2016: The Year in Local News

2016 will be remembered as the year of Matthew.

The storm tore through Savannah, Hilton head, Tybee and Bluffton, as well as dozens of other cities around our area.

Four deaths resulted from the storm.

“The defendant is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.”

February brought the end of a nightmarish crime spree in two cities.

Torrey Scott was convicted of felony and malice murder for the killing of Lisa Pynn inside her Port Wentworth home.

Scott, already a convicted felon, was also connected to two rapes on Savannah State’s campus.

He is now serving four consecutive life sentences.

“Its a tornado get inside the house now.”

90 mile and hour winds from a tornado on Fort Stewart.

Dozens of roofs were ripped off and two dozen families forced from their homes .Amazingly no one was hurt.

“I John T. Wilcher..Judge, “Do solemnly swear..Sheriff John Wilcher, “Do solemnly swear..”.

After a contentious election and runoff, John Wilcher is officially sworn in as the 63rd Chatham County Sheriff.

Since he got in office, the 40 year Sheriff’s veteran has had to deal with more questions about health care at the jail, and almost a half dozen deputies fired or arrested for misconduct.

“I’m going to do everything in my power and every dime I got so you won’t hurt another soul and you go back to prison where you belong and you can face the devil when you are gone.”

The victim of a Savannah priest vows retribution after getting a $4.5 million settlement for years of abuse.

Chris Templeton spoke to WSAV about the attacks by Father Wayland Brown almost 30 years ago at St James Parish.

The Savannah Diocese admitted they were warned about Brown, but didn’t do anything about the accusations of abuse.

“I just saw the flames from the back of the truck and I knew I couldn’t come out because I knew it would probably blow up,” explained Shontelle Middleton, BP Employee.

Incredible video as an SUV loses control, hitting a gas pump on Derenne ave, causing a massive explosion.

87 year old James Lester, the driver, was killed.

“Is any of it true at all?”
“No no”

Also in August, after years of allegations, a grand jury heard the claims of sexual abuse against Alderman Tony Thomas.

While 14 of 18 jurors agreed that his actions with several teenage boys was criminal, the statute of limitations had run out on the cases, and Thomas was not charged.

“I’m not getting up man show me the warrant. Show me the warrant. Go go.”

A $100,000 settlement ends months of rallies in Savannah over the treatment of Patrick Mumford by Savannah-Chatham Metro Police officers.

The body camera video shows Mumford, who was mistaken for a wanted suspect, getting tased by officers for not getting out of his car.

Chief Lumpkin later apologized and the four officers involved were all suspended.

“My job is to balance all the competing needs in the community and to try to make a fiscally sound and operationally sound recommendation to the nine that eventually have to make the decisions.”

The search for Savannah’s next City Manager ends.

Rob Hernandez comes from Florida, and in just two months on the job, has had to deal with Hurricane  Matthew cleanup, questions about crime and a major city budget crisis and backlash with proposed cuts.

“All of a sudden the ramp collapsed and it flipped over into the water.”

Frightening moments on River street as a boat ramp collapses with more than 50 people aboard.
30 of those people were injured.
But the tragedy came during the rescue, as Savannah Firefighter Michael Curry suffered a massive heart attack, and died at the scene.

The 42 year old was laid to rest a week later in a large ceremony with full honors.

And ending on a high note, Savannah’s newest baseball team, the Savannah Bananas, brought home a title in their first season in the Hostess city.

The unusual team name also got the Bananas national media buzz, and sold a lot of t-shirts to fans from around the area, and the country.

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