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12-4 Pltfs Amend Motion for Prelim Inj Exh D

12-4 Pltfs Amend Motion for Prelim Inj Exh D

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Case 7:10-cv-02067-SLB Document 12-4

Filed 08/16/10 Page 1 of 4

FILED
2010 Aug-16 AM 09:49 U.S. DISTRICT COURT N.D. OF ALABAMA

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA WESTERN DIVISION

WILLIAM JOHNSON, ANNIE PEARL LEFTWICH, BOBBI MORGAN, DONALD MEANS, ERNEST EDMONDS, FAIRY GORDON, IRIS SERMON, JOHNNY BUTLER, MERJEAN LITTLE, MOSES JONES, VASSIE BROWN, WILLIE MAE REEVES, BEVERLY GORDON, JOHNNY B. MORROW, FANNIE ISHMAN, LESLIE CHEATEM, MARGIE JAMES, BOBBY SINGLETON, A. J. MCCAMBELL, JOHNNY FORD, LOUIS MAXWELL, MARY RUTH WOODS, LISA M. WARE, CLARA P. GRIMMETT, CHARLES CHAMBLISS, JOHNNIE B. HARRISON, G. DYANN ROBINSON, SHIRLEY W. CURRY, SARAH STRINGER, MILES D. ROBINSON, and WILLIE LEE PATTERSON, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. BOB RILEY, in his individual capacity and in his official capacity as Governor of Alabama, and JOHN M. TYSON, JR., individually and in his official capacity as special prosecutor and task force commander of the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gaming, Defendants.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Civil Action No. 7:10-cv-02067-SLB

Three-judge court requested

EXHIBIT D TO PLAINTIFFS’ AMENDED MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

Community jobs lost along with Greenetrack's electronic bingo | Tuscalo...

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Case 7:10-cv-02067-SLB Document 12-4

Filed 08/16/10 Page 2 of 4

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Community jobs lost along with Greenetrack's electronic bingo
By Jason Morton Staff Writer Published: Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.

EUTAW | Cynthia and J.C. Smith are hoping for one more week. On Friday, they expect to open the doors of their Highway 43 Diner for the last time. It’s a tough but necessary decision, J.C. Smith said. After Greenetrack lost most of its customers when its electronic bingo operation was closed, so, too, have the Smiths lost theirs. “I didn’t see it coming,” J.C. Smith said of the raid on Greene-track last month that effectively cut off the financial life blood of this poor Black Belt county. “And after it happened, I was hoping I’d just get some customers. But I didn’t get any.” In fact, Smith can pinpoint the day business collapsed. Standing behind a hand-made “closing soon” sign hanging on the restaurant counter, he said the last time a healthy stream of customers came in was July 16, the day before a Greenetrack-organized rally against Gov. Bob Riley and his Task Force on Illegal Gambling took place in Montgomery. “Everybody went (to Montgomery),” Smith said. “Ain’t nobody been back.” Before the governor’s task force seized more than 850 electronic bingo machines from the facility during the first week of July, Greenetrack employed about 400 people and pumped millions of dollars into the local economy. While paper bingo returned to Greenetrack on Friday, the elimination of the electronic bingo machines meant the loss of more than 350 jobs, along with the spending in the community by those employees and the thousands of out-of-county visitors drawn to the gambling facility. Also lost are the contributions from Greenetrack to local charities, nonprofits and governments, such as the annual $780,000 that went to the Greene County School System. In June, before electronic bingo was shut down, 429 people were unemployed in Greene County, a jobless rate of about 14 percent, according to the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.
Dusty Compton | Tuscaloosa News Tables are empty at the Highway 43 Diner in Eutaw on Friday. The diner is closing this month because of a drop in customers after Greenetrack closed last month.

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8/15/2010 6:09 AM

Community jobs lost along with Greenetrack's electronic bingo | Tuscalo...

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Case 7:10-cv-02067-SLB Document 12-4

Filed 08/16/10 Page 3 of 4

Although the department has yet to release statistics for July, adding the unemployed Greene-track workers to the June total would increase the number of unemployed, eligible workers in the Black Belt county to about 800, and the county’s unemployment rate to about 25 percent. Across town, businessman Parminder Pruthi is facing his own financial problems as a result of the loss of electronic bingo. In late 2007, Pruthi opened the Track Comfort Inn on Greene County Road 208, less than a half-mile from Greenetrack’s front gate. Two years before that, Pruthi opened the Chevron gas station/ Subway restaurant in front of the hotel. His total investment was about $3.5 million, he said. As part of that deal, Greenetrack had contracted with Pruthi to have a number of rooms on stand-by for the bingo parlor’s customers. Pruthi said the monthly retainer paid by Greene-track totaled more than half his monthly mortgage payment. On Thursday, an empty parking lot spoke to the loss of income that Pruthi believes will mean the eventual loss of his investment. “Summer travel, it’s gone ...,” Pruthi said. “We’re in bad condition. We won’t be able to make payments to the bank. “The bank is giving me a little bit of time, but eventually they’re going to foreclose. But now, no one wants to take that big of a property back because it’s not doing anything.” Next door to Pruthi’s store and hotel is the Citgo, where Penny Dunn has worked for 15 years. In that time, she has become acquainted with several Greenetrack employees, many of whom would stop in on their way to or from work. “I miss the workers,” she said. “They were all friends.” The loss of electronic bingo has also meant the loss of business, which she said is off about 20 percent. Her grandchildren, who had gone to the private Warrior Academy school on Greenetrack scholarships, are now in the public school system. And because the private school’s credits did not fully transfer to the public system, her grandson — who should be a senior this year — is repeating his junior year at Greene County High School. “He’s doing very well with it,” she said. “Better than I am.” As for the store, she said the owners are installing a kitchen to try to bring in truckers’ business. But she still worries about the former Greenetrack workers who she used to greet with a smile and a conversation.

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8/15/2010 6:09 AM

Community jobs lost along with Greenetrack's electronic bingo | Tuscalo...

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Case 7:10-cv-02067-SLB Document 12-4
these people are (like) my family.

Filed 08/16/10 Page 4 of 4

“This is one of the poorest counties in the state ...,” she said. “And most of

“Your job (helps) not only to survive in this economical age, but to feel good about yourself.” Former business owner Willis McGee is among the fortunate ones. For months, he had been considering selling The Bait Shop, the longtime fixture on Tuscaloosa Street that he bought several years ago. The loss of Greenetrack’s bingo machines and the potential customers they brought to town helped him make his decision. At 53, McGee said he’s seen good and bad times in Eutaw, where he’s lived all his life. Right now, he said, it’s in desperate need of some help. “Greene County just hasn’t thrived,” McGee said. “That’s not all because of the rise and fall of Greenetrack ... but this has hurt the community in the short-term. Long run, I don’t know what’s going to happen. “But there’s a lot less money floating around in the community, you can tell. These poor folks down here, they need something to bring people in from out of town with money in their pockets.” Reach Jason Morton at jason.morton@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0200. Copyright © 2010 TuscaloosaNews.com — All rights reserved. Restricted use only.

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