Shorter residents worry about future without Victoryland - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Shorter residents worry about future without Victoryland

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Shorter Mayor Willie Mae Powell weighs in on Victoryland's closing and the recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling. Shorter Mayor Willie Mae Powell weighs in on Victoryland's closing and the recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling.
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Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

SHORTER, AL (WSFA) -  "I really don't know, I'm at a loss right now," says Shorter Mayor Willie Mae Powell.

Surrounded by fellow city leaders, Powell tries to take it all in when just hours earlier an Alabama Supreme Court ruling denied a restraining order requested by Victoryland owners to keep the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling from another raid.

"It's like a bomb hit me, ya know? Just thinking that 'wow, this cannot be happening to us,'" she adds.

The biggest revenue generator and job provider in her small city is currently closed for business, now facing yet another possible raid by the task force.

"I believe this will continue to happen unless we get an up or down. Just go on and finish whatever you got to do," she says in reference to the task force.

But a raid is the least of the mayor's worries.

For her, it's folks like Milton Ware, now left without any income.

"What now, I mean, what am I going to do?" asks Ware, a bus driver at Victoryland.  All he can do is wait for the verdict on his job.

"I have a lot of trust in God. And I do believe if it's meant to be, it will re-open," he says.

But for now, city leaders try to figure out how to survive if Victoryland doesn't.

"You asked me a question about what's next for families, for our town, for our community.  We may ask that of the Governor," says Powell.

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