Author: Jason Johnson

Lagniappe: March 23 – March 29, 2017

Grab your calculators and green eyeshades and pick up the latest issue of Lagniappe, where we explain how President Trump’s budget proposal could benefit or hinder local agencies. From increases in military and infrastructure spending to cutbacks on environmental and social programs, federal funding levels are certain to change. In Bay Briefs, we detail a dispute in Baldwin County over a proposed sewer line under Fish River. There is also updates on the lingering mercaptan odor in Eight Mile, Judge Charlie Graddick’s role in semi-retirement, and how national problems with the ride-hailing service Uber may effect users locally. Commentary...

Read More

DEA brings ‘hard hitting’ drug exhibit to Mobile

From their origins in makeshift labs around the globe to the toll they take on individuals, families and communities — illegal narcotics and the science that surrounds them are the focus of the latest exhibit at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. The exhibit, “Drugs: Costs and Consequences,” takes a detailed look at the production, consumption and distribution of illegal drugs. However, it also covers the science behind drugs’ effects on the human body while offering families and students a sobering look at the impact of addiction. Developed by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and the DEA Educational Foundation, the exhibit has been seen by more than 22 million visitors in 13 cities around the country. Though it’s only in its second month in Mobile, Executive Director Jan McKay said the Exploreum has already booked tours for more than 12,000 local students. “One of our goals is to get as many children and families through here as we can,” McKay told Lagniappe. “This is a great way for parents to start talking to their kids about drugs because it’s such a good way to start the conversation.” “Drugs: Costs and Consequences” opens with a series of photographs showing people of different ages, races and economic backgrounds who were affected by drugs. From a doctor arrested for overprescribing painkillers to a child targeted by drug traffickers for being in...

Read More

Businesses push for ‘clean water future’

Because the area’s problems with stormwater management and pollution are exacerbated by many sources, addressing them requires an equally diversified response and buy-in from local governments, businesses, private organizations and everyday citizens. A good example of this type of collaboration is the work nonprofit groups such as the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) have done to plan and implement better runoff infrastructure on both sides of the bay. However, private industry has an equal interest in ensuring sustainable and healthy growth can be achieved along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. That is one reason the Clean Water Future campaign was created. Clean Water Future is a joint effort between MBNEP and Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP), a coalition of industry and education leaders dedicated to science-based, environmentally conscious practices in business and community activities. In addition to raising awareness about issues such as stormwater runoff and the pollution it carries, Clean Water Future aims to make protecting local waterways simpler by forming beneficial partnerships, sharing information and techniques, and providing accessible online resources. “We’ve been very involved from the beginning of this program because we feel strongly that businesses and employers should want to do everything we can to ensure we can always enjoy clean water,” PEP Executive Director Jennifer Denson said. “A good quality of life and a clean environment are so very important to economic growth and development...

Read More

Nurse practitioner gets 20 months for role in ‘pill mill’

With the conviction of Dr. Xiulu Ruan and Dr. John Patrick Couch behind them, federal prosecutors have moved on to sentencing some of the co-conspirators they claim made the doctors “massive pill mill” in Mobile possible. However, those same co-conspirators — most of whom were former employees of Physicians Pain Specialists of Alabama — also testified for the prosecution and proved to be key witnesses to a lot of the government’s allegations. Bridgette Parker, a former nurse practitioner at PPSA, was the first to be sentenced last week, receiving 20 months in federal prison for her role in what...

Read More

State says Mobile County Animal Shelter is ‘a model facility’

It’s been a good week at the Mobile County Animal Shelter, with the humans and animals there both finding something to smile about. For starters, the Mobile Tennis Center donated 600 used tennis balls to dogs awaiting adoptions at the shelter. General Manager Scott Novak presented the tennis balls to Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson, who had help accepting the donation from a few ecstatic canines on Monday. However, it’s also been a good week for the staff at the shelter, following a positive report from the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners that designated the facility as “meeting or exceeding” all state requirements last week. The state conducted a review earlier in the month, which included a physical inspection of the shelter and reviews of its general sanitation practices, administrative procedures and handling of controlled substances regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Originally built in 2009, the $1.6 million facility has seen some changes since it opened its doors. In 2014, MCAS went through the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, which led to a number of recommended changes including the addition of an in-house veterinarian. In his report on March 10, inspector Greg Hardy had only positive comments for the shelter. “This facility could and should be used as a model facility. Continue all the hard work and dedication that is demonstrated in your current actions,” Hardy wrote....

Read More

About The Author

Jason Johnson

[email protected]
Jason Johnson originally hails from Elba, Alabama, and graduated summa cum laude from Troy University in 2011. He’s been a reporter for Lagniappe since 2014, where he covers an array of topics with a focus on county government, local courts and education. Previously, Jason worked for the Southeast Sun (Enterprise, Alabama), the Alexander City Outlook and 94.7 WTBF FM (Troy, Alabama). He’s also been recognized by the Alabama Press Association with designations in general excellence, photography and education reporting. In his spare time, Jason is a guitarist and drummer who enjoys the benefit of regularly playing with musicians better than himself.

Follow Us