Greene County schools student enrollment inches up

Greene County Schools Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones displays plaque presented to school board members at AASB District 7 meeting.

Greene County schools superintendent, Dr. Corey Jones, gave an update on current student enrollment as part of his report to the board at its regularly scheduled meeting, Monday, September 16, 2019. Dr. Jones stated that enrollment at Eutaw Primary is currently at 349; at Robert Brown Middle School 351 and at Greene County High School 296. He noted that since this report was prepared, three more students have enrolled bringing the total school system enrollment to 999.
“The system still has 55 fewer students than last school year at this time,” he said. Dr. Jones explained that his office is still pursuing students, not currently in the system, who were here last year to determine if they have relocated or other circumstances prevail. `“ We are still within the 20 days after Labor Day to enroll students and claim state support; however we will accept students even after that period and do our best to provide them a quality education,” stated Superintendent Jones.
In his update on Assessment & Instruction, Dr. Jones stated that the school system is utilizing the Scantron Benchmark Assessment. He noted the schedule for testing in 2019 includes September 3-16; December 2-13; March 9-3 and March 23-27, 2020. The superintendent also noted the tentative dates for District Student Assessments.
Dr. Jones remarked on the various incentives related to student and personnel motivation at a school; facility preservation and student achievement. The school winning the motivation award for the month will be presented a banner acknowledging the same. The maintenance staff at the school receiving the preservation award will be treated to lunch. Students will receive special certificates of achievement.
Dr. Jones announced that the Greene County School Board received the School Board Member Academy President’s Award 2019 for demonstrating a commitment to excellence in education through boardsmanship training, presented by the Alabama Association of School Boards at the annual District 7 meeting in Tuscaloosa, September 9, 2019.
The personnel items recommended by the superintendent and approved by the board included the following.

  • Employment: Kelvineshia Williams, Science Teacher, Greene County High School; William Mack, Bus Driver, Department of Transportation; Wenonna Peebles, Special Needs Bus Driver, Department of Transportation; Twelia Morris, Secretary, Greene County Career Center.
  • Employment with 21st Century Community Learning Centers: Andrea Perry, Director; 21st Century Personnel at Eutaw Primary School – Keisha Williams, Lead Teacher; Dominique McDaniel, Teacher; Genetta Bishop, Teacher; Pamela Pasteur, Teacher; Elona Washington, Teacher; Denise Horton, Teacher Assistant. 21st Century Personnel at RBMS – Drenda Morton, Lead Teacher; Vanessa Bryant, Teacher; Katoya Quarles, Teacher; Alisa Allen, Teacher; Annie Howard, Teacher; Raven Bryant, Teacher; Mary Hobson, Assistant Teacher; Pinkie Travis, Substitute Teacher; Ayanna Crawford, Bus Driver; Marcus Steele, Substitute Bus Driver.
    The board approved the following administrative items: School Resource Officer Contract; Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.

Greene County’s four operating bingo facilities contribute $359,960 to local entities for month of August

Shown above: Brenda Burke representing the Greene County Commission; Forkland Mayor Charlie McAlpine, Dr. Marcia Pugh, CEO of the Greene County Health System, Bingo Clerk Emma Jackson, Union Councilman Alonzo Thompson; Ruth Thomas representing the City of Eutaw, Boligee City Councilwoman Ernestine Wade and Bingo Clerk Minnie Byrd.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department reported a total distribution of $357,960 for the month of August 2019 from four licensed bingo gaming operations in the county. The bingo distributions for August are contributed by Greenetrack, Inc., Frontier, River’s Edge and Palace. Green Bingo is still not in operation.
The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, Greene County Health System, $7,500.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $71,600 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, and the Greene County Health System, $11,600.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $151,360 to the following: Greene County Commission, $-0- (no distribution); Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $80,960; City of Eutaw, $24,640; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $7,040; Greene County Board of Education, $7,040 and the Greene County Health System, $17,600.

Newswire: Affluent society blamed for speed up in removal of Kenyan forest

Kenyan children planting trees

Sep. 16, 2019 (GIN) – Since independence, natural resources in Kenya have been on a fast track to extinction. Today, nearly half of all its forests are gone, resulting in more droughts, floods and other dire consequences for communities, ecosystems, food security and infrastructure.

From 10% of the country covered in forest in 1963, noted Kaluki Paul Mutuku, Youth4Nature Regional Coordinator – Africa Group -only 6% was covered in 2009.

The nation’s forests have been victims of agricultural expansion, unregulated logging and urbanization.

In 1977, deforestation moved from the back page to the front page with the launch of the Green Belt Movement by Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai. Its mission was to plant trees across Kenya to fight erosion and to create firewood for fuel and jobs for women.

Some 30 million trees were planted by some 900,000 Green Belt women who were paid a few shillings for their work. For her initiative, Ms. Maathai went on to become the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.”

Ms. Maathai passed away in 2011 but her campaign did not die with her. This year, urgent calls to save the forests were again in the news with a highly-critical open letter signed by U.N. staffer Gabriel Rugalema and economist Susan Mugwe.

“Kenya must move fast to reverse deforestation,” was the heading of their piece published by Business Daily of Kenya.

“Currently, we are losing 50,000 hectares of forest each year – primarily due to the emergence of an expanding affluent society that wants to dine on steak, drive cars, recline on comfortable seats, live in elegant houses and consume fresh fruits and vegetables. To meet this demand, commercial agriculture for products such as livestock, horticulture, timber and rubber are increasingly encroaching on forest lands,” they wrote.

“If we do nothing to reverse it, Kenya shall be a complete desert in 113 years,” they warned.

Meanwhile, an informal study by professor Julius Huho of Garissa University had dismaying news about the state of environmental studies in centers of academic learning.

“Students didn’t seem interested in learning about climate change,” Huho recalled. “They attributed its relevance just to farming activities. Only 14.9% thought it should be included in all levels of education (primary to universities). In secondary schools, learners should have a deeper understanding of global warming and climate change and how it can be dealt with.”

Newswire: United Auto Workers strike General Motors

by BlackmansStreet.Today

The United Auto Workers Monday morning went on strike at General Motors, the first labor walkout at the Detroit automaker since 2007.

However, both sides said they resumed negotiations Monday afternoon to end the strike. It is not known how much progress has been made.

Some 46,000 hourly workers hit the picket lines at 55 plants nationwide. The workers want better pay, better medical coverage and a larger share of the $27.5 billion in profits the Detroit-based company has generated over a four-year period since the last UAW contract in 2015.

“We are standing up for fair wages, we are standing up for affordable, quality health care. We are standing up for our share of the profits. We are standing up for job security for our members, said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes.

In a Facebook post, GM said it is offering the UAW $7 billion in investments and more than 5,400 jobs. The manufacturer also said it is offering investments in eight facilities in four states. In addition, GM said it offered the UAW the opportunity to become the first union-represented battery plant in the country.

General Motors has the smallest unionized workforce behind Ford and Chrysler.

Newswire: Congressional Black Caucus: Reflecting on 1619, Preparing for 2020

By Barrington M. Salmon

Rev. Al Sharpton receives the Harold Washington Award during the CBC-ALC Phoenix Awards dinner. Beside him is the presenter, U. S. Rep. Frederica Wilson PHOTO: Don Baker Photogra

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Thousands of Black community activists, organizational leaders and political observers descended on the Walter E. Washington Convention Center last week to dive into the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference.
The mood was a mélange of reflection and contemplation about the past and excitement and trepidation about the future. This year’s theme, “400 Years: Our Legacy, Our Possibilities”, suffused throughout the public policy forums, panel discussions and conversations in the convention hallways and corners as registrants, lawmakers, thought leaders and millennials delved into a range of issues and concerns.
“I’m feeling the weight of pride and joy of our struggle on how to make what was professed real in the United States,” said Virginia State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, who won a special election in 2017 held to fill the vacancy left by now Democratic U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin. “The foundation of democracy and all systems we have today was built on the power structure of serving White men. I feel pride, frustration and sadness with how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go.”
Sen. McClelland was a panelist at the National Town Hall, an event attended by several hundred people, which is viewed as the official opening of the annual legislative conference. Moderated by Dr. Johnnetta Cole, chair and seventh president of the National Council of Negro Women, panelists had a vigorous debate that touched on slavery, resistance, reparations, the vital importance of voter mobilization and participation, predatory capitalism, and keys to success in the future.
National Urban League President/CEO Marc H. Morial said African-Americans face an existential crisis generated by a man in the White House who continually adds fuel to a racially toxic environment, utters vile anti-Black racist rhetoric, denigrates African-Americans and people of color and is implementing policies that are antithetical to Black people.
Morial said while Blacks are right to be alarmed, their concerns about the retrenchment of civil rights by the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers must be met with resistance and the use of the ballot box, among a variety of other tools, to effect change.
“Today our progress is under vicious attack as this administration rolls back gains. It is most extreme and potentially dangerous,” he said. “It is an intentional, malicious and diabolic plan taking place in state legislatures. They have had great success implement voter ID restrictions and closing polling stations.”
Morial pointed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2013 to strike down a key provision of the
landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. “Shelby (v Holder) is our Plessy, our Dred Scott,” Morial said, referring to the landmark 1896 Supreme Court ruling that codified that racial segregation in public facilities was constitutional under the “separate but equal” doctrine. It also declared that African-Americans were not and could never be citizens of the United States. “They trick, deceive and thwart our efforts to participate. We have to be ‘woke!’ not tricked and bamboozled.”
Derek Johnson, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, echoed Morial who said he’s tired of talk and that it’s time for action.
“We have to move past rhetoric to action,” Johnson told the audience. “During Freedom Summer, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bob Moses and others focused on getting access to healthcare (for African-Americans), voting rights and education. They renewed the fight to how to leverage the vote. In a democracy, the vote is our currency.”
Johnson reiterated that organizing and mobilizing the Black vote is imperative if Blacks hope to blunt the racist agenda embraced, advocated and codified by Donald Trump. And mobilizing low-frequency voters takes on added importance because the outcome for president will be determined by one or two percent, he added.
Rev. Al Sharpton, once a presidential candidate himself, received the Harold Washington Award during the CBC-ALC Phoenix Awards dinner. He told the audience that America is now “at a crossroad” with the upcoming 2020 election. He called on voters to “stop this back biting and infighting and jealousy and win this battle once and for all!”
Dr. Shantella Sherman told a Trice Edney Newswire reporter that while the planners and organizers did a fabulous job this year as they have in the past, her frustration is that she wants to see more.
“I think for folks who’re uninitiated to the CBC Foundation and this event, they are excited. I’m always excited by new blood and new energy that comes every year, but as a reporter and attendee for the past 20 years, I’m less inspired. I want the rubber to hit the road,” said Sherman, a eugenics and race historian and founder and publisher of ACUMEN Magazine, a historical magazine that fuses history and journalism. “I don’t want to see you talking about the same thing year after year.”
She added, “Everything at CBCF is amazing. But I need an action plan. I didn’t see anything about ‘this is what we’re going to do about this.’ There were far too many extremely intelligent, high-falutin folks with 15 degrees and a home on the hill but can you get your hands dirty to ensure that your kids can vote and that we can hold onto the gains we’ve made?”
Sherman talked about the Gary Plan, which was conceived by original members of the Congressional Black Caucus. It was an action plan calling on the federal government to support a multi-billion program for Black business and economic support, education and housing because CBC members understood that this was a marathon.

Newswire : Bahamas facing long road to recovery but cleaving to hope amidst devastation

By Barrington M. Salmon

Massive devastation in the Bahamas

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Chris Laville remembers looking out of the
window of his apartment, thinking it might not turn out too bad.

“It was early in the morning. It had rained and there was a light breeze,” Laville recalled in an interview with the Trice Edney News Wire. “I woke saying we could ride this out not knowing what a Category 5 storm was.”
Over the next day and a half, Laville, his wife and nine co-workers learned much more about Dorian than he ever wants to again. Elbow Key, where they lived, bore the brunt of Hurricane Dorian, the strongest storm ever to hit the Caribbean archipelago of 700 islands.

Laville, the 40-year-old head chef of the Sea Spray Resort, now says if he ever again hears a hurricane’s coming, he’ll be on the first flight out. Dorian made landfall and then sat for almost two days, lashing the islands with 185 mile an hour winds and gusts of up to 220 miles an hour.

He said he’s never been more afraid in his life and has been left deeply traumatized.
“… I met everybody running as the storm took off the roof,” he said. “I grabbed some things as the roof flew off my room. I looked and saw the veranda was gone, the stairs were gone and the railing took off. The only thing I could do was jump.”
Laville said he caught his wife Indira who jumped out of the building and waited for the rest of the group to do the same. As they sought shelter, they were buffeted by fierce winds and driving rain and sand.
Elsewhere on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands, Dorian – which traveled at a glacial pace of one mile per hour – tore through buildings, shredded objects in its path, tossed boats and other marine vessels onto land, obliterated homes and businesses and killed residents.

Laville said 40 units on the resort are gone and he lost a co-worker and a friend who was a ferry boat pilot. Elsewhere, Bahamians are trying to comprehend obliterated communities, washed
out roads and neighborhoods sitting under water.

Dr. Paul Hunt, a pediatrician and allergy specialist, who has lived in the
Bahamas since 1990, said he’s heartbroken. He’s fortunate, he said, because he and his family were in Nassau when the storm hit and his home is not damaged. His thoughts, he said, are on those who’re coping with loss and struggling to come to terms with the shocking devastation.

“I’m just numb. The gut-wrenching thing is my patients. I have a patient who I looked after since he was two and I just heard that a storm surge swept away him and two of his children,” said Dr. Hunt, a husband and father of three. “He’s lost and presumed dead. Save for the surge, this wouldn’t have been a big thing. The surge doesn’t happen over time, it can occur in two or three minutes.”

Dr. Hunt said on Friday morning, he spoke to a niece who works at CNN who told him the government just sent 200 body bags to Abaco.

Official reports indicate that 43 people have been confirmed dead but that number is expected to rise astronomically as rescue teams finally reach islands and communities that have been cut off by flood waters. At least 70,000 are homeless, according to reports.

The hurricane dropped 30 inches of rain and triggered a storm surge as high as 23 feet, leaving more than 13,000 homes damaged or destroyed, the Red Cross and government officials said. A video, which was shared widely, taken by a member of Parliament inside his home, shows dark water lapping against a second-story window 15-20 feet off the ground.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said in a press conference that although the storm targeted only a small section of the Bahamas, it still inflicted “generational devastation.”

According CNN, Joy Jibrilu, director-general of the Bahamas Tourism and Aviation ministry, estimates that “… hundreds, up to thousands, of people are still missing.” Bahamas’ Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands told Guardian Radio 96.9 FM, that body bags, additional morticians and refrigerated coolers to store bodies are
being transported to Abaco and other affected areas.

Four morticians in Abaco are embalming remains because officials have run out of coolers, he added.
“The public needs to prepare for unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering,” Sands said. “Make no bones about it, the numbers will be far higher. It is going to be significantly higher than that. And it’s just a matter of retrieving those bodies, making sure we understand how they died. It seems like we are splitting hairs, but not everyone who died, died in the storm.”

Back at Elbow Key, Chris Laville said the group took refuge in a laundry room after breaking a window to get in. While gaining entrance, he gashed his hand but ignored it as everyone tumbled inside. It wasn’t long before the floor above them began to fall into the storeroom so they all set off to find another safe space.

“I ran to the boss’s house and saw a boat parked in the room where he
was,” Laville said. His boss joined the group, which went to another house.
“We bent down low and reached the house, by the grace of God,” said Laville. “Amazingly, the door opened with a gentle kick. As soon as we got in, the wind slammed the door behind us.”

Laville said this particular house was on stilts.
“Actually the building moved four or five inches,” he said, referring to the wind’s power. “When the eye passed over, I went to look for food and snacks because we ran out of food and water. We slept with our clothes and shoes on because we were afraid that something else might happen while we slept.”

Although he didn’t think of the wound to his hand, or his having stepped
on a nail, Laville said his wife was concerned enough to encourage him to go to the Hopetown Fire Station. Surprisingly he said,
he received 12 stitches and was put on an emergency flight to Nassau to
receive additional medical care.

“It was a minor cut, but they opened it up and stitched the tendons,” he said. “My wife couldn’t come with me. She just said, “Honey, just go.’ I’m still worried about her because she’s there with people but still by herself. She was at the ferry station ‘til 4:45 p.m. and didn’t get on. I’m not feeling good, it’s not a good feeling at
all.”

After Dorian’s arrival, Kevin Seymour said, he spent the worst 48 hours of his life.
“My second daughter Keayshawn lives in Abaco. We lost track of her for two days. They got flooded out and had to find refuge somewhere else,” said, Seymour, director of health, safety and the environment for the Grand Bahama Power Company. “Not knowing – that was painful. It was the worst two days of my life. I last spoke to her on Sunday and told her she needed to go to Marsh Harbor which is higher ground. Good thing she didn’t go.”

As he and his family rode out the storm with no electricity but with adequate food and water, Seymour said the hurricane sounded like airplane engines revving on the tarmac. While the sound didn’t bother him, he said it really bothered his wife.
Corinne Laville, Chris’ aunt, said she’s most concerned about the trauma people have experienced and how that will affect them going forward. This hurricane offers yet another opportunity for the
government and Bahamians to self-correct, she said.

“I swear, if we don’t change our thinking … this is an opportunity to really do this right,” said Laville. “In Freeport people are taking care of one another. But in Abaco, Haitians have replaced White Abaconians as cheap labor while they stay on their yachts. We have to look at Haitian-Bahamian situation.”

Laville said a few thousand Haitians live in two shanty towns, one called
the Mudd, where the structures aren’t built to code and likely were not
able to withstand the powerful hurricane.

“We need to set standards on the islands,” she said. “And everything is too Nassau-centricity. That has to stop.”
She said humor has been one way for Bahamians to cope. For example,
people said Dorian couldn’t leave the Bahamas because it was too dark,
referring to the constant electrical blackouts caused by load-sharing.

Dr. Hunt said the Bahamas will rebuild. “Our beloved island of Grand Bahama took a pounding and there is a lot of hurting,” he wrote on Facebook. “My heart goes out to the families of those with loved ones who have lost their lives, several of who were well known to me. The destruction in Abaco was catastrophic and gut wrenching…I will be returning to Freeport shortly to do my part in trying to alleviate some of the suffering and help in the rebuilding of our Island. We in Grand Bahama have faced and conquered many obstacles that have been placed in our path. We will not be undone by Hurricane Dorian and we all will emerge from this collective experience stronger, wiser and more united.”

Greenetrack wins major victory for gaming in Greene County by recent decision of the Alabama Tax Tribunal

By: John Zippert, Co-Publisher

On August 29, 2019, Jeff Patterson, Chief Judge for the Alabama Tax Tribunal rendered a decision voiding over $75 million in sales taxes and $746.292 in consumer use taxes claimed by the State of Alabama against Greenetrack, Inc.
These taxes and interest were imposed by the State of Alabama after an audit for the period January 2004 to December 2008 and related solely to bingo operations at the taxpayer’s facility – Greenetrack.
Luther ‘Nat’ Winn, CEO of Greenetrack, in an interview with this reporter, said, “We are pleased that the Tax Tribunal, headed by a judge, appointed by Governor Kay Ivey, took an objective view of this matter and gave us a fair hearing on the law and the merits of our case.”
“This matter has been going on for over a decade and we are pleased to see it ended in our favor. Gov. Bob Riley conducted the original tax audit as part of his efforts to closedown Greenetrack and electronic bingo in Greene County,” added Winn
The thirteen page analysis and decision of the Alabama Tax Tribunal reviews the history of Greenetrack’s exemption from sales tax on gaming, starting with dog racing
and continuing to include simulcasting of dog and horse races as well as gaming through electronic bingo, which was the subject of the tax liability that was in dispute.
The original legislation, Act 1975-376, allowing dog racing at Greenetrack imposed various license fees and taxes by the Greene County Racing Commission, also included Section 16, which stated “the license fees, commissions and excise taxes imposed herein shall be in lieu of all license, excise and occupational taxes to the State of Alabama.”

Greenetrack relied on the exemption specified in Section 16 to cover all gaming activities including bingo, which has grown to be the largest part of its revenues.The Tax Tribunal also cites later tax legislation, passed by the Alabama Legislature in 1986, which imposed sales taxes on merchandise, food and beverages sold at dog racetracks within the state. This legislation imposed other occupational, income and ad valorem property taxes on dog tracks but specifically exempted sales tax on admissions and the wagering handle at these facilities.
The Tax Tribunal in its decision voiding the sales taxes imposed on bingo gaming in Greene County said that it was not a legislative body and could not “displace the legislature by amending statutes to make them express what we think the legislature should have done.”
At the end of his decision, Jeff Patterson, chief Judge of the Alabama Tax Tribunal, gives the State of Alabama thirty (30) days to appeal its decision to the Circuit Court. When asked if he expected the State of Alabama to appeal, Winn said, “I cannot speak for the State but I hope they will not appeal and have confidence in the decision of their Department of Revenue administrative judges.”
Knowledgeable observers of the bingo battles between the State of Alabama, Greenetrack and other bingo operators feel this is a great victory that could have imposed retroactive sales taxes on gaming in Greene County that would have closed down this tourist industry, which is providing jobs and fee revenues to government agencies, municipalities, education, healthcare and other services in the county.

School Board holds annual budget hearings, noting decline in student enrollment

The Greene County Board of Education held its annual public budget hearings September 5-6, 2019 as well as a called school board meeting on Sept. 5.
CSFO Lavanda Blair presented the details of the proposed budget noting the following: key factors affecting the budget; budget objectives; allocations expected from the State Department of Education and from the Federal Government.
She emphasized that the FY 2020 budget objectives include maintaining pupil/teacher ratios; controlling expenses and maintaining adequate fund reserves.
Ms. Blair noted that last year’s enrollment totaled 1,015.80. As of September 5, the system has enrolled 992. The average daily attendance during the first 20 days after Labor Day determines the basis for state allocations for the next school year. Dr. Jones explained that his office has an aggressive plan underway to locate students in the county who have not yet enrolled in school. He noted that Eutaw Primary has been successful in locating and enrolling all students who were eligible to continue in that program.
According to Ms. Blair, the Greene County School System has earned 70.38 units from the state for the current school year which is a loss of .91. In the previous year, units totals 71.29. The school system currently is 9.5 units above the state allocation. These units must be supported by local revenue.
Although the system is experiencing a slow decline in students, state and federal funds did increase in some categories. The Education Trust Fund (Foundation Program) funds increased by $3,758; transportation funds increased by $18,748.
New revenue sources for the system include the Star Academy Grant of $300,000 for Robert Brown Middle School; Anti-Bullying Grant of $2,916; and a Digital Tools for Teachers grant of $7,195. Superintendent Corey Jones indicated that the system is pursuing funds for support of the arts in the schools.
In the called board meeting on September 5, the board approved the following personnel items recommended by Superintendent Jones:

  • Transfer of location of Ms. Shayla McCray from the Learning Academy (Alternative School) to Greene County High School; Transfer of mrs. Robert Stewart from Learning Academy ( Alternative School ) to Robert Brown Middle School.
    Supplement contracts for Rhonda Cameron, Assistant Cheerleader Sponsor; Rachael Nickson, Assistant Cheerleader Sponsor.
    Administrative items approved by the board included: Contract between Greene County Board and Activate LLC; Contract between Greene County High School, Robert Brown Middle School and West Central Officials Association in Livingston, AL; Contract for school resource officers.

County prepares administratively for new gasoline tax

The Greene County Commission held its regular monthly meeting, Monday, September 9, 2019 and took official action on various items discussed at its work session held the previous Wednesday. With the new gasoline tax in effect this month, the commission approved adding two new special revenue funds as it related to the Rebuild Alabama Act. The commission authorized a resolution for bank depository for the new gasoline tax and authorized the chairman to sign all necessary documents.
The commission approved entering into an agreement with TG Earnest & Associates for a culture resource assessment for the bridge replacement on County Road 69, allowing the chairman to sign all necessary documents. At the previous work session, County Engineer Willie Branch advised the commission that expenditures would not exceed $3,500 for the project.
Also based on the engineer’s recommendation, the commission approved hiring one equipment operator and one part-time laborer.
The commission approved the contract with the Alabama Department of Youth Services. Veronica Evans, representing ADYS, made a presentation at the previous work session, detailing the services rendered to youth of Greene County and the related costs. Ms. Evans was requesting that the commission consider budgeting more resources for ADYS in the upcoming fiscal year.
The commission and a delegation from the Town of Forkland, agreed to pursue appropriate action for the sale of, or transfer of, the Forkland park from the county to the Town of Forkland.
Apparently, the park cannot be sold without authorization from ADECA. The county’s attorney was authorized to send the appropriate letters noting the county’s intent.
J & S Bartending, LLC was granted a special events ABD license by the commission.
Commissioner Roshanda Summerville reappointed Mrs. Glenda Hodges to the DHR Board from District 5; and Commissioner Tennyson Smith reappointed Steven Abrams to the E-011 Board from District 2.
The following travel requests were approved:

  • Judge of Probate and one clerk and Board of Registrars to Election Conference, October 30-31, 2019 in Tuscaloosa.
    Overview of County Government for Assistant Engineer on October 9-10, 2019 in Prattville, AL.
    The commission also approved payment of claims and various budget amendments.

Newswire: Robert G. Mugabe, post-Independence leader of Zimbabwe died

Robert G. Mugabe

Sep. 9, 2019 (GIN) – There are two sides to every story and the same could be said of the legacy of Zimbabwe’s first post-independence leader, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, who passed away Sept. 6 at the age of 95.

“Mugabe’s legacy will continue to be contested between those who revere him and those who revile him,” wrote lawyer and award-winning author Petina Gappah. “But what matters most now is how Zimbabwe’s new president handles that legacy.”

“From one viewpoint,” she wrote in a published opinion piece, “he is Zimbabwe’s founding father, the man who led his comrades through an armed struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe’s black majority from Rhodesian white-minority rule.

“His achievements in those early, heady years of independence were exemplary, with emphasis on health, education and women’s empowerment. This opened up possibilities to many Zimbabweans, particularly the rural poor, who were shut out from Rhodesia’s opportunities.

Yet from another viewpoint,” she continued, “he is the hero who became a villain, his 37-year rule characterized by massive human rights abuses, from the Gukurahundi massacres and persecution of supporters of the rival Zapu party of Joshua Nkomo just after independence, to the persecution of perceived enemies, both in the opposition and within his own party, whom he considered threats to his power.

“Even the land reform program,” she added, “much admired across Africa for restoring land to its rightful owners, was implemented amid chaos and violence.”

Among the many eulogies for the former president was one referencing Mugabe’s first wife, Sally. A “great feminist” who inspired many women’s rights activists around the world, she was secretary general of the Zanu-PF women’s league, founder of the Zimbabwe Child Survival Program and a backer of the pan-African consortium Akina Mama was Afrika. Born in Ghana’s Gold Coast, she fell in love with the future leader who was working there. She died in Harare in 1992.

Mugabe’s second wife, Grace Mugabe, had political ambitions but was better known for shopping trips in European capitals. After side-lining vice-president Joice Mujuru, she opposed Mugabe’s right hand man, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who ultimately ousted the president in a military coup.

Now there is reportedly a dispute over where Mr Mugabe will be buried. Some of his relatives want him to be buried at his rural homestead in the village of Kutama in Mashonaland West province. But government officials are pushing for burial at a shrine near Harare.

Most of Zimbabwe’s national heroes – those who fought against white-minority rule – are buried at the Heroes’ Acre shrine just outside of the city.