Baldwin school board creates community task force

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 →

City holds groundbreaking for hotel at BayFest stage site

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 →

Council holds over appeal vote on sulfuric acid storage tanks

Oil and chemical storage tanks on the banks of the Mobile River have become a point of contention between residents and industry.

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 →

Baldwin District Judge finalists sent to governor

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 →

Mayor makes 19 museum positions history

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 →

SCOTUS ruling legalizes same-sex marriages in Mobile, nationwide

Dottie Pippin and Julie Fey apply for the first marriage license issued in Mobile County since the SCOTUS decision to legalize same-sex marriage across the United States.

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 →