Sheriff Benison agrees to reopen Palace Bingo

Greene County Sheriff Jonathan “Joe” Benison announced today the conditional reopening of Palace Bingo Live, after closing it for two weeks because of violations of the operating rules, under Alabama Constitutional Amendment 743.
Alabama Constitutional Amendment 743 requires the Sheriff of Greene County to license and regulate the bingo industry in Greene County. In his closing order, Sheriff Benison said the Palace Bingo was allowing prizes of more than $10,000 per bingo session. A bingo session is not clearly defined in C.A.743 and bingo operators have found ways to get around this limitation.
Sheriff Benison said, “It was with a heavy heart that I was forced to order that T.S. Police Support League d/b/a The Palace Live, close its doors due to apparent operational deficiencies.
“Since the order of closure was initially issued last week Sheriff Benison has been clear that his office would be available to meet with The Palace Bingo and its charity, T. S. Support League as soon as they were ready and able to discuss compliance. “On Monday, November 27, 2023, representatives of the Palace Bingo notified representatives of the Sheriff’s office, that they were ready to have such a discussion. This discussion was beneficial and has led to the conditional reopening of The Palace Bingo”, said representatives of the Sheriff’s office.
With respect to the reopening Sheriff Benison stated the following: “After identifying operational deficiencies at Palace Bingo Live, I ordered their closure. After productive meetings with them, I have authorized a fourteen-day conditional reopening. During that time, I expect all deficiencies will be resolved to avoid further closure. It will be good to see their compliance and remedial action in this fourteen-day period, and it will be good to see their employees back at work. All Licensees across the County have been informed that I expect that they will likewise comply with the same rules and requirements as applied to The Palace Bingo Live.”
Efforts to contact the Sheriff to get more specific details of the deficiencies that were addressed and contacts with the TS Police Support League to get their comments were unsuccessful.

Greene County Commission re-elects same officers

Greene County Commissioners L To R: Allen Turner, Garria Spencer, Roshanda Summerville, Corey Cockrell and Tennyson Smith

At its organizational meeting for the new fiscal year, on November 13, 2023, the Greene County Commission re-elected the same officers to serve another term of one year. Corey Cockrell was elected Chairperson and Garria Spencer was elected as Vice-Chair of the Commission.

The Commission voted to retain the same committees, bank depositories and check signatories as in the past year. They also agreed to hold their regular monthly meeting on the second Monday of each month at 5:00PM. The Commission invites the public to attend their meetings.

Macelroy Underwood, County Chief Financial Officer gave a financial report to the Commission on the status of finances. As of September 30, 2023, the Commission had in Citizens Trust Bank, $2,438,866 in unrestricted General Funds and $4,179,277 in restricted funds, totaling.
$ 6,618,143.

In Merchants and Farmers Bank, the Commission had $ 2,979,181 in unrestricted funds from electronic bingo and $ 1,183,489 in restricted funds, totaling $ 4,162,670. There were also $ 889,506 in Bond Sinking Funds. The total funds in banks were $ 5,412,552 in unrestricted funds and $ 5,938,932 in restricted funds for a total of $ 11,351,484.

The Commission paid $ 1,066,072 in claims for the month of October 2023, first month of the new fiscal year. This included $ 682,635 in accounts payable, payroll of $281,164 and fiduciary expenses of $102,271, which are mandated, tax, Social Security, and retirement benefits for staff.

The expenditure budget from the General Fund showed all departments were in range of expenditures for the month in comparison to budget.

In the public comments, Sandra Walker thanked the Commission and individual commissioners for their support of the recent Miss Black Teen of Alabama Pageant held at the Renaissance Theater in Eutaw.

Eutaw City Council meets to handle financial matters

By: John Zippert, Co-Publisher

Most of November 14, 2023, meeting of the Eutaw City Council was devoted to financial matters and a review of the revised budget for the Fiscal Year October 1,2023 to September 30, 2024. Three City Council members: Larrie Coleman, Valerie Watkins and Jacqueline Stewart and Mayor Latasha Johnson were present.

The first item considered was leasing of a new 2023 John Deere Cab Tractor for 5 years, from Sun South LLC for $96,852, with 60 monthly payments of $1,926, a five-year warranty and a $1.00 buyout at the end of the lease. Mayor Johnson said it was critical for the city to get a new tractor for grass cutting. The old tractor is often in the shop and costs more to repair than the monthly lease on a new tractor.

Councilwoman Valerie Watkins said she was reluctant to vote for a major capital expenditure without studying the revised budget to make sure funds were available. Financial Adviser Ralph Liverman explained some changes that he had made to the budget to meet state requirements and said the funds for the new tractor were included in the budget, along with other road and street improvements.

Liverman said he reduced the General Fund budget by $300,000 for the new fiscal year, because the City was no long receiving funds from electronic bingo. “If these funds are restored, you can place them in the Capital Improvements Fund and fix more city roads and bridges.

Liverman also said he reduced the General Fund by $450,000 to account for being required, by the State of Alabama, to move these funds to a new separate bank account. He indicated that the funds could be used for street and road improvements and that he had also moved some expenditures for road projects from the General Fund to this new fund for the local gas tax. Liverman also indicated that the city’s share of local gas tax collection increased from $70,000 to over $400,000 annually, since Love’s Truck and Travel Center was operating in Eutaw.

After this discussion, it was moved by Councilwoman Stewart and seconded by Councilman Coleman to lease the tractor. The motion passed 3 to 1 with the Mayor’s vote in favor. A resolution was also approved to contract for Living Water Services to handle operations and analytical services for the City of Eutaw Lagoon for $1,850 a month, A resolution was also approved to pave a portion of the Lower Gainesville Road in the City of Eutaw.

The Council was informed that two cadets sent to the police academy by the Eutaw Police Department were graduating on November 16th in Tuscaloosa. Several police officers and city employees plan to attend the graduation to encourage the cadets to join the city workforce.

Mayor Johnson proposed that the City Council reinstate the old policy that police and other city employees can drive vehicles home to be ready to come to emergency situations quickly. After questioning, the Mayor said she never did implement the change in the policy, because the Council did not set dates and timetables for implementing the policy. The Mayor said that she was requiring the drivers to keep mileage and maintenance logs to take care of the cars.

The Council heard a presentation on setting up a Greene County Saddle Club to encourage horse riding in an organized way. Once set up the Saddle Club would like to use the facilities in the City Park at Lock 7 for horse shows and other events. The Council asked the group to make a specific proposal that they could take action to implement.

The Council passed a resolution declaring vacant the District 2 seat, held by Lajeffrey Carpenter, who pled quilty to the felony of using city property for personal gain. The Mayor said residents of District 2 could submit their names and a letter of interest in the position, so the Council could fill the position, within the next sixty days. The Council also voted to remove Carpenter’s name from all bank accounts on which he was a signatory.

The Council approved resolutions for the revised budget for the FY2023-24 and opening a new account for deposit of a local gas tax funds.

In other actions, the Eutaw City Council:

• Approved Thanksgiving holiday for staff for November 22 (half day) and all of Nov. 23 and 24.
• Approved Police Chief Tommy Johnson request purchasing 4 VHF Motorola, two-way radios, at a cost of $880 each radio.
• Tabled payment of a $1,500 claim for Gloria Mobley.
• Approved payment of bills for October 2023.
• Agreed to hold a Council Work Session on November 27, 2023, at 3:30 PM, before the next regular City Council meeting on November 28, 2023.

Newswire : Kevin Hart is this year’s winner of Mark Twain Prize for Humor

Kevin Hart

By: BlackmansStreet Today


Funny man Kevin Hart is the winner of the 25th Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. 

Considered the highest honor in the funny business, previous recipients have included Tina Fey, Bob Newhart, David Letterman, and Jon Stewart. 

Hart started telling jokes during amateur night at a local comedy club in his native Philadelphia.

Today, his standup fills stadiums, cracking up audiences with stories about dating, marital strife, his daughter’s first curse word, trying to play tough while standing just over 5 feet tall, his fear of rollercoasters, his drug-addicted dad who was in and out of jail … No interaction or event seems too small for Hart’s often sidesplitting treatment. 

Hart will receive the Mark Twain Prize at a gala at the Kennedy Center on March 24, 2024. The event will be broadcast at a later date.

Newswire : Honorable Discharges for 110 Buffalo Soldiers convicted in aftermath of 1917 Houston Riots

Buffalo Soldiers

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth formally gave the greenlight to overturn the court-martial convictions of 110 Black soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, popularly known as the Buffalo Soldiers. The Army said in a news release that officials made the decision based on a suggestion from the Board for Correction of Military Records and to atone for the unfair treatment of soldiers after the 1917 Houston Riots.

“After a thorough review, the Board has found that these Soldiers were wrongly treated because of their race and were not given fair trials,” Secretary Wormuth stated. “By setting aside their convictions and granting honorable discharges, the Army is acknowledging past mistakes and setting the record straight.”

The Houston Riots, which erupted on August 23, 1917, stemmed from racial tensions and provocations against members of the 24th Infantry Regiment. The catalyst for the riots was the violent arrest and assault of two Black Soldiers, leading to a group of 110 soldiers seizing weapons and marching into the city. Clashes ensued, resulting in 19 deaths.

The subsequent trials of the soldiers were marred by irregularities, according to historians, culminating in the largest mass execution of American Soldiers by the U.S. Army. The Army’s immediate regulatory change, prohibiting future executions without proper review, followed the initially secretive executions.

The South Texas College of Law, in October 2020 and December 2021, petitioned the Army for a review of the court-martial. Retired general officers also submitted petitions requesting clemency for the soldiers.

“We cannot change the past; however, this decision provides the Army and the American people an opportunity to learn from this difficult moment in our history,” Under Secretary of the Army, Gabe Camarillo, said in the release.

At the Secretary’s request, the Army Board for Correction of Military Records meticulously reviewed records related to the court-martial cases, officials affirmed. The unanimous decision was that significant deficiencies permeated the proceedings, rendering them fundamentally unfair. The board recommended setting aside all convictions and characterizing the soldiers’ military service as “honorable.”

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Review Boards Michael Mahoney, overseeing the review, agreed with the decision. “With the support of our experts, our dedicated Board members looked at each record carefully and came up with our best advice to Army leaders to correct a miscarriage of justice,” Mahoney added.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said it actively supports family members affected by the correction of records, offering assistance upon receipt of the amended documents.

“It is a long time coming, but it is justice that is finally achieved,” John Haymond, a historian, told the New York Times, which reported that the Army acted after it received a petition requesting clemency for the soldiers that had been written by Haymond and Dru Brenner-Beck, a lawyer. The duo cited trial transcripts and other records to show that the soldiers had been denied due process and other basic rights. “This isn’t a political action. This is the Army internally fixing a problem that was the Army’s problem 106 years ago,” Haymond asserted.

Family members of the 110 Soldiers may be entitled to benefits, and guidelines for applying to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records can be found at Online applications can be submitted at or through mail to Army Review Boards Agency (ARBA), 251 18th Street South, Suite 385, Arlington, VA 22202-3531. Applications should include documentation proving a relationship to one of the 110 formerly convicted soldiers.

Family members and interested parties can request a copy of the corrected records from the National Archives and Records Administration, following the NARA Archival Records Request procedures at


Newswire: At African conference, action planfor reparations wins support

Ghanian President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo
Nov. 20, 2023 (GIN) – “It is time that Africa, whose sons and daughters had their freedoms controlled and were sold into slavery, also received reparations.” 
“No amount of money can restore the damage caused by the transatlantic slave trade … But surely, this is a matter that the world must confront and can no longer ignore.”
With those words, Ghanaian President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo launched a four-day reparations conference in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.
The event is expected to produce an African-led action plan to push for reparatory justice, establish an African committee of experts to oversee the plan’s implementation, and boost collaboration with the broader diaspora, according to the meeting website. 
Attending the Accra Reparations Conference have been senior government officials from across the continent as well as members of the diaspora community.
In his opening speech, the President called out British and other European countries for enriching themselves during the slave trade while “enslaved Africans did not receive a cent”. 
“The entire period of slavery meant that our progress, economically, culturally, and psychologically, was stifled. There are legions of stories of families who were torn apart,” Akufo-Addo said. “You cannot quantify the effects of such tragedies, but they need to be recognized.”
Ghana’s president said he welcomed a similar call from Caribbean nations for reparations.
“We in Africa must work together to advance the cause,” he said to applause from the audience that included other African, Caribbean and other high-level delegates.
In response, the delegates agreed to establish a Global Reparations Fund to seek compensation owed to millions of Africans enslaved during the transatlantic slave trade.
The delegates did not specify how such a reparations fund would work. But Gnaka Lagoke, assistant professor of history and Pan-African studies, said it should be used to “correct the problems” the continent faces in all sectors of its economy.
Togo’s Prime Minister Victoire Tomegah Dogbé also attended the conference. She listed the “scars of exploitation, dispossession and cultural erasure persist, manifesting themselves in contemporary challenges such as economic inequality, political instability and cultural disintegration.”  
Activists say reparations should go beyond direct financial payments and also include development assistance to countries, restitution of colonized resources, and systemic correction of oppressive policies and laws. 

Newswire : Reactions pour in following the passing of Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady and Global Humanitarian

Rosalynn Carter with Jimmy Carter

By Stacy M. Brown, For The Washington Informer
In a wave of condolences, political leaders and public figures expressed their grief and admiration for the late Rosalynn Carter, former first lady and tireless advocate for various social issues. President Joe Biden, visibly moved, shared his sentiments with reporters as he boarded Air Force One in Norfolk, Virginia, on Sunday night.
Habitat For Humanity, the Georgia-based charity closely associated with the Carters, expressed sadness at the news. The organization described Carter as a “compassionate and committed champion” who worked tirelessly to help families worldwide.
The late First Lady and her husband co-founded the Carter Center, which expressed its sorrow in a statement by highlighting their global initiatives to strengthen democracy, settle disputes, advance human rights, and eradicate crippling diseases. The center announced that, instead of flowers, contributions in Carter’s memory could be made to the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program or the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers.
“He had this great integrity and still does. And she did too,” Biden remarked. “God bless them.” After speaking with the family, Biden learned that Jimmy Carter’s children and grandchildren were by his side during his final moments. The White House later issued an official joint statement from President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, lauding Rosalynn Carter’s inspirational impact on the nation.
Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush also paid their respects, praising Carter’s dignity and strength. “There was no greater advocate of President Carter, and their partnership set a wonderful example of loyalty and fidelity,” Bush stated.
U.S. Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia emphasized Carter’s compassionate nature and commitment to various causes. “The State of Georgia and the United States are better places because of Rosalynn Carter,” Ossoff stated. “May Rosalynn Carter’s memory be a blessing.”
Vice President Kamala Harris acknowledged Carter’s redefinition of the First Lady’s role and her life of service, faith, compassion, and moral leadership. “Her legacy will be a beacon for generations to come,” Harris asserted.
Former first lady Melania Trump expressed her condolences, noting Carter’s meaningful legacy and servant’s heart. “May she rest in peace,” Melania Trump conveyed on X, formerly Twitter.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Carter as a “saintly and revered public servant,” highlighting her historic diplomatic missions and advocacy for mental health. Pelosi offered condolences to the Carter family.
Bill and Hillary Clinton, in a joint statement, referred to Carter as a champion of human dignity. They praised her advocacy for mental health and childhood immunization and her work with the Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity.
Former first lady Michelle Obama shared a personal connection, revealing that Carter offered advice during their periodic lunches at the White House. “Today, Barack and I join the world in celebrating the remarkable legacy of a First Lady, philanthropist, and advocate who dedicated her life to lifting up others,” Obama stated.

Newswire: Education Department unveils disturbing disparities in pandemic-era schooling

A teacher instructs students at Superior Vocational High School in Loíza, Puerto Rico. (Tatyana Hopkins/NNPA)

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education has released a wealth of data from the 2020–21 school year in a revealing exposé that reveals significant disparities in education access that the coronavirus pandemic challenges have exacerbated. The findings paint a stark picture of inequality in the nation’s educational landscape, prompting urgent calls for comprehensive reform.
“In America, talent and creativity can come from anywhere, but only if we provide equitable educational opportunities to students everywhere,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona emphasized in a release.

The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), a mandatory survey of public schools serving preschool to grade 12 students, counts as a critical instrument in assessing equal educational opportunities mandated by federal civil rights laws.
The 2020–21 CRDC, the first since the 2017–18 collection was delayed due to the pandemic, draws from over 17,000 school districts and 97,000 schools, unveiling concerning disparities in education access nationwide.

“These new CRDC data reflect troubling differences in students’ experiences in our nation’s schools,” Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon remarked. “We remain committed to working with school communities to ensure the full civil rights protections that federal law demands.”

Key Data Points from the 2020–21 CRDC:

Harassment or Bullying:
• K–12 students reported over 42,500 allegations of harassment or bullying based on sex, sexual orientation, race, disability, or religion.
• Racial and gender disparities were evident, with Black students reporting 37% of race-based harassment, while white students reported 68% of sex-based and 70% of disability-based incidents.

School Offenses:
• Districts reported approximately 274,700 incidents, with 78% being threats of physical attack without a weapon.
• Public schools reported over 3,000 incidents of rape or attempted rape and sexual assault.

Student Discipline:
• About 786,600 K–12 students received in-school suspensions, with Black boys nearly two times more likely than white boys to receive out-of-school suspension or expulsion.
• Students with disabilities, representing 17% of K-12 enrollment, accounted for 29% of students with one or more out-of-school suspensions.
Restraint and Seclusion:
• Approximately 52,800 K–12 students were subjected to physical or mechanical restraint and seclusion, with boys, Black students, and students with disabilities overrepresented.

Access to Advanced Courses:
• More than half of high schools nationwide do not offer calculus or computer science, disproportionately affecting Black and Latino students.
• Black students, representing 15% of high school enrollment, accounted for only 10% in AP computer science and 6% in AP mathematics.

Access to Teachers and Other School Staff:
• Approximately 522,400 students attended schools where fewer than half of the teachers met state certification requirements, with 66% being Black and Latino students.
• Four percent of high school students attended schools with no school counselors.

Access to the Internet and Devices:
• Students’ Internet access varied by state, with Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia reporting 99% or more of their schools connected to the Internet.
• Florida (66%) and Alaska (52%), respectively, reported the lowest percentage of schools connected to the Internet.

Leo Branch continues as School Board President; Veronica Richardson as Vice President

The Greene County Board of Education held is monthly meeting Monday, November 13, 2023 (one week early due to Thanksgiving Holiday), and conducted its annual reorganization process.
As the first item of business, school board legal counsel, Attorney Hank Sanders, declared all board offices vacant and called for nominations for the position of President. When there was no immediate response, he urged the board members to act on his request. Board member Robert Davis suggested that the officers remain the same. Attorney Sanders asked for a motion to that effect. Board member Veronica Richardson nominated Mr. Leo Branch for Board President; Mr. Davis offered the motion, seconded by Mr. Merriweather. The motion carried. Mr. Davis nominated Ms. Richardson for Board Vice-President; Mr. Branch offered the motion and Mr. Davis seconded. The motion carried.
The board’s monthly meeting schedule was not formally addressed, but it is assumed that the monthly meetings will continue on the third Monday at 4:30 pm at the Central Office.
The board approved the following personnel items recommend by Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones.
* Supplemental Contract: Howard Crawford, Junior Varsity Basketball Coach, Greene County High School.
* Employment: Arleen Jackson, bus aide; William Mack, full-time bus driver; Carol Caruthers, substitute bus driver.
The board approved the following administrative items recommended by Superintendent Jones.
* Contract between Greene County Board and West Central Official Association for Basketball Games at Robert Brown Middle School for 2023-2024 School Year.
* Memorandum of Understanding for Dual Enrollment between Alabama State University and Greene County Schools (Sophomore, Junior, and Senior-Level Students).
* Travel for Coach Rodney Wesley and Greene County High School basketball team to participate in the Holiday Classic, Biloxi Mississippi during Christmas Break.
* Quote from Bioremsci LLC for mold remediation in the amount of $4,995 for Greene County High School and Resource Center.
* Estimate from Bleachers and in the amount of $9,148.52 to repair bleachers at Greene County High School.
* Contract between Greene County Board and Chante Myles-Rice for ACT Prep tutoring Services.
* Facilities Solutions Agreement between Cintas and Greene County Board for Carhartt Featherweight Coveralls for welding class.
Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
Bank reconciliations as submitted by Mrs. Marquita Lennon, CSFO.
In his report to the board, Attorney Hank Sanders noted that at the August 28, 2023 board meeting, a board member voted on a personnel item in error. He recommended that the Superintendent offer to present the August 28 personnel items again without item E-4. Dr. Jones presented the amended personnel items and, following a motion and a second, the board voted approval. Dr. Jones then recommended approval of Personnel item E-4 from August 28, 2023 meeting. Davis offered the motion to approve; Merriweather offered the second. Branch, Davis and Merriweather voted for the motion; Dancy and Richardson abstained.
CSFO Ms. Marquita Lennon presented Financial Snapshots for the months of September and October.
As of September 30, 2023: Operating Reserve = 4.88M combined general fund reserve; 4.09M cash reserve. All bank accounts have been reconciled. General Fund Bank Balance = $4,151,216.82 (reconciles to the Summary Cash report). Accounts Payable Check Register = $1,988,719.83; Payroll Register = $929,804.96 (Total gross pay to include employer match items). Combined Ending fund Balance = $5,882,474.60. Local Revenue: Property Taxes = 14.133; Sales Taxes – $104.374; Other Taxes = $1,067. Total Local Revenue = $119,574.
Financial Snapshot for October 31, 2023: Operating Reserve = 4.67M; Cash Reserve = 3.17M. All bank accounts have been reconciled. General Fund Bank Balance = $3,803,378.46 (reconciles to the Summary Cash Report). Accounts Payable Check Register = $666,469.46; Payroll Register = $916,873.41. (Total gross pay to include employer match items). Combined En ding Fund Balance = $5,606,094.26. Local Revenue: Property Taxes = $58,956; Sales Taxes = $110,736; Other Taxes = $2,920.
Superintendent Jones gave an update on reported COVID cases in the schools, with only one case in the previous two weeks. He presented positive news from the various schools including events for Teacher Appreciation Day; Students of the month; Fall Activity Fun Days; GCHS students visits to college campuses.

Sheriff Benison closes Palace Bingo because they violated rules in Constitutional Amendment 743

The Greene County Democrat received a press release from Sheriff Jonathan “Joe” Benison, that early Wednesday morning, November 15, the Sheriff served an Order of Immediate Closure on the Palace Bingo facility in Knoxville, Alabama.

The sheriff says the closure was necessitated by Palace Bingo’s flagrant and ongoing violations of Amendment 743 following multiple warnings. Amendment 743 explicitly states that “Prizes given by any non-profit organization for the playing of Bingo games shall not exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) in cash or gifts of equivalent value during any Bingo session.”

This enforcement action is consistent with the Sheriff’s historic insistence that bingo operators operate within the law. The order directs that Palace Bingo remain closed until further notice and invites TS Police Support League to arrange a meeting to discuss the terms under which Palace Bingo may reopen.

Section 6 of Constitutional Amendment No. 743, states, “(6) Prizes given by any nonprofit organization for the playing of bingo games shall not exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cash or gifts of equivalent value during any bingo session.” A bingo session is not defined in the Amendment.

In an earlier section of the amendment, it states: “The sheriff shall promulgate rules and regulations for the licensing, permitting, and operation of bingo games within the county. The sheriff shall insure compliance with such rules or regulations.”

The Sheriff says his enforcement actions against the Palace Bingo follows a flurry of legal moves by the Sheriff to ensure the continued lawful operation of bingo in Greene County. The Sheriff dismissed his own lawsuit seeking an injunction to implement new rules for bingo, that involve “Bookend Bingo” and a definition of electronic marking machines. The new rules, which were adopted by the Sheriff without consultation with the bingo operators and charities, would require players to play a standard bingo game before and after an entertainment phase, where they would play bingo on machines similar to the current machines.

The Sheriff argued that his new rules would require a change in software but would likely run on the current bingo machines. The State of Alabama, in a long running lawsuit claims the bingo machines are ‘illegal slot machines’ doing gambling and not the skill game of bingo, where you must keep up with your numbers and letters, on a paper card.

The Sheriff says in his press release, that changes in the legal landscape required an adjustment of the Sheriff’s legal strategy. Sheriff Benison remarked upon these recent actions by saying, “Litigation is always fluid. Every decision I make is designed to ensure the continued play of bingo in Greene County.

“Critics have done what critics do. They criticize. While I am aggressively working to preserve the future of bingo in Greene County, they are throwing stones. Somebody once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result,” said Benison.

The Democrat reached out to the TS Police Support League and their representatives. who said they had “no comment at this time on the Sheriff’s actions.” They did say that they planned to continue the scheduled the Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at the Palace Parking Lot.

The Sheriff insisted that his plans and rules for bingo were the surest way to protect and continue bingo and its benefits to people, agencies, and organizations in Greene County.