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OWENS: New things on horizon for Savannah Food & Wine Festival

Like a good wine, most things are better with time.

The same is true with the Savannah Food & Wine Festival. We’re gearing up for our third year, and we’ve learned a lot in the first two. Some exciting things are on the horizon for this year’s festival.

New things on horizon for Savannah Food & Wine Festival

Fuel and potential fires for the U.S. economy ahead

The U.S. economy should get better after a sputtering first quarter, but how much better? It’s complicated.

FILE - In this April 27, 2015 file photo, rodbusters install rebar on the new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center under construction, in Philadelphia. The Commerce Department releases first-quarter gross domestic product on Friday, May 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Smith Brothers returns to downtown Savannah with grand opening

Robert and Barbara Anderson, co-owners of Smith Brothers Butcher Shop, are returning to the business’s roots with the grand opening of their new shop Thursday on East Liberty Street in downtown Savannah.

Photos by Kaitlin Bain/Savannah Morning News- The co-owners of the Smith Brothers Butcher Shop hosted its grand opening to allow the community to shop and sample many of the business’s products on Thursday.

Historic Savannah Foundation donates $20,000 to save Frogtown cottages

The Historic Savannah Foundation has donated $20,000 to the Coastal Heritage Society to help pay for the stabilization and weatherization of two historic cottages at 536 W. Charlton St. and 342 Purse St. in downtown Savannah’s Frogtown neighborhood just west of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard where Interstate 16 comes into the city.

BiS in brief: MV Transportation to hire 400 workers next week

The Georgia Department of Labor will help MV Transportation hire 400 school bus drivers and monitors for the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System Wednesday, June 3.

Data shows top employers, jobs in Beaufort and Jasper counties

Beaufort and Jasper counties nearly matched the national unemployment rate in the last month, as usual faring much better than South Carolina as a whole.

BiS in brief: Jobless rate drops to 5.5 percent in Savannah area

Metro Savannah’s unemployment rate for April was 5.5 percent, down from 5.8 percent in March, the Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday.

PortSide: Maritime community remembers its own

For one afternoon in late May each year, a small part of River Street is framed by soaring arcs of water from the fire hoses of Moran and Crescent tugboats and punctuated by peals from a World War II ship’s bell while an honor guard from Benedictine Military School stands at attention and names are called out one by one.

Photos courtesy of Lynn Wright - Bagpiper Heather Haskell leads Propeller Club members down River Street during the Maritime Day celebration.

Corps' top general tours Port of Savannah

Much of the money currently on hand for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project will be gone by the end of the project’s first year, making it imperative to secure funding in the fiscal 2016 and 2017 federal budgets to keep the project on track, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commander said Thursday.

Photos by Ian Maule/Savannah Morning News - Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, chief of engineers, speaks during a conference at the Georgia Port Authority in Garden City on Thursday.

Moon River seeks foreign investors

Moon River Studios has hired Lexden Capital LLC to raise up to $49 million for its studioplex in Effingham County from foreign investors seeking visas.

Jake Shapiro, left, CEO of Moon River Studios, in a file photo with Effingham IDA Chairman Chap Bennett. (G.G. Rigsby/Effingham Now).

Walmart turns dirt for neighborhood market

There’s a new Walmart coming to Savannah — but if you’re thinking big box, think again. At 42,000 square feet, Savannah’s first Walmart Neighborhood Market will be about a quarter the size of its supercenter cousin down the road, employing nearly 100 people when it opens early next year.

Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News - Mayor Edna Jackson and Alderman Tony Thomas along with Walmart representatives break ground for a Walmart Neighborhood Market on property near Abercorn Street and Wilshire Blvd.

Traveling with your dog will cost you — sometimes hundreds

Having an 80-pound Labradoodle as a travel buddy means B.L. Ochman can quickly separate the hotels that love dogs from those that just put up with them.

AP file photo - In this April 2014 photo provided by B.L. Ochman, Ochman poses with dog Benny, an 80-pound labradoodle in New York’s Central Park. Hotels ranging from major chains to small outposts are capitalizing on the wave of travelers who bring their dogs, some by charging for perks that pamper pets and others by expanding fees.

Exxon shareholders to vote on climate change, fracking

Exxon Mobil shareholders overwhelmingly rejected several environmental resolutions including proposals to put a climate-change expert on the board and set goals for greenhouse-gas emissions.

AP file photo - Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson delivers remarks on the release of a report by the National Petroleum Council on oil drilling in the Arctic, in Washington in March.

Georgia banks see higher earnings

Georgia’s 205 state-based FDIC insured banks earned $661.1 million in the first quarter of 2015, a 12 percent increase over last year’s first-quarter results.

Caesarstone officially opens in Richmond Hill

Business leaders, lawmakers, state, city and county officials and hundreds more were on hand in Richmond Hill as Caesarstone, the first new industry to locate in the city in 35 years, officially opened Wednesday.

Photos by Jamie Parker/Bryan County Now - Caesarstone opened on Wednesday in Richmond Hill and is the first new industry to locate in the city in 35 years. Planters made from Caesarstone quartz displayed many of the styles and colors available.

BiS in brief: New pet stores have jobs to fill

Woof Gang Bakery Savannah wants to fill 30 new part-time and full-time positions throughout the Savannah area.

BiS in brief: Chatham sheriff's office recruiting officers

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office plans to hire about 20 corrections officers and will have a job fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, at the state labor department’s Savannah Career Center at 5520 White Bluff Road.

Navigating the waters of federal flood insurance hikes in Chatham County

About one million of the more than five million federal flood insurance policyholders in the United States are being hit with increased costs when they go to renew their policies.

Ground broken for new welcome center

Lawmakers and tourism leaders joined Georgia Department of Transportation officials Tuesday to break ground for a new Georgia Welcome Center on Interstate 95 at Mile Marker 111 in Port Wentworth.

Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News- U.S. Congressman Buddy Carter, left, leads a group of public and transportation officials at the groundbreaking of the new Georgia Welcome Center on Interstate 95.

Cable company Charter buying Time Warner Cable for $55.3B

Charter Communications is buying Time Warner Cable for $55.33 billion, creating another U.S. TV and Internet giant.

FILE - This Feb. 2, 2009 file photo shows a Time Warner Cable truck in New York .Charter Communications is close to buying Time Warner Cable for about $55 billion, two people familiar with the negotiations said Monday, May 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)