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If you are accused of a crime, the only thing standing between your freedom and a verdict of "guilty" is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Garden City, GA.

Those who have been arrested before know that life in the legal system is no laughing matter. Aside from the imminent ramifications of fines and jail time, any goals you have of bettering yourself and advancing your life could be compromised. Without a trusted attorney by your side, you could face a lifetime of embarrassment and poor employment prospects due to a tarnished criminal record.

The good news? Dennis O'Brien and his team of experienced lawyers in Garden City are ready to clear your name. By retaining the help of a criminal defense attorney early in the legal process, you have a much better chance of securing your freedom and living a life as a productive member of society.

At O'Brien Law Firm PC, our practice was founded to fight for the rights of individuals accused of or charged with a crime. Our team of legal experts is well-equipped to take even the most difficult, contentious cases. From violent felonies to DUI, there is nothing we haven't seen and handled. As a former law enforcement officer, founding attorney Dennis O'Brien knows exactly how much a person can lose if convicted. That's why we work tirelessly to secure a verdict that is favorable for our clients.

Regardless of how serious or minor your case may be, know that we will fight fearlessly on your behalf. You deserve zealous representation - when you hire O'Brien Law Firm PC, you will receive nothing less.

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The O'Brien Law Firm PC Difference

Many of our clients are surprised to discover that founding lawyer Dennis O'Brien was a police officer prior to his criminal defense career. As a former Field Training Officer for the Memphis Police Department, he has over two decades of knowledge and experience in the criminal justice system. Dennis truly understands the nuance and complexities involved in a criminal defense case. This rare experience gives Dennis a clear edge in any criminal defense case and gives clients priceless peace of mind when they need it the most. Unlike some criminal defense attorneys in Garden City, Dennis O'Brien and his team believe that every client deserves effective, empathetic legal assistance. While some Garden City criminal defense firms will take weekends off or pass along cases to paralegals, Dennis personally reviews each of his cases. There is no case too small or big for O'Brien Law Firm PC. When you hire our firm, you can rest easy knowing that we will be by your side when the going gets tough.

 Federal Defense Attorney Garden City, GA
Here are just a few reasons why O'Brien Law Firm PC is Garden City's top choice in criminal defense:
  • Vigorous Representation
  • Fierce Dedication to Clients
  • Unmatched Experience
  • Face-to-Face Counsel
  • Prompt Response to Inquiries and Questions
  • Commitment to Defending Your Rights
  • Thorough, Effective Research and Investigation
  • Contact Us or Call: 912-704-5150
 Criminal Defense Law Firms Garden City, GA
Our firm has represented hundreds of criminal defense clients in Garden City and is highly qualified to take your case. Some of our specialties include:

Drug Cases in Garden City, GA

When you are charged with a drug crime in Garden City, it can change your life forever. Georgia imposes very strict punishments for drug offenses. The truth is, it's hard to get your life back on track with a drug charge on your record. Your freedom and way of life could be in the hands of your criminal defense attorney. As such, you need a competent lawyer with years of experience handling drug cases. Leaving your fate in the hands of an incompetent attorney could have long-lasting effects on your family and may result in a conviction.

 Criminal Defense Lawyers Garden City, GA

Consequences for drug crimes in Garden City often include:

  • Jail
  • Prison
  • Heavy fines
  • Community service
  • Court-ordered drug and alcohol counseling
  • Probation or parole
  • Permanent criminal record

While the consequences for a drug crime in Georgia are serious, there's reason to be hopeful: O'Brien Law Firm PC is here to fight for you. Remember - being charged with a drug crime is NOT the same thing as being convicted.

Our stellar team has represented many clients facing numerous drug-related charges. While each situation varies, one constant remains the same for clients facing drug charges: a fear of what lies ahead. At O'Brien Law Firm PC our job is to help you overcome the fear of the unknown. We do so by ensuring you understand your charges, the possible outcomes associated with those charges, and the options you need to consider from a criminal defense standpoint.

With more than a decade of experience as Garden City drug crime attorneys, we have the experience and resources to defend you in court no matter what your charges may be, including:

  • Marijuana
  • Crack
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Ecstasy

No matter what charge you are facing, our team has the experience and resources to build a comprehensive defense strategy for your drug case in Garden City, GA. Without a criminal defense attorney acting as your advocate, you could be facing very harsh penalties. Here are a few punishments you could be facing for drug crimes in Garden City:

  • Schedule I or Schedule II Drug Possession
    Schedule I or Schedule II Drug Possession:

    Having less than a gram (or one milliliter for liquids) of this type of drug results in a prison term of one to three years. Having four grams or milliliter carries a term of one to eight years.

  • Schedule III, IV, or V Drug Possession
    Schedule III, IV, or V Drug Possession:

    Any substance on this list is punishable by a prison sentence of one to three years.

  • Non-Narcotic Schedule II Drug Possession
    Non-Narcotic Schedule II Drug Possession:

    If you have less than two grams or milliliters of this substance, punishments can be between one year and three years. Having up to four grams or milliliters results in a prison sentence of one to eight years.

  • Possession of Marijuana
    Possession of Marijuana:

    Those who are in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana are subject to a jail sentence of up to 12 months. Fines may be no more than $1,000. Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana can result in a prison term of one to 10 years.

To avoid these life-changing punishments, you must take action now. Contact O'Brien Law Firm today for a consultation about your case.

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 Defense Lawyers Garden City, GA
 Criminal Defense Attorney Garden City, GA

Violent Crime Cases in Garden City, GA

Violent crime offenses in Garden City typically involve some form of bodily harm to another individual, actions committed against an individual's will, or threatening someone with bodily harm. Aggravated violent offenses are more severe charges and often occur when a violent crime is made more serious due to circumstances like deadly weapons.

Much like serious drug cases, violent crimes create an added layer of negativity that follows the accused for the rest of their life. In these cases, even an accusation is enough to cause irreparable damage to a person's reputation. Those convicted of a violent crime face severe penalties that can include years in a correctional facility.

Common crimes of this nature include but are not limited to:
  • Murder
  • Assault with the intent to murder
  • Vehicular homicide
  • Domestic violence
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Carjacking

When you are accused of any of the above crimes, your freedom hangs in the balance. The outcome of your case will determine whether you leave the courtroom with your freedom intact or stripped away to serve time behind bars. Because the punishments for violent crimes are so extreme, you should be seeking legal counsel from a criminal defense attorney in Garden City, GA, as soon as possible. As a former police officer with a long record of positive verdicts in violent crime cases, Dennis O'Brien is well equipped to represent you in court.

Having a criminal defense lawyer by your side is the best way to avoid the serious punishments associated with violent crimes. These punishments usually result in prison time if convicted and include:
Forced rape: 20 years
Armed robbery: Up to 20 years
Simple assault: Up to 12 months
Aggravated assault: 10 to 20 years
Aggravated battery: Up to 20 years
Involuntary manslaughter: One to 20 years
Vehicular homicide Up to 15 years
Murder: Life in prison or the death sentence
Zealous Representation Without Judgement

As a former police officer, Dennis O'Brien has seen the toll it takes on a person when charged with a crime. His time in law enforcement allows him to empathize with his clients who desperately need competent representation. Despite being innocent until proven guilty, accusations are scary, and conviction could be a reality. That is why you must work with a trustworthy criminal defense lawyer in Garden City, GA who will work tirelessly to clear your name.

Clients choose O'Brien Law Firm because we believe in open communication, honesty, and hard work. It is not our job to act as judges for those who have been accused of crimes. Rather, our goal is to find the best defense that allows us to protect our clients' rights and freedoms.

DUI Cases in Garden City, GA

Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common crimes committed in Georgia. Punishments for such a crime can be severe, and for understandable reasons - when a person operates a vehicle while they are intoxicated, they're putting their life and the lives of others at risk.

While DUI is a serious crime that completely upend the accused's life, the earnest desire to end drunk driving can make police officers too eager to catch a person who they believe is under the influence.

 Criminal Defense Law Firm Garden City, GA

The city of Garden City, Georgia, has implemented severe punishments for DUI, even for first-time offenders. Individuals charged with DUI in Garden City could face:

  • Very expensive fines and fees
  • Loss of license
  • Incarceration

Fortunately, if you or someone you love has been charged with DUI, there is hope. This is particularly true when the accused is administered a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve a breath and/or blood test are beaten daily. When you hire O'Brien Law Firm PC, we will dive deep into your DUI case in Garden City and examine every angle possible for your case to be dismissed. Here are just a few questions our team will investigate:

  • Was the stop legal? If not, your case could be dismissed
  • Is there enough evidence or probable cause to arrest you? If not, Dennis O'Brien will file a pre-trial motion and will fight hard to have your case dismissed before trial.
  • Did the police read you your implied consent rights? If not, your case could be thrown out. Failure to read implied consent rights to the accused is one of the most common police errors.
  • Were your blood testing records and breathalyzer results maintained? Breath testing comes with inherent weaknesses that can create doubt in a juror's mind.

There are numerous ways to beat a DUI case in Georgia, from unreliable field sobriety tests to inaccurate state-administered breath tests. As a veteran criminal defense lawyer in Garden City, GA, Dennis O'Brien has the knowledge and experience to expose the state's mistakes and fight for your rights. When you hire O'Brien Law Firm PC your chances of dismissal are greatly increased. When your case is dismissed, you can continue living life without the burden of a criminal record.

 Criminal Justice Attorney Garden City, GA

If you or someone you love is accused of a crime in Garden City, GA, don't leave fate up to the prosecution. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family before it's too late.

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Latest News in Garden City, GA

‘We are in desperate need of housing’, Garden City pauses industrial rezoning applications for six months

GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WTOC) - The home city for the Georgia Ports Authority is pausing all applications for industrial rezoning.Garden City leaders announced a 6-month pause while they figure out how to make the city more residential.It’s mainly because of their proximity to the Georgia Ports. They get a lot of industrial applications that are leaving little room to build more housing.The city pulled a couple of applications developers were supposed to present to city council Monday night and some people are backing th...

GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WTOC) - The home city for the Georgia Ports Authority is pausing all applications for industrial rezoning.

Garden City leaders announced a 6-month pause while they figure out how to make the city more residential.

It’s mainly because of their proximity to the Georgia Ports. They get a lot of industrial applications that are leaving little room to build more housing.

The city pulled a couple of applications developers were supposed to present to city council Monday night and some people are backing the decision.

“We are in desperate need of housing,” said MonaLisa Monroe, President of the Garden City Housing Team.

That’s what Garden City leaders are working on by putting a pause on industrial rezoning applications.

“You don’t have a city if you don’t have residents,” said Scott Robider, the city manager of Garden City. “We need rooftops and actual citizens here and not just businesses.”

Garden City’s city manager said they were seeing far too many industrial and commercial inquiries with no interest in residential.

Robider said, “sometimes multiple inquiries a day.”

The mayor said what hit home for him was how development could possibly impact older, established neighborhoods.

“The warehouse would’ve been within 150 feet of the backyard and I told Scott, we have to do something,” said Mayor Don Bethune.

It’s a decision the Garden City Housing Team is grateful for.

“When I heard that, I was elated because we’ve been begging and pleading for residential zoning,” Monroe said.

The city said the moratorium might not make everyone happy.

“It’s caused some discomfort from our developers and folks looking to have developments done here, but if we don’t push pause now, I don’t know where we go from here,” Robider said.

The housing team has been waiting to begin and they said this is just the start they needed.

Monroe said, “the first thing we want to do is what we do best – renovate, rehab housing and prayerfully, hopefully, in the future 2023/24...we want to start building.”

The Garden City Housing Team said this came at the right time as they plan to find ways to use a $400,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for more rehabbing and renovation.

Garden City said any rezoning applications received before May 2 aren’t affected.

The moratorium will consist of city leaders taking a look at the comprehensive plan, ordinance changes to industrial property and meeting with developers and builders.

During the pause, they will accept industrial rezoning applications, but they won’t act on them.

Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.

A second West Chatham city freezes industrial development. Why growth trends are troubling

Garden City follows Bloomingdale's lead by imposing a moratorium on industrial rezoning as warehouse growth far outpaces residential developmentGarden City is pausing industrial rezoning applications for up to six months while officials assess the city's zoning ordinance and identify ways to increase residential construction.Council unanimously approved the moratorium resolution during Monday night's council meeting, citing a need to properly assess the city's current land uses and ensure the ...

Garden City follows Bloomingdale's lead by imposing a moratorium on industrial rezoning as warehouse growth far outpaces residential development

Garden City is pausing industrial rezoning applications for up to six months while officials assess the city's zoning ordinance and identify ways to increase residential construction.

Council unanimously approved the moratorium resolution during Monday night's council meeting, citing a need to properly assess the city's current land uses and ensure the comprehensive plan is still being followed.

This marks the second Chatham County municipality to put a hold on industrial zoning applications this year. In January, the city of Bloomingdale approved an eight-month moratorium on both industrial and multi-family zoning applications as the city evaluates its infrastructure capacity.

Garden City's moratorium effectively prohibits rezoning applications submitted after Monday's council meeting. Existing applications won't be affected and any applications for parcels already zoned as industrial do not apply.

Port growth puts pressure on neighbors

According to City Manager Scott Robider, Garden City primarily consists of commercial and industrial builds as opposed to residential communities. That's due to the municipality's proximity to one of the busiest ports in the nation, the Georgia Ports Authority's (GPA) Garden City Terminal.

"Garden City is the place to be as far as the ports are concerned," said Robider, "We need more citizens, we need more rooftops, so that's going to be a big focus during the six-month period."

All types of builds have increased in Chatham County, according to a 2021 report from the Board of Assessors. But, notably, the data shows that Garden City made up 1% of residential permits last year and 5% of commercial and industrial permits.

Robider said they receive applications for industrial rezoning almost daily.

"We're being inundated with people who are either illegally trying to put container yards in ... and we have some more (container yards) coming up on Dean Forest Road," said Mayor Don Bethune. "We just need to take a look at everything we're doing with that."

During the moratorium, the city will review their current industrial zoning laws and make any necessary changes to guidelines such as buffer zones.

Residential communities neighbor the Garden City Terminal, the single largest and fastest growing container terminal in North America. As a result, the city is known for bearing the brunt of truck traffic, train-induced delays and routine horn blasts.

The GPA's continued record growth is often lauded as an economic boon for Chatham and surrounding counties, but residents consider the industrialization a growing concern. At community meetings and city council sessions, residents consistently cite port traffic and encroaching warehouses as a top threat to their quality of life.

Warehouses abutting residential communities have led to homeowners selling their property and moving elsewhere, chipping away at neighborhoods. At times, those residential parcels are then rezoned to commercial or industrial to accommodate warehouse growth and also because the property's residential value has diminished.

Goal is to spark residential growth

When Bloomingdale enacted its moratorium, council members pointed to residents' desire to maintain the quiet, community-oriented feel. The city of about 2,800 is made up largely of residential-agricultural land, and its officials have a goal to maintain the small-town environment.

Garden City residents are calling for the same -- to maintain and grow the residential communities they do have, as well as bring in the necessary commercial resources such as grocery stores and restaurants.

"We have established residential neighborhoods that are being threatened by industrial encroachment," said Robider, "so we're going to take this time to look at how we can better protect them and still be equitable to the folks that want to do industrial business here."

Nancy Guan is the general assignment reporter covering Chatham County municipalities. Reach her at nguan@gannett.com or on Twitter @nancyguann.

'A pinnacle moment.' Garden City expands Chatham Area Transit, adding six new bus stops.

Garden City is expanding public transit in the westside municipality, adding six new bus stops along Georgia 21, the main commercial corridor.Garden City council unanimously approved a contract to expand Chatham Area Transit (CAT) services during Monday's council meeting. The expansion will ...

Garden City is expanding public transit in the westside municipality, adding six new bus stops along Georgia 21, the main commercial corridor.

Garden City council unanimously approved a contract to expand Chatham Area Transit (CAT) services during Monday's council meeting. The expansion will be funded entirely by the city, making it the first municipality in Chatham County to enter into a direct contract with CAT.

“This is a pinnacle moment for our city in several respects and a culmination of six years of work,” said City Manager Scott Robider. “With the new K-12 and the growth of the ports and warehouse community, this was a necessary action to help our community capitalize on those opportunities.”

The deal calls for $18,000 annually (from the city’s general fund) for the next five years. Robider said American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds will offset some of the costs. The city received about $3.25 million from the ARPA.

Once CAT obtains right-of-way permits, construction of the six stops will begin, likely early next year, said CAT CEO Faye Q. DiMassimo. The city will pay an additional $120,000 for the “deluxe bus stops” which will feature solar-powered light panels, covered seating, ADA compliant access and trash cans.

New CAT bus route 'tremendous' help

Council members praised the deal during Monday night’s council meeting. District 3 Representative Natalyn Bates Morris said the expansion will help her constituents “tremendously” as two of the stops will be situated in her district on Priscilla D. Thomas Way and Big Hill Road.

“This is going to be a great help to the residents because the closest stop right now is on the corner, right in front of Chatham City apartments. So those residents that live back in my district have to walk maybe a mile and a half. It’s a good haul,” said Morris.

Garden City is the only municipality in Chatham County besides Savannah that currently utilizes CAT’s public transportation services. CAT also runs in the unincorporated area.

The fixed bus routes, known as Route 3B and Route 3, stop along GA-21 at Minus Avenue, 3rd Street, Brampton Road, Prince Preston Way (Chatham City) and across from the Carey Hilliards restaurant, requiring customers to walk a “great distance between stops” according to Robider.

The GA-21 corridor is known for poor walkability and a project is currently underway to improve conditions along the road for pedestrians and businesses.

The existing fixed bus route was approved by Garden City voters in the 90s. Those residents who live on Georgia 21 and are within walking distance of the stops pay the extra 1.15 mills on their property taxes to fund the service. CAT also receives federal funds to run the route.

Improving residents' quality of life

However, the contract means the expanded portion of the route will be bankrolled entirely by the city’s general funds. Had it been a referendum on the November ballot, a citywide majority would’ve needed to approve a citywide expansion of the service. The stops wouldn’t be exclusive to only that corridor and, according to Robider, there is no general support for a citywide expansion.

“We’re taking it one case at a time,” he said, “It was never a thought of doing a run around the voters. This is the only way to get this done in a timely manner to meet the need.”

More:Pooler residents reject funding public transit with taxpayer dollars, but 'the need is still there'

During May’s primary elections, Pooler residents voted down a ballot referendum asking if residents would support a millage increase of 1.15 mills to bring CAT’s public transit services to the city.

“We are not waiting for the red tape to be removed; we are treating it like a business transaction for the benefit of the community,” said Robider.

The city manager, as well as CAT CEO DiMassimo acknowledged that since personnel issues and organizational changes within CAT have quelled, the deal was able to come together relatively quickly.

Garden City is home to a large number of port-related industry and warehouses as the municipality borders the Georgia Ports Authority’s Garden City Terminal. However, the city is trying to curb industrial encroachment and serve the needs of its residents. Expanding public transport is part of the effort to improve the quality of life in the industry-heavy area.

The city does anticipate expanding services beyond the Georgia 21 corridor to Dean Forest Road in the next phase, said Robider. A referendum is likely, as Dean Forest is an industry-heavy road and the largely ports-related businesses would have to pay for the millage increase.

"The goal is to shift the burden onto industrial rather than the city’s residents," said Robider. “But that will benefit them too because the workers at the warehouses can use the service."

Nancy Guan is the general assignment reporter covering Chatham County municipalities. Reach her at nguan@gannett.com or on Twitter @nancyguann.

Norfolk Southern removing train tracks in Garden City

GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WTOC) - 5th district residents in Garden City were relieved to hear they might not have to deal with train issues much longer, but they say they’ve been close to a solution before so only time will tell.“It still sits on the track for like an hour or two hours and it don’t move and if it moves it’ll back up and still sit,” said Lisa Williams, who lives in Garden City.Lisa Williams is among many residents of Garden City who are tired of trains coming through their neighborhoods and...

GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WTOC) - 5th district residents in Garden City were relieved to hear they might not have to deal with train issues much longer, but they say they’ve been close to a solution before so only time will tell.

“It still sits on the track for like an hour or two hours and it don’t move and if it moves it’ll back up and still sit,” said Lisa Williams, who lives in Garden City.

Lisa Williams is among many residents of Garden City who are tired of trains coming through their neighborhoods and sitting there.

“I just be praying because of my health issues, if I have a fall or something and someone can actually get in and help me and the train is not on the track,” said Williams.

Garden City leaders have been hearing those concerns and reporting some of them to train companies for years.

The Georgia Ports Authority is working on their Mega Rail Project that will double its capacity for rail and stop a lot of the back and forth on the tracks in that area.

“You’ll see even less switching over [Hwy.] 25 and 21,″ said Lee Beckmann, Manager of Government Affairs for the Georgia Ports Authority.

CSX was not involved in this meeting, but the Norfolk Southern Railway Company said they have a contract to remove tracks in this district.

Norfolk Southern’s Regional Vice President of Government Relations, Connor Poe, said, “Crossings will no longer be there, it will be just a road going like it always has...no stops, no nothing.”

Poe said it will be 60 days of inconvenience when they start taking them out. Right now, their working on the first phase – a new connection.

“It’s not an overnight process to rip up that rail that’s been there for 100 years,” said Poe. “It’s been there a long time.”

Some residents still aren’t convinced. “They always say action is better than words so let me see what they’re gonna do,” said Williams.

“Even if y’all have any doubt in your mind, once we make this new connection, we couldn’t put a train there if we wanted to,” said Poe.

They have until January of next year to finish with removing the tracks, but they’re hoping to be done well before that.

Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Garden City mayor will meet with railroad companies over train delays

GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WTOC) - Trains are still backing up traffic in Garden City.Mayor Don Bethune said they’re meeting with railroad companies this week to discuss new solutions.Train delays are something neighbors have dealt with for years and they don’t see it getting any better.“The train just sits there for two hours, three hours blocking the tracks,” said Duncan Johnson, who lives in the area.People like Duncan Johnson who live over here have nowhere to go.“It’s frustra...

GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WTOC) - Trains are still backing up traffic in Garden City.

Mayor Don Bethune said they’re meeting with railroad companies this week to discuss new solutions.

Train delays are something neighbors have dealt with for years and they don’t see it getting any better.

“The train just sits there for two hours, three hours blocking the tracks,” said Duncan Johnson, who lives in the area.

People like Duncan Johnson who live over here have nowhere to go.

“It’s frustrating because you can’t get out and you go through all these different numbers and after a while you’re just like why am I calling?”said Johnson.

A sign just went up a couple of weeks ago showing a phone number to call when there’s a train stopped for a long time.

It’s placed right off Priscilla D Thomas Way where there’s just one way in and out – but Johnson has been documenting when a delay happens.

“When you’ve lived here all these years, how they say, you can accept it,” Johnson said.

It’s not just a problem in this neighborhood.

“Just commuting through Garden City, just trying to get from one point or one destination to another and here’s a train,” Gary Monroe, Member of the Garden City Planning and Zoning Commission.

Part of why Alderwoman Natalyn Morris ran for city council was to help find a solution after missing important moments of her own.

“I’ve missed family member’s funerals. I’ve missed doctors appointments. I’ve missed medical appointments for procedures and those are hard to get rescheduled,” said Alderwoman Natalyn Morris.

Moving is not an easy fix for some people who live out here.

“Some residents have moved but after you get established a certain age you don’t wanna be moving everywhere”

Johnson has his own ideas for what could solve the problem.

“I want to see a frontage,” he said.

Mayor Don Bethune says the city has been listening and communicating with railroad companies in the area for years now.

“We are getting closer to some resolution,” said Garden City Mayor Don Bethune.

He says they plan to sit down this week and there could be some promising solutions on the way.

“It’s gonna get better. It’s not gonna be perfect, but it’ll be tolerable,” he said.

CSX declined an interview but they did send us this statement:

The mayor said it hasn’t gotten to the point where they need to get the Federal Railroad Administration to investigate, but they are sitting down with railroad companies this week to talk about taking away some of the trains on specific dates.

He’s also meeting with the Chatham County Commission to talk about possible funding for an overpass.

Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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