School Board installs three members; re-elects Zippert and Cockrell as President and Vice President

A key feature of the November Greene County Board of Education meeting, held Monday, Nov.16, 2020, was the installation of three board members to six year terms each. First time board member, Mrs. Veronica Richardson, of the Dollarhide Community, now represents District 3. Mr. Leo Branch and Ms. Carrie Dancy were reelected in 2020 to their respective Districts 4 and 5. Greene County District Judge Lillie Jones Osborne officiated at the installation.
November is also the designated time that Alabama school boards must reorganize, selecting a president and a vice president; setting regular meeting dates and time. Dr. Carol P. Zippert and Ms. Kashaya Cockrell were unanimously re-elected as Board President and Vice President, respectively, for the 2020-2021 year. The board also agreed to continue its current monthly meeting schedule of the third Monday at 4:30 pm in the Central Office.
In his report to the board, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones began his remarks with an update on the current COVID-19 positivity rate in Greene County, 22.13%. He stated that this impacts the school system’s overall goal of moving the academic program from Phase I – total virtual learning. “Health officials state that the COVID-19 positivity rate must be no more than 5% before it is safe to bring students and school personnel in face-to-face classes,” he said. He noted that it is likely that the system will begin the third nine week period continuing in Phase I if the coronavirus pandemic continues on this rising path.
Jones emphasized that the system is enacting multiple approaches to enhance student achievement during these difficult times. These efforts include retaining a curriculum specialist to assist teachers in designing and implementing effective class presentations that engage students in their learning. ACT tutors provide enrichment and tutoring, including Booth Camps before the actual test to further prepare students. The second year of the STAR Academy targets 7th & 8th graders providing more intensive studies in the core curriculum, and the 21st Century After-School Tutorial and Enrichment Program is also conducted virtually for students at Eutaw Primary and Robert Brown Middle Schools.
According to Dr. Jones, his office is in the process of arranging for additional tutors from Stillman College to provide one-on-one assistance to local students. “The Stillman tutors will be selected from honor students in the Department of Education,” he said.
Superintendent Jones announced that he is planning Virtual Town Hall meetings to connect with parents and other community persons to continue the efforts of engaging them in students’ education.
The board approved the following recommendations presented by Superintendent Jones.
Employment: Gerald Holloway as bus driver, Department of Transportation; Quinten Walton as Math teacher, Robert Brown Middle School; James Gaines, Supervisor, Transportation; Department; Tabitha Smith as long-term substitute for sixth grade Social Studies at Robert Brown Middle School.
One-time stipend for Corey Cockrell for Athletics Training with Greene County High School football team.
Resignation of Ms. Angelia Hood as Special Education Coordinator, effective January 29, 2021.
Memorandum between Greene County Board of Education and Stillman College for academic tutorial assistance to benefit students in their virtual classroom learning experience, to be prepared by Superintendent Jones and Attorney Hank Sanders.
In her report to the board, which represented the financial reports of September, 2020, CSFO, Ms. Lavonda Blair, stated that the finances of the school system were in good condition. She reported the following in her financial snapshot: General Fund Balance – $913,320.14; Check Register Accountability Report – $1,026,615.82 (This amount includes $326,131.13 debt service payment for the Star Academy Program, which is reimbursable from a State Grant); Payroll Register – $822,117.51; Combined Fund Balance – $4,290.024.18.
Local revenue totaled $158,128.65, with $109.075.65 from property/sale taxes and $49,063 from bingo.
Ms. Blair noted that the system was able to collect back revenue from the GEAR-UP Program, back to 2015, in the amount of $20,000.

Greene County Commission holds special meeting on status of the ambulance service

Nick Wilson Chief of EMS with ambulance

By: John Zippert,
Co-Publisher

On Thursday, November 12th, the Greene County Commission held a special meeting to consider concerns with the operation and governance of the Greene County Ambulance Service.
The meeting was called to respond to concerns raised by Dr. Marcia Pugh, CEO of the Hospital, who was appointed to represent the Commission on the Board of Directors of the Ambulance Service. In an earlier Commission work session, Dr. Pugh voiced concerns over the fact that the Board of the Ambulance Service was not holding regular meetings, not having financial reports, and generally operating in an unaccountable manner.
The Ambulance Service director moved its operational office from the Eutaw City Hall to the former Warrior Academy building without consultation and approval by the its Board of Directors. Members of the County Commission, including new Chair Roshonda Summerville, members Lester Brown and Corey Cockrell also said they were unaware that the Ambulance Service had moved from City Hall.
Louis Jines, Chair of the Ambulance Board explained that the Board of Directors had not been meeting because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Commissioner Cockrel asked, “has the Board considered virtual meetings by phone or zoom”. Jines answered that the Internet service in his home area near Forkland was inadequate for virtual meetings.
Walter Staples, a military veteran serving on the Ambulance Board said, “Since I have been on the Board our role was to maintain the vehicles and medical supplies. We don’t have enough money coming in to require a budget.”
Dr. Pugh also indicated that the Ambulance Service had not picked up a patient recently from the Nursing Home who needed to be transported to Tuscaloosa for medical testing.
Nick Wilson, Director of the Ambulance Service said he was overwhelmed with other cases that day and was not able to pick up the person because it was not an emergency call. Wilson also questioned whether it was appropriate to air these complaints in a Greene County Commission meeting.
Commissioner Brown said the Commission would likely be sued if there was a serious problem and someone decided to sue the Ambulance Service.” Your board must meet, function and make decisions, follow your by-laws and act legally to avoid bringing complaints and lawsuits against the Ambulance Service and County Commission,” explained Brown.
Dr. Pugh said, “This is why the board needs to meet, review finances and policies and resolve problems before they are brought to the County Commission.”
Nick Martin and deputy chief, Zack Bolding, expressed some frustration with the process. “The County Commission gives the Ambulance Service only $28,000 toward our budget. We have had to raise money from other sources and private donors. In the 15 months that I have been director, no one from the County Commission has come to visit us at City Hall or Warrior Academy,” said Wilson.
Commission Brown said, “If you hold Board meetings, like your by-laws require and you invite us, we will come. Two of us can come at a time. We invited you to a budget meeting and a working session to discuss the problems but you did not come.”
The Commission’s counsel, Attorney Hank Sanders referred the Ambulance Board to its by-laws, “You have two members appointed by the Chair of the Commission, two members appointed by the City of Eutaw, and one each from the Towns of Forkland, Boligee and Union. All these political entities just had elections and the Mayors and the Commission Chair have the right to name your Board members. You need to check with them, get your board appointments and reorganize and operate properly under your by-laws.”
Attorney Sanders further advised that, “Your by-laws provide for the Ambulance Board to make an annual report to the Commission and the public, at the end of each fiscal year, on your contracts, leases, association memberships, finances, capital and operating budgets; major activities; compliance with local, state and federal regulations; and a statement of goals and objectives for the next year.”
The special meeting ended on a note of unity that the Ambulance Board would meet, reconstitute itself, discuss problems and plans and report back to the Commission and municipal entities with a clearer picture of its goals and needs for the future.

Newswire: Killing of Black teenager, Quawan” Bobby” Charles,was Emmett Till like lynching’ say local residents

Quawan “Bobby” Charles of Iberia Parish, Louisiana

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Who is Quawan “Bobby” Charles, and why are some comparing his death to Emmett Till? The 15-year-old’s death has sparked demonstrations in rural Iberia Parish, Louisiana, a densely populated county where African Americans comprise about 31 percent of its residents.
According to multiple reports and photos circulating the internet, Quawan’s battered body was found by authorities sometime during or after Halloween night.
Police have not confirmed where and exactly when they found Quawan’s body, but family members have claimed it was discovered in a sugar cane field not far from his home.
A photo shows the teen’s face badly discolored and swollen, with parts of his jaw exposed and skin missing. There are bruises on his forehead.
“Many say Charles’ body resembles 14-year-old Emmett Till who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after being accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store,” reported the news website, The NC Beat, which published a side-by-side photo comparison of Quawan Charles and Emmett Till. Law enforcement officials in Louisiana have not confirmed the authenticity of Quawan’s photo.

Investigators have noted that they’re still processing evidence, interviewing various individuals, and are awaiting autopsy results. “The disrespect [from law enforcement] and lack of transparency are unacceptable,” ACLU of Louisiana executive director Alanah Odoms Hebert wrote in a statement.
“We join the family in demanding a full and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Bobby’s death,” Hebert continued. “This family is grieving and deserves answers – not disrespect and stonewalling.” Demonstrators have reportedly questioned the possibility that the case involves foul play.
Many gathered along with Quawan’s family on Wednesday, Nov. 11, outside of the Iberia Parish Courthouse to demand more information be released.
“We are here to demand justice for a family of people who gruesomely lost their loved one, a 15-year-old child who was found in a way that just breaks my heart,” demonstrator Jamal Taylor told Louisiana’s WAFB-TV. “Members of law enforcement have done what they do well, which is deny and hide behind a pending investigation. This family deserves answers,” Taylor remarked.

Ron Haley, the attorney representing Quawan’s family, also chided authorities for their lack of transparency. “There are certain circumstances where I absolutely understand – and I think anybody would – why things aren’t made [available] to the public,” Haley told WAFB.
“But let’s talk specifically about Bobby Charles. His family should know…His mother and father should be made aware of every step of this investigation.”
Racial tensions have routinely boiled over in Iberia Parish, where lynching of Black people became a regular occurrence following Reconstruction.
A blistering 2018 article published in The Acadiana Advocate reported that the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office had employed a violent gang with racist tendencies and batons.
According to the report, deputies in the Sheriff Department’s elite narcotics squad routinely beat suspects, and sometimes just random African Americans they confronted.
“Some of the same deputies fabricated reports, made bogus arrests and lied under oath to cover their tracks,” the newspaper reported. “And to hear federal prosecutors tell it, Sheriff Louis Ackal was the architect of the whole thing.”
Not long after he took office, in 2008, three of Ackal’s drug agents got caught jumping two young black residents just for kicks. Ackal allegedly dismissed the matter as “just another case of n*-knocking,” a comment deputies said made the rounds of the narcotics squad and set a free-swinging tone for years of abuse.
Nearly a dozen Iberia Parish deputies would eventually confess to civil rights violations, and several agreed to testify against their boss over the biggest policing scandal in Louisiana in a decade. But then Ackal beat the rap in 2016 and came back to town.
Quawan’s family has started a GoFundMe to help pay for an independent autopsy. The site also contains a graphic photo of the teen’s body.So far, the effort has raised more than $265,000 against its original $15,000 goal.

“According to Eugene Weatherspoon Collins of the Baton Rouge NAACP, Quawan Charles was lynched just like Emmett Till,’” Baton Rouge activist Gary Chambers wrote this week on Facebook. “There is no other way to put it.”

Newswire: Cash-strapped African countries face pain from foreign interest obligations

African countries face international debt 


Nov. 16, 2020 (GIN) – Foreign investors who plied African countries with huge loans despite obvious difficulties for repayment got some bad news this week.
 
The government of Zambia announced it will miss a Nov. 13 deadline to repay $42.5 million in interest to Eurobond holders after the investors rejected a six month delay sought by Zambia to pay up. This could set a precedent, lenders fear.
 
Zambia has been struggling to come up with money at a time when the risk of COVID-19 infection is high and prices for their commodities, especially oil, are low.
 
Should indebted countries default, they could find themselves unable to borrow money from international capital markets for years.
 
This year, rich nations belonging to the so-called Group of 20 or G20 devised a “Debt Service Suspension Initiative” to help the world’s poorest countries cope with the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis until the middle of next year.
 
The ‘DSSI’ offers a temporary suspension of “official sector” or government-to-government debt payment, and 43 countries have signed up so far. However, it does not cover private loans such as the Eurobonds coming due for Zambia.
 
Last month, the China Development Bank agreed to reschedule Zambia’s interest payments until April 2021. Zambia owed the bank roughly $391 million at the end of last year – about a tenth of the $3 billion it owes Chinese entities – according to the finance ministry. It was not clear whether the loan in question covers all of this debt or a fraction of it.
 
In 2018, China took possession of a valuable port in Sri Lanka and 15,000 acres when that country was unable to reschedule its debt.
 
Zambia is one of the world’s top copper producers but foreign companies own 80% of Zambia’s annual copper production. They are MCM, which is 73.1% owned by the Anglo-Swiss multinational Glencore, First Quantum Minerals of Canada which owns 16.9%, and Zambia’s mining investment arm ZCCM-IH which owns 10%.
 

Newswire: African American woman, Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, makes US Naval Academy history

Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, a mechanical engineering major from Illinois, has been named brigade commander for the spring semester at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Barber, a track star with a stated desire to work as a Marine Corps ground officer, becomes the first Black woman to lead the Naval Academy’s student body.
The brigade commander heads the Academy’s day-to-day activities and trains the class of approximately 4,500 midshipmen. Barber becomes the 16th woman to serve in that role.
“Earning the title of brigade commander speaks volumes, but the title itself is not nearly as significant as the opportunity it brings to lead a team in doing something I believe will be truly special,” Barber said in a news release. “I am humbled to play a small role in this momentous season of American history.”
As a walk-on sprinter and hurdler of the Navy Women’s Varsity Track and Field team, Barber has lettered all three years of competing and is an Academy record holder for the outdoor 4x400m relay, according to her biography.
She is the co-president of the Navy Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club, secretary for the National Society of Black Engineers, and a USNA Gospel Choir and Midshipman Black Studies Club member.
Barber served as the 13th company’s executive officer and currently serves as the Brigade’s 1st regiment executive officer.
She also initiated a STEM outreach program that leverages mentoring, literature, and service lessons to serve middle school-aged girls of color.
Barber led a team to organize the inaugural U.S. Naval Academy Black Female Network Breakfast to bridge the generational gap between current black midshipmen and alumni.
Barber is recently credited with mobilizing a team of more than 180 midshipmen, faculty, and alumni to develop the Midshipman Diversity Team to promote greater diversity, inclusivity, and equity within the Brigade.
“Sydney stands out amongst her peers, for not only her exemplary record but for her clear vision of how she intends to make the world a better place and her accompanying bias for action,” said Lt. Commander Darby Yeager, a member of the U.S. Navy Academy’s Truman Scholarship Selection Committee.
“We were incredibly proud to have Sydney represent the Naval Academy in her Truman Scholarship interview this year,” Yeager added.
Janie Mines, who became the first Black woman to graduate from the Naval Academy in 1980, expressed her excitement for Barber on Twitter. “This bought me to tears. This young woman, Midshipman Sydney Barber, will be the first Black Female Brigade Commander at the U.S. Naval Academy. 40 years later. Thank you, Sydney! Love you!” Mines tweeted.

Newswire : New Coronavirus vaccine requires ‘trust’ of African American community

Doctor measures vaccine dose

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

News that Pfizer and BioNTech’s announcement that their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among those without previous infection arrives as the United States continues to realize record-breaking new cases.
For the first time on Thursday, November 12, the country surpassed 150,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day. The total number of cases soared past 10.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Both California and Texas have recorded more than 1 million total cases, while states like Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey have seen significant rises in COVID infections.
The most recent available statistics show that the District of Columbia has more than 18,500 total positive cases and 657 deaths. Washington, DC health officials have administered nearly 572,000 COVID tests to roughly 272,000 residents.
More than 242,000 people have died in the United States since the declaration of the outbreak of the pandemic in March. Health officials have expressed that the new vaccine offers real hope for the future.
“It is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, offered in a news release.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most, with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity, and economies struggling to reopen,” Dr. Bourla remarked.
He continued: “We are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.”
Pfizer has maintained a strategic partnership with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, offering insight on various rare diseases like sickle cell that disproportionately affect the African American community.
Dr. Kevin Williams, the Chief Medical Officer for Pfizer’s Rare Disease unit, periodically writes a column in the Black Press to help keep the African American community informed.
According to information posted on the CDC’s website, clinical development is a three-phase process. During Phase I, small groups of people receive the trial vaccine. In Phase II, the clinical study is expanded, and vaccine is given to people who have characteristics (such as age and physical health) similar to those for whom the new vaccine is intended. In Phase III, the vaccine is given to thousands of people and tested for efficacy and safety.
Pfizer’s vaccine is the first in the United States to generate late-stage data. An analysis of individuals that received two injections of the vaccine, spaced three weeks apart, revealed more than 90 percent fewer cases of symptomatic COVID-19 when compared to those who received the placebo.
The results are significant because health and science experts have stated that they expected a vaccine to yield an effective rate of no more than 70 percent.
In spite of this good news, many in the African American community continue to take a wait-and-see approach. “Somehow, scientific, education and community leaders must reassure a skeptical community of color that the vaccine will help and protect them,” said Gina Harper.
She created an urban garden in New York after growing up on a farm in Oklahoma. “Perhaps the best way would be to prove the point by exemplifying members of the Black community who have taken the vaccine and remained healthy,” Harper remarked.
The Pfizer vaccine clinical trial “went out of its way in their recruitment and enlarged their initial population of 30,000 to almost 44,000 to recruit more people of color,” stated Dale Yuzuki, a biotech executive and author of “COVID-19: From Chaos to Cure. The Biology Behind the Fight Against the Novel Coronavirus.”
“It is certainly a focus within the National Institutes of Health, where they are sensitized to the acute needs of minority populations and their justified suspicion of government-sponsored public health programs.”
Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, one of the world’s foremost immunologists and president and CEO of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., is a recent appointee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s commission that will ultimately approve the Pfizer vaccine and any others.
Hildreth, an African American, insists that any vaccine must have the confidence of Black people. “I’ve made the decision that I’m going to participate in one of the vaccine trials. The trust issue cannot be overstated,” Dr. Hildreth said.
“We have to have more trusted messengers and more trusted opinion leaders to make this work.”

Newswire: ‘How did 12 percent of Black men vote for Trump?’

Black man with vote mask

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Juan Williams posited that he’s a Black man born in a Latin country and grew up in a Spanish-speaking family. The author and Fox News political analyst then stated a head-scratching fact that many still find difficult to rationalize.
“It stuns me to see that President Trump set a record last week by attracting the highest percentage of the non-white vote of any Republican presidential candidate in the last 60 years,” Williams wrote in an editorial for The Hill.
Perhaps must stunning, lamented Williams, “How did 12 percent of Black men vote for Trump?”
Although an overwhelming majority of Black men, 80%, voted for President-elect Joe Biden, support for the Democratic presidential ticket reached a new low among Black men in 2020, according to the NBC News poll of early and Election Day voters.
In the same poll, 8% of Black male voters were reported to have cast their ballots for alternative candidates.
In Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, of all Blacks casting ballots, 95 percent of Black men and 96 percent of Black women chose him, NBC News reported. Four years later, Black women’s support remained at 96 percent for Obama’s 2012 re-election. However, the black male vote decreased to 87 percent.
In 2016, when the nominee was Hillary Clinton, Black men dropped even further to 82 percent, while Black women’s support for Clinton remained high at 94 percent. Biden came close to matching that this year, garnering the support of 91 percent of Black women.
“It’s a trust issue. I view the Black community’s relationship with the Democratic Party, for example, as sort of like a domestic violence relationship,” Demetre Coles, a 25-year-old African American who lives in Waterbury, Conn., told NPR.
Coles told the outlet he voted for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins because Coles couldn’t connect with Democrats or Republicans. “We’ve been giving our vote to them loyally for 55, 60 years, and we have got nothing in return,” Coles remarked. And as for the Republican Party, I don’t feel as if they care about me at all. It’s just more blatant.”
While Coles expressed a reason for casting his ballot for an alternative candidate who had virtually no chance to win, his declaration didn’t explain why so many other Black men voted for Trump.
“Black men are hurting. Political parties mostly forget them, and then there’s this anger — whether it’s right or misguided — towards Biden for the 1994 Crime Bill,” said Unique Tolliver, a New York-based mathematician.
The 1994 Crime Bill, which was authored by then Senator Biden, and signed by President Bill Clinton, was crafted to address rising crime in the United States. The law contained numerous crime prevention provisions, including the controversial “three strikes” mandatory life sentences for repeat violent offenders.
The law, which also called for funding community policing and prisons, disproportionately punished African American men, and most observers said it caused mass incarceration.
“But, what Black people [today] fail to understand is that, at the time, there were all of these Black people, including the clergy, who supported the bill,” said Lenora Turner, a California-based psychologist.
“So, with Black men still smarting over that bill and holding it against Biden, and Trump repeatedly spreading the falsehood of how much he’s done for the Black community, you had quite the storm brewing among Black male voters,” Turner offered.
“You also had respected strong Black men like Ice Cube — even though he said he didn’t endorse Trump — swaying Black men. I know that makes it sound like Black men don’t have a mind of their own, but think about what Ice Cube came out and said. He said the Democrats told him we’d talk later while Trump ‘listened’ and agreed to institute some of Cube’s initiatives in the President’s overall plan.”
Still, as Juan Williams noted in his editorial, Trump’s racism toward Blacks and Latinos is so well-established. “It’s sad to say, but a lot of Black and Latino voters, especially the men, got distracted by Trump’s boasts and bling,” said Williams.
Half of all Americans in a June 2020 YouGov/Yahoo News poll said outright that he is a racist, and another 13 percent could only say they are “not sure” whether he is a racist or not.
A Quinnipiac University poll in July 2019, found that 80 percent of Black people and 55 percent of Latinos said Trump is a racist. A Fox News poll in July 2019 found 57 percent of Americans agreed that Trump has no respect for racial minorities.

Eutaw City Council moves forward, secures help with finances and operating water system

Tommy Johnson take oath of office as new Police Chief of Eutaw on Nov. 2, from Judge Josh Swords; his wife holds Bible.

By John Zippert,
Co-Publisher
The new Mayor and City Council of Eutaw met for its first regular meeting on November 10, 2020 at the Carver School Community Center gymnasium. The City Council held an Organizational Meeting on November 2nd after they were sworn-in to handle procedures and appointments.
Mayor Latasha Johnson said that she had spent most of the past week learning about the operation of the City’s water system and securing a needed permit from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, which had expired in the Spring of the year.
Mayor Johnson indicated that she had received help from Kathie Horne of Rural Water Management, a consulting firm, that the previous mayor had barred from working at the City Hall. “We worked most of last week and weekend with ADEM to secure the permit to operate our water system. We were about to incur fines of $10,000 a day for being out of compliance but we have resolved this issue,” said Johnson.
Johnson, City Clerk Kathy Bir and Assistant Clerk Joe Lee Powell have worked with Rural Water Management, the computer softwear company that handles the water billing and others to begin to unravel the billing and water loss problems of the Eutaw Water System.
Powell said, “By January 2021, we should have a pretty good handle on the water meters, billing and revenues; in November, we billed for over $90,000 water, sewer and garbage bills. We are also enforcing a “no cash policy” which means residents must pay their bills with checks or money orders.”
Johnson presented a proposal from former City Council member, attorney and financial management consultant to York and Livingston, Ralph Liverman, to provide financial management services to the Eutaw City Council including preparing a budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, monthly financial reports, a four-year capital and infrastructure improvement plan and budget. Council approved this agreement with Liverman, which will cost no more than $1,500 a month.
The Council appointed Mayor Latasha Johnson as “City Water Superintendent” for a compensation of $800 month in addition to her salary as Mayor. When asked, how the City was going to pay for all these expenses, Mayor Johnson said, “We have found and deposited over $30,000 in checks and cash this week, that was casually lying around in the office, in drawers and cabinets. Also, we are expecting better revenues from the Water Department, as we straighten it out and there are some positions we discontinued and will not fill, until we are sure we can afford them.”
In other actions, the Eutaw City Council:
• Received a proclamation from Alabama Governor Kay Ivy extending the state “Safer at Home” health order, which includes mandatory mask wearing, from November 8, 2020 to January 7, 2021. Councilwoman Tracie Hunter suggested that the City check with local businesses and urge them to enforce the mask mandate because some are not requiring mask wearing.
• Agreed to advertise available city positions for 3 weeks in both local newspapers. The positions include: Utility Clerk, Assistant Utility Clerk, UCR Clerk and Assistant Clerk, Water/Sewer Workers and Street/Garbage Workers.
• Approved a new City employee pay scale which will raise wages for most employees.
• Approved purchase of an overnight deposit bag for Merchants and Farmers Bank.
• Agreed to celebrate Veterans Day (November 11) as a paid holiday for city employees.
Chief of Police, Tommy Johnson introduced has staff of new officers and said all would wear unforms rather than other forms of dress.
Mayor Johnson asked Council members with resident’s complaints about streets, drainage and other concerns, to put them in writing and submit them, so she and the city staff can be sure to respond and correct any problems.
Councilwoman Jacqueline Stewart asked that the City Council members be informed between meetings of any new hires for city positions so that they would know before their constituents questioned them about new people.
Councilwoman Valerie Watkins asked for a training in Robert’s Rules of Order, so they would know the proper way to make motions and conduct city business.
Councilwoman Tracie Hunter asked the audience “To pray with us and for us and be patient as we learn how to be a good City Council.”

COVID-19

As of November 11, 2020 at 11:30 AM
(according to Alabama Political Reporter)
Alabama had 208,637 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(10,860 more than last week) with 3,201 deaths (195 more than last week)
Greene County had 362 confirmed cases,
(8 more cases than last week),
with 17 deaths
Sumter Co. had 514 cases with 21 deaths
Hale Co. had 843 cases with 30 deaths