Author: Rob Holbert

Sidewalks are for drinking and boiling

There appears to be hope for some of our quirkier habits as Mobilians may persevere despite the often suffocating snarl of government red tape. For the past couple of years two rites of spring have been endangered by seemingly nonsensical rules and regulations that had pretty much (rightly) been ignored for years. And while one of these grand pursuits appears on the verge of being ratified by none other than the Legislature and governor of the great state of Alabama, the other will have to go back to operating with a wink and a nod in order to survive....

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Is Bentley debacle coming to a head?

The political underground is simply swirling in anticipation of what may be the final fate of our beleaguered Luv Guv. The worst-kept secret in Montgomery is that the Ethics Commission is supposed to meet in early April and vote to turn Robert Bentley over to the Attorney General’s office for prosecution on a number of offenses. How do we know that? Well, we don’t, but people sure are talking about it and writing about it, so it must be true. Forgive me if I cast my most jaundiced eye upon the Alabama Ethics Commission as an enforcer of legal...

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The ‘shark tank’ of a ‘Daily Show’ interview

When Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” called on Jim Mather recently and wanted to do an interview about his work locally with refugees and internationals, he agreed despite his own trepidations about appearing on a show where the expectation is that those being interviewed will probably end up looking foolish. Mather is the director of Friends International, an organization working primarily with international students at the University of South Alabama and some other local schools. He said the “Daily Show” sent its “reporter,” Desi Lydic, to interview him at his home last week. That opportunity came, he says, because...

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Cowboys get tied up in controversy

The uproar over the Comic Cowboys’ parade signs was probably one of the easier things to predict in this rather unpredictable political climate. As we go to press this week, the simmering debate about offensive signs in the Mardi Gras season’s most irreverent parade reached a full Zatarain’s boil as Mobile’s City Council fielded complaints about the parade, and Mayor Sandy Stimpson declared he had resigned from the organization following this year’s run. Founded in 1884, “The Cowboys” are generally a must-see for most Mobilians on Fat Tuesday because they irreverently stick it to the rich, famous and politically...

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Radio legend Wayne Gardner retiring

By the end of the month, the Mobile airwaves will be minus perhaps their most recognizable baritone voice as FMTALK106.5’s Wayne Gardner retires. With 44 years in this market alone, calling Gardner a Mobile radio legend is hardly hyperbole. He was one of the forces behind making WKSJ-FM into a national powerhouse station in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and has also been part of the team that has helped turn FMTALK106.5 into must-hear radio. Gardner got his start behind the mic right out of college at a station in Spartanburg, South Carolina, followed by a stint in Charlotte, North...

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About The Author

Rob Holbert

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Rob Holbert is co-publisher and managing editor of Lagniappe, Mobile’s independent newspaper. Rob helped found the newspaper after a career that started as a police reporter and columnist at the Mississippi Press in Pascagoula. He followed that with a stint as a deputy press secretary for then-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in Washington, D.C. After leaving Capitol Hill, Rob worked ghost-writing opinion articles for publication in some of the nation’s largest newspapers. From 1999 through Aug. 2010 he was the faculty adviser for the University of South Alabama student newspaper, The Vanguard, and in 2002 started Lagniappe with his business partner Ashley Trice. The paper now prints 30,000 copies every two weeks and is distributed around Mobile and the Eastern Shore. According to Scarborough Research, Lagniappe now has more than 80,000 readers each week, with close to a quarter of that coming online. The paper began publishing weekly at the beginning of April 2014.

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