Reginald Spencer vying for Mayor of Eutaw

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“Good things don’t just happen. They happen when you have strong, positive, effective leadership. This is why I want to be your mayor,” announced Reginal J. Spencer, Eutaw City Councilman.
The following lists some of my training and achievements:  Attended Alabama Law Enforcement Academy in 1990;  Employed by Eutaw Police Department in 1991; Attended Alabama Canine Law Enforcement Training Center in 1994; Served as Assistant Police Chief in 1994; Promoted to Chief of Police in 1997 (supervising as many as 15 employees); Member of E911 Board since inception in 2003 (Budget Committee Chairman); Promoted by Greenetrack as Director of Security Department 2007-present (supervising a many as 85 employees); Member of the Board of Equalization from 2010-2012; Elected to the Eutaw City Council in 2012; Member of New Generation Church; married 27 years to Linda Rancher Spencer, 6 children and 8 grandchildren.

As you can see, I have been actively involved with the citizens of this community and have kept this city safe for many years. I am no stranger to hard work and possess the leadership to serve this city well. As your Mayor, I will continue to represent the people of this great city, by not only protecting its citizens, but by making sure that all citizens of this city, no matter their income level or background, will be well respected. I will represent the interests and voice of the people. After all, the sum total of a city is its people.
As your Mayor, I will seek out projects and programs for our youth that will provide life-long skills. Similarly, I will work with the city council to help attract businesses to our city. I will seek out funding from the state and federal government to bring programs and provide jobs that will benefit our community as a whole. Finally, I will care about your interests and hear your voice as citizens of this city.
I am Reginald J. Spencer, and I am asking for your vote.  I would love the opportunity to be the next Mayor of the City of Eutaw.

Eutaw City Council approves resolution on use of National Guard Armory

Chief & Sumlin

Chief Coleman and Drug Task Force Commander, Clint Sumlin 

 

At its regular meeting on April 26, 2016, the Eutaw City Council approved a resolution clarifying the procedure for waiving or reducing the usage fee for the City’s National Guard Armory on Mesopotamia Street by non-profit organizations.
Currently the fee is $250 for a meeting or social event. The amount is higher for activities that are raising funds. The new resolution clarifies that to receive reduced cost or a waiver, a group or organization, must submit an application for a fee waiver or reduction. The applying group must attach a copy of their IRS 501(c) 3 charitable status; and be an “organization, group or individual who have a history of providing material items to the community, such as food, clothing, health care and the like”; or, a funeral repast for local residents. “The City is willing to reduce the fee for qualified community groups that will benefit residents of the City of Eutaw, but we are now, as of the adoption of this resolution, keeping files and records to make sure that the facility is used properly,” said Mayor Hattie Edwards.
The Mayor announced that the ALDOT project to resurface Prairie Avenue from the Courthouse Square to Highway 43 is proceeding according to plans and $750 was spent on a permit to cross the Norfolk-Southern Railroad tracks that cross Prairie Avenue.
The project is scheduled to be bid and constructed over the next few months.
Police Chief Derrick Coleman introduced Clint Sumlin, who is Area Commander for the area’s Criminal Drug Task Force. Sumlin spoke about the work of the Task Force in interdicting the drug trade in and around our area. “The Task Force invites local law enforcement officers to ride with them and participate in activities as part of our training efforts. We do not provide insurance for the officers, who are volunteering, but we expect their home base department will help with this,” said Sumlin. He said the Drug Task Force was needed and would help keep everyone safer.
Theresa Beeker addressed the City Council about organizing volunteers to help keep the City Park and tennis court in town, next to the Episcopal Church, clean so children and their parents can use it. She suggested that each council-member organize people in their district to clean and patrol the park one week a month, on a rotating basis. Mayor Edwards said that they would take this under consideration at a future meeting.
Carl Davis asked the police to help residents in Branch Heights to stop young people from shooting each other and into vehicles and homes. “These young people know that they cannot be held in the adult jail so they are shooting guns and provoking the police. We need to work with them and their parents to stop the violence,” said Davis.

City of Eutaw receives $519,900 grant from ALDOT to pave Prairie Avenue

 

Mayor Hattie Edwards of Eutaw announced at the March 29, 2016 meeting of the Eutaw City Council that the State of Alabama Department of Transportation had made a grant to the city of $519,900 for repaving Prairie Avenue from Highway 11 (Boligee Street at the old Eutaw Drug location) to Highway 43.
This street is a major traffic thoroughfare that passes the U. S. Post Office, Merchants and Farmers Bank, the Greene County Democrat, The James Poole Memorial Library, King Village and Branch Heights. Construction on this project is scheduled to start in May 2016. The city and the county are still looking for funds to pave the streets within the Branch Heights Sub-division, which are in a state of serious disrepair.
At the March 29 meeting, the Eutaw City Council endorsed the work of SCORE (Sharing Christ Our Redeemer Enterprise) International and Domestic. SCORE is planning to hold a summer festival in Greene County on June 20-23, 2016 primarily to serve children and young people in the county. SCORE is exploring various options to hold the festival including the Eutaw City Park. The Council voted to give the group a letter of support.
The Council discussed an issue brought by John Campbell a volunteer with the Son Light Ministry Center of Jamison, Alabama that distributes day-old bread from bakeries in Alabama to poor people. The group, which had secured the approval of Police Chief Coleman to pass out bread at the vacant lot next to Solomon Drug Store, was sent away due to complaints from Piggly Wiggly and Solomon Drug.
Campbell requested the help of the City Council in finding a place for his charitable group to distribute bread. Several locations including the National Guard Armory, Eutaw Activity Center, Greene-Sumter Farmers Market shed, and the area and park behind City Hall. The Council said they would make the National Guard Armory available if the location was close enough to low income people in town.
Mayor Edwards announced that the City was scheduling meetings with area banks to seek interim financing for the $3.1 million USDA/Rural Development water system improvement loan and grant project. The city is required to finance the project through construction and then USDA comes in when it is built and inspected to the required specifications and approves it for payment, including the interim financing costs.
At the March 22, 29 and April 12, 2016 meetings, the Eutaw City Council took other actions:
– approved contract with CNI for $13,745 for billing softwear and training for the water department, this includes an additional $675 per quarter for on-going support;
– renewed contract with RDS for administering the City’s business licensure procedure;
– agreed to lift a freeze on hiring for the Street, Water and Police Departments;
– approved use of $9,000 from the City’s gasoline tax fund for the emergency paving in Branch Heights and the dirt road from Elm Street and Oak Street;
– supported the ‘Back to School Sales Tax Holiday’ for August 5 to 7 for sales tax abatement on school supplies. The estimated sales tax revenue loss to the city will be $3,500 for agreeing to this holiday.
– approved official travel for staff members to training conferences and payment of all bills through March 2016.

$239.987.12 distribution in Bingo

On Monday, March 2, 2016, Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison distributed $239,987.12 in bingo allocations from the four licensed gaming operations in the county. This distribution represented the January assessment 2016 payment.
The sheriff’s Bingo Rules and Regulations direct each licensed facility to distribute approximately $60,000 per month to the particular entities also determined by the sheriff. 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 and Boligee and the Greene County Board of Education.
Sheriff Benison continues to withhold the Greene County Commission’s bingo allocation, which would total approximately $96,000 per month.  The Commission has not received its bingo payments from the sheriff since May 2015.
Green Charity (Center for Rural Family Development) gave a total of $60,000 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.
Greenetrack, Inc gave a total of $59,987.12 to the following: Greene County Commission, $23,994.84; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $8,998.07; City of Eutaw, $4,499.03; Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $2,999.36; Greene County Board of Education, $13,497.10.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $60,000 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, 4,500; Towns of Forkland, Union $3,000 and Greene County Board of Education, $13,500.
Rivers Edge (YAPO) gave a total of $60,000 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each $3,000; and Greene County Board of Education,13,500.

GCHS Greene Team honors volunteers at luncheon

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The Greene Team, local volunteers who devote time and treasure to the Greene County Health System, recognized their members’ contributions at an Annual Volunteers Luncheon held Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at Ruby’s in Eutaw. The luncheon featured presentations on Domestic Violence Awareness by Sheriff Jonathan Benison and Deputy Sheriff Lt. Jeremy Rancher.
The Greene Team was organized in 2010 and currently has 39 active members who contributed 2,766.5 volunteer hours to the GCHS from October 2015 to date.In addition to serving as receptionists and advocates for positive community relations, the Greene Team also raises funds for special projects to benefit the Greene County Health Systems, including purchasing visitors’ sleeping cots and TV’s for hospital rooms, personal items for residents of the nursing home and more. The Greene Team volunteers are local individuals, mainly retirees, who choose to give more to their community through the GCHS.
Mrs. Jeanetta Hall serves as president and Mrs. Melruth Carter as secretary. Mrs. Geraldine Walton was mistress of ceremony at the luncheon

Black Belt Folk Roots Festival – August 27-28 in Eutaw Annual festival strengthens community bonds

By: Carol Prejean Zippert

 

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Months before the tent goes up on the old courthouse square in the center of town, inquiries have steadily poured in seeking confirmation that the annual Black Belt Folk Roots Festival will fill those grounds again on the fourth Saturday and Sunday of August.
The calls about the festival are a reminder of how the community has taken ownership of this special event. The festival dates are an automatic imprint on the minds and hearts of so many. Local groups plan class reunions, family reunions, vacation time and other summer events on the week end of the festival. The Black Belt Folk Roots Festival itself has become a grand reunion.
In is 41st year one may ask what is still so attractive about this festival; what is so compelling about this festival?IMG_7373.JPG Is it the array of handmade crafts such as theme designed quilts, baskets of pine needles, bullrush grass and corn shucks, hand-bottomed chairs, wood carvings, leather works and uniquely deigned jewelry? Is it the aroma of the foodways expressed on the grounds calling attention to the soul food dinners, fried fish, chicken, and pork skins, a range of barbeque meats, Polish sausage and bear burgers? The attraction may also be the homemade sweet treats including cakes, pies, funnel cakes, preserved fruits, sno’ cones and homemade ice cream churned on the spot.
Perhaps the festival crowd returns to be once more enthralled by the ole timey blues music that dominates the sounds of the festival on Saturday. The musicians sing and strum stories of struggle, hardship, loss, pain and perseverance. The ole timey gospel stage that follows at Sunday’s festival brings reassurance that a people’s strong faith, commitment and sacrifice defines how we made it over. The spirit of the gospel music brings out the church in the crowd.
Most significant, the festival brings together people to see people, to hear people, to touch people and strengthen a community bond they already share.
The folk artists featured at the festival include craftspersons such as Odessa Rice, Mary Hicks, Martha Kimbrough, Eloise Jeter and Meloneal Hobson.
Blues artists who return each year include Clarence Davis, The Liberators, Little Jimmie Reed (Leon Atkins), Russell Gulley, Davey Williams and Lemon Harper and others. Sunday’s gospel music is shared by The Echo Singers, the Echo Juniors, The Webb Gospel Singers, The Golden Gates, The Mississippi Traveling Stars, Son of Zion Gospel Duo, New Generation Male Chorus, Mrs. Eddie Mae Brown and more.The two day festival, held on the old courthouse square in the center of town in Eutaw, AL, is open to the public free of charge, The 2016 schedule is Saturday, August 27 from 11:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m.; Sunday August 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The festival is produced by the Society of Folk Arts & Culture. It was started in 1975 by Jane and Hubert Sapp who were part of the Miles College Eutaw Extension Program in an effort to document, preserve and celebrate the history, culture and traditions of the region. For more information contact Carol P. Zippert at 205-372-0525; carolxzippert@aol.com