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City Notebook
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A group of local peace and justice activists attended this past weekend’s annual protest at the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning in Columbus, Ga.

Local activist Robert Ludgate says this year’s event was attended by record crowds of protestors.

“There were about 12,000 last year,” he says. “This year the police counted about 15,000 and we counted 19,000, so the actual number’s somewhere in there.”

The School of the Americas -- renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in an attempt to defuse the controversy over what goes on there -- is used by the U.S. Army to train allied governments in paramilitary techniques of counterinsurgency, interrogation and torture.

The yearly protest is marked each November to commemorate the date in 1989 when six Jesuit priests, a co-worker and her teenage daughter were massacred in El Salvador. The U.S. Congress later reported that the killers were trained at the School of the Americas.

Ludgate ascribes this year’s increase in protest attendance to the controversy over U.S. interrogation facilities in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.


35-year-old Eric Brian Golden is in jail after he confessed to murdering his wife and burying her body near Ft. Stewart.

Police received a call this past Sunday from a person identifying himself as Golden’s brother-in-law. The caller informed the dispatcher that the suspect was surrendering to the Sheriff’s Department at the Chatham County Jail.

Savannah Police detectives responded to the jail shortly after 1 p.m. “where Golden was waiting when they arrived,” a police spokesman says. Golden then told investigators he’d killed his wife on the evening of Nov. 17 at their West Chatham County home during a domestic dispute.

He later pointed detectives and forensic personnel to a wooded area seven miles west of I-95 off GA. 204, to a remote location identified as Fort Stewart property. Military Police accompanied the detectives onto the property, “where a shallow 3-4 foot grave was located about a quarter mile into the wood-line,” police say.

The fully clothed body of DeeDee Marie Golden, 35 of Savannah, was exhumed and sent to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy. Golden is charged with one count of murder.


To assist Hurricane Katrina victims whose historic homes along the Mississippi coast were damaged, the Savannah College of Art & Design is partnering with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and other agencies to provide professional-level damage assessments.

Comprising 25 faculty, staff and students from the college’s historic preservation, architecture and interior design programs, the SCAD group is scheduled to work with the National Trust, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Association of Preservation Technology in the Gulfport and Biloxi areas Nov. 28-Dec. 7.

The region is in dire need of these assessments, according to Brian

Robinson, SCAD professor of historic preservation and the group’s leader.

“While cleanup has begun in the area, demolition of damaged buildings is taking place regardless of the historic value of these structures,” Robinson

says. “The loss of these buildings will affect local communities for years

to come as the shock of the disaster wears off, and many residents will come to regret not saving these structures. This makes Hurricane Katrina a two-fold disaster.”

According to Robinson, many communities are desperate for economic activity and are willing to sell land and existing structures “to the highest bidder, regardless of development plans.”

“We want to assist with thoughtful recovery efforts,” says Robinson. “By helping communities recognize and value their historic structures, we can help them rebuild in a positive way.”

A blog chronicling the group’s efforts will be at katrina/index.cfm/.