June 15th, 2015 — Gulf Shores
Inspired by 2,500 survey responses, Gulf State Park – Alabama’s most popular state park – is showing off ideas for a Restoration Project that could bring new features and upgrades worth $135 million.
The latest showing came last week in Gulf Shores at the second of three open-house events. The final open house is set for July 23, likely at the park.
Ideas run a wide gamut, from new treehouse cabin and houseboat rentals to a new park gateway and new adventure center.
via Treehouse cabins, water taxis, new HQ: Ideas abound for $135 million Gulf State Park project | AL.com.
June 15th, 2015 — Crime, Fairhope
Federal prosecutors today secured a guilty plea against a Fairhope man who admitted using the Internet to order LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), hash, highly concentrated marijuana edibles and paraphernalia, among other things, all for “personal use.” According to the indictment dated April 8, 56-year-old Benjamin Meek Miller Childers II, of 12305 County Road 48 in Fairhope, used assumed names and at least two different addresses to order drugs online from The Netherlands and elsewhere.
via Fairhope man pleads guilty to drug smuggling, 30 guns confiscated – LagniappeLagniappe.
June 15th, 2015 — Real estate
According to the Baldwin County Association of REALTORS MLS, May residential sales in Baldwin County totaling 514 units reached levels not experienced since 2005 and were 12.7 percent ahead of the same period a year ago. For some perspective, Baldwin County’s best May on record for sales was 2004 when 737 transactions were closed. Year-to-date sales through May are up 15.3 percent from 2014.
via Baldwin County residential sales in May up 13% from prior year; YTD sales up 15% | AL.com.
June 15th, 2015 — County Government
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley appointed District Court Judge Scott Taylor to a circuit court vacancy effective June 22, leaving another judicial vacancy in Baldwin County.
Taylor will move from the district seat to a circuit judgeship that became open after longtime Judge Robert Wilters announced his retirement effective this month. Wilters announced last week he will run for the district attorney’s eat during the March 1, 2016, primary against incumbent Hallie Dixon.
via District Judge Scott Taylor appointed as new Baldwin County Circuit Judge | AL.com.
June 15th, 2015 — Business, Gulf Shores
Lucy Buffett creates a new ‘Destin’ation with opening of second LuLu’s Restaurant in Destin, Florida
“I am absolutely thrilled to be opening LuLu’s in Destin, Florida. The positive reception we have received from the local community has been awesome. I can’t wait to share our special gumbo love and authentic Gulf Coast cuisine with the thousands of friends that journey to the Florida Panhandle every year.
via Lucy Buffett Creates a New ‘Destin’ation With Opening of Second LuLu’s Restaurant in Destin, FL – Press Release – Digital Journal.
June 15th, 2015 — Gulf Shores
Two new officers were sworn in for the Gulf Shores Police Department at the June 1 council meeting.
The department also recently added other staff for beach enforcement and detention.
Police Officer, Benjamin Hancock
Police Officer, Travis J. Hoguet
via Gulf Shores swears in two new officers – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
June 12th, 2015 — Daphne, Fairhope, Foley, Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores and Foley are setting up more surveillance cameras to ward off vandalism and crime.
Gulf Shores is installing 25 new cameras this summer at the parking lot of Gulf Place, the main public beach, while Foley has added about 75 cameras in city buildings and parks.
via Here, there and everywhere: south Baldwin cameras are watching you | AL.com.
June 12th, 2015 — County Government
Two months ago Baldwin County Circuit Court Judge Robert Wilters announced his retirement. “It’s time to stop and smell the roses.”
It may have been the shortest retirement on record. “Lasted about three days and that was about it,” he says from his father’s old law office in Robertsdale.
Now he is going after what he considers the most important job in Baldwin County. “You’re the attorney for the citizens of Baldwin County and that’s a tremendous responsibility. I think I’m ready for that.”
The District Attorney’s office has made headlines throughout the tenure of current D.A. Hallie Dixon for all the wrong reasons.
via Baldwin County District Attorney’s Race Heating Up | WKRG.
June 12th, 2015 — Schools
On Wednesday, June 10, officials with the Baldwin County Board of Education responded to allegations that they acted inappropriately in the recent school property tax referendum.
Director of Communications with the Baldwin County Schools System Terry Wilhite said, “The state requires that a school district have a minimum tax of 10 mills to participate in the foundation program. Baldwin only collects two mills above the state minimum.”
Wilhite strongly objected to the reporting on this story by the Alabama Political Reporter on Wednesday. “We receive regular news coverage from the Mobile Press-Register, AL.com, three TV stations and four community newspapers. None of them have reported on this “scandal” you refer to. Strange to me that you can uncover something from Montgomery when media who cover this area regularly cannot.”
via Baldwin County School System Defends Actions.
June 11th, 2015 — Gulf Shores, Orange Beach
You may have seen a WHNT News 19 report about sharks on Alabama’s Gulf Coast pop up in your Facebook news feed yesterday or today.
We love it when you share our news stories on social media, but that one is actually from last year. It was dated June 8, 2014. Many people shared it on Facebook, and several of us saw it in our news feeds as well. The old report caused some concern and confusion, so the 2014 story now links here, to this update.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism officials even contacted WHNT News 19 about the story, saying they were hearing concerns. They stress the beaches are open, and they want you to keep your plans to visit Alabama’s Gulf Coast.
via 2014 report about sharks on Alabama’s Gulf Coast being shared a year later on social media | WHNT.com.
June 11th, 2015 — Loxley
Loxley officials are hoping a state grant will provide funds for much-needed drainage and sewer improvements in one of the town’s older areas.
The Loxley Town Council unanimously approved a resolution at its meeting Monday night authorizing the submission of a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
via Town of Loxley seeks grant for drainage, sewer improvements – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
June 11th, 2015 — Daphne, Fairhope, Spanish Fort
Traffic and parking woes along the Eastern Shore are not lost on business owners. In downtown Fairhope today, most parking spaces were taken for most of the afternoon.
“The traffic is beginning to get really clogged on a daily basis. We have so many more people visiting now than we used to. It’s not just weekends, it’s not just seasonal. It’s every day,” Louanne Harrell, part owner of Fairhope Pharmacy, said.
But with shopping, dining and other activities being so popular, the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is looking at creating a connecting hub system between these Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort.
via Eastern Shore MPO working to make tri-city shuttle hubs – FOX10 News | WALA.
June 10th, 2015 — Crime, Silverhill
A Silverhill man is in custody facing attempted murder charges after police say he shot at an officer Tuesday night.
Daniel Wade Hails, 56, of 21348 Bohemian Hall Road was arrested Wednesday morning following a 6-hour standoff at his residence, said Silverhill Police Chief Kim Wasdin.
An officer with the Silverhill Police Department responded to a report of shots fired at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday at the residence.
“The officer turned on his lights in the driveway to identify himself and approached the privacy fence leading to the residence which was locked,” Wasdin said. “He saw a man inside the residence and identified himself to the man. The man waved at him, then turned, picked up a rifle, aimed it at him and fired.”
via Silverhill man facing attempted murder charges following 6-hour standoff with police – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
June 9th, 2015 — Fairhope, Schools
Construction crews continue to lay the groundwork for Baldwin County’s first Catholic high school.
Monsignor Michael Farmer is helping to spearhead construction of the new St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope.
He said, “They’re well involved in laying out the ditches, the ponds, in the back for water.”
Msgr. Farmer hopes crews will start laying cement to the foundation for the two story complex in the next couple of weeks.
Here’s the Facebook page for the school:
via Baldwin County’s Catholic high school construction moving forwar – FOX10 News | WALA.
June 9th, 2015 — Fairhope
The Fairhope City Council awarded a $1.2 million low bid for disaster debris removal and disposal to Pittman Tractor, a company owned by State Senator Trip Pittman (R-Montrose), at its regular meeting June 8.
Pittman Tractor has held the city’s contract for disaster debris removal since 2012, when it won with a low bid of $1,062,255.
This year, Pittman’s bid defeated Asplundh at $1,364,987, Crowder Gulf at $1,404,000, DRC Emergency Services at $1,686,960 and Phillips and Jordan’s at $1,728,000.
via Citing ethics clearance, Fairhope approves state senator’s contract – LagniappeLagniappe.