Author: Gabriel Tynes

Clothing company files suit over phonetic spelling of city’s name

Local clothing and lifestyle brand Mobtown Merch, whose “Mobtown,” “Defend the Delta” and “We started it” (Mardi Gras) memorabilia is available at Urban Emporium, G Harvell and Red Beard’s Outfitters, among other places, has filed a federal lawsuit against local startup company Moh-BEEL USA for infringing on its use of the phonetic spelling of the city’s name. According to an 11-page complaint filed March 19 (posted below), Mobtown Merch has used its “moh-BEEL” mark on clothing and koozies since at least September 2016. On October 25, 2017, it applied to register the mark with the United States Patent and...

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Alabama Power maintains hazardous coal ash pond despite threat of failure

The only thing between the Mobile River and the most catastrophic coal ash spill the United States has ever seen is a 21-foot-tall dirt and clay embankment. This barrier is somewhere around four miles long and encloses a 597-acre pond filled with toxic ash more than 30 feet deep in places. The “dam,” as the embankment is also called, is more than 50 years old, and was constructed by Alabama Power about a decade after the James M. Barry Electric Generating Plant fired up its first coal-powered generator in 1954, becoming South Alabama’s primary source of electricity. Plant Barry...

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Fairhope mayor pulls rug out from under police sergeant position

Fairhope Mayor Karin Wilson “withdrew” former Ethics Commission agent Tony Goubil from the position of police sergeant and possibly the position of public safety director last Thursday, 15 days after she announced his hiring outside of normal personnel procedures. Goubil’s hiring had drawn blanket criticism from the Fairhope City Council and police department, with Chief Joseph Petties warning “the city would be torn in two.” Details including Goubil’s title, job description and pay were still unclear when Wilson announced she would withdraw his name during a City Council meeting March 15, offering that she would reconsider the position when...

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$315 million worth of projects greenlighted by RESTORE Act Council

The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council, tasked with disbursing some $708 million in civil penalties against BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, met Wednesday to approve 46 projects to include in a draft multi year implementation plan (MIP, also a state expenditure plan, SEP) worth a total of $315,358,331. The projects are generally economic or environmental in nature and will be funded through the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund once the council finalizes the plan after a public comment period and gains approval from the U.S. Department of Treasury and in some cases, the federal Gulf Coast...

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Herbert Meisler donates $5 million to USA Medical Center

The University of South Alabama Medical Center’s Level 1 Trauma Center will more than double in size thanks to a $5 million gift from Herbert A. Meisler presented at the Board of Trustees meeting this morning. Combined with a $4 million bond issue announced by Gov. Kay Ivey in August, Meisler’s gift will help expand the existing center from 11,000 square feet to more than 27,000 square feet, converting the current 22 private and semi-private exam rooms to 41 private exam beds. The center will be renamed the Fanny R. Meisler Trauma Center in honor of Meisler’s late wife,...

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BAE Systems closing Mobile operations

According to Director of Communications Karl Johnson, BAE Systems is ceasing ship repair operations at its Mobile River shipyard effective immediately. Johnson said the company currently is involved in a ship construction project that will continue through the spring, but they anticipate 155 of 170 employees will depart by the end of June. Johnson cited the “prolonged downturn” in the ship repair business, primarily of vessels supporting the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico. BAE Systems has five U.S. shipyards including Mobile, Norfolk, Virginia, Jacksonville, Florida, San Diego, California and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Employees will be...

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Court records indicate volatile relationship between cop killer, ex-wife

72-year-old Robert Lewis Hollie, the suspect who shot and killed Mobile police officer Justin Billa during a homicide investigation last night, filed a protection from abuse order against his ex-wife Fonda Poellnitz in 2015, according to state court records. The couple, who were married in 2013 but separated less than two years later, found themselves in court after Poellnitz (pictured above) allegedly threw a can at Hollie and “threatened to shoot [him] and drag [him] out of the house,” according to a complaint. Poellnitz was 55-years-old at the time. According to early reports, Mobile police were responding to the...

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Baldwin man in custody after deadly shooting

According to the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, 26-year-old Donald Nicholson was arrested for the death of his aunt, 59-year-old Maria Nicholson, at 9023 County Road 64 in Daphne today, after shooting her with a gun. In a news release, BCSO said the early investigation indicates Maria Nicholson left her residence before 8 a.m. to go to work. Maria was identified as a “longtime” employee of the city of Daphne who had worked supporting the police department for more than a decade. At work, she received a call from a family member stating Donald was shooting a gun at her...

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Widow of Dauphin Island Race victim sues Fairhope Yacht Club

Nearly three years after a powerful thunderstorm struck sailboats participating in the annual Dauphin Island Race — capsizing 10 boats and killing six sailors — the widow of 71-year-old victim J.C. Brown is suing Fairhope Yacht Club, the race’s 2015 organizer. In a complaint filed in federal court today, Jane Brown argues FYC ignored repeated weather warnings and caved to sponsorships rather than cancel the race. Furthermore, it claims race organizers failed to provide immediate aid to distressed sailors. Brown is seeking in excess of $1.5 million in damages for wrongful death, gross negligence and failure to provide assistance...

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Five candidates qualify for Baldwin County probate judge

The 2018 election cycle features statewide campaigns for governor, the Legislature, attorney general and other positions. Locally, county commissions, sheriffs, judges and coroners will be elected. The primary election is June 5, with runoffs July 17. The general election is Nov. 6. Qualifying for the election closes at 5 p.m. on Feb. 9. Thus far, five candidates have announced their intent to succeed Baldwin County Probate Judge Tim Russell, who will have “aged out” of his position this year. To serve on a court, state law requires judges be under age 70 at the time of election. Last week,...

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