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Police: Child, 5, dies after being struck in parking lot
 lhobbs  / 

A 5-year-old boy died Wednesday night after his mother accidentally drove over the child with her vehicle in the parking lot of the Brooklyn Homes housing complex off of P Street in Brunswick, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Raynal Osborne, 5, was pronounced dead at the emergency room of the Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick hospital following the 6:40 p.m. crash, according to the highway patrol. State troopers said surveillance video from Brooklyn Homes captured the tragic accident.

Sandreil Smith, 29, had just entered the Brooklyn Homes parking lot from P Street in a Honda Accord when she saw her son and another boy playing, according to the state patrol. She stopped and handed snacks to Raynal from the driver side window, state patrol said.

“He was standing next to the car with his friend,” state patrol officials said in an email. Raynal took the snack and stepped away, walking in front of the car. He tripped while walking in front of the Accord, the state patrol said. Smith was still talking with the other child and did not see her son fall, the state patrol said.

She then drove the Accord forward, rolling over her son. “The Honda traveled over the victim and then stopped,” according to the state patrol.

file photo 

Flanked by hundreds of well wishers, Ernie Andrus makes his way to the water’s edge at the Coast Guard Station beach on St. Simons in August, 2016, completing a cross-country walk begun nearly three years prior. A special event will be hosted Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Old Coast Guard Station on St. Simons Island in honor of Andrus, a 95-year-old World War II Navy veteran who will be beginning a cross-country run back home to California. The purpose of the long trek, called “Coast to Coast,” is to raise funds to restore a World War II Higgins Boat, used to land soldiers on beaches during the war and on D-Day. Andrus came through the Golden Isles in 2016 on his run from California.

Coastal Symphony of Georgia partners with library ahead of upcoming concert
 lmcdonald  / 

The Coastal Symphony of Georgia will debut at its April concert a contemporary piece titled “How to Relax with Origami,” which has not been performed before in the state of Georgia.

The piece, composed by Conor Brown, will be performed April 8 at 8 p.m. in Brunswick High School’s auditorium.

Leading up to the concert, the Coastal Symphony of Georgia has partnered with Marshes of Glynn Libraries to spread the word about the show and get community members involved.

The library hosted a workshop on “The Art of Origami” this week at which Karen Larrick, program coordinator for Marshes of Glynn Libraries, talked with attendees about the origins of origami and walked them through the creation of several patterns.

And on March 26, a talk will be hosted at the St. Simons library in Room 108 at 3 p.m. with Michelle Merrill, the music director and conductor of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia. She will present an overview of American orchestral music.

“They came to us and said they were going to be debuting this piece, and they were interested in maybe having the conductor do a little talk about it,” Larrick said. “They’re trying to find new ways of reaching out to the public.”

Merrill joined the Coastal Symphony of Georgia as the conductor in June 2018. Since she joined, she’s found ways to engage with the community so that more people become aware of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia.

“She is very interested in getting involved in the community,” said Karin Mills, a member of the symphony board and organizer of the March 26 event. “For the past season, she’s been doing a lot of speaking to Kiwanis Club and Rotary Club and other civic groups that are interested in what’s happening. And she’s a very engaging speaker.”

The lecture on March 26 will be the first long lecture Merrill has given locally, Mills said. Merrill plans to speak about American music, discussing the different eras and the ways that music has changed through the years.

She’ll also discuss the “How to Relax with Origami” piece that will be debuted in Georgia at the April concert.

The piece will be a new sound from the orchestra, which normally focuses on classical music.

“This is the first one I know that will be truly contemporary,” Mills said. “It’s going to be fun and different.”

The orchestra is made up of professional musicians from around the Southeast who come together locally each year to present shows for the community.

“We have a very nationally-appreciated orchestra right her in the Golden Isles, which is pretty unusual for a community of this size,” Mills said.

The concerts often sell out, Mills said, but those interested in attending can sign up for the waiting list as well. Tickets and the waiting list sign up are available online at

Big voting equipment bill heads to governor
 wwolfe  / 

All that stands between now and what’s expected to be a monster contract for state voting machines is the governor’s signature, thanks to a 101-69 vote Thursday in the state House of Representatives on House Bill 316.

The Senate approved the legislation by substitute Wednesday, and the House voted to concur with the Senate amendment, eliminating the need for a conference committee and allowing the bill to clear the General Assembly.

State Rep. Barry Fleming, R-Harlem and the lead sponsor of the bill, said it had five amendments requested by Democrats that were incorporated into H.B. 316, though several of these just codified what was already expected practice or specified in other rules or instructions.

House Democratic Leader Bob Trammell, D-Luthersville, again raised the question of whether the bill had a fiscal note attached, which it doesn’t.

“It has something better than a fiscal note — it has an appropriations bill, which has already passed this House and is pending in the Senate which sets the cap on how much can be spent,” Fleming said.

State Rep. Carolyn Hugley, D-Columbus, mentioned the possible $5.7 million in licensing fees — which Georgia Public Broadcasting reported Wednesday regarding documents drawn up by the state’s preferred vendor, Election Systems & Software. She asked whether these fees would be counties’ responsibility in coming years. The Secretary of State’s Office released the unredacted documents Tuesday, which can be viewed online.

“Well, far be it from me to ever dispute that a media report may be inaccurate, but that one is inaccurate,” Fleming said. “There will be no costs, initially, passed on to our counties if you vote yes on this bill that is in front of you, as opposed to the type of voting that I believe you were advocating, pencil or pen marked paper ballots, would be an incredibly huge cost passed on to our local governments. So, what you have in front of you is the best fiscal choice, not only the best secure choice, for the whole state.”

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Terry England, during an exchange with Fleming, said the machines are a capital expenditure, and they never have a fiscal note for a capital expenditure. He also said it’s understood that future, ongoing costs are expected with capital expenditures.

There’s also the matter of the 20-year bond, which state Rep. Bee Nguyen asked about in a parliamentary inquiry.

“Is it not true that we’re borrowing funds through 20-year bonds to pay for these machines, and supporters of this bill have indicated that these machines may only last 10 years, which means we would continue to pay for machines that may not be operable?” Nguyen said.

House Speaker David Ralston said he wasn’t certain as to the operational length of the machines.

“I’m not sure what the lifespan is, but it was in the bond package, which means that it will be a bonded indebtedness, for which we get almost no interest because of our AAA bond rating,” Ralston said.

Two Democratic members brought up that according to their data, if the state goes about this plan, the ratio of voters per machine will climb from one per 20 people to one per 25, which could exacerbate delays at precincts known for voting lines.

Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to sign the legislation.