Greene County Delta Chapter sponsors Virtual Voter Registration Drive

The Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is sponsoring a Virtual Registration Drive, beginning with the observation of National Voter Registration Day, Tuesday, September  20, 2022.  According to Chapter President Dr. Florence Williams, “Our Chapter wants to empower our service area and surrounding communities to register to vote.   We encourage our local communities to join us in our Virtual Voter Registration Drive.  We welcome all who need to register to vote to use the link below.  The Voter Registration Process is straightforward and will take less than 15 minutes with a valid Alabama Driver’s License or Non-Driver’s Identification card.”
 President Williams noted that if someone does not have a valid AL Driver’s License or Non-Driver’s Identification Card the Office of the Secretary of State will have Mobile ID Units in Greene and Hale Counties on Friday, September 23, 2022.
Greene County-
Forkland Town Hall, Forkland, AL,
 9 am-11 am.
Hale County- Moundville Public
Library, Moundville, AL, 2 pm-4 pm.
   “We encourage sharing this information with family, friends and communities.  This message is also on the chapter’s facebook page” she stated.

A letter from Uvalde, Texas about the school shooting

By: Sarah Hidalgo-Cook

Editors note: I have visited Uvalde, Texas some years ago with the Rural Development Leadership Network (RDLN), a non-traditional leadership education and certification program for rural leaders. One of the leaders sent this statement about the school shooting and gave us permission to print it.

 

 It rained all night in Uvalde (we really needed).  I have decided that Jesus wept with us last night.  He washed away the sadness and ugliness of our day yesterday.  We at my agency, Southwest Area Rural Transit -SWART, are all well and very lucky, as we had one of our staff whose son attended Robb Elementary and was in the 4th grade.  He was safe but I pray that the after effects of this tragedy is something he can overcome in time. 

My husband, Kevin, is very sad this morning as I am.  His grand-great nephew’s daughter Ellie was one that was killed yesterday.  She was in the classroom in which the shooter entered.  It took over 8 hours before he had confirmation of her death as DNA had to be used to determine who she was, as was the same with other victims.  

I was born and raised in Uvalde, Texas. My home growing up, where my father still lives, is three blocks from Robb School. I walked home from Robb every day with my childhood friends. At that time, the 70’s, the school did not have security fencing or even enclosed classrooms. The classrooms were open to outside. If you walked out the door, you were stepping into the elements.

As I sat at my desk that Tuesday dealing with normal SWART issues, I heard the sirens. Our community has daily car chases and bailouts because of the illegal activity stemming from the influx of immigration, since we are thirty miles from the border with Mexico. When the realization of an active shooter at one of the schools became a reality, our minds were reeling.

The chaos continues. We are bombarded by media, state and national politicians, Hollywood, and others who do not really share our heartache. I knew only one victim personally. — Ellie Garcia, our great-grand niece. We would run into her and her family in the grocery store or see her on her parents’ Facebook videos and picture. We are heartbroken and feel so much sadness for her parents Steven & Jen, and her four sisters. I also know an aunt or uncle, grandmother or grandfather, or extended family member of the other beautiful souls who were taken too soon.

As recently as a week ago, we saw many of these young girls playing softball. We love to watch the sport, which reminds me of when our girls played. My heart aches for what they must have endured in those last moments and for what their parents and families must endure from now on. I am also angry!

“Not in my town. Not in my elementary school. Not to my people.” That is what my heart is telling me. I know that we are in for years of anguish. This is a wake-up call for our community and other rural communities everywhere. When the media is gone and we are left alone to face this nightmare, we will need to lean on each other more than ever. We will need to lean on our faith in God. Uvaldeans are my people. This is my home. We have always been resilient, but we will never, ever be the same.

Sarah Hidalgo-Cook MSCD, CCTM
General Manager
Southwest Area Regional Transit District
#uvaldestrong
 

Newswire : Draft opinion leaked that Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v Wade

The Roberts Court, April 23, 2021 Seated from left to right: Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor Standing from left to right: Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett. Photograph by Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

By: David Smith/Guardian UK

The US Supreme Court has provisionally voted to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide in America, according to a draft opinion reported on by Politico.
In what appeared to be a stunning and unprecedented leak, Politico said on Monday evening it had obtained an initial majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito and circulated in the court on 10 February.
The opinion strikes down Roe v Wade, the court’s 1973 ruling that enshrined the constitutional right to abortion, and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v Casey – that largely upheld that right.
Politico quoted Alito as saying: “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
The justice adds: “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
Four of the other Republican-appointed justices – Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – voted with Alito in the conference held among the justices, the article added.
After an initial vote among the justices following the oral argument, one is assigned the majority opinion and writes a draft. It is then circulated among the justices. At times, in between the initial vote and the ruling being released, the vote alignment can change. A ruling is only final when it is published by the court.
But if, as expected, it is adopted, the decision would rule in favor of Mississippi in a highly consequential case about that state’s attempt to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. That would sound the death knell for the half-century guarantee of nationwide protection of reproductive rights and allow each state to decide whether to restrict or ban abortion.
Several Republican-led states have already passed highly restrictive abortion laws in anticipation of such a ruling by the supreme court which, thanks to three appointments by Donald Trump, now has a 6-3 conservative majority.
Politico said it received a copy of the draft opinion from a person familiar with the court’s proceedings in the Mississippi case. The draft opinion runs to 98 pages, including a 31-page appendix of historical state abortion laws, and includes 118 footnotes.
Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that the document was authentic and said it was worst security breach in the history of the Supreme Court – regarding one of its most consequential rulings in decades that is sure to enflame America’s deep political divisions. After the Politico story broke, footage posted to social media showed a crowd of protesters gathering outside the supreme court late on Monday night, waving signs and chanting “my body, my choice.”
Democrats condemned the leaked ruling. The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, issued a statement saying overturning Roe v Wade would be “an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history”.
“If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years – not just on women but on all Americans,” they said.
“Every Republican senator who supported Senator McConnell and voted for Trump justices pretending that this day would never come will now have to explain themselves to the American people.”
Christie Roberts, Democratic senatorial campaign executive director, said: “If this report is true, this Republican attack on abortion access, birth control and women’s health care has dramatically escalated the stakes of the 2022 election.
“At this critical moment, we must protect and expand Democrats’ Senate majority with the power to confirm or reject supreme court justices.”
“I am horrified by the apparent draft supreme court opinion leaked this evening … this should not be the supreme court’s final opinion when it comes to abortion rights,” said New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul in a statement. The governor later added on Twitter: “I refuse to let my new granddaughter have to fight for the rights that generations have fought for … won, rights that she should be guaranteed.”
“This decision is a direct assault on the dignity, rights, … lives of women, not to mention decades of settled law,” said the former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. “It will kill and subjugate women even as a vast majority of Americans think abortion should be legal. What an utter disgrace.”
Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted the news showed “Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW”.
Reproductive rights and civil rights advocates also weighed in. Naral Pro-Choice America’s president, Mini Timmaraju, called it “the most ominous and alarming sign yet that our nation’s highest court is poised to overturn Roe v Wade”.
“If the supreme court does indeed issue a majority opinion along the lines of the leaked draft authored by Justice Alito, the shift in the tectonic plates of abortion rights will be as significant as any opinion the court has ever issued,” the ACLU said in a statement.
Republicans, however, were exultant. Madison Cawthorn, a congressman from North Carolina, wrote on Twitter: “Because of Donald J Trump, Roe v Wade will be overturned.”
The Republican senator Tom Cotton condemned the apparent leak but applauded the vote, saying: “The Supreme Court … the DOJ must get to the bottom of this leak immediately using every investigative tool necessary. In the meantime, Roe was egregiously wrong from the beginning … I pray the Court follows the Constitution … allows the states to once again protect unborn life.”
Polling has shown that relatively few Americans want to see Roe overturned. In 2020, AP VoteCast found that 69% of voters in the presidential election said the supreme court should leave the Roe v Wade decision as is; just 29% said the court should overturn the decision.
Alito said the court can’t predict how the public might react and shouldn’t try. “We cannot allow our decisions to be affected by any extraneous influences such as concern about the public’s reaction to our work,” Alito wrote in the draft opinion, according to Politico.

Bingo distributions for March total $504,251.31; sheriff’s supplemental fund totals $62,181.20

On Wednesday,  April 15, 2022, Greene County Sheriff Department issued a listing of the bingo distributions for March, totaling $504,251.31 from four of the five licensed bingo gaming facilities.  The March  distribution reported by the sheriff includes $24,000 from Greenetrack, Inc. and $51,000 from the Sheriff’s Supplemental Fund distributed to Greene County Commission.
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. Newly added  sub charities include the Historical Society, REACH, Inc., Headstart  Community Service and This Belong To US.
Bama Bingo gave a total of $114,995.03 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 $1,026.89, including REACH.  Community Service received $466.77 and This Belong to Us received $93.35.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $114,995.03 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, $1,026.89, including the Historical Society and REACH.  Community Service received $466.77and This Belong to Us $93.35.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of  $118,328 to the following:  Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $48,070; City of Eutaw, $12,543; 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, $1,027, including the Historical Society and REACH.  Community Service received $467 and This Belong to Us received $92.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $155.933.25 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $65,182.92; City of Eutaw, $12,543; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $5,254.50; Greene County Board of Education, $14,238 and the Greene County Health System, $16,950; Sub Charities received $1,392.46, including the Historical Society and REACH $1,392.46. Community Service received $632.94 and This Belong to Us received $126.59.
In the Sheriff’s March distribution report, supplemental funds, totaling $62,181.20, were provided by the four licensed facilities.  Bama Bingo contributed $14,274.79; Frontier contributed $14,274.79; River’s Edge contributed $14,275 and Palace contributed $19,356.62 as sheriff’s supplemental funds.

Newswire: Univ. of Alabama renames building for first Black student, drops name of KKK member

Autherine Lucy in 1956

 


By: Chauncey Alcorn, The Grio

The name of Autherine Lucy Foster, the first Black student at the University of Alabama, will no longer be honored alongside that of a former Ku Klux Klan leader after the school’s trustees voted Friday to remove his name from a campus building.
The vote came a week after university leaders decided to jointly rename the building, Graves Hall, as Lucy-Graves Hall. The academic building was once named after two-term Gov. Bibb Graves, who also was Grand Cyclops of the KKK before leaving the group in the late 1920s.
It will now be known simply as Autherine Lucy Hall, the Washington Post reported. Foster first enrolled at the university in 1956.
On Feb. 3, the university’s trustees voted to change the building’s name to Lucy-Graves Hall to pay homage to Foster. Retired judge and former University of Alabama trustee John England Jr. recently told the New York Times that the building’s previous paired name was meant “to generate educational moments and help us learn from our complex and rich history.”

“Well, somehow or another, the honoring of Autherine Lucy Foster sort of took the background,” England said. “That’s not what we wanted.”
The trustees revisited the issue on Friday deciding to only include Foster’s name.

The school said the decision was made “in honor of Dr. Autherine Lucy Foster’s leadership and to recognize her life as a dedicated educator,” according to a statement reported by New York Times.
Foster was the first Black American to attend a white school or university in Alabama, according to the home of the Crimson Tide. She previously applied to attend in 1952, but was rejected because she wasn’t white, according to the school.
A federal judge eventually overturned that decision prior to Foster being admitted to Alabama in 1956. She was only on campus three days that year before an angry white mob forced her to flee home with a police escort, according to Biography. She hid in an underground room at Graves Hall to avoid an angry and racially motivated mob, during her first few days at the University.
University administrators suspended Foster the same night and later expelled her for making up “rumors” that the school’s leaders were responsible for the mob that chased her off campus.
Foster’s expulsion was revoked in 1988. She enrolled at the school, along with her daughter, Grazia, once more a year later and earned a master’s degree in education in 1991, according to the university.
In 2019, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Alabama for her contributions to education and integration in the state.
“I am so grateful to all who think that this naming opportunity has the potential to motivate and encourage others to embrace the importance of education, and to have the courage to commit to things that seek to make a difference in the lives of others,” Foster said in a statement.

Newswire: Black History Month opens with more
than a dozen bomb threats at HBCUs

Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

More than a dozen historically Black colleges and universities received bomb threats on Tuesday, February 1. The threats, the second such in two days, arrived on the first day of Black History Month.

In the past two weeks, more than 20 HBCU’s received telephone bomb threats. Some HBCU’s received repeat threats.

Howard University in Washington, D.C., again found itself the target of such ominous threats.
The school issued a shelter-in-place order on Tuesday.

“A bomb threat against the university is being investigated,” read a 3:29 a.m. alert from Howard University. “All persons on campus are advised to shelter in place until more information is available. ”The school later issued an all-clear.

The University of the District of Columbia, Morgan State University and Coppin State University in Baltimore, Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia, Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky, Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Edward Waters University in Jacksonville, Florida, Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi, Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi, Spelman College in Atlanta, Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, and Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi, all reported bomb threats.

In a statement, Morgan State University President David K. Wilson said he was saddened to confirm that the school had received a bomb threat. He said several individuals had asked about the veracity of the threat. “Unfortunately, and sadly, it is,” he said. “The campus is being searched building-by-building this morning with our residential halls being searched first.”

HBCU Presidents also referred these threats to the FBI and the U. S. Justice Department for a major investigation to determine if the threats are related and part of a larger criminal conspiracy against Black educational and community organizations.

Local candidates qualify for May 24, 2022 Primary

Lorenzo French, spokesperson for the Greene County Democratic Executive Committee, released a list of candidates that qualified for local races in the May 24, 2022 Primary Election. French stated that only two seats are up for the Greene County Board Education. “Three candidates in District 1 and three candidates in District 2,” French announced.
In District 1, incumbent Greene County School Board Member Carol P. Zippert is challenged by Robert Davis, Jr. and Fentress “Duke’ Means.
In District 2, current school board member Kashaya Cockrell is challenged by Tameka King and Brandon R. Merriweather.
French announced that all county commission seats are up. Garria Spencer and Shelia R. Daniels have qualified for Commission Seat, District 1. Commissioner Tennyson Smith is unopposed in District 2, and Commissioner Corey Cockrell is unopposed in District 3.
In County Commission District 4, incumbent Allen Turner, Jr, is challenged by Christopher Armstead and Malcom Merriweather.
In Commission District 5, incumbent Roshanda Summerville is challenged by Marvin Childs, Anikia Coleman and Sharlene French.
Two candidates qualified for District Attorney, 17 Judicial Circuit, serving Greene, Sumter and Marengo Counties including incumbent Greg Griggers and Attorney Barrown Lankster, both of Demopolis, AL.
The May 24 Democratic Primary will also feature the Greene County Democratic Committee positions: District 1 candidates: Tony Betha, Sandra Walker, Loydleetta Wabbington, Bernice H. Burton, Joe Chambers, Gary Pearce and Vernon Strode. District 2 candidates: Lorenzo French, Amy Billups Wiggins, Linda Spencer, Sarah Duncan, Gus Richardson, Mattie Strode and Morris Hardy. District 3 candidates: LaJeffery “Chris” Carpenter, Spiver Gordon, Tracy Hunter, Mary Morrow Dunn, Joe Lee Powell, Antonio Pearson, Elzora Fluker, Hattie Edwards, Erika L. Long, Lester Cotton and Frank Smith. District candidates 4: Regina Hines White, Christine Carter, Abraham Croxton, Jr. and Sally Spencer. District 5 candidates: Shameria Jordan, Barbara Ann Collins, Daisy Ann Hutton, Barbara Amerson Hunter and James E. Morrow.

COVID-19

As of November 30, 2021 at 10:00 AM
(according to Alabama Political Reporter)

Alabama had 845,761 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(4,278) more than last week with 16,119 deaths (76) more
than last week)

Greene County had 1,302 confirmed cases, (5 more cases than last week), with 45 deaths

Sumter Co. had 1,392 cases with 41 deaths

Hale Co. had 3,184 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: Major changes announced to U.S. Department of Education’s Loan Forgiveness Plan

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday, October 6, announced an overhaul of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.
Education Department officials said they would implement the overhaul over the next year and make the program live up to its promise.
According to a news release, the policy will result in 22,000 borrowers who have consolidated loans – including previously ineligible loans – being immediately eligible for $1.74 billion in forgiveness without the need for further action on their part.
Another 27,000 borrowers could potentially qualify for an additional $2.82 billion in forgiveness if they certify additional periods of employment.
In total, the Department estimates that over 550,000 borrowers who have previously consolidated will see an increase in qualifying payments with the average borrower receiving another two years of progress toward forgiveness.
Many more will also see progress as borrowers consolidate into the Direct Loan program and apply for PSLF, and as the Department rolls out other changes in the weeks and months ahead, officials stated.
“Borrowers who devote a decade of their lives to public service should be able to rely on the promise of Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona stated in the news release.
“The system has not delivered on that promise to date, but that is about to change for many borrowers who have served their communities and their country,” Cardona continued.
“Teachers, nurses, first responders, service members, and so many public service workers have had our back especially amid the challenges of the pandemic. Today, the Biden Administration is showing that we have their backs, too.
A Fact Sheet about the Student Loan Forgiveness Plan, is available at the DOE website.