Black Belt Folk Roots Festival

Virtual Festival on Special Website
Scheduled for Saturday, August 22, 2020
The Website Link for the Virtual Festival
beginning Saturday, August 22nd


blackbeltfolkrootsfestival.weebly.com

The Black Belt Folk Roots Festival is produced by
The Society of Folk Arts & Culture
for more information contact:
Carol Zippert at 205-372-0525
Email: zippert.carol79@gmail.com

COVID-19

As of August 19, 2020 at 11:00 AM
Alabama had 106,784 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(6,000 more than last week) with 1,876 deaths (62 more
than last week)
Greene County had 265 confirmed cases, (13 more cases
than last week), with 13 deaths
Sumter Co. had 379 cases with 19 deaths Hale Co. had 504 cases with 26 deaths

Greene County High School holds outdoor graduation for Class of 2020

The GCHS Class of 2020 held its graduation ceremony out-of-doors, Friday, July 24, 2020, to insure the safety of all participants. The graduates were seated a safe distance apart in the stadium at Robert Brown Middle School. Parents and guests were also seated socially distanced on the football field. All wore masks.
Parents and guest at graduation ceremony were seated
observing social distancing. Everyone wore masks.
Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones welcomes parents and community to GCHS graduation ceremony. Also shown are GCHS Principal Willie Simmons and Assistant Principal Andrea Perry.
Elouise Edwards, GCHS Valedictorian Class of 2020
Ashanti Harper, GCHS Salutatorian Class of 2020

25 cars join ‘Slow Ride for Justice’ through Eutaw to protest police brutality and call for criminal justice reform

Cars lining up at the National Guard Armory for the “Slow-ride”

On Sunday afternoon, June 14, 2020, twenty-five cars joined the ‘Slow Ride for Justice’ through the City of Eutaw, to protest the police killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others. The ride called for criminal justice reform and passage of the Justice in Policing Act, proposed by the Black Congressional Caucus.
The caravan was sponsored by the Alabama Civil Rights Museum Movement under the director of Spiver W. Gordon, its President. “We decided on a slow ride so that our elderly and others reluctant to expose themselves to coronavirus would feel free to participate,” said Gordon.
Cars, covered with signs saying: No Justice – No Peace, Black Lives Matter, Equal Justice for All, Stop Killing Black People and others, left from the National Guard Armory, driving west on Highway 14, down Prairie Avenue passing King Village and Branch Heights, turning back north on Highway 43 and east on Highway 14 to the Courthouse Square, named for Sheriff Thomas Gilmore.
A rally with people in masks and at social distancing was held at the Courthouse Square. Many speakers spoke and prayed for greater justice in the work of police departments across the nation.
Many of the speakers were concerned that police killings were the third greatest cause of death for Black men between the ages of 18 and 30 years old.
“In addition to the coronavirus pandemic raging in this country, we have a long-standing pandemic of racism that also plagues Black people,” said Gordon.

Greene County Sheriff changes bingo distribution rules  County Commission no longer receives funding from bingo

Shown above Greene County School Supintendent Dr. Corey Jones, Boligee  City Coucilwoman Ernestine Wade, Representing the City of Eutaw, Larry Sandford, Union City Councilwoman Rosie Davis, Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Forkland clerk Lynette Woods, Representing the Greene County Hospital Board Chair John Zippert and Bingo Clerk Minnie Byrd.

The September 2019 bingo distribution did not include funds for the Greene County Commission. The Commission had been receiving approximately $72,000 per month, funds provided by only three of the currently four operating bingo entities in the county including Greenetrack, Inc., River’s Edge and Frontier Bingo Parlors. The Palace bingo facility does not contribute any funds to the County Commission.
In his rule change dated September 30, 2019, Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison stated that the Greene County Commission has refused to provide responses to the Sheriff’s repeated requests for information on the Commission’s use of bingo funds during the previous three years.
According to County Commission records, approximately 60% of the bingo resources provided to the county are earmarked for matching funds required for ALDOT (Alabama Department of Transportation) and ATRIP grants awarded to the county, with the remaining funds used for continuing county road projects. According to the County CFO Paula Bird, regular reports on bingo funds received are submitted to the Sheriff’s office.

Greenetrack, Inc., Frontier and River’s Edge each provided $24,000 in the September distribution for the Greene County Commission which was withheld by Sheriff Benison, who indicated in his distribution report that this amount, totaling $72,000, would be placed in trust.
For the month of September, the Sheriff’s Department reported a total distribution of $357,960 from the four licensed bingo gaming operations in the county.  The bingo distributions for September are contributed by Greenetrack, Inc., Frontier, River’s Edge and Palace. 
  The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations currently include 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).  
   Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, -$0-(no distribution); Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $-0-(no distribution); Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, Greene County Health System, $7,500.  
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $73,300 to the following: Greene County Commission, $-0-(no distribution); Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, and the Greene County Health System,  $11,600.
    Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $151,360 to the following: Greene County Commission, $-0- (no distribution); Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $80,960; City of Eutaw, $24,640; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $7,040; Greene County Board of Education, $7,040 and the Greene County Health System, $17,600.