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May 26 – Memorial Health earns National Accolades for Stroke Care

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

May 26, 2017 - Memorial University Medical Center (MUMC) received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines MStroke (GWTG–Stroke) Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, the hospital system has announced.

To earn the recognition, MUMC had 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two consecutive years and 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.

Memorial University Medical Center also achieved Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus designation. That means MUMC reduced the time between a patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved to treat ischemic stroke, significantly reduce the effects of stroke, and lessen the chance of permanent disability.

The Stroke Center of Excellence at MUMC includes rapid treatment, rehabilitation, community education, and a telemedicine program.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost. At MUMC, our stroke team is available around the clock to provide brain scans, evaluations, and tPA as quickly as possible,” said Joseph Hogan, M.D., emergency medicine physician.

“After a stroke, we offer a comprehensive recovery process that stresses education and lifestyle improvements. Our goal is to help our patients return to a productive and fulfilling life,” said Joel Greenberg, M.D., neurologist and medical director of Memorial Stroke.

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina, currently being led by Interim Chief Executive Officer Kerry R. Watson .  

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Oct. 6 - Current List of Open Shelters and I-16 Access Points

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

October 6, 2016 - The American Red Cross has opened a number of shelters across Georgia including the following:

* Bibb County: Hephzibah Children's Home, 6601 Zebulon Road, Macon, GA 31220

* Bibb County: North Macon Community Center, 815 North Macon Park Drive, Macon, GA 31220

* Bibb County: East Macon Recreation Center, 31217 Ocmulgee E. Blvd., Macon, GA 31201

* Bibb County: Macon City Auditorium, 415 First Street, Macon, GA 31201

* Colquitt County: First Baptist Church, 400 Main Street, Moultrie, GA 31768

* Emanuel County: Swainsboro Rec. Dept., 632 McLeod Bridge Road, Swainsboro, GA 30401

* Laurens County: Dublin High School, 1127 Hillcrest Parkway, Dublin, GA 31021

* Laurens County: East Laurens High School, 920 Highway 80 E., East Dublin, GA 31027

* Laurens County: West Laurens High School, 3692 Highway 257, Dexter, GA 31019

* Lowndes County: Park Avenue United Methodist Church, 100 E. Park Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31602

* Peach County: Peach County Fire Station 6, 1770 US Hwy 341, Fort Valley, GA 31030

* Richmond County: Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church, 1330 Monte Sano Avenue, Augusta, GA 30904

* Tift County: Tift County Recreation Dept., 7140 North Victory Drive, Tifton, GA 31794

* Ware County: Waycross Middle School, 700 Central Avenue, Waycross, GA 31501 

Additionally, for your convenience, the following exits will be available to motorists choosing to travel in the contraflow lanes (normal East-bound lanes converted to West-bound lanes).

• Exit 143 - SR 30 in Bryan County 
• Exit 116 - US 301 in Bullock County 
• Exit 104 - SR 23/121 in Candler County 
• Exit 90 - US 1 in Emmanuel County 
• Exit 71 - SR 15 in Treutlen County 
• Exit 67 - SR 29 in Laurens County 
• Exit 51 - US 441 in Laurens County

The Interstate can be re-entered only by using the regular Westbound entrance ramps. However, in Savannah, there are several points where the Eastbound exit ramps will be converted into Westbound entrance ramps. These ramps will provide extra access into the contraflow lanes. The ramps are:

• Chatham Parkway 
• SR 307 between Savannah and I-95

The one-way operation of I-16 will end west of Dublin. To end the one-way operation, traffic west of US 441 will be merged into a single lane in both the normal West-bound lanes and the contra-flow lanes.

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CSX Corporation Stock Continues its Climb; Reports Record Earnings

CSX Corporation Stock Continues its Climb; Reports Record Earnings
By Lou Phelps
SBJ Staff
Feb. 14, 2011 - In much of Chatham County, train whistles can be heard on any given night, moving products to and from the Savannah port. And, as the U.S. economy begins to turn upward, it’s carrying the port tonnage numbers and the railroad industry along with it.
For the Port of Savannah and the Port of Brunswick, rail service is provided CSX Corporation and Norfolk Southern.
CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) had a banner week last week, with its stock rising five percent from a close on Feb. 4 at $69.70 to close on Feb. 11 at $73.24.
Friday, the company also approved a 26 cent per share quarterly dividend, payable on March 15 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 28, due to a record $430 million in earnings in the 4th quarter 2010.  CSX’s earnings reports were released on Jan. 25. On that date, the company also announced an additional $2 billion in capital investment in the company’s lines and services. This follows a $1.8 billion investment last year.
Major institutional investment houses are buying rail stocks in increasing numbers. For example, on Friday, Capital Research Global Investors announced that it had increased its holdings in CSX to 46,384,988 shares of the company as of 12/31/2010, now controlling 12.4% of all outstanding shares. As of 12/31/2009, the investment firm owned approximately 41 million shares or 10.5% of all shares.
Capital Research Global Investors is one of two equity divisions of Capital Research and Management Company (CRMC), led by James F. Rothenberg CFA. Rothenberg also serves as Treasurer of Harvard, and in that role serves as a member of both the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers.
Back in April 2007, respected investor Warren Buffet announced that he was going to buy rail stocks and purchased 11% of the stock of  Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which was the largest railroad company in North America that year.
Historically, railroad stocks were one of the most secure investments one could own; new competitors don’t just spring up – as it’s tough to start a new railroad - and product has got to be moved.
As the U.S. economy begins to improve in 2011, and consumers buy more products, there will be more products to be moved.  It’s good news for CSX which operates the rail lines that service the Savannah port.
On Friday, Capital Research Global Investors also announced that it had increased its holdings in Norfolk Southern Corporation railroad company to 21,107,071 shares, or 5.8% of all shares outstanding.
Norfolk Southern’s Financial Reports
The last week of January, Norfolk Southern Corporation also released its 4th Qtr. 2010 results, reporting a 14 percent increase in revenues to $2.4 billion, and a 17 percent increase in railway operations revenue to $642 million. Net income increased 31 percent to $402 million.
The company announced a 4th Qtr. per share dividend of $.40 cents per share, up from $.36 cents in the prior year.
In summary for 2010 vs. 2009, railway operating revenues increased 19 percent to $9.5 billion; income from railway operations improved 36 percent to $2.7 billion; net income increased 45 percent to $1.5 billion; diluted earnings per share rose 45 percent to $4.00; and the railway operating ratio improved by 5 percent to 71.9 percent.
Since its inception in 1982, Norfolk Southern has paid dividends on its common stock for 114 consecutive quarters.

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Sept 12 – Savannah Chamber Announces ‘Leadership Savannah’ 2011 Class

SBJ Staff Report

Sept 12, 2011 – The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce announced the new class of business executives accepted into the 2011 Leadership Savannah Class last week.

Leadership Savannah began in 1961 for the purpose of informing future leaders in the Savannah area of issues confronting the community on a variety of subjects. Subjects such as government, economic development, education, taxes, urban problems and coastal environment are examined in an atmosphere of concerned communication among the young leaders. The program also provides participants the opportunity to develop an awareness of community successes and problems, as well as the knowledge to help meet the challenge of the future.

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Economists Advise Chamber Gathering to Prepare for 3Q Economic Rebound

By Ted Carter
SBJ Staff Report

1/14/2010 - A leading local economist, and a distinguished university dean were on hand for the Savannah Area Chamber’s Economic Outlook luncheon Thursday. They both predicted a third quarter upswing for Savannah’s economy, with residential construction and increased home values providing the boost.

Robert T. Sumichrast, dean of UGA’s Terry College of Business presented the economic outlook report on behalf of the University of Georgia, and Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Dr. Michael Toma did not disappoint several hundred business people and civic leaders who were hoping to witness some optimism after a seemingly endless string of quarters filled with grim news and predictions.

But Savannah and the rest of Georgia still have some stubborn weaknesses that add uncertainty to the forecast, chiefly commercial development and real estate, they said.

“I told last year’s Outlook luncheon audience to look for the economies of Savannah and the rest of Georgia to begin a recovery by the third quarter of 2010, “We hope you’ve made plans to take advantage of it,” Sumichrast said Thursday, making the apple pie dessert served to luncheon guests all the much sweeter.

He conceded that it doesn’t “feel like we’re in a recovery” and went on to cite the reasons: jobless rate increases that will continue in 2010 in Georgia, a banking system still in possession of many of the bad assets it acquired before the banking crisis of fall 2008, and tight credit.

“Despite this, we’re looking for the recovery to be sustained,” the Terry College dean said. While a sustained rebound is near, Georgia’s recovery will lag the rest of the nation rather significantly in 2010 because the state will continue to experience a real estate recession, not only in the residential and commercial sectors but in the manufacturing of construction supplies, according to Sumichrast.

Georgia’s financial services sector is still on the ropes as well, he said, noting that the state’s job losses in the sector have been 30 percent deeper than those in the rest of the nation.

By the end of this deep recession, Georgia will have lost about 9.5 percent of its jobs. In comparison, the nation will have lost about 5 percent, he said. Savannah’s loss percentage will be much closer to the national average, at slightly more than 5 percent, Sumichrast added.

Look for anemic job growth in the spring in Savannah and throughout Georgia, he advised, and predicted the state’s unemployment rate could top 11 percent at some point this year.

The good news?

“Job creation will continue to accelerate in 2011” when construction recovers and manufacturing ramps back up, Sumichrast said, because he sees 2011 bringing increases in new house sales and a thawing of frozen credit.

That prediction is seen as having great importance when the state’s 14 consecutive quarters of declining home sales is taken into account.

Sumichrast said the gradual increase in housing sales have helped residential prices to stabilize. But those drops in values will continue to some degree, and actually bring sales benefits, according to the Terry College dean. “In 2010 we can expect more depreciation which will bring in more buyers.”

To this point, noted Sumichrast, “substaintial price declines have made homes more affordable.” And in 2010, “home sales will help propel Georgia’s economy forward, he added.

But on the way to 2011, construction spending will decrease and spending by state and local governments will decline as well, the economist predicted.

The business school dean nonetheless sees 2010 as the year consumers begin shifting from a savings mode to a willingness to spend on services and durable goods. Further, he said, businesses will start to spend on equipment and software.

Georgia will also be the beneficiary of corporate relocations attributable to the state’s low cost of doing business, Sumichrast said.

Growth in military spending will another boon to the Peach State’s economy, especially in the Columbus area where base realignment and personnel shifts have created 11,000 new military and civilian jobs at Fort Benning.

Dr. Michael Toma, an economist and director of Armstrong’s Center for Regional Analysis, said Savannah’s economic diversity has limited its recession-related job losses to the 3 percent range while the rest of Georgia saw losses of about 5 percent. He said he sees the third quarter as the period when things “flatten out.”

The should mean the green economic shoots that are sprouting at the Port of Savannah and within the region’s hospitality sector should begin to grow more vigorously, Toma said.

Locally unemployment will reach 9 percent this year, he predicted, “but should come down at the end of the year.” He expects Savannah to close 2010 with a jobless rate in the “high 8’s.”

Editor's Note: Expanded coverage on Toma's remarks will appear in the January 25 edition of the Savannah Business Journal.
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