School Board finalizes new principals’ contracts; hires Career Center Director

The Greene County Board of Education met in its regular session Monday, December 20, 2021 with three board members constituting the quorum, Leo Branch, Veronica Richardson and Carol Zippert.
In the personnel actions recommended by Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones, the board approved the employment of Ms. Brittany Harris as Principal of Eutaw Primary School as well as her one year probationary contract, effective January 1, 2022.
At its November 15, 2021 meeting, the board approved Ms. Andrea Perry as Principal of Greene County High School, effective November 1, 2021, following the resignation of former Principal Willie Simmons, and, subsequently, at Monday’s meeting, approved Perry’s one year probationary contract, effective November 1, 2021.
On the recommendation of the superintendent, the board approved the employment of Teresa Atkins as Director of the Greene County Career Center, effective January 1, 2022.
Nyesha Watson was hired as Pre-K Teacher at Eutaw Primary School for the 2021-2022 school year.
The board approved the voluntary transfer of Dencer Hall from Maintenance Helper to Full-Time Maintenance Employee.
The board accepted the resignation of School Nurse, Deidre Paige-Hall, effective December 31, 2021.
The following administrative items recommended by the superintendent were approved by the board.
* Service Authorization Fee Agreement between Greene County Board and Links 2 Learning, Linking Pivotal Services for Learning.
* Proposed Salary Schedule for Maintenance, School Custodial Workers, and Instructional Substitutes.
* Field Trip Request for Greene County High School, to travel to LaGrange, Georgia, April 14, 2022, for end of year success for Math Excellence.
* Greene County High School Boys Basketball Team to travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee for basketball tournament December 16-19, 2021.
Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
Fuel Award for the 2021-2022 school year to Pruett Oil (only bidder).
Approval of Tuesday, December 21, 2021 as alternate day for Friday June 18, 2021, relative to Juneteenth National and State Holiday. Employees were approved for a 4-day work week (summer plan) and had completed the time requirements to satisfy the week prior to the proclamation. On June 17, 2021, Gov. Kay Ivey issued a proclamation declaring Friday, June 18, 2021 a state holiday to commemorate Juneteenth, a new federal holiday that falls on the 19th of every June.
In his abbreviated report to the board, Dr. Jones noted that positive COVID-19 cases reported in Greene County had risen to 3.8% out of 105 tested in the previous seven days. He stated that the system is prepared for online classes if the situation warrants returning to virtual instruction. “We have the technology in place; we will just have to adjust delivery of instructional plans and materials,” he said.
Jones said the system is also planning to return to virtual Town Hall Meetings to encourage our community to get vaccinated.

COVID-19

As of December 20, 2021, at 10:00 AM
(according to Alabama Political Reporter)

Alabama had 858,396 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(6,446) more than last week with 16,353 deaths (88) more
than last week)

Greene County had 1,313 confirmed cases, (2 more cases than last week), with 45 deaths

Sumter Co. had 1,412 cases with 42 deaths

Hale Co. had 3,233 cases with 89 deaths

Note: Greene County Physicians Clinic has testing and vaccination for COVID-19; Call for appointments at 205/372-3388, Ext. 142; ages 18 and up.

Newswire: Alabama’s Bryce Young becomes first quarterback in team history to win the Heisman

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent


Bryce Young isn’t even eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft, but his gridiron achievements certainly are pro-worthy.

The Alabama quarterback became the fifth sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, college football’s most outstanding player award.

Young, 20, also becomes the first Crimson Tide quarterback to win the Heisman, and it marks the second consecutive year an Alabama player has won the award.

“I’ve always been labeled as someone who’s not the prototype, being an African-American quarterback and being quote-unquote undersized and not being that prototype, I’ve always been ruled out and counted out,” Young stated during his acceptance speech.

The six feet and 194-pound field general has thrown for more than 4,300 yards this season with a 68 percent completion rate.

During the 2021 season, Young has passed for 43 touchdowns with just four interceptions, and he enjoys a 175.5 passer rating.

“People a lot of times have told me that I wasn’t going to be able to make it,” Young exclaimed.
“And for me, it’s always been about not really proving them wrong but proving to myself what I can accomplish. So, I’ve always pushed myself to work the hardest, and I try my best to do all I can to maximize all that I can do. And thanks to the people around me and through the grace of God, I’ve been able to make it here, and I’m truly grateful for that.”

Young led the Crimson Tide to a 12-1 record, including an explosive 41-24 victory over then No. 1 ranked Georgia in the SEC Championship.

Young broke the single game passing record, 559 yards against No. 22 Arkansas, and shattered SEC Championship record for total offense and passing yards after going 26 of 44 for 421 yards and three touchdowns during his first year as a starter.

Bryce is the 8th African American quarterback to win the award. Andre Ward was the first in 1989. Since 2010, 6 of the 10 quarterbacks selected to win the Heisman are African American.
Tim Tebow (Florida 2007), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma 2008), Mark Ingram Jr. (Alabama 2009), and Lamar Jackson (Louisville 2016) are the only other sophomores to win the Heisman in the award’s 86-year history.

Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M 2012), and Jameis Winston (Florida State 2013), are the only freshmen to win the award.

“The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) profoundly congratulates Bryce Young, the African American star quarterback of the University of Alabama, for winning the Heisman Trophy,” NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., stated.

“Young’s outstanding achievement on the football field epitomizes the genius and excellent talent of African American athletes in all sports,” Dr. Chavis declared.

Newswire: Letitia James drops out of New York’s Gov. race, seeks Trump prosecution


By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

In a political stunner, New York State Attorney General Letitia James has dropped out of the race for governor, upending the campaign and possibly solidifying Gov. Kathy Hochul as the Democratic front-runner.

“I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general,” James, the Howard University School of Law graduate, wrote on Twitter. “There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job,” James, 63, continued.
“I am running for re-election to complete the work New Yorkers elected me to do,” she concluded.

That work includes the ongoing investigation into former President Donald Trump.
On Thursday, December 9, reports surfaced that James wants to question Trump under oath in a civil fraud investigation.

James’ office also has partnered with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in a criminal investigation of Trump where the former president could face indictment in the Big Apple.
It’s alleged that the Trump organization engaged in criminal fraud activity by intentionally submitting false property values to potential lenders.

Trump’s lawyers have sought to block any attempts by James and Vance to depose the Republican.

Greene County School System’s CSFO begins duties

Marquita Lennon


The Greene County Board of Education hired Ms. Marquita Lennon as the system’s Chief School Financial Officer at its call board meeting November 22, 2021. Ms. Lennon assumed her official duties as CSFO on December 13, 2021.

In Her Words

I have over ten years of experience in financial and budget analysis as a Public Utility Analyst with the Alabama Public Service Commission. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business Administration from Auburn University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia Southern University. I am a devoted wife of 11 years and the proud mother of 3 children 4, 7, and 9 years old. My father is the Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Opelika, AL and my father-in-law is the Pastor of 1st Holy Ground Temple in Ozark, AL.

Legislative Re-districting changes districts that involve Greene County

Alabama House District showing District 72 which include all of Greene County

The Alabama Legislature, in its November Special Session, adopted a new redistricting plan for State Senate and State House of Representatives, reflecting changes in the population from the 2020 Census.

The new legislative districts are required to be equal in population with a deviation of no more than five per cent. The 2020 U. S. Census showed Alabama with 5,030,053 people. Ideally each Alabama House district should represent 47,905 people and each Alabama Senate district should represent 143,716.

Greene County was divided into two Alabama House districts in 2010 – districts 71 represented by A.J. McCampbell and district 72 represented by Ron Howard. For elections beginning with the May 24, 2022 primaries, all of Greene County will be in House District 72. House District 72 will include all of Greene, Hale and a part of Bibb and Tuscaloosa.

Representative A. J. McCampbell, who is a native of Greene County and represented a portion of the county in the past, will now represent a part of his home in Marengo, all of Sumter and parts of Pickens and Tuscaloosa counties.

Greene County will remain a part of Alabama Senate District 24, which includes all of Greene, Hale, Sumter, Marengo and Choctaw counties and a part of southern and western Tuscaloosa County. Senator Bobby Singleton currently represents District 24.

The Montgomery Advertiser says, “On paper, the maps appear to protect Republican supermajorities in state government. Republicans hold six of seven congressional seats; six of eight state school board seats; 77 of 105 House seats and 27 of 35 Senate seats. None of the congressional districts appear to be competitive, though a handful of legislative districts, most notably in Madison County, could be.”
Several lawsuits have been filed against the Congressional district redistricting plan but the state legislative redistricting plans have not been challenged.

 

COVID19

As of December 11, 2021, at 10:00 AM
(according to Alabama Political Reporter)

Alabama had 851,950 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(2,541) more than last week with 16,265 deaths (146) more
than last week)

Greene County had 1,311 confirmed cases, (3 more cases than last week), with 45 deaths

Sumter Co. had 1,405 cases with 41 deaths

Hale Co. had 3,212 cases with 89 deaths

Note: Greene County Physicians Clinic has testing and vaccination for COVID-19; Call for appointments at 205/372-3388, Ext. 142; ages 18 and up.

 

 

Newswire: Drive Electric Alabama launched to educate state about electric vehicles

ADECA campaign will raise awareness of and advocate for adoption of EVs
By Business Alabama Staff

The initiative was launched Monday at a gathering on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“As automakers make significant investments in electric vehicles, we know more and more motorists will consider purchasing one,” Gov. Kay Ivey said at the launch. “In addition, automobile manufacturing is one of Alabama’s key industries, and we want to make sure that this economic engine remains vibrant for Alabama’s workers. That’s why I’m pleased Alabama is launching this education and marketing program that will help all Alabamians learn more about EVs.”
The campaign will include TV, radio and digital advertising, as well as billboards and events.
Drive Electric Alabama also boasts a coalition of supporters, including Alabama Power, the Energy Institute of Alabama, the Alabama State Department of Commerce, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Alabama Transportation Institute and the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition.

Ribbon Cutting for Home Health Care Services at Greene County Health Services

Friday, December 3, 2021, a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held for Mercy & Grace Home Health Care Service to be housed at the Greene County Physician Clinic, a part of the Greene County Health System (GCHS).

Dr. Marcia Pugh, CEO of Greene County Health System, welcomed the Mercy & Grace Home Health program, as part of the GCHS. “We had been planning to revive this service and we are now able to do this under an agreement with Mercy and Grace to provide these needed services which are part of the healing process for our patients, “said Pugh.

Carrie Logan, President of the Eutaw Area Chamber of Commerce, was on hand to deliver words of welcome, for a new business.

Janie Williams, CEO/NLP /CFO, stated, “We are here to service the Black Belt area including Greene, Sumter, Perry, Bibb, Hale, Fayette, Pickens and Tuscaloosa. We were founded for the purpose of providing professional, reliable home health services to West Alabama. Our goal is to make sure families always have a reliable option for at- home nursing and personal support.” 

    Williams explained that when faced with illness, it’s not surprising that a majority of patients would much rather receive care at home. No matter the circumstances that may require home health care, whether it is a recent diagnosis, ongoing therapy or physical rehabilitation, or a declining medical condition, being at home, surrounded by family, is a benefit to not only the client, but the family caregiver as well. 

    Home Health Care Services include experienced help around the home to improve safety, health, comfort, and convenience, meal preparation, cleaning, laundry, making beds, dishes, changing light bulbs and taking out the trash and other home services our clients want. Personal aides provide health-related personal assistance. They are qualified to provide hands on care.

    Other Home Health Care Services provided by Mercy & Grace may include the following:
•Medication reminders, •Adherence to health-related diets such as a diabetes diet, •health monitoring, •Skin care, •Mobility assistance, •bathing assistance, •dressing, grooming and feeding. 
•Personal attendants for socialization, mental alertness, supervision, and safety.
•Help with remotes, help with communication such as getting the mail, writing letters, email, and social media, computers and other devices. 
•Help with hobbies such as scrapbooking, collections, indoor plants, journals, etc.
•Supervision when there is a chance of wandering or self-injury,
• Private Duty Nursing, Skilled Medical care from a nurse giving you personal attention in the comfort of home.
•Medication reconciliation and medication management. •Giving shots and other medication administration, •home infusion nursing, •wound care such as for pressure ulcers, • observation and assessment, •post-surgical care.
•Assistance away from Home – running errands and shopping for clients. 
•Aides accompany clients during outings to make sure everything goes smoothly. 
*Nurses can accompany clients to doctor’s visits to help make sure important information is received, communicated to family members as per client wishes, and followed up on. 
•We even provide personal attendant services for clients in the hospital or nursing home. 

If you wish to use the services of Mercy & Grace Home Health, you must advise your doctor that
You are requesting their services. Mercy & Grace, Inc. will be ready to help. For additional information you can contact them at: 205-737-7744.

Eutaw City Council receives reports on finances, sales tax collection and Water Department

At its regular meeting on November 23, 2021, the Eutaw City Council received reports in its budget, bank accounts, sales tax collections and the Water Department.

Two Council members were absent – LaJeffrey Carpenter and Tracy Hunter – but a quorum was present which allowed the meeting to proceed.

Based on recommendations from their Financial Adviser, Ralph Liverman, the Council reviewed and approved several bank resolutions to close several certificates of deposit and place checking accounts into money market accounts, which will earn interest on surplus funds on deposit in these bank accounts.

Liverman also presented a detailed report on the opening balances in all city banking and operational accounts as of the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2021.

The most interesting report that Liverman furnished was a record of sales tax and motor fuel revenues received by the City of Eutaw over the past three fiscal years, which shows the impact of the Love’s Travel Center in significantly increasing the tax revenues paid to the City of Eutaw.

A chart summarizing this information is included in this news report. The chart shows revenues for the three fiscal years, FY2018-2019, which was the year before Love’s opened for business, FY 2019-2020, which includes the first eleven months of Love’s operation and FY 2020-2021, which includes a full year of the truck stop and travel center operations.

The chart shows an increase of sales taxes from $530,962 before Love’s, to $772,756 for last year, which was a full year of operation for the travel center. This is an increase of $ 241,794 or 31%

The fuel tax increase, which is based on 3 cents per gallon, increased from $54,798 to $472,377, which is an astounding increase of
$ 417,574 or 762%.

Overall sales tax and motor fuel revenues increased from $692,730 to $1,515,045, which was an increase of $822,315 or 119%. On a monthly basis this represents $126,253 in tax revenues added to the city budget.

Note that the total sales tax rate in Greene County is 10% of which 3% goes to the municipality, in this case the City of Eutaw; 3% to the County Commission, and 4% to the State of Alabama. So, the county government and State of Alabama are receiving similar increases in revenues, to those received by the City of Eutaw.

It should also be noted that much of the increase in tax revenues which is attributed to the Love’s Travel Center were from people traveling through Greene County on Interstate 20/59, not from residents of the city or the county.

The Eutaw Water Department reported continuing progress in collections and reducing water losses. The City collected over $75,000 in water revenues for November 2021, which was about double what had been collected in previous years. There are 1,461 customers, with 12 new customers of which 9 were customers found, who previously had not been billed. There are still 534 accounts with $63,469 past due and receivable, some of which are under payment agreements.

In other actions, the Eutaw City Council:

• Did not approve, November 24, the day before Thanksgiving for a full day paid vacation for employees. They left this benefit at a half day.

• Approved changes in the right-of-way for utilities and access to Raintree Apartments LLC and a similar adjustment for Rollingwoods Apartments.

• Heard reports from the City Engineer and Chief of Police.

• Agreed to pay bills for November 2021.