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Tybee Island Under Observation By The U.S. Department of Justice To Create A Fair Process on Special Events

THE SAVANNAH TRIBUNE — Thousands of beachgoers descended onto Tybee Island last weekend and they were under a microscope. They were observed by a representative of the U.S. Department of Justice, city officials, law enforcement and members of the Concerned Citizens of Tybee, dancing, frolicking, drinking alcoholic beverages, noise, traffic patterns.

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By Tina A. Brown

Thousands of beachgoers descended onto Tybee Island last weekend and they were under a microscope. They were observed by a representative of the U.S. Department of Justice, city officials, law enforcement and members of the Concerned Citizens of Tybee, dancing, frolicking, drinking alcoholic beverages, noise, traffic patterns.

Orange Crush participants at the predominately black college aged gathering have faced aggressive regulations over the past three years by the city of Tybee. It prohibited open alcoholic beverages – something regularly allowed – traffic slowed to one-way motorists, traffic stops and property searches; limited housing rentals, noise and the closure of popular restaurants and businesses.

The Concerned Citizens of Tybee, who is made up of senior citizens complained how the “children were being mistreated,” said Julia Pearce, the organizer. And, the city reversed the alcoholic beverage law.

Pearce, an African American resident of Tybee for 22 years, says those kinds of regulations created Jim Crow ordinances – reminiscing before the civil rights laws were enacted in the 1960s. Others, like minded neighbors and friends, who are Caucasians like Philip T. Rosen and Jan Elders said, “their actions were racist”. Those words rang out Saturday morning during a meeting with Dion Lyons, a mediator for the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, who is working with the city and the Concerned Citizens of Tybee to create a fair process on how events are handled fairly from one event to another.

Lisa Lepofsky, Philip T. Rosen and Julia Pearce, members of the Concerned Citizens of Tybee, discussed the ramifications of cancelling Orange Crush

Lisa Lepofsky, Philip T. Rosen and Julia Pearce, members of the Concerned Citizens of Tybee, discussed the ramifications of cancelling Orange Crush

Lyons asked how laws have changed since an agreement in July. It was written to look at whether the city is managing “high volume” events like St. Patrick’s Day, July Fourth and Orange Crush. He reminded them that meditation can’t “change hearts and minds. But it does observe the law.”

Lyons came to observe noise, traffic and law enforcement arrests. If he finds inconsistencies between the events, Lyons told the group that he would recommend action to the U.S. Attorney and it could become a legal issue.

“If (the city) is following the mediation, it won’t become a legal issue,” Lyons told them.

The agreement says in part: “Points of Agreement”

The participants in the mediation have agreed to support the recommendation to the City Council that the city develop across the board objective criteria that will be applied equally for all holiday and/or tourism events, permitted or unpermitted. The city will continue to apply the permitting process as it now exists or as hereinafter amended.

The participants in the mediation have agreed to support the recommendation to the City Council that these criteria will define and establish the thresholds at which the city will initiate actions such as, but not limited to:

Police presence and other public safety resources, restrictions on open containers of alcohol, traffic control measures, sanitary facilities, litter control, and noise abatement.” www.cityoftybee.org

As the group encouraged Lyons to look at the jersey barriers blocking residential areas, traffic cones limiting travel to one lane and signs, Lisa Lepofsky, another concerned citizen, stopped to answer a call on her cellular phone.

“Orange Crush has been cancelled,” she read from the Tybee Island Police Department’s Facebook page, which was later taken down. “A promoter was arrested for operating a disorderly house”, she continued.

Later it was reported that George “Mikey” Ransom Turner, III was accused of damaging a house during an overcrowded party on Friday and using a fake name. Officials said Turner also sold tickets for the Orange Crush parties on Eventbrite website.

That didn’t stop the beach party.

As a key observer, Pearce, the founder of the Tybee MLK committee, spent the day Saturday afternoon until Sunday morning observing the city’s actions and that of the young people at Orange Crush. City Manager Shawn Gillen and Mayor Jason Buelterman also watched the crowd.

By midday, Pearce, Gillen and Buelterman bumped into each other on Butler Avenue, a popular bar and restaurant street.

“It’s pretty quiet,’’ the mayor said. “Everyone’s dancing and too much smoking of weed,’’ he said in jest.

Pearce nodded and she took photos with them. She also tried to document and photograph all types of events from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. She noted twerking competitions with women wearing thongs, and men gambling on the bridge surprised her. She spent a lot of time observing before she moved on. Later police officers surrounded the gamblers who were playing the red top game on a miniature carpet and flashed $100 bills.

The entire Tybee police force, Chatham County Police, Chatham County Sheriff, Georgia State troopers and undercover detectives – amounted to about 100 law enforcement officers who patrolled traffic and foot patrols for Orange Crush. It’s about four times more police than a regular weekend. There were approximately dozen people arrested on various misdemeanor charges over the weekend.

The city is also installing new vehicle license software to determine if the vehicle was legally on the roadway and whether the motorists have warrants. Gillen said by the end of the year, the scanners will be placed at the entrance of the bridge so that anyone traveling to Tybee Island will be checked.

“The mediation is working,” Gillen nodded as he walked the streets watching the visitors.

He said the council did not mention the alcoholic ordinance this year. It focused upon crowd control and traffic.

Lyons said he’d be back in July to observe the Independence Day festivities to compare how those beachgoers are treated.

This article originally appeared in The Savannah Tribune

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Entrepreneur & ‘Shark Tank’ Alum Disrupting The Snack Industry

THE SAVANNAH TRIBUNE — Currently a $900M market with 99% of the spend focused on children, Smith-Jeremie believes that applesauce is ready for the kind of disruption that grew yogurt from an 8BN category to 125BN. sanaía is the only applesauce with real apple wedges and has all the makings of the next 1BN entrant to the adult snacking category.

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Founder Keisha Smith-Jeremie, disrupts the applesauce industry with sanaía, the re-imagination of childhood treats for adults.

Founder Keisha Smith-Jeremie, disrupts the applesauce industry with sanaía, the re-imagination of childhood treats for adults. While the rest of the category was focused on kids, Keisha seized the opportunity to cater to adults who wanted to enjoy applesauce without being subjected to pouches or uninspired flavors.

Growing up in the Bahamas, Keisha fell in love with fruit. While attending University of Virginia, she missed the flavors of home so she created an exotic new spin on a classic snack. Starting with crisp Granny Smith apples, each flavor is blended with plant-based ingredients and island-inspired fruits like Guava, Hibiscus, Tamarind, Ginger, Blackberry, Lavender and Pear.

Currently a $900M market with 99% of the spend focused on children, Keisha believes that applesauce is ready for the kind of disruption that grew yogurt from an 8BN category to 125BN. sanaía is the only applesauce with real apple wedges and has all the makings of the next 1BN entrant to the adult snacking category.

Keisha developed sanaía with the goal of creating a healthy snack. sanaía APPLESAUCE is perfect for vegans and adult palettes that are craving delicious snacks that are organic, low calorie, GMO free, gluten free, dairy free and allergen free: “I created sanaía because I believe that what we eat provides us with the fuel we need to live the life we want.”

Keisha’s entrepreneurial journey has been transformational. Her first time pitching to investors was on ABC’s Shark Tank! Not only did she secure an investment offer from business mogul Mark Cuban, but her episode went viral sparking conversations about ‘the unique sacrifices involved in the entrepreneurial journey for people of color.’ sanaía APPLESAUCE is available at Walmart stores and Amazon Prime with its Unsweetened and Guava flavors. To find a store near you to purchase sanaía, visit tastesanaía. com.

This article originally appeared in The Savannah Tribune.

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New Vice President Joins Savannah State University

THE SAVANNAH TRIBUNE — Savannah State University (SSU) interim President Kimberly Ballard-Washington has appointed Annette Ogletree McDougal as vice president of Marketing and Communications.

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Annette Ogletree-McDougal

By Savannah Tribune

Savannah State University (SSU) interim President Kimberly Ballard-Washington has appointed Annette Ogletree McDougal as vice president of Marketing and Communications.

“Annette has worked in various roles in higher education communications, public relations, media, and marketing,” Ballard-Washington said. “She brings a unique blend of experiences that make her an ideal choice for this position and as a member of the executive leadership team at Savannah State.”

Ogletree-McDougal, who assumed her role September 1, comes to SSU from the University System of Georgia, where she served as the executive director of communications, and the director of strategic planning and technology communications. She previously worked as the director of marketing and communications for the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.

Ogletree-McDougal holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and theatre from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

This article originally appeared in The Savannah Tribune.

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AKAs Receive Proclamation for Breast Cancer Awareness

THE SAVANNAH TRIBUNE — On October 10, 2019, Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated received a City of Savannah Proclamation for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The proclamation was presented for Alpha Kappa Alpha’s focus on Breast Cancer Awareness under the leadership of its International President, Dr. Glenda Glover. In 2018, Dr. Glover made a commitment to bring awareness by establishing a Breast Cancer Awareness Community Impact Day.

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Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter receives a City of Savannah proclamation for Breast Cancer Awareness. GSO Chapter members pictured with Mayor Eddie DeLoach and Savannah City Council.

By Savannah Tribune

On October 10, 2019, Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated received a City of Savannah Proclamation for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The proclamation was presented for Alpha Kappa Alpha’s focus on Breast Cancer Awareness under the leadership of its International President, Dr. Glenda Glover. In 2018, Dr. Glover made a commitment to bring awareness by establishing a Breast Cancer Awareness Community Impact Day.

This is an effort to encourage survivors to share their story and to help other members and women to understand that mammograms are the key to early detection which ultimately saves lives. Later that year, the AKA Mobile Mammography Unit was unveiled to continue the fight against breast cancer by traveling to underserved communities, striving to reach 100,000 women throughout the United States. “Alpha Kappa Alpha will continue its life-saving mission to raise community awareness of critical health issues impacting women. The objective of this effort is to highlight the significance of early detection through mammography screenings, education and training”, stated Dr. Glover.

Alpha Kappa Alpha is the first Greek-lettered organization to own a fully equipped digital mobile mammography unit. The sorority recognizes that many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment but there remains much more to be accomplished. Mayor Eddie DeLoach proclaimed October 2019 “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and October 18, 2019, “National Mammography Awareness Day” in the City of Savannah. Ms. Denise Cooper, Esq., president of the Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter received the proclamation on behalf of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

This article originally appeared in The Savannah Tribune.

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