Entries from August 2007 ↓

Technology revolutionizes Christ the King Catholic’s classes

School officials have installed a Promethean interactive whiteboard in Ed Rutkowski’s classroom for his seventh- and eighth-grade math classes. A second board will be installed this week in Karen Wilson’s fifth-grade language arts class.

The device looks like a large dry-erase board that becomes a computer screen, Mr. Rutkowski said.

The interactive board connects to the teacher’s computer.

Technology revolutionizes Christ the King Catholic’s classes

Why aren’t our public schools doing stuff like this? 

While not to diminish the activities at Christ the King, several readers submitted overwhelming info about technology projects going on in Baldwin County’s public schools.  Some were from employees and some from teachers.  Since no one submitted it through the comments to this post, we’ll assume they wanted to remain anonymous.  There’s some cool stuff going on that just isn’t publicized much.  Watch for a posting later this weekend summarizing the comments we received. 

The last summer fling on beaches

Beach business in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach has cooled since the start of school in early August, but the three-day Labor Day weekend provides one last economic heat wave of the summer.

Businesses, condominiums and hotels count on the weekend to draw the final giant crowds of the summer, to make it through the slower fall months before the snowbirds start arriving in early December, according to Mike Foster, vice president of marketing for the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The majority of Labor Day vacationers at the beach are day-trippers and people coming for the weekend, unlike the majority of the summer season when the big business comes from families planning week-long, or longer, vacations, according to Foster.

The last summer fling on beaches

Baldwin reaps federal millions; DI irked

Baldwin County could receive more than $20 million in federal aid for conservation projects — including $4 million to help repair a Gulf Shores fishing pier — while only half that figure was tabbed for projects in Mobile County, conservation officials revealed Thursday night.

None of the roughly $51 million that Alabama and its two coastal counties stand to reap from the Coast Impact Assistance Program was allotted to replenish the east end of Dauphin Island, even though the funds stem from federal compensation on offshore oil and gas drilling, and rigs are visible from island porches.

Baldwin County Commissioner Frank Burt, in the audience of about 40, praised the proposed use of money toward restoration of a 20-foot-wide, 1,500-foot-long fishing pier at Gulf State Park. The entire project could cost upwards of $15 million, State Lands officials have said.

Baldwin reaps federal millions; DI irked

Transit system options mulled

A public transit system could carry more than 1 million people a year between Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Foley, but could also cost more than $50 million, according to officials.

Consultants from three private companies have been working with the cities of Foley, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to develop plans for the route linking the three cities. Officials said recommendations should be ready in about a month.

Transit system options mulled

Don’t miss deadline for taxpayers to buy your kid’s lunch

Thousands of Baldwin County Public School students could lose their free and reduced meal benefits if their parents fail to submit an updated application by Wednesday.

Without those benefits, almost 5,000 students could simply go hungry, or receive only a bare-bones lunch, during the seven-hour school day, said Martha Martin, Baldwin’s child nutrition supervisor.

Almost 10,000 Baldwin students, or 38 percent, participated in the free or reduced lunch program last year, with 7,382 receiving free lunches and another 2,586 getting reduced-price meals, Martin said. The school system’s computer software identifies students who are eligible for the program, Martin said, and 4,777 of them have not submitted updated applications.

Free lunch application deadline looms

Student arrested at Fairhope park with gun

A middle-schooler brought a pellet gun to the Fairhopers’ Community Park and threatened to harm others.

Cpl. Craig Sawyer said the teen was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and released to parental custody. The case will be heard in juvenile court in Bay Minette, Sawyer said.

The weapon the student was carrying, according to Sawyer, was an Airsoft replica firearm. “They fire small paint balls or plastic pellets and are designed for competitions,” Sawyer said, adding the police department uses them for training. “They look and work like real weapons,” he said, but their maximum range (and the fire with a much lower velocity) of about 100 feet.

The city of Fairhope is expanding its efforts in Community Policing, adding to regular patrol activities at the beach park and pier, throughout the downtown area and at the Fairhopers’ Community Park on Church Street.

City expands community policing effort

Ideas for a downtown in Spanish Fort

In the September issue of Mobile Bay Monthly magazine the author was asked to identify what makes a downtown. In doing so he found shocking evidence that what planners were proposing for one Baldwin County city followed a pattern of large public spaces with emphasis on cute benches and statues but no reason for people to be there.

Spanish Fort resident proposes: Downtowns are busy places, not empty public spaces

Sitler gets 10-year prison term in Stewart death

A man who pled guilty to manslaughter in a crash that killed a Baldwin County commissioner was ordered today to serve 10 years in prison, after prosecutors said he violated his probation when he was charged with speeding.

Sitler gets 10-year prison term in Stewart death

Wilson documents not taken during robbery, officials say

Business documents from the Spanish Fort service station owned by Arthur “Bobby” Wilson were recovered from three locations along the Eastern Shore earlier this week, but investigators are unsure if the discoveries are connected to the Aug. 11 beating and robbery of Wilson.

Baldwin County District Attorney Judy Newcomb said officials received a tip Tuesday that led them to three locations — two in Daphne and one in Spanish Fort — where business documents were found in or near residents’ yards.

Wilson documents not taken during robbery, officials say

USA offering conversational Spanish courses

The University of South Alabama Baldwin County in Fairhope is offering non-credit Spanish classes for all levels. Admission to the four-year school is not required.

The courses will be held at the USABC classroom complex at the corner of St. James Avenue and Summit Street near downtown Fairhope. Each runs eight weeks, and the cost per class is $85. Space is limited to no more than 20 students each. The deadline to register is Sept. 6.

USA offering conversational Spanish courses

Final Class Project: A fieldtrip to read the Spanish billboards on Highway 59

Spanish Fort to benefit from German steel mill

German steel maker ThyssenKrupp Steel and Stainless USA will employ approximately 2,700 workers at its state-of-the-art facility being built in Mt. Vernon, and area officials say Spanish Fort, as well as surrounding municipalities, should see an increase in smaller support businesses.

Spanish Fort to benefit from German steel mill

Orange Beach business owners air problems with ban

Less than a month since it took effect, restaurant and bar owners say the city’s ban on smoking in public places has put a pinch on businesses and been a pain to enforce.

Speaking for the owners and managers of 13 restaurants and bars, Gary Nichols, who owns the city’s three Live Bait establishments, asked the City Council on Monday to revisit its decision to prohibit smoking in any restaurant, bar or other place of employment.

A “wish list” submitted to the council by the gathered restaurateurs and bar owners asks for a number of changes to the law, including repealing it outright, making exceptions for businesses that primarily serve drinks, setting aside time late at night when patrons can smoke, and allowing smoking at bar areas within restaurants.

Business owners air problems with ban

Magnolia Springs sets development fees

Builders and property owners within the town limits will continue to pay the same development-related fees as before incorporation, but rates will be going up in the planning jurisdiction.

Town planning and zoning fees approved by the Magnolia Spring Town Council on Monday night went into effect Tuesday. Most of the fees for work within the town limits will be the same as the county rates that were in effect in the past, before Magnolia Springs incorporated, said Councilman Bob Holk.

Magnolia Springs sets development fees

Oil catches fire at Vulcan

Firefighters from three departments responded to a two-alarm fire at Vulcan Inc.’s aluminum mill and were able to douse the blaze before it did any major damage or caused injuries.

Foley Fire Chief Jamie Hinton said the fire started shortly after 10 a.m. in a container used to recycle oil at the mill, which sits along North Poplar Street.

Firefighters, who responded from Foley, Summerdale and Magnolia Springs, were able to extinguish the fire within about two minutes of their arrival, in part because it was confined to the recycling container, which had only a 3-foot-by-3-foot opening at its top, Hinton said.

Oil catches fire at Vulcan

Orange Beach mother found guilty in infant’s death

A Baldwin County jury convicted an Orange Beach mother of capital murder today in the drowning of her newborn son.

Prosecutors had argued that Marsha Gossett Colby, 43, killed her seventh child moments after he was born in February 2005.

Woman found guilty in infant’s death