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.


Newswire : Ugandan activist challenges world leaders for dangerous climate inaction

Vanessa Nakate, second from right, next to Greta Thunberg on climate panel


Jan. 23, 2023 (GIN) – Climate activist Vanessa Nakate of Uganda, together with several young climate leaders, took no prisoners as they called out political and business elites who failed to move the needle on climate change which has been devastating rich and poor countries alike at the present time.
People in parts of the world most affected by climate change are “clinging to their lives and just trying to make it for another day, to make it for another week, to make it for another hour, another minute,”Nakate said bitterly.
“Leaders are playing games” with people’s futures,” she said.
Others in the group included Greta Thunberg from Sweden, Helena Gualinga of Ecuador and Luisa Neubauer of Germany. They sat at a roundtable with International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in Switzerland.
The world is “taking a really dangerous path, warned Gualinga.
Thunberg scorned the corporate bigwigs who came to the Swiss ski resort town of Davos, but are “fueling the destruction of the planet” by investing in fossil fuels and prioritizing short-term profits over people affected by the climate crisis, she said pointedly.
The activists carried a “cease and desist” letter calling on the heads of fossil fuel companies to stop all new oil and natural gas projects, signed by nearly 900,000 people. Scientists say no new fossil fuel projects can be built if the world is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) in line with climate goals set in Paris in 2015.
Current levels of warming, which have reached up to 2.2 Fahrenheit, means it is “already a living hell for many communities across the African continent, across the Global South” who are facing extreme drought, heat and flooding, continued Nakate.
Activists have been increasingly critical of the lack of action taken by governments and large corporations in recent years.
Birol, meanwhile, countered the young people’s warnings, saying he had “legitimate optimism” that the world would move away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy. He noted that the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act’s nearly $375 billion in climate incentives would be transformative for renewables in the country.
But he added that “the problem is not being fast enough to reach our climate targets.”
As the event kicked off, dozens of climate activists braved snowfall to wave banners and chant slogans at the end of the Davos Promenade.
“The changes that we need are not very likely to come from the inside (of the Davos meeting), rather I believe they will come from the bottom up,” Thunberg said. “As long as they can get away with it, they will continue to invest in fossil fuels, they will continue to throw people under bus for their own gain.”
Questions have been raised over the installation for installing the chief of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. as its president for this year’s event. But U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told The Associated Press that he backs the decision, citing Sultan al-Jaber’s work on renewable energy projects.
“Dr. Sultan al-Jaber is a terrific choice because he is the head of the company. That company knows it needs to transition,” Kerry said Sunday after attending an energy conference in Dubai. “He knows — and the leadership of the UAE is committed to transitioning.”
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, leading an initiative to trace greenhouse gas emissions, said Thursday at Davos that fossil fuel companies were pumping three times the amount of planet-warming gases in the air than they were reporting.
“Most (other industries) are not this far off,” he said.
German climate envoy Jennifer Morgan said that Davos attendees “are major decision-makers that if they were to really understand the 1.5 degree goal and take the action that’s required, it would make a massive difference.” But she acknowledged that while they have a role, “they’re not the answer

Newswire : Black Governor of Maryland

Wes Moore takes oath of office, supported by family

Currently the only Black governor in the U. S. 

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from

BlackManStreet. Today

(TriceEdneyWire.com/BlackManStreet.Today) – Governor Moore took the oath of office twice on Thursday–first in Maryland’s state senate and later in a public ceremony outside the state house in front of a large crowd.  

Governor Moore raised a clenched fist in the air as his wife, Dawn Flythe Moore, his daughter, Mia, and James, his son, beamed with pride. He took the oath of office on a Bible once owned by Frederick Douglass.

 Oprah Winfrey, a long-time friend, introduced the new governor. She knew him because she was previously a television talk show host and a news anchor in Baltimore.

 Matthew J. Fader, Chief Justice of the Maryland Supreme Court, administered the oath of office, followed by a 19-gun salute and a flyover by jets. 

Moore soundly defeated Republican Dan Cox in November’s election.  He declared that he would tackle the wealth gap, protect the Chesapeake Bay, fight pollution and have the state generate 100% clean energy by 2035. With respect to education, he pledged to raise standards in all schools and increase inclusivity.

In one inaugural ceremony, Governor Moore took the oath on a copy of the Bhagavad Ghita, one of the holy scriptures of the Hindu faith.

He also laid a wreath at the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial at the City Dock in Annapolis, commemorating enslaved people’s arrival in Maryland. 

Moore is a bestselling author, a nonprofit CEO, and a combat veteran.

He joins other Black governors, including Oscar Dunn, who served as acting Louisiana governor from November 22, 1871, who served until his death while still in office.

Dunn was succeeded by P.B.S. Pinchback, who served as Louisiana governor from December 9, 1872, to January 13, 1873.  

The other and more recent Black governors were L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, and David Paterson of New York.

Newswire: Following more mass shootings Democrats introduce ‘Assault Weapons Ban’

 Display of guns for sale at gun show

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent


Two proposals aimed at curbing the spread of assault rifles were submitted today by Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein of California, and Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

The Assault Weapons Ban seeks to prohibit the commercialization, distribution, production, and importation of assault rifles and other firearms designed for use in military operations, as well as high-capacity magazines and similar devices.

On January 22, a gunman opened fire on a crowd celebrating the Lunar New Year in Monterey Park, California, killing 11 and wounding 9. There was also a shooting of 7 farm workers in Half Moon Bay, California, near San Francisco.

The Democrats’ proposed Age 21 Act would make it illegal to sell or buy an assault weapon to anybody under 21, bringing it in line with the legal age for purchasing handguns.

Some Congress members, including Judy Chu, who represents the California district that includes Monterey Park, have called for universal background checks and closing loophole for gun shows and guns ordered on the Internet.

President Joe Biden has publicly stated his support for the legislation.
Biden said that the number of mass shootings declined during the decade that the Assault Weapons Ban was in effect. “In the 10 years that the Assault Weapons Ban was on the books, mass shootings went down,” Biden remarked. “After Republicans let the law expire in 2004 and those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled,” he declared.

Both houses of Congress were urged to take quick action by the president.
According to Biden, “the majority of American people agree with this rational measure.”

“There can be no greater responsibility than to do all we can to ensure the safety of our children, our communities and our nation,” he insisted.

In the House of Representatives, Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline said he plans to introduce a companion bill to the Senate’s Assault Weapons Ban. Feinstein said assault rifles “seem to be the unifying denominator in the seemingly endless number of horrific shootings.” “Because these firearms were created for maximum efficiency in mass murder,” the senator noted.

“They have no place in our society or educational institutions. It’s time to take a stand against the gun lobby and do something about getting these lethal weapons off the streets, or at the absolute least, out of the hands of our youth.”

Blumenthal added, as the gunman at the Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park demonstrated just days ago, assault weapons are designed for one and one purpose only: to murder or hurt human beings.

“These military-style combat weapons – built for the battlefield and designed to maximize death and destruction – have brought bloodshed and carnage to our streets and continue to be the weapon of choice in countless mass shootings,” Blumenthal said.

“Guns don’t respect state boundaries, which is why we need a national solution to restricting the ownership and use of assault weapons. Now is the time to honor gun violence victims and survivors with this commonsense action.”

Rep. Ciciline argued that it is long past due to reinstate an assault weapon ban and remove these “weapons of war” from civilian areas. The assault weapons prohibition “passed the House last year with bipartisan backing, but was blocked by Senate Republicans,” Ciciline noted.
“We need to come together to enact this commonsense, effective, and proven policy to reduce gun violence and save lives. I thank Senator Feinstein for her partnership in this fight and look forward to introducing the House companion bill in the coming weeks.”

Newswire: Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee 2023: Now more than ever!

Selma, AL – So many people are calling and asking, ‘Will we still have The Bridge Crossing Jubilee in March?’” said Hank Sanders. My response is: “Yes. Now more than ever!” 
Faya Rose Toure, Founder and National Coordinator of The Bridge Crossing Jubilee said: “The Bridge Crossing Jubilee is needed every year. But in light of the massive devastation in Selma, it is needed now more than ever. The Bridge Crossing Jubilee 2023 is an opportunity to not just build back Selma but to build the Beloved Community in Selma.” 
Sanders said: “Every year tens of thousands of people come from across the country and across the world to participate in the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee. They come on a spiritual journey. They get revived spiritually. They share with others from across the country and world. But they do not leave anything behind in Selma. This year, we are asking folks to come and be spiritually revived and to share with one another but to continue to do something to help build the Beloved Community in Selma.”  
“It is not enough to build Selma back as it was. This is an opportunity to build Selma into the Beloved Community that those Foot Soldiers on the Bridge risked their lives to build,” said Toure. We are asking all organizations in and out of Selma to develop their own initiatives consistent with the Selma of justice, fairness and prosperity. The 2023 Bridge Crossing Jubilee – Now More Than Ever!” said Toure.
Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn said: “We need all the help we can get to overcome the devastation wrought by this tornado. We need as many people as possible to come to Selma during The Bridge Cross Jubilee to see the devastation so that they can help.”
Dr James Mitchell, Chairman of the Selma to Montgomery March Commemoration Foundation, said: “Many national leaders and other national personalities have been invited to the 2023 Jubilee, and we expect so many of them to come because they come every year but also because of the devastation in Selma. In fact, we expect more people to come this year than usual, and that has been many tens of thousands each year. Also, the Annual Martin & Coretta King Unity Breakfast will be back in the WCCS gym this year.”
Dr. Margaret Hardy, Jubilee Board Member, said: “I and others are making donations in the name of The Bridge Crossing Jubilee to help those in crisis in Selma as a result of the tornado devastation.” Members of the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation and the Bridge Crossing Jubilee and other leaders held a press conference today at 11:00 a.m. on the Selma side of the Foot of the Bridge concerning a very special Bridge Crossing Jubilee in light of the devastating tornado that hit Selma. The new theme in the aftermath of the tornado devastation in Selma is “The Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee 2023 – Now More Than Ever.” 

For more information, contact: Hank Sanders (334) 782-1651 and Hank23Sanders@gmail.com


As of January 17, 2023 at 10:00 AM
(According to Alabama Political Reporter)

Alabama had 1,602,891 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(15,667) more than last report, with 20,846 deaths (70) more
than last report.

Greene County had 2,240 confirmed cases, 21 more cases than last report), with 53 deaths

Sumter Co. had 3,083 cases with 55 deaths

Hale Co. had 5,615 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.

Sheriff Jonathan Benison takes Oath of Office for 4th term

On Sunday evening, January 15, 2023, the  Greene County Sheriff Jonathan”Joe“ Benison took his oath of office for the fourth time at the Williams M. Branch Courthouse surrounded by a   room filled with family, friends and well wishers.  
  The ceremony began with Presentation of Colors by the Greene County High School JROTC Color Guard, followed by the invocation presented by Rev. Lynn Finch and a welcome by Chief Deputy Vince Hardwick.  Rev. Finch recognized elected officials present. Ms. Monica Turner rendered a soul stirring song.
 Lt. LaJeffrey Carpenter, with the sheriff’s office, gave the introduction of the Sheriff who then took the Oath of Office administered by District Judge Lillie Jones-Osborne, with Mrs. Benison holding the bible.
Sheriff Benison in his inaugural address emphasized the importance of unity in the community focusing on the youth. “We are in the 4th quarter of life and we need to prepare a future for our children so they can kept the torch burning,” he stated. He emphasized that now more then ever is the time for everyone to come together and prepare our young people for leadership.
Sheriff Jonathan “Joe” Benison is a native of Forkland, Al., where he graduated from Paramount High School in 1978. He is a 1982 graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. While there he joined the Gamma Beta Chapter of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.
After college Benison graduated from the University of Alabama’s Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (A.P.O.S.T.) and joined the Greene County Sheriff’s department as a deputy for 3 years under the late Sheriffs Rev. Thomas Gilmore and James Flannigan.
  Benison began his 24 year career as an Alabama State Trooper serving 14 years in Choctaw County and the remaining 10 years on the force in Greene County. During his career, Benison served several years as a Traffic Homicide Investigator and also as a Field Training Officer where he trained many of the State Troopers that are now working in our area.
Throughout his career Benison has received many accomplishments and awards.  In 1992 he was second runner-up for the Alabama Trooper of the Year award for his dedication to the association. In 2008 he was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for his outstanding service to the citizens of the community.
In July of 2010, Sheriff Benison overwhelmingly won his first bid for Sheriff, but then was appointed to begin serving early by Governor Bob Riley in December 2010. He officially began his first term as Sheriff in January 2011. Benison then won his second election for Sheriff in 2014 and began his second term of Sheriff in January 2015.  Sheriff Benison was once again voted in to serve as Sheriff of Greene County for a third term in 2018 which was official in January 2019. Recently, Sheriff Benison was elected in an unprecedented 4th term in the Primary Election in May 2022 that begins  his current term January 17, 2023.

Greene County honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday holiday

The Alabama Civil Rights Museum Movement held several programs this past weekend in Greene County to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the paramount civil rights and moral leader of the American Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. King was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39. Had he lived this would have been his 94th birthday.

Spiver W. Gordon, President of the Greene County based museum, held several programs and a march over the weekend marking Dr. King’s actual birthday on January 15th. and the National Holiday celebration on January 16th. The theme of all three programs was ‘Same Dream – Different Strategies’.

On Sunday at 3:00 PM there was a County-wide Freedom Rally at the New Generation Baptist Church, with a sermon by Rev. Marcus Wright, Pastor of the Mt. Hebron Baptist Church of Aliceville who spoke on God’s promise to Joshua, “that I will be with you, if you are strong and of good courage”.

On Monday morning there was a Unity Breakfast at the Eutaw Activity Center featuring Rev. Kendrick Howell, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Union, who preached on the Gospel of John.

After the breakfast, a group marched uptown from the Eutaw Activity Center to the William M. Branch County Courthouse. The marchers were followed by a long line of cars with people participating but unable to walk the distance. The march was led by Gus Richardson in his wheelchair, as it has been for two decades.

At the Courthouse, a packed courtroom, took part in another Freedom Rally with Attorney John Stamps, III, of Bessemer, Alabama, giving the keynote address. Stamps stressed the importance of personal responsibility and discipline as a way forward for Black people and families.

At each of the rallies there was great music, mostly gospel songs sung by the choirs with strong support and rhythmic clapping from the rally participants. On Sunday, there was section to memorialize the community leaders and foot soldiers, who contributed to change in the county but have passed on in the past year. Family members of the remembered were given a chance to speak and recall the lives of their loved ones.

At each of the programs, Spiver Gordon gave out numerous awards to participants for their service, great and small, to the civil rights movement and struggles in the county over the years.

At the Unity Breakfast, Dr. Carol P. Zippert, former school board member and Co-Publisher of the Democrat in addressing the occasion of the MLK celebration said, “We, we are the occasion, it is up to us to continue the movement Dr. King led and make a commitment to service and helping others, especially our children.”

People interested in learning more and supporting the Alabama Civil Rights Museum Movement, can contact Spiver W. Gordon at spiverwgordon@hotmail.com or call 205-372-3446.

Greene Co. also impacted by EF-2 tornado Newswire: Ivey, Britt, Sewell tour tornado damage in Selma and Autauga counties

Cong. Terri Sewell, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, and Senator Katie Britt toured tornado damage in Selma

By: Jacob Holmes, Alabama Political Reporter


Congresswoman Terri Sewell *D-AL7), Gov. Kay Ivey, and U.S. Sen. Katie Britt toured Selma and Autauga counties on Friday to see the damage and devastation left by a long-track tornado that hit both communities on Thursday.
The tornado took the lives of six people in the Old Kingston area of Autauga County and caused “at least EF-3” damage shortly after causing destruction in Selma.
“Our prayers continue to be with Alabamians across our state who were impacted by Thursday’s severe weather, especially those who have lost loved ones, those who have been injured, and those who have lost their homes and livelihoods,” Britt said. “We saw damage and destruction, but we also witnessed the best of Alabama – people from all walks of life coming together to help each other.
My office is working alongside our partners in Alabama’s congressional delegation to support Governor Ivey’s request for an expedited federal major disaster declaration, and we will continue to work to ensure every possible federal resource is made available to affected Alabamians. 
“Thank you to the courageous law enforcement officers, first responders, and linemen who have been working tirelessly to serve their fellow Alabamians across impacted communities. We are grateful for the incredible volunteers, like those I visited with today, who are already giving their time, talent, and resources to help complete strangers get back on their feet.”
Sewell, a Selma native, said seeing the damage was heartbreaking. “I am keeping my constituents and all those affected in my prayers,” Sewell said. “The people of the Black Belt are strong, and we will get through this together.”
Sewell said Friday that she would be working to get federal funding to help in the recovery, and Sunday, President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state to open up that flow of funds.
“I’m thankful that President Biden has heard our calls and expedited a declaration of major disaster for the State of Alabama following Thursday’s devastating storms,” Sewell said. “This declaration will free up critical federal resources to relieve, recover and rebuild. I look forward to continuing to partner with Gov. Ivey, Alabama’s congressional delegation, as well as state, local, and community stakeholders to use these resources as an opportunity to build back Selma and all the affected areas better for the people of Alabama.”
“The outpouring of support for our communities has been truly heartening, and I join in thanking everyone who has offered their support now and into the future. This will be a marathon, not a sprint, but rest assured we will come back stronger than before.”
Persons interested in assisting the Alabama tornado relief effort may contact the Black Belt Community Foundation, which is based in Selma at bit.ly/BBCFDisasterRElief; or if you wan6t to help rebuild Radio Station WBFZ 105.3 in Selma, may contact: https://gofundme/e692dbe4.
Greene County hit as well by tornado

For the second time in six weeks, Eutaw, Alabama in Greene County, was struck by tornados again on January 12, after being hit on November 29. In the first storm 14 residents at Sagewood Apartments were displaced when the tornado sliced through their building. That storm also toppled many trees in the area behind Kirkwood.

For the latest storm, last week, many trees were knocked down and blocked streets until the city employees and volunteers could come with chain saws and clear a path for vehicles.

Mayor Johnson says she is talking with Congresswoman Sewell to get the Federal disaster declaration extended to include Greene County to make FEMA and Federal funds available.