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January 2020
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Mother asks for help getting sick son home from Phillippines


       “We need to get him home,” said Samantha Gilbert of her 23-year-old son, Dakota Whitehill who remains at Isabela Doctor’s General Hospital on the island of Luzon, Philippines. Whitehill has encephalitis, a brain infection and a brain bleed, according to his mother.

“He has been in the Philippines since May of 2019 and last Monday he went to a beach and he started getting sick. Then he had a fall and started having seizures and they called an ambulance,” Gilbert said. 

Gilbert is in touch with her son’s doctors at the hospital and they had a CT angiogram planned for Tuesday. Gilbert said she has sent some money for his medical expenses but they are more than she can afford at this point.

Read more: Mother asks for help getting sick son home from Phillippines

Williamson announces campaign for state rep.

charlotte williamson -politician


By Charlotte Lee Williamson


My name is Charlotte “Lee” Williamson. I am your candidate to serve in the Georgia House of Representatives, for District 11, challenging incumbent Rick Jasperse on the Republican ballot. District 11 incorporates all of Pickens County, Eastern Gordon, and Eastern Murray counties.

Read more: Williamson announces campaign for state rep.

“Fractured” school board moves ahead

school board

Angela Reinhardt / Photo

Cheryl Sams, right, was one of four people who spoke vehemently against the board’s decision to remove Dr. Carlton Wilson. Dozens of others attended to show their disappointment in three board members’ move.   


A heated crowd turned out for the first board of education meeting of the year, where the public slammed three board members for forcing former Superintendent Dr. Carlton Wilson to resign.

Public speakers at the meeting, who are just a few of the throngs of Pickens residents who have come out in support of Wilson, accused  board members Tucker Green, Joeta Youngblood, and Donna Enis of not acting in line with the desires of their constituents, of being unclear about their reasons for letting Wilson go, for being non-transparent, and for costing taxpayers thousands of dollars. 

The tension ramped up right out of the gate, when interim superintendent Dr. Charles Webb called for nominations for chairperson. Tucker Green was re- elected with board members Enis and Youngblood voting in favor of his appointment. One member of the public was heard saying “sickening” after he was re-elected to the position. Enis was elected vice chair. 

See full story in this week's print or online editions. 

Ga. highest court rules on standard for "irreparably corrupt" youth


Published Monday, January 13, 2020


Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Public Information Office for the general public and news media. Summaries are not prepared for every opinion released by the Court, but only for those cases considered of great public interest. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official opinions of the Court. The full opinions are available on the Supreme Court website at .



            The Supreme Court of Georgia has upheld the life-without-parole prison sentence given to a young man who was 17 years old when he and another young man murdered a friend to “see how it feels to kill someone.”

In appealing his convictions and prison sentence to the state’s highest court, attorneys for Dakota Lamar White argued that the trial court erred in allowing in as evidence his confession to law enforcement officials and in sentencing him to life without parole. His attorneys argued that the State should have had to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the juvenile offender was “irreparably corrupt” and therefore eligible for the extreme sentence. Instead, the trial court found the youth was “irreparably corrupt” based upon a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is a lighter standard of proof.

Read more: Ga. highest court rules on standard for "irreparably corrupt" youth