Greene County High students show noted progress in ACT scores

The Greene County Board of Education held its regular meeting on Monday, June 15, 2020, as a Virtual Zoom meeting in keeping with safety measures relative to COVID-19 Pandemic. All board members were participants as well as Superintendent Corey Jones, Attorney Hank Sanders and CSFO LaVanda Blair.
In his report to the board, Superintendent Jones provided an overview of the ACT Data Analysis for 11th graders. The participating students were engaged in an eight-week mathematics test prep course. They were given a mock pre-test, quizzes and test-taking tips. The consultants met with students one day per week for 8 weeks from January to March.
Dr. Jones noted that during this time the Mastery Works Team provided the students with instruction in mathematics based on the previous formative and summative assessments to ensure mastery skills. “Collaboration between Mastery Works Test Prep, Marimac Academy, GCHS Administrative Team, counselors, teachers and students made possible the progress in raising our ACT scores,” he said. Jones stated that more details will be provided at the next board meeting.
In his update on maintenance, Superintendent Jones stated that air conditioners at all locations have been cleaned; all buildings are being pressure washed; foam sanitizers are purchased for all school facilities; and there is a grounds beautification project in progress.
According to Dr. Jones, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the postponement of state evaluations, the State Department of Education (SDE) has advised that all school systems will maintain their academic status from the previous year. He also noted that the SDE is advising school system to consider opening schools after August 20. Specific guidelines will be forthcoming.
The board approved in its personnel items a listing of retirements, resignations, hirings and re-calls and salary adjustments.
*Resignations: Brittany January, Math Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School, effective May 22, 2020; Toice Goodson, Principal, Greene County Alternative School, effective May 31, 2020.
*Retirements: Verna Nickson, Bus Driver, Department of Transportation, effective June 1, 2020; Brenda Washington, 3rd Grade Teacher, Eutaw Primary School, effective July 1, 2020.
*Employment: Nicole Henley, Health Science Instructor, Greene County Career Center; Caaliyah Nelson, 4th Grade Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School; Cecil Cunningham 5th Grade Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School; Franklin Ball, 7th & 8th Grade Math Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School; Samantha Jones, 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School; Demilla Snyder 7th & 8th Grade Science Teacher, (Star Academy); Sherita Abrams Pickens, 3rd Grade Teacher, Eutaw Primary School
*Re-Call the following employees, Eutaw Primary School: Gwendolyn Webb, PreK Instructional Assistant; LaKeisha D. Johnson, PreK Instructional Assistant; Danielle Sanders, Elementary Teacher; Lurena A. Smith, Elementary Teacher; Chandra M. Toney, Elementary Teacher; Domonique McDaniels, Elementary Teacher; Valerie Moore, PE Teacher; Quenterica White, Elementary Teacher; Tara Thomas, Elementary Teacher.
*Re-Call the following employees, Greene County High School: Josef Stancer, Band Instructor; Tyler Mitchell, Social Science Teacher; Jacqueline Edwards, full-time Janitor.
*Re-Call the following employees, Robert Brown Middle School: NKenge Reynolds, Social Science Teacher; Alisa A. Ward, Elementary Teacher; Leanita R. Hunt, Elementary Teacher; Starr D. Christian, English Teacher; Ashley Moody, English Teacher.
*Renewal of contracted employees: Cynthia Crawford, Technology Assistant, Central Office; Jacqueline Allen, Reading Coach, Eutaw Primary School.
*Approved salary adjustment: James Gaines, Interim Transportation Supervisor.
*Approved a one-time signing bonus of $1,500.00: for all new and current bus drivers that sign a two-year contract with the school system. In the event that a bus driver does not fulfill the two-year commitment, they must pay back the $1,500.00 bonus.
*Approved: Angela Harkness, Virtual Summer School Instructor, for Odyssey Ware.
The board approved the following admin istrative services:
Contract with Curriculum Consultant Malysa Chandler, to Develop and Implement Curriculum; 21st Century Grant for FY 2020-2021; Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.

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.

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.

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.

Newswire : Basketball legend Kobe Bryant – constructing a 2nd act – had transcended sports

Kobi Bryant with his daughter Gianna

By Barrington M. Salmon

( – Sports fans in the United States and around the world – plus people who are not necessarily sports-oriented – are mourning the sudden death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant at the age of 41.
Two years removed from retirement after 20 years in the NBA, the five-time NBA champion and Los Angeles Lakers superstar was settling into retirement and immersing himself in sports, entertainment, his family and business ventures when he was killed in a helicopter crash, Sunday, Jan. 26, near Calabasas, Calif.
The crash also killed eight other passengers, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, a budding basketball phenom. IN addition to millions of adoring fans, he leaves to mourn him Vanessa Laine Bryant, his wife of 19 years, and three other daughters: Natalia Bryant, 17, Bianka Bryant, 3, and Capri Bryant, 7 months.
The group was on their way to Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where Bryant was to coach a game in which Gianna was to play. Federal investigators are trying to determine what specifically caused the crash which occurred in dense fog.
Bryant’s death has triggered an outpouring of grief, shock and disbelief among devastated players, fans, celebrities and just those who equated his name with excellence. A common theme offered by tributes is that he had transcended basketball and had become larger than sports.
“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act,” tweeted President Barack Obama. “To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”
President Trump deflected from his tweeting on impeachment to call the reports on the basketball star “terrible news”. He later released a tweet that critics observed was strikingly similar to President Obama’s:
“Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life. He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating,” Trump tweeted. “Melania and I send our warmest condolences to Vanessa and the wonderful Bryant family. May God be with you all!”
Many struggled to find deeper meaning in the sudden death of a person so beloved who had become a symbol of excellence.
“I didn’t know him well. I only met him a couple of times,” said former Vice President Biden on the presidential campaign trail in Iowa as reported by the Washington Examiner. “It makes you realize that you gotta make every day count, every single solid day, every single day count.”
Jalen Rose, a former college and professional basketball player and sports analyst with ESPN described his friend, Bryant, in terms beyond basketball.
“He is remembered for his dedication to his craft, educated, speaker of multiple languages, father, husband, disciplined hardworking, always gracious and respectful,” he said in a tribute. “He was always the hardest working guy in the room, smartest guy in the room … he was Industry tastemaker, gave so much to humanity and is gone too soon.”
Kobe Bryant was born in Philadelphia, the only boy and youngest of three children of former NBA player Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant. He was first drafted by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996 straight out of Lower Merion High School.
Through hard work and extraordinary dedication to the game, he was seen as a transcendent player, unquestionably one among the best to ever play the game of basketball. But his success impacted beyond the game. In post-game retirement, he inspired hundreds of thousands of young people to aim high, push past their limits, whether it was on a court, a football pitch or in the creative arts.
Kobe, who won five NBA titles and who was an 18-time All-Star, won an Oscar for Best Animated Short in 2019 for the film “Dear Basketball.” The six-minute film is based on a poem Bryant wrote in 2015 announcing his retirement from the NBA. Bryant wrote and narrated the short, in which he shares his love of the sport for basketball.
Bryant considered himself to be a storyteller and had been moving into the film and entertainment industry since his retirement from basketball in 2016. He wrote, produced and presented a series for ESPN called Detail, in which he explained the intricacies of athletes in their respective sports. His multimedia company, Granity Studios, produced the ESPN+ series Detail and the podcast “The Punies.” In addition, he helped create four sports fantasy children’s books. According to media reports, the second volume of The Wizenard Series: Season 1, is set to hit bookstores on March 31.
Still it was basketball for which he will always be world renown. Sports lawyer and businessman Michael Huyghue said an icon of the industry has been lost.
“What he stood for is an early example of an athlete transcending his sport,” said Huyghue, author, sports agent and president of Michael Huyghue and Associates, LLC. “His work in the community, building a brand, his eclectic nature and speaking several languages are a part of his legacy. “He was a very rare breed. He set the bar at a place where a lot of athletes could aspire to.”
Sports Journalist Elton Hayes, Jr. said what sticks out to him is his involvement with children and young people.
“I have been watching all these years. He’s a global icon,” said Hayes, who writes for CNHI News in State College, Pennsylvania. “What sticks out after retirement is the role he played with kids. He showed us his paternal side and the passion he had for women’s basketball. The WNBA is the sister organization to the NBA but there are discrepancies in salary and viewership. He was an active participant and took several women under his wing. I would consider him an ambassador for Women’s basketball…I think a part of his legacy is the impact on a generation of aspiring athletes. With his Mamba Foundation, we will continue to see his legacy grow and will continue to see the impact.”
For the past two years, Bryant had focused on coaching Gianna’s AAU team. “Coaching youth sports is so important to take very seriously because you’re helping the emotional [development] of young kids,” he said in a recent interview. “So it’s understanding not to be overcritical and understanding that [there] are going to be mistakes.”
And in an interview with People magazine, published online two days before his death, Bryant said he launched Granity Studios “as a way of teaching valuable life lessons to the next generation, with whatever they hope to do. The goal is to encourage children to develop their own inner magic and believe they can achieve the impossible and do so in a fun way.”
Bryant added, “Storytelling has always been an interest of mine, so the transition was an exciting one. I’m being challenged in a completely new way and have really loved the opportunity to exercise my creative muscles.”
Nearly everyone killed in the crash shared a love for basketball, reported the Los Angeles Times. They were Bryant and Gianna,”a budding basketball player who was ready to follow in her father’s footsteps; baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their basketball-playing daughter Alyssa; mother and daughter Sarah and Payton Chester; Mamba Academy basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan,” the Times reported.
The 41-year-old Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. The NBA named him Finals MVP twice and League MVP in 2009. He was an 18-time NBA All-Star. Bryant was the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points. He retired in 2016.
Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, 37, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
Bryant lived in Orange County, California, outside of Los Angeles. Born in 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kobe Bryant spent his early years in Italy where his father Joseph Washington “Jelly Bean” Bryant played basketball for seven years.

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

GCHS Volleyball team advances to Super Regional Tournament in Montgomery

On Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, the Greene County High School Volleyball Team competed in the Area Tournament in Hale County.  According to Coach, Janice Jeames, although the Greene County players weren’t the overall winners, the young ladies beat Holt High School and became the Area 7 Class 3A Runners-up.  On Thursday, October 24, 2019, the GCHS Volleyball Team will be competing again in Montgomery, AL at the Super Regional Volleyball Tournament.  The names of the GCHS Girls Volley Team are listed below in the order they appear: Front Row:  Captain Jamealeyah Williams, Quantayia Williams and Destinee Wilson
Back Row:  A’Mya Edwards, Karyn Atmore, Coach Janice Jeames, Captain Haley Noland, Daesa Goree and Assistant Coach KelviNeisha Williams.

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

By Joe L. Powell

Homecoming Schedule
Greene County High School
Coronation: 6:00 pm
Bonfire: 7:00 pm
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

Forkland observes 200 Bicentennial with Old Town Festival Celebration

Sites in Forkland, AL

In observance of the Alabama 200 Bicentennial celebration, Forkland held an Old Town Forkland Festival featuring stories of Forkland long ago, narratives by John Vester, festival coordinator. Stories included Burwick Legare, Wimp Glover, St. John Episcopal Church, First United Baptist Church, Mary Barton’s Store. (Ms. Mary Barton was married to Rev. George Barton. They owned a store on Main Street in Forkland. This was often the meeting place for folk on Saturday and on Sunday after Church. Ms. Barton was a pillar of the community and many people confided in her for direction and advice. Her reign in Forkland covered the 1930s thru 1960s).
George Barton collected the Forkland mail to be delivered to the U.S. mail system by transporting the mail to the railroad depot. He hauled the mail using his dedicated mule, “ Alabama”.
Stories were told about Rosemount, Tent City, and Bunker Boy. Bunker Boy spent many of his days in Forkland during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. He could take a small amplifier guitar and a box and make it sound like a whole band was in the room. It was something to see him break the head off of a bottle to make a slide for his guitar.He would gently rub the slide on a concrete block until it no longer had a sharpe edge.  He would jam his finger in the slide and begin to play the sweetest blues you ever heard.  His blues floated through the night from Mr. Bake Croxton’s shot house to all the folk in the Miconnico Creek and Tombigbee River area. He played every shot house and juke joint in the Forkland area for years.
Other stories included Tate Farms and Asphalt Co, The Legend of Rube Burrows, Bear, David Vester “Captain Dave”, Ned Gayles Blacksmith Shop, Shark Teeth, Shelton’s Café, Prairie Shrimp Farms, Curtis Taylor Farms, Hundred Dollar Evans and Hay Art.
Photos of local legacies were also displayed. The crowd marveled at photos of days long ago, featuring Rev. D. Thomas Gilmore, first Black Sheriff of Greene County also known as the Sheriff without a Gun; Rev. William Mckinley Branch, first Black Probate Judge in the United State, known as A Tough Piece of Leather Well Put Together.
There were photos of Jim Isaac, Jr., the first mayor of the incorporated town of Forkland, around 1975 /1976. Since then, the town of Forkland has had five Mayors: William M. Branch, Eddie Woods, Derrick Biggs, Ollie Vester and current Mayor Charlie McAlpine.
Other photos on display included Ned Gayles, David Vester, Sr., Bertha Shelton- Vester, the late Thomas James Vester, Rev. Robert Davis and many more.
The Old Town Forkland Festival also featured DJ Ice Man and Little Jerry Jenkins. Food venders provided good hot catfish and hotdogs. United Farmers Market was also present with fresh home ground fruits and vegetables. John Vester stated: “ We had a good turn out this year, next year reunions will be bigger and better.”