Greene County Freedom Day scheduled for July 31

Johnny Ford

Alabama Civil Rights Museum Movement, Inc. will host the 52nd Annual Greene County Freedom Day Program, Saturday, July 31, 2021 on the Rev. Thomas Gilmore Square (old courthouse). Honorable Johnny Ford, of Tuskegee, AL will serve as the keynote speaker. “On Greene County Freedom Day, July 29, 1969, a Special Election was held in the county that elected the first four Black County Commissioners and two additional Black school board members, which gave Black people control of the major agencies of government,” said Spiver W. Gordon, President of the Alabama Civil Rights Museum Movement. This special election in the summer of 1969 was ordered by the United States Supreme Court when the names of Black candidates, running on the National Democratic Party of Alabama (NDPA), were deliberately left off the November 1968 General Election ballot by the ruling white political officials of the time. “The special election of July 29, 1969 allowed Black voters, many newly registered under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, who were the majority population in Greene County to have their say in a free and democratic election” Gordon stated. COVID 19 Vaccinations will be promoted at the event. According Gordon, he is arranging for individuals to get vaccinations at the program on July 31. A limited number of gift certificates will be given to individuals getting their vaccinations on July 31. Gordon stated that more information on the gift certificates will be provided at a later time.

Newswire: Black women leaders declare ‘State of Emergency’ for vote on Kristen Clarke’s nomination for DOJ Civil Rights position

Kristen Clarke

By Hazel Trice Edney

 (TriceEdneyWire.com) – A coalition of organizations led by some of the most powerful Black women in America has called for the immediate vote on the confirmation of civil rights lawyer Kristen Clarke, President Joseph Biden’s nominee for the position of assistant attorney general for civil rights. Nominated five months ago, Clarke, a graduate of Harvard and Columbia University Law School, was interviewed during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing April 14. The Committee finally voted 11-11 along party lines May 13. This means the full Senate will now determine whether to vote her nomination up or down. Black leaders across the nation fear the Committee could drag out the confirmation debate into the summer months as crucial civil rights issues lay dormant.  Republicans have tried to argue that her past views have been too radical, including on police reform. Democrats say she is just what America needs.  Clarke’s philosophy on civil rights is best expressed through her own words. “Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on,” she said in her written testimony before the Judiciary Committee. “I’ve tried to do just that at every step of my career, from the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, to the Civil Rights Bureau in the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where I was the state’s top civil rights enforcement officer. And since 2015, I’ve led the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, one of the nation’s leading civil rights legal organizations.” Given the crucial issues being dealt with by America’s civil rights community, including voting rights, police brutality and police killings of Black people, leaders say that Clarke’s background of fighting for justice on those issues alongside other civil rights leaders makes her a perfect fit to lead the division.  “In the time that we’re in, we know that she is more than up to the task. And we want to express the reasons that we believe she is up to the task and an excellent choice and we want to make sure that she is also treated fairly,” said Melanie Campbell, president/CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable. “History has shown us that we have to always speak up; especially when it comes to women of color who are put up for these positions to serve and she has been a servant leader all of her life.” In that regard, Campbell partnered with Johnnetta Betsch Cole, national chair and president of the National Council of Negro Women, to brief Black reporters by Zoom on the efforts of Black women’s organizations to push Clarke’s nomination through. That May 7 meeting was followed by a Call to Action, livestreamed across multiple media platforms May 11. “Today in our country, hatred and bigotry are on the rise. White supremacy is emboldened to carry out an insurrection in the Capitol of the United States of America. And there’s a wave of voter suppression bills being passed that look like and smell like – because they are like – old Jim Crow laws,” Cole told the reporters. “For such a time as this …so many more sister presidents are committed to smashing another glass ceiling.” Karen Boykin-Towns, NAACP board vice chair, stressed the urgency of the issues now faced by the civil rights community. “This nation needs its top civil rights law enforcement officer, and we need her now. Police violence continues to take the lives of Black Americans; We see a rise in hate crimes against the AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders); domestic terrorism rooted in White supremacy represents our greatest internal threat. And on top of everything, we are still struggling with devastating racial impact of a pandemic that is now going into a second year. The work of a civil rights division has never been more critical and who leads it matters greatly,” Boykin-Towns said. “Since the murder of George Floyd, there has been over a hundred police killings of Black people. We’re in a state of emergency. And so, her confirmation now and not to linger into the summer is so imperative.” Boykin-Towns said NAACP local leaders are working individually as well as collectively and putting a “full court press” on the confirmation. The coalition was also joined by Jotaka Eaddy, chief organizer of the Win with Black Women Collective;  Virginia W. Harris, president, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., and Beverly Smith, national president/CEO for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Clarke is no stranger to the nation. She is often seen among national civil rights leaders during press conferences and is often called upon by national media to speak on issues. “Her dedication to the pursuit of justice and her track record are invaluable,” said Harris.

Newswire: House passes sweeping police reform named after ‘George Floyd’, but will it pass the Senate? 

George Floyd

By Jane Kennedy

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Only those with the hardest of hearts will ever forget the dying words of George Floyd, a Black man who gasped, “I can’t breathe!” as a white Minneapolis police officer literally choked him to death. The horrific incident, which was captured in video, set off a season of protests across the United States and the globe and a national reckoning of the racial and criminal injustice that have plagued African Americans for generations. In a late-night session on March 3, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, largely along party lines and with just one vote by a Republican, Texas Rep. Lance Gooden, who later said in a since-deleted tweet that it was an accident and he had pressed the wrong button. This landmark, wide-ranging police reform legislation has received broad support from a wide variety of civil rights organizations, including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the National Urban League, the National Action Network, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and several other civil and human rights groups. “Never again should an unarmed individual be murdered or brutalized by someone who is supposed to serve and protect them,” Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), who authored the bill, said in a statement. “Never again should the world be subject to witnessing what we saw happen to George Floyd in the streets in Minnesota.” Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis, Minn. officer responsible for Floyd’s death, was fired and will soon be tried on a third-degree murder charge. Jury selection was beginning this week. The bill, which must be signed by President Biden before it becomes law, aims to end racial profiling, change the culture of the nation’s police departments, build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve—and save lives. The bill – if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, would: • Prohibit federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling. • Mandate training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement. • Require law enforcement to collect data on all investigatory activities. • Ban chokeholds and carotid holds at the federal level and conditions law enforcement funding for state and local governments banning chokeholds. • Ban no-knock warrants in drug cases at the federal level and conditions law enforcement funding for state and local governments banning no-knock warrants at the local and state level. • Require that deadly force be used only as a last resort and requires officers to employ de-escalation techniques first. Changes the standard to evaluate whether law enforcement use of force was justified from whether the force was “reasonable” to whether the force was “necessary.” • Limit the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement. • Require federal uniformed police officers to wear body cameras and requires state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras. • Require marked federal police vehicles to have dashboard cameras. • Make it easier to prosecute offending officers by amending the federal criminal statute to prosecute police misconduct. The mens rea requirement in 18 U.S.C. Section 242 will be amended from “willfulness” to a “recklessness” standard. • Enable individuals to recover damages in civil court when law enforcement officers violate their constitutional rights by eliminating qualified immunity for law enforcement. The Justice in Policing Act also establishes public safety innovation grants that community-based organizations can use to create local commissions and task forces to develop equitable public safety approaches, much like former President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. In addition, it requires the creation of law enforcement accreditation standard recommendations. “This represents a major step forward to reform the relationship between police officers and communities of color and impose accountability on law enforcement officers whose conscious decisions preserve the life or cause the death of Americans, including so many people of color,” said civil rights attorneys, Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, on behalf of the Floyd family in a statement. Civil rights leaders are ecstatic over the bill’s passage but may soon find they will have to temper both their enthusiasm and expectations. The House passed a similar bill last year, but then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell buried it in what came to be referred to as his “legislative graveyard.” In a CNN interview last week, Bass said that she has been in talks with Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC) for several weeks, and current Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will likely put some version of the bill on the floor for consideration and a vote. But first, obstacles will have to be overcome. Although Democrats now control the Senate, with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, some Democrats may require some convincing and 10 Republican votes also will be needed for passage. Senate Republicans have claimed that the House bill puts police officers in danger and makes communities less safe. They also object to the provision that eliminates qualified immunity and prosecutorial standards, the major sticking point that they believe would subject law enforcement officers to excessive litigation. But Democrats argue it is needed to hold police accountable for unnecessary use of deadly force. That’s a red line for me, Scott told the Associated Press. “Hopefully we’ll come up with something that actually works.”  

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 http://www.cspwal.com.
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.

Greenetrack Charities schedule scholarship awards to GCH graduates in postsecondary programs

Arlexia Davis
Shelton State
Community
College
Willie Davis
Shelton State
Community
College
Kyla Davis
Shelton State
Community
College
Elouise Edwards
Shelton State
Community
College
LaTaursa Jones Jr.
Alabama State
University
Sharlisa Taylor Shelton State Community
College
Quantayia Williams Alabama A& M University

Greenetrack, Inc, through its sponsoring charities, has committed a $1000 scholarship award to each Greene County High School 2020 graduate who is enrolled in a postsecondary educational program. The scholarship awards will be administered to a group of graduates monthly. This month’s recipients include Elouise Edwards, Arlexia Davis, Willie Davis, Kyla Davis, LaTaursa Jones, Jr., Sharlisa Taylor Quantiayia Williams JaQuez Hutton and Nigel Speights.
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 September, to a variety of local organizations, all benefitting Greene County residents.
According to Luther Winn, Greenetrack CEO, Greenetrack charities operating electronic bingo at Greenetrack are following the rules set forth by Sheriff Jonathan Benison but they have decided to provide the funds directly rather than through the Sheriff’s office.
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 High School Graduates College Scholarships ($9,000).
The following non-profit groups received $300: Greene County Nursing Home, SCORE, Greene County Golf Course, James C. Pool 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 charities distribute $71,100 to local non-profit groups

E-911 Communication Services, the Greene County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, and Woman to Woman, Inc., provided charitable contributions, for the month of July, to a variety of local organizations, all benefitting Greene County residents.
According to Luther Winn, Greenetrack CEO, “By giving to the organizations directly, the charities are taking a progressive approach to assist the community in areas where the need is most apparent.”
Winn explained that the Greenetrack charities operating electronic bingo at Greenetrack are following the rules set forth by Sheriff Jonathan Benison but they have decided to provide the funds directly rather than through the Sheriff’s office.
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 Children’s Policy Council ($3,000); Soicety of Folk Arts and Culture ($3,000) and James C. Poole Library $3,000.
The following non-profit groups received $300: Greene County Nursing Home, SCORE, Greene County Golf Course, James C. Pool 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.

Bingo distribution totals $65.065.32 Sheriff Benison says new bingo operation to open in Greene County

On Monday, June 23, following the regular distribution of bingo funds to designated entities, Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison announced that a new bingo operation will begin soon in Greene County. Benison later clarified that he was referring to the Raymond Austin Memorial Foundation for Rural Advancement & Development, Inc., a bingo charity licensed by Sheriff Benison in August 2019.
The sheriff also noted that this bingo operation will be located in the former South Fork Restaurant on County Road 208. The expected date to open is July 1.
The Greene County Sheriff’s Department reported a total distribution of $65,065.32 (8 days of operation ) for the month of May, 2020 from three licensed bingo gaming operations in the county. The bingo distributions were contributed by Frontier, River’s Edge and Palace.
The recipients of the May distributions from bingo gaming include the Greene County Commission, 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).
Sub charities include Children Policy Council, Fire Department, Greene County Golf Course, Branch Heights Housing Authority, Department of Human Resources and the Greene County Library.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $28,280.33 to the following: Greene County Commission, $6,888.42; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $8,708.81; City of Eutaw, $2,386.26; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $1,000; Greene County Board of Education, $3,018.48; Greene County Health System, $3,225.48. Sub Charities each, $175.48.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $17,768.59 to the following: Greene County Commission, $4,723.56; Greene County Sheriff’s $5,214.92; City of Eutaw, $1,429.27; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $598.75; Greene County Board of Education, $1,622.42, and the Greene County Health System, $1,931.45. Sub Charities, each $175.12.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $19,016.40 to the following: Greene County Commission, $5,055.28; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $5,581.10; City of Eutaw, $1,529.65; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $640.80; Greene County Board of Education, $1,736.36 and the Greene County Health System, $2,067.09; Sub Charities each, 538.02.

GCHS gets military-grade medical tent for COVID-19 patients

Shown above Dr. Marcia Pugh, Greene County Health System CEO, Bob Wilson, Jr., President of Andrew Development Company, Inc., Shelia  Smith, President of the TSPSL. and Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison, (not pictured) Billy McFarland, TSPSL, Treasurer, inspecting the setup of the military-grade medical tent, donated by Wilson’s Company. The medical tent is an extension of the Emergency Department of the GCHS consisting of 6 rooms for patients, a procedure room, and a laundry room on back of the facility. This new set up will be utilized to help with COVID-19 crises. It allows the staff to isolate the Covid patients coming in for care.

Greene County bingo distributes $425,814.57 for January 2020, including $24,857.58 to sub charities

Shown L to R accepting bingo distributions: Kathy Bir, for the City of Eutaw; James Morrow, for the Greene County Golf Course; Dr. Marcia Pugh CEO GC Health System; Jennifer Watkins for the Children’s Policy Council; Marylin Gibson for the Greene County Library; Anita Lewis for the Greene County Housing Authority; Sheriff Benison; Emma Jackson Bingo Clerk; Yolanda Young, for DHR; Lorenzo Thompson for Town of Union, Earnestine Wade for Town of Boligee, LaVonda Blair, Greene County Board of Education CFO; and Joe Tuck for the Town of Forkland. (not shown a representative from the Greene County Commission).

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department reported a total distribution of $425,814.57 for the month of January 2020 from four licensed bingo gaming operations in the county. The bingo distributions for January are contributed by Greenetrack, Inc., Frontier, River’s Edge and Palace.
Sheriff Benison announced a new bingo entity, the Raymond Austin Memorial Foundation for Rural Advancement & Development, Inc. will open in April/May.
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).
This distribution report includes the following Bingo Sub- Charities: Association of Volunteer Fire Departments, Greene County Golf Course, Poole Memorial Library, Children’s Policy Council, Greene County Housing Authority and Department of Human Resources.
Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $71,400 to the following: Greene County Commission, (no distribution); Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000 + $24,000 for undesignated recipient); 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.
Greenetrack’s total distribution included $3,900 to 13 sub charities at $300 each.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $68,997 to the following: Greene County Commission, $18,342; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $20,250; City of Eutaw, $5,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $2,325; Greene County Board of Education, $6,300, Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier’s total distribution included $4,080 to six sub charities at $680 each.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $123,504.63 to the following: Greene County Commission $32,832.18; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $36,247.50; City of Eutaw, $9,934.50; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,161.75; Greene County Board of Education, $11,277.00, and the Greene County Health System, $13,425.
River’s Edge total distribution included $7,303.20 to six sub charities at $1,217.20 each.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $161,912.94 to the following: Greene County Commission, 43,042.56; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $47,520; City of Eutaw, $13,024; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $5,456; Greene County Board of Education, $14,784 and the Greene County Health System, $17,600.
Palace’s total distribution included $9,574.38 to six sub charities at $1,595.73 each.