Newswire : Tyre Nichols killing reignites focus on American policing

 
 
Police beating Tyre Nichols in Memphis
By Barrington M. Salmon
 
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – The brutal beating and resulting death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Black cops in Memphis, Tenn., has roiled African-Americans and other people nationwide who are again trying to wrap their heads around the senseless death of another Black man and the fact that his killers are also Black.
Law enforcement officials investigating the brutal January 7th beating released a harrowing hour-long video of the barbaric treatment of Nichols, a 29-year-old father of a 4-year-old, and a treasured son and friend. The five cops who appeared to be most involved – were fired by Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis, after she reviewed the video tape recordings.  They disregarded Nichols’ considerable injuries from their fists, pepper spray and a baton and first responders milled about, appearing to be in no hurry to rush him to the hospital.
Three emergency medical technicians, members of the Memphis Fire Department, have been fired in the incident and two additional police officers have since been relieved of their duties. The California transplant, who loved skateboarding, photography, sunsets, his son and his mother, died in a hospital three days after the beating.
“You know, it’s more of the same,” sighed Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, a veteran social justice activist, wife and mother, of this latest highly publicized police-involved killing. Like emotions expressed by others, it has left her disgusted and angry. “I’m frustrated. It was unnecessary. One of the main things is that in conversation, people always talk about diversifying the police force. But hiring more Black faces in a White supremacist institution is not the answer.”
Sankara-Jabar, co-founder and co-director of Racial Justice NOW, said advocates, activists and organizations with suggested solutions have been ignored.
“They need to listen to people who want to disinvest in police departments and invest in jobs and people, especially those excited about entrepreneurship. There are so many things this country won’t do. We need people with the political will.”
Recently, President Joe Biden at the American Conference of Mayors, declared that he’s not defunding the police. “And the mayors – many of them Black – applauded him,” said Sankara-Jabar, also director of educational policy with the Wayfinder Foundation. “We don’t have elected officials who are willing to be bold. And until we break down the power of police unions, nothing will change.”
The Memphis chief of police fired the five officers who beat Nichols. They were investigated and arrested shortly afterward and charged with seven crimes including second-degree murder. Nichols’ death sparked protests in cities around the country. His family lawyer, Antonio Romanucci, said he sustained “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.” Activist lawyer Benjamin Crump, co-counsel to Romanucci, said the officers used Nichols as “a human pinata.”
Ron Hampton, a police officer with Washington, DC’s Metropolitan Police Department for 23 years, agreed saying he’s been “at it” for years working from the inside to effect change in police departments. Serving on committees, taskforces and organizations working to push against the structural racism, Hampton said the baked in bias and discrimination and the influential people in place to uphold the status quo have proven to be formidable barriers to meaningful change.
“I’m tired and frustrated,” Hampton said. “I’ve been doing this for a longtime. But (people) are hardheaded…We don’t listen. I was actually there, been working on this sh*t. When I was there, I saw so much.”
What he saw included beatings and brutality of both innocent and guilty victims and a special unit called the “jump out” boys who profiled and rousted residents.
Hampton, who retired from the police department in 1994, is a member of the DC Police Reform Commission and teaches criminal justice at the University of the District of Columbia, says 85 percent of what police do has nothing to do with public safety. He said Americans need to have difficult conversations about policing and exert the will to make the necessary changes. On a personal level, he said, he worries all the time when his daughters and wife go out because he fears that they may encounter an officer who may hurt or kill them.
“Right now, we should be looking at how do we reduce the footprint of these people in society,” Hampton said of bad law enforcement. “Are there things we can hand off? Because this is not working. But the politicians can’t say no to the police. And fearmongering by cops is used to bring the public on board. Black folks know that more money and more police will not make Black people safer, will not make that relationship better.”
Dr. Rayshawn Ray, a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, is one of many who likens American law enforcement to a rotten tree that has produced bad apples.
“In policing, people always talk about ‘bad apples.’ Well, bad apples come from rotten trees – law enforcement agencies imbued with structural racism,” said Ray in a Brookings article titled, ‘Bad Apples Come from Rotten Trees in Policing.”
Ray said that for the past decade, he has worked with dozens of police departments, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US military.
“I have researched body-worn camera programs and conducted countless implicit bias courses. While these solutions to police brutality matter, they fall short of dealing with the rotten trees because they focus on the bad apples,” writes Ray, a professor of Sociology and executive director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research at the University of Maryland, College Park in the article. “In order to fundamentally solve police brutality, we have to replant the roots of rotten trees within law enforcement. To deal with rotten roots, America needs to be honest that law enforcement originated from slave patrols meant to capture my ancestors who aimed to flee from enslavement. America has not fully dealt with this.”
Dr. Melina Abdullah – a professor and former chair of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles and a co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter – said police departments and law enforcement cannot be reformed.
“I’m an abolitionist who believes that policing is irredeemable. There’s nothing that will make it work. We need to implement crisis measures including removing police from mental health calls and traffic stops. Why did the police need to respond? We have to remove police from where they obviously don’t belong.”
In the first weeks of January, the Los Angeles Police Department killed three men by shooting and/or tasing them. In at least two cases, the men were experiencing mental health crises. Abdullah and BLM-LA have been pressuring elected officials and the police chief to be more transparent in these and other cases where members of the city’s Black and brown residents encounter police or are killed or hurt by police officers. At the same time LAPD officials are asking for a larger budget.
In the article by Rayshawn Ray, he argues that there needs to be a restructuring of civilian payouts for police misconduct because police officers are typically shielded from the financial impact of payouts. Instead, taxpayers have footed the bill for misconduct to the tune of $33 million in St. Louis, $50 million in Baltimore and more than $650 million over the past 20 years in Chicago.
“I think it’s maintaining the status quo but beyond – police are advocating for an expansionist view,” said Abdullah. “They’re really trying to gobble up more and more of resources. They’re moving toward a police state.”
 

Newswire : “Brutal killing” of prodemocracy activist in Eswatini condemned

Thulani Maseko

Jan. 30, 2023 (GIN)  — Hundreds of mourners around the world paid tribute to a renowned human rights activist brazenly shot dead in front of his wife and two children at their home in Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, a week ago.

His murder drew widespread condemnation, including from the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and political activists in Eswatini, a landlocked nation in southern Africa.
 
Kenya human rights defenders held a vigil in Nairobi in solidarity with family of the assassinated lawyer and rights defender #JusticeForThulani. Amnesty International called for a proper investigation. Maseko was reportedly shot twice through the window of his home, Amnesty said.
 
Mr. Maseko’s widow, Tanele Maseko, described the horror of sitting in their living room with her husband and their sons, ages 10 and 6, on a recent Saturday evening when he was shot, reported John Eligon of the NY Times.
 
“That night felt like my chest had been opened and my heart ripped apart,” she said, her face covered by a black veil.
 
She explained that Mr. Maseko had refused to go into exile like other pro-democracy leaders, once telling her, “If they want me, they know where to find me, here at home.”
 
Mr. Maseko, the youngest of eight children, was born in Bhunya, in the western part of the country. After obtaining a law degree from the University of Swaziland, he studied international law at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.. He established his own law practice in Eswatini and organized legal groups focusing on democracy and human rights.
 
In 2014, Mr. Maseko and a prominent Swazi journalist were sentenced to two years in prison after publishing articles criticizing the country’s judiciary as lacking independence. They were released the next year after the Supreme Court overturned their convictions.
 
Maseko had taken a case to court against King Mswati III, Africa’s last absolute monarch, over his decision to rename the country Eswatini by decree.
 
Hours before Maseko was murdered, King Mswati criticized activists pushing for reform, saying, “People should not shed tears and complain about mercenaries killing them.”
 
A longtime critic of King Mswati, Maseko knew his work was risky but persisted for many years. He described his situation as “caught between hope and fear.”
 
He wrote to President Obama from prison. Quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., he asked for help from the U.S. government and generated unwelcome international media coverage for King Mswati.
 
“As one of the founding members of the Johannesburg-based SouthernDefenders, Maseko made an immense contribution to the advancement of justice and human rights not only in Eswatini but throughout the Southern Africa region,” wrote the Geneva-based World Organization Against Torture, formerly headed by Kofi Annan.
 
He carried out several fact-finding missions to Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi where he reported on the deterioration of civic space in the region. 
 
“Eswatini has lost a powerful voice for nonviolence and respect for human rights,” Ned Price, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said in a statement posted to Twitter.
 
“We remain deeply concerned about continuing violence in Eswatini,” he added, “and we continue to urge the government of Eswatini to set a date for an inclusive national dialogue as soon as possible.”
 
At Saturday’s memorial service, Dessy Choumelova, the European Union ambassador to Eswatini, called Mr. Maseko’s killing an assassination. She said the government needed to carry out a transparent investigation to “identify and prosecute those responsible for this cowardly murder.”
 
 

 

Newswire: Florida high school students threaten to sue Florida and Gov. Ron DeSantis over AP studies ban

Gov. Ron Desantis of Florida

By Zack Linly, NewsOne

Three Florida high school students are threatening to file a lawsuit against the Sunshine State and its (alleged) white nationalist overlord, Gov. Ron DeSantis, over the state’s rejection of an Advanced Placement course on African American history—which, in this writer’s not-so-humble opinion, was rejected because DeSantis and his cohorts identify with the white, conservative and fragile, and that’s all that really matters.

“Certainly there are other advanced placement histories, such as AP European History, AP U.S. History and AP World History, all predominantly generated towards white people,” high school junior Victoria McQueen, one of the three students, said during a press conference, according to HuffPost.

And that’s exactly the truth. There’s nothing inherent about white-centered history that undermines American jingoism or the idea of American exceptionalism, so there’s never any real controversy there. (Unless you ask Black people who object to the romanticized way in which European history and American history tend to be presented at the expense of those who were historically oppressed during that history. But that doesn’t matter because we don’t matter. Our discomfort with white-centered curricula doesn’t matter. Our desire to see non-whitewashed history taught in schools doesn’t matter.)

Florida officials claim they’re only rejecting fringe ideology and indoctrination, as opposed to African American history, but when they’re advocating for unbridled patriotism and fighting anything that stands in the way of that, it’s clear that ideological indoctrination is just fine with them as long as it’s the right (pun absolutely intended) kind of ideological indoctrination

Anyway, the trio of students is being represented by none other than civil attorney Ben Crump.

“If (DeSantis) does not negotiate with the College Board to allow African American studies to be taught in classrooms in the state of Florida, these three young people will be the lead plaintiffs in a historic lawsuit,” Crump said.

Personally, I hope the lawsuit is filed and widely covered in the media. Even if the would-be plaintiffs lose the case, it will highlight the fact that neither DeSantis nor other Florida officials are waging their war against what they define as “wokeness” on behalf of the people—only their people.

Newswire: Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. named National Co-Chair of No Labels

By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent


No Labels, a nonprofit think tank that describes itself as a national movement of Democrats, Republicans, and independents working to solve the country’s most complex problems, has named Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. as its national co-chair.

The formal announcement occurred during a Zoom news conference on January 22. It included welcome messages from Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), and former Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, among others.

Recording star Deborah Cox opened the introductory news conference by performing a spirited song about No Labels, who created the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus and an allied Senate group that led passage of some of the most important legislation of recent years, including the CHIPS Act, a gun safety bill, and a rewrite of the Electoral Count Act in 2022.

Voiceovers were woven in of former U.S. Presidents from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

The organization then played a tribute video that included Dr. Chavis’ family and his legendary career as a civil rights leader.

“As the new co-chair of No Labels, I’m proud to continue to be the president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association on the 196th anniversary of the Black Press of America,” Dr. Chavis stated.

“Working with former Sen. Joseph Lieberman and former Gov. Larry Hogan as co-chairs, I believe this will lift up the Black Press of America and elevate its visibility in the American mainstream politics, business, economics, and public policy that will affect the quality of life in the communities in which we serve.”

Dr. Chavis continued. “As a veteran of the civil rights movement, during the last six decades, I’ve learned a few things about the importance of people working together across lines of race, ethnicity, language, geography, and the things that divide us. I want to work on things that unite us as Americans. I believe No Labels offers that opportunity but also that responsibility to move forward.”

Lieberman, a former U.S. Senator from Connecticut, who changed parties in 2006 and is now an Independent, said No Labels is fortunate to have Dr. Chavis on board.

“Based on his history as a civil rights leader and the kind of person he is, I’m thrilled. Dr. Chavis has always been a bridge-builder and will bring civility, which is sorely needed in our government and our country,” Lieberman asserted.

Hogan, who served two terms as Maryland governor, also congratulated Dr. Chavis. “I’m thrilled to congratulate Dr. Chavis and welcome him to No Labels. I know Dr. Chavis will be a great addition to the leadership team of No Labels,” Hogan stated.

“He shares our commitment to bringing people together to achieve common sense solutions for all Americans. Having worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Chavis knows what it means to fight for freedom and respect for all Americans, and that’s exactly what No Labels stand for,” Hogan concluded.

Manchin, the conservative-leaning Democrat, said he got involved with No Labels more than 12 years ago because the organization works to unite America.

“We’re still working to unite this country,” Manchin declared.
“What we’ve done in the last two years in a bipartisan way because of No Labels has been [major].

“So I’m thrilled to have the experience of Dr. Chavis and the wealth of knowledge he’s gained over the years that he’ll share with us to help make us a more perfect union.”

In welcoming Dr. Chavis, Collins, Maine’s longest-serving Senator, lent her voice. “As a highly respected civil rights leader, his service alongside Sen. Lieberman and Gov. Hogan will help move our organization and nation forward,” Collins insisted.

“Dr. Chavis has dedicated his life to championing equality and encouraging our nation to live up to its ideals. He believes in American unity, democracy, and opportunity for all.”

Dr. Chavis said his life’s work had taught him that if everyone works together, divisions can be overcome. “And when we overcome divisions, we make progress,” he insisted.

“I believe we need to restore bipartisanship in the American Congress. We need to restore bipartisanship at the state legislative level.
“We need to restore bipartisanship at the local and municipal level. Americans today are worn out with all the divisions and looking for a way forward. No Labels offer that way forward.”

 

Eutaw City Council approves $5.6 million in water and sewer improvements, will hold meeting on February 7th for public comments

Project Engineer Angela Henline addressing Eutaw City Council

 

At a special meeting on January 17, 2023, the Eutaw City Council formally approved a request to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) for the initial installments of $2.6 million grant for water and $3 million for sewer improvements, for the unified Eutaw-Boligee water and sewer system.

Project Engineer Angela Henline from the Cassady Company in Northport presented a detailed report on the City of Eutaw, Water System Restoration and Resiliency Project, to the council.

The City of Eutaw has submitted a grant preapplication to ADEM for the water system, that includes the Town of Boligee, for $16,464,059 over a five-year period, ending in 2026. The initial $2.6 million will be used for:
a. Backflow prevention, monitoring and flushing improvements to the water system, including the detection of leaks, to project future improvements; and b. Replacement or rehabilitation of the existing Boligee water tank and disconnection of out of service industrial tank at Boligee.

The Project Engineer has also submitted a $14,002,759 grant preapplication to ADEM for the wastewater (sewer) system improvements over the next five years, until the end of 2026. The initial $3 million, requested for 2023, will be used for: a. Standby emergency sewer pump, which will be trailer mounted and used when pumping stations breakdown, b. Critical pump station improvements and monitoring systems, for BP station in Boligee, Boligee Pump Station No. 1, Lower Gainesville Road, Rest Stop, Branch Heights, and Annie Thomas Circle; c. Upgrade Lower Road force main; and d. Lagoon improvements (design only).

Henline said that a public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at 5:00 PM, at City Hall for questions and comments from the public on the water and sewer projects. “This is the opportunity for residents of the area to come and learn about these projects and ask any questions they may have,” said Mayor Latasha Johnson.

After the public hearing, Henline said she would complete the grant agreement documents with ADEM and proceed to put out bids for the initial components of the water and sewer projects. The initial components include monitoring for water losses and pumping station efficiencies which will help to develop the next phase of design and construction for the five-year program.

Mayor Johnson indicated that it had been a long struggle to get to this point, but she was pleased that the project would be 100% grant funded and thanked Congresswoman Sewell and ADEM officials for helping in the process. The availability of Federal funding from the CARES Act, American Rescue Plan, Infrastructure, and Inflation Recovery Act, all contributed to making this multi-year improvement project work for Eutaw and Boligee’s unified water and sewer system.

At the Eutaw City Council regular meeting on January 24, 2023, the council received a detailed report from Ralph Liverman, financial adviser on the first quarter of the fiscal year (October -December 2022) revenues and expenditures. Revenues from sales tax, fuel taxes and other sources were slightly ahead of projections. Expenses were on target with the budget projections for the quarter.

The Eutaw City Council also approved travel and per diem for several trips for training for Corey Martin, water operator, and other trips for the mayor and financial adviser to represent the city. The council also approved payment of bills and claims, including payrolls.

Mayor Johnson reported that she was working with Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Governor Kay Ivey for Eutaw and Greene County, to be included in the Federal disaster declaration for the tornados on November 29, 2021, and January 12, 2023. If we are included in the declaration, then the city, county and individuals will be able to receive FEMA reimbursement for expenses and losses, due to the storms.

 

Greene, Sumter, and Tallapoosa counties added to disaster declaration, now eligible for FEMA Assistance

Greene, Sumter, and Tallapoosa counties are now eligible for FEMA assistance after the Jan. 12 severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes in Alabama.
Individuals and households in Greene, Sumter and Tallapoosa counties can apply for FEMA Individual Assistance, which may include temporary housing assistance, basic home repairs and certain other uninsured disaster-related needs.
These counties join Autauga, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, and Hale counties, which were previously approved for Individual Assistance.
Mayor Latasha Johnson said, “We want to thank Congresswomen Sewell and Governor Ivey for working to include Greene County in the disaster declaration for these storms, which damaged our city and county. This means the City of Eutaw, as well as individual homeowners and renters, will be able to get Federal and state help for clean-up in areas affected by the storms.”
Survivors can apply for disaster assistance at disasterassistance.gov, by using the FEMA mobile app, or by calling 800-621-3362. The helpline is open, and help is available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time in most languages. If you use a relay service such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.
After applying for assistance from FEMA, you will receive an eligibility determination letter from FEMA in the mail or via email. Applicants may need to submit additional information or supporting documentation for FEMA to continue to process an application for financial assistance. Examples of missing documentation may include:
Proof of insurance coverage
Settlement of insurance claims or denial letter from insurance provider
Proof of identity
Proof of occupancy
Proof of ownership
Proof that the damaged property was the applicant’s primary residence at the time of the disaster
Renters may also qualify for a grant under FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance program for uninsured essential personal property losses and other disaster-related expenses, including:
Replacement or repair of necessary personal property such as school supplies, including textbooks, and also furniture, appliances, and clothing
Replacement or repair of tools and other job-related equipment required by those who are self- employed
Repair of primary and registered vehicles
Uninsured or out-of-pocket medical, dental, childcare, moving and storage expenses
Renters and homeowners are required to submit copies of insurance settlements because, by law, FEMA is prohibited from duplicating or paying for expenses already available or covered by insurance or other sources.
After applying for FEMA disaster assistance, those affected by the tornadoes may be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration for disaster caused or related personal property losses and vehicles related damages. SBA is the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds for individuals, families, and businesses.
All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, you can call the Civil Rights Resource line at 833-285-7448.
For information on Alabama’s disaster recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4684. Follow FEMA on Twitter at FEMA Region 4 (@femaregion4) / Twitter and at facebook.com/fema.

Greenetrack forced to close by State Revenue Department

“On January 31, 2023 Greenetrack will close it doors due to the illegal and unfair tax that was assessed upon the company by the Alabama Department of Revenue. Greenetrack’s closure will mean the loss of jobs and benefits for almost 100 employees, as well as loss of funding to a community that was saved from bankruptcy in 2003 with the implementation of electronic bingo.  Once again, Greene County is faced with extreme poverty.” This statement was issued at press time January 31, by Mr. Luther Winn, President/CEO of Greenetrack, Inc.

Several months ago, Greenetrack stopped electronic bingo and substituted electronic wagering on historical horse racing, which was operated under its pari-mutuel license. As of February 1, Greenetrack will cease all wagering and gaming both on machines and with simulcasting of dog and horse racing at other tracks.

Subsequent to the release of this statement, the Greene County Racing Commission submitted for publication a request for proposal including application for license to conduct pari-mutual wagering with authorization to conduct live Greyhound racing, horse and Greyhound simulcasting and HHR gaming. The Racing Commission will accept proposals from February 2, until 12 noon on February 13, 2023.

COVID-19

As of January 23, 2023 at 10:00 AM
(According to Alabama Political Reporter)

Alabama had 1,610,535 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(7,654) more than last report, with 20,870 deaths (24) more
than last report.

Greene County had 2,253 confirmed cases, 13 more cases than last report, with 53 deaths

Sumter Co. had 3,104 cases with 55 deaths

Hale Co. had 5,6131 cases with 110 deaths

Note: Greene County Physicians Clinic has testing and vaccination for COVID-19; including the new bivalent booster for Omicron variants.
Call for appointments at 205/372-3388, Ext. 142;
ages 5 and up.

Local bingo facilities contribute $616,999 for December

The  Greene County Sheriff Department issued a listing of the bingo distributions for December, totaling $616,999.32 from four licensed bingo gaming facilities.  The bingo facilities regularly distributing through the sheriff include Frontier, River’s Edge, Palace and Bama Bingo.  The recipients of the December distributions from bingo gaming include Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, and Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System). 
     Sub charities include Children’s Policy Council, Guadalupan Multicultural Services, Greene County Golf Course, Housing Authority of Greene County (Branch Heights), Department of Human Resources, the Greene County Library, Eutaw Housing Authority, Historical Society, REACH, Inc., Headstart  Community Service and This Belong To US. 
     Bama Bingo gave a total of $117,157.87 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $48,070; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500, and the Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities, each received $1,034.22 including REACH, Inc.  Community Service received $470.10 and This Belong to Us received $94.02. 
  Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $114,995.01 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $48,070; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500; Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities each received $870.53, including the Historical Society and REACH, Inc.  Community Service received $470.10 and This Belong to Us received $94.02.
     River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of  $118,288 to the following:  Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $48,070; City of Eutaw, $12,543; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee  each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500; Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities each, $1,027,, including the Historical Society and REACH, Inc.  Community Service received $467 and This Belong to Us received $92.
     Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $266,558.44 to the following:  Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $111,426.26; City of Eutaw, $21,441.50; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $8,982.25; Greene County Board of Education, $24,339, and the Greene County Health System, $28,975. Sub Charities received $2,397.33, including the Historical Society and REACH, Inc. Community Service received $1,089.70 and This Belong to Us received $217.94. The sheriff’s supplement for November from four bingo facilities totaled $79,204.58

2022 Census of Agriculture deadline is February 6;
Respond now and here’s why

By Hubert Hamer, Administrator – USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

The USDA’s 2022 Census of Agriculture is officially underway across the United States and Puerto Rico. It is important for every farmer, rancher, and producer to make sure they respond by the deadline on Feb. 6.
Every five years, America’s producers have the opportunity to take part in the nation’s only, most comprehensive, and impartial data collection for agriculture. Since 1840, the ag census has played a significant role in showing the value of agriculture and informs decision-makers on how and where to allocate resources. The data collected impact everything from farm programs and funding, crop insurance rates, rural development, disaster assistance, the Farm Bill, and more.
Producers, your voice needs to be represented in these important data. Who better to tell the story of American agriculture than the producers themselves? These statistics will directly impact our farming and ranching communities for years to come and without your input, your hard work to provide safe and abundant agricultural products to the world risks being underserved.
For instance, understanding farm economics like value of production and income can help guide loan and grant assistance. Another example is that this year’s ag census includes updates to internet access questions. Decision-makers can use NASS data to determine service gaps such as the case for investment in broadband access and infrastructure. Also, because the ag census has been conducted for over 160 years, the data can help identify trends. The ability to see how U.S. agriculture has changed over time aids our nation as we plan for the future.
If you are a crop, livestock or forestry grower with sales of $1,000 or more, you are eligible and welcomed to participate in the Census of Agriculture. If you did not receive a census form, contact: nass.usda.gov/AgCensus or call 800-727-9540.
The questionnaire may look long, but the good news is that producers only fill out the information that pertains to their operation. We have also looked for opportunities to make responding more convenient than ever before, including launching our new online Respondent Portal. Answering the questionnaire online is fast and secure. Just go to agcounts.usda.gov and enter your unique survey code. But whether producers respond online, or by mail, it is important to be counted. Better data can lead to better decisions and better policies.
We also want our producers to know that, by law, USDA keeps all personally identifiable information confidential and uses the data collected for statistical purposes only, publishing it in aggregate form to prevent farmers or farm operations from being disclosed. So, though producers are sharing information about their agricultural operation, they remain anonymous in the data.
We recognize how incredibly busy our producers are, so I want to thank them in advance for taking the time to respond by Feb. 6, and for all they do in support of U.S. agriculture.
USDA NASS will release the results from the ag census in 2024. For questions or to learn more about the Census of Agriculture, visit nass.usda.gov/AgCensus or call 800-727-9540.
Hubert Hamer is the Administrator of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.