ATMORE, Ala. (WPMI) Schools in Baldwin County along with others in our area have some cash coming their way. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians donated a total of $2 million to schools in Baldwin, Monroe, Escambia and Escambia County, Florida Thursday.
Three schools in Baldwin County, all located within a 50 mile radius of the Indian reservation were awarded grants totaling more than $170,000. North Baldwin's Perdido Elementary applied for $90,000 and got it.
"We have to supply the computers for the students and the other is a grounds improvement schools on a hill. There's a lot of wash and erosion so we will take care of a lot of that," said Craig Smith, principal at Perdido School.
"What we did this time is spread it out into the five counties in our service area of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians," said Robbie McGhee with the tribe.
Under the cloud of a legal fight with the state, tribal leaders say Thursday's event was planned well ahead of the recent lawsuit filed by Alabama's Attorney General Luther Strange to shut the casinos down. Strange said the machines used are illegal.
"We would like for this to automatically go away. We would like for the Attorney General to have that better relationship with us. However we will let it take its course, but we are confident that we fall under federal protection," said McGhee.
Just ask Principal Greg Shehan, his school right outside Atmore received one of the largest grants totaling more than $250,000. Last year more than $300,000 was used to add classrooms, a library and update security.
"It gives our kids some educational resources we wouldn't be able to afford without," said Shehan.
The Attorney General's efforts to shut down the casinos is likely to end up in federal court. All other attempts by former AG's have been delayed or dismissed by the court.