Mills Pharmacy holds grand opening

Mills Pharmacy held its ribbon cutting ceremony July 22, 2018. Shown above Mills Pharmacy owner Robert Mills and Raymond Steele Mayor of Eutaw surrounded by employees. The community came out to celebrate and support the new business. Everyone enjoyed free hot dogs, inflatable games, face painting, snow cones and ballon animals. Store hours: Monday – Friday 9:00a.m. to- 6:00 p.m. Saturday 10a.m. – 2:00p.m. Fun was had by young and old.

County Commission agrees to opt-in PILT Class Action Lawsuit

At its regular meeting held Monday, July 9, 2018, the Greene County Commission approved joining the Payment In-Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Class Action Law Suit and authorized Chairman Tennyson Smith to sign all necessary documents. This law suit relates to payments due to a local government for federal lands within its borders. The U.S. Government does not pay taxes on land it owns in a county, therefore, Congress passed a law mandating the federal government to make substitute payments in lieu of taxes.
The statue explains the following: “PILT payments provide compensation to certain units of local government within whose borders lie lands that are owned by the federal government and which are therefore immune to state and local taxation. The statute sets forth specific formulas to calculate the amount of the payment that each eligible unit of local government will receive.”
Due to insufficient appropriations for 2015–2017, PILT recipients did not receive the full amount to which they were entitled under the PILT statute based on the Department of the Interior’s full payment calculation.
As a result, Kane County, Utah filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in June 2017, seeking to recover its own underpayments and the underpayments of all other PILT recipients nationwide for the period 2015 -2017.
To participate in the class action lawsuit and collect possible amounts due them, each underpaid PILT recipient had to complete and submit a form “opting into” the lawsuit. If a county does not elect to join the class, they will not be included in the class action lawsuit—and will not receive any recovered funds. Counties will have until mid-September to opt into the class.
In other business the County Commission approved Commissioner Allen Turner’s re-appointment of Ms. Shirley Scott Isaac to the Greene County Health Services Board for District 3, as well as Commissioner Corey Cockrell’s appointment of Jonathan Woodruff to the E-911 Board for District 3. Commissioner Smith did not have an appointment from District 2 to the E-911 Board.
The commission also took action on the following:
* Approved Gas Tax Revenue Enhancement Agreement, authorizing chairman to sign all necessary documents.
* Approved Chairman Smith’s appointment to the Association of County Commissioners Legislative Committee.
* Approved budget amendments and payment of claims.
* Approved travel for one employee to the Alabama Association of Assessing Officials conference in Orange Beach, August 7-10, 2018.
Bank balances as of June 18, 2018, reported by the CFO Paula Bird, were as follows:
Citizen Trust bank – $2,610,588.56; Merchants & Farmers Bank – $4,677341.42; investment funds in CD’s – $806,571.43; Bank of New York – $918,088.04.

School board hires principal for Greene County High School

At its recent meeting held Monday, July 9, 2018, on the recommendation of Dr. James H. Carter, School Superintendent, the Greene County Board of Education voted unanimously to hire Willie S. Simmons, of Birmingham, AL, as Principal of Greene County High School. Simmons will vacate the position of Assistant Principal at Center Point High School, a role he has held since 2006.
Other Greene County High personnel approved by the board included the following: Wesley Russell, a 2017 graduate of the University of Alabama was hired as Mathematics Teacher; Josef Stancer, as Music Teacher / Band Director for GCHS and Robert Brown Middle School.
The board approved the following additional personnel for Robert Brown Middle School:
Yvonne Turner as Special Education Teacher; Demillia Snyder as Science Teacher; Tyrecia Mack as Elementary Teacher and Josef Stancer, as Music Teacher.
Additional personnel approved for Eutaw Primary School include the following: Gwendolyn Webb, Pre-K Aide; Danielle Sanders as 1st Grade Teacher; Courtney Williams as 1st Grade Teacher and Chandra Toney as 3rd Grade Teacher.
Joseph Patrick was approved as Lead Teacher at the Greene County Learning Academy.
The board accepted the Non-Acceptance of Position by Kianga Austin.
Additional Service Contracts (separate contracts) were approved for the following:
Joseph Patrick as Assistant Football Coach (GCHS); Russell Rivers as Assistant Football Coach (GCHS); Justin Booth as Head Baseball Coach (GCHS); Fentress Means as Assistant Baseball Coach (GCHS); Danielle Sanders as Head Girls Basketball Coach (GCHS); SuKova Hicks as Assistant Girls Basketball Coach (GCHS).
The school board also approved the purchase of two 72 – passenger school buses for the school system’s Department of Transportation at an investment of $170,494.

Newswire : Ethiopian dam threatens destruction of World Heritage Site

 

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Hippopotamuses – among the many species affected by the threat to Lake Turkana, says the UN.

(TriceEdneyWire.com/GIN) – Lake Turkana, the reputed birthplace of mankind, has been designated an endangered environmental hotspot by a UNESCO panel.
Currently designated a World Heritage Site, Kenya’s Lake Turkana stands among such treasures as the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China.

It’s the world’s largest desert lake, a spectacular site whose fossil finds have contributed more to the understanding of human ancestry than any other site in the world.

But the environmental group International Rivers warns that Ethiopia’s Gibe III Dam and expansion of large, irrigated plantations in the Lower Omo basin threaten food security and local economies that support more than half a million people in southwest Ethiopia and along the shores of Kenya’s Lake Turkana.

“Construction on the dam began in 2006 with flagrant violations of Ethiopia’s own laws on environmental protection and procurement practices, and the national constitution,” the Oakland, California-based group wrote. “The project’s US$1.7 billion contract was awarded without competition to Italian construction giant Salini, raising serious questions about the project’s integrity.”

In February 2015, the filling of the dam’s reservoir began. The same year in October, Gibe III began generating electricity.

The Rivers group continued: “Project impact assessments were published long after construction began and disregard the project’s most serious consequences. Despite the huge impacts on vulnerable people and ecosystems, NGOs and academics in Ethiopia familiar with the region and the project don’t dare speak out for fear they will be shut down by the government.”

The Committee mentioned other changes affecting the hydrology of the Lake Turkana Basin, namely the Kuraz Sugar Development Project, and the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSETT) Corridor Project.

The List of World Heritage in Danger is designed to inform the international community of conditions threatening the very characteristics for which a property has been inscribed on the World Heritage List and to encourage corrective measures.

The 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee continues until July 4.

Annual Black Belt Folk Roots Festival, time for reunions, good food and music

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Lemon Harper of Sumter County shows off his dance routine at Annual Festival.  and John Kennedy Byrd prepares his famous Barbecue ribs at annual festival

Where else can you smile and sway to ole timey blues, enjoy the delicacies of right-off-the grill barbecue and polish sausages, feast on freshly cooked country dinners with assorted pies and cakes and then top it all off with hand churned homemade ice cream.
All this and more is happening at the annual Black Belt Folk Roots Festival on Saturday, August 25 and Sunday August 26 on the Old Courthouse Square in Eutaw, AL.
The festival features down home blues music, old timey gospel, traditional foods, handmade crafts. Saturday’s events are scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with Ole Timey Blues and dancing featuring musicians Clarence Davis, The Liberators, Jock Webb, Davey Williams, Russell Gulley, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, and others.
The handmade crafts available at the festival are traditional quilts and other needle works; baskets from white oak, pine needles and corn shucks. The assortments of down-home foods include soul food dinners, barbecue, fried fish, chicken and skins, homemade ice cream, cakes and pies; snow cones, Italian ice, and more.
Ole Timey Gospel is reserved for Sunday’s festival beginning at 2:00 p.m. and featuring the
The Echo Juniors, The Melody Kings, The Mississippi Traveling Stars, The Golden Gates, New Generation Men of Promise, Greene County Mass Choir, Glory Gospel Group, Angels of Faith, The American Gospel Singers and many others.

“The Black Belt Folk Roots Festival is home coming time in the region. Many families, class reunions and social clubs plan their annual activities to coincide with the festival’s schedule,” stated Dr. Carol P. Zippert, festival coordinator. “The festival brings together musicians, craftspersons, storytellers, food specialists, community workers – all who are considered bearers of the traditions and folkways of the West Alabama region,” she explained. “This is a festival where people truly celebrate themselves – their joys and struggles and especially ‘How we made it over,’” Zippert states.
According to Dr. Zippert, the two day festival is open to the public free of charge. The hours are Saturday, August 25, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday August 26, 2:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m.
The Black Belt Folk Roots Festival is supported in part by the Black Belt Community Foundation, Alabama Power Foundation, Alabama Department of Tourism and other local contributors.
The festival is produced by the Society of Folk Arts & Culture.
There is no admission fee for the Festival events.
For more information contact Carol P. Zippert at 205-372-0525;
Email: carolxzippert@aol.com

Birmingham ‘Families Belong Together Rally’ attracts 2000 to protest Trump’s immigration policies

Poor Peoples Camp

The ‘Families Belong Together Rally’ in Birmingham was held Saturday afternoon, June 23, 2018, in historic Kelly Ingram Park, where most of the Civil Rights demonstrations were staged in the 1960’s. The rally attracted over 2000 people and was organized to protest President Trump’s immigration policies separating and detaining families seeking asylum on our southern border.
The Birmingham rally was one of 700 held nationwide to show the widespread scope and depth of opposition to the President’s unjust immigration policies. Larger rallies were held throughout the day in major cities. Several other rallies were held in Alabama as well on Saturday.
The Birmingham rally was sponsored by Move-on, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ), Adelante Worker Center, Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Children’s Policy Council of Alabama and other groups.
Carlos Aleman, Deputy Director of HICA, moderated the program and said, “We must use our voices and our votes to counteract the inhumane immigration policies of the Trump Administration on our borders but also here in Alabama. This past week, Hispanic workers in Alabaster were detained on their way to work.”
Fernanda Herra, a DACA recipient, spoke for AICJ saying,
“There are more than 2000 lost children, separated from their parents. There is no plan to re-unite these children with their families. We must make a change and have a better immigration system. We need a fair system of immigration for all colors, faiths and wealth status of people wanting to come to this country.”

Dr. Morissa Ladinsky, a pediatrician with UAB Children’s Hospital, said, “ As a doctor serving children, I must speak out against these policies which separate children from their parents. These policies will have adverse effects lasting beyond childhood. Seeking asylum is not a crime but inducing toxic fears of deportation seems criminal.”
“As a pediatrician and one of 250,000 members of the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are several things, we must say: 1. All of our children need to be united with their parents; 2. Families need to heal in a community based setting not a detention center; and 3. it costs $36 a day to provide lawyers to assist asylum seekers in a community setting and $360/day to keep them in detention, so it is more economical and beneficial to keep families together in a humane community setting,” said Dr. Ladinsky.
Ali Massoud of Birmingham CAIR spoke out against the Muslim travel ban that Trump is imposing on several mid-eastern Muslim countries. “This is a Muslim ban, this is a ban against people of a specific religious faith. We must resist this Administration with our ballots, bodies and beliefs. We all of us – Muslims, people of color, immigrants, LBGTQ – must remain visible and fighting to counter Trump.”
Massoud concluded with a verse from the Koran, “ When I have fear, I do not have God, and when I have God, I do not have fear,.”
One man in the crowd held a sign that said, “Keep the kids – Deport the racists! “
Carlos Ramos of the ‘Shut-down Etowah Detention Center’ Organization testified that his group was working to close the notorious detention center in Etowah County, near Gadsden, which is a privately run center to house undocumented immigrants.
Ramos said the food at the center is so bad, many of the detainees are starving and lack proper nutrition and health care causing some of the inmates to die. Ramos called for people of good will from all around the state to come to Etowah County and help close down the detention center.
Aleman closed the program with a rousing call for people to register to vote and to vote on July 17 in the runoff and again on November 6, 2018 in the General Election to bring changes to Alabama and Washington, D. C.

ADECA awards $400,000 grant to City of Eutaw for sewage connection to Love’s Truck Stop site at Exit 40 on Interstate 20/59

The Alabama Department Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) has awarded a $400,000 grant that will help bring a new rest-stop option to travelers along Interstate 20/59 in Greene County and create new jobs in the process.
The City of Eutaw will use the Community Development Block Grant to extend sewer service to an area on Alabama Highway 14 at exit 40 off Interstate 20/59. The sewer extension will provide the groundwork for a new location of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores. Love’s expects the new location to create 43 jobs.
“Job creation continues to be a priority of my administration, especially in rural Alabama,” said Governor Ivey in making the grant. “I am pleased to support this project which will bring additional jobs and economic growth to the city of Eutaw and the surrounding area.”
The project will include installation of about 6,000 feet of sewer line, eight manholes and related sewer components. The total project cost is $872,425. Along with the CDBG award, the city is providing $100,000 in local funding and $372,425 in funding from the Delta Regional Authority to supplement the grant.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ADECA also manages the Delta Regional Authority program in Alabama.
Mayor Raymond Steele of Eutaw, said, “ We are grateful to ADECA for supporting an extension of our sewage line to Exit 40. This will bring us another step closer to opening a Love’s Truck Stop in our community to provide jobs and revenues for our city.”
“The Governor understands the importance of economic growth to our state, especially job-growth impact in rural areas,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join this partnership to create new economic activity in the city of Eutaw.”
ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation development.

Newswire: 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment that declared Blacks U.S. citizens

By Frederick H. Lowe
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from NorthStarNewsToday.com

(TriceEdneyWire.com) — July 9 marks the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting American citizenship to former Black slaves following the Civil War.
The 14th Amendment, one of the Reconstruction Amendments, was adopted on July 9, 1868, after being bitterly opposed by states that were former members of the Confederacy. The states were forced to ratify the amendment to regain representation in Congress.
The amendment’s Citizenship Clause nullified the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1857 decision concerning Dred Scott v. Sanford, which the court ruled that Americans who descended from African slaves could not be United States citizens.
The Amendment also prohibits states from denying persons equal protection of the laws or depriving them of life, liberty or property without due process of the law. The first section of the Amendment is the most-litigated forming the basis of U.S. Supreme Court decisions such as 1954’s Brown v Board of Education and Roe v. Wade in 1973.
The Reconstruction Amendments are the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution
They were adopted between 1865 and 1870, the five years immediately following the Civil War. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery and the 15th Amendment made it illegal to deny individuals the right to vote because of their race.
In the South, the 14th Amendment made one of its biggest legal impacts.
Members of the Klu Klux Klan in cahoots with a sheriff’s deputy shot to death civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner and buried their bodies in an earthen dam in Nashoba County, Mississippi. The murders occurred in 1964. While the FBI hunted for Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner, they found the remains of eight other Black men who the Klu Klux Klan had murdered. Only two of the Black men were identified.
U.S. District Court Judge William Harold Cox, a known segregationist, who sat on the court in the Southern District of Mississippi, dismissed 241 charges against the 18 alleged killers. Cox, who was appointed a federal judge by President John F. Kennedy, ruled that Sections 241 (conspiracy against rights) and 242 (deprivation under color of law) of the federal code were enacted to protect federal rights not the rights given by states to their citizens.
The case then went to the U.S. Supreme Court. In majority opinion written by Associate Justice Abe Fortas, he ruled that the indictment against the mob must stand because they denied Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney due process guaranteed under 14th Amendment.
A jury found eight members of Klu Klux Klan guilty of the murders. This was the first case in which whites who participated in what the law described as a lynching were convicted and sentenced to prison.
This article originally published in the June 25, 2018 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

Greene County District Association Youth Division hosts Walk-A-Thon

 

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Pictured above are coordinators, friends, and youth of the Greene County District Association – Youth Division who participated in the 10K Mile Walk from Eutaw to Boligee on Saturday, June 16, 2018 (Father’s Day Walk), as well as members of the Boligee Town Council and the Sheriff Department. The participants, ages range from fourteen (14) years old to eighty (80) plus.
Members of the Sheriff’s Department (Lieutenant Jeremy Rancher and Officer Elston Carpenter) served as escorts. The Boligee Town Council had an elaborate brunch prepared at the end of the Walk-A-Thon.
Following the Walk-A-Thon, most of the participants journeyed to Cincinnati, OH and back to Williamstown, KY in order to tour the “Ark Encounter”, an exact replica of Noah’s Ark.

Newswire: School once named after Confederate general to be renamed for Barack Obama

By Associated Press

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia city is rebranding its only school named after a Confederate general to honor the United States’ first Black president.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the Richmond School Board voted 6-1 Monday to rename J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School to Barack Obama Elementary School. Kenya Gibson represents the school on the board and was the lone dissenting vote. Gibson wanted the vote to be delayed and said there was a lack of local names included in the administrations rebranding recommendations.
The Richmond City School Board revealed the top three possible names Monday night. Northside, Barack Obama and Wishtree took the majority of votes from the students, knocking aside suggestions like John Adams Elementary and Jackie Robinson Elementary. The board estimates it will cost about $26,000 to rename the school.