Tens of thousands of ballots were cast and Lagniappe is pleased to announce the 2013 Nappie Awards winners! Discover what Lagniappe readers chose as their favorite nightlife, services, cuisine, music, arts and more!
BEST MOBILIAN RIGHT NOW – Dr. Glenn Wilson
Dr. Glenn Wilson, professor and chair of Cell Biology and Neuroscience at the University of South Alabama, is the Nappie award winner for Best Mobilian Right Now. Wilson has been teaching at USA since 1980.
Along with Steve Cumbie, Christine Cumbie and Mark Gillespie, Wilson has been working on a drug linked with mitochondrial DNA — the little energy factories in the body. The drug they have been collaborating on works to repair damage caused by diabetes, heart disease, brain trauma and strokes.
According to Wilson, damage occurs on a cellular level through an oxidated process or a process in the mitochondrial cells that turns oxygen, taken in through breathing, into energy. When the process is hindered through a heart attack or a stroke, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are created. The chief place that these ROS are produced is in the energy factory of the body.
“We engineered a protein that attaches to the mitochondria and repairs the damage,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the drug has had several successful tests on mice and rats that are diabetic, have had strokes or suffer from symptoms similar to heart disease.
“When we engineered the protein we discovered that we could combat the disease and repair at least a quarter of the damage received through ROS,” Wilson said.
What started the work on the drug is Wilson and his team’s interest in damage to DNA, in particular the mitochondria.
“In the mitochondria there are multiple copies of the genes. And what people thought would happen is if one of these genes were damaged, then they would just break down. And we discovered that it wasn’t the case,” Wilson said. “What we found is that the DNA is coming back.”
Wilson said they used a “southern plot” technique that is a new way of studying the mitochondria.
“What we did was we started to make cells that would over-express the proteins and help to speed up the repairing process of the DNA,” Wilson said.
They then took their findings to several universities across the nation to apply to animal testing and eventually turned the findings into an injectable drug. Once the drug was created it was then patented and copyrighted to the University of South Alabama and then licensed to Wilson’s company, Exseien.
“We are going through the steps with the Federal Drug Administration to get it approved for humans,” Wilson said.
Although the drug has not been named yet, Wilson said he is optimistic that in three to five years it will be approved by the FDA. In addition to its current applications, Wilson said one longterm goal for the drug is to use the mitochondrial repair system on cancerous cells to stop the mutation process.
BEST TV NEWS ANCHOR – WKRG’s Mel Showers
When he first began working as a reporter for WKRG more than 40 years ago, Mel Showers practically slept with police and fire scanners. He often times arrived at the scene before first responders.
Courtesy of WKRG
“In my early years, I covered the police beat, the court system, city and county commissions, the school board and general assignments,” said Showers, the 2013 Nappie award winner for Best Anchor. He said chasing sirens remains his favorite thing about the profession.
In the newsroom when the cameras turn off, Showers says that sometimes it is all business and other times it’s just fun.
“We have serious discussions about the issues of the day, but we are also known to spice things up with a raunchy joke or two,” Showers said.
When asked if he wore shorts under the table Showers said no.
“There are anchors who wear shorts and other surprising clothing ensembles under the anchor desk, but I am not one of them. One look at my ‘odd-shaped’ legs and you would understand why,” Showers said.
When he is not behind the anchor desk, Showers is either watching football or cooking. Depending on the game, Showers can be decked out in familiar crimson and white, orange and blue or even South Alabama’s blue, white and red. He likes it all.
“During the fall, I can’t get enough football. Since I am a Mobile native, I have a large family living right here in the area, and I enjoy spending time with them,” Showers said.
Showers said that he often shares his culinary works with his co-anchor Rose Ann Haven.
“So far, she has consumed my dishes with her overwhelming seal of approval,” Showers said.
FAVORITE CRAFT BEER – Fairhope Brewing Co.
Since opening their doors on Jan. 6, the Fairhope Brewing Company has become a favorite here on the Gulf Coast.
FBC is the brainchild of five friends — Brian Kane, Michele Kane, Jim Foley, Gabe Harris and Dan Murphy — brought together by a mutual love of brewing great beer.
“It was really Michele Kane’s idea. It was her dream to open up a craft brewery. She and her husband Brian could think of no better place than Fairhope. So they started getting the ball rolling and found Dan Murphy [head brewer] and propelled him to rock star status,” Foley said.
The brewery is located on Highway 98 in Fairhope, which is less than five minutes from downtown and an ideal location according to its owners.
“The local people are wonderful. We love Mobile, but this area is great and conducive to the market. It’s just close enough to Mobile but close enough to the beach so we can hit all the stops.”
FBC’s taproom offers customers a place to sit down with friends and enjoy a locally crafted beer. You can also find their brews at bars all over Mobile and Baldwin County.
So what makes FBC’s craft beers the best? They’re glad you asked.
“It’s the love that we put into it. We have a great time doing what we do,” Foley said. “We feel like the more time and the more love we put into it, the better the results are gonna be. And there’s no better place to enjoy a good craft beer than on the coast of Alabama.”
Well, there’s certainly no arguing with that.
SEXIEST LOCAL NEWSMAN – Joe Emer
Lagniappe’s seductive 2013 Nappie issue cover man and cupcake are none other than the readers’ selection for Sexiest Local TV Newsman and Best Cupcake.
The duo — Fox 10’s Joe Emer and a Gigi’s cupcake — represent the victors in two of the most contested Nappie Award categories.
For the co-anchor of Fox 10’s Studio 10 and sportscaster, Emer knew it was only a matter of time before Mobile recognized his sexiness.
“The truth is I’ve always known I was sexy,” Emer said while laughing.
The 2013 Sexiest Local TV Newsman said he has a lot to live up to coming from a news station that historically has sexy anchors, according to Lagniappe readers.
“At Fox 10 we come from a long line of greatness,” Emer said tongue-in-cheek. “Michael White was the sexiest. John Edd Thompson was the sexiest. So I feel I’m in pretty good company.”
This marks Emer’s first Nappie of any kind and first as a cover star for Lagniappe.
Emer said he was glad to grace the cover and join the likes of Uncle Henry, a nearly nude QTip and, of course, Ms. Venus.
“I knew for a fact I wanted (the cover) to be some sort of mocking tone because factually I don’t feel like the sexiest dude,” he said. “I thought it would be fun especially with the cupcake war out there. I thought it would be kind of fun to poke a little fun at that and poke a little fun at myself as well.”
The people who voted Emer to be the Nappie’s Sexiest Local TV Newsman may be disappointed to learn he is happily married.
However, his wife Katie, like the Nappie voters, agreed Emer is the Sexiest Local TV Newsman.
“I think she thinks it’s pretty funny, but she also did send me a nice text that said ‘I agree with the voters,’” Emer said.
The 2012 Sexiest Local TV Newsman said he is appreciative of the people who voted him to receive an illustrious Nappie.
“Thanks for honoring me with this incredibly prestigious award,” he said.
BEST RADIO MORNING SHOW – QTip and Blondie
It’s become quite clear that QTip and Blondie are quite the dynamic duo. Not only does their morning show keep listeners entertained all over the Gulf Coast, but they have listeners imagining them both naked as well.
When asked what makes them a great team, true to form, QTip said, “Oh that’s no fun. I’ll tell you the most challenging part of working with her. Blondie is like a car on a cold day — it takes her about 30 minutes to warm up and then she’s good to go.”
“Well he’s the nicest a**hole you’ll ever meet,” Blondie replied. “He gets on my last nerves all day long, but in the end he means well.”
Regarding her new title of DJ Whose Voice Leads you to believe you may want to see her naked, Blondie said she is flattered, surprised and a little creeped out.
“I’m actually very shocked. If people only knew … my trunk is full of cat litter. I’m a cat lady,” Blondie said while QTip nods in agreement. “We talk about it on the show all the time, so I’m just like, ‘Who would wanna see a cat lady naked?’ It’s nice even though when I really sit and think about it, it’s kinda creepy but I’m more flattered.”
On losing his title and becoming runner-up to Uncle Henry, QTip offered his congratulations.
“There is no one better I could lose it to,” QTip said. “The reason he probably won is the pure sex appeal of the glasses. But I’ll catch up to him with the grey hair and I’ll win it back.”
As a veteran, QTip had some advice to Uncle Henry:
“If you wanna stay in that top spot, you’ve got to walk that line of showing enough skin to make people want more and make sure to keep that rasp in your voice to give people that real ‘50 Shades of Grey’ feel while they’re driving in their car listening to the radio.”
“I bet Uncle Henry is into some ‘50 Shades of Grey,’” he added. “He should start talking about whips and chains on his show, get himself a Crimson Tide red blindfold; that’ll keep him in first place next year for sure.”
HARDEST WORKING BALDWIN COUNTY OFFICIAL – Sheriff Hoss Mack
Baldwin County Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack has served the South Alabama area as a crime scene investigator for more than 20 years. He also spent five years at the Alabama Department of Forensic Science. When he became sheriff of Baldwin County in 2008, Mack began working on implanting a new training program for the sheriff’s department.
“In 2011, we built a new 100-seat classroom training facility where we train over 3,000 officers a year,” Mack said.
As Mack seeks re-election, he is looking into adding more ways residents can get information from the sheriff’s office.
“We are working on several technology projects that include improving social media, that will improve our overall services to the public,” Mack said.
When Mack isn’t serving as sheriff he is at home unwinding in the great outdoors.
“We have horses and cows on our land. I love to be outside. I enjoy the environment,” Mack said.
Of all the fictional sheriffs depicted throughout the years, Mack says that Andy Taylor from the “Andy Griffith Show” is his favorite.
“I have taken personally several of the lessons that Andy Griffith has portrayed. You could tell he cared about the people and he served them with humor and compassion. If more sheriffs were like him, it wouldn’t be a bad thing,” Mack said.
BEST LAWYER IF YOUR SPOUSE IS A HO – Jerry Pilgrim
With more than 38 years of experience under his belt it isn’t any wonder that divorce attorney Jerry Pilgrim has previously won two Nappies for the coveted “Best Lawyer if Your Spouse is a Ho” award, AKA Best Divorce Attorney. He continues his domination in the category once again this year.
Originally Pilgrim specialized in everything from criminal to civil cases, but over time more and more divorce cases slid across his desk.
“[Divorce cases] chose me. I’ve been doing it for so long, and I just started receiving more divorce cases than I did criminal,” Pilgrim said.
So, what is his least favorite thing about being a divorce attorney? He wishes he had more time to spend with his clients.
As for his favorite thing, Pilgrim said that he thrived on the courtroom battles. Battles that helped build a rivalry with another Mobile-based attorney, Claude Boone, who is the runner-up for the Best Lawyer if Your Spouse is a Ho.
“It’s a rivalry. One out of every five of my cases is against Boone,” Pilgrim said.