Entries from January 2008 ↓

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School system launches new Web page

Local real estate agent Mary Donna Helms has heard a common question from prospective homebuyers: “If I buy this house, where will my kids go to school?”

The Baldwin County school system recently unveiled an online tool to answer that question.

The School Information Center — accessed through Baldwin County Public School’s Web site, www.bcbe.org — allows users to view a color-coded map of attendance zones or search by address or parcel number to learn the attendance zones attached to that address.

One of the key features of the new site, said Derek Roh, the school system’s technology chief, is the ability to search by address or parcel number. Once a street address is entered, a listing shows each school zone for that address — from elementary to high school — and the area’s board member. Links to each school’s Web site are also just a click away.

School system launches new Web page

BCBE School Info Center

Pay hikes not likely for Orange Beach mayor, council

Whoever comes into office after this summer’s municipal elections, they’ll more than likely be on the same pay scale as their predecessors.

A majority of elected officials on Monday said they were against raising the pay for the next administration. Though they will have to vote next week on an ordinance spelling out the next group’s pay, they said they will leave salaries as they were set in early 2004 and only, at City Attorney Wanda Cochran’s request, tweak verbiage in the law.

Pay hikes not likely for Orange Beach mayor, council

School study offers good news, warnings

AN ANALYSIS of public school performance in Alabama yields some results the Mobile and Baldwin systems can be proud of — but it also raises some red flags.

Baldwin County beat everyone but Mobile and Hoover in the percentage of students scoring above the state average.

In Baldwin County, 42 percent of seventh-graders considered to be non-poverty scored at the highest level in math, compared to 15 percent of seventh-graders in poverty. In the same grade level, 37 percent of white students scored well compared to 6 percent of black students.

PARCA study offers good news, warnings

Bay Minette bank manager charged with theft

Bay Minette police said they arrested George Lucas Price Jr., a manager at United Bank and former chairman of the North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, on theft charges today.

Price is accused of stealing several thousand dollars from a local Mardi Gras group he belonged to and using that money for his own personal gain, according to Police Chief Michael Rowland.

The Mystic Revelers association contacted police Monday after discovering the money missing from an account Price had overseen. The account was with United Bank, Rowland said.

Bay Minette bank manager charged with theft

SFES book drive set

The Spanish Fort Elementary School PTA is sponsoring a book drive at Barnes and Noble in the Eastern Shore Centre to replace books that were lost because of lead paint exposure. The PTA’s goal is to replace 1,500 books for the second- and fifth-grade classrooms.

A table of books will be on display at Barnes and Noble from Friday through Feb. 29. Community members and families with students in Spanish Fort schools may purchase a book from the display as a donation to the school.

Barnes and Noble will also donate a percentage of sales from the book drive to the school to purchase additional books.

SFES book drive set

Do diseases affect unusually high number of Baldwin County residents?

After years of pressure from the mother of a child diagnosed with leukemia, the Alabama Department of Public Health has initiated a “pilot investigation of Baldwin County cancer cases.”

State epidemiologists are visiting families touched by cancer in Fairhope, Daphne and other Eastern Shore communities this week as they try to figure out whether an unusually high number of people in Baldwin County — from infants to the elderly — are suffering from several rare cancers and neurological diseases.

The state investigators are focusing on cancers of the blood, bones, nervous system and brain. They are also looking for neurological diseases such as muscular dystrophy and ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. More common illnesses, such as cancer of the breast, prostate, lung and skin, are not being considered in this investigation as there are common risk factors for them, including family history and exposure to sunlight or cigarettes.

Do diseases affect unusually high number of Baldwin County residents?

NBU continuing fluoride additive

North Baldwin Utilities will continue to fluoridate drinking water for about 7,000 subscribers in an area including Bay Minette, south to Spanish Fort and east to Stapleton, according to general manager Jason Padgett.

The NBU board of directors agreed to continue the additive Oct. 25 after receiving a positive report from a six-member panel of Bay Minette citizens charged with assessing health benefits of the chemical.

“The panel met over several months and I supplied the information they asked for,” Padgett said Tuesday. “Fluoride will continue to stay in the water and the group will continue to be active monitoring new medical studies about its use.”

Citing negative health effects, the board agreed in September 2006 to discontinue using hydrofluorosilicic acid.

NBU continuing fluoride additive

Daphne Neighbors concerned about development

The Daphne Planning Commission Thursday reviewed the claims of possible drainage and traffic problems associated with additional phases of Madison Place located at Parker Lane and Avery Drive.

The third phase would include 10 acres that developers want zoned as R-4 high density multifamily — which would let them build patio homes at the site.

Local residents said they fear the possibility of straining the single entrance to the subdivision and nearby roads with heavier traffic and construction vehicles.

Neighbors concerned about development

Toddler Dies in Mobile Home Fire

Little Nicole Pickard, or Nikki, had just turned two on Tuesday.

“She was just up at my store last night. It was her birthday,” said neighbor Dawna Sheetz.

But Wednesday her life was over. Before dawn, Pickard and her parents, Chad Horton and Jessica Pickard, were all sleeping when their mobile home went up in flames.

Toddler Dies in Mobile Home Fire

Early Voting Popular in Baldwin County

By noon on Wednesday, 1,200 people had already cast their votes. An amazing turn-out for a brand new concept, says Probate Judge Adrian Johns. “This being something new for us all, the first time we’ve done this in Baldwin County, we had no way of knowing whether the turn out would be light, medium or heavy,” Johns said.

With an average of 150 voters per hour, officials think they only early voting site in Baldwin County turned out great. They hope it’ll keep those who already have Mardi Gras plans from skipping the polls altogether.

Baldwin County Probate Judge Adrian Johns told FOX10 News that 2,890 people voted in Baldwin County on Wednesday. If you didn’t vote Wednesday you can still vote Tuesday – Mardi Gras Day. All of Baldwin County’s polling sites will be open.

Early Voting Popular in Baldwin County

New science building coming to Faulkner campus in Fairhope

By summer, construction should begin on a three-story, $14 million science building that will extend Faulkner State Community College’s nursing programs to the school’s Fairhope campus, officials announced Wednesday.

With other colleges’ nursing programs in Mobile County overwhelmed, Faulkner’s program “is going to have to grow,” Bradley Byrne, chancellor of Alabama’s two-year college system, said during a ceremony Wednesday.

Faulkner State’s nursing programs are now on the college’s main campus in Bay Minette.

New science building coming to Faulkner campus in Fairhope

McCain announces Alabama leadership team

U.S. Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign today announced its Alabama Leadership Team.

Legislators for McCain

  • State Representative Randy Davis, Daphne
  • State Representative Joe Faust, Fairhope

Veteran Co-Chairs

  • Capt. Hal Pierce, Daphne

Mayoral Co-Chairs

  • Mayor Tim Kant, Fairhope

McCain announces Alabama leadership team

While McCain is truly a war hero who served his country with distinction, perhaps you’ve also heard of some of his other accomplishments:

Why would anyone want their name associated with Ted Kennedy or with someone who is associated with Ted Kennedy?

We’ve emailed Mr. Davis, Mr. Faust and Mr. Kant to inquire about why they support McCain. We’ll post their responses (or lack of) here.

Summerdale teen still missing

The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office says 17 year old Brittany Noel Sinclair, ran away from home in mid-December. She is believed to be in the company of a hispanic male who they say may be Brittany’s boyfriend. His name is Jacob. His last name is unknown.

Brittany worked at McDonald’s in Loxley. Brittany is from Summerdale. She and the hispanic male friend may be traveling in a 2002 white four-door Ford truck.

Her mother thinks they could be in this area or possibly in Savannah, Georgia. Anyone with information regarding Britney is asked to contact the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office at 251-972-6802.

Missing Teen

Fugitive’s Aunt on Trial

Gordon Waller, the former head of the traffic school for Mobile and Baldwin Counties hasn’t been seen in the United States since 2006.

Now, his aunt is accused of helping him run from the law. Waller was convicted of extortion in 2006. His trial went on without him because he was believed to be on the run in the Philippines. Waller was accused of getting a man out of prison early and using threats to get that man to have sex with him. Authorities say that man murdered a father and daughter after Waller got him out of jail early.

Now Waller’s aunt, Melba Trehern, is on trial, accused of helping Waller by sending him money.

Fugitive’s Aunt on Trial