Author: Jason Johnson

Extended snapper season being discussed

Officials along the Gulf Coast are in negotiations with federal agencies in hopes of finding a compromise that could allow red snapper fishing in federal waters through Sept. 4 this year. While the three-day 2017 snapper season, which ran June 1 through June 3, has already come and gone, a message from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) provided a glimmer of hope for anglers on Friday. According to ADCNR, state officials from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana have been in talks with the United States Department of Commerce and several congressmen from their respective areas...

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Mobile nets another ‘marquee name’ in Amazon

After a year of behind-the-scenes negotiations, city and county officials were surprised last Thursday when Amazon announced it would be making a $30 million investment here, opening its first Alabama sortation center in Mobile and bringing hundreds of jobs to the area. On Friday, Mayor Sandy Stimpson and Mobile County Commissioners confirmed their involvement with the project, which will generate roughly 1,500 part-time and seasonal jobs. According to Troy Wayman, vice president of economic development at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, the bulk of those jobs would be available at the height of Amazon’s operations ahead of the...

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Teens arrested on Facebook Live in Mobile

Three teenagers accused of carrying pistols while “driving around” Mobile “starting fights” on Facebook live unwittingly broadcast their own arrests to thousands Tuesday afternoon. According to the Mobile Police Department, 19-year-olds Hisham Jameel Richardson, Johnny Tyrece Vail and Reginald Rayshawn Square were driving in the area of Figures Park and attempting to start fights — all of which was broadcast live on Facebook. However, near the end of a 40-minute video uploaded to a Facebook account registered to Square, the trio appears surprised when a Mobile Police cruiser pulls up to the Exxon Gas Station at 2272 St. Stephens...

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Alabama expands ‘top-ranked’ pre-K locally

After more than a decade ranked among the top state-funded prekindergarten programs, Alabama’s First Class pre-k is continuing its expansion and adding 122 new classrooms this fall, including five in Mobile and Baldwin counties. First Class Pre-K, a voluntary program for 4-year-olds, is funded through state grants appropriated in the Education Trust Fund (ETF). Classrooms can be located in public or private schools as well as in child care, faith-based or Head Start centers throughout Alabama. The program is managed by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, organized under the governor’s office, and the First Class designation indicates...

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Mobile police return to ‘safety checkpoints’

To combat an uptick in violent crime in Mobile, police have returned to an old tactic of setting up roadblocks in areas known for criminal activity. These so-called “safety checkpoints,” however, aren’t new and often aren’t very popular. Last October, when 13 homicides were reported in a single month, the Mobile Police Department announced “safety checkpoints” — commonly called roadblocks — would be used as part of a heightened enforcement initiative dubbed Operation City H.E.A.T. Popular under the administration of former Mayor Sam Jones and former Police Chief Michael Williams, routine roadblocks conducted by MPD had largely gone by the...

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