Greene County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments holds Annual Awards Banquet

Mr. Hodges Smith present trophy to Mrs. Willie Esther Austin for 2023 Fire Fighter of the Year. Fallen Firefighters, Mr. Lesley Carlisle and Mr. Jerome Cheatem. Both had served with the West Greene Volunteer Fire Department

The Greene County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments held its 8th Annual Awards Banquet, Friday, October 20, 2023 at R.H. Young Community Center in Eutaw. Mrs. Willie Esther Austin, with the Dollarhide Volunteer Fire Department was selected as outstanding Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.

Other honorees included Gerald Jones, Clinton Volunteer Fire Department; Brandon Broach, Eutaw Volunteer Fire Department; Roy Cork, Jr., Jena Volunteer Fire Department; Harper Smith, Knoxville Volunteer Fire Department; Ed Pearson, Lower Gainesville Road Volunteer Fire Department; Tariq Rice, Mantua/Lewiston Volunteer Fire Department and Henry Harkness, Union Volunteer Fire Department.

A Memorial Tribute, led by Ms. Mollie Gaines, was held for Fallen Firefighters, Mr. Lesley Carlisle and Mr. Jerome Cheatem. Both had served with the West Greene Volunteer Fire Department.

Pastor Michael Barton served as Master of Order. Ms. Geraldine Walton gave the Welcome and Occasion. Ms. Lauren Smith honored the guests with her solos. Greetings were given by a representative of each Volunteer Fire Department.

Mr. Hodges Smith, along with other committee members, presented the various awards. Committee members included Bennie Abrams, Willie Austin, Mollie Gaines, Iris Sermon, Hodges Smith, and Geraldine Walton. The Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. served as hostess.


Newswire: Supreme Court widely castigated for striking down Affirmative Action

U. S. Supreme Court: Front row, left to right: Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. Back row, left to right: Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, Associate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. PHOTO CREDIT: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

By: Hamil R. Harris and Barrington M. Salmon

( – Defying more than 45 years of legal precedent, the United States Supreme Court – in a widely-expected ruling – declared that colleges and universities can no longer consider race in their student admissions, ending decades of an affirmative action push in higher education.
The court, dominated by far-right conservative Republican judges, voted 6-2, against the admissions program at Harvard University and 6-3 against admissions policies at the University of North Carolina. The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, asserted that both institutions violated the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, thus rendering their programs unlawful.
This is the second time in two years, that the super-majority Republican court has reversed almost 50 years of precedent on an issue that had gone a long way toward leveling the uneven playing field for non-white students in higher education. The ruling – which came after a decades-long effort by Republicans – is out of step with the 63 percent of Americans who in a May AP/NORC poll – support Affirmative Action.
Reaction was swift and fierce, particularly from two liberal justices who rebuked the idea posited by the majority that programs designed to offset racism by increasing racial diversity are themselves racist.
“Gulf-sized race-based gaps exist with respect to the health, wealth, and well-being of American citizens. They were created in the distant past but have indisputably been passed down to the present day through the generations,” said Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in a blistering 29-page dissent. “Every moment these gaps persist is a moment in which this great country falls short of actualizing one of its foundational principles –the “self-evident” truth that all of us are created equal …”
Jackson sparred with Justice Clarence Thomas, who during oral arguments said college admissions have become a “zero-sum game” in which Asian students “suffer because of an outdated overcorrection by courts during the civil rights era.”
“This is not 1958 or 1968. Today’s youth do not shoulder moral debts of their ancestors,” added Thomas while criticizing Jackson personally. “As she sees things, we are all inexorably trapped in a fundamentally racist society, with the original sin of slavery and the historical subjugation of Black Americans still determining our lives today,” Thomas wrote.
One section of Jackson’s dissent that caught fire on social media was her savaging of the court majority.
“With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces ‘colorblindness for all’ by legal fiat,” Jackson said. “But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life. And having so detached itself from this country’s actual past and present experiences, the Court has now been lured into interfering with the crucial work that UNC and other institutions of higher learning are doing to solve America’s real-world problems.”
Although the toppling of the law was expected, a wide spectrum of observers were left angry, distraught and frustrated.
“My frustration is the feeling of powerlessness and being unable to press a button to make things better. If I could, I would,” said James Haywood Rolling, Jr., chair of Arts Education at Syracuse University since 2007. “This outcome was set up by the fools who couldn’t play chess well enough to not get Donald Trump elected. He had no interest in governing … folks allowed him to get the levers of power. There will be reverberations that will affect people we love and will continue to.”
Michelle Marks-Osbourne, a Christian minister, scholar and an equity expert, echoed Rolling’s displeasure. “I am upset but I expected nothing more from this court. Just to know that this self-loathing man who spoke Gullah Geechee knows he has received so much affirmative action and voted in the manner he did,” she said. “I’m pissed, not pissed. I wrote on Facebook: ‘Dear Black students, HBCUs are waiting …’”
Little will change for African Americans until the composition of the court shifts, Marks-Osbourne said. “It’s not until the (high) court changes that this harm will stop. Alito and Thomas are two oldest on court. It’s a waiting game,” said Marks-Osbourne who grew up in Harlem but now lives in North Carolina. “I am aware that the court struck the law down based on race not gender. If it did, white women would be screaming because they are the beneficiaries of the most affirmative action.”
While encouraging universities to double down on new ways to promote opportunity, Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, lamented the far-reaching impact the court’s decision will have on already disadvantaged prospective students.
“Through a tortured interpretation of the law, history, and current-day reality, today’s decision threatens to make higher education less accessible, less equitable, and less attainable for students of color,” said Hewitt in a statement.  “While seemingly leaving existing precedent undisturbed, the majority’s logic will make it more difficult for all students to have a fair shot at getting the quality education they deserve, especially America’s most marginalized students. This Court is clearly on the wrong side of history.”
Republicans like former President Donald Trump, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and former Vice President Mike Pence applauded the ruling.
“I’m grateful to see the conservative majority that we have built on the Supreme Court of the United States bring an end to most of affirmative action. We want to live in a color-blind society,” said Pence, during an interview in Kyiv, Ukraine Thursday. “There may have been a time, 50 years ago, when we needed to affirmatively take steps to correct long-term racial bias in institutions of higher education, but I can tell you that as the father of three college graduates, those days are long over.”
Pence also said he’s grateful too, “that the Supreme Court took us one step back to that America that will judge every man and woman on the content of their character and on their own achievement and leave race out of the consideration of admissions to higher education.”
Affirmative Action supporters chastised the court’s radical right majority and rebuked Republicans’ hypocrisy and dishonesty.
“America doesn’t look like it looks by mistake. Old Miss doesn’t look like the way it does by mistake, Princeton doesn’t look like the way it does my mistake,” said Dr. Eddie Glaude, Chair of the Center for African American Studies and the Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. “It’s the result of deliberate policy. And if we’re going into a world where we’re not defined by racial inequality then we have to be as deliberate in dismantling it as we were in creating it. Declaring color-blindness is not being deliberate.”
Glaude said America is in the midst of relitigating the 1960s and extremist Republicans in high places are rolling back all the considerable gains of marginalized sections of American society over the past 60 years.
“We’re relitigating the world that was created as a result of the Black freedom struggle, as a result of the women’s movement, as a result of the gay liberation movement and the court is clear where it stands on these issues,” said Glaude, during an MSNBC interview Thursday.
Anika Trahan said she is left infuriated by the ruling.
“I’m not surprised, but still very angry,” said Trahan, an IT Program Manager with a private company based in Silicon Valley. “The leaning of the court is what it is. But, given the information that has been disclosed in recent months about Clarence’s and his wife’s goings-on, makes his concurrence in this that much more bitter a pill to swallow. Additionally, and beyond the nefarious actions of this one justice, the level of willful ignorance of his own ascension via Affirmative Action is so … I can’t even find the words for it.” 
Observers fear that eliminating race as a factor in college admissions will inevitably lead to a considerably smaller pool of applicants if the past is any indicator. In the nine states that have barred race in consideration of admissions to their public colleges and universities, there has been a precipitous drop, said Georgetown University Law Professor Paul Butler.
“We’ve already known the dramatic and negative impact this will have from the nine states who outlawed diversity in college admissions,” said Butler during an MSNBC interview. “A brief presented to the court shows that Black student representation will go down to 2 percent. They overturned one of the most successful racial justice policies of all time.”
Butler said America is at risk “of returning to those old days when Blacks, Latinx and Native folks, who built this country, (will be) shut out of the opportunity to learn at some of our countries elite educational institutions.”
President Joe Biden expressed his disappointment while adding his voice to widespread criticism of the ruling. “The Supreme Court is not normal. They have done more to unravel basic rights and basic courts than any time in recent history,” he said. “They are so out of sorts with the basic value system of the majority of the American people. Across the board, the majority of the American people do not agree with the decisions they’re making. Their value system and respect for institutions is different.”
Derrick Johnson, of the NAACP, was more forceful. “Today the Supreme Court has bowed to the personally held beliefs of an extremist minority. We will not allow hate-inspired people in power to turn back the clock and undermine our hard-won victories,” said Johnson, the legacy organization’s President & CEO in a statement. “The tricks of America’s dark past will not be tolerated. Let me be clear – affirmative action exists because we cannot rely on colleges, universities, and employers to enact admissions and hiring practices that embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion …”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor was defiant, warning her colleagues that this issue would not simply disappear, arguing forcefully too that the court is “entrenching racial inequality in education.”
“The majority’s vision of race neutrality will entrench racial segregation in higher education because racial inequality will persist so long as it is ignored,” the court’s only Hispanic member said. “Despite the Court’s unjustified exercise of power, the opinion today will serve only to highlight the Court’s own impotence in the face of an America whose cries for equality resound.”

Bulletin at Press Time

In reference to a recent Ethics Commission complaint filed against Mr. Luther Winn, Jr. of Eutaw, AL, The Democrat learned at Press Time, Wednesday, June 7, 2023, that the Ethics Commission ruled that a Minor Violation had occurred and voted unanimously to accept the administrative agreement reached by the parties, according to Winn’s Attorneys John H. England, Jr. and Bobby Segall.

Post Mistress Willie E. Davis honored for 38 years in US Postal Service – Ms. Bessie Smith selected as new Post Mistress in Eutaw

Shown L to R: Ms. Bessie Smith, Mr. Arthur Bowens, Jr., Ms. Willie E. Davis

Post Mistress Ms. Willie E. Davis was honored at a Retirement Reception on Sunday, April 16, 2023 at the Robert Young Community Center in Eutaw, AL.  Mrs. Bessie Smith, Eutaw postal employee who organized the special event, was Mistress of Ceremony. Ms. Willie E. Davis served 38 years in the United States Postal Service, beginning her career in Eutaw, in 1984, as a city carrier and completing it as Eutaw Post Mistress, March 31, 2023.  

    Ms. Davis was escorted at the event by her son Jerome Davis who presented a poem in tribute to his mother.  Mr. Lorenzo French gave a tribute representing Mayor Latasha Johnson and the City of Eutaw as will as representing the Tishabee Community where he, Ms. Davis and her family call home. Elder Spiver Gordon presented a special community service certificate to Ms. Davis, commending her for, not just her exemplary postal service work, but for her continuous community service, especially to the less fortunate. Dr. Carol P. Zippert extended special appreciation to Ms. Davis for her caring service to the community, her patience, understanding and helpfulness. 

    Mr. Arthur Bowens, Jr., MPOO Area T, (U.S. Postal Service Supervisor), lifted special tributes to Ms. Davis, not only for her dedicated service in the postal system, but for her service in providing on-the-job training, monitoring and supervision of other employees in the postal system.  Mr. Bowens also announced that Mrs. Bessie Smith has been selected as the new Post Mistress for the Eutaw Post Office and will be sworn in this month. Following other tributes to Ms. Davis, refreshments and fellowship were shared by all attendees.


Newswire: Expulsion of Tennessee lawmakers reflects raw racism, White fear of Black progress

Vice President Harris meets with three Tennessee
legislators Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones
and Justin Pearson

By Barrington M. Salmon

( – Students of American history would not be surprised by the action engineered last week by Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton to expel two Black state representatives from the legislature after they protested the body’s lack of action on gun reform, said social justice activist, author  Jacquie L’uqman’.
What we’re seeing play out, L’uqman’ said, is the modern-day version of the period of conciliation in 1877 in the US South following Reconstruction. Under cover of the protection of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, African Americans enjoyed a relatively short period of being able to vote, participate in the political process, buy land, find jobs and use public accommodations. In response, the Democratic Party, the Ku Klux Klan and other malign forces eroded Black people’s hard-earned gains by changing state constitutions, systematically removing Black voters from voter rolls, and implementing barriers to voting including poll taxes, literacy tests and residency requirements. They also unleashed racial violence, lynching and murder, all with the intent of maintaining pre-Civil War social order in the South.
“This is all a part of the White supremacist nature of this political system,” said L’uqman’, who describes herself as a Pan-Africanist, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist revolutionary. “During reconciliation, no one was ever held accountable. Tennessee legislators are the ideological heirs of those who carried out conciliation in the South. If we knew our history, this wouldn’t surprise us.”
Republicans in the Tennessee house are maintaining a white supremacist, patriarchal, Christian nationalist, racist framework, while at the same time making it clear to Black people across the country that the then-expelled state representatives – Justin Jones and Justin Pearson – needed to know and be taught their place, L’uqman’ and other interviewees said.
Jones was re-instated under massive public pressure on Monday this week and Pearson was set to be reinstated on Wednesday. But the meaning of the action has left a stinch that will not dissipate any time soon.
The entire saga began when a heavily armed shooter entered The Covenant, a Christian elementary school, and murdered three adults and three 9-year-old children. The Jones, Pearson and Gloria Johnson, angered by the nonchalant approach of the Republican majority decided to make their voices heard. The trio were targeted for expulsion on April 6 for the “offense” of joining protesters who gathered at the state house to demand gun safety legislation as well as for approaching the lectern without the permission of House Republican leadership and using a bullhorn on the House floor.
Labor union veteran Bill Fletcher, Jr., said this was about Republican silencing Black advocates on an issue they have no desire or intention of dealing with.
“I think that this is not unprecedented. My response is welcome to the United States. This is completely, clearly outrageous. There were no charges. It was a purge, a slap at Black people and a slap at anti-gun violence,” said Fletcher, former president of TransAfrica Forum and noted author. “Republicans are saying they can do what they want. These are forces that are not interested in compromise. Their objective is to overturn the 20th century through the courts, legislation and intimidation.”  
In media interviews after Pearson and Jones were ousted, the trio and fellow Democrats said Republicans had routinely muzzled the Democratic minority. Republican leaders abused their power by denying Democrats the opportunity to debate; cut off Democrats’ mics; sidelined and ignored Democratic bills; and silenced their voice on committees.
“We’re not allowed to speak, are cut off from debate and our bills are killed for sport,” said John Ray Clemmons, chair of the House Democratic Caucus during a recent MSNBC interview. “We’ve been under attack for years. Their removal is unjust and offensive to our democracy and is a black eye on the state of Tennessee.”
L’uqman’ and Fletcher said the right wing conservative backlash politically, socially and economically is being driven by white men who feel marginalized in the country they see as their own. Fueled by former President Donald Trump, who serves as the white nationalist cheerleader, the Republican Party has embraced an agenda to ensure that power remains in the hands of a white minority. Republicans in Tennessee, Wisconsin, Florida and elsewhere have used extreme gerrymandering and redistricting – blessed by the US Supreme Court – to subvert the political process and grab and hold onto power.
“It really is just the thin veneer of civility in democracies that is now just off in politics in this country. If we lived in a democracy, this wouldn’t have been allowed to happen,” said L’uqman’, host of L’uqman’ Nation. “That the GOP was able to expel two of three and did not expel the white women says to me that we don’t live in a democracy or a representative democracy where people’s views are listened to, respected.”
L’uqman’ added: “We do not live in a democracy. The mistake people make is that they don’t understand that. No, this not an attack on democracy because we’ve never had it.”
Critics in Tennessee and elsewhere have castigated Republicans for using their power and aggressive tactics to bludgeon Democrats and any other opponents while maintaining control and dominance.
“I think we have to look at Tennessee in the broader context of the country. What happened there is tangentially related to the judge in Wisconsin who has not conceded,” said Dr. Wilmer Leon, III. “Even if he has by now, look how long it took. And look at what Republicans did in Jackson, Mississippi. I see it as a growing sense of entitlement and an ideology based on individual interests ignoring the people you were voted in to serve.”
The expulsion of Jones and Pearson is likely just the continuation of what has long been an often bitter the tug-of-war between far-right conservative Republicans, Democrats and the majority of Tennessee’s residents. On April 7, the majority of the members of the Nashville Metropolitan Council announced that they will vote to reinstate Jones to the Tennessee state legislature. It is also position that Pearson will be restored to his former position.
If that happens, Clemmons said, Republicans will certainly try to punish Democrats as well as the cities – Memphis and Nashville – which have significant numbers of Black residents and the diversity not present in rural Tennessee. In fact, Republicans are exacting political retribution in one bill passed to cut the Memphis city council in half; another to defund the convention center; and concerted attempts to wrest control of the airport and concert and sports venues from Nashville and Tennessee.
“We have one party rule in Tennessee. They want to control everything, consolidate all power. There is a threat to take away money from Memphis if Rep. Pearson is reinstated,” said Clemmons.

Eutaw city councilman LaJeffery Carpenter indicted on three counts

Grand Jury of Greene County returns 21 true bills, including 20 felonies, one misdemeanor

The Grand Jury of Greene County, Alabama went into session on March 27, 2023 and ended the session on March 28, 2023. According to the Jury Foreperson, Kywon Benison, the Jurors were instructed by the Court regarding their duties and responsibilities.
According to the report issued, the Grand Jury considered various criminal charges against various defendants and return herewith 21true bills, some of which were multiple count indictments, resulting in 20 felonies and 1 misdemeanor. There were 27 cases continue, all being drug cases continued because there were no Certificates of Analysis from the Department of Forensic Sciences. There was 1 no bill returned and1 no action because it was previously indicted.
Pursuant to Alabama Code14-6-42, the Greene County Sheriff’s office has provided the Grand Jury with documentation verifying that a Prisoner Feeding Fund has been set up and is being maintained for the purpose of feeding the prisoners in the custody of the Greene County Sheriff Department.
Indictments returned include the following:
–LaJeffery Allentiz Carpenter was indicted on 3 Counts of Use of Official Position or Office for Personal Gain. Carpenter, a public official, District 2 Councilman of the City of Eutaw, Alabama, did intentionally use or cause to be use his official position or office to obtain personal gain for himself, to wit and several iPhone 12 belonging to the City of the Eutaw, and such use and gain were not otherwise specifically authorized by law, in violation of Section 36-25-5 (a) Code of Alabama, against the peace and dignity of the state of Alabama.
-Kyle Wesley Turner was indicted for Burglary Third degree, Criminal Mischief I and Criminal Mischief III.
-Gregory Birl was indicted for Felony DUI and Speeding.
-Byron Lamar Ellis was indicted for Murder.
-Derrick Dewayne Allen was indicted for theft of Property I.
-Quaviz Dejuan Robinson was indicted for Theft of Property I.
-Kenyon Deon Cheatem, Jr. was indicted on Assault II.
-Andrew Bell was indicted on Burglary III and Theft of Property III.


Greene County Commission  handles administrative matter

Greene County Commissioners L to R: Tennyson Smith, Allen Turner, Jr., Garria Spencer, Roshonda Summerville, Corey Cockrell with EMS President Joe Powell and  EMS Director  Chris Jones in front of new ambulance.
Before the start of the regular monthly Greene County Commission meeting Monday, December 12, 2022, the commissioners welcomed a new refurbished ambulance to the Greene County Emergency Medical Services.
The Commission provided the funding for the new ambulance from its allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
The Commission received a financial report from . The report indicates that county expenses as of November 30, two months into the fiscal year are in line with budgetary projections which should ideally show 16% expended and 84% available.
The Commission has $6,635,619 in accounts in Citizens Trust Bank, $4,030,259 in accounts in Merchants and Farmers Bank, and $873,562 in bond sinking funds.  Most of these funds are pledged to budgeted expenses, with a smaller amount for discretionary expenses, mostly bingo proceeds and ARPA funding.
The Commission approved budgetary amendments dealing with elections and engineering costs on road projects. The Commission also agreed to advertise for a CDL licensed truck driver. They also agreed to continue the time for the garbage fee extension until December 30, 2022.
The Commission approved working with the Goodwin, Mills and Caywood architectural and engineering firm on repairs to the William M. Branch County Courthouse since only one bid was received for work on the restrooms, lobby, and courtroom.
A holiday schedule giving employees Monday and Friday off before Christmas and New Years Day, which falls on Sunday this year, was approved by the Commission. They also approved extending the time for employees who have accumulated over 208 hours of vacation leave time to utilize their extra time until April 2024.
The Commission adopted a resolution granting $500 to the Greene County Chamber of Commerce for the participation of the Stillman College Band in the Christmas parade. They also approved a resolution allowing the location of medical cannabis production and dispensary services in Greene County, if the state licenses a business to engage in those activities. The State of Alabama allowed counties to decide if they would allow these activities within their borders by the end of this year.
The Commission approved several annual agreements with the Alabama County Commission Association (ACCA) for insurance coverage.
The Commission agreed to accept a grant from ADECA for technical assistance on providing broadband in the county. An initial session under this grant will be held on December 14, 2022, for Greene County at the R. H. Young Community Center (old Carver School).
The Commission tabled the next three items on the agenda to get more information before making a decision. One involved a donation for a football booster banner for Greene County High School. The second was to allocate $5,000 in discretionary funds from bingo for each Commissioner to use for activities or organizations in their district. The third was for the use of $5.000 of ARPA funds for each the library, GCEMS, E-911 and the Greene County Industrial Development Board. Commissioner Spencer pointed out that these groups had asked for more funds, like repairing the roof on the library and that the amount allocated would not do the job.
The Commission also failed to give a second for a proposal from Commissioner Allen Turner for a 5-mil ad valorem property tax increase to provide raises for employees, support for Highway Department Projects     support for PARA, senior citizen activities, GCEMS and E-911. Turner said he plans to bring his proposal up again in future meetings. If approved by the Commission this proposal must go to the Alabama Legislature for approval and placement on the ballot for a referendum by the voters of Greene County

BBCF Greene County Community Associates collect and ship water donations to Jackson

Shown Darlene Robinson, BBCF Board President, Community Assoicates Mollie Rowe, Miriam Leftwich, Geraldine Walton and John Zippert.
Volunteers load truck with water
L to R: Employee of Stay N On the Move Trucking Co. Amos Dewayne Cameron, his Dad Daniel Gill UHaul Driver and Rev. Wendell H. Paris of Jackson, MS, upon arrival in Jackson.

Submitted by Miriam Leftwich

Cities across the county had been collecting water donations since the beginning of September, after the clean water crisis broke out in Jackson, MS. The Greene County Community Associates, of the Black Belt Community Foundation, took the lead in Eutaw, Alabama to help our neighbors in Jackson get bottled water. We knew that we needed to help out however we could.
Special thanks to our Mayor Latasha Johnson, who allowed the trailer to be parked on the premises of the Robert H. Young Community Center which was also the collection site.
Stay N On the Move Trucking, LLC allowed use of a trailer and transported the collected bottled water to Jackson, Mississippi. Donations poured in from the beginning of the Water Drive up until minutes prior to departure.
I am so grateful to this community, to all of the Pastors and the church families who took part in this drive, and to the Pastors and Deacons that helped to load and unload water from various destinations, to all of the Greek Letter organizations, Volunteer Fire Departments, Masonic and Eastern Star Lodges, Greene County High School Principal, students, and staff, Flowers Bakery, Tishabee Senior Citizens, Eutaw Housing Authority, Greene County Retired Educators Association, McInnis Mortuary, Greene County Ushers Alliance, Commissioner Allen Turner, Jr., Black Belt Law. All of the support that you showed was absolutely great.
There were approximately 38 organizations and 45 families that represented by showing up and donating numerous cases of water. Donations poured in from as far as California. We even had donations shipped via FED EX. Hale, Sumter, Choctaw, and Tuscaloosa counties also contributed. All of the love that your residents showed us will never be forgotten.
Approximately 325,000 bottles of water were collected. We are forever thankful to each and every one of you. We collected enough water to fill the trailer and had to get a second vehicle for the excess water. To our Sheriff and his staff, we tip our hats to you for such a wonderful sendoff. The Sheriff escorted the trucks from the Community Center to the Boligee exit.
The drivers had a safe trip; water was delivered and those on the receiving end were grateful to have it and expressed their appreciation for a job well done.

County Commission holds call meeting to approve additional monies to essential workers

The Greene County Commission met in a called meeting Wednesday June 22, 2022 and approved a schedule for additional payments to essential county employees. Each full time county employees will receive a total of $2,400; part time employees will receive $1,200 and temporary workers will receive $250. The commission will disburse 50% of the respective payments to employees on June 29, 2022 and the second half on December 16, 2022.
The resources for the essential workers payments are from the American Rescue Act Funds allocated to the county. The Greene County Commission received approximately $787,000 in May of 2021 and another allocation of approximately $787,000 one year later in 2022.
The county commissioners, as elected officials, are not eligible to receive American Rescue Act Funds.
In other business, Commission Chairperson, Allen Turner, Jr., explained the agenda item which was to consider the USDA Rural Development Wastewater Grant. According to Turner, Alabama State Senator Bobby Singleton will be announcing soon a $120 million grant for the Black Belt Region for wastewater treatment projects. Turner noted that for Greene County to be eligible, the commission needed to take action to participate. “ Our action today does not guarantee that Greene County will be selected to receive some of these resources, but if we do not vote to participate, we definitely will not be considered,” he stated.
The commission also held an executive session at this call meeting. No reports were forthcoming when the open meeting was resumed.

Barrown Lankster seeks District Attorney’s office, 17th Circuit

My name is Barrown Douglas Lankster, Sr., and I am seeking the office of District Attorney serving Greene Sumter and Marengo Counties.
I am the 5th of 12 children of Mrs. Velma J. Lankster and Mr. Albert Charles Lankster. I am the father of Kristina R. Brown, Dr. Nakieta M. Lankster and Barrown D. Lankster, II.
I am a 1968 graduate of George P. Austin High School; a l970 graduate of Selma University; a 1972 graduate of Livingston University and a 1975 graduate of Howard University School of Law.
I was on the Dean’s List at both Selma University and Livingston University. I chose Howard University Law School because it was the alma mater of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. While a student at Howard University School of Law, I was the recipient of the Herbert Lehman Scholarship, Earl Warren Scholarship and the Howard Thurman Educational Scholarship. I made the highest grade at the law school, 1OO% in Evidence, and was awarded the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in the Study of Evidence.
Upon my graduation from Howard, I had was choice of working at law firms in Washington, DC and New York City. I chose to begin my legal career at the Legal Services Corporation in Birmingham, Alabama, where I became Senior Staff Attorney.
Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr., who was a member of the Birmingham City Council asked me to apply for a position in the Law Department for the City of Birmingham because they had never hired an African American lawyer to work in that department. I was assigned to the courtroom of Judge Peter A. Hall, a great civil rights lawyer and Birmingham’s first Black Judge.
The Birmingham Bar Association, in 1979, submitted my name along with 2 other individuals to Alabama Governor Fob James to become a District Judge of Jefferson County. James selected Judge Sandra Ross but in an interview with Governor James, he committed to appointing me to the next district judge vacancy.
I chose to return to the Blackbelt in 1980 opening my practice on January15, 1981 in Demopolis, Alabama. Commissioners Claude Jackson, Obadiah Threadgill and Ben Walker hired me in 1982 to be the Commission’s attorney. I served Greene and Hale County Commissioners as their attorney, as well. Mayor Andrew Hayden and the Uniontown City Council appointed me City Judge. District Attorney Roy hired me as an Assistant District Attorney for the 4th Circuit of Alabama.
On November 3, 1992. I was elected by the people of Greene, Sumter County and Marengo Counties as District Attorney, becoming the first African American elected district attorney in the State of Alabama and the 2nd elected in the United States.
I am the Chairman of the Board of Deacons and Sunday School Superintendent of the Eastern Star Baptist Church, Demopolis, Alabama. I believe integrity matter. I am again seeking the office of District Attorney for Greene, Sumter and Marengo Counties. I ask for your vote and support.