Distribution of bingo funds for April totals $504,171.31

On Friday,  May 13, 2022, Greene County Sheriff Department issued a listing of the bingo distributions for April, totaling $504,171.31 from four of the five licensed bingo gaming facilities.  The April  distribution reported by the sheriff includes $24,000 from Greenetrack, Inc. and $51,000 from the Sheriff’s Supplemental Fund distributed to Greene County Commission.
The bingo facilities regularly distributing through the sheriff include Frontier, River’s Edge, Palace and Bama Bingo.  The recipients of the April 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 $114,995.03 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 $1,026.89, including REACH.  Community Service received $466.77 and This Belong to Us received $93.35.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $114,995.03 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 $1,026.89, including the Historical Society and REACH.  Community Service received $466.77and This Belong to Us received $93.35.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of  $118,248 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.  Community Service received $467 and This Belong to Us received $92.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $155.933.25 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $65,182.92; City of Eutaw, $12,543; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $5,254.50; Greene County Board of Education, $14,238 and the Greene County Health System, $16,950; Sub Charities received $1,392.46, including the Historical Society and REACH $1,392.46. Community Service received $632.94 and This Belong to Us received $126.59.
In the Sheriff’s April distribution report, supplemental funds, totaling $62,181.20, were provided by the four licensed facilities.  Bama Bingo contributed $14,274.79; Frontier contributed $14,274.79; River’s Edge contributed $14,274.79 and Palace contributed $19,356.62 as sheriff’s supplemental funds.

Newswire : Selma Alabama celebrated Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr Day, Saturday, May 14, 2022

Dr. Bernard LaFayette and wife at Mass Meeting – Photo by K.C. Bailey

Dr. Bernard Lafayette and wife at Mass Meeting

The City of Selma, Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church in Selma and the Selma Center for Non-violence, Truth and Reconciliation sponsored Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr. Day on Saturday, May 14, 2022 in Selma. The day was to honor the civil rights and voting rights pioneer who has dedicated his life to promoting non-violence as a means toward social, political and economic justice for oppressed people.

The day in Selma included a voting rights march and parade; voting rights festival; re-enactment of the first Mass Meeting of the Civil Rights era at Tabernacle Baptist Church and a
Voting Rights banquet at the Jemison-Owens Gymnasium of Selma University. The theme of the day was “Voting Rights and Me”.

Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr. helped to lay the foundation for himself, Dr. M. L. King, Jr. and other leaders and footsoldiers of the 1960s Voting Rights Movement in Selma, AL. Because of him Selma’s underground voting rights movement from the 1920’s became publicly visible upon the death of decades-long activist Mr. S W Boynton.

Dr. Lafayette and Mrs. Amelia Boynton organized the first mass meeting/memorial service of the Voting Rights Movement at Tabernacle Baptist Church as daringly invited by then pastor, Dr. Louis Lloyd Anderson. The date was May 14, 1963. Dr. Lafayette, a freedom rider and co-founder of SNCC, organized the youth of Selma and surrounding areas from 1963 to 1965 that led to “Bloody Sunday,” “Turn-Around-Tuesday” and the “Selma to Montgomery March” which brought about the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Dr. Lafayette is now 81 years old; yet he continues to train all peoples in Kingian nonviolence, at the Selma Center for Non-violence, Truth and Reconciliation. This humble, gentle giant deserves overdue thanks for his lifetime of sacrifices for civil rights.

Please contact Dr. Verdell Lett Dawson@ 334 526-0697 or Ainka Jackson at the Selma Center for Non-violence, http://www.selmacenterfornonviolence.org, 334-526-4539 for further information.

Newswire : President Biden to Buffalo and America: ‘White Supremacy will not have the last word’

 
 President Biden and First Lady lay flowers at memorial to the shooting victims in Buffalo, NY
 
 
By Hazel Trice Edney
 
 
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – As President Joe Biden stood amidst the heartbroken in Buffalo, N.Y. calling White supremacy a “poison” in the U.S., historians and scholars of America’s racism not only agreed with him, but outlined specifically how America must change. 
“The FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Justice Department have all confirmed that the primary domestic terrorism threat comes from racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists who advocate for the superiority of the white race,” writes the Southern Poverty Law Center, a foremost authority on hate in America, in response to the killing of 10 predominately Black shoppers by a White 18-year-old in Buffalo Saturday.
The President, accompanied by First Lady Jill Biden, flew into New York Tuesday operating in the roll of comforters-in-chief. According to an account from the White House, “the President and First Lady met with family members of the victims, law enforcement and first responders, and local leaders at a community center to offer their condolences and comfort to those affected by this tragedy.”
He declared in a speech: “What happened here is simple and straightforward: Terrorism. Terrorism. Domestic terrorism…Violence inflicted in the service of hate and the vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior to any other group.”
The killer, Payton Gendron, went into the TOPS grocery store where predominately Black family members did their regular shopping on a daily basis. On Saturday, people were preparing for Sunday dinners, birthday parties or just stopping by the store for snacks and supplies. Gendron shot people in the parking lot on the way in and then proceeded to fire the gun inside, killing more people with a rifle speckled with writing, including racial slurs. 
Before he was arrested, he had killed 10 people and injured three others. According to widespread reports, a manager had asked Gendron to leave the store the day before the killings as he loitered inside. He was also investigated by state police less than a year ago after authorities at his high school reported that he made threatening remarks concerning a murder/suicide. He was then examined by a mental hospital but was not charged.
On Tuesday, Biden called on the community to support the victims and survivors and to take action to prevent future tragedies. Namely, he called on Americans to reject the racist white “replacement theory” believed to have inspired the gunman behind the tragic Buffalo shooting and other shootings. 
According to a statement by the SPLC, “the attack in Buffalo is the direct result of white nationalist propaganda, specifically the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, being promoted and now mainstreamed by major public figures. This false notion — that white people are being systematically replaced by Black people, immigrants and Jews — has deep historical roots but has gained traction in recent years. And with that traction has come violence, both physical and political.”
The SPLC statement continues, “In recent years we have seen multiple white gunmen commit horrific acts of violence against people of color, Jews, Muslims and immigrants, justified on the premise of the false conspiracy narrative. This time it took an 18-year-old extremist driving over 200 miles to murder 10 innocent people and injure three others – the vast majority who were Black – to bring this lie and its deadly consequences to the national forefront.”
Biden’s appeal for Americans to take stands against White supremacy and to speak up against the wrong of racism, is not enough, he said. 
The SPLC agrees. The organization made several recommendations to end the repeated terrorist attacks:
•”It is especially important that politicians, civic leaders and law enforcement officials repudiate dangerous and false conspiracy theories like the ‘great replacement’ theory, which has now moved from far-right extremist spaces into the political mainstream. Despite its clearly violent implications, far too many politicians and pundits now repeat the myth regularly.”
•”Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, should provide more resources for programs and processes for early intervention. Programs in these areas should focus on extended support for victims, survivors and targeted communities more broadly, as the trauma resulting from racially motivated violence often reverberates widely.”
•”Congress should immediately enact the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (S.964/H.R. 350) to establish offices within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI to monitor, investigate and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism — and require regular reports from these offices.”
•”Tech companies must create — and enforce — terms of service and policies to ensure that social media platforms, payment service providers and other internet-based services do not provide forums where hateful activities and extremism can grow and lead to domestic terrorism. Social media platforms and online payment service providers must act to disrupt the funding of hate online to prevent their services from helping to incubate and bankroll terrorists and extremism,” The SPLC recommended.
Meanwhile, in Buffalo, Biden read off the names of each of the dead, giving brief descriptions of their errands that day or something about their lives:  As a nation, I say to the families: We remember them. We’ve been reading about them.  We visited the memorial where…the show of the love for them.:
•“Celestine Chaney, 65 years old.  Brain cancer survivor.  Churchgoer.  Bingo player.  Went to buy strawberries to make her favorite shortcake.  A loving mother and a grandmother.”
•“Roberta Drury, 32.  Beloved daughter and sister.  Moved back home to help take care of her brother after his bone marrow transplant.  She went to buy groceries for dinner.  The center of attention who made everyone in the room laugh and smile when she walked in.”
•Andre Mackneil, 53.  Worked at a restaurant.  Went to buy his three-year-old son a birthday cake.  His son [celebrating] a birthday, asking, “Where is Daddy?”• Katherine Massey, 72.  A writer and an advocate who dressed up in costumes at schools and cut the grass in the parkand helping local elections.  The glue of the family and the community.
•Margus Morrison, 52.  School bus aide. Went to buy snacks for weekly movie night with the family.  Survived by his wife and three children and his stepdaughter. The center of their world.
•Heyward Patterson, 67.  Father.  Church deacon.  Fed the homeless at the soup kitchen.  Gave rides to the grocery store to neighbors who needed help.  Putting food in the trunk of others when he took his final breath.
•Aaron Salter, 55.  Retired Buffalo police officer for three decades.  Three decades.  Loved electric cars.  A hero who gave his life to save others on a Saturday afternoon.  And had that man not been wearing that vest that he purchased – bulletproof vest – a lot of lives would have been saved.  A beloved father and husband.
•Geraldine Talley, 62.  Expert [baker]. And known for her warm, gentle personality.  A friend to everybody.  Devoted mother and grandmother.
•Ruth Whitfield, 88.  Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother who sang in the church choir.  A caretaker of her husband, bringing him clean clothes, cutting his hair, holding his hand every day she visited him in the nursing home.  Heart as big as her head.
•Pearl Young, 77.  A mother, grandmother, missionary of God.  Public school teacher who also ran a local food pantry.  Loved singing, dancing, and her family.
Biden continued, “And all three are injured: Zaire Goodman, 20.  Shot in the neck but fighting through it.  Jennifer Warrington, 50.  Christopher Braden, 55.  Both treated with injuries, on a long road to recovery.” 
The President concluded, “Jill and I bring you this message from deep in our nation’s soul: In America, evil will not win — I promise you.  Hate will not prevail.  And white supremacy will not have the last word.”
 

Shipwreck Museum in Cape Verde
recalls Portugal’s past in the slave trade

Shipwreck Museum exhibit

May 16, 2022 (GIN) – The Republic of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) is an archipelago island nation to the west of Senegal and Mauritania, consisting of 10 volcanic islands that lie between 320 and 460 nautical miles west of Cap-Vert, the westernmost point of continental Africa.
The official language is Portuguese, the language of instruction and government and in newspapers, TV and radio, but the recognized national language is Cape Verdean Creole, spoken by the vast majority of the population.
A sizeable Cape Verdean diaspora community exists across the world, especially in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and in Portugal, considerably outnumbering the inhabitants on the islands.
New finds from archaeologists have brought to light fresh evidence of Cape Verde’s role in the transatlantic slave trade.
Charles Akibode, director of Cape Verde’s Institute of Cultural Heritage claims nations often sent pirates to do their dirty work.
The Portuguese colonization of the Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) began in 1462. Initially envisaged as a base to give mariners direct access to West African trade, the Central Atlantic islands soon became a major hub of the Atlantic slave trade.
Enslaved Africans were used on the sugar plantations of the islands and sold on to ships sailing to the Americas. The islands gained independence from Portugal in 1975.
As Cape Verde was much further from Portugal than the other Atlantic colonies (about two weeks sailing), the islands attracted fewer European settlers, especially women. As a consequence, Europeans and Africans intermarried on the islands, creating an Afro-Portuguese culture with a strong African religious and artistic influence.
The Museu dos Náufragos (Shipwreck Museum), on the island of Boa Vista in Cape Verde, has reopened two years after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Here, history is told from the period of the discoveries, slavery, isolation, survival, drought and Creole culture. The Museum is the result of the work of two decades by Maurizio Rossi, an Italian archaeologist.
“This is a three-story museum that starts in the darkest part of history,” Rossi said. “Hundreds of objects are exhibited here such as finds from the wreck of historical ships off Boa Vista, pieces from the period of the pirate attacks to the island or from the sending of enslaved Africans to the Americas and, also, from the Cape Verdean art, and its evolution during the encounters of cultures.”
Through the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century, a law enacted by the Portuguese government in 1899 allowed authorities to force any kind of work, no matter how low the wage or undesirable the situation, upon any unemployed male. This enabled the government to maintain the work force on the cocoa plantations during another grave famine in 1902 to 1903.
In the 1950s, protest was mounting throughout Portuguese Africa. A group of Cape Verdeans and people from the mainland colony of Guinea-Bissau, led by Amilcar Cabral, joined forces to organize the Partido Africano de Independencia de Guine e Cabo Verde (PAIGC).
Those who resisted politically were subject to the terrors of the Portuguese secret police, and sometimes imprisoned in the concentration camp at Tarrafal, on Sao Tiago. Built in 1936, it operated until 1956. It reopened in 1962, under the name of ‘Chão Bom Labour Camp’, with the purpose of incarcerating anti-colonial activists from Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde.
On April 25, 1974, the government in Portugal was overthrown. The new Portuguese government was prepared to destroy their old colonies, but reconsidered, believing that they could still control the colonies with puppet governments. The Cape Verdeans resisted, supporting the PAIGC, and general strikes were called. The government surrendered when all services and production stopped.
Independence Day was established on July 5, 1975 and is celebrated by Cape Verdeans throughout the world.  Many music lovers now know Cape Verde for the stunning work of singer Cesaria Evora.

Newswire : The Food and Drug Administration is taking aim at menthol cigarettes

African american man smoking cigarette outdoors. Pensive person thinking

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from BlackMansStreet.Today


(TriceEdneyWire.com) – The Food and Drug Administration want to snuff out menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars which are popular with Blacks, but they have a strong supporter in Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network.

 Xavier Becerra, Health and Human Services Secretary, said the proposed rule changed would prevent children from smoking and help adult smokers quit. 

Menthol is a flavor additive with minty aroma and taste that reduces the irritation and harshness of smoking. Advertising for menthol cigarettes are heavily marketed to African Americans, such as Kool and Newport.

My mother smoked Kools, as she called them, until she died of cancer. 

Tobacco use is leading cause of death among Blacks because it leads to heart disease, cancer and stroke. 

The New York Times reported that Sharpton wrote to Susan Rice, Director of the Domestic Policy Council, that banning menthol cigarettes will encourage Blacks to smoke unregulated herbal menthol varieties that promote criminal activity. 

Sharpton acknowledges that R.J. Reynolds, which changed its name to RAI Service Company, has supported his organization for two decades.

“This is an overdue step towards ending decades of racialized tobacco industry predation on African American! Each year 45,000 African American lose their lives to tobacco-inducted disease’s due in large part to menthol tobacco products,” said Carol McGruder of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council. 

The organization will host its third annual National Menthol Conference on September 28 to 30 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington D.C.

If the proposed rule is finalized and implemented, it would address manufacturers., distributors, wholesalers, importers, and retailers who, who manufacture and distribute the products in the U.S.

Newswire : Dr. Lisa Cook confirmed as first Black woman on Federal Reserve Board

Dr. Lisa Cook

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Michigan State University Economics Professor Lisa Cook is the latest Biden-Harris administration nominee to break the glass ceiling, this time on the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.
Cook, well-known for her work on racial and gender equality, won Senate confirmation as the first Black woman to serve on the Fed Board in the agency’s 109-year history.
The history-making moment required a tie-breaking vote in the Senate from Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to hold her position.
Each of the Senate’s 50 GOP members voted against Cook, while all 50 Democrats and Harris cast ballots in favor of the nomination.
“The Fed Board needs governors who understand how the economy works for Americans across race, gender, and class. Dr. Cook’s deep expertise makes her exceptionally qualified to serve,” Michele Holder, president of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, wrote in a statement.
An adviser on the Biden-Harris and Obama-Biden transition teams, Cook will help set fiscal policy on the Fed Board.
“I was proud to cast my vote for Dr. Cook,” Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock stated.
“Her decades of experience as an economist and her Georgian sense of fairness will help promote balance and innovation to strengthen our economy,” Warnock concluded.

State Department of Alabama spotlights Child Nutrition Program in Greene County schools

Greene County High School Cafeteria Serving Line

The Greene County Board of Education met in regular session, Monday, May 16, 2022, with all board members present. The venue for the board meeting was changed on the day of the meeting from the Central Office to Greene County High School due to water issued related to the City of Eutaw. No water could be accessed in the building. City officials notified Superintendent Corey Jones of the difficulties stating that city workers were trying to alleviate the problem, but could not assure Dr. Jones when the problem would be resolved. Most of the Central Office staff were assigned to work from home.
As part of his monthly report to the board, Superintendent Jones had Ms. Teresa Atkins, who currently serves as Acting Director of the Child Nutrition Program (CNP) for the school district, to give an overview of the CNP operations. Ms. Atkins noted that as a federal program, the CNP must follow particular guidelines regarding basic meal requirements as well as presentation of meals. The basic meal requirements differ according to student age groups. Ms. Atkins stated that to assure that the Greene County School System is providing nutritious and palatable meals, she partnered with the State Child Nutrition Program to assist her in enhancing the total meal service for students. This resulted in providing students with various choices of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and breads. At GCHS students may also serve themselves on the lunch line.
Ms. Atkins explained that the CNP Program is federally funded through reimbursements. “We can only get reimbursed for the meals actually served. If a student is at school and does not take a lunch tray, the system cannot claim funds for that meal; however, if a student takes a food tray and does not eat anything on the tray, the system can claim reimbursement.”
Atkins noted that the CNP staff tries to accommodate the particular needs of students, such as catering to students with various allergies, other medical conditions governing the type of foods they can or cannot consume and religious preferences in foods. At the start of a school year, parents/guardians are asked to complete a questionnaire on each child noting the exceptions in foods their child requires.
The week of April 11-15, 2022, Greene County High School lunchroom was featured on the State’s Child Nutrition facebook page. Atkins said this special recognition from the State Department was the results of revamping the serving lines, training staff on how to offer students more options for both breakfast and lunch and creating an inviting atmosphere in the cafeteria.
In continuing his report, Superintendent Jones announced that summer school is scheduled from June 6-30, 2022 from 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM, four days per week. The classes will focus on individual student deficiencies and weaknesses and credit recovery as needed. Enrichment activities will be a major focus of the summer program as well. Hopefully, educational and fun field trips will be scheduled.
Dr. Jones also gave positive news updates on each of the schools. At Eutaw Primary educators and scholars celebrated May Day. Scholars who participated in the After-School Program visited the Montgomery zoo on Friday, May 13, 2022. Third Grade Graduation was held Monday, May 16, 2022. Educators and scholars will show their support for Mental Health Awareness Month by wearing green on Friday, May 20, 2022.
Robert Brown Middle School observed Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2-6, with lunch and snacks provided by school partners. Faculty and students held a volley game. May 18 was Honors Day Program. May 25 is RBMS graduation.
At Greene County High School, Cosmetology Department, over 30 students participated in the Hair Show on May 6. The track team, students from GCHS and RBMS, participated in Sectionals. Thirteen of the dual enrollment scholars received certificates in Welding from Wallace Community College Selma. Greene County High School was spotlighted in the Break for a Plate Alabama and Alabama CNP State Newsletter. Teachers and scholars participated in Community Service Project to support Branch Heights Residents impacted by the tornado. A blood drive was held at GCHS on April 22, sponsored by the Greene County Career Center’s HOSA-Future Health Professionals.
.The personnel service items recommended by the superintendent and approved by the board are as follows:
Non-renewal, Robert Brown Middle School: Carrie Rhodes, 4th Grade Teacher; Cyontai Lewis, Physical Education Teacher; Richard Cammon, Social Studies Teacher; LaDasia Grace, 7th & 8th Grade Social Studies; Richard Cammon, 6th Grade Teacher; Marquavius King, 6th Grade Language Arts; Glenara Faust , 5th Grade Teacher;
Non-renewal, Greene County High School: Cassandra Freeman, Chemistry Teacher; Arthur Williamson, English Teacher;
Non-renewal, Eutaw Primary School: Destiny Taylor, 2nd Grade Teacher; Malesha Williams, Elementary Teacher;
Retirement: Gloria Lyons, Cafeteria Worker, Greene County High School effective May 1, 2022; Debra Waiters, Parent Involvement Facilitator, July 1, 2022.
Medical Leave: Shirley Noland, effective February 2, 2022, thru April 22, 2022.
Catastrophic Leave and FMLA Leave: Jennifer Reeves, starting March 28, 2022, ending May 9, 2022.
Employment of the following teachers for Summer School June 6 – July 15, 2022.
Greene County High School: Clifford Reynolds; Kaneeda Coleman; Tameshia Porter; Angela Harkness; Drenda Morton; Dutchess Jones; Janice Jeames.
Robert Brown Middle School: Vanessa Bryant; Raven Bryant; Felecia Smith; Nkenge Reynolds; Elroy Skinner; Monquelle Wigfall; Leanita Hunt; Dorris Robinson; Pinkie Travis.
Eutaw Primary School: Genetta Bishop: Gwendolyn Webb; Tara Thomas; Pamela Pasteur; Quenterica White; Montoya Hurst-Binion; Cheryl Morrow; Carla Durrett; Keisha Williams.
Child Nutrition Program: Burnia Cripin; Sandy Wilson; Romanda Askew; Jacqueline Pickens; Rosie Davis.
The following administrative services were approved by the board.
* Bank reconciliations as submitted by Ms. Marquita Lennon, CSFO.
* Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
* Contractual Agreement between Greene County Board and Behavior Aide, Denise Horton.
* Agreement between Greene County Board and Amy Quitt, Speech Language Therapy Services.
* Approval of 2022-2023 School Calendar.
* Approval of Summer School Program, starting June 6, 2022 – July 15, 2022.
* Approval of 4-day work week for all extended employees beginning June 6 and ending no later than July 29, 2022.
* Retroactively Authorization Debit Card Account at Merchant and Farmers Bank.
* Credit Card for Travel and Expenditures.
Purchase New Vehicle for Superintendent.


The Financial Snapshot as of April 30, 2022 presented by Mrs. Marquita Lennon, Chief Financial Officer is as follows: General Fund Balance – $2,873,434.22 (reconciled to the Summary Cash report); Accounts Payable Check Register – $168,727.62; Payroll Register $862,388.60; Combined Ending Fund Balance – $5,538,710. Local revenue for the month from property taxes, sales and other taxes and bingo revenue totaled $202,184.

 

COVID-19

As of May 13, 2022, at 10:00 AM
(According to Alabama Political Reporter)

Alabama had 1,304,710 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(1,965) more than last week with 19,628 deaths (27) more
than last week)

Greene County had 1,877 confirmed cases, (2) more cases than last week), with 49 deaths

Sumter Co. had 2,594 cases with 51 deaths

Hale Co. had 4,741 cases with 106 deaths

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

Greene County Emergency Medical Services
faces financial and operating crisis

Zack Bolding, Acting Director of GEMS, presented a report at EMS meeting

At its regular monthly meeting, on May 3, 2022 at Eutaw City Hall, the Greene County Emergency Medical Services (GEMS) Board of Directors heard a dire report of financial and operating crisis facing the county’s ambulance service.

Zack Bolding, Acting Director of GEMS, presented a report of difficult conditions facing the ambulance service, in terms of its equipment, personnel, inadequate base of operations, low reimbursement rates and overall operational finances. The picture he painted was one of imminent collapse and curtailed services unless the County Commission, municipal governments, major employers and others in need of the ambulance service do something to help support the operating and physical equipment budgets of the GEMS.

Joe Lee Powell, current Board Chairperson indicated, “We called this meeting, invited sponsoring organizations and we need to hear the situation and try to act to save our ambulance service. We have used contributions to the GEMS Board over the past few months to help make the payroll. We know there are financial and equipment problems, which we can solve if we work together.”

Bolding presented a detailed written report of the status of the ambulance service. “We are providing an ALS-1 ambulance service (a vehicle with a driver and paramedic on board), on a 24/7 basis. We are doing this with one usable ambulance and two other transport vehicles, which are well behind their safe-service life, in terms of mileage and wear and tear.”

Bolding indicated that the ambulance service must operate under the laws of Alabama, which have minimal vehicle and personnel standards, which they are barely meeting, to meet state requirements and standards.

Bolding said, “Greene County is the second most rural county in Alabama, behind Wilcox County. We have 660 total square miles, including 13 square miles of water with a 2020 population of 7,730 or 12 per square mile. It is very difficult to serve such a large county in and area, coupled with roadways like Interstate20/59 and State Highways 43,11,14 and 39,
which traverse our county and bring accidents and other situations that require ambulance services.”

“Beyond the emergency services, we also transport patients to hospitals, specialists and other regular treatments, like dialysis, wound care and cancer care. We need three (3) running modern equipped and staffed
ambulance vehicles to handle the demand. We have one 2018 ambulance in running order; we have a second ambulance box, which is awaiting remount and replacement on a new body, which will be ready this summer; a 1995 ambulance and a 1981 ambulance that are past their safe-service life,” said Bolding.

Bolding also pointed out that he had to recruit new staff since he took over the system from Nick Wilson, who in turn was selected as director when Bennie Abrams and Stanley Lucius retired in 2020. “ Abrams and Lucius ran the service as best they could without a lot of help and support, including in effect volunteering a lot of their time, instead of being paid. To run a modern efficient system, you must pay all of your staff under Fair Labor Standards, with minimums and overtime, The staff must also receive health and life insurance benefits, which we have arranged for the first time, ” said Bolding.

Bolding also decried the condition of the old Warrior Academy site, which the GEMS is using as its base of operations. He complained of inoperable toilets, no showers, inadequate food preparation services,
no areas for staff to clean and wash their clothes, which are often contaminated by blood, mud and other things, as part of daily operations.

Bolding included a chart in his report indicating that the service rates, charged by GEMS are below allowable Medicare, Medicaid and third-party insurance payer reimbursement rates and could be raised to bring in greater revenues. The GEMS Board approved a contract with Capstone Claims in Tuscaloosa to remedy some of these problems by raising service rates for ambulance services, to bring in greater revenues.

Bolding report indicated service revenues of $617,179 for calendar year 2021, although he estimated that the operational budget, including all costs was around a million dollars a year. This leaves a deficit of $300,000 to $400,000 in expenses over revenues, not including cost for capital improvements, ambulances and equipment.

Powell said, “The Greene County EMS needs help and support from the county, municipalities, employers, bingos and others to save the ambulance service. One quarter of a mil in property taxes, per year, about $40,000, is not enough to cover the full costs of this service.”

Powell suggested a meeting on May 17, 2022 at 3:00 PM at the Eutaw City Hall with the GEMS Board, County Commissioners, Mayors, large employers and other to work on the problems of the ambulance service. The GEMS Board passed a motion for this meeting and requested that Zack Bolding prepare an operating budget and a capital improvements budget for the sponsors and partners of the ambulance service to review at that time and make commitment to save the ambulance system for Greene County.

Newswire : Sierra Leone police arrest teacher activists over demands for living wages

Teacher in Sierra Leone

May 2, 2022 (GIN) – Schoolteachers in Sierra Leone say they’ve had enough after the arrest this week of Mohamed Salieu Khan, interim chair of the Teachers Solidarity Movement. He was grabbed by police outside the popular AYV TV station after speaking about the dismal plight of schoolteachers and their unequal conditions of service.
Two other TSM leaders were subsequently arrested despite President Bio’s claim to have expunged a law that hinders free speech.
Members of the Teachers Solidarity Movement in Bo, southern Sierra Leone, said they were seeking “living wages”, harmonization of salaries in the civil/public service, and improved employment conditions for all public sector workers in Sierra Leone. 
In an open letter dated April 21, the teachers group cited “the perennial hardship that political leaders from the Sierra Leone People’s Party and the All Peoples Congress, the country’s two major political groups, have inflicted on Sierra Leonean teachers.”
For sixty years since Independence, teachers were treated recklessly and left to starve with impunity, the group stated in their letter.
“Don’t we deserve a better living like the lawyers we taught, the doctors we prepared, the bankers we raised, the engineers we schooled, the police and the Army we instructed and the very politicians we inspired?” they asked rhetorically. “Enough is enough”!
Teachers were destitute, they said, lacking transport, medical, rent or leave benefits, and the Education Minister had failed to relay this fact to the President.
They called on President Bio, the Teaching Service Commission and the international community, including the European Union representative, the Department for International Development (DFID), the US Embassy and the British High Commission to come to their aid.
National Security Coordinator, Abdulai Caulker, called their press release “unfortunate.”
The arrests were swiftly condemned by TV station AYV, which responded: “Mr Khan was a guest on the program and was arrested just outside AYV’s premises soon after he left the show…  AYV would like to remind the Sierra Leone Police that our work is protected by statutes including the most supreme law – the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.”
The Sierra Leone Bar Association also took a stand, condemning the police for arresting the schoolteachers for speaking out against the poor working conditions of teachers in Sierra Leone.