Arrest made in murder of 90-year-old

Xavier Graham , 21 of Mobile, was charged with the murder of 90-year-old Booker Green on July 28. (Mobile County Metro Jail)

Police have a made an arrest in last Thursday’s murder of an elderly Mobile man, but other suspects are still being sought. Xavier Graham, 21, was arrested this week and charged with the murder of Booker Green — a 90-year-old, long-time resident of the Dixie Park neighborhood. (more…) Continue Reading →

The city’s CIP brings changes, as debate looms over taxation

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In the two fiscal years since it was first unveiled, Mobile’s capital improvement plan (CIP) has led to the commitment to repair and reconstruct some of the city’s most soggy and potholed streets. An initiative pushed by the Mobile City Council more than two years ago and managed by Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s administration, the CIP takes a roughly 20 percent increase in sales tax — extended through next year — and earmarks it for various projects throughout Mobile’s seven council districts. The money, which totals more than $21 million per year, is split evenly among the districts, at an average of $3 million per district per year. At its inception, councilors held meetings to allow constituents to help determine where most of the needs were. A majority of the complaints involved streets, through requests for resurfacing, drainage and reconstruction. Continue Reading →

‘Men and women of good heart’ can heal our nation

Never before have I witnessed such a troubling series of events as those that occurred over the past several weeks involving law enforcement and the public. The officer-involved shooting death of Michael Moore here in our own community reminds us that the challenges we face are local as well as national. The events in Baton Rouge, Minnesota, Dallas, Florida and elsewhere have shocked the nation and have continued to challenge our understanding of what values we share as Americans. The barbarous killing of police officers simply because they wear a badge is unconscionable. Law enforcement officers deserve our unequivocal support. Continue Reading →

Sam Jones announces mayoral bid at church

Multiple sources have confirmed to Lagniappe that former Mayor Sam Jones announced Sunday at Greater Nazaree Baptist Church he would again be seeking the city’s highest office. The Rev. James Parrish, the church’s pastor, said he could neither confirm nor deny what the other sources had said, but added there might be an announcement soon. Calls to Jones went unreturned last Monday afternoon. The former mayor has previously refused to give interviews to Lagniappe. Jones was elected to consecutive terms in 2005 and 2009 before losing to current Mayor Sandy Stimpson in 2013. Continue Reading →

Mercaptan survey yields 1,300 complaints

More than 1,300 Eight Mile residents have complained of health effects related to a tert-Butyl mercaptan spill in 2008, as an environmental scientist criticized Mobile Gas’ mediation of it eight years later. Wilma Subra, a scientist from Louisiana who travels the country to provide technical assistance to communities dealing with environmental health issues, said her data shows there’s a problem with the recovery wells Mobile Gas placed near the spill site. In order to mitigate the spill, Mobile Gas is treating the water with ozone before releasing it back into the ground. The process is permitted by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. “In the discharge permit, they’re not required to meet a certain mercaptan concentration in the discharge water,” Subra said. Continue Reading →

Council all aboard for rail service

The Mobile City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday in support of Amtrak’s return of passenger rail service to Mobile. Mobile now joins a coalition of Gulf Coast cities in support of service from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Orlando, Florida. Mayor Sandy Stimpson applauded the move. “A Gulf Coast passenger rail service will facilitate job creation, enhance tourism and reduce environmental and roadway impacts,” Stimpson said. “This service will not only connect cities across the Gulf Coast, but will also link Mobile to the Midwest, West Coast and across the nation. Continue Reading →

Will a Jones run demonstrate a ‘New Sam?’

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It seems like the hottest underground topic in town for the past month has been whether or not Mayor Sandy Stimpson will face a challenger when voters head to the polls next August. I know, I know … it’s awfully early to be worrying about that, but for weeks now the mayor’s race has been a pretty constant topic of conversation. Most of that has been generated in the wake of the police shooting of 19-year-old Michael Moore last month and the subsequent birth of the League for Truth and Justice, a group consisting of black politicians and clergy. Sitting around the coffeepot at the local gas station, many people thought the group was serving as little more than a launching pad for a run against Stimpson. The most common guess was that state Sen. Vivian Figures would throw her fashionable hat into the ring and attempt to become Mobile’s first female mayor. Continue Reading →

Hot, random thoughts on governmental affairs

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Having reached the dog days of summer, my brain has officially been roasted/bolied/baked into a squishy mush where I can hardly formulate a complete thought on an issue before it reverts back to the only thought that overrides all other thoughts: “God, it’s hot.” I am sure you are feeling the same way, as it’s a hard time in the South for thinkin’, readin’ and writin’. But since there are important things going on in our country, state and city I have whipped up some little random nibbles that are easy for the left hemisphere of that organ in our noggins to digest. 

It’s a party (or 3 or 4) in the USA
Like the majority of folks in the country, I am not really overly thrilled with either of the choices we have for president. And I say “either” instead of “any” because I realize there are a couple of other folks out there also running against Trump and Clinton. I thought about casting a vote for one of them or writing in my dog’s name, but I know at this late date, it would most likely just be a protest vote and would only end up helping to put one of the evils — either the lesser or the greater, depending on your perspective — into office. And that seems like a cop-out. But I do think some good is going to come out of this very ugly and depressing election, as it is going to serve to create more viable third- and fourth-party options in 2020 and beyond. 

I have never really understood why the Libertarian party hasn’t been able to get off the ground. Continue Reading →