Author: Jason Johnson

Courts concerned with minimal funding increase

Even with assistance from the Mobile County Commission, presiding Judge John Lockett says local courts have been struggling to get by, and he only expects things to get worse. Currently, the only thing funding more than a dozen “attendant” and “legal research assistant” positions in local circuit and district courtrooms is a 2017 county appropriation of $392,000. While the courts are local, they are funded as a function of the state of Alabama. However, all three commissioners made it clear last year the county would not continue to pick up the state’s slack, and Lockett said he has no...

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Threadgill talks past, future with MCPSS

Photo | Daniel Anderson Chresal Threadgill will be the superintendent of the Mobile County Public School System begining July 1. Incoming Mobile County Public School System Superintendent Chresal Threadgill’s career in public education has brought him back to the community he grew up in at a time when local schools are facing significant challenges both in and out of the classroom. A Mobile native and LeFlore High School graduate, Threadgill has deep roots in the area and a family history in MCPSS. Last month, he was selected from a slate of candidates to replace outgoing Superintendent Martha Peek, who...

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No suspects in ‘teen party’ shooting that injured seven

Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste has confirmed some details from a shooting that injured seven at a “teen party” at the Grand Hall on Halls Mill Road Sunday, leaving five people shot and two trampled. Reports of shots being fired started coming in from the Grand Hall a little before 11 p.m. on Sunday, April 1 in the midst of a party Battiste said was attended by hundreds of teenagers from the area that will be on Spring Break the rest of the week. “This was such a large area, and there were between 300 to 400 teens at...

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LeFlore graduate Chresal Threadgill to lead MCPSS

After a national search, the Mobile County Public School System has selected Chresal Threadgill as its next superintendent — making him the first African-American to lead the system in its 182-year history. Threadgill is a Mobile native and LeFlore High School graduate and was the only one of three top finalists currently employed by MCPSS. A graduate of Troy University with a master’s degree from Alabama State University, Threadgill has experience in most areas of education. He began his career as a teacher at Greenville High School where he ultimately became principal before taking on an assistant superintendent position with...

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Man claims he was fired for filming speeding official

A judicial police officer was terminated after sharing footage of a high-ranking county official speeding in a municipal vehicle, but his supervisors are saying the now-former employee violated departmental policies and the situation is being misrepresented. Last week, officer Mike Anderson submitted a video to NBC 15 he and his wife captured of Mobile County Deputy Administrator Glenn Hodge traveling at nearly 90 miles per hour in a county owned vehicle on Interstate 10. Lagniappe has so far been unable to reach Anderson for comment. Hodge doesn’t deny exceeding the posted speed limit but says he was only doing...

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Law strengthens day care regulation, leaves religious exemption

A second consecutive attempt to repeal Alabama’s religious exemption for child day care licensing fell short, but advocates still say some important progress was made at the federal and state level this year. Since 1983, Alabama has had some type of exemption for day care facilities with a religious affiliation, allowing those exempted to bypass the licensing and inspection requirements secular day care facilities have had to meet. The issue was highlighted last August after 5-year-old Kamden Johnson died in the care of an unlicensed facility in Mobile. Prosecutors say he passed away after being left in a parked van...

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State agrees to change policy on organ retention

A local woman has successfully prompted the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences [ADFS] to change its policies on retaining organs when necessary for state autopsies. In 2016, Lagniappe spoke with Donna Crooks Atkins, who discovered the state’s forensics lab in Mobile had removed, retained and disposed of her deceased son’s heart without notifying her — a result of what she described as Alabama’s “invisible law.” Just this year, another family in Baldwin County took a civil lawsuit against employees from the ADFS lab in Mobile all the way to Alabama’s Supreme Court. In court filings, Gloria Austill accused senior medical examiner...

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Hudson launches anti-litter campaign

Mobile County Commission President Connie Hudson is calling on district 2 residents who love their community to join in an ongoing effort to keep it clean. This week Hudson will introduce a new anti-litter initiative called “LOVE Your Community,” which will align existing clean-up initiatives in her district with similar efforts started by Keep Mobile Beautiful and the Alabama Coastal Heritage Trust. “This is our opportunity to do something about the ugly litter being scattered throughout our community,” Hudson wrote in a press release. “People dump alongside our roads, near our neighborhoods, businesses, churches and schools without regard to...

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Selman-Lynn: ‘Guns have no place in our kids’ classrooms”

A Democrat vying for State Rep. Harry Shiver’s House seat has issued a response to the incumbent’s controversial argument against arming teachers on the basis that most teachers are women and would be “scared of guns.” Shiver, R-Stockton, made the comments during a hearing of the House Public Safety Committee last week while discussing a proposed bill to allow trained teachers and administrators to carry guns on school campuses in Alabama. A retired teacher, Shiver worked in public education for more than three decades but female teachers, who are the majority in Alabama schools, “are scared of guns.” However,...

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Mobile native Chresal Threadgill to lead MCPSS

In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the Mobile County Public School System selected Chresal Threadgill as its next superintendent — making him the first African-American to lead the state’s oldest and largest public school system. After a national search, the Mobile County School Board narrowed its search to three finalists who each interviewed with board members earlier this week. Threadgill, a Mobile native and LeFlore High School graduate, was the only finalist currently employed by MCPSS. He resigned as the superintendent of Elba City Schools last summer to take a position as the chief of staff under outgoing MCPSS Superintendent...

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