City launches first ‘Fun Mobile’

The City of Mobile’s very first “Fun Mobile” — a truck full of games and sports equipment that will travel from park to park — was delivered this week. The Fun Mobile is currently being stocked with kick balls, board games, Frisbees, horseshoes, softballs, hula hoops, bases, marbles and golf clubs for putting. It is expected to be fully operational by next week. The route will include stops at Crawford Park, Duval Park, Laun Park, Newhouse Park, Kidd Park, Henry Aaron Park, Medal of Honor Park, Municipal Park, McNally Park, Rickarby Park and Lyons Park. “As summer approaches, we want to encourage our children to have fun, be safe and stay active,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. Continue Reading →

Hastie: ‘I only put what I wanted them to see’

License Commission Kim Hastie and her attorney, Neil Hanley, take questions from reporters Feb. 11.

Day two of Mobile County License Commissioner Kim Hastie’s public corruption trial focused on testimony from the witness who alerted the federal government to the alleged conspiracy — computer contractor Victor T. Crawford. Several of Hastie’s charges revolve around expenses she allegedly hid from the Mobile County Commission through Crawford’s company, APL Software Engineering. Her November indictment also suggested she used intimidation to extort Crawford into making political contributions to her political campaign and purchasing gifts for office Christmas parties. (more…) Continue Reading →

County employees unconvinced by soccer complex’s rosy financial forecast

Hundreds turned out for a hearing on a publicly-funded soccer complex last night as consultant Sports Facilities Advisory (SFA) presented the results of a $48,000 marketability study the Mobile County Commission approved in February. Based on the plans for a 10-field facility with an anticipated waterpark, SFA looked at the possible costs of operating the complex and how much the county might gain from from direct revenue and total economic impact when or if it becomes operational. (more…) Continue Reading →

Lawsuits another dynamic in city’s fight against blight

Crews work to remove debris from the former Joel Court Apartments, a $125,000 demolition of blighted property donated to a local church from its former owner, Colorado-based Legacy Capital Partners.

As Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s administration cracks down on blight, a January lawsuit between a Colorado-based developer and the city over an abandoned apartment complex seems to be nearing a resolution. Legacy Capital Partners was the named defendant in a lawsuit the city filed in January to have a group of buildings off of West Prichard Avenue demolished. The suit asked the defendants to tear down the buildings at Joel Court, which the Mobile City Council declared a nuisance Jan. 30. Keri Coumanis, an attorney with the city’s legal department, said Joel Court was, at one time, an affordable, multi-family housing complex with financial support from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Continue Reading →

Council tables animal feeding ban

The Mobile City Council voted unanimously to table an amendment to an ordinance, which would have outlawed the feeding of squirrels and other wild animals on public property. By tabling the vote, the council effectively killed the amendment the administration had offered as a way to control the animal population in city parks. This week’s meeting took place Tuesday evening at Davidson High School. The council last week in a public safety committee meeting suggested Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s administration put up signs, or find a “less intrusive” way to accomplish what it wanted to do with the ordinance. In other business from the meeting, councilors heard from Michael Weech, a resident of District 6, who complained about the state of basketball courts in parks. Continue Reading →

Employee testimony: ‘Hastie asked for a list of emails’

Mobile County License Commissioner Kim Hastie.

Prosecutors seemed to be working backward on Tuesday, opening their case against Mobile County License Commissioner Kim Hastie with testimony related to the last of 17 charges she’ll face in the coming weeks. Count 17 was added to Hastie’s federal indictment in January of 2015 and accuses her of intentionally disseminating more than 30,000 private email addresses from the License Commission’s database. Those emails were then given to the mayoral campaign of Sandy Stimpson. (more…) Continue Reading →