Rock 'n' roll with the new issue of Lagniappe, your official guide to SouthSounds 2016, a regional music and arts festival scheduled April 8-10 in several venues around downtown Mobile. We have maps, schedules and other need-to-know information, as well as interviews with performers such as The Weeks, Futurebirds, Col. Bruce Hampton, Kristin Diable, Susto and more! The music lineup represents the best up-and-coming music the Southeast has to offer, performing in some of the most intimate venues in town! Our Bay Briefs this week explore such stories as a Daphne man who was recently arrested for publishing expunged court records, an update on the runoff election for state school board and a behind-the-scenes look at how amendments to the city of Mobile's storage tank ordinance took shape. Cuisine features a hot take on hummus, Arts previews the Mobile Symphony Orchestra's "A Thousand and One Nights" and music interviews J.J. Gray before his show at O'Daly's this weekend. Don't miss the story on 94-year-old WWII vet Kirby B. Evans, who survived German torpedoes and D-Day before settling down in Mobile for a career in newspapers. All the regular commentary, sports and business news is there as usual, and find out what Boozie spied at Erin Go Pawfest last weekend! Turn it up to 11! The new issue of Lagniappe is online and on stands now!
This week the State House is considering a bill that would divert 40 percent of Alabama’s $1 billion settlement with BP to Mobile and Baldwin counties while still repaying debt and funding road projects throughout the state.
Proposed by Sen. Bill Hightower (R-Mobile), SB 267 would split the settlement 60-40, leaving 60 percent in the state’s General Fund and moving roughly $260 million to road projects in the area. It passed the Senate 30-5 April 5.
Longtime Mobile County educator Jackie Zeigler defeated appointed incumbent Matthew Brown in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff for the District 1 seat on the Alabama Board of Education. Zeigler will face Democrat Ron Davis, the former Prichard mayor, in the general election in November.
Glenda Gordon sat in the front of the small bus as it trundled down the back streets of downtown Mobile, headed to Prichard. The 62-year-old mother and grandmother makes the hour-and-a-half commute almost daily from her home off Michigan Avenue in Mobile to her job in Eight Mile.
She was one of six passengers on the 8 a.m. bus Monday, on a route through Africatown and Prichard and eventually into Eight Mile. Ridership along the two-hour round trip wouldn’t pick up much that day, but Gordon and other riders blamed spring break and said the earlier buses — beginning at 6 a.m. — are usually busier anyway, sometimes becoming standing room only.
On Friday, April 1, shortly before 3 a.m. Mobile County Street Enforcement Narcotics Team (MCSENT), conducted an operation in the 9100 block of Grand Bay Wilmer Road for the selling of illegal weapons, trafficking crystal meth, and illegal possession of explosive devices. During the course of the operation the suspect, 32-year-old Ryan Burkhardt, attempted to elude officers on a motorcycle. As officers were taking Burkhardt into custody, he armed himself with a concealed handgun and fired it multiple times striking an officer twice. The officer was transported to a local hospital and is listed in stable condition. (more…) Continue Reading →
Police say two children called 911 after their mother was shot in the head by her ex-husband during a domestic argument that escalated to violence. Around 6 p.m., Wednesday, Mobile County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a shooting on Clairmont Drive in Semmes. (more…) Continue Reading →
Last week the Mobile County school board approved significant changes for three of the 12 schools in the district identified as “failing” by the state earlier this year. The 3-1 vote affirmed a $2.5 million school improvement plan for 16 facilities, which includes the conversion of Denton Middle School into the district’s seventh magnet program and the complete reconstitution of Scarborough Middle School. Under the Alabama Accountability Act a “failing school” is one listed in the lowest sixth percentile of standardized reading and math scores in the previous year. Based on statewide assessments, 12 MCPSS schools were designated “failing” in 2015, but four additional schools “in danger” of failing were also included in the school improvement plan. ACT testing began this week, but Superintendent Martha Peek said MCPSS has been working to improve last year’s results since August. Continue Reading →
After years of delays and weeks’ worth of debate, opponents of Mobile’s freshly amended petroleum storage tank ordinance say the most significant changes happened behind closed doors. The Mobile City Council approved the new ordinance last week. It requires tanks within a designated portion of the west side of the Mobile River to be at least 1,500 feet from the nearest residential zone, school or church whether inhabited or not. The ordinance also tweaks the city’s notification protocol for residents affected by a new tank application, but also contains a “grandfather” clause loosening some of the restrictions on established tank operators, or on land that has already had proper planning approval. Councilwoman Bess Rich was the lone dissenter on the so-called compromise ordinance, which she said was too far removed from the version approved earlier by the Mobile Planning Commission. Continue Reading →
As one of only two total elections in a seven-county area, the April 12 runoff between former Principal Jackie Zeigler and gubernatorial appointee Matthew Brown for the District 1 seat on Alabama’s State Board of Education isn’t expected to generate a large turnout. Even though Zeigler ended the March 1 primary with a 10,000-vote advantage over Brown, it wasn’t enough to avoid a runoff, expected to cost around $500,000. (more…) Continue Reading →
Fairhope resident Chip Shaw has personally seen the impact of development on the portion of Fly Creek flowing behind his home on Sea Cliff Drive. Shaw said the level of sand and debris in the creek has increased dramatically due to erosion caused by the development of the Shoppes at Fairhope Village — anchored by Publix — in 2008. According to Shaw, when he first moved into the home in 2002, the creek bordering his property measured approximately 7 feet deep. After a few years, its depth was reduced to 5 or 6 feet because of erosion after hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, but when a retention pond failed at the Publix construction site, Shaw said an additional 4 feet of sediment was dumped into the creek. In 2009, the city of Fairhope and the shopping center’s developers were sued by residents who complained stormwater runoff from the construction site eroded the creek’s banks and filled it with sediment. Continue Reading →