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City Notebook
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State of emergency declared

To consolidate security for the upcoming G8 Summit June 8-10, Gov. Sonny Perdue has declared a six-week state of emergency in the coastal counties, including Chatham County, beginning this past Monday.

The executive order cites the “potential danger to the persons and property of this state from unlawful assemblages, threats of violence and otherwise.”

The basic effect of the order is to align the Georgia Army National Guard and state law enforcement and public health under one office.

In a related story, two Israeli citizens were detained when they tried to drive a moving van onto the nuclear submarine base at King’s Bay without identification.

King’s Bay is near St. Simon’s Island, site of the G8 Summit.

G8 security site up

A new website sponsored by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) will “serve as a single access point for those who are interested in the latest G8 safety and security,” a GEMA spokesman says.

Visit the site st

Called the “G8 Summit Public Information Center,” the site includes links to key agencies involved in G8 security support.

SCAD unveils G8 posters

Several Savannah College of Art and Design graduate graphic design students will have their work showcased to visitors in Savannah during the G-8 Summit.

Led by professor Scott Boylston, the students “developed a series of cohesive posters designed to remind individuals gathering in Savannah during the summit that freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are personal rights, implicitly connected to personal responsibility,” a SCAD spokesperson says.

Boylston says the posters are messages of hope.

“The project does not aim to refute or support the principles of the G-8 agenda, but to act in a non-authoritarian manner as reminders to activists that freedom requires personal responsibility,” he says.

The six posters will be displayed throughout Savannah beginning May 24.

Sgt. Mejia guilty of desertion

Profiled in a story in Connect Savannah last week, Sgt. Camilo Mejia was found guilty of desertion by a court martial last week at Ft. Stewart.

The 28-year-old Florida National Guardsman faces a year in jail and a “bad conduct” discharge from the U.S. Army.

Mejia was accused of deserting his unit after leaving the Middle East on a two-week furlough last year. He testified that he went into hiding because of his strong opposition to what the U.S. was doing in Iraq and because he was seeking conscientious objector status.

Mejia also testified that he believed he had completed the maximum term of duty for a noncitizen alien by serving continuously since 1995.

“I already believed that as a noncitizen I was not required to be in the military past my eight years," Mejia testified. “I did not think I had committed a crime.”

IP inks green agreement

In what it touted as a model program for future environmental partnerships, International Paper has entered into a 10-year agreement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to conserve 5.5 million acres of IP forest in nine Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“Extensive ecological surveys will be conducted and conservation measures implemented to recover imperiled aquatic species,” a spokesman says of the Aquatic Resources Conservation and Management Partnership Agreement .

“Nearly one-third of the 500 native fishes in the Southern states are considered imperiled. There are about 270 species of mussels in the Southeast and about 75 percent of those species are in need of some form of conservation,” we’re told.

IP is the state’s largest private landowner.

J.G. Smith pitches in for pups

Jacob G. Smith Elementary's third grade classes have chosen to donate their annual "Pops for Pups" fundraising money to Coastal Pet Rescue.

Each year, the third graders sell popsicles to raise money for local animal rescue organizations. This year, they chose Coastal Pet Rescue.

“I'm very excited about the opportunity they have provided us," says Lisa Scarbrough, Coastal Pet Rescue president. “It is wonderful to see children care so much about homeless animals at such an early age.”

Call Coastal Pet Rescue at 856-2710 or email at