Criminal Defense Attorney in Vernonburg, GA.

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Drug Attorney Vernonburg, GA
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 Drug Defense Lawyer Vernonburg, GA
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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 Vernonburg, 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 Vernonburg 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.

 Drug Lawyer Vernonburg, GA
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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 Vernonburg, Dennis O'Brien and his team believe that every client deserves effective, empathetic legal assistance. While some Vernonburg 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 Vernonburg, GA
Here are just a few reasons why O'Brien Law Firm PC is Vernonburg'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 Vernonburg, GA
Our firm has represented hundreds of criminal defense clients in Vernonburg and is highly qualified to take your case. Some of our specialties include:

Drug Cases in Vernonburg, GA

When you are charged with a drug crime in Vernonburg, 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 Vernonburg, GA

Consequences for drug crimes in Vernonburg 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 Vernonburg 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 Vernonburg, 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 Vernonburg:

  • 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 Vernonburg, GA
 Criminal Defense Attorney Vernonburg, GA

Violent Crime Cases in Vernonburg, GA

Violent crime offenses in Vernonburg 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 Vernonburg, 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 Vernonburg, 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 Vernonburg, 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 Vernonburg, GA

The city of Vernonburg, Georgia, has implemented severe punishments for DUI, even for first-time offenders. Individuals charged with DUI in Vernonburg 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 Vernonburg 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 Vernonburg, 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 Vernonburg, GA

If you or someone you love is accused of a crime in Vernonburg, 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 Vernonburg, GA

Savannah Tree Foundation plants trees for young Pooler activists

wpeebles@savannahnow.comBack in September, Pooler City Council was hand-delivered a letter by two young activists.Alexis Jordan, 7, and her sister, Alyssa Jordan, 5, like many of their fellow Pooler residents, are concerned about their city’s tree canopy, which has sharply declined in recent years due to heavy residential and commercial development.Th...

wpeebles@savannahnow.com

Back in September, Pooler City Council was hand-delivered a letter by two young activists.

Alexis Jordan, 7, and her sister, Alyssa Jordan, 5, like many of their fellow Pooler residents, are concerned about their city’s tree canopy, which has sharply declined in recent years due to heavy residential and commercial development.

The two delivered their letter to then-Mayor Mike Lamb following the meeting.

“Dear City Council,” their letter read, “Please stop cutting down trees!!! We need to breathe. Trees are beautiful and animals need them, too.”

Now, during Georgia’s Arbor Day weekend, Savannah Tree Foundation (STF) is celebrating their efforts by planting two trees outside the Forest Lakes subdivision on Saturday, Feb. 22.

Abby Jordan said most days while taking her daughters to school, the girls lament at the clear-cutting along Pooler Parkway. Jordan said it’ll be nice to be able to pass by a place where the girls can see a couple of trees that were made possible by their efforts.

“It’s an area that we pass all the time, so the girls will be able to see the trees that they planted,” Jordan said. “I think that’s really cute.”

Alexis and Alyssa said they were excited to plant the trees with STF on Saturday and proud that their civil activism was being recognized.

The family will join STF for the planting.

“I’ll be proud of myself that I actually have planted a tree,” Alexis said.

STF Executive Director Zoe Rinker said she was also proud of the girls, and hopes the trees will serve as a reminder of their efforts.

“I especially have a soft spot for little girls who care about trees, especially because the forestry and arboreal world is filled with many men. So to have the passion at that age is really inspiring to me,” Rinker said. “And I'm just so excited to be able to foster that love of trees and to hopefully offer them opportunities beyond this — to continue volunteering and continue advocating for trees here in Chatham County Schools.”

In addition to the two trees in Pooler, STF will be planting a total of 36 trees around Chatham County this weekend in Bloomingdale, unincorporated Chatham County, Garden City, Port Wentworth, City of Savannah, Thunderbolt, Tybee and Vernonburg.

Tree for free

Pooler City Councilwoman Karen Williams’ Partner with Pooler to Plant a Tree For Free event will also be held Saturday

The city will purchase 430 trees from The Greenery Inc., which will be available for Pooler residents to pick up at the front parking lot of the Pooler Recreation Complex on Saturday

Certified Arborist Jessica Perry will be on hand to answer any questions residents have about the trees, and each tree will come with a guide on how to care for the species.

Williams, a member of the Garden Club of Pooler, said she has long been concerned about the trees lost in the wake of Pooler’s rapid development.

“Since I started attending the Planning and Zoning meetings almost four years ago, landscape and the loss of trees has been something I’ve paid a lot of attention to,” Williams said. “I feel like we’re losing too many trees with the clear cutting that’s going on, and so I’ve worked on this and spoken with these organizations because I wanted to give back to Pooler.”

Seven different indigenous species, including sycamores, river birches, October glories, maples, tulip poplars, trident maples, overcup oaks and Eastern redbuds will be available at the event, all in their dormant stage, in 6-foot, 5-foot and 4-foot sizes.

Savannah

If you live in Savannah, STF will be giving away trees this weekend, too.

STF and Green Truck Pub are teaming up for a Georgia Arbor Day Block Party from noon - 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 at Green Truck Pub.

Sunday’s event is the official kickoff for Green Truck’s month-long fundraising campaign for STF at the restaurant.

On Sunday, Green Truck Pub will serve a brunch special in addition to the regular menu. Green Truck will feature mimosas, micheladas, and Two Tides Brewing on tap. The block party promises to be fun for the whole family, with crafts, face-painting, and a petting zoo, hosted by Hunter Cattle Co., for kids.

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

Low Country Turners will host woodturning demonstrations throughout the day. Rob Cuilty, a local arborist and bonsai enthusiast, will be on site demonstrating bonsai techniques. Local groups COR Compost and Farm Truck 912 will also join the fun, with DJ Jose Ray providing music.

Green Truck is encouraging its patrons to “give green” and donate to STF.

Green Truck will match donations made through this campaign, with the goal to fund the planting of at least 10 trees. All funds raised will offset the cost of the Cool Schools tree planting at Jacob G. Smith Elementary.

Savannah Tree Foundation celebrates their founders, 40 years of service with Green Gala

For Do SavannahIn the mid-to-late 1970s, Savannah, much like today, experienced a significant economic boom. Three community women were concerned about how the rapid growth was impacting trees and green spaces in the city: Lynda Beam, Suzie Williams and Page Hungerpiller joined forces and established the Savannah Tree Foundation.This Saturday, Savannah Tree Foundation celebrates its trailblazing founders and 40 years of growing and preserving the Hostess City’s iconic tree canopy. Green Gala festivities tak...

For Do Savannah

In the mid-to-late 1970s, Savannah, much like today, experienced a significant economic boom. Three community women were concerned about how the rapid growth was impacting trees and green spaces in the city: Lynda Beam, Suzie Williams and Page Hungerpiller joined forces and established the Savannah Tree Foundation.

This Saturday, Savannah Tree Foundation celebrates its trailblazing founders and 40 years of growing and preserving the Hostess City’s iconic tree canopy. Green Gala festivities take place outdoors and under the trees of Tiedman Park across from Savannah Arts Academy.

More:Pooler's tree loss has traumatized residents for years. The city is finally taking action.

Known as the Forest City and recognized by The Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA, Savannah has a reputation for its lush, live oak tree-scapes. And thanks to the efforts and perseverance of three community leaders, Savannah’s canopy remains protected and growing.

“It’s actually a fantastic story,” recalled Zoe Rinker, the foundation’s executive director. “These women were all neighbors in the Vernonburg area, and they called themselves the Monday Morning Mothers of the Earth. Beam, Williams, and Hungerpiller sent out letters telling people why Savannah needed a tree ordinance, and they even presented their case at a Chatham County Commissioners meeting where they were laughed out of the room because they were seen as limiting development in the community. But the women didn’t give up. They launched Savannah Tree Foundation in 1982, and here we are today, green and growing, ready to celebrate.”

The Foundation has a long list of achievements in Savannah and Chatham County. The non-profit single-handedly protected the Candler Oak adjacent to Forsyth Park at Ruskin Hall. The largest tree in Georgia and estimated to be as many as 450 years old, the Candler Oak holds the only single-tree conservation easement in all of America. The organization also ensured the live oaks on White Bluff Road remained in place when it came time to widen that thoroughfare. And in 40 years, the Savannah Tree Foundation has partnered with neighborhoods and civic organizations to plant just over 5,000 trees throughout Chatham County.

“We are incorporating green practices and sustainability into the dinner event,” emphasized Rinker. “Our goal is to create as little trash as possible and minimize the overall carbon footprint of the evening.”

To do that, the organization is using compostable bamboo plates and utensils as well as corn-based cocktail cups. Savannah’s newest recycler, Lammergeier, will handle all glass recycling. Chef Nick Mueller caters the event’s four-course meal, focusing on additional vegan and vegetarian menu options. The silent auction is hosted completely online, eliminating all paper for the auction fundraiser.

Sonny Jelinek, director of Jelinek Cork Group, provides commemorative cork coasters for the special evening and is excited to be among sponsors of the event. His company has been in the cork industry since 1855 and has retail stores around the world, including one on Bay Street in Savannah.

“Our family business specializes in the promotion, production, and distribution of cork products. We work with this material from the forest until the final product and we are committed to sustainability,” said Jelinek. “It’s an honor that my company will be contributing to the evening. The cork tree is a type of oak, and its bark can be harvested without harming it. The cork tree is an ecologically friendly, renewable resource that fits with the mission of Savannah Tree Foundation.”

Steve Chick, president of Guerry Lumber, is also proud of the partnership his company has fostered over the years with the non-profit. Guerry Lumber is a local business in which Lynda Beam was once part owner.

“We understand this asset we have in our city. Our trees make Savannah a vibrant, beautiful place, and this is something that Lynda absolutely knew,” said Chick.

“Savannah Tree Foundation is a wonderful organization that focuses on tree health, tree planting, and community awareness to improve public green way. It’s remarkable that an idea from three women has grown into such a great community organization. Happy to help and am looking forward to another 40 years of good work.

Spring has sprung:Here is how to take care of your garden this season

It’s been two year’s since the last Green Gala, and Savannah Tree Foundation is eager and ready to mix and mingle again. The annual fundraiser dinner accounts for more than half of the organization’s yearly fundraising budget.

“We see this as an opportunity to re-introduce ourselves to the Savannah community,” emphasized Rinker. “And tell the story of how we came to be. That if you believe in something and see its value at the greater community level for generations to come — and refuse to give up — that true intention and perseverance will yield great things. We’ve come so far in 40 years, and I’m excited to see how many more trees and green spaces the next 40 will bring to Savannah.”

IF YOU GO

What: Savannah Tree Foundation presents Green Gala

Where: Tiedman Park, Washington Ave, Savannah (across from Savannah Arts Academy)

When: Saturday, April 23, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

'Wish we had more choices': Garden City council candidates must address livability issues

Garden City's District 5, which is the most competitive races in the Nov. 2 municipal elections, sits next to the Georgia Ports. Residents say the locale magnifies the impact of industrialization.It’s around 10 a.m. when Josephine Robinson, a Garden City resident, pulls up to the railroad crossing intersecting Priscilla D. Thomas Way. The CSX train is rolling across the tracks and there’s no telling when exactly it’s going to pass.“Normally it’ll go pretty good,” said Robinso...

Garden City's District 5, which is the most competitive races in the Nov. 2 municipal elections, sits next to the Georgia Ports. Residents say the locale magnifies the impact of industrialization.

It’s around 10 a.m. when Josephine Robinson, a Garden City resident, pulls up to the railroad crossing intersecting Priscilla D. Thomas Way. The CSX train is rolling across the tracks and there’s no telling when exactly it’s going to pass.

“Normally it’ll go pretty good,” said Robinson, “but then it’ll stop and it can take up to an hour or two hours.”

First City Progress:Traffic, construction delays at Wilmington River bridge has costly impacts

Robinson and her children have no choice but to sit in the car and wait. Her family lives in a small neighborhood that is completely blocked off whenever the train crosses Thomas Way, their only way in and out. It’s an extreme case of what other Garden City residents have to deal with on a daily basis, living right next to one of Chatham County’s biggest economic drivers, the Georgia Ports Authority.

But for Robinson and about 20 other households, this extreme case is their reality. Residents who live in neighborhoods on Big Hill Road also face this issue unless they want to run the risk of traveling down a private rail street.

“You don't get used to it, you get upset," said Robinson. "You have to go to the bathroom or there's some emergency and you're behind schedule."

As the Nov. 2 municipal elections draws near, issues about livability, driven in large part by the city’s proximity to the South Atlantic region's busiest railway, dictate who residents want to see in charge of their local government.

Citizens of District 5, which sits closest to the ports, will choose between four candidates this year: incumbent Kim Tice and challengers Corey Foreman, Todd Payne and Chris Figiel.

A Garden City at-large seat is also up with Donna Williams facing previous council member Bruce Campbell. The District 1 seat, currently occupied by Marcia Daniel, is uncontested.

Issues of traffic, infrastructure and essential resources are Garden City residents' top concerns.

Garden City District 5 candidates must address traffic and resources

Garden City residents all deal with train and truck traffic from the GPA's Garden City Terminal to some extent. They also struggle with the growing number of warehouses and container yards, which some say detract from the livability of the city.

However, District 5 feels the effects at an acute level because it neighbors port property.

"I can sit in my backyard and hear the 'clang clang clang'," said Yvonne Blalock, a longtime resident who lives on Herty Avenue.

She said she's gotten used to the noise by now, but then recalls a time last year when her ambulance was stuck behind a train for 30 minutes, delaying treatment for COVID-19. Blalock said she was eventually taken to the hospital, but the dilemma illustrates residents' worst fears.

Over the years, Mayor Don Bethune said city officials have been able to work with the GPA to cut down wait times and the frequency of the blockages. The Mason Mega Rail project, which is scheduled for completion in 2022, will clear the track that runs across the city once it's finished.

However, the neighborhoods on Priscilla D. Thomas Way and Big Hill Road will still be enclosed.

"We're completely surrounded by nothing but traffic," said Foreman, who's lived in the city for two years.

When looking at the map, his district is bookended by Georgia 25 and Georgia 21.

Industrial development raises growth, zoning concerns

Foreman said one of his main goals, if elected, is to control the amount of industrial zoning happening around the city.

"Industry is always going to be here, but if you can't control industry and families and have that mixture, then Garden City isn't a city at that point. It's just an industrial town," said Foreman.

In order to do so, Foreman said residential zoning needs to be preserved and more housing must be developed. He also said he'd like to find more ways for the GPA to compensate residents for their industrial impact.

"When they're putting in a new railroad track, it's not for the benefit of the city, it's for the benefit of the ports," said Foreman.

However, the city's issue with spot zoning presents a challenge to preserving residential areas. Tice, the District 5 incumbent, said she's witnessed residents who become surrounded by industrial or commercial development and decide to move.

"They ask to change their properties from residential to commercial so they can get a fair market value off of their property," said Tice.

Bethune, the mayor, notes that the reason Garden City is able to keep their property taxes so low is because the businesses pay a large portion of it.

"Residents pay typically 12% of the total property tax we take in," said Bethune.

More:Crane operators regularly make more than $90,000 at Georgia Ports. Leadership makes $500,000-plus

Garden City's property tax rate (3.489 mills) is the lowest out of the municipalities in Chatham County, save for Bloomingdale and Vernonburg, which are much smaller in size and have a millage rate of zero.

Tice said her biggest concern is ensuring the safety of the residents and that they continue to have a decent living environment.

"The ports have worked with us in the past," said Tice. "They've made buffers trying to keep the noise reduction down. We also ensure that no 18-wheelers can park in front of their homes."

A call for better municipal management

Payne, who's lived in Garden City for almost eight years, said he thinks the city "has not been managed right."

"We need to do something to draw people here," said Payne. "There's only one grocery store here ... you can't sit down in Garden City and have a good meal."

Comprehensive Plan 2040:Chatham residents want more grocery stores and bike lanes, drainage issues fixed

Payne said he wants to see more resources for residents so that the city doesn't just become a place people pass through.

"You can't find anything essential here," said Payne.

Figiel, who works in hospitality management, said he also wants to see more grocery options in Garden City. Figiel has lived there for about a year and lived around the Coastal Empire prior to that.

"I've seen the area and seen how it's developed, and I've seen how Garden City is kind of getting left behind," said Figiel, "No one really thinks of Garden City, so how do we get out of that mindset?"

Figiel said he wants to improve the small business presence in the city.

"Some other cities have small business ambassadors who will go out when these new businesses open up and they'll help them out, but Garden City doesn't have that," said Figiel.

Della Magaña, who has been a resident since 1987 and lives in District 5, said she wishes Garden City had more of a sense of place. Sometimes she feels her neighborhood’s existence is in limbo.

“I keep waiting, I keep thinking they're (GPA) going to buy us out," she said.

That's one reason she's put off doing repairs on her house. Over the years, she's seen the few number of grocery stores in the city dwindle down to one, and the city hall move from her side of the city to the other.

“We need more choices," said Magaña, "I realize that nobody can make all the changes and things have to work in a system, but even the little things like a festival that would bring the residents together. Those will be the things we can see."

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

Chatham County discusses sales tax project to fund transportation improvements

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTGS) — Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) is a single county sales tax that supports transportation service projects in Chatham County.The county met with elected officials from the eight municipalities Wednesday, to discuss the next steps in the process to get the tax approved.The project will allow each of the municipalities to be allocated funds to address their specific transportation projects and/or needs.Municipalities include Savannah, Pooler, Garden City, B...

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTGS) — Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) is a single county sales tax that supports transportation service projects in Chatham County.

The county met with elected officials from the eight municipalities Wednesday, to discuss the next steps in the process to get the tax approved.

The project will allow each of the municipalities to be allocated funds to address their specific transportation projects and/or needs.

Municipalities include Savannah, Pooler, Garden City, Bloomingdale, Tybee Island, Vernonburg, Thunderbolt and Port Wentworth.

Municipalities were told to compile a list of projects where they would like to see the funds go. According to Chatham County Board of Commissioner Chairmen Chester Ellis, he received lists from every municipality except for one.

“I have everybody’s list except the city of Savannah and I told them that. I have everybody’s list. Folks have signed their IGA. Their lawyers met to make sure it says what it says. We were getting ready today, to write the resolution to go on the ballot," said Ellis.

With the city of Savannah being the largest municipality in Chatham County, Savannah Alderman Nick Palumbo said there are other steps in the process that must be done on their end first.

"The only fair way for us to do it for the largest municipality to address this is by a resolution from our council. We don’t have all of our council members here, they all need to be read in on this and we need to pass a resolution at our council first before we can submit a project list," said Palumbo.

Another concern that officials voiced was the timing of when the TSPLOST ballot question should be voted on.

Chairmen Ellis wanted the TSPLOST project to be on the ballot for the general primary election on May 24.

However, some municipalities would rather wait till the November election to give them more time to prepare and advertise to the community. Ellis isn’t a fan of that decision.

“My personal opinion is that we would’ve been better off doing it in May but I'm flexible enough to do what the community wants us to do," said Ellis.

Ellis says 45% to 50% of the money that will go towards TSPSLOST will come from Savannah visitors.

"If you help people, with their needs in their community they will vote for it. All the counties surrounding us, including Jasper County in South Carolina, all of them have a TSPLOST. They’re at nine percent sales tax, while were at seven. So, this would only take us to eight percent," said Ellis.

The county is scheduled to approve a resolution to place TSPLOST on the ballot on January 28.

The estimated revenue for TSPLOST is $423 million with the city of Savannah receiving more than $140 million for their projects alone.

Heavy Rainfall Across Southeast South Carolina and Georgia - June 2019

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTSPOTTER REPORTSNATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON SC708 PM EDT THU JUN 13 2019...HEAVY RAINS FALL ACROSS SOUTHEAST SOUTH CAROLINA AND SOUTHEAST GEORGIA... THE FOLLOWING ARE UNOFFICIAL OBSERVATIONS TAKEN BY VARIOUS QUALITYCONTROLLED OBSERVATIONS SYSTEMS FROM ACROSS SOUTHEAST SOUTH CAROLINAAND SOUTHEAST GEORGIA. RAINFALL REPORTS ARE FROM JUNE 10 THROUGH 7 AM ON THE 13TH.********************STORM TOTAL RAINFALL********************LOCATION STORM TOTAL TIME/DATE COMMENTS ...

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTSPOTTER REPORTSNATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON SC708 PM EDT THU JUN 13 2019...HEAVY RAINS FALL ACROSS SOUTHEAST SOUTH CAROLINA AND SOUTHEAST GEORGIA... THE FOLLOWING ARE UNOFFICIAL OBSERVATIONS TAKEN BY VARIOUS QUALITYCONTROLLED OBSERVATIONS SYSTEMS FROM ACROSS SOUTHEAST SOUTH CAROLINAAND SOUTHEAST GEORGIA. RAINFALL REPORTS ARE FROM JUNE 10 THROUGH 7 AM ON THE 13TH.********************STORM TOTAL RAINFALL********************LOCATION          STORM TOTAL     TIME/DATE   COMMENTS                                        RAINFALL           OF                      /INCHES/   MEASUREMENTGEORGIA...BRYAN COUNTY...   1 NNE RICHMOND HILL   4.25   510 PM  6/13  GA-BR-2: 3-DAY TOTAL.      2 NW BELFAST          2.18   527 PM  6/13  GA-BR-9: 3-DAY TOTAL.   ...BULLOCH COUNTY...   4 S GEORGIA SOUTHERN  4.02   511 PM  6/13  GA-BU-15: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 NW STATESBORO       1.99   638 PM  6/13  GAEMN MESONET                    4 N STATESBORO        1.51   611 PM  6/13  GA-BU-13: 3-DAY TOTAL.  ...CANDLER COUNTY...   7 N METTER            1.44   612 PM  6/13  GA-CD-2: 3-DAY TOTAL.   ...CHATHAM COUNTY...   5 S POOLER            8.85   501 PM  6/13  GA-CT-77: 3-DAY TOTAL.     KSAV SAVANNAH AIRPORT 6.89   628 PM  6/13  KSAV: 3-DAY TOTAL.         2 NW BURROUGHS        6.35   639 PM  6/13  GAEMN MESONET                    2 NE GARDEN CITY      5.85   505 PM  6/13  GA-CT-28: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 SW GARDEN CITY      5.41   506 PM  6/13  GA-CT-83: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 NW POOLER           4.55   508 PM  6/13  GA-CT-1: 3-DAY TOTAL.      7 SSW SKIDAWAY ISLAN  3.91   634 PM  6/13  GAEMN MESONET                    6 SSE MELDRIM         3.87   512 PM  6/13  GA-CT-67: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 N ISLE OF HOPE      3.46   513 PM  6/13  GA-CT-57: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 W SANDFLY           3.20   514 PM  6/13  GA-CT-74: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 W SKIDAWAY ISLAND   2.79   516 PM  6/13  GA-CT-75: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 SW VERNONBURG       2.72   521 PM  6/13  GA-CT-36: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 WSW WINDSOR FOREST  2.46   522 PM  6/13  GA-CT-3: 3-DAY TOTAL.      1 WNW WHITE BLUFF     2.42   522 PM  6/13  GA-CT-60: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 NNW WHITE BLUFF     2.37   523 PM  6/13  GA-CT-55: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 NE SKIDAWAY ISLAND  2.29   636 PM  6/13  GAEMN MESONET                    1 E WILMINGTON ISLAN  2.24   526 PM  6/13  GA-CT-80: 3-DAY TOTAL.     SAVANNAH              2.24   525 PM  6/13  GA-CT-79: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 N TYBEE ISLAND      2.12   528 PM  6/13  GA-CT-37: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 ENE WILMINGTON ISL  2.03   607 PM  6/13  GA-CT-64: 3-DAY TOTAL.  ...EFFINGHAM COUNTY...   1 SW STILLWELL        6.35   503 PM  6/13  GA-EF-17: 3-DAY TOTAL.     MARLOW                5.87   504 PM  6/13  GA-EF-13: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 WSW EBENEZER        4.78   507 PM  6/13  GA-EF-18: 3-DAY TOTAL.  ...EVANS COUNTY...   3 N BELLVILLE         1.59   609 PM  6/13  GA-EV-1: 3-DAY TOTAL    ...LIBERTY COUNTY...   4 ENE MIDWAY          2.79   517 PM  6/13  GA-LB-6: 3-DAY TOTAL.      1 N HINESVILLE        1.89   608 PM  6/13  GA-LB-11: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 E HALFMOON LANDING  1.56   610 PM  6/13  GA-LB-10: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 ENE MIDWAY          1.35   614 PM  6/13  GA-LB-4: 3-DAY TOTAL    ...MCINTOSH COUNTY...   2 NNE PINE HARBOR     1.43   613 PM  6/13  GA-MI-5: 3-DAY TOTAL.      3 NNE SHELLMAN BLUFF  1.24   615 PM  6/13  GA-MI-1: 3-DAY TOTAL.      SAPELO ISLAND         1.10   617 PM  6/13  GA-MI-6: 3-DAY TOTAL.      1 S CARNIGAN          1.06   622 PM  6/13  GA-MI-3: 3-DAY TOTAL.   ...SCREVEN COUNTY...   1 S NEWINGTON         2.85   515 PM  6/13  GA-SV-5: 3-DAY TOTAL.      1 W SYLVANIA          1.47   624 PM  6/13  GA-SV-3: 3-DAY TOTAL.   SOUTH CAROLINA...ALLENDALE COUNTY...   2 SE ALLENDALE        0.44   457 PM  6/13  SC-AL-2: 3-DAY TOTAL.   ...BEAUFORT COUNTY...   3 ENE BLUFFTON       11.07   306 PM  6/13  SC-BF-22: 3-DAY TOTAL.    1 N BLUFFTON          9.53   704 PM  6/13  SC-BF-74: 2-DAY TOTAL.     2 W PRITCHARDVILLE    9.20   705 PM  6/13  SC-BF-85: 2-DAY TOTAL.     3 NNE HILTON HEAD IS  8.80   309 PM  6/13  SC-BF-2: 3-DAY TOTAL.      2 NNW PRITCHARDVILLE  8.20   310 PM  6/13  SC-BF-86: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 NNE BLUFFTON        8.09   311 PM  6/13  SC-BF-4: 3-DAY TOTAL.      2 SSW PRITCHARDVILLE  7.25   313 PM  6/13  SC-BF-50: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 N PRITCHARDVILLE    7.09   315 PM  6/13  SC-BF-10: 3-DAY TOTAL      6 E JASPER            6.58   316 PM  6/13  SC-BF-32: 3-DAY TOTAL.     6 ENE JASPER          6.20   321 PM  6/13  SC-BF-36: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 WNW PARRIS ISLAND   5.88   323 PM  6/13  SC-BF-53: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 NNW FOLLY FIELD     5.26   332 PM  6/13  SC-BF-66: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 ENE HILTON HEAD IS  5.01   336 PM  6/13  SC-BF-59: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 NNW PORT ROYAL      4.49   347 PM  6/13  SC-BF-80: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 ESE BEAUFORT        4.43   352 PM  6/13  SC-BF-68: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 NNE BEAUFORT        4.40   355 PM  6/13  SC-BF-35: 3-DAY TOTAL.     5 NE BEAUFORT         3.42   410 PM  6/13  SC-BF-37: 3-DAY TOTAL.     7 NNW TYBEE ISLAND    3.39   410 PM  6/13  SC-BF-23: 3-DAY TOTAL.  ...BERKELEY COUNTY...   7 NNE GOOSE CREEK     5.11   332 PM  6/13  SC-BK-55: 3-DAY TOTAL.     SANGAREE              4.18   357 PM  6/13  SC-BK-68: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 SE COLLEGE PARK     2.93   421 PM  6/13  SC-BK-17: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 NNW GOOSE CREEK     2.90   422 PM  6/13  SC-BK-65: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 ESE COLLEGE PARK    2.71   425 PM  6/13  SC-BK-71: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 NE GOOSE CREEK      2.65   427 PM  6/13  SC-BK-57: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 S DANIEL ISLAND     2.37   434 PM  6/13  SC-BK-48: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 SSW DANIEL ISLAND   2.28   437 PM  6/13  SC-BK-61: 3-DAY TOTAL.     SAINT STEPHEN         1.61   446 PM  6/13  SC-BK-59: 3-DAY TOTAL.     6 WNW SAINT STEPHEN   1.17   450 PM  6/13  SC-BK-29: 3-DAY TOTAL.  ...CHARLESTON COUNTY...   3 SW EDISTO ISLAND    7.11   314 PM  6/13  SC-CR-153: 3-DAY TOTAL     3 S SHADOWMOSS        6.29   318 PM  6/13  SC-CR-97: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 SW SHADOWMOSS       5.92   322 PM  6/13  SC-CR-151: 3-DAY TOTAL.    5 E BENNETTS POINT    5.74   325 PM  6/13  SC-CR-155: 3-DAY TOTAL     5 SSE CAINHOY         5.46   325 PM  6/13  SC-CR-26: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 ESE EDISTO ISLAND   5.35   326 PM  6/13  SC-CR-115: 3-DAY TOTAL.    2 NNW NORTH CHARLEST  5.34   328 PM  6/13  SC-CR-57: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 N ROCKVILLE         5.29   329 PM  6/13  SC-CR-98: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 SSW SHADOWMOSS      5.00   337 PM  6/13  SC-CR-6: 3-DAY TOTAL.      3 SE CAINHOY          4.72   338 PM  6/13  SC-CR-112: 3-DAY TOTAL.    MCCLELLANVILLE        4.70   341 PM  6/13  SC-CR-33: 3-DAY TOTAL      3 SE HANAHAN          4.66   341 PM  6/13  SC-CR-78: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 SW SHADOWMOSS       4.60   343 PM  6/13  SC-CR-173: 3-DAY TOTAL.    1 SSE CAINHOY         4.57   345 PM  6/13  SC-CR-106: 3-DAY TOTAL.    4 SSE CAINHOY         4.46   349 PM  6/13  SC-CR-158: 3-DAY TOTAL.    2 N NORTH CHARLESTON  4.42   353 PM  6/13  SC-CR-171: 3-DAY TOTAL.    5 ESE CAINHOY         4.41   354 PM  6/13  SC-CR-146: 3-DAY TOTAL.    KCXM: DTWN CHARLESTON 4.22   627 PM  6/13  KCXM: 3-DAY TOTAL.         2 N MOUNT PLEASANT    4.09   359 PM  6/13  SC-CR-148: 3-DAY TOTAL.    4 E JOHNS ISLAND      4.08   401 PM  6/13  SC-CR-74: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 SSW JAMES ISLAND    3.99   402 PM  6/13  SC-CR-60: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 NNW MOUNT PLEASANT  3.82   405 PM  6/13  SC-CR-10: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 SE DANIEL ISLAND    3.77   407 PM  6/13  SC-CR-144: 3-DAY TOTAL.    1 ESE CHARLESTON AIR  3.53   407 PM  6/13  SC-CR-49: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 S CAINHOY           3.50   409 PM  6/13  SC-CR-113: 3-DAY TOTAL.    1 ESE KIAWAH ISLAND   3.36   411 PM  6/13  SC-CR-154: 3-DAY TOTAL.    2 NW LADSON           3.31   413 PM  6/13  SC-CR-149: 3-DAY TOTAL.    1 SW JAMES ISLAND     3.15   416 PM  6/13  SC-CR-141: 3-DAY TOTAL.    3 WSW JAMES ISLAND    2.77   423 PM  6/13  SC-CR-175: 3-DAY TOTAL.    3 SSE WEST ASHLEY     2.72   424 PM  6/13  SC-CR-88: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 NE MOUNT PLEASANT   2.57   429 PM  6/13  SC-CR-4: 3-DAY TOTAL.      2 SW GOOSE CREEK      2.57   430 PM  6/13  SC-CR-30: 3-DAY TOTAL.     KCHS: CHARLESTON APRT 2.57   627 PM  6/13  KCHS: 3-DAY TOTAL.         2 SSW NORTH CHARLEST  2.48   432 PM  6/13  SC-CR-87: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 ENE MOUNT PLEASANT  2.47   433 PM  6/13  SC-CR-77: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 NE JAMES ISLAND     2.33   435 PM  6/13  SC-CR-96: 3-DAY TOTAL.     5 ENE SULLIVANS ISLA  1.44   448 PM  6/13  SC-CR-166: 3-DAY TOTAL. ...COLLETON COUNTY...   1 SSE GREEN POND      6.25   320 PM  6/13  SC-CL-4: 3-DAY TOTAL.      3 SSW ROUND O         4.53   346 PM  6/13  SC-CL-16: 3-DAY TOTAL.     3 NNW COTTAGEVILLE    3.06   417 PM  6/13  SC-CL-17: 3-DAY TOTAL.     CANADYS               2.65   428 PM  6/13  SC-CL-6: 3-DAY TOTAL.      3 NNW WALTERBORO      2.27   439 PM  6/13  SC-CL-3: 3-DAY TOTAL.      1 NW ASHTON           2.26   439 PM  6/13  SC-CL-9: 3-DAY TOTAL.      2 W ISLANDTON         2.09   443 PM  6/13  SC-CL-20: 3-DAY TOTAL.     SMOAKS                1.46   447 PM  6/13  SC-CL-5: 3-DAY TOTAL.   ...DORCHESTER COUNTY...   4 WNW CHARLESTON AIR  3.22   415 PM  6/13  SC-DC-57: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 SSW SUMMERVILLE     2.96   420 PM  6/13  SC-DC-36: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 SE KNIGHTSVILLE     2.96   420 PM  6/13  SC-DC-62: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 S RIDGEVILLE        1.99   445 PM  6/13  SC-DC-66: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 SSE REEVESVILLE     0.87   454 PM  6/13  SC-DC-18: 3-DAY TOTAL.  ...HAMPTON COUNTY...   2 W HAMPTON           2.51   430 PM  6/13  SC-HM-21: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 SSE HAMPTON         2.45   434 PM  6/13  SC-HM-7: 3-DAY TOTAL.      3 WNW CROCKETVILLE    2.33   436 PM  6/13  SC-HM-16: 3-DAY TOTAL.     1 SE HAMPTON          2.20   441 PM  6/13  SC-HM-15: 3-DAY TOTAL.     2 SSW BRUNSON         1.45   449 PM  6/13  SC-HM-2: 3-DAY TOTAL.   ...JASPER COUNTY...   2 S JASPER            5.80   324 PM  6/13  SC-JS-9: 3-DAY TOTAL.      1 SSE OLD HOUSE       5.07   334 PM  6/13  SC-JS-3: 3-DAY REPORT.

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