Author: Gabriel Tynes

Gov. Kay Ivey announces $4M hospital grant, little else, during Mobile tour

The University of South Alabama Medical Center will receive $4 million from an economic development bond issue to renovate and expand its Level 1 trauma center — the only one of its kind in the region. According to hospital administrator Sam Dean, the expansion will take the current facility from 11,000 square feet to about 27,000 square feet, adding an additional 20 beds to the existing 22 beds, and incorporating critical services not currently housed in the emergency room. The project will also add four new large trauma bays — each twice the size of the existing two —...

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Fairhope ends contract with Senate candidate’s company

The Fairhope City Council voted July 24 to award its conditional disaster debris removal and disposal contract to the lowest responsive and responsible vendor — D&J Enterprises Inc. of Auburn — effectively ending an arrangement the city had since 2012 with State Sen. Trip Pittman, who chose not to seek another term in the Legislature this year in favor of a bid for the U.S. Senate. The annual contract must be rebid every three years, but extensions can be granted to existing contractors within the three-year time frame. Pittman said unlike last year, he was never approached about exercising an extension on his existing contract, which was approved in 2015. Rather, he received new bid documents in January. “That was our notification that [the city] was going to seek new bids,” he said. “We just made the decision to — with what was going on with the state budget and possibly running for [the U.S. Senate] seat — just decided not to rebid.” At the City Council meeting July 24, Council President Jack Burrell lamented Mayor Karin Wilson’s decision to rebid, noting D&J’s low bid of just under $1.8 million is still $115,000 more than it would cost to extend Pittman Tractor Co.’s contract for an additional year. “Every nickel we save is a nickel earned in this city,” Burrell said, before Wilson defended her decision by stating the...

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Fairhope ends contract with Senate candidate’s company

The Fairhope City Council Monday voted to award its conditional disaster debris removal and disposal contract to the lowest responsive and responsible vendor — D&J Enterprises Inc., of Auburn — effectively ending an arrangement the city had since 2012 with State Sen. Trip Pittman, who chose not to seek another term in the Legislature this year in favor of a bid for the U.S. Senate. The annual contract must be rebid every three years, but extensions can be granted to existing contractors within the three-year time frame. Pittman said unlike last year, he was never approached about exercising an...

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Leading candidates emerge in Senate race

In a primary election scheduled for Aug. 15, Alabamians will have the opportunity to choose a new United States senator on their own, or retain one the former governor chose for them. While the general election is not until Dec. 12, it is largely expected that whichever Republican candidate advances past the primary will likely defeat any Democratic candidate in a statewide general election. First, a brief recap. After former Senator Jeff Sessions was confirmed by his colleagues to become U.S. Attorney General in February, Luther Strange accepted an appointment to fill the seat from then-Gov. Robert Bentley. Initially,...

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Mobile magnet school prepares students for life

The Nappie Award-winning Best Public School offers an accelerated college preparatory curriculum to more than 800 students in grades 6-8 and was recognized in 1996 and 2011 as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. The Mobile County Public School System touts Phillips Preparatory Middle School as a college preparatory school emphasizing communication skills, accelerated math and foreign languages. Principal Brenda Hartzog, who has been at the school for 17 years, says students commute from all over Mobile County to attend accelerated classes in a process that promotes thinking globally and applying classroom skills to life experiences. COMPLETE LIST...

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