Militarization or modernization? Local law enforcement agencies are padding their armories with equipment more commonly seen on the battlefield, leading some to question what is necessary to protect and to serve. In the new issue of Lagniappe, we speak to local police forces who are defending their acquisition of military-style equipment. In Bay Briefs, insurance and budgets are hot topics. We have a story further detailing Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s proposed 2015 budget and we speak to Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran about the MCSO budget and other funding sources. We also have stories about this week’s Mobile City Council meeting and why hundreds of county employees filed a grievance over high insurance costs. In Cuisine, Andy and Rob take a trip to Mobile’s Colonel Dixie, where the chicken may rival that of Colonel Sanders, but the hot dogs have some serious competition. Artifice discusses how Mayor Stimpson’s proposed budget cuts to arts organizations paint a bleak picture of the city’s priorities and in our music feature, we interview Marc Broussard, who will headline this weekend’s SeaGrass Concert Series in Dauphin Island. Sports highlights paddling as an adventurous way to explore the vast Mobile-Tensaw Delta and Boozie has all of the oh-so-tasty gossip, including ice bucket challenges gone wild. Thanks for supporting your favorite weekly newspaper! LAGNIAPPE IS ONLINE AND ON STANDS NOW!
Executive Director of Public Safety Richard Landolt said Friday he has a plan to close and consolidate certain fire stations near midtown and downtown that aren’t heavily used or are in need of major repairs.
Landolt’s plan would see the closing of Ashland, Henry J. Reid, Central and Gus Rehm fire stations, in favor of a smaller station downtown near the intersection of Interstate 165 and Beauregard Street and a “state-of-the-art megastation” in the vicinity of where Rehm is currently located on Moffat Road.
The University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital celebrated the grand opening of its new lobby, courtyard and gift shop Thursday afternoon, honoring all who contributed to the three and a half year long project.
The fate of Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s proposed $227 million fiscal year 2015 budget rests in the hands of the seven members of the Mobile City Council. The major issues to consider include incremental employee raises, an increase in healthcare costs, the cutting of more than $2 million in performance contracts and an increase in council discretionary funds.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson and members of his administration were present at a ribbon cutting for an affordable housing complex Wednesday morning. The city previously loaned developers $850,000 in money from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be used for construction and financing of the development called Greystone Place Apartments. In addition, the project used $1.3 million from the Alabama Housing Finance Authority and about $600,000 in tax credits from the state, Senior Community and Housing Director Nigel Roberts. Projects costs totaled $8.3 million. “I like to call this workforce housing,” Roberts said, following the ribbon cutting ceremony. Continue Reading →
The president of the United Concerned Citizens of Prichard will face a local barber and pastor in a runoff election on Tuesday, Oct. 7 for the right to represent Prichard City Council District 2. UCCOP’s Severia Campbell-Morris received 39 percent of the vote during a special election Tuesday. Carlton Wallace, owner of Heavenly Creations Barber Style Center, had 27 percent. Campbell-Morris and Wallace topped a total of six candidates to get into the runoff. Continue Reading →
Only a few weeks after Lagniappe detailed improvements at the Mobile County Animal Shelter, several of the county’s largest rescue operations have opted to cease working the shelter indefinitely – citing a decline in cooperation as the cause. (more…) Continue Reading →
Executive Director of Finance Paul Wesch told councilors during a Finance Committee meeting Tuesday that the decision to make changes to the healthcare cost-share and cut Medicare–eligible retirees from the city’s self-funded plan came after a review of how peer cities handled similar situations. Stimpson’s proposed 2015 budget cuts those retirees eligible for Medicare out of the city’s plan, but would help them find a supplemental plan for Medicare, and would pay $175 per month toward a supplemental plan for the first four years. (more…) Continue Reading →
Although the Mobile City Council agreed to delay by two weeks a vote on it, Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s proposed fiscal year 2015 budget was still a hot topic during Tuesday’s meeting. The council heard from three retired employees who were upset that the proposed budget would cut out healthcare coverage for retirees eligible for Medicare. Each asked the council to reconsider the proposal before voting on it. Dennis Green called the proposal to cut off benefits to retirees eligible for Medicare a “slap in the face,” adding that a 2.5 percent cost of living raise, which will go into effect in October, is not enough when an increase in healthcare costs is factored in. Green said he got a 2.5 percent raise under the Mike Dow administration, but an increase in healthcare costs was also factored in. Continue Reading →
Police placed a padlock on the entrance of Caffey’s Pharmacy in Prichard Tuesday after the owner was accused of illegally distributing the narcotic drug codeine. A three-week investigation revealed 54-year-old Donald Scarcliff sold codeine out of his shop to area individuals, even without prescriptions, for illegal, street-level distribution, MPD spokeswoman Ashley Rains said. (more…) Continue Reading →