Sunday Solutions — June 18, 2023

This weekend is a time to honor Juneteenth, a commemoration of the day Black enslaved Americans learned they were legally freed more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was signed. We’ll take a moment this weekend to recognize Father’s Day, too, but not before we introduce our summer student reporting staff and send you out with some things to do and hard facts to ponder.

Meet our summer reporting staff

The Current welcomes five summer student reporters to Coastal Georgia. We thank our generous donors who believe in our core missions, part of which has always been to help pave the way for the next generation of journalists. Summer is a highlight for us and we hope it is for you, too.

  • Kailey Cota is a data reporting intern at The Current through the Dow Jones News Fund. She recently graduated from the University of South Carolina and was named the 2021 S.C. Collegiate Journalist of the Year. She worked at The Daily Gamecock, USC’s student newspaper, and was most recently the editor-in-chief. She previously reported for The Post and Courier and The State newspapers, covering a range of topics including general assignment news, politics, crime and business.
  • Jabari Gibbs, from Atlanta, is a senior at Georgia Southern University.  Majoring in communications, he is the editor-in-chief for The George-Anne Inkwell where his investigative pieces have led to change at the university. As the recipient of an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellowship, Jabari works with The Current to increase diverse perspectives in the news.
  • Audrey Gibbs is a summer fellow for The Current covering investigations. She recently graduated from Columbia Journalism School in New York City, where she received her master of science in journalism. She studied English at Sewanee: The University of the South. Audrey has interned for Ms. magazine, where she wrote a bi-weekly column titled “Tools of the Patriarchy,” as well as American Songwriter magazine. Audrey has covered general news, investigations, the arts and women’s health in both print and audio forms.
  • Sarah Harwell is a Florida native and rising senior at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She has served as a brand engagement manager for Centric magazine and beat reporter for NSM Today, both student-run publications at UCF, as well as interned at i4 business magazine. She works as an ambassador team co-coordinator at the UCF Arboretum and is an officer of the  campus chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. Sarah comes to The Current as a Dow Jones News Fund audience engagement intern.
  • Caelen McQuilkin is a student at Amherst College from Lee Vining, California. She has worked as a managing news editor and managing features editor for The Amherst Student, the student newspaper for Amherst College. She worked as a staff reporter for The Mammoth Times, the regional newspaper that covers her hometown. Caelen believes reporting and writing can help fill in the complex picture of a place. Caelen’s summer work is made possible by the Charles Hamilton Houston Internship Program at Amherst College. 

The crew is out covering Juneteenth events this weekend, so be sure to say hello if you see them. And, check out their coverage from the weekend on The Current’s Instagram (@thecurrentga), Twitter feed (@thecurrentga) and

Get out: Juneteenth

If you missed Saturday’s Juneteenth events, there are more on Sunday and Monday. Here’s a quick list so you can plan your days.

  • St. Mary’s: Freedom and Justice Coalition Juneteenth Celebration Festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Mary’s Waterfront Park, 100 W. St. Mary’s Street. Freedom parade, business venders, guest speakers
  • Tybee: Juneteenth: Celebration of Freedom and Unity, continues Sunday and Monday. 11 a.m. Sunday, Tybrisa Street with vendors , food, live music. Monday: Wade-in at 9 a.m. Link for info.
  • Savannah: Georgia Southern University will officially open its Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Center at 11 a.m. Monday at 13040 Abercorn St. at Armstrong Center. Festivities with artists, the McIntosh County Shouters and food vendors will run until 2 p.m.

What do you know?

We’ve started a weekly news quiz for you to test your knowledge against what you’ve read over the past few days. You can play every week via Instagram or right here. Here’s this week’s quiz. Click here to see how well you do.

Your second cup: More clarity for our histories

The telling of history, as we know it, evolves as researchers uncover information — facts — buried over time. This week, ProPublica shares the story of a grad student at the College of Charleston who found advertising for an 1835 slave auction larger than any historian has yet identified. The announcement for the 600-person sale surpasses the “Weeping Time” auction in Savannah, long thought to be the largest. Lauren Davila found the ad in digitized old newspapers and worked to find out more about the previously undocumented sale. Davila’s detailed research forms a deep lesson on the connections of generational wealth and poverty that now permeate our culture and daily lives.

How a grad student uncovered the largest known slave auction in the U.S.

The Ball family auction of 600 was one of several from the estate. Over a course of 4 days, the family put up for sale 770 human beings in Charleston.

Continue reading…

Georgia independent pharmacies to start selling cannabis oil

The board plans to roll out a draft application form next week that will include the proposed fee schedule. He expects the first pharmacies licensed to sell cannabis oil to begin selling the medicine in late August to early September.

Continue reading…

List: 15 options for renaming historic Savannah square

Officials this week released a shortlist of 15 potential names for the former Calhoun Square, corresponding to 15 publicly submitted applications which city staff deemed to have met the necessary criteria for consideration.

Continue reading…

Camden kept taxpayer meter running well after voters, courts snuffed chances for spaceport launch

Camden County’s legal fees continued to mount as it appealed the case up to the state’s highest court in an attempt to overturn a March 2022 vote prohibiting the county from completing a $4.8 million real estate deal for the planned launch site.

Continue reading…

Georgia lawmakers prepare to take on state rules that limit new hospital construction

An analysis from the Senate Research Office released this month reviewed the studies available on the impact of tossing out these strict hospital regulations and found a murky view of the state-by-state effects on the health care industry.

Continue reading…

Support independent, solutions-based investigative journalism without bias, fear or favor on issues affecting Savannah and Coastal Georgia.