Entries from October 2007 ↓

New developer promises affordable housing

Kyle Bohannon, CEO of Samaritan Development Group, an Atlanta-based firm, hopes that his alternative take to residential housing gets due recognition in Baldwin County where his company has begun construction on a 106-unit development on County Road 12 and will soon build an anticipated 2,100 homes, south of Magnolia Springs on County Road 49.

The 106-unit development, called Fulton Place, sits on a 40 acre property and offers flexible lot sizes and a variation of customizable home-styles to choose from that have floor plans anywhere from 1,173 square feet, the Windsor model, to 2,560 – the Mayfair. Fulton Place is located at 22608 Respite Lane, Foley. Prices range from $159,999 to $244,999 for six-basic home designs.

There’s a new developer in town

Legend of Catman in Orange Beach

The tale of a hairy, half-man, half-cat monster lurking in the Orange Beach swamps continues to send goose-bumps down the arms of both the young and old in South Baldwin County. Legend states during the Great Depression, three men lived in the swamp south of Canal Road (the current Gulf State Park area) for survival. Money was tight, food was scarce…the men lived off the land. But something went terribly wrong in the wilderness…only two men made it out.

“That third man is the Catman,” says Orange Beach Mayor Pete Blalock. “He’s hairy, has claws and lives in the middle of the swamp. I wouldn’t go in there at night.”

Legend of “Catman”

What else in Baldwin County scares you?

Alabama picks Memphis firm to build $16M pier in Gulf of Mexico

The state of Alabama awarded a Memphis company a $16.3 million contract to build the longest fishing pier on the Gulf of Mexico.

LCI Inc. won the bid to build the pier, which will be 1,512 feet long and 20 feet wide, at Alabama’s Gulf State Parking in Gulf Shores.

The project also includes a new parking lot, restaurant, restrooms and a saltwater in-take system.

Construction is expected to start in late November and should take 12 months.

Alabama picks Memphis firm to build $16M pier in Gulf of Mexico

House linked to former Orange Beach mayor auctioned

With a bid of $1.65 million on Tuesday, a Columbia, Mo., couple, George and Joni Pfenenger, became the owners of the eight-bedroom, eight-bathroom beach house that helped land former Orange Beach Mayor Steve Russo in federal prison.

House linked to former Orange Beach mayor auctioned

Schools dispute ‘dropout factory’ label

Alabama school officials said that a report released Monday by Johns Hopkins University listing 11 local schools and 31 other schools statewide as “dropout factories” is inaccurate and unfair.

Added Baldwin County schools spokesman Terry Wilhite: “It is very unfair that a single number and a new formula would be used to paint a school in such a negative light.”

The study compares the number of freshmen enrolled at a school three years ago to the number of its seniors three years later. Foley High School in Baldwin County has a graduation rate of 87 percent, according to the state, and a promoting power rate of 59 percent, according to the report.

Schools dispute ‘dropout factory’ label

Football facility a priority for Spanish Fort

As the Spanish Fort Toros wrap up their second high school football season without ever playing a game on their own turf, school board and city officials are working quickly to ensure the team has a home-field advantage next season.

City Councilman Mike McMillan said both sides need to figure out in the next few weeks how to come up with about $4.5 million, because the work could continue well into next year. Baldwin County Board of Education member Tracy Roberts said she has been in talks with other school officials about how the system could contribute at least $1.5 million toward a football field.

Football facility a priority for city

Yet the board argued over whether to hire a dropout prevention supervisor for $80K and one school has been named a drop-out factory. Priorities?

Feds get to keep Daphne woman’s seized pickup

A Daphne woman cannot get back the pickup truck that law enforcement investigators seized when they arrested her brother on drug charges last year, a federal jury in Mobile decided Tuesday.

Sonya King argued that she owned the 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche and had no knowledge of her bother’s crimes.

But federal prosecutors contended that King was “willfully blind” to Tommie Nathaniel White’s crack cocaine dealing.

Feds get to keep seized pickup

Fairhope man arrested in boat theft case

A Fairhope contractor was arrested over the weekend for the third time this year and now faces up to six theft-related charges, police said Monday.

Brent Butler Estes, 46, of Fairhope was arrested at his home Saturday on one count of first-degree receiving stolen property, a felony, according to a statement released Monday by Alabama Marine Police.

Fairhope man arrested in boat theft case

Foley High School: Dropout factory

Because Foley High School failed to graduate more than 60 percent of its freshman class it has been labelled a “dropout factory.”

The Baldwin County School Board did recently approved the transfer of Rhonda Cotten from her job as a school improvement supervisor to dropout prevention supervisor (DPS).

Study dubs ten local Alabama schools “Dropout Factories”

Gulf Shores man pleads guilty to sex abuse

George Pacini, 48, was accused of abusing two sisters, ages 11 and 15, in 2006. He pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree sexual abuse and four counts of second-degree sexual abuse.

Baldwin County Circuit Court Judge Lang Floyd sentenced Pacini to 10 years in prison, but he only has to serve two years and would remain on probation for the rest of the sentence.

Gulf Shores man pleads guilty to sex abuse

Commission helps fund trail upgrade

Baldwin County Trailblazers received nearly $30,000 from the Baldwin County Commission to improve and expand the Eastern Shore Trail.

This month’s grant marks the first time funds have been given to Trailblazers by the County Commission since 2006 — when the group received $7,500 to expand existing sidewalks and bike paths along the trail, the commission reported. The 32-mile recreational trail extends from the USS Alabama Memorial Parkway down the spine of the Eastern Shore through Daphne, Fairhope and Point Clear. The organization is expanding the trail to extend about a mile farther through Mullet Point to Weeks Bay Estuary Reserve.

Commission helps fund trail upgrade

Baldwin School System considers new career tech high schools

The Baldwin County School Board is considering starting career technology education. Possibilities are stand alone magnet schools throughout the county or adding wings onto its seven current high schools. The multimillion dollar project is still being considered by the school board. If members agree, the project could be in place by 2010 at the earliest.

Baldwin Schools Meeting [Video]

Three new staph infections diagnosed in Baldwin County

A potentially deadly infection has many parents and students around the nation concerned. Monday we learned three new cases of Staphylococcus aureus, otherwise know as Staph infection, have been diagnosed in Baldwin County, bringing the total number of cases in that school system to nine.

Those three new cases of staph in Baldwin County are being reported by parents of children attending Bay Minette Elementary School.

Three new staph infections diagnosed in Baldwin County

Founder of huge Gulf Shores ‘village’ files suit

One of the four developers of Bon Secour Village — a 1,000-acre town-within-a-town development budding on the Intracoastal Waterway’s northern shore — has sued his partners, alleging that they are hiding details of the project’s finances, making decisions without his input and trying to “squeeze (him) out.”

Clint Guthrie, a Birmingham-based builder, seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages and asks that a board of directors be installed to oversee development of the estimated $500 million project.

Guthrie’s lawsuit was filed in September in Shelby County.

Founder of huge ‘village’ files suit

Alliance pledged for island schools

Superintendent Faron Hollinger outlined plans for schools on Pleasure Island, with brief responses by Orange Beach Mayor Pete Blalock and Gulf Shores Mayor G.W. “Billy” Duke III.

The three major players pledged their intention to work together to improve local schools, providing a public about-face after an expensive, contentious campaign earlier this year that ended with voters overwhelmingly rejecting a property tax hike to fund a joint, independent school system in the resort cities.

Hollinger highlighted plans for a $5 million classroom expansion at Gulf Shores High and a $2.5 million expansion at Orange Beach Elementary.

Hollinger also suggested the creation of an educational enrichment foundation, similar to groups in Fairhope, Daphne, Foley and Spanish Fort.

Alliance pledged for island schools

Will other towns that want something from the Board threaten to break away?