Entries from July 2009 ↓

Canoe launch finished at ecological park

A multi-million dollar land purchase by the City of Foley five years ago could still be a couple of years away from being the complete ecological park that was envisioned, but the pieces are coming together at Graham Creek Nature Preserve.

A canoe launch recently completed on the 483-acre tract in the southeastern section of the city could conceivably be opened by October, according to Foley Environmental Manager Leslie Lassitter.

With the canoe launch in place, Lassitter said the next big objectives are getting a road into the park, possibly from the Foley Beach Express. Also, a pavilion area north of the canoe launch is a priority, as are opening up hiking trails.

Canoe launch finished at ecological park

Five vehicles collide in Foley wreck

Five vehicles were involved in an accident this afternoon at the intersection of Ala. 59 and Fern Avenue in Foley. Initial reports said two people were sent to South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, but neither injury was considered serious, said David White, chief investigator for the Foley Police Department

Five vehicles collide in Foley wreck

Daphne PD used vests go to help other police

The warranties on the bulletproof vests used by the Daphne Police Department expire every five years, but Daphne Police Chief David Carpenter said the used vests will continue to protect officers in the line of duty.

On Wednesday, the Daphne and Mobile police departments sent 34 expired vests to Muscle Shoals, where they will be refurbished, organized by size and sent nationwide and abroad.

The donation is part of the Armor of God Project, a program that sends used bulletproof vests to law enforcement agencies that cannot afford them

Daphne PD used vests go to help other police

Back-to-school registration, events to begin

Baldwin County Public Schools have scheduled back-to-school registration, open houses and meet-the-teacher events for the 2009-10 school year

Additional back-to-school information can be found at each school’s Web site. Other helpful registration information can be found at www.bcbe.org/newcomer.

Back-to-school registration, events to begin

Orange Beach studying Terry Cove site for boat launch

Looking to relieve overcrowding at its two public boat ramps, city officials said Tuesday that they were exploring the possibility of installing a launch on about five publicly owned acres on Terry Cove.

Last month the City Council voted to set aside the northwest corner of that property for a dog park, leaving more than half of the former Walker Marina unused.

Boat launch at marina property? Orange Beach studying Terry Cove site

Baldwin County United Way gets $300K lawsuit settlement

The United Way of Baldwin County received a check for more than $300,000 from the settlement of a class action lawsuit against a number of national chain drug stores.

The lawsuit netted more than $1 million for local charities.

Wright Drugs in Foley filed the initial suit in 2002 against other larger drug stores claiming some discount pharmacy cards were unfair to customers.

Baldwin County United Way gets $300K lawsuit settlement

Gulf Shores Beach cleanest in South

According to a recently released report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Washington, D.C., the pristine sugar white shores of the Gulf Shores Public Beach ranked as one of 14 other locations – and the only the Southeast – to receive a perfect five star rating.

“We made the decisions to constantly improve our beach cleaning program because perfect isn’t good enough,” said Robert Craft, mayor of the City of Gulf Shores. “It is imperative to our future to keep our white sandy beaches pristine. It’s gratifying to know someone has noticed our efforts.”

Gulf Shores Beach cleanest in South

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Fairhope revenues up, spending down

The city’s treasurers informed council members Monday that, thanks to deep spending cuts earlier this year and a slight resurgence in revenues from licenses and permits, the city may not end the fiscal year with a deficit as had been expected.

In May, the council approved an amended budget projecting a $146,463 deficit by Sept. 30, the fiscal year’s end.

But on Monday, Rose Fogarty, the city’s financial reporting manager, presented an update detailing successes in implementing more than
$1.7 million in spending cuts.

Fairhope revenues up, spending down

Baldwin schools cut the resource officer position

A resource officer to work with students at Baldwin County’s Alternative School and other programs is the latest casualty of education budget woes, according to Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack.

Mack said he learned Friday that the school system was eliminating the position. The officer — a deputy — had been assigned to the Alternative School in Fairhope, which the school board voted earlier to close as a cost-saver.

The schools paid the salary for the resource officer, while the Sheriff’s Office provided benefits and equipment, Mack said

Baldwin schools cut the resource officer position

School board makes pitch for sales tax

Baldwin County commissioners couldn’t agree Tuesday to a 1-cent sales tax increase, but did agree to talk more about that and other budget-

balancing options after a presentation on the local education system’s growing financial woes.

Baldwin schools Superintendent Faron Hollinger and four Board of Education members attended the commission work session to request immediate help with a drop in state and local revenue that is adding up to $61 million over the current and next fiscal years

School board makes pitch for sales tax

Visiting fans get improved seating at Bayside Academy

Out-of-town football fans making the trip with their team to face off against Bayside Academy might notice a difference this season when they make their way to the visitors stands.

No longer will fans have to sit on wooden bleachers high on the hill next to the highway. Instead, a series of terraced bleachers has been built into the hillside. The whole cost of the project, which was funded by patrons of the school, is around $75,000.

The move for nicer visitors stands was a necessity this year as both T.R. Miller and Cottage Hill Christian, which bring droves of fans, have away games at Bayside Academy this season

Visiting fans get improved seating at Bayside Academy

Scientists say Causeway hurting the bay

For the past decade, scientists have suggested that the U.S. 90-U.S. 98 Causeway is hurting Mobile Bay and the vast and swampy Mobile-Tensaw Delta to the north by artificially splitting one of the nation’s largest coastal estuaries in two.

Short of removing the Causeway entirely, the best fix anyone has proposed involves putting in bridges to allow water to flow more freely from the bay to the delta.

Now, after years of study and a number of related scientific papers, a team of scientists led by John Valentine of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab says it is time to “experiment” with a small bridge near Meaher Park

Scientists say Causeway hurting the bay

Four Injured In I-65 Wreck Tuesday Morning Near Atmore

Four people were injured when a Jeep collided with an ALDOT vehicle on I-65 near Atmore this morning.

The accident happened just before 9 a.m. on I-65 just north of the Highway 21 exit in Atmore when the driver of a Jeep Liberty rear-ended a utility trailer attached to an Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) vehicle used for litter removal.

Two workers in or near the trailer at the time of the crash were transported to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola by LifeFlight. Markus Prim of Bay Minette and Sherman McMillan of Loxley were treated and were released Tuesday afternoon.

Four Injured In I-65 Wreck Tuesday Morning Near Atmore

Tax to Help Schools Discussed

Local lawmakers are working on a measure to get more money for local school children in Baldwin County. A new one cent sales tax is still on the table as Baldwin County Commissioners and school board members discuss the plan.

The group has decided to form a financial task force of lawmakers and accountants to look at all options to make up for an expected 13 million dollar shortfall facing the school system. The task force plans to meet on Monday.

One other option discussed today is the possibility of a half cent sales tax for four years – instead of the one cent tax for 24 months already on the table.

Tax to Help Schools Discussed

There are always other options. A third option is not to increase the taxes at all. A forth option is to reduce the tax rate and spur economic activity.

How much does it cost to have a new task force of accountants? Doesn’t the school board have several accountants on staff already?