Author: Jason Johnson

Growth, innovation, touted at state of city, county luncheon

More than 900 people from municipal governments and area businesses crowded the Arthur Outlaw Convention Center Wednesday for the State of the City and County Luncheon hosted annually by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. This year, officials with the chamber, the city of Mobile and Mobile County all praised the progress the Port City has seen over the past few years — highlighting a particularly productive 2016 for job creation, workforce development and industrial diversification. Opening the ceremony, Chamber President Bill Sisson said the first five months of 2017 had brought 550 new jobs and $280 million in...

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Four years in, 911 overhaul still incomplete

After seeing its projected completion date last September pushed back to November, then January and again to March, the $40 million enhancement to Mobile County’s 911 radio system still isn’t complete and most likely won’t be until July at the soonest. Last week, board members at the Mobile County Communications District (MCCD) joined consultants overseeing the multi-million-dollar endeavor in criticizing Harris Corp., the main contractor building the new system, for lacking “a sense of urgency” to complete the project. “I still feel [Harris] does not have enough resources allocated to this project, and that was one of the major impacts,”...

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Lawsuit claims Saraland police shooter was murdered by cop

The grandparents of the man who shot and critically wounded officer Jackie Tucker last year have filed a lawsuit against the Saraland Police Department and several others, alleging Matthew Blake Richardson was murdered by police. In a sprawling complaint filed without legal counsel, Alton G. Richardson Jr. and Virginia L. Richardson laid out a number of allegations against local law enforcement, media outlets and medical professionals who treated their grandson — a 27-year-old they described as a “severely mentally ill person.” Blake Richardson died on Dec. 21, 2016, after opening fire on Tucker and her partner, Ron Hannah, who were...

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Husband, wife detective duo receive top honors

On the witness stand a few weeks ago, Mobile homicide detective Kenneth Gillespie testified to tracking an accused murderer until he eventually led authorities to the location of his mother’s body in rural Baldwin County. What didn’t make it into the record, though, was how much his wife likely heard about the investigation as authorities spent weeks monitoring their prime suspect. “A lot of people whose spouses aren’t in law enforcement, they can’t really go home and talk about how somebody was brutally murdered because, honestly, it would traumatize their wife,” Gillespie said. “Whereas my wife is in the...

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Police seize cocaine, pills on Woodland Road

Officers with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office’s undercover narcotics team raided a house in the Woodland Road area in the early hours of Monday morning, seizing cocaine, an assortment of other illegal drugs and arresting two. Around 6:30 a.m., May 15, MCSO personnel took Aundrea Gray and Roderick Pettway into custody after finding cocaine, assorted prescription pills and a small amount of marijuana in their home. Specifically, police recovered 4 ounces of powder cocaine, 2.5 grams of crack cocaine, 70 Xanax pills, 96 Oxycodone pills, two Cialis pills, one hydrocodone pill, three Percocet pills and 15 grams of marijuana....

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