Entries from May 2008 ↓

Is the AEA supporting republican school board candidates?

Two Republican incumbents on the state school board face challenges in the GOP primary Tuesday from newcomers with a huge advantage in campaign funds, raising speculation they’re undercover Democrats getting help from the Alabama Education Association.

District 1 incumbent Randy McKinney of Gulf Shores is being challenged by Paul Christopher of Mobile.

Campaign finance reports filed this week show Christopher out front with $158,175 to McKinney’s $22,460

McKinney said he’s drawn the ire of AEA by voting against double-dipping by legislators paid by two-year colleges and backing current Chancellor Bradley Byrne.

AEA’s chief lobbyist, Paul Hubbert, said speculation that AEA is challenging the incumbents to shift the board’s makeup is just rumor. But while neither of the challengers reported receiving money from AEA’s political action committee — Alabama Voice of Teachers in Education — both received large amounts from RACE PAC, which listed A-VOTE as one of its contributors.

Party loyalty of some questioned in GOP primary for SBOE

Delta gator hunt permits, area expand

More hunters will have a larger chunk of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta to search for alligators after several changes to season regulations were approved by the Alabama Conservation Advisory Board.

This year, 125 permits will be available on the Delta, up from 100 last year, and the area hunters may look for alligators has been expanded north to the Mobile and Baldwin county lines. The new northern hunt boundary would include up to Little River in Baldwin County and Calvert in Mobile County.

Delta gator hunt permits, area expand

Polls open Tuesday for Baldwin County voters

Baldwin County voters will head to the polls Tuesday to decide the outcome of a slate of state constitutional amendments, as well as national state and county offices following February’s Presidential Preference Primary.

The marquee local election will be between Daphne City Councilman Ron Scott and appraiser Teddy Faust who are vying for the Baldwin County Revenue Commissioner post. Revenue Commissioner Phil Nix did not seek re-election to the post.

The unofficial results will be posted that evening at http://probate.co.baldwin.al.us.

Polls open Tuesday for Baldwin County voters

Don’t forget to vote. And while your driving to the polls, be sure to think about how much you want your property taxes to increase to pay as you go. The tax increase is also on the ballot.

Bass Pro job fair set for this week

A job fair will be held Monday through Wednesday, June 2-4, for the new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World opening in Spanish Fort. Positions available include the retail store, Tracker Marine Boat Center and the Islamorada Fish Co. Restaurant.

Those interested in employment with the outdoors store need to apply in person at Daphne United Methodist Church in the Community Life Center Building, 2401 Main St. in Daphne, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

Bass Pro job fair set for this week

Get a job, you bum.

Businesses already feeling burn of smoking ban

It was business as usual Thursday for many Daphne establishments. But on day one of the city’s new smoking ban, there was literally no business at Manci’s Antique Club. “There’s still a few of us non-smokers,” said one patron. Three to be exact.

All day long, that’s about how many people there were in a once bustling restaurant/bar/museum on Thursday. Third generation owner Alex Manci says he’s just would like to see some of his smokers back. “It was about 75% of my clientele,” Manci said.

Instead, Manci spent the day staring at his newly hung “no-smoking signs” along with several empty chairs. “I had people from Fairhope coming up here to eat with me because they couldn’t smoke in Fairhope,” said Manci.

City-wide smoking ban for Daphne restaurants

Classroom money to be cut to pay for fuel

With diesel fuel now costing $4.25 a gallon, Mobile and Baldwin County school systems are having to foot rather hefty diesel bills for bus routes.

The state reimburses school systems up to $3 a gallon — a figure set around this time last year when diesel was well under that amount.

Baldwin County Public Schools are already $350,000 over the state allocation this year, according to state records.

“This poses an enormous challenge for us,” said Terry Wilhite, spokesman for Baldwin County schools. “It becomes a matter of whether you are going to get children to school or educate them with all the resources when they get to school. Something’s got to give. It will certainly come out of the classroom. It’s got to.”

Diesel costs strap schools

Foley Officials seeking business from EADS

Officials want to bring business generated by Air Force tanker construction to south Baldwin County, but said land prices and locations farther from interstates are among the obstacles to overcome.

Land at the Foley Industrial Park has been assessed as high as $70,000 an acre, said Lee Lawson of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance.

Some industrial property in north Baldwin County goes for as little as $17,500 an acre, and even a few miles north of Foley with immediate interstate access, prices are cheaper, Lawson said.

Officials seeking business from EADS

USA opens new nursing facility

Before the opening of the new College of Nursing building at USA’s Baldwin County campus, Moulton said he tried a simulator that nursing students will use to practice delivering a child.

That simulator and two others make the 20,503-square-foot building in Fairhope one of the most technologically advanced facilities for nursing students in Alabama.

USA opens new nursing facility

Boxer sentenced in knife attack

Kewal Sharma survived a knife attack by an amateur boxer only because he regained consciousness, slid across the floor and managed to lock the robber-assailant in a garage, according to a prosecutor in the case.

On Thursday, Baldwin County Circuit Court Judge Lang Floyd sentenced Joseph “Jo Jo” Aikin, a Mobile-based amateur boxer, to two consecutive 20-year terms in prison on charges of attempted murder and robbery that relate to the July 2005 incident at Impress Auto Sales near Spanish Fort.

Boxer sentenced in knife attack

Real Estate Market report for Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope for April 2008

The market slowdown is firmly entrenched on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay.

Indicators show that both the number of homes sold and the median sales price have dropped.

The immediate outlook determined by pending sales also shows a weakness that probably hasn’t been seen for decades in Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort, Alabama.

Market report for Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope for April 2008

Spanish Fort home games not likely for this season

Spanish Fort High School probably won’t play football at its on-campus stadium in the fall, meaning the Toros won’t play a true home game until 2009.

Construction on the new stadium is expected to begin in June, said school system construction chief Mike Keating, and it should take 210 days — roughly seven months — to finish the $2.6 million project. That puts the completion date sometime in December or January.

The regular season begins Aug. 28, and the 10-week slate of games ends Oct. 31, meaning the games will be finished long before the stadium’s expected completion date.

Spanish Fort home games not likely for this season

Fairhope to fund walkways

After two years of discussion about making U.S. 98/Greeno Road more accessible to walkers and cyclists, the City Council on Monday approved spending $823,500 to install a new tree-lined median, pedestrian crossing signals and other improvements along the highway.

“There will be grass and crepe myrtles. It’ll be similar to what you now see coming into town on Section Street,” Mayor Tim Kant said.

The council voted Monday to hire Summerdale-based Summit Industries, the company already building new turn lanes and other improvements as part of a state- and city-funded project at Greeno Road, Alabama 104 and Section Street, to handle the project.

Fairhope to fund walkways

Orange Beach Council to consider changes in smoking ban

Nine months since smoking in most public places became illegal, some elected officials have proposed revising the city’s smoking laws to allow lighting up in bars and lounges.

Councilman Larry Alexander said during a City Council work session Tuesday that he wanted to change the city’s smoking ban, which prohibits smoking in bars and restaurants, to mirror the statewide ban that state Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, D-Mobile, proposed in Montgomery this spring.

That bill was approved by the state Senate but failed to get a vote from the House of Representatives amid a final legislative day of filibusters and stall tactics.

Council to consider changes in smoking ban

Orange Beach police rape investigation goes forward

Baldwin County authorities continue to investigate a woman’s claims that she was raped by a trio of Orange Beach policemen, though neither District Attorney Judy Newcomb nor Sheriff’s Department spokesman Maj. Anthony Lowery would discuss details Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Orange Beach Police Chief Billy Wilkins said that he is “confident” that none of the six officers on duty that night had any contact with the woman.

The woman has said that she was pulled over by police along Alabama 182 on Perdido Key around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10, led off the beach highway by two officers and raped behind sand dunes while a third patrolman stood watch.

Orange Beach police rape investigation goes forward

Filipino teachers leaving after one year

shortage of math, science and special education teachers led Baldwin County school officials to the Philippines last year, where officials found a dozen teachers to fill critical needs.

Most won’t be back for a second year in local classrooms.

The 12 Filipino teachers, none of whom had tenure, were not guaranteed positions next year because of job cuts, so most found jobs in Baltimore, Los Angeles and other large metropolitan areas.

Filipino teachers leaving after one year

Flashback: Filipino teachers arrive in Baldwin