Staffers at al.com’s Royal Street headquarters were evacuated from the building Monday morning following a phoned-in bomb threat.
Mobile Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Anthony Joiner of 5065 Sweetbriar Lane in Eight Mile, charging him with making the threat and also for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. While neither the police nor al.com officials have released information regarding why Joiner is believed to have been the source of the threat, al.com insiders told Lagniappe the threat is believed to have been the result of an argument in the publication’s online comment area.
The building was evacuated sometime around 11 a.m., according to al.com staffers who spoken on condition of anonymity. At 12:17 p.m. the staff received an email from al.com operator Tom Bates downplaying any potential danger.
“As we continue to look into a phone call we received this morning, we are acting out of an abundance of caution in asking you to work from outside the office for a few hours. Please be assured there’s nothing direct or specific at play. We don’t think this rises to any level where this would be an issue of interest to anyone else, but in the chance you receive any external questions, those should go to Michelle Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org,” Bates wrote.
Just before 5 p.m. staffers were told the hub had reopened.
One al.com staffer expressed some frustration that company leaders have as yet not provided much information as to the nature of the threat and whether it was aimed at any particular individual.
Joiner has a 2015 arrest for harassing communications.
New editor at MBM
Maggie Bagwell Lacey was recently named the new executive editor for Mobile Bay Magazine, taking over the position in June.
Lacey is a Point Clear native whose previous jobs include managing the Windmill Market in Fairhope, as well as working in the New York fashion industry as a shoe designer. Lacey has also been a buyer for a high-end women’s boutique in Fairhope and was director of marketing and special events for the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson.
“Mobile Bay Magazine has a long history of exploring the ins and outs of Mobile and Baldwin counties, and right now is an exciting time for this area,” Lacey said. “As a lifestyle magazine, we get to cover life on the bay at a time when there are new restaurants, festivals, activities for young and old, and revitalization happening all the time. The magazine has a wonderful staff of writers and editors who make my job easy and I am learning a lot from their experience. But mostly we are having fun making this magazine, and I’m thankful to work somewhere fun with people I respect. I’m looking forward to the next issue and the issue after that!”
The McGill grad received her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University. She started with MBM in October as food editor and worked on marketing and lifestyle stories until taking the editor’s position, replacing Lawren Wood Largue.