Lottery-Gambling Bills leave many unresolved questions for Greene County

News Analysis by John Zippert, Co-Publisher

The Lottery-Gambling Bill which passed the Alabama State Senate failed in the Alabama House of Representatives on the last day of the session. The bill as passed by the Senate created an Alabama Lottery with most proceeds going to higher education scholarships and established casino gambling at six designated locations in the state, with proceeds going to the state’s general fund for broadband expansion, rural health care support and other priorities. The bill provided for casino gambling with slot machines and table games, such as Blackjack, Roulette and others, at places in the state that previously had dog racing and some new locations. Casino gaming was specifically provided at Greenetrack in Greene County, Mobile, Birmingham, Shorter (Victoryland in Macon County), Dothan and a new facility in the northeast corner of the state (near Chattanooga, TN.). The lottery and gaming regulation was placed under the control of a statewide commission and tax revenues flowed to the state. There was also a provision that some portion of the taxes would be returned to the local jurisdictions where gaming facilities were located. The Porch Creek Band of Choctaw Indians that own and operate electronic bingo gambling, on tribal land, at Atmore, Wetumpka and Montgomery would be allowed to upgrade their gambling operations to table games, under Federal regulations. The Porch Creek interests were allowed to compete for the new location in NE Alabama. There were also provisions allowing a compact between the State of Alabama and the Porch Creek Band relative to revenues from gambling. There were many groups and interests in Greene County who opposed the bill because it did not answer some issues and questions they had. Greene County voters overwhelming approved Constitutional Amendment 743, in November 2003, which allowed electronic bingo in the county. The licensing and payment of monthly fees and charitable contributions is governed by the Sheriff of Greene County. Currently there are six licensed bingo operations in Greene County – Greenetrack, Bama Bingo, Frontier, River’s Edge, Palace and Marvel City. There were five operating bingo enterprises during the last legislative session. These bingo operations employ 300 to 500 persons in their operations, most of whom are Greene County residents. Greenetrack is responsible for approximately 100 of the employed positions. For the month of April 2021, the five bingo operations contributed $600,948.87, based on fees per machine, to the Greene County Commission, Greene County Board of Education, Greene County Health System, Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union and Boligee, as well as a group of non-profit charitable organizations. Greenetrack provided $71,000 to the same government and municipal agencies. These agencies receive over $7 million a year in revenues from the bingo operations. The heads of these agencies are quick to say without these bingo revenues they would have a difficult time in providing necessary services to the residents of Greene County. The major unresolved questions in the effort to create statewide lottery and casino gambling were what happens to the other bingo operations in Greene County, if Greenetrack becomes the only officially designated gambling site in Greene County. What happens to the other bingo halls in Greene County? Will they have to close? Will they have to lay off their employees? What guarantees are there to the county agencies, including the schools, health system and municipal governments, that receive $7 million a year in revenues from bingo, that these funds will be continued or replaced with other funds? The lottery/gambling bill died in the legislature this session but it will surely be revived again in a future special or regular legislative session. The questions we have raised in this article and that are on the minds of Greene County residents remain unresolved. Greene County is a special case, we and Lowndes County, already have an established electronic bingo industry, which was not taken into consideration in the debate on the lottery/gambling bill in this year’s session. We must take actions to assure our interests and concerns are considered in future discussions of gambling in Alabama. The Democrat will stay on top of this issue and welcomes letters and comments from our readers.

GCHS graduation scheduled for Friday, May 21 Superintendent reports 53% of student enrollment returns to on-site classes

The Greene County Board of Education held its April 19, 2021 regular meeting face-to face in the Board’s Central Office, the first since November, 2020. All board members were in attendance and observed social distancing and wearing masks. In his report to the board, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones provided enrollment data of students since the Phase II Hybrid Plan went into effect on April 5, 2021. Eutaw Primary School reported 214 students (64.4 %) returning to on site classes; Robert Brown Middle School reported 184 students (52.8%) returning; and Greene County High School with 133 (42%) returning. “I am pleased that 511 (53.8%) of our students have returned to on site classes. We are continuing to provided our virtual academic program to the those students who have not chosen to return yet,” he said. Dr. Jones noted that he continues to monitor the status of COVID-19 rates in Greene County and surrounding areas. “Greene County had a positivity rate of 4.5% for the previous 14 days, but the risk factor was high, due to nine recent cases,” he stated. According to Jones, since Phase II has been implemented, zero cases have been detected in the schools, however one individual is in quarantine, due to exposure. Jones announced that Greene County High School 2021 graduation is scheduled for Friday, May 21, at 6:00 pm on the athletic field at Robert Brown Middle School, providing weather permits. Students will be allowed four invitations; social distancing and wearing masks and related safety measures will be observed. Regarding his report on facilities, the superintendent reported that water coolers have been installed in all school facilities; hot water will be added, where needed, to the bathrooms at Eutaw Primary and Robert Brown Middle. Phase I of the Bat Removal Project at RMB is completed, with Phase II to include installation of vents. The re-roofing at the central office did not meet the April 15 deadline due to inclement weather. The project is expected to be completed by mid May. The CSFO Lavonda Blair reported that the school system is financially sound, with an excess of $4 million in the combined fund balance. Blair presented the following financial snapshot as of February 28, 2021: General Fund Balance – $980,540.25; Accounts Payable Check Register – $390,509.33; Payroll Register – $811,704.03; and combined Fund Balance at $4,032,471.83. The board took action notifying the CSFO that it intends to continue her contract. The board approved the follow personnel items recommended by the superintendent. * Rescind employment of Vera Richardson, Special Services Bus Aide. * Employment of Stephanie L. Spencer, Special Services Bus Aide. * Catastrophic Leave for Bridgette Ward, from January 1, 2021 thru August 24, 2021. * Resignation of Brianna Bryant, Pre-K Teacher, Eutaw Primary School. * Retirement of Willie Gilmore, Cosmetology Instructor, Career Center, Effective June 1, 2021. The board approved the following administrative items. * Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll. * MariMac Academic Solutions, to perform ACT Testing services to Greene County Schools. * Contractual Agreement between Greene County Board and Denise Horton-Behavioral Aide, Eutaw Primary School. * Contractual Agreement between Greene County Board and Eleanor Smalls, Behavioral Aide, Greene County High School. * Approval of 2021-2022 School Calendar. * Adoption of Math Textbook Series. * Professional Development Agreement between Greene County Board and Kathi Wilson, LLC. for the 2021-2022 School Year. * School Resource Officer Contract for 2020-2021 School Year.

Superintendent Jones schedules reopening of on-site classes in Greene County Schools

Dr. Corey Jones

At the regular meeting of the Greene County Board of Education, held virtually, March 15, 2021, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones announced the reopening of schools, Monday, April 5, with on-site academic classes. Dr. Jones presented an overview of the Road Map to Reopening utilizing the system’s Phase II Hybrid Schedule. According to Jones, the decision to bring the students back is based on several factors including the substantial decrease in COVID-19 positive rates for the county; all school employees having had the opportunity to begin their vaccination process; continuous sanitation of all school premises; placement of plexiglass dividers in classrooms for teachers and students and other related safety measures. Dr. Jones noted that more than 50% of school personnel have had their first coronavirus vaccination. Reopening plans include the following: Students with last names beginning with A to M will attend classes all day Mondays and Tuesdays; Students with last names beginning N to Z will attend classes all day Wednesdays and Thursdays; Students will log in virtually on Fridays for tutoring or enrichment. Sanitizing of all facilities will also occur on Fridays; Students and school personnel must wear masks, reusable masks will be provided by the school system; School lunches will be served in the classrooms; Students school uniforms have been suspended for remaining current school term, but appropriate dress codes will be in place; School buses will operate at one half capacity with planned seating separation. The system’s reopening plan will be posted on the web site. Parents may elect to keep their children in the all virtual program. The superintendent emphasized that it is imperative to get students back with face-to-face instruction to further prepare for the State Department of Education ACAP Assessment. “This assessment will provide scientific basis of just where our students are academically,” he said. Dr. Jones announced that he is planning a summer school program with details to be provided later. The CSFO, Lavonda Blair, presented a snapshot financial report for January 2021. She indicated that the school system continues in a sound financial state, maintaining appropriate cash and investment reserves. Ms. Blair reported that, due to the coronavirus, there was a delay in the system receiving property taxes on a timely basis from the Revenue Commissioner’s office, however, there is an increase in the tax receipts. Ms. Blair noted that the State Examiners of Public Accounts office is conducting a routine financial and legal compliance audit of the Greene County Board of Education for the period October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020. In other business the board approved the following personnel items recommended by Superintendent Jones. * Employment: Michael Moore, Maintenance, Greene County School System; Tina Cherry, Full-time Custodian, Eutaw Primary School; Vera Richardson, Special Services Bus Aide, Department of Transportation. * Retirement: Jeffery Wesley, Physical Education Teacher, Eutaw Primary School. • Catastrophic Leave: Kalya Gray, Science Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School. The board approved the following administrative items recommended. * Emergency contract with Conserv Wildlife Services, to resolve bat issues at Robert Brown Middle School. * County School System establish and maintain only one Athletic Booster Club with all funds being deposited therein and properly shared among teams regardless of gender. * Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.

Greenetrack adds DHR to charity distribution with $9,000 as aid to families during COVID-19 pandemic

In the spirit of giving, Greenetrack has added the Department of Human Resources to its charity distribution list. The Greene County Department of Human Resources will receive nine thousand dollars ($9,000). This addition comes during a time when families will benefit most. Many families have been affected by COVID 19 and Greenetrack’s employees and shareholders hope that this contribution will help ease some of the burden caused by this pandemic.
The non-profit charities operating electronic bingo at Greenetrack in Eutaw, AL, E-911 Communication Services, the Greene County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, and Woman to Woman, Inc., provided charitable contributions, for the month of November, to a variety of local organizations, all benefitting Greene County residents.
A total of $71,100 dollars was divided and given to the following charities:
Greene County Board of Education, $13,500; Greene County Hospital, $7,500; Greene County Commission, $24,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; City of Union, $3,000; City of Boligee,$3,000; City of Forkland, $3,000; andGreene County Department of Human Resources, $9,000.
The following non-profit groups received $300: Greene County Nursing Home, SCORE, Greene County Golf Course, James C. Poole Memorial Library, Greene County Foster & Adoptive Parents Association, PARA, Greene County Housing Authority Youth Involvement, Children’s Policy Council, Reach, Greene County DHR, Greene County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, and the Society of Folk Arts and Culture.

Superintendent Jones addresses challenges in students virtual academic program

Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones displays the School Board Member Academy Team Training Achievement Award 2020 presented to the Greene County Board of Education by the Alabama Association of School Boards for demonstrating a commitment to excellence in education through boardmanship training.

At the Greene County Board of Education regular meeting held Monday, September 21, 2020, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones gave an update on the school system’s remote learning program. He noted that there are still issues with providing connectivity for some students who reside in certain areas of the county. “ We purchased additional Hots Spots from At& T as well as Verizon in efforts to assure that all our students are able to access the virtual services for their classroom work, and we are exploring alternative community sites that could assist students,” Jones explained.
Dr. Jones informed the board that the school administrators are monitoring students’ access to their daily classes. Parents or guardians of students who are not participating on a daily basis will be contacted to determine if the problem is related to technical access, the need for other academic assistance, or just delinquency on the part of the students. “Students who choose not to participate in classes through the system’s remote process will be noted as truant and subject to the appropriate follow-up,” he stated.
The superintendent warned that the COVID-19 positivity rate in the county is still high and the school system will continue to monitor the local situation. “ We really don’t know how long we will be in Phase I with our academic program. We want our students to be safe, but we are also mindful of doing our best to provide them the opportunity for a great academic program, “ Jones said. The board approved the following personnel items recommended by the superintendent. * Retirement: Nathaniel Webb, Mechanic, Department of Transportation, effective September 1, 2020; Mona Duncan, 4th Grade Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School, effective October 1, 2020.
Employment: Brandi Eubanks, 7th Grade Math Teacher, Robert Brown Middle School, for the 2020-2021 academic year; Rebecca Coleman, Technology Coordinator, effective September 21, 2020; Sharon Washington, Maintenance Supervisor, effective September 21, 2020; Dutchess Jones, Math Teacher, Greene County High School.
Confidential Settlement Agreement canceling Mr. Garry Rice’s Principal Contract and implementing a Math Specialist Employment Agreement.
The board approved the following administrative services recommended by the superintendent.
Agreement between Greene County Board of Education and Links 2 Learning Consulting.
Contract Services between Greene County Schools and Hands LLC, Alabama Autism Assistant Program.
Contract between Greene County Schools and ATT Assistive Technology Association.
Accept Bid from Assurance Service Group for re-roofing and alterations to Greene County Board Central Office.
Dr. Jones presented the board with the School Board Member Academy Team Training Achivement Award 2020, from Alabama Assoication of School Boards for demonstrating a commitment to excellence in education through boardmanship training.
Prior to its regular meeting on Sept. 21, the board held a work session to continue the annual evaluation of Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones. As per his contract, Superintendent Jones will submit his annual work plan to the board by October 19, which will include goals and objectives for the current school term. Subsequent superintendent evaluations will be based on the duties of the superintendent and the goals and objectives of the school system for the year in question.

Board gets unmodified audit report; conducts superintendent evaluation Superintendent Jones reviews Roadmap to Reopening Schools

In photo above, Greene County schools faculty and staff distribute student Tablets to parents/guardians, while observing masks requirement and social distancing.

The Greene County Board of Education held its monthly meeting, Monday, August 17, 2020 in the board’s Central Office. The first order of business was the school board’s audit report of Oct.1, 2018 through Sept.30, 2019, presented by Auditor Shelly Patrenos, with the Alabama State Department of Examiners of Public Accounts. The following is from the summary statement of the audit report: An unmodified opinion was issued on the financial statements, which means that the Board’s financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, its financial positions and the results of its operations for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2019.
Although Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones, in the July board meeting, laid out the system’s plan for the 2020-2021 school year which includes Remote classes for the first nine weeks; Hybrid blend of remote and traditional classes for the second nine weeks; and Traditional on campus instruction for the third nine weeks, Dr. Jones presented a summary of the system’s Roadmap to Reopening at the August meeting.
Dr. Jones opened his presentation with the comments: “As we begin this school term, I would like to inform our students, parents and the community that we will continuously strive to provide the best educational opportunity for our children in the safest environment possible.”
He proceeded to review guidelines for employee and student protocol for confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis (symptomatic and asymptomatic); and guidelines for when diagnosed employees and students may return to school.
The Roadmap also includes guidelines for the following: Health, Wellness, Safety and Prevention; Child Nutrition; Transportation; Counseling; Social Emotional Learning; Athletics and Extracurricular Programs and Activities.
Dr. Jones also announced that 700 Tablets and hotspots, with tracking devices, have been purchased for students and will be distributed August 18 and 19. This adds to the 400 tablets already on hand for students. He noted that the State of Alabama will provide free internet hook-up to families on the free and reduced lunch schedule, however, the families must apply directly.
According to the superintendent, while students are physically away from school, daily breakfast and lunch will be delivered to students via the system’s bus routes. Arrangements will be made for students who do not ordinarily ride a school bus.
The board approved the following personnel recommendations of the superintendent:
Rescind Employment- Robert Brown Middle School (Did not accept position) Samantha Jones 6th Grade Social Studies; Caaliyah Nelson, 4th Grade Teacher; Franklin Ball 7&8 Grade Math Teacher, for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Employment – Tammy Barber, 4th Grade Teacher; Garria Spencer, Bus Driver; Glenda Hodges, Long-term Special Education Substitute Teacher, Grade 4-6, Robert Brown Middle School; Deidre Paige-Carter, School Nurse; TraKayla Brown, Pre-K Auxiliary Teacher, Eutaw Primary School; Shelia Daniels, Secretary/Bookkeeper, Eutaw Primary School; Jasmine Smith, Mental Health Coordinator.
Resignation – Russell C. Rivers, Automotive Instructor/Career Coach, Greene County Career Center, effective August 17, 2020; Lakeisha Johnson, Pre-K Instructor, Eutaw Primary School, effective August 3, 2020.
CSFO Report
The board’s CSFO, Lavonda Blair, presented the following Financial Snapshot Report, as of June 30, 2020: General Fund Balance $2,023,115.91; A/P Check Register Accountability Report – $120,476.67; Payroll Register – $800,451.87; Combined Fund Balance – $4,543,431.17; Local Revenue – $96,520.72. Blair also presented additional funding update on CARES funds:GEER (Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund – total $75,989; ESSER (Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund) – total $864,032; CRF (Coronavirus Relief Fund) Education, Health/Wellness – total $162,771; Remote Learning – total $232,530.
School Board Attorney’s Report
Attorney Hank Sanders reported that the Hearing Officer for the Joe N. Webb appeal ruled in the affirmative for the Greene County Board of Education.
School Board conducts annual superintendent evaluation
The August 17, 2020 regular board meeting was preceded by a work session in which the board members conducted the annual evaluation of superintendent Dr. Corey Jones.
Board Attorney Hank Sanders conducted the evaluation session which included the following performance standards: (1) Personal, Interpersonal and Professional Leadership addressing these categories -Vision for the District, Relationship with the Board, Relationship with the Community, Communication, District Leadership and Management, Decision Making and Planning, Ethics; (2) Organizational and Departmental Leadership addressing these categories – Curriculum and Instruction, Technology and Data Analysis, Fiscal, Law and Policy, Human Resources and Professional Development, Student Services, Facilities and Operations.
The board members rated the superintendent individually on each of the categories with a numerical rating. Once the scores are compiled and averaged, the board will meet again with Superintendent Jones for a summary conference.
Dr. Jones also conducted a self-evaluation of his role as superintendent.

Greene County schools postpone all extra-curricular activities

The Greene County Board of Education held an emergency meeting Tuesday, July 28, 2020 to take action on the superintendent’s recommendation regarding extra-curricular activities for the 2020-2021 school year.
Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones explained that the school system has already determined a three-phase opening for the coming school term and in efforts to keep the students, school personnel and community safe, the Greene County School System will operate its first phase virtually for the first nine weeks.
According to Jones, if it is unsafe to bring students together for classes, it is unsafe for students, faculty and others to gather for any extra-curricular activities, including football, cheerleading, dance, etc. He stated that as we progress through the school term, we will reassess the health condition of the local community and do what we must for the safety of all

Supt. Jones gives update on students academic arrangement School system proposes 2020 high school graduation in July with precautions

Shown L to R: GCHS Counselor Tameka Thompson, GCHS senior Jasmine Bevelle and Superintendent Corey Jones display 2020 seniors yard signs.

The Greene County Board of Education held its regular meeting Monday, May 18, 2020, observing the required COVID-19 physical arrangements with limited participants wearing masks and seated 6ft. apart. The board’s quorum consisted of C. Zippert, L. Branch and W. Morgan.
In a key announcement, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones stated that the school system is tentatively planning to hold Greene County High School graduation on Friday, July 24 utilizing the stadium and football field at Robert Brown Middle School. He stated that his executive committee is planning the arrangements where graduates will be spaced appropriately from each other and each student will be allowed only four guests who will also be distanced according to guidelines. Other specific logistics will be announced at a later date.
Superintendent Jones noted that GCHS graduates received their caps and gowns and personalized yard signs Monday afternoon in a drive-through at the high school prior to the board meeting, with numerous faculty, staff and board president available to present the attire and congratulatory gestures. (See photo display on page 8)
In a COVID-19 academic arrangement update, Jones reported on each school regarding teachers’ contacts with students and students’ compliance in submitting completed assignments.
Eutaw Primary reported 100% teacher contact with students and 80% packets returned by students. Robert Brown Middle School reported 93% teacher contact and 85% packets return. Greene County High reported 95% teacher contact and 95 % packets return. The Career Center reported 100% teachers contact and 80% packets return.Regarding additional technology for students’ virtual learning, Superintendent Jones announced that the school system was awarded a $30,000 grant from Alabama Power Foundation toward the $167,000 cost of 600 Chrome Books and hot spots for students, which are on order. He added that the school system is exploring various internet carriers to service our outlying areas, including AT& T and Verizon. “These technological improvements will allow us to extend learning time and provide optional arrangements for the teaching-learning process” he stated.
Jones indicated that because of the COVID-19 uncertainties, his executive staff is investigating a possible blended schedule for the next school term, where various grades could attend on-site classes in shifts and participate in classes virtually off-site.
The school system has ended its regular meals program having provided 66,540 meals to families with children 1-18 years of age, however, families can continue to receive meals for students through the USDA Meals-To-You Program. Each family must sign-up for the program through the following website: http://www.mealstoyou.org. Meals will be delivered to parents who sign up.
CSFO Lavonda Blair reported that the State Audit Exit Conference was held vitally last week with board members. There were no findings. A final on-site report will be scheduled at a later date. She also noted that the school system’s income is decreasing, as tax revenue decreases, however expenses are increasing.
According to Blair, the water bills at the various school sites have had considerable increases even though the facilities are closed. At GCHS there was a $2,000 plus increase in the water bill in a month’s period; At RBM there was a $700 plus increase water bill; and at Eutaw Primary there was a $300 plus increase. Superintendent Jones indicated he has attempted to reach Mayor Raymond Steele to investigate these increases and obtain an explanation. If the Mayor does not respond, Dr. Jones indicated he will approach the City Council.
The board has tentatively scheduled its required annual Superintendent and CSFO Evaluations for June 15 and June 8, respectively.
The board also discussed the AASB Whole Board Training for 2020, but no definite decision was determined since all board members were not present.
The superintendent noted that his office has taken appropriate actions to alleviate the Bat problem at RBMS.
The board approved the superintendent’s recommendation to hire Mr. James Gaines as Interim Transportation Supervisor for the school system.
In a traditional process, the board approved the superintendent’s recommendations to non-renew various non-tenured and contract personnel. Dr. Jones indicated that most will be called back.

School board holds emergency meeting, confirming plans to provide for students during virus epidemic

Robert Brown Middle School personnel review instructional packets for students. Shown L to R: Principal Owens, 4th Grade Teacher, Annie Howard and Assistant Principal Harris.
Child Nutrition Program personnel distribute meals for students outside Robert Brown Middle School.
CNP school personnel gather meals packaged for distribution from Robert Brown Middle School.
LaTonya Fowler, Board’s Central Office personnel, assists in distributing food packets to children.

The Greene County Board of Education held an emergency meeting, Thursday, March 19, 2020, to consider resolutions joining the state and federal government in declaring an emergency due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus epidemic. The resolutions authorized the school superintendent to take all actions, including the provision of food for schools children and instructional materials consistent with the declared emergency and the needs of the Greene County Board of Education during this emergency from March 19, 2020 until further notice.
The resolutions adopted by the board also declare that schools are closed in compliance with Governor Kay Ivey’s order until further notice and the March 24, 2020 scheduled meeting of the board is also cancelled.
In his update to the board, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones stated that during Spring break week of March 16, all school facilities were given a thorough cleaning and sanitizing stations were set up in classroom and hallways for the future return of students and personnel.
According to Dr. Jones, the school system will provide two meals per day for all students in the duration of the school shutdown. He indicated that USDA has authorized the school system to operate the food distribution comparable to the Summer Feeding Program which allows meals to be served to youth ages 1-18.
In compliance with Superintendent Jones guidance, each school has instituted plans for delivering food and instructional materials to students. In the food program, students are provided two meals each day with distributions scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Parents may drive to the schools for meals and some meals will be delivered to various designated venues in the community. The detailed delivery schedule is listed in this newspaper as well as on the school’s web site and other relevant social media.
For Greene County High School students, the majority of teachers sent enrichment activities via email or Google Classroom. A few teachers prepared instructional packets which were delivered on Monday.
Eutaw Primary School delivered instructional packets on Monday and Tuesday. Robert Brown Middle School had packets available for parents to pick up on Wednesday. Instructional packets can be delivered in any situation where parents are not able to come to the school.
Dr. Jones informed the board that the system will continue its financial obligations. Payroll and bills will be paid in a timely manner. Personnel not on direct deposit plans will have paychecks sent through postal mail. “Traditional business of the school system will be handled as efficiently as possible,” Jones stated. He clarified that usual bid laws can be suspended regarding emergency purchases.
Superintendent Jones indicated that no determination can be made at this time as to meeting schedules for particular school activities such as prom and graduation. “We just don’t know how long this medical emergency will last. I urged our community to take every precaution to keep safe and avoid contracting the virus.”

Alabama New South Alliance endorses local Greene County candidates

Arnelia ‘Shay’ Johnson
William Morgan
Mary Edwards Otieno

On Sunday, February 9, 2020 members of the Greene County Alabama New South Alliance met to screen and endorse local candidates for the March 3rd primary. There are several local contested races on the ballot along with the Democratic Party Presidential choice, Congressional races and some statewide positions.
The Alabama New South Alliance screens local candidates based on several criteria including: a. qualifications/experience, b. Community Involvement, c. Compatibility with ANSA Platform, d. Responsiveness to Questions and e. Electability. All candidates were invited to attend the screening.
For Greene County Revenue Commissioner, both candidates, incumbent Barbara McShan and challenger Arnelia ‘Shay’ Johnson appeared and were screened. They answered questions about their experience, qualifications, plans and community involvement. Arnelia ‘Shay’ Johnson received the endorsement in a close vote.
For Greene County Board of Education – District 3, William Morgan, incumbent came for the screening and answered questions.
His opponent, Veronica Richardson, did not attend the screening. ANSA endorsed William Morgan.
For Greene County Board of Education – District 5, incumbent Board member, Carrie Dancy did not attend the screening. Her opponent, Mary Edwards Otieno was screened and received the ANSA endorsement.
The ANSA will have sample ballots available next week and at the polls on Election Day to help people to make their choices.
Statewide candidates endorsed by ANSA include: Joe Biden for President, Laura Casey for Chair of the Alabama Public Service Commission, Billie Jean Young – State School Board-District 5 and Congressional candidates where there is opposition.
ANSA also urged a ‘No’ vote on Statewide Amendment No. 1 which provides for appointment of the State School Board by the Governor in place of the current system of election by districts.
Absentee ballots, including early walk-in voting, are available from the Circuit Clerk’s office in the Greene County Courthouse.