Ronnie Gilley tells employees he's giving them all full pay for this week

Country Crossing developer Ronnie Gilley scheduled an 11am news conference on Thursday to talk to employees and the news media about this week's aborted plan to reopen the electronic bingo facility and entertainment complex.

Gilley thanked employees for their faith and vowed fight in a profound and robust way so employees are put back to work for good.

He said he planned to reopen Country Crossing today and said it's a travesty that they had to remained closed.

He said they are committted to reopening the facility.

Gilley says John Tyson, the head of the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling made a statement night before last, strongly advising them against their decision to reopen.

About an hour and a half fter that statement, the gaming manufacturers who own about 20-million dollars in bingo machines in the facility contracted Country Crossing officials and asked them not to reopen in order to avoid having their equipment seized.

Gilley says he doesn't what's going to happen next week but told employees they will all get a full paycheck for this week so they can go into Memorial Day with some money.

Employees can come and get their paychecks tomorrow.

He says employees will be on a week-by-week notice on when the facility might reopen.

Gilley says he's confident that will happen soon.

Gilley apologized to employees for the stress on everyone involved in the situation.

He says the payroll for Country Crossing is about 150-thousand dollars a week.

Gilley encouraged employees to go to the polls on Tuesday and vote for a candidate that "encourages and supports democracy".

Gilley says millions of dollars has been lost by not only developers but also contractors who were working on expansion plans with the project.

He says they've been denied their day in court on multiple occasions.

A reporter asked about a report that the Houston Academy turned down Gilley's offer to give free 3-day passes to BamaJam to all Wiregrass graduating seniors.

Gilley says they first heard the school would particpate but then recieved a later call saying they would not.... he says special interests are controling those decisions, like they're controlling other parts of the state.

He said their phones have been ringing off the hook with Houston Academy seniors who want to know if they can get tickets on their own... Gilley says yes.

Gilley closed by telling employees he appreciated their faith and their efforts and promised to keep working hard to get them reopened.


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