Bingo to be discussed in executive session today
The Walker County Commission was expected to address the fallout from a court order released last week concerning electronic bingo at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday morning.
Bingo was addressed, however the ramifications of the court order were not. This was because commission attorney Hank Wiley could not attend the meeting due to a family emergency.
Walker County Commission Chairman Bruce Hamrick said the commission would have to recess after finishing Monday morningís agenda and reconvene at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday to hold an executive session meeting to discuss their future direction concerning bingo with Wiley .
The court order that was handed down by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert Vance ruled that an enabling act passed by the Alabama Legislature in 1993 conflicts with the Constitutional Amendment on bingo in Walker County that was also passed in 1993. Vance said the enabling legislation was an effort by the Legislature to control operating procedures for bingo in Walker County. The Constitutional Amendment said only the county governing body, the Walker County Commission, may put into place any rules and regulations for bingo games within its jurisdiction. It also said that the county governing body shall insure compliance with those rules.
Hamrick suggested the county is doing its part to regulate bingo. He said the county filed a civil action last week against eight area bingo halls that have not paid their business license fees for this year. Hamrick said the action is the first step in shutting down those bingo halls.
Hamrick says the commission has to go through the process and that anything it does must go through the courts, and that takes time. The bingo halls havenít bought a business license so the commission is going to court to make that happen or force them to close.
The bingo halls listed in the lawsuit include Ba-Da-Bingo, Universal Bingo, Lucky ď7ísĒ Bingo, VFW Charity Bingo, VFW No. 2, VFW No. 3, Valley Charity Bingo and Shadowbrook Charity Bingo.
Walker County Sheriff John Mark Tirey filed a motion, through his attorney, at last Fridayís bingo hearing in Birmingham to bring the Walker County Commission into the current bingo lawsuits being heard by Vance. Hamrick said he doesnít see a problem with the commission being brought into the suits, but he did not want that to slow down the process.
After the court order was issued last week, Walker County District Attorney Charles Baker urged the Walker County Commission to put strict regulations into place as well as a possible gaming commission in the event Vance rules electronic bingo and the machines itís played on are legal.
Hamrick said the time set aside on Tuesday to finish the meeting is set to be in executive session. He said he didnít expect any other action to take place. Hamrick added that attendees may come out and say something after the executive session, but they also may not.
In other news from Mondayís meeting:
Representatives from the Walker County Community Garden thanked Walker County Commission members for their help with getting the garden started by giving the commissioners several baskets of vegetables, herbs and flowers.
The commission signed a resolution recognizing the 19th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. An event will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at the Community Health Systems Activities Center in downtown Jasper to celebrate the ADA anniversary. It is open to the public and the keynote speaker will be Graham Sisson, executive director of the Governorís Office on Disabilities.
Hamrick also mentioned that Walker County is participating in the Back to School Sales Tax Holiday that will take place Aug. 7-9.
Principal named at Walker High
The Walker County Vikings have a new leader.
At its monthly board meeting on Monday afternoon, the Jasper City Board of Education hired Jeremy Crigger as principal of Walker High School.
Crigger replaces long-time WHS principal Danny Gambrell, who submitted his letter of resignation June 29.
School superintendent Robert Sparkman speaks highly of Crigger, saying that he comes from Spain Park High School, a great high school where he has been the assistant principal for the last five years. According to Sparkman, Spain Park High School was named one of the top high schools in the nation in U.S. News and World Report. Spain Park High School is part of the Hoover City school system.
While Criggerís exact salary is still unknown, Sparkman said it would be about $92,000 per year. Sparkman also says that Criggerís first day on the job should come sometime this week.
According to an article posted on the Jasper City Schools Web site, Crigger was part of an administrative team at Spain Park that led school improvement efforts that resulted in two national blue ribbon school awards. The article also said Crigger served as the head of a crisis management team at Spain Park that received the Attorney Generalís Safe School Initiative Award.
Prior to his work at Spain Park High School, Crigger worked at Sparkman High School in Madison County, where he was a social studies teacher, coach and assistant principal.
Crigger is a graduate of Hazel Green High School who earned a bachelorís degree from Athens State prior to earning a masterís degree from Tennessee State University. He is currently working on his educational specialist degree at the University of Montevallo.
Sparkman said five other individuals had submitted formal applications for the position that was posted for 14 days.
to host Alabama Prison Ministries Tournament
The fifth annual Alabama Prison Ministries Golf Tournament will tee off this weekend at the Horse Creek Golf Course in Dora.
Dan Ingram, associate pastor at Garywood Assembly of God and an Alabama Prison Ministries board member, says the golf tournament is a big fundraiser for the ministry.
The Alabama Prison Ministries currently has bible colleges inside five different institutions across the state. Ingram says the money raised at the event will go to further the existing programs as well as funding newer ventures.
The tournament is a four-man scramble format. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday with tee off at 8:30 a.m. Ingram says the cost is $75 per person, but lunch will be provided for the event by Green Top Barbecue.
Horse Creek Municipal Golf Course is located at 1745 Highway 78 in Dora. For more information on the Alabama Prison Ministries, contact Ingram at 205-602-1938.
Camp designed for children whoíve lost loved ones
This weekend a group of local children will get the special attention they deserve at Camp Braveheart, a free camp for kids who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
The camp is sponsored by Gentiva Health Services, which is the home health company that operates Wiregrass Hospice in Jasper.
Chaplain Jeannine Pope at Wiregrass Hospice says Camp Braveheart offers children the chance to have fun while dealing with their grief.
Camp Braveheart, for kids from north Alabama, is held at Camp Woodmen in Blountsville. The campers arrive on Friday and spend the weekend swimming, doing arts and crafts and playing games.
Camp Woodmen has an archery range, water slide and fire pit where groups can gather around and tell stories.
One evening is set aside for a ceremony to retire United States flags that have been given to the camp for proper disposal.
Other activities over the weekend include a talent show and a special memorial service.
The children are divided into groups for ages 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14. All grief recovery activities are done in small groups so children are more comfortable talking about what is on their mind.
In order to attend, children do not have to have experienced a loss the same year that they want to attend the camp.
Seven children from Walker County will be participating in this yearís camp. Applications for next yearís camp are available at www.gentiva.com/services/hospice or at Wiregrass Hospice in Jasper and by calling 384-3882. This information is also available again by contacting us at 100.1 Fox-FM.