Greene County Commission and affiliated county agencies declare Coronavirus Emergency

Shown L to R: Commissioner Tennyson Smith, Iris Sermon of E911, Commissioner Lester Brown, Lorenzo French of Eutaw Housing Authority, Commissioner Allen Turner, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones, Dr. Marcia Pugh of Greene County Health Services, Commissioner Roshanda Summerville, Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele, LaTasha Johnson and Joe Lee Powell of the Eutaw City Council, Commissioner Corey Cockrell and Anita Lewis of the Housing Authority of Greene County.

The Greene County Commission held an emergency meeting last night at the William M. Branch Courthouse to discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Greene County. The Commission was concerned to bring its response to the virus in compliance with Federal and state directives to manage the crisis.
The Commission heard reports from county agencies and related county services on their responses to the pandemic.
At the end of the meeting, the County Commission approved a resolution giving Allen Turner, Chairperson of the Commission, discretionary authority to close or reduce the services and hours of service of County facilities and staff for the period from March 19 to April 19, 2020.
Brenda Burke, County Administrator, announced that the Greene County Courthouse would be closed this week on Thursday and Friday (March 19 and 20, 2020) for deep cleaning. She also said all court activities, license tag renewals; driver’s license tests would be suspended until April 16, 2020, with no late fees or penalties.
She indicated that the Greene County Courthouse would reopen next week for critical business but urged residents to postpone routine business until the emergency subsidizes and conduct business by phone or email in the interim period.
“We may have to open only for limited hours and stop people at the front door to be sure that they need to come through the building,” said Commissioner Turner.
They indicated that the offices in the Courthouse would be open and have staff to respond to problems and concerns. Prior to this morning’s announcement that the Republican Primary Runoff is postponed from March 31 to July 14, Turner said the Circuit Clerk would check the mail daily for absentee ballots and other correspondence relative to the election.
Superintendent Corey Jones of the Greene County Board of Education said the schools were out this week for Spring Break and that the Governor had closed the schools through April 6. “There is a strong possibility that the schools may be closed for the rest of the semester,” said Jones.
The Superintendent indicated that the teachers were preparing lessons and educational materials for the students to work on while they were at home. He also said that the Board of Education had received a waiver from the Federal government to continue to provide school breakfasts and lunches to the students. “We are working on a plan to provide nutritious food for our children, starting next week. This will include delivery of meals to selected sites around the county where it will be easier to distribute the food or have families to pick up the food from community centers, fire stations and other locations,” said Jones.
Dr. Marcia Pugh, Administrator of the Greene County Health System said the county’s critical health facilities would remain open. “We are restricting entrance to the facility to the front door, where we have a temperature check and a short survey of health symptoms to make sure that people who may have the coronavirus are not allowed access to our other patients and nursing home residents. We are not allowing visitors into the Nursing Home as a protection for the residents, however we have cell phones available for virtual ‘face-time’ visits, said Dr. Pugh.
Dr. Pugh also indicated that if you have ‘flu-like symptoms’ call ahead to make an appointment at the Greene County Physicians Clinic. “We can refer you for testing to the drive through testing at DCH in Tuscaloosa or Bryan-Whitfield Hospital in Demopolis, to help you,” she said.
Mayor Raymond Steele said the City Hall would be open to provide essential services to the city residents. “We closed the Carver School Gym and programs, use of the National Guard Armory but City Hall will be open and our staff will be ready to main the water, sewer and other essential services,” said Steele.
Iris Sermon with Greene County 911 urged people not to panic and work on maintaining social distance of at least 6 feet from other people to prevent spreading the virus. She also gave a toll free phone number: 1-888-264-2256, to get information on testing and testing sites.
Anita Lewis, Director of the Greene County Housing Authority, said she was keeping her office open to serve the residents of Branch Heights and King Village. “My greatest concern is for the welfare of the 344 children who live in these housing developments, making sure they are safe, getting nutritious food and engaging in meaningful learning activities, without congregating in large groups to fuel spreading the virus.
Lorenzo French, Chair of the Board of the City of Eutaw Housing Authority asked for help in securing hand sanitizer, wipes and other necessary supplies for residents.
Attending this meeting it was clear that although there are currently no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Greene County and 39 confirmed cases statewide that this is a growing problem that Greene County residents must be aware of and make plans to combat.

Sheriff distributes $349,814.79 for February from three bingo facilities

Shown L to R accepting bingo distributions: Union Councilwoman Louise Harkness; Martina Henley, representing the City of Eutaw; Kelsey Spencer, representing the Eutaw Housing Authority; James Morrow for the Greene County Golf Course; Sheriff Benison; Marylin Gibson for the Greene County Library; Earnestine Wade for Town of Boligee; Yolanda Young for DHR; Dr. Marcia Pugh CEO GC Health System and Forkland Mayor Charlie McAlpine.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department reported a total distribution of $349,814.79 for the month of February 2020 from three licensed bingo gaming operations in the county, including Frontier, River’s Edge and Palace. The Charities of Greenetrack, Inc. reported distributions to the various community entities separately from the sheriff.
The recipients of the February 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).
This distribution report includes the following Bingo Sub- Charities: Association of Volunteer Fire Departments, Greene County Golf Course, Poole Memorial Library, Children’s Policy Council, Greene County Housing Authority and Department of Human Resources.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $68,997 to the following: Greene County Commission, $18,342; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $20,250; City of Eutaw, $5,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $2,325; Greene County Board of Education, $6,300, Greene County Health System, $7,500. Frontier’s total distribution included $4,080 to six sub charities at $680 each.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $118,904.85 to the following: Greene County Commission $31,609.38; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $34,897.50; City of Eutaw, $9,564.50; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,006.75; Greene County Board of Education, $10,857, and the Greene County Health System, $12,925. River’s Edge total distribution included $7,301.22 to six sub charities at $1,171.87 each.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $161,912.94 to the following: Greene County Commission, 43,042.56; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $47,520; City of Eutaw, $13,024; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $5,456; Greene County Board of Education, $14,784 and the Greene County Health System, $17,600. Palace’s total distribution included $9,574.38 to six sub charities at $1,595.73 each.

Greene County IDA receives $238,915 grant from ADECA to improve port site in Crossroads of America Park

Governor Kay Ivey recently awarded $3.2 million in grants to improve commerce on Alabama inland waterways and help spur economic development throughout the state.
The governor awarded six grants under the state’s new Alabama Inland Port Infrastructure Program, including a grant of $238,915 to the Greene County Industrial Development Authority for improvement of the port site in Crossroads of America Industrial Park at Boligee. The grant includes funds for improving the port ramp on the Tombigbee River and signage in the Crossroads Park leading to the port site.
Among the current tenants of the Crossroads of America Park is the Eppco Fuel Terminal, which has river access to trans-ship petroleum products on the Tenn-Tom Waterway. The proposed new boat ramp would enhance the Greene County IDA’s port capacity along the Tombigbee River and Tenn-Tom Waterway.
These grants from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs are to increase waterway traffic and help industries dependent upon navigable water routes to ship finished products and import raw materials. The projects awarded range from installing simple signage to building warehouses.
“Alabama is blessed to have an abundance of water resources that from the very beginning of our history played a tremendous role in how people traveled and traded,” Gov. Ivey said. “Even in the 21st Century our state’s waterways are no less important. I am pleased to provide these grants to enhance Alabama’s inland ports.”
The program was established through $5 million in funding allocated by the Alabama Legislature in the 2019 regular session. Applicants are required to provide at least a 20 percent match, and projects must be completed within two years after the grant award.
An inland port is a port located along one of Alabama’s inland waterways that provides an inter-modal transportation hub.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants through its Energy Division.
“These grants will enhance the abilities of Alabama industries to ship their products to coastal U.S. ports and beyond,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is glad to be a part of this partnership.”
Those awarded grants are:
Florence-Lauderdale County Port Authority ($550,000) – Funds will be used to improve access to the Florence Port Harbor on the Tennessee River through a dredging project to stabilize water depth.
Decatur-Morgan County Port Authority ($888,090) – Funds will help construct a 30,375-square-foot warehouse at the Mallard-Fox Creek Port.
Birmingham-Jefferson County Port Authority ($840,000) – The grant will be allocated to constructing a 10,000-square-foot warehouse at the Lynn Port Terminal on the Black Warrior River.
Greene County Industrial Development Authority ($238,915) – Funds will be used to construct a loading ramp and install directional signs at the Crossroads of America Port and Park Project on the Tombigbee River.
Industrial Development Authority of Sumter County ($600,000) – The authority will use funds to improve infrastructure at the Port of Epes on the Tombigbee River and promote the port to other businesses.
City of Jackson Port Authority ($120,000) – Funds will be used to replace two barge towlines and winches at the port along the Tombigbee River.
ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim programs, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation.

Greenetrack issues charitable contributions for February

Shown L to R: Johnnie Knott, Woman to Woman Inc; Hodges Smith, Assoc. Volunteer Fire Department; Iris Sermon, E911 Communication Services

Eutaw, AL- Today, E-911 Communication Services, the Greene County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, and Woman to Woman, Inc., non-profit charities operating electronic bingo at Greenetrack in Eutaw, AL provided charitable contributions to a variety of local organizations, all benefitting Greene County residents.
According to Luther Winn, Greenetrack CEO, by giving to the organizations directly, the charities are taking a progressive approach to assist the community in areas where the need is most apparent.
The charities operating electronic bingo at Greenetrack are following the rules set forth by Sheriff Joe Benison but they have decided to provide the funds directly rather than through the Sheriff’s office.
Over seventy –one thousand dollars were divided and given to the following charities:
Greene County Board of Education ($13,500); Greene County Hospital ($7,500); Greene County Commission ($24,000); City of Eutaw ($4,500); City of Union ($3,000); City of Boligee ($3,000); City of Forkland ($3,000); and Greene County Ambulance Service ($9,000)
The following charities received $300: Greene County Nursing Home, SCORE, Greene County Golf Course, James C. Pool Memorial Library, Greene County Foster’s Adoptive Parents Association, PARA, Greene County Housing Authority Youth Involvement, Children’s Policy Council, Reach, Greene County DHR, Greene County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, and the Society of Folk Arts and Culture.

Greene County bingo distributes $425,814.57 for January 2020, including $24,857.58 to sub charities

Shown L to R accepting bingo distributions: Kathy Bir, for the City of Eutaw; James Morrow, for the Greene County Golf Course; Dr. Marcia Pugh CEO GC Health System; Jennifer Watkins for the Children’s Policy Council; Marylin Gibson for the Greene County Library; Anita Lewis for the Greene County Housing Authority; Sheriff Benison; Emma Jackson Bingo Clerk; Yolanda Young, for DHR; Lorenzo Thompson for Town of Union, Earnestine Wade for Town of Boligee, LaVonda Blair, Greene County Board of Education CFO; and Joe Tuck for the Town of Forkland. (not shown a representative from the Greene County Commission).

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department reported a total distribution of $425,814.57 for the month of January 2020 from four licensed bingo gaming operations in the county. The bingo distributions for January are contributed by Greenetrack, Inc., Frontier, River’s Edge and Palace.
Sheriff Benison announced a new bingo entity, the Raymond Austin Memorial Foundation for Rural Advancement & Development, Inc. will open in April/May.
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).
This distribution report includes the following Bingo Sub- Charities: Association of Volunteer Fire Departments, Greene County Golf Course, Poole Memorial Library, Children’s Policy Council, Greene County Housing Authority and Department of Human Resources.
Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $71,400 to the following: Greene County Commission, (no distribution); Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000 + $24,000 for undesignated recipient); 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.
Greenetrack’s total distribution included $3,900 to 13 sub charities at $300 each.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $68,997 to the following: Greene County Commission, $18,342; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $20,250; City of Eutaw, $5,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $2,325; Greene County Board of Education, $6,300, Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier’s total distribution included $4,080 to six sub charities at $680 each.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $123,504.63 to the following: Greene County Commission $32,832.18; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $36,247.50; City of Eutaw, $9,934.50; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,161.75; Greene County Board of Education, $11,277.00, and the Greene County Health System, $13,425.
River’s Edge total distribution included $7,303.20 to six sub charities at $1,217.20 each.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $161,912.94 to the following: Greene County Commission, 43,042.56; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $47,520; City of Eutaw, $13,024; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $5,456; Greene County Board of Education, $14,784 and the Greene County Health System, $17,600.
Palace’s total distribution included $9,574.38 to six sub charities at $1,595.73 each.

GCHS Boys Varsity are 3A Area 8 Champs, heading to Montgomery for the Sweet 16

Greene County High School Boys Varsity Basketball Team achieved 3A Area 8 Tournament Champions 2019-2020 in their win over Hale County High last week. The Tigers were victorious over Prattville Christian Academy, 58-50, Tuesday, Feb. 11 at GCHS which has advanced them to the Regional Sweet 16 beginning Monday, Feb. 17 in Montgomery. Team members shown above, following the Hale County win, include: Akeem Edmonds, NorDarrius Harris, Quanta Ball, Allen Pelt, FyShawn Burton, Joshua Merritt, Kentaye Levingston, Alex Williams, Lamon Pelt, Brandon Pack, Willie Davis, Tremaine Sanford, Tyler Naylon, Jonathan Merritt, and Desmond Wilson. Boys Varsity Coach, Rodney Wesley, is shown standing far right.

William “Coach” Morgan seeks re-election to Greene County Board of Education, District 3

I, William “Coach” Morgan, humbly announce my candidacy for re-election to the Greene County Board of Education – District three (3) in the March 3, 2020 Primary Election.
I am a native of Greene County. I am a graduate of Greene County Training School (later became Paramount High School). After high school, I attended Alabama State University in Montgomery, AL, and graduated with a degree in History. The following summer, I enrolled in the graduate school program at Alabama State and later received a Master of Education degree in Guidance and Counseling. Several years later, I attended the University of Alabama, and received AA certification in Administration.
I have faithfully served in the Greene County School System thirty-three (33) years and counting. I have served in many positions in the Greene County School System, proudly starting as a Social Studies teacher. Throughout my tenure in the Greene County School System, I have worked as a Junior High and High School Counselor, Assistant Principal, Principal, Head Girls Basketball Coach, School Bus Driver, Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach, Assistant Boys Baseball Coach, Head Girls Softball Coach, Assistant Football Coach and Head Football Coach on the High School level.
Upon retiring from the Greene County School System in 2011, I also had the opportunity to serve in the Kemper County School System in DeKalb, MS as a Social Studies Teacher and Head Girls Softball Coach. This was a great experience for me, nevertheless, I felt a greater passion to serve in a different capacity in Greene County. This passion led to me to seek the position as a member of the Greene County Board of Education.
I am asking for the support of the citizens of District 3 to re-elect me because there is greater work to be done. I will continue to serve you, make sound and fair decisions based on local and state school board policies, and to treat everyone with dignity. I am a firm believer that “the dignity and worth of each individual is supreme.” I am a man of Faith, Fairness, Honesty, and Integrity and “A man for all the people.”
I am married to the love of my life, Mildred Jolly Morgan. We have three children, Kimberly Harold-Graham, Precious Morgan-Hallman, and Major William O. Morgan. We are blessed to have two wonderful grandchildren, Omari and Khalil Hallman. I am a member of Pine Grove C.M.E. Church and serve as a member of the Steward Board.

Greene County schools enrollment up, but short of previous year

In his report to the school board on Monday, October 21, 2019, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones reported that the school system’s enrollment has increased to 1000, still short of the 1,056 enrolled by the same period in the previous school year. Enrollment by school is as follows: Eutaw Primary 346; Robert Brown Middle 355; Greene County High 299.
“ We are continuing to visit families and other community persons to encourage them to enroll their children in our Greene County schools. We have in place programs and instructional staff to provide quality educational experience for our students,” Dr. Jones stated.
According to Superintendent Jones, the STAR Program at Robert Brown Middle School has begun; instructors and staff have received initial training and the classrooms are re-designed for the innovative curriculum. He stated that an open house for the community will be announced very soon.
In his report, Dr. Jones stated that Eutaw Primary had the highest daily attendance for September with 95.77 % daily attendance, and would receive a school banner indicating the same. Robert Brown Middle School had 94.78 % daily attendance and Greene County High had 94.48% daily attendance. Dr. Jones stated that the Principals at the various schools will determine the individual student attendance awards.
Dr. Jones also gave updates on school plants maintenance. “Currently we have work orders out for maintenance and repair at Greene County High and the Career Center,” he said. Facility preservation award for the month of September will be given out this week. Jones pledged a complimentary lunch for the maintenance staff at the school earning the award.
The school board approved the following personnel items recommended by Superintendent Jones.

  • Employment: Tara Thomas – Long-Term Substitute Kindergarten Teacher, Eutaw Primary (until internship is completed); Kayla Gray – Science Teacher, Robert Brown Middle; Starr Christian – English Teacher Robert Brown Middle; William Wilkins – Bus Driver, Department of Transportation.
  • Supplemental Pay Raise: Lurena Smith, Football and Basketball Cheerleader Coach, Greene County High.
  • Supplemental Contracts (Separate Contracts): Jeffery Wesley – Assist. Basketball Coach, Greene County High; Havoline Carodine – 9th Grade Boys Basketball Coach, Greene County High.
  • 21st Century Community Learning Center: Janice Jeames – Teacher Robert Brown Middle School; Shirley Noland – Librarian, Eutaw Primary; David Peterson – Bus Driver; Carol Caruthers – Bus Driver.
  • Family Medical Leave: Josef Stancer, Band Director GCHS, effective October 9, 2019.
  • Maternity Leave: Lakeisha Johnson, effective October 28, 2019.
    Resignation: Jacqueline Carter – Science Teacher, Robert Brown Middle.
    The board approved the following administrative items recommended by the superintendent.
  • Travel Request: Green County High Debate Team – travel to Kennesaw State University, March 19-20, 2019; Greene County High Math Department – travel to Carowinds, April 24, 2020, sponsored by Mu Alpha Theta; Robert Brown Middle School teachers and staff attend Star Academy Summit in New Orleans.
  • Capital Plan – 2019-2020.
    *Change of Communication Vendor.
    *Payment of all bills, claims and payroll

Crowd gathers to watch GCH homecoming parade

September 30- October 4 was a week long celebration of homecoming activities for the Greene County School System from coronation, to wear you favorite team shirt, breast cancer awareness pink, mix match clothing, dance contest and an array of beautifully decorated floats, cheerleaders and marching band. Shown Above GCH Tiger’s preparing to pounce on the Hale County High School Wildcats.

GCHS Homecoming this week Greene County Tigers beat Sumter Jaguars, 27-18

By Joe L. Powell

Homecoming Schedule
Greene County High School
Thursday
Coronation: 6:00 pm
Bonfire: 7:00 pm
Friday
Parade: 4:00 pm
Game: 7:00 pm

EUTAW- The Greene County High School Tigers played host to the Sumter Central High School Jaguars in Tiger’s stadium on Friday night, September 27, 2019. The first quarter for both teams was well fought on defense as well as offense, neither team was able to score.
The second quarter action began with the Jaguars with a 35 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Derrick Hutchins to Jimmie Brown. The two point conversion rush attempt failed.
The Tigers refused to quit fighting, with 1:56 left before halftime, Tiger’s Devin Pearson rushed for a 55 yard touchdown. The PAT by Fyshawn Burton failed.
The Jaguars tried once again to score with 0:01 left on the clock to play with the ball on the Tiger’s 3 yard line, but the Tiger’s defense was too strong (Tigers 6-Jaguars 6).
After returning from halftime the action started with 10:36 left on the clock, Tiger’s Keterrian Spencer fumbled the ball, recovered by Ahmir Moore for the Jaguars. The Tiger’s defense refused to allow them to take advantage. Willie Davis for the Tigers sacked the Jaguar’s quarterback to helped set up a 55 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Roydricker Bullock to Katerrian Spencer with 8:08 left to play in the third quarter. The PAT was good by Devin Pearson. (Tigers 13-Jaguars 6).
During this same quarter the Jaguars returned the favor by scoring with a 55 yard touchdown pass from Jimmie Brown to Derrick Hutchins. The two point rushed attempt failed (Tigers 13-Jaguars 12).

The fourth quarter action started with the Jaguars still holding on in hope of a win. With 11:56 left in the game, Samuel Guyton rushed for a two yard touchdown for the Jaguars.
The two point conversion attempt failed (Tigers 13-Jaguars 18). During this same quarter the Tiger’s offense refused to accept being behind. With 8:41 left to play, Tiger’s quarterback Roydricker Bullock connected with Katerrian Spencer for a 25 yard touchdown pass and the PAT attempt was good by Devin Pearson (Tigers 20-Jaguars 12).
As the excitement of the fans from both teams continued, all eyes were on the two Simmons brothers, principals of both schools. You could see the Tiger’s principal/coach pacing up and down the sideline coaching, cheering and serving up water for his team. The clock continued to click down, the brothers, I can imagine, were wondering who would be victorious. Well Tiger’s principal could see, with 6:30 left in this well fought game, that his team would get the win, after Jahqualan Edwards for the Tigers intercepted a Jaguar’s pass to help his fellow teammates set up a 31 yard touchdown pass with 4:40 left to play from Roydricker Bullock to Jaylin Smith. The PAT attempt was good by Devin Pearson (Tigers 27-Jaguars 18).
Leading the Tiger’s offense were: NorDarius Harris with 161 yards (rushed); Roydricker Bullock with 159 yards (passing), and 84 yards (rushing); Katerrian Spencer with 108 yards (receiving). Leading the Tiger’s defense were: Devin Pearson 9 tackles; Tyler Jackson 7 tackles,; Willie Davis 7 tackles and 1 quarterback sack; Zikial Simmons 6 tackles, De’Quan Henderson 6 tackles and Derrick Allen 5 tackles.
The Tigers will celebrate Homecoming 2019 on October 4, 2019 at 7:00 P.M., against the Hale County High School Wildcats.

Weekly quote: “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”~~~ Anatole France