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2007: Part two of our year in review
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This is the second installment in a multi-part series.

March 3 – Richmond Hill High School Band Director Charles Westman tells band boosters at a March 1 meeting that he has learned his contract won’t be renewed. Boosters believe his departure may be tied to furor over a vetoed band trip to Washington, D.C.

- The Bryan County Planning and Zoning Commission approves a 109-acre project in Blitchton that will include 160 single family homes and 40 townhomes along with an eight acre area for commercial use.

- Former pro baseball player Lance Warren joins the ranks of the Richmond Hill Police Department. Warren, a former Richmond Hill High School player, spent three years in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ farm system.

- County commissioners talk water and sewer in a Feb. 27 workshop.

- Alexander Squires is named Richmond Hill High School’s STAR student and the system-wide STAR student as well by the Richmond Hill Lion’s Club. Squires picked Spanish teacher Karen Clarke as his STAR teacher.

March 7 - The Richmond Hill Exchange Club honors the top public safety officers, Richmond Hill firefighter Michelle Meacham, Bryan County EMS EMT Lewis Shuman, Richmond Hill Police Department Capt. Mark Long and South Bryan firefighter Ralph Chapman. The late Sgt. Mike Larson, killed in the line of duty in a Dec. 10 crash, is named the Bryan County Sheriff’s Department’s top deputy.

- A bid to rezone land off Hwy,. 144 near Keller is dropped after strong opposition to proposed townhomes.

- Longtime Bryan County Sheriff’s Department member Selma Shuman retires after 30 years on the job. She started as a dispatcher in 1977.

March 10 – At the March 6 city council meeting, Developer Lamar Smith asks Richmond Hill officials to annex 1,100 acres on Daniel Siding Road. He plans to build a mixed-use development project on the land called Richmond Reserve. The city agrees to the annexation.

- Black Creek man Benny Kangeter announces a plan to get Lower Black Creek Primitive Baptist Church listed on the state’s register of historic places. His mother is one of two surviving members of the church, which he believes is in danger of being overwhelmed by development.

- The state fire marshal’s office continues to investigate a fatal fire on Belfast Keller Road. The fire burned a camper parked at a residence and claimed the life of Joseph Martin Harrison, 43.

- Bryan County High School senior Melody Swicegood is named STAR student. She picks Dr. joe Holloway as her STAR teacher.

- Richmond Hill’s Odyssey of the Mind teams earn the right to compete at the state level.

March 14 – At a speech at J.F. Gregory Park, Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) rules out running for vice president while also saying Congress shouldn’t set a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq.

- The famous Budweiser Clydesdales camp out at J.F. Gregory Park in advance of St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah.

- Pembroke Downtown Program Coordinator Tonya Raulerson announces the city received "Better Hometown" designation by the Georgia Main Street program. "It looks good on our resume," Raulerson sad.

- Area boy scouts hold a camporee at J.F. Gregory Park. Emergency preparedness is the theme.

March 17 – In a non jury trial, Superior Court Judge Ronnie Rahn finds Jack Barfield IV guilty of vehicular homicide for the 2005 death’s of Ginger Reagin and her 5-year-old son Garrett. He also was found guilty of other charges related to the crash on Hwy. 280 .

- Richmond Hill city council members meet in closed session to discuss potential litigation against the city over the proposed Colonial Marsh subdivision.

- The 200 Club works to make sure families of fallen law enforcement officers get financial assistance.

- St. Patrick’s Day 2007 includes the usual festivities.

- Georgia Tech researcher Rick Duke says Bryan County might be a prime spot for a Sun City type development. During a presentation to the Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center meeting, he said large scale development for retirees is headed this way.

- The school board discusses updating its student handbook and uniforms at a called meeting March 15.

March 21 – A joint operation between Pembroke police and Bryan County Sheriff’S Department on March 19 results in eight arrests for alleged drug activity. Operation Red Dot means "running every drug dealer out of town," police say.

- Local GOP members tab Rudy Guiliani as their favorite to win the 2008 Republican presidential primary.

- The state rules out arson as the cause of a February camper fire in South Bryan that killed Joseph Martin Harrison, 43. An investigator said the cause may have been careless smoking.

March 24 – Tragedy strikes North Bryan on March 21 when three Bryan County High School students are killed and another is seriously injured in a car crash. Killed are sisters Heather Arthur, 15, Melissa Arthur, 17, and Laura Cobb, 16. Injured is driver Tam Duc Le, 17. He is airlifted to Savannah’s Memorial Health University Medical Center and remains in critical condition as candlelight vigils are held for the girls.

- A man who allegedly stole money from area banks is busted at the Heritage Bank in Pembroke after bank employees recognize the man, Charles Scott Latham, and call police. Some called Latham the "Penny Bandit" because he allegedly rolled pennies in dime wrappers and passed them off as dimes at various banks.

- A day after the March 21 wreck that killed three Bryan County High School students, the school board holds a moment of silence for the victims. In regular business, the board approves the first reading of a school uniform policy that would require uniforms for the 2007-2008 school year.

March 28 – Tam Duc Le, 17, remains in critical condition in a Savannah hospital a week after the crash that killed three of his passengers.

- Bryan County Family Connections head Tara Jennings and Richmond Hill Police Chief Billy Reynolds say underage drinking is an issue during a March 20 presentation to Richmond Hill city council.

- County officials publically unveiled the results of an economic study by Georgia Tech which shows Bryan County is ripe for an economic boom. The study says the county faces challenges in preventing random development and strengthening ties between North and South Bryan.

March 31 – Jack Barfield IV is sentenced to 10 years in a detention center and 20 years of probation for the 2005 crash in Pembroke that took the lives of Ginger Reagin and her 5-year-old son Garrett. Barfield is elibigle for release after 30 months for good behavior.

- Bryan County High School’s JROTC cadets posthumously promoted Heather Arthur to corporal at a March 28 assembly. Arthur’s grandfather, Jesse France, received a plaque in her honor from the cadets. Arthur, her sister Melissa Arthur and friend Laura Cobb were killed in a March 21 crash on Hwy. 119. The driver of the car, Tam Duc Le, was seriously hurt in the crash.

- A fire that has burned on Tivoli Island for nearly two weeks continues to burn, frustrating firefighters and worrying residents.

- Fire destroys a home in Ford Plantation on March 29. The home was completely engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived.

Up next: A look back at events from April through June.

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