Iris Sermon retires as E-911 Director after 20 years

L to R: Johnny L. Isaac, E-911 Board Chairman; Ms. LaMeka Woods-Bryant, E-911 Interim Director, Ms. Iris Sermon, Retiring E-911 Director

Greene County E-911 Communication Board Chairman J. L. Isaac announces the retirement of E-911 Director Iris Sermon, effective January 31, 2023. Chairman Isaac stated that Ms. Sermon was the first and only Director for E-911, serving in this capacity for a period of 20 years. “Ms. Sermon has proven to be a great asset to the citizens of Greene County and has worked well with the E-911 Board of Directors as well as county wide agencies and organizations. Her services will be missed,” he said.
Ms. Sermon commented that it has been her pleasure serving the citizens of Greene County and surrounding areas. She noted, “This is a highly intensive and stressful job, but the joy comes when you know a life was saved by getting first responders on site in a timely manner.” E-911 is set up as a Unified Central Dispatching system. “We dispatch for Eutaw Police, the Sheriff Department, State Troopers, 14 Fire Departments, Ambulance and Rescue, Air E-Vac, Forestry, Marine, as well as the City of York Police Department.”
According to Ms. Sermon, the last 20 years have been a rollercoaster ride mainly due to the fact that most citizens do not realize the true importance of E-911 services, and what it takes to make it operate successfully. “Having sufficient finances is a continuous challenge,” she said. The E-911 financial support comes from state allocations from citizens’ telephone use, some county funds and until recently from Greenetrack, Inc. bingo funds. “Since Greenetrack, Inc. no longer operates bingo, that is a great financial loss to our budget,” Ms. Sermon said.
Although, E-911 operations have finally acquired and installed the necessary equipment in the new facility on Park Lane in Eutaw, the Unified Central Dispatching will continue to operate from the facility on Prairie Ave, until the transference of the specialized telephone services are verified and authorized.
Board Chairman Isaac announced that current E-911 Supervisor, Mrs. LaMeka Woods-Bryant will serve as Interim E-911 Director. Mrs. Bryant has been an employee with the agency for 11 years. Mr. Isaac stated, “Greene County E-911 Board members extend best wishes to Mrs. Sermon on her retirement and future endeavors.”

Judge dismisses Greenetrack from bingo suit; grants mediation request for remaining parties

In a Procedural Hearing, held Thursday, October 20, 2022 in Greene County Circuit Court with retired Circuit Judge Arthur Hanes presiding, Greenetrack, Inc. was dismissed as a defendant in a suit filed by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall in 2017, seeking an injunction blocking the use of electronic bingo machines in Greene County, declaring that they are illegal gambling and a public nuisance.
The suit in Greene County Circuit Court also included the Center for Rural Family Development, Inc. d/b/a Green Charity, Dream Inc. d/b/a Frontier Bingo, Tenntom Community Development d/b/a River’s Edge, Tommy Summerville Police Support League, Inc. d/b/a Palace Bingo, Jonathan Benison, in his official capacity as sheriff of Greene County, Next Level Leaders, Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program, Woman to Woman, E-911, and Greene County Volunteer Fire Association.
The Circuit Court Judge previously assigned to hear the case dismissed the lawsuit and the Attorney General appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court. The Attorney General’s office has already filed similar Preliminary Injunctions against bingo gaming in Macon and Lowndes Counties.
Earlier this year on May 20, 2022, the Supreme Court reversed the ruling and remanded the case back to the Circuit Court for a determination of whether the operation of electronic bingo constitutes a public nuisance which should be permanently enjoined or prevented. The Court also appointed another Judge to preside over the case.
Greenetrack, Inc. sought dismissal from the suit, arguing that its facility no longer operates bingo in Greene County as of August 28, 2022. Assistant Attorney General John Kachelman stated that the order for Preliminary Injunction included all gaming machines, however, it was clarified by Greenetrack’s legal representative, Attorney Gail Gratton Green, that the suit specifically identified the gaming as bingo machines.
According to Attorney Gratton Green, the case against Greenetrack should be dismissed because all of the electronic bingo machines targeted by the lawsuit have been removed from its business establishment; Woman-To-Woman, E-911, and Greene County Volunteer Association, the Charities authorized to operate electronic bingo pursuant to Amendment 743, were no longer operating electronic bingo at Greenetrack; and Greenetrack did not intend to allow the operation of electronic Bingo at its premises unless there was new legislation authorizing the activity.
On Sunday, October 23, 2022, Judge Hanes issued the following orders dismissing Greenetrack from the lawsuit:
“Upon verified motion and arguments Greenetrack, Inc, and the charities alleged to be operating entities in connection with it including Woman to Woman., E-911, and Greene County Volunteer Fire Assn. are hereby dismissed from this action without prejudice. Pursuant to mandate, all other motions to dismiss are overruled.”
As requested by legal representative for Epic Tech, Judge Hanes also granted a motion for Remediation between all parties remaining in the suit. The Judge’s order is stated below.
“Although similarities exist between this case and cases in other counties, there are arguable differences between them and this case in several respects, including the statutory allowance of bingo in Greene County and the powers and duties of the Sheriff thereunder. The conflict between claimed hyper-technical application of law on one extreme and practical, if not humanitarian, needs and desires of the citizens of Greene County on the other make this case one for honest, good faith, effort on both sides to explore compromise, assessing the risks of continued litigation and the possible undesirable effects which may ensue, even from success in such litigation. Upon further consideration of the arguments and statements made in the hearing October 20 this order is made as to all parties remaining, not just the movant for mediation. It is therefore ORDERED: 1. The parties shall mediate this case as soon as practicable. It is suggested that good faith informal premediation discussions to explore possible avenues of compromise be engaged in prior to said mediation. To that end Mr Dillard is designated as representative of the defendants and Mr Kachelman as representative of the Attorney General. 2. The Hon. Charles Malone of Tuscaloosa is appointed as mediator.”
Attorney William Somerville representing River’s Edge offered the following statement: “The Court’s order issued Sunday acknowledges the “practical” if not humanitarian, needs and desires of the citizens of Greene County” to have charitable bingo in Greene County and requiring the parties to mediate the case with the Honorable Charles Malone as soon as practicable. We are pleased with the Court’s order. We will continue to defend the interests of the people of Greene County in this lawsuit in which the State seeks to shut down all charitable bingo in Greene County – the people who voted for Constitutional Amendment 743, which allows the charitable bingo that the State is attempting to permanently prohibit, and the people and organizations who benefit from the charitable contributions received as a result of the operation of charitable bingo in the County, organizations like the Greene County Hospital and the Greene County Board of Education and people like the hospital’s patients and the students of Greene County.
At the October 20 hearing Judge Hanes indicated that the trial for the remaining Greene County bingo entities is expected to be scheduled for January 2023.

Greene County EMS ambulance services to continue

At a special called meeting of the Board of the Greene County Emergency Medical Service on Monday, May 23, 2022, Board Chair Joe Lee Powell announced, “ We are committed to keep the ambulance service open and running for the people of Greene County. We will work with the County Commission, municipalities, major employers and anyone else who wants to work with us to maintain and improve the service.”

Powell also announced the resignation of acting director Zack Bolding from his position and the appointment of Chris Jones, as Acting Supervisor of the GCEMS. Jones is an advanced EMT on the staff, which will allow the service to retain its ALS-1 rating and provide full services.

Dr. Marcia Pugh, CEO of the Greene County Health System, who is Vice-Chair of the ambulance board, said that Bolding had never been authorized to send a letter to the state Office of EMS, dated May 16, 2022, that said the Greene County EMS was scheduled to suspend operations, effective May 20, 2022 at 1800 hours. This information was broadcast over many local TV stations.

“We did not suspend operations last Friday and we are still operating now,” said Powell. He indicated that the Board had support to make payroll for staff on that date but that Bolding had not submitted the employee data necessary to make the payroll.

Bolding presented Powell with bank statements from the EMS operating account in Merchants and Farmers Bank but he whited out all the payees on the checks to make them worthless as records for any kind of investigation or audit. “We will have to get another set of records from the bank, to get the information we need,” said Powell.

This incident highlights a problem facing the Board for the past two years since Bennie Abrams and Stanley Lucious retired from the GCEMS. All monies earned by the system from ambulance services go into the operating account which was not controlled by the Board. Abrams. Lucious and others controlled and signed on this checking account. The Board tried to get control of this account but were blocked by the bank due a disagreement over the Federal EIN number used to establish the account.

The GCEMS Board opened a separate account to deposit and spend funds they raised to support the operations and purchase of new equipment for the system. The staff directors, first Nick Wilson and then Zack Bolding, did not assist the Board in unifying the funding control of the service. Because of this divide, it has been difficult for the Board to establish financial direction and control of the service. The Board had difficulty in answering financial operating questions about the services to agencies, like the Greene County Commission and various municipalities, like Forkland, Union, Boligee and Eutaw that wanted to help.

“Hopefully we will be able to correct these and other problems affecting the system, now that we have a new director and some better grasp of our finances,” said Dr. Pugh.

Powell announced that the GCEMS Board has received new donations from various sources including $5,000 from WestRock, $1,000 from the First Responders Committee of Greene County, $10,000 from TSP Support League, to add to $50,000 from the Sheriff’s bingo discretionary fund, $30,000 from Greenetrack, $5,000 from the Town of Boligee and other donations previously reported. Some of these funds are for general operations and other funds are for specific equipment needs. The County Commission has agreed to fund a $100,000 retrofit of an ambulance box on a new truck chassis, which is planned for this summer. The City of Eutaw purchased major life-saving equipment for the service in the past year.

The GCEMS Board will be meeting with the Greene County Commission on June 1, in their scheduled work session, to discuss future operating support for the ambulance system. The Commission and municipalities are expecting a second injection of funding from the American Rescue Plan, which can be used to help with the ambulance service and other pressing problems.

The City of Eutaw is planning a benefit basketball tournament, this weekend at the old Carver Gym to benefit the ambulance service.

“We are developing an immediate crisis plan to keep the service going while we make a longer-range plan for its continuing operation and survival,” said Powell.

Sheriff distributes $616,765.70 in bingo revenue for September, including supplemental funds totaling $163,732.92

On Wednesday, October 27, Greene County Sheriff Department issued a listing of the distributions for September, 2021, totaling $616,765.70 from five licensed bingo gaming facilities. The September distribution reported by the sheriff does not include the additional $71,000 from Greenetrack, Inc. distributed to the same recipients, independent of the sheriff.
The bingo facilities distributing through the sheriff include Frontier, River’s Edge, Palace, Bama Bingo and Marvel City. The recipients of the September distributions from bingo gaming include Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, and Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
Sub charities include Children’s Policy Council, Guadalupan Multicultural Services, Greene County Golf Course, Housing Authority of Greene County (Branch Heights), Department of Human Resources, the Greene County Library and newly added Eutaw Housing Authority.
Bama Bingo gave a total of $115,857.50 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s $33,750; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500, and the Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities, each received $1,132.50.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $114,990 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $33,750; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500; Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities each, $1,132.50.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $114,990 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $33,750; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500; Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities each, $1,133.33.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $155,933.22 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $45,765; City of Eutaw, $12,543; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $5,254.50; Greene County Board of Education, $14,238 and the Greene County Health System, $16,950; Sub Charities each, 1,536.80.
Marvel City gave a total of $114,990 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s $33,750; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500, and the Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities, each received $1,132.50.
In the Sheriff’s September distribution report, supplemental funds totaling $163,732.92 were provided by each of the five licensed facilities. Bama Bingo, Frontier, River’s Edge and Marvel City each contributed $30,570 in supplemental funds. Palace Bingo contributed $41,452.92.




Senator Bobby Singleton and Rep. A. J. McCampbell hold Town Hall Meeting to discuss legislative issues

Senator Bobby Singleton and Representative A. J. McCampbell, who represent Greene County in the Alabama State Legislature held a Town Meeting on August 25 at the Eutaw Activity Center. The purpose of the Town Meeting was to share a report on the past 2021 legislative session and discuss upcoming issues and special sessions expected in the Fall. Representative Ralph Howard, who also represents Greene County was listed on the agenda but did not attend the meeting. About 100 people attended the meeting, many had on Greenetrack T-shirts. Representative McCampbell reported that, “Our Census numbers in Sumter and Greene counties were down from the 2010 Census, which means that the district boundaries may change. Rural areas have their populations shrinking while urban areas are growing.” McCampbell said that the State would be holding public hearings during the first weeks of September to give information about the redistricting process. He said he expected a special legislative session to be held in October or November to set district lines. “The current legislature is controlled 75% by Republicans to 25% for Democrats, which means that the Republicans will be drawing districts to maintain their super-majority and we will do what we can to achieve fair voting districts,” said McCampbell. McCampbell said there was a federal lawsuit against conditions in Alabama prisons which required the Governor and the State Legislature to act to build new prisons and rehabilitate others. Senator Singleton called the conditions in the prisons “inhumane” and said that if the state did not act to invest in new prisons, Federal Judge Myron Thompson might take over administration of the prisons. Singleton said he was pushing for more “drug courts” and “mental health courts” to provide treatment for people rather than incarceration and reduce prison populations. McCambell suggested that some geriatric prisoners should be released to home confinement, since that would be a cheaper way of handling their care, since it was expensive to maintain them in jail, when they were no longer a threat to society. McCampbell indicated that the Governor would likely call a special legislative session on the prison issue once a plan for financing prison expansion and rehabilitation had been developed. Both legislators said that the last session had produced the largest Education Budget of $7.7 billion and the largest General Fund Budget of $3.5 billion in the state’s history. Both warned that the law to holdback third grade students, who do not read at third grade level, is going to be a problem in Black Belt rural school systems. “Especially with COVID-19, so many of our students have lost ground. We have added funds for additional reading teachers in our rural schools but I am not sure that this will be enough,” said Singleton. Senator Singleton said, “I know many of you came to hear about the future of gaming in Greene County but because I have been sued by some of the bingo places in the county, my lawyers advised me not to talk about it. I am sorry that some people are trying to take away my voice in Montgomery, through these lawsuits.” Singleton said there was money for broadband, starting in rural areas and money for rural healthcare, maybe Medicaid Expansion, in the state lottery and gaming bills that were defeated in the last legislative session. He did not go further to address the future status of bingo in Greene County and ways in which the state, which would receive most of the revenues from the statewide plan, would assist Greene County agencies, municipalities and charities, currently receiving funds from the county’s Constitutional Amendment 743. The two legislators discussed other issues in the State Legislature that they had worked on to benefit Greene County residents. Other Greene County officials including Mayor Latasha Johnson of Eutaw, Mayor Charles McAlpine of the Town of Forkland, Phillis Belcher, Executive Director of the Greene County Industrial Development Authority and Dr. Carol P. Zippert, Chair of the Greene County Board of Education gave short reports on the work of their municipalities and county agencies.

Greenetrack, Inc. sponsors First Juneteenth celebration in Greene County

Greene County can boast of extraordinary and consistent efforts to celebrate and commemorate significant social, political, and cultural change events that had positive impacts on all of Greene County and beyond, but Greene County has never celebrated Juneteenth. Through the efforts of Spiver Gordon, the county celebrates Greene County Freedom Day, July 29, 1969, when the 80% + Black population won a sweep of county political offices. Gordon also leads annual celebrations and commemorations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s, birthday, January 15, 1929 and assassination, April 4, 1968. But Greene County has never celebrated Juneteenth. We have celebrated Kwanzaa in Greene County over 30 years and the Black Belt Folk Roots Festival for 45 years. But Greene County has never celebrated Juneteenth. We have Boligee Day and Maydays in Forkland and Union. But Greene County has never celebrated Juneteenth. Juneteenth (a contraction of June and nineteenth) also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day – is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of Black people enslaved in the United States. June 19, 1865 is the date Texas was forced to free enslaved Black people in the state, nearly three years after the initial Emancipation Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln. Juneteenth is now coming to Greene County. According to President and CEO, Luther Winn, Greenetrack is sponsoring the First Juneteenth Celebration in Greene County. The events, scheduled for Saturday, June 19, 2021 on the grounds of Greenetrack gaming, County Road 208, will feature a Car and Bike Show at 2:00 p.m, garnering $500 to the winner in each category; Ms. Juneteenth Pageant at 4:00 pm, awarding cash prizes starting at $2,500 along with a Smart TV; and a free concert featuring Steve Perry and Ms. Jodi, beginning at 7:00 p.m. On June 19, 1865, Federal Troops forced Texas to free enslaved Black people, who should have been set free at the official close of the Civil War. The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought in Appomattox County, Virginia, on the morning of April 9, 1865, was one of the last battles of the American Civil War (1861–1865). It was the final engagement of Confederate General in Chief, Robert E. Lee, and his Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army of the Potomac under the Commanding General of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. It stipulated that if the Southern states did not cease their rebellion by January 1, 1863, then Proclamation would go into effect. When the Confederacy did not yield, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation only applied to the states in rebellion. The Civil War and enslavement of Blacks continued until Lee’s surrender on April 9, 1865. Enforcement of the Proclamation generally relied on the advance of Union troops. Texas, as the most remote of the slave states, had a low presence of Union troops as the American Civil War ended; thus enforcement there had been slow and inconsistent before Granger’s announcement. Juneteenth is thus commemorated on the anniversary date of the June 19, 1865, announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army General Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas. Originating in Galveston, Texas, Juneteenth is now celebrated annually on June 19 throughout the United States, with increasing official recognition.

Proposed Alabama Lottery and Gambling Bill will impact electronic bingo in Greene County

News Analysis By: John Zippert, Co-Publisher
State Senator Del Marsh of Anniston, Alabama has proposed a Lottery, Gambling and Sports Betting piece of legislation on the first day of the legislative session in February. The bill is based on a 700-page study of gambling in Alabama developed by a commission appointed by Governor Ivey that held hearings over the past year.
Marsh’s proposal would create a seven-member state commission to oversee the state lottery, casino gambling and sports betting. Gambling would generate $500-700 million yearly in new revenues for the state which would be directed toward post-secondary education scholarships, broadband, rural health care, mental health and other under-funded concerns in the state.
The proposal provides for a state-wide lottery, similar to that in states neighboring Alabama. The proposal would allow for 5 casino gambling locations in the state, where there would be slot machines and table games like Blackjack, Roulette and others.
The five locations are: Mobile, Victoryland, the Birmingham Racetrack, Greenetrack and a location in Northeast Alabama, which would be provided to the Porch Creek Indians on non-tribal lands. The facilities designated have had greyhound dog or horse racing in the past.
For Greene County this will mean the end of “electronic bingo” under Constitutional Amendment 743 in the county. Greene County currently has five operating bingo establishments: Greenetrack, BamaBingo, Rivers Edge, The Palace and Frontier, under the supervision of the Sheriff of Greene County. All but Greenetrack would have to close under this proposed legislation and Greenetrack would become a state licensed and regulated casino, with table games and slot machines.
We estimate that there are 300 to 400 people employed directly by bingo in Greene County. Closing four of the bingo establishments will mean that a substantial number of people will be unemployed or lose income. Some may be able to get jobs as Greenetrack expands its workforce to handle table games and increased traffic.
Last month, the four bingo establishments distributed $485,964 in fees and charitable contributions to the Greene County Commission, four Municipalities- Eutaw, Boligee, Forkland and Union, the Greene County Board of Education, the Greene County Health System and a number of charitable organizations. Greenetrack distributed another $71,000 to the same organizations.
This is $557,000 a month or $6,684,000 a year being distributed to Greene County agencies.
Under Marsh’s bill, the Greene County agencies are not guaranteed the funding they are receiving now. They are not “held-harmless” for the revenues they are losing. Under his bill a portion of the taxes paid by gambling casinos would be returned to the County Commission for use in the county. If the County Commission chose to distribute those funds in a way that is compatible to the current formula, then the agencies, municipalities and charities would be protected.
The public in Greene County has never known the amount of revenues flowing through the bingo establishments in Greene County. Therefore, we have never been clear if the funding received by Greene County agencies and charities is generous, equitable or stingy. We do know that only Greenetrack is owned primarily by Greene Countians and the others are owned by people outside the county.
The Marsh bill legalizes gambling statewide through the lottery and in specific places through casinos and sports betting. The revenues will be used for education, broadband, rural health care and other needed and worthy purposes. Electronic bingo in Greene, Lowndes, and other counties is under threat of closure by legal actions by the State of Alabama.
The Alabama Attorney General, backed by Alabama Supreme Court decisions is working to close electronic bingo in Greene, Lowndes and other places. This legal attack on electronic bingo could succeed in the next few years and would lead to unemployment and loss of revenues for Greene County that Marsh’s bill would legalize.
The bill does not deal with electronic bingo at the Porch Creek Indian gambling facilities at Atmore, Wetumpka and Montgomery, however, if the lottery and/or casino gambling is allowed in the state, the Porch Creek Indians would be allowed to expand their gaming under Federal gaming regulations. The Porch Creek Indians may also be induced to enter a “statewide gambling compact” to share revenues with the state to secure the Northeast Alabama gaming site, near Chattanooga.
The people in Lowndes County are also unhappy because they feel the electronic bingo establishments in their county are being left out of the Marsh bill. Senator Malika Sanders Fortier wrote a statement to the committee considering the bill that it be amended to be fair to Lowndes County, that has had bingo for almost twenty years providing jobs and income to a poor county in the Alabama Black Belt.
Senator Marsh has held hearings on his bill in the Alabama Senate but recently held up the bill to make changes and possibly add more casinos. If it is passed in the Senate, it will go to the Alabama House, where will be more discussion and possible changes. If passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor there would need to be an accompanying authorizing Constitutional Amendment, passed by a majority of voters in the state on the November 2022 general election ballot.
Greene County should watch and follow this debate closely as it impact the future of our county.

Greenetrack Charities distribute $71,000, with $9,000 to support local HeadStart Program

L to R Mr. Luther Winn, Greenetrack, Inc. CEO/President; Ms. Bessie Howard, Center Manager, Greene County HeadStart; Michelle Aaron; Natasha Williams.

In the December, 2020 distribution of $71,000, Greenetrack, Inc. Charities gave a specific contribution of $9,000 to Community Service Program of West Alabama in support of the Greene County Head Start Program.
Head Start/Early Head Start, a division of Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc., provides comprehensive services to children, ages birth to five, of low-income families. The program focuses on school readiness and improving family functioning. Applications are currently being accepted. Families can apply online at
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 December, 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); Greene County Ambulance Service ($8,000) and Woman to Woman for 2021 toward Community Service Program of West Alabama for Greene County HeadStart Program.
Each of 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.

Greenetrack, Inc. Charities distribute $71,000 for October, and $1,000 scholarship award

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 October, 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); and Greene County Ambulance Service ($8,000).
Woman To Woman, Inc. distributed the Greenetrack $1,000 scholarship to Tyleshia Porter, a 2020 graduate of Greene County High School.
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.

The 45th Black Belt Folk Roots Festival goes virtual

By: Carol P. Zippert
Festival Coordinator

The 45th annual Black Belt Folk Roots Festival did not go unclaimed, and undocumented. There was no magnificent tent shielding a stage of body and soul stirring musicians playing to hundreds not minding the August heat and drenching humidity. There was not the aroma of the famous Bear Burgers and Chicago Style Polish sausages sizzling on the grill, or the inviting scent of barbecue on the pit. One could not be drawn to the popping sounds of chicken wings and fish or pork skins in pots of hot oil. One could not taste the cooling refreshment of homemade ice cream or myriad flavors of snow cones and Italian Ice. Still, the annual festival did not go unclaimed and undocumented.
The Black Belt Folk Roots Festival went virtual on its 45th anniversary. A special website was designed to capture the usual ole timey blues and gospel sounds of the festival. The link highlights longtime bluesmen and bands such as Clarence Davis, Lil’Lee and the Midnight Blues Band, Jock Webb, Terry ‘Harmonica’ Bean, Jontavious Willis, Russell Gulley, Michael Carpenter and the Roadhouse Blues Band, Willie Halbert and the Fingerprint Band and more.
The ole timey gospel groups noted included Son of Zion, The American Travelers, The Mississippi Traveling Stars, The Golden Gates, The Melody Kings of Starkville, Eddie Mae Brown, Glory to Glory Gospel Singers and more.

One could not finger the fine stitching of the traditional hand crafted quilts and baskets or the intricate designs of hand crafted jewelry, but the authentic photos on the website portray the loving and painstaking care of the folk artists.
The young people did engage in a hands on arts festival experience. The special Zoom link allowed them to follow the guide of local artist Mynecia (Mya) Steele, of Eutaw, in designing their own arts. The young participants were provided with the materials needed to create their projects in Zoom arts program, noted as the Kids Tent. Reportedly, the greatest joy for many young participants was seeing themselves on screen.
The festival’s website also carries a video of the Kids Tent, claiming and documenting the young people’s activities.
The Black Belt Folk Roots Festival, produced by the Society of Folk Arts & Culture, did not go unclaimed and undocumented. The festival website will be continuous, featuring the folk artists of the West Alabama Region, celebrating history, culture and tradition through music, dance, crafts and foodways.
Festival website: Tune in and join a celebration of community.
The major supporters of the virtual festival and the Kids Tent include Alabama Department of Tourism, the Black Belt Community Foundation, the Alabama Power Foundation, Greenetrack, Inc. and the TSP Support League, Inc.
If you would like to support our continuing work of producing the festival
Carol Zippert at
205-372-0525 or email: