Chief Derick Coleman Retiring

Retiring Eutaw Police Chief, Derick Coleman
will be recognized for his work
at a program scheduled for
Friday, October 30, 2020 at 12:00 noon
on the Thomas Gilmore Courthouse Square
in Eutaw, sponsored by the
Greene County First Responders
Support Group

Eutaw City Council certifies municipal elections; approves $70,000 + in CARES funds for EMS equipment

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, at 12 noon, the Eutaw City Council met to certify the municipal run-off election held Tuesday, October 6, 2020. Mrs. Mattie Atkins, Eutaw Municipal Election Official, presented the Resolutions and Certificates of Election attesting to the process that confirmed the final number of votes for each candidate, declaring the respective winners for mayor and council members. The current council members and mayor signed all Resolutions and Certificates.
Mrs. Atkins acknowledge the assistance of Mrs. Johnnie Knott and Eutaw staff who provided invaluable assistance. Mayor Raymond Steele also offered special appreciation to Mrs. Atkins and Mrs. Knott for their service.
The Eutaw City Officials will be sworn in prior to their first official meeting in November.
The council approved a budget of $2,000 for the inauguration ceremonies.
The Eutaw City Council met in its regular 2nd Tuesday monthly meeting, following the certification. Mayor Raymond Steele did not remain for the City Council meeting. Mayor Pro Tem LaJeffery Carpenter presided.
The council approved approximately $ 68,000 in CARES funds to purchase two Life Pak 15 Defibrillators with consideration of purchasing a multiple year service contract for the equipment at $2,000 per year. The federal CARES money must be spent by December 31, 2020. Eutaw EMS Director Nick Wilson reported that the Eutaw Ambulance Service now has six Federally Registered Para Medics – three full time and three part time.
Councilman Joe Powell asked the council to consider the bid for constructing a storm shelter in Branch Heights. The only bid submitted was for $95, 495 for a shelter with a 96 capacity. The item was tabled. The council commented that the bid process for the shelter could re-open.
The council approved a request from Katie and James Powell for a daycare center in Branch Heights, with the necessary documentation from the Fire Marshall.
The council announced that Eutaw Police Chief, Derick Coleman submitted his letter of retirement effective October 30, 2020. Two additional Eutaw police officers have resigned: Assistant Police Chief Rodriquez Jones effective October 15 and Officer Christopher Gregory effective October 6. Councilman Carpenter stated that Sheriff Jonathan Benison has agreed to assist until the Eutaw Police Force is rebuilt.
The council agreed that inventory lists of city equipment from all supervisors must to be submitted by 4:00 pm Tuesday, October 20.
The council agreed to secure quotes for improvements to the park behind city hall.
On the recommendation of the city attorney the council approved payment of the John Darden claim. The attorney reported that the John and Jane McGee claim has been turned over to the insurance company.

Alabama records 6,750 cases of coronavirus with 242 deaths; Greene Co. has 47 cases and one death

Mobile Health Unit from Maude Whatley Health Center conducts Coronavirus testing on Greene County Courthouse Square on Tuesday, April 29, 2020.
Eutaw Police Chief, Derick Coleman, presents a Teddy Bear toy to a small child as consolation to calm her just before COVID-19 test was administered on Tuesday.

As of 9:00 AM on April 29, 2020, the New York Times compilation of coronavirus data shows 6,750 confirmed cases in Alabama with 242 deaths. In Greene County there are 47 confirmed cases with one death.
74,000 people in Alabama have been tested for the virus, which is 1.4 per cent of the total population of the state that has been tested.
Maude Whatley Health Services from Tuscaloosa had a mobile unit at the Courthouse Square in Eutaw on Tuesday and tested 70 more Greene County residents.
A chart from the New York Times data center shows that Alabama is still experiencing 200 new cases per day down from highs of 300 per day earlier in the month.
Nationally the United States has over a million cases with over 58,000 deaths, in three months, more than the total number of people killed in the Vietnam War, which lasted a decade.
Some states have begun to relax economic and business closures. In Georgia, the Governor has agreed to open personal care businesses, like barbershops, retail stores and restaurants, with some social distancing regulations.
Governor Kay Ivey issued a “Safer at Home” order allowing retail establishments to open with a maximum capacity of 50% with physical distancing and regular sanitation by end of this week. She also reopened Alabama’s Gulf Coast beaches and allows for drive church services, funerals and other gatherings. Restaurants and personal service businesses will be closed for another 15 days with the exception of drive-through and take-out food services.
Meetings of people are limited to ten and must abide by social distancing. For Greene County, officials met and put out an informational briefing urging people to abide by CDC and ADPH regulations.
The information brief contains this warning, “There is mutual agreement between county law enforcement and city law enforcement to assist each other in all matters relating to coronavirus. Going forward, any gathering exceeding the emergency mandates of 10 persons will be issued citations that may result in fines and/or possible jail time.”
Greene County
Nursing Home
Dr. Marcia Pugh, CEO and Administrator of the Greene County Health System indicated that they were able to test all residents of the Greene County Nursing Home for the virus. The Democrat has learned that half of the residents have tested positive for the virus but most of these were asymptomatic, showing no symptoms of the virus.
Eight (8) positive Nursing Home residents have been transferred to other hospitals for treatment because of their underlying heath conditions. One transferred resident has died. The Nursing Home is expecting many of its transferred patients to be returned once they have recovered.
In her statement, Dr. Pugh indicated, “Like most of the Nursing Homes throughout the state, the Greene County Nursing Home is having its share of residents and staff that are fighting COVID.
Guidelines are being received daily from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Alabama Department of Health (ADPH). Our Administrative staff and Infection Prevention are being diligent in keeping up with the daily changes. We are actively participating in the routine statewide update calls.
We appreciate the donated supplies from all over the state that are assisting us in the fight against COVID. The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) consisting of Tyvek suits, face shields, masks, shoe covers, and bonnets are used daily by our staff. Our health care team are all truly heroes in this battle.”
Dr. Pugh also stated that the Alabama National Guard was sending a team a clean and sanitize the entire facility –hospital, nursing home and physician’s clinic – on Thursday, April 30, 2020 to enhance the effectiveness of the system to withstand the virus.

February Disbursement Totaling $374,905



Shown above: Bingo Clerks, Minnie Byrd and Emma Jackson; Dr.  Marcia  Pugh, Greene County CEO; Kenya Turner representing Forkland, Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Geraldine Thompson representing Town of Union, Greene County School Superintendent, Dr. James Carter; Boligee City Councilwoman, Earnestine Wade, Police Chief, Derick Coleman, Paul Byrd representing the County Commission.

On Thursday, March 15, 2018, Greene County Sheriff Department distributed $ 374,905 in monthly bingo allocations from the five licensed gaming operations in the county. The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
The following assessments are for the month of February 2018.

Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; 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, $7,500.

Green Charity (Center for Rural Family Development) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; 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, $24,000; 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 (NNL – Next Level Leaders and TCCTP – Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $73,075 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; 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, $13,075.
Palace (Tommy Summerville Police Support League) gave a total of $99,330 to the following: Greene County Commission, $4,620; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $36,960; City of Eutaw, $27,720; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,620; Greene County Board of Education, $4,620 and the Greene County Health System, $11,550.

Eutaw City Council continues discussion of Housing Authority appointments, water and street improvements

Benison & Chief

Officer Jimmie Benison and Police Chief Derick Coleman


At its March 14, 2017 meeting, the Eutaw City Council reaffirmed the appointment of three members: Jackie Allen (resident representative replacing LaTasha Johnson), Bertha Hunter and Mary Wray to the Eutaw Housing Authority.
Mayor Raymond Steele says he is following the statutes of Alabama, which empower the Mayor to name members of the Housing Authority Board of Directors, communicate his selections to the Council and have the notification recorded in the minutes.
Steele says he appointed new members to replace those appointed by former Mayor Hattie Edwards because her appointments were made in the waning days of her term and never recorded in the city council’s minutes. Due to a lack of a quorum, the last council meeting of Edwards’s term, near the end of October 2016 was never held, so her appointments were never officially recorded in the minutes.
The composition of the Eutaw Housing Authority Board is important to the continuing negotiations over merging the Eutaw and County Housing Authority boards and staffs which has been mandated by HUD, which funds both authorities.
Mayor Steele contends that since all of the public housing units are now in the city of Eutaw, that under the law he has sole discretion to appoint members of the merged authority. The Greene County Commission disputes this and wants an amalgamated board with appointments by both the city and the county. The districts of three of the Commissioners, Districts 1, 2 and 3, have constituents within the city of Eutaw.

Other municipalities within Greene County – Forkland, Boligee and Union are also interested in public housing development and desire consideration by the merged housing authority board. Mayor Steele says these towns can contract with the merged board for support and development of units if they have suitable land with the required water and sewer services.
The Eutaw City Council has through its Attorney, Ken Aycock, requested a State Attorney General’s opinion on the laws governing housing authorities and the selection of board members for the merged entity.
The Council also approved a motion suggested by Councilman Joe L. Powell that the Council not incurs any legal costs for defending its member selections to the Eutaw Housing Authority Board until the Attorney General’s opinion is received and permission is granted by the Council to pursue legal actions. This motion was approved over the Mayor’s objections.
Mayor Steele also gave a report on projects underway in the city. He stated that the water project was moving forward with installation of the new lines on Mesopotamia Street; a six inch water line will be extended to the Lock 7 Road; and work on constructing a new tank to replace the one behind City Hall, will begin soon. Soft wear to read new digital self-reporting water meters has been purchased and the installation of these new meters is among the remaining work to be done to complete the USDA sponsored water improvement project.
Steele also said work was done to patch roads in Branch Heights but the full repair and resurfacing of those roads would cost $1.8 million. He said he was working with grant writers to seek funding for this work from ALDOT and the Delta Regional Authority. He also said that the Prairie Avenue Project was almost complete with the exception of striping for parking.
After the Mayor’s report, several Council members advanced road and drainage projects in their districts, which needed immediate attention. The Council approved the payment of bills and claims for the month of February.
Police Chief, Derick Coleman, introduced Jimmie Benison, former Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy as a new police officer on the city police force.