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City Notebook
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Georgia Equality makes candidate endorsements

The Savannah chapter of Georgia Equality, the state’s largest gay rights organization, has released its slate of endorsements for the July 20 primary.

• Regina Thomas, State Senate District 2

• Bernetta Bryant-Anderson, State House District 160

• Lester Jackson and Mickey Stevens, State House District 161 (the organization is comfortable with either candidate because both are against a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage)

• Tom Bordeaux, State House District 162

• James Holmes, Chatham County Commission District 2

Kevin Clark, local Georgia Equality spokesman, explains there is no endorsement for the 12th Congressional District Democratic Primary because chapter bylaws don’t allow the group to make endorsements at the federal level.

Clark says the group’s picks this year are primarily based on the candidate’s position on the state gay marriage amendment.

“We thought that this year that was the best thing we could do,” Clark says. “We didn’t even send out a questionnaire like we usually do.”

Early voting possible

While the primary is July 20, you can vote early by visiting the Chatham County Board of Elections on Broughton Street from Monday, July 12 to Friday, July 16. Unlike with traditional absentee voting, you need not provide a reason why you’re voting early.

Nonprofit grants to schools

The nonprofit Excellence Fund has awarded $20,000 to local schools as part of its mission to provide grassroots-level assistance for local educators.

Among the awards:

• Beach Profiling, Marshpoint Elementary School, $1,998 -- For a survey technique used to measure the contour of a beach and analyzing sand and other data.

• Horizons Summer Enrichment Program, Windsor Forest Elementary with Savannah Country Day School, $1,950 -- So 36 at-risk first and second grade students can attend an academic/social growth program taught by teachers and volunteers at/on Savannah Country Day School.

• Photographing Geometry in Savannah's Historic Squares, Hubert Middle School, $1,784 -- So that middle school students can explore trails through historic Savannah sites to highlight the history and geometry of the squares.

• Microscopic Madness, Bartlett Middle School, $1,975 -- So that students and science club members can adopt and monitor a local waterway (Harmon Canal).

• FIRST Robotics/Engineering, Johnson High School, $2,000 -- So that 22 high school students can enter a NASA competition that requires building a robot, web page design, animation design, drafting competition.

• Grab Bag Math, Butler Elementary School, $2,000 -- For books, calculators and supplies.

• Savannah by the Numbers, Massie Heritage Interpretation Center, $1,912 -- Sony Mavica cameras, diskettes, film, clipboards.

• Biotechnology Project, Johnson High School, $2,000 -- Seeds, soil, materials and supplies.

• Instructional Extension Program, Windsor Forest Elementary School, $1,492 -- Math manipulatives, paper, supplies.

• Chess in the Classroom, Isle of Hope Elementary, $2,000 -- Chessmaster program, chess clock and game packages.

12th District Congressional endorsements set

Four Democrats vie this Tuesday for the chance to take on incumbent Republican Max Burns as Savannah’s congressman. Here are some key endorsements they’ve received:

John Barrow: Max Cleland; Georgia Sierra Club; Chatham County Commissioners Harris O’Dell, Priscilla Thomas and Joe Murray Rivers; Savannah gay rights activist Kevin Clark

Tony Center: Ga. Rep. and civil rights legend John Lewis; Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union 150 (Augusta); Rep. Charles Rangel (NY)

Caine Cortellino: African Americans on Message not Money

Doug Haines: Georgia Association of Educators; Savannah alderwoman Mary Osborne; Savannah Business League; State Sen. Ed Harbison (D-Columbus), chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus

New low-fare airline open

Independence Air will begin offering low-fare travel to and from Savannah on August 1. Flights to all destinations are currently available at Independence Air’s website,, or by calling 1-800-FLY-FLYi. By September 1, Independence Air will serve 35 destinations from Washington, D.C., with a schedule of 300 daily departures, a spokesman says.