GEORGIA TECH-SAVANNAH SLATED TO FOCUS ON OSHA ISSUES IN NEXT VIRTUAL LEARNERS AND LEADERS FREE SEMINAR

GEORGIA TECH-SAVANNAH SLATED TO FOCUS ON OSHA ISSUES IN NEXT VIRTUAL LEARNERS AND LEADERS FREE SEMINAR

SAVANNAH, GA. – MARCH 16, 2021 – Georgia Tech-Savannah is slated to host the next in their breakfast series of virtual Learners and Leaders seminars from 9-10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 27.  These popular events are free to all participants, although registration is required.  Today, more than ever before, as the nation emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the responsibilities of employers and managers to follow guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are top of mind for many people in the workplace.

Participants in this free seminar will learn about OSHA issues and virtual attendees will hear from: Colin McRae, Partner at Hunter Maclean; Misty Hayes, Regional Safety Manager at U.S. Xpress, Inc.; Luke Dorman, Senior Project Manager at DPR Construction; and Tom Mcllvaine, EHS Manager. Each panelist will speak about their personal experiences and discussions will include a focus on: issues and the implications and challenges of a multi-employer worksite and how to implement best management practices for all types of employees working on the same jobsite; how to prepare for and what to expect from an OSHA inspection as well as the legal ramifications of employing temporary workers. Attendees will be invited to submit questions for the panelists by the program facilitator.

“Learning how to abide by OSHA regulations is essential in all types of workplaces. This virtual Learners and Leaders event is likely to be popular among safety directors, managers, supervisors, foremen and women, human resources professionals, and administrators who all need to be prepared (and prepare their employees) for these issues. I believe participants will be interested to hear from business leaders who have extensive experience with OSHA and value the opportunity to ask questions. We welcome any business professional to join us for this session,” said Dana Atkinson, Research Associate II at Georgia Tech OSHA Education Center.

To register for this event, please visit, https://osha2021currenttrends.eventbrite.com.

SAVANNAH WRITER AND EDUCATOR LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO PRODUCE FIRST-EVER BLACK LGBTQ+ SHORT FILM, PRITTY: THE ANIMATION

SAVANNAH WRITER AND EDUCATOR LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO PRODUCE FIRST-EVER BLACK LGBTQ+ SHORT FILM, PRITTY: THE ANIMATION

SAVANNAH, GA – Embargoed: 10:30 a.m. March 11, 2021 – Pritty: The Animation – the first-ever, Black, queer animated short film based in Savannah is launching its Kickstarter Long Story Short campaign on Thursday, March 11 to reach their next stretch goal of $125,000 on the path to raising 1.6M for the total production budget.

Keith F. Miller, Jr.,an award-winning educator, artist, researcher, and Savannah native wrote a soon-to-be published LGBTQ+ novel inspired by the complexity of growing up Black and queer in the Deep South. Founder of Healing By Any Means, a creative consultancy and production company that powers people, projects, and research at the heart of systems and narrative change using art, media, and healing-focused pedagogy, Keith crossed paths with a NYU filmmaker, Terrance Daye, and together, they reimagined a chapter of his novel into a short film – Pritty: The Animation.

To donate to the Campaign, please visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/prittyfilm/pritty-the-animation.

This story was created in response to a startling, ever-present truth: boys and young men of color face innumerable obstacles that prevent them from living long, full, healthy, and productive, emotionally-rich lives. Miller believes there is a correlation be­tween the limited range of queer youth of color representation on screen and the staggering number of suicide attempts LGBTQ+ youth around the country. Unfortunately, most queer coming-of-age films habitually reproduce trau­mas onscreen without visualizing futures beyond the “coming out” experience.

Pritty: The Animation aims to address this disparity by showcasing youth of color, specifically Black men, in an unconventional light. Instead of perpetuating the same narrative of Black boys fighting, belittling, and harming one another, viewers experience a front-row seat of a different reality and narrative of them at play, discovering themselves, being vulnerable and healing in the process. This intentional approach of visualizing that “When Black and Brown youth play, they heal” stems from Miller’s own research and work as an educator at the Deep Center. Today, few, if any, animated queer coming-of-age stories exist for Black men. Pritty aims to fill this gap and expand a necessary conversation around what it means to be a Black boy coming-of-age in America.

“Putting this together in the middle of a pandemic – there were so many reasons to give up, but we are a team of dreamers and talented, queer POC artists who just don’t know when to stop,” said Pritty: The Animation Director Terrance Daye. “We believe that the Black kids we create this art for are worth the big asks, time, and money that it takes to put a production like this together. That is why we could not stop making this film and that is why we had to keep dreaming.”

The animation direction brings Miller’s childhood depiction of Savannah to life through the use of lush, romantic landscapes, textured ambient sounds and distinctly Black character designs to create a sense of immersive realism through traditional 2D animation. The production team is partnering with Powerhouse Animation Studios in Texas for Animation Production. As part of Kickstarter’s Long Story Short campaign, the team will spend the rest of March crowdsourcing enough funds to reach their next stretch goal of $125,000 with hopes of eventually reaching the 1.6M budget to produce the full 20-minute animated film in their desired artistic style.

“Our stories, our culture, our communities, our hoods deserve to occupy the center, and this animation is a reminder of that,” said Executive Producer Keith Miller. “Savannah has always been a place of dreaming for me, a way to imagine what’s possible beyond the trauma I and many other youth of color have experienced every day, which is why Pritty: The Animation must exist. We need everyone’s help to ensure we reach our goal to complete the animated short film. And as history asks us how we will respond in this moment, how we will create our own legacy, no donation is too small. All funds will go toward the wonderful village it’s going to take to bring this story to life and show that Savannah, the state of Georgia, and the Deep South is capable of so much more than people think. Whether queer or not, a person of color or not, we all need this so we can heal, together.”

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For media inquiries, please contact Crystal Vogel at crystal@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-509-1510 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM UNVEILS ONLINE WORKSHOPS TO HONOR WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM UNVEILS ONLINE WORKSHOPS TO HONOR WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

SAVANNAH, GA – March 10, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum is celebrating Women’s History Month with two special virtual workshops. The first, “Celebrating African Women Hidden Figures,” is set to launch online the week of March 13. The second, “History Maker Mayor Edna Jackson, Savannah’s First African American Woman Mayor, who served from 2012-2016, shares her Africa Experience,” will be available the week of March 27.

Throughout history, African women have played important leadership roles in society, media, and across a multitude of professions.  Unfortunately, in some areas, they have not been as widely recognized or celebrated as their male counterparts. SAAM’s workshop aims to enlighten participants about a few of these women and tell how the roles they’ve played over the years have influenced and shaped history as well as today’s world. Workshop viewers will be surprised to find the powerful African female themes and effects that surface frequently in everyday life.

The second workshop, which will be available the week of March 27, will feature Savannah’s first African American female mayor, Edna Jackson. A history-maker herself, this special program will feature Jackson’s recollections of her own Africa Experience and how it shaped her personally. Jackson has traveled to both Ghana and Nigeria. Her 2000 trip to Ghana was coordinated by former Savannah State University President, Dr. Carlton Brown, and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Joseph H. Silver Sr., who established the university’s student exchange program with Ghana. The trip was instrumental in solidifying important relationships with Ghana’s universities and its leadership, which were essential to the program. Jackson’s Nigerian trip was with a delegation of doctors, healthcare workers and volunteers as part of a health initiative partnership with Dr. Eugene Nwosu and St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital.

“My trip to Ghana was incredible and one highlight was meeting the leader of the Ashanti Nation and then welcoming him to Savannah as our honored guest. People from all over Georgia came to meet him as we rolled out the red carpet for him and showed him our southern hospitality. I also had the privilege of traveling to the Cape Coast and saw where the enslaved had been kept in slave castles and caves which was passage through the ‘Door of No Return’ toward their terrible destination,” Jackson said. “Later, on a mission trip to Nigeria as part of a delegation with Dr. Nwosu and St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital, I learned to read prescriptions and assisted with dispensing eye-glasses. I remember the amazing hospitality of the Nigerians as I had a birthday during our trip, and they surprised me with a wonderful party and a new traditional Nigerian dress! The purpose of these African trips is still relevant today and the connections made between Savannah, Ghana and Nigeria remain.”

SAAM Education Coordinator Lisa Jackson was eager to bring the African Women Hidden Figures workshop back for Women’s History Month and honored to have Mayor Edna Jackson to be a part of the celebration.

“There is such a rich history of powerful, female influence in African culture. These hidden figures deserve recognition and to be celebrated. Women’s History Month is the perfect occasion to do just that, “Jackson said. “And combining that content with engaging personal stories and experiences from one of our region’s groundbreaking female leaders, Edna Jackson, just really rounds out the workshops and lends so much depth.”

To participate in these workshops, please visit https://www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/learn-1. To learn more about the museum, upcoming workshops, and the museum’s newest collections, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org and follow SAAM on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

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For media inquiries, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, or Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651.

SAVANNAH FAMILY PROMISE PROGRAM GRADUATES FEATURED SUNDAY ON NBC’S TODAY SHOW

SAVANNAH FAMILY PROMISE PROGRAM GRADUATES FEATURED SUNDAY ON NBC’S TODAY SHOW

SAVANNAH, GA – TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 2021 – The Foxx family, one of Family Promise of the Coastal Empire’s program graduates, was featured on NBC’s Today show Sunday morning. Their success story — driven by mom Savannah Foxx’s hard work and determination — was part of a segment about the ways in which President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief package could reduce child poverty by half. To view the segment, go to https://www.today.com/video/covid-19-relief-package-could-reduce-us-child-poverty-by-half-106432069726.

The new stimulus bill expands the child tax credit to offer most parents monthly checks, allowing them to receive up to $3,600 per child for a year. Economists say the groundbreaking program is akin to a basic-income policy. As the pandemic wears on and many to struggle, the added funds would help give added security to families facing homelessness – as the Foxx family once did, albeit very unexpectedly.

In 2016, things were not going well between Savannah Foxx and her husband. Along with their five children, ages 2-12 years, the couple decided to move to Savannah and try to make a new start. “My name’s Savannah; people always assumed I was from here, so it seemed like a good place to turn over a new leaf.” Unfortunately, things grew worse instead of better, and — at a public event with the children — Savannah’s husband physically assaulted her. 

Scared for her life, she and her children stayed at a safe shelter for a few days until, after obtaining restraining order against her husband, they returned home. With only one income, it only took a few months before she could no longer afford the $1,400. rent. “It was rent or the car payment and I HAD to have my car to get to work,” Savannah explained.

Someone at work told Savannah about Family Promise. She called, but there was a waiting list for emergency shelter. Nowhere else to go to wait, she parked her car in a church parking lot, where she and her five children slept for over a week.

“It was summer and so hot. Sometimes I had suicidal thoughts. Never in a million years did I ever think we would be homeless. But that’s just it — being homeless isn’t only people begging on streets; it’s working people suddenly going through something. I promised my kids we would never live like this again.”

Getting the call from Family Promise that space was available was “a pivotal moment,” Foxx said. “After everything, I’d pretty much lost my faith and was sort of iffy about staying at churches — but they were awesome! Everyone was so sweet and helpful, never pushy. Actually — they restored my faith.”

Her children were cared for at Family Promise’s Day Center, enabling Savannah to put more money towards a place to live. “When I had my first month’s rent, they helped me find a three-bedroom house and paid the deposit,” she said. The family has been there ever since and is doing well.

“Without Family Promise, I don’t know where I’d be, physically and spiritually, or if I’d have ever gotten out of that hole,” Foxx said. “When I left, I was so motivated that I went to school and am now a paramedic with Chatham EMS.”

Recently, she responded to a paramedic call where a woman, with five children, had been badly assaulted by her husband. “I told her I’d been exactly in her shoes and to call Family Promise. They’d helped me so now I could help her. Everybody goes through things, some worse than others. Everything that happened to me led me to the field I’m in today. I’m forever grateful for Family Promise.”  

Family Promise envisions a nation in which every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future. What began as a local initiative in Summit, NJ, has become a national movement that involves 200,000 volunteers in over 200 communities in 43 states. Family Promise delivers innovative solutions for family homelessness including prevention, shelter and stabilization services. The organization has served 1 million family members since its founding more than 30 years ago, and its leaders aspire to change the future for 1 million children by 2030 through our community-based programs.

For more information about Family Promise of the Coastal Empire, please visit www.familypromisece.org, email info@familypromisece.org or call 912-790-9446.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com at 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

ANNUAL BEAUFORT SPRING ARCHITECT’S TOUR, SET FOR MARCH 20, TO FEATURE CONTEMPORARY HOMES

ANNUAL BEAUFORT SPRING ARCHITECT’S TOUR, SET FOR MARCH 20, TO FEATURE CONTEMPORARY HOMES

The homes chosen for this year’s tour interpret Lowcountry architecture through 21st century design, and all the featured properties have either been recently completed or are under construction and will be part of the “hard hat” portion of the tour.

Fripp Island House
Cane Island House

BEAUFORT, SC — MARCH 8, 2021 — Historic Beaufort Foundation is preparing for its annual Spring Architect’s Tour, which is set for 10 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 20 and includes houses spread across five Lowcountry Islands. This year’s event – sponsored by Gilbert Law Firm, Broad River Construction, Allen Patterson Builders, Howell Builders and Phifer Construction – will guide attendees on a unique journey of Beaufort through examples of both traditional and contemporary architecture, showcasing the creative and distinctive imprint of some of the area’s most accomplished architects. The houses chosen for this year’s tour interpret Lowcountry architecture through 21st century design, and all the featured properties have either been recently completed or are under construction and will be part of the “hard hat” portion of the tour.

HBF has prioritized tour participants’ safety during the event and will ensure that protocols are in place for signage, social distancing, masking, hand sanitizer usage, and other necessary precautions. Masks will be required when inside the properties.

Beaufort has boasted some of the souths most interesting architecture since the city began to take shape in the 18th century. Today, local architects continue that tradition of excellence. This year’s tour will highlight the work of Allison Ramsey Architects, Frederick and Frederick Architects and Montgomery Architecture & Planning. Throughout the tour, architects, builders, and contractors will be onsite to provide information, talk about the homes and answer questions. Representatives from Broad River Construction, Allen Patterson Builders, Howell Construction, Phifer Contracting and TD Commercial Builders will also be in attendance.  

Properties included in this year’s tour are located on the Port Royal Island in historic downtown Beaufort, on Lady’s Island at Factory Creek, Cane Island, St. Helena Island at Station Creek and Fripp Island.

The Cara May Cottage – a cozy small house – in Beaufort’s Historic District
(Port Royal Island) was designed by Allison Ramsey Architects and built by TD Commercial Builders. The interior design was done by owners Jeremiah and Emily Smith. The cottage is 400 SF with one bedroom and bath, similar in size to the original freedman cottages built throughout the North West Quadrant of Beaufort’s Historic District in the late 19th century. The 11’ ceilings, 6.5’ tall casement windows and the chic modern interiors bring this home design into the modern day. The cottage porch and cozy built-in breakfast nook on the street side bring curb appeal and encourage outdoor living and engagement with neighbors. The cottage is named after the owner/architect’s daughter, Cara May.

The Cane Island House was designed by Frederick & Frederick Architects, and is being built by Patrick McMichael of Broad River Construction and Matt Phifer of Phifer Construction. Interior design is by Frederick & Frederick Architects. The home’s custom design provides a more contemporary feel than the traditional Lowcountry style and emphasizes the owner’s desire for a light-filled house with clean lines. This contemporary design uses the local vernacular vocabulary of single width rooms with great cross ventilation, a raised first floor, large porches, and high ceilings. The 21st century twist is seen in the large lift and slide doors on the front and back, the dramatic staircase with clear story windows and skylights combined with clean details.

The house has a super-efficient building envelope with the addition of a geo-thermal HVAC and hot water system and solar panels; the house will be net-zero. The solar panels will charge a Tesla battery wall for backup electricity and excess power will be sold to the power company through net metering.

 The St. Helena Island House at Station Creek was designed by Montgomery Planning & Architecture and was built by Allan Howell of Howell Builders. This ultra-modern home sits along the marshes of Station Creek with views to St. Phillips Island, Bay Point, and the mouth of the Port Royal Sound. The site provides enjoyment of the Lowcountry landscape with sweeping natural vistas. The design emphasizes the expansive views of the surrounding maritime environment. The contemporary interior of the house was designed by the owner, Susan Loeffler.

The Fripp Island House was designed by Allison Ramsey Architects, and is being built by Allen Patterson of Allen Patterson Builders. Interior design is also being done by Allen Patterson Builders. This custom waterfront house has a great view of the Atlantic Ocean with southern coastal charm. Garden spaces and a pool accent the interior side of the lot, adding to outdoor living opportunities. The house plan interior floorplan is that of an “upside-down house,” where the kitchen and living spaces are located on the top floor to take in the expansive views and large porches. The exterior design has Caribbean influence with southern details. 2500 SF of covered porches, screened porches and rooftop deck with fireplaces provides outdoor living at its best.

The Factory Creek home on Lady’s Island was designed by Montgomery Planning & Architecture and is being built by Matt Phifer of Phifer Construction. This innovative project is a blend of old and new by reimagining a 1970’s split-level house into a sensitive and sustainable design. The original 2-story bedroom wing has been retained and a new living, kitchen, and dining area, along with a third floor “perch” was designed to incorporate an expansive screen porch for better interaction with the surrounding environment and views of Factory Creek. Solar panels and cistern for rainwater harvesting have also been incorporated into the design.

Whether you are a history buff, a lover of architecture, or looking for inspiration for your own home, this year’s architectural tour has something for everyone. Please join us to enjoy this unique opportunity for a behind the scenes look at some of the Lowcountry’s most exciting new architecture,” said Cynthia Jenkins, Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Executive Director.

The Spring Architect’s Tour will take place rain-or-shine. Advanced reservations are strongly recommended as this popular event tends to fill up quickly. Tickets are $65 each and may be purchased by calling HBF at 843-379-3331 or going online to https://historicbeaufort.org/event/spring-architects-tour/. The tour is self-paced and self-driven.

HBF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit education foundation created to preserve, protect, and present sites and artifacts of historic, architectural, and cultural interest throughout Beaufort County, South Carolina. For more information on the entity’s mission and history, please visit historicbeaufort.org and follow them on social media, including Facebook and Instagram.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION EXTENDS NOMINATIONS FOR 2021 PRESERVATION AWARDS

HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION EXTENDS NOMINATIONS FOR 2021 PRESERVATION AWARDS

SAVANNAH, GA — FEBRUARY 23, 2021 – The nomination period for Historic Savannah Foundation’s 2021 Preservation Awards has been extended by two days, giving those with noteworthy projects a little while longer to submit them for recognition. The deadline, previously set for March 1 is now Wednesday, March 3 at 5 p.m.

Each May, HSF celebrates the area’s best preservation projects with a program that recognizes individuals, organizations, and companies who embody and practice excellence in preservation in Savannah and Chatham County. Historic Savannah Foundation members who have completed a restoration project within the past three years, or who know of a restoration project that may be award-worthy are encouraged to submit a nomination.

Projects must have been completed within the past three years, and entrants must have the consent of the property owner for a nomination. Self-nominations will be accepted. Nominations that were previously submitted but were not selected to receive an award may be revised, expanded and resubmitted. To be eligible for an award, nominated projects must have adhered to the applicable Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. For more information on these standards, visit www.nps.gov/tps/standards.htm.

“We anticipate a great selection of projects to be submitted for consideration by our jury. Savannah’s focus on historic preservation efforts improves annually, which makes choosing winners an increasingly difficult decision. We hope the preservation community will join us as we celebrate the best in Savannah’s historic preservation projects,” HSF CEO and President Susan Adler said.

The general evaluation criteria include:

1. Quality and degree of difficulty of the nominee’s project or effort.

2. Degree to which the nominee’s project or effort is unusual or pioneering or serves as an example that influences good preservation practices.

3. Demonstrable or measurable impact of nominee’s project on the community.

A jury of local professionals with representation from the fields of architecture, preservation, academia and planning is invited to review nominations for HSF’s Preservation Awards. 

Nominations should fall under at least one of the following categories: restoration, rehabilitation, new construction, stewardship, craftsmanship or archaeology.

The deadline for all award nominations is 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Mailed entries must be postmarked or dropped off at HSF by this date. The application cost is $45 for HSF members. Non-members are asked to join HSF by visiting http://www.myhsf.org/giving/general-membership/ prior to submitting the application. Preservation Award recipients will be notified by the end of March. The nominator or primary contact will be notified for those not selected. Award announcements and presentation will be made at HSF’s Virtual Preservation Awards Ceremony in May.

 

Mail entries to:                                                                        Hand-deliver entries to:

Historic Savannah Foundation                                               Historic Savannah Foundation

Attn: Preservation Awards                                                      Attn: Preservation Awards

P.O. Box 1733                                                                        321 East York Street

Savannah, GA 31402                                                             Savannah, GA 31401

 

Historic Savannah Foundation saves buildings, places and stories that define Savannah’s past, present, and future. Following its formation in 1955, HSF started a Revolving Fund to save endangered historic properties, now totaling more than 400 buildings throughout several of Savannah’s historic districts. HSF has grown into one of the most respected local preservation organizations in the country — emphasizing not only the protection of individual historic buildings but also the revitalization of blighted neighborhoods. HSF demonstrates the cultural, social, and economic benefits of preservation as good public policy by proving that preservation

and progress go hand-in-hand.

 

For more information about the awards or Historic Savannah Foundation, please visit www.myHSF.org or contact Kimberly Newbold, Research & Education Associate, at 912-483-7294 or knewbold@myhsf.org. For sponsorship information, please contact Megan Kerley, Director of Development at 912-483-7190 or mkerley@myHSF.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

BRYAN COUNTY PROMOTES VETERAN STAFFER LORI TYSON TO COUNTY CLERK POSITION

BRYAN COUNTY PROMOTES VETERAN STAFFER LORI TYSON TO COUNTY CLERK POSITION

BRYAN COUNTY, GA – FEBRUARY 22, 2021 – Bryan County has named Lori Tyson as the new county clerk. Tyson has been employed by the county for five years, having served as the assistant to the county administrator and customer service supervisor for four of those years.

Tyson replaces Donna Waters, who retired in January from her post as county clerk after 41 years with the county. Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor said he has faith in Tyson’s ability to step into her new role and lead with confidence.

“We are fortunate to be able to promote Lori to this position. She is already very familiar with the inner workings of the job and has a wealth of knowledge regarding the county’s operations, which will serve her well in this new capacity,” Taylor said. “This position is extremely important to county operations, and Chairman Infinger and the commission have full confidence in Lori. We congratulate her on this well-deserved appointment.”

Tyson, who is originally from Claxton and now lives in Pembroke, is delighted by the new opportunity, and looks forward to furthering her career.

“I’m thankful to the commission for trusting me with this important role. I’m eager to continue serving the residents of Bryan County and doing all that I can to make a difference in our community,” Tyson said.

For more regular information about Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or follow the county on its social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or
912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

GEORGIA CHARTER SCHOOLS WIN SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE APPROVAL OF VITAL LEGISLATION

GEORGIA CHARTER SCHOOLS WIN SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE APPROVAL OF VITAL LEGISLATION

SAVANNAH, GA – February 20, 2021 – Leaders in education from across the state of Georgia recently testified in support of Senate Bill 59 (SB 59) to ensure equal provision for students at charter schools. Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) Executive Director, Barry Lollis, testified at this week’s regular session hearing of the Senate Youth and Education Committee in Atlanta. The legislation to amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated relating to elementary and secondary education passed through the Senate Youth and Education Committee and will now move on to the Rules Committee.   

The Georgia State Senate Committee on Education and Youth has general jurisdiction over K-12 education, certified employees of schools and school facilities. SB 59 is a crucial charter school bill that

the Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA) is championing along with key legislators, including Sen. John Albers, District 56, who is sponsoring the legislation.  SCA is a charter school within the Savannah Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS), which supports this important bill which addresses:  

  • State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) flexibility
  • The Quality Basic Education Act (QBE)
  • Local charter facility stipends
  • Federal funding allocations

SB 59 would allow charter schools throughout the state of Georgia, multiple opportunities to opt into the SHBP. The act would provide an additional opportunity for existing charter schools to elect to participate in the state health insurance plan for teachers and employees. In addition, certain employees of state charter schools would be included in the definition of “public school employee” for purposes of the health insurance plan for public school employees. According to Lollis, “This will help schools attract and retain high quality teachers, specifically in Georgia charter schools that have majority populations of underprivileged students.”   

To provide additional QBE funding for each full-time equivalent student within a local charter school, Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated is amended by revising Code Section 20-2-165.1 This legislation would extend the existing per pupil funding weight for charter system students to include locally authorized charter school students, which, according to the QBE Act base of 3.785%, is $106 per student.

According to proposed amendments with SB 59, each local board of education would make educational facilities available for use by local charter schools or provide a facility stipend to each local charter school to offset costs related to educational facilities if a facility is not available. SCA is currently located in a lease-owned building, meaning funds needed for facility upkeep is paid for out of the school’s operational budget. In addition, a local charter school would not be charged a rental or leasing fee for an existing facility or property normally used by the public school.

Finally, this bill would require the State Board of Education to provide for direct allocation of appropriated funds to local charter schools. Lollis shared with the committee that SCA has not been included in the ESPLOST program for the past two ESPLOST cycles, and despite specifically asking the local school board to be included in the next ESPLOST, the local public charter schools will not receive an allotment of ESPLOST funds from the upcoming ESPLOST program.

“Districts are earning this capital credits based off students enrolled in our public charter school, however this capital benefit is not shared with the local charter schools,” said Lollis. “Senate Bill 59 would be a great help to local charter schools in order to level the playing field and provide extra opportunities and support for the public-school children we serve in our local communities.”   

SCA is a tuition-free, public charter school serving Chatham County students in grades K-12. The charter school is funded by the public education system but retains a charter that allows it to operate autonomously under a board of parents and community members. It is the philosophy of SCA that all students benefit from a rigorous, content-rich, education program that develops academic potential and personal character. To learn more about SCA, please visit www.savannahclassicalacademy.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377). 

GOV. BRIAN KEMP VISITS BRYAN COUNTY TO SEE NEW I-95 INTERCHANGE, SPEAK WITH LOCAL LEADERS AND BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

GOV. BRIAN KEMP VISITS BRYAN COUNTY TO SEE NEW I-95 INTERCHANGE, SPEAK WITH LOCAL LEADERS AND BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

BRYAN COUNTY, GA – FEBRUARY 19, 2021 – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp paid a visit Wednesday to Bryan County, where he tried out the new Interstate 95/Belfast Keller interchange for the first time. He then chatted with local leaders and business owners about the significance of the new infrastructure as well as its economic and growth implications.

Kemp participated in a small business roundtable discussion, moderated by Rep. Ron Stephens, at the Bryan County Administrative Complex on Capt. Matthew Freeman Dr. He talked with representatives from Coastal Electric, McDonald’s, Rayonier and RE/MAX Accent as well as local leaders, dignitaries, and elected officials, including GDOT State Transportation Board Member Ann Purcell, Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger, Sheriff Mark Crowe, Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter, Development Authority of Bryan County CEO Anna Chafin, Richmond Hill City Council members Robbie Ward and Steve Scholar, Bryan County Engineering Department Director Kirk Croasmun, Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher, Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor, and Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce CEO Kathryn Johnson.

The participants discussed the importance of the interchange, which officially opened last month and has already begun to improve traffic flow and motorists’ safety. In addition, the newly created exit on the Interstate 95 corridor is expected to generate additional economic opportunities and draw new business to the area.

Kemp was generous with praise for the county and the widespread collaborative efforts it took to get the $19 million interchange project in place.

“These partnerships with the department of transportation, the great leadership we have there with Russell McMurry and his team, the legislative partners like (Rep.) Ron Stephens, the county’s local government, the mayor, the chairman, councils, commissioners, the great job the school board is doing educating the future workforce, and the business community and chamber working with economic development partners – Bryan County really has everything you need right here. I’m so optimistic about this region’s potential in the future, and I’m just glad to be here,” the governor said. “The sky is the limit from here. Not just for Bryan County, but for this whole area.”

Following the roundtable discuss, Kemp held a brief press conference and took questions from media outlet representatives and journalists in attendance. He touched briefly on a variety of topics brought up by journalists, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, possible absentee voting legislation, and the ways in which local infrastructure improvements – like the new interchange – matter at a state level and beyond.

Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger thanked Kemp for all the support he has offered Bryan County and encouraged the local business owners and operators in attendance to share their insights on how the interchange and other infrastructural upgrades will positively affect the region’s growth and economic climate.

“I think this was a great opportunity for some of our area business people and local employers to talk to the governor about the changes they see happening here and their expectations for the future. It’s important that Gov. Kemp hears these things from individual county governments and communities so he understands what a big impact it has on us when the state is willing to work with us, help fund projects and assist us in planning,” Infinger said.

For more regular information about Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or follow the county on its social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or
912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION OBSERVES WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH WITH VIRTUAL LECTURE, RECOGNITION CAMPAIGN

HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION OBSERVES WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH WITH VIRTUAL LECTURE, RECOGNITION CAMPAIGN

SAVANNAH, GA – February 15, 2021 – Historic Savannah Foundation, a leading nonprofit preservation and cultural institution, will recognize Women’s History Month with its free virtual lecture, Women in Savannah’s Historic Preservation Movement: A Perspective, at 6 p.m. Monday, March 8 via Zoom. This lecture will be presented by Davenport House Museum Director Jamie Credle, who will highlight women pioneers in preservation and their important achievements.

Credle will discuss organizations with a local impact, such as the Colonial Dames, Trustees Garden Club, and the Junior League of Savannah, as well as individual icons and groups. This includes Emma Adler, Paula Wallace, and Anna Colquitt Hunter. Hunter, along with six other determined and civic-minded women, helped found Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) in 1955 for the purpose of saving the Davenport House from demolition. Today, HSF has saved more than 400 Savannah structures from similar fates. 

The free lecture is presented by HSF as a community service and an opportunity for enrichment on topics related to its mission.

“I am excited to share my knowledge about women in preservation and, hopefully, increase the community’s awareness on the importance of these individuals to Savannah’s preservation movement,” Credle said. “I’m looking forward to this opportunity to shine a light on people who may not be considered ‘preservationists’ in a traditional sense, with the idea that we can all be preservationists.”  

The lecture on March 8 will also serve as the launch of a new HSF initiative to honor local women who have made a name for themselves by working to further regional historic preservation efforts. Beginning on March 9, HSF will highlight the following contemporary women – who’ve been essential to the success of regional preservation efforts – through an awareness campaign: Ardis Wood, founder of “The Victorian Lady” tour company; Briana Grosicki, real estate developer and former associate principal of PlaceEconomics; Ellen Harris, co-founder and principal of Ethos Preservation; Holly Kincannon, architect, stone conservator, and founder of Kincannon Studios; Jessica Kelly, a Realtor with Engel & Voelkers Savannah; Leah G. Michalak, director of historic preservation for the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission; Luciana Spracher, director of the City of Savannah’s Municipal Archives; Mae Bowley, executive director of Re:Purpose Savannah; Meredith Stone, an architect with Gunn Meyerhoff Shay Architects; Rebecca Fenwick, co-founder and principal of Ethos Preservation; Sarah Ward, president and preservation principal for Ward Architecture + Preservation; and Vaughnette Goode-Walker, director at the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum.  Every day for 12 days beginning March 9, HSF’s social media followers can check the organization’s social media accounts to read about each of the women’s accomplishments, backgrounds, and preservation work.

Anyone interested in attending the free lecture on March 8, should RSVP by emailing sadler@myhsf.org, who will then send participants the Zoom information prior to the event. Using that information, participants will log on for the virtual lecture.

For more information about HSF, please visit www.myHSF.org. To learn more about the Davenport House Museum, please visit www.davenporthousemuseum.org

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at 229-393-6457 or email kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com, or Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).