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FEBR UARY 2, 2017 - FEBR UARY 8, 2017 | ASHLEY TRICE Co-publisher/Editor ROB HOLBERT Co-publisher/Managing Editor STEVE HALL Marketing/Sales Director GABRIEL TYNES Assistant Managing Editor DALE LIESCH Reporter JASON JOHNSON Reporter JANE NICHOLES Reporter

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The Mobile Housing Board was asked to reimburse more than $1 million misspent on a conflict of interest.


A possible conversation between Gov. Robert Bentley and Rebecca Mason as they flew together to the inauguration.


A team of researchers at the Mitchell Cancer Institute discovered a link to a rare disorder.


With their surging popularity, it’s time to get hoppy with IPAs.

KEVIN LEE Associate Editor/Arts Editor ANDY MACDONALD Cuisine Editor




Public parks in the city of Mobile are undergoing a facelift thanks to funding provided by an additional tax.


BROOKE O’DONNELL Advertising Sales Executive BETH WILLIAMS Advertising Sales Executive ASHLEY KILLIAN Advertising Sales Executive ALEEN MOMBERGER Advertising Sales Executive MELISSA EDGE Editorial Assistant



Last Friday, the Mobile Arts Council’s Arty Awards hit a high note.


ROSS PRITCHARD Distribution Manager JACKIE CRUTHIRDS Office Manager CONTRIBUTORS: Asia Frey • Brian Holbert Ron Sivak • Lee Hedgepeth Tom Ward • Sharman Egan • Jeff Poor Shane Harris • Ellen Huckabay ON THE COVER: TRINITY GARDENS PARK BY DANIEL ANDERSON LAGNIAPPE HD Periodicals Permit #17660 (Volume 2, Issue 19) Copyright 2015 is published weekly, 52 issues a year, by Something Extra Publishing, Inc., 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604 (P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652). Business and Editorial Offices: 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604 Accounting and Circulation Offices: 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604. Call 251-450-4466 to subscribe. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652 Editorial, advertising and production offices are located at 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604. Mailing address is P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652. Phone: 251-450-4466 Fax: 251-450-4498 Email: LAGNIAPPE HD is printed at Walton Press. All rights reserved. Something Extra Publishing, Inc. Nothing may be reprinted. photocopied or in any way reproduced without the expressed permission of the publishers.

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If addition to original frontman John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival is also keeping the band’s legacy alive.


Asia’s picks for Academy Awards include “La La Land” and “Manchester by the Sea.”


Tips for public relations professionals.


The Delta Bike Project has plans to invest in cycling infrastructure throughout Mobile.


A new exhibit at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center reveals the seedier side of the international drug trade.

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Sounds familiar

Mr. Holbert, Regarding your column “Who’s Chris Elliott trying to fool?” (Jan. 19), I would like to suggest that Commissioner Elliott is now practicing the new politics of the day created by President Trump. Honesty, integrity, morality are all characteristics abandoned by our newly elected president and endorsed by the electoral college and the people of Alabama. It appears Commissioner Elliott is mastering the technique himself by saying what he wants to appease and impress his current audience, and then dancing around the issues when questioned later. I’d wager this is the future of politics in America. The diminishing influence of the press is just another aspect of Trump politics, and sadly that, too, appears to be acceptable to the Alabama public and the country at large. I wish to express my appreciation for Lagniappe. Were it not for your publication we’d have almost no investigative journalism in the area at all. I state “almost” because Jon Archibald with the Press-Register does an outstanding job as a government watchdog. Unfortunately, it appears no one seems to listen or care. Respectfully, D. Dean Carroll

Pat on the back

Rob, Two great articles I wanted to tell you I really enjoyed. First, the Chris Elliot article (Jan. 19). Thanks for calling it like you see it. Also your latest on the schools (“Progress inside ‘failing’ schools,” Jan. 26). I used to teach high school. I think you were right on the money again. Keep up the good work! Charles Cort Spanish Fort

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LAST WEEK ONLINE Arrest made in one of two murders

Police in Mobile have made one arrest in a pair of unrelated murders reported early Friday, though a suspect in the second murder has yet to be identified. According to the Mobile Police Department, a reported shooting near Wilson Avenue on Jan. 27 led investigators to a man who’d been shot. Johnathan Carstarphen, 43, was found in a parking lot suffering from an apparent gunshot wound shortly after 5:30 p.m. Less than hour later, police responded to a report of a person being stabbed on West Gulf Field Drive. On their arrival, police located Kendale Ely, 38, inside a residence suffering from multiple stab wounds. Ely was later pronounced dead at the scene. The MPD said 26-year-old Nigel Steele was interviewed by homicide detectives and arrested and charged with Ely’s murder.

City selects administrator for TIGER grant

The city of Mobile has selected Mott MacDonald to lead the One Mobile project funded by the $14.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant award. The firm was chosen to provide owner’s representation services because of its experience in large transportation construction and its vast knowledge of TIGER Grant administration. The grant provides federal funding to reconstruct the Broad-Beauregard corridor and connect it to Martin Luther King Avenue and the Three Mile Creek greenway. The total cost of the project will amount to $21 million, which includes matching funds from the city and the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Senior arts council employee leaving

Mobile Arts Council Operations Director Hillary Anaya was to leave her position Jan. 31 to accept a new job as assistant manager at Candlewood Suites in downtown Mobile. Anaya is the senior employee of the umbrella arts organization and served over a year as interim executive director. This marks a complete change in MAC staff in the last two years. Previous Executive Director Bob Burnett stepped down in January 2015 after more than a dozen years and longtime Associate Director Charlie Smoke fulfilled many of Burnett’s duties until relocating to Pensacola midway through 2015. Anaya then served as interim executive director until her job title reverted back to operations director in the last year. The move leaves Mobile Arts Council with two current employees, Program Director Lucy Gafford and Program Assistant Kat Stoves. A current search for an administrative assistant might be halted or changed.

City to install camera to monitor dump sites

The city of Mobile is in the process of installing litter cameras throughout the community to combat illegal dumping. The cameras will be placed in known hotspots across the city in an effort to identify people illegally dumping their waste. Areas that suffer the most from litter will be selected as the initial locations.

Police seize 27 pounds of marijuana

A drug trafficking investigation has led to two arrests and 27.5 pounds of “high-grade” marijuana being removed from the streets of Mobile. According to the Mobile Police Department, a monthlong investigation led officers in its narcotics and vice unit to 29-year-old Ezlinglm Earl, who was arrested along with 26-year-old Shantavia Johnson on Wednesday afternoon.


Too close for comfort



he Mobile Housing Board will take a $1.2 million hit after U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officials found a conflict of interest did exist between the board’s nonprofit arm, Mobile Development Enterprises, and a contractor hired to make apartments ready to rent. The conflict occurred when the board hired Superior Masonry to do work on some of the agency’s apartments, MHB Commission Chairwoman Kimberly Pettway said. Superior Masonry is owned by Frank Seltzer, the half-brother of MDE vice president and State Rep. Adline Clarke. The conflict was mentioned in detail in a scathing HUD Office of Inspector General report issued last summer.

in bylaws, Clarke’s salary is not paid through federal funds. An official with the U.S. Office of General Counsel has previously told Lagniappe that 100 percent of her salary would have to come from federal funds in order for a violation to occur. Further, Clarke received an advisory opinion from the Office of General Counsel in 2013 that stated the Hatch Act did not prohibit her candidacy because it was determined that her salary “is not wholly financed with federal funds.” MHB attorney Raymond Bell did not return a number of calls to his office for this story. Clarke did not respond to an email sent to her MDE office or an email to her office at the State House of Representatives on Friday. Nor did Clarke return phone calls made to MHB and MDE headquarEVEN WITH THE CHANGE IT DOES NOT ters. When reached Monday, a receptionist said Clarke APPEAR THAT CLARKE, WHO IS A DEMOCRAT was in a meeting. MHB Executive Director and IN THE STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, WOULD BE CEO Dwayne Vaughn also failed to respond to an email IN VIOLATION OF THE HATCH ACT, WHICH IS A FEDERAL message. LAW DESIGNED TO LIMIT FEDERAL EMPLOYEES’ The HUD field office will also require MHB to meet PARTICIPATION IN PARTISAN ELECTIONS. occupancy goals outlined in a plan the field office established. MHB is required to In a statement released late last Thursday submit monthly reports that will be monitored by morning, Pettway said the relationship was HUD, according to the statement. disclosed, but according to OIG the board should have obtained a waiver. Interim executive director In a phone interview, Pettway said she would After a somewhat brief executive session, the prefer the board not hire contractors who are board unanimously picked Senior Vice President related to employees. and CFO Lori Shackelford as interim executive Since at least a portion of the money paid to director. Superior Masonry came from HUD funds, the Pettway said Shackelford was chosen because agency’s Birmingham field office is asking that she worked closely with Vaughn, is respected by $1.24 million of MHB’s non-federal funds be the employees and has a “long-term history” with transferred to an internal capital fund, accordthe authority. ing to the statement. Lagniappe has previously “She’s the perfect fit,” Pettway said. reported that MHB paid Superior Masonry a total When he announced his resignation earlier of $3 million from 2011 to 2015. this month, Vaughn told commissioners he would “The $1.24 million transferred will be used to serve as executive director until Feb. 28. Pettway make additional repairs to housing units or repo- mentioned following Wednesday’s meeting that sition communities,” the statement read. “MHB Vaughn would serve until the end of January. must submit a repayment plan to the HUD field When asked the reason for the change, Pettway office by Friday, Feb. 10.” said there was no reason from the board’s perAdditionally, MHB must provide a copy of spective. its “Conflict of Interest Policy” to the field ofWhen asked why he decided to leave early, fice, along with a resolution acknowledging that Vaughn couldn’t give a date and said he would Superior Masonry will not be hired to do any serve at the pleasure of the board. additional work for MHB as long as a conflict In other business from the Jan. 25 board of interest exists. The board had already stopped meeting, Vaughn told commissioners that HUD using the contractor upon learning of the OIG officials would be in Mobile next week to tour concern last year, the statement read. some of the housing complexes. During his last MHB must also change MDE’s bylaws to executive director’s report, Vaughn told commisidentify MDE as an instrumentality, according to sioners that closing for the Downtown Renaisthe statement. MHB has previously maintained sance properties under the Rental Assistance that MDE was a subsidiary of the agency, not an Demonstration program would be delayed until instrumentality. at least March. The change would make MDE a part of The closing would be the first step in a the housing authority rather than an affiliate. portfolio-wide conversion to RAD for the auEven with the change it does not appear that thority. RAD, which converts public housing to Clarke, who is a Democrat in the state House Section 8 housing, means the authority would be of Representatives, would be in violation of the guaranteed steady funding at 2014 levels regardHatch Act, which is a federal law designed to less of changes to HUD funding. The program, limit federal employees’ participation in partisan which allows private partners to get involved elections. in public housing, could threaten employment Pettway confirmed that despite the change levels at MHB.

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Nothing to see here



espite the involvement of three police officers with multiple cameras in the arrest of Baldwin County Commission Chairman Chris Elliott for driving under the influence, no police video of the event exists, according to Fairhope Police Chief Joe Petties. “The problem is they’re not always on, but you can turn them on when something like this happens. It would have been good if [the arresting officer] had had it and turned it on when he had to make this stop,” Petties said. Petties said he wanted to view any video himself after Elliott was pulled over for running a red light just after midnight on May 14 of last year. The chief was told there was no video because the arresting officer was off-duty and no assisting officers activated their cameras. Elliott has claimed he has “a couple of beers” at the Fairhope Rotary Steak Cook-off earlier that evening, though the event ended two hours prior to him running the red light. Since many patrol cars have dashboard cameras and Fairhope officers, including Petties, are issued body cameras, the chief said he and some of his staff have discussed establishing a policy for their use in light of the Elliott case. Current policy is for on-duty officers to activate their cameras when involved in a traffic stop. Lagniappe is pursuing an investigation of the arrest and the adjudication of the case after Elliott’s original post-arrest statements outlining the events leading up to his arrest were called into question and it was discovered he had sued to keep his license from being suspended even after claiming he would, “face these consequences.” Compounding matters, Elliott falsely told local media and a gathering of Republican women earlier this month his case had been “settled” recently, ending with a guilty plea, fines and a 45-day suspension of his driver’s license. On Jan. 12, Elliott appeared before the women’s group, along with several members of local media he had contacted, and said he faces no further legal issues pertaining to his DUI arrest and that his license suspension would be complete at the end of January, according to both printed and broadcast reports. Lagniappe was not made aware of the event and did not have a reporter present. However, Elliott still has a pending civil lawsuit against the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency concerning his attempt to contest the loss of his driving privileges. In that suit, Elliott claims loss of his license could do harm to him as an elected official. In that case, all the circuit court judges in Baldwin County have recused themselves. ALEA also has said they are the only agency that can hand out a license suspension — with the standard being 90 days for refusal to take a breathalyzer test. On Monday, acting Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Lynn Stuart, signed an order assigning retired Montgomery County Judge William A. Shashy to the case. Elliott did enter a guilty plea to the charge of driving

under the influence in Fairhope Municipal Court on Sept. 7, but that plea will be nolle prossed, a legal term meaning it essentially goes away if he does not have another infraction for the next two years and satisfies other court requirements. Elliott has refused to discuss with Lagniappe either his arrest or the discrepancies in what he has told other news media. Lagniappe also requested both the police report and the Fairhope Municipal Court file on the case under Alabama’s Public Records Law. Although parts of the arrest and incident reports were redacted, they did contain the following details: Elliott was driving a white 2009 Chevrolet Suburban when he was stopped in the area of Fairhope Avenue and Fairwood Boulevard. [Petties told Lagniappe that Elliott ran a red light at Bancroft and Fairhope Avenue as officers were removing street barricades after a Rotary Club Steak Cook-off.] Officer James Westbrook is listed as the reporting officer, but the incident report notes Officer Daniel Rada was an assisting officer and the arrest report notes Officer Heidi Loftis was assisting. The report indicates Elliott’s vehicle was towed from the scene, and police also seized a Ruger LCP .380 pistol in a leather holster. Petties and Sgt. Craig Sawyer, the department’s public information officer, say Westbrook was off duty at the time of the arrest and was working security at the cook-off. The event was over and no more than a few people with the cook-off may have still been on hand, he said. When a car ran the red light, Westbrook jumped in his patrol car and went in pursuit, pulling Elliott over, Petties said. Elliott has admitted he attended the cook-off and left after drinking “a couple of beers.” But about two hours elapsed between the end of the event and his arrest. Multiple sources have claimed Elliott was at a local bar after the cook-off, but the commissioner has stuck with his story and has not directly answered the question of whether he was somewhere else. Petties said he saw Elliott at the cook-off during the day, but they were on opposite sides of a crowded street and merely waved at each other in passing. As for how three police officers in at least two police cars with two different types of cameras took no video during the arrest of a county commissioner, it appears no one thought about it. According to Sawyer, the dashboard cameras are supposed to be booted up when an officer goes on duty. They are checked for the correct date and time, then left on standby. “It’s on standby for the entire shift. If you flip on your belt microphone, or flip on the blue-light switch or activate the camera itself, it starts to record,” Sawyer said.

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“Because [Westbrook] was working the extra event and his car was parked somewhere nearby, he never even turned it on to standby mode. So the camera was off completely when he pulled over the car, and it could not turn on.” Petties said the officer was not wearing his body camera for the same reason: He was off duty and working the event. “The officer was working a special event. He didn’t have his body camera on, on him.” The other two officers would have been involved in transporting Elliott to jail because they were on duty and Westbrook was not. Asked why they wouldn’t have turned on dashboard or body cameras, Petties said, “I didn’t ask that question, but I was under the impression, and I think that this is what was going on, was that he was already up under arrest, and this was a transport.” No changes or directives in policy have been implemented as yet, Petties said. “Since then we have sat down and talked about this and I hadn’t put out a directive or anything.” New dashboard cameras are in this year’s city budget so that all cars will have them, Petties said. But the city budget has not been passed by the City Council and remains on hold while new Mayor Karin Wilson makes revisions and recommendations to present to the council. The chief said he usually leaves his own body camera in his car unless he is recharging it or downloading video. “The way I’ve done it for years is if I’m driving down the road and I say, ‘Oh, that fella there, he looks like he’s been drinking or something,’ and I want to get some driving history and stuff on him, I would just reach up and tap it and turn it on,” Petties said. “Or I could turn it on on my belt. And I would get some driving history so I would have that to show to the court system. And the court, or the jury or whoever would be able to see this.” As for Westbrook’s narrative of what happened that night, the police chief’s policy is not to release it to the public. Some Alabama Attorney General opinions back him up, but it should be noted that such opinions do not carry the force of law. An ALEA spokesperson told Lagniappe last week the decision about whether to release police reports for incidents no longer under investigation rests entirely with individual jurisdictions. No law prevents them from being released, nor do the AG’s opinions recommend not releasing them, they simply say it is legal to withhold the reports. In fact, Fairhope’s previous police chief, Bill Press, released everything, Sawyer said. Sawyer noted that Press came from Florida, where the public records law is different. Journalists consider Florida’s law to be among the strongest in the country in favor of public access. “He felt it should all be released,” Sawyer said. “Internally, the discussions were that we were against it because people were taking the narratives and using it to support their side of the story to kind of generate some friction within the community. Basically saying, ‘Oh, look, it’s in the police report so it must be true,’ even though it was just somebody’s statement and not a proven fact. That was the way [Press] chose to do it. When Chief Petties took over, we chose to go back to the attorney general’s recommendations.” Some people also used the reports to try to intimidate victims and witnesses, Sawyer said. On Jan. 21, Elliott was removed as vice-chairman of District 2 of the Baldwin County Republican Party. John Lake, a former Daphne City Council member who attended a recent executive committee meeting, said the change was made after leaders routinely called for a report from District 2 and the district had none to offer. County commissioners traditionally serve as vice-chairs for their respective districts. Lake said people attending the meeting from District 2 held an impromptu caucus and elected Cody Phillips chairman. The decision was made because Elliott was not carrying out his duties, not because of the DUI, Lake said. Phillips said Elliott had never held a district meeting in his two years as vice-chairman and that rankled others in the group. Phillips also said Elliott’s DUI did not come up before the vote. Gabriel Tynes and Rob Holbert contributed to this report.


Long road ahead



ith estimates of a complete rebuild of Ann Street topping the $8 million mark, Councilman Levon Manzie has announced plans to use a new technique as a pilot program to help drivers in District 2 get a smoother ride. The city began a complete rebuild of Ann Street a few years ago after a sinkhole opened up near Craighead Elementary in District 3. Since that time, Councilman C.J. Small has used a portion of his district’s capital improvement funds to finish the project on his side of the city. Manzie said he initially thought CIP funds would be the answer too, but quickly learned it wasn’t feasible. “According to our professional staff, the sections of Ann Street in District 2, in order to totally rebuild — which would be the resurfacing job and replacing infrastructure underneath the street — would be approximately $8 million,” Manzie said. “That’s $2.3 [million] to $2.7 million per block for the sections.” The cost projections are high in part because the bulk of Ann Street is in District 2, Manzie said. Also, the city is committed to rebuilding the street block by block in alignment. Cost and the order of the work are the two biggest impediments to the District 2 side of Ann Street — from Virginia Street to Springhill Avenue — being completed, he said. The $8 million price tag would have eaten up the majority of capital funds in District 2. Through CIP funding, which came to the city through a sales tax increase, each district received a total of $9 million for three years. The project would’ve required that Manzie use a chunk of one year’s allotment to fund just the first section of Ann Street on the District 2 side. “What that would’ve amounted to is setting aside 70 to 80 percent of one year’s allotment of CIP so that when the work got finished in District 3 we could start one section in [District] 2,” he said. “All the while those needs in all these other communities and all these other roads and all these other things that are just desperately in need of repair would’ve gone neglected.” Since Ann Street is the top resurfacing issue Manzie hears about on a weekly basis, he said he introduced Mayor Sandy Stimpson and city engineer Nick Amberger to a technique he picked up while visiting Pittsburgh late last year as part of a National League of Cities meeting. Given Pittsburgh’s resurfacing challenges related to both terrain and climate, Manzie believes the technique might also work in Mobile, and has convinced the city to give it a try as part of a pilot program. “They discussed with me a process they’ve used to — almost like a stopgap — where you would grind down the top layer of a particular street, inlay it with this filament, which would in turn strengthen it, until you have the resources to come in and completely do the rebuild,” Manzie said. “We brought that idea back to Mobile. We met with Nick Amberger and talked to Mayor Stimpson about it, who’s also equally concerned about moving ahead with something equally progressive on Ann Street, and so what we’re going to do is a pilot.

We’re going to take a stretch of Ann and try to replicate their process.” Not only is the process less expensive than an entire rebuild, which would require coordination with the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System, but it’s safer for the street and uses less asphalt than repaving, Manzie said. “Well, according to our city engineer, one of the reasons why this won’t be the same as resurfacing is it won’t be nearly as much asphalt,” he said. “We wouldn’t be using the same weight of equipment. The theory is if we use the same equipment we do for traditional resurfacing that it probably would — the infrastructure underneath is so depressed — it might cause another sinkhole.” Amberger said he’s not sure how much a new technique would cost in relation to traditional resurfacing, but agreed that a traditional resurfacing could damage the infrastructure underneath Ann Street. Amberger suggested that the city could use a resurfacing technique that would use lighter equipment and a lower weight of asphalt to accomplish the same goal. Work on the District 2 portion of Ann Street could be a focus after a recent round of resurfacings is finished. If the new technique works, the result should be a smoother ride along the District 2 side of Ann Street, Manzie said. “The goal would be that if it’s successful then, while it won’t answer the underlying and most important infrastructure needs that will still need to be addressed in the not-so-distant future, it will hopefully make the ride and commute our citizens have to endure on Ann Street much better [and] much smoother,” he said. “We won’t hear the issues about front-end alignments and tires and things of that nature until we’re in a position from a financial standpoint to completely rebuild, as we’ve done on the other sections.” If the technique works well, Manzie said, it could be deployed in other areas of the district and city, like on “ragged” concrete streets. “A concrete street is basically the same as a rebuild of Ann Street,” Manzie said. “It’s three times as expensive as resurfacing an asphalt street.” This might allow the city to find the resources to replace the concrete with asphalt, he said. “Concrete has a longer lifespan, but when it gets to the end of that lifespan, you get all the jaggedness you’re experiencing in the northern part of my district, in Joel’s [Daves] District and in Fred’s [Richardson] district,” Manzie said. Overall, Manzie stresses patience, as the projects will take time. “These streets didn’t present themselves in this condition overnight,” he said. “We’ve got 17 distinct communities in District 2, all of them with issues, all of them with needs [and] all of them with some antiquated amenity that needs addressing. “So, we’re trying to think creatively,” he added. “We’re trying to look to other cities to see how they’ve responded to these challenges and to deploy best practices and unique practices where it’s most beneficial.”

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espite millions of dollars allocated to recovery efforts through other channels, projects along coastal Alabama might still be more than a year removed from RESTORE Act funding when the state marks the seventh anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April. Because expectations were higher before the $20.8 billion settlement with BP was finalized last year, local and state officials on the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC) are now prioritizing projects that will be funded with a pot of money many have called “disappointing.” Passed by Congress in 2012, the RESTORE Act was intended to give states directly affected by the spill the authority to allocate civil penalties under the Clean Water Act — bypassing a usual process that would have left that allocation up to the United States Treasury. BP’s total civil settlement included $5.5 billion in fines, and for its share Alabama is projected to receive $725 million through the RESTORE Act’s five funding streams, which are also referred to as “buckets.” Last week, the AGCRC held its first meeting in more than a year to give an update on the process after a delay that was partially exacerbated by the back and forth in the state Legislature over how to allocate Alabama’s $1 billion economic settlement with BP. That issue was only resolved in September, after a legislative “compromise” saw $260 million slated for local highway projects reduced to just $120 million, with the rest going to repay the Alabama Trust Fund and plug funding gaps in the state’s Medicaid program. “[The council] wanted to wait and see what happened with that money. If it was going to any projects in coastal Alabama, they wanted to see what those were going to be because that could have given them more money to work with,” AGCRC Director Eliska Morgan told Lagniappe. “Obviously, there was a hope that more of that money was going to come to this area.” Now, after years establishing its own policies and procedures, the AGCRC is finally starting to select projects

that could receive funding from a wish list of more than 200 local proposals.

Direct component

The AGCRC is proceeding by developing its first multi-year implementation plan (MIP) for recovery projects that will receive funding through the Direct Component of the RESTORE Act, which is commonly referred to as “Bucket 1.” According the law, Bucket 1 is one of the three RESTORE Act funding streams over which the AGCRC has control. It’s also one of the few funding sources appropriate for funding “infrastructure, economic development, tourism and planning assistance” projects. The AGCRC voted to prioritize those types of economic projects during the MIP developed during a closed meeting in 2014. Through BP’s settlement, Bucket 1 is slated to receive a total of $373 million, though it will be in installments paid over the next 15 years. According to Morgan, only $86 million is available through Bucket 1 today, which means that’s all that would be available if the council decides to go with a one-year MIP. In a three-year plan, $117 million would be available, and in a five-year plan — the longest permitted — the AGCRC would have up to $170 million at its disposal. So far, no decision has been made on the length of the first MIP, which will largely be determined by the number of projects councilors recommend in the coming weeks. Each of the council members has until Feb. 17 to submit his or her own list of projects. The comprises Gov. Robert Bentley, Alabama State Port Authority CEO Jimmy Lyons, the presidents of the Mobile and Baldwin county commissions and the mayors of Bayou la Batre, Dauphin Island, Fairhope, Gulf Shores, Mobile and Orange Beach. According the AGCRC’s own policies, only projects supported by four or more members will move on to further, third-party evaluations. Projects that survive will be added to the draft MIP, which then has to be approved

by the U.S. Treasury Department before individual grants can be awarded for approved projects. “Our hope would be that we will have a final plan by the end of the year, but I don’t want anybody to think that’s a given,” Morgan said. “If all goes smoothly as we have the Treasury review them and can get money going, an optimistic time frame [on projects getting funded] might be sometime in early next year, and that’s being very optimistic.” Morgan said those working to implement the RESTORE Act for the Department of Conservation of Natural Resources have made the observation that “there are dog years, and then there are oil spill years.” However, after navigating a mountain of regulatory hurdles, even some of those on the council are unhappy about the amount of time it’s taking for funding to find its way to local projects. “After Feb. 17, I recommend we come back and go to work,” Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon told his collages on the AGCRC. “This has drug on way too long already.” In the meantime, the impending deadline has caused environmental, civic and private organizations to step up efforts to gain support for their respective projects. Last week several people addressed the council about the overall process, while others offered a last-minute pitch.

PASSED BY CONGRESS IN 2012, THE RESTORE ACT WAS INTENDED TO GIVE STATES DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY THE SPILL THE AUTHORITY TO ALLOCATE CIVIL PENALTIES UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT — BYPASSING A USUAL PROCESS THAT WOULD HAVE LEFT THAT ALLOCATION UP TO THE UNITED STATES TREASURY. ” The most widely supported projects among local environmentalists were those with a “triple bottom line” — meaning they benefit the “environment, the economy and the community.” Casi Callaway, executive director of Mobile Baykeeper, “reminded” the council that the 2010 oil spill was only an economic disaster because it was first an environmental disaster. “Some of the projects we’ve seen that give us caution are those that directly and privately benefit one individual company or organization. We don’t think that’s what this was intended to do,” she said. “There was a community-wide impact, and the money should go to making an impact that’s community-wide.” However, with the 221 proposed projects totaling more than $2 trillion and a maximum of only $170 million available for the first MIP, the challenge of aligning the priorities of 10 public entities and multiple coastal communities is about to get very real for the AGCRC and its members.




obile’s Interstate 10 bridge came close to falling down, and it hasn’t even been built yet. A draft of top infrastructure projects being vetted by the Trump Administration doesn’t include the long-desired, much-needed I-10 Mobile River bridge, and it’s not entirely clear who’s to blame for the mishap. The draft, first released by McClatchy Newspapers late last month, includes some 50 infrastructure projects from across the United States, but none in Alabama. Governors were supposed to submit project proposals to the Trump transition team in December to be added to the list. “[The Trump team] seek[s] examples of priority infrastructure projects that might be incorporated into a future infrastructure investment program,” said a letter from the National Governors Association (NGA) dated Dec. 16. “Specifically, the transition team is looking for three to

five project suggestions from each state that they would vet for inclusion in a new program.” According to Yasamie August, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s spokesperson, the governor’s office did submit a list to the transition, which included the I-10 project. Lagniappe could not confirm the date that list was received by the NGA, which gathered the proposals and submitted them to the Trump team. “It is important to note, the governor’s office did not make a mistake,” August said in a statement. “The National Governors Association asked all the states to submit a list of priorities in December, as we did. That information was then submitted to what was then the Trump transition team. The list of projects released this week was not reflective of all the projects submitted by the states. The list Alabama submitted included the Mobile River Bridge and other smaller projects. In 2015, the governor testified before Congress and addressed the

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need for funding significant projects like the Mobile River Bridge project.” The list the governor’s office provided Lagniappe, which officials say was sent to the NGA, is an undated PDF document created Jan. 24, the day McClatchy released the draft with no Alabama projects listed. When asked for confirmation the same list was received by the NGA, August did not respond. As soon as the draft list of proposals was released by the press, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, a longtime advocate of an I-10 bridge project, moved to correct the issue. “As soon as we heard about the situation, my office reached out to the new staff at the federal Department of Transportation to emphasize the need for the I-10 bridge,” Byrne said in a statement. “We have been reassured they are aware of the project and that the project list is not final or comprehensive. I believe our efforts have succeeded in assuring the I-10 bridge will be on the list.” Mike Lee, chairman of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce’s Build the Bridge Coalition, said that while it’s upsetting the project wasn’t on the released draft, he’s glad the issue is being addressed. “It’s important to get back on there and get it corrected,” Lee said. “We’ve been told from the federal level that it’s a major bottleneck on I-10 between Los Angeles and Jacksonville so it should be high profile.” In a phone conversation, NGA spokesperson Elena Waskey told Lagniappe the NGA received a list from Gov. Bentley, but would not confirm when it was received. Asked if she could guarantee the I-10 project would be on any final list vetted by Trump administration officials, Waskey gave her word. “Yes, absolutely,” she said. “The bridge will be on the list.”





anging up his political hat — if only for the moment — former congressman and politico Artur Davis has a new role as the executive director of Legal Services Alabama. Serving low-income Alabamians in all 67 counties, LSA is a “public interest law group” that offers a number of free legal services on civil issues, such as consumer litigation, domestic violence cases and benefits challenges, as well as tax assistance. It’s also one of the 134 independent nonprofit legal aid programs receiving federal funding from the Legal Services Corp. and the only such program in the state of Alabama, where nearly 19 percent of residents live below the poverty line. “I think the best legal service organizations around the country all have the perspective that we’re trying to fight poverty,” Davis told Lagniappe. “If you’re serious about fighting poverty, you have to understand that poverty has roots — people don’t just wake up poor. But if we can attack those roots working with other organizations, then we can really have an impact.” For LSA, that impact is made in the courtroom, where Davis said attorneys fight for “people’s right to be heard.” In 2016, the organization worked more than 13,600 cases through its seven statewide offices, including the one in Mobile. While LSA employs it own attorneys, it also passes funding to volunteer lawyer organizations that work with low-income residents at no cost or, in some cases, at a reduced rate. LSA serves those within 126 percent of the federal poverty line, which for a family of four is an annual income of roughly $30,600 and around $15,000 for an individual. For those fleeing domestic violence or who need guidance in civil matters such as bankruptcy, paying for the services of a knowledgeable lawyer can be a benefit that, for many, just isn’t attainable. “If you’re charged with a criminal offense you’re guaranteed a lawyer, and that’s a very important protection and an important part of who we are as a country. However, we have never guaranteed that right to representation in civil court,” Davis said. “Legal Services Corp. nationally and LSA exist so that we can represent those people who aren’t constitutionally mandated to have a lawyer but whose livelihoods — and I would argue the integrity of our system — rely on them having that representation.” Davis said having access to an attorney can substantially improve outcomes, not only for LSA clients but for the entire court system, by preventing situations where those representing themselves might “create impediments to the resolution of a case, even when acting in good faith.” During his stop in Mobile last week, Davis met with local LSA staff members and with other partnering organizations — Mobile Inner City Mission, Catholic Social Services, Housing First Inc. and others — all of which Davis said the organization depends on for fundraising, joint grant initiatives and client recommendations. Anne Y. Brown, the supervising attorney in Mobile’s LSA office, told Lagniappe the local staff is excited about the “vision and leadership”

Davis brings to the organization as a former U.S. Attorney, congressman and civil rights lawyer. Only two months into the role, Davis said he’s already established a “high-impact litigation unit” comprising lawyers who have a propensity to pursue cases that “have a systemic impact on bad law and bad policies.” He said his vision also includes LSA getting more involved in legal issues surrounding “educational access” as well as cases involving payday lending services, provided state legislators pass the long-discussed regulatory reforms for that industry. After a defeat in the city of Montgomery’s 2015 mayoral race, Davis remained out of the spotlight until accepting the position with LSA late last year. When asked whether he has any lingering political ambitions, Davis said “one condition” of taking a job with LSA is that he “can’t talk politics in any kind of an official setting,” adding that an on-the-record interview is “close enough to count.” “Ultimately, I went into politics to serve people, and right now this is a frontline of service in this state,” he added. “I think if you talk to any of the other congressmen in our state, they will tell you that a significant amount of the constituent services they provide are to people who really are just in need of some type of legal assistance. One of the things I learned as a congressman is that this is a huge, unmet need.” That said, Davis acknowledged the work the organization can do is defined by the directives and funding that come from the federal government. Last year, the budget for the Legal Services Corp. jumped to $385 million and around $6.2 million of that came to Alabama. However, early reports out of Washington suggest President Donald Trump’s budget recommendation will include substantial cuts and could follow a Heritage Foundation blueprint that would eliminate the Legal Services Corp. altogether. “Make no mistake — we derive about 90 percent of our funding from that federal allocation. We’re completely dependent on it,” Davis said. “What might seem like a small cut on paper could translate to hundreds of thousands of dollars for our program.” Despite the effect a cut of any size could have, Davis said he isn’t too worried yet, adding that the work LSA does is something “Democrats and Republicans ought to value.” The program has managed to secure funding for 43 years under presidents spanning Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. It’s also enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress for most of that time. Finally, Davis added that the Heritage Foundation has “recommended Legal Service Corp. be abolished for about 35 years” and has “about an 0-35 track record, so far.” “There’s a lot of recent prognostications that haven’t exactly come true politically, and we understand that, but I feel comfortable saying there’s strong support for the program, and I don’t think anything that happened in November changes that,” he said. “I like to think that support for veterans, seniors, victims of domestic violence and single mothers is something that extends well beyond one political party, and I’m confident that it is.”

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Bentley: “Bekah!!” Bentley: “Oh nothing’s wrong, per se. I Jon: “Don’t sweat it, Governor. We gotta just thought it might be good for Jim ... pay the bills somehow. Let me go see those Jon Mason: “It’s Jon.” pilots.” (Leaves the cabin.) Bentley: “Yeah, that’s what I meant. I Rebekah: “I thought he’d never leave!” thought it might be good for your husband to Bentley: “I know! I was about to give him hear straight from my horse mouth that our an official State of Alabama parachute and a ‘inappropriate relationship’ is totally over swift kick in the pants! Speaking of pants, do and he can be completely comfortable with you think there’s room for mine in the overyou coming on these little secret business Bentley: “Oh, Rebekah, I’m so glad you and Jim head compartment, naughty stewardess?” trips again. With all these political enemies could be here today as we fly to our nation’s capital to Rebekah: “Oh Bobby, I’d love to make out to get me I’m going to need Rebekah’s watch President Trump take control. This is almost as help more than ever. She’s so smart. And Jon, sure your tray table is in the upright and exciting as checking an entire high school cheerleading locked position, but aren’t you worried? you’re doing such a great job at whatever squad for skin cancer!” agency Bekah gave you to run. You probably What are people going to say? I’m just so Rebekah Mason: “Thank you for having us up here scared everyone will start talking bad about Bobby. I absolutely LOVE what you’ve done with the jet don’t really need her help there.” us again, just because it seems so completeRebekah: “Jon, what Bobby’s trying to since the last time I was in here. This deep shag carpet ly insane that you would get me and my say is the people of Alabama really need and plush paisley chairs are so retro. And the hearthusband together and fly on a state-owned me. There’s so much left to accomplish. shaped bed looks mighty comfy.” Look how lost they are without me. His silly jet to D.C. while there’s all that impeachJon Mason: “Um, my name is Jon, actually ...” ment talk.” staffers even forgot to tell President Trump Bentley: “I’m sooo glad you like it, Rebekah! WithBentley: “Oh, Bekah, you’re worrying last week about the I-10 bridge in Mobile out you around to ‘advise’ me I had to wing it a bit. Get too much. Remember how Luther Strange and now everyone’s mad at our guvy. And it? ‘Wing it?’ Hahaha! told those idiots on Goat Hill to stop imon top of that they’re still talking about Rebekah: (giggling) “Oh Bobby!” peachment proceedings until he tells them impeaching him for no reason. We simply Bentley: “Actually, I watched this very funny — they can start again, and how he’s already can’t have that!” although certainly not church-approved — movie called told everyone he’s going to run for Jeff SesJon: “Listen, Governor, I only have one ‘Austin Powers’ and he had this very ‘groovy’ jet. I just sions’ seat?” question. Is Rebekah going to be paid for knew you’d find it ‘shagadelic, baby!’ Hahaha!” Rebekah: “Yeah?” her help?” Jon Mason: “Uh, that movie’s like 30 years old. Bentley: “And remember who gets to Bentley: “Boatloads, Jimmy.” Nobody says ‘shagadelic’ anymore …” (Rebekah stares pick not only Sessions’ replacement but Jon: “We’ll then, y’all have fun. Say, him down. He cowers.) Rebekah: “Well you were right, Bobby! I can’t tell if Governor, you think I could fly this thing for Big Luther’s, should he happen to leave his investigation behind and head for D.C.?” it’s the lava lamps, the altitude, the champagne — or the a while?” Rebekah: “Oh yeah!” Bentley: “That’s a great idea, Josh! company (wink, wink) — but I’m getting a little lightBentley (grabbing Rebekah in his headed. I might need to give that bed a spin (giggle).”                 Maybe you can go up to the cockpit for a arms): “Besides, if you haven’t figured it out half hour or so. Make sure they tell you Bentley (arching an eyebrow): “Well, as you can by now, I really don’t give a mule’s backside see, the governor’s cabin is sealed off from the rest of the what each and every doohickey up there about what anyone says. I’m the Luv Guv!” plane, and I had it soundproofed for total privacy, in case does. Take your time. Bekah and I have Rebekah: “Oh, Bobby!” some things to go over before we land.” that nosy Wanda is ever on board. To-tal privacy. The Bentley: “It’s going to be a shagariffic Rebekah: “Woo-hoo! Time to renew our staff is in the back right now figuring out how to keep me last two years in office!” from getting impeached and eating Subway sandwiches. membership in the Mile High …” Up here it’s prime rib, champagne and reruns of ‘The Beverly Hillbillies.’ Fat city. I even got some of those cute little bags of airline peanuts. Y’all want some?” Rebekah: “Did you say penis? Oh my, governor naughty pants! I thought we were going to stop talking like that!” Bentley: “Uh, oh, ha, ha. I think you might have misheard me, Rebekah! Ha, ha, ha! (Whispers) Your usband-hay is right ear-hay!” Jon Mason: “I don’t get what’s so funny. Hey, Governor Bob, how fast does this airplane go?” Bentley: “Well, Jimmy, let’s just say it could fly my wallet from Montgomery to Fort Morgan in less than an hour.” Jon Mason: “Whoa!! ... Um, it’s Jon, by the way.” Rebekah: “Governor, have you been working out? Your arms look so … powerful. I bet if you wrapped them around me I wouldn’t be able to get away …” Bentley: “Ha, ha … That’s something we’ll have to see about LATER, Bekah. But it does remind me, I think we’re flying over Tennessee’s famous MELON-GROWING region. They get really big up here. Hee, hee.” Jon Mason (moving to the window to look down): “Oh cool, I want to see them!” Bentley: “So do I, Jeff, so do I … Say, listen guys, there was a little something I wanted to talk about before we land, so Bekah, why don’t you come sit here next to me on the bed. Jeff, pour us some more champagne. Let’s chew the fat!” Rebekah: “Bobby, you seem so serious! What’s THINGS THAT WILL HAPPEN BEFORE ANN STREET IS PAVED: wrong, Governator?” (The following is one of billions of possible conversations that might have taken place at 30,000 feet last week aboard “Luv Guv 1” — Alabama’s state jet — as it hauled Gov. Robert Bentley, his ex-aide and alleged mistress Rebekah Mason, her husband Jon Mason and various office staff to the presidential inauguration. Let’s listen in …)

Cartoon/Laura Rasmussen



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Alternative things to talk about in an alternate universe ASHLEY TRICE/EDITOR/ASHLEYTOLAND@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM


omeone please make it stop! I just can’t take it anymore. Does anyone have a cave I can borrow for the weekend? Like everyone else, I certainly have my own thoughts and concerns about what is going on in Washington and the world these days, but I feel like in order to retain some level of sanity, I must step away from the 24-hour cable news channels, talk radio and my social media feeds or else I am going to be one of those weirdos who “goes off the grid.” I’m just so sick of all of it. From the smug jubilation on one side to the frantic hyperventilation on the other side, it’s just too much to process on a 24/7 basis. Don’t get me wrong, I know how important it is to stay well informed and I am all for people being passionate about what is happening in our country. But jumping into the toxic waste dump that is Facebook and Twitter and watching people you know (or even that you don’t) call each other names under posts and reposts of stories you have already read — well, it just doesn’t seem very productive to me. It’s just depressing. I have faith in our democracy and am hopeful that the beautiful system of checks and balances our founding fathers put into place is going to work as it should. For those of you who are like me and need a little break from the madness from time to time, I have put together a list of other things to think about and/or do. These things are totally unproductive but it will you give something to do when you need a little break from calling someone a butthurt snowflake, boycotting something or urging for a revolution, all of which can be utterly exhausting.

Laissez les bon temps rouler

Thank God for Mardi Gras. I don’t think I have ever looked forward to seeing the barricades go up more than I have this year. Mardi Gras is always a welcome respite from the darkness of winter and post-holiday blues, but this year there is even more reason to let go of all the nastiness and catch up with your friends while snagging MoonPies, dirty stuffed animals and “the good beads.” Who can get into an argument about politics while listening to the sounds of the Excelsior Band, for heaven’s sake? Only crazy people, that’s who! (Now you may get into an argument about who actually caught that dirty stuffed animal with a fellow parade-goer, but that’s OK.) Areas to avoid that could get you unintentionally back into an argument about politics: What will happen to “good bead” prices if we get in a trade war with China. No discussion allowed on at what point life begins for the king cake baby. Everyone knows it’s the moment of confection! (I kid. I kid. King cake babies aren’t real, silly!)

The Super Bowl

No need to talk about TPP when you can talk about Xs and Os. Replace talk of hatred of Republicans and Democrats with how you loathe the Patriots and/or Falcons. Areas to avoid: Don’t talk about how Tom Brady may or not be friends with Donald

Trump. Just talk about how hot Tom Brady is. Ladies, men at football parties LOVE to hear that! Say things like “The lord really does give with both hands sometimes” and “Wow, he is that old and still looks that good and I think he even still plays football pretty well.” Also, avoid serving salsa and Coronas as their mere presence could lead to a “discussion” between your two brothers-in-law about what should be done about the Southern border. Not cute! Try a cream cheese-based dish instead. No one has ever been able to turn a discussion into a popular vote versus Electoral College debate while munching on a dip made with Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Oh wait! Philadelphia is in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania was an upset for Trump. Cream cheese is too risky. Go sour cream-based instead!

The politics in our own backyard

Why talk about Washington when our own sweet little baby state capital Montgomery is such a crazy hormonal cesspool? Instead of talking about how horrible or hilarious you felt that photo of Air Force One with testicles Photoshopped on it was, talk about the ginormous cajones our governor must have for taking his alleged mistress AND her husband with him on the state plane to some event in D.C. (Yes, it was the inauguration. Shhhh! Don’t bring that part up! Focus on the Lovernor’s actions!) I don’t know who is the bigger fool for putting up with this mess, Rebekah Mason’s husband or us — the citizens of Alabama —who are allowing him to continue to embarrass us with this tremendously SAD, elderly playboy behavior. Wait, don’t use those adjectives. How about enormously pathetic behavior? Yes, go with those. If he gets out of impeachment by appointing Attorney General Luther Strange to Sessions’ senate seat, a march on Montgomery will be in order. I think those pink hats the ladies wore to Washington would also be applicable here.

The Grammys and The Oscars

Pretty sure there is no way to avoid political discourse during these shows, but a fun drinking game could be conceived for your guests to ease the tension. Or wait, would that elevate it? Maybe just watch movies and listen to music instead while talking amongst yourselves about things in your own lives, like your jobs, children, dogs, cats or your friends who didn’t bother to show up. Surely one of them is having an affair, suffering a substance problem, getting too much Botox, or has spawned rotten children with behavioral issues. Isn’t it time to talk about the things we used to love to talk about before our positions on foreign policy and NAFTA? If only for a moment? I am not trying to make light of what is a very serious time in our history. Or, well, yes, maybe I am. I know there are very big issues to address and figure out and I truly believe we will get there as a nation. But as one native Mobilian once sang, “If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” Truer words have never been spoken. Fe b r u a r y 2 , 2 0 1 7 - Fe b r u a r y 8 , 2 0 1 7 | L AG N I A P P E | 11


Trump presidency a far cry from ‘Orwellian’ BY JEFF POOR/COLUMNIST/JEFFREYPOOR@GMAIL.COM


ast week George Orwell’s “1984” topped Amazon’s bestseller list. The media reached its obvious conclusion that the sales were a clear reaction to the Trump administration’s claim there are “alternative facts.” Therefore, according to the media, the public feels it necessary to brush up on its dystopian fiction because clearly that is where America is heading. Let’s not get carried away here. We’re a long way from a society that has mechanisms like “memory holes” to revise history. Still, we’re less than two weeks into the Trump presidency and there are some pushing the notion that the United States is barreling toward this nightmarish vision. Haven’t we seen this before? Democrats have a chance to put some points on the board against their opponents, but instead of kicking a field goal on fourth and long, they throw the Hail Mary pass for the end zone. Basically, we’re at the fun-with-hyperbolestage. And at some point, all these continuous protests will lose their effectiveness. Republicans aren’t immune to this behav-

Arguably some of this is on the Trump administration for not taking a nuanced and sensitive approach while rolling out his policies. But as a consumer of news, one must look at everything in context. Sometimes Trump is combative with the press. And in return, the press is combative back. All the tension on TV screen about “alternative facts” and Trump making unprecedented moves has sent us to a boiling point. The protests we are seeing across the country are an emotional reaction to the negativity many see on their television and computer screens each day. We’re at a point where people are willing to go to an airport and protest one of the more recent Trump executive orders, which halted immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Imagine putting your Sunday plans on hold to go to the airport — where parking is $6 per hour and a Coke is $4 — and protest. This is not at all unlike Nixon’s first term. Nixon had his run-ins with the press. Some in the press would push back and accuse his administration of employing Orwellian tactics to defend the handling of the Vietnam War and to explain away the unfolding Watergate scandal.  The years of Nixon’s first term were regarded as the “golden years” for those to the left of center. There were antiwar protests, free love, Woodstock and artists like Hunter S. Thompson — who whipped himself into a frenzy and waxed poetic about that screw-up Nixon. But what did that mean politically? Put simply: The left overreached. The Democratic Party went so far to the left — driven by the likes of what you have seen this month with protests against Trump — that they incorrectly believed the mood of the country was in their favor and nominated George McGovern of South Dakota for president. What happened next? Nixon won 49 states in a landslide. Of course, it didn’t end well for Nixon, as we all know. But his downfall had little to do with any of the protests. It might have created a little paranoia within Team Nixon and made them feel it was necessary to stage a break-in at the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington. But it’s unlikely this current wave of protests will result in another scandal of that proportion. To Trump’s opponents: Cry “Orwell” at your own peril. Using Saul Alinsky radicalism to fire up the base will mean the far left, which is not in the mainstream, will call the shots and once again you will wind up overreaching. And that will mean eight years of Donald Trump instead of just four years.

IMAGINE PUTTING YOUR SUNDAY PLANS ON HOLD TO GO TO THE AIRPORT — WHERE PARKING IS $6 PER HOUR AND A COKE IS $4 — AND PROTEST. ior, either. During the Obama presidency, the GOP made the same sort allegations — that the administration was using Orwellian tactics and the American democratic republic was doomed forever. We remember the rise and fall of Glenn Beck and the Tea Party movement. Some of that was legitimate — the role of government, the expanding entitlement state. Some of it was hysterics — Obama a secret Muslim from Kenya, he’s coming for our guns and ammo. This recent phenomenon is teetering on the edge of hysterics. Nonetheless, it is proof that the pendulum swings back and forth. One major difference is that this time is the press is taking it personally. Opinion journalism has grown in prevalence over the past 30 years. In other words, it is a relatively new trend in our political system. Mostly that is attributed to a 24-hour news cycle requiring programming to fill broadcast time on cable channels. But with consolidation in the media the press backlash against this president is amplified. So understandably, if the Trump administration declares war on the press there is going to be a meme that will snowball from, “this is not presidential” to “we’re headed down the path of Dear Leader’s North Korea!”

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College accreditor wants Bentley SACked BY LEE HEDGEPETH/CONTRIBUTING WRITER


he accreditation of Alabama’s more than two dozen community and technical colleges is safe — for now — but the agency tasked with overseeing institutions of higher education across the entire Southern United States has made it clear: When it comes to his role in Alabama’s higher education system, the accrediting body wants Gov. Robert Bentley sacked. In a letter to legislative leadership ahead of the upcoming regular session in Montgomery, Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ (SACS) Commission on Colleges, expressed concerns on behalf of her organization that Bentley’s positions as head of the Alabama Community College System and ex-officio head of most university boards presents a conflict of interest for the governor. “Upon reviewing the request, it became obvious that the governor of the state of Alabama is the board chair of the system board,” Wheelan wrote. “The SACSCOC board perceives that this presents a conflict of interest. “The SACSCOC board perceives that this presents a conflict of interest in that the governor also appoints the members of that board, and has ultimate budget authority over all of the institutional budgets. Upon further review, it also became apparent that the governor is the chair of the board of every state college or university in the state of Alabama.” Rick Legon, president of the Association of Governing Boards, an organization that “supports the boards of directors for universities and colleges,” has said that he, too, finds the set-up — part of which was enacted in 2015 by the Alabama Legislature — to be troubling. “The governor of a state should not be holding the gavel of a board that is sworn to serve and demonstrate — or

have in practice — a high degree of autonomy to make the best decisions on behalf of the institutions,” Legon said. “It’s just a little bit too close to have the chief executive of the state, who wields so much power, direct or indirect, [as] chair of that same body.” Indeed, Bentley has used his power over Alabama’s universities arbitrarily and capriciously. While ignoring significant issues at other institutions, including the state’s flagship university, other schools — particularly Alabama State University, a historically black institution — have been targets of the governor’s scrutiny. Bentley even initiated a forensic audit of Alabama State that dragged on but led to no evidence of misdeeds. Even SACS itself briefly conducted — and closed — an investigation of the school because of Bentley’s signaling. These examples of higher ed hypocrisy — recently highlighted by Josh Moon of Alabama Political Reporter in an article aptly titled “The privilege of being a white college in Alabama” — reinforce SACS’ point: Bentley’s close involvement with the state’s higher ed system alongside his power to influence and ultimately approve legislation, including university and college budgets, poses an ever-present ethical blunder. The governor’s office responded to the letter from SACS by attacking it, saying the group should have reached out to Bentley, not the Legislature. “We have received the letter; however, it is important to note we did not receive formal communication from SACS regarding this matter,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “We disagree strongly with the assumption that the governor has undue influence on boards of institutions. It appears the recommendations outlined in this letter are misguided and politically motivated. The placement of the

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governor on the board is set up by statute and by our Constitution, and I’m going to obey our Constitution.” SACS’ concerns aren’t misguided: Calling an accrediting agency’s concerns about ethics “politically motivated” is. Even further, Bentley’s statement shuns the letter for suggesting he not “obey our Constitution.” Nothing could be further from the truth. SACSCOC President Wheelan has made it clear: The rules shouldn’t be ignored; they should be changed. Wheelan also said she contacted the legislature at the suggestion of Rep. Bradley Byrne, former head of the two-year college system, with whom she consults about state education issues. Byrne’s office said he talked to Wheelan, “who he has known for years dating back to his time as chancellor of the two-year college system, at her request to discuss federal education issues. During the meeting, this topic came up and [Byrne] told her to share her concerns with the state legislative leaders since it is not an issue of federal jurisdiction.” As for lawmakers’ reactions, they’re split. “The good news is that the accreditation board voted to accredit all of our community colleges,” said Rep. Terri Collins, chair of the House Education Committee. “But because of him signing the appropriations bill at the end of each session, and also being in charge of the appointments of the appointees that serve on that board, I think [SACS] is concerned about a conflict of interest,” she said. Indeed, Collins seemed open to at least discussing changes to accommodate SACS’ concerns. “Addressing any concerns they have will be a priority,” Rep. Collins said. “I don’t believe we’ve seen a conflict in the past so I’ll just have to hear what those concerns over the governance are, and maybe they are things that can be worked out without legislation.” Sen. Dick Brewbaker, though, who heads education policy in the Senate, says he doesn’t see a real issue with the practice. “This is an old, old practice, and it doesn’t just exist in Alabama,” he said. “The governor in Alabama doesn’t have a real veto. It only takes a simple majority to override, which is the same as it takes to pass a bill. So the idea that the governor can throw his weight around and significantly affect a particular college’s budget is just not accurate.” As for a conclusion to the higher-ed drama, one may come through discussion and time, and Wheelan said SACS’ position may change down the road, but for now they want Bentley sacked, and they want the Alabama Legislature to help them do it. “If they can explain it, I’m sure my board will back off,” Wheelan said. “But right now, it’s an anomaly for us.”




fter studying leukemia, cancer researchers at the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute (MCI) confirmed that a mutation in a gene called SON leads to a neurodevelopmental disorder that produces intellectual disability, impaired vision and facial abnormalities in children. The new ailment — officially labeled as Tokita-Kim Syndrome but better known as ZTTKS — now bears the name of one of the MCI researchers, Jung-Hyun Kim, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Erin Ahn, Ph.D., associate professor of oncologic sciences. Their research, published in August, confirmed the gene is a “master regulator” governing neurodevelopment and that a mutation in its structure can result in ZTTKS. “Identifying a previously unknown cause for a syndrome and having that syndrome named after a team member in your laboratory is quite an accomplishment,” Laurie Owen, Ph.D., MCI associate director for basic and translational sciences, said. Ahn had researched the SON gene since 2004 as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California San Diego. Recently she confirmed it was linked to leukemia and the findings were published in a prominent medical journal last spring. She came to MCI in 2012, and Kim joined her lab in 2013. According to Owen, Ahn and Kim’s work illustrates the importance of conducting basic scientific research, following where it leads and ultimately applying it in a health care setting. “The ZTTKS story underscores the inherent value of basic cancer research being applied to solve an unrelated problem related to the underlying molecular basis for a neurodevelopmental disorder in children,” Owen said. Per a news release, the researchers collaborated with clinicians, genetic counselors and clinical genomics scientists from across the United States and Europe. The MCI research encompassed 20 unrelated patients,

all of whom had delayed language development, learning disabilities and facial abnormalities, including low-set ears, deep-set eyes, horizontal eyebrows and a depressed nose bridge. Brain MRI tests revealed other irregularities. Some of the children suffered from seizures. Others had scoliosis or vision problems. The new discovery occurred after a clinician at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, California, and the clinical genomics team at Ambry Genetics near Irvine, California, reached out to Ahn because of her past work. Using DNA sequencing technology, the physicians at Valley, together with Ambry, had discovered a mutation in the SON gene of a 5-year-old girl with developmental disabilities. The mutation, they found, had not been inherited from her parents. Ahn and her lab discovered SON plays a key role in the way a cell translates DNA into protein. She explains it this way: If there’s a mutation in the SON gene, the ensuing SON protein can become compromised and cause mistakes in RNA editing. Eventually four separate academic groups published on the subject, spurring the four-initial name for the new syndrome. Kim and Ahn’s article in the September 2016 issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics documented how many patients presented with unusual facial features, visual problems, a loss of white matter shown in brain imaging and musculoskeletal abnormalities. Among the four publications, Kim and Ahn’s article was the only one to describe the underlying molecular mechanisms. Richard Myers, Ph.D., president of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville and one of the research collaborators, estimated that 30 million people suffer from rare diseases, the majority of which have no known cause. Now that the human genome can be sequenced, Myers said, scientists and physicians are able to pinpoint a genetic cause in many cases.

“One reason why this is so exciting is that we couldn’t do this four or five years ago,” he said. “We really are entering a new era of genomic medicine.” “In research, you can never predict where the experimental results are ultimately going to take you,” Owen said. “But the real magic happens when you have researchers who are thinking outside the box, willing to collaborate across disciplines, communicate openly and share data. That is the essence of team science.”

Providence hosts military fellowship

Providence Hospital is the first hospital in Mobile to partner with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation as a host facility for the new Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship program. The program is designed to train active-duty service members in the job skills needed to transition into management positions in the civilian sector. Participants undergo a week of corporate training followed by 11 weeks of on-the-job training with a host company along with classroom corporate education. Upon completion of the 12-week program, service members have expanded their credentials and marketability.  “We are proud and honored to be a part of this innovative program that helps long-term service members explore civilian careers they’re interested in,” Jamey Greer, executive director of operations at Providence Hospital, said. “Military personnel are a perfect fit for hospitals. Who better to run your security than a military person? Military personnel make excellent facility managers as well. It’s an easy fit and a win-win for everybody.” Founded in 1854 and based in Mobile, Providence Hospital offers 349 beds and comprehensive health care for emergency, cardiovascular, cancer, orthopedics, obstetrics and surgical services, as well as an outpatient diagnostic center and a freestanding rehabilitation and wellness center.

Jenkins joins NAI-Mobile

NAI Mobile recently announced John Thomas “JT” Jenkins has been hired as a commercial sales and leasing consultant for the firm. Jenkins enjoyed a distinguished career in law enforcement with the state of Alabama, serving as chief enforcement officer for the Marine Resources Division, later as director of Alabama Marine Police and concluding his state service as deputy director of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security. His meritorious record of service was recognized by the state of Alabama when he was awarded the Alabama Legislative Medal of Honor. “In a previous career, I had the opportunity to work alongside JT and the Marine Resources Division,” David Dexter, co-founding principal of NAI Mobile, said. “It is our good fortune to have such a dedicated and determined individual working with our team today.” “I look forward to learning the trade and providing a high level of service to my clients,” Jenkins said. He is currently working retail, industrial and professional office assignments and also brings a particular interest in rural acreage tracts.

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Mardi Gras party food, from sunup to sundown



hristmas and New Year’s are barely behind us. Turkey and dressing, divinity and pecan pies have all fallen to the well-intended resolutions of January 1st as festive eaters who flirted with gluttony set their sights on a beach bod. But hold on, just a second. Mardi Gras is here and the party’s just beginning! You can’t keep that skinny resolution with all this city has to offer this time of year. It’s a time for celebration. Bring on the food and drink because that’s what Mardi Gras is all about. And though we hold the bragging rights to the origin of this multiple weeks-long party, we do share and borrow some of the food ideas with our friends in the Crescent City, and we are proud to do so. For a typical Mobile Mardi Gras spread, I consult my good friend Snake. Snake’s got the party down pat, be it weeknight drinks and snacks or an all-day Joe Cain affair. I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the typical Saturday or Sunday as if our Yankee friends were in town and were dying to know just how we make a good time out of a day at the house and a parade or two.


Mimosas are the breakfast drink, though I prefer the poinsettia. Snake always has both. It’s not a great idea to chug a pot of chicory before hitting the pavement, so a mild libation is best. Our nod to the Big Easy is, of course, beignets. My kids always look like a particular scene from “Scarface” when they get near powdered sugar. Breakfast during Mardi Gras is more about finger food. On cooler mornings sausage balls will always be a part of the spread. My favorite is the Mardi Gras pigs in a blanket made from andouille sausage wrapped in phyllo dough. Brushed with egg white before baking, the buttery puff pastry has that gorgeous


Everyone crowing about Roosters debut It must be the year of the rooster because Roosters Latin American food totally rocked its opening weekend. Frankie Little and company held the soft opening this past Friday to a packed house craving the authentic cuisine. Lines were long and worth the wait, with the only trouble being ordering too much food. You can always demand the brisket tacos (like the ones served at the former Bull location), but for me it will be the al pastor (at least one) every time. Dauphin Street keeps getting better and better, with lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and happy hour from 3-6 p.m. Get your taco on. This place is hot.

Cajun Cook-Off set for March

Get ready to light up Cathedral Square with all things Cajun as the Downtown Cajun

shine. Homemade honey mustard is a great dipping sauce. Grits and grillades are a must for a Southern Carnival breakfast. Snake keeps the grits rich with a little heavy cream. Fresh fruit is always around, and you’ve got to have a strawberry with your mimosa, but for the sake of all that is holy keep the Bloody Mary to a tolerable level. This isn’t a meal, folks. A skewer of olives, a celery stick, Worcestershire sauce and a dash or two of Tabasco keeps it classy. I don’t mind a pickled pod of okra or a bean and cocktail onions, but when you have a half dozen shrimp and a slice of pizza protruding from the oversized glass, you’re begging to be made fun of. Let your drink be your drink.


Here is where it gets tricky. You don’t want to be so full you can’t enjoy the afternoon parade, and you probably have a big day of proving your drinking skills to your out of towners, so keep it fairly light. There’s a lot of hoofing it around here and you never know when you might have to walk from The Garage to The Haberdasher, all because someone in the group has a friend they need to see and everyone thinks it’s a great idea. Walking back is a less fun adventure. At Snake’s we take it easy. One of the best ideas is an appetizer called dragon eyes. Perfect for MOT Saturday, dragon eyes are your everyday pimiento-stuffed olives wrapped in cream cheese, rolled in chopped pecans and sliced in half. They are a great salty snack to accompany a beer. It wouldn’t be Mobile without West Indies salad, right? For those who don’t know, this is OUR dish. Created by Bill Bayley, this is basically crabmeat and onions in lemon juice and vinegar. It’s popular because it’s one of the most refreshing things to eat even in cooler months. Chargrilled oysters are the new trend, and Snake likes them

Cook-Off gets underway Saturday, March 18, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $13 online and $15 at the gate for samplings of some of our greatest downtown restaurants slinging the spicy stuff. Advance tickets are on sale at the Child Advocacy Center, Bugmaster (Mobile and Daphne), Mellow Mushroom (both locations) and Moe’s Original Bar B Cue (downtown). Online tickets are available at WALA FOX 10’s Chief Meteorologist (and fishing expert) Jason Smith will once again serve as honorary chairman. Proceeds will benefit the Child Advocacy Center of Mobile. The Zydeco Stage will keep a heavy rotation of music throughout the event, and plenty of adult beverages and soft drinks will be available. This is one of downtown’s most celebrated

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purple, green and gold. Of course the green is Rockefeller. Purple is similar but with red cabbage in place of spinach. Gold is butter, garlic and Parmesan. You’ve got to show off your gumbo skills, so there is always a quart or two (made ahead of time) resting in a slow cooker next to a pot of rice. The second slow cooker is full of chili. This isn’t for bowls of chili, though you are welcome to go that route. This is our food on the go in the form of Frito chili pie. Just before we walk out the door with a beer in each pocket or a Yeti cup full of a mixed drink, we open an individual bag of Fritos, pour in a half ladle of chili and top with shredded cheese. It’s the perfect travel snack. Not pretentious, very mobile, simple and delicious. But don’t be caught dead with canned chili. Your mama raised you better.


Retiring to the environs in which you woke that morning is usually a bit of a ballet. Most everyone is buzzed from the booze and starting to get those late-night munchies. It’s hard to get everyone home at the same time, but one thing that’s sure to bring the folks back promptly is the promise of Snake’s crawfish. Leave the crowded bars, hop an Uber if you can’t walk it and get home to the mudbugs. Conecuh sausage seems to be twice as good in a stellar boil, and nowadays the pot has everything but the kitchen sink. Garlic heads, shredded cabbage, hot dogs and tons of onions are great but take a back seat to the almighty crawfish. No one really cares about dessert at this party, but there’s always a King Cake or two. If looking to entertain Port City style, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to follow Snake’s lead. It’s the best all-day affair I know of, so throw out the notion that you’re getting ready for bikini season. We’ve got some eating to do!

events so mark your calendars before the Mardi Gras haze sets in your brain.

the inn’s Facebook page for the complete mouthwatering menu.

Fairhope Inn hosts demo, dinner with Fisher’s Briand

Flora-Bama hosts Super Chili Bowl Cook-Off

It’s not often we get the chance to watch and learn from an award-winning chef, but Fairhope Inn is making that possible. Thursday, Feb. 9, beginning at 6:30 p.m., Chef Bill Briand of Fisher’s Orange Beach Marina will have a 45-minute cooking demonstration followed by a seated dinner. The $80 per person dinner offers four courses with passed items and limited seating, but the menu will knock your socks off. I can’t give it all away but words like “grilled jerk oysters with crispy chicken skin” and “BBQ spiced swordfish” have been thrown around. For reservations call 251-928-6226 or visit

This Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., the Flora-Bama will be kicking off the weekend right with its 23rd annual Super Bowl Chili Cook-Off. Teams of three will compete for bragging rights, trophies and cash prizes with public samplings at noon and judging at 1:30 p.m. Entry fee is $25 per team and you must be ready to prepare a minimum of five gallons of chili and supply your own ingredients. Visit the Flora-Bama Facebook page for a complete list of rules and instructions for signing up. It’s always a party at the ‘Bama, even the day before the Super Bowl! Recycle!

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5319 Hwy 90 • 661-0071 1225 Satchel Page Dr.• 378-8768


$10/PERSON $$ 10-25/PERSON $$$ OVER 25/PERSON


ALL SPORTS BAR & GRILL ($) CLASSIC HOTDOGS, GYROS & MILKSHAKES. 3408 Pleasant Valley Rd • 345-9338

FAMOUS CHICKEN FINGERS. 310 S. University Blvd. • 343-0047 2250 Airport Blvd. • 479-2922 7641 Airport Blvd. • 607-7667 2558 Schillinger Rd. • 219-7761 3249 Dauphin St. • 479-2000





211 Dauphin St. • 690-7482


BAKERY, SANDWICHES AND MORE 750 S. Broad St • 438-1511, 4464 Old Shell Road • 342-8546, 107 St. Francis St. Suite 102 • 438-2261

REGINA’S KITCHEN ($-$$) SANDWICHES, SUBS AND SOUPS. 2056 Gov’t St. • 476-2777


WRAPS & SALADS. 3220 Dauphin St. • 479-2480

HOMEMADE SOUPS & SANDWICHES 65 Government St • 208-6815


SEAFOOD AND SANDWICHES 212 ½ Fairhope Ave • 928-4100


SEAFOOD, SANDWICHES, SALADS & SOUPS. 4513 Old Shell Rd. • 408-9622


MIND-BLOWING ISLAND FOOD. 3700 Gov’t Blvd. Ste A • 602-1973

SANDWICHES, SOUTHWEST FARE, 7 DAYS. 1203 Hwy 98 Ste. 3D, Daphne • 626-2440

SAUCY Q BARBQUE ($) AWARD-WINNING BARBQUE. 1111 Gov’t Blvd. • 433-7427


3758 Dauphin Island Pkwy. • 473-1401


FAST BBQ W/ DRIVE-THRU 3249 Dauphin St. • 652-3508





216 St Francis St. • 421-2022

323A De La Mare Ave, Fairhope • 990-0003 1104 Dauphin St.. • 478-9494


LIVE MUSIC, MARTINIS & DINNER MENU. 26 N. Royal St. • 338-2000




A PREMIER CATERER & COOKING CLASSES. 1880-A Airport Blvd. • 450-9051



3964 Gov’t Blvd. • 378-8083

273 S. McGregor Ave • 287-0555, 6345 Airport Blvd. • 287-0555, 940 Industrial Pkwy • 308-2158


9091 US-90 Irvington • 957-1414



JAPANESE CUISINE. 3654 Airport Blvd. S. C • 725-6078

7 SPICE ($-$$)


CORNER 251 ($-$$)




DAUPHIN’S ($$-$$$)


AUTHENTIC SUB SANDWICHES 7449 Airport Blvd • 375-1820




FIVE ($$)

CAFE 219 ($)

SANDWICHES, CATERING & DELIVERY TOO. 6920 Airport Blvd. • 414-5444 9 Du Rhu Dr. • 340-8694 62 B Royal Street • 432-0360




PIZZAS, SANDWICHES, COCKTAILS. 26 N. Royal St. • 338-2000


HOME COOKING. 4054 Government St. • 665-4557


PUB FOOD AND DRAFT BEERS 251 Dauphin St • 287-6871


SLAP YOUR MAMA GOOD HOME COOKING. 220 Dauphin St. • 432-6262


GREAT SANDWICHES, COFFEE & MORE. 1087 Downtowner Blvd. • 643-1611


CLASSIC HOTDOGS, GYROS & MILKSHAKES. 4701 Airport Blvd. • 342-3243

ATLANTA BREAD COMPANY ($-$$) SANDWICHES, SALADS & MORE. 3680 Dauphin St. • 380-0444




DAILY SPECIALS MADE FROM SCRATCH. 57 N. Claiborne St. • 694-6853.


GOOD OLD AMERICAN COOKING 263 St. Francis St • 405-1497 SALADS, SANDWICHES & POTATO SALAD. 219 Conti St. • 438-5234 CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN FARE. 61 Section St., Fairhope • 928-4321 MOBILE’S CLASSIC ICE CREAM SPOT. 2511 Old Shell Rd. • 471-1710

DELI FOODS, PASTRIES & SPECIALTY DRINKS. 4072 Old Shell Rd. • 304-0448 SANDWICHES, SOUTHERN CUISINE & CATERING 5817 Old Shell Rd. • 343-0200 QUICHES & SANDWICHES. 4366 Old Shell Rd. • 343-9889

CHICKEN SALAD CHICK ($) CHICKEN SALAD, SALAD & SOUP. 2370 S. Hillcrest Rd. Unit R • 660-0501 5753 Old Shell Road • 408-3236, 1802 US Hwy 98 Suite F• 625-1092

CHI-TOWN DAWGZ ($) CHICAGO STYLE EATERY 1222 Hillcrest Rd. • 461-6599


COFFEE, BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DESSERT 351 George St #B • 405-0003


HOT LUNCH, DAILY MENU (INSIDE VIA) 1717 Dauphin St. • 470-5231


PHILLY CHEESE STEAKS, GYROS & MORE. 7101-A Theodore Dawes Rd. • 653-2979



CLASSIC BURGERS, HOTDOGS & SETTING. 1808 Old Shell Rd. • 473-7872


DONUTS, COFFEE AND SANDWICHES 1976 Michigan Ave • 442-4846 3876 Airport Blvd • 219-7369 505 Schillinger Rd. S. • 442-4845 29160 US Hwy 98 • 621-2228








MARY’S SOUTHERN COOKING ($) 3011 Springhill Ave. • 476-2232

LUNCH & DINNER. 3004 Gov’t Blvd • 287-1220

GRILLED STEAKS, CHICKEN & SEAFOOD. 720A Schillinger Rd. S. S2. • 607-7200 901 Montlimar Dr • 408-3133

HOMEMADE LUNCH & BREAKFAST. 104 N. Royal St. • 434-0011

HIGH QUALITY FOOD AND DRINKS 251 Government St • 460-3157

COFFEE, SMOOTHIES, LUNCH & BEERS. 5460 Old Shell Rd. • 344-4575

COFFEE, LUNCHES, LIVE MUSIC & GELATO. 3 Royal St. S. • 415-3000 SANDWICHES, SOUPS, SALADS & MORE. 41 West I-65 Service Rd. N Suite 150. INSIDE VIRGINIA’S HEALTH FOOD 3055 A Dauphin St • 479-3200

TIN ROOF ($-$$)

SOUTHERN CASUAL FAMILY DINING 10800 US hwy 31 • 621-4995

TP CROCKMIERS ($) AMERICAN RESTAURANT & BAR 250 Dauphin St. • 476-1890


MOMMA GOLDBERG’S DELI ($) SANDWICHES & MOMMA’S LOVE. 3696 Airport Blvd. • 344-9500 5602 Old Shell Rd. • 287-6556

MONTEGO’S ($-$$)

FRESH CARIBBEAN-STYLE FOOD & CRAFT BEER. 6601 Airport Blvd. • 634-3445 225 Dauphin Street • 375-1576

MOSTLY MUFFINS ($) MUFFINS, COFFEE & WRAPS. 105 Dauphin St. • 433-9855


OVEN-BAKED SANDWICHES & MORE. 252 Azalea Rd. • 341-3533, 1335 Satchel Page Dr. Suite C. • 287-7356 7440 Airport Blvd. • 633-0096 30500 State Hwy 181 #132 • 625-6544




WILD WING STATION ($) 1500 Gov’t St. • 287-1526


AUTHENTIC FOODS FROM HIMALAYAN REGION. 3210 Dauphin St. • 287-0115 400 Eastern Shore Center • 459-2862


BACKYARD CAFE & BBQ ($) HOME COOKIN’ LIKE MOMMA MADE. 2804 Springhill Ave. • 473-4739


DOWNTOWN LUNCH 101 N. Conception St. • 545-4682


BBQ AND MORE. Jubilee Sq.Ctr. Hwy 90, Daphne • 210-2151 McGowin Park Ctr. Satchel Paige Dr. • 471-1050 7721 Airport Blvd • 380-8957


CHICKEN FINGERS, SALAD & SANDWICHES. 1165 University Blvd. • 202-0959

RIBS, SANDWICHES & GREAT SIDES. 3314 Old Shell Rd. • 479-9898


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BEEF, LAMB & SEAFOOD. 4356 Old Shell Rd. • 340-6464


FRIED, GRILLED, STEAMED & ALWAYS FRESH. 3300 River Rd. • 973-9070







MEDITERRANEAN SANDWICH COMPANY ($) GREAT & QUICK. 274 Dauphin St. • 545-3161 2502 Schillinger Rd. Ste. 2 • 725-0126 6890 US-90 (DAPHNE) • 621-2271



SUPREME EUROPEAN CUISINE. 2579 Halls Mill Rd. • 479-0006


GUMBO, ANGUS BEEF & BAR. 72. S. Royal St. • 432-SCAM (7226)

AUTHENTIC VIETNAMESE CUISINE. 763 Holcombe Ave. • 478-5814

AUTHENTIC TURKISH & MEDITERRANEAN 3702 Airport Blvd. • 461-6901


BAMBOO BISTRO ($$) 3662 Airport Blvd. • 378-5466


A HISTORIC SEAFOOD DIVE W/ LIVE MUSIC. 3775 Hwy. 98 • 625-1998 ECLECTIC DINING & SPACE. 6955 Airport Blvd. • 633-7196

QUALITY CAJUN & NEW ORLEANS CUISINE. 29249 US Highway 98 Daphne. • 621-1991

CRAVIN CAJUN/DIP SEAFOOD($) PO-BOYS, SALADS & SEAFOOD. 1870 Dauphin Island Pkwy • 287-1168



FELIX’S FISH CAMP ($$) UPSCALE DINING WITH A VIEW. 1420 Hwy. 98 • 626-6710

FISHERMAN’S LEGACY ($) DELI, MARKET AND CATERING. 4380 Halls Mill Rd. • 665-2266

THE GRAND MARINER ($-$$) LOCAL SEAFOOD & PRODUCE. 6036 Rock Point Rd. • 443-5700

THE HARBOR ROOM ($-$$) UNIQUE SEAFOOD. 64 S. Water St. • 438-4000


2400 Airport Blvd. • 307-5535


Sushi Bar. 650 Cody Rd. S • 300-8383


DELICIOUS, TRADITIONAL THAI CUISINE. 3821 Airport Blvd. • 344-9995

LULU’S ($$)

EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE & TASTE. 271 Glenwood St. • 476-0516


INSIDE THE MOBILE MARRIOTT. 3101 Airport Blvd. • 476-6400


SAISHO ($-$$)




TAMARA’S DOWNTOWN ($$) CASUAL FINE DINING. 104 N. Section St., Fairhope • 929-2219

ZEA’S ($$)



INVENTIVE & VERY FRESH CUISINE. 6 N. Jackson St. • 433-0377

A FAVORITE BARBECUE SPOT. 5456 Old Shell Rd. • 343-0001


BARBEQUE & MUSIC. Bayfront Park Dr., Daphne • 625-RIBS 701 Springhill Ave. • 410-7427 4672 Airport Blvd. • 300-8516

PDQ ($)

LOCAL INGREDIENTS 203 Dauphin St. • 690-6824


BAR FOOD 271 Dauphin St • 438-9585

BURGERS, MILKSHAKES & FRIES 4401 Old Shell Rd. • 447-2394 4663 Airport Blvd. • 300-8425


BBQ, BURGERS, WINGS & SEAFOOD 19170 Hwy 43 Mt. Vernon. • 839-9927



GREAT LUNCH & DINNER. 3607 Old Shell Rd. • 445-8700



HOT SUBS, COLD SALADS & CATERING. 6300 Grelot Rd. • 631-3730



ORIGINAL SANDWICH AND BAKE SHOP. 42 ½ Section St., Fairhope • 929-0122 102 Dauphin St. • 405-0031

195 S University Suite H • 662-1829

CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN FOOD. 351A George & Savannah St. • 436-8890



HOTDOGS SANDWICHES & COOL TREATS 3371 Dauphin Island Pkwy • 300–4015

GREAT FOOD AND COCKTAILS 609 Dauphin St. • 308-3105

GREAT SMOOTHIES, WRAPS & SANDWICHES. Du Rhu Dr. • 378-5648 570 Schillinger Road • 634-3454


COFFEE AND DONUTS 759 Nichols Avenue, Fairhope • 928-7223


SERVING LOCAL SEAFOOD & PRODUCE 167 Dauphin St. • 458-9573

NOJA ($$-$$$)

MICHELI’S CAFE ($) AUTHENTIC IRISH PUB 101 N. Bancroft St • 990-5100

HIGH QUALITY FOOD WITH A VIEW 107 St. Francis St • 444-0200

LIGHT LUNCH WITH SOUTHERN FLAIR. 226 Dauphin St. • 433-6725

2550 Dauphin Island Pkwy S. • 307-5328

6358 Cottage Hill Rd. • 725-6917


CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN CUISINE Battle House Hotel, Royal St. • 338-5493 GOURMET ROTISSERIE. PRIME RIB & SEAFOOD. 4671 Airport Blvd. • 344-7414


WINE, BEER, GOURMET FOODS, & MORE. 720 Schillinger Rd. S. Unit 8 • 287-1851


A TAPAS RESTAURANT & COCKTAILS 64 S. Water St. • 438-4000


FOOD, WINE AND MORE. 5150 Old Shell Rd. • 341-1497


WINE BAR, CRAFT BEERS & BISTRO 6808 Airport Blvd. • 343-3555


TRADITIONAL SUSHI & LUNCH. 312 Schillinger Rd. • 633-9077

HALF SHELL OYSTER HOUSE ($) 3654 Airport Blvd. • 338-9350

GULF COAST CUISINE, REINVENTED. 200 E. 25th Ave., Gulf Shores • 967-5858 LIVE MUSIC & GREAT SEAFOOD. 200 E. 25th Ave., Gulf Shores • 967-5858

MUDBUGS AT THE LOOP ($) CAJUN KITCHEN & SEAFOOD MARKET. 2005 Government St. • 478-9897


RALPH & KACOO’S ($-$$)

CHARM ($-$$)

R&R SEAFOOD ($-$$)





THAI & SUSHI 5369 D Hwy 90 W • 661-5100 THAI KITCHEN AND SUSHI BAR 960 Schillinger Rd. S • 660-4470 LUNCH BUFFET 3674 Airport Blvd. • 341-6171

THAI FARE AND SUSHI 2000 Airport Blvd. • 478-9888


HIBACHI GRILL & ASIAN CUISINE. 309 Bel Air Blvd • 470-8033

HIBACHI 1 ($-$$)

2370 Hillcrest Rd. Unit B • 380-6062


THE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT! 1595 Battleship Pkwy • 626-0045

LAID-BACK EATERY AND FISH MARKET 1477 Battleship Pkwy. • 621-8366 SEAFOOD, BURGERS & STEAKS. 6120 Marina Dr., Dog River • 443-7318.

SEAFOOD, STEAKS, & EXTENSIVE WINE LIST. 6232 Bon Secour Hwy County Rd. 10. • 949-5086

WINTZELL’S OYSTER HOUSE ($-$$) FRESH SEAFOOD FOR OVER 75 YEARS 605 Dauphin St. • 432-4605 6700 Airport Blvd. • 341-1111 1208 Shelton Beach Rd., Saraland • 442-3335 805 S. Mobile St. • 929-2322

QUALITY FOOD, EXCELLENT SERVICE 5045 Cottage Hill Rd. • 607-6454


AMAZING SUSHI & ASSORTMENT OF ROLLS. 661 Dauphin St. • 432-0109

PIZZAS, PASTAS, & CALZONES. 245-A Old Shell Rd. • 479-3278




WINGS, BURGERS, PUB GRUB 6880 US-90 #14, Daphne • 625-4695


A SOUTHERN GRILL & BAR. 3673 Airport Blvd. • 344-2131

BUFFALO WILD WINGS ($) BEST WINGS & SPORTING EVENTS. 6341 Airport Blvd. • 378-5955


FAMOUS BURGERS, SANDWICHES & WINGS. 60 N. Florida St. • 450-0690

CALLAGHAN’S IRISH SOCIAL CLUB ($) BURGERS & BEER. 916 Charleston St. • 433-9374

HEROES SPORTS BAR & GRILLE ($) SANDWICHES & COLD BEER. 273 Dauphin St. • 433-4376 Hillcrest & Old Shell Rd. • 341-9464

HURRICANE GRILL & WINGS ($-$$) WINGS, SEAFOOD, BURGERS AND BEER 7721 Airport Blvd. Suite E-180 • 639-6832


EVERYTHING BAKED OR GRILLED 2617 Dauphin St. • 476-9464


1715 Main St. • 375-0543

MCSHARRY’S IRISH PUB ($) BRILLIANT REUBENS & FISH-N-CHIPS. 101 N. Brancroft St. Fairhope • 990-5100


BAR & GRILL. 6255 Airport Blvd. • 447-2514

OLD 27 GRILL ($)

BURGERS, DOGS & 27 BEERS & WINES. 19992 Hwy.181 Old County Rd. Fairhope • 281-2663


IRISH PUB FARE & MORE. 3692 Airport Blvd • 414-3000


AZTECAS ($-$$)

WINGS, TENDERS, HOTDOGS & SANDWICHES. 312 Schillinger Rd. • 633-5877




ZANDER’Z ($-$$)

WINGS, BEERS AND DRINKS 1850 Airport Blvd • 471-5520

PIZZA, SUBS & PASTA. 1368 ½ Navco Rd.• 479-0066 A TASTE OF ITALY . BYOB. 28691 U.S. Highway 98 • 626-1999

PINZONE’S ITALIAN DOWNTOWN ($$) ITALIAN, CATERING, TO-GO. 312 Fairhope Ave, Fairhope • 990-5535

TASTE OF MEXICO 5452 Hwy 90 W • 661-5509

MOUTH WATERING MEXICAN FOOD 1175 Battleship Pkwy • 625-2722

CINCO DE MAYO ($) MEXICAN CUISINE 260 Azalea Rd. • 375-1095

BR PRIME ($$-$$$)




JIA ($-$$)









DELIVERY. 350 Dauphin St. • 431-9444


FUEGO ($-$$)



AUTHENTIC ITALIAN DISHES 312 Fairhope Ave, Fairhope • 990-5535


PIZZA, PASTA, SALAD & MORE 102 N. Section St. • 929-2525

GREAT PIZZA. LUNCH & DINNER. 4356 Old Shell Road • 342-0024


GAMBINO’S ITALIAN GRILL ($) ITALIAN, STEAKS & SEAFOOD. 18 Laurel Ave. Fairhope • 990-0995

GUIDO’S ($$)

PIZZERIA DELFINA ($) PIZZA & PASTA 107 Dauphin St. • 375-1644

ROMA CAFE ($-$$)

PASTA, SALAD AND SANDWICHES. 7143 Airport Blvd. • 341-7217


Springdale Mall 3250 Airport Blvd. • 450-4556


FRESH CUISINE NIGHTLY ON MENU. 1709 Main St., Daphne • 626-6082

WINGS, PO-BOYS, BURGERS. 210 Eastern Shore Center, Hwy. 98 • 929-0002

COMFORT FOOD. 1716 Main St. Ste. C, Daphne • 281-2982

ITALIAN FOOD & PIZZAS. 11311 US HIghway 31 Spanish Fort• 375-0076

SMALL PLATES, PIZZAS, PASTAS AND WINE 3250 Airport Blvd. • 450-4556

HOMEMADE PIZZA & GOURMET SALADS 7765 Airport Blvd. • 639-5010

PIES & AWESOME BEER SELECTION. 2032 Airport Blvd. • 471-4700 5660 Old Shell Rd. • 380-1500 29698 Frederick Blvd, Daphne • 621-3911

HOMEMADE PASTAS & PIZZAS MADE DAILY. 5901 Old Shell Rd. • 342-3677







ENCHILADAS, TACOS, & AUTHENTIC FARE. 661 Dauphin St. • 432-2453


OUTSTANDING MEXICAN CUISINE. 2066 Old Shell Rd. • 378-8621

777 Beach Blvd.Biloxi • 877-877-6256

HACIENDA SAN MIGUEL ($-$$) TASTE OF MEXICO 880 Schillinger Rd. S. • 633-6122 5805 US 90 • 653-9163


QUAINT MEXICAN RESTAURANT. 5556 Old Shell Rd. • 345-7484










TAQUERIA MEXICO ($-$$) AUTHENTIC MEXICAN FLAVOR. 3733 Airport Blvd. • 414-4496


875 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 888-952-2582




158 Howard Ave. Biloxi • 800-725-2239


AUTHENTIC MEXICAN CUISINE. 4633 Airport Blvd. • 342-5553

MEXICAN CUISINE. 3977 Gov’t Blvd. • 660-4970

3300 W. Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 877-774-8439

280 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 288-436-2946 FINE DINING, SEAFOOD AND STEAKS



850 BAYVIEW AVE. BILOXI-- • 888-946-2847


TIEN ($-$$)








1980 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 800-747-2839

THE DEN ($-$$)


CQ ($$-$$$)


BLU ($)



303 Poarch Rd. Atmore • 866-946-3360

FIRE ($$-$$$)





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Let’s get this IPA party started BY TOM WARD/CONTRIBUTING WRITER


he popularity of India Pale Ales (IPAs) over the past few years has been rather remarkable, moving from a craft beer appealing mainly to a niche audience into the mainstream, where it is easily found on tap at every bar and available in bottles and cans from brewers large and small. If you don’t believe me, check out your local grocery store — I found more than a dozen different IPAs at mine. While relatively new to Americans, IPAs have a long history, going back to the height of the British Empire in the 18th century. As the story goes, the British government needed to supply its settlers, officials and troops in far off colonies with their favorite beer from home. However, the traditional English ales that they were used to went bad on the long journeys around the globe. Eventually, by using more hops and a higher alcohol content than regular ales, brewers in England were able to produce a beer that could withstand the trip (to India and beyond) and satisfy the thirsty expats. In this country, the modern IPA — a strong, hoppy, flavorful beer — emerged with the craft beer movement in the 1990s. A dramatic contrast to the light lagers that dominated the American beer scene for decades, IPAs soon became favorites of those attracted to a bolder brew. Personally, I have a couple of favorites, including Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (from Michigan) and, locally, Fairhope Brewing Co.’s Take the Causeway. However, breweries have recently experimented with numerous different takes on the traditional IPA — stronger, lighter, hoppier, even fruiter — so I thought I’d try and branch out a bit. With so many different IPAs, I enlisted some friends to join me one Sunday afternoon for an IPA tasting party. We met at LoDa Bier Garten, not only because it’s a great place — with 102 beers on tap — but also because all drafts are half off on Sundays (a deal that is pretty hard to beat). We tried a number

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of traditional IPAs first, including Cullman’s Goat Island Big Bridge IPA and Birmingham’s Good People IPA. Both were good, but on the lighter side for IPAs. One person described Good People as “light and zesty,” while others considered Big Bridge “a down the middle, mild IPA” and “flowery, fruity; not enough for an IPA.” We then moved on to the IPAs with new twists. New Belgium Brewing Co., best known for its Fat Tire Amber Ale, produces a number of IPA varieties, and the Citradelic Exotic Lime IPA struck us as something we wanted to try. As its name implies, it was very light and sweet for an IPA — “like a shandy with some bitterness,” as described by one of my friends, and “like a Corona IPA,” by another. A number of brewers are tempering the bitterness of the IPA with fruit flavors, including Sam Adams, which released a version of its popular Rebel IPA as a Rebel Grapefruit IPA, which is available in bottles and is another really good, light IPA. A unique IPA that we saw on our beer menu at LoDa Bier Garten was Back Forty Brewing Co.’s Snapper Biscuit White IPA. Never having had a White IPA, I was intrigued and ordered one, but unfortunately that tap had run dry. I did later find a White IPA — New Belgium’s Accumulation — in a bottle, but it tasted pretty much like a Belgium White instead of an IPA. As the afternoon wore on, those of us who remained moved on to the good stuff — the Double IPAs. Bolder, hoppier and

stronger, Double IPAs — also known as Imperial IPAs — have become increasingly popular. Of those we tried, Southern Prohibition’s Crowd Control Imperial IPA was a favorite, described as “citrusy but bold.” A bottled Double IPA, New York’s Southern Tier Brewing Co.’s 2XIPA, is bitter but smooth, and at 8.20 ABV (alcohol by volume), plenty strong. If double is good, triple must be better, right? While some questioned the necessity (or even the reality) of a “triple” IPA, we closed out our tab out with Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery’s Hi-Res. At 10.5 ABV it was strong, bold and smooth — highly recommended. Follow the Beer Professor on Twitter (@_BeerProfessor).

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Local tax funds improvements at Mobile parks DALE LIESCH/REPORTER


here was nothing for the kids,” Cynthia Vasser said of the old Doyle Park, as she ate her lunch and watched aircraft take off from Brookley Field. “There was no playground. It was old and out of

ematics] and stay in school.” Councilman C.J. Small, who represents the community that includes Doyle Park, praised its development and the public-private partnership that conceived it. He noted Doyle’s improvements are only the first phase of two. Eventually it will be outfitted with a gazebo, a splash pad and other amenities, once funding is available.

date.” From one of the two viewing pavilions, surrounded by the soft, rubberized surface meant to provide better accessibility for children with disabilities, Vasser remarked about the changes her neighborhood park had undergone. ‘30 years of neglect’ “It had nothing like this,” she said, as she looked For years, the city’s parks suffered from a lack of around. “This is very nice.” capital funding. The funding shortage resulted in about The park, which was transformed using $1.7 mil“30 years of neglect,” Matt Capps, senior director of lion from the nonprofit Friends of Doyle Park group, parks and recreation, said. In fact, until recently the now has a large, aerospace-themed playground and a department would use what little funding was available number of ball fields, including a “Field of Dreams” or to do repairs. “Champions” field, which has a rubberized surface and The years have done a number on many of the parks. other amenities. Although Capps strayed from specifics on various parks, It is located on land that used to be part of Brookley he did mention a few eyesores he saw during an initial and sits adjacent to the airfield, Mobile Airport Auevaluation. thority Executive Director Roger An easy example, Capps said, Wehner said at the 10th anniversary was the old playground at Trinity celebration of the Airbus EngineerGardens Park, which used to be just ing Center’s opening in Mobile this a couple of swings. The playground past Monday. It was a partnership itself had been removed and jagged with Airbus and other businesses at metal piping was sticking up out of FROM THE 24-ACRE PARK, Brookley that helped bring the park the ground. upgrades to fruition. “It was damaged and we didn’t VISITORS CAN WATCH AS From the 24-acre park, visitors have the funds to replace it,” Capps can watch as planes completed said of the play structure. “So they PLANES COMPLETED AT at the Airbus final assembly line just cut it off and removed it.” rumble down a runway for testing. Also during his assessment there THE AIRBUS FINAL ASSEMOn Monday, Vasser and others were ballfields where the chain-link witnessed an A320 with a Delta backstops were in disrepair. The BLY LINE RUMBLE DOWN A insignia on its vertical stabilizer department recently repaired one at take to the sky. Crawford-Murphy Park. RUNWAY FOR TESTING. “I love to watch the planes come “It’s just not a safe environment in and go out,” Vasser said. when you have those metal objects That’s the point of the updates, poking out at you,” Capps said. “It Wehner said — to get residents in can also be rusting.” the community, especially children, excited about the Other issues included park signs with missing or aerospace industry. The viewing pavilions provide a way ripped logos and chipping paint on benches, especially to do that. in Bienville Square, one of the city’s signature parks, “The park overlooks runway 14-32, our primary Capps said. runway,” he said. “When major aircraft take off, you can “We can look at Bienville Square and you can see hear it, smell it and feel it.” those very nice park benches — and they’re supposed to The idea of making the takeoffs viewable is part of a be a greenish black color and it’s silver because the paint cradle-to-career workforce model, Wehner said. has all worn off,” he said. “I look at those projects and “If we can get kids playing out there to see that there’s say those are very transformative because, you know, an opportunity for them in aerospace, then we’ve done people always notice those details and once those are something,” he said. “We can get them to stick with freshly painted it’s like ‘whoa.’” STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-

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When he first took the job, Capps did a survey of all of the city’s 67 parks using the same GIS technology used by the city’s Bloomberg Innovation Team to identify blighted structures.

Funding for parks

All capital projects received more funding with the 2016 budget and the introduction of the city’s capital improvement program (CIP). The CIP uses money from the three-year extension of a 13 percent sales tax increase — pushed by councilors — earmarked for capital improvement and infrastructure projects. The roughly $30 million per year in CIP funding is split eight ways, with $3 million per year going to the seven council districts and the rest going into the city’s budget for use citywide. Because of CIP, councilors and the city have been able to use more money improving parks. “Before CIP, we had no monies to do any capital improvement,” Capps said. “We would have to work with public works or public buildings to fix any type of problem that did come up. So, it was just do repair if we could.” Of the $42 million set aside for CIP over the last two years, a total of $5 million has been used for park improvements, Capps said. “In 2016, we had to hurry up and get projects let,” he said. “We just kind of looked and went with what we knew were problems. And then we also based it off input we got from the community. So, it could be service request orders, or phone calls to 311.” While the department is still working on a checklist from 2016, Capps said that by 2018 parks and recreation would be looking at a more programmatic approach, using a master plan paid for with funds from Councilman John Williams’ CIP funds, Capps said. Funds for the master plan were originally slated to come out of citywide CIP funds taken from each of the seven districts. Councilors, in large part, balked at that and instead prefered to talk to residents themselves. Councilman Levon Manzie was one of the dissenters. He said a litany of consultants and ideas haven’t provided one “tangible result” for residents. “We have all of that knowledge, sitting right here picking up dust, that we hope one day to fund,” Manzie said pointing to a shelf full of consultants’ reports and master plans. “You know, the longer I stay here, the more I become weary of consultants because essentially, if you don’t have the resources dedicated and identified to implement what this $300,000 to $400,000 consultant is going to tell you, all you have is a $300,000 to $400,000 booklet.” While Williams said the city tends to overstudy things, he hopes it can build on a park study rather than waste it. Councilman Joel Daves said he was generally in support of a master plan for parks. For Capps, a master plan for parks is not a “pretty picture with someone’s individual landscaping.” Instead, he compared it to the city’s new zoning plan known as the Map for Mobile. “This is looking at a programmatic approach on what we’re missing and how we need to do it,” he said. “It’s kind of like a strategic plan.” Capps said a master plan would help create a statistical analysis and include a survey of the community to find out what the needs are. In addition to aligning park amenities to the individual needs of the communities they serve, a master plan would help strengthen the service at a number of the city’s recreation centers. “We’re really looking to innovate in our centers so that it’s not just “here’s a basketball,’” he said. “We’re going to build some programs and really address our youth.” Capps said he hopes the plan will align with Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s Youth Empowered for Success, or YES program, which is designed to find teens and young adults employment through public internship programs.

While CIP has paid for a chunk of the improvements, many wouldn’t be possible without money from the administration or the Mobile County Commission, Capps said. The county’s help depends on the size of a particular project. Recently, the two partnered to provide new playground equipment at Medal of Honor Park and new restrooms and a basketball court at Herndon Park. Capps said the county’s contribution was significant. “For [Herndon], for instance, I believe it was somewhere in the range of $300,000 for a new restroom and the basketball court,” he said. “In Medal of Honor [Park], we’re talking about $500,000. I mean, they’re sizeable projects.” The Herndon Park basketball court was approved by the council at its regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 17. The court will be placed between two tree-lined medians in the parking lot adjacent to Dauphin Street, Capps said. As a result, the city will remove and replace roughly 16 cypress trees that populate the medians. Capps said the expansive root systems, or knees, of the trees have already begun to tear into the parking lot asphalt. The city doesn’t want to place a brand new basketball court where the asphalt or concrete will be further damaged. The city will replace the removed trees with either more cypress or a more appropriate tree, either in the parking lot or elsewhere within the park, Capps said. Architectural Engineering Director Kim Harden said the city had originally considered alternate locations, but each would have been more expensive than the one chosen and would have come with their own set of drainage issues. The basketball court will encompass about 30 parking spaces from that parking lot and they will not be replaced. Capps explained that most people who use the park drive to the Sage Avenue entrance. Councilman Fred Richardson, who represents the area where Herndon Park is located, applauded the unanimous vote to bring a basketball court to the roughly 40-year-old park. “When they built the park they left basketball off,” he said. “We have the plans and we have the money. Hopefully very soon we’ll be building a first-class basketball court at Herndon (Sage) Park.” In addition to CIP and the county, the Stimpson administration has found funds for some park amenities. For example, the city spent $1.7 million on turf soccer fields at Herndon Park last year. Capps said soccer fields are among the amenities still needed in city parks. He added that splash pads are also needed at parks west of Interstate 65.

Park amenities

One of the top priorities of Richardson’s CIP allotment was replacing an old playground and adding benches to Trinity Gardens Park. Richardson said the playground wasn’t safe for children because parts of the old structure were sticking out of the ground. Capps agreed and called the replacement a “transformative” project. The old playground has been replaced with new equipment and benches thanks to CIP funding, Richardson said. The park also has a walking trail. He also would like to add shade structures and a pavilion there eventually. “I’m very proud of it,” Richardson said. “It hadn’t been done

Photo/ Dan Anderson


Kaleb Brandon, 9, enjoys the new playground facilities at Trinity Gardens Park last weekend. in District 1 for years. This is big.” Residents also asked for the creation of a new park, called Mill Street Park, Richardson said. With $90,000, Richardson said there are a pavilion, grills and lights there now. He hopes to add sidewalks by the end of the year. In District 2, Manzie is concerned about maintaining six community centers, ranging from 16 to 70 years old. “They need to be modernized,” Manzie said. “We’ve tried, with CIP funds, to address those issues … ” Many of the parks and recreation amenities in District 2 are indoors or around community centers, Manzie said. It’s an issue of updating those facilities to ensure residents can continue to play basketball and football at many of them, like the Thomas Sullivan and Robert Hope centers, as well as Kidd Park. “You know, we’ve got basketball courts that need to be refinished and updated and we’re working on that,” Manzie said. As part of the 2016 CIP, many of the centers, including the Harmon Recreation Center and Springhill Recreation Center, will see a number of upgrades. In addition, the tennis courts have been resurfaced at Lyons Park. Additional emphasis has also been placed on Crawford-Murphy Park, Manzie said. In 2017, Manzie said there’s $1 million set aside for parks in District 2. This includes $100,000 for a playground in Maysville, to $175,000 for lights at Harmon Park, to $150,000 for new basketball courts at Rickarby Park. In addition to Doyle Park, Small said he’s been very happy with improvements he’s been able to make to Trimmier Park, where B.C. Rain plays both baseball and football. Small said the park doesn’t qualify for Community Development Block

Grants because of “million-dollar homes” on Dog River and finding funding for it has been tough. CIP money has also been used in his district to make improvements to the roof at the recreation center at Taylor Park and acquire playground equipment for Fry Park. With additional funds, Small said he’d like to revitalize Walsh Park, which he said need some work. In District 4, John Williams touted improvements to the concession stands and field lighting at Mims and Theodore parks. There has been some talk about adding a football fields to Mims so that a Babe Ruth field doesn’t get torn up by football players, but Williams said that’s at least a few years off. Parks in his district have also seen some sort of field renovation, Williams said. Parks in District 5 have seen a number of improvements as well, especially Public Safety Memorial Park. Daves said in addition to the lighting being replaced, a dog park and a skate park have been added. “There have been significant investments in Public Safety Memorial Park,” Daves said. “What happened because of it is a lot more people are going to the park.” Daves would like to add a pedestrian beacon — a flashing light that warns motorists — to a portion of Airport Boulevard where many park visitors like to cross. In addition, Daves said he would like to see improvements made to the tennis court at Bailey Park. He said CIP money could be used for a master plan there. There are also changes coming to Medal of Honor Park, the only park in District 6. Councilwoman Bess Rich said new playground equipment is being installed now. The Playground Express concept — paid for by $475,000 in CIP funds and $510,000 from county funds — mixes several transportation concepts local school children said they wanted to see, Rich said. Rich will also be hosting a tile fundraiser for a new splash pad there. Rich also said she’d like to eventually look into expanding the Connie Hudson Senior Center, which can be used by hundreds of people every day. The council just approved a $900,000 contract to study the best ways to dredge the lake at Langan Park in District 7, Capps said. The dredging could be a massive project costing as much as $9 million. Council President Gina Gregory, who represents the district, said the plan for 2018 is to make small, inexpensive upgrades to Langan Park that “will make it better.” Among the changes she wants is to add lights to some of the trees and upgrade the park’s pavilions and restrooms. In addition to parks in each individual district, the city plans to create a Three Mile Creek Greenway management plan. The plan, Capps said, will help the city look at the entire greenway, from Langan Park to the river, in a holistic way. The greenway will come under the parks and recreation department. Capps said the department is preparing to take the necessary paperwork to the City Council to begin construction of phase one of the greenway in the first section. Section one runs from Pecan Street to the Strickland Youth Center. “We have those documents ready to go,” Capps said. “We’re just ironing out some of the details with the [Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs] grant we have.” Phase one, Capps said, will include a 10 inch-wide walking trail.

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f there was a theme for the 2017 Arty Awards on Jan. 27, it was undoubtedly “mixed emotions.” Hello award winners, goodbye Hillary. Before the ceremony, the biggest news buzzing through the sold-out crowd inside the Alabama Contemporary Arts Center was the departure of Mobile Arts Council Operations Director Hillary Anaya. A fixture at MAC for six years now, Anaya leaves Jan. 31 for a job as assistant manager for Candlewood Suites in downtown Mobile. “I start Feb. 6 and it’s sort of a big change. I’ll go from two staff members to 20 but the team over there is great,” Anaya told Lagniappe last week. She joined MAC as an intern in 2010 and worked her way up through the organization. When previous Executive Director Bob Burnett left in January 2015, Anaya’s responsibilities increased. When Associate Director Charlie Smoke departed midway through that same year, Anaya became interim executive director, then shifted back to operations director last year. Lucy Gafford was added as program director. Then administrative assistant Kathleen Kirk Stoves was bumped up to program assistant. Other staff changes loom. “This has allowed us to reconsider the structure and, based on our strategic plan we wrote about nine months ago, it included an executive director so we made the decision to start a search. We’re going to look within and outside of Mobile. It may or may not be somebody with experience with nonprofits,” MAC Board President Jeff Marcus said. He pointed to greater funding enabling the search. The opening will be posted soon.

Second Learning Lunch for February

“We’re going to hire another full-time person who will be very good at meeting planning, at financial analysis, that kind of stuff. I won’t call it an operations manager because that’s not our plan to hire an operations manager,” Marcus said. From the awards stage, Marcus thanked Anaya along with Gafford, Stoves and Arty Awards Chair Devin Ford. Marcus also noted arts as a cornerstone of tourism industries in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as Savannah and New Orleans. He nodded to his “friend Mike Dow,” former Mobile mayor and ACAC board president, who joins Marcus in wanting the same for the Azalea City. The award winners? • Art educator: Paige Vitulli • Artistic design: Ron Barrett • Arts soldier: Dr. Steven Alsip • Artistic innovation: Frye Building Project • Business: Wind Creek Hospitality • Literary artist: John Sledge • Performing artist: Thomas Rowell • Visual artist: J.D. Crowe • Organization: Mobile Museum of Art The Jake Peavy Foundation snagged the Patron’s Award and was represented by Luke Peavy, brother of the namesake baseball player. “This is an honor. We’re excited about Mobile,” Peavy told the crowd. He alluded to One Mobile and a downtown mural painted by four kids from the Boys and Girls Club as evidence of the difference being made by the arts. Lifetime Achievement Award winner Tut Altman Riddick was warmly received. The visual artist and writer

BEFORE THE CEREMONY, THE BIGGEST NEWS BUZZING THROUGH THE SOLD-OUT CROWD INSIDE THE ALABAMA CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER WAS THE DEPARTURE OF MOBILE ARTS COUNCIL OPERATIONS DIRECTOR HILLARY ANAYA. ” Part of it is the date and setting. Cold weather makes for fancier dress and greater variety. You saw everything from white tie and tails to furs and sparkling evening gowns, from funky artists’ couture to one fellow donned in a keyboard-inspired silky suit with short pants and sock garters. Drawbacks? The area with the hors d’oeuvres and bar was a bit too — cozy? Nah, more like claustrophobic at times. They could have more fully utilized the cavernous interior of the gallery now devoid of artwork. The same huge room filled with hard surfaces amplified the decibel level of the live entertainment. Conversation could be difficult. Which brings up the best problem: the overwhelming abundance of faces and names with whom Artifice wanted interaction, but lacked the time for it. It’s indicative of the vitality, variety and value in our cultural community. Even so, there’s always room for more participants. Excelsior, Artys, excelsior.

Purple pleasures at The Merry Widow

Camellia Bay Burlesque will look to recreate its successful David Bowie tribute of last year when the troupe pays homage to his departed Purpleness, Prince, at The Merry Widow (51 S. Conception St.). Titled “Erotic City,” the show features a “U Got the Look” costume contest, a raffle prize and special guest Lux La Croix from Los Angeles. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are available online for $15, $20 for VIP. Go to and search for “Erotic City.” For more information, visit Camellia Bay Burlesque’s Facebook page.

Fairhope stage comedy starts second week

Early reaction is in and it looks as if Theatre 98 (350 Morphy Ave., Fairhope) has hit lots of funny bones with its comedic

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play “Ripcord.” It’s contemporary adult fare featuring onstage skydiving and a bit of salty language, but apparently one of the best things to hit Theatre 98’s stage. It continues until Feb. 12, with Friday and Saturday curtain at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. The modest playhouse fills quickly so grab tickets at while you can. Meanwhile, auditions for its May staging of Eric Overmyer’s “On the Verge; or the Geography of Yearning” will be held Feb. 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. at the theater. The unusual play features time travel, a love of language and some highly challenging work — for one male actor especially. No ages or ethnicities are specified, only that actors be over 18. Director Jon Robitaille is looking for a strong ensemble cast. If you have more questions, contact him at hjrobitaille@


The History Museum of Mobile (111 S. Royal St.) offers a second Learning Lunch for February, at noon Feb. 8 in conjunction with Black History Month. The featured speaker is author Kendal Weaver, who will discuss his book “Ten Stars: The African American Journey of Gary Cooper — Marine General, Diplomat, Businessman and Politician.” Mobile native Cooper was the first African-American to command a Marine Infantry Company and would become Assistant Secretary of the Air Force and Ambassador to Jamaica. Author Weaver has been a journalist and writer since joining the Birmingham Post-Herald in 1971. Attendees are invited to bring their own lunches to enjoy during the free presentation. For more information, call Jennifer Theeck at 251-301-0270 or email

who has influenced and sponsored so many in the arts community was also the most poignant and poetic. “Mobile is a diamond. I spent years looking for gold mines in other cities. Then I woke up one day and realized I had a diamond the whole time,” Riddick said. She characterized all great art as “spiritual” and said that was why it meshed with Mobile so well. She told of the abundance of artists who fostered her growth and encouraged the same with others. After Riddick, a short song and dance routine by Vernardos Circus performers reflected their “Broadway-level talent” accolades. The troupe will occupy ACAC Feb. 1-14. Altogether, the evening displayed incredible growth from the awards’ modest 2004 beginnings. The ceremony and atmosphere is easily more momentous now than a decade ago.

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A Creedence experience


Creedence Clearwater Revival founding members Stu Cook on bass and Doug Clifford drums revived the band’s music after the original lineup disbanded in the early ‘70s.


early 60 years ago, bassist Stu Cook met drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford and formed a friendship that’s still going strong. As they were on the cusp of entering high school, Cook and Clifford joined with guitarist brothers Tom and John Fogerty to form a band called Creedence Clearwater Revival. The subsequent years were glorious for these young rockers. Creedence Clearwater Revival released hit after hit and developed a zealously dedicated following. Rock radio played numerous hits by the band, including “Born on the Bayou,” “Fortunate Son,” “Lodi” and “Down on the Corner” as well as unforgettable versions of “I Put a Spell on You” and “Proud Mary.” Their hits are still in heavy rotation. Cook attributes the timelessness of these songs to a classic formula many unforgettable songs share.

“They’re honest, and they’re simple,” Cook said. “You can dance to them, and they have a good beat.” While its fans were immersing themselves in CCR’s legendary songs, the band’s status behind the scenes was becoming increasingly volatile. Eventually CCR’s original lineup imploded when John Fogerty decided to leave the band for a solo career. The remaining members settled into positions in new music projects, with Cook and Clifford joining Southern rockers The Don Harrison Band. Cook’s career path eventually led him away from Clifford and into the country band Southern Pacific. In 1995 Clifford and Cook decided to reunite in a project they called Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Up to that point, the masses had many opportunities to experience live performances of CCR’s music through John Fogerty’s solo gigs. Now the pair decided it was time for the public to hear Creedence hits from two of the other founding members. Revisited also gave Cook the chance to once again work with his longtime friend. “We go back to when we were kids, and we had a lot of life experiences that we shared,” Cook said. “They were mostly good and some not so good. We’ve always valued our friendship. The long term has always been more important that the short term.” For Creedence Clearwater Revisited to be successful, Cook and Clifford knew they had to recruit the right musicians. Cook says their candidates first had to have a love for the music. Second, they had to be able to learn and perfect CCR’s sound and not sound like what Cook describes as a “bar band.” After perfecting the arrangements, Cook also wanted musicians who could add their own touch to the arrangements while maintaining the songs’ purity, a philosophy that has been maintained since Revisited began. “We want them [bandmates] to be able to add something to our performances, so they can actually own what they’re doing every night, because we pretty much play the same show every night,” Cook explained. “It’s gotta be fun. It can’t just be

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a job. Everybody understands that. We all work together to provide the audience with a Creedence experience.” In the beginning, Cook’s industry connections helped him gather musicians for the first incarnation of Revisited. The bassist recruited Elliot Easton (The Cars) as lead guitarist and multiinstrumentalist Steve Gunner. Cook knew it would be a challenge to fill the lead singer position, but a mutual friend guided him to vocalist John Tristao, who went on to spend 20 years in the role. Currently, Kurt Griffey acts as lead guitarist and Dan McGuiness recently replaced Tristao as vocalist. Before becoming a full-time member, McGuin-

CCR fan. “If you like Creedence and are not too concerned with the band’s issues between the members, and if the music interests you, then we’re the band,” Cook said. “It’s no different than John Fogerty playing with some pick-up band. That ain’t Creedence either. You’ve got two chances to hear these songs live. You can go check them both out and see which one you like better. I think we’ve got a more rocking band. It’s not just about the singer.” Anyone curious for a preview of Revisited’s Biloxi show should look no further than the band’s 1998 release “Recollections,” which hit platinum. This two-disc offers live interpretations of CCR

We go back to when we were kids, and we had a lot of life experiences that we shared. They were mostly good and some not so good. We’ve always valued our friendship.

ness acted as Tristao’s understudy. “We gave Dan a shot,” Cook said. “He worked all of last year with us and really impressed the heck out of us with the way he grew and took on the job. Johnny was filling big shoes when he did it. Now, Dan is filling the big shoes.” Over the years, Cook, Clifford and the late Tom Fogerty’s widow, Patricia Fogerty, have gone back and forth (both offensively and defensively) with John Fogerty over issues concerning trademark usage. Early on, Revisited had to change its name. Eventually, a judge overturned that ruling. Revisited has also had to deal with CCR purists who find the band’s existence a travesty. Cook says convincing them can be challenging, but he is confident Revisited can satisfy even the staunchest

classics from a group that includes two original members who made their rhythmic mark on these legendary songs. With the tracks on “Recollections” as evidence, Revisited is a chance for CCR fans to have new experiences with old favorites. While the music is the first concern on stage, Cook also says the creative bond between the members is infectious. “Beyond the music, if you’re on the stage and playing, and you look like you’re having fun, then the audience picks up on subtle and not so subtle cues that are pretty near as important as the notes you’re playing,” Cook said. “I guess they call that the chemistry, when the audience says, ‘Well, it’s not Creedence Clearwater Revival, but they’ve got two original members, and they kick ass!’”

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Back on track


Band: Jimmy Lumpkin & The Revival Date: Saturday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m. Venue: Manci’s Antique Club, 1715 Main St. (Daphne), Tickets: $8 at the door Local indie label Skate Mountain Records used a private showcase to introduce Jimmy Lumpkin & The Revival to an exclusive crowd. The band’s set portrayed Lumpkin’s evolution as an artist, first focusing on the singer-songwriter’s Trigger Root project. With its acoustic foundation, Trigger Root gracefully skipped across alt. country, rock and folk with a little jam added for good measure. Lumpkin’s music was filled with lyrics forged from his life experiences on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Recognizing Lumpkin’s talent, Skate Mountain Records decided to introduce his music to the world. Jimmy Lumpkin & The Revival have released the “Giants Up Ahead” EP as a preview for the upcoming full-length “Home.” With its vivid sonic interpretation of life, this release shows Lumpkin has not strayed too far from his original formula. “Giants Up Ahead” demonstrates this evolution, beginning with the raucous, acoustic goodness of the title track. Afterwards, “Giants Up Ahead” transcends into a soul rock experience, with multiple aural layers of instrumentation and vocals that beef up Lumpkin’s trademark sound. If “Giants Up Ahead” is a look into Lumpkin’s future, locals can expect more big sounds from this talented musician.

Homegrown rock

Band: Dylan LeBlanc, The Pollies Date: Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. Venue: Callaghan’s Irish Social Club, 916 Charleston St., Tickets: $25 (limited number), available at Callaghan’s

Over the years, Callaghan’s has introduced its patrons to many bands that have become local favorites. This weekend two such favorites return to the OGD for a full night of great music as Alabama-based label Single Lock Records presents Dylan LeBlanc and The Pollies. LeBlanc will regale his Azalea City fans with cuts from his album “Cautionary Tale.” This debut has earned LeBlanc praise from both the public and critics. The collection of songs are a heartfelt musical testament brimming with honesty and emotion. The Pollies’ homegrown alt. rock is noteworthy for its ethereal quality. The band’s debut album “Not Here” is filled with beautifully dreamy anthems. Equal parts of quality song composition and studio production make “Not Here” a shining example of Alabama’s alt. rock scene. The Pollies’ tour with LeBlanc has featured some onstage collaboration, and the Callaghan’s show should be no different.

SouthSounds 2017 announces initial lineup Following the success of SouthSounds 2016, locals and visitors alike lauded both the regional music and the event’s Azalea City vibe. According to Gabe Fleet, SouthSounds president and co-chair, the festival’s success was the result of the positive combined effort of both the fans and the supporting entities — which included Gulf Distributing, Hargrove Engineering, Visit Mobile and the Downtown Mobile Alliance. The high level of Southeastern musical talent and production the festival’s organizers brought to downtown Mobile left many wondering where the future would take this musical event. At a recent press conference, the minds behind this ever-growing event gave the public a look into the future by making their initial artist announcement for SouthSounds 2017. This first round of confirmed artists include Big Freedia, JoJo’s Slim Wednesday (featuring JoJo Hermann of Widespread Panic), Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Marcus King Band, All Them Witches, Royal Teeth, Humming House, Sweet Crude, Alfred Banks, Jamell Richardson “The Gulf Coast Blues Boy,” Mr. 88, Jukebox Brass Band, Difference Machine, Beamin and Ranch Ghost. According to Fleet, this eclectic cavalcade of Southeastern musical acts represents a conscious effort to make SouthSounds a festival for all musical tastes. Organizers also made it their mission to increase the footprint of the festival. The addition of Soul Kitchen as a featured venue signifies another goal met. Fleet says these objectives are part of a perpetual effort to pull music fans from “within a couple of hours’ drive” and keep them coming back for more. However, he also says organizers hope future installments establish a nationwide buzz that will have “20,000 to 25,000 people wandering around downtown Mobile,” but Fleet

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and the festival’s organizers are rightfully content to take things one step at a time. “We don’t expect people to fly in from across the country yet, but we want to get people down from places like Montgomery, Destin and New Orleans,” Fleet said. This initial announcement of bands is just the beginning. Fleet says SouthSounds will reveal more acts “sometime after Mardi Gras.” Until then, local and regional bands can submit their information through SouthSounds’ website and the popular online band resource ReverbNation. Fleet says organizers are looking for “interesting” and “exciting” bands with recent material. These bands do not necessarily have to be young and mainstream, but they do have to be active. So far, Fleet says, they have been overwhelmed with interest. “Between [ReverbNation] and the website, we’ve gotten over 900 submissions over the past couple weeks,” Fleet said. “There’s a lot of folks who want to play, and there are a number of big national acts that we’re talking to.” SouthSounds 2017 will feature both three-day general admission passes and three-day VIP passes. The VIP pass includes local food, AnheuserBusch beers, a T-shirt and exclusive viewing and seating areas at the Cathedral Stage and larger venues such as O’Daly’s and Soul Kitchen. Fleet also notes the VIP areas also serve as artist hospitality areas, which will give VIP passholders the opportunity to mingle with artists and get to know them better. When passes go on sale, the public will be able to pick up general admission weekend passes for $25 and VIP weekend passes for $75 until April 1, when the price will be increased for both tiers. Passes will be available for purchase on the official SouthSounds website,

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AREAMUSIC LISTINGS | February 2 - February 8

THUR. FEB 2 Bluegill— Shea White Blues Tavern— Halfway Show and Band, 8:30p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— David Chastang, 6p Callaghan’s— Phil Proctor Cockeyed Charlie’s— JJ Felix’s— Grits N Pieces Flora Bama— Donnie Mathis, 1p// Dueling Pianos, 4:30p/// Mark Sherrill, John Joiner, Chris Newbury and Mel Knapp, 5p//// Logan Spicer and Tony Ray Thompson, 9:15p Listening Room— Johnny Barbato and The Lucky Dogs Manci’s— Brittany Bell, 7p Wind Creek Casino— Rexton Lee, 8p

FRI. FEB 3 All Sports Bar & Billiards— DJ Markie Mark, 10p Beau Rivage— Billy Crystal, 8p Big Beach Brewing— Brittany Bell, 6p Bluegill— Cary Laine, 12p// Matt Neese Duo, 6p Blues Tavern— Smokin Toasters, 9p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Tim Kinsey, 6p Cockeyed Charlie’s— Shifting Tracks, 10p Felix’s— Blind Dog Mike Flora Bama— Lea Anne Creswell & Darrel Roberts, 2p// Jack Robertson Show, 5:30p/// Perdido Brothers, 6p//// Hung Jury, 10p//// Mario Mena Band, 10:15p Hard Rock (Center Bar) — Joel Cooper Rock Show, 9p IP Casino— Creedence Clearwater Revisited, 8p Listening Room— Lisa P Mills

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Main Street Cigar Lounge— Marty McIntosh, 8p Manci’s— Eric Erdman The Merry Widow— Audible Hustle presents: The Spectacular Vernacular Tour GFX, 9p Moe’s BBQ (Daphne) — 5:50 Express Moe’s BBQ (Foley) — Shelby Brown Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Adam Holt Duo, 6:30p O’Daly’s— Gene Murrell, Tony Edwards and David White, 10p Wind Creek Casino— Rexton Lee, 9p

SAT. FEB 4 Big Beach Brewing— Broken Down Car, 6p Bluegill— Bobby Butchka, 12p// Fat Lincoln, 6p Blues Tavern— Big Al and the Heavyweights, 9p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Blind Dog Mike and the Howlers, 6p Callaghan’s— Dylan LeBlanc Cockeyed Charlie’s— Jordan Bramblett Fairhope Brewing— Modern Eldorados, 7p Felix’s— Three Bean Soup Flora Bama— Hung Jury, 12p// Big Muddy, 1p/// Jay Hawkins Trio, 2p//// Jack Robertson Show, 5:30p//// Johnny B Trio, 6p//// Mario Mena, 10p//// Logan Spicer and Tony Ray Thompson, 10:15p Hard Rock (Center Bar) — Joel Cooper Rock Show, 9p IP Casino— Chrisette Michele, 8p Listening Room— Grayson Capps with Corky Hughes Lulu’s— Grits-N-Pieces, 5p Manci’s— Jimmy Lumpkin & The Revival, 8p Moe’s BBQ (Foley) —

The Poarch Ninjas Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Chad Parker Duo, 6:30p Soul Kitchen— Curren$y, Twist Up, Nu Nation, Dee Villain, Rello, 10p Wind Creek Casino— Rexton Lee, 9p

SUN. FEB 5 Bluegill— David Chastang, 12p Felix’s— Brandon Bailey Flora Bama— Songs of Rusty, 12:30p// Alabama Lighting, 4p/// Al & Cathy, 8:30p Frog Pond— Grayson Capps, Corky Hughes, Jon Cook, Molly Thomas, Rick Whaley, Robbie Fleming, Jamie Adamdon, 2p Lulu’s— Greg Brown, 5p

MON. FEB 6 Felix’s— Matt Bush Duo Flora Bama— Founders and Friends ft. Ken Lambert, 12p// Cathy Pace, 4p/// Petty and Pace, 8p Lulu’s— Brent Burns, 5p

WED. FEB 8 Bluegill— Ross Newell Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Ryan Balthrop, 6p Callaghan’s— Phil and Foster The Cove (Gulf Shores)— Ron, Bert and Marvin, 5p Felix’s— Matt Bush Duo Flora Bama— Tophay & Jackie, 11a// Neil Dover, 3p/// BAT, 5p//// Rhonda Hart and Jonathan Newtown, 7p Listening Room— Stories and songs featuring Emily Stuckey Laurie, Anne Armour and Gabe Willis Lulu’s— Justin Yawn, 5p The Merry Widow— Andy Frasco & The UN., Jimmy Lumpkin and the Revival, 8p

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And the Oscar goes to ...


he 2017 Oscar nominations have arrived, giving us a brief respite from arguing about politics so we can argue about movies instead. What a relief! No one should be surprised to see “La La Land” nominated for Best Picture. However, I was surprised and thrilled to see one my favorite movies from last year make the list: “Hell or High Water.” “Hell or High Water” is a complex, satisfying story of two brothers out to save the proverbial family farm through a series of relatively small bank robberies. These two antiheroes are extremely compelling, but they don’t just take on the abstract evil of greedy banks and predatory lenders. When they take on the equally compelling and Oscar-nominated Jeff Bridges, you find yourself rooting for everyone. It’s all just so compulsively watchable, exciting, heartbreaking and often hilarious. The men in “Hell or High Water” make you love them despite their actions. Contrast that with Ryan Gosling in “La La Land”; he deserves many superlatives for his work, including “cutest,” “most charming” and “guy you most want to be your boyfriend.” I’m not sure

The characterization in “La La Land” — especially of Emma Stone, who is nominated for Best Actress —was not terribly strong. “Manchester” said more about its Michelle Williams character in a few brief scenes than the entire “La La Land” did for its female star. Will the rare absence of a Pixar cartoon give my dear “Kubo and the Two Strings” a chance to win “Best Animated Feature?” I hope so, and I hope they announce that category early in the ceremony because my kids will stay up to wait for it. We’ve watched the “making of” featurette so many times I think we would actually recognize the director on stage. I’m going to try to watch some of the films from the “Documentary” and “Foreign Feature” categories to help you beef up your office Oscar polls, but in the meantime, several “Best Picture” nominees have come back to theaters or expanded. You’d be hard pressed to find one more charming than “La La Land,” and given the increasingly urgent need for escapism in our culture, perhaps the undeniable delights of this throwback musical romance do justify its many accolades. For two sweet hours, it still beats arguing politics.



AREA THEATERS CARMIKE CINEMA’S Wynnsong 16 785 Schillinger Rd. S. (251) 639-7373 CRESCENT THEATER 208 Dauphin Street (251) 438-2005 HOLLYWOOD STADIUM 18 1250 Satchel Paige Dr. (251) 473-9655

Best Actor is one of them. Casey Affleck’s work in “Manchester by the Sea,” on the other hand, was incredible. And look who else popped up on that list — Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic.” I thought that film strained believability at times, but he was unquestionably strong as the conflicted dad with extreme, questionable parenting methods, including killing one’s own food. The question of Best Picture depends on your definition of “Best.” I don’t think it means the same as “favorite.” I’d probably rather pop in a DVD of “La La Land” over “Manchester by the Sea,” but I think the latter film represents a great artistic achievement. And I have actually popped in a DVD of “Hell or High Water” a couple of times since it came out. I doubt it stands a snowball’s chance in hell (or high water) of winning, but make sure you see it. Then it shows up again as “Best Original Screenplay” and while it’s great, there’s the utterly insane and certainly original “The Lobster” in competition. Certainly “La La Land” doesn’t deserve Best Screenplay over either of those, nor over its tear-drenched competitor “Manchester by the Sea.”

RAVE MOTION PICTURE JUBILEE SQUARE 12 6898 U.S. 90 Daphne, (251) 626- 6266 CARMIKE CINEMAS 23151 Wharf Ln. Orange Beach (251) 981-4444 Photos | Amazon Studios / Sony Pictures Classics

COBB THEATRES PINNACLE 14 3780 Gulf Shores Pkwy Gulf Shores (251) 968-7444 EASTERN SHORE PREMIERE CINEMA 14 30500 Alabama 181 #500 Spanish Fort, Al (251) 626-0352 Information accurate at press time; please call theaters for showtimes.

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FROM LEFT: Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck delivered strong performances in “Manchester by the Sea.” Robert DeNiro portrays an aging insult comic named Jack Burke in “The Comedian.” NEW IN THEATERS THE COMEDIAN

Robert De Niro plays Jackie Burke, an aging comic icon who has seen better days. Jackie is forced to serve out a sentence doing community service for accosting an audience member. While there meets Harmony (Leslie Mann), the daughter of a sleazy Florida real estate mogul, and the two find inspiration in each other. Regal Mobile Stadium 18


Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey), a prospector desperate for a lucky break, teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on an amazing journey to

find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. All listed multiplex theaters.


A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape. Regal Mobile Stadium 18, Eastern Shore Premiere Cinema

THE SPACE BETWEEN US Gardner Elliot, the first human born on Mars, begins an online friendship with Tulsa, a teen in Colorado. On his maiden voyage to Earth, the 16-year-old finally gets to experience all the joys and wonders of a world he could only read about. All listed multiplex theaters.


ARRIVAL Eastern Shore Premiere Cinema, Regal Mobile Stadium 18, Cobb Pinnacle 14 MOONLIGHT Regal Mobile Stadium 18 HACKSAW RIDGE Regal Mobile Stadium 18 HIDDEN FIGURES All listed multiplex theaters. FENCES Regal Mobile Stadium 18, Cobb Pinnacle 14, Carmike Wharf 15, Carmike Wynnsong 16 LA LA LAND Crescent Theater, all listed multiplex theaters. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Carmike Wharf, Carmike Jubilee Square 12, Regal Mobile Stadium 18 LION Carmike Wynnsong 16

Carmike Wynnsong 16, Carmike Jubilee Square 12, Carmike Wharf 15, Cobb Pinnacle 14 RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER Regal Mobile Stadium 18, Carmike Wynnsong 16, Carmike Jubilee Square 12 A DOG’S PURPOSE All listed multiplex theaters. THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE Eastern Shore Premiere Cinema, Carmike Wynnsong 16, Cobb Pinnacle 14, Carmike Wharf 15, Regal Mobile Stadium 18 SPLIT All listed multiplex theaters. XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE All Listed multiplex theaters.

JACKIE Carmike Wynnsong, Carmike Wharf 15 PATRIOTS DAY All listed multiplex theaters. SLEEPLESS All listed multiplex theaters. MONSTER TRUCKS All listed multiplex theaters. THE BYE BYE MAN All listed multiplex theaters. UNDERWORLD BLOOD WARS Regal Mobile Stadium 18 SING All listed multiplex theaters. ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY All listed multiplex theaters. MOANA All listed multiplex theaters.

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GENERAL INTEREST Story Corps StoryCorps is partnering with Alabama Public Radio to record, preserve and share the stories of Mobile, Alabama, from Feb. 6 – March 12. Appointments are open to the public at A toast to Eugene Walter Join us at Eugene’s Monkey Bar & Grill in the New Hilton Garden Inn Mobile downtown for a Readers’ Theater production of Eugene Walter’s “The Byzantine Riddle.” Thursday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. Call 208-7097 or visit www. Chili Cook-Off Officers from the Mobile Police Department will compete against each other with their best chili recipes. Saturday, Feb. 4, at 10:30 a.m. Cathedral Square. $5 per person. Call 251-454-2346. Proceeds benefit the Police Foundation and Crime Prevention Unit. Dauphin Island Parade This colorful and expansive parade of floats, marching bands, vintage cars and more will travel west along Bienville Boulevard, from Dauphin Island Sea Lab to the condos on Saturday, Feb. 4, starting at 1 p.m.

Science CAFE Presented by the USA Archaeology Museum. Tuesday, Feb. 7, 6 p.m. at Moe’s Bar-B-Que in downtown Mobile. Dr. Sandra Stenson will present “Exploring Why Prescription Drug Costs are so High.” Call 251-460-6106. Winter Wednesday at Bellingrath Bellingrath’s Winter Wednesday sessions are held each week through Feb. 22 in the Magnolia Room. “Fertilizing Roses” with Linda Guy will be held Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 10:30 a.m. Call 251-973-2217, ext. 111, to register or email bellingrath@bellingrath. org. Dauphin Island Boardwalk Talks Boardwalk Talks are held the first and third Wednesday of each month at 11:15 a.m. at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, 101 Bienville Blvd. Call 251-861-2141. Midtown Optimist Club Join Midtown Optimist Club every Wednesday at noon for lunch at Azalea City Golf Course. Call 251-348-3542. Toastmasters Do you want to learn how to deliver a speech like a pro or gain leadership skills to advance your career? Toastmasters International meets regularly at six locations in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Visit for more information.

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FUNDRAISERS MCMA benefit Mobile Country Music Association will host a building fund benefit Saturday, Feb. 4, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at MCMA Concert Hall, 310 S. Craft Highway in Chickasaw. Free entry but donations are accepted. For more information, call 251457-0762. Cookie Mom’sters Night Out Enjoy a night of shopping, food and fun benefiting Cookies for Kid’s Cancer. The event is Saturday, Feb. 4, 6 p.m. at Water’s Edge & Outback Cooking, 24120 Fountain St. in Robertsdale. Call 251-654-5220.

ARTS Baldwin Pops The Baldwin Pops 20th anniversary concert is Thursday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m., at the Fairhope Civic Center. The concert will include a Fairhope history segment and selections from Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo.” Mobile Opera Winter Gala Peter Lake will join Mobile Opera as a soloist. A night of arias and scenes including selections from “La Traviata,” “Lucia di Lammermoor,” “The Tales of Hoffmann” and more. Friday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. and and Sunday, Feb. 5 at 2:30 p.m. at The Steeple on St. Francis. www.

“A Ghostly Soiree” You are invited to share some spirits with the spirits of the Swift-Coles Historic Home for “A Ghostly Soiree” on Friday, Feb. 3, at 6 p.m. Tickets include a buffet and beverages. Visit “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” This play by Tennessee Williams is about the dynamics of a dysfunctional, wealthy Southern family as they gather to celebrate their aging patriarch’s birthday. The show runs through Feb. 12. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Order tickets online at “Ripcord” This hilarious new play runs until Feb. 12. Friday and Saturday curtain at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m. For tickets, visit Mobile Mystery Dinners A performance of “Next of Kin” will take place Sunday, Feb. 5, at 5:30 p.m. at the Riverview Plaza Hotel. Tickets include dinner and unlimited wine. Advance reservations are required; call 251-4153092. First Friday Art Walk The Eastern Shore Art Center returns with new art and music the first Friday of every month. Friday, Feb. 3, at 6 p.m. at the Eastern Shore Art Center, 401 Oak St.,

Fairhope. For more information, contact Adrienne at 251-928-2228, ext. 103.

251-208-6893 or email jholland@exploreum. com.

Night Market Mobile Museum of Art hosts Night Market on Thursday, Feb. 2, 5-9 p.m. featuring wares by artists and artisans. Support your local artists and join the party and shopping fun with great food, drink and live music. MMoA is at 4850 Museum Drive.

Thursdays at MMoA Every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Mobile Museum of Art offers free admission to all visitors. No reservations are necessary. MMoA is at 4850 Museum Drive. Call 251-208-5200.

MUSEUMS “Cirque du Mardi Gras” Join Alabama Contemporary Art Center for “Cirque du Mardi Gras,” a one-ofa-kind cirque experience for all ages. Performances run through Feb. 14. For tickets, visit “Drugs: Costs and Consequences” The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and the Drug Enforcement Administration team up to present a powerful interactive exhibit of the effects of drugs on individuals and society. Through August. Visit Fairhope’s Founding There is quite a story behind Fairhope’s founding in 1894. Learn more about it at the Fairhope Museum of History, 24 N. Section St. The museum is open daily (except Sunday and Monday) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 251-929-1471. Little Discoveries Outside the Box: This “Little Discovery” in the Exploreum’s Wharf of Wonder, aimed at children 6 and under, explores how innovation and creativity can lead to a world of possibilities starting with a simple cardboard box. Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Call

SPORTING EVENTS/ACTIVITIES AIDS Alabama 5K Certified 5K course and 1-mile fun run Saturday, Feb. 4, 8 a.m. at the SGA pavilion by the intramural fields of the USA main campus. To register visit Mobile Mavericks youth lacrosse Dozens of teams from across the Southeast, both boys and girls, will compete in a lacrosse tournament at Battleship Memorial Park on Saturday, Feb. 4. Bridge lessons The Mobile Bridge Center offers free bridge lessons each Tuesday at 6 p.m. at 1510 University Blvd. Arrive a few minutes early to register. Call the Bridge Center at 251-666-2147, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. New Year’s Resolution exercise classes Palmer Pillans Middle School has new exercise classes: yoga, Guts, Butts & Thighs, Guns & Buns, Ab Attack and Yoga Tone. Call 251-463-7980 or visit Dance classes Palmer Pillans Middle School offers new dance classes: Beginning Ballroom, Beyond Basic Ballroom, Dance Fit Line

Dance, and beginner and intermediate Belly Dancing. Call 251-463-7980 or visit Holy yoga Tamara William leads lunchtime holy yoga at The Steeple on St. Francis every Wednesday. Cost is $15. Participants will connect with Christ in mind, body and spirit. Call 251-656-3269. Ballroom dance Azalea Ballroom Dance Club hosts dances with live music the second and fourth Tuesday of every month; 7-9:30 p.m. at Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center, 1717 Dauphin St. Email cyoungblood9278@, call 251-623-9183 or visit www. Ballroom dance The Moonlight Chasse Ballroom Dance Society hosts dances the first and third Monday of every month, 7-9:30 p.m., at Fitzpen Place, 11247 State Highway 31 (Spanish Fort). Email

WORKSHOPS Consumer awareness Bring your questions for a group discussion at Lifelines Counseling Services. Topics will include understanding your credit report, handling mail and phone solicitations, and protecting your credit identity. The workshop will be Monday, Feb. 6, at 6 p.m. at 705 Oak Circle Drive E. Call 251-602-0011 to register.

PUBLIC MEETINGS Baldwin County Commission: First and third Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., 322 Courthouse

Square, Bay Minette. Work sessions are the second and fourth Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. rotating between Bay Minette, the Foley Satellite Courthouse, the Fairhope Satellite Courthouse and the Baldwin County Central Annex Building in Robertsdale. www. Baldwin County Planning Commission: First Thursday at 6 p.m., 22251 Palmer St., Robertsdale, Bayou La Batre City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 5:30 p.m., 13785 S. Wintzell Ave., Chickasaw City Council: Second and fourth Tuesday at 7 p.m., 224 N. Craft Highway, 251452-6450. Citronelle City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 6:30 p.m., 19135 Main St., 251866-7973. Creola City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 6 p.m., 190 Dead Lake Road, #A, 251-675-8142. Daphne City Council: First and third Monday at 6:30 p.m., 1705 Main St. Work sessions are the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m., Dauphin Island Town Council: First and third Tuesdays at 7 p.m., 1011 Bienville Blvd., Elberta Town Council: Third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the town hall. Workshop meeting on the second Tuesday. Fairhope City Council: Second and fourth Monday at 6 p.m., 161 N. Section St. Work sessions are held before each council meeting at 4:30 p.m., Fairhope Planning Commission: First Monday at 5 p.m., 161 N. Section St. For more information visit Foley City Council: First and third Monday at 5:30 p.m., 407 E. Laurel Ave. Work sessions begin at 4 p.m., Gulf Shores City Council: Second and fourth Mondays at 4 p.m., 1905 W. First St.,

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PR professionals, get the media ‘in your pocket’ BY ROB HOLBERT/MANAGING EDITOR/RHOLBERT@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM

L THE NEW YOUK TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE MISHMASH BY DAN SCHOENHOLZ / EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ ACROSS 1 Inconceivably vast 7 Hard looks 13 Stream, as of revenue 19 Baseball-like game 21 Flowery 22 Et ____ 23 Witty British judge? 25 Conquistador Cortés 26 Copies, informally 27 It shows who’s who or what’s what 29 Perform a full-body scan? 30 Pizza, e.g. 32 Quest of 25-Across 33 Ortiz of “Ugly Betty” 34 Site of Spaceship Earth 37 Language akin to Thai 38 Three-legged race, e.g.? 44 School chum, say 46 “Mr. Blue Sky” band, for short 47 World’s most voluminous river 48 Chapter in early 20thcentury history: Abbr. 49 Property inheritor, legally speaking 51 On point 53 Julie of TV’s “Big Brother” 54 “One of the most civilized things in the world,” per Hemingway 55 Nail? 58 Consider anew, as a decision 60 Girl with a ball 61 Sound investments, in more ways than one 62 ____ Minor 65 A– 66 “America”? 71 Hindi word for “spice mix” 74 Brief second? 75 ____ generis 76 Theological inst. 79 What Cubs fans get carried away by? 81 Grant a girl permission to dis Drake? 86 Fortify 87 Page (through) 90 1990s Indian P.M. 91 Week, on Martinique 92 Alias inits. 93 Game for the goal-oriented? 95 Keeps in the loop, in a way 97 Worn out 98 Ability to score at Madison Square Garden, e.g.? 102 Mouse’s resting place 103 Take a timeout 104 French ____ 105 Title at Topkapi Palace 106 Egg container

107 Religious image 109 Piano dueler with Donald in 1988’s “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” 112 Quiz-bowl fodder 114 Like Serbia and Croatia 117 Diving disaster? 122 Maintain 123 Bawdy 124 Gently show the door 125 Give a new tournament ranking 126 Pulls on, as heartstrings 127 Speakers’ spots DOWN 1 Bluecoat 2 Only woman to sing lead vocals on a Beatles song 3 Darn things 4 Sierra ____ 5 Drink commonly served with a spoon-straw 6 H.O.V. lane user 7 Farm females 8 Lateral opening? 9 Chest pain 10 Grist for analysts 11 Californie, e.g. 12 Gaming giant 13 I, to Izaak 14 Word for a name-dropper? 15 1960s sitcom set in the 1860s 16 From one side to the other 17 Kind of history

18 Ebb 20 Grammy-winning drummer ____ Lyne Carrington 24 Lorna of literature 28 Codger 30 Opposite of ruddy 31 Thyroid need 33 Embrace 35 Bus. card info 36 N.L. Central squad, on scorecards 37 Don’t work too hard 38 Half of a swinging couple? 39 Goes by 40 Alternative to Cinemax 41 “That’ll be the day!” 42 Take responsibility for something 43 Atheist’s lack 45 Place to hang tools 50 Leave a good impression? 52 One lifting spirits? 54 Jet measure 56 Think-tank product 57 Chi follower 59 Diesel in movies 63 Reeling 64 Shivering fit 67 Key locale: Abbr. 68 They’ll take your measure 69 Manhattan, e.g.: Abbr. 70 They’re dubbed 71 Mullally of “Will & Grace”

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72 Hard to tell apart 73 Informal measures of popularity 77 It lies between Cleveland, O., and Buffalo, N.Y. 78 Nut 80 Made out 82 Showy in a cheap way 83 Salmon roe, by another name 84 “Don’t worry about me!” 85 Await resolution 88 Relative of “Aargh!” 89 Wetland 93 Measly amount 94 Guitar Hero activity 96 Wolf (down) 99 Mantle, e.g. 100 Some vaults 101 Like cats, typically 106 Secure spots 107 Certain steel beam 108 Racer Yarborough 110 Fig. on a periodic table 111 Mrs., abroad 112 Bedouin shelter 113 ____ facto 115 Common thing to lie about 116 ____ Yost, 2015 World Series-winning manager 118 Mauna ____ 119 Poland’s main airline 120 Start of the Lord’s Prayer 121 Education support grp.


ast week I was privileged to be among a panel of four local media members who spoke to the local chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama. Joining me in the plush chairs on a stage at The Admiral Hotel were Cassandra McAboy, who handles digital media for; Sean Sullivan, general manager and radio host at FMTALK106.5; and Ben Raines, who handles environmental reporting for Gathered before us were 70-plus area public relations professionals who proceeded to ask several intriguing questions about exactly what it takes to fight through the endless press releases, phone calls and faxes to get their story told to the public. As someone who spent a little time on the other end of the equation, I know it’s not always that easy. I thought what my colleagues had to offer was extremely insightful and figured it might be good to share some of what was said with those in the PR world who might not have been there to enjoy broiled catfish with us that day. But first I wanted to say something I wish I’d said that day: Journalists and other members of the media rely quite heavily on public relations professionals to get us accurate information, set up interviews and make us aware of interesting things going on, and often do all of that on a tight deadline. On top of that, they sometimes must convince reluctant employers that talking to the media is the right thing to do at times when it might not be the most fun thing to do. So y’all are appreciated — even if you some-

times feel taken for granted. As most of the questions centered on how to get our attention and therefore wind up on TV, the radio or in print, I’ll pass along some of the better suggestions. Raines sort of shocked us all when he answered the first question about getting attention by encouraging the PR pros to get all of us “in your pockets.” I immediately thought of envelopes filled with cash, but Raines pulled his cell phone out of his pants pocket and held it up. He was saying PR people ought to have us in their cell phones and we should be in theirs, and we ought to know each other well enough that making a call is a first move. Good advice. Others included knowing what each media does and choosing the right medium for the message. Know deadline times and pitch with those in mind. Don’t call five minutes before deadline, or two months ahead. Find the sweet spot. Don’t just shoot out a press release and expect something to happen. Reporters rarely look at things not specifically written to them. And be concise. Perhaps the biggest piece of advice I can offer from a newspaper standpoint is to be willing to talk about things you don’t want to talk about. PR people who are always asking for positive press but who won’t return a phone call when things aren’t so positive don’t get much respect. The main thing to remember is you’re never going to get everything you want, but getting to know who you’re dealing with improves your percentages greatly.



Q: Every winter my neighbor cranks up

his chainsaw and saws his crepe myrtles back to the same spot. But other folks leave theirs untouched and those don’t seem to have those gnarly knots on the branches. Which method is correct?


Photo/ Bethany O’Rear

Oh, talk about hitting a nerve with an Extension Agent. The thing that really gripes us each winter is seeing crepe myrtles that are pruned wrong — butchered back and abused. Many tall, beautiful crepe myrtles are being reduced to nothing but ugly stubs. This improper pruning technique, once described by Southern Living magazine as “Crepe Murder,” involves severely pruning back crepe myrtles from tree form to shrub form. It seems to me that people are committing this atrocious horticultural crime for one of three reasons: 1) They, like you, see their neighbors do it and think they must also; 2) They’ve chosen a crepe myrtle that’s too tall for its location; or 3) They should have selected a shrub form of crepe myrtle, which is available. Here are the facts on how to correctly prune crepe myrtles: Crepe myrtles tend to grow numerous suckers from the base, and therefore do require some pruning every year — but only minimal pruning. Early training will help eliminate any extensive pruning later on. Extensive pruning or cutting back of crepe myrtles each year only causes them to vigorously grow back what was removed — hence the unsightly knots on their long, graceful limbs. The only pruning that should be done each year is to remove suckers and to maintain its attractive shape by removing deadwood, branches that cross or rub against other branches, and seedpods. And heavy pruning in the winter will not help or force crepe myrtles to bloom more; all the blooms will simply be in one place on the tree. The only way to stimulate more summer flowering and promote a smaller second flush of blooms is to tip-prune — also known as deadheading — the old blossoms at the ends of the branches as they fade in late summer. A crepe myrtle that is not blooming well might be getting too much shade and should be moved to another area to get more direct

This improper pruning technique, once described by Southern Living magazine as “crepe murder,” involves severely pruning back crepe myrtles from tree form to shrub form. sunlight. Moving it into more sunlight will also help control powdery mildew. If you think a crepe myrtle needs to be pruned, do it only during middle to late winter once the leaves have fallen and the tree is completely dormant (around Valentine’s Day — love hurts, right?). One rule of thumb to pruning crepe myrtles: Don’t cut to see over it; cut to see through it. Remember that crepe myrtles are trees and are supposed to become tall (unless you’ve selected one of the shrub forms). Shaping the tree, removing the lower limbs and having only three to five main trunks will give the crepe myrtle a more attractive and formal appearance. Renewal pruning or cutting a plant back to the ground is sometimes a good idea. If a crepe myrtle has been severely damaged, is unhealthy or has been pruned badly, renewal pruning will allow the plant to start all over. Renewal pruning will cause a crepe myrtle to grow back rapidly in about two to three years. Once the crepe myrtle has grown back, the plant can then be trained and properly pruned to look even better. Do all renewal pruning in late February to early March. Crepe myrtle varieties come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Pruning large ones into small ones doesn’t make sense. If you want a small,

manageable crepe myrtle that looks like a shrub, buy a smaller variety. Whacking off and scarring up large crepe myrtles is not the way to achieve that look.

YOU ARE INVITED TO THESE FREE UPCOMING GARDENING EVENTS: What: Mobile Master Gardeners Monthly Meeting When: Thursday, Feb. 2, 10-11:30 a.m. Where: Jon Archer Center, 1070 Schillinger Road N., Mobile Topic: The Chelsea Flower Show, presented by Brenda Bolton What: Pruning Demonstration for Various Fruits, Roses and Ornamentals When: Thursday, Feb. 16, 9-11 a.m. Where: Jon Archer Center, 1070 Schillinger Road N., Mobile Bring your pruning shears. Call 251-5748445 for more information. What: Mobile Master Gardeners Lunch & Learn When: Monday, Feb. 20, noon to 1 p.m. Where: Jon Archer Center, 1070 Schillinger Road N., Mobile Topic: Community Gardens, Dr. Pat Hall

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The Loop, Old Shell Growlers, Doyle Park and Trinity Gardens. The Salvation Army now has 16 bike parking spaces while The Exchange on Government Street purchased two racks the DBP has installed. Planned for the future are racks at The Garage (six spaces), O’Daly’s (eight spaces), Old Shell Growlers (six spaces), near The Haberdasher (four spaces) and four spaces at the DBP headquarters. The DBP is also involved in the community with its “Time is Money” program, which helps people with little to no income get a bike, and the “Read to Ride” project, which assists at-risk elementary school children. To learn more, visit

Sports briefs

• Rafael Scott broke his own University of South Alabama record by winning the men’s 60-meter dash at the Vanderbilt Invitational. His time of 6.59 seconds is among the top five in the NCAA. Sean Collins, a first-team AllAmerican as a freshman, took fourth in the pole vault (5.2 meters) in his first meet since being injured at the 2016 Sun Belt Outdoor Championships. For their efforts, they were named the SBC’s Track and Field athletes of the week.

Photo/ J. Mark Bryant


Jenn Greene, right, the director of operations at DBP, first got to know Major Mark Brown, left, when both served on Mobile’s Homeless Task Force. They are joined by Jeff DeQuattro, one of DBP’s founders.


he good deeds of the Delta Bike Project (DBP) have previously been reported in this column. For those unaware of the group, according to its website it is a “bike shop in Mobile that works to enhance the cycling experience by empowering people with the knowledge of basic bicycle maintenance through their guided, do-it-yourself model of teaching repair skills and community programming.” As a nonprofit organization, the DBP depends on grants and special events to raise money to reach these goals. One of its biggest fundraisers each year is the “Gears & Beers” bicycle rides. According to DBP founder Jeff DeQuattro, the November event provided funds for several more bike racks and five additional Dero Fixit Stations and air pumps. The group is also adding 52 new bicycle parking spaces in downtown and midtown — which more than doubles the amount of secure bicycle parking currently available in the city. Benefiting first from the project was The Salvation Army facility at 1009 Dauphin St. Along with the customary repair station and pump, a new bicycle parking area was installed. “Many of our clients are looking for jobs,” Major Mark Brown of the Coastal Alabama Area Command said. “Buses and taxis are too expensive. If they have a bike, they have an independent way to get there and be home in

the evening. “The Delta Bike Project has done a lot for us. I’m also happy that all the equipment came in Salvation Army red.” Brown first learned of the DBP through Jenn Greene, who serves as its director of operations. They both serve on the city’s Homeless Task Force, and began to discuss how the DBP and The Salvation Army could help each other. “We share a lot of the same clients and goals,” DeQuattro said. “Our program has helped many people at The Salvation Army become amateur bike mechanics. Once they learn about bikes, then they can help others who are staying here. It is a perfect partnership.” Greene pointed out that all of the money from “Gears & Beers” went straight into the community. Such fundraisers are needed, as the air pumps and fixit stations cost $1,600 to $1,700. While staff at DBP have fabricated bike stands in house (such as the 12-space one in front of LoDa Bier Garten), this was the first time a manufactured rack was purchased. The cost was close to $800. Since 2014, repair stations and pumps have been installed by the DPB at its headquarters at 561 Saint Francis St. and the following locations: 15 Place, Spring Hill College, Cream & Sugar Café, Arlington Park, McNally Park, LoDa Bier Garten, Fins Bar on Dauphin Island, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Buick Building and now The Salvation Army. New locations will include Mellow Mushroom at

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They return to action Saturday at the Birmingham Crossplex. • Starla Daggan of the University of Mobile has been named the Southern States Athletic Conference’s Player of the Week for a second time. The senior guard scored 20 points against Loyola and another 23 versus Martin Methodist. She is fourth in the NAIA with a 22.3 points per game average. • Korie Fontenot has been named the interim head coach for the University of Mobile softball team. During Fontenot’s three years as assistant coach, the Lady Rams were 66-35, won the SSAC Tournament in 2015 and appeared in the NAIA World Series. Fontenot is a 2013 UM graduate who was a two-time Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athlete winner. She replaced Terri McCormack, who stepped down after 10 seasons. • The bowling teams at Spring Hill College have been on a roll. The men first won the Florida State University Seminole Classic team title, while Charles R. Noble Jr. finished first with a 248.83 average. The women’s team was fifth at FSU, with Miranda Singer third with a 216.33 average. At two events in Texas, the men and women both won in Arlington. In Plano, the men were first and women second. Ryan Hauck averaged 251.6 and 209.8 to take top honors in both events, while Singer was second (203.8) in the first meet and won the second (187.0). • The Gulf Coast Conference has announced its 2016 FireSeeds Academic Honor Roll for the fall sports season. To earn a spot, a student-athlete must hold a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average and appear in at least one regular season varsity game. Spring Hill had 15 players from the women’s soccer team qualify while the men’s team had 10. • The Mobile BayBears have announced a job fair the next two Saturdays at Hank Aaron Stadium. The minor league club is looking for seasonal game-day workers during all or most of its 70 home games, played from April through early September. The events on Feb. 4 and 11 will last from 1-4 p.m. Candidates must be at least 16 years old. Applications can be obtained at the BayBears’ front office (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays) or online at




f you still question whether Mobile is undergoing a renaissance, try leaving for a few weeks. That’s what I did over the holidays. When I arrived back in town on Jan. 5, it was as if Santa had swept through town with a sleigh full of gifts. Here are some of the treats he delivered in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The city’s vision for tourism — the Mayor’s Initiative on Tourism announced in September 2015 – is coming together downtown, with new attractions just in time for Mardi Gras. Perhaps the biggest news is the opening of the long-awaited Mardi Gras Park. When I heard it would have eight statues, I pictured a bunch of old men on horses, cast in gray metal. Yawn. I was pleased to see a rainbow of figures highlighting the traditions of our favorite party. It promises to be a prime spot for catching moonpies. The city debuted the Celebration Trail with fanfare. The idea is to solve a major problem: the awkward trek from the cruise ship terminal to downtown. But it seems more like the time Kevin unwrapped a copy of “The Last of the Mohicans” from his aunt for Christmas, unlike the fun toys his siblings received. There’s a huge “Welcome to Mobile” mural at the Interstate 10 overpass, but the trail ends there. There’s no sign telling you to turn right on Royal Street, inviting you into Fort Conde, marking the Mardi Gras Park or pointing to the Exploreum. Signage for the Visitors Center and hopon, hop-off trolley was baffling. I came across two separate couples who were confused and disgruntled. The city plans additions, including more murals, landscaping and an archway at Royal and Dauphin streets. In

the meantime, they need to work on the signs. The Mardi Gras Trail opened in December. Created by the Historic Mobile Preservation Society, it features seven spots in downtown that track the history of Mobile Mardi Gras from 1840 to 1940. The society’s website offers guided tours of the trail and a map for self-guided tours. But again, signage is needed directing visitors from Royal Street to the start of the trail. The Visitors Center moved from Fort Conde to the History Museum, a more visible location across from Mardi

THE CITY’S VISION FOR TOURISM — THE MAYOR’S INITIATIVE ON TOURISM ANNOUNCED IN SEPTEMBER 2015 – IS COMING TOGETHER DOWNTOWN, WITH NEW ATTRACTIONS JUST IN TIME FOR MARDI GRAS. ” Gras Park, and is now managed by Visit Mobile. Fort Conde is now managed by Activation Management, the folks who brought us the wildly popular Gulf Coast Duckboats, and the fort has been renamed the Colonial Fort of Mobile. The new management promises to transform the fort into a world-class destination

and event venue with concerts, a fife and drum corps and demonstrations of colonial trades (according to its Facebook page, it’s looking to hire wig makers, gunsmiths and confectioners. among others). Changes are already evident. The old lady has had a facelift, with freshly painted gates and fencing and newly pressure-washed brick and woodwork. Developers of the Hilton Garden Inn announced The Back Lot, a food truck court on St. Francis Street behind the hotel. It will feature a rotating schedule of food trucks with power (no noisy generators!), picnic tables with shade, fans and lights. Food trucks will be onsite for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late nights. A schedule will be posted to The Back Lot’s Facebook page. It was to open in late January but when I drove by on Jan. 25, I saw little progress. Across Bienville Square from the hotel, the MoonPie General Store opened Dec. 30 in the lobby of the RSA Trustmark Bank building, just in time for the MoonPie Drop. Santa even brought cash to Mobile. The Southern Rail Commission awarded the city a $125,000 grant for a master plan and architectural designs for a new Amtrak station near Cooper Riverside Park. Maybe next Christmas he’ll bring us a train. The jolly old elf didn’t forget midtown. The dog park at Public Safety Memorial Park opened with separate sections for large and small pups, and dozens of camellia bushes that will be stunning in a few years. All these changes in just six weeks, and even more are in store. Here are some updates on the news since New Year’s: • GulfQuest will reopen to the public on Feb. 22. The city promises more fun with a new traveling exhibit, “SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure,” plus lower ticket prices and free parking. The museum will be open Wednesday through Sunday. (Now if they’ll just work on the marketing … the GulfQuest web site still says it’s “closed temporarily to the public” and I found no announcement on its Facebook page or the city web site). • Eugene’s Monkey Bar & Grill opened in the new Hilton Garden Inn with a front “porch” overlooking Bienville Square. If you’re wondering who Eugene is, Google “Eugene Walter” or grab a copy of “Milking the Moon” from Bienville Books. Mobile’s favorite raconteur is finally getting the respect he deserves. • Chuck’s Fish opened at 551 Dauphin St., featuring fresh Gulf seafood straight from Harbor Docks in Destin. • Roosters Latin American Food opened at 211 Dauphin St., offering TexMex made with fresh, local ingredients. • Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma opened in Legacy Village on Jan. 27.

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Exploreum exhibit shows seedy side of drugs BY GABRIEL TYNES/ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR


drug abuse are localized with the crumpled chassis of a car involved in a fatal DUI incident, and a “memorial wall” where visitors can read personal stories of those lost to drug abuse or leave stories of their own. A portion of the exhibit will focus specifically on the Gulf Coast region, exploring the evolution of heroin abuse and enforcement in the area. Notably, Holland mentioned the exhibit will be staffed by an educator from the DEA Educational Foundation who will lead classes and man a resource center for addiction and treatment. “The Exploreum is proud to bring this exhibition to the

THE 6,000-SQUARE-FOOT EXHIBIT CONTAINS SCENES FAMILIAR TO THE DEA, INCLUDING STATIONS RESEMBLING COCAINE AND METHAMPHETAMINE LABS.” Gulf Coast community,” Exploreum Executive Director Jan McKay said. “It is our hope that every family, school and community organization will take the time to visit and learn from this exhibition, which could be a truly life-changing experience. This exhibit is first and foremost

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Photo | Lagniappe

ou don’t have to break bad to get behind the scenes of the global drug trade; you can just spend a little time at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center on the corner of Government and Water streets. Beginning Feb. 3 and through the month of August, the Exploreum is hosting the exhibit “Drugs: Costs and Consequences,” an educational product of the Drug Enforcement Agency that explores the effects of drugs on individuals and society. “This exhibit will reveal the true story of the damage caused by drugs and give an insight into DEA’s fight against deadly drug-trafficking organizations,” said Stephen G. Azzam, DEA special agent in charge of the New Orleans Field Division. Josh Holland, Exploreum marketing director, said more than 7,000 local students are already scheduled to see the exhibit, but it has something for everyone. “It covers street drugs, prescription drugs and all the negative effects that come along with it,” he said. “It explains how the drug trade launders money, how it ties into domestic and international terrorism, gang activity and human trafficking.” The 6,000-square-foot exhibit contains scenes familiar to the DEA, including stations resembling cocaine and methamphetamine labs. More graphically, there is debris from the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., emphasizing the connection between the Taliban and the Afghan heroin trade. Around the corner, the effects of

A SIMULATED METH LAB IS ONE OF SEVERAL GRAPHIC DISPLAYS AS PART OF THE EXHIBIT “DRUGS: COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES,” OPENING AT THE EXPLOREUM FEB. 3. about science, but also closely ties in family and community elements. It is our role to be a partner in education and a strong leader in the civic life of our region and this exhibit perfectly reflects that. We thank the DEA Educational Foundation, our honorary chairs and all of our sponsors for their work to ensure that this exhibit comes to Mobile and reaches as many lives as possible.” “Drugs: Costs and Consequences” activities are free for Alabama schools with regular paid admission to the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. For dates of specific activities, more information and ticket prices, visit To book school groups, please contact Monica Dunklin at 251-2086880 or via email at Reimbursement for school buses is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

STYLE HOROSCOPES SCORPIO’S CLOSE ENCOUNTER AQUARIUS (1/20-2/18) — Inspired by the Venardos Circus at the Alabama Contemporary Art Center, you’ll abandon your life to become a carny. But few will be interested in your limited talents, especially your double-jointed thumb and ability to make your palms fart. PISCES (2/19-3/20) — You’ll become the subject of social media ire for catching a ride from Uber during a boycott of the ride-sharing service for its CEO’s support of President Trump. Despite apologizing for the honest mistake, you’ll still be labeled as a fascist monster anytime you log onto Twitter. ARIES (3/21-4/19) — After a tour of midtown homes, you’ll create an interactive app showcasing all the Civil War ghosts within — the Confederate deserter killed in Oakleigh, the Union general who fought his last battle on Old Shell and the Statesman that’s technically still alive in Spring Hill. TAURUS (4/20-5/20) — Given the poor showing last year, you’ll start training your palate early for the 2017 Cajun Cook-Off. Following a few days of increasingly hot jambalaya, you’ll try keeping mild chilies under your tongue throughout the workday until you’re spotted crying near the water cooler. GEMINI (5/21-6/21) — After seeing the British Parliament in action, you’ll be sad to learn you can’t “buy season tickets” to their debates. The good news is you can always get your fix of “older white people politely insulting one another” on the racquetball courts of the local YMCA. CANCER (6/22-7/22) — It’ll be time for the Groom-Groom when you start the firstever dog and cat Mardi Gras parade. But there will be no throws, as moonpies are toxic to our furry friends, plastic beads are a choking hazard and animals have noodle arms in general. LEO (7/23-8/23) — You’ll start Mobile’s version of the Chewbacchus Mardi Gras parade in Mobile. You’ll upset the crowd, though, when you show up in a float designed to look like the Starship Enterprise. You will make the classic mixup and bring on nerd rage. VIRGO (8/24-9/22) — To add to what is considered a golden age for downtown dining, you’ll open up an all-fusion restaurant. Due to an enormous menu with cuisine from all over the world, you’ll fail when nobody shows up out of confusion. LIBRA (9/23-10/22) — So, the Earth will blow up soon. There will be good news for you, though, as you’ll become the first governor of the Martian colony. Because of your love for basketball, you’ll force the colony to move to the moon for better dunks. SCORPIO (10/23-11/21) — In order to preserve your encounter for eternity, you’ll schedule a recording session with StoryCorps to discuss your alien abduction. When you learn the tale never made it to the Library of Congress, you’ll realize how deeply embedded the lizard people really are. SAGITTARIUS (11/22-12/22) — You’ll be surprised to see the water-based smoking apparatus that was confiscated from your college dorm room is now part of the new drug exhibit at the Exploreum. You and Bong Marley once created a lot of memories, but you mostly forgot them all. CAPRICORN (12/23-1/19) — You’ll drink so many margaritas at Roosters you’ll grow feathers and start crowing on the roof of a barn. Things will come full circle when you’re unceremoniously slaughtered in a factory farm and served in a artisinal burrito.


Fe b r u a r y 2 , 2 0 1 7 - Fe b r u a r y 8 , 2 0 1 7 | L AG N I A P P E | 41


PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of RENITA ANN CORBIN Case No. 2017-0105 Take notice that Letters of Administration have been granted to the below named party on the 25th day of January, 2017 by the HONORABLE DON DAVIS, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. DENISE L CARROLL as Administratrix of the estate of RENITA ANN CORBIN, deceased Attorney of Record: C. CARTER CLAY Lagniappe HD Feb. 2, 9, 16, 2017


PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of RAYMOND OSCAR KNIGHT SR. Case No. 2016-2259 Take notice that Letters of Administration have been granted to the below named party on the 23rd day of January, 2017 by the HONORABLE DON DAVIS, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. ANDRE’ KNIGHT as Administrator of the estate of RAYMOND OSCAR KNIGHT SR., deceased Attorney of Record: Charles J. Potts, Esq. Lagniappe HD Feb. 2, 9, 16, 2017

FORECLOSURES FORECLOSURE NOTICE Default having been made in the payment of the indebtedness described in and secured by that certain Vendor’s Lien retained in Deed to Ivon Davis, n/k/a Ivon Davis Robinson from Willie L. Allen dated September 27, 1999 and recorded in Real Property Book 4775, Page 788 and re-recorded in Real Property Book 4952, Page 250, assigned to Steven C. Allen by Assignment of Vendor’s Lien dated September 24, 2008 and recorded in Real Property Book 6443, Page 1530, and modified by that certain Vendor’s Lien Modification Agreement dated September 29, 2015 and recorded in Book LR7315, Page 1147 of the records in the Office of the Judge of Probate of Mobile County, Alabama; and notice is hereby given that the undersigned, as holder of said Vendor’s Lien will under and by virtue of the power of sale contained in said Vendor’s Lien, sell at public outcry for cash to the highest bidder during the legal hours of sale on March 7, 2017 at the Government Street entrance of Government Plaza located at 205 Government Street, Mobile, Alabama, the following described real property situated in the County of Mobile, State of Alabama, described in said Vendor’s Lien hereinabove referred to, viz: Lot 6, Block 1, Strauss Brothers First Addition to Prichard, according to the plat thereof recorded in Map Book 2, Page 21, of the records in the Office of the Judge of Probate of Mobile County, Alabama. Said sale will be made for the purpose of paying said indebtedness and the expenses incident to this sale, including a reasonable attorney’s fee. Steven C. Allen Holder of Said Vendor’s Lien. David A. Boyett, III ANDERS, BOYETT & BRADY, P.C. 3800 Airport Boulevard Mobile, Alabama 36608 (251) 344-0880 ABB# 80546 Lagniappe HD Feb. 2, 9, 16, 2017

NOTICE OF BID ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS Notice is hereby given that the University of South Alabama (Owner) will accept sealed Bids for the following Work: INDOOR PRACTICE FACILITY-ELECTRICAL PACKAGE University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama USA Job No. 15-61 Bid No. 7012601 Bids will be received and clocked in at 2:00 p.m. local time on Thursday, March 2, 2017, in Room AD245 of the USA Administration Building, on the Main Campus of the University of South Alabama. Bids will not be accepted after the time indicated herein and will be returned unopened. A cashier’s check or bid bond payable to the University of South Alabama in an amount not less than five (5) percent of the amount of the bid, but in no event more than $10,000 must accompany the bidder’s proposal. Bid Documents shall be available only through the USA Purchasing Office. Contact as follows: University of South Alabama Purchasing Department 307 University Blvd., N., AD245 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-6151 FX# (251) 414-8291 (rbrown@southalabama. edu) Bids must be submitted on Proposal Forms furnished in the Bid Documents or copies thereof. The preceding is an abbreviated advertisement. The complete advertisement may be obtained from the location listed above. A Pre-Bid

Conference will be held Tuesday, February 14, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. local time, in Room AD23 of the Administration Building. Those in attendance will include the Owner, Engineer, and Consultants. Contract bidders, subcontractors and suppliers are encouraged to attend. All questions concerning the Project should be submitted in writing to the Project Manager at the address listed below. 307 University Blvd. N., AD001 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-7127 FX# (251) 461-1370 ( Lagniappe HD Feb. 2, 9, 16, 2017

ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS Notice is hereby given that the University of South Alabama (Owner) will accept sealed Bids for the following Work: University of South Alabama Mobile, Alabama USA Facilities Storage Building Fire Alarm BID NO. 7010501 Bids will be received and clocked in at 2:00 p.m. local time on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, in Room AD245 of the USA Administration Building, on the Main Campus of the University of South Alabama. Bids will not be accepted after the time indicated herein and will be returned unopened. A cashier’s check or bid bond payable to the University of South Alabama in an amount not less than five (5) percent of the amount of the bid, but in no event more than $10,000 must accompany the bidder’s proposal. Bid Documents shall be available only through the USA Purchasing Office. Contact as follows: University of South Alabama Purchasing Department 307 N. University Blvd. AD 245 (Administration Building) Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-6151 FX#(251) 414-8291 (rbrown@southalabama. edu) Bids must be submitted on Proposal Forms furnished in the Bid Documents or copies thereof. The preceding is an abbreviated advertisement. The complete advertisement may be obtained from the location listed above. A Pre-Bid Conference will be held on Thursday, January 19, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. local time, in Room AD 023 of the Administration Building. Those in attendance will include the Owner, Engineer, and consultants. Contract bidders, subcontractors and suppliers are encouraged to attend. A tour of the Project site is scheduled immediately after the conference. All questions concerning the Project should be submitted in writing to the Project Manager at the address listed below. 307 University Blvd. N. AD001 (Administration Building) Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-7127 FX# (251) 461-1370 ( Lagniappe HD Jan. 19, 26, Feb. 2, 2017.

ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS Notice is hereby given that the University of South Alabama (Owner) will accept sealed Bids for the following Work: USA CENTRAL PLANT to GAMMA PARKING LOT UNDERGROUND PIPING IMPROVEMENTS University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama USA Job No. 16-99 Bid No. 7010602 Bids will be received and clocked in at 2:00 p.m. local time on Thursday, February 9, 2017, in Room AD245 of the USA Administration Building, on the Main Campus of the University of South Alabama. Bids will not be accepted after the time indicated herein and will be returned unopened. A cashier’s check or bid bond payable to the University of South Alabama in an amount not less than five (5) percent of the amount of the bid, but in no event more than $10,000 must accompany the bidder’s proposal. Bid Documents shall be available only through the USA Purchasing Office. Contact as follows: University of South Alabama Purchasing Department 307 University Blvd. N, AD245 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-6151 FX# (251) 414-8291 (rbrown@southalabama. edu) Bids must be submitted on Proposal Forms furnished in the Bid Documents or copies thereof. The preceding is an abbreviated advertisement. The complete advertisement may be obtained from the location listed above. A Pre-Bid Conference will be held on Tuesday, January 26, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. local time, in Room AD 023 of the Administration Building. Those in attendance will include the Owner, Engineer, and consultants. Contract bidders, subcontractors and suppliers are encouraged to attend. A tour of the Project site is scheduled immediately after the conference. All questions concerning the Project should be submitted in writing to the Project Manager at the address listed below. 307 University Blvd. N, AD001 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-7127 FX# (251) 461-1370 ( Lagniappe HD Jan. 19, 26, Feb. 2, 2017.

ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS Notice is hereby given that the University of South Alabama (Owner) will accept sealed Bids for the following Work: FEEDER TO OUTDOOR FOOTBALL PAVILION University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama USA Job No. 15-61 Bid No. 7011005 Bids will be received from and clocked in at 2:00 p.m. local time from prequalified contractors only, on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, in Room AD245 of the USA Administration Building, on the Main Campus of the University of South Alabama. Bids will not be accepted after the time indicated herein and will be returned unopened. A cashier’s check or bid bond payable to the University of South Alabama in an amount not less than five (5) percent of the amount of the bid, but in no event more than $10,000 must accompany the bidder’s proposal. Bid Documents shall be available only through the USA Purchasing

42 | L AG N I A P P E | Fe b r u a r y 2 , 2 0 1 7 - Fe b r u a r y 8 , 2 0 1 7

Office. Contact as follows: University of South Alabama Purchasing Department 307 University Blvd., N., AD245 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-6151 FX#(251) 414-8291 ( Bids must be submitted on Proposal Forms furnished in the Bid Documents or copies thereof. The preceding is an abbreviated advertisement. The complete advertisement may be obtained from the location listed above. A Pre-Bid Conference will be held Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. local time, in Room AD 023 of the Administration Building. Those in attendance will include the Owner, Engineer, and Consultants. Contract bidders, subcontractors and suppliers are encouraged to attend. A tour of the Project site is scheduled immediately after the conference. All questions concerning the Project should be submitted in writing to the Project Manager at the address listed below. 307 University Blvd. N., AD001 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-7127 FX# (251) 461-1370 ( Lagniappe HD Jan. 19, 26, Feb. 2, 2017.

ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS Notice is hereby given that the University of South Alabama (Owner) will accept sealed Bids for the following Work: FEEDER TO PHASE 3 HOUSING University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama USA Job No. 15-73 Bid No. 7011201 Bids will be received from and clocked in at 2:00 p.m. local time from prequalified contractors only, on Thursday, February 23, 2017, in Room AD245 of the USA Administration Building on the Main Campus of the University of South Alabama. Bids will not be accepted after the time indicated herein and will be returned unopened. A cashier’s check or bid bond payable to the University of South Alabama in an amount not less than five (5) percent of the amount of the bid, but in no event more than $10,000 must accompany the bidder’s proposal. Bid Documents shall be available only through the USA Purchasing Office. Contact as follows: University of South Alabama Purchasing Department 307 University Blvd., N., AD245 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-6151 FX#(251) 414-8291 (rbrown@ Bids must be submitted on Proposal Forms furnished in the Bid Documents or copies thereof. The preceding is an abbreviated advertisement. The complete advertisement may be obtained from the location listed above. A Pre-Bid Conference will be held Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. local time, in Room AD 023 of the Administration Building. Those in attendance will include the Owner, Engineer, and Consultants. Contract bidders, subcontractors and suppliers are encouraged to attend. A tour of the Project site is scheduled immediately after the conference. All questions concerning the Project should be submitted in writing to the Project Manager at the address listed below. 307 University Blvd. N. AD001 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-7127 FX# (251) 4611370 ( Lagniappe HD Jan. 19, 26, Feb. 2, 2017.

ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS Notice is hereby given that the University of South Alabama (Owner) will accept sealed Bids for the following Work: HVAC UPGRADES to the USA TOWNHOUSE University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama USA Job No. 16-78 Bid No. 7011901 Bids will be received and clocked in at 2:00 p.m. local time on Thursday, February 23, 2017, in Room AD245 of the USA Administration Building, on the Main Campus of the University of South Alabama. Bids will not be accepted after the time indicated herein and will be returned unopened. A cashier’s check or bid bond payable to the University of South Alabama in an amount not less than five (5) percent of the amount of the bid, but in no event more than $10,000 must accompany the bidder’s proposal. Bid Documents shall be available only through the USA Purchasing Office.   Contact as follows: University of South Alabama Purchasing Department 307 University Blvd. N, AD245 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-6151 FX# (251) 414-8291 (rbrown@southalabama. edu) Bids must be submitted on Proposal Forms furnished in the Bid Documents or copies thereof. The preceding is an abbreviated advertisement. The complete advertisement may be obtained from the location listed above. A Pre-Bid Conference will be held on Thursday, February 9, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. local time, in Room AD 023 of the Administration Building. Those in attendance will include the Owner, Engineer, and consultants. Contract bidders, subcontractors and suppliers are encouraged to attend. A tour of the Project site is scheduled immediately after the conference. All questions concerning the Project should be submitted in writing to the Project Manager at the address listed below. 307 University Blvd. N, AD001 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-7127 FX# (251) 461-1370 ( Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 9, 2017.

ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS Notice is hereby given that the University of South Alabama (Owner) will accept sealed Bids for the following Work: University of South Alabama Mobile, Alabama Instructional Laboratory Building Roof Replacement USA JOB NO. 15-89 BID NO. 7011001 Bids will be received from pre-qualified roofing contractors only, and clocked in at 2:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, in Room AD245 of the USA Administration Building, on the

Main Campus of the University of South Alabama. Bids will not be accepted after the time indicated herein and will be returned unopened. A cashier’s check or bid bond payable to the University of South Alabama in an amount not less than five (5) percent of the amount of the bid, but in no event more than $10,000 must accompany the bidder’s proposal. Bid Documents shall be available only through the USA Purchasing Office.   Contact as follows: University of South Alabama Purchasing Department 307 University Blvd, N., AD245 PH# (251) 460-6151 FX# (251) 414-8291 ( Bids must be submitted on Proposal Forms furnished in the Bid Documents or copies thereof. The preceding is an abbreviated advertisement. The complete advertisement may be obtained from the location listed above.  A Pre-Bid Conference will be held at Tuesday, February 7, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. local time, in Room AD 023 of the Administration Building. Those in attendance will include the Owner, Engineer, and Consultants. Contract bidders, subcontractors and suppliers are encouraged to attend. A tour of the Project site is scheduled immediately after the conference. All questions concerning the Project should be submitted in writing to the Project Manager at the address listed below. 307 University Blvd. N., AD001 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-7127 FX# (251) 461-1370 (mmayberry@ Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 9, 2017.

STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS: Relating to Class 2 municipalities; to repeal Sections 11-40-50 through 11-40-54, Code of Alabama 1975 relating to the use and occupancy of buildings; to create a new Section of the Code relating thereto; to grant to any Class 2 municipality the authority to enact by ordinance provisions for enforcement of local and state building regulations for the maintenance of structures; provide for a judicial in rem foreclosure on non-owner occupied properties; and provide for recovery of taxpayer costs and transfer of title to  property under certain circumstances. Lagniappe HD Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23, 2017

PUBLIC NOTICE STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS: Relating to Mobile County; to amend Act No. 470, H. 952 of the 1939 Regular Session (Acts 1939, p. 298), as amended, which creates and establishes the countywide Civil Service System in Mobile County; to establish procedures for self-recruitment and hiring by an appointing authority; to provide for certain adjustments and steps within the grade or range; to provide for the adoption by the governing body or delegated authority for personnel policy guidelines and operational standards; to provide for the purchase of excess annual leave; to provide that employees funded by federal or state funds or private grants are in the unclassified service; to provide that, with approval of the board, an order of lay-off can be determined under exceptional circumstances by the critical needs of the appointing authority; to provide that laid-off employees will be placed on the re-employment list for the same classification; to provide that all classified employees shall be subject to all the rights and protections provided by the laws and rules of Mobile County Personnel Board and that nothing shall limit or impede the ability of a classified employee to file a complaint or grievance with the Personnel Board. Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 9, 16, 2017.

STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS:  Relating to Mobile County; to establish a separate and distinct fund within county government to be known as the 21st Century Policing and Economic Fund; to provide for dedicated revenues to the fund; and direct the expenditures for certain purposes. Lagniappe HD Jan. 12, 19, 26, Feb. 2, 2017.


Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS: Relating to Class 2 municipalities; to empower any Class 2 municipality in the State of Alabama to authorize, by municipal ordinance, the operation of lowspeed vehicles upon certain city streets of the municipality under limited circumstances and conditions. Lagniappe HD Jan. 19, 26, Feb. 2, 9, 2017.

STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2017 Regular Session of

the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS: Relating to Mobile County; imposing an additional fine for unlawful parking in a space designated for persons with disabilities or a space where official signs prohibit parking; and providing for the distribution of funds collected. Lagniappe HD Jan. 19, 26, Feb. 2, 9, 2017.

STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL
TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS: Relating to Class 2 municipalities; to amend Section 22-6- 220 and Section 22-6-221 of the Code of Alabama 1975, to ensure that any Integrated Care Network shall include a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) which shall be an equal option for qualifying individuals in an area where PACE exists; to require that the Alabama Medicaid Agency and an integrated care network shall enact regulations to provide that all PACE participants shall be exempt from passive enrollment without a waiting periods; and to provide for dis-enrollment from the integrated care network to enroll in a PACE program. Lagniappe HD Jan. 12, 19, 26, Feb. 2, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 3, 2017 - Time - 12pm - at 4763 Lott Rd., Eight Mile, AL 36613. 2004 GMC Sie 1500 2GTEC19T241136186 2000 Toyota Camry 4T1BG28K5YU972098 2014 Toyota Corolla 2T1BURHE3EC025196 2003 Chevrolet K1500 3GNFK16Z63G151450 2015 Nissan Sentra 3N1AB7AP9FL688713 Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 3, 2017 - Time - 12pm - at  3301 N. Schillinger Rd., Semmes, AL 36575. 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe C15 1GNEC13Z73R152300 2009 Hyundai Sonata 5NPET46C09H471507 2009 Chevrolet Aveo KL1TD66E49B671588 2008 Toyota Camry 4T1BE46K58U206182 Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2017.

NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 3, 2017 - Time - 12pm - at 5388 US Hwy. 90, Mobile, AL 36619. 2001 Ford Focus 1FAFP36361W235967 2010 Chevrolet Malibu 1G1ZA5EK1A4156532 2009 Nissan Altima 1N4AL21E59C142654 Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 3, 2017 - Time - 12pm - at 3351 Dauphin Island Prkwy., Mobile, AL 36605. 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe C15 1GNEC13T61J122535 2009 Dodge Journey 3D4GG57V09T541738 2006 Ford Taurus 1FAFP53U56A242213 2000 BMW 740I WBAGH8346YDP10218 2006 Ford LGT Convt 1FTPX12566NA01092 2007 Hyundai Sonata 5NPET46C67H178403 2002 Honda Accord 1HGCG56412A096316 2010 Dodge Charger 2B3CA3CV0AH222636 1997 Honda Accord 1HGCD7233VA031635 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 2G1WW15E819176202 Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 3, 2017 - Time - 12pm - at 3927 Government Blvd. #H, Mobile, AL 36693. 2003 GMC Sierra 1GTHK29UX3E112049 Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 3, 2017 - Time - 12pm - at 18595 Media Dr., Robertsdale, AL 36567. 2007 Toyota Corolla 1NXBR32EX7Z783609 Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 3, 2017 – Time - 12pm - at 420 Bell Lane, Saraland, AL 36571. 2002 Dodge Ram Truck 3D7HA18N42G168900 Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 3, 2017 - Time - 12pm – at 11543 Olivia Dr., Wilmer, AL 36587. 1998 Chevrolet GMT-400 2GCEC19R9W1234946 Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 3, 2017 - Time - 12pm - at 15930 Greeno Rd., Fairhope, AL 36532. 2005 Chevrolet Corvette 1G1YY24U955100430 Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2017



NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 3, 2017 Time - 12pm - at 1775 St. Stephens Rd., Mobile, AL 36617. 2005 Nissan Altima 1N4AL11DX5C161387 Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 3, 2017 Time - 12pm - at 3747 Government Blvd. Suite A1, Mobile, AL 36693. 2001 BMW 525I WBADT334X1GF40117 2005 BMW 645CI WBAEK73495B326492 Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 3, 2017 Time - 12pm - at 5971 Hwy.90, Theodore, AL 36582. 1994 Lincoln Town Car 1LNLM82W8RY782401 Lagniappe HD Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following unclaimed vehicle will be sold on March 10, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at   5388 US Hwy. 90, Mobile, AL 36619. 2008 Nissan Altima 1N4AL21E58N444951 Lagniappe HD Feb. 2, 9, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following unclaimed vehicle will be sold on March 10, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at  121 Schillinger Rd. N., Mobile, AL 36608. 2001 Lexus IS300 JTHBD182110019147 Lagniappe HD Feb. 2, 9, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following unclaimed vehicle will be sold on March 10, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at  42419 Nicholsville Rd., Bay Minette, AL 36507. 2004 Honda Civic 1HGEM22194L042247 Lagniappe HD Feb. 2, 9, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following unclaimed vehicles will be sold on March 10, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at   5867 Hwy. 90 W., Theodore, AL 36582. 2003 Cadillac DeVille 1G6KD54YX3U105221 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer 1GNDS13S362116358 Lagniappe HD Feb. 2, 9, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following unclaimed vehicle will be sold on March 10, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at  250 N. Craft Hwy., Chickasaw, AL 36611. 2005 Nissan Murano JN8AZ08T95W316532 Lagniappe HD Feb. 2, 9, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following vehicle will be sold on March 10, 2017 Time - 12pm - at   4763 Lott Rd., Eight Mile, AL 36613. 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix 2G2WP552271166584 1999 Lincoln Town Car 1LNHM82W1XY636635 2015 Chrysler 200 1C3CCCAB4FN713358 2007 Jeep Patriot 1J8FT28W37D398225 2004 GMC Sierra 2GTEC19T241136186 2002 Lincoln Town Car 1LNHM81W72Y637461 2008 Lexus IS350 JTHBE262782015348

Hot, hot, hot at the Senior Bowl BY BOOZIE BEER NUES/SOCIAL BUTTERFLY


ot, cold, hot cold. I’m beginning to think Mother Nature has a wheel she spins to decide the weather and whatever it lands on is what we get. Which is fine, but it just makes it really hard to plan. Like in the mornings you need a jacket, by lunch you’re burning up, then it’s back to cold again. This weekend was no exception either, except that it stayed cold most of Friday and Saturday then was all crazy Sunday. Luckily, by Sunday it didn’t matter because I was so hungover I didn’t move. No worries, Saturday I did plenty of moving and plenty of Boozie spying!

Put me in coach!

It’s recruiting time (well, and Senior Bowl — nothing like killing two birds with one stone), which means big names in football are being spotted everywhere. Well, some aren’t being spotted as well as others. Our area always produces top recruits so it’s no surprise when Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban shows up. It is also no surprise that Saban kept it all business during his visit. Like, at least give us that sweet grin you keep hidden, Coach Saban! The fun doesn’t end there. Last Wednesday, both Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson were spotted at McGill-Toolen’s basketball game against Murphy! Not a bad game to catch, plenty of good athletes on both sides. Last but least ol’ Dabo Swinney, Clemson’s head coach — aka the guy that beat ‘Bama, his alma mater — showed up at a downtown restaurant for a tasty meal. As the story goes, as the national championship-winning coach was waiting for a table, the young hostess excitedly informed him she’d heard Clemson’s coach might soon be stopping in for a bite. Not missing a beat, Swinney said, “I hear he’s a pretty good guy.”

Senior Bowl shenanigans

Last week I told y’all about the Meet the Players party for the Senior Bowl, now I get to tell y’all about the actual game and pregame shenanigans. Next to Mardi Gras, Senior Bowl is probably Mobile’s next biggest party. So of course, anyone you know that lives near Ladd-Peebles Stadium

becomes one of your stops on the way to and from the stadium. And nothing tells you you’re close to Ladd like almost stepping on a used condom right outside the gate. But that’s a story for a different day. Once at the stadium, Boozie and crew headed to the tailgate for food and beer. Now, I am not sure who was cooking, but that was some great fried fish and corn nuggets. Nothing like setting a good base before a day of drinking. After chugging as many beers as we could, we settled into our seats. To our surprise, the stadium was a lot warmer than expected. The game was underway and a guy nearby shouted out that they should have let Verne and Gary have one last go at football commentating, Boozie is willing to bet he wasn’t an Alabama fan. Speaking of football commentating, Alabama fans’ favorite, Eli Gold, was spotted in the crowd! I really wonder what it’s like for him to be at a game. Like, does he say to the folks around him “OJ Howard out to the right at the 40, 35 and he is stopped”? Or does he just sit there in silence? If I had seen him myself instead of a spy, I would have done some better investigating. Eyeroll. The best part of the game wasn’t actually plays but what happened on the field. At one point they started playing Rihanna’s song “Work” and USC player Zach Banner (number 73) started dancing. Let’s just say he was a better dancer than the Saints’ cheerleaders. Another highlight was when a guy hopped the fence, trying to make it onto the field. He was quickly stopped by security but broke away and made a run for the field once again. He was tackled by the police before he got too far. It was one of the better tackles that day, not to mention hilarious. The party didn’t end there. After the game, Senior Bowl fans headed downtown for a little postgame celebration. Two fans were spotted making out at a restaurant bar. The making out quickly turned into the guy sucking the girl’s neck. Maybe he was a vampire or maybe she wanted an excuse to wear a scarf. We may never know. Well, kids, that’s all I’ve got this week. Just remember, whether rain or shine, dramatic or scandalous or just some plain ol’ Senior Bowl lovin’, I will be there. Ciao!

Lagniappe HD Feb. 2, 9, 2017

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F U T U R E S H O C K Fe b r u a r y 2 , 2 0 1 7 - Fe b r u a r y 8 , 2 0 1 7 | L AG N I A P P E | 43

Lagniappe: February 2 - February 8, 2017