Commission approves $85,000 for engineering work on County Road 69

In its monthly meeting held Monday, March 12, 2018, the Greene County Commission authorized preliminary engineering work to begin on the bridge on County Road 69 with an investment not to exceed $85,000. At the previous commission work session, county engineer Willie Branch informed the body that this particular bridge has to be inspected every month and warrants this engineering work to begin to replace the bridge. The school bus cannot travel this bridge as it is. The bridge is currently posted at 3 tons.
The commission also gave its approval for the county engineer to sell all surplus equipment and/or surplus supplies.
Opening advertisement for a part-time position in the Solid Waste Department was approved following the commission accepting an employee’s resignation from that position.
The commission acted on the following:
Approved having a public hearing on vacating a portion of Outland Road from the end of the pavement at the railroad to the North Gloria Street property line.Approved various staff travel requests for continuing professional development.
In her financial report, CFO Paula Bird gave the various bank balances as of Feb. 18 as follows: Citizen Trust Bank, $3,109,438.69; Merchants & Farmers Bank, $2,157,243.70; Bank of New York, $363,933.28; total CD investments, $802,978.18. She noted that the Coroner’s office was over the amount budgeted for transportation, noting that it is difficult to estimate what will be needed for a given year. Bird also stated that the Sheriff paid $3,272.95 to cover overtime for his personnel.

Greene County Health System (GCHS) thanks municipalities for financial contributions

Shown above Mayor of Forkland Charlie McAlpine, City Council and community members with CEO of Greene County Health System giving plaque of appreciation.

Shown above Mayor of Boligee Louis Harper, City Council and community members with CEO of Greene County Health System giving plaque of appreciation.


Dr. Marcia Pugh, GCHS CEO/Administrator, attended meetings of the municipal governments in Forkland and Boligee to thank the Mayors and councilmembers for assistance to the Greene County Health System. The GCHS consists of the Hospital, Residential Care Center (Nursing Home) Physicians Clinic and other ancillary health services.
On Monday night, March 5, Dr. Pugh thanked the Mayor and Council members in Forkland and presented them a plaque for their contribution of $3,499 which was used to purchase a commercial hot water heater for the hospital when the current hot water heater failed.
On Tuesday night, March 13, Dr. Pugh thanked the Mayor and Council of Boligee and presented them with a plaque for their contribution of $4,488, which was used to purchase new air conditioning units for the facility to replace units that had served their time and worn out.
Dr. Pugh also received $1,074.70 from the Town of Union, which was used to purchase a new hospital bed for the Residential Care Center, where more replacement beds are urgently needed. Dr. Pugh said she would also bring a plaque for the Town of Union at a future city council meeting.
“Our hospital is non-profit and we have a charitable foundation that can accept donations and bequests from individuals, churches, organizations, businesses and others in the community to improve and strengthen our facilities. We have a long needs list, with small and large items, if you would like to help us to enhance our facilities and services, said Pugh.
For more information contact Dr. Pugh at GCHS, 509 Wilson Avenue, Eutaw, Alabama 35462; phone: 205/372-3388; email:

Mayor Steele welcomes new Court Magistrate

Matrina Henley


Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele is shown above with the city’s newly hired Municipal Court Magistrate Martina Henley. According to Mayor Steele, the former Magistrate, Grace Stanford, resigned to devote more time to her campaign. Steele explained that he moved Henley up from an assistant to the city’s Water Clerk.
Henley, a native of Greene County, AL, is the daughter of Julia and Alexander Henley. She is a graduate of Greene County High School and Shelton State Community College, with an Associate Degree in Business Office Management and Technology.
Ms. Henley stated that she is excited about working for the City of Eutaw and looking forward to working progressively for the city.

Turner seeks re-election, County Commission District 4

Allen Turner

Citizens of Greene County, especially residents from the Forkland, Dollarhide, and Tishabee communities, once again I, Allen Turner Jr. am seeking your vote and support to represent you as Greene County Commissioner District 4
As you know I am a lifelong citizen of Greene County, a graduate of Paramount High School, Alabama A&M University, Shelton State Community College, Auburn University ALGI, and currently in the UWA Continuing Ed. Program.
I’ve been employed by Alabama Power for 28yrs, and served as County Commissioner for 8yrs. My service includes former PTA President PHS, Deacon Springhill Baptist Church, member of the TVFD, Phi Beta Sigma, Alpha Phi Omega, Master Mason, and Tishabee Community Board.
Since serving you as Commissioner our goals have been clear but profound: to Promote our Youth, Protect our Seniors, and Inform the public while bringing good government to all Greene County.

Since 2010 I have provided more than 80 scholarships to high school graduates from District 4, promoted after school tutorials and summer enrichment programs in Tishabee and Forkland, established computer training, nutritional, wellness, and activity programs for seniors and young adults from the district. We also assisted in the renovation and purchasing of playground equipment for Forkland and Tishabee parks.
Since taking office our county has operated in the black while continuing to provide matching funds for ATRIP, Federal aid, and local road projects. We are blessed to finally be able to purchase new dump trucks, paving equipment, mowers, pick up trucks, and build a new maintenance shop to better serve our county and municipal citizens
Fellow Citizens we can not afford to bump the brakes or change directions, for experience, leadership, and commitment. On June 5, let’s go back to the polls in record numbers and Re Elect Allen Turner Jr. Greene County Commissioner District 4, “Moving Forward with the Plan.”

Cockrell seeks re-election, District 3 Commission Seat


Corey Cockrell

I, Corey Cockrell, am the best candidate for County Commission District 3, because I possess all the qualities it takes to be a great commissioner. I have a desire to help build up the community and work with the citizens to move them toward a great future. I am a hardworking, dependable, dedicated, and devoted young man who is ready to help Greene County achieve the goals the have been set before us. I want to give the citizens of District 3 and Greene County an opportunity to have better jobs, more activities for the children and senior citizens, and a chance for all citizens to have a great future. I believe that District 3 and the entire county can be the most vibrant county in America. With God and us standing together, we can move this county forward.
I am a graduate of Greene County High School and Jacksonville State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education; currently a physical education teacher at Robert Brown Middle School;; a member of the Business Association Program, Jacksonville State University; member of Jacksonville State University Hyper Club; an active member of Ezekiel Baptist Church.

Newswire: Gun control historically has meant prohibiting Blacks from owning one

By Frederick H. Lowe, NorthStarNews

Blacks at a gun range

( – Since the massacre of students at a Parkland, Florida, high school, the airways have been buzzing with talk about gun control—making it tougher through state and local laws for individuals to own a gun.
In today’s world, gun control may mean the same thing to blacks and whites, but that hasn’t always been the case. Differences in thinking about who should own a gun and who shouldn’t emerged shortly after the country’s founding as a slave-holding Republic.
Before the Civil War, states, mostly in the South, enacted “Slave Codes,” prohibiting blacks from owning guns. Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor, said during slavery, blacks were prohibited from owning guns because whites feared they would rise up and abolish slavery through a civil war.
In 1865, after the Civil War ended, states renamed the “Slave Codes” “Black Codes” with the same purpose of prohibiting African Americans from owning guns.
Preventing gun ownership among blacks began at the beginning the nation’s history. Virginia was founded in 1624 but by 1640, Blacks were prohibited from owning guns.
Virginia enacted a statute that led to a total gun ban for free Mulattos, Negroes and Indians. In 1712, the statute was revised, calling for a total gun ban for Negroes to prevent insurrections, according to “Laws Designed to Disarm Slaves Freedmen, and African Americans,” a research paper.
In 1792, blacks were excluded from joining the militia, which was created under the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The militia was limited to able-bodied white men between 18 and 45.
Other states enacted similar laws. In Florida, homes of slaves and free blacks were searched for guns. If a gun was found, it was confiscated.
In 1828, Florida said free blacks could carry guns if they had court permission. It wasn’t until the Civil War that black men who fought for the Union Army were free to carrying guns.
Prohibitions against blacks owning guns continues to crop up. In 1968, Congress passed the Gun Control Act. Robert Sherrill, a supporter, said the legislation was passed not to control guns but to control blacks.
In 1994, the Clinton Administration introduced H.R. 3838 to ban guns in federal public housing, which would have affected 3 million individuals. The House Banking Committee rejected the legislation.
Gun buyback programs also are seen as a way to keep guns out of black hands.Southern states imposed high taxes or banned inexpensive guns to price blacks out of the market, according to the paper “Gun Control and Racism.”
Today, blacks own guns but their ownership is much lower compared with whites. Twenty-four percent of blacks own a gun compared to 15 percent of Hispanics and 36 percent of whites, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.
About 48 percent of white men are likely to be gun owners compared to 25 percent of white women, 24 percent of nonwhite men and 16 percent of nonwhite women.
Pew released its data on gun ownership one week after the massacre 17 students at a Florida high school.
During a meeting with high school students and legislators on Thursday, President Donald Trump endorsed the National Rifle Association. Trump said teachers should receive extra pay to carry guns in the classroom to fight gunmen
He also said he would push for comprehensive background checks with an emphasis on mental health for people who want to buy guns.

Newswire : New EPI study shows no Black economic progress in 50 years

By Lauren Victoria Burke (NNPA Newswire Contributor)


Late last year, “The Washington Post” wrote that African Americans were the only group that showed no economic improvement since 2000. They based their conclusions on Census data. This year, there was even more sobering news in a report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The new study issued found “no progress” for African Americans on homeownership, unemployment and incarceration in 50 years.
Much of what was included in the EPI study was stunning data on African American economic progress. Fifty years after the famous and controversial Kerner Commission Report that identified “white racism” as the driver of “pervasive discrimination in employment and education” for African Americans, EPI concluded that not much has changed.
The EPI study stated the obvious and pointed to glaring statistics.
Regarding the justice system, the share of incarcerated African Americans has close to tripled between 1968 and 2016, as Blacks are 6.4 times more likely than Whites to be jailed or imprisoned. Homeownership rates have remained unchanged for African Americans, over the last 50 years. Black homeownership is about 40 percent, which is 30 percent behind the rate for Whites.
Regarding income, perhaps the most important economic metric, the average income for an African American household was $39,490 in 2017, a decrease from $41,363 in 2000.
A press release about the report said that, “Black workers still make only 82.5 cents on every dollar earned by white workers, African Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be in poverty than Whites, and the median White family has almost ten times as much wealth as the median Black family.”
In 2017, the Black unemployment rate was 7.5 percent, up from 6.7 percent in 1968, and still roughly twice the White unemployment rate. In 2015, the Black homeownership rate was just over 40 percent, virtually unchanged since 1968 and trailing a full 30 points behind the White homeownership rate, which saw modest gains over the same period.
President Trump has bragged about the Black unemployment rate has reached record lows and homeownership has reached record highs under his presidency. What Trump leaves out is the overall statistical data over many years.
Much of what the data shows is connected to systemic policy problems that have been persistent for decades. In the press release about the EPI report, EPI economic analyst Janelle Jones said that it’s clear that structural racism is the root cause of the economic inequality between Blacks and Whites.
“Solutions must be bold and to scale, which means we need structural change that eliminates the barriers that have stymied economic progress for generations of African American workers,” said Jones.
Lauren Victoria Burke is a congressional correspondent for the NNPA Newswire. Lauren also works independently as a political analyst and communications strategist. You can reach Lauren by email at and on Twitter at @LVBurke.