-use meeting with Ricebore residents
Riceboro residents and city officials met with Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission planners Thursday at Riceboro City Hall to discuss and update the community’s land-use map.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

No set plan for 'skeleton building'
At one time, the property at the corner of Brunswick's Newcastle and O streets was meant to be a set of lavish condominiums, populating two and a half buildings collectively known as the Marina Towers.
Source: Brunswick News

Statesboro steps up effort to police underage drinking
Statesboro police and City Hall officials acknowledge that officers have done more compliance checks targeting sales of alcohol to people under age 21 since the Aug. 28 death of Michael Gatto, 18, after a violent encounter at the now closed Rude Rudy's bar.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Chatham County Commission votes to end police merger agreement with Savannah
In about 18 months, the Savannah-Chatham police department could be history.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Death probe and uncertain future put Savannah-Chatham police in the spotlight
City Manager Stephanie Cutter said she plans to make a decision within two weeks on the next Savannah-Chatham police chief, but the police department the new chief inherits may not exist less than two years from now.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City budget session reveals deficit
As Hinesville’s fiscal-year 2015 budget workshop went into its final day Monday afternoon, the books showed the city’s total revenues at $33,672,911, but total expenditures were $34,155,044, leaving a deficit of $482,133.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Historic ship inspires St. Marys logo
A committee established to recommend a logo for signs that will guide motorists to St. Marys decided to go back more than two centuries in U.S. Navy history for its choice.
Source: Brunswick News

City OKs gas station for Walmart lot
Rincon City Council members approved a final site plan for a proposed gas station to be built adjacent to Walmart.
Source: Effingham Herald

EPD warns alternatives are needed to Savannah's water supply
An official with the state’s environmental agency told legislators Thursday that the need for alternative sources of drinking water in Savannah is one reason for exploring a controversial practice of storing surface water underground.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Mayor's small business conference rallies local entrepreneurs
In a city frequently maligned for having too many regulatory hoops to jump through, a conference held Thursday sought to clear some of those hurdles and encourage Savannah’s small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Tybee beach renourishment contract awarded
Tybee Island is poised to gain beach. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District awarded a $10 million contract Monday to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, Ill., for the island’s next beach renourishment project.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah-Chatham police chief finalists talk about plans for the job
The three finalists to be the next Savannah-Chatham police chief fielded questions from the media during individual 10-minute sessions at the Civic Center on Wednesday.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Police chief candidates questioned by community
Neighborhood presidents, religious leaders and community stakeholders said they were impressed after questioning the three finalists being considered for Savannah-Chatham police chief.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Gas station rejected for Thomas Square neighborhood
In the complex world of zoning ordinances, past use is no guarantee of future use, especially in Savannah’s fluid mixed-use neighborhoods.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City gets $306K to fix substandard housing
Hinesville Assistant City Manager Ken Howard presented a big check to Mayor Jim Thomas and city-council members at the start of Thursday’s council meeting.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Rude Rudy’s permanently closed
Rude Rudy's, the bar where Michael Gatto, 18, suffered a beating on Aug. 28 before dying a few hours later, has closed, and its owner has agreed to a lifetime ban on getting another license to serve alcohol in Statesboro.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Savannah focused on middle school success
The city of Savannah and the Savannah Youth Council hosted a community education summit at the Civic Center Tuesday night to encourage middle school students to make the right social, behavioral and academic choices.
Source: Savannah Morning News

St. Marys reclaims abandoned road
The St. Marys City Council has rescinded a decision made six years ago to abandon a section of West Hall Street, which the owners of a florist shop say will allow them to stay in business.
Source: Brunswick News

Broughton business owner tussles with city over sign
In the age-old battle of property rights versus zoning laws, one downtown Savannah business owner’s two-year tussle with the city over a painted sign is remarkable only in its longevity.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Tourism issues focus of new Savannah office, industry group program
In recognition that more focus needs to be placed on the tourism industry, one of the city’s largest economic drivers, city officials created a new department focused solely on tourism this year.
Source: Schley County News

Springfield's Mars Theatre gets marquees
Two new marquees were installed on the Mars Theatre in Springfield this week, letting passers-by know about coming attractions and answering one of the few remaining needs at the historic venue that opened in April.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Sinrich retires after 40 years of law practice
Gary Sinrich has retired from his position as municipal court judge for the city of Hinesville after 26 years of service.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Galley built in St. Marys in 1798 could become city's new identifying symbol
A new idea has been floated for a signature logo for St. Marys and it has a name that fits.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Savannah strips Chatham County ideas from police merger proposal
In a proposed police merger agreement submitted Wednesday, Savannah city officials stripped away key provisions from a proposal offered earlier by Chatham County administrators.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City Council OKs Savannah Riverwalk extension application
The Savannah City Council unanimously approved a permit application for the western extension of the Savannah Riverwalk on Thursday.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City defers signage request
Some Brunswick City Commissioners say they might need to form a board to hear planning and zoning issues after an applicant's three petitions led to an hours-long discussion Wednesday.
Source: Brunswick News

7 Statesboro businesses now face alcohol license hearings
With a City Council hearing pending for Rude Rudy’s on Sept. 24, the city of Statesboro has scheduled six more establishments for an Oct. 7 administrative license hearing over whether they have served alcohol to patrons under age 21.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Governor, mayor proclaim American Legion Day
Service to the community was the emphasis of a proclamation by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal last week naming Sept. 16 as American Legion Day, and another signed Monday by Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

New Statesboro Visitors Center makes a grand entrance
Hundreds of people joined community leaders Tuesday afternoon for the official ribbon cutting of the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau's Regional Visitors Center.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Pembroke honors its oldest resident
Altie Moody was just a girl when Pembroke was chartered in 1905.
Source: Bryan County News

St. Marys police gets new trucks
Five new patrol vehicles purchased by the St. Marys Police Department will likely prompt a few double takes.
Source: Brunswick News

Sidewalk work could begin in October
Richmond Hill Planning and Zoning Director Scott Allison told City Council on Tuesday night the work on the city's sidewalks project could begin in October.
Source: Bryan County News

Historic Trustees Garden makeover OK'd for downtown Savannah
Site plans for historic Trustees Garden got a swift greenlight on Tuesday from the Metropolitan Planning Commission as developer Charles Morris continues his transformation of the 10-acre property into a cultural events hub.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah's new horse heat provisions on hold
Proposed heat policy revisions concerning carriage tour horses in the downtown Historic District have been put on hold while other safety measures are considered instead.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah-Chatham police officer's suit against city, Lovett tossed out
A federal judge has ruled against Savannah-Chatham police officer Dean Fagerstrom’s claims of racial discrimination in his failure to be promoted to the rank of police major in 2012.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Brunswick firefighter commended for work
Though it's been almost a year now, Doug Robertson, an engineer with the Brunswick Fire Department, can still remember the moments leading up to the call to a house fire at 1415 Stonewall St.
Source: Brunswick News

New heat limits proposed for Savannah horse tours
Carriage-tour horses may get more of a reprieve from the heat next summer. The city’s Tourism Advisory Committee is considering changing the rules governing when it’s too hot to trot.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Funding shift for President Street project proposed
Savannah city staffers are recommending shifting funds to pay for $29 million in improvements to President Street and General McIntosh Boulevard.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Editorial: A progressive blueprint for Broughton
Savannah and Chatham County officials should keep an open mind about developer Ben Carter’s forward-looking plans to improve Broughton Street through a combination of public and private efforts.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Broughton developer Ben Carter details streetscape plans
Developer Ben Carter has made no secret of his plans to improve Broughton Street or his desire to have the city of Savannah pitch in for streetscape upgrades, even placing box planters and temporary metal sculptures around his newly acquired properties on his own dime.
Source: Savannah Morning News

It's good that next police chief will be an outsider
The next chief of the Savannah-Chatham County metro police department will be an outsider with no links to the troubled agency. That’s a good thing.
Source: Savannah Morning News

3 picked as finalists for Savannah-Chatham police chief job
The three finalists being considered for Savannah-Chatham police chief are all heads of outside departments.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah, Chatham police merger deal approaching deadlines
Chatham County’s police merger renegotiation with the city of Savannah is fast reaching a deadline with no sign of a deal.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah's central precinct, Hutchinson fire station plans moving forward
The city intends to move forward with a $1.1 million property purchase for a new Savannah-Chatham police station that will serve the Central Precinct, after a recent review period that included an environmental study.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Budget talks include increase in travel expenditures
City leaders on Monday approved a recommendation by Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas to increase their travel expenditures for fiscal year 2015 as the council goes over next year’s budget.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

City preps for traffic changes along Memorial
Hinesville leaders already are planning for how traffic may be affected by growth on Memorial Drive and Central Avenue when Armstrong State University’s new Liberty Center and the new Liberty County Library are completed.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

St. Marys' sister cities to meet in Camden County
City officials from as many as 13 states have gathered once a year since 1989 to discuss what makes St. Marys a great town and ways to make it better. This year, officials from St. Marys, Ohio, St. Marys, Kan., St. Marys, W.Va., St. Marys, Ontario, and for the first time, St. Marys, Iowa, will gather in St. Marys, Ga. for the St. Marys Conference.
Source: Brunswick News

City, county managers to talk new Savannah-Chatham police chief candidates
Savannah City Manager Stephanie Cutter and Chatham County Manager Lee Smith will meet today to discuss the hiring of a new metro police chief, Cutter told members of Savannah City Council on Tuesday night.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah-Chatham police train for riots
Yelling they wanted a sit in, volunteer protesters took turns Tuesday morning sitting at the feet of a wall of Savannah-Chatham police officers who were dressed in riot gear with shields poised.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Rincon police start using body-worn cameras
Police wearing body cameras are finding whether it’s in court or on the street, the cameras are a tool that protects both officers and the public.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Society to preserve 1800s cemetery
Last week the Brunswick City Commission approved an agreement with the Oak Grove Cemetery Society that allows the nonprofit group to raise funds, draw up plans, operate the on-site chapel and provide information to visitors.
Source: Brunswick News

City groups set to give residents a voice
Brunswick officials are moving ahead with forming citizen-led neighborhood advocacy groups. Beginning Sept. 16, Brunswick will sponsor neighborhood community workshops in different areas of the city.
Source: Brunswick News

Statesboro notifies Rude Rudy’s owner of hearing
Rude Rudy's owner Jonathan Earl Starkey has been asked to appear before City Council later this month, and face the possible suspension or revocation of the nightspot's alcoholic beverage license, according to a notice mailed to him Monday.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Use of Savannah's parenting ordinance questioned
An ordinance meant to encourage responsible parenting and prevent juvenile crime may need some fine tuning.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Council deals with grant to help homeless, liquor licenses
Homeless Prevention Program Coordinator Daisy Jones asked for authorization to accept a $42,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

City approves effort to renovate apartments
Richmond Hill City Council gave its endorsement Tuesday to a St. Louis-based developer’s planned $22.9 million renovation of Ashton Apartments that will be financed at least partly through the sale of about $15 million in revenue bonds issued by the City of McDonough Housing Authority.
Source: Bryan County News

Savannah to spend $25 million-plus to upgrade sewage treatment plant
Savannah is upgrading its main sewage treatment plant on President Street, moving away from incineration and toward a process that could ultimately result in the sale or giveaway of its “Class A biosolids” for agricultural or backyard use.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Painting Savannah: Graffiti complaints target downtown and public murals find life
The light yellow bricks of an out-of-the-way wall in the East Victorian District had been hit again with large swirls of deep red spray paint writing.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah restaurant and bar owners worry about proposed alcohol ordinance
Savannah takes few things more seriously than its history, architecture and fairly liberal drinking culture.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Springfield OKs bump in millage rate
Springfield City Council members have voted to raise the millage rate, but officials say the increase won’t have much effect on most property owners.
Source: Effingham Herald

City approves rental policy for the Mars
While the Mars Theatre’s slate of shows and programs continues to expand and attract visitors, there is also a growing demand to rent the facility.
Source: Effingham Herald

Savannah City Council's property maintenance concerns continue
Savannah City Council members said Thursday too few property maintenance cases are going before a judge in a timely manner and many of the ones being heard are not resolved quickly enough.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Utility board appointments could change
With a mixture of appointed and elected officials, the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission is one of the most unique boards in Georgia.
Source: Brunswick News

Police in Pooler cracking down on texting drivers
As rush hour hit U.S. 80 in Pooler on a recent Thursday afternoon, officer Michael Swords pulled an unmarked police truck onto the median and looked down into the cars slowly headed westbound.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City right to revise its drinking rules
Among Georgia communities, Savannah’s general attitude toward the consumption of alcoholic beverage is among the most liberal.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Mayor suggests amending Statesboro alcohol ordinance soon
The death of 18-year-old Michael Gatto after a beating last week at Rude Rudy's prompted Mayor Jan Moore to propose Wednesday that City Council consider specific changes in its existing Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance, in advance of the replacement ordinance slated to take effect next July 1.
Source: Statesboro Herald

City asked to consider putting Sunday alcohol sales on ballot
Jeff's Beverage owners Jeff Nielsen and Kathy Nielsen asked Richmond Hill City Council on Tuesday to consider letting voters decide whether Sunday package sales of alcohol should be legal in the city limits.
Source: Bryan County News

Developer drops bid to rezone in Richmond Hill Plantation
A development company that planned to add multi-family homes in Richmond Hill Plantation at the corner of Port Royal Road and Sterling Links Way has apparently decided to drop those plans.
Source: Bryan County News

City considering revisions to alcohol ordinance; age restrictions, licensing fees, to-go cup expansion concerns raised
City officials are already reconsidering at least one restriction in a new alcohol ordinance, although there are plenty more proposals business owners and residents would like to see dropped.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Ludowici PD takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Members of the Ludowici Police Department on Wednesday took the Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise awareness and money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Hinesville wins national innovation award
The city of Hinesville recently was named the winner of the Sister Cities International 2014 Innovation Award — Economic Development for a city with a population less than 100,000. The announcement was made during the SCI’s 58th annual conference Aug. 2.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Proposed ordinance would expand Savannah's "to-go cup" zone
Savannah officials are proposing a major update to the city’s rules governing alcohol sales, the first such overhaul in about 16 years.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Rincon raises fire, sanitation, water and sewer fees
Rincon City Council members agreed unanimously on Aug. 25 to raise fire, sanitation, water and sewer fees as of Oct. 1.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City commission eyes attitude shift on litter
While each of the five Brunswick commissioners has ideas for improving the city, all require the same ingredient to make their ideas successful, Mayor Cornell Harvey said this week.
Source: Brunswick News

Moses Jackson Community Center improvements set
When residents clamored for the city to open the Moses Jackson Community Center in 1999, naysayers didn’t think west Savannah gathering spot would last, says supervisor Rebecca Johnson-Middleton.
Source: Savannah Morning News

New sidewalks coming to Richmond Hill
If all comes together as planned many residents of Richmond Hill will soon have sidewalks on which they can use to access both shopping and recreation in the city without having to use a vehicle.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Code Blue puts more uniformed Savannah-Chatham police on streets
In an effort to boost officer/resident interactions and make a show of force, the Savannah-Chatham police department has launched an initiative called Operation Code Blue.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Historic Savannah Foundation drops suit to block Ben Carter's Broughton building demolition
The Historic Savannah Foundation is dropping its legal challenge against the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals over the demolition of 240 W. Broughton St., clearing the way for a new four-story structure to house clothing retailer H&M.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Vacation rental ordinance recommended for Savannah
The Metropolitan Planning Commission has taken the first step toward increasing regulation of vacation rentals, recommending the creation of a short-term residential rental definition in the zoning ordinance.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Richmond Hill approves funding for sidewalks
A citywide network of sidewalks took a big step closer to reality Tuesday when Richmond Hill City Council voted unanimously to commit $400,000 to fund their construction.
Source: Bryan County News

Springfield opts to bump up its millage rate
The millage rate is increasing in Springfield, after city council members approved a hike last Tuesday night.
Source: Effingham Herald

Rincon council OKs changes to nuisance enforcement
Rincon City Council has approved changes to how it will handle violations and enforcement of its nuisance ordinance.
Source: Effingham Herald

Statesboro's open meetings investigation has called on 30-plus people
The investigation into whether former City Manager Frank Parker and members of Statesboro City Council sometimes met privately in violation of the Open Meetings Act involved interviews and phone calls with more than 30 local people by the end of July.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Police: New Quick Reaction Force lowering Savannah crime
A Savannah-Chatham police department initiative to address the recent rash of shootings and violent crimes in Savannah has led to more than 30 arrests and the seizure of weapons and illegal drugs since it began July 26.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah reviewing flood response procedures
The recent flooding of some of Savannah’s neighborhoods, and subsequent complaints, has prompted a review of city response procedures and stormwater systems to see whether improvements can be made.
Source: Savannah Morning News

A first look at Savannah's 100 worst properties
To their credit, Savannah city officials have amped up the fight with the Blight to Bright campaign and recently published a list of the 100 Worst Properties.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Mayor makes plea for SPEA comments
Mayor Jim Thomas talked Thursday about the importance of everyone in Hinesville and Liberty County relaying their thoughts on the potential loss of troops from Fort Stewart.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Judge dismisses Savannah fire captains' lawsuit
Chatham County Superior Court Judge James Bass Jr. dismissed a lawsuit filed against the city by a group of Savannah Fire & Emergency Services captains seeking increased pay.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Chatham County commissioners lukewarm to meeting with Savannah aldermen
Chatham County Commission Chairman Al Scott said Friday he is not opposed to commissioners meeting with Savannah aldermen to discuss the police merger agreement, but he said he doesn’t think doing so is wise.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Wi-Fi possible for Bradwell Park
Several months ago, as he waited for his coffee at a local coffee shop, Hinesville City Manager Billy Edwards noticed the eatery was filled with people sipping their drinks, eating sandwiches and “playing” on electronic devices.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Savannah city staff recommends against county police proposals
Savannah city staff members presented their case for rejecting key aspects of a new police merger agreement proposed by Chatham County officials during a City Council workshop Thursday morning.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City to sell land to surgeon for $75,000
Brunswick officials Wednesday approved the sale of a surplus city-owned property, a move that will provide an additional $75,000 for the city's coffers.
Source: Brunswick News

Savannah-Chatham police pull patrol horses off streets in high heat
Savannah’s hot. And meteorologists say it’s not getting much cooler this week. That’s why Savannah-Chatham police kept their horses off the city’s streets during the day Wednesday, when heat indices breached 100 degrees.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Editorial: City should consider body cameras for police
There’s a lesson here for Savannah and other cities — especially after the ongoing strife in Ferguson, Missouri, where a police officer shot an unarmed man two weeks ago. The lesson is this: Video evidence is a huge benefit when it comes to fact-finding.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah publishes "100 worst" properties list
The “100 worst” list, unveiled by the city on Wednesday, targets what are considered the most neglected properties in Savannah, with half of the properties selected by residents and the other 50 chosen by city staff.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Statesboro announces ‘tax increase’ to keep same millage
With the effect on its budget now smaller than previously estimated, the city of Statesboro has slated three "property tax increase" hearings after several City Council members indicated support for keeping the millage rate unchanged.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Rincon officials take Ice Bucket Challenge
Rincon Police Chief Phillip Scholl, City Manager Wesley Corbitt, City Councilman James Dasher and Lou Reed with the fire department took the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS at the fire department Tuesday afternoon.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Rincon changes city seal, approves nuisance ordinance
Rincon’s City Council agreed unanimously on Aug. 11 to change the city seal, removing the word “seal” and replacing it with “In God We Trust.”
Source: Savannah Morning News

Springfield opts to bump up its millage rate
The millage rate is increasing in Springfield, after city council members approved a hike last Tuesday night.
Source: Effingham Herald

St. Marys OKs business in city building
The St. Marys City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve a new contract for the owner of the business Knuckleheads. The new contract would allow the business to continue operating from a city-owned building on the downtown waterfront.
Source: Brunswick News

Savannah seeking Sand Gnats stadium input
It looks like Savannah Sand Gnats’ fans will get at least one more year of minor league baseball after this season. Time is running out to convince the team’s owner to stick around for 2016, however. An online survey posted by Monday is meant to help city leaders gauge how much they should care.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Garden City renews contract with Waste Management
Members of the Garden City City Council on Monday defended renewing the city’s trash collection contract with Waste Management despite Atlantic Waste Services’ claims that accepting its bid would have saved the city more than $150,000 over the course of the four-year contact.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Ludowici advances plan for fast food eatery
The Ludowici City Council on Tuesday moved one step closer to securing a McDonald’s for the city.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Editorial: Broughton's streetscape needs work
City of Savannah officials are right. Developer Ben Carter should have gotten the city’s permission before he placed 13 box planters on Broughton Street’s busy sidewalks.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Timber Trail set to become a Richmond Hill road
After years, maybe decades, of an impasse between the City of Richmond and the Bryan County Commission over the ownership of Timber Trail Road, the commission took steps at their August 12 meeting to end the acrimony and move toward a resolution.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah's aging trees get the ax
The 40-inch diameter live oak in front of St. John’s Episcopal on Madison Square is probably about 100 years old, but its days are numbered. The Park and Tree Department recently affixed an orange “card of death” to its trunk.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Springfield raises property taxes
Springfield ’s City Council agreed on Aug. 12 to raise the property tax rate, costing the owner of a house valued at $100,000 an additional $20 a year.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Carter adds planters, sculptures to Broughton without city approval
Developer Ben Carter may be getting a little too eager to bring his vision of Savannah’s Broughton Street to life.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Traffic citation amnesty to start Friday in Recorder's Court
Savannahians with outstanding traffic citations in Chatham County Recorder’s Court beginning Friday will have a chance to pay off the fines without facing accompanying contempt-of-court fees.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Tompkins Community Center improvements coming
he Savannah City Council recently approved a $154,000 design contract to Kern & Co. for renovations and an addition to the center, which provides recreational and educational programs for youth and adults.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah narrows cultural arts center finalists to two
Two contractors are in contention to oversee the construction of the city’s cultural arts center planned for Oglethorpe Avenue and Montgomery Street.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Historic Board reviews Broughton Street developer's proposal for four-story building
The Historic District Board of Review got its first glimpse of developer Ben Carter's plans for 230-240 W. Broughton St. on Wednesday, nearly a month and a half after the zoning board cleared the way for demolition of an existing building at that site.
Source: Savannah Morning News

New Metro police website a big improvement
About two and a half weeks ago, Metro police quietly rolled out its own website — scmpd.org. It’s eye-catching, vibrant and contains useful tools the public can use, like following crime trends within individual police precincts or learning what crimes were reported at a given day and time in specific neighborhoods.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Tax revenue in Pembroke to remain almost level
While on paper at least it appears that the city of Pembroke’s millage rate will be dropping slightly from 2013 to 2014 the difference in tax revenue generated won’t amount to much.
Source: Savannah Morning News

New stormwater regulations coming to Richmnond Hill
The Richmond Hill City Council heard how stormwater management requirements will soon be affecting the city in a presentation from Courtney Reich from the Ecological Planning Group during their Aug. 5 meeting in city hall.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Pembroke sets American Legion Day
If you’re in Pembroke on Sept. 16, you might want to take note: That’s officially American Legion Post 164 Day.
Source: Bryan County News

Pembroke now a Keep Georgia Beautiful affiliate
Pembroke welcomed a high profile visitor at City Hall during Monday’s city council meeting.
Source: Bryan County News

Savannah-Chatham police getting 91 new patrol cars
Officer Marcus Paige has been driving the same Ford Crown Victoria for many of his seven years on the Savannah-Chatham police force. Its steering wheel is worn, with several cracks showing in its grips, and bits of glass can be seen on the back floor where someone once kicked in a window.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Pembroke mayor to speak at Fort Stewart
Pembroke Mayor Mary Warnell will speak Wednesday at Fort Stewart's observance of Women's Equality Day.
Source: Bryan County News

Gun shot tracker being eyed by Savannah-Chatham police
Savannah-Chatham police officials may buy an audio surveillance system known as ShotSpotter to help officers respond to shootings in the city.
Source: Savannah Morning News

New Tybee Island police station to be ready mid-August
Tybee Island’s police officers are preparing to move into their new digs. Officers and 911 dispatchers should be in the new, roughly 15,000-square-foot facility by Thursday, said Police Chief Bob Bryson.
Source: Savannah Morning News

The Oglethorpe plan and Savannah River Landing
However this plays out, the city has a stake in making sure the development has a mix of uses and in maintaining Oglethorpe’s vision of squares and interconnected streets. As we’ve noted before, the Oglethorpe Plan has proved amazingly adaptable to the modern era.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Council approves rezoning
Despite protests from area residents, Hinesville City Council on Thursday rezoned five acres on Highway. 84 West to accommodate a new grocery store.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

City hopes to develop civic center
Hinesville is the only metropolitan statistical area that doesn’t have a conference center, and although Hinesville has the second highest expenditures for family recreation in the Southeast, it doesn’t have a family entertainment center.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Richmond Hill to table developer's request to Sept. 2, then vote
Richmond Hill City Council accepted a request by a developer to again table its bid to allow multi-family housing on a tract near the entrance of Richmond Hill Plantation until Sept. 2.
Source: Bryan County News

Tybee Island getting more sand
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking for contractors to help shore up Tybee Island for a new round of beach renourishment set to begin this fall.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Shipshape in the Southside
Savannahians who appreciate living on the coast — an estimated 99 percent of the area’s population — should cheer last Friday’s dedication of the Coffee Bluff Marina. This city-owned amenity, which was at least six years in the making, almost didn’t happen.
Source: Savannah Morning News

For all its charms, Grayson Stadium is again the issue in Savannah Sand Gnats' future
Sand Gnats ownership group Hardball Capital, based in Atlanta, has a lease with the city of Savannah that expires after the current season ends in September. Capital CEO Jason Freier has expressed a desire to keep the team here, but with no concrete plans for a new stadium he is free to look elsewhere.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah-Chatham Police Partnering With State To Search For Signs Of Gangs
Savannah-Chatham police are joining forces with gang experts from the State of Georgia to assess possible gang-related activity in the city.
Source: GPB News

Parking meters join Savannah fight against unlocked cars
Savannah-Chatham police and the city’s Mobility and Parking Services Department have joined to help downtown visitors keep their cars and property safe.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Mayor wants to revamp alcohol permits
Hinesville city leaders agreed to take a closer look at the city’s ordinance for alcoholic-beverage licenses during their annual planning workshop last week.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

City voters to decide water's fluoride content
In addition to hearing that Liberty and Bryan counties should reduce their withdrawal from the Floridan aquifer, Hinesville city leaders discussed other water-related issues last week during their annual planning workshop on St. Simons Island.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

City Council discusses police merger dispute with county
Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson informed the City Council on Thursday that the spirit of cooperation seems to be going away in regard to resolving the police merger dispute with Chatham County, although no one appeared quite ready to call it quits.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Council OKs rezoning for new store
The Hinesville City Council during its Thursday evening meeting approved a rezoning petition that would accommodate a grocery store with gas pumps.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Commission denies liquor store, discusses paving roads
A request to construct a liquor store in the Norwich Street business corridor near a newly completed residential community was denied by city commissioners Wednesday after merchants and residents spoke out against the proposal.
Source: Brunswick News

Statesboro open meetings investigation expected to take another month
The investigation into whether city officials violated the Georgia Open Meetings Act during the tenure of former City Manager Frank Parker probably will take until mid-September or later to complete, Statesboro Mayor Jan Moore told City Council during its regular public meeting Tuesday.
Source: Statesboro Herald

City: Grocer eyeing Waters shopping center
Savannah City Manager Stephanie Cutter informed residents that a business has expressed interest in opening a grocery store and pharmacy on the site where a city-owned shopping center now stands.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah Fire adds four new engines to fleet
Savannah Fire & Emergency Services added four new fire engines to its fleet Wednesday.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City manager explains aquifer dilemma
The first, and possibly the most important, issue discussed by city leaders during last week’s annual planning workshop was a notice from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division that Liberty and Bryan counties have to reduce the amount of water pumped from the Floridan aquifer by 1 million gallons a day.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Sen. Jackson: City buying Waters Avenue property
State Sen. Lester Jackson III said on Tuesday that the Waters Avenue property in his parent’s name is in the process of being sold to Savannah, as city officials make plans to demolish the structure there for safety reasons.
Source: Savannah Morning News

New Savannah Development and Renewal Authority director talks MLK, Montgomery plans
New executive director of the Savannah Development and Renewal Authority Kevin Klinkenberg — an avid walker who recently wrote a book touting its benefits — is now charged with jumpstarting the pulse of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Montgomery Street, as well as other areas in need of an economic jolt.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Metropolitan Planning Commission delays decision on short-term vacation rental ordinance
The Metropolitan Planning Commission postponed a recommendation on whether to establish a definition for short-term residential rentals in the city's zoning ordinance, a change necessitated by the growing popularity of online vacation rental websites such as Airbnb and VRBO.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Rincon strengthens its nuisance ordinance
The City of Rincon is strengthening its nuisance ordinance, making it easier to require property owners to clean up overgrown lots.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Garden City officials optimistic about future development
Garden City officials say vacant properties in the city, which has struggled to get back on its feet since the recession, are being actively marketed.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Waters Avenue eyesore being demolished
The city of Savannah has instructed a private contractor to demolish the dilapidated structure on Waters Avenue and Park Avenue, which is in danger of collapsing after years of neglect.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City leaders conclude workshop
Hinesville city leaders on Friday completed two days discussing issues that affect Hinesville residents and setting goals for the coming year during this year’s planning workshop on St. Simons Island.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Midway works with business to resolve fruit-stand issue
Midway police shut down a produce stand that was too close to the road last Wednesday.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Camden Country, cities aim to unite development efforts
Camden County, Kingsland and St. Marys are working to unite their development efforts under a single entity, the Joint Development Authority.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Statesboro's alcohol ordinance back on tap for Tuesday
This time, Statesboro City Council has specifically invited people who sell alcoholic beverages to discuss the proposed replacement of the city's alcohol law.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Metro police hold roll call, give away school supplies in Savannah's Live Oak neighborhood
In their department’s latest public roll call event, Savannah-Chatham police gave away school supplies Saturday in the city’s Live Oak neighborhood.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Richmond Hill council to address subdivision P&Z requests
A total of eight planning and zoning issues have made their way to the agenda of the Aug. 5 meeting of the Richmond Hill City Council.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Art organization finishes second permanent mural at Paulsen Street
With its hanging Spanish moss, picturesque riverfront and street after street of lavish historic homes, Savannah is far from an ugly city.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Old Town signs help beautify city
A small group of women gathered at the Old City Hall in Brunswick Thursday morning to mark the addition of 70 new street signs in the city's Old Town district.
Source: Brunswick News

Savannah drainage fix draws $75 million bid, $25 million over budget
Savannah officials are assessing their options after the only bid on a midtown drainage project came in about $50 million higher than what the city had planned to pay.
Source: Savannah Morning News

St. Marys applies for $20,000 state grant to draw up plans for Gilman Boathouse property
The city applied for a grant Thursday to pay an architecture firm to draw concept renderings for a building project on the waterfront property where the late Howard Gilman once entertained guests at his boathouse.
Source: Florida Times-Union

City conducting stormwater study
Businesses and residents in the city of Brunswick will know in about two years whether they will be paying another fee to City Hall.
Source: Brunswick News

Eight finalists selected for Savannah-Chatham police chief
Significant progress has been made in selection of a new Savannah-Chatham police chief, essentially leaving the next steps in the hands of the city and county managers, according to city officials.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Historic Savannah Foundation appeals demolition of Broughton Street building
The Historic Savannah Foundation is appealing a recent decision by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals to allow demolition of a building at 240 W. Broughton St.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Disappearing crosswalks will be back in downtown Statesboro
Traffic was blocked around the intersection of West Main and College streets Monday night and Tuesday morning as contractors removed the brick pavers from the four crosswalks.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Savannah tap water wins statewide taste test
Savannah’s drinking water was declared the best-tasting in Georgia during a recent statewide taste test. The “Best of the Best Taste” award was given to Savannah by the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Chatham County offers new metro police agreement
Chatham County officials are seeking more control over the governance of the Savannah-Chatham police department before a new police chief is hired, in addition to the implementation of a revised funding formula before the end of the year.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City, nonprofit team to save roof, home
When Carol Brown's roof began to leak last year, she contacted the city of Savannah and Community Help Inc., a local nonprofit that works to help low-income reside
Source: Savannah Morning News

Rincon OKs warranty, change order for fire station
The city of Rincon has started the one-year warranty period for its newest fire station.
Source: Effingham Herald

Springfield eyes sidewalk, drainage improvements
A day-long discussion by Springfield City Council members and key staff could lead to the go-ahead for several projects and improvements around the city.
Source: Effingham Herald

City manager address Savannah-Chatham police turnover
City Manager Stephanie Cutter and interim Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Julie Tolbert are implementing new initiatives to try to retain the department’s trained officers as the number leaving the department grows.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Unpaid fines add up to big bucks
When Pembroke Police Chief Stacy Strickland asked his clerk to audit the department’s files and find out how many unpaid fines might be floating around out there somewhere, he probably wasn’t prepared for the answer he got.
Source: Bryan County News

Make Tybee Road, bridges top priorities
As Tybee Island has become a more popular destination for locals and tourists, it is evident that we need to address safety issues on the causeway and bridges that connect Tybee to the mainland.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah demolitions on abandoned properties on the decline
Last year, the city paid about $25,000 to demolish seven dilapidated structures deemed too dangerous to stand. The number of razed properties continued a downward trend in such demolitions since 2010, when 37 structures were taken down at a cost of about $146,000.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Chatham Commission chairman threatens vote to end police merger
Chatham County Commission Chairman Al Scott on Friday said he is prepared to place a vote before commissioners to end the Savannah-Chatham police department merger agreement if the county manager is not allowed to give his consent in the appointment of a new police chief.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Historical maps displayed at Savannah City Hall
Retired history professor John Duncan has been collecting maps for 50 years. About 10,000 of them are available at the store he has operated in Savannah since 1983, V. & J. Duncan Antique Maps and Prints.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Police: K-9 unit extremely effective
When Sgt. Donald Babbin began working at the Brunswick Police Department in 2006, he came to the department hoping he would get the chance to work with a police K-9 dog.
Source: Brunswick News

Savannah River's toxicity status explained
A June report in which the Savannah River fared poorly was re-examined at Thursday’s City Council workshop in Savannah.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City's special tax revenue under budget
The Savannah City Council may have to adjust its budget for projects being funded by the current 1 percent sales tax.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Statesboro tourism office set to move to new home
Next week will be moving week for the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau, whose new visitors center will feature a Georgia Southern Museum on Main and a parking area large enough for a camper trailer or bus.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Planning assemblies geared to get community involved
Brunswick officials on Tuesday hosted a workshop on the formation of Neighborhood Planning Assemblies, which are organized groups of citizens that petition the city on behalf of their neighborhoods.
Source: Brunswick News

Mounted Patrol Unit celebrates 25 years
In 1865, when Savannah’s police department was created, the mounted patrol unit operated with it.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Rincon 2013 audit finds two problems
Rincon City Council members were handed their 2013 audit, which pointed out two material weaknesses.
Source: Effingham Herald

Pembroke gets grant for well search
Pembroke will get a $30,000 federal grant to help it find another water source.
Source: Bryan County News

Parkway honors former mayor, media innovator
A segment of Fair Road is now McDougald Memorial Parkway, honoring a mayor who brought Statesboro its sewer system and donated land for the founding of a church and a university, as well as his descendants, some prominent in electronic and print media.
Source: Statesboro Herald

St. Marys closed water plant could become science discovery center
The city hasn’t used the downtown wastewater treatment plant that overlooks the marsh on the east end of Weed Street for more than a year. If a handful of local volunteers and city officials have their way, the now-vacant property will become a research center used by Camden County high school students and graduate students from Georgia Southern University.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Cleanup of eastside Savannah homeless camps may take couple weeks
A good bit of work was accomplished Saturday in a bid to clear out some homeless camps east of downtown Savannah, but it may be a week or two before the project is complete.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Walmart Neighborhood Market coming to city
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., announced plans to open a neighborhood market - a grocery store and pharmacy with some household items - at the site of one of its former stores in Brunswick.
Source: Brunswick News

Community get answers on sewer plan
Residents from the Gaines Davis subdivision met with St. Marys officials earlier this week to discuss their long-awaited sanitary sewer project.
Source: Brunswick News

Bank of America presents housing, job training grants
On Thursday morning, Patrick O’Neil, Savannah market president of Bank of America, was joined by Mayor Edna Jackson to present grants to the Community Housing Services Agency and Step Up Savannah.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Statesboro City Council deals with store sites, large and small
Control of retail developments — one big and one small — dominated stretches of Tuesday evening's three-hour Statesboro City Council meeting.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Walmart opening new grocery store in Brunswick by end of the year
A Walmart Neighborhood Market is being built in Brunswick, the first of the stores in Southeast Georgia and the first outside the Atlanta area, a company spokesman told Brunswick city commissioners Wednesday night.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Pembroke's new website up and running
Pembroke announced its new website is up and running. Included on the new site is information about city government including the city council, boards, authorities, agendas and minutes from council meetings, as well as the municipal code, according to a press release.
Source: Bryan County News

City: Washington court ruling won't impact Savannah tours
Savannah city officials say they intend to maintain the licensing process they have in place for tour companies, despite a ruling last month by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that similar license requirements violate the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City and partners push health insurance for kids
Almost one in 10 children in Chatham County lacks health insurance, even though most of those kids are eligible for state and federal programs such as Medicaid and Peachcare for Kids.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Two mayors elected to GMA Board
Hinesville Mayor James Thomas and Midway Mayor Clemontine Washington were elected to the Board of Directors for the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) during the association’s annual meeting June 23 in Savannah.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Springfield audit comes back clean
The city of Springfield received a clean bill of financial health from its auditors Tuesday night.
Source: Effingham Herald

Kessler Savannah hotel project returns to planning commission
The West River Street hotel project being planned by developer Richard Kessler is scheduled to return to the Metropolitan Planning Commission today after generating controversy about its proposed height the first time around.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Camden agencies fill space in center
When the city of Kingsland swapped properties with the Camden County school system in the late 2000s, the intent was to add more office space for the city.
Source: Brunswick News

2 new murals planned for Paulsen Street, May Street YMCA
The SeeSAW public art organization is seeking approval for two wall murals from the city’s Historic Site and Monument Commission.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Garden City holds fundraiser to benefit fire chief, wife
Jimmy Crosby has been with the Garden City Fire Department for 47 years, and he’s also worked as a state certified police officer and a paramedic. Helping others, he says, is just in his blood.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Playground spat pits neighbors against local church
Neighbors descended upon the Historic District Board of Review this week in a tizzy over a recent installation of playground equipment behind Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Springfield's Mars Theatre will get marquees
Springfield city council members voted 3-2 to spend $14,200 on two marquees on the Mars Theatre that will list coming attractions.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Fire Station 1 upgrades complete
Richmond Hill city officials including Mayor Harold Fowler and Fire Chief Ralph Catlett gathered at Fire Station 1 on Ford Avenue July 3 to cut the ribbon marking the conclusion of the refurbishing of the facility.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Richmond Hill receives grant for crossroads landscaping
The City of Richmond Hill was recently awarded a $50,000 GATEway grant to beautify the crossroads intersection of U.S. 17 and Ga. 144.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Richmond Hill purchases property for drainage project
After coming back into public session from a closed executive session, during their July 1 meeting the Richmond Hill City Council voted 4-0 to add to the city’s property holdings.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Richmond Hill recieves ISO rating
Richmond Hill recently received an Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of 4 as its fire-protection services for the city.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Hinesville named state’s No. 2 city ‘on rise’
Hinesville has been ranked as No. 2 in a NerdWallet.com list of “Cities on the Rise in Georgia,” one of only four of the top 10 cities that are not within the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Final call Saturday for vacating eastside homeless camps
Savannah’s eastside homeless camps and their occupants face a Saturday deadline to leave ahead of two planned major drainage initiatives.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Signs are a coming attraction for the Mars
Springfield officials hope their action Tuesday night will go a long way toward answering what they say has been a frequent question of late.
Source: Effingham Herald

Mayor says "No chance" Tybee Island will have nude beach
The mayor of Tybee Island says more than 800 people who signed a petition calling for a nude friendly section of beach will need to keep their clothes on as long as he’s in office.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market confirmed for Statesboro's Market District
A city planning board meeting involving a "grocery store" beginning to be built at Brampton Avenue and Fair Road was underway when a reporter's cellphone, neglectfully left on, rang.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Historic review board approves partial hotel changes
The Savannah Historic District Board of Review approved on Wednesday a developer’s request to increase the height and mass of a planned hotel on West River Street within existing restrictions, but voted against supporting the addition of a floor beyond what is permitted in that area.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Investigation of Statesboro City Council begins
The investigation ordered by Statesboro City Council into whether a majority of council members met in potentially illegal private meetings with former City Manager Frank Parker or City Attorney Alvin Leaphart began Tuesday at 11 a.m.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Savannah looking for city's worst properties
Savannah residents have until 5 p.m. July 14 to help the city in creating its new 100 Worst Properties List.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Hotel developer requests additional height following approval of Kessler project
The recent approval of additional height for developer Richard Kessler’s hotel project on west River Street has spurred another developer’s request to add stories to an adjacent project.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City fire chief suggests consolidating departments
Springfield Fire Chief Travis Zittrouer said a single, countywide fire department would improve service and cost less than each of the three cities and the county having their own, individual units.
Source: Effingham Herald

A walk in the park
The four fields at the Macomber Park expansion are done, but there is still plenty of work to do on the new phase — and on the older parts of the park.
Source: Effingham Herald

Rincon making changes to alcohol law
The city of Rincon is making a few changes to its alcohol ordinance.
Source: Effingham Herald

Officials: Tax hike will be manageable
Property owners in the city of Brunswick can expect an increase on their annual tax bill this year, but it won't be much.
Source: Brunswick News

Savannah economic development board hires director
The appointed group charged with helping the city’s economic development efforts has taken a significant step toward re-establishing itself after hiring an executive director although challenges remain.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Rincon fire station opens on Blue Jay Road
The new station operated by Rincon’s fire department has opened on Blue Jay Road.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City buys 25 acres to help ease stormwater woes
Tuesday night to buy 24.75 acres in the Cherokee Village area for $69,000 in hopes of easing what councilman Russ Carpenter termed “major drainage problems” in the neighborhood while also becoming part of the city’s master plan for sidewalks and walking trails.
Source: Bryan County News

Firms to develop Mary Ross master plan
Brunswick officials are moving ahead with plans to redevelop Mary Ross Waterfront Park. The city commission on Wednesday awarded a dual $37,366 contract to St. Simons Island-based design firms ALTA Planning + Design and Roberts Civil Engineering to develop a master plan for programming and connectivity for the downtown park.
Source: Brunswick News

Panel proposes merger of 4 Kingsland and Camden County fire stations into 2
The Camden County Joint Committee on Fire Consolidation recommended Wednesday the merger of four fire stations into two and the addition of an ambulance to cover the south end of the county.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Cheshire steps in as interim Statesboro city manager
Robert Cheshire, Statesboro’s city engineer for more than 15 years, has officially begun his service as interim city manager, after last week’s public falling out over alleged private meetings ended in City Council firing City Manager Frank Parker.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Rep. Williams attends GMA convention
Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, participated in the annual convention of the Georgia Municipal Association on June 22 in Savannah.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Utility board claims bank for HQ
The Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water Sewer Commission officially claimed the United Community Bank, 1703 Gloucester St., Monday as the site of its new headquarters.
Source: Brunswick News

Port Wentworth officials raise tax rate but say taxes won't increase
The Port Wentworth City Council on Monday night unanimously approved an increase in the city’s tax rate, but officials say residents will not see a larger tax bill.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah considering Forsyth Park bike ban
The days of bicycling through Forsyth Park could soon come to an end. City officials are considering banning the practice as the number of people visiting the park increases and concern about endangering pedestrians grows, said city spokesman Bret Bell.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah's neighborhoods reshaped by newcomers
Savannah’s neighborhoods are, as always, the petri dish for this mish-mashing of people, pets and businesses. And while some neighborhoods prefer their historical lines of demarcation, others are loosening up and even expanding their borders, if not physically, at least figuratively.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah's River Street trolley returns to the rails
Visitors along the waterfront are riding the rails once again, now that Savannah’s River Street trolley is back in operation.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City, county budgets get stamp of approval
The Brunswick and Glynn County commissions on Thursday approved multimillion-dollar budgets for the 2014-2015 fiscal year that provide for additional staff and capital expenditures.
Source: Brunswick News

Savannah City Council rejects vacation rental change
The Savannah City Council shot down one woman’s effort to legalize her vacation rental business in the Cuyler-Brownville neighborhood.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Broughton Street property greenlighted for demoliton
Demolition plans are a go for 240 W. Broughton Street after the Zoning Board of Appeals voted to overturn a decision by the Historic District Board of Review denying that request.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Apartment's landscape plan to be reviewed
The developers of Ashleigh Place Senior Apartments and the Richmond Hill City Council agreed to work together in the hope of finding a mutually agreeable interpretation of how the city’s new landscape ordinance should apply to the apartment complex to be constructed on Timber Trail after discussing the project during the council’s June 17 meeting.
Source: Savannah Morning News

'Crossroads' to get makeover
Richmond Hill’s busiest intersection will soon be getting some curb appeal, thanks in part to a $50,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Source: Bryan County News

Fowler named to GMA board
Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler was elected to the Board of Directors for the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) during the association’s annual meeting in Savannah June 24.
Source: Bryan County News

Tybee Island moves toward adopting new marsh buffer
Tybee is on track to restore marsh protections that state regulators revoked in April.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Rincon approves Veteran's Day as city holiday
Rincon’s City Council has agreed to add Veteran’s Day as a city holiday for employees.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Mayor reports on trip to Washington
During his report at Thursday’s Hinesville City Council meeting, Mayor Jim Thomas provided information he and City Manager Billy Edwards received during a recent trip to Washington, D.C.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

City gets 100 letters from 'future mayors'
Shari Sheppard, a student at Lewis Frasier Middle School, was the winner of the city of Hinesville’s “If I Were Mayor …” essay contest.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Statesboro employees get their raise; no pay study for now
At times during this week’s Statesboro City Council meeting, it appeared that some or all of the city’s 250-plus employees might not get a proposed 2.5 percent raise.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Savannah man wants more nudity on Tybee Island beach
A Savannah man has started an online petition to designate a quarter-mile of Tybee Island’s beach as clothing optional. Currently, though, it doesn’t look as if Tybee’s too hot for the idea of letting beachgoers rock their birthday suits on the sand.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Three public hearings set for Richmond Hill
The city of Richmond Hill will hold three public hearings beginning at 7 p.m. Monday at city hall, 30 Richard R. Davis Drive.
Source: Bryan County News

Statesboro-Bulloch fire committee launches in upbeat mood
Tricky questions such as where the city might put a third fire station remain in the future, but a joint city-county fire committee that met for the first time Tuesday agreed to address these in a spirit of cooperation.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Richmond Hill’s Independence Day celebration set
The city of Richmond Hill will sponsor an Independence Day celebration from 5-9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 5, in J F Gregory Park.
Source: Bryan County News

Fire protection improved in Pembroke
Residents of Pembroke may see a decrease in insurance premiums later this year as a result of the city’s new ISO rating.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Garden City approves property taxes for the first time
The Garden City Council on Monday voted to levy property taxes for the first time in its 75-year history.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Downtown Statesboro on the rise
The “State of Downtown” is strong and looking up, Downtown Statesboro Development Authority officials say.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Added fire protection planned for riverfront, Hutchinson Island
The city of Savannah is looking to step up fire protection along the Savannah River and on Hutchinson Island.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Plans for future trump historic past for Savannah's police precinct project
In planning for Cuyler-Brownville’s future, the city of Savannah intends to sacrifice some of the area’s historic past.
Source: Savannah Morning News

The making of a Savannah ordinance
The birth of an ordinance begins with a problem, usually an issue arises.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Residents air concerns on city's proposed short-term vacation rental regulations
Residents concerned, confused and cantankerous about a proposed citywide ordinance for the regulation of short-term vacation rentals showed up in force at the first of two public meetings on the topic.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Council members OK Mars’ budget
From glowing reviews of the sound system and an appreciation of the seating arrangements, Springfield City Council members are hearing plenty of good things about the Mars Theatre.
Source: Effingham Herald

Work begins on new Claxton City Hall
A site work crew is preparing the pad for the new City Hall, a $1 million project the city government has been saving for, for years.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Council: Historic MLK pharmacy to come down
The Savannah City Council approved a contract Thursday to demolish the historic pharmacy they had hoped to restore after the building on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was found to be structurally unstable.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Lawsuit filed to block increased height limits for West River Street hotel project
Seeking to prevent increased height limits for a hotel project on west River Street, owners of area properties filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Savannah City Council and the project’s developer.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Springfield sets Mars Theatre budget
Springfield’s City Council set an annual budget of $190,000 for the Mars Theatre Tuesday night, including a one-time infusion of $21,000 from the general fund reserve.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Almost $700k in fines owed to Pembroke
The city of Pembroke may be receiving something of a shot in the arm financially from a rather unexpected source.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Acting manager gets Kingsland job
Acting City Manager Lee Spell didn't know why he was asked to leave a closed meeting of the Kingsland City Council.
Source: Brunswick News

Pembroke to recognize fire department volunteers
Pembroke will recognize its fire department volunteers at Monday's city council meeting, according to a proposed agenda sent to the Bryan County News office Friday.
Source: Bryan County News

Sidewalks plan lists $5.7 million worth of proposals
Correspondent POSTED: June 7, 2014 6:00 a.m. Relief may be on the way for the 40 students who dodge traffic every morning while walking down Ivey Street to Lynwood Avenue to catch the bus to school. Under a plan being considered by the Richmond Hill City Council, that stretch of road would get sidewalks, along with 12 other areas in the city.
Source: Bryan County News

Camden County agencies may share one director
St. Marys is no longer a Main Street community and Woodbine is no longer a Better Home Town.
Source: Brunswick News

Council OKs rezoning despite concerns
The Hinesville City Council on Thursday approved, with special stipulations, a petition filed by Evans T & T Investments, LLC to rezone 44.12 acres of land for the Retreat at Oak Crest, Phase II and III, over-riding recommendations by the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission and public concerns.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Current alcohol ordinance left city of Statesboro 'powerless’
The city’s recourse to the Superior Court last fall for an order to close down two nightclubs after repeated gun violence, and a review of Statesboro’s Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance by the city attorney, revealed fundamental flaws in the existing city law.
Source: Statesboro Herald

With state enforcement of marsh buffer murky, St. Marys and Camden County consider adopting their own
Camden County officials are trying to determine whether they need to amend county ordinances in order to reestablish a 25-foot marsh buffer zone after changes in Georgia law left some areas without enforceable limits. Meanwhile, St. Marys says it will adopt its own marsh buffer standards partly to protect property owners from losses should they be allowed to build too close to the marsh.
Source: Florida Times-Union

While Chatham County's tax digest grows, other governments see declines
While Chatham County’s 2014 net tax digest increased by 1.57 percent, translating to approximately $2 million in growth from last year, the unincorporated area and some municipalities didn’t fare as well.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah seeking feedback on short-term rentals
City officials are trying to accommodate the growing popularity of online vacation rental sites such as Airbnb.com, and they want to get some feedback from residents on the rules being developed to govern the practice.
Source: Savannah Morning News

St. Marys restores 25-foot marsh buffer
St. Marys City Council has amended its Maritime Heritage Overlay District to immediately restore a 25-foot marsh buffer zone that was redefined by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in May.
Source: Brunswick News

City of Savannah unveils slavery research project
More light has been shed on a dark side of Savannah’s past, thanks to the work of one Armstrong State University graduate student.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Statesboro budget changes little; public hearing Thursday
Statesboro city officials aren't expecting a big crowd for Thursday's 4 p.m. public hearing on the fiscal year 2015 budget. No tax increases are proposed.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Port Wentworth OKs school agreement
Both the city of Port Wentworth and Savannah-Chatham public school officials have now approved an intergovernmental agreement regarding new school construction, which clears the way for the construction of a new Port Wentworth School.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah residents to be relocated for central police precinct
No one will be displaced after the city of Savannah purchases the row houses that line 33rd and 34th street, between Montgomery Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, according to one of the property’s owners.
Source: Savannah Morning News

New city compliance officer keeps an eye on contractors
The new guy charged with keeping contractors in check when it comes to hiring minority- and women-owned enterprises for city of Savannah projects went to work on May 5.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah changing the face of homeless advocacy
Beginning Monday, city of Savannah officials and caseworkers from the area’s umbrella homeless services providers will show up where groups of homeless gather in east Savannah.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Forsyth Park stage fountain being removed
Fears of gashed feet are prompting the removal of the fountain in front of Forsyth Park’s outdoor stage.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City creates office zoning classification
The city of Savannah and Chatham County have added a new zoning district classification called Office-Institutional, a designation that bridges the gap between residential and heavier commercial uses, according to city officials.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Richmond Hill council swears in new firefighters, honors others
The ranks of the Richmond Hill Fire Department grew Tuesday as three new firefighters were sworn in by Mayor Harold Fowler at the City Council meeting.
Source: Bryan County News

City pays tribute to Hometown Hero
Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler opened the city’s annual Memorial Day observance by honoring those who have fallen in the defense of the country and then paying special tribute to one who didn’t.
Source: Bryan County News

The places Rincon Police can go, with its new UTV
The Rincon Police Department has a new set of wheels — one that can access areas standard police cars can’t.
Source: Effingham Herald

Help sought for homeless in Hinesville
The city of Hinesville is hosting the fourth annual Project Homeless Connect on June 14, in the Bradwell Institute gymnasium. Each year, at least 100 families in this community experience homelessness.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

City may buy property for police precinct
The Savannah City Council on Thursday approved the $1 million purchase of property at 34th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard for a new Savannah-Chatham police station for the Central Precinct that they hope will help reduce crime in the area.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Low-income apartment complex draws opposition in Statesboro
Gateway Development Corp. will apply for tax credits to build a low-income apartment complex on Lester Road despite neighborhood opposition and a lack of endorsement by the city of Statesboro, Gateway Development President Thomas Ward said last week.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Homebrewers seeking more freedom to operate in city
Operating mainly outside the periphery of the rest of the city of Brunswick, there's a club of 15 smart and hardworking individuals who also happen to brew their own beer.
Source: Brunswick News