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City Notebook
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Police to share new chopper with Mosquito Control

In what a police spokesman calls “a particularly unique governmental agreement,” Savannah-Chatham Metro Police and Chatham County Mosquito Control will share a helicopter.

“The helicopter will be marked as a police chopper, all the while serving as a significant asset for Mosquito Control,” says SCMPD spokesman Bucky Burnsed.

The newly acquired helicopter is expected to be airborne in late July or early August. It will be equipped with Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR), which can aid in locating criminals attempting to elude police or locating missing people at night.

Also, the chopper is equipped with the so-called Night Sun which can illuminate an entire city block, as well as the “LoJack” auto-theft recovery system.

GPB announces debate, convention schedule

Georgia Public Broadcasting will air a series of candidate debates at the Atlanta Press Club in advance of this month’s primary elections. Here’s a list of the debates concerning the local area:

• Friday, July 9, 7 p.m. - State Supreme Court; 7:30 p.m., State Court of Appeals.

•Friday, July 16, 8 p.m. -- 12th Congressional District Democrats

• Sunday, July 18,

7 p.m. -- U.S. Senate, Democratic candidates; 8 p.m., U.S. Senate, Republican candidates.

In addition, GPB will provide extensive live coverage of both the Democratic convention in Boston (July 26-29 beginning at 8 p.m. each night) and the Republican convention in New York (Aug. 30-Sept. 2 beginning at 8 p.m. each night). GPB’s efforts are in marked contrast to other broadcast and cable news networks, which are drastically curtailing convention coverage.

‘Savannah for Kerry’ event happens on July 17

A group called Savannah for Kerry invites local supporters of the presidential candidate to meet at the Chatham County Democratic Committee headquarters at Houston and Oglethorpe Streets downtown at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 17.

A spokesman says Savannah for Kerry is a “nonpartisan organization of persons of all races, religions, and political persuasions united in their desire to see George Bush out of office.”

No electric increase here

Savannah Electric wants you to know that a recent rate increase requested by its sister company, Georgia Power, will have no effect on local customers.

John Kraft, spokesman for Savannah Electric, says there’s been some confusion locally since Georgia Power announced its request, which must be approved by state regulators.

“Savannah Electric is not asking for a rate increase,” Kraft tells us, pointing out that while Georgia Power is affiliated with his company, it represents a different customer base.

165th returns to Iraq area

Approximately 60 members of the 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard will return to an “undisclosed location” in or near Iraq. The locally-based wing has served in Iraq, Kuwait and Oman during several deployments during the conflict. For some members of the unit, this will be their second or third deployment in support of the Iraq war.

Taxi drivers demonstrate

Several independent taxi companies staged a rolling demonstration in the City Market area last week to oppose what they say is an effort to cut taxi stands in the downtown area.

“We don't have enough taxi stands,” a spokesperson for the group of non-radio companies tells us. “There used to be four in front of the Hyatt, now there are two. There’s not one in City Market anymore.”

The companies would also like a fare increase, since “we’ve been charging the same amount since gas cost 97 cents a gallon,” the spokesperson says.


In last week’s cover story, “Code Red,” we mistakenly identified Plant Hatch as having failed its terror attack test. That dubious honor actually goes to Plant Farley near Dothan, Alabama, which like Hatch is owned and operated by the Southern Company. We regret the error.