Author: Jane Nicholes

Police send a message about social media threats

A second case of a Spanish Fort High School student posting a threatening image on social media led to a swift arrest Thursday and a schoolwide assembly intended to make it clear that such actions will not be tolerated. “The assembly was put together after her arrest because of the two incidents we’ve had in one week and with spring break,” said Police Chief David Edgar. The 15-year-old girl was taken to the county juvenile detention center and charged with making terroristic threats. Baldwin County District Attorney Robert Wilters and Edgar did most of the talking to the students, Edgar said. “It wasn’t a dialogue. It was a monologue between myself and Mr. Wilters and the kids.” Also on hand were school and school system administrators, Mayor Mike McMillan and a juvenile probation officer. Edgar said the case was similar to the one Sunday that led to the arrest of two Spanish Fort students. The girl posted a photo of herself holding a BB gun. The image and the threatening language were similar to what was posted on Sunday, he said. On Thursday morning, someone shared the image with the police department’s school resource officer at Spanish Fort High. The officer recognized the girl and immediately involved others with the department, Edgar said. In an email message sent to parents and others associated with the high school and Spanish...

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Foley Middle students charged with making threats

Police arrested four male students Tuesday who allegedly were planning to bring guns to Foley Middle School. Capt. Thurston Bullock of the Foley Police Department said that as far as he knows, no guns were actually taken to the school. At about midday the school received a tip that the four boys were planning to bring the weapons to school to “do harm” according to a news release. The school’s resource officer quickly notified Foley detectives. The four boys were pulled out of class and interviewed individually. They confessed to the plan, Bullock said. All four were taken to juvenile detention and charged with one count of terroristic threat apiece, he said. The Baldwin County Public Schools system notified parents of Foley Middle School students via email that the incident had...

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Fish River residents claim they weren’t notified of proposed sewer line

Down along Fish River, residents made it clear the other night they don’t want a sewer line running under it. “We’re here tonight because we were damn well upset,” said Dick Sute, a retired vice president of Volkert Inc. and co-organizer of what was intended to be an informal meeting of residents to discuss the proposed sewer line. When elected officials and representatives of Baldwin County Sewer Service turned up March 15, they got an earful from about 50 people who crowded into the Marlow Fish River fire station. As happened about 15 years ago, the interests of developers, landowners, private business and public government are again clashing over a quickly growing area of Baldwin County. On the west side of Fish River, off Ferry Road near County Road 32, the privately run BCSS serves 96 customers who are linked into a Fairhope city sewer line. On the east side, off the Honey Road boat launch, BCSS serves customers with lines that run to its Malbis wastewater treatment plant. As a result of litigation dating to 2002, BCSS and Fairhope agreed the west side customers could be served by BCSS lines through Fairhope’s wastewater treatment for 10 years, until the agreement expires on July 12 of this year. The agreement could have been extended, but in December Fairhope notified BCSS it would shut off the service and both parties...

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Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival weekend is a rite of spring

Lebaron Heathcoe is a retired boilermaker from Axis who creates articulated fish and an occasional alligator out of copper. Stewart Rein is a photographer from Las Vegas who prints landscapes and city scenes on paper, canvas, metal, note cards and tempered glass cutting boards. They are two of the hundreds of artists and craftspeople who will show their work in the 65th Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival and the Eastern Shore Art Center’s Spring Outdoor Art Show this weekend. One of the best-known events of its kind in the Southeast, the two shows fill much of downtown Fairhope with...

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Budget looks to be Fairhope’s next battleground

Fairhopians are getting a bit restless. They’re showing up at City Council meetings in droves and asking why everyone can’t just get along. They want to know what’s wrong with an occasional compromise. Their comments on social media are growing testy. “I really don’t see why you all can’t grow up and get along,” one woman said during the public comment period at Thursday’s council meeting. “I’m sorry, but i was a teacher for 34 years.” Mayor Karin Wilson and even some of the council members said they would like to stop the infighting and contentious verbal exchanges that have marked recent efforts to conduct city business. But in practice, old and new issues continue to generate controversy. The budget Wilson finally released a draft budget last week for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. The city has been running more or less on the previous year’s budget. Wilson said she rewrote the proposed budget she inherited from former Mayor Tim Kant to make it more transparent and to highlight some fiscal issues, such as how much money from Fairhope utilities is used to subsidize general spending. Overall spending is up by some $838,000 compared to the original proposed general fund budget, for a total of about $24.4 million. But the budget came with a number of proposals from Wilson to cut spending or save money. They include: • Safety training...

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About The Author

Jane Nicholes

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Jane Nicholes marvels at the stories to be told in Baldwin County. Rapid population growth and development affect local governments, traffic, public schools and the environment, yet citizens can create a controversy out of holiday tree lights. There’s always someone around who remembers who did what to whom 50 years ago. And Baldwin County high schools grow college and professional football players like farmers grow Silver King corn. Jane has more than 35 years of experience in daily newspapers, alternative newspapers and specialty publications in Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas and South Carolina. She is a former editorial writer and reporter for the Press-Register and former managing editor of The Times of Acadiana in Lafayette, La. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she lives in Daphne.

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