Entries from November 2008 ↓

Church museum seeks curator

The Old Methodist Church Museum volunteers have asked the Daphne City Council to hire a curator to operate the church, which was built in 1858 and dedicated as a museum in 2001 by former Mayor Harry Brown.

Aside from the declining ability of the volunteers to do the necessary physical work, they also lack the professional knowledge necessary to properly preserve historical artifacts, Boykin said.

Council members expressed reservations about obligating the city to new spending at a time when revenues are in decline. The cost of hiring a curator for the museum hasn’t been determined. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, median annual earnings of archivists and curators in 2007 were slightly more than $40,000.

The council will again consider the budget and the curator amendment at its 6:30 p.m. meeting Monday.

Church museum seeks curator

It hard to believe the city would even consider funding a new position like this given the current economic situation.

Zoning vote set for district close to Magnolia Springs

A zoning referendum has been set for a district south of Magnolia Springs that could have ramifications outside the rural southwest Baldwin County community.

Probate Judge Adrian Johns has scheduled the vote in Planning District 21 for Dec. 30. Polls will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Vernant Park Baptist Church on Vernant Church Road.

Zoning vote set for district close to Magnolia Springs

WTF, Chuck: What are you thankful for?

A reader asks:

Dear Chuck,

It’s fall, the leaves are coming down, the nights are getting cooler, my old lady is wearing her flannel PJ’s and the turkeys are getting scared. It’s Thanksgiving time and Baldwin County has alot to be thankful for. But I’m worried about you, Chuck. Wtf are you thankful for this year?

A hungry turkey hunter

Dear AHTH,

Thanks for writing. I’m glad you asked this question. There are many things I’m thankful I’m not:

  • I’m thankful I’m not a tree cutter trying to make a living in Fairhope.
  • I’m thankful I’m not on work release in Loxley.
  • I’m thankful I’m not the mayor of a city that just realized it should have a strong-council.
  • I’m thankful I’m not the one who tried to arrest Kenny Stabler.
  • I’m thankful I’m not on the Robertsdale Arby’s diet.
  • I’m thankful I’m not borrowing money to make payroll here.
  • I’m thankful I’m not in Mobile.

But what am I really thankful for?

I’m thankful I live in Baldwin County, where the sky is a little bit bluer and the sun shines a little bit brighter than any place else I’ve ever been. I’m thankful this county has enough news and events to keep us in business. I’m even more thankful that many of the news and events are about good things and not always bad. I’m thankful our kids go to safe schools and have teachers that truly care about their education. I’m thankful that despite the election results and the bad economy, our country and our communities will weather these storms and come through them like we always have.

But I think most importantly, I’m thankful that visitors to this site click the ads because that’s what pays the bills around here. :)

Let’s hear from some of our readers on this question: What are you thankful for this year?


Details Announced On Orange Beach Layoffs

Two days before Thanksgiving, some city workers are bracing for layoffs.
Wednesday night, the mayor of Orange Beach detailed his plan for workforce reductions to the city council and the public.

Mayor Tony Kennon said, “We had 40 positions that we are not going to fill. 23 are individuals who were in the jobs that we laid off, for lack of a better term.” Kennon said his workforce reduction plan is needed to help make up a $3 million budget shortfall.


Details Announced On Orange Beach Layoffs

Solutia’s Foley plant temporarily lays off 58

A Solutia Inc. spokesperson this week called current market conditions “an unprecedented decline” in the company’s nylon products. As a result, 58 Solutia employees have been temporarily laid off at the Solutia Nylon plant in Foley.

“We have temporarily laid off 58 employees, the reason being we’re having to adjust our operation to meet the market demands,” said Melissa V. Hammonds with corporate communications at Solutia Inc.’s St. Louis, Mo., headquarters.

Twelve Foley plant employees have lost their jobs permanently along with 10 contractors, Hammonds said.

Solutia’s Foley plant temporarily lays off 58

Local Mayor Supports T. Boone Pickens

Robertsdale Mayor Charles Murphy is one of four Alabama mayors supporting the “T. Boone Pickens Plan.”

“I had been listening to Mr. Pickens on television and have read some articles about his proposal and I thought it was something I could support,” says Murphy.

“Wind is a very viable alternative for electrical power,” says Murphy. Murphy signed the written pledge to the Pickens Plan earlier this month. Mayor Murphy’s pledge has sparked interest at the local diner.



Local Mayor Supports T. Boone Pickens

Ala mayors agreed to back oilman’s energy plan

Pay hikes set for vote on Tuesday

When the County Commission approved its 2008-09 budget in mid-September, it included a proposed 2.5 percent overall increase for about 90 county staffers in supervisory or other professional salaried positions.

In the two months since then, the bottom has fallen out of the national economy, casting an even darker cloud over the fiscal future of a county government that depends on revenue streams from property, sales and gas taxes.

The overall $164.3 million budget was reduced from last fiscal year’s $204 million. It was balanced in part by a hiring freeze, increased garbage-collection rates and a cap on raises at 2.5 percent per department for salaried employees, to be disbursed based on job performance reviews.

Pay hikes set for vote on Tuesday

Fairhope City Council reappoints key staff members, not police chief

For the third time in two months, many city employees attended Monday’s City Council meeting. This time, most were police officers. A half-dozen city patrol cars were parked outside.

Monday’s agenda included items to reappoint City Clerk Lisa Hanks and City Treasurer Nancy Wilson. After both reappointments were approved unanimously, Councilman Mike Ford asked why the council hadn’t yet considered reappointing Police Chief Mike Comalander.

“There’s concern in the department about this; I can tell by all the police we have here tonight,” Ford said. Council President Debbie Quinn explained that, after the new council was sworn earlier in this month and she was voted its head, the council had decided to conduct employee reviews prior to the reappointment of key staffers.

Fairhope City Council reappoints key staff members

Fairhope gift shop damaged by fire

Fire marred a downtown Fairhope gift shop and destroyed all its Christmas merchandise early Tuesday morning, according to the store’s owner.

The Picture Show, a town fixture beside Fairhope Fudge for more than a decade, was badly damaged but hopefully not beyond repair shortly after midnight Tuesday, said Cheryl Dutton, the owner. Dutton said firefighters told her the fire started at a faulty electric wall socket

Fairhope gift shop damaged by fire

Downtown store hit by early morning fire (pic)

Gulf Shores police arrest burglary suspect

Gulf Shores police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in a string of burglaries along Wedgewood Drive.

Patrick Clifton Hatcher was arrested early Saturday morning after police set up a watch in the neighborhood where the doors of three homes had been kicked in on previous nights, Police Chief Arthur Bourne said

Gulf Shores police arrest burglary suspect

Prisoners injured in three-vehicle wreck

Seven inmates and four others were injured in a three-vehicle chain collision along U.S. 31 on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

After the wreck, prisoners left the van and helped a woman and her passengers from the Chevrolet Silverado that had hit them, said Atmore Community Work Center Warden Tony Patterson.

Patterson said that he was told by troopers that a sport utility vehicle ran into the truck, which in turn struck the van carrying the state inmates.



Prisoners injured in three-vehicle wreck

Store in Barnwell robbed

A convenience store in the Barnwell community, south of Fairhope, was robbed late Monday, Fairhope police said.

At 7:40 p.m. Monday, a white man with a pistol — described as being in his early 20s and wearing a gray, hooded sweatshirt — entered the In & Out Express, said Sgt. Craig Sawyer. The man left the store, which is just north of the intersection of U.S. 98 and Scenic 98, with an undisclosed amount of cash, Sawyer said.

Store in Barnwell robbed

Daphne Police using ‘productive’ leads

Daphne police await the Department of Forensic Sciences’ test results in connection with Brianna Parish’s death, but preliminary autopsy results are in, according to police, who won’t reveal those, and other information in the case, due to an ongoing investigation.

The Daphne Police Department has received a steady stream of leads, according to Capt. Daniel Bell.

“You may get four in one day and two the next,” Bell said. “But all of them have been productive.

Police using ‘productive’ leads

Spanish Fort City Council to pay high school coaches

A recently passed measure by the City of Spanish Fort will pay Spanish Fort coaches to conduct summer sports clinics and to help maintain the sports field at the high school.

Central Office staffers say they have not seen the new city ordinance but Beverly Spondike, principal of Spanish Fort High, says the mayor explains it was passed as a “one year trial.”

Terry Wilhite, Communications Director for the school system, stated, “Principals are ultimately responsible for seeing that the sports grounds are well kept and maintained, and they have traditionally turned to cities for assistance. Cities have often paid coaches to conduct summer sports clinics on the coaches’ own time.”

He says, “Employees are expected to abide by Board of Education policy and all ethics laws in such matters.” Public employees such as the coaches are typically required to file reports showing their sources of income with the state ethics board.

Coastal Alabama, a local blog, reports that Baldwin County parents are complaining about the imbalance of funding for some sports:

School leaders are funding football and not giving the same support to basketball, baseball, soccer, track, and other same level varsity, junior varsity and middle school programs. No doubt these common complaints occupy those involved in music, art, and a wide range of other areas of special interest.

According to the district’s salary schedule, A high school’s head football coach receives $9,550 per year and also serves as the Athletic Coordinator for the school. While an assistant football coach with 3 years of experience receives $5,056. While a basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, or softball coach receives only 4,494, less than half of the head football coach’s pay.

With proration looming, will the coaches of any sports face layoffs, cut backs or salary reductions like what classroom teachers are bracing for?

Daphne City planners OK Publix site

A site plan was unanimously approved Thursday for the development of a new 45,000-square-foot Publix supermarket at the Magnolia Place Shopping Center near Thomas Medical Center on U.S. Highway 98.

Construction on the 9-acre site will include renovations to the parking lot and water drainage systems.

City planners OK Publix site