Author: Dale Liesch

Gerald Patterson enters race for Mobile mayor

A candidate for Mobile mayor envisions a future where the city no longer owns some of its biggest and most debated structures. Gerald Patterson said that as mayor, he would sell to the Retirement Systems of Alabama a number of city-owned structures, including the Civic Center, the cruise terminal, Hank Aaron Stadium, Ladd-Peebles Stadium and GulfQuest Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico. The millions saved from the sell-off would be used, in part, to upgrade old fire stations, Patterson said. “I’d replace five fire stations,” he said. “They’re obsolete and it’s a disgrace.” Patterson said he would make sure first responders had everything they need to do their jobs. “For this city to not give those men and women in uniform everything they need and deserve to do their jobs effectively was the final straw for me,” he wrote in an email message explaining his platform. “God knows I don’t know everything and I doubt I ever will, but as mayor, our first responders will have the greatest ally in the history of that mayor’s office should I prevail.” He added that as mayor he would immediately reverse any cutbacks in the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department. These are just three of about 100 proposals the candidate is introducing for a run he said he started in order to give Mobilians a choice in August. Patterson, who works as a...

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Old Dutch approved for Halls Mill Road creamery

Business at Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting was just a bit sweeter than normal. The board unanimously approved plans to allow a creamery for Cammie’s Old Dutch at 4380 Halls Mill Road. The approval allows Cammie Wayne, owner of Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe, to get churning on the former restaurant space where the shop’s ice cream will be produced. Wayne said she hopes to have it ready to put the proverbial cherry on top by next week. While not open to the public, the creamery will allow Wayne and staff more space, as the production will be moved...

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2017 Griot Award recipient Maj. Gen. Gary Cooper still inspires

Retired Maj. Gen. Gary Cooper remembers many things from his youth in Mobile. The poor neighborhood, the dusty dirt roads and the segregated Catholic school he attended called St. Peter Claver. It was there he heard the words that would help define his military career. While a student at the all-black school, a Dominican nun told his class that the white people who supported segregation in Mobile were “crazy.” She told them that no matter what, there “was room at the top.” Those were words that stuck with the young Cooper throughout his career with the U.S. Marine Corps....

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MAWSS building $7.9M basin to deal with overflows at Hall’s Mill Creek

Submitted Mobile Area Water & Sewer System (MAWSS) plans to start construction in a few weeks on a Severe Weather Attenuation Basin (SWAB) at the Halls Mill Lift Station near Riviere Du Chien Road that will help alleviate sanitary sewer overflows during heavy rain events. The $7.9 million construction project was awarded to J&P Construction of Tuscaloosa at Monday’s meeting of the MAWSS Board. The project was designed by CH2M. MAWSS experiences periodic sewer overflows during heavy rain events when storm water infiltrates the sanitary sewer lines, causing them to surcharge. The SWAB will store the elevated rain diluted flows until the rainfall subsides and the captured flow can be returned to the sewer system for conveyance to the treatment plant. The basin will consist of four storage cells or ponds having a total capacity of 20 million gallons. Typically, one cell would be utilized at a time. The other three would fill only as needed. The SWAB also provides the capability to divert flows from the lift station if needed for maintenance of the station or its force main. Odor control systems are included in the design of the facility. MAWSS expects construction of the SWAB to take about 10 months. More information about the SWAB can be found under “What’s New at MAWSS” at...

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Council cites First Amendment for Comic Cowboys inaction

Members of the Mobile City Council condemned a Mobile Mardi Gras association Tuesday for displaying signs found offensive by many on their floats in a Fat Tuesday parade. However, the council ultimately took no action on advice from legal counsel. While councilors and Mayor Sandy Stimpson said they found the Comic Cowboys’ signs offensive, council attorney Jim Rossler said the First Amendment prevents the city from taking any legal action against the organization based on the content of the signs. Rossler said the U.S. Supreme Court has a litany of examples where it defended the free speech of organizations, either parading or protesting, with statements the public would find offensive or that would “cause a hostile reaction.” As an example, Rossler mentioned a case from 1977, where the court upheld the right of a neo-Nazi group to hold up signs advocating for genocide in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. Rossler said the court has consistently found that any government — federal, state or local — cannot regulate the content of speech similar to that of the Comic Cowboys. Stimpson, who had been a member of the Comic Cowboys for four years until he resigned after seeing the signs in this year’s parade, said he found them offensive. “I felt the same way as many of the residents,” he said after Tuesday’s meeting. “I resigned because I felt the signs crossed...

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About The Author

Dale Liesch

[email protected]
Dale Liesch has been a reporter at Lagniappe since February 2014. He covers all aspects of the city of Mobile, including the mayor, city council, the Mobile Housing Board of Commissioners, GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico and others. He studied journalism at The University of Alabama and actually graduated in 2007. He came to Lagniappe, after several years in the newspaper industry. He achieved the position of news editor at The Alexander City Outlook before moving to Virginia and then subsequently moving back a few years later. He has a number of Alabama and Virginia Press association awards to his name. He grew up in the wilderness of Baldwin County, among several different varieties of animals including: dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, a horse and an angry goat. He now lives in Midtown Mobile with his wife, Hillary, and daughter, Joan. The family currently has no goats, angry or otherwise, but is ruled by the whims of two very energetic dogs.

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