Shift gears with the new issue of Lagniappe, where we explain the initiatives underway to make the city of Mobile more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. From practical changes like installing signs informing drivers to stay at least three feet away from cyclists, to more long-term and impactful measures like creating citywide cycling corridors and trails, several groups and organizations are currently drafting and implementing a comprehensive plan. In Bay Briefs, we look at the runoff election for mayor in Prichard, where incumbent Troy Ephriam fell short of challenger Jimmie Gardner in the general election last month. There's also a story about the Mobile Police Department alleged firing problem. Don't miss our latest report on the ties Baldwin County Commissioner Tucker Dorsey has with local businesses and potential conflicts of interest. Commentary touches on clown threats and the miserable, fun city that is Mobile, cuisine gets a taste of Nashville Hot Chicken, music talks to The Prescriptions prior to their show at Callaghan's Sept. 23 and arts speaks with the organizer of Mobile's Mardi Gras Trail. Sports details a new equestrian team for local students, The Real Deal has the latest from the Midtown Publix development and commercial real estate news, and film reviews "Maggie's Plan." Boozie got sauced at the Uncorked wine fest and found Donald Trump's greatest endorsement yet! All that and more is in the new issue of Lagniappe, online and on stands now!
The Mobile City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved amended versions of Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s proposed $308 million combined general fund, capital and convention center budgets. With approval of the $249 million general fund budget, the council made official $5,000 raises for all sworn police officers and any non-paramedic firefighter below the rank of captain. Additionally, the increases come with step raises for the future.
It’s been more than two years since dozens of residents and outsiders alike spoke before the Mobile County Commission to weigh in on a plan to display, “In God We Trust,” in the auditorium of Government Plaza.
The measure was approved on June 19, 2014, but despite the county recently completing a $1 million renovation of the facility, the placard that spurred months of debate in the Port City is still nowhere to be seen.
As he sought his first elected office in 2010, Baldwin County Commissioner Tucker Dorsey faced tough accusations from his rival that ties to the county’s biggest developers and one of its largest private sewer systems would make it hard for him to avoid conflicts of interest.
On Saturday, Sept. 17, members of the community, local organizations and Mobile-area health care providers partnered to raise awareness of heart failure and its disproportionate effect on African Americans in comparison to their counterparts. The community event, hosted by Saint Peter Missionary Baptist Church as a part of the Live To The Beat campaign, was held to empower African-Americans in Mobile to reduce the impact of heart failure and protect their heart health. (more…) Continue Reading →
In a news release today, Congressman Bradley Byrne announced a major federal grant for the Daphne Innovation and Science Complex (DISC). The grant was awarded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA), an agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The total EDA investment will be $846,583. “I am pleased to see yet another federal grant being award to help boost economic development in Southwest Alabama," Byrne said. "The DISC project is an important tool to help spur growth in the technology and science industry on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Continue Reading →
What happened to objectivity and basic quality control in the media? What happened in separation of news, opinion and advertising? Disclaimer: I was in the news business for 20 years. Yes, it was eons ago. Then, our mandate was to objectively report vetted facts, investigate fraud, crime, waste, give the weather report, sports, with a sprinkling of human interest stories. Continue Reading →
Given the “me first” attitude of the Alabama Legislature and general failure of leadership within every branch of the state government, it should have been obvious that the two coastal counties had “no chance” of being compensated for the damages perpetrated by BP. As much as it pains me to say it, BP’s post-spill behavior in many ways was more fair and evenhanded than that of the Alabama Legislature. It was a foregone conclusion that the criminal portion of the settlement was going to be fought over within the state. The federal law largely establishes that the punitive monies were free of much, if any, restrictions on how that was to be allocated. In other words, it was up for grabs and the Legislature and administration are better at grabbing money where they can find it than they are at solving problems at the front end. Continue Reading →
The Mobile City Council appears ready to make changes to Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s $249 million general fund budget proposal, but raises for police and firefighters are probably staying put. The council’s finance committee unanimously approved to recommend to the entire governing body to approve the raises for all sworn officers and any firefighter below the rank of captain, who haven't received a paramedic pay incentive. In the recommendation, the committee also asked the council to approve equity pay increases that would add 2.5 percent to salaries for every five years of service. (more…) Continue Reading →
While the history of the modern bicycle goes back two centuries, the pedal-powered transportation device is more popular than ever. One study suggested 67 million Americans rode a bike in 2014, while the number of bicycles sold each year is more than double that of passenger cars. Whether they are racing bikes, road bikes or mountain bikes, it is clear the activity has stood the test of time. But while Alabama is normally ranked near the bottom of bicycle-friendly states, a renaissance is taking place in Mobile as a local group of citizens — in conjunction with the efforts of other like-minded entities — works to make biking as safe and accessible as possible. Three of the key advocates recently met with Lagniappe to discuss the latest changes involving bikes in Mobile: Jeff DeQuattro, a founder of the Delta Bike Project; Corinna Luce, who volunteers with Mobile United; and Monica Warren, avid Mobile cyclist. Continue Reading →
In the face of a death toll that’s increased by 30 percent in the last decade, federal law enforcement officials are making the arrest and prosecution of drug traffickers moving heroin and opioids a top priority. In addition to those and other efforts, President Barack Obama announced Sept. 19-23 is the inaugural “Opioid and Heroin Awareness Week” to discuss what national and local leaders have dubbed a huge crisis affecting public safety and public health. “In 2014 alone, there were 27,000 deaths from [opioid] overdoses nationally,” Assistant District Attorney Steve Butler said at a Sept. 19 press conference in Mobile. Continue Reading →
For once, Alabama is on the cutting edge of a national trend — unfortunately it happens to be the dumbest trend since The Macarena. Alabama happens to be “clown central” right now. I’m referring to the waves of people claiming to be clowns threatening schools, sending them into “lockdown” and causing police to issue a BOZO for anyone in floppy shoes lurking nearby. Oops, I meant a BOLO. Sorry. Continue Reading →
Oh, what a difference a few years make. In 2013, the website Business Insider ranked The Azalea City the third “Most Miserable U.S. City” to live in, which irked many a Mobilian, to say the least. This designation even prompted Sandy Stimpson, who was running for mayor at the time, to fly the writer down here to prove just how un-miserable we were. I’m not sure if this “big city” writer really cared if we were miserable or not or wore shoes, she was just trying to serve up some click bait. But it proved to be a good stunt for the Stimpson campaign, and her cyberbait worked, so it was a win-win for both parties involved. Continue Reading →