What you need to know from the week that was in Savannah news: Jan. 15-21

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Credit: File photo / SavannahNow.com

Credit: File photo / SavannahNow.com

No matter what's happening in the world, weather events are a topic du jour.

Snow in Savannah? Stop the presses.

The winter storm system heading Savannah's way all week enraptured local residents and a story on the potential snow-megeddon topped the SavannahNow.com "most-read" list this week. The flakes failed to fall, yet many locals have come to the realization: Winter, such as it is in Savannah, is here.

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Credit: File photo / SavannahNow.com

Credit: File photo / SavannahNow.com

Here's a quick glimpse of other news of note in Savannah this week. Click on the highlight words for stories on these topics.

Omicron variant takes toll on schools

Groves became the fourth high school to temporarily shift to virtual learning due to COVID-19 outbreaks among teachers and staff. All told, five schools have closed for brief periods because of omicron since classes resumed Jan. 4.

A fifth of the district's students have been quarantined due to the virus' spread. For the week of Jan. 14, the district reported 3% of students and 7% of personnel had tested positive for COVID-19.

Election season is here as candidates announce

One local Georgia statehouse seat was projected to be open this year as Sen. Lester Jackson is campaigning for State Labor commissioner. On Monday, Georgia House Rep. Derek Mallow (D-Savannah) became the first candidate to announce for Jackson's Senate seat. A day later, Anne Westbrook launched her campaign to succeed Mallow in the House.

Election qualifying, when candidates formally enter races, begins March 7.

TSPLOST proposal sparks conflict

Efforts to place a transportation penny sales tax referendum on the May election ballot lost broad support from public officials. A meeting held Wednesday to review projects and advance the initiative turned ugly after attendees suggested delaying the referendum to November and Chatham Chairman Chester Ellis criticized the City of Savannah for not meeting deadlines and hindering the process.

The Chatham Commission was to vote on a resolution regarding TSPLOST at its Jan. 28 meeting.

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Credit: Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News

Credit: Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News

SCAD goes on real estate spree

The Savannah College of Art and Design plans to build three new student dormitories in Savannah and Atlanta, including a 17-floor hall on West River Street in the shadow of the Talmadge Bridge. The property lies just outside the Historic District boundaries and is not subject to the landmark district's building height restrictions.

The projects will add 2,434 beds to the university's housing inventory. SCAD has 6,400 beds currently.

Savannah's foodie town reputation grows

Two local restaurants made national media headlines this week - and neither has even opened yet. Chef Andrew Brochu will open Brochu's Family Tradition in a former Bull Street grocery store later this year while Kyle Jacovino, whose Pizzeria Vittoria is the lone non-food truck eatery at Starland Yard, is creating a pasta and grinders shop by the name of Lucia.

The two eateries were mentioned as "most anticipated" new restaurants by Vogue and Robb Report.

Gunplay mars east side neighborhood

A shooting that left one dead and three wounded was classified as "another senseless act of violence" by Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter. Police recovered 60 shell casings from different caliber weapons over a crime scene that spanned several blocks. Bullets hit five homes and five vehicles along the route.

Savannah's best fall sport athletes named

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Credit: Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News

Credit: Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News

The week marked the release of the All-Greater Savannah teams and coaches of the year for fall high school sports, including football. Benedictine Coach Danny Britt, who led the Cadets to a state title, was named the football coach of the year.

Other sports highlighted were volleyball, boys' and girls' cross country, flag football and softball.

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: What you need to know from the week that was in Savannah news: Jan. 15-21