Commission receives $272,420 from Greenetrack in April

Despite the devastation caused by the recent tornados, the people of Greene County got some good news at the regular meeting of the Greene County Commission.
According to Commission Chair William “Nick”  Underwood, Greenetrack has paid their $250,000 yearly rent to the county. In addition, the county received $22,420 from their share of the bingo proceeds in April.
Over three million chickens were killed in the county as well as other livestock, but thanks to the efforts of legislators including State Senators Hank Sanders and Bobby Singleton, Greene was added to the counties eligible to participate in a $10 million grant to fund jobs for work in the tornado recovery. Initially, Greene County was not included, but according to Underwood, it took only an hour to make the change and include Greene.
According to County Engineer Arzo Abrams, FEMA will contract with the Corps of Engineer to clean rights of ways and remove debris from roadsides.
Commissioner Underwood stated that an effort will be made to secure a waiver allowing FEMA and the Corps to also remove debris from the property of families affected by the storms.
In other business, the commission:
*Ratified the Chairman’s action to initiate a recall of all but two of the employees who were laid off.
*Approved reinstating EMA personnel who had been laid off. The state gave the county $5,000 to fund this,
*Approved Eutaw Activity Center as the designated Disaster Recovery Center.
*Discussed the cut in the state funding for the Retired Senior Citizen Program (RSVP). According to County Administrator Mattie Atkins, the budget for their programs has been cut by 20%. She suggested that rather than concentrating on the number of participants, they were to concentrate on the impact that RSVP has on the county. The largest cut, she said, will be in salaries.
It was also decided to withhold approval of the RSVP manager’s trip to Louisiana until it was determined whether or not the trip was mandatory and how much money would be received from the state.
*Approved supplying labor and materials to help fix the roads in Branch Heights. The city will put in $5,000 in cash.
Commissioner Marvin Childs asked what was being done about Sumter County’s participation in this program. For years, Sumter has participated but not paid into the funding. He was told that two commissioners from each county would meet on the last Monday in May.
*Discussed a recent report on the population of each district. “The commission is going to have to go through a redistricting,” said Atkins. “Districts 1, 3 & 5 will be affected. One has too many people. Five doesn’t have enough. District 4 needs to put some areas in District 5. The ideal balance for each district is 1,809 people. Atkins said the changes will cost the county no more than $8,500 and would probably be done by West Alabama Regional Commission.
Underwood suggested that a cost estimate be prepared and the matter be tabled until it could be reviewed in detail.
*It was decided to meet with the Ralph/Fosters Water Authority to ask for the names and addresses of their customers in order to add them to the mandatory garbage collection fee list. A meeting will be held with Ralph/Fosters at 6 p.m. on May 31.
*Approved transfer of ABC license from Midway Mart to Trackside to Rajuinder Singh
*Approved appointment of Sue Vance to District 2 Greene County Hospital Board and Shirley Scott Isaac to District 4 for the same board. Their terms will begin when the current board members’ terms end.
*Appointed Mary Snoddy to the Park and Recreation Association Board.
*Tabled an appointment to the West Alabama Regional Transportation Board until further discussion.
*Approved a recommendation from Engineer Arzo Abrams to accept a bid for a motor grader blade.
*Agreed to provide labor and materials to beginning repairing pot holes on Branch Heights roads.


Strange declares bingo machines at Greenetrack illegal; threatens seizure

The bingo computer machines now in use at Greenetrack are the types that were not seized during the July, 2010 raid. Now they have been declared illegal by AG Strange.

Despite the fact that the current electronic bingo machines at Greenetrack allegedly meet all the criteria laid down by the Alabama Supreme Court as far as legality went, Alabama’s Attorney General Luther Strange, on March 24, issued a statement that basically ordered the removal of elecronic bingo equipment from Greenetrack once again.
Strange informed Greenetrack representatives that the machines currently being used for electronic bingo “meet the definition of an illegal grambling deivce or slot machine as defined in the Alabama Code.”
According to a recent document signed by Strange, Greenetrack has been given three choices:
*“Shut down the operation immediately and remove the machines from the state.
*“Allow state law enforcement agents to seize the machines in the facility and argue their case in court through a forfeiture action. Greenetrack will not be allowed to operate the machines while the matter is being litigated.
*“Continue to operate the machines in question and allow standard law enforcement procedures to go forward.”
According to reliable sources, attorneys representing Greenetrack said that Strange had asked for an answer as to which of the three options Winn chose by noon of March 25. However, correspondence from one of the attorneys for Greenetrack indicated that Strange had granted a week’s extention “up to and including Friday, April 1,” in which to chose which of the three options offered by Strange.
The Democrat made several attempts to get direct statements on the record relative to the Atty. General’s recent decisions on Greenetrack.
The office of Luther Strange made an adament statement that Strange never gave any sort of comments on the telephone.
Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan said he could not make any statements on this particular matter but referred Democrat employees to Joy Patterson with the AG’s press office.
Patterson said she was not allowed to make any comments at this particular time.
The Democrat also attempted unsuccessfully to get statements from Greenetrack President Luther “Nat” Winn. Sheriff Joe Benison was also contacted but failed to comment.

Charity Day grants help many entities in Greene County

Horse races such as this make Charity Day exciting
Saturday, March 5, is Charity Day at Greenetrack.
There are two charity days in Greene County each year. This year the two days are March 5 and July 2.
The money (or handle) bet on simulcast horse racing or dog racing on Charity Day goes to help various non-profit, tax exempt entities within the county with their various programs.
This year, the entities include the Greene County School System (Paramount, Greene County High, Eutaw Primary and Carver Middle School, as well as the Athletic Department; the Children’s Policy Council, the J. C. Poole Library, various local volunteer fire departments and community centers.
Marilyn Joyce Gibson, librarian at the Poole Library, says that Charity Day funds help make their summer reading program possible. This program, each summer, brings youth to the library to read books. Those who read the most books are honored at the end of each year’s program.
District Judge Lillie Jones-Osborne says that the funding the Children’s Policy Council receives from the Racing Commission is used in various aspects of their after-school youth tutorial program. It is often used for field trips. “That money means a great deal to us,” said the Judge. “Our youth enjoy the various trips and it helps them in many ways.”

Did Supreme Court Judge Murdock commit a serious, possibly even a criminal, violation in his bingo ruling?


After the 26 hour stand off, Murdock’s ruling turned a brightly lit cabaret into an empty wasteland.


In 1988-1989, the Greene County Commission had an attorney named Glenn Murdock who was handling the county’s supposed interests in the case in which  Bear Bryant Jr. gave Greene County half of the facility and land upon which Greenetrack Inc. sits.

Greenetrack was at that time the home of simulcast dog and horse racing as well as live dog racing.

The other half of the facility was given to Greenetrack employees  – their shares based on the length of their employment and their position at the track. Read more of this post

All charges dropped against Greenetrack employees; Winn acquitted of reckless endangerment charge

Luther “Nat” Winn goes on camera with various TV stations shortly after being acquitted of the charge of reckless endangerment that was filed by a Highway Patrolman who claimed Winn deliberately hit her as he was entering Greenetrack during the first raid. Winn told the news media that if he had actually done what Garcia had accused him of he would have immediately been charged and arrested.

On Wednesday morning, August 11, Greenetrack CEO Luther “Nat” Winn was acquitted in the Greene County District Court of the charge of reckless endangerment in the takeover of Greenetrack by Gov. Bob Riley’s Task Force.

He and the Greenetrack employees and supporters who were jailed for Obstructing a Government Operation earlier that same morning had all charges dismissed when District Attorney Greg Griggers informed District Judge Lillie Jones-Osborne that the plaintiffs, Bob Riley and John Tyson, had not responded to any of his requests for documentation of the offense. “The only thing they said was that I would get the requested information at a later date, so I have no documentation of probable cause.” Read more of this post

Hundreds benefit from food giveaway sponsored by House of Prayer Family Church at Greenetrack

People began arriving at Greenetrack shortly after 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, July 28, to receive free food from the House of Prayer Family Church.

Everyone was given a flyer which detailed the eligibility rules, which depended on the size of the family and the yearly income.

“Anyone who receives USDA food stamps is eligible for this food,” said House of Prayer Pastor Joe Allen.

In addition, many non-Food Stamp recipients, depending on yearly income and number of people in the household, are eligible.

When the boxes were filled, everyone was directed to line up in their cars and drive around the parking lot to where the food was located. Church members carried boxes out to the cars filled with bread, cheese, meat, juice, and various other food items.

It was quickly apparent that there were more people trying to get the food than there was food, but this will not be the only time this sort of distribution is made.

Those who received the food were amazed at the quantity and variety.