Entries from August 2007 ↓

AIDS activists to gather in Silverhill this weekend

On Labor Day, approximately 150 AIDS activists from Washington, D.C., Nashville, Miami, Houston, Dallas and Little Rock are expected to attend an AIDS awareness rally at Wales West RV resort in Silverhill after Wales West owner, Ken Zadnicheck, questioned the feasibility of allowing a toddler with the disease to mingle with other children at the park in July, an incident that made national news.

The Campaign to End AIDS, a national network of AIDS activists led by people living with HIV/AIDS, has organized what they are calling a “family reunion” at the popular family resort and park.

Wales West to host AIDS Family Reunion

New Evidence in Wilson Case

There’s potentially new evidence in the Bobby Wilson assault and robbery case. Wilson was beaten and robbed early on the morning of August 11th as he was opening his Spanish Fort auto repair business. At first glance, Lisa Jones thought someone had dumped garbage by her mailbox.

Watch the video here: New Evidence in Wilson Case

Property tax appeals top 18,000

As of late Tuesday, 18,020 property tax appeals were counted, representing a six-fold increase from last year. There are 135,000 taxable properties in Baldwin County.

Property tax appeals top 18,000

Mini Jubilee in Fairhope

Some people along the bay in Fairhope say there was a mini-jubilee late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. News 5 photojournalist Randy Lowe caught up with folks knee deep in water with buckets and gigs. Most people hauled away some flounder and blue crab and others said they found shrimp. Schools of fingerling catfish could also be seen swimming through the water. Reporter Holly Ames also captured some photographs of people gathered at the Fairhope Pier.

Watch the video here: Mini Jubilee

Warehouse purchase approved by Orange Beach

Envisioning a base from which to begin offering city services north of the backbays, the City Council on Monday voted unanimously to purchase a warehouse on about 2 acres along Baldwin County 95.

Following a 12-minute closed session the council voted to allow Mayor Pete Blalock to buy the property for the city for $342,880. City Administrator Jeff Moon said the seller is Jeff Powell.

The property sits north of Baldwin County 95’s intersections with Baldwin County 20. The location is well north of the current city limits — closer to Elberta than Orange Beach — but sits at the junction where city leaders hope a bridge spanning Wolf Bay will one day link Alabama 161 to Baldwin County 95 en route to Interstate 10.

Warehouse purchase approved by council

Another tax increase: Lease tax on county agenda

The Baldwin County Commission plans to consider next week levying a tax of up to 4 percent on some leased items, such as vehicles and construction equipment.

The commission plans to vote Tuesday on a proposal that would require residents who lease qualified property to start collecting the tax Nov. 1 and submitting funds to the county by Dec. 20.

Earlier this year the state Legislature approved a bill that granted the commission the authority to collect up to 4 percent of the lease on “tangible” property, such as bulldozers, and up to 1.75 percent on vehicles.

Lease tax on county agenda

Remember: Businesses don’t pay taxes. They simply pass that expense on to their customers. Where’s this new tax money going to be spent?

75 percent of the revenue would go the county’s general fund. Out of that money, the county would appropriate $100,000 to the Baldwin County legislative delegation to help operate its local offices.

No wonder our delegates helped push approval for this through the state legislature. They can get more money for their offices by raising our taxes but blaming it on the County Commission.

Goldman Sachs, Orange Beach to work on bridge plans

A week after approving a $5.7 million contract with a Florida engineering firm to finalize designs for a bridge over Wolf Bay, the City Council approved a one-year deal with Goldman Sachs to share the costs of the engineering.

The move puts Orange Beach and the New York-based financial firm on a path toward jointly developing the bridge and a north-south roadway that will link the resort city to thousands of undeveloped acres and pristine waterfront on the north end of Orange Beach’s backbays.

Goldman Sachs, city to work on bridge plans

Fairhope councilman questions committee’s legitimacy

On a 4-1 vote, the City Council officially established a committee Monday night that has been working for more than three weeks.

The resolution to support the City Governmental Structure Committee comes partly as a result of the council’s Aug. 13 meeting, when Councilman Mike Ford questioned the legitimacy of the committee, since the council never voted on the issue.

Ford cast the one “no” vote Monday, with council members Cecil Christenberry, Debbie Quinn and Dan Stankoski, along with City Council President Bob Gentle, voting “yes.”

The announcement of the committee came in the midst of a feud between several council members and the mayor. Christenberry, Gentle, Quinn and Stankoski had questioned Kant on the state of the city’s finances at a meeting in July, and the mayor responded with personal allegations against those council members.

Kant publicly apologized for doing so at the council’s July 23 meeting, and Gentle followed the apology by announcing the Governmental Structure Committee, which was formed to examine the mayor’s role in government, specifically as head of the utilities. Furthermore, the committee is examining whether the utility company should be separated from the city’s government.

Councilman questions committee’s legitimacy

Pensacola men charged in Seminole robbery, beating

Three Pensacola, Fla., men face possible life sentences in connection with a robbery and beating at Gulf Coast Title Loan in Seminole late Friday afternoon.

Jermaine Lamar Leggett, 21, Nickholas Charles Knight, 21, and Arthur James Knight, 20, all of Pensacola, were each charged with one count of first degree robbery in connection with the incident. The charge, a felony, carries a possible life sentence if convicted, said Maj. Anthony Lowery of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department.

According to Lowery, three men entered Gulf Coast Title Loan at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 24, one brandishing an automatic pistol. Clifford Woods, who was on duty at the time, suffered lacerations as a result of the beating and was treated at a Pensacola hospital. Woods’ injuries were not life-threatening, Lowery said.

Pensacola men charged in Seminole robbery, beating

Gulf Shores Eyesores

Nearly three years after Hurricane Ivan, most of the destruction in Gulf Shores has long been cleaned up, but there are still some eyesores around… eyesores that residents are begging city leaders to do something about.

Gulf Shores Eyesores

Gulf Shores to hold town hall meetings

Mayor Duke announced a Town Hall meeting to be held Thursday, September 6 at the Adult Activity Center in Gulf Shores.

Gulf Shores’ residents Tom and Sharon Moore were appointed to coordinate the meeting which they say is designed to get interested citizens more involved in the “direction the city is going”. They continued that the first meeting will be to “acquaint citizens with what goes on in government and how they can become more involved.”

GS City Council: Town Hall Meetings Hope to Get People Actively Involved

Rising Milk Prices Hit Schools

The effects of a strained dairy market are having an effect on the price of milk available at many schools. This year, Baldwin County Schools have raised the price of a pint of milk from a quarter to 30 cents.

Rising Milk Prices Hit Schools

Lightning blamed for fire in coastal Alabama refuge

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials say rain provided some relief early today to firefighters battling to control a wildfire on an isolated portion of a wild life refuge near the Fort Morgan peninsula’s Three Rivers area.
Jeremy Keller, a spokesman, said a total of 190 acres were destroyed by this morning. The property is part of the refuge’s 2,000-acre plot, about 14 miles east of Alabama 59 in Gulf Shores.

Lightning blamed for fire in coastal Alabama refuge

Filipino teachers arrive in Baldwin

Five Filipino teachers will begin their classroom duties this week in Baldwin County, nearly three weeks after school began.

All five arrived late Wednesday night. The teachers went through a two-day crash course on Baldwin County Public Schools’ policies before interviewing Monday with principals. Six more teachers are expected to arrive from the Philippines by the end of the week.

Filipino teachers arrive in Baldwin

Orange Beach lawsuit tossed

A federal judge last week dismissed charges leveled against the city of Orange Beach by a former contract employee who claimed City Hall launched a bogus forgery investigation of her in retaliation for allegedly uncovering evidence of corruption.

Deniece Harris, who did occasional computer work for Orange Beach, and her husband, William Harris, a former Orange Beach police officer, claimed in the suit that city leaders violated their constitutional rights by falsely investigating her over an April 2005 paycheck — worth $2,925 — that city finance officials claimed was forged.

In the suit, which was filed late last May, and through her lawyer, Bradford Kittrell, Deniece Harris said municipal officials were trying to discredit her because she was a potential witness — claiming to have uncovered proof that $800,000 in sewer fees had never been billed to developers — in a criminal investigation involving then-Mayor Steve Russo.

Orange Beach lawsuit tossed