School board holds work session with school principals highlighting scholars’ Road Map to Academic Success

The Greene County Board of Education met in regular session, Monday, October 16, 2023 with all board members in attendance. Prior to the meeting the board held a work session, in the Central Office at 3:00 pm, with the principal of each school presenting her plans for student academic success. Summaries of these plans are presented following the report on school board actions.
The board approved the following personnel items recommended by Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones.
Resignations: David Peterson III, Mechanic, effective October 6, 2023; Elroy Skinner, Math Teacher, Robert Brown Middle, effective June 30, 2024; Dr. Sharron D. Martin, Literacy Coach, Robert Brown Middle, effective September 30, 2023; Toneshia Bullock, Custodian, Robert Brown Middle, effective September 14, 2023.
Employment Robert Brown Middle School: Carlene Garnett, Long-term sub, effective August 18, 2023.
TEAMS Contracts: Victoria Moore – Greene County High, effective August 1, 2023;
Kaneeda Coleman – Greene County High; Dr. Dutchess Jones – Greene County High; Elroy Skinner – Robert Brown Middle.
Supplemental Contracts Robert Brown Middle School: Quentin Walton, Head Boys Basketball; Henry Miles, Assistant Boys Basketball; Quentin Walton, Head Girls Basketball; Jkia Carpenter, Assistant Girls Basketball; Tyneshia Fulgham, Cheerleader Sponsor.
The Administrative items approved by the board are as follows, with board member Robert Davis abstaining on the contract with Corey Morton.
* Contract between Greene County Board and Corey Morton to serve as technology assistant to provide technical support for the district.
* Agreement between Greene County Board and MSSI Staffing Agency to provide a Speech Language Pathologist for FY 2023-2024.
* Quote in the amount of $71,465 from Bagby for elevator modernization at Robert Brown Middle.
* Proposal from Bailey Education Group, LLC in the amount of $45,000 to provide professional development and on-site consultation for teachers and administrators.
Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll. (Financial Report for September and October will be provided at November’s board meeting.)

Principals Presentations at Board’s Work Session

Eutaw Primary School Principal Brittany Harris began with the school’s Motto: Every Child, Every Day. Her presentation included the following:
* Three Tiers of Classroom Instruction: Tier1 – Core Instruction; Tier 2 – Targeted Intervention; Tier 3 – Intensive Intervention.
* Small Group Instruction: Small Group times are embedded into the Master Schedule. Educators must provide small group instruction to scholars, including Reading and Math Interventionists.
* Coaching Support Reading: Kindergarten Team – Four Weeks Mini Coaching Cycle; First Grade – Six Weeks Coaching Cycle; Second Grade Team – Six Weeks Coaching Cycle; Third Grade – Four Weeks Mini Coaching Cycle.
Principal Harris noted that a Math coaching Cycle is currently being modeled and will begin when completed.
* Educators have analyzed scholars’ beginning of the year data. Data meetings are held during Extended Planning Times.
* Professional Development include: S.P.I.R.E; ARI/OMI; ENVISION; I-READY and LETRS.
* Academic Programs: After-School Tutorial with 155 scholars enrolled; Saturday School with 17 enrolled.
* Parent meetings are held monthly.
* Promoting Literacy: Book Vending Machine – scholars awarded with books for exhibiting excellent behavior.
* Popping Sight words Challenge – Scholars reading 109 sight words correctly are awarded a prize.
Next Steps include: Literacy Night; Math Night; and Benchmark Celebrations.

Robert Brown Middle School Principal Tammy Anderson opened her presentation with RBMS Mission and Motto: Mission is to provide a positive, safe, healthy, nursing and respectful environment in which scholars can learn and become productive members of society.Motto: The Harder We work, the Smarter We Get. She elaborated on the following:
* Building Relationships: Administration Team, Faculty, Staff, Central Office, Board Members and Community Stakeholders; Teacher/Student/Parent Involvement; Join all relationships to ensure all students succeed.
* Behavioral Plan: One-on One Counseling Sessions; Mental Health Coordinator on site and referrals; Good Character Plan with incentives; Peer tutoring; Full Support (4th – 8th Grades Administrative Team).
* Reconstructing Greene County’s Future Generation of Leaders.

Greene County High School Principal Andrea Perry opened her presentation with scholars’ ACT Data 2023 in Math and Reading and then discussed the following Next Steps.
Math: 45.72 % – In Need of Support; 29.64 % – Close; 16.05 % – Ready; 8.58 % – Exceeding 24.63 %- Proficient.
Reading: 36.04 % – In Need of Support; 33.58 % – Close; 17.29 % – Ready; 13.09 %- Exceeding.

Next Steps:
The Math Specialist will support and work closely with math educators 
* Educators will participate in Instructional Rounds where they observe their colleagues and offer feedback 
* The administrators will do walk-throughs and visit classrooms on a daily basis
* The district will observe classrooms, mentor, and support educators
* Educators will participated in on-going embedded Professional Development
* Scholars will work on Pathway from I-Ready Benchmark Assessment at a minimum of thirty minutes per week. 
* Alabama Rural Learning Accelerator (ARLA) will collaborate and work with math teachers 1st and 2nd periods to help improve ninth grade math skills. Educators from UAB will work virtually with scholars for four days a week and face-to-face once a week. Power hours will be offered once a week during homeroom. Power hour is also intervention for the ninth graders. 
* We will analyze data from Pre-ACT. Our focus will be on scholars who are closed and in need of support. Those scholars will participate in ACT Prep, Math and Reading Intervention, and After-School Tutoring. ACT Consultants will be working with scholars throughout the school year. 
* Educators will implement ACT Bellringers  (Mastery Prep) every day. 
* Math educators will implement intervention time the last fifteen minutes of each class period. Educators will work with small groups.
* The PE educators will allow students to work on IXL one day out of the week. 
* IXL ( I EXCEL)is a program that helps high school students at all levels learn math, reading, and english more effectively. IXL stands for Innovation, Excellence, and Leadership.
* All eleventh graders will have a free online ACT Prep account from the ALSDE
* Incentives will be provided for scholars who benchmark on ACT and WorkKeys.
* Students will also attend After School tutorial to focus on ACT standards.
* ACT BootCamp will also be offered one Saturday out of the month.
* ACT Practice test will be administered throughout the school year.
Superintendent Dr. Jones’ report highlighted many of the points presented in the principals’ presentation, for example Saturday School and the Book Vending Machine at EPS. RBMS will hold Conflict Resolution Workshops for 7th and 8th grade scholars. GCHS chartered a Science National Honor Society. He also noted that the CSFO Ms. Marquita Lennon would not present a financial report at this meeting. “We are in closeout at this time. The October and November financial reports will be presented at the next board meeting,” he said.

Eutaw City Council meeting devoted to disagreement over Class Day after-party

By: John Zippert, Co-Publisher

The Eutaw City Council held a Special Meeting at Noon on Thursday, September 21, 2023. Much of the meeting, including a 38-minute executive session, was devoted to a discussion of the actions of Mayor Latasha Johnson and the Eutaw Police Department in closing down an after-party held by the Dangerous Divas Social and Savings Club, after Class Day on Saturday September 16th, at the Robert H. Young Community Center, formerly known as Carver School.

The meeting was packed with members of the Dangerous Divas and their supporters, many of whom had attended Class Day and the beginnings of the afterparty.

The Dangerous Divas, a social and savings club with a membership of 13 local young women, had secured a contract for the use of the field behind Carver School for outdoor activities during the day, like bar-be-ques, and the use of the gymnasium for the after-party that night. The contract does not allow for the sale and serving of alcoholic beverages unless a special permit is secured from the state ABC Board.

Kelvia Hunter, President of the Dangerous Divas, in a telephone interview said, “We were never told about needing a special permit to serve alcohol. If we knew this, we would have gotten the proper permits.” Hunter did say that alcohol was served at the party, that there was a ten-dollar admission fee to the after-party, which entitled the attendee to free drinks. She also indicated that there were off-duty police security at the door, who were instructed to deny admission to anyone under the 21-year drinking age in Alabama.

Hunter asserted, “The Mayor knew we were serving alcohol, because we have had six prior events at the same place, under the same rules, without an ABC permit. We also put out on social media our admission charge and that drinks were included. The mayor knew what was happening, but she still stopped our after-party without giving us any explanation.”

Mayor Johnson said, “I ended the party because liquor was being served. I saw children and others under the age of 21 attending the party. They invited the high school graduating classes of 2022 and 2023, who are all below the drinking age. We also had four ambulance runs for people who got sick at the field program and a police report of an altercation between young men, who had guns. This situation was just too dangerous, and our police force was undermanned for the large crowd. We just had to stop the party before it got out of hand and endangered the people there and others in our city.”

Mayor Johnson said, “The City dropped the ball, we should have more clearly explained the rental contract and rules for the sale and serving of alcohol. We accept some of the responsibility for the problems at this event, but we feel the Dangerous Divas must also take responsibility for their mistakes connected to this event. We must learn from this for future events to be hosted at the city owned community center.”

At the City Council meeting, when the issue came up, a resolution was adopted to return the $1,150 contract fee to the Dangerous Divas, due to the misunderstandings concerning the event. Ms. Kelvia Hunter said, “ Our organization lost much more than the contract fee and we want to be reimbursed for all of our losses.”

In other actions, the Eutaw City Council:

• Approved participation in the 2024 Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, February 23-25, 2024.
• Received financial reports from Financial Consultant, Ralph Liverman, concerning USDA water system accounts at Citizens Trust Bank.
• Tabled action on lending the city’s street sweep to Aliceville for a day to clean the streets prior to an event.
• Approved travel for staff to attend the APCO Conference at Perdido Beach on November 15-18, 2023.
• Moved several items dealing with City vehicles, credit cards, rental agreements for use of the Robert H. Young Community Center and other matters to a Council Work Session to be held in October.
• Approved payment of bills for September.

School Board approves FY 2024 budget in excess of $20 million including remaining $5 million in ESSER funds

The Greene County Board of Education met at its Central Office for its scheduled Budget Hearing #2, on Monday September 11, 2023, at 3:00 pm, which was followed by a special call board session at 4:00 pm. The Budget Hearing #2 provided FY 2023 Wrap-Up, Investments, Key Factors Affecting Budget Process and FY 2024 Budget Objectives and Highlights. The FY 2023 Wrap-Up indicated the supplemental appropriations funded totaled $935,656. Investments balance, as of September 30, 2022, was $2,369,225.75 at a 0.10% rate, however, CSFO Marquita Lennon indicated a new rate of 5% on investments has been negotiated for FY 2024.
The board’s proposed budget revenues for FY 2024, including the remaining the $5 million in ESSER III Funds, (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) total $20,405,939. Expenditures are indicated at $20,308,588.14, with a projected FY 2024 ending General Fund Balance of $4,746,747.09. The FY 2024 budget components reflect State Funds at 36% – $7,357,509; Federal Funds at 37% – $7,564,055 and Local Funds at 27% – $5,484,375. ESSER III Funds must be obligated by September 30, 2024.

Budgetary Highlights include the following:
* The System’s Average Daily Membership decreased by 30.65 (Pre-School class counts not included in the ADM); Funded teacher units decreased by 2.07; Foundation Program net increase by $140,631; Transportation funding increase by $46,041; Capitol funding decreased by $5,853; Millage local match increased by $249,870. (CSFO noted that the State Department will contribute $99,148 which can be applied to millage match).
* The system has 161 employees this year, a decrease of 3 from prior year. Current school enrollment is 858 students: Eutaw Primary – 271; Robert Brown Middle – 333; Greene County High – 254. The Budget #2 Report stated the following: “Out of the $1.82 million of local salaries budgeted, approximately $800,000 is budgeted for teacher salaries and benefits over the number of units that we have earned. This is equivalent to 10.96 (11) teachers…the system must streamline and operate within our earned units, due to ending of ESSER III Funds and possible reduction in gaming funds.” As of now the Greene County Board of Education is not receiving gaming funds.
* Major local funding for the system includes County Ad Valorem at $695,000; 4 Act 1999 at $600,000; Sales tax 2% at $500,000; Motor vehicles at $35,000; Helping Schools at $4,000;
Indirect Cost at $392,000. Totaling $2,261,000.
* The CSFO noted that plans are already in process for streamlining FY 2025 Budget.

Board’s Special Call Meeting
In its special call meeting, the school board approved the following personnel items recommended by Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones.
•Retroactively placing Ms. Barbara Martin on the salary matrix as Instructional Coordinator as of 8/29/2023 according to education and years of experience.
Administrative items approved by the board are the following:
*Approve Annual Budget for Fiscal Year October 1, 2023, through September 30, 2024.
*Lowest bid in the amount of $824,500 from Stateline Mechanical LLC to provide HVAC equipment for the Robert Brown Middle School HVAC project.
* Educational Consultant Agreement between Dr. Lucretia Prince and Greene County Board of Education for consulting and coaching services for building administrators.
* Deposit of $50,000 to Synovus Bank CD.
*Contract between Greene County Board of Education and Greene County Sheriff Department for Resource Offices for the 2023 – 2024 school year.

Greene County schools welcome back students

Greene County schools staff, administrators, parents, community leaders and supporters arrived early Tuesday morning at local schools to give students a most robust welcome and enthusiastic encouragement for a successful year. The greeters flashed smiles, offered hugs and waved pom poms as the young people promenaded from the school buses to the classrooms. The first day of this school year delivered on a promise of welcome, warmth and care that surely can continue throughout the term.


Greene County School Board selects RBMS Principal for upcoming school term

At a special call meeting, held Monday, June 26, 2023, the Greene County Board of Education selected Mrs. Tammy Anderson as Principal assigned to Robert Brown Middle for the coming school term. Mrs. Anderson, a certified administrator, currently serves as Assistant Principal at Gordo Elementary School, Pickens County School System. Her educational training includes the following: Master in Education, 2018, University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL, Major: Instructional Leadership; Masters in Education, December 2009, University of West Alabama; Major: Early Childhood/Elementary Education; Bachelor of Science, 2005, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, Major: Early Childhood Education.
Mrs. Anderson’s educational work experience includes the following: Assistant Principal- July  2021 – Present, Gordo Elementary, Gordo, AL; Classroom Teacher- Kindergarten,  August 2018 – May 2021, Matthews Elementary, Northport, AL; Classroom Teacher – Kindergarten, August 2012 – May 2018, Eutaw Primary School, Eutaw, AL; Classroom Teacher – First Grade, August 2010 – May 2012; Paramount Jr. High School, Boligee, AL; Classroom Teacher – Math Intervention, August 2008 – May 2010; Moundville Elementary School, Moundville, AL,
Classroom Teacher – Third Grade, August 2005 – May 2008; Moundville Elementary School, Moundville, AL
Although all five board members were present at the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones’ recommendation to select Mrs. Anderson as RBMS Principal was approved on a 3-2 vote, with Board Members Carrie Dancy and Veronica Richardson, voting in opposition.
The board also approved the following personnel recommendations of the superintendent:
Employment: Monica Watkins, Science Teacher, Greene County High School; Kirin Green, Band Teacher, Greene County High School; Patricia Maiden, History Teacher Greene County High School.
Non-renewal of TEAMs Contract: Havlen Carodine, Math Teacher Greene County High School.
Dr. Daniel Boyd, who was retained by the board to conduct the annual evaluation of the superintendent, gave a detailed presentation of his process for the evaluation. Dr. Boyd, former Superintendent of Lowndes County School System, and recently retired as Deputy State Superintendent of Instruction (Chief Academic Officer, Teaching and Learning Improvement Division with the Alabama State Department of Education), explained that he utilizes various surveys/questionnaires, which are available on educational websites, to collect the data. Through these questionnaires, information is collected from school personnel that the superintendent supervises directly and who report directly to the superintendent. These include school system principals, supervisors and coordinators. “This is the standard procedure for evaluating school superintendents and the surveys differ for principals and other supervisory personnel,” Boyd stated. He will compile the data collected and report the results to the board.
Board member Carrie Dancy questioned why teachers and other central office personnel were not included in the process. Dr. Boyd again emphasized that these personnel do not report directly to the superintendent. They can give input through their immediate supervisors.
Dr. Boyd gave each board member a survey to complete, with the board agreeing to collect the completed surveys within a week, independent of the superintendent, and get these back to Dr. Boyd. Dr. Boyd will deliver the appropriate surveys to principals and other supervisors.
At the completion of the regular agenda, the board returned to executive session to conduct the annual evaluation of the school system’s CSFO, Mrs. Marquita Lennon.
The board included in the contracts of both the Superintendent and the CSFO, that annual evaluations would be conducted in June of the current year. It is, therefore, the board’s responsibility to schedule this process in a timely manner.

Newswire : Sam Pollard’s documentary shines light on the rich legacy of the Negro Baseball Leagues


Negro Leagues baseball team in doughout

By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

On the Black Press of America’s “Let It Be Known” show, renowned filmmaker Sam Pollard took center stage in an exclusive interview about his new film that shines a spotlight on the fabled Negro Leagues.
Pollard’s latest documentary, “The League,” will make its world premiere at the Tribeca Festival before a theatrical release in July.
Based on the book “The Negro Baseball Leagues” by Bob Motley and Byron Motley, the film counts as another triumph for Pollard, whose past directorial works include the critically acclaimed “Mr. Soul!”, “Sammy Davis, Jr: I’ve Got to Be Me,” and “MLK/FBI.”
The documentary also boasts Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, the executive producer responsible for the Oscar-winning “Summer of Soul.”
The film illuminates that the sport was integrated in its earliest days, albeit with Black players forming only a minority of team members.
That changed in the late 1800s, as racist white players like Pop Anson of the Chicago White Stockings, who infamously refused to take the field with Black athletes, sparked a shift.
However, as Jim Crow laws engulfed the nation, Black players were banned from the game.
In 1920, Rube Foster, a trailblazing Black baseball pioneer who excelled as a pitcher, manager, and owner, founded the Negro National League. Inspired by Frederick Douglass’ words, the league adopted the motto “We Are the Ship, All Else the Sea.”
Three years later, the Eastern Colored League emerged as a competitor, culminating in the inaugural Colored World Series in 1924.
Foster, hailed as the “father of black baseball,” serves as one of the documentary’s most compelling subjects.
Noteworthy for pitching seven no-hitters and inventing the screwball, Foster even taught the pitch to white player Christy Mathewson of the New York Giants, who popularized it.
Tragically, Foster met a grim fate, succumbing to the effects of a gas leak in a hotel room. He suffered from delusions and spent several years institutionalized in an asylum before passing away at 51 in 1930.
Although the Negro National League eventually succumbed to the economic pressures of the Great Depression, other leagues emerged, serving as a springboard for numerous Black players who would later achieve legendary status.
Several of these players, including Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Satchel Paige, would eventually join Major League Baseball (MLB).
The documentary features captivating archival interviews with these players and more.
The film poignantly chronicles the immense challenges faced by Black players as they traversed the country, often denied accommodation in hotels and meals in restaurants.
Additionally, the Negro Leagues provided a home for many talented Latino players from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and other parts of Latin America.
Following World War II, with many Black service members having bravely fought for their country, pressure began mounting for the integration of MLB.
Notably, Paul Robeson became a prominent advocate for this cause. Despite years of resistance from MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who evoked comparisons to a character from “Birth of a Nation,” progress emerged.
Landis died in 1944, and three years later, Branch Rickey recruited Jackie Robinson as the first Black player to join the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson’s entry opened the door for other Black players such as Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, and Jim Gilliam, all of whom had roots in the Negro leagues.
Effa Manley, a formidable businesswoman, also features prominently in the documentary. Known as the “First Lady of Negro Baseball,” she co-owned the Newark Eagles and became the only woman inducted into the National Baseball Hall Hall of Fame.
Manley fiercely advocated for fair compensation for Negro league teams when MLB began recruiting their players. The integration of baseball eventually led to the decline of the Negro Leagues, which ceased operations by the late 1940s.
Through masterful use of vintage footage, interviews, oral histories, and contributions from modern-day historians and scholars, the documentary makes a case for the enduring significance of the Negro Baseball Leagues.
Reflecting on his connection to the project, Pollard said, “I grew up in the 1960s being a huge baseball fan… But what I did not know much about… was that [Jackie] Robinson had come out of the Negro Leagues and that the Negro Leagues had been home to Black and Latino ballplayers who had to play segregated baseball during the height of the Jim Crow era.”


Alabama Legislature passes reduction in sales tax on groceries; Fails to pass HB 209 to restrict Absentee Voting; and SB 324 for a Constitutional Amendment for electronic horse racing in Greene Co.

The 2023 regular session of the Alabama State Legislature ended yesterday. Among the legislation that passed was a bill to begin to reduce
State sales tax on groceries.

The Legislature failed to pass HB 209 which would have severely restricted absentee voting in Alabama.; and SB 324 which provided for a referendum on a Constitutional Amendment to codify electronic historic horse racing machines in Greene County, while passed by the Alabama Senate died in the House Tourism Committee.

On June 1, the Senate passed a bill, on a vote of 31-0, that would reduce the current tax rate on food in Alabama over the next couple of years.
HB479, sponsored by Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, will cut the state tax on specific food items from four percent to three percent beginning on Sept. 1, 2023. On Sept. 1, 2024, the rate will fall to two percent only if the Education Trust Fund (ETF) obtains a three-and-one-half percent rate in growth than the previous fiscal year.
Only foods that qualify under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are eligible for the tax reduction.
The legislation comes after years and decades of attempts to revoke the grocery tax. Sen. Andrew Jones, R-Centre, who carried the Senate version of the bill said converging issues have made this the best time to pass the legislation. Those issues include families trying to overcome rising costs due to inflation and a surplus in the budget.
Garrett added that the bill would align Alabama with most states’ policies regarding taxing food. Alabama is one of 13 states that still tax groceries in the country and one of three that offers no form of relief on that tax.
There is a provision in the legislation that will immediately cap local taxes on food at their current rate when the bill is signed into law. This means that any local governing body would not be able to raise the tax on food higher but could still lower it.
Alabama Arise supported  repealing grocery tax for years
Alabama Arise has consistently supported repealing the grocery tax for years. Robyn Hyden, executive director for Alabama Arise made a statement about how thrilled her organization was that the bill passed and how it will help all Alabamians.
“Reducing the state sales tax on groceries will provide meaningful help for Alabamians who struggle to make ends meet. Alabama Arise is thrilled that legislators listened to the people by voting unanimously for this essential policy change. And we urge Gov. Kay Ivey to sign HB479 into law quickly. Arise members from every corner of our state have advocated relentlessly for decades for Alabama to untax groceries. We cannot thank our members enough for their persistent efforts to make this bill’s passage a reality.
“This grocery tax reduction will benefit every Alabamian. And it is an important step toward righting the wrongs of our state’s upside-down tax system, which forces Alabamians with low and moderate incomes to pay a higher share of their incomes in state and local taxes than the wealthiest households.
“We appreciate Rep. Danny Garrett, Sen. Andrew Jones and Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth for guiding HB 479 through the Legislature. We’re thankful for Rep. Penni McClammy and Sen. Merika Coleman for championing legislation on this issue this year. And we’re grateful for former Rep. John Knight, former Sen. Hank Sanders, Reps. Laura Hall and Mary Moore, and so many other legislators whose determined work over so many years laid the groundwork for this moment.
“It will be important to ensure grocery tax elimination doesn’t harm our children’s education in the long term. The state grocery tax brings in more than $600 million a year for the Education Trust Fund. That’s about 7% of this year’s total ETF budget, making it a significant funding source for public schools.
“Revenues are strong enough for now to reduce the grocery tax without causing severe harm to education funding. But history tells us that good economic times won’t last forever. In the coming months, lawmakers should identify and agree to a sustainable solution to end the rest of the state grocery tax.”
HB209 dies in Alabama Senate
HB209 a bill that passed the Alabama House of Representatives, which would have restricted the people, who could help voters to apply for and cast absentee ballots, to closely related family members, died in the Alabama Senate on the last day of the session.
HB209 was presented by Republican sponsors as a way to end what they call “absentee ballot harvesting” in Alabama. It would have limited people, other than close relatives, from helping the sick and homebound, college students and people who work out of town, from applying for and casting an absentee ballot.
Black voting organizations like Alabama New South Coalition, Black Voters Matter and others felt that HB209 was another step in Alabama’s unrelenting campaign to suppress and curtail the voting strength of Black and progressive forces.
Rev. Robert Turner of Bullock County and Chair of the ANSC Board of Directors said, “I am glad that HR209 did not pass in this session. We must remain vigilant. Those who want to stop Black people from voting will continue to bring up these bills, which are designed to suppress our votes and make it harder for the homebound and those in nursing homes to vote.”
SB324 for Greene County gaming, dies in Alabama House
SB324, a bill sponsored by Senator Bobby Singleton, proposing a Constitutional Amendment to codify the operation of electronic historic horse racing machines in Greene County, which passed the Alabama Senate, died in the House Tourism Committee.
The Constitutional Amendment, which details the days on which machines are allowed to operate, taxes to be charged and distribution of funds, was subject to a referendum by Greene County voters. Greenetrack is currently hosting electronic historical horse racing machines, under license with the Greene County Racing Commission, based on prior para-mutuel betting legislation that permitted dog racing and simulcasting of dog and horse racing, in Greene County.
Representative Curtis Travis said, “We tried to pass SB324 in the Alabama House, but I was advised by the leadership that no gambling legislation would be allowed to pass in this legislative session. There were too many other priorities and too many new legislators was the reasoning that I was given. We will try again in the next legislative session.”

Dr. James Douglas Anderson, noted scholar of American education and Stillman College Commencement speaker, is a native son of Greene County

John and Carol Zippert interview Dr. James D. Anderson at the Democrat office



Exclusive Interview with the Greene County Democrat

By: John Zippert, Dr. Carol P. Zippert and Dr. Monty Thornburg

Dr. James D. Anderson visited his hometown of Eutaw, Alabama on Friday, May 5, 2023, just before presenting the commencement address at his alma mater, Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the next day. The Co-Publishers of the Greene County Democrat and an associate had the honor of interviewing this native son of Greene County on his life and important intellectual view of the changes in Black education in the South over his life time.
Anderson attended Carver School in Eutaw, from 1950 to his graduation in 1962. At that time, the school had grades 1 to 12 and was a segregated school for Black students. “ We had great and dedicated Black teachers, who were genuinely concerned about their students. There was no social promotion and many students were failed and had to repeat grades until they mastered the subjects.”
Anderson lived on Kentuck, a neighborhood north of the Eutaw City Hall. “My mother worked as a cook for the Wilkes Banks family. We lived in a small shack out behind the Banks’ house.

Until my junior year in high school, I walked to school, with my brothers, about two miles. It was an adventure and we learned along the way. But you could not be late because the principal locked the school door at the start of the school day. We did get school buses, like the white children already had, in 1960.”
Anderson recounted a story that speaks to his growing up in poverty in Greene County. “My mother was very upset, this was when I was in high school, when Wilkes Banks told her that her son had a future after school as his ‘yardman’, taking care of mowing his grass. My mother had greater expectations for me and did not want me to aspire as a servant for white people.”

Stillman College

He was a good student and graduated as valedictorian of his class in 1962. Anderson had not made any college applications because he did not have funds to attend college. Herman Hughes, his math teacher at Carver, who was a graduate of Stillman, went to speak with the Dean of Stillman and arranged a full scholarship for him to attend.
“As I was preparing to make my graduation speech at Carver, Mr. Hughes and the principal called me aside and into the office. I was fearful that they were going to tell me that I could not graduate but instead they explained that I had been awarded a full scholarship to attend Stillman.
This was the start of my academic career,” said Anderson.

Mr. Hughes was part of the family of Judge and Alverta Hughes of Mantua community of Greene County. Hughes went on from teaching math in Greene County to get a Ph.D. in Computer Science and became a Professor at Michigan State University. Anderson later reconnected with Hughes, when both served on the Stillman College Board of Trustees. He said that Hughes was a great inspiration to him as a math teacher and peaked his interested in majoring in math at college.
There is a fountain on the Thomas Gilmore Courthouse Square honoring Ms. Alverta Hughes for her contributions to Greene County.Anderson attended Stillman College during the turbulent 1960’s. “ I was among the Stillman students that joined Rev. T. Y. Rogers, civil rights campaign in Tuscaloosa. Rogers was the pastor of First African Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa and a close colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. I was with Rogers on ‘Bloody Tuesday’ when police and deputized white citizens attacked peaceful marchers trying to hold the city to its promise not to have segregated water fountains and restroom facilities in a newly constructed Federal courthouse.
‘Bloody Tuesday’ in Tuscaloosa is often compared with ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Selma as milestones in the civil rights movement in Alabama.
Anderson graduated from Stillman College in 1966. He switched majors from mathematics to sociology. He went on to graduate school in social studies at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. In 1967, he graduated with a teaching certificate and went to teach social studies in Chicago.” I was in a bookstore in Chicago) and purchased a book on the history of Black education. It raised more questions for me than gave answers. I went back to a fellowship at the University of Illinois, to study and answer my questions about the history of Black education. I found my passion. I stumbled into the field where I have made a lifetime contribution.”

Educational Leader and Scholar

Dr. James D. Anderson is the Edward William and Jane Marr Gutsell Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His scholarly career has focused mainly on the history of American education with a specialization in the History of African American education.

His book, ‘The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935’, won the American Education Research Association (AERA) outstanding book award in 1990. The AERA is the largest academic research organization in the nation.
Anderson has also authored hundreds of articles in educational journals about the issues of Black education from Reconstruction to the present day.
Anderson has served as an expert witness in a series of federal desegregation and affirmative education cases, including Jenkins vs Missouri, Knight vs Alabama, Ayers vs Mississippi, Gratz vs Bollinger and Grutter vs Bollinger. He has also served as an advisor to documentaries and PBS television programs on the history of education and African American schools over the past twenty years.
At the interview, Anderson observed, “My book on Black education has
already been banned in Florida by the actions of Governor Ron Desantis and the Florida State Legislature. This is part of an effort by some states to take our nation backwards and to remove the truth about Black history and Black education from our schools and colleges.”
In October of 2014, Dr. James D. Anderson delivered the AERA’s Brown Lecture, an annual commemoration of the Supreme Court’s historic 1954 school desegregation decision. In his lecture, Anderson speaks to the equivalence in work toward equality in education with work toward voting rights in our nation. He suggests that the periods of greatest educational equality were matched with the greatest periods of voting rights and progress for democracy.
He cites the progress during the Reconstruction period, after Emancipation until the turn of the century, when Black people championed public education for all people. This was also a period when Black people were able to vote and did vote, especially in the South, where there were large numbers of Black people. When Reconstruction ended and southern states adopted Jim Crow legislation limiting the Black vote and imposing school segregation, democracy and social change were stifled and reversed.
Anderson specifically laments the failure to adopt the first versions of the 14th amendment which would have guaranteed a right to vote for all men.
“We do not have a Constitutional right to vote, which has made it once again possible to weaken and destroy the Voting Rights Act of 1965, by the Supreme Court in the Shelby vs Holder decision and voter suppression legislation in many states. In many areas, the local politicians are discouraging voters by telling us that our vote doesn’t count or will not be counted. We have to go back to door-to-door organizing to educate and mobilize Black people to vote in every election,” said Anderson.

As the interview ended, so Dr. Anderson could meet with relatives still living in Eutaw, he said that, “The Black teachers that I had at Carver, were truly dedicated and interested in the students. We need more Black teachers in our schools. Some young people go through their whole K to 12 educational experience, without seeing a single Black teacher. We need to change this.

Four remaining bingo facilities distribute $615,868 for month of March

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 the Greene County Sheriff Department issued a listing of the bingo distributions for March, totaling $615,868.58 from four licensed bingo gaming facilities. The bingo facilities regularly distributing through the sheriff include Frontier, River’s Edge, Palace and Bama Bingo.
The recipients of the March distributions from bingo gaming include Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, and Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
Sub charities include Children’s Policy Council, Guadalupan Multicultural Services, Greene County Golf Course, Housing Authority of Greene County (Branch Heights), Department of Human Resources, the Greene County Library, Eutaw Housing Authority, Historical Society, REACH, Inc., Headstart Community Service and This Belong To US.
Bama Bingo gave a total of $117,157.87 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $48,070; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500, and the Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities, each received $1,034.22 including REACH, Inc. Community Service received $470.10 and This Belong to Us received $94.02.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $114,995.01 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $48,070; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500; Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities each received $870.53, including the Historical Society and REACH, Inc. Community Service received $395.69 and This Belong to Us received $79.14.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $117,157.06 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $48,070; City of Eutaw, $9,250.; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500; Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities each, $1,034.22, including the Historical Society and REACH, Inc. Community Service received $470.10 and This Belong to Us received $94.02.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $266,558.44 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $111,426.26; City of Eutaw, $21,441.50; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $8,982.25; Greene County Board of Education, $24,339, and the Greene County Health System, $28,975. Sub Charities received $2,397.33, including the Historical Society and REACH, Inc. Community Service received $1,089.70 and This Belong to Us received $217.94.
The sheriff’s additional supplement for March from four bingo facilities totaled $81,303.76.

Newswire : State, federal law enforcement raid 14 casinos in Jefferson County

The Alabama AG’s Office obtained temporary restraining orders against the casinos, closing them for at least the near future.

By: Josh Moon, Alabama Political Reporter

State and federal authorities raided and closed 14 electronic bingo halls around Jefferson County this week, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said at a press conference on Wednesday.
In a press release, Marshall said that his office obtained temporary restraining orders against all 14 businesses, which will keep them closed pending a court decision within the next two weeks. Law enforcement also confiscated more than 2,400 electronic bingo machines.
“The facilities shut down today were operating in blatant violation of state law, apparently without fear of reprisal,” Marshall said. “Our action this week came in response to numerous complaints about the trouble that illegal gambling has brought into these communities. These citizens deserve better. Allowing criminal enterprises to operate freely, in broad daylight, is offensive to the rule of law and will not be tolerated.”
The raids continue a decades-old argument over the legality of electronic bingo in the state. Numerous counties have passed bingo amendments that they believe give them the right to operate the games. Marshall and the state’s Supreme Court have disagreed, calling the games illegal slot machines.
AG Marshall continues to pursue a lawsuit to close electronic bingo establishments in Greene County, despite Alabama Constitutional Amendment No. 743, which legalized them under the supervision of the Sheriff. A sign posted on the William M. Branch Greene County Courthouse door says the next hearing in the Greene County case is set for May 4, 2023.
The electronic games, which are played at all Poarch Band of Creek Indians casinos, are legal under the federal definition of bingo and several states have also adopted that definition.
The raids this week were conducted by ALEA, the FBI and DEA.