Celebrate the Golden Anniversary of Battleship Memorial Park with the newest issue of Lagniappe, which you can take along and read while waiting for the fireworks show over the USS Alabama July 4. Our cover story tells a brief tale of the USS Alabama's history and includes commentary from a local veteran who served on board. We also list 51 facts you may not have known about the WWII-era ship that now serves as the sentinel of Mobile Bay and the centerpiece of a military park that also features armament, military aircraft and the oldest existing submarine of its type. In Bay Briefs, the Mobile Police Department has revamped its Explorers program after a previous investigation determined it was in "disarray," and from Fairhope, a story about how the high-income city is pursuing federal HUD grants to improve some its poor areas. Don't miss the latest developments from the Mobile County Communications District, where board members recently voted to suspend a $40 million technology contract amid concerns of impropriety. In Cuisine we find a gem of a taqueria in West Mobile where despite a lack of water, still impresses with affordable and tasty tacos. In Arts we discuss the mayor's proposal for an arts and cultural commission and in Music, "renaissance woman" Ameenah Kaplan gets ready to load The Crystal Pistol on Dauphin Island July 3. There's also the ever-insightful commentary, gossip and calendar of events you've come to expect from Mobile's only independently owned weekly newspaper! THE NAPPIE AWARD DEADLINE IS APPROACHING! GET YOUR VOTE IN WHILE YOU STILL CAN! THE NEW ISSUE OF LAGNIAPPE IS ONLINE AND ON STANDS NOW!
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced a settlement agreement with BP this morning, ending years of litigation against the international petroleum corporation for its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Alabama will receive $2.3 billion of a total settlement agreement valued at $18.5 billion.
The Mobile County Commission voted 2-1 June 24 to approve a $31.5 million loan for several capital improvement projects including funding for jail upgrades, road projects and additional funds for an Emergency Operations Center. Despite being in the works for some time, the bond issue wasn’t mentioned during the commission’s conference meeting the week before. Nancy Johnson, Mobile County’s public affairs and community services director, said at the time the county was still waiting on confirmation before placing the warrants on the agenda.
A Mobile Police Department (MPD) juvenile outreach program apparently beset by mismanagement has been restarted following an investigation thwarted by poor record keeping that left investigators with little evidence of malicious intent.
Both county and federal prosecutors declined to proceed with investigations involving the alleged mismanagement of federal funds connected to the Mobile Police Explorers program, Chief James Barber said in an unrelated interview earlier this year.
The Baldwin County Board of Education on Tuesday approved a list of 27 people assigned to the county’s first Community Advisory Task Force, charged with seeking ideas from citizens regarding school funding, curriculum, facilities, leadership and communication. The group will have public meetings twice per month at Robertsdale High School at 5:30 p.m., the first of which is scheduled for June 9. (more…) Continue Reading →
Mayor Sandy Stimpson welcomed a new 93-room Hilton Garden Inn with a groundbreaking at the corner of Conception and St. Francis streets this morning. Crews were working Wednesday morning to tear up asphalt on a parking lot at the site, as Stimpson announced the start of the project, alongside Councilman Levon Manzie. “This corner is a premier site in the city,” Stimpson said. Manzie said the project represents a continued effort to bring excitement back to the downtown area. Continue Reading →
The Mobile City Council will hold off for at least six weeks on a vote to appeal a previous Planning Commission approval allowing ARC Terminals to convert up to eight petroleum storage tanks to store sulfuric acid instead. Tuesday’s agenda item brought a bevy of dissenters, from downtown residents to environmentalists, but councilors agreed to delay the vote for six weeks so ARC and local engineering firm Cowles, Murphy and Glover can hold a forum on the project to give residents more information. The application passed the Planning Commission June 4 by a 6-4 vote. Attorney Doug Anderson told councilors during a pre-conference meeting the board found no credible evidence to deny the move. He said the commission took the terminals’ proximity to residential property into account, but added that many of the concerns against the move were “based on fears.”
Those speaking against the project included representatives from the three nearby historic neighborhoods of Africatown, DeTonti Square and Church Street East. Continue Reading →
The Baldwin County Judicial Commission has nominated three finalists to fill the vacancy in the position of Baldwin County District Judge for Place 2 in the 28th Judicial Circuit Court. The position became vacant with the appointment of Judge Scott Taylor to the Circuit Court June 22. The three nominees were submitted to Gov. Robert Bentley on Tuesday morning, according to Judicial Commission Chairman and Circuit Judge J. Langford Floyd. (more…) Continue Reading →
Resolution of a power struggle between the city and the board of directors of the History Museum of Mobile will cost 19 personnel board employees their jobs, at least temporarily. A letter signed by Mayor Sandy Stimpson June 26 stated the employees would be laid off effective Saturday, Aug. 1. “Pursuant to Mobile County Personnel Board rules and regulations, this letter is to notify you that your position … is being eliminated due to a consolidation and realignment of the city of Mobile’s departments and functions,” the letter stated. “This administrative decision is being made as the city develops a streamlined approach to the operation of the History Museum of Mobile.”
Stimpson’s Chief of Staff Colby Cooper confirmed the impetus for the decision hinged on an agreement between the City Council, the administration and the museum board to cede the museum’s operation to the appointed board. Continue Reading →
With no specific recognition of a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down same-sex marriage bans nationwide, the marriage license windows at the Mobile County Probate Court opened for all couples a few hours after the ruling was handed down. The ruling was the summation of many civil lawsuits from several states. On April 28, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case originating in Ohio. In January, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear Obergefell along with three other cases from Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. The questions posed by the court dealt with the constitutionality of marriage bans broadly. Continue Reading →